[Marxism] Not "who is winning," but who is gaining

Fred Feldman ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Sat Jul 29 07:13:33 MDT 2006

One of the best quotes I have seen on the current Israeli war in
Lebanon, showing the inspiration this is providing to the fighters for
the oppressed in the more-than-six-decades civil war between oppressor
and oppressed peoples in Palestine -- and no doubt to fighters against
oppression and injustice everywhere.
>From Friday's www.counterpunch.org
"The resistance isn't playing the role of victim," Azmi Bishara, a
Palestinian Arab Member of the Israeli Knesset wrote in Al Ahram Weekly.
"It didn't ask for international sympathy with the victims but for
solidarity among freedom-seeking peoples." 
And shouldn't we, as freedom-seeking peoples, respond in the same
My instincts are not always sound politically, I'm afraid, but I was
apparently in touch with something very real when I basically jumped for
joy when Hezbollah struck its blow in support of Palestine and Lebanese
sovereignty against Israel and imperialism.  
Who is winning?  That is a premature question.  The Arab and Muslim
peoples, including the Palestinians, tend to feel victory any time they
show that they cannot be smashed.  But real victory is possible, so I
tend to agree with Dave Walters who commented on the Marxism List that
triumphalist pronouncements are not terribly useful on our part.
Although, I think we should also remember that the chances that the
Palestinian and Lebanese peoples will achieve liberation without paying
a high price -- as they already have -- are very slim.  So the price
alone is not the measure of victory or defeat.
But who is gaining?  That, I think, is becoming more clear.  And I think
Lebanon, the Palestinians, all all the oppressed and exploited by
imperialism are making some headway.
The scariest line in 1984, one of my favorite novels, comes when
O'Brien, the Thought Police official tells his prisoner Winston Smith:
"Do you want a picture of the future, Winston?  Imagine a boot stamping
on a human face -- FOREVER."
Backed by Washington, Israel has been on a drive to demonstrate this to
the Palestinian people for a long time now.  The momentum of that drive
has now been broken.
What will happen next, whenever this episode reaches its stopping
point,which is probably approaching as Washington and Israel realize
they need international help to keep them from sliding into another
eternal and inconclusive war, is unpredictable.  But it will be more
complex than Orwell's vision of a beaten humanity, that is for sure.
Fred Feldman

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