[Marxism] Precipitous withdrawal?

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Aug 23 08:53:31 MDT 2005

Dear Juan,

I was dismayed to discover a favorable reference to your blog entry against 
precipitous withdrawal on Marc Cooper's blog this morning. As you might 
know, this Nation Magazine journalist is developing the dreaded Hitchens 
syndrome, for which medical science has yet to discover a cure--except 
lobotomy perhaps.

After I posted Achcar's reply to you on this matter to the Marxism list I 
moderate, one of our subscribers had this to say:

"I heard Cole on DemocracyNow! (www.democracynow.org) this morning and it 
was unbelievable. What he proposes -- especially increased
reliance on murder from the air -- is in fact the most likely scenario for 
the kind of escalation of the war that Norman Solomon predicted at zmag.org 
yesterday. It's also the scenario Nixon used in the last years of Vietnam 
-- successfully, unfortunately -- to whittle away antiwar sentiment. And 
all of Cole's specific proposals assumed the right of the US to use 
military force in Iraq and to determine its political fate."

He is quite right, you know. Here's a snippet from Nixon's Silent Majority 
Speech of November 3, 1969. It is eerily reminiscent of what the Democratic 
Party "doves" are saying today. It also strikes me that imperialist 
politics is continually dusting off old routines for new wars. Remember 
when the Iraqi resistance was accused of interfering with the electoral 
process last year? It was the same charge that was leveled against the NLF 
of Vietnam and the FMLN of El Salvador. An oldie, but baddy.

Richard Nixon:

For the future of peace, precipitate withdrawal would thus be a disaster of 
immense magnitude.

--A nation cannot remain great if it betrays its allies and lets down its 

--Our defeat and humiliation in South Vietnam without question would 
promote recklessness in the councils of those great powers who have not yet 
abandoned their goals of world conquest.

--This would spark violence wherever our commitments help maintain the 
peace-in the Middle East, in Berlin, eventually even in the Western Hemisphere.

Ultimately, this would cost more lives.

It would not bring peace; it would bring more war.

For these reasons, I rejected the recommendation that I should end the war 
by immediately withdrawing all of our forces. I chose instead to change 
American policy on both the negotiating front and battlefront.

In order to end a war fought on many fronts, I initiated a pursuit for 
peace on many fronts.

In a television speech on May 14, in a speech before the United Nations, 
and on a number of other occasions I set forth our peace proposals in great 

--We have offered the complete withdrawal of all outside forces within 1 year.

--We have proposed a cease-fire under international supervision.

--We have offered free elections under international supervision with the 
Communists participating in the organization and conduct of the elections 
as an organized political force. And the Saigon Government has pledged to 
accept the result of the elections.

full: http://watergate.info/nixon/silent-majority-speech-1969.shtml

Yours truly,

Louis Proyect



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