[Marxism] what is Antiwar.com?
bebop101 at comcast.net
Fri Jun 11 03:51:57 MDT 2004
The Militant article at http://www.themilitant.com/2004/6824/682451.html
that prompted this thread, in my opinion, raises ideas that deserve serious
The second half of this Militant article discusses some false claims that
there is a conspiracy of neo-conservatives in Washington D.C. with a
Trotskyist background. As Louis pointed out, some of these false claims
have been previously discussed on Marxmail. I would like to leave this
part of the article aside for the moment.
I am interested in focusing on the ideas in the first half of this Militant
article. In particular, I am interested in what statements marxmailers
think are true, and which are not.
The first half of the article criticizes conspiracy theories that claim a
small group of "neoconservatives" are orchestrating US foreign and military
policy. It offers the opinion that these theories are false and divert
attention from the capitalist ruling class.
Sentences 15, 16 and 17 below are especially interesting because the
Militant is detailing forces on both the left as well as the right, and
both inside the working class as well as within the middle class, that may
be attracted to these reactionary conspiracy theories.
The first half of the Militant article consists of 19 sentences, which I
have numbered and copied below. I am interested in any comments and
opinions that marxmailers have about the truth or untruth of these
sentences. I am also interested in which sentences Louis or anyone else
- Thanks, Steve
The Militant Vol. 68/No. 24 June 28, 2004
*****Jew-hatred, red-baiting: heart of claims of neocon conspiracy
BY SAM MANUEL
1. WASHINGTON, D.C.Over the past year there has been a spate of articles
by liberal and middle-class radical commentators, as well as by rightists,
that attack the Bush administration by claiming that today U.S. foreign and
military policy is being orchestrated by a small group of
neoconservatives in the Defense Department.
2. They often point to Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz,
Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith, former Pentagon advisor Richard
Perle, and other high-ranking officials.
3. Some of these commentators go further, pointing to officials with
Jewish names and implying or saying that a Jewish neocon cabal is involved.
4. All variations of these conspiracy theories are false and reactionary.
5. They divert attention from the fact that the problem facing workers and
farmers is capitalism, and that state power is in the hands of a class of
billionaire families that exploits the labor power of working people.
6. U.S. government officials Democrats and Republicans alike are
simply servants of this ruling class and carry out policies in their
7. For example the May 12 issue of New Yorker magazine ran an article by
liberal journalist Seymour Hersh about the supposed neocon takeover of the
Pentagon, which he blames for manipulating evidence regarding Iraqs
possible possession of weapons of mass destruction and connection with Al
Qaeda as a justification for invading Iraq.
8. They call themselves, self-mockingly, the Cabal a small cluster of
policy advisers and analysts now based in the Pentagons Office of Special
Plans, Hersh wrote.
9. He claims that in the past year their operation, which was conceived
by Paul Wolfowitz, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, has brought about a
crucial change in direction in the American intelligence community and
that they have helped to shape public opinion and American policy toward
10. Hershs exposé relied in part on information from a retired Air
Force intelligence officer.
11. The same officer was cited as a source by Democratic senator Edward
Kennedy in a March 5 speech at the Council on Foreign Relations.
12. Based on information from this intelligence source Kennedy charged,
What happened was not merely a failure of intelligence but the result of
manipulation and distortions of the intelligence and selective use of
unreliable intelligence to justify a decision to go to war.
*****Reactionary conspiracy theories
13. Hersh and Kennedys source is Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski.
14. After her retirement from a Pentagon intelligence job, she gave an
interview to Executive Intelligence Review a publication of the fascist
outfit headed by Lyndon LaRouche and authored several internet articles in
which she alleges a neocon conspiracy in the Bush administration seeking
to leverage the full might of the United States to build a greater Zion.
15. Related conspiracy themes are being promoted both on the ultraright
and among layers of left-liberals, Stalinists, and other middle-class
radicals from Patrick Buchanan and his magazine, The American
Conservative, and the Buchananite web site antiwar.com, on the right, to
the liberal magazine The Nation in the United States and the daily Guardian
and weekly New Statesman in the United Kingdom, on the left.
16. This campaign finds a resonance among Jew haters and sectors of the
wealthy ruling classes in the United States and Europe and of their officer
corps whose positions and chances for advancement are threatened by the
policies being led by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to transform the
U.S. armed forces into a lighter, more mobile force to wage Washingtons
wars around the world.
17. It also finds an echo among remnants of the Stalinist bureaucracy
still interlacing the officer corps and intelligence agencies across
Eastern Europe; insecure layers of the middle classes and better-off
workers squeezed by the capitalist crisis; and Stalinist-influenced
liberals and petty-bourgeois radicals worldwide.
18. The claim by Kwiatkowski, the fascist LaRouchite outfit, and others
that U.S. officials who are Jewish are involved in a conspiracy on behalf
of Israel is a classic anti-Semitic smear.
19. It is related to claims of a cabal promoted by Anglo-American
capitaloften involving the British crown and, since the October 1917
Russian Revolution, the Bolsheviks.
[Below is the remainder of the Militant article, concerning the links
between "neocons" and Trotskyism.]
One variant of the conspiracy articles that have appeared over the last
year seeks to link a Jewish neocon cabal, at least in its historical
origins, to Bolshevik leader Leon Trotsky and those who trace their
political continuity to the communist movement he fought to build. U.S.
liberal writer Michael Lind, for example, in an article in the New
Statesman in April 2003, asserts that U.S. foreign policy is dominated
today by a layer of neoconservatives who are products of the largely
Jewish-American Trotskyist movement of the 1930s and 1940s which morphed
into an anti-communist liberalism between the 1950s and 1970s and finally
into a kind of militaristic and imperial right with no precedents in
American culture or political history.
Lind claims this alleged group is part of an Israel lobby in the U.S.
government whose ideology is Trotskys theory of the permanent revolution
mingled with the far-right Likud strain of Zionism, referring to the
Israeli Likud party. His liberal diatribe was picked up in the pro-Buchanan
web site antiwar.com.
Buchanan, in a March 24, 2003, article in The American Conservative,
describes what he calls the first generation of neocons as ex-liberals,
socialists, and Trotskyites
who rafted over to the GOP at the end of
conservatisms long march to power with Ronald Reagan in 1980.
Versions of this intermixed poison of Jew-hatred and Trotsky-baiting have
appeared in the New York Times, Foreign Affairs, and numerous other
publications and internet sites. They feature headlines such as:
Trotskycons? Bush-Trotsky Links: Lets Count the Ways, Now Its
Trotskys Fault? Trotskyism to Anachronism: the Neoconservative
Revolution, and Trotskys Ghost Wandering the White House.
This kind of smear against Trotsky and the communist movement, including
the Socialist Workers Party in the United States, is not newfrom the
opening days of the Bolshevik Revolution it has been used against
communists by imperialist reaction, Social Democrats, and later the
Stalinists. Such slanders and reactionary arguments will become more
frequent as the capitalist crisis and conflicts between imperialist powers
sharpen, heightening class tensions, political polarization, the politics
of resentment, restrictions on rights, and the coarsening of bourgeois
Smears about Trotskycons to the contrary, the fact is that no prominent
figure among the so-called neoconservatives has ever been a member of the
Socialist Workers Party. A few from the oldest generationnone of whom ever
held government postswere around the youth group of an organization led by
Max Shachtman in the 1930s and 1940s. Shachtman and his supporters split
from the Socialist Workers Party in 1940, breaking with Marxism. As they
evolved, they dissolved their group into the Socialist Party in 1958, and
accelerated their course by backing the Henry Scoop Jackson wing of the
Democratic Party and filling the staffs of AFL-CIO unions.
It is also worth noting that in the current administration, the central
architects of U.S. military policy, from the imperialist wars in Iraq and
Afghanistan to Washingtons policies toward Israel, are above all Donald
Rumsfeld and George Bush. They are not Jewish, and are as conventional in
their records as capitalist politicians as anyone could be.
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