Tag Archives: Cambodia

Failed Musicians, Earning Potential and Tort Reform

Charlie Manson, David Koresh… described as “failed musicians” because they played the guitar, and like the vast thundering herd of people who pick the git-fiddle they didn’t make a career of it.
Adolf Hitler, a “failed artist” even though, in the economic blight of inter-bellum Vienna, he actually DID make a modest living selling painted postcards on the street. John Wilkes Boothe, said to be a “Failed actor” by some who had never trod the boards.
Because their names are vilified and the demonization of their memory has to be complete. .Something you’d practically have to be a Documentary Junkie to notice, maybe after a marathon of History Channel BioPics.. Fairly subtle. Insidious even.
What’s almost but not quite as subtle as a Taser to the testicles or a sledgehammer to the lower skull/first vertebra is the demonization of working class people throughout the world in Tort.
The civil liability sections of law.
In civil court, “earning potential” is taken seriously. So seriously, in fact, that it proves the LIE of the Capitalist Dream which is foisted onto the workers, that if we work hard and diligently, do a good job putting money into the pockets of our Wealthy Masters, we, too, could have a chance of acquiring Wealth.
Compare that BULLSHIT with the descriptions of the Workers of Bhopal, India and their children by the Captains of Industry and their Weasel Lawyers.

In the “Unlimited potential for success” of the Free Market, the children of the poorest and most vilified of the working class, were valued at a couple hundred dollars.
Apiece. Per HUMAN life. Would you sell your childs life for that?
This is about as condescending as if the CEO of Union Carbide were visiting a bordello in the slums, his limousine runs over a child and he tosses a $100 bill out the window, rolls up the window and imperiously waves his driver to proceed, with a “Home, James!” type of dismissive command gesture.

This is also the way that the people of the Gulf Coast, even employees of British Petroleum, are being treated in back to back “incidents”.
Not just the Oil “spill” that cost 11 human beings (ahem… that’s by BP count and employees who tell a different tale than BP front office do, are punished….) immediately and God alone knows how many to follow.

There’s also a chemical “leak” that was described by later censured then fired BP employees as “like a fire hose” in Texas City. Tort Reform advocates have done their job well, and limited the final tally to less than a half billion dollars.

The state of Texas is suing BP for a huge release of toxic chemicals—including benzene, a carcinogen—that went on for 40 days at the company’s Texas City refinery last spring. The lawsuit could result in civil penalties reaching into the millions.

The release, as we have reported [1], started April 6, just two weeks before the Deepwater Horizon explosion, when a key piece of equipment failed and, rather than stopping production to fix it, BP attempted repairs [1] while operations were continuing — resulting in a release of 538,000 pounds of toxic chemicals.

Texas City by the way is between Houston and New Orleans on the Gulf Coast corridor, and it’s a hellaciously overcrowded area. If the final tally is less than a hundred million, that’s less than fifty bucks apiece for those affected by it. Would you sell YOUR life or that of your child for that?

“Tort Reform” advocates like FOX Noose Nutwerx and Rush Limbaugh are telling us we’re being a bunch of meanies, picking on those poor, underprivileged Oil Company Big Pigs and the investors who made their fortune destroying the Earth.

Like their business partners Tidewater Oil, Halliburton, Union Carbide, Monsanto, Blackwater (aka “Murderers for Hire, Inc.”) they’re riding high on a wave of Tort Reform giving them in many cases absolute immunity from prosecution for whatever violent crimes (rape, murder, theft by murder) they choose to commit but ABSOLUTE immunity from their actions which result in deaths by the thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions…

Monsanto made a deal in 1983, after more than a decade of denying that their product Agent Orange actually caused cancer and liver disease and general Systemic Failure in the bodies of the victims, the deal was for less than a hundred thousand for each Serviceman who was diagnosed with Agent Orange before that date.. and absolutely NONE for the CIVILIAN citizens of VietNam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Guam… (the shit was loaded onto the planes partly at Anderson AFB on Guam) or for that matter any Military personnel of ANY nation or civilian employee of Monsanto diagnosed AFTER that date.

We’re approaching another deal where British Petroleum will simply skate away from their liability for their Corporate Wrongdoing.

After all, their victims are merely Peasants, and didn’t have nearly the Earning Potential as their Wealthy Masters anyway.

just when things couldn’t get worse…

McChrystal replaced by… Generally Betrays Us. Yep, “king” David Petraeus, the one whose staff leaked a protocol statement he had made sometime last year, announced on the Memorial Day weekend, of a military version of an Executive Order giving himself the power to decide which wars to start. Open ended statement that at one end of the interpretation spectrum, is authorization to commit air strike murder in any country of the world, including America, with no further authorization than his own. The departure point from Constitutional Law or, for that matter, ANY Law, is the authorization to initiate Military Intelligence operations. Much like the operations in Cambodia and Laos which John Kerry was condemned for even stating existed, and which NiXXon, (New name, but the same old gas) had sicced the “plumber” burglars on the Watergate office of Daniel Ellsbergs doctor in order to try to smash Ellsberg… the operation that so massively backfired…. the one in retaliation for Ellsberg “ratting out” the Secret War against Cambodia and Laos.
Seems this keeps coming back around yes?
Petraeus’ mission paper, if accepted by Congress, would legalize that sort of shenanigans. Murder actually. In large numbers, in the Name of the American people, without any permission of the American People.

Propaganda Story “Military Medics Fight to Keep Afghan Boy Alive”

While in actuality, they were just prior to the kid getting blown apart, fighting to kill him.
Military Medics are NOT non-combatants. They’re COMBAT support. That was impressed on us in Basic Training and once again in Tech School, we were to be basically Monkey Mechanics, keeping the Human Fighting Machines in good working order. Every bit as dehumanized and coldly efficiently calculated as the base armorer keeping the Rifles in good working order. The base Veterinarians office keeping the Police Attack Dogs in good working order, and a subset of that, the Base Exterminator (yes, under the command of the Base Veterinarian) whose job is to control wild animals, like the flocks of birds near the runways, skunks, coyotes, rats, cats both native and feral, wild hogs, etc etc…
And to use Herbicides like Agent Orange to kill the native vegetation, so that there’s a clear field of fire.
They SAY all this is necessary because if we don’t do that, we wouldn’t be able to provoke and fight Wars.
Help me out here, I’m not seeing an actual Downside.

A far simpler solution than patching up the kid after first dismantling him, how about just Get The Fuck Out Of HIS Country, and stop using Massive Firepower to dismantle his country, and stop using that firepower to dismantle HIM and other PEOPLE like him.

You God-damn blow people apart then for a propaganda photo-opportunity patch one of them back together, to what, show that you’re not the Dehumanized Uniformed Drones (duds) who are forcing your “Superior” civilization on his people? Because you’re so God-Damned culturally and morally sophisticated that you Owe It To Him and his fellow Kids to murder them if they don’t bow down to that “superior” sophisticated culture? And of course the “superior” Military.

They told us in Tech School that in combat zones we should scrape that Red Cross off our helmets.

Told us that there was a Commie Propaganda campaign that started in the Korean war, saying that American Military used the Red Cross symbol to smuggle munitions. I’ll find the post I made about that, A Dynamite Box label for “red cross BRAND military grade Extra Dynamite 1949” written in Chinese.

The boxes I had found in a military landfill on Ft Bliss, Texas, had the inscription in English.
Which your average Chinese or North Korean soldier wouldn’t have been able to read any more than the Redneck War-pigs here would be able to read the same thing in Chinese.
All they would be able to understand would be the Red Cross symbol.

But of course the VietNamese people and the Laotian and Cambodian and Chines were just, you know, Lying because that’s what Commies do.

Besides, “We are here to win your hearts and minds…. or just burn down your goddam huts”

Top 10 secret armies of the CIA

Found this on the web, will try to retrace provenance, worth a read: The United States have a well known history of providing military support to countries in need. But from time to time, the US Government has provided secret forces. While many are successful, there have also been a number of failures. This is a list of the ten top secret armies of the CIA.

1. Ukrainian Partisans
From 1945 to 1952 the CIA trained and aerially supplied Ukranian partisan units which had originally been organised by he Germans to fight the Soviets during WWII. For seven years, the partisans, operating in the Carpathian Mountains, made sporadic attacks. Finally in 1952, a massive Soviet military force wiped them out.

2. Chinese Brigade in Burma
After the Communist victory in China, Nationalist Chinese soldiers fled into northern Burma. During the early 1950s, the CIA used these soldiers to create a 12,000 man brigade which made raids into Red China. However, the Nationalist soldiers found it more profitable to monopolise the local opium trade.

3. Guatemalan Rebel Army
After Guatemalan president Jacobo Arbenz legalised that country’s communist party and expropriated 400,000 acres of United Fruit banana plantations, the CIA decided to overthrow his government. Guatemalan rebels were trained in Honduras and backed up with a CIA air contingent of bombers and fighter planes. This army invaded Guatemala in 1954, promptly toppling Arbenz’s regine.

4. Sumatran Rebels
In an attempt to overthrow Indonesian president Sukarno in 1958, the CIA sent paramilitary experts and radio operators to the island of Sumatra to organise a revolt. With CIA air support, the rebel army attacked but was quickly defeated. The American government denied involvement even after a CIA b-26 was shot down and its CIA pilot, Allen Pope, was captured.

5. Khamba Horsemen
After the 1950 Chinese invasion of Tibet, the CIA began recruiting Khamba horsemen – fierce warriors who supported Tibet’s religious leader, the Dalai Lama – as they escaped into India in 1959. These Khambas were trained in modern warfare at Camp Hale, high in the rocky mountains near Leadville, Colorado. Transported back to Tibet by the CIA operated Air American, the Khambas organised an army number at its peak some 14,000. By the mid-1960s the Khambas had been abandoned by the CIA but they fought on alone until 1970.

6. Bay of Pigs Invasion Force
In 1960, CIA operatives recruited 1,500 Cuban refugees living in Miami and staged a surprise attack on Fidel Castro’s Cuba. Trained at a base in Guatemala, this small army – complete with an air force consisting of B-26 bombers – landed at the Bay of Pigs on April 19, 1961. The ill-conceived, poorly planned operation ended in disaster, since all but 150 men of the force were either killed or captured within three days.

7. L’armee Clandestine
In 1962, CIA agents recruited Meo tribesmen living in the mountains of Laos to fight as guerrillas against Communist Pathet Lao forces. Called l’armee Clandestine, this unit – paid, trained, and supplied by the CIA – grew into a 30,000 man force. By 1975 the Meos – who had numbers a quarter million in 1962 – had been reduced to 10,000 refugees fleeing into Thailand.

8. Nung Mercenaries
A Chinese hill people living in Vietname, the Nungs were hired and organised by the CIA as a mercenary force, during the Vietnam war. Fearsome and brutal fighters, the Nungs were employed throughout Vietnam and along the Ho Chi Minh Trail. The Nungs proved costly since they refused to fight unless constantly supplied with beer and prostitutes.

9. Peruvian Regiment
Unable to quell guerrilla forces in its eastern Amazonian provinces, Peru called on the US for help in the mid-1960s. The CIA responded by establishing a fortified camp in the area and hiring local Peruvians who were trained by Green Beret personnel on loan from the US army. After crushing the guerrillas, the elite unit was disbanded because of fears it might stage a coup against the government.

10. Congo Mercenary Force
In 1964, during the Congolese Civil War, the CIA established an army in the Congo to back pro-Western leaders Cyril Adoula and Joseph Mobutu. The CIA imported European mercenaries and Cuban pilots – exiles from Cuba – to pilot the CIA air force, composed of transports and B-26 Bombers.

11. The Cambodian Coup
For over 15 years, the CIA had tried various unsuccessful means of deposing Cambodia’s left-leaning Prince Norodom Sihanouk, including assassination attempts. However, in March, 1970, a CIA-backed coup finally did the job. Funded by US tax dollars, armed with US weapons, and trained by American Green Berets, anti-Sihanouk forces called Kampuchea Khmer Krom (KKK) overran the capital of Phnom Penh and took control of the government. With the blessing of the CIA and the Nixon administration, control of Cambodia was placed in the hands of Lon Nol, who would later distinguish himself by dispatching soldiers to butcher tens of thousands of civilians.

12. Kurd Rebels
During the early 1970s the CIA moved into eastern Iraq to organize and supply the Kurds of that area, who were rebelling against the pro-Soviet Iraqi government. The real purpose behind this action was to help the shah of Iran settle a border dispute with Iraq favourably. After an Iranian-Iraq settlement was reached, the CIA withdrew its support from the Kurds, who were then crushed by the Iraqi Army.

13. Angola Mercenary Force
In 1975, after years of bloody fighting and civil unrest in Angola, Portugal resolved to relinquish its hold on the last of its African colonies. The transition was to take place on November 11, with control of the country going to whichever political faction controlled the capital city of Luanda on that date. In the months preceding the change, three groups vied for power: the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), the National Front for the Liberation of Angola (FNLA) and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA). By July 1975, the Marxist MPLA had ousted the moderate FNLA and UNITA from Luanda, so the CIA decided to intervene covertly. Over $30 million was spent on the Angolan operation, the bulk of the money going to buy arms and pay French and South African mercenaries, who aided the FNLA and UNITA in their fight. Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, US officials categorically denied any involvement in the Angolan conflict. In the end, it was a fruitless military adventure, for the MPLA assumed power and controls Angola to this day.

14. Afghan Mujaheedin
Covert support for the groups fighting against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan began under President Jimmy Carter in 1979, and was stepped up during the administration of Ronald Reagan. The operation succeeded in its initial goal, as the Soviets were forced to begin withdrawing their forces in 1987. Unfortunately, once the Soviets left, the US essentially ignored Afghanistan as it collapsed into a five-year civil war followed by the rise of the ultra-fundamentalist Taliban. The Taliban provided a haven for Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda, the perpetrators of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001.

15. Salvadoran Death Squads
As far back as 1964, the CIA helped form ORDEN and ANSESAL, two paramilitary intelligence networks that developed into the Salvadoran death squads. The CIA trained ORDEN leaders in the use of automatic weapons and surveillance techniques, and placed several leaders on the CIA payroll. The CIA also provided detailed intelligence on Salvadoran individuals later murdered by the death squads. During the civil war in El Salvador from 1980 to 1992, the death squads were responsible for 40,000 killings. Even after a public outcry forced President Reagan to denounce the death squads in 1984, CIA support continued.

16. Nicaraguan Contras
On November 23, 1981, President Ronald Reagan signed a top secret National Security Directive authorising the CIA to spend $19 million to recruit and support the Contras, opponents of Nicaragua’s Sandinista government. In supporting the Contras, the CIA carried out several acts of sabotage without the Congressional intelligence committees giving consent – or even being informed beforehand. In response, Congress passed the Boland Amendment, prohibiting the CIA from providing aid to the Contras. Attempts to find alternate sources of funds led to the Iran-Contra scandal. It may also have led the CIA and the Contras to become actively involved in drug smuggling. In 1988, the Senate Subcommittee on Narcotics, Terrorism, and International Operations concluded that individuals in the Contra movement engaged in drug trafficking; that known drug traffickers provided assistance to the Contras; and that ‘there are some serious questions as to whether or not US officials involved in Central America failed to address the drug issue for fear of jeopardizing the war effort against Nicaragua’.

17. Haitian Coup
In 1988, the CIA attempted to intervene in Haiti’s elections with a ‘covert action program’ to undermine the campaign of the eventual winner, Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Three years later, Aristide was overthrown in a bloody coup that killed more than 4,000 civilians. Many of the leaders of the coup had been on the CIA payroll since the mid-1980s. For example, Emmanuel ‘Toto’ Constant, the head of FRAPH, a brutal gang of thugs known for murder, torture, and beatings, admitted to being a paid agent of the CIA. Similarly, the CIA-created Haitian National Intelligence Service (NIS), supposedly created to combat drugs, functioned during the coup as a ‘political intimidation and assassination squad.’ In 1994, an American force of 20,000 was sent to Haiti to allow Aristide to return. Ironically, even after this, the CIA continued working with FRAPH and the NIS. In 2004, Aristide was overthrown once again, with Aristide claiming that US forces had kidnapped him.

18. Venezuelan Coup Attempt
On April 11, 2002, Venezuelan military leaders attempted to overthrow the country’s democratically-elected left-wing president, Hugo Chavez. The coup collapsed after two days as hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets and as units of the military joined with the protestors. The administration of George W. Bush was the only democracy in the Western Hemisphere not to condemn the coup attempt. According to intelligence analyst Wayne Madsen, the CIA had actively organised the coup: ‘The CIA provided Special Operations Group personnel, headed by a lieutenant colonel on loan from the US Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, to help organise the coup against Chavez.

The US – Islam War nears halfway mark

I have to do more research, but I’m pretty sure October 7, 2009 should mark the HALFWAY POINT of the US-ISLAM WAR. I realize the Pentagon brass are calling for fifty years more of insurgency suppression in Afghanistan and Iraq, but if we grant them no more time than for America’s longest military intervention, we’ve got another eight years before beating our humiliating retreat.
iraq

Those who insist we could have won the Vietnam War, would have our murderous troops there still. No foreign occupation has succeeded in modern times, with the ongoing exception of Israel, which by its swallowing of Palestine has been skewing the definition of occupation to the Old Testament model of mass extermination. The treacherous method worked against the Native Americans, it may still doom the (Palestinian) Native Israelis.

Afghanistan and Iraq remain occupations, where Vichy puppet governments prosecute genocide against the native resistance. How long before Americans lose their stomach for continuous bloody repression? I cannot account for the Russians in Chechnya, but on the US-Islam front, we are halfway there.

In Afghanistan and Iraq, we may already have surpassed half the civilian death tolls in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. It’s hard to say, the US “doesn’t do body counts” now, and we didn’t then either. Our own military casualties grew exponentially in Vietnam. If such statistics bear comparison, today’s numbers cannot be but comparable.

It’s being whispered that American casualties are approaching a multiple of a thousand mark. Official soldier deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq are conjectured to be reaching a round number.

I’m not told how many US mercenaries are being killed. We have as many hired-guns contracted as government soldiers. Want to lay odds on how many body bags they’ve required?

Nor are we told how many US soldiers are being wounded, many of them with injuries which would not have sustained their lives in Vietnam. Surely there is a sad gray area of injury which we could round up as it approximates death.

What the hell is wrong with these freaks

Young Marines I mean.
I have PT in 7 hours and should be sleeping but this is weighing on me.
According to a couple of comments made by a kid who is a Member of their organization they recruited him by saying that if he didn’t join them, he would turn into a Homosexual Drug Addict…
Colorado Springs Celebrates Underage Vets

If “Devilpup” is actually an Adult leader of the organization and trying to sell it to us as a “Character Building” group then the dude is seriously messed up in his head.

If he IS actually just a member of the Junior Terrorist League, Young Marines Division, then the people who sold him that line of Bullshit are the ones who have a Serious Mental Deficit Disorder and are trying to make him, and his fellow kids, grow up as retarded as they are.

Aside from

These organizations are helping the youth of this nation make something of themselves–besides drug addicts, corrupt politicians, and gay pride parade dancers. (And yes, I don’t give a cr*p over political correctness. Wise people don’t.)

Being almost word for word a quote from Adolf Hitler…

They’re recruiting these kids into Paramilitary Organizations based on Fear of being Gay?

They seriously not only told that to the kids once, they apparently make them memorize the Hate.

They teach these kids that they’re better than Perry, who died with a needle in his arm, better than my friend “Hoot” Gibson, I used to work day labor with him, and yeah, he was a wino… Hoot tried to catch a train one day and slipped under the wheels…

Ira Hayes who died drunk in a ditch.

at least according to Private X.

Perry was in the Marine Raiders, went to Vietnam and Cambodia… I saw his commendations and know he was real.
But the Devilpups would, apparently, from the tone of the comment, considered him to be just another junkie.

Same with Clarence, Private X you never met Clarence and I hope for your sake that before you ever do you should clean up your attitude a little… No, make that “Clean it up a Whole Lot”.

Another VietNam Vet, Marine, came back but left some of his soul back in Nam.

Hoot was in the First Marines, a young sergeant when they were island hopping in the Pacific Theater. Operated a flamethrower.
In the years I knew him a lot of people thought of as just another bum, a wino. Yeah, he drank a lot, big deal.

He doesn’t need snot-nosed 14 year olds spitting on his memory. He didn’t tell me a damn thing about his service, other Marines did.

Ira Hayes I never met. He, too, fought in the Pacific Theater, they’ve got a statue of him from a really famous photograph…

He was one of the guys raising the flag on Mount Suribachi.

The Devilpups are teaching you Hatred for your fellow Americans and they should really seriously be ashamed of themselves for doing it.

Oh, and talking about somehow your Hatred Values being Christian or Godly, you should drop that Devil from your groups name.

I’m Brother Jonah, and I approved this message.

I’m Brother Jonah and I also Wrote this message.

I’m not in hiding, you want to brace me up sometime and discuss how your hatred for your fellow Americans is somehow Righteousness, I’m easy to find.

Norman Finkelstein dissects the current Israeli military disinformation dope

Norm Finkelstein
The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS” is a quasi US government operation that promotes political disinformation around the globe. Norman Finkelstein has brilliantly dissected their most recent campaign of disinformation on behalf of the Israeli Military terrorist machine that the Pentagon uses so often in its own brand of State Terrorism.

Remember Henry Kissinger’s terrorism against Cambodia? I do. Israel’s latest rampage through Gaza was small beans in comparison. Kissinger was the architect of a true genocide of horrible dimensions in SE Asia, and he did it on behalf of Uncle Sam. CSIS shows their true colors in honoring Kissinger with a special department all his own. Are they Holocaust deniers? I definitely think so.

WUO terrorized government property

weather undergroundTo clarify, the terrorist acts for which Bill Ayers and the Weather Underground are being demonized targeted only property damage and resulted in no casualties. Here is a list of 25 bombings attributed to the WUO, with notes from the FBI files, and the original communiques.

BOMBINGS BY WEATHERMEN / WEATHER UNDERGROUND

October 7, 1969
Haymarket Police Statue in Chicago. The Weathermen later claim credit for the bombing in their book, Prairie Fire.

December 6, 1969
Chicago Police cars parked in a precinct parking lot at 3600 North Halsted Street, Chicago. The WUO claims responsibility in Prairie Fire, stating it is a protest of the fatal police shooting of Illinois Black Panther Party leaders Fred Hampton and Mark Clark on December 4, 1969.

May 10, 1970
National Guard Association building in Washington, D.C. is bombed.

June 6, 1970
San Francisco Hall of Justice. (WUO claims credit for bombing although no explosion occurred. Months later, workmen locate an unexploded bomb).

June 9, 1970
New York City Police headquarters. The Weathermen state this is in response to “police repression.”

July 27, 1970
United States Army base at The Presidio in San Francisco, on the 11th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution.

September 12, 1970
California Men’s Colony prison break for Timothy Leary.

October 8, 1970
Marin County courthouse. WUO states this is in retaliation for the killings of Jonathan Jackson, William Christmas, and James McClain.

October 10, 1970
Queens traffic-court building. WUO claims this is to express support for the New York prison riots.

October 14, 1970
Harvard Center for International Affairs. WUO claims this is to protest the war in Vietnam.

March 1, 1971
United States Capitol. WUO states this is to protest the invasion of Laos.

August 29, 1971
Office of California Prisons, allegedly in retaliation for the killing of George Jackson.

September 17, 1971
New York Department of Corrections in Albany, New York. In protest of the killing of 29 inmates at Attica State Penitentiary.

October 15, 1971
MIT research center, William Bundy’s office.

May 19, 1972
Pentagon. “in retaliation for the U.S. bombing raid in Hanoi.”

May 18, 1973
103rd Police Precinct in New York. WUO states this is in response to the killing of 10-year-old black youth Clifford Glover by police.

September 28, 1973
ITT headquarters in New York and Rome, Italy. WUO states this is in response to ITT’s alleged role in the Chilean coup earlier that month.

March 6, 1974
Dept. of Health, Education and Welfare offices in San Francisco. WUO states this is to protest alleged sterilization of poor women. In the accompanying communiqué, the Women’s Brigade argues for “the need for women to take control of daycare, healthcare, birth control and other aspects of women’s daily lives.”

May 31, 1974
California Attorney General office. WUO states this is in response to the killing of six members of the Symbionese Liberation Army.

June 17, 1974
Gulf Oil Pittsburgh headquarters. WUO states this is to protest the company’s actions in Angola, Vietnam, and elsewhere.

September 11, 1974
Anaconda Corporation. WUO states this is in retribution for Anaconda/Rockefeller’s alleged involvement in the Chilean coup the previous year.

January 29, 1975
State Department. WUO states this is in response to escalation in Vietnam.

June 16, 1975
Banco de Ponce, NYC. WUO states this is in solidarity with striking Puerto Rican cement workers.

September, 1975
Kennecott Corporation. WUO states this is in retribution for Kennecott’s alleged involvement in the Chilean coup two years prior.

WUO COMMUNIQUES:

Communiqué #1, May 21, 1970

Hello. This is Bernardine Dohrn.

I’m going to read A DECLARATION OF A STATE OF WAR.

This is the first communication from the Weatherman underground.

All over the world, people fighting Amerikan imperialism look to Amerika’s youth to use our strategic position behind enemy lines to join forces in the destruction of the empire.

Black people have been fighting almost alone for years. We’ve known that our job is to lead white kids into armed revolution. We never intended to spend the next five or twenty-five years of our lives in jail. Ever since SDS became revolutionary, we’ve been trying to show how it is possible to overcome the frustration and impotence that comes from trying to reform this system. Kids know the lines are drawn revolution is touching all of our lives. Tens of thousands have learned that protest and marches don’t do it. Revolutionary violence is the only way.

Now we are adapting the classic guerrilla strategy of the Viet Cong and the urban guerrilla strategy of the Tupamaros to our own situation here in the most technically advanced country in the world.

Ché taught us that “revolutionaries move like fish in the sea.” The alienation and contempt that young people have for this country has created the ocean for this revolution.

The hundreds and thousands of young people who demonstrated in the Sixties against the war and for civil rights grew to hundreds of thousands in the past few weeks actively fighting Nixon’s invasion of Cambodia and the attempted genocide against black people. The insanity of Amerikan “justice” has added to its list of atrocities six blacks killed in Augusta, two in Jackson and four white Kent State students, making thousands more into revolutionaries.

The parents of “privileged” kids have been saying for years that the revolution was a game for us. But the war and the racism of this society show that it is too fucked-up. We will never live peaceably under this system.

This was totally true of those who died in the New York townhouse explosion. The third person who was killed there was Terry Robbins, who led the first rebellion at Kent State less than two years ago.

The twelve Weathermen who were indicted for leading last October’s riots in Chicago have never left the country. Terry is dead, Linda was captured by a pig informer, but the rest of us move freely in and out of every city and youth scene in this country. We’re not hiding out but we’re invisible.

There are several hundred members of the Weatherman underground and some of us face more years in jail than the fifty thousand deserters and draft dodgers now in Canada. Already many of them are coming back to join us in the underground or to return to the Man’s army and tear it up from inside along with those who never left.

We fight in many ways. Dope is one of our weapons. The laws against marijuana mean that millions of us are outlaws long before we actually split. Guns and grass are united in the youth underground.

Freaks are revolutionaries and revolutionaries are freaks. If you want to find us, this is where we are. In every tribe, commune, dormitory, farmhouse, barracks and townhouse where kids are making love, smoking dope and loading guns—fugitives from Amerikan justice are free to go.

For Diana Oughton, Ted Gold and Terry Robbins, and for all the revolutionaries who are still on the move here, there has been no question for a long time now—we will never go back.

Within the next fourteen days we will attack a symbol or institution of Amerikan injustice. This is the way we celebrate the example of Eldridge Cleaver and H. Rap Brown and all black revolutionaries who first inspired us by their fight behind enemy lines for the liberation of their people.

Never again will they fight alone.

/May 21, 1970/

Communique #2, June 9, 1970

SLIP NR 12 / 1909 / JUNE9-70 / POLICE HDQTRS / 77 BOMB EXPLOSION-240 CENTRE ST-POLICE HDQTRS-UNK

DAMAGE AND INJURIES AT THIS TIME — DETAILS LATER

Tonight, at 7 P.M., we blew up the N.Y.C. police headquarters. We called in a warning before the explosion.

The pigs in this country are our enemies. They have murdered Fred Hampton and tortured Joan Bird. They are responsible for 6 black deaths in Augusta, 4 murders in Kent State, the imprisonment of Los Siete de la Raza in San Francisco and the continual brutality against Latin and white youth on the Lower East Side.

Some are named Mitchell and Agnew. Others call themselves Leary and Hogan. The names are different but the crimes are the same.

The pigs try to look invulnerable, but we keep finding their weaknesses. Thousands of kids, from Berkeley to the UN Plaza, keep tearing up ROTC buildings.

Nixon invades Cambodia and hundreds of schools are shut down by strikes. Every time the pigs think they’ve stopped us, we come back a little stronger and a lot smarter. They guard their buildings and we walk right past their guards. They look for us—we get to them first.

They build the Bank of America, kids burn it down. They outlaw grass, we build a culture of life and music.

The time is now. Political power grows out of a gun, a Molotov, a riot, a commune … and from the soul of the people.

WEATHERMAN

Communiqué #3, July 31, 1970

From the /Berkeley Tribe/, July 31, 1970. The Red Mountain Tribe.

July 26, 1970
The Motor City

This is the third communication from the Weatherman underground.

With other revolutionaries all over the planet, Weatherman is celebrating the 11th anniversary of the Cuban revolution. Today we attack with rocks, riots and bombs the greatest killer-pig ever known to man—Amerikan imperialism.

Everywhere we see the growth of revolutionary culture and the ways in which every move of the monster-state tightens the noose around its own neck.

A year ago people thought it can’t happen here. Look at where we’ve come.

Nixon invades Cambodia; the Cong and all of Indochina spread the already rebelling US troops thin. Ahmed is a prisoner; Rap is free and fighting. Fred Hampton is murdered;

the brothers at Soledad avenge—”2 down and one to go.” Pun and several Weatherman are ripped; we run free. Mitchell indicts 8 or 10 or 13; hundreds of thousands of freaks plot to build a new world on the ruins of honky Amerika.

And to General Mitchell we say: Don’t look for us, Dog; We’ll find you first.

For the Central Committee, Weatherman Underground

Communiqué #4, September 18, 1970

From /San Francisco Good Times/, September 18, 1970. /San Francisco Good Times/.

September 15, 1970. This is the fourth communication from the Weatherman Underground.

The Weatherman Underground has had the honor and pleasure of helping Dr. Timothy Leary escape from the POW camp at San Luis Obispo, California.

Dr. Leary was being held against his will and against the will of millions of kids in this country. He was a political prisoner, captured for the work he did in helping all of us begin the task of creating a new culture on the barren wasteland that has been imposed on this country by Democrats, Republicans, Capitalists and creeps.

LSD and grass, like the herbs and cactus and mushrooms of the American Indians and countless civilizations that have existed on this planet, will help us make a future world where it will be possible to live in peace.

Now we are at war.

With the NLF and the North Vietnamese, with the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Al Fatah, with Rap Brown and Angela Davis, with all black and brown revolutionaries, the Soledad brothers and all prisoners of war in Amerikan concentration camps we know that peace is only possible with the destruction of U.S. imperialism.

Our organization commits itself to the task of freeing these prisoners of war.

We are outlaws, we are free!

(signed) Bernardine Dohrn

Global economic rapists are at it again

G8 protest
Why protest the G8 Summit July 7-9? Those hoodlums always look so determined. Here’s the rationale by the Emergency Exit Collective:

The 2008 G8 on Hokkaido, a Strategic Assessment
Emergency Exit Collective
Bristol, Mayday, 2008

The authors of this document are a collection of activists, scholars, and writers currently based in the United States and Western Europe who have gotten to know and work with each other in the movement against capitalist globalization. We’re writing this at the request of some members of No! G8 Action Japan, who asked us for a broad strategic analysis of the state of struggle as we see it, and particularly, of the role of the G8, what it represents, the dangers and opportunities that may lie hidden in the moment. It is in no sense programmatic. Mainly, it is an attempt to develop tools that we hope will be helpful for organizers, or for anyone engaged in the struggle against global capital.

I
It is our condition as human beings that we produce our lives in common.

II
Let us then try to see the world from the perspective of the planet’s commoners, taking the word in that sense: those whose most essential tradition is cooperation in the making and maintenance of human social life, yet who have had to do so under conditions of suffering and separation; deprived, ignored, devalued, divided into hierarchies, pitted against each other for our very physical survival. In one sense we are all commoners. But it’s equally true that just about everyone, at least in some ways, at some points, plays the role of the rulers—of those who expropriate, devalue and divide—or at the very least benefits from such divisions.

Obviously some do more than others. It is at the peak of this pyramid that we encounter groups like the G8.

III
The G8’s perspective is that of the aristocrats, the rulers: those who command and maintain that global machinery of violence that defends existing borders and lines of separation: whether national borders with their detention camps for migrants, or property regimes, with their prisons for the poor. They live by constantly claiming title to the products of others collective creativity and labour, and in thus doing they create the poor; they create scarcity in the midst of plenty, and divide us on a daily basis; they create financial districts that loot resources from across the world, and in thus doing they turn the spirit of human creativity into a spiritual desert; close or privatize parks, public water taps and libraries, hospitals, youth centers, universities, schools, public swimming pools, and instead endlessly build shopping malls that channels convivial life into a means of commodity circulation; work toward turning global ecological catastrophe into business opportunities.

These are the people who presume to speak in the name of the “international community” even as they hide in their gated communities or meet protected by phalanxes of riot cops. It is critical to bear in mind that the ultimate aim of their policies is never to create community but to introduce and maintain divisions that set common people at each other’s throats. The neoliberal project, which has been their main instrument for doing so for the last three decades, is premised on a constant effort either to uproot or destroy any communal or democratic system whereby ordinary people govern their own affairs or maintain common resources for the common good, or, to reorganize each tiny remaining commons as an isolated node in a market system in which livelihood is never guaranteed, where the gain of one community must necessarily be at the expense of others. Insofar as they are willing to appeal to high-minded principles of common humanity, and encourage global cooperation, only and exactly to the extent that is required to maintain this system of universal competition.

IV
At the present time, the G8—the annual summit of the leaders of “industrial democracies”—is the key coordinative institution charged with the task of maintaining this neoliberal project, or of reforming it, revising it, adapting it to the changing condition of planetary class relations. The role of the G8 has always been to define the broad strategic horizons through which the next wave of planetary capital accumulation can occur. This means that its main task is to answer the question of how 3?4 in the present conditions of multiple crises and struggles 3?4 to subordinate social relations among the producing commoners of the planet to capital’s supreme value: profit.

V
Originally founded as the G7 in 1975 as a means of coordinating financial strategies for dealing with the ‘70s energy crisis, then expanded after the end of the Cold War to include Russia, its currently face a moment of profound impasse in the governance of planetary class relations: the greatest since the ‘70s energy crisis itself.

VI
The ‘70s energy crisis represented the final death-pangs of what might be termed the Cold War settlement, shattered by a quarter century of popular struggle. It’s worth returning briefly to this history.

The geopolitical arrangements put in place after World War II were above all designed to forestall the threat of revolution. In the immediate wake of the war, not only did much of the world lie in ruins, most of world’s population had abandoned any assumption about the inevitability of existing social arrangements. The advent of the Cold War had the effect of boxing movements for social change into a bipolar straightjacket. On the one hand, the former Allied and Axis powers that were later to unite in the G7 (the US, Canada, UK, France, Italy, Germany, Japan)—the “industrialized democracies”, as they like to call themselves—engaged in a massive project of co-optation. Their governments continued the process, begun in the ‘30s, of taking over social welfare institutions that had originally been created by popular movements (from insurance schemes to public libraries), even to expand them, on condition that they now be managed by state-appointed bureaucracies rather than by those who used them, buying off unions and the working classes more generally with policies meant to guarantee high wages, job security and the promise of educational advance—all in exchange for political loyalty, productivity increases and wage divisions within national and planetary working class itself. The Sino-Soviet bloc—which effectively became a kind of junior partner within the overall power structure, and its allies remained to trap revolutionary energies into the task of reproducing similar bureaucracies elsewhere. Both the US and USSR secured their dominance after the war by refusing to demobilize, instead locking the planet in a permanent threat of nuclear annihilation, a terrible vision of absolute cosmic power.

VII
Almost immediately, though, this arrangement was challenged by a series of revolts from those whose work was required to maintain the system, but who were, effectively, left outside the deal: first, peasants and the urban poor in the colonies and former colonies of the Global South, next, disenfranchised minorities in the home countries (in the US, the Civil Rights movement, then Black Power), and finally and most significantly, by the explosion of the women’s movement of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s—the revolt of that majority of humanity whose largely unremunerated labor made the very existence “the economy” possible. This appears to have been the tipping point.

VIII
The problem was that the Cold War settlement was never meant to include everyone. It by definition couldn’t. Once matters reached tipping point, then, the rulers scotched the settlement. All deals were off. The oil shock was first edge of the counter-offensive, breaking the back of existing working class organizations, driving home the message that there was nothing guaranteed about prosperity. Under the aegis of the newly hatched G7, this counter-offensive involved a series of interwoven strategies that were later to give rise to what is known as neoliberalism.

IX
These strategies resulted in what came to be known as “Structural Adjustment” both in the North and in the South, accompanied by trade and financial liberalization. This, in turn, made possible crucial structural changes in our planetary production in common extending the role of the market to discipline our lives and divide us into more and more polarized wage hierarchy. This involved:

· In the immediate wake of ‘70s oil shock, petrodollars were recycled from OPEC into Northern banks that then lent them, at extortionate rates of interest, to developing countries of the Global South. This was the origin of the famous “Third World Debt Crisis.” The existence of this debt allowed institutions like the IMF to impose its monetarist orthodoxy on most of the planet for roughly twenty years, in the process, stripping away most of even those modest social protections that had been won by the world’s poor—large numbers of whom were plunged into a situation of absolute desperation.

· It also opened a period of new enclosures through the capitalist imposition of structural adjustment policies, manipulation of environmental and social catastrophes like war, or for that matter through the authoritarian dictates of “socialist” regimes. Through such means, large sections of the world’s population have over the past thirty years been dispossessed from resources previously held in common, either by dint of long traditions, or as the fruits of past struggles and past settlements.

· Through financial deregulation and trade liberalization, neoliberal capital, which emerged from the G7 strategies to deal with the 1970s crisis aimed thus at turning the “class war” in communities, factories, offices, streets and fields against the engine of competition, into a planetary “civil war”, pitting each community of commoners against every other community of commoners.

· Neoliberal capital has done this by imposing an ethos of “efficiency” and rhetoric of “lowering the costs of production” applied so broadly that mechanisms of competition have come to pervade every sphere of life. In fact these terms are euphemisms, for a more fundamental demand: that capital be exempt from taking any reduction in profit to finance the costs of reproduction of human bodies and their social and natural environments (which it does not count as costs) and which are, effectively, “exernalized” onto communities and nature.

· The enclosure of resources and entitlements won in previous generations of struggles both in the North and the South, in turn, created the conditions for increasing the wage hierarchies (both global and local), by which commoners work for capital—wage hierarchies reproduced economically through pervasive competition, but culturally, through male dominance, xenophobia and racism. These wage gaps, in turn, made it possible to reduce the value of Northern workers’ labour power, by introducing commodities that enter in their wage basket at a fraction of what their cost might otherwise have been. The planetary expansion of sweatshops means that American workers (for example) can buy cargo pants or lawn-mowers made in Cambodia at Walmart, or buy tomatoes grown by undocumented Mexican workers in California, or even, in many cases, hire Jamaican or Filipina nurses to take care of children and aged grandparents at such low prices, that their employers have been able to lower real wages without pushing most of them into penury. In the South, meanwhile, this situation has made it possible to discipline new masses of workers into factories and assembly lines, fields and offices, thus extending enormously capital’s reach in defining the terms—the what, the how, the how much—of social production.

· These different forms of enclosures, both North and South, mean that commoners have become increasingly dependent on the market to reproduce their livelihoods, with less power to resist the violence and arrogance of those whose priorities is only to seek profit, less power to set a limit to the market discipline running their lives, more prone to turn against one another in wars with other commoners who share the same pressures of having to run the same competitive race, but not the same rights and the same access to the wage. All this has meant a generalized state of precarity, where nothing can be taken for granted.

X
In turn, this manipulation of currency and commodity flows constituting neoliberal globalization became the basis for the creation of the planet’s first genuine global bureaucracy.

· This was multi-tiered, with finance capital at the peak, then the ever-expanding trade bureaucracies (IMF, WTO, EU, World Bank, etc), then transnational corporations, and finally, the endless varieties of NGOs that proliferated throughout the period—almost all of which shared the same neoliberal orthodoxy, even as they substituted themselves for social welfare functions once reserved for states.

· The existence of this overarching apparatus, in turn, allowed poorer countries previously under the control of authoritarian regimes beholden to one or another side in the Cold War to adopt “democratic” forms of government. This did allow a restoration of formal civil liberties, but very little that could really merit the name of democracy (the rule of the “demos”, i.e., of the commoners). They were in fact constitutional republics, and the overwhelming trend during the period was to strip legislatures, that branch of government most open to popular pressure, of most of their powers, which were increasingly shifted to the executive and judicial branches, even as these latter, in turn, largely ended up enacting policies developed overseas, by global bureaucrats.

· This entire bureaucratic arrangement was justified, paradoxically enough, by an ideology of extreme individualism. On the level of ideas, neoliberalism relied on a systematic cooptation of the themes of popular struggle of the ‘60s: autonomy, pleasure, personal liberation, the rejection of all forms of bureaucratic control and authority. All these were repackaged as the very essence of capitalism, and the market reframed as a revolutionary force of liberation.

· The entire arrangement, in turn, was made possible by a preemptive attitude towards popular struggle. The breaking of unions and retreat of mass social movements from the late ‘70s onwards was only made possible by a massive shift of state resources into the machinery of violence: armies, prisons and police (secret and otherwise) and an endless variety of private “security services”, all with their attendant propaganda machines, which tended to increase even as other forms of social spending were cut back, among other things absorbing increasing portions of the former proletariat, making the security apparatus an increasingly large proportion of total social spending. This approach has been very successful in holding back mass opposition to capital in much of the world (especially West Europe and North America), and above all, in making it possible to argue there are no viable alternatives. But in doing so, has created strains on the system so profound it threatens to undermine it entirely.

XI
The latter point deserves elaboration. The element of force is, on any number of levels, the weak point of the system. This is not only on the constitutional level, where the question of how to integrate the emerging global bureaucratic apparatus, and existing military arrangements, has never been resolved. It is above all an economic problem. It is quite clear that the maintenance of elaborate security machinery is an absolute imperative of neoliberalism. One need only observe what happened with the collapse of the Soviet bloc in Eastern Europe: where one might have expected the Cold War victors to demand the dismantling of the army, secret police and secret prisons, and to maintain and develop the existing industrial base, in fact, what they did was absolutely the opposite: in fact, the only part of the industrial base that has managed fully to maintain itself has been the parts required to maintained the security apparatus itself! Critical too is the element of preemption: the governing classes in North America, for example, are willing to go to almost unimaginable lengths to ensure social movements never feel they are accomplishing anything. The current Gulf War is an excellent example: US military operations appear to be organized first and foremost to be protest-proof, to ensure that what happened in Vietnam (mass mobilization at home, widespread revolt within the army overseas) could never be repeated. This means above all that US casualties must always be kept to a minimum. The result are rules of engagement, and practices like the use of air power within cities ostensibly already controlled by occupation forces, so obviously guaranteed to maximize the killing of innocents and galvanizing hatred against the occupiers that they ensure the war itself cannot be won. Yet this approach can be taken as the very paradigm for neoliberal security regimes. Consider security arrangements around trade summits, where police are so determined prevent protestors from achieving tactical victories that they are often willing to effectively shut down the summits themselves. So too in overall strategy. In North America, such enormous resources are poured into the apparatus of repression, militarization, and propaganda that class struggle, labor action, mass movements seem to disappear entirely. It is thus possible to claim we have entered a new age where old conflicts are irrelevant. This is tremendously demoralizing of course for opponents of the system; but those running the system seem to find that demoralization so essential they don’t seem to care that the resultant apparatus (police, prisons, military, etc) is, effectively, sinking the entire US economy under its dead weight.

XII
The current crisis is not primarily geopolitical in nature. It is a crisis of neoliberalism itself. But it takes place against the backdrop of profound geopolitical realignments. The decline of North American power, both economic and geopolitical has been accompanied by the rise of Northeast Asia (and to a increasing extent, South Asia as well). While the Northeast Asian region is still divided by painful Cold War cleavages—the fortified lines across the Taiwan straits and at the 38th parallel in Korea…—the sheer realities of economic entanglement can be expected to lead to a gradual easing of tensions and a rise to global hegemony, as the region becomes the new center of gravity of the global economy, of the creation of new science and technology, ultimately, of political and military power. This may, quite likely, be a gradual and lengthy process. But in the meantime, very old patterns are rapidly reemerging: China reestablishing relations with ancient tributary states from Korea to Vietnam, radical Islamists attempting to reestablish their ancient role as the guardians of finance and piety at the in the Central Asian caravan routes and across Indian Ocean, every sort of Medieval trade diaspora reemerging… In the process, old political models remerge as well: the Chinese principle of the state transcending law, the Islamic principle of a legal order transcending any state. Everywhere, we see the revival too of ancient forms of exploitation—feudalism, slavery, debt peonage—often entangled in the newest forms of technology, but still echoing all the worst abuses of the Middle Ages. A scramble for resources has begun, with US occupation of Iraq and saber-rattling throughout the surrounding region clearly meant (at least in part) to place a potential stranglehold the energy supply of China; Chinese attempts to outflank with its own scramble for Africa, with increasing forays into South America and even Eastern Europe. The Chinese invasion into Africa (not as of yet at least a military invasion, but already involving the movement of hundreds of thousands of people), is changing the world in ways that will probably be felt for centuries. Meanwhile, the nations of South America, the first victims of the “Washington consensus” have managed to largely wriggle free from the US colonial orbit, while the US, its forces tied down in the Middle East, has for the moment at least abandoned it, is desperately struggling to keep its grip Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean—its own “near abroad”.

XIII
In another age all this might have led to war—that is, not just colonial occupations, police actions, or proxy wars (which are obviously already taking place), but direct military confrontations between the armies of major powers. It still could; accidents happen; but there is reason to believe that, when it comes to moments of critical decision, the loyalties of the global elites are increasingly to each other, and not to the national entities for whom they claim to speak. There is some compelling evidence for this.

Take for example when the US elites panicked at the prospect of the massive budget surpluses of the late 1990s. As Alan Greenspan, head of the Federal Reserve at the time warned, if these were allowed to stand they would have flooded government coffers with so many trillions of dollars that it could only have lead to some form of creeping socialism, even, he predicted, to the government acquiring “equity stakes” in key US corporations. The more excitable of capitalism’s managers actually began contemplating scenarios where the capitalist system itself would be imperiled. The only possible solution was massive tax cuts; these were duly enacted, and did indeed manage to turn surpluses into enormous deficits, financed by the sale of treasury bonds to Japan and China. Conditions have thus now reached a point where it is beginning to look as if the most likely long term outcome for the US (its technological and industrial base decaying, sinking under the burden of its enormous security spending) will be to end up serve as junior partner and military enforcer for East Asia capital. Its rulers, or at least a significant proportion of them, would prefer to hand global hegemony to the rulers of China (provided the latter abandon Communism) than to return to any sort of New Deal compromise with their “own” working classes.

A second example lies in the origins of what has been called the current “Bretton Woods II” system of currency arrangements, which underline a close working together of some “surplus” and “deficit” countries within global circuits. The macroeconomic manifestation of the planetary restructuring outlined in XIX underlines both the huge US trade deficit that so much seem to worry many commentators, and the possibility to continually generate new debt instruments like the one that has recently resulted in the sub-prime crisis. The ongoing recycling of accumulated surplus of countries exporting to the USA such as China and oil producing countries is what has allowed financiers to create new credit instruments in the USA. Hence, the “deal” offered by the masters in the United States to its commoners has been this: ‘you, give us a relative social peace and accept capitalist markets as the main means through which you reproduce your own livelihoods, and we will give you access to cheaper consumption goods, access to credit for buying cars and homes, and access to education, health, pensions and social security through the speculative means of stock markets and housing prices.’ Similar compromises were reached in all the G8 countries.

Meanwhile, there is the problem of maintaining any sort of social peace with the hundreds of millions of unemployed, underemployed, dispossessed commoners currently swelling the shanty-towns of Asia, Africa, and Latin America as a result of ongoing enclosures (which have speeded up within China and India in particular, even as “structural adjustment policies” in Africa and Latin America have been derailed). Any prospect of maintaining peace in these circumstances would ordinarily require either extremely high rates of economic growth—which globally have not been forthcoming, since outside of China, growth rates in the developing world have been much lower than they were in the ‘50s, ‘60s, or even ‘70s—or extremely high levels of repression, lest matters descend into rebellion or generalized civil war. The latter has of course occurred in many parts of the world currently neglected by capital, but in favored regions, such as the coastal provinces of China, or “free trade” zones of India, Egypt, or Mexico, commoners are being offered a different sort of deal: industrial employment at wages that, while very low by international standards, are still substantially higher than anything currently obtainable in the impoverished countryside; and above all the promise, through the intervention of Western markets and (privatized) knowledge, of gradually improving conditions of living. While over the least few years wages in many such areas seem to be growing, thanks to the intensification of popular struggles, such gains are inherently vulnerable: the effect of recent food inflation has been to cut real wages back dramatically—and threaten millions with starvation.

What we really want to stress here, though, is that the long-term promise being offered to the South is just as untenable as the idea that US or European consumers can indefinitely expand their conditions of life through the use of mortgages and credit cards.

What’s being offered the new dispossessed is a transposition of the American dream. The idea is that the lifestyle and consumption patterns of existing Chinese, Indian, or Brazilian or Zambian urban middle classes (already modeled on Northern ones) will eventually become available to the children of today’s miners, maquila or plantation laborers, until, ultimately, everyone on earth is brought up to roughly the same level of consumption. Put in these terms, the argument is absurd. The idea that all six billion of us can become “middle class” is obviously impossible. First of all there is a simple problem of resources. It doesn’t matter how many bottles we recycle or how energy efficient are the light bulbs we use, there’s just no way the earth’s ecosystem can accommodate six billion people driving in private cars to work in air-conditioned cubicles before periodically flying off to vacation in Acapulco or Tahiti. To maintain the style of living and producing in common we now identify with “middle classness” on a planetary scale would require several additional planets.

This much has been pointed out repeatedly. But the second point is no less important. What this vision of betterment ultimately proposes is that it would be possible to build universal prosperity and human dignity on a system of wage labor. This is fantasy. Historically, wages are always the contractual face for system of command and degradation, and a means of disguising exploitation: expressing value for work only on condition of stealing value without work— and there is no reason to believe they could ever be anything else. This is why, as history has also shown, human beings will always avoid working for wages if they have any other viable option. For a system based on wage labor to come into being, such options must therefore be made unavailable. This in turn means that such systems are always premised on structures of exclusion: on the prior existence of borders and property regimes maintained by violence. Finally, historically, it has always proved impossible to maintain any sizeable class of wage-earners in relative prosperity without basing that prosperity, directly or indirectly, on the unwaged labor of others—on slave-labor, women’s domestic labor, the forced labor of colonial subjects, the work of women and men in peasant communities halfway around the world—by people who are even more systematically exploited, degraded, and immiserated. For that reason, such systems have always depended not only on setting wage-earners against each other by inciting bigotry, prejudice, hostility, resentment, violence, but also by inciting the same between men and women, between the people of different continents (“race”), between the generations.

From the perspective of the whole, then, the dream of universal middle class “betterment” must necessarily be an illusion constructed in between the Scylla of ecological disaster, and the Charybdis of poverty, detritus, and hatred: precisely, the two pillars of today’s strategic impasse faced by the G8.

XIV
How then do we describe the current impasse of capitalist governance?

To a large degree, it is the effect of a sudden and extremely effective upswing of popular resistance—one all the more extraordinary considering the huge resources that had been invested in preventing such movements from breaking out.

On the one hand, the turn of the millennium saw a vast and sudden flowering of new anti-capitalist movements, a veritable planetary uprising against neoliberalism by commoners in Latin America, India, Africa, Asia, across the North Atlantic world’s former colonies and ultimately, within the cities of the former colonial powers themselves. As a result, the neoliberal project lies shattered. What came to be called the “anti-globalization” movement took aim at the trade bureaucracies—the obvious weak link in the emerging institutions of global administration—but it was merely the most visible aspect of this uprising. It was however an extraordinarily successful one. Not only was the WTO halted in its tracks, but all major trade initiatives (MAI, FTAA…) scuttled. The World Bank was hobbled and the power of the IMF over most of the world’s population, effectively, destroyed. The latter, once the terror of the Global South, is now a shattered remnant of its former self, reduced to selling off its gold reserves and desperately searching for a new global mission.

In many ways though spectacular street actions were merely the most visible aspects of much broader changes: the resurgence of labor unions, in certain parts of the world, the flowering of economic and social alternatives on the grassroots levels in every part of the world, from new forms of direct democracy of indigenous communities like El Alto in Bolivia or self-managed factories in Paraguay, to township movements in South Africa, farming cooperatives in India, squatters’ movements in Korea, experiments in permaculture in Europe or “Islamic economics” among the urban poor in the Middle East. We have seen the development of thousands of forms of mutual aid association, most of which have not even made it onto the radar of the global media, often have almost no ideological unity and which may not even be aware of each other’s existence, but nonetheless share a common desire to mark a practical break with capitalism, and which, most importantly, hold out the prospect of creating new forms of planetary commons that can—and in some cases are—beginning to knit together to provide the outlines of genuine alternative vision of what a non-capitalist future might look like.

The reaction of the world’s rulers was predictable. The planetary uprising had occurred during a time when the global security apparatus was beginning to look like it lacked a purpose, when the world threatened to return to a state of peace. The response—aided of course, by the intervention of some of the US’ former Cold War allies, reorganized now under the name of Al Qaeda—was a return to global warfare. But this too failed. The “war on terror”—as an attempt to impose US military power as the ultimate enforcer of the neoliberal model—has collapsed as well in the face of almost universal popular resistance. This is the nature of their “impasse”.

At the same time, the top-heavy, inefficient US model of military capitalism—a model created in large part to prevent the dangers of social movements, but which the US has also sought to export to some degree simply because of its profligacy and inefficiency, to prevent the rest of the world from too rapidly overtaking them—has proved so wasteful of resources that it threatens to plunge the entire planet into ecological and social crisis. Drought, disaster, famines, combine with endless campaigns of enclosure, foreclosure, to cast the very means of survival—food, water, shelter—into question for the bulk of the world’s population.

XV
In the rulers’ language the crisis understood, first and foremost, as a problem of regulating cash flows, of reestablishing, as they like to put it, a new “financial architecture”. Obviously they are aware of the broader problems. Their promotional literature has always been full of it. From the earliest days of the G7, through to the days after the Cold War, when Russia was added as a reward for embracing capitalism, they have always claimed that their chief concerns include

· the reduction of global poverty

· sustainable environmental policies

· sustainable global energy policies

· stable financial institutions governing global trade and currency transactions

If one were to take such claims seriously, it’s hard to see their overall performance as anything but a catastrophic failure. At the present moment, all of these are in crisis mode: there are food riots, global warming, peak oil, and the threat of financial meltdown, bursting of credit bubbles, currency crises, a global credit crunch. [**Failure on this scale however, opens opportunities for the G8 themselves, as summit of the global bureaucracy, to reconfigure the strategic horizon. Therefore, it’s always with the last of these that they are especially concerned. ]The real problem, from the perspective of the G8, is one of reinvestment: particularly, of the profits of the energy sector, but also, now, of emerging industrial powers outside the circle of the G8 itself. The neoliberal solution in the ‘70s had been to recycle OPEC’s petrodollars into banks that would use it much of the world into debt bondage, imposing regimes of fiscal austerity that, for the most part, stopped development (and hence, the emergence potential rivals) in its tracks. By the ‘90s, however, much East Asia in particular had broken free of this regime. Attempts to reimpose IMF-style discipline during the Asian financial crisis of 1997 largely backfired. So a new compromise was found, the so-called Bretton Woods II: to recycle the profits from the rapidly expanding industrial economies of East Asia into US treasury debt, artificially supporting the value of the dollar and allowing a continual stream of cheap exports that, aided by the US housing bubble, kept North Atlantic economies afloat and buy off workers there with cheap oil and even cheaper consumer goods even as real wages shrank. This solution however soon proved a temporary expedient. Bush regime’s attempt to lock it in by the invasion of Iraq, which was meant to lead to the forced privatization of Iraqi oil fields, and, ultimately, of the global oil industry as a whole, collapsed in the face of massive popular resistance (just as Saddam Hussein’s attempt to introduce neoliberal reforms in Iraq had failed when he was still acting as American deputy in the ‘90s). Instead, the simultaneous demand for petroleum for both Chinese manufacturers and American consumers caused a dramatic spike in the price of oil. What’s more, rents from oil and gas production are now being used to pay off the old debts from the ‘80s (especially in Asia and Latin America, which have by now paid back their IMF debts entirely), and—increasingly—to create state-managed Sovereign Wealth Funds that have largely replaced institutions like the IMF as the institutions capable of making long-term strategic investments. The IMF, purposeless, tottering on the brink of insolvency, has been reduced to trying to come up with “best practices” guidelines for fund managers working for governments in Singapore, Seoul, and Abu Dhabi.

There can be no question this time around of freezing out countries like China, India, or even Brazil. The question for capital’s planners, rather, is how to channel these new concentrations of capital in such a way that they reinforce the logic of the system instead of undermining it.

XVI
How can this be done? This is where appeals to universal human values, to common membership in an “international community” come in to play. “We all must pull together for the good of the planet,” we will be told. The money must be reinvested “to save the earth.”

To some degree this was always the G8 line: this is a group has been making an issue of climate change since 1983. Doing so was in one sense a response to the environmental movements of the ‘70s and ‘80s. The resultant emphasis on biofuels and “green energy” was from their point of view, the perfect strategy, seizing on an issue that seemed to transcend class, appropriating ideas and issues that emerged from social movements (and hence coopting and undermining especially their radical wings), and finally, ensuring such initiatives are pursued not through any form of democratic self-organization but “market mechanisms”—to effective make the sense of public interest productive for capitalism.

What we can expect now is a two-pronged attack. On the one hand, they will use the crisis to attempt to reverse the gains of past social movements: to put nuclear energy back on the table to deal with the energy crisis and global warming, or genetically modified foods to deal with the food crisis. Prime Minister Fukuda, the host of the current summit, for example, is already proposing the nuclear power is the “solution” to the global warming crisis, even as the German delegation resists. On the other, and even more insidiously, they will try once again to co-opt the ideas and solutions that have emerged from our struggles as a way of ultimately undermining them. Appropriating such ideas is simply what rulers do: the bosses brain is always under the workers’ hat. But the ultimate aim is to answer the intensification of class struggle, of the danger of new forms of democracy, with another wave of enclosures, to restore a situation where commoners’ attempts to create broader regimes of cooperation are stymied, and people are plunged back into mutual competition.

We can already see the outlines of how this might be done. There are already suggestions that Sovereign Wealth Funds put aside a certain (miniscule) proportion of their money for food aid, but only as tied to a larger project of global financial restructuring. The World Bank, largely bereft of its earlier role organizing dams and pipe-lines across the world, has been funding development in China’s poorer provinces, freeing the Chinese government to carry out similar projects in Southeast Asia, Africa, and even Latin America (where, of course, they cannot effectively be held to any sort of labor or environmental standards). There is the possibility of a new class deal in China itself, whose workers can be allowed higher standards of living if new low wage zones are created elsewhere—for instance, Africa (the continent where struggles over maintaining the commons have been most intense in current decades)—with the help of Chinese infrastructural projects. Above of all, money will be channeled into addressing climate change, into the development of alternative energy, which will require enormous investments, in such a way as to ensure that whatever energy resources do become important in this millennium, they can never be democratized—that the emerging notion of a petroleum commons, that energy resources are to some degree a common patrimony meant primarily to serve the community as a whole, that is beginning to develop in parts of the Middle East and South America—not be reproduced in whatever comes next.

Since this will ultimately have to be backed up by the threat of violence, the G8 will inevitably have to struggle with how to (yet again) rethink enforcement mechanisms. The latest move , now that the US “war on terror” paradigm has obviously failed, would appear to be a return to NATO, part of a reinvention of the “European security architecture” being proposed at the upcoming G8 meetings in Italy in 2009 on the 60th anniversary of NATO’s foundation—but part of a much broader movement of the militarization of social conflict, projecting potential resource wars, demographic upheavals resulting from climate change, and radical social movements as potential military problems to be resolved by military means. Opposition to this new project is already shaping up as the major new European mobilization for the year following the current G-8.

XVII
While the G-8 sit at the pinnacle of a system of violence, their preferred idiom is monetary. Their impulse whenever possible is to translate all problems into money, financial structures, currency flows—a substance whose movements they carefully monitor and control.

Money, on might say, is their poetry—a poetry whose letters are written in our blood. It is their highest and most abstract form of expression, their way of making statements about the ultimate truth of the world, even if it operates in large part by making things disappear. How else could it be possible to argue—no, to assume as a matter of common sense—that the love, care, and concern of a person who tends to the needs of children, teaching, minding, helping them to become decent , thoughtful, human beings, or who grows and prepares food, is worth ten thousand times less than someone who spends the same time designing a brand logo, moving abstract blips across a globe, or denying others health care.

The role of money however has changed profoundly since 1971 when the dollar was delinked from gold. This has created a profound realignment of temporal horizons. Once money could be said to be primarily congealed results of past profit and exploitation. As capital, it was dead labor. Millions of indigenous Americans and Africans had their lives pillaged and destroyed in the gold mines in order to be rendered into value. The logic of finance capital, of credit structures, certainly always existed as well (it is at least as old as industrial capital; possibly older), but in recent decades these logic of financial capital has come to echo and re-echo on every level of our lives. In the UK 97% of money in circulation is debt, in the US, 98%. Governments run on deficit financing, wealthy economies on consumer debt, the poor are enticed with microcredit schemes, debts are packaged and repackaged in complex financial derivatives and traded back and forth. Debt however is simply a promise, the expectation of future profit; capital thus increasingly brings the future into the present—a future that, it insists, must always be the same in nature, even if must also be greater in magnitude, since of course the entire system is premised on continual growth. Where once financiers calculated and traded in the precise measure of our degradation, having taken everything from us and turned it into money, now money has flipped, to become the measure of our future degradation—at the same time as it binds us to endlessly working in the present.

The result is a strange moral paradox. Love, loyalty, honor, commitment—to our families, for example, which means to our shared homes, which means to the payment of monthly mortgage debts—becomes a matter of maintaining loyalty to a system which ultimately tells us that such commitments are not a value in themselves. This organization of imaginative horizons, which ultimately come down to a colonization of the very principle of hope, has come to supplement the traditional evocation of fear (of penury, homelessness, joblessness, disease and death). This colonization paralyzes any thought of opposition to a system that almost everyone ultimately knows is not only an insult to everything they really cherish, but a travesty of genuine hope, since, because no system can really expand forever on a finite planet, everyone is aware on some level that in the final analysis they are dealing with a kind of global pyramid scheme, what we are ultimately buying and selling is the real promise of global social and environmental apocalypse.

XVIII
Finally then we come to the really difficult, strategic questions. Where are the vulnerabilities? Where is hope? Obviously we have no certain answers here. No one could. But perhaps the proceeding analysis opens up some possibilities that anti-capitalist organizers might find useful to explore.

One thing that might be helpful is to rethink our initial terms. Consider communism. We are used to thinking of it as a total system that perhaps existed long ago, and to the desire to bring about an analogous system at some point in the future—usually, at whatever cost. It seems to us that dreams of communist futures were never purely fantasies; they were simply projections of existing forms of cooperation, of commoning, by which we already make the world in the present. Communism in this sense is already the basis of almost everything, what brings people and societies into being, what maintains them, the elemental ground of all human thought and action. There is absolutely nothing utopian here. What is utopian, really, is the notion that any form of social organization, especially capitalism, could ever exist that was not entirely premised on the prior existence of communism. If this is true, the most pressing question is simply how to make that power visible, to burst forth, to become the basis for strategic visions, in the face of a tremendous and antagonistic power committed to destroying it—but at the same time, ensuring that despite the challenge they face, they never again become entangled with forms of violence of their own that make them the basis for yet another tawdry elite. After all, the solidarity we extend to one another, is it not itself a form of communism? And is it not so above because it is not coerced?

Another thing that might be helpful is to rethink our notion of crisis. There was a time when simply describing the fact that capitalism was in a state of crisis, driven by irreconcilable contradictions, was taken to suggest that it was heading for a cliff. By now, it seems abundantly clear that this is not the case. Capitalism is always in a crisis. The crisis never goes away. Financial markets are always producing bubbles of one sort or another; those bubbles always burst, sometimes catastrophically; often entire national economies collapse, sometimes the global markets system itself begins to come apart. But every time the structure is reassembled. Slowly, painfully, dutifully, the pieces always end up being put back together once again.

Perhaps we should be asking: why?

In searching for an answer, it seems to us, we might also do well to put aside another familiar habit of radical thought: the tendency to sort the world into separate levels—material realities, the domain of ideas or “consciousness”, the level of technologies and organizations of violence—treating these as if these were separate domains that each work according to separate logics, and then arguing which “determines” which. In fact they cannot be disentangled. A factory may be a physical thing, but the ownership of a factory is a social relation, a legal fantasy that is based partly on the belief that law exists, and partly on the existence of armies and police. Armies and police on the other hand exist partly because of factories providing them with guns, vehicles, and equipment, but also, because those carrying the guns and riding in the vehicles believe they are working for an abstract entity they call “the government”, which they love, fear, and ultimately, whose existence they take for granted by a kind of faith, since historically, those armed organizations tend to melt away immediately the moment they lose faith that the government actually exists. Obviously exactly the same can be said of money. It’s value is constantly being produced by eminently material practices involving time clocks, bank machines, mints, and transatlantic computer cables, not to mention love, greed, and fear, but at the same time, all this too rests on a kind of faith that all these things will continue to interact in more or less the same way. It is all very material, but it also reflects a certain assumption of eternity: the reason that the machine can always be placed back together is, simply, because everyone assumes it must. This is because they cannot realistically imagine plausible alternatives; they cannot imagine plausible alternatives because of the extraordinarily sophisticated machinery of preemptive violence that ensure any such alternatives are uprooted or contained (even if that violence is itself organized around a fear that itself rests on a similar form of faith.) One cannot even say it’s circular. It’s more a kind of endless, unstable spiral. To subvert the system is then, to intervene in such a way that the whole apparatus begins to spin apart.

XIX
It appears to us that one key element here—one often neglected in revolutionary strategy—is the role of the global middle classes. This is a class that, much though it varies from country (in places like the US and Japan, overwhelming majorities consider themselves middle class; in, say, Cambodia or Zambia, only very small percentages), almost everywhere provides the key constituency of the G8 outside of the ruling elite themselves. It has become a truism, an article of faith in itself in global policy circles, that national middle class is everywhere the necessary basis for democracy. In fact, middle classes are rarely much interested in democracy in any meaningful sense of that word (that is, of the self-organization or self-governance of communities). They tend to be quite suspicious of it. Historically, middle classes have tended to encourage the establishment of constitutional republics with only limited democratic elements (sometimes, none at all). This is because their real passion is for a “betterment”, for the prosperity and advance of conditions of life for their children—and this betterment, since it is as noted above entirely premised on structures of exclusion, requires “security”. Actually the middle classes depend on security on every level: personal security, social security (various forms of government support, which even when it is withdrawn from the poor tends to be maintained for the middle classes), security against any sudden or dramatic changes in the nature of existing institutions. Thus, politically, the middle classes are attached not to democracy (which, especially in its radical forms, might disrupt all this), but to the rule of law. In the political sense, then, being “middle class” means existing outside the notorious “state of exception” to which the majority of the world’s people are relegated. It means being able to see a policeman and feel safer, not even more insecure. This would help explain why within the richest countries, the overwhelming majority of the population will claim to be “middle class” when speaking in the abstract, even if most will also instantly switch back to calling themselves “working class” when talking about their relation to their boss.

That rule of law, in turn, allows them to live in that temporal horizon where the market and other existing institutions (schools, governments, law firms, real estate brokerages…) can be imagined as lasting forever in more or less the same form. The middle classes can thus be defined as those who live in the eternity of capitalism. (The elites don’t; they live in history, they don’t assume things will always be the same. The disenfranchized don’t; they don’t have the luxury; they live in a state of precarity where little or nothing can safely be assumed.) Their entire lives are based on assuming that the institutional forms they are accustomed to will always be the same, for themselves and their grandchildren, and their “betterment” will be proportional to the increase in the level of monetary wealth and consumption. This is why every time global capital enters one of its periodic crises, every time banks collapse, factories close, and markets prove unworkable, or even, when the world collapses in war, the managers and dentists will tend to support any program that guarantees the fragments will be dutifully pieced back together in roughly the same form—even if all are, at the same time, burdened by at least a vague sense that the whole system is unfair and probably heading for catastrophe.

XIX
The strategic question then is, how to shatter this sense of inevitability? History provides one obvious suggestion. The last time the system really neared self-destruction was in the 1930s, when what might have otherwise been an ordinary turn of the boom-bust cycle turned into a depression so profound that it took a world war to pull out of it. What was different? The existence of an alternative: a Soviet economy that, whatever its obvious brutalities, was expanding at breakneck pace at the very moment market systems were undergoing collapse. Alternatives shatter the sense of inevitability, that the system must, necessarily, be patched together in the same form; this is why it becomes an absolute imperative of global governance that even small viable experiments in other ways of organizing communities be wiped out, or, if that is not possible, that no one knows about them.

If nothing else, this explains the extraordinary importance attached to the security services and preemption of popular struggle. Commoning, where it already exists, must be made invisible. Alternatives— Zapatistas in Chiapas, APPO in Oaxaca, worker-managed factories in Argentina or Paraguay, community-run water systems in South Africa or Bolivia, living alternatives of farming or fishing communities in India or Indonesia, or a thousand other examples—must be made to disappear, if not squelched or destroyed, then marginalized to the point they seem irrelevant, ridiculous. If the managers of the global system are so determined to do this they are willing to invest such enormous resources into security apparatus that it threatens to sink the system entirely, it is because they are aware that they are working with a house of cards. That the principle of hope and expectation on which capitalism rests would evaporate instantly if almost any other principle of hope or expectation seemed viable.

The knowledge of alternatives, then, is itself a material force.

Without them, of course, the shattering of any sense of certainty has exactly the opposite effect. It becomes pure precarity, an insecurity so profound that it becomes impossible to project oneself in history in any form, so that the one-time certainties of middle class life itself becomes a kind of utopian horizon, a desperate dream, the only possible principle of hope beyond which one cannot really imagine anything. At the moment, this seems the favorite weapon of neoliberalism: whether promulgated through economic violence, or the more direct, traditional kind.

One form of resistance that might prove quite useful here – and is already being discussed in some quarters – are campaigns against debt itself. Not demands for debt forgiveness, but campaigns of debt resistance.

XX
In this sense the great slogan of the global justice movement, “another world is possible”, represents the ultimate threat to existing power structures. But in another sense we can even say we have already begun to move beyond that. Another world is not merely possible. It is inevitable. On the one hand, as we have pointed out, such a world is already in existence in the innumerable circuits of social cooperation and production in common based on different values than those of profit and accumulation through which we already create our lives, and without which capitalism itself would be impossible. On the other, a different world is inevitable because capitalism—a system based on infinite material expansion—simply cannot continue forever on a finite world. At some point, if humanity is to survive at all, we will be living in a system that is not based on infinite material expansion. That is, something other than capitalism.

The problem is there is no absolute guarantee that ‘something’ will be any better. It’s pretty easy to imagine “other worlds” that would be even worse. We really don’t have any idea what might happen. To what extent will the new world still organized around commoditization of life, profit, and pervasive competition? Or a reemergence of even older forms of hierarchy and degradation? How, if we do overcome capitalism directly, by the building and interweaving of new forms of global commons, do we protect ourselves against the reemergence of new forms of hierarchy and division that we might not now even be able to imagine?

It seems to us that the decisive battles that will decide the contours of this new world will necessarily be battles around values. First and foremost are values of solidarity among commoners. Since after all, every rape of a woman by a man or the racist murder of an African immigrant by a European worker is worth a division in capital’s army.

Similarly, imagining our struggles as value struggles might allow us to see current struggles over global energy policies and over the role of money and finance today as just an opening salvo of an even larger social conflict to come. For instance, there’s no need to demonize petroleum, for example, as a thing in itself. Energy products have always tended to play the role of a “basic good”, in the sense that their production and distribution becomes the physical basis for all other forms of human cooperation, at the same time as its control tends to organize social and even international relations. Forests and wood played such a role from the time of the Magna Carta to the American Revolution, sugar did so during the rise of European colonial empires in the 17th and 18th centuries, fossil fuels do so today. There is nothing intrinsically good or bad about fossil fuel. Oil is simply solar radiation, once processed by living beings, now stored in fossil form. The question is of control and distribution. This is the real flaw in the rhetoric over “peak oil”: the entire argument is premised on the assumption that, for the next century at least, global markets will be the only means of distribution. Otherwise the use of oil would depend on needs, which would be impossible to predict precisely because they depend on the form of production in common we adopt. The question thus should be: how does the anti-capitalist movement peak the oil? How does it become the crisis for a system of unlimited expansion?

It is the view of the authors of this text that the most radical planetary movements that have emerged to challenge the G8 are those that direct us towards exactly these kind of questions. Those which go beyond merely asking how to explode the role money plays in framing our horizons, or even challenging the assumption of the endless expansion of “the economy”, to ask why we assume something called “the economy” even exists, and what other ways we can begin imagining our material relations with one another. The planetary women’s movement, in its many manifestations, has and continues to play perhaps the most important role of all here, in calling for us to reimagine our most basic assumptions about work, to remember that the basic business of human life is not actually the production of communities but the production, the mutual shaping of human beings. The most inspiring of these movements are those that call for us to move beyond a mere challenge to the role of money to reimagine value: to ask ourselves how can we best create a situation where everyone is secure enough in their basic needs to be able to pursue those forms of value they decide are ultimately important to them. To move beyond a mere challenge to the tyranny of debt to ask ourselves what we ultimately owe to one another and to our environment. That recognize that none this needs to invented from whole cloth. It’s all already there, immanent in the way everyone, as commoners, create the world together on a daily basis. And that asking these questions is never, and can never be, an abstract exercise, but is necessarily part of a process by which we are already beginning to knit these forms of commons together into new forms of global commons that will allow entirely new conceptions of our place in history.

It is to those already engaged in such a project that we offer these initial thoughts on our current strategic situation.

Goodbye War Drum Major George

major-george-hutton-ppjpc-infiltrator-snoop.jpgThe vote is in, we send George Hutton packing. But not without a good eulogy.
 
Colonel George, as we liked to chide him, was known to the local peace community as a regular attendee, who usually near the end of a meeting stood up to tell us all we were wrong, and misguided, and a disgrace, we were giving aid and comfort to the enemy, etc, then he’d sit down. After long he didn’t need to say anything because his scorn, if ever soft spoken, hung over every discussion.

I recommended uninviting Mr. Hutton from the PPJPC (the planning sessions of all things!) and returning his membership fee for the benefit of un-muddling our energies, but well intended pious Netties lobbied to keep the door open, hoping someday he’d see the light. They didn’t see how their faith in George’s salvation was meanwhile sabotaging our otherwise elevated team spirit.

At a protest, I saw George, participating with us in his uniform, step toward the TV cameras and volunteer for an interview. Then, instead of speaking for us, he spoke against our pacifist message and characterized us as throwback hippie loons.

On another occasion, I saw George reduce a very gentle-hearted peace activist to tears with his spite toward anyone who would so insult the boys in uniform. Many of us tried to engage George, thinking his persistence at our events betrayed a guilty conscience about what he did in Vietnam, but George never did blink from his icy disapproving stare.

When online discussion on the PPJPC website commenced in earnest, George eventually stumbled across it and began spamming the comments with his passive aggressive vitriol. This resulted in indignant exchanges and led the goodness-gracious Nellies of the organization to ponder whether we needed such an uncivil thing as a blog forum at all. Sooner than have the disagreement-averse older crew scuttle the project I advocated banning George Hutton from the blog and we did.

But George petitioned and bent every ear, and now the PPJPC staff has overruled the board and so the pernicious troll returned. For some odd reason however, Major Hutton took the decision to mean he was sanctioned to comment on Not My Tribe too. At first I thought it best to draw his fire here, sooner than at the nascent J&P site. To his credit, despite his boorish admonitions about our “neg vibes,” George prompted wonderfully heated rebuttals. Until we became simply bothered.

Tony has stated the case plainly enough. Paid or not, George’s mission was to defend American Imperialism, re-justify Vietnam, and disrupt any antiwar talk. And frankly, he was doing quite well. Look at me, I’ve been lured into writing him a God-damned send-off!

George, this is not about Freedom of Speech. No one is entitled to disrupt the speech of others for the sake of his own. What you are doing is simply interference jamming. That’s not protected expression. You’re not interested in discussion, only keeping your opponent covered. Go find your own soapbox. Send us a link. If you make it interesting, we might check in on you.

No eulogy would be complete without a tribute. Here I excerpt George Hutton in his own nutshell:

Just so you know I had a TS, NATO, CRYPTO, ATOMIC, NSA-SI clearance. So know a bit. Was in the ASA too.

I was in the Army & Texas Guard.

I was in the Rangers (airborn) too. 3 full tours too. From 1964 – 66 & 70-71.

As for the trip to Cambodia, I was there. It failed due to comminist within the South Viet-nam military.

I went to OCS after 20 years as an enlistedman. Was E1 to E7 & O2 & finished as O4 with my military service. Skipped 2LT as I was #2 in my class. Was a NCO most of my service so I know about &*&%$# Officers too.

I did 2/3 of my time “in the field” traing Turkish & Greek military folk to advisor in Viet nam. So, do try to understand me, been there – done that.

What pearls of wisdom did Mr. Hutton offer NMT? How about this chestnut about the Greek isle of Lesbos (Lesbos is the origin of the word “lesbian,” having been home to the ancient poet Sappho who wrote about love between women.) But in George’s account:

Having been stationed in Turkey & going to Greece & islands the rumer is these folks did not like males very much. Ran the island & used the males then killed them keeping girl babies to keep the island going. Just bit of history.

Bye George.

Kent State remembers the 4th of May

Alan Canfora waves the anarchist flag before he was shot in the wristDid you think lone hooligans waving the Anarchist flag under the noses of police was a new thing?
 
On May 4, 1970, after several days of student protests at Kent State University, the Ohio National guard opened fire on the students, killing four and wounding nine others. Sparking a wave of campus revolts proclaiming “They can’t kill us all.” The Kent State students weren’t protesting the Vietnam War, but the just begun US invasion into Cambodia. Is this going to sound familiar? MAY 4 is commemorated every year.

White on Black- Mia Farrow Saves Darfur

Mia Farrow and her ‘Save Darfur’ campaign is coming to town in Colorado Springs! Here is Mia Farrow- Black on White in person blowing bubbles of concern to the children there in Darfur. It feels so good!

Those Mean Baddies in Kampuchea kicked her out of their country though. Apparently they didn’t really like her feel good American attitude about foreign affairs? Go figure? Ungrateful Cambodians… Don’t they know what the US has done for them?

But Mia knows that it is those mean ol’ Arab horsemen that are to blame for the problems of the world! She is not acting this time. Think goodness we can have the US State Department and Miami’s Holocaust Museum alongside Mia saving little children out there. It feels so good! Bad Chinese and Bad Arabs be damned! It’s super hero America to the rescue once again!

The lesson of Vietnam

As Congress voted today to approve funds for prolonging the bloodbath in Iraq, a vote which included a butt-load of Democrat shits, absolute idiots for shits, fork-tongued, pandering, corrupt asshole shits brought aboard last election selling the hope that they would represent the people and put an end to Bush’s fiddling recital while burning the US constitution over the fires of Holocausts unleashed on millions of Iraqis, Afghans, Palestinians, Somalis, Colombians, et al, the pretender-alternative party caving to the Necons for absolutely no reason, it occurs to me the lesson learned with Vietnam.

The lesson that Americans learned after being responsible for the deaths of millions of Vietnamese and Cambodians is that we got away with it. Shamed, chastized but ultimately let off, we forgave ourselves, forgot the deeds, Lieutenant Calley retired a midwestern jeweler, revelations of the Tiger Patrol’s atrocities obfuscated by miscreant swiftboaters, and Joe Public who went along, waved the flags, those who beat the drum, smiling, ridiculing voices who sought to get us out. What happened to those people. Nothing. They’re back. They’re doing the same thing, again, getting away with murder.

Clarifying a few terms…

Because some have expressed disdain at the mere thought of being considered right wing apologists… aka people who wish to accommodate and justify right wing philosophy, here are a few things to remember: Catchwords and phrases, talking points, something you might see on a bumper sticker; using these will probably get you tagged as a right wing loon. And in at least some cases the tag would fit perfectly.

examples: Love it or leave it (one recently) The Police are always right, If you have done nothing wrong why would you fear the police?, Support Our Troops, These Colors Never Run.

Recycling myths like: left wing liberals were the reason we lost in Nam… FALSE. Right Wing planners like Westmoreland, Johnson, Nixon, Al Hague, and the “Super Patriots” who supported them, were much more of a coherent and consistent reason for the loss of the VietNam War by the United States. The new crop of such losers is causing America to be drawn into yet another defeat.

Also contributing much to the American loss in VietNam was the courage and resourcefulness of the VietMinh, that’s Charley to some…

For those who don’t remember anything about it, these guys used a mix of primitive and modern technologies, small arms, improvised explosives and equipment taken from American, Australian, French and South Vietnamese soldiers, tactics which were also a mix of ancient and modern, to defeat the above named governments, even against a Shock and Awe campaign of greater magnitude than the one currently being played in Iraq.

Also like Iraq, there was never a war declared between the United States and The Democratic Republic (Hanoi).

Much as it pisses off those who see the POWs as uncompromising heroes, (some were) and the Hanoi Hilton as a hellhole, (it was) it should also be remembered that the Hanoi Hilton is about a standard in third world jails. And since the North Vietnamese didn’t do a “show trial” followed by an execution every time they captured an American airman, the treatment they accorded the Americans was one hell of a lot better than that accorded to the VietCong prisoners by the Saigon government.

a lot of Americans will scream loudly that American soldiers didn’t torture captured Charleys. Given the readiness these same people have shown to rationalize torture at Gitmo and worse places, i tend to doubt that. Probably not widespread but not nonexistent either.

But on the other hand, the Saigon government DID torture and summarily execute captured “terrorists” “rebels” “insurgents”.

Leave us remind everybody that the Americans captured in North VietNam and Cambodia and Laos had exactly the same legal status as the captured Charleys had in the South. No more, no less.

It was a combination of supporting an openly repressive government and the determination and resourcefulness of the “enemy” that dashed the American intervention in SE Asia.

The same things that are now dragging down America in South WEST Asia.

Empires are destined to fall, usually very soon after they are declared to be Empires. Such as the one declared by George Bush Senior when he proclaimed a New World Order, which is being dishonorably carried on by his son, King George the Incredibly Stupid.

Another talking point is that VietNam and Iraq were fought for American freedom.

They were not, nor has any war in which America has been engaged since 1814. To say otherwise is to propagate a myth, if you believe that myth, if you know it is false but say it anyway it is ramped up all the way to a Deliberate Lie.

The military did not fight for our freedom, they did not give us our freedom, or our rights, we do NOT OWE them our obedience, or the willing surrender of our rights.

Especially annoying (not to mention stupid) is the repeated attempt to make us believe that Freedom means we are free to do as we are told, to say only what we are allowed to say, and that we have some moral obligation to support the wars started by people who have anointed themselves our “Leaders”.

Some of my fellow Christians are of the strong delusion that God has commanded us to obey George Bush because he is supposedly “OUR” King.
This particular myth was also used by the Tories to denounce the Continental Congress and the rebels in the army during the Revolution.

It was shouted from pulpits across the Colonies by pastors, who, like Ted Haggard and Benny Hinn and Franklin Graham and Dobson… had sold their priesthood and their souls to a tyrant.

Here’s a quick formula to remember Shock and Awe = the use of fear as a weapon = Terrorism.

The proponents of Shock and Awe, like George and his supporters, are therefore Terrorists.

You don’t like that, try beating it out of me, and all the while try to forget that that too, is Terrorism.

Paying reparations will make US as poor as Chad

Noam Chomsky has just written that the US should pay reparations for the damages done to Iraq’s infrastructure by the US invasion and occupation. While I can’t disagree with the justice of this, doing it would make America as poor as the country of Chad.

And why stop with reparations for US damages done to iraq? How about paying damages done to Colombia, Haiti, Afghanistan, Yugoslavia, Panama, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Korea, Nicaragua, El Salvador, God can we stop now, though the list is still quite incomplete?

One of the most galling things about US war supporters is there constant refrain that they are supporting the constant war only to help Iraqis out! Just the other day on this blog a poster was spouting this line of crap, too. Plus, usually in the same breath they are condemning the Islamic community as being full of barbarians, all the while praying to their Christian God of War. Yes, they are on a great Crusade to help the heathen out!

So why don’t these people dig out THEIR pocketbooks, and make those reparations then, instead of playing stupid and pretending that they are bringing heaven to earth for Arabs? US war supporters have to be about the most shameless human beings imaginable. If there is a Christian Hell for hypocrites?, then they definitely got the ticket. And if we as a nation get forced to actually make reparations, then we’ll all be in Hell alongside them.

Vietnam vet selective memory

Laotian spear pierces American B-52 in this Cuban Poster about the US secret war in LaosAm I to deduce by your Vietnam Veteran cap that you served in the Vietnam War? May I say, of course, thank you for your service, and sorry for what you had to endure, and I would be interested to hear about it sometime, eagerly, but that’s it. Answering your country’s call to arms was honorable, but what your country did in Southeast Asia, by means of the guns it gave you, was not. Misguided would not even be the word, our leaders were warmongers led by munitions profiteers. Misguided was your role following criminal orders but you eventually figured that out.

Our profound national sense of shame for the Vietnam War was not even a question once the true nature of the conflict became revealed. As a result the war in Vietnam ended and our troops came home under a black cloud. Sorry, Mr. Veteran, about that cloud, nothing personal, but you could have considered the karma you brought unto yourself by participating over there. Anyway, you drew the short straw. Don’t now try to dress it up.

Don’t tell me now you could have won in Vietnam if it hadn’t been for the American people turning to peace. What? Left to do your job you could have killed millions more Vietnamese, Laotians and Cambodians enough to have subdued them? Is that what you’re saying? America’s decimation of those peoples wasn’t enough for you?

You [We] got your butt kicked by those determined Asians is what happened. Like every single anti-colonial movement in modern times, the occupied peoples prevailed. The American public pulled your asses out of that fire is what happened, lest you be killed but take 50 Vietnamese lives with you, many of them civilian. That was the ratio of our deaths to theirs. You apologized for that, and we’ll make you apologize again if you’re now going to change your tune.

Who would have guessed we’d have to give you nostalgic vets a kick in the pants again? What part of genocide, or atrocity, or travesty, or grand scale tragedy, don’t you understand? “Vietnam” as we call it, our war on the Vietnamese, was wrong, it was an incredible abuse of power, of our superior strength, of our incredible inhumanity. You were there.

Waterboarding not dunking

Click here to see the actual waterboardVice-president Cheney has just explicitly admitted that US interrogators use waterboarding as a method of interrogation. The decision to use it is a “no brainer” Cheney says, it’s not torture, referring to the practice as more like dunking.

Probably we all conjure images of the wooden see-saw at the water’s edge, where the Puritans sought confessions from witches. Others I guess envision the dunking booth at the school fair.

Neither would be correct. David Corn features an updated description of waterboarding, sent him from Jonah Blank, a former senior editor of US News and World Report. Blank attached pictures from the Tuol Sleng Prison in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, now a museum commemorating the Khymer Rouge attrocities. It’s the former site of a notorious torture facility. Of the many torture methods used by the Khymer Rouge, only two instruments are diplayed to represent the worst. Both involve water torture. One of them is the waterboard.

Water torture goes way back, and Dick Cheney of Halliburton and of the USofA are upholding its fine tradition.

Justice delayed, denied, for now

Not to worry, not to worry. The Bush and GOP plan to indemnify themselves from responsibility for their war crimes will be to scant avail. Let them pass whatever bill they want.

It’s true, justice delayed is justice denied. And it is depressingly ungratifying to see criminals legislate themselves legitimacy. But the representatives at the United Nations have settled for this delay before.

Not long ago our nation was at war with the people of Vietnam. Our imperialist interventions eventually turned toward the people of Cambodia and Laos in illegal acts of aggression. There was absolutely no other nation powerful enough to bring us to account, and because of our veto power on the Security Council, any number of Nations United could not condemn us or stop us.

The U.N. delegates settled for delayed justice. They said, in effect, we may not stop you now, but that doesn’t make what you are doing right or legal. They agreed that there would be no statute of limitations for breaches of international law, neither should any nation be able to exclude itself from the law’s jurisdiction.

In 1968 the U.N. General Assembly made explicit the universal jurisdiction of the war crimes conventions. The Convention on the Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity ensured that nobody could consider themselves beyond the reach of international rule of law.

Article 1, part (b) defines the universal illegality of war crimes, “even if such acts do not constitute a violation of the domestic law of the country in which they were committed.”

Article 4 reads that no nation’s laws can redefine what are understood to be war crimes, that “statutory or other limitations shall not apply to the prosecution and punishment of the crimes referred to in articles 1 and 2 of this Convention and that, where they exist, such limitations shall be abolished.”

The torturers and warmongers can delay their appointment with the hangman, but the scurryng around to jerrymander the law is a good sign. Bush and co are showing the discomfort of knowing that justice awaits.

Ahmadinejad and Hamas not denying Holocaust

Iranian president
No one is suggesting that the Holocaust didn’t happen, or that six million Jews weren’t killed by the Nazis. The mythology surrounding the Holocaust has to do with its aftermath: how the murder of six million Jews became justification for the creation of a Jewish state on land which belonged altogether to someone else.
 
That is the mythology about the Holocaust which natives of the Middle East would like the rest of us to contemplate.

Western media seems intent on perpetuating a distortion of the Muslim position. So intent are they to avoid questioning the legitimacy of Zionism that anyone who does is painted as a “Holocaust denier.”

No one is denying the Holocaust! And no one is calling for killing any more Jews! “Wiping Israel off the map” is a truncated translation of what the Muslim voices have expressed. It does not mean “off the face of the earth” or “eradicate” or “exterminate.”

Right to exist
Hamas is often described as not believing in Israel’s right to exist. It sounds so unreasonable. Everyone has a right to exist. But Israel is not a person, it’s an entity. Try this on for size. Does Jewish occupied Palestine have a right to exist? Did French occupied Algeria have a “right to exist?”

Algeria had a right to exist, and the French there had every right to exist, as a minority. And as we’ve seen with all former colonies, the majority population has an inclination to rise against its upper class oppressors. The west has of course the inclination to try to prop up those embattled regimes.

Israel was a nation created in 1949, carved out of the land of the Palestinians to make a home for European Jews. Israel is regarded by many as a last example of colonialism. White settlers laying claim to the lands of another people.

Now the Israelis are erecting a wall to separate themselves from the darker skinned Arabs. It’s an apartheid wall, and we’ve seen apartheid before. The Boers of Dutch ancestry no longer rule South Africa because the world wouldn’t stand for it.

Israelis have as much right to exist as anyone, as the Boers for example, but they don’t have a divine right to exist on the backs of their native brothers.

Apartheir wall   Israelis call it a “fence.” To construct it required demolishing entire Palestinian neighborhoods, often separating Palestinian farmers from their fields and orchards.
 
 

Off the map
When the Iranian president says he would like to wipe Israel off the map, he’s not saying he wishes to kill anyone. He didn’t say he wants to see Israel wiped off the face of the earth, he’s saying he’d like to see Israel off the map OF THE MIDDLE EAST!

Ahmadinejad even suggested that Israel relocate itself to Europe. If Europeans feel so bad about the Holocaust which they inflicted upon the Jews, why shouldn’t it fall to Europe to offer up some of its real estate for a Jewish homeland?

Ahmadinejad, like many Muslims, doesn’t see that it was Europe or America’s place to bequeath Ancient Judea to the present day Jews, a land which for the last two thousand years has belonged to non-Jews and went by the name of Palestine.

We all came from Africa. Does that give us a right to resettle it without regard to who’s already living there? Should someone resurrect Babylon, Alexander’s Greater Macedonia, or the Holy Roman Empire?

Hamas, and the PLO before it, speak of driving this foreign intruder from Palestinian land. The Muslims scattered the Israelites into Europe two thousand years ago. Now interlopers have brought them back and Hamas has pledged to drive them out again.

Imagine if America chose to return its Puritans whence they came, to England, where they weren’t terribly popular the first time. Perhaps the English would vow to expel the kill-joys once again to the New World.

As unreasonable as it was to redraw international borders to recreate a Promised Land, so too might it be unreasonable to undo the land grab of 1949. Perhaps the most pragmatic course of action would be to insist the Israelis and the Palestinians cohabit the promised land. They can govern themselves democratically and the chips will fall where they may. This age of enlightened democracy should have little patience for dogmatic racism and religious prejudice, from either side.

The world should be able to look upon these religious squabbles with impartiality. Although it seems Israelis are plenty worried that the secular west may not always grant Jewish fundamentalism more deference than its Islamic rivals. Therein lies the importance in not denying the Holocaust.

Holocaust myth
What peoples, among victims of genocide, have ever been granted their own ancient Promised Land as a redress for the genocide? None. Is this because the Holocaust was such a unique genocide? Indeed, to be labeled a Holocaust denier you merely have to be denying the uniqueness of the Holocaust.

When Iran president Ahmadinejad says that he wants to examine the myth of the Holocaust, he is threatening to challenge the prevailing Zionist interpretation.

Ward Churchill got in trouble with the Zionists because he wanted to compare the genocide of Native Americans to the Holocaust. He makes the case mainly because the policy of extermination conducted against the original inhabitants of the Americas is still denied, and as a result extensions of the policies persist.

I think the argument to prove Churchill’s point leads in an altogether different direction. This is because the Jewish extermination was not an act of imperialism against an weaker people.

The genocide against the Native Americans was like the systematic extermination of indigenous peoples everywhere: Australia’s aborigines, Indonesia’s Ache and Timorese. It is also the age-old mechanics of one people conquering another, like the genocide by the Turkish of the Armenians, and the recent actions of the Sudanese Arabs against their blacks.

The genocide against the Jews was class warfare upward. It belonged in a category like the Soviet and Chinese against their bourgeois and intellectuals, like the Khmer Rouge genocide of the urban Cambodians most of whom were ethnic Chinese, like the Hutu slaughtering of the Tutsies, like the traditional and recurring pogroms against Jews. It’s hard to say that even the Spanish Inquisition wasn’t after the usury profits of the Jews.

Thus antisemitism is less unique than its name implies, and resembles very much Marx’s class warfare where the proletariat is trying to come out from under its oppressors, or perceived oppressors.

The Holocaust is touted as religious genocide, hence the rationale for redress which honors their biggest religious wish: return to their Promised Land.

The Zionist count on the west’s continued support of that religious goal. They need an independent Israel with a homogeneous Jewish religion. They know that if they were to be integrated with the region’s present-day peoples, as a Jewish minority among Palestinians, they stand a good chance of being voted off the island.

So here are America and modern Europe, standing in support of a dogmatic religious group. It does not play well with others, and it insists in fact that it be segregated from everyone else, even as it usurps the land of others, and occupies adjacent lands under the pretext of its national security.

I have no doubt that victims of the Holocaust would themselves be shocked and shamed at the crimes that Israel is committing in their name against the peoples of Palestine.

Why America and Europe should side in religious solidarity with Jewish fundamentalists without sympathy for the Islamic fundamentalists is the consequence of believing a myth.