For counter terrorism read reaction

For counter terrorism read reaction

The British government’s new counter terrorism strategy was unveiled yesterday accompanied by the usual fanfare of publicity, designed to remind us that terrorists are lurking under the bed and so best allow further erosion of our civil liberties, reminding too those who may be prone to acts of terror – namely peaceful protesters – that their days of protesting returning troops, visiting dignitaries such as the leaders of the G20 in April, and war crimes of the sort carried out by the state of Israel in Gaza, are well and truly numbered.

At a time when the economy is in free-fall the government intends to spend an estimated £3.5bn a year of taxpayers’ money by the year 2011 to train 60,000 workers in counter-terrorism techniques (in other words: report as suspicious anyone with dark skin and a thick beard).

In addition the money will be used to tackle extremist views in the community (in other words: anyone who dares suggest that the slaughter of people overseas in order to steal their land, oil or other natural resources is bad); support mainstream pro-democratic Muslim voices (in other words: any Muslim who supports slaughtering other Muslims in order to steal their land, oil or other natural resources); prevent access to the internet information on setting up attacks (in other words: so that when we bomb the shit out of poor people around the world other poor people aren’t able to retaliate); provide more funding for anti-terrorist police and the intelligence services (in other words: ensure that ‘our boys’ are equipped with enough firepower to ensure that they can continue to execute innocent young men on the London underground).

Such a monstrous allocation of money to fund a strategy that is fatally flawed reflects the moral bankruptcy of a government which is up to its neck in the blood of innocent people at home and abroad. Indeed, if ever any proof were needed that a corrupt foreign policy has refracted back to corrupt the body politic and society at home then surely this is it.

For £3.5bn you could buy yourself a jumbo jet, an English premiership football club, an Israeli prime minister, Sir Fred Goodwin’s conscience, and still have a chunk of change left over. What you can’t buy for £3.5bn is a counter terrorism strategy. In fact, you don’t even need £3.50 to purchase one of those. Why? Well, because the best counter terrorism strategy, in fact the only one worthy of the name, is to stop committing acts of terrorism.

The CIA are credited with coming up with the term ‘blowback’.  With this one word they succeeded in describing the basic law of physics otherwise known as cause and effect. It seems the British government is yet to get to grips with this law, which is perhaps why they continue to draft new ones with the regularity of Israeli missile strikes on civilian targets.

Two recent events have given the British government particular cause for concern, in the process taking it by surprise and causing great indignation. The first was the militancy of the protests against Israel’s assault on Gaza in January, when in the main young Muslims dared stand up to the police outside the Israeli Embassy in defiance of the government’s previous counter terrorism strategy devised in the wake of 7/7, which was designed to intimidate the Muslim community into remaining quiescent and cowed. The second was the recent protest of British troops, again by members of the Muslim community, as they marched through Luton upon their return from Iraq.

In both instances young Muslims dared break free of the constraints of a mainstream antiwar movement which has run out of ideas and ceased to constitute anything more than an ‘official’ opposition to the government’s foreign policy.

In response the government has just given the police and security services carte blanche to bear down on any and all protests against its ongoing crimes of war and occupation, and its support for rogue states such as Israel, as well as protests against the economic system responsible for the global depression that has engulfed the planet, along with its continued despoliation.

For counter terrorism read reaction.

— John Wight


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