[Marxism] Replying to Carroll was Thoughts on the New World Disorder - MiddleEast.

g.maclennan at qut.edu.au g.maclennan at qut.edu.au
Fri Mar 11 21:25:50 MST 2005

Hi Carroll,

Thank you for taking the trouble to read and comment on my 
post.  Now I interpreted you as saying that I was engaged in 
counter-productive crystal ball gazing and that the peace 
mocvement had more to do than try and second guess the 
Pentagon's General Staff.  I of course tremble at the thought 
that my posts might somehow derail the American peace 
movement. May I be struck dumb forever should that  be even a 

But you were drawn into making a counter prediction.  You said

"I don't believe it [that the USA would invade Syria]. Bush & 
his buddies are not completely free cannon; the ruling class 
still rules, and there is no indication whatever in the main 
media that any preparation of the public for expansion of the 
war is underway."

I cannot tell of course what is going on in the States.  But 
CNN and Fox when I can bring myself to watch them do seem to 
me to be continuing the war monering.

Here however I would like to make a substantive point and at 
the same time justify my original post.  I would argue that I 
was not crystal ball gazing but rather attemtping to 
understand the situation.  I would argue that it is vital to 
analyse what is going on.  Such analysis inevitably includes 
an account of what might happen.  It is never more than 
a "might" for all we can ever do is to isolate tendencies. 
Social systems are open and that is why we are not fortune 
tellers, nor do we ever claim to be. 

I would argue moreover that in this conjuncture the USA is 
not *simply* trapped in the Middle East.  It has also created 
a scenario where it must crash forward or face the most 
ignominious of defeats - possibly a terminal one. The stakes 
are that high.

Now everyone knows that.  What people cannot quite grasp on 
to is the radical and revolutionary nature of the Bush cabal. 
To say that Bush will be held back because the ruling class 
rules has little analytical power in in this case.   The 
ruling class is factionalised and the dominant faction is 
behind Bush for at least the immediate future.

Why is this gamble [Iraq-Lebanon- Syria - Iran] being taken?  
I am inclined to accept here the declining hegemon thesis, 
which states that the US is in economic decline and needs to 
use its miltary advantage to try and reverse that decline.  I 
am heavily influenced in this instance by the late Mark 
Jones' reference to Hitler's Germany which employed its 
military advantage in 1936-1941 to almost win through.  That 
as I understand is what the US is attempting to do right now.

So back to my original post.  It is my analysis that has led 
me to emphasise that the US has to go forward into Lebanon 
and Syria and then Iran.

What though of the peace movement?  You are absolutley spot 
on when you talk of increasing opportunities.  The dialectic 
will work.  Bush is calling into being the mightiest of peace 
movements.  But at this particular moment we are as it were 
in the eye of the storm.  Things appear almost calm and the 
ruling class is enjoying a little breathing space.  They are 
claiming a victory for democracy in Iraq and the Lebanon and 

They have launched a propaganda offensive to make this point 
and to boost themselves in that situation.

My post is an attempt to contribute to an understanding of 
and the tools to deflate the current triumphalism of the 

But here of course though I deny crystal ball gazing, I may 
be fighting against the hard lession that philosophy always 
comes too late to paint its grey on grey. And indeed it may 
well be hubris on my part to try and fight against the great 
truth that the Owl of Minerva only spreads its wings only 
with the falling od the dusk.

warm regards

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