The British government is the real criminal

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Alex pereira, cousin of Jean de Menezes, speaking at the News Line Anniversary rally last November
Alex pereira, cousin of Jean de Menezes, speaking at the News Line Anniversary rally last November

DEFENCE Secretary John Reid yesterday appealed to people to be very slow to condemn British troops for the atrocities being committed in Iraq.

He said that this was because the circumstances they fight in are the most difficult in history because their enemy, the terrorist, is unconstrained by morality or law.

This talk of morality and law is rich indeed, coming from a leader of the government that lied its way to war in Iraq, claiming that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction that were menacing its neighbours and British troops in their base in Cyprus.

The government added, for good measure, another lie, that Iraq had sought to purchase uranium from Niger, and that it could speedily produce a nuclear bomb.

There were there no wmds. There was no nuclear programme.

It is now accepted that Blair and Bush set up Iraq to be attacked with overwhelming force, setting off a conflict that has destroyed the country and claimed up to 100,000 lives.

The British government leaders displayed the morality and respect for law of imperialist butchers. Imperialist war breeds imperialist atrocities. We should therefore be quick to blame the Blair government for the atrocities of its occupation army in Iraq.

Reid also spoke about home policy, stating of the ‘terrorists’: ‘They will use our freedom as the tool to terrorise our people and we ought to be very slow to condemn our troops fighting in those circumstances.’

Having set Iraq ablaze with its state terrorism, and created the conditions where a few young Arabs and Muslims embrace the bomb and the gun to gain revenge for those that the imperialists have slaughtered, Reid christens bourgeois freedom as a tool that is being used to ‘terrorise our people’.

Well Blair and Brown have found a solution to that, and that is to bin ‘bourgeois freedom’, and bring in a police state to lock ‘its people’ up.

They have done this by moving to end trial by jury, organising trials by non-jury courts where the accused will not even see the evidence against him, or know who has supplied it.

They have brought in permanent house arrest of suspects.

They are seeking to allow the police to hold suspects for 90 days without charging them, and a situation where a police officer can on his own initiative ban a web site, and where the press and the media can be threatened with closure for ‘glorifying terrorism’.

They have brought in two tier justice, trial by jury for some but summary justice for the many, where the police and the Crown Prosecution Service decide that an offence has been committed, impose a punishment, and where the guilty person can then appeal against a punishment that has already been imposed without a trial.

Reid might have been looking in the mirror when he claimed that ‘The international terrorist is not constrained by legality, by morality, by any conventions, Geneva or otherwise.’

The only solution to the Iraq crisis, and the imperialist atrocities that are taking place there, is the immediate withdrawal of all British troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.

War criminals must be dealt with. This process must begin with the trial of the main members of the Blair war cabinet who began the illegal mass slaughter of the Iraqi people on March 18 2003, go on to dealing with the general staff that agreed to do the job, and then deal with any officers and soldiers involved in atrocities on the ground.