4th May, 2011

BBC Newsnight patronises British Muslims again

by Sunny at 10:07 am    

Yesterday BBC Newsnight needed ‘Muslim reaction’ to the death of Osama Bin Laden’. They couldn’t find any Muslim who would support OBL, so they thought that would not balanced. They wanted some sparks and needed Muslims to argue with each other, so they invited Anjem Choudhary.

ANJEM CHOUDHARY! The guy who leads about 50 nutjobs and has been banned from almost every Mosque in the country. The guy who is constantly ridiculed and pilloried by other British Muslims for his attention-seeking stunts and promoting his extremist minority sect. This is the guy BBC Newsnight decide should be part of a two-man panel representing British Muslim voices!

It boggles the mind how patronising some people at the BBC still are. They aren’t interested in representing a broad range of mainstream Muslim opinion: they just want to see the ethnics argue.

At one point Jeremy Paxman turns to Taj Hargey and says, “What do you think of that response [referring to Choudhary] when you hear it, purporting to represent your community“. – oh FFS! Paxman, we’re not in the fucking British Raj any more.

No one owns or leads entire ethnic or religious communities. It boggles the mind that this is 2011 and this is how BBC Newsnight still conduct their debates.

3rd May, 2011

How do we identify the real cost of Bin Laden and al-Qaeda?

by Sunny at 1:52 pm    

There are lots of different ways to assess the cost of the ‘War on Terror’ over the last ten years.

One of the cost to people’s security and way of life; i.e., numerous terrorism acts in the UK, Patriot Act in the US, increased security measures at airports, suspicion at fellow citizens, terrorist scares etc.

Another is the loss of life; not just the Britons and the Americans who died on 9/11 and 7/7 but the thousands of innocent Iraqis and Afghanis who died as a result of bombs and raids. The innocent dead in Spain, in Bali and terrorist attacks in other Middle Eastern countries such as Syria.

Then there is the financial cost of the WoT. Ezra Klein at the WashPo says this is what Bin Laden really wanted to see escalated:

“We, alongside the mujaheddin, bled Russia for 10 years, until it went bankrupt,” he later explained. The campaign taught bin Laden a lot. For one thing, superpowers fall because their economies crumble, not because they’re beaten on the battlefield. For another, superpowers are so allergic to losing that they’ll bankrupt themselves trying to conquer a mass of rocks and sand. This was bin Laden’s plan for the United States, too.

And how much did this cost the US alone?

Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz estimates that the price tag on the Iraq War alone will surpass $3 trillion. Afghanistan likely amounts to another trillion or two. Add in the build-up in homeland security spending since 9/11 and you’re looking at another trillion. And don’t forget the indirect costs of all this turmoil: The Federal Reserve, worried about a fear-induced recession, slashed interest rates after the attack on the World Trade Center, and then kept them low to combat skyrocketing oil prices, a byproduct of the war in Iraq. That decade of loose monetary policy may well have contributed to the credit bubble that crashed the economy in 2007 and 2008.

Then there’s the post-9/11 slowdown in the economy, the time wasted in airports, the foregone returns on investments we didn’t make, the rise in oil prices as a result of the Iraq War, the cost of rebuilding Ground Zero, health care for the first responders and much, much more.

Different people will of course focus on different aspects to this war. All are important costs. And in each case its arguable that the cost incurred in order to “defeat Bin Laden” was exactly what Bin Laden would have wanted and was way in excess of what anyone anticipated.

2nd May, 2011

Bin Laden killed by US forces claims Obama

by Rumbold at 8:52 am    

The question is, what happens now? Does this change anyone’s strategy? Clearly Al-Qaeda can carry on operating, and the Taliban and related groups remain. So is this just a symbolic victory?

Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden has been killed by US forces in Pakistan, President Barack Obama has said.

Bin Laden was killed in a ground operation outside Islamabad based on US intelligence, the first lead for which emerged last August.

Mr Obama said after “a firefight”, US forces took possession of his body.

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