In 2003, Red Pepper published one of the first pieces I ever got picked up. It was called Millions Take to the Streets. Shortly after the worldwide anti-war protest in the February I began to think about a piece Gore Vidal had written about 9/11. Then, after watching the protests against the ongoing military and economic attacks on Iraq in London grow from tens of people back in 1998, to hundreds of thousands of people in 2003, and still the UK government continued to ignore the voice of an increasing groundswell of public opinion I was unable to contain myself any longer. The so-called ‘democratic’ processes seemed to be at odds with my fundamental understanding of the word ‘democracy’, and so I wrote this article.
The article goes through the questions raised by Gore Vidal about 9/11. It talks about the impact of the sanctions and the ongoing military action in Iraq. It talks about the sustainability of a ruling elite that while professing to represent the will of the people, in truth holds them in contempt and their opinions irrelevant, particularly when they are at odds with the intentions of the ruling class. In the case of Iraq in 2003, with literally millions of people around the world taking to the streets in anti-war protests, the intention was quite clearly to invade, occupy and install a subservient regime.
In hindsight, much of what the anti-war protesters were warning of, has come to pass. Large areas of the middle-east are being ravaged by a war that knows no borders. Many innocent civilians are still being killed and wounded on a daily basis. All the talk of security, democracy and human rights has now been demonstrably uncovered for the shameless spin it was. And perhaps worst of all, while the major war profiteers are still squeezing every last drop of natural resource out of the region, their political flunkies are still, shamelessly, pontificating on their ‘moral leadership’.
Originally, I sent this article to several progressive media outlets, but it was Red Pepper that picked it up. To read it in full or to download a text version of the article please click through to the page.