Osama bin Laden, Tony Blair and the UK election

This entry was posted on
Monday, May 2nd, 2005
12:39 pm and is filed
under The War on Stupid, Uzbekistan.

The threat of terror is real. The ‘war’ on terror is a lie.

And since September 2001, Tony Blair and his cohorts have been either misrepresenting the terrorist threat, manipulating the terrorist threat, mismanaging the terrorist threat, and/or misrepresenting and manipulating the terrorist threat in a way that amounts to gross mismanagement.

The following charge sheet is presented for ready reference. I urge you to read it and absorb it ahead of Osama bin Laden’s inevitable appearance later this week, when he will engineer a successful strike (unlikely) and/or release a video urging people to vote against Blair (very likely).

He will do this knowing full well that it will result in a knee-jerk reaction that benefits Blair.

Because Osama bin Laden needs Blair, just as he needs Bush.

Here’s a list of whys, whats, and WTFs:

Jo Moore planned to use the grand spectacle of September 11 to bury the bad news of Councillors expenses. She wrote the offending email at 2:55pm GMT (10:55am EST), when both towers of the World Trade Centre had been in flames for close to two hours, and people trapped on the upper floors could be seen leaping to their deaths. Pressure from Downing St and/or senior ministers ensured that she kept her job for 5 months after this disgraceful and callous act.

My verdict: Evidence of manipulation.

We’ve known of or suspected for quite some time that Blair had committed to war long before a ‘decision’ was taken, and now we have confirmation (1, 2). Blair claimed that Saddam had WMD. He also suggested time and again that Saddam Hussein had links to Al Qaeda. Hussein therefore didn’t have to be aggressive to his neighbours or the West in order to be a threat; all he had to do was provide Al Qaeda with weapons of mass destruction. That he didn’t have. Or even just – in theory – to be able (sometime in the future… maybe) to provide Al Qaeda with weapons of mass destruction. That he didn’t have. It was in this way that the ‘war’ on terror was carefully woven into justification for war against Iraq.

My verdict: Evidence of manipulation and misrepresentation.

And let’s not forget that that the illegal invasion actually created a haven for terrorists, and swept weapons and explosives into their waiting arms.

My verdict: Evidence of gross mismanagement.

Before the war, as millions of us prepared to march in protest, Blair rolled tanks into Heathrow. The best explanation that could be offered at the time was this was “an ongoing operation in relation to a specific threat”. Even if – if – this action resulted from a credible threat (and we have yet to see evidence of it), this amounts to a terrible miscalculation, as Blair was already on weak ground because of his manipulation of the threat, and the timing ensured that the protestors felt as intimidated as the terrorists.

My verdict: Mismanagement only if we give Blair the benefit of the doubt. Manipulation if we don’t.

But it gets better. The pro-war lobby have deliberately blurred the line between protestors and terrorists. The logic is that we oppose a war which is clearly part of the ‘war’ on terror, therefore we side with the terrorists. In the US, money earmarked for the ‘war’ on Terror has actually been spent fighting protestors. Here in the UK, anti-terror powers were used against protesters at an arms fair and further crime and terror laws deliberately target types of protest and even individual protestors.

My verdict: Evidence of manipulation and misrepresentation.

But it gets even better. Do you remember when George W. Bush came to town? We were assured that the exclusion zone around him was for security reasons, but – at the same time – we were assured that his visit was not the reason why were placed at the highest state of alert since September 11. Which lasted for the duration of his photo opportunity. George Bush invited himself to town in order to paint himself as a great statesman, and Blair complied. If the threat was not real, then it was played up (or made up) in order to minimise protest. If the threat was real, Bush willingly (and unnecessarily) placed our leaders and the general population (including a school full of photogenic children) under that threat.

My verdict: Evidence of manipulation and/or misrepresentation.

Civil liberties have became more of an issue as the post-911 panic died down and people started to realise what we were being expected to sacrifice in the name of ‘freedom’. And wasn’t it funny that each time issues such as ID cards or detention without trial approached a debate/voting/action stage that there was a major terror arrest or ‘revelation’? Here are three recent examples:

Nov 23 2004 – Queen’s speech with focus on security heralded by ‘evidence’ of plans to attack Canary Wharf

Mar 11 2005 – The big push on detention without trial (timeline here) is preceded by the launch of an anti-terror campaign, designed to protect us from “hundreds of potential terrorists” that want to kill us.

Apr 15 2005 – Ricin conspiracy involving no ricin and no conspiracy closely followed by renewed calls for ID cards (that would have prevented something that didn’t happen) and this timely announcement by the Metropolitan Police Commissioner.

My verdict: Evidence of manipulation and misrepresentation.

I’ve already mentioned the logistical benefit of the illegal invasion of Iraq to terrorist groups. Now let’s think strategy. Let’s think Guantanamo Bay. Let’s think Abu Ghraib. Yes, we were involved. Somehow the public got the idea that the people detained in Abu Ghraib were all terrorists (which allowed them to slot the horror of torture under ‘if anyone deserves it…’) but the truth is that many of these detainees were soldiers, insurgents, or even relatives of soldiers or insurgents. And the main question of the day would have been; “Where are the weapons?”… that didn’t exist. The largely unspoken lie that torture was justified because these people were terrorists aided actual terrorists, who began to kidnap and execute people in the name of the victims of Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib – and use these illegal acts as recruitment tools for their cause.

My verdict: Evidence of manipulation, misrepresentation and mismanagement.

Let’s stick with torture for a moment, and take a look at a tin-pot dictator who tortured his people. Some were boiled alive. Did we invade that country on the basis of a clear and immediate threat humanitarian intervention? No, because this was Uzbekistan, friend of the US, and doing ‘good work’ on the ‘war’ against terror (never mind that the intelligence gathered was flawed). Did Blair’s government intervene? Did they speak out? No, they turned a blind eye. And when the ambassador to that country spoke up, Jack Straw tried to shut him up by throwing ludicrous charges at him, including the “hiring of dolly birds” and having sex in his office with local girls in exchange for visas to the UK. Compare this to former Home Secretary and ‘on message’ team member David Blunkett, who actually did do naughty things with his penis, fathered a child by another man’s wife, and fast-tracked a visa in the process. “You leave government,” wrote Blair, “with your integrity intact.”

My verdict: Evidence of manipulation, misrepresentation and mismanagement.

This series of events have resulted in a fear that far outweighs the actual threat and enabled Al Qaeda in a way that increases their ability to be that threat.

This series of events has added to their numbers, increased their access to weaponry and chipped away at the belief in our leaders that is required for readiness should Al Qaeda come close to engineering a strike on British soil.

This is why Osama bin Laden needs Blair.

This is why – later this week – he is sure to appear and support Blair’s cause by declaring that you must vote against him.

If you fall for it and cling to Blair’s skirt for fear of getting blowed up, you will have played right into bin Laden’s hands and allowed Al Qaeda to disrupt our democracy. Yet further.

UPDATE (5 May) – Osama did not make an appearance that preceded the UK general election, but his failure to appear does nothing to disprove the above charges.

About Tim Ireland

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