News Release

Big Picture: * Rove * Blair * British Muslims

DAVID SWANSON
Swanson is a co-founder of AfterDowningStreet.org — a coalition of veterans and peace groups. He said today: “Many are realizing that Karl Rove has been lying about not being a source in the leaking of the identity of Joseph Wilson’s wife. But the bigger picture is that this was part of a broader campaign to fabricate the case against Iraq. This was done by falsely claiming that it had weapons of mass destruction as a pretext for war — and by going after people who might be able to highlight the deceptions. This ended up including even an undercover CIA agent when her husband Joseph Wilson revealed in July 2003 that he told the administration — well before the invasion of Iraq — that the charge that Iraq had attempted to get nuclear material from Africa was baseless. … There is a danger that Bush and Blair will try to misuse the recent tragedy [in London] as they did the 9-11 attacks and there will be still more attacks. One way to break this cycle would be to provide the appropriate public discussion and congressional investigation of the lies that launched the war on Iraq.”

MILAN RAI
Rai is author of the book War Plan Iraq and is currently coordinating the group Justice Not Vengeance. He has been doing extensive analysis of the aftermath of the London bombings including a daily roundup of the British media, available at the group’s web page.

Rai noted the significance of a London Sunday Times story about a secret Home Office – Foreign Office joint report entitled “Young Muslims and Extremism.” The Sunday Times reported: “The Iraq war is identified by the dossier as a key cause of young Britons turning to terrorism. The analysis says: ‘It seems that a particularly strong cause of disillusionment among Muslims, including young Muslims, is a perceived “double standard” in the foreign policy of Western governments, in particular Britain and the U.S. The perception is that passive ‘oppression,’ as demonstrated in British foreign policy, eg non-action on Kashmir and Chechnya, has given way to ‘active oppression.’ The war on terror, and in Iraq and Afghanistan, are all seen by a section of British Muslims as having been acts against Islam.”

Rai commented: “Obviously, the Justice Not Vengeance position is that we totally condemn terrorist actions. What we want to see is Britain reducing its participation in and support for injustice in the world, like the invasion and occupation of Iraq, like Britain’s refusal to put pressure on Israel over Israeli policies towards the Palestinians, like Britain’s diplomatic support for President Putin in Chechnya. If we do those things, we should do them because they are the right thing to do, and we also know that doing the right thing will increase our security.

“Despite the fact that some deny that this bombing has anything to do with Iraq and British foreign policy, the people who have actually studied al Qaeda, like Michael Scheuer, who used to run the bin Laden unit for the C.I.A. from 1996 to 1999, say that bin Laden has clear and limited foreign policy goals, which have precisely to do with U.S. and British foreign policy. If we want to reduce his appeal to alienated Muslims, we need to reduce the legitimate grievances he appeals to.”
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Sunday Times Article

ANAS ALTIKRITI
OSAMA SAEED
Altikriti and Saeed are spokespersons for the Muslim Association of Britain. Altikriti said today: “Muslims are as horrified by the atrocity in London as everyone else, and we call on the community to further demonstrate this on Sunday. … The Muslim Association of Britain has urged Muslims to take part in a vigil this Sunday to show solidarity with the victims of the London bombings. The organization will co-organize the event with the Stop the War Coalition and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, who also wish to make a stand against the Islamophobic attacks that have taken place over the last few days. On Wednesday a Nottingham Muslim was killed in an attack by a gang, while mosques have been targeted across the country.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167