To which last I can only add this:
Avoidance of what al-Qaeda stands for began in 9/11 and has become endemic since. My favourite piece of victim blaming was after the Madrid bombings. For a few hours, there was a rumour that they were the work of ETA and Eddie Mair, the presenter of Radio 4’s PM news show, duly had a go at a representative of the Spanish government, alleging that Madrid’s refusal to talk to Basque nationalists was the root cause of the atrocity.
By the next day, it was clear that Islamists, not Basques, had attacked Madrid. Without pausing for breath, Mair duly wanted to know if the presence of Spanish troops in Iraq was the root cause of the atrocity. The identity of the bombers was irrelevant. The Spanish had to be the cause of their own suffering.
I like the idea that Eddie Mair went for 24 hours “Without pausing for breath”. Great lungs, Eddie.
Now Nick, as you very well know, the reason journalists believed that ETA might have been involved was because they fell for the disinformation put out by the Spanish government to that effect – disinformation the government put out at least partly for fear that the population might make a connection between an Islamist bombing and Spain’s presence in Iraq at that time.
Well, never mind. Let’s leave Aznar and co out of this. Let’s just say it was all a Liberal plot to “blame the victims.” Revolutionary truth, how are ya?
Of course, the real perpetrators of the bombings were rapidly identified and the appropriate connections were made. So, by Nick’s logic, the subsequent election of the Socialists in Spain was down to the Spanish people blaming themselves for the Madrid bombings. Well, that was Mark Steyn’s postition so I guess Nick won’t be too far behind.