[Marxism] Liberals shifting left

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Aug 20 10:29:36 MDT 2005


There is a tendency for some to fret over moveon.org et al's attempts to 
co-opt the antiwar movement. I myself don't worry about this that much 
since I saw it all before in the early 1970s. This is simply a reaction to 
changes taking place at the grass roots level with approval ratings on the 
war in Iraq reaching LBJ type proportions. It is also a reaction to the 
brute fact of insurgency power.

Last night I watched Bill Maher who was interviewing Paul Hackett, the 
veteran of the war in Iraq who ran an unsuccessful campaign for congress in 
Ohio. Although he only got 48 percent of the vote, his district had gone 65 
percent for Bush. This is not much consolation to the Republicans. Hackett 
got attacked on Counterpunch for using his veteran status in a demagogic 
fashion. Like Kerry, he was trying to have it both ways. To be critical of 
Bush but supportive of the war, which only required "better leadership" to 
prevail. His website states:

"No matter what your position on the war, if we pull out now the entire 
region will spiral into chaos and present our nation and military with a 
far more difficult challenge than we currently face. I don't relish the 
prospect of my two sons going over there in twenty years. We need to get it 
right, and we need to do it now.

"The Iraqi people and government are grateful that we eliminated their 
brutal dictator. They are capable of running their own government and 
building a democracy. It won't look like ours; nor should it. But in order 
for them to succeed, we must not withdraw our troops before the Iraqis are 
ready to stand on their own."

Well, last night he told Maher that it is time to pull out. Now.

Another indication. Elizabeth Edwards, wife of John Edwards who was Kerry's 
running mate, has come out strongly in support of Cindy Sheehan's right to 
say whatever she wants. You can read it here: 
http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/24172/. You might quite rightly judge 
this as an opportunist bid to appear against the war without actually 
calling for immediate withdrawal, but it legitimizes our efforts nonetheless.

I believe that the unity between ANSWER and UfPJ is excellent news. Despite 
articles by Frank Rich of the NY Times that the "war is over", we don't 
know what will happen next. Although I don't think that the Bush 
administration is "fascist", there is an element of the irrational at work 
of the kind that led Hitler to invade the USSR. If the USA attacks Iran, we 
are going to need a powerful movement and we are also going to have to 
withstand a new McCarthyite attack on the right to protest the war. Last 
night on the Maher show, they were discussing charges that Sheehan is 
"treasonous", something that David Horowitz and Republican politicians are 
alleging.

In the face of a growing crisis around US foreign policy, militancy and 
unity are required more than ever.






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