Liberal hawks

LouPaulsen LouPaulsen at
Sun Dec 8 08:39:06 MST 2002

----- Original Message -----
From: "Louis Proyect" <lnp3 at>
> NY Times Magazine, Dec. 8, 2002

> this movement has a serious liability, one that will just
> about guarantee its impotence: it's controlled by the furthest reaches of
> the American left. Speakers at the demonstrations voice unnuanced slogans
> like ''No Sanctions, No Bombing'' and ''No Blood for Oil.'' As for what
> should be done to keep this mass murderer and his weapons in check, they
> have nothing to say at all. This is not a constructive liberal antiwar
> movement.

This article is worth studying.  One feature that gives it unintended value
is that it clearly demonstrates that the real issues have very little to do
with what Vince Copeland, later a founder of WWP, said about Hungary in
1956, or with the RCP's support for Sendero Luminoso, etc., and everything
to do with  "unnuanced" anti-interventionist slogans and  being unwilling to
propose a "constructive liberal" alternate plan for the use of U.S.
imperialist economic and military force to keep Saddam Hussein "in check",
that is, to keep the Middle East a U.S. imperialist preserve.

When Corn writes in the L.A. Weekly he is trying to get to the people who
attend demonstrations and terrify them, but when Packer writes in the New
York Times Magazine he is writing to the bourgeois liberals themselves and
presenting the real issues.  They are also starting to come out in the
debate at, where Cooper  reminded Cockburn that he was a
sensible man in 1990, when he came out against the Jan. 19 demonstration
(which WWP helped to build) -and for U.N. sanctions-, and Cockburn, to his
credit, very grudgingly admits that in retrospect he was wrong about the UN
in 1990 (without giving us any credit for having seen it correctly back
then, but hey, we don't expect miracles).

[By the way, is The Nation formally realigning itself here?  I note that
Cockburn's columns are no longer available at, apparently
by his request, and readers are referred to .   I also
note that the antiwar links on the Nation site include NION (and also of
course Peace Action, United for Peace, and so on), but NOT ]

We should carry Packer's article around with us and pull it out at the
appropriate occasion, and tell the moderate sectarians: "You are talking
about how NION, ANSWER, the ISO, etc., have to be ousted or circumvented in
order to build a 'broad movement'.  By 'broad movement' you mean a movement
that includes bourgeois liberal leaders.  But Packer is telling you here
that, as you probably know, you can't attract them just by changing the
faces on the podium, and putting people up there who can't be pegged as
Reds, as long as you keep the same demands.  If you want to attract the
bourgeois liberals, you will have to turn the whole movement toward the
adoption of 'nuanced slogans'.  You will have to put forward an -alternate
program for imperialism-.  Anything less than that will be dismissed as not
'constructive'.  Ultimately you will not be against the war on Iraq at all.
You will only be advocating a different war strategy."

Lou Paulsen
member, WWP, Chicago

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