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The law of unintended consequences

Fine editorial in the Sunday Telegraph here pointing out that the proposed law designed to regulate comments about religion (conceived cynically by NuLab to buy votes in Muslim-dominated electoral districts) will actually make it harder for the authorities to crack down on radical mullahs intent on brainwashing impressionable young minds.

The law of unintended consequences in work again. I have come to the conclusion that this law should be taught in school, like Newton’s laws of gravity.

23 comments to The law of unintended consequences

  • Verity

    “… will actually make it harder for the authorities to crack down on radical mullahs intent on brainwashing impressionable young minds.”

    Unintended consequence? Unintended? Are you sure, Jonathan?

  • Johnathan

    Well, I think there are glimmers of sanity now emerging from some in the government, albeit rather late. It would be interesting to hear a few Labour MPs chatting out of earshot of the BBC over a pint about all this. I suspect some MPs might be waking up. One can always hope.

    There is of course another explanation, which is more charitable to NuLab: they are incorrigbly, incurably, stupid.

  • Clap Louder!

    Speaking of unintended consequences:

    The whole short article before it gets locked in the pay to read archive

    -Start-
    Study cites seeds of terror in Iraq

    War radicalized most, probes find

    By Bryan Bender, Globe Staff  |  July 17, 2005

    WASHINGTON — New investigations by the Saudi Arabian government and an Israeli think tank — both of which painstakingly analyzed the backgrounds and motivations of hundreds of foreigners entering Iraq to fight the United States — have found that the vast majority of these foreign fighters are not former terrorists and became radicalized by the war itself.

    The studies, which together constitute the most detailed picture available of foreign fighters, cast serious doubt on President Bush’s claim that those responsible for some of the worst violence are terrorists who seized on the opportunity to make Iraq the ”central front” in a battle against the United States.

    ”The terrorists know that the outcome [in Iraq] will leave them emboldened or defeated,” Bush said in his nationally televised address on the war at Fort Bragg in North Carolina last month. ”So they are waging a campaign of murder and destruction.” The US military is fighting the terrorists in Iraq, he repeated this month, ”so we do not have to face them here at home.”

    However, interrogations of nearly 300 Saudis captured while trying to sneak into Iraq and case studies of more than three dozen others who blew themselves up in suicide attacks show that most were heeding the calls from clerics and activists to drive infidels out of Arab land, according to a study by Saudi investigator Nawaf Obaid, a US-trained analyst who was commissioned by the Saudi government and given access to Saudi officials and intelligence.

    A separate Israeli analysis of 154 foreign fighters compiled by a leading terrorism researcher found that despite the presence of some senior Al Qaeda operatives who are organizing the volunteers, ”the vast majority of [non-Iraqi] Arabs killed in Iraq have never taken part in any terrorist activity prior to their arrival in Iraq.”

    ”Only a few were involved in past Islamic insurgencies in Afghanistan, Bosnia, or Chechnya,” the Israeli study says. Out of the 154 fighters analyzed, only a handful had past associations with terrorism, including six who had fathers who fought the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, said the report, compiled by the Global Research in International Affairs Center in Herzliya, Israel.

    American intelligence officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, and terrorism specialists paint a similar portrait of the suicide bombers wreaking havoc in Iraq: Prior to the Iraq war, they were not Islamic extremists seeking to attack the United States, as Al Qaeda did four years ago, but are part of a new generation of terrorists responding to calls to defend their fellow Muslims from ”crusaders” and ”infidels.”

    ”The president is right that Iraq is a main front in the war on terrorism, but this is a front we created,” said Peter Bergen, a terrorism specialist at the nonpartisan New America Foundation, a Washington think tank.
    -End-

    How’s that whole “Freedom on the March” business working out for you, then?

  • Verity

    This was intentional. And no, Jonathan, the government has been “deluded” all along and suddenly woken up.

    This has been a 10-yr long deliberate programme. Let us discard this notion that they have been simply been bumbling along unaware of the consequences of what they are doing. It is all part of subjecting the British people to a supranational state called the EU, and subjecting them to alien laws in the midst of their own country. Britain is to be destroyed, and any demands that this treachery be stopped will be met with sneers and supercilious lectures from Za-NuLab.

    Let us not forget, it was fat cherie who lobbied Bush to get the “British” prisoners out of Gitmo, and then, when they got them to Britain, used the human rights act to get them released into the public. And one of them went out and exploded himself somewhere. Can’t remember his name. Oh, wait a minute! — Mohammad something …

  • Clap Louder/Bob Dobbs/whoever –

    before it gets locked in the pay to read archive

    I would dearly love to lock you somewhere. Don’t you have anything better to do than crap on about this here? You’ve been at it for months and I’m absolutely sure you’ve convinced no one around these parts of anything bar your reliance on prescription medication.

  • “A separate Israeli analysis of 154 foreign fighters compiled by a leading terrorism researcher found that despite the presence of some senior Al Qaeda operatives who are organizing the volunteers, ”the vast majority of [non-Iraqi] Arabs killed in Iraq have never taken part in any terrorist activity prior to their arrival in Iraq.”

    Suicide bombers with no prior experience,wonders will never cease!

  • guy herbert

    While I do myself maintain that New Labour project is determined and well-planned, I’m not sure its quite as straightforward or benign as that, Verity. The EU too is there to be assimilated, not an end but a means.

    As for,

    Let us not forget, it was fat cherie who lobbied Bush to get the “British” prisoners out of Gitmo, and then, when they got them to Britain, used the human rights act to get them released into the public. And one of them went out and exploded himself somewhere. Can’t remember his name. Oh, wait a minute! — Mohammad something …

    Where do you get that from? Maybe that’s what they are saying in Mexico, but nothing like that has been suggested by any reliable news source over here.

    Unknown: Cherie may have lobbied Bush. It seems unlikely, as it would be a gross breach of protocol.

    Fact: The British prisoners released from Guantanamo were not freed on return home under the Human Rights Act, but the good old common law principle that you are innocent until proven guilty and not charged unless there is evidence against you.

    Fact: None of them has since been convicted of any crime.

    What is it about Islamist violence and the “war on terror” that causes so many of Samizdata’s normally rational commentators to start foaming at the mouth, and others even more furious to appear who are never heard from on any other topic?

  • Verity

    Guy – “what they’re saying in Mexico”! They’ve barely heard of Britain, and the very few who can speak English watch American satellite, which is relevant to them, so don’t get disturbed that any vicious rumours are starting here.

    I do not make a note of every single thing I read, and I don’t have time to visit crazy, conspiracy theory blogs; but I read that Cherie – yes, highly improperly, but then, she also told George Bush to his face at a private dinner he was hosting, that Gitmo was an abuse of human rights. She’s not huge on protocol. She doesn’t even give a little curtsey to the Queen.

    Sometimes, during warfare, people have to be interned for the public safety. These prisoners could not be tried without making public secret information and worse, disclosing operatives.

    I don’t want this to sound personal because I always enjoy reading your well-written posts, but I fear you know little of islam. It is not just another religion, like Bhuddism or Christianty or Judaism.

  • Verity

    Guy – I meant to ask you in my last post, what does this mean: The EU too is there to be assimilated, not an end but a means.

    Assimilated by whom or what? A means to what end? This is a very interesting thought.

  • Julian Taylor

    I would have imagined that of anyone in the UK the people most likely to have 24 hour close surveillance on them would be the “Gitmo Four”. Of course in this day I am not at all surprised to see that one of these individuals is now regularly consulted for his opinions on Islam and torture of terrorists innocent British Muslim tourists in Afghanistan, by the BBC.

  • Verity

    Julian – How do you do that strike-through dealy, plse?

  • guy herbert

    I don’t want this to sound personal because I always enjoy reading your well-written posts, but I fear you know little of islam.

    I know very little about anything. And the more I learn about things the less certain I am of what I do know. Which is why I like to have evidence.

  • Uncle Bill

    strike

    is achieved by [s]strike[/s], where [=left angle bracket (shift comma) and ] = right angle bracket (shift period).

    This capability is available here but not in all commenting systems.

  • sark

    Or you can use [del]word[/del] or [strike]word[/strike]

  • Verity

    Thank you, Uncle Bill and sark!

    Guy Herbert – you could read some of the Koran or commentaries on the Koran, or the hadiths. Or you could read dhimmiwatch.org I feel that the West is imperilled because people know so little about Islam and they assume that it is a religion just like Christianity or Bhuddism or Judaism but with slightly different ways of doing things. But it is not. It is a system for world government, which is why the left loves it and promotes it. They’ve never seen a fascist they couldn’t put to good use, as we know.

  • James

    Suicide bombers with no prior experience,wonders will never cease!

    ROFLMAO. Brilliant. I can just see the advert for that one;

    Wanted: suicide bombers for exciting travel abroad. All expenses paid and good dental plan. Previous experience a definite disadvantage.

    :)

  • guy herbert

    Verity,

    I first read the Koran in Rodwell’s famous rearranged (narrative order) translation a bit more than 25 years ago–green, it was–and started to pay some attention to the dubious influence of Saudi petrodollar missionaries in the modern world in about 1980, but I’ve still not found the time to learn Arabic.

    I agree that the Western elites tend to be naive about religion. However–despite being very hostile to both Christianity and Islam–I don’t think Islam is nearly as big a threat as most commentators think, let alone as the Islalmists would like it to be. I see the ongoing “Al Qaeda” campaign as a sign of its weakness.

    To that extent you can put me in the Bernard Lewis camp, though my prescription is different: More rule of law, more freedom of speech, abandonment of state particularism in favour of principles fairly applied, less global military intervention, more global cross-cultural pollution, less tolerance and solicitation of client-thugs in foreign policy.

    Fear of the Islamists and the multicultural cringe are together providing a pretext for our own governments to destroy the liberal order faster than the movement ever dreamed.

  • Pete_London

    Johnathan Pearce

    The Sunday Telegraph piece is absolutely wrong in one respect. It says:

    We are at a moment of unparalleled consensus, both among the political class and the people of Britain: there is a collective desire to take action to defeat the people who murdered 55 people in London and three British soldiers in Iraq yesterday.

    We are not at a moment of unparalleled consensus. The British people desires to shake off the their state-imposed chains so they can take on and defeat Islamicists, the government is desperately trying to stuff this particular genie back in the bottle.

    This Telegraph shows this in its first paragraph:

    Defeating terrorism, the Prime Minister explained in a robust speech yesterday, means arguing against “the terrorists’ politics and their perversion of religious faith”.

    So it would seem that Blair exhibits either his ignorance of Islam, or – if he does understand Islam – that he’s only interested in shoring up the muslim vote by ‘appearing’ to strut his tough stuff whilst in reality doing nothing. My money’s on a combination of the two: Tony Blair is a true idiot who doesn’t understand Islam yet doesn’t realise that he doesn’t understand it. Can anyone look at the line up of Blair, Blair, Clarke, Livinstone and Paddick and not conclude that nothing will change from the top?

  • Stuart

    “Fact: The British prisoners released from Guantanamo were not freed on return home under the Human Rights Act, but the good old common law principle that you are innocent until proven guilty and not charged unless there is evidence against you.”

    So being captured on the battlefield, out of uniform and bearing arms doesn’t count as evidence then?

    “Fact: None of them has since been convicted of any crime.”

    Neither were OJ Simpson or Michael Jackson

  • guy herbert

    Stuart, how do you know any of this with such certainty? Another inconvenient fact is that one of the British detainees had never been to Afghanistan and was seized by US agents in Pakistan. I cannot see how you can deny that they were released without charge by the British legal system. (Not acquitted in contentious circumstances: never charged, never tried. No probable cause, in American terms.)

    I submit that you are proceeding backwards from the result and inferring that because the US detained these people, its pretext for doing so in a general case, must apply in their particular one. (A new fallacy(?): synecdoche of the consequent, perhaps.)

    Normally readers and writers on Samizdata would heartily approve and support the right of someone to be “out of uniform and bearing arms”. Certainly there are several parts of the world, Afghanistan being one of them, where to go otherwise is may be unwise (and contrary to local custom).

  • According to many terrorist experts Pakistan is far larger hot-bed of terrorism than Afganistan every was. There are training camps and Madrassas which preach extreme hatred to anyone not like them.

  • Verity

    Guy, I figured you would have read the Koran. You are not alone in thinking this current (last 20 years or so) wave of murder and mayhem is a sign that Islam as currently constituted may be in its death throes, and I won’t argue with you. The difference is, I’d like to help it along a little. Then the whole damn’ religion can be a martyr.

    Pete_London, agree 100 per cent. Blair is a very, very abnormal personality. Unquestionably, he doesn’t understand Islam and has never bothered to find out because he has his own lazy idea of what it is: a religion like the CoE but without the garden parties, and with a grudge.

    The Telegraph, as you say, reports: the Prime Minister explained in a robust speech yesterday, means arguing against “the terrorists’ politics and their perversion of religious faith”. No he didn’t. He gave a theatrical, pretend “robust” speech that was empty of both meaning and comprehension. For the millionth time, Tony, read my lips: this is not a “perversion of their religious faith”. Conquest by the sword in the name of allah IS their religious faith. This is not complicated.

    I am still mightily puzzled about why he went into Iraq. It goes without saying it wasn’t for the right reason. But why was it? International glory and his future standing (and money; they love money and privilege, those two) in the US? I just don’t get it. He’s a former rabid CNDer, after all.

  • Verity

    Go to Stephen Pollard “Uniting Against Terror” for a truly robust, lucid piece of thinking.(Link)