Friday, July 08, 2005
Galloway - "[I]t would be entirely dishonest to pretend that this came out of nowhere, inexcusable, but not inexplicable. Sadly, all too explicable and explained, even before we did it, by the anti-war movement. We said this would not make the world a safer place, it would make the world a more dangerous place. And just like all of the other things we said about the war in Iraq, sadly, we have been proved right again yesterday, as we have been so many times."
Monbiot - "I would broadly endorse what he said about not creating conditions which are likely to stir up more terrorist acts. And there's no doubt that by invading Iraq, we have caused a great deal of resentment and anger within the Muslim world. And if that hasn't come back to haunt us yet, then it may well come back to haunt us in the future. But as I say, we don't yet know (a) who did this, and (b) what their motivation is. So, it really is too early to start saying this is because of a particular policy that we followed.
"As far as its impact on Britain is concerned, I am worried that we are going to see the loss of certain civil liberties as a result of this. We have seen with, for example, the PATRIOT Act in the United States, that there has been quite a curtailment of some fairly basic human rights, including the right to free assembly and the right to free expression and, of course, there has been a great deal of very intrusive surveillance and policing of the Muslim community and indeed parts of the non-white community in general in the U.S., some of which appears to have very little to do with anything which could reasonably be regarded as dealing with terrorism."
Stephen Grey (Sunday Times) - "Can I just come back on what George Galloway and George Monbiot were saying? I don't, as a reporter, don’t want to comment on the rights or wrongs of the Iraq war, but I would just obviously just put that in context. I think a lot of people in London will obviously see a lot in what George Galloway is saying, his remarks will have a lot of resonance with people who have expressed views on the Iraq war, but obviously, there will be others who will take the view that we should, in fact, strengthen our resolve in operating in Iraq for the sake of not giving in to terrorists.
"But I would say one important thing, where I think what George Galloway says resonates with what I have seen. I have spent a lot of time in the Middle East recently and in Iraq, in fact, last year. I think one important thing to understand about the nature of Islamic terrorism is that it's not just about a threat to the way of life of the West. If you talk to people who actually are close to these movements, I mean, they hate, above all, the policies of the West, and what -- you know, I won't comment on those policies, but they extend much -- they're not just invasion of Iraq, they also extend to our policies to the Middle East peace process, our involvement in Afghanistan.
"Many of the people who are drawn to these movements are not people who are looking for some sort of Taliban lifestyle, they're people who are actually motivated because they support some kind of insurgency about the way the West is dealing with the Middle East, and they feel the Middle East is utterly humiliated. The Middle East people are utterly humiliated by the West and the Western policies. And this is the response they seek. It's an appalling response, but I think to understand it, you’ve got to understand it goes a lot further than simply a kind of revulsion against the Western way of life."