The gathering Storm

If one hears the news, one tries to connect the dots. Lets give it a try.

Rumsfeld in an interview last 7 December:
Churchill’s phrase about the gathering storm - there was a storm gathering, but there were people in Europe who didn’t believe it and who didn’t take the periodic storm clouds and the squalls as a real threat. They thought they were transitory and, of course, paid an enormous penalty in treasure and life for their failure to understand the nature of that threat. I worry we are in a gathering storm and we do not, as a society, accept it.

Read it all: Star Telegram

This storm could become reality sooner than many people think. Some excepts of an AP article headed “Europe worries about holiday attacks”:
A senior French counter terrorism official told The Associated Press that intelligence agencies throughout the continent are on "tenterhooks" and that "all of the warning lights are red," though they have yet to uncover any specific plan for attack.

"The threat is at its highest level," said the French official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the secretive nature of his job. "All (security) services are on tenterhooks. And it's not just us (in France). Work is under way everywhere but nothing concrete is emerging. Ends of the year are often bad. This year we haven't managed to distinguish a precise plot."

John Reid, Britain's top law enforcement official, said Sunday that it was "highly likely" that terrorists would attempt to mount an attack over the holiday period, when the number of travelers swells. He gave no other details.

Source: Read it all at: The News Sentinel

And now socialist Tony Blair, a long time and deep believer in multiculturalism suddenly is starting to renounce his fate in multiculturalism. Even connecting Islam with terrorism in a speech:

For the first time in a generation there is an unease, an anxiety, even at points a resentment that our very openness, our willingness to welcome difference, our pride in being home to many cultures, is being used against us; abused, indeed, in order to harm us.

I always thought after 7/7 our first reaction would be very British: we stick together; but that our second reaction, in time, would also be very British: we're not going to be taken for a ride.

the reason we are having this debate is not generalised extremism. It is a new and virulent form of ideology associated with a minority of our Muslim community. It is not a problem with Britons of Hindu, Afro-Caribbean, Chinese or Polish origin

Sure, his speech still contains much ignorance about Islamic teachings, but still it’s a big step away from his old multi cultural faith. My question is: why? And why now? Could it be that he agrees with Rumsfeld? Does he also worry that we are in a gathering storm? Is that what he means by a European problem in his speech?

And it's not just Britain who is preparing for it. Also the French are busy. Not long a go, they promised to nuke any country (read: Iran) that would organize an attack on their homeland. Now they have opened an Airbase in Cyprus (under Turkish protest) and are positioning their troops right next to Hisballah, the Iranian proxy fighters. Is that a sign that the gathering storm starts with Iran?

If one listens to the Iranians mullah’s, the answer should be clearly yes:

TEHRAN, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Iran is not a threat to Middle East stability but it is a threat to the United States and its European ally Britain, a hardline cleric said on Friday.

The mid-ranking cleric's remarks came in reaction to British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who on Tuesday called Iran a "major threat" to the region's stability.

"Regarding Blair's devilish remarks, I am telling him that if he means Iran is a threat to Britain, yes we are," Ahmad Khatami told Friday prayers worshippers in Tehran University.

"If he means we are a threat to America's arrogance, yes we are and we are proud of it."

Read it all: Iran Focus

The Washington Note also reports interesting news: they write that the Saudi Arabians have already given Washington the green light for military action against Iran.

To be continued ...

Update 18-12-2006:

France to pull troops from Afghanistan
PARIS - France is to withdraw its 200-strong special forces from
Afghanistan, all of its ground troops engaged in the U.S anti-terror operation there, authorities announced Sunday.

whole story:

One could think this is the result of the typical untrustworthiness of the Eurabian French, but I am more inclined to see it as a sign of the gathering storm. The French could be preparing for major operations in Lebanon and don’t want their special forces stretched over two fronts. For them this whole thing must seem to cut both ways. They can use their Afghanistan troop levels for political scheming against Nato and at the same time redeploy these troops to get a foothold in Lebanon, their former colony. Both, they hope, will make them a relevant geopolitical power again.

But they are not the only ones who reposition their forces:

Afp: Mujahedin fighters return to Spain from Iraq
MADRID - Mujahedin fighters have returned to bases in Spain after gaining combat experience in Iraq and are now a potential threat to European security, Spanish newspaper El Pais reported on Sunday.

whole story: afp

But it could also be their regular R&R of course...

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