Re: OT - London Police Send Their Regrets
- From: "bryguy" <bryguy58@xxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sun, 24 Jul 2005 23:18:16 -0700
Good article. All too true.
> Police gun down worker in London subway: another tragic consequence
> of Blair's war policy
> Statement of the WSWS Editorial Board
> 25 July 2005
> The public state execution of Jean Charles de Menezes in a London
> subway carriage on July 22 marks a watershed.
> England, the country of the Magna Carta, is now one in which innocent
> civilians can be shot dead on the capital's streets at the discretion
> of the police, without any explanation, much less justification, and
> with the only outcome being a brief statement of regret.
> Eyewitnesses have provided horrific accounts of how the petrified
> 27-year-old Brazilian electrician "looked like a cornered rabbit" as
> he was pursued by three plain-clothes officers into the train
> carriage, before
> being pinned to the ground and shot five times in the head at point
> blank range.
> At a press conference afterwards, Metropolitan Police Commissioner
> Sir Ian Blair claimed that the killing was "directly linked to the
> ongoing and expanding anti-terrorist operation" following the July 7
> bombings of the capital's transport network which killed 56 people,
> and an apparent failed attempt to detonate devices on July 21.
> Not only did Menezes have no connection with the terror attacks,
> police had no grounds to suspect that he might be involved in such
> crimes, or any others, for that matter. That he was seen leaving a
> house that had been placed under police surveillance wearing
> "suspicious" clothes was enough for police to act as judge, jury and
> Given suggestions that the shooting may not be have been carried out
> by police officers at all, but by members of the security forces or
> the SAS, everyone has the right to ask just what type of Orwellian
> dystopia has been created in Blair's Britain.
> Menezes' death is not a blameless consequence of the July 7 bombings,
> as is now being claimed. Over the past two weeks, an officially
> sanctioned climate of hysteria and panic has been consciously whipped
> up, in which the state
> has been given carte blanche.
> The government itself has a vested interest in generating such an
> atmosphere in order to avoid having to answer damaging questions.
> Whilst police have demanded new powers to detain people without
> charge for up to three months, the government has made clear its
> intention to rush through new legislation, including making it a
> criminal offence to "glorify" or "condone" terrorism, with major
> ramifications for free speech.
> It is under these conditions that it has emerged that the rules
> governing police use of firearms have been officially revised and a
> de facto shoot-to-kill policy secretly adopted.
> Even as Prime Minister Tony Blair insists that emergency measures are
> not directed against "any community" in particular, but solely
> against those
> bent on terror, the media is filled with demands by so-called
> "security analysts" for all young black and Asian males to be treated
> with suspicion, in much the same way as Irish people in previous
> There is, however, one crucial difference. In March 1988, when the
> SAS shot dead three suspected IRA terrorists in Gibraltar, there were
> denials that the British state had an assassination policy.
> Not so today. Writing in the Daily Mail, before the police admission
> that they had killed an innocent man, Tom Bower opined: "In normal
> times, yesterday's state execution of a suspect in a Tube train in
> the middle of
> the capital would have evoked a tidal wave of revulsion and protest."
> The terror threat, however, had changed all that, he wrote. Britain's
> Muslims, in particular, would have to accept that "many civil
> liberties will have to be infringed." Security requirements would now
> involve the
> suspension of Habeas Corpus, "unexplained arrests," and even "the more
> common use of such police assassination."
> Just where are the powers-that-be intending to take Britain next?
> Already, the police have reaffirmed their policy of shoot-to-kill,
> with Blair's backing. For good reason, many are querying in the wake
> of Menezes' shooting whether anyone can be considered a legitimate
> target, just so much "collateral damage" in the so-called "war
> against terror."
> All those who retain a commitment to democratic rights must reject the
> argument, being hammered out by the political establishment and the
> media, that to draw a connection between Iraq and the July 7 bombings
> is to "excuse" terrorism.
> This spurious charge has been the constant mantra not only of Blair
> and Foreign Secretary Jack Straw. In the US, New York Times columnist
> Thomas Friedman claimed that those who pointed the finger of
> responsibility at the US and British governments' actions in the
> Middle East were "just one notch less despicable than the terrorists."
> Writing in the Observer July 10, Nick Cohen declared, under the
> headline, "Face Up to the Truth," that "we all know what was to blame
> for Thursday's [July 7] murders... and it wasn't Bush and Blair."
> Just days after stating that Britain's foreign policy in the Middle
> East had played a role in creating the conditions for the July 7
> attacks, London
> Mayor Ken Livingstone effectively absolved the government and the
> police for Menezes' killing, stating, "This tragedy has added another
> victim to the
> toll of deaths for which the terrorists bear responsibility."
> Such cowardice and opportunism are what one has come to expect from
> Livingstone. But it is a matter of fact that both the July 7 bombings
> and Menezes' killing tragically vindicate the many millions of people
> in the UK and internationally who marched in February 2003 to oppose
> the war against Iraq.
> Those who continue to claim otherwise are arguing an absurdity. In the
> aftermath of the Second World War, the use of war as a means of
> achieving strategic policy objectives was deemed Nazi Germany's
> ultimate crime, from which all others-including fascist
> genocide-inexorably flowed. On these grounds, and with British
> backing, leaders of the Third Reich were hung by their necks until
> they were dead.
> Blair is no less guilty of war crimes and is morally and politically
> culpable for the events in London.
> The overwhelming majority of British people opposed the war against
> Iraq precisely because its catastrophic implications could be
> foreseen. There was no end of warnings that the resulting
> destabilisation of the Middle East would increase the likelihood of
> terrorist attacks in major metropolitan areas and the imposition of
> greater security measures, with dangerous implications for civil
> Blair dismissed such concerns, famously proclaiming that the essence
> of democracy was the refusal of governments to do what the people
> demanded. In his slavish subservience to US imperialism and the
> financial interests of British capital, the prime minister was
> determined that no obstacles be placed in the way of what he believed
> would be a triumphant joyride to Iraq's oilfields on the coat-tails
> of the Bush administration.
> The reality is that the population of the UK is being made to reap the
> whirlwind-both with their lives and the abrogation of their democratic
> rights-of Blair's criminal negligence.
> As Shakespeare knew only too well, from foul deeds endless tragedy
> As the Bard might have said of July 7 and the day the Brazilian
> worker was killed: This day's black fate on more days doth depend.
> (Romeo and Juliet, Act III). And what foul deeds this government is
> responsible for.
> It is a matter of record that the war against Iraq was prepared and
> commissioned on the basis of lies. There was no link between Saddam
> Hussein's regime and the 9/11 attacks on the US, nor did Iraq possess
> weapons of mass destruction as was claimed.
> Neither the truth nor international law, however, was allowed to
> stand in
> the way. Documents were plagiarised and intelligence manipulated as
> the government sought to concoct "facts" to justify its predetermined
> war aims.
> When these lies were exposed, Blair resorted to new lies: that the
> war and subsequent occupation had made the world a safer place and
> had created the basis for democratic renewal not only in Iraq but
> throughout the Middle
> Instead, Iraq is a bloody quagmire. Not only has the country's
> infrastructure been devastated, but tens of thousands of civilians
> have been killed-70 percent of them having died after the war was
> officially deemed to be over. From Abu Ghraib to Guantánamo Bay, the
> world has witnessed the sickening reality of Blair and Bush's
> "democratic" vision.
> At the same time, Britain and the US are being turned into virtual
> police dictatorships, in which civilians can be snatched from the
> streets and held without charge, and death squads can roam the
> streets in broad daylight, killing with apparent impunity.
> In the weeks to come, Blair and his apologists will continue to
> utilise the threat of terrorism to avoid any accounting for his war
> policy and justify its continuation, along with ever more massive
> attacks on democratic rights.
> We reject this entirely. The fight against imperialist war and the
> of democratic rights are one and the same.
> There is a means through which terror attacks can be brought to an
> end-by ending the policies that have created the climate for them in
> the first place. That requires a struggle against the capitalist
> ruling elites which launched an imperialist war on Iraq in order to
> seize control of the country's oil resources.
> The mass opposition to militarism and war must be revived and carried
> forward in the convening of protests, demonstrations and conferences
> across the UK, Europe and internationally to demand an end to the
> occupation of Iraq, the immediate withdrawal of all foreign troops,
> and that all those responsible for commissioning the war be held
> legally and politically accountable for its consequences.
- Re: OT - London Police Send Their Regrets
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- Re: OT - London Police Send Their Regrets
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