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Archive for 11. September 2008

Victor Jara – El derecho de vivir en paz

Posted by entdinglichung - 11. September 2008

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Posted by entdinglichung - 11. September 2008

On the Second Anniversary of September 11, 2001

Against the Double Tragedy: No to terrorism and Bush’s drive to war!

Editor’s note: On the occasion of the second anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, we reprint excerpts of the statement News and Letters Committees issued on Sept. 16, 2001. Given the ongoing importance of the issues raised by this statement, we welcome your feedback and comments.

* * *

A double tragedy descended upon the world with the barbaric, cruel and inhuman terrorist attack on New York and Washington, D.C. on September 11. The first tragedy was the terrorist attack itself, which created a level of destruction and mayhem never before seen in a U.S. city. The second tragedy, now unfolding, is the response to the attacks by the Bush administration, which has used them to declare a “state of war” and is pushing for total militarization, at home and abroad. As Marxist-Humanists, we oppose both sides of this double tragedy. Our ground is the absolute opposite of mindless terrorism and statist militarism–the idea of freedom …

It is imperative that we completely and totally oppose Bush’s effort to respond to senseless terrorism with an equally senseless policy of indiscriminate military intervention, just as we must oppose all efforts to restrict civil liberties at home or scapegoat immigrants and people of color. But an effective opposition to this new militarism will not emerge unless we project a total view rooted not just in what we oppose, but what we are for.

It is therefore all the more disturbing that some on the Left have only mildly condemned the September 11 attacks and have spent most of their time arguing that the real culprit is–U.S. imperialism. U.S. military intervention against Iraq, Sudan, Afghanistan and its support of Israel, some say, has created a climate which drives opponents of the U.S. to pursue such “desperate measures” as suicide attacks….This amounts to a bizarre spectacle. While the perpetrators of the terrorist attacks remain silent as to their motives and intentions, “leftist” commentators are trying to provide the rationale for them! All we need to know, presumably, are the crimes of U.S. imperialism, and then the reasons for the September 11 attack supposedly become “understandable.”

These “explanations” misconstrue the nature of the forces which conducted the attacks. Reactionary Islamic fundamentalism is not simply driven by hatred of U.S. imperialist acts against Iraq, Palestine, or any other country. Islamic fundamentalism is just as much driven by hatred of feminism, homosexuality, workers’ rights, etc. Such groups as Afghanistan’s Taliban, Algeria’s FIA, and the terrorist cells in Egypt which have murdered Marxist professors as well as indigenous writers and singers represent a violent rejection of everything “Western”–especially those aspects of western society created through decades of struggles by workers, women, gays and lesbians and minorities for a more open and free society.

To try to rationalize the September 11 attacks as an “understandable” reaction to U.S. foreign policy skips over the fact that some forces opposed to the U.S. are just as regressive, if not even more so, than U.S. imperialism itself. Yes, U.S. imperialism is a terrible force which wreaks enormous destruction throughout the world. And yes, the U.S. is implicated in the crimes against humanity of the Talibans and bin Ladens–the CIA supported bin Laden when he fought the Russians and as recently as a few months ago the U.S. gave Afghanistan’s ruling Taliban $100 million in aid.

But by the same token, these forces are implicated in the crimes of the U.S. government. Islamic fundamentalism has again and again strengthened U.S. imperialism by taking actions which have undermined revolutionary forces and solidified counter-revolutionary policies. This was true in 1979, when the taking of hostages at the U.S. embassy in Iran by Islamic fundamentalists helped Reagan achieve political ascendancy. That is true today, when an anti-feminist, homophobic fundamentalism of an even more reactionary bent is enabling the inheritors of Reaganism to impose their regressive agenda upon this country.

Those fighting for human liberation need to make it very clear that the attack of September 11 was not a viable protest or response to the U.S. or any of the atrocities it perpetrates around the world. To even hint otherwise is an attack on the freedom movements within the U.S. and internationally and can result only in further isolating leftists from the masses ….

In a word, those opposing Bush’s drive for war need to take this moment to stop and think. Nowhere is that more important than for the movement against global capital, which reached a turning point in the protests in Genoa this summer. The atmosphere now descending upon this country may well hurt the movement by discouraging activity. Many are even asking whether the opening reached in the anti-globalization movement will be shut down. But the answer to this is not to just beat the drum for more activity, as if repeating familiar criticisms of U.S. policy will by itself suffice.

We live at a moment when political opposition must have a total view in order to be truly effective. We must take a firm stand against all forms of injustice, whether as propagated by terrorists, U.S. imperialism, or by anyone else, while developing a comprehensive perspective of the kind of new human relations we are for. Never has dialogue and debate on the need for a philosophy of revolution been more important–not alone for the forward movement of the struggles against global capital, but for their very existence ….

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