American Groups Want to Boycott Scotland after Lockerbie Release


The Scottish government’s release of convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdel Baset al-Megrahi last week has sparked outrage among some American groups. Bloomberg has more:

Visit Scotland, the government-funded agency promoting tourism, received e-mails from Americans saying they plan to cancel holidays and staff have been preparing for a backlash after the release of al-Megrahi, spokeswoman Alison Robb said. A Web site was set up to encourage people to boycott Scotland.

Most Scots support the decision and criticism in Scotland centers on the “ham-fisted” way the decision was dealt with, including news leaking out a week in advance and MacAskill’s visit to al-Megrahi in jail, Steel said.

“I think most opinion in Scotland is in favor of the decision to release him on compassionate grounds,” he said. “If it had been done quickly and quietly there would have been less of a furor.”

Visitors from the U.S. accounted for 340,000 trips to Scotland in 2008 and spent 260 million pounds ($429 million) in the country, according to figures published by Visit Scotland. U.S. citizens account for 21 percent of spending by people from outside the U.K, the organization said.

Scottish officials claim Al-Megrahi was released to Libya last week because he has terminal prostate cancer, with less than three months to live. The Scottish legal system regularly offers prisoners compassionate release when they are near death.

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  • Peter Jefferies

    Am I the only one in the UK who finds the American reaction to the release of Al-Megrahi somewhat disingenuous?

    The Director of the FBI to accuses us of “giving comfort to terrorists.” Perhaps he should look back a few years to when the US granted a visa to Gerry Adams who, at the time, was associated with the Provisional IRA and its activities. This visa was granted despite serious lobbying by our Government at the time. It was also seriously offensive to anyone who had lost loved ones or comrades during the troubles in Northern Ireland.

    The prominent political lobbyist in the US for the granting of the Adams visa was Senator Edward Kennedy who, ironically, was a signatory to the letter to the Scottish Justice Secretary asking that Al Megrahi should not be released. Is this not a case of double standards?

    We should also remember that the President of the USA at the time was one William Jefferson Clinton and ordered that the visa be granted. His wife Hilary Rodham Clinton is now the Secretary of State who got very hot under the collar about the Al Megrahi release.

    For the US to threaten boycotts over this affair looks like bully-boy tactics. Do as Big Brother USA says or we will hit you with a big stick. Perhaps we should retaliate by withdrawing our forces from support to the American efforts in Afghanistan and ordering the withdrawal of all US troops and installations from UK soil.

    Yours Sincerely,

    Peter Jefferies

  • sandra wells

    Who cares a f*ck what Americans think. Tired of these uneducated hicks thinking all countries have live like they do. We don’t want their gun laws and their idea that compassion can’t be shown to a man who did not bomb this flight. If the world didn’t hate these idiots then Scottish people would not have been killed on this flight or on the ground.

  • Bill Allen

    I don’t think the the majority of Americans give a flying RATS ASS about boycotting Scotland for a judicial decision made in the courts but after reading all the blogs from England and Scotland directed at Americans, I will never in my life buy a single thing from either place. I can’t believe the total enjoyment there is at American misfortune.

    SCREW YOU ALL !!!!!!

    Most Sincerely,
    Bill Allen

  • lisa

    i understand the way the americans must be feeling but i dont think they realise this was the Scottish GOVERMENTS choice not the people of Scotland. i would be just as angry and upset if one of my family died in the lockerbie bombing but i would not join a group telling scottish people to boycott America. America does alot of things that nobody else agrees with but you dont see anyone saying anything?!, this whole thing about boycotting Scotland is stupid but i as i said before i can understand how upset they are but things WOULD be different if it was the other way around, and another thing its not the “world” against Scotland its the “world” against the Scottish goverment!, the people of Scotland should not have to sit here and take the amount of abuse there getting for something there goverment has done!

  • katie

    well said Peter Jefferies i agree!
    everything bad the Americans have done has been overlooked,
    but because half of the American population does not know where Scotland is its a massive thing, yes i would be angry and upset but dont ever dare give abuse to the Scottish people for something the goverment has done!!!

  • Mario

    Can’t believe the victim mentality of the UK posters. Is it bad for us to feel disgusted with the joyous welcome of a mass murderer. If some of us would like to protest via boycott, so be it – they never work anyway. But the venomous reply from UK is unbelievable…

  • Mike Sanders

    Sadly Mr Allen, you only have you’re last President to blame for the bloggs directed against America. Bush was a danger to all free speaking democracies, by using his allies at a whim, so that he could have in his own backyard a concentration camp, namely Guantanamo Bay. The CIA and FBI know more than they’re saying about the Lockerbie disaster, and only last Sunday in the S/Express, there was an article naming a Syrian living in the USA for the bombing. The majority of Americans wouldn’t even know where Scotland was, especially as only about 35% have a passport.

  • Robert Bleasby

    I have great difficulty how the US (goverment and public) can justify thier moral outrage at the release of Al Magrahi.
    Have they conveniently forgotten that Lieut. William Calley, who was found guilty of being responsible for the slaughter of rather more innocent Vietnam villagers at My Lai was sentance to life imprisonment and this was then promptly commuted to three years house arrest?

  • rich matthews

    I’ve seen alot of crap on both sides of the ocean, but letting a mass murderer loose and giving him a hero’s welcome in Libia just doesn’t swallow for me. As for me being a grandson of irish immigrants to the usa, there was alot of hate toward the English and Scotts, We saluted when bombs were set off in Northern Ireland, that didn’t mean we were right. I guarantee you, I will sell no more scottish products in my establishement. Ask the French how there business is doing.

  • Tom Shell

    Just wait and see how strong our boycott will be… then you will regret the release of this terrorist. There are all ready several webstites dedicated to the cause… and it will spread like wild fire.

  • highlander

    Look at the actions of your own goverment before you criticise mine,
    Detention without trial,Torture,Bombing children in pakistan,yugoslavia,vietnam,laos,cambodia and we wont forget the atomb bombs in japan,america is still the only country to drop nukes in anger, Is scotland really that bad? are you really going to boycott us? Sort your own mes out first,your poverty fraud,your lack of basic health care your abondened VICTIMS of katrina on which the whole world watched as your goverment left them to die

  • Frank Bowles

    290 people died on a plane in 1988. It was a civilian airliner shot down by the USS Vincennes. Every one of those families feel the same loss as those who died over Lockerbie but somehow there isn’t a Twitter campaign to vilify the captain who shot it down. At least they know who pulled the trigger.

    The representatives of the Lockerbie families in the UK have never accepted that Megrahi was anything other than someone put up to satisfy US public opinion… there needed to be someone brought to account… serious legal opinion is divided over whether he did it; but if he did he was acting as a representative of Libya who we have been bringing into the international fold and luring away from its terrorist past. Like the USA it used to fund terrorism in Ireland. When Megrahi landed in Libya they were flying the Scottish flag not burning it; they saw it as a peace offering. However hard it may seem to those of you who believe the verdict against Megrahi, this week Kenny MacAskill made us less not more likely to be the target of Islamic terrorism.

  • Radagast61

    Have we all conveniently forgotten about the American bombing of Tripoli in 1986, where many Libyan civilians lost their lives? Is that considered to be terrorism, or is it another inconvenient truth?

  • Garry Buggy

    I see that some Americans are trying to boycott my country for releasing Al-Megrahi, and in doing so disregarding the American dead. Could I just point out the following…..
    The American navy shot down a plane full of civilian passengers from Iran. Common knowledge. In return the Ayotollah promised “American blood will rain from the skies”. They not only blew up the Pan Am flight , they TOLD you they were going to. So as a result of Americas actions SCOTTISH people died as well.
    If Al-Megrahi was the scapegoat he should have stayed in prison. However, if Americans think boycotting Scotland is a good idea perhaps they should consider how many friends they actually have internationally? There are lots of people here have American relations and friends. More importantly there are Scottish soldiers being killed and injured every day in Iraq and Afghanistan fighting Americas war. Rather than boycotting our whisky why not take your nuclear weapons from our country?? While you are at it , do not ever bomb anyone in Europe or anywhere else , using OUR country as a base to mount your attacks.
    In general Scottish people and Americans get on in my experience. Most Americans I have met are well mannered , polite and amicable. So I do hope it is the minority that are involved in these Scottish hate campaigns or boycotts.
    Perhaps the minority should remember that Scottish people and Americans have a good relationship. I doubt the same could be said about: Somalians,,Venezuellans,Pakistanis,Bosnians,Iranians,Cubans,Afghans,Vietnamese,Syrians,North Koreans,Russians,Palestinians,Libyans,Chinese,etc etc etc etc etc etc etc….

  • highlander
  • The US should think rather carefully before suggesting foreign policy is a reason for consumer trade boycott. Their economy is weak enough without the world turning on them for their blunders.

  • Jim666

    The rantings coming from both sides of the Atlantic are shameful. We in Scotland can’t stop you from boycotting everything Scottish but that just makes you seem to us no better than the terrorists we are supposed to be fighting and rekindles the hurt felt in Scotland when the American people so willingly gave support and money to the terrorist organisation (the IRA) that killed so many Scots soldiers, not to mention the inocent men women and children they slaughtered and your politicians feted their leaders as some kind of freedom fighters. I don’t know what the hell you want us to do about MacAskill and the other sods that done the deal with Qaddafi other than what we will be doing at the next election and booting them out of power (the democratic way)
    Or is it that you just want to punish us as seems to be the case. Maybe this is an opportunity for both our peoples to re evaluate what we both obviously mistook as friendship and common purpose.

  • Mary O’Doherty

    I’m a proud American and will never apologize for where I come from. Most Americans are not hicks and do know where Scotland is. I’m quite certain that just like over here in the states, your citizens are wonderful people but your politicians & equally importantly your media are deceitful and corrupt. I won’t participate in any kind of a boycott as I’m convinced that the boys in London & Washington made the real decision on this – Scotland is just lost in the shuffle. I feel terribly sorry for all of the families of the victims that had to witness a willing participant in their loved one’s murder receive a hero’s welcome home.

  • Screw YOU

    ” Tired of these uneducated hicks thinking all countries have live like they do. We don’t want their gun laws….”

    Blah, blah, blah. This is NOT just about the release! It’s about how leftists (read note above), have apparently taken over the UK, like they’re trying to do in the US. You refuse entry to Michael Savage because he’s a conservative talk show host in the US (ewwwwww!), you are beginning to have complete PC BS running rampant now in the UK, and FURTHER we’re just now sick of your SHIT. THIS was just a final straw!

    Stay on your side of the pond! We’ll happily do the same!