This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Print it out: color best. Pass it on.
Military Resistance 10L17
Taps For The North Country Dead
December 19, 2012 By Robert Sharlet, Searching for Jeff [Searching for Jeff -- http://jeffsharletandvietnamgi.blogspot.com/2012/12/ -is a blog about reconstructing the short but interesting life and times of Jeff Sharlet (1942-1969), an ex-GI and leader of the GI antiwar movement during the Vietnam War; founder and editor of Vietnam GI, the first antiwar underground paper written by and for GI’s. [A memoir is in progress. Note new posting schedule -- every other Wednesday. Prior to September 2011, postings were every Wednesday]] ***************************************************************************************** Forty-five years ago, just after sunset on a hillside along the border of New York and Canada, the sad sounds of taps echoed through the hills. It was a warm evening in the summer of ’67 when hundreds of townspeople – nearly everyone living in Ausable Forks, a tiny hamlet of 500 or so souls – came out to pay last respects to a local boy, James Saltmarsh, killed a week earlier in Vietnam. An honor guard had fired 21 rifle volleys as yet another son of the North Country of upper New York State was laid to rest. Finally the elegiac lament of the bugle was heard, closing the burial ceremony in the breathtaking High Peaks region of the beautiful Adirondack Mountains.
High Peaks, Adirondacks, northern New York
It was an ordinary burial ground, not a place dedicated to the military dead. Over the years I had become familiar with military cemeteries, having visited several abroad. I rarely came away unaffected by the magisterial simplicity of those solemn places, calling to mind legions of eternal youth no longer walking the earth. Mostly young, of course – so many truncated lives. My first such experience was when passing through eastern Poland in the ‘60s. I was visiting a Polish colleague at a university near Lublin. He took me for a drive, he wanted to show me something. We came to a small elegantly fenced-in area. Entering, I realized it was a cemetery, but an unusual one. There was just a single stone obelisk with Cyrillic script, standing guard so to speak, over rows of widely spaced, carefully landscaped low mounds, each with a bronze marker. This was the burial place of hundreds of Soviet soldiers who fell liberating Poland in 1944. No trace of individualization, a fast moving army had buried its dead quickly and collectively. The men of 8th Guards Army lay with their comrades, regiment by regiment. I was well aware of the scale of Soviet war losses, but still seeing them up close left me stunned. Some years later I was visiting friends outside London and, walking about a suburban town, happened upon a vast military cemetery, the largest in Great Britain. There lay nearly 5000 young Englishmen, Canadians, New Zealanders, Australians, South Africans, and even some Americans from the two world wars – each with a simple stone marker carved with the man’s name, rank, unit, and, inevitably, short life span. The place was beautifully kept, symmetrical rows of white markers stretching across immense lawns as far as the eye could see.
Brookwood Military Cemetery, Woking, Surrey, England But for me the most affecting of these sad sights was in 1990 on the eve of the collapse of the Soviet Union. Traveling by boat up the Volga, I and my companions went ashore at the place formerly called Stalingrad, the scene of one of history’s legendary battles, where well over a million Russian and German soldiers met their deaths.
Our Russian guide, a young woman, led us to the Soviet victory memorial, a massive stone building on a high bluff over the river. We entered the structure and were struck by its eight-story circular atrium interior, every inch of the soaring walls carved with names of the dead. Pointing high up, the guide said to me quietly that her grandfather’s name was up there. What could one say – I bowed my head. ******************************************************************* What of the North Country dead for whom there was no victory. They simply came home to local graveyards in the obscure little towns and villages where they grew up, played football, or marched in the band – places of several thousand residents with names like Cape Vincent, Hannibal, Lowville, Phoenix, Rouses Point, and Ticonderoga. A little further south – in the foothills of the Adirondacks – Glens Falls, the ‘metropolis’ of the region with a population just over 18,000, already had 15 fatalities early in the Vietnam War, nine alone just in the first six months of ’67. Similarly, in the much smaller town of Mexico on the shores of Lake Ontario in New York’s Oswego County – replete with early American history like the entire region – the local high school had lost three recent graduates in less than a year by fall of ‘67. The Vietnam War dead of the North Country, interred over a huge, sparsely populated area and in numbers disproportional to their percentage of the state’s population, rest in union with nature in an alternate space for the military dead spread over forested mountains and across green valleys along the fast moving streams and rivers. The great majority of the North Country dead were not drafted – they enlisted, volunteered. What impelled so many to step forward into a war that became increasingly unpopular? Settled in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the region had been relatively prosperous from mining, logging, valley farms, and numerous sawmills, pulp/paper mills and other riparian enterprises strung along the many waterways of the Adirondacks. By mid-20th century, however, the North Country was in decline – in the 1890s New York had created Adirondack State Park, the largest of its kind in the United States, designating 6,000,000 acres ‘forever wild’ which greatly restricted logging. Mining was played out, and many of the small riverside mills long shut down, their giant water wheels turning aimlessly, while the larger paper companies had gradually moved to the South, a land of cheap labor, less environmental concern. By the ‘60s, the North Country had become a region of little economic opportunity. For the boys graduating from high school in its many small communities, there wasn’t much work. Sure, around the many lakes there were jobs serving the summer tourist trade, but those were seasonal. New York State had by then created an extensive state
higher educational system, including many inexpensive two-year community colleges – at all of which deferments from the draft awaited. However, many of the North Country boys, a large number of whom grew up on farms, had neither interest nor money for pursuing further education. With the unemployment rate 50 percent above the statewide average, the military beckoned to the boys of the upper Adirondacks, attracted by a combination of adventure, challenge, and, not least, employment. Nearly a lifetime later, as I riffled through myriad obituaries of the North Country dead, it was uncanny how many of those young men had been athletes, opting for the Marines or airborne. Often they virtually went from the football field to distant battlegrounds with exotic names like Dak To, Con Thien, Khe Sanh – for so many of them, places of no return. As one 20-year old in the process of filling out enlistment papers at a local recruiting office put it, “There just isn’t that much for a young guy to do.”* For the boys of the Adirondacks, the journey was all too often a short one. Vietnam tours were 12 and 13 months, and when a GI or Marine was done, he could head home, ‘back to the world’ as they called it. Some 58,000 never completed their tours, including the North Country dead. They’d go off to war – Basic Training, Advanced Infantry Training, deployment to Nam, often cut down by enemy fire or a land mine early tour, mid-tour, and occasionally just weeks before return. Next of kin notified. During WWII, it was the dreaded telegram. Or, as depicted in Saving Private Ryan, a farm mother standing at the kitchen sink looking through the window, seeing a khaki brown car in the distance, watching with apprehension as it turned into the access road, steadily coming up the hill to the house. In modern wars with their ‘lighter’ casualties, notification can occur at warp speed and is always personally delivered. A few weeks back in Mechanicville NY just south of the Adirondacks – the smallest city by area in the state – a middle-aged mother awaited a call from her Marine son. Since deployment to Afghanistan earlier in the fall, he rang home every week at 6 AM Sunday morning. His mother set the alarm, rose early, but no call. A few hours later a knock at the door – two Marine officers, the young man had been killed 24 hours earlier – shot in the neck, just over a month in-country. She told the press he had wanted to serve in Afghanistan adding, “I’m extremely proud of my son.”**
Mother of a Fallen Marine, Mechanicville, NY, 2012 For the fallen from Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, it’s home in a box, family and neighbors gather, a sad requiem, the flag folded, presented to the mother, almost always the mother, the gravediggers standing at a respectful distance turn to the final work. What then of the enduring casualties of war, of all wars, the survivors, the parents, a young wife. From the mother and father of a Russian soldier killed in the Soviet Afghan War, a final message carved on his tombstone, “Dearest Igor, You left this life without having known it.”† The lost one is of course buried in the hearts of those who loved him now left with just memories and photos. Some years after Vietnam, in a documentary on the war, an older couple was filmed sitting quietly in their living room, a picture of a young man in uniform in a silver frame between them, their only child, a pilot shot down over North Vietnam. Not for them the revisionism of defeat – we shouldn’t have been there, lives wasted – no, the war remained a just cause, their son did his duty, they were ever proud. Or fighting back tears, the same sentiments more recently by the mother of an Afghan GI, Sgt Orion Sparks: “He didn’t shirk any of his years. … I felt honored that he was my son and I was able to be part of his life.”***
Long after the guns go silent, time passes, rights and wrongs fade, -- the parents grow old, the young widow remarries, children grow up, move away, but the boy who went to war remains, forever young, in the silver frame on the mantle. The strange poetry of war obits, the military fanfare at graveside, the heartrending notes of taps closing a life – all become distant memory. Pain dulls, but never goes away.
Cpl Wm. Aspinall, Plattsburgh, and PFC Chas. Raver, Phoenix KIA - Thua Thien, 1967, and Quang Nam, 1968 The young men in those picture frames remain unchanged, the boy who went off to war remains as we last remember him. And so it was with my brother Jeff Sharlet who served in Vietnam, was possibly exposed to something there – perhaps Agent Purple, we don’t know – and died several years later at 27. For our parents, now long gone, as for all those North Country families and the mothers of those two Afghan GIs, in spite of reaffirming sentiments, nothing could be worse than losing a child. I remember the day we buried Jeff. It was a beautiful sunny June day in ‘69. I sat between my parents as the limo sped along the broad avenues toward the cemetery, the hearse flanked by two outriders – booted, helmeted motorcycle policemen, in reflecting sunglasses, astride big Harleys.
To my distraught mind, two images came to the fore – a scene from the 1950 French film Orpheus when ‘Death’, a striking woman cloaked in black, arrives by limo, preceded by goggled motorcycle outriders, submachine guns slung, announcing her authority; and then as we approached the cemetery gates, the more gentle image from the opening and closing lines of Emily Dickinson’s poem: Because I could not stop for Death, He kindly stopped for me … Since then ‘t is centuries; but each Feels shorter than the day I first surmised the horses’ heads Were toward eternity. *************************************************************************** † http://jeffsharletandvietnamgi.blogspot.com/2012/01/remembering.html *New York Times, July 12, 1967 **Albany (NY) Times-Union, December 3, 2012 ***Military Resistance #10J11, October 21, 2012
AFGHANISTAN WAR REPORTS
Norwin Grad Turned Navy SEAL To Be Buried Today
Petty Officer 1st Class Nicolas D. Checque, 28, of Monroeville. He’s a 2002 graduate of Norwin High School.
A man who graduated from Norwin High School to become a member of the elite Navy SEAL Team 6 unit will be laid to rest today among other American heroes in Arlington National Cemetery. A funeral for Petty Officer 1st Class Nicolas David Checque, 28, a 10-year decorated member of the military team, will be held at 1 p.m. today at the Virginia cemetery. He died on Dec. 9 in Afghanistan when he was shot during a rescue mission to save an American relief worker who was kidnapped by the Taliban. Checque spent the past decade serving as a Navy SEAL, the last five as a member of the elite SEAL Team 6, the same team whose members conducted the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden. It is not known whether Checque played any part in that raid, but he executed dangerous missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, and wherever else he was needed, according to friends and family. Checque served in the Iraq War and in Afghanistan operations. His decorations included the Bronze Star, Joint Service Commendation Medal and Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal among others. It was just before 3 a.m. Dec. 9 when Checque and other members of his special operations team, comprised of both U.S. and Afghan forces, loaded into helicopters and headed to a remote mountaintop in Eastern Afghanistan, the military reported. The mission was to rescue Dr. Dilip Joseph, an American working for a faith-based relief agency, Morning Star Development, who was taken hostage by the Taliban on Dec. 5. Joseph was one of three aid workers from Morning Star taken hostage by Taliban militants while returning from a rural medical clinic. The other two hostages were released by their captors. The rescue mission was initiated after intelligence revealed Joseph was in imminent danger. Checque enlisted in the Navy in October 2002, the same year he graduated from Norwin, and entered the Navy‘s Special Warfare training in April 2003. In high school, he excelled in academics and was a wrestler. Friends said Checque spoke of becoming a Navy SEAL since the seventh grade. Gov. Tom Corbett has ordered all Pennsylvania flags in the Capitol Complex and at commonwealth facilities in Allegheny County to fly at half-staff on Friday to honor Checque. Corbett said state flags should remain at half-staff until sundown.
POLITICIANS REFUSE TO HALT THE BLOODSHED THE TROOPS HAVE THE POWER TO STOP THE WAR
“At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed. Oh had I the ability, and could reach the nation’s ear, I would, pour out a fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern rebuke. “For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. “We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake.” “The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppose.” Frederick Douglass, 1852
Rise like Lions after slumber In unvanquishable number, Shake your chains to earth like dew Which in sleep had fallen on youYe are many — they are few -- Percy Bysshe Shelley, 1819, on the occasion of a mass murder of British workers by the Imperial government at Peterloo.
“Since About 1980 The Constituent National Parts Of The World Economy Have Been Dominated By The Transition To
“The Free Flow Of The Factors Of Production Has Created A Single World Economy, Outside The Control Of Any One National Authority”
“The Core Problem Is, Then, In Sum, An Integrated World Economy, Driven By Global Markets, The Outcome Of Which Cannot Be Predicted Or Determined, And A Fractured Political Order Of Competing States That Is Incapable Of Unified Action”
To put it over-simplistically, the state faces a set of contradictory options— economic growth (through integration with the world economy) but weakened state power (especially relative to economic crisis); or enhanced state power with economic stagnation (which in turn undermines state power). Globalisation is not the imperialistic instrument of Washington and a clearly identifiable bloc of “US capital”, but a phenomenon that also undermines the US state, allowing the corporations that have their home or origin there to be freefloating in world markets with little or no reference to Washington. 28 June 12 by Nigel Harris, International Socialism It used to be that identifying the central contradiction of a historical period was seen by Marxists as the linchpin of all subsidiary analyses and strategies. But the general decay of theoretical concerns has made this unfashionable.
Nonetheless, much of the left falls back on the threadbare term “imperialism” as a substitute for rethinking the period. The concept now, however, lacks the original theoretical underpinnings (HobsonHilferding) which anchored imperial expansion in a change in the core of capitalism, and seems to imply that “freeing nations” (usually from Washington domination) would achieve universal liberation. This article tries to suggest an alternative approach in order to open discussion. Since about 1980 the constituent national parts of the world economy have been dominated by the transition to a single world economy: “economic globalisation”. This increasingly imposes on the world a new changing pattern of territorial specialisation, organised by global markets, not as hitherto believed (rightly or wrongly), by national states. The integration of the separate political territories (“national economies”) into a single economic system has been achieved in stages through the state agreeing to relinquish control of trade, of capital, and finally—albeit partially—of labour. The free flow of the factors of production has created a single world economy, outside the control of any one national authority. The destruction of the old Soviet Union, of apartheid in South Africa as well as the coming final transformation of others (Cuba, Myanmar, North Korea, etc) can be seen as only the more extreme casualties of this inexorable economic globalisation.
“The First Phase Of The Current Transition Has Been Characterised Both By Extraordinary Levels Of Prosperity In The Heartlands Of The System”
The first phase of the current transition has been characterised both by extraordinary levels of prosperity in the heartlands of the system (the Atlantic economy and Japan), and an unprecedented geographical spread of economic growth (most dramatically to China and South East Asia, to Latin America and, latterly, to India). In turn, this process may now be drawing in sub-Saharan Africa. In the first phase, opinion rejoiced that the world had apparently mastered the secret of sustained and spreading growth; in the second, marred at the end by severe economic crisis in the heartlands, there were growing fears that globalisation had disastrously undermined the authority of the state, and imposed on the world a territorial division of labour which made redundant the mass of the labour force in the heartlands, implying long-term mass unemployment. It seemed an existential political crisis of the state coincided with an economic crisis of material survival for the population. The current transition is, historically, the second great surge towards economic globalisation.
The first, between, say, 1870 and 1914, ended with two world wars and the Great Slump, in which states not only clawed back the powers they had conceded to global markets, but immensely enhanced and centralised national political power over their respective national economies to an unprecedented degree, epitomised in the extraordinary concentration of power in the state in Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. It took nearly 50 years after the end of the Second World War to resume the drive to globalisation, now with much enhanced vigour and comprehensiveness, and encompassing the whole world, not just the Atlantic economy. Indeed, never before in the history of capitalism has the ethic of competitive markets—neoliberalism—penetrated so deeply into the domestic operations of the state, into virtually every cell of the social order. We are now within sight of the reversal of many of the major historical efforts to tame the destructive power of markets — from the New Deal and Great Society legislation in the US (even the right to collective bargaining) to the welfare state and the provision of social and educational services in Europe. Indeed, in the period from the 1950s to the present there has been an almost complete reversal of the dominant statist narrative throughout the world, especially visible in Europe, but most dramatically in what used to be called the developing countries (and the Eastern Bloc).
“No Population Is Likely To Remain Loyal Indefinitely To A State Seen As Working Exclusively For Foreigners (The “World System”)
In striking contrast to the past, national economic growth (for social prosperity and to fund state coercive power) is now seen as exclusively provided by opening the national economy to global economic integration — allowing domestic economic activity to be determined by global markets rather than state priorities. Such arrangements necessitate domestic reform to open the economy to global capital, to establish transparency and accountability (so all competitors, domestic and foreign, receive the same message). By implication, the state relinquishes any ambition to shape the domestic economy in any particular direction, restricting itself to managing efficiently the accommodation of global forces. However, the emergence of a national “global state” (that is, a state whose function is to manage the local economy and society in conformity with global, not local, imperatives) profoundly weakens the state compared to the past. It is obliged to relinquish much of what used to be a national agenda, including important instruments of economic policy concerning the management of external trade, capital movements and, in principle, labour. More importantly, politically, it relinquishes powers to bribe the electorate to be loyal and to reward patrons.
To put it over-simplistically, the state faces a set of contradictory options—economic growth (through integration with the world economy) but weakened state power (especially relative to economic crisis); or enhanced state power with economic stagnation (which in turn undermines state power). Of course, depending on the specific circumstances of a particular state (including the history of past policies), opening up to the world may not lead to economic growth, in which case, the state has no recourse except to rule by violence. In an existential crisis (such as, for example, faces Assad’s regime in Syria today), the state will not hesitate to sacrifice present and future economic growth — as indeed, the population of the country — to hold on to power. The threat to state power is also political in a different way — through undermining the domestic social solidarity which has hitherto been identified as the precondition of a stable state. No population is likely to remain loyal indefinitely to a state seen as working exclusively for foreigners (the “world system”). Nowhere is this more painfully apparent than in the field of immigration, since the mobility of labour is also a precondition of economic growth. No advanced economy is any longer self-sufficient in labour (that includes the changing diversity of skills in the labour force as local economies restructure). The solidarity underpinning the old state required levels of xenophobia and sometimes racism which are incompatible with continual immigration, the “churning” of the labour force required for economic growth. Yet everywhere today, certainly in the heartlands of the system, there are increased restrictions on immigration, despite the damage done to economic growth (not to speak of the welfare of the native-born). States are again caught in a contradictory position — the conditions for growth undermine the elements of national closure (zero net migration) supposedly required to make secure state power (and seen most vividly in North Korea and the old Stalinist states). It is this contradictory position which inhibits states today from copying the reactions to the inter-war Great Depression, ending the first surge of globalisation — economic closure and domestic authoritarianism. The reaction now is fragmentary and contradictory—some moves to authoritarianism, a ballooning prison population, attempts to block immigration and demonise “illegals” (and Muslims), along with the continued spread of neoliberal reform, but without systematic protectionism.
Of course, since the present crisis might be seen as an existential one for states, the longer the crisis lasts, especially if marked by popular revolts against austerity, the greater the danger states will seek to recover their lost powers — and reverse economic globalisation, sacrificing the welfare of their own and the world’s population to their own survival. The issue of world slump was only settled last time round by resort to world war and a terrible orgy of self-destruction. At the moment world war seems unlikely but one should not underestimate the potential for auto-destruct when one or other state’s existence is threatened — the common ruin of the contending nations/classes. These trends — if “trends” they are — go with other attempts to disenfranchise citizens, to isolate government from “politics”, to protect the global system (and states) from popular demands, and install technical or expert administration— through independent central banks and national statistical agencies to reassure “global investors” that mere governments—or “politics”—cannot interfere either with monetary policy or basic data; and in Europe, to institutionalise binding (constitutional) conditions of expert state management. The language betrays the change of emphasis—”citizens” become “clients” or customers for state services, where the criterion of judgement is supposedly the efficiency and cost of service provision, not the right of citizens to exercise popular sovereignty. But the weakening or removal of representation further undermines the state: it is popular democratic self-government that supposedly legitimises the exercise of sovereignty. The strict limits imposed on national sovereignty by the new order are becoming clear— that is, on the economic front, the global economic nexus, global markets severely discipline national policy and those constraints are reinforced by the political order of states, the so-called “international community”. The state now appears to become an agent for an economic and political world order, enforcing global imperatives on the domestic population rather than representing it to the world at large (let alone defending it against external threats). If there is no longer the possibility of state sovereignty, will the world’s fascination for two centuries with “national liberation” become undermined? Not while aspirant ruling classes are willing to fight for a place at the top table, and there are no alternative options for popular self-emancipation.
“Left To Itself, The Global System Seems Unable To Resist SelfDestruction”
This conjuncture exposes the separation of what we might call two ruling classes—a territorial national ruling class, a class whose very existence depends on holding a national territory (composed of the state administration itself, armed forces and security services, crony capitalism, owners of land and infrastructure, etc), and a global ruling
class which directs the companies and corporations that constitute the global economy, the mobile global rich, along with the staff of international agencies, NGOs, etc—that is, a global social stratum for whom nationality is a mere contingency, not a matter of overriding loyalty. The two classes are in practice not at all clearly distinguishable and members pass freely between the two. What is distinguishable is interest (for example, between neoliberalism and economic nationalism) and role (national versus international). Thus we may be entering a period which combines both the extraordinary potential for the end of world poverty, and a possible existential crisis of the fractured political order of the world. The danger is that the territorial ruling class may use its overwhelming control of the powers of physical coercion to reassert national dominance over the global economy— producing domestic authoritarianism with economic stagnation (with possible perpetual warfare on the borderlands to enforce social discipline (a combination so brilliantly described in Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four). In fact, hopefully, global economic integration is by now already so advanced, it cannot be comprehensively reversed even if components can be qualified (eg immigration), and states will continue to cheat and chisel on the rules. States have an interest in inflating the popular fear that the new international division of labour will render redundant large sections of the labour force to support populist authoritarianism and that will damage economic globalisation — and hence the welfare of the people of the world. Elements of a partial restoration of national capitalisms already exist in the nexus between the national military and crony capital which dominate some important states (Russia, China, Pakistan, Iran, Israel, etc). Many states are already adjusting their domestic orders to accommodate the new circumstances. Some have initiated national debates on what it is to be a native, the supposed values shared by the natives, often under the spurious pretext of the need to secure the “integration” of non-natives (immigrants, refugees, etc). Of course, what united, say, the British was never “shared values”, but common subordination to one state, so the debate is both risible and vacuous. As so often, Israel in its peculiar circumstances is a pioneer in this adjustment, combining militarised ethno-nationalism, a return to religious orthodoxy with authoritarianism, employing the Israeli Arabs as the anvil to forge unity out of an immigrant diversity and pursuing a perpetual war in the Occupied Territories to sustain popular fear. However, this combination could be suicidal for an economy as globalised as Israel. Hungary in Europe is also distinguished by its innovations (ending an independent central bank and judiciary, and controlling freedom of the press). This last highlights the role of the technical revolution in communication, breaking—at least for the moment— the state’s monopoly of information (many states are seeking means to restore the status quo ante through censoring the internet, mobile phones, etc).
Left to itself, the global system seems unable to resist self-destruction: Markets—and the competitive drive to profit—seem incapable of the self-discipline to escape crash. The global capitalist class shows little potential for political self-government. For that they are for the moment dependent on the existing political order (international and national). Yet the fragmented political order—where real coercive power is vested—appears incapable of overcoming its ferocious rivalries to achieve unified action to avoid selfdestruction. The core problem is, then, in sum, an integrated world economy, driven by global markets, the outcome of which cannot be predicted or determined, and a fractured political order of competing states that is incapable of unified action. The forces of revolt against this order — national liberation in the Arab world to overthrow the local mafia states; the Occupy movements in different countries (from Wall Street and Oakland to Tel Aviv); the mass worker struggles against austerity (Greece, Spain, Portugal); the widespread rash of peasant rebellions and strikes in China—all assume, insofar as they are political, the decisive role of the national state in securing reform or change. After decades of drilling populations to accept the state as the sole saviour of threatened populations, it is hardly surprising. Indeed, many of the rebels start from a demand to be taken as authentic natives and therefore worthy of being treated with dignity, not as if they were foreigners who deserve nothing from “our” state. The creativity of these movements is not in doubt, but intellectually, we cannot even begin to visualise a realistic road map to one world, a world without war, with a unified drive to end world poverty, secure a livelihood for all with security, and render the environment safe and sustainable. Revolutions in one national state can no longer achieve even “national liberation” (that requires breaking the global order), and though revolutions may spread, as we have seen in the Arab Spring (although not now united by an international proletarian class alliance), this merely reiterates the same order of competing states which is itself at the core of the problem.
These notes began with an implied criticism of the left that identifying the contemporary world as “imperialist” was theoretically inadequate.
The charge put Washington at the centre of the world system, implying that achieving national self-determination by overthrowing Washington’s domination would achieve the liberation of the world. However, Washington’s power is purely military/political, and does not deliver the power to manage global markets, the underlying reality of contemporary capitalism. Indeed, we could identify Washington’s attempts to control the world’s political order, not as pursuit of empire, but as a misguided attempt to fill the vacuum created by the lack of world government in a global economy — but not in the interests of the world’s people so much as what it sees as its own interests. Meanwhile that global capitalist system has severely damaged, perhaps irreversibly, that conjuncture in global flows that is still called the “US economy”. Globalisation is not the imperialistic instrument of Washington and a clearly identifiable bloc of “US capital”, but a phenomenon that also undermines the US state, allowing the corporations that have their home or origin there to be freefloating in world markets with little or no reference to Washington. In sum then, the period is dominated by the struggle of national political states to recover what was seen as their former power, the absolute and overriding powers of sovereignty, to resolidify the social foundations of political power while simultaneously securing economic growth, and do so while a global economy is constantly eroding their position. For a very long period capital was able to hide behind the state, but now—in the final phases of the completion of the bourgeois revolution (now on a world scale)—it is obliged to step into the limelight, unprotected by political power. It is perhaps the most dangerous conjuncture ever witnessed in the history of world capitalism, and the final outcome is far from clear.
DO YOU HAVE A FRIEND OR RELATIVE IN MILITARY SERVICE?
Forward Military Resistance along, or send us the address if you wish and we’ll send it regularly. Whether in Afghanistan or at a base in the USA, this is extra important for your service friend, too often cut off from access to encouraging news of growing resistance to the war and economic injustice, inside the armed services and at home. Send email requests to address up top or write to: The Military Resistance, Box 126, 2576 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10025-5657.
Military Resistance In PDF Format?
If you prefer PDF to Word format, email: email@example.com
F-22 Scores First Combat Kill Against Eight-Engined Red Aircraft
25 December 2012 by Jay, The Duffle Blog JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, AK – Captain Gary Rinch of the 622nd Fighter Wing can lay claim to the first combat kill with an F-22 fighter after shooting down what he described as “an eight-engined red aircraft” late last night. The encounter took place on December 24th, at 2345 Alaskan Time, north of the Arctic Circle during a combat air patrol exercise. CPT Rinch had suspicions about the unidentified aircraft, and reported the pilot wouldn’t reply to any attempts to make contact. “He wasn’t broadcasting any FAA or DOD identifying signals,” said Rinch. “He kept on his southerly course and had to be viewed as a threat.” The F-22 and its pilot performed a flyby to visually inspect the aircraft at Mach 2. “I saw a red fuselage and eight powerplants moving that sucker. Of course, at that speed, things get distorted.”
After multiple attempts to force the aircraft off its course, Rinch had no choice but to fire a single missile at the airborne interloper. After multiple failed attempts to launch, Rinch considered doing another flyby and down the unresponsive craft with his cannon. “Things got a little weird at this point. I’m not sure if it was the Aurora Borealis, or maybe I wasn’t breathing correctly to maximize the O2 system, but I could swear I saw a sparkly con-trail coming off the craft,” Rinch said. Before he could close with the intruder, Rinch’s weapons issues were sorted out and he fired at the red aircraft. The AIM-120 AMRAAM air-to-air missile streaked toward its target at four times the speed of sound. It closed the 20-mile engagement distance in less than 30 seconds. “The explosion was pretty spectacular, at least I imagine it was. All I saw was a bright flash about the size of a raisin.” An analysis of the aircraft based off of CPT Rinch’s account along with radar returns and pieces found at the suspected crash site reveal the aircraft may have been an upgraded TU-95 Bear bomber. Although the Bear was designed with four engines, each uses two sets of contra-rotating propellers, which gives credence to the eight-engined analysis. Speaking under condition of anonymity, the S2, or intelligence officer, for the 622nd stated, “It’s amazing that CPT Rinch was able to take out this obvious threat to our national security,” said Lt. Daniel Alvarado. “A search of the crash site uncovered a number of dangerous items such as advanced computers, I believe called Nabi Tablets or something. Probably missile guidance systems.” Other sources reported finding a number of innocent-looking items that could have been weaponized. “We found something called a Beyblade. Essentially, it’s a gyroscopically stabilized knife. Very dangerous in the right hands.” Victor Perkins, a Lockheed Martin/Boeing Congressional Liaison, met the news with high praise. “Obviously, this goes to show that American ingenuity and know-how can really get the job done. All it takes is a vision combined with can-do attitude, the world’s best pilots and a unit cost of $412 million.” In unrelated news, NORAD’s Santa Tracker website went down unexpectedly on December 25th at 0145 Mountain Time.
December 26, 1971: Honorable Anniversary:
Vietnam Veterans Against The War Liberate The Statue Of Liberty
Carl Bunin Peace History December 24-30 Two dozen members of Vietnam Veterans Against the War “liberated” the Statue of Liberty with a sit-in to protest resumed U.S. aerial bombings in Vietnam. They flew an inverted U.S. flag from the crown as a signal of distress.
MILITARY RESISTANCE BY EMAIL
If you wish to receive Military Resistance immediately and directly, send request to firstname.lastname@example.org. There is no subscription charge.
GOT A COMMENT?
Comments from service men and women, and veterans, are especially welcome. Write to Box 126, 2576 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10025-5657 or send to email@example.com: Name, I.D., withheld unless you request identification published.
DANGER: POLITICIANS AT WORK
CLASS WAR REPORTS
Comments, arguments, articles, and letters from service men and women, and veterans, are especially welcome. Write to Box 126, 2576 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10025-5657 or email firstname.lastname@example.org: Name, I.D., withheld unless you request publication. Same address to unsubscribe.
Vietnam GI: Reprints Available
VIETNAM: THEY STOPPED AN IMPERIAL WAR
Edited by Vietnam Veteran Jeff Sharlet from 1968 until his death, this newspaper rocked the world, attracting attention even from Time Magazine, and extremely hostile attention from the chain of command. The pages and pages of letters in the paper from troops in Vietnam condemning the war are lost to history, but you can find them here. Military Resistance has copied complete sets of Vietnam GI. The originals were a bit rough, but every page is there. Over 100 pages, full 11x17 size. Free on request to active duty members of the armed forces. Cost for others: $15 if picked up in New York City. For mailing inside USA add $5 for bubble bag and postage. For outside USA, include extra for mailing 2.5 pounds to wherever you are.
Checks, money orders payable to: The Military Project Orders to: Military Resistance Box 126 2576 Broadway New York, N.Y. 10025-5657 All proceeds are used for projects giving aid and comfort to members of the armed forces organizing to resist today’s Imperial wars.
“The single largest failure of the anti-war movement at this point is the lack of outreach to the troops.” Tim Goodrich, Iraq Veterans Against The War
Military Resistance Looks Even Better Printed Out
Military Resistance/GI Special are archived at website http://www.militaryproject.org . The following have chosen to post issues; there may be others: http://williambowles.info/military-resistance-archives/; email@example.com; http://www.scribd.com/
Military Resistance distributes and posts to our website copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in an effort to advance understanding of the invasion and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. We believe this constitutes a “fair use” of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law since it is being distributed without charge or profit for educational purposes to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for educational purposes, in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107. Military Resistance has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of these articles nor is Military Resistance endorsed or sponsored by the originators. This attributed work is provided a non-profit basis to facilitate understanding, research,
education, and the advancement of human rights and social justice. Go to: law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml for more information. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
If printed out, a copy of this newsletter is your personal property and cannot legally be confiscated from you. “Possession of unauthorized material may not be prohibited.” DoD Directive 1325.6 Section 220.127.116.11.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue listening from where you left off, or restart the preview.