The Spark

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

San Bernardino Used to Justify Repression

Dec 7, 2015

The armed attack that killed 14 and wounded 21 at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California, is truly horrifying and barbaric. Employees of the County Department of Public Health were gunned down while attending a training event and holiday party. In this country, which has been swept by one mass killing after another, this massacre underlined the harsh fact that anyone could be attacked at any time.

The two shooters, Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik, led what seemed to be a normal life, with a steady job and a six-month infant child. But according to the government allegations, they were supposed to be “radicalized” terrorists, who acted on their own, with no connection to other terrorist groups, similar to the Fort Hood massacre and the Boston Marathon bombing.

How much of this is true? The FBI claims that it will follow wherever the evidence leads. Yet, barely two days after the investigation began, the FBI let the couples’ home be opened up to the news media, even though the San Bernardino Sheriffs Department reiterated that the home “remained a crime scene,” suggesting that the FBI was more ready to feed the media circus rather than preserve possible evidence.

So, what are government officials going to propose in the name of protecting the public? More police measures? The government, FBI and police, in the name of protecting the population from such violence, have already been militarized, with military-style SWAT teams and tanks – which everyone watched on television in full force in the aftermath of the massacre.

Are they going to propose more monitoring of the population? We are already the most spied upon population on earth. Government agencies monitor and store all communications on phone and internet, including locations in real time. Video cameras are everywhere. Police agencies secretly record license numbers. Financial transactions are monitored. And on and on.

How about more gun control? Well, California is already supposed to have the strictest gun control laws in the country.

Beefed up police and spy agencies, greater police powers, a more authoritarian government – none of these measures have stopped the massacres.

As for the supposed war on terror abroad – it has only spurred the growth of terrorism. This war has already officially lasted more than 14 years. In the name of protecting the U.S. population from al Qaeda, the U.S. military first invaded Afghanistan in 2001. Two years later, in the name of protecting the world from “weapons of mass destruction,” the U.S. invaded Iraq. The U.S. bombed Pakistan. It is bombing Syria and Yemen – all in the name of the war on terror.

Yet, these wars and violence have only spread death and destruction, and along with that, it has fed the growth of terrorism, which today is at a much higher level than it was 14 years ago.

Of course, the supposed U.S. war on terror did not stop terrorism – that was not its goal. Instead, the U.S. government used the threat of terrorism for its own purposes – to secure greater control over the Middle East and Central Asia and its riches for the U.S. oil companies and banks, as well as to clamp down on the rights of working people in this country.

And, just as dangerously, the U.S. government and the ruling class that it serves, has also used this war to fan the flames of prejudice and hatred, opening the door to much more extreme right wing demagogues.

No, there is no security for working people in a world controlled by a tiny minority, the capitalist class, for its own interests.