‘Was the machete supplied by William Hague?’

Afshin Rattansi
Afshin Rattansi is a journalist, author of “The Dream of the Decade – the London Novels” and an RT Contributor. Afshin Rattansi began his journalism career on The (London) Guardian in the late 1980s as one of the newspaper’s youngest ever columnists. He went on to work for Britain’s Channel 4, BBC, Al Jazeera Arabic, CNN International and Bloomberg Television and many other media. In the run-up to the Lehman Brothers crash of 2008, he published a collection of four of his novels as “The Dream of the Decade – The London Novels.” As US pressure increased on Iran, Afshin moved to Tehran to anchor the news on the new satellite TV channel, Press TV which was later banned in Britain. He set up Alternate Reality Productions in London in 2010 making Double Standards, a comedy satire show as well as other TV news commissions. His writing has also appeared in the New Statesman; Counterpunch; The Oldie; Plays and Players; Mitchell Beazley’s Encyclopaedia of 21st Century; The Journal of the British Astronomical Association; Association of Lloyd's Members Journal; Critical Quarterly; Makers of Modern Culture (Routledge, 2007); “Brought To Book” (Penguin, 1994); Flaunt; Attitude. He is a founder member of the Frontline Club in London and he won the Sony Award for outstanding contribution to international media in 2002.
The horrible massacre events at Woolwich could be repeated if the UK continues similar practices in its military campaigns abroad, such as arming the Syrian rebels, RT contributor Afshin Rattansi has told the channel.

Arming the opposition who kill civilians on the ground in Syria and pursuing an inadequate domestic immigration policy, Rattansi argues will lead to “new MI 5 operations to infiltrate Muslim communities and create more antagonism and inspire more events” similar in grotesque to Woolwich murder.

“Foreign Secretary William Hague is completely out of his depth when it comes to Syria. The idea that he is backing the kind of people that hacked the soldier to death,” Rattansi told RT.

RT:The man with blood on his hands in the video says 'the women in our country have to see this every day'. What do you think he meant?

Afshin Rattansi: If indeed that is a complete video. It is very interesting that the corporate broadcasters were afraid of broadcasting it, Whitehall sources already spreading the information as far as I understand, the British Broadcasting cooperation not to broadcast that video.

I have the full statement actually from that video, so it is not just about warning women not to see it. So for instance, ‘Do you think David Cameron is going to get caught in the street? Do you think it is your politicians that are going to die? No, it is going to be the average guy and your children, so get rid of them. Tell them to bring our troops back so we can all live in peace.’

What a grotesque thing for this man, if indeed it is this suspect responsible for this killing. What a grotesque thing to say because, it is William Hague and David Cameron that are supporting these type of attack theory, people who hack people to death in Syria. So what a confusion, if these two suspects are indeed the men who hacked this British soldier, if he is a British soldier, to death. How confused are these people?

RT:To what extent has Britain been prepared for an attack like this to occur? (There have been threats against British soldiers in the UK before.)

AR: The problem we have here is that we have a country; the problem as far as the government is concerned is that the entire country does not support the war in Afghanistan, the war in Iraq. It is not being consulted about the tax payer backing the sort of people hacking people to death in Syria. There is no way that the law enforcement officials can protect the country from some an event like this from happening.

Police forensics officers investigate a car at a crime scene where one man was killed in Woolwich, southeast London May 22, 2013 (Reuters / Stefan Wermuth)

The way it can do is to forge community relations to not have foreign policy bent on murder and so forth, which has been talked about time and time again. We got to see that in communities like Woolwich, a very poor, although again, this has nothing to do with this action and what is always problematic about outlier incidents as the one in London is that some kind of policy will be made and the absurdity of Cobra, this meeting that the Prime Minister has to coordinate some kind of national terrorism strategy on the basis of this very, very rare event that we have seen on the Streets of Woolwich is in itself very absurd. The real questions were asked around the time of the beginning of the Iraq war.

RT:The dead man was reportedly wearing a shirt branded 'Help for Heroes' which is a military charity. Does this mean military personnel will be forced to take greater security measures in their own country?

AR: Britain is one of the few countries in the world whose soldiers cannot walk freely on the streets of Britain. Many people from abroad when they visit Britain are surprised that British soldiers when they leave their barracks have to change to civvies to walk around. That is the legacy of anti-militarism that is widespread in the society.

Although in recent years you began to see soldiers walking around in uniform, but all this man was wearing 'Help for Heroes' t-shirt. This channel has been covering in detail the appalling nature of aftercare for ex-servicemen and women by the British government and it is up to private charities and begging bowls to help the aftercare of British soldiers that is what that t-shirt meant. I’m sure people who help the heroes will be planning marches of thousands of people wearing those t-shirts in days to come to show solidarity with those charities that help the servicemen and women.

RT:Britain's PM Cameron is cutting short his trip to Paris to hold an emergency security Cobra session. Is it that serious?

AR: I think what is serious about it is that David Cameron and his opposite number Ed Miliband have deliberately tried to put the immigration debate up on political and editorial ladder.  They’ve received opposition from UKIP and other parties; even without UKIP, they are looking for a middle swing vote in 2015 election and both Ed Miliband and David Cameron have deliberately been targeting immigration, consequences of which is to make immigrant minorities and the children of immigrants and the grandchildren of immigrants more uneasy.

It is simple addition sum. You create austerity, you create austerity Britain, then you create hatred between working class communities of all faiths, all creeds, all colors and you have that type of recipe. And what Cameron and Miliband are trying to do is to get those swing votes of those who want the far right in power. And I’m not going to give publicity to the far right but apparently they had plans for Woolwich, they were tweeting about it within hours after hacking to death of this British soldier.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague (Reuters / Muhammad Hamed)

RT:As for Britain's involvement in supporting Syria's rebels, as well as military support in the Libyan revolution and campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan. Will there be any consideration about how dangerous Britain is being made because of this military action?

AR: I think it is clear to most analysts, even those on the conservative benches who fought in wars that the Foreign Secretary William Hague is completely out of his depth when it comes to Syria. The idea that he is backing the kind of people that hack the soldier to death, just being able to say that sentence seems plainly absurd. But it is true that David Cameron and Hague are at the forefront, along with Francois Hollande in Paris, trying to support the rebels that are hacking to death Christians, Muslims, people of no faith at all in Syria. Perhaps it is time for Barack Obama to give them some advice, because certainly the conservative government and the Labor opposition in this country seem to understand in no way how their foreign policy affects things here and affects British interests.

RT:Last week, shocking footage emerged of a Syrian rebel reportedly eating the flesh of a murdered army soldier. What are your thoughts about whether such brutal, random, attacks will increase?

AR: If those reports that you have put on your channel were as widely broadcast on corporate media channels here and terrestrial channels here in Britain, perhaps the people would have seen how alike the events in Woolwich were to the hacking we saw in the streets, I think it was Homs, but of course this kind of attack has been occurring all over Syria. Except the British government has been supporting people with the machetes. I have to say when I first heard about it and that it was a machete and it was involving knives, and then there was of course the inevitable – they were Islamists, or some connection to Islam, one had to think -  was the machete supplied by William Hague? One good thing that I should add is that it leads the identity driven corporate media, terrestrial media are attempting to reinforce in the minds of the British people that 2 billion Muslims, that you can’t judge them by actions of these two people.

RT:Do you think the UK government be looking at revising their foreign policy?

AR: In no way will they change their foreign policy. They will react completely wrongly just as they did after 07/07, invent new MI 5 operations to infiltrate Muslim communities and create more antagonism and inspire more events, if the past is anything to go by, more tragic terrible violent events like the ones we saw today in Woolwich.