Reply to Marc Cooper

Mohammad J Alam alam.m at neu.edu
Mon Sep 16 10:13:42 MDT 2002


"Questions that need some thought include: was there any justification
for the AQ action on 9/11, and was the U.S. govt response appropriate,
proportional, etc. My answers (so far at least) would be, roughly
speaking, "no" and "it could have been worse."

I think  it is time to inject a little honesty into this position. The
way you are posing your questions, especially "Even the best socialist
government would have struck back" indicates a failure to understand
the dynamics behind 9-11 and world capitalism itself. 9-11 did not
happen in a social vacuum; decades of US imperialist action into dozens
of countries resulting in millions of lost lives preceded it. Examples
are abound: bombing Vietnam, strangling the Sandanistas, funding the
Indonesian and Israeli occupations/massacres, training Latin American
death squads, so on and so forth. None of this is accidental; all of it
was essential to maintaining US hegemony through favorable investment
climates and crushing of nationalist/communist resistance.

In this context, there are two ways to look at 9-11. One is obviously
that, after years of going around and blowing up people all over the
world, someone from "over there" struck a blow to the main deliverer of
state terrorism in the form of individual terrorism. Personally I
disagree with this viewpoint because it makes it sound like the Third
World collectively responded to American imperialism, when in fact the
group responsible for the attacks, the group in question, is a
religious-fundamentalist group formerly trained and funded by CIA, and
led by a wealthy oilman, bin Laden. In this sense, the attacks were
"blowback"; US support for "unsavory" persons as long as they fit
imperialism's own agenda backfired.

The question of whether or not the attacks were "justified" begs a
context. No one likes to see 3,000 civilians die. But on the social and
not the moral plane of discussion, such an attack was practically
inevitable, given the daily atrocities delivered by imperialism around
the world, which few in America are willing to even recognize, let
alone pause or reflect, or in the case of 9-11, raise to the highest
standard of fixation as if this was the only or the largest crime ever
witnessed in history.

As for the response to the attacks and "it could have been worse", this
too is a skewed approach. The response was merely anacceleration of the
dynamic which produced not only 9-11 but suffering around the globe;
before the day had even come to an end--literally--Rumsfeld was
ordering his minions to "gather up everything related and not" and
planning to bomb Hussein and bin Laden. Recent think-tank documents
released by the Sunday Herald also show as early as 2000 the right-wing
regime in charge now already had plans to invade and occupy all of
Asia.

To speak of a "response" is sorely mistaken, as if "America" was hit
and "America" is striking back. That is bullshit. The capitalists, as
expected, opportunistically used the attacks to further their own
agenda from all sides: unabashed corporate thievery, erosion of
constitutionally-guaranteed rights, war drums on dozens of countries, a
free hand for Sharon to intensify brutality, brushing aside the
'international community', and so forth.

A socialist government would never "respond" by murdering a minimum of
3,125 civilians in the world's poorest country, installing a puppet
government, relying on the forces of primitive barbarism--in fact, a
socialist government would never have enacted policies that would have
lead to 9-11, period.

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