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The Fifth Column and Feeding the Crocodile
Since 9/11 we have seen attack after attack being waged against civilisations and countries by those who shelter within them. The policies adopted to deal with these acts of violence are not working.
Enemy with the gates
During the Spanish Civil War a new expression was born. Emilio Mola a Nationalist General stated in a radio broadcast that his attack on Madrid would be led by four columns of his forces outside the city.
However he went on to say that these troops would be supported by a ‘fifth column’ of his supporters inside the city intent on undermining the Republican government from within.
There is in our day a growing litany of attacks within countries which emanate from ‘within’.
Recent incidents around the world tell us that there are forces at work ‘inside the walls’: they are intent on undermining and terrorising societies; striking from ‘within the ranks’.
In 2001 the Bromley-born ‘Shoe Bomber’ attempted to destroy a commercial aircraft in flight.
In March 2004 the Madrid train bombings consisted of a series of coordinated attacks against the commuter community in the Spanish capital, killing 191 people and wounding 1,800.
In 2005 the 7/7 London bombings were a series of coordinated suicide attacks on Londoners using the public transport system.
Three of the bombers lived in Leeds with the fourth from Buckinghamshire.
In 2009 a serving US Army officer killed 13 people and wounded 29 others in a mass shooting amongst his colleagues at Fort Hood in Texas.
At the end of February 2011 a former British Airways worker has been convicted of four counts of preparing acts of terrorism. The trial of Rajib Karim revealed new details about how Islamist extremists in the West forge links with groups overseas.
This week (2 March 2011) a gunman attacked and killed American airmen at Frankfurt Airport. The suspect is said to have been born in Germany. He saw "himself engaged in Holy War with infidels", according to Die Welt, while Frankfurter Allgemeine reports that there were rumours he had planned to embark on a "killing spree".
It has been rightly said that if one wants to understand the true nature of a regime, ideology or religion, then one needs to look at countries and situations where it is in power and in the majority.
In memory of Shahbaz Bhatti
So tragically we can observe in Pakistan the true nature of the religious system which predominates there. Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Religious Minorities, Catholic Shahbaz Bhatti, was assassinated on the morning of 2 March 2011 as he left his home for work.
He was a leader and lightning rod in the struggle for the revision of Pakistan's Islamic blasphemy law, and it has cost him his life. Christians in Pakistan have not hesitated to define Bhatti as a “martyr”, someone who “gave his life in defending the rights of religious minorities, especially Christians.”
According to a BBC report ‘now an emboldened Islamic movement is going after Pakistan's remaining liberals, according to author Aatish Taseer, one of the sons of the murdered governor.
"I think it's starting to seem like part of a systematic plan to silence dissent in Pakistan, to silence liberal voices and it's working," he said.
"It's been very effective. It takes a few people who are willing to instil fear in society, and it takes the silence of people who should have been speaking out."
Feeding the Crocodile
Western governments have, since 9/11 changed the world in which we live, been performing semantic somersaults to avoid clearly identifying the ideology, the motivation and the profiles behind these attacks. The politicians' answer has been to write off the perpetrators as ‘extremists’. Whilst no doubt they are, they are doing what they are doing in name of their religion and claim support from their holy books for their actions.
Concessions made by governments in order to head off ‘radicalisation’ have patently not worked. Winston Churchill defined the policy thus: “An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.”
Western governments do not understand the Middle Eastern and Asian mindset: concessions are perceived as acts of weakness, and not as conciliatory responses coming from a position of strength.
Accordingly, and in countries all around the world, fifth columns are working assiduously using every available means including intimidation and violence – often extreme violence – to bring down those civilisations which they despise, but which also offer to them support and shelter while developing their deadly schemes.
Governments need to be clear about the motivation that lies behind these violent actions; and those 'moderates' who come from the same faith background need to be more vocal and unequivocable in their condemnation of the guilty parties. Very sadly the most recent and tragic shooting in Pakistan gave very little reassurances that the government, the police nor much of the indigenous population in that country condemn the slaughter of Shahbaz Batthi.
At the risk of vain repitition: 'to understand the true nature of a regime, ideology or religion, then one needs to look at countries and situations where it is in power and in the majority'.
A View from Here, 03/03/2011