re: " 'We are at war' '
Melanie Phillips has more in connection with the RUSI report in an opinion blog piece at The Spectator ("Champagne for the brain").
"Professor Gwyn Prins, one of the authors of the RUSI report made a most important point on the Today programme (0830) when he observed that 'we are at war', although we are behaving as if we are in peacetime. This is undoubtedly true and is the source of so much of the current confusion (Guantanamo, 42 days, etc) and wholly inadequate government and establishment response to the Islamist threat."
"Too many in that establishment cannot get their heads round the fact that, while what we are up against is not war as conventionally understood, ie aggression between states, it is much more than terrorism (not to mention ‘crime’ as the government would have it) because of the strategic goals, which are the overthrow of the west. Partly because the establishment persists in thinking that as this is such a preposterous proposition (how can people stuck in the 7th century possibly ever overthrow the most powerful civilisation in the history of the planet? Too ridiculous for words, dear boy!) it could never happen and therefore should not be taken seriously, and partly because that establishment is so terrified by the implications of a religious war of cultural conquest that it takes refuge in a myriad different fatuous other explanations for what is happening.
The real problem, as the report says, is that there is no common agreement about the existence, nature or priority of the threats that we face, a lack of consensus which leaves us open to ambush."
"(I)n Britain we no longer know what we are. With confidence in our cultural identity all but destroyed, we cannot defend that identity any more. That’s what has to be addressed. That’s why multiculturalism is so lethal for us. That’s why the Archbishop’s comments were a declaration of national suicide. The report suggests ways of addressing these core issues by taking security out of the arena of party politics. Can this be done? Is there the political will to do it? Or are we trapped in a vicious circle as a result of the very collapse of national self-confidence that the report identifies?"