al-somebody or other By William Bowles

11 June 2006

Well folks, the ‘new’ leader of ‘al-Qu’eda in Iraq’ has been named (already). Can’t remember it offhand, not that it matters, it’s al-somebody or other. I’ve posted a page of newslinks on his ‘death’ if you can be bothered to read through the endless drivel that’s been generated. (See also the ‘Zarqawi‘ section for more on the fabled foe of Western ‘civilisation’.)

Correction: According to reports, the new leader of ‘al-Qu’eda in Iraq’ is Abu Hamza al Muhajir. Apparently a website statement signed by al Qaeda said its council had unanimously agreed on Sheikh Abu Hamza al Muhajir to succeed al Zarqawi.

In the UK it’s safe to say that the World Cup has blotted out most everything else of import, so short of Parliament being blown up (can I say this without being accused of ‘glorifying terrorism’?), the world and its ways will continue without the British public being in the slightest bit concerned. Talk about ‘bread and circuses’!

What is really amazing about the ‘death of Zarqawi’ is how the MSM have run with it. Is it really credible for anyone in their right mind to think that the death of one man can alter the situation in Iraq? Who is trying to convince whom here? One thing it does reveal, is the real relationship between the state and the media, one of slavish, parasitical co-dependency, a vast machine geared toward persuading the public that the world is put together in one particular way, a way that supports the status quo.

Note too that the much publicised ‘terror raid’ has, as predicted, died a death, with the two unfortunate victims of the wrath of the state being quietly released without charge. No headlines on this event. The Independent relegated it to page 8 in Saturday’s edition (10/6/06). But the damage has already been done, that was the point of entire media circus in the first place. Consider the impact of Haditha for example, without the impact of the ‘chemical bomb’ fiasco and the ‘death’ of ‘al-Zarqawi’?

Yet for anyone who cares to look, it’s totally transparent that the state and its partners in the media, are engaged in a massive deception, a deception that they can only get away with because they have already disinvolved the public from the political process.

And our ‘friends’ on the ‘left’ are hardly any better especially here in the UK, with the opportunist posse in the Respect Party having turned the Iraq occupation into an almost exclusively ‘Muslim’ thing, as if the rest of the population don’t count! Who needs enemies when we have George Galloway and the Respect Party?

I say this with great reluctance as I am loathe to attack those who at least on the surface, are on the same side but the rank opportunism of the Respect Party enrages me. What a damn waste, have we learnt nothing from the past fifty-plus years? Apparently not.

Don’t get me wrong, there is no doubt the state and the media have demonised the Muslim community and turned them into a convenient scapegoat, but this is nothing new, it’s standard fare for capitalism to use an ethnic, ‘racial’ or religious minority but the issue of Iraq, Palestine and the fundamentally racist nature of our society is something that affects all of us. By making it an exclusively ‘Muslim’ thing, Respect have played right into the hands of the state and we have a perfect example of this in the Respect Party’s response to the ‘terror raid’, a response directed almost exclusively toward the Muslim community thus effectively stopping any collective response to the actions of the police state of Tony Blair.

Worse still, is the sectarian nature of such a policy, for the issues of Iraq, Palestine and the ravages of imperialism on the planet and its peoples, demands a collective response. By isolating these issues it further alienates Muslims from the mainstream of political activism and involvement and perhaps even worse alienates what there is of the left, making the job of fighting imperialism even more of an uphill struggle.

Sometimes I just despair of what passes for politics here. Where are the positions and parties based on principle, where is the analysis of the way capital uses people to further its own agenda? I am a firm believer that one should start out the way you mean to continue. Where can the Respect Party policy lead except into yet another ‘left’ dead-end necessitating yet another change in direction, onto the next ‘issue’.

We have the opportunity to challenge the state head-on, it is weaker than it’s been for decades and on the defensive. It lacks credibility or legitimacy and it’s a position that becomes less tenable with every passing day as its policies on every issue of importance, from the occupation of Iraq to the issue of the environment, are revealed as utterly bankrupt and hypocritical. We have a government of corrupt, criminal politicians, whose sole aim, aside from personal power, is to serve the interests of international capital.

Is it too much to ask for a party of the left that can present to the public a set of principled policies based upon the analysis of a system that is well past its sell-by date, a system that most of the planet rejects as dangerous to all life?

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