US Attacks on Sudan and Afghanistan

The brutal air strikes on Sudan and Afghanistan constitute a further sample of the bullying tactics of US imperialism and will be condemned by activists in the labour movement everywhere. By such means Washington uses its powerful airforce in order to throw its weight around and intimidate and blackmail all the peoples of the third world. This latest escapade is clearly intended for US public opinion, to show that "something has been done" in relation to the terrorist bombings in Kenya.

Imperialism's 'air strike diplomacy'

The brutal air strikes on Sudan and Afghanistan constitute a further sample of the bullying tactics of US imperialism and will be condemned by activists in the labour movement everywhere. By such means Washington uses its powerful airforce in order to throw its weight around and intimidate and blackmail all the peoples of the third world. This latest escapade is clearly intended for US public opinion, to show that "something has been done" in relation to the terrorist bombings in Kenya.

It was clear in advance that US imperialism would take its revenge on some small state or other, probably the intended target was Libya, but, unable to pin anything on Gadaffi, they opted to bomb two other weak semi colonial countries, Afghanistan and Sudan.

This shows the disgusting hypocrisy of the West. US Imperialism is responsible for the Taliban reaction in Afghanistan. They armed and financed the Taliban in their struggle against the former Stalinist regime in Kabul.

And they are entirely responsible for the present barbarism in Afghanistan. Now this manoeuvre has backfired on them. They sowed wind and have reaped a whirlwind. The Taliban fundamentalists having made use of US aid, now no longer prove to be reliable puppets. They are giving shelter to Osama bin Laden the Saudi millionaire and a frenzied Islamic reactionary, who Washington claims is responsible for the recent bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.

Marxists condemn individual terrorism, no matter who is responsible, as futile and counterproductive. The present situation proves yet again how terrorist acts play into the hands of imperialism. It has given a green light for Washington to embark on new military adventures against the peoples of the third world. But the pious protestations of the west against "terrorism" stink of hypocrisy.

US imperialism through its vicious and inhuman blockade on Iraq has caused the deaths of over 1 million Iraqi people, mostly children, through starvation and the deprivation of essential medicines. About this terrorism nothing is said in the West. Marxists condemn individual terrorism, but also condemn state terrorism, the effects of which are infinitely more deadly and cruel.

In reality, the recent American actions are intended to reassert US domination of the world and to intimidate the masses of the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Latin America. Their excuse for attacking Afghanistan was that it sheltered Osama bin Laden, but the Sudan another poor and semi colonial country seems to have been thrown in for good measure on the flimsiest of excuses.

In the past the Sudanese regime was a stooge of US Imperialism, but not now. This is probably the reason why they were singled out for punishment. The US which is the world's mightiest power deliberately picks on states which are too weak to fight back. Nevertheless this is a futile gesture which will not succeed in its aim. It will merely aggravate the problems, and lead to a further increase in the vicious spiral of terror and state repression. The only way to put an end to this tit-for-tat is for the working classes to take power and carry through the socialist transformation of society.

Finally, it is particularly distasteful that Tony Blair immediately came out with uncritical support for Washington as usual, as a tame lapdog of American foreign policy.

Alan Woods
August 1998

Clinton knew factory only made medicines

'President Bill Clinton knew he was bombing a civilian target when he ordered the US attack on a Sudan chemical plant. Tests ordered by him showed that no nerve gas was on the site and two British professionals who recently worked at the factory said it clearly had no military purpose.'

The Observer, 23.8.98

Osama bin Laden worked for CIA

The CIA was extremely well informed about the 'guerrilla' camp based near the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan well before the bombing - they built it, at a time when Osama bin Laden was working for them. According to an NBC news report bin Laden attended US training in Afghanistan. Both bin Laden and his Taliban hosts have been significant beneficiaries of American military and logistic training, equipment and support.