FW: For those old enough to remember Vietnam

Mark Lause lause at worldnet.att.net
Sun Sep 16 17:25:48 MDT 2001


I'm not entirely convinced that the differences from Vietnam aren't decivise.
Just to pick three aspects of it:

1. The "enemy" in this case is a pawn of international capital who's proven
unstable...something like what happened in the 1930s.  It is not a Marxist led
nationalist movement.

2. The US went over to Vietnam and intevened, while this attack was indisputably
a direct assault on Americans in US territory, ie., an act of war by any
definition.

3. For all the sabre rattling rhetoric, the US isn't going to do anything
without a very broadly based international alliance, the character and purpose
of which remains to be seen.

Solidarity,
Mark Lause,

"Craven, Jim" wrote:

> A UNANIMOUS TRIUMPH
> FOR MASTERS OF WAR
>
> By Norman Solomon
>
> On Sept. 14, the Senate voted 98-0 for a war resolution. It says: "The
> president is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against
> those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized,
> committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on Sept. 11, 2001,
> or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future
> acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations,
> organizations or persons."
>
> This resolution, written as a blank check, is payable with vast quantities
> of human corpses.
>
> * * * * *
>
> The black-and-white TV footage is grainy and faded, but it still jumps off
> the screen -- a portentous clash between a prominent reporter and a maverick
> politician. On the CBS program "Face the Nation," journalist Peter Lisagor
> argued with a senator who stood almost alone on Capitol Hill, strongly
> opposing the war in Vietnam from the outset.
>
> "Senator, the Constitution gives to the president of the United States the
> sole responsibility for the conduct of foreign policy," Lisagor said.
>
> "Couldn't be more wrong," Wayne Morse broke in. "You couldn't make a more
> unsound legal statement than the one you have just made. This is the
> promulgation of an old fallacy that foreign policy belongs to the president
> of the United States. That's nonsense."
>
> Lisagor: "To whom does it belong then, senator?"
>
> Morse: "It belongs to the American people.... And I am pleading that the
> American people be given the facts about foreign policy."
>
> Lisagor: "You know, senator, that the American people cannot formulate and
> execute foreign policy."
>
> Morse: "Why do you say that? ... I have complete faith in the ability of the
> American people to follow the facts if you'll give them. And my charge
> against my government is -- we're not giving the American people the facts."
>
> In early August 1964, Morse was one of only two senators to vote against the
> Tonkin Gulf resolution, which served as a green light for the Vietnam War.
> While reviled by much of the press in his home state of Oregon as well as
> nationwide, he persisted with fierce oratory for peace. It would have been
> much easier to acquiesce to the media's war fever. But Morse was not the
> silent type, especially in matters of conscience.
>
> On Feb. 27, 1968, I sat in a small room at the Capitol to watch a hearing of
> the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Six members of the panel were seated
> around a long table. Most of all, I remember Morse's voice, raspy and
> urgent.
>
> "My views are no longer lonely," he noted at one point, adding: "You have
> millions of people who are not going to support this tyranny that American
> boys are being killed in South Vietnam to maintain in power."
>
> Morse summed up his position on negotiations between the U.S. government and
> its Vietnamese adversaries: "Who are we to say there have to be two
> Vietnams? They are not going to do it and they shouldn't do it. There isn't
> any reason in the world why the North Vietnamese and the Vietcong should
> ever come to a negotiating table on the basis that there must be two
> Vietnams."
>
> Moments before the hearing adjourned, Morse said that he did not "intend to
> put the blood of this war on my hands."
>
> At the time, Oregon's senior senator was remarkable because he challenged
> the morality -- not just the "winability" -- of the war. He passionately
> asserted that the United States had no right to impose its will on the
> world. In the process, he made enemies of many fellow Democrats, including
> President Lyndon Johnson.
>
> Like most heretics, Morse suffered consequences. After 24 years in the
> Senate, he lost a race for re-election in November 1968. The winner was a
> slick politician named Robert Packwood, who denounced Morse's antiwar
> fervor.
>
> In his lifetime, Morse became a media pariah. In the quarter-century since
> his death, political reporters have rarely mentioned his name.
>
> "I don't know why we think, just because we're mighty, that we have the
> right to try to substitute might for right," Morse said on national
> television in 1964. "And that's the American policy in Southeast Asia --
> just as unsound when we do it as when Russia does it."
>
> Three years later, he declared: "We're going to become guilty, in my
> judgment, of being the greatest threat to the peace of the world. It's an
> ugly reality, and we Americans don't like to face up to it. I hate to think
> of the chapter of American history that's going to be written in the future
> in connection with our outlawry in Southeast Asia."
>
> Such heresy infuriated many powerful politicians -- and journalists -- while
> Wayne Morse did all he could to block a war train speeding to catastrophe.
>
> * * * * *
>
> Now, in the autumn of 2001, there's no one stepping forward from the Senate
> to help block the war train. We'll need to do it ourselves.
>
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