[Marxism] "Workers in military uniforms"?

stolz stolz at left.ru
Sun May 2 13:57:28 MDT 2004

Melvin P. wrote:

>>General Giap's, like that of Mao Zedong is associated with the defeat of the 
murderous troops of our government. Many American soldiers did not desire to 
be in Vietnam. but they went. I was drafted into the armed forces and in the 
draft center wrote out my statement, making it clear that I would defect to 
General Giap and take up arms against my countrymen. Although I lived ten minutes 
from the border with Canada, I had no desire to dodge the draft. I stated that 
I would accept training and being armed by my government, but was going over 
to the side of the freedom fighters. >>

The other day we received this letter from one of our readers:

"Dear Editors,

I am your regular reader and cannot understand why you are so fond of the
pictures of American coffins that you attach to your Iraq reports
and why do you rejoice, almost sadistically, at the number of US occupiers
killed.  Are we fascists to dance on the bodies of our enemies?  If the
American poor -- many of who are ethnic minorities without US citizenship--let
the imperialist propaganda fool themselves it is the tragedy of the US
proletariat, who have failed to create even a labor party.  But do you really
feel happy that many of them will never come back from Iraq?  Have you
forgotten that for Che Guevara it was hard necessity to destroy Batista's
soldiers and he did not see anything to rejoice at in the enemy's losses. 
Don't you think that you bring yourself down to the level of those very
imperialists who have proudly shown on their TV the barbarous bombardments of
Iraqui cities, without any thought of the human beings living in them.  Where
is your communist humanism?  "

The author of this letter  is a young scholar, teaching in a West European
university.  To this I must add that we published a picture with GI coffins
once and that our reports on Iraq are abriged translations of the reports of
Iraqi Resistance published at Jay's Leftist web site.  We plan to respond to
this letter in our lead article in the coming issue of Left.ru and want to
elicit your responses to the questions  raised in the letter. Here is a few
thoughts from myself.

Two strories struck me as relevant, perhaps, illuminating while I reflected on
this letter and Melvin's post on his experience as a draftee.  The first is
the story of  one Lynndie R. England, a young woman, who stands next to her
naked prisoners, smiling and pretending to shoot off their genitals.  From US
press I learned that Lynndie England is "a railroad worker's "grew up in a
trailer down a dirt road behind a saloon and a sheep farm in Fort Ashby,
W.Va., a one-stoplight town about 13 miles south of Cumberland."  The article
gives a sense of what it felt like to grew up in the trailer behind a saloon.

"This was not supposed to be the fate of a girl who grew up hunting turkey or
killing time with her sister at the local Dairy Dip, making wisecracks about
the cars whizzing past."

Lynndie gets her mother's full support.  

"She wanted to see the world and go to college," said Terrie England, whose
T-shirt bore a design of heart-shaped American flags. "Now the government
turned their back on her, and everything's a big joke."

Her mother, a widow of a railway  worker, is a good woman.  She just never had
a chance to "see the world" as her daughter, because of all good progressive
things that happened to this country since she had married a railway worker.

The second story is one of the 70-year-old Iraqi professor Gailan Ramiz, an
"intellectual ally of the United States" as he was recommended to American
readers in the article by Chicago Tribune at

After the fall of Bagdad, Professor Ramiz became the favorite of Western
journalists.  It is easy to understand why from this description:

"When American tanks rolled into Baghdad, he hid in the cellar of his home and
prayed that the regime had fallen, he wrote. On the day that Hussein's statue
came down in Firdaus Square, he screamed himself hoarse with the crowds of
cheering men, women and children."


 "the respected political scientist nurtured his intellectual
treasure--democracy--penning opinion articles that were unimaginable under
Saddam Hussein, meeting with foreign journalists and heralding the dream, as
Ramiz wrote in the International Herald Tribune a year ago, of an Iraq "whose
democratic values and institutions would be a shining example to the entire
Middle East."   

Ramirez was killed in the blast that ruined his beautiful Bagdad house,
protected by a wall from the outside world that did not correspond to his
dream.  It turned out that a makeshift perfume factory that rented the rear of
the basement of Ramiz' house produced not cosmetics but dynamate for
Resistance.  The US patrol was apparently lured to search the basement and
then blown up together with the professor.  

What makes this story of a Westernized Iraqi intellectual (one similar to our
scholarly reader who questioned our "communist humanism")  so meaningful is
what happened next:

"In the moments after the blast, local teenagers and young men flocked to the
burning building shouting "God is greater," celebrating and taunting the U.S.
soldiers evacuating their wounded. In the dark logic of Iraq, their joy at the
Americans' loss outweighed the fact that an esteemed professor had been
killed, said Nabil Emad, a 27-year-old neighbor, who said he was among those
posing for television cameras."

"God" bless those teenagers and the "darkness" of their minds!

This "God" in the hearts of those Bagdad urchins is indeed "greater" than all
the books in the destroyed house of the learned Ramirez were.  "He" is
certainly greater than anything that ever visited the heart of  Lynndie
England, the daugher of a railway worker raised in a trailer behind a saloon,
who "wanted to see the world" and earn money for college.  This "God" in the
hearts of the oppressed is now the _only_ "God" that stands between us and the
absolute Terror of Western Imperialism.

For as I see it, these stories suggest a better way of understanding how this
Terror is distinct from the revolutionary Terror of 1793 or 1918, or even from
the imperialist terror of Kipling's time and the Nazi terror.  This terror
includes much more than Predators, Abrams and Tomahawks, the technological 
awe of physical destruction.
After all, Predators, Abrams and Tomahawks are not much different from the
Maxim machine gun, glorified by Kipling as the best answer to any question the
Zulu might have had for the British.   

A part of this Terror are people like Lynndie England and Professor Ramiz,
millions of sons and daughters of American workers and millions of Westernized
intellectual sepoys around the world, above all in Russia.  The
progress-mongerers, _including Marxist progress-mongerers_ are also the storm
troops of this Terror.  The ideology of Western civilization as the unfolding
universal and desirous destiny of mankind is in the heart of this Terror.  No
rational argument seems to offer any hope for Resistance.  Reason itself has
become Terror as well as the University.  No, the only space where Terror
fails to terrorize is that "heart of the heartless world" -- the "stupid,"
"obsolete," "reactionary" "God" in the hearts if Iraqi people.  It is this
space that has remained immune to Terror and now males it shudder with fear. 
It is not  philosophy, Marxist or "critical", as the German mandarins wanted
us tobelieve, that humiliates Terror, not Hegel upside down or back side, but
Tertullian, with his "credo atque absurdum".  Who was it to have said that
dialectics without "God" in the heart  is only a puppet of the chess master?

Vadim Stolz

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