Here is the BBC Question Time about 9/11 (aired September 13, 2001) :
You may have heard mention of it or seen it at the time. It is … interesting. The BBC director general at the time said of it :
he “would like to apologise to the viewers who were offended by it”.
He added that it was an inappropriate programme to broadcast live just two days after the suicide attacks on America, and should have been recorded and edited.
The BBC’s Media Correspondent, Nick Higham, said there was a recognition in the corporation that the audience could have been more representative of wider opinion.
Besides the shouting and jeering from the audience, there are a few points I’d like to highlight. Note the number of people (including the panelists) who attribute their own hobbyhorse as the cause of 9/11. Also, note some curious rhetorical techniques on display.
At about 21:29 (in the first clip), a guy says American & British aircraft flying over the skies of Iraq and Yugoslavia have done so in defense of Kurds, Iraqi Shia and muslims in Kosovo and is promptly jeered and shouted down. The counter arguments seems to be “You have no idea!”, the idea that the only acceptable way to frame it is as killing muslims and that asserting things repeatedly makes it true.
At about 21:25 Yasmin Alibhai-Brown says to applause “I have been stunned by the way Americans are so shocked at how many people really truly detest them around the world.”
Speaking for myself, I don’t care if someone detests Americans. Oh, imagine the burden it must be to forever be wondering who a majority of Namibians consider to be their Super-Best-Friend-Forever. Treating global politics like high school cliques really doesn’t seem like the best way to determine policies.
Below the fold is parts 2 & 3 of the video and a transcript.
(The transcript’s timestamps are based on those printed at the top of the video. A “______” in the transcript represents something said that I can’t make out. Presented here for future reference and those who can’t see the video.)
BBC Guy : But first here’s David Dimbleby with a special edition of Question Time. David.
David Dimbleby : Good evening. The full horror of Tuesday’s terrorist attacks is still sinking in as more and more gruesome details are being reported. Several hundred Britons are now feared dead and the question on many people’s minds is how the United States should respond and what role the United Kingdom and the NATO allies should play in that response. Arguments range from mounting all out war against terrorists and those who harbor them on the one hand and, on the other, examining the whole American strategy in the Middle East. So, with us here tonight to discuss these issues : Lord Ashdown the former leader of the Liberal-Democrats. Philip Lader who is the American ambassador here until February of this year. He served 4 years. Tam Dalyell, father of the house, the longest serving member and a critic of Western policy towards the Middle East and Yasmin Alibhai-Brown columnist for the Independent and, of course, our Question Time audience are going to be putting the questions tonight and the first one comes from Wally Bacari (sp.) who’s an administrator. Bacari (sp.)
audience member #1 Wally Bacari (sp.) : Thank you, good evening. And my question is to former ambassador Lader. In the midst of this carnage won’t a harder response provoke more um … won’t a harder response provoke more actions that will effect innocent lives?
David Dimbleby : So a hard response will provoke more violence. I’ll come to Mr. Lader in a moment. Paddy Ashdown, what’s your answer there?
Paddy Ashdown : Yes it could. Um, and I think that’s a matter we have to bear very carefully in mind. I mean, one thing is clear : after Tuesday nothing is ever going to be the same again. The Era of the superpower, alone, invincible and inviolate is gone. We’re now into the era of globalized power and globalized terror to match it and to the extent to which we are able to combat this will be measured by the extent to which we are able to act internationally and multilaterally; not unilaterally. The second point is the one you identified precisely, Mr Bacari (sp.) If we mishandle this I, I fear it’s not impossible to see this as the first in the chain of events that leads this to war between nations. Maybe not ourselves, but in the regions that are effected. We need to bear in mind one fact when deciding what to do and that fact is this : What was the aim of the terrorists? The aim of the terrorists was to provoke us into overreaction in exactly the same way as Israel has been provoked into overreaction by suicide bombers in their cities. And the…
Paddy Ashdown : provoke… provoke… to provoke us into deepening the instability in those areas that they want to see war and conflict and the extent to which our actions result in that outcome will be the extent to which they continue to win and they continue to lose.
David Dimbleby : Is there a danger of that happening do you believe?
Paddy Ashdown : Well, intemperate action, I mean, ambassador Lader said today that he hoped his government – he believed his government would act in a measured proportionate and a precisely targeted way and I hope that is right. In this sense this is a war for all of us. I don’t like the overuse of the word war exactly but this is a conflict for all of us and one we must win and in this sense the United States and the United States President now acts as a leader, not just for the United States, but for the whole world. The most precious asset that we have is that coalition of revulsion that has now sprung up across the world including in places where are not normally allies for the United States. And that must be maintained.
David Dimbleby : Okay, I’m going to the man in the back there with the spectacles. I want to get as many people as I can in. And, you sir.
audience member #2 : _______ these days you keep using the word “war”? Who are you fighting with? This Lim Baden (aka Osama Bin Laden -ed.) or whatever his name was is not unheard of _______ of any country. Is a Saudi Arabian who live in Afghanistan.
David Dimbleby : So, if we’re declaring war who are we declaring it against?
audience member #2 : Who are you going to be killing? Innocent people.
David Dimbleby : Philip Lader. Philip Lader.
Philip Lader : I want to respond to both questions if I can. I think there is great truth in your point. As Paddy suggested there it is my view, just as one citizen, that the response must be purposeful, measured and proportionate. The difficulty is we should not – even though the Secretary of State has indicated who the leading candidate, as culprit, might be – we should not rush to judgement. Until it’s established with certainty who is to blame.
Philip Lader : but at that point, not simply as an act of retribution, but also as a means of prevention of further atrocities the United States, I believe as a citizen, should take appropriate, measured, purse-purposeful, proportionate response
David Dimbleby : Those adjectives are fine but what do they actually mean in terms of what you do?
Philip Lader : That has to be determined once you decide what the target is, what is the group
David Dimbleby : (interrupting) would you rule anything out? Would you rule out an invasion of Afghanistan? Would you be prepared to see that?
Philip Lader : The advice…
David Dimbleby : (interrupting) Land troops in Afghanistan.
Philip Lader : The advice given to our president will be across this entire range. Those who are motivated by anger or believe that huge volume of response is necessary to those who believe that simply a law abiding judiciary proceeding is what’s appropriate. But I believe though I must say that with the seasoned veterans surrounding this president we are most likely to have what is a deliberative, rational process of determining that response
David Dimbleby : Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, do you think that can be achieved?
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown : I’m not sure. I think some of the rhetoric that is coming out – of course it’s understandable I mean what has happened is, is impossible, um, to cope with even as –from this distance. But I think there are certain things that Americans – and I do make a distinction between America and Americans – I think Americans are going to have to look at a lot of new realities. I have been stunned by the way Americans are so shocked at how many people really, truly detest them around the world. I think this is…
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown : something that should worry all of us, right? I think, in part, as you know, as some groups have demonized Americans as much as Americans have demonized us but
David Dimbleby : (interrupting) I want to stop you; but what you’re saying, hold on a second We’re going to come to that in a moment
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown : But what I did
David Dimbleby : Can you just answer the specific question about action and about whether it’s possible
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown : The action has got to take these facts into account. You can’t just go out there and storm. I think you have to be measured and accurate but also some of these lessons have got to talked about before any action is taken
David Dimbleby : do you think there should be any military action of any kind or would you prefer to see nothing done
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown : Once we know. Once we know. Once we really know. Yes, I think some action will have to be taken
David Dimbleby : the woman in pink there. Can’t hear you sorry
audience member #3 : the panel’s briefly talked about America wanting to establish blame before they actually take action but how long does the panel think Americans will wait before blame is established
David Dimbleby : Tam Dalyell
Tam Dalyell : In the case of Lockerbie blame takes a very long time. But, you know, if innocent people are killed just because of a feeling that we must do something that will make the situation worse and not better.
Tam Dalyell : Those
Tam Dalyell : If innocent people are killed there is one group who will be delighted Bin Laden and his like and why? Because Arab sympathy, genuine Arab sympathy with the United States will simply evaporate when there is innocent, gratuitous loss of life : collateral damage or call it what you will.
David Dimbleby : Alright, I take your point. Woman in the third row from the back there and then I’m going to move on to the next question. You madam.
Audience Member #4 : What scares me about the use of the word “war” at the moment is… um… the grim task of counting the dead is still not finished in America. How can we as a… um, a democratic nation justify killing other mothers, fathers, children of another nation?
David Dimbleby : Let me ask quite simply if anybody in the audience disagrees with that point of view and believes America should act and act swiftly. You sir, on the left here.
Audience Member #5 : Americans have been innocently killed, Tam Dalyell. You always come on the side of the terrorists and have done for years.
Tam Dalyell : no
(rumbling from the audience)
Tam Dalyell : That I refute. I simply point out that when President Bush says that this is the first war of the 21st century it’s not so. (smattering of applause) A war has been going on for ten years of the daily bombing of Iraq.
(applause and hoots from the audience)
Tam Dalyell : Now, maybe it’s the brothers and sisters of these people who are the recruits that evil men, like Bin Laden, like to exploit. These are very unpalatable facts that better be addressed.
David Dimbleby : Ok, the man in the front row there.
Audience Member #6 (man in stars & stripes tie) : reason why there’s, uh, British and American pilots are risking their lives is to defend the Kurds in northern Iraq and to defend the Shia muslims of southern Iraq who are in danger from Saddam Hussein. We remember Halabja (the poison gas attack on Kurds -ed) I think we should thank the Americans for defending muslims not only in Iraq but also in Kosovo
(audience gets restless)
Audience Member #7 : mean killing. You mean killing
Audience Member #6 (man in stars & stripes tie) : No, no, no, no
Audience Member #7 : (unclear what is said)
Audience Member #6 (man in stars & stripes tie) : The American are defending muslims in Iraq, they’re defending muslims in Kosovo
(a smattering of audience applause and increasing audience shouting)
Audience Member #7 (woman in tan headscarf) : They’re killing them!
Audience Member #6 (man in stars & stripes tie) : (crosstalk) they set up the Palestinian Authority. The Palestinians wouldn’t have a
David Dimbleby : Hold on, let…
Audience Member #6 (man in stars & stripes tie) : They defended the muslims in Kuwait…
Audience Member #8 (woman in blue shirt) : they do not!
David Dimbleby : …finish his point
Audience Member #8 (woman in blue shirt) : Don’t you dare speak on behalf of the muslims. Don’t you dare speak on behalf of the muslims! You have no idea! You have no idea! You have no idea!
Audience Member #6 (man in stars & stripes tie) : why don;’t you …the Russians … Why don’t you attack the Russians when they launch an all out assault on the Chechens based on a terrorist act
Audience Member #8 (woman in blue shirt) : We did!
Audience Member #6 (man in stars & stripes tie) : I never heard you. I never heard you. The left is silent when it comes to Russia. Silent when it comes to Russia. Silent when it’s the Chinese persecuting…
(lots of crosstalk in above)
David Dimbleby : Stop! Stop! Stop!
David Dimbleby : Sir, you made your point. You made your point. Wait.
Audience Member #8 (woman in blue shirt) : Americans or British
David Dimbleby : Will you be quiet. Will you be quiet. It’s all right. Would you like just to make your point
Audience Member #8 (woman in blue shirt) : …my Arab and muslim colleagues. I’m an Anglo-Arab born and raised in Britain and we never condone violence or killings of Americans or Brits. We don’t… Our friends our being killed. In New York we have friends we have relatives being killed and we’ve been also victims of attacks, I mean, from Sudan to Libya to Palestine. So we, more than anyone else, and in Palestine know what it means to be killed.
David Dimbleby : ok,
Audience Member #8 (woman in blue shirt) : (unclear)
David Dimbleby : I want to take
Audience Member #8 (woman in blue shirt) : I don’t, I didn’t… I don’t appreciate this gentleman with the American tie…
David Dimbleby : You’ve made your point
Audience Member #8 (woman in blue shirt) : thank you
David Dimbleby : I want… I want …
(shout from audience)
David Dimbleby : Nope, I want to have a question from Charles Pfennig (sp.) who’s a facilities operator to take this argument on. Mister Pfennig.
Audience Member #9 (Charles Pfenning) : Good evening. Um, Paddy spoke of the dangers of overreacting, does the panel think that Britain should join America in whatever course of action America now takes?
David Dimbleby : Philip Lader.
Philip Lader : I will come back to that in a moment…
David Dimbleby : Well, why not answer it straight
Philip Lader : I’ll answer straight then
Audience Member #9 (Charles Pfenning) : Whatever
Philip Lader : Terrific moderator isn’t he?
(crowd laughter and something unclear said)
Philip Lader : For the prime minister to have stepped forward forthrightly and immediately in solidarity with the United States is something which we Americans is not only something which we Americans appreciate but is very meaningful. For Lord Robertson and NATO to have taken the action to demonstrate the profound consensus. What we’re starting to see is the marshaling of public opinion by President Bush around the world but I want to say in that context in response to your point. I know of no religion or no nationality that has a monopoly on fanaticism and it is a huge error, it is a colossal error…
Philip Lader : for any of us to identify the acts or potential acts of fanatics with the people at large.
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown : Philip, can I just say the last 2 or 3 days it has been rather astonishing and depressing to watch, um, Mr Rubin(?), for example, talking in a language of civilization that…
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown : it wasn’t… absolutely not acceptable. You know, the man who blew up the Oklahoma bomb was American and very uncivilized…
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown : and I don’t think it helps to have somebody saying again and again, repeatedly, that the civilized live in the United States and the rest of the world is a…
David Dimbleby : (interrupts) Well, hold on, just the
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown : just very bad.
David Dimbleby : People may not know Mr Rubin but, uh, the foreign Secretary Jack Straw said that this was an attack on civilization. You don’t like him saying that?
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown : I don’t like it. I think Tony Blair has been brilliant, measured, very careful not to say that kind of thing and I think he’s done very well
David Dimbleby : Tam Dalyell.
Tam Dalyell : The lady in blue who’s Anglo-Arab raised the question of the Sudan. Do you remember that there was the attack on the Al-Shifa Factory supposedly a chemical warfare factory. It turned out to be nothing of the kind and the attack was a huge error. Doesn’t that teach us that we ought to be very certain before launching military action against a specific place
David Dimbleby : Paddy Ashdown, if I could, If I could bring you back to the question. The question was whether Britain should stand with America in whatever course of action America now takes.
Paddy Ashdown : I suppose you’d admonish me if I answered any of the others as well but I’ll come back to that in a second. The answer to the question should Britain back any action of the United States the answer is obviously no. Nor are…
Paddy Ashdown : Nor, nor are we required to do so. My view is that so far President Bush has handled this with very considerable skill and a very great degree of, um, rationality and I hope that’s what will continue. Ah, Britain’s role however has been absolutely vital, I think,
————— end of part 1 —————
Paddy Ashdown : in as, ah, Phil said helping and encouraging that process. I think personally that it was right that NATO should invoke article 5 of the NATO constitution for the first time ever. Because the fear in this was that what the United States might do is to retreat into isolationism and unilateralism action and by showing the United States there was an alternative way forward we actually opened up the possibility of a multilateral reaction, international reaction to this …which is, uh, as Phil has said is beginning to grow across the world and that is the most valuable asset we have but and it is a very big but the provisions of NATO – the principles of NATO – are twofold. One is solidarity but the other is consultation. And with the solidarity that we have expressed comes the right to expect consultation. NATO says we stand together but we consult together first and provided that principle is followed and we use the NATO solidarity to grow and maintain the wider asset that we have of support across the world I think it is possible let us at least entertain the thought that what happens is we do not have to use military action but in effect these people are given up to the best solution which is that they should stand trial before the eyes of the world in a court of justice
(smattering of applause)
David Dimbleby : but you’re assuming then that… You’re assuming…you’re saying America shouldn’t act unless there’s unanimity in NATO or not?
Paddy Ashdown : No, I didn’t. I didn’t say that. I didn’t say that. It is open to America or any coalition to act in preservation of their own self defense if they wish to do so and I want to make it clear that although I believe it is not impossible if we hold together that international, ah, consensus to make sure these people suffer the penalty in a court of law I do not exclude from future action the possibility of direct targeted and precise military action provided the evidence is there to make sure that it is at the right target provided it is precisely targeted and provided it carries the support of the majority of the consensus of nations who would support it.
David Dimbleby : Now, uh… Thank you. I want, I want to bring in a number of people now on what you think Britain should do and the degree to which you would like to see Britain supporting the American administration. The man in the green shirt there over on the left
Audience Member #10 (man in green shirt) : Britain has considerable experience with anti-terrorism measures from it’s period in Northern Ireland where, uh, in the early nineties the government opened clandestine links with the IRA to establish a dialogue. Does anyone on the panel think there’s any merit in the Americans or any other Western country attempting to open a dialogue with someone perhaps through Arab embassies or governments with whoever has perpetrated this atrocity to find out what is at the root of it and to try and resolve it by negotiated dialogue rather than just brute force and perhaps ignorance.
David Dimbleby : Philip Lader will you take that one
Philip Lader : I think it is mandatory that the president leave every option open to him and to the country and so I would not exclude that necessarily. Would that be popular in public opinion in America today? Certainly not. But I think the President, as Paddy indicated, has adroitly demonstrated that the response will be taking some time and be the result of deliberative process in which no option currently is excluded
David Dimbleby : the man in the green shirt I’ll come to you in a moment, the green shirt there
Audience Member #11 (man in jacket with green shirt) : I think Britain should back America 100%. America has done everything for ___________ They, they
Audience Member #11 (man in jacket with green shirt) : they defend democracy, they do, America is the right country forward. They defend this world. There’s a trouble America goes in first. Europe’s cowards : does nothing. Look at Britain, America the tie we have. You get these terrorists running around destroying ______ and they come to England to live.
David Dimbleby : So, you would… you would support any action that President Bush decided to take and think that the British government should support it?
Audience Member #11 (man in jacket with green shirt) : Yes totally and…
David Dimbleby : (interrupts) and what action actually would you like to see taken?
Audience Member #11 (man in jacket with green shirt) : Once you find out who it is I think you should go in hard and take him out.
(mixed jeers and applause from audience)
Audience Member #11 (man in jacket with green shirt) : No, they should. They should take him out…
Tam Dalyell : The man in the green shirt who urged dialogue is spot on. (applause) Because if you want to avoid another tragedy like Manhattan you’ve got to enter into dialogue. If there’s massive retaliation; sure as nuts it’ll happen again.
David Dimbleby : ok, lets go, come on over here. On the right here. You sir in… with the pullover. I’ll come to you minute
Audience Member #12 (man in tan sweater) : I think terrorism is a global problem and it has to be a global solution. It’s very clear to me that there’s a need for retribution as well for the American people but I would say that the solution has to be a global one and given the history of America
Tam Dalyell : good (?)
Audience Member #12 (man in tan sweater) : um, uh, taking unilateral action to solve global problems I think it’s important that from here onwards seeing as we have a different world situation there should be a global response. World leaders should also step up to the plate and, uh, take an equal part consulting us.
David Dimbleby : Ok, the man in the yellow pullover there you sir. Yes
Audience Member #13 (man in yellow sweater) : directly on a point raised by, importantly by Lord Ashdown I want to know with what right or at least with what consistency can George W. Bush avail himself of Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty of 1949 when even this year he has specifically dismissed for being 30 years old the ABM treaty as being irrelevant to USA’s needs? (one lone person applauding) If that wasn’t to complicated.
Paddy Ashdown : Well, I’m not sure the 2 are connected and I’m inclined to say may not be popular with you or perhaps other as well I’m not sure the ABM treaty isn’t being eroded by events, anyways and we need to think of other ways of preserving our peace. I mean, neither the ABM treaty nor the new missile defense would have prevented what happened on Thursday (he means Tuesday -ed) and I very much agree with the gentleman down here. We are moving into the era of globalized power, globalized capitalism, globalized satellite broadcasting, globalized crime, globalized drugs, globalized terrorism and unless we are prepared to move to where that power has gone, to have globalized institution and globalized governance and a global system of tackling terrorism we will never tackle it. That is the important point.
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown : (interrupting) Paddy, Paddy, Paddy, it has to be globalized. At the moment everything we call globalized is actually in the control of America and Europe
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown : It has got to now… it has got to now , I mean America has now joined the real world in a very horrible way. But we have to now… the hubris of the US – this idea that America is the greatest country in the world – that has to be placed into the more modern reality we all have to share the space and it can not be real globalization when certain countries strut about thinking they’re better than everybody else
Paddy Ashdown : fair enough
David Dimbleby : the gentleman in there. what were you saying you interrupted her I didn’t hear what you said
Audience Member #14 (man in black) : …strongest economy and sayin’ best in the world and everything else and it certainly weren’t on Tuesday and I think the reality is we all have to wake up to the fact yes there is global terrorism now and how do we deal with it. But ultimately we have to stand with America as to what’s happened
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown : (interrupting) sure
Audience Member #14 (man in black) : not once on this program has it been mentioned that tens of thousands of people we killed on Tuesday and
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown : (interrupting) I did. No, that’s not true
Audience Member #14 (man in black) : and the reality is Americans are
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown : (interrupting) that’s not true. I started by saying…
Audience Member #14 (man in black) : although we’ve had some 20 years of this it has been minor in comparison to what has happened on Tuesday and really we should go in some sense of reality not just for what happened in reality but what is going to happen again by a train or by a bus or whatever. and I think we need to grab a sense of that as well.
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown : Sure.
David Dimbleby : I want to take another specific question from Ian Tungstead (sp.) who’s a marketing manager this is about the specifics and lets get back to the specifics now of what should be done. Ian Tungstead (sp.)
Audience Member #15 (man in tan jacket) : If the Taliban do not hand over, um, Osma Bin Laden (aka Osama -ed) for trial, um, should the allies then attack Afghanistan?
David Dimbleby : ok, assuming, assuming that uh um the Americans decide they have evidence against Bin Laden and he’s not handed over should the allies invade Afghanistan to capture him? Tam Dalyell.
Tam Dalyell : It depends on whether there would be agreement, for example, from Pakistan. Without Pakistan bases it would be extremely difficult to do so in that mountainous difficult terrain where the Russians came to such grief. There is a practicalities of it and it certainly couldn’t be done without killing many tens of thousands of innocent people.
David Dimbleby : ok
Audience Member #16 : (something indistinct)
David Dimbleby : yes
Audience Member #16 : the same thing applies very much to America on Tuesday when tens of thousands of people’s lives were put at risk and in addition to that and what seems to have been forgotten by this panel when we’re asked if we should support America is this : that we also have lost something like 500 people – innocent people – that had nothing to do with this at all. And if it’s a question of whether we should support America in being able to take action in response to that then I’m for supporting America and yes let’s take the rest of the world with us but let’s not forget that our people have been killed irrespective of everybody else around this world
Tam Dalyell : and what should the object of (crosstalk) no, no, what should the object of our reaction be? Surely, the prime object is to do everything we can to stop it happening again. (applause) Everyone in this room feels for those Americans but
David Dimbleby : you want to come back on that
Audience Member #16 : well, yes, i think anybody wouldn’t want this kind of work and danger and damage and sick pain being caused to anybody through out the world but what you’ve also got to remember : you are referring to things that happened 20 odd years ago how far have we actually got in this world today with stopping terrorism and what action or what plans are there for this world if you like for every country that there is to be involved in it. You honestly believe that people in the Eastern countries will sit round a table and discuss these issues without some kind of action being taken.
Audience Member #17 (unseen woman’s voice) : Why assume it was Arabs in the first place?Why assume it was Arabs in the first place?
Tam Dalyell : It’s not 20 years ago. it…
Audience Member #18 : (indistinct shouting)
Audience Member #17 : Why assume it was Arabs in the first place?
Audience Member #18 (man in glasses & tie) : __________ That is why we all have this problem… James Ruby maybe (James Rubin? -ed)
David Dimbleby : What, You’ve got the camera now. you’ve tried to get on for some time
Audience Member #18 (man in glasses & tie) : no, no, no, no, no, equal opportunity very it is a plan you all do! You see only one fourth of the population as Western civilization! James Ruby (Rubin? –ed.) does not distinction but _______ more than that everybody everything all destroyed! That is how you rule the world now.
David Dimbleby : ok… I go to the man at the back. Second… third row from the back. Yes. you.
Audience Member #19 : I think the ball is firmly in the court of the Taliban government I mean they know where, um, Bin Laden is. They know, There are ways of doing it. it is their obligation, um, if they wanna have any sort of respect – they should have handed him over years ago – but it’s their obligation to hand him over now.
David Dimbleby : and if…
Audience Member #19 : and if they do not , and if they do not – and I shouldn’t hear that they cannot because they certainly can – if they do not then they should be prepared to suffer the consequences. now that should not mean the slaughtering, uh, of innocent women and children. We’ve had enough of that already. but
Audience Member #19 : uh, they should hand him over immediately otherwise they have to be prepared to face the consequences and I mean hard.
(smattering of applause)
David Dimbleby : Ok, Alibhai
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown : I think the whole Taliban regime needs to be looked at and we need to look at what’s going on to, y’know what’s being done to the people of Afghanistan there as well, it’s not just one man and what he’s done to the Americans. We have ignored what’s being going on in the Afghanistan for a long time so I agree with you we have to some action but there is a lot more going on in Afghanistan than just this one man.
David Dimbleby : Go on.
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown : And we need… I think one of the things that worries me is that in this whole very emotional period that we only going to end up talking about what happened in the United States and not at… look at Taliban doing to its own people. That is also important.
David Dimbleby : but, but but his point, we’ll come back to that in a moment, is that if the Taliban won’t hand over Bin Laden then force is legitimately used against …
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown : (interrupting) yes or sanctions or whatever it takes
David Dimbleby : force, including force
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown : yes
David Dimbleby : all right. you want to come back to it.
Audience Member #19 : I mean she says sanctions. well, I’m sorry we’re gonna have to get a bit sterner than that because they should have handed him over years ago because he did a bomb 2 years ago or 3 years ago and if it takes…
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown : Well, they been propped up! Taliban has been supported by American businessmen. We have to look at that.
(applause and an indistinct shout)
David Dimbleby : I want to take a question from Nick Halpin (sp.) who is a law student. Mr. Halpin (sp.)
Audience Member #20 : Does the bombing in America represent a failure in US foreign policy with millions and millions of people all around the world despising American nation?
David Dimbleby : Philip Lader.
Philip Lader : I’ll respond to the last several question as I respond to you. President Bush has made it clear that once it is determined with certainty who is to blame that any nation which harbors such individuals shall also be held accountable…
(shouting from audience)
Philip Lader :I think he has been very clear. I would ask… add to that however that in the context of an analysis not only of technical intelligence matters, transportation security but of fundamental foreign policy in the coming weeks and months. Certainly as you suggest Jasmine we must be reflective on why there are these attitudes towards the United States
(someone in the audience yells something)
Philip Lader : but if I may
David Dimbleby : Let him speak
Philip Lader : if I may
David Dimbleby : he’s saying what you’re saying, I think
Philip Lader : but if I may… may I continue
David Dimbleby : I’ll bring you in. If you listen to him I’ll bring you in.
Philip Lader : but that is not a justification for any individual around this globe to celebrate what we’ve seen as the utter disregard (applause) for the sanctity of human life.
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown : I have to say something. Can I please?
David Dimbleby : (unclear)
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown : (interupting) Let me just say something because I think I feel so strongly about that . If it’s wrong to demonize muslims it is equally wrong to demonize Americans (smattering of applause) and I think it has become a sport and we shouldn’t allow this pain to, to, to sanction that kind of behavior. I think we all have to be reflective
David Dimbleby : (interrupting) Are you saying… Are you saying it’s not then a, a, a failure of American foreign policy…
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown : It is. It is.
David Dimbleby : …that’s led to this kind of action?
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown : It is both sides. It is absolutely right for Americans to look at why they are despised and look at themselves but it is also very important for muslims and others who too easily talk about “the Americans” as if you know there is this block thing that we are allowed to despise. That is wrong too.
David Dimbleby : I said I’d come to you, yes
—————–end part 2—————–
David Dimbleby : I said I’d come to the gentleman there
Audience Member #21 : It’s very, very important that the events that took place on Tuesday result in America waking up to their policies in the Middle East. (light applause) Now, it’s not saying that that justifies what took place – no one is saying that justifies it but America for God’s sake wake up to what you are doing in the Middle East…
Audience Member #21 : and when you wake up then you will solve the problem and you will prevent what happened on Tuesday. And that’s the only way really to do that.
David Dimbleby : Paddy Ashdown.
(shouts from audience)
Paddy Ashdown : Yeah Well, th-the truth is that I suppose it is a result of that and but lets just reflect, now I speak as somebody who has been pretty critical in the past about many aspects of American foreign policy but, um, the Americans have put themselves out front. They have arbitrated, tried to arbitrate peace, I don’t say they’ve done everything properly and right in the Middle East. They have been…
(shouting from the audience)
Paddy Ashdown : hang on, hang on, hang on. They have been and I don’t condone every action they’ve taken – nevertheless in the front line of seeking to negotiate peace in various areas not the least, for instance, in Bosnia. So of course they haven’t been right all the time but let us accept that one of the reasons why they are in the front line for terrorists who do not believe in democracy, who do not believe in liberty, who want to overturn the rule of law is precisely because the United States has been in the front line of fighting in favor of those things…
Paddy Ashdown : and let’s at least understand that. David, there is another point, there is another point I wish to make directly in relation to the gentlemen down here and I speak as someone fought in 4 terrorist campaigns – against terrorists – including one in my own country in Northern Ireland. I know one thing is absolutely certain if you play the terrorist’s game by being provoked into overreaction you do not defeat terrorism you grow terrorism and that is why…
Paddy Ashdown : and that is why, and that is why at this stage what we have to do is act very carefully and very precisely. Look, here is the bottom line : there is no defense against the determined terrorist. There is no defense against the determined terrorist who will pay with – seeks, wishes to pay with his lives – the moment that person has left their terrorist camp armed with a will to die and the weapons of mass destruction stopping him is a matter, chiefly, of luck. There is only one way you can cope with this and that is that you make it under international law illegal for a nation to harbor or give succor to terrorists.
Paddy Ashdown : Now if out of this, if out of this comes a Geneva Convention which is against giving succor to terrorism, an international instrument. That is the way you squeeze this problem off and kill it at it’s source and that’s the action we have to take which is why this gentleman is right.
(audience is restless)
David Dimbleby : the gentlemen in the fourth row, you, yes you.
Audience Member #22 (woman in headscarf) : …mention that when President Bush talks about terrorist and those who harbor them did he and the American government consider that fact the world, uh, one of the reasons the world despises America because it sees Israel as a terrorist and America as one who harbors Israel as a terrorist. That should be considered. I’m talking about foreign policy again.
David Dimbleby : Phil Lader. Phil Lader would you like to answer that point.
Philip Lader : I- I have to share with you that I find it hurtful to me that one could suggest the majority of the world despised the United States. My parents were immigrants to the United States and I have to tell you that we have fought as a people and as a nation, as Paddy suggests, for the rule of law and I simply want to say that it saddens me how it’s possible on this night within 48 hours that one because (applause) that one because of the intensity of feeling on policy issues can frankly abstract
Audience Member #22 (woman in headscarf) : If I can interrupt…
Philip Lader : May I?
David Dimbleby : Let him finish.
Philip Lader : …can abstract ourselves from the senseless human victimization and suffering that has occurred before us.
Audience Member #22 (woman in headscarf) : I just want to… I just want to point out that it’s not true that we don’t feel anything but I think everyone will admit that within hours of this, uh, catastrophe it was the American government that started talking about war, started talking about culprits (audience shouting) I’m sorry. If Americans, if the American government was so concerned about causalities I’m sorry the government made me think about these things because they brought it up on public TV.
David Dimbleby : Alright, the woman on your left 2 away.
Audience Member #23 (woman in black shirt) : But, I’m sorry, but there’s 20 thousand, 30 thousand, 40 thousand casualties or more…
Audience Member #22 (woman in headscarf) : (interrupts) One million in Iraq…
David Dimbleby : Let her answer. Let her answer your question.
Audience Member #23 (woman in black shirt) : …buried under rubble who didn’t realize this was going to happen. They were going to work. They were normal people
(shouts from the audience)
Audience Member #23 (woman in black shirt) : they didn’t understand
Audience Member #22 (woman in headscarf) : 500 children in Iraq every month
Audience Member #23 (woman in black shirt) : Is it an eye for an eye? Does it
Audience Member #22 (woman in headscarf) : why is the American life worth more
Audience Member #23 (woman in black shirt) : it’s makes it no better
Audience Member #22 (woman in headscarf) : George Bush is talking about war, like he said
Audience Member #23 (woman in black shirt) : what is this I’m taking a
Audience Member #22 (woman in headscarf) : Is an American life more worth than a
Audience Member #23 (woman in black shirt) : No life is worth this
David Dimbleby : Listen, there is no way, there … will you take the microphone away please there is no way that you can argue with each other with one microphone we can’t hear what you’re saying. People at home can’t hear what you’re saying. (applause) So we’ll bring an end to it. And so I’ll come to the gentleman here in the pale blue shirt. Yes sir.
Audience Member #24 (man in blue shirt) : Hi. Well I had a different comment to make but i…
David Dimbleby : (interrupting) Alright, well make it.
Audience Member #24 (man in blue shirt) : I want to make this comment that y’know what I fear is most of all is that people will start turning against each other christians, muslims it’s happening in this room right now…
Audience Member #24 (man in blue shirt) : and that is what we have to fight. We can’t fight terrorists with guns or bombs. We have to fight terrorism We have to fight it at its roots. We have to fight poverty, we have to fight racism, we have to fight what’s going on in this room! That’s what we have to fight! (applause)
David Dimbleby : Ok, and the man in red there. You sir. Yes, you sir.
Audience Member #25 (man in red sweater & glasses) : I think the trouble is, uh, we keep talking about the symptoms well I think the cause of all this is because the American all-mighty dollar keeps wanting to spread the American way to every single country.
Audience Member #25 (man in red sweater & glasses) : and that…
David Dimbleby : Leave that. What is the action you think the American government should take?
Audience Member #25 (man in red sweater & glasses) : It’s got to talk. It’s very easy to be Rambo, let’s be Rambo go in, let’s send in Bruce Willis and kill everybody. (Rambo was played by Sylvester Stallone. Bruce Willis is known for Moonlighting and the Die Hard movies. sigh. –ed.) It’s absolutely ridiculous. You’ve got to talk! Find out what these people are really thinking!
David Dimbleby : Ok, the man behind. You sir.
Audience Member #26 (man in black shirt) : I mean, why are there warships in the Persian Gulf?
David Dimbleby : I said, say again? What?
Audience Member #26 (man in black shirt) : Why are there warships in the Persian Gulf… already. I thought innocent unprov- innocent until proven guilty.
David Dimbleby : and the man there on the right. You sir with your hand up. No, no, no this man here. In the white shirt, no? You yes you in the black tie.
Audience Member #27 (man in black tie) : well I think it’s appalling that um … I think it’s just appalling that you’re all supporting terrorists and that I think none of you…
(applause and jeering)
Audience Member #27 (man in black tie) : hold on a minute, that none of you
David Dimbleby : I don’t think you’ve been listening
Audience Member #27 (man in black tie) : No, no just one minute. none of us would be able to sit here and express our views as freely as we do if it wasn’t for the sacrifices made by British and American servicemen…
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown : (interrupting) and Indians and Africans
Audience Member #27 (man in black tie) : I think that’s a very important point
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown : (interrupting) and Indians, Africans and muslims there all for it
Audience Member #27 (man in black tie) : We have values, the point I’m making is…
David Dimbleby : What, what do you want to see the American administration and the British government do at this point?
Audience Member #27 (man in black tie) : I don’t think there is anyone in this room who would want a disproportionate response because that would bring us down to their level which is not what we want to do but that doesn’t mean that we can negotiate as Tam Dalyell says. There’s no negotiation with terrorists because… and some people ask what do these people really want? There’s been a declaration of war by Osama Bin Laden and other people
(jeers and shouts from the audience)
Audience Member #27 (man in black tie) : against America . I’m sorry
(shouts from audience)
Audience Member #27 (man in black tie) : I’m sorry he did… hold on a second
David Dimbleby : hold on, let him … don’t shout him down
Audience Member #27 (man in black tie) : hold on a second…
David Dimbleby : Don’t shout him down. You had your say. Let (something unclear)
Audience Member #27 (man in black tie) : there is a conflict of values between our values which we should prize and defend if we have to which is freedom under the law – Paddy Ashdown was saying it – sanctity for human life and respect for other people and there are other people here in this room but go to many countries around the world like Iraq and so on where you can not express yourself freely
David Dimbleby : Alright
Audience Member #27 (man in black tie) : now we’re defending that freedom
David Dimbleby : Alright, we have to stop. our time is up and my apologies to those of you who haven’t been able to get in but my thanks to you for coming. My thanks to all the panel here. This ends this special edition of Question Time.
—————–end part 3—————–
btw, does anyone know which episode of Question Time had panelists and/or the audience declare that Anders Breivik and his ilk must be negotiated with, mention that Breivik’s act of mass murder was a result of the Norwegian Labor Party policies and discuss why Norwegian teenagers are so despised and/or detested?