On the Resolution of the World Congress on Terrorism and War

Dear comrades and friends,


I must briefly take issue with the views of the comrade from Lalkar in criticizing the resolution passed at the World Congress "On the Terrorist Attacks and the Preparation for War." The comrade objected to the first paragraph of the resolution, which " condemns, without reservation, the September 11th attack in New York City." This introductory paragraph was followed by 9 paragraphs detailing the crimes of U.S. imperialism, and condemning the war preparations of imperialism (the Congress was held, and the resolution was passed, before the imperialist attack on Afghanistan). The comrade from Lalkar states that, "in light of the contents of the first paragraph, the rest of the resolution became the meaningless moaning and grumbling of a parson."

In the first place, it is still not known who actually carried out the attacks of September 11. Such attacks, that are aimed at large numbers of civilians, have frequently been carried out by reactionary forces. After the bombing of the Federal Building in Oklahoma, the bourgeois press in the U.S. immediately tried everything possible to try to pin the blame on "Arabs or Muslims." Although I am generally one to downplay conspiracy theories, it is not impossible that the attacks were orchestrated by some group acting in the interests of imperialism, or at least that the U.S. knew about the attacks and did nothing to prevent them. But regardless of this, there is no doubt that U.S. imperialism made full use of these attacks to strengthen its position abroad and at home.

The U.S. used the attacks as an excuse to launch a brutal and cowardly war against Afghanistan, killing thousands of innocent people using cluster bombs, daisy cutters and other instruments of mass destruction. The U.S. is now engaged in installing a puppet government in Afghanistan. If the attacks of September 11 were carried out by Osama bin Laden or any force supported by the Taliban, they certainly had consequences that were totally contrary to what they expected.

The comrade from Lalkar states that it was only after the attacks that U.S. President Bush made statements giving some sort of lip service to the idea of a Palestinian state. But first, Bush's concept of a Palestinian state is a form of "Bantustan" of isolated Palestinian enclaves, over which the Palestinian Authority has "control" today. And immediately after September 11, the Palestinian Authority was compelled to call for a temporary halt to the Intifada (a halt which, of course, could not last because of the aggressiveness of the U.S. client Israel). And now, Israel is launching a full-scale war against the Palestinians under the guise of Bush's phony "war on terrorism."

Even the people of the U.S. colony of Puerto Rico felt compelled to temporarily halt the disruption of U.S. target bombing of Puerto Rico's island of Vieques. No, the September 11 attacks did not in any way aid the struggle of the oppressed people in the Middle East or elsewhere; it temporarily set them back.

Besides the fact that the September 11 attacks killed large numbers of civilians, they were just the form of "excitative terror" that Lenin criticized for holding back the revolutionary movement. Even though the Narodnik assassination of the tsar may have struck a chord among some workers and peasants who felt oppressed but also helpless, such assassination did nothing to increase their organization in the fight against tsarism. In the same way, even if some in the Middle East and elsewhere felt sympathy with the destruction of the World Trade Center as a symbol of imperialism, the attacks did nothing to increase their organization against imperialism and in fact led to the temporary strengthening of imperialism. Only those who have lost faith in the revolutionary struggles of the oppressed peoples and the workers to defeat imperialism can see the attacks as having played a positive role.

There is no doubt that the movement of national liberation in the oppressed countries, and the Middle East in particular, are at a far higher level than the movement of the working class in the imperialist countries, the U.S. in particular. If the attacks had helped develop these national movements, even while increasing chauvinism among U.S. workers, then we as revolutionaries and anti-imperialists within the imperialist countries would have had to "bite the bullet" and support the attacks, since they would then have developed the movement internationally. However, such is not the case.

Of course, aggression breeds resistance, and the U.S. war of aggression is also increasing the resistance of the peoples worldwide against imperialism. The mass demonstrations of tens of thousands in Pakistan during the attack on Afghanistan seriously threatened the stability of the Pakistan military regime, which has been a key U.S. ally. Israel's armed aggression, fully backed by U.S. imperialism, against the Palestinian people, including the organs of the Palestinian Authority, will lead to the intensification of the Intifada. And even within the imperialist countries, there are the beginnings of an anti-war movement, even though it is still organized mainly on a pacifist basis. But these developments are all despite, not because of, the September 11 attacks.

All Marxist-Leninists and anti-imperialists must fulfill out internationalist duty by directing our fire at our main enemy, imperialism, and particularly U.S. imperialism for those of us in the U.S. Let us make full use of the contradictions exposed by this latest and continuing war of aggression, as well as the economic crisis that has been heightened since September 11 and the war, to go to the working class of our own country. We must point to the billions of dollars being given to the capitalist robbers while the workers undergo even greater unemployment and suffering, to expose the imperialist lie of "United We Stand.

Down With Imperialist War!
Long Live Socialist Revolution!

George Gruenthal
Secretary of the International Council

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