Phelpsian Foreign Policy


British PM Gordon Brown responded to last week's botched terrorist attacks by ramping up police work and telling his government to back off using some of its "war on terror" rhetoric.

Gordon Brown has banned ministers from using the word "Muslim" in ­connection with the ­terrorism crisis.

The Prime Minister has also instructed his team – including new Home Secretary Jacqui Smith – that the phrase "war on ­terror" is to be dropped.

The shake-up is part of a fresh attempt to improve community relations and avoid offending Muslims, adopting a more "consensual" tone than existed under Tony Blair.

That got Michael Ledeen fuming:

Maybe the Gordon Brown government will come to be seen as a test case for the multiculti Left's approach to "the war (shhh)," and if it fails quickly enough, it might help us sort out the real choices for November '08. After all, British failures have often been inspirational for America, sigh.

Alex Massie shudders a little at Ledeen's implication: Brown's denialism will lead to more terrorist attacks, and since we need right-thinking terror hawks in office to win the war, well, thems the breaks. More Massie:

While there is clearly (and obviously) an important ideological aspect to the struggle against this kind of terrorism, it's also the case that the battle to defend "British values" and "our way of life" is also a police and intelligence operation rather more than it is any kind of war that can be won by military means. This was, of course, also true of the long struggle against the IRA.

All true, but this stuff doesn't matter to the Ledeens (and Liebermans) of the moment. They want to attack Iran and overthrow the Mullahs. The only way to gin up support for that in a country as gloomy and ironically detached as this one would be for everyone to get as terrified as they were on and right after 9/11. It's only right after a terrorist attack that the citizenry locates its moral clarity. Fred Phelps' protesters tote around signs that use a super-insane variant of that logic: Only when the terrorists attack or a soldier gets killed will you saps realize that the terrorists hate us for our gay rights and fornication.