VOTE AGAINST THE IRAQ WAR IN MASSACHUSETTS ON NOVEMEBER 7TH
RESOLUTIONS AND GOOD INTENTIONS ARE NOT ENOUGH- USE THE VOTE TO SUPPORT ANTI-WAR FRATERNATIZATION WITH THE TROOPS IN IRAQ
Forget elephants, donkeys and greens-BUILD A WORKERS PARTY!
1. NOTE: THE COMMENTARY BELOW WAS ORIGINALLY POSTED ON OCTOBER 12, 2006. THIS IS IN THE NATURE OF A REMINDER ON THIS ISSUE. GIVEN THE STATE OF CURRENT POLITICS THIS IS THE ONLY WAY THAT THOSE WHO ARE OPPOSED TO THE IRAQ WAR CAN MAKE THEIR VOICES HEARD. IF YOU DO NOT BELIEVE ME JUST ASK EVERY CANDIDATE- WILL YOU VOTE AGAINST THE WAR BUDGET?- YES OR NO. THE ANSWERS WILL NOT BE PRETTY
According to the Boston Globe of October 11, 2006 the voters of a number of Massachusetts communities will be able to vote on November 7th on a non-binding referendum calling for the immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq. The measure sponsored by the American Friends Service Committee (Quakers) and other anti-war organizations will be on the ballot in various communities depending on the Massachusetts House of Representatives district. The gist of the resolution is a call on your local state representative to support a resolution to call on the Congress and the President to immediately withdraw troops from Iraq. Given that all hell is breaking out in Iraq at some level this should be regarded as sub-parliamentary cretinism. I personally think that it would be easier to turn swords in plowshares than to get any effective action out of this cumbersome parliamentary maneuver. Nevertheless it is minimally supportable by militant leftists as an expression of opposition to the Iraq war. But, hear me out further.
Petitions, people’s peace treaties and referenda against war pushed by the more pacific, reformist-minded elements of anti- war movements throughout its history have been a dime a dozen every time a serious military conflict arises. Those forces that place primacy on such methods of redress fundamentally believe that those who have the power to take a nation to war are at heart “reasonable” and subject to parliamentary pressure from the masses. At last count their efforts have had zero effect on the continuation or cessation of any war, particularly the current one. Nevertheless, as a political proposition such acts do no harm and can give a minimal voice to anti-war opposition. That it is hardly enough goes without saying. Let me, however, propose another way to look at such a vote.
Any even moderately political person who has paid attention to the situation in Iraq over the last period knows that it is desperately necessary to cut and run with “all deliberate speed”out of that quagmire. That part is a no-brainer. Nevertheless, the President, the Congress, the military chieftains and, yes, the anti-war movement have failed the troops in Iraq. The shortest and only way home now for the troops is to organize AMONG THEMSELVES TO COME HOME. Our role on this side of the ocean is to act in solidarity with such efforts and form civilian solidarity committees to aid these efforts. Thus, on November 7th voters in the effected Massachusetts districts can use their vote not only for calling for immediate withdrawal from Iraq but to support the troops' efforts to get out. Until then it is still necessary to say and organize around- GET THE HELL OUT OF IRAQ NOW!!
ADDED NOTE: For the past several months I have been proposing the above course of action regarding troop solidarity committees. During that time I have also been adamant that there will be no troops drawdown soon. Today’s Boston Globe (October 12, 2006) brings the grim confirmation of that projection. No drawdown until 2010, according to the Army chieftains. During this same several month period I have been arguing that the only meaningful measure on a parliamentary level is a vote against the war budget. That is the litmus test for any labor party or socialist candidate (forget the Democrats and Republicans, they like to vote for these budgets). Moreover, on the state level I have proposed this parliamentary question in another form. In the heat of the current Governor’s race I have posed the question to ask Deval Patrick (Republican Kerry Healey is beyond the pale), the darling of the parliamentary anti-war left, whether as Commander-in Chief of the Massachusetts National Guard he would refuse to send troops to Iraq. No liberal really want to know the answer to that one. Nevertheless, these are the real parliamentary tactics needed for the times.