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From 9-11 to Katrina

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chairperson, International Coordinating Committee
International League of Peoples' Struggle
September 11, 2005

Since September 11, 2001, we have witnessed three types of terrorism wreaking havoc on the lives of the people. According to order of gravity, these are the imperialist wars of aggression of the US and its allies against Afghanistan and then against Iraq, the terrorism of states inspired by the USA PATRIOT Act and, of course, the nongovernmental terrorism which killed 2752 people on 9-11.

Wars of aggression and the subsequent occupation of the conquered country involves crimes against humanity on a large scale. They result in the devastation of the lives and property of millions of people, as can be seen in the invasion and occupation of Iraq. State terrorism at the expense of the people within national borders varies in severity from country to country. The rule of open terror usually goes as far as necessary for the ruling class or clique to suppress the people's resistance.

The terrorism of nongovernmental organizations or movements like Al Qaida claims far less victims because the perpetrators lack state power. It can be dealt with by ordinary criminal law on murder and the like, without resorting to fascism. But the US imperialists and their instruments of propaganda have magnified the small-scale terrorism on 9-11 in order to justify bigger military appropriations and wars of aggression and the global spread of repression and fascism.

They have used 9-11 to violate the charter of the United Nations by carrying wars of aggression and trampling down human rights and international humanitarian law. They are the biggest and most vicious terrorists. They have used 9-11 as convenient brush to paint as "terrorists" states that stand up for national independence, national liberation movements and progressive anti-imperialist organizations and leaders.

The objective of imperialist wars of aggression is to grab cheap sources of labor and raw materials, markets, fields of investments and spheres of influence. That of state terrorism within national boundaries is to perpetuate the ruling classes and the system of exploitation. That of nongovernmental terrorism is purportedly to avenge the wrongs done by the oppressive states and to inflict barbaric rage on the community misconstrued as the enemy.

Since 9-11 we have also heard the US imperialists and their allies boast that their military forces abroad are for securing democracy, development, peace, human rights and humanitarian work. While they wreak havoc in Iraq, they pretend to be benevolent with the use of their military forces in undertaking token rescue and relief operations in areas stricken by tsunami, typhoons and floods.

But the huge social calamity following the hurricane Katrina has exposed the extreme malevolence of US imperialism in its home ground. The resources of the federal government have been used to fatten the giant corporations, enlarge the war machine for aggression and build the department of homeland security to scare and repress the people. But no money is available to strengthen the levees prior to the hurricane, to evacuate the people without their personal means of transport and to provide timely and adequate food and shelter to the victims.

US imperialism is the big monster that oppresses and exploits the people of the world, including the American people, particularly the working class and the people of color who suffer discrimination, unemployment and low incomes. ###

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