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Sunday, 4 June 2017

The "war on terror" is not working.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jun/03/london-bridge-closed-after-serious-police-incident-reports


London police shoot dead three terror suspects after rampage kills seven people.

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On the 22nd March 6 people were killed in a knife and vehicle attack on Westminster Bridge, 22nd May, just two weeks ago, it was Manchester with 22 people killed by a suicide bomber. Last night, (3 June) it was again the turn of London with 7 people killed, (The three terrorists who carried out this latest atrocity were also shot dead by security forces) in another knife and vehicle attack. 

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On the 27th May, I wrote that the war on terror simply is not working and echoing Jeremy Corbyn's words on the subject, I went on "We need a smarter way to reduce the threat from countries that nurture terrorists and generate terrorism.” This comment from Corbyn attracted criticism from Michael Fallon, the Defence Secretary accusing Corbyn of, “very muddled and dangerous thinking”, that implied blame on Britain for somehow bringing the Manchester attack upon itself.

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Michael Fallon has never been a politician known for sharp wit or for wisdom, and his comments after the Corbyn speech were not only inaccurate nonsense, because Corbyn said nothing of the sort, but were also boorish, attempting to score some cheap political point in the wake of the atrocity. The fact remains that the so called war on terror is not working because, if it were, the attacks in London, Manchester then London again, may have been avoided or at least substantially mitigated. 
Speaking outside 10 Downing Street this morning, Prime Minister Theresa May said essentially the same thing. Islamist militancy was the thread that linked these otherwise unconnected attacks saying, “It is an ideology that is a perversion of Islam and a perversion of the truth,” adding “Defeating this ideology is one of the great challenges of our time. But it cannot be defeated through military intervention alone.”


Image result for Theresa May responds to ‘brutal terrorist attack’ in London

In a thinly disguised acceptance of points and ideas put forward by Jeremy Corbyn only last week, The Prime Minister suggests that there was also a need to tackle “safe spaces in the real world”, which would require “difficult” conversations which in turn endorses the necessity for dialogue.
I cannot imagine that Fallon is now looking for the nearest television interviewer to criticise his leader for having, “very muddled and dangerous thinking”. 
We have to find another way of addressing the terrorist threat. Another way, which does not involve an escalation of military actions in Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq or many other places where western foreign policy has failed to address the fundamental issues. Another way which does not involve draconian restrictions on civil liberties as suggested in some quarters. We should always remember the words of Benjamin Franklin who tells us that
"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both". As in all cases, it is a question of balance, but the one indisputable fact is that we must find another way of dealing with terrorism. The events of last night were an atrocity that we all condemn without reservation and our thoughts must go out to the victims and the families of those affected by this outrage. We must restore our police, emergency and security services to levels where they have the facilities and personnel that they require.
We must also work towards finding a long term solution to the scourge of the terrorists bomb or bullet for, if we continue as we are, the London and Manchester atrocities will become more frequent and more intense.