Francis Vierboom's Blog

A blog about things. Mostly news, ideas, and Sydney

The appalling standard of Australian punditry

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Paul Sheehan has a column on the SMH online today with a fairly random grab-bag of ‘bloody wet liberals causin the terrism’ points. I really don’t want to link to it because that is exactly why the Herald publishes this garbage, but the article goes something like this:

  • Adorable British town called Wootton Bassett is full of good upstanding white villagers who stand to attention for fallen British soldiers returned from Afghanistan as their hearses pass through town.
  • Upstart, ‘parasite’ Muslim lawyer Choudry has the audacity to A. organise marriages under Islamic sharia law and B. protest in the same village with fake coffins representing innocent Muslims killed by the British actions
  • Foolish, wet, liberal Western media and politicians respond to Choudry with condemnations, rather than physical violence as suggested by the far-right racist BNP
  • Terrorism is cheap but fighting terrorism costs billions. (I am not sure it was the wet liberals who decided to spend billions on fighting terrorism, but whatever)
  • Wet liberal human rights laws in Europe meant MI5 couldn’t tell the USA that they had ‘concerns’ about Abdulmutallab. (Although the USA already knew anyway)
  • The 9/11 bombers are really getting let off easy because they are being tried in a regular US criminal court.
  • Terrists are using ‘lawfare’ by clogging up the courts.

In the middle of all this crap, there is a stunningly sensible graf:

For the marginal and the fanatical, the idea of being feared in the West is an end in itself. It is a victory. This challenge thus needs to be fought with more subtle and practical intellectual weapons: better language, better legal responses, better security intelligence and more stealth.

So the point, in this tiny shaft of light, seems to be that we should not respond out of fear, but using the things that make Western democracies powerful, and usually rather nice places to live: the rule of law, the power of Enlightenment ideas about humanity and rights, the power of the media, and our technological advantages. However, the actual suggestions Sheehan makes are:

  • Ban Muslim protesters from nice English villages, and let the BNP thugs go to town on ’em
  • Tell every security agency in the world everything about anyone that does anything vaguely un-British
  • Try the 9/11 bombers in special secret session trials

If that is not showing fear and giving the terrorists a victory then what is?

Really, can’t we just take a second to appreciate the fact that the mighty Al Qaeda is so operationally and ideologically crippled that they can only just manage to set their own underpants on fire, in the only attempted major attack on the West in several years? The 9/11 trials in New York will lead to life sentences for some horrible criminals who will, like Slobodan Milosevic and Saddam Hussien, be shown to the world as a regular brand of impotent and distasteful crazy person. The USA, through the (often dubious) power of democracy, is now run by people who are not extremely excited about invading the Middle East. So Paul, take your own advice, and keep calm and carry on.

If you really must read the article it is here.

Written by Francis

January 11, 2010 at 10:18 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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