From Peter Hartcher International Editor, Sydney Morning Herald.
"THE terrorism scare in London will give new force to five key trends in Australia and abroad in the months to come, and a couple of them are immediately obvious.
First, it will lend more muscle to the strong arm of security measures and security forces around the world. Already, it has generated new aviation security measures in Britain and the US and a review in Canberra.'
And because the early reports suggest that the alleged plotters were all home-grown terrorists, it will add to the case for more pervasive domestic surveillance.
The disrupted plot, like the London bombings in July last year, will amplify the argument for tighter security against the voices raised in defence of civil liberties.
The horror! Tighter security! At this rate, it's soon going to be impossible for disaffected muslims to express their anger!
Second, the London plot, the work of British Muslims, according to the British Government, will generate a new round of religious and racial tension in Western countries. This has already started in Britain, where there have been reports of vilification. Everyone who has ever cited Samuel Huntington's thesis of a "clash of civilisations" will claim fresh vindication. Intolerance, never dead but sometimes dormant, will be revived with new energy.
That damned intolerance! Just as well a Certain Religion isn't guilty of such a thing, eh?
Third, the London plot lends new impetus to the case for the so-called war on terror in all its manifestations.
Well, yes...a plot to kill thousands by blowing up airliners would tend to do that.
Fourth, the foiled attack is politically pro-incumbent. The Howard Government, like the Bush Administration and the Blair Government, is vindicated in its warnings of terrorism and bolstered as the monopoly protector of the population.
Well, damn! just....damn! "vindicated" eh. We can't have that. Better for 'em to have stayed silent and allowed thousands to die, rather than be..vindicated.
Finally, the terrorist scare in London, by provoking the reflexes of reaction, works in favour of simple solutions, and against the sort of "dramatic" rethinking that Tony Blair called for just a couple of weeks ago.
"Simple solutions" such as finding, arresting and prosecuting murderous radical islamists? How simplistic. How...Western.
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