Others have linked it; so will I. The Weekly Standard's newshound Stephen Hayes has a simply devastating extended article about the Saddam Al Qaeda connection that we know didn't exist. Especially devastating is the fact that it was so in your face- including Jihadi conferences in Bagdhad that appeared on Iraq state television. All that was needed was to widen the eyes far enough. I read it over an extended dinner and couple of beers in the sunshine- it really needs digesting.
Thursday, July 14, 2005
Posted by ed thomas at 6:05 PM
Vengance is mine, saith the BBC. At least, that's the implication. As the BBC say they are pursuing some kind of policy vis a vis the 'terror' word, they let slip the absurdly judgemental word 'vengeance' to describe Ariel Sharon's actions in Israel- as Melanie Phillips reports.
Interestingly, they say that they had had'complaints from audience members who argued that since the BBC does not use the word to describe many other acts of violence around the world - such as the Middle East, Spain and Northern Ireland - why had it used it in this instance?'
I wonder how many were really complaining that the BBC failed to call terror terror when they should have, rather than that they were using the term at all? It would be a cunning use of complaints if so, but I've no doubt it's possible- at the BBC. The 'terrorism' double standard's one that shames this Briton, for one. Stephen Pollard has some more.
Posted by ed thomas at 5:54 PM
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
Questions arise following analysis of these profiles of the London bombers. First thing to note is that although one of them was 19 years old (everybody has heard that I suppose, who has read about them at all), another was 30. What could have bound together man with boy in the same endeavour? Second, although three came from W. Yorkshire (Leeds, Dewsbury), one came from Luton. How could they have met? Who introduced them? How did they communicate? Just a few questions I know the authorities will be asking. Then there are the explosives, and the ideas behind the attacks. Who made them, how were the ideas evolved? I do indeed suspect a level of organisation here that must involve an organisation we know as Al-Qaeda.
meanwhile the BBC report this: that one of the men 'went to Pakistan for two months earlier this year to study religion.'
Posted by ed thomas at 12:31 PM
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
'either way, you still get bombed.' David Araanovitch is brilliant in the Times today. I'd regard it as the definitive put down to those who think it's clear as daylight that our presence in Iraq is the reason why the bombs came, and came to London. People of quite blinding, bullying stupidity, like Phillip Adams, for example.
Meanwhile, after being reassured the London bombings were not the work of suicide bombers, we are finding out that they were the work of suicide bombers, from West Yorkshire in fact. I am sure that Andrew McCann of A Tangled Web will have something to say about that. Bradford- a city in West Yorkshire- is, I believe, where he lives. It's not like there weren't warning signals. In fact, he does.
From the Bradford report- concerning riots a couple of years back-, an interesting line from the local Islamic community. Sort of a 'how long can we get away with this' schoolboy tactic-
'It is total nonsense to even suggest that Islam had anything to do with what happened.'
No, if you are a carefully managed community like the Islamic community, then your youth belong to you, and your people's actions are your product. It's time for accountability, here, there, and everywhere.
Posted by ed thomas at 5:39 PM
Monday, July 11, 2005
Not good enough, Mr Blair.
It was far too pat, far too uncontroversial. Mr Blair says we're going after them as far as is 'humanely possible'. He means to reassure those who think we deserved it that they can hold such attitudes without fear- that helping terrorists will not have consequences, thus repudiating a central plank of the Bush doctrine (which the FO types can only smirk at even now).
So, having made numerous errors concerning immigration and multiculturalism, having mired Bush's campaign against Saddam by his own need to run to the UN for backing, having failed ever to make an honest case but instead relied on spin, Mr Blair now says that he's learnt no lesson at all from the failure of soft-pedalling the WoT, and intends to go softer.
It's sad because in the cocktail of socialistic nonsense in Mr Blair's brain there's a fairly good strand of understanding. The dishonesty of being a pseudo-conservative (or if you are of the Left a 'revisionist socialist') though has made it terribly misshapen.
If Mr Blair needs a shove it can come from John Simpson, who repudiates the WoT (partly by never mentioning it- or Al Qaeda.):
'When the big IRA bombing campaign first hit London in the 1970s, a famous columnist of the time, Bernard Levin, advised his readers to respond to the bombs as a refined hostess might respond to a dinner-guest who belched loudly at the table: just ignore it, he said.'
At the time it seemed to me effete and mannered. Now I see it was exactly the right advice.'
Simpson believes that grown-ups don't fight wars on terror. It's a tragically shallow argument. Ignore them and they will go away. The world is large and they are few. Chase them quietly. He still believes that Bush's nightmare is more powerful than the terrorists bombs.
The reality is that we're in the midst of some pretty powerful geopolitical shit here and we should realise it. Otherwise Simpson's siren song (deliberately construed in this fashion to shock his opponents and raise a smile of wonderment on the faces of the unalligned) may seem a strand of opinion among many, but so confident as to command trust.
For reality checks I could start in a number of places but I think the EUReferendum blog's the best- for pointing out the way that Blair has sold us into a Euro-centred perspective. The strategy of appearing to be America's best friend has served many purposes, but the overwhelming geopolitical one has been to enable Britain to tie itself very closely to the emerging EU joint military plans.
What this means in effect is that Britain couldn't chase the terrorists actively, even if we wanted to. It's not part of the deal, as independent action isn't envisaged, nor allowed for. Constitution or no, it's independent power or compatibility with other forces that counts. We only have it, going forward, with the Euros.
From that reality check to another- Mark Steyn on assimilation:
'Few European leaders have a clue what to do about this,but,as that French headscarf law and Britain’s Incitement to Racial Hatred bill and Dutch responses to the murder of Theo van Gogh all underline, mediation between what Tony Blair called on Thursday “our way of life” and Muslim values has already become a central dynamic of European political culture — a remarkable achievement for a minority few Europeans were more than vaguely conscious of pre-9/11.'
The fact is that Muslims from the so-called 'third world' we always used to talk about as a very distant place have evolved a kind of momentum and strategy to regain what they lost through the success of Western history. No masterplan, just momentum into which Al Quaeda breathes life and from which it is invigorated. Nothing but a sense of timing and a knowledge that the West is geared defensively and sees George W. Bush as a spanner in the works.
Posted by ed thomas at 3:43 PM
Sunday, July 10, 2005
Been Away. Needless to say, am very, very angry over the London bombings, and basically want revenge. No, we didn't in any sense 'deserve it'; no, we haven't cashed our WoT chips already in Iraq, and the only way to make some good out of grief that has crystallised for us now is to ram home the war on terror. It's not what I'm hearing out there so far, but each person so determined could make a valuable contribution. Some good info on this site- and a rebuff to Robert Fisk (via GR), while Marc at USSN has some stinging words for the utterly predictable Paul Reynolds of the BBC. It's vital to pour as much vitriol as possible on those who suggest that bombings on the Underground are 'our fault', our decision. This is totally against reality, totally head in the sand stupid, and totally counterproductive. Anyone amongst the British people who says it has a dangerous pathology of self-hatred that manifests itself in the hatred of their own people.
Posted by ed thomas at 5:03 PM