"…you can have all the surveillance in the world and you couldn't stop that (terrorist attacks) happening," said Blair. (Reuters)
LONDON, July 9, 2005 (IslamOnline.net & News Agencies) – British Prime Minister Tony Blair admitted there can be no security solution to terrorist attacks, urging the world to address the underlying causes of terrorism.
"Probably with this type of terrorism the solution cannot only be the security measures. I have never really doubted that myself," Blair told BBC radio, two days after the rush hour attacks on London's transport system killed at least 50 people and injured some 700.
He maintained that with terrorists prepared to blow up people on trains or buses at random "you can have all the surveillance in the world and you couldn't stop that happening".
The prime minister stressed, however, that the government had to be "very cautious" in making sure it did not restrict people's freedoms in the battle against terrorism.
"I think this type of terrorism has very deep roots," Blair said.
"As well as dealing with the consequences of this -- trying to protect ourselves as much as any civil society can -- you have to try to pull it up by its roots."
He said among measures that needed to be taken were improving understanding between religions and easing the Middle East peace process.
The prime minister further said that the "dreadful perversion of the true faith of Islam" should not be allowed to prevail.
While charging that the perpetrators of the attacks acted "in the name of Islam," Blair maintained Thursday, July 7, that "the vast and overwhelming majority of Muslims here and abroad are decent and law abiding people who abhor terrorism every bit as much as we do."
Imams across Britain were united Friday, July 8, in condemning the attacks in their weekly sermons, encouraging Muslims to offer all possible assistance to the victims and authorities.
The grisly attacks also drew immediate condemnation from scholars, officials and even individuals from across the Muslim world, who said that such “black actions” run in the face of Islam which strictly forbids killing civilians.
Legitimate Arab Grievances
"…there can be no hope of defeating terrorism until we are ready to take legitimate Arab grievances seriously," said Clark.
David Clark, a former Labour government adviser, wrote in the Guardian Saturday that it is time for a rethink as it should be clear by now that the world cannot defeat terrorism with conventional force alone.
"The political dimensions of this problem mean that there can be no hope of defeating terrorism until we are ready to take legitimate Arab grievances seriously," he wrote.
He asserted that the US-led occupation of Iraq must come to an end and that the Palestinians get their viable state.
"The Palestinians need a viable state, but all the indications suggest that the Bush administration is preparing to bounce the Palestinians into accepting a truncated entity that will lack the basic characteristics of either viability or statehood. That must not be allowed to succeed," Clarke maintained.
Blaming the "actions of our leaders" for the rising terrorism, he said that it must now be obvious that US President George W. Bush’s war on terror is failing.
"Having stood with America, and paid a terrible price for doing so, it is now time to turn that demand back on Bush," Clarke wrote.
"We have a vital national interest in defeating terrorism and we must have a greater say in how that is done. The current approach is failing and it's time for a change. If Tony Blair cannot bring himself to say this, he owes it to his country to make way for someone who can." (Click to read Clark’s article in full
Faisal Bodi, a news editor at the Islam Channel, also wrote in the same British daily that "the bloody trail of blame" for London attacks, which was claimed by Al-Qaeda in unverified statements, leads straight to 10 Downing Street.
"The prime minister's early return to Westminster (from the G8 summit) was a fitting response to the carnage unleashed on the capital. It was the only hint of personal responsibility for our entanglement in a war that has made prime targets of innocent Britons," he said.
"The fury generated by Tony Blair's decision to coat-tail George Bush into what only the blind still call a justified war has put us all in the firing line. When Blair led us into the war on terror, he knew that a country with which Islamist networks had no immediate axe to grind would be drawn into their sphere of hate as a consequence."
Bodi wrote that in going to war and occupying Iraq, Blair has turned the British into "expendable pawns, in the same way it did Ken Bigley and Margaret Hassan," referring to the two British hostages slain by their kidnappers in Iraq.
"We have become involuntary martyrs for Blair in the service of his master's imperial cause."
He continued: "Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo and the bombing of innocent Afghans in their homes might conjure up images of US brutality, but our policies and military action ever since the first Gulf war, including sanctions and the use of depleted uranium, have maimed and wiped out hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, whose only crime was to live under a tyrant of our making - not theirs." (Click to read Bodi’s article in full
Blair has seen his popularity drop due largely to his support for the Iraq war.
A leaked government memo has revealed that Blair had already committed himself to a regime change in Iraq by force eight months before the invasion-turned-occupation of the oil-rich Arab country.