EMAIL PAGE ELEVEN
COLUMN SIXTY-SIX, DECEMBER 1, 2001
(Copyright © 2001 Al Aronowitz)
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Against Terrorism, Against War
Date: Mon, 22 Oct 2001 10:49:29 -0400
am highly sympathetic to this commentary by Katha Pollitt, especially for its
open appreciation of the ambiguities emerging from post-Sept 11 politics; for
its forthright effort to distinguish this new and complex situation from
Vietnam; for confronting directly the challenge of
"... a war can be "just" in the sense that it is a
response to aggression...and also be the wrong way to solve a problem."
are indeed "mad dogs" ready to brand discussion of these complexities
as "5th columnists," in a kind of right-wing version of a 60's throwback.
But at the same time there are many Americans, I think most, who are
fully open to exploring these challenges. I observe signs of this openness
pervasive among co-workers, among neighbors, in well-attended public gatherings
sponsored to bring more information about Islam, even in the tone of discussion
within the Administration, in many remarks of Bush himself, as well as the
commentaries of leading voices in Europe and Asia acting as full or part-time
partners in the anti-terrorist coalition. Even
associates I had frankly discounted as blockheads, hooked on daily fixes of
right-wing talk shows, are compelled to acknowledge the necessity of some
measure of internationalism in defeating the terrorist threat.
circulated in support of International Criminal Court ratification are gaining
easy support and strong interest. Even those fully capable of knee-jerk
"nuke 'em" responses in Afghanistan show awareness that the collapse
of fragile Pakistani, not to mention Russian, support will doom the whole
effort. Folks who fully bought into the rationale for the Gulf war now observe
that military actions not accompanied by political solutions solve nothing.
also appreciate Ms. Pollitt's observation, "If not war, what?
Realistically, some of the [Left] alternatives that have been proposed would
also involve military action...." If we are ever going to arrive at an
international situation where an International Criminal Court can bring both bin
Laden and Ariel Sharon to justice, military force supplied and funded
substantially by the United States, Europe, Russia and China will be required.
US soldiers, among others, will sacrifice their lives in this effort, and the
people of the United States, including progressives, will have to be won to bear
are the dangers of this historical moment. But great are the opportunities. It
is a time, perhaps, in modern parlance, to embrace complexity; or, in
Lenin's---shun eclecticism, and immerse oneself in the all-sided connections of
this defining historical moment. ##
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