Our work creates the bulk of the world’s wealth which ends up in the hands of the capitalist class. They use the wealth we create to supply armies and to wage wars to defend their existence. We need to build an international movement which can create a society in which people’s needs not capitalist profits dominate, and in doing so end atrocities like the one in Manchester. No war but the class war.
Last night’s attack on people leaving Manchester Arena was truly horrific. Reports so far indicate 22 have died (including 12 children between 8 and 16) and another 59 are seriously injured. The attacker, a suicide bomber waited in the foyer of the Arena as people left a concert before he struck. His aim was simply to kill as many as possible, no matter who they were. These murders, like those before from Beirut to Berlin 1 are now being celebrated on pro-IS social media as a “great success”.
And IS will enjoy even greater success if their odious propaganda succeeds in unleashing another wave of attacks on Muslims in the UK. IS (who have killed many more Muslims in bombings than “Crusaders”) want it this way. They need to stoke Islamophobia to try to win over the more than 90% of Muslims who oppose their brand of “radical Islam”. It is the trick of terrorists everywhere. We saw it in Northern Ireland where IRA and UVF killed innocents from the “other community” and thus reinforced each gang’s recruitment drive.
Terrorism is a form of elitism. The chosen few indiscriminately murder the many in a cold calculating rationale to advance their cause. IS is no different here. It may look like an insane death cult but its brutality and barbarism are carefully designed to force Muslims to choose between them and the West.
IS has not arrived suddenly from nowhere. Its genesis goes back many decades and is rooted in the imperialist depredations of the great powers in the Middle East and Central Asia. The systematic exploitation, looting and humiliation of the Arab and Islamic worlds culminated in the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.
This was supported by the UK. Using the lie that Saddam Hussein possessed “weapons of mass destruction” Blair managed to get a supine Parliament to agree to join the US coalition. He arrogantly ignored warnings from Middle East experts, like George Joffe, that dismantling the Iraqi state would lead to mayhem in the Middle East 2 He blithely dismissed the opposition from the mass of the population to this adventure and ignored the biggest demonstration in UK history on 15 February 2003 for the “crusade”.
Everything went as the experts predicted. The dismantling of the Iraqi state (as we have shown elsewhere 3 eventually led to the formation of IS. Its subsequent successes in Syria and Iraq were due to the fact that leading Iraqi military specialists (sacked by the new regime) had joined it.
Facing military defeat in its “Caliphate” only makes IS more determined to bring a little of what the Middle East has suffered for decades home to the Western powers. Or rather to their innocent citizens and workers who did not support such wars. In this they have in part succeeded. They will succeed even more if Muslims are further stigmatised and attacked.
The British state and its media will do little to discourage such attacks. Faced with a global economic crisis it is very useful to have a minority to blame for the system’s woes. We will hear much of defending “British” values and “British democracy” in the weeks ahead. Beating the nationalist drum will divert attention from the fact that the economic crisis has no solution. It also allow our rulers to introduce more laws of surveillance and repression which will ultimately be used against any determined working class struggle against the capitalist system. Thus the IS terrorists and the State will both use these horrific murders for their own propaganda. Yet the main victim of these attacks is the working class everywhere.
Not only are they the majority of the dead and injured workers but the elitist propaganda of both the terrorists and our rulers aims to divide the one thing we have in common: our class solidarity. Wherever we live, whatever our cultural backgrounds, it is the work of everyone who needs a wage to live which creates the bulk of the world’s wealth. This wealth ends up in the hands of a minority: the capitalist class who are thus able to live in luxury. They also use the wealth we create to supply armies and to wage wars to defend their existence.
These will go on, as will terrorist atrocities, ad infinitum unless the working class unites and takes control of the product of its own labour and dismantles the capitalist mode of production. To achieve this we need to build an international movement which can create a society in which people’s needs not capitalist profits dominate, and in doing so end atrocities like the one in Manchester. No war but the class war.
23 May 2017
- 2See http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/blair-acted-complete-arrogance-over-iraq-war-says-former-adviser-1016135154
- 3see http://www.leftcom.org/en/articles/2016-03-29/the-class-composition-of-the-islamic-state