[Marxism] Fwd: Still fighting the last war: Syria and the Western peace movement | Middle East Eye
thomasfbarton at earthlink.net
Mon Oct 31 18:03:42 MDT 2016
“One day while I was in a bunker in Vietnam, a sniper round went over my head. The person who fired that weapon was not a terrorist, a rebel, an extremist, or a so-called insurgent. The Vietnamese individual who tried to kill me was a citizen of Vietnam, who did not want me in his country. This truth escapes millions.”
U.S. Army Medic
>From: Louis Proyect via Marxism <marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu>
>Sent: Oct 30, 2016 9:41 PM
>To: Thomas F Barton <thomasfbarton at earthlink.net>
>Subject: [Marxism] Fwd: Still fighting the last war: Syria and the Western peace movement | Middle East Eye
>Whether it is Syria or Yemen, it is the duty of democrats and
>revolutionaries to put themselves in the shoes of the people under the
>bombs and to ask 'what would I do?'
>Another idea embedded from growing up in the 1980s with the echoes of
>Vietnam and the wars fought by America against the tiny, poor nations of
>Central America, was that every people has the right to fight for
>dignity and independence on their own terms. We might not always agree
>with the form that fight takes, the alliances made by those fighting it,
>but it is a fight that every people has the inalienable right to wage
>against oppressors both domestic and foreign.
>Like most Western secularists, I do not support sectarianism or
>chauvinism in any form. But the West cannot forever stop peoples of the
>Middle East from fighting for their freedom. And so whether it is Syria
>or Yemen, it is the duty of democrats and revolutionaries to try to put
>themselves in the shoes of the people under the bombs and bullets and to
>ask "what would I do?" and "might I just pick up a gun to defend myself?"
>Westerners might best first ask the people involved what they would have
>us do, rather than fall back on ideological cliches that see everything
>as a Western plot - and at the same time denying agency to those
>directly affected and engaged in the struggle. We might not like the
>answer, but we might just learn something.
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