Re: [sixties-l] SNAFU

From: Ted Morgan (
Date: Fri Jan 25 2002 - 16:37:59 EST

  • Next message: George Snedeker: "[sixties-l] Vietnam and Afghanistan?"

    I find this interesting. Yeah, Ron's venting a little. Why not?
    Brad's response, I guess --his suggestion that peace is maybe the last
    thing lefties like Ron want because then they couldn't vent anymore-- is
    a sad case of doublethink. 'Ron's obviously the problem, here; he, like
    so many on the left, just has this need to whine and rant and rave about
    the US. They must downright hate the US.' This reminds me a little of
    Todd Gitlin's latest.

    Well, sorry, Brad, but you just don't get it. You say: "Before there
    can be peace, we must all want it...and be in agreement on what it is
    and how it is to be achieved. That requires a coomon foundation and
    recognition of human dignity and peaceful resolution. We are a long way
    from that, I am afraid."

    Well, yes, I completely agree with your last sentence. We ARE a very
    long way from the "common foundation and recognition of human dignity
    and peaceful resolution." I'm sure you're thinking about the horrific
    'exceptions' to the 'common foundations' we preach here in the West
    --i.e., the terror network, Osama, the drug cartel in Colombia, etc.
    Well, yes, they're 'exceptions.' But the biggest, most systematic
    exception throughout the world is the United States of America; it's
    ACTIONS (not its words, not even the "intent" expressed by its political
    leaders, always couched in terms of freedom, human dignity, etc.) have
    again and again given the lie to its words about "human dignity" and
    "peaceful resolution," and they have going back, way back... past
    Vietnam, to Guatemala, Iran, Greece in the 40s, etc. Recall Martin
    Luther King's words --widely denounced in the NY Times, Washington Post,
    etc, about the "greatest purveyor of violence in the world, my
    government." US foreign policy is not about "human dignity." Its
    about "do it our way," or as Chomsky has said, "do what we say." And if
    we in this country, or most of us, enjoy a rather generous degree of
    "human dignity" here in the US, this does not mean that's what "we"
    spread to others.

    Given all this, given the fact that the mass media are essentially
    closed down to this perspective; given the fact that you can't find a
    political leader of either major party suggesting anything remotely like
    this take on the truth; given the way the mass media help to convert
    so-called 'anti-globalization' demonstrations to simply dramas of police
    vs. violent activists determined to close down meeting X or Y; no wonder
    Ron lets fly with a rant. Is there any way you can see that? Or is it
    more comfortable to stay in the zone of "we want human dignity, they
    don't"? King's speech on the Vietnam war also focused at length on
    understanding the Viet Cong and its view of us. Unfortunately, when we
    on the left try to raise this perspective with respect to the Middle
    East, we're blasted for "blaming America" for September 11. That is
    not, however, what the left is arguing. Those who organized, planned,
    and carried out that atrocity are the ones to "blame" for it. But the
    attack on us is just one more reason, and a painful one close to home,
    for looking hard at the Bigger Picture, before we simply replicate the
    violent past.

    Ted Morgan wrote:

    > In a message dated 01/21/2002 4:59:14 PM Central Standard Time,
    > writes:
    >> Situation Normal, All F**ked Up
    >> I don't know where to begin. The US is floundering around in
    >> Central Asia,
    >> Africa, the Philippines, and the Middle East trying to justify its
    >> war on
    >> terror, with plenty of help from world-power-wannabes and paranoid
    >> nation-states like India and Israel.

    >> -ron jacobs
    >> burlington, vt
    > Is this an observation or wishful thinking on your part? What I find
    > here is typical ranting and raving...with the usual lack of options
    > and alternatives. Sometimes I get the impression that is exactly the
    > point. At the same time, it gives you something to complain about,
    > which is enough to get some people up in the morning. The worst
    > possible thing that could happen would actually be PEACE! Geez, what
    > would anyone have to complain about? Oh would just be a
    > matter of time before fights break out over who is to be in charge
    > once the peace is in place. Whew!
    > I agree that bombs and killing won't bring about a more peaceful
    > world...but neither will platitudes, worn-out cliches, and
    > self-loathing "it's always America's fault" whining. Before there can
    > be peace, we must all want it...and be in agreement on what it is and
    > how it is to be achieved. That requires a coomon foundation and
    > recognition of human dignity and peaceful resolution. We are a long
    > way from that, I am afraid. Then again, maybe those who have it all
    > figured out would volunteer for a one-on-one, face-to-face, sit down
    > chat with al-Qaida and other misunderstood folks around the world. No
    > doubt they would welcome you with open arms. However, it might be a
    > good idea to let someone know how to reach your next-of-kin.
    > Thank!
    > Brad L. Duren
    > Instructor of History
    > Oklahoma Panhandle State University
    > 213 Hamilton Hall
    > Goodwell, Oklahoma 73939
    > work phone: 580-349-1498
    > email:

    Ted Morgan
    Department of Political Science
    Lehigh University
    Maginnes Hall #9
    Bethlehem, PA 18015
    Phone: (610) 758-3345
    Fax: (610) 758-6554

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