Bring the Troops Home Now/Support the Troops

Yoshie Furuhashi furuhashi.1 at osu.edu
Fri Jul 25 07:40:21 MDT 2003


At 12:27 PM -0400 7/24/03, Louis Proyect wrote:
>DMS wrote:
>>5. You refer to the anti-war movement as a form of united front--
>>but a united front is a specific class-based organization, it is a
>>front with other parties based on the class basis of those parties,
>>with differing programs for the demands of that specific class.  I
>>would think a united front would include the welcoming of socialist
>>politics into the anti-war movement.  No form of a real united
>>front required the class-based organizations so united to refrain
>>from introducing "socialist politics" either in the marching or the
>>striking.
>
>"Socialist politics" in the USA is unfortunately the politics of
>cults and sects. The entire organized socialist movement consists of
>perhaps 10,000 people out of a population of 280 million. It is
>characterized by dogmatism and ultraleftism. It is in fact an
>obstacle to the creation of a genuine socialist movement. It is
>actually a blessing that groups like the SWP and the Spartacist
>League ignore the antiwar movement and that those groups who do
>actively build the movement--like the CPUSA, the WWP, the CofC and
>the ISO--do not try to interject their socialist ideas into the
>movement. If they did, the first thing that would happen is open
>warfare about whose analysis was more faithful to the teachings of
>Marx and Engels. If there is one thing that the movement of today
>has learned from the Vietnam antiwar movement, it is the need to
>maintain a coalition on the basis of a simple, clear and principled
>demand.

Socialists in a social movement, I believe, can, have, and will make
contributions to its growth.  Our socialist ideas are brought into
play, not by direct advocacy of socialism when a movement is only in
its incipient stage (as the anti-war/anti-occupation movement is
now), but by excluding liberal imperialist demands from the forefront
of the movement and by dispelling illusions that many existing
activists have about such institutions as "the United Nations."

I just posted the following to the UfPJ discussion listserv:

----------------------------------------

It appears that a few UfPJ activists wish to look to "the United
Nations" in hope of doing right by long-suffering Iraqis.  The United
Nations, however, is not a General Assembly of equal sovereign
states.  Its real seat of power, when it comes to making decisions
concerning such matters as UN peacekeeping missions, is the UN
Security Council, in which five permanent members have veto powers,
reflecting and perpetuating radical international inequality.  Also,
please keep in mind that the US government has and will veto any
proposal that it dislikes in the US SC (and it has wielded most
vetoes since the end of the Cold War).  That is why the UN SC
continued the genocidal economic sanctions on Iraqis -- until the USG
asked it to lift them:

*****   ...On May 22, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted
Resolution 1483, which ended sanctions and endorsed the creation of
Development Fund for Iraq, to be overseen by a board of accountants,
including UN, World Bank, and IMF representatives.  It endorsed the
transfer of over $1 billion (of Iraqi oil money) from the
Oil-for-Food program into the Development Fund.  All proceeds from
the sale of Iraqi oil and natural gas are also to be placed into the
fund.

The fund, controlled by U.S. viceroy Paul Bremer, has swelled to $7
billion, thanks to a $3.1 billion contribution from the U.S.
Congress, and billions of dollars more in seized assets of the Iraqi
government....

(Steve Kretzmann & Jim Vallette [Sustainable Energy & Economy Network
of the Institute for Policy Studies], "Corporate Slush Funds for
Baghdad: Plugging Iraq into Globalization," _CounterPunch_, July 22,
2003, <http://www.counterpunch.org/kretzmann07222003.html>)   *****

The only instance in which the UN SC can make a positive contribution
to humanity is one where one or more permanent members have economic
and/or geopolitical interests that differ significantly from the
USG's _and_ are willing to risk confrontation with (and suffer
economic and other reprisals from) the USG, for instance by denying
it the cover of UN SC resolutions.  As you witnessed in the US
invasion of Iraq, however, the refusal of the UN SC to grant a
resolution that satisfies the USG cannot stop the latter from doing
as it pleases, e.g., invading, occupying, and privatizing Iraq -- as
long as US troops are willing to to the job that they are asked to do
(and that is why it is so crucial to support the US and other troops
who are saying that they want to go home, not wanting to defend the
occupation of Iraq against the Iraqis' wish to govern themselves,
free from foreign occupiers).

Moreover, now that the conquest of Iraq is a fait accompli, France,
Russia, and other powers are eager to reconcile themselves with the
USG, probably hoping to get a piece of economic action as Iraq
becomes privatized, in return for contributions to the occupation of
Iraq.  The UN SC has already appeased the USG by going along with the
US expropriation of Iraqi oil: "UN resolution 1472 (March 28, 2003)
transfers 'legal' control over Iraq's oil industry from the United
Nations and Iraq to the United States and its allies.  The oil
proceeds would be used to finance the country's 'construction,' the
costs of an Iraqi civilian administration, the completion of Iraq's
disarmament (for those weapons that can't be found) and 'other
purposes benefiting the people of Iraq'" (Rania Masri,
"Re-Constructing or De-Constructing Iraq?" 24 July 2003,
<http://electroniciraq.net/news/981.shtml>).  "The United States'
representative called the decision to modify the oil-for-food
programme a positive step and he welcomed the Council's strong
support for the text" ("Security Council Approves Adjustments to Iraq
'Oil-for-Food Programme, Unanimously Adopting Resolution 1472 [2003],
<http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2003/sc7713.doc.htm>).  Naturally.

The UN SC has and will be going farther down the road of appeasement.
Here's an article that says more about the politics of the UN SC and
that also highlights a protest by the International Occupation Watch
Center begun under the auspice of United for Peace and Justice,
featuring a UfPJ Steering Committee member Gale Murphy as a
spokeswoman of the protest:

*****   POLITICS:
U.N. Faulted for Legitimising Iraqi Governing Council
By Thalif Deen

UNITED NATIONS, Jul 22 (IPS) - The United Nations provided a
semblance of legitimacy to the recently U.S.-appointed, 25-member
Iraqi Governing Council when three of its senior officials
participated in a meeting of the Security Council.

But the meeting was briefly disrupted Tuesday by two members of an
anti-war U.S. group, the International Occupation Watch Centre
(IOWC), who shouted at the Iraqi delegates, accusing them of
representing an "illegal Council hand-picked by the United States".

Gael Murphy, one of the protesters who was dragged from the visitor's
gallery by U.N. security guards, dismissed the Governing Council and
its three-member delegation as frauds.

"The United Nations should not have endorsed the Governing Council,"
Murphy told IPS. "This is another example of the continued collusion
of the United Nations with the United States."

She was also critical of U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan who, in
his address to the Security Council Tuesday, described the Governing
Council as "an important first step towards the full restoration of
Iraqi sovereignty".

Murphy said the Governing Council, whose members have been described
as "American puppets", was the creation of the United States and did
not represent the will of the 27 million Iraqis.

"Moreover," she said, "How can the United Nations give legitimacy to
a Governing Council, three of whose members are being investigated by
Interpol (the international anticrime agency)?"

Murphy also said that two other members of the Governing Council are
known to have their own private militias in Baghdad.

"The credibility of the United Nations has been undermined," she said.

The three-member delegation to the Security Council included Adnan
Pachachi, a former foreign minister, Ahmad Chalabi, leader of the
London-based Iraqi National Congress, and Aquila al-Hashimi, a
diplomat who served in the foreign ministry under the former Saddam
Hussein regime.

Murphy said that it was common knowledge that one of the members of
the Iraqi delegation to the Security Council was a "convicted
criminal" in Jordan. "If this is an indication of democracy -- as
preached by the United States -- Iraq is in deep trouble."...

The United Nations, he [Annan] said, will continue to play an active
role in facilitating and supporting the political process, working
together with the Governing Council, and the Coalition Provisional
Authority (CPA) which is in charge of the civil administration of
post-war Iraq....

Endorsing the U.S.-created institution, [Sergio] Vieira de Mello
[Annan's Special Representative in Iraq] said that the formation of
Iraq's Governing Council "was a significant step towards that goal"
[of providing security, instituting the rule of law, restoring basic
services, etc.].

The Council, he said, will soon be appointing Iraqi interim ministers
and -- more importantly -- designating Iraqi representation at
international bodies such as the United Nations....

<http://ipsnews.net/interna.asp?idnews=19352>   *****

See how the UN Security Council behaves in the real world.  That is
why the slogan "US Out/UN In" doesn't make sense -- the UN is already
in with the US.

----------------------------------------

In addition, socialist participation in the incipient stage of a
social movement can make contributions to it by leading the movement
into the direction of working on exactly the sort of campaigns that
are likely to engage crucial sectors of the working class
(rank-and-file soldiers, Blacks, Latinos, etc.) and get them involved
in political organizing (rather than the sort of campaigns that only
deliver votes for Democrats).
--
Yoshie

* Bring Them Home Now! <http://www.bringthemhomenow.org/>
* Calendars of Events in Columbus:
<http://www.osu.edu/students/sif/calendar.html>,
<http://www.freepress.org/calendar.php>, & <http://www.cpanews.org/>
* Student International Forum: <http://www.osu.edu/students/sif/>
* Committee for Justice in Palestine: <http://www.osudivest.org/>
* Al-Awda-Ohio: <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Al-Awda-Ohio>
* Solidarity: <http://solidarity.igc.org/>



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