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

No Choice but to Make War on Another People?

Oct 8, 2001

No choice–that’s what the media and the politicians tell us we have: no choice but to enlist in Bush’s “new war” on terrorism–which is nothing but the old kind of war that the U.S. regularly wages, a war against innocent civilians.

No choice–or so they tell us–but for the CIA to set up new operatives with their money and their weapons, just like they set up Osama bin Laden in the past.

No choice–or so they tell us–but to send money and arms to new Afghani warlords, who are no different than the Taliban which today runs Afghanistan. The U.S. calls the current bunch of warlords it supports “the Opposition”–it wasn’t so long ago that the U.S. was calling the Taliban “the Opposition.” And just like the Taliban did in coming to power in Afghanistan, this new “Opposition” has shown itself ready to use the worst kind of terrorist attacks on the people of Afghanistan.

The choice which we once again are supposed to make–this choice can only mean that we give our approval, our support and the bodies of our young people to carry out murderous attacks on the people of Afghanistan, a people already living in destitution, hunger and the kinds of diseases that such a situation produces.

Supposedly, we must make this choice or otherwise we will be subjected to more terrorist attacks like the one of September 11.

That’s simply wrong. It was choices like these, made in the past, which led to what happened on September 11.

A people should not believe that they can remain free from violence when the government which speaks in their name pours down violence on other people.

For almost a century, U.S. policies, along with those of Britain and France, have played havoc with the lives of people in the Middle East. The U.S., Britain and France have propped up the most reactionary regimes in the region, used the most disgusting human material–in order to help multibillion-dollar oil companies drain wealth out of the region. The Taliban and Osama bin Laden are only the most recent examples.

With the fall of the Ottoman Empire after World War I, the military forces of Britain, France and the U.S. were used to set up countries arbitrarily throughout the Middle East. These states, which were nothing but servants of the big powers, divided ethnic groups in half. Their people were kept in subjection to repressive military regimes. The establishment of Israel–that is, the driving of the Palestinians off their land by terrorism–cemented things: the Middle East would henceforth be a bloody arena. Vast numbers of Palestinians, driven off their land more than half a century ago, still remain in refugee camps–held hostage to the aims of the big powers. Wars were carried out or fomented throughout the region by one or another of the big powers, with the U.S. playing the chief role.

The peoples of the Middle East know us through the policy the U.S. government carries out against them–in our name.

Abject poverty and the desperation it creates may be the breeding grounds of terrorism in the Middle East. But the murderous policies of the U.S. are what have brought that terrorism to this side of the ocean. The people on those airplanes and in those buildings did not devise that policy. But they were the ones who paid its price–and paid horribly.

If we want an end to terrorism, we will oppose the policies of the U.S. government which spawned it. As we now have discovered, there are no oceans big enough to protect us from the consequences of what this government sets in motion.

A people who oppress another people cannot be free themselves.