Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Eroding the consensus

It is a never-ending refrain of the "progressive" left (in the Anglosphere) and most everyone (in Continental Europe) that the War on Terror and the Iraqi War have made the participating countries targets of Islamist terrorism, and that this serves them right for being imperialistic aggressors. This is an absurd and revolting idea as Oliver Kamm eloquently explains in this outstanding post (via Samizdata, emphasis mine):
Since the London bombings three months ago, the political debate in this country has taken a predictable form. Anti-war campaigners assert that UK participation in the Iraq War made us a target; the Government insists that Iraq had nothing to do with it. Neither judgement is right, but the anti-war view is in far more serious error.
Against the Government's position, I can see no purpose in disputing that our helping to overthrow Saddam Hussein has inflamed Islamist totalitarian groups. Why deny what we should take pride in?
Yet the Government is still right to point to the incidence of terrorist acts of war before we overthrew Saddam - not because it demonstrates the independence of terrorist acts from our foreign policy, but because there is no foreign policy we could adopt that would not provoke our enemies into indiscriminate (and if they have the ability, apocalyptic) violence.
Absolutely do read the whole thing. It is quite frustrating to me that while the West is being attacked not for what it does wrong but for what it does right, the first instinct of most of the people around me is to run for cover, avoid going to London and to call for the withdrawal of troops. Why is Europe cowed so easily? Aren't our liberties, our way of life and our institutions worth the fight now, just as they were then?

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