Manchester Massacre

Anthony McIntyre shares his thoughts on last night's massacre in Manchester.

Post-World War Two Mancunians probably felt the IRA attack on their city in 1996 was the worst they were likely to experience in terms of bombings. During the second world war the Nazis blitzed Manchester, killing hundreds, but few alive would have any memory of that.

The big bang for most Mancunians came courtesy of the IRA having detonated the largest bomb on British soil since the 1940s. Fortunately, while it produced numerous casualties, its fatality count was nil.

In the era of Islamic State, the bulk of eyes presumably were on the capital rather than second tier cities. Most previous mass murder attacks on civilians by theocratic fascists on European soil have tended to be in capitals: Paris, Brussels, Madrid; Berlin; London. There was of course Nice, the exception rather than rule. Still, despite the general trend, Manchester serves as a cruel reminder that nowhere is off-limits. Any city will be packed with “legitimate targets” – for theocratic predators: children. 

The Nazis did not return to Manchester last night, but fellow nihilists of a different creed most certainly did. And with Nazi-like dispassion for children they slaughtered the innocent, eight-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos among them. Should we be surprised

That ISIS a grisly and terrible threat cannot be seriously doubted. With its horrifying snuff films, its genocidal practices towards Shiite Muslims, Christians, and “polytheists,” and its arch-reactionary social codes imposed through whippings, limb-chopping, beheadings, stoning, eye-gouging, the shooting of children for minor infractions, and its sexual enslavement of women, ISIS is most definitely extremist and perversely evil.

An extreme and perverse evil that snaked its way into Manchester just over 24 hours ago to visit the wrath of a vile deity on Saffie Rose Roussos and others whose minor infraction was to attend a music concert.

What is it about music that infuriates the slayers? The decision to target buildings like the Bataclan in Paris and the Manchester Arena, venues hosting music concerts, are perhaps indicative of the mindset HJ Mencken was scathing of, puritanism: "The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy." The cerebral offspring of a warped theocratic perspective. Throw into the mix the Dawkins view that “religion teaches the dangerous nonsense that death is not the end,” and the primer exists for murder-suicide.

The timing was dreary, by accident not design. No sooner had one notorious child killer died than another stepped in to take his place. Ian Brady or Salman Abedi, there is not a lot to contrast but a huge amount to compare: infanticide for gratification, whether religious or sexual, is an abomination. Context doesn’t matter. It is mere alibi. 

The anger and blackness that descended upon learning of the Manchester Massacre was similar to what I felt when Palestinian children playing on a Gaza beach were targeted for murder by Israel: or when the infants of Sandy Hook were gunned to death by a US psychopath. There is no evil to equal the evil of child murder.

Those who wilfully target children for murder are beyond either description or redemption. When Brady died in custody last week, my one sentiment was fuck him. Much the same as it was towards Robert Black and Myra Hindley, when they breathed their last stale breath in dank prison cells. Much as it will be if Marc Dutroux experiences a similar demise in a Belgian jail. Fuck Salman Abedi as well before forgetting him. Remember Saffie Rose Roussos instead.  

My own 16 year old daughter was in the air at the time of the explosion, on her way back from a four day school trip to London. On Saturday night her two friends had attended a concert in Dublin by the artist who played Manchester last night, Ariana Grande. Although in no danger whatsoever, I suppose it simply adds intensity to the emotions of the moment and greater empathy towards the parents of the murdered of Manchester.

Meanwhile, the leader of the so called free world, Donald Trump, has just signed a  $110 billion arms deal with the Saudi regime at the very moment the ideology sponsored by that regime was stalking the streets of Manchester.


  1. What is about music that infuriates the slayers? Not just the slayers, you have seen yourself how annoyed the 'mainstream' was over some cartoons. What offends Islam is that there are non-believers. 51% of their holy texts (the Koran, the Sunnah, the Hadith) are about non-believers. That is a damning statistic when you really understand its implication, and very revealing. I dont think our clever polticians get it either, they have a displaced sense of parenthood being childless themselves, and they think the hatred stems from Western policy in the region therefore as a pennance we should admit as many of them as want to come here, and these refugees like Abedi's family (who must never be criticised) will be the 'babies' they never had. People like Bernadette Devlin (and the media, and the state, and big business) want to make this about us blaming 'less than humans' for taking some resource we think we should have. Maybe she is right, the resource is our children, is it now racist to want them to live?

  2. Saudi is the biggest sponsor of ISIS and USA/UK special forces are training them in Syria. The US military carried out air strikes recently killing Syrian government troops who had gotten too close to one of their ISIS training camps in Syria. So basically ISIS are good guys killing children in Syria, but pure evil killing children in the UK. Seemingly an estimated 50% of UK born ISIS trained 'Jihadi Johns' have returned to the UK. People can slate me or unfriend me all they like but there will be no Union Jack going on my FB in empathy with Manchester, Freddy Kreuger is going up instead as the UK nightmare foreign policy representative abroad. This little 8 year old girl in Manchester is about to become the next Sefton.

  3. Larry,

    I doubt many Union Jacks will be on our Facebook pages in response to Manchester. It seems tacky and jingoistic. At one level displaying a Union Jack suggests the murdered be sympathised with because they are English. They are to be sympathised with because they were the human victims of a horrible atrocity. They had as much right to be free from harm as your children and mine.

  4. I would like to see Drogheda open a book of condolence.

  5. It's hard to fathom how anyone can strap a bomb on to themselves with the intention of deliberately targeting and killing children never mind adults. As a parent, my heart goes out to those parents off the children horrifically injured, no doubt permanently maimed and to those who have perished. That little girl, full of the joys of life during the concert and then to have her night brutally stolen, and she violently ripped away from her parents. I think of my own and at the same time I don’t want to imagine it.

    What is sickening about it is May and Trump, after their arms agreements worth billions to the Saudi's who along with Israel, directly provide support and assistance to these theocratic animals, can stand up and hypocritically declare their public i say, sickening.

    “The cerebral offspring of a warped theocratic perspective.”
    Its not only this perspective that can inflict such horror. There is the ‘collateral damage’ of the Coalition being inflicted on women and children in Syria and Iraq? In March alone this year over 300 civilians, mostly women and children, were targeted and blown to pieces by the Coalition and who described some of these deaths as ‘collateral damage’. Did Bernadette McAliskey, in her Guernica speech, call it right when she alluded to the racism inherent in placing a value on victims?
    There was no outpouring of grief, no photographs of happy smiling children, no public angst, no statements of we shall never be defeated, no minutes silence, when the school house used by families outside Raqqa as an air raid shelter was obliterated by the Coalition, killing over 30 women and heart broke for them, for they having survived by God knows what means for so long in a brutal war, lost their fight for survival, not by theocratic monsters, but by those claiming to be coming to free they not deserve just as much sympathy as Manchester?

    We should be challenging the warmongers for it is their foreign policy that is the root cause of such attacks.

  6. Daithi D

    Are you on Vatican 'whacky backy'? Let the Muslims read the Koran in their own countries. Don't travel there you infidel. AND buy their oil don't commit genocide and destruction on false pretext so you can thieve it all.

    That bombers dad was a security officer at Heathrow, left to join in the overthrow of Qaddafi... a good terrorist/loyalist. The son felt different and his own mother informed UK police on him for doing so. People seem to be the same everywhere right enough.

  7. And the world remains a sometimes dangerous, harsh and cruel space.

    Condolences to those in Manchester and throughout the world who grieve the loss of their beloved innocents.

  8. Nial

    "my heart broke for them, for they having survived by God knows what means for so long in a brutal war, lost their fight for survival, not by theocratic monsters, but by those claiming to be coming to free them."

    Similarly it was the British tactic during WW2 when they couldn't penetrate the concrete of U-Boat bases in France to obliterate the villages and towns nearby thus depriving the Germans of supplies and whatever resources and sustenance those in Vichy were happily providing. Before and during D-Day they did the same, carpet bombed towns and villages which had remained unscathed during Nazi occupation. Amazing what you can feed people when in control of the media.

  9. I lived on and off in Manchester for about 10 years from 2002. It was amazing how many Mancunians used to speak almost approvingly of the 1996 IRA bomb, leading as it did to the regeneration of what was by all accounts a horrible part of the city centre. This attack is on a different scale. I used to live just down the road from the Arena. Never set foot inside it as typically it used to host those boy/girl band/singers so beloved of teenage girls. That's what makes this so shocking. This religious nutter was borne and brought up in Manchester. If he had chosen the Apollo or the Academy, venues I used to frequent, he may have slaughtered rock fans. But no he decided little girls had to die for his god.

  10. DaithiD "and they think the hatred stems from Western policy in the region therefore as a pennance we should admit as many of them as want to come here,and these refugees like Abedi's family (who must never be criticised) will be the 'babies' they never had."

    Firstly, it was common knowledge that Western intervention in the Middle East of the kind proposed by Blair would create a spiral of hate, a destabilisation of the region and more attacks in the West. The Vox Pops of the anti war demonstrators when the WMD stories were the excuse for invasion of Iraq stated exactly that. It wasn't prescience. It was obvious to the grannies and the students, the workers and everyone else at the marches and I believe to Blair et al.

    Secondly, I don't believe even the most staunch defender of human rights would argue that we should admit as many of them as want to come here nor that refugees should never be criticised. They shouldn't be criticised as a group any more than all Jews should be held responsible for the genocide in Gaza. The reference to the "babies they never had" makes you sound like a gibbering, hatefilled imbecile.

    You call yourself a Republican but you're more like a Trump than a Casement.

  11. Simon,
    I am not an imbecile. I might be wrong in my opinion, but its a very considered opinion, and I take care to query any points I may make, for example the 51% stat I took up with its author :


    Daithi O Donnabhain


    I value your approach to exegisis and ive seen many of your online videos, could I please ask a question on your methodology?

    51% of the Quran+Sura+Hadiths is about kaffirs is an assertion in many of your talks. Could I ask what you mean specifically;

    1) Did you do this manually, or did you parse the text into a computer to scan it?
    2) Are you counting paragraphs where kaffir is mentioned?
    3) If the paragraph also mentions some aspect to do with Muslims,do you score this as a verse about Kaffir or Muslimss or neither?

    Im a scientist by training, and I would love to know these aspects in future debates I may have.

    Ps thankyou in advance, Im sure not all the messages you get are nice!

    From: []
    Sent: Saturday, February 4, 2017 2:33 PM
    Subject: New submission from Contact

    1. I have the Trilogy in word format. I read the docs and used macros to cut and paste to a separate doc. Then I just count the words.
    2. I tried counting verses, but words was easier
    3. If it mentioned Kafirs, I counted it as a text about Kafirs.

    I will probably do this analysis myself for different terms, im thinking AM would be interested in carrying this sort of thing, its well within my programming capability. This is how I form opinions. It doesnt make me correct, but im not an imbecile at all.By any measure.

  12. DaithiD, I find it interesting that you took my observation that your reference to the "babies they never had" makes you sound like a gibbering, hatefilled imbecile to be a wider attack despite it targeting a specific sentence. I also find it interesting that you didn't demy the hatefilled epithet but were quick to deny being an imbecile.

    The responses to your questions seem dubious and flawed. If a text mentions
    kafirs he took it as being about Kafirs. That doesn't sound very scientific. Perhaps if he counted the texts that were about Kafirs rather than those which purely mention them he might be on to something. Counting words, eh? I suppose birds of a feather flock together.

  13. @ Niall who wrote "It's hard to fathom how anyone can strap a bomb on to themselves with the intention of deliberately targeting and killing children never mind adults"

    i asked myself the same question and tried to find an answer

  14. eurofree3,

    a good piece. Would love to reproduce it on TPQ

  15. Lest we forget, Pope Urban II had this to say at Clermont, France in 1095 A.D. to whip up a froth for crusading:

    "All who die by the way, whether by land or by sea, or in battle against the pagans, shall have immediate remission of sins. This I grant them through the power of God with which I am invested. O what a disgrace if such a despised and base race, which worships demons, should conquer a people which has the faith of omnipotent God and is made glorious with the name of Christ! With what reproaches will the Lord overwhelm us if you do not aid those who, with us, profess the Christian religion! Let those who have been accustomed unjustly to wage private warfare against the faithful now go against the infidels and end with victory this war which should have been begun long ago. Let those who for a long time, have been robbers, now become knights. Let those who have been fighting against their brothers and relatives now fight in a proper way against the barbarians. Let those who have been serving as mercenaries for small pay now obtain the eternal reward. Let those who have been wearing themselves out in both body and soul now work for a double honor. Behold! on this side will be the sorrowful and poor, on that, the rich; on this side, the enemies of the Lord, on that, his friends. Let those who go not put off the journey, but rent their lands and collect money for their expenses; and as soon as winter is over and spring comes, let hem eagerly set out on the way with God as their guide."

    Clever pope that one transforming robbers into knights and killers into avenging angels. Thousands had gathered in a large field outside Clermont to hear the pope's proclamation and plea. They must have had a reaction much more Altamont than Woodstock.

  16. Simon, I had discussed the other insults on another thread and didnt feel the need to repeat myself. I too have issues with his methodology, I dont think the whole volume of text should be attributed to Kaffirs if it also mentions apostates or believers for example. But its a useful number to batter people with, I forget how timid some people get at stats, I wanted to push them into a zone of discomfort. AM routinely wipes the floor with me in every other field, so I enjoy this angle sometimes.

  17. DaithiD,

    wiping the floor is not how I would describe our changes. They are robust but not one sided clear cut winners and losers.

  18. AM, I guess it came across as a lament, I didnt mean it to.It all takes place in a dignified way, I dont feel annoyed at all, but I am conscious ive shed several large biases based on these exchanges.I dont like being called versions of stupid because there is nothing for me to work on fixing.
    From memory I think I got you to consider the asymetry between a man and womans rights in childbirth because you hadnt thought about the topic on the terms I presented. But its better to shed bad ideas here and present the public with consistent and tested ideas, rather than discover the holes at a worse time. Wipe away !

  19. @ AM who said said...

    "a good piece. Would love to reproduce it on TPQ"

    feel free to re-blog or reproduce - as long as you include attribution and refs

    best regards
    Ben Madigan

  20. eurofree3,

    we always do.


  21. Just to add something else AM, I think its important to acknowledge when someone has taken the effort to change your previous view. If the only available routes in these things are predetermined with prior agreement on an issue or defending bad analysis despite being shown the error, then it makes public debate less appealing. My standing on here isnt any less because Ive proven wrong on somethings (maybe it started from an already low base but thats another story!).I invite others to try it.

  22. DaithiD,

    it reads a bit convoluted to grasp what it is you are trying to convey.

  23. It someone sees an error in another's logic but doesn't think highlighting it will have any positive effect or any acknowledgement of the error, it will be the death of debate.hope this is clearer

  24. It is clearer. One problem is that the defence of vanity over sanity, gives rise to insane reasoning, with people disputing the obvious.

  25. The hypocrisy amongst Europeans is just so sickening. An Islamist blows up 21 Israeli Jewish young people outside a Tel Aviv nightclub in 2001 and its a military attack perpetrated by a soldier fighting oppression. An Islamist blows up 22 English young people outside a Manchester concert and its a horrific terrorist attack perpetrated by a murdering scumbag. How do these clowns look themselves in the mirror every morning and not laugh?

  26. Ryan,

    what Europeans?

    I imagine most Europeans oppose those attacks in Israel.

    Some on the Left might support them but they are minority.

    I am sure you will find that in the US as well.

    But who are the Europeans who described the slaughter of Israeli young people as an act if war and Manchester as an act of terror?

    Until we know who you refer to we can hardly consider the merits of your observation.

  27. Anthony

    How big a role do you think the Aldershot bombing played in the Official IRA's decision to call a ceasefire? And is it true that Brendan Hughes in his last years came to see the bombing of non-military targets as strategically counterproductive?

    Yes, you're correct, the vast majority of Americans condemn all jihadist attacks on Israel and Israelis. I remember being in a history course in the 80s in North Carolina and reading an excellent book by a Palestinian refugee who grew up in Jordan. My peers roundly condemned the book as terrorist propaganda. I was really taken aback.

  28. How about Sinn Fein? Did Martin or Gerry ever condemn the deaths of Israeli civilians during the intifada? O'Neill called the attack in Manchester horrific but I don't recall these statements from SF during the war. I've been following your blogs for years ever since the blanket but I can't remember one of the regulars ever expressing outrage over a bunch of yeshiva 17 year old students getting riddled while at prayer with an AK. I lived in Ireland during those years and always got the "well you know Israelis aren't technically civilians since they are all eligible for conscription in the Israeli army. So they're actually combatants". I never got a satisfactory answer as to whether Israeli 12 year olds were not civilians since they were not yet eligible! I don't want to rehash the Palestine question, I realize Israel is about as popular as brain cancer on this board. I think unless you're a Quaker we are all guilty of some type of hypocrisy. This bombing in this area of the world is good but this bombing in this area of the world is evil. This assassination of this figure is good but this assassination is murderous terrorism. But these civilian killings have just struck me as blatant hypocrisy.

  29. Ryyan,

    Gerry and Martin hardly amount to a representative sample of Europeans. Perhaps you mean SF is hypocritical rather than Europeans.

    If you don't remember then you don't remember. But there were different views

  30. Michael,

    I think it was something that was going to happen. I guess Ranger Best played a bigger part (if any) than Aldershot.

    I no longer recall what Brendan thought. I would need to go back online and check his writings.

  31. Ryan

    Personally I have empathy with Iranian hard liners regarding Israel. It is the poison that the west planted in the midst of Arabs and Muslims after WW2 when the Jews could have been given Bavaria instead. Israel is an evil Satanic entity that onl the west could dream up.

  32. Well Larry I won't argue with you on Israel. I personally have empathy with isolationists who want nothing more to do with the Middle East. The whole region is a hopeless, backward, dystopian third world hellhole. Refugees are swamping Europe now and these bombings and car/bus attacks will only get worse. I hope it never hits Ireland

  33. Ryan

    I don't think there was anything 3rd world about either Libya or Syria before the West 'intervened'. Ireland has only recently had a end to its latest round of violence emenating from British interferance here. If ISIS violence reaches Ireland Shannon airports use as a USA military base will have a lot to answer for as will those who permitted it atthe Dail. Just the same as UK foreign policy has much to answer for.