War with no boundaries
After the 11th September attack, the United States gathered the whole world to fight the so-called international terrorism. In real life, they triggered on their own a military campaign in Afghanistan and a global espionage operation. The attack on the American soil is in itself pure terrorism as much as the attack to Afghanistan is no doubt war. From here derive a few theorizations about the so-called asymmetric conflicts. The terrorist attack showing how vulnerable the imperialist giant is, is supposed to be asymmetric; big "Amerika" 's war action against all "oppressed Islamic people" is in turn supposed to be asymmetric. In our opinion, there is a real asymmetry between the powers of the United States and their European and Japanese competitors and the emerging bourgeoisie's in the rest of the world, Islamic and non-Islamic.
To understand the connection between terrorism, war and oppression, we need to place the recent events within the historic course of Imperialism. Previous attacks to America triggering freedom and justice crusades have already occurred in many different ways. The present one is nothing but one of general war chapters United States were leading to conquer and maintain world hegemony as they themselves are rudely admitting in everyone's face. They have been pursuing this aim for a century, since they assailed Spain setting foot on the Pacific, since they intervened in Europe in 1917 and in 1944, up to the Korea, Vietnam, Gulf and Balkans wars just to mention the visible wars, fought with arms and not just with the economic power.
During the Gulf War, both battled and economic wars were clearly linked. The Iraqi invasion of Kuwait was faced by the United States so that they could utilize it within a broader war. The information war insisted on Saddam Hussein's pan-Arabic expansionism endangering not only Israel and Saudi Arabia but also the whole Middle East with all its underground oil. It was not true, however the war allowed the Americans to settle in the oil area with their military bases, huge means and thousands of soldiers once and for all. That is why "diabolic Saddam" was left where he was; and he is still there. The control of oil and its relative financial flows means war especially against whoever is not receiving any benefit from either of the above, which means against Europe and Japan.
Today, the greatest power in the world, though this may sound crazy and irrational, claims to go to war with an individual, his followers and the Talibans, his evil hosts. It is a war to the world scale to punish a diabolical terrorism act organised by a kind of "Spectre", like in Fleming's novels. Real nature of war – as it is war between bourgeoisies of various countries we are talking about - is showing just a little bit at a time. Still, all mankind has the beardy billionaire impressed in their minds; they have perceived the symbolic and essential message of Goebbels' psychological war.
It is war, then it is "terrorism", too, since in modern wars, like Churchill, Roosevelt and Hitler taught, terrorist bombing on civilians are planned. It is a war that is often fought with the very arm disparity Americans encountered during their great revolution. It is wrong to imagine that wars are only between regular troops. War theory is equally applied in the relationship between guards and thieves, Normandy landings, class fights, chess game or modern war game sophisticated models, as we learn from Sun Zu, von Clausewitz, Lenin and von Neumann.
The development level reached by the present capitalism is still imperialism, no matter if "American", "German" or "Japanese". In respect of the past, nothing has changed as regards to the ineliminable competition between imperialisms; on the other hand, a lot has changed as regards to the means available to make war. In a world where the imperialistic motto mors tua, vita mea (your death is my life) goes, fighting against competitors is a definite must, however when it's war, power is the main factor. Today, no one can wage war against the United States. Therefore, wars take different shapes that are allowed by strength relationships. As a reaction and not due to an evil domineering will but simply not to succumb, the United States must make preventive war before, much before the joining of an indirect war force against them that would endanger their economic and military hegemony.
Therefore, since general wars represent an inevitable outcome of relationships between States, especially during the imperialistic era, conflicts take specific shapes like we are seeing under our very own eyes today. It is not true that we are witnessing a change of times as much as it is not true that everything is just like before. We have before us a great power in serious crisis. It does not collapse just because it can utilise thousands of defence and offence means in order to grab huge quantities of plus value made by its proletariat and even more by other countries'. Its economic system becomes so permeated with the world one that it cannot stand the minimum sign of breakage of the existing balances. Like all empires, it must continually attack not to allow the rival forces to get together and acquire sufficient strength.
The President of the United States is stressing that his country will not allow anyone anywhere in the world to doubt neither the American hegemony nor their way of life. Who is trying to do so will be destroyed. It was not the 11th September attack to create ex novo the military doctrine of global and preventive control of the earth: the Quadrennial Defence Report on the American war strategies, previously written, already comprised all "novelties" just introduced by the new events. There is the "asymmetric war" against enemies with uneven arms, the project of a permanent espionage system, the commando groups and the integration of military bases to enforce within the world network. Most of all, there is the concept that the U.S. territory defence is to be made in every part of the planet.
The capitalistic world as a strongly American controlled global system is still full of surprises. European countries on the way to federation and Japan are local imperialisms whose sole chance of an independent reaction is the underground co-ordinated manoeuvre to avoid value drainage and a subordinate position of their national bourgeoisies. As a matter of fact, in few years' time, such giants as China and India will emerge on the market as economic powers able to make use 3 billions inhabitants and a consolidation of a oil-Islamic finance under the Saudi sign is seen as a threat.
However, it is not Islam to scare the United States: Saudi Arabia, their loyal ally, is the den of the greatest sponsors of Islamic guerrillas all over the world. The United States are aware that any attempt of pan-Islamism has failed: what they are afraid of is the formation of spinning and independent forces able to drown the global system which allows the American way of life. This is what has been said over and over again in Washington since 11th September. That is because a different partition of resources and world plus value amongst competitive bourgeoisies is a nightmare to every imperialistic war. For the United States it is vital to find ways of subordinate alliances, create deterrents against possible revivals of "national sovereignty". Afghanistan attack belongs to the general strategy that embraces all "allies" within the logics of American survival. The bombs that are falling on Kabul are as if they were falling on Berlin, Tokyo, Peking or New Delhi. The fact that this time there is a bin Laden under them, instead, does not make much difference from a Saddam or a Milosevic.
Because of these embedded weaknesses, the American imperialism must not be considered either unbeatable or eternal. We have not come to the "end of history", rather to an acceleration of the historical process. We may be spectators of significant American victories in controlling our planet, still just as a transient phase. Each system that has become too complex and incontrollable may collapse. The Soviet Union and its system are a formidable example of it. Their embedded weakness is obvious even in the position of a planetary gendarme that should face multiple crisis situations simultaneously. Every continent is full of potential critical and explosive situations, starting from the condition of the Western proletariat whose past results are washed away. Not middle classes only tend to safeguard and better their way of life.
Nowadays, Afghan populations are as much victims of massacres as the Korean, Vietnam, Iraqi and Serbian ones were, however this is not a war between the "rich" world and the "poor" one as it is written in most places. It is a war between national bourgeoisies. Civilians are suffering the consequences, as they are bombing targets or cannon flesh in partisan groups serving the belligerents. What is at stake is not only the huge monopoly rent deriving from oil, which means plus value working classes, mainly the Western ones, produce, but it is preventing the whole system from ending up in a catastrophe, which means securing the possibility, in the future, of utilizing that very same oil within the industrial cycle of the U.S. controlled exploitation, and, as subordinates, the European and Japanese ones. For that reason, the Third World populations are hooked to the needs of the world Capital without being able to object.
Out of 1.3 billions Islamic very few of them actually benefit from the oil rent. The huge population would not know what to do with the country's resources even if they could extract oil and gas on which they were born and bred for themselves. In any case, they would feel compelled to "sell off", leaving the power of imperialist countries unchanged like in Mossadeq Persia in the early 50s. Still, millions and millions of Islamic proletarians work on oil activities and consequent ones. In a class fight the concept of symmetric war is invariant: the more modern the capitalism, the stronger the proletariat and vice-versa, the problem is "if" and "how" this force comes about. In the midst of a generalised crisis where the home front of the most industrialised countries, the United States on top, would fall, Islamic proletarians and poor crowds could join together and also join the powerful Western proletariat in a common battle. However, in order for this union to happen, the crisis is not enough, this must also produce a union between proletariat and international political direction, militants and theory, in conclusion, the revolutionary party.
5th November 2001