In the name of ‘fighting terrorism’, a deluge of bombs is raining on the impoverished population of Afghanistan. Tens of thousands of men, women and children are fleeing the horror, but what awaits them at the end of their flight is more horror: a beast-like existence in refugee camps, a slow death from hunger, cold and disease as winter sets in.
Once again we are witnessing the true face of the ‘humanitarian’ actions undertaken by the great powers. The barbarism they have unleashed will certainly outstrip the barbarism of bin Laden and his network of petty imperialist gangsters.
We have been told over and over again by the ‘civilised democracies’ of the USA and Britain that they are only targeting the terrorists, that they are doing all they can to minimise civilian casualties. This lie is already wearing thin: ‘accidental’ or not, the number of ‘smart’ bombs that have destroyed homes, schools or hospitals is mounting daily. As for the gesture of ‘humanitarian aid packages’ being dropped from the skies, this is just a sick joke when everyone knows that the bombing is not only creating a growing exodus of desperate people, but is also obstructing the transport of food and supplies to the hungry. And let’s not forget the mass of conscripts press-ganged into the Taliban army. Here there isn’t even any pretence: they are being ‘carpet bombed’ without mercy. And this also is a form of mass murder.
As for the ‘war aims’ of the ‘anti-terrorist coalition’, what are we to make of the announcement that it may after all be impossible to catch bin Laden, or that the ‘war against terrorism’ may last 4, 10, even 50 years? Is it that the great powers, and the US in particular, don’t know what they are doing � or is it that they are using the September 11 massacre as a mere pretext to pursue military and strategic aims that correspond to their own imperialist interests? Since an imperialist power can only act to defend its imperialist interests, we know what our answer is! (see the article on the back page for more analysis of the real agenda behind this war).
Meanwhile, back home, the fear of terrorist attack is being kept alive by the massive campaign about bio-terrorism and the anthrax alert. Whoever is actually addressing the envelopes of white powder, they are certainly a gift to the ruling class. Those who have died from anthrax infection have all been workers: what better way of proving that the working class has no choice but to rely on the state for protection against the sinister terrorists, and to rally behind the ‘just’ war against terrorism.
Workers: this is not our war!
‘Those who are not with us are against us’: this is how Bush demanded that all the USA’s imperialist rivals have to line up behind the world cop in its latest military adventure, its latest attempt to ensure it remains the world’s only superpower. But the same false choice is offered to the workers, to the exploited and the oppressed of the world. We must either support the ‘war against terrorism’ or line up behind bin Laden and the Taliban. Or we must support bin Laden and the Taliban because they are fighting the ‘Great Satan’, the US and its allies.
No! Bush, Blair, bin Laden all belong to the same class of gangsters. The capitalist class which exploits us, which profits from our labour power, and which throws us onto the dole, is the same class which regularly massacres us in its sordid imperialist squabbles. Useless to choose between individual leaders or states, because they can only embody the needs of this rotting social system.
Workers: we cannot afford any illusions. Capitalism is faced with an insurmountable economic crisis and war has been its method of survival for about a 100 years. After the two world wars and the ‘cold war’, the ‘new world order’ of peace and prosperity promised by Bush Senior has been a dark decade of war � in the Gulf, in the Balkans, in Africa, in the ex-USSR ... and in Afghanistan, which has not seen a day of peace for over 20 years. The fact that the ruling class is now telling us that the ‘war on terror’ will run and run is already an admission that we have nothing to look forward to but an endless spiral of wars and devastation. Peace is impossible as long as capitalism lasts.
The only alternative, the only perspective for the human race, is the destruction of this system before it destroys the planet bit by bit. And only the exploited class, the proletariat, the first victim of capitalist war, can make this perspective a reality. This above all is why workers must refuse to make any common cause with their exploiters; this is why they must refuse to be paralysed by the atmosphere of fear and terror which the ruling class is trying to perpetuate; this is why they must stick to their own class interests and fight against the degradation of their living and working conditions.
No to ‘sacrifices’ in the name of the national interest or the war!
No to collaboration with the capitalist state in the name of ‘fighting terrorism’!
No to support for the Taliban or bin Laden in the name of Islam or ‘anti-imperialism’!
Against the imperialist war of the exploiters, for the class war of the international proletariat!