No dead Lebanese children on TV today 7


George Bush is just following John Reid in ensuring any trials following today’s arrests are irretrievably prejudiced.

It is a fact that only the closest Blair circle bothers to deny, that if young British Muslims are turning to terrorism, it is the Blair-Bush foreign policy of war on Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine that has driven them to it. The majority of British people share their outrage at our foreign policy. That is not to condone the response of irrational violence. Terrorism is plain wrong. But it is Blair who has, through his evangelical embrace of the neo-con foreign agenda, massively increased any current threat of terrorism to the UK.

But let us do what none of the 24 hour news channels are doing; draw breath and count up to ten. What has actually happened so far?

There have been, reportedly, 21 people arrested. There have been no terrorist attacks, no explosions. US sources are reported as saying that explosive devices have been found, but no news from the Police as yet.

I am reminded of the Forest Gate arrests and the notorious “Chemical weapon vest” which was threatening London and required 270 policemen and a four mile air exclusion zone to deal with. The media was shoving that out just as uncritically as it is shoving out this air attack, even though it made no sense. Anyone who knows anything about weapons knows that for a chemical weapon you want maximum dispersal – the last thing you are going to do is wrap it in fabric around a human body. And why the air exclusion zone? Were they going to throw the vest at a passing jet? The media never did ask any of those questions.

Similarly, I recall the famous ricin plot, where again police and the professional pundits said millions could have been killed. In the event, of course, it turned out there was no ricin and no plot.

And I remember Jean Charles De Menezes, the “suicide bomber”, with his “bulky jacket”, with “wires sticking out”, who “leapt” the ticket barriers and “raced” onto the tube. All lies.

So I am waiting with a little healthy scepticism to see the truth of this “al-Qaida plot” bringing “Mass murder on an unprecedented scale”.

Of course, it helps New Labour look Churchillian, and explains why Israel had to be supported in the ethnic cleansing of South Lebanon, part of the “Arc of extremism”. it is interesting that the timing of these arrests exactly today, after “months” of surveillance, was determined by the Prime Minister – the CO in COBRA, the operational command, stands for Cabinet Office.

The political timing could not have been more convenient – a junior minister had resigned over arms to Israel, and the backbench rebellion demanding a recall of parliament over Lebanon will now be containable in the name of standing together in the War on Terror. And the news agenda has been seismically shifted. The public mood is instantly tilted from sympathy for the people of Lebanon, leading to questioning of the War on Terror, to renewed fear that “Islamic fascists” are planning to kill us all.

So to recap: Blair’s crazed foreign policy has made us a genuine potential target for terrorist attack. The government manipulates and spins that threat to political advantage.

We wait for the court system to show whether this was a real attempted attack and, if so, it was genuinely operational rather than political to move against it today. But the police’ and security services’ record of lies does not inspire confidence.


7 thoughts on “No dead Lebanese children on TV today

  • Chuck Unsworth

    Yes indeed, time will reveal the true facts. One can hardly expect the 'security forces' to do that. They are far too busy making sure the 'facts' fit the political position.

  • kathz

    The panic doesn't quite ring true. We're told this was a planned and co-ordinated event – neatly just after Reid's statement. If this was really so important and planned, would the Prime Minister really leave the country? And why add security measures immediately after a pre-planned round up of suspects? It could have been done earlier or later – or, if they thought people would be on the run and booking onto planes, they could have picked them up at the airports – last-minute bookers could be checked. But a ban on spectacle cases???

    Or am I just jaundiced because I was asked to open and drink from a sealed bottle of mineral water on my way into the British Library today? (not into the reading rooms where water is prohibited but at the main entrance.)

    Nobody seemed to worry about mainline trains, however (thank goodness).

  • Craig

    Yes. Also fascinating that we are told by Sky that Bush and Blair discussed the arrests on Sunday by telephone (Sky even showed a photo of Bush making the call), in the course of a conversation about Lebanon.

    Now, I can think of no conceivable operational need for a President and Prime Minister to discuss the arrests. But the political timing of the arrests in relation to the events in Lebanon? Now that would interest both of them.

    Assuming it is true, as security souces are telling the BBC, that they had been under surveillance for months, what new info caused the matter to reach the stage of President/Prime Minister conversation last Sunday? And if there was new information about imminence, how come they waited four more days after that conversation to act? Presumably there was much more danger between Sunday and Thursday, when the suspects were still at large, but total airport disruption was only initiated after they were arrested.

    It doesn't add up.

    Craig

  • rascasse

    As Craig Murray says – no dead Lebanese babies on TV tonight; and this latest cry of 'Wolf' from the Blair r?gime perversely dovetails into a parliamentary recall originally intended to air mounting rebellion against Blair but which can now be turned right around into a public hysteria campaign to justify yet further government secrecy and erosion of civic rights and dissent.

    If the British public swallow this one, Blair and his cohorts will probably weather out yet another year and wreak further carnage and mayhem in the Middle East and beyond.

  • Parlicoot

    BBC Newsnight were saying the plot was larger than expected (I paraphrase) and that events were triggered by information obtained from a previous arrest of a "militant" in Pakistan.

    I just wonder how the information was obtained. Bet it wasn't volunteered willingly.

  • Bullwhip7

    Great post Craig, threw up through most of it. Conspiracy, collusion, under-handed politics, wow! You're getting to be almost as good as CNN!

    Look, if these crazies HAD done the dirty deed and blown up a fewe airliners, would you be saying that security needs to be tightened up? We haven't had an attack since 9/11 though Britain has and so has Spain. Proof enough that the gov's are doing their jobs.

    Go ahead and politicize it if you want, facts are hard to argue with, though.

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