When, on several occasions, Tony Blair called the bombings and attempted bombings of the city of London the fruits of an "evil" ideology, he was not just simplifying matters for dramatic purposes. What he was trying to achieve with such an archaic word was detaching the motives behind the bombings from political reality and blowing them up to mythological proportions. Political reality can be discussed, analysed and understood. Myth, on the other hand, evades discussion and defies understanding: it is an order beyond the grasp of reason.
Ranking your enemies among the mythological forces of evil is a stale but still effective piece of propaganda to frighten people and to muster them under your flag, cross, crescent, or any other symbol held up as a representation of the forces of "good". It is an appeal to fears and desires that underlie much of the ethics of religious and post-religious societies. Blair knows that. Bush knows it. And so do the leaders of Al-Queda. Much as Blair would have us believe that the London bombers have fallen prey to evil, it is all too clear what has really driven them to their horrible and desperate acts: British military interference in the Middle-East and Central Asia, which, contrary to what Blair maintains, goes back a lot further than the 9/11 attacks and pre-dates Al-Queda by more than 150 years.
It's evident why Blair would want to escape political reality: a majority of his own people has been against the latest invasion and occupation of Iraq from the start, and the last thing Blair needs now is being held responsible for having brought the war home. Admitting that there is a connection between the war in Iraq and the London bombings would make his position untenable and would very likely lead to withdrawal of British troops and
British investments from Iraq. It would mean immense loss of face for Blair and the Labour Party and loss of capital for British industries and banks with interests in war and oil.
Of course, Blair is right when he says that nothing can justify cowardly suicide bombings like the ones in London. But condemnation of the attacks must not prevent us from trying to understand the motives of the bombers, who, after all, are only human. By demonizing the bombers to save his own skin Blair has endangered British society even further, and it is only thanks to the self-control and realism of the British people that Blair's remarks haven't split their multi-cultural society beyond repair. What demonization leads to became clear when policemen killed a completely innocent Brazilian in the London underground last week. 27-year-old Jean Charles de Menezes was shot dead publicly for having been in the wrong place at the wrong time, having worn the wrong clothes, and having run away from plain-clothes policemen with drawn guns. De Menezes was shot in the head at pointblank range five times. Killing somebody five times is not a professional mistake but an act of rage and hatred. It is a hysterical effort to root out evil.
Read why the British deserve a better Prime Minister than Tony Blair in an article in The New Statesman by John Pilger (sent to us by Gerard Bellaart of Cold Turkey Press):