George Packer

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Mon Sep 23 08:23:17 MDT 2002

Since yesterday I've had a chance to dig a little bit into the background
of the dog who wrote the attack on Lynne Stewart in the NY Times Magazine
section yesterday. I urge comrades to read it in its entirety just to get a
flavor for the kind of wholesale retreat of the left taking place at the
Nation Magazine and other liberal and social democratic quarters. Here's
Packer writing lurid prose for the titillation of the bagel-eating New Yorker:

"Brooklyn, where Stewart and Poynter live in a narrow, book-filled town
house, provides a quiet base for some of the world's most extreme political
groups. It's an unnoticed miracle that there aren't frequent car bombings
on Flatbush Avenue and shootouts in Midwood. The Israeli settler movement
draws support in the borough; Al Qaeda's predecessor organization had its
U.S. headquarters on Atlantic Avenue, not far from the mosques where the
sheik used to preach jihad. And remnants of the American left's most
hard-core cells have settled around Park Slope. At a book sale on Stewart's
behalf, members of the Madame Binh Graphics Collective were donating
20-year-old African liberation posters, while survivors of the May 19
Communist Organization and the United Freedom Front chatted over hors
d'oeuvres. The aging American leftists have resurfaced, while the young
Arab Islamists are going underground -- a dead movement and a living one,
with Lynne Stewart the human link."

As it turns out, Packer is a regular contributor to the Nation Magazine and
Dissent. He was also a member of Democratic Socialists of America (DSA),
the branch office of the Second International. A novelist and journalist by
trade, he has quite a bit in common with Michael Berube. Born in 1960,
around the same time as Berube, Packer has carved out a niche for himself
as critic of the left in the mainstream media. It absolutely infuriates me
to see these kind of careerists turning into finks for the liberal wing of
the ruling class.

Louis Proyect

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