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- ROUND TABLE DISCUSSION: “From Palestine to Mexico, All the Walls Have Got to Go!”
- 2015.10.16: Local’s Family Caught in Middle East Violence (NBC 7 San Diego)
- 2015.09.10: Leon Letwin dies at 85; UCLA law professor, activist and Angela Davis defender (L.A. Times)
- 2015.08.29: Angela Y. Davis: Honor Leon Letwin By Reinstating Steven Salaita
- 2015.07.13: Leon Letwin (1929-2015)
- 2015.05.16: An Appreciation of Mike Marquee (1953-2015)
- 2014.12.17: Defense Lawyers March In Brooklyn To Protest Police Killings (CBS New York)
- 2014.Spring: Matthew Ides, “Dare to Free Your Self”: The Red Tide, Feminism, and High School Activism in the Early 1970s (Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth, Spring 2014)
- 2014.09.19: Kicked Off Facebook, and Wondering Why (New York Times)
- 2014.02.14: Sign: Jews of Conscience Salute the ASA for Boycotting Apartheid Israel
- 2014.02.14: Leslie Daniels (1949-2014)
- 2013.08.19: Updated: Sign on: Call for U.S. accountability in Egypt
- 2013.06.14: Lamis Deek: Fierce Movement Lawyer
- 2013.03.26: AMP gratified by New York support for ad campaign; Addresses ADL charge
- 2013.01.01: Jews For Palestinian Right of Return
- 2012.07.11: Video: Report Back From Egypt
- 2012.06.30: Video: Defend the Egyptian Revolution at Socialism 2012 Conference
- 2012.06.28: Audio: Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions and the Struggle for Justice in Palestine
- 2011.11.10: Remembering The Red Tide: ‘Young People Who Make Revolutions’ (Wildcat)
- 2011.11.09: Occupy Wall Street and the struggle over Israel/Palestine (Mondoweiss)
- 2011.09.11: Video: Michael Letwin – Rally against Racism, War, and Anti-Muslim Bigotry
- 2011.07.13: U.S. Trade Union Statement in Support of Palestinian Call for Full and Immediate Arms Embargo Against Apartheid Israel
- 2011.06.22: Pickets Challenge Labor to Find Solidarity with Palestinians (Labor Notes)
- 2011.06.13: Video: Labor for Palestine: Shame on Dennis Hughes and Stuart Appelbaum
- 2011.06.07: Sign on: Stop Scabbing for Apartheid — Withdraw From Israel Bonds “Celebration”
- 2011.04.09: NYCLAW Remarks for UNAC Antiwar Rally, New York City
- 2011.02.23: Labor for Egypt Statement
- 2011.02.04: Video: Free Egypt Solidarity Times Square Rally and March
- 2010.09.28: Labor Activists Condemn FBI Repression
- 2010.09.07: NYC Workers Stand with the Muslim, Arab, and South Asian Communities
- 2010.06.07: Labor for Palestine Condemns Gaza Freedom Flotilla Massacre, Supports Worker Action to Boycott Israel
- 2010.04.23: Video: Labor’s Efforts to Support Ending the Occupation of Palestine
- 2010.04.13: The Jewish Labor Committee and Apartheid Israel
- 2010.01.22: Growing Labor Support for Palestine Faces Stiff Opposition in the U.S. (Labor Notes)
- 2009.12.04: Open Letter from U.S. Trade Unionists to AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka: Boycott Apartheid Israel
- 2009.07.15: Troy Davis Case
- 2009.06.18: Labor for Palestine Supports Viva Palestina USA
- 2009.05.17: NYCLAW Statement On the 61st Anniversary of the Nakba
- 2009.05.17: NYCLAW Statement On the 61st Anniversary of the Nakba
- 2009.05.04: Open Letter to the Labor Research Association: Don’t Honor Israeli Apartheid
- 2009.04.01: The Encyclopedia of Strikes in American History
- 2009.02.21: NYCLAW Statement in Defense of NYU Student Protesters
- 2009.01.13: Legal Aid NYC Union Members: Stop Israel’s Massacre in Gaza and End the Siege Now
- 2009.01.08: Report on January 5, 2009 NYC Jewish Press Conference Against Israeli Massacres
- 2008.12.31: Tell President-Elect Barack Obama, AFL-CIO President John Sweeney and Change to Win Chair Anna Burger: End all U.S. government and labor aid to Israel
- 2008.12.13: Labor for Palestine: Stop Israel’s Massacre in Gaza and End the Siege Now
- 2008.09.10: Attica Anniversary Follow-Up — More About Akil Al-Jundi
- 2008.09.09: Today: Anniversary of Attica Prison Uprising
- 2008.06.09: Labor for Palestine Pickets NYC Israel Celebration
- 2008.06.05: Video: Labor for Palestine-NYCLAW Opposes Racist State of Israel
- 2008.05.08: Sean Bell Bulletin: Report on Yesterday’s Protests
- 2008.04.23: NYCLAW Support for ILWU May Day Work Stoppage
- 2008.04.22: Letter to the Editor (Brooklyn Daily Eagle)
- 2008.04.04: Interview with Mike Marqusee, Author of If I Am Not for Myself: Journey of an Anti-Zionist Jew (MRZine)
- 2008.03.23: U.S. Labor and Gaza (NYCLAW)
- 2007.10.29: Reasons to Vote Down the Contract (Legal Aid)
- 2007.10.19: NYCLAW Response to Anti-Boycott Attacks (Chief-Leader)
- 2007.06.16: The Antiwar Movement Today
- 2007.05.19: Sean Bell and the Epidemic of Police Violence in New York City
- 2007.05.16: The Real Issues in This Election (Legal Aid)
- 2007.03.26: Justice for Sean Bell
- 2007.03.17: Video: Antiwar Rally, Washington DC (C-Span)
- 2007.02.16: Veterans, Professors Speak at Teach-in (Columbia Spectator)
- 2007.01.24: NYCLAW Statement: Mass Movement to End the War Now
- 2006.11.29: Vote No (Legal Aid)
- 2006.11.20: Re: Unauthorized and Risky Picket (Legal Aid)
- 2006.10.09: Open Letter to UTLA President A.J. Duffy (NYCLAW)
- 2006.09.01: Gary Tyler still sits in Angola prison (ISR)
- 2006.08.30: U.S. Government and Labor Aid to Israel (NYCLAW)
- 2006.08.12: Video: Rally Against Israel’s War on Lebanon (C-Span)
- 2006.08.11: Labor and the Middle East War New York City Labor Against the War
- 2006.07.18: NYCLAW Statement at Palestine Demo
- 2005.12.22: We Have Been in the Transit Workers’ Shoes (Legal Aid)
- 2005.06.20: Trojan Horse in the Antiwar Movement: Facts About the IFTU (NYCLAW)
- 2005.05.23: Reconstructing Internationalism with Labor For Palestine (Electronic Intifada)
- 2005.05.19: NYCLAW Statement on IFTU Tour
- 2005.03.19: Labor Says: U.S. Out of Iraq! Bring the Troops Home Now! (NYCLAW Flyer)
- 2005.03.19: NYCLAW Report on NYC Demo
- 2005.03.19: NYCLAW Statement at Troops Out Now Coalition Rally Central Park, NYC
- 2005.03.19: NYCLAW Report on NYC Demo
- 2004.12.02: Solidarity With Palestinian Workers — Proposed Resolution to December 2004 USLAW Conference (NYCLAW)
- 2004.12.01: Proposed Amendments to International Solidarity Perspective Proposals to Steering Committee
- 2004.12.01: Labor for Palestine Founding Statement
- 2004.11.20: Introductory Comments to Labor Antiwar Organizing Conference
- 2004.10.17: Video: Speech at Million Worker March
- 2004.10.17: NYCLAW Speech at Million Worker March, D.C.
- 2004.09.18: Antiwar Labor at the RNC Protests
- 2004.09.02: NYCLAW Speech at NYC RNC Demo
- 2004.08.27: Stand With 1199 and Fight Back! (Legal Aid)
- 2004.07.09: Legal Aid Crisis
- 2004.06.16: NDS v. ALAA (Legal Aid)
- 2004.04.25: NYCLAW Since 9/11
- 2004.04.21: USLAW Nomination for Michael Letwin
- 2004.03.22: M20 NYC Labor Contingent Report
- 2004.02.27: Why NYC Labor Against the War Says: End the Occupation of Iraq! Bring the Troops Home Now!
- 2003.12.11: Issues for the December UFPJ Steering Committee Meeting
- 2003.11.17: NYCLAW Report on October 25 Protests & USLAW
- 2003.10.02: Contract Negotiations (Legal Aid)
- 2003.05.01: Americans speak out against war (Share International)
- 2003.04.20: Support Our Troops–Bring Them Home Right Now! (NYCLAW Flyer)
- 2003.04.14: ALAA Antiwar Vote
- 2003.04.14: Support for UAW Local 2325 Antiwar Resolution
- 2003.04.01: Presentation to the Hackney Stop the War Coalition
- 2003.04.01: Growth of Labor Anti-War Action Tied to Bush’s Anti-Worker Moves
- 2003.03.15: Video: Antiwar Rally, Washington DC (C-Span)
- 2003.03.15: NYCLAW Statement at 3/15 DC Antiwar Rally
- 2003.02.26: New York City Council Hearings On An Antiwar Resolution (NYCLAW)
- 2003.02.14: Regime Change Begins At Home (NYCLAW)
- 2003.02.12: NYC Labor Antiwar Press Conference
- 2003.02.05: NYCLAW Speech at Times Square
- 2003.02.05: Demonstration in NYC after Colin Powell Presents Bush Administration’s Case Against Iraq to the UN Security Council
- 2003.02.01: $25,000 Pledged to Build Group Labor Leaders Launch National Anti-War Effort
- 2003.01.29: To Build Labor Contingent for NYC Feb. 15
- 2003.01.21: Labor at Jan. 18 DC Demo
- 2003.01.18: Documentary: National March on Washington Against the War on Iraq (2003)
- 2003.01.18: Video: No War on Iraq Rally (C-Span)
- 2003.01.18: NYCLAW Speech at DC Antiwar Rally
- 2003.01.17: Workers Against War (Counterpunch)
- 2003.01.13: Founding of U.S. Labor Against the War (USLAW)
- 2003.01.01: David McBride, “Death City Radicals: The Counterculture in Los Angeles,” in The New Left Revisited
- 2002.12.10: Labor Antiwar or Related Statements & Groups
- 2002.12.09: Antiwar Labor Pains (The Nation)
- 2002.12.06: Unions Against the War (In These Times)
- 2002.12.01: Union Members Meet, March To Protest Iraq War (Labor Notes)
- 2002.10.26: Video: Antiwar Rally, Washington DC (C-Span)
- 2002.10.26: Labor at October 26 DC Antiwar Rally
- 2002.10.25: Year One of New York City Labor Against the War
- 2002.05.21: End AFL-CIO Complicity with Sharon’s War Crimes
- 2002.04.29: Protest Israeli Consul’s Speech at Central Labor Council
- 2012.04.05: Video: A debate entitled: “Must our Civil Liberties be Relinquished Under the Threat of Terrorism?”
- 2002.03.29: Lockdown Amnesty International targets INS for treatment of 9/11 detainees (In These Times)
- 2002.03.28: NYCLAW’s Work Since 9/11
- 2002.03.28: NYCLAW Article for NLG
- 2002.03.25: New Outcry Over Jailed Immigrants (NY Daily News)
- 2002.03.23: NYC Labor Solidarity With Immigrant Detainees (Flyer)
- 2002.03.23: Report on March 23 NYC and Oakland Labor Protests
- 2002.03.20: NYC Labor Groups Support Immigrant Detainees
- 2002.03.07: ALAA Union Update
- 2002.02.21: In Defense of Civil Liberties
- 2002.02.04: Ground Zero at the World Economic Forum (AlterNet)
- 2001.11.26: NYCLAW Joins 100,000 in London Against the War
- 2001.11.20: Special Meeting of Trade-Unionists Against the War (London)
- 2011.11.19: Interview: NY City anti-war union activist Michael Letwin (Labournet)
- 2001.11.18: Not In My Name: National Demonstration Against The War
- 2001.10.26: ‘Justice, Not Vengeance’ Some Union Heads Oppose ‘Bush War’ (Chief-Leader)
- 2001.09.27: New York City Labor Against the War (Founding Statement)
- 2001.09.10: Labor Resolution to Defend Legal Aid
- 2001.05.21: Reply to Justice on the Cheap (The Nation)
- 2001.05.18: Letter to the NYT About Indigent Defense in NYC
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Monthly Archives: February 1980Image
February 17, 1980
IS AMERICA READY FOR A DRAFT? MANY SAY THEY WON’T GO
THE ECHOES OF THE LAST “HELL NO, WE WON’T GO” HAD BARELY DIED AWAY WHEN THE NEW CHANT BEGAN: “WE WON’T GO TO WAR FOR EXXON.”
Nina McCain Globe Staff
The anti-draft movement, which created such turmoil on college campuses and in young peoples’ lives at the height of the Vietnam war, has sprung to life again in response to President Carter’s call for registration of 19- and 20-year-olds of both sexes.
The rallies have begun — at Harvard, at UMass-Amherst, at Boston University, Brandeis and Brown, at Berkeley and UCLA, at the Government Center in Boston. Harvard Prof. George Wald, the elder statesman of the anti-Vietnam protests, is in full voice, and “Stop the Draft” buttons are popping out on blue denim jackets like crocuses in springtime.
As in the Vietnam days, it is the white, middle and upper middle class students at the elite private colleges who are in the vanguard of the protest. But the leaders of the movement are determined that this time the opposition will not splinter over class and race, with the poor and black going to war while the rest take sanctuary in college. “This can’t be a middle-class, save- our-ass movement,” one of the leaders said.
Supporters of the movement range from pacifists who oppose all war to those who reject the notion of a war with Russia over the Mideast, the “I’m not going to kill for oil” group.
To those who ask what has happened to the new spirit of patriotism that was supposed to be sweeping the country after the hostages were taken in Iran, committed members of the movement respond that they are the real patriots, that they care about the country too much to allow it to become embroiled in another costly and useless war like Vietnam. “There is a difference in feeling good about the country and being blind about the country,” one young man said.
The vast majority of young people who may be affected by the registration or the draft have not made up their minds yet. They simply have not decided how they feel or what they would do if the “Greetings” letter comes.
But some out of several dozen interviewed by The Globe have decided. They explain here how they feel, why they oppose the registration and the draft and what they hope to do to stop both.
Tufts University senior Nancy Brink, 2l, is a volunteer worker for the American Friends Service Committee and one of the organizers of a discussion group called Tufts Draft Forum. She spent last year in Germany on a Rotary scholarship for international understanding.
“I would not register. I feel I can’t. I would not serve the war effort. If that meant going to jail, as much as it scares me, I would still do it.
“I don’t feel there is any such thing as a just war. I’ve gotten interested in looking at other ways of dealing with international conflicts, like Gandhi in India and the non-violent resistance to the Nazis in Norway. Non-violence needs a lot of discipline and patience. Military violence is the easy way, the quickest way, but I don’t think any war ever resulted in real peace or substantial and long-lasting economic or social gains.
“In my work with the Friends, I’ve seen a commitment to change, to fighting without using violence. I’m willing to stand up for what I believe in, but I’m not willing to kill for it.”
Dennis Danheiser, 2l, a Boston University junior and a second-string quarterback on the football team, does not see himself as an activist, although he went to one anti-draft rally. But he says he is “totally against war.”
“I don’t agree with it (war) at all. I don’t agree with what the Russians are doing or with what Iran did, but I don’t think there is any reason for war. If the Russians came over here and started doing things in our country, we’d have to take some kind of action, but I don’t think what’s going on overseas is any reason for war.
“I’m a pretty full-fledged Catholic, and I believe God put us on earth to communicate, not to fight. I think it could be avoided, killing all those people.
“If worse came to worse, I would go (to war). I’d be really against it, but I wouldn’t draft-dodge, I wouldn’t go to Canada.
“I’ve talked to a lot of my friends on the football team, and we feel we’d have to go. All our lives it’s been: Get out there and get ’em.’ But most of us feel war is definitely unnecessary. We hope to God it won’t happen.”
Eugene J. Green, 20-year-old president of the Harvard- Radcliffe Black Students Assn., thinks blacks have special reasons to be opposed to peacetime draft registration.
“Anytime a warlike atmosphere is created, people begin to ignore other problems. That is going to mean that black people will suffer first in things like housing and job training.
“The problem I have with registration is that it assumes a great amount of incompetence in the all-volunteer army and the all-volunteer army is about 30 percent black. Black students recognize the underlying racism and anti-black sentiment when people say the all-volunteer is weak and deficient.
“I’m personally opposed to war but I recognize the necessity of some wars, such as World War II. I oppose the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the military intervention in the internal affairs of another country, and I think war would be justified if the Soviets attempted to cut off oil resources from the Persian Gulf . . . If the Soviets continue their advance on the Gulf, I could see myself going to war.
“If there is another war, black people have got to insist that everybody shares the burdens equally.”
Michael Letwin, 23, is a UMass-Boston junior who got involved in anti- Vietnam war protests when he was l3. He has been politically active ever since.
“I’m not a pacifist. I believe there are things worth fighting for. A good example recently is the Iranian revolution. I certainly would have been part of that. In the United States, the labor movement, civil rights — causes that improve people’s lives and transform the system — are worth fighting for. I wouldn’t fight to protect American business interests and oil company profits.
“I won’t go if I’m drafted, and I’ll advise everybody else not to go. If enough people refuse, they can’t put us all in jail. The government will be powerless to enforce the draft.
“I don’t think the Russian invasion of Afghanistan was better or worse than the American invasion of Vietnam. The Russian empire acts much the same as the American empire. I don’t think either is worth dying for.
“If I’m going to fight anything, it’s going to be the source of people’s problems – racism, sexism, the control of the economy by a handful of corporate powers.”
MIT freshman Melissa Miller, 18, says her opposition to war is based on her appreciation for life.
“When I was in the sixth grade, my father got a rare kind of incurable cancer. We lived with that for three years and watched him fight every day for life . . . I was instilled with such a sense of survival.
So we’re forced to live under a Communist regime. Is that so bad? Is that worse than dying? I would rather live. I can’t place any price on a life. Is it worth a million barrels of oil? If more people felt that way, there wouldn’t be any wars.
“If we were openly attacked, I’d be the first to enlist. I mean really attacked. Self-protection, that’s the only cause I can see fighting for.
“If I were drafted, I’d go to jail. A month ago, I felt I’d have to go to support my friends if they went, but they have the same choice I do. They don’t have to go. Why do we have to have this draft registration? It ruins every-body’s life.”
One of the leaders of the anti-draft movement at Harvard is Michael Anderson, a l7-year-old freshman who met the co-organizer of the movement at a White House reception where both were being honored as Presidential Scholars.
“You need not be a pacifist to be against this particular draft in this particular situation . . . I’m generally against war as a form of policy but there are such things as just wars. I would have been willing to fight in World War II.
“But even for a just cause, war is the last resort. Increasingly, the enemy is war itself . . . The cause for which you fight has to outweigh the misery caused on both sides.
“If the draft comes, I would remain and refuse. I would not go to Canada. Going to Canada is a tacit acceptance of American policy. To remain is to confront the issue.
“There is a difference between patriotism and jingoism. My philosophy is that there is either one world or none. I consider myself a patriot. I want America to thrive and prosper, to be strong, but not in a military sense. A patriot is one who believes enough in America to make its policy enlightened and just.”
Jeff Renton is a Brookline High School senior who will be l8 years old next week. His future plans include college and majoring in psychology. They do not include the draft.
“I’m a pacifist. I’m opposed to the peacetime draft. I don’t want to be trained to kill.
“On an intellectual level, I can conceive of a justifiable war. I think World War II was one. They had to stop Hitler, and I think Russia has a bad government, like Hitler’s. But I could not see myself fighting. I’ve seen the movies — “Deer Hunter” and “Apocalypse Now” — and I can’t imagine myself involved in that.
“Maybe I’m being a hypocrite, but I won’t go . . . I might register, if we had to, because I don’t want to throw away my future. I have a college acceptance and everything. But if I got drafted, I wouldn’t go.
“I’m opposed to Russia in lots of ways, but to kill other pawns like myself, no way. Governments may have better policies but people are all alike. The people you’re killing are just like you.
“I don’t consider myself unpatriotic. Trying to improve the world in some way, that’s patriotism.”
Mass Media (U. Mass/Boston
February 5, 1980
The “Carter Doctrine”: Ready to Die for Exxon?
by Michael Letwin
Only five years after the US was kicked out of Vietnam, Carter, backed try Democrats and Republicans, “liberals” and “conservatives,” TV and the newspapers alike, is gearing the country up for another war.
In his “State of the Union” speech, Carter promised a military budget of $142.7 billion, an increase of at least 3.3 percent over inflation. He said that he is willing to send us to war to maintain U.S. control over the Persian Gulf. He announced that supposed “restraints” on the CIA will be removed.
And, most brazenly of all, he announced renewed draft registration for 18-26 year-olds for the first time since Vietnam, a step which will make the draft itself just one small step away.
Carter’s excuse for all this is based on three arguments: 1) that “international terrorists” have continued to hold American hostages in Iran; 2) that the Russian government is guilty of “aggression” against Afghanistan and threatens the Mideast elsewhere; and 3) that these two factors, together with revolution “in many nations of the developing world,” threaten the supply of oil to the US, and “world stability” in general.
Since, under similar pretexts, the American working class has slaughtered and been slaughtered in mammoth numbers in four major wars in this century alone, we need to carefully evaluate Carter’s claims.
First of all, the US government is completely responsible for the “Iranian Crisis.” Its embassy ran Iran for at least 26 years while its Shah kept the Iranian people in poverty, and imprisoned, tortured and killed tens of thousands of Iranians when they resisted.
As if that wasn’t enough, the government knowingly provoked the fearful Iranian students into taking hostages by admitting the Shah into this country.
Now, Carter admits that the US will continue to attempt to dominate not only Iran, but the Persian Gulf and Western Asia in general. No wonder the Iranians demand the Shah’s return and an investigation into the crimes of the US government in Iran. Why doesn’t Carter meet those demands and end the “crisis”?
Second, Carter ‘s cynical use of the Russian invasion of Afghanistan for a display of his dewy-eyed “moral outrage” is nauseating There is no evidence that the invasion, abhorrent as it is to anyone who really believes that a people has the right to determine its own future, is as Carter put it, “the greatest threat since W.W. II.
Russia’s invasion of Afghanistan is simply an extension of its heavy influence on all Afghan regimes since the 19th century, and particularly on the present one which dates to April 1978. The current invasion probably represents a consolidation of that long history of control rather than an immediate attempt to overrun the entire world.
But even assuming the worst about the short-range intentions of the Russian government, is it believable, for even a even a second, that the US government gives a damn for the Afghan people, or that American intervention would guarantee theirs, or anyone else’s freedom?
No. The US, too, has backed various Afghan regimes that were among some of the most backward and oppressive monarchies in the world, under which the Afghan population experienced mass starvation, poverty and repression. Carter weeps not for the Afghans, but [because] he wishes that the US were in control of Afghanistan, instead of the Russians.
Carters hypocritical condemnation of Russian “colonialism” is even more ridiculous when considered against the backdrop of the American corporate and military domination which extends through Latin America, parts of Asia, Africa and Western Europe. Like the Russian empire, the American empire is based on the fiction that the countries it controls are independent.
But history shows that when the profits of American corporations are threatened either by popular revolution (as in Iran), or by imperial rivals (Russia, for example), the American empire trees to defend itself, using, in Carters words, “any means necessary.”
These means include funnelling billions of dollars annually to various right-wing and racist dictatorships around the world in the form of government aid and private investments which create and maintain local armies and secret police. along with the experts to train them.
When that isn’t enough, the American government has subverted and overthrown democratically elected governments in (since 1950 alone) Iran (1953), the Congo (1961), and Chile (1973), to name a few.
When all else fails, the US has used open military aggression in Korea (1950-2), Lebanon (1958), Cuba (1961) and the Dominican Republic (1965). That various cliques have “invited” the US into their countries is no more significant than the fact that the Afghan regime “invited” the Russians. In addition, the US holds at least one major colony — Puerto Rico.
But all that pales in comparison with the awful terror and murder committed by the American government in Vietnam. After years of opposition to the Vietnamese national liberation movement, the US government invaded Vietnam in 1965, beginning a ten year war that left dead 57,000 American and nearly 2 million Vietnamese.
The American military machine mutilated the country with vast quantities of napalm, defoliants and bombs, all to maintain the hold of the US empire over the entire region of SE Asia.
The horror only ended when the Vietnamese showed they couldn’t be beaten, American troops began to rebel and the anti-war movement at home grew too powerful. Not surprisingly, the word “Vietnam” didn’t appear in Carter‘s speech.
So, in his tirade against “colonial aggression,” Carter failed to mention that there is not one, but two major empires in today’s world — one Russian and one American. One is no better than the other. Both ruthlessly exploit and jealously guard their power in defense of the profits of a small international capitalist class which alone benefits from their ongoing contest.
Both make moves against one country or another; the US in Vietnam, Russia in Afghanistan. It doesn’t matter who fired the first shot in this particular battle.
What is happening today, as throughout the history of the 20th century, is that the major empires are threatening to send each empire’s workers (or bombs) against the other in a test of the competitors’ strength. Maybe they’ll strike another deal.
But, especially in today’s growing economic crisis, it could also end in war. We’ll be sent in the name of “democracy.” Russian workers will be sent to fight for “socialism.” But American napalm won’t be about democracy any more than Russian tanks will end in socialism. The struggle is over spoils, not principles.
Finally, the flow of oil is a question of profit, not supply. The popular explanation is that the “Arabs are holding us hostage.” But every major study of the “energy crisis” shows that the “Seven Sisters” (the big American and European oil companies) have, since 1972, organized phony shortages of oil for the purpose of increasing prices and profits. OPEC is only one of the partners in this game. If you doubt it, check out the recently released oil company profits tor 1979.
Moreover, the very reliance of this country on oil is related to corporate profit. We drive ridiculously sized, inefficient, dangerous and expensive cars built by the auto companies to fall apart as soon as possible; they are pushed on us by thousands of hours of TV commercials.
Meanwhile, mass transit systems crumble (tried relying on the “T” lately?), safe alternative energy sources continue to be suppressed, and all we are offered as a “solution” are higher gas prices and nukes!
Carter’s speech should tell us that the danger we face comes from American capitalism, its militarism and its economic crisis. Consider the domestic measures outlined by Carter.
On the one hand is a miniscule, token program which masquerades as an attempt to put a dent in minority youth unemployment.
On the other are continued wage controls (we make less and less, as inflation runs wild at the highest rate since 1946), budget cuts (we get less social services while the military budget takes off), less government regulation (companies have even more freedom to kill and maim us at work and throughout the environment), and higher productivity (we work even harder — if we have a job at all — to increase corporate profits).
How convenient that Carter has our attention on the Russians!
When Carter speaks of defending “world stability,” he is talking about protecting an American corporate empire which includes us as its victims.
ls that worth dying tor?