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Nice neutral Buddhist country anyone?

Reader comment on item: The BBC Announces: There Is No Terrorist Threat

Submitted by Andrew Milner (Japan), Dec 29, 2005 at 21:15

We need to ask ourselves, "Am I convinced beyond all reasonable doubt that Osama bin Laden (the well-known international terrorist and recluse) and his homeboys in Al-Qaeda were responsible for 9/11."

In those brief days between the towers falling and Bush telling us who was responsible, the list of organisation and countries that "had it in for" the United States was a long one. Fortunately the Bush administration saved us all that theorising by announcing the culprits. Considering the incompetence on display on 11 September, it really is amazing the "bad guys" had been positively identified within two short days.

When you think that Bush and Blair used the WMD justification to sell us on the invasion of Iraq, it makes you wonder if Saddam wasn't similarly set up. You would think that in the absence of WMDs, the Americans would be saying, "Sorry, our mistake. Send us the bill" and promptly pull out their forces. The aim being to return Iraq to its pre-invasion condition, even if that meant giving Saddam his old job back. The argument that Iraq would descend into anarchy, civil war and be divided into several countries is really a nebulous one. Wasn't the same reasoning used for not withdrawing from Ireland until two huge bombs in the City of London changed the parameters? After Baltic Exchange, the Brits couldn't wait to get round the conference table with Gerry and Martin. Face it, Iraq already has civil war and chaos. So are we arguing about degree of chaos? Be interesting to see if the insurgents can bomb the Yanks to the conference table.

Resident Brits are so apathetic, that whether Blair lied when he presented the case for war is no longer an issue. Of course he lied, he's a politician. That's what politicians do. The reasoning runs that it's as illogical to condemn them for following their instinct as it would be condemn a lion for killing other animals.

So bottom line is that the vast majority of Brits are not worth protesting for, marching for, signing petitions for, writing protest letters for, getting arrested and convicted for. As an activist, the threat towards your way of life is not synonymous with the threat to Britain. Even when re-education camps (aka concentration camps) are set up all over UK, the apathetic risk-adverse will not see through government propaganda. The risk takers leave and the risk adverse stay trusting the government will look after them. Hope this lifts a few veils and helps you realise why you just don't seem to fit in any more.

So as you prepare to join the 1,000 a day of largely middle age, middle class Brits that emigrate, select your host country on the basis of your potential welcome. The English gentleman still plays well in most of Asia, so get into character before reality catches up with image. And if you find yourself in a country that is less democratic than Britain, trust me it's not an issue. At least you can look forward to an improvement in human rights, while in Britain the situation will surely deteriorate.

The problem is so many other countries take their cue from Britain, and think "if imprisonment without trial is OK for the Brits it has to be OK for us." So start to employ a totally selfish evaluation by saying "How does it affect me personally?" In a real police state like Myanmar (Burma in BBC speak), you can walk the streets of Yangon (Rangoon) at all hours in perfect safety. Try that in parts of London and you wouldn't last 10 minutes. Nothing like a bit of conscription to keep the potential troublemakers off the street. And when a motorcycle out ran the police cruisers (a neat trick on 86-octane petrol) in downtown Yangon, the government banned motorcycles. So George and Tony, when you need advice, don't hesitate...
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