Bombers who target civilians
TWO car bombs which could have killed and maimed any number of civilians have been found and disabled in London. Neither bomb was placed near any known military or governmental target. One was in a Mercedes left outside the Tiger Tiger nightclub in Haymarket, popular with city workers and tourists. The other bomb was found in a Merc that had been parked in Cockspur Street nearby.
The car outside the club contained gas cylinders, petrol and a large quantity of nails, so that besides damage to the building it was designed to cause maximum injury to people around.
Although no one has claimed responsibility for the two bombs, which sound improvised, the fact that two Mercedes were used points to organisation, and the media have been quick to point to al Qaida. In the past it was the IRA that brought car bombings to London, and the Haymarket attempt recalls the Ealing Broadway bombing in August 2001, when miraculously nobody was killed on a busy Friday night though extensive damage was caused. That was attributed to the breakaway "Real IRA", and three Irish people were arrested two years later, charged with conspiracy to launch a bombing campaign.
Two years before the west London bombs a British Nazi psychopath called David Copeland carried out his own nail bomb campaign, hitting Brixton, Brick Lane, and finally the Admiral Duncan pub in Soho, where his bomb killed three people, one of them a pregnant woman, and injured 129 more, many of them seriously.
But the targeting of clubbers also recalls what a secret police bugging revealed of the mentality of some young Islamicist bomb-plotters tried last year. Here's one of them, Jawad Akbar, discussing possible targets:
"What about easy stuff where you don't need no experience and nothing and you could get a job, yeah, like for example the biggest nightclub in central London where no-one can even turn round and say "oh they were innocent" those slags dancing around?"
The latest incidents may have been timed to coincide with Gordon Brown's coming to office and Britain's ongoing war in Iraq. Media commentators compared the intended car bombings with those carried out by insurgents there, though at least some of those do aim for military targets. The Daily Mail today says the London bombs bore "all the hallmarks of al Qaida", as though no one else has ever carried out car bombings. The British state has had its expert hidden hand in a few from time to time, the best-known being the three that went off in Dublin in 1974, killing shoppers and rush-hour commuters.
Not all bombs are delivered by car, nor do all the killings in Iraq get reported in our media. Here's some news from Iraq that didn't make our British TV screens.
British Air Strikes Kill 11, Injure 34 in Amara
AMSI reports (June 18th.): Eleven citizens were killed and a further 34 were injured in a British air strike against Amara city, Majar and Qalat Saleh districts. Witnesses said that the British planes shelled some houses while the locals were sleeping on the roofs; a matter which led to the killing and injuring of 45 citizens including a woman and four policemen.
They added that the planes targeted also the civilian cars especially the trucks on the highway. They said, " Some houses in Mulimeen jadeed neighbourhood were burned because cluster bombs were used against them."
Al-Jazeera adds (June 19th): Jameel Mohammed, an Amara health department director, confirmed receiving at least 16 bodies and another 37 wounded people. Latif al-Tamimi, chief of the security committee on the Maysan council, called the operation a "catastrophe", accusing troops of firing randomly. Azzaman adds (June 19th): According to Dr. Zamel Shayyaa, head of the city's Health Department, those killed in the operation were civilians, among them women and children.
(Thanks to Iraq Occupation Focus, who carried this in their latest newsletter, available from http://www.iraqoccupationfocus.org.uk/)
Britain has a tradition of using air power against Iraqis, going back to the 1920s mandate. The hypocrisy with which the British ruling class and media denounce "violence" and "terror" is nothing new, and needs little comment.
What's more, if the London bombing attempts and previous bombings are related to events in Iraq, then Bush and Blair (and Gordon Brown) have been responsible for the war, and for bringing death to innocent Londoners as well as Iraqis.
But that said, and while recognising the right of the Iraqi people to fight back against the occupiers of their country, there is no excuse for bombers targeting innocent civilians, whatever the means of delivery used, and whether those targeted are labourers and cleaners caught queueing for work in Iraq or office workers enjoying a night out with their friends in London. Whatever the religious, patriotic even moralising pretexts for murder adopted by some disturbed indivduals, or the reactionary forces using them, such attempts betray their affinity with the imperialist oppressors they may claim to fight against. They do nothing for liberation or justice.