Nick Fredman | 1 Mar 09:27 2003

East Timor, "interventionism" and anti-imperialism

A few points on the impact of the 1999 East Timor crisis on mass 
consciousness and, briefly, on the mass media in Australia. Tom, Gary 
and other Australian Marxists with similar views on this question 
fixate too much of how bourgeois commentators discuss this issue 
rather than how it has affected broader consciousness.

Philip Ferguson wrote:

>But the point is that the imperialists were able to change tack, without
paying any political price for their long support for Indonesian
repression and occupation of ET

But this isn't true. Many people were politicised and educated about 
Australian imperialism around the East Timor crisis. Someone wrote on 
this list a while ago that this crisis lead to a decline in the 
Australian peace movement, but this is meaningless. There had been 
was no real Australian peace movement since the mid 1980s. During the 
1990s people had politicised around a number of issues, including 
Australian support for the Indonesian occupation of East Timor, 
particularly after the 1991 Dili massacre. There were regular if not 
huge demonstrations, large public meetings and film showings, 
increasing interest in the Indonesian democratic movement, and 
widespread sympathy reflected in union support for the issue and 
occasionally critical pieces in the more liberal sectors of the 
bourgeois media (with the government line or very moderate criticisms 
of it dominant). It was the groups and activists who had been 
involved in this campaign who influenced the mass outburst in 
solidarity with the East Timorese in September 1999. The mood then 
was related to a series of protests against austerity and racism: 
union and student campaigns against the new Howard government in 
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David Quarter | 1 Mar 01:01 2003

Re: Who the hell is Jack Duvall?

Date sent:      	Fri, 28 Feb 2003 18:47:53 -0500
To:             	marxism <at>
From:           	Jacob Levich <jlevich <at>>
Subject:        	Who the hell is Jack Duvall?
Send reply to:  	marxism <at>

What kind of pacifist sits on the board of directors of a company 
that does consulting work for the Department of Defense and four 
branches of the US 

  Probably someone with ties to "intelligence", as in: the CIA. 
And based on the resume you provided, this seems very likely. 

PLEASE clip all extraneous text before replying to a message.

M. Junaid Alam | 1 Mar 01:29 2003

Re: Who the hell is Jack Duvall?

I am sorry I cannot answer directly as to Duvall, but this kind of
"pacifism" is a noxious disease and should be treated as such. For the
movement the looming question should not be about plotting various ways
to get rid of Saddam--that this has become an obsession in some quarters
is purely, 100% a function of American propaganda as part of the war
hype. There are some duped people who are unconsciously but nevertheless
objectively reinforcing the reactionaries. Let me clarify:

Saddam has been there for 30 years--and so now, at this precise moment,
when the Iraqis are about to be bombed to smithereens, why should it be
our priority to split our heads and our focus in figuring out creative
ways to get rid of Saddam? Part of the trick the ruling class plays on
us is to predetermine the lines of debate, the spectrum of opinion. 

So in this case, many people start off in agreement with the baseline
media claim, "Saddam is a bastard", and go on to differ via the "but..."
line. That kind of thinking has the priority all reversed--that Saddam
is a bastard is secondary if not tertiary concern, because the primary
thing is the defense of the 25 million Iraqis, 50% of whom are children,
from the brutality of American bombs and tanks.

"The Man is playing some tricky logic on you" as X would have said. This
mental gymnastics exercise in finding non-violent ways for white Western
students to contemplate how to overthrow Arab dictators is making a
fucking joke, it is a neutralization and a neutering of, the potential
for _real_ anti-war forces. Because in the last analysis it is the US
that is going to remove Saddam and in the process liberate tens of
thousands of Iraqis from their life on this earth, so the sudden
obsession with how to get rid of Hussein is a decoy.

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Les Schaffer | 1 Mar 01:57 2003



This is a reminder that the date for the next big anti-war marches in
Washington, San Francisco, AND LOS ANGELES has been shifted from Mar. 1
to Sat., March 15. Call us for more information at 213 487-2368 or log
on to our website at


On Saturday, Mar. 1, we will be doing mass outreach at the ANSWER
Office, 422 S Western Ave, Rm 114, Los Angeles, beginning at 12 noon
and lasting until early evening. We urge you to come to our office and
be part of one of the teams that will go out to put up posters all
over Los Angeles or pass out flyers about the March 15 demonstration.
We also need help in the office on weekdays from 10 am until 5 pm. If
you are able to come in and help answer telephones, or spend time
leafletting or postering during the day, please contact us.

In addition, if you are able to help by taking an assignment at the
demonstration, please call in and let us know. It takes a huge team of
volunteers to make a large demonstration happen, and its exciting to
be part of it.

March 15 will be a critical date as the Bush administration pushes
relentlessly forward with its drive toward war. In Los Angeles, we
will gather downtown at Olympic and Broadway at 12 noon and then march
to the downtown Federal Building. Details of the march route will
appear on our website, WWW.ANSWERLA.ORG, soon.

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Jacob Levich | 1 Mar 03:01 2003

Re: Who the hell is Jack Duvall?

Yep, totally agree, as I think anyone on this list would. But in the 
interests of the broader movement I think we have to draw a line between 
imperialists-in-sheep's-clothing and radical pacifists in the AJ Muste 
tradition, condemning the former but keeping the latter on board.

I think these kids have indeed been duped, but not irredeemably. They've 
just been misled by a slick propagandist, and I hope to be able to expose 
him as a way of getting them back on the right path.


At 07:29 PM 2/28/2003 -0500, you wrote:
>I am sorry I cannot answer directly as to Duvall, but this kind of
>"pacifism" is a noxious disease and should be treated as such. For the
>movement the looming question should not be about plotting various ways
>to get rid of Saddam--that this has become an obsession in some quarters
>is purely, 100% a function of American propaganda as part of the war
>hype. There are some duped people who are unconsciously but nevertheless
>objectively reinforcing the reactionaries.

PLEASE clip all extraneous text before replying to a message.

Joseph Vella | 1 Mar 03:12 2003

Feds Fine Cyclist $8,305 For Vacation To Cuba

From Bicycle Retailer


Feds Fine Cyclist $8,305 For Vacation To Cuba

FEBRUARY 27, 2003 -- SAN DIEGO, CA (BRAIN)--Joan Slote, a 74-year-old
grandmother and senior Olympic cycling medallist, was issued a fine of
$8,305 for a recent cycling vacation to Cuba.

Not only is the Treasury Department fining her for the illegal trip to
Communist Cuba, but it notified her that it might start deducting the fine
and growing penalty for failed payment from her $1,200 monthly Social
Security check. Slote took a cycling tour of western Cuba with Worldwide
Adventures of Toronto, Canada, in 2000. She said she thought it was a legal

Allegedly Worldwide's brochure incorrectly states that U.S. law does not
prohibit U.S. citizens from visiting Cuba, provided they flying from Canada
or Mexico and not directly from a U.S. port. Most U.S. citizens are banned
from visiting Cuba no matter where they travel from.

The Bush administration vigorously defends the Cuba embargo, despite
congressional efforts to ease or lift it. The administration has increased
its efforts to fine U.S. citizens who violate the embargo.

PLEASE clip all extraneous text before replying to a message.

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M. Junaid Alam | 1 Mar 03:14 2003

Wolfowitz's America [al-Ahram]

I have been reading a lot of the neoconservative press [national review,
benador, Jerusalem post], who are in a state of enthusiastic arrogant
triumphalism about Bush's latest speech and what it represents. If
anyone can even speak of a Palestinian state with a straight face these
days, he is lying or uninformed. But it seems this will not be without

Wolfowitz's America 
As the sabre-rattling directed at Iraq reaches fever pitch, Mohamed
Hakki wonders what the US administration's plans are for Iraq's
beleaguered people 

 It now seems almost certain that US forces will invade Iraq, despite
the fact that the justification remains unclear. All talk to the effect
that "the president has not made up his mind" is just that, talk. The
decision was already made for him long ago. Much has already been
written about the group of advisers formed by Undersecretary of Defence
Paul Wolfowitz and their plan, the "Project for the New American
Century", which aims at no less than establishing a new world order of
uncontested American hegemony. The US, according to this group, must be
sure of "deterring any potential competitors from even aspiring to a
larger regional or global role". Thus we have current discussions about
the preemptive use of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons, "even
in conflicts that do not directly engage US interests". 

The London Observer tells us that a paper circulated among Wolfowitz's
group said that what was needed for the US to move towards assuming this
position was "some catastrophic and catalysing event, like a new Pearl
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Ben Courtice | 1 Mar 03:19 2003

East Timor and Brest-Litovsk

Some on the left like to paint the socialists (mainly the DSP of Australia) who called for intervention to
help the East Timorese in the 
same light as the social-democrats who voted for war credits in 1914. 

I would suggest a better parallel: the Soviets  who had to sign an unpleasant peace treaty with imperialism
at Brest-Litovsk (was it 
1918?). However, I would not paint the "left" opposition to the DSP's position in the same light as the left
Communists who argued 
against the Brest-Litovsk treaty: the lefts of 1918 were at least willing to do the fighting (and
presumably the dying). 

The East Timorese liberation movement was mostly unarmed and mostly unprepared for the massacre (with the
exception of the 
PST, who made sure all their cadres were safely in the hills). They called for Australian troops to help. For
the left, in East Timor and 
Australia, it was a necessary compromise to buy time and ensure survival, which we made because
(obviously, I would have thought) 
an immediate victory over imperialism was not possible.

I think the Australian bourgeoisie were probably willing in some measure to accept (put up with) an
independent East Timor. 
However, they still recommended to East Timorese to vote against it in the UN referendum. They knew of, and
covered up their 
knowledge of, the TNI plans for a massacre if the referendum went the wrong way. I think they hoped at the
worst (from their 
perspective) to have the liberation movement in East Timor eliminated before any sort of independent
state was set up. In the event, 
they were forced to intervene before the massacre was completed.

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David Walters | 1 Mar 15:39 2003

fw: M-60 MG

Never ask the 'Mekong Mikes' and Rambo wannabes of Special Forces anything.
No one ever thought that the M-60 wasn't necessary for close fighting. They
had so much other stuff, they couldn't carry it. Infantry still does.

The M-60 is still being issued, it is still being manufactured, still
issued, and still deployed. In the military, what is deployed has been

There are different versions of the M-60 in use, including ones that mount
on light vehicles, infantry versions with stocks, and ones that mount on
tanks. The US Navy uses them to guard their ships from attacks like what
happened against the USS Cole.

It fires 7.62 mm bullets.

You can be sure that the US troops will use it again as it is a powerful,
usually well functioning light machine gun (though one misfired on me and I
still have fragments in my right hand from the exploded bullet that

U.S. Ordnance Inc.

1469 Greg Street
Sparks, Nevada 89431
Tel  : 775 356 1303
Fax : 775 356 1313
E-mail : info <at>
Website: <at>
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M. Junaid Alam | 1 Mar 04:09 2003

Samir Amin Lashes Out At American Imperialism, Equates with Nazism

Dude goes all out.

Confronting the empire 
The present crisis has demonstrated the ambitions of the United States
-- nothing short of bringing the entire planet under its military
control, writes Samir Amin 

 From the 1980s on, and with the collapse of the Soviet system, the
ruling class in the United States, whether Democrat or Republican, began
drawing up a hegemonic programme. Carried away by its military power,
and without any competitor able to temper its fantasies, the US chose to
reinforce its domination by deploying a military strategy aiming at
"planetary control". An early series of interventions -- in the Gulf,
Yugoslavia, Central Asia, Palestine and Iraq -- began this plan for
endless wars that would be "made in the USA" and that would be planned
and decided unilaterally by Washington. 

The political strategy that accompanied this programme set up the
pretexts for it, whether these had to do with terrorism, with the fight
against drug trafficking, or with accusations of producing weapons of
mass destruction. These are obvious pretexts when one recalls the CIA's
invention of convenient terrorist adversaries, whether the Taliban or
Bin Laden. 

Accusations of producing dangerous weapons, made today against Iraq and
North Korea, but tomorrow against any convenient state, pale besides the
actual use of these weapons by the United States. The US used nuclear
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