Voices of Defiance

Revolutionary Worker #1122, October 14, 2001, posted at http://rwor.org

Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA)
Statement on the terrorist attacks in the U.S.
The people of Afghanistan have nothing to do with Osama and his accomplices

September 14, 2001

On September 11, 2001 the world was stunned with the horrific terrorist attacks on the United States. RAWA stands with the rest of the world in expressing our sorrow and condemnation for this barbaric act of violence and terror. RAWA had already warned that the United States should not support the most treacherous, most criminal, most anti-democracy and anti-women Islamic fundamentalist parties because after both the Jehadi and the Taliban have committed every possible type of heinous crimes against our people, they would feel no shame in committing such crimes against the American people whom they consider "infidel." In order to gain and maintain their power, these barbaric criminals are ready to turn easily to any criminal force.

But unfortunately we must say that it was the government of the United States who supported Pakistani dictator Gen. Zia-ul Haq in creating thousands of religious schools from which the germs of Taliban emerged. In the similar way, as is clear to all, Osama Bin Laden has been the blue-eyed boy of CIA. But what is more painful is that American politicians have not drawn a lesson from their pro-fundamentalist policies in our country and are still supporting this or that fundamentalist band or leader. In our opinion any kind of support to the fundamentalist Taliban and Jehadies is actually trampling democratic, women's rights and human rights values.

If it is established that the suspects of the terrorist attacks are outside the U.S., our constant claim that fundamentalist terrorists would devour their creators, is proved once more.

The U.S. government should consider the root cause of this terrible event, which has not been the first and will not be the last one too. The U.S. should stop supporting Afghan terrorists and their supporters once and for all.

Now that the Taliban and Osama are the prime suspects by the U.S. officials after the criminal attacks, will the U.S. subject Afghanistan to a military attack similar to the one in 1998 and kill thousands of innocent Afghans for the crimes committed by the Taliban and Osama? Does the U.S. think that through such attacks, with thousands of deprived, poor and innocent people of Afghanistan as its victims, will be able to wipe out the root-cause of terrorism, or will it spread terrorism even to a larger scale?

From our point of view a vast and indiscriminate military attacks on a country that has been facing permanent disasters for more than two decades will not be a matter of pride. We don't think such an attack would be the expression of the will of the American people.

The U.S. government and people should know that there is a vast difference between the poor and devastated people of Afghanistan and the terrorist Jehadi and Taliban criminals.

While we once again announce our solidarity and deep sorrow with the people of the U.S., we also believe that attacking Afghanistan and killing its most ruined and destitute people will not in any way decrease the grief of the American people. We sincerely hope that the great American people could DIFFERENTIATE between the people of Afghanistan and a handful of fundamentalist terrorists. Our hearts go out to the people of the U.S.

Down with terrorism!

Suheir Hammad, poet:

one more person ask me if i knew the hijackers.
one more motherfucker ask me what navy my brother is in.
one more person assume no arabs or muslims were killed.
one more person assume they know me, or that i represent a people.
or that a people represent an evil. or that evil is as simple as a
flag and words on a page.

we did not vilify all white men when mcveigh bombed oklahoma.
america did not give out his family's addresses or where he went to
church. or blame the bible or pat robertson.

and when the networks air footage of palestinians dancing in the
street, there is no apology that hungry children are bribed with
sweets that turn their teeth
brown. that correspondents edit images. that archives are there
facilitate lazy and inaccurate journalism.

and when we talk about holy books and hooded men and death, why do
never mention the kkk?

if there are any people on earth who understand how new york is
feeling right now, they are in the west bank and the gaza strip.

Bernadine Dohrn, Director of the Children and Family Justice Center:

Nothing justifies the unspeakable attack against human beings. And if our rejection of terrorism encompasses all forms--individual, group, and official--we are obliged, even amid tidal waves of sorrow and solidarity, fury and fear, to openly reckon with U.S. interventions, tyranny, and terror. No aggrandizement of American power will yield safety or security. We need to strengthen our longings for peace and our active resistance to xenophobia. Can we choose to share our fate with other peoples on the uneasy terrain where equity and justice are the only possible paths to peace?

Eduardo Galeano, author of Upside Down:

Contempt for the popular will is one of the many common threads between state terrorism and private terrorism. In Porto Alegre, at the beginning of the year, the Algerian revolutionary leader Ahmed Ben Bella warned, "This system, which has already made the cows mad, is driving the people mad." And the madmen, mad with hate, act exactly the same as the power that produces them.

Robin D.G. Kelley, history professor, NYU, and coauthor of Three Strikes:

In 1932, a group of French and Caribbean Surrealists got together and wrote a brief called "Murderous Humanitarianism," vowing to change "the imperialist war, in its chronic and colonial form, into a civil war." I say the same thing: We need a civil war, class war, whatever, to put an end to U.S. policies that endanger all of us. Imagine a U.S. foreign policy committed to real democracy in the world, ending poverty with no strings attached or profit motive, respecting Islamic concerns regarding Western occupation of sacred land. Rather than beat up a whole nation, we could identify and isolate those directly responsible and bring them to trial and, as we should have done with the Confederate South, make them liable for damages by seizing assets.

Rev. Curtis Gatewood, president of Durham NC branch of NAACP, Sept. 15:

"Black males can no longer be used as sacrificial lambs at the time of war... Those black males who make it back home alive from war are likely to come home and be discriminated against by the people whose businesses were headquartered in the World Trade Center, racially abused/profiled by an American police officer, killed on the streets in their crime-infested neighborhoods, or harmed by Bush administration policies. This is not the time to sacrifice our fathers, sons and brothers to a country that has not protected our rights."

Former San Francisco Supervisor Amos Brown, at a Sept. 17 memorial service:

"America, America. What did you do--either intentionally or unintentionally--in the world order, in Central America, in Africa where bombs are still blasting? America, what did you do in the global warming conference when you did not embrace the smaller nations? America, what did you do two weeks ago when I stood at the world conference on racism, when you wouldn't show up? Oh, America, what did you do?"

Ralph Nader about corporate lobbyists:

"They're all coming to Washington to put their hand in the trough, and trying to exploit this tragedy so they can get more subsidies, bailouts, deregulation, tax breaks. All the other issues have been shoved aside. The members who wanted to delay campaign finance reform and patients' rights have a greater capability to do so now, to block anything from happening that was supposed to happen."

Sunera Thobani, feminist professor at the Women's Resistance Conference, Canada, Oct. 1:

"There will be no emancipation for women, anywhere on this planet until the Western domination of this planet is ended. And more than ever, we need to heed those words, especially as all of us are being herded into the possibility of a massive war at the behest of the United States.... This new war against terrorism that's being launched, it's very old. And it's a very old fight of the West against the rest. Consider the language which is being used to mobilize people: calling the perpetrators evil doers, irrational, calling them the forces of darkness, uncivilized, intent on destroying civilization, intent on destroying democracy... Every person of color, and I would want to say also, every aboriginal person, will recognize that language. It was used to justify our colonialization by Europe. We were colonized in the name of the West bringing civilization, democracy, freedom to us...The West for 500 years has believed that it can slaughter people into submission and it has not been able to do so. And it will not be able to do so this time, either."

From the statement "Oppose Bush's 'Anti-Terrorist' Crusade Against the World's People!" issued by the Committee of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement (CoRIM),
dated September 23, 2001:

The need for the communist vision of a world society based on the free and voluntary association of all human beings--no longer divided by classes and into oppressed and oppressor nations, no longer marked by the subjugation of women to men--cries out as never before. Even as we unite in struggle with masses who still embrace other ideologies, our scientific vision provides the backbone to stand firm in the crosscurrents of a tumultuous world and gives strength and courage to rally the people to meet the trials of the moment, to rise to the occasion.

The Revolutionary Internationalist Movement calls upon the people of all countries to unite in their millions to oppose and resist every act of U.S. aggression. Reject the hypocrisy of the imperialist enemies. Aim high and fight for genuine liberation. Remember that the darkest hour comes right before the dawn.

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