For Peter Drucker

Louis Proyect lnp3 at SPAMpanix.com
Mon Jan 29 11:15:59 MST 2001


Peter, you refer to the "ERN" guerrillas in Colombia in your article in the
latest ATC. ("The War and the Movement"). For your information, there is no
such group. You must be thinking of the ELN (Army of National Liberation),
a pro-Cuba formation. For background on this group and others, check:
http://www.panix.com/~lnp3/mydocs/July99/revolution_in_colombia.htm

I see that you continue to throw spitballs at Milosevic, even though he has
been overthrown. What distresses me is the utter lack of analysis of the
aftermath of the war in ATC. The absence of discussion/protests against
pogroms against Roma, Serbs, non-chauvinist Albanians in Kosovo would lead
me to believe that Solidarity agitation over human rights is geared to
whatever is on the front-burner of the propaganda machine in the USA .

Finally, this business about "movements" following the Vietnamese, etc.
uncritically seems utterly innocent of our history. I realize that you were
too young to be familiar with the Vietnam antiwar movement, but there are
some good books on the subject, including Fred Halstead's "Out Now" and Tom
Wells' "The War Within". What we learn from these books is that the
question of criticizing or not criticizing the NLF or North Vietnamese
government was never really an issue for the organized movement, least of
all the Trotskyists who remembered well how their co-thinkers were
repressed by the Vietnamese Communists following WWII.

In fact, the outlook of the antiwar movement was much closer to that of
Workers World Party and Ramsey Clark, whom you castigate in the article. It
understood that there was no point in denouncing Ho Chi Minh on leaflets or
from the speaker's platform at mass demonstrations. This, by the way, had
nothing to do with whether Ho was a more "attractive" figure than Saddem or
Milosevic. It was related to an understanding that the role of radicals in
the United States was to focus their fire on their own government.

It seems to me that the only point to issuing denunciations of Milosevic or
Saddem Hussein was to make clear to left-liberal circles that we wear white
hats. Instead of writing polemical attacks on the Ramsey Clarks of the
world, it seems to me that the Solidarity comrades should do a little
soul-searching to try to understand why some of your friends like Branka
Magas have ended up as open defenders of NATO. Or why your support of UN
troops in East Timor has clashed with the reality of that intervention:
political and economic domination of the island by Anglo-Australian
imperialism, rather than Indonesia.


Louis Proyect
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