Jul 7, 2005

We Are All Britons Today

Photo By Reuters
A Smart Democracy Can Render Terrorism Futile
The news from London isn't good. Many people have been killed and injured in a massive terrorist attack in the British capitol on Thursday. Britons will bounce back--they've been through worse--but my hope is that they won't follow the US example after 9-11. Although I don't think Tony Blair is about to invade a country [surely Bush have told him about Syria and Iran, right?] but I hope that his government is a quicker study of present-day terrorism.
The US president has often said, "We are fighting these terrorists with our military in Afghanistan and Iraq and beyond so we do not have to face them in the streets of our own cities." Obviously this hasn't worked all that well. Perhaps we've been lucky here in America and haven't had an attack by Al-Queda, but all the experts say it's a matter of time. Our infrastructure is very vulnerable, and our government hasn't done enough to secure the rail system, our chemical & nuclear plants, and screen the ships filled to the brim with containers from overseas. On Tuesday we learned that major terror attacks tripled in 2004. The White House raises the terror attacks to 3,200.
It's worth remembering that the terrorists are fighting us because of our foreign policy in the Near/Middle East, and because of our way life. It's religious fanaticism at its worst. They despise our freedoms, our "godless hedonistic culture" [wait, I've heard the same from our American Taliban], our emancipated women, the freedom of & from religion, our scientific methods that debunk the superstitious and the supernatural, and our refusal (still) to subjugate the state to the religious dogma.
The terrorists and all those perverse ideologues don't have to score a military win, take over our country to claim victory. If they make us change our way of life, take away civil liberties, become isolationists and intolerant, then, in effect, they would indeed have won. There is a creeping totalitarianism in our country and we must fight it. We have our own extremists here and they shouldn't prevail. Urge your elected representatives not to expand the Patriot Act. There is a bipartisan effort in the House to bring the Patriot Act within the lines of our Constitution, so it's good to see reasonable Republicans on the side of reason. Click here to push for the reform.
Read this article by an "alleged terrorist" who says, "I'm being accused of a serious--even treasonous--criminal intent by a faceless bureaucracy, with no opportunity (that I can find) to refute any errors or false charges. My ability to earn a living is threatened..." If you think it doesn't affect you, think again. If senator Ted Kennedy was put on the list and was prevented from flying on a couple of occasions, you can be next. Secret government and a system without checks & balances is bad, really bad.
We are all Britons today. We are all against the terrorists and anyone whose hatred and small mindedness drives him to commit crimes against humanity. Yet, although people can react in different ways to the horror and the shock of bloodshed, we can certainly find a common thread in compassion and our love for life.

Edited later: I just watched Frontline's "AlQueda's New Front" on PBS. I suggest you check it out and follow the links. PBS will be rebroadcasting it this week in light of the attacks in London. It's an eye-opener on AlQueda's work in the West.


Anonymous said...

Even our own experts are saying that Iraq is a training ground for terrorists... for every one we kill, three replace him. Bush's comments that we fight "over there" in order to be safe "over here" is stupid. Because terrorists don't have a country (for us to invade) they'll be around for a while. The best we can do is to have a smart foreign policy and be alert. We have to approach terrorism without party lines or ideological distortions.

Anonymous said...

Blair didn't want to invade Iraq, and the Downing Street memo indicates so. His cabinet clearly thought it was illegal to do so, unless under UN auspices. London was very concerned about the consequences of the war in Iraq and extremely apprehensive about Washington's lack of plans post-invasion. But, Blair wanted to be a good friend of Bush and to appear as a better partner to the US than then Torries (conservatives).

Alison, NY

Anonymous said...

The Bush administration blew the cover of British intelligence when it disclosed information about AlQueda in Britain! It forced the Brits to arrest alleged terrorist before getting deeper into their organization.

The UK foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, said that it's one thing to alert the public to specific threats and another to create public panic by announcing vague threats. Well, we know this for a fact, here across the pond, as our former Security Tsar, Tom Ridge, admitted that raising the terror level (on that ridiculous color chart) had nothing to do with actual intelligence, but everything to do with politics. Bush's approval went up a couple points everytime this scheme was implemented!
Geeshus, NY

Anonymous said...

Hey lefties, terrorism was not invented after our war in Iraq. Remember the previous attack on the World Trade Center? Without Bush's agressive policy--proactive not reactive--we are safer today. Thank God Kerry or Gore never got the chance to be president.


Anonymous said...

The war in Afganistan was imperative, but although we scored some good wins there, we screwed royally when we trusted the local warlords to secure the escape routs when we're about to get Osama Bin Laden. Since then, we took our resources and world attention from our specific target to Iraq.
It's been a tragic mistake which stubbornly Bush refuses to admit.
Terrorism was not invented because of the Iraq war (what a stupid argument). The terror attacks have skyrocketed since though! And, indeed, Iraq is a training ground for terrorists. One more point: if we manage to secure Iraq (big "if"), then we'll have thousands of trained and battle-hardened terrorists who will have escaped to other countries.

Graig, DC

Anonymous said...

This from 7/7/05 DailyKos:
Lastly, as Tony Blair oversees the carnage and anger in his country, he may want to ask his good buddy George W. Bush why his administration crippled Blair's domestic anti-terror efforts to track down and stop Al Qaeda cells inside Great Britain by exposing a known Al Qaeda asset at a time when the Brits were very close to nailing a ring of Al Qaeda cells inside the country? With today's tragedy in front of them, don't you think that British intelligence would have wanted to finish their work last fall in smashing London's Al Qaeda cells before the Bush Administration blew a covert operation just so Bush could be reelected?

and more:

On 2 August, the Bush administration blew the cover of double agent Muhammad Naeem Noor Khan. A day earlier, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge had announced a new alert against an Al Qaeda plan to attack financial institutions in New York and Washington. When the New York Times pressed certain administration officials for more information, they disclosed to the newspaper that the information regarding the Al Qaeda plot had come from a recently arrested man in Pakistan named "Khan." The New York Times published his name on Monday. The later editions spelt out the full name.

Prof. Juan Cole of the University of Michigan's analysis is more daring, "The announcement of Khan's name forced the British to arrest 12 members of an al-Qaeda cell prematurely, before they had finished gathering the necessary evidence against them via Khan. Apparently they feared that the cell members would scatter as soon as they saw that Khan had been compromised. (They would have known he was a double agent, since they got emails from him Sunday and Monday!) One of the 12 has already had to be released for lack of evidence, a further fallout of the Bush SNAFU (situation normal all fouled up). It would be interesting to know if other cell members managed to flee. Why in the world would Bush administration officials out a double agent working for Pakistan and the US against Al-Qaeda?

Any questions?????

Andros said...

I've just heard through the grapevine that Chief Justice Renquist will announce his resignation on Friday 7/8/05! As we've discussed many times, the Supreme Court has a great influence in law, politics, and the culture of our country.

Now, the courts will turn conservative. Having 2 vacancies will make it harder for the Democrats to oppose 2 Bush nominees.

Bush has given the corporatists legislation they wanted (on environment, taxes, bankruptcy, etc). Now, he'll reward the theologues by appointing an anti Roe v. Wade pro religion justice. He has a chance to give both something to by happy about. So, how justice Gonzales and Chief Justice Scalia sound? brrrrrr....

As I posted on a friendly site, now the terrorists are going to score a few more victories.... via our government.

If the current minders knew what I've borrowed from the library and what's on my bookcases at home, then I'm sure I'd be fit to be in GITMO, or at the very least on "the list" and not allowed to fly! Come to think of it, I've noticed that my blog has had visits from the NSA, the Army and the Justice Dept... (the ones I'm aware of, I'm sure they've been others) On a second thought, maybe they already know!....

Sue said...

yes, we are all imperialist crusaders today, HUZZAH!

Graig said...

Oh, I see. I am an imperialist, country-invading American....So, I guess you didn't give a damn when 3,000 Americans died on 9-11.
Along the same line,you seem to share Anne Coulter's view: invade their (muslim) countries, and kill all those who don't convert to Christianity.... after all, they're a bunch of murderers!

Henry said...

As a British citizen (I don't consider myself a subject) I don't feel that I'm responsible for what my country has done in the past. As a matter of fact, Sue and most others come from countries that have a checkered past... I don't think there is a country today that hasn't several black pages in its history. Maybe not an imperialist crusader past...unless you exclude the Christian crusades!
Even the Aglican Church can't speak for me, nor do I feel I'm responsible for the ..Inquisition.
Innocent people lost their lives yesterday, like on 11 Sept '01 in NY. For me it's a sober, sad occasion. But, like most Londoners today, we feel that life must go on, and not let the terrorist break our resolve for an open, free, tolerant and very lively society.

Andros said...

You feel what you're inclined to, you believe what your mind allows you to, and you act according to your sense and sensibilities