London Attack – is it the last???

This is George Galloway’s view. Is this just a realistic perspective of the situation or is being a little disingenous?

This is George Galloway’s view – is it just a realistic analysis of the situation or is being disengenous?

Galloway: Attacks will not be last

Press Association
Friday July 8, 2005 9:58 AM

Anti-Iraq war campaigners were gathering to give their response to the terrorist outrages in London the morning after a bitter Commons row engulfed the cause’s most outspoken politician.

George Galloway was accused by a senior minister of “dipping his poisonous tongue in a pool of blood” after the Respect MP for Bethnal Green and Bow warned that the attacks in the capital will not be the last.

The outspoken former Labour MP swiftly hit back at his accuser, armed forces minister Adam Ingram, likening him to a “foul-mouthed … thug”.

Deputy Speaker Sylvia Heal had to intervene, reminding the House that “good temper and moderation” were the hallmarks of language in the Commons.

Mr Galloway was due to be joined this morning by veteran peace campaigner Tony Benn, as well as CND chairwoman Kate Hudson, for a Stop the War Coalition press conference in central London. It follows a statement from the organisation on Thursday which condemned the terrorist attacks but also urged people not to stir up any anti-Muslim “hysteria”.

A spokesman said: “It is clear that the war on terror, in which Britain has been so heavily involved, has not made the world safer from terrorism. Britain’s security services warned Tony Blair two years ago that a war in Iraq would make such attacks more likely. That warning has been tragically borne out.”

Before his Commons spat with Mr Ingram, Mr Galloway said in his own statement that Londoners had “paid the price” for Mr Blair’s decision to go to war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He called on the Prime Minister to remove people in the UK from “harm’s way” by withdrawing British troops from Iraq.

In his later clash with the armed forces minister, Mr Galloway accused MPs of living in a “consensual bubble” of denial and said unless action was taken, there would be repeats of Thursday’s atrocity in the capital.

“There was nothing unpredictable about this attack this morning. Despicable, yes, but not unpredictable. Entirely predictable and, I predict, not the last either,” he said.

© Copyright Press Association Ltd 2005, All Rights Reserved.

  • DCB

    The bus that blew up came from Hackney and would probably have had some of his constituants on it.

    Show’s where his priorities lie.

  • Dessertspoon

    “…remove people in the UK from “harm’s way” by withdrawing British troops from Iraq.”

    Whether or not you agree with the Iraq war a reaction like that would be seen as a victory for the terrorists.

  • bertie

    I do not consider Galloway as part of the solution. Quite the reverse. I am however worried about the effect on “community relations”. I have no objection to increased anti-terrorist outpourings and manifestations as long as they are properly directed. I fear that anti-muslim hatred will bewhipped up and that is in no-one’s interests but the terrorists.
    IMHO considering what people in NI have been through, I think that it is amazing that people can still “get along” to the degree that they do and that we are not as polarised as much as the terrorists would wish. I worry that this may not be the case in London.

  • bertie

    I do not consider Galloway as part of the solution. Quite the reverse. I am however worried about the effect on “community relations”. I have no objection to increased anti-terrorist outpourings and manifestations as long as they are properly directed. I fear that anti-muslim hatred will bewhipped up and that is in no-one’s interests but the terrorists.
    IMHO considering what people in NI have been through, I think that it is amazing that people can still “get along” to the degree that they do and that we are not as polarised as much as the terrorists would wish. I worry that this may not be the case in London.

  • kevser

    Galloway is not part of the solution.
    As long that is, as the solution entails preserving western hegemony, unilateral agression, sanctions, unfair trade, bleeding third world countries dry through their willing leaders (who just happened to buy their arms from us) and not being willing to share any of our markets with other countries.

    Of course there are others who believe that this isn’t a solution in the first place.

    The gap between the retorik from washington and london and the reality is breathtaking.
    On the positive side, i really believe that more and more people are coming around to see through the lies and hypocracy.

    How many nations at the G8 were muslim nations?
    including the invited guests?

  • Henry94

    If the Iraq war was right before the bombs then it’s right now. If it was wrong then, it’s wrong now.

  • 6countyprod

    Islamic fascists started this war long before the 2003 Iraq campaign was launched.

    Defeatists, like Galloway and his obsequious sychophants, have nothing to offer but pessimism and cynicism.

    Galloway is just a pain the posterior. He is of no real consequence. He should take early retirement to his luxury villa in Portugal, and stop being such an obnoxious fly in the ointment.

  • Occasional Commentator

    DCB said:

    The bus that blew up came from Hackney and would probably have had some of his constituants on it.
    Show’s where his priorities lie.

    WFT are you on about? If he’d lost one of his family members then he would still be right to ask whether there are more attacks coming. Since when is claiming that an attack was predictable the same as saying that said attack was justifiable?

    I’m sure those that ran the Allied WWII effort spent many hours predicting (often successfully) what the Nazis were going to do.

    What he said is perfectly sensible, and probably it’s exactly what Tony Blair is asking his security services right this minute. Admit it, you leapt to condemn what he said because of who he is, not what he said. If he said 2+2=4 you’d denounce it as false too, wouldn’t you?

    I’d don’t have much time for Galloway either, but I can’t see what he’s done wrong this time.

    “It’s predictable and maybe preventable” is NOT the same as “It’s justifiable”

  • Occasional Commentator

    WFT should be WTF.
    On second thoughts, scrap the expletives – there’s no need for me to get angry!

  • Baluba

    Fair play to Galloway having the gumption to go in and stand amongst all those setrile politicians and tell what is glaringly obvious; when you go and kill the civilians of another country, the civilians of your own are the ones to suffer the backlash.

    Of course this isn’t the last attack.

  • stranded

    i find it highly amusing that whilst over 50 innocent murederd people are slaughtered in London

    sinn fein mount a ‘fee sean kelly’ protest on the springfield road

    one of ulsters most dangerous and psychotic serial murderers that not so long ago planted a random bomb maiming and killing innocent women and children

    shame on sinn fein, the al qaeda of the western world

  • Millie

    Galloway’s just stating the obvious. When the dust settles people will want an explanation for why this atrocity happened and maybe the issue of the Iraq war where tens of thousands of Iraqis have been killed compared to a few hundred Brit soldiers will be reappraised. Perhaps that’s all it was, payback for the deaths of Iraqi civilians.

    When all the indignation dies down people will realise their country is fighting a war many deem illegal and immoral, and therefore you’d have to be seriously naive not to expect the possibility of that same war being brought to your doorstep. You can condemn the atrocity because it targeted civilians, but you can’t really be surprised that it happened at all.

  • DCB

    OC

    It looks to me like he’s making political capital out of if it.

    I found it disgusting that he was saying it on the day it happened. I just suspect that the attack gave him a spring in his step. I’m I making that judgement on who he is rahter than what he said – yes.

    On the day of the attack I would expect a local MP to be doing all he can to help his constituants. Perhaps if he’d made the comments a few days latter after helping out, I may not have taken them so badly

  • Occasional Commentator

    DCB, in what way could he help? He probably doesn’t have any medical training. Unless he was on scene within minutes to help drag people from burning wreckage I’m sure he, just like any of us, would just be getting in the way of the experts.

    George Galloway may be an idiot, but his comments are no more ignorant than much of what has been spouted on both sides (of course, there are actually many more than 2 sides to any argument) of the argument on Slugger over the last day or so. I’m not directing that at you DCB, you admit you’re playing that man, not the ball, and I agree entirely that this particular man is very playable indeed!

  • DCB

    OC

    He doesn’t have to be on the actual bomb site, but there’s a lot a local MP can do, to reassue, to ensure that temporaty accomaditoin can be got, etc.

    A few people did make comments like that here y’day and it didn’t go down too well either.

  • Occasional Commentator

    DCB, good point. I didn’t think about the accommodation. However, he was also elected to represent his constituents, not just do good work for them. It’s possible that those who voted for him wanted him to go to the Commons to say what he said. And anyway, I’m sure there were other London MPs in the House, shouldn’t they have been out helping people?

  • 6countyprod

    millie

    tens of thousands of Iraqis have been killed compared to a few hundred Brit soldiers

    Your figures are a little suspect, but I get your point. But who is doing the most of the killing, al-qa’eda! They are slaughtering innocents in Iraq, just as they are killing them in western cities. Bin Laden and his minions started this years ago. It didn’t just start in March 2003. Al-qa’eda want to expel the infidels from every Islamic country.

  • Deorai

    Interesting how Unionists always seem to come down on the side of the imperialists – the US and its loyal ally Tony Blair – rather than those on the other side.

    On the connection between Iraq and yesterday’s London bombs, most people in Britain believe (a ratio of about 2:1) that Galloway is spot on. We all knew it was going to happen; the only question was when, though once the Election was out of the way we became a bit complacent. Yesterday was for all that, terrifying.

    After the mourning, the question will be: where we go from here? Blair is making us all a target and should resign. His replacement could then begin to put to rights the criminal wrong of the invasion of Iraq. That is probably the only way we can avoid further attacks.

  • Duncan Shipley Dalton

    Galloway is both right and wrong at the same time. The most irritating comments come from those that say they ‘just hate our way of life’ or the truly lame ‘they hate freedom’. As I understand it the issue is a virulent form of minority Islamic fanatics. This network grew out of those Islamic groups that had formed throughout the 20th century to challenge their own domestic Arab governments. These uprisings failed and during the Afghan war (1980-1988) a lot of the groups were pulled together by this catalyst and were able to build an informal network which linked up various radical groups in around 20 different countries. The Bosnia conflict as a fight between Muslims and non-Muslims helped to strengthen them and draw in new people. They have shared training, technology, funding, logistics, propaganda and ideology. This sharing has created a loose global network who are dedicated to fighting what they perceive as a holy war and for that reason they describe themselves as jihadists.

    The goals of these groups can vary but essentially they wish to overthrow the existing governments in their own nations and replace them with a fundamentalist Islamic theocratic regime. Some of the movement advocate a multinational theocratic government named a caliphate to form a Muslim counter superpower to the west. The most extreme part of the movement advocate a global caliphate and the forcing of non-Muslims to convert to Islam. They seek to expel all non-Muslim influences from Islamic countries and oppose manifestations of globalism in those countries. The west has supported the existing systems in countries such as Algeria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Indonesia and is seen as a barrier to the creation of the caliphates. The conflict in Palestine has acted as propaganda centrepiece and assists them in recruiting and fund raising. The war in Iraq has had a similar impact. The international jihadists did not support Saddam, or work with him and were happy to see him removed but the continuing occupation of Iraq, which is opposed in most of the Islamic world, has acted as a catalyst and again provides a propaganda centrepiece to recruit and fund raise. The anti-occupation forces in Iraq are a mixture of a minority maybe 10% international jihadists and around 90% home grown dissenters or insurgents. They have links to the international movement but its not clear they are integral part of it.

    The purpose of attacks against the west is for a variety of purposes:
    To influence western opinion to withdraw support from the existing Islamic governments.
    To demonstrate that the US and other nations are not omnipotent and can be humbled by aggressive jihadists activity.
    To raise money and recruits by demonstrating results.
    To influence adherents to join them in changing government in their own nations and creating a sense of momentum and that the tide of history is with them.
    They study their targets carefully and seek to conduct spectacular attacks often involving economic targets that will affect key parts of a nations economy. The purpose being to cause sufficient shock to a nations population to cause a shift in its nations political policies.

    Al Qaeda was founded in the late 1980’s by Osama Bin Laden. It was small maybe a few thousand members at most but provided a nexus for training and support functions to the other groups and to help fill gaps in existing groups capacities(e.g. Uzbekistan) or to create new groups (Philippines). It was based in Sudan first but was expelled in 1996 and moved to Afghanistan. It has acted as the primus inter pares amongst jihadists groups. After the US invasion of Afghanistan Al Qaeda leaders moved to Pakistan and have remained at large in the area. Some of its senior managers(those who were believed to be members of the Shura or consultative council) have been caught or captured, this the 2/3 of leaders thing. The top 2 Osama Bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahri the former leader of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) remain at large. Other managers are usually replaced once they become unable to fulfil their responsibilities. Their capacity to coordinate and communicate has probably been weakened. To see their place in the wider movement its useful to think of concentric circles. The inner circle is Al Qaeda maybe 400-2000 the next circle is jihadists groups of maybe 50,000-200,000 people, the third is those who identify with the ideology or cause, maybe 200-500 million, the outer circle is the wider Islamic world of 1.5 billion people. The jihadists are a very small minority of merely tenths of 1% of this group.

    To think about how to tackle this it is necessary to think about strategic responses to each different part of the circle and how these will be received in other parts of the circle. To finally get to the point this is where Galloway is both right and wrong. A comprehensive settlement in Palestine or the ending of the occupation of Iraq could be well received in the outer circles but would be unlikely to effect the actions of the inner circles of the jihadists movement itself. Their goals would remain focused on removing the west as an influence in supporting government in their own nations.

    I apologise for the long post but I hope that helps to clarify a few things and stimulate the kind of informed debate that slugger sometimes supports. The entire Islamic world is not our enemy. The Islamic faith and the Christian world are not on a course to an unavoidable global conflict or a Sam Huntington style clash of civilisations. Its not that ‘they hate freedom’ or ‘our way of life’. Mostly they hate their own often oppressive governments who were help to sustain. To take the statements of few of the most virulent minority who make anti-Zionist comments or ascribe to the world caliphate view is simplistic. It would be tantamount to using the comments of one NI protestant who says ‘Catholics are all rats’ and to conclude that all unionist wanted the destruction of the catholic way of life and that an unavoidable total catholic protestant conflict was inevitable. Its just asinine to draw such a conclusion about 1.5 billion people from a small group. It’s a more complex problem than that and deserves and demands more thought.

  • 6countyprod

    Deorai: Interesting how Unionists always seem to come down on the side of the imperialists

    So, are you saying you are coming down on the side of the terrorists?

  • Deorai

    There’s a difference between supporting terrorism (which I don’t) and opposing imperialism (which I do) The politics of condemnation is a rhetorical blanket which the ruling class use to try to blind us to their crimes – e.g. the occupation of Iraq or supporting the Zionists in their occupation of Palestinian lands.

    There are three reasons why I oppose terrorism: (1) it could have been me, family or friends on any of those tubes or the bus yesterday; (2) attacks on civillians are against international law and (3)from a cold political standpoint, attacks on civilians drains support from those who do so and allows the ruling class to whip up fear and hatred against them, not to mention the abiltiy to crank up repression agains the whole population.

  • 6countyprod

    deorai, the occupation of Iraq or supporting the Zionists in their occupation of Palestinian lands,

    or, how about,

    the liberation of Iraq from a blood-thirsty dictator and the protection of the Israel from a bunch of hostile muslims who want to see its destruction.

    I guess our worldviews are a little different.

  • fair_deal

    There should always be room for alternative analysis and that is what George Galloway and co are providing.

    In this debate it is overlooked how much the critics and pro-“war on terror” groups agree. For example, both agree that the lack of democracy in the Arab world is a contributory factor to the situation. They just have radically different views of how that is to be achieved. The admittance by the US Secretary of State that their policy to dictators for the past few decades had been wrong and a failure was one of the most significant post-war statements on US foreign policy.

    The same consensus exists on Israel and Palestine again the how is the problem. (By the way Deorai I am a Unionist and Loyalist – I thought the Iraq war was a bad idea and I am in favour of a Palestinian state (it is a partitionist soluton after all).

  • Comrade Stalin

    Duncan, I enjoyed that analysis. I still tend, though, to subscribe to the idea that Al Quaida is little more than a group of ideas. Pretty much anybody can attack a group of civilians and claim it as an AQ attack. Undoubtedly, AQ encourages this notion as when the existence of an organization is vague to the point where nobody can be sure whether it exists or not, it is hard to say that it has actually been defeated.

    I’m personally deeply suspicious of Pakistan, who are outwardly secular but who have a whole range of dodgy fanatical elements in the ISI – and AFAIK a senior Pakistan security official, Lt-Gen Mahmoud Ahmad, was dismissed (but strangely not extradited) having been caught wiring funds to the 9/11 hijackers during the period before the attacks. I wonder why the usual cacophony of right-wing bloggers and contributors here do not seem to take any interest in these matters. I wonder how the war on terrorism can be considered to be making progress when the Western governments do not seem interested in properly investigating the background of these matters.

    6countyprod, I don’t support Palestinian militancy but I can’t understand how anyone can take the Israeli line so simply. They have a rake of war crimes, UN condemnations and anti-humanitarian acts to their name that easily parallel much of the atrocities committed by Hussein, and in the course of the conflict far more Palestinians have died than Israelis suggesting outward aggression on their part. The creation of a Palestinian state should help draw a line under this but obviously there will need to be a lot more work.

  • Wichser

    Obviously Palestine’s important but let’s not forget that Saudi Arabia is higher on Bin Laden’s agenda than Palestine, folk here are awfully quiet on that front. As, not at all surprisingly, are Blair and Bush.

  • Duncan Shipley Dalton

    CS, In the interests of academic honesty I cant take credit for the analysis it’s a paraphrasing of Richard Clark, who teaches a course on Terrorism and Security at the KSG.

    Yes I tend to agree that the line between organisational network and simply ideological network is pretty blurry. At this point Osama is far more the ideological inspiration than master controller. I just don’t see him in his cave moving the chess pieces around. Although that’s not to say that AQ are not attempting to plan something. Periodic attacks of some kind would be needed to demonstrate their continuing leadership role in the ‘grand cause’. My real concern is to get past the simplistic Fox News, ATW, Mark Steyn analysis of its all evil people who just want to destroy ‘our way of life’. It’s a much more nuanced problem than that and our approach should try to differentiate between the layers of the onion rather than indulge in semi-racist platitudes.

  • Duncan Shipley Dalton

    As an example:

    http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/050708/2005070819.html

    Arab leaders denunciation of London’s explosions
    Regional-UK, Politics, 7/8/2005

    The Arab leaders deplored the series of explosions which targeted London on Thursday, stressing the rejection of the Arab states for such aggressions and voiced solidarity with Britain in its crisis.

    The Syrian President Bashar al-Assad extended a cable of “condemnation and denunciation” to the British prime minister in which he said “In my own name and the name of the Syrian people we condemn and strongly deplore these hated acts.”

    The Moroccan king stressed ” that terrorism which does not know a religion nor a homeland aims at violating human rights and the right to live.”

    The secretary general of the Arab League (AL) Amr Moussa announced “AL rejection of these acts taking place in London or in any European or Arab capital or in any place in the world.”

    The Egyptian foreign minister Ahmad Abu al-Ghait expressed in a telephone call with the British ambassador in Cairo “Egypt’s solidarity with Britain in its crisis.”

    An official source in Saudi Arabia stressed Riyadh’s position “on the importance of the international community intensification of the efforts to fight terrorism, which threatens our security, and the security of all our people and that of the world as a whole.”

    The secretary general of the Gulf Cooperation council GCC Abdul Rahman Bin Hamad al-Ateyah stressed the “rejection of the GCC to terrorism regardless to its source,” calling for ” fighting it in all its forms and pictures.”

    The Iraqi President Jalal al-Talibani considered that “terrorism is an international crisis, showing that what is taking place in Iraq might also happen in any other country.” He warned “I am saying it to our Arab brothers, should terrorism take place in Iraq today, then it will be tomorrow in other Arab countries.”

    The minister of state for foreign affairs in the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed al-Nahyan expressed UAE solidarity with the British government and its support for measures taken to withstand them.”

    The Jordanian King Abdullah II underlined the ” importance of intensifying efforts of all sides concerned to fight all form of terrorism and forces standing behind it.”

    The Libyan foreign ministry stressed cooperation with all countries in “fighting terrorism so as this epidemic which threatens world peace and security will be eliminated.”

    Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Oreikat said “we strongly condemn these aggression and offer our condolences to the British government and people, hoping quick recovery for the wounded.”

    Meantime, the deputy chairman of the political bureau of the Hamas movement Mousa Abu Marzouq considered that targeting of civilians in their transportation means “is a rejected matter and should be deplored.” One official source at the Yemeni foreign ministry considered “criminal acts once again disclosed the ugly face of terrorism which pursues a policy rejected by all divine and humanitarian principles.”

    The Arab leaders deplored the series of explosions which targeted London on Thursday, stressing the rejection of the Arab states for such aggressions and voiced solidarity with Britain in its crisis.

    The Syrian President Bashar al-Assad extended a cable of “condemnation and denunciation” to the British prime minister in which he said “In my own name and the name of the Syrian people we condemn and strongly deplore these hated acts.”

    The Moroccan king stressed ” that terrorism which does not know a religion nor a homeland aims at violating human rights and the right to live.”

    The secretary general of the Arab League (AL) Amr Moussa announced “AL rejection of these acts taking place in London or in any European or Arab capital or in any place in the world.”

    The Egyptian foreign minister Ahmad Abu al-Ghait expressed in a telephone call with the British ambassador in Cairo “Egypt’s solidarity with Britain in its crisis.”

    An official source in Saudi Arabia stressed Riyadh’s position “on the importance of the international community intensification of the efforts to fight terrorism, which threatens our security, and the security of all our people and that of the world as a whole.”

    The secretary general of the Gulf Cooperation council GCC Abdul Rahman Bin Hamad al-Ateyah stressed the “rejection of the GCC to terrorism regardless to its source,” calling for ” fighting it in all its forms and pictures.”

    The Iraqi President Jalal al-Talibani considered that “terrorism is an international crisis, showing that what is taking place in Iraq might also happen in any other country.” He warned “I am saying it to our Arab brothers, should terrorism take place in Iraq today, then it will be tomorrow in other Arab countries.”

    The minister of state for foreign affairs in the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed al-Nahyan expressed UAE solidarity with the British government and its support for measures taken to withstand them.”

    The Jordanian King Abdullah II underlined the ” importance of intensifying efforts of all sides concerned to fight all form of terrorism and forces standing behind it.”

    The Libyan foreign ministry stressed cooperation with all countries in “fighting terrorism so as this epidemic which threatens world peace and security will be eliminated.”

    Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Oreikat said “we strongly condemn these aggression and offer our condolences to the British government and people, hoping quick recovery for the wounded.”

    Meantime, the deputy chairman of the political bureau of the Hamas movement Mousa Abu Marzouq considered that targeting of civilians in their transportation means “is a rejected matter and should be deplored.” One official source at the Yemeni foreign ministry considered “criminal acts once again disclosed the ugly face of terrorism which pursues a policy rejected by all divine and humanitarian principles.”

  • TAFKABO

    DSD.

    I support the war in Iraq, and one of the reasons I do so is because I am confident that the vast majority of moslems are clear thinking rationale people.
    I have always found it bizzare that some who proclaim to be against bigotry and racism oppose the war on the grounds that moslems will be driven into a frenzy of violence, so offened by our presence shall they be.

  • elizabeth

    i wish the poeple of england wake up and whats is happening to us. the muslims only want a muslim world. even those living here dont care what happen in london they come on the t.v say we condem what happen.put deep down they were happy. so wake up england before its to late how many bombs will it take for us all to make a stand

  • Alan McDonald

    TAFKABO,

    I’m an American and I oppose the war in Iraq for none of the reasons you mention. I never believed the fraudulent reasons given for our invasion of Iraq nor the Bush administration’s motives. I do not want my country to use my tax dollars to attack countries that are no direct threat to us.

  • elizabeth

    let us make a stance against those who wish to harm our way of living .sons of england

  • Alan McDonald

    Liz,

    How do you propose to let us make a stance against those who wish to harm our way of living?

  • Comrade Stalin

    Duncan, thanks for clearing up the attributions. I agree of course on the nuances behind the problem. Without apologizing for the bombers, we are all reaping what has been sown with a half-century of meddling, abuse, and perversion of democracy in remote countries.

    TAFKBO, both the American and British governments recognize that there were serious problems with the intelligence that they received. If we were to take that at face value, then with hindsight the war would not have taken place. So how can you say you support it when it has been established that the grounds for it apparently did not exist ?

    The likelihood of success of the US/British objectives to secure stable government in Iraq is closely associated with the balance between the determination of the insurgents (who seem to be highly organized, easily outwitting the Americans) and the ability of the US and British public to handle bodybags coming home. Which do you think will flinch ? It’s a matter of who blinks first and, as with Vietnam, the point will eventually come when the people at large are no longer convinced by the lie that their presence in Iraq is anything to do with making the world safer.

    What principally annoys me about Iraq is that the Western governments had an unprecedented opportunity after 9/11 to build a sophisticated anti-terrorist framework, supported by everyone, which could have investigated and targetted international terrorism and interfered with it’s effectiveness. I’d give my full support to an intelligence (rather than military) driven organization which would have looked in to not only Iraq, but also Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Liberia, North Korea and so on. Instead, that opportunity was squandered and the US administration purposefully drove a wedge between the nations which had offered it full support in the aftermath of the attacks. Since 9/11 the frequency of terrorist attacks has increased and there have now been four major outrages since that time (Bali, the British embassy in Instanbul, Madrid and now London) and the toppling of the government in Iraq has apparently had no effect on that. North Korea are still starving and torturing their own population while waving nuclear weapons in our faces and the Chinese government engages in ongoing human rights abuses and flagrant military threats which easily outdo any of Hussein’s best efforts, completely unchecked. It appears that the governments and the usual clan of mad rightwingers have no serious interest in addressing terrorism and the fact that the links between the 9/11 attackers and Iran, Saudi Arabia and particularly Pakistan were never seriously pursued suggest that they are instead using the opportunities presented to pursue their own geopolitical interests.

    At the risk of sounding like a frenzied extremist I am starting to believe that the foundations for the long-term downfall of the United States have been laid. How long can it’s unquestionably powerful economy sustain more and more military spending and maintain it’s strength with the sense of fear that now exists among Americans, carefully cultivated by their political leadership for their own ends ? How long will foreign business representatives tolerate being treated like a criminal while arriving at their airports ?

  • 6countyprod

    Comrade

    I’m personally deeply suspicious of Pakistan… I share your concern about Pakistan. Their involvement with the west is very tenuous. Musharef (sp) could be bumped off any day, and dear knows who would come to power. It`s an extremely strict Islamic society and they routinely eliminate or neutralise Christian and Hindu influences. Bush, as all US presidents have done, is taking advantage of the current political leadership, but it could backfire at any time, and the F16`s could end up being used against western interests. You would think they would learn by their mistakes… Saddam, bin Laden. The other day the Iranian spiritual leader called bin Laden the illegitimate child of the US. He got 2 birds with one stone there.

    I can’t understand how anyone can take the Israeli line so simply. I have read a number of books on the recent history (50+years) of Israel, and it has struck me how determined the Arab nations have been, from its inception in the late 40`s, to destroy Israel. Of course, they have never been able to get their act together, because they don`t trust each other. I basically believe that Israel has a right to exist in peace. The Arab nations have used the Palestinians for their own ends. Arabs look on Palestinians as many people in western Europe look on gypsies/travelling people, i.e. they have little or no respect for them. Using terror as a weapon, Arafat was a disaster for the Palestinians. Now that he is gone, hopefully there may be a chance for things to stabilise there. It`s interesting that a hardliner like Sharon is having to deal with his own extremists to force through some sort of solution. For the sake of everyone, Israelis and Palestinians, I hope the current efforts work. We`ll see. Israel is one of the very few, maybe the only functioning democracy in the middle east. If Iraq had a chance, it could become the second. Lebanon is shaping up a little as well. The US is putting pressure on Egypt to be more open to democracy, although it will take a while there. But, even if democracy is established in Arab countries, it will not change their attitude to Israel. They will still seek its destruction.

  • 6countyprod
  • Wichser

    6countyprod

    Christopher Hitchens has said much the same, arguing that what in effect we are witnessing is a civil war within Islam.

  • 6countyprod

    Comrade,

    I am starting to believe that the foundations for the long-term downfall of the United States have been laid… Wishful thinking of the highest order!

    America is looking for new allies. Old Europe has proved to be unreliable. Australia and the UK are the US’s most consistent friends. They will remain that way. The US’s next major ally will be
    “>India, along with a host of other countries coming out of oppression. I think the future is bright for the US. Europe on the other hand is a completely different story.

  • 6countyprod

    wichser, thanks for the mention of Christopher Hitchens. I’d never noticed him before. Sounds like an interesting character. It’s not very often a left-winger wakens up, and sees the errors of his ways! Just joking, …it happens all the time. There might even be some hope for Comrade S.

  • 6countyprod

    CS, sorry about the lost link:
    “>India

  • 6countyprod

    CS, it worked fine in preview.

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/GG07Df02.html

    Thanks for all your comments. I really enjoy them.

  • Alan McDonald

    Fair Deal,

    Yesterday (at July 9, 2005 12:34 PM) you said:

    The admittance by the US Secretary of State that their policy to dictators for the past few decades had been wrong and a failure was one of the most significant post-war statements on US foreign policy.

    Do you have a reference for this statement? I have been able to find others making the same comment, but I can’t find the actual quote from Condoleezza Rice.

  • TAFKABO

    “TAFKBO, both the American and British governments recognize that there were serious problems with the intelligence that they received. If we were to take that at face value, then with hindsight the war would not have taken place. So how can you say you support it when it has been established that the grounds for it apparently did not exist ?”

    Your analysis is also flawed.

    True, the intelligence information regarding Saddams situation viz a viz WMD was innacurate, but it was perfectly correct that the powers that be act upon the information they had.
    Saddam made it clear that he intended to procure and develop WMD when he had the opportunity, his track record showed that he would also be willing to use them.
    I think it was still better to remove him, than wait until it became too risky to do so.

    The war was justified becase he was in breach of UN resolutions which threatened extreme measures in the face of non compliance.

  • Wichser

    TAFKABO

    “the intelligence information regarding Saddams situation viz a viz WMD was innacurate, but it was perfectly correct that the powers that be act upon the information they had”

    But that’s the point, it wasn’t that they were mistaken about the intel, it was that they knew perfectly well that WMD was a lie and went to war on that pretext saying ‘trust us’.

  • buzz

    “in breach of UN resolutions”

    I can think of several countries which are constantly in breach of UN resolutions, but don’t get invaded.

  • TAFKABO

    “But that’s the point, it wasn’t that they were mistaken about the intel, it was that they knew perfectly well that WMD was a lie and went to war on that pretext saying ‘trust us’.”

    I have yet to see evidence of this.
    Most intelligences services, including Russia and France were off the opinion that he had WMD capabilities.
    It’s true that the UK tried to sell the war to people on the back of the “dodgy dossier”, but that was a tactical mistake in public relations, not in deciding to go to war.

  • TAFKABO

    Buzz.

    I can also think of several countries in breach of UN resolutions, but you will note that I specifically said “UN resolutions which threaten extreme measures in the case of non-compliance”

    Do you know any others which fall into this category?

  • Intelligence Insider

    Hussein was in possession of WMD, he was using them against his own people for Christ’s sake! I’d really love to know if those who call for troops to be removed from Iraq would like to see Saddam re-installed! Before his disposal he moved his arsenal over the Syrian border, the world and it’s mother knows that, but unfortunately we will always have those that support terrorists crying when democracy takes over.

  • Wichser

    Intel Insider

    The world and his mother ? Why wasn’t Syria attacked by the West then ? If the materials were in Sysria then why did the West attack Iraq at all and not other equally dangerous states based on a lie ?

    I am glad Hussein is gone and have never supported terrorism incidentally.

  • TAFKABO

    Maybe posessing is one thing.Proving that you are willing to use them is another.

    Saddam has form, and in the post 9/11 world this is no longer something to be tolerated.

  • Intelligence Insider

    It was after the invasion of Iraq that armaments were moved across to Syria. If that country carries on supporting terrorism then we should also go to war against it.Of course it will result in the death and injury of innocents but if the end result is an end to despotism then it will be a fair price.

  • Biffo

    “Of course it will result in the death and injury of innocents but if the end result is an end to despotism then it will be a fair price.”

    Absolutely! I believe we should be killing more innocent people on the off chance that we might be bring an end to despotism.

  • Wichser

    Int Ins

    “a fair price” for who ? What you are advocating is precisely what happened in London the other day and what happened on 9/11. Define your moral and political parameters if yo are advocating mass civilian deaths please.