A pro-war Vermont congressman and the struggle against him
The massive U.S./NATO bombing and media propaganda campaign against Yugoslavia continues, with the latest atrocity of "collateral damage" being the awful bombing yesterday of a hapless passenger train caught crossing a bridge in which at least 10 innocent people were killed. See my Web page for twice or thrice daily news updates on this and other news about the war and the antiwar movements: http://www.neravt.com/left/
This past weekend, yours truly along with a small group of other intrepid Vermonters, traveled to New York City to attend the annual Socialist Scholars Conference. As you might expect, there was a great deal of discussion and sometimes heated debate about the war, its nature, and what to do about it. Unfortunately, because the lead sponsoring organization, the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), is split at the top on the war with one co-chair, Bogdan Denitch, pro-war and the other co-chair, Barbara Ehrenreich, anti-war, the Conference was not allowed to vote to take a position one way or another. However, only a very few people seem to have been of the illusion that the U.S./NATO is acting for the humanitarian reasons alleged; and, regardless of their particular analysis of what the war is about, the vast majority of the several thousand attendees were clearly of the position that the first step towards peace in the region is the immediate halting of the U.S./NATO bombing which is only adding fuel to the flames. As Chomsky has said, if you don't know what to do, at least do no evil.
I went to a number of the different panels on the war. For me, the most poignant moment was listening to a survivor of the Buchenwald Camp, a Jewish Serbian-American today, talk about how the Serbs had helped to defeat the Nazis and to save people like him and how angry it made him today to hear the Serbs demonized. Watching CNN, etc. in the hotel -- we don't have cable TV out here in Marshfield -- gave me a better sense of how distorted the whole U.S. media coverage is and how the warmakers are using the media to engineer a "consensus" around escalating the conflict further by repeating over and over the same, often unsubstantiated stories about "ethnic cleansing", or whatever, that they think will appeal to our hearts and emotions. We do not have to support the Milosevic government -- which I don't -- to see how we are being lied to and manipulated.
Bringing back what we learned, some us us who went to the conference along with others from the Burlington area are putting together a Teach-In at the University of Vermont to be held this Thursday evening, April 15th. If you are in the right geographical area, please attend. More details about the Teach-In follow below, along with a good piece by Chomsky taken from Z Magazine's Web site (http://www.lbbs.org) in which he responds to some of the distortions being perpetrated by "our" media about the war and urges us not to be taken in.