What the Butler Saw
As I wrote in The Daily Telegraph last March, "History repeats itself: farce, farce, farce, but sooner or later tragedy is bound to kick in." ... To three high-profile farces, we now have that high-profile tragedy, of impressive timing. ... the jihad, via one of its wholly owned but independently operated subsidiaries, scheduled an atrocity for the start of the G8 summit and managed to pull it off - at a time when ports and airports and internal security were all supposed to be on heightened alert. That's quite a feat.
From sanctuaries forever exempt from attack by the "political class" attacks are hatched against which no protection is offered is except passive defense, a passive defense that is bound to fail because "one day - on Monday or Wednesday, in January or November, when an immigration official or a luggage checker is a bit absent-minded and distracted" an attacker is bound to slip through. And if ever he is caught he will be sprung by any of the high priced lawyers the Left has hired for legal aid. Because despite the big words most of European civilization is unwilling and unable to follow the nomadic raider back into his lair. We watch the raiders ride away, shake our fists from civilization's walls and promise to be more vigilant next time. Then we go back to doing nothing.
... Islamism projects itself long-range to any point of the planet with an ease most G8 militaries can't manage. Small cells operate in the nooks and crannies of a free society while the political class seems all but unaware of their existence.
It's called asymmetrical warfare. They war and we fare -- as well as we can. Did the raiders receive help from within the city gates? It's a question, Steyn says, that no one is allowed to ask.
Did we learn enough, for example, from the case of Omar Sheikh? He's the fellow convicted of the kidnapping and beheading in Karachi of the American journalist Daniel Pearl. He's usually described as "Pakistani" but he is, in fact, a citizen of the United Kingdom - born in Whipps Cross Hospital, educated at Nightingale Primary School in Wanstead, the Forest School in Snaresbrook and the London School of Economics. He travels on a British passport. Unlike yours truly, a humble Canadian subject of the Crown, Mr Sheikh gets to go through the express lane at Heathrow.
Or take Abdel Karim al-Tuhami al-Majati, a senior al-Qa'eda member from Morocco killed by Saudi security forces in al Ras last April. One of Mr Majati's wives is a Belgian citizen resident in Britain. In Pakistan, the jihadists speak openly of London as the terrorist bridgehead to Europe. Given the British jihadists who've been discovered in the thick of it in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Palestine, Chechnya and Bosnia, only a fool would believe they had no plans for anything closer to home - or, rather, "home". Most of us can only speculate at the degree of Islamist penetration in the United Kingdom because we simply don't know, and multicultural pieties require that we keep ourselves in the dark.
And there's the rub. A politically correct policy that requires Europe not to know who is in the 5th column will will inevitably force it to assume guilt in those of a certain persuasion in a moment of mortal danger. Internment and mass deportation is what governments resort to when they don't know who the real spies are. Political correctness is the practice of requiring ignorance indefinitely against the calculation that the moment of moral danger will never come because nobody knows what the hell they are going to do then. It's at that moment, as Steyn observes, that farce, farce and farce becomes tragedy.