[sixties-l] Re: sixties-l-Re Vietnam Memorial

From: Jeffrey Blankfort (jab@tucradio.org)
Date: Mon Jun 19 2000 - 11:08:49 CUT

  • Next message: Joe McDonald: "[sixties-l] VW BUG"

    In Saturday San Francisco Examiner, there was an article reprinted from
    the London Guardian that Iraq's foreign debt is so large that there is
    no way of paying off the debt "short of extending sanctions for well
    over 100 years." I preface my response to Joe McDonald's defense of the
    US flag and flags, in general, because it is the US flag that he so
    proudly defends from the fire of legitimate protest that symbolizes the
    genocidal sanctions that have been carried out under a UN Security
    Council that is virtually in the pocket of whatever administration is in
    place in Washington.

    Frankly, Joe, I think you have to take some time out and study the same
    history that informed and inspired your mother and understand what the
    US flag has meant to those unfortunate folks, in Latin America and Asia,
    and more recently the Middle East, who have seen it for what it is, a
    symbol of death and destruction and global domination. Cuba, Panama,
    Nicaragua, Haiti, El Salvador,Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Columbia,
    Grenada, and the list of the crimes committed under that flag go on and
    on, close to 200 intervention in more than 200 years.

    Yeah, honor the warrior and honor the flag. That puts you right there
    with "the god old boys." Did you support the keeping of the Confederate
    flag above the South Carolina courthouse? Do you support those who
    cherish the German flag that carried the swastika?

    When you tried to be the holiest of the holiest, Joe, you end up digging
    yourself into a hole.

    Jeff Blankfort
    Joe McDonald wrote:

    > About flags: upon the outbreak of the Persian Gulf War i attended a protest
    > march in San Diego. i was marching behind a group of young people who had
    > an American Flag. They began to burn it. Without thinking i grabbed it
    > away from them and put the fire out and kept the flag. They asked for it
    > back and i said "no, because you do not understand what to do with a
    > flag." In 1987 on the Berkeley Calif. Univ. Campus i had a week of events
    > starting with a rally in Sproul Plaza, the location of many Vietnam War
    > protests, where the Viet Cong Flag was flown. i insisted upon a South
    > Vietnamese Flag being flown and it was. The South Vietnamese lost their
    > entire country in the end.
    > It is another form of imperialism for us to disrespect anyone's colors.
    > The reality is that many people die for Flags and Flags are symbols of
    > nations and peoples. We need diversity and respect of even our enemies.
    > cheers, country joe mcdonald
    > - -- "Ira Furor Brevis Est " - Anger is a brief madness
    > country joe Home Pg <http://www.countryjoe.com>
    > country joe's tribute to Florence Nightingale
    > <http://www.countryjoe.com/nightingale>
    > Berkeley Vietnam Veterans Memorial
    > <http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/Links/Comm/vvm>
    > Rag Baby Online Magazine <http://www.ragbaby.com/magazine>
    > ------------------------------
    > Date: Sun, 18 Jun 2000 20:08:18 -0700
    > From: Joe McDonald <joe@countryjoe.com>
    > Subject: Re: [sixties-l] Re: Sixties gatherings?
    > Neil Friedman wrote:
    > > I seem to recall a reference to a Sixties gathering coming up in
    > > Detroit. Does anyone have details or am I making this up?
    > > I am interested in knowing about Sixties gatherings and conferences
    > > especially where I can present my work in progress about the Sixties.
    > i have been working with Wayne State Professor and poet M L Liebler on a
    > week of activities similar to what i did at U C Berkeley in 1987. it is
    > a work in progress now but will definately happen with some program
    > changes but the dates are firm. He is what it looks like now:
    > cheers, country joe mcdonald
    > Program Outline & Specific Events
    > MONDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2000
    > 11:30am=Opening Ceremony for The Moving Wall Memorial
    > Ribbon cutting ceremony with WSU President Irwin Reid, Detroit City
    > Council
    > Members, area religious leaders, YMCA leaders, Country Joe McDonald. We
    > will
    > begin with a Vietnam Veterans/Boy-Girl Scout color guard to raise the
    > flag.
    > 1:00pm=FILM: Hearts & Minds (WSU campus)
    > 7:30pm=Poetry Reading featuring Ed Sanders, Ken Mikolowski & Viet Nam
    > Vet
    > Poets Lamont B. Steptoe & Ron Allen and Country Joe@The
    > Sacarb
    > Club
    > TUESDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2000
    > 12:30pm=Film: Country Joe's Vietnam
    > Panel Discussion on the national & local anti-war
    > movement &
    > culture with
    > John Sinclair, Jeff Hale, Country Joe McDonald, Lamont B.
    > Steptoe & Ed
    > Sanders (WSU Campus)
    > 7:30pm=Ten for Two: John Sinclair & John Lennon Film followed by a
    > reading/performance by John Sinclair & His Blues Scholars at The Detroit
    > Film Theater
    > 7:00pm=Poetry Readings by the Children of Vietnam Veterans
    > 8:00pm=Poetry Readings by Women involved in The Vietnam War/Anti-War
    > Movement w/ California poets Maggie Jaffe & Mifanwy
    > Kaiser
    > with Detroit's
    > Gloria House, Aurora Harris & Anca Vlasopolos plus
    > Country
    > Joe
    > McDonald's musical tribute to nurses at The Detroit
    > Public
    > Library
    > THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2000
    > 7:30pm=Film: Regret to Inform followed by a discussion with film's
    > director
    > California's Barbara Sondenborn at The Detroit Film
    > Theater
    > FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2000
    > 7:00pm=Readings by Union Members who served in Viet Nam (co-sponsored
    > with
    > UAW & National Writers Union)
    > 8:00pm=Poetry and Fiction by Nationally acclaimed Viet Nam veteran
    > writers
    > W.D. Ehrhart, John Connolley & Wayne Karlin at The Scarab
    > Club
    > SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2000
    > 8:00pm=Music of the Viet Nam War and Era featuring Country Joe McDonald,
    > Motown's The Contours & The Magic Poetry Band
    > SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2000
    > 3:00pm=Closing Ceremonies for The Moving Wall with Chapter 9 Viet nam
    > Veterans Color Guard / Closing Comments by Country Joe
    > McDonald,
    > and M.L. Liebler
    > - -- "Ira Furor Brevis Est " - Anger is a brief madness
    > country joe Home Pg <http://www.countryjoe.com>
    > country joe's tribute to Florence Nightingale
    > <http://www.countryjoe.com/nightingale>
    > Berkeley Vietnam Veterans Memorial
    > <http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/Links/Comm/vvm>
    > Rag Baby Online Magazine <http://www.ragbaby.com/magazine>
    > ------------------------------
    > Date: Sun, 18 Jun 2000 22:37:51 -0700
    > From: William Mandel <wmmmandel@earthlink.net>
    > Subject: Re: [sixties-l] Re; Necrology
    > The Old Left has its memorials in the form of graves of people
    > like Elizabeth Gurley Flynn near the statue to the Haymarket
    > Martyrs in Waldheim Cemetery, Chicago. These things are
    > emotionally sufficiently meaningful that I put a picture of
    > myself there hunkered down next to the gravestone of William L.
    > Patterson, savior of the Scottsboro Boys, into Saying No To
    > Power.
    > William Mandel
    > Joe McDonald wrote:
    > >
    > > Paul.Lauter@mail.cc.trincoll.edu wrote:
    > >
    > > > Don Kalish died yesterday. As some of you may know, he was a central
    > > > figure in anti-war activism in the 60's in and around LA especially, where
    > > > he was a professor of Philosophy at UCLA until he retired some years back.
    > > > He was a great supporter of guys in the Resistance--a few of whom took
    > > > advantage of his hospitality, which never troubled him much. And he was
    > > > one of the founders of Resist (which, btw, continues as a small
    > > > "foundation" supporting progressive organizing and educational work). He
    > > > was a serious and interesting philosopher, who kicked the academic habit,
    > > > pretty much, to work for and support peace and justice.
    > > > Folks have been talking of memorials: what would be an appropriate
    > > > one for Don? paul
    > >
    > > There should be somewhere a memorial to anti war activists who do not have
    > > the benifit of govt stipends and burial plots and VA medical care but still
    > > "serve" their country. And like the new trend in memorials it should have
    > > their names on it. But how to do it is the question? It would take some
    > > team work and is that possible today? I for one am into it but it needs to be
    > > a group effort. cheers, country joe mcdonald
    > >
    > > -- "Ira Furor Brevis Est " - Anger is a brief madness
    > >
    > > country joe Home Pg <http://www.countryjoe.com>
    > > country joe's tribute to Florence Nightingale
    > > <http://www.countryjoe.com/nightingale>
    > > Berkeley Vietnam Veterans Memorial
    > > <http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/Links/Comm/vvm>
    > > Rag Baby Online Magazine <http://www.ragbaby.com/magazine>
    > - --
    > To be removed from list, e-mail "Opt Out."
    > You may find of interest website www.BillMandel.net
    > ------------------------------
    > Date: Sun, 18 Jun 2000 22:52:53 -0700
    > From: William Mandel <wmmmandel@earthlink.net>
    > Subject: Re: [sixties-l] Vietnam: soldiers & anti-warriors
    > Anybody who wound up with VVAW is okay by me. The important thing
    > is to understand that the war was wrong. I'd like to point out
    > that your presentation to them goes to more sophisticated issues
    > than mine: do you or do you not go abroad to kill people who
    > can't possibly get to your country to kill you?
    > Bill Mandel
    > Ted Morgan wrote:
    > >
    > > Interesting, busy (!) list these days, especially with the discussion
    > > between JoeMcDonald & Bill Mandel. I have for a long time been
    > > troubled by the chasm between anti-war people and vets, a chasm that has
    > > been greatly enlarged by the media (speaking of which...). Joe asked
    > > about war status, so I'll say up front I was a C.O. & served two years
    > > in a Boston hospital. By spring, 1968, I was not going to serve in any
    > > branch of the military nor do anything which felt it would help the war
    > > effort; I was headed to prison if my board (or the Mass. board) didn't
    > > give me the C.O. and I got drafted (there's a weird tale in there about
    > > the board's actual decision, but that's for another day). I considered
    > > the war an immoral horror. From that position, one can quickly move to
    > > condemn those who participated in the war as soldiers; after all,
    > > they're carrying it out, making it a reality. A lot of antiwar thinking
    > > in those days moved along those lines, I think, at least initially or in
    > > a knee-jerk way (especially after My Lai became public knowledge). But
    > > (a) I was never entirely comfortable with that. I had some real
    > > advantages --knew some people in college who had antiwar experience,
    > > read alot about the war, including highly critical stuff, even had a
    > > course on it. And alot of my college peers were not going to serve in
    > > it --via various paths. And (b) there was a sizeable contingent in the
    > > antiwar movement who understood the class makeup of the war, the
    > > exploitation of working class guys who hadn't had those same exposures,
    > > but whose fathers & uncles had served their country loyally in WWII, and
    > > won their country's praise (and reflected back on the war as some of the
    > > best times of their lives, in some cases). So, I think, Bill, that
    > > you're not been very empathic with your blanket condemnation --"they
    > > should have figured out that Vietnam didn't threaten us" or however
    > > exactly you put it. You also don't stretch enough I think from your
    > > position that already challenged Cold War ideology at the time to
    > > understand those (like me, too) who grew up in it and to varying degrees
    > > succumbed to it, at least for a while. The "hoariest of myths" I think
    > > is how Bruce Miroff put it.
    > >
    > > So, I think it's important to do the work to try and cross those gaps
    > > our government put in between us (or at least reinforced) -- as part of
    > > the solidarity we should be building today! [The government, the Right,
    > > and the corporate revival have all benefitted greatly from the
    > > divisiveness they've helped keep alive about 60s issues.]
    > > For years I've invited some local vets from the VVA local chapter to
    > > visit my class for a length discussion about their war experience &
    > > perspectives (and recently I've added an interview assignment), and it
    > > has consistently been one of the best, if not THE best class in the
    > > course. Most of these guys are still struggling to sort some of it out
    > > and they're glad to share their experiences (and I think mend what they
    > > see is a bad name; in some cases, just to talk about it helps). It's
    > > always been interesting when they and I get together for lunch
    > > before-hand. Usually there's a new guy or two (occasional we've been
    > > joined by a nurse); I'm always introduced to them as someone who was a
    > > "protester" (another 'bad name' in the media culture). There's a little
    > > 'feeling each other out' at the beginning, but I've been impressed by
    > > their willingness to be quite open about their experiences, impressions
    > > and beliefs, and I always try to make my position clear to them, too:
    > > That I think the war was immoral because it was an assault by the United
    > > States, with its massive military power, against what essentially
    > > amounted to "the people" of Vietnam who were struggling for their
    > > independence from colonialism (first), then Western control/imperialism
    > > (US, second). And I feel that American soldiers were put into a
    > > position by the US government that was morally untenable even by the
    > > standards of military ethics --that is, the "enemy" was, again and
    > > again, "the people." This was true in several respects: the indigenous
    > > independence movement of the Viet Minh, the broad coalition of groups
    > > that struggled against Diem and became the NLF, the fact that the
    > > guerrillas were largely supported by the peasants in the countryside
    > > (though they, too, committed atrocities to ensure that support when the
    > > violence escalated), and in the soldiers' experience the fact that "any
    > > one" could prove to BE the enemy.... The US government --one
    > > administration after another-- is responsible for putting heavily
    > > propagandized young men of c. 19 into that situation while calling it a
    > > war and telling them to "win." That is an atrocity against those young
    > > men --in addition to the atrocity the was being committed against the
    > > people of Indochina.
    > > That's just the way I see it. Rather than a monument, I'd like to see
    > > people come together and understand each other's experience back then
    > > and help to get the reality of the US government's responsibility out in
    > > the open where it belongs --but where it isn't. Whatever helps that
    > > happen is to the good. It'll also help prevent the kind of bogus
    > > propaganda used to mobilize public support for --and isolation
    > > opposition to-- the Gulf War.
    > >
    > > Ted Morgan
    > - --
    > To be removed from list, e-mail "Opt Out."
    > You may find of interest website www.BillMandel.net
    > ------------------------------
    > Date: Sun, 18 Jun 2000 22:59:35 -0700
    > From: William Mandel <wmmmandel@earthlink.net>
    > Subject: Re: [sixties-l] Re: Vietnam War Memorial
    > The greatest creation of capital in the history of the world has
    > been in Silicon Valley in the past thirty years. That has been by
    > people of the Vietnam generation, and in the last couple of
    > elections they have jumped with both feet into national politics.
    > However, the oil industry, which in capital now ranks below
    > computers and dot.coms, has a longer and more ramified history of
    > lobbying, bribing and the rest, and still governs policy in such
    > respects as the endless punishment of Iraq, the extremely
    > dangerous effort to take the Caspian oil fields away from Russia,
    > which developed them, and the like.
    > William Mandel
    > monkerud wrote:
    > >
    > > >Simply a matter of fact. The World War II generation is not in
    > > >power. Neither Clinton nor Gore. Clinton is younger than you,
    > > >Joe. There may still be a couple of WW II-age people on the
    > > >Supreme Court, but a minority. Also a few Congressional Committee
    > > >heads, very few. Likewise, industry and the banks and
    > > >transportation and the army are all run by post-WW II people. Bill Mandel
    > >
    > > While there was another post pointing out the WWII thinking and mind set
    > > that continues to rule the country, there's another aspect that intrigues
    > > me and someone must have done work on?
    > >
    > > Some claim the economy is being run for the interest rates and stock market
    > > capitalization and for dividends. The WWII generation is the one that
    > > controls the wealth, although they are starting to die off and leave it to
    > > their children. How much of the economic interests of the country is being
    > > run to protect this wealth? To lead to a favorable climate so the interest
    > > and dividend payments can keep the nest feathered? Or am I off base here?
    > >
    > > best, Don Monkerud
    > - --
    > To be removed from list, e-mail "Opt Out."
    > You may find of interest website www.BillMandel.net
    > ------------------------------
    > Date: Sun, 18 Jun 2000 23:15:17 -0700
    > From: William Mandel <wmmmandel@earthlink.net>
    > Subject: Re: [sixties-l] Horowitz, Art Goldberg and Stew Albert
    > Joe: Stalinists, Trotskyists, and Maoists all regard themselves
    > as Marxists. Stalinists believed that a socialist society could
    > be constructed in a single country, the Soviet Union, when it
    > turned out that expected revolutions in Western Europe did not
    > take place. They didn't like the alternative, which was to
    > surrender the revolution they had won.
    > Trotskyists believe that socialism can only be brought about by
    > a world revolution.
    > Maoism, which developed thirty years later, is essentially
    > whatever Mao Tse-tung did in China that was different from what
    > happened in the Soviet Union. He thought that guerrilla wars
    > could be won anywhere, and that socialism could be based on the
    > peasantry. The others all thought it had to rest on the working
    > class, and required an industrialized country.
    > Bill Mandel
    > Joe McDonald wrote:
    > >
    > > StewA@aol.com wrote:
    > >
    > > > re- the Art Goldberg, David Horowitz, and me, letter
    > > >
    > > > This may a bit short but I want to make the point that Art Goldberg sent that
    > > > letter to David Horowitz as a personal correspondence. It was not intended
    > > > for publication. None of us wanted a public dispute with Horowitz. He
    > > > reprinted the letter in Salon without permission. Certainly Goldberg could
    > > > have sued if he was a mind but Art isn't that sort of guy. So, if
    > > > participants in the '60's list are angry about Horowitz reprinting their
    > > > exchanges on his web site without an ok, they should know that such actions
    > > > are typical of David's "ends justify the means" style of neo-McCarthyite
    > > > politics.
    > > > Stew Albert
    > > > http://hometown.aol.com/stewa/stew.html
    > >
    > > i asked mr horowitz off the list to explain why he disrespected my mother,
    > > Florence McDonald in his book about hating the left wing. He answered me that
    > > upon interviewing one "black woman" in the low cost housing complex in Berkeley
    > > that my parents lived in, he decided that my mother, Florence McDonald,
    > > "controlled" the housing and wanted the woman "kicked out" of the housing.
    > > Which is not true at all. He also told me my mother was a "Stalinist". i
    > > related back that it was news to me at that time period i am sure that she was
    > > still dedicated to a form of democratic socialism but some type of "communism"
    > > after being sold down the creek in the 50's witch hunts by her "commie" friends
    > > and left out to dry...i dont think so. i also asked mr horowitz because he is a
    > > self proclaimed expert on Communism to explain the difference between a
    > > Stalinist, Trotskyist, Marxist and Maoist, i am sure my mother could explain,
    > > myself i have never understood, mr horowitz did not reply.
    > >
    > > i am just sharing this for two reasons. One to let people know that David
    > > Horowitz is not always totally correct in what he writes having done poor
    > > research at least in the case of my mother. And two hoping that maybe someone
    > > on the list could explain in just a few simple paragraphs that this non
    > > university educated musician could understand, just what the heck the difference
    > > is between all those "ists"? cheers, country joe mcdonald
    > >
    > > -- "Ira Furor Brevis Est " - Anger is a brief madness
    > >
    > > country joe Home Pg <http://www.countryjoe.com>
    > > country joe's tribute to Florence Nightingale
    > > <http://www.countryjoe.com/nightingale>
    > > Berkeley Vietnam Veterans Memorial <http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/Links/Comm/vvm>
    > >
    > > Rag Baby Online Magazine <http://www.ragbaby.com/magazine>
    > - --
    > To be removed from list, e-mail "Opt Out."
    > You may find of interest website www.BillMandel.net
    > ------------------------------
    > End of sixties-l-digest V1 #198
    > *******************************

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Mon Jun 19 2000 - 22:45:18 CUT