Thursday, November 20, 2003
First two synagogues, now a British bank and consulate. D'you get the feeling these guys want all non-Muslims out of the Middle East?
All eyes now on the Turkish military. There is a meme going 'round about Algeria's recent civil war that the military should have let the Islamists win - that this would have been democratically correct, and would have averted the subsequent violence that claimed 100,000 lives. This could not be more wrong. The last - only? - patriotic thing the corrupt and thuggish Algerian military ever did was cancelling that election. The Algerian civil war got so vicious and bloody because the terrorist groups that formed an important part of the Islamist coalition targeted increasingly large swathes of Algerian society as their prospects for winning power dwindled. They couldn't kill their way into power, but they could at least kill those of whom they disapproved. The Nazis, after Stalingrad, substantially stepped up their pace in murdering the Jews, so that they would at least complete one objective of their war. The Islamist terror groups are no different: if they can't kill their way to power, they will at least try to kill as many of their enemies as they can.
The Turkish military, of course, has a far better relationship with their country's people than did the Algerian, and the country is broadly supportive of the Turkish state. We are not going to see an Islamist insurgency in Turkey. We are, however, going to see more and more terrorism in countries like Turkey - or Indonesia, or Malaysia, or what-have-you: countries the terrorists can hit. More often than not, I suspect the tactic will backfire, as I expect it to do in Turkey, and will push the targets closer to the West. That prospect won't deter the killers; suicide bombers and their masters don't get deterred.
It's ugly out there.