The 12th anniversary of the attack to the World Trade Center twin towers was remembered by the media worldwide. The U.S. government held a ceremony, attended by President Obama and former President George W. Bush, at Ground Zero, the site of the destroyed World Trade Center twin towers in New York. Memorial services were worldwide broadcasted with an evident purpose of capitalizing the event in favor of imperialism and to raise again the terrorist threat «ghost».
In the thousands of special booklets, articles and TV shows dedicated to the topic, the September 11, 2001 was characterized in different ways, since the «event that defined the 21st century beginning» up to even a «historic turning point,» reminding the «war against terror» and the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. Other analysts have emphasized the «decline of American empire,» the wars that drag on and the economic crisis, and even saying that «Bin Laden won.» But for the workers and oppressed people around the world, what is the real meaning of 09/11?
The attacks: an excuse for a «war against the people»
The key aspect of the attacks that brought down the twin towers was its use by former President George W. Bush to unleash, on the pretext of «war on terror», a real «war against the people», mainly trying to control the oil-producing countries and the means of access to them. That was the real reason for: 1) the attack on Afghanistan, as this country is the main way to access the oil from Central Asia; 2) the attack on Iraq, a country that held, at that time, the second largest oil reserve in the world; and 3) the supporting of the coup attempt against Chavez in 2002.
Imperialism tried to go further: unleashed an offensive not only military, but also political, ideological and economic confirmed, for example, in the Free Trade Agreements such as the FTAA (Free Trade Area of the Americas) aiming at oppressing and plundering the wealth of the exploited countries.
The 9/11 attacks were so useful for these purposes that there are evidences that the Bush administration, informed by the CIA and the FBI, was aware of Al-Qaeda’s preparations and took no security measures, leaving the events run and taking advantage of the repercussions.
No wonder that Bush himself called the attacks as «the Pearl Harbor of the 21st century,» comparing them with Japan’s attack on the United States in 1941. The parallel is very suitable, since today it is proven that the Japanese attack was known in advance by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the American president then, who also took no security measures actions and used the attack as a pretext to justify the U.S. entry into World War II.
It was the masses resistance who placed a crisis in the imperialist offensive
No doubt that the 9/11 attack had an enormous repercussions, not only because imperialism has used it, but because this was the action’s objective as it happened in the main city of the world’s most powerful country and against one of the capitalism’s symbols.
However, interpretations that take into account that a terrorist attack may be a determining factor to define wars, to define economic crisis and to explain the decline of the strongest imperialist country in the world are mechanical, simplistic and even silly. They are based on a conception of humankind History defined by acts of individuals or groups, be them conspiratorial, treacherous or heroic. It’s just an attempt of the ruling class and its ideologues to cover up the powerful movements of the classes in struggle and to cover up the contradictions on the basis of the world economy.
The truth is that the 9/11 subsequent events were set in the field of world class struggle. It was the armed resistance of the Iraqi and Afghan people that caused thousands of casualties in the armed forces of the United States, the world’s most powerful. After years of war and wear, Obama had to pronounce the withdrawal of U.S. troops from those countries. And even this withdrawal is still partial. The United States is «bogged down» in a terrible contradiction: they have to leave, but cannot allow the Afghan resistance, led by the Taliban, be victorious or that the weak Maliki government in Iraq is overthrown.
Subsequently, the global economic crisis that still affects especially the imperialist countries – the United States, Europe and Japan – grew out of the internal contradictions of world capitalism (the falling in the profit rate, the rapid growth of speculative finance capital), aggravated by huge spending on the military budget to feed Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
Imperialism’s solution, after a couple of years, has been the «classic» solution for the capitalist crisis: making workers bear the sacrifices, through unemployment, wage loss and cuts in social budgets of governments.
And so far, the imperialist countries have managed to impose their plans, because they count not only on the support of submissive «progressive» and «nationalist» governments, but also they count on the collaboration of union bureaucracies and reformist parties worldwide who help enforce the austerity plans in exchange of crumbs falling from the table of big capitalists.
The United States, despite the crisis and its collapse, continue and will continue to be the central empire, not only for its huge military hegemony and technological superiority but also because there is not a competitor to face them.
The only ones who can change this situation are the workers and the exploited peoples around the world. The great mass actions occurring worldwide are a demonstration of this, especially from European workers and young people «outraged» who have been resisting the plans of imperialism, fighting for their survival and accelerating the “monster” decay.
The Arab masses Revolution is the History real protagonist
Ten years after the 9/11, it is the revolution of the Arab masses against their capitalist and pro-imperialist dictatorships, and not the terrorism, which takes the place of the History’s protagonist. It was the workers, and unemployed youth in Egypt, Tunisia, Syria, Yemen and Libya that took to the streets and gave their lives to overthrow the hated rulers. Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups, which, ten years ago, tried to capitalize on the hatred of the Arab masses against the imperialism of the United States played no role in the Arab Revolution.
The explanation is simple. When millions of people take their destiny into their own hands and fight for them, the isolated and desperate actions of small groups are completely overshadowed by these great events that constitute the Revolutions. While, curiously, imperialism tries to resurrect the terrorist threat, the greatest lesson of 9/11 is that nothing can substitute the revolutionary action and self-organization of the working class and the masses.