LCMRCI-LTT Joint Statement on Iraq

Yossi global at uk.pi.net
Thu Sep 19 14:33:43 MDT 1996


Dear Nathan.
Your theory has roots in kautsky theory of super imperialism which denies
not only the contradictionss between  the imperialist blocks but between
exploited weak underdeveloped capitalism and imperialism. The world is a
unity of  combined and uneven development. this was lenin as well as
trotsky's understandingt of the world. while this can be challenged it is
unlikely for marxists to prefer kautsky upon lenin and trotsky.
As far as supporting the occupation of haiti by us and your support for it.
Well i am not even ready to accept this premises as serious ground for
debate.
Yossi


>On Mon, 16 Sep 1996, Chegitz Guevara wrote:
>
>> > Okay, please explain to me why allowing Iraqi-backed Kurds to butcher
>> > Iranian-backed Kurds is the progressive position?
>>
>> Because, as activists who live within "the belly of the beast," it is our
>> special responsibility to fight imperialism at all times. If we pick and
>> choose which imperialist interventions are "bad," and which are "good,"
>> we strengthen the hand of imperialism against ourselves. A good example
>> is in Haiti.
>> The intervention in Haiti was only half-heartedly opposed by a few
>> "ultra"-lefitists. Why? Because it appeared to be another "good"
>> intervention by imperialism. In fact, the intervention was more about
>> disarming a potential revolution in Haiti, than it was about opposing
>> military rule.  The FRAP, the Macutes, the Attaches, etc, have not been
>> disarmed. They have, in fact, been better trained to deal with popular
>> unrest, and have the backing of U.S. armed forces when necessary.
>> Meanwhile, the Haitian populace continues to be stifled in their attempts
>> top bring their torturers to justice, and bring about popular democracy.
>
>Yeah, you've got my number on this one.  I supported the actions in
>support of restoring Aristide to power, as did the Congressional Black
>Caucus who actually were the ones who forced Clinton to act in Haiti to
>restore Aristide.
>
>Let's be clear about the history in Haiti; Clinton at first wanted to do
>little or nothing to help Aristide and the Republicans were and have been
>dead set against returning Aristide to power from the beginning.  It was
>only when almost the whole Black Caucus voted against the Crime Bill in
>1994 and the bill failed that Clinton sat down and cut a deal with the
>Congressional Black Caucus; in return for a chunk of the Caucus backing
>the crime bill, Clinton agreed to help return Aristide to power.  This was
>an intervention driven by the most progressive force in our COngress and
>was absolutely opposed by the moderate and reactionary forces of our
>nation.
>
>Of course Clinton has supported IMF-style rules for the economy, but if
>anyone wants to argue that Haitians live in more terror today than under
>the dictatorship installed when Aristide was ousted, they are in serious
>ideological fantasy land.
>
>As for the intervention being designed to prevent "a revolution", that's
>ridiculous.  The grassroots movement was being decimated through mass
>murder under the dictatorship.  If Aristide hadn't been restored, it is
>unclear whether their would have been even the vestiges of civil society
>left that is now the heart of Aristide's movement.
>
>There is legitimate criticism of US policy in Haiti and we should be
>fighting for autonomy of policy and support for protecting the democracy
>from the leftovers of the death squads.  But the current situation is
>infinitely better than the terror when Aristide was in exile.
>
>> > Frankly, it seems completely nonsensical to make defense of a regime
>> > seeking to exterminate the national aspiration of the Kurds as the top
>> > priority of the Left. . . . [snip]
>>
>> Iraq's "crime, is not that it is intervening in the Kurdish civil war,
but
>> that it is challenging U.S. hegemony. *ALL* challenges to U.S. hegemony
>> must be supported, regardless of the brutal character of the challenger.
>> After all, the U.S. rules and maintains a system of oppression and
>> exploitation that is responsible for the premature deaths of tens of
>> millions of people every year. How could anyone even question the
>> importance of challenging imperialism?
>
>Well, this is the heart of the question.  Why would I question challenging
>imperialism?  Because I think "imperialism" as its traditionally used as a
>concept is inappropriate to the current state of world capitalism.
>
>Imperialism as an idea was promoted at the beginning of this century when
>global capital was seeking new markets but its own resources were too
>limited to establish expansionary markets without assistance from military
>means of nation-states.  Even then, the concept was debated since many saw
>the expansion of capitalism as progressive in its replacement of
>traditional, caste-based semi-feudal regimes with capitalist regimes that
>had some chance of advancing to egalitarian socialism.
>
>But as Lenin and others noted, the nature of uneven development of
>capitalism meant that military means were being used to expand economic
>exploitation because capital lacked the infrastructure (human, financial
>and physical) to dominate those areas on its own without the backing of
>external military means from Europe and the US.
>
>Well, in the last seventy years, the means of world capital have expanded
>mightily.  THere is now a worldwide financial capital market that is
>hearly independent of central banks and fiscal policy.  Those financial
>markets have penetrated the third world, bypassing many traditional
>nation-to-nation deals which previously structured development.  Alliances
>of multinational capital with local capital in developing nations shape
>their politics as thoroughly as it shapes US policies, meaning that the
>policies of developing nations like Mexico, Indonesia, even Iraq are
>as much reflections of capitalist imperatives as the policies of the US
>government or European nations.
>
>THe struggle is within and against all these regimes against capitalist
>forces for control of those nation-states (all of which have lost power
>relative to private multinational capital).  There is no intellectual
>reason to assume that US government policy is more a reflection of capital
>than many regimes that it might attack or might oppose it.  Capital has
>its bets on all sides of every conflict and the devil is in the details of
>the policies we fight for, not a simple equation of which side we support.
>
>I sense a nostalgia for the days when leftists could easily identify the
>"side" to support in any conflict, but capital is on all sides, so the
>judgements on policy are a lot tougher and take more sophistication than
>the Left seems willing to bear in many cases.  The fight is against
>capitalism and global capital and that fight is fought within the
>workplace, in the communities, and within the nation-state.  None of these
>fights will be won within single countries so international and
>coordinated campaigns for joint pressure and organizing around their
>respective governments will be necessary for victories against capital.
>But the fight IS NOT between nations or even against the US government as
>the sole or even main representative of global capital.
>
>Most successful leftwing movements are grappling with this change,
>refusing to identify left aspirations with simple validation of
>nationalism against the US.  Thus, the fight of the Zapatista is less to
>seize power in nationalist terms but rather to restructure the access of
>democratic forces in shaping Mexico's government's policy in order to
>better build international alliances to fight the range of forces embodied
>in the global market economy.  Indonesia is a fight for global alliances
>against slave wages and the undermining of labor standards globally.
>
>The US as one of the strongest nation-states may play an occasional
>guarantor role for stabilizing the overal economic system worldwide but so
>too do emerging capital markets throughout the third world.
>
>So returning to the idea of "imperialism", the emperor has lost much of
>its power and the reigns exist much more so in an international capital
>market that creates a fight within government regimes as the engine for
>class conflict, not a conflict between regimes as the structure of class
>warfare.
>
>--Nathan
>
>





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