Ramsey Clark and Milosevicz

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sat May 17 14:04:40 MDT 2003


James Daly wrote:
>This news about International Action Center (IAC) founder Ramsey Clark
>seems to me to have parallels with the signed public criticisms of
>Cuba.

With all due respect to James Daly, whose views on most things I value 
highly, this is not the case at all.

Before proceeding to the substance of Jared Israel's ill-considered attack 
on Ramsey Clark, a little background is in order. Jared is the webmaster of 
the Emperor's Clothes, which was started during the war in Kosovo and 
intended to provide an alternative to the mainstream media. It published 
Diana Johnstone, Greg Elich and other respected radical experts on the 
Balkans. Most have disassociated themselves from the website in recent months.

I believe that this is a function of Jared's bizarre evolution since 9/11 
when he began to put forward the notion that the WTC/Pentagon attacks were 
a conspiracy that involved the CIA and Islamic fundamentalists doing their 
bidding. With little hard evidence to go on, he kept finding "proof" in the 
most unlikely places. For example, just as soon as Osama bin-Laden's first 
video interview went out all over the world's television stations, he said 
"Ah-ha! There's the proof. When the leftwing can't get on television, 
bin-Laden gets on everywhere." As it turns out, the interview appeared 
first on al-Jazeera and the mainstream media simply picked it up afterwards.

He then began to develop more and more of a bias against anything Islamic, 
including the Palestinian struggle. At first I attributed this his to a 
rather mechanical extension of anti-KLA views, but have now concluded that 
his Zionism is of a long-standing basis. On his website, he says that he is 
trying to revive the kind of publication that M.S. Arnoni put out in the 
1960s called "Minority of One". Arnoni started out as critic of the Vietnam 
war but after turning into a fervent Zionist moved to Israel where he wrote 
frequent attacks on the  Palestinian solidarity movement.

Jared's politics are a little hard to describe, but I find it more and more 
difficult to place him on the left. He has little to say in opposition to 
the war against Iraq, slanders the Palestinians and now lashes out at 
Ramsey Clark.

Let's look at the substance. The C-SPAN reporter asked Clark, "Why have you 
represented the war criminals like Milosevic?" When he failed to 
specifically repudiate this portrayal of Milosevic, the implication is that 
he agrees with the interview. In fact, Clark is on record as stating just 
the opposite:

"In the early 1960s when African Americans were beaten by the police in 
Alabama, Mississippi and other states, then charged with assaulting an 
officer, lawyers in the Department of Justice labeled the offense 
'resisting assault.' That phrase applies perfectly to the conduct of 
President Milosevic. As the President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia 
he was sworn to protect and defend the sovereignty of his nation and the 
lives and property of its people from foreign aggression. Every citizen has 
the same duty.

"The simple truth and the legal defense to the charges against President 
Milosevic is that he did all that he could to protect his country from 
military aggression by a superpower—and Western European countries it 
manipulated—that had the capacity to destroy all of Yugoslavia without ever 
setting foot on its soil. U.S. planes attacked civilians, civilian housing 
and facilities and utilities and properties essential to human life every 
day for seventy-eight days with aerial bombardments against which there was 
no defense."

full: http://www.iacenter.org/hidden_rc_btv.htm

Next, Jared Israel relies on the word of the United Nations that Milosevic 
"rejected" Clark as a lawyer or adviser. But in the very text that he 
relies upon to draw this conclusion, you can find the following: "Milosevic 
has previously refused to appoint a defense team because he does not 
recognize the tribunal's authority." In other words, he is rejecting *all* 
lawyers, not just Clark. Furthermore, he objects to relying on them as 
advisers since this might have the effect of limiting his contact with 
other people. In other words, no implication can be drawn that Clark is 
untrustworthy.

Of course, in the bonkers alternative universe of Jared Israel, Ramsey 
Clark is viewed as the same as Joanne Landy or Ian Williams, while in the 
real world, Clark is constantly being condemned by such people as an 
apologist for Clark. In reality, Clark focuses mainly on the crimes and 
hypocrisy of the United States.

In what appears to be a truly demented offering, Jared Israel promises 
something down the road that will address the topic: "Ramsey Clark: Once an 
Intelligence Operative always an Intelligence Operative?"

Let's be crystal clear about this. When Jared Israel, who was absent from 
radical politics by his own admission for over a quarter-century, decides 
to put a snitch-jacket on Ramsey Clark, who has been a courageous and 
principled defender of every target of US aggression for most of the past 
25 years, something is very, very wrong. Let's not lend a shred of 
credibility to Jared Israel's ravings. As far as I'm concerned, he has not 
only placed himself outside the left, but has decided to wage a smear 
campaign against exactly the person who is on the liberal and social 
democrats' most hated list.


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




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