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Friday, April 06, 2007 

Happy Easter, war is starting.

It's a well-known fact that no one takes much notice of newspapers on bank holidays. News itself tends to be in short supply, and as we all know, no news is a perfect opportunity to make it up. "Good" Friday has turned out to be no exception.

The Scum then takes the "revelation" that the 7/7 bombers had been on a "reconnaissance" mission, supposedly staking out targets, to mean that they were, err, going to "bomb the Queen". This doesn't make sense in the slightest - the whole point of suicide attacks is to cause as many casualties as possible, not something that's going to be achieved by a single bomber blowing himself up outside the gates of Buckingham Palace. A truck or car bomb would have been different, but they clearly hadn't planned or had the resources for such an attack, although a viable device was left in the car abandoned by the bombers in the Luton train station car park, presumably as a booby trap as the police don't believe another bombing was planned. The only point of an attack by a single bomber would be to show that nowhere would be safe, and while there is a seemingly endless supply of "martyrs" willing to kill themselves in Iraq, that is certainly not the case here. The article then goes on to say that the blasts were planned 7 months in advance, which somewhat seems to contradict the idea that they hadn't decided where to bomb only nine days before the actual attacks.

The Telegraph seems to have fallen for the exact same story, except they claim that the bombers changed their plans at "the last minute". One has to wonder if the men were going through the motions, examining the possibility of bombing such landmarks but deciding not to pursue it when attacking the public transport network would both be far easier, create more casualties and strike just as much fear into the public as symbolic attacks would.

The other question has to be why it's taken close to two years for the three men now alleged to have been involved with the plot to be charged. We're told that the footage of the men on their "reconnaissance" mission was discovered shortly after the attacks in the initial investigation. Even considering the supposed lack of help forthcoming from the community in Beeston, for it to take 21 months for the men to be either formally identified or sufficiently proved to be involved for the CPS to prosecute seems extraordinary. It has to be assumed that they were not deemed to be prepared to take part in suicide attacks themselves, because otherwise the public seems to have been left at considerable risk.

The other coincidence with the timing of the arrests and the charges is that of the end of the trial of those arrested under Operation Crevice; the jury still seems to be out, considering the charges against the men. We know that once the jury has a reached a verdict there are meant to be forthcoming revelations involving the 7/7 attacks, things which currently can't be reported due to subjudice. Rachel suggests that the charges won't affect these from coming out, but that words will have to be considered carefully. Again, this seems to blow any chance of an inquiry into the bombings even further into the long-grass.

Elsewhere, the right-wing press takes its cue from Blair to blame Iran for the deaths of the four soldiers killed by a roadside bomb, regardless of any evidence whatsoever to prove it.

The Scum takes it even further, directly blaming

But this smirking creep is no reality game show host. He is a murderous tyrant who tortures and kills his own people.

While he basked in a major public relations coup, terrorists acting with his blessing were blowing up four Brits in Basra — two of them women.

Seeing as it's not even certain who was responsible for the IED, the only evidence being circumstantial in that it took place in an area where the Mahdi army are well-supported, and as Juan Cole points out, Iran and the Mahdi army aren't the greatest of friends (the Badr brigades, the militia of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq are the ones directly supported by Iran), this is an allegation too far.

The Mail and the Express are instead insulted by the Iraqis who dared to visit the place where our heroes were blown up, smiling as they hold up the detritus left behind. Why aren't these people grateful? We've given them freedom down the barrel of a gun, bombed their country for 16 years, killed thousands of men and women, enforced sanctions responsible for the deaths of 500,000 children, and still they rejoice when the British die! It's almost as if they don't want us there.

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