I knew it.
I knew that poor guy was no terrorist the moment I saw the headline on Friday.
Lately, all it takes is reading the BBC's headlines to know how sinister the methods in which we--that is, the so-called western democracies--are sliding towards an open embrace of fascsism. In this I am elaborating on the viewpoint of Chicago-based political analyst Paul Street (see his recent blog entry here for details).
If you find the term "fascism" odious (don't we all) and impossible as a descriptive term of Anglo-American political culture, I wholeheartedly suggest reading Umberto Eco's 24-page essay entitled "Ur-Fascism" in his Five Moral Pieces. Get it here. See for yourself if fascism, as Eco experienced it as a child in 1930's Italy, isn't in an advanced stage in a self-righteous democracy near you.
Meanwhile, check this out: four operatives most likely connected to al-Qaeda blow themselves and nearly 60 other people up in London on July 7. Long predicted by US and UK intelligence sources, as well as by the mayor and police commissioner of London (and everyone I know), the only thing that surprised anyone was how relatively mild the attack was. Everyone knows, furthermore, that the attack was motivated by the same grievances behind the attacks in Madrid and New York, i.e. Western meddling in Middle Eastern affairs, including the pre-9/11 US military presence in Saudi Arabia, the wars of aggression on Afghanistan and Iraq, and continued support of Israel's occupation of Palestine in violation of international law.
The bombing in London, in the words of Paul Street, were "a gift to the jingoistic and regressive hard-state right and its police state agents." Instead of emulating last year's sane and appropriate response of Spain's Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, who removed his country's 1,300 troops from Iraq following the bombing of Madrid's commuter trains (adhering to the will of the Spanish citizenry--fancy that), Blair and his government immediately began talking, well, bullshit self-righteous cowboy talk. This is at once offensive to the memories of the victims of the London attack and arrogant in the highest degree--consider Blair's (and Bush's) completely dishonest linking of the attacks to their rich boy pseudo-philanthropy meeting at Gleneagles.
First up--and this is just a BBC headline, no in-depth research here into the real goings-on of the empowerment of the fascist state--is the "UK global extremists list", designed to prevent entry to the UK of individuals accused of "unacceptable behaviours" including "preaching, running websites or writing articles which are intended to foment or provoke terrorism" in the words of home secretary Charles Clarke. Sounds benign and useful enough, until you stop to think about the extraordinarily narrow definition the West has for the word "terrorism" and the pointed way in which such powers are going to be abused.
Question: will Richard Perle, former chairman of the American Defense Policy Board and lifetime prince of darkness, ever be denied entry to the UK? Certainly his numerous articles and activities advance a policy intended to foment or provoke the official state terrorism--that is "premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets" (CIA) "calculated to provoke a state of terror in the general public, a group of persons or particular persons" (UN)--that the US and UK are presently enacting in Iraq.
Answer: of course not. "No known group self-identifies as 'terrorist'" says the Wikipedia entry on terrorism, and new laws aimed at preventing it, like the "Global extremists list" and the recently renewed US PATRIOT act, simply expand the racism, fanaticism, and fear-mongering of the responsible governments.
Next, then: two weeks to the day after four suicide bombers blow themselves and others up in London, four detonators explode in...London. No casualties, but you might think the British--ahem, English--government might get serious about the very real danger posed to its people. Listen, the grievances are valid, even if the tactics ain't. So what do the BBC headlines following the second--luckily unsuccessful--attack tell us? That Big Brother watched carefully via His myriad CCTV cameras and maybe at some point someone will know something about someone. Even London mayor "Red" Ken Livingstone joined the chorus following the first bombing.
Laws that strip the populace of hard-won civil liberties.
Here we go: the day after the second bomb attack in London--this past Friday--undercover police officers follow an electrician from a house they are spying on to the underground in Stockwell. They approach him, he bolts for the train, and they plug him with five shots at point-blank range.
All the official bastards in London are so very very sorry for this really quite honest mistake at a difficult time. The media reports make much of the fact that the victim, Jean Charles de Menezes, was a Brazilian national. Are you getting this? A brown man, but not an Arab. And, don't you see? He ran to the station. That's a no-no in our particular fascist handbook. The BBC has repeated uncritically the position of the Metropolitan Police that the "shoot to kill" policy will remain in force.
I am not proposing a conspiracy theory here, but the fact is, there had to be an innocent person shot dead by undercover cops on the London Underground on Friday. Why? It gives the authorities the same air of unpredictability, mercilessness, and unaccountability that the US felt it was necessary to demonstrate when it bombed Serbia in 1999 (as just one example among many). This is the only way these blundering (and dangerous) idiots, after allowing two terrorist attacks and murdering a completely innocent man on the tube, can possibly continue their state terrorism abroad and fascism at home.
Stay off the grass. Or we'll blow your fucking head off.
Can anyone really believe that "fascism" is too strong a word for a government sending its severely traumatized population the message: No wrong moves. We shoot to kill.