The recent bomb attack in Manchester has sparked a debate on the “war on terror” in the race for 10 Downing Street.
Along with it is the strange military and armed police presence in Westminster and other places across Britain. Commuter trains are guarded by patrolling armed railway police. A scene most Britons never ever thought of. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has charged that the Western world’s “war on terror” has failed.
He said at a campaign rally that “the sight of the army on Britain’s streets after the Manchester suicide bomb attack is a clear sign that UK’s foreign policy and approach to fighting terrorism is not working.”
Corbyn continued: “There must be more money for law enforcement, as he suggested Britain’s intervention in wars abroad had fuelled the risk of terrorism at home.”
“Many experts, including professionals in our intelligence and security services, have pointed to the connections between wars our government has supported or fought in other countries and terrorism here at home,” he said.
Former Prime Minister Tony Blair, who drew Britain into the Iraq war against Saddam Hussein, has been criticised while families of soldiers killed in that war are preparing to take him to court for wasting lives in a war that had no gains for Britain.
The Manchester attack was the work of Britons of Libyan origin. The apparent network was of such Libyans. The answer to their rage is one: Their leader killed for no good cause and their country destroyed.
However, the conservatives are up in arms trying to justify that the “war on terror” is working.
Sir Michael Fallon, the defence secretary, accused Corbyn of “very muddled and dangerous thinking.” Which has been interpreted as blaming Britain for somehow bringing the Manchester terror attack on itself. Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary, went further, saying Corbyn’s comments were “absolutely monstrous.”
What has become reality for me is finally seeing that the British media have no choice but to admit that, instead of criticising Bangladesh for some terrorist incidents, it is best to look deeper into their own affairs.
I wish the new British leadership will think twice before further interventions elsewhere, and instead work to end conflicts
They now admit candidly that fighting terrorism is not an easy job and the threat remains for all the countries of the world.
Britain had declared the threat as “critical,” meaning another terror attack is almost imminent. But after major raids across the country, they brought the level down to “severe.”
Our security agencies, who were raiding terrorist dens in Savar area as I write this article, deserve credit as they have the full support of the government despite limited resources as well as manpower.
The long-time peace campaigner and former chair of the Stop the War coalition promised troops that under a Labour government “they would only be sent into combat abroad if they were properly resourced, and there was a clear need for military intervention and a plan for lasting peace afterwards.”
The world now needs a vision like his to bring peace and an end to terrorism by not bullying others and destroying lives and property for no noble cause.
I wish the new British leadership would think twice before further interventions elsewhere, and instead, work to end conflicts that have given birth to terrorism.
All opinions of senior journalist Nadeem Qadir, now minister (Press) in the Bangladesh, are his own and does not reflect the views of the Bangladesh government or the High Commission in London.