[Marxism] Re: Al Qaeda-Emerging New International Resistance to Imperialism
gojack10 at hotmail.com
Sat Mar 20 14:55:37 MST 2004
I am neither 'infatuated' with Al Qaeda nor with 'terrorism', as Lou states.
But I deliberately used the term 'dirty war' instead of the bourgeois smear
word, 'terrorist'. And that was for the simple reason, that warfare today
involves civilian casualties, or 'incidental casualties', as people like
Donald Rumsfield are inclined to say.
I also never suggested that the US ruling class will ever 'cede power
STICTLY as a result of terror', Lou. But I do not think that terror is the
principle mode of attack of the Al Qaeda army. Notice that I use the word
'army' here. Al Qaeda is a renegade brigade from an American formed army.
It's approach is a military approach to winning a war by economic sabotage,
not through just individual acts of terroristic 'justice' started by some
civilian 'Red Brigade' or another. Al Qaeda thinks that it can make the
economic price too high for imperialism to continue to occupy Muslim
'Dirty war' is a form of warfare usually pushed off onto colonial reistance
armies, because the occupation troops they fight against, begin to use
techniques to provoke mass fear against the rebel armiy's civilian base. Al
Qaeda is no different in this regard, and their struggle comes from a point
of origen that began 3 decades ago in colonial resistance warfare in
Afghanistan. Preaching Gandhi to them from a marxist perspective is hardly
persuasive to either Al Qaeda, or their civilian base of support.
Gandhi was not the world's greatest general, and Al Qaeda is certainly
involved in combat at this point. They are not merely a civilian effort to
arouse a sleeping population to resistance, and cannot be that, even if they
were to try. Al Qaeda has been involved in active combat for quite some
time now, and to merely consider Al Qaeda to be an organization based on
'terrorism' is rather simplistic.
It is precisely these martial origens of Al Qaeda that concerns the US so
much. If they were merely a'terrorist' grouplet of any old sort, the ruling
elite would not be taking the current measures they are employiing. But Al
Qaeda was a US funded army that has now gone astray (from the US angle). And
further, it is an army that has found its own way, to a form of self
recruitment and funding via Islamic religion and the mosques around the
Further, the combat strategy of Al Qaeda is not conceptualized around terror
alone, but around economic sabotage. So far, the main military and economic
center of US imperialism was attacked (WTC and Pentagon), and an attack on
the ability of the US to mobilize proxy troops into their battlefields was
launched. The methods used haved caused hundreds of billions of dollars of
economic loss to the imperialists, and have interrupted communications and
transport to some small degree. There have been attacks on US embassies
that hamper the US ability to intervene into the politics of other
The lines between military warfare and individual acts of terrorism are
sometimes cloudy. "Terrorism' as classically thought of, was where some
group or individual, delivered 'justice' to a chosen person or group that
was considered guilty of some sort of crime by the assassin. Now, the
word 'terroist' is just a word that the capitalist press uses for people or
groups it wants to label as being naughty. It is never used in regard to
the actions of their own armies or henchmen.
I use the term 'dirty war' for the type of warfare that Al Qaeda is waging.
When civilians are hurt it ii incidental to the military engagement. A
colonial army might decide to issue an edict that police will not be allowed
to patrol a barrio without coming under fire. If a cop is then shot, it is
part of an effort to keep a barriop secure for the resistance, not an
individual act of terror alone.
Similarly, an army may shut off a highway, or declare to mayors that their
local jurisdiction is dissolved because it is under martial law.
Al Qaeda, similarly has told the imperialist world that as a military unit,
that Al Qaeda must insist that populations elsewhere withdraw their
governments from having troops inside the Muslim dominant regions. It is a
simple enough edict to comply with. There is no real animosity there against
civilians in the imperial centers. Al Qaeda is simply saying, that if your
government is involved where our people live, then you too live in a war
zone. Granted, not a particularly popular message to be received. But still,
it is mainly the call to act to reign in one's governemnt from hurting those
elsewhere., and not a desire to slaughter American civilians in their own
Once upon a time, The Red Army, most certainly took harsh measures that were
called 'terror' then, and would be called 'terrorism' today. It is important
to understand that there is a difference between warfare and individual
terrorism though. No matter how much that difference might get blurred over
at times. Al Qaeda sees itself in a struggle similar to that of the war to
obtain the independence of the USSR, or the war to kick out the invading
fascist forces from Germany.
Al Qaeda knows that difference between warfare and pure 'terrorism', and it
pertty much looks like almost all their activities will have some direct
military value to trying to restrain the US, or trying to strangle the
smooth function of the economies in the imperial centers, most principally,
the US. Al Qaeda is a religion based, anticolonial movement. It is
fighting an internationalist crusade to stop the repression of people in
Muslim countries by Christian imperialists, as it sees the situation.
Certainly this is not the program that marxists support. But in happening
to wage their war for regional independece from foreign religon, Al Qaeda is
also trying to defeat US imperialism, a goal that marxists do support.
Al Qaeda is a brigade that came out of an extemely vicious civil war, where
both super powers at the time alongside their proxy armies, fought using
their dirtiest techniques. No amount of preaching about respect to
civilians has any meaning at this point. But throwing the word 'terror'
around is no more the explanation to Al Qaeda, than it is the explanation
of what the Chechen Resitance to Moscow might be about.
Colonial repression has gotten incredibly brutal in the 21st century, and
the resistance to it is too. And because some of the military strategy of
Al Qaeda is so effective, its continued success in the field represents a
real danger to Rome. Al Qaeda has power because it has produced change.
Others might seek to copy such a strategy, and the US government is dead
serious about how much it fears what the results of not taking effective
action might be.
<<Tony Abdo wrote:
One can easily see the potential danger here for the US ruling class
that has grown fat and comforable with little to fear of the chickens coming
home to roost. Now, they have begun to have fear, that say, a FARC brigade
from Colombia might decide to take out Jesse Helms and crowd using the
tactics of Osama bin Laden? Localized dirty war has now gone international,
and the cowardly US ruling elite is running scared. They are used to
others always taking the hits.
And I thought that Tony's notion of 'value' was anti-Marxist! This
infatuation with terrorism makes my jaw drop. It is one thing to not enlist
in "humanitarian" wars on terror. It is another to suggest that the US
ruling class or any other ruling class will ever cede power as a result of
terror. Serious social and political change, even short of a revolution,
requires mass participation. Al Qaeda is distinquished by an utter disregard
for the masses and an unwillingness to systematically disseminate its ideas,
such as they are.>>
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