The kind of antiwar movement we need

Mike Friedman mikedf at amnh.org
Thu Nov 28 09:59:19 MST 2002


         There must be something I'm missing or some past history in your
diatribe against David Welch, Lou, but I have a problem with a U.S.
revolutionary criticizing a British revolutionary for opposing what seems
to be a "social chauvinist" position taken by a British peace organization.
That seems to be the gist of Welch's assertion that "the dominant pattern
is not to ignore the Prime Minister but to chide him for supporting the US
_against_ the 'national interest' and for not asserting an independent role
for British imperialism." Wasn't the essence of Lenin's break with the
Second International precisely over support by social democracy for one's
"own" imperialism as against "foreign" imperialism? And isn't it pertinent
to recognize, insofar as priorities are concerned, that for revolutionaries
in imperialist countries, your worst enemy is your own ruling class? While
the U.S. and Britain aren't at war with each other, the same principal
would seem to apply in terms of building an anti-war movement in an
imperialist country that is a principal player in the aggression against
Iraq. For British activists, the "Out Now!" should be directed primarily
against their own government, first and foremost, without neglecting
condemnation of the U.S. role in the war.

         And, this may not really be an issue, here, but if I were a
British revolutionary -- an activist in an imperialist country -- I would
have a problem with a blanket "anti-Americanism" that fails to distinguish
between U.S. workers and U.S. capitalists. Nicaraguans, with much greater
reason to condemn U.S. imperialist oppression, made this distinction during
the period of the Sandinista Revolution.

Mike

At 05:52 PM 11/27/2002 -0500, you wrote:
>There is *nothing* wrong with an anti-American flavor if by this you mean
>the sort of mood that galvanized the British Isles and Europe during the
>Vietnam war. Furthermore, since I wrote an article defending Noam Chomsky


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