The real meaning of the "war against terrorism"
The following article is based on a report on the international situation presented to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Australian by General Secretary Peter Symon at its meeting November 17- 18. * * * The dismantling of the USSR and the destruction of the socialist Soviet Union had been long plotted by all the major Western powers and its breakup represented a major shift in the world balance of forces. That they achieved their objective in 1990 was a great victory for imperialism and, as a consequence, the people of the former Soviet Union and the people of many other countries have suffered enormously and will continue to suffer for many years to come. Alexander Zinoviev who was a leading Soviet dissident tells something of the inside story. Here is what he says: "The fall of communism has been transformed into the fall of Russia. The Russian catastrophe was deliberately planned in the West. I say this because I was once involved in these plans which, under the pretext of fighting an ideology, in fact, prepared the death of Russia. "Contrary to a widely held view, communism did not collapse for internal reasons. Its collapse is the greatest possible victory of the West. This colossal victory has created a planetary power. The end of communism is also the end of democracy: Our era is not only post-communist, it is also post-democratic. "During the Cold War there was democracy at world level, a global pluralism within which capitalism and communism coexisted. Now we live in a world dominated by a single force, by a single ideology and by a single globalist party. The Western countries are dominant but they are also dominated, because they are progressively losing their sovereignty to what I call 'supra-society'. "This planetary supra-society consists of commercial enterprises and non- commercial organisms whose zones of influence are superior to those of nations. The Western countries are subjected, like other countries, to the control of these supranational structures. But the sovereignty of nations was a constituent part of pluralism and democracy at world level. "The present dominating power is crushing sovereign states ..." (Figaro 24/7/99). This summing up by Alexander Zinoviev fails to mention, apart from naming himself as a participant, that the dismemberment of the Soviet Union was also accomplished by conspirators such as Gorbachev, Yeltsin, Yakovlev, Schevednadze and many others who have on their hands, the subsequent deaths of millions of people and the poverty foisted on millions more. President Putin is continuing the process of dismantling the former economic, social, political and military strength of the Soviet Union. Main barrier The Soviet Union had been a main barrier to the world domination of imperialism. Once this barrier was removed, the imperialist countries moved very quickly to take advantage of this situation and continue to do so. Not only was war launched against Iraq in the early 1990s but the Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people was stepped up. The first moves were made to break up Yugoslavia and, thereby, implant NATO and imperialism astride the whole of the Balkan Peninsular. Intervention in Cambodia was engineered under the fig leaf of the United Nations as a step towards dominating the three countries of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia that had embarked on the construction of socialist societies. If imperialism's objectives had been fulfilled at that time, China's southern flank would have been exposed. The progressive liberation struggles taking place in Central America — Nicaragua, Panama, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Grenada — were bloodily suppressed. The attempt to strangle Cuba by the US trade embargo was tightened — but Cuba survived against all US expectations. As a result of huge mergers and takeover, the transnational corporations strengthened their economic and political power and by using the IMF, the World Bank and the WTO, the weaker Third World countries had economic and social policies imposed on them which favoured the big corporations and brought massive poverty, unemployment, homelessness, hunger and ill-health. The struggle continues However, contrary to the proclamations made at the time of the dismemberment of the Soviet Union that "communism was dead" and that there was no other social system but capitalism, the struggle against capitalism and imperialism and for socialism continued in many countries. Th South African people defeated apartheid and elected a coalition government that included Communist Party and trade union leaders. Cambodia defeated the imperialist intervention. Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Libya and the Palestinian people continued their struggles against imperialism and maintained their sovereignty and independence. In India communist led governments were elected in a number of states. Working class and people's struggles erupted in many countries against globalisation and brought tens of thousands of people onto the streets. Trade unions continued to fight strongly in many countries for the interests of the working people and against the exploitation of capital. The socialist states of Vietnam, China, Cuba and North Korea maintained their socialist systems and despite the Asian economic crisis, China and Vietnam maintained a high level of economic development — higher than in any of the capitalist countries. Fidel Castro speaks of building a "much more fair and improved socialism". Friendship treaty Another very important event of world strategic significance was the conclusion of a Friendship Treaty between the People's Republic of China and the Russian Federation. This brought to a conclusion many decades of hostility between these two countries and, in the eyes, of the US and NATO, was seen as re-establishing some sort of balance between these countries and NATO. NATO and the US do not want to share the world with other nations. They want complete domination. A dialogue between North and South Korea commenced after many years of estrangement. This development has been systematically sabotaged by the US which does not want any peace treaty between North and South as peace would deprive the US of its pretext to keep armed forces on the Korean peninsular indefinitely. Far from communism being "dead", Communist Parties continued their activities in many countries. The Communist Party of the Russian Federation remains the single largest Party in the Russian Federation and has won the leadership in a number of the regions of the Federation. The Seattle conference of the World Trade Organisation collapsed as a result of the refusal of the Third World countries to capitulate to the demands of the western powers and because of the massive street demonstrations against globalisation. Major economic recession It was on this background that another major factor came onto the scene. It was the onset of a major economic recession in all of the major capitalist countries with the prospect of bankruptcies, unemployment, lost savings and reduced profits, not to mention the political disillusionment that would be felt as a result of a deep capitalist economic crisis. In the US the US Supreme Court appointed George Bush President. He was not elected by popular vote. His popularity was already on the wane when the attack on the World Trade Centre took place. World Trade Centre The US immediately launched its "war against terrorism" and a war against Afghanistan started although no conclusive evidence has been brought to light to connect the Al Queda organisation or Osama bin Laden with the terrorist attack on the WTC. The US campaign to brand Islamic fundamentalists as the culprits has been met with widespread scepticism not that the fanaticism of fundamentalists espousing any religion can be underestimated. Here is a recent statement by Fidel Castro on the attack on the WTC and the panic over anthrax, which puts a widely held point of view. He said on November 2: "The causes that gave rise to panic (the anthrax scare in the US — Ed) should be analysed. Certainly, it could not be said that the United States is not at risk of terrorist actions. However, I do not believe that under the present circumstances of generalised alertness, and the measures taken, any group inside or outside America could come up with a coordinated action, organised in every detail for a long time, synchronised and executed with such precision as that of September 11." "It is not a war against terrorism ... it is a war in favour of terrorism", wrote Granma. President Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair who is proving to be the most enthusiastic of the imperialist warmongers, are making use of the "war against terrorism" to advance to a new stage their ambition to impose imperialist domination over the whole world. Even the smaller but developed capitalist states are being gobbled up in the European Union and in such trade organisations as North American Free Trade Association (NAFTA). But the main objective of the "war against terrorism" is to advance the strategic objective of the US and NATO into central Asia. This has taken a dangerous leap by the granting to the US and other NATO powers of bases in Uzbekistan and the landing of NATO troops in Afghanistan. On this question, Fidel Castro in the speech mentioned above said: "I do not share the view that the main pursuit of the United States in Afghanistan was oil. I rather see it as part of a geo-strategic concept." Once installed in Uzbekistan and in Afghanistan the US will hold powerful military and political positions on the underbelly of what was formerly the Soviet Union and on the western border of China. Long range aircraft and rockets could threaten all the republics of the former Soviet Union and socialist China. These are developments that could never have taken place were the Soviet Union still in existence. Many targets The US leadership has, from the beginning of its "war against terrorism", had a number of other countries in its sights. US Secretary of War, (Defence), Donald Rumsfeld one of the most bellicose of the US ultra-right, declared some time ago that the US had over 60 countries on its hit list. The most immediate next target seems to be Iraq despite the impoverishment of this country by the ten-year long economic blockade and the continuous bombing that has been carried out by Britain and the US. This is nothing more nor less than the attempt by the US to take advantage of the dismemberment of the Soviet Union o rush its advantage. Tony Blair (12/11/01) said: "So we should grasp the moment and move, not let our world slip back into rigidity. We need boldness, grip and follow through." His speech laid out in stark terms the imperialist agenda for the immediate future. One of Blair's objectives is the "reform" of the United Nations. The western powers want to bring into the United Nations Security Council such countries as Germany and Japan to ensure that this body becomes even more closely aligned with the interests and purposes of the major imperialist countries, while further marginalising Russia and China and all the Third World countries. Making clear that the objectives are going to include use of the military option, Blair declared: "Once again the vital role in foreign policy that our Armed Forces play has been demonstrated. They give us a standing which few can match and we should be very proud of them". He called for "a more active and interventionist role in solving the world's problems". He concluded: "So let us seize the chance ... Future generations will thank us if we do; and not forgive us if we fail". He meant by this the chance offered to imperialism by the dismemberment of the Soviet Union. The question However, the question to be asked is whether the US and NATO will be able to stop the development of the people's struggles around the world against globalisation, prevent the growth of the socialist states, stop the struggles for national liberation by the Third World countries and so on? Will the imperialist offensive succeed in changing the historic direction of events, which, if it were to succeed, would result in the domination of the world by US imperialism? And the answer! The widespread opposition to the war against Afghanistan and recognition of the hypocrisy and double standards and the immorality and inhumaneness of the western leaders and their willingness to lie, are major factors which create a barrier to the plans of the new aspirants to world domination. The international conference of the Metal Workers' Federation held in Sydney in early November is another indication that the struggles of the trade union movement against globalisation will continue. This conference decided on an international campaign against the victimisation of trade union activists in Mozambique by BHP-Billiton. International trade union action Worldwide actions were held on November 9 against globalisation which were called for by the three world trade union Federations — the ICFTU, the WFTU and the WCL. This is the first time ever that these three Federations have backed one common campaign. There is strong opposition by Islamic countries to the war against Afghanistan and against any other Islamic country. It is to sidetrack this opposition that there is now talk of establishing a Palestinian state by Blair and Bush — after more than 40 years of opposition. The apparent defeat of the Taliban in Afghanistan will weaken Islamic fundamentalism that was financed, armed and promoted in every way by the US in particular, with the support of Pakistan. This tool was used without mercy to overthrow the revolutionary government of Afghanistan and defeat the attempt of the Soviet Union, misguidedly, to give it military backing in the 1980s. It remains to be seen what sort of government will arise in Afghanistan in the immediate future, but there are early signs that occupation by foreign troops will not be welcome. As the real meaning of the "war against terrorism" unfolds it is certain that many more people and governments will oppose it and come to support the ideas of the settlement of disputes without recourse to war, respect for the independence and sovereignty of all countries, non-interference in the affairs of other countries and respect for the right of all people to choose their preferred form of economic and political system. They will support peaceful exchanges between people without racism and the idea of mutually beneficial trade rather than the one-sided advantages that the developed countries are imposing. It is now more than 150 years since Marx and Engels declared in the Communist Manifesto that capitalism creates its own gravediggers. This remains true today. Now there are millions upon millions of working people, being united in worldwide trade union federations. There are huge numbers of others who are being beaten down by the exploitation of the big corporations and are joining the resistance. Bush, Blair and others are fond of talking about civilisation. But imperialism is responsible for many, many wars and has driven millions of people into poverty and unemployment, deprived more millions of health and education facilities. This is not civilisation but barbarism. But there is a choice, there is an alternative. The people of the world can only be truly free and be said to have taken the path to civilisation when capitalism and imperialism have been ended.