Oaklakdsocialist had published an open letter to Code Pink taking issue with their delegation to Iran, one which would have been used as a cover for the regime there. This approach by Code Pink is not just some tempest in a teapot; it is representative of the “peace” movement in general in the US, as well as the attitude of all too many “socialists”, who drop their socialism at the borders to the US; once they cross that border, as long as a regime is in conflict with US imperialism they have nothing critical to say. That is the basis for the red-brown alliance, the alliance between lefts and fascists and semi-fascists. Below is a reply from Medea Benjamin and our reply to her:
I passed your letter to David Hartsough, one of the delegation organizers and someone you might know as a lifetime Quaker peace activist who has traveled around the world on peace delegations. Here is his response:Dear John and Friends at Oakland Socialist,Thanks for your letter to Code Pink about our planned visit to Iran. When the US government is attacking the people of Iran with heavy duty economic sanctions and threatens military action and war against Iran (which will be devastating for the people of Iran as well as the whole world), we feel we have a responsibility to do EVERYTHING we can to stop this madness and dangerous slope toward war. To do nothing is to be complicit and support the tragic and horrendous policies of our government. We will be making every effort to talk with people in Iran from all backgrounds, classes, and political perspectives. As you know, Code Pink is not an organization to be used by any government for their own purposes. We do represent the American people who do NOT want another tragic war in the Middle East which will not only mean death and destruction for the people of Iran, but steal the badly needed funds for working for the health, education, and well-being of the American people.Lets work together to help prevent a US war against Iran and the Iranian people!!!Thanks for sharing your concerns. We hope this will help alleviate some of your misgivings. Please share with other co-signers of your open letter.Warm Greetings and Peace,
Dear Medea Benjamin:
Thank you for having forwarded the letter from David Hartsough. However, I must say that I found his response unconvincing for several reasons.
In the first place, we disagree that war between two capitalist nations is a matter of lack of “mutual respect” between nations. This concept fails to recognize that “nations” are not one united entity under capitalism; they are divided up into classes and under capitalism it is the capitalist class that rules. A “nation” goes to war when the ruling class – in this case the capitalist class – determines that it has no other means of furthering its interests. As Clausewitz put it, “war is the continuation of politics by other means.” So, what your notice does is fail to recognize the class nature of both the United States and Iran and the class nature of all politics.
David says that you will make “every effort to talk with people in Iran from all backgrounds, classes and political perspectives.” This is somewhat unclear, but maybe he means try to talk with those in opposition to the anti-worker, sectarian and misogynistic government there. But given the level of repression, and given that your trip will be coordinated with that very same government, how could such opponents trust your delegation? And that is never mind the fact that it is overwhelmingly likely that your delegation will be accompanied by government minders/translators wherever you go.