[Marxism] Re: Al Qaeda-Emerging NewInternationalResistance toImperialism

Mark Lause MLause at cinci.rr.com
Mon Mar 22 06:11:06 MST 2004

For most people, "war" is waged by states, "terrorism" refers to
methods, and the two are not necessarily exclusive.  However, Tony Abdo
wrote, "Sept 11 was not an operation of American civilians against
American civilians, whcih would have made it a classical act of
terrorism.  It was an 
act of war, brought from outside the US by foreign nationals..."
Presumably, Tony would think the same act by the same people would be
terrorist if its perpetrators were naturalized citizens or if some of
them were...maybe a majority.  

More substantively, Tony's defense of Al Qaeda involves an Olymic-level
of mental gymnastics.  On the one hand, he concedes that, "At first
glance, it seemed that this act of war produced an actual deterioration
in the power of the attacking troops. Afghanistan was invaded, and Al
Qaeda was put into a worldwide retreat. Fundamentalist Isalm in the form
of Al Qaeda appeared to have suffered a net setback."  Note that the
retreat only "seemed" and the setback only "appeared" to be so.  

Undistracted by these empirical superficialities, Tony reveals that the
attacks made Americans feel so unsafe that "today everybody is now
trying to calculate just exactly what horrible deal must be struck with
fate, if their government is continued to be allowed free reign to
oppress other peoples around the entire planet" and created a US
"civilian base, that believes that their government is ultimately not
going to be effective in providing security from another military
strike, for both themselves and their families."  

Astounding revelations!  Al Qaeda's mass murder of unarmed and
undefended civilians taught "everybody" in the "civilian base" in the
U.S. to be critical of their government's conduct overseas!  One wonders
why we don't see more manifestations of this mass radicalism.  Tony is
consistent on this, though, in that he has repeatedly stated that he
thinks that not voting is a simple expression of this mass radicalism,
and has already compared the ineffectual work of the Greens and Naders
to the effective work of Al Qaeda, which has influenced the "everybody"
too radical to vote!  

It used to be a standing joke at the edges of SWP membership that the
Barnesites and their adopted allies officially never lost ground on
anything anywhere on any matter.  Every setback and defeat and
disappointment was always dialectically related to the next upsurge.
(Tony again demonstrates that you can take the man out of the SWP but
you can't take the SWP out of the man.)  

Comments indicating some mass political dynamic intended by Islamicists
miss the point.  They don't care if they impress us...or, save
indirectly, whether they influence the masses in the Mideast.  They are
busily engaged in impressing their gods.  Any positive or negative
impact of their activities on living human beings, wherever we live and
whatever we think, are merely incidental to that process.  I suppose
that those who don't want to face realities in a secularist Marxist
tradition as well develop their versions of religion...inventing
invisible friends, lots of them, making them radicals, but not the kind
of radicals who deign to do anything in the material world.  Affinities
between them are understandable.

And, while things are obviously still unfolding, the empirical reality
of the their impact not only seems but is fairly negative...not only for
Afghanistan and for Iraq, but for the U.S.  Americans did not elect
George W. Bush in 2000 and wouldn't have voted for him 2004, had it not
been for the attacks of September 11, the military actions, and the
government-media sales campaign for his priorities since.  

Mark L.

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