Saturday, July 29

Nobody moves, nobody gets hurt

I think Pundita once confessed to her readers that she is a very nervous person. My extreme nervousness, which is legendary in some quarters, has caused people who give dinner parties I attend to warn the other guests, "If you happen to drop your napkin while seated at the table, for God's sake explain why you're leaning over and add that you don't have a gun strapped to your ankle."

I bring up the topic of my fragile nerves because on Thursday evening I sent Annlee Hines notice that I'd republished portions of her essay. I added that I did it because I needed shoring up due to my fear that there would soon be another terrorist attack on American soil. Annlee replied with what I guess she assumed were soothing words of comfort --

I worry as well, on about three seemingly disparate fronts. One is the Mideast, of course -- I think the Israelis must suck it up and finish the job this time. It won't come cheap, but peace never does, as TigerHawk pointed out in his series of essays on deterrence. I think this is the first: How "proportionality" destroys the best chance for peace.

A second front is the descent into madness in Scandinavia in particular, Western Europe in general. Since I know you read Gates of Vienna, you've no doubt read Fjordman's series, as well as the other posts there. The canary not only stopped singing in the mine, he's dead -- toes up and feathers falling out -- but the governments continue to pretend we all hear the carols, still. I guess I'd call it the Emperor's New Ears Syndrome.

Finally, when order collapses, legitimacy takes time to become established -- and the ones who generally get there fustest with the mostest are those with the least regard for the rule of law. On a macro scale, that would be the transnational crime syndicates. Will they offer to clean up the neighborhoods and will the governments accept (since it relieves them of dirtying their lily hands)? Or will the criminals perceive an opportunity to "invest" in gratitude and move in on their own, thereby banking a little moral credit with the locals by making the trains run on time, as it were?

But what happens when the amoral bad guys and the super-moral bad guys collide over the same turf? Between criminals and Christians, I'd bet on the criminals. Between criminals and Islamofascists ... I would have to bet on who has the better armament, but I'd shade my bet on the new fascists. After all, dying in the fight is a win for them: "I was running for my life, and you were only running for your dinner," to recall the child's parable. The stakes will be uneven, favoring deep evil over petty evil (and isn't that a heck of note -- when the transnational thugs are the petty evil of our times?).

We have paid the Danegeld too many times already -- and if the price is too high now as a result, we have only ourselves to blame for the bad guys expecting the status quo we allowed them to have. I don't remember how I stumbled over to this blog. The writer at Treppenwitz makes the point that while we are not responsible for the evil others do, we are responsible for not doing what we could have to prevent more. So now we must do even more, as evil has learned to expect a chump change price.

The alternative to the bleatings of the proportionalists and cease-fire mavens? Remember Churchill. And Maggie. And Patrick Henry. And Sp4 Pat Tillman. And --

Only we can cause our defeat. If we live up to our heritage we cannot lose.

Hang in there. Friday's almost here.

Actually, I had not read Fjordman but it so happened that when I popped over to Gates of Vienna to find the series I came across the latest guest entry by the very same Fjordman titled Norwegian Authorities Still Covering Up Muslim Rapes
[. . .] In 2001, two out of three charged with rape in Norway’s capital were immigrants with a non-western background according to a police study. Norwegian women were victims in 80 percent of the cases.

Unni Wikan, a professor of social anthropology at the University of Oslo, in 2001 said that “Norwegian women must take their share of responsibility for these rapes” because Muslim men found their manner of dress provocative. The professor’s conclusion was not that Muslim men living in the West needed to adjust to Western norms, but the exact opposite: “Norwegian women must realize that we live in a Multicultural society and adapt themselves to it.” [. . .]

The number of rape charges in Oslo has continued to rise, reaching record levels in 2005. There is ample evidence of brutal gang rapes, something that used to be rare in Scandinavia, being committed by immigrants against native girls. For instance, 21st of July 2005, three men were charged with gang raping a 15-year-old Norwegian girl, who was dragged into a car while waiting for a bus at the bus station in the town of Fredrikstad. All the men were of “foreign origin”. Such cases have become almost routine.

The only possible explanation for why we are no longer presented statistics showing the percentage of immigrants involved in this is that the authorities are covering it up. Usually, this would have made the media call for the government’s resignation. This has not happened, although I know several journalists have been reading the posts I have made about this topic, both in English and in Norwegian. [. . .]
Some Pundita readers were upset when I verbally patted the air in response to Michael Ledeen's honest, angry letter about European appeasers, which I published on this blog last year.

I think there is nothing more dangerous than a European looking for a scapegoat. Let's face it: it wasn't the descendents of Mohammed who launched pogroms and set up the Nazi death camps.

The problem is that the Muslim immigrants from the poorest classes -- just those Muslims in Europe who are putty in the hands of Iranian and Syrian instigators -- don't know where the trip wire is for Europeans.

So I venture the warning given by the Treppenwitz writer would be misapplied if taken beyond the Israel-Hezbollah conflict. Everyone in the bar watching the pounding the Marine got, and the Marine himself, shared the same referents. Everybody knew where the invisible line was.

Some would argue that the instigators want the Europeans to explode and crack down hard on the Muslim immigrants, as a means to further radicalize the poor in Muslim communities across the globe. That view assumes there would be many Muslims left in the wake of the European idea of harsh retaliatory measures.

I suppose Ledeen would still argue that the post- WW2 Europeans came to place the desire for a comfortable life above all other values. Maybe so. But the concept of values applies to rational thought. Once the wire is tripped, one is in a purely visceral realm.

Speaking of the rising tide of European concern about their Muslim immigrant populations:
In Neutral Switzerland, A Rising Radicalism: Islamic Extremists Newly Seen as Threat
By Craig Whitlock
Washington Post Foreign Service
Thursday, July 20, 2006; Page A14
BERN, Switzerland -- For centuries, this Alpine nation has successfully relied on a strict policy of political neutrality to insulate it from the wars, invasions and revolutions that have raged outside its borders. These days, a new threat has emerged: one from within.

As they have elsewhere in Europe, Islamic radicals are making inroads in Switzerland. Last month, Swiss officials announced the arrests of a dozen suspects who allegedly conspired to shoot down an Israeli airliner flying from Geneva to Tel Aviv. In a related case, a North African man has been charged with organizing a plot from Swiss soil to blow up the Spanish supreme court in Madrid.

For years, even after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States, Swiss officials assumed that their country was one of the last places Islamic radicals would look to attack. Long considered a slice of neutral territory in a world full of conflicts, Switzerland trades on its status as home to the International Committee of the Red Cross and other diplomatic institutions.As the global jihad movement becomes more decentralized and fragmented, however, Swiss security officials are warning that their country could become a target.

In an intelligence report completed in May, the Swiss Federal Police reversed previous assessments that the domestic risk of terrorism was nearly nonexistent. The report concluded that Switzerland had become "a jihadi field of operation" and predicted that terrorist attacks were "an increasing possibility."

"It would be dishonest to say that these groups are ready to act in Europe but that Switzerland is an island and that these groups could not be active in Switzerland, too," Jean-Luc Vez, director of the federal police, said in an interview here in the Swiss capital. "It is very, very important for us to say this to the Swiss politicians and the Swiss people."

The changes in Switzerland mirror those in other smaller European nations that, until recently, didn't see themselves as likely targets for Islamic terrorists.

In Sweden, another country with a long history of neutrality, prosecutors last month convened a top-secret closed trial of three terrorism suspects in the southern city of Malmo. Authorities have not identified the suspects or disclosed any evidence. But Swedish media have reported that the arrests were made at the request of British counterterrorism investigators.

In Denmark, counterterrorism authorities say they remain on high alert after a Danish newspaper printed cartoons of the prophet Muhammad that spurred boycotts, death threats and violent protests in Islamic countries.And in the Netherlands, the Dutch government has classified the risk of a terrorist attack as "substantial," a threat level proportionally higher than in the United States, where homeland security officials judge the risk as "elevated." The Dutch government established its threat-ranking system in November 2004, when an Islamic radical killed the Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh.Like Denmark, the Netherlands has contributed troops and other support to U.S.-led military campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq. But until the van Gogh killing, Dutch officials had played down the threat of terrorism at home.

Since then, the number of Islamic radicals in the country has increased, as has the number of fundamentalist imams who are seeking to recruit new followers, said Tjibbe Joustra, the Dutch national coordinator for counterterrorism. He said international conflicts such as the war in Iraq are fueling the problem, although the Netherlands has also been polarized over its difficulties in assimilating Muslim immigrants.

"I'm afraid we are seeing an increase in radicalization in the Netherlands," Joustra said in a telephone interview. "In their search for motivation and their search for reasons to radicalize, they are no longer looking so much at national issues as international ones."

Jacques Pitteloud, a former coordinator of the Swiss intelligence agencies, said that in the past Swiss officials were primarily concerned that outside radical networks might try to use the country as a logistical base to raise money or support operations elsewhere. Most terrorism suspects arrested or questioned after Sept. 11, 2001, were foreigners just passing through.

That has changed recently, he said. Most of the suspects in the Israeli airliner case, for example, are immigrants who were granted Swiss residency."We might be facing a new era in homegrown terrorism," said Pitteloud, now the director of the Center for International Security Policy, an arm of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.

"We don't feel like we are a primary target, but in the end, Switzerland is a symbol of quite a lot of things that radical Islam hates."

Officials worry about attacks on foreign embassies and institutions in the country.

An estimated 350,000 Muslims live in Switzerland, constituting about 5 percent of the population. Swiss officials said they have done a better job integrating foreigners into the population than other European countries and have fewer radical mosques and organizations.

But "we have seen early signs now of anti-Swiss propaganda on the Internet," Pitteloud said. "We have our fair share of radical Islamists, there is no doubt, many of whom we don't know what to do about because many of them are refugees and we can't just kick them out.

"Swiss lawmakers are considering a proposal that would allow police and the domestic intelligence service to tap the phones of suspected radicals or access their computers, even if there is no evidence of criminal wrongdoing. A similar measure was rejected last year in the Swiss parliament.

Andreas Wenger, director of the Center for Security Studies at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, said the warnings from Swiss intelligence and security services have been slow to register.

"Part of the political spectrum in Switzerland still has the feeling that because we are neutral and not associated with great power politics, that we are less likely to become a target," Wenger said. "The public perception is behind other European countries, most definitely."

Vez, the federal police chief, said domestic spying restrictions have hurt Switzerland's ability to swap counterterrorism intelligence with its allies. "The biggest problem has been the sharing of information with our partners in Europe," he said. "Intelligence-sharing functions like a market. 'If you want something from me, you have to give me something.'"

Switzerland effectively had to build a counterterrorism program from scratch after the Sept. 11 attacks. It keeps a national database of radical suspects, but the watch list is not easily accessible by many police agencies.In October 2004, Spanish authorities announced that they had broken up a plot by a cell of Moroccan radicals to drive a truck bomb into the National Court building in Madrid. They identified the leader of the cell as Mohammed Achraf, 31, who had sought asylum in Switzerland and been jailed two months earlier in Zurich on minor charges.

Spanish authorities said that Achraf organized robberies in Switzerland and funneled cash to Madrid to finance the plot, and that he continued to plan the attack even while he was locked up in a Swiss jail.Swiss officials said they didn't realize at first that Achraf, who used several identities, was a suspected radical or that he was under investigation in Spain. Achraf has since been extradited to Madrid. He was indicted in March along with 31 other defendants.

In June, Swiss prosecutors said Achraf had been in contact with a member of the cell that had "the serious intent" to shoot down the Israeli plane.Investigators have released few details about the alleged plot, and it is not known whether it had progressed beyond the planning stages. Swiss and Israeli news media have reported that the Israeli airline El Al canceled flights from Geneva to Tel Aviv for a week in December 2005 after it was warned by Swiss counterterrorism officials.

Prosecutors said that the cell consisted of about a dozen members and that it committed robberies throughout the country and transferred money to other cells in Spain and France. Cell members in those countries were arrested about the same time as part of a coordinated international investigation.

Seven suspects in Switzerland are being held in preventive detention, while four others have been released, said Hansjuerg Mark Wiedmer, spokesman for the Swiss Attorney General's Office. None of the suspects has been publicly identified. Under Swiss law, they can be held indefinitely without facing formal charges since they represent a flight risk, Wiedmer said.

Hans Hofmann, chairman of the intelligence oversight committee in the Swiss parliament, said the arrests showed that the country was vulnerable.

"Swiss intelligence is realizing that you can't just sit back and cross your arms and say, 'We're not a target because we're a small country,'" he said. "Switzerland is no longer able to exclude itself from the rest of the world in the face of a globalized threat."
Midnight Update
Whereupon Dymphna weighs in with a few pithy comments in response to this post--

"[. . .] The Baron loathes the concept of proportionality and for his rant on its ultimate stupidity, he also designed a graphic to go with it. See post here. [. . .]

Switzerland must be suffering from a severe case of hubris. Considering the fact that Said Ramadan, the son of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, moved there in 1961 and that Said's son, Tariq Ramadan, did much of his proselytizing in Switzerland.

Switzerland has been asleep at the wheel for a long, long time. I think when they do finally wake up, we'll see some spine stiffening of the first order, though. I hope.

What the Swiss don't get is that it's not 1945 anymore. Jihadists don't recognize neutrality. [. . .]

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