the attacks (reply to Nestor)

Lou Paulsen wwchi at
Tue Sep 11 12:25:58 MDT 2001

Nestor, I think you're wrong on this one.  This is not like fascists putting
a bomb in a railroad station as a provocation.  This is a disaster for the
ruling class.  This is billions of dollars of damage, maybe tens of
billions.  The World Trade Center is completely destroyed.  Hundreds of
members of the ruling class may be dead, in addition to the thousands of
workers, whom of course they don't care about.  The collapse of the
buildings was like a small nuclear explosion in its impact on everything
around the Trade Center cite.  Much of the financial district of New York
City has been crippled and will take a long time to recover.  Furthermore,
financial and commercial operations have been shut down all over the U.S.
No planes are flying.  Here in Chicago, the entire downtown section is
mostly closed - not mostly for security reasons, I don't think, but mainly
because the work force is psychologically incapable of doing ordinary work.
Even the major shopping malls in the suburbs are all closed.  The U.S.
economy is going to materially suffer from this, at a time when a recession
was already in the works.

Not to mention the Pentagon, where one of the five sections has been
destroyed.  Do you really believe that Sharon would burn down the Pentagon?
This is NOT something that was done or assisted by the servants of the U.S.
ruling class, unless it was a case where they were trying some scheme to
catch someone and it all went awfully wrong for them.  But I do not share
the assumption that the ruling class and their intelligence operations can
never be outsmarted by their enemies, and that therefore they must have
known this was coming etc.  It is possible to catch the U.S. off guard.
They are neither omnipotent nor omniscient nor invulnerable.  As to who did
it, of course I am no more interested in idle speculation on this than
anyone else.  But there are hundreds of millions of people in the world who
have a motive!

>From a purely military point of view it was a very successful attack.  Of
course, no worker in the U.S. can feel anything, at first, except horror at
the thousands of our sisters and brothers of all nationalities who are dying
in front of our eyes in the horrible images.  The workers and the poor are
always the casualties in war.  On either side.

The mood of the workers here is not so much angry, at the moment, as it is
stunned, amazed, uncomprehending.  Everyone has a friend or relative who
lives in New York.  My brother-in-law lives in New Jersey but works in New
York City.  He is trapped there for the night because there is no
transportation.  The bridges and trains have been shut down.  He watched the
WTC collapse from his office window.  He said it was the most terrifying
thing he had ever seen in his life.

The U.S. workers have not for a generation known what is really like to be
in a war.  For years, the state of war has been portrayed as being like a
video game: buildings and factories and neighborhoods are destroyed in
Panama, or Baghdad, or Belgrade, or Ramallah, by sophisticated weaponry, and
it is all very distant and interesting to watch on television.  The
mythology has been that the U.S. can kill countless people everywhere else
in the world, but nobody will get killed in the United States, not even in
the armed forces, not even in the ships and planes.  Nobody here (outside of
the oppressed community, of course) has known the reality of not knowing if
your relatives are coming home from work, or if they will die in some attack
out of the sky.  Now we have a taste of what it is like to live in the
target area.  It is not interesting or exciting at all.  It is shocking.
Somehow we have to find a way to say, "This is a terrible feeling, isn't it?
This is what our government makes the rest of the world feel like all the
time.  They told us nobody would ever be able to hit back.  But they were
lying.  Now they will tell us that the answer is to make even more war, and
they will still be lying."

Lou Paulsen

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