Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Haneef, terror, hearts and minds

There seems little doubt that Dr Haneef is an unwitting bystander in the terror activities of his friends and relatives. If there is any compelling evidence to the contrary, then we have a right to see this evidence. His associates are at best the "Z team" of terror. So far as I (and it seems, the CIA) can see, the A teams continue virtually unhindered.

In the end, a war against determined suicide attackers cannot be won through military means. The war against Japan was won because the government decided not to continue the sacrifice, after Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Our current enemies have more resolve.

How to win? Only, in the end, by persuading the participants that their cause is futile. That those who would become suicide bombers choose our ideas, our direction, over religious fanaticism. Let's consider the treatment of Dr Haneef, and David Hicks. What messages do these send to potential recruits for Al Qaeda? That the West is populated by hypocrites that mouth democracy, but treat total incompetents as a threat. That the West is weak, and frightened, and lacks the resolve to stay true to its strongest beliefs. In short, Al Qaeda has no better recruiting agent than Mr Howard and Mr Ruddock.

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