Joint statement on Iraq

DavidMcR at aol.com DavidMcR at aol.com
Thu Sep 19 12:43:10 MDT 1996


Chris,

And others, there have been some pacifist protests in Chicago and Seattle.
Steve Bloom, in NYC (Solidarity), has been in contact with several groups
trying to get something going. I am really on sabbatical and email is one
thing - but I am not going to call a meeting on this here in New York. The
problem is that Steve, who is trying, hasn't had that much success.

There are, I assume, the random protests by Workers World, etc. But the key
point which Chris touches on, and which increasingly haunts me, is why
doesn't the socialist movement, the "democratic socialist movement" with
which I identify, see that war itself is a serious problem and stop trying to
advise capitalist governments on how better to run their wars?

When I raise this issue it is sometimes dismissed, both in the Socialist
Party and in DSA, as being pacifist. I AM a pacifist, and no apologies - but
is it "pacifist" to say that this government and its army is a government and
an army acting in the interests of a ruling class of which I am not a part?
The only time when the army would function "on my behalf" would be if the
U.S. itself was invaded - and then we can have a good "pacifist resistance
versus military resistance" arguement. I know that in Prague in 1968 when the
tanks rolled in from the Warsaw Pact and I was an uneasy and accidental
observer, I saw how swiftly the local cops became "our cops". (And I also saw
how very effectively the Prague Communist Party organized "nonviolent
resistance" - it failed, but against 500,000 troops?).

It is NOT Trotskyist, it is NOT Marxist/Leninist, to say "the State is a
class agency, and the army is its final instrument of policy". You don't even
have to be a Marxist to see this. How is it that so many socialists find it
easy to lapse into being foreign policy advisers? It isn't advice but
opposition that is needed. (Ironically this is what the handful of the best
in the government wait for as a sign their dissident voices might be heard -
they keep asking "why are these people supporting the Middle East policy when
they should oppose it?")

Fraternally,
David





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