[Marxism] Democrats call for U.S. withdrawal from Iraq

Fred Feldman ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Fri Apr 9 15:13:05 MDT 2004

I basically agree with Louis.  When I first saw the Cuban article, I
thought it was going to include actual calls for withdrawal by what you
might call present-day Democrats.  Byrd doesn't count. Any such shift by
Democrats would be well worth reporting and greeting, whatever their
reasons.  But there is no such development yet.
Byrd has been a Senator from West Virginia for 46 years, elected in
1958.  He's been in the Senate my whole political life.  And a racist
antilabor prowar crooked hack he was for almost all of those many years.
Now he has decided to go out in a blaze of glory.  Well, good for him!
Shows he has some imagination as well as cojones at least.  And its a
lot better of just a few more years of what he had been giving us up
till then.
Even within the framework of divisions in the ruling class and adherence
to imperialist policies, these pressures play themselves out in a
different way in parties like the  PSOE -- or the Australian Labor
Party. The fact is that while all this is going on, Kerry is
systematically adapting his policies to the prowar critics of Bush --
who are becoming legion. 
(Frankly, I sort of think that the DSP may be being too categorical and
final  about the character of the Labor Party in Australia.  Of course
it is a bourgeois imperialist party. That is true of all Labor and
Social-Democratic and (today) large-scale Communist and former-Communist
Parties in the imperialist countries.  But given that character, it is
hard to judge from today's vantage point how they will be affected by a
genuine prerevolutionary-type upsurge of the working class which we have
not seen in the Labour Party countries for 50 years or more. The
positions that Latham (or Zapatero in Spain) felt they needed to take on
the war indicates a different kind of response to antiwar pressures than
we see in the Democratic Party--even really in the 1960s, when they came
under overwhelming pressure from popular opinion and divisions in the
ruling class.  None of this settles the tactical question of how to vote
or justifies mechanical Leninist "Labour Party" strategies of the
Grant-Dowson variety, but I think an exaggerated assessment of the
bourgeois character of the Labor Parties and their finished character
can foster  a too-rigid approach to the tactical possibilities.)
Kerry has been shifting his policies to appeal to the growing number of
antiBush prowar forces.  He's going to be the candidate, I think, of the
Albrights, Brzezinskis, etc.  He may even land the New Republic in the
end, which is not happy with Bush.  Plus the Democrats are since
Clinton, the tight-money, balance the budget party and Kerry is pitching
for the Democratic bankers' backing, too. 
The Cubans will probably tilt for Kerry this year, although they had a
plague on both your houses position in 2000, if I recall. (There have
been signs that Blair and several other world leaders prefer Kerry,
too.)  But the Cuban press is taking pretty careful account of what
Kerry really stands for, it seems to me.  They don't have the high hopes
of change from new presidents that they sometimes entertained in the
past but were only partly fulfilled under Carter -- and he reversed
course before the end of his term.
I won't go into mourning when and if Bush is thrown out.  Insofar as the
vote rejects Bush's course, that will be a positive (although you have
to remember that the vote for Kerry will include millions of prowar
voters who realize that Bush is not working.)  But the ELECTION of Kerry
will be bad for working people and the peace of the world.  I am hoping
for Camejo to get on the ballot somehow.  If I have to cast a
"lesser-evil" vote, it will be for Nader.
Fred Feldman

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