by Thomas R. Eddlem
Earlier this week the fake-LAMA organization came out with a blog post condemning last weekend’s “Rage Against the War Machine” rally in Washington, DC.
My initial reaction is to quip that “it’s way better than their anti-war rally.” (Because they had none.)
Among fake-LAMA’s complaints were that “This rally was organized by people whose main interest is to protect the Russian invasion of Ukraine from outside interference.” [emphasis in original] and the “the principle organizers” are “with Kremlin-aligned media outlets.” None of that was true, and it’s hard to say how they were able to know the intent of the organizers’ souls in setting up the rally. By what mind-reading technology or Harry Potter-level wizardry they accomplished this feat was left unexplained. They proffered no evidence to support either thesis. The lack of defense of Russia from the podium during the rally seems definitive evidence to the contrary.
The fake-LAMA post also said the rally was guilty of “blaming the invasion of Ukraine on NATO rather than Russia, and other pro-Kremlin talking points.” Adults understand nuance, and it’s a pity that fake-LAMA’s blog writers don’t. Adults understand that sometimes in an argument both sides are wrong, and that in a divorce both parties often have faults. Russia can be an aggressor for invading in February 2022, and the US can have provoked them; these points (both of which are true) are by no means mutually exclusive.
I’d like to say their argument was on the level of “You don’t agree with every aspect of my foreign policy preferences, so therefore, that’s proof you’re a Russian asset.” But that would be elevating their argument. Fake-LAMA didn’t even express any disagreement explicitly. The blog post was a case study in smear without taking any sort of position on the issue at hand.
The basic fake-LAMA condemnation was in this statement:
“we condemn in the strongest possible terms the criminal invasion of Ukraine by Russia, and we support the right of Ukrainians to defend themselves and their territory, including the right to ask for voluntary assistance, and the right to purchase defensive technologies from any willing seller.”
Now, they didn’t say they support continuing US government foreign aid to Ukraine in the above quote. But does that really need to be said? Their column had two points, and the first point was vagueness while generating plausible deniability: They want to position themselves as being vaguely anti-war but not so much that they back an end to the gasoline being added to the Russo-Ukrainian war fire. Accuse them of being in favor of continued foreign aid and the unlimited expansion of NATO, and you’ll certainly get the reply “Sorry, but we never said that.”
Let’s face it: Condemning Russia for invading Ukraine does precisely nothing. It doesn’t intimidate Vladimir Putin or the Russian military-industrial-complex behind him. The Russian leadership doesn’t care what individual Americans think, nor even what American political parties pontificate upon. And doing nothing was the very point of the column, along with character assassination of those doing something.
Of course, doing nothing would mean the continued escalation of the conflict with ever-more deadly weapons being transferred to Ukraine at US taxpayer expense. And frequent condemnation of Russia as the aggressor is just what the Military-Industrial-Surveillance Complex is just Jones-ing to hear; it stokes public hunger for more escalation of a conflict between the two nuclear superpowers.
The other half of the purpose of fake-LAMA’s column was to engage in general character assassination without evidence, as I mentioned above. Fake-LAMA has a long history of that, and it’s part of the reason for the special state convention a year ago that elected new LAMA leadership. It’s a shame to see this tactical continuum coming from the rump group’s new leadership elected last April.
They didn’t say which of the rally’s demands they disagreed with largely because they didn’t quote any them at all. They didn’t say what the “embarrassing” speakers said on the dais that was so objectionable, largely because they didn’t quote a single word from any speaker at the rally. In other words, their condemnation could have been drawn exclusively from watching this MSNBC “report” by Regime Leftist Rachel Maddow, who also condemned the rally without mentioning the demands or what any of the speakers said:
Like Rachel Maddow and the rest of the Regime Press, if fake-LAMA had a legitimate objection – a pro-Russian invasion part of the rally’s demands or a similar statement by the speakers from the podium – they most certainly would have cited it.
No, they would have highlighted it … in neon.
The reality is that there was nothing pro-Russian about the rally, and both Maddow and fake-LAMA knew it. That’s why neither explained a single policy difference with the rally’s platform and speakers. So this left them to resorting to a more general character assassination rather than a critique of what the rally was actually about.
Their view seems to be that not one of the speakers was virtuous enough to back a genuine anti-war platform which the rally genuinely represented, essentially saying, “No one is moral enough to oppose war except thee and me, and I’m not sure of thee.” Our view in the Libertarian Party is to embrace even the “sinners.” In my view, there was only one man who was without sin, and he lived 2,000 years ago. If we are to build an anti-war movement, we’ll have to do it with imperfect people.
The fact is that if you want the US government to keep bankrolling Ukraine and extending the bloodshed of its war with Russia, and if you want to keep the US in NATO, and furthermore for NATO to keep expanding indefinitely, you only have to do nothing. And if you do nothing, you are no threat to the US Military-Industrial-Surveillance Complex (MISC).
I’d say those who intend to remain no threat to the MISC really do belong in the Regime Libertarian fake-LAMA group, and not in the US Libertarian Party, or its Massachusetts affiliate.
Most people can be reasoned with, even when there are serious differences of opinion. But some people, those who think character assassination is a mark of virtue, simply need to be opposed.
* * *
Obiter dicta on rallies generally:
Rallies are important.
Some skeptics will say that the #RageAgainstWar rally was a failure because it didn’t end the war the following week, or because the numbers at the rally weren’t as high as the Vietnam-era wars. But these criticisms are coming from people who don’t understand anything about organizing.
Rallies serve multiple purposes, but their goal is not to make policy change in a day. Rallies bring together people from different perspectives and backgrounds on a single issue of agreement, and they build networks of communication and new friendships that will later bear fruit. They also remind us that we’re not alone, as we meet many other people at rallies like #RageAgainstWar who think likewise. This reminder spurs us to more action and prevents discouragement and despair. It’s particularly important during an era of Regime Media domination, when the goal of the MISC is to convince us that we’re alone and the fight is hopeless.
This is why the national Libertarian Party has regular conventions. And it’s also why the Massachusetts Libertarian Party has both an annual convention and local affiliates that meet regularly. We build relationships – friendships – that allow us to circumvent the regime and its mouthpieces.