July 7, 2005 at 22:45 #4001
10 years ago, when people thought of the UK being attacked by terrorists, we thought of the IRA, we never thought about Muslims.
What’s changed this?
Has the UK foreign policy towards the Arab world changed and has this change caused us to be in the situation that we now find ourselves in?
If so, how has it changed and have these changes been in pursuit of objectives which reflect our national sense of morality and fairness towards the people’s of the world?
Or have we remained constant in our objectives and actions and simply found ourselves part of this because Bin Laden and his network had enlarged their target?
Has our closeness with the US sucked us into the war between Israel (and the US) and Palestine (and its supporters) or is that an unrelated topic altogether?
Also, I just heard George Galloway say on TV "people out there know we don’t care about their suffering, we only care about our suffering, so they want to hurt us". Is this true?
Finally, the New labour guy on the TV show with Galloway finished by saying "there’s no link whatsoever with our position on Iraq".
Do people agree that this attack is unrelated to Iraq?
SteveJuly 8, 2005 at 07:09 #92464PrufrockParticipant
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Do people agree that this attack is unrelated to Iraq?
Assuming that these definitely were the actions of Islamic extremists, the answer is: "not in a million years".
I think that the government has responded well on the whole in the immediate aftermath of this atrocity, but they really have to learn that we’re not all as stupid as they seem to think.
Whatever your view on the invasion of Iraq (and I was very much against it at the time and in the manner it came about), you have to admit that there is some sort of causal link between it and what happened in London. It is insulting to suggest otherwise.July 8, 2005 at 07:31 #92465
Yesterdays bombings in London are IMO the actions of total cowards, if they disagree with our actions let whichever country they belong to, declare war on us. But there is the rub, no country will align themselves with them. Some counties are sympathetic to their cause-get rid of the infidel, but the trouble is their aims are to get rid of all of us.
It is easy to move into IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ll protect me and mine mode, however these people do not think that pulling out of Iraq or any such thing will do. Their stated aim is for an Islamic world. I.e. they want to thrust their views down your throat. Look at Afghanistan and the way it treated women and education. So all that happens is you put off the inevitable, there comes a point where the nasty thing has to be dealt with.
Their religion and beliefs remain in the dark ages, they will not consider as many countries have that their religion whilst a laudable thing in some ways, comes second too sensible ideas that make life better.
These misguided suicide bombers are expecting to go to Valhalla, yet any thinking man knows there is no afterlife. There in lies the rub they prey on ignorant people who know no better. I wonder for instance how many of the Al-Queida leaders will not die of old age, or being caught with their pants down.?
If it had not been the Bush and Blair axis it would have been someone else IMO as the underlying war their enemy are waging is religious not political. There are no stated aims like the IRA or the animal rights people just a desire for the furthering of their religion.
Spain capitulated after the Madrid bombings and has IMO fuelled them.
Some (or all) of us may not like Blair and Bush and may disagree with they way they have been elected, and may disagree with some if not all of their policies but IMO opinion they are fundamentally right in being totally against a group that bombs to get its message across, not raises the sensible debate. A group that would rob generations of education, womenÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s rights and the freedom of speech.
The Moslem people and nations in general are not evil ( I have many CLOSE friends who are Muslim), many of them have a real quandary, because their religious beliefs say they must support these people, yet they live in and understand our society and feel betrayed.
This one I am afraid will not go away, and there will be many advances and set backs in the long run innocent people will lose their lives, no one except these people in their right minds feel that is necessary.
They are fighting a similar thing to the crusades, they do not want to invade and run the UK but want the UK and all the world to follow a religion.
Finally I personally have zero tolerance for those that use violence in any way as their argument, or to further their personal/family/religious aims, yes there are many things to fight, but until this battle is ended we will have to accept the inevitable.
The only solution IMO is education worldwide and allowing all people to achieve their possibilities, this will take generations if not hundreds of years to achieve. Me, my children and possibly my grandchildren may not be the people who profit, but I will not sit idly by and go into self protectionist mode, my great grand parents did not nor my grandparents not my parents and I will repay the debt I owe them to my children.<br>July 8, 2005 at 07:54 #92468
I pretty much agree with what you say.
I think the US government is pursuing a goal of unassailable US political, military, cultural and economic domination.
And I believe that the consequences that will have for the other peoples of the world is regarded as a mere side-effect.
So, if freedom for Americans is most easily and conveniently achieved by the oppression of Saudi Arabians, then so be it.
However, the people who are suffering as a result of this US project, feel their lives should mean as much as the lives of Americans.
And, as a result, they harbour grievances against the US and its allies. Some of these grievances are legitimate and some are not.
However, I believe that, for us to progress from the situation we’re now in, we need to start listening to these grievances with a fair mind so we can start<br>treating others as we wish to be treated and redefine where our rights end and those of the Arab world begin.
And I believe that the UK has to do this even if it means breaking with the US.
Again, I agree.
Would the same person say there was no link between Iraq and the Madrid bombings?
We don’t know for sure who was responsible for the bombings or their motives, but this bozo could claim that it had nothing to do with Iraq?
Of course, if he admitted that Iraq was probably a factor, his boss (Blair) might get asked how this represents the "the world is a safer place" claim that he’s been making for the last year or so.
SteveJuly 8, 2005 at 10:39 #92471tootingMember
- Total Posts 379
We’ve all been expecting it since we went to war, so of course we all know there’s a link. Once the ‘formalities’ have died away I imagine the press will start raising currently taboo issues – Blair’s crusade will be under scrutiny again, as will what seems to have been a failure of the security forces on what was plainly a key date.
Given the rush-hour surge into the capital, I’d imagine the majority of Londoners and further afield will have known someone close to the explosions. My wife’s twin sister was all of 100 yards from the bus explosion, and she lives in Luton!
Strangely, my overall feeling is that we were lucky.
I was very moved by Ken Livingstone’s speech, which I received by e-mail originally, and have copied below:
"I want to say one thing specifically to the world today. This was not a terrorist attack against the mighty and the powerful. It was not aimed at Presidents or Prime Ministers. It was aimed at ordinary, working-class Londoners, black and white, Muslim and Christian, Hindu and Jew, young and old ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ indiscriminate attempt to slaughter, irrespective of any considerations for age, for class, for religion whatever. That isnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t an ideology, it isnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t even a perverted faith ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ it is justÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¦ indiscriminate attempt at mass murder and we know what the objective is. They seek to divide Londoners. They seek to turn Londoners against each other. I said yesterday to the IOC ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ this city of London is the greatest in the world because everybody lives side by side in harmony and Londoners will not be divided by this cowardly attack. They will stand together in solidarity around those who have been injured, those who have been bereaved and that is why IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢m proud to be the mayor of that city.
Finally, I wish to speak through you directly to those who came to London today to take life. I know that you personally do not fear to give your own life in exchange for taking others ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ is why you are so dangerous ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ but I know you do fear that you may fail in your long-term objective to destroy our free society and I can show you why you will fail. In the days that follow look at our airports, look at our sea ports and look at our railway stations and, even after your cowardly attack, you will see that people from the rest of Britain, people from around the world will arrive in London to become Londoners and to fulfil their dreams and achieve their potential. They choose to come to London as so many have come before because they come to be free, they come to live the life they choose, they come to be able to be themselves. They flee you because you tell them how they should live. They donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t want that and nothing you do, however many of us you kill, will stop that flight to our cities where freedom is strong and where people can live in harmony with one another. Whatever you do, however many you kill, you will fail."July 8, 2005 at 11:59 #92472davidbradyMember
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Have to agree that I was very impressed with Ken Livingstone’s speech. I saw it live as it was during lunchtime yesterday.July 8, 2005 at 14:40 #92474non vintageMember
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Basically, we have a whole thread of sense of here.
As I see it, the ‘war on terrorism’ was and remains a knee-jerk reaction to a particularly hideous terrorist attack.
The purpose of any offensive strategic operation (‘war’) must be clearly defined at the outset and a goal set by which victory can be achieved.
At the moment, as for many years, those responsible for organised terrorist attacks are tiny extremist factions representing a very small minority of larger, legitimate groups with specific political or religious beliefs.
All the ‘war on terrorism’ will ever achieve is to create greater levels of anger and ensure that these extremists both continue to feel that they are justified in their actions and are able to recruit new members.
What is the point? Where does it end? How can it possibly be won? Obviously, we should be trying to make it as difficult as we can for terrorists to fund and commit atrocities, but beyond that, ‘political’ rhetoric is the only possible way forward.July 8, 2005 at 15:26 #92476
Good points again.
The Iraqis who have chosen to carry on the fight against invasion in the only way that could have given them a hope in hell of surviving are branded terrorists.
Similarly the Palestinians who are fighting against Isreal.
However, what else are they to do?
Should they go to the UN security council to further their cause? How many times have the Palestinians gone that way only to be vetoed by the UK and the US?
The Iraqis were cooperating with the UN and still got invaded.
It would be great to have a world body who were impartial and had the clout to truly arbitrate in these instances, but such a body doesn’t exist. Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â
So these people have a choice between compliance with the wishes of the US and its allies, slaughter or what we brand "terrorism".
The purpose of any offensive strategic operation (‘war’) must be clearly defined at the outset and a goal set by which victory can be achieved.
This is a fundamental truth that the military (and Colin Powell) must surely have stated BEFORE the US took action in response to 9/11.
I’m not normally one of the conspiracy theorists, but I wonder if the lack of a clear goal was a deliberate decision.
By not having a clear goal or purpose, the US started a campaign that could then by mutated into attacks against other strategic target with 9/11 as a justification. Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â
As for Ken Livingstone, I dislike him immensely but I respect the fact his speech seemed sincere unlike Tony Blair’s amateur dramatics where true… emotion … is …. feigned by…. the use of ….. inexplicably timed ….. pauses.
(Edited by stevedvg at 5:26 pm on July 8, 2005)July 8, 2005 at 15:33 #92478
But there is the rub, no country will align themselves with them.
I’m surprised the Saudi people don’t elect a government that’s pro-bin Laden.
Wait a minute, they don’t have elections…
SteveJuly 9, 2005 at 08:24 #92483
There have been a series of bombings, not 9/11 and the recent London bombings, instanbul, philipines so the arguement is not just with bush blair and western economies.
The best way I can draw a comparison is:- these terrorists to the muslim faith:are the National front to the conservative party.
The IRA were not a tangible enemy, yet they were there and still are. How did the population in NI see them? IF AL-Quieda are against the saudi situation, then why are there attacks always against western things there never against their own leaders. Simply because these terrorists are against "the great satan" as they call the usa.
The group now know as Al-Queida were the Islamic army for the liberation of holy places, the world islamic front for Jihad against jews and crusaders,the islamic salvation foundation and many many more all bin laden brought to them was funds. No there is not a decicated command structure, but they do exist tangibly as a group. Moreover when fighting with the Mujadin in afganistan against the soviets (the godless enemy), they were especially known for their ruthlessness in killing prisoners etc. things totally against civilised war actions (if ever such a thing can exist).
The nationality thing:- the whole point is that they are muslim first and their country of birth second. Bit like a teuchter being a "wee-free" first then scottish.:biggrin:
As I said in my earlier thread, I know many muslims and what many people do not realise, being a muslim does not mean like a christain you go to church on a sunday then to the pub for a roast dinner, it is an holistic faith. Two of them are very close friends ( I get invited to family celebrations), both of them are UK born universlty educated devout Muslims. Talk and debate is greatly enjoyed in their house. One debate was about this very issue, when pushed on the question "if it came down to it and you had to support your country or your faith" the emphatic reply was "faith". On the point of Al-Quieda, whilst condeming the deaths neither would condem Al-Quieda, excusing them as mis-guided.
Within the Quoran there are many references to the infidel the general translation of which is any non-muslim. here is the nub in general the quoran mainly tells muslims to get on with each other and the world but in places it definately says death to the infidel it is one theses actions that the fatwa’s and Jihads come from.
So its not their call for global islamic domination it is the creed that drives them.
They are true Muslims a bit like the range of christianity from the baptists who will set up an alter on the living room table and celebrate quietly amongst themselves to the full blown catholic or russian orthodox that uses gold, and expensive buildings on to the "mad american" churches. Most of the non-ira terroism in recent times has come from within muslim groups or countries, who see people as an army of the christain faith.
I agree with you on the saudi-taliban comparison and that was my point and if you think for a moment that removing the present Saudi government would change it for the better, I suggest you think again.
I would suggest that the modern idiom is equality for women, children of religions being educated together and an acceptance or at least a tolerance of other peoples views or religions. In the main the muslim faith embraces non of these and therefore I reiterate "remains in the dark ages".
You and many others here have become obsessed with Bush Blair Iraq IMO in fact my feeling is that if Blair set fire to himself tommorrow you would find fault with that.:biggrin:.
I will also point out that Blair and Bush are both deeply religeous men and may also have a "religeous viewpoint" on their decisions. For which I have no support either!! But they are here, in charge and not choosing but HAVING to make decisions, their parties throw "yes" men as advisors and supporters and create a kind of "cocoon" that often is outside reality, they are not able to argue "down the pub" and get outside views in. I personally dislike Bush and much of what he does and stands for, I am also not a great liker of blair, but the rest of the Europeans proved from the two world wars will sit on their thumbs, then expect to be got out of trouble afterwards. their choice to appease and talk has been proven not to work. We stood up to the IRA, they have not achieved their aims by the bullet and are now pursueing the political stance which is working, why can not these people do that?
IMO if blair and bush are guilty of anything it is the protectionism of trade, because over the centuries IMO it has been trade not wars that have changed the world and the way it operates, simply because views not only goods are exchanged. China now is a perfect example.
I’m sorry grasshopper you seem fixed with the Iraq war as a focal point for all that is bad in our country and the world. again I refer to my friends (one is a shiite and the other a sunni) both of whom FULLY supported the war. One of them is an iraqie desendant and still has close family there.
try reading Al-Qaeda: Osama Bin Laden’s Army of Terrorists <br> <br>by Phillip Margulies and the quoran
Finally grasshopper, thanks for the concern of my input, having travelled the world and being the type to go off the beaten track (whilst driving along the berlin corridor b4 the soviet block opened up, I was the one who had to go off the corridor to see what would happen) and ask "awkward questions", having also been politically involved ( I have arranged three demo’s) in the past. i also read the times guardian independant and the sun regularly, and watch the news on sky bbc itn cnn and abc i also speak four lanuages and regularly listen to foreign news in their own language. may I offer you some advice………:biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin:.
IMO these faiths (not only muslim) cause more deaths, ignorance and poverty in the world than anything else and ALL are an anathema to a civilised modern caring Society. In the majority of the faiths the balance is towards sharing and tolerance, the muslim faith is not!! Until this is changed there will always be an AL-Queida or some similar group around.
…… a thought will we be able to have this dicussion with the impending incitment of religion laws?….<br>July 9, 2005 at 10:59 #92486
We stood up to the IRA, they have not achieved their aims by the bullet and are now pursueing the political stance which is working
Is the reason the IRA took the political road a result of us "standing up to them" militarily or a result of our willingness to accept that we may have not been 100% fair towards the catholics in N Ireland and start a political dialogue towards a fairer N Ireland?
why can not these people do that?
What political or legal vehicles are available to the Saudis who wish to remove US troops from their own country?
Similarly, how much effort did the Palestinians spend trying to get the enforcement of UN resolutions which support their entitlement to self-government and control of certain territories?
How effective was that?
What do you recommend they should have done?
SteveJuly 9, 2005 at 11:37 #92488
No they do not. They exist as entirely autonomous units, are totally self-reliant, with each picking it’s own targets. They may have a common enemy, and they may have common tactics, but this does not mean they are a ‘group’.
<br>Not provable either way on reflection, but imo they do communicate, have common aims and therefore, argueably are a group.
There have been several terrorist attacks in Saudi Arabia in recent years. Granted, many are directed at Western targets, but this is to create instability in the Saudi Government, which militants hope to overthrow. <br><br>Easiest way is get rid of government?, other people might even support it. Seems silly to attack potential allies/customers, who want the oil.
No they do not. They exist as entirely autonomous units, are totally self-reliant, with each picking it’s own targets. They may have a common enemy, and they may have common tactics, but this does not mean they are a ‘group’. <br>see first para reply.
This doesn’t shock me at all. You would probably get the exact same response from every Jew and Christian on the planet as well.
Kind of agree and disagree kinda……
Will not even mention I###:biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin: except to say its a symtom but not the cause.July 9, 2005 at 12:21 #92489Andrew HughesMember
- Total Posts 1904
Interesting ideas, thoughtfully and respectfully expressed – the sort of exchange of views that IMO places this forum above others.
I can’t add a lot to what Grasshopper, Stevedvg and Ian Davies have put forward.
imo they do communicate, have common aims and therefore, argueably are a group.
I think arguably is the key word here. It could be said that most members of this forum communicate and have common aims but I don’ t think we qualify as a group.
A common world view that these groups do share is that the West and specifically the US is propping up regimes that are corrupt and repressive. In which case, an attack on a Western target in Saudi is synonymous with an an attack on the Saudi government.
In the late 60s, Irish Catholics felt they were under attack from the Loyalists who ran Northern Ireland, supported by the British government. They had no way of addressing their legitimate grievances (they tried marching and protesting) and so turned a blind eye to or actively supported the IRA. It isn’t right and it doesn’t solve anything, but its hardly surprising that, in desperate straits, ordinary people become radicals and are prepared to countenance acts which appear barbaric. The community support is where the IRA derived their strength. Without that support, they are nothing.
To a citizen of Egypt, Saudi or Algeria, living under corrupt, brutal and violent regimes, supported by America, or to a Palestinian who’s home has just been rocketed by an American missile fired from an American helicopter flown by an Israeli, what option is there? As has already been pointed out, the UN route achieves nothing and these corrupt and brutal regimes are still in place.
IMO, that has been Bush and Blair’s greatest error. Instead of reaching out to the mainstream of Arab opinion after 9/11, putting pressure on Israel, Saudi, Algeria and Egypt, whilst simultaneously hunting down Bin Laden, they talked wildly about ‘a war on terror’ (wars on abstract nouns are notoriously difficult to win) and invaded Iraq. Moderate Arab opinion has been silenced and every day Al Jazeera shows evidence of Western violence against Arab peoples.
Al Qaeeda and associated groups would be nothing without Iraq. Iraq has enabled them to justify their world view to ordinary Arabs.
Ask yourself this. What would Osama Bin Laden most want after 9/11? A rapprochement between the US and the peoples of the middle east? Or a war?<br>July 9, 2005 at 13:24 #92491guskennedyMember
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This is a very interesting and well-argued thread.
It is very difficult to draw a direct link between Thursday’s attacks and the West’s activities in Iraq because terrorism of this type by these people took place on a regular basis before Iraq was invaded. The 1993 and 2001 attacks on the World Trade Centre, the attacks on the American embassies and on the USS Cole are cases in point.
However, there is no doubt in my mind that the utterly disgraceful actions of Bush and Blair in recent years have hugely increased the likelihood of such attacks taking place in future with increased frequency and ferocity. Further, they are much less likely to be detectable in advance. The IRA example is a good one. Despite ritual protestations to the contrary, the IRA were able to function as they did for as long as they did because they had the tacit support of substantial sections of the Irish people. Only in recent years as people have become sickened by and tired of the violence have the IRA bowed to the inevitable and come to the table for talks. Applying this example to the current crisis it is crystal clear that the injustices perpetrated by the West in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East have hugely increased anti-Western feeling and with it the tacit support that exists for this kind of terrorist action. A huge fall in the amount of information made available to the West’s intelligence agencies is inevitable and in those circumstances it is hard indeed to blame the intelligence services for their "failures".
Bush and Blair have stirred up a hornets’ nest and the consequences will be felt by ordinary people all over the world for many years to come. It won’t affect Bush and Blair personally of course, coining it in behind their security curtains – my spread on the number of days between Blair retiring as PM and becoming a director of the Carlyle Group is 15/17 – but I do hope that they will one day be forced to admit they got it wrong.
A huge problem it seems to me for us in the West is that neither Bush nor Blair has been held to account for what they have done in our name in recent years. Indeed, they have both won elections. Nobody has managed to lay a glove on either of them and this lack of accountability is simply astounding in my eyes.
I echo what has been said on here about Blair’s halting speech on Thursday. It was embarrassing. I’m afraid I can’t watch him now without cynicism. I don’t regard anything he says nowadays as genuine and I regard everything he says as calculated and manipulative, weighed in advance for its likely effect. The fact that he is still PM brings shame on our country.
(Edited by guskennedy at 2:25 pm on July 9, 2005)July 9, 2005 at 19:35 #92493
Then quite simply gus kennedy petition your MP to no confidence blair. a) there ain’t enough support and b) you do not know how to!<br>Ah millions say he has the right and so he does. Will he stand at the next elelection and espouse the things he has said?
The modern idiom of tihs medium is easy for those who oppose the elected government to critisise.
I look forward to the names G Kennedy and Arandale ( yeah right easy to say condeming things when you do not have to prove it).standing at the next election. gus kennedy especially with your odds making.
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