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Socialist Worker statement on the London bombings
Casualties of Bush and Blair's war

July 8, 2005 | SW Online special feature

THE BOMBINGS on London subway trains and buses July 7 were tragic reminders of how the "war on terrorism" has endangered, rather than protected, ordinary people.

Like the attacks in Madrid in 2004 and Bali in 2003, the London bombings were grimly predictable—and were predicted, not only by opponents of George Bush and Tony Blair's war on Iraq, but by their own security agencies.

The international antiwar movement was right about Iraq's non-existent weapons of mass destruction and alleged complicity in the September 11 attacks. It was right about the U.S. government's fantasy that U.S. forces would be greeted as liberators in Iraq. And it was right that the barbaric war on Iraq would spur further terrorist attacks—with ordinary people again paying the price for Bush and Blair's lies and misrepresentations.

This must be remembered in the coming weeks—because the warmongers will seek to turn the London bombings into yet another reason for why the U.S. and Britain can't "cut and run" from Iraq.

That means a continued war on Iraq—a war that has killed more than 100,000 Iraqis since the 2003 invasion; maimed, imprisoned and humiliated many hundreds of thousands more; and left Iraqi society in a shambles.

The U.S.-led war on Iraq has inflicted far more violence on the Iraqi people—and continues to do so, week in and week out—than London suffered in the July 7 attacks. But, of course, the mainstream media has never once devoted the kind of round-the-clock coverage it gave to the London bombings to the ongoing carnage in Iraq.

Immediately, speculation on who carried out the attacks turned to a previously unknown organization allegedly associated with the al-Qaeda network—though even law enforcement officials suggested that its Internet message claiming responsibility was a fake.

Whoever carried out the bombings, there is no political justification for such barbaric tactics.

The bombings were aimed at ordinary people traveling to work and school in one of the most multiracial cities in Europe—people who don't in any way bear responsibility for the policies of the government that rules over them.

The attack took place only two years after an estimated 2 million people took to the streets of London to protest the impending Iraq war—in the biggest demonstration in Britain's history. The odds are that some of these antiwar protesters were among the dead. Plus, one of the bombings took place in a largely Arab immigrant neighborhood.

Also, the attack took place a few days after the largest demonstration in Scotland's history against the increasingly unpopular and discredited leaders meeting at the G-8 summit. Led by the two liars-in-chief, Bush and Blair, the G-8 summit would have gone down as another meeting of world leaders so unpopular that they had to hide themselves in an armed compound behind layers of barbed wire and troops.

Instead, it was converted into a showcase for a united stand against "terrorism" with all the nauseating rhetoric about how the terrorists "won't win" and "hate our civilization."

The world's governments, led by the U.S. and Britain, will try to rehabilitate the "war on terror," using London as a justification. This is just another example of why terrorism inevitably backfires against the causes for which it is supposedly launched.

Blair, Bush and the other world leaders meeting at the G-8 summit in Scotland didn't spend much time grieving for the dead. Rather, they were scheming about how to parlay the public shock and anger at the bombings into a rehabilitation of the "war on terror."

This was, as we now know from the 9/11 special commission, exactly how the Bush administration responded to September 11—with then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice urging fellow administration officials to think about "how do you capitalize on these opportunities" to promote U.S. interests.

Britain's Muslim population is likely to bear the brunt of further police harassment, and U.S. politicians will use the attacks as an excuse to continue their war on civil liberties. Members of Congress are already calling for increased spending on "homeland security" measures to boost security on mass transit—suddenly "finding" the money they couldn't when they debated privatizing or shutting down the Amtrak system.

Greater police powers will do nothing whatsoever to stop further terrorist attacks from taking place. Even the U.S. government's own Defense Science Board, in a 2004 report, admitted as much, concluding, "Muslims do not 'hate our freedom' but rather, they hate our policies." People in the Middle East can see that the "American occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq has not led to democracy there, but only more chaos and suffering," the board said.

Logically then, the real solution is to change the policies that cause such hatred for the U.S. government and its British lapdog. At the top of the list should be an immediate and unconditional withdrawal of U.S. and "coalition" forces from Iraq and Afghanistan.

In 2004, following the tragic bombings in Madrid, Spaniards reacted magnificently. Rather than stampeding people into support for a right-wing government, the attacks in Madrid led people to reject the war makers who have made the world a far more dangerous place. They voted overwhelmingly to throw out the government that had dragged them into Bush's war in the Middle East. A few weeks later, the new Socialist Party government pulled Spanish troops out of Iraq.

The defeat of Washington's man in Madrid was a vindication for everyone, in Spain and around the world, who opposed the war on Iraq--and an inspiration for those organizing to end the unjust and brutal occupation of Iraq.

Today, Bush and Blair will try to use the London bombings to prop up their failing project of colonizing the Middle East and Afghanistan. We shouldn't let them get away with it.

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