Kenyan security personnel are still engaged in an operation against terror operatives from al-Shabaab (an Islamist group fighting to make Somalia an Islamist theocracy) two days after they brutally murdered at least 62 people at the Westgate shopping centre in Nairobi. Meanwhile, the Guardian’s veteran journalist Simon Jenkins reflected on the appropriate response to this latest terrorist atrocity.
Here are the highlights from his Sept. 23 ‘Comment is Free’ capitulation:
It’s our fault:
Sometimes we should stop and ask why terrorists commit outrages like that in a Nairobi shopping mall. The answer is the west always over-reacts to big, sensational gestures of extreme violence.
By deploying violence against a succession of Muslim states, the world’s leading powers have made their business its business and invited retaliation.
We should avoid large gatherings of any kind:
There is nothing anyone can do to prevent suicide bombers hitting civilian populations. The slaughter of Christians in Peshawar this weekend showed that wherever crowds gather they are vulnerable to any group with a brainwashed youth and a bomb. It might be sensible to discourage like-minded crowds from gathering in one place, be they co-religionists or party faithful or merely the wealthy.
Stop building large buildings and shopping malls:
The modern urban obsession with celebrity buildings and high-profile events offers too many publicity-rich targets. A World Trade Centre, a Mumbai hotel, a Boston marathon, a Nairobi shopping mall are all enticing to extremists. Defending them is near impossible. Better at least not to create them. A shopping mall not only wipes out shopping streets, it makes a perfect terrorist fortress, near impossible to assault.
Whilst the passage about the folly of building malls is indeed risible, Jenkins’ surrender manifesto also provides some insight into the Guardian’s failure to empathize with Israel, a state continually targeted by radical Islamists who use terror in an attempt to bring the state to its knees.
Israel’s large measure of success in allowing its citizens to live normal lives, despite the constant threat of rockets, sniper fire and suicide bombs, is a testament to the collective decision to never bow down to terror’s relentless onslaughts – fortitude and courage in a democracy under siege that Simon Jenkins evidently cannot fathom.