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BBC OnePanorama


Last Updated: Friday, 19 March 2004, 14:46 GMT
Your comments

Your comments on the Terror - are we next? programme.

Due to the high number of e-mails we get we cannot guarantee to publish every single message we receive. We may also edit some e-mails for legal reasons and for purposes of clarity and length.

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The programme demonstrated the crying need for a policy for civil protection in this country. We need a strategy for civil protection from the politicians, but were the halls of the spring conference centres resounding with the cries of politicians saying as much? Of course not! Someone should aske the Prime Minister why we spend less per head on Civil Protection than any country in Western Europe. Compare that miserley 19m for the protection of our people doled out from the Cabinet Office with 764m from the some office for so called neighbourhood renewal units which in some cases is for local authorities for "chill out" events. When will we learn that the safety of our people somes first.
Eric Alley, Weymouth, Engl;and

I found tonight's programme both interesting and very worrying. I totally support the war against these mad fanatics but am not sure what we are able to do when fighting people brainwashed into believing that death is a reward. Why are we unable to extradite naturalised British citizens that criticise our country and rubbish our culture and lifestyle? How much longer are we to accommodate these people imposing their beliefs and traditions on us? If people wish to come here they should adapt to our culture. If you don't like it don't bother coming.
Craig Earley, Liverpool, U.K.

The programme asked the right question but focused on the wrong answer. The focus should be on why there is such an increase on Al Qaeda recruitment rather than what their tactics will be now that they have more recruits. The best way to stop terrorism is to stop participating in it.
Lee Foster, Reading UK

As always, Jane Corbin's investigative journalism was first rate in tonight's programme. What a shame then that I found myself incredibly frustrated throughout much of the transmission because of the pathetic captioning, which meant that from the very beginning people were being interviewed, and there was nothing to tell us who they were! And on the rare occasions when captions did appear, they were gone in the blink of an eye!!! Thus people kept popping up in front of the camera giving interviews, and it was not until the end of the programme that you managed to work out who they were.
Alex Scott, London, UK

Whether we are winning or losing the fight against al-Qaeda is irrelevant in so far as we have no choice but to keep on fighting. We can't negotiate with a group who insist that each and every Jew in Israel/Palestine should be driven out, that we should not interfere when Muslim militants pursue their pogroms in Timor and elsewhere. Indeed, as per bin Laden's letter to America, we are all to become Muslims and pay such exorbitant rates for Arab oil that our economies and public services will be crippled. What I find most offensive is the notion of justly killing civilians in the name of one's god. There is no God, by any name, no after-life, there is no objective quality of good or evil, right or wrong. Most of us share an abhorrence of murder, however. How sickeningly ludicrous to murder in the name of a fairy-tale?
Anthony Whiteley, Knutsford

Thanks for an very interesting programme, and I do believe that an terror attack could happen on the UK mainland. However I believe that such an attack will make the English resolve stronger, and make parties like the National Front stronger in the UK politics. I also believe that if such an attack did happen, race relations will go back 40 years. The question is if such an horrifying incident happened, would this country become a police state, and foreign nationals hated?
Quinton Langton, Nottingham

Thank you for your show tonight. Finally a BBC programme acknowledges a few facts. First: It isn't what we do, it is simply who we are. (terrorists still fighting the crusades) Second: Our Muslim community should be doing more to fight terror. My opinion: Many quietly support the terrorists for different reasons, but truth be known, not enough Muslims are really on our side.
Ittamar Raphael, Leeds

The standards of journalism seem to be slipping with every passing day. I guess i am not really all that surprised, BBC news reporting on the whole has always seemed distorted as it is with all mass media outlets. Supporting outlandish unsubstantiated claims from our government to further their interests however should not be allowed to occur, although it inevitably will. If the BBC really do insist on taking this course they could at least put together a programme that uses hard evidence to support 'their' ideas and claims, even if that would mean manipulating that evidence when they went to air.
Sy, Bristol, England

Would it be too much trouble to introduce identity cards? everybody else in Europe has them and here the lack of them makes it a walk free take it all for whoever wants to come and benefit from the fruits of democracy in the UK. It may keep all these free terrorist thinking more on how to avoid the controls rather than where to plant the next bomb!
Domitila Thompson, Surbiton UK

I think there should be a focus on why the bombings took place and not on what the consequence was? What is the message these people are trying to get across which Western media are not letting them get across? Why don't people know the Amnesty International and Red Cross figures of over 50,000 people killed since the war in Iraq yet so much is being focused on 200 people in Madrid? Where is the balance from the BBC?
Alison Kerins, Reading

Sarah, it is only terrifying if we allow it to be. We can live our lives in panic. We can cut all our freedoms and ideologies, in the attempt to save our lives. Or we can learnt to live and embrace our lives now. This does not mean we have an acceptance to being blown up by one or other extremist, by any means. We should be looking to live life now.

I do not agree with any terrorist activities. I personally can not agree with Muslim extremists. However, the Muslim cleric's quote was his role was merely to teach about Islam, adding: "It is then up to the individual to decide how to implement." To me this suggests, he is "educating" the followers for them to act as they choose. How many Christians follow their guides?

Dee - I am beginning to think, BBC is reporting fairly, to allow us to think, if we will. We can be scared and hide or panic, or we can gather knowledge and understanding, which has to be a stronger route.
Sheila, UK

I thought the report and the reporter succeeded in raising the unnecessary fear factor already at a ridiculously high level. Her report was neither balanced nor factual. Since when did the BBC stoop to the level of The Daily Mail?
Tony, London

It really is about time those on the left stopped projecting their anti-Western critique onto terrorists who patently do not share it.
Martin Schultz
"We can win". Maybe, but how many more people have to die first? Wouldn't it be more 'honest' of the BBC to mention at least the source of terrorism, namely, the foreign policy of the USA (for instance when they 'forgot' to withdraw their troops from Saudi-Arabia after the first Iraq war).

I also think al-Qaeda is manipulating people by using video-pictures of the terror done by Israel towards the Palestinian people. As long as those two countries don't change their behaviour, this war on terror can go on and on.
Jean-claude Lecomte, Ghent, Belgium

I don't think it is possible to take anything that Jane Corbin reports as serious journalism any more. After her repeatedly inaccurate reports of Saddam's threat, skewed in favour of the government's agenda - why should we now believe her report that perpetuates the twaddle the government is peddling right now with regard to the war against terrorism.

We became a target once Blair aligned us with the USA. Prior to that we had not been a target nor had any other Western government - just American interests. The war on terror has made us all targets. For that we have to thank Bush, the neo-conservative influence and the defending of Israel's interests above and beyond anyone else's in the Mid-East.
Sally Jones, Glasgow

While it seems to be sadly true that Western governments look to be all over the place in fighting against terror, one thing seems clear to me and was reinforced by the programme, namely that we face a deadly enemy who hate us less for what we in the West do than for what we are.

Everything the Islamist terrorists do and say has precedents stretching back to before even the first Iraq war. If we value our own way of life, we have no choice but to fight.

This has nothing to do with injustice, inequality or the wrongs of imperialism and it really is about time those on the rationalist western left stopped projecting their anti-Western critique (however justified) onto those - the terrorists who patently do not share it.
Martin Schultz, London, UK

Well that was the most anti-American broadcast I have ever seen on the BBC. Basically it says "Support America and your people get killed". Well BBC all I can say is we (unlike the Spanish) are not cowards. If al-Qaeda bombs here then they will have made the biggest mistake they have ever made.
Richard, Stourbridge, UK

This one thing the world should know. These people find happiness in killing others

Kajobinyi, Egypt/Sudan
The tragic events in Madrid demonstrate all to vividly that al-Qaeda are very much still in existence and do pose a real threat to the UK. Tonight's Panorama showed various members linked with this organisation are prepared to inflict such attacks on the UK and the government are quite right to face this threat head-on. We can only do so much to prepare for an inevitable attack on our country. I do think that we have to rely on law abiding Muslims to reveal to the authorities those who are a danger to us. I do fear, as was pointed out in the programme, that one or more terrorists could get through the net and all that is possible must be done to prevent this. Harsh reality is, they need only strike once to change the shape of our country, and like in Spain, determine the outcome of elections. Changing government in this manner is not good for future democratic elections in this or any other country in the world.
Steve Fuller, Hove / England

It's terrifying isn't it? - I can almost see the headlines on the English papers already reporting on a mass terror attack in England. I know all there is to know on this war and I still don't understand. What does everyone want? Surely there's room for all. Let's stop talking war and start talking ideology. We are 'fighting' ideas and religious fanaticism, not people as such.
Sarah Price, Cambridge

I would like to know whose interests the BBC are working in. The last couple of weeks have seen wholly lacking in impartiality. After 'This Week' and now 'Panorama' I am left wondering about the independence of this organization. Are the BBC supporting terrorism by peddling the fear they crave us to be consumed by? Or are they alternatively demonising a whole race of people, which could coincidentally be exactly what the Western governments need in order to further control us with their brand of fear?
Dee, Somerset UK

I guess we are not winning the War on Terror because terrorist leaders Bush and Bliar are still at large. Their War OF Terror in Afghanistan and Iraq and the support of Israeli terror attacks are bound to cause chaos in the world. Aren't the IRA supposed to be a terrorist group? Why is it that Bliar has made peace with them?
A Haagman, London, UK

Oh come on, 70% of the Spanish populous was against Bush and his cohorts from the very beginning. Like all other Europeans they hate arrogance and the way Bush and Powell lied to the United Nations. They were outraged when 40 Spanish peacekeepers were killed in Iraq. The bombing of the train had nothing whatsoever to do with the election results. The same is bound to happen in Briton and it has nothing whatsoever to do with what al-Qaeda does.
Pete Peterson, Santa Rosa, CA. U.S.A.

It is good to hope for the best and prepare for the worst. If these terrorists are to attack the UK, it will be due to the UK being an ally of the US. Many countries have been attacked despite their opposition to the war, Morocco, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia. This one thing the world should know. These people find happiness in killing others.
Kajobinyi, Alex, Egypt/Sudan

The terrorists are winning the war. We need to take out the government of Iran to demoralise them and deprive them of their main ideological and physical base.
Robin, Los Angeles, USA

Having read your article published on BBC News Online, I am again deeply irritated by the fact UK journalists seems to be very much inclined to perpetuate the government's claim that Spain's election result was directly influenced by Osama Bin Laden. This is a misleading allegation. Spanish people voted against Mr Aznar Government in response to the government's attempt to grossly manipulate information about March 11th. I was very surprised to see the BBC not give appropriate - if any - exposure to the news later in the past week proving beyond any reasonable doubt the government and the police explicitly attempted to portray March 11th as an ETA attack on the democratic system. The UK government's claim benefits Mr Blair. It strengthen his approach against terrorism. Europe is proposing an alternative way to fight terrorism, one that may lead to more permanent solutions. I believe this is worthy of discussion. We shouldn't let Mr Blair be the only one to set the agenda on how we fight terrorism. The Bush administration's approach to terrorism is showing its deficiencies as days go by.
Francesco Cerminara, London

Terror: Are we next?
16 Mar 04 |  Panorama
Who is winning the war?
17 Mar 04 |  Panorama

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