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celebratedrecluse wrote (edited )

it was partly responsible for the end of the draft, and the limitation of the political viability of full-scale military invasions & occupations, which eventually resulted in the retreat from Vietnam. you can't tell that story without talking about radical POC, or really the whole revolutionary context of the late 60s, the free speech movement, all of this is important...but young people were shot and killed for demonstrating against vietnam as part of the anti-war movement, and i think that contributed partly to the achievement of some limited goals.

edit: what contributed more, of course, is the suffering and sacrifice of millions of vietnamese anti imperialists

sure it was coopted, people tuned out and lost sight of the issues, and now we have a perpetual war state. so you could say it was ultimately a failure, and dismiss these limited accomplishments. but you could say the same of the civil rights movement: the voting rights act has been gutted, everything's gerrymandered to hell in favor of white reactionaries, and the current administration demolished most of the progressive legacy of the last one in the course of just a few months. You could say the same about the labor movements, who were systematically destroyed by neoliberalism in the 1980s, or by police-state level repression in the 1950s, the 1920s, the 1880s...

obviously, no movement has been successful. In fact, all these painfully won gains are often lost, usually quickly. But i don't think that means you can dismiss the entire impact of a social force working against deeply stacked odds, just because they didn't win everything. That's a recipe for becoming incredibly cynical about anything, don't you think? Or worse...for becoming incredibly cynical about cherrypicked issues, while focusing only on a few pet causes. A favorite pastime of mine of course, and one of the whole left really...

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Uproot wrote

American on both sides love to bullshit that they retreated because of their mercy. That's far from truth, it was the NVA drained US military and their resources after over a decade of fighting.

I don't give a fuck about draft or American politics, or your half ass attempt to save the world. It never did anything.

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celebratedrecluse wrote

I'm not making the argument it was out of "mercy", not in the slightest. The way you are wording this, it makes it sound like you think that's my position.

I'm saying the domestic political situation deteriorated because of the wars, and that was the result of a long-term political effort in the US over the course of a decade, supplementing the bulk of the work which was done by the Vietnamese people literally fighting for their lives against the invasion. You say that's irrelevant, but I'm saying that the political decision to remove the troops came from more than just one factor. socialists in the US were unifying POC and allies to oppose the war through strikes, demonstrations ending with dead students, the radicalization of millions of young people, the (temporary) breakdown of Jim Crow, the whole internal conflict in the US is definitely relevant to the decision to pull out, or at least to end the practice of using the law to force 18 year olds to pick up rifles and kill people.

I don't give a fuck about draft or American politics, or your half ass attempt to save the world. It never did anything.

I'm not trying to "save the world", I assure you. But: "half assed"? Surely you don't want us to try, right??? lol

Anyway, if you don't care about American politics, that's understandable, but realize that what happens in the middle of a giant capitalist empire is inevitably going to affect you. I prefer to look for ways I can actually stand with people who are resisting the invasions my country is doing, and develop analyses that highlight the effective and ineffective elements of past efforts. Shitting on americans and their failed movements is easy, no doubt lol, but what's difficult imo is trying to apply principles of solidarity that can actually work, at least in limited ways.

I'm more interested in that than I am winning you over, I guess, but I really do hope you'll come to see Americans who are trying to figure out a way to contest imperialism as a (small) part of an internationalist solution to the American empire. If we can build solidarity across these nationalist lines, I think that's totally crucial to building a different international order. But then again, not everyone has to see things one way, and you're certainly not wrong to disdain this degenerating empire and its benefactors.

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Uproot wrote

The white left never did anything that useful for anyone else but themselves

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celebratedrecluse wrote

fair enough, but to be fair the anti-war movement wasn't only white people, nor does it have to be predominantly so in the future. There are a lot of different kinds of people in the US, and the most likely parts of the population to resist US imperialism (and those that are most actively doing so rn) are POC, especially black communities. For example, the links formed between BLM & Palestinian liberation organizations was a great thing, and will form the basis for closer future relationships between anti-police struggles in North America & anti-colonial efforts in Palestine.

I mean, you're right, it's not happening fast enough, whiteness and other forms of privilege in politics are to blame. But there's another dimension here to look at, i stand by that