The World Socialist Web Site editorial staff statement:
London Terror Bombings: A Political Crime
At least 50 dead in London bombings
By Chris Marsden
World Socialist Web Site
The final death toll from the four bombs that exploded in London on July 7 will reach least 50. There are more bodies yet to be recovered from the London Underground, but at least 13 deaths have been confirmed as a result of the explosion on a London bus.
The blasts were timed to coincide with the morning rush hour, when the maximum number of civilians—workers, students, tourists—would be using public transportation. This underscores the criminal and reactionary character of the attacks, whoever its perpetrators were. To date, police and official investigators say they have not made a determination as to the authors of the atrocity.
The explosions on the three tube lines and the bus left 700 injured, with 100 held overnight in hospital and 22 in serious or critical condition. Hospitals had to implement emergency measures, calling in extra staff and cancelling non-urgent operations. Many patients were taken into surgery after losing limbs or suffering burns and multiple injuries.
There has been considerable speculation over whether the bus bomb was the work of a suicide bomber. However, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair said there was “absolutely nothing to suggest this was a suicide bomb.”
Andrew Hayman of the Metropolitan anti-terrorist unit said only that each device contained less than 10 pounds of high explosive and could be carried in a rucksack. These had been placed on the floor of tube trains and the seat or the floor of the bus’s top deck.
The events of the past day have underscored how terrorism, far from hindering imperialism, plays into its hands—sowing fear and political disorientation among the masses and giving the ruling elite a pretext for intensifying its policies of militarism and repression.
Leading government figures and much of the media in Britain have seized on the bombings to ramp up demands for further repressive measures and attacks on civil liberties, such as the planned introduction of ID cards.
The G8 summit of major industrial nations at Gleneagles in Scotland was transformed under the leadership of US President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair into an occasion to justify their war against Iraq and the so-called “war on terror.” Bush and Blair seized on the tragedy to further their political agendas. On Thursday morning, within a few hours of the bomb blasts, Bush went before the cameras and declared that “The war on terror goes on.”
Several newspapers made calls for basic freedoms to be sacrificed in the name of fighting terrorism. The Daily Mail stated, “Make no mistake, Britain will almost certainly have to sacrifice some of our ancient legal rights if we wish to protect our citizens.”
The Sun, published by right-wing media mogul and Blair supporter Rupert Murdoch, went further. Its editorial declared, “Britain is crawling with suspected terrorists and those who give them succour. The Government must act without delay, round up this enemy in our midst and lock them in internment camps.
“Our safety must not play second fiddle to their supposed ‘rights.’
Rest of the Report