A friend of mine posted on Facebook today about last night's events and I posted a somewhat long response. Which I'm making into a blog post. I'm just using her first name.
Charley said the following wise words:
OK, I'm going to say something which some may find controversial, and some may even find distasteful. If you're affected by the terrorist attack in London, then this may not be the thoughts you want to read right now. Also, before I go any further, I'd like to express my heartfelt thanks for all the emergency personnel who went out to save people last night, and that my thoughts and prayers are with all those affected.
TW: Terrorism, violent attacks
So, now I've got that warning out of the way, I'm going to espouse a bit of a conspiracy theory. I don't really do this normally - I've always been a big fan of the maxim 'Never attribute to conspiracy what can safely be explained by incompetence'.
Also, this 'theory' has nothing to do with the words 'false flag'. I don't believe in false flag conspiracy theories. For a start, my post-grad is in Leadership Studies, but my specialism was based in counter terrorism, so I have a bit of a background in this, although it was 17 years ago and is now out of step with modern counter terrorism intelligence. Having trained in counter terrorism and been part of multiple preparedness exercises, I do not believe it is possible to plan and carry out any sort of major 'terrorist' incident in a vacuum. People would find out. False Flags are a practical impossibility.
So, if you're thinking 'false flag', then you simply haven't thought through the practicalities of the sheer number of smart, well trained personnel involved in the response, and the practical impossibility of shielding the truth from those people. Also, think of the fall-out: The stakes are simply too high. If it came out, the people responsible would be on treason charges and their lives would be over. It's simply not worth the risk for the potential 'reward'.
Also, to make this simpler, I'll use a Larp analogy. If you want to believe in false flags, have you ever tried to plan an assassination in a Larp game without anyone finding out, and without IC/OC info bleed? Now try that with thousands of actual professionals. I'm sorry, but not a prayer.
However, I do have some thoughts on the reasons behind the attacks. Every time we have seen the opposition surge in the polls, there has been an attack. This has been noted by a great many people. So, given that no attack occurs in a vacuum, but in the context of the social and political landscape of the nation, there are many factors to consider.
1) The cuts to community policing really are central here - the people best placed to see this sort of radicalisation are in ethnic and religious minority communities. They won't necessarily phone a helpline, but they will talk to that nice police person who helped when they had their purse pinched. Where there is trust between the police and communities, it has been proven that there is a freer exchange of information.
2) Corbyn's assertion that our foreign policy is central to our terrorism risk is backed by counter-terrorism research and security services approach. It is a fact. It's not the only factor, but it is significant. It's also common sense. Let's say you're a young lad born in the UK. However, you still have family in Syria. Your government is bombing your ancestral home, and your family that still live there, back to the stone age. How does that make you feel about your home government?
3) There has been a huge spike in racial division and race hate crime, especially since last year's referendum. Racists have been emboldened by social change. An old African proverb says 'Elders: If you do not induct the young men into the village, they will set fire to it to feel its warmth'. Basically, the common denominator is disenfranchised young men, who are far more at risk of radicalisation if they are socially disenfranchised. That, my friends, is a proven fact.
So, now we've looked at the underlying social factors, here's the conspiracy part. Rather than just blurt out a conspiracy, let me start with some known facts, so I can explain how my brain has (rightly or wrongly) connected them.
1) The current Conservative government is selling arms to Saudi Arabia. They are using these in their own terrorist activity in Yemen.
2) It is widely believed by international security services that they are also funding or resourcing ISIS.
3) It has been widely reported, and believed, that the current opposition would immediately cease this supply if in a position to do so - e.g. were they elected to government.
4) There is therefore a powerful incentive for Saudi Arabia to ensure a Conservative victory.
So, whilst I don't for a moment subscribe to 'false flag' conspiracy theories, I do think it's possible that the Saudi government and ISIS are seeking to ensure a Conservative victory, as it ensures their continued flow of arms and resources.
I'd be interested in what others think of this.
Feel free to discuss. Feel free to tell me I'm wrong, but please tell me why you think I'm wrong. As always, keep it civil and be excellent to each other, and bear in mind that someone reading this may have been directly affected. Love to you all - I trust you to be grown-ups. Don't let me down.
Very well said, and if you don't mind I'm going to borrow this for my blog post today.
With regard to what you have said.
Firstly false flag attacks. I agree, this is nonsense, in a world where the likes of Wikileaks and whistle blowers can reveal the deepest and darkest secrets of a government it is not possible to keep government level conspiracies secret without fairly unbelievable levels of secrecy and loyalty to the state. A government can, through deliberate effort or by simple incompetence, delay an investigation into 30 year old accusations of child abuse, or lose files pertaining to such an investigation. But the likelihood of them even slowing down an investigation into government involvement in terrorist attacks and mass murder in the UK is vanishingly small.
That said however, the likelihood of someone in an expensive suit, and with no regard to the human consequence of their actions and determined to achieve corporate and political success, mentioning to someone in, say, Saudi Arabia, that it would be useful if there were another terror attack to distract attention from the Failing Tory campaign, I admit I'm paranoid, but that is all too believable.
Secondly. Timing, coincidental, with each coming close after the major debates where May lost out due to weak performance and failure to provide any answers. Once could have been a random thing. This second attack, no. 24 hours to see the results of the debate, pass the word to whoever controls some available suicidal idiots, get them ready and turn them loose. Entirely doable even allowing for several hours of intense radicalisation to get them whipped up to commit a suicide attack.
The response to Manchester was weak, by which I mean as tragic as the event was it should NOT have led to a suspension of our democratic process. And yet it did, three days. Which came with the government looking strong as it put troops on the streets and distracted media attention from the train wreck that had been May's U-Turn and response over the weekend.
Now we have again had an attack and AGAIN our democratic process is suspended, convenient timing to again distract from the cliff dive that is the Tory poll numbers and disaster of a campaign.
The timing here cannot be a coincidence, clearly those behind these suicidal and murderous attacks are launching them to disrupt our democracy in a way that also seems to support the Tories. Which raises some questions. Some very important and very serious questions.
Thirdly. May's response. I have no doubt she is NOT involved in causing these attacks, given her campaign to date she is utterly incapable of this level of organisation. That however does NOT rule out the involvement of one of the shadowy manipulators behind her.
What she is doing is milking this for its worth. Her speech this morning was a repeat of things she has been saying for seven years here and there, but by putting it all together and by saying them in the shadow of this attack. Draw your own conclusions. Again she is pushing the elimination of digital encryption and privacy, something that WILL NOT work to catch organised and knowledgeable terrorists and criminals, but will instead hurt every citizen of the country who does not have the knowledge to hide their activities.
For example her call for longer and stronger sentencing for anyone involved in terrorism and extremism, even for those, less involved, is reminiscent of her attempts to re-label extremism to include hunt protestors or people who are vocal in their opposition of the government under that label.
The measures she is calling for do not and will not prevent such attacks, previous senior figures in our security services have said that, and yet she is on the TV this morning calling for all ISPs to drop all encryption and block all extremist posts, which remember, the Tories tried to expand to include many other people not long ago. The measures she wants are not going to make the country safer, in fact she all but called for more bombing which leads to more hatred, she all but called for certain communities to be treated differently by claiming some groups were treated less severely by the security services.
She is calling for a continuation of the same foreign and domestic policies that are dividing populations and creating hatred.
With regard to your later four numbered points.
1. Weapons sales to Saudi Arabia, yes these are real, yes they happen, but this is more than a matter of corporate profit, this is multi billion pound bribes from the House of Saud to the British government, they are not just buying weapons, they are buying major western leaders visiting them, treating them as important, giving them power and influence. The UK stopping arms sales to the Saudi's achieves two things, firstly the actual weapons and bombs, these can be bought elsewhere easily as people have noted. Secondly and far more importantly is the fact that the UK, a major player on the world stage declares Saudi Arabia a rogue state and stops selling them weapons. No more visits by senior UK figures, no more grovelling to the King on the worlds Television. The UK tells everyone it will no longer sell weapons to the Saudi's because. . . .
The Saudi's are not purchasing weapons, they are buying prestige and legitimacy. If Corbyn stops the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia he also stops the sale of that prestige and legitimacy. They can still go to the Americans but not having the UK treating them as important weakens them on the world stage and robs them of international and regional influence, something they clearly wish to avoid.
2. It is widely believed by international security services that they are also funding or resourcing ISIS.
The words widely and believed are someone inaccurate. The Saudi's and Americans trained, funded and equipped the groups that formed the core of Islamic State. The pentagon has admitted to training and arming people who walked into Syria and joined Islamic state and then went on to do more of the same. Turkey, a NATO member has been photographed again and again buying oil from Islamic state,
3 & 4, covered in my comments above.
There is a word used by the intelligence services, humint, human intelligence. A concept where people establish relationships with other people and gain information through those contacts. The Americans started to cut back on humint when they began their love affair with high tech monitoring, Theresa May has continued this in her 7 years as Home Sec and now PM. Bobbies on the beat and people who can listen and consider reports from the community cannot be replace by cheaper digital monitoring that works only after the fact.
Leaving back doors in the worlds encryption will not stop these attacks happening.
Suspending our democracy because we are attacked simply makes the attacks more likely, because they have worked to shut down our democracy. Theresa May's response is not strong, it simply reinforces our weakness, something that Corbyn is equally guilty of when it comes to suspending our democratic process as the result of a terror attack.
I understand that there are people who will jump up and shout about a lack of respect for the dead if the election isn't suspended as a result of these attacks. In my personal opinion, you
ARE FUCKING IDIOTS ! !
Our democracy is under attack, from May and from terrorists, we do not support our democracy by shutting it down when we are attacked, we go on with what we are doing and we do NOT give in to threats or attacks.
Both Corbyn and May have agreed to suspend, YET AGAIN, campaigning in the election, the Terrorists ARE WINNING because our leaders are WEAK on this issue.
They bomb us to stop our democracy and to generate hate, so May STOPS OUR DEMOCRACY and calls for more bombing of the middle east !
Corbyn talks about the importance of democracy and yet you suspend it the very moment it comes under threat.
I hate everything May stands for with a passion and support most of what Corbyn stands for, but in this matter, you Sir, ARE WRONG.
This is not strength, THIS IS WEAKNESS.
This is inviting yet more attacks because the last ones worked.
Our democracy and freedom is under attack and the response is shutting down the democracy and taking away more freedoms.
FUCKING HECK. What a world to live in.