Truth Struggling

Category: Americas, World Affairs Topics: England, London Views: 4820
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In all the coverage of the bombing of London, a truth has struggled to be heard. With honorable exceptions, it has been said guardedly, apologetically. Occasionally, a member of the public has broken the silence, as an East Londoner did when he walked in front of a CNN camera crew and reporter in mid-platitude. "Iraq!" he said. "We invaded Iraq and what did we expect? Go on say it." 

The Scottish MP Alex Salmond tried to say it on BBC radio. He was told he was speaking "in poor taste . . . before the bodies are even buried." The Respect Party MP George Galloway was lectured by BBC television presenter that he was being "crass". The Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, said the diametric opposite of what he had previously said, which was that the invasion of Iraq would come home to our streets. With the exception of Galloway, not one so-called anti-war MP spoke out in clear, unequivocal English. The warmongers were allowed to fix the boundaries of public debate; one of the more idiotic, in the Guardian, called Blair "the world's leading statesman". 

And yet, like the man who interrupted CNN, people understand and know why, just as the majority of Britons oppose the war and believe Blair is a liar. This frightens the British political elite. At a large media party I attended, many of the important guests uttered "Iraq" and "Blair" as a kind of catharsis for that which they dared not say professionally and publicly. 

The bombs of 7 July were Blair's bombs. 

Blair brought home to this country his and Bush's illegal, unprovoked and blood-soaked adventure in the Middle East. Were it not for his epic irresponsibility, the Londoners who died in the Tube and on the No 30 bus almost certainly would be alive today. This is what Livingstone ought to have said. To paraphrase perhaps the only challenging question put to Blair on the eve of the invasion, it is now surely beyond all doubt that the man is unfit to be prime minister. 

How much more evidence is needed? Before the invasion, Blair was warned by the Joint Intelligence Committee that "by far the greatest terrorist threat" to this country would be "heightened by military action against Iraq". He was warned by 79 per cent of Londoners who, according to a YouGov survey in February 2003, believed that a British attack on Iraq "would make a terrorist attack on London more likely". A month ago, a leaked, classified CIA report revealed that the invasion had turned Iraq into a focal point of terrorism. Before the invasion, said the CIA, Iraq "exported no terrorist threat to its neighbors" because Saddam Hussein was "implacably hostile to al-Qaeda". 

Now, an 18 July report by the Chatham House organization, a "think tank" deep within the British establishment, may well beckon Blair's coup de grce. It says there is "no doubt" the invasion of Iraq has "given a boost to the al-Qaeda network" in "propaganda, recruitment and fundraising" while providing an ideal targeting and training area for terrorists. "Riding pillion with a powerful ally" has cost Iraqi, American and British lives. The right-wing academic, Paul Wilkinson, a voice of western power, was the principal author. Read between the lines and it says the prime minister is now a serious liability. Those who run this country know he has committed a great crime; the "link" has been made. 

Blair's bunker-mantra is that there was terrorism long before the invasion, notably 11 September. Anyone with an understanding of the painful history of the Middle East would not have been surprised by 11 September or by the bombing of Madrid and London, only that they had not happened earlier. I have reported the region for 35 years, and if I could describe in a word how millions of Arab and Muslim people felt, I would say "humiliated". When Egypt looked like winning back its captured territory in the 1973 war with Israel, I walked through jubilant crowds in Cairo: it felt as if the weight of history's humiliation had lifted. In a very Egyptian flourish, one man said to me, "We once chased cricket balls at the British club. Now we are free." 

They were not free, of course. The Americans re-supplied the Israeli army and they almost lost everything again. In Palestine, the humiliation of a captive people is Israeli policy. How many Palestinian babies have died at Israeli checkpoints after their mothers, bleeding and screaming in premature labor, have been forced to give birth beside the road at a military checkpoint with the lights of a hospital in the distance? How many old men have been forced to show obeisance to young Israeli conscripts? How many families have been blown to bits by America-supplied F-16s with British-supplied parts? The gravity of the bombing of London, said a BBC commentator, "can be measured by the fact that it marks Britain's first suicide bombing". What about Iraq? There were no suicide bombers in Iraq until Blair and Bush invaded. What about Palestine? There were no suicide bombers in Palestine until Ariel Sharon, an accredited war criminal sponsored by Bush and Blair, came to power. In the 1991 Gulf "war", American and British forces left more than 200,000 Iraqis dead and injured and the infrastructure of their country in "an apocalyptic state", according to the United Nations. The subsequent embargo, designed and promoted by zealots in Washington and Whitehall, was not unlike a medieval siege. Denis Halliday, the United Nations official assigned to administer the near-starvation food allowance, called it "genocidal". 

I witnessed its consequences: tracts of southern Iraq contaminated with depleted uranium and cluster bomblets waiting to explode. I watched dying children, some of the half a million infants whose deaths Unicef attributed to the embargo - deaths which US Secretary of State Madeline Albright said were "worth it". In the west, this was hardly reported. Throughout the Muslim world, the bitterness was like a presence, its contagion reaching many young British-born Muslims. 

In 2001, in revenge for the killing of 3,000 people in the Twin Towers, more than 20,000 Muslims died in the Anglo-American invasion of Afghanistan. This was revealed by Jonathan Steele in the London Guardian and was never news, to my knowledge. The attack on Iraq was the Rubicon, making the reprisal against Madrid and the bombing of London entirely predictable: the latter "in response to the massacres carried out by Britain in Iraq and Afghanistan ...", claimed a group called the Organization for El Qaeda in Europe. Whether or not the claim was genuine, the reason was. Bush and Blair wanted a "war on terror" and they got it. Omitted from public discussion is that their state terror makes al-Qaeda's appear miniscule by comparison. More than 100,000 Iraqi men, woman and children have been killed, not by suicide bombers, but by the Anglo-American "coalition", says a peer-reviewed study published in the Lancet, and largely ignored. In his poem "From Iraq", Michael Rosen wrote: We are the unfound We are uncounted You don't see the homes we made We're not even the small print or the bit in brackets . . . because we lived far from you, because you have cameras that point the other way . . . 

Imagine, for a moment, you are in the Iraqi city of Fallujah. It is an American police state, like a vast penned ghetto. Since April last year, the hospitals there have been subjected to an American policy of collective punishment. Staff have been attacked by US marines, doctors have been shot, emergency medicines blocked. Children have been murdered in front of their families. Now imagine the same state of affairs imposed on the London hospitals that received the victims of the bombing. When will someone draw this parallel at one of Blair's staged "press conferences", at which he is allowed to emote for the cameras about "our values outlast [ing] theirs"? Silence is not journalism. In Fallujah, they know "our values" only too well. And when will someone invite the obsequious Bob Geldoff to explain why his hero, Blair's smoke-and-mirrors "debt cancellation" amounts to less than the money the Blair government spends in a week, brutalizing Iraq? 

The hand-wringing over "whither Islam's soul" is another distraction. Christianity leaves Islam for dead as an industrial killer. The cause of the current terrorism is neither religion nor hatred for "our way of life". It is political, requiring a political solution. It is injustice and double standards, which plant the deepest grievances. That, and the culpability of our leaders, and the "cameras that point the other way", are the core of it. 

On 19 July, while the BBC governors were holding their annual general meeting at Television Centre, an inspired group of British documentary filmmakers met outside the main gates and conducted a series of news reports of the kind you do not see on television. Actors played famous reporters doing their "camera pieces". The "stories" they reported included the targeting of the civilian population of Iraq, the application of the Nuremberg Principles to Iraq, America's illegal rewriting of the laws of Iraq and theft of its resources through privatization, the everyday torture and humiliation of ordinary people and the failure to protect Iraqis archaeological and cultural heritage. 

Blair is using the London bombing to further deplete our rights and those of others, as Bush has done in America. Their goal is not security, but greater control. The memory of their victims in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and elsewhere demands the renewal of our anger. The troops must come home. Nothing less is owed to those who died and suffered in London on 7 July, unnecessarily, and nothing less is owed to those whose lives are marked if this travesty endures.

John Pilger was born and educated in Sydney. he has been a war correspondent, film-maker and playwright. Based in London, he has written from many countries and has twice won British journalism's highest award, that of 'Journalist of the Year', for his work in Vietnam and Cambodia.


  Category: Americas, World Affairs
  Topics: England, London
Views: 4820

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Older Comments:
PAUL FROM UK / BRITAIN / ENGLAND said:
How ironic that the author seeks the truth with polarised rhetoric?
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PAUL FROM UK / BRITAIN / ENGLAND said:
How ironic...

...That the "the farthest extent of monotheism" from Mecca at the time of the Mohammed's revelations were the British Isles.

...That the suspected London mass murderers of 07/07/05 were of Pak-istan origin and that 'Pak' is a Persian/Urdu word meaning "Holy/ Pure/ Clean.

...That British people of Pakistan origin find 'Paki' an insult.

...That One of the London bombing victims, Mr Sharifi had left his native Afghanistan to seek safety in the UK only to find his fate at the hands of extremists.

...That Islam was injured on 07/07/05, Miss Islam later died aged was 20 , murdered by people who profess to believe in Islam.

...That the suspected failed mass murderers of 21/7/05 were granted British citizenship to escape the death lords of their homeland, only to try and surpass them in their barbarity in Britain.

...That when they were arrested they were reported to have said "I have rights you know!"

...That the preachers of hate and division don't die by their doctrine they groom to the naive.

...That some 'moslems' start with a greeting of peace, then celebrate and encourage the mass murder of innocents, appealing to God for success.


Rest In Peace: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/spl/hi/uk/05/london_blasts/victims/default.stm
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STEVE said:
2nd reply to Hudd d'Aelia:

You ask: "Are you attempting to insinuate...?"
No.
Once again you've misunderstood me. Don't despair, however. Surely it is not due to any fault of yours but is, rather, due to my having ( as you so politely put it) "potatoes for brains".
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HUDD D'AELIA FROM CANADA said:
Hi, Steve, I'm not quite sure I've got your comment right. It's kind of equivocal, for me at least.

About your first & second comment on Mr. Pilger's reputation and dishonesty I'm afraid I couldn't opine. I neither agree nor disagree with your statement, simply because I do not know the facts. I cannot take your word for what you say, but also I can't entirely disregard it. You might know something I don't know for a fact. Still I would need more evidence on the notoriety of Mr Pilger. One cannot master what one doesn't know.

Your last comment is puzzling me, "I am well aware that there are readers such as yourself, Hudd d'Aelia, who believe what they believe and when confronted with questions of honesty and morality say "What's the point?". Are you attempting to insinuate in a way, subtle enough, not to be too obvious, that I was subjected to a system of believes that were neither honest nor moral? I find it extremely arrogant how some of you Americans are mentally inflexible and dyed in the wool in your prefabricated political opinion. Some people in US don't think outside US! Hello! US is merely 300 million, compare to the rest. But of course you are indispensible, while all the others, with the exception of the Anglo-Saxons and the Israelis, are all cannon fodder. Excuse by back when I turn it against your grass-roots fascism. The law Jesus,pbuh, was supposed to abolish was,"an eye for an eye, a life for a life", yeah he presumably changed it to, "love your enamies, pray for those who hate you" Well, modern times evangelism overpassed all known fascist and Nazi practices of the Third Reich. In Hitler's time there were how many indigens to be killed for a killed Nazi soldier? Multiply that by ten and you reach the actual figure of the toll. My question to you and your idiotic president would be, "who made you indispensible?" For God created Adam and Eve and the Jews erred by altering the scriptures. Whatever was left from Jesus' teachings was love.
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STEVE said:
Reply to Hudd d'Aelia:

What's my point? The point of my first post was that Mr. Pilger is a dishonest writer. In fact, he has a longstanding and well-documented reputation as a dishonest writer. He has many times been caught fabricating "facts" to suit his political agenda.
The point of my second post is that Mr. Pilger is morally bankrupt, his sense of "outrage" at civilian casualties is highly selective. Again, the only things that stir Mr.Pilger's "morality" are things that serve his political agenda.

I am well aware that there are readers such as yourself, Hudd d'Aelia, who believe what they believe and when confronted with questions of honesty and morality say "What's the point?". My posts, however, are intended for a different audience.
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AMIN21 FROM USA said:
The fact is that the people who commited this act did so with the same immoral spirit of 911...

That they found an excuse in Iraq is irrelevant. Those that did this our pigs and apes. They will find refuge only in the fire... and their is no justification for their actions. If it wasn't Iraq then it would be something else. These are evil people who are part of an evil cult that works daily to defame the glorious religion of Islam... while claiming to follow it.

These stupid arrogant suicidals, who are full of anger and hate would have done these things regardless. They are fools led by fools. They remind me of the Assassins in Al-Kahf who hurled themselves foolishly from a castle simply because they were ordered to. They are disgusting and an affront to Islam just as the evil assassins were.

Amin21
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SAHAR FROM USA said:
Thank you Mr. Pilger for your article. Indeed the terrorism will not stop unless the terrorism that is committed by America and Great Britian are stopped. This won't happen until peace loving people in both nations wake up and see what horrors are being committed in their name.
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SALEEM FROM USA said:
I agree with the article, like I said in my earlier post, but the thing I still don't understand is this. I can see how Muslims get frustrated by the actions of the US, Britain and Israel against Muslims, but I still can't see how some people think that killing innocent people will solve the problem. Like in Iraq, what is the point of all these suicide bombings which are killing mostly Iraqis? I guess that the perpetrators are willing to sacrifice innocent lives in order to get the US out, but I can't see how they can justify this in their own minds.
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SALEEM FROM USA said:
Great article as it once again answers the question of "why they hate us". People here in the US don't see all the issues and just buy the Bush/Blair line.

The US and UK are not interested in fixing the root of the problem -- bad treatment of Muslims by western powers. As a result, there will be a small percentage of people that will resort to "terror" tactics as a means to fight back. This isn't right but can't be seen as a surprise.
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STEVE said:
Mr.Pilger's moral bankruptcy tallies well with his shameless dishonesty. In his article, Mr. Pilger makes quite clear that his sympathies lie closer to Mohammed Atta and the other terrorists who attacked the WTC London and Madrid, rather than their thousands of innocent victims.
He laments civilian casualties ONLY when he can hold US or UK accountable..when innocent civilians are the victims of the islamofascists he is silent, even when their victims are muslim. The people of Iraq are being victimized on a mass scale by a brutal foreign invasion of foreign terrorists engaged in the most horrific war crimes against Iraqis yet Mr. Pilger is completely silent on this. Not a word!
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MURTAZA ALI FROM USA said:
It is nobody's fault except the Muslims themselves. Who is causing the bloodshed in Iraq ? Muslims are killing Muslims. Than Muslims start crying like babies "Oh America is helping Israel, we hate America". Why the hell do Muslims have to cry around like orphan children ?
Why dont they have the military might as the Western countries, although they have so much of oil wealth. Obviously if Muslims are not united and fight like dogs nobody is to blame.
High amount of illiteracy amoong the Muslims. Okay they memorize the Quranic verses, how many actually know the true meaning, instead they just mug it up like puppets, and thats what they are taught from childhood.
If you want to get Islamic form of life compared to westernism you have to increase your military might. You have to be united all the bullshit about Sunni,Shia should stop. A united Islam is powerful Islam. Just imagine if all Muslim countries adopt one currency there is no need for wars.
Your five fingers indiviually are weak ,to strike a punch you need the strength of all five fingers.
They will try the divide and rule policy but if you want an Islamic way of life, you will have to unite.So now we should stop blaming western countries and see the fault within and emerge not as seprate powers but as one united force, with which out beloved Rasul is pleased and Allah as well.
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HUDD D'AELIA FROM CANADA said:
What's your point steve? It doesn't really matter when the suicide bombings occurred, they were overdue in any respect. Whom did the Palestinians bombed in their lands? The invadors, the so called Zionists coming from Europe to take over Palestine. What do you have for brains, potatoes? It's just normal to fight an occupation. I agree, commiting suicide is not normal by a long shot, but this only shows the level of desperation of an occupied people. I dread the idea of a terroritic attack on Canadian soil, especially in Toronto where every 5th person in the street is a Muslim. It's not that I wouldn't care for my non-Muslim compatriots, but your own is closer to your heart than your neighbour. Having said these, I can't reiterate more, terrorism is the effect not the cause. War on terrorism is an oxymoron, 9/11 was already the effect of the prolongued US direct and indirect assault on the lands of the Muslims. US cannot win this war, it's not so hard to perceive for those who exercise their God-given brains. If US wiped out the whole of ME, with the exception of Israel of course, still, the enemy, the terrorists would be everywhere striking at the innocent, where hurts the most. What would have US achieved by wiping out ME? Kill millions of innocents. And that, my friend, would bring about a formidable effect. All the technology and all the weapons of the world could not stop that effect. You see, whenever some boneheads on this site say, "US could wipe you out and she might just do that" Things like these don't ascare noone. When Bush said,"Bring it on!" the terrorists answered,"It's already brought on!" You see, the terrorists need motivation to recruit. Imagine how easy is for them to recruit when US created a situation in ME that young people have no reason to live for! Their parents killed, their houses destroyed, their business ruined, being harrassed and humiliated by the US and Israel on daily basis. What do you think? If they were free they would?
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SALEEM FROM USA said:
Everybody likes Peace.
But without Justice its hard to get Peace.
Or in other words being Just = Peace.

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NAJJAR FROM MOROCCO said:
Salam Alaikoum. One of our immediate and urgent duty as Muslims across the Muslim provinces is to encourage, and if given the opportunity to contribute to, the developement of nuclear arsenal to deter terrorist western governements. As for those who advocate nuclear free Muslim nation are only inviting more suffering and humiliation to the Ummah. The Western governments are too violent, not that intelligent and extremely unwise, to hold any diplomatic talks, their only language is violence. The signs are cristal clear. It's up to each one of us.
Wassalam
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NICK FROM UK said:
You may call it dark humor, but I am amused, indeed puzzled that those whom we call terrorists and murderers, were at some point in time coddled and propped up by the US. Saddam was once US's boy as was Pinochet and Noriega. The CIA was not even discreet in employing Bin Laden to lead the insurgency against the Russian occupation of Afghanistan. It ws the CIA which supplied the then "Mujahideen", whom the US now calls the "Taliban" with weapons of every grade. Lesson for all inspiring revolutionaries, Think twice before you assume the friendship and aid of the US, the hand that feeds will feed on you one day.
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STEVE said:
Mr.Pilger claims that suicide bombings in Israel didn't occur before Ariel Sharon came to power. This is a bald-faced lie as anyone wanting to can demonstrate simply by consulting back-dated newspapers. There was an especially horrific string of bus bombings carried out by Hamas in the early 90s when Itzhak Rabin was PM of Israel many years before Sharon came to power. The suicide bombings of the second intifadeh brought about the coming to power of Sharon..precisely the opposite of what Mr.Pilger contends..as you can easily verify for yourself by consulting newspapers.."truth struggling" indeed!
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SARFARAZ FROM INDIA said:
I appreciate the truth telling courage of the writer. God will reward him for this act here and hereafter. But alas! evil is always blind. It will not give a chance to peace. It paralizes the wisdom. Hate in any form is devasting. We all are victim of hate. 'Hate' is product of haughty behaviour and it is embedded in our nature. It is really big & appropriate war to come over it. May God bless us for this reason. Thanks
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ROBERT ROWLANDS FROM TASMANIA said:
i agree entirely with John Pilger ,, i wish the general population turned "off" their diet of commercial television & opened their eye's, their ear's & their heart's to this tragedy which is only going to get worse if the people do nothing to bring politician's & huge corporation's to account
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