Professor gives socialist perspective on Sept. 11

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When terrorists struck New York and Washington on Sept. 11, they not only struck the country, but socialism too, said one speaker at the human rights conference.

“Socialism condemns the terrorist attacks of September 11,” Bob Nowlan, assistant professor of English told the crowd of about 35 people on Tuesday. “Nothing excuses the horrific murder of thousands of innocent civilians.”

Nowlan presented “Terrorism, State Terrorism, War and Peace: Socialist Reflections” as part of the human rights conference held on campus.

Nowlan, a socialist for more than 25 years, said the Sept. 11 attacks undermined the working class and enhanced the economic, political and ideological strength of capitalism.

Socialism, which Nowlan defines as a form of organization which wealth is owned by everyone, can only happen on an international scale, he said.

A goal of the third annual human rights conference was to not only include political science and history professors, said senior Erin Brandt, an event organizer.

“We really wanted a lot of different perspectives,” said Brandt, director of the Student Life and Diversity Commission of Student Senate.

Only when men and women work together to end the control of capitalism on their lives will there be a solution to terrorism, Nowlan said.

He called the food drops in Afghanistan “a cynical propaganda exercise” and criticized the mainstream media for promoting the agenda of President Bush.

Socialism is a “fundamental threat” to the ruling elite in the United States, Nowlan said.

“I don’t think there is a short-term answer,” Nowlan said, saying that violent responses to the terrorism are counter-productive.

He said those accused of the crimes should be tried by the United Nations or the World Court, and the United States should not act as an instrument of international justice by going to war.

Socialists want a world where no one would join Osama bin Laden or George W. Bush, Nowlan said, adding he hoped for a time when “these men and those like them would be treated as at best petty criminals and at worst a lunatic fringe.”