[sixties-l] Which AntiWar?

From: Jeffrey Blankfort (jab@tucradio.org)
Date: Sun Nov 18 2001 - 23:51:34 EST

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    drieux wrote:

    On Wednesday, November 14, 2001, at 10:24 , Jeffrey Blankfort wrote:
    > Marty, I appreciate that old friendships die hard, but Todd read himself
    > out of the movement, by any reasonable criteria that one can use, not
    > the least of which being that he has supported every US war for the past
    > decade: the Gulf War, the war against Serbia and now the war of
    > conquest in Central Asia.

    I guess the problem that I have here is understanding how any of this
    fits with or against the alledged anti-war movement of the vietnam
    genertion - especially given the somewhat comical farce of the 1978
    blitzkrieg into cambodia, that lead to the Hanoi Regime becoming
    bogged down in a guerrilla war in kampuchea. Granted, after years
    of being mired in that war the Hanoi Regime would finally find a
    political solution to save face and bug out - but was there some
    alternative that could have saved the kampuchean civilians who had
    suffered first under the Pol Pot regime, and then under the Iron
    boot of the Soviet Hegomonist Puppet State. { not like as if the
    valiant People's Liberation Army of the People's Republic of China
    didn't try to rectify the matter... }

    But then again, as most folks will recall, the anti-war movement
    suffered that 'significant blow' when Nixon ended the draft, and
    with it allowed so many of the formerly concerned that they might
    have to actually make a choice one way or the other about the war
    to simply slide off to other more pressing personal issues. So I
    have never taken to the simplistic assumption that there was any
    one singular 'anti-war movement' - since the 'young americans for
    freedom' and the 'young republicans' who were alledgedly rightwingers
    were as clearly anti-draft/anti-do_not_mess_up_my_life as were all
    of the really committed anti-war types.

    In the intervening years since the first cease fire was signed between
    the coalition forces and saddam hussein, it seems reasonably clear that
    'sanctions alone' would not have worked at ending the Iraqi occupation
    of Kuwait. So there are still open structural problems in which
    anti-persian gulf war movement thesis makes any sense. That everyone
    went to sleep as soon as the CNN 24x7 coverage bailed is not at all
    surprising - since most americans didn't even notice when the US
    Military Aid and Assistance Group (MAAG) became Military Assistance
    Command Vietnam (MACV).... and it
    really was not a big deal until the draft really kicked in, and
    well it really was not a big deal once nixon signed the peace accord
    and everything just fell off the radar, even though the media did
    come back briefly to cover the fall of saigon.

    This with an anti-war movement against the War with Serbia? Hello?
    that way is so filled with chaotic silliness that it is almost a
    total convolution of massed irony. Are we suppose to suddenly lump
    together such noted anti-war groupings as Pat Robertson's 700 Club
    and Jerry Fallwells' Moral Majority, and their support of the
    Specialist New's Case - wherein a specialist in the US Army opposed
    the issuance of the U.N. Blue Beret to their unit, since it was being
    posted to Macedonia, and was, well, so like really gross? Or is there
    some other specifically anti-war movement that we should be thinking
    about that felt that it was so clearly wrong to prevent Ethnic Cleansing
    in Bosnia and Kosovo? Or are we talking about the members of the
    community who noted the complete failure of the 'bombing alone' strategy
    to dislodge federal troops from Kosovo until after they had achieved
    their goal of cleansing Kosovo and complied with the mandate that they
    retire north of the river.....

    I feel for the young 'combat journalists' who now are obliged to do the
    rounds to the Peace Keeping Missions in places like Bosnia, where they
    suddenly notice that the process of doing Garrison Duty is only slightly
    less boring than being Stuck at Fort Hood, Texas. WOW, I hope that news
    flash in the Atlantic Monthly doesn't scare everyone. But please, sell
    the real alternative? We should not have become 'constructively engaged'
    in the process? Or is this suppose to be more of the proof that the
    Liberal Media is still covering up the Massive Ethnic Cleansing that
    clearly has to be going on, since, well, there are american ground
    troops there, and its not being covered? Or could it be that while its
    not the best solution - even the great Military Hero, President Bush
    the younger, in spite of his campaign speachifying, and campaign
    promising, has opted to drop his core anti-war stance, and remains
    unwilling to withdraw american ground troops? Since their presence
    may just be able to help the transition back to the pluralist society
    that Bosnia had been, where they frivilously wasted their days doing
    literature, and art, rather than learning how to do sniper/anti-sniper
    work and
    entrenching, so that people could get to fresh water supplies during
    a siege....

    Maybe it is not the simpler matter of home ownership that complicates
    the process of doing the analysis of how the world really works that
    leads some to understand that it is not going to be a simple job to
    disarm the world and end the wars.

    As some will recall about the Rwandan Massacres - too many of those
    murders were not even done without legitimate weapons of war, but the
    old fashion way with machette like knives, and even rocks.

    We still have all sorts of messes brewing in sub-saharan africa, some
    of them traditional 'christian v. muslim' or the trilogy of 'christian
    v. muslim v. animist', few of them the more traditional post-colonialist
    struggle of the Progressivist Forces getting their weapons from the
    soviet union to fight against the forces getting their weapons from the
    USA - but have become the less clear power struggles of this group
    that group, finding war the simpler path to power.

    But I guess it would be impolite to remember that while the west sat,
    the PLA trained forces from Tanzania ran their Op to oust Libyan Backed
    Idi Amin out of Kenya. One of the myriad of little wars that folks tend
    to not want to toss into the mix of which wars are good, which wars are
    bad, and what standards we really want to raise for Real-Anti-War[tm]
    that is the true heirs to the one correct implementation of the
    Sixties Anti-War Movement.

    Given the threat that the USA may wind up with semi-permenant bases in
    uzbekistan, and tajikistan, at least for the time being, clearly we
    not wish to culturally destabilize those regions into believing that a
    boring and stable government, without the corruption of 'drug money' as
    the sole revenue stream, is a good goal to shoot for? And yes, getting
    any Girg in Afghanistan to effectively work out an alternative path to
    a compromise pluralistic government is OBVIOUSLY a bad goal.

    So please, fill me in on what is the Correct Implementation of how to
    deal with the Afghani Crisis?



    Driuex wrote:

    Driuex may not have agreed with the anti-war movement if
    he was out of swaddling clothes at the time, but there
    actually was such a movement, and while some of its
    exploits were overblown, at least it concerned Richard
    Nixon to the point where, according to his Oval Office
    conversations, he hesitated to drop the A-Bomb on Vietnam
    because he thought it was bring about a real war in the
    streets of the US. He was probably right.

    There was nothing comical about Vietnam's decision to
    invade Cambodia. The Khymer Rouge were surrogates both
    for China and, less openly, the US, and had been attacking
    Vietnam repeatedly across the border. The Vietnamese, who
    had been fighting since the 40s, had no choice but to go
    in and depose Pol Pot and had not the latter kept his
    support from both the Chinese and the US, the miring down
    would, more than likely, never happened. That Drieux can
    see that situation as a "comical farce" is less defensible
    than the usual indifference that most Americans, whatever
    their degree of "formal education," express towards the
    victims of US policies around the globe.

    While the end of the draft undercut a significant rallying
    point for the movement, there was a critical difference
    between those against the war who manifested some elements
    of human decency to the point of getting their heads
    beaten in by the cops or their lungs and faces seared by
    tear gas, than the young button-downs who were more than
    willing to "drop the bomb" as long as their plans to make
    a quick fortune weren't messed up. And since most of them
    had money and could go to college or have their dear old
    dad call their local congressman for help, there wasn't
    much chance of them having to put their life on the line.
    Just look at the brave warriors of the post-war Republican
    administrations. Most of them were draft-dodgers (and may
    I get personal and inquire about your status at that

    Saddam Hussein, understandably, saw himself as a US ally.
    Not only had the CIA been instrumental in putting him in
    power, the Bush administration, with Sweet Old Bob Dole as
    his personal emissary, had provided Saddam with chemical
    and conventional weapons in order to fight a debilitating
    10-year war with Iran. So when Kuwait began slant-
    drilling for oil into Iraq, in his provincial unworldly
    ignorance, called in the US ambassador April Glaspie, and
    complained to her and said that if Kuwait didn't stop it,
    he was going to go to war. Glaspie offered no objection,
    which Saddam read as a go-ahead. Saddam, Nixon-like, taped
    the conversation.

    There is nothing that makes it "reasonably clear that
    'sanctions alone' would not have worked at ending the
    Iraqi occupation of Kuwait." According to Kuwait
    statistics, the number of dead Kuwaitis was only 240!
    There was a lot of wiggle-room. Now, we are reminded,
    after tens of thousands of Iraqi children have died ("the
    price is worth it," said Albright) that Saddam is one of
    the greatest threats on the planet. And as former Marine
    Scott Ritter, who headed the inspection team, repeatedly
    says (but the mainstream press doesn't listen), it's all a
    lot of bunk.

    The problem with such groups as the International Action
    Center (IAC) with their retrograde Stalinist mind-set is
    that they refuse to say a critical word about Saddam, who
    like so many friends of this and past administrations has
    much blood on his hands.

    One does not have to pretend, like the IAC or some die-
    hards who haven't come to grips with the collapse of the
    USSR and the East Bloc, that Milosevich was a committed
    socialist, to oppose the bombing of ANY country in which
    either civilians or the infrastructure of civilian life is
    targeted as it was in Serbia. At Rambouillet, Milosevic,
    however, was told to sign an agreement by Frau Albrecht,
    that would have surrendered Serbia's sovereignty, and not
    even to the UN but to NATO! It was clear again that the
    US wanted a war to dismantle Yugoslavia and bring the
    region into the US-dictated Western umbrella.

    I don't have time or inclination to respond to the rest of
    Drieux's hodgepodge, but if the US thought it useful to
    bring Milosevic to an international court, they could have
    made an effort to do so in the case of Osama bin Laden.
    But then, the US would not had been able to get away with
    the bombing of Afghanistan and the destruction of the
    Taliban, an organization which the US helped to bring to
    power and supported.

    It was more important for the US to legitimize its bases
    that have been in Uzbekistan since 1996 and to extend our
    military into Tajikistan. Is it any coincidence that
    Unocal and Exxon/Mobil have the oil rights in Uzbekistan
    and Chevron has the rights in Tajikistan (where old
    Richard Armitage of Iran-Contra infamy is part of the
    consortium) and that they need to have a pipeline though
    Afghanistan to take the oil to Persian Gulf? Do you by
    any chance have Bechtel's phone number?

    Jeff Blankfort
    ciao drieux

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