Thursday, December 22, 2011

From The Archives-The Struggle To Win The Youth To The Fight For Our Communist Future-From The Pages Of Young Spartacus-Protests Hit Sam Huntington: Vietnam War Criminal Returns To Harvard (Octoer 1978)

Markin comment on this series:

One of the declared purposes of this space is to draw the lessons of our left-wing past here in America and internationally, especially from the pro-communist wing. To that end I have made commentaries and provided archival works in order to help draw those lessons for today’s left-wing activists to learn, or at least ponder over. More importantly, for the long haul, to help educate today’s youth in the struggle for our common communist future. That is no small task or easy task given the differences of generations; differences of political milieus worked in; differences of social structure to work around; and, increasingly more important, the differences in appreciation of technological advances, and their uses.

There is no question that back in my youth I could have used, desperately used, many of the archival materials available today. When I developed political consciousness very early on, albeit liberal political consciousness, I could have used this material as I knew, I knew deep inside my heart and mind, that a junior Cold War liberal of the American For Democratic Action (ADA) stripe was not the end of my leftward political trajectory. More importantly, I could have used a socialist or communist youth organization to help me articulate the doubts I had about the virtues of liberal capitalism and be recruited to a more left-wing world view. As it was I spent far too long in the throes of the left-liberal/soft social-democratic milieu where I was dying politically. A group like the Young Communist League (W.E.B. Dubois Clubs in those days), the Young People’s Socialist League, or the Young Socialist Alliance representing the youth organizations of the American Communist Party, American Socialist Party and the Socialist Workers Party (U.S.) respectively would have saved much wasted time and energy. I knew they were around but not in my area.

The archival material to be used in this series is weighted heavily toward the youth movements of the early American Communist Party and the Socialist Workers Party (U.S). For more recent material I have relied on material from the Spartacus Youth Clubs, the youth group of the Spartacist League (U.S.), both because they are more readily available to me and because, and this should give cause for pause, there are not many other non-CP, non-SWP youth groups around. As I gather more material from other youth sources I will place them in this series.

Finally I would like to finish up with the preamble to the Spartacist Youth Club’s What We Fight For statement of purpose:

"The Spartacus Youth Clubs intervene into social struggles armed with the revolutionary internationalist program of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Trotsky. We work to mobilize youth in struggle as partisans of the working class, championing the liberation of black people, women and all the oppressed. The SYCs fight to win youth to the perspective of building the Leninist vanguard party that will lead the working class in socialist revolution, laying the basis for a world free of capitalist exploitation and imperialist slaughter."

This seems to me be somewhere in the right direction for what a Bolshevik youth group should be doing these days; a proving ground to become professional revolutionaries with enough wiggle room to learn from their mistakes, and successes. More later.
Markin comment:

The question of academic (or other non-governmental) positions for those who have been direct actors in implementing American imperialist policies is a serious one. We Marxists draw a sharpe distinction between those who are "merely" reactionary academics and those whose actions would actually qualify them to stand in front of some international criminal tribunal. No, not the bourgeois ones as constituted now but tribunals of their victims in places like Iraq, Afghanistan and wherever else their hubris takes them.

This point was recently brought home when a number of us demontrated against ex-Bush Secretary Of War Donald Rumsfeld when he came to Boston on a "book tour" touting his memoirs. If people want to pay hard cash to buy the book at some book stalland read his gibberish that is one thing. It is another that he be allowed to move freely around to do so when by all that is rational he should be standing front and center in Iraq right now in a place like Baghdad facing some serious criminal human rights violations. Of course, his president Bush (either)and others should be crowding the docket with him.
From The Pages Of Young Spartacus-Protests Hit Sam Huntington: Vietnam War Criminal Returns To Harvard (October 1978)

BOSTON, September 27—Samuel P. Huntington, one of the principal strategists and apologists for the vicious air war which devastated the countryside of Vietnam, is returning to Harvard this semester. After two years of service with Jimmy Carter's "human rights" crusade, Huntington is returning to wrap himself in the robes of respectable academia. to lecture twice a week on governmental theory. But this facade must not obscure the ugly reality. Samuel Huntington is complicit in mass murder he is a war criminal.

The U.S. air war, against Indochina ranks as one of this century’s most horrible atrocities. Millions of tons of explosives were rained upon the villages in Vietnam in- order to terrorize into submission a people who had been fighting imperialism and colonialism for decades. With calculated savagery, the U.S. unleashed weapons designed solely for their ability to maim, as carcinogenic, fetus-deforming chemical defoliants blanketed half of Vietnam's arable land. Prominent among the academic lackies who braintrusted these genocidal policies was Sam Huntington.

Unfortunately for this war criminal, his Harvard homecoming was not as uneventful as he might have liked. On September 26, a demonstration was staged outside Huntington's class by an ad hoc committee initiated by the Spartacus Youth League to protest his return to academia. While the demonstration was small, having been boycotted by the Harvard divestment "left," the campaign against Huntington certainly had its impact. The Harvard Crimson ran an editorial by two supporters of the SYL documenting Huntington's crimes. And the serenity of the morning air in Harvard Yard was certainly shattered by the loud chants of the demonstrators charging Huntington with complicity in mass murder.

Huntington's "Credentials"

In the late I960's, Huntington headed the Council on Vietnamese Studies of the South East Asia Development Advisory Group, a committee which played an important role in the develop-ment of State Department policy. While much of the work of this committee was cloaked in secrecy, there is strong evidence of its ominous nature. At the May 1969 meeting, for example, Huntington presented a paper entitled "Getting Ready for Political Competition in Vietnam." In this document he advocated electoral manipulation, control of the media and "inducements and coercions."

Huntington's preferred strategy for "political competition" was much more direct. In the July 1968 issue of Foreign Affairs he wrote:

"If the 'direct application of mechanical und conventional power' takes place on such a massive scale as to produce a massive migration from countryside to city, the basic assumptions underlying the Maoist doctrine of revolutionary warfare no longer operate... "In an absent-minded way the United States may well have stumbled upon the answer to 'wars of national liberation.' The effective response lies neither in the quest for conventional military victory nor in the esoteric doctrines of counter-insurgency warfare. It is instead forced-draft urbanization and modernization which rapidly bring the country in question out of the phase in which a rural revolutionary movement can hope to generate sufficient strength to come to power."

The mere authorship of these sentences indicts Huntington as a cold-blooded vulture. For what Huntington advocated with such antiseptic pedantry was nothing less than the elimination of the rural base of the National Liberation Front by reducing the Vietnamese countryside to corpses, embers and rubble. What Huntington calls "urbanization and modernization" had, in reality, the effect of driving terrified millions into the cities, swelling Saigon's population tenfold and creating a class of homeless and urban poor by pounding the villages with napalm and fragmentation bombs. "Urbanization and modernization" meant the destruction of the fabric of Vietnamese life— begging, prostitution, starvation and disease became the norms of existence.

The sickening apologies in bourgeois journals were only the starting point of Huntington's role in this effort. He did not merely comment on U.S. policy; he helped formulate it. Not only did he serve as chairman of the Council on Vietnam of the South' East Asia Development Advisory Group, but he acted as a consultant to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the U.S. Air Force and the Institute for Defense Analysis. Huntington is clearly not just another right-wing academic who supported the war. He is an important member of the imperialist brain trust and a war criminal. The SYL opposes Huntington’s appointment not primarily because of his ideas, but for the unspeakable atrocities for which he bears responsibility.

The "Mad Dog" of "Human Rights"

For the past two years, Huntington has been director of national security planning in the Carter administration, essentially functioning as Zbigniew Brzezinski's chief assistant. The key role of this assistant in the White House dramatically exposes the lie contained in Carter's "human rights" campaign. For two years, the Spartacist League/ Spartacus Youth League have maintained that the Carter crusade is but an attempt to refurbish the moral authority of U.S. imperialism in order to build popular support for a renewed aggressive foreign policy. Both in an immediate and ultimate sense the central targets of this effort are those countries in which capitalism has been overthrown, most importantly the Soviet Union. This campaign represents an ominous threat to the world's working masses. For U.S. imperialism, the major prop of virtually every reactionary tyrant on the face of the earth, will bring "human rights" to the world the way LB.I and Nixon brought "democracy" to Vietnam.

Huntingdon's role in the Carter administration is testimony to the sinister motives at the base of the "human rights" campaign. For in Huntington we see the genocidal maniac turned "human rights" advocate. Hunt-ingot is so strident in his anti-communism that within the administration he was reportedly known as "Mad Dog." It was Huntington who drafted the main Carter strategic assessment last year. Presidential Review Memoran¬dum-10, which heralded the passing of "detente" and mandated a new generation of weapons of destruction.

Huntington's return to the Harvard faculty exposes the hypocrisy behind the
ruckus raised by university president Derek Bok concerning covert CIA recruitment on campus last spring. The administration's insistence that all CIA recruiters on campus reveal themselves to university officials is but a feeble attempt to cover Harvard's obscene complicity with the intelligence agencies with a veil of virginal innocence. Harvard's hypocrisy is so monumental as to be laughable: this is the university that provides the brains that plan CIA "dirty tricks" from alumnus John F. Kennedy to alumnus and professor Henry Kissinger. Harvard graduates, officials and faculty members have masterminded U.S. imperialism's military engagements from the Bay of Pigs to the terror bombings in Vietnam. Bok's only apparent request is that imperialism's hit men inform him of their activities on campus.

Protest Huntington!

A protest directed against the return of a faculty member is almost certain to raise the issue of academic freedom. But .academic freedom is not the point. We do not single out Huntington for his thoughts, but rather for his deeds. While it is certainly true that such universities as Harvard have no shortage of intellectual mercenaries, the Huntingtons and Kissingers are special cases. Hunting-ton's central role in the murder and oppression of millions should provoke outrage and protest at Harvard.

It is significant that the sizable divestment movement on campus refused to participate in the SYL-initiated campaign. More concerned with salving their consciences than actively opposing the representatives and activities of imperialism, these divestment radicals prefer to spend their energies pleading with the Harvard Corporation to develop a more moral investment policy. Those in the divestment movement who tail the "human rights" crusade may have trouble discerning whether this "Mad Dog" cold-warrior is friend or foe.

Many of today's students were quite young during the ravaging of Vietnam and may not even recall the horrible destruction and the nightly body counts that passed across the television screen on the evening news. For them, the liberal assumptions inherent in the demands of the divestment movement are not so naturally repugnant as they might have been to the late 1960's antiwar activist. Campaigns like that initiated by the SYL against Huntington will help to bring about a renewed awareness of imperialism's crimes and the complicity of the bourgeois universities to a new generation of students. It is the task of a communist youth organization to bring the understanding to the campuses that the main reactionary power in the world is the American bourgeoisie. And one way of doing that is to expose the professors turned executors of imperialist reaction and to demand that they not be allowed to peacefully don the robes of academic respectability.

No comments:

Post a Comment