CWI analysis vindicated by events
One year ago today, the world was stunned and horrified when two hijacked jumbo jets flew into the Twin Towers in New York, while a third plane crashed into the Pentagon. Thousands lost their lives.
The CWI condemned the indiscriminate terror attacks and the reactionary ideas behind political Islamic forces.
At the same time, in the midst of generally reactionary responses from the world’s media and politicians, the CWI immediately made a principled socialist analysis of unfolding events. We pointed out that to many in the neo-colonial world this terrible act was but the ‘result’ of the policy of US imperialism. We also opposed the anti-Muslim and anti-foreigner moods whipped up in many Western countries by the right wing media and politicians, and the drive by the US and allies to go to war against Afghanistan.
A CWI statement, entitled, World Trade Center and Pentagon Attacks… The Political and Economic Aftershocks – A Socialist Analysis, commented:
"The carnage in New York and Washington DC resulting from the suicide attacks of the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon is a world event like no other before. New technology and the speed of modern communication allowed millions of people on every continent to follow the horrific events as they unfolded. This has resulted in an outpouring of emotion, a deep sense of concern and revulsion throughout the whole of the planet. This mood is at its strongest in the industrialised countries particularly the US and Europe.
"In the neo-colonial world, particularly in the Middle East, there are also expressions of open regret that innocents have had to suffer but this goes with the feeling that this is the result of the crimes of US imperialism in the countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America. These events have already had colossal repercussions for the US and the rest of the world. The after effects are still being felt…" (Posted on 14 September 2001).
The CWI website made clear its opposition to the methods and aims of the political Islamist terror campaign in many articles, including The False Methods of Terrorism, which stated:
"[The CWI] has been forthright in its condemnation of those who attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. We described their methods as those of ‘small groups employing mass terrorism’. At the same time, we have not given any support to George Bush or Tony Blair, who call for a ‘war against terrorism’; yet support state terror against defenceless and innocent people in the neo-colonial world." (Posted on 29 September 2001)
The CWI was completely opposed to the brutal Taliban regime, which oppressed women and working people. In contrast, some on the Left amazingly advocated, in effect, ‘critical support’ for the regime because it was in conflict with imperialism. The CWI answered this and other wrong positions put forward by sections of the Left in an in-depth article, Afghanistan, Islam and the Revolutionary Left. The piece commented:
"War is an acid test for the programme, perspectives, strategy and tactics of all political formations, particularly those that stand on the left. Everything which is positive, which in action shows a way forward for the working class, is revealed. Conversely, everything that is rotten, which is false, is also laid bare. So it was in the Gulf war, in the conflict in Kosova/Kosovo and now also in the war in Afghanistan.
"…[We] wish here to compare the positions taken by the CWI and its sections with those of other organisations, particularly those who claim to stand on the revolutionary left. This approach, the method of contrasts, was deployed by Leon Trotsky, particularly in the 1930s, as a means of educating the revolutionary cadre. Most of the revolutionary left erred, and sometimes quite grossly, during the war. Some were opportunist; mostly however they were ultra-left and sometimes managed to combine both opportunism and ultra-leftism." (Posted July 2002).
The CWI made clear that Bush’s war would not lead to genuine social and economic liberation for the Afghanis. In fact, many thousands of civilians died in the war that began on 7 October 2001, and the situation since has been dire for the population. The West overthrew the Taliban Islamic fundamentalists and replaced them with a coalition of warlords, who previously tore the country apart, and who are, in many cases, just slightly less fundamentalist than the Taliban.
Afghanistan has experienced anything but the pledges from the West to end poverty and to bring stability. Only a small amount of the promised aid has reached the country, making no change to the lives of the desperately poor and dispossessed. Violence and turmoil continues. Just last week alone, the country witnessed the death of scores of civilians in an explosion in Kabul, there was an attempted assassination of the Prime Minister, Hamid Karzai, a Western stooge, and fierce fighting between provincial warlords left at least 15 people dead.
A year on from 11 September, and the world is an even more dangerous and explosive place. The US has proven it is the undisputed superpower, both militarily and economically. Keen to capitalise on victory in Afghanistan and to increase its power and influence in the Middle East, the US, with Tony Blair’s backing, plans to launch an attack on Iraq. This would lead to the deaths of many civilians, compounding the ongoing genocidal UN sanctions and routine air attacks by the US and Britain against that poverty stricken country.
However, the war plans of Bush and Blair face considerable and growing opposition from youth and workers in the US, Europe and all over the world, and is particularly strong throughout the neo-colonial world. Clearly a war on Iraq will unleash a huge protest movement.
Indicative of the fears of the results of a new war, nearly all the Middle East states have come out against Bush, undoubtedly aware that an attack on Iraq would threaten the very survival of a number of their regimes.
The other major capitalist powers, looking after their own interests in the Middle East and beyond, are openly critical of Bush’s war noises. Even opposition politicians in the US put forward grave hesitations or even open opposition to a war on Iraq.
Many workers are sickened by Bush’s blatant hypocrisy – supporting the murderous attacks by the Israeli state (a nuclear power and invading force) while calling for a "regime change" in Iraq, for allegedly the committing the same crimes. The economic and strategic aims of US imperialism – not least securing oil supplies in Iraq – are increasing obvious to many people and no amount of cynical manipulation of the 11 September events will allow Bush fool the masses in regard to his real motivations and intentions.
The CWI has recently commented on Bush’s war plans in two articles: Stop the Bush war machine!; and, A year after 11 September: Will Bush launch a war on Iraq? (Posted on September 2002).
CWI campaigns against war on Iraq
Over the last twelve months of war and world economic crisis, the CWI website has provided a unique socialist analysis and principled position based upon the interests of the poor, oppressed and working class. But we do not just commentate on events. The CWI is an organisation of socialist activists in the communities, workplaces, and wherever working people and youth are in struggle. During the Afghan conflict the CWI website published in detail many anti-war reports from the around the world. We are doing the same regarding the developing international campaign against the threat of war on Iraq.
The CWI will continue to provide a clear, independent class position. We believe that it is working people themselves who must hold to account the despots and dictators. The imperialist powers have shown in Kosova/Kosovo and Afghanistan that they will only ever act for their own selfish reasons, and have an attitude of ‘to hell’ with those poor and oppressed that they only yesterday claimed to be acting on behalf. We support the struggle of the masses of Iraq to overthrow Saddam, one of the world’s most thuggish dictators, just as only the poor and working people of Afghanistan can carry out the task of sweeping away all the warlords, and fighting for a new society, a democratic socialist society, with the aid of the workers of the region and workers in the major capitalist countries.
The last twelve months have created an immense intensification of political, economic and social crisis around the world. The next few months promises more of the same. In these times of war, poverty, environmental destruction, inequality, but, also, times of mass protests of youth and workers in the West and the ‘Third World’ against globalisation and capitalism, the ideas of socialism, and especially the ideas put forward by the CWI, can quickly grow, becoming a serious challenge to the rule of capital.
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CWI anti-war activity archive. 8 articles posted during October 2001.
War news and analysis archive. 27 articles posted during September to November 2001 (including those mentioned above).