by Diane V. McLoughlin, writer, peace activist, Apr. 22, 2010
main website: mcloughlinpost.com
I am writing with regard to a letter you apparently submitted to socialist papers in England and Wales, a copy of which you posted to the Yahoo Progressive Talk group (see below.)
There were many points made. I do not wish my non-addressing of all of them to be considered tacit endorsement or rejection of any of them - save one.
There is one argument you and many others make I do wish to respond to, and that is to the issue of whether or not we - Canada, the U.S., Great Britain, et al - should continue our presence in either Iraq or Afghanistan or Pakistan, etc.
Your position: That to leave allows space for radicals to claim victory; that to leave would lead to a 'big upsurge in terrorist atrocities around the world'; that we should stay to minimize risk to ourselves.
My position: When you are in a hole, stop digging. I categorically reject bloodless, positive-spin notions on foreign occupation and the subjugation of other nations.
To restate, you argue that withdrawing would permit a surge in terrorist activities around the world. That we should, 'stay there, limiting attacks to a minimum, until radicalisation (sic) of the world in a positive, socialist/liberal, direction leads us into a situation where a tiny number of fanatics are massively outnumbered and neutralised (sic).'
How is 'radicalization' done in a 'positive' way to 'reduce' fanatics to a 'tiny' number whereby they are 'massively' outnumbered - I mean, seriously, what the hell are you talking about? Because it sounds as if you are slapping a dime-store happy face sticker on f*cking slaughter, mate.
Let's make something crystal-clear: In Iraq alone we are responsible for the murder of over a million people; millions more are refugees; continuing to terrorize and oppress and murder people in foreign lands has a far greater likelihood of encouraging retaliatory actions against ourselves.
People like socialist Steve might gloat when the next terrorist strike occurs on domestic soil that we didn't neutralize enough of them over there to prevent it. On the contrary: we killed more than sufficient numbers of them to cause them to want us dead. After all, presumably the thinking goes that if they neutralize enough of us, maybe the killing of them would end.
'Do unto others as you would have others do unto you': Self-defined 'do-gooders' along with the profiteers, sociopaths, narcissists and troglodytes fail to grasp this simple, obvious rule; how this could elude them continues to reside somewhere far beyond my limited powers of comprehension.
Diane V. McLoughlin, writer, peace activist
--- In ProgressiveTalk@yahoogroups.com, Steve Wallis <revolutionarysocialiststeve@...> wrote:
> [I submitted the following yesterday, way past the deadlines to Socialist Worker and The Socialist, newspapers of the SWP and Socialist Party of England and Wales respectively, urging them to print it nevertheless to contradict the negative coverage of the LibDem surge that they were otherwise bound to include in their papers. I emailed several of the leaders of the various parties including Alex Callinicos and Peter Taaffe to ensure that their leaderships had a chance to discuss the possibility of such an extraordinary act. I also emailed a slightly extended version of the letter to the Weekly Worker, in time for their deadline. It should appear, probably edited, at http://cpgb.org.uk tomorrow; the SWP have declined to include it this week but the Socialist Party may do so; hopefully they will next week anyway...]
> Some polls are showing the Liberal Democrats above both the Tories and Labour, and this upward trend for the Lib Dems is bound to continue. The second live TV debate is on foreign affairs and a certain issue of Iraq is bound to help Nick Clegg! The Sun on 20 April has revealed that foreign secretary David Miliband said that they shouldn't have gone to war if they knew there were no weapons of mass destruction, contradicting the positions of both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. Meanwhile, shadow foreign secretary William Hague is vague! When asked the same question, he said he would answer it after the inquiry ends, conveniently after the general election!
> The Lib Dems do not favour an immediate withdrawal from Afghanistan. But they certainly don't support the Labour and Tory positions of supporting a war without end, effectively being there forever. Many on the left do mistakenly call for immediate withdrawal, which would give a massive propaganda boost to al-Qaeda and the Taliban, leading to a big upsurge in terrorist atrocities around the world. The answer is to stay there, limiting attacks to a minimum, until radicalisation of the world in a positive, socialist/liberal, direction leads us into a situation where a tiny number of fanatics are massively outnumbered and neutralised. Obamna's deadline for withdrawal is about right. This radicalisation is happening quickly at this very time, largely due to Nick Clegg's brilliant performances and the actions of many ordinary socialist, anarchist and liberal activists in Britain and around the world.
> The final live TV debate between Clegg, Cameron and Brown is on the economy. The Lib Dems are the only party to have included costings in their manifesto (of the main three, that is, the Green Party have too). Hopefully, Clegg will point out in the debate that the Tories favour big cuts in corporation tax, highlighting the point that they really intend to give big handouts to their friends in the city and their claims about reducing the deficit are an utter sham!
> The radicalisation affect things like football. The two richest clubs in the world, Manchester City and Chelsea lost on Saturday. Those bitter and twisted people who never smile like Arsene Wenger suffer too, hence Arsenal throwing away a two goal lead to Wigan in the last ten minutes to lose 3-2 and any chance of winning the title.
> The BNP and UKIP will be marginalised due to this radicalisation. Nick Griffin was utterly demolished and exposed by Nicky Campbell and ordinary listeners on Radio 5 Live on 19 April. The no platform for fascists strategy is out-of-date, but the fascist boot boys in the English Defence League (and their Scottish and Welsh counterparts) should still be confronted on the streets.
> The Liberal Democrats are often criticised by Marxists as being "middle class" or "do-gooders". It is my contention, encapsulated in my New Good Intentions Manifesto (google that to find it on the web), that people who genuinely want to help make the world a better place are better allies than those of the same class. After all, many members and supporters of far right organisations (such as the BNP, UKIP and EDL) are working class!
> It now looks very likely that the Lib Dems will win the next general election, despite the appallingly undemocratic electoral system being stacked against them. The main barrier to them getting an overall majority will be their record under the ugly right-wing prat Nicol Stephen in the coalition with Labour in the Scottish parliament, voting through measures that they didn't agree with. A minority government, such as with the SNP at present, is far better. This discrediting of the Scottish Lib Dems is reflected by them losing to Solidarity's Tommy Sheridan in the Glasgow North East by-election (and Tommy must stand a good chance of getting elected for the Scottish Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition in Glasgow South West, as must Colin Fox in Edinburgh standing for the Scottish Socialist Party against chancellor Alistair Darling). Perhaps the best outcome for socialists is a Lib Dem minority government relying on socialist and green MPs for support.
> Whatever the result of the general election, a mass revolt like in Greece is highly likely, either when cuts are attempted or when international financiers pull the plug on UK plc. It is vital that socialists have an alternative programme to the cuts (or the right will particularly blaming immigration). I particularly advocate closing tax havens and loopholes, plus nationalising all the banks, only compensating pension schemes, and running them democratically from below with most control in the hands of borrowers, savers and workers. That way, what is left of the huge amount of bailout money already spent can be used for the benefit of all!
> PS You are strongly encouraged to read the new newsletter of the Foundation for Proportional Representation-based Socialism, with main heading "Vote Socialist, Green or Liberal Democrat and prepare for Greece-style revolt" from http://PRsocialism.org.
> Steve Wallis (Manchester, England)
> Preferred email address: revolutionarysocialiststeve@...
> Super-blog: http://www.twitter.com/socialiststeve