This space is dedicated to the proposition that we need to know the history of the struggles on the left and of earlier progressive movements here and world-wide. If we can learn from the mistakes made in the past (as well as what went right) we can move forward in the future to create a more just and equitable society. We will be reviewing books, CDs, and movies we believe everyone needs to read, hear and look at as well as making commentary from time to time. Greg Green, site manager
A link to Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox blog for the latest from her site.
Frank Jackman comment:
Ifind Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox rather a mishmash of eclectic politics and basic old time left-liberal/radical thinking. And an on-going fetish for her running for office whatever seems to be worth looking at. In 2014 it was the Governor's race in California. Other years it has been for President and for Congress. That Congressional race made sense because it was against Congresswoman and U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi who at one time was a darling of the liberals and maybe still is. But electioneering while necessary and maybe useful is not enough. So while her politics and strategy are not enough, not nearly enough, in our troubled times they do provide enough to take the time to read about and get a sense of the pulse (if any) of that segment of the left, the parliamentary left, to which she is appealing.
One though should always remember, despite our political differences, Ms. Sheehan's heroic action in going down to hell-hole Crawford, Texas to confront one President George W. Bush in 2005 when many others were resigned to accepting the lies of that administration or who “folded” their tents when the expected end to the Iraq War did not materialize in 2002-2003 after we had millions in the streets for a few minutes and not much after when it would have counted. Hats off on that one, Cindy Sheehan.
Additional Markin comment:
I place some material in this space which I believe may be of interest to the radical public that I do not necessarily agree with or support. One of the worst aspects of the old New Left back in the 1970s as many turned to Marxism after about fifty other theories did not work out (mainly centered on some student-based movements that were somehow to bring down the beast without a struggle for state power) was replicating the worst of the old Old Left and freezing out political debate with other opponents on the Left to try to clarify the pressing issues of the day. That freezing out , more times than I care to mention including my own behavior a few times, included physical exclusion and intimidation. I have since come to believe that the fight around programs and politics is what makes us different, and more interesting. The mix of ideas, personalities and programs, will sort themselves out in the furnace of the revolution as they have done in the past.
Off-hand, as I have mentioned before, I think it would be easier, infinitely easier, to fight for the socialist revolution straight up than some of the “remedies” provided by the commentators in these various blogs and other networking media. But part of that struggle for the socialist revolution is to sort out the “real” stuff from the fluff as we struggle for that more just world that animates our efforts. So read on.
Another note from Frank Jackman
There are many ways in which people get “religion” about the issues of war and peace, about the struggle to oppose the imperial adventures of the American government. Learn that it is our duty to oppose those decisions as people who are “in the heart of the beast” as the late revolutionary Che Guevara who knew about the imperial menace both in life and death declared long ago. My own personal “getting religion” and those who I have worked with in such organizations as Vietnam Veterans Against The War (VVAW) and later Veterans For Peace (VFP) came from a direct confrontation with the American military establishment either during or after our service. Those were hard confrontations with the reality of the beast back in those days and it is no accident that those who confronted the beasts directly then are still active today. Remain active as a whole new threat to world peace emanates from Washington into the Middle East highlighted by the air wars in Syria and Iraq and the now new lease on life in Afghanistan.
In a sense the military service confrontation form of “getting religion” on the issues of war and peace is easy to understand given the horrendous nature of modern warfare and its massive weapons overkill and disregard for “collateral damage.” Less easy to see is the radicalization of older women, mothers, mothers of soldiers like Cindy Sheehan in reaction to the senseless death of their loved ones. As pointed out above whatever political differences we have I will always hold Ms. Sheehan’s heroic actions in confronting one George W. Bush then President of the United States and the “yes man” for the war in Iraq started in 2003 (the various aspects of the Iraq saga have to be dated since otherwise confusion prevails) in high regard. She took him on down in red neck Texas asking a simple question-“if there were no weapons of mass destruction, not even close, why did my son die in vain?” Naturally no sufficient answer ever came from him to her. There she was a lonely symbol of the almost then non-existent anti-war movement. And then she started, as this blog of hers testifies to, to put the dots together, “got religion,” got to understand what Che meant long ago about that special duty radicals and revolutionaries have “in the heart of the beast.” And she too like those hoary military veterans I mentioned is still plugging away at the task.