The bitter fruits of the “War on Terror”

To mark the 20th ‘anniversary’ of the September 11 attacks in New York, we draw our readers’ attention to our lead article from International Review 107, “New York and the world over: Capitalism sows death”. The article denounces the massacre of thousands of civilians, the majority of them proletarians, as an act of imperialist war, but at the same time exposes the hypocritical tears shed by the ruling class. As the article says, “The attack on New York was not an ‘attack on civilisation’, it was itself the expression of bourgeois ‘civilisation’”.

Fourth Anniversay of 9/11: The Machiavellianism of the Bourgeoisie and the Historic Course

As readers will recall, four years ago in these pages, we compared the terrible events of 9/11 to the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 and pointed out that “there is considerable evidence that the bourgeoisie was not taken by surprise by the attacks in either case and that the bourgeoisie cynically welcomed the massive death toll in both cases for purposes of political expediency in order to implement its imperialist war aims, and other long range political objectives” (Internationalism 120).

9/11 commission plays games with the truth

There should be no confusion about the purpose of the 9/11 Commission. The last thing that the current circus orchestrated by the ruling class is designed to do is uncover the truth about the period leading up to 9/11 and the terrorist attacks that killed over 3,000 people at the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington. While the hearings perhaps have undermined the credibility of the Bush administration and revealed some embarrassing details, the major thrust of the hearings will be a proposal to bolster yet again the repressive apparatus of the capitalist state, strengthen the CIA and the FBI, facilitate domestic surveillance, relax restrictions on searches and seizures at home, and unleash a new round of CIA covert activities abroad. To the extent that the hearings have been critical of President Bush, it is more because of discomfort within large sections of the ruling class about the administration's handling of the situation in Iraq, than because of errors made about the 9/11 attacks. This was made abundantly clear by the remarks, for example, by Commission member and former Democratic Senator from Nebraska, Bob Kerrey, when he prefaced his questioning of National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice with a critique of the administration's Iraqi policy.

Fahrenheit 9/11 Obscures Reality of War in Iraq

Michael Moore's film, Fahrenheit 9/11, honored by the Cannes Film Festival, more for its politics than its artistry, has been playing to packed theatres across the country this summer. Within the US the controversy surrounding this film reflects the seriousness of the divisions within the American bourgeoisie about the conduct of the war in Iraq. Walt Disney Co., the film's producer, originally decided not to permit the film to go into theatrical release for fear of offending the Bush administration because of its sharp political attack on the administration. Former New York Governor Mario Cuomo, a prominent liberal democrat, who served as legal counsel representing Moore in his efforts to get the film into release, said he was fighting for this film to be in theatres nationwide because he believes it is a film that every American should see, that it's message is vital to American democracy. The New York Post, the conservative tabloid, controlled by Murdoch's News Corp, denounced the film as crass propaganda.

Against the War Psychosis of Capitalism: The Class War of the Working Class

The Bush Administration has eagerly embraced the public outcry over the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center as an opportunity to advance a long-term ruling class goal to strengthen the state by overcoming a problem that has plagued it now for three decades: the so-called Vietnam Syndrome...

US Ratches up Imperialist Strategy

In the wake of Stalinism's collapse, the end of the XX century was celebrated by the dominant class all around the world as the beginning of a new era of peace and prosperity in the life of capitalism. The disappearance of the division of the world in two major imperialist blocs was supposed to end the bloodshed and the potential thermonuclear obliteration of human beings and any other form of life in the planet. The chronic state of economic crisis and the poverty suffered by most of humanity was said to be finally on the way to being resolved thanks to economic globalization and other marvels of democratic capitalism.

Recent terrorist attacks in New York & Washington

1. By now everyone throughout the world is well aware of the tragic events that have taken thousands of lives and caused tremendous destruction to the City of New York, the so-called 'capital of the world," and the Pentagon, headquarters of the American military in Washington and symbol of the might of US capitalism. The senseless death of thousands of people (many of them workers), the material destruction, the total disregard for human life, the madness of the people who executed these acts, since they died themselves -- are all expressions of the dead-end of a social system which is each day sinking humanity more and more into a bottomless spiral of barbarism, as it sinks further into decomposition. Never before has the US population experienced a man-made catastrophe of this magnitude on its own territory; war and destruction have always been the fate of "others" --especially in the cases when American imperialism has been the power behind the devastation and obliteration of countries and their populations. Thus, in the wake of these events, there is among the American working class and the population at large a veritable feeling of terror, impotence and desperation, compounded with a feeling of solidarity for the direct victims of these barbaric events. However, what is more and more dominant in the social ambiance today is the cynical manipulation by the dominant class of the situation created by this tragedy to stir up hatred and patriotism, to incite the most base nationalistic feelings in order to unite people behind the State, and thus make the population accept the militarization of society and the sacrifices required by the American imperialist adventures around the world.

Against this system of war and terror

We are told that terrorism is a threat to civilised values; that all freedom-loving and civilised nations must unite against it. In truth, the multiplication of terrorist attacks, from New York to Moscow, from Bali to Tel Aviv, reveal how absolutely rotten present day civilisation has become.

What is behind the US war plans?

One year after September 11, what balance sheet can we draw of the USA's 'war against terrorism'?

It is first of all clear that the overthrow of the Taliban regime and the operations against Al Qaida in Afghanistan have resolved nothing: the broad anti-terrorist coalition set up by the White House last year no longer exists - a reality confirmed by Bush's desperate efforts to create a new coalition for the proposed assault on Iraq.

Pearl Harbor, the Twin Towers and the Machiavellianism of the bourgeoisie (part 1)

From the very first moments, American bourgeois propaganda has likened the 11 September attack on the World Trade Center to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor 7 December 1941. This comparison is laden with considerable psychological, historical and political impact, since it was Pearl Harbor that marked American imperialism’s direct entry into the Second World War. Like all bourgeois ideological myths, whatever the elements of truth that offer superficial credibility, this propaganda barrage is laced with half-truths, lies, and self-serving distortion. But this is no surprise. The politics of the bourgeoisie as a class are based on lies, deception, manipulation, and maneuver. This is particularly true when it comes to the difficult task of mobilizing society for all out war in modern times. There is considerable evidence that the bourgeoisie was not taken by surprise by the attacks in either case, that the bourgeoisie cynically welcomed the massive death toll in both cases for the purposes of political expediency in regard to implementation of its imperialist war aims, and other long range political objectives.

Peace is impossible under capitalism

With the ‘liberation’ of Kabul, Kunduz and other Afghan cities, the ruling class is trying to paint the war in new colours. We are now being told that, thanks to American bombs, we can celebrate the fall of the Taliban regime and the arrival of Northern Alliance troops in these cities. The systematic bombing of Afghanistan is supposed to be a small price compared to the benefits obtained: women can throw off the burka (although very few have actually done so) and men can cut their beards and go to the pictures. This is the compensation the population is offered for the hundreds, perhaps thousands of ‘collateral’ deaths, the destruction of homes and of the already collapsing infrastructure, the mass exodus of hundreds of thousands who still face a winter of misery and starvation not to mention the political oppression that will undoubtedly be imposed upon them by the new gang that has taken over.

The only answer to capitalist war - the class struggle!

In response to the horrible war crime of 11 September, new and equally horrible war crimes are now being committed by the USA, which has come under direct attack for the first time in nearly two hundred years. Even before the first assaults were launched on an already ruined Afghanistan, tens of thousands of Afghan refugees were being condemned to death by starvation and disease. The death list will increase dramatically now the military strikes have begun.

Bush, Blair, Bin Laden - they are all terrorist gangsters

The ruthless slaughter of thousands of civilians in New York and Washington, the majority of them workers, in the very heart of the USA, of capitalism's number one economic and military machine, was not only an abominable war crime. It also marks a giant step in the decomposition of the existing social order.

Britain defends its own imperialist interests

The American bourgeoisie has exploited the catastrophe of 11 September to try and reassert its imperialist power on an unprecedented scale. The British bourgeoisie has also not missed the opportunity to play its own imperialist game, to advance its own military, diplomatic and political position on the world arena at the expense of its rivals, cynically exploiting sympathy for its ‘own’ victims in the terrorist attacks.

The bombings in Madrid: Capitalism sows death

The bombings in Madrid

Thursday, 11th March, 7 o'clock in the morning: bombs blast a train in a working-class district of Madrid. The bombs of capitalist war have once again struck a defenceless civilian population, just as blindly as they did when they dropped on Guernica, or during the bombardments of World War II. The bombs “dropped” indiscriminately against men, women, children, adolescents, and even against immigrants from “muslim” countries who in some cases - to render tragedy still more tragic - did not even dare to come forward to claim the bodies of their dead for fear of being arrested and expelled from the country as a result of their illegal status.

ICC Congress resolution on the international situation

14th Congress of the ICC

The alternative facing humanity at the beginning of the 21st century is the same as the one which faced it at the beginning of the 20th: the descent into barbarism or the renewal of society through the communist revolution. The revolutionary marxists who insisted on this inescapable dilemma in the turbulent period 1914-23 could hardly have imagined that their political descendants would still be obliged to insist on it again at the start of the new millennium. Indeed, even the 'post-68' generation of revolutionaries, who emerged from the revival of proletarian struggles after the long counter-revolution that set in during the 1920s, did not really expect that a declining capitalism could be quite so adept at living with its own contradictions as it has proved to be since the 1960s.

"Peace and prosperity" or war and poverty?

Eight years after his father, George W Bush has begun his term as president of the USA. His father promised us "peace and prosperity" after the disintegration first of the Eastern bloc, then of the USSR. The son inherits a situation of widespread war and poverty, which has proliferated and deepened throughout the 1990s. The state of the world is truly catastrophic, and this is not merely a temporary transition before the promised land prophesied by Bush Senior. All the signs are that capitalism is dragging humanity down into a vicious circle of bloody military conflicts on every continent, of increasing imperialist antagonisms especially between the great powers, a new and brutal aggravation of economic crisis and poverty, and a series of disasters of every kind. These three elements - war, economic decline, and the destruction of the planet - are making conditions ever more intolerable for today's generations, and are endangering the very survival of the generations to come. It is becoming ever clearer that capitalism is leading the human species to extinction.

Pearl Harbor 1941, Twin Towers 2001: Machiavellianism of the US bourgeoisie

From the very first moments, American bourgeois propaganda has likened the horrific terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York City on 11 September to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor 7 December 1941. This comparison is laden with considerable psychological, historical and political impact, since it was Pearl Harbor that marked American imperialism's direct entry into the Second World War. According to the current ideological campaign presented by the American bourgeoisie, especially its mass media, the parallels are simple, direct, and self-evident:

In New York and the world over: capitalism sows death

We know now that the attack on New York has left more than 6,000 dead. Over and above the mere figure - appalling enough in itself - the destruction of the World Trade Centre marks a turning point in history whose full implications we cannot yet measure. It is the first attack on American territory since Pearl Harbour in 1941. The first bombardment of continental America in history. The first bomb attack on a major industrial country since World War II. It is a real act of war, as the media put it. And like all acts of war, it is an abominable crime visited on a defenceless civilian population. As always, the working class was the main victim of this act of war. The cleaners, secretaries, maintenance and office workers who constituted the vast majority of the dead were our people.

Terrorism: a weapon and a justification for war

On 28th June 1914, the Archduke Franz-Ferdinand of Austria, nephew of the emperor Franz-Joseph and inspector-general of the Austro-Hungarian army, was assassinated in Sarajevo by Gavrilo Princip, a young Serbian nationalist. For Austria, the opportunity was too good to be missed. The Austrians had already laid hands on Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1908, their imperialist appetites whetted by the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire. The assassination provided Austria with the perfect pretext to attack Serbia, which it suspected of encouraging the nationalities under Austrian rule in their desires for independence. The declaration of war followed without the slightest negotiation. What ensued is common knowledge: Russia rushed to Serbia’s rescue, fearing to see Austria dominate the Balkans; Germany gave its support to its Austro-Hungarian ally; France in turn supported Russia, while Britain followed; in total, the war that resulted left almost ten million dead, six million mutilated, and Europe in ruins, not to mention the consequences of the war such as the 1918 flu epidemic, which caused more deaths than the war itself.

Editorial: The "anti-terrorist" war sows terror and barbarity

The intensification of the US offensive aimed at maintaining its world leadership has led it to unleash a new war in Afghanistan, and to deploy troops there, on the pretext of a world struggle against terrorism. As we will show in the article that follows, this military escalation and its conclusion today in a crushing American victory, far from bringing any kind of stability to the world is, on the contrary, the precursor of new wars and new massacres. Since the article was written, the situation has worsened in the Middle East, which is the object of this brief introduction.

Resolution on the International Situation (2000)

Resolution on the international situation

The international situation in the year 2000 confirms the tendency, already analysed by the ICC at the beginning of the last decade, for a gap to open up between a growing open crisis of the decadent capitalist economy, and an abrupt acceleration of imperialist antagonisms on the one hand and a retreat in class struggle and class consciousness on the other.

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