More Left Statements on WTC Bombing
hatchet.job at virgin.net
Mon Sep 24 06:12:24 MDT 2001
Here's an insert in the latest New Interventions.
Statement on World Trade Center Bombing
Our production manager was in the act of handing in the artwork for this
issue of New Interventions at the printers when the news of the bombing of
the World Trade Center came through on the wireless. Below is a statement on
the issue by one of our regular contributors. Our next issue will continue
The bombing of the World Trade Center is a setback for the cause of
socialism. It is an almost chemically pure form of the kind of individual
terrorism that Marxists have condemned for over a century. Let us look at
the negative aspects.
* The death of several thousand US citizens, mainly ordinary workers.
* The gaining of credibility by the hitherto widely discredited President
Bush, and the gaining of the moral high ground on the part of the US ruling
* A real threat of war against countries in Asia and the Middle East, with a
consequent heavy loss of life.
* Employers, particularly in the aviation and air travel industries, using
the episode to cut thousands of jobs.
* An intensification of racism and in particular of anti-Islamic sentiments.
* The extension of US power in the Middle East and Asia.
* New restrictions upon civil liberties.
* The promotion of the idea of terrorism as an almost mystical phenomenon,
thus obscuring the real issues that cause it.
* An upsurge in patriotic fervour, the encouragement of a 'union sacrée'
that obscures the reality of class relations in the Western countries.
Where do socialists stand in a conflict between imperialism and
fundamentalist Islam? The deeply reactionary nature of the Afghani Taliban
regime and of the likes of Osama Bin Laden are clear to all, and need not be
outlined here. One cannot grant them whatsoever any of the progressive
features claimed by traditional national liberation movements.
Fundamentalist Islam, like any fundamentalist religion, is a bitter enemy of
Having said that, the task of destroying such foul reaction cannot fall to
the big powers. For a start, they have no compunction about using such
reactionary forces when it suits them. The manner in which the Western
powers built up the fundamentalist Islamic movement in Afghanistan is well
documented. Did they worry that the forces they were encouraging to wreck
the Soviet Union's attempts to prop up a flagging reforming regime in Kabul
were of the most viciously backward kind? The bombing of Afghanistan and of
other countries in the area will not only lead to the deaths of civilians
who have been suffering hardships long enough already, but will actually
reinforce fundamentalist trends (as will Islamophobia at home). There's
nothing like a bout of persecution to reinforce religious fanaticism.
For all of their declared support for liberal values, the imperialist powers
have consistently employed reactionary political movements in order to
destabilise regimes to which they have objected. They have never hesitated
to use terror tactics in their quest to influence political events in all
manner of countries, irrespective of the human misery such tactics have
caused as a result. For all their warlike words against Bin Laden and the
Taliban, the imperialists would not hesitate to use such cut-throats in the
future if it suited their purposes to do so, especially if a left-wing or
even consistently liberal national movement emerged in the region that
threatened their interests.
What should socialists do?
*Oppose imperialist interventions in Asia and the Middle East.
* Expose the anti-democratic manoeuvres and the sponsorship of terrorism on
the part of imperialist regimes.
* Make no concessions to any declared 'civilising mission' on the part of
the imperialist powers; the masses of the region will not be liberated from
backwardness through the armed might of the USA and its allies.
* Make no concessions to religious fundamentalism, there is nothing
progressive whatever about its opposition to the West.
* Oppose all attempts to whip up racism or anti-Islamic sentiments.
* Oppose any attempt to restrict civil liberties.
* Oppose any attempt by the ruling class to use the crisis to attack workers
' jobs and living standards - class relations remain unchanged.
24 September 2001
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