Doctor In the House

|

After much speculation about European Muslims heading to Iraq for jihad, the first piece of hard, cold (or actually, just cold) evidence has surfaced: 19-year-old Redouane el-Hakim, a French national born of Tunisian immigrants, killed July 17 during an American bombardment of Fallujah. The Scotsman has some interesting details about el-Hakim's brother Boubakeur's sad-sack journey in search of either jihad or Islamic education in the Levant. (He is now in prison in Syria.)

Le Figaro says the Salafist group the brothers belonged to was broken up by the cops in July 15.

David Ignatius recently checked in on Gilles Kepel's argument that these and other recent glorious martyrdom operations are really indications that it's twilight for the jihadists, in Europe and elsewhere (which I find fairly persuasive, both because I want to believe it's true and because Kepel knows a great deal about the subject).

Advertisement

NEXT: On First Looking Into Chapman's Voting

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Kepel knows a great deal about the subject

    I dunno, seems like you can know more about this subject than anyone else alive and you still don’t really know diddley.

  2. Well that’s just great… not only is France against us in the war on terror – they are exporting their own Muslims to fight against us. When do we get to bomb Paris?

  3. not only is France against us in the war on terror – they are exporting their own Muslims to fight against us. When do we get to bomb Paris?

    That kind of statement is archi-irritating. I heard something similar from a caller on C-Span yesterday.

    FRANCE IS NOT AGAINST YOU ON THE WAR ON TERROR!

    THE INVASION OF IRAQ WAS NOT PART OF THE WAR ON TERROR!

    …they are exporting…

    YASER HAMDI. American.

    The Americans are exporting their own Muslims… When do we get to bomb Washington?

    dumb dumb dumb

  4. raymond, is there some sort of coherence in your post? It is typographically interesting, though.

  5. It seems to me that the point of this story is that Iraq is acting as a sink for all types of local and regional criminal/jihadist types with an added qualification that they are willing to commit suicide to kill. At the end of the day this is a story about an individual who has made some terrible choices in his life which has lead to him choosing the wrong side of a fight. He happened to also have a French passport.

  6. I proposed to my dick but he rejected me.

  7. Todd Fletcher, I think raymond’s post is perfectly coherent, although I fear he took Mr. Will a tad too seriously and so, as they say, took the bait. Still, while I’d say Will was clearly being facetious, sometimes people use humor as a flamboyant exageration of what they literally think, and if that was Will’s aim, raymond’s response is pertinent as well, albeit overwrought.

  8. So the murderous whackos are going *there*, not here. Even the murderous whackos from non-Islamic countries.

    Why is it so hard to see the brilliance of this? Obviously Bush can’t come right out and say so, but come on, isn’t is pretty obvious?

  9. GH,

    Possibly, you’re right. But hopefully you’re aware of all the assumptions that formulation makes. In case you don’t, allow me:

    1. That the wackos going to Iraq would have joined an American venture instead were we not in Iraq. Highly questionable to say the least.

    2. That this energization of anti-US jihadism on Iraqi soil does not reflect a parallel energization in anti-US jihadism on US soil. No way to say. Maybe our spooks know, ha-ha.

    3. That there won’t be more jihadists to take the place of those going *there* who may eventually turn their attentions toward US soil, regardless of the eventual turns of events in Iraq. Again, hard to say. Depends on a multitude of factors, such as those turns of events in Iraq and the effect they have, but I think the largest factor of all is simply whether this jihad thing turns out to be a decades-long or a centuries-long fad, over which we probably have a very limited amount of control. Economic and cultural globalization may help in the long run….

  10. fyodor-

    Good points. My thoughts:

    1. That the wackos going to Iraq would have joined an American venture instead were we not in Iraq. Highly questionable to say the least.

    Why so questionable? 9-11 *did* happen, and other plots *have* been foiled. US is the best, high profile target.

    In any case, I’d rather have anybody even *willing* to do this stuff go there, whether or not they actually would have here.

    2. That this energization of anti-US jihadism on Iraqi soil does not reflect a parallel energization in anti-US jihadism on US soil. No way to say. Maybe our spooks know, ha-ha.

    Agreed; no way to say for sure. My gut feeling is that we don’t (yet) have the perpetual-motion jihad generator here, but who knows?

    3. That there won’t be more jihadists to take the place of those going *there* who may eventually turn their attentions toward US soil, regardless of the eventual turns of events in Iraq. Again, hard to say. Depends on a multitude of factors, such as those turns of events in Iraq and the effect they have, but I think the largest factor of all is simply whether this jihad thing turns out to be a decades-long or a centuries-long fad, over which we probably have a very limited amount of control. Economic and cultural globalization may help in the long run….

    Well, if this spectre of the perpetual terrorist generator is true – that jihadists will just keep regenerating like video game characters, and that no amount of defeat or getting dragged into defending their own lands will help, then we’re doomed anyway. I refuse to subscribe to such pessimism.

  11. GH

    I think you misunderstand my point #1. I am definitely not saying that jihadists in general have no interest in attacking the US. Only challenging your implication (maybe it was stronger than an implication) that a jihadist in Iraq is one less focusing on US territory, that if he goes *there* he ain’t coming *here*. I think the more reasonable assumption is that if he didn’t go *there*, he’d probably just stay the hell home. The larger questions are what are the effects of the war on Iraq on those who would already be predisposed to attacking the US and on marginal or potential terrorists who might otherwise just curse the US in coffeehouses and then learn a trade or something. We’ve both seen the arguments both ways, and I’d rather not reprise them here. Only wanted to make the point that, while I see what you’re saying, and I hope you’re right that we succeeded in trapping someone who would have come here, I nevertheless believe that notion rests on questionable assumptions.

    As to the “perpetual terrorist generator,” you invoke absurd imagery, but unless we kill all potential terrorists, there can always be more. That is what Israel has experienced, and we experience a similar phenomenon in the War on Drugs.

    As to the pessimism thing, I must admit I’m quite pessimistic that there is anything we can do to make this menace go away. We can only practice defensive measures and wait it out, whether that’s 20 years or 2000. OTOH, I’m quite optimistic that our civilization need not be “defeated” and that most people’s lives need not be seriously affected enough that, for instance, we stop enjoying wonderfully frivolous things like the World Series.

  12. As to the “perpetual terrorist generator,” you invoke absurd imagery, but unless we kill all potential terrorists, there can always be more. That is what Israel has experienced, and we experience a similar phenomenon in the War on Drugs.

    Well, I wasn’t ascribing the idea to you, but it is definitely floating around out there 😉

    I just don’t buy it – something can defeat these guys. Nazis were passionate about nazism, separatist Southerners were passionate about separatism, Crusaders were passionate about taking the Holy Land back from Muslims … yet somehow, all were defeated and reduced to nonentities.

  13. 350 metric tonnes.

    Now. How scary is THAT?

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.