Tim Blair


New Criterion



Saturday, March 13, 2004

"Terrorism's new era of easy targets" says Henny Herald's headline this morning (but not on line).

When did any terror group last choose a hard target? USS Cole?

The Twin Towers were standing still, and had no anti-aircraft defences.

The same goes for down-town Kuta.

I guess Henny wants us to believe terrorism getting closer to home because we caused it to happen. Naughty, naughty victims.


September 11th, the first anniversary of September 11th, the second anniversary of September 11th, the Bali bombing, the first aniversary of the Bali bombing - all of them bring out the "it's all our fault" brigade on Auntie and in Henny Herald.

By "our" fault they mean "your" fault, those of you who won't join them in the fight against US imperialism, who treat people-smuggling as a crime and don't agree acting against it is a crime against humanity.

But what if the Madrid atrocities are not the work of al Quaeda? Sorry, you still don't escape the moral bazookas of Henny's jihadis:

Howard will be relieved if it is shown instead that ETA has just become even more brutal.

And again:

blaming the Basque separatist group ETA, can best be described as knee-jerk and wishful thinking.

That is, Neil Ormerod wants it to be an Islamist attack.

And of course there are the usual moral equations to prove we, that is, you, are no better than the terrorists:

When a series of bombs go off in Spain it is condemned as an "attack against democracy", while when a daisy-cutter is dropped from 35,000 feet onto an Afghan wedding party it is "war against terrorism".

No, Dave Diss, it's called "dumb error".

You expect to find the "make a small target" strategy rolled out, and you won't be disappointed:

The probability of al-Qaeda accepting responsibility for the carnage in Spain reveals the patience this organisation displays in punishing those countries which supported the US in invading Iraq.

Why Gordon Drennan thinks al Quaeda the "probable" perpetrator in Madrid he doesn't explain. Perhaps it's just wishful thinking.

Michael Burd doesn't think our guilt (not his) needs explaining:

Don't worry: by the time al-Qaeda decides it's our turn to pay for our sins, we'll have 59 new (well, almost new) tanks to protect us.

It seems, from the self-polling of the letters pages that just one in eight of Henny's readers hasn't jumped to the obvious conclusion that it's our fault (that link will flow on to future days' letters pages):

With the atrocities against civilians in Madrid it is interesting how quickly the media has called perpetrators "terrorists", yet with the same type of attacks against civilians in Israel they are described as "militants".

With a readership like that, you'd have to worry about your newspaper's future. Once their classifieds revenue is undermined, Henny will have a readership the size of New South Wales's audience for Radio National.

But they will all be innocent.