uncomradely debate

Michael Keaney michael.keaney at mbs.fi
Mon Apr 7 08:50:53 MDT 2003


Tahir Wood writes:

All your flatulent rhetoric cannot obscure the fact that Saddam is the
creature of imperialism and that he is an implacable enemy of communism.
Supporting dictators on the basis of their "objective anti-imperialism",
just because they have fallen out with their former champions,  does
nothing to advance the cause of communism.

------

Well, Tahir, I don't know enough about you to comment on your likely
cultural bias, but knee-jerk responses like this offer some clues.

You may have read this piece of flatulence earlier:

"It's no accident that Henry's perspective
should come under attack from those better trained in the cultural norms of
the West, especially Cartesian dualism and an overreliance on deductivism."

I should have added crude empiricism.

Regardless of what we think of Saddam Hussein the person, or of his regime,
or the Baath Party, or anything whatsoever to do with the Iraqi state, the
objective fact is that the advance of imperialism is halted for as long as
Iraqi state structures hold. This is not to express approval for these or
support for dictators -- it is to observe an objective reality. The Iraqi
people are under a much more grievous attack courtesy of "coalition" forces
than anything mounted by the Iraqi state in recent memory, which again is
not to excuse the use of poison gas, torture, murder, etc. -- it is merely
to point out that it is *our leaders* who are unleashing a terrible
punishment upon those you (and they) claim to support. Saddam Hussein's
regime was also guilty of building an advanced civilian infrastructure,
including an education system that improved literacy and a health care
system that greatly improved infant mortality rates. That is in the process
of its final destruction, having already been strangled by over a decade of
sanctions, imposed by the "coalition". The regime was also "guilty" of
taking control of the country's oil assets. Nice, woolly,
level-playing-field liberal capitalism is the smokescreen behind which the
"fascist" nationalisation of Iraqi oil assets is to be dismantled (i.e.
appropriated, wrested, confiscated, stolen, plundered), all in the name of
freeing them on behalf of people who will never see a single cent of revenue
once the shareholders and executives of the lucky oil companies have their
cut. But that's much better than the mythical salting away of revenues to
Swiss bank accounts, isn't it? I guess it depends on which Swiss bank
accounts.

I recommend you read Chalmers Johnson's "Blowback". In that book he
discusses North Korea with a dispassion rare in US literature, especially
considering that it is from a conservative viewpoint. This is because
Johnson, setting aside his personal distaste for the Pyongyang government,
is able to analyse objectively the reasons for North Korean policies and the
objective stupidity governing the US responses to these. You could develop
some of the same detachment, along with a greater generosity of spirit,
which, incidentally, would make your contributions more comradely and less
stridently simplistic.

Michael Keaney

ps Mike Friedman's shameless misreading of Henry's objective analysis
underlines just how deep are the problems of proletarian internationalism
when its guardians in the West dictate the terms of engagement primarily on
the basis of what is deemed acceptable in Western mainstream media outlets.
Try looking at Saddam from the viewpoint of millions of Arabs who have
endured decades of oppression and humiliation, Mike. Then re-read exactly
what Henry wrote. And if you've got more time, check out Edward Said in the
March issue of Le Monde Diplomatique, in which he writes: "...it is
surprising that the horrible Twin Towers-Pentagon attacks are treated as if
they had come from nowhere, rather than from a world across the seas driven
crazy by US intervention and presence. This is not to condone Islamic
terrorism, which is hateful in every way. But in all the pious analyses of
US responses to Afghanistan, and now Iraq, history and a sense of proportion
have disappeared". The same is true of the anguished responses to Henry's
utterly reasonable analysis.







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