Revolutionary Worker #1122, October 14, 2001, posted at http://rwor.org
The U.S. president is talking about justice. And the U.S. armed forces are waging war.
Where is justice? What does it look like? Does it look like the bombs falling on Afghanistan?
The U.S. power structure is talking about justice. And their cruise missiles and fighter bombers are raining death on the impoverished people of Afghanistan. Horror from the sky.
The same empire that has been responsible for a global economy where thousands of children die every day of hunger and disease; for a global network of regimes who can only perpetuate this poverty and inequality; for dropping bombs on people in Hiroshima, Vietnam, Panama, Iraq, Serbia; for plotting murderous coups from Chile to Iran; for backing brutal regimes where women cannot even show their faces and people get their hands cut off for stealing bread--now the same empire responsible for all of this misery demands that people unite with them in war.
This power structure--which has lied to the people about every war they have waged, which has backed the most despicable death squads, from the Christian fascists of Rios Mott in Guatemala to the Islamic fundamentalists of the Taliban--now expects the people to give them a free hand to define who is "the enemy" and what it will take to "take them out."
We have seen the outlines of this kind of justice: in the hunched bodies of veiled women begging on the streets of Afghanistan; in Saudi Arabia, whose corrupt kings rule a system where women are the property of men and foreign workers are treated like slaves; in Pakistan, where U.S.-backed generals alternate between backing drug lords and waging drug wars; in the hospitals of Iraq, where more that half a million children have died because the U.S. has deliberately destroyed Iraq's water system with bombs and sanctions; in the bull-dozed homes of Palestinians in the West Bank.
While the bombs rain down on Afghanistan, the U.S. imperialists claim that this war is not aimed at the Afghani people. The U.S. generals claim that their bombers are "clearing the way" for a humanitarian mission to free the peoples of Afghanistan from the Taliban. Do they imagine that the masses of people in Afghanistan will thank them as they scramble for food rations amidst the shattered bones of their children, fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers?
No. No. No.
Every U.S. military intervention only leads to death and destruction for the people. In the 1980s there was a just struggle in Afghanistan against a Soviet invasion. But the U.S. intervened, backing forces like Osama bin Laden and the oppressive mujahedeen. More than a million people in Afghanistan died in that war, the country was devastated by thugs and warlords, and with the support of the rotten regime in Pakistan and millions of dollars in funding from Washington, the brutal Taliban rose to power.
And anyone who thinks that the armed forces of the U.S. ruling class can play a positive role in defending "secular democracy" should consider that president of the U.S. ruling class regularly consults with Christian fascists and fundamentalists like Ralph Reed and claims to be on a mission from god.
No. There is no justice in the house of the U.S. ruling class. We need to be crystal clear on the nature of these oppressors who have launched a new war: these arrogant lying creatures do not rule in the interests of the people of this country or the world. Their nature can be seen in the kind of military actions they take--their long-standing military mottos like "death from above" and their covert "special ops"--like the Green Berets in Vietnam whose actions were accompanied by napalm and carpet bombing.
Many conscious people see this and see that this planet does not need another unjust war. But some have suggested that instead of war, there should be legal justice--that the perpetrators of September 11 should be tracked down and brought to trial.
Who are the perpetrators? As the Committee of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement has said: "In the murky waters of terrorism and the intelligence services, where intrigue and double-dealing are the currency, it may never be possible to know exactly who organized the attack, or their motives. But two things are clear: first, the victims in New York join the millions of direct and indirect victims of the policies and actions of the U.S. ruling class. Second, even greater crimes are in preparation."
And even if the perpetrators could be identified, who would track them down and what court would try them? Clearly, whoever committed the acts of September 11 will not submit to a trial without a fight. And who would bring them in? Do the advocates of a "fair trial" really believe that U.S. imperialist armed forces could be an instrument for such a process? Where is the regime on this planet whose soldiers could be the instrument of justice in this case? And does anyone familiar with the workings of the U.S. justice department and its death-penalty president seriously believe that a just trial could occur on U.S. soil? Or that U.S. imperialism would allow such a trial to occur in a world court?
And more to the point, is it not clear from the words and actions of the U.S. power structure--from their massive acts of war--that they are not just moving to respond to the events of September 11. They are not seeking "justice." Rather their aim is to use this war to forcibly recast the world to protect their ability to dominate and exploit the planet and the people--to more firmly secure their grip on the rich oil resources of the Middle East. Behind the talk of "Operation Enduring Freedom" are the aims of unjust empire.
If we think clearly and soberly about the situation, there is no way within the confines of the present world order for justice to be delivered--not by any of the existing world powers, and least of all the U.S. power structure. They can and will do nothing but act against the interests of millions and millions of people, seek to enforce the oppressive and unjust order that serves their interest, and generally make all manner of things worse.
So, our problem, our historic task, is to stand together against this unjust war and to bring about the revolutionary transformation of this world. Only the revolutionary people, rising up in their millions--with a clear program and plan to kick out imperialism and make new democratic revolution--can bring justice in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, and other countries of the Third World. And those who live within the U.S. itself have a responsibility to support the people rising up against oppression around the world and to do our part to make revolution in the belly of this beast.
Then, and only then, will the children of the planet know where justice is and what it looks like.
This article is posted in English and Spanish on Revolutionary Worker Online
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