Wednesday, March 25, 2009

New Terror Plans Are A Muddled Mess

New terror plans unveiled by the government have nothing to with fighting terrorism and everything to do with political posturing and striking fear and panic, as the old spectre of WMDs and the 'war on terror' is resurrected to prop up a beleaguered government and hapless home secretary, while the real causes are brushed under the carpet. 

At a stroke, decent muslims are again branded as a bunch of baddies as home secretary Jacqui Smith unveiled a new UK strategy to tackle an apparent terrorist threat, ignoring the root causes of the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan and half-baked measures to get to grips with the preachers of hate. 

Harking back to the bad old days of WMDs and 45 minutes, the home office used fear and panic with the audacity to trot out a warning of an increased risk terrorists could get hold of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons to attack the UK with dirty bombs. So how come Brown is coming over all cosy with Iran?

The government paper, Contest Two, updates the 2003 strategy updated in 2006. The next update no doubt won't be far behind. 

By 2011, the government wants  to spend £3.5 billion a year on counter-terrorism, while the number of police working on counter-terrorism had risen to 3,000, from 1,700 in 2003.

There's more chance of being run over by a bus than there is  being blown up by a terrorist. More police just make the odds of shooting the wrong person that much higher. 

The Orange Party is late coming to this, after listening to Smith waffle on the Today programme, mainly because it's taken so long to read the damn thing. It's full of muddled unjoined-up NewLabourSpeak thinking. 

Without an historical, political, social, cultural and international context, it is quite meaningless. Moreover, without dovetailing into other over-arching UK domestic and foreign policies, it's not worth the paper it's written on. 

Putting the frighteners up nobody, homes secretary Smith says "challenges should be made to those who undermine our belief in democracy". Beat them over the head with a copy of a wet challenge, that'll sort them out. 

What's lacking is the context - a sociological imagination - and a framework which would put the current terrorism 'threat' into perspective and point a way forward to a solution. 

Instead the government plans to train 60,000 selected snoopers to spy on potential terrorists and at a stroke stigmatise anyone who looks a bit Middle-Eastern.

With the government  trailing in the polls, Brown and Smith are raising the hairy old chestnut of terror panic for political reasons. 

Of course there is a threat but this government doesn't seem to have a clue what it is. Hiding behind a muddled smokescreen, they can't see that years of misguided domestic and foreign policies are a large part of the problem and that means they cannot provide an answer.

Fears and warnings over dirty bombs abound. Yet with the UK 'reaching out' to Iran that's where the problem lies. Gone are the days when Blair could pull the wool over our eyes with a fruitless search for enriched uranium for Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq. 

Iran backs the fundamental Islamic terrorist and through a circumspect route that is where the bomb-making comes from. Even if Iran is genuine about just wanting nuclear power, it's so easy for a sympathiser to turn a blind eye.

Suicide bombers are now more sophisticated, practising in the killing fields of Afghanistan with live troops as target practice. Pull out the troops and you take away the  target practice for an attack on this country. 

Time and again suicide bombers justify their actions on video, with a tirade against the current UK and US occupation of muslim Iraq and Afghanistan. UK troops will be stationed in Iraq for at least a year in some number. In Afghanistan, with a new troop surge on the cards, the bloody, hopeless and unwinnable war is set to drag on for years. Pull out the troops and you remove a reason and justification for terror attacks. 

At home, border security has been tightened but the preachers of hate and their brain-washed slaves thrive. Playing a cat and mouse game with the authorities up and down the legal ladder, hiding behind the shield of half-baked human rights legislation. 

Authorities turn a blind eye to recruitment in the undercover mosques for fear of upsetting 'the muslim community', when in fact the vast majority of muslims would welcome a root and branch clear out.

Trailing in the polls and still smarting from the 42 day detention debacle, the measures announced to 'combat terrorism' are a slippery slope to holding suspects without charge.

All the Orange Party's muslim pals want what everyone wants and that's just to live their lives, make a living and look after their families. 

They have no truck with the preachers of hate and no truck with anyone who is bent on radicalising the youth for their own power and glory.

At the end of the day there'll always be terrorists lurking around somewhere or other. One person's terrorist is another person's freedom fighter and that's the same in a draconian dictatorship and it is in a free democracy. 

The key is to take an overview and co-ordinate all government policy, both domestic and international. That's what isn't happening and that why report Mark 3 will have to be rewritten as report Mark 4 after the next outrage. 

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