The US War on Terror*


“Fascism will never come to America as fascism. It will come as 100 percent Americanism.” Huey Long

“When fascism come to America, it will be wrapped in the flag, carrying a cross” Sinclair Lewis

BY DR. HALUK GERGER
INTERNATIONAL
Posted by Bulatlat

After the Second World War, the US imperialism had premeditated two immediate objectives in its drive to global hegemony. One was to defeat socialism and destroy the Soviet Union together with the regimes allied to it. The second aim was to subvert and subdue the national-democratic revolutions in the colonies and semi-colonies. The anticommunist crusade of the Cold War was the culmination of this plan.

In the preparatory phase of this aggression, the US leaders realized that this kind of total belligerence required tools to manipulate the public opinion for domestic control.

One tool to utilize was fear. As the influential Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Arthur Vandenberg had advised President Truman, ruling classes first needed to “scare the hell out of the American people.”

Secondly, the government moved to curtail the democratic process at the home front and began to repress opposition. McCarthyism was the culmination of this sinister process during which democratic institutions were corrupted and due process of law crudely violated. State and corporate terror was unleashed against dissent. Public opinion was unabashedly manipulated.

Thirdly, it was deemed necessary to demonize and criminalize the targeted regimes, political leaders and movements. As a result, it was hoped, public opinion support would be secured for the legitimization of destructive methods like sabotage, torture, assassination, mass murder, coup d’etats, military dictatorships, brushfire wars, pacification programs, and the like. The aim, in short, was manufacturing pretexts, consent, and justification for imperialist terror.

Militarization of both international relations and the domestic environment followed this conspiracy against democracy and peace. The ideological machinations took the human mind, social sensitivities, and public opinion captive.

In 1941, Henry Luce, in his call for the “American Century,” said that, after the World War II, victorious USA should exercise her right “to exert upon the world the full impact of our influence, for such purposes as we see fit and by such means as we see fit.” And in 1955, as if directly addressing Luce’s ominous call, the US Air Force General (and later Shell Oil Director) James Doolittle, commissioned to lead a Panel of Consultents to undertake a study of CIA covert operations, wrote the following to President Eisenhower:

“It is now clear that we are facing an implacable enemy whose avowed objective is world domination by whatever means and at whatever cost. There are no rules in such a game. Hitherto acceptable norms of human conduct do not apply. If the United States is to survive, long-standing American concepts of “fair play” must be reconsidered. We must develop effective espionage and counterespionage services and must learn to subvert, sabotage and destroy our enemies by more clever, more sophisticated and more effective methods than those weed against us. It may become necessary that the American people be made acquainted with, understand and support this fundamentally repugnant philosophy…”

Finally, we must underline the fact that the imperialist aggression at the time pointed to a profound crisis of the system. It stemmed from a structural crisis, resulted in an humanistic crisis on the part of the aggressor who denied opponents’ humanism. In the end, the world strayed into the “New Order” of imperialist barbarism—leading up to the utter bankruptcy of imperialism itself.

More than half a century after Luce’s pronunciation, the US has embarked upon yet another imperialist onslaught, this time to reap the fruits of its Cold War victory and to impose a new “American Century.”

The Middle East was chosen as the launching pad in this offensive for global hegemony. In the year 2000, The Project for the New American Century, an influential think-tank, released a report called “Rebuilding America’s Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century.” Among its authors were Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Francis Fukuyama, and W. Bush’s brother Jeb Bush. A critical paragraph in the Report said:

“In the Persian Gulf region, the presence of American forces, along with British and French units, has become a semi permanent fact of life. Though the immediate mission of those forces is to enforce the no-fly zones over northern and southern Iraq, they represent the long-term commitment of the United States and its major allies to a region of vital importance. Indeed, the United States has for decades sought to play a more permanent role in Gulf regional security. While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein.”

The report also called for a wholesale militarist reorganization in the United States to add momentum to the global hegemony push they sought, comparable with what the notorious NSC-68 demanded in 1948 for the Cold War drive. The authors were yearning for a congenial domestic atmosphere:

“…the process of [such a militaristic] transformation…is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event- like a new Pearl Harbor.”

As if God-sent, the pretext for “justification” descended on New York and Washington DC on September 11, 2001. The new much-needed elusive enemy was christened “terrorism.” It would become the blanket term to denigrate all resistance to imperialism and even any opposition whenever the powers that be may wish so.

Again, similar to the precursory Cold War schemes, a new “ruthless” and “dehumanized” enemy had to be invented to paralyze the world with fright and to vindicate imperialist terror. Now, the “baby-eating Chinese communists” gave way to the “blood-thirsty Arab-Moslem terrorists.” Once again, to justify imperialist aggression devoid of moral or legal restraints, and to delude the people to “support this fundamentally repugnant philosophy” of treachery, “a new kind of war” had to be contrived. A new militarism was needed through which Capital could indulge itself in global plunder…

In 2002, in his cover letter of the notorious Presidential Report “The National Security Strategy of the United States of America” President George W. Bush declared a “war of uncertain duration” against the new enemy.

According to the highest authority of the land, the United States faced an enemy and a kind of war that made all previous conduct obsolete, and even dangerous. Reminiscent of Doolittle’s report and the rhetoric of the Cold War, the new strategy text claimed:

“We are menaced less by fleets and armies than by catastrophic technologies in the hands of the embittered few…The struggle against global terrorism is different from any other war in our history. It will be fought on many fronts against a particularly elusive enemy over an extended period of time…But it is not only this battlefield on which we will engage terrorists…The United States of America is fighting a war against terrorists of global reach. The enemy is not a single political regime or person or religion or ideology. The enemy is terrorism…

The regimes of the new enemy states:

* brutalize their own people and squander their national resources for the personal gain of the rulers;
• display no regard for international law, threaten their neighbors, and callously violate international treaties to which they are party;
• are determined to acquire weapons of mass destruction, along with other advanced military technology, to be used as threats or offensively to achieve the aggressive designs of these regimes;
• sponsor terrorism around the globe; and
• reject basic human values and hate the United States and everything for which it stands…

It has taken almost a decade for us to comprehend the true nature of this new threat. Given the goals of rogue states and terrorists, the United States can no longer solely rely on a reactive posture as we have in the past. The inability to deter a potential attacker, the immediacy of today’s threats, and the magnitude of potential harm that could be caused by our adversaries’ choice of weapons, do not permit that option…The major institutions of American national security were designed in a different era to meet different requirements. All of them must be transformed…”

To justify their agenda of war, invasion, subjugation, and pillage, imperialist spokesmen persisted with instilling fear in the hearts and minds of the people. They began to portray a dehumanized enemy, and started a campaign of demonizing all potential opposition and resistance to domination.

On November 12, 2002, at the District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Operations Center, George W. Bush declared that,

“It’s a new charge. It’s a new charge because we learned on that fateful day that America is now a battlefield. It used to be that oceans would protect us…But we learned a tough lesson, that the old ways are gone, that the enemy can strike us here at home,… On September the 11th, 2001, our nation was confronted by a new kind of war…This is a war….And it’s a different kind of war than we’re used to. I explained part of the difference is the fact that the battlefield is now here at home. It’s also a war where the enemy doesn’t show up with airplanes that they own, or tanks or ships. These are suiciders. These are cold-blooded killers. That’s all they are…There should be no doubt in anybody’s mind the nature of the enemy…We’re adjusting to the new world we’re in…As a matter of fact, there hadn’t a morning that hadn’t gone by that I haven’t saw — seen or read threats…It’s the new reality…”

At a press conference in the White House on December 19, 2002, Bush said, “this new threat required us to think and act differently…right after September the 11th, I knew we were fighting a different kind of war.”

He lectured the students and faculty of the National Defense University on the same theme on October 23, 2007:

“Today, you’re training the next generation of leaders to prevail in the great ideological struggle of our time — the global war on terror. We’re at war with a brutal enemy. We’re at war with cold-blooded killers who despise freedom, reject tolerance, and kill the innocent in pursuit of their political vision. Many of you have met this enemy on the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq…This new kind of threat has required a new kind of war — and we’re prosecuting that war on many fronts…in order to defeat the ideology of darkness, the ideology of the terrorists…In this new war, the enemy seeks to infiltrate operatives into our country and attack us from within. They can’t beat our armies; they can’t defeat our military. And so they try to sneak folks in our country to kill the innocent, to achieve their objectives. And that’s one of the reasons we passed the Patriot Act…In this new war, the enemy conspires in secret– and often the only source of information on what the terrorists are planning is the terrorists themselves…In this new war, the enemy seeks weapons of mass destruction that would allow them to kill our people on an unprecedented scale…Today, our adversaries have changed. We no longer worry about a massive Soviet first strike. We worry about terrorist states and terrorist networks that might not be deterred by our nuclear forces. To deal with such adversaries we need a new approach to deterrence…”

And Bush said at the start of his annual meeting with the governors at the White House on Feb 25, 2008, “This is a different kind of struggle than we’ve ever faced before. It’s essential that we understand the mentality of these killers…”

So in the end individuals, organizations, nations as well as states have been declared enemy…The whole world became the battlefield…The rules of war and norms of time-honored civilized behavior became obsolete…As time ceased to be a measurement or criterion in the “war against terror,” war has become eternal…Moral traditions of war declared defunct…The “new enemy” did not even deserve the Cold War’s debased criteria of humane treatment…An evil colossus of the fusion of internal and external enemy was constructed that permitted external aggression and internal repression as one indivisible whole in this “new kind of war…” Habitual imperialist viciousness was now called “unprecedented response to new threats…”

When the useful Soviet actuality ceased to exist, the United States needed another all-encompassing enemy. In order to justify a state of perpetual war in pursuit of “full-spectrum dominance,” she substituted the faceless enemy dubbed “terrorism” for the previous one, namely, “godless communism.”

The sinister ploy to dominate the world and subjugate the people all over the globe into permanent servitude was put into practice with the so-called “war on terror.” It officially commenced with the ferocious bombing of Afghanistan and continued with the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq. The immediate result was horrendous suffering for millions, mass killings, wanton destruction, systematic torture, and carnage.

Abominable as they were, Afghan and Iraqi predicament proved to be only a prelude to the systematic onslaught and repression that followed.

Capital’s lust for profit and plunder coupled with the constructed self-righteous nationalist extremism cloaked in and propagated with a so-called divine mission, conditioned the US behavior. She began to act as an international outlaw. From Guantanamo to Bingram, Abu Ghraib and Camp Copper, from secret CIA planes to renditions, the whole world witnessed appalling war crimes. Legal terms have been degenerated into an Orwellian language and as Mary Robinson said, in the lexicon of the “war on terror,” “coercive interrogation” replaced torture and kidnapping became “extraordinary rendition.” Private contractors mandated to kill at will were hired on the pretext of fighting terrorism. As Rahul Mahajam observed,

“Defense Secretary Donald said, ‘we’ll have to deal with the networks. One of the ways to do that is to drain the swamp they live in, and that means dealing not only with the terrorists, but those who harbor terrorists.’ The phrase ‘drain the swamp’ has roots in Mao’s description of a guerrilla army as a fish swimming in the sea of the people. U.S. Counterinsurgency experts after World War II took up the phrase in the concept of ‘draining the sea’ to counter guerrilla warfare-a strategy carried out in South Vietnam by massive bombing, forced evacuation (the strategic hamlet program), deforestation (11 million gallons of Agent Orange was dropped in Vietnam), and large-scale torture and political repression (the Phoenix program). No sooner was the phrase uttered than it was on everyone’s lips, from government officials to newspaper editorials around the world. The logic of extermination…of assuming all who didn’t support the extermination were themselves guilty was all in place. How it played out in practice would depend on how much force was sufficient, not on any consideration of principle.”

General Doolittle theorized about “an implacable enemy” against whom, he claimed, “[h]itherto acceptable norms of human conduct do not apply.” President Bush, fifty years later, spoke of “evil forces” who forced upon the US “a new kind of war and a new approach to deterrence” rendering “old ways” defunct.

The fact of the matter is that the “old ways” go back to the days when the Continent was colonized. When the US monopoly capitalism ventured into its first imperialistic forays, the “old ways” were revived. Max Boot’s narrative of the “old ways” from those old days sound disturbingly familiar:

“Already the army had displayed considerable cruelty in fIghting the Filipinos. Even during the initial campaigm of 1899, there were credible reports of solders shooting prisoners ‘while trying to escape,’ burning towns, and torturing suspects to elicit information. One interrogation techniqe, passed down from the Spaniards, was called the ‘water cure’: the victim would be held down, his mouth propped open, and water forced down his throat until his guts felt close to bursting, then a soldier would push on his stomach to clear out the water. American soldiers became more hard-hearted the longer the guerrilla war dragged on… [Marine Captain known as Tiger of Seibo] personally tortured one prisoner by cutting him with a knife, pouring salt and orange juice on his wounds, and then cutting off his ears…The tiny general [General Jacob Smith] told [Major Littleton Waller],’I want no prisoners. I wish you to kill and burn, the more you kill and the more you burn the better you will please me… I want all persons killed who are capable of bearing arms.’
Waller: ‘I would like to know the limit of age.’
Smith: ‘Ten years…’ ”

The fourth president of the United States, James Madison, had once remarked that “no nation can preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.” One main victim of the “war on terror” has been the US society itself.

Immediately after the September 11 attacks, scores of people were rounded up. They were held in special detention centers without charge and bail. They were brutalized. Most of those apprehended were Arabs and Muslims. Political prisoners were placed under an emergency arrangement and kept in solitary confinement for weeks. Aliens were deported on meager grounds based on obscure clauses in long-forgotten old laws.

At the advent of the Cold War, The National Security Act, the foundation of the CIA with an addendum to this Act, the creation of the Defense Department, the “loyalty investigations,” the Smith and McCarran Acts were landmarks of impending aggression.

A similar pattern can be discerned after September 11, 2001. Only a few weeks after the attacks, Bush signed the Patriot Act into law. As Bush later explained in his address at the National Defense University in October 2007,

“in this new war, the enemy seeks to infiltrate operatives into our country and attack us from within. They can’t beat our armies; they can’t defeat our military. And so they try to sneak folks in our country to kill the innocent, to achieve their objectives. And that’s one of the reasons we passed the Patriot Act.”

Three weeks after the signing of the Patriot Act, Bush authorized military tribunals to try anyone suspected of terrorism with the explicit aim of speedy execution and imprisonment of defendants without bothering themselves with the intricacies of the due process. In 2002, the then White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales advised the president that, “as you have said the war against terrorism is a new kind of war. The nature of the new war places a high premium on other factors, such as the ability to quickly obtain information from captured terrorists and their sponsors in order to avoid further atrocities against American citizens.” Gonzales concluded: “In my judgment, this new paradigm renders obsolete Geneva’s strict limitations on questioning of enemy prisoners and renders quaint some of its provisions.” He also argued that by dropping the Geneva Convention, the president would “preserve his flexibility” in the war on terror. This meant that Geneva Convention rules of treating prisoners of war were not applicable any more and that the US did not bound herself with humanitarian rules of war. Also, the advise indicated that torturing suspected persons has become an urgent necessity “in the new kind of war .”

In November 2002, the Homeland Security Act followed. While the Congress was in session discussing the bill, president Bush spoke:

“It’s a different kind of war than we’re used to. I explained part of the difference is the fact that the battlefield is now here at home…The new kind of war has now placed our police and firefighters and rescue workers on the front lines. You’re already on the front lines. Now you got another line. There’s another front to do our duty to the American people…The enemy moves quickly and America must move quickly. We cannot have bureaucratic rules preventing this President and future Presidents from meeting the needs of the American people. To meet the threats to our country, a President must have the authority, as every President since John F. Kennedy has had, to waive certain rights for national security purposes.”

Then followed the internal intelligence gathering as explained by Bush, speaking at the FBI Academy in Virginia on July 11 2005:

“To defend our homeland, we need the best possible intelligence. We face a new kind of enemy. This enemy hides in caves and plots in shadows, and then emerges to strike and kill in cold blood in our cities and communities. Staying a step ahead of this enemy and disrupting their plans is an unprecedented challenge for our intelligence community. We’re reforming our intelligence agencies to meet the new threats. We’ve established a new National Counterterrorism Center where we are bringing together all the available intelligence on terrorist threats. We’re sharing intelligence across all levels of government — the federal level, the state level, and the local level.”

The Patriot Act was the initiator of a chain reaction of repressive dynamic that beset American society and turned the American people into a victim of the “war on terror.” At this point perhaps it is more appropriate to let the Americans speak out themselves.

Even the partial list presented by Matthew Rothschild to the Americans is horrific indeed:

“The government is monitoring your phone calls and can read your e-mails and open your snail mail.

The government can access records of your large financial transactions, such as buying a house.

Law enforcement officers can bust into your home when you’re not there, riffle through your belongings, plant a recording device on your computer, and leave without notifying you for at least thirty days—and may be a lot more.

You no longer have the right to protest where the president or vice president can see you, or at major public events when they aren’t even present.

Law enforcement officers can now monitor you in public if you are merely exercising your political rights.

They can infiltrate your political organizations.

And they can keep track of you at your place of Worship.

The government can find out from bookstores and libraries the material you’ve been reading, and the bookstore owner and the librarian can’t talk about it, except to their lawyers, for a whole year—or more.

The government can hold you in preventive detention for months on end as a “material witness.”

If you are not a citizen the government can depart you on a technicality or for mere political association.

If you are not a citizen the government can label you an “enemy combatant” and send you to secret prisons around the world, where you may never see the light again—much less a lawyer or a judge.

And even if you are a citizen, the government can label you an enemy combatant and hold you in solitary confinement here in the United States.”

And here are glimpses from his compilation of ordinary citizens’ lives: Marc Schultz was reading an article at the coffee shop, called “Weapons of Mass Destruction: Fox News Hits a New Lowest Common Denominator” while another customer peeking behind called the FBI on him. A few days later two agents visited him in his work place. In West Virginia, Renee Jensen put up a dozen protest signs in her yard like: “Mr. Bush: You’re Fired.” She was interrogated by the Secret Service. Glen Hiller interjected a few times when Bush was speaking at a High School Berkeley Springs, West Virginia. The next day her boss fired her on charge of “unacceptable actions.” In Alabama, Lynne Gobbell put a Kerry bumper sticker on her car. She too was fired from her job. In Vermont, High School teacher Tom Treece assigned his students to write (pro or con) essays and prepare posters on the Iraq War. After midnight, the police entered the classroom and took photos of the students’ works. English teacher at the Forsyth Technical Community College in Winston-Salem, in one her classes criticized the war in Iraq. A few days later, she received a disciplinary letter from her supervisor, and after some time of administrative proceedings, her contract was not renewed. Stephen Kobasa teaching English at Kolbe Cathedral High School in Bridgeport, Connecticut, refused to have an American flag in his classroom. He lost his job in 2005. Near Albany, New York, Stephen Downs and his son Roger bought T-shirts in a mall. Downs put his shirt on, and was arrested. The T-shirt’s messages read: “Peace on Earth.”

Joe Conason, rightly expresses his alarm over the fate of fundamental rights and freedoms in the United States in a state of “continual warfare” conducted with ferocious immorality, vicious bellicosity, and with blithe disregard for the rules of war, absolute contempt for due process of law, and deliberate indifference towards the constitution of the land:

“In American history, authoritarian excess has often accompanied war (or the fear of war), from the Alien and Sedition Acts passed by Madison’s political opponents to Abraham Lincoln’s Civil War suspension of habeas corpus; from the Red Scare of World War I to the internment of Japanese in World War II; from Joseph McCarthy’s depredations at the beginning of the Cold war to Richard Nixon’s abuses during the war in Vietnam. Those wartime encroachments eventually receded, owing to the end of hostilities or the vitality of democratic resistance. But what would happen in a nation beset by continual warfare?”

And this is Peter Phillips’ diagnosis of the state of the Union:

“[T]he Bush administration is paltering to the American public with exaggerated misconceptions of worldwide terrorism to frighten us into supporting a global police state, and the US corporate media serves as the handmaid of this deception. With seven hundred military bases and a budget bigger than that of the rest of the world combined, the US military and its corporate media partners have become the new supreme-power force, repressing “terrorism” with full-spectrum dominance and cognitive ideological control…”

The damning joint indictment of Elliot D. Cohen and Bruce W. Fraser in the light of the systematic conduct in the years following the unleashing of the “war on terror” is irrefutable indeed:

“The Nazi government also operated in secrecy…defending its abuses of power in the name of national security…The systematic violations of law and civil liberties in America—the operations of secret prison camps; the president’s claimed right to torture prisoners of war…; the warrantless eavesdropping on phone conversations and e-mail messages; the assumed power of the president to declare martial law and turn America into a police state; the claim that the entire nation is a ‘battlefield in the war on terror’ so that ordinary legal protections don’t apply; the president’s use of signing statements to nullify legislative constraints on executive power; the threat to prosecute journalists for treason if they reported information that endangers ‘national security’ (as determined exclusively by the president and company); the canceling of habeas corpus; the labeling as ‘unlawful enemy combatants’ anyone the president deems ‘hostile’ to the interests of the United States; the suspension of legal protection for whistleblowers who expose government corruption; the attempt to control judicial outcomes (from firing federal prosecutors and intimidating state and federal judges to stocking the Supreme Court with right-wing conservatives)—these and many other antidemocratic, authoritarian activities make the analogy with Nazi Germany not only fitting but compelling…[T]he quest for money and power has created a dangerous, unholy alliance between big business and government, crushing the American dream, snuffing out civil liberties, and leaving us stranded in a media sea of propaganda and lies…[T]he American people…have been shocked and awed into submitting to a megalomaniac government that has made the war on terror a pretext for keeping us all on a short leash…”

Irrespective of their critical public utterences and misgivings on what they call “excesses” of US policies, the member governments of the European Union have been quick to recognize the “common interests,” and seized the opportunity in the “war on terror.” They enthusiastically joined the global crusade and shared the internal repression that went with it. Imperialist belligerence was fused with internal repression. Scores of governments joined hand with the US ruling elite to curtail political dissent and oppress opponents through anti-terror laws. All over the world the “war on terror” was thus turned into a concerted offensive of the ruling classes allied to US imperialism.

The US and its allies, through sovereignty-denial, promoted open-doors imperialism and created new outlets for speculative finance capital to turn the world into a gambling casino. They concocted a bogus legal base and intrigued provocations to intervene wherever capitalist plunder was hindered and imperialist hegemony challenged. To coerce nations into submission they horrendously punished the disobedient. The domestic fronts were pacified through anti-terror lagislation, police-state practices. Curtailment of dissent, violations of basic rights as free speech and association became the common practice. The “war on terror” has become the main tool and excuse in the implementation of the grand design of imperial dominance.

The New World Order created a common interest binding the ruling classes all over the world. The constituent elements of the system were brought together around an ideological common denominator to build up a conspiratiorial network of opression. To check social discontent and resistance in order to create a congenial atmosphere for local and global capitalist accumulation, repression has become one of the main functions of the neoliberal state system. The “war on terror” has become the euphemism of neoliberal onslaught. So the imperialist powers and their lackeys elsewhere began to cooperate in the “war on terror.” An integral part of this colaboration was the corruption of respective legal systems and structured violations of human rights. A new global McCarthyism engulfed the whole world. The right to resist invasion, and organized opposition of the oppressed to exploitation, inequality, hunger, mass unemployement, and political repression have been equated with “terrorism.” This ideological terror has become as destructive as the physical desolation caused by imperialist aggression.

In many parts of the world, notably including “democracies” such as the EU member states, Canada, and Australia, “terrorist lists” were prepared of organizations and political cadres. It was made a criminal offense to have positive relations with those listed. The domestic legislative part the “war on terror” comprised widespread suppression of those who exercised the inalienable right to resist subjugation. With its own lists, the UN supplemented and internationalized such domestic enactments. The “war on terror” has become the “Rambo’s sword” stabbed at human rights and fundamental freedoms. In the course of the “war on terror”, the professed “democracy-building” proved to be “exportation of draconian anti-terror laws.”

Globalization caused severe social-economic dislocations everywhere and together with wars, famine, and epidemics greatly expanded the exodus of people across international borders. Criminalization of immigrants and migrants has attained new heights after the American response to the September 11 attacks. The anti-terror hysteria and “terror laws” have created a new witch-hunt. Minorities and immigrant communities became one of the main victims of this development. The “war on terror” has created a new impetus for racism, and the “anti-terror laws” provided the legal base for persecution of the vulnerable communities. The fueled fear of the “other” was used to tyrannize through anti-terror legislation vocal movements for the rights of minorities.

The criminalization of immigrants have taken grotesque forms as this report from a British paper attests:

“Immigration officers are questioning Tube travelers because they sound ‘foreign’, the Evening Standard has learned. Thousands of passengers are being stopped in a secret operation using tactics the police are specifically forbidden from deploying.

Immigration officers are stopping anyone they consider to look or sound foreign and asking them to produce their papers to prove their right to British residence. Their aim is uncover illegal immigrants and failed asylum seekers. The existence of the spot-check operation has been kept secret by the Home Office but an Evening Standard investigation discovered that teams of immigration officers have been carrying out the procedures since May 2003. It is part of a wider program in which 1,000 suspected illegal immigrants have been detained.

During one operation witnessed by the Evening Standard, a series of people getting off Tube trains were stopped by immigration officers dressed in body armour and carrying handcuffs. The officer in charge said people were picked out for questioning if they sounded foreign. One immigration officer said: ‘If you hear someone speaking a language that’s not European we approach them and ask ‘do you mind if I ask you what nationality you are?’ ‘If they get upset or start acting suspiciously we ask the police to assist and demand identification…”

All these horrendous consequences of the “war on terror,” all suffering, blood and tear, nevertheless, should not conceal the profound crisis of imperialism. All those years of imperialist aggression have shown the absolute futility to subjugate the peoples of the world into servile slaves of Capital. The unrelenting heroic resistances together with deadly contradictions inherent in capitalism have brought about the current severe economic, social, political, strategic, and moral crises of the system. From the US where for more than forty million people securing food is a daily concern to the “wretched of the earth” in Asia, South America, and Africa, the prevalent “food crisis, this profound “humanitarian catastrophe,” is witness to the abyss capitalism has dragged the world into.

It is now time to deliver from this crisis of capitalism and imperialism a democratic-revolutionary front of all the oppressed peoples for national and social emancipation.

*This paper was delivered by the author during the Third International Assembly of the League of Peoples’ Struggle held from June 18-20, 2008 in Hong Kong.

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