|Killing Osama will not prevent imperialist terrorism|
|Written by PSTU|
|Friday, 13 May 2011 19:23|
|In the early morning of May 2, the U.S. president, Barack Obama announced that U.S. special forces have killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of terrorist organization al-Qaeda.
Under circumstances beyond obscures, the operation that killed bin Laden, according to official sources, was performed by an elite command of the U.S. Navy, in the Pakistani city Abbottabad, less than 100 km away the capital Islamabad. Osama would be in a mansion to no more than 800 meters of major military academies in Pakistan. According to Washington, the terrorist was unarmed when he was shot.
After the operation, Obama’s Government commemorated bin Laden’s death saying that “the world is better and safer”. However, the U.S. government refused to show any image of Osama after his death. According to official information from the U.S. government, the terrorist’s body was thrown overboard. Up to now, the most evidence of the death of the terrorist was its confirmation by al-Qaeda.
The assassination of bin Laden occurred almost ten years after the attacks on the Twin Towers, allegedly assigned and planned by the Arab terrorist. But the killing of Osama raises many questions unanswered: Why USA delayed almost a decade to do away with Osama? Didn’t they have the terrorist’s whereabouts? Was Osama being protected by Pakistan? Will his murder mean the end of the war on terror?
Perhaps we’ll never know the answers to all these questions. However, the true dimension of bin Laden killing can only be understood taking into account the international political situation, marked, above all, by the crisis of imperialism and the revolutions that hit the Arab world.
Terrorism x Arab revolution
Almost a decade later, it is possible to have a more precise dimension of the historic meaning of the attacks against the Twin Towers. The September 11th attacks changed the international political situation. For the first time, the American territory was directly hit, exposing the vulnerability of the greatest power of the world and causing, at first, American public opinion, even the Democratic Party supporters sectors, to support a weakened Republican administration of George W. Bush. The strengthening of his government was evident. The republican had managed to unite the population around the country and its politics and, overcoming the Vietnam syndrome, got support for invading other countries and to start the war against the “axis of evil”.
The terrorism acts of al-Qaeda became the perfect excuse for imperialism to launch its offensive. Terrorism does not have the aim to organize the masses, nor has any respect for innocent lives. His attacks are directed to cause maximum civilian casualties, so that the shock and pain caused by its actions has to be as large as possible.
As Leon Trotsky stated, “Individual terror is inadmissible precisely because it belittles the role of the masses in their own consciousness, reconciles them to their powerlessness and turns their eyes and hopes towards a great avenger and liberator who someday will come and accomplish his mission” (Trotsky, Why Marxists oppose individual terrorism, 1911).
A decade later, it became obvious that the attacks served to reinforce the exploiters and oppressors positions, instead of weakening and defeat them, at the same time that divided the working class, instead of putting it together through international solidarity. The Arabs revolutions are a clear demonstration of the strength of the mass movement and the mistake of individual terrorism. The political dimension of the revolution underway in the Middle East and North Africa could never be achieved by any terrorist action. The Arab revolution have shown the world that Al Qaeda was absent and had not any influence in the most important masses processes, which are what can really change the peoples’ lives of the region.
On the other hand, the condemnation of the methods of individual terrorism does not mean we’re stand beside the imperialism in its “crusade against terrorism”. The major responsible for terrorist acts is imperialism itself, with all the barbarity and violence spread worldwide. This became more visible after the wars triggered in the Middle East.
The empire strikes back
Soon after the attacks in October 2001, the U.S. invaded Afghanistan under the pretext of ending the Taliban and bin Laden’s group. In the name of “fighting against the terror”, the imperialism soldiers committed mass murder against the Afghan population, as recorded more than 90,000 documents from the U.S. Army released by Wikileaks site. Tortures in Abu Ghraib prison showed only the tip of the iceberg on the reality of blood and terror in military occupation. As well as Guantanamo prison, which today remains in operation, despite the false promise of Obama to close it.
In 2003, Anglo-American troops invaded Iraq to destroy alleged weapons of mass destruction, promoting one of the bloodiest wars on recent history. The truth was revealed soon after. There were no weapons of mass destruction in the country. The invasion just permitted U.S. to grab Iraqi oil, the second largest reserve in the world.
The war also caused the death of millions. A survey by Opinion Research Business (ORB) elaborated in the period of 12 to 19 August 2007, estimated 1,220,580 of violent deaths in the Iraq war. From a national sample of 1,499 Iraqi adults, 22% had one or more family members killed during the war.
The defeat of the “war on terror”
The policy of “war on terror” was to attack all the explored countries of the planet, especially those who had large oil reserves and strategic position for its transportation. Besides Iraq and Afghanistan, Iran and Syria were the target of imperialism. But the resistance of the Iraqi and Afghan people has led the U.S. troops and NATO to a quagmire, defeating the military offensive.
At the same time, the anti-imperialist consciousness grew in direct proportion to the hatred for Bush. The mere presence of Bush in any country was enough to bring millions to the streets. It was in this context that Obama was elected U.S. president. The charisma of the first black president of the country offered to imperialism the opportunity to recycle its image and ensure the shattered hegemony of the Yank imperialism.
Why to do away with bin Laden now?
It is quite hard to believe in the U.S. version that they did not know where Osama was hiding all these years. According to press reports, the U.S. military action was kept secret even from the Pakistani government. But if this really happened, the operation to assassinate bin Laden was a flagrant violation the Pakistan’s sovereignty.
The evidence suggests that the terrorist was under the protection of the Pakistani military and its secret service – after all, Osama was killed in a mansion a few meters away a military base in the country. However, it is unlikely that information of the whereabouts of the terrorist was not in the hands of CIA agents for some time. Pakistan is a key U.S. ally in the region, home to hundreds of CIA spies and receives millions of dollars to fight the Taliban installed bases in the country. It is unlikely that the country that has the most advanced military and espionage technology in the world did not know the whereabouts of the terrorist.
Alive, Osama served as an excuse to keep the strategy of “war on terror” that justified the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan. However, with the war becoming increasingly unpopular, the assassination of bin Laden could be sold as a “success” to be celebrated by a government in a popularity crisis, like Obama. In a way, the assassination of bin Laden is already being used as an asset of the “war on terror.”
Of course, Obama will try to capitalize on the terrorist assassination for the presidential elections, in the attempt to win reelection. Research shows that the operation has been reverted the drop of Obama’s popularity. To accomplish this, Obama took Bush’s speech and, indeed, justified everything his predecessor did.
Thus, the assassination of bin Laden may overshadow the political crisis experienced by the Democrat. Despite all the public money injected into banks to save the crisis, Obama has accumulated a string of failures trying to overcome the deep economic crisis that dominates the country for nearly four years.
The main concern of the U.S.
The action of imperialism also serves as a demonstration of American military power, a clear message to Arab peoples, who now take the lead in their revolutions against tyrannical and servile governments.
Triumphant Arab revolutions, as in Tunisia and Egypt, and the ongoing in Yemen, Libya and Syria, are a clear demonstration of the strength of the mass movement that continues to sweep the pro-imperialist governments of the region.
But, to the imperialism, the advancement of the Arab revolution is a very serious threat and calls into question a central pillar of world order, the place where are the major sources of oil and gas in the world. Also endangers the existence of the State of Israel, which plays a role as a gendarme of imperialism in the Middle East. Obama said that terrorism will remain a concern in his government. But what really worries the White House is the development of the Arab revolution. It is this process that really threatens imperialism.
Imperialist terror will continue
Obama stated that “justice has been made” regarding bin Laden’s execution. If the tortures in Guantanamo were not enough, there’s another demonstration of the true character of American discourse of “democracy and human rights”. For ten years, the U.S. machine has been the judge, jury and executioner of tens of thousands of Afghans and Iraqis.
There is no reason to celebrate the assassination of bin Laden. Terror will continue to be disseminated worldwide by the bayonets of imperialism. Soon after the announcement of the death of al-Qaeda leader, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared that “bin Laden’s death does not mean the end of the “war on terror”. In other words, the slaughter of innocents at the hands of imperialism will continue.
Osama: an old acquaintance of imperialism
At the time of the Cold War, bin Laden was considered an U.S. ally, a “freedom fighter”. In the 1980s, imperialism supported (including weaponry) fundamentalist groups who fought against the former USSR’s troops, which had invaded Afghanistan. Among them was al-Qaeda. The amount of money that U.S. and Saudi Arabia sent to these groups was estimated at $ 4 billion (in the period 1986 to 1989).
“In 1988, with U.S. knowledge, bin Laden founded al-Qaeda (The Base): an independent conglomerate of Islamic terrorist cells spread across at least 26 countries”, wrote the Indian journalist Rahul Bhed. “Washington turned a blind eye to al-Qaeda, confident that it would not interfere directly on the U.S.”, continues the journalist.
Doing away with bin Laden also extinguishes the possibility of examining in depth his connections with the U.S. government.
Source: Opinião Socialista nº 423, May 2011.