With all of England on edge because the ISIS executioner of James Foley, known as "Jihadi John" sported a British accent, and who may or may not have been identified as Abdel-Majed Bary, although UK government sources have not yet officially revealed his identity, one person has decided it is time to not waste yet another crisis. The person: London mayor Boris Johnson who as the Guardian reports, has called for the presumption of innocence to be reversed in cases where Britons travel to Iraq or Syria and said he wants the jihadist who beheaded an American journalist to be killed in a bomb attack. If Johnson's proposal for a "swift and minor" law change passes, any Brit traveling to Iraq or Syria will automatically be branded a terrorist and suffer the appropriate consequences.
More on this stunning attempt to overhaul the most basic right of law:
The Mayor of London, who has overall responsibility for the Metropolitan Police, said legislation should be introduced so that anyone visiting those countries would be automatically presumed to be terrorists unless they had notified the authorities in advance, and joined growing calls for Britons fighting abroad to be stripped of their citizenship.
Johnson said Britain must take on the Islamic State (Isis) and “try to close it down now”, warning that doing nothing would mean a “tide of terror will eventually lap at our own front door”.
Writing in his Daily Telegraph column, Johnson said most Britons wanted “someone to come along with a bunker buster” and kill the man, reported to be British, “as fast as possible”.
Johnson had no comment on whether ISIS would have ever arisen as a credible, terrorist force had the grand "liberating" western alliance not come along with a bunker buster (or few thousand) against the Assad regime 2 years ago, and in the process funded the very Syrian "rebels" who subsequently morphed into the bloodthirsty sect which is too extreme even for al-Qaeda.
Johnson said those who “continue to give allegiance to a terrorist state” should lose their British citizenship and called for a “swift and minor change” to the law so there was a “rebuttable presumption” that those visiting war areas without notifying the authorities had done so for a terrorist purpose.
“We need to make it crystal clear that you will be arrested if you go out to Syria or Iraq without a good reason,” he wrote. “At present the police are finding it very difficult to stop people from simply flying out via Germany, crossing the border, doing their ghastly jihadi tourism, and coming back.”
The mayor said that while Britain’s recent military interventions had left the nation reluctant to wade into overseas conflicts, “doing nothing is surely the worst of all” and warned that the Isis “wackos” must be tackled.
“What is the point of having a defence budget, if we don’t at least try to prevent the establishment of a terrorist ‘caliphate’ that is profoundly hostile to civilised values?” he wrote.
Of course, all of the above is beyond ironic, because let's flash back to that Reuters report from July 2013, in which we read that 'Britain has granted billions of pounds worth of military export licences for countries such as Syria, Iran and Libya despite proclaiming deep concerns about their human rights records, the British parliament said on Wednesday. In a critical report, parliament's Committees on Arms Export Controls said Britain had approved licences for weapons exports to 27 countries worth 12.3 billion pounds highlighting the "inherent conflict" between its arms exports policy and its human rights policy."
"The government should apply significantly more cautious judgements when considering arms export licence applications for goods to authoritarian regimes 'in contravention of the government's stated policy'," said John Stanley, the chairman of the committees.
[The report] said such exports might contravene the government's own policy not to supply goods to countries on its list of human rights concerns where any items exported "might be used to facilitate internal repression".
The report gave details of 3,074 licences for the export of "strategic controlled goods", which can have dual military and civilian use. The products covered by the licences ranged from communications equipment to body armour and sniper rifles.
One can only assume that UK arms exporters will be exempt from this "swift and minor" law change. After all, how else can the UK create the very "humanitarian" crises it then seeks to abuse by crushing basic civil liberites.
And a follow up question: if and when the UK is successful in passing a law that brands one a terrorist simply for flying to a designated country, how long before other "humanitarian, democratic" stalwarts such as the US do the same? And how long before the list of deisgnated countries expands from just Syria and Iraq and encompasses any nations that dare to opine against a world in which the existing western superpower status is rapidly eroding.
We fear we will know the answer soon enough.