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Year 2005 No. 106, August 11, 2005 ARCHIVE HOME JBBOOKS SUBSCRIBE

In a Climate of Hysteria, Blair Declares that the Rules Have Changed

Workers' Daily Internet Edition: Article Index :

In a Climate of Hysteria, Blair Declares that the Rules Have Changed

Battle Lines Drawn in Blair’s New War

Bush and Blair’s "Way of Life"

Correct Diagnosis of Problem Essential

"Muslims Must Remain United"

Truth Struggling

How did Greenspan Know about the London Bombings Two Days before?

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In a Climate of Hysteria, Blair Declares that the Rules Have Changed

Tony Blair’s speech – not given to parliament but to a media briefing at Downing Street – on Friday, August 5, has already become notorious.

In it he attempted to signal the end of the prevailing consensus of liberalism and tolerance, and promote the arbitrariness and authoritarianism which is at the heart of the programme of the "Third Way". It has been a programme which has unfolded starkly and step-by-step since 9/11 in this fashion, an Anglo-American programme of reaction and aggression in which the British government adopts the moral high ground, the role of justifier and ideologue.

Thus it is that Tony Blair is posing the present battle as one of ideologies, not to enable the people to mould a world outlook, but the opposite – that the ideology and values of neo-liberalism, presented as universal and "good", should triumph over Islamic extremism, just as, in his argument, it triumphed over that other "evil" "extremism" which he himself terms "revolutionary communism". At almost every step of the way since he declared on September 11 that the world had changed and he launched the agenda of the "war on terror", one pretext, one justification, has been replaced by another.

At its present stage, Blair is adopting the profile of the promoter of strong government, an over-rider of human rights and the judiciary, an advocate of constitutional reform in which the authority of the prerogative is concentrated in the hands of an executive elite, a saviour from the terror of an "evil ideology". In a climate of hysteria and a psychosis of fear, promoted by his government and with the collaboration of the media, he therefore announces that the "mood" has changed, and hence that the "rules of the game" must change too.

Tony Blair and his government must draw back from this dangerous course and let the people soberly assess the situation. No proof is being given why the right to conscience should be violated, why the European Convention on Human Rights should be thrown out of the window, why state terror and the impunity of the state forces should be the order of the day, of why there should suddenly be only one set of values in the world, of why one set of "anti-terrorism" legislation should be piled on another faster than the draughtsman can frame them. No proof except the declaration that now it is up to the government to use force, to intimidate, to deny the freedom of speech, to set arbitrary criteria for citizenship, to revive the medievalist conception of the "king’s enemies", and so on and so forth.

The path that Tony Blair is opening up is in absolute contempt of the rule of law, of the need for calm so that peace and security can be guaranteed, of the requirement for rights to be given a guarantee. This is the meaning of his "best yet" third term of office, of an election held to consolidate the arrangements of fascism and neo-liberal globalisation, of the unipolar world, of plunder and monopoly right.

WDIE calls on the working class and people to reject the climate of hysteria and psychosis of fear which aims to disinform and disorient them, to prevent them from thinking and discussing so as to identify and sort out the problems in society. It calls on them to reject the division of the polity on racist, religious or other grounds, which aims to set community against community. It calls on the working class and people to persist in the growing movement to smash the blocks to the progress of society which Tony Blair in his crusade against enlightenment is aiming to strengthen.

Reject Tony Blair’s "twelve proposals"!

No to fascism and war!

Not in our name!

Article Index

Battle Lines Drawn in Blair’s New War

By James Cusick, Westminster Editor, Sunday Herald, 7 August 2005

The day Britain began to close down democracy; the day Britain signalled a turning point in post-war liberalism. Civil rights groups and leading lawyers were left with an array of choices to describe Tony Blair’s latest declaration. And just as he did in 2003 when he took Britain into war in Iraq, he did so by announcing a new set of rules because "the game has changed".

For the Iraq war it was a new set of rules that would be rejected by the United Nations and, we would later learn, seriously questioned by his own attorney general, Lord Goldsmith.

After the Prime Minister’s startling announcements in Downing Street last Friday – when he listed new powers on deportation and closing places of worship, banned extremist groups, announced new powers to strip citizenship from naturalised citizens, promised new offences on glorifying terrorism at home or abroad, and widened control orders – he said: "Let no one be in doubt. The rules of the game have changed." He said: "We’re angry about these extremists. We’re angry about what they are doing to our country. We’re angry about people abusing our good nature and our toleration."

After 9/11, George Bush promised a war on terror. Last week Blair announced Britain’s response to the July 7 bombings: a war on civil toleration.

One civil rights barrister with close connections to the Matrix chamber, founded by the prime minister’s wife, Cherie Booth QC, said: "For some of us who were accidentally listening to the Downing Street press conference there was a sense of bewilderment, as though we might be tuning into the wrong BBC, perhaps a parallel Downing Street, an alternative England. "

When the rest of the reactions came they heralded, as Blair had predicted in his Downing Street call to arms, a lengthy season of battles that will test the government through all levels of Britain’s legal systems.

In the Commons in 2003, Blair insisted there was no war against the people of Iraq. On Friday, there was no war or action "aimed at the decent law-abiding Muslim community of great Britain".

But in a section of his address that sounded more like a script from a Dirty Harry movie than a prime ministerial call for legal revisions, Blair said: "If you come to our country from abroad, don’t meddle in extremism. If you meddle in it or engage in, then you’re going back out again."

A leading analyst from a US civil rights group said: "Maybe Blair should have added ‘So punks, are you feeling lucky today?’ Because the message was crystal clear. No more Mr-Nice-Guy Britain."

Shami Chakrabarti, director of the human rights group Liberty, said that Blair appeared to have learned nothing from recent events. "It seems he has no longer much truck for fundamental human rights at all and he’s talking quite actively about deporting people to face torture around the world. That is completely unacceptable and plays into the hands of the terrorists," she said.

Chakrabarti is also critical of government plans for new anti-terrorism legislation likely to be presented to parliament in the autumn. She added: "The idea of criminalising those who condone, glorify or justify terrorism anywhere in the world is now on his shopping list. That will be deeply dangerous and deeply counter productive. You do not win by mimicking the profound authoritarianism of those who are plotting against this country."

But Blair has never entered a war thinking he cannot win and his war on tolerance will be no exception. He also believes, contrary to his self-belief solo act on Iraq, that this time he has the support of the British people.

Speaking to the BBC yesterday, Lord Falconer, the Lord Chancellor and Blair’s long-term unquestioning ally, said: "I think there is a very widespread sense in the country, subsequent to July 7, that things have changed. A new balance needs to be struck. It needs to be a lawful balance, but it needs to be an effective balance."

Falconer claimed the "whole government" was behind Blair on the new measures. But if there was a fledgling cross-party unity following 7/7 and the attempted bombings two weeks later, that unity now shows all signs of evaporating.

With David Davis, the media-appointed Tory leader, saying he broadly approved of the measures, it was down to Charles Kennedy to question their sense . The leader of the Liberal Democrats said yesterday: "There is a worried mood in the country and rightly so. But you can’t legislate by mood."

Kennedy was also critical of Blair’s plan to extend the Home Secretary’s powers to deport or bar foreigners who encourage terrorism. "If you have an international war on terror, does it make sense simply to re-export a source of potential terror from your own country, rather than dealing with that individual and that issue within your own jurisdiction so that you have some control over it?"

Blair may simply answer Kennedy’s question with the words: "Yes, it does make sense." And if the Conservatives broadly support the thrust of the government’s plans – as they did over Iraq – the withdrawal of Liberal Democrat votes from the political consensus "coalition" will not lead to defeat for the government.

But the battlefront for the new war goes beyond the chambers of the Palace of Westminster. Blair predicted in Downing Street that there would be legal barriers put up. He also predicted they would be knocked down. The government’s new grounds for deportation and exclusion will include fomenting terrorism, justifying or glorifying terrorism and advocating violence in support of beliefs.

To sidestep article three of the European Convention on Human Rights, the government claims it will enter into bi-partisan agreements with 10 countries. The aim will be to get a form of guarantee that any deportee will not be tortured if they are sent back.

The human rights group Justice say this plan is legally full of holes. Eric Metcalfe, Justice’s director of human rights policy, said: "Any attempt to amend the Human Rights Act and to force the courts to do otherwise is doomed to failure."

Blair’s pronouncements, however, indicate an overt willingness to take on the courts and to challenge the traditions that only last May the government seemed to regard as sacrosanct. Then the Home Office minister, Lord Bassam, told the Lords: "We would not remove a person to a country if there was a real or probable risk of any sort of them being tortured or otherwise ill-treated." A little over 13 months later, that is precisely what the government intends to do.

Although Blair claimed there was widespread support and that other parties had been consulted on the planned changes, there appears to some very real doubts about how much was revealed by Downing Street in the all-party talks.

Kennedy last week said that "no mention" was made of the proposals when the Liberal Democrats were briefed by the Home Office. He also hinted that not even Home Office officials were aware of what was going to come last Friday.

Although the opposition parties may not have been consulted, Britain’s senior police officers were. Ken Jones, chairman of the Association of Chief Police Officers, admitted: "We have already been in discussion with the government on these proposals and agree with the principles set out by the Prime Minister." He said the police were ready to play their part in this work and were "cautiously optimistic", adding that common sense and respect for fellow citizens was prevailing.

But there is growing worry that the new laws designed to target key individuals in Blair’s war on tolerance will end up being so open-ended that they could well apply not just to Islamic clerics believed to be involved in extremism, but to others involved in basic civil rights protests.

Ken Livingstone, the mayor of London, said the wording of the proposals so far were so vague that if they’d been applied 20 years ago they would have meant banning Nelson Mandela and his supporters.

The Muslim Council of Britain intends to seek immediate clarification from the government that expressions of support for Muslims overseas, such as Palestinians or the Chechens, would not be banned.

However, Lord Falconer seemed to suggest that the law was being specifically drafted to reign in key individuals. "I think we know who we want to target in relation to this," he said. Framing new laws on such a personal basis flies in the face of the general principles of English law, and the liberal unease over such a strategy found a surprise ally in the former Home Secretary and the retiring leader of the Conservatives, Michael Howard.

Howard, a barrister like Blair, voiced his concern by saying: "I don’t think you can legislate on that basis. You have got to legislate to outlaw certain language. You can’t target legislation at people."

But if you are Tony Blair and you believe the public mood will allow you do exactly that, then you will try.

Individuals who will be targeted by the new laws include Abu Qatada, once dubbed "Bin Laden’s European ambassador", who is under house arrest after legal challenges were mounted against the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 which allowed suspects to be imprisoned without trial. Blair’s use of the phrase "the rules of the game have changed" was pointed directly at Qatada.

Another is Omar Bakri Mohammed, investigated by Scotland Yard on numerous occasions since arriving in Britain in 1986 but never formally charged. He is one of the founders of Hizb-ut-Tahrir , the organisation which Blair officially banned on Friday, along with al-Muhajiroun – a group also set up by Bakri Mohammed when he split from Hizb-ut-Tahrir in 1996.

The Prime Minister’s pledge to ban militant Islamic groups was criticised by a spokesman for Hizb-ut-Tahrir as aiming to "stifle legitimate political dissent".

Sir Iqbal Sacranie, secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, had a different reason for claiming the ban could prove counterproductive. He said if the group were guilty of breaking the law, they ought to be prosecuted in court, "not driven underground. Our democratic values need to be upheld, not undermined."

But Sacranie’s is only one version of Britain’s democratic values. Tony Blair has another version. He also, as prime minister, has the power to ensure that his version of security-versus-human rights prevails in the coming battle. The war on toleration has started and the first victim may already be our right to question if we need this war at all.

Article Index

Bush and Blair’s "Way of Life"

By Abid Ullah Jan*, 08/06/05 "ICH"

As we hear from Bush, Blair and an unlimited number of media GIs and presstitutes, we are now in the midst of a conflict which involves the deepest and dearest interest of every individual of the human race: "Our way of life." Upon its result depends the misery or happiness of the present and future generations.

It is a contest between the few in power in the US, Israel, UK and a few other allied countries, who believe, that it is for their individual and corporate interest that man should continue to be kept in ignorance, and be governed, as heretofore, by lies, force and fraud; and those who are convinced, that for real happiness and satisfaction, human beings should be henceforward governed by truth and justice only.

A new global revolution is in the making. This is the revolution which the progress of knowledge and information sharing now requires from the totalitarians a fundamental shift in the arrangement of society and treatment of other nations, which will essentially promote the interest and happiness of all, not just the former and present colonial masters. Are these totalitarians ready for the change? There statements suggest, not.

The modern means of communication have rendered the main organ for the promotion of lies and deception – the "mainstream" media – ineffective. This development also renders a revolution of the masses so irresistible that no earthly power can prevent, or much retard its course. Irrespective of the coming oppression to silence all critics, the impending revolution will be effected either by reason, or by force.

None of the "enemies" has claimed that that he is against Bush or Blair’s way of life. Bush and company, however, have nothing other than saying that this is a war on our way or life. The "way of life" which Bush and Blair refer to is derived solely from the imperial instincts, a sense of absolutism and prejudices for or against religious beliefs, parties and countries. This way of life is destined by the common consent of all to die its natural death.

20th century manifestation of such a way of life was called "Fascism." In 21st century, it is the same thing but the fascists call it "freedom and democracy." The original fasces were bundles of thin rods bound together with an axe among them; they were carried before the highest magistrates of imperial Rome as a symbol of authority and of the strength that comes from tight unity. Recent fascism is distinguished not by the novelty of its elements or the profundity of its thought but by the flair and efficiency with which these elements have been interwoven and presented as the most humane ideology and civilized way of life.

Although not especially complex intrinsically, 21st century fascism as a political philosophy is difficult to define or explicate because of its eclectic and irrational character. Fascist thinkers in media, academic and politics borrowed freely from both ancients and moderns and emerged with a potpourri of ways and means to impose their will on the world in the name of promoting freedom and democracy that these can hardly be called a doctrine, possible to present as a coherent system.

Within this mixture of past and present, of principles and dogmas and expedients, three dominant streams of thought may be distinguished. Modern day fascism may perhaps be best understood as a contemporary blend of these three religio-philosophical traditions.

The first is the absolutist tradition. Since the total focus of 21st century fascism is domination of the Muslim world, for which control at home is also a necessary element, on this view, the powers of government in the Muslim world must lie entirely in the hands of one powerful person – the prince, or a general, or a sheikh, mini-Il Duce or mini-Der Fuhrer. To hell with democracy in places such Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Egypt, etc. At home winning through Supreme Court or rigging is of little concern as long as the tyrant in chief comes to power.

Such absolutism has many ramifications. It largely determines the principles of organization within the state, which are authoritarian and generally patterned on military lines. Irrespective of the title, democracy or otherwise, all authority exercised by or in behalf of the state stems from the person at the top, and rights enjoyed in every sphere are owed to him; while on every subordinate echelon the principal duties are those of obedience and responsibility to superiors.

Again, the person at the top is above the law. It hardly matters if he lied through his teeth and killed more than 128,000 people along with close to 2000 of his own. The standards of conduct that apply to him, therefore, are not those that apply to the private citizen; he may be judged, as leader, only by his success in maintaining and extending his power and the power of his state. The result is rightly called Machiavellianism, for fascist dictators have generally acted under Machiavelli's principle that "if the act accuse him, the result will excuse him."

The second leading element in 21st century fascism is organicism. According to this theory not only a nation, but the whole West, is properly understood to be an organic unity, like a human being, with a larger interest, or general will, that is necessarily superior to the interest or will of others, particularly the Muslims. Carried to its extremes, organicism has lead to the conclusion that the Western States have not only an organic reality but a super-reality, so awesome that their apparent will is the true will of subordinate citizens, whether they think so or not. Nothing may then obstruct this super-organism from liquidating all elements within and outside it that interfere with the achievement of its totalitarian objectives.

Some have gone so far as to elevate the xenophobic state approach to an object of worship or a way of life, having supernatural or divine attributes. One serious problem for this approach is that of determining what this way of life really is and how it is to be known because a constant rant of human rights and democracy and freedom means nothing compared to their barbarism on open display.

This problem is resolved, sometimes painfully, when the theories of organicism and absolutism are combined. The general way of life and will of the people is identified with the will of its leader, whose character and physical person is taken to represent the essence of the nation. This identification was one of the distinguishing marks of twentieth-century fascism, especially as manifested in Italy and Germany.

Serving as catalyst in combining the two elements already mentioned is a third, no less important element: deliberate irrationalism. Sometimes an attitude, sometimes a manipulative device, sometimes a seriously proposed methodology, the express denial of the competence of reason to guide human life opens the door to acts, claims and outright lies immune to effective criticism. From now onwards any word of criticism of Bush and Blair’s policies would be considered extremism and all those critics will be blacklisted, because their criticism could "indirectly" lead to "terrorism."

Many varieties of philosophic irrationalism have achieved great popularity, from that of the early Christians (said Tertullian: "Credo, quia impossibile"-"I believe it because it is impossible") through its more sophisticated versions in Schopenhauer and Bergson and some contemporary existentialists. But the full-blooded application of irrationalism to politics develops only in the 21st century with the deliberate manufactured myths of racial, religious and social superiority embedded in deep nationalistic sentiments. Pages of the so-called liberal The New York Times are littered with such manufactured myths, not to speak of others who have turned outright lies into facts for consolidating these myths.

It is perhaps overly simple, but not incorrect, to describe 21st century fascism as the commingling of these traditions of absolutism, organicism, and irrationalism taken to an extreme by an invisible alliance of the neocons, Zionists and leading religious fanatics. Its roots go very deep, but its classical statement was not given until this century, when the hardest realities of its practice have become clear after the staged terrorist attacks and occupation of more Muslim countries.

* Abid Ullah Jan <abidjan@rogers.com> is the author of The End of Democracy and A war on Islam?

Article Index

Correct Diagnosis of Problem Essential

Editorial from The Muslim Weekly, 5 August 2005

Jack Straw has this week reminded many of the historical link between religions such as Christianity and actions which today can be defined as terrorism. His timely reminder is intended to, as he put it, "give these leaders (of Islamic countries) the confidence to face down terrorism justified by Islam".

His comments are certainly a welcome departure from blaming "evil ideologies" as his boss would like us to believe. Of course, Mr Straw has his own agenda, one of which is to entice Muslim world leaders to the "anti-terror conference" Mr Blair is apparently eager to set up. However, it is only right to give credit where credit is due and Mr Straw definitely hit the nail on the head with that point.

What the Muslim communities in this country hoped would have happened after the atrocities of the 7th of July is a similar appraisal of the historical context of such actions. The coverage of some media outlets have indeed made similar points as did some politicians, unfortunately, the same can not be said of the majority in those fields.

What the foreign secretary is really acknowledging is the role of political thought as a motivating factor in many actions usually wholly blamed on religion, especially when the perpetrators are thought to be Muslims. A more balanced reading is what is needed if we are to arrive at a realistic diagnosis, without which we have little chance in preventing future tragedies.

Article Index

"Muslims Must Remain United"

from The Muslim Weekly, 5 August 2005

The Muslim community must remain united and not allow itself to be divided according to the Hizb ut-Tahrir in a meeting last Sunday.

Spokesman Dr Imran Waheed said the entire Muslim community in Britain is now being held responsible for the actions of a few.

"In these times when every Muslim in the community is living in fear of harassment, arrest, and possible execution, Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain urged the Muslim community to remain united and not be divided along Government lines of moderate and extremist," he said.

The organisation, which held an "emergency conference" in the wake of the recent terror attacks, urged Muslims to continue speaking out against British foreign policy and accused Prime Minister Tony Blair of hypocrisy for treating corrupt Muslim leaders as "...friends and allies".

In a speech by Dr Abdul Wahid, the leader of the party, said, "I saw the fear on the faces of many Muslims", in relation to the London bombings. Criticizing the policy of shoot to kill and in connection to the killing of the Brazilian he said, "Our blood had been made legal to be spilt on the street".

He also rejected the labelling of Muslims as moderates and extremists. "Moderates are asked to defeat extremists. What is extremism? This creates strife within the community. We are a single brotherhood and want to use our voices. We have no desire anything other than that."

Dr Waheed spoke to around 1,000 party delegates at the Royal National Hotel, in Bloomsbury, central London.

He said there was a "...well-founded massive distrust of police and intelligence services..." within the Muslim community.

This was made worse by the failure to find justification for the Iraq war, and the shooting of Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes by police, who mistakenly thought he was a suicide bomber.

Reacting to recent criticisms of his party, Dr Waheed said that the Hizb ut-Tahrir is a peaceful organisation, which worked to empower Islamic governments in the Muslim world but not in the West.

Hizb ut-Tahrir is banned in many European and Muslim countries.

On Sunday, Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf called for the party and Al-Muhajiroun to be banned in Britain.

Jalal Uddin Patel, in a speech titled Speaking against Bush and Blair’s foreign policy is not Terrorism said, "Before the dust settled, before the dead were buried, before the investigation had begun the British prime minister pointed the fingers at the Muslim community", going on to quote the prime minister at the Gleneagles summit where he said "We shall prevail".

"Regardless of the amount of provocation we must stand together on our principles, the principles of Islam" he said, further explaining that Islam condemns the targeting of civilians.

In his speech, he had accused Mr Blair of opportunism. He said that the July 7th attacks were an excuse to quell dissent against Muslims speaking out. "According to the Logic of Tony Blair the questioning of Western credibility is unacceptable", he said.

Mr Patel said there in an attempt to re-brand the ‘war on terror’ and that the definition is being deliberately blurred. "There is a media frenzy, ‘radical Islam must be defeated’, left and right united." He also accused the media of double standards when covering massacres of Muslims giving the contrasting examples of coverage of Tiananmen Square and Andijan massacres.

Article Index

Truth Struggling

By John Pilger, July 21, 2005

In all the coverage of the bombing of London, a truth has struggled to be heard. With honourable exceptions, it has been said guardedly, apologetically. Occasionally, a member of the public has broken the silence, as an East Londoner did when he walked in front of a CNN camera crew and reporter in mid-platitude. "Iraq!" he said. "We invaded Iraq and what did we expect? Go on say it."

The Scottish MP Alex Salmond tried to say it on BBC radio. He was told he was speaking "in poor taste . . . before the bodies are even buried." The Respect Party MP George Galloway was lectured by BBC television presenter that he was being "crass". The Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, said the diametric opposite of what he had previously said, which was that the invasion of Iraq would come home to our streets. With the exception of Galloway, not one so-called anti-war MP spoke out in clear, unequivocal English. The warmongers were allowed to fix the boundaries of public debate; one of the more idiotic, in the Guardian, called Blair "the world's leading statesman".

And yet, like the man who interrupted CNN, people understand and know why, just as the majority of Britons oppose the war and believe Blair is a liar. This frightens the British political elite. At a large media party I attended, many of the important guests uttered "Iraq" and "Blair" as a kind of catharsis for that which they dared not say professionally and publicly.

The bombs of 7 July were Blair's bombs.

Blair brought home to this country his and Bush's illegal, unprovoked and blood-soaked adventure in the Middle East. Were it not for his epic irresponsibility, the Londoners who died in the Tube and on the No 30 bus almost certainly would be alive today. This is what Livingstone ought to have said. To paraphrase perhaps the only challenging question put to Blair on the eve of the invasion, it is now surely beyond all doubt that the man is unfit to be prime minister.

How much more evidence is needed? Before the invasion, Blair was warned by the Joint Intelligence Committee that "by far the greatest terrorist threat" to this country would be "heightened by military action against Iraq". He was warned by 79 per cent of Londoners who, according to a YouGov survey in February 2003, believed that a British attack on Iraq "would make a terrorist attack on London more likely". A month ago, a leaked, classified CIA report revealed that the invasion had turned Iraq into a focal point of terrorism. Before the invasion, said the CIA, Iraq "exported no terrorist threat to its neighbours" because Saddam Hussein was "implacably hostile to al-Qaeda".

Now, an 18 July report by the Chatham House organisation, a "think tank" deep within the British establishment, may well beckon Blair's coup de grâce. It says there is "no doubt" the invasion of Iraq has "given a boost to the al-Qaeda network" in "propaganda, recruitment and fundraising" while providing an ideal targeting and training area for terrorists. "Riding pillion with a powerful ally" has cost Iraqi, American and British lives. The right-wing academic, Paul Wilkinson, a voice of western power, was the principal author. Read between the lines and it says the prime minister is now a serious liability. Those who run this country know he has committed a great crime; the "link" has been made.

Blair's bunker-mantra is that there was terrorism long before the invasion, notably 11 September. Anyone with an understanding of the painful history of the Middle East would not have been surprised by 11 September or by the bombing of Madrid and London, only that they had not happened earlier. I have reported the region for 35 years, and if I could describe in a word how millions of Arab and Muslim people felt, I would say "humiliated". When Egypt looked like winning back its captured territory in the 1973 war with Israel, I walked through jubilant crowds in Cairo: it felt as if the weight of history's humiliation had lifted. In a very Egyptian flourish, one man said to me, "We once chased cricket balls at the British club. Now we are free."

They were not free, of course. The Americans re-supplied the Israeli army and they almost lost everything again. In Palestine, the humiliation of a captive people is Israeli policy. How many Palestinian babies have died at Israeli checkpoints after their mothers, bleeding and screaming in premature labour, have been forced to give birth beside the road at a military checkpoint with the lights of a hospital in the distance? How many old men have been forced to show obeisance to young Israeli conscripts? How many families have been blown to bits by America-supplied F-16s with British-supplied parts? The gravity of the bombing of London, said a BBC commentator, "can be measured by the fact that it marks Britain's first suicide bombing". What about Iraq? There were no suicide bombers in Iraq until Blair and Bush invaded. What about Palestine? There were no suicide bombers in Palestine until Ariel Sharon, an accredited war criminal sponsored by Bush and Blair, came to power. In the 1991 Gulf "war", American and British forces left more than 200,000 Iraqis dead and injured and the infrastructure of their country in "an apocalyptic state", according to the United Nations. The subsequent embargo, designed and promoted by zealots in Washington and Whitehall, was not unlike a medieval siege. Denis Halliday, the United Nations official assigned to administer the near-starvation food allowance, called it "genocidal".

I witnessed its consequences: tracts of southern Iraq contaminated with depleted uranium and cluster bomblets waiting to explode. I watched dying children, some of the half a million infants whose deaths UNICEF attributed to the embargo - deaths which US Secretary of State Madeline Albright said were "worth it". In the west, this was hardly reported. Throughout the Muslim world, the bitterness was like a presence, its contagion reaching many young British-born Muslims.

In 2001, in revenge for the killing of 3,000 people in the Twin Towers, more than 20,000 Muslims died in the Anglo-American invasion of Afghanistan. This was revealed by Jonathan Steele in the London Guardian and was never news, to my knowledge. The attack on Iraq was the Rubicon, making the reprisal against Madrid and the bombing of London entirely predictable: the latter "in response to the massacres carried out by Britain in Iraq and Afghanistan ...", claimed a group called the Organisation for El Qaeda in Europe. Whether or not the claim was genuine, the reason was. Bush and Blair wanted a "war on terror" and they got it. Omitted from public discussion is that their state terror makes al-Qaeda's appear miniscule by comparison. More than 100,000 Iraqi men, woman and children have been killed, not by suicide bombers, but by the Anglo-American "coalition", says a peer-reviewed study published in the Lancet, and largely ignored. In his poem "From Iraq", Michael Rosen wrote: We are the unfound We are uncounted You don't see the homes we made We're not even the small print or the bit in brackets . . . because we lived far from you, because you have cameras that point the other way . . .

Imagine, for a moment, you are in the Iraqi city of Fallujah. It is an American police state, like a vast penned ghetto. Since April last year, the hospitals there have been subjected to an American policy of collective punishment. Staff have been attacked by US marines, doctors have been shot, emergency medicines blocked. Children have been murdered in front of their families. Now imagine the same state of affairs imposed on the London hospitals that received the victims of the bombing. When will someone draw this parallel at one of Blair's staged "press conferences", at which he is allowed to emote for the cameras about "our values outlast [ing] theirs"? Silence is not journalism. In Fallujah, they know "our values" only too well. And when will someone invite the obsequious Bob Geldoff to explain why his hero, Blair's smoke-and-mirrors "debt cancellation" amounts to less than the money the Blair government spends in a week, brutalising Iraq?

The hand-wringing over "whither Islam's soul" is another distraction. Christianity leaves Islam for dead as an industrial killer. The cause of the current terrorism is neither religion nor hatred for "our way of life". It is political, requiring a political solution. It is injustice and double standards, which plant the deepest grievances. That, and the culpability of our leaders, and the "cameras that point the other way", are the core of it.

On 19 July, while the BBC governors were holding their annual general meeting at Television Centre, an inspired group of British documentary filmmakers met outside the main gates and conducted a series of news reports of the kind you do not see on television. Actors played famous reporters doing their "camera pieces". The "stories" they reported included the targeting of the civilian population of Iraq, the application of the Nuremberg Principles to Iraq, America's illegal rewriting of the laws of Iraq and theft of its resources through privatisation, the everyday torture and humiliation of ordinary people and the failure to protect Iraqis archaeological and cultural heritage.

Blair is using the London bombing to further deplete our rights and those of others, as Bush has done in America. Their goal is not security, but greater control. The memory of their victims in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and elsewhere demands the renewal of our anger. The troops must come home. Nothing less is owed to those who died and suffered in London on 7 July, unnecessarily, and nothing less is owed to those whose lives are marked if this travesty endures.

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How did Greenspan Know about the London Bombings Two Days before?

by Mike Whitney, 07/21/05 "ICH"

Two days before the London subway bombings, Fed-Master Alan Greenspan flushed nearly $40 billion in liquidity into financial markets. The sudden activity was an astonishing departure from the current policy of tightening interest rates to stifle inflation. The Chairman has not explained his erratic behaviour, but there's growing speculation that Greenspan may have had information about the likelihood of terrorist attacks and decided to "pre-emptively" head-off a run on the markets. As it turns out, his actions may have been a positive factor in stabilising the market following the incident, but that doesn't address the larger issue of whether Greenspan had inside information that an attack was imminent.

Many people are unaware that the Federal Reserve gets information directly from the CIA. Perhaps, the level of "chatter" was sufficiently high to warrant the extraordinary measures. ("The Fed almost doubled its temporary pool in just a few days!") That doesn't explain, however, why alarms were not raised in England. In fact, as Democracy Now reported on July 19, "London lowered the security threat just before the July 7 bombings".


The details now surfacing about the London bombings are familiar to those who have researched the anomalies surrounding September 11. In both cases the government version of events is shot with holes.

"Israel Insider" cites Mossad Chief Meir Dagan, in an interview with the German Newspaper Bild am Sonntag:

"The Mossad office in London received advance notice about the attacks, but only six minutes before the first blast, the paper reports, confirming an earlier AP report. As a result, it was impossible to take any action to prevent the blasts." (from antiwar.com)

So, at the very least we have confirmation that Israeli Intelligence had some advance warning of the attacks. But, the Mossad's announcement doesn't square with other reports on the same day.

Just hours after the July 7 attacks, the Stratfor Intelligence Agency published an article Israel warned United Kingdom of Possible Attacks that stated, "Israel warned London of the attacks a 'couple of days ago,' but British authorities failed to respond accordingly to deter the attacks" and "While Israel is keeping quiet for the time-being, British Prime Minister Tony Blair soon will be facing the heat for his failure to take action."

The article concludes on a sombre note, "The British government sat on this information for days and failed to respond. Though the Israeli government is playing along publicly, it may not stay quiet for long. This is sure to apply pressure on Blair very soon for his failure to deter this major terrorist attack."

The Stratfor report has gotten little attention from anyone except conspiracy theorists, but it is likely to resurface in connection to Greenspan's inexplicable behaviour and as the official story upheld by Blair and co. continues to melt-down under greater scrutiny.

The Blair narrative has taken full advantage of the "evil ideology" theory of terror and completely eschews the facts as they dribble in from the police investigation. At FOX News the government approach was clear from the very onset; they believed that the attacks were the work of suicide bombers, a theory that promotes the racial-stereotypes that appeal to FOX viewers. From the FOX perspective, this justifies pushing through Blair's new regressive legislation, savaging civil liberties, and pursuing an endless war against Islamic extremism. Blair's posturing has followed the speculative analysis of FOX in nearly every respect. Armed with nothing more than over-heated rhetoric and unsubstantiated claims, Blair has framed the bombings as an attack on "our way of life"; a spurious charge intended to fuel the public rage and incite violence against immigrants.

The fact that the "alleged" terrorists bought round-trip subway tickets, placed a "Park-n-Ride" ticket in the window of their car at the station, and didn't strap the bombs to their bodies, has increased suspicion that the government's story may veer substantially from the truth.

One of the suspects actually stayed out partying late the night before. Is that what one would expect on the last day of one's life?

Another has an 18 month old baby, and still another had a baby on the way.

Men don't commit suicide when they have kids on the way, despite Mr. Blair's impassioned rhetoric. So far, the government version is laced with inaccuracies; a hopeless tangle of loose-ends, spurious allegations and blatant propaganda.

The myriad unanswered questions about the bombings suggest that we should reserve judgment about the real culprits before further investigation. Like 9-11, a disturbing pattern seems to be emerging of government officials manipulating public fear to advance their domestic policies and press-ahead with the war agenda. It's easy to wonder about the real source of these terror-incidents when they always seem to benefit the same class of characters.

As the details leak out and drips and drabs, no one will be too surprised if the unanswered questions, misleading information and barefaced lies contradict the feeble demagoguery issuing from 10 Downing Street.

The Blair-Bush-Greenspan cabal may not have known it was "bombs-away" for poor London, but it is apparent that they knew a lot more than they are letting on. The primary tools of empire, fear and deception, are being invoked with ever-increasing precision and their manipulation is having a devastating effect on democratic institutions and global security. The only ones who continue to gain are the privileged few at the top of the political and economic pyramid.

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