An Organization of American Traitors
By: Citizen Smash
Citizen Smash - The Indepundit | Wednesday, April 21, 2004
My Interview With Rebecca
IT TOOK A FEW MINUTES to calm myself. I rejected my first instinct, which was to storm over to the International Socialist Organization booth and denounce them all as murderous traitors.
Instead, I took several deep breaths while I gathered myself together, trying to ignore the skinny kid on the stage who was explaining how factory farms increase our dependence on foreign oil. Once I was certain that my face was no longer red, and my temper was under control, I made my way slowly over to Rebecca’s booth.
“Hi,” I said, forcing myself to smile, “are you Rebecca?”
“Yes,” she replied, smiling back. “What can I do for you?” She wasn’t a conventionally attractive woman, being a little plump, with long, stringy hair. But she still had the glow of youth working in her favor, and piercing blue eyes.
Even so, it took all of my reserve to keep myself from cursing her out on the spot.
“I heard you up on the stage, and I’d like to interview you for an Internet project.”
“Uh, sure. What kind of project?”
“It’s a small, independent news and opinion site I run.” And I’m going to crucify you on it tomorrow, I didn’t add.
“Cool. What’s it called?”
“Indepundit.” I was betting she hadn’t heard of it.
“Is it, like, Indepundit dot com?”
“OK, let’s do it.”
This was too easy. “Do you mind if I use a tape recorder?” I showed it to her.
“Uh, no, go ahead.”
|SMASH: Your name is?
REBECCA: Rebecca (last name deleted).
SMASH: And you represent?
REBECCA: The International Socialist Organization.
SMASH: You are a student?
REBECCA: Yes, I’m a student at UCSD, which is UC – University of California, San Diego.
SMASH: What are you studying?
REBECCA: I study Philosophy.
SMASH: What inspired you to join the International Socialist Organization?
REBECCA: Well, um, I uh, I started going to protests after I got out of high school. Was really interested in Marxist ideas. Thought that, basically, I wanted to build a different kind of society. And, um, when I went to ISO, so, you know, the kind of, formation of the views of the group met up with what I was looking for, so…
Was she was aware that over 100 million people were killed in the name of Karl Marx during the Twentieth Century?
|SMASH: Did you learn about Marxism through any classes you were taking?
REBECCA: Um, sort of a mixture. Um, I had – I did have a couple classes in high school, political science, that introduced me to some ideas. But a lot of the stuff I was reading separately. Um, and, um, was really mostly interested in specific social justice issues.
SMASH: What was your first activity with ISO?
REBECCA: Um, well, mostly I was helping to, uh, plan meetings. At that time we were working at City College. So, I was helping to plan meetings, and mostly do protests. And that’s the big bulk of the work that we do. Um, when we started working at UCSD more, we have, sort of, a branch there now.
SMASH: What year are you at UCSD?
REBECCA: I’m a senior, actually.
SMASH: Four years ago, what were the big issues for the ISO? What were you protesting?
REBECCA: The first thing I did at UCSD was, we were actually in a Students for Nader Campaign.
Ah, she was a classic Watermelon: Red on the inside, Green on the outside.
|SMASH: You were Socialists, but you were supporting the Green candidate?
REBECCA: We were in that case. I think the idea is that, we see the Democrats kind of co-opting movements as a major – as a major problem. So, building third party candidates, in certain situations, we see as important.
OK, that's enough softball questions...
|SMASH: I want to talk about what you were saying up on stage. You had some ideas about how to fight the war in Iraq, or how to resist it. Could you sum those up for me?
REBECCA: OK. So, the main three points that I was talking about were, supporting Iraqi Resistance. I think that we need to see ourselves as allied with Iraqis who are opposing the war…
SMASH: Specifically, the armed Resistance, or…
REBECCA: Any, any resistance that’s occurring to the Occupation. I think that we have to…
So I wasn’t imagining it. She really does support the terrorists who had killed my college roommate Kylan, and Bob Zangas, and Fern Holland. And she had no idea that she was speaking to a veteran of the war in Iraq. I had never felt the urge to hit a woman before…
|SMASH: Would you include in that, even people there who are fighting from outside the country, as well?
REBECCA: Um, yeah. I guess if, you know, I mean… In general people who are fighting directly, trying to oppose the Occupation.
SMASH: Do you differentiate between, say, indigenous resistance movements, where people are volunteering to join those movements, and say, people like Ayman Zarqawi, who is a Jordanian, who some people say he’s tied with al Qaeda? Would that turn you off because al Qaeda attacked the United States, and al Qaeda might be helping the Resistance? Or is that really not an issue for you?
REBECCA: Well, our main concern is, in a situation like this, actually, making a statement about being more with regular Iraqi people than against them. Um, in terms of tactics, we don’t endorse the kind of tactics that are used by al Qaeda. But, I’m much more concerned with the general support of Resistance. Looking back at what happened in Vietnam. You know, the idea that, a nation – it’s necessary for a nation to resist…
No, she doesn’t support al Qaeda. Well, sort of, but not really – not in a "bad" way. Right.
|SMASH: What about, for instance – there’s different movements in Iraq. I’m sure you’re aware, there’s the Shiites and the Sunnis. There are Shiite religious movements, fundamentalist movements, that might want something different from the Sunnis. Are you concerned that civil war might erupt? You might be helping to support two different groups that are fighting against each other?
REBECCA: Well, um, really, at the point – were a civil war to break out, that would actually have to be at the time the Iraqis had actually achieved independence. That’s really our main concern. Um, I think, in a situation where you have a very brutal occupation, we have to be on the side of the people who are fighting against it. Um, if people – you know, it’s not probably gonna be clean or easy to build an Iraqi state, on the basis of Iraqis doing it themselves. But that’s gonna be the only situation in which they’re likely to have any kind of freedom.
SMASH: So you would state, your goal for this is to get the US out, no matter what.
REBECCA: Absolutely, absolutely. Complete withdrawal.
SMASH: And if that involves supporting armed resistance that kills American soldiers, so be it?
REBECCA: I support bringing the soldiers home. I think it’s extremely disgusting that US soldiers have to be put in harm’s way for purposes of profit.
Because we all know the war is really about the OIL.
|SMASH: What would you say to a critic, who might say, “You say you support the soldiers in bringing them home, but you also support the people who are trying to kill them?” It seems almost completely contradictory.
REBECCA: Well, you know, I think – I think that the soldiers are in a position of playing a very, very negative role. And I support those soldiers who oppose it, and I support soldiers who, you know, choose not to fight, and I certainly support bringing them home. But I do not support the actions they are carrying out in Iraq.
I wonder if she’s ever heard of Chief Wiggles…
|SMASH: Specifically, what type of actions are you upset about?
REBECCA: I’m upset about tanks rolling down regular neighborhoods, shooting at indiscriminate people. I’m concerned about the setting up of a Coalition government that doesn’t at all represent what people wanna see happen. I’m concerned about protecting oil fields versus actually setting up water systems, or hospital systems, or any of that stuff.
Maybe she hasn’t heard about all the long-neglected water plants the Coalition has repaired, and the tons of medical supplies we delivered.
|SMASH: Do you have any positions on the Afghanistan campaign?
REBECCA: Yeah. We are opposed to the Occupation of Afghanistan.
I wasn’t aware that we were occupying Afghanistan. I keep hearing complaints that ISAF barely patrols outside of Kabul.
|SMASH: Are you looking to support any insurgent groups there that might be trying to fight against the Coalition?
REBECCA: We don’t play the role of supporting specific groups. Um, but at this point, I think the only group that we see ourselves as most definitely supporting is RAWA, the Revolutionary Association of Women in Afghanistan. Which was extremely opposed to the war, and to the Occupation, and is still fighting for women’s rights there.
Because women in Afghanistan were SO much better off under the Taliban…
|SMASH: Do you also take a position on the Palestinian/Israeli conflict?
REBECCA: We’re for Palestinian rights, yes.
SMASH: Including Right to Return?
SMASH: Are there any specific positions that you take, for instance, on the Wall?
REBECCA: We do, yeah. Most of the demands that are common for the Palestinian movement, we absolutely agree with: Right to Return, taking down the Wall, removing Apartheid systems from within Israel, where Palestinians have separate license plates, and drive on separate roads. We’d like to see that eliminated.
SMASH: Do you have a position on a One State or Two State solution?
REBECCA: We favor a One State solution.
SMASH: One country that would accept both Jews and Arabs?
A complete fantasy. The only way it would work is if all the Jews were to leave – or if the Arabs were to kill them.
|SMASH: Are you tied in with any political parties in the United States, or are you just an on-campus student organization?
REBECCA: No, we are – we are part of a national group, called the International Socialist Organization. We publish a newspaper nationally.
SMASH: You had mentioned before that you worked in support of Nader, the Green Party candidate. Did the International Socialist Organization put forward any candidates?
REBECCA: The International Socialist Organization endorsed Nader in 2000.
SMASH: How many members would you say you have at UCSD?
REBECCA: At UCSD, we have – we have something around 20 members. Uh, um, and that’s pretty much our main group in San Diego right now.
SMASH: Do you work with any other groups, like MEChA?
Birds of a feather…
|REBECCA: We’ve done work with a lot of different groups on campus. I mean, as I mentioned, we work as part of a Peace Coalition at the UCSD campus, which I was part of organizing. Um, so, we worked with that, of which a lot were part: the Green Party on campus, MEChA, the Muslim Student Association.
SMASH: Did you take any position on the Montezuma mascot controversy at SDSU?
REBECCA: We didn’t take an explicit position, but, um, I would say there would probably be agreement among people that having a, uh, mascot that represents racist stereotypes is a bad thing (laughs). But we didn’t really address it so much…
SMASH: What are your personal goals when you graduate? Are you graduating this year?
REBECCA: I am graduating this year, um, I…
SMASH: Four years – congratulations!
REBECCA: Yeah (laughs). I know, it’s unusual, yeah. Yeah, um, I’m just looking to get just a full-time job. I don’t really have any specific…
SMASH: You’ll stay politically active?
SMASH: Going to protests? Ever think about running for office?
REBECCA: Um, not likely. Although, at some point if we get big enough we may run our own candidates. But, you know, we’re small…
SMASH: You’re going to stick with the International Socialist Organization?
REBECCA: At this point, yes, definitely.
SMASH: You’re not going to go Green?
REBECCA: No, no definitely.
SMASH: Thank you very much for your time.
REBECCA: Thank you.
I shook her hand and walked away, with one unasked question boiling in my brain: Is she really an anti-war activist, or an unwitting agent for the other side?
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