Sep 13, 2004
Using the anniversary of September 11th as a campaign tool, Vice President Dick Cheney declared, "It's absolutely essential that on Nov. 2 [election day] we make the right choice, because if we make the wrong choice then the danger is that we'll get hit again and we'll be hit in a way that will be devastating from the standpoint of the United States." In other words, if the Democrats win, Cheney says the U.S. can expect more terrorist attacks.
That is certainly possible. Of course, if the Republicans win, the U.S. population can also expect more terror attacks.
The problem is not which party wins but rather the wars which the U.S. government under both parties has been pursuing, and the impoverishment which U.S. corporations impose around the world.
President Bush himself admits that "the conditions that give rise to terror" [are] "poverty and hopelessness and resentment." What Bush should have added is that, if poverty is the ground from which terrorism springs, the U.S. ensures the seeds are well-watered by its military actions against people all over the world.
Much of the world's population lives in misery. And their very level of existence, their homes, their jobs, their way of life are all bound up with wars – wars which the U.S. has directly or indirectly carried out. The falling bombs and gun-toting men victimize millions of women and children and old people.
In the decades before September 11th, the U.S. was using its military forces in conflicts around the world, worsening the situation for hundreds of millions of people.
Jimmy Carter began the funding of the terrorist gangs in Afghanistan. Ronald Reagan ordered the Marines into Lebanon in 1983 and into Libya in 1986. U.S. bombs on Libya's capital killed the baby of Libya's leader, Moammar Kadhafi, among other children. The Reagan administration carried out a murderous counter-insurgency against the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, after the Sandinistas had helped rid Nicaragua of its U.S.-backed dictator, Anastasio Somoza.
Under the first President Bush, the U.S. invaded Panama, bombing its capital and getting rid of the former buddy of the U.S. – Manuel Noriega. In the first Iraq war of 1991, the U.S. carried out a massive bombing campaign of Iraqi cities – only to leave Saddam Hussein in power, giving him his army back so he could stop insurrections carried out by Shiites and Kurds. For 13 more years the U.S. bombs continued to fall. The total deaths from all the bombing plus the effects of the U.S. embargo reached at least a million deaths in Iraq.
Under Bill Clinton, the U.S. and the European powers set in motion the dismemberment of Yugoslavia, arming all sides in the vicious fighting which followed. The bodies piled up in mass graves until U.S.-led NATO bombing pulverized Serbia for 72 straight days. The big powers pretend that blame belongs to Slobodan Milosevic, the loser among the thugs in power, but they set the civil war in motion.
Also under Clinton the Marines went into Somalia in 1993 and into Haiti in 1994 and 1996. The results certainly didn't benefit those populations, which remain in miserable conditions to this day.
Today there is the U.S. war in Iraq – which to other people around the world marks the U.S. as bestial.
Terrorism cannot be justified – but we need to know what has produced the terrorism. When bombs fall on family and home, when the innocents are raped, tortured, and brutalized, it's no surprise that there is a growing pool of very desperate and angry people. It's from this pool the terrorists find new recruits every day.
Terrorism is one of the by-products of U.S. imperialism which regularly unleashes deadly military actions to allow the corporations to extract riches, raw materials and labor from the peoples of the world.