Hobgoblin Journal

Hobgoblin 7 2005

Statement by the London Corresponding Committee on the London Bombings

It should not need to be said that such actions as the terrorist bombings on Thursday 7th July will do nothing to pursue the cause of human freedom; and that rather, exactly the opposite is the case.

This murderous action by an Islamist suicide squad against thousands of working people going about their business sidelined the G8 protests in Scotland. The G8 protestors were putting Bush, Blair and the other leaders on the spot and just as the debate about how little Blair had actually achieved had begun, the spotlight suddenly shifted from Africa and Global Warming onto the so-called War on Terror.

It would be a positive development in the aftermath of this horror if there was universally condemnation of the bombings by the Left. But if the statement in the Guardian of 9 July by Tariq Ali is anything to go by, this might be too much to expect. He says the cause of these bombs is “the unstinting support given by New Labour and its prime minister to the US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq” and the “violence being inflicted on the people of the Muslim world. And unless this is recognised, the horrors will continue.”

Whilst we, like most Londoners, opposed New Labour’s support of Bush’s wars, we would remind Tariq Ali that Al Qaeda terrorists have committed mass murder in countries which did not participate in these wars – such as Turkey and Indonesia - and were committing acts of terror long before 11th September 2001 - such as in Kenya, to give one example. Furthermore, we would suggest that the terrorists’ primary agenda has more to do with shoring up Islamist reaction in Pakistan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere than any supposed “anti-imperialism,” however misguided.

The Islamicists' claim that their struggle is about spiritual values and ways of life - things which it is possible to deal with by discussion and dialogue - is belied by their central strategy of murder and intimidation. Tariq Ali, who was deluded enough to campaign for the Liberal Democrats in the General Election, apparently believes that the defeat of Tony Blair’s government in the general election would have led to radically different policies by either the British government or Al Qaeda. This explains his equally objectionable and hypocritical statement that “Most Londoners (as the rest of the country) were opposed to the Iraq war. Tragically, they have suffered the blow and paid the price for the re-election of Blair and a continuation of the war.”

This seems to imply that the victims in some way deserved their fate. They did not. Political Islamists have always been deadly enemies of the Left and remain so. The fact that the Islamists have made enemies of our rulers is no reason whatever not to unequivocally condemn those responsible for this atrocity and demand that they are brought to justice.

This is not to say that there is no connection between the London bombs and the War in Iraq. At the same time over 50 people were being murdered in London a suicide bomber killed twenty-two children in Baghdad, who committed the ungodly crime of taking sweets from US soldiers. Rather than tail-ending the fascistic Al Qaeda and Baath insurgents, we would rather give a platform to those people in Iraq who are fighting for human liberation. Hobgoblin supports the building of independent working class organisations to unite working people in Iraq and start to take forward the true cause of human liberation. A statement issued by the Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions on July 08, 2005 says:
”The Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions (IFTU) London office strongly condemns the terrorist attacks in London that took place yesterday (7 July, 2005) against innocent defenceless working people going about their daily routine. We mourn the loss of life and pray for a speedy recovery of the injured. These are unprovoked attacks, which lack any justification whatsoever. We Iraqis know very well the sorrow Londoners are going through at the moment and feel their pain as Iraq today battles against extremism for democracy and human rights in a federal and united Iraq. The perpetrators of these vile acts of barbarism must be brought to justice and receive the deserved punishment. We salute the brave, calm and tireless humanitarian response of workers in the transport, emergency services and media who have demonstrated the instinctive and universal duty of love and care to their fellow Londoners, that is an example to trade unionists everywhere.”

A statement from Houzan Mahmoud, of the Organisation for Women’s Freedom in Iraq (July 10) says:
“The political Islamists who have declared their “Jihad” on the world started from countries in the Middle East by imposing Islamic Sharia Law, forcing women to wear the Veil, stoning them to death in public, and many more oppressions were made a way of life for nearly three decades now. The USA and Western states saw all this and turned a blind eye to it before the September 11th events.The Islamists were even nurtured and supported by them.

OWFI’s position on the London atrocities is quite clear:
”The OWFI strongly condemns the carnage and crimes committed by Islamists. They should be condemned by all. The Islamists should be denied any support or sympathy. The self appointed leaders of the world in the G 8 summit have announced their determination on the continuation of the “War on terror”, but they cannot bring it to an end as they themselves have created it all, and are responsible for the war, destruction, hunger and poverty in the world. But it is the task of the progressive and secular forces across the world to stand up to these atrocities which have been committed against humankind all over the world for causes that are not ours and have nothing to do with our aspirations.” (For more information on OWFI: www.equalityiniraq.com)

Ironically as a result of the atrocities in London a brief glimpse of the potential of humanity can be seen by all races and creeds in the capital helping each other out for pure humanity’s sake. The other side of the coin is that racists and reactionaries will take advantage of the atrocity to attack muslims, as has been seen over the last few days. The Muslim community must be defended and those within it who are fighting to rid their mosques of the Islamist death-cults who are “grooming” their children must be supported. The solidarity seen amongst Londoners is the best answer to both the racists and the terrorists.

Finally, we repeat: Thursday’s actions are the complete antithesis of any liberation struggle. This is no simple matter of choosing the least worst side: Western imperialism or whatever passes itself off as “anti-Imperialism” and measures its success by the body-count of its victims. To accept this is to accept the logic of Blair and Bush by failing to project an alternative: a philosophy of human liberation and a concrete alternative to the unsustainable, exploitative rule of capital on a global scale. July 15 2005