Tuesday, November 21, 2006

London: What if...?..

Having strayed far and wide, it is time for me to return to the theme of this blog - the thought experiment. So here it is. What will happen when there is another major terrorist attack on London? Let us say it is worse than 7/7 and as bad as 9/11, possibly worse if a nuclear device is used. This is plainly at the almost unspoken heart of our politics at the moment. Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller's alarming speech and Tony Blair's commitment to security - the word was continually used in the Queen's Speech - are both, I think, genuine. It is thought there is an attack coming and it may well be a big one. For David Cameron such an attack would be a disaster. He has been leading the Tories away from its old paranoid ways and has thus been underplaying such threats. In the event of an attack, he would, as a result, not be seen as the man for the job when confronting terrorism. Blair, too, would suffer, since many would blame the attack on an Iraq adventure. Gordon Brown, in short, would be the clear winner. Meanwhile, there would be street attacks on Muslims, particularly veiled women as they are the most visible emblems of difference. These would be made worse by the current opportunist campaigns by the vile Ken Livingstone as these will be seen as encouraging Muslim separation and, therefore, extremism. If Livingstone wants to do any good, he should be quietly persuading the so far inept gang of Muslim talking heads - is there any more stupid, self-serving title than 'community leader'? - to do a better job of distancing themselves from extremism. Internationally, our position will be unimaginably complex. Even a small nuclear warhead - obviously, a stolen Russian tactical device - would immediately project us into a new and unfamiliar world. Would we at once withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan or would we send yet more troops? Both responses have their rationale. I would be interested to hear the thoughts of, among other CaptainB and Dark Heart. In recent days, I have found that, almost unconsciously, I have been bracing myself for this horror.


  1. Over and over the same theme repeats itself. Engendered, induced crisis due to certain policies, increased militarization, identity control et al to meet the crisis, crisis comes on cue [it's only as good as its funding], civil liberties are temporarily suspended, global agenda steps up one notch. Even a blind man can see it.

  2. James Higham's right, I'm afraid. I fear we have a collective death wish. Whatever's going on, there's some terrifying mass hysteria being whipped up in the west (in Britain and the US predominantly) for reasons too deep for me to articulate. Any ideas anybody?
    And why was Dame Bullying-Manner wheeled out to 'warn' us; what's all that about?
    Might I suggest this links in with my post yesterday under Welcome Paul/Guido - apres nous le deluge?

  3. I think our security is strong enought to stop a nuclear attack. These would be amazingly difficult to pull off.

    The key to 9/11 and 7/7 was that the organisation was skilled by the tools of implementation relatively simple. The terrorists are clever but not technically gifted.

    Another attack is however guaranteed in the current climate. There is hope though that the end of the Iraq debacle and possible success in Afghanistan will help to soothe the boiling pot of hatred.

    What is missing still is a process of detente is Israel/Palestine. All roads lead to Jerusalem and have done since the end of the cold war.

  4. Surely, Slicker, all roads have led to Jerusalem since Abraham prepared to slay Isaac.

  5. Even when (or should that be 'if'?) our troops do pull out of Iraq and Afghanistan the tension will linger. The damage has been done, they're not going to forget that! What worries me most of all is the brainwashing. Lies will continually be fed to these gullible sheep by their God-like leaders and they'll believe every word. So there will always be a threat.

    If there is a nuclear attack on the West, a new chapter will begin.

  6. I think the hatred we've engendered in Afghanistan, Iraq, and really the entire Middle East (except for Israel, in the U.S.'s case)will endure for at least a generation. As long as people are alive, they won't forget.

    On the other hand, I am really sick of the paranoia constantly being whipped up by terror alerts and so forth. I've noted this has a particularly bad effect on people who are already slightly unstable and depressed. (Between Iraq and Katrina, we have a slew of anxious/depressed people in this country.)

    Hey, I have an idea: Chemical warfare. Let's put anti-depressants in the water supplies of all the nations we're warring with. Wonder what that might do? Democracy, anyone?

  7. Not always though Bryan, even Jesus admitted that Rome was the centre of power in his day and that all roads led there.

    However, Jerusalem has the paradoxical distinction of being the holiest city on earth and the cause of most bloodshed amongst men.

    This thought I find a useful guide whenever I am confronted by the devout of any of the peace loving faiths.

  8. Reichstag fire, anyone?

  9. Unfortunately, Susan, some of them don't have water supplies. Now that is depressing.

  10. Sitting smugly out here in the boondocks (with own water supply), we view such hysteria over possible attacks on the capital in a somewhat more relaxed manner. Get real - read this :Bruce Schneir - Beyond Fear.

    Chemical warfare - did I read a post here about Edward de Bono's cunning wheeze along those lines with Marmite (that's chemical warfare in our house) ? Bryan you need a search feature.

  11. I feel like i'm in a fog these days when it comes to terrorism. I used to believe that bin laden commited 9/11 until about two years ago when i started coming across conspiracy theories.
    I'm usually sceptical of these things but the evidence is a bit overwhelming. I can't believe the mainstream story anymore. My uncle also works for the BBC and says he knows lots of journalists in and out of the bbc who think 911 was an inside job.
    In fact, the mainstream story is so farcical in itself that it's just another damning verdict on the sheep like behaviour of man.
    David shayler (ex M15 guy) has also made a documentary on 911 and 7/7 as well. I am slightly sceptical of 7/7 as an inside job as there is alot less evidence, though it wouldn't surprise me.

    This is one of the best documentaries on 911:

    This is shaylers take on 9/11:

    and on 7/7: