[Marxism] Fwd: Taking out the Baathist garbage | Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist
lnp3 at panix.com
Sun Apr 24 13:22:29 MDT 2016
Back in 1979, just having dropped out of the SWP after 11 years and
resolving to put politics behind me, I found myself like an old
Dalmatian responding to the sound of the firehouse bell. Where was the
fire? It was in Central America.
Picking up the Village Voice on a weekly basis that year started out
mostly as an exercise in finding out which novelist was breaking new
ground but by 1980 I began turning first to Alexander Cockburn’s Press
Clips column for its debunking of articles by pro-Reagan NY Times
columnists like Stephen Kinzer.
I also began to rely heavily on the investigative journalism of Seymour
Hersh and others who had made their reputation reporting about Vietnam.
When he broke the story of the My Lai massacre, antiwar activists like
myself were relieved that our work became a lot easier because of the
horrors he revealed.
The role of investigative journalists in that period was inextricably
linked to the Cold War. While most of us from either a Trotskyist or New
Left background felt little identification with the Kremlin, our main
focus was on Washington and its imperialist designs on El Salvador,
Angola, and other places that fitted neatly into the USSR versus USA
scheme of things. There were some went so far as to back Soviet
intervention even when it was problematic at best. For example, both the
Spartacist League and Alexander Cockburn supported the Soviet military
Fast forwarding to 2016, we find a most curious realignment. Stephen
Kinzer, who wrote filthy propaganda about how the Sandinistas were
responsible for a toy shortage in Nicaragua, is now one of Bashar
al-Assad’s top propagandists in the USA while Seymour Hersh writes
articles accusing the Syrian rebels for carrying out a My Lai-like
massacre in East Ghouta just to provoke an American intervention.
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