“Shock and Awe” in London

by Yamin Zakaria
(Thursday July 07 2005)

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“If anything, the incident in London is the product of the initial aggressions in Iraq and Afghanistan; and rationally it cannot be its cause. Quite often terrorism and state terrorism depict the same cause and effect relationship; state terrorism is usually the cause, terrorism is the effect. Recognising this would go a long way towards brining peace and resolving the conflict.”

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“God didn’t call America to engage in a senseless, unjust war … We’ve committed more war crimes almost than any nation in the world.”

— Martin Luther King, Jr.

First, it (“Shock and Awe”) was displayed in Baghdad, and in response it was seen in Madrid and Istanbul; now it has come to London but on a far smaller scale. It seems we live in a world where the Anglo-Saxon civilisation, assumes the right to unleash their military forces on anyone, but expects everyone to howl terrorism, give minutes of silence, and stand shoulder-to-shoulder, when they face retaliation.

As expected everyone is howling and describing it as barbaric, an act of terrorism, attack on humanity etc. because the bombs were detonated in London not in Baghdad or Kabul! Otherwise I would have expected the same response for the 54 people killed in the wedding party in Iraq and many similar incidences throughout Iraq and Afghanistan by trigger happy US pilots and soldiers.

The US could not identify a wedding party of men, women and children despite being equipped with most sophisticated equipment and training. So, they are either trained monkeys short of brain cells or they were high on alcohol and drugs prior to engaging in combat missions, or they are terrorists that deliberately killed civilians. The latter is more likely, given that they have been following a policy of shoot first and ask questions later, so they bombed the civilians from a high altitude, then apologised for their ‘mistake’. That gets packaged and marketed by the media terrorists as collateral damage, a small price for the war on terror.

Blair and Bush referred to their noble work of discussing how to relieve poverty in the G8 summit (as if the West had no role in causing the poverty in the first place) contrasting that with the acts of the terrorists in London. Hence, Bush and Blair, both absolutely blameless, poor innocent victims! The G8 summit is actually facilitating the new scramble for Africa, lets face it, Capitalism and altruism does not mix together, they are opposites.

They (Bush and Blair) portray the attacks in London without any cause what so ever. Examining the ‘cause’ is an uncomfortable topic; it can be self-incriminating. A way to deflect discussing the ‘cause’ is to say that examining the cause gives some sort of justification to the attackers. Well, do we not need to understand and debate their grievances even if we do not agree with their action?

What is even more perplexing, is that the ‘man’ who is leading the war on terror from the rear or from his bunkers, George Bush, says: “The war on terror goes on” as if this incident is justification for the war waged in Iraq and Afghanistan. But, the problem is, the incident happened well after the war was waged. So, this is a bit like prodding someone with a knife and then when that person retaliates in self-defence that becomes the reason for the initial prodding.

If anything, the incident in London is the product of the initial aggressions in Iraq and Afghanistan; and rationally it cannot be its cause. Quite often terrorism and state terrorism depict the same cause and effect relationship; state terrorism is usually the cause, terrorism is the effect. Recognising this would go a long way towards brining peace and resolving the conflict.

An example of this cause and effect is the attack in Madrid. Spain was only attacked (terrorism as effect) when it attacked (state terrorism as cause) Iraq without any provocation in the first place. Iraqis did not harm the Spanish, the English or the Americans. When Spain withdrew, no further attack to date has taken place and it is unlikely to happen in the future unless there is a genuine reason once again.

Who did it?

Now the basic question, who did it and why? Of course once you know who then why becomes self-evident.

It could have been the IRA but this does not carry the hallmark the IRA and they have been dormant for a while. The splinter group, the real IRA, do not have the logistical ability to carry out such attacks and since the Omagh bombing have self censured and been muted.

Theoretically, some may point to extreme French nationalists as the likely suspect for loosing the Olympic bid and seeing the Brits recently gloating by celebrating the battle of Trafalgar, not to mention reviving the old wounds of history from Agincourt to Waterloo. But this is unlikely. As Europe has learnt from the two world wars, the price of war can be heavy. Agreed, many might even find this point amusing.

Many of the sceptics, war opponents and many Muslims may point to the CIA and/or Mossad as the likely parties, for carrying out such an operation for various reasons; to discredit their domestic opponents; justify prolonging their aggression upon the Muslims; building a climate to attack Iran, hence we may expect other attacks of the sorts.

The most likely suspects, as already pointed out by the media, are the Muslims – Why because they have reasons to retaliate. The reason is often not elaborated upon, usually hidden behind the labels of ‘terrorism’ and ‘extremism’. Anyway, the Al-Qaeda network comes to everyone’s lips. But nobody is prepared to utter that it could have been carried out by the relatives of those who perished in Fallujah, Ramadi, Anbar, etc. Let us not forget Hilla, where the British forces deliberately dropped cluster bombs on a civilian town maiming many, where there were no Iraqi or resistance forces present even before the war.

Why this was was done (motive)?

Blair referred to the ‘terrorists’ wanting to destroy their way of life. If that is the case, then why have they chosen to attack after all this time? What is the motivation for wanting to destroy your way of life? How does it benefit them? Is Blair suggesting that they are mindless serial killers like those walking the streets of America, just looking for victims! Hence, Blair is a Bliar, by his own words!

If it was an act of retaliation from the Muslims, then the reasons are obvious. It is partly vengeance and partly to make the citizens of the West feel the reality of what their governments are doing in Iraq daily, so that they might get up and do something about it. Like the Spaniards did to Aznar. Whatever the case, it has nothing to do with British way of life; all the Iraqis are interested in is freedom from occupation and justice for the crimes committed against them. Even Al-Qaeda did not demand from the US and UK to dismantle their way of life only that they want to see their lands free of occupation and oppression.

Condemn or Condone?

To exclusively condemn this atrocity in London in isolation to everything else, is to condone the real and bigger criminals (Bush and Blair) sitting inside the G8 summit! For diplomatic protocol and niceties all the G8 members stood shoulder to shoulder. The Muslims moderates as usual cannot do anything else but to follow their masters or do what is fashionable and acceptable. However, where was that voice speaking out for the unprovoked aggression in Iraq, that has taken the lives of 100,000 plus to date, which, if balance were sought, would take around 2000 more incidents of the kind that took place in London?

If killing innocent people is wrong and heinous for the “terrorists” then surely it is also wrong for these governments to do exactly that, in Iraq and Afghanistan. Which is worse killing innocent civilians without provocation or killing them in retaliation? Surely the former (aggression) is worse than the latter (revenge).

So condemn not the bombers first (terrorism as effect), but Blair who is the cause (state terrorism as cause). I work and live in London, if I fell victim to the acts of retaliation, I would put all the blame squarely on those who have caused this retaliation. After the initial rage diminishes hopefully everyone would see this point of view. Prior to the war like Madrid, London was never a target, nor was it ever targeted by the Muslims assuming they were behind it in the first place. You can be sure that when the British troops are eventually withdrawn the probabilities of another attack will decline but unlike Madrid it will not disappear as Britain has played a greater role in the war. This is why both Muslims and Non Muslims in the UK ought to reflect about the incident in its totality. The remedy should be sought by:

(a).Calling for the removal of the British troops from Iraq.

(b).Impeaching Blair and preferably handing him over to the International Criminal Court to be tried for his war crimes.

(c).Denounce the US and its Ziono-fascist and the neo-cons, who are the real architects behind the war.

(d).Encourage US to remove its troops or isolate US as a rogue state. If necessary, Britain along with Europe should be looking to build stronger ties with Europe, china, Russia and the Islamic world, looking for its long term future interests instead of short term benefits from the US.

(e).Assess war compensation to Iraq, repaying this debt by helping the Iraqis to rebuild their society.

(f).Denouncing state terrorism as well as terrorism of the individuals and groups. Recognise that state terrorism is usually the father of terrorism!

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