Americas

The horrific attacks on the morning of September 11, 2001 will go down in history as the day when American imperialism had its nose bloodied and its psychology of invulnerability shattered. As Marxists, we condemn these acts of individual terrorism, and recognize that it will lead only to reinforcing the reactionary policies of Bush and the entire world ruling class. Amid all the calls for "national unity" and the search for a scapegoat, it is clear that we must keep calm and maintain an internationalist and class position. But there is another extremely important implication in the situation &endash; its potential effect on the already tottering US and world economies.

The events of the morning of September 11th have shaken the entire world. One single terrorist attack has not only shocked masses of people out of their daily lives, it has crippled the world economy. Already, the Mayor of New York City, Rudolph Giuliani, has stated that the dead will be counted in “the thousands.” Nearly 300 were killed onboard the jet-liners alone. The World Trade Center disaster has turned the world in the direction of a massive crisis.

INTERVIEW with Ramona Africa in Philadelphia, the sole adult survivor of the 13th May bombing of the MOVE headquarters by police.

As Marxists we see no fundamental difference between the two capitalist parties, which in the final analysis defend private property, the market, and the rule of capital. But George Bush Jr.'s "election" indicates a definite shift in policy on behalf of the American ruling class. So even though their basic interests were guaranteed regardless of who won the election, the capitalists had a decision to make - who would be better suited to face the inevitable crisis facing the US and global economies, and the increasingly unstable and convulsive political situation on a world scale? Although they were bitterly split between the more openly reactionary Republican George W. Bush, and the

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"When the peacemakers aim their guns, of course they shoot to pacify, and sometimes they pacify two birds in one shot." (Mario Benedeti, Ode to pacification)

There is no event in modern history to compare the terror of the morning of September 11th, 2001 to. Make no mistake, the misguided individuals who performed these acts have nothing to do with the Left, their actions are totally alien to anything genuinely Socialist, Communist, Marxist, Leninist or Trotskyist. These acts of terror ended the lives of thousands of working class men and women, and in effect, have emotionally crushed their extended families. Terrorism is in direct opposition to the methods of the masses. Terrorism is a reactionary petty bourgeois method which accomplishes nothing but the further pain and suffering of the working class.

It appears we finally have a president. More than 5 weeks since election day, weeks of uncertainty and confusion, George Bush has won the presidency. What lies behind all the legislative and judicial maneuvering? What does this all mean from a Marxist perspective?

Nearly a week has passed since the US Presidential election, and still there is no declared winner. What does all of this mean? How is it possible that the vote is split almost identically between the two major candidates? The simple answer is that the two candidates are virtually identical! As we have explained many times, both the Democrats and the Republicans are essentially two sides of the same coin. Both parties are firmly in the pockets of the capitalist class - no matter who wins, the ruling class has covered all its bases by contributing $540 million in campaign "contributions" to the coffers of both parties. Both parties defend the interests of private property and the market,

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David May in the United States looks back at the year 2002, and in particular at the AFL-CIO unions and their links to the Democratic Party and explains the need for a break with this capitalist party and calls for independent working class politics.

In scenes reminiscent of the fall of Saigon, the leaders of the government hastily packed their bags and fled by helicopter from the roof of the Presidential palace. Only these were not foreign invaders fleeing from an army of national liberation, but an elected President fleeing from his own people. While the eyes of the world were diverted to the other war in Afghanistan, another war was raging. In the week before Christmas, Argentina was at war. Not a war between nations, but a war between rich and poor, between haves and haves not - a war between the classes.

The lock-out staged by the Venezuelan capitalists on 10th December 2001 against the laws introduced by President Hugo Chavez has raised the level of class conflict within this Latin American country to heights not seen in the three years since the latter won elections with 56% of the popular vote, in the teeth of opposition from the imperialists and key sectors of the Venezuelan ruling class.

Thousands of peasants armed with machetes and wooden sticks, many of them on horseback, fought running battles against anti-riot police in Mexico City on November 14. The peasants had travelled 30 km from their properties in the State of Mexico to protest against the expropriation of their lands by the government in order to build the new Mexico City airport. This conflict, which has been going on for months, threatens to became a major headache for Vicente Fox's one year old government.

Alan Woods and Ted Grant look at how the "War on Terrorism" is unfolding, the repurcussions it is having around the world, especially in the Middle East, and the lies and distortions of the bourgeois media.