Terrorism is a historical issue, emanating from many different and distinct socio-economic conditions. It is also a highly ‘subjective’ issue that is used to demonise particular groups, political movements and religions, by those national governments and State Authorities that view their own military activities around the world to be ‘lawful’ and to exist ‘outside’ of the usual definition of ‘terrorism’. States that do not consider their otherwise highly destructive military actions against other groups to be ‘terrorism’, include the United States, the UK and Israel. Other countries on this list might include Saudi Arabia and (neo-Nazi) Western Ukraine, as well as numerous others. The demarcation appears to be clear – the US and its allies throughout the world can do as it pleases, but any resistance to this militarism is automatically termed ‘terrorism’, even though under International Law, every oppressed political, religious or ethnic group possesses the legal right to wage an armed resistance to that oppression. In this regard, the United Nations has issued various decisions against the USA and Israel, for example, stating that their military actions on numerous occasions have ‘violated’ International Law. The latest wave of terrorist attacks in the West stems directly from Western military action in the Middle East from at least 1991 with the US-led First Gulf War, and culminating in the Invasion and destruction of the sovereign governments of Afghanistan and Iraq around a decade later. This situation has been compounded by the NATO-led invasion and destruction of the sovereign government of Libya, and the attempted destruction of Syria, as well as the Western-backed coup in Egypt, etc. All this Western military aggression in the Middle East has been reflected in Israel’s continuous and intensified brutality against the Palestinian population.
As a Marxist-Leninist, I do not promote or support terrorism. Within the theoretical thinking associated with Scientific Socialism, terrorism is not accepted as a legitimate means to transform a capitalist society into a Socialist society. The Communist Party of Britain (CPB), for example, advocates the ‘peaceful’ transition of the UK into a Socialist State through through the democratic process at the ballet box. Terrorism only hurts the Working Class, because invariably the Workers are over-whelming the victims of it, but terrorism achieves nothing for a ‘consented’ social transformation. This is why Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Mao and virtually every other Communist leader (despite false propaganda to the contrary), rejected it as a means to make Revolution. On the other hand, Marx wrote that the Working Class has a right to ‘collectively’ protect itself, which can be seen as manifested in Britain’s stance against Nazi Germany in WWII, and the Soviet Union’s confrontation of the same fascist foe. This legitimate self-defence is not ‘terrorism’, but a means of collectively ‘protecting’ the country from a destructive and external terrorist threat.
A contemporary issue in the UK, stems from the UK government’s unwillingness to truthfully assess exactly ‘why’ it is that fanatic Islamo-fascist groups are targeting Britain (and other European countries), and why various rightwing (and occasionally ‘Christian’) groups originating within the UK, are resorting to ‘murder’ to make their political point? British foreign policy – which has seen quite literally hundreds of thousands (perhaps millions) of innocent Middle Eastern people killed by Western military action since 1991. An interesting question is how would British or American people react if their countries were over-run and militarily destroyed by a rampant and all dominating ‘foreign’ force? A foreign force that viewed everything it did as being politically, morally, legally and religiously ‘correct’, whilst its armed forces killed with impunity, often ‘demeaning’ their victims in the process. In the case of the US, a historical answer is readily available. During the War of Independence in the later part of the 18th century, where renegade British Citizens (and their non-British allies), conspired to over-throw the legitimate UK governance of the British Colonies in the Americas. How was this essentially bourgeois ‘Revolution’ to take place? The ‘American’ rebels resorted to armed terrorism against the legitimate British Authorities. This terrorism evolved into a legitimate military movement that was eventually able to field a conventional army (albeit often using ‘unconventional’ methods and tactics), that confronted the British Army. American terrorism advocated the arming of civil society – an idea (and action) that was ‘illegal’ in the UK, and which had been so for hundreds of years. Americans that supported the British were often attacked and killed in broad daylight, and their businesses boycotted and destroyed. So bad was this American use of ‘terrorism’, that the British Authorities decided to ‘free’ any African slave that pledged allegiance to the UK cause – even creating ‘Black’ regiments in the British Army! As this ‘American’ rebellion eventually ‘won’ its fight, the entire affair was viewed through the history as established by the victors. In this history, all the acts of brutal murder and oppression committed by the American rebels are presented as legitimate acts of ‘freedom fighting’. Ironically today, virtually no one in the US (of any ethnic origin), associates the US use of terrorism against the British in the 18th century, with the Middle Eastern terrorism of the 20th and 21st centuries against the UK and the USA. Of course, this is partly a ‘racist’ response that views everything ‘White’ as being superior to everything ‘non-White’, etc.
As matters stand, the UK government responds to terrorist acts not with education, reconciliation, reform and peace-making, but rather uses the ‘threat’ of terrorism as a means to ‘take away’ our civil liberties. Instead of confronting the ‘actual’ or ‘real’ reasons why terrorism happens, our civil liberties are removed as a means to make it harder for any potential terrorist to commit a violent act. It is obvious that this policy does not work, as terrorists always strike where least expected. In the meantime, the ordinary people of Britain are continuously punished everyday by having their age-old freedoms curtailed and removed as a ‘response’ to terrorism. Surely this is nothing short of allowing the terrorists to alter our way of life, and in a very real sense, is handing these very same terrorists a moral and practical victory. It would be better to ‘strengthen’ and not ‘weaken’ or civil liberties, and for the UK government to ‘change’ the way it behaves overseas, by disassociating its activities from the current alignment with contemporary US neo-imperialist foreign policy. If the UK does not carry-out the actions that attracts a terrorist response – the chances of a terrorist attack would reduce. Furthermore, if the UK pursued a policy of making amends throughout the world by following a compassionate and wise agenda, the chances of a terrorist attack would disappear altogether.