Imperial Teflon Terrorism 
by Kim Petersen
November 24, 2003

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As usual, it depends on which source you get your news from, but estimates of the crowd of anti-imperialists greeting US President Bush on his visit to London ranged anywhere from 70,000 to 350,000. Nonetheless, the news of the demonstrations was soon overshadowed by terrorist bombings in Turkey.

UK Prime Minister was quick to state: "What is responsible for that terrorist attack is terrorism; are the terrorists." One logical inference from Mr. Blair's tautology would be to consider this an admission that the attacks in Istanbul were in response to the US-UK terrorist campaign in Iraq -- a counter-terrorism. Political scientist and ex-marine C. Douglas Lummis boldly declared: "Air bombardment is state terrorism, the terrorism of the rich. It has burned up and blasted apart more innocents in the past six decades than have all the antistate terrorists who have ever lived. Something has benumbed our consciousness against this reality." (1)

Obviously what Mr. Blair means by terrorism is what is done by "them" against "us." Terrorism is a label that sticks to the enemies of empire.

Undeterred by British and American complicity in spurring on these attacks, Mr. Blair continues: "If they think that when they go and kill people by these terrorist attacks they are somehow going to weaken us or make us think let's shuffle to the back of the queue and hide away from this, they are wrong." Maybe so, but this also holds true for the Arab resistance that apparently was neither overly shocked nor awed by the massive bombardment in Iraq. In fact, it seems as if the resistance is gaining momentum, at least for the time being. A withering of the resistance is unlikely though if one considers the stamina of the Arab resistance as personified by the Palestinian defiance of occupation. they know that Israeli imperialism was defeated in Lebanon.

At any rate Mr. Blair's ahistorical boast either mocks George Santayana or ignores the fact that both British and American empires have previously turned tail and ignominiously fled, for example, the British in India and the Americans in Vietnam.

The repeated use of "we" and "us" is perplexing. One wonders just who Mr. Blair's "we" are. Assuredly he was not referring to the masses that required an "unprecedented" security detail for Mr. Bush's visit. It was certainly not the British Members of Parliament who caused Mr. Bush to "weaken .. and hide" from an earlier plan to address the House of Parliament. If opinion polls are any gauge then the "we" are neither the American public (2) nor the British public. (3) Fortunately for Mr. Blair, there is no "back of the queue" in which to hide. He is not in Iraq facing the wrath of the Iraqi resistance. Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair epitomize the pusillanimous pillagers described by anarchist Emma Goldman: "All wars are wars among thieves who are too cowardly to fight and who therefore induce the young manhood of the whole world to do the fighting for them."

The British demonstrations reveal just how deep Mr. Bush's pickle is in the fire. It seems Mr. Bush cannot live down his taunting of the Iraqi resistance. Since that moronic exhortation, US fatalities have more than doubled.

On the Turkish bombings Mr. Bush could only offer his effete observation: "The nature of the terrorists is evidenced once again -- we see their utter contempt for innocent life. They hate freedom; they hate free nations." The oft tried and unsuccessful response will undoubtedly be further terrorist bombing with minimal regard for civilian casualties.

The futility of occupation was succinctly encapsulated by Media Len's Dave Edwards: "[N]othing could be more naïve than attempting to fight suicide bombers with tanks and planes, than extinguishing fire with petrol, than fuelling hatred born of injustice with yet more hatred and injustice."

Kim Petersen lives in Nova Scotia and is a regular contributor to Dissident Voice newsletter. He can be reached at: kimpetersen@gyxi.dk

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(1) Quoted in William Blum, Rogue State (Common Courage Press, 2000), p. 92.

(2) Paul Majendie, "Britain's Blair to fight on despite grim polls," Yahoo! India News, 28 September 2003: http://in.news.yahoo.com/030928/137/282g8.html 

(3) Subhi Haddad, "Iraq 'Not Central Part' Of War On Terrorism: U.S. Poll," Islam Online.net, 5 November 2003: http://www.islamonline.net/English/News/2003-11/05/article04.shtml 



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