Thoughts about the recent “Islamist” terrorists
When Joseph Conrad wrote The Secret Agent in 1907, he used as the basis for his plot a real plot of 1894 to blow up the Royal Observatory, Greenwich: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Secret_Agent#Background:_Greenwich_Bombing_of_1894
In 1920, Conrad wrote this about a discussion about that real event of 1894:
“…we recalled the already old story of the attempt to blow up the Greenwich Observatory; a blood-stained inanity of so fatuous a kind that it was impossible to fathom its origin by any reasonable or even unreasonable process of thought. For perverse unreason has its own logical processes. But that outrage could not be laid hold of mentally in any sort of way, so that one remained faced by the fact of a man blown to bits for nothing even most remotely resembling an idea, anarchistic or other. As to the outer wall of the Observatory it did not show as much as the faintest crack. I pointed all this out to my friend, who remained silent for a while and then remarked in his characteristically casual and omniscient manner: “Oh, that fellow was half an idiot”.” [Wikipedia re. Conrad— The Secret Agent: A Simple Tale]
The supposed attempt on the Royal Observatory has in the past been described as “pure terrorism”, in that there could be no direct political “reason” to explode a bomb at or destroy the Observatory. I say “supposed” attempt because it was never proven, though it is hard to imagine any other reason why an anarchist carrying a bomb would climb the hill from Greenwich. Anyone who has been there knows that, to this day, the Royal Observatory stands alone, apart from an ice-cream shack etc, at the highest point of Greenwich Park; there is there no obvious other potential target:
In more recent years, that is in the 1990s, the Provisional IRA blew up buildings in London etc, trying as far as possible not to injure or kill anyone. That secondary intention was not born out of compassion or military decency, but purely out of reasoned calculation: destruction of important buildings in the City of London and elsewhere hit the “British Establishment” but resulted in little or no public outrage.
That campaign of the 1990s was in fact the polar opposite of the 1970s bombings of the Provisionals. Those 1970s attacks were poorly conceived from the political point of view and were, in some of the most outrageous examples, designed to kill or injure as many people as possible. The targeted buildings were often pubs sometimes frequented by British soldiers (entirely or almost entirely “other ranks”) as well as by civilian members of the public.
The Baltic Exchange was one such 1990s attack. I happened to hear the massive bomb detonate. At the time, I was in a small cafe-restaurant in Bloomsbury, nearly 3 miles away, with my then girlfriend. The sound of a bomb of that sort is distinctive. I remarked on it. We were puzzled.
In fact, despite the evening timing, the location of the target (uncrowded in evening) and a 20-minute warning, three people were killed (and 91 injured).
The IRA (in collaboration, inconsistently, with Sinn Fein) had a political purpose and a strategy. Basically, a United Ireland, achieved via making Northern Ireland too much of a nuisance to hold on to.
It could be argued that, despite the apparent sincerity of the “peace talks” that led eventually to the Good Friday Agreement, Sinn Fein/IRA “won”, strategically: power sharing in a democratic Northern Ireland (which is leading over time to a Catholic/Republican and so Sinn Fein victory, via the greater birth rate of the Catholic/Republican community); as Mosley predicted decades before, greater concordance of Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic within the EU (until Brexit, at least…); Sinn Fein to pursue a peaceful political strategy in the South— which seemed unrealistic and even quixotic to me, but not now that —over 20 years on— Sinn Fein has become the most significant political party in the Republic and may form a government:
Other “terrorist” campaigns have been launched over the years and decades, but they have all had serious political aims: Jews against the British in Palestine, Arabs against the Jews in Palestine/Israel, Communists and Social-Revolutionaries in imperial Russia etc.
Now let us move to these “Islamist” terrorists (in the UK) of recent years. They appear to have no directing brain or organization, and any “allegiance” to the main body of the ISIS barbarians seems to be little more than notional.
More than that, the individuals seem to want to create havoc as far as they can, but in the absence of heavy-duty weaponry can only do so using whatever weapons are freely available: knives, axes etc, cold weapons generally.
Targets have generally been ordinary members of the public. Even the police have mostly been killed or injured not because they were the main targets, but because they became involved in the course of fulfilling their duty.
What is the political aim of the “Islamist” terrorist? There seems to be none, save for a generalized or “pie in the sky” wish that the UK, along with the rest of Europe and the rest of the world, turns to Islam and adopts Sharia law. I suppose that that desire might be described as having been the aim of Islam since its foundation in the 7th Century:
The term “Islamist” is in fact only a convenient label. It appears that the recent UK “Islamist” terrorists, such as the Streatham attacker, knew little of their own religion.
Certainly most have not been noted as having attended specifically-Islamic madrassahs. The Streatham attacker had attended secular schools in or near London and was only 20 at time of death.
No attempt has, as yet, been made by such “Islamists” (in the UK) to assassinate any famous politician or high-ranking military figure. That may be purely because the “Islamist” terrorists, as “lone wolves” or small groups, have not the ability or means to undertake reconnaissance or intelligence work in order to discover addresses, schedules, daily habits etc.
The recent “Islamist” attackers have no real political or religious aims. The connecting thread seems to be a wish to hurt and kill non-Muslims and to achieve a spurious “martyrdom” by being “killed in battle”, i.e. shot by police or SAS during an incident. The secular equivalent is called, in the USA, “suicide by cop”. They have no real strategy and their tactics are pathetic. They not only have no prospect of success or victory but also no way of even forming a conception of what such success or victory might look like.
In short, “Islamist” terrorism, like Islam itself, is a dead end. Islamist terrorism can lead to nothing on the socio-political level and its only results are, and can only be, death. Death for any victims, and death for the “Islamists” themselves. A form of evil not seen in Europe previously, even during the Mongol invasion of the 13th Century.
What can be done? Nothing, directly. If a state has within its borders millions of Muslims, a certain small proportion of them will fall victim, in their own uneducated or semi-educated minds, to Islamism. Perhaps one in a thousand. There are about 3 million Muslims in the UK, so maybe 3,000 potential terrorists. In fact, that is the figure the police are suggesting [see Notes, below]. Others may also be radicalized, usually blacks of non-Muslim origin.
The only long term solution is for Britain to become an ethnostate, and Europe a collection of ethnostates. In the meantime, these stupid, pointless and unpleasant attacks will continue.