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Volume 41 Number 27, September 17, 2011 ARCHIVE HOME JBCENTRE SUBSCRIBE

10th Anniversary of 9/11:

Ten Years of the People’s Struggles against War, State Terror and Reaction, and for a New Basis to Society

Workers' Weekly Internet Edition: Article Index :

10th Anniversary of 9/11:
Ten Years of the People’s Struggles against War, State Terror and Reaction, and for a New Basis to Society

Discussion Forum:
10 Years Of Opposing Britain’s Pro-War Governments - Build the Movement to End Crimes Against Peace!

TUC Congress:
Building the Resistance and Fighting for the Alternative

Preparations for an “Orderly” Greek Default

UN Palmer Report Declares Israel's Gaza Blockade "Legal"

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10th Anniversary of 9/11:

Ten Years of the People’s Struggles against War, State Terror and Reaction, and for a New Basis to Society

Oppose the Hysteria that "the Rules of the Game Have Changed" For An Anti-War Government!

The attack on the Twin Towers was like a starting gun for Anglo-US imperialism, and the big powers that associated themselves with them, for a period of war, state terror and the darkest reaction against the people’s forces, against the sovereignty of nations and peoples, and against the rights of all. Tony Blair it was that within an hour of the planes flying into the World Trade Centre, and before their final collapse, had announced before the delegates of the Trade Union Congress and to all the world that this was to be a war against “mass terrorism”. He notoriously would later declare, after 7/7/2005, that “the rules of the game have changed”, and refined his targets to be Islamic extremism and revolutionary communism.

The flood gates opened by 9/11, almost before the new millennium was under way, to the trampling of any norms of international conduct have remained open, as Blair’s successors have espoused the doctrine of regime change, soft power combined with hard power,

This is not what society should be like – this is not how international affairs should be conducted, to put it mildly!

Not only have the people refused to give up their resistance to the “war on terror” and the crimes against humanity perpetrated over these past ten years. These ten years have been a decade of the struggle against war, state terror and reaction. The youth have grown up demanding control of their own future so that they can put a stop to such crimes, especially by building a society which has a different basis, human-centred and anti-war. The anti-war movement has built itself against all attempt to divide it and throw it off course.

Despite this steadfastness of the anti-war movement, basing itself on the necessity to bring into being an anti-war government, the tenth anniversary of 9/11 sees Prime Minister David Cameron sending British armed forces to achieve regime change in a sovereign country, Libya. Gone is all serious pretence of a “responsibility to protect”. Instead the rhetoric which came into being with 9/11, and especially with the invasion of Iraq – of a “ruthless dictator” “slaughtering his people”, and of a “pariah state” – is being pressed into service to the full. Thus is disinformation being used in the service of promoting “British values” and the protection of “our security”.

It could be said that the opposition of the people’s forces to war and aggression have, however, caused Cameron to also paint naked intervention in the colours of a “revolution” of the Libyan people, of the Libyan people taking their country back. This is such effrontery. Could one even begin to imagine this Old Etonian expressing sympathy for a revolution of the British people who with “bravery and resilience” have fought to take control of their own state of Britain?

But the point is that this super-high level of disinformation is being used to actually deny the people their sovereignty. This is true not only of Libya, but wherever the Anglo-US imperialists wish to impose their interests. Cameron is staking the high moral ground, but it is the moral ground of a Hitler who launches aggression under the signboard of a responsibility to protect. Does this sound like a responsibility to protect? “Our aircraft have made over 2,400 sorties across Libya, carrying out one fifth of all NATO airstrikes, against some 900 targets in Gaddafi’s war machine. Our warships have supported this effort, helping to enforce the UN arms embargo and bringing aid to those in need. At its peak, some 2,300 British servicemen and women were deployed on Operation Ellamy, with 36 aircraft including 16 Tornados, six Typhoons, five attack helicopters, tankers and specialist surveillance aircraft and helicopters. These were supported over the course of the operation by eight warships and a hunter-killer submarine.” And still Cameron vows to “finish the job”, and reports indicate that attacks on what the disinformation machine calls the “Gaddafi loyalists” – i.e. the Libyan people who will not accept the violence and anarchy of the NATO-controlled “rebels” – are being stepped up.

Having destroyed the stability of the Libyan state, Cameron turns to its reconstruction. “Libya is a country of 6.5 million people. It is one of the richest in Africa. Its proven oil reserves are the ninth largest in the world. Libya is fully capable of paying for its own reconstruction. Of course there is a role for foreign advice, help and support, but I do not think we want to see an army of foreign consultants driving around in 4x4s, giving the impression that this is something being done to the Libyans, rather than something that is being done by them.” Of course not.

David Cameron is of course a champion of British democracy and of neo-colonial justice. Libya must jettison and completely bury its own system of democracy (“years of repression”) and adopt a “political transition” to a new constitution. Gaddafi is wanted by the International Criminal Court – as though the ICC were some supra-national body not put into place by the “international community” of the Anglo-Americans and their partners.

The point on this anniversary of 9/11 is that once more the jaded values of the British state, which after 9/11 Tony Blair and others were emphasising were the “universal values” which everyone must follow on pain of being designated a “rogue” or “failed or faiing” state and become the target for forcible regime change. The greater the injustice of this doctrine, the greater has been the need for disinformation to attempt to hoodwink the people’s movement. Furthermore, the colonialist agenda of the big powers is being extended. The Middle East and West Asia were Bush and Blair’s targets, strategically crucial to stabilise their European base, push eastwards into Asia, confront Russia and China, and poise ready to extend southwards into Africa, tearing up the African nations’ sovereignty and also confronting China and others on the African continent. The “Arab spring” is Cameron’s pretext. There is no respect for the sovereignty of peoples and nations to determine their own affairs free from outside interference.

This path spells great dangers not only for the people of Libya, of Africa as a whole and the peoples of the Middle East and Asia. It is extremely dangerous for the peoples of Britain and the whole world. The dangers of a major world conflagration are growing. The experience of Iraq and Afghanistan has demonstrated that come what may the imperialists cannot make history as they wish. The cost in hundreds of thousands of lives and trillions of pounds is and has been colossal. The stability of the whole of the Eurozone is being threatened by the neo-liberal agenda which is linked to war and aggression abroad, with commentators even predicting war within Europe as the crisis further unfolds.

The crisis together with the aggression and interference in Africa and elsewhere is not unlinked with the alleged “failure of multiculturalism” in Britain, with the criminalisation of the youth. It is even reported that Tony Blair has resurrected his 7/7 thesis of the link between “Islamic extremism” and “revolutionary communism” that according to this war criminal meant that the rules of the game had changed. In other words, on this 10th anniversary, the factors for war and for fascist ideology are of very serious proportions.

The conclusion must be that the anti-war movement, the opposition to war, state terror, fascism and state-imposed ideology together with its concomitant disinformation, must pay attention to these developments and consciously base itself on the need for a new basis to society.

This new basis is not some extreme outlook from the margins of society, but is the agenda of the vast majority of peace-loving people who wish to see justice prevail and build a society fit for humanity. The reactionary agenda of the Westminster Coalition and all its apologists must not prevail. The task of the anti-war movement in these circumstances is to further build its unity on a conscious and principled basis. The sovereignty of peoples must be respected, all acts of state violence and intervention must be uncompromisingly opposed, there can be no troops sent onto foreign soil and all such British troops must be brought home. They are being used for a colonialist agenda as cannon-fodder. It is quite outrageous that in the 21st century pretexts are being found to wage such wars. This is what the past ten years have taught the people’s movement. Yet Cold War rhetoric is being let loose afresh, NATO is being used to impose the will of the Anglo-US imperialists and their allies.

The anti-war movement is an iceberg, and the two million demonstrators of 2003 have not changed their views or gone away, and have been joined by the youth who have matured since 9/11. Let us make sure that this iceberg finally sinks the ship of war, fascism and aggression.

Article Index


Discussion Forum

10 Years Of Opposing Britain’s Pro-War Governments
Build the Movement to End Crimes Against Peace!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Trinity House Social Centre,
134 Laygate, South Shields, Tyne & Wear. (Nearest Metro Chichester)
7.30pm - 9.00pm


Organised By South Tyneside Stop the War Coalition

Article Index


TUC Congress

Building the Resistance and Fighting for the Alternative

The context of the 143rd annual TUC Trades Union Congress which took place in London from September 12-14, is that the working class is facing a great challenge posed by the anti-social and anti-worker offensive of the rich, and the crisis of the economic and social system whereby production is socialised but ownership is concentrated in private monopoly hands.

The direction that the economy is headed in is only exacerbating this crisis. That the time is ripe for an alternative is becoming common ground not only in the trade union movement, but throughout society.

In the face of this, the burning question facing the working class movement, and which was concentrated in the agenda of the 2011 TUC Congress, is how to reverse this direction of the economy and how to make the working class movement effective in fighting for the alternative.

At the core of this fight to make the workers’ movement effective is that the workers themselves and their communities, the actual producers of the wealth, must affirm that their interests represent the way forward. Long ago the monopoly capitalist system has shown that it is incapable of uninterrupted extended reproduction of the economy. Recent years have underlined that following the interests of the rich not only do not eliminate crises, the so-called boom-and-bust cycles of the economy, but that financial crises continue to burst out with greater ferocity and the underlying economic crisis is never solved.

The government does incessant propaganda to try and eliminate class consciousness, to try and prove that there is no such thing as the interests of the working class, of “labour”. Their arsenal includes that “we are all in this together”, and that we should all feel part of the “Big Society”. The working class movement has been rejecting such disinformation. The trade union movement is itself affirming not only the need for the alternative, but that this fight of the workers is not a fight for a special interest group but is a fight for the public good.

At the heart of this fight is the need for an alternative direction to the economy. An alternative direction means not just to tick the various boxes and ask working people to take action. As the half-a-million strong demonstration on March 26 showed, it is that the workers’ movement is in motion to both build its resistance and to fight for the alternative. The alternative direction is a direction where the workers are at the centre of decision-making, not lined up pro or con behind or against someone else’s agenda.

The 2011 TUC Congress had a very serious agenda where the need for an alternative direction could not be avoided. The delegates were not going to listen uncomplainingly while being told that they need to consider the interests of making the monopolies competitive in the global market. They were not going to be soothed by advice to tighten their belts because we are all in it together. The defence of the rights and interests of the workers was at the focus of their agenda, a defence which is crucial for the whole of society.

The issue is not that the working class movement wants to make the country ungovernable. It is that it wants itself to be the government. This was the spirit which the workers wanted to see coming out of the Trade Union Congress.

See Workers’Daily News Feed for on-going reporting.

Article Index



Preparations for an “Orderly” Greek Default

Less than two months after Eurozone leaders agreed the latest €109bn “bail-out” package to Greece, speculation is again rife over a possible default on the country’s national debt. Indeed, commentary has largely shifted from possibility to inevitability, the debate now being over what form this default will take.

Reports circulating of German preparations for a Greek exit from the Euro were followed by comments from Chancellor Angela Merkel that “everything must be done to keep the Eurozone together politically. Because we would soon have a domino effect.”

History has shown time and again how such domino theories are promoted, in the name of anti-communism during the Cold War, or stopping the spread of “failed states” during the current so-called war on terror, to justify military, economic and political aggression and intervention.

The present example is no exception. This time the stated threat is market chaos and financial meltdown, while the target is to take away the initiative from the people on the receiving and of cuts and other austerity measures who are striving for an alternative, demanding a different direction for the economy.

Membership of the EU and joining the Eurozone was a means of economically making the countries such as Greece, Ireland and others, entirely dependent on the big European powers, with the promise of leaving their position of being small, tribute-paying countries, and to buy into a privileged position as part of an imperial club. This was a fraud that replaced one form of dependency by another.

Now reality has bitten these countries hard and the international financial oligarchy is demanding they pay direct tribute through the mechanisms of the EU and the IMF, whose rescue deals amount to full-scale economic invasion by the big powers and financial monopolies.

The question for Greece is increasingly not whether it will default (indeed, it has been argued that it already has in essence) but how, on whose terms? The monopolies declare fresh-start bankruptcies continually, yet this option is being denied Greece. Will it declare a moratorium on debt payments in favour of rebuilding the Greek nation anew – or will it default on the terms of the big powers and finance capital, selling off its assets, even its land, tying itself even more tightly to and being completely annexed by the EU?

This is the significance of the calls for an “orderly default”.

“The top priority is to avoid an uncontrolled insolvency,” Angela Merkel said to the German RBB radio station, “because that would not just affect Greece, and the danger that it hits everyone – or at least several countries – is very big.”

German Vice Chancellor and Economy Minister Philipp Roesler had earlier stated that Greece would need to make an “orderly default” on its debt.

Sovereignty has always been a life and death issue for countries such as Greece, born out of struggles for national independence. The sell-out of this sovereignty by traitorous leaders is causing fierce resistance and political crisis in these countries as well as the impoverishment of growing sections of the population.

Imagine Greece, which fought for its independence against the Ottoman Empire, and for liberation from Nazi occupation, to now come under the demand from foreign quarters to sell off its assets including some of its islands!

The people of Britain should not be misled by the scaremongering, which has the aim of dividing the British from the Greek people, and stand together with the Greek people in their demand that no means no. The issue is not whether the Greek default is controlled, but under whose control is it? If it occurs under the control of the big powers, it will be a victory for the rich who will make big scores out of the chaos they will create in that country. If it occurs under the control of the Greek people, it will be a block to the dictate of these powers and a victory for the movement for the alternative to cuts, privatisation and annexation.

Article Index


International News

UN Palmer Report Declares Israel's Gaza Blockade "Legal"

On September 2, the UN published its delayed report on the raid of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla by Israel in May of last year. This flotilla aimed to bring aid into Gaza by breaking the Israeli blockade, which is widely regarded as illegal in international law. The sheer violence of this raid resulted in such broad condemnation that it subsequently forced Israel onto the defensive. Contrary to this, the present UN report has gone as far as to assert that the naval blockade is "legal", reducing the position of the UN on the raid on the flotilla to level of a criticism that it was "excessive and unreasonable".

This conclusion flies in the face of general opinion, including that expressed by officials and bodies of the UN itself on a number of occasions. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has stressed the "almost unanimous international view that the continued blockade of Gaza is both inhumane and illegal". In January 2008, the UN Human Rights Council released a statement calling for Israel to lift its siege on Gaza. Earlier, UN Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes described the blockade as "collective punishment". In December 2008, UN Special Rapporteur Richard Falk described the blockade as a crime against humanity, resulting in his expulsion from the region by Israel.

In March that year, Amnesty International, CARE International UK, Oxfam and other aid organisations also characterised the embargo as collective punishment against the Palestinian people. More recently, European commissioner Louis Michel described the blockade of Gaza as a "form of collective punishment against Palestinian civilians, which is a violation of international humanitarian law".

Yet the UN report, written by a four-member panel presided over by Geoffrey Palmer, former prime minister of New Zealand, declares that "the naval blockade was imposed as a legitimate security measure in order to prevent weapons from entering Gaza by sea and its implementation complied with the requirements of international law".

This is characteristic of the pragmatism that now characterises all of the definitions on which international law and norms are based. The old definitions of human rights and security have been negated turned into their opposites through interpretations that serve whatever works for the imperial powers that dominate the UN and the "international community". With these distorted notions, panels such as the Palmer committee take it upon themselves to justify collective punishment or claim the use of deadly weapons against unarmed people is merely "excessive" or "disproportionate". This inhuman pragmatism can only be opposed by the people themselves providing modern definitions in their fight to defend of the rights of all.

Article Index


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