‘We need to think about our foreign policy’
Independent journalist Robert Harneis compared the incident in Manchester with the November 2015 attacks in Paris by Islamist militants on the Bataclan concert hall and other sites in the city.
“This is a similar attack on a soft target,” he said.
In his view, terrorist attacks have become “a new norm” for European countries because of “what they do” as part of their foreign policies.
“We need to be realistic: we go into the Middle East and North Africa and attack other people…We go to these countries, and we cause bloody chaos. It is not very surprising that there is blowback. We have to sit down and think about what our foreign policy is; why we are in these countries; is it necessary for us to be involved in all this mayhem in Syria and Libya, in Iraq and Afghanistan, and so on,” Harneis said.
The attack on Manchester happened on the fourth anniversary of the murder of Lee Rigby, a British soldier killed by two Islamist extremists in southeast London. Is there a possible connection here?
“These attacks tend to have those sort of links that are clearly intended to be symbolic. It can be a coincidence, but I don’t think so,” Harneis added.
Who’s to blame?
US President Donald Trump called the perpetrators of the Manchester attack “evil losers.” According to Middle East expert Ammar Waqqaf, that’s an attempt to avoid responsibility and lay the blame on someone else.
“This reflects a sense of denial that the West in general, that the US and every single state that stepped in to actively destabilize countries in the Middle East like Libya and Syria. They are trying to hide away from responsibility basically,” he told RT. “
We’ve never heard about Libyans blowing up themselves during the Gaddafi era, or when Syria was stable. There were no Syrians doing these things. To say they are ‘losers’ – this is about attacking them, attacking their ideology; attacking whatever and trying to lay the blame on someone else.
These countries: [the US], the UK, France, whoever got involved whether willingly or dragged into it, by opportunity or by pressure from regional allies – to try and destabilize these countries should realize that destabilizing such countries is the main reason for all this mayhem that we see and injustice that a lot of people feel.”