Mousab Kassem Azzawi
2020 / 10 / 23
Hardly any day can pass in the United Kingdom without having a reminder in the mainstream media about the terrible massacre, which took place in Manchester Arena in May 2017. However, regardless the comprehensive coverage of every human, technical and political aspect of this atrocity, there are still many questions which remain intentionally unanswered until today.
Glenn Greenwald said in an interview with Amy Goodman on democracy now television channel that “one of the Guardian newspaper big flaws as an institution is that they develop personal feuds with people they cover. And when that happens, they dispense with all journalistic standards. So, one of the people who they have particular hatred for is Jeremy Corbyn.” Then he described the British newspapers techniques for feeding a story to the minds of readers, using the case of Julian Assange as an example, with a standard protocol being used when their “key claims ended up collapsing”: “retraction and correction of several of the collapsed claims. And, of course, none of those corrections´-or-retractions went anywhere near as far as the original false claims themselves did.”
I remember vividly one I could not help recalling Glenn Greenwald’s words as soon as I heard the tragic news of the Manchester massacre on the evening of May 22nd 2017, which I followed closely (nearly nonstop) until the evening of May 23rd 2017 — almost 24 hours. In fact, I was waiting for any news outlet to ask some critical questions about this condemned crime, beyond the apparent objective of their coverage, which is that of feeding fear to the minds of viewers and forcing them to submit to the extreme right-wing government narrative, especially during the very critical political juncture when the massacre took place (prior to the 2017 general election in the United Kingdom, in which the polls were showing, on the day of the massacre, that Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party were heading for an absolute victory in Wales with 44% in the polls, with prospects that this could be the case in other parts of the -union-.
In a security state like the United Kingdom, in which the number of security cameras might exceed the number of people living in the country, in addition to the most draconian spying laws in Europe by which the UK government collects all of the data that the NSA in the US has been collecting illegally for many years, but with one difference: it is completely legal in the UK. In which, there is an extreme spectrum of capabilities of facial and voice recognition systems, as well as an army of constables who have to speak another language (other than English) spoken throughout the world to be accepted for employment in the police in the UK, analysing the phone and cyber-calls of any suspected individual. I could not move away from a pressing question which had not been asked during the first few hours when people were being fed the horrible story of the massacre: was the murderer known to the police and intelligence before he committed the crime? I expected that he should be known, as was the case with Khalid Masood (known as Adrian Elm before -convert-ing to Islam), who committed a crime in London in March 2017, but whether he had been known to the police was not stated in mainstream media in the UK until the shocking hours had passed and the framed news had been fed to and settled well in the minds of viewers. It turned out that my expectation was true. I could only find evidence of my expectation after 16 hours on the Independent website only, but not on the Guardian´-or-BBC websites until the first 24 hours had passed, and after the audience had digested and assimilated the official narrative fully. In fact, the real story (as per the Independent) was that Salman Abedi “returned from a visit to Libya just days before carrying out the Manchester attack and may have travelled to terrorist strongholds in Syria”. He was also known to security services as an “associate of Isis recruiter Raphael Hostey, also from Manchester, who was killed in a drone strike in Syria last year”. Therefore, a pressing question could not leave my mind since then, which materialised as follows: why did the police and security forces let this man slip from their radar to commit this ugly crime? In fact, for such a failure of government, Prime Minister Theresa May should have resigned, but rather came out, with her shiny makeup and giant pearl necklace, and addressed the nation about the terrorism that had attacked our freedom, and, by default, suspended the election campaign, raised the level of terrorism threat to critical for the first time since 2007, signalling that a further attack may be imminent, and brought thousands of soldiers from their barricades to the streets of Britain.
The actions of the Tories along with the conformist mainstream media, which did not bother to present any critical question to the government, did not do the nation any good, but only created more fear in the hearts of ordinary people who were canvassing and heavily preparing for massive, popular rallies in public places similar to Manchester Arena, where the massacre took place, to support Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party departing from Tony Blair third way nonsense, which meant naked neoliberalism as envisaged by the hegemonic neoconservatism of the Republican Party in the United States-;- and heading in a new -dir-ection towards a true Socialist Labour Party.
Since the news of the Manchester Arena massacre, the mainstream media hostility towards Corbyn had mutated and shifted to completely disregarding him´-or-his allies, and hinting in-dir-ectly at Corbyn being weak when it comes to fighting “terrorism”, in contrast to the magnified coverage of Theresa May as being a “Tough Lady”, as she liked to describe herself while drawing on Margaret Thatcher’s title “Iron Lady” — who managed to crush all the powers of the trade -union-s in Britain in the 1980s.
Furthermore, another pressing question that had never been asked was why a young man born in Manchester and at the age of 22 decided to commit suicide and kill youngsters of his age, who were supposed to be part of his lively civil community, at least in theory, like a typical integrated second-generation immigrant to the United Kingdom. But nobody in the mainstream media had asked this critical question and many others about the role of the United Kingdom in creating a foundation for the so-called “Islamic State”, even though they colluded for many years with radical Islamic forces on almost every continent, as has been documented extensively by the prominent British diplomatic historian Mark Curtis in his book entitled “Secret Affairs: Britain s Collusion with Radical Islam”, to create in Afghanistan, with the help of US partners, the organisation of the “Afghan Mujahidin” in the 1980s to fight Soviet invaders, guaranteeing flawless funding to the invented organisation by Saudi oil money as well as sustained fuelling by Wahhabi fundamentalist ideology. Then in 2002, when the US decided (as per George W. Bush) to “kick some ass” and smash Afghanistan with its military sledgehammer, members of that organisation who were enjoying their stronghold in Afghanistan had no choice but to migrate from their localised position to every place they could reach and find people who could be infected and brainwashed by the same techniques that they had been taught by their former masters in the CIA and MI6, as Noam Chomsky observed in his book entitled “Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy”. Similarly, the same scattered groups of the “Afghan Mujahidin” could not find a better location than the failed state of Iraq as incubator, whose catastrophic story had slipped through the memory black hole of the British mainstream media, which seem unaware of the third law of motion of classical mechanics as formulated by the British father of modern scientific thought, Isaac Newton: “All forces occur in pairs such that if one object exerts a force on another object, then the second object exerts an equal and opposite reaction force on the first,” expecting the British actions in Iraq to contradict the Newtonian laws and should have no repercussions within the British mainland whatsoever. The mainstream media historical amnesia had also overlooked the disastrous story of Libya, from which the parents of the attacker of the Manchester massacre came, which has been another product of British unmatched skill, with its American partner, in creating chaos everywhere in the Middle East without even contemplating any exit plan to help the people who are affected by this chaos out of its spiralling degradation, and to support them in ascending to any sort of transitional, stable society, which is not a mere failed state.
Sadly, there are many other pressing questions upon which I still do not anticipate the conformist mainstream media in Britain will touch in the future, regardless of their daily reminding insertion of contaminated fingers in this infected wound that seems far from healing yet. However, I believe that until addressing these question with honest answers and actions in the British society, we will live to shed tears while witnessing the tragedies of similar future massacres and many other innocent victims from ordinary British people.