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The war goes on

Dear Editors,
The action of terrorists on America's twin towers and Pentagon on 11 September and the subsequent bombing of Afghanistan by the USA and its allies is proof (if any was necessary) that there is no civilisation or democracy in this world.

As he accepted his Presidential nomination in 1988, George Bush (senior) had this to say, "This has been called the American century because in it we were the dominant force for good in the world. Now we are on the verge of a new century, and what country's name will it bear? I say it will be anther American century." However, there is one world and we exist as one people in need of each other and with the same basic needs.

As long as we live under the market system, the conditions that give rise to wars will always exist. War in the modern world has the potential for destruction of the whole human race. The working class - the propertyless majority - have no interest at stake in supporting any war at any time for any reason. Terrorism will only go with the collapse of capitalism and the coming of a new era - socialism.

It is clear that any solution resulting from violence or confrontation is not lasting. It is only through peaceful means that we can develop better understanding between peoples. Though lies and "spin" may deceive people temporarily and the use of force may control human beings physically, it is only through proper understanding, fairness and mutual respect that they can be genuinely satisfied and creative.

Human beings are capable of co-operating - the development of the human race has depended upon it. There are numerous examples of selfless behaviour and kindliness. But a system motivated by the quest for profit is bound to be competitive and ruthless. Otherwise how and why would people who are kind and caring support and even take part in deliberately causing death and destruction to strangers they have never met? The wheels of capitalism are oiled by human blood.

There are no bombs or bullets that select the guilty and spare the innocent. The pacifist is just as likely to get killed as the soldier. This is what is happening in Afghanistan and in all parts of the world that are ravaged by war. Though human life cannot be recovered, the energy and resources that are being put into the destruction of Afghanistan could be used to rebuild the destroyed twin towers. Destroying life and wealth in Afghanistan is not a solution - it will only aggravate the situation. Two wrongs cannot make a right. The USA is using misfortune to show the world its military might, using equipment sold to destroy human life elsewhere.

Socialists can only continue with propagating our case against capitalism. Sometimes we have to be careful not to provoke the sword of ignorance purposelessly. But to give up, to concede defeat, would be to allow the present disastrous and insane system to triumph.

To quote the words of a great scientist, Albert Einstein, "The significant problems we face cannot be resolved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them."

Justus Weijagye, UGANDA

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The Bilderberg Group

Dear Editors
Just a short comment on the clarification on p. 18 of the November Socialist Standard.

The Bilderberg group may be "semi-mythological", but there's no doubt that such groupings do exist. For instance, in Captive State, George Monbiot discusses the European Round Table of Industrialists (ERT), an association of the bosses of forty-six of the biggest companies in Europe. They have long advocated the creation of a single market in Western Europe, and called for the improvement of transport links - including the building of the Channel Tunnel. The ERT does not control governments, but it certainly influences them.

Paul Bennett, Manchester

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