[OPE-L:5927] Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: the wages of war

From: paul bullock (paulbullock@ebms-ltd.in2home.co.uk)
Date: Mon Sep 17 2001 - 12:02:43 EDT

The Economist p19, this week. " The notion of jihad , or holy war, had
almost ceased to exist in the Muslim world after the 10th centuery until it
was revived, with American encouragment, to fire an international
pan-Islamic movement afte the Soviet invasion of Afgahnistan'.......

The ABC journalist John Cooley refers to the  'Reagan-Casey  jihad team' (in
his Unholy Wars;Afghanistan, America and Int.Terrorism).


-----Original Message-----
From: Gerald_A_Levy <Gerald_A_Levy@email.msn.com>
To: ope-l@galaxy.csuchico.edu <ope-l@galaxy.csuchico.edu>
Date: 17 September 2001 15:07
Subject: [OPE-L:5925] Re: Re: Re: Re: the wages of war

>1) Re Paul B's [5921]:
>> Why is the term war different  today?  Since the > motor of history  is
>one of
>> class struggle , war between Nations/ Nation
>> States/ States are always  at
>> base an attempt by ruling classes to stay in the
>> saddle by breaking any
>> resistance by the working class.
>Is a Jihad ('holy war') also to be understood as an
>attempt by the ruling class to stay in power by
>breaking the resistance of the working class?
>Was that what the Iranian government was
>attempting to do in the Iran-Iraq War? (NB:  the
>Iranian working class, especially trade unions and
>the Left, had already been crushed years before in
>the period immediately after the Shah was
>Marx and Engels seemed to have not
>always agreed with the above position that you outlined.
>E.g. they, in 1848, supported demands
>for a 'revolutionary war' against Russia.  See V.G.
>Kiernan's entry on "War" in _A Dictionary of
>Marxist Thought_.
>In recent decades, the question of "when is a
>'war' a war" has not always been easy to answer.
>E.g. there have been many "undeclared wars"
>(most notably the US war against the people
>of Vietnam).  There have also been "covert wars"
>in which the country that finances and organizes
>the overthrow of another government uses others
>to actually fight the 'war' (e.g. the 'civil war'
>orchestrated by the CIA -- when Bush Sr. was
>CIA Director -- to overthrow the Allende
>government in Chile and bring Gen. Pinochet &
>Co. to power).  Was that a 'war' or a 'coup' or
>a 'counter-revolution'?
>> As Fred has said, the real issue now is to
>> defend  all the poor and
>> oppressed, and for us in particular from the
>> 'educated' middle classes.
>What Fred said, in [5917], was rather that we
>have some "long, hard anti-war work ahead of us".
>I certainly agree that it will be hard. Will it be
>long, though? I'm not so sure.  While the US
>government seems to be preparing the public for
>a 'long' war,  they will most probably attempt
>a shorter war along the lines of the Gulf War.
>Of course, one of the lessons of the Vietnam (and
>other) wars is that it is not safe to speculate on the
>longevity of a military action (a point reinforced by
>the 'police actions' [NB: euphemism for 'war'] in the Balkans and Africa).
>A point that I would
>make again is that the economic effects of a
>protracted vs. a short-lived war may be significantly different in some
>2) Re Chai-on's [5922]:
>Guerilla warfare is not necessarily the same thing as terrorism.
>Guerilla tactics during war-time go back a long time. E.g. there were
>guerilla fighters in the
>American revolution and the US Civil War. Before that, some of the same
>tactics had been
>utilized by Native Americans.
>Of course, we all know that guerilla tactics have also been employed
>successfully by revolutionary movements, e.g. in China and Cuba.  Whether
>tactic should become a *strategy* (as suggested
>by Che Guevara) is a long-standing issue of
>debate among Marxists.
>'Terrorism' is, I believe, a 20th Century -- and hence, newer --
>While terrorism has
>been employed as a tactic it has also become a strategy for different
>-- both progressive and reactionary.
>The idea that the civilian population should be punished and intimidated
>through the selective use
>of force is not entirely a terrorist concept. Perhaps
>the first modern application of this doctrine
>was in the US Civil War with General Sherman's celebrated "marching through
>Georgia" (interestingly, Sherman's tactics
>were motivated and rationalized apparently by religious fervor). Since that
>time, the world has
>seen many -- far too many -- examples of this in warfare (e.g. London,
>Dresden, and Hiroshima in
>Not all terrorists have been progressive or anti-imperialists.
>E.g.  Zionist organizations like the Stern Gang and the Irgun
>used terrorism in a successful attempt to get the British government  to
>their troops from Palestine and support a Zionist state. One might even
>argue that the US
>government has been a supporter, participant, and
>organizer of many terrorist groups
>and actions in recent decades (thus the US's condemnation of
>'state-sponsored terrorism' is hypocritical). Indeed, isn't the biggest
>'state terrorist' in the world today the Israeli
>Of course, terrorism has also been a tactic used at times in national
>liberation movements (e.g. in
>Ireland and Palestine).(Wasn't an older brother of Lenin a revolutionary
>a terrorist?).  As I
>suggested in a previous post, these
>movements tend to be elitist. This is a characteristic that they have in
>common with certain guerilla movements, e.g. the
>Guevarist belief that a small band of dedicated revolutionaries can
>substitute for a mass movement of the working class. One lesson of
>death, it should be noted, was that
>the tactics employed successfully in one country can not necessarily be
>generalized into a strategy for other nations.
>Building a revolutionary movement, like building an anti-war movement is
>use Fred's words) "long,
>hard work" but there are no real "shortcuts" -- contrary to an underlying
>belief of terrorism.
>In solidarity, Jerry
>PS to Fred and others: consider showing the film "Manufacturing Consent" in
>the classroom.
>This film is a documentary on Noam Chomsky and
>should encourage students to more critically
>consider the role of  the media and the state in a
>'democracy'. Recommended.

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