Anorak | Who & Why

Who & Why

by | 18th, July 2005

‘WE can no more understand what it is to be a terrorist than we can know what it is to be a cockroach. Unless, of course, we are all terrorists, in which case we know what we are.

And do not suppose that terrorists are not out there, lurking around every corner. The harbinger of doom and gloom that is the Express was running around telling us on Monday: “BOMBERS WILL STRIKE AGAIN.”

It was the same in the Mail, where we were told that 3,000 men with British links have been primed for murder at Osama Bin Laden’s terror camps.

So much for stoicism and fortitude; reading the papers was enough to instill a sense of fear in anyone.

But not to worry, because the BBC had hit upon a neat way of eradicating fear and making things sound a whole lot better. You see, there were and there are no terrorists. Really.

As Helen Boaden, the Beeb’s knowing director of news said in her memo dispatched to her editors after the London attacks, or ‘pranks’, the ‘perpetrators’, the ‘misunderstood’, the ‘accidental tourists’, call them what you will, are not terrorists.

She advised the BBC’s news staff not to use the word ‘terrorists’ when talking about, er, terrorists and to resist any urge to talk of the ‘event’ as being part of a ‘terror attack’.

That was clear enough. But to the Mail (“So whose side is the Beeb really on?”), the move was controversial, although surely in keeping with the Beeb’s labeling of men and women who blow up buses in Israel as “extremists” or “militants”. Or ‘happy slappers’.

Whatever way up was, the Government told us how we were all deeply shocked that the suicide bombers had been British.

But were we really so shocked the London killers were home-grown British terrorists working out of Leeds?

To many of us, each looks exactly what an Islamic terrorist looks like. They are all male. They are heavily into religion. And they are prepared to kill themselves and others on busy buses and trains.

The papers wanted to tell us just how everyday these mass murderers were.

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Posted: 18th, July 2005 | In: Broadsheets Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink