The London bombings were a fitting exclamation point to the grotesque selfindulgence on display at the G-8 summit. George Bush, Tony Blair and company spent the meeting repackaging the tired, old international aid shell game as salvation for Africa: recycling previous aid (which often arrives in the form of subsidies to Western corporations) and shaving off a mere $55 billion in non-performing loans when the continent is saddled with more than $300 billion in debt.
Many Africans wonder why they must pay back these debts, most of which were accrued by Western-backed despots who burned billions on palaces, jets and massive arsenals purchased from their “freedom-loving” patrons to torment their people. Other observers were impudent enough to note that the West is notorious for lavishing such promises before the cameras while flinty about actually paying up.
But there was no chance for debate. Court jesters Bob Geldof and Bono capered upon the world stage declaring their missionary work a huge success. Then the bombings provided Bush with a bloody pedestal to clamber upon and yammer about spreading “an ideology of hope and compassion that will overwhelm their ideology of hate.”
For his part, Tony Blair preached from the gospel according to Bush: the attack was a product of an “evil ideology,” it had nothing to do with the Iraq war, but was an attack upon our way of life. Blair also struck fast at civil liberties, proposing new laws to log details of all emails, text messages and cell phone calls, make admissible evidence gained from phone-tapping and bugging, increase detention powers, imprison those “attacking the values of the West,” and further limit the rights of immigrants.
Bush and Blair are the prime beneficiaries of the bombing. They want a security-surveillance matrix to suppress dissent, not terrorism: animal rights and environmental campaigners, anti-war activists, unionists, civil libertarians, anarchists and anyone who opposes the state. Internationally, they use it to stage coups against popular leaders like Haiti’s Jean-Bertrand Aristide or Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez.
Meanwhile, Blair wants everyone to forget that his government abandoned British-born Muslims swept up in the new torture-firstask-questions-later order. Some have been freed from the globalized gulag, their innocence “confirmed” only after being tortured for months or even years.
Bush and Blair have turned Iraq into a charnel house, where suicidal slaughter is inflicted on Iraqis every day. Tying the Iraq conflict to the “war on terror” has made it a self-fulfilling prophecy. A CIA report concludes Iraq is becoming an “even more effective training ground for Islamic extremists than Afghanistan.” Insurgents in Afghanistan, Chechnya and elsewhere are benefiting from tactics developed in Iraq and are drawing from a new generation of militants created by the war on Islam. But mention any of this, and the “war on terror” propagandists screech “naïve” and “dangerous” and “traitorous.”
The media plays along, focusing on the forensics – the who and how – but never the philosophy – why. “It is our freedoms they hate.” But even Osama countered in his pre-U.S. election video last fall that if his followers really hated Western freedoms, “Why do we not strike Sweden?”
“They” hate “us” because of the Israeli occupation of Palestine, because of the torment of Iraq, Afghanistan, Chechnya and Kashmir, the hand that props up butchers in Uzbekistan and Pakistan. They hate us for our hand-holding with oil-rich despots in the Gulf. They hate us for our policies, which is why the war must be defined as a theological battle between good and evil – because policies can be changed.
Such as Western policies toward Pakistan, one of the war’s covert battlefields. Reports are that three of the London bombers were of Pakistani descent. Bush and Blair heartily support Pakistan’s tyrant, Pervez Musharraf, who has unleashed a war along the border region with Afghanistan, allows his people to starve, lets the FBI run rampant and levies no protest when hundreds of his citizens are disappeared into the Anglo-American torture network. For his fealty, Musharraf has been given billions in aid and loans, much of which is reportedly lining his pockets.
But that’s the way of the West. It rewards thugs who terrorize the poor and who – like Saddam, Mobutu, Suharto – can be sacrificed in a show of Western commitment to “democracy” when they’ve outlived their usefulness.
In searching for the true masterminds of the London attacks, one not need look any further than 10 Downing St. and 1600 Pennsylvania Ave