We were shocked last night to hear about the terrorist attack in London. For the families and friends of the people who were out enjoying a night on the town, the world must have stood still today, numbed as they will be. It’s almost impossible to imagine how it feels to lose someone close to you for absolutely no logical reason whatsoever.

And it doesn’t matter whether you’re English, French, Lebanese, Iraqi, Afghan, or indeed from Ouagadougou, which also suffered a terrorist attack in 2016.

What follows may seem a little naive.  I’m not at all certain that I’ve thought it through all the way, but this is how I see the situation.

Terrorists and terrorism exist where people can find no democratic solution to their situation. And when people sit down and talk with terrorists, at least sometimes, solutions can be found. Ex-terrorists can become statesmen like Yasser Arafat, Martin McGuinness or even Nelson Mandela.


Somehow we need to find a way to sit down with the leaders of ISIS and try to discover what we can do to stop this carnage all over the world. What is it they want?

However, if we thought that the obstacles to peace were big in Palestine, Ireland and South Africa, I suspect that the problems of the Near and Middle East will be even more so.

It will take great leadership and diplomacy for it to happen and at the moment I see few leaders in the world with that kind of skill. I’d like to think that from the worldwide point of view President Macron, Angela Merkel and Justin Trudeau might be able to make a start, but it will need full time, clever diplomats who understand the complexities of the Middle East. And no one can do that unless they come from that region. Prince Hassan and King Abdullah of Jordan are names that come to mind, but they already have jobs, and in any case we need more than two.


Of course, people will say that it cannot be done, and they may be right. Maybe what ISIS wants is the whole of the Middle East to be ruled as one great Islamic Caliphate, ignoring modernity and democracy returning to Islamic law. ASnd for the millions that don’t want that, that is never ging to be the answer. But what is the alternative to dialogue? Trump wants to smash ISIS, just as Bush and Blair wanted to smash the Taliban and Sadam, and Obama, Cameron and Sarkozy wanted to smash Gaddafi.

And look how well that worked.

It is said that ISIS is funded by its sale of oil. So who is buying this oil and why? Can we stop them doing so? If so, how?  But ISIS is also being equipped with weapons. And the suspicion is that Saudi Arabia is their source, as a report commissioned by David Cameron will show… or it would have if it were to be published.

But Saudi Arabia doesn’t manufacture its own weapons; they must be bought in. And who sells weapons to Saudi Arabia? Well the UK and the US come to mind.


The UK and Saudi are best buddies. Their monarchs and royals mix. And prime ministers throw themselves at a regime which beheads people for fornication, burglary, blasphemy, sodomy, atheism and a whole range of other crimes. It must be because they are rich, and Brits love rich folk, especially when they buy billions of dollars worth of arms from us.

But you have to ask yourself, why does Saudi Arabia need all these arms… and it doesn’t seem entirely unreasonable to suggest that they don’t. After all, apart from doing a power of bombing recently in Yemen, Saudi doesn’t much go to war. As Boris Johnson pointed out, it simply stirs up wars.

I realise that the UK desperately needs the sales and that there is a deal of ignorance about what happens to them once they have left the UK with the money safely in the bank. But maybe the Brits need to think carefully now that the organisation that is funded and weaponised by our friends the Saudis is wreaking so much havoc at home.

Well, Mrs May… or maybe now Mr Corbyn. It’s up to you.

On a lighter note, great concert in Manchester tonight. Massive acts turning up and showing their support. And some very plucky people in London last night throwing glasses and chairs and tables at the murders….and running down the road with their pint glasses still in their hands…





    1. jake,

      It is indeed an interesting article. As a person of no faith whatsoever, it does suggest that small numbers of radicalised folk can make a huge difference. That is not an attractive proposition for me, so I’m going to think about it.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Tris,

    The problem with the Saudis is that they hold the two most holiest sites in Islam (the third being Jerusalem). Somehow because of this, they are considered the purveyor of “correct” Islam. One of the central tenet of Islam is that piousness cannot be inherited through or gained by proximity of something holy. It can be attained only by meticulous observance of the rules and rituals.

    There seems to be an (oily) cognitive dissonance between governments worldwide and the reality of that is the Saudis. Everybody know that they are one half of the root of the many problems plaguing Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Yet everybody seem to kowtow to them. Until and unless this dissonance is resolved, nothing will change. I, for one, will be glad if someone can knock the Saudis off their supposed (Islamic) “moral” pedestal. At least some of us can move on without being haunted by the Saudi spectre.

    Easier said than done though. There is another minor reason on why I support Scottish independence. If Scotland were to solve and promote renewable energy, a lot of us can be weaned off fossil fuel. Guess who is going to take a hit to their coffers (and political standing)…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for that insight.

      I’ve never understood why a country with such appalling an human right record can been treated with such deference by the world.

      Maybe when their immense wealth goes…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. ebreah says:
    June 5, 2017 at 03:41,

    Problem is that a lot of folk think Pilger is verging on a conspiracy theorist.

    The British State will support our Prime Minister in keeping this quiet, at least until after the election, ’cause we are under attack and any undermining of our great and glorious leader Gloriana May is an attack on us all. Her culpability in playing both ends against the middle will go unexamined. Thus an election is ‘won’.

    Methinks it is utterly pathetic.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What I do think is that Theresa May, whilst Home Secretary, made us more vulnerable by reducing Police ( and I believe MI5) numbers. What I also think is that reducing our security makes us more vulnerable, rather than less.

      I think she is an idiot.

      I am astonished that she is allowed to present herself as ‘strong on terrorism and the causes of terrorism’ when she has, by reduction of those charged with reducing it, actually made it easier.

      Nuff said!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. The Saudis are a bunch of self serving hypocritical bastards of the highest order. If it were not for Wikileaks, half the things we are talking today would still be in the realm of conspiracy. The simplest counter argument would be on why Mad Tessie May is so keen to delay/suppress the impending report on the terror funding. Does it not smack a conspiratorial tone? If there is nothing to hide, it should actually be expedited considering the events. Knowing the Saudis, and on what they are doing on that side of the world and this side of the world, I’d give Pilger at the very least, the benefit of the doubt. Personally, I don’t think she can contain this issue to her liking. So many things keep pooping out and biting her back right in the arse.

      No matter what she, and to a lesser extent the Tories, are damaged goods. I am guessing at the very least Labour with be returned with +250MPs. I wouldn’t be surprised if they can form the government after the results.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, you’re bang on, Abu.

        What is it in the report she doesn’t want us to see… at least not until she has safely secured her job… or thinks that she has.

        I’m pretty certain that if she doesn’t achieve the kind of majority that she went into the elections expecting, that she is toast.

        The Tories have long knives and they use them very effectively.

        There is a wing of the Tory party that hate her as much as the right wingers in Labour hate Corbyn.

        I’d love it to be a hung parliament and her trooping off in disgrace. My fingers are crossed for Thursday.


  3. And, in this last few days, that ought to be where the attack on the Conservatives should concentrate. It is really not enough to have attacks happen, intelligence agencies should be supporting the general public, not political elites.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s fine Douglas. Mrs May seems to be trying to turn this to her advantage.

      Off visiting the relatives yesterday should have been left to a royal somewhere. God knows there are plenty of them. And “enough is enough”. What’s that about?

      She and her idiot Home Secrtetary can take responsibility for this. They cut the police, they got the army on the streets till they found it backfired and they moved them.

      They ignored warning from neighbours and from the FBI… What are they for>?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Surely to resolve any problem, you have to go to the source of the trouble. Now this may be a big ask in the case of the Middle-East, since western nations have been interfering there for hundreds of years.
    The situation is so complicated that I make no pretence to an even basic understanding of how the peoples of these countries feel about the continuing meddling of western politicians in what should be their, and theirs alone, affair.
    In recent years, firstly with the U.S.A involving itself with the opposition forces fighting the Russian invasion of Afghanistan, to their own invasion of the same country in 2001, followed by the more of the same in Iraq two years later, have undoubtedly inflamed some elements, not only in these countries, but others throughout the Middle-East.
    Our unwanted, and ill conceived, subsequent involvement in both Libya and Syria, have merely served to confirm some peoples thinking that we are the enemy, and they are determined to hurt us in whatever way they can, unfortunately resulting in the deaths of more innocents, the latest being the attack in London on Saturday evening.
    While the Conservative Government’s policy of reducing Police numbers in England and Wales have no doubt contributed, not only to the necessary investigation of terrorist plots, but to the increase in reported crime in these countries, it’s the role, not only of the Westminster administration, but more particularly, the involvement of the previous Home Secretary, now the Prime Minister, in this sorry mess that concerns me.
    If reports are to be believed, the Manchester bomber was well known to the security services, the F.B.I warned M.I. 5, yet he4 was allowed to travel to and from Lydia apparently unhindered.
    If these reports are correct, shouldn’t we be calling for the resignation of the person who is ultimately responsible for keeping us safe?
    And with the news this morning that Police have already identified the London murderers, it stands to reason that they were also known to the security services.
    The most incompetent Westminster Government probably since a Parliament was first convened, is in charge of this shambles, while innocent civilians are dying, needlessly, and all the weakest Prime Minister in our history can say is, “enough is enough”, whatever that means. It ranks amongst the most puerile of any sound bites made by an increasingly incompetent individual, who, if the electorate have any sense, will, on Thursday, consign to the annals of history.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Alex. Exactly.

      I certainly look at the Iraq situation and wonder that people can’t see why we are in this mess.

      OK, I’m taking into consideration the piece that Jake sent, which looks at motivations… and is the result of a great deal more study than I have ever done.

      But think about Iraq. We went to war because they had WMDs. We know they had them, and we knew where they were because Mr Powell showed us photographs.

      Sadam, on the other hand, said he didn’t have any. But we went in in any case, and we bombed the living daylights out of Baghdad.

      Now the WMDs weren’t in Baghdad. We knew they weren’t in Baghdad. We had seen the pictures of them, and they were out in the country. They couldn’t have been moved otherwise the satellites would have picked them up.

      So, why did we bomb Baghdad?

      Because in the doing of it, we killed and maimed indiscriminately tens of thousands of people and we wrecked the city, people’s homes, businesses, families, cars, everything. We blew children’s legs off for heaven’s sake. And for what?

      It doesn’t excuse what happened in Manchester or London, but it goes someway to explaining it.

      And of course, our incompetence didn’t stop there. Oh no, we disbanded the army, opened the borders, wrecked the civil service and them buggered off home. Job done. Chaos and daily bombing. Islamic fundamentalism everywhere.

      Typical of Western interference in the Middle East.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. The British state doesn’t care about the death of individual citizens,theirs or others so long as the status quo is pretty well maintained i.e. the rule by an elite for an elite.
    The only time they have conceded to the need for action was after two world wars which ended up with millions of people dead.
    That was when the welfare state was created and policies which put people first enacted.
    Now that the memory of those dreadful events are fading,it is back to business as usual for the British elite and their friends in low places.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. No, you’re probably right.

      I notice May went visiting relatives yesterday. She should NOT have done that.

      Some minor member of the royal family should have been sent. That’s what we pay them for.

      May’s presence either was or will be seen as politicking.


        1. Her husband picks her clothes apparently. It’s clearly a boys’ job. I’ve never known a person who worse such incredibly inappropriate clothing.

          I believe that people should be able to wear what they want. I think if you want to go into parliament in jeans and a t shirt… fine, why not?

          But that is not how it is. For men there is an incredibly strict dress code, and even on a hot day MPs are not allowed to take their ties off.

          She on the other hand wanders around looking like she fell off a flitting.

          I’m not being sexist here, but her skirts are too short and her tops too low.


  6. One of the problems is the artificial countries created by the western countries. Britain was one of the worst offenders. These lines on maps often cut communities in half, and have no logical purpose on the ground. Maybe a council of the countries involved could re-draw boundaries to suit the reality on the ground. It will probably never happen though, as Israel would never take part.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, I feel that the best thing we can do is stay out of it. The only people who understand all this are locals. The trouble is that there are parts of that territory that are rich with oil, and parts that are just dry and barren.

      Sorting out redrawn boundaries is going to be a hard task.

      Whatever, people like Trump and May MUST be kept out of there.


  7. For me there is no question that we are funding the very organisations who go on to encourage the violence we’re seeing right now. We’ve seen it in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. In order to get rid of our most hated enemy we fund other groups who go on to achieve dominance (with our help) and they in turn become our most hated enemy. Only too late do we learn that our shared interests extended only to getting rid of the old most hated enemy. And so it continues. The simple truth is that we don’t really know what we are doing but there is enormous public pressure to do something. I don’t know where that pressure comes from because it wasn’t always like this. If someone can work that out they will be a huge contributor to world peace.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Terry,

      I have no direct evidence of this, but it appears that we allowed folk to travel from Manchester to Libya and back again under Theresa May’s watch. If that is true, how can we trust her?

      Yet we are being asked to do so.

      This is not what we expect of a Prime Minister.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That wouldn’t be a surprise given that UK policy was to topple Gaddafi. I suppose your enemy’s enemy is your friend (until they also become your enemy). Gaddafi used to be our enemy, then he became our friend, then our enemy again. This stuff is too confusing.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Nicely put ,Terry.

      The war on terror started after 9/11. (I mean of course that was when it got serious becasue the US had been attacked.)

      I remember George W Bush swearing to the American people that they would get the perpetrators. I remember hoping that they actually would get the REAL perpetrators. Because getting ‘someone’ isn’t the same as getting the people who did it.

      Of course, the perpetrators were not Afghans or Iraqis. They were Saudis.

      And despite the lock down on all planes for days after the bombings, the USA managed to get visiting members of the Bin Laden family safely out of the country and back to Riyadh. Odd that!

      They need to do something. That’s probably why we had wars in Afghanistan, Libya and Iraq. The trouble is that every time we “do something”, we make it worse.

      The West has a long long history of poking its superior nose into matters it doesn’t understand and making a complete arse of it.

      Wish I lived in Switzerland.


    1. I am unable to understand how a corrupt leader, such as Theresa May, still has anyone voting for her.

      When the bampot was in charge of the Home Office, police numbers in England were reduced. That was her decision. That is who she is.

      You reap what you sow, perhaps.

      Contrarywise, Scotland did the opposite. Police numbers were maintained at a huge cost. Whilst English, and presumably Welsh Constabularies benefited from the VAT dispensation, Scotland did not. This is just a singular example of Westminster prejudice, where we are treated as less than equals and the likes of Theresa May struts about on the international stage saying sound bites like ‘Strong and Stable’ when she really means ‘Weak and Inadequate’

      I completely detest how ridiculous our politics has become. If a Home Secretary that allowed these folk to travel both outwards and inwards to the UK, who subsequently took up arms against innocent citizens is about to be elected.

      And cut the Police in the interim.

      It suggests a degree of misjudgement.

      Doubt that there is enough time left for Theresa May to be challenged on her utter failures.

      Wish there was.


      1. And Boris Johnson on the Today programme this morning refused to say whether or not they would continue with the cuts.

        In what was an embarrassing interview for them he tried to talk through Michal Hussein, the interviewer (he probably though she would be easier than John Humphries).

        He couldn’t say anything constructive about his boss, so he decided to lie instead about Jeremy Corbyn… but she stopped him and make him look like the immature kid he is.

        The best bets now appear to be somewhere between a tiny majority and a minority.

        “I’m very clear” (she’s not) that it will be a “strong and stable” (weak and wobbly) minority and that there is no money tree to shake (except for Trident and the doing up of palaces).


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