The BBC Making the Election about Terrorism 261


On the very lowest estimates, the number of children killed by violence alone directly as a result of fighting in the Iraq invasion and occupation, is the equivalent of a Manchester massacre every single day for eight years.

I am going to write that again.

On the very lowest estimates, the number of children killed by violence alone directly as a result of fighting in the Iraq invasion and occupation, is the equivalent of a Manchester massacre every single day for eight years.

That in no way justifies the massacre in Manchester. Andrew Neil is quite intelligent enough to know that the notion that to explain is to excuse is illogical. The difference between Neil’s interview with Corbyn and his interview with May is that with May, Neil asked tough sceptical questions. With Corbyn, Neil put positions based on inflammatory emotion which Neil knows full well to be false. Nevertheless, Corbyn undoubtedly came out of it much better than May had done, not least for simply having the intelligence to react to the actual question being asked.

If I tell you that smoking causes cancer, it does not make me a supporter of cancer.

The fact that our invasions and bombings abroad inevitably have blowback in this world of globalised population settlement, is so evidently true it is ludicrous to deny it. There have been hate crimes against Muslims already since the Manchester attack. If we lost that many children every day for eight years, does anybody seriously wish to say there would not be extremist terrorist “Britnat” violence as a result? Of course there would.

After what we have done to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya and are abetting in Yemen, the surprise is not that we have suffered terrorist attack. The surprise is that we have not suffered more terrorist attack.

I suspect a great many more of the public realise that, than the inhabitants of the media/politico bubble wish to believe. There is no doubt that having Corbyn as the candidate has done a huge service in making it compulsory for the media to refer to views outside of the Overton window, and the invective and sheer hatred with which they have reacted is truly remarkable.

I commented at the last General Election that having Nicola Sturgeon in the leaders’ debate putting the arguments against Trident, exposed the English public to an argument from which they are normally rigorously shielded. Neil’s sheer horror that thinking outside the Blairite/Tory spectrum is being done came over strongly in his interview with Corbyn. It is of course as nothing to the horror of the Blairites. I have seen Charles Clark, Alan Johnson, Jess Phillips and John Woodcock all directly attack Corbyn during the course of this election. I am not a Labour party member, but surely that is going to have to result in expulsion from the party. Many ordinary members have been suspended for much milder and infinitely less publicised criticism of Blairites.

During the 2005 election, the BBC never once invited Jeremy Corbyn on air to attack Tony Blair over the bloody invasion of Iraq. So why are they filling the airwaves with Blairites attacking Corbyn now? The extraordinary thing is, they are counting these Blairites’ attack on Corbyn as Labour representation for their legal obligation of equal air-time during an election.

If the BBC really think that this is an election about the history of the Troubles, why have they not asked Theresa May whether she supports the actions of British troops on Bloody Sunday?

I am speaking this morning at the Merthy Rising Festival and hope to have the opportunity to make some of these points. Do come along if you are in the area.

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261 thoughts on “The BBC Making the Election about Terrorism

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  • Mark Golding

    You and I remember well what happened in 2003, when Colin Powell showed the world in the United Nations what he claimed to be the evidence which proves that President Saddam Hussein possessed chemical, nuclear, and other weapons. However, when the American forces invaded Iraq, it was proven that all he said was a lie. Powell himself admitted that the American intelligence agencies deceived him with that false evidence. That wasn’t the first nor will it be the last time. This means that if you want to be a politician in the United States, you have to be a genuine liar. This is what characterizes American politicians: they lie on a daily basis, and say something and do something different. That’s why we shouldn’t believe what the Pentagon, or any other American institution says, because they say things which serve their policies, not things which reflect reality and the facts on the ground.

    President Assad of Syria May 2017

    http://www.activistpost.com/2017/05/syrias-assad-just-explained-how-america-really-works.html

    • Michael McNulty

      That was the moment Colin Powell became a lying war criminal pushing for an illegal war, but I can’t help thinking he believed if they couldn’t find WMD the Bush Administration was corrupt enough to plant it. They were corrupt enough to plant it, just not smart enough.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Ishmael,

    I have never had a problem with Muslims – neither here in England, nor in the Muslim countries we have visited. In fact, I have found Muslims very welcoming and open – literally inviting us into their homes – and cooking a meal for us and being exceedingly generous and friendly – and refusing any kind of reward.

    I think some Muslim music is completely exceptional in its emotion and beauty. Some ancient Muslim music is incredibly similar to some ancient Christian music. In fact they probably have very similar origins. The call to prayer be it from Benedictine Monks or their Muslim equivalents share very similar qualities and characteristics. Personally I prefer Black Sabbath, but this is good too.

    “Monks singing Gregorian Chant in a Catholic Benedictine Seminary”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CBwh1OXw6uI

    “Beautiful Islamic Call To Prayer

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fe8qRj12OhY

    Tony

    • Ishmael

      lol, Sabbath. Well Who can’t like Sabbath ? Classic.

      Im the same and I agree call to prayer is lovely, something beautiful and mystical about it. And being a painter islamic art has always been an influence.

      And yea, same kind of people in india. Id live there, more civilised, less violence among most people. There just isn’t that aggression I often come across in the uk (and am a victim of) Maybe it’s the meat. It’s like you say something they can’t argue with and it’s turn to violence. (generalising but it’s common where i live) happened to me recently a few times. Hospitalised once. Injured the last time (that I still suffer from).

      It’s a real thug life here. I only stay to look after my family.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    The idea that Islamist terrorism is simply about ‘revenge’ for ‘Western colonial/neocolonial wars is a convenient obfuscation. Most people killed by Islamist violence are Muslim, in majority-Mulsim countries and are not in the ‘West’ at all. Often, Islamists/Jihadists have benefited directly and instrumentally from, eg. NATO action (eg. Afghanistan, 1978-1992, Bosnia 1990s, Chechnya 1990s, Libya, 2011, Syria, 2011-now). The Manchester bomber was from a family who, it has been reported, escaped from Gaddafi’s Libya and were granted refuge in the UK. The UK subsequently got rid of Gaddafi and put the Jihadists in power in Libya, yet this Jihadist now attacks Manchester. Where is the ‘revenge’?

    The fact is, Islamism is an absolutist, supremacist ideology, as just as much as is, say, White Supremacism and Jihadism is one tactical manifestation of a means to similar political end shared by most/all Islamist groups.The fact that Daesh regards Hamas/the Muslim Brotherhood/Hiz-ut-Tahrir as apostates because they have truck with democracy is a disagreement about means, not ends.

    I have been attacked viscerally by some on this site for opposing Islamism – even for using the terms, ‘Islamism’, or ‘clerical fascism’ – some – I emphasise, some – of those on the liberal left (eg. SWP) support Islamism and who seem to think that all ‘darkies’ should espouse clerical fascist ideology. To those with this view, I can only be a ‘self-hating Muslim’ or even an apostate! Presumably, this is so that, in the manner of C19th ‘natives’, ‘Muslim victims’ can be ‘saved’ from the big bad imperialists, while these trendy white people, along with their much-hated rulers, both of whom are at relatively minimal risk, continue to support, or apologise for, clerical fascists in both ‘Third’ and ‘First’ Worlds and demonstrate zero solidarity with those trade unionists, leftists, liberals, Christians, Ahmedis, Shias, Hindus, atheists, LGBT people, feminists, peasant activists and lots of ordinary, apolitcal people who are very much at risk and who are being murdered on a daily basis in majority Muslim countries by the de facto pets (?attack dogs) of a significant section of the Western liberal left and their rulers.

    There is a deep-seated ideological problem within Muslim societies and within Islam and that is something that absolitely must be faced, squarely. It is indeed a form of poliitcal ‘cancer’ and its aetiology runs far deeper than, for example. the invasion of Iraq, the Afghan wars or even the toxic machinations of the Saudi regime, though all of these have been/are relevant as accelerants.

    • John Spencer-Davis

      This is a very thoughtful post, Suhayl, as has come to be expected from you. Thank you very much for it.

      Can you give any links to the SWP supporting Islamism and/or espousing clerical fascist ideology?

      Your point that “these trendy white people, along with their much-hated rulers, both of whom are at relatively minimal risk, continue to support, or apologise for, clerical fascists in both ‘Third’ and ‘First’ Worlds and demonstrate zero solidarity with those trade unionists, leftists, liberals, Christians, Ahmedis, Shias, Hindus, atheists, LGBT people, feminists, peasant activists and lots of ordinary, apolitcal people who are very much at risk and who are being murdered on a daily basis in majority Muslim countries by the de facto pets (?attack dogs) of a significant section of the Western liberal left and their rulers.” is very worrying, if widespread, and I would appreciate more information about such “trendy white people”. It is the task of the left to oppose authoritarianism and oppression wherever it occurs, not to make alliance with it out of expediency. I believe Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris, among others, have been forceful advocates for your point of view. I am less certain that the evidence for what they say has been unequivocal.

      I think you let yourself down a little by using the word “darkies” and attributing it to your opponents. I know of no-one on the left who would use such a word. Best wishes. J

      • Phil the ex-frog

        JSD

        Really mate. What Suhayl describes is accurate. Not just right wing commentators but many from the left, ultra left, anarchist groups have been saying this for yonks. Seconds on google will provide the confirmation you seek. Like many liberals they fixate on anti-imperialism at the expense of an honest analysis. Basically, their position is: as long as the US opposes you, hopefully bombs you,then you are OK.

      • Suhayl Saadi

        Thanks, John. I do appreciate it.

        Here are some links, from politically very disparate sources:

        https://www.dissentmagazine.org/online_articles/an-expedient-alliance-the-muslim-right-and-the-anglo-american-left
        http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/why-is-the-left-so-blinkered-to-islamic-extremism-8679265.html
        http://weeklyworker.co.uk/worker/634/swp-apologetics-for-reactionary-anti-imperialism/
        https://tendancecoatesy.wordpress.com/2014/02/02/swp-goes-islamist/

        I also attended one of the recent otherwise excellent annual ‘Marxism’ conferences in London, hosted by the SWP. It became fairly evident that most of the speakers on Syria seemed to be arguing that Leftists should be supporting what they called, ‘The Revolution’, which patently obviously, it has seemed to me, was and is largely a Jihadist vehicle supported by the Gulf Cooperation Council. But it’s been far wider than just the SWP. Islamists in the UK consistently and cynically have used the human rights agenda to draw in support from well-meaning liberals. It is important that human rights are upheld universally,. even for those who would deny human rights to others. But that ought not to mean that such people are confused with allies, simply because they appear to posture in an anti-imperilaist manner (all the while continuing to receive massive support from imperilaist entities such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Qatar et al. and also to some extnet from NATO).

        These people are not freedom fighters, they are fascists. Would we support white supremacist Confederate rebels in the USA? No, of course not. Yet we ( sections of the liberal-Left) have been confused into supprting their equivalent in majority-Muslim countries and in Mulsim ‘commuinities’ in the West.

        • John Spencer-Davis

          You’re welcome, and thank you for the further lengthy postings, which I will study with care. Thanks also to others who have commented including Phil and Macky.

          I have not studied Islam extensively, but it seems to me that, like every other ideology, it has more authoritarian and more libertarian strands. vicki moller seems to have taken your use of “Islamism” as identical with Islam, which I do not, but I do note her point that most Moslems do not believe in forcible conversion. Indeed, I believe that the idea was condemned by the Prophet himself. Cheers. John

      • Suhayl Saadi

        Phil, thanks. It’s complex; people have wriiten entire tomes on the subject. There simply isn’t space here.

        John, Phil, everyone, I’d recommend two books . One is by Sarah Khan (she was on last week’s BBC TV’s ‘Question Time’), the other by Meredith Tax (veteran American leftist/feminist):

        http://sarakhan.co.uk/battleforbritishislam/

        http://www.lulu.com/shop/meredith-tax/double-bind-the-muslim-right-the-anglo-american-left-and-universal-human-rights/paperback/product-20639503.html

        • Phil the ex-frog

          Suyhal
          “There simply isn’t space here.”

          There isn’t an idea nor a book that cannot be summarised in a few pars or bullet points. Gaps can be teased out subsequently.

          I don’t know the authors you mention but recently saw Khan on the tele as the opposing view to Douglas Murray. Thing is, they seemed to agree with each other way more than not. She certainly did not get the chance, if she is so inclined, to counter the notion that evil is to blame.

          • Phil the ex-frog

            Suhayl

            Just read a couple f reviews of Tax’s book and although they only briefly mention anything about causation I think I am pretty much in agreement with what I gleened.

      • Suhayl Saadi

        The other thing that struck me at the Marxism conference was that a phrase used repeatedly by speakers went something like tis: “… the state harassing/oppressing people who just want to live a traditional form of Islam”.

        Well, Islamism is not “a traditional form of Islam’, it is a postmodern form of Islam. That is not to say that it does not draw on disparate historical/theological bases, it certainly does. But its exponents’ entire raison d’etre is to establish it as the only form of ‘traditional – correct – Islam’ to the exclusion of all other manifestations of what is, and always has been, a multivalent global faith. The ideology is supremacist both within Islam and ouside Islam. It wants to crush all other forms of Islam and it wants to crush everything that is not its version of Islam. It is poltically psychotic. That does not infer that in the strategic and tactical senses, it does not proceed logically towards it stated, or inferred, goal.

        To make such an enormous error of political analysis undermined the position adopted by the speakers at the conference.

        Secondly, why exactly ought socialists feel the need to identify with (ignoring Islamism for a moment) even “traditional Islam” and everything that might, and does, go with that theological/ideological framework, as though it were something inherently benificent, delicate, endangered, to be protected? Would they similarly identify with, and argue on behalf of, “traditional Christianity”, or “traditional Paganism”, or “Traditional Judaism”?

        Thirdly, the inference of the statement is that the proponents of Islamism simply wnat to ‘live and let live’, like, say, the Amish or the Iona Community, when events over the past 45 years has demonstrated the exact opposite.

        Fourthly, where is the solidarity with oppressed groups in majority-Muslim countries? I sensed none. The phrase, ‘Syrian/Pakistani/whatever trade unionist/socilaist/feminist/peasant activist’ was never used. It is as though the only prism which that section of the liberal-Left in the West, or at least in the UK (I again emphasise this applies only to some, not all on the liberal-left) can imagine the ‘Other’ is that of the (re-)constructed ‘Native’, or ‘Noble Savage’, which in a sort of internalised, pathological Orientalsim, is precisely that constructed and adopted by Islamism in its proponents’ avowed quest to recreate C7th peninsular Arabia (plus mobile phones, TV channels, loudspeakers, jeeps, social media and bomb-belts).

    • Phil the ex-frog

      Suhayl

      I pretty much agree with what you say but you stop just where it gets interesting.

      What do you think is the cause then?

      • Sharp Ears

        Iraq was omitted from that list. Did all of this Muslim on Muslim killing take place before those countries were laid to waste by the USUKIsNATO axis, a billion of their peoples killed and their systems of government put asunder? No.

    • vicky moller

      odd cos all my Muslim friends emphasise the requirement in their faith not to interfere or pressurise those who do not share their faith, simply to live their own. I find nothing in these friends belief or its practice that condemns other faiths, but it requires them to do good and follow ethical rules. Of course there are other muslims who interpret the teachings differently but your post says that all muslims want their faith to conquer. How do you explain the cooperative non-judgemental cooperation between faiths that was normal in Syria before the war that was inflicted on the people. Christians (10%) and Muslims (70-80%) shared each others festivals and customs. Iraq, i understand was similarly secular. How come every non muslim visitor finds such a warm accepting interested and open welcome when they visit, if the underlying attitude was to see non muslims as errant or worse. Your views dont match experience.

      • Clark

        Vicky moller, you wrote: “[Suhayl Saadi’s] post says that all muslims want their faith to conquer”

        Suhayl was describing Islamists, who he also calls “clerical fascists”, not Muslims in general. You wrote of:

        ” the cooperative non-judgemental cooperation between faiths that was normal in Syria before the war that was inflicted on the people”

        Suhayl was appalled at the onset of violence in Syria. He pointed out that Syria was secular, and while acknowledging the popular, peaceful protests he condemned and was very suspicious of the sudden appearance of violent armed uprising. He rightly suspected that many of the violent were Islamists.

        • Suhayl Saadi

          Thanks very much, Clark. Yes, indeed.

          Vicky, I never wrote that, “all muslims want their faith to conquer. “. Absolutely not.

          I did write this:

          “Well, Islamism is not “a traditional form of Islam’, it is a postmodern form of Islam. That is not to say that it does not draw on disparate historical/theological bases, it certainly does. But its exponents’ entire raison d’etre is to establish it as the only form of ‘traditional – correct – Islam’ to the exclusion of all other manifestations of what is, and always has been, a multivalent global faith. The ideology is supremacist both within Islam and outside Islam. It wants to crush all other forms of Islam and it wants to crush everything that is not its version of Islam.”

          That is virtually the obverse of your interpretation of what I wrote.

          I am really, really pleased that you’ve had such a warm welcome. Your friends are good people.

          The situation you describe in Syria until recently tended to be normative in most places. It is deeply sad to see that kind of ‘live and let live’ destroyed. These people have appropriated our religion and turned it into a literal death cult driven by hate and intolerance.

          You know, these nutters came from Bradford to murder a Muslim shopkeeper and peacenik in Glasgow because they accused him of, ‘blasphemy’. So they stabbed and kicked him to death outside his shop. In Pakistan, they attempted to assassinate a (Muslim) journalist friend of mine named Raza Rumi simply because he criticised their ideology and actions. His driver – a father – was killed by them and my friend had to leave his country, his family. Most people they kill are Muslims, or religious minorities in majority-Muslim countries. This is the kind of ideology and actions to which I am absolutely opposed and which needs to be opposed. I’m sure your friends feel similarly. Best wishes.

          • Clark

            Suhayl, “these nutters came from Bradford to murder a Muslim shopkeeper and peacenik in Glasgow because they accused him of, ‘blasphemy’. So they stabbed and kicked him to death outside his shop”

            Was this what you told me of some time ago; a neighbour of yours? I find it very disturbing. I send the best wishes I can.

            They acted as ‘religious’ assassins. Yet NATO, the CIA etc. have supported and encouraged ‘religious’ violence on an industrial scale; they’ve destroyed entire states, giving it massive territory. It is insanity.

          • Suhayl Saadi

            Indeed. Clark. You are right re. NATO, CIA, etc.

            The poor chap wasn’t a neighbour of mine; I didn’t know him; but I did used to see him at local mushairas (Urdu language poetry events).

  • Ilona taylor

    Children killed in the middle east……how many by ISIS…..how many Christians and Christian children killed? Can you please give a number? or could it be you don’t care they are infidels

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