There’s little to add really about the horror in Spain earlier this week. All the adjectives have been exhausted – and they are all inadequate. The question that is being asked now is who is responsible – ETA (the Basque terrorist group) or some offshoot of Al Qaeda. The view seems to be that if ETA were the killers, then terrible though the tragedy was, it is essentially a Spanish problem. That’s too simplistic. Terrorist murder on this scale was, prior to 9/11, unimaginable, at least in the West. What al-Qaeda has done is to ‘raise the bar’ for all would-be terrorists. To get the sort of attention that they crave now takes more than the killing, say, of a judge or a policeman. It now requires the murder of dozens or more. If ETA indeed does prove to be guilty of this crime, they will have proved that they have learned bin Laden’s lesson all too well. The implications are appalling.
The London Guardian meanwhile has its own unique response laced through with anti-Americanism and other smears, before descending into absurdity and incoherence:
“An international conference, to bridge the divide between Muslim and Christian communities, should be one first step. But there are many others. We need to take the fight against terror out of America’s hands. We need to get beyond the them and us, the good guys and the bad guys, and seek a genuinely collective response. Europe should seize the moment that America failed to grasp. “