Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Regarding Letters to the editor "London bombers", IHT, July 27, 2005: If there is some kind of Nobel prize for PR and for influencing public opinion, Bin Laden and his cronies would certainly deserve it. They have convinced people all over the world that theirs is a justifiable 'struggle', prompted not by a perverted interpretation of a religion as beautiful as any other, but by injustices perpetrated against their brothers and sisters in Iraq or Palestine, by insults against Islam in general, and by the difficulties faced by immigrants in the West. Never mind that so many of their victims are Iraqis and ( other ) non-Islamist Muslims, never mind that the main suspects of the latest acts of terror in London - like the murderer of the Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh - did not have any qualms about enjoying the hospitality and facilities that Western society offered them, and never mind that apart from extremist Muslims few immigrants in the West become ( suicide ) terrorists. As for the difference between Spain after March 11th 2004 and the US after September 11th 2001: while it is hard to believe that PM Zapatero was elected only because of the Madrid bombings, his ending the Spanish military presence in Iraq was the main demand of the terrorists behind the bombings. More than anything else, that "knee-jerk reaction" could explain the 16 months of quiet in Spain.

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