By Charles Onunaiju
Daily Trust (Abuja), 2 July 2007
With the exit of Mr. Tony Blair the only Washington's most reliable European ally in the Bush II Phantom declared war on terror, it is obvious to keen observers that something must happen to constrain his successor, Mr. Gordon Brown from ditching the Washington-London axles of war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Mr. Brown as a senior member of Mr. Blair's government and even the architect of British impressive economic boom is nonetheless inextricably linked with the Bush/Blair war project.
However, his enthusiasm for the war is noticeably dour under Mr. Tony Blair who would not mind under Mr. Tony Blair who would not mind "sexing-up" intelligent reports to justify aggression and war. Speculations have been rife that with the exit of Mr. Blair, Mr. Brown would scale down the war component of Britain's foreign policy and inevitably cool down the war-warmed relation between London and Washington.
In his speech on the Labour Party's conference where he became the leader of the party, Mr. Brown acknowledged that the war in Iraq had been "a divisive issue for our party and country" and pledged to "learn lesson that needed to be learnt." Mr. Gordon Brown is an assured hand in the management of the economy but doubts and speculations have trailed what might be his foreign policy choices.
His most favoured area as senior cabinet member of the Blair government has been international and development and debts. On this score he has been keen on multilateral initiative and this method of wide consultation and building critical consensus on contentions issues will not sit well with Washington ultra neo-conservative war mantra of the "right to primitive military strike."
Mr. Blair, happily tagged along this for kow-towing the Bush II war presidency is to secure British influence in American foreign policy. But all issues for which he sought to influence Bush came to miserable nought.
Whether in the smouldering Middle East quagmire or the debt over hang of the developing countries or climate change where he sought to exert influence on Washington, nothing progressed up to the time of his grudging exit fr4om No 10 Downing street. Mr. Brown couldn't have been more aware of Blair's bankrupt foreign policy of tagging along the Washington's war project. On the war in Iraq, he said recently "I take my responsibility as a member of the cabinet for the collective decision we made and I believe they were the right decisions, but we are at a new stage now."
The "new stage now" inevitably consist, of massive swing of public opinion agonists the war project in Iraq and Afghanistan, especially as it takes huge toll on the occupying force without any foreseeable prospects of defecting the insurgency and enshrining Western-style democracy.
Barely 24 hour after he took office as British Prime Minister last Wednesday he unfolded a seemingly war-doubting cabinet leaving no one in doubt that Mr. Tony Blair's years of uncritical forage in the Washington's Bush war project might been over. Mr. Brown named Mr. David Miliband, 41, who have previously expressed doubt over the war in Iraq as foreign secretary or minister Mr. Miliband British youngest foreign secretary for decades, since David Oven in 1977 outlined his vision to pursue "a diplomacy that is patient as well as purposeful, which listens as well as leads."
However, barely 48 hours after Mr. Brown unveiled his cabinet, bomb scare was reported in downtown London, where two vehicles allegedly packed with explosives were discovered, after smoke was noticed in one of the cars.
The reports followed that the bombs were targeted at a Bush tourist side and were obviously designed by its alleged perpetrators to massively kill so many people for a maximum impact. However, while the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), at whose backyard the event took place treated it as any news, the American Cable News Network (CNN) which has acted as Washington media arm of the Bush war project, orchestrated it as special news denoting an urgent security challenge to the new brown administration to which he must subordinate any other issue.
The message target and content of the downtown London bomb scare as it unmistakable. The Brown's war-doubting cabinet, which might define other priorities other than Washington's obsession with war on terror and the other faltering wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, must be cajoled by the consequent public fear on the prospects of terror to remain focus on the Bush war project.
The London bomb scare might be another creative hoax from the ever imaginative Western intelligence agencies, especially the American CIA or the more panicky Israel's MOSSAD who have benefited from Mr. Bush war project which have essentially demonised the Arabs as the Linchpin of the alleged Islamic terrorism. Whipping Mr. Brown and his war-doubting cabinet into line by raising the bar of the threats posed by terrorism would undoubtedly maintain them as crucial allies in the Washington-led war project. But things sometime backfire. Prior to the Spanish general elections two years ago, a massive bomb attack was orchestrated in Madrid, it killed so many people.
Ordinarily, the terror attacks would have strengthen the electoral support of the then ruling conservative Peoples Party (PP) whose leader, and prime Minister Mr. Marie Aznar was solidly hand in glove with Washington and London on the war project. Instead, the Spanish gave the Mr. Aznar and his party an electoral thumb down, by electing Mr. Zapetero and his Socialist Party.
One of Mr. Zapetero early action was withdrawal of Spanish forces from the war forage in Iraq. However, the defeat of the Spanish war arm of the Washington war project did not expectedly rock the boat, but a disruption of its London flank would certainly rapture the increasingly unpopular war front. So, whose interest does the London bomb scare serve the most. Mr. Bush prides that his administration and its allies have put Al-qaeda in disarray and on a permanent run. Mr. Bin-Laden himself, whose professed mission has been to dislodge the "infidel's" from his homeland in Arabia is not too daft to believe that bombing western holiday and tourist resorts will help his cause.
Mr. Bin Laden should even know that his home governments in Arabia are more of the obstacle to his vision than Western political leaders.
Given as it is now, it would not be too long before Al-qeada operative appears to confess the London bomb scare, with details of horrifying carnage that would jolt the most implacable British pacifist. The Gordon Brown government would then inevitably upped its ante on the security challenges, However, Mr. Brown immediately reaction to be scare has not been hysterical or theoretical as his immediate successor would have done.
He said with comportment devoid of any the antis that the police would have to investigate the bomb scare and report to the cabinet. He however cautioned vigilance at all times, but nevertheless suggested that Britain is in danger of been overrun by terrorists. It was however left for the American CNN to sow paranoid and fear over the London bomb scare, suspending every other news item to give maximum effect to the bomb scare.
However, as the manhunt for the alleged London bombers resumed in earnest, leads will expectedly follow the traditional western bogeyman, so called Islamic extremist, but sights must not be lost on trails that might lead to western intelligence services, like the CIA, FBI, MOSSAD and even the British M15, whose business have recently grown on account of the terrorist threat.