From the American Left History Archives(2009)- From The Front Lines Of The Anti-Afghan War Struggle- A Short Comment On The Tasks Of Radicals In The Afghan Anti-War Movement- The Impotence Of A “Family Of The Left” Strategy- Today (2012) More Than Ever- Immediate Unconditional Withdrawal From Afghanistan!
From The Front Lines of the Anti- Afghan War Struggle, Such As It Is.
Recently, as the previously moribund opposition to the Obama Afghan war policy, with its potentially endless troop escalations, got back into action, I was approached, sincerely I believe, by a prominent local peace organization to add my signature to their call on President Obama to reverse his course on Afghanistan. If I can find the document in question on line I will reproduce it here, these things these days usually wind up on the Internet at some point.
For now though, the reader should know that this petition was couched in very respectful terms (Dear Mr. President, our leader, our troops, etc.) and did not once call for the minimum required of any self-respecting anti-war document- the call for immediate withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Afghanistan (and Iraq, etc., I might add). Its main slogan- “Stop The War Now”. Needless to say I, respectfully, refused to add my signature to that petition. That brings us to the question that I posed in the headline. What are the few radicals who are around to do in alliance with the few, mainly pacifist or parliamentary politics-oriented peace organizations (like UJP, Move On.com, etc.) that now lead, if that is the right word, the current phase of the anti-Afghan war movement?
Obviously, pro- working class militants are not going to sit at home and pout over the fact that we have been heard by neither the Obama government (fat chance of that) nor by the anti-war movement as it now exists. But neither are we going to be held hostage by demands like the one mentioned above that do not point the way forward. We will go to the demonstrations with contingents of people that we can gather with us. We will fight for our perspective at planning meetings, if they let us. Hell, if we can get some supportable demands we will build a united front with these groups, as long as we can criticize and put out our own perspective.
What we will not, or should not do, is, in the interest of some mistaken idea that we are all in this together, cede our political perspective to some “family of the left” or family of peaceniks notion and take a dive on the politics. That approach has, seemingly endlessly, been tried before (most notably in this country by the American Communist party and by the Socialist Workers Party in earlier times) and all it got us was a good laugh (or a boot out the door) by those so-called peaceniks. More later.