consequences of U.S. warmaking
BrownBingb at aol.com
Sat Feb 1 12:18:24 MST 2003
Subj: consequences of U.S. warmaking
From: "DMS" <dmschanoes at earthlink.net>
I think we all, including myself, are suffering from a paucity of real
issues for debate, if we are speculating about "terrorism." Time to crank
out another piece about oil and overproduction, don't you think?
CB: Funny you should say that. I was going to write a continuation of the oil
and overproduction thread saying that the _timing_ of the threatened war on
Iraq is in large part due to the September 11 attack, which gave the U.S. the
excuse it needed to do what it has wanted to do. The main answer to your
question "why now ?" is 9/11/01.
First and foremost, we can't raise this issue separate and apart from the
utility such speculations have provided the bourgeois state apparatus.
Retaliation, retribution? Please, sounds like Tom Ridge issuing his Code
Orange, or the FBI's elevated possibility of attack. Blahblahblah, send
money now or your life will be in danger. And don't forget to report
suspicious looking people saying suspicious things wearing suspicious
clothes to our 800 line. The first thousand callers will get "To the
shores of Tripoli" T shirts (machine-crafted in Pakistan). Sincerely,
Ministry of the Interior.
CB: I'm afraid we are stuck with the fact of the Sept.11 attack as an
elephant sitting in the living rooms of most Americans ( i.e. , the only ones
who can stop an attack on Iraq). We can't propagandize them without
addressing that fact. Basically there are two different approaches to it: The
U.S. bourgeois approach which must treat it as something _ab initio_, as I
said, something that just fell out of the sky on the American nation in its
child like innocence, perpetrated by irrational and envious foreign , forces
of evil; or the generally truthful approach that it occurred in retaliation
for all the stuff America has been doing in foreign lands, a certain region
in particular, for a long time.
To say it more simply ( and in terms closer to those in which most Americans
think of it) , we have to address the "who started it" issue. The U.S.
started it , the people "over there " didn't. In a way, the fact that a
racist, American mind will roughly lump a great variety of peoples together
actually makes this easier to explain. In other words, the fact that Bin
Laden is in the same broad ethnic group as Iraqis actually makes it make more
sense to the average American, probably.
It's like the fundamental way that the NYT always frames killings in
Palestine: The Israelis are _always_ "retaliating" ( usually with a form of
the very word "retaliate" in the headline). But who really started it ? Get
But... here I am, so.... first some facts. NO, even if we grant that 9/11
was indeed an autonomous terrorist act executed upon the unsuspecting US
ruling apparatus, that attack was not at all about payback for the 1991 Gulf
War nor the continuing attacks on Iraq. Osama bin Laden and his Saudi
benefactors in the religious/educational/government nexus did not oppose the
war in 1991. ObL however was quite clear in his oppostion to the permanent
stationing of US troops, infidels, upon the holy soil of Saudi Arabia.
CB: I haven't talked to Osama (ever !), but I'd look more at the social and
economic forces influencing and underlying his individual consciousness in
developing a Marxist ABC type approach to this question. Bin Laden and Al
Qaeda reflect, twistedly, a mass sentiment against U.S. imperialism in the
region. Overall, of what I have heard of Bin Laden's talk , there is a quite
a bit that is a lot more general and vague, and which can be interpreted as
explaining his "program" as more motivated more generally by U.S. doings in
Of course , U.S. troops are stationed in S.A. as a byproduct of the '91 Gulf
War. A byproduct of the currently threatened war may quite possibly be the
direct cause of a future retaliation.
NB: I am not suggesting that we say Bin Laden's actions are JUSTIFIED. I am
proposing a straight pragmatic , not moral or political argument: the best
way to in fact avoid future Sept. 11's is not more war , but deescalation of
the current , already ongoing 10 year long war.
It has been extensively reported in the US how, immediately after the 9/11
attacks, the DoD, led by the Sec of War searched desparately for some link
to Iraq, the 1991 war, and the continued bombardment. No link was found.
CB: Well, you are right that a retaliation argument would have to make clear
that the claim is not that Iraq itself is behind Sept. 11. Good point.
But lets ask and answer a basic question: Don't you think that in fact, if
the U.S. had not been waging war on Iraq since '91, there would not have been
a September 11 attack ? Do you think that the war already , long ongoing war
on Iraq and September 11 are unrelated ?
Regarding the ability of the police to thwart terrorist attacks-- the US had
no difficulty at all thwarting the planned attacks on the LA airport, or the
planned multiple air hijacking in the 1998-2000 period.
Moreover, the Wall Street Journal reported in great deal how in the
1990s,the CIA dismembered (literally) cells of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad
operating in Albania.
CB: I can grant this as true, and add for sake of argument 20 more unknown (
to us) cases where U.S. secret police thwarted an effort. As Sept. 11 shows ,
it only takes one out of 20, 25, 50 even to blow people's minds pretty badly.
Here's the way to say it: the best way to guarantee no more September 11's is
not to attack Iraq and establish a Department of Homeland Security. The best
way is to not attack Iraq and stop waging war in that part of the world,
including through Israel.
Regarding your comments about US citizens at home or abroad having to pay a
cost for US policy-- if you think terrorists assaults against fanny-pack
wearing, J Crew clad, dentists or realtors is a cost to the US, you really
don't know what you are talking about. Not that I mean to be insulting.
CB: Well, I don't think "the US" is persuadable of not attacking Iraq by any
means. My audience would be the masses of American voters, of which those who
like to travel and tour the world are a sector. We want a group known as
"Dentists and Realtors Against War " ( in their own selfish self-interest).
And since Australia and the UK are in lockstep with the US, perhaps you
should wear a placard that has an arrow pointing to a picture of Bush and
the caption "I'm not with stupid" in order to let the righteous warriors of
personal revenge know which side you're on.
CB: As a matter of fact one of the reasons I am against the war is that
motherfucker Bush _is_ about to get me killed. I mean I travel to NYC
sometimes. My sister lives there. My aunt lives in lower Manhattan walking
distance from "ground zero".
Oh by the way, from my communications with PF, he isn't innocent, he isn't
US-American, and he already is abroad.
Details, details, details.
CB: I don't think I said anything that even implied that I was referring to
Paul F. as included in the Americans who are supporting or not opposing the
war. I said, "
This seems like the most important pragmatic argument we must make _to
the American people_ ( not to Paul F.) against an attack on Iraq now:... "
(emphasis added C.B.). I assume Paul F. is already against the war, no ?
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