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Terror questions - do you have answers?

  • Daniel Pearl
  • 10 Aug 06, 12:24 PM

We awake to news that a major terror plot has been thwarted. Security sources claim that the group, who have been under surveillance for months, wanted to explode as many as 10 planes, probably somewhere over the Atlantic. Thousands of travellers are stranded, planes have been cancelled and the country's security threat has been raised to its highest level. There are a lot of questions we'll be trying to answer during the course of the day, for example:

1. how close were we to "mass murder on an unimaginable scale"?
2. have the security services found any explosives?
3. why did the police decide to swoop today?
4. were they members of a foreign terror cell or were they British-born?
5. how will this change the way we fly? Will we have to get used to flying without any hand luggage?

There are plenty more - let us know what questions you'd like answered, or if you can answer any of these.

Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 01:27 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • jeff bowes wrote:

Here we go again the media jumps, unthinkingly to attention and reports, as fact, what remain allegations of 'terrorist' plots, from the police and security services. The same bodies which have a catalogue of failure, gross injustice. shootings, wrongful arrests and serious questions concerning their efficiency, and the reliabiliy of thie information. Yet, once more reporters are despatched to issue matter-of-fact bulletins, using affirmative language, that may well have been authored by MI5 itself! Will the same jounalists be giving equal exposure to the predictable and eventual release, by the police, of the so-called twenty terror suspects' claimed to have been involved in this current activity? Will reporters be outside Paddingon Green police station, when the authorties release these individuals, at the convenient late hour, on some future sunday evening, limiting the scrutiny of public and media exosuret? How often will the media serve as an unwitting (or even knowing) conduit, for what may be the black arts of security and political agendas? Is no one going to stand up and speculate upon the rather ineresting timing of all this, with John Reid giving a keynote and, now seemingly prophetic, address on the immense threat of posed to the UK by 'terrorism', only twenty fours hours earlier! Is it beyond journalists to rigorously examine the curious political coincidence of this incident, at a time when the sympathy of the British people is largely behind the suffering of the Muslim people of Lebanon, and the nation is appalled by Tony Blair's callous indifference and appeasement of Israel and the US. can these circumstances not have even the slightest relationship to this incident, or are we to swallow uncritically the authorized press statements of our unaccountable security services?

Jeff Bowes

I agree totally with Jeff Bowes, my immediate reaction on hearing this was 'How convenient'. My respect for the media goes down daily, their ability to be excited and blown off course is staggering for supposedly intelligenct people. Haven't heard Lebanon mentioned yet today, yet it was all over the media yesterday. All the media luvvies can talk about is this 'story' and I am also highly suspicious of the timing.
At worst it could turn out to be a few angry young muslims shooting their mouths off in emails.
And now I hear US Air Marshalls are to be sent to the UK, another erosion of our autonomy.

I'd like to know:

If it's possible to get explosives onto an aeroplane when security is at its "normal" level - hence the need for more detailed security checks today - have we been negligently left open to attack for years? If it isn't possible, why the need to increase security now?

If the security services stepped up their operation in response to intelligence in the last few days, why wasn't the threat level increased until last night?

- Will passengers inbound to the UK have to follow the same security rules?

- Were any airlines or airports given prior notice of the changes in security?

- The 1988 Lockerbie bomb was in checked baggage. Have baggage screening measures been stepped up?

- What purpose does the announcement of arrests serve?

- If the alert state is at its highest level, why are flights being allowed at all?

  • 5.
  • At 02:43 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • Val Stevenson wrote:

Here we go again... And the point of telling the terrorists how alert the security staff is what, exactly? Go home today, lads, they're expecting us?

Before the war, in an equally daft and unquestioned move, Heathrow was surrounded by armoured cars. As their maximum speed was around 40mph, there must have been reliable information that the terrorists were on mopeds or in Robin Reliants - the only other conclusion is that it was a PR stunt.

  • 6.
  • At 02:46 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • michael paterson wrote:

I think a little less oxygen of publicity for these terrorist plots would be appropriate.

What good comes out of all this endless reporting.

  • 7.
  • At 03:22 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • Richard Wilson wrote:

*What assurances can the government give that the information on which they are basing today's dramatic claims was not extracted from a "terror suspect" under torture - either by British/US intelligence services or by a foreign government? I'm curious about this because there seems to be evidence (from Craig Murray, for example) that some of the information used to build the case for war against Iraq was tortured out of "terror suspects" - and the head of MI5 has more or less admitted that this was the case with the government's fraudulent story about a "Ricin plot".

It now transpires that bottles of pop are suspect, MI6 must have just seen the Tango ads and thought 'whoo, that looks dangerous'. This is sounding more and more like a farce, dressed up by the government to frighten old ladies into not flying. Meanwhile, in Lebanon ...

Essex Police - What a mess

There's talk of the morale of officers in Essex Police being at an all time low.

It is being discussed by many Essex Police officers here.

I thought this relevant as Stanstead Airport if temporarily shut.

  • 10.
  • At 04:10 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • MKelly wrote:

Would the other commentors to this post rather that nothing was done? Then they can complain after some terrible outrage that security was too lax. Terrorists know they can't get on a plane with a big round ball marked bomb on it. It may be that they have some liquid forms of explosives. I'd rather the delays than have to hear about atrocities on innocent civilians.

I find the endless reporting boring but that is a small part of this alert. Turn off your TV/ radio, get some fresh air.

  • 11.
  • At 04:33 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • Tim Wilkinson wrote:

The general BBC website audience reflects this well-justified scepticism - note the three most-recommended posts on the 'Have Your Say' topic closest to the issue:

I hope Newsnight is going to address this obvious issue, since the rest of the media is more interested in getting Security Analysts of dubious provenance to speculate endlessly on various 'terror' scenarios. Of course these people are fairly keen to talk up the issue of terrorism. They tend to ignore the government's form in theis area: tanks at Heathrow, Ricin, two shootings (one fatal), dodgy dossiers, all without a shred of evidence being produced then or since.
One particularly credulous argument is that 'they wouldn't have gone this far if it weren't real'. As long as the government has an unlimited supply of brass neck (and Blair and Reid certainly have), all it needs to do is keep ratcheting up the theatricals and people will swallow it again and again, just as they did in the case of the tanks at Heathrow and (for a while) that of the ridiculously excessive police presence at the Forest Gate shooting.

  • 12.
  • At 04:39 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • chris wrote:

The reporters seem to be reduced to asking what passengers have in their clear plastic bags
at airport terminals no doubt looking for those who would plot lethal orange tango commercials.
or other volatile items like liquid baby food bottles devices about to go critial. "transparent exlosives"
that can be purchased from the local flower pot store to perform "incredibly frightening pieces of
theatre" or is the nature of this plot media diversion therapy on an un-precedented scale ?

  • 13.
  • At 05:18 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • Ian Olive wrote:

If you think the UK 24 hour news channels are making a hash of reporting this, try CNN...

  • 14.
  • At 05:19 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • Art Haykin wrote:

Well, the terrorists may not be exactly winning, but they sure have us dancing to their tune. They can tie up air travel better and faster than a pilot's union walkout,
and with less effort and organization. And the solution is "There IS no solution" short of nuking them back to the stone age, and that just may come to pass if this oil crisis gets much worse. We have everything to lose, and they, next to nothing.

  • 15.
  • At 05:25 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • Lawrence Theman wrote:

Why have none of the news outlets attempted to interview speakers from the Muslim Council for Britain or the Muslin Public Affairs Committee UK.

These organisations are very swift to make statements in other circumstances

A number of bloggers have commented on the fact that the BBC is reporting that those arrested are Asian. Normal BBC policy is to leave the race of the suspect out unless it is directly relevant - ie a suspected racially motivated crime.

Why then has the BBC now decided to report their race. Wouldn't their religion be a little more relevant.

Is the BBC's aim to inform?

  • 17.
  • At 05:47 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • Luc wrote:

Reid made a policy speech before this incident, about the need for restrictions on freedom.

How can he do that while knowing that his audience doesn't know a thing about the coming arrests, which he certainly must have been aware of?

How can he be a reponsible government member when he positions himself in such a position where there is such an unequal position in avalable information?

We might not get it, but when Reid tries to entertain a policy debate with such unequal knowledge positions, we are certainly never going to get it.

If Reid was trying to be honest he could have easily postponed those remarks for a few days.

Now it looks more like abuse of his position to push through his policies at a time of crisis.

  • 18.
  • At 06:17 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • David de Vere Webb wrote:

Mass murder cannot be "on an unimaginable scale" so soon after the eager compulsive genocide of Blair and the USA in Kossovo, Afghanistan and Iraq. This level of hyperbole ill becomes an alleged police officer.

  • 19.
  • At 06:28 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • Bruce wrote:

Ahh, farce, the great fall back position of the inept and the power mad.

So you can take your glasses on board, but not the spectacle case (you never know what kind of nasty can be hidden therein)and for god sake don't even think about medicines unless you have the perscription to hand. On a recent trip to the US i had my cigarette lighter confiscated....but that was ok because a book of matches was permitted (my line of questioning here was not met with either good humour, logic, or further explanation)

Safety and security are important, but whatever happened to common sense? Why is it politically unacceptable to operate profiling for security purposes (lets see here, we are looking at muslim extremists, so the 82 year old jewish woman in the line is probably a safe bet) but totally acceptable to profile for marketing purposes?

I wonder given the conviction to arrest ratio under the anti terrorism legislation (at end of 2004 702 arrest and 17 convictions) just how realistic a threat this is? How much more tolerance is left in the public when wolf is cried so readily and so regularly?

  • 20.
  • At 07:07 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • Nick Murphy wrote:

Lawrence: I think it shows great credit to both the BBC and other news outlets that they have not simply jumped on the 'Islamic terrorism' bandwagon. There is no formal indication as yet that today's events have had anything to do with Islam, aside from the arrest of people of Pakistani arrest; it would be foolish to assume that there was.

If a link is found to Islamic militancy, then yes these organisations should by all means be interviewed. This, however, should not occur until then.

  • 21.
  • At 08:05 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • Brian Kelly wrote:

My "have your say"has already been articulated by previous posts.... & i thought i was thinking the unthinkable!!!. Directly i saw Bush complimenting Blair on tonites "terrorists" News, followed by a comment from the US that they had alerted our security... Alarm bells started ringing!!I know they,the *terrorists are capable & waiting to strike.. & the sooner our governments stop being in denial about our foreign Policies ,IRAQ etc.
the sooner we can begin to get *them out & our country back.

  • 22.
  • At 09:19 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • Giulio Napolitani wrote:

'2. have the security services found any explosives?'

No. If they had, the cordons around the addresses raided would extend considerably further than the front garden and uniformed officers would not be standing outside the front doors. As with Beeston last year, whole streets would be evacuated.

In fact, if the security services seriously believed that the plot was imminent, it would be logical on their part to suppose that the explosives (or last stage components, also potentially explosive) would be made up ready for the attacks. In which case, they would have evacuated large areas around the addresses immediately following the raid.

Thus, the answer to:

'1. how close were we to "mass murder on an unimaginable scale"?'

would have to be 'not that close'. Assuming, that is, that John Reid is correct in claiming that all the significant members of the plot have been arrested and that explosive is not at a currently unknown address.

And if John Reid is correct, why were additional security measures necessary today? The implication of the sudden changes in airport security appears to be that, contrary to his claim, there was some doubt as to whether all parties to the conspiracy had been detained and a feeling that an attack may still proceed.

In which case, why was additional security limited to airports? With the kind of explosive allegedly involved in this plot generally having a very limited effective lifespan, would it not be likely, as was claimed to be the case with Hasib Hussain on 7/7, that a potential bomber, finding his primary target inaccessible, would move to a secondary target?

In other words, if it were genuinely perceived that bombers could be on the move in or around London today, the entire public transport network (at least) should have been subject to the kind of additional security measures seen at airports.

  • 23.
  • At 09:22 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • Eddy wrote:

Why do none of these plots ever have any real substance?

Will we see a major false flag attack carried out by the US/UK government before October 25th?

Is this whole plot an Operation Northwoods government MO?

If you doubt that a white Englishman could be a terrorist, Google "David Copeland".

  • 25.
  • At 09:36 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • Gully Burns wrote:

I live in Los Angeles. People here respond to the news with immediate relief and support for the security services. There is almost no thought of the secondary implications, or having any sort of suspicion that the timing of the event is in any way related to Lebanon, Iraq or any other theatre of conflict.

I personally feel that congratulations are in order to the police for this coup. All the complainants on this post would certainly be shocked and horrified if the events described today had come true, and they would then probably be complaining that the police didn't do their jobs.

In general, the press in England is so much better at presenting a reasoned, balanced view than the American media that I am happy to forgive all sorts of things. I would give my left arm to be surrounded by actual, real, informed news, rather than the commodity-driven, money-oriented, navel gazing drivel that passes for news in the USA.

Finally, the thing about this whole situation I am most saddened by is the lack of any sort of voice presenting a real solution to the conflict between radical Islam and the developed world (including Israel, the USA, Russia and other nations).

The trend is uniformly one of escalation, radicalization, increased security, increased threats. Is it really the case that there is no common ground possible? How many people are going to have to die before people figure out how get this sorted out properly? Who is actually trying to find long term solutions to these problems?

  • 26.
  • At 10:25 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • Lawrence Theman wrote:

Nick Murphy: You addressed me by name - I will respond directly.

If an incident involving a blue car occurs, no reasonable or thinking person would consider that stopping cars of all colours is an appropriate response.

On July 7th 2005, 52 people were murdered and the 700 more were injured by four followers of Islam, two of whom boasted of their action on videos. The evasion and obscurantism used by individuals and speakers for Islamic organisations in the days after 7/7 was totally offensive.

When 20 + people of Pakistani ethnicity get arrested it is unlikely that they are other than followers of Islam. If you come to a different conclusion, Nick Murphy, I invite other posters to re-read your post (No 21) and consider the mentality behind it.

  • 27.
  • At 11:08 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • Dino wrote:

Dearest BBC,
Due to my concerns regarding the current terrorist threat, I came to ponder the significance of mothers having to drink the milk destined for their toddlers…
I believe a terrorist determined to detonate an explosive device or set the airplane on fire, knows that he/she is on a one way trip, thus the idea of him/her having a belly ache from drinking milk laden with petrol, or any other flammable liquid, doesn’t seem to be proof that the liquid in the container is actually milk… Thus I would like you to suggest to the security services to employ an army of stray cats. These will surely be more than happy to lick-up all the breast milk you can throw at them and you can be sure that they care more to satisfy their hunger for the mammary juices than to support any fundamentalist cause.

Kind regards,

  • 28.
  • At 11:08 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • Michael Dixon wrote:

Where is the evidence? Where is the News? All day you have been reporting UK and US government and police briefings as if they were fact. There has been no independent corroboration, or even questioning of these statements. If plots have been thwarted that's good, but where's the objectivity that the Menezes murder and the Kahaar(?)debacle demand. Further, Israel's attacks on Lebanese civilians have - conveniently - slipped from the news. For me, the Newsdesks need to stop blindly following the government's agenda, take a breath and ask themselves, 'What is really happening here?'.

  • 29.
  • At 11:10 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • clive pearson wrote:

1) its all just Propaganda to justify Draconian Laws

2) whose fault is it that there are a large amount of non Indigenous Peoples here anyway, no non indigenous=no Terrorists!

  • 30.
  • At 11:11 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • Yosef Yarden wrote:

This is the exact reason why Israel are irradicating these type of people. Please understand, we must all support Israel before it's too late! Todays incident couldn't have come at a better time!

Well done MI5 and other worlds intelligence!

  • 31.
  • At 11:13 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • Michael Dixon wrote:

Where is the evidence? Where is the News? All day you have been reporting UK and US government and police briefings as if they were fact. There has been no independent corroboration, or even questioning of these statements. If plots have been thwarted that's good, but where's the objectivity that the Menezes murder and the Kahaar(?)debacle demand. Further, Israel's attacks on Lebanese civilians have - conveniently - slipped from the news. For me, the Newsdesks need to stop blindly following the government's agenda, take a breath and ask themselves, 'What is really happening here?'.

I don't know about anyone else, but I can't help but wonder what else has been going on in the world today?

Has *nothing* happened in Lebanon, Iraq, Sudan, anywhere else??

Of course, I'm not saying for sure that this is all a diversion from the rest of the world. But hasn't it served that purpose quite well?

  • 33.
  • At 11:16 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • phil wrote:

the airports need to rethink how it deals with luggage. i think it would be possible to scan all bags the same way large baggage is scanned now, then filtered ie small luggage for bording and large luggage for the planes haul. terrorists will get more and more sophisticated and will allways find ways of exploiting freedom. we must strike a balance between freedom/human rights to sucurity. whats the point of freedom if ur not free to enjoy it? lets make sure we win the war on terror by not letting them win by arouding freedom.

  • 34.
  • At 11:16 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • Christian Ball wrote:

Its beyond me how people like Jeff Bowes (an appeaser of Neville Chamberlin proportions) rush to use this event as a stick to beat Blair, Bush, Israel anyone but those who actually plan and try to carry out murder - these people are fascists, a quick visit to a Hezbollah controlled area of Lebanon demonstrates this. Why is it that its more appealing to attack people who you can vote against in democratic elections but are happy to support unelected murderers who have a genocidal agenda for Jews or those who hold western values (which Jeff uses with such gusto)- there is not a causal link with Iraq - these are handy excuses after the fact - the naivity of the Britsh left is terrifying in its simplicity

  • 35.
  • At 11:17 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • Donald Hedges wrote:

On the subject of liquid explosive, it has openly been admitted by some security experts that liquid explosives are so corrosive that they can eat through plastic containers. If there is nothing to carry such liquids in, it is difficult therefore to see how putative terrorists can transport such liquids.

Yet this whole thing about liquid explosves appears to be the basis of banning hand luggage through the airline industry and is backed up throughout the security industry.

No-one seems to have really examined the logic error of such a proposition and we need to do this before getting in a blind panic about such things.

  • 36.
  • At 11:17 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • Anne wrote:

What is the truth!
Strange that Tony Blair just got away on holiday before all this happened! Strange that we now seem to be amBUSHed! How about arranging a fear campain to unsettle everyone so as to promote Bush and Blair. If this is a scam then I feel very sad.
If there is any truth in this then I feel even sadder - what we sow then shall we reap - God help us!

  • 37.
  • At 11:19 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • oliver kemp wrote:

i am 17 years old and when i heard about this i was deeply disturbed as to theses people who have suposedly made theese terarist plans that they have lived in this country for so long and all of the sudenly turn on tis suacide bomber mode there like sleepers how do we know that we are safe at the end of the day and i ask my self can we trust the muslim camunity in general plz answer me

  • 38.
  • At 11:22 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • Norman wrote:

How convenient for the government. Gets Lebanon and the terrorists that is Israel of the front pages. As usual everybody goes over the top with the ridiculous security measures. However this is just typical of the police (I am a retired officer) Why go an inch when you can go a mile or close a whole road when just a small closure is needed.
At least the alleged terrorists were able to creat havoc. Sorry, the police and the government did it for them.

  • 39.
  • At 11:23 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • Rodge wrote:

Was today a good day to bury bad news?
and was it created for this purpose?

It's funny how these terror alerts have only just been made public beginning 10 days ago

  • 40.
  • At 11:23 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • christian ryker wrote:

Today's red level terror alert in symbiosis with escalation of conflict in the Middle East is the trial balloon for a massive staged false flag terror attack, blamed on Hezbollah or Al-Qaeda, that will light the blue touch paper for World War Three.

Quite simply i am afraid to say that there will be an attack before the end of October, not by so called terrorists, but by our own government! Its a prelude to an attack on Iran and Syria.

Dont believe all the staged news you are fed, the threat is from the US and UK governments, insighting hatred between different cultures and religions. They are the facists, look how Hitler manufactured the second world war....see any similarities? Its our right to speak out do so before we dont have the right any more. Its almost to late, check all the discrepancies in their stories that we have neen told and the time they were issued. remember these words there will be an attack before october 31st. shame we dont have any journalists prepared to actually investigate stories properly any more.

  • 41.
  • At 11:24 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • Karl wrote:

Another Newsnight whingathon, constantly trying to find something to moan about from today's dramatic events at Heathrow and Gatwick. No praise for how quickly the airports implemented such a drastic change. Or how well people coped with the change. Well done Newsnight, another day another whine.

  • 42.
  • At 11:25 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • sixpacksteve wrote:

For the last 10 years this government has allowed potential terrorists into this country and disappear into the background ! Now we are paying the price , these so called British citizens are now conspiring to eliminate us because they disagree with our way of life ! Whatever happened to when in Rome do as the Romans do ? If I went to Saudi Arabia and pinched something from the local Tescos I would expect to get my hand cut off ! Its simple , its no good closing the stable door after the horse has bolted , we have a major problem and it is impossible now to deal with it ! Problem with UK PLC too many do gooders , too many " what about their human rights " , what about my human rights !
Turn the light off when you leave John !


  • 43.
  • At 11:25 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • Upharsin wrote:

Plot to Commit Murder on an Unimaginable Scale.

That's the Guardian's headline. When I first saw it I thought, "bingo, they've found the smoking gun the Downing Street Memo hinted at. War crimes trials for Bush and Blair, Cheney and Wolfowitz here we come. Yippee!" Honest.

  • 44.
  • At 11:26 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • Bill Crompton wrote:

Does anyone remember that Tony Blair came and told us, hand on his heart, that Iraq definitely had Weapons Of Mass Destruction. Well done, Tony. The contributions above show that the average intelligent BBC viewer doesn't take its government or its security service seriously any more.

Could it be a coincidence that just when we were all getting angry about the Israeli attacks on Lebanon, wondering why British soldiers are being slaughtered in Afghanistan and Iraq is collapsing into itself, SUDDENLY...we're being threatened by "Muslim terrorists". It's called "distraction", and every time you apply it, the con has to be bigger. Wonder what the next "terrorist scare" will be?

Question: how can you tell when a member of the security services is lying to you? Answer: his lips move...

  • 45.
  • At 11:26 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • David Adams wrote:

Notwithstanding that this may or may not be a valid scare, it's amazing to watch how the airports fall to pieces so easily. The only change that seems to have happened is that cabin baggage will not be allowed, shoes will be x rayed and body searches will be made.
The security screen is the worst pinch point in the whole airport check in process.Even though attendance times have been raised from one hour to two hours in most cases, it has not reduced the long waiting for screening. Instead it seems to have given the BAA and others the opportunity to have less lanes open. It would seem that had the authorities openened more lanes, put in a first level of scrutiny to assist people to become compliant, and filtered out those to fast track if they were compliant, then a lot of the disruption could have been reduced. It worked at some of the regional airports so why not Heathrow and Gatwick? Next time you pass through these airports have a look at the calibre of the staff undertaking the security and wonder no more.

  • 46.
  • At 11:28 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • JOHN wrote:

Why has the world come this stage where young muslim men have confused ideology's in their mindset due to the fact of Islamic Fundamentalism vs Western Hypacracy?

  • 47.
  • At 11:28 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • Stuart Coster wrote:

A key question relating to today's airport terror alert, which occurs having seen tonight's Newsnight coverage, is:

Why, if a similar, liquid-based form of attack on airliners was attempted as far back as the mid 90s, do we *still* not have advanced enough airport scanners to detect threatening or unusual liquids?

The form of attack is clearly not a new technique. I believe I heard Paul Mason say that the technology is available to detect suspect liquids. So why were we not prepared when we have had ten years notice?

None of the disruption witnessed today would have been necessary if airport security been properly equipped.

Who is responsible for this not having happened?

  • 48.
  • At 11:30 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • Jon Smith wrote:

How pleased the media must be.

Up until yesterday they had been in the horrible position of reporting real news (you know, war, people dying etc.).

Come on this is the "silly season" they thought!

Today they have the perfect story for the silly season so that we don't have to think about real events.

Basic story from today:

"Planes don't get blown up".
"People go on holiday a few hours late".

And so newsnight decides to spend about 44 mins on the story, while the middle east gets about 30 seconds.

Oh... I've got a great idea, now that we HAVEN'T had an attack let's use it to justify more anti-terrorism measures in the Autumn.

Total nonsense.

My thoughts and prayers wuth the UK and the BBC.

  • 50.
  • At 11:30 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • David Appleby wrote:

And what if this event has been botched by the terrorists on purpose so everyone's looking the other way (& congratulating themselves) when they can go after their real target?

I cannot condemn all Muslims even though I am just as fed up of this situation as the next person especially because I have a few dear friends who are Muslims and who would never hurt anyone.

What I am sure about is that this situation will not be solved by violence - the world needs another Gandhi not another Bush/Blair (are they any better than the terrorists) or God help us.

  • 51.
  • At 11:31 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • Paul Bee wrote:

I wish to emphasise that I am totally against terrorism whether it is carried out by a state or an organisation.

Given that BBC news have already described this terrorist attempt as 'simplistic' and may have happened in a few days time, I would suggest that this is a classic smoke screen utlised by a state when faced with a national outcry against Blair's policy of supporting USA foreign policy and Israeli's state terrorism. Nothing like creating public paranoia!

Tony, please treat the British people with more respect. Some of us still remember the political hysteria of anti-communism in the USA (no doubt backed by UK)after WW II.

This smacks of the same. Can we have a prime minister that backs our national interest and not Israel's and the USA's.

Paul Bee

(P.S. I would like to advise that I am Deputy Branch Secretary of a UNISON Branch, although I must advise that my Branch Committee do not know that I am sending this email.

  • 52.
  • At 11:32 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • Anne McNamee wrote:

I totally agree with the 'how convenient' view regarding today's 'news' of an alleged plot that was allegedly foiled by the alleged 'intelligence' agencies.

Convenient for TB to have the gullible UK media focus again on the alleged internal threat from Muslim terrorists, while ignoring the real threat of Israeli Jewish terrorism in the Middle East.

Convenient, too, for former communist, John Reid, desperate to introduce over the top anti-terrorist laws.

Convenient for the lily-livered media luvvies who cry out for a dramatic front page without Israeli terrorism and murdered Lebanese children as the subject.

If the threat is real and foreign airports refuse to fly to the UK, how on earth will our own Tony Bush get back to continue his US wars in the Middle East?

  • 53.
  • At 11:33 PM on 10 Aug 2006,


  • 54.
  • At 11:33 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • Errol Chandler wrote:

Strange how the atrocities being committed in Lebanon by Israel suddenly disappeared from the headlines as TV, Radio and newspapers feasted on the alleged plot to bomb airplanes! Rather to much like throwing tastier scraps to the public to distract them from the real issues. Of course there is a threat(and all the more so as a result of the events we turn a blind eye to in Lebanon) but how serious can it be if the Prime Minister can jet off on a freebie holiday as the 'news' breaks and the Foreign Secretary can swan off in her caravan. If the allegations are true it is rather like Nero fiddling while Rome burns. Cynical...Moi?

  • 55.
  • At 11:34 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • Steve wrote:

This will not end because even if there was peace in Iraq, Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Afganistan, Chechnya the Islamist extremists would just find another excuse to kill people.
It is Islam that needs to get its house in order not the rest of the World.

  • 56.
  • At 11:35 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • Robert G Clark wrote:

It certainly gives me confidence that the Secrurity Services and Police have acted quickly on this potential lethal distaster if it had worked. However...however what we will never know is if this will be another 'non-starter' in the same vein as the 'Forest Gate' alleged conspiracy. In other words, nothing.
The Police are between a 'rock and a hard place', so have to act on the intelligence that the SIS, MI5 and other scources tell them. It is a case of 'dammned if you do' and 'dammned if you dont'.
What one of my greatest fears is that the Blair Government may use this as an excuse to 'frighten the British People a little more....' so they can justify their apparent passing by stealth of more anti-civil liberties legislation, draconion laws etc.... and maybe what else?? Maybe an attempt to 'Abolish Parliament' and to extend their stay in office and elect Mr Blair, Browne or others as 'Dear Leaders' for life. I may just be getting paranoid, but I really do not trust what this Nu Labour 'Blairite' government is up to. After all, some of Blairs ex-ministers have been caught telling blatant lies and 'tall tales of dering-do' in the past??? Watch this space.... watch whats in the 'Queens Speech' when parliament resumes in the Autumn!!!!

  • 57.
  • At 11:36 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • Sean Mooney wrote:

I'm sick and tired of the paranoia, the conspiracy theories, the constant shifting of the blame to Bush, Blair, the police, the israeli's, in fact anyone except the terrorists thenselves. These conspiracists need to grow up and realise that we have a serious Islamic Fascist terrorist threat in this country which needs to be faced down. And by the way, if these extremists hate the UK, it's values and it's foreign policy so much, why do they choose to live here?

  • 58.
  • At 11:37 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • Matt Baker wrote:

The terrorists have succeeded without firing a shot and the state also reaps the rewards with more draconian laws.
It appears that after each "atrocity" new laws are needed to cambat the threat.
Our intelligence agencies have proved they do not have the capability to predict the major threats such as 9/11 and 7/7; in addition the police do not have a fantastic record in convictions such as the ricin and red mercury plots.
To those, including in the US, who think we should be grateful for the police in this instance, it must be remembered that we judge on past performance. Our security forces, whilst good in a incidence, do not have a great record and I, like many, are not convinced that they have made that quantum leap in detection methods to catch the real terrorists.
Good luck though to them - we'll need it to protect us from the state.

  • 59.
  • At 11:39 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • Jim Taylor wrote:

Does nobody in Britain take anything at face value anymore. Everyone is looking for an angle. for example. This terrorist action today was thought up to take Lebanon off the front pages.
Everyone is a reactionary. a militant, a hater of his neighbour.
Where are the silent majority of Britons who don't march, who don't threaten, who just want to live together with their neighbours what ever religion or colour they are. I am getting so fed up with people marching for some cause or other and saying they are the opinion of the whole country. 2 million marched against the war in iraq. That means over 50 million did not. Please, please, give us back our sanity and stop using every situation that arises as a club with which to beat opponents.
Maybe the silent majority should march just to say 'give it all a rest'.

  • 60.
  • At 11:42 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • Andres wrote:

The irrelevance and sarcasism of some of these comments above are really stressing my nerves; some people just do not like to see the facts and realities. They blame the Irak war, the war in Lebanon, so anybody of them can explain to me what is to blame for 9/11?
We are in a war against Islamic terrorists (Bush is not far away calling them Islamic fascists)

  • 61.
  • At 11:42 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • andy, watford wrote:

what really is terrifying is the attitude of people on this blog. they choose to ignore that a legitmate threat from islamic terrorism exists. 9/11 anyone? 7/7?

or are your lives, like the terrorists, and other parts of wider islam, so empty amd meanlingless that you are left with the ludicrous belief you are a victim of the conspiring and duplicitous leaders of democratically elected governments? and that it is all their fault: today's PR stunt, 9/11, you're own victimhood? everything?


get over it.

I am of the view that most of the people in this country have the intelligence to realise that this today's disruption to our country was caused by George Bush asking Tony Blair to implement it. The reason for this was to whip up bad feeling between the whites who have been humiliated in the extreme by these so called 'security measures' and the muslims who have been cast somehow as the perpetrators and the police who have been yet again cast as 'Paki-bashers' and bad feeling all around has been at the behest of George Bush and Tony Blair has carried this out. You as Journalists have the intelligence, the flair, and the confidence of the British Public to insinuate and imply. Please don't doubt that most of the interested public have downloaded 'Loose change' and it is the American Journalists themselves who have uncovered the story. No 'Watergate' this time eh?
~ Melina Richmond, Kew.

  • 63.
  • At 11:44 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • Bill Baxter wrote:

Thank You, Jeff Bowes. PLEASE will the BBC follow today's "suspects" to their probable release after a miserable time in Belmarsh/wherever. It is well known that Governments use "terror" to scare their own populations and to allow them to introduce even more legislation restricting our liberty. Apparently Tony Blair likes to see himself as Churchill, but he led the country in a fight to keep its freedoms, which it did. What would he have thought of CCTV everywhere, ID cards etc. WAKE UP BRITAIN before our freedom is all in the pockets of Tony's cronies

  • 64.
  • At 11:44 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • matt wrote:

oh dear, mr blair

so your government wants to have "enormous cooperation" with bush, even after another drunken bush speech - "islamic facists" ? - what are we ? could we not be accused of "capitalist facism" ? - there are those who say that even if we had not decided to mess up Iraq, we'd still be a target

but we won't win any 'hearts and minds' with this basically racist policy that you, mr blair, endorse

wars for "freedom", wars for "democracy" ? come on, surely you know none of us believe this tripe ?

most of us have seen the way legitimate protest has been crushed in the so called democratic countries that are the america and england

i WANT to believe in freedom and democracy, but heartbreakingly, i have to draw the conclusion that democracy is a sham, you and bush are our dictators, and this is a dictatorship, the war was wrong, and you were too horny over the thought of having burgers with bush, to see clearly - for shame

remember your cleaner than clean pledge ? do you really ?...well you're soaked in blood, and the singularly worst thing about all this, is that we all know how disturbing this new world order your machinations attempt to create is, and there's nothing we can do to stop you, this is the fourth reich

and i want to state my objection to it

am i to be arrested for being a terrorist* too ? (nice new laws mate)

*'terrorist' today can be taken to include...a person who attempts to form an independant and realistic opinion, or more specifically attempts to voice same, whilst on democratic soil

  • 65.
  • At 11:45 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • patricia shirley hillman wrote:

I am heartened by the fact that there appear to be some people, other than me, who are deeply disturbed by the unbalanced, over the top reporting on all TV channels and radio stations today. There appears to be no evidence whatsoever so far and I shall believe there is a terrorist threat on the airlines, when I see some evidence to prove it. It is too much of a coincidence that this should happen when public opinion here is so against what is happening in the Lebanon. I have come to the conclusion that this government, a Labour government...! will do anything to keep us all in a state of fear so that they can take away more and more of our freedoms and introduce more and more draconian measures to combat so called terrorism.

  • 66.
  • At 11:46 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • Harmohn Laehri wrote:

A distraction from the Middle East crisis was my first reaction. If however the intelligence proves correct & this was an attack in the making, we really need to take stock of our foreign policy. UK foreign policy must be coherent, represent UK interests & not those of power hungry politicians.

I take pride in being British, but can't help feeling our values & global standing are being eroded by the perceived double standards in foreign policy.

If we address this, we start to address the sections of community that are becoming radicalised.

  • 67.
  • At 11:48 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • derek haviour wrote:

if, Hezbollah and Hamas and all the other Islamic nutters win in the Middle East what, if any will be the response of all these liberal apologists for the Sword of Islam, who's followers would start to clear out Israel. Or are we all in favour of recreating a Hitler ideal,
after all, 9/11 was before Iraq and Lebanon. Or is it just a Bush Blair conspiricy.

  • 68.
  • At 11:48 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • Max Seers wrote:

First, I would like to stress that Iam completly against terrorism and anger at the idea that people can kill innocent civilians in the name of god- my dad narrowly escaped death on july 7th 2005.

In order to completly understand and solve the issue of 'islamic extreamists', we must appriciate why they are angry: Blair and Bush's foreign policy. For gods sake Mr Blair- get your head out of Bush's backside and realise that the brittish people want nothing to do with Bush or any of the oil driven wars he gets himself into.

More of these attacks are inevitably going to be planned and sooner or later the police (who have done a fantastic job) will not be able to stop then from being executed.

How many more innocent civilians, in USA Britain and the middle-east need to die before the politians tackle the root of the problem.

  • 69.
  • At 11:51 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • John Truscott wrote:

Lots of people blame Tony Blair, the UK Government, the British Forces in Iraq or Afganistan, Israel, George W Bush, US Government or just the USA when terrorist threats are made public. The current threat at our airports is just another albeit a serious one. Whatever the history there are those who would conspire, plan & carryout an atrosity in order to kill as many innocent people as possible. All terrorists look for the "Spectacular" in order to disrupt, destroy and kill, this could have been such an event and it is useful to comment that for those who do protect us, do so at great risk and sometimes we all should acknowledge this. Mistakes will always happen but we should not make the error of trying to have our cake and eat it. You either want security for your family, holidays abroad or just the opportunity to be comfortably ignorant, OR you want everything left to chance. Remember the 70's? Remember certain cities in the UK declaring themselves "Nuclear Free Zones"? We are safe just because we say so and we are friends of our enemies? Perhaps you may also remember a certain letter from Adolf Hitler proclaiming that everything was alright. Wake up! It is not about religion it's about those who would USE religion to further their aims. Another terrorist is always around the corner, the threat from Islamic fanantics is with us now, they are misguided, manipulated, indoctrinated & dangerous . Their masters do not endanger themselves they are pathetic cowards. Power to all those who protect us. Many thanks.
Per Ardua.

  • 70.
  • At 11:52 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • Errol Chandler wrote:

Surely it is symptomatic of a misguided society when a contributor to these comments feels it necessary to add a footnote that he is a "Deputy Branch Secretary of a Unison Branch"? (Paul Bee, 11.31pm)
SO WHAT! Does he think that his burblings carry more weight? In my opinion it actually diminishes the value of his comments as membership of UNISON or any other such collection of sheep shows a blinkered mind-set.

  • 71.
  • At 11:53 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • Russell wrote:

Truly it is time for a reality check all around. We may neither unthinkingly and uncritically accept the statements of any government or governmental agency nor may we refuse to accept what stares us in the face. Those Muslims who refuse to accept that their religionists were responsible for 9/11 and are deeply if not exclusively the agents of anti-western terrorism today must wake up and smell the cordite and hear the cries of Allah -u - Akhbar that accompany the death, destruction and grief all around them. Their being 'British' means nothing either to them or to anyone else if their unnatural lack of loyalty to the rest of us mutates into a perversion of religion, the inevitable result of which is pain, suffering and death not only for them but for all unfortunate enough to be their victims or to live alongside them.

  • 72.
  • At 11:53 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • Paul wrote:

London 'Ricin Plot', Plot to 'blow up Manchester football ground' etc etc 99% of terror alerts have been FALSE with very little coverage when they are found to be false.

Of the hundreds of arrests on suspicion of terrorism since 911 in the UK, only 17 have been convicted and they were mainly Irish, no Muslims.

Where is the history of all this in BBC reports when it would be very relevant? eg: "Why minister (or whoever) should we take this seriously given the past record?"

The current lurid and speculative coverage of the latest incident needs perspective of this real history and a questioning news media if democracy is to be properly informed.

When the government is in a mess, up comes a 'Terror threat' which goes totally unchallenged and when found to be false details are released quietly months later; no headlines screaming injustice and manipulation. Noticeable and instructive I think that the real terror going on against civilians daily in Lebanon, in Gaza, in Iraq, in Afghanistan seems to be now totally absent in favour of 'Officials say' news reporting which is a long way short of journalism.

Admitted of course I do not know for sure this one's a false one but 99% of them have been so where's the perspective? The balance of probability must mean a lean to the sceptical? Particularly as has been pointed out, it's very convenient timing with the rest of their invasion operation going so badly.

If later on this latest 'threat to civilisation' is found to be another false one will the BBC follow it up and complain loudly about political media manipulation?

  • 73.
  • At 11:54 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • Richard Howard wrote:

sean mooney: glad you have so much faith in two governments who have dubious records in the truth departments! When we have lost all our rights and the middle east is a smoking wasteland then perhaps you can see the stupidity of your comments. I suspect you have not reasearched the facts you dissmiss as conspiracy therories: heres just one fact you probally dont know:

In January of 2003 FBI and CIA whistleblowers told Capitol Hill Blue that the White House was scripting phony terror alerts to maintain hysteria, upkeep President Bush’s approval ratings and milk extra defense funding. The report that five Pakistani men had entered the States via Canada and were planning on carrying out a dirty bomb or biological attack was completely conjured up by the Bush administration’s black propaganda office. New York Harbor was shut down to visibly pump up the fear. One of the named suspects, Mohammed Asghar, was tracked down to Pakistan by the Associated Press. He was a fat guy running a jewellers shop and had never even been to America.

Other sources within the bureau and the Central Intelligence Agency said the administration is pressuring intelligence agencies to develop "something, anything" to support an array of non-specific terrorism alerts issued by the White House and the Department of Homeland Security…CHB reported that FBI and CIA sources said a recent White House memo listing the war on terrorism as a definitive political advantage and fund-raising tool is just one of many documents discussing how to best utilize the terrorist threat

But perhaps you could put your head in the sand and go on hating those who believe in Islam and believing all the propaganda feed to you by thr neocons in washington, your chioce.

  • 74.
  • At 11:54 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • Nadim Chaudry wrote:

So here we go again. Personally as a muslim born and raised here in the uk I'm starting to think that I cannot wait for the rounding up and extermination to begin so that I no longer pose an apparent threat.As others have already posted how soon is it before we get so propogandized to believe the only solution is the final one_the extermination of all muslims everywhere. The marches, the blogging,the petitioning and diplomacy seem to get nowhere and daily all you see is muslims being slaughtered so do you honestly believe that some mindless idiots will not turn to fundmentalist action!! Its not excusable but surely you have to understand how and why its happening. Two arab nations destroyed and facing civil war whilst we all stand aside and talk about Iranian and Syrian influence. If Scotland was invaded and destroyed in a similar vein do you really think England would not be arming? Bush's "fascist" statements were the ultimte in ironic hypocrisy as it brought to mind an article I found on the net the other day that just brought thoughts of the UK and US at the minute If we allow the supply and arming of Israel to bomb the hell out of Lebanon do you not think we are also considered a legitimate target by the mindless?

  • 75.
  • At 11:55 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • Karunakaravel K wrote:

Bombing of civilian buildings to take away one rocket launcher- Justified!
Destruction of all civilian infrastructures to prevent few terrorists moving- Justified!
Drop leaflets to tell civilians to leave but prevent all means to escape- Justified!
Remove a tyrant and become a cause for turmoil within a country- Justified!
Destroy all the powers of a president and ask him to stop militants in his country- Justified!
Lend support for opposition within a country to fight against their president when he is sick- Justified

Soldiers rape women- Oh! We are sorry
Prison guards abuse prisoners- Oh! We are sorry
Shoot an unarmed bleeding alleged militant at short range- Oh! We are sorry
Pin down and empty several shots into an innocent brain- Oh! We are sorry
Raid a house with 250 police and find nothing- Oh! We are sorry

Doesn't this behavior give reasons for eccentric perverted religious leaders to con their followers?

It is time to address these reasons first.

  • 76.
  • At 11:55 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • Anna wrote:

Assuming there is some truth to the intelligence (which is another question), there is a difference between a group of people discussing, even earnestly, their dreams of shocking the world with their atrocious actions, and actually carrying them out. It will be interesting to discover whether any explosives are found but, if they are not, freedom of speech is not a crime.

But in any case the terrorists have won. Just look at the Newsnight footage of the housing estate in High Wycombe - the fear and distrust that has been instilled in ordinary people. One can't enter even the Royal Opera House, of all places, without a bag search; a muslim-looking person on a train carrying a rucksack is regarded with fear and suspicion. Baby milk becomes a banned substance. From a generally tolerant and trusting society of a few years ago we are now neither.

  • 77.
  • At 11:55 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • andy, watford wrote:

melinda, i think you are way wide of the mark. the number of people in the UK who think today is a PR stunt pulled by blair at the request of bush is porbably tiny and insignificant. and sadly, far less the the proportion of british muslims who sympathise with the 7/7 muderers.

  • 78.
  • At 11:56 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • Stephen wrote:

It's heartening to see how few people in this forum have been taken in by another terror red alert story, dutifully swallowed and repeated by all media sources. The timing of this official announcement, along with Bush's rant about "Islamic fascists", is deeply suspect. At least Newsnight did occasionally use the word "alleged", but no reporter seriously questioned it. We must now watch carefully how the government and police use the story over the coming weeks with regard to the Middle East, and if they propose any new restrictions on civil rights in the name of the war on terror.

  • 79.
  • At 11:57 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • Andy Smith wrote:

When are world leaders (of ALL religions) going to accept that different races can live together quite happily, but different cultures never will? Western politicians have insisted for decades that their/our culture is right and the Eastern culture is wrong, and vice versa.

Why can't politicians and cultural leaders the world over just accept that one group follows one culture and set of beliefs, and the other follows a different culture and set of beliefs. Neither can justify a claim that the other is wrong.

The one thing both cultures acknowledge is that the murder and terrorism of innocent people is wrong. Whether it targets innocent passengers on Western airlines or innocent Muslim families in the Lebanon.

Terrorism and the murder of innocent people can never be justified by anyone regardless of their cultural belief. So let's just accept that while different races can co-exist on the same land, different cultures never will, and then let our politicians and leaders move forward using that premis as a cornerstone. Agree to disagree if necessary. Murder is murder and terrorism is terrorism no matter who commits it. Our Western politicians just seem to find it more palletable to refer to our own acts of terrorism as "wars". I'm a white Anglo-Saxon agnostic and proud to be British, but let's not kid ourselves. We didn't go to war with Iraq, we invaded it!

From a personal perspective I would never choose to live in a country with a predominantly Eastern culture because that's not where my beliefs lie. But why can't those who do follow Eastern cultures and beliefs be allowed to live in their own countries without pressure being applied from the West?

Similarly if I did believe in, and support the Eastern culture and beliefs, why would I want to live in Britain?

Geographically the world is big enough for us all to exist in peace following our own cultures and beliefs. If you follow/believe in the Western culture, live in the West. If you follow/believe in the Eastern culture, live in the East. It's not rocket science!

But regardless of culture or beliefs, let's just stop killing each other eh? It might seem a blissfully simplistic way of looking at the problem, but the fact is it could be made that simple. The indescribable grief at losing a loved one is the same the world over. No matter what culture, beliefs or religion we choose to follow.

In any culture, resorting to violence/war/terrorism (call it what you will) means our leaders have failed us - no matter where we live!

  • 80.
  • At 11:58 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • the question wrote:

less hand/carry on luggage on aircraft = less weight.

less weight on aircraft = less fuel consumption.

think, then discuss.

always question.

  • 81.
  • At 11:59 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • John Nash wrote:

Only ignorant people laugh at the idea of "exploding pop" or ask why the security services can't find explosives during raids.
If they knew anything about chemistry at all, they'd know that nitroglycerine, for example, can be made with three common household and industrial chemicals, a couple of jam jars and some ice. The result looks just like pop, so stop laughing - mixed with cat litter, it makes dynamite. You can't arrest people for owning aluminium powder, bleach, battery acid, iodine crystals, glycerine, glow sticks and other things, but they all can be used to make high explosives in a few minutes when needed. Only an idiot would leave made-up explosives lying around as evidence.
Because explosives can be made to look like drinks, paper, food and a million other things, it is better to nip terror in the bud rather than wait the result. Those who laugh at police "failures" are the same people who fall to pieces and run around like headless chickens when terror actually strikes.
And for those dim-witted cretins who think these attacks have something to do with Lebanon, Iraq, et al, please explain why they have been increasing steadily for twentyfive years. The truth is that we have had peace for so long that many Western people have become couch potatoes - as we get softer, other ideologies see their chance and try their hand. Every "march for peace" is a bigger encouragement to terrorists than any war because it is blatant weakness - it's evidence that we have become too soft to fight. Britain once ruled half of the world and the USA is the number one honcho today - that's why we are targets - we're the big guys in the pub, so we get all the challenges from insignificant young rubbish who want to prove something.

  • 82.
  • At 11:59 PM on 10 Aug 2006,
  • A 007 wrote:

Mick Murphy ,You are really funny, you are describing all one Billion Muslim to be dirty ,stupid and terrorist .I'm Muslim ,and I would like to tell you that you are totally wrong ,we don't eat pork because it leave you with out jealousy at all .We eat all kind of sea food and we can marry to four wives but it is not necessary . If all the one billion Muslim on earth are terrorist we will be in real trouble .Don't let events like this mislead you to a totally wrong conclusion. yes we have the most beautiful girls in heaven waiting for us ."If one of them spit in salty sea, it will make it sweet as honey " this is how is haven like !

  • 83.
  • At 12:03 AM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • mark wilson wrote:

whats all this fuss about terrorism- its nothing compared to the biggest threat of all by miles: GLOBAL WARMING. We should all be worried about this far more than the threat from terrosm as it poses a greater threat to humanity as a whole

  • 84.
  • At 12:04 AM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • Mich wrote:

I think this is country is absolutely rediculous, Our country is just so easily run by anyone but the government. why is our gorvernment so scared to act on their own behalf? Anyone is allowed to live in this country and do the most horendous things and get away with it. This shouldn't be happening!!!

  • 85.
  • At 12:06 AM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • Bill Robertson wrote:

Apparently MrBlair informed Mr Bush of this alleged threat on Sunday past. Surely a genuine security measure would have been to quietly arrest the suspects and bring them to court or otherwise.Instead we got a crisis scenario-why?

  • 86.
  • At 12:06 AM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • andy, watford wrote:

mark wilson - behave

when did global warming suddenly kill 50 odd innocent commuters one July morning?

  • 87.
  • At 12:08 AM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • matt tyler wrote:

whats wrong with the world? Somebody help.........

  • 88.
  • At 12:08 AM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • antony wrote:

Yet again another terrorist alert, and look who is involved it is muslims. Although I agree that not all muslims are terrorists, I have a blatent mistrust of all muslims in our communities and we are stifled to raise our own opinions through political correctness and fears of being a racist. When are we gonna tackle the issues that muslims force upon their communities without fear.
Multiculturalism has been forced upon the British people when clearly they did not want it and it does not work hence the divide in communities which was illustrated in the race riots that happened in Bradford.Because of multiculturalism mosques have been built and have thus been a greenhouse for the seeds of Islam extremeist to germinate, thus bringing about our own brish born muslims trying to kill us yet again.
If Islam is a peace loving religion why are muslims going around trying kill innocent people, I do not see hindus or sikhs doing the same thing as these muslims. If they hate us why dont they clear off to Iran or somewhere else. Whenever there is an issue in the world it is always jihad with these muslims. Its hard sometimes not to be a racist ins't it especially when muslim people were dancing in the streets on spetmeber 11. Are these muslims not the biggest racists of all?

  • 89.
  • At 12:08 AM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • KenP wrote:

Many people, myself included,do not support this government on many issues,particularly on Iraq,and the middle east in general.
This does not give anyone the right to take human life,indeed innocent life to make their points or underline their beliefs.
There must be more to it than that. I think that these attacks or attempted ones are an attack on the western way of life, which though it is far from perfect is as good as it gets on this earth.
We need to learn to live together and celebrate rather than try to obliterate our differences. Not sure was Islam has to say on this point.

  • 90.
  • At 12:08 AM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • Mich wrote:


  • 91.
  • At 12:09 AM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • antony wrote:

Yet again another terrorist alert, and look who is involved it is muslims. Although I agree that not all muslims are terrorists, I have a blatent mistrust of all muslims in our communities and we are stifled to raise our own opinions through political correctness and fears of being a racist. When are we gonna tackle the issues that muslims force upon their communities without fear.
Multiculturalism has been forced upon the British people when clearly they did not want it and it does not work hence the divide in communities which was illustrated in the race riots that happened in Bradford.Because of multiculturalism mosques have been built and have thus been a greenhouse for the seeds of Islam extremeist to germinate, thus bringing about our own brish born muslims trying to kill us yet again.
If Islam is a peace loving religion why are muslims going around trying kill innocent people, I do not see hindus or sikhs doing the same thing as these muslims. If they hate us why dont they clear off to Iran or somewhere else. Whenever there is an issue in the world it is always jihad with these muslims. Its hard sometimes not to be a racist ins't it especially when muslim people were dancing in the streets on spetmeber 11. Are these muslims not the biggest racists of all?

  • 92.
  • At 12:13 AM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • Clive R wrote:

Terrorism is fuelled by a perception of injustice, and the injustice felt by large sections of the Muslim world has led to extreme behaviour by a minority.

Until western leaders, particularly Messrs Bush and Blair, understand and act on the fundamentals of injustice in the Middle East, terrorism will continue. Continue until Israel is made to withdraw completely from lands captured in the Six Day War of 1967, and occupied and settled since that time.

The whole world, apart from Mr Bush and Mr Blair, knows that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11 and also knows that the disproportionate and obscene level of retaliation against Hizbollah and the Lebanon by Israel can only feed support for that organisation amongst Lebanon citizens.

Until the USA and UK rid themselves of their present leaders, adopt an equitable policy on the Middle East and right the wrongs of Iraq and the Lebanon there is absolutely no chance of lessening the threats of terrorism. You can't bomb away the sense of injustice that leads to the terrorism.

  • 93.
  • At 12:14 AM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • mark wilson wrote:

to andy in wattford: you poor misinformed fool-- what about the thousands of people who die every week in africa as a direct result of global warming???? p.s my dad was nearly killed on july 7th--how about you?

  • 94.
  • At 12:20 AM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • pierce grey wrote:

mark wilson is right- anyone with any intelligence realises that global warming is a much bigger threat then terrorism

  • 95.
  • At 12:26 AM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • Atiq wrote:

As a British Muslim, who was actually born in Pakistan but grew up here with both western and muslim culture to deal with I think I have managed to balance both my western way of life and beliefs very well.

Firstly I too would like to add my appreciation to teh Security Services and Police, although I shall await the evidence with an open mind.

If these devices had gone off they would undoubtedly have killed people of all races, creeds and religions - Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Asian, Black, White, etc, etc.

These Terrorists say they are doing things for Islam but it's bull. They say they are going to be martyrs - you can only be a martyr if killed in a war fighting for a just cause (ie as a soldier). You cannot be considered a Martyr by killing hundreds of innocent people on an indiscrimate basis, when the warzone itself it thousands of miles away (Iraq, Israel, Palestine and Afghanistan) etc. These people are not Martyrs, they are killers, mass murderers and homicidal maniacs and will go directly to Hell. I'm sure Satan is rubbing his hands with glee at the prospect.

In response to Biggorilla - Surat 4:18 of the Quran says nothing about beheading disbelievers. What it actually translates to is that nobelievers or those who do evil deeds will be sent to hell once they die.

Disbelievers has nothing to do with being Muslim or not. It is God asking you to believe in him (and Allah is simply the arabic name for God).

What people don't seem to understand is that fundamentally the Bible, Torah and Quran are all the same, except that where the Bible and Torah left off the Quran continued with the last of the prophets (Mohammed).

Anyway I'm not really that in to religion so why bore you with it.

But ever since 9/11 and 7/7 I feel like I am always being watched with suspicous looks whenever i'm on a plane or on the tube.

I work with and have Christian and Jewish friends / colleagues. We go out, we go for a drink (non alcoholic for me of course) and never had any problems.

I say find all these extremists that are bent on destroying the image of real Muslims, lock them up and
throw away the key. I'll help slam the door.

  • 96.
  • At 12:33 AM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • Phil wrote:

Here are my five questions:

1 If the plot is already foiled, why the disruption?
2 If we are near to an attack using highly potent explosives, why don't the areas that have been raided have extensive cordons, with the local areas being evacuated for safety?
3 Is the timing of this after Mr 'Attack Dog' Reid's speech significant?
4 Given the numerous past failings of the security services, why is this different?
5 How likely are we to see convictions of those arrested?

  • 97.
  • At 12:34 AM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • Richard Bridger wrote:

I suppose that these are very contentious issues, but I find the majority of the posts in this blog rather hysterical and one sided, which are of course exactly the sort of attitudes that got us into this latest mess in the first place. As to the “it’s all a plot by Bush/Blair to discredit the islamists and divert attention from Iraq/Lebanon”, well maybe, but there are certainly some Islamic groups out there that have carried out such terrorist attacks and exhort their followers to carry out more. As to the radically opposite view that all Islamic people are potential terrorists who only want to destroy “our” way of life, well there are certainly many out of the 1+ billion who are not, and only want a quiet life.

The media are so much to blame here for concentrating on the extremism and violence from both sides, because it makes better news, and largely ignoring the message of moderates (though tonight Newsnight wasn’t too bad in the panel discussion – a rarity). The advent of 24 hour news and the internet only makes the situation worse. Add to this the publishing of exactly which liquid explosives can be used to blow up a plane???

If there is a solution to this level on extremism on both sides – and it is possible, witness the cordial relations between Germany and the rest of Europe today - it surely lies in solving the Palestinian/Israeli problem. There ARE moderate voices out there, so let’s listen to them a good deal more. Exchanging territory for peace seems to be the only possible way forward. Beyond this we will just have to wait until everyone calms down, maybe in 50 years time if we are really lucky.

  • 98.
  • At 12:34 AM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • Bill Robertson wrote:

Now why did I type beeb instead of been?!

  • 99.
  • At 12:35 AM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • nancy webb wrote:

pierce gray and mark wilson are right- o.k terrorism is an immediate threat but global warming is a bigger, long term one. But when will people realise this: too late I fear

  • 100.
  • At 12:38 AM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • Helen Heenan wrote:

Why has there been no comment on the role of ISI, Pakistan's intelligence service, in this whole affair. Newsnight tells us that a tip off from ISI alerted the UK to terrorist plans.

ISI has a reputation going back for years of sponsoring (i.e. funding and training) jihadi terrorism in Kashmir, Afghanistan, India, and elsewhere. Despite several purges of the ISI by the Pakistani government, a large number of hardcore fundamentalists still rule the roost within the ISI. THey are known to support Al-Qaeda. They have been described as a "government with the government" of Pakistan.

Now, why would they want to tip off the UK about an operation they may have had a hand in organising? It certainly has already had the effect of raising Pakistan's profile in the so-called war on terror. A further effect will be to deflect criticism from ISI itself.

Were these 24 British suspects sacrificial lambs to the greater glory of Blair, Bush, Pakistan, and the ISI as well?

It's hard not to see conspiracies everywhere you look, when so much of what we have been told over the years since 9/11 has come down to manipulation at best, and lies at worst.

  • 101.
  • At 12:38 AM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • nancy webb wrote:

to Atiq: i will also help you slam the door, then we'll go for a drink to discuss the more peaceful world!!

If there's a real risk that multiple terrorists are carrying disguised explosives, why respond in a way that results in crowding, uncertainty and chaos at the target airport when one small explosion in such circumstances could (via placement and/or panic) cause loss of life that would be unacceptable (if not 'unprecedented')?

  • 103.
  • At 12:48 AM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • Bill Robertson wrote:

Apparently MrBlair informed Mr Bush of this alleged threat on Sunday past. Surely a genuine security measure would have been to quietly arrest the suspects and bring them to court or otherwise.Instead we got a crisis scenario-why?

  • 104.
  • At 12:50 AM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • Zep wrote:

I wonder about the reaction, perhaps overreaction of the British government here. 25 arrests is unprecedented in these kind of situations, indeed no Al-Queda cell ever operates on such a level. Usually their team consists of around four or five in each cell, and the actual deadline is known only to one, two at most for security reasons. The whole thing seems very fishy.

Both Blair and Bush are at their most unpopular level in the polls, the world is outraged by Israeli’s response to Muslims across Lebanon. The ‘war on terror’ seems a distant dream. Was today a cynical attempt to get it back onto the headlines?

  • 105.
  • At 12:54 AM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • Emma Williamson wrote:

Tony Blair is solely responsible for making the UK a terrorist target by strongly associating the UK with US foreign policy in the middle east.

What has US foreign policy achieved?

The illegal invasion of Iraq on the pretence of nuclear weapons which were never found. The country is now tearing itself apart with what almost 100,000 Iraqis dead. You never hear the official statistics but we know over 100 British troops are dead. We would have been better leaving Saddam Hussain in power.

The current crisis between Israel and the Lebannon could have been brought to a swift conclusion if the US wanted to but no instead it accelerates the number of weapons delivered via the UK to help kill more innocent civilians. A move supported by Mr Blair.

The absolute core issue is not Islamic Fundamentalism this term used by politicians is designed to divert people from the real issue that is Israel and Palestine.

You may ask why politicians wish to divert individuals from the real issue. The answer is Oil. Following the eviction of western powers from the middle east (remember BP was originally created from the Anglo Persion Oil Company i.e. Iran Oil) meant they needed a strong military power in the middle east to act as a check to unfriendly powers who just happen to be sitting on 80% of the world's oil supply. Israel meets that requirement. In return the west gave the Jews land to create their own state Israel at the expense of the Arabs. The west primarily the us provide economic support in return Israel provides the bulkwark designed to keep unfriendly Arab regimes in check.

This issue has been going on for over 60 years ever since the UK stole Arab lands and gave them to Israel. Israel has only been able to hold on to this land due to military and economic support by initially the UK and now the US.

Worst still not only did Israel steal Arab lands it left nothing more than scraps for the indigenous population. Through many of its everyday actions it makes these poor peoples lives intolerable.

Ironic given the circumstances of the second world war that they behave in a manner not much different than those who tried to wipe their population out.

I believe that unless the above issue is resolved in an equitable fashion (Jews & Arabs) this issue will only get worst until it is resolved once and for all.The outcomes will be:

1) Ongoing stalemate ongoing war continued escalation dragging in the UK and the US perhaps a global war (not skermishs)
2) Israel once and for all destroying its enermies Iran / Syria (I do not believe that will happen Israel is a nation of circa 4m Iran 70m Syria 19m Egypt 70m)
3) Israel being evicted out of the middle east by its enermies. I think this is only a matter of time.
4) A new state being evolved combining Arabs and Israelis but with equal rights and opportunities for all parties. There may have been a time when this was an option however I believe too much blood has been shed to make this a realistic option.

  • 106.
  • At 12:59 AM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • john nash wrote:

Hi, Phil (101)
Here are your five answers
1. Because there may be more that haven't been found yet, so the known get turned over to find the unknown.
2. Because the explosives may not have been mixed yet, and the explosives and detonators may only be coming together on board the aircraft.
3. Yes. They are both part of the same scenario.
4. Because its better to be safe than sorry.
5. Very unlikely - the explosives are probably still harmless everyday chemicals in different locations, you can't find any detonators or written instructions, and all terrorists are actually "innocent citizens" right up until the time they commit murder - they don't wear uniforms, they don't fight soldiers and they use your cynicism or innocence as a potent weapon in their methods.

  • 107.
  • At 01:02 AM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • David Brown wrote:

Overheard an old guy in the pub this evening moaning on that Britain used to be a place where you could trust your fellow countrymen when it came to matters of national concern, whatever your background, class and petty differences in other areas. He went on to say that Blair is a dangerous hypocrite supported by the 'liberal intelligentsia in the media' as he is making speeches saying we are fighting a war against those who hate our Western values and democracy whilst at the same time allowing/speeding up the process of allowing millions of people from non-Western countries in to the UK unvetted and with no pressure to respect or integrate and certainly without asking the British people whether this is what we want. He complained that second or third generation Muslim 'Britons' of the original first generation 1950/60 liberal intelligentsia inspired multi-cultural experiment are now attempting to kill or maim, from within, anyone in this country who does not believe in Allah. Apparently he fought in the War and feels he doesn't have a voice in Blairs Britain and that he speaks for the silent majority (soon to be the silent minority given demographics based on immigrant birth rates as compared to native Britains he went on) and this in the very country he helped defend. Someone in the pub called him a rascist and told him that 99.999999% of Muslim Britons would put this country ahead of their faith if required and that they contribute greatly to the country though he didn't give any examples - why need to! The old guy argued back that all Muslims insist upon butchering animals in barbaric and cruel Halal methods and that women are treated as second class citizens and mere baby producing machines. At this point he was removed from the pub. I was doubly pleased as he was also an evil smoker who threatens us all in a way no British Muslim could ever do and the government and media are right in targeting these people rather than worrying and upsetting our Muslim communities over a few delays at an airport or two. I bet this old man also drives at over 30 mph threatening every child in Britain too! Thank God we have New Labour devoting huge resources targeting the real enemy within such as this guy. Tony B is spot on that this is peoples real concern and the media do an excellent job supporting him and helping create a Britain unrecognisable (thankfully!) from the country of 50 years ago that clearly was an embarrassment compared to the happy, courteous and community based country we have today where everybody looks out for one another and knows the difference between mere material wealth and true quality of life and, most importantly, where you can identify with and trust your fellow citizen.

I won't comment on the arrests and alleged plot, as almost everything is speculation, but I am fed up with waiting for ages on aircraft whilst people mess about and delay the aircraft whilst they stow their 'hand luggage'.
If hand luggage is banned permanently then many more flights might take off on time in the future. As long as I can take a book on board then bring it on. I can't recall needing to clean my teeth, cut my nails or gel my hair on any flight.
I am amazed that hand luggage wan't banned after September 11th. The airlines, particularly the low cost ones are positively encouraging people to take as much baggage in the cabin as possible. If you cannot ban hand luggage, it is easy to install remote controlled locks for the overhead bins which could be operated by the pilot before take off.

  • 109.
  • At 01:19 AM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • maxine wrote:

I cannot understand how your interviewer on this evening's programme did not challenge a representative of the Muslims in Britain when he said with cringing grimace that, no, it was not 'helpful' to use words such as islamic fascists to describe the alleged plotters in the news today. As far as he was concerned until 'facts on the ground' change the terrorists will continue to vent their 'rage'. When asked to elucidate what he meant by 'facts on the ground' he said that magic little word, 'Iraq'! Why did Kirstie Wark not challenge him? 9/11 happened BEFORE Iraq! And anyway are we to accept henceforth that Muslims can be expected to engage in mass murder when they don't like the foreign policy of the country which has given them a home. Are Muslims above the law now, such is their fervent sense of grievance for their fellow muslims?

'What's in a name?' A lot actually. Winston Churchill did not shy away from clearly describing the Nazi threat for what it was, rather than giving consideration to what had brought this threat upon us, the 'facts on the ground', or Hitler's maniacal hatred of all jews...Things don't change but our responses to them are instructive. Today, it is the stated aim of Hezbollah to kill all jews in Israel - for starters. It is the stated aim of their patrons in Iran to eliminate Israel. It is the stated aim of Hamas to do the same, which is why they will not recognise Israel's right to exist and why they train their young daughters in nursery school to sing songs about strapping on the bomb and killing jews as a holy duty, as we saw in your Panorama programme on Sunday week.

Now in Britain young men who consider themselves to be good muslims are willing to kill thousands of innocent civilians, apparently because Britain invaded Iraq and freed it from Sadam Hussein, a despotic, corrupt murderer of his own people who, incidentally, had absolutely no interest whatsoever in Muslims or Alah. It would be funny if it wasn't so twisted and dishonest. Does the gentleman not remember how initially the people danced in the street? The mayhem which reigns in Iraq today is caused by the age old and bitter rivalry between Shia and Sunnis, who are jokeying for power while Al Queida fills the vacuum.

It really is time that this country WAKES up to the islamo-fascists in our midst and abroad, and calls them just that. It would have been too much to expect a representative of the Muslims who clearly bears a fearsome responsability at such a time as this to say that yes, these people are islamo-fascists, and good muslims want to have nothing to do with them. Now THAT would have been helpful.

President Bush is not always wrong, merely by virtue of opening his mouth as some would have us believe. He is describing is as it is.

  • 110.
  • At 01:21 AM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • David Bean wrote:

I have to disagree with Anne Cryer's comments on tonight's programme that questions about the status of John Prescott are trivial. How can it be a trivial matter that the man laughingly referred to as the "Deputy Prime Minister" blatantly is not?

It's obvious why he's been invisible - if there was any hint that he was anything close to being in charge of the country, there would be panic - but that is because everyone knows he would not be up to the job. That being said, why does he still have it? If everyone thought that John Reid was incapable of running the Home Office, he wouldn't have that job, so why should we accept a Deputy Prime Minister who is incapable of deputising for the Prime Minister?

The man's very presence in government represents a patronising lie, and one made all the more alarming for its bare-facedness. I don't think that's a trivial issue at all.

  • 111.
  • At 01:24 AM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • Mark Jacobs wrote:

Hey, Tony... how is that tan coming along in Barbados?

They must have some nice beaches there.. no oil slicks or anything over there :)

  • 112.
  • At 01:35 AM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • john nash wrote:

Hi David (112)
Did I understand your post correctly? You rejoice because an old bloke is thrown out of the pub for speaking his mind. What happened to freedom of speech? Then you rejoice because he is a smoker who is killing you, so apparently he has no rights. Then you add that he is probably a bad driver and a child killer - because he smokes???? And then you piously claim to be part of a society that is courteous????? Its people like you who blow up planes because they contain people who don't share your twisted views. Thankfully, in fifty years time, tomorrow's young people will think you are an idiotic old prat, too.

  • 113.
  • At 01:47 AM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • David Brown wrote:


You don't do irony obviously.

  • 114.
  • At 01:52 AM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • matt wrote:

i have to add, that post 93, by matt tyler, post 100 by Atiq, and post 110 by nancy webb should all be commended

if only you were our leaders

thanks !

and David Brown (112), you can be minister for sarcasm and irony !


  • 115.
  • At 01:54 AM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • Andy Smith wrote:

To address Phil's five questions in Posting 101 above...

1. For obvious reasons, the security services (via Dr John Reid) can't disclose all information gathered and collated. Whilst they wouldn't wish to be accused of scare mongering, clearly they have additional information about other terrorist threats. Monitoring of risks such as this most recent one is an ongoing operation 24-hours-a-day, 365-days a year. In other words, one very serious plot has been thwarted. That's not to say other "less significant" terrorist threats remain on-going. On average there are over 150 serious terrorist threats being investigated each day in the UK at any one time. Hence the need to employ an entire security department on a full-time all year round basis.

2. The areas "raided" and cordoned off by police and security services are simply addresses where suspects were known to live. They are NOT properties where explosives were expected to be found. Those "raided" properties were targeted for two specific reasons. First to detain the suspects concerned for questioning, and second, to gather information from mobile phones, laptops and pc's. Nothing more. The properties were known NOT to be harbouring the actual explosive materials. They are known to be elsewhere and as a result may prove useful in detaining other suspected would-be terrorists by keeping the materials to be used exactly where they are.

3. No. The basis behind these most recent planned terrorist attacks lies in certain terrorist groups supporting "the other side" in conflicts around the world. The ongoing situation in Lebanon has given them what they consider to be justification - as warned by video footage released in recent weeks.

4. Which "numerous" past failings of the security services are you referring to Phil?

5. Impossible for anyone to answer at this time as the outcome will be based on judicial process. If conclusive evidence is found, certain people are likely to be found guilty. Sentencing of those people will be decided by the Judge or Judges hearing the cases in court - like any other court case. If evidence of guilt is inconclusive, obviously those suspects will be found not guilty and released.

  • 116.
  • At 02:12 AM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • Shahbaz Sikandar wrote:

Here I am at San Francisco airport...carrying a Pakistani passport, working in UK for my employer, in US on work. Seeing the Pakistani passport brought the security to attention. I was taken aside, made to stand in a "capsule" and scanned, laptop bag swiped with clean cloth that was then checked for trace amounts of explosive material, nitrate, God knows what!

my points are:
1. I'm sick and tired of nameless, faceless Muslims, whether they are UK-born, Afghanistan-born, Swaziland-born (don't think there are any there), carrying on this false hope of taking on the West / Israel / any other co-religionist (incl. myself) who dares to disagree. I for one don't want to be treated for what I look like, come from or pray to.

2. I'm sick and tired of this wave of militant Islam taking on wings, especially after 9-11. Likewise, I hear US talk radio when I'm visiting and think these right wing pundits are no better than Ahmedinejad, except that the latter runs a country.

3. Pakistan has felt the brunt of extremism for a long time now and I'm tired of hearing how Pakistan is turning out extremists. First, it was Russain backed bombings in cities, then various civil war factions trying to fight each other in cities, bringing in drugs and arms to fuel their thanks to General Zia who in cahoot with CIA backed various groups. Pakistanis have learned to live lives surrounded by bombings, hijacking, secterian killings. Now, everyone seems to be having a go at Pakistan. Oh, lest I forget India.

4. UK has unfortunately seen mass migration of Pakistanis from extremely backward and rural areas. These people would not have adjusted well in Pakistani cities, let alone Western societies. The first generation took the racism, animosity and treatment meted out silenetly for the sake of economic future. The new generation is less prosperous, less educated and perhaps more conservative in certain ways. Islam to many seems like a easy way to take their frustrations out.

5. There is no easy way to get rid of this militant Islam ideology. I certainly don't have any answers. What I fear most is polarization in UK like they have in US that will ultimately harm Muslims more than other communities. I chose to work in UK (being the fourth country I've moved to in the last 10 years) mainly because it's not US (I did do my college in US and work for a US-based company)!

One thing I know....Blair must go.

Plane's boarding...gotta go.

  • 117.
  • At 02:28 AM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • Muslim Voice! wrote:

AS A MUSLIM, I think that its time we woke up. Yes there are injustices like Iraq, Palestine, etc. But how many of these alleged terrorists are Iraqi or Palestinian? If they're defending the greater Muslim brotherhood at the behest of their downtrodden compatriots, then does it make sense to slaughter other innocents? Whatever you’re point of view might be? I know there is a lot of anger, but where’s the logic and reflection in their analysis?

The best policy is to channel the anger and use protest to highlight your cause or the democratic institutions. However, I suppose if you have an extreme point of view that’s quite indoctrinated are you going to see the other side of the argument and be open to dialogue and debate and refection? There is nowhere in Islam that it says you can’t use reason, logic and critical thinking in your thought process. The radical interpretation of the Quran is literal and taken in the context of 1400 years ago. Yet in the past when Islam embraced science, philosophy, etc the words were not changed but their meaning was taken in context with the times after debate and reasoning. Just think a minute was it not the Arabs who saved and expanded on the works of the ancient Greeks – whose main stay was critical reasoning. So, if Muslim scholars of the past applied this thought process – why can’t they today? The answer is some do, but then the zealots stuck in the past don’t. It states in our religion itself that you have to understand what you believe in and one of the main tenants of Islam is education that hopefully gives you an open mind. Too many of these so-called scholars have a tracked education that’s only religious and not anchored in other educational streams that could allow them to think with an alternative and critical outlook.

If some of these hot heads don’t want to change, then with a heavy heart as a Muslim I say to you emigrate to Saudi Arabia, etc. There are too many ignorant, uneducated lambs among us who are easily influenced and perpetuate the typical extremist stereotype when asked questions on TV. Are we going let these idiots represent us and dictate the agenda on our behalf? I certainly hope not!

As for Blair and Bush and their disastrous policy in the Middle East, and their double talk, they have a lot to blame for. However, this still cannot be used to justify terrorism or whatever your agenda is. Afterall, you live in England surely you owe the land of your birth some loyalty and respect. The government might have its warped agenda, but the majority of the UK public are not as one with their leaders. Therefore, if a lot of them are against the policies of Blair and Bush, what gives you the right to blow yourself up? If you have to do something form a political party, network, get your point across and channel your anger/frustrations into something positive.

If the following applies to Muslims then it must also apply to evangelical christens/neo-conservatives of America – who are just as extreme and have highjacked American foreign policy to serve their own futile an illogical agenda. So, it is up to us all to confront both extremes.

  • 118.
  • At 02:33 AM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • Nass Lodhi wrote:

As a Muslim I think that its time we woke up. Yes there are injustices like Iraq, Palestine, etc. But how many of these alleged terrorists are Iraqi or Palestinian? If they're defending the greater Muslim brotherhood at the behest of their downtrodden compatriots, then does it make sense to slaughter other innocents? Whatever you’re point of view might be? I know there is a lot of anger, but where’s the logic and reflection in their analysis?

The best policy is to channel the anger and use protest to highlight your cause or the democratic institutions. However, I suppose if you have an extreme point of view that’s quite indoctrinated are you going to see the other side of the argument and be open to dialogue and debate and refection? There is nowhere in Islam that it says you can’t use reason, logic and critical thinking in your thought process. The radical interpretation of the Quran is literal and taken in the context of 1400 years ago. Yet in the past when Islam embraced science, philosophy, etc the words were not changed but their meaning was taken in context with the times after debate and reasoning. Just think a minute was it not the Arabs who saved and expanded on the works of the ancient Greeks – whose main stay was critical reasoning. So, if Muslim scholars of the past applied this thought process – why can’t they today? The answer is some do, but then the zealots stuck in the past don’t. It states in our religion itself that you have to understand what you believe in and one of the main tenants of Islam is education that hopefully gives you an open mind. Too many of these so-called scholars have a tracked education that’s only religious and not anchored in other educational streams that could allow them to think with an alternative and critical outlook.

If some of these hot heads don’t want to change, then with a heavy heart as a Muslim I say to you emigrate to Saudi Arabia, etc. There are too many ignorant, uneducated lambs among us who are easily influenced and perpetuate the typical extremist stereotype when asked questions on TV. Are we going let these idiots represent us and dictate the agenda on our behalf? I certainly hope not!

As for Blair and Bush and their disastrous policy in the Middle East, and their double talk, they have a lot to blame for. However, this still cannot be used to justify terrorism or whatever your agenda is. Afterall, you live in England surely you owe the land of your birth some loyalty and respect. The government might have its warped agenda, but the majority of the UK public are not as one with their leaders. Therefore, if a lot of them are against the policies of Blair and Bush, what gives you the right to blow yourself up? If you have to do something form a political party, network, get your point across and channel your anger/frustrations into something positive.

If the following applies to Muslims then it must also apply to evangelical christens/neo-conservatives of America – who are just as extreme and have highjacked American foreign policy to serve their own futile an illogical agenda. So, it is up to us all to confront both extremes.

  • 119.
  • At 02:40 AM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • john nash wrote:

How old are you people? Have you ever read a history book? Britain didn't give land to Israel - a lot of British soldiers got killed when Israel staked its claim to existence.
Of course half the problem is oil. Our whole democratic way of life runs on the stuff. Do you think we could sit here in our comfortable homes, tapping away our gormless trivia on trillions of pounds worth of technology if we didn't have oil to burn? Maybe some of you would like to go back to mud houses and donkey transport, but don't count me in. We have freedom of speech, equality and democracy because we can afford it - that's why refugee camps and slums are full of criminals and not democrats.
We sit and speak freely in comfort because we have strong trade, unlimited resources, powerful defence and determined leadership. And that's why people who don't like us and our greedy ways hit the World Trade Centre, the Pentagon and almost the White House. Palestine doesn't matter, except as fuel to pump up the saddos who commit suicide believing it. Of course our real enemies want to disrupt our oil - Bin Laden comes from a multi-trillionaire oil trading family and understands it well. Without oil, kiss goodbye to everything, including democracy.
It is your greed, your freedom and comfort - the stuff you demonstrate here - that others hate. They want to be kings of the heap now. If they can turn off the oil, they've got us by the short and curlies. That's why we won't let them. Even if they do use Palestine or whatever as the excuse.

  • 120.
  • At 02:42 AM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • matt wrote:

Shahbaz Sikandar and Muslim voice: thank you both for showing all of us that despite the best efforts of our leaders to have us all hating each other, we have more in common with each other, than with those who profess to 'lead' us

bush and blair are not as powerful and influential as they would like, but still too much so for my liking

my thanks

  • 121.
  • At 03:03 AM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • matt wrote:

come on, john nash, are you really that naive ?

to say we have unlimited resources and wealth over the "slum[bound] criminal", is a flabberghastingly imperialist statement, the 'democratic' nature of capitalism crushes all others like any of the old imperialist orders did, and grows slums and refugee camps as a by-product of its activities

oh, and wars for oil to power our comfy laptop bloggings are your policy, not mine

we don't NEED middle eastern oil, only in our parallel (oil company dominated) universe is oil a prerequisite of 'civilisation'

  • 122.
  • At 03:05 AM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • Bob Clark wrote:

I feel that I must add a comment. Although I do not underestimate the seriousness of international Terrorism, whether 'home grown' or from abroad. I do feel that the Police are between a 'rock and a hard place' in situations such as this 'Emergency'. All power to the Security Forces for acting so swiftly.

However, I do hope that the Blair government does not use this latest incident as an excuse to bring in more draconian legislation to undermine Btitish Civil Liberties. It is a known fact that certain of Mr Blair's ex-ministers have told lies and 'tall stories of derring-do' at times, so 'truth' might be a strange bedfellow for Mr Blair and friends.

It is too easy for governments to try and 'frighten the citizenry' a little bit at a time as an excuse to 'piggy-back' legistlation into the statute books in the hope that nobody will notice, and Mr Blair's Lawmakers are past masters at this black art.

I would warn people to watch what is in the Queens Speech when Parliament resumes after the summer break. Mr Blair and his Cronies ahve a long track-record of tinkering with the Criminal Justice legislation in the vain hope that .."More laws will cure all the ills of society". This is NOT the case, it just shows a government caught on the back-foot making 'knee-jerk' reactions to situations that they have been warned about for years, but have had their 'collective heads up their collective butts'!!!!

So watch out for the Queens Speech. It has been said that this is being written by JC the Deputy Prime Minister!!!!

  • 123.
  • At 03:23 AM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • john nash wrote:

David B
I bow to your crafted irony and beeb-baiting, you silver-tongue. Being a reactionary, smoking old fart myself, I just had to rise to the defence of old farts everywhere - too busy reading and not enough thinking. I enjoy a good p*ss-take, even when I'm getting wet.
The Beebs PC is very civilised, like all PC, anti-capitalism and anti-war sentiments. They're just a symptom that we have become too civilised for our own good and gone soft in the head. All successful societies start agressive, feed well on the action, gobble resources, grow fat, turn too soft to defend themselves and get attacked by new rising stars. It's happened throughout history and it happening to us now. PC and terror are just senility and a parasite attacking us well-fed couch-potatoes.
Terrorism is like a wolf using Islam as its sheep's clothing. PC sees only sheep and idiots accuse all Muslims of being being wolves. We have to learn how to welcome Muslims but shoot the ones with dodgy innards.

  • 124.
  • At 03:29 AM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • Mary Fernandez wrote:

Why do you make excuses for people who kill en masse? No, I don't have to "understand" why they (and, yes, they are Islamofascists) are doing these things. If they cannot obey the laws of a civilized nation (and BTW, God's law too), then they deserve to be killed or incarcerated.

Real Muslims are by far their principle victims, so don't tell me how mad they are about foreign policy. And, no, it's not Iraq. Iraq is the latest excuse. Before that it was Palestine or Chechnya or infidels in Saudi Arabia (protecting both Shia and Sunni (the Kurds) Muslims from slaughter by Saddam Hussein or liberating a Muslim nation (Kuwait)). Did you miss the part about Ramzi Yousef trying to bring down 11 planes in the Philippines in 1995? Did he foresee the Iraq war?

It's always something. Stop enabling victimhood. The Dalai Lama isn't trying to free occupied Tibet by encouraging young people to suicide bomb in China, nor would he excuse it if a Buddist did such a thing.

Britain, especially Muslim Britain, needs to stop apologizing and have a NO TOLERANCE POLICY toward this behavior and belief. Excuses make it okay. It's not. It's okay to be Muslim in the West, but Muslims who choose to live in the West must be tolerant of Western values or clear out.

  • 125.
  • At 03:39 AM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • Javed wrote:

Why do "Muslim Fascists" want to carry out these alleged attacks? Is it really because they just hate freedom and democracy?

  • 126.
  • At 03:57 AM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • matt wrote:

Mary Fernandez, i think you need to dig a little deeper before writing off the underlying reasons for our present troubles, yes Iraq is one of the recent excuses, but it is valid to weigh up the long history of the wests attempt to dominate and control the east, or to put it another way, westernofacism

"western values" are imperialism by any other name, and all imperialist activites give rise to resistance, sometimes murderous resistance

we would be in a stronger moral position, if blair had remained true to his early pledge of zero sleaze (and 100% honestly and morality implicit in this pledge)

if we appeared (and WERE) more balanced in our global policies, then not only would the current situation probably not be in existence, but our reaction would be appropriate and we would truly be just in any war we were involved in...and there have been many more 'just' fights that we have ignored, so why Iraq ?...because we thought we could, not because we should

  • 127.
  • At 04:03 AM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • john nash wrote:

Hi Matt
You're like a bloke sheltering under an umbrella in a storm, ranting that all umbrella manufacturers are evil.
Hating them doesn't change the fact that you enjoy their products. You support oil and capitalism by buying a computer and the services that run it - oil and capitalism didn't crush you into buying and using it.
Capitalism doesn't make slums - most of the poor places of the world were always so - its just that we found a way to move on and live well (using liberal capitalism and lots of cheap energy), so now the difference is stark.
What I said was that slums (world slums in general, not English slums on social security) are full of criminals because they can't afford the luxury of otherwise - they are too busy grabbing enough to survive to be worried about fairness, democracy or green-ness.
The opposite is also true - only the well-fed can afford democracy, equality and all the other things we love and enjoy. Our comfy bloggings are part and parcel of our free, well-fed democratic existence, an existence that runs on oil whether you like it or not. It is your well-fed comfort and freedom that other people hate, so we come to the madness that you are a well-fed (albeit reluctant) product of capitalism and you love the less fortunate of the world, while the less fortunate of the world hate you because you are a fat, comfy and free product of capitalim. I have no doubt that you will still be professing your love for them when they kill you for it. That just about sums up the war on terror because they think like you do that somehow "we" are crushing "them" and you are both wrong.

Now it is getting to where I am beginning to hog the blogs, so I will wish you all a peaceful night and return tomorrow.

  • 128.
  • At 04:38 AM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • matt wrote:

john, i have NO IDEA where to begin in correcting your last post, so simply know this, you're wrong !

oh alright, i'll elaborate a little: oil dependancy is a quasi myth, a part truth, which does not become fact simply because you choose to believe it

to say i "enjoy" oil sourced or powered products is like saying i "enjoy" breathing air with blue smoke in it, but could never survive on air with red smoke in it - basically specious reasoning, i would prefer not to use oil based industries and products, but in our 'free' society, where's the freedom to buy outside of big oil ?

hilarious, do you really suppose that the west is decifient in people "grabbing enough to survive to be worried about fairness, democracy or greenness" you could easily be describing the present day neothatcherite blairocracy

i don't love our present "equality and democracy", because it is clearly neither, though it patently could and should be

the freedom to buy products such as the machine on which i type, exists in nearly every part of the globe, the key differentiator between commercial and civil freedom, and capitalism, is that capitalism is freedom by force, and false freedom at that, you for instance, are seemingly not free to see the true distortion that has occured within your own society

poverty only came into existance after money, before, yes there were hardships, but there was no poverty

you mistakenly suggest that i love those who would kill me ?...i love each and any individual who would not, and to any who would, i'd rather it was them who died than me

perhaps we could arrange for a humvee to drive through your house and then ask you if you feel crushed ?

the "war on terror" is in actuality a 'war OF terror', we're dishing it out to others and ourselves far more than others ares serving it up to us

oh, and i'm hardly fat ! indeed i consider it my moral obligation to remain as skinny and just fed a person, as you might find in any part of the world...but as you say, i'm rarer here in the 'civilised' and 'developed' world

  • 129.
  • At 04:47 AM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • Sean wrote:

The Kristy Wark interview

Is there anyone that is stupid enough to believe that if all was right with the Israeli-Palestinian issue, that none of this would be happening?
Clinton squeezed Rabin to give 98 % of the land to Arafat and he still said no.
the problem is clearly seen with the behavior of the Muslim apologist (enabler) on the show, the Mr. “..facts on the ground..” It is people like this that enable, sympathize, give shelter to the nuts to go out and kill themselves with the gratification coming from 72 virgins each in 72 mansions while hiding behind the skirts of women. Did Salaudin get his start that way? This is the case all over the world.

The unfortunate and sad truth is that Muslims (western educated and otherwise) all over the world have not come to grips with the dominance of the west (Judaeo-Christian) in every sphere of life from science, technology to culture. They still think about the glory days of millennia ago. Well every dog has his day. The clock cannot be turned back despite the draconian measures of the zealots enabled by Mr. “…facts on the ground...” It is sad to note that there was more dynamism of thought in Islam in its heyday that there is today. It reminds me of a child with an inferiority complex acting up.

The only way to serve your culture is to try think and focus on the core of your religion and to focus on what is central to your religious culture. Please stop it with the blood lust that you have for the infidel. Trust me; you don’t want to see who wins that one.

  • 130.
  • At 04:49 AM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • Sean wrote:

The Kristy Wark interview

Is there anyone that is stupid enough to believe that if all was right with the Israeli-Palestinian issue, that none of this would be happening?
Clinton squeezed Rabin to give 98 % of the land to Arafat and he still said no.
the problem is clearly seen with the behavior of the Muslim apologist (enabler) on the show, the Mr. “..facts on the ground..” It is people like this that enable, sympathize, give shelter to the nuts to go out and kill themselves with the gratification coming from 72 virgins each in 72 mansions while hiding behind the skirts of women. Did Salaudin get his start that way? This is the case all over the world.

The unfortunate and sad truth is that Muslims (western educated and otherwise) all over the world have not come to grips with the dominance of the west (Judaeo-Christian) in every sphere of life from science, technology to culture. They still think about the glory days of millennia ago. Well every dog has his day. The clock cannot be turned back despite the draconian measures of the zealots enabled by Mr. “…facts on the ground...” It is sad to note that there was more dynamism of thought in Islam in its heyday that there is today. It reminds me of a child with an inferiority complex acting up.

The only way to serve your culture is to try think and focus on the core of your religion and to focus on what is central to your religious culture. Please stop it with the blood lust that you have for the infidel. Trust me; you don’t want to see who wins that one.

  • 131.
  • At 04:58 AM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • Rob Walker wrote:

I really cannot for the life of me, understand why the vast majority of messages on this site attempt to belittle the security services, the government and the fears and concerns of the vast SILENT majority of the UK.

The vast silent majority has been forced to keep quiet as speaking out in defence of culture heritage and nation are now frowned upon.

Whereas the very people that we are being protected against by the security forces are allowed and encouraged to voice their messages of hate and destruction.

I am so very sad today, that I believe that I have seen the beginning of the end.

You cannot blame the media, the media are now expected to let loose their biased broadcast. The BBC itself is positively embarrassing.
Sky and ITN are not any better.

I am however extremely grateful to the Police, Mi5 and 6, Special Branch and the Government for keeping me safe just a little bit longer.

Civil liberties are not restricted if you have nothing to hide in the first instance.

If the security forces wish to listen in on my phone calls, strip search me at airports and ask me to carry a photo ID at all times and it reduces the risk of a terrorist attack, THEN I AM A HAPPY MAN.

  • 132.
  • At 05:43 AM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • matt wrote:

if only it were true, that civil liberties were safe for those with nothing to hide

but sadly, it's not the case

id cards won't stop terrorism, but they will eventually be a revenue stream "i have nine points on my pedestrian licence, one more venture out the front door without my transparent trousers on, and i'll have another fixed penalty and then i'll have twelve points, and i'll have to stay indoors and off the street 'till my ban is over, and even then i'll have to pay to have the points removed" someday

"the vast silent majority has been forced to keep quiet as speaking out in defence of culture heritage and nation are now frowned upon"...quite, but it's the government doing all the frowning, dressing up as a clown, marching to the g8, and attempting to question our leaders choices, are such very british affairs, and it's the government who flys in the chinooks full of assualt garbed police to stop them, if churchill were in his twenties today, with personal power and family fractured, torn and belittled as they are, it'd be him covered in face paint saluting the horse mounted police by thumbing his nose...times have changed, but not necessarily in the way you're portraying...nowadays, even a naked cyclist can be a 'terrorist', but where will THEY hide a bomb i wonder ?

  • 133.
  • At 08:41 AM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • Mick wrote:

To get away from all the problems at the Airports

If you are ready for the adventure of a lifetime, TRY THIS:

Enter Pakistan, Afghanistan or Iraq illegally.
Never mind immigration quotas, visas, international law, or any of that nonsense.

Once there, demand that the local government provide free medical care for you and your entire family.

Demand bilingual nursesand doctors.

Demand free bilingual local government forms, bulletins, etc.
Procreate abundantly.

Deflect any criticism of this allegedly irresponsible reproductive behavior with, "It is a cultural an English, U.S.A. thing . You would not understand, pal."

Keep your English, identity strong.
Fly the Union Flag from your rooftop, or proudly display it in your front
window or on your car bumper.

Speak only English at homeand in public and insist that your children do likewise.

Demand classes on English culture in the Muslem school system.

Demand a local Country driver license. This will afford other
legal rights and will go far to legitimize your unauthorized, illegal, presence in Pakistan,
Afghanistan or Iraq.
Drive around with no
liability insurance and ignore local traffic laws.

Insist that local Country, law enforcement teach English to all its

Good luck! You'll be demanding for the rest of time or soon be dead.
Because it will never happen It will not happen in Pakistan, Afghanistan or Iraq or any other country in the world except right here in Britain and the United States, Land of the naive and stupid, idiotic politically correct politicians

If you don't agree, go ahead and try the above in
Pakistan, Afghanistan or Iraq.

  • 134.
  • At 08:49 AM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • Atiq wrote:

I missed Newsnight last night and cant get it to work online so I cant comment on who said what.

Frankly I love my western based life. I go to work, I earn money, I have my family and health and apart from being screwed by taxes I am extremely happy not to be living in Pakistan or other middle East countries and consider the UK my home... and a privilege to call it that.

I have been to the USA and I have to say although some of the people there dont seem friendly in the slightest, it is a very nice country in general. Although I have to say on a recent visit to Arizona they were freindly, even the security staff at the airport who insisted on asking me some questions and looked in my baggage. But who cares - it was q quick 15 minute friendly chat and examination and I was treated fine. I have no problem with being held up for a short time as long as it is for security reasons.

I agree too that normal everyday Muslims should be speaking out more but to be honest it wont make a difference to those young people who believe what their Al-Queda based teachers brainwash them with - ie you are fighting a war and will be a Martyr.

To all those young impressionable brainwashed idiots, as one muslim to another, I say go and read the Quran and Hadith and you will see that you are not Martyrs or Soldiers in a war. You are mass murderers and killers who should be removed from society forever. And as I said in an earlier post if you do commit such an act then you're going straight down to the guy with the red tail, horns and carrying a large pitch fork. I do hear it's nice and warm down there though!

Furthermore, All you are doing is making things worse for Islam as a religion and fuelling a fire that doesn't appear to show any signs of ending.

What we need here in the UK is more Muslims working for the security services and / or police to go undercover. Or we need a Muslim Council of Britain or COuncil of Mosques that all Imaams / Mosques must register with and has the power to not only inspect randomly what they are teaching but also to close them down immediately (rather like trading standards). We need more bite, and less bark.

When will we ever get a Utopian society such as Gene Roddenbury predicted in Star Trek?

  • 135.
  • At 08:51 AM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • chris wrote:

"US is at war with islamic fascists" How many more young men just
begun being radicalised?
Do we not need a re - think of social inclusion ?
The presence of the newsnight camera crew bringing bigotry, ignorance, innocence and alienation
happening before our eyes - was this a view of things to come being played out up and down the

  • 136.
  • At 09:01 AM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • Mary Fernandez wrote:

Matt --

No, I don't have to look any deeper. There is right and wrong - period. If they want to fix the middle east, then they should go there and fix it. If they want to be part of a Western nation, then they cannot attack it. I don't care about whatever angst they might have. (Especially since most of these guys are so divorced from the reality of what they are protesting - Middle-class Britain? How about filthy rich Osama? None of these radicals actually have anything in common with what they decry.) They have embraced religious intolerance and seek to destroy the nation that nurtured them. That makes them the enemy, not a citizen. Would you apologize like this for some christian zealot who wants to blow up abortion clinics? Timothy McVeigh? Excusing this behavior enables it.

  • 137.
  • At 09:12 AM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • Mary Fernandez wrote:

Matt --

Western Values in a Western country (Britain) is not imperialism. It is indigenous.

  • 138.
  • At 10:47 AM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • john nash wrote:

Hi, Matt
What have you been smoking? There is oil in everything you own or use. Of course, we could get the same energy and the same organic chemicals from wood, but you would need a much bigger earth to grow that much wood - oil is simply very concentrated wood. The sad truth is that you enjoy oil whether or not you enjoy enjoying it. There are no viable alternatives - you can't make polythene etc out of wind or waves. You are free to give up oil, but you have to return to the stone age to do it.
I spent twenty years in Africa, where lots of people exist without money. Take it from me - lots of them are poor. Really poor. The "poor" in this great country of ours don't know the meaning of the word. I also spent years on the dole here, but even on the dole, it put me in the top 25% of world incomes. That's why many other people hate us - we're rich, fat, comfy and free.
If you don't think we have freedom, democracy and equality, try living elsewhere (no doubt one of those crappy hell-holes you champion as "the downtrodden") and the penny will soon drop. There was a time before poverty, but there were only a few of us wandering round in vast reserves of resources then - but it was still a crap life. For the last few thousand years, competition for resources has grown, and those who consume lots (like us, thankfully) are hated by those who don't.
I have no doubt that your motives and dreams are all good ones, but the truth is that you, like PC and the green movement, have been too comfy for too long and don't know just how hard the world can be. You need a reality check.
I'm not expecting any humvee owners to drive through my house because I haven't been lobbing missiles at humvee owners or blasting their women and children out of the sky with exploding Lucozade. If you poke a lion up the bum with a sharp stick, don't be surprised if it turns round and bites you.
The fact remains that we, in the West, consume vast resources to provide us with a fantastic way of life, making the difference between us and those who are really poor or unfree very stark. Instead of getting on and pulling themselves up out of the dust, they would rather try and destroy us because we are greedy/sinful/ungodly/violent/capitalists/hate Muslims or we are soft on porn/drugs/Israel/women and fluffy animals. Take your pick of any of the above excuses.
The reason why Western countries are better at technical warfare is because we have better technology. The reason why we are likely to lose the war on terror is because our enemies use our freedoms (of speech, movement, privacy, association, etc) as a weapon against us.
If these Neanderthals win, you will discover what unfair evil really is, but then it will be too late. That's why we have to fight. I am happy to fight so that you remain free to complain.

  • 139.
  • At 10:49 AM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • danny wrote:

I would like to make a few further points that I do not think are understood or appreciated by enough people. I have not found that the BBC makes these points.

1. It is often stated that the actions of Blair and Bush have further agitated the terrorists and increased the radicalisation of young Muslims. Let us assume this is true. The question is does it matter? Islamic terrorism was alive and well long before 9/11, which of course, predated the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Given that the terrorists were attacking us before the UK and US entered Afghanistan and Iraq, it stands to reason that they would continue to do so even if the Coalition withdrew from those nations. Withdraw might eliminate their hatred of our presence in their lands but it would do nothing to alleviate their hatred of our liberal societies.

2. In Iraq, Muslims are killing innocent civilian Muslims daily (they are purposefully targeting civilians). Why is the Muslim world not protesting against this in the way they do when Israel kills innocent civilians in Lebanon (especially when Israel apologises for doing so and claims not to be targeting civilians)?

3. Jihadists hate our democratic, free, egalitarian, tolerant society. In a recent poll 33% of Muslims stated they would rather live under Sharia law (that executes homosexuals and adulterers) than English law. That does not mean that 33% of Muslims are Jihadists, but it allows a radical Islamist ideology to grow.

4. If Israel and the US and the UK pulled out of all the places they are currently in, the Radical Islamists would still want to destroy our society.

Why does the left (including large portions of the media) not understand this?

  • 140.
  • At 11:02 AM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • Ian Downing wrote:

Threat of terrorists? Kings new clothes springs to mind.

I do find it amazing that despite the security services' best efforts the only outcome is 'we got the wrong man' 'all the bomber were the only organisers, and they are now dead'. there seem to be a lot of people employed to find 'the terrorists'.

Yet little seems to lead to convictions, or at least anything that will stand up in court. I do not understand how phonetap evidence is unacceptable in court, as it seems that the justice system is unable to find evidence.

Most of what is happening seems more like a Hollywood movie, life reflecting art?



  • 141.
  • At 11:06 AM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • Amrita Rao wrote:

George Bush terminology was right to address these people as terrorists ans Islamic Fascists. we know these people arent any other religion they are either Muslim outright or recent converts.

These people are radicalised members of the Muslim community who call themselves Muslims. Fundamental Islam
is a natural extension of Islam which explains why so many Muslim Youth sympathise with extremists and there acts and then radicalise.

  • 142.
  • At 11:13 AM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • bernard weir wrote:

It seems the main reason for the inordinate delays seen at all our Airports yesterday was caused by policy of not allowing any electrical items or liquids on to the planes. That policy reduced our air service to an “unimaginable” ,“incalculable” and “unprecedented” shambles within a couple of hours, and has yet to recover.

They were more sensible in America and only banned liquids. That makes sense. As you need both liquids and a detonator to set off an explosion barring one or the other was all that was necessary and barring liquids caused the least disruption and inconvenience. There were long queues at American airports but I imagine they were due to the delays in transatlantic flights because simply barring liquids and gels onboard should not caused have any significant delays.
Why couldn’t our own officials have had the sense to do that or at least copy the American example?

We need an enquiry into the whole business. There are a lot of questions that need answering. Why for instance were short haul domestic and European flights adversely affected the most and why of those did the Budget airlines and internal U.K. flights do the worst? Why did long haul flights do the best and of those, why did African flights come off worse and Transatlantic flights do the best? Is there some sort of pecking order here - Coconut Airlines to Barbados Number 1, charter flight to Alicante Number 116, Air Rwanda to Timbuktu 1003?

But we’re not going to get no enquiry. In fact official policy now is not to answer any further questions at all and all we can expect from now on are a few self congratulatory statements from time to time. The person who informed the public of this also said that the only news we are going to get for months to come will be from overseas and we’ve already had evidence of that. This story of the wired cash that triggered the arrests for instance. That was leaked from America I believe. Can’t they even tell us exactly how much that was? 20 return tickets on the more prestigious airlines at short notice in the Summer peak….. you’ve got to be talking at least £20 000 to £40 000 even if there were any seats to spare. Then these 19 frozen bank accounts. Was it a good idea to alert the group that the game was up at such a crucial stage? Have they really found a suicide tape? What’s this story that some of the men being seen entering woods late at night and concerned neighbours being told by the police that they already knew about it and to keep it under their hat? If we are going to have this information black out then all the indications are the vacuum is going to be filled with these unwholesome speculations and rumours which are already beginning to have a negative effect on the Islamic community.

  • 143.
  • At 11:22 AM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • Ian Downing wrote:

All of this trouble in the middle east, wasn't it the US that backed Saddam - supplied all his weapons, backed Al Queda in Afganistan, on but that was years ago so we're not counting that.

Is it a guilt complex that the US Jewry did not do enough in WWII, which leads to the current situation. Billions of dollars each year are paid to Israel, which end up as military equipment. The US denies knowledge of Israels nuclear capeability - 200 rockets in 1980.

Of course there is imbalance in the middle east, the US caused it in the first place.

  • 144.
  • At 11:31 AM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • amrita rao wrote:


In addition most people are truly religious are peaceful and understanding. There are many people that are angry about the world but we don't go to any extreme or any hypocrisy to prove our point.

On Newsnight there was a representative from the US who described the logic of militants as 'sick'. Then on the same programme there a newsnight reporter was interrupted by somebody who claimed to be in the British Army and said the New York attacks was propaganda with two fighter planes attacking the towers when the whole world actually saw two planes on footage! and this guy isn't readicalised and there are many muslims who share his point of view.

Muslim representatives do not address the radical and political elements that counter Western thinking with an illogical and one sided bias thereby distorting the true meaning of religion which is peace.

  • 145.
  • At 11:32 AM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • Joe wrote:

I cannot understand some of the comments posted stating that they do not believe that a serious threat of terrorism was in the planning.
What do these people need to make them believe the security forces?, another murderous attack on the transport infrastructure?, or do these people think their own goverment carried out the attacks?.
It's high time the BBC stop catering for these Left Wing idiots and started taking a balanced view of public opinion, if truth be told the BBC is biased towards Islam and seems to be anti democracy, we have the same problems here in Holland, however, the public have started asking the Muslim community to stop blaming the West and start engaging with the West instead, I also note with interest how many of the political commentators in England who have links to the Labour party, I would have thought that this would have ruled you out as a commentator due to your bias to one view???.
Finally, I applaud your Security Service and feel that the UK citizens should be more grateful.

  • 146.
  • At 11:46 AM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • Philip wrote:

The only silver lining I can see is that it will stop the likes of Ryanair imposing that ridiculous 'tax' on hold baggage, just to avoid compensation if [when?] they lose your luggage.

I am amazed the discussion last night did not pick up on the Muslim speaker's comment that these attacks and plots will continue until foreign policy is changed.

No one has the right to force policy change by performing random acts of terror, yet the representative seems to imply this was some kind of 'justification'. First it will be foreign policy. What next? Sharia law?

  • 148.
  • At 12:50 PM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • Jim Taylor wrote:

I am getting so sick of the phrase -
Blair out or Blair must go.
WHY ? will it make any difference.
The next PM will carry on similar policies, the Tories will carry on similar policies and the Lib dems dont have any policies.

get over it people. Make decent arguments but this zingle - Blar must go - is tedious, boring and irrelevant.

On the terrorist thing. Of course Muslims will be looked at suspiciously. They are where this current terrorist situation is coming from. If old ladies in wheelchairs were doing the bombings then we would look at them suspiciously. Get the chip of your shoulders my Islamic friends. Sort out your lives and integrate with us; stop waiting for us all the time to integrate with you.

  • 149.
  • At 01:02 PM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • Hugh Waldock wrote:

Everyone has sympathy with Muslim people but do we really show it? I am an expat and live in Germany and here I have friends of all races and origins and we all interact and get on. My girlfriend is Jewish and some of my freinds are Turkish Muslims and Muslims from Somalia and Afghanistan and so on. I remember as a child in the early eighties in London
having a diverse set of friends but when
I moved to East Anglia the foreigners kept themselves to themselves and there
was no open friendship and some racist comments. A lot of cross cultural activity in London at the time was sponsored by the GLC which of course has been dispanded. Is it not so that with the dessication of traditional socialist values in Britian, we have lost the inclusive feel good factor in our cities and towns and this has led to ghettoisation. How many christian people´s best friends are Muslim? Muslims are ignored, our attitude is neutral towards them and it should be more welcoming. Everyone does their own thing becuase England is a right
wing country now and the trouble is we hardly meet and know our next door neighbours anymore. We just ignore each other and compete with each other, England no longer works as a team in all capacities, from football to race relations.

  • 150.
  • At 01:23 PM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • Hugh Waldock wrote:

From my inside knowledge having had lots of refugee friends from Eastern Europe. I see a trend that wherever there has been a rapid move away from the left towards the right, for example in East Germany, Poland and the former USSR there has been a massive escalation in racial tension, against Jews, Muslims and all minorities and especially in Russia against such people as the Armenians, Georgians and Azabijainis all of which are treated as second class citizens. I think this is evident to a lesser extent in our own politics. I think this is very significant, I just hope it doesn´t contribute more to extremism. the problem is that if the world moves more towards the politics of the early twentieth century that is precicely the politics that led to facism.

  • 151.
  • At 01:30 PM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • Karanja Gaçuça wrote:

How convenient is it that after MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, Jim Sheridan’s announcement of his resignation from his post as parliamentary private secretary to the defence team, that the announcement should come about an investigation that has been going on for months about a plot to blow up planes from the UK to the U.S. It is interesting to note that the Home Office pointed out that there was no intelligence suggesting that the plot was meant to be carried out yesterday or today, and it has been noted by more than one analyst that there is no apparent reason as to why the announcements were made hwen they were, leading to the current terror alert warnings, and subsequent disruptions which have led to widespread disruptions in air travel. Gone is coverage of Jim Sheridan’s resignation, calls for a re-call of parliament, and any publicity over the issues he was trying to raise, i.e. Labour’s own parliamentarian rejection of Blair’s policy on the Middle East. Yesterday's announcement, backed with arrests provides just the right distraction from any detracting voice over the Middle East issue. Protecting the public with minimal disruption, or careful manipulation of unfortunate circumstances, along with maximum disruption, to take any sympathy away from the continuing death and destruction in Lebanon? I am not convinced of the necessity of today’s announcements, nor of the necessity for all the disruptions, and Messrs Blair and Bush cannot take away form the fact that their policies are causing death and destruction, and just because it is a little farther away in the Middle East, rather than right here on our doorstep, does not take away from the unnecessary loss of life taking place as a result of Israel’s disproportionate response to the kidnapping of two soldiers by Hezbollah Guerrillas (Not the Lebanese government). Israel’s disproportionate response backed by weapons form the United States, delivered using our airports, and hence with our collusion, is unjustifiable, under any circumstances, and today’s terror alerts still cannot justify these actions, nor our government’s support of Israel, and failure to call for an immediate ceasefire. Indeed, as Jim Sheridan pointed out, our government is not interested in an immediate ceasefire, and nothing can illustrate this more than the fact that our allies continue to supply weapons to one side, with our government’s support. Today’s terror alerts, cannot and should not detract from the fact that there is immeasurable suffering wrought on Lebanese civilians - women and children, mainly, and of course the elderly and vulnerable. Blair’s Machiavellian tactics should not succeed in frightening us all into submission to his medieval outlook on world affairs. I am deeply concerned by death and destruction whether it be in Timbuktu, Lebanon, Gaza, Tel Aviv, London or New Orleans, and we should all be, because after all, as Dr. Martin Luther King pointed out, when one of us suffers injustice, humanity suffers injustice (not exact words). They turn a blind eye to murder in Lebanon today because it suits them today, we do not know when it may be convinient to turn a blind eye to chaos at home, as was clearly illustrated by the unfortunate events of Hurricane Katrina

  • 152.
  • At 01:34 PM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • Anthony Beck wrote:

Regardless of whether the "planned atrocity" was true of false, how come Kirsty Wark waxed so frenetic reporting "it"? Can she not summon enough professional restraint to recall that we still have a presumption of innocence (more or less)and that the case for scepticism of Home office allegations has concrete grounds of support. Recent apalling news has separated serious presenters from media flotsam - I had expected Kirsty to be among the former - and Newsnight is the ONLY relatively reflective news programme we have. A very, very sad performance.

  • 153.
  • At 02:30 PM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • Hugh Waldock wrote:

Some people have made comments about supporting Isreal. Isreal as a concept is a good idea, that is why the two state solution is the ONLY solution. It´s not in the news but I know what happens to Jews in eastern Europe. My girlfriend has had serious psychological damage done to her by anti-semitism. From the teachers themselves: She was not allowed to attend school trips becuase she was a Jew, she was not allowed to have a prize at school, becuase she was a Jew, no-one talked to her becuase she was a Jew. She was beaten up on a constant basis, forced to do the rest of the classes homework, her
pet dog was strung up and she had firebombs through her mailbox and windows smashed all becuase she was a Jew.
Anti-semitism is rife in the society of this world and Isreal gives many people hope of a new life.
However, I know from my Palistinian friends that Isreal is responsible for many similar actions against Palistinians. I have watched countless art videos and Palistinan documentries of the atrocities that have occured in Palistine. It is just a very very sad and unhappy situation, but it´s a world problem, its a rapid move towards the right wing of politics which causes anti semitism and it is the absolute fear on both sides of the Isreali boarder which is causing escalations in the fighting.

  • 154.
  • At 02:32 PM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • Micheal Goodison wrote:

After raising some valid concerns and essential questions in respects of (a) how the security services handle both suspected and related terrorist activities in the UK, and (b) how the media in general reports on the supposed facts and opinions gained from various sources about these and other related religious and political concerns, including religious fundementalism in the UK. It is then somewhat premature of Jeff Bowes (comments, 10th August 2006)to write that "the sympathy of the 'British people' is largely behind the suffering of the muslim people in Lebanon, and that the 'nation' is appalled by Tony Blair's 'callous indifference and appeasement of Isreal and the US'...". Afterall Mr Bowes cannot in fact know what the British people think or claim to know how the majority of Britains view the crisis in the Lebanon. Therefore such claims are without foundation in reality and must be taken as a matter of personal opinion. Secondly Mr Bowes does not speak for the majority of Britains, and I am almost certain that there are those among us that believe (a) that our elected representatives have to make some very difficult decisions in light of what information the security services provide in terms of risk assessments, and mainly about individuals and groups supposidly operating with the UK who intend to use intimidation, aggression and violence to further their own religious and political objectives; (b) that there are those among us in the UK who have as much sympathy for the suffering of those in Isreal as those suffering in the Lebanon, and (c) many people in the UK rely on 'the freedom of the press' and the media in general to inform the largely uniformed majority about such major concerns, and to report on the events in a neutral and imaprtial manner. In addition to these and other concerns about National Security - our relationship with the US can be traced at least to the Atlantic Charter signed by Sir Winston Churchill and Mr Roosevelt, and how many US troops died in Europe during WW2? Although I personally do not agree with everything everyone says in respects to the causes of the crisis in the Middle East. I am fully aware that the crisis has been going on now since at least the 1950s and shows no real signs of comming to an immediate conclusion. Is this all the fault of one person, party or state? Or does it reveal a fundemental floor within the whole international order? Lastly, if people disgree with British foreign policy then they have a right to protest, as that is one of the cornerstones of democracy. However there are right-wing muslim states, such as Iran and Syria that do not recognise or permit such mass legitimate actions and unjustly punish those who participate in such actions, as those who do so are viewed as direct opposition to the mainstream orthodox religious views. There are many other related issues that also need to be grasped before drawing any firm conclusions but I personally trust the security services and hope that the crisis in the Middle East can be resolved in the long term.

  • 155.
  • At 02:33 PM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • Dave Elliot wrote:

I find it horrifying that we just cannot take anything at face value anymore and the immediate reaction to warnings from our politicians and security services is one of cynicism and disbelief. There is one single thread through all of this - Tony Blair - so distrusted is he, that we assume anything that has his fingerprints on is naturally suspect. It is time for this man to go - if he will not resign then he must be sacked by his party - the man is a liability and the sole cause of the hugely increased threat we are all under - by his mindless and stupid kneejerk reaction to support any lunatic action sponsored by Bush and his cronies. The quickest way to start getting the Middle East crisis under control is to remove these two men as quickly as possible. We have no control over Bush and the USA - but we can sack Blair - and start thinking as an independant sovereign state again - not a poodle state of the US.

It is the absolute duty of all Labour MPs to get rid of Blair now - this lunacy has gone on far too long.

  • 156.
  • At 02:38 PM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • Ed wrote:

I think everything has been said enough here, but I'm just going to add that I don't think the police reacting is the real issue here - its the way the government will use this to instill terror in the British public to justify new laws that restrict our freedom.

  • 157.
  • At 03:09 PM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • Mary wrote:

Atiq (97 & 137) talks sense.

John Savill (110) also talks sense. He is amazed that hand baggage wasn't banned after 9/11. Yes it was, John.

I heard on yesterday morning's BBC news and again on Newsnight, that restrictions on taking hand baggage on board are "unprecedented". WRONG!

We flew to Greece on a charter flight from Gatwick on 13/Sept - 2 days after 9/11 - and were informed in the check-in queue that only wallets, prescription medicines etc could be taken through security in a transparent bag. Everything else including ladies handbags had to be checked in as, or repacked within, hold baggage. Loads of people around us were complaining and worrying about their cameras and other posessions.

We supported the restrictions in the interests of security, although it would have been easier for us if we had been aware before setting off for the airport (at least travellers today have been warned).

I would have expected those restrictions to stay in place at least until hand baggage screening improved or other security methods were added to those in place at the time.

That very few people seem to be aware of the "no hand baggage" restricitons introduced at that time, leads me to believe that the restrictions were very short-lived.

It's worth noting that security at the Greek airport on the way back a week later was laughably non-existant, and I believe there are still huge inconsistencies between security arrangements in different countries' airports. Are there any international standards?

John's suggestion about locking the overhead stowage was interesting. If you need those items you won't be able to access them during the flight - they'll be locked up overhead. Do people really need all those items in the cabin with them, or is it just that they don't want the risk of luggage being lost or delays in baggage reclaim?

I would be happy to do without hand baggage, but the onus will then be on Airlines to provide adequate drinking water, decent food and entertainment. Most of them don't score high points on this at present. The things I would miss most are a book and a bottle of mineral water.

Regarding racism and anti-muslim feeling in Britain, it alarms me that I am hearing it all the time, not just from this forum, but all around me in conversation.

We are all capable of letting fear affect us in dangerous ways. Even though I know it is wrong, I am guilty of assessing fellow travellers quietly by appearance and accent. But this growing culture of suspicion is dangerous - just remember how the persecution of minorities in 2nd world war Germany started off.

Aziz, we need you and other sensible muslims to keep on speaking up and encouraging the voice of reason.

  • 158.
  • At 03:40 PM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • Hugh Waldock wrote:

I am myself a christian. The most important thing is to believe in God, becuase Christians, Jews and Muslims are actually supposed to believe in the same God.
I don´t know if anyone would have wanted to go there at the time, but maybe it would have been fitting if Churchill had given the Jewish people a nice slice of Bavaria or Baden-Würtenburg. The Germans would then have paid by giving up their own land for their acts and the Jewish people would now have been part of the EU and have no problems with security.

The thing is the Jewish people have been oppressed for the last 2000 years. In 15 century Germany they could not be formal citizens and had to pay a Jewish tax in order to stay there. If it was not paid, the christians had the right to burn down
their houses and kill their entire family. If the Jewish people could at last live in peace, I´m sure they wouldn´t bother anyone at all, it´s a classic case of the bullied becoming the bully.
I know that my girlfriend will always hate the people from her homeland for their extreme anti semetic behaviour towards her in her homeland and I´m trying desparately to persuade her to take people as individuals and not to rise
to it, but they have deeply deeply wounded her and it´s going to take a long time for her to heal.
I think in Palistine and Isreal the hate has been born out of one form of oppression or another that is what makes it so sad. If they took the lid off the tension and looked to the younger Isreali born generation for inspriation I think they could achieve peace, at least I hope so, for both sides.

  • 159.
  • At 04:19 PM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • matt wrote:

Mary Fernandez - please don't confuse explanations with excuses, this is a common error

  • 160.
  • At 04:22 PM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • Brian Dickenson wrote:

Terrorist plot or just Orwell's 1984 predictions fulfilling?
Those faceless civil servants and their political puppets who run the country, keeping a sense of imminent danger to the public, hoping of course that we will overlook all the rest of Blair and Bushes' Machiavellian machinations.
Big Brother is watching.

  • 161.
  • At 04:23 PM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • matt wrote:

Mary Fernandez - western values FORCED upon middle eastern countries IS imperialism

  • 162.
  • At 04:59 PM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • Tom Roberts wrote:

The 'War on Terror' continues. The first casualty of war is truth.

What is certain for me is that yesterdays panic will not be what it seems to be at the moment.

It's a massive convenient distraction from the shortcomings of the Govt. The idea that Britain and the US were told of the Isrealis intentions in Lebanon is gaining strength......the implications of this idea are profound. Yesterdays actions may help people to forget that for a while.

Mr Blair began his government in dialogue with terrorists and peace of a kind has come to Northern Ireland. Years ago the terrorists in Palestine who bombed the British later became the statesmen of Isreal.
Things have changed and and where is the coherence in policy?
The war on terror helped the concoction of a dubious case for the invasion of Iraq. The language used in the debate included the words 'weapons of mass destruction' These turned out to be a non existent.
The US and Britain posses the weapons of mass destruction (nuclear warheads etc) far more than the depleted army of Saddam could ever imagine.
The result of the escapade is Terror to the people of Bagdhad and over 1000 deaths per month.
The Iraqis are paying a high price. That's over 12,000 deaths a year and it puts terrible events of 9/11 and 7/7 in perspective does it not.

What have we done in allowing the govts to fuel terrorism, hijack the language, deny the Geneva Conventions and flout International law. ?

If people have the courage to give their lives for a cause then that must be respected. It presents a terrible dilema for us in dealing with it. How do we protect the innocent without living under a state of seige? Now is the time to begin dialogue and thereby encourage respect for divergent opinion, not to make war on it. Only then can the dynamic that drives people to these hideous acts be dissipated.

Do we want more of the same? Ask in Bagdhad.

  • 163.
  • At 05:00 PM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • matt wrote:

hi again john

whatever i may be "smoking", it is not oil in profligate quantities

i appreciate your experience and candour, but oil is not necessarily in everything i own or do, yes it is in nearly everything, but not entirely so

i do understand your point about enjoying using those things derived from oil, whether or not i "enjoy enjoying them"

to remove oil from all our activities is not quite what i was saying, what i was alluding to was that oil mixed with blood is something i would rather do without...also, we thankfully have marvelous potential to replace oil with alternative means, not eveyone would like solar panels on their roof, and yes, i understand that those same solar panels would be transported using oil...the focus on oil at any human cost is what needs to change, in combination with new and alternative technologies...the end result being far closer to todays technological age than the stone age

and yes, wind farms and such are not a total solution, but there are many regards in which oil can be reduced from the equation

i never suggested that all oil products should be replaced with wood !

but plants (and mineral synthetics) will show themselves some day as being capable of providing everything that oil can and more

  • 164.
  • At 05:22 PM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • Susan Harvey wrote:

Easy to be cynical as long as one isn't flying. Frankly I will happily go without my face cream etc. in order to arrive safely - because one thing is certain there are people out there who will continue to work diligently to come up with some device or ploy that will evade detection and kill, maim or damage as large a number of people as possible. Why? Why do hackers create viruses and worms that bedevil innocent computer users? In some perverted and pathological way it makes them all feel good.

As for me I will suspend cynicism to avoid dying in a falling skyscraper or in an underground explosion or in a burning aircraft and help those entrusted with our security to do the best job they possibly can.

  • 165.
  • At 05:30 PM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • chris wrote:

Sorry for this not being on topic but I'd like to have the facility
to post jpeg photo files even movie files along with the blogs?

  • 166.
  • At 05:35 PM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • Tony Young wrote:

How close were we to mass murder?

Mmm. So the security forces have been tracking this group for about a year.
Knowledge of how the group intended to smuggle expolsives onboard aicraft disguised as liquids was known for some time.
Security forces decided to wait until the group were about to arrange a dry run before raising the alarm.
Did it not occur to anyone that other, undetected, groups could be planning something similar?
Should the security forces and their political masters not have quietly added liquids and electronic goods to the list of items, banned from being carried onboard aircraft, months ago?
Who took the irresponsible decision not to do this?
Oh, and shouldn't wristwatches be banned also? They do make remarkably accurate detonators

  • 167.
  • At 07:00 PM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • Hugh Waldock wrote:

Western Imperialism - That´s the old cliche that one man´s terrorist is another man´s freedom fighter.

Is the media the new religion? Is the media the one binding force that keeps western society together, that disseminates and reinforces our values.

Taking over the function that religion and even state has played since civilisation began?

Isn´t some pollution and infiltration of Muslim fundementalist ideals via the internet inevitable?

The only way to prevent this is to control all incoming internet activity like China do.

I think life in the middle east is different and people want to keep it that way. It is as much a problem of globalisation (the demand for oil, trade, right wing market economics, and freedom of information) as those western values becuase those four things are fast becoming part of world culture especially business culture. The developed world is becoming less religious all over.

I´m not sure I really agree with it I think more left wing democratic socialism is important to keep people happy along with a respect for religion and pluralism of values which is important to world productivity. It provides a variety of ideas and ideals to play with.

I guess that there is a genuine fear of rapid and unimaginable and irreversable change. I don´t think anyone would disrespects the arabic way, it´s just that our basic rules have already become the ground rules for a global economy, in the same way that the English language is it´s most important language.

Under the current world system acceptence of these basic values is
the key to joining in the global game, that is fact. There has to be a basis for a relationship for business to take place. One does not do new business with someone who says he´s going to kill his friends. I don´t know whether western governments have enough control and power left to govern what goes on in world trade and specify that it should have more of a muslim character even if they wanted to. So apart from our physical occupation of countries, we are not IMPOSING western values, they are being trickled down as a result of globalisation.

People must either accept this like Saudi Arabia or become more radical like Iran.

  • 168.
  • At 07:01 PM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • M. Fernandez wrote:

Matt --

RE: Post 162, 'Confusing explanations with excuses'. Then you agree with me.

RE: Post 164, 'Forced Western Values'. I wasn't arguing ME policy, I was speaking about the appropriate behavior of citizens, regardless of race or religion, in a Western country. But, which Western value would you be talking about? Don't gas your citizens? Don't invade your neighbor? Don't stone women to death or kill homosexuals? I would argue the first and second are universal values, but the third and fourth could be argued as Western values.

Please don't bother with the usual litany of horribles perpetrated by the West. You listed them above, and frankly, I don't care. It makes no difference on my argument about what the rights and responsibilities of a citizen are. As I posted earlier, if the ME bothers you, go there and fix it. (I would point out that none of these murderous nuts have experienced the oppression they are complaining about. Not one of these guys are Iraqi or Palestinian. Quite the opposite, they are born and raised on the mother's milk of Western values or are wealthy elitists like Bin Laden. If they lived by the non-Western values they espouse, they would have been tortured, imprisoned or put to death.)

Your non-interference policy works fine for me. It'll save me a fortune on aid to Africa, crackpot environmental regulations, lower trade barriers and all the other Western values currently imposed on the third world.

  • 169.
  • At 07:01 PM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • jenny wrote:

Spot the difference?

We awake to the news that a major terror plot has been thwarted.

We awake to the news that an alleged major terror plot has been thwarted.

  • 170.
  • At 07:11 PM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • JT in DC wrote:

I have read enough responses to get the timing issue, the sarcasm and the gratitude of travelers.

The first arrests were made in Pakistan and then in UK. A martyr's video was found. Reservations for 16 august 2006 were made.

But think of it this way, as I do. If you or friends have reservations to fly across the pond on Wednesday, 16 August 2006, as did the 24 accused terrorists, What would your thoughts be? Gratitude or sarcasm?

This conflict with Islamic radicals has been in progress since 1992 or 1993. The civilized world only decided to seriously engage the enemy on a serious basis after 11 September 2001.

This conflict has nothing to do with Afghanistan or Iraq, or even Palestine and Lebanon.

This conflict is about religious oppression and eliminating those who do not believe in the "Right" interpretation of the Koran.

It is your right to think otherwise, but to do so is naive and puts one individually and collectively at risk giving the enemy strength and courage to fight you knowing that you do not have the belief and courage to fight him and win.

We do not have to be on the front line of defense against these zealots happy to die just to kill us, we just need to be educated and willing to support those fighting to defend us.

I am not naive and know that deceptions by government will occur and politics will be played. We must all be aware of that and take guard of our liberties. But don't be ignorant. Educate yourself on the reality that this is a real war and the enemy cannot be differentiated from your neighbor or friend.

Knowledge is our best defense in this war and the enemy considers it a war to the finish. It will be waged for the indefinite future.

Good fortune to you in your defense.

  • 171.
  • At 07:12 PM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • hugh Waldock wrote:

The question is then whether we should impose a global economy on everyone not western values. Becuase media culture, and economics no longer belong to the west but are to be seen the world over.

  • 172.
  • At 07:59 PM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • Ron wrote:

I entirely agree with Jeff Bowes (email no 1 above) and would only add to it another “alleged” plot, which is: It's all a political putsch to oust Tony Blair while he's away, busy suntanning his bum.

Are we soon to hear "John Reid for the leadership"?

  • 173.
  • At 09:02 PM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • matt wrote:

Mary, i apologise but yet again i feel the need to correct your reading (in what i wrote previously) something that wasn't there, i do not have policies, i make no such claim, however i did state the view that our foreign policy must be interpretable as (as well as actually) just, balanced and consistent, i see litle evidence that this ideal is what our leaders ar demonstrating

  • 174.
  • At 09:15 PM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • Ron wrote:

I entirely agree with Jeff Bowes (email no 1 above) and would only add to it another “alleged” plot, which is: It's all a political putsch to oust Tony Blair while he's away, busy suntanning his bum.

Are we soon to hear "John Reid for the leadership"?

  • 175.
  • At 09:35 PM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • Hugh Waldock wrote:

To 173: I do not feel anyone is my enemy. The people who carry out these attacks are human beings, and their motivation is human compassion for something that I do not understand.

I am not trying to "win" a "war" against anybody, becuase these people cry, they laugh, they get depressed or angry, they feel like killing themselves and they feel like killing other people. The only difference between them and me is that they do kill.

I actually agree with Mr Blair that if this is a war its a war of hearts and minds. I think the way to think about this violence is like Ghandi or Martin Luther King, there are many nonviolent means with which one can dissipate discontent. I think you need more compassion and love for your enemies however terrible they may seem.

People fear many types of people including big guys in pubs and clubs and mentally ill people, I myself suffered from a mental illness and people feared me but they totally misunderstood the threat I posed, what I needed and wanted was compassion. Now I´m through it thank God. I think you need to have more compassion and love for you enemies!!!

  • 176.
  • At 10:07 PM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • matt wrote:

Mary, i feel i must also add, that your statement that "not gassing your citizens" and not "invading your neighbour" are not so universal after all, i consider iraq to be my neighbour, albeit somewhat further down the road, and we invaded that neighbour, also, there in the united states (where i assume you are) and here in england, our governements are not above gassing their citizens, nor are they above using mounted police to mow them down, and potentialy lethal rubber munitions against those same citizens, and this when they attempted to exercise their 'democratic right to protest'

your assertion that it is solely a western value not to stone women or kill homosexuals, aside from being broadly innacurate, is unnecessarily inflammatory and sweeping

  • 177.
  • At 11:04 PM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • yvonne johnston wrote:

I am totally disgusted with the BBC for their very biased journalism re the lebanon/israel crisis, practically every report is coming from lebanon and what the israel security forces have done, but we never hear of the atrocities committed by hezbollah directed at the citizens of israel, but then again the bbc always air on the side of the terrorists/troublemakers etc.

Also regarding the newsnight programme tonight, to give a voice to the father of the poor nice boy muslims arrested for the alleged terrorism plot has totally disgusted me, and what has really made it worse was allowing the person from the pro islam party who wish sharia law to speak, i thought it was a british broadcasting company not one that would give a voice to terrorists...

  • 178.
  • At 11:22 PM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • David Russell wrote:

When will the world realise that Jihadists kill their own people to be propaganda martyrs to blame Israel and deceive people like you?

In 1982, the Palestinians told the world Israel were intentionally poisoning girls in a girls school. Incredibly, for a week the worlds media believed them until the Palestinians were caught on film telling the girls to pretend to be ill and an investigation found it was all made up.

Ever since then the european media have been Jihadist propagandists and have fell for one deception after another, to the point now in which Jihadists are killing women and children to support their propaganda narrative of the evil Jew and scupper peace plans (like the recent Abbas one). No one realises to what magnitude we are being deceived by a lazy gullible media. From now on their complicity in these deceptions will be exposed.

  • 179.
  • At 11:25 PM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • David Russell wrote:

Have you noticed how the media fuel homegrown extremism by only showing images of dead children when its the result of Israel, but never as a result of our own actions in Iraq and Afghanistan? Or, for example, the emotional consequences of the Jihadist genocide in Sudan that the media is largely ignoring?

The sort of a hysterical distorted media is very dangerous indeed. When will they realise that and take a look at themselves?

  • 180.
  • At 11:34 PM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • Talia wrote:

I have been astonished today, watching various BBC news programmes, about the bias towards the general Arab/Middle Eastern/Muslim view of the "war on terror" and Lebanon/Israel conflict. Is the BBC trying to appease Muslims by showing allegiance with the Muslim brothers, or possibly trying to foment even more Muslim dissent? I was against the Iraq war for so many reaons, but the main reason for civilian death in that country now is division between different Islamic sects; this is not inflicted by westerners, however wrong their initial reasons for invadng. Can't we stop loathing ourselves so much, and start fighting for our survival?

  • 181.
  • At 11:36 PM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • Garry Paulwell wrote:

I like the first post [in order of points]:

We awake to news that a major terror plot has been thwarted. Security sources claim that the group, who have been under surveillance for months, wanted to explode as many as 10 planes, probably somewhere over the Atlantic. Thousands of travellers are stranded, planes have been cancelled and the country's security threat has been raised to its highest level. There are a lot of questions we'll be trying to answer during the course of the day, for example:

1. how close were we to "mass murder on an unimaginable scale"?

As the police and security forces are doing the investigating I would assume they know what they are talking about - unless others know any different and I notice no one has come forweard and definetively denied this...

2. have the security services found any explosives?

Strange that... Channel 4 news on the day of theraids was travelling from one raid location to another when passing a nearby woods saw police and on investigating found the police quietly removing bags of evidence, from a small cordoned off area, on seeing CH4 watching they expanded the cordon area, various locals had in the recent past complained of the number of cars going to the woods and had been told quote: We know, please do not say anything to anybody about this. I suspect at the trial [or knowing the media in the leaks leadingup to it, more will leak out about that]

3. why did the police decide to swoop today?

Why wait if you have all the evidence you need?

4. were they members of a foreign terror cell or were they British-born?

I would suggest looking at the list of people whose bank accounts have been frozen by the Bank of England that would be obvious as it also lists place of birth.

5. how will this change the way we fly? Will we have to get used to flying without any hand luggage?

Well get used to see-through plastic bags, it will take at least 3 years [knowing how all government ministers reluctance to spend money when it will not benifit the particular party in a clear way, longer]

It will be interesting to see how the Muslim community handles the fact that the ring leaders travelled to Pakistan where they were brainwashed. Anyone remmber Where the ring leaders of the Tube/Bus bombings went to?

My prediction is they will do nothing.

The radicals are using Iraq/Saudia Arabia etc as an excuse, once they are gone they wil find something else... as all religious radicals do/have in the past.

  • 182.
  • At 11:51 PM on 11 Aug 2006,
  • John Nash wrote:

Hi, Matt (179)
One difference is that we use tear gas on our dissenters, while they use mustard gas.
Another difference is that we use rubber bullets on actual demonstrators to disperse crowds, while they use lead bullets on people's whole families in order to stifle dissent.
The real difference is that you can safely be a thick-skinned armchair critic of our way of life, but if you tried expressing your personal views in their countries, they would make an armchair out of your skin.

  • 183.
  • At 12:19 AM on 12 Aug 2006,
  • David Russell wrote:

The BBC are Jihadist propagandists. They are following their agenda and their propaganda narrative.

From what we have seen on the media, the Islamist tactic to seize control of our foreign policy is Al Quida play bad cop and the MCB (Muslim Council of Britian) play good cop - So while Al Quida terrorize us the MCB then appear on the BBC telling us it can all be sorted if we just capitulate to their foreign policy agenda.

To help this Islamist plot and propaganda agenda the BBC do the following...

1. Show dead children on their news reports ONLY when Jews do it.

2. Refuse to cover the genocide in Sudan by arab Jihadist militias incase it offends Muslims.

3. Refuse to apply the same moral outrage to Islamists intentionally killing other Muslim civilians in Iraq, as they do in the Jews endless wars of self defence.

4. Apply cynicism only to Israel while the news networks fabricate photos and stage massacres in order to incite Islamist hysteria all of Europe to play to the brutal Jew narrative.

5. Do not report the Islamist and arab hatemongering of America and especially of Jews that is now at epidemic proportions world-wide.

4. Use only "experts" on News 24 that support all of the above.

  • 184.
  • At 01:20 AM on 12 Aug 2006,
  • matt wrote:

John, those "dissenters" to which you refer, were attempting to peacefully object to the war or other recent policies of our government, have you ever been teargassed ?...i can tell you from personal experience that when it's happening to you, it may as well be mustard, and don't you think that peaceful protest shuld be heard (and seen to be heard) in this democratic country ?...if we live in such a very different place to those unpleasant places which you refer, then why is peaceful disagreement with government policy met with state violence ?

you may call me armchair protestor, but you're wrong again, firstly, i don't have any chairs, and secondly, if there were public forums in relation to serious matters such as war, as maybe there ought to be, at least to have the public heard, no matter how misguided you may feel their opinions, then i can assure you that i would be perfectly happy state these opinions in front of our leaders, that is not armchair protest

and besides, after being trampled by horses, physically beaten by armed police, and filmed by the authorities, you may excuse someone their sit in their armchair perhaps

it's your democracy that brands its own law abiding citizens as dissenters, who should it seems recieve rubber bullets and teargas...very free

  • 185.
  • At 02:01 AM on 12 Aug 2006,
  • Susan Hawkins wrote:

Some people, like Jeff Bowes, have this quality of writing down matters in a crystal-clear manner. You can fool people sometimes but not all the time. As Lebanon is being obliterated again, US newspapers squabble over Mel Gibson's supposedly anti-semitic remarks as he was caught drunk behind the steering wheel. I wonder whether he would have reached the front pages if he had addressed a nation of other convictions. I wonder whether anybody in the UN can see beyond their own interests and realise that ignoring the fate of Lebanon is a gesture of ignorance that will, in the end, harm the interest of all.

  • 186.
  • At 02:22 AM on 12 Aug 2006,
  • john nash wrote:

Hi, matt (186)
State violence, Matt? We have thousands of protests every year and few disobedient people end up with a thick ear. Among the people we are fighting are are organisations where a single protest ends in hundreds of deaths, often after prolonged torture. I would say wake up and smell the roses, but since you can't tell the difference between mustard and tear gas, what's the use? This is getting too far off topic.
The fact remains that we are facing a new kind of war. It is extremely difficult, for the military, our security services and, for that matter our media, including the Beeb. Our military try to hit combatants, the security services try to nab terrorists and the media try to report human interest stories because that's what the ratings demand.
The problem is that our enemy deliberately tries to attract our military action down on the heads of civilians, our enemy plants spurious terrorist plans to get our security services to raid innocents, and the media have a duty and desire to report it all, thereby doing the terrorists' PR for them. And you (and many others) swallow it all, hook line and sinker as a capitalist/imperialist plot to rule the world/suppress the poor or whatever particular bee is buzzing in your bonnet.
You are living proof that being a soldier, spook or editor is a thankless task performed for ingrates.

  • 187.
  • At 02:28 AM on 12 Aug 2006,
  • David Russell wrote:

Lebanese civilians are referred to as "civilians" where Israeli civilians are referred to as "Israelis" - an eerie and sinister difference

Jon Snow interviewed an Israeli diplomat, he said "Rockets, pretty pathetic things - nobody gets injured." This was gleefully picked up and proclaimed by The Guardian, the newspaper I left some years ago in protest at what I saw as its vile anti-Semitism

The UK media is not institutionally anti-semitic towards all but subservient Jews, so much so they are blind to it.

  • 188.
  • At 02:41 AM on 12 Aug 2006,
  • matt wrote:

wow john, i was actualy in agreement with much of what you said, until you suggested i was "swallowing a particular line of argument"

all these issues are inter-related, and it is wrong to make assumptions on my views based on what i haven't said, simply because some of what i have said might seem the tip of a larger, polarised iceberg, i don't think everything our leaders do is wrong by default, but individual actions of our leaders can be wrong on their own merit

now we're in iraq, we can't just pull out because it was wrong in the first instance

please don't superimpose other superficially similar views over my own, if you read MY OWN WORDS in isolation, you will find that i am not willing to follow one polarised opinion or the other, but i feel obliged to clarify that i can see some kernals of truth in many voices

and i wasn't teargassed as a dissenter, i was teargassed as a soldier

  • 189.
  • At 03:24 AM on 12 Aug 2006,
  • David Russell wrote:

Europeans do nothing when Arabs in Sudan kill blacks (both Muslims). They blame USA for Shiites in Iraq killing Sunnies and
vice versa. They afraid saying anything against Muslims as they are afraid of them. Yet, again they are only too happy to put blame on Israel for everything (Lebanon, the new plot to blast
airplanes from UK to USA, etc.) They do not want to know that NATO air bombardment of Serbia killed 10000 civilians.

There are many question to Europeans on why they treat the Israeli Jews so different from themselves and Muslims. The only unifying
answer is very politically incorrect: antisemitism. Antisemitism
led to Holocaust last century and unfortunately may do the same now. What Europeans do not take into consideration is that in the
1940s not only many Jews lost their lives, but also many more non-Jews. The same may well happen once again and for the same
reason: they must fight real evil (Islamic fascism) and not imaginary (Zionism).

  • 190.
  • At 04:31 AM on 12 Aug 2006,
  • John Templeton Smith wrote:

The terrorist bandwagon rolls on with the high-tech West in apparent disarray against a low-tech enemy; 10-8 being yet another date the politicians have adopted to practise their sophistry. The question we in the West should be asking is why? Is it implausible to believe that the Bush Administration is at this moment planning to table a motion to repeal the postwar 22nd Amendment to their Constitution (overturning the two-term limit on the presidency). History shows that Franklin Delano Roosevelt used a war to win a third term (even though he failed to fulfill his electoral promise to keep America out of that particular fracas). A western world in turmoil plays rather well to a Republican American electorate.
It plays somewhat better to the American oil barons.

  • 191.
  • At 04:38 AM on 12 Aug 2006,
  • Sean wrote:

The proislamic propaganda and borderline antisemitism of BBC is well know all the world over.
What I would like to know is how
antisemetic is British society in general so that the BBC feels that it will not suffer any sanction.

  • 192.
  • At 07:39 AM on 12 Aug 2006,
  • Commentator wrote:

To answer the original questions:

1. how close were we to "mass murder on an unimaginable scale"?

Probably quite close. Remember that when the police let people go, as in the Forest Gate affair, it's not necessarily because they are squeaky clean, but because we have laws about evidence and the length of the time you can hold someone without charge. Britain, despite its faults, is a democracy.

2. have the security services found any explosives?

Only they can tell you that. But given the cock-ups of the past when handling the media, maybe they are erring on the side of caution this time.

3. why did the police decide to swoop today?

That has been adequately explained: the dilemma between too early and too late.

4. were they members of a foreign terror cell or were they British-born?

We know this now. And should any, including the one found in Pakistan, be charged, this will be another devastating blow to the self-confidence British Muslim community and its relations with the rest of us. Even the moderate Muslim community is very eager to criticise the war in Iraq (designed by the Allies to stop Muslims from fighting Muslims) but never seem to appear to wonder why, for instance, people who live in Britain for decades cannot speak English and have a couple of sons who are suspected of horrendous crimes. The Muslim community must wake up and realise that rather few Sikhs, Jews, Hindus, Christians or Scientologists have been in the news lately for even being suspected of terrorism. The onus is on Muslim leaders to prive that Islam is not a fifth column in Britain with an Ummah agenda involving bringing down the democratic state by violent means.

5. how will this change the way we fly? Will we have to get used to flying without any hand luggage?

In the long run it will be a good thing. This absurd idea of buying alcohol, chocolate and perfume in one airport because it's cheaper and transporting it, duty free, to another country (increasing the weight, thus the fuel cost of flights) is absurd. The idea that you need bags full of things on board equally so. The only ones who are suffering unfairly are people with medicines and people with small children.

As for the general issues, I think that Muslim Voice in posting 117 has some interesting things to say about loyalty, mentality and integration.

  • 193.
  • At 08:06 AM on 12 Aug 2006,
  • chris wrote:

If terrorism is a violent technique to try to enforce an ideology then
Shirea law is terrorism against girls, women and homosexuals.

age of consent for girls - nine which amounts to men being given the
go ahead to rape and ok paedophilia - utterly repulsive and disgusting !

Stoning to death of women who (are aledged to) have committed adultery
- utterly repulsive and disgusting !

homosexuals being killed - utterly repulsive and disgusting !

When on next on Newnight the man who whats to see Shirea law
in all muslem countries needs to be asked if he wants to see the
UK as a muslem country ? this question needs not to be absolutly
rammed at him with force majeure but caressed home.

  • 194.
  • At 11:43 AM on 12 Aug 2006,
  • David Russell wrote:

The English press is 100% anti-Israeli and pro-Muslim.

When Islamic extremists detonated themselves on buses in London, the media went into a frenzy of grovelling apologies for somehow offending muslims so much that they had no choice but to show their hurt by killing the English! Just yesterday more Islamic terrorists attempted to murder thousands of civilians on aeroplanes leaving the UK. Not a single mention of the murderous intent of Islam was mentioned by any journalist. Yet, when Israel takes a stand against this vile creed, we Jews are vilified and painted as Satan himself!

The media is so pro-muslim that any mention of the muslim founder, Mohammed, is always preceded by the words "The Prophet"! He is only the prophet if you follow Islam!

God help England wake up to the lies of its media

  • 195.
  • At 11:51 AM on 12 Aug 2006,
  • David Russell wrote:

What did he mean "mass murder on an unimaginable scale"? Where they planning to fly these planes into British nuclear power stations and we are not going to be told incase it incites panick?

If they do, which they probably will, as England is so small will it kill millions?

How soon before this happens?

  • 196.
  • At 12:37 PM on 12 Aug 2006,
  • john nash wrote:

Hi, John (190)
I had no idea the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour to get Roosevelt elected - it just shows how stupid I have been all these years, thinking that the Japanese attacked in order to secure their access to the oil and other resources around the Pacific.
It may come as a surprise to realise that Japan had oil barons, too. And on that subject, the present Middle East problems aren't doing much harm to the bin Laden family either, a huge global oil trading and construction conglomerate.
Oil barons everywhere live on our thirst for oil - they always have done. Don't blame them for making a few bob out of our greed or need. Blaming Israel or Muslims or capitalists or politicians or Uncle Tom Cobbley is a lot easier than blaming our own consumption.

  • 197.
  • At 12:55 PM on 12 Aug 2006,
  • Hugh Waldock wrote:

The important thing to remember is not to distance ourselves from those around us. EVERYONE is important in this world, our government seems to have forgotten that.

I put this down to a lack of experience in our politicians. I used to be a member of the labour party. I was interested in discussing issues, but the only thing people seemed to be interested in was discrediting councillors of other parties. None of them had had any experience of living abroad. We had no members of other races in our CLP. The party is completly top heavy and are there any muslims in the cabinet? Or at least someone who has first hand experience in living in Arabia or loves arabic people and wants to represent them.

  • 198.
  • At 01:07 PM on 12 Aug 2006,
  • john nash wrote:

Hi, Matt (188)
These arguments are not about you and me - they are big arguments flavoured with personal references to make them small enough to swallow, and a bit of banter makes the day more fun. None of this is personal.
I may not agree with many of your statements, but I would fight to protect your right to hold them, provided you don't reach for any weapons because you are annoyed that the rest of us don't adopt your particular line. Let's agree to disagree.
And to David (195), if you don't consider the death of a couple of thousand people to be mass murder, what can I say. Of course, if it was your honest attempt to pull the nuclear power argument into this thread, I apologise.

  • 199.
  • At 01:16 PM on 12 Aug 2006,
  • Hugh Waldock wrote:

I´m a great believer in learning by doing. I think that just becuase you have a 2:1 from a good university and are politically active in London does not mean you have the transferrable skills needed to do the job. You can read reports on things but without significant international life experience it is hard to make the right decisions. Not everyone, but too many people in politics these days are not idealists they only care about their own
careers. I remember some older politicians appealing on TV for younger politicians to have a life outside politics before they go for the big time. This is important.

I would like to see more people in the cabinet who have lived and been educated abroad. Who have first hand experience of how other systems function. I think this would help our cabinet to seem more representative to minorities of all kinds.

  • 200.
  • At 03:57 PM on 12 Aug 2006,
  • matt wrote:

shame on you john ! suggest that i would reach for a weapon to impose my views on others is quite unfair, and not in my nature, but, it does rather neatly bring our minor ramblings into the greater context !

  • 201.
  • At 07:14 PM on 12 Aug 2006,
  • john nash wrote:

Hi Matt (200)
I don't want to hog the blog, but I must reply. Your 200 post perfectly demonstrates the common problem of over-sensitivity that underlies much of the cynicism and paranoia. I said I would defend your right...PROVIDED you didn't reach for a weapon. I didn't suggest you WOULD reach for a weapon - it was merely a statement of my position regarding your (and everyone's) freedom of speech. I feel no shame about defending your right to speak, but I reiterate - as long as it is only speech. SHOULD you (or anyone) switch to violent action, then by your own action, you elect to change the civilised rules between us, and I have no doubt I would then do something uncivilised about it. That's how freedom works. It's all about choice - and we all remain civilised as long as everyone remains civilised.

  • 202.
  • At 07:53 PM on 12 Aug 2006,
  • Paul D wrote:

Serbia cannot or will not produce Karadic or Mladic to face trial for the slaughter at Szrebrenica. No one has ever been called to account for Sabra and Shatila. As we begin to move down the dangerous route of demonising Muslims for the extreme beliefs of a small minority, does it not occur to someone that the delivery of justice for past crimes against them might, at least, demonstrate goodwill on the part of those western political figures who are so quick to condemn?

  • 203.
  • At 08:03 PM on 12 Aug 2006,
  • matt wrote:

john, you take lighthearted comment and respond with threat, exactly supporting my point yet again !...get a sense of perspective, or at least a sense of humour

and by your own standards, you should have also protested against the cooked up reasons for invading iraq

  • 204.
  • At 08:13 PM on 12 Aug 2006,
  • vikingar wrote:

Q. why was the Bank of England able to publish the details of people (names, part addresses & DOB) was it something to do with financial law reference freezing of assets? (thought DPA prevented such disclosure?)

Ref what gets reported in the UK as to what gets reported abroad. Any resulting prosecutions will be carried our in a British Court. Therefore, disclosure of background information in the British Press would harm future prosecutions. Hence, that is why we see far more information relating to this alleged terrorist plot being published abroad.

It is a war on terror, a war about terrorist mantra & motivation versus the mechanisms, structures & values of progressive democratic societies.

Public protest may be a necessary outlet & civil right in peacetime, however it becomes a privileged in wartime & certain groups should be mindful of the need for responsible criticism..

Until told/proven otherwise, the majority of British Society will readily believe the elected government & state agencies there to protect our nation. It is part of our shared convention, we surrender the desire for individual retribution for collective faith/trust in states ability to deliver justice & fairness & protect its citizens.

However, in wartime, governments should not be necessarily bounded by the same standards of peacetime & may have to box clever & not disclose everything to all, regardless of peacetime expectations of some (in denial about the threat to our progressive nations/region & way of life).

Most would agree with the suspension of certain rights given the level of threat. The trick & challenge is to get them back :)


  • 205.
  • At 08:27 PM on 12 Aug 2006,
  • Paul D wrote:

In reply to David Russell, may I suggest that he falls into a trap when he talks about anyone being 'anti-Israeli and pro-Muslim'.
Israel is a nation state with a clear and direct resposibility for its's own foreign and defence policy and it is right and proper that it should be held to account. Islam, on the other hand, is a belief system
which is uncontrained by national boundaries. He is perfectly entitled to talk about 'anti-Jewish and pro Muslim' or 'anti-Israeli and pro-Lebanon' but to confuse politics with faith is not helpful.

  • 206.
  • At 09:23 PM on 12 Aug 2006,
  • Murphy wrote:

Why is that so many people are cynics at the moment? It seems to have become popular culture to critisize politicians and in particular the government. Whilst balanced criticism is healthy, surely this persistant unbalanced criticism by the media on all sides undermines the government therefore achieving something the terrorists wish for. I would rather the security services are over-active in trying to thwart terrorism and make some mistakes, than under-active and let some terrorist plots succeed.
We do not always know better than the government and it should be what is learned from mistakes, rather than just the actual mistake, on which the government should be judged. Too much emphasis is placed on ministers' personal lives rather than their skills as politicians and we should remember the role of a government is not always to keep the media happy.
Perhaps it is time we stop this constant unbalanced criticism and offered more support to the government, whether it be Labour or Tory, on the issue of terrorism.

  • 207.
  • At 09:55 PM on 12 Aug 2006,
  • Hugh Waldock wrote:

Let´s stop blaming our government becuase there´s nothing they can do to better the situation and start to build cross community confidence ourselves. I would like to see forums set up accross the country where normal people can debate politics. Political power should not be in the hands of the few, we should all have a say in our destiny.

Can the BEEB help. Let´s give the power back to the people! One vote in five years for a government in Westminster is clearly not enough. People on here are angry and they have no means to control what goes on the power of the unions is gone, we have no proportional representation no system like in Switzerland where people have the right to make their own policies, they get one million signatures and it must be debated in Parliament. Our systme of politics breeds corruption by power becuase so much power is given to so few, democracy is supposed to be about everyone having a say. We even call the political STARS, we don´t want stars we want to debate the issues and influence policies ourselves.

I think this is what people are angry about there is simply nothing they can do.

  • 208.
  • At 09:58 PM on 12 Aug 2006,
  • john nash wrote:

Hi, again, Matt (203)
(Sigh) Explaining civilisation's rules of engagement, in which everyone is entitled to civilised treatment unless THEY elect by THEIR OWN action to change the rules and switch to uncivilised methods AND THEREBY run the risk of facing uncivilised treatment themselves does not imply any sort of threat to you or anyone else. It merely explains my preparedness to acknowledge and defend civilised behaviour and forms the underlying framework to things like the Geneva Convention and the rules of war.
Provided everyone remains more or less civilised, it works like a dream (insofar as humanly possible) and can be administered by policing, a management process that balances everyone's rights and responsibilities against those of everyone else.
However, if one party chooses to use uncivilised methods, it becomes a different game, one chosen by the agressor. The new game is uncivilised and is administered very differently, by military methods, in which the objective is not to balance people's rights but simply to win. You act proportionally as a policeman (who must manage), but not as a soldier (who must win). That is why military justice is different to civilian justice and why it is difficult for soldiers to do a policeman's job and vice versa. It is also why civilians have great difficulty understanding military matters, as you should well know having had military experience.
War is, by definition, uncivilised. It is what men evolved to do (amongst other things) and it is why many soldiers during combat experience an exhilaration unfelt by civilians. It is also why many combat soldiers have difficulties when returning to civilian life because they return as (military) lions to a world of (civilian) sheep.
It also explains why there is a lot of violence in the world and most of it is performed by young men - it is their genetic inheritance. Pretending otherwise doesn't help solve or understand the problem.
The difference between soldiers and terrorists is that soldiers try to engage other soldiers and avoid civilians, while terrorists prefer military methods against civilians in order to avoid the consequence of meeting soldiers.
The complications begin when you have to decide whether to act before you are struck or wait until afterwards. Soldiers and security personnel prefer the former and civilians prefer the latter, giving rise to about half the blogs here.

  • 209.
  • At 10:13 PM on 12 Aug 2006,
  • Hugh Waldock wrote:

I would like to see Blair fight for every vote on foreign policy Like Angela Merkel in a grand coalition or if this is a war why don´t we have a war cabinet from all parties? We have hardly any minor parties with seats at westminster at all. This is esclating discontent. In Germany there have been NO attacks so far.

  • 210.
  • At 11:16 PM on 12 Aug 2006,
  • matt wrote:

john - yet again there is much of merit in what you've said, but the view you espouse in regard to when verbal disagreement escalates into violence serves to highlight a valid point

that being that the actions of this government in recent years can be interpreted as the first state fired shot against another STATE, we were the aggressor, it is that, which is my main problem with bush and blair...their efforts to attack an IDEA, in order to protect their citizens, has resulted in the deaths of many more citizens than all terrorism combined has achieved, and this action has also provided a rallying call for terrorism

and it is that which also serves to make the distinction between ourselves as victims, and others as aggressors, that much more difficult to make

few would argue that saddam hussain was a particulrly decent chap, and his removal probably appealed to bush and blair as an easy public relations coup, but seriously, i find it hard to credit that they could not have forseen the outcome as it was not only the politicians surrounding blair, but also many (or most) of us who instinctively knew that this spuriously reasoned war would become bush and blairs vietnam, we tried to tell them, we were not heard, but now we must all pay the price for their foolishness

as i have said before, if there were true balance and morals in our policies, we may still have terrorism, but the terrorism would be harder to excuse and recruit, and more easily fought

it saddens me that our politicians keep us out of the decision making loop to the extent that they do, i feel that this should change, but i suspect it won't

questions need asking about which voice our leaders hear, and why, because they chose not to hear millions of voices all saying the same thing as mine "not in our name" - whose name is this government in ? now that's a BIG question

  • 211.
  • At 06:18 AM on 13 Aug 2006,
  • M. Fernandez wrote:

Matt (187) -

I gave up on you as a crackpot after you equated the gassing of the Kurds with dispersing unruly crowds, but since you claimed you were gassed as a soldier, I really have to hear this. I am an Army Captain and Judge Advocate, I would love to hear your story.

  • 212.
  • At 08:46 AM on 13 Aug 2006,
  • Rick B wrote:

Every time these terror arrests happen we are told to "trust the police they know what they are doing". But it's not the police calling the shots, it's the intelligence agencies (including American) who provide the "intelligence", and we know how hit and miss they are in that. IMHO this whole terror scare is a massive own goal by the Blair govt, causing untold damage to the British economy and tourism industry.

  • 213.
  • At 08:55 AM on 13 Aug 2006,
  • Rick B wrote:

To all those who say that 9/11 happened for no reason, in fact one of the reasons stated by bin Laden was to remove US troops from Saudi Arabia, which the Bush administrations has subsequently done. However the Bush administration and Pentagon have lied repeatedly about what really happened on 9/11 and now it's officially admitted, as reported recently by Lou Dobbs on CNN under the title "9/11 Lies":

  • 214.
  • At 10:18 AM on 13 Aug 2006,
  • Ian Downing wrote:

How is it the loony fringe are allowed to muddy the waters? Surely this is a getout used to get support for extremist resonse?

  • 215.
  • At 10:21 AM on 13 Aug 2006,
  • Ian Downing wrote:

I wonder if it will take the full twenty-eight days for those 'alledged bombers' to be charged, or will Reids faux pas be used as an excuse for it not being possible for them to be charged?

  • 216.
  • At 11:34 AM on 13 Aug 2006,
  • john nash wrote:

Matt, we can go on nit-picking at odd bits forever. Iraq, like Vietnam, is a fly-trap – faced with a war on our societies, we set up foreign battlefields to attract young bucks away from our homes. It is better to fight in Iraq than to scrape our residents off the streets of New York and London. That deals with the “male” technical warfare side.
Now, however, a new kind of “female strategy” war is under way. “Female” wars are called revolutions. This new war makes use of our own freedom, free speech, democracy and sense of fair play to destroy us from within. It is a war of hearts and minds, and hides within a religion because it knows we are reticent to attack a religion. It attacks civilians because civilians can’t fight back, and terror is an extremely cheap weapon. In addition, it knows that we have become risk-averse and soft. Every cry of “not in my name” encourages it. The world order is changing and new folk want to take over.
To ask why people are attacking us is to ask why evolution exists. The old alpha males will be replaced by younger ones. We have had our time, grown fat and comfy, and others want a slice of the pie. They are not interested in sharing. They couldn’t give a poop about human rights. They are as determined as we were 200 years ago when we strode across the world, except that they are sneaking in through our back door while we are mesmerised by Israel et al.
That is why it’s called a Matrix war. I tried writing Matrix theory in two hundred thousand words and hardly made a dent in it because it is as complex as existence itself. My famous namesake, bizarrely enough, worked out Matrix mathematics and it’s not an easy lay subject.
The rules of war are “male” rules. They are ineffective against revolutions because revolutions, by definition, avoid “male” warfare. While you and I argue about who hit who first, they are digging under our foundations.

  • 217.
  • At 12:46 PM on 13 Aug 2006,
  • bernard weir wrote:

Yes.... I think we need to take all these claims by the British authorities that they have saved the world from the enemies of freedom yet again with a pinch of salt for the time being. They are still trying to “match up intelligence with hard evidence" That is they still haven't charged anyone yet ( they have actually had to release one of them,) or found any explosives.

Remember 7/7. The truth about that is that both Interpol and The Saudi government identified one of the bombers as a potential terrorist. Our intelligence services did take a quick look at him but decided he wasn't worth bothering with. Then shortly before 7/7 they actually relaxed the level of alert from red to amber. The rest, as they say, is history.

John reed just now on the News 24 Sunday, said that our intelligence services actually thwarted 4 bomb plots, that would have resulted in huge loss of life, in recent times but this is the first time we have ever gone critical. ( In fact we weren't even told about them )

He admitted that there "might" "perhaps" be people out there, connected with the suspects they are questioning now, who they don't know about, who they might have overlooked, who have might have slipped through the net; therefore the state of alert is still "critical" meaning imminent, therefore certain.
But only at the Airports apparently. There is absolutely no risk to train passengers you‘ll be pleased to hear, even though they has been the target of choice since 9/11 (Madrid, 7/7, 21/7, Bombay....)

A Deputy Commissioner for the Metropolitan Police, Peter Clark, has advised the nation that we should treat this matter as Sub Judice - already before the courts. He seems to think it is certain that prosecutions will result. That has just been confirmed by the Home secretary who has accordingly declined to comment, except once again to repeat how immensely proud he is of his incredibly dedicated, unbelievably committed, staff and to remind us of the immense debt we, not to mention he, owes them. We know of course that the real reason they are clamming up is that they put their foot it in so often in the past that they don’t trust themselves to speak. But the D.C. has made a good point. If this does go to trial it will be the biggest trial ever in British history. “20 defendants, 20 Q.C.s scores of witnesses and already the press, ignoring the D.C.s advice have made it certain that the defendants will be claiming a mistrial.

If he thinks his staff are so fantastic why doesn’t he listen to them then? The BAA has had enough. Even with putting all their staff on overtime, seconding office staff and using volunteers, they are still having to ask B.A; Ryanair and others to cancel a third of their flights. They are so desperate now that they are even asking the government to bring in the troops.

The BAA had contingency plans drawn up for just such an emergency. They would probably have been of something along the lines the Americans used

These are very experienced people. They don’t need some Blairite toady to tell them how to do their job. Thank God at least they put their foot down about these intimate body searches! I’m sure they would have seen immediately, as the Americans did, that it wasn’t necessary to ban both electrical items/glass cases/kiddies comics and liquids, liquids alone would have been enough. They would probably have stepped up their spot checks and pulled a few other tricks out of their sleeves and there would have been the minimum of disruption. They know what they are doing and at the moment they are exasperated and close to rebellion.

As a BAA spokesman clearly at the end of his tether, said on the News 24 Sunday Programme , “It is not sustainable“.

How long is this going to go on? Until the people of whom they don’t even know the names of, or what they look like or where they live, are caught?

Why didn’t we go critical between 7/7 and 21/7? I do seem to remember a heightened state height of alert on the days following 7/7, lots of “Corkies” on double time , hanging around the tube, beaming to one and all, and when that was stepped down another attack a few days later.

  • 218.
  • At 12:56 PM on 13 Aug 2006,
  • Gazza wrote:

[Reply to 205] Paul D.

Paul D, I would point out that Politics and Relgion are inextricably tied up in everything about this planet that involves Humans - as an example here in the UK most, not all but most, Catholics at senior level of the Conservative party are catholics... who in the past actively in this country supported the ruling class, could it possibly be the churches in the most part?

In the US who pushed for the election of Bush, was it the religious Right by any chance?

In Iraq isn't it the Shia's who out number any other party there [true this is down to numbers of a particular religious group but it proves the point].

Look elsewhere around the world and the parellels are obvious.

As a final thought for you, how is it that the Catholic church has it own Bank? Isn't politics and ecomics tightly interegrated?

Which in a way brings us right back to the central question of why people do what they do? For arn't religions when you come right down to it but an instrument for a particular persons beliefs? [Ron L. Hubbard & scientology is a good example].

Because they can, whether by choice or a perceived lack of choices - if a man has a gun who pulls the trigger? He does, he has a choice, to do it or not. Which of course brings us to the islamic radicals whose stated aims is to bring down the Capatilistic system and replace it with their own. Using any means possible including the use of terror.

Unfortunately there are too many religions out there that urge people to pull the trigger because it will advance a particular agenda they are pushing or opposing.

As for the need to use force against others, like in the war against Terror - in the end it is a choice every society will face sooner or later - the thing that matters to you and me is do you wait for a suffiently large body count on your side before acting or nip it in the bud? And to be blunt who or those they know would want to be on the casualty list, if it wasn't the other side?

I would love to see the people pushing PC [political correctness] be the first to volunteer to clean up and bury the dead from a terrorist nuke, [it will happen unfortunately and 'god' help us all in the chaos that will follow] but they will be nowhere to be found strangely enough.

  • 219.
  • At 04:19 PM on 13 Aug 2006,
  • Garry Paulwell wrote:

Entry 207 John Nash:

John I think the most telling part of your entry was right at the end and it illustrates the question which runs throughout this debate: i.e.

"It also explains why there is a lot of violence in the world and most of it is performed by young men - it is their genetic inheritance.

Pretending otherwise doesn't help solve or understand the problem.

The difference between soldiers and terrorists is that soldiers try to engage other soldiers and avoid civilians, while terrorists prefer military methods against civilians in order to avoid the consequence of meeting soldiers.

The complications begin when you have to decide whether to act before you are struck or wait until afterwards. Soldiers and security personnel prefer the former and civilians prefer the latter, giving rise to about half the blogs here."

In support of that I would ask if anyone has ever heard of a Old i.e. over 50year old Islamist carrying out a terror attack like a Bombing etc. Never [or it happens very very rarely].

Young men are aggressive in one form or another [and when pushed women too].

It is how that agression is shaped/channeled and used that is the important fact.

In the case of islamist militants they take that aggression [in this case rage at a state of affairs that the islamist preachers claim is a sin against their religion, like western womens dress, or lack of it etc etc - which brings up a interesting thought as to why such indivduals feel rage if they did not themselves feel attracted - I notice no other religion comes out with such statements] and twisting it direct these indivuduals down paths most would never go.

How is that solvable? I can not think of any way to stop it from happening, as to try to do so is to attempt to manipulate the very nature of what makes us all individuals. And once you start going down that route you have to wonder where it will stop considering how history in such matters has played out in the past. [dark ages anyone and how the churches persocuted mostly innocents as a way of keeping people cowed and in line].

The easiest way would be to identify those who would attempt the coercion of indivduals in the first place, in this case the islamist clerics, and find a way to block their influence, I wonder why no clerics are ever excumincated [and there is such a thing in the muslim faith].

If that fails to take appropiate action against those who would act against you - and that is the situation we now find ourselves in right now, though in this particular case using existing laws and not military force.

Lack of action in the past has led us to this point [and I would say lack of from all sides involved], and lack of action now can only lead to worse in the future.

That worse is what I fear. Inevitably as history has shown, rules of law or whatever society views as the norm for behaviour at a state level, if you cause enough casualities so numbers become a statistic then that society[s] considers all bets are off - on both sides of the equation whether innocent or guilty - Military or civilian [I point to the Allied bombing of Germany cities, it was a act of terror and destruction to break the will of the enemy, just as the Germans tried to do to London earlier in the war and thier use of duddlebugs and V2 in the later part].

The Key decision as you pointed out was when do you act - before something happens or after when it is too late?

And of course to muddy the waters there is also the skeptism most feel for those who act on our behalf - we all judge others by what they do and extrapolate/guess how they would act under different circumstances and those people are polticians, and they are well, polticians [are not to be trusted].

Unfortunately to add fuel to the fire is the emerging stories of terror groups using the media to further their own ends for propoganda purposes which brings into question the role and truthfulness of the media whih most people up till now believed as supplying the truth...

  • 220.
  • At 05:46 PM on 13 Aug 2006,
  • john nash wrote:

Hi, Garry (218)
My sympathies are with the media (and I'm not blowing warm sugar up Newnight's orifice - I often blast Mr Angry letters at the Beeb) because of their position. When we were a "male" nation - strong willed, purposeful, objective determined, competitive with a monotheist male religion and heroes of achievement - they could report objective facts and everyone was happy.
Now we are past that stage and unless physically threatened, we will become increasingly "female" utilitarian, artistic, altruistic and collectivist, with green and huggy religions and heroes measured by popularity (celebrity). We bunged out Maggie because she had big male goolies and voted in Tony because he made purring cuddly noises. He turned out to be a "male" leader so now the voters hiss at him.
The media can still report facts, but find that the feminised viewers (and thus the media's own survival) prefer Fergal Keane rumming around looking for crying children and twisted teddy bears in the rubble (when they are not busy watching if Nikki and Pete will get it on in Big Brother). Old codgers complain the news has become farce, but its all about eyeballs.
Outside, the world carries on. There are determined "male" movements still at work; they see us soften (become more "female") and, not rating femaleness very highly, they see a chance to have a go at us.
The media then tries to be fair, neither "male" nor "female", so becomes "abstract" but abstract is removed from reality, so they get called traitors from both sides. Don't you just love human beings?

  • 221.
  • At 06:04 PM on 13 Aug 2006,
  • w.malik wrote:

"Death on an unimginable scale"...hmmmmm

  • 222.
  • At 07:50 PM on 13 Aug 2006,
  • matt wrote:

Mary: no attempted military coup suppressed by gassing of squaddies ! was far more mundane than that

as you'll probably be aware, there is a genuine need to impress on soldiers the necessity for quick action in the event of nbc (not news networks, the other nbc) attack, and it is not desirable to sarin gas your soldiers in training, it is for that reason that i found myself being cs gassed, i had been efficient in placing my respirator over my face, but similarly, the nco stood behind me was equally efficient in spotting this, and summarily removed my respirator, despite my having lifting it and decontaminated as directed

it is this experience, and my subsequent neutralisation by cs gas, that led me to draw the (somewhat tenuous) parallel between teargas and other forms of attack, when cs gas gets in your lungs, throat and face, i can assure readers that the resultant pain, convulsions and involuntary inactivity are most profound, now, to bring this back to my original point, i see parallels between this governments reaction to attempts by its citizens to state peaceful objection to this countries policies, as reaction not so far removed from despotic states we call barbaric

John: yet again you insinuate and wishing for this government to be, and be seen to be balanced in its use of violence, does not, and never will by definition describe me as 'soft centered', far from it, i believe that there ARE times when extreme military violence (accurately directed, and in controlled and appropriate doses) must be seen as options, however, i think that the very possibility and after effects of such actions necessitate that they are used consistently, and with balance, two simple words, consistent and balanced, but two words not read with the profundity they warrant

"posting" our 'idealogical struggles' abroad, has, as the last many wars have demonstrated, never achieved anything of positive merit, because there is always the other protagonist who is equally adept at, and willing to just 'return to sender'...i thought this was obvious ?

i wish our sense of fair play was demonstrable in our leaders, the very fact that many, many people demonstrated against the invasion of iraq, was not evidence of "weakness", but instead was evidence of our intelligent ability to seperate the complex web of issues that our government want's in a neat 'soundbite-able' package

i have followed your posts here and there, and i repeat, that much of what you say seems based upon sound reasoning, but as this forum suggests, there are many shades of view present, and i find it scary that you are so predisposed to pigeon-hole various viewpoints

your assertions that this is a darwinist struggle are i believe statements of the obvious, however, to reverse anthropomorthise human machinations as natural evolution, is to ignore the fact that species dominance in nature occurs without the damage we humans do by lying to each other about which death is moral, and which is murder

indeed, the 'unnatural' ability of one man to have 'virtual wealth' in the form of money, rather than purely the wealth of resources within immediate protectable reach, further goes to weaken parallels with natural [fundamental] processes of dominance

and no, i am not advocating the destruction of the monetary system, merely showing the danger in compressing this issue down to an amoral darwinist fight for survival

i am sorry, but i am not convinced by the notion that only the strongest can be allowed to survive, nor will i be swayed by the suggestion that the war you seem to be endorsing is already half lost by us "fat, meek risk avoiding softies", i think you underestimate us, thing is, that we (who are, i can assure you, willing to fight a JUST fight), don't wish to be the antagonists by attacking the wrong people, and have this fight forced upon us by those whose motives seem to include keeping their arms dealing dinner guests in new suits

i have no fear of science or mathematics fundamentally, but your attempts to staple gender and equation to these very complex issues, serves no real purpose

only by attempting to embrace all aspects, whether matriarcal or patriarchal or whatever, will you gain true understanding of the issues, men and women after all, have more in common, than in difference

that, i think, neatly sums up my position on myself in relation to women, and myself in relation to my brothers and sisters of all creeds anywhere in the world

it seems to me that our modern leaders are the alien culture here, it is our modern leaders (on whatever 'side') who show their polar opposition to humanity

gender in psychology ? somethihng we mere mortals are apparently able to juggle with greater aplomb than you would care to accept

and a broader point, not in response to any other blogger, but just an observation...for every (moral) statement that we can make about the immorality of stoning this or suppressing that, somewhere else in the world, counter claims are being made that we have "bombed this, or assasinated that"...this gets to the heart of the problem, how are we to stand as the moral high ground, when death and destruction, are still what they are, no matter what label you paste on top of it

  • 223.
  • At 08:59 PM on 13 Aug 2006,
  • John Nash wrote:

Hi, Matt
Your love of your fellow humans is to be applauded and admired - the problem is that lots of them don't love us in return. That's where evolution sticks its bits in the business of living. My references to "male" and "female" were in inverted commas because they are principles, not actual human beings - the gender association of humans to the two cardinals mentioned are merely strongly statistical across all races, colours and societies.
You took your eye off the ball about survival of the "strongest" - I wrote survival of the fittest. Evolution has produced two obvious strategies of survival, "Male" and "female" - the terms are used because they instantly draw mind pictures and are easier than trying to decipher sociologists gobbldegook. If you want to be pedantic, there are two others - mixed and neither, but it all gets a bit tedious and obscure.
The "male" strategy for survival is the one you refer to and we can call it the lion strategy. Lions fight well, establish ownership of land and resources, but breed comparatively slowly. The other strategy is the "female" strategy that we can refer to as the locust strategy - locusts are really crap at fighting but they breed like the clappers to outbreed attrition. Both strategies are tested for fitness, so it certainly is not a case of survival of the strongest.
There are few organised societies based on the female strategy - the only ones of common note being nesting bees and ants, where life, as expected, is one long utilitarian existence of feeding and breeding without leadership.
Long ago, humans adopted the "male" strategy, establishing dens and fighting to protect them and the resources necessary for their maintenance.
Once again, the male/female model applies, now at the "den" level. The male principle goes out of the den to fight for resources, including that of the den. Resources are taken into ownership and taken into the den. Inside the den, the female principle turns them into the quality of life and reproduction. Evolution selected us out with the necessary bits to perform these functions and men and women, while both human, have different bits and a statistical relationship to the principles.
We're still in our dens. The right wing performs the male function and is interested in resource ownership and defence. The left wing performs the female function and is interested in cooperation and fair sharing out.
If you want to take over another den, you can either fight its male principle man to man outside on the battlefield, or sneak inside and attack its softer bits, called civilians. To get past the military, you are advised to hide in sheep's clothing and religion makes a good cloak.
Apparently you are unable to tell the difference. I guess you live in the left side of the den, that's all.

  • 224.
  • At 09:41 PM on 13 Aug 2006,
  • matt wrote:

John, yet again you oversimplify ! we are not lions or bees, we have the capability to be both, and switch at a moments notice, that is my main objection to your line of reason

as much as people want to simplify in order to villify, it won't wash with the likes of me

  • 225.
  • At 11:51 PM on 13 Aug 2006,
  • John Nash wrote:

Hi, Matt (223)
Yes, they are cartoons, quick sketches of complex reality. I simplify because these are blogs, not sociology papers. If you take the four principles and look inside any one of them, you discover the four principles again, and inside each of complicated would you like it?
Vilify? Who said anything about vilification? The two principles I quoted are entirely equal, opposite and complementary. The male and female pinciples go round and round taking turns in a dance, resources flow in at the right and offspring flow out of the left. Where's the vilification? You may live in the left of the den and steadfastly refuse to discriminate, but that is an honourable and vital part of the quality of civilisation itself. I do not vilify it.
It brings us back to our earlier exchange - inside the den, as long as everyone acts in a civil manner, there is no need for "outside" military methods, and indoor civilian life is a management process that balances the needs and desires of left and right.
Either extreme is bad under normal circumstances - right wing societies tend to be too violent and aquisitive, while left wing societies share well but starve to death because nobody is out competing for resources (more cartoons - no need to comment).
However, your extremely civilised refusal to discriminate goes too far (and I am tempted to say that the last time I looked, I didn't have ovaries, for example) when you see all sheep as sheep and don't recognise the ones with long teeth and/or sticks of dynamite in their woolly vests (another cartoon).
There is a new right wing threat on the block outside our den, wearing a borrowed religious cloak, and so our right wing has its bristles up. Rather sneakily, this new outsider is crying "Palestine, Palestine", hoping those on the left inside our den will befriend it and let it in. If they do, it will throw off its cloak and bite them because it is, in itself, about as far from left-minded as one can imagine. It will leave our kindly and civilised left in intensive care, pondering the bewildering treachery of humans, but by then the damn thing is already indoors. It is already happening, with those on our left shouting "Bastards" at our right wing, which only serves to make our right even more watchful.
Remember the warning in the warewolf story, in which the "female" sleepwalks to destruction, listening to the werewolf's cry? That's also why folklore says that dogs howl at the "female" moon - we have been here before, a million times throughout history.
I repeat, left wing "female" sensibilities are essential wonderful (and the reason why I adore women, but that's another matter. Civilisation is, in itself, a feminising process (feminising as in principle - I'm not calling you a tranny). A balance is great, but too much civilisation is bad. History's road is paved with the remnants of societies that became too civilised for their own good, forgot to discriminate, refused to defend themselves, failed evolution's test, and were swept away at the very height of their wonderful civilisation, leaving lots of archaeologists (who would rather be boiled in oil than admit such a thing as an unscientific "principle") scratching their heads.

  • 226.
  • At 12:02 AM on 14 Aug 2006,
  • M. Fernandez wrote:

Matt --

'Tenuous' was the right word. The CS gas the military uses in basic training is a harmless, respiratory irritant, but it does teach you to trust your gas mask. I had do jumping jacks and sing the Army song before being let out of the room. When we were done, the Rangers, always ready to prove they are better than the rest, ran into the room without masks and did push-ups for a full 7 minutes.

I've noticed with my arguments that you ignore what I say and set up alternative straw arguments to battle against. You did the same thing with you accused John Nash of threatening violence against you when he clearly did not. If your imagination allows you connect harmless cs gas with sarin, genocide with crowd control, the domestic responsibilites of a citizen with Western imperialism, then I'm sure you do get John's analogies. It's just that you believe your conclusions are right and will do whatever it takes to justify them, even if you defy logic and/or sound foolish. It's backward reasoning.
I wish the world you want to believe in existed, but it doesn't and all the wanting one can muster won't make it one.

  • 227.
  • At 12:04 AM on 14 Aug 2006,
  • matt wrote:

yes, that was a typo ! i DO wash !, i should have typed "it won't wash with me" :D

  • 228.
  • At 01:24 AM on 14 Aug 2006,
  • John Nash wrote:

Hi, M Fernandez (225)
I imagine that you and I share some perspective, but nothing I say is meant to make anyone look foolish, and I would be the first to apologise to Matt if that is the effect (I am prepared to admit to some gentle urine extraction, though, and I am quite sure Matt understands the game well). This should be a good-hearted discussion about what is going on and I personally would like to see more questions and answers or challenges. I love free speech and Newsnight should be congratulated in allowing lots of lunatics (including me) to blog away merrily, although I would give a bob or two to read the outakes.....

  • 229.
  • At 01:27 AM on 14 Aug 2006,
  • matt wrote:

now look, Mary and John ! you think you're about to read some bad humoured tirade against the pair of you...but, suggestions of my excessive pacifism aside (sorry, but that is a misinterpretation) i actually agree in principle with everything you both said most recently, i repeat however, that to have a concise 'cartoon' of the ways and views of a society, whilst of obvious use, can in no guarantee that same cartoon is adequately inclusive of all aspects of that society, but i appreciate that you have not made such a claim for it

additionally, whilst some of my comment is controversial, it was in the spirit of debate, i assume that we all can agree that debate is preferable to just towing a particular line

  • 230.
  • At 02:13 AM on 14 Aug 2006,
  • John Nash wrote:

Hi, Matt (228)
Taken as read, mate. I am the most peaceful bloke on earth, but that doesn't mean I won't nuke someone's whole bloody den into a glass-topped coffee table if they threaten mine with violence. I admit, its hardly proportional, but war is war.
The problem here is sorting out whether its a simple turf war like the IRA or something bigger that threatens our way of life. Matthew Parris (huh, if I thought it would make me write as well as him, I would turn queer, too) raised the same point in The Times the other day. Are our present terror problems just a few hotheads punching above their weight? Have the politicians and security services grabbed it as an excuse to frighten us all shitless, giving them an opportunity to build empires and trouser lots of overtime?
Or is it something far more sinister, in which some potty fascist has figured out a way to twist Islam into becoming his willing soldiers? Don't simply laugh at the idea of bin Laden sitting in a cave somewhere getting piles from the cold floor - they laughed at two other ridiculous figures when they set out their stalls, too - Stalin and Hitler. On his own, bin Laden is only a legend in his own mind, but if he can inject his dreams of power into testosterone fuelled young men dreaming of basketfuls of virgins, it becomes a different game.

  • 231.
  • At 10:53 AM on 14 Aug 2006,
  • Brian Kelly wrote:

The Home Sec' has downgaded the terrorism alert to "SECURE" on what basis? Is it Peer or Populists pressures... certainly whilst he says we must not be complacent..they are still active & out there in there 100s?there can be no peace anywhere in the country It's a war.. Islam fanatics are volunteering as suicide bombers against the ROW.. lets take real action to secure our country ..even if this means mass deportations /internment.(Take the Aussie measures)
And that letter to the PM with 140 odd sig's should be returned to each & every one ... telling them that FPs are agreed in Parliament.. not by Muslim Clerics or the like. very liberal band

  • 232.
  • At 01:26 PM on 14 Aug 2006,
  • Kaz Ford wrote:

The bbc news is still talking about body searches taking place in airports? Is this true, as I believe body searches to be a step up from strip searches. Body searches include internal searches. Can the meaning of body search be clarified? As with hearing that all flyers to the USA have to have one, it fills me with terror, the thought of being forced to have such an intimate search, surely its sexual abuse.

Of course if the searches are just the usual pat-down then can someone tell the bbc to get their terminology right?

  • 233.
  • At 02:03 PM on 14 Aug 2006,
  • zoran novakovic wrote:

a quick update:

detectives investigating the alleged plot are now combing King's Wood in search for bomb components, detonators and other evidence. the terrorist would not have these items lie around inconspicuously among other similar household items scattered across 23 or so households, that's to obvious. they would rather keep it somewhere in the woods where noone can find it. good thinking MI5, 6, good thinking.

that's according to the BBC World, as reported over this busy weekend, but then again they also said that "Fidel Castro is now walking, talking, and even doing some light work". makes one wonder...

  • 234.
  • At 04:44 PM on 14 Aug 2006,
  • John Nash wrote:

Hi, Zoran (231)
The teddy bear's picnic in the wood prompts me to comment (not that I need prompting, I know, I know). Terrorists use the old burglar's trick. It's not so much about hiding evidence, its about hiding a possible conviction. If I went out stealing stuff (or making bombs), I would put them in my unlocked garden shed, being careful not to leave any forensic traces (fingerprints, skin flakes, etc) on the stuff. I would wrap them in an old plastic bag I found in a supermarket rubbish bin - its sure to have someone's traces on it, but not mine.
Now, if I get turned over, I merely plead ignorance - someone must have put the stuff there for reasons I don't know. I know I'm lying, the cops know I am lying and even the judge knows I am lying, but the law will not convict me because it cannot prove me guilty (so the DPP will probably not bring a case anyway).
If I were a purple person, I could even make a fuss about discrimination towards purple people or owners of garden sheds, for that matter.
Two weeks later, with luck, the police may swoop upon some old bloke, whose only crime was to pick up a plastic bag and put it in the bin at the local supermarket, like any good citizen. It transpires he provided a DNA sample, like a good citizen, to be ruled out of a local rape case.
So when critics point fingers and accuse the cops of "cockups" (and they do, Kirsty), my little fiction would have rendered the "obvious truth" a whole lot wobblier.

  • 235.
  • At 06:16 PM on 14 Aug 2006,
  • Rob S. wrote:

Reading these comments (and a lot of other blogs) by the feverish activists with nothing better to do with their time I am reminded of that quote made about Michael Foot before the 1983 election. He could not believe that Labour would lose that election, because "we had a 1000 people at our meeting last night"/ we had 500000 people on that march last weekend.

It seems to me that one of the major problems of these blogs at the moment is the predictable matter that they almost entirely reflect the 'activist' and only the 'interested' and 'Blair and/or Semitic prejudiced' voice. No one speaks for the (currently- more later) quiet majority and this gives those in the community of blogs a false impression as to what that 'quiet majority' out there are actually thinking and will vote for (and quite possibly- if god forbid it gets to that- fight for).

In response to those comments that Foot made the chair of the 1983 manifesto committee told him: "...and their are millions outside those meetings, who don't go on your marches who think you are crackers"!!

Well said and totally applicable to almost all the above posts.

Conspiracies, lies etc ad nauseam. Everything is a lie to oppress the 'poor old muslim community'. Tosh!! What goes around will come around and the leaders (if there really are any out there self appointed or not, with the gumption, skill and guts) of the muslim community need to get a grip. Fast.

In the UK we are 'of course' not endangered by the cultural and political imperialism of many muslims amongst our population who don't necessarily go as far as some amongst their membership (in planning and committing fascist atrocities) but whom labour to drone on sooooo boringly to us about how much 'better' islam is as a way of life and as a coda for behaviour. In answer to Matt....

• POST 159.
• At 04:23 PM on 11 Aug 2006,
• matt wrote:
Mary Fernandez - western values FORCED upon middle eastern countries IS imperialism

....I would turn this on its head: eastern (for UK read islamic) values forced upon or imposed by threat or actual acts of fascist terror "IS imperialism". See the recent muslim 'leadership' "argument" for changing UK foreign policy. What next? Sharia law as many are already arguing for!?! The UK to impose sanctions against Israel and the US? The right to vote for women and poor people circumscribed as indicated in Sharia?

The millions and millions of people who are not muslim (or part of those disgraceful liberal intelligentsia apologists); who don't write blogs or respond to them habitually and are not caught up in this little chattering classes game of 'apologise for the islamic fascists' won't let this islamic fascism continue indefinitely.

At a radically high estimate for the muslim population in the UK there are 30 times more non muslims than muslims.

Herein lies the cautionary tale of preaching "nonsense on stilts". As the Aoun chap (Lebanese Christian leader) said to the PLO when they arrived en mass in the 1970's: "we are asking them to stay quiet" or we will all go to hell. Fifteen years of civil war later they all realised that they had. The same needs to be told to Hezbollah fascists now. It is time also for the muslim population of the UK to stay quiet if they are unable to bring anything constructive to the table- nothing other than conspiracy theories, a shocking and pitiful victim mentality and blind excuses for outrageous acts of barbarism and fascism all over the world: "yes but what about Kashmir, Cechnya, Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq..."zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

This is not a muslim country. This country does not share muslim ideas (outside of the anti Semitic liberal intelligentsia). This country does not wish EVER to be subjected to muslim laws, customs, traditions or ideologies. Somebody in the 'establishment' really needs to get that message across.

Ironically- in the middle east (outside of the one democratic state- we all know who I am talking about) it would actually be very easy to keep troublesome groups under tight control and to "keep them quiet". Thankfully, we live in an open free society. It is therefore up to self restraint/ self control and most importantly severe self criticism that the majority population awaits to see a clear indication that things are changing for the better within the muslim community. Stop complaining!! You are LUCKY to live in this country!

For one thing I'd like to see a big demonstration by thousands of muslims wearing tee shirts with the iconic images of the 7/7 islamist atrocity imprinted on them with the words "NOT IN MY NAME".

  • 236.
  • At 06:49 PM on 14 Aug 2006,
  • Ian Downing wrote:

Give the power back to the people @205 - that's a novel idea.

Unfortunatly Blair considers it is his God given right to back Bush no matter what his MPs or the country want.

It's democracy Jim, but not as we know it.

What a sorry mess a government is in when so many people are so sceptical of our Government's motives. And let's face it, why shouldn't they be given this Government's obsession with spin and lies amongst a while raft of subjects and problems?

What makes this all the more disgusting is that in our "much treasured democracy" Neu-Labour were re-elected on the basis of 35.3% of the votes cast on a turnout of 61.3% – a little over 20% of the registered British electorate.

People should really ask themselves why the Government wants and needs so many intrusive laws that affect ALL our human rights. Is the threat really any more severe for instance than the IRA's campaign of bombing the British mainland over all those tens of years?

As Ben Franklin said,

"Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

You either live on your feet or die on your knees. I'll take my risks with any potential bombers rather than cowering and living my life in fear of them and an oppressive government who will gladly sell my freedom's down the river to sure up its own position. The high echelons of the Neu-Labour Party may have cast off their Communist economic policies, but there's little doubt that their dictatortial authoritiarian streaks are still firmly in place.

  • 238.
  • At 09:48 PM on 14 Aug 2006,
  • Graham Tattersall wrote:

Tens of thousands of people in Britain (and even more in the USA) are employed to search out, examine and analyse "security and terror threats". Their job security DEPENDS upon a continuing and significant terrorist threat against this country, so even though the SOLUTIONS TO ALL OUR PROBLEMS ARE PATENTLY OBVIOUS TO ANYONE WITH A BRAIN, the "authorities" will NOT implement them, because to do so would end up with most of them having to sign on at their local Job Centres !

When times are LEAN and they struggle to find any GENUINE threats, they will INVENT some. They have NO INTEREST in the Cost and Inconvenience they cause the rest of the population, just as long as they can maintain a "Climate of Fear" and keep their own jobs secure.

  • 239.
  • At 09:58 PM on 14 Aug 2006,
  • matt wrote:

hi Rob S

your post is full of neat observation

turning the fascist statement on its head - exactly the point i was making, if our leaders bandy this phrase when they're also imposing ideas of their own by force, they're no better than any other form of fascism, so, as is often the case, neither set of leaders can claim the moral ground

and furthermore, the intransigence of each side, helps nothing and serves no real purpose but conflict, it does not serve the goal it claims to covet

with the possibly inept (being kind) or perhaps disturbing (more plausible ?) agenda-policies of our government, it is surely quite understandable that the demonstration you (and i) would like to see, has not been observed

but even if it were seen, apparently there would be those who would discount them as a 'crackpot minority' ?

perhaps the various verbal statements by muslims to the effect of "not in my name", that i have heard or read in the media, have the same difficulty being heard over the attempts by our various leaders (on all sides) to bring us into a state of panic induced complicity, as our similar statements have

i wonder if a public vote on the need to go to war with iraq would have led to the war at all, none of us is qualified to judge which way the vote would have gone, but i certainly have a rough inkling


i have to agree on the representation issue/true underbelly of our system of democracy, it is badly flawed, and one could posit the line of reasoning that we are meant to become disillusioned by it, seems clear to me that a fairer form of representation is needed, and, although some may scoff at this, a 'none of the above' voter choice needs adding to voting ballots as soon as possible, as this will force the realisation of, and political reaction to, the voters dissatisfaction with the poor 'choices' they are presented, and remove once and for all the 'voter didn't vote because everything's fine' line of reasoning

  • 240.
  • At 10:53 PM on 14 Aug 2006,
  • jamie young wrote:

how dare the highest ranking Muslim police man condem the need to focus on young Muslim men for security checks. As usual from the Muslim community there is a complet and utter denial of the problem and a relewctanc eto help the rest of us. What a mistake it was letting them come here.. and this aweful statement from me, a life long left winger and supprter of Amnesty International. But.. if I'm feeling this way, what are other les tolerant people thinking? We are a door mat to this ideotic ideology. We must stop that now and lay down very clear ground rules. If you are a young Muslim male you should be happy to be targeted for search knowing that other who fit your profile carry out these satanic acts against us.. or is it againt you? Ask yourself and make a decision.

  • 241.
  • At 11:02 PM on 14 Aug 2006,
  • Robin Alka wrote:

I quite despair when a policeman insists that over-sampling the more suspect subgroups is ill-advised because it will offend that subgroup. Once upon a time PC stood for Police Constable, not Politically Correct. Of course, all subgroups must be checked, not least because a terrorist will soon get wise to the oversampling of stereotypes. But it is still obvious to anyone able to think honestly about the problem that random checks will make better use of finite resource if one oversamples suspect segments of the population. Of course this will offend muslims in the UK but if they don't know why there must be oversampling then they are kidding themselves or trying to kid us. I wouldn't ask all Muslims to go and live somewhere else but I would ask the protesters. And I would also ask politically correct useful idiots to go and live somewhere else. That probably includes several politicans

  • 242.
  • At 11:49 PM on 14 Aug 2006,
  • Garry Paulwell wrote:

231. At 02:03 PM on 14 Aug 2006, zoran novakovic wrote:

zoran see my post from last week - i must say the bbc is quick off the mark!!!:

179. At 11:36 PM on 11 Aug 2006, Garry Paulwell wrote:

  • 243.
  • At 12:16 AM on 15 Aug 2006,
  • Garry PAulwell wrote:

>237. At 09:58 PM on 14 Aug 2006, >matt wrote:
>hi Rob S
>your post is full of neat observation

matt I won't address the 1st point you made as it is well put however I would remark about the next:

>and furthermore, the intransigence >of each side, helps nothing and >serves no real purpose but >conflict, it does not serve the

muslim fundamentalist desire & wish for a return to the old days of the calaphite of old.

The Taliban and their treatment of the poor and women illustrate beyond words just how they view others who do not pander to what they want - women locked up in dark rooms only to be let out to cook then back into the dark rooms they go again. Does anyone who is not a fundamentalist know a woman who wishes to experience that? Nope.

How about the lowering of the age of consent to 8? how does that grab everyone? Then again it won't be consent it will be "you are married to this man go with him". end of story.

Or how they view other religions, I might be a bit down on the catholic church but everyone has a right to follow their own faith as long as that faith does not interfere with anyone elses life. An illustration just before the Taliban was kicked out of power was did they not dynamite the world heritage site even the UN asked them not to destroy: Quote "it is not of our religion so is blasphony, which our religion demands must be destroyed" The key words are not of our religion.

How on earth is anyone supposed to find a compromise with anyone like that? [a bit ironic that the Taliban, true fundamentalist believers that they are, encourage the production of cocaine - why? to damage the western world & style of living which I freely admit has problems]

It is a religious belief which drive these people, nothing concrete, nothing of substance - just a belief [yes I do not follow any religion]. It will not feed you, it will not clothe you, it will not heal you. it's just a belief.

However beliefs are powerful things. If people did not believe in Churchill when he became prime mnister could England have withstood the Nazi's?

and in the end it is the fact that a particular belief is wrong, false & unworkable that will defeat it. I know a saying, which I will repeat here. "If you do not listen, you will feel" i.e. if you do not pay attention, there will be a price to pay down the line. This conflict is the worlds "will feel" after taking the eye off the ball with the fall of the USSR. There will allways be people [unfortunately 99.9% of them men] who will do anything to gain power in some small or large way over others - unfortunately religion is their weapon of choice, which brings us back to the key problem which is belief in a particular religion, which overrides all else.

If we are talking about flight checks, targetting people who 'look like terrorists' will simply increase the base of terrorism by encouraging recruitment of those willing to die who do not look like terrorists. Thus making the overall problem worse, as usual.

In addition, it will create more hostility in the community best placed to undermine militant Islam.

What the west still does not realise, and the prime minister of Iran seems to, is that this war is a propaganda war above all else, or 'A Time of Ideas' as he puts it. When it does finally learn that lesson, it may start winning the war. As long as it relies on bombs, or on Israel to drop its bombs for it, it is doomed to lose.

  • 245.
  • At 08:06 AM on 15 Aug 2006,
  • Garry Paulwell wrote:

242. At 02:18 AM on 15 Aug 2006, Little Richardjohn wrote:

I have to disagree. about the point you make in your second paragraph:

"In addition, it will create more hostility in the community best placed to undermine militant Islam."

And just what visible successful actions are being taken within that community to undermine, educate, stop this idealism taking root that anyone can point to, by it's leaders - problem there is who exactly is the leaders & who gave them that ability/power?

I know I will get a deafening silence on that point.

The primary problem on that point is - just who is responsible within that comunity? the local imans? their local councillers? who? And that points to the fact the imans are self appointed, which makes it a bit hard to bring them to book if they act out of turn.

"What the west still does not realise, and the prime minister of Iran seems to, is that this war is a propaganda war above all else, or 'A Time of Ideas' as he puts it. When it does finally learn that lesson, it may start winning the war. As long as it relies on bombs, or on Israel to drop its bombs for it, it is doomed to lose."

Bad example. Anyone care to name ANY other leader of a country on the planet who has ever advocated the total destruction of another soverign country, upto and including the use of WMD? Iran, is one of the few countries in the world which advocates the use of Jihad in the form of Terrorism, and funds it. Another point is that looking at the statements made by leaders of countries, and I am including local leaders here, that have alluded to that same kind of stance in the past went on to cause a few small problems... WW2, Kosovo, Rawanda.

"And just what visible successful actions are being taken within that community to undermine, educate, stop this idealism taking root that anyone can point to, by it's leaders - problem there is who exactly is the leaders & who gave them that ability/power?"

It has to start within the muslim community. Where else? Where, for instance, would MI5 look for background and cultural interpretation of the different ideologies, let alone for recruits?

There are numerous visible efforts being made to forge links with different groups and involve the Mosque structure in community policing initiatives, their success rate cannot be measured, of course, except in terms of general approval and harmony. There have been no major civil disturbances - and precious few Islamophobic attacks, given the circumstances and the determined efforts of british foreign policy to undermine all the efforts made in the community to enhance relations and understanding.

Plus, of course the determined efforts of those intent on creating hatred towards muslims in general, because of that stubborn parasite, innate racism. But those people are beneath contempt and deserve only a cursory mention.

The one element you fail to incorporate in your magic solution is any attempt to address the issues which are causing hostility in the first place. And not merely hostility among muslims. Many people, right across the spectrum have loathed american and british foreign policy for years, decades even.
Imperialism is simply wrong. It may keep the lights on and the 4X4s mowing down schoolchildren, but it is still wrong. After the past month, more and more people are convinced of this truth.

The other solution you imply through your disbelief in the powers of the muslim community, but do not propose directly, is that the only way to prevent terrorism is by crushing it 'at source' in some way. Which in practice means ruthlessly crushing all expressions of dissent among Muslims, and employing the whole raft of suppressive measures which we saw rehearsed for twenty years in Northern Ireland with disastrous results. It would be a police state in which it was indeed a crime to be Asian, or look 'like a terrorist'. But then, what does a terrorist look like? OK, 'like a muslim' then, after all, they are all in it together, aren't they?

Except they're not.

Garry (243) wrote: "Anyone care to name ANY other leader of a country on the planet who has ever advocated the total destruction of another soverign country, upto and including the use of WMD?"

Garry, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is NOT the leader of Iran, he is the President. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is the Supreme Leader and has a veto over any decisions made by those under him.

  • 248.
  • At 05:37 PM on 15 Aug 2006,
  • Atiq wrote:

As a Muslim I think it is fine to be searched or asked questions, in fact I was on a recent visit to the USA for work. It was relatively fast and quite friendly. So for that bit of extra safety I am happy to go along with it if it protects the country I consider my home.

I too don't understand those Muslims that claim it's racist etc. However i can understand on some level as profiling has to be based on either name or skin colour and that cannot work as we found out recently that converts could also be involved.

As for internment and expelling people simply because of their religion - now that's the talk of a Hitler follower if I ever heard one. Welcome to the good old days of the cold war, world war 2, etc. Anyone for some torture? how about a mass grave full of dead people .... hang on a minute, wasn't the whole point of WW2 about freedoms, wasn't the American independence war about freedom of expression and wasn't the Iraq was also to do with providing Iraq's with democracy and freedoms.

Amazing how soon history is forgotten and the lessons learnt put in the trash bin.

What is the point on a war on terror to help free the world from these extremists if you actually become just like them (killing innocents in Iraq, degrading and humiliating Iraqi POWs, helping Israel fight an invasion war which they started over 2 decades ago but people have forgotten, etc, etc).

It's an endless vicious circle and nobody really wants to seem to stop any of it as far as the USA / UK governments are concerned.

Watch society crumble... piece by piece.

What I wouldn't give to go back just one decade.

  • 249.
  • At 06:43 PM on 15 Aug 2006,
  • shirley andrews wrote:

I agree with Mkelly. reply number 10.
It is better to be safe,then sorry.We all realize by now that we cannot believe everything that come's out of the mouths of Bush & Blair. Also most politicians tell the public what they want them to beleive.The truth will only proberly be told by future historians.That is if we are not Nuked before hand..Another fine mess this duo has got the world into.They both wish to impose their beliefs on others;regardless of public opinion.First interferance in,Afgahnistan,Irak,and now The Lebanon is the pawn in the war game.With possible Syria & Iran on the agenda. For all the tecnowledgable progress that as been made over the past 100 year's.Man as not made much progress from the 12 century.When Richard the Lionheart faught in the Crusades.
Ask your self? Where was Bush,Blair,The UN.When the gennocide was taking place in Rawanda.Where over 100,000 people were slautered in a matter of months.I am not suprised; although I don't condone the acts of terroism we are seeing.
War is money.Money is power.War is death for the innocent bystander.Not the leaders who take you to war under false pretences and lies.That applies to both sides.extreame,muslims,jews,goverments.It is only true beleivers like Martin Luther King, who are assasinated.His mistake! to do it peacefully without bloodshed or violence.Like Gandi,& Nelson Mandeler.Every humain as a right to live in peace.Unless of course he chooses NOT too do so.No one is born EVIL.That is man made.

  • 250.
  • At 09:26 PM on 15 Aug 2006,
  • Garry wrote:

245. At 04:37 PM on 15 Aug 2006, Andrew wrote:

"Garry, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is NOT the leader of Iran, he is the President. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is the Supreme Leader and has a veto over any decisions made by those under him."

You are quite right... and wrong. The revulsion that was expressed by most of the security council [note that china said not a word - maybe that had something to do with their close relationship to Iran, and sadely the russains which does not bode well for the future if real war breaks out in the middle east - if nukes start poping off out there, a thing to remmember is the Russians have offially adopted a launch on alert stance, i.e. if something goes pop they launch, if the isrealis are going down the tubes does anyone really think they won't strike at all those responsible including those who back her enemies? If they do what exactly have they got to lose? Nothing, their country will be dying around them, hell, if they could strike at china they will, lets not forget the fact they have subs which are nuke armed]

As for "Ayatollah Ali Khamenei" one notices he has not said a word to contradict "Mahmoud Ahmadinejad" or say he is wrong in his staements, nor has any of the other senior clerics in Iran. In fact they have all issued expressions of support for the move to aquire nuclear technology.

My own thoughts on the matter? The real test will come when either the Iranians get nukes or Israel suspects they will get nukes. Look at it from the Israeli perspective, ten nukes with the right prevailing wind and your country is dead. And you sit near/beside a country with the stated aim of wiping the Jewish Race off the face of the Earth. What would you do?

And let us be in no doubt, the Iranians will get a nuclear bomb. When is the question - my guess is within the next 4/5 years.

  • 251.
  • At 10:00 PM on 15 Aug 2006,
  • Gary wrote:

244. At 11:21 AM on 15 Aug 2006, Little Richardjohn wrote:

"And just what visible successful

Richard you are missing the point I am trying to make, the primary problem is accountability. in fact a significant number of muslim mosque leaders do not speak English or teach the Koran in english. That leads to problems in communication with the youngsters brought up here in England - you're english you go to a mosque, a man preeches in say pakistani [I am just using that as a example] yet the youngsters know only english, you get a disconnect straight away. You go to see the elder afterwards for help on spiritual matters... he only speaks Pakistani. He issues a edict... it's in Pakistani, this is a problem right across the board and is the most visible of the problems I am pointing too. Who is accountable in this case? The person who appoints the Iman? The persons who support him? Who? And all the while those who need guidance get none.

"The one element you fail to incorporate in your magic solution "

I have not at any point in any of the things I have said offered a magic solution, I have merly pointed out what I think are something I consider has been overlooked/or not being taken into account via the way they effect points of view or end actions of different parties.

If I offered solutions they would be too cold hearted & radical for everyone involved.

I always look at a political conflict situation involving religion and ask myself what is the worst case scenaro? Least worst case and the best case. Invaribly humanity [i.e. those who can influence matters] will chose the one that makes things worse.

  • 252.
  • At 02:26 AM on 17 Aug 2006,
  • julseeeeee wrote:

Yes, terrorism is unacceptable, but there are an infinite number of ways to kill people, and we can’t stop them all.

Our best defence is to stop people from WANTING to kill us. Not a short-term solution by any means, but we'll have to do it eventually.

You can simplify it, and just call them evil, or suggest that perhaps someone persuaded them to do it. Or you can look for reasons for their actions.

I doubt the motivations to commit suicide are the same for every bomber, but if I was from most non-western countries, here are a few things that would annoy me....

We have bullied certain countries for centuries - we (our companies) have stole their resources and kept them in poverty, we (our governments) have propped up the corrupt regimes that suit us, we still keep disgusting trade practices that keep them poor and make us richer. Not to mention the wars........ And then we re-elect our warmongering leaders. We (as a society) are clearly happy with the choices made on our behalf. We develop drugs for illnesses that we won't share, we push agricultural practices forcing them to grow crops for us on their best land, whilst they starve, we then have the audacity to give them a small amount back (not enough to effect real change) and pat ourselves on the back. Finally we blame it all on them. Corrupt officials, evil dictators, and bad ideologies.

When you want cheap clothes and food you are keeping the developing world poor. When you get a pension you are investing in shares of companies (Oil, Banking, even supermarkets) that steal their resources. It’s no surprise that someone attacked the WORLD TRADE CENTER.

Did they attack churches? strip bars? our media? Doesn’t sound like these things bother them too much

We look down on ethnic minorities in this country. We are not all racist per se but we do hold a level of disdain. How do you think our minorities feel to be looked down on every day?
A friend with a Muslim name changed his name by deed pole to an English name - his reason being that he could never get an interview for a job with a name like Habib..... He does now as Alan

We are doing as much to create these terrorists as any ideology. We are all to blame - not as individuals but as a society, and until we see what we are doing to the rest of the world (and have been doing for a very long time) and attempt to understand the effect those actions have had on people we will not stop terrorism.

We have inherited most of this situation. Why did Sadam Hussein invade Kuwait in 1991? Why do the Jews and Israelis both claim the same territory? You may not know the answers to these questions (look it up, its all on the net), but the answers lie decades ago, and because we largely don’t understand the roots of these problems (which occurred a very long time ago) we tend to just dismiss people as evil.

I fairly sure that a lot of people in this world regard us as evil.

  • 253.
  • At 03:32 AM on 17 Aug 2006,
  • matt wrote:

julseeeeee, at or around #250

well said

Gerry Paulwell (Post: 241) - Many of your comments are incorrect and/or ignorant. Please note, these corrections do not mean I support or condone in anyway the Taleban's beliefs or actions.

1. You asked, 'How are people are meant to compromise with the Taleban?' Well the US Government saw no problem in allowing them to travel to Texas to discuss building pipelines in the country back in the late 1990's through the US company Unocal,

"A senior delegation from the Taleban movement in Afghanistan is in the United States for talks with an international energy company that wants to construct a gas pipeline from Turkmenistan across Afghanistan to Pakistan. A spokesman for the company, Unocal, said the Taleban were expected to spend several days at the company's headquarters in Sugarland, Texas. Unocal says it has agreements both with Turkmenistan to sell its gas and with Pakistan to buy it."

You do yourself a great disservice if you really think that the US and UK Governments really give two hoots about the treatment of Afghan women. It's about oil. Secondly the Taleban's leader Mullah Omar offered to handover Bin Laden well before the events of 9/11,

"The Taliban leader, Mullah Mohammed Omar agreed three years ago to hand over Osama bin Laden, but changed his mind after US cruise missile attacks, the former head of Saudi Arabian intelligence said yesterday. The claim, by Prince Turki al-Faisal, is likely to raise questions about whether more efforts could have been made to negotiate Bin Laden's extradition before launching the latest bombing campaign."

3. The Taleban DID NOT encourage the growth of opium, in fact they cut producation massively. From Wikipedia,

"The Taliban banned opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan in late 1997. But by 2000, Afghanistan's opium production still accounted for 75% of the world's supply. On July 27, 2000, the Taliban again issued a decree banning opium poppy cultivation. By February 2001, production had reduced by 98%. Following the fall of the Taliban regime, the areas controlled by the Northern Alliance resumed opium production and by 2004 production was 87% of the world's opium supply."

4. You talk about religion and its danger yet you fail to even entertain the idea that Bush is a Christian religious fundamentalist who believes he is simply doing "God's will". An idea backed up by many, many Christians in the US,

"President George W. Bush stood before a cheering crowd at a Dallas Christian youth centre last week, and told them about being 'born again' as a Christian [...] behind Bush were two banners. 'King of Kings', proclaimed one. 'Lord of Lords', said the other. The symbolism of how fervent Christianity has become deeply entwined with the most powerful man on the planet could not have been stronger."

It always makes me smile with peoples attempt to want to be on the side of "right" or "good" in that they side with a man and an administration that is as equally "wrong" as those they claim are trying to destroy our freedoms. Surely an reasonable thinking person would denounce both sides for what they are?


- Taleban visit Texas -

- Taleban leader offered to handover Bin Laden -,1361,587849,00.html

- Taleban ban poppy cultivation -

- Bush's fixation with God -,6903,1075950,00.html

re: Garry (post 248)

Actually Ali Khamenei did speak out about his comments but perhaps unsurprisingly they made little splash in the western press. Why spoil a good headline?

"Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, on Sunday night condemned international reaction to last week’s speech by President Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad calling for Israel to be “wiped off the map” [...] Ayatollah Khamenei rejected any link between Mr Ahmadi-Nejad’s speech and Iran’s nuclear programme. “Nuclear weapons cannot be employed to destroy regimes, rather the Palestinian people’s resistance will lead to the Israeli regime being overthrown,” he said.

Of course whether you believe him is an entirely different matter but it's perhaps worth pointing out that he backed talks with the US in regard to the mess of Iraq. My own view is that despite his very strong religious convictions he has lost his grip on reality. He knows that any attack on Israel by Iran would result in his country being bombed back millenia. Its perhaps also worth mentioning that Ahmadi-Nejad's comments were perhaps more expressed for use as domestic propaganda than they were on an international basis. You could equally apply the same logic to many of Bush's comments. Again, Im no fan of the Iranian government but their removal or bombing of them is only bound to make the situation worse. "Jaw jaw, not war war"


1. From a Financial Times report linked here:

Julie (post 250) : You're right and it's a sad situation when many people in the UK who say how proud they are of their country are still entirely ignorant about what our politicians have done elsewhere in the world for many, many years. To them this is a game of power and control of goods/natural resources and it always has been. From the killing of Chinese in the Opium Wars, the battle over the Suez Canal, and the importance of the Baghdad railway during the lead up to World War I - it has always been the same old story.

The difference in the modern era is the use of capital to control countires via the IMF and World Bank. Saddled with huge burdens of debt they 'restructure' their economies accoring to how the powerful western countries and money institutions see fit and then see have their country sold down the river. An example of these are the western sweatshops where as you pointed out we buy our cheap clothing. To add insult to injury their people often go through this with the western support of tyrannical dictators such as Suharto in Indonesia (he killed one fifth of East Timor's population with US/UK support.) Then to top it all western media institutions often refer to these poeple as "moderates" and "modernisers". The reality is often far different and it's not going to make a tv history programme on the BBC, people have to find out for themselves.

I'd encourage everyone to educate themselves as far as possible as the world is often a very different place to the one you are told exists........

References -

Suez Canal -
Opium Wars -
Baghdad Railway -
Suharto -

  • 257.
  • At 03:44 PM on 17 Sep 2006,
  • Sydnee Elliot wrote:

Where can I find an update on the alleged terrorist attack in July? This information or updates have totally disappeared. The entire world was on red alert and Blair and Bush were on holiday. And, now it seems like it never happened. It probably didn't.

A few of you mentioned Reed's speech the day before the arrests were made but what about Joe Lieberman, a Democrat and a stauch supporter of Bush and his war on Terror, lost his run in the primaries for Senator in Connecticut to a candidate who does not support Bush.

Sounds like a conspiracy to me. Blair and Bush again, what a shameful team.

  • 258.
  • At 08:10 AM on 02 Oct 2006,
  • Ngoni Xiquita wrote:

I am not an expert in this area so I have the following questions:
Actually what is the motive behind these terror activities?
Why do these people involved want to kill innocent people?
Why can't those directly involved go back to the drawing board and correct their mistakes so as to save innocent lives? Is it a question of pride or selfishness?
Are wars really going to solve the problem? I am very much afraid to travel to the USA or Britain because I can be a victim in any moment.

  • 259.
  • At 06:38 PM on 30 Oct 2006,
  • ahmadi najad wrote:

ahmadi nejad knows uk is enemy of humanity.
ahmadi nejad as another player for british politics.

ahmadi nejad in an english man!!!!!!
belive me, it is british politice.

abusing hyden , swearing in front!

  • 260.
  • At 06:39 PM on 30 Oct 2006,
  • ahmadi najad wrote:

ahmadi nejad knows uk is enemy of humanity.
ahmadi nejad as another player for british politics.

ahmadi nejad in an english man!!!!!!
belive me, it is british politice.

abusing hyden , swearing in front!

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