[Marxism] Re: Al Qaeda-Emerging NewInternationalResistance to Imperialism

Paul Cockshott clyder at gn.apc.org
Sun Mar 21 14:34:03 MST 2004

Louis Proyect wrote:
> Tony Abdo wrote:
> >The strategy of Al Qaeda, has been to try to show that the war can be
> >brought home to the imperial center itself.  And by doing so, provoke a
> >reassessment of whether the price to pay for warfare and occupation
> >elsewhere, is a price that the common person in America wants to support.
> You assume far too much. The average American does not see his government
> as imperialist, neocolonialist, etc. They have very little idea about the
> true history of this country. During discussions with co-workers after the
> invasion of Iraq, I was shocked to discover that none of them had ever
> heard of Mossadegh. You make it sound as if the relationship between al
> Qaeda and the USA is like that of the PKK and Turkey or the Provos and
> Great Britain. That is a false analogy. The average American viewed the
> attack on the WTC as utterly unprovoked. Furthermore, people are won to an
> anti-imperialist perspective not by blowing them up in office buildings but
> through patient explanation and mass mobilization. Study the
> anti-imperialist movement of the early 1900s for an idea of how that is
> done. Flying airplanes into office buildings only serves to deepen the
> bonds of American workers and their ruling class. That bond will only be
> severed through political work that defines their self-interest in terms of
> fellow workers overseas, not by burning them alive.

The mistake here is to think that an anti-imperialist movement has to
be in any way attached to working class interests. Al quaida appears to
be a movement of a radicalised section of the bourgeoisie of Arabian who
have no particular common interest with American workers.

This does not mean that they can not be anti-imperialist. Nor is it
irrational of them to think that by waging war against the US and its
allies, it can hope to alter state policy in the long run.

The average US worker probably did view the attack on the WTC as
absolutely unprovoked. But if such attacks continue, some attention
will be paid to the demands of those making the attacks - the removal
of all US troops from Arabia.	

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