Understanding the Anger of the London Terrorists
A Saturday Page One story from London by Hassan Fattah, "Anger Burns on The Fringe of Britain's Muslims," is predominantly a profile of Hizb ut-Tahrir, a controversial Islamic movement in Britain. But the story. opens with a sympathetic look at friends of the terrorists who slaughtered over 50 civilians in London 11 days ago.
"At Beeston's Cross Flats Park, in the center of this now embattled town, Sanjay Dutt and his friends grappled Friday with why their friend Kakey, better known to the world as Shehzad Tanweer, had decided to become a suicide bomber.In the Beeston section of Leeds, the police cordoned off the Iqra bookstore Friday for a search in connection with the investigation of the London bombings. The store is a gathering place, holding classes about Islam. Shehzad Tanweer, one of the bombing suspects, lived nearby. 'He was sick of it all, all the injustice and the way the world is going about it,' Mr. Dutt, 22, said. 'Why, for example, don't they ever take a moment of silence for all the Iraqi kids who die?'
Fattah writes on the front page: "To the boys from Cross Flats Park, Mr. Tanweer, 22, who blew himself up on a subway train in London last week, was devout, thoughtful and generous. If they understood his actions, it was because they lived in Mr. Tanweer's world, too. They did not agree with what Mr. Tanweer had done, but made clear they shared the same sense of otherness, the same sense of siege, the same sense that their community, and Muslims in general, were in their view helpless before the whims of greater powers. Ultimately, they understood his anger."
Read the rest of Fattah's article here.
"New Orthodoxy" to Blame When Anti-Blair Prediction Fails
After severalstories insisting British PM Tony Blair would suffer politically after the bombings due to Blair's siding with the U.S. in Iraq, London-based Alan Cowell turns around on Monday and admits there seems little anti-Blair backlash thus far, due apparently to "a new orthodoxy."
"In political terms, Britain's stoical response to the attacks seemed to shield Mr. Blair from a reaction against his policies in Iraq or a chorus of calls for Britain to withdraw its 8,500 soldiers there. Indeed, in the immediate aftermath, Mr. Blair enjoyed a balmy political truce. The many voices criticizing Mr. Blair's alliance with the United States in the Iraq campaign fell silent and it became a new orthodoxy to avoid linking the bombings with the unpopularity of the war among many Britons, particularly its 1.6 million Muslim minority."
Cowell still thinks it may turn around, however: "In a major speech on Saturday, Mr. Blair blamed an 'evil ideology' for inspiring terrorism, as if to distance its causes from either British foreign policy in the Muslim world or conditions in Britain itself. Over the weekend, though, there were indications that the truce might be fraying."
To read the rest of Cowell, click here.
Raising the Supreme Court Stakes
The Times really goes over the top with labeling in Sunday's lead editorial, "The Right Kind of Justice," about Bush's upcoming Supreme Court pick to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. The average-length editorial packs in three "far-right" references and one "extremist" label to contrast with the suddenly saintly Justice O'Connor, who occupied the court's "sensible center." (The same "sensible centrist" the Times criticized for her part in the 5-4 decision in Bush v. Gore in 2000.)
For the full editorial, click here.
Trashing Anti-Hillary Book Good, Reviewing It Bad
Sunday's Week in Review features a briefing from book reporter Edward Wyatt about Ed Klein's critically-reviled biography of Hillary Clinton, the second time in a week that the book (which the Times won't deign to review) has gotten a critical lambasting in the supposed news pages: "So, the intensely awaited Edward Klein book on Hillary Rodham Clinton is out, and has been lambasted by critics. How is the book doing? After a strong start, it's sinking. Maybe the truth about Hillary Clinton is not that interesting after all. Or perhaps even political devotees decided they could not discern enough truth in 'The Truth About Hillary.'"
The Times pulled a similar trick in last Sunday's book review section, with critic Dwight Garner snarling that Klein's book, "The Truth About Hillary," "is easily this year's most vilified book."
Wyatt does point out later that perhaps the Hillary book isn't really doing so badly, relatively speaking: "It is not unusual, particularly in a non-election year, for political books to struggle for an audience. By that measure, the Klein book has performed admirably. The book started at No. 2 on the New York Times best-seller list for hardcover nonfiction, fell to No. 4 in its second week and will rank No. 8 on July 24."
To read the rest of Wyatt's brief story, click here.