Speak softly and carry a limp stick

Way back in July, 2005 -- just days after the deadly terrorist attack on the London Transport system that killed 51 people -- I wrote a post at my blog entitled Britain's Homeless. The post was prompted by a report issued by the Royal Institute of International Affairs that linked the London attack to British support of the Iraq war, which the report's authors claim has made "Britain a more likely target for terrorism, claiming that there is “no doubt” that the 'invasion has enhanced propaganda, recruitment and fund-raising for al-Qaeda'. Unfortunately, in the almost four years since that post little has changed in Britain. Con Coughlin has recently written a provocative piece in the U.K. Telegraph entitled "Britain is fighting a war -- and we are too soft on our enemies". He cites that fact that there is growing evidence of the complicitness of UK Muslims in the war on terror that has put UK military lives in danger -- and that this information has been suppressed by UK authorities for fear of -- you guessed it -- inciting Muslim anger:

The active involvement of radical British Muslims in the Afghan insurgency has led senior officers to claim that they are engaged in a "surreal mini-civil war" in Afghanistan. And yet, for all the compelling evidence that British-based Islamist radicals are actively participating in a jihad against Britain and its coalition allies, the Government, together with those who have opposed our involvement in the War on Terror from the start, seems determined to give the Islamist radicals the benefit of the doubt.

Even when incontrovertible proof is found that British Muslims are aiding and abetting the enemy in Afghanistan and elsewhere, the Government's instinct is to try to cover up their involvement, for fear of further inflaming Islamist sensitivities.

Twice in the past year I have been admonished by our military establishment for revealing details about the support British sympathisers are providing to the Afghan insurgency, whether it involves actually fighting alongside the Taliban or providing them with the means to kill and maim British personnel. Officials did not question the reports' veracity. On both occasions, I was told that it was simply not helpful to expose such details, as they might cause offence to the Muslim community, or encourage Islamist radicals to intimidate British soldiers returning from combat.

This kind of thinking is appeasement, pure and simple. If we just be "nice to them" they will certainly leave us alone, won't they? Speak softly and carry a limp stick. I wonder whether the people of Britain are really as dumb as the UK government apparently thinks they are?

Tony Blair, to his credit, was steadfast in calling out the threat of Islamic terrorism and the importance of being honest about the nature of the forces working against us. In an important speech he gave recently to the Council on Global Affairs that I wrote about last month, Blair said that the "(radical terrorist" ideology, as a movement within Islam, has to be defeated. It is incompatible not with "the West" but with any society of open and tolerant people and that in particular means the many open and tolerant Muslims."

Alas, Tony Blair is no longer in power. In his place is Gordon Browne, a leader invested in accommodation who seems to be afraid of his own shadow. And lest you think that this is just a British problem, you should think again. The same policies of appeasement are winding their way through the Obama administration: We move to close Guantanamo without a reasonable alternative, we unilaterally give away our ability to even threaten the use of enhanced interrogation of terrorist detainees, and we release selective memos and photographs that put the worst light possible on America's effort to protect itself. It is at the core of the left's "shared values" strategy: part self-flagellation as a way of purging guilt, part moral high ground for the purpose of showing the new face of our kinder, gentler foreign policy. For Barack Obama and his administration, it is clearly the most important part of America improving its image in the eyes of the world.

If this makes you feel safer, there is a bridge I have to sell you...