Mumbai Massacre - Imperialist Manoeuvres Mean More Terror for the Masses

Image - Massacre in the railway station

The appalling carnage in Mumbai was unfortunately not an isolated incident. In Indian terms alone there have been a mounting wave of attacks which since 2004 have killed over 3,600 people. But the phenomenon is global. Since the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center in New York, we have had the London bombings, bombings in a packed commuter train in Madrid, the school massacre in Beslan, and more bombings in Bali, Sharm el Sheikh in Egypt, Delhi, Benares, Bangladesh. This list does not even count the almost daily death tolls of Iraq and Afghanistan.

These are not the only countries where the "war on terror" has backfired spectacularly. Pakistan is a social, economic and political basket case. It is the "sick man of Asia". Today the US has managed to get a new pro-western regime in Islamabad in the form of the government of Asif Zardari. Husband of the assassinated Benazir Bhutto, and head of the Pakistan People’s Party, he has continued her policy of courting US support. But the restoration of democracy (i.e. the rule of rich landlords) has come too late, since the military already has become a state within a state, and within the military, the intelligence service, the ISI has complete freedom of action. It does not even have limits to its budget but simply has its activities underwritten by the Pakistani Army. The extent to which the ISI is outside government control was fully revealed in the current crisis when the Pakistani Foreign Minister offered to send the Head of the ISI to India to help with the investigation into the Mumbai massacre. But he had to humiliatingly climb down a couple of days later when the Army refused to allow it and a minor official was sent instead.

The main blame for the attacks in Mumbai are now laid at the door of the Islamic terror group, Lashkar-e Taiba (The Army of the Pure) which was sheltered by Musharraf and the Pakistani Army. Whether the ISI is involved or not (and the organisation of the attacks were so well coordinated that they suggest some state involvement somewhere) the whole crisis is extremely dangerous for Pakistan-Indian relations. The countries are both nuclear powers and they have already fought three wars. India is supporting the Karzai regime in Afghanistan financially and has recently become incredibly close to the USA (as evidenced by the nuclear power deal they have just signed and by the support India gives to the US in the IAEA against Iran). In fact as our comrades in Battaglia Comunista wrote, Afghanistan has replaced Kashmir as a source of Pakistan-Indian friction. Little wonder that Condoleezza Rice scuttled to Delhi to urge restraint on the Indian Government which was pointing the finger (what else could it do other than admit its own incompetence) at Pakistan. If the terrorists wanted to disrupt the agenda of Zardari towards a rapprochement with India in order to fight in the tribal territories they could not have done better. The tentative steps Zardari and Manmohan Singh the India PM have taken towards normalisation by opening a border crossing in Kashmir have been undone and Pakistan has informed the US that it intends to transfer 100,000 troops from Waziristan to the Kashmir border in fear of an Indian attack.

We should not forget in all this that the most powerful terrorists in the world are established states everywhere. Iraqi civilians have died in their hundreds of thousands at the hands of the US military. It was the US which launched this war on terror for its own imperilaist ends (which we have repeated many times elsewhere). The thousands that have died in terror attacks everywhere are in fact victims of imperialism. Proletarians condemn terrorism in all its forms whoever perpetrates it. Only a society without classes, without national frontiers and without the naked imperialist interests which dominate the globe today can take humanity forward. Only the working class can do this by creating an international party which can lead and coordinate the struggle against this decaying system.

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