Again: Troops out now, yes! "Support the troops, no."

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Tue Aug 19 23:36:24 MDT 2003


Fred Feldman's comments about the demand for
immediate withdrawal are good ones. We fought
to make that demand the central one during the
fight against the war on Vietnam in the sixties
and it remains appropriate for today. Politically,
immediate withdrawal simply means that the US
has no right to invade or to occupy any country
or territory in the world. Parenthetically, that is
why we (I was in the US Socialist Workers Party
then) strongly opposed the demand for negotiations
to end the war in those days. I'm no longer 100%
certain that we needed to fight so hard on those
formal demands. The key was mass action to
end the war, and keeping the focus on the war.
Fred Halstead's wonderful history of that period,
OUT NOW, gives a great portrait of those times.

(I personally typed most of the manuscript and,
in those days, before I learned the touchtyping
system, that meant I typed with one finger!)

On reflection, however, not every negotiation is
a bad one. Just recently we've seen a series of
important negotiations between Cuba and the
US. These negotiations have had the salutory
effect of returning hijackers to the island for the
first time ever. The US and Cuban governments
also negotiated the terms of their return and the
sentences which the Cuban authorites would be
seeking in the island's judicial system. Cuba has
held up its end of the bargain, which will probably
contribute to a decline in hijacking. At any rate,
I hope it will. It's also contributed to exacerbating
divisions among the right-wing exile groupings,
and that's a definite positive outcome of this.


Walter





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