“The sheer magnitude of that one day makes it near impossible to respond to such a simple yet deeply profound question. Suggesting that 9/11 changed everything cannot adequately be communicated without resorting to exaggeration; suggesting that it did not, sounds little more than flippant or dismissive.
In today’s Guardian newspaper, David Miliband suggested that the ‘war on terror’ was wrong. Better late than never.
Acknowledging that it had ‘defined the terrain’ since the attacks of 9/11, Miliband argued that it was wrong on several counts. That it:
…gave the impression of a unified, transnational enemy, embodied in the figure of Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida…
…[and] implied that the correct response was primarily military.
He went on to conclude:
The call for a “war on terror” was a call to arms, an attempt to build solidarity for a fight against a single shared enemy. But the foundation for solidarity between peoples and nations should be based not on who we are against, but on the idea of who we are and the values we share. Terrorists succeed when they render countries fearful and vindictive; when they sow division and animosity; when they force countries to respond with violence and repression. The best response is to refuse to be cowed.
The Labour Prime Minister: Gordon Brown (here)
What we have to do almost immediately is work harder than we have done for an immediate ceasefire.
I can see the Gaza issues for the Palestinians – that they need humanitarian aid — but the Israelis must have some assurance that there are no rocket attacks coming into Israel.
According to independent Palestinian sources, the death toll already stands at more than 500, of which approximately 70 are children and 27 women. Of the 2,650 Gazans injured, more than 270 are women and 650 children. Five Israelis have been killed since the start of Israel’s military operation, which is now in its 10th day.
The Labour MP: John McDonnell (here)
We are witnessing a bloody massacre in Gaza and yet the UK Government has stood by and simply repeated the usual ritual, ineffective statements of condemnation. I am calling for the recall of Parliament to enable MPs to make clear that we need our Government to take decisive action to help halt this bloodbath and secure a ceasefire. Our Government should be taking a leading role in bringing together a global coalition to isolate Israel diplomatically, economically and militarily. Only in this way will Israeli aggression be halted.
The bombings continue with mounting loss of life and suffering. It is widely understood that the assault on Gaza has been planned for some time. It is clearly timed as part of the electoral positioning of the political parties in Israel in the run up to the forthcoming elections. The Israeli political parties are vying to outbid each other on how more brutal they each can be in their treatment of the Palestinians.
The lack of decisive action so far from the UK government is a disgrace and the lack of firmness in dealing with this Israeli aggression by the incoming Obama administration is worrying for its future role on the Palestinian issue. As an aside the question also has to be asked about whatever happened to the Blair initiative?
On Saturday, Middle East peace Quartet envoy Tony Blair spoke to Jordan’s King Abdullah II by telephone. The King told Blair that the world’s ‘silence’ on the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip is unacceptable. Blair has since remained silent on the matter.