Yesterday the Dutch had a gun (and hand grenade) battle with terrorist suspects in The Hague:
Dutch special forces yesterday stormed an apartment in The Hague and arrested two suspected terrorists, ending a violent 14-hour standoff that came amid mounting tensions in the Netherlands following the murder of the film-maker Theo van Gogh.
Officers mounted a pre-dawn raid on the block in a mainly immigrant area only to be beaten back with small arms fire. At least one grenade was thrown, seriously injuring two police officers.
More than 200 soldiers descended on the neighbourhood, sealing off several blocks, evacuating locals and stationing snipers on nearby rooftops.
Airspace above the area was closed to small aircraft and a tense standoff ensued until nightfall, when units finally overran the apartment to the sound of gunshots.
Over 200 soldiers for two suspected terrorists. I like those odds. Give the terrorist ‘suspects’ zero hope of getting away. That isn’t my favorite part of the article though. Referring to the suspect in the van Gogh murder:
The immigration minister, Rita Verdonk, said Van Gogh’s murder “raises doubts, doubts about whether we have been too lax. Natives and immigrants in the Netherlands cannot look away and excuse radicalism, but must reject it and act against it.”
She added: “The suspect carried documents on him that show clearly he was driven by the same evil power that was behind the attacks on New York and Madrid: the all-destroying hatred of fundamentalist Islamic terrorism.”
The more I read the more I am convinced we are in a fight for our lives against Islamic extremism. They have religious justification for killing non-believers and are acting on it. This fight is just as serious as the fight against fascism (Italian, German, and Japanese) in WWII. Their methods are different because of cultural differences but they are just as real a threat as anything we have ever faced. I believe they are making some serious errors however. They are attacking people in so many countries (Spain, Israel, United States, Netherlands, Russia, Thailand, Philippines, etc.) all at the same time that they will cause the non-Muslim nations (and many of the Muslim nations as well) to overcome differences and cooperate in an unprecedented manner. In addition the attacking of all these targets all over the globe spreads their resources much thinner than need be. It makes our task of stopping them harder but the chances of them actually acomplishing their goals (implementing Islamic law for everyone) is reduced.
The Dutch are now awake and are paying attention. Who is next? And what do we do to stop the attacks? Drawing them into Iraq for extermination looks like the best available solution to me.