In the aftermath of Monday night’s bombing attack in Manchester, which killed 22 people and injured around 120, Britain has deployed soldiers to key sites while raising its terror alert to the maximum. Press TV has talked to Richard Becker, member of the ANSWER Coalition, as well as Frederick Peterson, congressional defense policy adviser, to get their opinion on this issue.
Becker, while condemning the attack in Manchester, believes the root cause of such incidents is Western interventions in the Middle East, adding that the destabilization of the region has led to the formation of terrorist groups which are carrying out such “horrible” assaults.
“So we have to see where this is really coming from, what the origin of it is and if we really go back to the origin of it, it was the massive US intervention in Afghanistan which led to the formation of al-Qaeda,” he said.
The analyst also stated the countries that have been intervened by the United States, Britain and their allies are where the greatest suffering is taking place, noting that little attention is being paid to the civilian deaths caused by these interventions.
He further dismissed as “ridiculous” the idea that there is a distinction between collateral damage and a deliberate attack against civilians, rejecting the claim that the United States and its allies are fighting a war on terror in the Middle East.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Becker mentioned the United States is fueling wars all over the world because it is the number one arms sales country in the world.
He also criticized the recent US arms deal worth $110 billion with Saudi Arabia, asserting that it would mean more war, death and destruction in the future.
The analyst concluded by saying that the “main sufferers” are not the people of Europe or the United States but rather the people of the Middle East who have seen their countries “ripped apart” by US intervention.
Meanwhile, Frederick Peterson, the other panelist on the program, described the assault in Manchester as “an absolutely disgusting attack on humanity” which should be “enthusiastically” rejected by all.
However, he argued that there is a clear difference between collateral damage in a war environment and civilian casualties due to terrorist attacks.
“In one, the casualties are collateral, unintended, often time the result of mistake. In this case [Manchester attack], the casualties were intended, clearly focused upon an attempt to do the maximum damage,” he said.
According to the analyst, the attack in Manchester has provided an opportunity for all countries to join together in rejecting terrorism as a tool.