I never really liked Corn's work in the Nation, or the Nation for that matter. I generally have an anti-authoritarian political perspective and have been consistently critiquing NION, ANSWER, the RCP, the WWP, and the IAC for a long time now.
I actually find myself in agreement with Corn here. These authoritarian commies are incredibly dishonest in their organizing tactics and routinely lie about their affiliations. I mostly get attacked from them for discussing the history of their politics and warning others of how dangerous their ideologies are, especially give the track record (mao, shining path, etc).
In order for the anti-war movement to grow, we need to expose these clowns for who they are. their dishonesty is what will destroy the anti-war movement.
So the Nation editor, David Corn, who - worried about that liberal magazine's marginalized influence in the emerging anti-war movement - would not only bash WWP and the IAC, but belittle the hard work of literally dozens of the endorsing groups in the ANSWER coalition - many who have sharp differences with the WWP on a variety of issues - who came together to organize the largest and most successful anti-war demo in the nation's capital since Vietnam.
What hogwash. His insinuation that the 100,000 plus who attended the Washington DC rally, or the thousands who mobilized elsewhere on O-26 were gullible dupes of a political faction shows a level of contempt and sectarian paranoia that is truly amazing. Corn appears to be more worried more about the anti-war movement's recent successes than any potential failures. The question is, why?
It's striking that Corn takes time out from trashing ANSWER to declare his support for the demand to return weapons inspectors to Iraq, and thinks the anti-war movement should as well...which I think is the real point in his little diatribe. And, despite the fact that Iraq has agreed to work with UN inspectors in the recent past, Corn chooses to ignore what most of the world already knows ...that US efforts to ram a resolution through the UN Security Council are aimed at using future inspections as a pretext for the invasion and occupation of Iraq.
Nor does Corn mention the fact that the US possesses the world's largest intact arsenal of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, or that the US's closest ally in Middle East, the State of Israel also possesses over two hundred nuclear warheads - and a advanced delivery system developed around the Jericho II missle. The hypocrisy here is certainly not lost on the surrounding peoples in the region who are already outraged by the Bush Administration's support of Sharon's brutal treatment of Palestinians living under occupation.
Whatever disagreements exist within the emerging peace movement, and face it, there are a shitload, (not only revolving around the role IAC/WWP and ANSWER or NION and the RCP, but between anarchists, socialists, Greens, assorted liberals, Democratic Party loyalists, religious and secular activists ect) one thing is cyrstal clear. Bush is intent on going to war. Not for human rights, or to interdict terrorism, or to prevent the development or spread of WMDs, but to secure US economic -read oil - and political interests in the Middle East.
It's unfortunate that Corn dislikes the use of left wing phrases like 'US imperialism'. Well, that's just too damn bad, because that's exactly what it is. And all of Corn's sour grapes about ANSWER or the 0-26 demo in DC can't obscure that fact.
I agree with Reilly (above). I think there is a lot to what you say. I don't like the fact that Corn is writing this out of a hatred towards the IAC et al, and doesn't really seem to care that much about organizing the anti-war movement, or the fact that having 100,000 people on the streets prior to bombs being dropped is VERY significant. However, the fact is, is that there is a lot of truth to what he writes about. But it is directed in a constructive way, but a bitter and Marc Cooper'esc fashion. Pure ideological arm chair grandstanding.
Nonetheless, I can't disagree with his critiques. They are accurate for the most part and we should be honest about that. These small dishonest front groups are NOT the anti-war movement, although they would certainly like to think they are. They do marginalize people, they do manipulate the agenda, they constantly lie about their affiliations, and have the most bizarre political stances with respect to authoritarian dictators.
AND, if we aren't honest about these shortcomings, then it is only more fuel to the fire for CORN, the right, and pro-war politicians to use to discredit the legitimate anti-war sentiments of a majority of the population.
That sentence above should read:
"But it is NOT directed in a constructive way, ..."