Thursday, November 10, 2005

Blair's Bluff Called

Parliament's defeat of Blair's anti-terror legislation isn't what it seems. Many MPs see him him an appeaser of terror who uses gestures like this legislation as a smokescreen. Americans should be reassured that Brits don't like appeasers.

The story (my ellipsis):

In a bitter personal rebuff (to Blair), the (House of) Commons voted by a margin of 31 votes against his plan for the police to be allowed to hold terrorism suspects for 90 days. Instead they voted for the 28-day period favored by the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and many Labour MPs.

Friends of the Prime Minister said that it was one of the most extraordinary votes in parliamentary history. One said: “Here you have a Labour Prime Minister being beaten because he supports the police and is in tune with public opinion and the Conservatives winning while being against the police and out of touch with public opinion. Is the world going mad?”

Brit cops do want a 90 day detention period - with legal oversight - and I think they're right. However, based on Blair's appeasement of the IRA, Brits expect him to ultimately compensate and give amnesties to any terrorists detained under this law. And based on his persecution of our soldiers and police who fought in Northern Ireland and Iraq, they expect him to victimize our anti-terror forces who do the detaining.

Here's another story today that illustrates this (my ellipsis):

As Tony Blair pleaded with backbenchers to back his plans to detain terrorists, his Government announced legislation that will enable paramilitaries (terrorists) and escaped convicts who fled the province during the Troubles to return and be freed on license.

The Government would not say how many people would benefit from the Northern Ireland (Offences) Bill, but it is estimated that up to 150 fugitives would be eligible.

The law, condemned by politicians and victims of the Troubles, also includes alleged offenses committed by the Army and police when they were fighting terrorism.

That last is creepy misdirection - Brit soldiers and police who fought the terrorists are only eligible for this amnesty if they're on the lam, which none are reported to be. Why should they be? They were doing their duty for their country. Still, Blair has just tasked a 160 person team to go after them - see here. The story continues:

One of those believed to be entitled to take advantage of the (amnesty) legislation is Charles Caufield, who was named under House of Commons privilege as the man who built and detonated the Enniskillen bomb.

Caufield is thought to have fled to America after the IRA attack, which also injured 63 people, at a war memorial before a Remembrance Day service in 1987.

Remembrance Sunday is Brit Veterans day, where ceremonies take place all over the country on the nearest Sunday to 11/11 to honor those killed during the First and Second World Wars. The IRA exploded a bomb at one such ceremony, murdering eleven civilians and injuring 63, many terribly. It was similar to one of the 4 bombings on 7/7, each of which killed and injured about the same number of people. Blair is giving an amnesty to the man who did this.

So tough talk followed by appeasement is Blair's trademark - he's played the same game in Iraq, where since his "brave" decision to go to war he's relentlessly persecuted our combat troops there.

The vast majority of Brits hate appeasers and support their cops and soldiers, so Blair has forfeited their respect. Americans should be reassured that his defeat emphasizes Brit determination to fight terror, not the opposite.