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End the violence — stop U.S. wars abroad

While truth of Times Square car bomb remains unknown

Published May 6, 2010 9:26 PM

We never trust what the state authorities say regarding someone held completely in their power. Nor do we trust what the corporate media spreads about the prisoner, his or her history or alleged motives. Even less would we trust what they say about someone charged with “terrorism.”

We do know, however, that the story spread against the person accused of trying to explode a car in New York City’s Times Square has a political context. The government and corporate media spin the story to defend U.S. imperialism. They defend the policing of the population here. They defend U.S. war policy toward Pakistan, Afghanistan and the entire West and Central Asian region.

We also know that the local and federal government, with the help of the corporate media, will attempt to use this incident to further increase repression in the U.S. They will use it to justify their attacks on the Pakistani immigrant community — at a time when at least two Pakistani political prisoners, Dr. Aafia Siddiqui and Fahad Hashmi, languish in New York prisons. They will attempt to legitimize the increasing militarization of the country — cops with submachine guns on the subway platforms; increased screenings at the airports.

During the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression — in the days following a massive, national upsurge of workers on May Day — they will attempt to divide with their continuing racist, anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant campaign.

Whatever the truth behind the Times Square incident, it is U.S. imperialist aggression in that region that has created a political context for such an act. Any attack aimed at civilians is grotesque, but this one would be minuscule compared to the deaths, injuries, destruction and utter chaos that U.S. imperialism has brought to Iraq and Afghanistan and has begun to inflict on the 170 million Pakistanis.

Over the last 20 years U.S. sanctions, war and occupation have killed 2 million Iraqis, made 5 million refugees and divided Iraq in three parts in order to rule it. Its 30 years of subversion, invasion and outright occupation have prevented progressive development in Afghanistan. Now it is sending more troops. Only the Pentagon’s iron control of the media prevents more frequent revelations of U.S. atrocities against civilians, committed both by troops flying U.S. and NATO flags and by the U.S. mercenaries “contracted” as substitute hired killers.

For the last two years, at least, Pakistan too has been a U.S. target. In two ways.

Washington continually presses the Pakistan government to order its army against the people living in the border areas with Afghanistan. When the army goes in, it may kill some fighters but it unquestionably kills many civilians, provoking what can turn into a horrible civil war in this vast country.

The Pentagon also carries out a war from the safety of high-tech bases in the United States. Remotely piloted planes fire rockets on houses in Pakistan. They hit extended families at wedding parties. They hit farmers. The Pentagon claims they hit “Pakistani Taliban.”

There is a courageous civilian opposition in Pakistan to the attacks by the army and the drones. It has demonstrated that it can mobilize hundreds of thousands and has mass support. Of course, U.S. policy is aimed at stopping this movement.

Those in the U.S. who want an end to the violence should remember how this was achieved during an earlier war — the war on Vietnam. A massive opposition here to that war helped end it and stay the hands of the war profiteers.

More than ever, we need a mass movement of people in the United States demanding the troops be pulled out of Iraq, Afghanistan and no attacks on Pakistan. We want the hundreds of billions of dollars wasted on war to be spent on jobs, homes and health care here.

Let’s build solidarity, not hatred, between the working class of the U.S. and the farmers, workers and progressive people of Pakistan, as well as with the Pakistani community here.