[Marxism] UFPJ, ANSWER, IAC round-table on perspectives for the antiwar movement (audio)

Steffie Brooks steffie.brooks at gmail.com
Thu Jan 5 19:30:26 MST 2006

To listen you can stream or download the bottom half of the 7 am hour,
Thurs., 1/5


Mitch Jeserich, guest hosting for Deepa Fernandes on WBAI's morning
show, moderated a short but illuminating discussion with Leslie Cagan,
Brian Becker, and Sara Flounders on immediate perspectives for the
antiwar movement. Kudos to Mitch Jeserich, DC bureau chief for FSRN
(Free Speech Radio News).  It is great to see the Pacifica radio
network promoting dialogic inquiry into issues on the Left, a part of
its historic mission that has gotten short shrift for quite a long

A couple comments:

First, none of the three speakers picked up on Mitch's gentle
question: are we at a tipping point for withdrawal from Iraq. Nobody
called for immediate withdrawal as a winnable immediate demand,

Leslie Cagan said it's "not around the corner." And added that the
corporate occupation of Iraq and the building of bases there should be
part of the antiwar movement's concerns. She seemed adrift to me and
had no call to action or national campaign to put forward.

Sara Flounders: You must see Iraq in context, threats against Syria
and Iran and a revolutionary wave in Latin America. (Mitch asks: are
we at a tipping point?) Important to take advantage of the tipping
point but also to keep in mind that the enemy is imperialism that
seeks to redesign the entire midEast region. Plus she announced
locally coordinated March 18th Troops Out Now Coalition actions.

Mitch to Brian Becker: is this the year the antiwar movement makes an
end to the war?

Brian Becker points to the antiwar movement a hundred years ago
(against the Spanish-American war) that was explicitly antiimperialist
and opposed all theatres of the war against  Cuba, Puerto Rico, and
the Philippines.

(paraphrasing): we're not exactly at a tipping point because the
military machine in place in the U.S. will crush every country in the
world that opposes U.S. supremacy. we need to bring about a new mass
radicalization like in the 60s.

The whole discussion is worth listening to.

A few of my own thoughts:

We ARE at a tipping point on this particular military invasion and the
antiwar movement should be pushing HARD for immediate withdrawal. I
think it's possible and would be the greatest aid U.S. residents could
give the rest of the world. I don't understand why nobody seemed to
think that was in the cards.

On a separate if related issue: whether you can or should build an
antiwar movement with an explicitly antiimperialist message. I think
you can and maybe we should. I have come around to the idea that the
most effective political basis for building an antiwar movement right
now is explaining and opposing  imperialist foreign policy and
locating each current aggression within that framework. But you also
have to seize this moment in the Iraq war to push as hard as possible
against it.

My own antiwar organizing experience in NYC is that nobody but nobody
thinks Iraq is an isolated adventure or mistake. I think it was Brian
Becker who referenced something that I've been thinking about  for a
while -- that 100 years ago Mark Twain (and the generation that
opposed the Spanish-American War) didn't differentiate between the
Philippines and the Congo and Cuba and enslaved  Africans in the U.S.,
that he named the enemy as imperialism (or colonialism, not sure which
termTwain used). Antiwar movement organizers already by and large are
and can continue to be anti-imperialist without cutting ourselves off
from the "masses" of all colors, including white. Mark Twain (and Tom
Paine and other radical democrats) articulate in ringing tones that
antiimperialism is an American tradition to be proud of, not to
bury.You can work with all kinds of people who only oppose a single
war without giving up your orientation. And sectarianism towards
people who "only" oppose one war isn't a natural consequence of naming
imperialism as the problem. I don't think.

But I'm left with one big question: why doesn't any one of the three
antiwar leaders think immediate withdrawal of the troops can be
accomplished? What do folks here think?


To listen you can stream or download the bottom half of the 7 am hour,
Thurs., 1/5


The Anti-War Movement Heads into 2006

GUEST: Leslie Cagan, United for Peace and Justice
GUEST: Brian Becker, the Answer Coalition
GUEST: Sam Husseini, Independent Analyst & writer of the blog Husseini.org
GUEST: Sara Flounders, Co-Director of International Action Center

Third Anniversary of the "Shock and Awe" Invasion of Iraq
March 18-20, 2006
Saturday, March 18 - Sunday, March 19
Locally-Coordinated Antiwar Protests

Monday, March 20
Youth & Student Day of Resistance to Imperialism
For more information, CLICK HERE
Download as MP3 || Listen Now!

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