This is well put by Michael Simmons. I'm from the Sixties anti-war movement. A good number of us acquired a structural analysis of the System in those days and don't have to keep figuring it out from scratch each fucking time (and don't feel like we should have to keep debating it, but I guess we do). Here's the basics: U.S. foreign policy is by nature imperialistic. The capitalist class runs the country, and foreign policy is driven by the interests of major corporations. Whatever else they tell us about why "we" go to war is a bunch of lies and propaganda. We should know that. Of course, this always proves itself out empirically each succeeding occasion. The last necessary piece of evidence for me in the current case of "America's War against Terror" occurred last week when Texas oil-man Bush the Younger appointed a UNOCAL guy to be the first U.S. representative to the newly-installed pro-U.S. Afghan government. (UNOCAL is the company that was negotiating with the Taliban until recently because they want to run a pipeline through there.) More evidence of the oil connections may be found in Ahmad Rashid's Taliban book, written before 911.
I teach a class on the Sixties nowadays. Although I don't use it for the class, I do like Gitlin's book on the whole. However, Todd Gitlin, like some others but not all of the earlier SDS leaders (Clark Kissinger would be a notable exception), was one for whom the Sixties peaked and probably ended around 1968, if not sooner, who apparently never figured it all out. He has remained stuck at the incipient political stage of left-liberalism. He never made the transition others did from Movement to Resistance to Revolution.
----- Original Message -----
From: Michael Simmons
Sent: Wednesday, January 16, 2002 3:40 AM
Subject: [sixties-l] Gitlin and other apologists
Did the terrorists attack Canada on September 11th? Switzerland? Brazil? Finland? Laos? Andorra?
No, they attacked the United States of America. Why is it unpatriotic to ask why Andorra survived September 11th unscathed?
Gitlin is suffering from Creeping Reactionary Syndrome (CRS). It's an illness that usually affects 'progressives' who insist they support justice, but who still think that there's nothing wrong with The System that a little liberal tinkering can't fix. Hey Todd, tell it to the campesinos in Colombia who're terrorized by paramilitary death squads paid for by laundered US money courtesy of Congress and the last and current President.
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