[sixties-l] Marching With Stalinists (fwd)

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Date: Sun Jan 26 2003 - 17:04:19 EST

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    Date: Thu, 23 Jan 2003 11:04:16 -0800
    From: radtimes <resist@best.com>
    Subject: Marching With Stalinists

    Marching With Stalinists


    By Michael Kelly
    January 23, 2003

    The left in America has for a long time now resembled not so much a
    political movement
    as a contest to see how many schismatics could dance on the head of a pin, a
    conversation that has gone from being national to factional to simply
    eccentric. At some
    point, progressive politics reached a state where freeing Mumia was
    considered critical
    and electing a Democratic president was considered optional.
    Then came Sept. 11, and the left found itself plunged into a debate on a
    subject of
    fundamental importance. And this was a debate in which to be of the left
    was to be, by
    definition, involved: In al Qaeda and in the Taliban and in Saddam
    Hussein's Iraq, liberal
    civilization faced an enemy that represented nearly every evil that
    liberalism has ever
    stood against.
    What was the left going to do? A pretty straightforward call, you might
    say. America
    has its flaws. But war involves choosing sides, and the American side,
    which was, after
    all, the side of liberalism, of progressivism, of democracy, of freedom, of
    not chucking
    gays off rooftops and not stoning adulterers and not whipping women in the
    square, and not gassing minority populations and not torturing advocates of
    speechwas surely preferable to the side of the "Islamofascists," to borrow
    a word
    from the essayist and former man of the left, Christopher Hitchens.
    Which is the point: Hitchens is a former man of the left. In the left's
    debate, Hitchens
    insisted that progressives must not in their disdain for America allow
    themselves to
    effectively support the perpetuation of despotism, must not betray the
    left's own values.
    Others, notably the political philosopher Michael Walzer, the independent
    Andrew Sullivan, New Republic writer Jonathan Chait and New York Observer
    Ron Rosenbaum, also made this argument with great force and clarity.
    The debate is over. The left has hardened itself around the core value of a
    permanent, reactionary opposition to the devil-state America, which stands
    as the
    paramount evil of the world and the paramount threat to the world, and
    whose aims must
    be thwarted even at the cost of supporting fascists and tyrants. Those who
    could not
    stomach this have left the lefta few publicly, as did Hitchens and
    Rosenbaum, and
    many more, I am sure, in the privacy of their consciences.
    Last weekend, the left held large antiwar marches in Washington, San
    Francisco and
    elsewhere. Major media coverage of these marches was highly respectful.
    This was "A
    Stirring in the Nation," in the words of an approving New York Times
    "impressive for the obvious mainstream roots of the marchers."
    There is, increasingly, much that happens in the world that the Times feels
    its readers
    should be sheltered from knowing. The marches in Washington and San
    Francisco were
    chiefly sponsored, as was last October's antiwar march in Washington, by a
    group the
    Times chose to call in its only passing reference "the activist group
    International ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) is a front group
    for the
    communist Workers World Party. The Workers World Party is, literally, a
    organization. It rose out of a split within the old Socialist Workers Party
    over the Soviet
    Union's 1956 invasion of Hungary, the breakaway Workers World Party was all
    for the
    invasion. International ANSWER today unquestioningly supports any despotic
    that lays any claim to socialism, or simply to anti-Americanism. It
    supported the
    butchers of Beijing after the slaughter of Tiananmen Square. It supports
    Hussein and his Baathist torture-state. It supports the last official
    Stalinist state, North
    Korea, in the mass starvation of its citizens. It supported Slobodan
    Milosevic after the
    massacre at Srebrenica. It supports the mullahs of Iran, and the
    narco-gangsters of
    Colombia and the bus-bombers of Hamas.
    This is whom the left now marches with. The left marches with the
    Stalinists. The left
    marches with those who would maintain in power the leading oppressors of
    humanity in
    the world. It marches with, stands with and cheers on people like the
    speaker at the
    Washington rally who declared that "the real terrorists have always been
    the United
    Snakes of America." It marches with people like the former Black Panther
    Charles Baron,
    who said in Washington, "if you're looking for an axis of evil then look in
    the belly of
    this beast."
    The Times' "mainstream" Americans marched last weekend with people who held
    comparing the president and vice president of their country to Hitler, and
    "The difference between Bush and Saddam is that Saddam was elected," and
    this one: "I
    want you to die for Israel. Israel sings Onward Christian Soldiers."
    March on.

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