Re: [sixties-l] Hayden/Gitlin/Scheer

From: Jeffrey Blankfort (
Date: Wed Aug 16 2000 - 05:18:14 CUT

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    Thanks to radman for posting these articles. I had not seen Hayden's
    position on Yugoslavia and am glad that he opposed the bombing.
    Nevertheless, his aggressive support of Israel's invasion and bombing of
    Lebanon in 1982 which resulted in from 10,000 to 20,000 dead and his
    continued unconditional support of Israel is something that cannot be
    covered up by taking positions that involve little political risk among
    his constituents.

    Gitlin's statement that he deplored the Persian Gulf War is belied by
    what I know of his record. In addition to calling in the press to have
    him filmed donating blood for US soldiers which I saw on the NBC News,
    he went on KPFA in Berkeley, as did Michael Lerner, to attack the
    anti-Gulf War movement as being anti-semitic, because protesters were
    comparing the US reaction to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, which left only
    330 dead, with its all-out support for Israel in 1982. As a
    consequence, Gitlin refused to have anything to do with movement. That
    he says he "deplores" it now doesn't excuse his actions then.

    I am also glad to see that Scheer criticized the Balkan bombing, but
    seems to somehow have forgotten that assault on the world peace that he
    now credits Clinton with enhancing. Evidently, Scheer received some
    criticism from his most recent column because today's Times carried his
    column which referred to "this week['s] boasts of the Clinton
    administration's record of adding a number of capital crimes to the
    federal code," and to the "the Financial Services Modernization Act,
    which allowed banks, insurance companies and stockbrokers to merge for
    the first time in 65 years and also share your most intimate personal
    data through the internet." He neglected, however, to mention that this
    bill was pushed through Congress by Clinton, who declared upon signing
    it, that "this is America's finest hour." The legislation it replaced
    was enacted by the first Roosevelt administration to prevent the
    financial speculation that led to the 1929 crash. But Scheer may be
    getting the message from a number of sources. He concludes his column
    by saying that he "can't deny that Ralph Nader is looking better all the time."

    Jeff Blankfort

    > radman says:
    > the only reference to Hayden's stance on the Iraq war I can find is his
    > name listed on this page:
    > <>, as one of many who opposed the
    > bombing...
    > the writings by Hayden, Gitlin and Scheer below are sent as additional
    > material to Jeff Blankfort's recent postings...

    Jeff Blankfort wrote:
    > >I don't recall off-hand the positions of Scheer and Hayden on the
    > >bombing of Iraq but I have a hunch, both of them supported it.

    > > >By TOM HAYDEN
    > > >Where are the voices of protest against the suffering inflicted on
    > civilians
    > > >and children by our bombardment of Serbia?
    > > >The moral rationale provided by the Clinton administration at the outset of
    > > >the bombing was that the brutal ethnic cleansing of Kosovo could be stopped
    > > >in a short military campaign. That promise was either a deception or a
    > > >delusion. The war has turned into a horrific quagmire, and yet even liberal
    > > >Democrats remain strangely tongue-tied about the suffering, which our
    > > >government lamely calls "collateral damage."...
    by Todd Gitlin, of Mother Jones
    > <>
    > Serbia began, I kept walking into the same conversation. I'd be catching
    > up with one or another old friend from the '60s, comrades with whom I
    > shared obsessions and convictions for the better part of a decade, and no
    > conviction more passionate than our common hatred for the Vietnam War.
    > In subsequent years we had kept opposing American military involvement
    > hither and yon, whether in Nicaragua, Chile, Guatemala, Grenada, El
    > Salvador, or Panama. Most of us had deplored the Persian Gulf War,
    > too. Now, in 1999, we would gingerly feel each other out: So, what do you
    > think about this war?
    > With relief, pleasure, some awkwardness, even surprise, we discovered that
    > we still agreed. Some felt unequivocal, others agonized and bewildered,
    > but most of us supported the NATO war over Kosovo. We supported it in fear
    > and trembling because what NATO was doing was, after all, war. But still
    > we supported the war, if not its every tactic....
    > In War, Ignorance Can Be Bliss -- April 6, 1999
    > <>
    >By Robert Scheer

    > The guy next to me in the coffee shop was typical: "I'm not even sure where
    > Kosovo is, or what's caused all this, but it's terrible, look at the
    > pictures, we must do something." Yeah, blow up another bridge, it can't hurt.
    > That dreary paean to self-righteous ignorance has inspired much of the
    > Western public to go along with the bombing of Yugoslavia in an effort that
    > clearly has made matters worse. It's a vote of confidence President Clinton
    > knew he could count on as long as the war tested our weapons but not our
    > souls.
    > ...
    > It's inexcusable that Clinton ordered the invasion of Yugoslavia while
    > Russia's highly knowledgeable prime minister, Yevgeny Primakov, was in
    > flight to Washington, and that Clinton rejected Russia President Boris N.
    > Yeltsin's request for a meeting of the G8 nations. And why bypass the
    > United Nations?
    > =================================================

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