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The London bombings: rounding up the unusual suspects
Let's play detective to George W. Bush's announcement from Gleneagles, Scotland, "The war on terror goes on," while we offer our deepest sympathy to Londoners as the casualties rise to more than 50 dead and hundreds injured in the four London bomb blasts.
Though the death and injury figures are significantly less than 9–11's 2,800 dead and untold thousands of injured, London's four explosions echo the US events in microcosm, including the call to arms by Blair as well as Bush against al Qaeda, with a promise of victory for democracy, which you have heard before.
Of course this is, according to MSNBC, "a previously unknown group" that claimed responsibility for the bombings in return for British and American involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan: "The Secret organization of al-Qaeda in Europe claims credit on a web site popular with Islamic militants, according to Elaph, a secular Arabic-language news web site, and Der Spiegel magazine in Berlin, which published the text on their web sites," chants MSNCB.
Yet the MSNBC translator, Jacob Keryakes, "said that a copy of the message was later posted on a secular web site . . . [and] noted that the claim of responsibility contained an error in one of the Quranic verses it cited. That suggests that the claim may be phony, he said. 'This is not something al Qaida would do,' he said." So, who do we believe? Keep in mind as well that this "Secret Organization of al-Qaeda in Europe" had only been heard from once before, after the Madrid train station bombings, ironically after Spain's new prime minister had announced he was withdrawing troops from Iraq.
Then, too, given the high level of anti-war, anti-Blair sentiment in Britain, as well as strong anti-war sentiments in Bush's America, why would al-Qaeda want to announce itself as responsible and alienate millions of Westerners who did not support the war in Iraq or Afghanistan? Wouldn't the administrations of both countries stand to gain support for their mutual War on Terror and al-Qaeda lose ground, if the latter group claimed credit?
Also of coincidence, the 9–11 attacks occurred within 77 minutes, from 8:46 a.m. (North Tower) to 9:03 (South Tower) to 9:38 (the Pentagon) to 9:47 (in rural Pennsylvania). The London bombings curiously occur within 56 minutes, the first explosion at 8.51 a.m., hitting a London underground train 100 yards outside Moorgate station in the financial district. The second blast comes at 8:56, in the King's Cross station area of north London. The third explosion happens at 9:17, near the Edgware station. The last is a double-decker bus explosion at 9:47 near the British Museum—echoing the magic of four, the paradigm of civil fear.
This in spite of the fact that London had developed a supposedly bullet-proof street video surveillance system, that sounded an alarm if any package or case were left alone on a street for a minute or more. Supposedly London was secured to the teeth. Could London's bombings, horrible as they were, be a booster shot for terror at home and abroad? And who might be jabbing the needle, and stand to gain from it, apart from CIA asset al-Qaeda? Could the terror have been synthesized at home or with fellow travelers, the way the anthrax powder discovered in Washington, DC, government offices was traced back to an Army laboratory in Maryland, the way the Murrah Building bombings in Oklahoma City were traced back to US gov black ops, for those who care to trace.
The Two Subplots
Also of interest, on Wednesday, July 6, two important things occurred. One, London was announced as the winner of the Summer Olympics in 2012, and not New York, amen, or Paris, Moscow or Madrid. First, hyping the terror would create the need for guarding against it during the games, and give us another Athens, ringed with armor plate and our need for homeland Spartans, spears in hand, shafts at the ready.
Second, all day Wednesday, July 6, in Scotland, clashes began in Edinburgh with protesters against the G8 summit meeting in Gleneagles. Hooded demonstrators, The New York Times reported, "walked across roads ahead of buses carrying journalists and others on the 40-mile drive to the resort. Some protesters chained themselves together across the M9 highway, forcing its closing for four [magic number] hours."
The Times tells us that the cops flew in reinforcements by helicopter and charged after protestors with batons as they fled across a field. Mounted officers, just as in New York at the Republican National Convention, confronted protestors, some carrying banners reading, "Fight Poverty, Not War, Bring the Troops Home," and chanted, "They say drop bombs, we say drop the debt." Top it all with Bono, lead singer of Irish rock band U2, who led the promotional rock circus to cancel debts of African governments, turned up for a meeting with President Bush. Any luck, babe?
Bush Not Budging on Global Warming
Not surprisingly, Bush wouldn't be budged from his anti-Kyoto stand on global warming, which is predicted to create a global disaster in the not too distant future. Bush held firm despite the fact that the US is by far the world's largest polluter, although he admitted that the surface of the earth was warming as a result of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. What's more, we contain 4 percent of the world's population but produce about 25 percent of all carbon dioxide emissions. Britain emits 3 percent as does India, which has fifteen times as many people. The EU countries en masse are second behind us and China is third. Yet the EU countries, China and Japan and Russia are in favor of signing the accords.
But Mr. Stand Alone was there to assert, according to the Times, "How can you be a president of the United States and agree to an agreement that would have put a lot of people out of work," and also, "wreck our economy." Duh, yeah, the facts are that without signing the accords he has done both, lost 3 million jobs in his first term, and saddled us with record levels of debt that have brought America to the brink of economic catastrophe.
As to our touted generosity to Africa, the US contribution was less than Denmark's. Its prime minister, Anders Fogh Rasmuseen, noted that if all G8 countries matched his country's effort Africa could get $90 billion, not $25 billion. But this wasn't about generosity. This was about the appearance of generosity. And then the London bombings conveniently took everyone's attention off the protestors and the G8 hypocrisy and the fact that the "US and Britain were putting the multinational corporations that created poverty in charge of its relief," headlined as such by George Monbiot in his Tuesday, July 5, article in the Guardian.
"The G8 leaders," he said, "and the business interests their summit promotes can absorb our demands for aid, debt, even slightly fairer terms of trade, and lose nothing. They can wear our colours, speak our language, claim to support our aims, and discover in our agitation not new constraints but new opportunities for manufacturing. Justice, this consensus says, can be achieved without confronting power." At least not directly. But with a little help from MI5 or MI6, British domestic and world intelligence, who know London like the back of their hands, who knows what Macbeth-like twists could occur.
Low Body Count, World Media Blitz
After all, as terrible as the London bombings were, the body and injured counts were amazingly low, and the world media blitz totally huge: 24-hour CNN plus big three network coverage. I mean the G8's Corporate Council on Africa, the lobby group with interests in Africa—Halliburton, Exxon Mobil, Coca-Cola, General Motors, Starbucks, Raytheon, Microsoft, Boeing, Cargill, Citigroup and others—would have to spend billions for diversionary coverage like that.
The diversion might even sway us from ever looking at the African Growth and Opportunity Act, which Monbiot reports, "Is a fascinating compound of professed philanthropy and raw self-interest. To become eligible for help, African countries must bring about 'a market-based economy that protects private property rights,' 'the elimination of barriers to United States trade and investment' and a conducive environment for US 'foreign policy interest.' In return they will be allowed 'preferential treatment' for some of their products in US markets." Unfortunately, even with all the product restrictions, "African countries' preferential treatment will be terminated if it results in 'a surge in imports.'" Some ice in winter anyone? In the winter of the world's discontent, the fading winter of global warming, with the African lion roaring like the wind as it drowns.
Drowns even as executives from "Shell, British American Tobacco, Standard Chartered Bank, De Beers and the Corporate Council on Africa gather," as Monbiot tells us and, "One of its purposes is to inaugurate the Investment Climate Facility, a $550 m[illion] fund financed by the UK's foreign-aid budget, the World Bank and the other G8 nations, but 'driven and controlled by the private sector . . ." And again tell us that "Nothing in either the Investment Climate Facility or the Growth Opportunity Act imposes mandatory constraints on corporations. While their power and profits in Africa will be enhanced with the help of our foreign-aid budgets, they will be bound only by voluntary commitments: of the kind that have been in place since 1973 and have proved useless."
And so, perhaps we should consider, as proposed, some new suspects to be rounded up for the London bombings, for this latest crime against freedom and democracy. Let us not be myopic or parrot the media, and rush out to bomb Iran, Syria, and god knows who else. Let us think and see clearly. The War on Terror lives. Yet bin Laden is a will of the wisp, a ghost in the desert sand. And the dead, at home and abroad, long for a justice they have not found, like the World Trade Center's memorial to honor them. And those who preach most vociferously on behalf of protecting us continue to ravage the earth and its people mercilessly.