Socialist Worker

US power on the rampage worldwide

Issue No. 1781

THE EVENTS of 11 September in the US changed the world. George Bush used the tragic deaths of over 3,000 people killed in the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon to 'rally the world against international terrorism' by announcing that 'you are either with us or you are with the terrorists'.

The world was propelled into the third major US-led war in ten years. The US blamed Al Qaida for the events of 11 September and promised revenge attacks on Afghanistan. A gang of bloody world rulers backed Bush's retaliation and stepped up their own private wars.

After suffering 23 years of war and four years of drought, and with seven million people facing famine, Afghanistan was bombed by the US, the richest nation on earth. In less than two months the bombing killed more civilians than died in the World Trade Centre.

Even as the US unleashed horror in Afghanistan, US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfelt was widening the war aims to target countries such as Yemen, Syria, Iran, Iraq and Sudan as 'rogue states'. Desperate to secure military victory, the US resorted to dropping daisy cutters and planting thousands of unexploded landmines that will kill and maim civilians.

It ended the pretence of surgical strikes by using Vietnam-era B-52 bombers. 'Thousands of innocent civilians are dying under American air strikes in Afghanistan, when the 'War of Civilisation' is burning and maiming the Pashtuns of Kandahar and destroying their homes', wrote Independent journalist Robert Fisk.

We may never know just how many Afghan men, women and children were blown up and killed by US bombs and US-backed Northern Alliance fighters. Bush and Blair are refusing calls for an inquiry into reports of countless prisoners of war being massacred by the US-backed Northern Alliance. Instead of peace and stability the legacy of Bush and Blair's military campaign is already a world more divided, and more unstable and unsafe.

Anti-war protests

AROUND THE world people took to the streets to challenge Bush's promised 'war without end'. Many people inspired by the anti-capitalist movement threw themselves into opposing the war.

In the aftermath of the events of September and in the most difficult circumstances, over 15,000 people marched in Washington to demonstrate against Bush's drive to war.

A broad, radical and multiracial anti-war movement sprang up in Britain. Two massive anti-war demonstrations in London brought together first around 50,000 and then 100,000.

Amongst those who took to the streets were 50,000 who demonstrated in Berlin, 250,000 in Italy, 70,000 in Calcutta in India, 10,000 in Sweden, 10,000 in Switzerland, 2,000 in Tokyo in Japan, 20,000 in Thailand, 15,000 in Madrid in Spain, and 20,000 in Indonesia. Despite claims of victory from Bush and Blair the movement against the war did not fade. It has the potential to involve even wider layers of people. Suffering in Afghanistan...

Billions live in fear of new economic slump

'GEORGE BUSH'S war is the opportunity of a generation to cut jobs without the risk of strikes.'
Secret document by British Airways managers

'I'VE GOT the worst possible Christmas news for you. This factory is going to shut and you will all lose your jobs.'
Boss of electronics firm NEC on 18 December telling 1,200 workers in Livingston, Scotland, that they were to be thrown on the dole

'THE SHARP slowdown in America has already caused a recession. In more and more countries around the world output is now stalling, if not falling. Total world output fell in the second quarter for the first time in two decades. News from around the world is getting gloomier.

Germany's economy stagnated. Japan's economy stayed in steep decline, and many economies in East Asia and Latin America are slumping alarmingly. The picture may soon look even worse. Welcome to the first global recession of the 21st century.'
The Economist magazine, 25 August, giving the lie to the claim that recession was sparked by the 11 September attacks

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