On the debate over the attitude towards soldiers
in anti-war work during the first Persian Gulf war

.

. The following article relates a controversy during the first Persian Gulf War of 1991 on the issues of GI resistance, the "support our troops" slogan, and how to appeal to soldiers in the imperialist armed forces. The WA had combined opposition to the "support our troops" slogan with class sympathy for the plight of the oppressed cannon fodder from the working masses who comprise the bulk of the armed forces here and in Iraq, and solid support for resistance developing inside the military. Some comrades from Chicago opposed this agitation as too soft on the working people in uniform. The ensuing argument is relevant to similar controversies arising today with respect to the imminent second Persian Gulf War.

. The Workers Advocate was the paper of the late Marxist-Leninist Party, and it is a predecessor of the present Communist Voice journal. The comrades who objected to the Workers' Advocate later formed the Chicago Workers Voice group, which dissolved a few years ago.

. The defense of Workers' Advocate agitation below by comrade Slim first appeared in the Jan. 20, 1992 issue of the Information Bulletin (No. 65), which was the internal discussion sheet of the late Marxist-Leninist Party. It was later reprinted in Communist Voice, issue #5, of Nov. 15, 1995. Part one of Slim's article, which first appeared in IB #64, can be found in Communist Voice, issue, #4, of Sept. 15, 1995. Slim's articles were part of a vigorous discussion, in which any comrade in or around the MLP who so wished could contribute an article, and it would be circulated to everyone in the party in the very next issue of the IB.



A reply to criticisms of Workers' Advocate (pt 2)

More on questions raised about
the Workers' Advocate agitation
in the anti-war movement

by Slim, Detroit
Jan. 10, 1992

.

Subheads:
What is the question on GI resistance?
Drafted or volunteer, it is still a mass army
Imperialist recruitment -- even in the drafted army
The shift in recruiting with the "all-volunteer army"
Reasons for GI resistance
The WA worked to foster the GI resistance
WA against the "support our troops" slogan
Are ordinary soldiers our "comrades"?
What were the main criticisms?
Did WA pander to backward sentiments among the masses?
The working class and the anti-war movement
Did the working class become numb especially since the war started?
How should we view the wave of chauvinism at the beginning of the war?
How WA assessed the development of the anti-war movement
The attitude towards the working class in particular
What's the issue?

Text:

. In part one of my reply to criticisms on the agitation of the Workers' Advocate on the anti-war movement, I discussed a number of the questions related to the general orientation and tactics of the Party. In part two, I will discuss three particular issues raised in the criticisms, namely on the GI resistance; on the "support our troops" slogan; and on the assessment of the working class in the anti-war movement.

What is the question on GI resistance?

. One of the important fronts of our agitation against the Persian Gulf war was for the GI resistance. From the time of Bush's decision to send troops, there was a remarkably quick response not only in the rise of the anti-war movement generally but, also, in opposition coming up from within the military itself. From our experience in the Vietnam war, and from our Marxist-Leninist principles, we recognized that this was an important phenomena and quickly began to agitate in favor of it. From the October issue of WA on we encouraged the anti-war movement to support the GI resistance, and we encouraged the GIs to begin to stand against the war and to target imperialism.

. The stand of GIs coming out openly against the war, of those organizing dissent in the ranks of the soldiers and sailors, and of those refusing orders to the Persian Gulf was particularly heroic. These were the first activists to be called "traitors," to face harsh harassment, to be sent to the brigs, and to face heavy charges. The ruling class attitude towards them was made clear in the Marine Corp's declaration against Jeff Paterson who they called a threat to "the effectiveness, morale, discipline, and readiness of the command and national security of the United States."(1)

. The WA cheered Paterson and his fellow resisters for striking such worry into the imperialist war machine. The WA emphasized that Paterson and Larson had

"realized that the role of the U. S. military abroad has been to back up imperialist exploitation of foreign peoples. They want no such dishonor."

The WA also pointed to the discontent coming up more broadly within the armed forces -- even in the Gulf itself. And we declared,

"The Pentagon hopes that U. S. soldiers are unthinking automatons who can simply be whipped into line, with discipline and propaganda, to toe the ruling class line in favor of imperialist war. But they forget that the soldiers are thinking people, who come from the ranks of the working and poor people."(2)

This is how the WA began the agitation in support of GI resistance.

. However, not everyone in the Party thought the agitation was appropriate. In his letter criticizing the WA, comrade Rene complains that there are a series of articles during the war against Iraq which were:

"a) trying to deny that today's imperialist armed forces in the US are voluntary.
"b) call these soldiers: 'Sons and daughters of the working class', followed by 'Brothers and sisters' and finally 'Comrades'!
"I'm opposed to putting the party of the working class on its knees just to promote some degree of opposition to the Gulf war from within the army. One thing is to report on events and another is to exaggerate this opposition specially when no mention is given to some of the reasons for some of the soldiers who refuse to go." (Rene, Sept. 20 IB, page 24 [See CV #4, p. 33, col. 2])

. Comrade Rene does not elaborate his views. And, although I have had some discussion with him since he wrote his letter, I am still not completely clear on his thinking. But it appears that he is concerned that: there is some major difference between the drafted army of the past and the volunteer military of today; that he is skeptical about WA's agitation on how young working people are pressured into the military -- sometimes called the "economic draft"; and that he is skeptical about how widespread and significant the GI resistance was or is worried that it was not always motivated by the noblest aims.

. It is these issues that I will speak to in the hopes that I may begin to clarify why I think the WA agitation was correct and important.

Drafted or volunteer, it is still a mass army

. On one crucial point there is really no difference between the drafted army of the Vietnam war and the "all-volunteer" army of today. The US imperialist war machine, in either case, is a mass military -- a military composed in its vast majority of youth from the ranks of the working people.

. It is not an elite army today any more than it was during the Vietnam war. To be sure there are elite units of the military and there are elite classes in the military, then as now. The WA made sure to denounce the "imperialist army" itself in a number of articles and to target the officers and "lifers" -- the professional soldier core that is maintained to hold the imperialist army together. For example, in one article summing up the experience of the Vietnam war the WA emphasized

"the anti-war movement directed its fire against the White House, against the Pentagon, and against the officers who were directing the aggression."(3)

And the WA also carried specific articles against General Powell(4) and General Schwarzkopf. (5) In short, the WA recognized a class analysis of the military, and sought to target the ruling class and its officers for the crimes of the imperialist army.

. At the same time, the WA recognized that the mass base of the military was drawn from the ranks of the working people. To have such a huge military machine, the U. S. imperialists have had to draw the masses into it. This means that the overwhelming majority of the GIs -- the grunts, the cannon fodder -- come from the ranks of the working class, the poor, and also from the lower petty bourgeoisie.

. It is this composition, this mass basis of the imperialist armed forces, that creates the possibility for our agitation to find a responsive ear right inside the military itself. And it seems to me that it is important that we use that ear, that we appeal to that mass base, that we try to organize the workers in uniform.

. Anyone serious about organizing revolution has to find ways to work in the military because winning over a section of the soldiers, or at least neutralizing much of the military forces, is one of the important questions for whether the revolution will succeed or fail. Anyone serious about actually standing for the defeat of our own imperialists in a reactionary war has to not only hope for setbacks for the imperialists, and not only build up the anti-war movement in general, but also look for ways to encourage dissent inside the military itself. The mass, working class basis of the imperialist armed forces gives us the possibility to do this work. And to the extent possible, given our limited forces and resources, the Party has to use such openings as the emergence of GI resistance during the Gulf war to get its agitation into the ranks of the GIs and help them resist and join up with the fight against imperialism.

Imperialist recruitment -- even in the drafted army

. Comrade Rene once asked me where the analysis of an "economic draft" comes from? Well, at least for our Party, it comes in part from the analysis going back to the Vietnam war.

. During that war people were dragged into the military not only by the draft, but also by recruiting. Remember that the name of the GI newspaper FTA not only meant "fuck the army" but also was ridiculing the army's recruiting slogan of the day "fun, travel, and adventure."

. In fact, the GIs in the Navy, Marines, and Air Force were not drafted during the Vietnam war but, rather, recruited. Of course, many joined to avoid being drafted into the army. But there were, also, many recruits to the army itself. There were, for example, youth facing jail who were given the ugly choice of either joining the army or serving time. There were economic pressures on workers and poor people who felt they had no place else to go when they dropped out of high school or graduated. There were people who hoped service in the military would allow them to get job training or a college education. And there were some who, feeling pressured in these and other ways, also joined the military thinking it was their patriotic duty. The "volunteers" to the drafted army during the Vietnam war came in no small numbers.

. This fact has been one of the reasons that our party has always opposed the pacifist nonsense that simply ending the draft, or simply arguing that people should not join the military, could stop war. Under the capitalist system, the ruling class has a million and one ways to pressure, trick, and ensnare people into the imperialist war machine. That situation won't fundamentally change until the capitalist system is done away with.

. Recognizing this fact, our Party never restricted itself to only agitating against the draft. We always emphasized the necessity to reach into the military itself with our agitation, to help those ensnared in military service to resist, to fight back, to join the anti-imperialist struggle.

. Further, the Vietnam war showed us that it was not just those who were drafted but, also, the working people who were ensnared by other means -- including many that joined for patriotic or anti-communist reasons -- who learned from the experience in the imperialist military machine itself to hate the war machine, to hate imperialism, and to look for an alternative. Indeed, we have a number of party members who came to revolutionary conclusions, and eventually joined the Party, out of just such experience.

. We have concluded from this that a moralistic attitude towards the GIs, whether drafted or volunteer, is wrong. Many revolutionaries during the Vietnam war had to fight against a moralistic attitude in the movement that condemned the ordinary GIs for the war and wanted to spit on them. With the rise of the GI movement, by around 1970, the mainstream of the movement came to accept the view of supporting GI resistance. Our party summed up this experience and always emphasized work to build up the GI resistance among the draftees and volunteers who were "ensnared" in the military -- including in our agitation against the attempt to re-institute the draft at the beginning of the 1980s.

. In short, the heart of our assessment of an "economic draft" is not new but, rather, goes back to the time when the army was still a drafted army.

The shift in recruiting with the "all-volunteer army"

. But we have also followed what has been going on with the military in recent years.

. Faced with enormous mass opposition, the government ended the draft after the Vietnam war was over. And given the anti-militarist sentiment of the time and the general situation, the Pentagon had difficulty both in meeting its quotas for new recruits in general and, in particular, getting recruits with enough education to deal with the higher tech capabilities of the modern military. This was one of the major reasons that there was a push to re-institute the draft at the end of the 1970s and the beginning of the 1980's.

. However, there was a change that took place in the US that made it possible for the Pentagon to enlist enough recruits to get by, at least if there were no major wars going on. That change came with the economic crises and the capitalist offensive to drive down the standard of living of the masses. The standard of living began dropping in the mid-1970s. By the 1980s, the economic pressure had narrowed the possibilities for minority youth and young people from the working class generally. The hopes for a job, or for job training, or for necessary education were dimmed. That, coupled with the fact that there was no major war for a whole period of time, meant the military looked like a possible way out for many youth.

. Of course, the Pentagon played this to the hilt, promising high-tech job training, college education, and so forth. Under the prevailing economic conditions, the Pentagon was able to meet its quota for recruits in general. And it was able to raise the level of recruits, getting more high school graduates to fill their high-tech needs.

. But just barely. The Pentagon has always been right on the edge of recruiting enough personnel, and it became very dependent on the reserves for plans for a major war. As soon as there was a mass call up for the Persian Gulf war, even before the shooting war began, they started running into trouble. As the WA pointed out, the army recruiters began to fall short of their enlistment goals by an average of 30% from August, 1990. (6) Afraid they might run short of cannon fodder, the Pentagon froze soldiers in their jobs and temporarily held them past their enlistment terms.(7) And there were renewed calls for the draft. (8)

. The WA, analyzing these developments, pointed out

"For years, the military has been recruiting young men and women with promises of jobs, career training, and adventure. But now with a war imminent in the Persian Gulf, the truth has come out about what it means to sign up with the imperialist army. It means going to war for the interests of the rich men who rule the USA -- for such dishonorable causes as safeguarding oil profits and shoring up undemocratic kingdoms like Saudi Arabia."(9)

In other words, the economic draft -- which had seemed such a boon to shore up military enlistments -- was turning into a weakness for the military once there was a threat of a major war breaking out.

. This weakness appeared not only in lower enlistments, but also in resistance emerging within the military machine itself. I will deal with that phenomena below.

Reasons for GI resistance

. Comrade Rene complains that in the WA there is

"no mention given to some of the reasons for some of the soldiers who refuse to go." (Rene, Sept. 20 IB, page 24 [See CV #4, p. 33, col. 2])

This seems to imply that there were bad motives behind some of the GI resistance that the WA was fostering. But, unfortunately, comrade Rene does not spell out what the bad motives were or how he thinks the WA should have dealt with them. I cannot really speak to his complaint, since I know so little about it. But I can point out reasons for resistance which were given in the WA in a series of cases.

. For example, the WA points out that Marine Corporals Paterson and Larson

"were radicalized by taking part in activities against U. S. intervention in Central America. Through these actions, and through their personal studies and investigations, they realized that the role of the U. S. military abroad has been to back up imperialist exploitation of foreign peoples. They want no such dishonor."(10)

. It notes that Air Force medic Derrick Jones "had been stationed in Texas during the Panama invasion and the accounts he had heard of U. S. aggression had turned him against the war."(11)

. It quotes army mechanic Lance Walters denouncing the racism in the military and the racism of the war and saying,

"I really believed all that hype about America being the beacon of freedom and justice. I've become a lot more aware since then."(12)

. It mentions that

"Oscar said he joined the National Guard in 1989, following the island's devastation by Hurricane Hugo, 'motivated by the possibility of helping the Puerto Rican community in case of disaster and necessity. ' But he decided against military service during basic training 'when I realized that I was being prepared to be a killing machine.'"(13)

. The WA also reports on 68 soldiers protesting the bad treatment they faced in basic training and mentions

"Some of the soldiers also protested against the war. One said he had no intention of fighting to get Iraq out of Kuwait."(14)

. And it points to a series of cases of protests against the "economic draft." For example, two black women

"spoke out at a December 13 press conference that they had enlisted to learn job skills and earn money for college, not go to war. They said they had been fooled by the Army's advertising which sells military service as a scholarship program."(15)

And

"Tahan Jones, a black 21-year-old Marine reservist, spoke out against the war and said he believed black youth are funneled into the military because of poverty, racism and oppression."(16)

And Lance Walters, who I already mentioned above, said

"he went into the army to get vocational training and to change direction from what looked to him like a dead-end future."(17)

. Here are a whole series of examples from the WA of reasons given by people for joining the GI resistance. There are some more or less directly anti-imperialist reasons. There are anti-racist reasons. There are reasons of anger against the bad treatment or over being tricked to join the military. And they all point to the fact that experience in the imperialist armed forces push many working people, even those who joined with a certain patriotic feeling, towards opposition to the military and to war.

. There were, of course, other reasons as well. I have heard of some more or less religious pacifist reasons for resistance. But it is hard to know how extensive this was since one of the few legal ways of getting out of the war is to apply for conscientious objector status (CO) which requires people to give essentially religious pacifist justifications for their anti-war stance. As well, I am sure, many refused simply because they didn't want to be killed in such a war. And there may have been quite backward reasons by some GIs. When masses of very ordinary people start to get drawn into motion, there are often quite backward reasons given for it by the people involved. But whatever the reasons given at the time, the motion shows that ordinary working people are starting to stand up against the war, often in the face of heavy repression. Our job is not to stand by the side making moralistic complaints about their reasons. Rather, we have to find ways to link up with them and to bring class consciousness into the movement, to orient it towards anti-imperialist and revolutionary reasons.

. As I mentioned above, one of the major reasons for GI resistance to the Gulf war was bitterness over the "economic draft." I don't believe the WA exaggerated that phenomenon. Besides the examples above, we had other reports that anger against being tricked by the Pentagon was quite a mass phenomenon. One marine we have contact with joined shortly before the Gulf crisis broke out, and was in basic training when Bush announced the mobilization of troops to the Middle East. He reported to us that over half of the people he went to basic training with dropped out after Bush's announcement (using various pretexts to get medical discharges, disciplinary discharges, and so forth). I have heard that this kind of thing also took place at other bases and in all of the armed services. It appears that the anger at being tricked into the military to be used for Bush's war was quite widespread. The WA attempted to fuel that anger and to push it in an anti-imperialist direction.

The WA worked to foster the GI resistance

. To build the movement meant not only supporting resistance when people gave anti-imperialist reasons for it, but also supporting mass dissent even when it came up over smaller issues like the bad treatment GIs face in basic training.

. The military tries to turn the youth into automatons through harsh discipline and propaganda. Every act that breaks through that discipline to some degree and allows the soldiers to think for themselves is important. It can be the first step towards taking a stand against reactionary war and the imperialist system that fosters it. And it helps to create an atmosphere in which the young soldiers can more readily break through the regimentation to link up with the anti-imperialist movement. The WA supported the mass actions and the individual resistance (where that indicated a mass current), and worked to connect that to our anti-imperialist agitation.

. Of course at this time, the Party has no units working in the military or concentrating at military bases. Our main touch with GIs was through our friends, contacts, and supporters from the working class and from Party members who had relatives in the military. Thus our agitation for GI resistance aimed at orienting the mass movement to support the GI resisters and to get our working class contacts to agitate among their relatives in the military.

. In this we had some small success. For example, some reports and one article on resistance in the Marines came from the son of a Party member. (18) We sent him literature which he used to carefully, secretly agitate among his fellow marines. Despite his care, he was disciplined for his anti-war stance by being given the especially dirty jobs on disciplinary details. And he was threatened with worse treatment. Nevertheless, he continued to give us reports of what was going on and to describe the resistance he was involved in or had heard about. This is the one example where WA directly got reports. But there is no question that, through party members and contacts, we were able to get our agitation spread more widely in the military, at least to some extent. And undoubtedly that side of the work would have grown had the war lasted longer and the mass movement grown stronger.

. What can be said, I think, was that the work to support the GI resistance was important. Although the brevity of the war kept this work from bearing much fruit, it did show the potential for the development of mass GI resistance in a major imperialist war (and even when before it the mass movements had been quite weak). And it showed the potential for the Party's work (even though we are still small and have no direct work on military bases). I believe the WA acted correctly in this -- not exaggerating but, rather, encouraging an important part of the movement that emerged against the Gulf war.

WA against the "support our troops" slogan

. Another issue that needs further discussion is about the article "On the slogan 'Support our troops'" carried in the February 1 [1991] issue of the WA.

. This article has come under particularly sharp criticism by comrades from Chicago. But, unfortunately, none of them have written out their views on it. Comrades Rene and Oleg mention unhappiness with WA using the word "comrades" to refer to ordinary soldiers. (Sept. 20 IB, pages 24 and 30) But that is all that is said.

. Since there is no written criticism, I am forced to deal with their views by comparing the WA to the leaflet put out by the Chicago Branch against the "support our troops" slogan(19) and by referring to my notes on discussions with them. I must apologize beforehand if I misformulate their criticisms, but this is the best I can do from my old notes.

Are ordinary soldiers our "comrades"?

. Before going on to more substantial criticisms, it is necessary to speak to the criticism of the use of the word "comrades."

. In the second paragraph of the February article you find the sentence, "The only way to help our comrades caught up in the army is to support the GI resistance." Here "comrades" clearly refers to the ordinary soldiers since it talks about those "caught up in the army" -- not the generals or the graduates from the Air Force Academy. As well, the sentence preceding it, after denouncing the unjust war, specifically says "it does not help the ordinary soldier to get a patriotic send-off.  .  ." (emphasis added) And, also, it raises the word "comrade" directly in conjunction with a call to "support the GI resistance."

. In principle I see nothing wrong with using the term "comrade" in this way. It is no different than when we put out leaflets calling on "comrade workers" to strike, even though those workers do not yet all support striking. It is no different than when Lenin called out to "Brother, soldiers" in his famous "Appeal to the soldiers of all the belligerent countries" in April, 1917, even though Russian and German soldiers were then still slaughtering each other on the battle field. (20)

. The ordinary soldiers come from the ranks of the working class and oppressed. They are our brothers and sisters, they are our comrades, even if they do not yet know it and have not yet taken their stand on the barricades fighting against the imperialist war. (In saying this, I must also emphasize that it in no way implies that we cannot also denounce an ordinary soldier when he or she commits atrocities, or consciously takes the side of the imperialists against the working class, any more than the appeal to "comrade workers" means that we cannot denounce a worker who crosses a picket line for being a scab. )

. Just to check I looked up the word "comrade" in my old Webster's dictionary. Its first definition for comrade is "an intimate friend or associate." I also looked up the word "brother." After the first definition on having common parents, it lists "2. kinsmen; 3. a fellow member.  .  . ; 4. one related to another by common ties or interests .  .  .  ." If we are speaking of a class "association" and common class "interests," which we certainly are, then there is really no difference in the terms and they are both applicable.

. Nevertheless, it was pointed out to me that the term "comrade" would not be understood in this way in the movement. Rather, it would tend to mean a fellow activist in the movement, a person who has already joined up with the demonstrations and other protests. Although I think this may indicate something about the weakness in class consciousness among some movement activists, it is also true that the term "comrade" frequently has a communist connotation (the second definition in Webster's). Thus confusion might be caused. I said back in February that rather than cause confusion we would try not to use the term "comrade" again in this way. And the WA editorial group agreed with that restriction. This, as far as I know, is where the matter still stands.

What were the main criticisms?

. If that were the only issue that concerned comrades in Chicago, then there would be little reason for this whole discussion. But they also had more substantial criticisms of the February article.

. My notes from the February 16-17 Midwest Regional Secretariat meeting indicate the following main criticisms of the February WA article:

1) In general, the WA article needs to denounce not only the "support our troops" slogan but, also, needs a sharper criticism of the reformists and their slogan "support our troops, bring them home".
2) In particular, the article should oppose the argument blaming the movement for the deaths, injuries, psychological problems, etc. of the soldiers. (Of course the WA article slapped at this argument in its reference to the issue with Vietnam veterans. But it did not deal with the issue directly and pointedly with regards to the Gulf war itself. )
3) It should specifically state that the anti-war movement is not interested in raising the morale of the troops, because we oppose the war.
4) It should elaborate more on how the youth are being tricked into joining the military.
5) It should draw out the fact that this is an imperialist army and that we oppose it. (Of course the WA suggested the imperialist character of the army in its discussion of the Vietnam war, in its denunciation of the unjust character of the Persian Gulf war, and in its opposition to the Pentagon and the ruling class using the ordinary soldiers as simple cannon fodder. But, it did not directly draw out that this is an imperialist army, as had been done in other articles. )

. These are my notes on the main criticisms. And I think they are fairly accurate since the leaflet put out by the Chicago Branch shortly after this discussion does in fact rewrite and add paragraphs to the original WA article at least dealing with points two through five above.

. I thought back at that time in February, and I still do, that these criticisms were useful for developing our agitation. A major fight had just broken out in a number of groups and mass meetings of the movement in Chicago against the reformists slogan "support our troops, bring them home." And the Chicago Branch was striving to develop very pointed agitation to hit at the reformists. The WA editorial group had not yet gotten a report on this fight, and it could not, of course, be faulted for having missed some of the particular arguments that would be important for that debate. Nevertheless, these criticisms pointed towards developing sharper agitation, and that was helpful.

. At the same time, I do not see any of the criticisms as being questions of principle. Nor do I feel that the Chicago Branch leaflet marked some major advance over the WA article.

. For example, their leaflet itself also does not directly deal with the reformists' slogan "support our troops, bring them home" -- which was the comrades first, general criticism of the WA article. Of course, the "bring them home" side of the slogan is difficult, if not impossible, to argue against directly. And I see no fault in the leaflet not dealing with it -- since much of the main substance of the issue is dealt with in what they do say. But, in light of their own leaflet, I believe comrades in Chicago should take care to rethink their original upset with the WA article.

. Beyond this the Chicago Branch leaflet leaves out a number of the useful arguments that were in the original WA article, including:

. 1) The exposure of the Pentagon's mistreatment of the GIs, how they are used as cannon fodder and then thrown away;

. 2) The particular argument against the imperialists' claim that since GIs enlisted it is, therefore, "democratic" to order them to be killing machines;

. 3) The direct argument against the liberals' demand that the anti-war movement be patriotic;

. 4) The drawing out of the class basis for the anti-war movement;

. 5) And the arguments for internationalism.

. The omission of the latter two points is particularly troublesome. I believe the arguments for internationalism are especially important in opposing the "support our troops" slogan (I will go into this more below). And the arguments on the class basis of the movement were important for the particular anti-war circles that comrades were working among in Chicago. These circles tended to have a somewhat anti-imperialist perspective but were especially weak in grasping the need to build the movement among the working people.

. Nevertheless, this was only one leaflet and an accompaniment to the WA. On the whole the leaflet is quite good. But it is hard for me to see that it is a particular advance on, or in principle different from, the WA article -- which was itself, of course, only one article that was accompanied by many others.

Did WA pander to backward sentiments among the masses?

. More recently an additional criticism has come up. Comrades charge that the WA article tended to pander to backward concerns among the masses -- that is, their concern for their sons and daughters, relatives and friends who were caught up in the military.

. Now it should be noted that the Chicago Branch leaflet itself mentions that the "support our troops slogan" is used to appeal to these mass concerns. But at least some of the comrades seem to think that the WA article put too much emphasis on this question to the point that it is pandering.

. This is one criticism that I simply cannot agree with.

. I do not believe that the concern of the working masses for their relatives and friends in the military is inherently a backward view. Indeed, this concern can be one of the powerful motivating sentiments that leads to opposition to a particular war and, as well, to revolutionary sentiments. That was certainly the case during the Vietnam war as more and more youth were brought home in body bags. And I believe it was the case in Russia during World War I, when soldiers cried out that the Tsar was killing them, down with the Tsar.

. In and of itself, this concern is neither backwards nor progressive. Whether it becomes backwards or progressive really depends on what it is coupled with and what conclusions are drawn from it. For example, the sentiment can be used to create a backward mood among the masses when it is coupled with the call for a "quick war" with few US casualties and when it is combined with a chauvinist disdain for the working people (including the soldiers) on the other side in the war.

. This is, of course, what the bourgeoisie was trying to do in the Gulf war, and the reformists were helping them. What this means for the Party -- which is trying to develop this mass concern in a revolutionary direction -- is that we have to pay particular attention to hitting the imperialist arguments and fight that the masses' concern be turned towards an internationalist, working class perspective.

. And this is exactly what the WA was trying to do. For example, accompanying the article "On the 'support our troops' slogan", the WA carried another article entitled, "On the talk of a 'quick war' -- a scenario for mass murder." That article pointed out, among other things,

"The strategy of a 'quick war' is based on the age-old imperialist and racist idea that American lives are more important than 'enemy' (in this case, Arab) lives. And not a soul among the politicians or journalists sees anything wrong with this view!"

. And internationalism was one of the major themes of the article "On the 'support our troops' slogan" itself. For example it denounced the chauvinism with regard to the Vietnam war dead.

"[The Viet Nam memorial] lists the names of American soldiers who died in action against the Vietnamese. It does not, however, list the names of those who died protesting the war, such as at Kent State. Nor does it list the names of Vietnamese soldiers who died in the war, or of Vietnamese civilians killed by B-52s."

And it goes on to emphasize,

"The anti-war movement must base itself on the other America, and it must unite with the workers and downtrodden of all lands. Not patriotic unity with the flag-wavers, but internationalist unity with our class sisters and brothers around the world. That should be the slogan of the anti-war struggle."

. To sum up, I do not think the WA article against the "support our troops" slogan was the best article ever written. I think the criticisms originally raised by comrades in Chicago were useful for developing this side of our agitation. But I also think that, while criticizing the WA, those comrades should take care not to lose sight of the valuable arguments that were made in the WA article or forget about how the Party's agitation is developed in close collaboration between the local areas and the central organs.

The working class and the anti-war movement

. There is one final criticism from Chicago on WA's agitation on the war that I believe needs some discussion. That has to do with the assessment of how US workers viewed the war and what the Party did to mobilize them into the anti-imperialist struggle.

. Comrade Rene apparently thinks that the WA gave an overly optimistic appraisal of the workers' stand towards the war and that the WA was negligent, at least in certain regards, in its work to mobilize the workers.

. In a particularly striking passage comrade Rene gives his own assessment:

"The end of the war against Iraq and what followed inside the US (a big parade of chauvinism both disguised as good deeds to rid the world of a mad man, and a naked imperialist feast) proved that the American working class had taken a big step backwards and is very much numb specially since the war started. Therefore it is now, by will or by mistake, well into the imperialists' trap." (Rene, Sept. 20, page 24, emphasis added by Slim)

. I believe that this summation is overly pessimistic and misses the signs of progress that took place with the workers during the anti-war movement. At the same time, I believe the assessments presented in the WA were pretty close to the mark. Let me go through a few different aspects of the question to explain my view.

Did the working class become numb especially since the war started?

. Although it is an unfortunate situation, I agree that the word "numb" is an apt description of the mood of working class over-all at this time. But I don't think you could say that this is the case especially since the war started or that the workers' movement took a big step backwards with the war.

. Sadly it is the case that the working class has been numb for a number of years. The Party has been discussing this fact at conferences and congresses for nearly a decade. And we discussed it again at the 4th National Conference held last fall, shortly after the Gulf crisis had broken out.

. The resolution entitled "The present recession and the prospects for mass struggle" (in the December WA) pointed out a number of factors involved in the numbing of the workers. Among other things, it mentioned the use of certain special social programs to undermine militancy, the layoffs, the driving of workers into unorganized shops, the sellout of the union officials and other reformist misleaders, and so forth. Perhaps one may disagree with the analysis of these factors or think others should be added or emphasized. But it is indisputable that the Party has analyzed the deadened situation among the workers and the WA has promoted that assessment.

. Of course the Party did not stop at simply analyzing the numbness. It also pointed out that,

"Nevertheless the elements for a new upsurge of struggle have accumulated in the course of the 1980s."

The resolution noted a number of signs of discontent among the masses and factors that might provide an opening for struggle in the period ahead. It gave a sober estimation that the turn to class struggle "does not happen easily." And it explained,

"The Marxist-Leninist Party must continue to encourage the path of mass action and militant organization. The seeming omnipotence of the bourgeoisie is dispelled through actual experience. The Party's job is to find ways to draw the working class, youth, and all oppressed people into such struggle, utilizing whatever openings, large or small, that present themselves."(21)

. These latter points from the resolution are particularly important for assessing the results of the war and the anti-war movement. Did further elements for a new upsurge of struggle accumulate? Did the anti-war movement give further indications of mass content? Did workers begin to be drawn into the struggle? Yes they did, on all counts. It seems to me that the anti-war movement bore out the analysis that was made at the 4th National Conference.

How should we view the wave of chauvinism at the beginning of the war?

. But perhaps comrade Rene is thinking about the wave of chauvinism that swept through the country, especially with the start of the shooting war, when he says the working class had taken a big step backwards.

. There is, of course, no denying that we were confronted with an enormous wave of chauvinism, even among the workers (and I don't believe that the WA denied it). But the question is, how do you analyze that chauvinism and what you do about it?

. The first thing that has to be realized is that you have to expect the working class to be infected by the wave of chauvinism that accompanies the beginning of any major war. In the history of the world working class movement it is really the exception when the workers were immune to the bourgeoisie's chauvinist crusade at the beginning of a major war.

. One of the few exceptions was the working class of Russia at the onset of World War One. And it is useful to look at how Lenin explains this.

. Lenin first describes the general situation in Russia:

. "In one respect, the Russian government has not lagged behind its European confreres; like them, it has succeeded in deceiving 'its' people on a grand scale. A huge, monstrous machine of falsehood and cunning was set going in Russia too for the purpose of infecting the masses with chauvinism, of creating the impression that the tsarist government is waging a 'just' war, that it is disinterestedly defending its 'brother Slavs,' etc."

. He points out all the classes were infected with the chauvinism, including the peasantry:

"Among the peasantry, the ruling clique, with the aid of the bourgeois press, the clergy, etc. also succeeded in rousing chauvinist sentiments."

But he expects the peasants to shake off the chauvinism and to eventually join the struggle.

"But, as the soldiers return from the field of slaughter, sentiment in the rural districts will undoubtedly turn against the tsarist monarchy."

And then he discusses the working class.

. "The only class in Russia that they did not succeed in infecting with chauvinism is the proletariat. Only the most ignorant strata of the workers were involved in the few excesses that occurred at the beginning of the war .  .  . In general, and on the whole, the working class of Russia proved to be immune to chauvinism."
. "This is to be explained by the revolutionary situation in the country and by the general conditions of life of the Russian proletariat. We again witnessed a great strike movement such as the world has not known .  .  . On the eve of the war, in St. Petersburg, things had already developed to the first barricade battles."

He also points to the fact that the Bolshevik party had broken with the opportunists before the war. And he notes that opportunism and reformism

"constitutes an insignificant minority among the politically active strata of the workers."(22)

. This is how Lenin explains the exceptional stand of the Russian workers. This did not mean that there were huge anti-war demonstrations at the beginning. No, in fact, the workers movement suffered an initial setback from heavy repression and the prevailing chauvinist mood in the country. In arguing that the working class was not infected by the chauvinism Lenin points not to big protests but, rather, to the fact that the vast masses of workers did not take part in the anti-German pogroms and the pro-war agitation. And, with the revolutionary fervor that already existed, the workers were able to fairly quickly overcome the setback and launch renewed revolutionary struggle.

. Of course, this was not the situation in the US with the start of the Gulf war. With the workers already numb before the war, and with the working class movement already crippled and dominated by the opportunists and reformists, one could not expect the working class to rapidly rally against the war. On the contrary, one had to expect that the bourgeoisie's enormous machine of lies and deceit would infect wide sections of the workers with chauvinism, at least initially.

. But one should not conclude from that initial wave of chauvinism that the working class is hopeless, that it will not break out of the imperialist trap. If we look at the historic experience of the world working class movement it can be seen, generally speaking, that as a major war develops, as the truth more and more comes out about the war, as the working masses face increased suffering and their youth come home in body bags, then gradually the masses shake off the chauvinism and more and more come out to fight against the imperialists.

. Lenin remarks on this phenomena saying,

".  .  . even though 'at the beginning of a war', and especially in a country that expects a speedy victory, the government seems all-powerful, nobody in the world has ever linked expectations of a revolutionary situation exclusively with the 'beginning' of a war, and still less has anybody ever identified the 'seeming' with the actual."(23)

. This is how we too had to judge the beginning of the Gulf war. Based on our knowledge of the history of the international working class movement, and on our own direct experience with the Vietnam war, we knew that the development of the war itself and our revolutionary work would help workers to shake off the chauvinism fostered by the bourgeoisie and increasingly come into the struggle. Although the government seemed all powerful, and it seemed that wide sections of the workers were dragged into the chauvinist wave, we had to be able to see through the surface phenomena to find the new sprouts of resistance that were coming up, to encourage them, and build upon them to rouse the working masses.

How WA assessed the development of the anti-war movement

. How then did the WA assess the developments with the Gulf war? There is a striking passage in the February issue of the WA, after the U. S. had begun bombing Iraq, that is useful to recall.

. It says,

. "But among the common people, something new is happening. It is no big deal that you can find some super-patriots, eager to support a war that is supposedly already won. There have always been ruling class bullies in this country, ready to shout 'America, love it or leave it' or to lynch minorities and dissenters. But it is a big deal that right at the start of such a war you can find mass sentiment against the war, and the mass desire to act.  .  . . Let us not forget that the movement against the war in Viet Nam did not break out at the very beginning of the war, nor did the movement prevent the war from escalation to a high level. Yet everyone admits that it played a tremendous role in undermining this aggression, upheld the honor of the common people of this country, and encouraged progressive struggles on all fronts."(24)

. This is the way the WA looked at the situation. It recognized the wave of chauvinism in the country and denounced it. But its emphasis was on what was new and developing, on what had potential for drawing the working masses into struggle against imperialism.

. Or look at another statement, in March, after Bush declared victory in the bloody massacre.

"But what we saw during the Persian Gulf war is something far different. Not just a replay of the Viet Nam-era movement, but the birth of the movement of the 90s. A new movement to combat a new world order.  .  .  . In fact, the movement accomplished much. Its vast extent in such a short period is a sign that America is not just a land of flag-wavers and willing killing machines, but a land of rebellious activists and people searching for change. It has embraced rebellious GIs, and students just beginning to think about the world, and circles of workers discussing world events. It shows that there is a potential for organizing against imperialism."(25)

. Here again the WA does not simply look at the surface phenomena, but points to the significance of the new, emerging movement. Here we see the assessment from the 4th National Conference being colorfully drawn out with the flesh and blood of the experience a section of the masses had gained in the anti-war movement. The bourgeois press not only promoted chauvinism, but tried to make any one with anti-war sentiment feel isolated and alone. The workers' press had to emphasize the resistance, no matter how small, that was breaking out to let the activists know that they were not alone; to encourage them to continue to fight and build up the movement; to help the movement itself break down the wall of chauvinism and smash through the pro-war atmosphere that had been created in the country.

The attitude towards the working class in particular

. But what about the question of the working class in particular?

. Comrade Rene points to

"one article in the Supplement from Seattle talking about official optimism which hints at some questions from the writer of the article.  .  ." (Rene, Sept. 20 IB, page 26)

Presumably comrade Rene is speaking of the final paragraph of that article which says,

"Official optimistic declarations that workers oppose the war solve nothing, and such statements contradict our advocacy that the movement reach out and win over the working class."(26)

I actually don't know if this statement was a criticism of the WA. Perhaps it was criticizing "official optimism" from some other quarters. I don't know. But for the sake of argument, let us assume that it was a criticism of the WA and proceed to discuss it from that angle.

. If that is the case, then it is unfortunate that neither comrade Rene nor the article from Seattle point out specific examples of "official optimistic declarations" that they are unhappy about. Perhaps it is the statement in December that

. "George Bush is having trouble selling his war plans to the American people."(27)

Or perhaps the statement in January that

"this is a war the working people and youth of America do not want."(28)

I cannot be sure.

. But if the complaint is against such statements as these, it is hard for me to see the problem. Before the bombing started, even the bourgeoisie admitted that it was having trouble selling the war to the working masses. And the report from Seattle on work among aerospace workers itself states that,

. "Before the bombing started, the vast majority vacillated on whether they favored a war. A minority said give sanctions a chance. Some would say 'we should kick ass,' etc. , but not as a consistent view -- they also tended to voice opposition to the war, such as 'we're not being told the real reasons for it. ' In some areas, supervisors attempted to distribute ribbons, etc. before the war started, but found no interest in this."(29)

Is this not an expression of Bush's difficulty selling the war? Is it not an expression that at that time there was no general support for the war among the workers?

. But let us look further at what WA said when it elaborated on the question a bit more. In January, after the big December anti-war demonstrations, the WA wrote

. "In the factories and work places, there is much interest in the movement. But they do not yet send large numbers to the demonstrations. Patient work has to take place to overcome the non-politicism fostered on the working class, and the chauvinist politics laid down by the trade union bureaucrats. This is not only a question of linking the anti-war movement with workers' demands, important as supporting various workers' struggles is -- one slogan or demand will not magically change the situation. It is a matter of building up an independent working class movement, of encouraging the class consciousness and defiant spirit of the working masses, of building up independent organization and defiance of the union hacks and respectable community leaders."(30)

. Here the WA points out that while there was interest in the movement, large numbers of workers were not yet participating. And it attributes this to the non-politicism and the chauvinism that was being fostered. Was this assessment correct? It was, at least as far as I can tell from a number of work places with which I have somewhat more detailed knowledge.

. For example, Boeing in Seattle. In the report reprinted in the WAS we are told,

"a couple of more leftist-thinking workers have been asking our comrades about when there are demonstrations they can go to. One went to her first demonstration and was a vocal participant in the Marxist-Leninist Party contingent. She loved it. There are many black workers, mainly those in the mid-30s or older, who are unequivocally against the war. And there remains the minority that is anti-militarist among the workforce."

Here you have a minority that is against the war, with a few seeking to join the demonstrations. As for the majority who are reported to have been in support the war, we are told

"it seems to me that support for the war is very weak."

The report goes on to specifically point out,

"The popularity of the 'support the troops' line is interesting. One use of it is to avoid politics."(31)

Is this not part of the non-politicism the WA was pointing to? The report also indicates the problems with chauvinism in the plants, and notes some of the weaknesses those arguments have among the workers. In short, I would say the assessment even at Boeing, a military industry where skilled workers predominate, more or less verifies what was said in WA.

. Yet a few other quick examples.

. GLS [Great Lakes Steel] in Detroit was similar to Boeing. It is also a shop where the skilled workers predominate. And there was also a huge pro-war atmosphere created in the plant. Despite the repressive situation, a small section of workers joined with us to carry out an in-plant sticker campaign against the war and remained deeply interested in the anti-war movement throughout.

. At Beaumont, a suburban hospital outside of Detroit, the situation was much more varied. In one department where we work among the lab technicians, there was overwhelming opposition to the war. A number of the techs took our leaflets to distribute at campuses where they go to school and some joined us in the anti-war protests. At the same time, there were other departments where there was quite vocal support for the war. But even in those a few workers stood with us to oppose the chauvinism and repeatedly asked about demonstrations. And, similar to what was mentioned in the report on Boeing, the support for the war began to wane as soon as news on U. S. war atrocities started to come out.

. In the postal facilities in Detroit, we found wide-spread opposition to the war. This probably reflects the large black composition of the work force. At least the mood was similar to that found in the city in general. However, even here the sentiments varied widely from station to station and department to department. In some, like the bulk mail facility, there was vocal support for the war, especially from among white workers. On the other hand, at some stations it was the anti-war workers who were most vocal and set the mood. As well, there were many examples of people, though initially against the war, getting swept into the Democrats liberal "support our troops" charade once the war broke out. But this pro-war stand was fairly weak. Many of them shifted back against the war once U. S. atrocities hit the news. As well, some who were sucked into sending cookies and such to "support the troops" actually remained vocally opposed to the war itself. And there were wide sections who opposed the war throughout. Even at that, only a few were drawn into the demonstrations. The opposition had not reached the point where wide sections of the workers were able to overcome the stand of the black bourgeoisie, the liberal Democrats, the union officials, and so forth. Nevertheless, our agitation was finding more and more receptive ears. This was seen, among other things, in the virtually unanimous opposition to the war in Injured and Handicapped Postal Workers United when we organized a discussion against the imperialist bloodletting at one of the IHPWU meetings.

. These are the work places that I know more details about. But I think the situation was similar in other cities. I know, for example, that comrades in San Francisco, Seattle, and New York report that numbers of young workers -- mainly from low-paying service jobs -- and minorities came in to the anti-war protests, especially when the struggle became particularly intense as the bombing started.

. Drawing this all together, it seems to me that various features of the situation can be summed up. There was a wave of chauvinism with the beginning of the war. But as I have said, that was to be expected. Looking at that situation more closely, it appears that the pro-war attitudes found among workers were fairly weak, and began to be shaken when news of U. S. atrocities started coming out. Certainly, our agitation was able to penetrate more and more deeply as the war developed. Of course, since the war was quick, and US imperialism won such an easy victory, we were able to go only a limited distance towards destroying the pro-war atmosphere that had been created among workers. Nevertheless, there was a substantial section of the workers -- especially among the young and minorities -- who opposed the war all along. And some of those joined the demonstrations and worked with us to build opposition to the war in the work places.

. Taken as a whole, then, I think the WA assessments were fairly accurate. What the war experience shows is that beneath the surface appearance of an all-powerful U. S. government and widespread chauvinism, skepticism and discontent is growing among the workers. Even as Bush launched his orgy of victory parades, the elements were continuing to build for a new upsurge.

To be sure we continue to face an arduous struggle against the non-politicism that has been fostered for decades among the workers. And we must wage a sharp struggle against the chauvinist crusade that, in other forms, is still being pushed by the union hacks, black misleaders, and other reformists. But when you see sections of workers standing against the war, even in the face of the entire establishment pro-war hoopla; when you see workers starting to join the anti-war protests; when you see workers starting to work with us against the war in the plants and other workplaces; then that is an indication of sentiment that is building up deeper among the broad masses that will, sooner or later, turn towards militant struggle.

. I believe that the WA was correct to emphasize that sentiment, to encourage it, and to work to build upon it.

What's the issue?

. So what did comrade Rene and the aerospace reporter from Seattle want the WA to do?

. Comrade Rene does not elaborate his views. The only particular advice on this question that I found in his letter was the complaint that

"one does not find: a) Warnings to the American workers not to fall into chauvinism." (Rene, Sept. 20 IB, page 24)

. But this complaint is hard for me to understand. In paper after paper, and article after article, the WA sharply denounced the disgusting chauvinism of Bush and the Democrats and the union misleaders and the black bourgeoisie. In relation to the working class directly, you find statements like the one mentioned above calling for

"Patient work .  .  .  to overcome .  .  . the chauvinist politics laid down by the trade union bureaucrats."(32)

. To be sure we don't blame the working masses for the chauvinism. We put the blame on the reactionary bourgeoisie, on the liberals, and on the reformist misleaders where it belongs. And we call on the working masses to break with them and build up an independent working class movement. This is not only done in general appeals, but also in very concrete ways. In a number of articles we expose the union leaders for their calling off of strikes and economic protests on "patriotic" grounds. We support the linking up of the anti-war movement with a number of strikes. We draw out links between the fight against the war and other popular struggles like the movement against racism and the pro-choice movement. And in these and other ways, we work to build up the hatred of the masses not only for the ruling class but, also, for the chauvinist misleaders so that they may more quickly and completely break with them to build their own class movement.

. In all of this, I do not believe that moralistic outrage against the chauvinism that did infect whole sections of workers is much help. But in light of what the WA actually did, it is hard for me to understand the complaint that there is an absence in any other way of warnings to the workers not to fall into chauvinism.

. Meanwhile, the aerospace report from Seattle says,

"I think we need a spirit of outrage at US crimes .  .  . and an analytical approach to the workers' class interest, i.e. a deeper exposure of the oil and empire question."(33)

Certainly the WA did sharply denounce the US crimes. And it also did deepen, among other things, our analysis of the workings of US imperialist domination of the world oil industry. But then, from what is said here, I'm not even clear that this was a criticism of the WA or, rather, simply an encouragement that we continue to develop these particular aspects along with other features of the agitation.

. It may be that the complaint against "official optimistic declarations," from Comrade Rene and that from the aerospace report, is an expression of a desire that the WA carry more material describing the fight the Party was waging in a number of work places. I know that various comrades and contacts of the Party were waging very sharp battles against the pro-war atmosphere on the job and, at times, felt quite isolated. Perhaps more articles, like the one on aerospace workers, would have been helpful.

. To be sure, we did not carry a great deal on the workplace struggles until February and, for lack of space, much of that had to be put into the February 20 issue of the Supplement. But waiting to that date for articles was not simply a question of the WA. The coverage on particular work places, on our agitation in working class communities, and so forth is very much dependent on getting reports, leaflets and articles from the local areas. And we really did not start receiving much of these until the end of January and into February. The articles in the Feb. 20 Supplement on New York postal workers, Boston railroad workers, Seattle aerospace workers, and Detroit steel workers gave an indication of the fight the Party was waging in the work places and the different, concrete angles of our agitation. It also gives an indication that the Party's agitation is not simply a matter of a handful of editors off by themselves cooking up good ideas. The party's agitation is above all a collaboration of the comrades in the local areas with the central organs to constantly develop and strengthen our theory, our tactics, and our revolutionary style. Hopefully this discussion of various criticisms will strengthen that collaboration and help build up our press.

(1) "Defend Jeff Paterson! Marines refuse to serve in Persian Gulf", WA, October 1, 1990. [p. 5] (Return to text)

(2) Ibid. [p. 5, col. 3; p. 11, col. 3] (Text)

(3) "Who really spat on the Viet Nam GIs?", WA, Feb. 1, 1991. [p. 9, col. 1] (Text)

(4) "Warmonger Colin Powell to lead M. L. King parade," WA, Jan. 1, 1991. [p. 8] (Text)

(5) "Like father, like son," WA, Feb. 1, 1991. [p. 5, on General Schwarzkopf] (Text)

(6) "Recruiting gets harder," WA, Jan. 1, 1991. [p. 7, col. 4] (Text)

(7) "A volunteer army?" WA, Jan. 1, 1991. [p. 7, col. 4] (Text)

(8) "Liberals prepare country for a draft," WA, Dec. 1, 1990. [p. 5, col. 1-2] (Text)

(9) "Recruiting gets harder," WA, Jan. 1, 1991. [p. 7, col. 4] (Text)

(10) "Defend Jeff Paterson! Marines refuse to serve in Persian Gulf," WA, October 1, 1990. [p. 5, col. 2-3] (Text)

(11) "U. S. soldiers in Germany oppose the war," WA, Feb. 1, 1991. [p. 9, col. 3] (Text)

(12) "Black GIs decry racism in the military," WA, March 1, 1991. [p. 6, col. 4] (Text)

(13) "Puerto Rican soldiers resist," WA, March 1, 1991. [p. 6, col. 3-4] (Text)

(14) "AWOL protest at Fort Hood, Texas," WA, March 1, 1991. [p. 7, col. 2] (Text)

(15) "Black women soldiers seek CO status," WA, Jan. 1, 1991. [p. 7, col. 3] (Text)

(16) "Marines court-martialing GI resisters," WA, Feb. 1, 1991. [p. 9, col. 4] (Text)

(17) "Black GIs decry racism in the military," WA, March 1, 1991. [p. 6, col. 4] (Text)

(18) "Marines refuse to attend pro-war rally in Tennessee," WA, March 1, 1991. [p. 6, col. 3-4] (Text)

(19) "More on the slogan 'Support our troops' " , WAS, Feb. 20, 1991, page 5. (Text)

(20) Collected Works, Vol. 24, page 186. (Text)

(21) All above quotes [in the last two paragraphs] from "The present recession and the prospects for mass struggle", WA, December 1, 1990. [p. 8] (Text)

(22) Socialism and War, Chapter II, "Classes and parties in Russia," V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, Vol. 21, pages 317-320, or see Lenin on War and Peace, published by the People's Republic of China, pages 28-31. (Text)

(23) "The Collapse of the Second International," section II, V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, Vol. 21, page 215. (Text)

(24) "Spread the word, No blood for oil and empire!" Feb. 1, 1991. [p. 11, col. 2, 3] (Text)

(25) "Spread the word, No blood for oil and empire!" Feb. 1, 1991. [p. 11, col. 2, 3]] (Text)

(26) "Aerospace workers and the war," WAS, February 20, 1991, page 15. (Text)

(27) "Bush's dilemma: How to sell his oil war," WA, Dec. 1, 1990. [p. 4, col. 1] (Text)

(28) "No more blood for imperialism, Take to the streets against Bush's war," WA, Jan. 1, 1991. [p. 1, col. 1] (Text)

(29) "Aerospace workers and the war," WAS, February 20, 1991, page 14. (Text)

(30) "Anti-war movement grows," WA, Jan. 1, 1991. [p. 6, col. 4] (Text)

(31) "Aerospace workers and the war," WAS, February 20, 1991, pages 14-15. (Text)

(32) "Anti-war movement grows," WA, Jan. 1, 1991. [p. 6, col. 4] (Text)

(33) "Aerospace workers and the war," WAS, February 20, 1991, page 15. (Text)


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