[Marxism] Spain, "The Militant" and "anti-American demagogy"

Nicholas Siemensma nsiemensma at yahoo.com.au
Sun Apr 4 03:32:00 MDT 2004

Bob Gould wrote:
> Boyle is left, like the US SWP, with having to use abusive language
> dismiss the Laborite's call for withdrawal of troops because they're 
> alleged to have the wrong motivation.

Concluding this from what Peter wrote seems a bit malicious. You seem
to forget that we can not only read what you write, but also the
crossposted piece, giving us a vantage point from which we can make a
judicious judgement. Peter stated that "Latham's stand is a great
opening for the anti-war movement here, and as doers and no just
gasbaggers, Socialist Alliance comrades and other anti-war activists
are moving fast to act on this opening", before adding the necessary
postscript: "None of this convinces me to join the conga line of
suckholes behind the ALP leadership. Why? Because he is still a
right-wing neo-liberal ALP hack who runs a totally undemocratic,
corrupt and increasingly discredited neo-liberal capitalist party with
a bureaucratic hold on the trade union movement. Even his bring the
troops home call today is based on a conservative, isolationist and
nationalist rationale."

How in God's name does this "dismiss the Laborites' call for troop
withdrawal"? Doesn't it rather advocate exploiting fissures within the
ruling class for our own benefit as part of a long-term
anti-imperialist and revolutionary strategy, while recognising the
venal character of Labor and its leadership, a completely sensible
programme except insofar as it contradicts your assessment of the ALP?
Unless I'm reading Peter wrong, this seems a serious case of bad faith
on your part.  

As for competitive/cooperative relationships within imperialism,
listmembers might read the editorial in this weekend's Australian,
Rupert Murdoch's national broadsheet:

"As in 1954 the debates of the last two weeks go to the heart of
Australian security and the need to anchor our foreign policy to the
ideals and allies that were our salvation in World War II and that can
continue to help us now. Mr Latham's foreign policy failings, and over
time the inability of many people in his party, to understand the
nature of the ideological struggle that Australia is in, will hurt
Labor now, just as it did 50 years ago. The foreign policy issues that
matter most are the threat to Australia from a hostile ideology and the
reasons why we must maintain our alliance with the United States as the
bedrock of our foreign policy. Mr Latham must define where Labor stands
on both.
"There are no apologists for Islamic terror in the Labor Party today
but, just as it was in the 1950s, it is essential that Labor do nothing
that in any way shape or form gives, however unintentionally, any
comfort to our great enemy. And that inevitably means we must stand
firm in our alliance with the US. Just as the decision of the new
Spanish Government to take its forces out of Iraq will encourage Osama
bin Laden's al-Qa'ida network and its allies, so anything that
demonstrates Australia does not stand shoulder to should with the US
will weaken the alliance against terror. Mr Latham's decision to bring
the troops home if he can is a bewildering rebuff to the Americans,
which flies in the face of Labor's traditional commitment to the
"And it is in the national interest to advance the cause of democracy
in Iraq as the US did in Europe and Japan after World War II. There was
no option but to stand firm with our American ally in the Cold War.
There is none now."


This is significant, IMO, in the light of my musings on this list about
the future of Australian sub-imperialist ambitions, the trajectory of
the Australian state and rifts amongst capital fractions - nobody has
taken the bait though.


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