After the attacks against the Twin Towers and the Pentagon on Tuesday
11 of September, we present this first political statement by the
Fracción Trotskista Estrategia Internacional.
1. The horrific attacks of last Tuesday 11 in the US have sent
shock waves worldwide. These wreaked havoc in Manhattan's financial
heart. Two enormous "Boeing" jets crashed into and provoked
the collapse of the Twin Towers (themselves the epitome of "globalization"
and financial power); another one tore apart the Pentagon, setting
it on fire.
Although they have exposed the vulnerability of the great dominant
power, terrorist attacks like these, in which thousands or ten of
thousands of workers are slaughtered indiscriminately, have a reactionary
content through and through. They do not help the fight of the exploited
and oppressed against imperialism in any way, and have negative
consequences for the masses, both inside the United States and worldwide.
Both Bush and the other imperialist leaders will try to use the
attack to justify an onslaught against the masses in the semicolonial
world, and the working class and the youths in the imperialist heartlands,
in an attempt to reassert their imperial domination.
2. The imperialist networks such as CNN and the world media alike
claim the attack was unleashed by "Islamic fundamentalists",
while many point their blaming finger at Bin Laden and its supporters
based in Afghanistan.
To the moment, nobody has claimed responsibility for the attack
and nobody still knows for sure who is responsible for it. At any
rate, whoever committed these attacks, imperialism's barbaric policies
are the main cause of the Twin Towers carnage: the role of international
gendarme that the US has claimed for itself in the last few years
in order to underpin its worldwide domination, carpet-bombing both
Iraq and Serbia has earned it the hatred of millions across the
world, in impoverished and heavy-indebted semicolonial countries,
which are humiliated by imperialism, particularly among the Palestinian
masses and the Islamic world.
If Bin Laden, now regarded as the US "arch-enemy", is
behind the attacks, we should remember that both he and the Afghan
guerrilla were armed by the CIA and the United States against the
USSR invasion in Afghanistan. He was even considered by Reagan's
administration as a "freedom fighter."
All the more if the attack was launched by the lunatic fringes at
work in the US, as it was the case in the Oklahoma bombing, the
brainchild of a former Gulf War soldier that had been given military
honours, loosely connected with the fascist American militias.
3 As revolutionary Marxists, we declare that the only principled
solution lies in the development of the permanent mobilization of
the workers and the unity of the international proletariat and the
oppressed worldwide, to put an end to the capitalist and imperialist
system, responsible for the most sanguinary acts of barbarism and
terror mankind has ever known.
From this perspective, we declare our open rejection of individual
terrorism, or else that coming from small groups alien to the masses,
because it fails to further the mobilization, organization and morale
of the exploited, and is helpless to do away with the foundations
of exploitation, racism or else national oppression, all of them
sequels of the imperialist system. In the early twentieth century,
Leon Trotsky -the leader of the October insurrection and Red Army
organiser- said in connection with the politics of the Russian populist
terrorists: "The smoke of the explosion clears away, the panic
disappears, the successor of the murdered minister makes his appearance,
life again settles into the old route, the wheel of capitalist exploitation
turns as before -only police repression grows more savage and brazen."
In this case, it is clear that any member of the financial elite
can be replaced and the buildings reconstructed, the symbols of
power have been damaged, but imperial power remains standing and
is getting ready for a vicious reprisal.
4 The reactionary consequences of the massive attack of Tuesday
11 are already being felt clearly.
In the first place, as internationalists, we express our sympathy
with the distress of the relatives of the thousands of innocent
victims, mostly workers, many of them Latin, black and also immigrants
from the semicolonial world.
But we utterly denounce the hypocrisy of the imperialist rulers
and the media that have come together in a crusade against the "devilish
terrorism" that "does not respect human life". Here
again, we stand by Trotsky: "we have nothing in common with
those bought and paid moralists who, in response to any terrorist
act make solemn declarations about the "absolute value"
of human life. These are the same people who, on other occasions,
in the name of other absolute values, for example the nation's honour
or the monarch's prestige, are ready to shove millions of people
into the hell of war."
That is why we denounce the hipocrisy of Bush, the Democrats and
Republicans, as well as NATO, who are using the grief of the people
to justify military retaliations against Afghanistan and possibly
other Middle East countries. Imperialism is the biggets terrorist
of history, and has murdered entire peoples (as showed Hiroshima,
Vietnam, Iraq and the recent war against Yugoslavia). It is now
getting ready to escalate repression against the Arab masses, particularly
the Palestinian people. The racist state of Israel has already launched
its tanks and troops against the cities of Jenin and Jericho, in
the West Bank, as part of its escalation against the Palestinian
In the United States, the attack has fueled a reactionary mood,
tainted with anti-arab and anti-Islamic racism, encouraging a curb
on democratic freedoms and an increase of the military expenses.
Furthermore, it has created unfavorable conditions for American
workers in the face of the forthcoming mass sackings implemented
by the big monopolies due to the recession.
The shock in the public opinion in the developed countries has momentarily
rallied most of the population behind their imperialist governments,
thus disorienting the anticapitalist youth that has been denouncing
the big corporations ever since the mass protests in Seattle and
Genoa. It is a stumbling block to build an alliance between the
anticapitalist youth and the oppressed peoples.
5 On the other hand, the attack has smashed the belief in the United
States's invulnerability, humiliating its high-tech defense and
security apparatus. This has been proof positive that, as revolutionary
Marxists had predicted, the demise of the USSR did not usher in
a long-lasting "new world order", but rather left the
United States much more exposed, having to deal almost in solitude
with the turmoil and instability in the world. After the attack,
this reality has struck home with a vengeance.
The US had not suffered direct attacks in its own territory ever.
The attack has shattered the American internal "security"
to its foundations, one that relied on its overwhelming military
and economic power and also geographical reasons, i.e. a territory
of continental dimensios sheltered by two oceans in its flanks.
The Bush government had taken office amid an election scandal, and
is now facing the challenge of rebuilding its humiliated imperial
leadership. It is thus faced with a conundrum: it needs to deliver
a quick and bold response in order not to appear as wavering and
weak. On the other hand, finding a target for the retaliations is
no easy task. To this, we should add a worsening recession in the
international economy, in turn fuelled by the current attacks.
6. Right now, the Bush government is trying to find a way out of
the present crisis by means of three alternative military retaliations,
for which it can count with NATO support: a) limited strikes against
the bases of the supposed perpetrators of the attack, in the style
of Clinton's bombings in 1998 against Afghanistan and Sudan, after
the car bombs blasts in its embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. This
would be a quick, low-risk, but hardly effective response. b) a
campaign of massive air bombings and missile strikes, including
the eventual deployment of troops against Afghanistan (or some other
state) accused of harbouring the terrorists. This involves both
enormous logistical difficulties and political and military risks,
because imperialism might end up entangled in a conflict of long
duration and uncertain outcome. c) a third option, one that Bush
seems to opt for, would be a "non- conventional war" against
Islamic terrorism, similar to the one the US is waging in Latin
America in the name of "fighting against drug trafficking".
Such option would preclude identifying any specific country as a
potential target, thus enabling Washington to attack anything resembling
a threat to its national security. At the same time, they will try
to rally a wide coalition of countries under the banner of a "common
combat against terrorism."
This would not be a blitz, or else be aimed against any definite
aim, although it would involve various military operations and retaliation
against Afghanistan and some other countries. Such retaliation might
encompass several Islamic countries, and could even boost an increased
intervetion in other areas, such as Colombia and other Latin American
At their emergency meeting of September 12, NATO apparently gave
a blank cheque to Bush in his "antiterrorist fight". Such
drive would endorse the last option, and many commentators have
postulated a new coalition has been set up, like the one that Bush's
father headed in 1991 against Iraq, in pursue of the US interests.
7 Although the attack has rallied the imperialist states, with
Russia and even China supporting the US, as well several governments
in the semicolonial world, it is unlikely that such unity should
be extended to other fields or else stand firm, in a re-run of the
victory against Iraq back in 1991 that ushered in a decade of unchallenged
The almost certain slip of the world economy into recession, one
that is already simultaneously affecting the main imperialist powers
is fuelling tensions between them. The bitter quarrelling prior
to the next WTO summit in Qatar highlights the increasing rows that
already had disrupted the Seattle summit in the late 2000.
The US-sponsored "missile defense" (a project that -as
it were- revealed how shortsighted the American leadership was as
to the true immediate dangers) has boosted the strategic rifts with
Russia, and particularly China, a nation at odds with the United
States, as showed by the spy aircraft incident.
In the semicolonial world, the sequels of a decade of neoliberal
policies, with its massive indebtedness and impoverishment, have
fueled contradictions with the US-sponsored policies.
In the Middle East, a hot spot in the current international situation,
the brazen pro-Israeli American approach has led the Arab governments
to show a growing reticence towards the dictates of Washington,
out of fear of increased upheavals in the region
Along with this, the imperialist policies are coming up against
the stubborn resistance of wide sectors of the mass movement, as
shown by the national liberation struggle of the Palestinian people,
the mass uprising in Algeria, and the massive workers' and peasants
protests that swept through Latin American countries, Argentina,
Bolivia, Paraguay, and Colombia among them.
On the other hand, the antiglobalisation movement in the imperialist
heartlands, which reached its peak in the mass protest in Genoa,
highlights the discontent among layers of the youth and the workers
in the big powers.
All these elements are part of an unstable international situation,
very different to the period of relative stability that the United
States enjoyed during the last decade. The shock caused by the attacks
is showing that this decade is now behind us. Given this situation,
the attempt at reestablishing American imperial power by means of
rabidly reactionary policies both at home and abroad, will come
up against many difficulties.
8. The basic interest of the workers and the oppressed masses worldwide
is to stop the war preparations by American imperialism and its
The means to achieve this does not lie in individual terrorism,
which contrariwise ends up alienating the masses in the semicolonial
countries from their allies, the youth and the workers in the imperialist
countries. The only road to defeat the capitalist and imperialist
system is the revolutionary mobilization of the world masses against
their common enemy, in the road towards world socialist revolution.
The movement against the Vietnam War has already shown the way.
The heroic resistance of the Vietnamese people, together with the
massive protests against the war inside the United States and Europe
ground the powerful US war machinery to a halt, causing the first
military defeat ever suffered by the US.
We should unify the proletariat and the oppressed of the whole world
in a common fight to get rid of this system of exploitation and
That is why the first step is to unconditionally condemn any intervention
or imperialist attack against any oppressed nation, whatever the
pretext for it. We fight for the victory of the just war of national
liberation waged by the Palestinian people and the defeat of the
Zionist state. Withdraw all imperialist troops out of the Middle
East. We denounce any xenophobic campaign against Muslisms, or repressive
drive and attack against the democratic freedoms in the imperialist
countries. We fight to set up, along with the anticapitalist youth
in the developed countries, a mass international movement against
any imperialist intervention.