A reply to Ian Williams

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Feb 22 13:22:46 MST 2003

Dear Mr. Williams,

I was rather taken aback to see your article on the Counterpunch website
that warned about the dangers to world peace posed by Bush administration
figure John Bolton, who shares the same agenda as--in your own
words--Likudnik fundamentalists.

The last time I saw you in person was at the Socialist Scholars Conference
where you were lambasting the left for not supporting NATO's war against
the dastardly Serbs. As George Packer put it in a recent NY Times Magazine
puff piece on behalf of the "get Iraq" left (Hitchens, Walzer, etc.):

"Many of them had cut their teeth in the antiwar movement of the 1960's,
but by the early 90's, when some of them made trips to besieged Sarajevo,
they had resolved their own private Vietnam syndromes. Together -- hardly
vast in their numbers, but influential -- they advocated a new role for
America in the world, which came down to American power on behalf of
American ideals."

That kind of describes you, doesn't it? I mean where does all this nonsense
about "regime change" come from. When liberals like you were beating the
drums for war against Milosevic on behalf of the Kosovars, many people
wondered why you didn't seem as bothered by Israeli brutality toward its
own Muslim subjects. You and the wretched Bogdan Denitch co-authored an
article that posed the question in this manner:

"Real internationalists can hardly use the dubious rights of 'national
sovereignty' to oppose action
to stop massacres. Opposition to US military intervention is an
understandable rule of thumb, but
it shouldn't become obsessive dogma. After all, most Europeans were happy
with US
intervention in World War II." (http://www.soc.qc.edu/ssc/williams.html)

Don't you see the problem with putting national sovereignty in quotes? If
you decide that the USA and its imperialist allies in Western Europe can
take sides in a civil war (and that's what we are talking about), what's to
prevent a Donald Rumsfeld or a Paul Wolfowitz to use the same kinds of
appeals to expediency themselves? It is really a slippery slope once you
decide to adopt the point of view of the US State Department as you did.

Louis Proyect, Marxism mailing list: http://www.marxmail.org

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