The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Editorial from Lutte Ouvrière

Nov 23, 2015

The terrorists who struck on the evening of November 13th coldly and methodically killed the greatest number of men and women that they could: people at cafés and bars, the Bataclan concert hall, and the Stade de France. At least 129 died, and more than 300 were injured.

They killed indiscriminately, at random, in order to instill terror. In the face of such a shocking expression of barbarity, it is impossible not to be seized with horror. Nothing can justify such massacres. Those who carried out these acts are enemies of all humanity, and therefore enemies of the working class.

At this moment when all of us are so devastated, the politicians are taking advantage of this emotion in order to silence any opposition and force everyone to line up behind their policies. On Monday afternoon, the entire political class held a solemn session in the French Congress to call for national unity behind them.

They speak to us of unity, but does this mean that the right wing and the National Front are going to stop their disgusting competition over who can attack Muslims and immigrants the most? Will the government put an end to this climate of generalized mistrust? Of course not! The state of emergency and the intensification of police powers will surely result in an increase of racial profiling and a general atmosphere of suspicion that will pave the way forward for the worst racists.

For Hollande, Sarkozy, and Marine Le Pen, “national unity” means uniting behind their own leadership to go to war. Even if the right wing and the National Front criticize Hollande’s policies for being still too soft, they are ordering us all to align with the government and support its war effort, to accept the state of emergency and the restriction of freedoms. And they argue that if someone doesn’t support this path of war, it’s because they are with the jihadists!

We won’t let ourselves be intimidated by this sort of blackmail! We denounce both the terrorists AND the responsibility of the French government.

The jihadists of ISIS exercise one of the most ferocious dictatorships to exist in the regions that they control. They extort from the populations, force them to live according to medieval precepts, reduce women to slavery, and kill all those who do not think like they do. Their victims are Muslims as well as Christians, which provides enough proof, if needed, that this is a question neither of a “clash of civilizations” nor of a “war of religions,” but of a struggle for the control and the wealth of the region.

But these monsters did not come out of nowhere. The leaders of the imperialist countries have never hesitated to rely on the worst regimes in order to maintain their domination of this region of the Middle East that they colonized. This ranges from medieval dictatorships like Saudi Arabia to the state of Israel, which oppresses the Palestinian people.

And when it was convenient to them, the imperialist leaders provided arms to various militias and maneuvered to sponsor the creation of opposition movements. In Iraq, the United States overthrew Saddam Hussein, destroyed his army, and put in place a regime that excluded the Sunnis. Many of these can be found today in the highest ranks of the Islamic State.

The big powers launched the “war on terrorism” fourteen years ago, after the attacks on the World Trade Center. At the time, there were one or two centers of terrorism. Today, there are dozens. Far from eradicating terrorism, these imperialist interventions cause it to thrive.

One month ago, terrorist attacks struck Turkey, killing 97. Fifteen days ago, a Russian passenger plane crashed in the Sinai Peninsula: 224 deaths. On Thursday, November 12th, a bomb cut down 44 people in Beirut. The war in Syria has already caused 250,000 deaths. So, no, the global level of barbarity has not increased since it struck Paris; it is only that it has now reached us.

France cannot be an island of peace and security in an ocean of war and poverty. A world in which 67 families possess the equivalent of what 3.5 million human beings survive on, a world where Africa and the Middle East are treasure troves coveted by the capitalists but hellish nightmares for their populations, will surely produce such monstrosities. The only way to be rid of them is to get at the root of the problem, which is to attack the domination of the world by this insane economic system.

And so, let us not enlist in this sacred union of the imperialists! We refuse to let Hollande, Sarkozy, or Le Pen speak in our names! It is crucial that we, the working class, whatever our origins, feel ourselves to be a class united by our interests to defend ourselves against this minority that exploits us and plunges the world into barbarism.