Re: [sixties-l] Gitlin's blather

From: Ron Jacobs (
Date: Mon Oct 28 2002 - 14:36:40 EST

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    At 02:53 PM 10/21/02 -0500, you wrote:
    >Todd Gitlin wrote:
    >I spoke at an antiwar rally outside the UN on September 12, the same day
    >that President Bush, inside, addressed the General Assembly. The turnout was
    >ragged, 300 or so. But the numbers weren't the most dismaying aspect of that
    >gathering. The signs were.
    >Most of the printed placards held by the protesters said 'NO SANCTIONS, NO
    >BOMBING.' The international sanctions against Iraq have been a humanitarian
    >disaster for the country's civilians. But doesn't Saddam Hussein bear some
    >responsibility for that disaster? Must that not be noted? The bombing, US
    >and UK attacks in the no-fly zones of northern and southern Iraq, are taking
    >place under the auspices of a mission to protect Iraqi Kurds in the north
    >and Iraqi Shiites in the south. Again, the Iraqi leader bears
    >responsibility; Washington and London have made a credible case for the
    >no-fly-zone sorties because and only because Saddam Hussein has trampled
    >these long-suffering people in more ways than there is room to describe in
    >this space. Those picket signs are emblematic of a refusal to face a
    >grotesque world. They express a near-total unwillingness to rebuke Saddam
    >Hussein, and a rejection of any conceivable rationale for using force. The
    >left-wing sectarians who promote 'NO SANCTIONS, NO BOMBING' don't want the
    >US, or anyone, to lift a finger on behalf of the Kurds to whom you might
    >think we have a special responsibility, since our government invited them to
    >rise up in 1991.
    >One wonders why Gitlin bothered to speak at the anti-war rally at all, since
    >he can't make up his mind whether or not he's against the war. "NO
    >SANCTIONS, NO BOMBING," means exactly that. We have killed at least a half
    >a million children through our sanctions yet we claim that Saddam somehow
    >has reconstituted his never terribly impressive WMD arsenal. (Rumsfield
    >must get his info from the "Psychic Friends Hotline.") Madeline Albright
    >claimed this was "worth the price." Bush is even worse. I haven't heard
    >anyone on the left complain about inspectors, though I've read THOUSANDS of
    >articles on the subject. This is despite the fact that we planted spies in
    >the inspection teams and information their reconnaissance developed was used
    >by Clinton to pinpoint bombing in Desert Fox in 1998, immediately after we
    >pulled our covert agents. This is also despite the fact that Bush's current
    >grudging acceptance of inspectors is seen worldwide as a charade, a
    >subjective pretext to trigger imminent an invasion when he thinks he can get
    >away with it. We couldn't give a damn about the Kurds, and if we did, we
    >would have not helped Saddam gas them (though Iran did most of the gassing).
    >If we cared, we'd get our allies, the Turks, to stop slaughtering them.
    >Similarly we misled the Iraqi Shiites by urging them to revolt against
    >Saddam when we had zero intentions of supporting them.
    >The only difference between Gitlin and former '60s "leaders" like Eldridge
    >Cleaver and Ira Einhorn is that Todd doesn't know he's dead or finished.
    >Frank Smith

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