The Real Threat We Face in Britain Is Blair

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If the alleged
plot to attack airliners flying from London is true — remember the
lies that led to the invasion of Iraq, and to the raid on a “terrorist
cell” in east London — then one person ultimately is to blame, as
he was on July 7 last year. They were Blair’s bombs then; who doesn’t
believe that 52 Londoners would be alive today had the prime minister
refused to join Bush in his piratical attack on Iraq? A parliamentary
committee has said as much, as have MI5, the Foreign Office, Chatham
House, and the polls.

A senior Metropolitan
Police officer, Paul Stephenson, claims the Heathrow plot “was intended
to be mass murder on an unimaginable scale.” The most reliable independent
surveys put civilian deaths in Iraq, as a result of the invasion
by Bush and Blair, above 100,000. The difference between the Heathrow
scare and Iraq is that mass murder on an unimaginable scale has
actually happened in Iraq.

By any measure
of international law, from Nuremberg to the Geneva accords, Blair
is a major prima facie war criminal. The charges against him grow.
The latest is his collusion with the Israeli state in its deliberate,
criminal attacks on civilians. While Lebanese children were being
buried beneath Israeli bombs, he refused to condemn their killers
or even to call on them to desist. That a cease-fire was negotiated
owed nothing to him, except its disgraceful delay.

Not only is
it clear that Blair knew about Israel’s plans, but he alluded approvingly
to the ultimate goal: an attack on Iran. Read his neurotic speech
in Los Angeles, in which he described an “arc of extremism,” stretching
from Hezbollah to Iran. He gave not a hint of the arc of injustice
and lawlessness of Israel’s occupation of Palestine and its devastation
of Lebanon. Neither did he attempt to counter the bigotry now directed
at all Arabs by the West and by the racist regime in Tel Aviv. His
references to “values” are code for a crusade against Islam.

Blair’s extremism,
like Bush’s, is rooted in the righteous violence of rampant Messianic
power. It is completely at odds with modern, multicultural, secular
Britain. He shames this society. Not so much distrusted these days
as reviled, he endangers and betrays us in his vassal’s affair with
the religious fanatic in Washington and the Biblo-ethnic cleansers
in Israel. Unlike him, the Israelis at least are honest. Ariel Sharon
said, “It is the duty of Israeli leaders to explain to public opinion
… that there can be no Zionism, colonization, or Jewish state without
the eviction of the Arabs and the expropriation of their lands.”
The current prime minister, Ehud Olmert, told the U.S. Congress:
“I believe in our people’s eternal and historic right to this entire
land” (his emphasis).

Blair has backed
this barbarism enthusiastically. In 2001, the Israeli press disclosed
that he had secretly given the “green light” to Sharon’s bloody
invasion of the West Bank, whose advance plans he was shown. Palestine,
Iraq, Lebanon — is it any wonder the attacks of July 7 and this
month’s Heathrow scare happened? The CIA calls this “blowback.”
On Aug. 12, the Guardian published an editorial (“The challenge
for us all”), which waffled about how “a significant number of young
people have been alienated from the [Muslim] culture,” but spent
not a word on how Blair’s Middle East disaster was the source of
their alienation. A polite pretense is always preferred in describing
British policy, elevating “misguided” and “inappropriate” and suppressing
criminal behavior.

Go into Muslim
areas and you will be struck by a fear reminiscent of the anti-Semitic
nightmare of the Jews in the 1930s, and by an anger generated almost
entirely by “a perceived double standard in the foreign policy of
Western governments,” as the Home Office admits. This is felt deeply
by many young Asians who, far from being “alienated from their culture,”
believe they are defending it. How much longer are we all prepared
to put up with the threat to our security coming from Downing Street?
Or do we wait for the “unimaginable”?

19, 2006

was born and educated in Sydney, Australia. He has been
a war correspondent, filmmaker and playwright. Based in London,
he has written from many countries and has twice won British journalism’s
highest award, that of "Journalist of the Year," for his
work in Vietnam and Cambodia. His new book, Tell
Me No Lies: Investigative Journalism and Its Triumphs
, is
published by Jonathan Cape in June. This article was first published
in the New Statesman.

John Pilger 2006

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