Month: June 2017
By the time those three young men, in a state of violent delirium, leapt out of a van and proceeded
to destroy countless lives, we had already failed. We had missed the boat and lost an opportunity to save the innocent victims. As it was in Manchester and Westminster, as it will be the next time. These men were pawns, fodder, for the great chess game being played out by powerful and hidden forces. The ideology, the people, the States and the organisations that drive and fuel these attacks is where our focus must turn. The suggestions I offer here, may not stop an attack next month or next year, but if we fail to destroy their motives, their propaganda, their icons, and fail to update the way we protect ourselves, then Saturday night’s attack will become as normal here, as in Beirut, Baghdad, Kabul or Islamabad.
These 6 suggestions may help to prevent that future.
1. Follow the money!
Saudi Arabia and Isis are the same thing. If isis were to achieve their aims, the whole Middle East would be run under the same laws, the same scripture, the same ideology as Saudi. They provide a constant supply of weaponry, technology, money, (wages) and hard drugs, directly and indirectly to Isis and isis led groups. Our government is in bed with the enemy. We have to let this truth in. We need a complete re-set of our relationship, that is congruent with our values and that demonstrates our rejection of their barbaric way of life. Osama Bin Laden was a Saudi, 911 was committed by Saudi’s, They are committing genocide in Yemen and we have to watch our prime minister bending and bowing and trading with these state criminals. A barbaric and insane regime that lets its kids watch public beheadings in the street, right here under the duvet! It’s almost sickening. Two things we can do immediately – first, we must suspend all arms trading with the Saudi Kingdom until further notice. Second, we must destroy the network of supply chains to isis. They are stuck out in the desert. Who is providing the food, medical supplies, water, ammunition, weaponry and cash to keep this war going? Someone is. We need to attack those lines of supply, both diplomatically and yes, militarily as well. Supplying weapons and training to Saudi is making the UK part of the problem instead of the solution. If the Saudis then choose to ‘divest’ in our economy, then so be it. There is no price or ethical economic gain that is worth the loss of our integrity and decency.
2. End the reward of infamy!
Immediately end the media exposure of attackers. Their identities and images should not be released. Their religion should not be revealed. Their motives and back stories should be ignored. They should be remembered only as anonymous killers. Their actions should remain unconnected to any struggle, to any cause. To do otherwise is to validate their martyrdom, is to elevate their prestige in the eyes of the misled, is to inspire others to follow in their footsteps, driven to be a dead ‘somebody’ instead of a living ‘nobody’. There can be no reason for the media or government to publish these facts other than to support a political agenda or to sell papers. It would also assist the police to carry out their work without the pressure to give away this information. Yes, report the facts, release the names of victims, report the gory details if we must, but never again show the faces or release the names or motives of these murderers. It achieves nothing, promotes racial hatred and energises copycat wannabes.
3. A 21st Century Police force.
Fund our security services up to and beyond what they need. From local policing to international collaboration. Arm all our police with sidearms. This is a way that we can immediately reduce the loss of life and injury without any loss of freedoms to the general public. All police should be trained in weapons use and should carry a semi automatic pistol side arm at all times. This has been commonplace for decades across Europe and the world. The most liberal minded countries including The Netherlands, France, Italy and Spain,
all arm their police force and no one is concerned. I would feel much safer seeing all police carrying side arms. It’s time to get real and dump the romantic notion of the bobby on the beat with his little truncheon and cuffs. It’s 2017, the world is much more volatile and uncertain. Give our Police the means and training, so that the first responder can take decisive action to end an attack and save lives.
4. End the politically correct notion that we cannot criticise religious belief.
The right to physical safety on our streets must supersede the right to express religious lore and doctrine. We need to push back against violent extremist propaganda, at least as hard as it is pushing against the values and laws of our society. Many senior Imams have publicly stated in the last couple of days, their intention to cleanse UK mosques of extremist and jihadist influence. A noble and long overdue commitment but this process needs to be formalised, overseen and properly actioned. We must appoint an Imam that is devoted to peaceful worship in every mosque who would be accountable to a government ministry for action against hostile influences. If the Muslim community were to express concern about victimisation, then we would reassure them that as soon as people start blowing up teenagers and stabbing innocent revellers in the name of Jesus or Yaweh or Buddha, then those rules would certainly apply to all churches, temples and synagogues. This leads on to the next suggestion.
5. Rats in the Kitchen!
Re-set and redesign the ‘PREVENT’ programme so as to frame it in a new way that enrolls and enables Muslim communities to protect themselves and fellow citizens through community coherence and a shared vision. The Muslim community should have the opportunity to see Prevent as not an attack on their communities but more like a support and shared sense of purpose. It must be recognised that there is a problem within their faith, within their mosques, within their homes. Islam has been infected by extremism. It is suffering from an infestation of unholy, un-islamic and irreligious influence. They don’t want it, no one wants it. Lets approach this like you could say, a pest exterminator being called in because there are rats in the kitchen. together we can smoke them out and deal with them.
6. Prison. A Hotbed of Radicalisation.
Set up a muslim led and controlled committee of oversight to investigate and deal with radicalisation in prisons. Separation of extremists and muslim youth in prisons. It is so easy to turn a young man against the system, against the government and against the society, while he is suffering punishment at their hand. We need peace-promoting Imams in every prison, working to help young muslim men to feel hope, respect and dignity. When someone values their own life, they will not take it from another. When we feel recognised, valued and well treated, we are far less likely to be drawn into dark and violent groups with propaganda designed to attract the hopeless and un-seen.
7. No More Wars for Oil, for gas Pipelines and American dominance!
End the policy of intervention and destruction of states in the Middle East and Africa. Assist all territories including Syria to combat terror organisations as described in suggestion 1. This will both dampen the fire of extremist power in the region and also reduce the dreadful suffering and humanitarian crises and mass refugee movement. No more following The US into wars for gas, oil territory and currency control. We have lost our way and are on the wrong side of history. Stability, democracy and the rule of law is what we must support and facilitate in the region. It will not be easy, there is more hate and distrust of the west than we are ready to accept. It will take time to undo the nightmare we have unleashed on the millions of people living in that region.
These are suggestions that came from thoughtful consideration once the anger and dust settled. We need a fair, just but un-inhibited approach to end the terror on our streets. Yes indeed, enough is enough, but we need to be tough and smart if we are to succeed. Failure is not really an option.