The London Bombings and the Class War

by Dave Stratman

July 11, 2005


The terror bombings in London differ from the atrocities committed against the people of Iraq only in scale. In Iraq well over 100,000 people have been butchered by the US/UK killing machine. In London as many as 50 people were killed and hundreds injured. In both cases the killed and injured are the victims of actions designed to terrorize, demobilize, and control innocent people.

We do not yet know who is responsible for the atrocities in London. Responsibility has been claimed by a shadowy "Secret Organization of al-Qaeda," and perhaps that organization is indeed responsible. Far more likely, however, is that security elements of the British or US governments are the real perpetrators. Why do we suggest this? Three reasons: 1) Security in London was at unprecedented heights for the G-8 summit at Gleneagle; such a sophisticated, coordinated attack on three different underground lines and one bus would have been extremely difficult to carry out without active cooperation from the security services. 2) The evidence that the 9/11 attack on the US was planned by the US government suggests the likelihood that this attack has a similar genesis–that is, that it originated from deep within ruling circles of "the Allies." 3) In solving any crime, one must first ask, "Cui bono?"–"Who benefits?" The beneficiaries of this attack are Tony Blair and George Bush–or so they hope. 9/11 was George Bush’s "Pearl Harbor" that turned him overnight from clown to "war-time leader," rallied the country behind him, and allowed him to launch two long-planned wars of aggression. Tony Blair, whose political support is at rock-bottom because of his support for the war in Iraq, desperately needs rehabilitation. He is using the time-honored method of political leaders: posing as stalwart protector of a people under attack.

Of course such momentous doings as 9/11 or the war in Iraq or the London terror attacks would never be undertaken just to revive the reputation of one politician. The ruling elites of the US and Britain are playing for huge stakes at home and in the Middle East, which is why the actions of their chosen politicians, Bush and Blair, however deeply unpopular they may be with ordinary citizens, have overwhelming support within ruling circles. The Democratic and Republican parties have never flinched in their support for the war. The US Senate recently voted an additional $82 billion for the Iraq war by 99 to 0. It is only because the stakes are so huge that ruling elites would dare such desperate measures as terror attacks on their own people or illegal wars of aggression abroad.

Whoever is responsible, the London terror attacks shine a bright and fearful light on the future we have to look forward to: war abroad and terror at home, the murder of innocents everywhere. Our government has promised us an era of "permanent war," and Rumsfeld and Cheney have repeatedly assured us that it is only a matter of time before the US is struck again, perhaps by a "weapon of mass destruction" in the hands of terrorists. One can only wonder what our leaders have in store for us.

Simone Weil once wrote: "The great error of nearly all studies of war... has been to consider war as an episode in foreign policies, when it is an act of interior politics..." War has long been the ultimate social control. The war in Iraq–like the "war on terror"–is no different. Steve Lopez wrote in the Los Angeles Times, "There's a dirty secret [behind this war] no one has told you, and here it is: This war is not about changing Iraq, it's about changing America....The whole idea is to train you to expect less and to feel patriotic about it."

The terror attacks on the people of London, the 9/11 attacks on Americans, and the Iraq war itself are not matters principally of foreign but of domestic policy–a fact which has been neglected by most anti-war commentators, who tend to view these things only in terms of American (or British) imperialism. While the main victims of the war on Iraq are the Iraqi people, the main purpose driving the war and its attendant terror is the class war by the American elite against American working people. The war in Iraq is being waged as a means of controlling ordinary Americans (and British), providing the opportunity for transforming American society into a military and police state through such measures as the Patriot Act, airport searches, the suspension of habeas corpus at Guantanamo and in the case of Jose Padilla and more than 1,000 persons detained in the US after 9/11 without charges or due process, and for the unprecedented attack on pensions and retirement and other aspects of working people's livelihoods. The ruling class could never get away with these things in the absence of a war, which had to be created under false pretenses for the purpose.

Whoever is responsible for these latest atrocities, we must not let them set whole peoples against each other in a "clash of civilizations." We must challenge these terror campaigns against the Iraqi and British and American people with the solidarity of working people here and around the world.

The London bombings demand an answer. Let that answer be a call for unity between ordinary British and American and Iraqi people, and a joint determination to crush the war-makers and create a democratic peace.

Dave Stratman edits and is author of We CAN Change the World: The Real Meaning of Everyday Life. He can be reached at .

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