2 June 2003
Call it what you like, the events of the past week are a genuine watershed in the USUK campaign to sell the world ‘democracy’ out of the barrel of a gun. And even though the mass media still can’t bring itself to utter the words, ‘what are the real reasons?’ the desire to pursue the ‘story’ is so compelling that they just can’t let go of it. And the more Blair’s government rolls out one mouth after the other, to utter the words, ‘just you wait, have patience’, ‘we’ve got the evidence’, ‘you’ll see, we didn’t actually say that’, ‘read what we really said’, the more the media and critically, the public, look on in disbelief and increasingly, disgust.
So now, the latest government front-person, Patricia Hewitt (minister for trade and industry), tells us that the (former) Iraqi government was in the process of importing illegal missile systems and ‘just you wait’…, But sorry Patricia, come in #10 your time is up.
Disgusting is really the only word I can think of to describe the behaviour of the Labour government. Not only that, but they really must think that nobody is watching. I’m reminded of the song by Chicago, ‘The whole world is watching’ as the Chicago police rioted and laid into demonstrators outside the Democratic convention in 1968. Do they really think we’re completely stupid? Or maybe, more importantly, do they think we don’t really care? It shows just how much disdain they have for us.
Yet the critical story that still remains to be exposed, is the real reason behind the invasion. Until that is told, whatever the media says is just so much rubbish. Clare Short for example, tells us that ‘if they made a mistake, they should come clean’. Mistake? Where is the mistake? Or ‘they (the government) were misled by the intelligence agencies’ Misled? How? ‘Or ‘they overstated the case’. Overstated what exactly? So it’s a scramble is to find a convenient scapegoat now that they’ve been exposed for what they are, a bunch lying murderers.
What is really interesting about the events of the past week, is just how much squirming and wriggling the media have done, as if they’re in some kind of bizarre (sick I would call it) race as to who can come closest to saying the word liar, without actually saying it out loud. It’s this process which speaks volumes about the collusion between the corporate press and the state. It exposes the comfortable symbiosis they live in.
The issue to be confronted and which should never let out of our sight, is what the events of the past few months have revealed about the nature of the relationship between the state and the corporate press. And depressingly, this goes just as much for those who were supposedly opposed to the war as those who supported it. By and large, ‘opponents’ hid behind the fiction of the lack of a UN endorsement, or the lack of evidence. None opposed the invasion on principle. None voiced the fact that the invasion trashed what had taken almost 100 years to create, the principle that we lived in a world ruled by law, imperfect and incomplete though it was and riddled with contradictions. A world that has been through two global conflagrations and countless ‘smaller’ ones to create, where some kind of balance had been achieved. In the space of a few short years, once there was no country strong enough to oppose them, they showed their true nature, that their ‘coalition of the willing’ is composed of pirates of the most vicious and unprincipled kind.
The events of the past few months have also shown, if you didn’t believe it before, that an unrestrained capitalism, a desperate capitalism, armed to the teeth, will stop at nothing to achieve its objectives. This is after all, the same capitalism which unleashed nuclear death on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It’s the same capitalism which attempted to bomb Vietnam into the stone age. It’s the same country which uses food as a weapon of mass destruction to starve the developing world into submission. It has no scruples, no principles, nothing that by any account can be judged as worthwhile.
And it’s in this context that the Blair government must also be judged and called to account for what is not only a crime against humanity, but also for jettisoning what few principles that remained to it and for a few scraps that fall off the table. The behaviour we have witnessed over these past months reveals just what a bunch of small minded and utterly unprincipled men and women rule us. Besotted with their own self-importance, they think nobody is watching. But they will be called to account. They will be judged for their actions. The whole world is watching.