September 27, 2005

One Out of Three Ain't... Deja-Vu

Hatched by Dafydd

"It's déjà-vu all over again!" (Attributed to Yogi Berra by many, including himself)

In the previous post, I wrote a few caustic words about the Spanish approach to fighting terrorism, which, under the government of Jose Zapatero of the Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE), seems to consist primarily of furiously firing off subpoenas and warrants and prosecuting terrorists after they commit atrocities that kill and maim hundreds (or thousands).

Today, John Hinkeraker on Power Line notes that several suspects have been arrested in France for plotting to bomb a number of Paris targets, including the metro, an airport, and the domestic intelligence agency headquarters. He links to an Agence France-Presse article:

Terror suspects eyeing up Paris metro, airport
Tue Sep 27, 5:09 AM ET

PARIS, (AFP) - Terror suspects detained in France had been eyeing up the Parisian metro network, an airport and the headquarters of the domestic intelligence service as possible targets, sources close to the investigation said....

Nine people were detained by police early Monday in a series of raids west of Paris in what officials said was a crackdown on suspected Islamic terrorist activities.

John puckishly suggests that "Early reports indicate that the bombers were motivated by France's support for the U.S. war effort in Iraq." Cute, John; his point, of course, is that of all countries in the world, France was probably the most adamantly opposed to our Iraq invasion and certainly did the most to prevent it -- and failing that, to nakedly sabotage our military action, probably resulting in more dead American soldiers. France was Saddam Hussein's best international buddy, of course, and has been at the center of the U.N.'s Oil for Fraud scandal, currently being "investigated" by Paul Volcker, under the control of U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, and also being "for-real" investigated by Sen. Norm Coleman, chairman of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.

But I want to focus on a different aspect of the story, contained in these paragraphs:

Among those being held is Safe Bourada, 35, who was released from prison in 2003 after five years for helping organise a series of bomb attacks in France in 1995 for the Algerian Armed Islamic Group (GIA)....

Officials said the men were members of the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), an armed Algerian group that grew out of the GIA and has links to the Al-Qaeda network. Bourada was described as their ringleader. [emphasis added]

Once again, we see the stunning success of the "judicial approach" to combatting terrorism. This time through was a little better, since at least the French arrested Bourada before he carried out his bloody bombing du jour; still, what was he doing out of prison in the first place?

Safe Bourada was convicted in 1998 of recruiting GIA members to carry out "a 1995 wave of deadly bombings in Paris," which killed nine and wounded 200. According to

Bombing trial opens in Paris
Restive mood inside, outside the court
November 24, 1997

PARIS (CNN) -- More than three dozen suspects went on trial Monday on charges of helping Algerian Islamic rebels stage a 1995 wave of deadly bombings in Paris....

[Ali Touchent]'s deputy, Safe Bourada, 27, is to be questioned. He has admitted to police that he recruited young activists in France for the network.

BBC News has more details:

The defendants denied any involvement in the attacks. But they admitted helping the GIA in various ways, ranging from gun-running and providing forged documents to driving cars and offering accommodation.

The alleged leader of the support group for the GIA was Ali Tarek Touchent. He was sentenced in his absence to 10 years in prison....

Safe Bourada, who was considered to be one of Touchent's closest allies, also received a 10-year sentence.

Touchent was Bourada's boss; he evaded arrest in 1995, but the Algerians say they killed him in 1997.

So let's review the bidding: Safe Bourada was arrested as the "deputy" and "one of [the] closest allies" of the "leader of the support group" (recruiting, etc.), Ali Tarek Touchent, for the Algerian Armed Islamic Group (GIA), in a plot that staged a "wave of deadly bombings in Paris," including one in a Paris metro. Nine died and two hundred were injured in these bombings.

In February of 1998, Bourada was convicted in open court and sentenced to ten years. But he was released from prison after serving only half his sentence.

After being released, he swiftly joined the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat, a child-organization of the GIA (his old pals) that is also connected to al-Qaeda.

And now he has been arrested again, this time for plotting -- wait for it -- a "wave of deadly bombings in Paris," including one in a Paris metro.

As my old D.I. used to day, "how many things are wrong with this picture?"

This is precisely the problem with the judicial approach to fighting terrorism. France is at war; to quote the movie version of the Lord of the Rings, "open war is upon you, whether you risk it or not." It makes no difference to their enemies that they opposed America in the Iraq war... these terrorists are upset at France's actions in Algeria. In Spain, the terrorists are still upset about King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella kicking the Moors out of "al-Andaluz" in 1492, for heaven's sake.

Western civilization is at war. I do not agree we're at war with "all of Islam;" but we're surely at war with a particularly violent and relentless segment of it. This war is being fought mostly in the shadows, which benefits our enemies -- though American troops have become experts at such shadow warfare recently, and the tide is definitely turning in our favor. But whenever we manage to drag the war onto a real battlefield, as we did recently at Tal Afar in Iraq, the mismatch is so overwhelming that it's like shooting drunks in a barrel.

And that is a good thing, even if it upsets delicate, sensitive plants like Ramsey Clarke.

The judicial approach is great; I'm all for it; we should keep it up... as a sideshow whose primary purpose is intelligence gathering; the main event must be a full-blown military and intelligence operation, spanning many countries on every continent of the globe except perhaps Antarctica (and only because there are no militant Islamists there that we know of). We must be as relentless as the enemy and twice as determined.

The French and Spanish approach of all judicial, all the time simply does not work. There are too many procedural safeguards for criminal defendants, too many soft-hearted, soft-headed judges who simply feel sorry for "the chained-up dog," without bothering to ask why it was chained in the first place. These tendencies are bad enough for ordinary defendants accused, say, of carjacking or income-tax evasion; at least that's understandable. But for terrorist suspects who consider themselves in a "holy war" against "Jews and Crusaders," such an approach is a suicide pact.

And guess which American political party advocates exactly such a policy for how the United States should respond to future terrorist attacks? I cannot think of a single Democrat in the Democratic leadership (now that Dick Gephardt is gone) who actually advocates the Bush Doctrine:

  • Preemption when required to prevent terrorist plots from becoming "imminent threats;"
  • Multilateralism when possible, but unilateralism if needs must be;
  • Extending democracy, by force if necessary, to the worst parts of the globe; and
  • "Military strengths beyond challenge," as President Bush put it, to remain the supreme military power in the world.

One of our political parties is broken, as is much of the Western world. If the rest cannot fix the damage, we may not win this struggle.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, September 27, 2005, at the time of 6:15 PM

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The following hissed in response by: HelenW

Ddd writes: The judicial approach is great ... as a sideshow

Exactly. This is a mathematical issue of scalars and rates that Lefties can never fathom. The number of convictions is not important. It is the rate at which we kill Jihadists that determines our security and our success in the GWOT.

Yes, the DemocratIC Party is quite broken, and presently staying together only under the force of habit. I'm not convinced this is a bad thing. The substantial Democrat vote against Judge Roberts tells me that the Moonbats have taken function control of the Party. This will not work well for them in 2006.

If they should have more losses in the midterm elections, Dr. Dean will be forced out. I think he would take half the Party with him to form a new Moonbat party. That would suit me fine, but I see any form of balkanization of the American Left as a good thing.

The above hissed in response by: HelenW [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 27, 2005 9:21 PM

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