Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Terrorists' bad habits

As part of a longer, and very interesting, column about the IRA, Mark Steyn has this to say about terrorists in general:

There's a lesson there [the IRA's offer whack McCartney's killers] in the reformability of terrorists. The IRA's first instinct is to kill. If you complain about the killing, they offer to kill the killers. If you complain about the manner of the killing, they offer to kill more tastefully -- 'compassionate terrorism,'' as it were. But it's like Monty Python's spam sketch: There's no menu item that doesn't involve killing. You can get it in any color as long as it's blood-red.
And, of course, as Steyn further points out, their bad habits are fed by our bad habits:
n hindsight, the '90s were the apogee of terrorist mainstreaming, with Yasser and Gerry given greater access to the White House than your average prime minister of a friendly middle-rank power. And in return for what? Nothing other than the corrosive impact on weak-willed Westerners desperate to believe that all terrorists can somehow be accommodated if you just roll out the red carpet for them. Witness Robert McNamara, the Kennedy/Johnson defense secretary who popped up last week with a particularly fatuous observation even by his own standards: As Associated Press reported, ''McNamara added that the threat of terrorists using a nuclear device could be reduced if the United States in particular tried to understand terrorists' anger and motivations.'' As we now know, even the saner end of the terrorism business is difficult to house train. If your main expertise is in killing people, it's hardly surprising the prospect of being deputy transport minister in Belfast seems a bit tame. President Bush, unlike his predecessor, is under no illusions about the trustworthiness of Adams, any more than he was of Arafat's. After he declared his "war on terror," many on the right mocked the idea of being at war with a phenomenon. But the IRA has long ties to the PLO and to Latin American terrorist groups: Terrorists gravitate to other terrorists. So this March 17 the president is merely following the logic of his own post-9/11 analysis. St. Patrick chased the snakes out of Ireland. The least Bush can do is chase them out of the White House.