[Marxism] Against the war, embracing UFPJ (was: Cagan's support to Maliki

Lou Paulsen loupaulsen at sbcglobal.net
Tue Aug 15 15:57:42 MDT 2006

Fred writes:
I completely disagree with the view he attributes to Fred, and then
agrees with, that "the antiwar movement must invite participation by all
those willing to support the call for an immediate end to occupation."

That, of course, is the ANSWER/IAC formula.  I believe the antiwar
movement must reach out to everyone who is willing to engage in united,
nonexclusive action against the war. The movement should be based not on
a homogeneous single slogan, but on spreading and broadening action in
the streets and educational activity against the war. [...]

I disagree.  I think it is time to recognize embrace and reach out to
UFPJ as an integral and necessary PART  of any really broad and
effective antiwar movement in this country.
Fred Feldman

- - - - -
OK, Fred, well, I have two questions (or blocks of questions) about this:
(1) First off, as to "united, nonexclusive action against the war", you will get no quarrel with me about the united and nonexclusive action part, by going from Louis's formula about "an immediate end to the occupation" to your own much more vaguer phrase "against the war", you are letting a lot of people into the anti-war movement who are really for the war.  And I'm not talking about being pure and nit-picky and dogmatically correct in terminology and saying that if you aren't for a socialist Middle East you are objectively for imperialist war or some such sectarian nonsense, and I'm not worried about unsophisticated people who haven't thought the issue through, or even the UFPJ and its member organizations.  I'm talking about the Democratic Party leadership.  I am talking about Senator X who will make what sounds to the unwary like an anti-war speech, who goes on about how Bush misled us and Iraq is a big mess and what a shame it is that the troops don't have body armor
 and how we have to set a timetable and all that, but then when it comes down to it, Senator X is really for "making Iraq secure" and "defeating the terrorists" and "winning the war quickly and getting out".  
I am not in favor of making people swear loyalty oaths before they come to a demonstration, but I would like to see the anti-war movement be enough against the war that you can see some air space between it and imperialist politicians who are for continued war.  Particularly since we are coming up to the elections and the Democratic politicians who all-but-unanimously endorsed war crimes in Lebanon are all going to be alert to anything they can use as a campaign rally.  And I think it's bad if anti-war rallies cease to be anti-war rallies and become vote-for-Democrats rallies.  Fred, do you think I'm wrong in this?  If you don't think I'm wrong, then roughly what would the "edges" of the movement you would like to see look like? What is the minimum degree of "against-the-war-ness" which we should expect before we engage in joint actions?
(2) Second, I don't disagree that the UFPJ SHOULD be a part of a broad and effective antiwar movement in this country, but I don't like the word "necessary" because it potentially allows UFPJ to say, "Well, now you have to do exactly as we say, because if you don't, then we won't participate, and then you won't have an antiwar movement, because, after all, we are necessary."  I don't think ANY element is SO necessary that we can't do without it at all no matter what.  However, I believe that the participation of the sector of the movement that is represented by UFPJ is important.  Although I tend to think that ultimately it is up to the UFPJ itself whether they participate or not.  But, Fred, you think that the IAC is not doing enough to reach out to UFPJ and embrace it.  How do you conceive of this insufficiency exactly?  What is the IAC doing now that is standing in the way of "united and nonexclusive action", and how should it "reach out", and do you really think the
 UFPJ is open to being "embraced" by the IAC at the present time?
Lou Paulsen

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