Osama Bin Laden has created the perfect enabling environment for the authoritarian policies of Bush and Blair, who have magnified two terrorist atrocities into threats to global democracy. Their massively disproportionate responses only make it easier for Bin Laden to recruit new zealots to his cause. Simon Jenkins comments:
There never was a “terrorist threat” to western civilisation or democracy, only to western lives and property. The threat becomes systemic only when democracy loses its confidence and when its leaders are weak, as now. Terror attacks are for the police. For George Bush and Blair to demand a “long war” against Bin Laden and, by implication, a long suppression of civil liberty is ludicrous. Western civilisation is not some simpering weakling that cowers before a fanatic ’s might, pleading for leaders to protect it by all means, however illegal. It has been proof against Islamic expansionism since the 17th century. It is not at risk.