The Militant endorses March 15, 22 antiwar protests

Walter Lippmann walterlx at
Fri Mar 14 21:11:23 MST 2003

I'm rather less positive about the SWP's belated
decision to endorse these protests. Two of the
three demands sited are irrelevant. Only one,
"Bring the Troops Home Now" has any kind of
practical significance. Note: the Militant here
does NOT tell it people to get ACTIVE in this
struggle at this time, but only to show up at
these protests and carp against the leaders,
while the SWP chose not to involve itself in
practical organization at all. Not at all.

They don't really endorse these demonstrations.

You have to know how THE MILITANT really is
to know this. If they really DID support these
actions, they would give telephone numbers,
names, places to call, times to appear and
so on and on. Their endorsement has merely
a formal character, making the record on it
as we used to say of unions who endorse
something but then don't build it.

You can see just how out of touch with reality
the SWP is when it says, "Washington is rapidly
opinion at home for unleashing its military might
on Iraq, no matter how any votes at the UN
Security Council turn out." As we've seen now,
the US has already decided not to ask for any
new resolution on Iraq since it doesn't have
the votes to get a war endorsement resolution.

The other two demands which THE MILITANT
advances are not at all what's called for in the
present circumstances.  Iraq has agreed to
accept the inspectors and these inspectors
have given more or less favorable reports on
Iraq's cooperation. You can say that as a
matter of principle, they shouldn't be there,
but what does that say about Iraq, which has
accepted them, and about other countries,
such as Cuba, which endorses their being
in the country?  The Cuban Foreign Minister
is quoted in today's Granma as saying this:

In relation to the planned war on Iraq without
Security Council authorization, the foreign
minister stated that Cuba perceives it as
illegal and in violation of the UN Charter,
and moreover that it would be an unjust
and unequal in terms of military might,
given the resulting damage to the civilian
population and the environment, and an
intervention that would destabilize that region.

"Moreover," he affirmed, "the international
community can appreciate that the Iraqi
government is cooperating with the
inspectors by destroying missiles, which
has been acknowledged before the
Council by (Hans) Blix and El Baradei."

THE MILITANT also goes way beyond what
is needed at THIS moment, which is an end
to US and allied intervention and bombing in
the region against Iraq. That's where their
fire SHOULD be.

The Militant instead demands, "not only
"Bring the troops home now" but also the
withdrawal of all imperialist forces claiming
extraterritorial rights in the Mideast."

What does this mean "all imperialist forces
claiming extraterritorial rights in the Mideast?

This is transparently aimed at France and
Russia which have investments in Iraq.
According to THE MILITANT, protesters
should go well beyond withdrawal of the
US and allied forces, to denounce others.

In other words, in plainer words, what The Militant
is PRIMARILY trying to do is to DIFFERENTIATE
ITSELF POLITICALLY from this movement to
which it remains politically hostile. But they do it
in a roundabout, circuitous manner. Theirs is
what's known in politics as a flanking maneuver
with a negative twist.

To those on this list who weren't formerly members
of the Socialist Workers Party of the United States,
I apologize for these comments. After all of these
years (after 21 years in their orbit and organization,
I was expelled from the SWP twenty years ago and
still have not completely recovered the experience.

The Militant editorial can be found here:

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