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Two Years After 9/11:
US Imperialism in a Quicksand

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
General Consultant
International League of People’s Struggle

11 September 2003

By unleashing wars of aggression against Afghanistan and Iraq and using weapons of mass destruction, the US has committed far more monstrous acts of terrorism than those of September 11, 2001 and has gained the condemnation of the broad masses of the people of the world.

US military forces have massacred tens of thousands of Afghani and Iraqi civilians and destroyed the social infrastructure, including schools, hospitals, water and power systems, office buildings and so on. The US has used the most lethal weapons of mass destruction, including various types of bombs and ammunition tipped with depleted uranium. These kill civilians in large numbers immediately and long after hostilities.

US Imperialism and Terrorism

There is clear evidence that intelligence agencies of the US and some governments friendly to the US had advance knowledge of the terrorist plot leading to 9/11. At least five of the 19 hijackers came under surveillance by US intelligence agents. But no effective counteractions were taken to foil the terrorist plot.

There is also clear evidence that long before 9/11 a cabal of "neo-conservatives" had launched the Project for a New American Century and had agitated for an opportunity for the US to use overwhelming military force, demonstrate the "unchallengeable" superiority of US power and gain control over the strategic resources of the world. Their neo-conservative pipedream is to spread "democracy" and "free market" under Pax Americana.

Top officials and covert operatives of the US Central Intelligence Agency have long collaborated with Osama bin Laden and his followers since the anti-Soviet campaigns of the 1980s. In fact, some of the 9/11 hijackers had pilot training in US air bases. The Bush and bin Laden families are close friends and co-investors in the Carlyle Group.

Filipinos are familiar with US instigation of terrorist groups and activities. The US Central Intelligence Agency was responsible for recruiting some Moros for jihad against Soviet troops in Afghanistan in the l980s and for forming the Abu Sayyaf terrorist gang in 1992. The CIA agent Michael Terrence Meiring and General Angelo Reyes have been implicated in terrorist bombings in Mindanao in recent years.

The US has used 9/11, like Hitler used the burning of the Reichstag, as the pretext for proclaiming a "global war on terrorism", for launching wars of aggression and for whipping up repression on a global scale. It has used the "terrorist" label to demonize countries asserting national independence, national liberation movements and progressive leaders.

High Material Rewards for the US

The material rewards for the US in pursuing a phoney war on terrorism have been high. With the conquest of Afghanistan, the US has tightened its grip over sources of oil and gas in Central Asia and Caspian Sea. It can build the pipelines from Central Asia to the Indian Ocean via Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The US is discouraging the construction of pipelines from Russia and Central Asia to China. It is tightening its encirclement of both Russia and China even as the regimes in these large countries are still friendly and pliant to US monopoly interests. It is driven by imperialist greed to stay on in Afghanistan and in the regions of Central and South Asia.

From its conquest of Iraq, the US has gotten far bigger material rewards than from that of Afghanistan. It has seized the second largest oil reserves in the world and has gained direct control over the entire OPEC more than ever before. The US dollar remains secure as the currency of oil transactions.

The US has long nurtured the plan to occupy Iraq and reshape the entire Middle East politically and economically under US hegemony. The US military bases in Iraq are now at the heart of the entire region. The Palestinian and Arab people are being told to accept the US-made "road map" and other dictates of the US and the Israeli Zionists.

The US arrogantly demands that Syria and Iran submit completely to US hegemony or else suffer the fate of Iraq. US strategists calculate that one way or the other they can soon take full control over Iran and Syria. They are also threatening the feudal oligarchies of Saudi Arabia and the emirates with loss of their feudal rights if they do not yield further to US economic and military demands.

US Imperialism in a Quicksand

So far, Iraq is the biggest prize that the US has gained under the pretext of warring on terrorism. The reason is clear why the US cannot walk away from Iraq so easily even if more and more US troops are killed and injured. The US cannot abandon the oilfields and all the reconstruction contracts that the US companies have snatched up. Thus, it has veritably placed itself in a quicksand.

Just as the US is hell-bent on occupying Iraq indefinitely, the Iraqi people are determined to wage a people’s war for national liberation against the US and its foreign and local puppets. It is now the turn of the Iraqi people to use to their offensive advantage rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, mines, improvised bombs, mortars and the like.

It is the turn of the US to hold ground, secure fixed structures and have so many of its troops on the defensive. Such US high tech weapons as cruise missiles, airplanes and long columns of armor, which were effective in the blitzkrieg invasion of Iraq, are no longer as effective in holding ground and fixed positions. The US troops are often like sitting ducks in a shooting gallery or they are in the most risky blind patrols amidst a hostile population.

As soon as 500 or 1000 US troops are killed in Iraq, there will certainly be a powerful demand from the American people for the return home of the US military forces. By that time the American people shall have become fed up with the mounting casualties, military expenditures rising from the level of USD 4 billion per month and the sick state of the US economy. In April this year USD 79 billion was appropriated for the military aggression. Now, Bush is asking for another USD 87 billion.

Multilaterize the Costs and Monopolize the Spoils

More and more people in the US are disgusted that American lives are sacrificed and tax exemptions and public money are being used in the interest of US big business. The tide has started to rise against the Bush regime and will rise faster as the US stagnates with "jobless growth" and preparations for the 2004 US elections heat up. Thus, the Bush regime is now proposing to "multilateralize" the casualties and other costs of occupation while the US continues to monopolize the spoils of war.

The US can accelerate the passing of administrative duties from the Coalition Provisional Authority to the puppet Governing Council. But it does not do so because it does not completely trust its current Iraqi puppets. It is using the time to burden the Iraqi state oil companies with US loans and to prepare the privatization of the oil assets of Iraq in favor of BP Amoco and other US oil companies. It is also preempting the oil income with all kinds of onerous contracts with Halliburton, Bechtel and other US companies in the name of reconstruction. It also wants to build a completely docile puppet military and police by training its officers in the US, Israel and Eastern Europe.

The US wants the UN Security Council to legitimize the US war of aggression and occupation of Iraq under the cover of instituting multilateral cooperation to secure and facilitate the transfer of administrative responsibilities to the puppets. At the same time, the US retains its colonial authority through the Coalition Provisional Authority and has supreme command over UN military forces.

The shamelessness of the US is limitless. It unleashed aggression against Iraq because it was sure that this country had been weakened by twelve years of economic sanctions and had no weapons of mass destruction. It was simply interested in grabbing the oil wealth and gaining other strategic advantages.

It violated the UN charter by going to war against Iraq without any prior act of aggression by the latter and without the benefit of any reason approved by the US Security Council. Now, it wants France, Germany, Russia and China to approve the US war of aggression as legit after disregarding their demand for further UN weapons inspection to look for weapons of mass destruction and after invalidating contracts that these countries have made with Iraq.

There is trickery in the scheme of the US to have a multilateral military force under the banner of the UN but under the command of the US. This does not mean that the US will make any big reduction of its 140,000 troops. These will be likely increased instead. The US is hell bent on monopolizing the spoils and multilaterizing the casualties and other costs of the war. It is out to deceive the American people and the people of the world.

A New and Higher Level of Resistance

In the months to come, we can expect more US and British casualties and more oil pipelines exploding. Increasing numbers of the American people will conclude that Iraqi people refuse to pay for the costs of the occupation. They will be outraged by the sacrifice of American lives and public money on the altar of US big business. They will demand US withdrawal from Iraq.

Many countries will demand that under the auspices of the UN and the Arab League the US ought to yield power to the sovereign Iraqi people or to a council that is not an exclusive club of US puppets. The US pretence at pushing the puppet Governing Council to draft a constitution, lay the ground for elections and take a seat in the Arab League will unwittingly encourage Iraqi, Arab and Islamic demands for US withdrawal from Iraq and allowing the oilfields to remain under the ownership and use of the Iraqi people.

As the Iraqi people’s war of national liberation intensifies and the US refuses to withdraw from Iraq, the mass protests and other forms of anti-imperialist resistance will rise to a new and higher level on a global scale. The US can still do worse in the Middle East by expanding the battlefield to Syria and Iran. It has long been accusing these countries of aiding Iraq and demanding their subordination to US dictates.

The US is scheming to grab Iran because of its oil wealth and because it is already sandwiched between the US-controlled countries of Afghanistan and Iraq. The US is also interested in controlling Syria because this country is seen as an obstacle in the US-made road map for Israel and Palestine. It is definitely to the interest of Iran and Syria to support the Iraqi people and to prevent the US from consolidating its power in Iraq.

It would be a colossal blunder for the US to take preemptive actions against Iran and Syria and to widen the battlefields from Iraq and Afghanistan. Popular armed resistance would spread like wild fire in the Middle East and Central Asia and encourage armed revolution in South Asia. At any rate, the US will increasingly pay for its imperial overreach. The people in all regions of the world see their opportunity to deliver their own blows on the overstretched and vulnerable monster.###

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