[Marxism] A nickel's worth of difference?

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Thu Aug 12 09:07:26 MDT 2004


Here are a few more reasons why Bush should be defeated.

One wonders if some people posting to Marxmail think the
Cubans are full of illusions about John Kerry? Surely it's 
obvious that THEY would prefer to struggle against Kerry, 
and to wage the battle of ideas against Kerry, without the 
limits on travel and remittances and the rest which Bush 
has imposed. Kerry hasn't endorsed the Bush plan, so it 
will be interesting to see what happens if and when Cuba 
comes up in any of the "debates". For the first time in
the forty-five years of the blockade, a difference is now
separating the two dominant parties on Cuba policy. It's
a tactical, not a principled difference. But it surely IS
a difference. And it's a difference which can clearly have,
and indeed is already having, an electoral significance as
can be seen from this article in today's Miami Herald:
http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/breaking_news/9377181.htm? 

What we're seeing is a matter of the carrot or the stick.
Kerry represents the carrot and Bush represents the stick. 
The Cuban leadership doesn't and can't have any illusions
in Kerry, how could they have any, after all these years? 
I'm simply giving my estimate as to which one of the two 
would present us with a terrain more advantageous for the 
struggle to defend the Cuban Revolution.

Kerry and Bush state they won't change what they refer to
as the "embargo" (which we all know is a blockade). Their
differences are tactical, not principled. But they are
both real and will be significant in the US elections.

Why hasn't Bush opened Manzanar (one of the camps in 
which Washington imprisoned the Japanese during WWII? 

Answer: George Bush did Franklin Roosevelt one better. 
In the absence of a physical camp, at lease one WE KNOW
OF, on the precious soil of the United States. Bush has
places like Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. And what that's
not sufficient, Bush simple murders thousands of them:
http://www.granma.cu/ingles/abril03/mar29/noprob.html  

Radio Havana Cuba published a commentary with the title
"No Illusions in Cuba about the Democrats" available:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CubaNews/message/28574

"the Cuban leadership has no illusions about the 
Democrats. Of the ten US presidents that have maintained 
a hostile policy on the island, four were Democrats.

"While saying he will relax travel restrictions and some
business contacts, candidate Kerry has already stated he
will maintain the blockade and continue efforts to
overthrow the Cuban government and its socialist system.
---------------------------------------------------------
[What would you expect a US imperialist candidate to say?
Did Nixon say he had become a convert to Communism when
he opened the door to and ended the blockade of China?]
---------------------------------------------------------
"Nonetheless, popular Cuban thought is similar to Moore's
contention that Bush has got to go. He's just too 
dangerous for everyone."
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CubaNews/message/28566 

Interview with Ricardo Alarcon on the US elections in
which he discusses Bush, Kerry and Ralph Nader here:
http://makeashorterlink.com/?L5BA12809 
=========================================================
JOSE G. PEREZ WROTE:
a few weeks ago I posted here what I consider was quite 
a cogent argument on why Bush should be considered the 
lesser evil.

Basically, that his ideologically-driven administration had
proven completely incompetent, even when handed something
like September 11, whereas no one could expect to have such
good luck with Kerry.
------------------------------------------------------
But the history and politics does have everything to do
with the decidedly anti-Kerry tone of the left of this
list. And that is quite simply apart from me, I don't know
of anyone on the left who has even tried to make the
perfectly reasonable case that, based on his track record,
the degree to which he is already discredited, etc., Bush
is the lesser evil. And there are about a million left
liberals, progressives, radicals, socialists, communists,
syndicalists and anarchists all arguing for voting for
Kerry. And they are doing so in the context of the
beginnings of a *mass* break from the two-party-system led
by Nader, and of a ferocious anti-Nader lesser-evil
campaign in the corporate media. It is that ruling class
campaign, with its hordes of "radical" helpers, that needs
to be fought.
---------------------------------------------------------
Despite the hysteria about warmongering and repression and
all the rest of it among the petty-bourgeoisie, the truth
is the current outfit is pretty bush league in actually
carrying out reactionary policies. Warmongering? Compared
to JFK, who brought the world within hours of nuclear
annihilation, Bush is a boy scout. Repression? OK he has
Padilla incommunicado, but why hasn't Manzanar reopened?

Just look at his "war on terror." He hasn't even had the
cojones to order up a military draft to put the quarter
million boots on the ground the U.S. needs to have any hope
of beating the Iraqi insurgency. The reason people give for
hating him and his crew so much --his ideological
bloody-mindedness and petty political conniving-- is
actually what makes him spectacularly ineffective.
--------------------------------------------------------

Maybe you were in Cuba, Walter, but a few weeks ago I posted here what I
consider was quite a cogent argument on why Bush should be considered
the lesser evil.


Just look at the situation in Iraq. With a really ultra-hated dictator
like Saddam, how hard would it have been really to come up with some
sort of coalition puppet regime based on the real live social forces of
Iraqi society? Instead these clowns came up with puppet regimes based on
an Iraq that doesn't exist. I mean, look at this chump Allawi. He thinks
he can put down a massive popular resistance with 140K U.S. troops and
20,000 mercs (30,000 if you count the Brits, although judging from what
is going on in their zone, they have about as much stomach for fighting
the insurgents as the Poles do at this stage). 

Now, it is true, my post was half-facetious, but only half. I don't
actually give a flying fuck which one of these two the capitalists
decide to put in the White House. Whether it will make a difference and
if so what that difference will be if Kerry replaces Bush is something I
believe is unknowable by us this side of the invention of a time
machine. 

Despite the hysteria about warmongering and repression and all the rest
of it among the petty-bourgeoisie, the truth is the current outfit is
pretty bush league in actually carrying out reactionary policies.
Warmongering? Compared to JFK, who brought the world within hours of
nuclear annihilation, Bush is a boy scout. Repression? OK he has Padilla
incommunicado, but why hasn't Manzanar reopened? 

Just look at his "war on terror." He hasn't even had the cojones to
order up a military draft to put the quarter million boots on the ground
the U.S. needs to have any hope of beating the Iraqi insurgency. The
reason people give for hating him and his crew so much --his ideological
bloody-mindedness and petty political conniving-- is actually what makes
him spectacularly ineffective. 

Just look at the latest Code Orange fiasco. The Pakistanis and Brits
managed to capture and turn what by all accounts in supposedly an
important Al Qaeda operative. It would have been the beginning of a
long-term penetration of the organization, except that that moron Carl
Rove thought it could be used to shave a percent or two from Kerry's
"bounce" coming out of the Democrat convention. So they had themselves a
big press conference and DETAILED just what they had gotten and how.
They even gave the press the fucking NAME of the double agent. On
background, of course. So whether it was Condy Rice or Tom Ridge that
leaked the name is a secret closely guarded by a few thousand people on
the Washington cocktail circuit. But the name of that most precious of
all intelligence assets, a double agent, was in the New York Times the
next morning.

I can understand why all the LIBERALS who support the war on terror are
absolutely LIVID, and quite rightly so. But what do *we* care? THEIR
complaint against Bush is that he puts scoring petty factional points
over the imperative needs of bourgeois military and intelligence
operations, that he is *disloyal* to their class and their cause. But
that's THEIR problem really, that is none of our affair.

As for the ruling class's overall march to the right, John Kerry has
been entirely unambiguous, his program isn't "Bush lite" but rather
doing things seriously and competently. 

This election isn't like the Spanish election, there is neither the
programmatic counterposition on the war that we saw there nor is the
role of the U.S. in the world the same as Spain's. 

Nor is a "repudiation" of Bush something devoutly to be hoped for. The
"repudiation" of Goldwater was a famous people's victory but it gave LBJ
the political capital he needed to send half a million troops to
Vietnam. 

We should have no illusions about it being better if Kerry wins. There
is simply no basis for saying that. While I understand the historical
and political reasons why people will do it, voting for Kerry is in no
sense "better" than voting for Bush. 

But the history and politics does have everything to do with the
decidedly anti-Kerry tone of the left of this list. And that is quite
simply apart from me, I don't know of anyone on the left who has even
tried to make the perfectly reasonable case that, based on his track
record, the degree to which he is already discredited, etc., Bush is the
lesser evil. And there are about a million left liberals, progressives,
radicals, socialists, communists, syndicalists and anarchists all
arguing for voting for Kerry. And they are doing so in the context of
the beginnings of a *mass* break from the two-party-system led by Nader,
and of a ferocious anti-Nader lesser-evil campaign in the corporate
media. It is that ruling class campaign, with its hordes of "radical"
helpers, that needs to be fought.

José





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