Although investigations have just begun, the July 7 attacks in London have generated a wave of debates. There is no doubt about the trail to chase in each case: the Islamist. No other to put the blame on. In about the one hundred headlines daily published by the world press we have not seen a single one disagreeing with the consensus on the masterminds of the attacks. But what proofs do editorialists have? Various articles were published on the July 8 morning press, that is, written shortly after the explosions in the London public transportation. Under such circumstances, one could not expect to see in the analysis any comments on the facts but the description of the prevailing budgets. There is no room for critical thought or analytical doubt. Only hysterical reactions count and the premise of a dangerous and aggressive Islam waging war on the West.
Maybe tomorrow, a serious and independent investigation could prove that the planners and organizers of the London attacks are actually Islamist groups. That’s just a possibility in a dozen. However, that wouldn’t authenticate in the least the work of the commentators because what they have written about the attacks is not based on any solid element. The only sources of their certainty are their visions of the Islam and Tony Blair’s statements - pronounced a few hours after the explosions, also without any thorough investigation carried but on the basis of his prejudices and submission to the established power.

As usual, following the occurrence of the attacks, priority is given to Al Qaeda’s trail. But, what does this organization exactly consist of? Austrian Islamologist Walter Posch - an expert at the European Commission - was asked by the Der Standard about the current meaning of the “Al Qaeda” acronym, so widely used by the media. What does it involve? The author presented this structure as an informal organization that does not control all those who claim to belong with it or act in its name. In short, it would be about a “franchise”, not a well-defined structure. Let’s observe that this vision is currently advocated by the experts, since the myth of a global Islamist superstructure collapsed. How can one imagine a pyramidal organization eluding all investigations now that the myth of the ultra sophisticated secret bases of Tora Bora in Afghanistan has been swept off? However, this vision of Al Qaeda logically leads to another question: if Al Qaeda is only an acronym to which one can occasionally belong, can it be asserted that Al Qaeda exists?

The hawks don’t ask themselves this question. Impassively, the voices that have traditionally echoed those of the neo-cons have insisted, in the international press, that these attacks show once more the necessity of the war against Islamist terrorism. It would have been way too long and boring to collect all their speeches verbatim. From Pascal Bruckner in Le Figaro [1] to Amir Taheri in the Times of London [2] going through all the analysts of the Benador Associated public relations office, the Mainstream press has concentrated on the call to intensify the war against terrorists. Of course, such terrorists can only be Muslims. The Islamphobe thinker and administrator of the U.S. Institute of Peace Daniel Pipes put the keynote on the media offensive. In the New York Sun (right from the day after the attacks) and then in the Jerusalem Post and in the Chicago Sun-Times the days after, Pipes kept denouncing, as he usually does, the West passivity in front of the “Islam Militants” Quite a long time now, the UK has tolerated the Islamists in its own territory thus expecting to avoid the attacks on it. Today, this agreement has been amended by the new anti-terrorist legislations adopted after 9/11. These attacks prove that no lasting détente is possible with the Islamists.

In the U.S., it was basically the New York Times that mobilized the analysts into the topic of the attacks. The major concern is how this crime may affect the U.S..
According to Peter Bergen - author of a best seller on Al-Qaeda - the London attacks showed that the “Islamist danger” threatening the U.S. comes from Europe. The European Muslims yield to the Islamist luring song and, due to their nationality, they can easily enter U.S. territory. So, the author called to a reform in the visa policy regarding the European countries. What Peter Bergen didn’t take into account was the fact that U.S. authorities pick up the records of almost every passenger on the flights landing on their territory. Not even could singer Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens) enter the United States. The point is presenting all Muslim populations, even the Western and European ones as a menace. That same day, Madeleine Albright’s former adviser Thomas L. Friedman denounced the Muslim leaders who would refuse to condemn the attacks. It’s just fabrications because several religious leaders worldwide condemn such crimes perpetrated against civilians. However, for the author, there is a “death culture” in the Muslim society that damages the relations between the Islam and the West and it is Muslims, first of all, who must fight it.
Likewise in the New York Times, and then in the International Herald Tribune, former U.S. National Security Council Intelligence Program Director Philip Bobbitt insisted on the specificity of the war against terrorism. This war has no match, so it takes a new approach and not resuming the policies successfully carried out in the past against other terrorist groups such as IRA. Though not explicitly defined by the author, this exceptional dimension of the event, the threat factor added, is the favorite argument of those who claim the adoption of exceptional regulations and the amendment of the liberties and the international law.

Is this what the head of the French Anti-terrorist Struggle Coordination Union (UCLAT) and Division Chief of Police Christophe Chaboud also wants? This is exactly what we may ask ourselves after reading the interview granted to Le Monde - a text that the French elite reference daily has logged in its internet site records about the attacks. Mr. Chaboud gets alarmed in the face of the Islamist peril in Europe, repeating a sometimes worn-out piece of propaganda. We cannot but be amazed at the words of a French police official on this subject. In effect, the author is concerned about the chances of a nuclear, bacteriological or chemical attack in Europe and asserts that ricin has circulated across Western Europe. However, this assumption has been denied the two times it was brought up. First, during the case of a so-called Al-Qaeda cell that prepared the product in London and then during an alleged discovery at the Lyon Station in France. If this is not what is being talked, what is it then? To back his words, the author said that there was a laboratory that used to prepare toxic products in northeast Iraq. This example was taken from a Colin Powell’s report to the UN Security Council before the Iraq war and has not been proved ever since. In contrast, this clue becomes even more doubtful when the lab is allegedly situated in a territory controlled by Washington allied Kurds. On the other hand, the pictures presented at the UN Security Council showed that the U.S. knew about the location of this famous camp and could have bombed it out very easily in case it had posed a real danger, but this never happened. At no time are those elements criticized by the interviewer. Finally, according to chief of police Chaboud, Iraq has become the world Jihad center, which supports the premise of the neo-cons who identify all Iraqi resistance with the Islamists, placing them all under the direction of Zarkaui - Al-Qaeda designated leader for Iraq. However, not one of these elements have been confirmed. In the middle of so many speculations, we can question Mr. Chaboud’s intentions when he stirs up a threat basing himself on propaganda elements. Why insist that much on the threat to Europe?
Whatever it is, many in Europe ask themselves about the risks of being the target of an attack. In Der Standard, the President of the Austrian Republic Heinz Fischer asked himself about the risks his country and the Austrian neutrality are running. He also considered that international law is currently at stake, threatened by states which he abstained from naming and which are trying to establish the law of the jungle. Fearing a worsening of the situation after the London attacks and distrusting the reactions, Fischer said that any confrontation with the Islam must be avoided. In Germany, editorialist and T.V. producer Friedrich Küppersbusch dedicated his article in the Tageszeitung to the attack risks in his country. He criticized his fellow citizens who feel secure because Germany is not participating in the Iraq war. Küppersbusch reminded them that Germany could be a target due to its involvement in Afghanistan. He added that his country would necessarily be the target of attacks, sooner or later.
On his side, in The Guardian, El Mundo senior editor in chief Victor de la Serna warned the British and the next possible victims about the risks of division that may take place after such events. Today, he said, Spain is divided by conservatives and socialists, according to splitting lines comparable only to those known by Spain during Franco’s regime. This division emerged as a result of the attacks and the use each major party made of them. Though no total light has yet been shed on these crimes, the parties don’t lose time to gnaw at each other.

In the same daily, former British Minister Robin Cook showed himself up in a rather ambiguous line. He said that at the moment he wrote his text, nobody was yet to blame. This is a simple common sense reflection. However, based on the premise that a good portion of the press will soon accuse the Islamist terrorists of being accountable for the attacks, he explained how, in his opinion, the G-8 can fight the Islamist terrorism through cooperating with the Muslim world. That way, Cook implicitly supported the Islamist theory from which he tacitly wanted to divert.

[1] “Gare à la rhétorique de l’apaisement !”, Le Figaro, July 9, 2005.

[2] “And this is why they did it”, Times, July 8, 2005.