The attacks on the US leave many questions unresolved. What will the final death toll be? Who carried out the attack and what will be the US response? Why was the attack carried out? Any answers at the moment are purely speculative.
Osama bin Laden is widely believed to be behind the terror attacks. He is a billionaire Islamic fundamentalist, former US ally and protégé, who fronts a terrorist organisation whose fighters were trained and financed by the CIA during the Russian occupation of Afghanistan. Following the car bomb attack at the World Trade Centre eight years ago, four of those arrested and charged with the attack were found to be amongst those trained by the US (Robert Fox, New York’s regional FBI director revealed this in a TV interview in 1993). When the US attacked bin Laden’s bases near the village of Khost in Afghanistan (along with the Sudanese pharmaceutical factory) following attacks on US embassies in Africa, they could do so with pinpoint accuracy for the CIA had planned and designed them.
The US is now reaping the bitter harvest of its foreign policy which used Islamic fundamentalism as a puppet in its perennial game of globo-political-profit making. For years it courted some of the most dangerous, conservative and fanatical followers of Islam and is now paying the price.
Whilst the world is outraged at the terrorist attacks on the USA mainland, it must be remembered that the USA has been conducting just as deadly covert acts of terrorism around the globe for 50 years (ie their support for Suharto’s military coup in 1966 which resulted in the deaths of 600,000 members of the PKI and their more recent support for an Indonesian regime that massacred thousands who voted for independence in East Timor). In this same period the US has toppled some 30 governments and supported every dictator imaginable (Pol Pot, Mobuto, Amin, Papa Doc Duvalier and Saddam Hussein) whilst seriously interfering in the domestic affairs of almost 70 countries.
In recent years the US has devastated Iraq in continuous bombing raids—even for using radar to scan the Iraqi airspace its own air force is excluded from, imposed sanctions on Iraq that have resulted in the deaths of perhaps 2 million people, bombed Iraq in defence of the Kurds from the same air bases Turkey uses to bomb Kurdish villages. In the wake of the Iraqi defeat during the Gulf War, the US attacked a retreating Iraqi army on the Basra road and fried to death 60,000 ill-equipped soldiers, the vast majority never wanting any part in the conflict in the first place. The US has launched attacks upon Libya, Somalia and Grenada and supported right wing tendencies in Panama, Haiti, El Salvador and Colombia whilst at the same time ensuring there is no Middle Eastern solution, that the Palestinian people are kept in a state of subjection and that UN Resolutions pertaining to the occupied territories are ignored. During the retaliatory raids following the attacks on the US embassies in Africa, the US fired 20 cruse missiles into Afghanistan and killed tens of thousands in Sudan (a true figure is not available because the US blocked an inquiry). The list is indeed a long one.
Those lying dead beneath the rubble are our fellow workers, members of the working class Whilst we are revolted and gasp in disbelief at the deaths of perhaps 25,000 workers in the biggest terrorist attack in history, is it not also an alarming atrocity that 40,000 children die of starvation each day? Do we consider it a most heinous crime when 1,000 children die each hour of preventable disease (these are UNICEF statistics) and do we not find sickening the thought that twice that number of women die or suffer disability during pregnancy because of a lack of simple remedies or medical attention? We are speaking here of an Hiroshima a day which never gets reported, which is taken as accepted because it is so much a part of our way of life in capitalist society. Where is the 25-page pull out that accompanies the recent WHO revelation that more people died of starvation in the last two years than were killed in two world wars?
It is also worth pausing and remembering that the US, Britain, France, China and the Soviet Union have between them thousands of nuclear weapons capable of destroying the planet a hundred times over. Any one of these warheads is indeed capable of creating death and destruction on a scale that would make the attack in question look like a playground firecracker.
Western leaders have claimed the attack to be an assault on civilisation. But what is this civilisation that has been attacked, where 600 million have no home, where 800 million are chronically malnourished, where 1 billion have no access to clean water? What is this civilisation where 3 individuals have more wealth than the combined income of the word’s 48 poorest nations? How can we condemn attacks on our ‘civilisation’ when we destroy food to keep prices high and employ scientists on weapons programmes whilst children die of preventable disease? What questions we can ask of those who destroy the lives of millions, then run for the moral highground when disaster hits their own backyard
The entire episode serves to show the insanity of the system we live in, and the desperate need to wrest control of our planet away from the madmen before it is indeed to late. In the 20th century, some 220 million lost their lives in wars, in conflicts over trade routes, areas of influence, foreign markets, mineral wealth and the strategic points from which the same can be defended or in other words, in the name of profit. The globalisation process, which the US pursued obsessively, only served to make political Islam more reactionary in defence of its own culture and strategic interests.
The solution remains the same. There is one world and we exist as one people in need of each other and with the same basic needs. There is far more that unites us than can ever divide us along cultural, nationalistic or religious lines. Together we can create a civilisation worth living in, but before that happens we need the conscious cooperation of ordinary people across the world, united in one common cause—to create a world in which each person has free access to the benefits of civilisation, a world without borders or frontiers, social classes or leaders and a world in which production is at last freed from the artificial constraints of profit and used for the good of humanity—socialism.