Saturday, 7 May 2011

It does not follow

Prison Planet, the number one source for utter batshit craziness, offers up this gem of a headline;
Muslims Brainwashed By MI5 Agent Choudry Reinforce Pro-War Propaganda By Rioting In London
This is an absolutely perfect example of adding up two plus two ... and getting three-and-a-half.

Yesterday, Islamist group Muslims Against Crusades staged a funeral for Osama bin Laden outside the US Embassy in London. They were contained by police whilst a counter-demonstration by the English Defence League was kept separate. Beyond two groups of nutters yelling at each other, the event passed without incident.

Now, it is true that this "allows the media to whip up anti-Arab sentiment amongst British and American citizens by bombarding them with images of screaming Muslim extremists."  Indeed, looking just at the British tabloid coverage - summed up by the Daily Mail's headline of "This just in from Londan-istan" - this is perfectly apparent. This is how the media operate, and especially in times of crisis such as we now face there is enormous propaganda value in obscuring class issues with a chosen national enemy.

But this in itself proves nothing except the opportunism of the media and its need for scapegoats and bogeymen. This is adequately explained by the free market propaganda model without the need for conspiracy theories.

It is also true that US and British foreign policy is based upon "national interest" rather than any enlightened principles of democracy and freedom. Al-Qaeda has long been a case in point, emerging from the bands of rebels we trained to fight the Soviets, becoming the arch-enemies of freedom after 9/11, and now on the receiving end of our support in Libya.

All of this is simply Realpolitik. It does not imply, let alone prove, that "Bin Laden was a loyal CIA asset" or that yesterday's protest was "provocateured for mass public consumption."

Far more likely is that, as everywhere, reactionary organisations (in this case Islamists) have latched onto and distorted genuine grievances in order to fit their narrative and recruit new members. To ignore this reality in favour of an absurd conspiracy (or leftist opportunism, for that matter) is at best unhelpful. At worst, it is an insane sideshow which distracts us from the struggles we face in the real world.