The UN has never had an agreed definition of terrorism, because “terrorism”, like one’s attitude to many other issues, is determined by a class position. As such it includes the question of independence and sovereignty – who is on the side of colonialists and imperialists and who is on the side of those who are for national liberation and independence.
The poverty stricken and unemployed are not terrorists but are legitimately using the only weapons they have to fight for a better life; for work and the means to get out of their grinding poverty.
In the Israeli-Palestinian conflict the Israelis have regularly branded Palestinians as terrorists. Yet the Palestinians are responding to the military terror unleashed against the whole Palestinian people over many decades by the Israeli authorities.
They are responding to the refusal of the Israelis to accept their legitimate demand for the creation of an independent Palestinian state.
The actions of the Israeli government are an example of modern state terrorism that is unleashed against any people who take up the struggle for their national liberation.
When in South Africa the ANC established a military arm, Umkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation), which carried out some military actions against the infrastructure of apartheid, they were branded as terrorists by the apartheid regime. Most people now regard them as freedom fighters.
The class nature of terrorism is also illustrated by the catch-all legislation enacted by almost all western governments in the name of anti-terrorism. This legislation is so sweeping it justifies the term “creeping fascism” and can be used against anyone that the government of the day wishes to suppress – trade unions, environmentalists; even refugees escaping from war and oppression have been branded as potential terrorists.
The enactment of such catch-all legislation reflects preparations by the ruling class for the time when protests grow as a result of economic crisis and the resultant unemployment and growing poverty and hardship, as can be seen in a growing number of countries.
The world is now facing perhaps the most dangerous period in all history in which a cycle of endless and escalating war, waged with the most horrendous weapons, is leading to unparalleled destruction.
US imperialism’s pronouncement of endless war and military interventions are being carried into many countries and each intervention and war will be accompanied by the establishment of governments which will do the bidding of their US masters.
Central to the objectives of the conflicts currently cutting a swathe of destruction through a number of countries in the Middle East perpetrated by the US and NATO, is to surround China with US military forces and the establishment of bases.
This strategy is in response to the long-term decline in the overall economic position of the United States. The economic centre of the world is shifting slowly but decisively from the US and Europe to Asia with China’s economic growth central to that shift.
Staggering crimes have been carried out by the US and its allies over more than two decades of brutish and criminal assaults on the people of the Middle East, from Afghanistan to the current conflict in Syria. Consider the victims of US wars, surrogate and direct since WW2; Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, the Philippines, Liberia, Cuba, Guatemala, Grenada, Palestine, Lebanon, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Haiti, El Salvador, Honduras, Angola, Yugoslavia … the list goes on.
This is the face of imperialist terrorism.