[Marxism] FWD: Argentines Burn U.S. Flag to Protest Sending Troops to Haiti

Nestor Gorojovsky nestorgoro at fibertel.com.ar
Fri Jul 2 07:26:47 MDT 2004

Today we are oranizing a great national march against the wave of 
police crimes and police inactivity that amount to a general strike 
of the "security" forces, which strike counts on full support of the 
media. By "we" I mean the whole social movement in Argentina, 
differences blurred for this event by the murder of Martín "Oso" 
Cisneros, a recent police crime that took place at less than half a 
mile of my home, and around the corner of the site of one of our 
social organizations, Aukache.

More on this, on the last two paragraphs of this posting.  But I 
began with this paragraph my comments to the piece of news sent by 
David W. because I believe this issue to be the adequate answer to 
the stupid, elitist and in the last instance reactionary move by 
Quebracho (this posting tries to explain the reasons for such heavy 

BTW: it is a long time since most people on the leftist and 
progressive movement in Argentina wonder whether Quebracho is not 
heavily infiltrated by agents.  I don't know, nor do I care.  The 
fact is that if they were _all_ agents, at least they would be on 
someone's payroll, and it would be a step ahead.  Unfortunately, 
there are enough fools in Argentina (particularly in Buenos Aires) to 
do the same job for free...

This action we are organizing today is important to understand why 
these news on a micro-sect burning an US flag lack the 
"revolutionary" impact that David would like to see.  They oppose 
_mass action_ on concrete local issues where imperialist penetration 
finds expression in everyday life terms to _small group action_ on 
abstract issues that can interest only on the symbolic plan.  

Fact is: burning an American flag (or a dozen) in Argentina is as 
effective a political action as burning an Argentinean flag (or a 
dozen) in the US, sorry to harm American patriotic pride.  People 
simply don't care about such a thing, however painful it might be for 
American Legion veterans, and however sympathetic it might sound to 
most Argentineans.  

These are typical "for-the-news" actions, not serious politics.  And 
this is the way people take them, as a part of the "political show of 
the Left"

What really matters in Argentina today is whether you are critically 
supporting the weak and not wholly reliable Kirchner government 
against the IMF, against the mass media (which -I will stress it more 
than once on this posting- have become the _actual_ political party 
of reaction, like in Venezuela), and against the police forces who 
are in a state of silent but open rebellion against the 

This is so because the administration is slowly (too slowly for my 
taste) but steadily cleaning them of corrupt and overtly criminal 
officers, and curtailing the delictive benefits they obtained in half 
a century of degradation (shares in any kind of common crime you can 
think of, this is very well depicted on the _El bonaerense_ film that 
Louis Proyect did not like too much).  This degradation, which was 
particularly intense during the Proceso but had begun decades before, 
has turned them into almost just another branch of organized crime: 
this was the price paid by the ruling classes to have them handy when 
repression was necessary, and the whole thing began with the illegal 
shootings of 9 June 1956.  The recent crime of Martín "Oso" Cisneros 
has been the last expression of this struggle of the police forces 
against the administration --and people in general.

And _this_ is the burning issue today.

Anything else is a symbolic gesture without popular impact.  BTW: 
There was not only flag-burning at Quebracho's action. Tyres were 
burned, rubbish was distributed on the streetwalk, the monument to 
the heroes of Malvinas was dessecrated, etc.  A wonderful way to gain 
the sympathy of passers-by and a good image on the media.  
Unfortunately, these actions may gain the sympathy of David Walters 
but there are few like him in the Argentinean people, and this is not 
meant against David at all, it is simply meant for common sense.

The important thing here is the political meaning of the action, and 
at this level we must bluntly state that such "revolutionary 
mobilisations" only serve the worst interests.  Not only for the 
reasons above, but for a more important one: they hamper and slow 
down the current process of change in the political consciousness of 
the Armed Forces.  And this is not only bad, this is a political 
crime, because the Armed Forces in Argentina are shifting from their 
old positions, where the main enemy was the _internal, domestic_ 
enemy (that is: their main task was occupation of their own land 
against their own countrypeople), towards a more "national and 
popular" approach, where "total national defense" forces them to seek 
the enemy elsewhere.  

The combined lessons of the Proceso, Malvinas, and the "rotten 
democracy" (1976-2001) have, at last, begun to infiltrate into the 
usually hard skulls of the military, this is a basic fact, and 
actions such as that by Quebracho don't exactly help this 
infiltration to accelerate its tempo.  

Some evident examples of the most recent weeks: under direct orders 
(and on the spot supervision) of President Kirchner, Gral. Bendini, 
Commander in Chief of the Army himself,  has taken out the portraits 
of Videla and Bignone (the opening and closing Presidents of the 1976-
82 Proceso) of the gallery of Directors of the Military High School; 
and in a clear gesture of derision he did it with gloved hands, as if 
he did not want to have them stained by the faces of these criminals. 
Even the Navy, the most reactionary of the Armed Forces, has 
recognized its role in the 1976-82 period through a strong statement 
by its Commander in Chief, Admiral Godoy, which execrates the 
leadership of those times.  The Air Force had also done same, much 
earlier, in fact.

Yes. At last, the Argentinean Armed Forces, that classical example of 
reactionary pro-imperialist militia, seem to be shifting (and for 
good) not only towards rejection of the crimes committed almost 30 
years ago, but of _the whole conception that presided over them since 
1955_.  The new military generations want nothing with all those 
commanders and high officers who led the institution to that hell of 
murder and depravation.  This is _fact_.  Hard, interesting, and 
unavoidable _fact_.

At the same time, under the new commands, the Armed Forces are 
beginning to involve themselves in industrialization again, which is 
the royal way to turn their minds towards a true conception of "total 
defence", the starting point for revolutionary military nationalism 
the Third World over in fact.  The Commander in Chief of the Army has 
declared, publicly, that "every military unit will be a unit of 
production", thus opening up a potential -and concrete, not 
discursive- road towards a new wave of military industrial 
nationalism, the most hated nightmare of imperialists in the River 

In short: the Armed Forces, for the time being, have been lost by 
reaction, and this is a most important point because this means that 
it is easier for the popular camp to win them over now than it has 
been for the last 50 years.  Actions such as that by Quebracho can 
only slow down this process.  

Imperialists have helped us and due honor to them can't be avoided: 
after the Proceso, the establishment threw on the military all the 
blame for the crimes, while the civilians who organized the social 
and _political_ crime (the most terrible of all crimes, as the 
disappeared Montonero journalist Rodolfo Walsh recalled on his last 
piece, the "Open Letter to the Military Junta" of June 1977) remained 
unblemished and even glorified as "democrats" who had not been strong 
enough to bend the crudelity and barbarism of the military.  

A Chilean version of this nauseating posture can be seen on Isabel 
Allende's version of the 1972 coup, particularly on "The House of 
Spirits".  Groups such as Quebracho and many others (in more senses 
than one, Hebe de Bonafini's branch of the Plaza de Mayo Mothers too, 
which is as painful to see as serious to record) simply offer a 
"Leftist" expression to this basically pro-imperialist view.

This general policy by the oligarchic command and the oligarchic 
groups did not pass unnoticed by the new military generations, who 
decided not to be used by these criminals again.  Every time a 
"Leftist" organization hammers on the military with their ultra-left 
infantilism, they are struggling to send them back to the arms of the 
oligarchic and imperialist politicians and policy makers.  In the 
end, this is the only thing they can think of: "bad" and "good", 
military and civilian, dictatorship and democracy, exploited and 
exploiter, a low quality brunch of Platonic categories swallowed 
every morning to feed their petty bourgeois rage.

So much so for the military.  But the establishment has also lost a 
lot of terrain on the civilian ground, too.  Almost 30 years of _full 
gas_ free-trade, free-enterprise, pro-imperialist governments has 
brought right wing politicians to impotence, even in their "popular" 
expressions such as those that either still belong to the Radical 
Party (Moreau, Alfonsín) or those that left it and attempted an 
independent road (Carrió).  They are fully discredited and they can't 
bear on serious politics.  That is why, in a sense, 

(a) the media have unsuccessfully attempted to generate new "decent 
people" leaders out of such scumbags as López Murhpy, Macri or, more 
desperately yet, Neuquén's neoliberal Governor Sobisch,

(b) the same media have been trying to launch towards the political 
sky a new "non political", "civil society" star in the person of Mr. 
Blumberg, our own version of a Chauncey Gardiner, a move that 
initially looked unstoppable but soon reached its natural limits and 
faded away like a flatulence in windy Patagonia, and 

(c) it was Peronism, and not the "Left", who has been injected a 
surrogate of new life by the wave of popular hatred that peaked on 
December 2001.  

Maybe someone remembers that on those very days almost everybody on 
the "Left" expected Argentineans to take a dozen of Petrograd Winter 
Palaces, but I sent some posting to the list with a cautious forecast 
("days of reorganization are in front of us"), which I think was the 
most accurate thing a serious observer could do at the moment.  

What lay behind all the steam of popular rage was not a clear 
understanding of the inner works behind the complete destruction of 
wealthy, industrial, Argentina, but definitive rejection of the 
pegged currency system, first and foremost, and a somehow primary 
necessity of profound reformation of at least the _formal_ political 
system, not a desire to revolutionize the capitalist mode of 

Moreover: during the Presidential elections that healed the political 
architecture shaken on December 2001, people didn't even choose the 
most audacious path to the fulfillment of their original wishes (the 
Rodríguez Saá ticket, whose programme and campaign were and still are 
the most advanced and revolutionary available on the serious 
political fringe).  Partly they were scared by a gigantic media 
campaign (more on this later), partly R.Saá's political mistakes 
(some of them very serious) handicapped him,  but in the end what the 
Argentineans preferred was a milder version of the same general 
programme: Kirchner, who reached Presidency through an agreement with 
the last representative of the "rotten democracy" (and mastermind 
organizer of the 28 Dec parliamentary coup against R. Saá).  

It must be said that this strange "Prez without a party, acting in a 
country without a State" is _doing what he promised_, something that 
may be not enough for revolutionaries, since we don't even feel 
satisfied by his small promises, but is certainly a novelty in 
Argentina.  The last elected President who kept his word here was... 
General Perón, 30 years ago.  The general mood is now that "at least 
we have hit on something good".  This compliance with his word is 
what explains most of his great current support.  

Back to Quebracho and similar outfits: such groups believe that by 
simply pushing into police stations, organizing roadblocks 
everywhere, and loads of testosterone (without too much awareness of 
_What is to be done_, nor any space for popular or even militant 
analysis), revolution is around the corner.  Of course, they don't 
see a hue of difference between Menem, Alfonsín, de la Rúa, R. Saá, 
Duhalde or Kirchner.  It is all the same shit for them.  In Dec, 
2001, they believed to be at the doors of Paradise, because they 
hoped that they would reach power through direct mass action without 
any clear political programme.  This is why they can't but observe in 
despair the "resurrection" of "traditional politics", and worse yet, 
of the "arch-rotten Peronism".  

Since these bombastic, foolish and ignorant groups are raised as the 
actual representantion of the "Left", normal people try to get their 
representations elsewhere ("Better bad but known, than good but 
unknown", the ages old Spanish saying, becomes here "Better bad but 
known, than obviously worse").  

Now, the Quebracho line isn't but the general trend of the "Left" 
carried to an extreme: thus, the destruction of political credibility 
of the "Left" goes hand in hand with the discredit of the Right, 
which in the end leaves us with a single electoral body which can 
somehow represent, however mediated and deformed, popular interests:  
Peronism, or some new formation that steps ahead from Peronism 
without rejecting it as a reactionary fatamorgana, as the "Left" has 
been consistently proposing (even from "within Peronism", like 
Quebracho) since 1945.  

And this is why Kirchner is slowly (too slowly, and this is a serious 
issue) attempting to build up a new kind of popular representation 
through a rainbow of "Kirchnerist" groups.

Now it may be understood why, under these conditions, the true 
political parties of reaction are the police forces and the media.  
The ruling classes, both supported by and prisoners of these two 
functional lackeys, can't but greet with repressed joy such actions 
such as the one Quebracho has staged.  

What they can't stand is the action that we around the murder of 
Martín "Oso" Cisneros, which will take place today.  On this, I will 
send an article (in Spanish) to the list.  It is the text I prepared 
for a leaflet to be distributed on that action by my political group. 
 But I think it is also a good piece of political journalism.

Hope smeone may profit from it.


Respuesta a: [Marxism] FWD: Argentines Burn U.S.
Remitido por: David Walters
Fecha: Jueves 1 de Julio de 2004 
Hora: 19:36

> And here we go...
> David
> Argentines Burn U.S. Flag to Protest Sending Troops to Haiti
> Leftist activists on Thursday set fire to the flags of the United 
> States and the United Nations on the terrace of the Argentine Defense 

Néstor Miguel Gorojovsky
nestorgoro at fibertel.com.ar

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 
"Sí, una sola debe ser la patria de los sudamericanos".
Simón Bolívar al gobierno secesionista y disgregador de 
Buenos Aires, 1822
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 

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