Friday, 24 May 2013

Woolwich killing not terrorism, just a revenge murder

The global media has gone into meltdown over the killing of an off-duty soldier at Woolwich in London, labelling the event "terrorism" on the basis of no evidence whatsoever. It's obviously worse in the UK; it hardly warrants looking at the headlines coming out of Fleet Street except perhaps for those of the Guardian, which ran part of the videoed jihadist killer's message in one of its stories:
"We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you. The only reason we have done this is because Muslims are dying every day. This British soldier is an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth."
"We must fight them. I apologise that women had to witness this today. But in our land, our women have to see the same. You people will never be safe. Remove your government, they don't care about you. 
"You think David Cameron is going to get caught in the street when we start bussin' our guns? You think politicians are going to die? No it's going to be the average guy, like you, and your children. So get rid of them. Tell them to bring our troops back so you can all live in peace."
In Australia, the government-funded ABC ran a story sourced largely from overseas sources, mainly British, which labelled this address an "Islamist tirade" in an effort to delegitimise the claims of the man, who appears to me to have been quite lucid and rational during the verbal outburst. Clearly, he was excited; it's not every day that you kill another human being. In the US, the New York Times girded itself with righteous indignation in solidarity with America's limey cousins: 'Cameron Says Britain ‘Resolute’ After Attack'. Oh dear.

So far there has been no rational appraisal of what the man has said publicly as justification of his actions, and this is very troubling. It's so much more troubling in that the media - which is supposed to be objective - has just leapt on the bandwagon carrying government spin. Britain's government, like Australia's and America's, is given a free pass, and has avoided the unpleasant question of what the troops they command are actually doing in Afghanistan - let alone the complete debacle of Iraq, where so many other innocent people died as a result of lies perpetrated by the governments of the global North (aided by the New York Times). These questions are just not being asked of David Cameron, for example, who has metaphorically strapped on a bronze breastplate like Elizabeth I in Essex in the hours before the arrival of the Spanish Armada. Cameron might have the stomach of a king but the man with the meat cleaver has no appetite for more killing in Muslim countries by occupying forces deployed illegitimately.

Afghanistan is a completely unwinnable war partly because the Islamic sense of personal identity means that enthusiastic believers from all around the world are just being sucked into the conflict as part of a personal jihad against what they legitimately see as oppression. There is no longer any justification for troops commanded by governments of the global North to be in Afghanistan; special forces could have been deployed in the early days - the CIA and the military buggered up the hunt for bin Laden after 11 September 2001 by waiting too long to react on intelligence - and then extracted in a timely fashion. Instead, the US decided to penalise an entire country for the sins of a few fanatics, sending tens of thousands of troops into Afghanistan - and Britain and Australia supinely followed - with the aim of military occupation.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this. A lot of other people share your reaction but for one reason or anther don't have the energy to make this point one more time... keep up the awesome work.