Soldiers, Cops and Pigs

Julio Pino jpino at
Mon Aug 28 11:43:44 MDT 2000

Jose: I appreciate the subleties you bring out in identifying the different
roles played by the army in both the imperialist countries and the Third
World. I'll add a few points of my own:
1. One can make a case that both policemen/women and soldiers are economic
draftees.I've talked to ex-cops from both Mexico and Brazil. They hated
their old jobs but could find no other way to feed their families. (The
Mexican cop had participated in the Three Plazas massacre of 1968; he
didn't tell mw what he had done)I'm sure the same is true(though obviously
not to the same extent) in the USA.Certainly in the Sixties the cops who
shot down Black militants and clubbed anti-war demonstrators were mostly
working class. For a tragic example, read John Hersey's "The Algiers Motel
Incident" about the Detroit uprising of 1967 during which some white ethnic
cops (Irish and Polish)kidnapped and tortured two African-American
"rioters" in a motel room.
The Marxist approach to cops/soldiers cannot be based primarily on the
social class background of the armed opponent.
2.Armies can and have been split along class lines; you mention Cuba and
Nicaragua. There are reports that some Chilean soldiers and sailors
initially sided with Allende, not Pinochet, in that infamous week of
September 1973.I wish the wars in Chechnya, Kashmir Palestine and Tamil
Eelam were that simple, but they are not.There class struggle has been
almost entirely subsumed by ethnicity/religion, and an appeal across class
lines to Rusian soldiers to "turn the guns around" would have little chance
of success. (Russian soldiers have deserted, and some have sold their guns
to the Mujahadeen.)
3.For the record, the Chechen rebels have called on the Russian civilian
population to stop the war, pointing they are victims of Putin too.In that
regard they've adopted the "pro-peace" stance of the NLF in Viet Nam.But
because thay are waging a Jihad their primary orientation must be to the
Muslim world, which alas, has been alomost silent on the issue.
Julio Cesar

>    I do not think it is correct to equate soldier and cop.

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