THOUSANDS of Americans attended the Ground Zero memorial service in New York last Sunday for those who lost their lives in the terror attacks of 11th September 2001. The solemn occasion, led by President Obama, was repeated at similar ceremonies across the United States and in the capitals of US imperialism’s allies across the world.
The movers and shakers of the imperialist world publicly express their grief at the 3,000 innocent civilians killed in the terror attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. They talk about the “war on terror”. They claim that the world has become a better place in the past 10 years. But they say nothing about the million or so equally innocent civilians who have died at the hands of US-led imperialism in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and Libya since 9/11. No one plays the bagpipes for them and their names will not be immortalised in bronze in New York or anywhere else in the United States.
US imperialism’s bid for global hegemony began with the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. Under cover of a bogus United Nations mandate, a trick they first used to attack north Korea in 1950 and one they have used time and time again ever since, Anglo-American imperialism attacked Iraq. Soon after they moved to violently break up the Yugoslav federation and attack the Serbs.
But the American plan for world domination, called the “new world order”, really kicked off after the Al Qaeda attacks in 2001; 9/11 was used by the US ruling class as a pretext to invade Afghanistan and Iraq as part of a plan for total imperialist control of the immense oil and gas resources of what they began to call the “Greater Middle East” region.
Arabs and Muslims who stood in the way were demonised as brutal religious bigots and savages while the crimes of those autocratic feudal leaders willing to serve imperialism were whitewashed by the imperialists and the “human rights” gang that trail behind them. The random terrorism of the oppressed is branded as barbarism while the systematic terror of imperialist occupation is routinely denied.
Piracy and hostage-taking by impoverished Somali fishermen is condemned as extortion while a blind eye is turned to the abuse of prisoners in concentration camps in Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo Bay. It’s not surprising to see the murder of a Basra hotel worker, beaten to death by British troops in 2003, so easily dismissed as a “very serious and regrettable incident”. His death will doubtless be blamed on individual soldiers and not on the underlying culture of imperialist military occupation that led to the atrocity in the first place. The imperialists spent billions of dollars in their drive to control the resources of the world. But at the end of the day what have they got to show for it?
Despite all the might of their aviation and the strength of their legions the Americans are on their way out in Iraq and Afghanistan. The US economy is in the doldrums along with the rest of capitalist world that is sinking into the biggest slump seen since 1929. Though they control a large part of global oil production they cannot change the rules of supply and demand or the fundamental law of value.Ten years on the wild hopes of the imperialists lie buried in the dust of Iraq and Afghanistan along with the hundreds of thousands of victims who perished in the attempt to make the world a better place for the big oil corporations.