Christopher Hitchens reacts to yesterday's attacks in London and, as usual, states what should be obvious to the rest of us:
If, as one must suspect, these bombs are only the first, then Britain will start to undergo the same tensions—between a retreat to insularity and clannishness of the sort recently seen in France and Holland, and the self-segregation of the Muslim minority in both those countries—that will start to infect other European countries as well. It is ludicrous to try and reduce this to Iraq. Europe is steadily becoming a part of the civil war that is roiling the Islamic world, and it will require all our cultural ingenuity to ensure that the criminals who shattered London's peace at rush hour this morning are not the ones who dictate the pace and rhythm of events from now on.
Robert Pape was on Aaron Brown's show last night contending that the attacks were fault of western democracies having a presence in Muslim lands. (For a crash course in Pape's thesis, read this interview here). Pape has a book, so that explains his desire to give audience, and what better time to demonstrate one's brilliance than in the wake of carnage and murder? Pape's main point is that suicide bombing has little to do with fundamentalism and instead is the logical conclusion of political disagreement. In the process, Pape endorses the George Galloway school of thought that if the west withdraws from all Muslim homeland, the attacks will subside and we can all get on with the rest of our lives.
But as I have pointed out before, the stated purpose of jihadists is to spread their particular brand of Islam and establish shari'a as a worldwide code of conduct. That bin Laden had other grievances hardly excludes the role that radical Islam plays in the escalating war.