Censorship at the Socialist Register mailing list

Craven, Jim jcraven at clark.edu
Mon Dec 3 13:10:57 MST 2001

Ron Jacobs wrote:

If people would just read the Churchill statement closely, they would
discover that he is primarily challenging American citizen's complacency
and their refusal to acknowledge their complicity in the empire's murderous
drive for hegemony.

Response (Jim C): I agree with this characterization of what Ward wrote and
meant. Indeed in the WTC were neoliberal planners, functionaries and
executors whose policies, recommendations and actions have directly and
indirectly caused the deaths of thousands of innocents all over the world
through starvation, lack of access to patent-enforced medicines, neoliberal
"austerity" packages, promoting theories designed to enrich the few and
marginalize the many and rationalize/legitimate such etc. Indeed there were
not just some but many mini-Eichmanns in those towers and in the Pentagon.
That is simply a statement of fact. Indeed no one has dared to pose that
question: How many thousands of innocents have died/will die as a direct and
indirect result of the policies and actions designed and implemented by some
of those functionaries working in the WTC and Pentagon? Or, a derivative
question: How many thousands of innocents will not die as a result of some
of the activities and policies of entities occupying the WTC/Pentagon being
set back or delayed as a result of the alleged Taliban terrorism?

The above questions in no way imply an endorsement of the Taliban (whom I
personally have regarded as "theo-fascists" since their origin); they in no
way implies lack of concern for all of those workers and innocents who died
in the attacks. And to say that almost inexorably, X causes Y which causes Z
(imperialism produces/needs policies that are terroristic in nature that
cause misery for the many for wealth for the few that produce inexorable
backlashes and even counter-terrorism by the oppressed) is not a wish for
that chain of causality to occur or an endorsement of the causes and effects
embodied in that chain of causality. It is about cause and effect: where
there is oppression there will be resistance in varying forms with varying
and accompanying levels of justification.

Part of Ward's comments flow from his own work on genocide against
Indigenous Peoples about which many on the so-called "left" (falling all
over themselves to show their "non-terrorist" credentials) have been
woefully ignorant and every bit as "insensitive" as Ward is alleged to be in
his comments. Perhaps he was merely doing a "reductio ad absurdum" with his
comments or rather dramatically showing how another form of apparent
callousness feels when the shoe is on the other foot. Having read most of
what Ward has written, I can attest that he tackles subjects, employing
devastating evidence and reasoning to examine issues and conditions that no
one really callous and insensitive to the plight of oppressed peoples and
innocents would employ.

But the reality is that the WTC and Pentagon are full demi-Eichmanns like
Lawrence Summers (see secret memo of Summers when he was at World Bank) and
their apologists like Brad De Long and it is simply not the case that the
WTC and Pentagon are full of only innocents. And it is a fact that
oppression and opportunism (alliances with the likes of the Taliban when
they were nominally "anti-Soviet") inexorably breed "blowbacks" in the form
of counter-terrorism or broken alliances or messes in need of being cleaned
up and we should not be surprised--or overly solicitous about the
carnage--that will inevitably occur.

None, none, none of this can or should be taken as any kind of endorsement
of terrorism, the Taliban, the carnage, the losses of lives and livlihoods
etc. No one should simply say well they all deserved it and that is that
(that would be an example of a rather unanalytical, callous and reactionary
statement) but that was not what Ward was saying and not what he meant of
that I am absolutely sure.

As for those cancelling the speaking engagements, well what else can one
expect from liberals--their hearts "bleed", but with other people's blood.
They have their own ideological purity and PC-ness.

Jim Craven

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