The London Bombings

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The terror bombings in London of July 7 differ from the atrocities committed against the people of Iraq only in scale. In Iraq well over 100,000 people have been butchered by the US/UK killing machine. In London as many as 50 people were killed and hundreds injured. In both cases the killed and injured are the victims of actions designed to terrorize, demobilize, and control innocent people.

We do not yet know who is responsible for the atrocities in London. Responsibility has been claimed by a shadowy “Secret Organization of al-Qaida,”(See note at end, Ed.) and perhaps that organization is indeed responsible. Far more likely, however, is that security elements of the British or US governments are the real perpetrators. Why do we suggest this? Three reasons: 1) Security in London was at unprecedented heights for the G-8 summit at Gleneagle; such a sophisticated, coordinated attack on three different underground lines and one bus would have been extremely difficult to carry out without active cooperation from the security services. 2) The weight of evidence that the 9/11 attack on the US was planned by the US government suggests the likelihood that this attack has a similar genesis–that is, that it originated from deep within ruling circles of “the Allies.” 3) In solving any crime, one must first ask, “Cui bono?”–“Who benefits?” The beneficiaries of this attack are Tony Blair and George Bush–or so they hope. 9/11 was George Bush’s “Pearl Harbor” that turned him overnight from clown to “war-time leader,” rallied the country behind him, and allowed him to launch two long-planned wars of aggression. Tony Blair, whose political support is at rock-bottom because of his support for the war in Iraq, desperately needs rehabilitation. He is using the time-honored method of political leaders: posing as stalwart protector of a people under attack.

Of course such momentous doings as 9/11 or the war in Iraq or the London terror attacks would never be undertaken just to revive the reputation of one politician. The ruling elites of the US and Britain are playing for huge stakes at home and in the Middle East, which is why the actions of their chosen politicians, Bush and Blair, however deeply unpopular they may be with ordinary citizens, have overwhelming support within ruling circles. The Democratic and Republican parties have never flinched in their support for the war. The US Senate recently voted an additional $82 billion for the Iraq war by 99 to 0. It is only because the stakes are so huge that ruling elites would dare such desperate measures as terror attacks on their own people or illegal wars of aggression abroad.

Whoever is responsible, the London terror attacks shine a bright and fearful light on the future we have to look forward to: war abroad and terror at home, the murder of innocents everywhere. Our government has promised us an era of “permanent war,” and Rumsfeld and Cheney have repeatedly assured us that it is only a matter of time before the US is struck again, perhaps by a “weapon of mass destruction” in the hands of terrorists. One can only wonder what our leaders have in store for us.

Some time ago, ran this epigram from Simone Weil on its home page:

“The great error of nearly all studies of war… has been to consider war as an episode in foreign policies, when it is an act of interior politics…”

War has long been the ultimate social control. Steve Lopez wrote in the Los Angeles Times, “There’s a dirty secret [behind this war] no one has told you, and here it is: This war is not about changing Iraq, it’s about changing America….The whole idea is to train you to expect less and to feel patriotic about it.”

The terror attacks on the people of London, the 9/11 attacks on Americans, and the Iraq war itself are not matters principally of foreign but of domestic policy–a fact which has been neglected by most anti-war commentators, who tend to view these things only in terms of American (or British) imperialism. While the main victims of the war on Iraq are the Iraqi people, the main purpose driving the war and its attendant terror is the class war by the American elite against American working people. The war in Iraq is being waged as a means of controlling ordinary Americans (and British), providing the opportunity for transforming American society into a military and police state through such measures as the Patriot Act, airport searches, the suspension of habeas corpus at Guantanamo and in the case of Jose Padilla and more than 1,000 persons detained in the US after 9/11 without charges or due process, and for the unprecedented attack on pensions and retirement and other aspects of working people’s livelihoods. The ruling class could never get away with these things in the absence of a war, which had to be created under false pretenses for the purpose.

Whoever is responsible for these latest atrocities, we must not let them set whole peoples against each other in a “clash of civilizations.” We must challenge these terror campaigns against the Iraqi and British and American people with the solidarity of working people here and around the world.

The London bombings demand an answer. Let that answer be a call for unity between ordinary British and American and Iraqi people, and a joint determination to crush the war-makers and create a democratic peace.

Note, there are good reasons to suspect that the “Secret Organization of al-Qaida,” is not all it’s claimed to be. Already serious doubts have arisen over its authenticity, see: Who’s Behind The Bombings In London Town?

Update: Blair emerges stronger from tumultuous week
Mike Peacock – Reuters July 10, 2005

Tony Blair has emerged stronger after a week in which he has experienced the sweetest highs and darkest lows, politicians and insiders say.

The prime minister punched the air after helping London win the 2012 Olympics but a day later the capital’s transport network was struck by four bombs, killing more than 50.

Sombre but unbowed, he secured from fellow Group of Eight leaders a doubling of aid to Africa and promises of freer trade in the future, announcing it to applause from his counterparts.

Some critics felt short-changed but it was still a deal, the scale of which most summits have got nowhere near.

Blair said it offered a positive counterpoint to the terrorists who bombed three underground trains and a bus.

“We offer today this contrast with the politics of terror,” he told reporters from the steps of the Gleneagles hotel.

While rock star and Africa activist Bob Geldof praised Blair’s efforts, political insiders said the attacks on London also dealt the prime minister a strong, if unwelcome, hand.

His opponents will have to rally round in a show of unity.

Controversial measures like ID cards, which ministers argue will help combat terrorism, will probably sail into law without any revolt by doubtful members of his Labour party.

And crucially, Labour members who want Chancellor Gordon Brown to inherit the premiership will have to lie low.

“Gordon will find it very difficult to challenge Tony any time soon, even privately,” one Labour parliamentarian said.

Just two months ago, after winning his third election with a vastly reduced majority, politicians of all colours were talking about how long “lame duck” Blair would last.

Brown was the pivotal figure in Labour’s election campaign as it became clear only his economic record would overcome public dislike stemming from the unpopular war in Iraq.

His allies expected him to be in power by late 2006, partly because Blair had promised to hold a referendum on the European Union’s constitution which polls suggested he could not win.

That vote has been killed off by the EU constitution’s rejection at the hands of French and Dutch voters.

Now, Blair’s pledge to serve a full third term — handing over the reins only shortly before a likely 2009 election — rings much less hollow.

Crisis Leader

Opinion polls during the election showed Blair may have been distrusted and even disliked but when asked the question who they would wish as leader at a time of national crisis, he was overwhelmingly the man Britons wanted.

He remains a leader highly attuned to the tone his public needs to hear as well as standing tall on the world stage.

Blair’s personal intervention in the Olympics race, flying to Singapore to woo key voters behind the scenes, was a case in point. Paris had been firm favourite to win and President Jacques Chirac also jetted in, but to no avail.

After Blair left the G8 summit to fly back to London, Chirac — who has been bitterly at odds with Blair in recent months — recognised his ability to strike the right chord.

“He did what had to be done, as it had to be done, at the moment it had to be done,” he said.

While setting a time limit on his premiership risked leaving him hobbled as a leader, freed from the cares of winning another election, Blair may be emboldened.

Alongside Africa, Europe offers opportunities.

With Germany’s Gerhard Schroeder and Chirac in trouble, the debate about the bloc’s future could be grabbed by Blair, who acts as EU president for the next six months.

“He genuinely thinks the argument on Europe is there to be won,” one aide said.
Some buoyant Blair supporters have even suggested he may yet decide to fight a fourth election. That is not likely.

“Nothing has changed,” Blair said of his plan to stand down.