Letter to Bill Weinberg


posted to www.marxmail.org on October 24, 2003


Dear Bill Weinberg,


I assume that you are the author of the article titled "How the Antiwar Movement Was Blowing It" (http://mailman.lbo-talk.org/pipermail/lbo-talk/Week-of-Mon-20031020/025813.html) that was just forwarded to Doug Henwood's listserv by a Mr. Chuck Zero, an anarchist ubiquitous to the non-Marxist leftwing of the Internet who named himself after Subcommandante Zero as I understand it. I myself am named after my grandfather Louis Proyect, although he was known as Lebel Proyect.


I also assume that you are the host of the anarchist talk-show Moorish Orthodox Radio Crusade that comes on Tuesday at midnight on WBAI in NYC. Let me first of all take this opportunity to thank you for playing selections from "Hava Narghile", that collection of Turkish rock-and-roll from the 1970s. I picked it up almost immediately after hearing it but have to confess that my Turkish friends hate it.


By the way, I have never been able to figure out the connection between anarchism and the Moorish empire, but perhaps that's because I am usually asleep not a half-hour into your show. I also want to commend you for your excellent website titled World War Three Report at http://www.ww3report.com/. It is chock-full of useful information and written with lots of radical flair and panache. If I weren't already committed to Marxism, I might find myself seduced by your message--especially if I were first coming around politics and looking for something really exciting and different.


That being said, I am rather perplexed by your statement:


Sound-bight [sic] pseudo-analysis is an inherent danger of activism, which must be guarded against at all times. Slogans like "Bring the troops home" and "US out of Iraq " are handy for fitting on a placard, but they inevitably dodge the really tough questions. Having now plunged Iraq into social entropy, destroyed the country's infrastructure and brought to a boil myriad ethnic and religious conflicts which had been simmering under the Saddam dictatorship, it might be the height of irresponsibility for the US to just unilaterally withdraw. It would, in fact, be a violation of the responsibilities of an occupying power under international law.


I was always under the impression that anarchists were in favor of immediate communism like the day before yesterday. Right? How does that square with worrying about the responsibilities of an occupying power? In fact, in my humble bronto-Marxist opinion, one nation occupies another only as a function of the violation of international law. But, hey, what do I know. I still like Lenin.


You also ask what happened to CARDRI:


Whatever happened to CARDRI, the Committee Against Repression and for Democratic Rights in Iraq , the progressive London-based exile group that opposed both the Saddam dictatorship and US imperialist designs in the 1980s? Does CARDRI still exist? Are any of its members still vocal and active? It is from such voices that we must seek leadership--not from the self-appointed cadre of Workers World, or even the comparatively innocuous Leslie Cagan.


It appears that CARDRI has morphed into something called INDICT. If you go to opendemocracy.net, a website edited by Todd Gitlin and funded by The Rockefeller Foundation and the Bank of Sweden among others, you'll find an effusive piece on INDICT which is pushing for a war crime tribunal on Iraq . (http://www.opendemocracy.net/debates/article-2-88-941.jsp)


INDICT'S president is Ann Clwyd, a Blairite MP, who was praised on William J. Bennett's website www.empoweramerica.org for her all-out support for the war in Iraq, and formerly the President of CADRI. Her board includes Peter Galbraith, the former US ambassador to Croatia . I imagine with your hostility to Slobodan Milosevic, this is a feather in INDICT's cap. My impression, however, is that Galbraith was far too lenient about the ethnic cleansing of Serbs in Krajina than polite society should accept, but then again I tend to think that NATO's war against the Serbs was cut from the same cloth as the war against Iraq.


Ann Clwyd is a pretty good fund-raiser, according to opendemocracy.org. She got her hands on $3 million under the Iraq Liberation Act passed by the US Congress in 1998. I used to have lots more trouble raising money for Nicaragua solidarity, but maybe I didn't know the right people. Maybe you can try to raise some money for her efforts on your radio show. In any case, keep playing the tasty music. On that we can agree.



Follow-up posted on October 30, 2003


It turns out that Weinberg's support for the occupation of Iraq has gone over like a lead balloon in the anarchist milieu. Over on the anarchist website infoshop.org, you can read his article and rejoinders by his co-thinkers at:




I love this one especially:


so is Weinberg the proponent of anarchist colonialism? :) bring the poor savages to modernity nicely through the international law for states and ruling classes? what are "freedom-hating jihadis"? Must be part of his crusade fantasy.


Meanwhile, Weinberg has written another article that is meant as some kind of apology. You can read it in its entirety on Henwood's list at:




It repeats previous complaints against the WWP, which are virtually identical to those that can be read from Nation Magazine hacks like David Corn or on salon.com but tries to mollify his anarchist pals with claims that he is not really an imperialist mouthpiece.


I do want to hone in one item, however, that apparently has gotten under Weinberg's skin sufficiently for him to defend himself in a manner of speaking. Under bullet 2, he replies to the charge that he is a government agent. He says:


"This accusation borders on the hilarious, given that I have spent the last several months risking my butt to report on US imperialism's war crimes in Colombia and elsewhere in the Andes. But unfortunately it is no laughing matter. People have been killed over such allegations. I invoke the memory of Roque Dalton, the Salvadoran poet and revolutionary who was assassinated by his own fellow revolutionaries in 1975 following completely spurious charges that he was a CIA agent. If anyone has any evidence that I am a government agent, I'd like to see it. Otherwise, I will thank them to eat their malodorous canards."


One would hope that given this reasonable stance that Weinberg might remove a document from his website written by fellow anarchist Manny Goldstein titled "THE MYSTERIOUS RAMSEY CLARK: STALINIST DUPE OR RULING-CLASS SPOOK?" which has been making the rounds in anarchist cyber-circles for years now. Among other things, it condemns Clark for defending Karl Linnas, an ex-Nazi concentration camp guard in Estonia, who was being deported from the US to the USSR to face war crimes charges. I guess that Clark should only take on clients not beyond the pale of polite society.


This, plus the fact that both Clark and his father were high officials in the Justice Department, apparently leads Goldstein to say the following:


"Take a close look and there is something downright suspicious about former Attorney General Ramsey Clark, now the darling of certain sectors of the radical left. His journey has taken him from the heights of federal power to outer orbits of the political fringe. In the process, he has seemingly transformed from a shill for the most corrupt elements of the US elites to a shill for any foreign despot who claims to oppose the US elites. Who is Ramsey Clark really working for?"


"What is Ramsey Clark: dupe, kook or spook? Has a well-intentioned but none-too-bright Clark been duped by the WWP cadre? Or has his reasoning become unhinged for reasons of personal psychology? Or, is he a deep-cover spook, whose real Devil's pact is with sinister elements of the US intelligence community, his mission to divide and discredit any resistance to Washington's war moves?


"You decide."


Okay, I will decide. Manny Goldstein is a god-damned snitch-jacket punk and Bill Weinberg is a horse's ass for circulating this kind of garbage.