PETRIFIED FORESTS AND CACTUS SPINES  [HUNTERBEAR  9/23/02]

This is my 9/22/02 response on ASDnet to Ian Williams' article viciously trashing  the anti-War movement:

FOLLOWED BY FRIENDLY EXCHANGE WITH DAVID MCREYNOLDS [HUNTERBEAR 9/23/02]

Note by Hunterbear:

The trail away from functionally effective radicalism -- frequently as
replete with rationalization  as Kudzu vines in Mississippi -- is never
impressive.  Ian Williams' confused piece of ambivalence ["on the one hand
but, on the other"] does nothing to alter that assessment of mine. I hope it
isn't representative of DSA thinking in the New York City sacristy.  The
times cry out for clear, vigorous, sensible -- and  directly forthright --
Left thought and action.

It's a given:  If you're going to be a radical in the United States of
America -- or even in Canada -- you can't be "respectable" at the same time.
And if you want to be " main-line respectable"  -- don't claim radical
status.

A year ago, several of us on ASDnet and SocUnity were called a variety of
despicable names for months by a few local so-called social democrats
because we opposed, from the outset, the Bush War against Afghanistan. [Some
of us had opposed the Clinton bombing of Yugoslavia which, like so many
Clinton policies -- e.g., 1996 "Anti-Terrorism Act" -- greased the skids for
the Bush/Ashcroft madness -- as we had opposed the Gulf War and Viet Nam.]
Now, Afghanistan -- if such a place even remains -- is in bloody chaos and
another hideous adventure for long-suffering humanity is being poised for
launch.

And, on a related note: why -- apropos of Jason Schulman's response to my
question of when will DSA issue a statement against Iraq War -- does DSA
have to wait until a meeting in October?  Other organizations have either
acted in forthright fashion before now -- or are presently doing so.  I hope
DSA will come up quickly -- right away -- with a clean, trenchant and
Kudzu-free statement directly opposing Iraq War -- and with other
appropriate actions.

Hunter Gray  [Hunterbear]
www.hunterbear.org
Protected by Na´shdo´i´ba´i´
and Ohkwari'


Note to the Solidarity List:   9/23/02

The background of this latest disturbance on the DSA list -- ASDnet -- can
be found via this Marxist link to my post of yesterday -- in which I respond
to the attack by Ian Williams on the anti-war movement. His article is
included in my post. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/marxist/message/8260

Hunter [Hunterbear]   Solidarity, SPUSA, CCDS, DSA

 

From Hunterbear:    9/23/02

When I got up this dark morning about 2 a.m. or so MDT, and saw the
succession of  ASDnet posts [some friendlier to me than the obviously very
hostile others] stemming from David Anderson's tossing about of Ian
Williams' article essentially trashing the anti-war movement -- and much
from my quite pointed and unapologetic response thereto -- I had several
more cups of coffee, played with my half-Bobcat cat, and read my copy of
Backpacker magazine.  Had a great time Saturday in super-rugged canyon
country where there was nothing -- nothing whatsoever -- of any human sign.

This sunny morning I do have a very brief word or two. [And, to my left,
reside my 45 volumes of Lenin flanked by Ignatius of Loyola -- and, on my
other side, the sketch my father gave me in my baby crib of the Mohawk
leader Joseph Brant [Thayendanegea] watching his warriors burning out the
settlers in the Cherry Valley section of New York. The feathered Bear Skull
looks down on us all.]

The real point is that DSA -- in contrast to most other American Left
outfits -- has not yet issued a statement against  War with Iraq  and seems,
for whatever reason, to be deferring this into next month.[Hopefully.
there'll be a clean and sharp and vigorously vital one forthwith.]  Beyond
simply being regrettable, this singular so-far omission is downright
weird -- given the incredible urgency which demands that every concerned
person and organization add their voice and influence against  the hideous
and bloody Bush/Ashcroft rock-slide/railroad job and the cowardice of most
of Congress.  It's also incumbent, one would think, for DSA to become
officially involved organizing-wise in some of its own mobilizations against
War [and Repression.]

On the rush by some to defend Ian Williams, I do have a word.  It may seem
strange to sectarian purists -- especially those of Bogdan's [Bogdan
Denitch] fossil
formations in New York's version of the Petrified Forest -- for someone such
as myself to include, among my several favorite novels, the  great Darkness
at Noon [just as my two favorite all-time flicks are Salt of the Earth --
and Shane.]  Anyone who knows me isn't a whit surprised at any of that --
but most DSA critics of mine have simply  jumped with their poisonous darts
before they've read or reflected on that which I've really tried to write
carefully. From my perspective, at least, their motives are far from pure.

In Darkness -- during the Second Hearing -- the interrogator of Old
Bolshevik Rubashov, his friend Ivanov [very soon to be killed via his
bureaucratically mechanistic subordinate, Gletkin], comments with some
biting cordiality:  "Imagine a Sulla, a Galliffet, a Koltschak reading
Raskolnikov.  Such peculiar birds as you are found only in the trees of
revolution."

Ivanov had an excellent point.  The trees of revolution abound with
"peculiar birds."  Those of us in those Living Forests over which the Red
Sun shines with its always-ultimate optimism  -- and we are all indeed
 kin -- are certainly not my concern.  And Rubashov, of course, had not left
the trees of revolution by any means [although he was, in due course, to be
killed.]

My concern in this specific context lies  very much with those who have in
reality left the trees of revolution -- and who, now "born again,"
sanctimoniously prattle and divide and defame those who continue their
commitment and great good works.

Yours -

Hunter Gray  [Hunterbear]
www.hunterbear.org
Protected by Na´shdo´i´ba´i´
and Ohkwari'

 

FRIENDLY EXCHANGE WITH DAVID MCREYNOLDS [HUNTER GRAY  9/23/02]

From Hunterbear in response to David's comment [which follows]:

Just a quick comment, David.  I'm sure we agree that every ethical resource
at our command is needed in any of these social justice/related issues
campaigns.. I'm very basically an extremely strong believer in non-violent
direct action [ and political action and litigation as well].  Everything
and anything that's appropriate!  No argument, I know, on that one.

Organizational/movement statements -- which can mix in many ways into many
tactical dimensions -- can accomplish a number of things:  e.g., they can
catalyze an organization's thinking into a formalized action commitment --
get an outfit actually moving tangibly out into the field of action.
Statements can be widely disseminated to the Four Directions via media and
can produce all sorts of interesting pressure contacts as well as assisting
in recruiting.  And they can mean much indeed, along with all the other
approaches, to active and potential members and supporters wherever those
folks may be located.

Like you, I've done a lot of direct action -- and I place my primary faith
in that approach.  To go back to a "glorious epoch," the Civil Rights Acts
of the mid-1960s were won primarily by direct action in the city streets and
country roads.  Litigation and political action were certainly involved.
And there were statements and proclamations aplenty!

But the living breathing troopers are always the critical card -- anywhere
and all through time.

We're together on these things. All best.  Don't get into trouble in
California.  Speaking as an Arizonian, it's easy to do.

Fraternally / In Solidarity

Hunter Gray  [Hunterbear]
www.hunterbear.org
Protected by Na´shdo´i´ba´i´
and Ohkwari'

----- Original Message -----
From: <DavidMcR@aol.com>
To: <asdnet@igc.topica.com>
Cc: <spnatcomlist@topica.com>
Sent: Monday, September 23, 2002 6:26 PM

What interests me more is what people are doing. I know War Resisters League
hasn't issued a statement yet (I was asked to work on one last week but
couldn't - it may be we can get one out this week). Not sure about the SP,
but will send a cc of this to the National Committee.

However . . . WRL has been extremely active, being the primary organizers in
NYC of the 9/10 vigil which drew several thousand people to Washington
Square Park, and sponsoring or taking part in other vigils around the country.

I don't mean to discourage resolutions - but actions are even more
important. Some will occur this weekend across the country and I assume DSA and SP
members are hooked into those.

Fraternally,
David



 

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