[R-G] On the United Nations resolution: How to approach this war?
lani at dojo.tao.ca
lani at dojo.tao.ca
Sat Nov 9 00:16:25 MST 2002
Just a couple points on your analysis:
1. What exactly are you saying that has changed with the UN? When
has it ever been anything but a reflection of the global balance of
power, i.e., a tool for imperialism? It is not an autonomous power,
never has been, never will. If anything, it has historically served
to formally integrate marginalized states into a permanently
subordinate position. The IMF and WTO are part of the UN, 2
institutions many antiglobalizers would like to see tossed into the
dustbin of history.
2. A major contradiction in the anti-globalization movement revolves
around the issue of sovereignty. Some elements believe state
sovereignty should be done away with so that international
environmental, labour and human rights standards can be enforced.
Other elements fear the loss of sovereignty as international
organizations and the states that dominate them increasingly make
the rules for the world, which inevitably favour the rich
(corporations, ruling class, whatever).
Both of these views are ultimately complementary to taking out Iraq.
The former, because Saddam is an asshole and violates the human
rights of Iraqis, not to mention Kurds. The latter view, because a)
war represents a reaffirmation of sovereign state power, and b) even
the facade of democracy in a post Saddam Iraq could potentially
increase the political power of Iraqi citizens via access to the state.
The strongest argument against a US attack on Iraq, outside marxist
and pacifist circles, is the issue of sovereignty. There really is
not a lot of overlap between the antiglobalization movement proper,
and an antiwar movement that could effectively impede the oncoming
war. That is not to say that there are not many people that
participate in both movements in the broader cause of social
justice, nor that many do not have a more developed analysis than
described above, just that the 2 movements are not governed by the
same philosophy. The antiwar movement should not be confused with
the antiglobalization movement, even though there is considerable
overlap of participants. The antiglobalization movement is
incoherent at best, whereas the antiwar movement is more focussed.
To try and somehow blend the two would be to burden an effective
mass movement with the contradictions and confusion of the
antiglobalization movement. Any movement likages that need to be
made are local movements, where people are fighting directly for
their own interests and in their own communities. This is what holds
the potential for deepening an analysis and collectively developing
strategies for the movement, because such a linkage would broaden
the perspective of the participants and connect marginalized people
here with those in the South (in contrast to just defending poor
Iraqis or taking activist vacations to trade summits).
Aside from that, I'm down with your call to arms against the machine
- give treason a chance.
Macdonald Stainsby <mstainsby at tao.ca> said:
> Nov 8, 2002
> On the United Nations resolution: How to approach this war?
> Macdonald Stainsby
> How often have you been at a demonstration or an event and
> being offered all manners of pamphlets? What is often the saddest
thing is the
> people who put out their own, without any following, not even
enough to start a
> little sect. Often, sadly, these people are too sectarian-minded
to submit to
> the discipline of one of the little sects, and too unimpressive as
> create one of their own to dominate. So, they play the game, in
> and on the side of the mass movement, writing stern denunciations
of all those
> who are actually doing anything, like try to organise a
mass-movement. I met one
> of these characters, who shall remain nameless, at a function for
> (very impressive) Grassroots Women conference opposed to
imperialist war. He was
> American, visiting Vancouver and he had written several different
> adorned with his own little catchy name. Each pamphlet was given
an entire page
> of slogans he personally wanted to get people carrying to rallies.
When I said
> "hello", all of the pamphlets, one by one, were put into my hand.
I kept them.
> One was very illustrative. Just because something comes sandwiched
> attacks on Workers World for petty bourgeois opportunism and the
p.o. box to
> correspond with him directly, doesn't mean it doesn't make a lot
of sense. And
> "Infuse the anti-globalisation movement with anti-war content!"
makes a lot of
> sense to me. Simply put, it is the Achilles Heel of the movement
now that so
> many of the new activists see the war as a separate issue. Almost
to a human
> being, the war is opposed. But not as part of the same agenda, but
> something that corporate rule is doing that is also bad.
> The surrender of the United Nations marks the final eclipsing of
this into what
> is now, more clearly than ever before, the most dangerous
dictatorship in human
> history. The American Empire single handedly, in a none-too-veiled
> has managed to garner the full submission of nearly every
> on the globe --to the absolute authority of the United States
> American state has shredded all need for either international law
> rights, so long as the enemy can be conjured as beneath human
> incarnate. Once that is accomplished, mass murder begins. The hard
part to grasp
> for this movement is that the same basic aims are being led out
here, in both
> instances. That the inherent imperialist logic of removing the
state from the
> economy leads to the increased use of its power in terms of
> The ruling class need to get out of the way of the economy is the
> logic that compels states to murder mass numbers of people. To put
> perhaps it could be said that less is more.
> The apparent logic of the United Nations member states is most
likely, for some:
> to save the United Nations as a body that has authority, use that
> do whatever the US wants. In other words, destroy its independence
to save it.
> Meanwhile, it needs to be noted that those people who have been
> sometime to have the anti-globalisation movement move towards
being led by the
> trade union bureaucrats who have opposed making a systemic
analysis. This has,
> in large part, happened here in Vancouver and apparently in lesser
> across the country. These forces are more respectable, and yet
many of them have
> been most alarmed not at the prospect of murdering more Iraqis,
not at the
> prospect of doing so from a virtual standstill and for _NO_
> by any law. Now that the United Nations has completely crumbled
and the world
> has, in fact, become far more dangerous (as there isn't even a
minor amount of
> independence in even rhetoric from the UN members), will many of
the UN people
> start to curtail their attempts to stop the war?
> Let us hope not. However, if one is to judge by things like the
> online polls and badly circulated petitions, let alone sentiments
> halls of academe, this will actually pacify some of the would-be
> must hope and agitate against any such nonsense. There is going to
be a war. It
> was much better for the world when the UN wasn't party to this
> conquering quest. Then, at least, the naked imperial ambitions of
> couldn't be lost to the population.
> Well, we see that sort of leadership emerging in the face of the
> We have much to hope for, in many ways. The existence of an
> before a war is indeed as unprecedented as has been noted by many.
> be celebrated. However, in the anti-war movement, has there been a
> what is needed to stop the war, to impede their ability to
manoeuvre over there
> through disruption here? Well, if the argument is that people
aren't at that
> stage, then we must damn well get them there. There is simply no
other body to
> appeal to. Today, we witnessed the utter death of the UN. Russia,
> China voted for a resolution that will bring war. Of this, there
is no doubt,
> the new inspectors' version of the Rambouillet agreement that
> declaration of war as a bargaining point.
> Witness from the text:
> - UNMOVIC and the IAEA shall have unrestricted rights of entry
into and out of
> Iraq, the right to free, unrestricted, and immediate movement to
> inspection sites, and the right to inspect any sites and
> immediate, unimpeded, unconditional, and unrestricted access to
> Sites equal to that at other sites, notwithstanding the provisions
> 1154 (1998);
> Even these points alone, (http://www.un.int/usa/sres-iraq.htm)
never mind the
> rest of the resolution are impossible to respond to. Iraq is
> simply waiting for this war, and to accept anything at this point
> moving the goalposts. The government and the people know it is
coming, there is
> but one hope on the horizon, however small, and that must be us.
> Two things have been lost to the sectors of the population who
> themselves a part of the anti-globalisation movement in North
> initiative and two: creativity. In order that people might be able
to not get
> lost, in order to actually slow down the machines of war like our
> impeded the machinery of assaults on the population through trade
> civil disobedience, along the lines described most notably by
> We can and must start amassing our forces to block military
> centres, to find other means of using our bodies to disrupt the
> of the military. We must be ready to be called treasonous, or
> we will be, whatever we think of the flag.
> Our understanding of the relations between the current phase of
the WarT being
> pursued by Bush needs to deepen.
> And finally, we do have a role for the essentially
social-democratic TUB's and
> NGO's. We have to co-ordinate a movement that has, as it's
guideline, the demand
> for a referendum on these matters. The reason that the American
> recently suggested it would be a good thing if Gerhard Shroeder
> was simply _the global ruling class does not allow popular
discussion of the
> war_. Having won his recent election on a plank of no war will be
the end of
> Shroeders career, ultimately.
> My belief is that the global dictatorship cannot allow these
things to ever go
> to referendum. It is something that many social democrats do
believe, so let
> them make this call and (however inadvertently) expose the
> unresponsive nature of imperialist-globalisation society. That, it
seems to me,
> should be the call of the pre-war movement. When the war hits, all
bets are off.
> We must shut them down. We don't want to stop trade meetings
anymore, we want to
> shut down their bloody machinery.
> The entire world has only one place to turn. It's here, North
America. What are
> we going to do with all that responsibility? Let us, as Ché Guevara so
> eloquently put it, "be realistic, demand the impossible". Or, in
the words of a
> single isolated member of the Judean People's Front put it: Infuse the
> anti-globalisation movement with anti-war content. Or, as I might
say, let's jam
> up the works and make the running of this system impossible. Now.
> Macdonald Stainsby
> In the contradiction lies the hope.
> --Bertholt Brecht
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