ASDnet Chronicles, Petrified Forests, and Cactus Spines

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Mon Sep 23 10:42:31 MDT 2002

Hunter Gray wrote:
>When I got up this dark morning about 2 a.m. or so MDT, and saw the
>succession of  ASDnet posts [some friendlier to me than the obviously very
>hostile others] stemming from David Anderson's tossing about of Ian
>Williams' article essentially trashing the anti-war movement -- and much
>from my quite pointed and unapologetic response thereto -- I had several
>more cups of coffee, played with my half-Bobcat cat, and read my copy of
>Backpacker magazine.

Hunter is referring to an article by Ian Williams that appears on the
current LA Weekly website. Who knows. Maybe Williams, who was chief
NATO-booster at the Nation Magazine during the war against Yugoslavia,
borrowed my term "anti-antiwar", except as a honorific rather than the
curse that it truly is. Along with the red-baiter George Packer in the NY
Times magazine section yesterday and anti-antiwar militant Berube's screed
in the Boston Globe, the wolves of liberalism are howling at the left as if
their wretched careers depended on it.


The Case Against the Anti-War Movement
And against Bush's version of the war
by Ian Williams

SHOULD A MURDERER GO FREE JUST because the LAPD contains racist thugs? The
O.J. dilemma applies to Saddam Hussein as well. The case against him is
weakened when made by clear wackos like Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld and Cheney. But
there is a case. And on the other side, if ever I'm in the dock, heaven
help me from having defenders like former Attorney General Ramsey Clark and
others from the anti-war brigade.

One of the problems with being anti-war in this country is that you find
yourself in such very mixed -- and often mixed-up -- company. It might not
make you pro-war, but it can certainly incline you toward being anti-anti-war.

All too often, being anti-war is a contortion, not a position. To begin
with is the question of which war you are against. Since Vietnam, the
anti-warriors often advance an ad hoc catalog of mutually opposed positions
orbiting one central tenet: The U.S. is always wrong.

This absolutism is wrong in principle, and it's also bad politics. After
all, it's hardly likely to attract the majority support of Americans, who,
as we've seen since 9/11, are more likely to wave the flag than a peace
sign. It does help the purists to isolate their enemies, since any
quibbling makes you a retrospective supporter of the Vietnam War.


Louis Proyect

PLEASE clip all extraneous text before replying to a message.

More information about the Marxism mailing list