We had a server outage, and we're rebuilding the site. Most of the site features won't work. Thank you for your patience.
imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

September 11- two years on

by Alan Woods Friday, Sep. 12, 2003 at 5:41 PM


In Defense of Marxism-http://www.marxist.com

Workers International League-http://www.socialistappeal.org

September 11 - two years on

By Alan Woods

Two years ago today the world watched in disbelief as two planes were deliberately crashed into New York's twin towers. In a few minutes the dream of America's invulnerability came crashing down in a pile of twisted, scorched rubble. An eerie darkness settled over the city as people emerged from the chaos, covered in dust and resembling something from a distant and savage past.

Two years later, the ruling class in the USA is making cynical use of the anniversary to justify its warlike policies, while at the same time they are burying the site of a great human tragedy in order to construct new offices for the greater glory of profit and the market economy.

On this anniversary of the terrible events of September 11, it is necessary to draw a sober-minded balance sheet of the situation on a world scale. We must cut across the fog of official propaganda and hysteria in order to arrive at the truth. Our task, in the words of Spinoza, is neither to weep nor to laugh but to understand.

The barbaric scenes two years ago were not an accident. They were only a reflection of the barbarism that is engulfing the entire planet. This is where all the promises of a New World Order have ended up. The period of history into which we have entered is characterised by universal instability. It resembles the onset of chaos when a physical system experiences turbulence. All the efforts to control this turbulence, the war against terror, the vast and unprecedented military expenditure, the "homeland security", the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq - all have proved utterly impotent to restore some semblance of order.

The response of George W Bush to the attack on the twin towers was to declare a "war against terror". This was then interpreted as a blank cheque allowing the USA to declare war on any country that it perceived to represent a threat to its national security. First they attacked and occupied Afghanistan, then they did the same in Iraq. In fact, it has emerged that the right-wingers in the administration wanted to attack Iraq immediately, but had to postpone their plans because of opposition from London.

But what has all this achieved? Four months after declaring the war in Iraq over, President George Bush told the American people on Sunday, September 7 that their commitment in Iraq would be "difficult and costly". Continuing violence, he noted, had claimed the lives of American and British soldiers, aid-workers and Iraqi moderates. Mr Bush also said that he was asking Congress for billion in extra spending on Iraq and Afghanistan, most of it to pay military costs. This amounts to an admission from the White House that the situation in Iraq is out of control, a fact that was confirmed by Britain's announcement on Monday that it was sending 1,200 more troops there.

In his speech, he described Iraq as the "central front" in the war on terror that was launched following the September 11th attacks two years ago. This is a crude attempt to justify the rape of Iraq by establishing a connection with Baghdad and the events of September 11th. In fact, there is not a shred of evidence of any connection between Saddam Hussein's regime and al-Qaeda. The Baathist regime was hostile to Bin Laden, who in turn regarded it as atheistic.

True, there are increasing reports that foreign fighters are slipping into Iraq to do battle with America. Among them there may well be supporters of Bin Laden. But this is a direct result of the situation created by the American invasion of Iraq and the power vacuum opened up by the destruction of the old regime. The US imperialists, who imagine that everything can be solved by either brute force or bribery, understood nothing, foresaw nothing, prepared nothing. The result has been chaos - and not only in Iraq.

The news from Iraq (and Afghanistan) is bad, and will undoubtedly get worse. The Iraqis are fighting a war of national liberation, using guerrilla tactics. All the blood and gold that America is preparing to pour into Iraq will not help them to win this conflict. The billion that Mr Bush is demanding from congress is a vast sum ‑ about one-and-a-half times Iraq's estimated pre-war GDP. That comes on top of previous spending on Iraq of nearly billion. If it is accepted by congress, it would push America's already record budget deficit next year to well above 0 billion. And it will not be enough.

The financial drain will be enormous, and so will the strain on America's military resources. America has extended the time its National Guard and reservists must spend in Iraq. And though Donald Rumsfeld, the defence secretary, has so far resisted calls from congressmen and others to send more American troops to the region, this will have to be done. The war in Iraq, far from ending, can continue for years, a running sore that will sap the energy and resources of the USA.

Has the strategy of US imperialism succeeded in bringing greater stability to the world or security to the United States? On the contrary, it has made the whole world more unstable and dangerous. New crises and conflicts are breaking out everywhere. The attempt to broker a peace deal between Israel and Palestine has collapsed in a welter of blood and chaos. The tension between Turkey and the Kurds is increasing, and the PKK has abandoned its ceasefire. The conflict with North Korea over its nuclear programme remains unresolved.

The events of September 11th were used by Bush and the right wing clique in the White House to justify a new and aggressive policy of imperialism on a world scale. But now the human and economic costs of this policy are becoming clear. The policy of "guns before butter" will meet growing resistance from the people of America and Europe. It implies deep cuts in social spending, attacks on workers' rights, wages and pensions, schools and hospitals. It means new assaults on civil rights and the erosion of those elements of democracy that have been won by the working class through decades of struggle.

The period that was ushered in b September 11th is the most turbulent, violent and unstable in human history. The whole world has been pulled into the vortex of crisis and wars. Not one country will escape. The idea that peace is possible under conditions of deep capitalist crisis is a foolish illusion. There will be one war after another, as the different groups of capitalists struggle for the possession of markets, sources of raw materials and spheres of interest. The present struggle between the USA, France and Germany over Iraq is only one example of this. In fact, there is a growing rift between Europe and America that reflects deep economic and strategic antagonisms. As long as the USSR existed, these contradictions were concealed. Now they are out in the open.

The anti-war movement that brought millions of people onto the streets is an indication that something is happening in society. These were not political activists but mainly ordinary men and women who were participating in demonstrations for the first time in their lives. When the masses begin to participate actively in politics, that is the first condition for a revolution.

Of course, the mass movement in the beginning shows many signs of inexperience and naivety. They believed that if the majority demonstrated its opposition to war, that would be enough to prevent war. But experience has shown them the limitations of demonstrations - important though they are. Something more is needed. What is needed is conscious political action to bring about a fundamental change. What is needed is the radical abolition of an unjust, corrupt and degenerate social system that breeds wars, exploitation, death and destruction. It is a system that has outlived its usefulness and has become an obstacle in the path of human progress. It is a system based on lies and deception. It cannot be reformed. It must be overthrown. Once the masses learn this lesson, no force on earth can stop them.

On a world scale, the old equilibrium has been destroyed, and there is no way the capitalists can restore it in the short and medium term. They are faced with an insoluble dilemma: in order to arrive at a new economic equilibrium, they must take steps that will destroy the social and political equilibrium. In order to restore the rate of profit they must sack workers, close factories and cut social spending. In order to capture new markets they must enter into conflict with other nations. In other words, all attempts to find a way out of the crisis within the framework of capitalism can only be at the expense of working people at home and abroad.

On the basis of capitalism the future for millions of people all over the world is a grim one. The general instability of capitalism on a world scale means that new shocks are inevitable. Under the hammer blows of events the working class of the USA, Britain, France, and the whole world will learn. Painfully, slowly, the masses will begin to draw revolutionary conclusions. Our task is to help them with patient explanation, proceeding step by step, not rushing too far ahead of the general movement, but keeping step with it, while pushing it forward.

The sudden shocks and crises can produce sudden and unexpected changes in consciousness. In the days and weeks that followed September 11, people changed. Millions who never read a newspaper except to examine the sports pages suddenly became interested in politics. They read the speeches of their leaders, they followed events on a world scale, they learned unfamiliar names and tried to get some understanding of the reasons for what had happened.

The immediate effects of September 11th were entirely reactionary in character. The paradox of individual terrorism is that it always achieves results that are diametrically opposed to those intended. Did this attack weaken US imperialism? It did not. It served only to strengthen the most reactionary and aggressive section of the American ruling class. It gave the excuse that Bush and Rumsfeld needed to increase military spending and launch on a series of foreign adventures with little or no opposition at home. It allowed them to strengthen the military and the apparatus of state repression and to curtail democratic rights. It created an atmosphere of xenophobia and chauvinism. It increased the support for Bush and the Republicans and strengthened the right wing in the administration.

Now, however, all these factors will begin to turn into their opposite. The military adventures launched by Bush will come home to haunt him. America will find that its power, though colossal, is limited. The enormous drain on its resources will aggravate the crisis at home. The doubts and questioning that already exist will become ever more insistent. Over a period, the opposition will grow and ideas that are now listened to by an insignificant minority will be eagerly accepted by millions.

Those inclined to pessimism will see September 11th as further proof of man's inhumanity to man. They will shake their heads and turn away. But such attitudes do not solve anything. Nor do they explain anything. It is futile to attribute the crisis of humanity in the first decade of the 21st century to our genes, human nature or the stars. A serious analysis will show that it is none of these things but only a particular manifestation of the impasse of a moribund socio-economic system. These convulsions are similar to those experienced by a mortally sick person. The difference is that when a system is sick it signifies death, torment and unhappiness for millions of people.

The system whereby the lives and destinies of the whole of the human race is subordinated to the interests of a handful of obscenely rich men and women who own and control the giant corporations that rule the world is responsible for the present chaos. It must be abolished and replaced by a rational system of planned economy on a world scale that will usher in a new period of human history where wars, unemployment, poverty and oppression will be only bad memories of a barbarous past.

September 11, 2003.

See our article, published in the aftermath of the World Trade Center attack:

US Suicide Bombing - Terrorism Aids Reaction By Ted Grant and Alan Woods (September 11, 2001)

Report this post as:

Local News

Woolsey Fire: Worst News of 2018? J01 12:18AM

Oppose Environmentally-Harmful Development D10 4:03AM

Oppose Environmentally-Harmful Development D10 3:58AM

OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center Presents Night for Hope O30 5:38PM

Marshall Tuck’s racist dog whistle O27 5:01AM

Marshall Tuck’s ethnocentrism contradicts Californian values O27 4:32AM

Contra Costa-Hawkins O25 3:48AM

Debunking Some Anti-Prop 10 Propaganda O12 6:56AM

Why Should California Choose De Leon Over Feinstein? O10 9:55PM

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News


Judge Delays Ruling on Puerto Rico Debt Deal White House Opposes Island's Food Assistance J18 6:04PM



Paraphysique de proxémie guerrière J18 7:59AM


FARCELONA 8.17.2017 J17 3:23PM



PR Debt Cancel, Judge Reviews Cofina Debt J16 9:04PM

Réseautage, fragmentation du capital J16 4:20PM

Paraphysique de manipulation mentale et sociale J15 9:51AM

The Global Justice Project and Human Survival: We're Badly Off Track J15 5:08AM

The Global Justice Project and Human Survival: We're Badly Off Track J15 5:08AM

The Global Justice Project and Human Survival: We're Badly Off Track J15 5:08AM

Markets as a Fetish, Globalization, and Dissent Management J14 1:03PM

State Debts - The Primal German Fear J13 5:09PM

Sans liberté, sans égalité, sans fraternité J13 8:09AM

From Progressive Neoliberalism to Trump - and Beyond J12 9:22PM

Copper Cures Cancer J11 1:42PM

Steven Taylor, Investor who Evicts J11 9:24AM

Du sectarisme, des sectes, des clans J11 8:10AM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen J10 6:34PM

Patrick Kilpatrick discusses and signs Dying for Living J09 11:51PM

SexActs vs Sexuality USA 2018 Invitations to Power Marriages without Affection J09 8:36PM

Changer de mentalité, changer de société J09 9:17AM

Teacher Strike? Time for Labor Studies J09 6:26AM

December 2018 Honduras Coup Update J08 10:12PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy