ON SATURDAY night, the city centre of Birmingham, the second largest city in the country, was emptied of more than 20,000 people by the police, who said that there was a serious terrorist threat against the city and that Birmingham was in danger.
This proved to be wrong. There was no attack. The police insisted that the tip-off they had received was genuine. However they refused to make it public. We have to take their word for it – on trust.
In fact, that number of people flooding out onto the streets from the city’s pubs and clubs would have made a fantastic target for terrorists if there had really been a credible terrorist threat.
Yesterday, the Home Secretary publicly supported the action of the Birmingham police. He said that the UK should expect more threats similar to that seen in Birmingham and that he feared more attacks until the ‘gang’ behind last Thursday’s explosions were tracked down.
The Home Secretary merely confirmed that the state and the government intend to keep the populations of entire cities on edge with police shutdowns, to assist the development of their own reactionary political programme.
Yesterday, a ‘new’ domestic policy was beginning to emerge. Ex-London police chief, Lord Stevens took to task those who were saying that the London bombings had been carried out by a small group that had come to Britain from the continent or North Africa.
He said that the bombers were definitely British-bred Muslims and that 3,000 British-born or based individuals had been trained in al-Qaeda camps.
Stevens is more than hinting that the best thing that the state can do is to raid the Muslim communities, to round up these alleged 3,000 trained people, along with their supporters, contacts and friends and lock them all up.
He wants internment camps in Britain.
Blair said that security measures alone cannot protect the UK from attack and the underlying causes of terrorism must be ‘pulled up by the roots’.
His idea of pulling up the underlying causes by the roots is not to quit Iraq or Afghanistan, or establish speedily a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.
He said: ‘The underlying issues have to be dealt with too in terms of trying to get rid of this dreadful perversion of the true faith of Islam.’
In other words, while governments take police-state measures, they must step up the ‘war against terror’ in Afghanistan and Iraq to defeat this ‘dreadful perversion of the faith of Islam’.
Here Blair establishes that terrorism is an Islamic perversion, again targeting the Muslim world. Presumably all Muslims must be checked for it.
In fact, Al Qaeda was created in the laboratory of the CIA, which armed and equipped Bin Laden and other similar forces to fight the Soviet army in Afghanistan. Bin Laden’s movement was made in the USA, not in Mecca.
The brutal suppression of the Palestinians, the prosecution of the oil wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are the source of the hatred of imperialism in the Arab world, and also of the attacks on the main imperialist countries, the US and the UK.
No amount of police stunts, or reactionary laws or internment camps can extinguish these waves of anti-imperialist feelings and end the bombing attacks. Not even Blair contends that this is the case.
Bush and Blair intend to fight for their imperialist objectives no matter how many millions are killed all over the world.
The only way to rid the world of terrorism is pull the Bush and Blair regimes and imperialism up by the roots with socialist revolutions.
British workers must make a start by getting rid of the Blair government, and bringing in a workers’ government that will withdraw all British troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Smashing imperialism and righting the historic wrongs that it has carried out is the only way to create a terror-free world.