Archive | December 29th, 2014

False Flagging the World towards War. The CIA Weaponizes Hollywood


Global Research

Almost all wars begin with false flag operations.

The coming conflicts in North Korea and Russia are no exception.

Mass public hysteria is being manufactured to justify aggression against Moscow and Pyongyang, in retaliation for acts attributed to the North Korean and Russian governments, but orchestrated and carried out by the CIA and the Pentagon.

The false flagging of North Korea: CIA weaponizes Hollywood

The campaign of aggression against North Korea, from the hacking of Sony and the crescendo of noise over the film, The Interview, bears all the markings of a CIA false flag operation.

The hacking and alleged threats to moviegoers has been blamed entirely on North Korea, without a shred of credible evidence beyond unsubstantiated accusations by the FBI. Pyongyangs responsibility has not been proven. But it has already been officially endorsed, and publicly embraced as fact.

The idea of America under attack by North Korea is a lie.

The actual individuals of the mysterious group responsible for the hacking remain conveniently unidentified. A multitude of possibilities—Sony insiders, hackers-for-hire, generic Internet vandalism—have not been explored in earnest. The more plausible involvement of US spying agencies—the CIA, the NSA, etc. , their overwhelming technological capability and their peerless hacking and surveillance powers—remains studiously ignored.

Who benefits? It is illogical for Pyongyang to have done it. Isolated, impoverished North Korea, which has wanted improved relations with the United States for years (to no avail), gains nothing by cyberattacking the United States with its relatively weak capabilities, and face the certainty of overwhelming cyber and military response. On the other hand, Washington benefits greatly from any action that leads to regime change in North Korea.

But discussion about Pyongyangs involvement—or lack of—risks missing the larger point.

This project, from the creation of The Interview to the well-orchestrated international incident, has been guided by the CIA, the Pentagon, and the State Department from the start. It is propaganda. It is a weapon of psychological warfare. It is an especially perverted example of military-intelligence manipulation of popular culture for the purpose of war.

There is nothing funny about any of it.

The Interview was made with the direct and open involvement of CIA and Rand Corporation operatives for the express purpose of destabilizing North Korea. Star and co-director Seth Rogen has admitted that he worked directly with people who work in the government as consultants, who Im convinced are in the CIA. Originally conceived to be a plot taking place in an unnamed country, Sony Pictures co-chairman Michael Lynton, who also sits on the board of the Rand Corporation, encouraged the film makers to make the movie overtly about murdering Kim Jong-Un. Bruce Bennett, the Rand Corporations North Korean specialist, also had an active role, expressing enthusiasm that the film would assist regime change and spark South Korean action against Pyongyang. Other government figures from the State Department, even operatives connected to Hillary Clinton, read the script.

The infantile, imbecilic, tasteless, reckless idiots involved with The Interview, including the tasteless Rogen and co-director Evan Goldberg, worked with these military-intelligence thugs for months. Hung out with them. They do not seem to have had any problem being the political whores for these Langley death merchants. In fact, they had fun doing it. They seem not to give a damn, or even half a damn, that the CIA and the Pentagon have used them, and co-opted the film for an agenda far bigger than the stupid movie itself. All they seem to care about was that they are getting publicity, and more publicity, and got to make a stupid movie. Idiots.

The CIA has now succeeded in setting off a wave of anti-North Korea war hysteria across America. Witness the ignorant squeals and cries from ignorant Americans about how we cant let North Korea blackmail us, we cant let Kim take away our free speech. Listen to the ridiculous debate over whether Sony has the courage to release the film to stand up to the evil North Koreans who would blackmail America and violate the rights of idiot filmgoers, who now see it as a patriotic duty to see the film.

These mental midgets—their worldviews shaped by the CIA culture ministry with its endorsed pro-war entertainment, violent video games, and gung-ho shoot em ups—are hopelessly brain-curdled, irretrievably lost. Nihilistic and soulless, as well as stupid, most Americans have no problem seeing Kim Jong-Un killed, on screen or in reality. This slice of ugly America is the CIAs finest post-9/11 army: violent, hate-filled, easily manipulated, eager to obey sheeple who march to whatever drumbeat they set.

And then there are the truly dumb, fools who are oblivious to most of reality, who would say hey lighten up, its only a comedy and its only a movie. Naïve, entitled, exceptionalist Americans think the business of the war—the murderous agenda they and their movie are helping the CIA carry out —is all just a game.

The CIAs business is death, and that there are actual assassination plans in the files of the CIA, targeting heads of state. Kim Jong-Un is undoubtedly on a real assassination list. This is no funny, either.

The real act of war

The provocative, hostile diplomatic stance of the Obama administration speaks for itself. Washington wanted to spark an international incident. It wants regime change in Pyongyang, does not care what North Korea or China think, and does not fear anything North Korea will do about it.

On the other hand, imagine if a film were about the assassination of Benjamin Netanyahu and the toppling of the government in Tel Aviv. Such a film, if it would ever be permitted even in script form, would be stopped cold. If it made it through censors that magically never slowed down The Interview (and yes, there is censorship in America, a lot of it) Obama would personally fly to Tel Aviv to apologize. At the very least, Washington would issue statements distancing themselves from the film and its content.

Not so in the case of The Interview. Because American elites actually want the Kim family murdered.

Despite providing no proof of North Korean involvement, President Barack Obama promised a proportional response. Promptly, North Koreas Internet was mysteriously shut down for a day.

Unless one is naïve to believe in this coincidence, all signs point to US spy agencies (CIA, NSA, etc.) or hackers working on behalf of Washington and Langley.

Given the likelihood that North Korea had nothing to do with either the hacking of Sony, the initial pulling of the movie (a big part of the publicity stunt, that was not surprisingly reversed) or the blackmailing of moviegoers, the shutting down of North Koreas Internet was therefore a unilateral, unprovoked act of war. Washington has not officially taken responsibility. For reasons of plausible denial, it never will.

Perhaps it was a dry run. A message. The US got to test how easily it can take down North Koreas grid. As we witnessed, given overwhelming technological advantage, it was very easy. And when a war against Pyongyang begins in earnest, American forces will know exactly what they will do.

The US is flexing its Asia-Pacific muscles, sending a message not only to Pyongyang, but to China, a big future target. Some of the other muscle-flexing in recent months included the anti-Beijing protests in Hong Kong (assisted by the CIA and the US State Department), ongoing provocations in the South China Sea over disputed oil, and new defense agreements that place new anti-missile systems and missile-guided naval vessels to the region.

The bottom line is that America has once again been mobilized into supporting a new war that could take place soon. The CIA and Sony have successfully weaponized a stupid movie, making it into a cause and a battle cry.

If and when bombs fall on North Korea, blood will be on the hands of the makers of The Interview, every single executive who allowed it to be made, and the hordes who paid to see it.

If America were a decent, sane society, The Interview would be exposed, roundly denounced, boycotted and shunned. Instead it is celebrated.

The CIA should be condemned. Instead, Seth Rogen hangs out with them. America, increasingly dysfunctional, loves them. Obeys them.

The false flagging of Russia

Regarding The Interview, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich issued a statement in sympathy with North Korea, correctly calling the films concept aggressive and scandalous, and decried the US retaliatory response as counterproductive and dangerous to international relations.

Of course. Washington has no interest in improved international relations.

The Russians should know.

Like Kim Jong-Un, Vladimir Putin has been vilified, demonized and false-flagged, incessantly. If Kim is todays object of ridicule, Putin is Evil Incarnate.

Consider the hysterical, desperate provocations by Washington in recent months.

A US-NATO coup, engineered by the CIA, toppled the government of Ukraine, planting a pro-US neo-Nazi criminal apparatus on Russias doorstep. The CIA and its worldwide network of propagandists pinned the blame on Putin and Russia for aggression, and for obstructing democracy.

The MH-17 jetliner is downed by Ukrainian operatives, with the support of the CIA, Mi-6, etc. etc. This false flag operation was blamed on Russia— Putins Missile. The US and NATO are still trying to pin these murders on Putin.

The war against the Islamic State—a massive CIA false flag operation—seeks to topple with the the Assad government as well as to militarily counter Russia. The ongoing Anglo-American conquest of regional oil and gas supplies, and energy transport routes is also aimed at checkmating Russia and China across the region.

The US and NATO have attacked the Russian federation with sanctions. The US and Saudi Arabia have collapsed oil prices, to further destroy the Russian economy. Full-scale military escalations are being planned. The US Congress is pushing new legislation tantamount to an open declaration of war against Russia.

What next? Perhaps it is time for the CIA to produce a Seth Rogen-James Franco movie about assassinating Putin. Another parody. Or how about a movie about killing Assad, or anyone else the United States wants to make into a Public Enemy? Dont think Langley isnt working on it.

The return of the Bushes (who were never gone)

In the midst of all escalating war hysteria comes news that Jeb Bush is actively exploring running for president in 2016. The long predicted return of the Bush family, the kings of terrorism, the emperors of the false flag operation, back to the White House appears imminent.

The CIA will have its favorite family back in the Oval Office, with true CIA scion to manage the apocalyptic wars are likely to be launched in earnest in the next two years: Russia/Ukraine, North Korea, the Middle East.

Jeb Bush will finish the job.

The 2016 presidential contest will be a charade. It is likely to put forth two corrupt establishment political friends posing as adversaries, when in fact, they are longtime comrades and conspirators. On one side, Hillary (and Bill) Clinton. On the other side, Jeb Bush, with George H.W., George W. and all of the Bush cronies crawling back out of the rotten woodwork. The fact is that the Clintons and Bushes, and their intertwined networks, have run the country since the 1980s, their respective camps taking turns in power, with Obama as transitional figurehead (his administration has always been run by neoliberal elites connected to the Clintonistas, including Hillary Clinton herself).

The collective history of the Bushes stretches back to the very founding of the American intelligence state. It is the very history of modern war criminality. The resume is George H.W. Bush—the CIA operative and CIA Director—is long and bloody, and littered with cocaine dust. The entire Bush family ran the Iran-Contra/CIA drug apparatus, with the Clintons among the Bush networks full partners in the massive drug/weapons/banking frauds of that era, the effects of which still resonate today. And we need not remind that the Bush clan and 9/11 are responsible for the world of terror and false flag foreign policy and deception that we suffer today.

While it remains too early to know which way the Establishment will go with their selection (and it depends on how world war shakes out between now and 2016), it is highly likely that Jeb

Bush would be the pick.

Hillary Clinton has already been scandalized—Benghazi-ed. Jeb Bush, on the other hand, has ideal Establishment/CIA pedigree. He has waited years for the stupid American public to forget the horrors that his family—Georges H.W. and W.— brought humanity. And now Americans , with their ultra-short memories, have indeed forgotten, if they had ever understood it in the first place.

And the American public does not know who Jeb Bush is, beyond the last name. Jeb Bush, whom Barbara Bush always said was the smart one, has been involved in Bush narco-criminal business since Iran-Contra. His criminal activities in Florida, his connection with anti-Castro Cuban terrorists and other connections are there, for those who bother to investigate them. His Latin American connections—including his ability to speak fluent Spanish, a Latin wife and a half-Latin son (George P. Bush, the next up and coming political Bush)—conveniently appeals to the fastest-growing demographic, as well as those in the southern hemisphere drug trade. Recent Obama overtures towards the Latino demographic—immigration, Cuba—appear to be a Democratic Party move to counter Jeb Bushs known strengths in the same demographic.

Today, in the collective American mind, Kim Jong-Un and Vladimir Putin are the bad guys. But the mass murdering war criminal Bushes are saints. Nice guys.

A Jeb Bush presidency will be a pure war presidency, one that promises terror, more unspeakable than we are experiencing now, lording it over a world engulfed in holocaust.

This is not a movie.

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For the Palestinians UN means Useless Nations

UN - Zionist lobby influence

By Alan Hart

I must begin by making it clear that the UN of my headline is the Security Council not other component parts of the world body such as the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNWRA), which provides education, health care and social services for more than five million Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip prison camp, the occupied West Bank, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria.

As a new year dawns I believe that those who are entertaining hope that the cause of justice for the Palestinians will be advanced by another Security Council resolution are guilty of wishful thinking. They may also be unaware of the history of Zionism’s success in corrupting and subverting the decision-making process of the General Assembly as well as the Security Council. (This history, complete and unexpurgated, flows through the three volumes of my book, Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews).

Early corruption and subversion

The corruption and subversion started in the countdown to the vote on the General Assembly’s Partition Plan resolution of 29 November 1947. The vote was postponed twice because Zionism calculated that there was not a majority in favour of partition. Then, assisted by its assets in President Truman’s White House and 26 of its collaborators in the Senate, Zionism bullied and bribed a number of vulnerable nations to change their “No” votes to “Yes” or abstain. The result was a minimum necessary majority in favour of partition. But when President Truman refused to use force to impose it, the resolution was vitiated (became invalid); and the option Truman approved was sending the question of what to do about Palestine back to the General Assembly for another debate. It was while this debate was underway that Israel, in defiance of the will of the organised international community as it then was, unilaterally declared itself to be in existence.

Zionism has corrupted everything it touched, including this organisation [the UN] in its infancy. (Senior UN official)

When Truman learned how Zionism and its collaborators had rigged the partition vote, he wrote the following in an angry memorandum to Undersecretary of State Robert Lovett. “It is perfectly clear that pressure groups will succeed in putting the United Nations out of business if this sort of thing is continued.”

Many years later a long serving, very senior and universally respected UN official said the following to me in his office on the top floor of the UN’s headquarters in New York. “Zionism has corrupted everything it touched, including this organisation in its infancy.” I knew, really knew, that he was reflecting the deeply held but private view of all the top international civil servants who were responsible for trying to make the world body work in accordance with the ideals and principles enshrined in its Charter and international law.

Zionist corruption of Resolution 242 of 1967

The Security Council’s complete surrender to Zionism happened during the protracted and at times angry behind-closed-doors discussions about the text of Resolution 242 – what it should and should not say. (The full story of this surrender is told in “Goodbye To The Security Council’s Integrity”, Chapter 3 of Volume Three of my book.)

The Johnson administration and all others responsible for drafting and then finalising the resolution’s text were completely aware that the Six Days War of June 1967 was a war of Israeli aggression, not, as Zionism asserted at the time and still asserts today, a war of self-defence.

That being so Resolution 242 of 22 November 1967 ought to have demanded an unconditional Israeli withdrawal and indicated that Israel would be isolated and have sanctions imposed on it if it refused to comply. And for complete clarity of meaning a binding resolution ought to have stated that Israel should not seek to settle or colonise the newly occupied territories, and that if it did the Security Council would enforce international law and take whatever action was necessary to stop the illegal developments.

But President Johnson refused to have Israel branded as the aggressor.

…Resolution 242 of 22 November 1967 ought to have demanded an unconditional Israeli withdrawal and indicated that Israel would be isolated and have sanctions imposed on it if it refused to comply.

This was despite the fact that he was privately furious with the Israelis. He had given them the green light to attack only Egypt, but their attack on Syria to take the Golan Heights for keeping provoked the Soviet Union to the brink of military confrontation with  the US. Johnson was also fully aware that when Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Dayan gave the order for his forces to attack the USS Liberty his intention was to sink the American spy ship and send all on board to a watery grave.

As it happened, on 8 June the Israeli attack on the Liberty with bombs, napalm, torpedoes and machine gun fire killed 34 members of the vessel’s crew and wounded171, 75 of them seriously. The Liberty was attacked to prevent it sending an early warning to the Johnson administration that elements of the Israeli army’s ground forces in Sinai were being turned around to reinforce an attack on Jordan and Syria. The full story is told in The Liberty Affair – “Pure Murder” on a “Great Day, Chapter 2 of Volume Three of my book. Who described the attack on the Liberty as “pure murder”? Israel’s chief of staff at the time, Yitzhak Rabin. The “great day” comment was made by Dayan in a note to Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol.)

Though it did pay lip service to “the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war”, the final text of Resolution 242 (less than 300 words in all) gave the Israelis the scope to interpret it as they wished. It did so by stating that the establishment of a just and lasting peace should include the application of two principles:

(i) Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict.

(ii) Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every state in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognised boundaries free from threats or acts of force.

This wording enabled Zionism to assert that withdrawal was conditional on the Arab states recognising and legitimising Israel.

In addition, Resolution 242 gave Israel the freedom to determine the extent of any withdrawals it might make. This freedom was secured by immense pressure from Israel and the Zionist lobby in all its manifestations, which caused those responsible for the final wording of the resolution to drop the definite article “the” in (i) above. The wording of the draft text was (my emphasis added) “Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from the territories occupied in the recent conflict.” The meaning of that draft text was clear. Israel had to withdraw from all the Arab territory it grabbed in the Six Days War. But when Israel’s leaders and the Zionist lobby said that was unacceptable, those responsible for the final version of 242 replied in effect: “Okay. We’ll do it your way.”

So the question without an answer in the final text of 242 was: which Israel were the Arab states required to recognise? An Israel withdrawn to its borders as they were on the eve of the 1967 war or a Greater Israel – an Israel in permanent occupation of at least some Arab territory grabbed in that war?

Mentioning the Palestinians by name was unacceptable to Israel’s leaders and the Zionist lobby because it would have implied that they, the occupied and oppressed Palestinians, were a people with rights – rights far greater than what might be called the begging bowl rights normally associated in the public mind with refugees.

Incredible though it may seem today, Resolution 242 did not mention the Palestinians by name. It affirmed only the necessity for “achieving a just settlement of the refugee problem.” Mentioning the Palestinians by name was unacceptable to Israel’s leaders and the Zionist lobby because it would have implied that they, the occupied and oppressed Palestinians, were a people with rights – rights far greater than what might be called the begging bowl rights normally associated in the public mind with refugees.

But there was more to it than that. At the time the Security Council was agonising over the text of 242, the three major Western powers, the US, Britain and France, were united on one thing: the view that the Palestine file was not to be reopened because, if it was, they might one day have to confront Zionism.

Put another way, in November 1967 the major Western powers were hoping that re-emerging Palestinian nationalism could be snuffed out by a combination of Arab-and-Israeli military action (it was the security forces of Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon which made the first attempt to liquidate the authentic Palestine liberation movement led by Arafat) and compensation for refugees as necessary.

A disaster for peace and justice

Security Council Resolution 242 was a disaster for all who were seriously committed to working for a just and lasting peace because, effectively, it put Zionism into the diplomatic driving seat.

Some years after 242 was passed I had a private conversation with a very senior British diplomat who participated in the drafting and finalising of it. At the end of our conversation I summarised my understanding of what he told me. He said my summary as follows was correct.

Like it or not, and whatever it might mean for the fate of mankind, the world was going to have to live with the fact that there are two sets of rules for the behaviour of nations – one rule for Israel and one for all other nations.

Those responsible for framing Resolution 242 were very much aware that Israel’s hawks were going to proceed with their colonial venture come what may – in determined defiance of international law and no matter what the organised international community said or wanted. So some, if not all, of those responsible for framing 242 were resigned to the fact that, because of the history of the Jews (persecution on and off down the centuries) and Zionism’s use of the Nazi holocaust as a brainwashing tool, Israel was not and never could be a normal state. As a consequence, there was no point in the Security Council seeking to oblige it to behave like a normal state – i.e. in accordance with international law and its obligations as a member of the UN. Like it or not, and whatever it might mean for the fate of mankind, the world was going to have to live with the fact that there are two sets of rules for the behaviour of nations – one rule for Israel and one for all other nations. In that light Resolution 242 was confirmation that the Security Council had a double standard built into it, and because the political will to confront Zionism did not exist, there was nothing anybody could do to change that reality.

At the time of writing an effort by the Palestine Authority is underway to get a new Security Council resolution calling on Israel to end its occupation within two or three years. But even if such a resolution was introduced and passed (not vetoed by President Obama) it would be meaningless unless it contained a commitment to Security Council enforcement action if Israel refused to comply.

What are the chances in the foreseeable future of a new Security Council resolution containing such a commitment?

In my view there is not a snowball’s chance in hell.

What President Truman feared could happen did happen. On dealing with the conflict in and over Palestine that became Israel the Security Council was put out of business by Zionism.

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Posted by Sammi Ibrahem,Sr

‘Qalandiya Report’ records just nine minutes out of the long hours Palestinian civilians spend every day in the long, slow-moving queues at the army checkpoint gates in Qalandiya.

The Qalandiya checkpoint is not exceptional. There are dozens more like it in the West Bank. These do not separate the state of Israel and the occupied territories, but are placed deep within Palestinian territory, cutting off one village from another and one town from its neighbour. With no other apparent reason for their existence, one has to conclude that the sole purpose of these checkpoints is to impose hardship on the inhabitants’ lives, deny them freedom of movement, and imprison them in segregated, restricted territorial cells.

The queue seen in the film is the one the occupation authorities call ‘the humanitarian queue’.


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Posted by: Sammi Ibrahem,Sr


against conscription

‘Physicians for Human Rights’ held a press conference at the Ambassador Hotel in Jerusalem. The theme at hand was the pressure that Israel applies to cancer and other patients in severe condition in Gaza through its General Security Services (Shabaq), The aim is to force them to collaborate with the occupation regime against their own people, in return for the possibility to exit Gaza for medical treatment.

The mere thought is unbearable. A person hooked up to tubes, perhaps dying, desperately needy of treatment unavailable in Gaza, is en route to Egypt or Jordan or Israel. At the checkpoint, he/she or a relative is taken to a side room where a Shabaq agent will place his outrageous demand in return for the permission to exit.
Refusal to cooperate will send the patient back, in many cases to a certain death.

We were there at that press conference. The people present were speaking Arabic, English and French and German and Spanish. Not a single Jewish-Israeli journalist. Or so it appeared. How – I wondered – could they not be crowding in here around this issue? After all, even if they think it’s another one of those
slanderous rumors about Israel and its ways, even if they think this could not really be happening, they are – after all – journalists. They are supposed to be the ones who monitor power, who strive for truth, who place knowledge and the right to know above all other considerations. And after all, we are talking here about an act which, if it does indeed take place, is of the utmost journalistic importance.

The possibility that Israel, officially, openly, murders patients suffering excruciatingly from diseases if they refuse to betray their own people, has not generated any public uproar or even discussion. Hardly any Jewish-Israeli journalists have considered this to be news-worthy.

I believe that the real reason for which they did not show up at the press conference, and wrote what and if they did, is part of the answer to the question: how such criminal policy can be implemented so easily and in such overriding silence in a state not subjected to dictatorship, nor infused with censorship, where no journalists are at any real risk if they report things against current government policy.
And my argument is that this is all because of conscription – mandatory army service. For they too have served their duty in the armed forces.

Military service, instated in 1953, turned all civilians into an inseparable part of state policy. State is no longer an abstract term, differentiated from the individual.
The acts of state take place through the individual: his hands are besmirched with the blood shed by the act of the state.

Initiation rites rampant in the mafia and other groups (who act with institutionalized violence that usually does not adhere to common values, and at times is even illegal) exist, among other things, to ensure that the novice entering their ranks will be branded with the stamp of belonging.
The trial or ceremony usually involves committing a crime. Thus, the person accepted into the group has already violated some law in its name.
From that moment on, his loyalty is ensured.
For casting a critical look at the group would mean looking at himself, taking a risk.
His sense of belonging, obedience and silence are ensured.

“But someone has to do it” say the Jewish-Israeli parents who send their offspring to the army year after year, generation after generation. “The whole world is against us”, and “we’re all better off if it’s my son in there, and not some…”, for “this is my country”, and “I am duty-bound even if I don’t see eye to eye with the present policy”, and “what would happen if the really bad guys were to get here” – say others.

Even without questioning the extent of truth in the Jewish-Israeli Zionist version of reality, let us assume that the political and historical situation were exactly as they are now, with the exception that military service were not mandatory.
Would parents still be repeating religiously, “One does need an army, after all”, and “better my son there than some…”? Will they say that there is really no other choice, while his peers will be doing other things with their lives.

The answer is no. If joining the army were not mandatory, even in similar circumstances, parents would not necessarily want their children to join the army.
But why not? one must ask. After all, one does need an army – they said so themselves – and someone has to do it, and better their son than… Why then, if not everyone goes, if it’s not a duty, do these arguments lose their validity?
They no longer hold because they have not been the real motive all along. They are merely the clichés provided by our culture to name the conformist urge – that is unavoidably human,
and not only in the negative sense.

Perhaps because joining the army as a mandatory service is the most prominent Israeli rite of initiation par excellence. If no longer practiced by one and all, it would cease to be that. When its mythical, symbolic dimensions are shifted towards the concrete, many will justly say – why should I waste the best years of my young life on this of all things.


By the way, military service in the Wehrmacht, founded in 1935, was mandatory. Youngsters were enlisted in its ranks under state law. They, too, as customary everywhere under mandatory service laws, enlisted regardless of the act of their state, and believed – one assumes – that this is what must be done. For it is mandatory. They and their parents.
Do any one of those who argue that such ‘service’ should be fulfilled regardless of the act of state, think that – had they and their sons lived then and there – they would have done their duty in the Wehrmacht?
They would probably deny vehemently, saying that ‘No, that is something else altogether. After all, those people back then committed war crimes, crimes against humanity. Acts to be condemned and shunned. Mandatory conscription does not apply for every army. Not that one, certainly. And ours is by far no Wehrmacht.’
But if duty is fulfilled because duty calls, and if service is mandatory and one goes regardless of the act of state, because an army is necessary, because “better my son than…”, “‘because it is the state”, then why not the Wehrmacht? How can such duty possibly apply to the one army and not to the other?

“Still, in spite of possible imperfections, after all we are no pacifists and regardless of who is right or why people enlist, still we need an army.” These words are uttered by individuals who, in fact, oppose their government’s policy. And they continue to serve it, they and their sons.
A professional, lucrative army that would attract talents would no doubt be better than an army of volunteers few of whom possess a natural talent for the battles they are required to fight.
“But can a mercenary army be as loyal as a mandatory one?” they ask, justly. “For, as soon as military service is salaried, who would agree to risk their lives for pay?”
Many studies have shown that loyalty and willing to take risks in battle characterize mercenary soldiers throughout history, even foreigners, for whom the war at hand means nothing, personally – for example, and not the only one, the French Foreign Legion.
Apparently all soldiers, both mercenary and regulars, are motivated first and foremost by their kinship to their comrades-in-arms. Research has shown that mercenaries are no different from regular soldiers in their willingness to sacrifice themselves and commit acts of bravery.

So why maintain a regular (mandatory) army?

For if mandatory conscription were not imposed by law, the stamp of belonging to the act of their state would no longer remain whole. It would begin to crack and fall apart.
The act of state would become something the state does, rather than myself and my son. Then, the automatic willingness of citizens to justify and agree to fulfill state policy regardless – would necessarily be lost as well. And politicians would be held accountable.

That is just what happened with the United States’ invasion of Iraq. As there is no mandatory service, not every citizen served his state’s policy, was not fated to serve it – neither they nor their sons and daughters. Thus, at least potentially, the crucial distance is maintained between the individual and the act of state. The state is not he. Not everything it does, he does. Therefore, he can examine it without fearing what will be said of him.
And this indeed did happen. After the initial patriotic diatribes, and the lies spread by the powers that be, and the love of war that is there anyway, with time people began to question the justification for that war. And easily acknowledged that it is criminal, immoral.

This has never happened in Israel which most of its citizens (naturally, only of the sectors that are obliged by law to serve in the army) were never critical as to its wars’ moral justification.  Not only the general public, but most journalists as well. No official censorship is needed for Jewish-Israeli journalists to serve their government’s policy and refuse to be critical. They will claim they are patriots and accept the state’s position verbatim, although their professional future is at no risk if they pose questions and suspect the state’s real motive and justification.
For they, too, were in the army. For this policy is them. For their sons are there. For looking at this policy from the side is looking at the mirror, and making harsh statements about the act of state, as long as military service is mandatory, is the same as saying “I and my son”. It is like saying “I committed this. Not they, not the state. I myself. Not Occupation. Me”.
And that, of course, is the hardest nutshell of them all.

Compulsory military service is, then, Israel’s most ingenious and terrible invention. Its role is to brand the state’s Jewish residents with an immoral loyalty to the acts of their state, regardless. Its role is to blur the difference between acts of state and of the individual, to make them identical. What the state did was done by the private individual, everyman.

As limited as one is in naming his own and his children’s deeds, one is limited in his ability to name the acts of state.

That is why no dictatorship is needed in Israel, no military junta nor censorship, and no life-threat to hover over anyone who dare challenge the state – for the majority to obey, participate and keep silent when necessary.

In full view of the murdered cancer patients of Gaza, in view of what is called in Israel “Operation Cast Lead” and known around the world as “The Massacre in Gaza”, and in full view of all the other crimes against the Palestinian people, from then to now – all that is needed is mandatory military service.

Aya Kaniuk

Translated by Tal Haran

From the Anti-Conscription Manifesto 1926

“It is our belief that conscript armies, with their large corps of professional officers, are a grave menace to peace. Conscription involves the degradation of human personality, and the destruction of liberty. Barrack life, military drill, blind obedience to commands, however unjust and foolish they may be, and deliberate training for slaughter undermine respect for the individual, for democracy and human life.

It is debasing human dignity to force men to give up their life, or to inflict death against their will, or without conviction as to the justice of their action. The State which thinks itself entitled to force its citizens to go to war will never pay proper regard to the value and happiness of their lives in peace. Moreover, by conscription the militarist spirit of aggressiveness is implanted in the whole male population at the most impressionable age. By training for war men come to consider war as unavoidable and even desirable.”

Signed among others by:

Rabindranath Tagore (India), Martin Buber (Germany), Bertrand Russell (England), Albert Einstein (Germany), C.F. Andrews (India), Norman Angell (England), Henri Barbusse (France), A. Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (Germany), Annie Besant (India), Edward Carpenter (England), Miguel de Unamuno (Spain), Georges Duhamel (France), August Forel (Switzerland), Kurt Hiller (Germany), Toyohiko Kagawa (Japan), George Lansbury, M.P. (England), Arthur Ponsonby (England), Emanuel Radl (Czechoslovakia), Leonhard Ragaz (Switzerland), Lajpat Rai (India), Romain Rolland (France), Fritz von Unruh (Germany), Paul Loebe (Germany), H.G. Wells (England) Sammi Ibrahem,Sr (England).

From the Manifesto against Conscription and the Military Training of Youth 1930

“Conscription subjects individual personalities to militarism. It is a form of servitude.
That nations routinely tolerate it, is just one more proof of its debilitating influence.
Military training is schooling of body and spirit in the art of killing. Military training is
education for war. It is the perpetuation of war spirit. It hinders the development of the desire for peace.” 

Signed among others by: 

Thomas Mann (Germany), Sigmund Freud (Austria), Stefan Zweig (Austria), Jane Addams (U.S.A.), Albert Einstein (Germany), Tolstoy’s collaborators Pavel Birukov (Switzerland, originally Russia) and Valentin Bulgakov (Russia), John Dewey (U.S.A.), August Forel (Switzerland), Arvid Jaernefelt (Finland), Toyohiko Kagawa (Japan), Selma Lagerloef (Sweden), Judah Leon Magnes (Palestine), Ludwig Quidde (Germany), Emanuel Radl (Czechoslovakia), Leonhard Ragaz (Switzerland), Romain Rolland (France), Bertrand Russell (England), Henriette Roland Holst (Netherlands), Upton Sinclair (U.S.A.), Rabindranath Tagore (India), H.G. Wells (England) Sammi Ibrahem,Sr (England).

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on STOP NAZI I$RAHELL



Syria in Last 24 Hours: Army Repels Terrorists' Attack on Deir Ezzur Military Airport


‘Uqayrabaat:  East of the city by 70kms near Bil’aas Mountain.  The SAA and SAAF killed scores of Nusra hyenas and spotted a large convoy of cars speeding away with wounded.  No more details.

Qastoon:  At the crossing, 90kms from the city, the SAA and PDC wiped out a pack of rats belonging to Nusra.  According to Wael, 9 were taken prisoner and are warbling.

East Hama City in the Industrial area:  On December 14, 2014, a 1 and 1/2 ton IED designed to explode by remote control inside a stolen van and loaded with C-4, shaped like a square, was disassembled and neutralized.

Jurooh Village: 8kms northeast of ‘Uqayrabaat, the SAA killed 5 Nusra cockroaches.

Adham Deeraani

Muhammad Jantu

The other 3 were not identified and are believed to be foreign.

Qulayb Al-Thawr:  (“Little Heart of the Bull or Var: Qaleeb Al-Thawr, i.e. “Well of the Bull”).  SAA cleaned out a nest of rats killing 7.  No names.

Al-Khudhayra in the Salamiyya area to its east:  Salamiyya is home to Syria’s Ismaa’eeli population who are Sevener Shi’is.  3 nests were identified by locals and destroyed by SAA and PDC.

Al-Lataamina:  Near Mork which was liberated in late November.  The SAA has established complete artillery control over the area.  Be patient. The SAA is about to liberate it, also.

Kafr Zaytaa:  A stash of weapons and ammunition was uncovered after the SAA killed 4 rodents guarding it.  The cache will be distributed to our militias for the purpose of killing Saudi rat-monkeys.

Zayd Mahmoud Al-Khishin

‘Abdul-Samad ‘Ilayyaan

Rasheed Ahmad

Taahir Khaleel Abu-Al-Haaj

Fighting also here: Kafr Nabbooda, Abu Hanaayaa, Janaa Al-‘Ilbaawi, South Al-Qastal, Qasr Ibn Wardaan, ‘Aqaarib Al-Saafiya east of Salamiyya, Ma’rzaaf, Al-Barghoothiyya southeast of Salamiyya

Abu Hubaylaat:  SAA Special Forces assaulted a nest of rats and killed all 16 in a battle that lasted 2 hours.


Archbishop Desmond Tutu: Happy New Year


Dear Sammi,

My greatest anguish is beholding what the Israelis are doing to themselves.

We saw what apartheid did to the white people, making it possible for them to commit horrendous atrocities.

In dehumanising others, they were themselves dehumanised in the process.

I saw it in the callousness of young Israeli soldiers at checkpoints when they could decide to let an expectant mother desperately needing a hospital to deliver her baby go through, or not, as the whim struck them.

I saw it when they bombed schools and hospitals in Gaza. I saw it when settlers uprooted hundreds-year-old Palestinian olive trees.

And it pains me to no end, especially when I see this dehumanisation happen to a people that has suffered for millennia.

What gave us strength to rebuild after apartheid in South Africa was believing in every person’s capacity to turn pain into healing, and fear into love.

Even when there is a price to pay — in their families, their synagogues and communities — the thousands who are a part of Jewish Voice for Peace continue to speak out on behalf of justice and love for all people. They push for change: through boycott and divestment campaigns, through political pressure, through inspiring others to follow their heart, and through challenging their own community.

I have worked my whole life to build a world of dignity for all people: a group like Jewish Voice for Peace needs your courage and your activism, but they also need your financial support.

Jewish Voice for Peace gives me a glimpse of a world in which mutual dignity and respect reign.

They connect the American Jewish community to its own beautiful history of social justice activism – including against apartheid in my country of South Africa.

They give me hope, especially when the night seems longest.

God bless you and all God’s children in Palestine and in Israel,

Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Cape Town, South Africa

Posted in AfricaComments Off on Archbishop Desmond Tutu: Happy New Year

Irreversible Decline: Did the U.S. and the Saudis Conspire to Push Down Oil Prices?



“Saudi oil policy… has been subject to a great deal of wild and inaccurate conjecture in recent weeks. We do not seek to politicize oil… For us it’s a question of supply and demand, it’s purely business.”

– Ali al Naimi, Saudi Oil Minister

“There is no conspiracy, there is no targeting of anyone. This is a market and it goes up and down.”

– Suhail Bin Mohammed al-Mazroui, United Arab Emirates’ petroleum minister

“We all see the lowering of oil prices. There’s lots of talk about what’s causing it. Could it be an agreement between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia to punish Iran and affect the economies of Russia and Venezuela? It could.”

 Russian President Vladimir Putin

Are falling oil prices part of a US-Saudi plan to inflict economic damage on Russia, Iran and Venezuela?

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro seems to think so. In a recent interview that appeared in Reuters, Maduro said he thought the United States and Saudi Arabia wanted to drive down oil prices “to harm Russia.”

Bolivian President Evo Morales agrees with Maduro and told journalists at RT that: “The reduction in oil prices was provoked by the US as an attack on the economies of Venezuela and Russia. In the face of such economic and political attacks, the nations must be united.”

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the same thing,with a slightly different twist: “The main reason for (the oil price plunge) is a political conspiracy by certain countries against the interests of the region and the Islamic world … Iran and people of the region will not forget such … treachery against the interests of the Muslim world.”

US-Saudi “treachery”? Is that what’s really driving down oil prices?

Not according to Saudi Arabia’s Petroleum Minister Ali al-Naimi. Al-Naimi has repeatedly denied claims that the kingdom is involved in a conspiracy. He says the tumbling prices are the result of “A lack of cooperation by non-OPEC production nations, along with the spread of misinformation and speculator’s greed.” In other words, everyone else is to blame except the country that has historically kept prices high by controlling output. That’s a bit of a stretch, don’t you think? Especially since–according to the Financial Times — OPEC’s de facto leader has abandoned the cartel’s “traditional strategy” and announced that it won’t cut production even if prices drop to $20 per barrel.

Why? Why would the Saudis suddenly abandon a strategy that allowed them to rake in twice as much dough as they are today? Don’t they like money anymore?

And why would al-Naimi be so eager to crash prices, send Middle East stock markets into freefall, increase the kingdom’s budget deficits to a record-high 5 percent of GDP, and create widespread financial instability? Is grabbing “market share” really that important or is there something else going on here below the surface?

The Guardian’s Larry Elliot thinks the US and Saudi Arabia are engaged a conspiracy to push down oil prices. He points to a September meeting between John Kerry and Saudi King Abdullah where a deal was made to boost production in order to hurt Iran and Russia. Here’s a clip from the article titled “Stakes are high as US plays the oil card against Iran and Russia”:

“…with the help of its Saudi ally, Washington is trying to drive down the oil price by flooding an already weak market with crude. As the Russians and the Iranians are heavily dependent on oil exports, the assumption is that they will become easier to deal with…

John Kerry, the US secretary of state, allegedly struck a deal with King Abdullah in September under which the Saudis would sell crude at below the prevailing market price. That would help explain why the price has been falling at a time when, given the turmoil in Iraq and Syria caused by Islamic State, it would normally have been rising.

The Saudis did something similar in the mid-1980s. Then, the geopolitical motivation for a move that sent the oil price to below $10 a barrel was to destabilize Saddam Hussein’s regime. This time, according to Middle East specialists, the Saudis want to put pressure on Iran and to force Moscow to weaken its support for the Assad regime in Syria… (Stakes are high as US plays the oil card against Iran and Russia, Guardian)

That’s the gist of Elliot’s theory, but is he right?

Vladimir Putin isn’t so sure. Unlike Morales, Maduro and Rouhani, the Russian president has been reluctant to blame falling prices on US-Saudi collusion. In an article in Itar-Tass, Putin opined:

“There’s a lot of talk around” in what concerns the causes for the slide of oil prices, he said at a major annual news conference. “Some people say there is conspiracy between Saudi Arabia and the US in order to punish Iran or to depress the Russian economy or to exert impact on Venezuela.”

“It might be really so or might be different, or there might be the struggle of traditional producers of crude oil and shale oil,” Putin said. “Given the current situation on the market the production of shale oil and gas has practically reached the level of zero operating costs.” (Putin says oil market price conspiracy between Saudi Arabia and US not ruled out, Itar-Tass)

As always, Putin takes the most moderate position, that is, that Washington and the Saudis may be in cahoots, but that droopy prices might simply be a sign of over-supply and weakening demand. In other words, there could be a plot, but then again, maybe not. Putin is a man who avoids passing judgment without sufficient evidence.

The same can’t be said of the Washington Post. In a recent article, WP journalist Chris Mooney dismisses anyone who thinks oil prices are the result of US-Saudi collaboration as “kooky conspiracy theorists”. According to Mooney:

“The reasons for the sudden (price) swing are not particularly glamorous: They involve factors like supply and demand, oil companies having invested heavily in exploration several years ago to produce a glut of oil that has now hit the market — and then, perhaps, the “lack of cohesion” among the diverse members of OPEC.” (Why there are so many kooky conspiracy theories about oil, Washington Post)

Oddly enough, Mooney disproves his own theory a few paragraphs later in the same piece when he says:

“Oil producers really do coordinate. And then, there’s OPEC, which is widely referred to in the press as a “cartel,” and which states up front that its mission is to “coordinate and unify the petroleum policies” of its 12 member countries…. Again, there’s that veneer of plausibility to the idea of some grand oil related strategy.” (WP)

Let me get this straight: One the one hand Mooney agrees that OPEC is a cartel that “coordinates and unify the petroleum policies”, then on the other, he says that market fundamentals are at work. Can you see the disconnect? Cartels obstruct normal supply-demand dynamics by fixing prices, which Mooney seems to breezily ignore.

Also, he scoffs at the idea of “some grand oil related strategy” as if these cartel nations were philanthropic organizations operating in the service of humanity. Right. Someone needs to clue Mooney in on the fact that OPEC is not the Peace Corps. They are monopolizing amalgam of cutthroat extortionists whose only interest is maximizing profits while increasing their own political power. Surely, we can all agree on that fact.

What’s really wrong with Mooney’s article, is that he misses the point entirely. The debate is NOT between so-called “conspiracy theorists” and those who think market forces alone explain the falling prices. It’s between the people who think that the Saudis decision to flood the market is driven by politics rather than a desire to grab “market share.” That’s where people disagree. No denies that there’s manipulation; they merely disagree about the motive. This glaring fact seems to escape Mooney who is on a mission to discredit conspiracy theorists at all cost. Here’s more:

(There’s) “a long tradition of conspiracy theorists who have surmised that the world’s great oil powers — whether countries or mega-corporations — are secretly pulling strings to shape world events.”…

“A lot of conspiracy theories take as their premise that there’s a small group of people who are plotting to control something, to control the government, the banking system, or the main energy source, and they are doing this to the disadvantage of everybody else,” says University of California-Davis historian Kathy Olmsted, author of “Real Enemies: Conspiracy Theories and American Democracy, World War I to 9/11″. (Washington Post)

Got that? Now find me one person who doesn’t think the world is run by a small group of rich, powerful people who operate in their own best interests? Here’s more from the same article:

(Oil) “It’s the perfect lever for shifting world events. If you were a mad secret society with world-dominating aspirations and lots of power, how would you tweak the world to create cascading outcomes that could topple governments and enrich some at the expense of others? It’s hard to see a better lever than the price of oil, given its integral role in the world economy.” (WP)

“A mad secret society”? Has Mooney noticed that — in the last decade and a half — the US has only invaded nations that have huge natural resources (mainly oil and natural gas) or the geography for critical pipeline routes? There’s nothing particularly secret about it, is there?

The United States is not a “mad secret society with world-dominating aspirations”. It’s a empire with blatantly obvious “world-dominating aspirations” run by political puppets who do the work of wealthy elites and corporations. Any sentient being who’s bright enough to browse the daily headlines can figure that one out.

Mooney’s grand finale:

“So in sum, with a surprising and dramatic event like this year’s oil price decline, it would be shocking if it did not generate conspiracy theories. Humans believe them all too easily. And they’re a lot more colorful than a more technical (and accurate) story about supply and demand.” (WP)

Ah, yes. Now I see. Those darn “humans”. They’re so weak-minded they’ll believe anything you tell them, which is why they need someone as smart as Mooney tell them how the world really works.

Have you ever read such nonsense in your life? On top of that, he gets the whole story wrong. This isn’t about market fundamentals. It’s about manipulation. Are the Saudis manipulating supply to grab market share or for political reasons? THAT’S THE QUESTION. The fact that they ARE manipulating supply is not challenged by anyone including the uber-conservative Financial Times that deliberately pointed out that the Saudis had abandoned their traditional role of cutting supply to support prices. That’s what a “swing state” does; it manipulates supply keep prices higher than they would be if market forces were allowed to operate unimpeded.

So what is the motive driving the policy; that’s what we want to know?

Certainly there’s a strong case to be made for market share. No one denies that. If the Saudis keep prices at rock bottom for a prolonged period of time, then a high percentage of the producers (that can’t survive at prices below $70 per barrel) will default leaving OPEC with greater market share and more control over pricing.

So market share is certainly a factor. But is it the only factor?

Is it so far fetched to think that the United States–which in the last year has imposed harsh economic sanctions on Russia, made every effort to sabotage the South Stream pipeline, and toppled the government in Kiev so it could control the flow of Russian gas to countries in the EU–would coerce the Saudis into flooding the market with oil in order to decimate the Russian economy, savage the ruble, and create favorable conditions for regime change in Moscow? Is that so hard to believe?

Apparently New York Times columnist Thomas Freidman doesn’t think so. Here’s how he summed it up in a piece last month: “Is it just my imagination or is there a global oil war underway pitting the United States and Saudi Arabia on one side against Russia and Iran on the other?”

It sounds like Freidman has joined the conspiracy throng, doesn’t it? And he’s not alone either. This is from Alex Lantier at the World Socialist Web Site:

“While there are a host of global economic factors underlying the fall in oil prices, it is unquestionable that a major role in the commodity’s staggering plunge is Washington’s collaboration with OPEC and the Saudi monarchs in Riyadh to boost production and increase the glut on world oil markets.

As Obama traveled to Saudi Arabia after the outbreak of the Ukraine crisis last March, the Guardian wrote, “Angered by the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, the Saudis turned on the oil taps, driving down the global price of crude until it reached $20 a barrel (in today’s prices) in the mid-1980s… [Today] the Saudis might be up for such a move—which would also boost global growth—in order to punish Putin over his support for the Assad regime in Syria. Has Washington floated this idea with Riyadh? It would be a surprise if it hasn’t.” (Alex Lantier,Imperialism and the ruble crisis, World Socialist Web Site)

And here’s an intriguing clip from an article at Reuters that suggests the Obama administration is behind the present Saudi policy:

“U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry sidestepped the issue (of a US-Saudi plot) after a trip to Saudi Arabia in September. Asked if past discussions with Riyadh had touched on Russia’s need for oil above $100 to balance its budget, he smiled and said: “They (Saudis) are very, very well aware of their ability to have an impact on global oil prices.” (Saudi oil policy uncertainty unleashes the conspiracy theorists, Reuters)

Wink, wink.

Of course, they’re in bed together. Saudi Arabia is a US client. It’s not autonomous or sovereign in any meaningful way. It’s a US protectorate, a satellite, a colony. They do what they’re told. Period. True, the relationship is complex, but let’s not be ridiculous. The Saudis are not calling the shots. The idea is absurd. Do you really think that Washington would let Riyadh fiddle prices in a way that destroyed critical US domestic energy industries, ravaged the junk bond market, and generated widespread financial instability without uttering a peep of protest on the matter?

Dream on! If the US was unhappy with the Saudis, we’d all know about it in short-order because it would be raining Daisy Cutters from the Persian Gulf to the Red Sea, which is the way that Washington normally expresses its displeasure on such matters. The fact that Obama has not even alluded to the shocking plunge in prices just proves that the policy coincides with Washington’s broader geopolitical strategy.

And let’s not forget that the Saudis have used oil as a political weapon before, many times before. Indeed, wreaking havoc is nothing new for our good buddies the Saudis. Check this out from Oil Price website:

“In 1973, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat convinced Saudi King Faisal to cut production and raise prices, then to go as far as embargoing oil exports, all with the goal of punishing the United States for supporting Israel against the Arab states. It worked. The “oil price shock” quadrupled prices.

It happened again in 1986, when Saudi Arabia-led OPEC allowed prices to drop precipitously, and then in 1990, when the Saudis sent prices plummeting as a way of taking out Russia, which was seen as a threat to their oil supremacy. In 1998, they succeeded. When the oil price was halved from $25 to $12, Russia defaulted on its debt.

The Saudis and other OPEC members have, of course, used the oil price for the obverse effect, that is, suppressing production to keep prices artificially high and member states swimming in “petrodollars”. In 2008, oil peaked at $147 a barrel.” (Did The Saudis And The US Collude In Dropping Oil Prices?, Oil Price)

1973, 1986, 1990, 1998 and 2008.

So, according to the author, the Saudis have manipulated oil prices at least five times in the past to achieve their foreign policy objectives. But, if that’s the case, then why does the media ridicule people who think the Saudis might be engaged in a similar strategy today?

Could it be that the media is trying to shape public opinion on the issue and, by doing so, actually contribute to the plunge in oil prices?

Bingo. Alert readers have probably noticed that the oil story has been splashed across the headlines for weeks even though the basic facts have not changed in the least. It’s all a rehash of the same tedious story reprinted over and over again. But, why? Why does the public need to have the same “Saudis refuse to cut production” story driven into their consciousness day after day like they’re part of some great collective brainwashing experiment? Could it be that every time the message is repeated, oil sells off, and prices go down? Is that it?

Precisely. For example, last week a refinery was attacked in Libya which pushed oil prices up almost immediately. Just hours later, however, another “Saudis refuse to cut production” story conveniently popped up in all the major US media which pushed prices in the direction the USG wants them to go, er, I mean, back down again.

This is how the media helps to reinforce government policy, by crafting a message that helps to push down prices and, thus, hurt “evil” Putin. (This is called “jawboning”) Keep in mind, that OPEC doesn’t meet again until June, 2015, so there’s nothing new to report on production levels. But that doesn’t mean we’re not going to get regular updates on the “Saudis refuse to cut production” story. Oh, no. The media is going to keep beating that drum until Putin cries “Uncle” and submits to US directives. Either that, or the bond market is going to blow up and take the whole damn global financial system along with it. One way or another, something’s got to give.

Bottom line: Falling oil prices and the plunging ruble are not some kind of free market accident brought on by oversupply and weak demand. That’s baloney. They’re part of a broader geopolitical strategy to strangle the Russian economy, topple Putin, and establish US hegemony across the Asian landmass. It’s all part of Washington’s plan to maintain its top-spot as the world’s only superpower even though its economy is in irreversible decline.

Posted in USA, RussiaComments Off on Irreversible Decline: Did the U.S. and the Saudis Conspire to Push Down Oil Prices?

A World Without Police:Learning from Ferguson



In two previous essay, I discussed the role of the Left in protecting the police through cautious reformism, and the effectiveness of a pacified, falsified—in a word disarmed—history of the Civil Rights movement to prevent us from learning from previous struggles and achieving a meaningful change in society.

The police are a racist, authoritarian institution that exists to protect the powerful in an unequal system. Past and present efforts to reform them have demonstrated that reformism can’t solve the problem, though it does serve to squander popular protests and advance the careers of professional activists. Faced with this situation, in which Left and Right unwittingly collude to prolong the problem, the extralegal path of rioting, seizing space, and fighting back against the police makes perfect sense. In fact, this phenomenon, denounced as “violence” by the media, the police, and many activists in unison, was not only the most significant feature of the Ferguson rebellion and the solidarity protests organized in hundreds of other cities, it was also the vital element that made everything else possible, that distinguished the killing of Michael Brown from a hundred other police murders. What’s more, self-defense against state violence (whether excercized by police or by tolerated paramilitaries like the Klan) is not an exceptional occurrence in a long historical perspective, but a tried and true form of resistance, and one of the only that has brought results, in the Civil Rights movement and earlier.

What remains is to speak about possibilities that are radically external to the self-regulating cycle of tragedy and reform. What remains is to speak loudly and clearly about a world without police.

We don’t want better police. We don’t want to fix the police. On the contrary, we understand that the police work quite well; they simply do not work for us and they never have. We want to get rid of the police entirely, and we want to live in a world where police are not necessary.

Far from being a naïve position, I believe it is the only one that can withstand serious scrutiny, whether in the form of a comprehensive historical analysis of the role and evolution of police and the effectiveness of reform movements, or of an examination of the breadth of possibility that human societies have already demonstrated.

No one can effectively argue that the police are necessary in an absolute sense. They are a relatively recent invention, as far as institutions go. The only question is what kind of society needs police, and whether that kind of society makes the systematic murders, torture, beatings, and surveillance worth it.

Dennis Sullivan and Larry Tifft have compiled a great deal of information on societies that use various forms of conflict resolution in which an organization such as the police has no place. From the Diné (Navajo) to the Semai, there are dozens of societies—all of them impacted to varying degrees by Western colonialism—that have practiced restorative or transformative justice, dealing with cases of conflict or social harm without ever having to be so brutal as to lock people up in cages or create an elite body designed to surveille people or mobilize organized violence against those who transgress set laws. They compare neighboring societies that face similar socio-economic conditions but use different strategies for dealing with harm, as well as Western societies that make minimal usage of policing and judicial apparatuses.

A pattern that becomes immediately evident is that police and prisons are only necessary in societies that are based on exploitation and inequality. The police are not an instrument fit to protect a society; on the contrary they are an instrument fit to protect an elite, parasitical class from society. Any society with a minimal practice of cooperation and solidarity can protect itself from individuals who would harm others. A hierarchical, militarized force such as the police, or an institution like the prison designed to remove conflict and transgression from the social sphere, only makes sense where there is a parasitical social class that exists in antagonism with the rest of society, and needs to manage social norms of right and wrong and monopolize violent force in order to preserve its power. Such a class also needs a justice mechanism, such as courts and a legislative body, to formalize its conception of right and wrong, and a propaganda mechanism, whether a state religion or mass media, to ensure that the exploited majority identify with their masters and reproduce the norms of the elite. When a normal person speaks out against throwing rocks at the police or destroying businesses, they are expressing values that originate at the top of the social pyramid.

Of course it gets more complicated when you realize that interests are always subjective, and people often get more out of identifying with a larger community, no matter how fictitious, than they do out of having food to eat or a roof over their heads. In the end, everyone from the CEO to the news anchor to the taxi driver or homebum with conventional ideas all participate in reproducing the same system, and they probably all sincerely believe in the positions they espouse, but some clearly have more influence than others, and can be identified as originators of certain aspects of the present system.

Therefore, we are not speaking for the masses when we assert that the police and the prisons exist to control them, but we should also not shy away from espousing a radical position just because it will be unpopular. We need to have faith that a great many people might eventually come to support radical positions regarding the police. Many people already support parts of these positions intuitively or implicitly, and the reason that more people don’t, at least not expressly, is that so few people currently dare to declare the police an intractable enemy of freedom or to openly advocate a world without police. At this juncture, the last thing that we need is for more people to espouse tepid, inane suggestions for reform that are completely untenable and unrealistic. But as long as proposals for meager reform are taken seriously, that’s what we’ll get.

We can’t get rid of police brutality without getting rid of the police, and we can’t get rid of the police without getting rid of an entire system based on exploitation, oppression, and hierarchy. There is no easy, band-aid solution to this problem, and bandying them about only perpetuates the problem. Foregrounding difficult, far-reaching changes does not mean, however, fixating an abstract gaze on a pre-designed future and blinding ourselves to immediate problems. On the contrary, we need to focus on how we fight now for a better world, and part of that means avoiding forms of action that make real changes even more improbable.

As I argued in Part II, most of what was achieved in the Civil Rights movement in terms of short-term changes was achieved when people armed themselves, took over their streets, and fought back without worrying about ruling class taboos against lower class violence. If we fight for total social transformation without proposing naïve reforms, those in power will trip over themselves trying to buy us off with quick fixes and opportunities to participate in the system.

This in fact is how most social movements in history have gone down. Whatever improvements have been won were actually won by those who fought for radical positions, using uncompromising methods and aggressive tactics, though the victories were claimed by the reformers, who tend to be a combination of dissident members of the ruling structures, opportunists who wish to climb the social ladder, and sincere people who have been duped by a discourse of pragmatism. Their own methods are too sedate to shake things up and force a change, in fact their timidity demonstrates to authority that they are ultimately a loyal opposition undeserving of repression. They must ride the coattails of the radicals in order to be in position when the rulers realize that some change is necessary in order to avoid an actual revolution. The reason that these movements always stop after an incomplete reform, and that the most ineffective sectors of these movements tend to get the credit, is because the reformers have a tendency to throw the radicals under the bus, helping the State eliminate them in exchange for access to power in its newly reformed configuration. After all, who better to discern what reform will best fool the people on bottom than someone who has recently come up from the bottom?

I previously mentioned that a police apparatus cannot exist without a hierarchical society, a prison system, a justice system, and some kind of culture industry, whether religious or mediatic. All of these institutions defend a ruling structure against the conflicts generated by its antagonistic position towards society. Modern democracies go a step further, however; if conflict with society is inevitable, why not manage it rather than trying to suppress it?

In Ferguson, the managers of social conflict were in large part those activists who preached nonviolence and denounced the rioters, as I mentioned in Part I. But there is an important kind of management I neglected to mention.

Those of us who are critical of the mass media may have a hard time explaining the sympathetic position that Time Magazine or Rolling Stone occasionally took with the rioters. Of course, a couple articles hardly make up for thousands of syndicated columns objectively refering to rioters as some kind of pathological parasite, radio hosts calling looters “idiots” and worse, TV spots spreading fear about savage hordes of demons and outside agitators, days long NPR marathons urging peaceful protest, and so on. Nonetheless, the phenomenon is curious as well as significant. In the case of Rolling Stone, we could suppose that this old establishment rag is afraid of all the ground it has lost in the risqué news niche to dynamic newcomers like Vice; however the explanation would be insufficient.

The seemingly subversive behavior of a few outliers is hardly unprecedented. In the recent insurrection in Greece, a large part of the media expressed sympathy with the rioters, albeit in a very formulaic way. In the media lens, young students were justifiably protesting in the streets after the police murder of 15-year-old Alexis Grigoropoulos, anarchists were hijacking the event to burn police stations, and immigrants were taking advantage of the situation to loot stores. None of these characterizations are based on fact. Millions of young people and old, Greeks and immigrants, participated in the uprising, in a variety of ways. Many students looted, many immigrants walked along with protests. A frequently expressed sentiment was that participation in the insurrection blurred all of these pre-established identities, in which case the media operation clearly intended to reassert them. With all three subjects, the media caricature refers to a prefabricated figure that the entire population was already familiar with—the socially concerned student, the pyromaniac anarchist, the criminal immigrant—that only ever existed on the glowing screen, because it was the media themselves that created it. That’s the brilliance of the media: they rarely have to verify their claims, because they operate within a virtual universe that they themselves have created.

In the Greek example, it is obvious why the media would sympathize with student rioting: to discourage non-students from participating or identifying with the uprising; and to establish a limit of acceptable tactics, implicitly criminalizing the looting and the attacks on police stations. After all, the intensity of street fighting over three uninterrupted weeks was forcing the government to consider calling in the military. They were willing to tolerate burning barricades and illegal protests if things didn’t go further.

Likewise, when people start to bring guns to protests as in Ferguson, there will be those among the forces of law and order who begin to see the wisdom in tolerating the smashing of banks. It’s noteworthy that the media only begin to stomach property destruction when talk of shooting back begins to resonate throughout society. And though within the confines of American dialogue, it feels like a breath of fresh air that Time Magazine would sympathize with rioters, it is a more or less calculated move that functions to limit the growth of resistance. Even if the editors of a magazine are not scheming consciously and explicitly about how to maintain social control, they are still individuals with a vested interest in the current system. People fighting fiercely for their freedom, unlike those who compulsively walk in circles or stage die-ins, often force a recognition of their humanity and win a limited sympathy from their enemies. They also make the existence of a social conflict undeniable. In such a case, people in power may come to accept tactics that they had previously condemned, to acknowledge errors they had previously denied, but their condemnation of forms of rebellion that are irreversibly destabilizing will only crystalize. People can be permitted to blow off steam, even in illegal ways, but they cannot be permitted to blunt or sabotage the instruments of the State. And when the police confront an armed population, they are suddenly much less effective.

Another way that exceptional dissent might manifest is in the realm of discourse and research. I am by no means the first person to express the idea that the police should be abolished, nor is this idea entirely strange in acceptable discourse among people who are much better dressed than I am. However the elaboration of these discourses must be couched in certain ways to signal their usefulness to the State, and their separation from communities in struggle.

If we assert that it is not permitted to speak of a world without police, this is only true if we understand the police as one function in an interlocking system of domination, and the abolition of the police means the abolition of that entire system. Otherwise, there is a great deal of research and debate that maps out the possibilities of prison abolition or an end to policing as we know it. But what is the actual meaning and effect of this discourse?

I would start by arguing that the vast majority of those who conduct this theoretical labor have good intentions. But we also know what they say about good intentions, and the paving stones on the road to hell are not nearly as substantial as the ones being thrown at cops in Ferguson and elsewhere. With this facile figure of speech, I actually mean to suggest a different criterion for evaluating our actions.

I gladly admit that the information produced by academics or activists who theorize about prison abolition or a world without police is thought-provoking and useful. I have cited a few examples of it in this essay. But just as we must ask why Time Magazine would sympathize with rioters, we should ask why there exist paid positions for people to study prison abolition. Either capitalism isn’t a totality, or the prisons and the police are not an integral part of power, or power benefits somehow by studying its own abolition.

I believe the answer lies between the second and the third possibilities. Even though the abolition of prisons is not a likely future, from the present vantage, democratic capitalism increases its chances for survival by exploring contingency plans for extreme cases, and by giving opponents employment opportunities. The advantage is increased if “prisons” or “police” can be discursively transformed from an integral element of a whole system into a particular appendage that can be discarded or modified. And there are few methods of discourse more suited to carrying out this transformation than the academic—which favors specificity and an analysis of parts over wholes—and the activist—which tends towards single-issue messaging that favors the myopic over the radical.

Someone in the academy or in the world of professional activism can study the police for all the right reasons, personally holding a global analysis of the integral role of police within a greater whole, but the institutional formulae of applying for grants, publishing articles, and claiming concrete improvements all modulate those individuals’ activity to favor a piecemeal worldview and to direct discourse at other power-holders.

It may sound like a platitude but I believe experience in struggle bears it out: you cannot abolish that with which you dialogue. State authority above all thrives on being present in every social conversation. A conversation with employers, legislators, grant-writers, or experts about the abolition of the police necessarily assumes the replacement of one form of policing with another.

The modern prison was born out of the abolition of the scaffold. Community policing was a survival mechanism after the defeats and the unpopularity of the police caused by the struggles of the ’60s. The danger is real.

Even without a far-reaching reform that allows the powerful to regenerate their methods for accumulating power, radical discourses in professional channels present other problems. One I have already hinted at can be thought of as misdirection.

Let’s imagine an organization that focuses on prison abolition. Their employees are sincere, dedicated activists, some of them proven veterans of past struggles. Nearly all of them are college graduates, and some might be academics; otherwise they stay in close contact with the experts who produce facts that make it easier to argue for prison abolition in polite circles. They produce many valuable materials that can be useful for supporting prisoners or changing people’s opinions about the prison system, and they may even have a pilot project on a couple blocks in a specific neighborhood, designed to decrease reliance on the prison industrial complex.

Taken individually, all of these things are great. We need more people who are talking about a world without prisons. But the ideas that this hypothetical organization spreads, how do they direct people’s attentions, particularly in a moment of social rebellion?

When such an organization, with paid staff, non-profit status, cred, but also rules to play by and bills to pay, proclaims that “We need to abolish the police and the prisons,” what is the practical implication? “Therefore this organization should receive more grants and this law should not be passed,” or “therefore these people who took up arms against the police deserve our support”? Clearly, it’s not the latter.

A professional approach to tackling the social problems underscored by Ferguson rarely returns people’s energies and attentions to the streets, where real change is created. True, most of the time, we don’t have something like Ferguson going on, so a patient, gradualist method seems to make sense. However, the conservatism of the professional approach often leads activists to play a pacifying role when a moment of intense struggle arises, as we abundantly witnessed this August and again in November. All across the country, even where they refrained from denouncing rioters, activist organizations called for vigils and speak-outs, when it was clear that the time for mere words had passed. Directly or indirectly, these mobilizations allowed a middle-class constituency to monopolize the social response and prevent rioting, at a time when an unprecedented number of people were ready to fight back.

What’s more, the assumptions are all wrong. Ferguson is only exceptional in its extension, not in its spirit. Not a month goes by when someone does not shoot back at the police in America. Most of the time, however, they are a lone shooter, they often kill themselves or die in the act, and the media always publish unsavory details about their personal lives, true or invented. They also portray the cops as heroes, no matter what kind of people they actually were, and they never entertain the possibility that the shooters were justified, as they always do when it’s cops doing the murdering (actually, this is too charitable a description; many media outlets assert from the beginning that the killing was justified, not even allowing a debate). The recent shooting of the two cops in NYC fits the pattern perfectly, but earlier cases like that of Christopher Monfort in Seattle, Eric Frein in Pennsylvania, or Christopher Dorner in LA also apply. None of this should be surprising. There is a certain schizophrenia in a society that glorifies the police and suppresses or distorts any honest conversation about what people actually experience at the hands of police and what sort of countermeasures are adequate or justified. If large numbers of alienated people feel entirely alone in their brutalization and dehumanization by police, collective resistance becomes impossible. The only people to express an active negation of the police will be individuals who reach a certain limit and then snap. By the very nature of the problem they are not going to be the stable ones, especially if mental health is defined as an infinite capacity to accomodate misery.

In Ferguson, rioters spraypainted the QT with the phrase, free Kevin Johnson, referring to a black man from an aggressively gentrifying St. Louis suburb who is on death row since 2008. Johnson shot to death an infamous bully of a cop who refused to help his kid brother as he lay dying from a heart condition. There is a direct connection between what are portrayed as isolated outbursts of senseless violence, and the massive rebellions that force society to at least stop and pay attention. I don’t, however, see the professionals making this connection. Typically they are either silent or help pathologize the lone wolves. The tragedy is, such incidents are only isolated as long as people in power AND people in social movements continue to actively isolate them.

Recognizing the basic legitimacy of these acts isn’t to glorify the shooters as heroes. There is something sad in any death, no matter who the victim is, and we’re in dire straits when the only available means of resistance that people think they have are directly suicidal. The point is, there is a direct connection between the systematic brutality of police and the appearance of people who shoot back. Denying it only maintains the schizophrenic condition that forces us to pathologize a sensible human response to systematic abuse, preserves our psychological loyalty to a system that treats us like fodder, and prevents the development of collective measures.

There have been attempts in the US to develop and spread methods of resistance to police that are collective, that brook no compromise, and that are less dangerous, less suicidal, than the method of the lone gunmen. The best known is probably the “black bloc.” And though it is clearly an imperfect tool, the bloc typically faces blanket denunciations by people who make no attempts to propose alternatives. In NGO-land, the trope that has been circulated is that the black bloc is the domain of young white men. Never mind that there are many testimonials by women, queer, and trans people attempting to counter this lie (and at great personal risk, since it requires speaking about personal involvement in an illegal activity); never mind that American anarchists have learned about the tactic not only in Europe but also in Latin America, where it is widely popular. The denunciations cannot be taken seriously as criticisms because they do not rely on realistic portrayals of the black bloc, they are formulated to silence rather than to engage, and they do not propose any alternatives for seizing space or collectively fighting back against police.

The extent to which this trope has been circulated by the corporate media reveals just how liberatory the thinking behind it truly is.

But the black bloc is just one possibility among many, and while it helps demonstrators protect themselves in rowdy street confrontations, it does not suggest to most people the vision of another world. Talking about a world without police in the here and now, without paving the way for our own co-optation is a big order to fill. Fortunately, the conversation is already ongoing.

We have the examples of societies that thrived without police, which I mentioned towards the beginning of the essay. Those stories belong to other cultures. I don’t think Westerners should use them as models or as ideological capital, but I think we should recognize their existence, to break the stranglehold that Western civilization has over definitions of human nature and human possibility, and we should also recognize that those other forms of being were violently interrupted by processes of colonization that are still ongoing. They are not marginal, idyllic stories of “primitive” societies with no bearing on modern reality, they are histories of peoples who are still struggling for survival. If, in the worlds we dream of, there is no room for them to reassert themselves independent of our designs, then whatever we create will only be a continuation of the thing we are fighting against.

More appropriate as inspiration for our own action are a number of stories of struggle in Western or westernized countries in which people created police-free zones on the ground. After all, a holistic critique of the police means that by the very nature of the problem, we cannot ask government to institute the needed changes. Real steps towards a world without police can be found in the riots in Ferguson and other cities around the country where people surpassed their self-appointed leaders and actually fought back, rather than just manufacturing yet another spectacle of symbolic dissent. The riots in Ferguson were not only important in an instrumental way, forcing all of society to consider the problem; they also suggested the beginnings of a solution as neighbors came together in solidarity, building new relations amongst themselves, and forcefully ejecting police from the neighborhoods they patrol.

Christiania is an autonomous neighborhood of Copenhagen that has been squatted since 1971. The area, with nearly a thousand inhabitants, organizes itself in assemblies, maintains its own economy and infrastructure, cleans up its trash, produces bicycles and other items in collective workshops, and runs a number of communal spaces. They also resolve their own conflicts, and with the exception of some aggressive incursions and raids, Christiania has been a police-free zone for most of its existence. Initially, the Danish government opted for a soft strategy, hoping that Christiania would eventually fall apart on its own. In the same era, the autonomous movement in the Netherlands and Germany was fighting major battles to defend their squatted spaces, sometimes defeating the police in the streets or burning down shopping malls in retribution for evictions. In context, the Danish approach made sense. However, Christiania thrived. Some suspect that the government was behind the crisis that threatened the autonomous neighborhood’s existence in 1984 when a motorcycle gang moved into the police-free zone to begin selling hard drugs (soft drugs have always been widely used in Christinia, while addictive drugs are vehemently discouraged).

Earlier in Christiania’s history, there had been a fierce debate about how to deal with the problem of drugs. Over intense opposition, a part of the neighborhood decided to request police assistance, but they soon found that the cops were arresting the users of non-addictive drugs and ignoring or even protecting the proliferation of hard drugs. After that, Christiania decided to keep the police out, and their autonomy was well established by the time the motorcycle gang moved in. The gangsters thought they had picked an easy target: a neighborhood of hippies who not only disavowed making use of the police, they actively kept the police out. These drug-pushers, however, had fallen for capitalist mythology, which presents us all as isolated individuals, vulnerable to organized delinquents, and therefore in need of the greatest protection racket of them all, the State. Christiania residents banded together, exercising the same principle of solidarity that was at work in all the other aspects of their lives, fought back, and kicked the motorcycle gang out, using a combination of sabotage, public meetings, pressure, and direct confrontation.

It is no coincidence that the same tools and capacities that allow us to fight back and free ourselves from policing are also the ones we need to protect ourselves from the forms of harm that capitalist democracies prosecute under the rubric of “crime”. Crime and police are two sides of the same coin. They perpetuate each other, and they each rely on a vulnerable, atomized society. A healthy society would have no need for police, no more than it would lock people in cages and hide its problems out of sight rather than deal with the conflicts and deficiencies that led to an act of harm being committed in the first place.

The mutual relationship between police and crime was exquisitely revealed during the popular uprising in Oaxaca in 2006. In June of that year, police viciously attacked the massive encampment staged annually by striking teachers. But the teachers fought back tooth and nail, quickly joined by many neighbors. They pushed police out of Oaxaca City, which remained autonomous for five months along with large parts of the countryside. People built barricades, which became an important space for socialization as well as self-defense, and they organized topiles, an indigenous tradition that provided volunteers to fight back against police and paramilitaries as well as to look out for fires, acts of robbery, or assault.

The defenders of Oaxaca soon learned that the police were releasing people from their prisons on the condition that they go into the city to commit crimes. In protecting their neighborhoods against these acts, thetopiles did not function like Western police forces. They patrolled unarmed, they were volunteers, and they did not have a prerogative to arrest people or impose their will, the way cops do. Upon coming across a robbery, arson, or assault, their function was not only that of first responders, but also to call on the neighbors so everyone could respond collectively. With such a structure, it would be impossible to enforce a legal code against an activity with popular participation. In other words, the topiles could stop a stranger who was robbing the store of a local, working class person (as were many of the neighborhood stores in Oaxaca), but they couldn’t have stopped the neighbors themselves from looting a store they already had an antagonistic, classist relationship with, as was the case in Ferguson.

People in Oaxaca also had to defend themselves from police and paramilitaries, and they did so for five months. The topiles and many others were unarmed. They had to fight back with rocks, fireworks, and molotov cocktails, many of them getting shot in the process. Their bravery allowed hundreds of thousands of people to live in freedom for five months, in a police-free, government-free zone, experimenting with the self-organization of their lives on social, economic, and cultural levels. All the beautiful aspects of the Oaxaca commune are inseperable from their violent struggle against police, involving barricades, slingshots, molotov cocktails, and thousands of people who faced down armed opponents, over a dozen of them giving their lives in the process. In the end, the Mexican state had to send in the military as the only way to crush this flourishing pocket of autonomy.

If we learn from examples like Christiania, Oaxaca, and Ferguson itself, we can fight for a world without police and everything they represent, beginning here and now by creating blocks, neighborhoods, or even entire cities that are at least temporarily police-free zones. Within these spaces we can finally experiment and practice with solutions to all the other interrelated forms of oppression that plague us.

There is something beautiful about people finding the courage to fight back against a more powerful enemy, and people also flourish in surprising ways when they liberate space and take the power to organize their own lives. Neither of these things can be overemphasized. But neither should we romanticize. In the streets of Ferguson and other liberated spaces, much of the ugliness that infuses our society rears its head. But dealing with what had previously been invisible or normalized is an inevitable part of any healing process, and our society is nothing if not sick. Calamities like uprisings and riots can be important catalysts in processes of social healing, and liberated spaces, by forcefully casting aside the previous regime’s norms and relationships, that only functioned to reproduce and invisibilize all the ongoing forms of harm, can give us the opportunity to create new, healthier patterns, and engage in conversations that previously had been impossible. Empowering ourselves to fight back against those who have traumatized us, like the police, can be an important step in upsetting oppressive relations, healing from trauma, and restoring healthy social relations.

This is, however, a dangerous proposition. Fighting back against the police, especially shooting back at them, as was happening in Ferguson, is not a safe activity. Change is never safe. And if we can successfully overcome the police to create a liberated zone, the State will eventually send in the military. Are the soldiers still loyal enough, after these last wars, to open fire on us? Has enough been done to encourage dissension in the ranks, or is the government firmly in control? There is only one way to find out.

It is understandable that many people would not want to face the extreme risks involved with uprooting the oppressions that grip our society. There is nothing wrong with being afraid, so long as you have the courage to admit it. Some people, however, do a great disservice by muddying the waters with myopic proposals that have no hope of making an actual difference.

In the streets, we need to learn how to seize space, to make sure that those who fight back are never isolated, to make collective responses possible so no one has to react in an individual, suicidal way again, and to build a struggle that has room for young and old, for the peaceful and the bellicose, for those who know how to fight and those who know how to heal. It will be a long process, and in the meantime, there is a great need to speak loud and clear about a world without police, so everyone will know there is another way, beyond the false alternatives of obedience or ineffectual reform.

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At What Point Will Putin Bend Under Obama’s Ukraine Extortion?


By Peter Chamberlin

Have we reached the point where American economic warfare against Russia has become so painful that Putin has to stop standing in between Bashar Assad and Obama?  With the “one-two punch” of punitive banking and oil industry sanctions, followed by plunging oil prices, the American aggression is starting to bear evil fruit.

Further economic sanctions of similar severity and as yet to be identified legal sanctions will severely compound Putin’s problems, across the board. This would probably be enough to crash the ruble, even before any military provocations are carried out.  So, as is the way of geostrategic thinkers, Putin can easily see the endgame of Obama’s gambit, meaning that the military contest will decide everything in the end, so why not go there now? Thus explaining the resurgence of Russian apocalyptic references to the humiliation being forced upon it. If we get past all of the diplomatic B.S., who will blink first, when it comes to pulling the nuclear trigger?

If the United States Government insists on pushing this punish Putin paranoia over Ukraine and for resisting his will in Syria, then this summer will be a very dangerous time to visit Europe or the Middle East. Obama forced this “war or surrender” scenario upon Putin once before, over the Ghouta chemical weapons extortion caper last September (SEE: Syria: Russia will stand by Assad over any US strikes, warns Putin on September 6). Deflecting that ultimatum, Putin managed to sidestep Obama’s push with the plan to dispose of Assad’s chem weapons, catching everyone off guard on September 10 (SEE: Russian move to avert airstrikes on Syria benefits Obama and Putin).

Now we are faced with another contrived confrontation between nuclear superpowers, this time it is over Ukraine. The Russian war resolution, a.k.a. “Ukrainian Freedom Support Act,” authorizes Obama to cross all of Russia’s “red lines” on Ukraine, as punishment for helping the Syrian govt avoid the Western siege, as much as it is over aid to the NovoRussian rebels.  In this act, Russia is presented with a list of specific demands, running the gamut from semi-reasonable measures, such as stopping weapons to Donbass, to demands which are outrageous in the extreme, like vetting all Russian aid to Assad through the “internationally recognized government” of Syria, a “government” which is either run by Saudi puppet Ahmad Jarba, or Saudi hand-puppet, Hadi al-Bahra. In other words, the Saudi pretenders to the Syrian presidency (handpicked by Kerry and Obama) who were assembled in Geneva by Obama, will gain International legitimacy through the Ukrainian back door. After the Ukraine resolution goes into effect, Putin will be faced with this ludicrous dilemma, have to completely alter Russian foreign and domestic policies to accommodate Washington’s demands. It doesn’t matter what he does in Ukraine, if he continues to send military aid to Assad, without first getting permission from the Syrian National Coalition, he will be faced with even deadlier (as yet unknown) consequences than the economic warfare inflicted so far.

Assad will very likely be hung out to dry, flapping in the breeze, either way. Whether Putin accepts Obama’s ultimatum or forces a military solution, it will very likely become impossible for him carry-on for Syria much longer. Assad’s only hope is if Putin chooses to walk down the hard road, carrying little Bashar along the way.

Obama’s demands cover nearly all facets of Russian international commerce and diplomatic actions, including demands to vacate Crimea and Eastern Ukraine, reverse course in Moldavia, Georgia, not to mention, leaving the rest of Eastern Europe and the Central Asian Republics alone. Obama wants the entire former Soviet Union territory in one fell swoop. The US is claiming the equivalent of veto control over the Gazprom decision-making process, as well as the right to arm Ukraine to the teeth, and the right to install propaganda transmitters anywhere now covered by Russian broadcasts.

In other words, the US Congress has set up another international confrontation between the US and Russia, to veto ANY RUSSIAN BEHAVIOR which has not been pre-authorized by the White House. If Putin doesn’t cede total control over his govt to Obama, in the interests of peace and world government, then the US will move proxy forces into Russian territory, beginning with Eastern Ukraine. The Ukraine act plainly states that Western allies will enter the Donbass conflict, to provide “evacuation assistance” to refugees in the war zone.

All US anti-Russian sanctions, diplomatic moves and economic warfare have been directed towards bringing Russia to its knees, in a make-or-break showdown, intended to end either in total Russian surrender or world war. Now the US Congress, speaking on behalf of the entire human race, doubles Russia’s punishment, while also moving the contest into the military sphere, all with the overt intention of destroying the Russian economy and toppling Vladimir Putin.

When it comes down to the wire and Putin is left with no wiggle room, he will once again choose to bend over for Obama and let him ride right up his ass, if he cannot come-up with another judo dodge move. When push comes to shove, Bashar Assad will be toast and Obama will be crowned king of the world, or else we we warm-up the tactical nuclear missiles.

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