Thursday, November 8, 2007

Justice vs. jihadis, part II

An article by David B. Rivkin, Jr. and Lee A. Casey appeared on A23 of today's WSJ. Its title ("Judges vs. Jihadis") bearing an eerie resemblance to my first post about this (although a slightly different aspect of the topic), it commemorates Spain's role in combating terror while reminding the U.S. courts what their job is supposed to be (emphasis mine):

As the great Italian legal scholar and reformer Beccaria wrote in the 1760s, to prevent crime, "make sure that men fear the laws and only the laws." Where respect fails, of course, there also is fear of punishment under the law -- deterrence. The system breaks down, however, when the criminals neither have respect for the law nor fear its potential punishments.

This is exactly the situation in which the West now finds itself. The followers of violent jihad do not respect the laws of democratic governments, but claim a superior legitimacy in the form of their own interpretation of Islam's Quran and Shariah law. Many of them also do not fear punishment. If proof of this were needed, it can be found both in the very nature of al Qaeda's Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the U.S. by suicidal operatives, and the self-immolation of the seven ringleaders who masterminded the 2004 attacks on Madrid. When Spanish police closed in on their safe house outside that city, these men blew up the house -- and themselves.

Let that be a lesson to us.

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