Generals say winning war will take huge forces, heavy casualties

lvnadal lvnadal at
Wed Mar 26 05:05:23 MST 2003

 original message: (in part)

"On a cautionary note, I will mention the incident (about which I don't
know much yet) of the soldier who fragged his officers.  Hasan Karim
Akbar, 31, a sergeant in the 101st Airborne Division apparently attacked
his own tactical operations center in Kuwait with hand grenades.  Akbar
was Black and a convert to Islam, according to reports.

What we in the movement don't know could hurt us.

There are already ultraleft folk who want to turn this into a cause
celebre, saying this is class struggle in the military, etc.  It is
class conflict, if it is class anything, not class struggle.  There is
no class consciousness, and moreover, there is ZERO sympathy for it in
the armed forces.  There are already murmurings across the right-wing
web of purging the armed forces of "black muslims." "

Since Comrade Goff has now reopened this thread, opposing views are again in

1.  The distinction between class conflict and class struggle is specious,
since one grows from the other. If this is indeed a matter of class
conflict, and it is based on the information already at hand, the Asan Akbar
deserves a defense.

2. The use of the term "ultra-left" as a criticism in and of itself is as
irrelevant as using the term "Menshevik" as a term of criticism.

3. The issue is precisely not one of turning Asan Akbar's actions into a
cause celebre.  The issue is defending this enlisted man from the discipline
of officers.  We do not know this soldier's motivation.  His stepfather has
stated that Asan complained about racism in the military.  His mother doubts
he even did it.  They may both be right.  Or wrong.  We do know that he was
reprimanded for insubordination.  That may or may not be based on the fact
that his is a Muslim required to attack other Muslims.

4. Comrade Goff admits he doesn't know much about the event.  Nevertheless
he launches a preemptive criticism against those who want to find out more
by challenging the class nature of the military.

5.. What the movement doesn't know might hurt it?  What the movement refuses
to challenge, to find out, by undertaking the simple class based defense of
this enlisted man will do more than hurt it. It will betray it.  This is the
greater risk.

6.  For what it's worth, I brought this issue up at the local ANSWER
meeting, not to make it a cause celebre, but to advocate the simple defense
of the enlisted from the code of officers' justice.  The proposal was warmly
received.  No one spoke against it (at least while I was present).

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