December 30, 2006
Editor's Comment: The rhetorical question in the title of Kola Odetola's article below is profound and damning. As one who has been deeply involved in the anti-war movement in the United States since September 11, 2001 and before, I can attest to it's truth: The western anti-war movement is indeed the "left boot of imperialism". In one sense, Odetola may be painting with too wide a brush for there are many committed individuals, organizations and coalitions within the anti-war movement who sacrifice and fight every day against the U.S.-led empire. It must be understood that those who sacrifice so much to stop these imperial wars are fighting on multiple fronts. They are fighting against the empire in a very difficult theater. They are also fighting against large well-funded organizations and coalitions within the anti-war movement who are not "anti-war" at all. Thus, in the broad sense of Kola Odetola's statement, there can be no doubt that the force of the anti-war movement has been compromised, blunted and to a large extent rendered ineffective by the empire. But those who are committed to stop the advance of the Global Corporate Empire will fight on.
When a war like the so-called "war on terrorism" has been planned in Washington think-tanks for 25 years, you can bet that one of the pillars of that architecture was to prevent and destroy dissent in empire's back yard. Some in "the movement" say the government "infiltrates" the anti-war movement. I say they don't have to infiltrate it - large organizations and coalitions were already owned and operated by the empire before the war began. They are owned and managed because they come from imperial seed. They have been effective in sabotaging the efforts of solid organizations like Ramsey Clark's International Action Center and the Troops Out Now coalition. They have been effective in sucking many well-meaning people into their treachery. Go to their websites now and you will see no mention of the lynching of Saddam Hussein - which serves as a litmus test for the authenticity of any movement against the U.S. war on the people of Iraq. Even now, these "imperial left-wingers" are praising and supporting the Democratic Party in the United States while the Democrats continue to fund the war on Iraq. But really, what do we expect of them? At bottom, they are capitalists. - Les Blough, Editor
Saddams Execution : The western anti war movement - the left boot of imperialism?
By Kola Odetola, Media Lens Message Board
December 29, 2006
The silence of the western antiwar movement on the lynching of Saddam Hussein is deafening and is increasingly beginning to prove what a lot of discerning people have suspected all along – that the mainstream anti-war movement (including large parts of its left wing) in the west is the well concealed left boot of western imperialism, the conscience of the conqueror.
The main reason given by western radicals – including many on this board for ignoring the assassination of the deposed Iraqi president is the crimes against humanity he has allegedly committed. How many of these 'left’ activists then would welcome a Chinese invasion of the British Isles, the sacking of British cities, the incarceration and torture of tens of thousands of English youths in concentration camps scattered along the Yorkshire Dales, the murder of a million British citizens (the equivalent of the Iraq dead) if the reason Beijing gave for the invasion was to arrest, try and execute Tony Blair for the limitless war crimes he has directly and indirectly carried out in Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine over the last three years – killing in Iraq alone (in 3 years) more than Saddam killed in 35.
Saddam Hussein has not been tried; he has been executed by the west’s leaders, while their 'radical’ sons look the other way. If a serial killer was brought to trial in the UK and during the trial three of his defence lawyers were kidnapped, tortured and murdered, (clearly by state agents) the media lens message board for one will be heaving with anger and righteous fury, but now there is only silence.
Saddam Hussein was a tyrant, but as president of Iraq, he represented something which nobody ever talks about these days, the sovereignty of his nation, by his judicial murder by a foreign invader the sovereignty of every poor third world nation has just been executed. The reason why the left in the west cares so little about that is because the sovereignty of poor nations is as much a threat to them as it is to their ruling circles.
The multi billion pound human rights/NGO industry for one (the new missionaries) are as dominant in the third world as any multinational, and in many ways even more powerful, since they seduce the minds of the natives buying up activists by the barrel load, feeding them with inconsequential facetious drivel about 'democracy’ and 'human rights’ all the better to cement the west’s moral and ideological supremacy over the natives.
Trade unions from the west struggle to organise in the third world to ensure the starving do not go beyond the level of loyal opposition to the western banks and companies that impose the crucifix of hunger on their children. Even the far left get in on the act with an assortment of 'Mac’Trotskyist groups fighting for the 'world revolution’ creating so called internationals - a global franchise they dress up as fraternity. The headquarters of the 'world revolution’ sharing its capital with that of world finance.
The primary contradiction for the last 500 years has not been between classes but between nations, the poor and the rich ones. It has been a struggle by the west to dominate and control the rest of humanity. While the ordinary people in the west do not participate in the oppression willingly, many of them share the same patronising and superior attitudes of their leaders. Thus even when they support the struggles of the oppressed in the poor world it is with conditions and qualifications that are never applied to them when they face similar circumstances.
It is this ingrained and unconscious superiority that made then overlook the humiliation of saddam – checking his hair on camera for lice, something they would have baulked at if it had probably been done on the German Herman Goring – who was treated with great personal dignity – in full uniform and well groomed throughout the trial at Nuremberg as was Slobodan Milosevic another 'northern tyrant.
People fighting against imperialist enslavement in the poor world should accept the support of western radicals whenever it is forthcoming but should not subordinate the narrative of their struggle to the 'friends of the people’