[Marxism] Organizers and NYC cop agree: 500,000 marched

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Aug 31 08:37:04 MDT 2004

Cnyadp at aol.com wrote:
> there is a tendency on the part of many Kerry supporters to rationalize that 
> his "increase the troops"  position on Iraq is  merely an attempt to appeal to 
> the majority of voters. In this view, once elected Kerry will  shed his 
> campaign stand, reverse himself and (like Clark Kent) reveal his Superman-style   
> moral virtues. According to this hopeful fantasy, only then will Kerry's  true 
> anti-war position appear.

I am not even sure that this is a popular view in the ABB ranks. From 
what I can gather, the preference for Kerry is on the basis that he is 
less ideological than Bush and can be more pliant on Iraq. When you read 
the muddled prose of people like Tariq Ali or Doug Henwood, you get the 
impression that after Nov. 3rd, when Kerry is safely ensconced in the 
White House, a well-aimed Nation Magazine editorial will trigger 
wholesale flight from Iraq. They picture John Kerry slapping his 
botox-treated forehead and crying out, "For gosh sakes, Katrina is 
right. Let me pull out the troops first chance I get."

Last night Jeremy Scahill, who works with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now, 
excoriated this view. He said that Kerry will run the government the 
same way that his hero Clinton did. Everything that Bush has done was 
prepared by Clinton, with his sanctions against and nonstop bombing of 
Iraq, his 78 day air campaign on Yugoslavia, his anti-terrorism 
legislation which paved the way for the Patriot Act, etc. I guess that 
beauty is in the eye of the beholder but I can't see anything more 
repellent than John Kerry.

Since the oppressive heat drove me from the panel discussion last night 
(ISO comrades, NEVER hold an event in a non-air conditioned room during 
the summer again), I did not hear everybody. To the ISO's credit, they 
were fairly inclusive with Naomi Klein and JoAnn Wypijewski defending 
the clothespin line on Kerry. (I was told that Klein was moving rapidly 
away from the ABB camp, but I doubt that she was ready to endorse Nader, 
which in the circles she runs in would be equivalent to admitting that 
you enjoyed Howard Stern.)

Wypijewski was totally depressing. As a New Left Review editor, she had 
absorbed the party line developed by Chairman Tariq Ali. This takes the 
form of a circumlocutory defense of other people's right--if not 
imperative--to vote for Kerry. The whole talk danced around the question 
of who the left should vote for so as to maintain a shred of radical 
credibility. She opened up with the observation that we should not look 
at voting as an act that involves virtue or principle. We must not act 
like the 19th century maiden who will only give up her virginity to Mr. 
Right. I kid you not. This is what her entire talk was like. In my 
Trotskyist years, this was what we called "petty bourgeois impressionism".


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