The Ghosts of 9/11

In reality it was imperialism’s Frankenstein monster, al Qaeda — created, trained and nourished by the CIA and their protégés in the Middle East and Afghanistan-Pakistan — that had struck at the heart of the US.

Lal Khan

Eleven years since the bestial terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, the world has passed through an extremely turbulent period of wars, terrorism and bloodshed, economic and social catastrophes. This horrific incident was a turning point in history. Its imagery is etched into the collective psyche. Almost 3,000 American workers perished in this calamity. There was hardly anybody from the US elite among the victims. The Islamic fundamentalists and their obscurantist mentors that orchestrated this criminal and insane act have to be condemned, but not for the hypocritical reasons given by Bush and Blair at the time. Innumerable conspiracy theories have been churning out from the reactionary religious bigots to the liberal apologists of the imperialist bosses. Every theory had its own axe to grind, but in reality it was imperialism’s Frankenstein’s monster, al Qaeda — created, trained and nourished by the CIA and their protégés in the Middle East and Afghanistan-Pakistan — that had struck at the heart of the US.

It is difficult to believe that the intelligence agencies of the mightiest military and economic power turned out to be so incompetent that they could not have detected the plan for such a momentous assault, even when they were warned by Mossad about such an eventuality. On the day of the attack, September 11, 2001, Ted Grant and Alan Woods wrote,

“How is it possible that the CIA was so ignorant and inept as to permit such a devastating attack on the nerve centres of the nation? One possibility has not been mentioned — namely that it was the result of a provocation that badly went wrong. In the shadowy world of intrigue, provocation and counter-provocation that characterises the activities of the secret services, it is not beyond the bounds of possibility that a section of the US military establishment decided to allow the terrorists to launch an attack inside America as a means of boosting support for an aggressive policy and rearmament. This would explain the surprising failure of US intelligence, although the devastating nature of the attack would suggest that the provocation got out of hand.”

In the post-9/11 period, the US military-industrial complex has become the most profitable enterprise in the world. Companies such as Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, Halliburton, General Electric and others have amassed obscene wealth. The US war machine came into action as if they already had a blueprint for the aggression on Iraq and Afghanistan. The ultimate costs of these wars would exceed four trillion dollars, mostly ending up in the coffers of the weapons manufacturers. According to some of the most conservative estimates, about 1,670,000 civilians have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan and more than eight million have been made refugees. This is an outcome of the clash of the bestial fundamentalist terror amassing black wealth and the brutal imperialist aggression for the domination of resources, markets and subjugation. The American workers and youth have also suffered from the economic and social onslaught that has been unleashed upon them to cover up the costs of the wars, rescuing ailing casino-like financial institutions and banks. Thousands of working class American youth perished in this insane imperialist orgy, who had no option but to join the armed forces due to chronic and steeply rising unemployment in the US.

The US ruling class often behaves in a provincial and shortsighted manner in international situations that borders on obtuseness. It is a dialectical contradiction between the immense accomplishments of American science and technology and the mediocrity and backwardness of its political elite. In ancient Greek tragedy, the central figure suffered from overbearing pride (hubris), which prepared the way for its terrible fall (nemesis). The colossal might of US imperialism, its vast riches and its absolute domination of the world since the fall of the Soviet Union has given rise to arrogant disdain. But the incessant domestic and foreign policy failures illustrate the clear symptoms of an empire in terminal decline. On the one hand, US imperialism is facing defeat after defeat in spite of ravaging lands far away and on the other, a burgeoning crisis is gnawing at the US economy and the malaise has set in in society.

The 2008-09 crises left Americans in a state of shock. They hoped against hope that it was only an anomaly, that things would soon enough get back to normal. But it is a new ‘normality’ they are stuck with. The crisis of capitalism means driving down of wages, conditions and benefits. The workers will have no option but to fight back. Over the last 30 years, there has been an unprecedented upward flow of wealth, as the share of wealth created by the workers has increasingly gone to line the pockets of the already extremely wealthy. US GDP has doubled in the last three decades, while wages have stagnated or even fallen when inflation is taken into account. This astronomical disparity has reached monumental proportions. The Democrats and Republicans fell over each other to carry out the dictates of the capitalists against the American proletariat. In the 1930s the US was the world’s largest creditor nation; now it is the world’s largest debtor. Total public debt in May 2012 stood at $ 15.7 trillion, or 102 percent of the GDP.

The material basis of the ‘American Dream’ has been shattered. For the first time since the 1930s, a majority of Americans are in favour of redistribution of income and wealth. A Pew Research Centre poll found that 49 percent of Americans between 18 and 29 were in favour of socialism, versus 43 percent who favour capitalism. The slanders about the ‘apathy’ of the American workers and youth have been spectacularly swept away. The fear of the ghosts of 9/11 hyped by the imperialist masters and the obscurantist Islamists to coerce the oppressed classes on a world scale is now vanishing. A new epoch of class struggle is opening up in the US, which in the words of Trotsky is “the foundry of the future of mankind.”

The writer is the editor of Asian Marxist Review and International Secretary of Pakistan Trade Union Defence Campaign. He can be reached at


One thought on “The Ghosts of 9/11

  1. “A new epoch of class struggle is opening up in the US, which in the words of Trotsky is ‘the foundry of the future of mankind.’”

    Contrary to what many armchair “Marxist” revolutionaries fervently wish, what is happening in America is not a new epoch of *anti-capitalist* class struggle and certainly not socialism–unless, you mean American national socialism.

    What is happening is a revolt by certain sections of the American middle class and labor aristocracy to regain their lost economic privileges WITHIN the capitalist system.

    Indeed, it’s not “socialism” that Americans want, as most Americans do not use that term with the same political meaning that ersatz Marxists employ.

    What they want is a return to the “good old days” of the Capitalist welfare state (e.g. FDR-style New Deal or LBJ-style Great Society programs) and ultimately the restoration of American capitalist supremacy against its hated rivals in Europe and Asia.

    Finally, the American Dream is an American nightmare for billions of non-Americans in that it is necessarily based upon the exploitation of the Global South and subjugation of the majority of humanity.

    That’s the *capitalist* material basis of the American Dream, which this supposed Marxist Lal Khan mourns over.

    Indeed, contrary to what Trotsky’s Eurocentric boasts, America is not the foundry of the future of mankind.

    America is foundry of the degradation, immiseration, and ultimately the extinction of mankind.

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