Roger L. Simon

The Swift Pace of Events

Although John Kerry made a gracious concession speech, I am doubly-relieved this morning that George Bush won reelection. With the imminent death of Arafat (assuming it hasn’t happened already), the confrontation in Fallujah and the extraordinary murder in Holland all at once, it is no time for nuance or reconsideration. Although there are undoubtedly more to come, the War on Terror may be reaching a crunch point.

The Dutch situation is in some ways the most unexpected. A different atmosphere may be developing in Europe, which could gain Bush needed cooperation. I already noted the Expatica report below that an Al Qaeda connection to the murderer of Theo Van Gogh may have been found. (What could be more symbolic of the clash of civilizations than an Islamist assassinating a “Van Gogh”?). Expatica adds in a more recent article that Dutch authorites are taking things quite seriously:

The revamped protection and security system will lead to increased security measures for anyone thought to be at risk of attack. It is commonly known that Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, Cabinet ministers, and MPs Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Geert Wilders are accompanied everywhere by bodyguards.

According to police spokesman Eric Vermeulen, the officers patrolling Amsterdam suburbs are in uniform and are higher ranked special forces operatives. “They co-ordinate a specific region, which means they have a very broad oversight and take action where necessary,” he said.

Many have predicted an eventual confrontation between Europe and Islamism as the unassimilated Islamic population in the EU continues to grow. It may be happening sooner than we think.

UPDATE: The Flying Kiwi is less optimistic about positive results from the Van Gogh murder than I am. Well, you rarely lose a Euro betting on the anti-Americanism of Europe these days. But remember, they don’t have to say they like us to cooperate.