Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Narratives, security reports and birthdays

Tomorrow is a big day, it's my BIRTHDAY!

It is also the day that the infamous 'narrative' is going to be published, along with a report by the Commons Intelligence and Security Committee.

I'm afraid I am quietly pessimistic. From the reports I have read by journalists who have had sight of these documents there will be nothing new.

The only positive angle that I can see is that it will be official. Not based on leaks, hearsay and opinions but it will be written down in black and white by the ISC and a 'senior civil servant'. Hopefully there will be no shirking of responsibility after this.

I want an apology, for the lies at least.

Now it's official, Tony Blair lied to the nation:
- The terrorists were NOT 'clean skins'
- They WERE linked to other terrorist groups
- The war in Iraq WAS a major influencing factor

I'm not sure we've ever heard him say the 'S' word & I'm not sure we ever will.

For me this is bigger than politics, it's not about blame, it's about understanding WHY this happened and doing our damnedest to stop it from happening again. Prevention will be achieved through understanding and intelligence not by implementing draconian anti terror laws.

Understanding the Muslim community at grass roots level will empower the 'war against terrorism' far more than locking up innocent men for 90 days. If these 4 men were 'not considered a risk' then they would never have been detained under the anti terrorism act anyway. They would not have been incarcerated against their human rights, without trial, for up to 28 days and it would still have happened. They happily carried ID so the new cards would not have helped. Nothing the government has done since 7th July has done anything to make this country a safer place.

Put money into the security services, strengthen international sharing of security information, particularly Pakistan and the US. Work with, not against the Muslim community, they can teach us more than we can ever learn. They hold the key to understanding what radicalises their young men. Get them involved, hire them to work for MI5, treat them with respect, listen to them and work together.

Tony Blair now needs to accept that British foreign policy over the decades has gradually helped to nurture the life of Islamic extremism. Afghanistan and Iraq were the wars that tipped the scale, turned fundamentalism into Jihad. There is no going back now, but we have to move forward. It is time that the government sat down and looked at the situation in Iraq sensibly and honestly. Death, destruction, civil war and a breeding ground for extremists. Even in the 'safe south' there is anarchy, British troops are being gunned down by Shia's in Basra. Shia's not Sunni's, it is out of control & I cannot comprehend this beast which we have created but it needs to be understood and it needs to be solved. It needs to be tackled by talking not killing, this has gone far beyond male brute force and machoism. It is not a war to be won or lost anymore it is a problem to be solved with intelligence and honesty.

Iraq is the key, intelligence is the tool. USE it and stop this bloody killing at home and abroad. This will be on your concience for ever. People are needlessly dying in the name of egos and pride. Before you shoot the man listen to him.

I can accept that mistakes can be made with security intelligence, but I cannot accept being lied to by my elected leader. I do not want to see heads roll withing the security services, this is not ablout blame it is about saving lives.

There is more to come out, of that I am convinced. From what I have so far read, there is nothing in these reports that we do not already know. I don't expect to be suprised tomorrow and it's just not good enough. If it cannot be public then let the enquiry, at least, be independent. I understand that there are security issues and information which may predudice the jury of current trials (although how true facts can be 'predudice' I am not sure I get) but nothing can be hidden in this quest for reconsiliation.

Only by its independence can an enquiry start to raise this matter above the political playing field and that is where it needs to be. These inside reports are a whitewash and an insult to the lives that were lost and destroyed.