Doug Henwood on strategic offensive of world revolution

Rubyg580 at Rubyg580 at
Thu Apr 4 17:19:26 MST 1996

In a message dated 96-04-03 Doug Henwood wrote:
>Someone here recently described Vietnam as a defeat for US imperialism.
>Is this really true? It seems imperialism lost the battle but won the war,
>at least for now. There have been very few revolutions since the US left
>Vietnam; Southeast Asia is one of the most rampantly capitalist regions of
>the world; and even Vietnam itself is courting foreign investment. For the
>last 20 years, the US has been torturing Vietnam with considerable success,
>and quietly supported the Khmer Rouge, partly in pursuit of this project of
>torture. Two or three million dead Indochinese vs. some 50,000 dead
>Americans. In 1996, who seems to have lost?

Well, let's see:Wasn't it 1978 when Haile Selasse was deposed in Ethiopia?
In 1979 there was Nicaragua; also Iran; What year was it in the 80s when
Marcos was forced out of the Phillipines?  Baby Doc out of Haiti?  In 1990
South Africa had to release Nelson Mandela, and many other political
prisoners, and had to dismantle de jure apartheid.

None of these was a proletarian revolution, and you could argue that some
weren't real "revolutions" in the sense of being "an act of violence by which
one class overthrows another", but they all were the product of the masses
rising up; they all were defeats of US imperialism in some fashion.  There's
other incidents too: the Palestinian intefada comes to mind.

There's also been full-scale People's War in Peru since 1980.  There's also
armed struggle in the Phillippines and in Turkey, and now in Nepal too.
US imperialism is not exactly having a field day.

Yes, imperialism still has its claws in the oppressed peoples of the world,
but its grip is being met with challenge after challenge.  On a world scale
as well as at home there's no way you can compare the health or overall
strength of the US, economically or politically, with what existed say in the
Gina/ Detroit

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