A leaflet which Mouvement Communiste produced immediately after the “9/11” attacks in 2001. Posted just in time for the tenth anniversary!
AGAINST CRUSADE AND JIHAD! FOR CLASS STRUGGLE!
The suicide attacks on September 11 against the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon have led to stupefaction, horror, reprobation, but also created, among some, a satisfaction mixed with joy before the spectacle of the first global power “finally paying in blood”, for its imperialist policy, especially in the Middle East and in Central Asia.
An attack against workers and class struggle
“Not laughing, nor crying, but understanding”: it is important not to give way to the effects of terror but to go on thinking far outside the ready made schemes which the two camps which are fighting have prepared for us.
First, let us remind all those who enjoyed the “american humiliation” a little bit too quickly that the authors of the attacks have objectively perpetrated a dramatic onslaught against the proletariat.
In fact, the World Trade Center towers were nothing other than giant vertical factories where not only thousands of white-collar employees were exploited but also thousands of cleaning, maintenance, and catering workers. In those two huge “rabbit warrens” there were also a large number of immigrants without ID cards of various nationalities (Albanians, Colombians, Bengalis, etc.) and religions, including many muslims. Those legally not existing during their lives are today equally non-existent in their deaths.
A gift from heaven for Mr Bush and the American economy
The authors of the attack, by striking the civilian population in an indiscriminate way, far from weakening the American “Great Satan” have allowed an unprecedented National Unity to be created in the country, at the very moment where the new American administration faced a deep economic crisis and was preparing to impose a tremendous increase in military spending.
In the name of patriotism, National Unity has been able, up to now, to anaesthetise every class reaction from the American workers confronted with hundreds thousands of redundancies and to create the necessary basis for a national consensus for bigger military deployment in the Middle East and Central Asia.
Today, according to the polls, 60% of Americans are for war, even with American losses. National Unity also justifies the deployment of a budgetary diversion (up to $135 billion, i.e. 1.3 % of GDP of the USA) to support the american economy, steeped in one of the most severe post-war cyclical crises of capital accumulation.
Of course, the calls for a crusade, to defend “the Free World, defender of human rights” are absolutely disgusting. Islamist groups, in this case those who might belong to the Bin Laden constellation, who today are depicted as mankind’s enemies, have benefited for years from American largesse via Pakistan and Saudia Arabia when they fought against the USSR in Afghanistan.
Moreover, the alliance between the USA and so-called radical islam is a very old story whose origins go back to agreements reached between ultra-reactionary wahhabite monarchs from the Gulf area and American oil companies. This alliance, very useful in the fight against pro-Soviet Arab regimes and for keeping a vigilant watch over the area’s oil fields, has never been recinded and was sealed with blood during the war with Iraq in 1991 and the dreadful embargo which kills thousands of Iraqi people every day. For all these years, good western souls have found nothing to say against that and the talibans of the Persian gulf and their oppressive regime were never denounced. The American state cannot then plead not guilty. The world’s foremost military and economic power, it has played the part of the top sheriff only for its own interests and without paying any attention to the needs of local populations, mainly Palestinian and Kurdish, who have paid for many decades the price of a regional order which has to guarantee capital accumulation for ever on a world scale.
Political Islam: an absolute dead end for oppressed people
This situation contributed to the radicalization of certain parts of the Middle East and Central Asian populations and took the form of a dissent more and more borrowing its weapons from Islamic ideology. The story is that this utterly backwards ideology expression of the failure of the ruling classes of these areas to create the economic and social conditions for modern capitalism – far from supplying a well-fitted frame to the justified revolt of the oppressed people, traps them in an outdated fight, whose true goal is to subordinate the more and more oppressed “faithful” to the whole of the “muslim” ruling classes. What is there in common between the young unemployed in Gaza or Algiers and the billionaires from the Gulf or ruling classes from the area’s states, except religious belonging? Obviously nothing. Islam is used here only to create a fake community between “muslim” oppressors and oppressed which the area’s proletariat never cease to pay for.
Political Islamism, as a substitute for the class struggle, has also been chosen by minority fractions of immigrant youth in Europe (France and Belgium particulary). Here, resentment has been fed by mass unemployment and racism and has been made use of by some religious groups. The real revolt has then been trapped in the reactionary ghetto of Islam, of the oumma (Faithfull community), which has contributed, along with the surrounding racism, to isolate these rebellious people from working class people of European extraction. In the end this plays the game of all those, from governments to bosses, who have an interest in dividing exploited people.
During war, redundancies continue
Today then it is necessary to refuse recruitment whereever it comes from. Should it be done in the name of Democracy and supposed western supremacy or the community of the Faithfull. Workers have absolutely nothing to gain from that. We must reject all calls for National Unity and economic patriotism at the same time as the bosses lay us off with all our might ; at the same time as governments reinforce their repressive machine (Vigipirate in France, european warrant for arrest). These devices put in place by governments, from the “pluralist left” in France to the extreme right in Italy, are nothing but tools of social control, threatening and repressing the proletariat as a whole and its immigrant and/or without papers fraction in particular.
Only the fight for the unity of proletarians, whatever their origins, can stop anti-proletarian terror, whether it is disguised as a crusade or as a jihad.
Political Islam and Democracy are two banners which aim to recruit workers.
We must reject them both without any hesitation.
Some internationalist communists,
Bruxelles, Paris, 8 October 2001.