It is ten years since the horrifiying 7/7 suicide bombings in central London; that killed 56 people, including the four attackers. With this in mind, we bring you an extract from Tariq Ali's Rough Music, a corruscating attack on the state of Tony Blair's Britain first published in 2005.
In this extract, Ali admonishes not only the perpretators of the attacks but also those in power who apportioned the blame of these suicide attacks to Muslim communities and the poverty and religious fundamentalism that lurked within. Ali argued, however, that evidence points to religion used only as a means in which terrorist groups garner support to serve much broader strategic targets, such the urgent withdrawal of Western government's military forces from the countries they consider their homeland.
Ten years on, Britain and its Western allies are culpabie in causing and exacerbating many of the world's current conflicts. The crushing of civil liberties and the deliberate targeting of Muslim communities in Western countries, in order to root out 'extremism', has further marginalised and angered Muslims. Further afield, the sectarian violence in Iraq, caused by British and American occupation, and endemic corruption in Afghanistan, a country lead for just under ten years by a stanch ally of the West, Hamid Karzai. There have been extensive arms deals with Saudi Arabia, currently spearheading military attacks in Yemen, and Libya, embroiled in a nasty civil war ever since the Arab Spring and the fall of Gadaffi in 2011. It doesn't bear thinking about what intervention might do within the sheer complexity of Syria and the relentless march of Islamic State.
Ali's essay is a timely reminder of lessons that the West have failed to heed time and time again.
This morning, Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis announced his resignation on his blog. This is despite the "no" vote in the country's referendum on austerity measures, a result which Varoufakis calls "splendid". Varoufakis said he "was made aware of a certain preference by some Eurogroup participants, and assorted 'partners', for my... 'absence' from its meetings", and so he's resigning to help Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras reach a deal. He said he would "wear the creditors' loathing with pride".
Varoufakis's anti-austerity ideas are spelled out in his book The Global Minotaur: America, Europe and the Future of the Global Economy, published by our comrades at Zed Books. Below is the foreword, , to that book by Paul Mason, economics editor for Channel 4 News and author of Meltdown: The End of the Age of Greed.