Issue: Summer 2005

New Politics, Vol. X, No. 3, Whole Number 39

New Politics, Vol. X, No. 3, Whole Number 39

The Ambiguous Calm: What is Sharon up to, and can he really get away with it?, Adam Keller
New Politics Symposium on Iraq and the Antiwar Movement

The Resistance and the Antiwar Movement, Anthony Arnove

Iraq and the Third Camp, Barry . . .

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Special Section on Women and Work

Edited by Gertrude Ezorsky

Symposium on Iraq and the Antiwar Movement

We are pleased to publish the following exchange on the politics of the U.S. occupation, the Iraqi resistance, and the antiwar movement. The symposium builds on a trio of articles — by Barry Finger, Wadood Hamad, and Glenn Perusek — that appeared in New Politics 38 (Winter 2005).


Poverty and the American Dream

I have seen the welfare system first hand as a volunteer outreach worker at a Boston welfare office (Department of Transitional Assistance). The other day I walked into the office to see a distraught woman sobbing disconsolately on the floor. She had unknowingly parked in the parking lot of the Burger King next door. She moaned, "I begged him not to tow me. I told him that I am homeless and don't have any money to feed my children, but he didn't listen.


Relevant, Irrelevant, or Both?

While I was in the process of reviewing this volume, I took it to a party in Brooklyn attended by varied-and-sundry aging baby boomers, early 40s through 50-something types who are generally progressive, educated and (in tripartite terms of classification) middle-to-upper-middle class.


Migration, Domestic Work, and Repression

In their edited collection, Global Woman: Nannies, Maids, and Sex Workers in the New Economy, Barbara Ehrenreich and Arlie Hochschild write that Third World women are on the move as never before, filling jobs in the "homes, nurseries, and brothels of the First World" (2002). The rushed and materialistic societies of the First World leave working parents little time to look after their children or their own parents. Women migrating from poor countries fill the gap.

The Labor Origins of the Next Women's Movement

Dorothy Sue Cobble's book, The Other Women's Movement: Workplace Justice and Social Rights in Modern America (Princeton University Press, 2002), retrieves the forgotten feminism of the previous generation of working women. Their reform agenda — an end to unfair sex discrimination, just compensation for their waged labor, and the rights of their families and communities — launched a revolution in employment practices that has carried over into the present.

Three Elegies for Susan Sontag

1. Art

The First Neoconservative: Herman Wouk, the Americanization of the Holocaust, and the Rise of Neoconservatism

The justification of the intensive bombing of Serbia in 1999 as part of the need to avoid "another Holocaust" is only a recent event in the Americanization of the Nazi Holocaust: specifically its use as a propaganda theme for the defense of U.S. great power interests.

Art for the People? Christo and Jeanne-Claude's "The Gates"

Holy saffron! From February 12 to 27, New York City's Central Park was the site of an exhibition called "The Gates: Central Park New York 1979- 2005," by the artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude (C/J-C). The Gates consisted of 7503 vinyl structures straddling 23 miles of park pathways, each gate 16 feet high, resting on steel bases (the equivalent, the city boasted, of two thirds of the steel used in the Eiffel Tower), with orange drapes (described by C/J-C as "saffron") hanging down from the tops.

Immigration, African Americans, and Race Discourse

We believe this article begins an important conversation on the left. We will be publishing various responses to it in our next issue, along with a reply from Stephen Steinberg. In addition, this article will be published in the Winter issue of New Labor Forum, together with a different set of responses and a reply from Steinberg. We urge readers to follow this debate in both venues. — Eds.


The Antiwar Movement and Iraq

The antiwar movement needs to demand the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops and an end to the U.S. domination of Iraq, not because we don't care about Iraqis, but precisely because we do care. And while we support any people's right to resistance, we should not "support the Iraq resistance."

Out Now!

No Blank Checks

Barry Finger, Wadood Hamad, and Glenn Perusek all appear to demand the immediate withdrawal of United States forces from Iraq. (Finger, 26: "we demand an immediate withdrawal of occupation forces"; Hamad, 34: "We must demand a timely schedule for the withdrawal of occupation forces from Iraq over a fixed, limited period").

Immediate U.S. Withdrawal and the Hope for Democracy in Iraq

The peace movement should call for the immediate, unconditional withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Iraq and the closing of all military bases there: no temporizing, no negotiations, no timetables — just bring the troops home, now. Peace activists should say to the American people that the occupation is part and parcel of an imperial U.S.


Letter to the Editor

To the Editor:

Iraq and the Idea of Freedom

Wadood Hamad is correct that many today are "stuck between two inadequate visions" — either apologizing for U.S. imperialist actions or "cheering any misguided ‘apparent' resistance to imperialism." Avoiding these false alternatives is not only needed to develop a successful antiwar movement; it is needed to ensure that the idea of freedom is not forsaken by today's radicals.

Iraq Symposium

We are pleased to publish the following exchange on the politics of the U.S. occupation, the Iraqi resistance, and the antiwar movement. The symposium builds on a trio of articles — by Barry Finger, Wadood Hamad, and Glenn Perusek — that appeared in New Politics 38 (Winter 2005). Further responses from our readers are welcome.

Struggling for Progress, in Iraq!

The current armed insurgency in Iraq, erroneously portrayed by some as "resistance" to U.S. occupation, does not — nor could it ever — represent a national resistance movement. While it is true that the medley of insurgents espouses "a mixture of Islamic and Pan-Arab ideas," it is inaccurate to insinuate that they "agree on the need to put an end to U.S. presence in Iraq."[1] For if this were true, why are those elements not fighting U.S.

Iraq and the Third Camp

The Third Camp alternative is ultimately expressed by the potential of the Iraqi working class assuming the leadership of the anti- imperialist movement. We do not and cannot claim that this third camp is presently a conscious alternative on the part of those who will make it possible.

The Resistance and the Antiwar Movement

The key challenge for the left today remains that of ending the occupation of Iraq, which did not end with the January 30 elections. A majority of people in the United States now thinks the invasion of Iraq was not worth the high price that has been paid as a consequence. Yet an enormous gap exists between this sentiment and the level of political activity against the occupation.