[Marxism] Stealing Images of the "Good Fight"

Yoshie Furuhashi furuhashi.1 at osu.edu
Sun May 30 14:14:01 MDT 2004

Geoffrey M. White, professor of anthropology at the University of 
Hawai'i and senior fellow at the East-West Center, writes that "the 
'new' American patriotism being produced in the post-9-11 era 
frequently invokes earlier forms of patriotism, especially in images 
of World War II, the 'good war'" ("Pearl Harbor and September 11: War 
Memory and American Patriotism in the 9-11 Era," Japan Focus). As 
White notes, "Pearl Harbor quickly became a reference point for 
American interpretations of September 11" ("Pearl Harbor and 
September 11: War Memory and American Patriotism in the 9-11 Era"). 
Beyond explicit references to Pearl Harbor, the verbal and visual 
rhetoric of American political discourse became full of allusions to 
World War II: "the term 'infamy' or 'day of infamy' also appeared in 
many accounts, redeploying the phrase first used by Franklin 
Roosevelt in his declaration of war speech the day after Pearl Harbor 
(when his reference was actually 'date that will live in infamy')," 
says White, using as illustration the Time magazine's special issue 
on the September 11th attacks . . . .

It is not the right-wing politicians and corporate media alone that 
have tried to mobilize Americans by exploiting the images of the 
"good fight." Some liberals and leftists, too, have resorted to a 
misleading analogy to seduce activists for the agenda of electing 
John Kerry. What they seek to appropriate, however, is not the images 
of Pearl Harbor and Iwo Jima but the rhetoric of the Popular Front. 
Take, for instance, a liberal blogger Billmon's Whisky Bar. Near the 
top right corner of the front page of the Whisky Bar, you can see a 
reproduction of a poster from the Spanish Civil War, below which 
Billmon's caption reads: "Stop Bush" -- "Support The Popular Front." 
. . .

It is the bipartisan consensus responsible for the birth and growth 
of the prison empire, as well as the bipartisan consensus for liberal 
imperialism, that the stolen images of the "good fight" -- the 
Popular Front on the left, Pearl Harbor and Iwo Jima on the right -- 
are meant to conceal.

The full posting at 

* Critical Montages: <http://montages.blogspot.com/>
* Bring Them Home Now! <http://www.bringthemhomenow.org/>
* Calendars of Events in Columbus: 
<http://www.freepress.org/calendar.php>, & <http://www.cpanews.org/>
* Student International Forum: <http://sif.org.ohio-state.edu/>
* Committee for Justice in Palestine: <http://www.osudivest.org/>
* Al-Awda-Ohio: <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Al-Awda-Ohio>
* Solidarity: <http://www.solidarity-us.org/>

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