Saturday, July 09, 2005

Bombings in the UK

I've been holding off writing this post for several reasons. First of all, I didn't really think that this space could add much to the initial reaction of the world to such an event; second, I've been wondering just how Bush and his ideological twin, Tony Blair would start to play this event on the political stage; thirdly, there isn't anything I can say about the blasts, or the vicitms that others haven't said far better than I am able to.

So far, both President Bush and Prime Minister Blair's statements have been more or less standard rhetoric. While Mr. Blair's comments have been remarkably reserved, they boil down to the "we will not blink" kind of statement that we've heard repeatedly since the events of 9/11/2001.

President Bush's radio address was perhaps more revealing:

We are now waging a global war on terror -- from the mountains of Afghanistan to the border regions of Pakistan, to the Horn of Africa, to the islands of the Philippines, to the plains of Iraq. We will stay on the offense, fighting the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them at home. We will continue to deny the terrorists safe haven and the support of rogue states. And at the same time, we will spread the universal values of hope and freedom that will overwhelm their ideology of tyranny and hate. The free world did not seek this conflict, yet we will win it.

Lurking on Fox News' website, I found this little gem which starts to point the finger directly at specific "al Qaeda leaders". It seems to me that it's a bit early for any reasonable investigation to have identified any real suspects. Although there is clearly reason to suspect that the London bombings are somehow tied back to the so-called "war on terror", it would be foolish to ignore the prospect of the IRA deciding to "remind" the UK government that they still exist.

The BBC is being decidedly cautious about draing any conclusions yet - most of their articles are focusing on the clean up and finding the missing.

However, I'm going to speculate a little bit based on patterns previously noted:

1) Fox News is blatantly partisan towards the Republicans, and extremely 'pro-War'.
2) When BushCo. invaded Afghanistan, it was on the pretext of going after specific al Qaeda leadership.
3) The official reasons for invading Iraq have been pretty well discredited. (WMDs - found any yet, boys?)
4) Recently, Rumsfeld signalled (heck - he almost declared) that the US was going to pull out of Iraq.
5) Taking over Iran would give the US control over a key supplier of raw energy materials to China.

So...given that Fox is already pointing the finger at specific individuals associated with al Qaeda, and Bush's own address today which sounds decidedly expansive with respect to the scope of the war, I'm going to guess that somehow this will get linked back to Iran.

Possible paths:

1) Sympathetic support from Iran's newly elected President (who just happens to be a hard line character)
2) One or more of the al Qaeda leadership will suddenly be "suspected of having taken up residence in Tehran. (Slipping across the Afghanistan - Iran border is probably not too difficult)
3) Iran supplied the explosives used. (Relatively easy to assert, next to impossible to prove or refute)
4) "Intelligence" will come to light that indicates that London and Madrid were "prototypes" for a "dirty bomb" attack in the US, with Iran's government at the center of the supply chain. (Remember, Iran has been relatively uncooperative with the UN Nuclear inspections...)

The US doesn't think it needs a bullet proof excuse to invade Iran - merely a plausible one. (and that it only has to be plausible in the US...)

Perhaps I'm being overly cynical here, but I do not believe that the London Bombings themselves are that important. What is really important is how the politicians (Especially Bush, but Blair as well) choose to play with these events.

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