Re: [sixties-l] Todd Gitlin Does the Boss Man's Work

From: Jeffrey Blankfort (
Date: Sun Nov 24 2002 - 18:41:45 EST

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    I'm not surprised that Marty Jezer decides that the involvement of Gitlin or anyone else in the anti-war movement is not to be questioned. A
    couple of years back he joined Gitlin in criticizing the 60s anti-war movement for not having had the sense to endorse Humphrey for president in
    1968, not being able to understand, apparently, that had the movement's consciousness been at that low level, Johnson would not have withdrawn his
    candidacy in the first place. His defense of Gitlin on this and on other occasions qualifies him for the title of GitlinLite, a watery low
    calorie brew that makes him appear to be one of the boys even as his palms are sweating.

    In a more serious vein, Gitlin has a history of attacking critics of Israel's role or that of it's lobby on issues concerning Iraq as being
    anti-Semitic, an allegation which these days competes with patriotism as being the first refuge of scoundrels. Israeli officials and its top
    lobby groups as well as those deep within the decision making sectors of the administration such as Wolfowitz, Perle and Feith, are in the
    forefront of those beating the drums for war and redrawing the map of the Middle East with Israel assigned a strategic role. I assume Gitlin's
    role in the movement will be to provide protective cover for those SOB's and accuse anyone who raises this issue of being an anti-Semite.

    Jeff Blankfort

    > Date: Tue, 19 Nov 2002 08:24:00 -0500
    > From: Ron Jacobs <>
    > Subject: Re: [sixties-l] Todd Gitlin Does the Boss Man's Work (fwd)
    > Hey Marty,
    > Read the last paragraph--I clearly state that the grassroots will decide
    > the makeup of the movement. My criticism of Gitlin regarded his (and
    > others who toe his liberal line) attempts to define the antiwar movement on
    > their terms (which they developed in the early 1960s)and labels all those
    > to the left of him as communist dupes. This is not only an ironic echo of
    > the relationship between the LID and SDS, but is objectively helping out
    > the prowar forces. I am not questioning Gitlin's particpation. I am
    > challenging his (and those like him) attempts to decide what the make up of
    > the antiwar movement should be. It ain't up to him, me, ANSWER, or you.
    > It's up to the masses who organize in their hometowns and go to the
    > demonstrations, no matter who calls them.
    > - -ron jacobs
    > As I understand it Gitlin spoke at anti-war rally at the UN. I assume that
    > he did it on his own volition; he wasn't coerced. But, alas, poor Todd
    > isn't pure enough
    > for Counterpunch. Maybe all participants at anti-war rallies ought to be
    > screened, like at airports. Instead of looking for weapons, our screens
    > would look for incorrect thinking. For what it's worth, I'd never pass
    > Jacobs' -- or happily, Counterpunch's screening --for the anti-war
    > movement. Still I attend rallies, write articles, organizing in my local
    > community.
    > Alas, I want to build the biggest and broadest movement ever -- even
    > including Pat Buchanan's isolationist conservatives -- agreeing to disagree
    > on every issue but stopping the war on Iraq.
    > I assume Ron and his friends at Counterpoint would prefer to remain small
    > and irrelevant, but pure.
    > Gitlin's should be debated and criticized if people disagree. His
    > participation in the movement should not be questioned!
    > Marty Jezer

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