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Dumping Bush's 'war-poodle': Blair brings the terror to London

...Blair is teetering from accusations that he made Britain less safe and is responsible for the fresh wave of terrorist attacks on the homeland. No media extravaganza will turn that around. Blair's linkage to Bush is an albatross that grows heavier by the day. An aggressive movement to unseat the reeling PM could have a profound affect in forcing Blair to finally step down. Ridding England of Bush's "war-poodle" would be the best thing to come from this hideous action. One good shove and he'll crack like glass. Then we can move on to George Bush...


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Dumping Bush's 'war-poodle': Blair brings the terror to London

Mike Whitney, The Smirking Chimp


Tuesday, July 12, 2005

There have been a number of interesting twists and turns in the developing story of the London bombings, but none that will animate conspiracy theorists more than that of Peter Power. Power is the Managing Director of Visor Consultants, a public relations firm that assists its clients in crisis management strategies. He formerly worked in the Anti-Terrorist Branch at Scotland Yard. In a BBC interview two days ago Power said:

"At half past nine this morning we were actually running an exercise for a company of over a thousand people in London based on simultaneous bombs going off precisely at the railway stations where it happened this morning, so I still have the hairs on the back of my neck standing up right now." HOST: To get this quite straight, you were running an exercise to see how you would cope with this and it happened while you were running the exercise? POWER: Precisely, and it was about half past nine this morning, we planned this for a company and for obvious reasons I don't want to reveal their name but they're listening and they'll know it. And we had a room full of crisis managers for the first time they'd met and so within five minutes we made a pretty rapid decision that this is the real one and so we went through the correct drills of activating crisis management procedures to jump from slow time to quick time thinking and so on". (excerpted from Paul Watson and Alex Jones; Prison Planet)

Power's story mirrors the events of 9-11 when the CIA simulated drills of hijacked planes being used by terrorists as missiles on government buildings. The CIA has since admitted that the drills did indeed take place, although it is still unclear what effect those maneuvers may have had on NORAD's response to the actual attacks. At the very least, the CIA drills may have limited NORAD's ability to scramble fighter pilots; believing that the hijackings were just a part of the simulation. (Bush's "hand-picked" 9-11 Commission provided no clue about the mysterious CIA tests or their effect on NORAD's preparedness)

Power's story may seem far-fetched, but it does match with other reports, particularly one from Stratford Consulting Intelligence Agency (Antiwar.com 7-7-05 "Israel Warned UK about Attacks") that, "Contrary to original claims that Israel was warned "minutes before" the first attack, unconfirmed rumors in intelligence circles indicate that the Israeli government actually warned London of the attacks 'a couple of days' previous." Ariel Sharon has since told members of Israeli Intelligence to remain silent on the issue of warnings and limit their messages to expressions of condolence to the grieving family members of the attacks.

So, was Tony Blair's emotional oratory at Gleneagles just more of the same performance-art we have come to expect from the Dear Leader (Bush) or was he genuinely shocked?

Did Blair know the attacks were coming?

At the very least, the attacks spared the PM another public humiliation at the hands of Bush who gave up nothing on climate change and precious little as far as aid to Africa.

It is also interesting that Blair "fended off opposition Conservative Party calls in Parliament for an (independent) investigation into whether last Thursday's attacks could have been prevented." (Al Jazeera) Why would he care if he had nothing to hide? Instead, he said that the "last thing" the security services needed was an inquiry, and emphasized his "confidence in the Intelligence Services".

We'll never know what an independent investigation might have dug up on poor Tony unless, of course, he is removed from public office.

Notice how similar Blair's behavior is to Bush's following 9-11. The president managed to avoid an investigation for a full year before appointing a "hand-picked" panel of elites (mostly from the Council on Foreign Relations) to whitewash the Sept 11 attacks and to undercut the increasing suspicion of government involvement.

But whether or not the conspiracy theories gain momentum, its clear Blair knew that Britain was on the terrorist "hit-list". "The Australian" reported that Blair was "warned four months ago that a Syrian al-Qaida veteran suspected of the London bombings had identified Britain as a likely target." Mustafa Setmariam Nasar, the prime-suspect in the Madrid train bombings, is believed to have set up sleeper-cells in England. Messages that have been connected to the Syrian Nasar "were found in a flat raided after the Madrid bombings in March last year" and included threats directed at Britain for their involvement in the Iraq war.

Blair certainly knew that England's days were numbered. Perhaps, he thought he could turn the incident on its head and use it to pass more anti-terror legislation or the widely reviled National ID Card bill that is all the rage among the British ruling class. In any event, it's not possible to know yet whether the blasts will be the death knell for Blair or a resurgence of his plummeting popularity. The Investigation

One of the more interesting theories currently being considered is the idea that a "gang of white 'mercenary terrorists' was hired by al-Qa'ida to carry out last week's devastating attacks on London".

Terrorists for hire?

The UK Independent said on Sunday that police are focusing on the possibility that "so-called 'clean skins' - who could have been Muslims from the Balkans with no previous links to terror groups - were recruited to evade heightened security in the capital." This theory conflicts with the statement of the Secret Organization of al-Qa'ida Jihad in Europe that posted a message on the internet on Thursday, claiming responsibility for the blasts.

Even more disquieting is a leaked dossier from the Prime Minister's Office at 10 Downing St. that says that "Al Qaida is secretly recruiting affluent, middle-class Muslims in British universities and colleges to carry out terrorist attacks in this country.... A network of 'extremist recruiters' is circulating on campuses targeting people with 'technical and professional qualifications', particularly engineering and IT degrees." (London Times) The Whitehall document that was ordered by Blair after the Madrid bombings suggests that many of the new members in terror-cells are "from liberal, non-religious Muslim backgrounds or (have) only converted to Islam in adulthood." Their "disillusionment" with American and British foreign policy and the perception that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are primarily "acts against Islam" have provided the incentive for their involvement. According to Lord Stevens, former London police chief, as many as 3,000 of these young people may have "passed through Osama Bin Laden's training camps"; a staggering number of potential terror suspects.

Mercenary terrorists, Moroccan terrorists, student terrorists, Islamic-fundamentalist terrorists, East-Indian terrorists???

The possibilities seem endless. The reasons for the attacks, however, seem much less complex. As British MP George Galloway said more than 2 years ago, "The attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq (will) increase the threat of terrorist attack in Britain."

So they have. Now, "London has reaped Blair's involvement in Iraq;" the chickens have come to roost.

Fewer and fewer people are likely to dispute Galloway's conclusions. All of the polling data support the belief that the US has alienated both Muslims and Allies alike. The vast majority of the people in the 5 largest Muslim nations in the Middle East (more than 75% in Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Syria) said that the invasion of Iraq was a blatant act of terrorism, and even the newly elected Iraqi Parliament voted overwhelming to set a date for American withdrawal.

Still, the MSM (mainstream media) has mounted an impressive campaign to divert public attention from the fact that the war on terror has put all of us at much greater risk. New York Times columnist Tom Friedman has led the charge, claiming that the attacks were not retaliatory, but part of a "jihadist death-cult" that threatens "to infect Muslim-Western relations everywhere." Presumably, Friedman is referring to the neo-colonial, resource-driven relationship the US has cultivated with the Arab world for the last 60 years.

Friedman argues that we "will never be secure as long as the Muslim village and elders do not take on, delegitimize, condemn and isolate their extremists". In other words, the NYT's foremost political pundit is suggesting that the victims of Anglo-American aggression should willingly police themselves to curry favor with their overlords. The notion that capitulation is the road to peace is a familiar theme in Friedman's scribbling. It's grounded in the belief that occupied people should express gratitude for their subjugation. The London bombings prove (as Robert Fisk noted) that "if you bomb our cities, we'll bomb yours".

"The al Qaida threat has metastasized and become franchised", Friedman moans. " It is no longer vertical, something that we can punch in the face....This is exactly what Osama bin Laden dreamed of with 79/11: to create a great gulf between the Muslim world and the globalizing West."

In reality, the British and the US have done astonishingly well at "punching Islam in the face". The sacking of Baghdad, the poisoning of the environment, the theft of their resources, the killing and the humiliation of their people, the training of their brutal security apparatus, the propping up of their illegitimate government and destruction of Iraqi society, all attest to the fact that Friedman's theories have been fully embraced. Did Friedman really expect complete submission without any reprisal?

As for bin Laden, his demands have been clear from the onset; get the US bases out of Saudi Arabia, stop supporting the corrupt Saudi regime and stop stealing Saudi resources. These ideas have been quashed by the media's public relations crusade to discredit nationalistic ideals as well as by bin Laden's penchant for murdering civilians.

Refuting Friedman; reframing the debate on terrorism

Robert Pape's brilliant analysis of terrorist attacks in the July 9, New York Times should be required reading for every adult in this age of "asymmetrical" warfare. Pape studied the details of 67 (of 71) suicide bombers who killed themselves between 1995 and 2004. What he discovered should reshape the debate about the true nature of suicide attacks and what they signify. First of all, Pape found that such attacks are less a manifestation of Islamic fundamentalism they are a strategy "to compel the US and western allies to withdraw combat forces from the Arabian Peninsula and other Muslim countries." This tells us that suicide attacks emerge from a sense of nationalism not a fanatical adherence to religious doctrine.

Secondly, most of the terrorists are from state's that are allied to the US not from "alleged" state-sponsors of terrorism like Syria or Iran. Again, this informs us that terrorism grows most significantly in nations where the US is propping up corrupt and repressive regimes. (No one should be surprised that Saudi Arabia heads the list of known terrorists) Pape says, "if al Qaida was no longer able to draw recruits from the Muslim countries where there is a heavy American combat presence, IT MIGHT WELL COLLAPSE." This is no different than saying that it is primarily American foreign policy that feeds the beast of international terrorism.

Further, Pape notes that 18 of 20 of the terrorist attacks have been directed at countries that "Osama bin Laden cited as supporting the American invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq." Terrorist attacks are not blindly aimed at countries for "their freedoms" or the culture, but for specific foreign policy decisions that are intended to hurt Muslims. As bin Laden noted in an earlier communique, there's a reason why "we haven't attacked Sweden".

Finally, Pape refers to a "planning document" discovered by Norwegian intelligence that articulates al Qaida's "coherent strategy" for combating the US. The plan is to force American allies to withdraw their forces from Iraq and Afghanistan; increasing the burden on US resources and military. If the attacks in London compel Blair to join Italy and Spain, the US will be virtually isolated in Iraq. From this perspective, it looks as though Bush is losing the war on terror in stunning fashion. Additionally, his accomplices in the media have done little to boost support for an increasingly unpopular war and its inevitable cost to domestic security.

Pape's "fact-based" analysis eviscerates Friedman's blather about a "jihadist death-cult". We now have concrete information about terrorism and should put it to good use. The emotional rhetoric and demagoguery only serves the interests of the war mongers. We should be looking for hard evidence to work on a solution. So far, all signs indicate that we should change our foreign policy if we expect to see a real reduction in terror attacks. High Noon for Tony Blair

The media has been has been feverishly engaged in a public relations gambit aimed at fueling the hysteria surrounding the attacks and amplifying the suffering of the families of the victims. Virtually, nothing has been said of the 70 or more Iraqi civilians who died this weekend in America's ongoing occupation, or of the 9 Iraqi bricklayers who suffocated to death yesterday in the back of a police van after being detained in a dragnet.

For these fatalities we apply the Gen Tommy Franks maxim; "We don't do body counts". For the British killed in the subways and buses, however, no amount of media commemoration can be too grandiose. The unremitting pageantry of mangled buses and bereft family members takes narcissism to a whole new level; transforming grief and tragedy into symbols of national pride and resolve. Still, all the hoopla has done little to endear Tony Blair to his wary subjects.

Blair is teetering from accusations that he made Britain less safe and is responsible for the fresh wave of terrorist attacks on the homeland. No media extravaganza will turn that around. Blair's linkage to Bush is an albatross that grows heavier by the day. An aggressive movement to unseat the reeling PM could have a profound affect in forcing Blair to finally step down. Ridding England of Bush's "war-poodle" would be the best thing to come from this hideous action. One good shove and he'll crack like glass.

Then we can move on to George Bush.

:: Article nr. 13633 sent on 13-jul-2005 02:40 ECT


Link: www.smirkingchimp.com/article.php?sid=21896&mode=nested&order=0

:: The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website.

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