Differences between US troops in Dixie and UN troops in Palestine

Jose G. Perez jg_perez at SPAMbellsouth.net
Wed Nov 22 23:10:15 MST 2000

With all due respect to Louis, I think the distinction he tries to make
between the 101st Airborne Division being deployed to Arkansas under
Eisenhower and the 101st airborne being deployed to Korea under Eisenhower,
insofar as the character of the unit or administration involved is
concerned, is a distinction without a difference, unless he thinks the
fig-leaf of the UN security council makes the slightest bit of difference
fundamentally, which I know he doesn't believe.

The actual difference I believe has to be taken up on a lower level of
abstraction than Louis discusses. That level is the one that analyzes "war"
(meaning military operations generally) as the continuation of politics by
other means. On that level, I was extremely comfortable supporting the call
of the Timorese for UN troops to displace the Indonesian occupiers, and I
would not rule out supporting Arafat's demand for a UN force to displace the
occupation IDF troops in occupied Palestine, although I'm not sure about the
latter case, except in the sense that I disagree with the out-of-hand
rejection of the demand as unprincipled or a betrayal. As I see things, it
ain't necessarily so.

In the case of East Timor, I was satisified that the policy of the UN, i.e.,
of the main imperialist powers,  was one of granting certain concessions to
the independence movement. I am not at all sufficiently familiar with the
struggle in the Middle East as to make a similar statement.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Louis Proyect" <lnp3 at panix.com>
To: <marxism at lists.panix.com>
Sent: Wednesday, November 22, 2000 10:07 AM
Subject: Differences between US troops in Dixie and UN troops in Palestine

There is a fundamental difference between US troops defending Black
students trying to go to formerly segregated schools in the 1950s and
supporting UN troops in Palestine today. In the international sphere, these
actions have the character of violent interventions sanctified by
"international law" when there is no such thing. The dispatch of UN troops
to Korea, for example, was totally at odds with the right of
self-determination of the Korean people. During the Vietnam war various
liberal politicians would often advocate replacing US troops with UN
troops. The antiwar forces, particularly those in sympathy with the aims of
the Trotskyists, fought vigorously against that proposal.


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