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Bombs and Borders - The Refugees are mere Collateral Damage

syrian refugees 092513By G.A.Ponsonby

Imagine being so terrified to stay in your own country that you decide to undertake a journey to a destination unknown, one from which you may never return.  The journey is so precarious you may not even survive.

Your worldly possessions will be all that you can carry.  What you leave behind is gone for good.  The only family you will see again are those who join you on that journey.

You are entering the unknown.  You are terrified.  The only alternative is to remain in a country where bombs, gunfire and death are a daily occurrence.

On Tuesday 18th November one hundred of these people arrived in Scotland.  They arrived to little fanfare but they almost certainly cared little.  They were now safe.  More importantly, their children were safe.

Their biggest worry now should've been the incessant rain that met them when they landed at Glasgow Airport.  Freedom and safety comes with wind and the cold in Scotland.

But something had happened days earlier, something that these refugees were all too familiar with.  Terrorists had visited death on a major European city.  The Paris massacre had shocked the west.  One hundred and thirty people had been murdered by crazed gunmen.

The priority for the authorities in Scotland should have been to protect these most vulnerable people.  An anti-Muslim backlash was brewing.  Cool heads and delicate political manoeuvring were required.

Refugee organisations, the police and the Scottish government stepped up to the mark.  Scottish Minister Humza Yousaf has been particularly effective in ensuring the arrival of the refugees received as much positive media coverage as was possible.

But the safety of refugees has not been the priority for all institutions.  Indeed one institution has gone out of its way to ensure as intolerant an atmosphere as possible is being cultivated - the British main-stream-media.

Hours after the Paris atrocity had hit the headlines and when facts were still sketchy, the media started running all kinds of speculative stories.  The UK Government briefed the BBC telling the broadcaster that the atrocity had been carried out by a single cell which had recently returned from Syria.

The BBC ran the story in several broadcasts.

Doubt was cast on the self-contained cell 'just back from Syria' line put out by the UK Government when French officials revealed they had confirmed the identity of only one of the attackers.  29 year old French born Ismael Omar Mostefai had travelled to Algeria three years earlier.  Investigators had yet to establish if he had ever been to Syria.

Coinciding with UK Government attempts to link Syria with the atrocity was news that two passports had been discovered.  One was Egyptian and the other … Syrian.  Both passports were said to have belonged to terrorists who were now dead.

The passports bolstered speculation that Syria was central to the atrocity.  Rumours grew that the gunmen had used the refugee crisis as cover in order to enter Europe and ultimately France.

News bulletins on rolling news outlets promoted the idea that ISIS terrorists were infiltrating refugee groups fleeing Syria.  The story took hold, despite [as yet] there being no concrete evidence to support the claim.

The credibility of the 'Refugee Infiltrator' line suffered a set-back when it emerged both the Syrian and Egyptian passports were fake.  It suffered a further blow when the holder of the Egyptian passport was revealed to have been a victim of the atrocity and not as initially reported a terrorist.  27 year old Waleed Abdel Razzak had arrived in Paris two weeks earlier along with his mother and cancer-stricken brother in search of medical treatment.


There has been much political jostling and media correction in the week following the Paris atrocity.  Initial reports said two terrorists had entered Greece disguised as refugees.  This was denied by Greek officials on the 14th November.

The Guardian newspaper reported the following:


Then news broke that the 'Syrian passport' terrorist had been identified by Greek officials through fingerprinting.  However early reports were confusing and seemingly contradictory.


The official narrative now puts at two the number of terrorists who entered the EU - via Greece - disguised as refugees.


Media reporting of the Paris massacre has been quite dreadful.  Even the usually reliable Reuters news agency has had to issue several corrections.  Fact and politically motivated misinformation have produced an unreliable news hybrid.  

It isn't surprising when you consider political agendas have been at work from the start, even as bodies still lay where they fell and investigators had established little.

What can be said with certainty is that scores of innocent people were murdered.  The other established fact is that those terrorists identified thus far have been either French or Belgian nationals.  The ringleader was a Belgian national named Abdelhamid Abaaoud.  Abaaoud was killed on Thursday, six days after the Paris atrocity.


It's clear that the UK Government has used the Paris massacre to condition the UK public for military intervention in Syria.  Pressure is being applied to both Jeremy Corbyn and the SNP in order to reduce resistance to such intervention.  The BBC has been a willing participant in this.

More disturbingly the Paris atrocity has also been used in order to foster an atmosphere of suspicion of refugees.  Despite an almost total lack of evidence that ISIS is using the refugee crisis to introduce suicide terrorists into Europe, the claim has continued to be promoted by our media.

This of course helps David Cameron who has resisted calls to increase the number of refugees being allowed into the UK.  Cameron is of course seeking to curb free travel throughout Europe in an effort at appeasing his Eurosceptic back-benchers.

Predictably, the 'Jihadi Refugee' narrative has played into the hands of racists who are now openly parading their bigotry on the streets of Scotland.

There is little doubt that the BBC is playing its part in cultivating public support for 'bombs and borders'.  News output both north and south of the border has complimented Cameron's aims with relentless stories of cyber-attacks and failed terrorist plots.  

As with Blair's 45 minute claim which was used to weaken opposition for the invasion of Iraq, an attack - we are told - may be imminent.  The Parliamentary Labour party is falling into line.

Shoot to Kill

Running alongside is the 'Shoot to Kill' narrative which conjures up images of crazed Kalashnikov weilding gunmen hiding in the shadows waiting to pounce.  So-called 'experts' have peppered the airwaves with right-wing zealots like Professor Anthony Glees frothing in anticipation of UK firepower being unleashed.

The media hasn't learned anything from Blair's cavalry charge into Iraq.  It was a charge aided and abetted by a media bloodlust.  It ended with the UK becoming a target for Islamic radicals, innocent people killed on the streets of London and young British men and women rushing to become Jihadis.

Against this backdrop the victims of the Paris massacre have been forgotten.  

The media handling of the aftermath of Paris leaves a lot to be desired.  Whether two men entered the EU disguised as terrorists or not is surely moot, given the overwhelming number of terrorists involved in the Paris atrocity were home-grown.

Syrian refugees were considered collateral damage by ISIS as bombs rained down on their homes.  They were forced to flee.  

It appears they are now also considered collateral damage by the UK Government and the UK media.

Here's a final thought.  The lie that Saddam Hussein had Weapons of Mass Destruction was the catalyst for the ill-fated decision to invade Iraq.  That invasion fuelled the very terrorist threat we are now experiencing and that has led to hundreds of thousands of Syrians fleeing their homeland.

Scotland's Syrian refugees now reside in a town that sits by the River Clyde.  They have no idea that a mere ten miles away lies the Trident Nuclear Weapon system.  That has to be the ultimate irony.


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GA Ponsonby is the author of 'London Calling: How the BBC stole the Referendum'.

Available to purchase in paperback or Kindle HERE.


# jp 2015-11-21 17:39
The report is already dated and much has transpired since so it would be unfair to pick holes in this. One thing I will say though is regardless of supposed weapons of mass destruction Saddam was in effect committing genocide and had to be stopped. What we are seeing is his sympathisers trying to finish his 'work'.

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