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Re: Wallerstein on the Future
by Nemonemini
15 September 2002 21:48 UTC
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Your post is most interesting in light of the previous remarks on predictive 
What is the basis of prediction here? I, for one, would have a hard time 
predicting anything. What I would do is to always be wary when great powers 
go to war. That's always a moment to pause and be wary. That said, the 
current reflex to 'demonstrate against the war' is a hand-me-down sixties 
gesture. I walked in those marches, and I remember the lesson in unlearning 
the lesson of the second world war, i.e. the generational 'we must stop 
aggression' from Hitler, that made so many do a kneejerk Vietnam syndrome. 
This is not the same situation. What lesson are we learning now? 
 Which doesn't mean that we shouldn't protest. But all the tired groups 
hoping to jumpstart their flagging membership drives find themselves in a new 
situation here, and one that will skewer most analyses. 
Even thought I could not easily support this war, I could not easily 
demonstrate in the streets to save Saddam given the great memories I have of 
the Vietnma protest generation. 

I don't know what to think, but as to Iraq, who cares?  Why would anyone 
defend this Saddam idiot? IF, and it would be a dangerous IF, the American 
centurions of Empire could  quickly topple this Asshole of first magnitude, I 
would take a vacation on protesting Empire for the duration. I know that's 
unacceptable, yet I note that this is being collated with the Palestinian 
confusion, and that is unfair to the genuine injustice there. It is a 
hopeless tangel.
 The Bush regime is exceptionally clever here. They have a stack of pyscho 
studies I am sure of the 'Protest' phenom, and they can see the protest 
movement is going very well here. Because it is not the same situation. 
What is the left's posture here? The Communist system saw fit to intervene 
everywhere and at all points, in the most violent fashion. How is the Bush 
War any worse? 
And they have their 'legitimate' excuses in the harsh facts of atomic and bio 
By the rule of thugs and bullies, the American bullies are more benign. 

A man who uses bio weapons on Kurds loses his rights to bully to the bigger 
Bully, Uncle Sam, those rights being the Empire sweepstakes, no doubt. But 
grieving over Iraq, to me, is a waste of effort. 

I do agree on the question of the 'clash of civilizations'. This is a genuine 
ideological fix, resurrected to serve its purpose. The West versus Islam as a 
clash of civilizations is a non-starter. 

I should note the reality is not the West as a civilization, but the 'modern' 
as a phase of transformation, and it's all there in Marx, now thought  
Eurocentric. But his point remains. 

What do we mean by this 'modern phase'. That should be the real concern of 
the Islamic world. 

I am often puzzled why it is that a 'milieu' (I won't say civilization, then) 
as rich as the Islamic, with a millennium of Sufis who could make western 
psychologists look primitive are unable to deal with this modern phase, which 
is an idea. Why is it that this rich heritage is stuck with such atrocious 
gangsters as Saddam Hussein, whom we are supposed to grieve over. 

I take no hard position here, and am open to challenge on these points. But 
this isn't the Vietnam war all over again. The Bush gang is too clever for 
that. And the realm of Islam is that of an Empire, not of a civilization. So 
it's a choice of bullies. 

Sorry, feel free to disagree with this. I take no hard stance on a Bush war. 
Merely I sense the frustration of those thinking they are protesting another 
Vietnam war. I won't work that way. 
What unforeseen mess could occur if the Bushies got their war, I hardly dare 
think. It could be over in a week, or turn into a quagmire. Who can predict. 

John Landon
Website on the eonic effect

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