re-peru / reply to Leo

Michael Luftmensch MLuftmensch at
Wed Feb 21 21:54:54 MST 1996

re-Peru / reply to Leo

I have been following the Peru thread from the point that Chris B. posted the
Amnesty articles. I know little about Peru, but my attempts to learn more
have been stymied from the word go.

Rather than situate the PCP rebellion in a historical and political context,
we have been bombarded by demands to either denounce the PCP in no uncertain
terms, or accept the sanctity of the PCP, no questions asked.


Throughout the seventies and eighties, I lived in Jerusalem. I was part of
the anti-war movement, the Palestine solidarity committees and assorted human
rights initiatives.

Leo, the PLO committed many atrocities. But their terrorism never compared in
magnitude to that of the Israeli state. Throughout most of the seventies, the
body count ratio was about 88:1.

In the summer of 1982, Israel went to war against the Palestinian population
of Lebanon and the body count soared. That same summer, the US left held a
massive peace rally. Not a word was mentioned about the massacres being
perpetrated by Israel in Lebanon. Not a word, even though they were being
subsidized by the US!

Don't I have reason to be skeptical when Americans talk terrorism?


Noam Chomsky has been one of our few friends in the US peace movement. He
hasn't wavered in his principled stand for peace and justice in the Middle
East. Because of that, the US Zionist establishment has assiduously waged a
Stalin-like campaign of defamation against him. The Faurisson affair can't be
understood outside of this context.

Christopher Hitchens wrote about Chomsky and the Faurisson Affair in his book
of essays, Prepared for the Worst. Hitchens answers your questions much more
eloquently than I can.

(If you can't get hold of the essay, I'll go to the library and photocopy it
and send it to you.)


I have always held the state of Israel responsible for Palestinian political
violence. That is something quite different from condoning the use of
violence. I insist on this distinction. And on putting things in context.

In regard to Peru, this means seeing PCP violence in the context of centuries
of oppression.

Everything I have read about the PCP thus far confirms that they do indeed
kill political opponents. I think Louis Proyect has been consistent in this

But I have read nothing that substantiates the claim being put forward by
some subscribers on this list that the PCP systematically carries out
massacres. I think it is made in order to close our ears.

(The Stalinist ranting obviously doesn't help matters.)

The PCP has violated Article 3 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
The findings of the Americas Watch report makes this plain. The PCP refuses
to recognize neutrality. Again and again, they place the people in an
indefensible position. This is a war the people can't win. It's a cry of
despair from the most wretched and downtrodden of the Peruvian earth.

I ask you, Leo, who is responsible for their desperation?


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