IRSCNA: 11 September: Two Anniversaries Recalled

Danielle Ni Dhighe danielle at
Sat Sep 13 19:22:07 MDT 2003


13 September 2003
Irish Republican Socialist Committees of North America

11 September: Two Anniversaries Recalled

While media around the world, but especially in America, re-examined
the events of 11 September 2001, the date this year was the 30th
anniversary of another act of blood letting, the memory of which
helps to put into context the events of two years ago. It was on 11
September 1973 that the US-backed fascist coup d'etat led by Pinochet
overthrew the democratically elected government of socialist Salvador

It is extremely unlikely that the reactionary fundamentalists of Al
Queda selected the date for their attack on the United States to
commemorate the overthrow of Allende, as they would have little
sympathy for a secular socialist government, yet the two events still
have a common element. That is, they both resulted from a US foreign
policy which considers only the concerns of American capitalists'
pursuit of profit, but ignores the genuine needs and concerns of the
masses of the people in countries around the world.

While virtually every newspaper in America reported on the commercial
aircraft used to topple the World Trade Center towers and damage the
Pentagon, few had much to say about how the Chilean armed forces with
US backing and assistance launched air and ground strikes against the
presidential palace in Chile. While much was said of the almost 3,000
Americans who died in the attacks of September 2001, there was almost
no mention of the hundreds of Chileans killed during the coup, the
tens of thousands of Chileans who were tortured and killed
afterwards, or the hundreds of thousands who were forced into exile.

As with Chavez in Venezuela today, the US media was quick to take up
the US government's position that Allende had no popular mandate,
despite the fact he was returned to the presidency with a larger
margin of victory than for his first term and the undeniable reality
that both Chavez and Allende were the recipients of larger majorities
of their electorate's votes than was won by George W. Bush in the
2000 election. With similar irony, Bush claimed the September 2001
attacks stemmed from those responsible "hating us for our freedoms",
while he has used those same attacks as the pretext for an
unprecedented assault on those very freedoms and civil liberties.

US forces occupied Nicaragua and Haiti for some 20 years each in the
early 20th century. Cuba was occupied in 1906-9, 1912 and 1917-22.
Between 1900 and 1910, US troops invaded Colombia, Honduras, the
Dominican Republic and Panama. During the following decade, the US
invaded Mexico on several occasions, landed expeditionary forces in
Guatemala and Costa Rica, as well as sending troops to China in 1911,
1912 and 1920, Turkey in 1912 and invading the Soviet Union in 1918-
22. While a world-wide depression and a second World War kept America
distracted briefly, the CIA helped to overthrow the democratically
elected governments of Iran (1953), Guatemala (1954), and supported a
coup in Brazil in 1964. Lest we forget, there was also Korea,
Vietnam, the Dominican Republic, the Congo, the Philippines, Laos,
Cambodia, Indonesia, right on up through Grenada, Panama, Libya,
Iraq, Haiti, Bosnia, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq again, and the list
sometimes seems endless.

On top of these direct military interventions, invasions, assistance,
and so forth, there have been the persistent interventions through
surrogates in the affairs of Zimbabwe, Namibia, Azania and Palestine,
where apartheid regimes of color and of religious affiliation and
ethnicity carry out such blatant theft, murder, and oppression they
have become pariah nations to virtually every nation on earth, except
the United States.

Still, one might say, that cannot justify the killing of over 2,500
American civilians in September 2001. And, that would be true it has
long been said that two wrongs cannot make a right. Consider further,
however, that the US fought tooth and nail to block the creation of a
World Court to hear cases were international law has been violated
and when it was unable to block it, withdrew its signature from the
treaty which supported the court's creation and insisted that US
military and political officials must be held immune from prosecution
outside the US, thereby rendering non-violent means of seeking
recourse and justice for violence unleashed by America impossible.

Beyond that, the maintaining of a military budget which exceeds that
of most of the rest of the world combined ensures that conventional
warfare with the US offers little realistic opportunity to press
one's case. Witness the most recent attack on Iraq, where the US
didn't dare to advance their infantry until they had first starved
the country with twelve years of draconian economic embargo and then
destroyed the nation's infrastructure with virtual carpet bombing,
and still felt compelled to lob endless artillery assaults against
their opponents, all the while whining that it was unfair that some
Iraqis were fighting for the defense of their nation against a foreign
invader without being dressed in military uniforms. When I was
schooled in the public education institutions of America, they never
tired of telling us about the great ingenuity of the American
patriots who fought the British redcoats in their traditional
military formations, while attired in buckskins and hiding behind
trees and rocks and the French Resistance to the Nazi occupation were
heros. Now, I suppose they must teach that the Minute Men and Green
Mountain Boys were cowardly terrorists, or have they simply stopped
teaching that America gained an independent republic by waging a
revolution? And we know what they say about the French today.

When the attacks of 11 September 2001 occurred, the IRSCNA issued a
statement condemning the killing of so many civilians, but challenging
Americans to recognise that the foreign policy of their government had
legitimately garnered the hatred of many people throughout the world
and see that they could not hope to be secure, so long as their
government left so many with unredressed grievances. Today we issue
that same challenge and suggest that a simple beginning to that
process would be a forthright statement of the US's responsibility in
bringing about the nightmare of the Pinochet coup in Chile, coupled
with an apology to the people of Chile for the death, torture,
imprisonment, and exile that followed in its wake. After that, they
might consider compelling their government to end the occupation of
Iraq and Afghanistan and cease propping up the brutal and illegal
occupation of Palestine by their Zionist allies.

Simply put, there can be no peace without justice, and for working
people of every nation their interests can be won by no war but the
class war.


Irish Republican Socialist Committees of North America
2057 15th Street Suite B
San Francisco CA 94114 USA
E-Mail: irsp at
Phone/Fax: 415-861-1355
IRSCNA Website:
IRSM Website:

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