DOWN WITH ANY ELITE
from the WTC catastrophe
Their war is not our war.
History repeats itself, do leaders want war to sow fear?. In 1989 former CIA-agent Noriega was captured in Panama and many thousands of citizens were killed. Now the USA proposes a similar action in Afghanistan. Maybe former CIA-agent Bin Laden will also be captured but at the cost of how many more not-involved citizens?
Let’s look at some background
aspects of what happened in New York.
For the victims and their
relatives it was not a catastrophe but a horrific tragedy.
I will try to answer the following
The answer to the last question can be short. In all past wars members of hostile elites never targeted each other in person. Even in the Gulf War Saddam Hussein was not touched. So it is quite clear why the Bin Laden group chose financial and military symbols. The hostile elite remains unhurt and it does not interest the elite when masspeople are hurt. The Western elite reacted as expected. It showed its military strength (power play) to extinguish the fire because it looked as if this fire threatened its living place but ‘forgot’ to do something against the fire that continues to rage under the ground as in a peat-moor fire.
Why many dissatisfied people formed a terrorist group is also not too difficult. Afghanistan is strategically important for the American elite. Direct interests are found in the wish to build oil pipelines through Afghanistan and in the drug trade. Many American banks live from the revenues of huge amounts of drug money, which is entering the banks and invested in the American economy. The struggle with the Soviet elite was also important. Therefore the Americans trained a group of more or less educated young men to combat the Red Danger in Afghanistan. After the Afghan War the Americans abandoned the group because they had become superfluous. The capitalist principle that you may fire workers without any social safety net when they do not produce anything anymore changed the appreciation of the Bin Laden group of its former American employers. The hardened fighters could not return to their countries to take up jobs because jobs were not available. A similar problem arose when Vietnam veterans returned but most of them were soon accepted or submerged in psychiatric institutions.
The last question is more
Many people in the Third World have a love-hate relation with the West. But hate is growing because of the arrogant Western policy. The support of cruel dictators (Pinochet, Mobutu, the Shah, Suharto), the removal of populist leaders (Allende, Lumumba, Sukarno) or the undermining of populist leaders (Castro, probably Saddam Hussein, Kwame Nkrumah) strengthened the growing impression that the population in the Third World is inferior. There were many military interventions in the Third World – Panama, Lebanon, Israel, Somalia, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Libya, Laos, Cambodia, Granada, Iraq, Iran and many more. The West was never invaded. Only Western powers maintain military bases everywhere. The World Bank, the WTO, the IMF take measures determined by Western directors, while the United Nations mostly appears to be a political instrument that favours Western nations and is dominated by the United States. At the same time the USA pulls back when its leadership is not accepted. Kyoto, the anti-racism conference, the non-payment of UN contributions are only recent tokens of the arrogance of the USA elite. The demand of payment for patents that have already overfilled the purses of Western tycoons prevents that the Third World from developing its own industry. That the pharmaceutical industry lowered the price of AIDS medicines by 40% after Brazil threatened to produce the medicine without paying any dues, is only an example of the many small events that accumulate in the minds of Third World people.
The growing and prominent presence of American brands in the whole world, McDonald’s, Nike, Coca-Cola etc. increases the anti-American feelings that are growing underground because the media are also dominated by Western concerns as CNN, AP, Reuters or Disney. I cannot understand why the results of the Dutch soccer competition have to be published in Thai newspapers. Do imagine the reverse situation in which we read and hear more about the East than about our own countries. And because many people do not even love their own police they will hate any foreign American World Police. The miserable internal situation in Third World countries – also due to their own corrupt and greedy elite that openly intermingles with Western elites – is only circumstantial evidence of the wrongdoings of the USA.
I do not say if this is right or
wrong, I just look for reasons to understand why the WTC catastrophe has
happened. I only recite above a few facts. Every year new facts are added
and no effort is made to turn the trend around. The Third World is left
without perspective, without hope for a favourable change, without hope
for a better future. Because this situation does not change, new Bin Ladens are already in the making.
Two other factors contribute to
All these factors accumulate in
the minds of the Third World masses and provide organisations as the Bin
Laden group with a lasting recruiting ground for people who are prepared
to do anything the leaders demand.
The WTC catastrophe was favourable for the elite because it could reinforce its power and it did not really change the world. But you can never expect that one big bang will have a lasting influence on the minds of leaders (who in the end decide all) or on the minds of masspeople. Maybe the masses draw some lessons from the whole process that led to the WTC catastrophe and will adopt new ways to reduce the power of the elite. When the masses cause many small catastrophes in the life of members of the elite these events will change the minds of the masses as well as the minds of the elite. But in the WTC catastrophe the elite was not targeted and its mind was therefore not changed. And only a few perpetrators were involved in the making of the catastrophe so the minds of the masses were also not changed.
I will not give any advice on how to solve the present situation but I am against this war because the only victims will be masspeople. I want a growing pressure on Western leaders by people who belong to the Western masses. I prefer actions by (a part of) the masses against (a part of) the elite that cause catastrophes in the mind of the masses as well as in the mind of the elite. Only then a better world will arise. Up till now all political ideas that predicted they would change the world have proven they could not prevent that after a social change a new elite usurped most of the power and the wealth.
Joost van Steenis (October 5 2001)
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