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Oct 2001 • Vol 1, No. 5 •



We are horrified at the recent loss of innocent lives resulting from the hijacking of four civilian planes. We, as revolutionary socialists, condemn these individual acts of terrorism.

The U.S. government and the corporate media, declaring this attack to be an act of war, are beating the war drums, trying to convince the American people that massive violence is the only appropriate response.

But if we are truly intent on eliminating terrorist attacks directed against the U.S., it is absolutely essential to understand that many oppressed people throughout the world regard the U.S. government (not U.S. citizens) as the world’s greatest perpetrator of terrorism today and that this loss of innocent lives comes as a direct result of U.S. foreign policy.

The nuclear bombing of Japan

A review of recent U.S. government acts confirms this thesis:

  • In 1945 the U.S. government dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing 100,000 men, women and children in each city. Some U.S. governmental officials have since admitted that if the U.S. had lost the war, they would have been prosecuted as war criminals for targeting the civilian population.

  • In 1953 the C.I.A. overthrew the democratically elected Prime Minister Mossadegh of Iran, replacing him with Reza Shah who was friendly to U.S. corporate interests. The Shah instituted a brutal regime, arresting and torturing his critics.

  • 1954 the C.I.A. overthrew the democratically elected President of Guatemala because of his threat to nationalize U.S. corporate holdings there. The military government that the C.I.A. then placed in power began a massacre of the indigenous Indian population that eventually resulted in the loss of 200,000 lives.

  • In 1961 the U.S. government launched a military invasion of Cuba in retaliation for Cuba’s nationalizing U.S. corporate holdings, resulting in the loss of many lives.


  • The U.S. war in Vietnam was a futile attempt to stop a popular revolution waged by workers and peasants in Vietnam to rid their land of foreign domination. It resulted in the deaths of 4 million Vietnamese men, women and children and 58,000 Americans. Vietnam is still suffering birth defects from agent orange and other chemical and biological weapons the U.S. government employed. U.S. planted land mines that to this day kill and rip limbs from peasants and their children in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia.

  • In 1973 the C.I.A. helped overthrow democratically elected President Allende of Chile because of his threat to nationalize U.S. corporate interests. The Pinochet government which it placed in power proceeded to kill 30,000 students, unionists, and leftists.

  • In the 1980s the U.S. government armed the Contras in Nicaragua, a terrorist group that proceeded to kill 30,000 civilians.
  • In 1999, US-led NATO forces launched a massive 87-day bombing assault on mostly civilian targets in Yugoslavia causing near-total destruction to the country’s infrastructure and resulting in the loss of almost exclusively civilian lives.

  • The U.S. government not only helped establish the state of Israel by forcefully removing the Palestinian people from their land but it continues to supply the state of Israel with a massive military apparatus which is used to oppress the Palestinian people. Thousands of Palestinian lives have been lost as a direct consequence of U.S. support of Israel.

  • The ten year bombing and sanctions campaign the U.S. government has waged against the people of Iraq has resulted in the death of over one million children.

  • It is not difficult to discern the logic of the U.S. government foreign policy. U.S. corporations, with their massive wealth, have managed to elect their own representatives to government office, be these representatives Republicans or Democrats. The federal government is little more than a tool employed by U.S. corporations to impose their interests throughout the world. These interests, motivated by a compulsive attempt to maximize profits, include guaranteed access to cheap labor, cheap raw materials and land, and the right to violently suppress anyone who challenges these interests. It was no accident that the terrorists targeted the Pentagon and the World Trade Center.

The root cause of terrorism: capitalism

Terrorism cannot be stopped except by stopping its root cause—capitalism. Working people in the United States must learn, and learn quickly, that our interests lie not with Corporate America but with the vast majority of the world’s population—the workers, peasants, and the oppressed in general. We need to build a society that is not based on exploitation, but embraces a cooperative socialist, planned economy where production is based on the needs of humanity, not on the profits for a few.

Finally, sober reflection will reveal that nothing good can come of these terrorist attacks. Isolated acts of terror do not contribute to mobilizing the masses of workers and oppressed against their exploiters. Only the forces of reaction, the ruling class, will benefit politically from such acts since they serve to create an atmosphere whereby militarism is waged against all opponents of U.S. imperialism and where democratic and civil rights are curtailed in the name of fighting terrorism and defending “freedom and civilization.”

Supporters of Socialist Viewpoint magazine call upon anti-war activists to come together in a united front to oppose any war moves by the U.S. government. Teach-ins, speak-outs, public education campaigns, and demonstrations are needed to begin to counter the warmongers in the U.S. government. We will work with anyone who wants to tell the truth about the U.S. foreign policy of terrorism. H

Mass action stopped the US war in Vietnam.
We can do it again!





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