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Tuesday, July 12, 2005 

Blitz spirit.

I knew as soon as I woke on Thursday that this navel-gazing would go on for days, if not weeks. It has come to pass. As yet, everyone is still blaming Islamic fundamentalists. Any bombing now is instantly blamed on the invisible but always present spectre of Islam. This is what our friendly cave-dweller always wanted.

Let's just try and forget that we already have something that seems incredibly coincidental coming to the surface. On Thursday morning, a company called Visor Consultants was conducting an exercise on the London underground, at the exact same stations as the bombs exploded, involving simultaneous explosions. Visor itself is based in the heart of London, and boasts on its home page of how many lecturers on risk and business continuity it has on its hands. In the interview the managing director Peter Power did on BBC Radio 5 Live late on Thursday night (note that 5 Live isn't exactly a hotbed of conspiracy theories) he states how this exercise was being performed for a company which he neglects to mention. His reticence on this matter certainly doesn't make this any less disturbing or troublesome. Some links leading to the clip are available here: http://cryptome.org/visor-bomb.htm

Away from the possibility that this was an operation that had nothing whatsoever to do with so-called Islamic extremists, we have the wailing and gnashing of teeth of the victims and relatives of them. Yesterday we had to deal with the nauseating sight of Marie Fatayi-Williams, who decided to wail on a street corner near King's Cross about her missing son. To call it stomach churning would be an understatement. What's worse is the way the media just happened to be passing by at the time to capture this spectacle. The Guardian has it on their front page. It was featured on the BBC 1 O'clock news in the most sycophantic and uncritical stance I have ever seen. This wasn't some crazy woman would couldn't face up to the fact her son had died. This was a person who expressed the feelings of a whole city, who conjured up the true essence of the blitz spirt, who made us all look at ourselves in a different light and feel how thankful we should be that it wasn't us caught up in this tragedy.
It also helped that she was black, and that of course makes us realise that this wasn't just a tragedy directed at the white middle and working class who commute into London every day. Also disgusting was the obviously hastily rushed together Panorama which was shown on Sunday night, which in part followed two of the survivors over the last couple of days. It felt voyeuristic, debasing, especially to see the female survivor so obviously mixed-up and in need of counseling saying how she would fight on against the terrorists and that they would not win, by doing her duty of carrying on with her life. I'm sure that those who carried out the attack will be terrified.

Even more sickening than the way the press is dealing with the aftermath is the way that Labour MPs in particular are attacking the likes of George Galloway for daring to suggest that this attack had anything to do with our participation in the war on Iraq. Tony Wright, who even voted against the war, said that anyone who connected the bombs with Iraq was talking "not only nonsense, but dangerous nonsense." I'm not sure those people are the ones talking nonsense here.

The war on terror continues unabated. A lot of people don't see any connection with what happened in London with what has been going on for two years now in Iraq. On Sunday there was a suicide bombing which killed at least 20 people. There's usually at least one such barbaric attack every day in Baghdad. Do we care? Do we hell. The same people who are coughing up the same old Churchillian statements here can't see anything that might just help explain why this is happening, both here and now.

Even more disgraceful is the way that so little has been, or how so much has been said about how the economy and capitalism are so heavily involved here. Sales of bikes have soared, according to the Grauniad. Oxford Street is supposedly deserted. Forget about the stock market, and how some businesses profited hugely from this human disaster as the FTSE fell and then rose, what really matters is that we get back to normal straight away. Get back to work, says the normally eloquent Ken Livingstone. Business as usual. The business of death will never stop the business of slow death.

To come back to the opening points of Islamic fundamentalism, if this wasn't an op by the government or some lower echelon, this wasn't an attack by people with a religious background. If it was committed by Muslims, it wasn't with any ideology behind it. The problems of Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan are all there, and needed to be sorted now, but this doesn't excuse the murder committed by people who will point to those as to why they are carrying out the attacks, in the same way that when we attacked Iraq we were doing it based on the lies of weapons of mass destruction and defeating terrorism. These people don't belong to any religion. Muslims need to stop defending themselves and saying they are a religion of peace. We already know, and they don't need to make these excuses for people who are doing these things in the name of Allah. What these people are is not Islamo-fascists, as some people have christened them. They are simply murderers. They are people whose only motive is killing. It's not for a reason. It's because they can, and they will. Until we get over the name calling, the petty nationalism and realise that three of the main religions all originate from the same complete and utter nonsense, we will not get anywhere. Religion is not the problem. It's the fact that people still believe in a higher being that is.

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