News this week of a planned terrorist attack spanning multiple Western nations should make us grateful that President Obama at least takes the Islamist threat seriously enough to authorize Predator strikes (even if he would never refer to it as “the Islamist threat”). As usual, The Long War Journal has the best coverage for this sort of thing.
The Christian Science Monitor also featured a useful summary yesterday, but closed with the repetition of a favorite anti-war meme:
The BBC also quotes former CIA officer Robert Baer as saying the plot may be “a reprisal from the [Taliban-allied] Haqqani network against the United States and Britain for the stepped-up aerial campaign in the tribal areas of Pakistan.” If such were true, it would imply a dangerous cycle where militants are constantly plotting revenge attacks on the West, while the West is constantly plotting attacks on militants to thwart their plans.
If America ceased Predator strikes against known terrorists in Pakistan, would Islamists cease planning terrorist attacks? That might be a serious question to consider – and reason for a more hesitant response to Islamist violence – if the world had been created yesterday.
Given the benefit of history, warnings of a “dangerous cycle” are hardly worth the pixels they occupy. Absent Predator strikes, Islamists would be “constantly plotting revenge” for:
- The Crusades
- The unspeakable hate crime of being Jewish
- The imprisonment of fellow Islamists (or, being Jewish)
- Cartoons printed by privately owned newspapers or drawn by private citizens
- Israel refusing to sit quietly while Hezbollah and Hamas murder her people
- The awful insensitivity of Christians being Christian
When the representatives of classically liberal nations start equivocating our actions against terrorists with the attacks of terrorists on civilians, it’s time to stop and think about how much self-loathing is too much.