Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

October 4, 2004

War is Peace

Filed under: Uncategorized — louisproyect @ 9:30 am

posted to www.marxmail.org on October 4, 2004

If you had told me 3 years or so ago that broad layers of the US left would be backing a pro-war candidate in the 2004 elections, I never would have believed it.

An important element of this is the susceptibility of many liberals and some radicals to describe the Iraqi resistance as Islamo-fascists, etc. Some of the people heaping such abuse were veterans of the Vietnam era radicalization, who apparently forgot how the Vietnamese revolutionaries were described at the time. They were linked to Joseph Stalin and at least in the pages of Dissent Magazine an antiwar demonstration was interpreted as endorsement of the Gulags.

While somebody like Christopher Hitchens exhibits this tendency in its full hothouse flowering, you find others along the liberal-left spectrum moving inexorably in the same direction. In today’s edition of marccooper.com, we find the one-time aide to Salvador Allende enthusing over an article by one Ahmed S. Hashim in the leftish Boston Review that “paints a vivid and rather chilling picture of the armed opposition to the U.S. occupation.” This has been part of a recent propaganda spasm by people like Frank Smyth, Doug Ireland and Cooper to smear principled antiwar efforts as tantamount to raising money for the Ku Klux Klan or something.

The Boston Review, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the war research entity known as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, represents itself on its website as practically the second coming of Norman Thomas:

“Boston Review’s political project is especially fundamental to its editorial identity. And that project is defined by a set of convictions and a practical premise. Briefly summarized, the convictions are egalitarian, radically democratic, and culturally pluralist: We hope for a world with greater socio-economic equality, in which life chances do not reflect the morally irrelevant differences among us; a world with more participation by citizens in running their common affairs, in which the exercise of political power is shaped by our common reason and not by private wealth; a world in which equal citizens acknowledge the diversity of decent ways to live, and do not seek to confine human existence to a single, authoritative pattern.”

So exactly who is this Ahmed S. Hashim that will raise the awareness of the Boston Review readership about the situation in Iraq? The magazine informs us rather shamelessly that he is “a professor of strategic studies at the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island.” I must say that in this day and age it does not really surprise me that a “radically democratic” publication would have an affinity for such a professor.

On April 21, 2004, Dr. Ahmed S. Hashim testified before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee April 21, 2004 where he advised this august body that:

we need to restore stability and security in the short-term. By the short-term I mean between the next three months to a year. I want to focus on this, rather than the long-term which we cannot afford to think about at the present until the situation stabilizes. We could do the following:

–Increase the number of troop levels: This is a highly controversial issue. We simply do not know where the extra U.S. troops will come from or ultimately how much will be available. It does not look likely that we will take them out of Afghanistan. It is more than likely that we will be activating reserve and National Guard units. Hypothetically, we will need tens of thousands to deal with the insurgency with any degree of success.

–Seal and police Iraq’s porous borders: Iraq’s borders are wide open; the new Iraqi border guards face considerable challenges: they are ill-trained, poorly-equipped, and few in number. Iraqis have complained bitterly about their unpoliced borders. The influx of foreign terrorists and insurgents has not been great in terms of quantity; however, what matters is the quality of the infiltrators. They have had a combat multiplier effect with respect to the insurgency. Last but not least, control over the country’s borders will affect the burgeoning drug trade into Iraq which is being undertaken by organized criminal groups.

http://foreign.senate.gov/testimony/2004/HashimTestimony040421.pdf

1 Comment »

  1. It was October of 1945, or perhaps November. I was on my way from Wiesbaden to Bremerhaven. One evening along the way I stopped in at this pub in the town of Hoffnungstal a ways east of Cologne. I was alone and the pub was full of English and Canadian soldiers. I ordered a beer from a woman about 90 years old who was working as a bartender. As I was alone I just stood there along the counter and drank alone. I noticed that there were scales and stamps and other items behind the counter and figured that the pub had also been functioning as the local post office and probably still was. It was a noisy place but as I was alone I started paying attention to the lone German voice it the pub. It was comming from the 90 year old woman who was talking to herself. No one was paying any attention to her. It is doubtful that anyone other than me in the whole joint could have understood her if they wanted to.
    From the comments that she was making it was clear that she was an unrepentant nazi. Did any of the soldiers in this place know that I wondered. Well even if they did who would want to get in to an argument with a 90 year old woman.
    I grabed a stool and set it behind the bar and sat down. The old woman looked at me like I had lost my mind. She did not say anything though.
    As she was wipping the counter and with in reach I pulled her to me and sat her down on my lap. Today that would probably be considered a crime. I started asking her questions about her life and about the life of her husband who naturally was no longer among the living.
    After listening to her life story I decided that it was time to go. My final words to her were. You Germans think that you are right because you are Germans. We Americans think that we are right becasue we are democrates.

    Comment by Curt Kastens — April 22, 2016 @ 9:56 am


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