UK 'no less safe' after Iraq War

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by babiesarm, Mar 15, 2004.

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  1. Absolute s#!te!!!

    Bliar has been grilled about int received saying that the UK would be more at danger if Iraq was invaded. He did the usual thing and said that PMs had to make difficult choices etc. We know what choice we need to make at the next election!

    If the Iraq venture had been done with UN backing and a wide coalition there would be many morenations in the firing line other than just Spain, the UK and US....oops I mean the UK and US now.
  2. PVRd, are you suggesting that it would be OK if we could share the bombings around a bit more, so there would be better chance that some foreigners got murdered than Brits?

    What's your point exactly?
  3. No, "firing line" was a poor analogy and probably tasteless.

    More international credibility (ie UN endorsement) would lessen the support for Islamic fundamentalism. If we had, for example, Bangladeshis in blue helmets in Baghdad there would be a lot less trouble.

    By declaring a "war" on terror, we have fallen into the trap AQ set. They now have a reason for existence in some Islamic eyes. Terrorism can be contained without declaring war, as we saw during the 80s with PIRA.
  4. Mr P. You've got to be careful about terminology. They are not Islamic fundamentalists, but extremists. Semantics, but true. Many Muslims have very strong beleiefs in the 'fundamentals' of Islam, but they do not want to strap C4 to themselves and vaporise innocents.

    Also, we (UK) have never declared a war on terror, for exactly the reason you state. This is a US term, which UK PLC does not necessarily agree with (PM never uses it, nor MoD).
  5. Bangladeshi UN soldiers would be beneficial?

    There are two views - political/strategic and operational/tactical. I assume this is based on you political/strategic perspective rather than operational experience. Nothing like UNPROFOR and BANBATT's magnificant record in Bihac, where on one occasion they scarpered from their camp and let the local Bosniacs strip their armoury...

    Politically, yes, bring em all in. The more the merrier and the better the political "legitimacy" - though that's only really important to outsiders. On the ground keep them to single figures and in very quiet areas.
  6. Bangladeshi Un soldiers is a very good deal, muslims patroling will make the 'war against Islam' argument dead in the ground, one less weapon for the fundamentalists
  7. You're thinking secularly Jash. I'd 101% agree if we were dealing with anything we've ever had to fight before. In this case the terrorism is vengeance. Long after Iraq is quiet AQ will seek vengeance on the Tube or wherever.

    Islamic peace-keepers may well help recognised states accept it (eg France maybe even Iran), but AQ doesn't give a monkey's for states. They'd see Bangladeshi co-operation as a slur against Allah and go blow up some of them to make the point.

    Iraqis are already fighting Sunni vs Shia - if they can't get on with eachother the majority Shiits aren't going to noticably appreciate us bringing in more armed Sunnis (Bangladeshis are mostly Sunni) with a history of handing over their kit to the side they prefer... Bangladesh has a strong JI (read AQ) presence already to further complicate matters at home.

    It probably doesn't really matter now what happens in Iraq as far as terrorism is concerned. The sheer fact we invaded the place is another reason for eternal vengeance. AQ simply wants to kill us in symbolically large numbers. It makes them feel that they have achieved something.
  8. I heard Peter Hain on Radio 4 use the words "war on terror". Bliar's apocalyptic speech in Sedgefield was firmly in this vein.

    The point about Islamic fundamentalism vs Islamic extremism is a very valid one. Islamic extremism draws support from Islamic fundamentalism. The link needs to be broken, not strengthened - the US & Co Iraq invasion strengthened the link. A Bangladeshi (for example, why not Pakistani or Egyptian) soldier would be more welcome than a US soldier, particularly in the eyes of the world (and Arab) media.
  9. Drive a wedge between the fundamentalists and the extremists in order to save Islam from affronting Allah

    - sounds good MrPVRd. Mr Blunkett please take note.

    How many arab governments actively supported Saddam in GW1? Yet what did Ossama cite as his no.1 reason for vengeance upon America and it's friends?

    What placatory effect has it had on AQ that America has responded 100% to Ossama's second demand - the removal of US forces from the holy land of Saudi Arabia?

    What real effect on Ossama and his TV-banning Taliban friends does the Arab media have? aka try naming Ossama's equivalent of Alastair Campbell.

    Is there any chance that thinking by our rules is missing the point?

    There is no such thing as a generic muslim. What do you think would have happed if HMG announced we were going to police NI with Zimbabwean Blue Helemets and that would solve the problem because they are Christian?

    We are faced with an unprecedented situation. We need to ask ourselves unprecedented far-reaching questions and be ruthlessly logical in our answers. If we don't we are going to loose.
  10. Al Qaeda are not the sole issue. We think they operate in a far different way than ever before. Nonsense. The scale of the atrocities and the level of sophistication are different, but only in magnitude and not in principle, from the activities of the terrorist groups of the 1970s and 1980s. They still require money, documents such as passports, information, resources and support. This support could be in the form of communities merely turning a blind eye. Cut off the single tail rather than the many heads. Does anyone think that the "traditional" Middle Eastern terrorism died of its own accord? It did not - what about the Israeli/Palestinian "peace process"? and the influence this had on those nations that may have been willing to turn a blind eye to bank accounts and resident undesirables etc? I am not advocating a policy of appeasement towards Al Qaeda - this is plainly ludicrous. However, the war on Iraq - without UN backing and without Arab support - has made the situation far worse for no gain - unless you are a US contractor!

    We could look at this as a war, with regime changes in Syria, Iran, Pakistan and so on. This is unattainable - the US have an army of 450,000 and we have 100,000. The Afghanistan campaign was necessary and had international backing. There was never a terrorist connection with Iraq, but there is now, thanks to the unilateralist actions of Uncle Sam and co. Furthermore, the job in Afghanistan was left half-done as the occasional flare ups there indicate. We need international backing in order to tackle this menace.

    We could be ruthlessly logical, but where would this lead? Internment of Muslims? Nuclear attacks on rogue states? Death camps? Where would this path end? I think all that can be said is that it would not end well! We must be proportionate in our responses to outrages and not lose sight of the humanity and value of freedom that we think characterises our way of life. This may sound stomach-churning.
  11. I'm sure that post-war British military history should have some lessons for us here - 1. It takes very few active terrorists or guerrillas to maintain a condition of violence. 2. It is very rare that armed forces can force those few to stop, still less that they can all be killed. 3. Those few rely on a more numerous, although still a minority, support org. These three hold for all terror groups, at least those who are capable of real trouble.

    Traditionally, though, even the central few killers and leaders had a rational goal - independence or revolution. This opens the possibility that once they have learnt that they cannot win a war, they may compromise, especially if the people the support org is recruited from decide that peace is in their interest.

    Now, though, AlQ presents a different problem- they aim at a world Islamic revolution, the conversion of humanity and the reversal of the last 500 years of history. It is impossible to negotiate - what concession could we offer? What could they give in return? How would we get in touch? Further, they are so decentralised that there is probably no clear command structure to attack. But - this is crucial - they still need the silence of the people they hide among. Tough on terrorism, tough on the causes of terrorism...
  12. BBC website today gives the impression that Saudi is starting to get a grip of the problem locally. This is long term, cleaning up the currently-exploited "education" system. It won't change anything overnight, but at least they are clamping down on imams teaching hatred.

    Note too the BBC have a lot of material on islamic communities in EU feeling the squeeze / unwelcome (see thread here on Tipton). We need to give them the touchy feely right now so not to alienate them. It's got to be meaningful.

    Another reason this threat is unprecedented is the potential host community isn't locked up in one little province - there's going to be very little HMF role in the H&M campaign, but it's got to be handled by CivPol, Social Services and local Govt. Unless the nation's islamic population feels genuinely integrated we are going to have a lot of difficulty freezing out the extremists.