16 years on from the 9/11 attacks in the United States

16 years on from the 9/11 attacks in the United States

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It is now 16 years on from the deadly attacks in the US that killed thousands of people. We are reproducing this Socialist Party statement that was issued on 12 September 2001, the day after what took place.

There is no doubt that the increased US/UK interventions in the Middle East have not made the world a safer place for working class people, neither in the region, in Britain or elsewhere. In fact the opposite is true. We are still faced with the choice – Socialism or Barbarism. Capitalism does not offer a decent future for the majority of the world’s population. It is time for socialist change.

After the carnage in the USA: World Crisis Deepens

Socialist Party statement, 12 September 2001

THE KILLING of thousands of innocent civilians in New York, Washington and elsewhere in the US has caused horror and revulsion among ordinary working people worldwide.

The suicide tactics of the attackers are condemned and opposed by socialists. Such tactics can never advance the struggles of oppressed nationalities or working-class people anywhere across the globe. In fact the immediate results of such action could be to weaken working-class solidarity as governments in the West whip up the mood for revenge on those who are blamed for carrying out the attacks.

Inevitably, as on 11 September, it will be the workers, the oppressed and dispossessed who pay the price for what the US leaders and commentators describe as an ‘act of war’.

Whilst no group has claimed responsibility as The Socialist goes to press, and Osama bin-Laden is rumoured to have denied involvement, the US government is certainly preparing to revenge these horrific attacks. With leading politicians correctly pointing out that this is a more devastating attack on US imperialism than Pearl Harbour, a US government (particularly one led by Bush) will inevitably have to be seen to do something in the face of such an assault.

Attacks

The attacks will be seen as huge turning point for world capitalism and will have immense consequences for the world politically and economically, apart from the devastating effect it will have on the lives of tens of thousands of people in the USA and indeed worldwide.

As we go to press share prices have plummeted and the price of oil and gold have increased dramatically – a recognition of the scale of the crisis that international capitalism feels it is facing.

Following Tuesday’s horrendous events there will certainly be an escalation of the Middle East crisis, which is likely to see the US and other imperialist powers more directly involved and could lead to all-out conflict in the region. Unfortunately, it is likely to result in further assassinations and reprisals against the whole Palestinian population on behalf of the imperialist powers.

Israeli premier Ariel Sharon has indicated that he sees this as a green light to intensify action against the Palestinian masses and he will draw on US support – either directly or indirectly – to carry out wider repression in the region.

Inevitably in the immediate aftermath, large sections of US workers will temporarily acquiesce in whatever actions the previously unpopular, reactionary President Bush takes.

Pandemonium

And the pandemonium following the scenes of carnage engulfing New York and Washington after Tuesday’s suicide attacks have led to a wider panic about the implications of the strikes.

Immediately following the aircraft crashes into the World Trade Centre and Pentagon – potent symbols of world capitalism’s financial and military might – share prices, which had been falling dramatically in previous days, fell further. The price of oil rose by $2-$3 a barrel reflecting anxieties about increased instability in the Middle East – the likely source of the ‘terrorist’ attack.

The air strikes led to an immediate state of national and international crisis, which will provoke further questioning of the authority of capitalism’s rulers. Government and financial services were paralysed in the USA and stock markets in other advanced capitalist countries dropped dramatically or were suspended following the attacks. Even if capitalism manages to stabilise matters in the short term the medium and long-term effect will be to deepen the underlying economic crisis.

Imperialism’s “revenge”

No doubt Bush and Western imperialism will step up their drive against Islamic ‘terrorism’ in retribution. The co-ordinated ‘assault on America’ will lead to co-ordinated US state action to hunt down and get ‘revenge’ against Islamic groups, regardless of whether they were involved or not.

It is also possible that a witch-hunting atmosphere could develop in the United States and elsewhere against Arabs, Muslims or others suspected of associations with terrorist states or groups.

This could also be used against any radical groups that challenge the capitalist system.

It is also conceivable that governments will use these attacks to ban anti-globalisation protests or restrict demonstrations against their capitalist system. It is very likely that the anti-globalisation protest in Washington at the end of this month will either not go ahead or be banned.

Blair found the bombings a convenient way of avoiding criticism of his privatisation plans at the TUC and has immediately used the opportunity to step up security. Whilst many workers will initially accept such measures – as was the case in Britain in the early 1970s with the adoption of the Prevention of Terrorism Act after events in Northern Ireland and Britain – such measures do not stop the threat of such attacks and have been used against those on the Left and the labour movement generally.

Bush and Blair

Imperialist politicians like Bush and Blair, however, bear a huge responsibility for the policies which have led to global instability and now bring terror onto the streets of the USA. These imperialist powers have pursued policies which have led to the deaths of thousands in the Middle East and throughout the globe.

President George W Bush’s father, the other President Bush, was the world leader who used a war in the Gulf to assert his ‘New World Order’. That new order ushered in the era of globalisation, which has impoverished and alienated billions.

US imperialism’s dominance of the globe has brought increased instability, tension and turmoil to every corner of the planet. Combined with the absence of a mass movement of the working classes and oppressed, this has led some to pursue extreme and futile methods, such as the suicide tactics which led to the carnage in New York and Washington.

Imperialism’s policies have antagonised millions around the world. US Secretary of State Colin Powell had said in May this year:

“Terrorism is part of the dark side of globalisation. However, sadly, it is part of doing business in the world – business we as Americans are not going to stop doing.”

Oppressed People

US and Western leaders talk sanctimoniously about acts of ‘evil’ terrorism but gloss over their own acts of terrorism – military, politically and economically – against oppressed people around the world.

The attacks show that despite all the armoury of the world’s only superpower they are powerless and unable to protect their own citizens in the face of determined suicide attacks. The inability of the imperialist powers to find a settlement to the crisis in the Middle East, combined with the incapacity of the Palestinian leaders to offer a way forward for the Palestinian struggle, has led to increasing use of suicide attacks as a tactic.

Whilst the suicide bombings have struck terror into the heart of Israel and America, they are not capable of bringing forth a successful resolution of the Palestinian conflict. Nor will they deter US and other world leaders from continuing with their policies of state terror and economic exploitation.

Among the lessons that workers internationally will draw from these terrible events is that the imperialists, like Bush and Blair, cannot offer any resolution to the world’s conflicts. But neither can the tactics of the fundamentalist terrorist groups offer a way forward to the long-suffering peoples of the Middle East.

Workers

Furthermore, as well as adding to the panic on the already jittery world capitalist markets the events will confirm to large numbers of workers worldwide the instability of the global capitalist system.

At some stage these events could be a further trigger to exacerbate the economic woes of world capitalism.

Capitalism, at its most naked is a system of conflict, civil wars, wars, poverty, starvation and insecurity for the mass of people on this planet. It is the oppressed people of the world – whether workers in America or Palestinian youth – who pay the price of capitalism’s inability to resolve the crises their system creates.

It is the oppressed people of the world who can provide a solution to this era of global crisis by uniting to end the rule of the capitalist system and establish a socialist world where the horrors and insecurity of imperialism’s so-called New World Order are abolished once and for all.

 

Horror in Paris – We will not be intimidated!

Horror in Paris –  We will not be intimidated!

France

We carry below a statement from the Revolutionary Left (Gauche Révolutionnaire), the French sister organisation of the Socialist Party. Coventry Socialist Party sends its solidarity to all victims, and we pledge to redouble our efforts to fight for a socialist world,  a world free from war and terror. We urge all readers to join us in this task


Statement from the Revolutionary Left

Sickening violence has struck Paris once more. Over 120 dead and dozens of injured in places where workers and young people gather at the end of the week (Stade de France, Bataclan music venue, various bars in the 10th and 11th districts). These barbarians had their minds set on indiscriminate mass murder, striking innocent people once again. These were working class districts of Paris, with their diverse populations, which sufferedin this tragedy.

Nothing can justify these mindless attacks which took place on the same Friday in Paris, Bagdad and Nigeria, nor the attacks on a Beirut market on 12th November, nor in Ankara on 10th October, nor in Tunisia. We grieve today for our brothers and sisters, workers, young people, jobless, single parents, pensioners, irrespective of their background or heritage.

Cowardice exemplified

We condemn these attacks and the blind cowardice behind them. To execute defenceless people in cold blood reveals a far right ideology, whatever the supposedly religious or other excuses offered. Incapable of winning support among any section of the population, and certainly not among Muslims, the terrorists of ISIS, who have claimed responsibility for these attacks, use methods which are exactly the same as fascist groups, state dictatorships, and armies of occupation. Terror is a political weapon which aims at preventing workers from uniting, at imposing passivity through fear, at strengthening racism : we will not be intimidated, we will not be divided.

Unity of workers and youth against racism and barbarism

ISIS’ reliance on indiscriminate terror reveals the true nature of this organisation, which is nothing more than a gang of looters and traffickers. ISIS is merely the product of the chaos into which Iraq has been plunged following the destructive wars waged by European governments and in its methods it replicates the indiscriminate bombing raids on Syria and Iraq under cover of the ‘war on terror’.

In striking indiscriminately at working class districts of Paris ISIS plays an arch-reactionary role since it will be Muslims who may end up paying a high price through a renewed wave of Islamophobia, intolerance and racism. Moreover everything will be put in place to justify repression of action by workers and young people, starting with the imposition of a ‘state of emergency’ under which trade union demonstrations can be banned.

Not our war

Politicians, from the Front National to the PS (Socialist Party), are all united in their talk of ‘war’. A war they created and for which the people are paying the price today. But this is not our war. This government of ours continues to support the regime of the President of Turkey Erdogan. This is the same Erdogan who has for years been aiding ISIS, by allowing the terrorists and their contraband to cross the frontier, while keeping it firmly closed to the people of Kobane, a Kurdish town in the north of Syria which resisted and defeated ISIS last January. This same Erdogan bombs towns in Turkish Kurdistan, yet it is the Kurds who have just freed the Iraqi town of Sinjar from ISIS occupation.

It is the governments of Europe who sustain the regimes in Qatar and Saudi Arabia, and sell arms to them, at the same time as these countries support ISIS and engage in mass killings in Yemen.

No to the religious or political far right

The position of the Hollande government, with the support of the FN and the Republicans, is to block any mass solidarity movement. The consequence of the ‘state of emergency’ will be to prevent any solidarity demonstrations such as those which took place in January after the attacks on Charlie Hebdo. Similarly, various current disputes, such as the strikes against redundancies in Paris hospitals or at Air France will certainly be banned. The state of emergency provides for ’the banning in general or in particular cases of meetings likely to be provocative or lead to public disorder’ and ‘enables those same public authorities to take any measures necessary to ensure the control of the press and all publications’. We must not accept these limitations on our rights and our activities since only the capitalists – the bosses of large corporations, share-holders – and the politicians who act in their interests will benefit, without creating any obstacle for terrorist groups.

It’s essential that the organisations of the workers’ movement, trade unions, parties, campaign groups, unite and declare their opposition to war and to the murderous policies of capitalism and its wars for oil and profits.

The genuine poverty in which whole sections of the population are plunged can only lead to despair and confusion which plays into the hands of the reactionaries and those who would divide us. The policies pursued in the Middle East and Africa can only promote further chaos. The consequences will be terrible for ordinary workers who will pay the price while politicians use the situation to provide further justification for their wars. In those countries terrorist groups, whose only motivation is pillage and contraband, reap generalised despair and use it to send out suicide bombers while the leaders live in palaces. More war will only bring more terrorism !

How much longer are we going to pay for a system which wages military, economic and social war a majority of the population of the planet to create profits for a handful who are safe and comfortable ?

And we are expected to suffer the worst terror, death, mistrust and fear. Enough ! We won’t let the racists, the far right like the FN and reactionaries win !

We will not be intimidated and divided, we will continue to fight for a tolerant and co-operative society, freed from capitalism and exploitation, for a democratic socialist society.

This will be a massive struggle with workers and youth united, whatever their nationality, skin colour, religion or none, a struggle for a decent life for all to take society forward and eliminate the filth of economic and social poverty in which religious and political reaction can thrive.

We are saddened and pained by the destruction of so many innocent lives. But we draw from these events all the more anger and determination to tolerate this inhuman system and the chaos it creates no longer.