Gould, Perez, and Essence of Anti-Imperialism

M. Junaid Alam junaidalam at msalam.net
Mon Sep 8 23:25:29 MDT 2003

"What Bob is arguing is in essence that people like me give primacy to
the struggle against imperialism in Iraq. I plead guilty. I think this
one sentence summary of the last few decades of history on a world scale
is more right than wrong: the main manifestation of the class struggle
on a world scale has been the national movements in the colonial and
semicolonial world and of nationally oppressed peoples within the
"advanced" countries against imperialism."

Word, Perez speaks truth on this. Mr. Gould cries out against the cock
that performs the rape, but urges the pregnancy to be carried out to
term: the imperialist invasion is "bad", the result however is "good".
Literally: What the fuck? That is not dialectics, man. Everything that
would be "good" about overthrowing the Hussein regime springs from the
Iraqis themselves undertaking that action, the overthrow of Hussein
would be good in the context of an overall process.

He rushes to defend the UN when the UN, in the most pathetic and
embarassing reversal of American arrogance as of late, is being begged
and cajoled and coaxed into becoming ever more integrated into America's
mission to smash the Arab world.

I note emphasis on _smash the Arab world_. Not just smash Hussein or the
Ba'athists or any of that shit. I can't believe how much of the
Pentagon's propaganda Gould assumes as an underpinnnig for his own
starting point of analysis.

Certainly not all the lines are drawn clearly. They rarely ever are. But
if Bob is looking for helmeted workers carrying shovels and hoes to be
spearheading the resistance, or maybe some more "civilized" suit-and-tie
hipsters with three or four girlfriends, to be the main force against
occupation, he has his sense of history and geography all mixed up.

The government of the United States of America will be humiliated in its
colonial war against Iraq. That is the concrete political reality at the
end of the road on the war path; it is at least the most desirable one
for the 250 million inhabitants of the Arab world who, Gould
notwithstanding, do not want to get bombed and slaughtered.

Therefore, the goal of all revolutionary forces is to make maximum use
of the backlash and all-sided consequences of this venture as a weapon
to beat back reaction. Gould acts like those pipelines or water plants
are divine wellsprings of wealth bequeathed by polite civil society; I
think Arabs can build their own water plants without the attendant
150,000 Anglo-American troop presence and foreign corporations
profiteering from them.

I think Perez is right in a very real sense to level the accusation of
Kautskyism. (Will this earn me the title of "Alam the Thunderer" too? Or
maybe "Alam the Lightning Bolt Shitter"). The crux of the
anti-imperialist position is unconditional defense of indigenous
colonized and exploited societies to develop, struggle, and advance on
their own terms towards their own resolutions of conflicts imposed on
them by the imperialist countries. That is primary because it is a
prerequisite for the physical, emotional, and psychological independence
required to advance on any material basis.

Mr. Gould, you cannot damn the bullet that kills a civilian teenager and
the praise the one fired before or after it killing a Ba'athist
"remnant". How long can one to remain enthralled and amused by one's
'amusing' "contradictions" on concrete political questions? There are
primary and secondary contradictions, there are primary priorities and
subordinate priorities. So for instance, when Gould constantly announces
the holy greatness of the Hussein regime being destroyed, what the hell
does this have to do with opposing one section of the resistance? No one
seriously supposes Hussein will reemerge as the leader of Iraq. Hussein
is not the point.

In the struggle against all of the wide-ranging  domestic and
international consequences of brazen imperialist aggression, as a
Marxist or any serious political partisan, you are either firing the
fucking gun, or you are firing back. "Contradictions" between your index
finger and the trigger leave your cranium cracked.

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