New York/Washington Bombings

Paul Flewers hatchet.job at
Wed Sep 12 04:52:53 MDT 2001

In London, Prime Minister Blair has spoken of his solidarity with the USA --
'shoulder to shoulder' -- and the need to rid the world of these people who
have no respect for the sanctity of human life. Yugoslavia and Iraq come to
my mind, as do the millions slaughtered in various conflicts engaged in by
the imperialist powers, including Britain. It's interesting that those who
express the most anger at such an outrage as the WTC bombing would quite
happily launch an attack on another country that would result in bigger
outrages. On the telly last night was a leading US official -- I can't
remember his name -- who condemned states that sponsored terrorism; what
came to my mind were the Contras, the anti-Castro Cubans and not least the
Afghans whom the USA so helpfully armed and trained.

More interesting is that Blair was due to address the Trades Union Congress
yesterday to defend his policy of flogging off to private contractors
everything he can in the public sector. He would have faced a rough ride,
even at the hands of fairly right-wing union bureaucrats, so the events in
the USA gave him an excuse to dodge a very tricky moment, and to pose as a
world statesman. Blair's policies, if implemented, are likely severely to
damage the working conditions and terms of employment of hundreds of
thousands of workers in public sector jobs. He and his cronies say that
moves will be made to ensure that workers in privatised jobs will not
suffer; this is a lie, because what's needed to stop bosses making things
worse for workers are strong unions, and we haven't got them here these
days. Besides, one of the main reasons for privatisation has been to help
weaken public sector unions, who were responsible for much of the industrial
action over the last 20 years. A minor consequence of these attacks is that
whoever was responsible for them has let Blair off the hook on a major
policy item.

As for 'who gains' from these bombings; that's clear -- the US ruling class.
That isn't to say, pace Jared I, that the US ruling class did a 'Reichstag
Fire'. No, the damage caused by the bombings will be very expensive to put
right, and although I do not think that it will take that long to repair the
damage and the US ruling class can afford to do it fairly quickly, it really
is daft to think that the US ruling class would arrange the affair or allow
it to happen. The Nazis didn't want the Reichstag; the USA might sacrifice
the odd boat, aeroplane or a few of its citizens, but not a major part of
its financial operations! I would not be at all surprised if it was Ben
Laden who was behind this, or at least someone in his mould. But Marxists
should know by now that this kind of terror attack, apart from often (and
particularly in this case) killing working-class people, plays into the
hands of the ruling class, allows them to introduce all manner of
restrictions on civil liberties, helps build up a war psychosis, undermines
international solidarity with oppressed people, and all the other things
that Marxists have warned against for over 100 years.

Paul F

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