“Truth will come to light, murder cannot be hid long.”
-- William Shakespeare (Thanks to Brian Cloughley)
“Does anyone doubt that 10,000 bin Ladens have been created by the events of the past two and a half years? If they do, they have their head in the sand.”
-- MP George Galloway, British Parliament, July 7, 2005
“The destructiveness of the occupation affects the vast majority of Iraqis in a negative way and thus they are fed up with the presence of occupiers on our land. The resistance is not short on recruits to join them… Quite simply there are hundred of thousands of people in Iraq who are ready to sacrifice their lives for their country.”
-- Dr. Mohammad al-Obaidi, speaking for the Iraqi National Resistance, Counterpunch, July 12, 2005
What baloney. Baghdad has morphed into an assembly line for extremists churning out enough fanatics for 1,000 London-type bombings. This is Bush’s work, and Blair’s. The people who were killed in the London subway died for the crimes of their government, not because some young Muslim studied under a fiery cleric in South Leeds. The carnage is as much Bush and Blair’s responsibility as if they had carried the bombs on the subway and detonated them themselves.
Those who’ve watched the developments in Iraq carefully know that the situation has steadily deteriorated. Rumsfeld’s storm troopers (The Wolf Brigade) now roam the country freely, killing and maiming as they see fit, spreading terror to every corner of the Sunni heartland. (Just today, another 10 young Sunnis were dumped at the Baghdad morgue with gunshot wounds to the back of their heads) At the same time, the US military is moving from city to city, applying the “Falluja-solution” of wanton destruction to every town they invade. Falluja, Sammarra, Ramadi, Karbala, Heet, Qaim -- everywhere the story is the same: the cities are pounded mercilessly while the people are denied water, food, electricity and vital medical supplies. The crusade to crush the resistance is reducing more and more Sunni cities to rubble.
This is Rumsfeld’s remedy for resistance. This is Bush’s “Liberation”. Take a good look.
The people in London are the lucky ones. If they’d been in Iraq (after the explosions) the passers-by would have been cut down by snipers on top of surrounding buildings. Their ambulances would have been fired on as they tried to remove the dead and wounded. Their hospitals would have been bombed and occupied by a foreign army. They would have been deprived of even basic medical supplies to keep them alive. How can anyone compare the bombings in London to the all-encompassing campaign of terror in Iraq?
The victims of the London bombings deserve our sympathy, just as surely as the cutthroats in Washington and 10 Downing Street deserve our contempt. MP George Galloway summarized the feelings of many of us when he said, “Members of Parliament find it easy to feel empathy with people killed in explosions by razor-sharp red-hot steel and splintering flying glass when they are in London, but they can blank out of their mind entirely the fact that a person killed in exactly the same way in Falluja died exactly the same death.”
There’s a straight line between Falluja and the London subway, just as there is a straight line between the gulags at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib and the terror attacks that Americans can expect to face in the near future.
For America, the prospect of London-type bombings is a mathematical certainty.
American newspapers are all breathlessly circulating their theory of “suicide bombers” in headlines across the nation.
Why not? It fits nicely with the racist ideology that underscores Bush’s war on terror. Washington knows that their support would disappear in a flash if they failed to conjure up the requisite racial stereotypes that feed the public rage. And, no one is better at demonizing and fear mongering than the Bush administration.
Look at Bush’s comments following the London attack:
“And the contrast couldn't be clearer between the intentions of those who care deeply about human rights, and those who kill, those who've got such evil in their hearts that they will take the lives of innocent folks.”
What rubbish; Bush fouling the air with his lies when he’s already killed more than 100,000 Iraqis.
And, Bush’s “war-poodle” Blair reads from the same script:
“It is important, however, that those engaged in terrorism realize that our determination to defend our way of life is greater than their determination to cause death and destruction to innocent people in a desire to impose extremism on the world.”
“Our way of life”? Is that what we are defending, or the blatant misuse of military force to subjugate an entire nation and steal its resources?
No one is fooled by Bush-Blair’s facile rhetoric. Bin Laden doesn’t care a whit about “our freedoms”; his message has been consistent throughout: “Get out of our countries, stop training our brutal secret police, stop propping up our corrupt regimes, and stop stealing our resources.” When the imperialism stops, so too will the terrorism.
We know the root of terrorism now; the secret has been divulged. Robert Pape has done an exhaustive study, Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism, that provides scientifically researched answers to all the critical questions surrounding suicide bombers. His findings are more important to antiwar activists than the contents of the Downing Street Memo.
Why? Because his research proves beyond a doubt that suicide bombing is the predictable upshot of occupation. As social scientist Scott Atran said, “Most jihadists have no history of religious education prior to becoming ‘born again’ radical Islamists, and many are well-educated, middle class and married. Most would-be suicide bombers . . . say they act to restore dignity to their communities -- real or virtual -- marginalized by globalization and humiliated by military occupation.”
This not only obliterates Bush’s specious yammering about “hating our freedoms,” but also counters the propaganda from the mainstream media. Every editorial columnist from Tom Friedman (who calls the bombers a “jihadist death-cult”) to Christopher Hitchens (who coined the phrase “Islamo-fascism”) has added to the media smokescreen by feeding the idea that terrorism emerges from an irrational hatred of the West or from religious zealotry. Neither is true. These theories have only confused the public and perpetuated a conflict that serves the exclusive interests of elites.
Pape’s July 9 column in the New York Times (“Al Qaida’s Smart Bombs” or “The Logic of Suicide Terrorism”) dispels the commonly held illusions about terrorism and exposes the underlying reason for the current violence: Occupation. The driving force behind terror attacks, Pape says, is “to compel the United States and its Western allies to withdraw combat forces from the Arabian Peninsula and other Muslim countries.” Period.
Pape’s findings have armed us with the most priceless of weapons: the Truth. He has uncovered the vile fraud that fuels Bush’s orgy of carnage and pointed the way out of the war on terror. With a clear-eyed approach to terrorism we can cut-through the demagoguery and propaganda and block the Bush strategy for perennial war.
Mike Whitney lives in Washington state, and can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Lesson of September 11 by Harold Williamson
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