Saturday, July 09, 2005

Will Britain step up? Can it?

I've been thinking about this the last day or so, and I just don't know.

This is not a knock at British troops; this is about the British government and public.

I've said before that I give Blair credit for seeing that we have to fight the current group of fascists now, or it'll be a lot worse fighting them later, but in most other ways Blair is the kind of nanny-state politician I most worry about. Yeah, he sent British troops to Iraq and they did their part magnificently despite their support; remember the Brits who arrived with one magazine of ammo for their rifles? There were a number of other things reported at the time, damn good troops handicapped by short or nonexistent supplies and equipment that had to be made up in a hurry. Why? Because Blair's government had cut a lot of the guts and muscle from the British armed forces so they could spend the money on their nanny-state bullshit. I've not seen much on the British military supply/equipment situation lately, but bits and pieces seen indicate that it's not much better. And the people in charge of the gutting process are largely still the ones in charge.

A lot of sites had bits of conversation from across Britain after the bombings, and while you had lots of "we won't fold up", there was an awful lot of "if we weren't in Iraq they wouldn't be bothering us". I may be too pessimistic about this, but it does worry me. Thing is, it may not matter if a whole lot of people want the government to go after the bad guys and hang them- or at least shoot them when they catch them- if the people the politicians actually pay attention to have the "it's our fault" meme playing over and over. And even if that's not the case, what if the politicians don't care what the public thinks? I think it was about a year ago that Smallest Minority covered a mess over there where a radio station held a contest with someone from Parliament in which the public would call in and suggest a law they thought needed to be enacted, and the member of Parliament would do so. The number one suggested law would allow a person attacked in their home to use whatever force necessary to protect themselves and their family. And the reaction from the member of Parliament was disgust; he couldn't believe people would actually suggest such a bloodthirsty, barbaric thing and refused to have anything to do with it. So what happens if the British subjects want to go after the bad guys, but the politicians won't?

I wouldn't worry so much about this except for the past couple of decades in Britain. The public has been disarmed, the right of self-defense has been trashed, and a: most of the public has gone along with it, b: when the public has spoken up for change they've basically been told "Shut up, WE know what's right for you" by the politicians and the 'elite' classes. If anything, it's gotten worse. So the question becomes not only 'Will the British stand up' but 'Will the British be ALLOWED to stand up?'

We've got some of the disease over here too. Look at the places where the politicians' reaction to almost any problem is to pass another law that gives them more power over the people; where the suggestion that people be freed up to act on their own is considered disgusting. And look at all the people running around saying "Why do they hate us? Why did we force them to do this?", and actually MEANING IT? And remember the state of our military at 9/11? Due to a: a bunch of politicians deciding that since the Soviet Union fell(which some of the idiots had never seen as a threat anyway) we didn't need a strong military anyway, and look at all the fine social work we could do with all that money and b: having had huge amounts of munitions and parts used up in the Balkans and shooting cruise missiles at Saddam because it was easier to do that and pretend we were accomplishing something. So, even if it hadn't been the best thing to do, we had to go with special ops people doing the boots-on-the-ground work because we didn't have enough regular troops and transport, and needed time to rebuild stocks of ammo/munitions. For that matter, remember the 10th Mountain Division falling down- literally- because they weren't in condition for the Afghan mountains? Not enough training, I can only guess someone in chain of command didn't think the hard training was necessary; and then it was too late.

And here we sit, with many politicians either because they actually believe it, or think it will do to beat the other party with, are bitching and whining that we're not being nice enough to terrorists and murderers we're holding in Gitmo. If they actually believe it they're fools, and if they'll do this harm to this country simply to try and damage the other party,then they're corrupt fools on a tremendously dangerous level.

Happily we managed to keep our forces from being chopped up as badly as the Brits, and we did act. And Blair, giving him credit for this, acted with us. But there was a tremendous outcry in Britain against acting, and it may, if anything, have gotten worse. Hell, the British government has given sanctuary to people wanted for terrorism charges in other countries, and even put them on the dole for living expenses!

So yes, if the British people do stand up, the bad guys are in real trouble; but until they do/are allowed to, I'm reserving judgement. But I'm hoping.

Addition: Captain's Quarter's found this. So the British public overall is seeing the threat and wanting action, but national ID cards? They've got cameras all over the damn place, the crap mentioned above, they already know who the bad guys/illegals are, and there's more support for ID cards?!?

Followup: this from Chrenkoff in Britain, on both the pissed-off and the pissed-on. I'll say again, I really really hope I'm wrong in my worries, but this doesn't help. Be sure to check out the comments.