State terror or ‘Islamic’ terrorism? A false choice to drag us into capitalist war

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The British policeman who announced the arrest of a number of suspects in the latest bomb plot said that the group had been planning “mass murder on an unimaginable, unprecedented scale”.

If they were indeed planning to destroy planeloads of passengers above US cities, this was certainly a plan for mass murder. The methods of Bin Laden and the ‘jihadists’ who admire him are the methods of barbarism. The victims of their attacks are first and foremost the exploited and the oppressed, the workers, the poor. In New York, Madrid, London, Mumbai, Beslan, in Iraq every day, the “Islamic resistance” massacres those going to work, those trying to survive day by day in a hostile society. In fact the methods of the ‘jihadists’ are the same as those of the ‘infidel’ powers they claim to oppose – the US, Britain, Israel, Russia and the rest.

And just as the governments of the ‘west’ try to stir up Islamophobia and racism against those identified as Muslims, the jihadis’ response is to preach racism against the ‘kafirs’, and in particular against the Jews, reviving the worst lies of Hitlerism. These ideologies are used to justify the mass slaughter of non-Muslims (in which Muslims also die by the thousands, as in Iraq today). The jihadis are the true mirror image of Bush and Blair and their ‘war on terror’.    

But that is our point. Terrorist atrocities against the innocent are neither “unimaginable” nor “unprecedented”. Those in power who condemn this most recent intended atrocity carry out far greater ones, because they have the superior firepower. These are the ‘democratic’ jihadis in charge of the world’s major states, those responsible for slaughtering civilians on a far higher scale – in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Lebanon, in Chechnya… The wars unleashed by the ‘democratic’ powers are the supreme model of terror: what else can you call the use of massive military force to intimidate entire populations? What else is Israel’s devastation of Lebanon, what else was the USA’s “shock and awe” campaign in 2003, or for that matter Churchill’s “area bombing” of Germany at the end of the Second World War?   

The ‘democratic’ state manipulates terrorists

Imperialist war is terror against humanity. And the states that wage it are equally adept in the shadowy methods of the ‘terrorists’ as they are in the open, massive terror of aerial bombardments. Who else trained Bin Laden to fight the Russians but ‘democratic’ America? Who used the Protestant gangs to carry out assassinations and bombings in Ulster? ‘Democratic’ Britain. Whose ‘founding fathers’ were also terrorists like Menachim Begin? ‘Anti-terrorist’ Israel. And through its spies and informers, the ‘democratic’ state can also make subtle use of the terrorist gangs even when they are on the ‘other side’. Despite the official polemics against ‘conspiracy theories’, there is mounting evidence to suggest that the US state allowed al Qaida to proceed with its attacks in September 2001; the aim – which had already been openly considered by the ‘Neo-Con’ theorists – was to create a new Pearl Harbour to justify a huge imperialist offensive in Afghanistan and Iraq. And it is equally capable of manufacturing terrorist plots when nothing really exists: Jean Charles de Menezes gave his life to one of these set-ups in Stockwell, and the massive raid in Forest Gate last June nearly resulted in another ‘accidental’ death. Because whether the threat is real or invented, the state will always use the activities of the terrorists to strengthen their arsenal of repressive laws, their vast apparatus of informing and surveillance.

After September 11 Bush offered us a false choice: with us, or with the terrorists. Today millions have seen what Bush stands for, but they haven’t escaped the false choice. Many young people who see that the world we live in is heading for disaster are being misled towards the terrorists as the only ‘alternative’. But it is a false alternative, an equally disastrous dead-end, turning them into recruiting agents in a suicide-march towards imperialist war. This is evident in the warfare spreading throughout the Middle East, warfare that is also rebounding to the USA and Europe

The class struggle is our only future

But faced with the inexorable decay of present day society, which is sliding into war and chaos, there is another side: the side of the exploited class, the proletariat, the vast majority of us, who have no interest in being dragged into fratricidal conflicts and inter-imperialist massacres.

Faced with the accelerating collapse of capitalism, which, in every part of the globe, has proved that it is endangering the very survival of humanity, there is one war still worth fighting: the class war, uniting the workers of all countries and colours against the gangsters who rule the planet but are now increasingly losing control of it.  

The battle between the classes, which many claimed to be buried, is once again breaking out. It can be seen in a number of recent movements:

  • In the assemblies and demonstrations of the French students, massively on strike in the schools and universities, all colours and creeds combined; a movement which, like 1968, shook the powers that be, above all when growing numbers of waged workers began to join the students,
  • In the wildcat strike by the postal workers of Belfast: officially ‘Loyalist’ and ‘Catholic’, they unofficially marched together down ‘enemy’ streets in defiance of the national schism and the paramilitary gangs of both camps,
  • In the strike at Heathrow last year, where the baggage handlers walked out in solidarity with the Gate Gourmet workers, united across racial and sexual divisions by their common indignation against the grossly tyrannical methods of management, and in doing so, once again defied all trade union legislation. 

These expression of working class solidarity are the outlines of the true community of mankind, a community made by human action for human beings, and thus no longer in thrall to religion or the state.

World Revolution, 14/8/06.

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