Peace of mind for Lee Rigby’s family tonight as the two animals who savagely attacked and mutilated an off duty soldier are found guilty of Murder. Because of the nature of the crime it would be unlikely that they will see anything less than life imprisonment. It doesn’t bring him back but perhaps – especially at this emotive time of year – the family and friends can look upon the upcoming new year as a chance to move on from what has been a horrific and heart-breaking seven months. What the two men thought they were achieving or whether they thought at all has been blurry in the court case – claims of it being a war and their actions being justified under those terms are vile empty words for what they did – but are they alone in these thoughts?
The biggest fear is the one from within – look at the Oklahoma bomber Timothy McVeigh, the biggest shock to those who suffered at his hands is that he was an American; the same is true of our own 7/7 bombers. There are those that believe the propaganda and rhetoric and you wonder how we can get through to them that their notions are wrong and that the majority of this country are peaceful, decent people. Well there are always complications to that and there is a rather ironic juxtaposition of stories on the BBC Website tonight with the story above taking top billing and two headlines below there is this story:
“There is evidence Britain was inappropriately involved in the rendition and ill-treatment of terror suspects, an inquiry has revealed. Retired judge Sir Peter Gibson reviewed 20,000 top secret documents after allegations of wrongdoing by MI5 and MI6 officers in the wake of 9/11. He found no evidence officers were directly involved in the torture or rendition of suspects. But he said further investigation was needed into evidence of complicity. Minister without portfolio Ken Clarke announced that a further investigation by a committee of MPs and peers will now be held into areas of concern highlighted by Sir Peter.” – BBC Website
While there is no justification for the motives and actions of Lee Rigby’s killers, you know that this story could gather pace and generate more people who are already convinced that the UK and its government are secretly killing and torturing people in this wrongly named “War on Terror”. The thing is the story is fairly empty of facts or any real wrongdoing, but you can see how it can be used to fuel the hatred in some sick pockets of society. We, and I mean the UK officials at all levels, need to be seen to be doing the right thing; perception is everything. We need to reach out and show solidarity with Arab nations where possible and bring moderates to the table and engage openly with them. This so-called “War” will not be won on anything except co-operation.
The scariest part of this story that came out of the trial is that any one of those service men or women could have been the one to die as these two animals lay in wait for their ticket to martyrdom. Thankfully the police were judged to have done the right thing in shooting the two and the bravery of those who stopped to challenge the men and try to help Lee deserve all the credit they are getting. The only good thing to come out of the tragic murder of Fusilier Rigby was the coming together of the community regardless of faith or skin colour – therein lies the way through this.
I know it will be of little consolation over the coming week to the relations of Lee Rigby but the whole nation will always remember him. Also I think the way the family has dealt with this whole episode has been amazing. Their dignity and honesty are commendable and I hope that they can start to move on from all of this. His wife Rebecca’s words sum up the reality of the situation beyond the media, the court case and everything else: “These people have taken away my baby’s dad but Lee’s memory lives on through our son and we will never forget him. I now want to build a future for Jack and make him proud of his dad like we all are.”