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Submitted by Jason on Wed, 06/08/2008 - 10:20

I'm not sure there's much point going round endlessly in circles on this and anyway I'm away for a week or so from later today so I will leave it here after this post.

Firstly, to MikeyMikey I did in fact answer the question before. It is very easy to make up a scenario give it a yes/no question and then imply this has s0omething to do with the current situation even though that is a sleight of hand. As I wrote before. "And then we get MikeyMike trying to compare an Israeli soldier hypothetically shooting a terrorist about to press the switch- this again is a reactionary propaganda point implying possible justification based on hypotheticals completely unrelated to the real situation in Iran. "

That means the answer is pretty obvious. But for the sake of someone who seems somewhat oblivious to the obvious- the answer to your made up hypothetical example is Yes. Does this excuse warmongering reactionary propaganda from members of a so-called socialist organisation? (The answer is No).

I'll just end with some more general points. The AWL has a pretty bad reputation on the left in general. At times as with Matgamna's piece I think this may be due to a deliberate controversialist courting of seeing how much it is possible to offend people seeing what sick image I can use etc. With others I get the feeling it is a lot less malicious. There are good socialists and activists in the AWL. At times some of their points are worth debating certainly. I'm not convinced it is worth denouncing them as imperialist, chauvinist etc. but instead patiently discussing how if for example you oppose 'troops out now' then this ends up in some way at least being a problem or how insisting on two states when one state is systematically oppressing a whole people as well as exploiting all workers (it's a capitalist state after all) is a problem. It is possible to have a fraternal debate with many comrades even when our positions differ fairly sharply or at least on subjects that arouse a great deal of emotion (because they’re about war, oppression, life and death etc.) where poor choices of words or formulations lead to unnecessary confusion.

However, excusing or even being equivocal about an attack on Iran by Israel when such an attack is if not on the cards not ruled out is a different matter. A line has been crossed here.

I'm not for driving the AWL out of the labour movement whatever that is meant to mean. We of course should still work together in antifascism in union work and in all the rest. But having such views is very compromising. It does need to be pointed out that it is quite a reactionary, chauvinist and unacceptable position. I had hoped that a section of the AWL would recoil from Matgamna's ill conceived and offensive comments. Perhaps they still will. It's up to them. I'm sure the more reasonable members can work out whether it's worth a faction fight or just to walk away.

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