Release Daniel Pearl!

By WSWS editorial board
31 January 2002

The World Socialist Web Site urgently calls upon those who are holding Daniel Pearl, a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, to release him unharmed.

The intransigent opposition of the World Socialist Web Site to the United States attack on Afghanistan is well known throughout the world. We are entitled, therefore, to speak bluntly to those who are holding Daniel Pearl: Far from striking a blow against American imperialism, the kidnapping of this reporter simply plays into the hands of the Bush administration. If the threat to kill Daniel Pearl is carried out, it will be seen as a brutal act of murder. The ensuing revulsion will provide the United States government with yet another pretext to advance its imperialist agenda in Central Asia and throughout the world in the name of fighting terrorism.

Long political experience has demonstrated the bankruptcy and essentially reactionary character of kidnappings, assassinations, and other acts of terrorist violence. There has been no shortage of such actions by various groups claiming to oppose imperialism over the past 25 years. The cumulative result of these actions, including the events of September 11, has been to politically disorient broad masses of working people throughout the world and undermine conscious opposition to US militarism.

One further point must be made to those who are holding Daniel Pearl. If they actually believe that threats against the life of this reporter, whose pregnant wife is a French citizen, can alter the policies of the United States government, this serves only to demonstrate how little they understand of the real nature of imperialism and what is actually involved in the struggle against it. The drive of the ruling elite of the United States to establish unchallengeable hegemonic control over the critical petroleum resources of the Middle East and Central Asia will not be deterred by one or another act of terrorism. This can be accomplished only by a great international movement of the working class, including that of the United States.

The struggle for social liberation is not served by gratuitous acts of terrorist vengeance. Therefore, we state again: Release Daniel Pearl!

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