Violence is Terror
This is excerpted from the Democracy Now show last Friday.
JUAN GONZALEZ: I'd like to get back to Mr. Galloway; your criticism of Britain's participation in the war -- apparently, there was rebuttal from Home Secretary Charles Clark, who said that this has nothing to do with Iraq or any other particular foreign policy, it's about a fundamentalist attack on the way we live our lives. And he apparently was reacting to your criticism yesterday.
GEORGE GALLOWAY: Well, only a fool would say that, and only a fool would believe that. In fact, the terrorists themselves have said in the website to which your previous caller referred, that that's exactly why they carried out the act.
So, only a fool believes that this came out of nowhere.
It came out of a deep swamp of hatred and bitterness that we have soaked in blood these last few years. This is obvious to any sentient being. And the only way that we can truly resolve this matter -- and of course, in the interim, in the short term, I'm thoroughly in favor of the most rigorous policing and intelligence response to try and stop these dastardly acts from happening, but the only way we can really be clear of them, the only way we can be safe from them, is if we reduce the number of people out there who are ready to support those who are ready to hurt us.
The fish has to swim in water, and bin Laden is swimming in this water, in this swamp that we have created.
JUAN GONZALEZ: George Monbiot, columnist with the London Guardian. Your views on what happened yesterday and the impact on England in the future?
GEORGE MONBIOT: Well, first I'd like to say that at the moment, we don't know who planted these bombs. It's a fairly good guess that it was someone affiliated with Al Qaeda or a similar organization, but we must be cautious about this, because if you remember what happened in Oklahoma or remember what happened in Madrid, in both cases, the wrong people were initially blamed. And the wrong intelligence leads were followed.
And so, I think while I understand what George Galloway is saying, it's actually too early to say that this is because of such and such a policy, because we don't yet know who the perpetrators were.
However, I would broadly endorse what he said about not creating conditions which are likely to stir up more terrorist acts. And there's no doubt that by invading Iraq, we have caused a great deal of resentment and anger within the Muslim world. And if that hasn't come back to haunt us yet, then it may well come back to haunt us in the future. But as I say, we don't yet know (a) who did this, and (b) what their motivation is. So, it really is too early to start saying this is because of a particular policy that we followed.
As far as its impact on Britain is concerned, I am worried that we are going to see the loss of certain civil liberties as a result of this. We have seen with, for example, the PATRIOT Act in the United States, that there has been quite a curtailment of some fairly basic human rights, including the right to free assembly and the right to free expression and, of course, there has been a great deal of very intrusive surveillance and policing of the Muslim community and indeed parts of the non-white community in general in the U.S., some of which appears to have very little to do with anything which could reasonably be regarded as dealing with terrorism.
And I'm concerned that that's going to come over here. I'm concerned that the draconian restrictions on protest that we already have in this country could be extended. Already we have seen several people saying that this provides justification for the introduction of a new identity card in Britain. We don't yet have an identity card, but they're talking about an identity card which includes biometric identification, and plenty more besides, which could turn into quite an oppressive state tool if we're not careful.
And it's also, of course, a further effect is that just as we were all beginning to talk about some of the other issues that affect our lives, such as climate change, such as global poverty, such as what's happening in Africa, these are all issues which we desperately need to be discussing, those have been knocked off the front page and knocked out of the front of people's minds.
And so, while this awful event, this dreadful attack, has been a terrible, terrible tragedy for the people caught up in it, it could have further ramifications which could themselves have tragic implications for many people in Britain and around the world.
JUAN GONZALEZ: George Galloway, you represent a district that has a large Muslim population. The Islamic Human Rights Commission yesterday warned London Muslims to stay home, fearing a backlash, and the Guardian has learned that within hours of the attacks, 30,000 abusive and threatening emails were sent to the Muslim Council of Britain's website.
Your reaction to the possible targeting of Muslims in England?
GEORGE GALLOWAY: Well, I'm just looking at my own computer screen now. I'll just give you the title of one of them: "Pig Islamists." And that sort of person is out there. But I must say to you that I think the British people are bigger than that, and I disagree with the advice, if that was what it was, that Muslims should stay indoors.
In fact, they should unite with the rest of us in absolute rejection of terrorism and of war.
We must be tough on terrorism and tough on the causes of terrorism.
It's really basic common sense.
It's not left wing, it's not rocket science.
It's just basic common sense that if you don't drain the swamp that I have talked about, if you don't intervene to stop the ongoing calvary of the Palestinian people, who for 50 years have
sent to the four corners of the world as refugees,
if you don't do something about the hundreds of thousands of
foreign soldiers occupying Iraq,
if you don't stop propping up the puppet presidents
and the corrupt kings who rule the Muslim world
almost without exception from one end to the other,
then you lay bare your double standards, your hypocrisy,
when you talk about liberty.
What our leaders want is liberty for us, but only up to a point,
and they're ready to take that away if it suits them,
but no liberty for anybody else.
And the people in the Muslim world can see it very clearly.
They know that nobody gave a toss about the thousands
who were killed in Fallujah.
Nobody in the British Parliament raised any qualm
about the American armed forces reducing Fallujah to ash
and killing thousands of people.
Yet, they go into the kind of emoting that we saw yesterday
about the deaths in London.
I'm different from that,
and most British people are different from that,
when you reach them.
The blood of everyone is worth the same.
God didn't differentiate between a dead person in London
killed by sheets of flying glass and red-hot razor sharp steel
and someone who died the same death in Baghdad.
These deaths are the same.
And war of the kind that we have seen --
unjustified, illegal, based on lies, in Iraq,
is terrorism of a different kind.
Just because the President,
who ordered it is wearing a smart suit
rather than the garb of an Islamist in the Tora Bora
doesn't make their orders more legitimate. "
I doubt if you will hear this kind of talk on the Sunday Dribble
from the Ministers of Information from
the Corporate Cringe.
The POTUS likes to talk about the ownership society.
Will we own up to our own Frankenstein here?
We've all seen that movie.
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