After the brutal attack . The United States and NATO. Are preparing an imperialist backlash
Liga de Trabajadores por el Socialismo - Contra Corriente (LTS-CC), de México, Estratégia Revolucionaria (ER), de Brasil, Liga Obrera Revolucionaria por la Cuarta Internacional (LOR-CI), de Bolivia, Grupo Clase Contra Clase (CCC), de Chile
Partido de Trabajadores por el Socialismo (PTS), de Argentina
September 14, 2001

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 people.
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 countries.
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 American hegemony.
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 allies.
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 oppression.
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.