The Spark

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

The “War on Terror” Is Part of the Problem

Feb 15, 2016

The following is excerpted from an article in Class Struggle Issue 106, Winter 2015, the journal of British comrades of Workers Fight.

The whole experience of 14 years of war on terror shows that, instead of reducing, let alone “defeating” terrorism, it has only managed to produce more and more terrorists.

Indeed, the number of casualties in terrorist attacks has never stopped rising since 9/11. And it is still rising. Every single North African and Middle Eastern country has been affected over the past year. But in some countries, terrorism has become part of day-to-day life. So, since the beginning of the year, every single week has claimed the lives of 105 civilians in Afghanistan, 135 in Iraq and 500 in Syria. To these figures should be added the 150 weekly victims murdered by the Nigerian militia Boko Haram, a direct and indirect by-product of the bombing of Libya.

There is a logic to all of this: the more the rich countries carry out military aggression against the poor countries, under whatever pretext and in whatever shape or form, the more casualties and destruction they cause in these countries and the more they push vengeful youth into the arms of whoever appears to be fighting their imperialist world order – including the most blood-thirsty militias, such as ISIS.

So, one thing is certain: whatever Cameron may claim, ISIS will not be defeated by dropping more bombs over Syria, nor by sending troops there. Or to put it differently, using either of these methods will only result in producing dozens of ISIS siblings, all more brutal and monstrous than ISIS itself, not just in Syria, but in many other parts of the world.

The fact is that the rich countries’ governments are incapable of protecting the population against terrorism quite simply because they cannot be both part of the problem and part of the solution. It is their “war on terror,” in other words, their attempts at protecting the stability of their world system of oppression, which have produced the Talibans, al Qaedas, ISIS and all the other similar monsters that now exist in many poor countries – and is bound to produce even more in the future.

But, at the same time, it is the poverty, injustice and violence of their capitalist order that makes it chronically unstable. And no one will ever be immune to the built-in violence of this mad capitalist system until it is replaced by a social organization designed to meet the needs of all.