Re: [sixties-l] An Act of War?

From: Ted Morgan (
Date: Mon Nov 19 2001 - 11:00:03 EST

  • Next message: Jeffrey Blankfort: "Re: [sixties-l] Todd Gitlin on the war"

    Re. Blinders:

    Brad misreads the current antiwar message in much the same way that
    people have written letters to the country's newspapers attacking
    academics for their antiwar stances seem unable to carry two 'apparently
    contradictory' thoughts in their heads: (1) the terrorist attack was an
    inexcusable-by-any-standards crime against humanity and the perpetrators
    ought to be as quickly as possible brought to international justice for
    that crime. and (2) the policies of the United States and its
    allies/clients in the Middle East have gone a long way toward creating
    precisely the climate that spawns terrorist networks (and even more, the
    'armies' they can call upon to do their dirty work). Furthermore, these
    policies, including the current counterattack, will continue to do so,
    thereby endangering future generations of innocent civilians --like
    those who worked in the WTC, as well as those who live in the Middle
    East. I'm not sure there isn't a kind of short-circuited cognitive
    development going on here. It is fatuous to say, in effect, those who
    attribute some 'responsibility' to the United States are in effect
    absolving the terrorists of their crime. I realize this isn't Brad's
    point per se, but it is often heard in the letters-to-the-editor columns
    of local papers all over the US.

    However, as for Brad's comment, it isn't the case that seeing both of
    those realities equates with a "simple solution" to the current crisis
    --it clearly doesn't. Brad's point seems to read this as doing so,
    given the way he denounces Allen for arguing that "the solution to the
    world's problems is a group hug" (which Allen's paragraph clearly does
    not argue). In other words, Brad is arguing against a straw man
    caricature of "the left" something that occurs regularly on the right.
    In his own words, "As usual, this is little more than name-calling and

    I don't know if he has taken Allen out of context in ridiculing his
    Bush-blaming (though I suspect this, too, is the case), but I will argue
    that those who blame Bush for all of this mess ARE, in fact, missing the
    boat. Brad is correct that it does spread over a far broader range of
    history, going back (at least) to the early part of this century when
    European colonialists carved up the Middle East. Try READING the Left
    on the current struggle; check out for a variety of
    commentaries from the left, for example. There ought to be room for
    more than a caricature of argument on this list.

    Ted Morgan

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