Globalizing The Intifada
By William T. Hathaway
24 August, 2011
The invaders have surrounded and attacked us, conquered here and there, and built their bases in our lands. So we attack the invaders where we can, determined to retake our lands and drive them out. We would prefer not to be warriors. We would rather raise our children in the ways of kindness. But for our children to have a future, we must now be warriors. So be it.
In Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan this war is most intense, but it is a international war, and people of every religion and race are under attack. The capitalist class is assaulting us worldwide, throttling our hopes of decent lives. We're now all in the same boat, a global Mavi Marmara, so our resistance must be global. Our foe is not just the Zionists but the larger Western corporate forces of which they are a part. To survive, we must set aside our religious and political differences and form a united front. Shias, Sunnis, secularists and socialists need to work together to defeat our common enemy. If we join in solidarity, we can win. Otherwise the imperialists will continue to divide and rule.
Non-violent opposition is important but not sufficient. To be effective in this war, it must be coupled with armed struggle. Both Gandhi and militant rebels were required to convince the British to free India. Both Martin Luther King and Malcolm X were required to convince the US congress to end racial segregation. Gandhi himself recognized the need for self-defence when he wrote:
"I have been repeating over and over again that he who cannot protect himself or his nearest and dearest or their honour by non-violently facing death may and ought to do so by violently dealing with the oppressor. He who can do neither of the two is a burden. He has no business to be the head of a family. He must either hide himself, or must rest content to live for ever in helplessness and be prepared to crawl like a worm at the bidding of a bully."
"I do believe that, where there is only a choice between cowardice and violence, I would advise violence... I would rather have India resort to arms in order to defend her honour than that she should, in a cowardly manner, become or remain a helpless witness to her own dishonor."
"Though violence is not lawful, when it is offered in self-defence or for the defence of the defenceless, it is an act of bravery far better than cowardly submission. The latter befits neither man nor woman. Under violence, there are many stages and varieties of bravery. Every man must judge this for himself. No other person can or has the right."
"Life itself involves some kind of violence and we have to choose the path of least violence."
(Source: The Mind of Mahatma Gandhi, cited in the Gandhian Institute, http://www.mkgandhi.org/nonviolence/phil8.htm. Thanks to Nahida Izzat for finding the quotes.)
To defend even the little we have left, we must fight. Given the power of the capitalists and the intensity of their violence, we must battle them as guerrillas, striking their weak points then disappearing to recoup and strike again. Most of their weak points are now outside of Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan and outside of their headquarter countries. That is most of the world, where their representatives roam freely on their missions of domination.
We have to convince our allies in these outlying areas to do more. This war is going to reach them sooner or later. Better for them now, before the enemy forces are concentrated in their countries. If the West conquers Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan and controls their resources, they may become too strong to stop. Now is a crucial time in the war. We need to expand it into a global Intifada.
Since most resistance groups are infiltrated with their agents and their torture makes keeping secrets impossible, our deeds must be known by only the necessary few. We can act individually, anonymously, lone wolves striking targets of opportunity then telling no one. Whenever possible we must survive to continue the struggle. Suicide attacks should be a last resort. We are needed here more than in heaven.
Weakening the beast at any point also weakens it globally, relieving pressure from the areas of critical combat. The beast's resources are finite and are approaching their limit. It cannot fight everywhere. By going global we can defeat it.
We don't need to win big battles. We just need to persist until the capitalists realize that continuing the war will cost them more than their potential profits. Then support for Israel will evaporate like spilled water in the Negev. The Israelis know this, which is why so many of them are already applying for foreign passports. The exodus is beginning.
We must fight on to real victory, not to some feeble compromise that gives us a few crumbs for surrendering. The history of anti-colonial struggles in Ireland, India and South Africa shows how making peace too soon can bring disaster. Revolutionary momentum is very hard to rebuild once it stops. To achieve real peace, our struggle must continue until we uproot the structural violence inherent in the invasion and occupation. This structural violence is generating the physical violence. Without justice, peace is impossible.
As we know too well, this war is creating terrible suffering on all sides. But if we surrender to their implacable aggression and allow the capitalists to dominate the world, the suffering will be far worse. Even the capitalists will be trapped in it because they've lost their humanity. By fighting them now, we are choosing Gandhi's "path of least violence."
William T. Hathaway is a US Special Forces combat veteran and an adjunct professor of American studies at the University of Oldenburg in Germany. His latest book, RADICAL PEACE: People Refusing War, presents the experiences of war resisters, deserters and peace activists in the USA, Europe, Iraq and Afghanistan. Chapters are posted on CounterCurrents and on a page of the publisher's website at http://media.trineday.com/radicalpeace. A selection of his writing is available at www.peacewriter.org.
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