Alán Camilo Cienfuegos writes about the recent events in London….
Britain is today left reeling after an attack in Woolwich, London, yesterday left a man, apparently a British soldier, dead – hacked to death by two men described as Islamic fundamentalists, who butchered him in the street while shouting ‘God is Great’. And, just as with the London bombings of July 7th, 2005, the British and wider western media has gone into overdrive to take advantage of the situation. Dramatic headlines and pictures of the attackers, their hands soaked in fresh blood and brandishing meat cleavers and knives, abound.
The motivation for the attack, at this stage, appears to be the same as the recent Boston bombings, and the 7/7 bombings in London before them: revenge, or retaliation, for the US-led, western ‘war on terror’, seen by Jihadists as a war on Islam itself. Leaving aside the immediate politico-religious motivation for yesterday’s attack, the revulsion felt by many at its ferocity and brazeness is undoubtedly genuine. What should be seen, however, for the hypocritical sham it is, is David Cameron’s, and the rest of the British government’s, utterly fake outrage and sadness at the incident.
The British government has been quick to wheel out all the old cliches: their ‘horror’ at such a ‘barbaric crime’, their ‘sympathy’ for the victim and his family, and their ‘steadfastness’ and ‘determination’ to defend good old British democracy from the evil terrorists, ad nauseam. The crocodile tears of Cameron, and William Hague, and the rest of the cabal of warmongers that rule Britain for the benefit of the rich and powerful should at this stage fool no-one; though sadly perhaps they will.
The irony of the British government’s apparent determination to resist Islamist terrorism becomes painfully clear when one realises that in Syria at this very moment, the British government, along with the US and other western nations, is busy funding, training, co-ordinating, indirectly arming and politically supporting the very same type of psychopaths who carried out yesterday’s attack in London. The fundamentalist forces being employed to destroy the secular Syrian state in a western proxy war for control of the Middle East, are entirely acceptable to the likes of William Hague, who is pushing for the EU to arm them directly. The zealots who cut out Syrian soldier’s hearts and eat them on camera while proclaiming ‘God is Great’ are just fine when they are doing David Cameron’s dirty work. They were ‘freedom fighters’ when they turned Libya into a tribal warzone and western puppet; they were ‘liberators’ when they were using American weapons to drive the Soviets from Afghanistan and destroy that country’s progressive government; that they enslaved the Afghan people under a fuedal religious theocracy and turned their women into commodities little above cattle or goats was incidental. ‘Al Qaeda’, the great bogeyman of our times, is a western creation. It was funded and armed by the CIA to fight the ‘reds’, and when as an added bonus it went off the rails and killed 3,000 odd US civilians on 9/11, not to mention the US embassy bombings and the attack on the USS Cole in the 90’s, it acted as a handy pretext to once again pillage the resources of the Middle East. Imperialism creates its own reasons to go to war; it creates its own enemies to fight, to fuel its perpetual conflict, to keep the profits of the arms industry healthy. Whatever backward, reactionary forces it can harness to this end, it will, be it Islamism, fascism, racism or what have you.
So David Cameron and William Hague and the rest of them can keep trotting out their fake moralism and sham indignation at the collateral damage of their system’s strategy for hegemony in the Middle East; the truth is plain to see. The madness of Islamism and its terrorism will be with us as long as western imperialism finds it a useful tool for its purposes abroad. That the ordinary and working class people of western nations will have to suffer the wrath of religious fundamentalism is of no concern to those in power; indeed, it too serves the useful purpose of breeding petty nationalism, paranoia and fear among the population at home, to distract them from the crimes of their governments abroad.
It is the duty of every socialist, leftist and progressive to not only oppose reactionary Islamism, but to unceasingly expose the hypocrisy and complicity of the imperialist governments who use it as a blunt tool for their own ends.