October 10 2001
Robert Fisk: Bush and Blair have already lost the talking war across the Middle East
Messrs Bush and Blair may tell the world they are going to win the "war against terrorism" but in the Middle East, where Osama bin Laden is acquiring almost mythic status among Arabs, they have already lost.
Whether it be a Lebanese minister, a Saudi journalist, a Jordanian bank clerk or an Egyptian resident, the response is always the same: Mr bin Laden's voice, repeatedly beamed into millions of homes, articulates the demands and grievances – and fury – of Middle East Muslims who have seen their pro-Western presidents and kings and princes wriggling out of any serious criticism of the Anglo-American bombardment of Afghanistan.
October 10 2001
Simon Jenkins: They opted to bomb, it had better work
So it must be done the old way after all.
The faces of Britain’s rulers on Monday night said it all. They had lost the argument. Sitting in Parliament they looked haggard and wretched. Tony Blair thumped on yet again about Osama bin Laden being a fiend and a monster. Everyone chanted that bombing should be “proportionate, measured, targeted”, knowing that this was beyond their control. Clare Short’s face was a picture of misery. She must now excuse the civilian deaths, the laying of cluster mines, the airborne terror for which she is responsible as a War Cabinet member. How skin-deep is humanity when the guns begin to fire. Whenever Americans start bombing, Britons dive under a blanket of Churchillian waffle.