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(en) Against capitalist war and terror

From Workers Solidarity Movement <wsm@newmail.net>
Date Fri, 28 Sep 2001 13:01:13 -0400 (EDT)

      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E

>From Ainriail - the Irish Anarchist list
    Anarchist News No 26 Sept. 2001

Against capitalist war and terror

The terrorist attacks on the USA of
September 11th which killed over 6,000
people have rightly outraged not only the
citizens of the US but also the vast
majority of the rest of the people of the
world. Anarchists too share this outrage.
Despite our opposition to US imperialism
and global capitalism we share nothing in
common with those who would kill thousands
of ordinary people in order to strike at

Those who hijacked the planes were not ignorant
conscripts manipulated by a mad man but thinking
individuals. They made a choice while they cut
the throats of airline workers and flew plane
loads of civilians into the WTC where they knew
thousands more were working. They knew that as
well as the generals and top bankers who share
some responsibility for US foreign policy these
buildings housed thousands of secretries,
cleaners, restaurant and computer workers for
whom this was just a way for them and their
families to get by.

The challenge for people in the anti-war
movement is to create a world where the death of
6,000 individuals anywhere as the result of a
economic or political policies is as unthinkable
as the death of 6,000 people in New York before
this attack. We do not simply want a 'peace'
that is a return to the pre-war status quo
where, over 1,000,000 Iraqi civilians have died
as a result of sanctions. All because the
Western powers have fallen out with Saddam, an
unelected dictator who has brutally repressed
the people of Iraq.

We need to start a discussion around the
forbidden question of 'Why'. George Bush wants
to tell us that the only question is whose side
are we on. We don't accept this. As we look at
the western militarists who have created a world
where billions can be spent on getting man to
the moon but where 19,000 children die every day
from lack of access to clean water and basic
medical care we do not see allies in a struggle
for freedom. We see a system which, like the
authoritarian religious states promoted by Islam
and other organised religions, is a relic of
history that stand in the way of freedom.

We oppose the war being organised by Bush and
Blair not simply because it will result in the
deaths of more innocent people, which it will,
but also because it is a war designed to
reinforce the ability of the bankers and
generals to impose their will on all of us. From
decade to decade they change strategy as it
suits them. In the 1980's they promoted bin
Laden as a useful tool against the USSR in the
same way as they promoted 'Islamic
fundamentalism' as a way of undermining the left
and nationalist opposition throughout the
'Islamic world'. In the 1990's they promoted the
Taliban as a mechanism for stabilising
Afghanistan and as recently as May 2001 sent
them 43 million dollars as part of the US 'war
on drugs'.

Of course, then the Taliban were only guilty of
massacring Afghans who oppose them and of
creating a society where women are unable to
leave the house unless accompanied by a male
family member and are effectively excluded from
education. That was no real problem for Bush's
"forces of freedom and democracy". Now however
that the Taliban have foolishly asked for
evidence before they agree to the extradition of
the chief US suspect everything has changed.

This is hardly a one-off example of the
hypocrisy of those who rule us. Saddam Hussein
was an ally as long as he restricted himself to
gassing Kurds and waging war on the West's then
enemy, Iran. But as soon as he invaded Kuwait
and threatened western oil he became a 'new
Hitler'. According to Noam Chomsky the US itself
is the "only country condemned by the World
Court for international terrorism - for 'the
unlawful use of force' for political ends, as
the Court put it". The US ignored this judgement
and escalated its war against Nicargua, part of
what Chomsky calls "Washington's terrorist wars
in Central America in that terrible decade,
leaving 200,000 corpses and four countries in
ruins". So let us not talk simply of the need to
bring whoever was behind the S11 US terror
attacks to justice, what about the western and
pro-western masterminds of terror like Pinochet,
Suharto and Kissinger.

It's not that those who rule the world:
politicians, top business-men and generals, are
simply evil or indeed so stupid they are
incapable of seeing the hypocrisy. It is more
capitalism itself has a need for severe
economic, political and social inequalities.
Supporting brutal dictatorships is the cheapest
way of ensuring that western business continues
to get oil cheaply. It keeps the wages of oil
workers down and the profits of oil companies
up. The military coup in 1956 in Indonesia that
killed one million people, many of them named on
lists handed over by the CIA to the military,
ensured that Indonesia could be the centre of
the sweatshop industries which today churn out
cheap clothes which brand name companies make
super profits from.

Those who desire justice will not find it in the
military might of the USA or the religious
fanactism of the Taliban or bin Laden. A war
which kills tens or hundreds of thousands of
Afghans and perhaps triggers a famine in which
millions will die might satisfy a thirst some
feel for revenge but they would do well to
remember that it was this same thirst which
probably motivated the hijackers.

There are some concrete demands we can raise in
Ireland, these could include; No refuelling of
war planes at Shannon and an automatic right to
asylum for any Afghan fleeing the Taliban
dictatorship who manages to reach Ireland. These
may have a minor effect on this war. But
obviously they cannot end wars. Anarchists want
to start a broader discussion about the causes
of militarism and war.

We need to break with the thinking behind state
and religious terror. We need to build a world
in which not only war but also social, political
and economic inequality are abolished. In that
world Bush and bin Laden alike will be
historical absurdities whose motivations are as
difficult to understand, and as irrelevant, as
we now find the absolute monarchs and witch
burners of the 16th century. Building that world
requires a lot more then simply opposing this
war but it does include building an anti-war


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Anarchist News are available for you to download
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>From Irelands's Workers Solidarity Movement

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