By Miguel Angel Hernandez, a leader of the PSL of Venezuela and the IWU-FI
10 September 2021
It is two decades since the attacks on the Twin Towers in New York and the Pentagon. This anniversary coincides with the resounding departure of US armed forces from Afghanistan. The US AND NATO invaded Afghanistan in the aftermath of that event.
The planes hitting the symbols of the financial and military power of American imperialism are still fresh. It resulted in over 3000 dead and thousands of wounded.
In a statement that the International Workers’ Unity-Fourth International (IWU-FI) published a few days after the attacks, we repudiated these terrorist attacks and regretted the thousands of deaths of innocent people; in that statement, we explained the reasons for our repudiation:
“We do not stand by these actions. They confuse the masses, first the workers and the American people who miss identifying the real criminal role of their imperialist government (…) Because imperialism and its allies are using them to justify new aggressions.” (“The Day the Empire Shook”, International Correspondence, No. 16, September-December 2001).
In those days, the US government of George Bush took advantage of the pain and fear caused by the terrorist attacks and unite US public opinion and the European imperialist powers after him. They launched a so-called war against terror, a further turn of the screw in its policy of aggression against the rest of the world. Palestinians were fighting against the genocidal and racist state of Israel. In September 2000, the Second Intifada had started, ending in 2005. Massive protests against the G8 in Genoa, Italy, took place as a part of the anti-globalisation movement that had emerged in 1999 in Seattle. Millions of workers and labourers of the world were against the imperialist member powers.
We warned that US imperialism, together with its allies, use 9/11 as a justification for stepping up its attacks on other people and getting out of the way of the protests and struggles in different parts of the world, particularly in the Middle East.
We rejected the euphemistically named “war on terror” and said that once again, they were heading for failure, as indeed happened in Iraq, from where they hoist with their own petard in 2011, withdrawing troops from 2007 onwards. And now, the heavy defeat in Afghanistan is compared with images of their departure from Vietnam in 1975.
Those who sow hatred reap storms
But beyond the rejection of terrorist methods, which we do not share, we said that the real culprit of these attacks was US imperialism, which, with its permanent policy of military, economic and political aggression, increased the hatred of the peoples of the world.
Throughout history, the United States has been accumulating great hatred and repudiation worldwide for its crimes and permanent interference in the internal affairs of different countries to maintain its political and economic domination as the leader of the world capitalist-imperialist system.
The unprecedented attacks on the symbols of the economic and military power of the USA, 20 years ago, reflected in a distorted and atrocious way the resistance of the peoples of the world against the interference and crimes of American imperialism, dramatically expressed in events such as the atomic bombs dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, where over 250 thousand people had died at the end of 1945 because of the deflagrations. The United States is the only country to have dropped atomic bombs on human beings. The Korean War, which left 1,500,000 people dead and 700,000 missing. The military intervention in Vietnam resulted in the death of some 2 million Vietnamese. An intervention that spread to all of Indochina with 300,000 dead in Cambodia and another 200,000 in Laos. The CIA’s support and financing of the “contras” in the Nicaraguan revolution; backing of the coup in Allende’s Chile in 1973; the promotion of genocidal dictatorships in the southern cone of South America; invading Panama in 1989; the unrestricted and permanent support for the genocide perpetrated against the Palestinian people by the racist state of Israel are only a few examples of the crimes of US imperialism, which have generated the hatred of the peoples against that country, and which explain the attacks of September 2001.
We reject any imperialist invasion or aggression, but we also repudiate the terrorist actions isolated from the mobilisation of the workers, labourers and the peoples of the world.
Twenty years after the attacks and the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq (2003), US imperialism and its NATO allies have failed. Further defeats of imperialism show that its political, economic and military crisis is deepening. As happened in 1975 in Vietnam, they had to leave Iraq first, and now Afghanistan, leaving a country in ruins, with millions of poor people and the return of the ultra-reactionary Taliban regime.
As long as this opprobrious system of inequality, misery and adjustments against the people exists and remains in place, the spectre of wars, economic crises and attacks like those of 11 September 2001 will continue to haunt us.
We reaffirm that the only way out is to FIGHT massively to put an end to the capitalist-imperialist system, and to achieve its true overcoming, which is socialism, with democracy for the working class and the exploited peoples all over the world.