Jonah Goldberg: Ah, if only those bombs had gone off in Britain

June 29, 2007 by  

The National Review’s Jonah Goldberg, waxing poetically about what could have been:

If that bomb had gone off in London, killing dozens or hundreds, British life might have moved in a remarkably different direction (though the Brits are pretty good — or bad, if you know what I mean — at shrugging off these sorts of things).

Ah, what might have been, eh, Jonah?

Anyway, the irony is that from a policy standpoint, it seems to me that security officials have to view things like the failed London bombing as basically no different than a successful bombing. But because the bombing failed, the policy options to security officials are far narrower precisely because the bombing failed and therefore didn’t rouse the sort of political reaction it might otherwise have.

They always sound so depressed when these things don’t happen as they not-so-secretly wish.

Because the only people who want to see terrorist carnage more than Islamic fundamentalist terrorists, are neocons and their fans.



16 Responses to “Jonah Goldberg: Ah, if only those bombs had gone off in Britain”

  1. roooth on June 30th, 2007 8:30 am

    That’s because they get off on it. Violence porn does it for them. That’s why they like to watch Jack Bauer do it to the bad guys

  2. Dadler on June 30th, 2007 1:56 pm

    The right identifies in a perverse way, on a deeply fundamentalist level, with these muslim fanatics. D’Souza says they’re right about how debauched our society is. The American Christian Right/Israeli Right lovefest is even more odd. Supporting Israel’s every shuffle and stomp because they think Jesus can’t come again until they do. Oy vey.

    It’s a mad world, my former neighbor. What’s the vibe in Brazil?

  3. William K. Wolfrum on June 30th, 2007 3:21 pm


    Brazilians have enough to worry about in regards to being victims of other Brazilians, at least in the huge cities of Rio and Sao Paulo. Terrorism isn’t high on their list of priorities.

    As for attitudes toward Americans, it will get worse and worse. There already is a strong anti-American vibe among many in S. America anyway (and you’d have to be someone who just ignores history to not understand why), but the new generation of younger, educated Brazilians truly despise the U.S. That doesn’t really bode well for future attitudes.

    Personally, I’ve never had a problem, as people always seem to be happy and interested in meeting individual Americans. And the fact is, the majority of people here are good people who just don’t harbor a lot of hate. John Edwards speaks of the “Two Americas” but there are two or three Brazils, and the biggest part is made up of people who just want to be able to feed their families, and have little knowledge or interest in foreign affairs.

    Plus, Brazilians are very well aware that a nation’s government doesn’t accurately portray the nation’s people. That said, I’d say the overall feeling is that the U.S. is great nation that has and can do great good, but is being led by selfish warmongers.


  4. BC on June 30th, 2007 7:04 pm

    Jonah *needs* a bomb to go off & kill people. It will validate his childish, unreasonable xenophobic fears. Otherwise, he just looks like a wrong-headed, inaccurate fear monger who is only writing out solutions to appease his own anxieties.


  5. HunterBlackLuna on June 30th, 2007 10:56 pm

    Wow, I’m absolutely disgusted… although in retrospect, it isn’t all that surprising. The only shocking thing is that he just came out and said ‘I wish people had been killed in a horrible bombing.’ He just.. said it. No bullshit fog, just… admitting it. He’s a fucking terrorist. The far-right are all fucking terrorists.

  6. Shag on July 1st, 2007 7:09 am

    Goldberg is just a waste of skin, and so is his mom.

  7. Jimbo on July 1st, 2007 2:38 pm

    As a liberal Brit I do have to say try reading the original piece. Jonah did not say “I wish people had been killed in a horrible bombing.” He said if the bombs had gone of British society would be changed. Propbably not because it hasn’t changed after 7/7, but I digress.

    The far right stick feet in mouths often enough without us taking words and spinning them to try and make them out to be monsters just because we don’t agree. Jonah is not a monster and does not wish that the bombs went off. Well he might, but he certainly didn’t say that in this piece.

    He does though appear to be a bit of a dick.

    I was more interested in the subtle call for more controls in the last paragraph.

    And insults should be funny shag. Get off his mom. Cos her regular customers are queuing!

  8. Jumpy on July 1st, 2007 4:30 pm

    Goldberg is a unrepetant neocon/neofacist.

    What’s really sad is that this representative of a radical fringe ideology is given such a prominent soapbox at places like the LA Times.

    Why someone who has been completly discredited as a foreign policy expert continues to draw such large paychecks from high profile media outlets is further evidence to not trust those outlets. Seek out other sources for your news and opinions.

    The LA Times editorial board and any others who syndicate his column are not to be trusted when they feature such radical ideology.

  9. Ed on July 1st, 2007 10:40 pm

    Goldberg gets to air his idiotic opinions in well-read sources because the media eagerly substitute Conservative Ideology for Conservative Perspective. They keep people like Goldberg around – people who don’t know jack shit about the issues and have nothing insightful in the way of commentary or analysis to add to the debate – so that they aren’t charged with “bias.” He represents a system of beliefs. That’s all. He doesn’t need or bother with facts. He just sits there and spouts off what the average right-wing ex-fratboy “thinks” about the issues. Beliefs, of course, need bear no resemblance to reality.

  10. Patrik on July 2nd, 2007 11:17 am

    Way to distort things &$*#wad.

    You could have at least put in the sentence that summed up his entire point on the corner:
    “When you start thinking about it, the wheels of history can get jammed by the smallest things, a parking ticket, a missed bus, a forgotten wallet.”

    How about actually reading a man’s post sometime instead of tweaking it to fit your own distorted cartoon view of the guy.

  11. shmoopatties on July 3rd, 2007 11:55 am


    Your brain is distorted; you’ve missed the point entirely. The ‘wheels of history have been jammed’ because the bombs did not go off. If they had, says Goldberg, then the Brits would have carte blanche to overreact and take away everyones civil rights; round up brown skins and inter them indefinately without charges, etc. He seems quite dissapointed that the attacks were unsuccessful; now Brits can go on about their lives normally. But, golly gee, if only some folks could have gotten blown up…

  12. wonder cow on July 3rd, 2007 12:42 pm

    Someone wistful about the “what-could-have-been-deaths” of hundreds of innocent people. Think about all the “I-told-you-so’s” we could have plastered on our blogs.

    My first instinct is to say that this is un-freaking-believable. But after about six years of this type of shit, I know better.

    Maybe the bombings were not successful because the Brits have adopted some successful strategies for dealing with the threat?

    Maybe the fact that Brits were able arrest people quickly proves they have good intelligence?

    But this is not a law enforcement issue, is it?

  13. Jon Swift on July 11th, 2007 7:27 am

    Do We Need Another Terrorist Attack?…

    Many conservatives are coming to the reluctant conclusion that, regretfully, another terrorist attack may be just what we need right now to wake the country up….

  14. Patrik on July 23rd, 2007 9:14 am

    No, sorry shmoopatties but YOU missed the point entirely. I know what the original poster was saying, the problem is you’re very words:
    “he SEEMS quite disappointed…”

    Where? Where in his entire post do you see any evidence that he’s disappointed people didn’t die? The only way you can is by making up your own preconceptions about a person and then you find (or create) whatever evidence you require. The original poster even has to take things completely out of context. How about reading the first quote with the sentence that started it:
    “One of the most fascinating things about the course of human affairs, I think, is the enormous difference in potential directions life can take depending on discrete moments”

    Yeah… he was really wishing for death.

    You would do well to take a lesson from Peter Beinart who’s a leftist yet friend of Jonah and they’ve been engaging in entertaining debates of late.
    Notice he doesn’t have to make anything up or distort what Jonah says to make his points.

  15. Patrik on July 23rd, 2007 9:17 am

    You know after reading the original post I can only conclude that people which engage in historical “What Ifs” apparently wish the ‘what if’ had happened.
    I guess all the authors here:
    really wished Germany had won World War 2 by the original poster’s “logic”.

  16. William K. Wolfrum » Blog Archive » Noam Chomsky - living proof of the liberal media myth on August 6th, 2007 4:45 am

    [...] Let’s make this very simple – we live in a country where William Kristol, Jonah Goldberg and a host of other radically right-wing voices are given sterling pulpits to disseminate their propaganda. But the mainstream media won’t touch Noam Chomsky with a 100-foot sword. Yet you’ll find more truth in one comma of what Chomsky writes than in 100 columns from Kristol. [...]

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