Democratic Socialist Party (Australia) condemns terrorist outrage
glparramatta at greenleft.org.au
Wed Sep 12 03:39:21 MDT 2001
Socialists condemn terrorist outrage
[The following statement was issued by the Democratic
Socialist Party on September 13, 2001.]
Socialists unequivocally condemn the September 11 terror
bombings in the United States. The killing of thousands of
ordinary working people is absolutely criminal and has nothing
whatsoever to do with the struggle for a better world. Indeed,
this atrocity will undoubtedly make this struggle more
difficult and aid the forces of capitalist reaction.
Popular struggles throughout history have often involved the
killing of oppressors, tyrants, police torturers and the like.
Such actions may or may not be politically expedient. But the
attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon was of a
fundamentally different kind. It was a deliberate act of mass
murder. The perpetrators made no political demands, they had
no goal except to kill indiscriminately and inflict pain,
suffering and devastation. It showed an astonishing
callousness and brutality. Our sympathy and solidarity are
completely with the innocent victims of these terrorist acts
not with their perpetrators.
But our solidarity with the victims should not blind us to the
absolutely breathtaking hypocrisy of George W. Bush, Tony
Blair, Ariel Sharon and other imperialist spokespeople and
their lackeys in the always-accommodating capitalist media.
The outrage in the US may be described as the greatest act of
terror of all time only with severe reservations. While it is
certainly the greatest act of non-state terror, many acts of
governmental terror have far surpassed it.
At the end of World War II, for example, the US leaders
cold-bloodedly carried out the nuclear annihilation of the
Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki solely to
demonstrate their power and intimidate the Soviet Union;
several hundred thousand men, women and children were killed
to make this point.
During the long Cold War with the USSR, Washington propped up
scores of blood-soaked Third World dictatorships and helped
them torture and murder their opponents with impunity, and
helped cover up their crimes. In 1965, for instance, the US
helped aspiring Indonesian dictator Suharto organise a pogrom
against the left and progressive forces which massacred at
least one million people. The long US intervention in Vietnam
against the liberation forces there killed and maimed millions
of people and inflicted massive material devastation on the
Saddam Hussein's murderous regime was another US client, being
particularly favoured during the Iran-Iraq war of the early
1980s. Then the wheel turned and, for various reasons, he
became a liability. Since the Gulf War, US- and British-backed
sanctions against Iraq have led to the deaths of more than a
million Iraqis through starvation and disease and politically
strengthened Saddam's hold on power.
Afghanistan's brutal Islamic fundamentalist Taliban regime is
a product of the US-backed war of the reactionary Mujahadeen
"freedom fighters" against the Soviet-backed secular, leftist
People's Democratic Party government. This was also the origin
of the Saudi Islamic fundamentalist Osama bin Laden,
Washington's current world "public enemy number one" and
suspected organiser of the US attacks.
Ever since the 1959 Cuban Revolution removed Cuba from the US
sphere of influence, Washington has organised numerous
terrorist attempts to assassinate Fidel Castro. Furthermore,
the US has imposed a ruinous economic blockade on the island
for over 40 years. And right now, the US authorities are
resisting Cuban calls for them to extradite the CIA-linked
counter-revolutionary terrorist responsible for the 1976
midair bomb-destruction of a Cuban airliner off Barbados in
which 73 people died.
And then there is the misery and slow death to which the mass
of the world's people have been condemned by Western
capitalism's ruthless drive for profit, regardless of the
costs to the planet and its people. Each year, for instance,
millions of children in the Third World die of absolutely
preventable diseases, victims of an implacable and merciless
economic regime imposed on their countries by imperialism and
its agencies such as the World Bank, the International
Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organisation.
Who are the major "enemies of civilisation"? If Osama bin
Laden is a terrorist we would have to conclude that he is a
relatively minor one. If there was any justice in this world,
Western capitalist leaders like George Bush senior, Bill
Clinton, Blair and Bush junior would be on trial for crimes
against humanity. The Saddam Husseins, Suhartos and Bin Ladens
would feature simply as their junior accomplices.
Roots of terrorism
It is still not clear who organised the terrorist operation in
the US. But where would any terror organisation recruit people
who were so embittered and without hope of the future that
they could contemplate such a pointless atrocity and be
willing to sacrifice themselves to implement it? The answer is
no great mystery.
The massive misery which Western capitalism led by the
United States, the world's only superpower has imposed on
the majority of the world's people has created the seedbed for
the very terrorism which its leaders so piously condemn.
Oppression breeds hatred, desperation and despair. In such a
climate, when the enemy seems so powerful, carrying out
suicide bombings against the population of the oppressor
country can seem to some like the only option.
In occupied Palestine, for instance, there is apparently no
shortage of young men willing to sacrifice themselves as human
bombs against the Israeli population. However, apart from
being morally repugnant, such indiscriminate acts are a
complete political dead-end. Each suicide bomber who carries
out his mission in an Israeli town, is actually weakening the
Palestinian struggle and helping strengthen the hand of the
Israeli regime and its US backers. Each bomb blast against the
civilian population drives the Israeli masses towards Sharon
and inhibits the development of any internal oppositional
Throughout the history of the modern socialist movement,
Marxists have carried out a fierce polemic against the
political strategy of "individual terrorism" that is, the
killing of hated figures of an oppressive regime. Our
objection to this kind of terrorism is not based on morality
but on the grounds that it simply does not work. The ruling
class can always replace individuals.
Furthermore and most importantly, employed as a strategy, such
terrorist acts actually demobilise the mass movement. Only the
struggle of the masses can change society. The combat of a
small band of terrorist-avengers relegates the masses to the
sidelines and makes them mere spectators of a contest between
the terrorists and the regime, rather than participants in
their own liberation.
However, the US attacks represent a completely different kind
of terrorism: the wanton and indiscriminate killing of
civilians is part of the methodology of imperialism and its
accomplices, not of the progressive forces fighting for
liberation from this inhuman system.
The terror bombings will be used by Bush and the US ruling
class to create a more favourable political climate in which
to implement their reactionary agenda. This tragedy is a
heaven-sent opportunity for them and they will take it with
both hands. They will push forward their arms buildup and
sabre-rattling foreign policy.
Under the guise of "fighting terrorism", civil liberties will
come under increased pressure at home, there will be a
campaign for more cops and increased police powers, and the
previously growing movement against the death penalty will
operate in a much less favourable environment. The scandal of
Bush's stolen election and the rotten US electoral system will
fade away in the glare of the patriotic spotlight.
Xenophobia will be strengthened; anti-Arab racism will become
stronger and it will be harder to build a movement of
solidarity with the Palestinian people.
Socialists oppose any "war on terrorism". Military attacks by
the US and its imperialist allies on the alleged terrorists
and/or states that allegedly harbour them will not end acts of
terrorism. To the contrary, such a war will only result in
more loss of innocent lives, and deepen the nationalist hatred
of Americans that has provided a recruiting ground for the
organisers of terrorist acts of the World Trade Center type.
Socialists are struggling for a world that is free of
violence, oppression and exploitation. This means struggling
against imperialism and capitalism which is raping our planet
and condemning the mass of its people to an increasingly
miserable and desperate existence and replacing it with a
socialist society. The only force which can accomplish this
tremendous historic task is the working class and oppressed
masses of the world. Terrorism has no part in this struggle;
we are fighting against the system which breeds terror and
which freely uses it to defend itself.
Read Green Left Weekly at <<http://www.greenleft.org.au>>.
Coverage on the terrorist attack on US will be available
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