The Sky Has Not Fallen 830

The shocking death of Lee Rigby quite naturally appals us all. The intention of the crazed little group who conceived this killing was to make it as horrible as possible in order to scare people.

Horrible, sociopathic violence happens to people from time to time. They have done since Cain killed Abel, metaphorically or literally as you choose. Here is another headline today, just as horrific:

A British soldier has been jailed for stabbing a 10-year-old boy after getting drunk on vodka while serving in Afghanistan.

Both that obscene attack and Michael Adebolajo’s appalling actions are borne out of the same conflict. But it is reasonable to suppose that both these incidents involved people with, for whatever reason, a pre-disposition to murderous violence.

Such people have always been with us and will always be with us, but fortunately they are very, very few. In a nation of 60 million, involvement in violent crime is very low. If you are the victim of criminal violence, the odds over the last decade are about one in twenty thousand that the violence inflicted on you will have any linkage to political or terrorist causation. And the odds that you will suffer any kind of violent attack are thankfully pretty remote.

We should not panic from theatrical violence, just deplore and take sober stock. Sadly if a lunatic on the bus decides to strangle you tomorrow, there are no pre-emptive laws that can stop that. We should stop pretending that the state can always prevent.

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830 thoughts on “The Sky Has Not Fallen

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  • Juteman

    If someone strangles me on a Dundee bus tomorrow, it will only be classed as terrorism if the media decide. It will not warrant 24/7 coverage if he shouts that the tooth fairy told him to do it. If he shouts that god told him to do it, it will only be terrorism if that god is not christian.
    Mental illness knows no boundaries.

  • resident dissident

    “Both that obscene attack and Michael Adebolajo’s appalling actions are borne out of the same conflict.”

    I disagree they are two distinct conflicts and trying to link them just gives both murderers a very weak excuse for their actions. That aside I agree with everything else that you say.

  • Greenmachine

    Watching Obama on RT. Is he about to ask Congress to close Gitmo….yes but he has been heckled from audience. He is looking for site in USA for detainees from Gitmo. Is this his move to live up to his earlier promise!?

  • April Showers

    These thirteen ‘articles’ are listed on the home page of the Mail.

    1. A loving father, an Afghan hero and a fine soldier: Face of ‘Riggers’ the innocent drummer, 25, ‘butchered in street by Muslim fanatics’
    2. The three Angels of Woolwich: The brave women who confronted fanatics who butchered and tried to behead soldier and prayed next to his body
    3. Side by side with preacher of hate? Choudary claims picture shows arrested Islamic fanatic, 28, at 2007 demo
    4. MAIL ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Moment anti-terror police raid flat and arrest four people just a mile from scene of Woolwich killing
    5. Man and woman, both 29, arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder following Woolwich terror attack
    6. Side by side with preacher of hate? Choudary claims picture shows arrested Islamic fanatic, 28, at 2007 demo
    7. MI5 admit they KNEW about Islamic fanatics who ‘slaughtered soldier’: One suspect was ‘arrested when he tried to join rebels in Somalia’
    8. ‘The first guy goes for her with a machete… she took him out like Robocop…’: Rapper’s tweets among eyewitness accounts of horrific attack
    9. ‘Terror attack will not divide us but makes us stronger’: Cameron urges Britain to continue with normal life
    10. Police commander claims armed officers were on scene of Woolwich killing in 14 minutes – as 1,200 extra police are drafted onto the streets of London
    11. Ban on soldiers wearing uniforms in public lifted after concern it sent message that terrorists were winning
    12. Put extremists on first plane back to wherever they’ve come from, demands furious Tory MP Bob Stewart
    13. Hope for heroes: Wellwishers flood veterans’ charity website after sweatshirt worn by Woolwich victim was seen by millions


  • April Showers

    Obama who promised the gullible Americans ‘hope and change’.

    23 May 2013 Last updated at 20:07

    Barack Obama defends ‘just war’ using drones

    US President Barack Obama speaks about his administration’s drone and counterterrorism policies, as well as the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, at the National Defense University in Washington, DC 23 May 2013

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    President Barack Obama has defended the use of drones as a “just war” of self-defence against deadly militants, and a campaign that had made America safer.

    In a wide-ranging speech on a programme shrouded in secrecy, he said there must be “near certainty” that no civilians would die in such strikes.

    In a renewed push to shut Guantanamo Bay, he also lifted a moratorium on prisoner transfers to Yemen.

    Mr Obama also defended the use of drones to kill four US citizens.

    “We are at war with an organisation that right now would kill as many Americans as they could if we did not stop them first,” he said in Thursday’s address at National Defense University in Washington DC.

    “So this is a just war – a war waged proportionally, in last resort, and in self-defence.”


    ‘Self-defence’! We have heard it all now.

  • doug scorgie

    Resident dissident
    23 May, 2013 – 7:51 pm

    In answer to Craig’s comment:

    “Both that obscene attack and Michael Adebolajo’s appalling actions are borne out of the same conflict.”

    You say:

    “I disagree they are two distinct conflicts…”

    What are the two distinct conflicts and why don’t you elucidate?

    “…and trying to link them just gives both murderers a very weak excuse for their actions.”

    There are no excuses for these actions but there are reasons, perhaps you don’t understand that.

  • Jon

    April, I try to limit my consumption of the Daily Wail for much this reason – dreadful propaganda rag. I do tend towards the Media Lens view though – there’s no Washington men in black suits and shades who’ve instructed the reactionary press how to write. Sadly, there’s enough people who’ve been brought up with “the right opinions”, and the system self-selects them for its own self-interest.

    One or two make it through the net thankfully – Greenwald has been good as always on this. Reading below the line is depressing (isn’t it normally the other way around at the Guardian?) but there’s some valiant souls fighting against the (neo)con trolls.

  • doug scorgie

    In the final analysis the machete was supplied by the Foreign Office.

  • eddie-g

    There were two shocking moments yesterday – the first was the murder, the second was the official designation of this as terrorism.

    Apart from erecting a statue in their honour, I am not quite sure what more our leaders could have done to do exactly what these murderers wanted? These two monsters wanted to make a statement, and by golly, Cameron and his friends allowed them to make it exactly as planned.

    After the Boston bombers were id’d, hands down the best moment came when their uncle was interviewed and called them losers and screw-ups, who had shamed their family. He didn’t call them terrorists or bombers or extremists. He called them losers, he was 100% correct, and it should be the template for future official responses to what these days we call terrorism.

    This is not to disagree with any of the wider context, it is that the narrative from yesterday is pretty much giving a couple of losers the sort of martyrdom they crave.

  • fedup

    As seen on the available videos of the incident; people were milling around freely, and interacting with the “terrorists”. This clearly being the indicator that those present were not terrorised, or made to fear for their lives, to cower and run for cover.

    Further, even prime minister has been waxing lyrical about a female tenant standing up to the “terrorist” and arguing and debating with him. In the coming days as more and more of the videos of the incident will be making their way onto the internet, these will further verify the fact that the “terrorists” had singularly failed to terrorise those present, that is if they intended to terrorise the population present.

    Terrified and cowering people do not go about passing the “terrorists” carrying their shopping basket, whilst others were busy videoing the said chap. However, the Media, as in the case of Nick Robinson who pontificated; “the terrorists with Islamic appearance”, with others in the media joining in delivering emotive reportage; pushing the hot buttons, interspersed with “Islamic terrorists”, “help the heroes”, “beheading”, and even going so far as Anna Botting to claim the soldier had been kidnapped before getting hacked to death, and egging her guests on into a frenzy of “women forced to wear burka”, “policewoman shooting the “terrorist” ought to have come as a shock to him”!

    Then the programs of apparent gravitas beginning to debate the introduction of even more legislation, and availing the secret services with even more surveillance capabilities. All the while pushing the “Islamic terrorists” and the influence of the hate preachers, and fact that all the Muslims ought to be made to stand in the corner and made to apologise to all and sundry in the town squares; for being Muslims!

    The fact that these provocations have lead to the kristallnacht redux. Anyone surfing the net could not have escaped the racist bile heaped upon Muslims, and the promises and threats of reprisals, killings, and so forth. Whilst mosques have been getting attacked and Muslims terrorised, to the extent that these fearful Muslims have stopped their children from attending schools; for fear of reprisals. The “terror campaign” goes on, whilst in the confusion of the unfolding events, the media broadcast orders and counter orders getting issued in the same newscast bulletin.

    Fact that in the current climate of repression to explore the actions of these “terrorists” and their “motivations” would be construed as; aiding and abetting the “terrorists”. The only analysts have been the fascist organisations masquerading as neo conservatives; Henry Jackson Society, as well as the usual token brown skinned Quilliam foundation rep, that have gone onto debating their perceptions of the reasons underlying the radicalisation of Muslim youth getting “radicalised”.

    Terrorists do not hang around for twenty minutes, terrorists do not get into debates and argue with people present, terrorists do not invite people to take photos and videos, terrorists do not allow women to attend to their victims. Hence those classifying this attack as terrorism are engaging in hyperbole.

    Why should these political operatives wish to exploit this sad situation to their own ends? All the while discounting any links between the atrociously aggressive foreign policy of the UK, and pinning the blame on the fanaticism of the “Radicalised Muslims”? Is this not reminiscent of the policies of the ziofuckwits in zionistan?

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    My nomination for the idiotic comment of the day :

    Doug Scorgie (for it was he), who wrote at 0h59

    “In the final analysis the machete was supplied by the Foreign Office.

  • Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    Fedup; That public reaction seemed strange to me. I remember the Kitty Genovese case in NY. She was attacked and murdered while screaming. People looked out their windows and told the guy to stop, but that was it. It was like people thought they were watching a reality show. Everyone reacts to shock in different ways, I guess. For me I get real calm when in shock. What I should do gets clear and I act instinctively.

  • Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    ” the machete was supplied by the Foreign Office.”

    It’s a metaphor, and smartly accurate.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    @ Doug Scorgie :

    You come out with the same line on this thread as pn the previous one, ie :

    “There are no excuses for these actions but there are reasons”

    So I’ll ask you the same question as I did on that previous thread : what, in your opinion, are those reasons?

    PS – why do you ask other commenters questions while not replying to questions addressed to you?

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    @ Ben Franklin :

    “It’s a metaphor, and smartly accurate.”

    Thanks for that clarification, Ben. There was I, thinking that Scorgie meant it literally!

    As you’re obviously nobody’s fool, could you explain to us peasants the difference between something that smartly accurate and something that’s merely accurate?

    Thanks in advance!

  • Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    It would be idiotic, if literal. The ‘smart’ part is seeing past the veil.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    The Obsessive Poster is at it again!

    At 20h07 she lists 13 articles in the Daily Mail and ends with the single word “Deplorable”.

    As so often it’s not quite clear what the cunning old thing’s getting at.

    Is it the number of articles she finds deplorable or is her criticism directed at one or more specific articles (if the latter, could she tell us which)?

    Which other articles related to this killing does she think the Mail should have published and which would have allowed her to drop the word “deplorable”?

  • Kempe

    That story is dated December 2011.

    There is little similarity in the events, in one a soldier, who should’ve been confined to barracks, lashed out in a drunken rage and probably regretted his actions immediately afterwards. Yesterday two stone cold sober individuals carried out a pre-planned murder and savage mutilation of which they seemed quite proud. I wouldn’t describe them as being equally horrific nor do I think it reasonable to suppose that Crook had a pre-disposition to “murderous violence”.

    There’s no reason to bring up the Crook story except to try to somehow justify the murder of Drummer Rigby on the spurious grounds that the British army do things that are equally horrific.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    Thank you, Ben Franklin.

    Just one further question : when you write “The ‘smart’ part is seeing past the veil.”, what exactly is the “veil”? As Doug Scorgie would say, could you elucidate?

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    Kempe writes, correctly :

    “There’s no reason to bring up the Crook story except to try to somehow justify the murder of Drummer Rigby on the spurious grounds that the British army do things that are equally horrific”

    Well spotted. It is clear that some of the commenters are finding it difficult to accept that this was a heinous and unjustified act, carried out in the name of Islam. I suspect that their true feelings – which of course they wouldn’t have the guts to express – are feelings of approval or, at best, “the UK/the soldier brought it onto themselves”


    I think it was George Soros some years ago that made the point that they see us in the same way as we see them – as terrorists.

  • doug scorgie

    23 May, 2013 – 9:11 pm

    Everything you said in this post confirms you to be an establishment troll.

    I urge everyone on this blog to study, word for word, Fedup’s posting.

  • Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    “troll’ is much overused as a convenient term, Doug. I looked again and Fedup seems to have a longer version of your 8:59.

  • fedup

    23 May, 2013 – 9:11 pm

    Everything you said in this post confirms you to be an establishment troll.

    I urge everyone on this blog to study, word for word, Fedup’s posting.

    What is your major fucking malfunction?

    What the fuck are you on about?

    How the fuck did you “confirm” Sherlock?


    PS. thanks for inviting everyone to read my comment.

  • A Node

    The only certainty regarding yesterday’s news is that it shouldn’t be taken at face value. There is an agenda in the MSM to encourage fear and hatred of Muslims. Whatever the actual events, the language used to describe it will have been chosen to inflame passions and raise tensions. Based on precedent, there is a high probability that the reporting includes half-truths and downright lies.

  • resident dissident


    “In the final analysis the machete was supplied by the Foreign Office.”

    Both factually and morally wrong – and it is not a metaphor but just plain crass.

    re your previous comment – I’m sure that most murderers have their own reasons for their actions it is pretty rare for these to amount to a valid excuse for their actions or for them to warrant the oxygen of publicity.

    And if Fedup is a troll then might I suggest that he is acting on behalf of the EDL rather than the establishment – either way he is best ignored.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    “Whatever the actual events,…” and “yesterday’s news is that it shouldn’t be taken at face value…” (from A Node)

    What were the actual events in your opinion, A Node?

    And how should we take yesterday’s news in your opinion?

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