Target Centermass

8/10/2006

John Batchelor: Prelude to War

Filed under: — Gunner @ 11:22 pm

Interesting, though not exactly cheerful.

Why is America waiting to be attacked by Iran? Why do we sit on the sidelines while Tehran makes war on our ally Israel in order to provoke America to join the fighting, first against Syria and then against Tehran itself? Why do we listen to the European appeasers as they pretend the Lebanon front is a regional conflict, a national liberation contest, when it is demonstrably the prelude to the wider war — the Spain 1936 to the continental war of 1939? What is the explanation for America’s willful fiction that the United Nations Security Council can engineer an accommodation in Lebanon, when it is vivid to every member state that this is a replay of September 1938, when Europe fed Hitler the Sudetenland as the U.N. now wants to feed the jihadists the sovereignty of Israel?

The most threatening answer is that America waits to be bloodied because it has lost its will to defend itself after five years of chasing rogue-state-sponsored gangsters and after three years of occupation in failed-state Iraq against Tehran- and Damascus-backed agents. A grave possibility is that America is now drained, bowed, ready to surrender to the tyrants of Tehran.

Then again, perhaps America has been here before, and it is part of America’s destiny as the New Jerusalem that we rarely start wars but that we are unusually good at finishing them.

There is a strange parallel right now to the first days of December 1941, before the Japanese sneak attack. America was still not in the war in Asia and Europe, but it was busy getting ready for a momentous calamity and was filled with the presentiment of doom.

Go read the whole article, which actually becomes more of a look back at a moment in time when the U.S. stood on the brink of World War II (hat tip to Smash).

Something that adds to the intriguing nature of the column is that it’s the second time this week that I’ve linked to someone comparing current events to the Spanish Civil War with expectations of a wider war to follow. The first was by Grim at Blackfive and was included with a couple of other pieces to chew on just two days ago.

Police: Plot to Blow up Aircraft Foiled

Filed under: — Gunner @ 10:47 pm

Well, the big story today obviously the uncovering of a plan to bring terror once again to the friendly skies.

British police say they have arrested 21 people in connection with a terrorist plot to blow up aircraft flying from the United Kingdom to the United States.

The plot was “intended to be mass murder on an unimaginable scale,” Metropolitan Police Deputy Commissioner Paul Stephenson said. The UK’s threat warning level has been raised to “critical” — meaning “an attack is expected imminently.”

[...]

The plot involved hiding liquid explosives in carry-on luggage, and six to 10 flights would have been targeted, U.S. officials said.

A senior U.S. congressional source said it is believed the plotters were to carry a “British version of Gatorade” onto the planes and then mix it with a gel-like substance. The explosives were to be triggered by an iPod or a cell phone, the source said.

Some flights would have been heading from the UK to New York, Washington D.C. and California, the officials said.

The plot involved Continental, United, and American Airlines, according to an administration official who noted that the list was not exclusive.

The intelligence that uncovered the plot “makes very strong links to al Qaeda,” a senior U.S. administration official told CNN. The official said it is believed the plot was close to being operational.

Later, CNN updated the number arrested to 24 and credits the information that led to the raids to infiltration by an undercover agent.

British and Pakistani authorities teamed up to thwart the attacks, and 24 men were arrested in overnight raids in Britain, authorities said.

An undercover British agent infiltrated the group, giving the authorities intelligence on the alleged plan, several U.S. government officials said.

The men had not bought plane tickets, the officials said, but they were in the process of perusing the Internet to find flights to various cities that had similar departure times.

If you’re playing catch up this story, I’d recommend starting at Outside the Beltway, where James Joyner has put together a wealth of reports, links, videos and updates.

After that, I’d suggest Texas Rainmaker, where Jason has done some interesting pondering in a one-man attempt to connect some possibly-related dots.

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