[R-G] On the centrality of Iraq and nonexclusion
ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Wed Jun 15 10:53:57 MDT 2005
On the Marxism list, GI resister Carl Webb wrote:
Why would anyone from the Palestine Right to Return
Coalition( Al-Awda ) come to any event that wouldn't allow them to say
slogans in support of their people?
Carl is passing along, quite innocently, I am sure, propaganda that is
being used to block the fight for a united demonstration on September 24
-- the LIE (it is hard to call it anything else) that the UFPJ protest
BANS slogans, signs, chants or even speakers (although a fight might be
needed to assure the latter)who advocate the right of return. Tens of
thousands could carry such signs as happened on April 20, 2002, on
February 15. Contingents not only from Al-Awdah, but from Hezbollah,
Hamas, Fatah would be welcomed.
For what its worth UFPJ -- which does have a record of trying to stay
away from Palestinian concerns and whose leadership is probably very
happy and relieved to see the supporters of Palestine off doing "their
own thing" on September 24 -- has directly offered the contingents and
leaders of the ANSWER demonstration to march to their protest and join
the closing rally.
Neither protest leadership has indicated the slightest desire to
establish a police state regime directed against Palestine signs,
banners, and slogans or, for that manner, toward any others.
I hope the ANSWER forces, or any contingents that see the value of
reaching out to others and making a united show of antiwar force on
September 24, will sieze the opening represented by UFPJ's invitation to
march to their rally.
The stance of ANSWER makes Palestine the bottom line of their
demonstration. As a distinct action, the ANSWER Sept. 24 action exists
only to bring forward the Palestine issue -- the make-or-break issue.
This will fundamentally be, in my opinion, a protest against the
occupation of Palestine that takes up opposition to the war against Iraq
in that context.
As such, it deserves support, particularly if the leaders decide to
emphasize their related opposition to the US occupation of Iraq by
bringing their banners, chants, and antiwar solidarity to the UFPJ
I have commented in previous posts on the strong pressures to move off
the strategic axis of Iraq and place our focus elsewhere today. Forcing
an end to the occupation of Iraq is the key to opening up tremendous
new opportunities for the Palestinian movement and beginning to reverse
the Israeli offensive that has placed the movement on the defensive and,
to some extent, in retreat. On the far left, these take a "left" form.
For instance, representatives of TONC have proclaimed that the US has
been defeated in Iraq and that the domestic offensive of US imperialism
is now the key to the situation. I for one tend to consider
declarations of definitive US defeat as only a little better-founded
than the declarations that the resistance is in its last throes.
Yogi Berra made one of the great additions to the science of class
struggle when he declared, "It ain't over till its over." We will all
know in our bones when we have really won, and until then we haven't
Similarly, the illusion that to all intents and purposes the US has
already been defeated in Iraq and the opposition to the occupation is
already victorious may be involved in the decision of ANSWER, TONC, and
others to attempt to shift the axis of struggle to Palestine. Fred
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