Left apologists for US imperialism

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Feb 5 06:38:24 MST 2003


Left apologists for US imperialism red-bait the anti-war movement
By David Walsh and Barry Grey
5 February 2003

The emergence of a broad-based movement of opposition to the Bush 
administration’s war against Iraq caught the American political and 
media establishment unawares. In the response of the various factions of 
the ruling elite there has been one common theme: the need to purge the 
anti-war movement of its left-wing elements and render it politically 

The instinctive response of the extreme right is to red-bait, denouncing 
the demonstrations as the organizational work of “communists” and other 
outside agitators. The establishment “liberals” of the New York Times 
variety intervene more subtly in an effort to isolate and discredit 
socialist tendencies and bring the protests under the control of a 
section of the Democratic Party.

Both factions have singled out for attack the Workers World Party, which 
plays a leading role in ANSWER, a coalition of anti-war groups that has 
organized large demonstrations in Washington and elsewhere.

These efforts are aided and abetted by another group—ex-radicals and 
former anti-war liberals centered around the Nation magazine. Three 
articles in particular, appearing at about the time of the first 
significant US protests, held last October, marked the beginning of this 
group’s intervention. The articles are: “A Smart Peace Movement is MIA,” 
by Marc Cooper, which appeared in the Los Angeles Times of September 29, 
2002; “Who Will Lead?” by Todd Gitlin (Mother Jones magazine, October 
14, 2002); and “Behind the Placards: The odd and troubling origins of 
today’s anti-war movement,” by David Corn (LA Weekly, November 1, 2002).

Cooper, a contributing editor of the Nation, went to Chile in 1971 to 
volunteer his services to the Salvador Allende Popular Front regime and 
was serving as Allende’s translator at the time of the military coup. 
Gitlin was the president of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) in 
1963-64. After 16 years at the University of California at Berkeley, he 
now is a professor of journalism and sociology at Columbia University in 
New York. Corn, the Washington editor of the Nation, formerly worked for 
Ralph Nader’s Center for Study of Responsive Law.

The three pieces in question constitute a type of “left” gutter 
journalism. Their authors are unable to muster serious arguments, 
resorting instead to distortions, amalgams and ad hominem attacks.

full: http://www.wsws.org/articles/2003/feb2003/left-f05.shtml


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