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When will someone on Britain's left break ranks?

Colonsay | 13.09.2006 16:02 | Analysis | Anti-militarism | World

This article challenges the assumption that the Parties on the left, by definition are opposed to all of the War Party's doctrine.

Craig Murray’s appeals for scepticism regarding the latest supposed Muslim plot to carry out terrorist attacks have marked a possible turning point in popular attitudes towards the so-called war on terror. His blog has apparently been inundated with hits suggesting, as he puts it, that he has struck a nerve. Evidently, not everyone keeps swallowing this terror stuff uncritically. But his stance also has significance from another point of view: Murray is something of a hero on the left, but the left have made it an article of faith not to challenge the consensus on the war on terror. Might they not now be feeling the pressure to adopt a more critical stance towards the word of Tony Blair? On every other issue he is Bliar, but seemingly when it comes to the war on terror his word is his bond.

In fact, the left insist that Muslims, albeit legitimately disaffected Muslims, are behind the terrorist attacks. How do they justify this rather surprising line? Well, some of the more theoretically inclined of the comrades argue that the bourgeoisie (their rather quaint term for the Mafiosi who are seeking to make their rule absolute) simply don’t have to use such methods. In fact with the pirate’s endless war strategy beginning to look like endless defeat, as one disaster follows another, they would appear to have every need for every trick they’ve got- it is this sense that the latest plot comes just in time to save Blair’s bacon that has made so many people suspicious.

No, in fact there is no real debate about this amongst the left – this is simply the line and those who dissent are not presented with arguments but labelled: they are conspiracy nuts, or even anti-Semites. What gives the line credibility is that it’s backed up by the likes of John Pilger, Robert Fisk, George Galloway, Noam Chomsky et al; that is to say by sundry “bourgeois” journalist, academics and politicians. And how dare you challenge these luminaries! - We cling to their every word, we’re revolutionaries! Whose every word do you cling to? Well, oddly enough, some of us actually think for ourselves- a radical attitude, no doubt, but seemingly not a revolutionary one.

And what is it exactly that these luminaries are telling us and the far left is faithfully echoing: it’s the terrorists who are doing it as a response to our foreign policy. No elements inside the state are involved- we can rule that out a priori despite the fact that the war party is the obvious beneficiary of each and every terrorist attack.( didn’t Blair tell us that the war wouldn’t have been possible without 9/11?) Or are they? The left thinks not – they think, or claim to think, that blaming these attacks on our foreign policy means Blair and his gang will lose credibility. That is a rather foolish assumption, to my mind, ignoring as it does the deep reserves of racism and xenophobia which British society possesses. All you are doing is conceding unquestioningly that Muslims are indeed behind the terrorist atrocities and thereby setting up the Muslim community for further isolation and vilification. This politically correct counter spin now adopted by virtually every oppositional force in Britain simply reinforces the simple , brutal message that the War Party wish to convey: the Muslims are the terrorists.

Certainly one can understand why mainstream figures such as Pilger don’t want to start questioning 9/11 and the other atrocities: he risks losing his credibility and worse, witness the experiences of Cristopher Bollyn, Michael Rupert and other 9/11 sceptics. However, the loose canon of the far left, what have they got to lose? Is it fear, folly or something worse which motivates them not only to adopt this line but to so vehemently attack any dissent? Whatever the answer to that, their attitude is not one of the truth seeker unless truth be understood as the endless restatement of tired old clichés.

As the War on Terror approaches its denouement, those behind it will pull out all the stops to achieve their goals - the escalation of the war, beginning with an attack on Iran, and the consolidation of their power at home based on the de facto overthrow of what remains of government by consent. Only more terrorist attacks, attributed to Iran, no doubt, and creating an atmosphere of such fear that all becomes possible, can do this. So who will carry these out, some successful young Asian minding his own business or those being manipulated by dark forces behind Blair? (The “real terrorist” as the left always call him on their demos). When will someone on the left break ranks and admit to the latter as a possibility to be guarded against at all costs?

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