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urban75 in The New Republic

Discussion in 'war on terror' started by D, Sep 13, 2001.

  1. Nemo

    Nemo Last in x 15

    Well said Hermine! And I notice that this hack is conspicuous by his abscence, what a surprise! To hack: Come here you coward.

    Pax vobiscum, Nemo
  2. twisted nerve

    twisted nerve engineer without fear

    Mike - could you forward this to the writer of the article please.


    This is where I am quoted in the article:

    Such out-of context quotes are meaningless, unless you know what the author really wrote, and meant.

    By this, I meant that maybe at last the USA, and global capitalists, will realise that they cannot continue to treat human beings as they do... oppressing and killing them as they please, to increase their profits. People in the Middle East have obviously had enough - as have many people in the West.

    This WAS simply a matter of time. It had to happen sooner or later. This does not mean I am GLAD it happened - I wish this attack had not happened, but the anti-Arab USA government had it coming, to be perfectly honest.
    If I was an Arab Muslim, I would be asking "Why have we put up with the USA for so long?"

    The "change for the better" is NOT the death of thousands of capitalists and/or innocent victims - BUT (and THIS is the key point) the potential for realisation by those who are the root cause of this - global capitalism and "superior" governments - that they simply cannot carry on as they do, and simply *have* to start considering the wider political, financial and social issues affecting us all, not just profiteering.

    The attack on the WTC has made them sit up and take notice. They are stunned. "Why did this happen?" they ask. Now, they have the opportunity to consider why. Which, remarkably, no-one affected appears to have much interest in considering yet. But consider they must.

    Bush would no doubt like to nuke the Arabs in retaliation, but what will that solve? Nothing. In fact, it is more likely that a revenge attack on the USA would be the "mother of all bombings", and the sooner he realises that, the better for the whole world, not just America.

    If, on the other hand, the USA still continues, after this disaster, to carry on as they have done in the past, with no lessons learned - then there's no hope for any of us.

    The world has, through this attack, been given a second chance to get it right and start considering humanity over profits at last.

    I don't believe that there will be a third chance.
  3. Voley

    Voley If you're happy and you know it, fuck off.

    Well said, TN.
  4. D

    D Well-Known Member

    I appreciate that a number of the posts in this thread are an exercise in letting off steam, but I don't think it's constructive to dismiss the author or the magazine purely because you may feel misrepresented or on the defensive.


    Lady Kyrie wrote:

    "Here's the deal. 'The New Republic' is a well-known, very conservative magazine which caters only to right-wing views. I'm not surprised that they chose to seek out urban75 because <when picked apart>, comments on this site provide fodder for promotion of their conservative trash. You all can write to those asses all you want but I can tell you, its only going to give them more ammunition against anti-globization believers. "

    Your description of The New Republic is inaccurate. From its founding in 1914, the magazine has championed an evolving and often self-conflicting form of American liberalism. In recent years, an unusual - dare I say, "creative"? - tendency to sympathise with the left whilst ‘counterintuitively’ editorialising with the right has emerged in TNR’s pages. In the introduction to The New Republic Reader, former executive editor Dorothy Wickenden writes, “Herbert Croly, [TNR’s] founder, wrote that his object was ‘less to inform or entertain its readers than to start little insurrections in the realm of their convictions.’” Whether the magazine succeeds in so doing today is up to readers to determine.

    What has happened this week has turned on its head the paradigm within which US foreign policy has been shaped certainly for the last decade (if not arguably for the last 50 years). It has also shaken the foundations of the paradigm within which self-identified American liberals – an increasingly nebulous term – understand themselves.

    In no way does the magazine "cater only to right-wing views" nor is it "conservative trash". I suggest that you read it and reach your own conclusions.


    I want to make clear that my intention in beginning this thread is neither to attack nor to defend the argument Peter expresses in his article.

    It is my intention to encourage discussion and to act as a bridge between people who call for solidarity and yet see themselves at odds.

    [ 17 September 2001: Message edited by: D ]
  5. Apologies if I had the magazine pinned wrongly however, I do remember reading some inflammatory material within its pages before and thought it was not worth it. Hence, the reaction.
  6. D

    D Well-Known Member

    No worries, Lady Kyrie. I thought it important to correct a blatant factual inaccuracy. Divergences of opinion are one thing, but TNR "caters only to right wing views"? Tell that to the American right and then run for cover, for conservatives certainly wouldn't agree.

    [ 17 September 2001: Message edited by: D ]
  7. distracted

    distracted Guest

    This is probably just a quibble over terms, but surely Hardt & Negri's "Empire" could hardly be the bible for the anti-globalization movement - from the opening pages the authors make it plain that they embrace globalization and the opportunities for communication and distribution of information that it opens up.

    Surely it's helpful to make some distinction between anti-capitalist and anti-globalization movements? Or is anti-globalization always meant as "anti-spread-of-capitalism-on-a-global-scale"?? "Anti-globalization" just gives off a rather backwards-looking message.

    I'd be grateful for any clarification.
  8. brew

    brew noisy

    'Globalisation' generally refers to economic globalisation. Internationalism is used more for the cultural aspects of globalisation. I think <bits lip>.
  9. Derek

    Derek Guest

    We should also write to them and say that when that terrorist attack happened many of us were at the anti-arms trade demo in Londons docklands protesting against the sale of weapons that will be used to conduct state terrorism against innocent people in third world countries. Tell them they are hypococrites because they never condemn this sort of terrorism.
  10. well red

    well red acorns and oak trees acorns and oak trees

    Distracted - in the introduction to "Empire" Negri actually says "Globalisation, of course, is not one thing". We've already had discussions on this board about what Globalisation means - personally I think it can mean the positive force of internationalism that Brew mentioned, and I refuse to allow Capital to make the definition for me. Internationalism is poltical and cultural.

    One of the things that pisses me off about this New Republic article is that its like America has just discovered suffering, and up until last Tuesday misery and death never happened before. I was very fucked off to be entrapped in the 3 minute silence (was that intended to be like a 3 minute warning?) forced to pay attention to 5,000 American dead, by people who act like these victims are all that has ever mattered in the world. For 20 years I have been struggling against a global economic system which daily churns out an appalling body count - from starvation, disease, exploitation, theft - but its 3rd world bodies and they don't count. The very same upright Americans who have literally told me that they can live with the misery of poverty in the 3rd world ("its a price I'm prepared to pay for our way of life") are now expecting us all to stop and pay attention to their own dead. I'm sorry but I am not going to mourn more for Americans than for the people whose deaths I have to live with on a daily, weekly, monthly, yearly basis.

    All life is precious, but to be honest we're not the ones who are making the distinctions here - the 10,000 people who die from AIDS in Africa everyday don't get a 30-page picture special in all the newspapers. The hundreds of thousands who die from hunger every week aren't featured in headlines which tell us the world will never be the same again.

    Osama Bin Laden is a multi-multi millionare. He has nothing to do with the anti-Capitalist movement except to act as our enemy - another rich scumbag using money and power to play his little games with other people's lives. If the World Trade Centre had been torched by the people who worked there I would be cheering it in the street. As it was, it was destroyed by nutters acting with blind obedience to yet another would-be leader, and the workers were wiped out like so many have been before, mere pawns in the calculations of an "elite".

    This Peter Beinart is a piece of shit. When he says "domestic political dissent is immoral without a prior statement of national solidarity" he is simply using the situation to drive forward his own agenda. National solidarity is integral to his position, whilst it is largely anthitical to the anti-Capitalist movement. They are trying to limit the terms of the debate - they are trying to crush dissent, once again, in new ways. Of course he wants us to "cancel ... the upcoming protests" in Washington - he would not be supporting them anyway. He is a ghoulish opportunist still trading in insults whilst cloaking them in the guise of moral outrage and Nationalism.
  11. distracted

    distracted Guest

    thanks Brew - I have to say I'm not wholly convinced by your explanation - surely the struggle is against CAPITALISM, pure and simple??? And, of course, the power structures and policies that result from chasing profit.

    But, to pick up on a separate point raised in the TNR article, Tuesday's events surely do draw some kind of dividing line, especially among anti-capitalists living in the territory of the "USA". For it seems that many now believe that they are faced with a choice between falling in with the nationalist and hence capitalist cause (witness the efforts by many on these boards to prove that they aren't anti-American) or remaining true to the global struggle which, of course, knows nothing of nationality or borders.
  12. brew

    brew noisy

    I think it's just a definitions thing, really. When most ppl talk about 'Globalisation' they are talking about neo-liberal economies venturing across international boundaries. It's an inevitable consequence of Capitalism to do this, so being anti-globalist (in this economic sense) is pretty much the same as being anti-capitalist. As Well Red is saying though, it's a shame that the language gets hyjacked by Capitalists. I think it's too late to go back now though
  13. freethepeeps

    freethepeeps Banned Banned

    I think that whilst we have been accused of being "gleeful" about what has happened,,have been told to "get some perspective" when we have talked about the suffering and deaths that happen throughout the world on a daily basis, and have been generally vilified by newbies from America since Beinart's articles went online, the rhetoric of the right has gathered momentum by using the deaths of the people affected by the attack.

    We hear that people have flocked to buy flags and guns, that flags at half mast are everywhere, that 68% of the US public support military action which involves sending in a ground force and re - introducing the draft and the deaths of up to 1000 US soldiers.

    We are told that we are "zealots", for suggesting that part of the US response needs to be to look at the causes of the attack. We are told that to do that, in some way justifies the attack and makes us as bad as the attackers (in the view of more than one poster!) One actually suggested we should be wiped out!

    We are not encouraged to work out our feelings of confusion, fear, rage, upset, horror. We are told "either you are with us, or you are against us, and if you are against us - you are part of the "evil." Beinart calls for the banning of the protests at the IMF/WB summit but he does not call for the postponement of the summit.
    An editorial in the New Republic suggests people must be prepared to sacrifice freedoms for protection!

    We hear of other bulletin boards being shut down because they have posters who express views that are "unpatriotic", of posters being banned. We hear of attacks against Arabs, in US, UK and Belfast. The mayor's festival fireworks are cancelled "out of respect", the Last Night of the Proms makes changes. The world has three minutes of silence. We hear "the world will never be the same again after Tuesday 11th September".We hear that the horror has pulled America together, that they have never been so united, as by this tragedy!

    These are grim times, but somehow we must keep perspective - I do not believe that we show "disrespect for the dead" by drawing parralels with death and suffering elsewhere, they are all part of the same interconnected world. We are all part of the same world and we know that our actions affect others. We know that Americas' war of revenge will do no good in the world. We are beginning to learn that Afghanistan has been "raped" by so many, that there is virtually nothing left to bomb, that the local population is starving already. That they are not friends of the Taliban anyway.

    We hear Bush warning that up to 60 countries are suspected of harboring terrorists - that America makes no distinction between terrorists and those who harbor them, that this is going to be a long war and a painful war.

    A thread on this board which made a comparison between the use of WTC images and conceptual Art was flamed and killed. What was that about? Why did it evoke such anger?

    Whilst the world reels after Tuesday, all signs are that war will happen and it will be a big war, a nasty war, a long war, a killing war. And if we speak out against that war, we are showing disrespect to the dead, and we are evil and evil must be crushed.

    And I wonder, when they are killing innocent people, when they are tearing them apart with their bombs and rifles, will they show us the footage? Will they repeat it endlessly so the horror of it is embedded in our minds, indelibly, forever?

    Will they?

  14. distracted

    distracted Guest

    yep - i can see what you're saying (brew & well red) - BTW is there a thread/forum on this site that looks specifically at the ideas thrown up by Empire?
  15. William of Walworth

    William of Walworth Festographer

    Freethepeeps, I disagree with not all that much in yours and well red's posts. However as it was me who said something about perspective (in relation to one or two of Mr Zero's initial posts last week, and Yoke's) just let me try and clarify.

    All human life is precious and all human suffering is wrong, very much including last weeks victims and very much not excluding all other victims of capitalism, US policy, general oppression and poverty throughout the world.

    My first reactions midweek last week were principally humanitarian and peace oriented, as I said. That being so, it seemed (to me) somewhat insensitive and lacking in perspectivefor a SMALL number of posters here to INSTANTANEOUSLY an IMMEDIATELY start politicising and ideologising about the WTC without even seeming to show much awareness of the horrorficness of it all
    -- some of those dead folks are friends or friends of friends of boarders here whether American or otherwise.

    Just as dead or suffering people elsewhere in the world have (in my case for example) had their plight brought home to me by the harrowing stories fo friends of mine who work for humanitarian relief organisations particularly Oxfam.

    Now we are moving on to discuss (in perspective) causes and consequences, I find myself sharing most of the criticisms of the US and Bush and of the likely vengeance and bloodlust that is about to happen, and I do share many critical outlooks on the wider issues expressed by U75ers.

    It's just that last week and now, I was/am utterly shocked by what happened to HUMAN BEINGS in New York and that reaction came first for me.

    Peace to all

    W of W
  16. William of Walworth

    William of Walworth Festographer

    So put all the above message in your pipe and smoke it, Peter Beinart, you tosser :mad:

    (oh and obviously I still think Peace to all, but some folks are infuriatingly belligerent in their offensive views!)

    W of W

    [ 17 September 2001: Message edited by: William of Walworth ]
  17. freethepeeps

    freethepeeps Banned Banned

    W o W

    You were one of several people who suggested that that those argoing similar things to me should get a perspective. I do not single you out - I just note that that was a response from several!

    My piece above was partly about me trying to understand what has been happening.

    I do not think for one moment that Bush or Blair (or Beinhart for that moment) stopped to consider the human implications, or to deal with the emotions that were raised. They immediately launched into using the situation to further their own agendas - and that is why the world now sits on the brink of war.

    The media played along with them - why do we never see the images of the awful things our government does. I am sure they exist.

    I think people who are all for war now (largely because of the way that they have been exposed to the images from Tuesday) would lose their stomach for it if they were to see close up footage of a human being being blown to death in Afghanistan or any of the other 59 countries that Bush is looking at now. We will not be shown those images.

    We have been used, the images have been used and we must learn to distrust the media whilst it gives us such a one-sided pro-Capitalism pro-American view of life!


  18. distracted

    distracted Guest

    I take my hat off to both freethepeeps & william of w. as personally I've been completely unable to feel any empathy or "grief" for any person throughout the entire affair. Could well be that I'm disfunctional as a human being because to me it just felt like watching the most incredible movie ever - and, yes, it probably was pretty shitty of me to write of it as a "piece of conceptual art"(altho thanks for your support on that freethepeeps) but how does one become emotionally involved in something that doesn't even seem real??
  19. hipipol

    hipipol Peckham Wry

    The need for so many to filter this event through some kind of anti-capitalist view astounds me.
    It is not only anti-capitalists who love their children, all humans do.
    Where ever I was born, I make a compromise every day to feed my family. If this is some Indonesian sweatshop or on wall street, I make a compromise.
    What do you think the majority of human decisions entail?
    Does my mother love me? (surely political?)
    Can I find some one to love?(political?)
    Can I feed my family?(political?)
    Do I make my Father proud? (?)
    Do my children see me as I am?
    Do they love me?
    Am I really needed by SOME ONE?
    These are the simple questions of which our lives are made, not the other guff we all rant about.
    It is WRONG for any to kill.
    Lets not join in, lets keep it small, lets keep it real.
  20. freethepeeps

    freethepeeps Banned Banned

    "Lets keep it small, Lets keep it real"

    Not really sure what you mean there Hippipol!
  21. pandakiller

    pandakiller Guest

    Respect to all the above.

    We have to educate this ignorant fucker, trying to score copy from something he doesn't understand.

    The main point he fails to understand is that with a sweep of a mouse pad we know everything about the man.

    Misquote us with no apology and it should be our responsibility to fuck him up.

    Write to his editor, in INK, and correct the mistakes made. Repeatedly. If that fails a personal trip to the failed writer's office is in order.

    Have nothing to be ashamed of, since everyone who has visited this site as a result of that article knows what an utter lying piece of shit that man is.
  22. bluestreak

    bluestreak HomosexualityIsStalin’sAtomBombtoDestroyAmerica

    i too have sent a message to the editor. it is not quite so coherant as some people's responses but i hope it will pass muster.


    To the editor of New Republic,

    I really don't understand your mindset. You clearly read Urban75, you are fairly obviously a well-educated intelligent man, so my conclusion is that you choose to misrepresent the readers of Urban75. This is just plain wrong, and to many of us shows one of the reasons why we oppose capitalism - because it's major promoters and apologists tell lies about us. As a cynical anti-capitalist I spent much of Tuesday in tears as the horror unfolded, worried almost to the point of nausea about a close friend who resides in NY and works in Manhatten. I couldn't get through on the phones, and the knowledge that my worry was far less than many of the poor people out there weighed on me like a millstone round my neck. On U75 at the time I logged on were over 8 pages of discussion by horrified posters, and less than half-dozen insensitive comments. So we're angry at you.
    Let's not forget that America and my home country of Britain have partaken in some horrific acts themselves over the last few years. If I was an America would it be my patriotic duty to support the military and state when they bombed a Sudanese medicine factory the other year, or the bombing of civilians in Belgrade and Iraq in which many people died horribly?
    How about this then. Was it an American's patriotic duty to support bin-Laden when he was plucked from obscurity, armed and funded and trained in the art of guerrilla warfare by the CIA? I didn't support the murderous side of Islam then and I don't support it now.
    So I have to choose do I? Do I have to support the murder of innocent Americans OR the murder of innocent Afghans/Serbians/Iraqis. Why can I not say MURDER IS WRONG AND ALWAYS WILL BE WRONG without being labelled a supporter of murder by default. I believe tuesday's attack was vile and evil and those responsible will burn forever if there's a Hell. But I also believe that capitalism is responsible for evil too, in fact I know it is and I don't see why I, or anybody else should be forced to take sides. Both you and the Taliban hate me, so why should I suck up to either of you, with your oppresive regimes and hideous class systems.
    I doubt that you will read this, because you don't strike me as the sort of man who is willing to accept criticism for his own words, nor who will accept that the false god of mammon is anything other than worth killing and letting others die for.
    I am deeply saddened by your crass and insulting words, and hope that the peaceful downfall of capitalism will come in your lifetime so that you can see us (metaphorically) dancing on the ashes of your evil system. And of course, please remember that I speak only for myself and not for any single other person involved in or visiting Urban75.

  23. I'm one of The New Republic's loyal readers who checked out your site because of Beinart's article. I've been through some threads and I'd have to admit that he was picking and choosing with bias and deserves to be called on it. For the record, though, The New Republic as a right-wing publication depends on your definition of the term. It's more of a neo-liberal mag with much more in common with Clinton/Gore than Bush/Cheney. For what that's worth on this B.B. You get what you pay for in the States--I'd much rather read a magazine (or vote for a party) that's against right-wing fanatics in both the States and Afghanistan than a truly right-wing mag like The New Statesman or a truly right-wing party like the Republicans that loves all right-wingers except Islamic fundamentalists.
  24. nick1181

    nick1181 New Member

    Nice to meet you etc, welcome, thanks for saying somthing. I'm from NZ and I was born after Vietnam - to me it only happened on TV. About 1/2 my mates are Muslim, some of my friends are American, Salvador is in my top 10 favorite films (and whoever made that movie was sticking his neck out) and these deliniations about who can and can't be bombed are rubbish.

    Stay in touch. We need you more than you need us.
  25. distracted

    distracted Guest

    you write, 'well red', that "[Bin Laden] has nothing to do with the Anti-Capitalist movement" - I confess I know very little about him, but surely on some level Bin Laden as a 'sign' functions as such an effective 'other' simply because he is motivated by ends which are antithetical to the capitalist system. From within the established order he must appear pretty incomprehensible.

    Interestingly the New Republic article is littered with evidence of the very reasons why the old order will eventually collapse. Phrases such as "The anti-globalization movement is not unified in its disdain for America" are couched in an antiquated syntax - with a better understanding of the way things are heading it would read "The anti-capitalist movement IS unified in its disdain for capitalism". All the talk about nation states is phantom-chasing, ("a movement motivated by hate of the United States") - it's empty of meaning - the game has moved away from that.

    And, I think, there are links on a broad level between last Tuesday's events and the anti-capitalist movement - for they are both subversive "acts" - the concrete goals of the two groups may differ but the effect is the same - the gradual deconstruction of existing power relations.
  26. well red

    well red acorns and oak trees acorns and oak trees

    But my enemy's enemy is not necessarily my friend. There are plenty of Fascists who oppose Capitalism, with whom we have nothing in common. Bin Laden is a multi-millionare businessman, another would-be leader, with the arrogance that his position gives him translated into contempt for his working class victims. We have no common cause with such scum.
  27. brew

    brew noisy

    Soooooooo true!
  28. William of Walworth

    William of Walworth Festographer

    No disagreement there!

    I more wanted to say I don't disagree with a single word of bluestreak's letter -- spot on! Let us know if you get a reply -- I bet you won't though.

    W of W
  29. "If this is some Indonesian sweatshop or on wall street, I make a compromise."

    But the very fact that you have to make a compromise between an ethical life and feeding your children is poltiical, isn't it?

    Hello, coloradoliberal, welcome - get stuck in. I'm sure you have a lot to say. :)
  30. bluestreak

    bluestreak HomosexualityIsStalin’sAtomBombtoDestroyAmerica

    thanks WofW, no answer as of yet, but who knows. i'm not expecting much.

    welcome coloradoliberal, always nice to hear a new viewpoint that isn't a troll.

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