Forward on Doug Henwood

Macdonald Stainsby mstainsby at
Mon Nov 10 18:23:14 MST 2003

For those here who like to feast on eating this guy for lunch, I'm tossing
in a bone...

Doug Henwood, originator of an intermittent newsletter out of NYC called
the Left Business Observer, has a new book out. So expect nothing but
sweetness and light from the guy as he attempts to convince you to buy it.
However, I've been interacting (believe me he gives as much as he gets)
with this guy out there on the internet, and I have to tell you, I really
don't like what I see. For example:

 >>>>For Doug Henwood, a WBAI radio host who wrote the scathingly

anti-capitalist Wall Street, one of the best-selling leftist books of the
decade, and who called the Gulf War and the bombing in Kosovo "American
imperial manipulations," the question is a no-brainer. "This is an attack
on us," he said. "There is a near-certainty that something will be done
again soon. Clearly, considerable use of force will have to be used to
capture these motherfuckers."<<

So I guess the question is, Is 30,000 dead Afghanis sufficient to meet
Henwood's qualifier, 'considerable'?

 >>>>But the biggest absence of all was the recognition that there's
something different about this war as compared to recent military
interventions over Kosovo and Kuwait. Speakers and attendees [of a Nation
conference] frequently cited longstanding US geopolitical goals as lurking
behind the war. This is undeniably true. Washington's war strategy is not
motivated by tenderness for the people of Afghanistan. For all the
professions of concern about the abuse of women under the Taliban, George
W. Bush and his cronies haven't been born-again as feminists. But there was
little serious acknowledgment that we were attacked, and that some US
response was inevitable and even justified. Recognizing that doesn't mean
assent to Bush's version of a response, though lots of people in the peace
movement seem to fear it does. But anyone who wants to speak to an audience
beyond the small circle of believers has to consider these questions

Well, Doug got to PBS so he has shown us how to capture that larger
audience beyond a small circle of believers (who should know Henwood is not
one of theirs).

 >>>>A bunch of people that have demonstrated themselves capable of
stunning acts of violence have resolved to kill lots of Americans.
That would include you, Yoshie, Carrol, even Lou Proyect. There's no
class warrior exemption (actually they don't like Communists very
much, so American Communists are doubly doomed). Does this bother you
at all? Or are you willing to take a spore for the anti-empire?

Here Doug shows himself as wrong about the source of anthrax as he is about
imperialist foreign policy. Perhaps he wanted to go to Iraq and look for
the anthrax? If I remember correctly, he also said on his LBO Talk list
that he wasn't going to cover things like Enron or Tyco since the
mainstream business press was doing such a good job. That's funny, where
were they 5 years ago? Where was Doug 5 years ago, for that matter? Perhaps
he was saving his good stuff for his book then?

Finally Duff on the PSN list, pushing those ideological boundaries, telling
about his interview on PBS (flogging his new book, where he details, among
other things, Americans aren't as socially mobile or middle class as they
like to think):

 >>>>>> A friend noted that I was trying hard to sound like a socialist
 > >> without using the word and scaring the audience. It's always hard in
 >> those rare moments one gets a mainstream platform to know just how
 >> radical to sound - you want to push the ideological boundaries a bit,
but not so far that you're condemned as a weirdo. I'd be interested in
hearing what others have to say about that challenge.<<

So who is this guy, and why does he want our money? As I said to another
group, if you find anything new or revelatory in Henwood's new book, you
ought to give up your right to vote immediately. Or better yet, sell it to
the Republican party in CA or FL and get a bit for your trouble.

Charles Jannuzi
Fukui, Japan

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