Tag Archives: Neoliberalism

Save Darfur was an Oil Play

I remember when you couldn’t throw a stick without hitting someone who didn’t want to SAVE DARFUR. And boy did they need hitting with a stick. All those high school and college students activated by OBAMA 08 lined up to add Darfur to their extracurriculars. Why? The usual manipulative pictures and imperialist propaganda. Sudanese refugees needed saving. Bleeding Hearts’ Burden. George Clooney was showered with activist laurels for playing Hollywood’s ambassador to Darfur. Soon enough pacifists were calling for military intervention, a “no-fly zone” but enforced with force. Denied, the US provided the military intervention covertly, and ultimately the southern fossil fuel rich portion of Sudan was lopped off for the multinational profiteers.

So Jon Stewart decides when an act of malice is too egregious to joke about? It’s called pandering, people.


Jon Stewart’s monologue last night was a moving response to the racist murders committed in Charleston on Wednesday. Dylann Storm Roof’s shooting of nine African Americans was hate crime and racism pure and simple. I cheered along as Stewart declared a comic intervention: America needed to sober up to the reality of its self-perpetuating racist crimes. I’m not sure Stewart could have reacted any differently, but his comedic turn was also a reminder for me of the manipulative tool the Daily Show has always been. World events are always filled with tragedy, which Stewart highlights and lampoons, so why is the Charleston church shooting more egregious than the mosques Americans bomb every day? Is Roof’s racism any more “home-grown” than our government’s? Does Jon Stewart decide for you when the laughter starts or stops?

I applaud Stewart calling for Americans to stop laughing about racism. #BlackLivesMatter #GodDammit! #GodFuckingDammit! Now I hope in his last shows Stewart can ask his audience to stop laughing at court jesters who provide escape valves for the horrors of systemic state-sponsored injustice.

Stewart followed up his Andy Kaufmanesque cold-open with an interview of Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai, the compelling child star of Pakistan, as balm for his being overwhelmed by the day’s trauma. Malala of course, the poster child for the machinations of the neoliberal globalists who need to enslave Third World young women to fill their free trade zone factories with Western-education-trafficked slave laborers. So if Stewart delivers the neoliberal agenda on a silver platter, who ordered the show-stopper?

Je Suis a Goddamn Neoliberal Meme… Je Suis Charlie, Neda, Kony, Save Dafur

40 world leaders march for Charlie Hebdo
A million people mobilized in Paris, including 40 WORLD LEADERS!? How long have their limousines been queued? I usually brag that our corporate foes can’t manufacture consent in the streets, except when they do.

I AM NEDA, KONY 2012, SAVE DARFUR, now JE SUIS CHARLIE are purely neoliberal consolidations of public support. They’re televised Nurenburg rallies masked as spontaneous demonstrations. Add “I AM ___” to “______ Spring” and colored revolutions as dead giveaways of psy-op inspired counterrevolution.

With NYPD turning their backs on their mayor and Westboro Baptists making the protest of soldiers look unreasonable, the choices are narrowing for activists who want to define their struggle with tactics not splooged upon by the lumpen knee jerk Fascists.

A woman approached me yesterday at an anti police brutality demonstration in solidarity with Ferguson. She agreed with the cause, but wanted to know why we weren’t also speaking out for abused children, for example those thrown off bridges by deranged parents. While child abuse has its systemic causes, the answer highlights what differentiates insurgent demonstrations from the false. People take to the streets to challenge power, not to gang up with power to further its oppressive agendas.

Duh. Except the lure of popular causes seems to be irresistable to social justice types normally starved for public support. I saw the “Save Darfur” project twist and fracture my local peace community. Obama Lincoln 2008 had the same effect, another socially engineered bandwagon.

I’m not galled by the hypocracy of world leaders “marching” in Paris, pretending to stand for press freedoms. I’m upset my the millions of Frenchmen duped into attending their photo-op. Those millions of Frenchmen in the same street should have trampled the World Bank kapos underfoot, instead of pretending the corporate cabal were people too.


(Remember when I AM NEDA protests failed to tie a viral snuff vid to false accusations of election fraud in Iran?)

TEDx comes to Dumbville, or, Colorado Springs reads Horton Hears a How

COLO. SPRINGS- TED-TalksTM likes to say it offers “a spa for your brain” and when I saw that an X-variant was coming to Colorado Springs (“TEDx”s are unaffiliated affiliates. Yeah, uh-oh.) I wondered if a spa might only be as good as its mineral water. Or its mud, or masseurs, whatever. Yes, I foresaw the inevitability of Dumbass Springs confirming its nature, but the lure of a train wreck was strong. I confess my expectations were lower still because incessent shared posts on Facebook have inoculated me with an aversion to the TED motivational formula, no matter the click-bait hyperbole they are AHA-moments For Dummies.

Typically a TED theme holds water for about as long as it takes to incubate a viral meme, but I wondered if in unedited presentation form, do they permit the scrutiny of live input from the audience? They are popular after all. A complementary pass offered the chance to see, and our local franchise had sold out. Could I gag the reflex of skepticism about TED’s curated plethora of inspirational vehicles? To my mind they never fail to carry water (Let’s cross the metaphors) for the neoliberal false-Left, its outside-of-the-box thinkers never truly asserting a POV remote from Capital’s doomed ship whose last exertions mimick being radically progressive enough to impersonate credibility, cross fingers spark hope. TED’s appearance of being crowd-sourced has already been eroded by its gatekeeping against populist lay disciplines. Its novelty was its social media distribution model, otherwise TED is merely another consent-manufacturing think tank of unchanged spots for the pedestrian academic. Will a local TEDx event outsource its attractions or will it local-source from luminary wattage? I ask because our backwater tradition is to elevate dimbulbs. When we mob Ticketmaster it’s for star talent of our ilk. Upcoming exhibit A: Dennis Miller. Ok TED, a full report to follow.

Is Haiti America’s Gaza?

OSPAAAL posterAs the US military descends to throttle Gaza’s -excuse me- Haiti’s points of entry, as it prepares detention facilities at Guantanamo to intercept and repatriate the expected rush of Haitian refugees, as the US protects its business interests in the Dominican Republic and Haiti which profit from the kept-poor labor market of captive Haiti, there are fewer differences than parallels. One difference, Israeli medics are willing to come help the injured of Haiti.

How did they get in, when every other charity has been forced to queue for the opportunity? Other national and private efforts had to wait behind US military convoys bringing soldiers before food, reinforced borders before help. By the time most medical care was allowed to reach the earthquake victims, surgeons were left with only the option of amputation. I’m curious how a captive labor population of amputees is supposed to benefit their Western overseers.

It minimizes the acute circumstances in Gaza to paint Haiti as a concentration camp with settlers waiting outside the fence for the inmates to exterminate themselves. I’m not aware that our white religious zealots are after anything but Haitian children, their souls or supplicant bodies. But the same prison population control strategies apply. When the Haitians elect populist leaders, we fund goon squads to assassinate them, or we kidnap them into exile. Where is that different? There is a Haitian diaspora as there is for the Palestinians. There is our exploitation of their resources and their labor. How fitting that America’s closest cohort sent medics in for the photo op, and quickly aborted their work before the same darker-skinned unchosen got wise.

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.

CC newspaper can misreport like a pro

While I’m picking on Colorado College, have a look at what passes for journalism the Catalyst:
Sarah Palin visits Springs
The McCain/Palin RNC speeches had already been exposed for lies by the time the two visited Colorado Springs. But the candidates repeat their earmarks/reform misrepresentations which reporters parrot without so much as a raised eyebrow. Even now the corporate media won’t call the GOP on their doublespeak. I guess neither will CC journalism students.

What kind of cheerleading did the students feel had been left out of the Gazette and Denver Post coverage? The reporter described the Colorado Springs streets lined on both sides with McCain supporters, without a mention of the prominent presence of the protesters. What a shame/sham.

No doubt a Communications Major now requires a class in UNETHICS. Who am I to judge students trying to qualify for jobs in today’s corporate state? Once more Colorado College students confirm their school’s common function as purveyor of Neo-liberal Arts.

I’d actually like to draw your attention to the article at the upper right of the front page, about the campus NEW ALCOHOL POLICY. While the drinking age in Colorado remains 21, Colorado College is relaxing its enforcement of underage drinking. This would be applicable to two thirds of the CC student body. Apparently being able to drink is a benefit the college would like to provide, regardless the laws of Colorado.

Colorado College has had its share of drinking fatalities, and neighborhood disturbances, but I guess having a campus conducive to partying would be too important to infringe upon. Especially as CC’s academic successes warrant their students being able to kick back.

Really, the college does have a stellar faculty, but even their assessment of the caliber of today’s students has perhaps become myopic. Unless the quality of America’s students as a whole has degraded to this untenable uneducable extreme.

Wake up CC alums, your campus is gone to the dogs. Drunken wet ignorant dogs. I can’t think of what could smell worse.

Anarchism as applied to washing dishes

WASH YOUR OWN DISHES via CrimethInc

CAPITALISM
You wash the dishes, the ones who own them profit.
 
ANARCHISM
We all share in the dishwashing.

DEMOCRACY
Even as a dishwasher, you deserve a say in which politician is best suited to protect the economy that keeps you in the kitchen.

NATIONALISM
Forget about those dishes for a second — you’re a citizen of the proudest hation on earth!

LIBERTARIANISM
You wash the dishes, the owner profits even more.

FASCISM
The Mexicans who washed the dishes are deported, the Jews who owned the place are imprisoned, and everyone else is conscripted for military service.

UNEMPLOYMENT
The only thing worse than being trapped in a dish room is being trapped outside one.

NEO-LIBERALISM (AKA “Free Trade”)
The dishes are shipped overseas to be washed and you’re free to develop your own combination of Unemployment and Nationalism

REFORM
Smaller stack, warmer water, longer breaks –same dishes!

SOCIALISM
Dishwashers’ wages increase just enough to afford higher takes

COMMUNISM
From each according to his means, to each according to his need –as determined outside the dish room.

MARXISM
Between shifts, the dishwasher studies the intricacies of dialectical materialism. It turns out that thanks to his efforts, the dirty dishes have been accumulating value for his boss to invest in more dishes. The stuff about the dictatorship of the proletariat is more perplexing, but the party theorists reassure him that it makes perfect sense to them. Under their direction, he joins his fellow dishwashers in a risky coup d’etat. Afterwards, he is distraught to find himself still in the kitchen, washing dishes for the party bureaucrats. The bureaucrats reassure him that they will eventually wither away.

SYNDICALISM
The dishwashers join labor syndicates that send representatives to a council, at which it is decided which dishes are to be washed and when.

ANARCHA-FEMINISM
You wash the dishes for the boss — who washes the dishes at home?

ANARCHO-PRIMITIVISM
Down with dishes!

ANARCHO-PUNK
Down with washing!

INSURRECTIONARY ANARCHISM
A quixotic attempt to distill a political theory from the practice of smashing dishes.

-Crimethinc