Protest against the Bombing

Margaret mairead at
Sat Mar 27 05:09:37 PST 1999

Paul Henry Rosenberg wrote:

>How can anyone with a straight face compare the US with Britain and
>Russia with Germany at that time?
>This kind of nerve-twitching in place of critical thinking is utterly

Well, you've certainly still got me confused! :-) Why would you ever *imagine* that i'm trying to make such silly comparisons???

My point was only to suggest that appeasement rarely works. My example was merely the canonical one.

Russia is not a disinterested power, operating out of a broad and selfless concern for the welfare of all peoples. They're just a rather battered country with a near-unbroken history of classist abuse on a massive scale and a ton of heart-wrenching socioeconomic problems because of it. It's not clear to my why that should buy their interests special deference from other countries. Special help for their people, sure. But special deference??

>On the unbelievably counter-factual assumption that the US is a force
>for good in the world, and just needs to be told what to do, the answer
>is simple: build up international security through a combination of
>fundamental cooperation and demilitarization. This would mean
>dismantling NATO rather than expanding it, for starters. Ditto our own
>military-industrial complex.
>All stuff that's not bloody likely to happen. But if we don't talk
>about it, then who the hell will? And we CAN talk about it without
>necessarily believing that the US is a force for good. We can talk
>about it from the perspective that this is what the US WOULD do if it
>really were a force for good. Shame can be good.

Fine. I've no problem with talking about an ideal world. But what happens to the Kosovari, meanwhile? As Chomsky says, ideal worlds are great...but we live in this world. And as Alinsky pointed out, non-violence worked for Gandhiji only because (a) the UK really cared about its image in the world and (b) the Indians had no guns anyway.

I don't begin to believe the US is a force for unalloyed good. But i _do_ believe that, in the short term, usually, in this world today, it is a force for something-at-least-marginally-better-than-rapine-pillage-and-mass-graves.

I'm prepared to protest against the US's lousy marksmanship, tho. Nobody should have his house turned into a crater in a time of pinpoint ordnance.


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