'Anybody but Bush' and the lack of united support for October 25

Fred Feldman ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Tue Aug 19 19:21:39 MDT 2003


I am glad that Jose and I don't have much disagreement in fact on the
"support the troops" issue.  I'm glad I made the points I made simply for my
own clarification and anybody else who could use it.

The fact is that there is virtually no progress toward a united antiwar
action against the occupation. The problem is not the "support the troops"
slogan.  UFPJ after an initial wobble after the occupation began, is now
clearly calling for Bring the Troops Home Now without "support the troops."
Similarly, after a related initial wobble, the UFPJ now calls for
unconditional immediate end of the US occupation.

The main problem is not that the UFPJ supports the occupation, although SOME
forces within it do not unconditionally oppose the occupation, but a strong
drift toward the "Anybody But Bush" camp.  And a united  protest against the
occupation would definitely divide the "Anybody But Bush" camp. None of the
Democratic candidates calls for immediate unconditional withdrawal,
including Kucinich (he calls, I think, for a proIraqi-people occupation or
something of that sort).  And even the Green Party, if I recall correctly,
has not adopted unconditional opposition to the occupation.

The drift toward Anybody But Bush us also quite strong in the Green Party.
Nader has called, I believe, for the party to support this perspective
whether or not it runs a candidate.  Ted Glick, head of the New Jersey Green
Party, who has been until recently a very strong mass-action oriented
antiwar activist, is calling for a "safe states" strategy, which means, if
implemented, that the party campaign's first priority will be to help defeat
Bush, that is, elect a liberal Democrat.  (Some of these forces might jump
the Democratic ship if Lieberman was nominated, but I think this is very
unlikely.)

By the way, I think it is simply unrealistic to present the Green Party as
though the imperialists now had three "equal-evils" parties -- the
Democrats, Republicans, and the Greens (just as it would be wrong to
characterize the Peace and Freedom parties in 1968 as an imperialist third
party along  with the Democrats and Republicans.    That may be true of the
Green Party in Germany today,  but not in the United States where the
capitalists are very devoted to their very successful two party system and
intend to hang on to it for the immediate future at least.

The Greens are a party that reflects middle-class radical discontent with
the status quo, not any sector of the imperialist ruling class. I do not see
the Green Party as pointing to a viable class alternative to the existing
regime -- that can only be provided by the working class which, however, is
not doing so at present --  but I think it is simply misleading to create an
amalgam between them and the imperialist parties in the coming election and
proclaim them exactly equal evils. It's useful to keep in mind at times that
from the standpoint of the working class, the imperialists and the petty
bourgeoisie are not "equally evil."

You don't have to imagine that the Greens are a viable alternative to
imperialist rule  to recognize the fact that the drift I think I see there
nationally away from the posture of radical opposition towards the ruling
parties and towards the Democrats is a negative development (although it may
be inevitable) from the standpoint of the need for united  antiwar action,
especially considering the active and important role that many Greens play
in antiwar coalitions.

The lack of united antiwar action also puts the developing discussion and
opposition among the GIs in a difficult position -- and I don't think the
opposition among soldiers is anywhere near strong enough to break the
serious logjam,  The soldiers need united protests in this country, and
preferably protests united around the call for US Out of Iraq Now and Bring
the Troops Home Now. The discussion and discontent we see among the GIs
today are a product not only of their experiences in Iraq, but of the
massive antiwar protests that were taking place up until the US victory over
Saddams regime.

The lack of organized mass protests against the beginnings of the third Iraq
war, despite the discontent and home and among the occupation forces, is a
serious problem.  About all I can say at this point is that I hope events
come to our rescue.  And meanwhile, we must try to patiently persuade as
many people as possible of the vital need for such actions, regardless of
their positions on other questions.
Fred Feldman




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