A Viewers Guide to Fahrenheit 9/11

Revolutionary Worker #1246, July 18, 2004, posted at http://rwor.org

People have been lied to. And many can see it.

Invasion, occupation, police spying, round-ups, even torture camps--plus far-reaching changes in law, treaty and doctrine --they have all come wrapped in deceit.

The President lies. His whole clique lies.

Peter Jennings, Tom Brokaw, Dan Rather, CNN, Fox, the New York Times and all the rest play their part-- like obedient generals --shamelessly promoting those lies.

And the Democratic Party (supposedly an "opposition") signs on the dotted line over and over and over--to the invasion of Iraq, to the Patriot Act, to all the hype about endless "war against terrorism," to strict limits on what can be questioned in public.

And yet, at this same time, this operation of deceit is crumbling under the weight of reality. There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The Iraqi people obviously feel occupied, not "liberated." Torture was approved at the highest levels.

There are times when the worm of doubt starts to roar like a great dragon.

Fahrenheit 9/11 dropped into the middle of all this.

Over nine million people in the U.S. have already seen this movie--making it a real phenom . It opened on 868 screens, and may soon be expanding to 2,000 screens a night.

Here, in the roaring crowds of sold-out movie theaters, that nauseating "respect for the Office" is stripped away. This White House clique stands revealed as dishonest, corrupt, and consciously serving the interests of wealth and capitalist profit-making! This government, its ringleaders, its policies and wars are all ILLEGITIMATE and unjust!

Suddenly anti-government politics is a must-see! This moment is becoming politically charged. Sharp debate is raging everywhere--often far OUTSIDE the bounds set by official politics.

And there is counter-attack (of course!). The same media hacks--who have shamelessly promoted every lie of a murderous government--now accuse Michael Moore of being "loose with the facts"!

And so the question is: NOW WHAT?

The situation needs to be kicked WIDE OPEN.

This current political debate needs to grapple much more deeply with the scope of this government's crimes and deceits--to uncover the true nature of these rulers, their motives, their goals, and to get at the reality of how deep the rot goes, and how serious this moment really is.

Michael Moore's film reveals many of the "the dots" of this moment--in a powerful, provocateurish and often-hilarious way. But to connect those dots correctly--to actually understand what is going on--requires a critical analysis of Fahrenheit 9/11 itself.

This whole global military offensive does not flow from just the petty corruption or incompetence of this current president, his family or his sinister cronies.

It is important to dig deeply into what the U.S. government is up to strategically--to see how the U.S. powerstructure is using the "war on terrorism" as an excuse to carry out a long-planned grab for permanent world domination. And to see how controlling Iraq and the whole oil-rich Persian Gulf gives the U.S. imperialists a much tighter strategic control over the whole rest of the world.

Bob Avakian, the leader of the Revolutionary Communist Party, has been going deeply into these strategic matters, from many sides. And he has grappled, hard, with what that means for our struggle to defeat this gruesome Bush agenda and actually wrench the future and the world away from these ugly empire-builders.

Here are insights, drawn from the work of Bob Avakian, into the many important questions raised by Fahrenheit 9/11 and these historic challenges we all face together.


Why the Republicans stole the 2000 Election, and why the Democrats didn't do a damn thing about it.

Fahrenheit 9/11 opens by reminding us all of how the 2000 presidential election was stolen. And then we get shocking footage of the Democrats refusing to fight this coup.

We see Black Congresspeople who want to protest the disenfranchisement of Black voters in Florida. They only need the signature of one Senator to get their proposal officially considered, and can't get even that. And we see Vice President Al Gore personally banging the gavel to beat them down.

Why was this Bush crew imposed in that way? Why wouldn't Gore or the Democrats unleash their supporters-- even as the Presidency was stolen from them?

What does it say when Al Gore and the whole U.S. Senate can disrespect the just grievances of Black people like this? (And where exactly was Senator John Kerry during all this?!)

Bob Avakian said, during a speech last year:

"I think one of the things that is very serious to consider is that these people grouped around Bush--he's just sort of a figurehead for this group of people who have been at this for quite a while now--they actually consider any other group of people being the government of this society as being completely illegitimate. That's the way they looked at and treated Clinton--again, he's no hero of the people by any means, but that's the way that they looked at him even when he was president. And that's the way they look at anybody other than themselves as being at the core of power in this society.

"Think back to the 2000 election: that was the most boring election in recent memory, and all of a sudden it turned into an extremely intense and interesting thing, not because of what they said and did while they were campaigning, but because of the way the election came out (or didn't come out). So then you could see that there is very sharp struggle among them. And if you look at this kind of pyramid thing, on the top of this pyramid is the ruling class and its different political representatives, which (even though it may be a bit oversimplified) we can look at as the Democrats on one side and the Republicans on the other.

"And for decades now these people who are grouped around Bush and the kind of people that they represent have been working and preparing a whole thing in society--a whole infrastructure you might call it-- a whole structure within the society itself that could move this society in a whole different way towards a fascistic kind of thing when things come to that.

"Here's the pyramid, and here are the Republicans over here (on the right) with their shit going down to this right-wing social base of religious maniacs and fundamentalist fools. OK, remember the aftermath of the 2000 election, when they were dealing with all the `hanging chads' and `pregnant chads' and all the rest of that in Florida. There was one point where in one precinct in Florida they were counting the ballots, and this group of operatives--Republican congressional aides--came down there and banged on the doors of the precinct where they were doing this, and actually intimidated them out of counting the ballots. Now, that was significant in itself but it was also symbolic of something much bigger than that particular incident.

"What it's symbolic of is that these forces are quite willing to call into motion this fascistic kind of force that they've built up when they feel that they need it, and they're willing to bring it all the way into motion and turn this into a whole other kind of religious, fundamentalist, fascistic society if they feel that's where they need to go.

"On the other hand, here are the Democrats at the top of this pyramid (on the so-called `left'). Who are the people that they try to appeal to--not that the Democrats represent their interests, but who are the people that the Democrats try to appeal to at the base, on the other side of this pyramid, so to speak? All the people who stand for progressive kinds of things, all the people who are oppressed in this society. For the Democrats, a big part of their role is to keep all those people confined within the bourgeois, the mainstream, electoral process... and to get them back into it when they have drifted away from--or broken out of--that framework. Because those people at the base are always alienated and angry at what happens with the elections, for the reason I was talking about earlier: they are always betrayed by the Democratic Party, which talks about `the little man' and poor people and the people who are discriminated against, and so on. And at times they'll even use the word oppression. But then they just sell out these people every time--because they don't represent their interests. They represent the interests of the system and of its ruling class. But they have a certain role of always trying to get people who are oppressed, alienated and angry back into the elections. You know: `Come on in, come on in- -it's not as bad as you think, you can vote, it's OK.' This is one of the main roles they play. But the thing about them is that they are very afraid of calling into the streets this base of people that they appeal to, to vote for them. The last thing in the world they want to do is to call these masses of people into the streets to protest or to battle against this right-wing force that's being built up.

"So, this gives a sense of the real danger that exists now in this country--of the whole direction toward a qualitatively much more repressive and, yes, even a fascistic form of bourgeois rule.

"But it's a very sharply contradictory and two-sided thing. We should understand that. On the one hand, things get moved farther and farther to the right, and all the Democrats do is raise a few whiny objections and then find their position at "the left wing" of the juggernaut that's moving farther and farther to the right.. But the other side of that, as things are sharpening up in society, is that there are tens of millions of people who hate the direction that things are going in. We've seen this in the aftermath of the election, and we saw it around the Iraq war..

"Millions and millions and millions of people have a deep, visceral gut hatred for everything that's represented by Bush and the whole direction that group is taking things.. This is significant in itself but it also demonstrates a positive potential in terms of revolution. I'm not saying that we are on the threshold of revolution right now, but just looking down the road, and looking at the potential, one of the things that leads to a revolutionary situation is that millions and millions of people feel that something is intolerable. They want certain leaders at the top of society to lead them in doing something about it, but those leaders are not in the position to and don't want to lead them in doing it -- so whom do they turn to? The people who are willing and determined to lead them to do it and to take it somewhere. So this is a situation that's full of great danger, but the same situation -- or the other side of the contradiction -- is that it holds much positive potential for struggle now and for revolution as things unfold."

(from "The Pyramid of Power")

Was the White House simply asleep at the switch on 9/11?

Fahrenheit 9/11 argues that one reason that the attacks on September 11 could happen was that President George W. Bush is basically just a fool--who was on vacation, fishing, golfing, ignoring warnings of attack, and not meeting with his "anti-terrorism" adviser.

Video footage shows a seemingly clueless George W. Bush continuing to read My Pet Goat in a Florida schoolroom, after being told that planes had hit the World Trade Center.

On one level, all of these things happened. And it's true that Bush is, in many ways, "a figurehead" for a larger circle of policymakers and rulers.

But the more important truth is that this crew had come to power determined to make major changes in the U.S. position in the world. And while Bush (personally) may have been chilling in Texas--his larger clique was working feverishly through that whole period before 9/11 to put their plans into place. And these plans had a great deal to do with Afghanistan, Iraq, the Middle East, and major changes in military doctrine.

Bob Avakian writes:

"They have ambitions of essentially reshuffling the whole deck, reordering the whole situation--beginning with the strategic areas of Central and South Asia and the Middle East that are more immediately involved now--but, even beyond that, on a world scale. This is `New World Order Revisited' or New World Order 2 that they're trying to carry out on a deeper and more sweeping level than what they set out to do with their war against Iraq a decade ago. They've set themselves a very far-reaching agenda with gigantic implications.

"It's as if they are saying, `Look, we had this great victory in the Cold War. Then we had this whole period when we had Clinton in there and everything, and we didn't really take advantage of the victory of the Cold War. We didn't "roll up" the whole world the way we could have and should have, and now it's time to get in there and do this. We let things drift, and it's time to get in there and follow up the victory of the Cold War with this whole new world realignment that we're going to bludgeon into being. So let's roll!'"

(From "The New Situation")

So the Bush administration was on a mission--and their preparations in the months (and years!) before 9/11 put them in a position to quickly exploit this attack--to move for that "whole new world realignment" they had long planned to impose.

What is the role of oil and the Bush family's "Saudi Connection"?

Fahrenheit 9/11 documents the close and highly profitable connection between the U.S. government and the Saudi royal family. And, in particular, it shows the direct personal role that George Bush Senior has played (at times) negotiating with the Saudi ruling class for the monopoly capitalist Carlyle Group.

And, on the one hand, this is all true and revealing. It shows how the presidents and officials of the U.S. are entwined with global capitalist investments in many intimate and complex ways. It reminds viewers that the Persian Gulf is, after all, a highly strategic center of global oil production.

But while showing all that, the movie then rushes into a series of speculations that give a series of false impressions--both about how global capitalism actually works, and about why the U.S. government ultimately decided to conquer Iraq.

Essentially Moore speculates that the Saudi ruling family may have been connected to 9/11, and that the Bush White House wanted to shield them (and its own financial dealings) from scrutiny by shifting attention to Saddam Hussein and Iraq.

First of all, it has to be said, it is impossible to know for sure who, exactly, did the 9/11 attacks--or who may have known about them and allowed them to happen.

While many of the alleged hijackers were Saudi, it is also true that Osama bin Laden has had deep ties to the American CIA--going back to the CIA's massive covert war in Afganistan during the 1980s when the CIA helped organize, train, fund and arm the extreme reactionary Islamist forces that later emerged as both the Taliban and al- Qaida.

The argument that Saudi money may have bought the most basic loyalties of the Bush family essentially turns reality upside down. The dog wags the tail, the tail doesn't wag the dog. U.S. imperialism controls Saudi Arabia and its decadent princes, not the other way around.

At one point, Michael Moore even accuses the Bush family of betraying U.S. so-called national interests, supposedly by putting their private ties with Saudis above their responsibilities as U.S. representatives. This too is upside down. The Bush family are prominent representatives of the interests of the U.S. ruling class--and they have overall acted in that capacity in their dealing with Saudi princes and other foreign governments. And more important, those interests (which are often called the "U.S. national interests") are fundamentaly the interests of the monopoly capitalist ruling class of the U.S. These interests are against the interests of the people of the world (including most people in the U.S.)--they are nothing to uphold, or unite with.

The U.S. interests in Saudi Arabia have never centered on just the personal business interests of the Bushes--or any other U.S. family (however rich or influential). U.S. government policy in that region (whether Republicans or Democrats are in the White House) is about the functioning and power of their global empire. It is about dominating and exploiting the lives and labor of huge parts of humanity:

As the Revolutionary Worker pointed out:

"Oil is vital to the running of capitalist economies and modern armies and is a source of enormous profit and strategic power. Saudi Arabia sits on the world's largest pool of oil--some 260 billion barrels, or a fourth of the entire world total. Saudi Arabia pumps more oil than any other country, and it can quickly increase or decrease output to drive oil prices up or down. This gives the U.S. great leverage over the world oil market. Adding to its strategic significance is Saudi Arabia's location--at the center of the region's oil fields, along the petroleum transit routes of the Persian Gulf, and next door to Iraq (which has the world's second largest oil reserves).


(from "Toxic Relationship")

In fact, the war on Iraq was not a "diversion" from the U.S. relationship with Saudi Arabia -- but part of a larger strategic plan to consolidate U.S. control over the whole Persian Gulf.

The conquest of Iraq is intended to increase U.S. control over this strategic region (including Iraq, Iran, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia) and make it more permanent. And then to exploit that control to further dominate countries throughout the world who depend on Persian Gulf oil for their most basic economic functioning.

Bob Avakian writes:

"It is important to understand that it is not just a matter of U.S. corporations being `oil-hungry,' or simply that the U.S. economy is `dependent on fossil fuels.' The more fundamental truth is that the monopoly capitalists who rule the U.S. must control huge supplies of oil and other fuels, worldwide, in order to keep production costs for U.S.-based corporations as low as possible (particularly through super-exploitation of labor in many oil-producing countries), to strengthen their competitive position vis-a-vis other imperialist corporations and countries, and overall to control vital lifelines of the global economy. And these monopoly capitalists use the government apparatus--in particular the military--of the U.S. to enforce this control. This is an expression of the essential nature of the imperialist system we are confronting."

(from "The New Situation")

Bob Avakian talks about the post 9/11 U.S. response and motives this way:

"Clearly this [invasion of Afghanistan] is more than retaliating for September 11. Certainly it has nothing to do with bringing justice for the people who were killed on September 11. It has to do with their own needs and interests and designs as an imperialist power, which is seeking to follow up on its political victory in the Cold War to further recast the world under its domination....

"Who is Osama bin Laden? Historically, he was tied with the U.S., and now they say he's turned against the U.S. Maybe that's so but it's not clear what all the different arrangements are and what all the different links and ties are between different intelligence agencies--U.S., Israeli or whatever--but let's assume that there was actually an attack that went down from forces not directly connected to these intelligence sources that killed thousands of civilians in the U.S.

"Well, whatever the U.S. knew about it in advance or whatever different forces linked up with U.S. institutions may or may not have known about it, the fact is they did have to respond. Again, like Mafia monsters on a worldwide scale, they can't let something like that go on and appear vulnerable. They don't give a damn about the people who died there. The only thing they care about is that they can't have it seem as though they can't maintain order in their own country.

"So they don't give a damn about the people that died and they're doing monstrous things in the name of the people that died. But clearly the main thing that's going on is that they had a program that they were already moving to implement on a certain level, and now they've seized on this situation that was created by September 11 to pull out the throttle full scale and try to ram this through, in a big way."

(from "Bob Avakian Speaks Out")

What were imperialist interests and real strategic goals behind the invasion of Afghanistan?

Fahrenheit 9/11 reveals some things that many people may not have known: That the U.S. government and several major corporations had close ties with the Taliban fundamentalist government of Afghanistan. The movie shows how there were negotiations by the U.S. government and UNOCAL corporation to run an important natural gas pipeline across Afghanistan. And it correctly points out that Prime Minister Karzai (the new leader of U.S.- controlled Afghanistan) was a key negotiator for UNOCAL during those talks.

All of which raises important questions about what the U.S. is up to in that part of the world--and what really lies behind the U.S. decision to take over Afghanistan.

But then Moore limits his Afghan exposures to a few corporations--UNOCAL, Haliburton and Enron. He cites Richard Clarke's argument that the Bush administration attacked Afghanistan first--rather than Iraq --because "the American people wouldn't have stood by if we had done nothing on Afghanistan." And then he essentially criticizes the Bush White House for sending too few troops to Afghanistan.

This approach creates a narrow, mistaken impression of U.S. interests and motives.

First, Clarke's remark is misleading: U.S. foreign policy is never determined by what the "American people" want. However, it is true that if the U.S. had attacked Iraq first (and not Afghanistan) their cover story (that this was a war in response to 9/11) would have been almost impossible to swallow. A quick conquest of Afghanistan was, in many ways, a prerequisite for far larger operations to follow.

And, as Bob Avakian has pointed out:

"There is also a certain necessity that they face--again, given their role and position as `the world's only superpower,' as they like to boast, given the nature of their rule over people throughout the world, they do have to go and pulverize people and make the point, again like any good Mafia thug, that you cannot get up and do this, you cannot show disrespect and even strike at us without being crushed. Or else their whole empire would actually be threatened in a more serious way."

(from "The New Situation")

And then, at the same time, the U.S. seizure of Afghanistan does serve larger strategic goals the U.S. imperialists have pursued--in particular their desire to establish control over the strategic resources of the Caspian region and Central Asia--while squeezing out Russia.

In an interview shortly after Sept. 11, Bob Avakian talked about these deeper roots of the Afghanistan war, its links with the overall U.S. global agenda, and the reasons the U.S. stopped supporting the Taliban regime:

"This has to do with their imperial aims and ambitions that were already in play--things they were doing in the region around Afghanistan in terms of the oil and the pipelines for the oil. This has been analyzed in our newspaper, the Revolutionary Worker, and people should check that out, but it's clear that in terms of the contention between different--not only corporations but imperialist states--over control of that oil...Russia's in the picture, you know, Germany's in the background. There's the question of other countries like Japan that are very dependent on foreign sources of oil and the Persian Gulf--and now these areas not in Afghanistan but near Afghanistan through which this pipeline would have to carry the oil.

"All this is part of what's been in motion well before September 11. They were working with the Taliban for a while in connection with this. Then they figured the Taliban, (a) couldn't stabilize things as well as they needed them to, and (b) were not as important to their whole scheme of things when they started working with some of these other regimes that were formerly part of the Soviet empire in Central Asia....

"So it's a shifting alliance that they're using. When someone or some force is useful to them, then they make use of them, and when things shift, they just toss them aside or trample on them. That's what they did with Saddam Hussein, whom they helped arm and turn against Iran in a war and they kept that war going to weaken both sides. It's the kind of thing they do all the time....And this whole thing about, `You're either with us or you're with the terrorists' is obviously meant to intimidate and stifle even questioning, let alone dissent and resistance."

(From "Bob Avakian Speaks Out")

Should people be demanding that the U.S. government wage a better "War Against Terrorism"?

One implication of Fahrenheit 9/11--and a theme of Kerry and the Democrats--is that the Bush administration really hasn't done enough in the "war on terror," including not going after Osama bin Laden forcefully enough, and that it should do more.

Moore sums up that "for all his tough talk, Bush really didn't do much."

He then quotes imperialist counterterror official Richard Clarke: "Basically the President botched the response to 9/11. He should have gone right after bin Laden. The U.S. Special Forces didn't get into the area where bin Laden was for two months."

Moore concludes: "Two months? A mass murderer who attacked the United States was given a two-month head start? Who in their right mind would do that?"--as a clip of Bush rolls onscreen.

Demanding a more robust "war on terror" would amount to endorsing even more aggressive moves by this planet's most predatory ruling class. Any actions they take --as the whole "war on terror" itself has proven so far--are going to be done in their global strategic interests, not to protect Americans or "liberate" anyone else.

Bob Avakian points out:

"On the specific point about terrorism, if we're going to condemn terrorism, then first of all, applying any objective criteria--of course the U.S. imperialists have their standard of terrorism, it's whatever they say it is. `Terrorism is whatever we say it is and it isn't whatever we say it isn't.'

"So, for example, the government of Turkey--that's not a terrorist state, even though they've slaughtered and bombed and devastated whole peoples and areas of the Kurdish regions within Turkey. They're not a terrorist state, but Saddam Hussein who did some of the same things to Kurdish people inside Iraq, well he's an oppressor, he's a tyrant and he's a despot, he's a terrorist.

"But if you take a more objective standard of terrorism and if you say something along the lines of it has to do with deliberately targeting civilians for attack and destruction, in order to achieve political ends, and you apply that standard, well then there's no terrorist that comes close in the present world to U.S. imperialism, to the U.S. government. Just look around the world. What do you want to go back to? Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Or you want to go to Vietnam? Or Korea before that? Or do you want to look at what they did in Indonesia, pulling off a coup and slaughtering hundreds of thousands of people, or whether you want to talk about Chile, or whether you want to talk about what they did in El Salvador, or invading Panama where they bombed civilian districts, poor districts of the city, or Iraq killing all the civilians through the bombing and the destruction of the infrastructure and now the sanctions? There's nobody that even comes close. So, if we're going to condemn terrorism by an objective standard, we should put the U.S. imperialists at the very top, and nobody even comes close, and we need to make that clear."

(from "Bob Avakian Speaks Out")

What's behind the fear campaign and the Patriot Act?

Fahrenheit 9/11 makes a scathing point: "With the war in Afghanistan over and bin Laden forgotten, the war president had a new target: the American people." And the film then digs into the Patriot Act and the government's "anti-terrorist" fear-mongering.

The film documents some outrageous instances of the Patriot Act being used to target dissent. And there is even more to tell: Fahrenheit 9/11makes only the most passing mention of the way immigrants and Muslims were rounded up after September 11. Many were held without charges or trial, many were deported, significant cases of abuse and brutality have been documented.

And the film does not capture the full depth and seriousness of the repressive measures now being put in place.

These changes--in many of the most basic norms of law and life within the U.S.--are tied to the U.S. global agenda, and they give a sense of how serious, determined and extreme this agenda is.

"The main thing that's going on is that they had a program that they were already moving to implement on a certain level, and now they've seized on this situation that was created by September 11 to pull out the throttle full scale and try to ram this through, in a big way. That's why we call it a juggernaut, and it does include their whole open-ended war internationally, but it must also be accompanied by this kind of heightened repression you're talking about within the U.S. because you can't go and wage open-ended war like this and not have a lot of repressive mechanisms already being implemented and much more machinery ready to bring into play, especially when this kind of thing starts to get out of hand and there's a lot of resistance, and there's what they call `blow back' internationally or even within the U.S. itself. Things could get very much out of hand by what they're unleashing and the very things that they're bringing into being. So they need repression now and they also need to prepare for even further heightening that repression as things go down the road.

"It's very clear that they're creating, openly declaring, an open, unlimited war and they're creating a situation of a country that is more or less permanently at war--that's a permanent feature of the U.S. now. And then what has to go along with that is a lot of police-state repression and a whole repressive and intimidating atmosphere, because you can't carry out the one without carrying out the other."

(from "Bob Avakian Speaks Out")

What do we do? How do we defeat this?

Fahrenheit 9/11 winds up with a moving scene of Lila Lipscomb, who has just lost her son in Iraq, journeying to Washington, DC and the White House--and finding a focus for her anger and grief. Of course she should hate the White House and Bush.

But that leaves us all with the larger question of how do we make our impact on these world events. How do we, together, actually weigh in on the struggle over the strategic direction of the country and the world:

And on one level, once you actually grasp that we are confronting a superpower determined to seize a historic opportunity for itself, determined to bludgeon the world into accepting its permanent domination, then you get a sense that this struggle IS strategic. The U.S. government is not going to be cajoled, or shamed, or easily deflected onto another course. And this crew now in charge is determined to press ahead by any means necessary.

And we have to build our struggle and our alliances with a serious strategic view of what we are undertaking together.

Right now, it is necessary to forge, out of this current moment, a powerful mass repudiation of this whole Bush agenda--to deliver a big, unmistakable NO!--including by having more than a million people out in the streets of New York at this summer's Republican National Convention.

We need to ask what things must look like the day after the November presidential election: Our protests and resistance over the next months must have been massive enough and politically clear enough that everyone can see that the next president--whoever it is--is denied a mandate to continue this offensive in "the name of the people." We have to have politically weakened their position in those visible ways, and further isolated and de-legitimized the powerful forces (who on that day after will almost certainly be trying to continue their grab for the world).

When the dust settles the day after the election, will all those who oppose this agenda be confused, demoralized, demobilized and more vulnerable to repression? Or regardless of who wins will they have to confront a strengthened opposition, challenging this juggernaut in fundamental terms?

In a major presentation published in March 2002, Bob Avakian said:

"I want to emphasize a fundamental point in relation to the war and repression juggernaut of the imperialists: It is good that many people have made statements of opposition and have mobilized, and are mobilizing, in various ways against this; and it is also good that many others are at least raising questions, concerns, and even criticisms; but there is a profound and increasingly urgent need for things to be developed to a qualitatively greater and more profound as well as broader level. What the powers-that-be are already doing and, beyond that, what they are clearly indicating they are planning on doing -- both internationally and within the U.S., both in terms of war and in terms of repression -- must not only be questioned, must not only give rise to the expression of concerns, must not only be criticized or just opposed. There must be an orientation of actively resisting and of stopping this, through the mobilization of hundreds of thousands and ultimately millions of people.

"In conclusion, then, we are called on to rise to the challenges that are posed with both a sense of real urgency and with a broad overview. To approach this not just in terms of the crucial tasks more immediately before us but to put this in an even larger strategic perspective. To see this not only in its very real negative dimension, but also in its positive potential, to recognize not only the increased horrors that the imperialists are moving to bring about, but also the possibilities for qualitative advance that can be wrenched out of this, for the emancipation of the masses of people all over the globe -- for the world proletarian revolution and perhaps even the sweeping aside of this monstrous imperialist system in its most powerful bastion itself."

(from "The New Situation")


Available online at rwor.org

"The Pyramid of Power And the Struggle to Turn This Whole Thing Upside Down," RW #1231, March 7, 2004

"The New Situation and the Great Challenges," RW #1143, March 17, 2002

"Bob Avakian Speaks Out, Interviewed by Carl Dix, On War and Revolution, On Being a Revolutionary and Changing the World," audio on CD and serialized in the RW from June 16, 2002 to November 10, 2002.

"U.S. and Saudi Arabia: Troubles in a Toxic Relationship" by Larry Everest and the RW writing group of SF Bay Area, RW #1174, November 10, 2002

"REVOLUTION: Why It's Necessary Why It's Possible What It's All About," RW #1238, May 1, 2004