The Smallest Rudder

These are pictures (via Gateway Pundit via Instapundit) of the bombs used in the recent “bungled bombings” in London. (The yellow strip in the first picture is a traffic line to give you some sense of scale.)

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I have to ask: Is this all it takes these days to steer the course of mighty nations, a half-dozen disgruntled loons with homemade hand-grenades?

If so, we are all screwed.

Many commentators described the terror attacks on the London transit system, even the second wave which failed, as “sophisticated.” However, if you look at the details of the attacks, both in terms of logistics and execution, there doesn’t appear to be anything very sophisticated about them. Any reasonably bright high school student could have carried them off. Certainly anybody with a couple of semesters of college-level organic chemistry could have made the bombs. Timing devices and detonators are trivial. I am confident that I personally could make a similar bomb using commonly available materials. Getting some deluded idiot to carry out a suicide attack would be difficult but not impossible. Carrying out a non-suicide attack would be easy.

It takes no special talent, skills, training or resources to carry out a terrorist attack which can kill dozens. In any developed country there are literally millions of individuals with the technical skills necessary to manufacture the little piss-ant bombs used in the London attacks. If we legitimize these attacks in any way, or do anything that in the least makes it appear that the attacks shifted the national political debate in the direction that the perpetrators wanted, we risk creating incentives for every deluded idiot with a grudge to kill at random in the name of whatever cause he can think up.

The West doesn’t currently suffer from waves of terrorist attacks from homegrown extremists. This is not because our own political zealots lack the technical skills and means to carry out such attacks. It is because western political extremists understand that such attacks are the express ticket to political oblivion. The militia movement was a growing concern before the Oklahoma City bombing. Afterwards, it withered because the bombers espoused a similar philosophy to the militia movement, even though they had been rejected by all of the militia groups for being too extreme. The closest we have to ongoing terror movements in America are radical environmentalists, who are very careful to destroy only property. Eventually, they will accidentally kill somebody and then their days will be over.

We must always make it clear that any individuals, groups or movements that endorse terrorism in any form will be expelled from the political debate instantly. If we don’t make this clear, we will find ourselves under attack from political extremists left, right and orthogonal. If we don’t make this clear, there is bottle of nitrate compounds wrapped in nails in everyone’s future.

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5 thoughts on “The Smallest Rudder”

  1. “We must always make it clear that any individuals, groups or movements that endorse terrorism in any form will be expelled from the political debate instantly”..I agree. Unfortunately, this is not what has been happening. The Palestinian use of terrorism has long been excused, applauded, and even romanticized, by many in the West. As long as the victims were Israeli citizens or American soldiers, many “progressives” thought the attacks were nothing to get upset about.

  2. Great civilizations are not killed, they commit suicide or, the same thing, bare their necks to their murderers’ knives.

    If the West wants to survive, it could destroy this threat with a small amount of physical exertion. The moral and intellectual energy are what is missing. Or, missing from most of Europe, much of Britain and far too much of the United States.

    The jihadis are betting that their enemy is so spineless that they will be able to impose sharia on the world and dhimmitude on all of us with very little in the way of material means, solely by an exercise of ruthlessness and willpower.

    So far, their bet is not obviously coming up a loser.

  3. These aren’t the bombs they used; they’re the ones they (somewhat inexplicably) left behind in a car parked in my local railway station. The bombs detonated on the 7th of July, and the ones which failed to detonate on the 21st, were bigger.

    As for steering nations. the only occasion where there is any appearance of policy being influenced is Spain (where the bombs were bigger still); elsewhere, one might argue bombs have triggered overreaction of a hostile kind, but not appeasement.

    Much more on Anomaly UK

  4. Instapundit links to Trey Jackson’s video & transcript of Iranian President-Elect Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad.

    A nation with martyrdom knows no captivity. Those who wish to undermine this principle undermine the foundations of our independence and national security. They undermine the foundation of our eternity.The message of the (Islamic) Revolution is global, and is not restricted to a specific place or time. It is a human message, and it will move forward.Have no doubt… Allah willing, Islam will conquer what? It will conquer all the mountain tops of the world.

    Meanwhile, clearing up dishes, I hear on C-span that Bush & the pentagon planned the attacks, fulfilling plans made long before – indeed, the administration had been planning them for the last dozen years. Parties come and parties go, but the conspiracy lives on interwoven in the government. For the speaker, all – terrorists, soldiers, the ill educated common American – are puppets. I tend to believe most see through such arguments. And some see the promise of a future in America and see the past with pride – for we need that pride & optimism if we are going to win a culture war. The question is how big that some is.

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