DSP on Palestine

Lou Paulsen wwchi at SPAMenteract.com
Wed Nov 22 09:38:18 MST 2000

-----Original Message-----
From: Les Schaffer <godzilla at netmeg.net>

>[ bounce from Lee Harrison Chauser <dalo at earthlink.net> in response to
>Lou Paulsen ... full quoted text again deleted ]

I'm happy to engage Lee in discussion, but on reading what Lee wrote, I
think that either Lee didn't understand what I wrote or maybe I'm not
understanding Lee.  (I'm unfortunately not personally familiar with Lee, and
'Lee' is a gender-neutral name, so I'm avoiding pronouns.  Unfortunately
writing gender-neutral English is stylistically difficult - it shows how
embedded the patriarchy is.)

>Lou: I don't see how you can speak for all "Marxists".

I don't think I claimed to do that.

>To call the U.N. forces the
>same as U.S. military forces is non-sense.

I didn't say they were the same.  Similarly, U.S. military forces are not
the same as French military forces or German military forces.  They wear
different uniforms and there are a lot of differences in organization. What
I said, though, was that there is no CLASS difference between U.S. military
forces and U.N. military forces in the year 2000.  Both are military arms of
imperialism, that is, of the capitalist class of the imperialist countries.
Such, at any rate, is my Marxist analysis.  If your Marxist analysis is
different, fine, but then can you tell me what class(es) you think U.N.
peacekeepers represent?  Or do you think that Marxists can dispense with
class analysis?

>I think a lot
>of people would like to see the killing end in Palestine/Israel. I think
>that is what is behind the OSLO, Camp David and other conferences.

So you believe that this desire for an end to killing is what was 'behind'
Oslo?  That the reason that the governments of Israel and the United States
engaged in that 'peace process', so-called, for the humanitarian purpose of
saving life?  If that's your opinion, I suggest you go and read something by
Edward Said.  Or Noam Chomsky.  Or just about anybody on the left! :-)  Said
and Chomsky are not my co-thinkers exactly, but they're antidotes to this
kind of thinking.  Go look at Chomsky's stuff on the www.zmag.org site!
He's not a Marxist.  He doesn't even like my politics.  But he can explain
to you what was "behind Oslo"!  As can Said - I just don't know if his books
are on line somewhere.

>Arafat is the most respected leader of the PLO and you are doing his
>movement for statehood a great dis-service by attacking it from a Marxist
>perspective---as you call it.

See, this is what I don't understand.  I wrote a long post precisely to say
(among other things) that Marxists should NOT leap to "attack Arafat".  And
here you are telling me that I attack Arafat! :-)  Who is not understanding
who here?  Or are you referring to the paragraph beginning "yes, I know that
Arafat is a bourgeois nationalist" and so on?  Every sentence in that
paragraph was as objective a fact as I could manage.  Which sentence do you
disagree with?  Which sentence are you treating as an "attack"?

>I think you should look at some of the mistakes the Worlker's World's Party
>has made in the past. Support the military in Ethopia for instance.

*shrug* I'm happy with our record on Ethiopia.  That's another topic though.

Now here is a very peculiar sentence, and I honestly don't know what you're
saying here:

>If we
>learned anything from our Vietnam experience, I thought it was not to
>in the affairs of other countries. I don't think there is much difference
>imposing our capitalist or socialist wills upon Palestine, or other
>countries seeking self-determination.

What does this mean???  Who is 'we' here?  Why am I supposed to be in favor
of "imposing our socialist wills upon Palestine?"  I am in favor of stopping
the imperialists from imposing their wills on Palestine by use of murderous
terror weapons.  I am in favor of stopping US aid to Israel and
demonstrating solidarity with the Palestinian uprising wherever possible.

>As for opposing the U.S. Imperialist
>policies, I think we should protest any movement towards war. I'll be out
>the streets protesting.

The war is going on right now, by the way.

>However, I think it is unrealistic to think that the
>U.S. government is going to stay out of world politics completely. I don't
>think their was any deviltry in the U.S. bringing Arafat and the primie
>minister of Israel "Barak" together to try to find a peace settlement, or
>later, to end the fighting.

I'm sorry, but this 'realism' is just acceptance of US imperialist rule of
the world, as far as I am concerned.  I respectfully decline to share your
trust in Bill Clinton as a peacemaker.  Please bear in mind that the U.S. is
not a neutral broker here.  The U.S. is the chief source of weaponry and
money for the murderous apartheid Israeli state.  They are not like Gandhi.
Camp David is like the good-cop bad-cop technique on a world scale.  Israel
is the 'bad cop' and massacres the Palestinians.  Then Clinton is the 'good
cop' who tells the Palestinians, "Gee, I feel sorry for you, if you will
only sign this paper and agree to live in miserable little
Indian-reservation-style enclaves under perpetual domination, I will urge
the bad Israeli government to stop murdering you in such large quantities."
If you want more of my Marxist take on the point, go to www.workers.org and
search for "Palestine".  Or if you don't like my Marxist take, read someone
else's Marxist take.  Or Chomsky!  Or Said!  Or any of the other
Palestine-related websites that have been posted here!  But read

Lou Paulsen

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