File spoon-archives/bhaskar.archive/bhaskar_1999/bhaskar.9904, message 26

Date: Wed, 14 Apr 1999 10:31:41 -0500
Subject: Re: BHA:International law a subset of critical morality (DP

Tobin Nellhaus wrote:

> It doesn't particularly bother me that people disagree with me on NATO's
> intervention--people have disagreements on this list all the time, what else
> is new.  But Carrol's half-call for a "cease and desist" order from the
> moderator, John Game's half-threat to unsubscribe over it (and depicting
> support on this one issue as wholesale redescriptions of U.S. imperialism),
> and this notion that raising the topic was a mistake, are I think
> over-reactions.  Until these most recent posts, the discussion had I think
> been conducted far more temperately and patiently than many others that
> we've had.  Carrol, you especially should be ashamed of yourself: now,
> finally, I too must wonder--is diversity of opinion allowed here or not?

Several distinct points.

1) Clarification: My half-call was an invitation to the moderator to
shut the likes of *me* up from diverting the list from is primary
purposes. Of course people have disagreements all the time, but
none ever raised on this list have been of this degree of gravity. If
followed up, it will dislodge all discussion of Bhaskar and Critical

2) Your remark on allowing diversity of opinion is highschoolish. Since
when does strong disagreement threaten the right to hold an opinion? Or
if you meant it to refer to my "half call" for a "cease and desist" order,
I repeat, I was inviting the moderator to suppress *me* in order to
keep the list on its intended subject matter. You should be able to
see already from subsequent posts (including this one) that this is a
disagreement that cannot be contained as have former disagreements
on this list.

3. On the US/NATO Aggression.

Arguments for this position are being given in depth on lists
such as pen-l, lbo-talk, and marxism, so I will only state the basic
principles here without development.

The issue is not, primarily or even at all, events in Yugoslavia but the
place of the U.S. in the world today -- as the most serious threat not
only to world peace but to the very survival of the human species.

For 55 years, without a single exception, every U.S. intervention
outside its own borders, economic, political or military, has resulted
in death, destruction and (usually permament)  misery for the area
concerned. Every military action by *other* nations which the U.S.
has supported directly or indirectly has resulted in death, destruction,
and misery.

On this issue, unlike most others, there is no third way, no nuances. For
the good, perhaps the survival, of humanity the U.S. hegemony must
be resisted by all.

I will add only that in actually building a resistance movement one must
of course work  with and work to persuade large masses of people
who, quite sensibly, trust their leaders. In denying nuances or a third
way I refer to the basic debate over the issue, not to the practical
work of coalition building.

I think you should see that it is not a matter of whether the debate
will be conducted "temperately," but of the fundamentally antagonistic
nature of the positions involved. As you can see from my addition to
my original remarks, the serious question, for me, is not the legitimacy
of the U.S. aggression (that is settled), but the strategy and tactics
for resisting it.

I repeat, it would be proper for the moderator, given the defined
purpose of this list, to silence me. I have always regarded myself
as a visitor, and on other issues have governed myself accordingly.
This issue is different.


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