In the wake of the recent bombings in London we're seeing a lot of the usual rhetoric about what the terrorists hate and why it's really liberals who are to blame for all of this. Over at the E-Group, wsam gives Mark Steyn a well-deserved spanking for the latter.
But wouldn't it be nice if some of the usual suspects would stop bloviating about Islamofascists (note: not a real word) and actually try and see what lessons we can learn from the events in London? Billmon at the Whiskey Bar is and he points to another blog that he finds helpful.
Setting off bombs in subways is a pretty crude application of this technique. But [John Robb at Global Guerillas] saw signs in the first London attack that the terrorists (as young and inexperienced as they appear to have been) are learning:
This group even added their own innovation to the development of the systems disruption model (for other groups to adopt in the future): the bombs were exploded while the trains were in the tunnels rather than in the stations. This maximized disruption at the expense of body count.
Presumably, as the Al Qaeda network becomes more adapted to "open source" operations, and as more experienced terrorists return from Iraq and pass the lessons learned on to new recruits, bombers will become more effective at identifying pressure points. In which case future attacks are likely to be progressively more targeted at knocking out infrastructure rather than causing mass casualties.
It may already be happening: Al Qaeda wanted to kill a large number of people in the first London attack -- to send a big propaganda message to the G8 summit. Today's bombs, on the other hand, may have been intended primarily to disrupt. If or when they start hitting electrical substations and telephone exchanges, we'll know our junior league terrorists are starting to get the hang of it.
This isn't to say that billmon and Robb are necessarily correct in their analysis but it's refreshing to see people actually try and understand what's happening instead of trotting out the usual clichés and bluster and then calling it a day.