Wednesday, July 14, 2004
At this point the Paras felt their lives were under such threat that they considered opening fire at point-blank range with their rifles. This was not Basra, Kabul or Kosovo; it was Belfast where British troops are still deployed in greater numbers than Iraq because, as shown by a riot that raged into the early hours of yesterday, Northern Ireland's peace will always be one step from violence while the politicians dither on finding a lasting agreement.The British attitude towards the War on Terrorism is undoubtedly influenced by their experiences with the IRA and Northern Ireland. Just ask Baroness Thatcher.
Then again, there's the Philippines, who are making good on their promise to high-tail out of Iraq after a Filipino was kidnapped there. This is, by the way, the first time since 9/11 that a national government has submitted to terrorists so thoroughly and completely (even the Spanish post-3/11 elections can arguably be interpreted as something other than capitulation, although that's certainly how the Islamists took it).
Such a policy is absolutely baffling considering that the Philippines face their own Islamist terrorist network within their own country, with a history of nasty hostage beheadings that predate 9/11. If any government should know how this sort of ostrich-style delusion will backfire, it should be Manila.Let's hope the head-choppers in Minandao don't hear about Manila's response to their ideological cousins in Iraq any time soon.
(apologies on the accidental multiple posting)
My main point here is that of all countries, the Philipines have seen the most of this sort of subhuman shock violence as an intimidation technique, and they have the most to lose by submitting to it.