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Re: Comments on terrorist attack... plus statement by Cuban government.

To "former member of US armed services"

Dear friend,

Like you , and like hundreds of millions of others around the world, I was in that plane, I was in that building. Like you, I feel distressed and shocked by this diabolical act and can feel the searing intensity of pain and hate and anguish and rage...  How can we cope with such corrosive emotions? How can we  stop such lightning-bolts from frying our fragile reason-circuits?

What I have to say comes not out of emotion, but out of cold reason. From your letter, I'm not sure whether you are in the mood for reason, but here it is anyway.

Nothing I say should be misinterpreted as in any way a justification for or a mitigation of the heinous actions committed last Tuesday. To my mind, the attack on the WTC and Pentagon were not only horrendous crimes against  innocent victims and their friends and families, they have had a broader terrible effect: of permitting the US government to retake the initiative in its war against democratic rights, working people and oppressed nationalities at home and abroad.

First, a simple arithmetical equation.

One Afghani = one American = one Iraqi = one Brit. 

This is a good way to check whether we are still able to add up. If  this equation makes no sense, read no further.

Next, an indisputable fact: the world's number one terrorist state is the United States of America.  This is not a wild exaggeration or an hysterical claim, it is the plain truth, which now more than ever needs to be plainly stated. I'll spare you a long litany of the state-sponsored terrorism and mass murder which has been the hallmark of the US empire from WW2 to the present day... but here's a little vignette, from the Independent, 30 July 2001:
The publication of a history book that reveals American involvement in the deaths of more than 100,000 communists in Indonesia [during 1965-66] has been halted by the Bush administration. (...) "We frankly do not know whether the real figure is closer to 100,000 or 1,000,000..." says one of the [official] documents [cited in the book]... Another says: "The chances of detection... of our support in this instance are as minimal as any black bag operation can be."
Most estimates of the number who died in the US/UK/Australia-organised military coup in Indonesia say that 500,000 people died. (A few years earlier, the CIA did the same thing in Iraq - they sat down with Saddam Hussein to draw up lists of thousands of Iraqi leftists and intellectuals for execution following the CIA-organised Ba'athist coup in 1962 - see, inter alia, Said Aburish's book 'The Brutal Handshake').
One interesting  aspect of the Indonesian genocide was how the CIA used "Islamic" extremists against the workers and peasants. This, too, is part of a repetitive pattern - e.g. the US sponsored Islamic fundamentalism in Afghanistan; its protege the Shah sponsored "Islamic" reactionaries against the Iranian left; Israel financed and fomented Hamas as a counterweight to and foe of the secular PLO...

To conclude, I just want to state my view of terrorism and my view of America.

Terrorism is how the so-called western democracies rule over and exploit the peoples of the rest of the world. When used by the oppressed, terrorism is always counterproductive, the product of hate and despair, not of consciousness and hope in the future. When the targets are the citizens of an enemy state, terrorism is counter-revolutionary, in that it does not see e.g. US workers or Israeli Jewish workers as potential allies; it does not see their revolutionary capacities and that they, like workers everywhere, will be their own liberators. Instead, it treats them as an enemy and drives them into the arms of the enemy.

My view of America? I am not anti-American, I am intensely pro-American. I just detest the US government and the super-rich imperialists whom it represents, who right now are trying to milk September 11 for all the political advantage they can get, and who are preparing to desecrate the memory of the innocent victims of September 11 by shedding the blood of hundreds of thousands more innocents.

In case you haven't seen it, I append the statement issued by the Cuban government.


John S

Statement from the Government of the Republic of Cuba

The Government of the Republic of Cuba has received with pain and sadness the news of the violent and surprise attacks this morning (September 11) on civilian and official installations in the cities of New York and Washington, and the resultant numerous casualties.
Cuba’s position against any act of terrorism is well known. It is impossible to forget that our people have been the victims of such actions, promoted from U.S. territory itself, for more than 40 years.
For both historical reasons and ethical principles, the government of our country totally rejects and condemns the attacks mounted on the above-mentioned installations and offers its sincerest condolences to the U.S. people for the painful and unjustified human losses those attacks provoked.
At this bitter time, our people express their solidarity with the U.S. people and their total disposition to cooperate, as far as their modest possibilities allow, with that country’s public health or any other institution of a medical or humanitarian nature, in terms of attention, care and rehabilitation of the victims of this morning’s incidents.
City of Havana, September 11, 2001

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