By Con George-Kotzabasis
A brief reply to: This Time We Were Lucky. This Time…by William Rees-Mogg in The TimesOnline July 2, 2007
Luck is a scarce visitor in the affairs of mankind and in the Age of Terror one scarcely would expect it to come the second time around. Sir William argues in his article, in the aftermath of the failed attempts of the terrorists in London and Glasgow, that “the danger will become greater” and therefore we need new laws to protect ourselves. He also contends, that there are serious flaws in our culture that hinder us from fighting effectively this external and internal foe.
As always Sir William pens his thoughts with wisdom and one would be a fool not to take them seriously. If the danger is going to be greater in the future, as he correctly points out, then the present “gaps” in our legal system must be closed. That means that the old regime of laws which are completely inadequate against religiously inspired terror must be overthrown and replaced with a new regime of laws that will apprehend and convict terrorists not on “solid evidence”, as he argues, which in the murky and shadowy world of terror is a will-o’-the-wisp search, but on reasonable suspicion.
Furthermore, our culture is flawed because of our mutual respect for other cultures, for our tolerance, generosity, care, and kindness that we continue to exercise ceaselessly in these most unkind of times generated by the atrocious actions of the terrorists. It’s therefore necessary that we harden some of the soft features of our culture that prevent us up till now to take on this great and long challenge posed by global terror. By a set of stronger measures and imaginative concepts that will have a chance quickly and decisively to subdue this portentous danger that arises from an irreconcilable and undeterred enemy, who having been bred in the madrassas and Mosques has been anointed with his suicidal fanaticism. Western governments therefore will have to counter-generate the moral fortitude that in the legislation of these new laws the latter will make the most “unkind of cuts”, that is, deny suspects of home-grown terror of a spate of legal processes that normally apply in peaceful times but should never apply in times of war.
This is more urgent than ever because of the logic of this war. If unarguably the latter is going to be a long war with a remorseless, immoral, evil enemy who is not open to negotiation or to political or economic rewards and whose goal is the accomplishment of his godly mission, one does not have to be a prophet to foresee that with the inevitable further development in technology and its easier accessibility by people, the holy warriors of Islam will soon be armed with weapons of mass destruction, and indeed, with nuclear ones. And boosted by their religious fervor will unhesitatingly use them against the infidels of the West. Hence, these jihadists in civilian clothes with their deadly belts around their bi-gender, and indeed, childrens' midriffs, will open the door to Armageddon.
Politically and strategically it’s always prudent to defeat such an enemy, by using against him both overt and covert overwhelming force, while he is still weak and before he becomes stronger. The question however is, whether the political leaders of the West will have the wisdom and mettle to use “uncivilized” means and methods to defeat such a mortal foe, and will not overplay the fiddle of legal process when civilization is threatened with burning.