Top positive review
53 people found this helpful
on 12 July 2012
The thousands of pieces of evidence that Curtis has amassed and structured into this remarkably coherent book, present a convincing picture of a country that has been (and continues to be) put at risk through the machinations of unseen and unaccountable people working for secret organisations, whose motives and strategies are as opaque as they are questionable. Yet, even if their purposes remain opaque, there has been an remarkable consistency in the nature of their plottings over the century since the break-up of the Turkish Ottoman empire and the establishment of the nations of the Middle East that were created largely by the British in pursuit of a "divide and rule" policy designed to retain control over the oil wealth in the region.
Curtis presents clear evidence that throughout its post-colonial history, beginning even as far back as the 1920s, British governments and Civil Service have exploited Islam and Islamic fundamentalism for its own (obscure) purposes - from the establishment of the Saudi kingdom; the division of India in 1948 to create the strategically useful Muslim state of Pakistan; to the support of the Muslim Brotherhood during Nasser's control over Egypt; to the backing of both sides during the Israeli-Palestinian wars; to the active support of terrorists (including Bin Laden) during the Afghan-Russian war; to the support of KLA and other terrorists during the Bosnian and Kosovan wars. Even after the 9/11 and 7/7 attacks, Britain continued to harbour known terrorists on its shores, giving them a safe-haven from American, French and other prosecutors.
The other consistency in the story is that like the US in its terror campaigns against democratically elected popularist and nationalistic governments in Central and South America, Britain has consistently given support to brutal dictatorships in the Middle East and Asia and actively suppressed nationalist parties and organizations, and undermined popularly elected governments, at the cost of many hundreds of thousand (or, more likely, millions) of innocent lives. Presumably Britain's elite continues to pursue such policies, but since the secret services who mastermind such activities, do not publicise what they are doing or planning, and since British governments of every ilk seem to acquiesce unquestioningly in whatever MI6 and MI5 do in the name of "public service", it is unlikely that we will ever know what has been going on until it is too late.
Curtis deserves the greatest credit for piecing together this immensely complex jigsaw of evidence. He also deserves credit for his bravery in publishing his findings. It's hard to imagine that there are not many people both within the British secret agencies and amongst the multitude of terrorist groups that he names, who would like to see him silenced. I urge everyone to read this book. It's not a pleasant read, but it's an essential one.
I must now go on to read his earlier book (Web Of Deceit: Britain's Real Foreign Policy: Britain's Real Role in the World) to which he makes reference at several critical junctures in this more recent book.