last phase of the Troubles, the IRA targeted mainland Britain:
it came close to blowing up Margaret Thatcher and her cabinet
in Brighton. Some years later a missile was fired at No. 10. London's
financial quarter was also targeted. There was no secret as to
the identity of the organisation that carried out the hits or
its demands. And all this happened despite the various Prevention
of Terrorism Acts passed by the Commons.
who targeted London yesterday are anonymous. It is assumed that
those who carried out these attacks are linked to al-Qaida. We
simply do not know. Al-Qaida is not the only terrorist group in
existence. It has rivals within the Muslim diaspora. But it is
safe to assume that the cause of these bombs is the unstinting
support given by New Labour and its prime minister to the US wars
in Afghanistan and Iraq.
One of the
arguments deployed by Ken Livingstone, the mayor of London, when
he appealed to Tony Blair not to support the war in Iraq was prescient:
"An assault on Iraq will inflame world opinion and jeopardise
security and peace everywhere. London, as one of the major world
cities, has a great deal to lose from war and a lot to gain from
peace, international cooperation and global stability."
real solution lies in immediately
ending the occupation of Iraq,
Afghanistan and Palestine.
Just because these three wars
are reported sporadically and
mean little to the everyday lives
of most Europeans does not mean
the anger and bitterness they arouse
in the Muslim world and its diaspora
(as the rest of the country) were opposed to the Iraq war. Tragically,
they have suffered the blow and paid the price for the re-election
of Blair and a continuation of the war.
9/11, I have been arguing that the "war against terror" is immoral
and counterproductive. It sanctions the use of state terror -
bombing raids, torture, countless civilian deaths in Afghanistan
and Iraq - against Islamo-anarchists whose numbers are small,
but whose reach is deadly. The solution then, as now, is political,
not military. The British ruling elite understood this perfectly
well in the case of Ireland. Security measures, anti-terror laws
rushed through parliament, identity cards, a curtailment of civil
liberties, will not solve the problem. If
anything, they will push young Muslims in the direction of mindless
real solution lies in immediately ending the occupation of Iraq,
Afghanistan and Palestine. Just because these three wars are reported
sporadically and mean little to the everyday lives of most Europeans
does not mean the anger and bitterness they arouse in the Muslim
world and its diaspora is insignificant. As long as western politicians
wage their wars and their colleagues in the Muslim
world watch in silence, young people will be attracted to the
groups who carry out random acts of revenge.
At the beginning
of the G-8, Blair suggested that "poverty was the cause of terrorism".
It is not so. The principal cause of this violence is the violence
being inflicted on the people of the Muslim world. And unless
this is recognised, the horrors will continue.
Tariq Ali's latest book is Speaking of Empire and Resistance.
He is at firstname.lastname@example.org
published in The Guardian, July 8, 2005 and available here http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article9421.htm
here to order Tariq Ali books.
Other articles by Tariq Ali:
The New Ultra-Imperialism Of The World
"They Think God Runs The IMF"
Imperial Delusions: "Domocracy Promotion" And Resistance
The New Model Of Imperialism: Saddam On Parade
The Importance Of Hugo Chavez: Why He Crushed The Oligarchs
Getting Away With Murder
The War Is Not Going Well For Bush