In the Wake of the Outrage in San Bernardino:

NO More Unjust War!
NO Pogroms, Paranoia & Persecution!

December 7, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


The murders of 14 people at a holiday social event for environmental health inspectors in San Bernardino, California, and the injuries to 21 more, are a terrible outrage. The victims were men and women, with a wide range of backgrounds, interests, outlooks, and of many different nationalities, including people who immigrated to the U.S. from the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. There can be no justification for targeting these people. Their deaths, whatever the motives behind the killing, are a vicious crime and a painful tragedy.

At the same time, the powers that be and their politicians and media have seized on this terrible incident to train people to see the world through a grotesquely warped lens: The killings in San Bernardino are being used to enlist people behind an agenda that will escalate the cycle of death and terror in the world. In the name of “safety,” people are being whipped up with xenophobia (irrational fear and hatred of “outsiders,” including people from other countries) aimed especially at Muslims, with paranoia, and with a program of repression and war that actually makes people here and around the world much less safe.

How People Are Being Trained to Think (or... NOT to Think)

Despite a blizzard of speculation and pronouncements by not just certified fascist liars like Donald Trump and Fox “News,” but the whole ruling class media machinery, right now the actual motives and connections of the people who carried out this murderous rampage cannot be determined by what has been revealed publicly. The suspects’ apartment was not secured by law enforcement authorities, but instead opened up to reporters who trampled the entire scene and corrupted evidence, while posting inflammatory photos and personal information like the driver’s license of a relative of the suspects. A deleted Facebook page that nobody can see, which was reportedly posted in a name other than that of either suspect, is being cited as “evidence” of motive. And routine activity related to the suspects’ Muslim faith is being portrayed as inherently suspicious, intensifying a climate where any Muslim person in this country feels—understandably—under siege.

Contrast this to how the murderous attack on the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado on November 27 has been treated by the media and prominent ruling class political figures. In the attack on Planned Parenthood, the suspected murderer has a public history of connections to Christian fundamentalists and attacks on abortion clinics. And he was reported by a cop to have said “no more baby parts” after his arrest—invoking a slanderous and inflammatory doctored video falsely portraying Planned Parenthood as selling baby parts. Yet the powers that be have been much quicker to draw much broader conclusions about the motives and connections involved in the San Bernardino killings, based on much less actual evidence.

Whatever the facts behind this crime turn out to be (if they are ever really brought to light), the media and major ruling class representatives are using the atmosphere they are creating in the wake of it to enlist people blindly behind vicious repression and persecution of Muslims. And all major ruling class forces are seizing on this incident to line people blindly behind the U.S. empire in the global clash between Jihad and the West. This is a conflict that is bringing death by drones, beheadings, torture, assassinations, invasions, and massacres to a wide swath of the world on a daily basis.

This global dynamic is best understood and explained in the following quote from Bob Avakian that speaks to “outmoded” strata—who represent systems that oppress humanity—in different forms:

What we see in contention here with Jihad on the one hand and McWorld/McCrusade on the other hand, are historically outmoded strata among colonized and oppressed humanity up against historically outmoded ruling strata of the imperialist system. These two reactionary poles reinforce each other, even while opposing each other. If you side with either of these “outmodeds,” you end up strengthening both.

While this is a very important formulation and is crucial to understanding much of the dynamics driving things in the world in this period, at the same time we do have to be clear about which of these “historically outmodeds” has done the greater damage and poses the greater threat to humanity: It is the “historically outmoded ruling strata of the imperialist system,” and in particular the U.S. imperialists...

It is interesting, I recently heard about a comment that someone made relating to this, which I do think is correct and getting at something important. In relation to these “two historically outmodeds,” they made the point: “You could say that the Islamic fundamentalist forces in the world would be largely dormant if it weren’t for what the U.S. and its allies have done and are doing in the world—but you cannot say the opposite.” There is profound truth captured in that statement.

(From Bringing Forward Another Way, 2007)

Interests of the Ruling Class vs. the Interests of Humanity

Within all this, different sections of the U.S. ruling class and their political representatives are spinning this incident in their own interests and with conflicting agendas. But while there are sharp differences within the ruling class right now, they are over how―not whether or not―to maintain the U.S. empire of exploitation and oppression, and how to enforce their rule in the “homeland.” None of them even claim to represent the interests of humanity.

And through the way this incident is being exploited, people are being trained in the poisonous outlook that only American lives are precious. American lives are not more important than other people’s lives. The million-plus people who died as a result of the U.S. invasion of Iraq; the people killed by an ISIS bomb attack in Beirut, Lebanon; the people who died when U.S. ally Saudi Arabia bombed a hospital in Yemen; the people being tortured for years in Guantánamo... these are human beings too!

In short, whatever the actual factors behind the murderous attack in San Bernardino, the incident is being used and will be used further—by both sides—in the clash between the West and Jihad to further ratchet up the cycle of terror and death.

There is a way out of this madness! There is a viable and visionary alternative to, and strategy for, breaking out of this deadly dynamic, and into a world where people can dream and breathe. That way out is being led by Bob Avakian (BA) and the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA—which he leads—as well as forces around the world taking up and promoting BA’s new synthesis of communism. This is a movement for revolution aimed at getting to a world without any exploitation and oppression, and the horrible conflict and bloodshed that is a product of, and enforces exploitation and oppression.

As part of fighting to break out of the terrible “choices” of Western imperialism or Islamic Jihad, and for everyone with a conscience: there needs to be a visible spirit of looking at the world from the interests of humanity. People in this country need to resist the crimes of “our” government, and support people around the world who oppose both the U.S. empire and Islamic Jihad (for more on what that means, see “Why We Should NOT Root for Our Own Rulers... And Why It’s Better If They LOSE Their Wars” by Larry Everest at

Critical to breaking out of the disastrous cycle of escalating death and terror: it must become clear to the world that millions of people in the U.S. do not accept the actions and crimes of “our” government, however they are “justified,” that ratchet up intolerance and repression at home, and a cycle of death and terror in the world. Millions need to visibly manifest that these actions are not being carried out in our name.






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