UK Elections in a Cauldron of Terror: Dissecting the Outcome
Global Research News Hour Episode 185
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For this writer, one of the more astonishing aspects of last Thursday’s live coverage of the election in the United Kingdom was the lack of reference to the violent attacks, deemed terrorist and ISIS inspired, over the last three months.
On March 22, almost a month before the Prime Minister called the snap election, dozens were injured and five, including the perpetrator, killed when a man in a truck mowed down pedestrians on the Westminster Bridge outside the British Houses of Parliament, proceeding to then enter the Parliament Yard stabbing a police officer before being shot dead. 
Two months later, a blast at the Manchester Arena, near the end of US singer Ariana Grande’s concert claimed the lives of 22 and was attributed to suicide bomber Salman Abedi, a Manchester man of Libyan descent. The Prime Minister announced the threat level had been raised from ‘severe’ to ‘critical.’ Almost 1000 troops were dispactched to ‘key locations’ in response. 
And on the weekend leading up to the election day, three men in a van ploughed into pedestrians on London Bridge, before going on a stabbing rampage in nearby Borough market. Seven were killed and 48 injured in the attacks. Armed police called to the scene unloaded an ‘unprecedented’ 50 rounds of bullets into the men. 
As we saw with 9/11, which freed the US president’s hand in introducing regressive anti-terrorism measures, attacks with a high body count typically result in the increase in popularity of the leaders demanding a decisive and authoritarian response. This is precisely what incumbent Prime Minister Theresa May delivered. 
Yet May’s opposition rival Jeremy Corbyn connected the incidents with the United Kingdom’s foreign wars, and in spite of calling for more dedicating more resources for police, he stood by a much more pacifistic foreign policy in his election platform. 
This stance notwithstanding, polls turned very much in the Labour leader’s favour, and the expected landslide for the Conservatives, became a ‘hung’ Parliament with the Prime Minister barely holding onto power with the help of a rump of elected members of Parliament belonging to the Northern Ireland based DUP.
On the heels of the ‘shock’ election result, the Global Research News Hour radio program places a special emphasis on examining the terror attacks themselves and the election campaign in which they were situated.
In part one, guest Patrick Henningsen joins us by skype (see below) to expose suspicious aspects of the attacks, how they impacted the campaign and how the mechanisms being put in place in their wake will have repercussions for the nation and the Western world. Patrick Henningsen is the founder and executive editor of 21st Century Wire.
In part two, J. Michael Springmann digs into his own research and experience to reveal the long-standing and well established practice of CIA and other intelligence agencies utilizing, training and incorporating extremist Islamist terrorist assets. He puts what is known about the UK attacks in that context. Springmann is a former diplomat and whistle-blower. He formerly worked as an officer at the Visa Office in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where he saw CIA officials routinely approving unqualified candidates granted visas for travel to the United States. He is the author of the 2014 book Visas for Al Qaeda: CIA Handouts That Rocked The World – An Insider’s View . Springmann has also authored the recently released book Goodbye, Europe? Hello, Chaos? Merkel’s Migrant Bomb (2017).
Near the end of the show, Professors Radhika Desai and Alan Freeman, co-directors of the University of Manitoba based Geopolitical Economy Research Group, interprets the June 8th election results themselves and what they mean for the future of policy for the UK and the West.
LISTEN TO THE SHOW
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- Emily Allen and Barney Henderson (March 26, 2017) ‘Westminster attack: Everything we know so far about the events in London’, The Telegraph; http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/03/22/westminster-terror-attack-everything-know-far/
- Chiarra Palazzo and Emily Allen (May 26, 2017) ‘Manchester terror attack: Everything we know’, The Telegraph; http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/0/manchester-terror-attack-everything-know-far/
- Harriett Alexnder (June 6, 2017), ‘London Bridge attack – everything we know’, The Telegraph; http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/06/03/london-bridge-everything-know-far/
- Jennifer Merolla and Elizabeth Zechmeister (June 12, 2016), ‘How terrorist attacks can change opinions and elections — including the 2016 election’, Washington Post; https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2015/11/19/how-terrorist-attacks-can-change-opinions-and-elections-including-the-2016-election/?utm_term=.190104c2dcb3
- Jane Merrick (June 4, 2017), ‘May’s authoritarian response to the London Bridge attack’ , CNN; http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/04/europe/mays-authoritarian-response/index.html
- Heather Stewart and Rowena Mason (May 26, 2017), ‘Jeremy Corbyn links foreign policy to growing terror threat’ The Guardian; https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/may/25/jeremy-corbyn-links-foreign-policy-to-growing-terror-threat