Friday, August 11, 2006

The top six unhelpful reactions to the latest terror plot

There has been a lot of commentary, of course, about yesterday's revelation of an apparently massive terrorist plot.

But it doesn't seem that a lot of it - either from the left or the right - has been very sensible. Off the top of my head, I'd have to nominate the following as the top six unhelpful reactions (this list, of course, is suitable for extension):

1. Making the delusional connection between this plot and your victorious political opponent's criticism of the Iraq War

2. Seeing it as a vindication of your own strategy in fighting terrorism.

3. Suggesting that really angry young Islamic radicals may actually have a point about the horrible decadence of the West .

4. Immediately assuming that this plot is simply an invention by Bush/Blair/MI6/the CIA/Mossad in order to win an election/distract people from other crises/oppress Muslims/pass oppressive terror laws.

See, for example, the comments appended to this commentary from the Guardian. (Or, really, any set of comments to any Guardian article which in any way has anything to do with terrorism, the Middle East or Tony Blair.)

5. Before we really know any details of what (might have) happened and who specifically was involved, immediately using these events as grist for one’s usual mill, whether it be attacking an alleged overabundance of political correctness or bashing British foreign policy.

6. Demanding the ridiculously impossible, e.g.: ‘This murderous ideology must be eradicated from the hearts and minds where it lives, and we cannot allow terrorists to deflect those efforts. We will need to get to the point where the perpetrators no longer wish to be perpetrators, no longer believe that murdering civilians who believe differently is acceptable.’

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