Ray O. Light
"Fascism acts in the interests of the extreme imperialists, but it presents itself to the masses in the guise of champion of an ill-treated nation, and appeals to outraged national sentiments as German fascism did... "
(Quote from Report of Georgi Dimitrov delivered on August 2, 1935 before the Seventh World Congress of the Communist International)
Beginning on October 7th, the Bush Administration in conjunction with the Social-Democratic Blair Administration, representing U.S. and British imperialism respectively, launched their criminal war against the people of Afghanistan. Bush had already projected a War "Against Terrorism", a war for "god and country" with no defined enemy, with no specific goal, only the general goal of "eradicating terrorism worldwide", and promised secrecy from the press and the U.S. public, i.e. news censorship and control. Indeed, Bush's War "Against Terrorism" might well involve the military attack and invasion of any number of other unnamed countries in the wake of the Afghanistan campaign.
Remarkably, Bush and U.S. imperialism were able to bully, bribe and blackmail almost every current government in the world to join its world-wide terrorist war coalition "against terror." These governments have endorsed and cooperated with U.S. imperialism's global terrorist war ultimately aimed against its imperialist partner-rivals as well as the world's workers and oppressed peoples. And, just as remarkably, this unelected U.S. President, whose popularity had been sliding as swiftly as the U.S. economy, was able to utilize methods of mass hypnosis and hysteria -- involving mass media brainwashing -- to get the overwhelming support of the U.S. population for his terrorist war against humanity, including against the working people and the oppressed nationalities of the USA itself.
A month into the criminal Bush War, the German, Italian, and Japanese governments (the Axis Powers of World War II) have each committed several thousand military troops to the U.S. led war against the people of Afghanistan. This represents a significant escalation of their respective military activity relative to the entire post-WW II period. The Putin regime in Russia as well as the current Chinese regime have also signed on with Bush. (China is on the verge of entering the World Trade Organization culminating a fifteen year campaign!)
For the time being the hegemonic U.S. superpower has been able to push the inter-imperialist contradiction into the background as the imperialist powers join forces behind U.S. imperialism to gain effective control of the world's oil and natural gas resources. These crucial resources are now centered in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East. However, control by the imperialist powers, and by the USA in particular, of the Caspian Sea Region's oil and natural gas is essential as a counterweight to the OPEC countries' efforts to get a decent price from the imperialist countries for their oil. Already, for several years, U.S. imperialism has projected a pipeline to run from the oil producing countries on the western side of the Caspian Sea (Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan) through Georgia and Turkey to the Mediterranean Sea ("the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan route"). As repeatedly pointed out by U.S. bourgeois oil experts, this non OPEC oil pipeline will bypass Iran and Russia.
Now, in the name of the "war against terrorism", Putin has already allowed and even given his blessing to the U.S. military occupation of several Central Asian Republics of the former USSR(!) which are laden with ample oil reserves for this new century and beyond. Once they are deployed in Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, etc. U.S. military forces will remain there just as the U.S. troops deployed in Saudi Arabia itself since the Gulf War against Iraq more than ten years ago still remain there today.
Indeed, U.S. imperialist support for the Taliban regime only began to cool when the Taliban decided to award the key oil and natural gas pipeline project from these Central Asian Republics through Afghanistan to the Arabian Sea and the Indian Subcontinent to an Argentinean company (Bridas Oil) instead of to the United States oil company, Unocal, in 1998. (It is noteworthy that the long time Saudi chief of Intelligence, Prince Turki al-Faisal, who has the closest ties to U.S. imperialism of the Saudi ruling family and was dismissed less than two weeks before the September 11th attacks, is connected to Unocal through the Saudi Arabian Delta oil company.)
In addition to their motivation to control the oil and natural gas of the world, U.S. imperialism has launched its war in Afghanistan and the surrounding area in order to gain a strategic military foothold in an area which is in the geographical center of the most dangerous potential military alliance which could be mounted against U.S. imperialist hegemony. This potential alliance includes Russia and China which recently have begun again to explore cooperation (no longer based on socialist relations but now based on capitalist relations of self interest). It could well include India and Japan and even Pakistan if there were a change in government there. So a U.S. military presence in the area of Afghanistan is a key counterweight to any major military alliance that would threaten U.S. hegemony.
In addition, by placing the USA on a war footing, the illegitimate Bush Presidency (achieved in an election stolen by the unelected Supreme Court in a five to four vote) has been "legitimized." Bush has been elevated to "Commander in Chief" of a country at war. Bush's favorable rating in the USA skyrocketed from a dismal and dangerous 37% before September 11th to an impressive 90% in the days following the destruction of the World Trade Center in New York City. Massive admitted self-censorship by bourgeois news media and cultural figures such as comedians, cartoonists, talk show hosts, etc. (and the firing of Bill Maher of the "Politically Incorrect" TV show) has made Bush an almost untouchable figure in the USA.
Domestically, the Bush forces have used the "war fever" to pass draconian laws "against terrorism" which can be used against any force in the USA that resists any part of the corporate program for maximum profits for the wealthy. On this basis, the U.S. working class and oppressed nationalities are facing a rapid and intense militarization and fascisization of U.S. society. The U.S. Justice Department, led by the openly white supremacist Attorney General John Ashcroft, has demanded some 50 or so provisions for the "war on terrorism". Included are massive telephone and internet wire tapping, the right to search homes without notifying the occupants, the seizing of voicemail recordings, the increase of police powers to arrest and hold people without charges, the right to all records of private businesses and universities, and the right to detain "foreigners". The intelligence apparatus is in the process of being upgraded with Congress already passing a $40 billion down payment in the aftermath of the September 11th attack.
To date more than a thousand people of Arab and Muslim backgrounds have been detained indefinitely, without charges in unknown locations, even according to the U.S. bourgeois media. There has hardly been a murmur of protest from U.S. citizens at these despotic acts of the Bush government. Over 4000 FBI agents, as well as other intelligence agencies of the repressive state apparatus like the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), have been working exclusively on the case. White chauvinist hate crimes, an ever-present ingredient of the intolerance of much of the majority (white) people of U.S. society, sharply rose since the attacks. Anti-Arab and anti Muslim hysteria has already cost the lives of several U.S. citizens. Proclamations from the pulpit declare the superiority of a "Christian nation." And George Bush declared a "crusade," in essence, against Islam itself. (This latter position has been overtly expressed by Bush's close ally, Italian chief of state Berlusconi.) The separation between church and state which historically has represented a cornerstone of capitalist advance over feudalism is now being eliminated in the USA as reaction sets in on all fronts.
This orgy of "national unity" behind the Bush Terrorist War is reflected in a large number of new volunteers for military service, flag waving on cars, homes, and businesses and "God Bless America" signs in public places and retail businesses, and ultra patriotic ceremonies at all public events such as sporting events. It has been reflected in a clear willingness of much of the United States population to now accept an open-ended war for "god and country." This "national unity" is manifested in a profound change (at least for the time being)--- the U.S. population is now willing to accept U.S. ground troop casualties. This represents a dangerous shift from the post Vietnam era where the U.S. population was reluctant to accept U.S. casualties even while at the same time supporting the military exploits of U.S. imperialism and casualties inflicted on others.
More INS agents are being hired at this moment. The border patrol at the Canadian border will be increased threefold. Some 14,000 new federal marshal positions are in the process of being created---ostensibly to fly on airplanes. And 50,000 National Guard troops have been called up to guard airports, monitor trucks, bridges, highways, etc. U.S. President Bush has created a new Cabinet level position, "Homeland Security," (reminiscent of Nazi Germany) to be headed by none other than Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge notorious for signing an execution order for Afro-American revolutionary political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal.
This intensified level of political repression has already had a chilling effect on the self defense efforts of the U.S. working class including economic strikes and union organizing campaigns. Another indication of the deep political setback in the U.S. multi-national state is the example of the struggle in Puerto Rico to defend Vieques from the U.S. military. In the wake of Bush's War Drive, militant anti-imperialist protests that involved hundreds of people on a daily basis have shrunk to 20 people or so involved with candlelight vigils.
Also, perhaps ten to twelve thousand mostly white petty bourgeois youth rallied in Washington, DC on September 29th to resist the Bush Administration drive toward war. While this was a positive demonstration, it was not nearly as powerful and focused as the anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist anti-globalization demonstration against the IMF (that was to include many working class people) that had been called by the national AFL-CIO among others and was anticipated to draw as many as 100,000 people for that same weekend. In the new atmosphere of war hysteria, AFL-CIO President John Sweeney and the labor props of U.S. imperialism were able to cancel the projected massive anti-globalization demonstration.
Initially at least, most of the U.S. populace has rallied behind U.S. imperialism, its great nation and white chauvinist hostility to the world's peoples, its agencies of counter-intelligence and suppression, and for war and fascism. Tragically the Bush War Drive has at least temporarily reversed the process which had begun with the anti-WTO protests in Seattle two years ago in which the U.S. working class was finally beginning to break in a real way with its own worst enemy, the U.S. ruling class, and link up with its best friends, the rest of the international working class and the oppressed peoples of the world.
On the United States economic front: behind the smokescreen of the Bush War Against Terrorism, U.S. big business and their representatives are pushing aggressive "economic stimulus packages" to further enrich the capitalist class which represent a more open dictatorship of the U.S. monopoly capitalist ruling class at home.
The U.S. economy was clearly in a serious recession prior to the attack on the WTC and Pentagon. The Stock Market has been in deep decline for more than a year, losing over four trillion dollars in "wealth." Yet, there was a substantial initial economic impact from the WTC and Pentagon attacks. Consumer spending contracted. The stock market was closed for four days and dropped significantly upon reopening.
The U.S. monopoly capitalists wasted no time in taking full advantage of the political crisis. The airline industry immediately laid off over 70,000 workers, blaming it all on "the Arabs". Many ripped up collective bargaining agreements with trade unions regarding advance notification for lay-offs and severance pay. That is the capitalist's kind of "national unity." These same corporate chieftains, in the name of "national unity" demanded and got a $15 billion bailout from the government, to shore up their already sagging profits. Boeing Company, the giant U.S. aircraft manufacturer, immediately announced the lay-off of 30,000 workers, while at the same time Boeing announced a big new contract with the Chinese government and is clearly going to be enriched with billions of dollars of new orders with new build up of the U.S. military to fight the "war on terrorism."
The National Association of Manufacturers and big business in general is organizing for and promoting an "economic stimulus" package whose main thrust is further reduction of corporate taxes including a straight up reduction of 5%. There is little doubt they will get it.
Add to these the initial down-payment of some $20 billion for reconstruction in New York, the billions to beef up the military intelligence apparatus, the expenses of the massive movement of military hardware, planes, ships and troops currently underway, an immediate (but only initial) $16 billion increase in the Pentagon's defense budget with the military-industrial complex. Huge U.S. corporations stand ready "to make a killing" at the expense of the working people and at the expense of the few remaining social programs of public education, environmental protection, workplace safety and social security. President Bush will now have no trouble in passing an unpopular "missile defense plan" and receive the $10 billion needed next year just for some initial research and testing. The construction of such a defense system to try to militarily control the world from space, will further line the pockets of the war industry at the expense of the well-being of the working class and working poor. Already money is being stolen out of social security in the name of "national unity" to fund the military build-up.
Before September 11th, after the citizens' experience with NAFTA, the government had been unable to pass the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas (FTAA) legislation. Now behind the Bush War Drive, the long sought after "fast track" legislation is being quietly passed, giving the green light for the U.S. president to negotiate trade deals like FTAA without resistance from Congress or the U.S. people.
All these things, from the FTAA fast track to the plunder of the Social Security fund to dampening of strike and union organizing activity, represent the desperate effort of U.S. imperialism to use the political crisis as a vehicle for attempting to escape the economic crisis that over the past year had washed onto the shores of the USA from the rest of the world by placing its burden squarely on the shoulders of the working class and the oppressed peoples.
As Comrade Georgi Dimitrov in his classical description of the emergence of fascism points out:
"But whatever the masks which fascism adopts, whatever the forms in which it presents itself, whatever the ways by which it comes to power --
Fascism is a most ferocious attack by capital on the mass of the working people;
Fascism is unbridled chauvinism and predatory war;
Fascism is rabid reaction and counter-revolution;
Fascism is the most vicious enemy of the working class and of all working people."
We are witnessing this transition in the USA today. Yet over the past few months these greedy and desperate fascist moves have failed to arouse the working people of the USA to resist U.S. imperialism.
The loyalty that the U.S. working class has shown to Bush and U.S. imperialism is sickening and tragic. Even in the face of the struggle waged by the New York City Firefighters to keep digging for their comrades' bodies and those of the other World Trade Center victims after the corporate gold bullion had been unearthed and Mayor Giuliani had immediately scaled back the workers dealing with the debris. Even in the face of the street battles fought by the N.Y.C. Firefighters against the New York City Police called out by Giuliani who had been portrayed in the media as the fellow heroes of the firefighters on September 11th. Even in the face of the negligence shown toward the health of the postal workers in Washington, D.C. after such care and caution was exercised in relation to the anthrax scare as it affected the U.S. Congress.
How did Bush and U.S. imperialism manage to mobilize the world's governments including those of its imperialist partner-rivals and the people of the USA including the working class of the USA behind their brutal and naked imperialist aggression against the people of Afghanistan and the world???!!! By focusing the attention of the whole world on the dramatic destruction of the Twin Towers in New York City with the loss of approximately five thousand lives on September 11th.
Like the magician or the hypnotist, Bush with the collaboration of the monopoly capitalist dominated global media (CNN etc.) was able to fix our attention on a situation where the USA seemed to be the victim and then in the name of justice, redemption, and even good old fashioned revenge portray himself as the avenging angel. Quite an act! Of course, the loss of life was real. And a thousand or so of the WTC victims were not even U.S. citizens. Yet Bush would avenge them all.
But what is the true story behind the events of September 11th? Apparently, Niaz Naik, a Pakistani Foreign Secretary, "let the cat out of the bag" when he told the BBC that senior American officials were warning the Pakistani government as early as mid-July that military action for mid-October was being planned for Afghanistan! In 1996, the Department of Energy was issuing reports on the desirability of a pipeline through Afghanistan, and in February 1998, Unocal Vice President John Maresca testified before the House Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific that this pipeline was crucial to transport Caspian Basin oil to the Indian Ocean. Maresca emphasized the vast quantity of oil and natural gas as well as hydrocarbon reserves in that area. It was shortly after this that the Taliban regime gave the pipeline contract to the Argentinean oil company Bridas instead of giving it to Unocal, the U.S. company. And this is when the official U.S. attitude to the Taliban government cooled.
According to one source, identified as "a Retired Special Forces Master Sergeant who taught military science": "Given this evidence that a military operation was on the table, possibly as early as five years ago, I can't help but conclude that the actions we are seeing put into motion right now are part of a pre-September 11th agenda. I'm absolutely sure of that, in fact. The planning alone for operations of this scale, that are now taking shape, would take many months. And we are seeing them take shape in mere weeks."
Beyond these facts are the following:
1. Bush stated that "he" would get those responsible for the September 11th airliner attacks and those that have supported them with finances, safe havens, etc. And Bush identified Osama bin Laden as the key perpetrator of these attacks on the USA and the Taliban regime in Afghanistan as the government that has provided bin Laden's group sanctuary and support.
First of all, then, current President George Bush would have to arrest or kill his father, former President George Bush!! This is because it was the CIA, of which the senior Bush is its former Director who gave Osama bin Laden his start in the terror network business (along with Pakistani intelligence) by assigning him the task of organizing a group of Arab Muslim mercenaries to buttress the Islamic fundamentalist mujahadeen in their war against the former Soviet Union in Afghanistan. While President of the USA, Bush Senior, during the Gulf War, used Osama bin Laden's terror network for operations against Iraq. In addition, as Judicial Watch, a public interest law firm specializing in exposing government corruption has pointed out, "George H.B. Bush works for the bin Laden family business in Saudi Arabia through the Carlyle Group..."(See feature story "Bush-Bin Laden Money Connection" in October 2001 issue of Montelibre Monthly) The same is true of Bush Senior's Secretary of State James Baker who played a big role in the theft of the Florida vote and the Presidential Election victory of Bush Junior in 2000. In fact, Baker is a partner in the Carlyle Group. The Taliban who make up the regime that Bush Jr. is supposedly leading a world-wide military coalition against had a similar origin to bin Laden's group. They too were created with the help of the U.S. CIA and Pakistani intelligence backed by Bush Sr. So dear Dad would have to go!
Likewise for both the Pakistani government and its intelligence service as well as the Saudi ruling family and its regime. Each of these regimes helped create the Taliban and has given them substantial support during the period of its rule over Afghanistan. Finally, President Bush would have to have himself and Secretary of State Colin Powell arrested or killed for supporting the Taliban! In May of 2001 Powell announced that the USA was providing the Taliban regime $43 million in aid. It was apparently given before the end of August, just a month or so before the September 11th attacks!
2. Bush and U.S. imperialism have offered no proof that Osama bin Laden had anything to do with the September 11th attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C.!! When Bush first delivered the ultimatum to the Taliban Regime that they must surrender bin Laden to the United States imperialists for the September 11th attacks, the Taliban quite reasonably demanded proof of bin Laden's guilt in exchange for which they would surrender bin Laden to an international court. It is the Bush government which then refused to provide any proof whatsoever to the Taliban. Nor has any proof been offered to the citizens of the USA in whose name Bush is now waging war against the people of Afghanistan. Nor has there been even an assertion that anybody from Afghanistan had anything to do with the events of September 11th. Yet the "global coalition against terrorism" led by the U.S. imperialism and Bush are waging an all-out war against the people of Afghanistan in the name of justice or revenge for September 11th.
3. The use of the September 11th attacks as a justification for the war against Afghanistan is so hollow and superficial that General Tommy Franks, the top U.S. military commander in this war, during a half-day visit back in the USA let it slip out that capturing or killing Osama bin Laden is not a specific goal of this war!!!
4. If bin Laden and/or the Taliban had anything to do with the September 11th acts of devastation in the USA than these acts were "made in the USA", created by the U.S. imperialist foreign policy of terror against the world's peoples. For these forces are counter-revolutionary, anti-socialist and semi-feudal elements, originally sponsored by the U.S. CIA as cannon fodder for the U.S. proxy war against the USSR over Afghanistan. In our view it is far more likely that Saudi Arabia's ruling family was involved. And even that the Bush family was involved!!!
Prince Turki al-Faisal (the closest Saudi top official to U.S. imperialism and incredibly a man directly connected to Unocal) was removed as the chief of the General Intelligence Directorate, the Saudi equivalent of the U.S. CIA, less than two weeks before the September 11th events! And his removal was insisted upon by interior minister Prince Nayef, the Saudi top leader most resentful of U.S. imperialist intrusions upon Saudi national sovereignty. For 25 years, he had been the main Saudi liaison with the CIA, etc. And from 1979 he held the Saudi's Afghanistan file, had had important relations with bin Laden and the Taliban, etc. It all seems to be more than coincidence.
A second question is which wing of the Saudi ruling family was involved --- the pro or anti U.S. wing. If the Bush Administration was itself involved in making the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon than they may have used their close connection with Prince Turki and his Saudi intelligence apparatus to carry out these deeds. In this scenario, Turki's removal may have been an attempt to block what happened on September 11th and since from taking place--all of which undermines Saudi Arabia's key role among the oil producing countries of the world. Certainly, the damage to the Pentagon was minor and no major U.S. military figures were in harm's way there. And September 11th has had an incredibly positive upside for the Bush family and U.S. imperialism in the short run, as we have elaborated earlier in this piece. If, on the other hand, Bush and U.S. imperialism were not involved in the September 11th attack on the U.S. people then it is more likely that it was the anti-U.S. faction within the Saudi ruling family that was at the heart of the September 11th events.
5. Whatever the scenario, the fact is that with its annual military budget of over $300 billion dollars and with the settler state of Israel and Egypt as the top two recipients of U.S. military aid year in and year out, U.S. imperialism has been fueling the fires of the Middle East, behind the smokescreen of its "Middle East peace plan rhetoric", over the years. The people directly involved in the attack on the World Trade Center had nothing to do with the revolutionary future, with socialism and communism. The slaughter of the 5,000 WTC employees, tourists, etc. was carried out by forces fighting for the reactionary past of imperialism, capitalism and feudalism and even slavery. They were fighting for their piece of the imperialist booty.
Some Lessons for the Working Class and Oppressed Nationalities in the USA
In the aftermath of September 11th, the masses of people in the imperialist countries and especially in the USA, feel under siege. Furthermore, the proletarians and other working people in the USA, etc. are seeking revenge, retaliation for the loss of five thousand people most of whom they believe were guilty of being only in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The proletarian truth is that the people of the USA, including the more privileged strata of U.S. working people, have benefited materially from the imperialist plunder and terror of the oppressed peoples of the world for many years, as reflected in the failure of the U.S. working class and even the oppressed nationalities to consistently resist U.S. imperialism in solidarity with our oppressed brothers and sisters in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, etc. fighting for a better life. The Seattle anti-WTO protests of two years ago started us on the right path.
To the extent that we workers and oppressed nationalities in the USA have failed to resolutely oppose U.S. imperialism in this period, we have "gaily shared the imperialist feast" (Engels). Consequently, our people at the World Trade Center were not totally "innocent."
Those who support Bush's War against the people of Afghanistan are continuing to side with their own enemy and can expect much more massive destruction in the USA in the future as U.S. imperialism continues to spread terror and suffering around the globe. THEREFORE, for the working people and oppressed nationalities of the USA -- the only way to prevent future tragedies such as occurred at the World Trade Center on September 11th is to fight for the overthrow of "our own" imperialists, spearheaded by the illegitimate Bush Administration, the main source of world terrorism.
The immediate need of the U.S. workers, progressive and anti-imperialist movements: infuse the anti-globalization movement with the anti-war content:
No To US-Led Imperialist Globalization!
No To US-Led Imperialist War!
No To The #1 Exploiter of the World's People!
No to the World's #1 Terrorist!
"USA – Hands Off Afghanistan!!"
"Stop Bush's Terrorist War Against the Peoples of the World!"
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