Who were the first victims of the terrorist attacks in the centre of London on July 7 2005? Like the ones in New York in 2001 and Madrid in 2004, the bombs were deliberately aimed at workers, people crowding the tubes and buses on their way to work. Al Qaida, which has claimed responsibility for this mass murder, says that it has acted in revenge for “British military massacres in Iraq”. But the endless slaughter of the population in Iraq is not the fault of working people in Britain; it’s the responsibility of the ruling classes of Britain, America – not to mention the terrorists of the so-called ‘Resistance’, who play their own daily part in the killing of innocent workers and civilians in Baghdad and other Iraqi cities. The architects of the war on Iraq, the Bushes and the Blairs, are meanwhile left safe and secure; what’s more, the atrocities committed by the terrorists provide them with the perfect excuse to launch their next military adventure, just as they did in Afghanistan and Iraq in the wake of September 11.
All this is in the logic of imperialist war: wars fought in the interest of the capitalist class, wars for the domination of the planet. The vast majority of the victims in such wars are the exploited, the oppressed, the wage slaves of capital. The logic of imperialist war stirs up national and racial hatred, turning entire peoples into “the enemy”, to be insulted, attacked and annihilated. It turns worker against worker, making it impossible for them to defend their common interests. Worse, it calls on workers to rally behind the national flag and the national state, to march off willingly to war in defence of interests which are not theirs, but the interests of their exploiters.
In his statement about the London bombings at the meeting of the rich and the powerful at the G8 Summit, Blair said: "It's important however that those engaged in terrorism realise that our determination to defend our values and way of life is greater than their determination to cause death and destruction to innocent people."
The truth is that Blair’s values and Bin Laden’s values are exactly the same. Both are equally prepared to cause death and destruction to innocent people in pursuit of their sordid aims. The only difference is that Blair is a big imperialist gangster and Bin Laden is a smaller one. We should reject utterly all those who ask us to take the side of one or the other.
All the “world leaders’” declarations of solidarity with the victims of the London bombings are pure hypocrisy. These are the leaders of a social system which over the last century has wiped out tens of millions of human beings in two barbaric world wars and countless other conflicts from Korea to the Gulf, from Vietnam to Palestine. And contrary to all the illusions peddled by Geldof, Bono and the rest, they are the leaders of a system which by its very nature cannot “make poverty history” but condemns hundreds of millions to increasing misery, and is busy poisoning the planet in defence of its profits. The solidarity the world leaders want is a false solidarity, the national unity between classes which will allow them to unleash new wars in the future.
The only real solidarity is the international solidarity of the working class, based on the common interests shared by the exploited in every country. A solidarity which cuts across all racial and religious divisions and which is the only force which can oppose capitalism’s logic of militarism and war.
History has shown the power of such solidarity: in 1917-18, when mutinies and revolutions in Russia and Germany put an end to the carnage of the First World War. And history also showed what a terrible price the working class paid when this solidarity was again replaced by national hatred and loyalty to the ruling class: the holocaust of the Second World War. Today capitalism is again spreading war across the earth. If we are to stop it engulfing us all in chaos and destruction, we must reject all the patriotic appeals from our rulers, fight to defend our interests as workers, and unite against this dying society, which can offer us nothing but horror and death on an ever-growing scale.
International Communist Current, 7th July 2005