OPEN LETTER TO THE SOFT LEFT OF THE ANTIWAR MOVEMENTS
Ever since the bad politics and opportunism that informed much of the VFP in the unofficial but de facto encouragement and urging a vote for Kerry in 2004, we witness it again in the choice of some of the speakers for the "Public Speakout" at the Annual Convention of the Veterans for Peace.
In 2004 we saw Dennis Kucinich sell his political soul to Kerry at the Democratic National Platform Committee. Even when Kucinich introduced to Congress 35 articles for impeachment which deserves support, he paid tribute to the very leaders of his Party like Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid leaders that have said and kept Impeachment "off the table". A Kucinich who said in the 2008 Presidential debates that he wouldn't hesitate to call our youth to the military "if the cause was just." Apparently he thinks that imperialism is capable of a just and liberatory war. An oxymoron or what Marx would call an antagonistic contradiction.
Reflecting the soft-Left ideology is the middle East analyst, Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies as well as the Transnational Institute in Amsterdam. These credentials have provided her with the opportunity to be a Presentor and Panel participant at Forums such as the Socialist Scholars Conferences and Left Forum. These events are sponsored by the Social Democratic academics at CUNY Graduate School.
Bennis reflects and reinforces views similar to the leadership of United for Peace and Justice and the long moribund organization, the Communist Party of the United States that formed a group called Marxists for Kerry. She also has space in the pages of ZNet magazine.
Bennis is part of what a Canadian comrade calls the soft-Left. The soft-Left have at least one thing in common; They use code words to peddle anti-communism in a left-liberal disguise. Words such as Democratization, pluralism and on the cutting edge Stalinism. Like support for the democratic "Opposition" waiving orange flags in the Ukraine against the bad guys in the Kremlin. So why did Bush like the orange flags, well they never asked the question who benefits.
They all tail the Democratic Party similar to the Russian Social Democrats and Mensheviks tailing the Duma and fearful of the Bolsheviks. Phyllis now tells us that the U.S. peace movement doesn't embrace the Iraqi Resistance. Phyllis has "never supported Saddam Hussein"who was resisting the U.S. during the years of sanctions which
contaminated the water supply and in which 200,000 Iraqi children died or
were made very ill. This reductionism is similar to saying you're anti-semitic (or self hating Jew) if you say that Israel is guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
As Gabriele Zamparini Editor of Cat's Blog notes that the "post-modern anti-war movement got to the point to decide which resistance movement we like and those we don't like so much." And you, the resistance movements around the world that are resisting the rapacious Empire, "you must be approved to have our respect, sympathy and intellectual support for the right of Indigenous people to exist."
Another speaker caught my eye. None other than that good Colonel Janis Karpinski former head of Abu-Ghraib fame as well as 15 "detention facilities" in central and southern Iraq and called the 800th Military Police Brigade. In the aftermath of the torture and prisoner abuse scandal Karpinski admitted she broke the Geneva Convention, but she said "the blame goes all the way to the top." In other words she, like the good German was obeying orders. After being demoted from Brigadier General to Colonel she named some of the more infamous names like Donald Rumsfeld and Alberto Gonzalez.
This prompted our most progressive media outlet, Amy Goodman's Democracy Now to invite her as a guest. There was no recognition that she voluntarily approved these crimes for the imperialist empire. Yet she is slated to be a featured speaker and expert on justice and peace, while the soft-Left seeks the comfort of the Center and urges folks to stay in the church of anybody but a Republican. Thus feeding that politically poisonous illusion that the Democrats can be part of the People's solution rather than central to the problem. They also seek a new hybrid neither capitalist nor socialist and even have forum workshops called Market Socialism a true oxymoron or what Marx would Call an antagonistic contradiction.
Many in the peace and justice movements who say that they are progressive, radical or socialist must shed their faulty and often opportunistic analyses and practice and adopt a true anti-imperialist perspective.
June 14, 2008