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Whiteness & Aversive Racism

Authoritarian Leftists | Kill the Cop in Your Head

The Anarchist Library

1996

by Lorenzo Kom’boa Ervin

Video: Police Brutality and Black Sellout Organizations | Published on Aug 14, 2014

 

It’s difficult to know where to begin with this open letter to the various European-american leftist (Marxist-Leninist and Marxist-Leninist-Maoist, in particular) groups within the United States. I have many issues with many groups; some general, some very specific. The way in which this is presented may seem scattered at first, but I encourage all of you to read and consider carefully what I have written in its entirety before you pass any judgments.

It was V.I. Lenin who said, “take from each national culture only its democratic and socialist elements; we take them only and absolutely in opposition to the bourgeois culture and bourgeois nationalism of each nation”. It could be argued that Lenin’s statement in the current Amerikkkan context is in fact a racialist position; who is he (or the Bolsheviks themselves) to “take” anyone or pass judgment on anyone; particularly since the privileges of having white skin are a predominant factor within the context of amerikkkan-style oppression. This limited privilege in capitalist society is a prime factor in the creation and maintenance of bourgeois ideology in the minds of many whites of various classes in the US and elsewhere on the globe.

When have legitimate struggles or movements for national and class liberation had to “ask permission” from some eurocentric intellectual “authority” who may have seen starvation and brutality, but has never experienced it himself? Where there is repression, there is resistance… period. Self-defense is a basic human right that we as Black people have exercised time and time again, both violent and non-violent; a dialectical and historical reality that has kept many of us alive up to this point.

Assuming that this was not Lenin’s intent, and assuming that you all truly uphold worldwide socialism/communism, then the question must be asked: Why is it that each and every white dominated/white-led “vanguard” in the United States has in fact done the exact opposite of what Lenin Proclaims/recommends when it comes to interacting with blacks and other people of color?

Have any of you actually sat down and seriously thought about why there are so few of us in your organizations; and at the same time why non-white socialist/communist formations, particularly in the Black community, are so small and isolated? I have a few ideas…

I. A fundamentally incorrect analysis of the role of the white left in the last thirty years of civil rights to Black liberation struggle…

By most accounts, groups such as the Black Panther Party, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, the League of Revolutionary Black Workers, American Indian Movement, and the Puerto Rican Independence Movement “set the standard” for not only communities of color but also for revolutionary elements in the white community.

All of the above groups were ruthlessly crushed; their members imprisoned or killed. Very few white left groups at the time fought back against the onslaught of COINTELPRO by supporting these groups, with the exception of the smaller, armed underground cells. In fact, many groups such as the Progressive Labor Party and the Revolutionary Union (now known as the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA) saw the repression of groups they admired, and at the same time despised, as an opportunity to assert their own version of “vanguard leadership” on our population.

What they failed to recognize (and what many of you generally still fail to recognize) is that “vanguard leadership” is developed, it doesn’t just “magically” happen through preachy, dogmatic assertions, nor does it fall from the sky. Instead of working with the smaller autonomous formations, to help facilitate the growth of Black (and white) self-organization (the “vanguard” leadership of the Black masses themselves and all others, nurtured through grassroots social/political alliances rooted in principle), they instead sought to either take them over or divide their memberships against each other until the group or groups were liquidated. These parasitic and paternalistic practices continue to this day.

The only reason any kind of principled unity existed prior to large-scale repression is because Black-led formations had no illusions about white radicals or their politics; and had no problems with kicking the living shit out of them if they started acting stupid. Notice also that the majority of white radicals who were down with real struggle and real organizations, and were actually trusted and respected by our people, are either still active… or still in prison!

II. The white left’s concept of “the vanguard party”…

Such arrogance on the part of the white left is part and parcel to your vanguardist ideas and practice. Rather than seeking principled partnerships with non-white persons and groups, you instead seek converts to your party’s particular brand of rigid political theology under the guise of “unity”. It makes sense that most of you speak of “Black/white unity” and “sharp struggle against racism” in such vague terms, and with such uncertainty in your voices; or with an overexaggerated forcefulness that seems contrived.

Another argument against vanguardist tendencies in individuals or amongst groups is the creation of sectarianism and organizational cultism between groups and within groups. Karl Marx himself fought tirelessly against sectarianism within the working class movement of 19th century Europe. He was also a staunch fighter against those who attempted to push his persona to an almost god-like status, declaring once in frustration “I assure you, sir, I am no Marxist”. It could be argued from this viewpoint that the “vanguardist” white left in the US today is generally ,by a definition rooted in the day to day practice of Marx himself, anti-Marx; and by proxy, anti-revolutionary.

Like your average small business, the various self-proclaimed “vanguards” compete against each other as well against the people themselves (both white and non-white); accusing each other of provacteurism, opportunism, and/or possessing “the incorrect line” when in fact most (if not all) are provacateurs, opportunists, and fundamentally incorrect.

The nature of capitalist competition demands that such methods and tactics be utilized to the fullest in order to “win” in the business world; the white left has in fact adapted these methods and tactics to their own brand of organizing, actively re-inventing and re-enforcing the very social, political, and economic relations you claim to be against; succeeding in undermining the very basic foundations of your overall theory and all variants of that theory.

Or is this phenomenon part and parcel to your theory? In volume four of the collected works of V.I. Lenin, Lenin himself states up front that “socialism is state-capitalism”. Are you all just blindly following a a dated, foreign “blueprint” that is vastly out of context to begin with; with no real understanding of its workings?

At the same time, it could be observed that you folks are merely products of your environment; reflective of the alienated and hostile communities and families from which many of you emerge. American society has taught you the tenets of “survival of the fittest” and “rugged individualism”, and you swallowed those doctrines like your mother’s milk.

Because the white left refuses to combat and reject reactionary tendencies in their (your) own heads and amongst themselves (yourselves), and because they (you) refuse to see how white culture is rooted firmly in capitalism and imperialism; refusing to reject it beyond superficial culture appropriations (i.e.-Native american “dream catchers” hanging from the rear-view mirrors of your vehicles, wearing Adidas or Nikes with fat laces and over-sized Levis jeans or Dickies slacks worn “LA sag” style, crude attempts to “fit-in” by exaggerated, insulting over-use of the latest slang term(s) from “da hood”, etc), you in fact re-invent racist and authoritarian social relations as the final product of your so-called “revolutionary theory”; what I call Left-wing white supremacy.

This tragic dilemma is compounded by, and finds some of its initial roots in, your generally ahistorical and wishful “analysis” of Black/white relations in the US; and rigid, dogmatic definitions of “scientific socialism” or “revolutionary communism”, based in a eurocentric context. Thus, we are expected to embrace these “socialist” values of the settler/conqueror culture, rather than the “traditional amerikkkan values” of your reactionary opponents; as if we do not possess our own “socialist” values, rooted in our own daily and cultural realities! Wasn’t the Black Panther Party “socialist”? What about the Underground Railroad; our ancestors (and yes, even some of yours) were practicing “mutual aid” back when most European revolutionary theorists were still talking about it like it was a lofty, far away ideal!

One extreme example of this previously mentioned wishful thinking in place of a true analysis on the historical and current political dynamics particular to this country is an article by Joseph Green entitled “Anarchism and the Market Place, which appeared in the newsletter “Communist Voice” (Vol #1, Issue #4, September 15, 1995).

In it he asserts that anarchism is nothing more than small-scale operations run by individuals that will inevitably lead to the re-introduction of economic exploitation. He also claims that “it fails because its failure to understand the relation of freedom to mass activity mirrors the capitalist ideology of each person for their self.” He then offers up a vague “plan of action”; that the workers must rely on “class organization and all-round mass struggle”. In addition, he argues for the centralization of all means of production.

Clearly, Green’s political ideology is in fact a theology. First, anarchism was practiced in mass scale most recently in Spain from 1936–39. By most accounts (including Marxist-Leninist), the Spanish working class organizations such as the CNT (National Confederation of Labor) and the FAI (Federation of Anarchists of Iberia) seized true direct workers power and in fact kept people alive during a massive civil war.

Their main failure was on a military, and partially on an ideological level: (1.) They didn’t carry out a protracted fight against the fascist Falange with the attitude of driving them off the face of the planet. (2.) They underestimated the treachery of their Marxist-Leninist “allies” (and even some of their anarchist “allies”), who later sided with the liberal government to destroy the anarchist collectives. Some CNT members even joined the government in the name of a “united front against fascism”. And (3.), they hadn’t spent enough time really developing their networks outside the country in the event they needed weapons, supplies, or a place to seek refuge quickly.

Besides leaving out those important facts, Green also omits that today the majority of prisoner support groups in the US are anarchist run or influenced. He also leaves out that anarchists are generally the most supportive and involved in grassroots issues such as homelessness, police brutality, Klan/Nazi activity, Native sovereignty issues, [physical] defense of womens health clinics, sexual assault prevention, animal rights, environmentalism, and free speech issues.

Green later attacks “supporters of capitalist realism on one hand and anarchist dreamers on the other”. What he fails to understand is that the movement will be influenced mostly by those who do practical work around day to day struggles, not by those who spout empty rhetoric with no basis in reality because they themselves (like Green) are fundamentally incapable of practicing what they preach. Any theory which cannot, at the very least, be demonstrated in miniature scale (with the current reality of the economically, socially, and militarily imposed limitations of capitalist/white supremacist society taken in to consideration) in daily life is not even worth serious discussion because it is rigid dogma of the worst kind.

Even if he could “show and prove”, his proposed system is doomed to repeat the cannibalistic practices of Josef Stalin or Pol Pot. While state planning can accelerate economic growth no one from Lenin, to Mao, to Green himself has truly dealt with the power relationship between the working class and the middle-class “revolutionaries” who seize state power “on the behalf” of the latter. How can one use the organizing methods of the European bourgeoisie, “[hierarchal] party building” and “seizing state power” and not expect this method of organizing people to not take on the reactionary characteristics of what it supposedly seeks to eliminate? Then there’s the question of asserting ones authoritarian will upon others (the usual recruitment tactics of the white left attempting to attract Black members).

At one point in the article Green claims that anarchistic social relations take on the oppressive characteristics of the capitalist ideology their rooted in. Really? What about the capitalist characteristics of know-it-all ahistorical white “radicals” who can just as effectively assert capitalistic, oppressive social relations when utilizing a top-down party structure (especially when it’s utilized against minority populations)? What about the re-assertion of patriarchy (or actual physical and mental abuse) in interpersonal relationships; especially when an organizational structure allows for, and in fact rewards, oppressive social relationships?

What is the qualitative difference between a party bureaucrat who uses his position to steal from the people (in addition to living a neo-bourgeois lifestyle; privilege derived from one’s official position and justified by other party members who do the same. And, potentially, derived from the color of his skin in the amerikkkan context) and a collective member who steals from the local community? One major difference is that the bureaucrat can only be removed by the party, the people (once again) have no real voice in the matter (unless the people themselves take up arms and dislodge the bureaucrat and his party); the collective member can recieve a swift punishment rooted in the true working class traditions, culture, and values of the working class themselves, rather than that which is interpreted for them by so- called “professional revolutionaries” with no real ties to that particular community. This is a very important, yet very basic, concept for the white left to consider when working with non- white workers (who, by the way, are the true “vanguard” in the US; Black workers in particular. Check the your history, especially the last thirty years of it.); i.e.- direct community control.

This demand has become more central over the last thirty years as we have seen the creation of a Black elite of liberal and conservative (negrosie) puppets for the white power structure to speak through to the people, the few who were allowed to succeed because they took up the ideology of the oppressor. But, they too have become increasingly powerless as the shift to the right in the various branches of the state and federal government has quickly, and easily, “checked” what little political power they had. Also, we do not have direct control over neighborhood institutions as capitalists, let alone as workers; at least white workers have a means of production they could potentially seize. Small “mom and pop” restaurants and stores or federally funded health clinics and social services in the ‘hood hardly count as “Black capitalist” enterprises, nor are any of these things particularly “liberating” in and of themselves.

But white radicals, the white left of the US in particular, have a hard time dealing with the reality that Black people have always managed to survive, despite the worst or best intentions of the majority population. We will continue to survive without you and can make our revolution without you (or against you) if necessary; don’t tell us about “protracted struggle”, the daily lives of non-white workers are testimony to the true meaning of protracted struggle, both in the US and globally. Your inability or unwillingness to accept the fact that our struggle is parallel to yours, but at the same time very specific, and will be finished successfully when we as a people, as working-class Blacks on the North American continent, decide that we have achieved full freedom (as defined by our history, our culture, our needs, our desires, our personal experiences, and our political idea(s)) is by far the primary reason why the white left is so weak in this country.

In addition, this sinking garbage scow of american leftism is dragging other liberating political vessels down with it, particularly the smaller, anti-authoritarian factions within the white settler nation itself and the few [non-dogmatic and non- ritualistic] individuals within todays Marxist-Leninist parties who sincerely wish to get away from the old, tired historical revisionism of their particular “revolutionary” party.

This seemingly “fixed position”, along with many other fixed positions in their “thought”, help to reveal the white left’s profound isolation and alienation from the Black community as a whole and its activists. Yet, many of them would continue to wholeheartedly, and retardedly, assert that they’re part of the community simply because they live in a Black neighborhood or their party headquarters is located there.

The white left’s isolation and alienation was revealed even more profoundly in the criticisms of the Million Man March on Washington. In the end, the majority of the white leftist critics wound up tailing the most backward elements of the Republican Party; some going as far as to echo the very same words of Senate majority leader Bob Dole, who commented on the day after the march that “ You can’t separate the message from the messenger.” Others parroted the words of House majority leader Newt Gingrich, who had the nerve to ask “where did our leadership go wrong?”

Since when were we expected to follow the “leadership” of white amerikkka; the right, left, or center without some type of brutal coercion? Where is the advantage for us in “following” any of them anywhere? What have any of them done for us lately? Where is the “better” leadership example of any of the hierarchical political tendencies (of any class or ideology) in the US and who do they benefit exclusively and explicitly? None of you were particularly interested in us before we rebelled violently in 1992, why the sudden interest? What do you want from us this time?

Few, if any, of the major pro-revolution left-wing newspapers in the US gave an accurate account of the march. Many of them claimed that only the Black petit-bourgeoisie were in attendance. All of them claimed that women were “forbidden” to be there, despite the widely reported fact that our sisters were there in large numbers.

“MIM Notes” (and the Maoist Internationalist Movement itself) to their credit recognize that white workers are NOT the “vanguard” class: yet because they themselves are so profoundly alienated from the Black community on this side of the prison walls they had to rely on information from mainstream press accounts courtesy of the Washington Post. And rightfully alienated they are; who in their right mind actually believes that a small, “secret” cult of white campus radicals can (or should) “lead” the masses of non-white people to their/our freedom? Whatever those people are smoking, I don’t want any! I do have to say, however, that MIM is indeed the least dogma addicted of the entire white left milieu that I’ve encountered; but dogma addicted nonetheless.

I helped organize in the Seattle area for the Million Man March. The strong, Black women I met had every intention of going. None of the men even considered stopping them, let alone suggesting that they not go. Sure, the NOI passed on Minister Farrakhan’s message that it was a “men only” march, but it was barely discussed and generally ignored.

The Million Man March local organizing committees (l.o.c.’s) gave the various Black left factions a forum to present ideas and concepts to entire sections of our population who were not familiar with “Marxism”, “anarchism”, “Kwame Nkrumah”, “George Jackson”, “The Ten-Point Program”, “class struggle”, etc.

It also afforded us the opportunity to begin engaging the some of the members of the local NOI chapter in class-based ideological struggle along with participating community people. Of course, it was impossible for the white left to know any of this; more proof of their profound isolation and alienation. At the time, despite our own minor ideological differences, we agreed on one point: it was none of your business or the business of the rest of the white population. When we organize amongst our own, we consider it a “family matter”. When we have conflicts, that is also a “family matter”. Again, it is none of your business unless we tell you differently. How would you like it if we butted in on a heated family argument you were having with a loved one and started telling you what to think and what to do?

This brings me to two issues that have bothered me since January, 1996. Both comments were made to me by a member of Radical Women at the International Socialist Organization’s conference at the University of Washington. The first statement was: “I don’t recognize Black people as a ‘nation’ like I do Native people.”

My first thought was “who the fuck are you to pass judgment upon a general self-definition that is rooted in our collective suffering throughout the history of this country?”

She might as well join up with the right-wing Holocaust revisionists; for this is precisely what she is practicing, the denial of the Black holocaust from 1555 to the present (along a parallel denial, by proxy, of the genocide against other non- white nations within the US). Our nationalism emerged as a defense against [your] white racism. The difference between revolutionary Black nationalists (like Huey P. Newton and the Black Panther Party) and cultural nationalists (like Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam) is that we see our nationalism as a specific tool to defend ourselves from groups and individuals like this ignorant person, not as an exclusive or single means for liberation.

We recognize that we will have to attack bourgeois elements amongst our people just as vigorously as we fight against white supremacists (“left”, “center”, or “right”). The difference is that our bourgeoisie (what I refer to as the “negrosie”) is only powerful within the community; they have no power against the white power structure without us, nor do they have power generally without the blessing of the white power structure itself. Our task, then, is to unite them with us against a common enemy while at the same time explicitly undermining (and eventually eliminating) their inherently reactionary influence.

The second stupidity to pass her lips concerned our support of Black-owned businesses. I pointed out to her that if she had in fact studied her Marxism-Leninism, she would see that their existence goes hand-in-glove with Marx’s theory that revolution could only ensue once capitalism was fully developed. She came back with the criticism, “Well, you’ll be waiting a long time for that to happen”.

Once again, had she actually studied Marxism-Leninism she would know that Lenin and the Bolsheviks also had to deal with this same question. Russia’s economy was predominantly agricultural, and its bourgeois class was small. They decided to go with the mood and sentiments of the peasantry and industrial workers at that particular moment in history;..seize the means of production and distribution anyway!

Who says we wouldn’t do the same? The participants of the LA rebellion (and others), despite their lack of training in “radical ‘left-wing’ political theory” (besides being predominantly Black, Latino, or poor white trash in Amerikkka), got it half right; they seized the means of distribution, distributed the products of their [collective] labor, and then burned the facilities to the ground. Yes, there were many problems with the events of 1992, but they did show our potential for future progress.

Black autonomists ultimately reject vanguardism because as the white left [as well as elements of the Black revolutionary movement] has demonstrated, it erodes and eventually destroys the fragile ties that hold together the necessary principled partnerships between groups and individuals that are needed to accomplish the numerous tasks associated with fighting back successfully and building a strong, diverse, and viable revolutionary movement.

The majority of the white left is largely disliked, disrespected, and not trusted by our people because they fail miserably on this point. How can you claim to be a “socialist” when you are in fact anti-social? How do you all distinguish yourselves from the majority of your people in concrete, practical, and principled terms?

III. Zero (0) support of non-white left factions by the white left.

I’ve always found this particularly disturbing; you all want our help, but do not want to help us. You want to march shoulder to shoulder with us against the government and its supporters, but do not want us to have a solid political or material foundation of our own to not only win the fight against the white supremacist state but to also re-build our communities on our own behalf in our own likeness(es).

Let white Marxists provide unconditional (no strings attached) material support for non-white factions whose ideology runs parallel to theirs, and let white anarchist factions provide unconditional (again, no strings attached) material support for factions in communities of color who have parallel ideologies and goals. Obviously, the one “string” that can never be avoided is that of harsh economic reality; if you don’t have the funds, you can’t do it. That’s fair and logical, but if you’re paying these exorbitant amounts for projects and events that amount to little more than ideological masturbation and organizational cultism while we do practical work out of pocket or on a tiny budget amongst our own, it seems to me that a healthy dose of criticism/self-criticism and reassessment of priorities is in order on the part of you “professional revolutionaries” of the white left.

If the white left “vanguards” are unwilling to materially support practical work by non-white revolutionary factions, then you have no business showing your faces in our neighborhoods. If you “marxist missionaries” insist on coming into our neighborhoods preaching the “gospel” of Marx, Lenin, Mao, etc, the least you could do is “pay” us for our trouble. You certainly haven’t offered us much else that’s useful.

To their credit, the white anarchists and anti-authoritarian leftists have been generally supportive of the Black struggle by comparison; Black Autonomy and related projects in particular. Matter of fact, back in October of 1994 in an act of mutual aid and solidarity the Philadelphia branch of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) printed the very first issue of Black Autonomy (1,000 copies) for free. One of their members actually got a little upset when I asked how much we owed them for the print job. In return (and in line with our class interests), we allied ourselves with the Philly branch and others in a struggle within the IWW against the more conservative “armchair revolutionary/historical society” elements within its national administrative body.

Former political prisoner, SNCC member, Black Panther, and Black autonomist (anarchist) Lorenzo Kom’boa Ervin credits the hard work of anarchist groups in Europe and non-vanguardist Marxist and anarchist factions in the US for assisting him in a successful campaign for early release from prison after 13 years of incarceration.

In no way do we expect you or anyone else to bankroll us; what I am offering is one suggestion to those of you who sincerely want to help; and a challenge to those who in fact seek to “play god” with our lives while spouting empty, meaningless rhetoric about “freedom”, “justice”, “class struggle”, and “solidarity”. To those people I ask: Do you have ideas, or do ideas have you? Actually, a better question might be: do you think at all?

IV. Bourgeois pseudo-analysis of race and class.

It only makes sense that the white left’s analysis of race and class in amerikkka would be so erroneous when you’re so quick to jump up and pass judgment on everyone else about this or that, but deathly afraid of real self-criticism at the individual or collective level; opting instead to use tool(s) of self- criticism as a means to reaffirm old, tired ideas that were barely thought out to begin with or by dodging real self-criticism altogether by dogmatically accusing your critics of “red- baiting”. Clearly, it is you who “red-bait” yourselves; as the old saying goes, “Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones!” Action talks, bullshit walks!

Some of the more backward sections of the white left still push that old tired line “gay, straight, Black, white, same struggle-same fight!” Nothing can be further from the truth. Sure, we are all faced with the same “main enemy”: the racist, authoritarian state and its supporters; but unlike white males (straight or gay) and with some minor parallels to the experiences of white women, our oppression begins at birth. This is a commonality that we share with Native people, Hispanics, Pacific Islanders, and Asians.

As we grow up, we go from being “cute” in the eyes of the larger society, to being considered “dangerous” by the time we’re teenagers. As this point is driven home to us day in and day out in various social settings and circumstances some of us decide, in frustration to give the white folks what they want to believe; we become predatory. This dynamic is played out in ghettos, barrios, chinatowns, and reservations across the country. Even those of us who choose not to engage in criminal activity, or aren’t forced into it, have to live under this stigma. In addition, we as individuals are still viewed as “objects” and our community as a “monolith”.

We then enter the work force…that is, if there are any jobs available. It is there that we learn that our people and other non-whites are “last hired, first fired”, that our white co-workers are generally afraid of us or view as “competition”, and that management is watching us even more closely than other workers, while at the same time fueling petty squabbles and competition between us and other non-white workers. Those of us who are fortunate enough to land a union job soon find out that the unions are soft on racism in the workplace. This only makes sense as we learn later on that unions in the US are running dogs of capitalism and apologists for management, despite their “militant” rhetoric.

Most unionized workers are white, reflective of the majority of unionized labor in the US; who constitute a mere 13% of the total labor force. This is why it is silly for the white left to prattle on and on about the labor “movement” and about how so many of our people are joining unions. That’s no consolation to us when Black unemployment hovers at 35% nationally; many of those brothers and sisters living in places were “permanent unemployment” is the rule rather than the exception, and many more who find work at non-union “dead end” service industry jobs. One out of three of our people is caught up somewhere within the US criminal “justice” system: in jail, in prison, on parole, on work-release, awaiting trial, etc as a direct result.

In addition, many white workers are supportive of racist Republican politicians, such as presidential candidate Pat Buchanan, who promises to protect their jobs at the expense of non-white workers and immigrants. What is the white left or the union movement doing about all of that?

It shouldn’t be surprising that the white left still preaches a largely economist viewpoint when it comes to workers generally, and workers of color in particular. This view is further evidence of not only your own deviation from Marx, but also from Lenin, by your own varied (yet similar) definitions.

Lenin recognized why the majority of Russian revolutionaries of his time put forward an economist position: “In Russia,…the yoke of autocracy appears at first glance to obliterate all distinction between the Social Democrats organization and workers’ association, since all workers associations and all study circles are prohibited; and since the principle manifestation and weapon of the workers’ economic struggle, the strike, is regarded as a criminal (and sometimes even as a political) offense.”

In this country, the distinction between the trade unions and revolutionary organizations is abundantly clear (even if some groups like the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) still fail to make the distinction themselves) and the primary contradiction within the working class is that of racial stratification as a class weapon of the bourgeoisie and capitalists against the working class as a whole.

Yet, the white Left (along with the rest of the white working class) fails to see its collaborationist role in this process. And this goes right back to what I said earlier in this writing about the need for a serious historical and cultural critique amongst all white people (and not just the settler nation’s left-wing factions) that goes beyond superficial culture appropriations or lofty, dogmatic proclamations of how committed you and your party is to “racial equality”. To even consider oneself “white” or to call oneself “white” is an argument FOR race and class oppression; look at the history of the US and see who first erected these terms “white” and “Black”, and why they were created in the first place.

I remember last summer, around the fourth of July, I had a member of the local SWP try to tell me that the American War of Independence was “progressive”. Progressive for whom? Tell us the truth, who were the primary beneficiaries of the American Revolution? You know the answer, we all do; only a total, unrepentant reactionary would lie to the people, especially on this point.

Howard Zinn, in his work “A People’s History of the United States”, points out how early 20th century historian Charles Beard found that of the fifty-five men who gathered in Philadelphia in 1787 to draw up the US Constitution “a majority of them were lawyers by profession, that most were men of wealth, in land, in slaves, manufacturing, or shipping; that half of them had money loaned out at interest, and that forty of the fifty- five held government bonds, according to records of the [US] Treasury Department. Thus, Beard found that most of the makers of the Constitution had some direct economic interest in establishing a strong federal government: the manufacturers needed protective tariffs; the moneylenders wanted to stop the use of paper money to pay off debts; the land speculators wanted protection as they invaded Indian lands; slave-owners needed federal security against slave revolts and runaways; bondholders wanted a government able to raise money by nationwide taxation, to pay off those bonds.

Four groups, Beard noted, were not represented in the Constitutional Convention: slaves, indentured servants, women, men without property. And so the Constitution did not reflect the interests of those groups.” (Zinn, pg.90)

Come to terms with your white skin privilege (and the ideology and attitude(s) this privilege breeds) and then figure out how to combat that dynamic as part of your fight against the state and its supporters. Your continued backwardness is a sad commentary when we uncover historical evidence which shows that even before the turn of the century some of your own ancestors within the white working class were beginning to take the first small steps towards a greater understanding of their social role as the white servants of capital. A white shoemaker in 1848 wrote:

“…we are nothing but a standing army that keeps three million of our brethren in bondage… Living under the shade of Bunker Hill monument, demanding in the name of humanity, our right, and withholding those rights from others because their skin is black! Is it any wonder that God in his righteous anger has punished us by forcing us to drink the bitter cup of degradation.” (Zinn, pg.222)

We can even look to the historical evidence of Lenin’s time. Prior to the publishing of Lenin’s “On Imperialism”, W.E.B. DuBois wrote an article for the May, 1915 edition of the Atlantic Monthly titled “The African Roots of War” in which he vividly describes how both rich and poor whites benefit from the super- exploitation of non-white people:

“Yes, the average citizen of England, France, Germany, the United States, had a higher standard of living than before. But: ‘Whence comes this new wealth?’…It comes primarily from the darker nations of the world-Asia and Africa, South and Central America, the West Indies, and the islands of the South Seas. It is no longer simply the merchant prince, or the aristocratic monopoly, or even the employing class that is exploiting the world: it is the nation, a new democratic nation composed of united capital and labor.” (Zinn)

Yet, the self-titled “anti-racists” of the left continue on with their infantile fixation on the Klan, Nazis, and right-wing militias. Groups that they say they are against, but in fact demonstrate a tolerance for in practice. Standing around chanting empty slogans in front of a line of police separating demonstrators from the nazis in a “peaceful demonstration” is contradiction in its purest form; both the police and the fascists must be mercilessly destroyed! As the Spanish anarchist Buenaventura Durruti proclaimed back in 1936 “Fascism is not to be debated, it is to be smashed!” There is no room for compromise or dialogue, except for asking them for a last meal request and choice of execution method before we pass sentence; and even that is arbitrary!

True, tactical considerations must be examined, but if we can’t get at them then and there, there is no “rule” that says we can’t follow them and hit them when they least expect it; except for the “rule” of the wanna-be rulers of the Marxist-Leninist white left “vanguard(s)” who only see the fascists as competition in their struggle to see which set of “empire builders” will lord over us; the “good” whites who regulate us to the amerikkkan left plantation of “the glorious workers state”, or the “bad” whites who work us as slaves until half-dead and then laugh as our worn out carcasses are thrown into ovens, cut up for “scientific purposes”, or hung from lamp posts and trees. You people have yet to show me the qualitative difference(s) between a Klan/Nazi- style white supremacist dictatorship and your concept of a “dictatorship of the proletariat” in the context of this particular country and its notorious history. So far, all I have seen from you all is arrogance in coalitions, petty games of political one-upmanship, and ideological/tactical rigidity.

Let’s pretend for a minute that one of the various wanna-be vanguards actually seizes political power. In everyone of your programs, from the program of the RCP, USA to even smaller, lesser known groups there is usually a line somewhere in there about your particular party holding the key levers of state power within a “dictatorship of the proletariat”. Have any of you actually considered what that sounds like to a community without real power? Does this mean that we as Black people are going to have fight and die a second time under your dictatorship in order to have equal access to employment, housing, schools, colleges, public office, party status, our own personal lives generally?

Look at our history; over one hundred years after the Emancipation Proclamation (the 1960’s) we were still dying for the right to vote, for the right to protest peacefully, for the right to live in peace and prosperity within the context of white domination and capitalism. Today, after all of that, it is clear that the masses of our people are still largely powerless; we stayed powerless even as public schools were being desegregated and more of our elites were being elected to Congress and other positions. The same racist, authoritarian state that stripped us of our humanity was now asserting itself as our first line of defense of those hard-won concessions in the form of federal troops and FBI “observers” (who watched as we were beaten, raped, and/or killed) sent to enforce The Civil Rights Act of 1968 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

As we have seen since that time, what the white power structure grants, it can (and will) take away; we can point to recent US Supreme Court decisions around voter redistricting as one part of our evidence. We can also look to the problem of mail and publication censorship in the US prison system (state and federal) that has come back to haunt us since the landmark 1960’s first amendment legal challenge to the state of New York that was won by political prisoner and Black/Puerto Rican anarchist Martin Sostre. And then there’s the attacks on a prisoners’ right to sue a prison official, employee, or institution being made by the House and Senate. Give us one good reason to believe that you people will be any different than these previous and current “benevolent” leaders and political institutions if by some fluke or miracle you folks stumble into state power?

No “guarantees” against counter-revolution or revisionism within your “revolutionary” party/government you say? There are two: the guns, ammunition, organization, solidarity, political consciousness, and continuous vigilance of the masses of non- white people and the truly sympathetic, conscious anti-authoritarian few amongst your population; or a successful grassroots- based revolution that is rooted in anti-authoritarian political ideas that are culturally relevant to each ethnicity of the poor and working class population in the US. Judging by the general attitudes and theories expressed by your members and leadership, we can be rest assured that it is virtually guaranteed that the spirit of ‘Jim Crow’ can and will flourish within a white-led Marxist-Leninist “proletarian dictatorship” in the US. It’s clear to me why you all ramble on and on about the revolutions of China, Russia, Vietnam, Cuba, etc; they provide convenient cover for you all (read: escapism) to avoid a serious examination of the faults in your current analysis as well as in the historical analysis of the last thirty years of struggle in the US.

These are the only conclusions that can be drawn when you all are so obviously hostile to the idea of doing the hard work of confronting your own individual racist and reactionary tendencies. When your own fellow white activists attempted to put together an “Anti-Racism Workshop” for members of the Seattle Mumia Defense Committee, many of you pledged your support (in the form of the usual dogmatic, vague, and arguably baseless rhetorical proclamations of “solidarity” and “commitment to racial equality”) and then proceeded to not show up. Only the two initial organizers within the SMDC and two coalition members (neither affiliated with any political party) were there. Make no mistake, I have no illusions about white people confronting their own racism; but I do support their honest attempts at doing so. Here we have a situation in which an ideological leap amongst the white left in Seattle may have been initiated; yet, the all- knowing, all-seeing “revolutionary vanguard(s)” of the white left were too busy spending that particular weekend picking the lent out of their belly buttons. Are we saving our belly-button lent for the potential shortages of food that occur during and shortly after the revolution [is corrupted by the mis-leadership of your particular rigid, dogmatic, authoritarian party]?

V. The bottom line is this: Self-determination!

For most white leftists, this means that we as Black people are demanding our own separate nation-state. Some of our revolutionary factions do advocate such a position. Black Autonomists, however, reject nation-statism [For more on that, refer to page 15 of any copy of Black Autonomy newspaper].

Regardless of whether or not the Black masses opt for a separate homeland on this continent or in Africa, we will be respected as subjects of history and not as objects that the state, its supporters, or the white left decides what to do with.

The answer to “the Black question” is simple: It is not a question; we are people, you will deal with us as such or we will fight you and the rest of the white settler nation…by any and all means necessary! We will not be cowed or dominated by anyone ever again!

Too many times in the course of American (and world) history have our people fought and died for the dream of true freedom, only to have it turn into the nightmare of continued oppression. If the end result of a working-class revolution in the United States is the continued domination of non-white people by white “revolutionary leaders” and a Left-wing [white supremacist] government, then we will make another revolution until any and all perpetrators and supporters of that type of social-political relationship are defeated or dead! Any and all means are completely justifiable in order to prevent the defeat of our revolution and the re-introduction of white supremacy. We will not put up with another 400+ years of oppression; and I’m sure our Native and Hispanic brothers and sisters won’t tolerate another 500+ years of the same ol’ shit.

Ultimately, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”; that’s the main reason I decided to publish this, as yet another humble contribution to the self-education of our people. The second reason is to, hopefully, inspire the white left to re-examine your current practices and beliefs as part of your process of self-education; assuming that you all in fact practice self-education.

Reject the traditions of your ancestors and learn from their mistakes; or reject your potential allies in communities of color. The choice is yours…

“It is a commentary on the fundamentally racist nature of this society that the concept of group strength for black people must be articulated, not to mention defended. No other group would submit to being led by others. Italians do not run the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith. Irish do not chair Christopher Columbus Societies. Yet when black people call for black-run and all-black organizations, they are immediately classed in a category with the Ku Klux Klan.”
-Kwame Toure (Stokely Carmichael), Black Power; Vintage Press, 1965.

For Further Reading

“Black Autonomy, A Newspaper of Anarchism and Black Revolution” Vol. #1, issues #1-#5; Vol. #2, issues #1-#3. 1994–1996.

Bookchin, Murray “Post-Scarcity Anarchism” Ramparts Press, 1971.

Ervin, Lorenzo Kom’boa “Anarchism and the Black Revolution and Other Essays” Monkeywrench Press, 1994

Jackson, Greg “Mythology of A White-Led ‘Vanguard’: A Critical Look at the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA” Black Autonomy staff, 1996.

Mohammed, Kimathi “Organization and Spontaneity: The Theory of the Vanguard Party and its Application to the Black Movement in the US Today” Marcus Garvey Institute, 1974.

Sakai, J. “Settlers: Mythology of the White Proletariat”

Zhenhua, Zhai “Red Flower of China” Soho Press, 1992.

Zinn, Howard “A People’s History of the United States” Harper- Perrenial, Revised 1995.

 

Source: Retrieved on 15 November 2011 from www.iww.org
Notes: Pamphlet produced by the staff of Black Autonomy, A Newspaper of Anarchism and Black Revolution. First printing, April 1996.

Argentina: la CIA y el Mossad en un intento de “golpe blando”

Buenos Aires, Argentina

por Stella Calloni

Estadounidenses e israelíes manipularon desde un inicio la investigación de un cruento atentado en Argentina en 1998. Por casi 2 décadas buscaron acusar a Irán, pero ni una sola prueba pudieron ofrecer. El último fiscal del caso reportaba secretamente a la inteligencia estadounidense los avances en la investigación y le consultaba el rumbo que tomarían las pesquisas. Con la muerte de este funcionario argentino, ahora Estados Unidos busca hacer una jugada de tres bandas: además de implicar al siempre incómodo Irán, ahora ha orquestado un “golpe blando” contra la presidenta Cristina Fernández. De prosperar esa maniobra, seguiría Venezuela, para debilitar el bloque de países suramericanos que han puesto dique a las ambiciones de Estados Unidos en la región.

 

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El pasado 18 de enero de 2015, el fiscal Alberto Nisman, al frente de la Unidad Especial que investigaba la causa sobre el cruento atentado contra la Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA) el 18 de junio de 1994, fue encontrado muerto con un disparo en la cabeza, en el baño de su departamento y con todas las puertas de su casa cerradas por dentro. Cuatro días antes había presentado una denuncia, sin prueba alguna, mal redactada y con serias contradicciones, en la que acusaba a la presidenta de la nación, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, al canciller Héctor Timerman, y a otras personas, de intentar encubrir a funcionarios iraníes acusados –sin pruebas– de ser culpables del atentado. En días se había puesto en marcha un golpe encubierto de origen externo.El fiscal había sido colocado al frente de la investigación en 2004, después de 10 largos años, cuando se cerró el más escandaloso e irregular juicio de la historia sin lograr encontrar a los culpables del atentado que dejó 85 muertos y centenares de heridos. Este hecho aparece como un eslabón más de un golpe en desarrollo, en el que participan un sector del aparato judicial argentino, la oposición, los medios masivos de comunicación junto a la CIA (Agencia Central de Inteligencia, siglas en inglés) y el Mossad, de Estados Unidos e Israel, respectivamente.

Para entender esto hay que entender de qué se trata el caso AMIA y conocer las graves irregularidades cometidas con la entrega en la década de 1990 de laa investigación a los servicios de inteligencia estadounidenses e israelíes, que operaron conjuntamente con el grupo de la Secretaría de Inteligencia de Estado (SIDE) de Argentina.

Investigación bajo control externo

El cruento atentado conmovió al país; el juez que quedó a cargo de la investigación en julio de ese año fue Juan José Galeano, quien comenzó su actuación bajo una presión muy evidente.

En sólo 24 horas, la inteligencia israelí –que envió sus hombres a colaborar desde las primeras horas del hecho– y la CIA acusaron a la República Islámica de Irán y al Hezbolá de Líbano, sin pruebas.

Sin haber iniciado la investigación, ofrecieron un testigo importante al juez argentino Galeano, quien viajó a Venezuela para entrevistarlo.

El hombre se llamaba Manouchehr Moatamer y se presentó como un ex funcionario iraní, que había huido de su país y que acusaba al gobierno de Irán de ser responsable del atentado, sin ninguna prueba. Sus declaraciones erráticas se derrumbaron en poco tiempo. Es decir, la CIA y el Mossad habían vendido a la justicia argentina un testigo falso.

Moatamer se había ido de Irán con su familia en 1993. Falta saber cómo llegó a Venezuela en 1994, y cómo terminó al final en Los Angeles, Estados Unidos, como «testigo protegido de la CIA».

La causa de Galeano siguió navegando en un mar de irregularidades. Pero aún en 1997, el juez fue nuevamente a ver a Moatamer, en Estados Unidos, quien nada agregó a su testimonio anterior. En 2008, Moatamer finalmente confesó que había mentido para obtener la visa estadounidense.

En 1998, nuevamente la CIA y el Mossad ofrecieron otro supuesto testigo, en este caso radicado en Alemania, Abolghasem Mesbahi, llamado el “testigo C”. Mesbahi había sido desplazado en 1989 de algunas tareas menores para la inteligencia iraní, sospechoso de ser agente doble. Se dedicó a la actividad privada y realizó una serie de estafas, tras lo cual se fue a Alemania donde se radicó desde 1996.

En ese tiempo, Mesbahi acusó a Irán de cada uno de los “atentados terroristas” que no se esclarecían en el mundo –lo que siempre sucede con los atentados de falsa bandera– como el de Lockerbie, Escocia, y otros.

El “testigo C”, que ganó fama por el misterio que rodeaba su nombre, vio una nueva oportunidad acusando a Irán, con la anuencia de los servicios alemanes, estadounidenses e israelíes de la voladura de la AMIA.

Sin pruebas, contó su versión en Alemania ante un juez nacional y el juez argentino Juan José Galeano, que viajó a ese país en 1998.

«Mesbahi declaró 5 veces bajo juramento en la causa, y en los puntos esenciales dio 5 versiones distintas y contradictorias de éstos, que no podrían servir nunca como prueba. Sólo dichos y palabras, y por supuesto, conjeturas y deducciones de inteligencia», resume el abogado Juan Gabriel Labaké en su libro AMIA-Embajada, ¿verdad o fraude?

El abogado Labaké, por cierto no oficialista, viajó a Teherán, Europa y Estados Unidos, reuniendo datos y entrevistándose con fuentes importantes, y finalmente llegó a la conclusión de que no existían pruebas contra Irán en el juicio de AMIA, ni bajo la dirección de Galeano, ni bajo la del fiscal Nisman, quien sólo recopiló y reescribió los expedientes de su predecesor, y les dio cierto orden pero siempre acusando a Irán, como ordenaron Washington y Tel Aviv.

El periodista Gerth Porter, de The Nation, escribió en una nota el 16 de mayo de 2010 que el embajador de Estados Unidos en Argentina en el momento del atentado a la AMIA, James Cheek, le dijo en una entrevista:

«Que yo sepa no hay ninguna evidencia real de la participación iraní. Nunca probaron nada.»

Lo extraño es que cuando Nisman acusa a Irán en 2006 ya se sabía que ambos testigos no eran creíbles y la justicia británica incluso había rechazado, por falta de pruebas, un pedido de extradición contra el ex embajador iraní en Argentina, Hadi Soleimanpour. El diplomático iraní estaba haciendo un curso en Londres cuando lo detuvieron en 2003 hasta que llegara el exhorto de extradición. Pero hubo que liberarlo en 2004 y pagarle una indemnización de 189 000 libras esterlinas.

También la Organización Internacional de Policía Criminal (Interpol) devolvió un primer pedido de alerta roja por falta de pruebas, y el segundo pedido en 2013, y que esta hasta estos días, por especial pedido del gobierno de Cristina Fernández de Kirchner y el canciller Héctor Timerman, tampoco tiene aún el fundamento de las pruebas que el juez Rodolfo Canicoba Corral le pidió a Nisman que investigara. Ahora se sabe que Nisman no había cumplido con reunir pruebas, sino solamente simples deducciones de inteligencia que no sirven a la justicia ni a la verdad.

El primer juicio de la AMIA debió ser cerrado por escándalos e irregularidades graves, una de las cuales consistió en que el juez Galeano, con apoyo del entonces presidente de la Delegación de Asociaciones Israelitas-Argentinas (DAIA), Rubén Berajas, pagó 400 mil dólares a un reducidor de autos robados, Carlos Telledín, para que acusara a diplomáticos iraníes y a policías de la provincia de Buenos Aires.

Estos últimos estuvieron 5 años detenidos y debieron ser liberados por absoluta falta de pruebas, sin vinculaciones con la causa. Así escandalosamente terminó ese juicio.

La enmarañada red de falsedades y mentiras, presiones e intereses que eran los expedientes de la causa del cruento atentado contra la mutual judía AMIA obligó a terminar con el juicio en 2004, y el entonces presidente Néstor Kirchner (2003-2007) exhortó a la justicia a avanzar, profundizando en la causa hacia la verdad.

Se creó entonces la Unidad Especial de la Causa AMIA, que quedaría por decisión de la Procuraduría en manos del fiscal Alberto Nisman, lo que sorprendió, ya que el propio Nisman también había sido parte del fracaso del juicio iniciado en julio de 1994 y cerrado 10 años después, sin haber logrado nada.

El caso Nisman

Nisman había comenzado en 1997 su camino hacia la actual Fiscalía, en Morón, provincia de Buenos Aires. En su historia hay un caso que marcó su camino y fue la investigación sobre el destino de Iván Ruiz y José Díaz, dos de los participantes en el fracasado ataque al cuartel de la Tablada en enero de 1989, dirigido por el ex jefe guerrillero Enrique Gorriarán Melo, durante el gobierno democrático de Raúl Alfonsín. Ambos detenidos, después del cruento enfrentamiento que dejó varios muertos y heridos, fueron vistos por última vez brutalmente torturados y llevados por militares y policías en un automóvil Ford Falcon.

Hasta ahora están desaparecidos, pero Nisman y un juez que lo puso a cargo de la investigación apoyaron la versión oficial del Ejército de que «habían muerto en combate» a pesar de las evidencias de su desaparición forzada.

En julio de 1997, el entonces procurador general Nicolás Becerra lo convocó para sumarse a los fiscales que investigaban el atentado contra la mutual judía AMIA, José Barbaccia y Eamon Mullen, por pedido expreso de ambos.

De acuerdo con Infojus Noticias de Argentina «el equipo de Nisman, Barbaccia y Mullen trabajó hasta el juicio oral, pero no terminó bien». Durante ese juicio por la llamada «conexión local», muchos testigos dijeron que ellos y el juez Juan José Galeano habían cometido una serie de irregularidades que se comprobaron.

Al final del debate, el Tribunal Oral absolvió al delincuente Carlos Telleldín, a quien el propio juez entregó 400 000 dólares para que acusara a funcionarios iraníes y a policías, con el visto bueno de Rubén Berajas, entonces presidente de la poderosa Delegación de Asociaciones Israelitas Argentinas.

En los fundamentos del fallo se acusó a Galeano –quien terminó destituido y procesado–, a su equipo y a los fiscales Mullen y Barbaccia, también procesados.

«En el juicio oral quedó demostrado que no se investigó absolutamente nada» en la Causa AMIA , afirmó a Infojus Noticias el abogado Juan Carlos García Dietze, defensor de Ariel Nizcaner, quien fue absuelto de haber participado en la adulteración de la camioneta Traffic, que supuestamente fuera usada en el atentado.

«Siempre hubo un tema parádojico: Barbaccia y Mullen quedaron imputados, y Nisman siguió a cargo. Es extraño», reflexionó García Dietze.

En 2004 Nisman, ya a cargo de Unidad Especial para concentrar todas las investigaciones vinculadas al atentado, se acerca a un hombre clave de la entonces Secretaría de Inteligencia del Estado, la antigua SIDE, Antonio Stiusso, alias “Jaime”. Éste había sido desplazado de la Causa AMIA por ser parte de las irregularidades del juicio, pero con Nisman recuperó un lugar de importancia. Ambos trabajaban con la CIA y el Mossad.

La Unidad Especial recibía importantes sumas de dinero para investigar. Pero Nisman sólo se dedicó a clasificar los expedientes de Galeano y continuó responsabilizando a los iraníes, sin haber producido, en los últimos 10 años, ninguna prueba para confirmar la acusación. Su primer pedido de alerta roja contra 12 iraníes, diplomáticos y funcionarios acusados, fue devuelto por falta de pruebas. Como sucedió con el pedido de extradición enviado a Londres contra el ex embajador iraní en Argentina, Hadi Soleimanpour, cuando la justicia británica devolvió la solicitud por falta de pruebas, indemnizando al diplomático en 2004. Una vergüenza para la justicia argentina.

Nisman y la Embajada de Estados Unidos

Durante 10 largos años, los expedientes que investigaba Nisman siguieron incorporando «informes basados en deducciones y armados» sin prueba real, imposibles de comprobar, que proveían la CIA y el Mossad, al igual que hicieron al proporcionar los falsos testigos.

En 2010, cuando se publicaron en Argentina una serie de cables secretos referidos al caso AMIA, del Departamento de Estado de Estados Unidos revelados por WikiLeaks, quedó en evidencia que el fiscal Nisman anticipaba las medidas que iba a tomar en esta causa a diplomáticos de esa Embajada.

Estos descubrimientos no dieron lugar a tomar una medida clave, la de separar al fiscal de esta causa ya que no se puede ser “juez y parte”, como sucedía en su relación de subordinación a Estados Unidos e Israel.

La pista iraní no lograba reunir pruebas concretas, pero sin duda favorecía los intereses geopolíticos de ambos países, que continúan intentando invadir Irán, enlazando esta situación con el anunciado plan imperial de un Oriente Medio ampliado, que significó invasiones y ocupaciones coloniales de varios países en esa región en el siglo XX. Jamás la inteligencia estadounidense o israelí debieron haber participado, monitoreado y armado la Causa AMIA.

En un despacho del 22 de mayo de 2008, desde la sede diplomática estadounidense en Buenos Aires, se especificaba: «Los oficiales de nuestra Oficina Legal le han recomendado al fiscal Alberto Nisman que se concentre en los que perpetraron el atentado y no en quienes desviaron la investigación.»

Eso fue precisamente cuando el entonces juez federal Ariel Lijo ordenó la detención e indagatoria del ex presidente Carlos Menem, de su hermano Munir –ya fallecido–, del entonces titular de la SIDE Hugo Anzorreguy, y otros, como el magistrado Juan José Galeano y del ex comisario Jorge Palacios, por encubrir el atentado.

Nisman no había informado de esa medida a la Embajada estadounidense como lo hacía normalmente. Otros cables de WikiLeaks demostraron que el fiscal de la Causa AMIA se había disculpado con los oficiales estadounidenses por no haber anticipado los pedidos de detención. Hay varios cables referidos al tema, publicados por el periodista Guillermo O’Donell.

Ya en 2013, Memoria Activa y familiares y amigos de las víctimas del atentado de julio de 1994 se pronunciaban por un alejamiento de Nisman de la Causa AMIA. En noviembre de 2013, en una carta abierta al fiscal, los familiares respaldaron el Memorándum de Entendimiento entre Argentina e Irán y cuestionaron «la falta de compromiso de Nisman y la inacción en la causa», por considerarlo «funcional a los intereses de los que siempre nos quieren alejar de la verdad».

El Memorándum de Entendimiento con Irán es un verdadero documento de política exterior que podía sentar precedentes en la resolución de conflictos sin salida, como era el caso AMIA. Se trataba de que los jueces de la Causa AMIA pudieran ir a Teherán a indagar, ante la presencia de una Comisión de personalidades reconocidas y neutrales, a los altos funcionarios iraníes acusados –sin pruebas– del atentado. Por primera vez se podría saber la verdad, fuera la que fuera.

Al cumplirse 20 años del atentado, el 19 de julio de 2014, los familiares de las víctimas no sólo reclamaron una vez más el esclarecimiento del hecho, sino que solicitaron formalmente que se apartara a Nisman del caso por «haber mostrado su total incapacidad para investigar en esta Causa», como denunció entonces Diana Malamud de Memoria Activa.

Irán siempre ofreció su cooperación, pero la CIA y el Mossad rechazaban toda posibilidad. Ningún país soberano en el mundo iba a entregar a un grupo de funcionarios acusados sin que se presentaran las pruebas necesarias a la justicia de terceros países. Incluso surgió de Irán una propuesta de crear una Comisión mixta, argentina-iraní, para investigar el tema AMIA.

En Irán no existe extradición y por eso el gobierno de Cristina Fernández de Kirchner trató de hallar un camino, que fue rechazado incomprensiblemente por el gobierno de Israel.

La DAIA y la AMIA, que habían apoyado en principio el Memorándum debieron plegarse al mandato israelí. La oposición argentina rápidamente se alió a este rechazo y surgieron jueces que declaraban la inconstitucionalidad de la ley, lo que era una aberración jurídica.

Irán quedó a la expectativa frente a esta situación. Lo que nadie sabía es que, con base en falsas denuncias, convertirían este tema en una maniobra golpista contra el gobierno de Fernández de Kirchner, el que más trabajó a favor de la verdad, como se puede constatar en los esfuerzos ante la Organización de las Naciones Unidas y en el propio Memorándum.

El 12 de enero de 2015, en plena Feria Judicial, e interrumpiendo un viaje que lo había llevado a recorrer Europa para festejar el cumpleaños 15 de una de sus hijas, el fiscal Alberto Nisman, al frente de la investigación sobre el atentado contra la mutual judía AMIA decidió regresar imprevistamente a Argentina, según él mismo comunicó a las amistades más allegadas en un mensaje de WhatsApp.

Sólo 1 día después de llegar a Buenos Aires, Nisman anunció que iba a presentar una denuncia contra la presidenta de la nación, el canciller, el diputado Andrés Larroque, dirigente del movimiento juvenil La Cámpora y contra 2 dirigentes sociales, Luis D’Elía y Fernando Esteche, por intento de presunto encubrimiento de los iraníes acusados mediante un pacto secreto con Irán por «intercambios comerciales», un pacto que nunca existió,.

Trama de guerra sucia

El 18 de enero, Nisman fue encontrado muerto, como se conoce, en su departamento. Y la rigurosa investigación fiscal continúa para no dejar ningún espacio de duda en su conclusión final.

La Feria Judicial permitía a Nisman elegir el juez, y buscó a Ariel Lijo, quien lleva causas creadas contra funcionarios gubernamentales por denuncias basadas en informaciones periodísticas y sin pruebas. El 14 de enero Nisman presentó la denuncia, generando un gran escándalo, sin aportar pruebas de sus incriminaciones, pero tampoco nada sobre el atentado que mató a 85 personas en 1994.

De inmediato la dirigencia opositora salió a respaldarlo, porque esta noticia les permitía montar un ataque brutal contra el gobierno en año electoral.

Prometía Nisman dar a conocer escuchas telefónicas (ilegales hasta ahora) para justificar su acusación, y el 19 de enero iba a hablar de su denuncia ante la Comisión de Legislación Penal de la Cámara de Diputados, citado por la oposición, aunque iba a asistir también el oficialismo, que pedía hacer público este evento, y no cerrado.

Las escuchas trasmitidas ilegalmente por un canal de televisión opositor de conversaciones entre dirigentes sociales y una persona de la comunidad islámica jamás podrían ser pruebas de nada. Pero el 19 de enero, la muerte de Nisman conmocionaba al país, atrayendo la atención también fuera de Argentina.

En las declaraciones que hizo ante la fiscalía, la ex esposa de Nisman, la jueza Sandra Arroyo Salgado, quien estaba en Barcelona, España, con otra de las hijas del matrimonio, señaló que Nisman la llamó el 12 de enero desde el Aeropuerto de Barajas, en Madrid, para decirle que debía regresar urgentemente a Buenos Aires porque su madre se iba a operar de un brazo y que luego iba a volver a Europa para continuar su viaje.

Arroyo Salgado dice haber discutido porque se negó a que Nisman regresara con su hija a Buenos Aires y convinieron en que la dejaba en el aeropuerto para que su madre llegara a recogerla desde Barcelona.

Se agrega a esto que la propia madre de Nisman, Sara Garfunkel, declaró en la causa que ella ya se había operado del brazo antes. Nisman había mentido a su familia en un regreso muy apresurado.

Por eso la pregunta es:
- ¿Quién llamó a Nisman tan urgentemente para presentar una denuncia sólo 2 días después de su regreso, nada menos que contra la presidenta?

La fiscal que ahora investiga la muerte de Nisman, Viviana Fein, a todas luces bajo intensa presión, dijo que el occiso había comprado el pasaje de regreso del día 12 de enero desde el 31 de diciembre. Esto abre entonces otra interrogante:
- ¿Por qué envió un mensaje de WhatsApp a sus amigos más cercanos, según transmitió la propia prensa opositora antes que la fiscal revelara la compra anticipada del boleto, de que tenía que regresar de forma intempestiva? ¿O era una trama ya urdida de antemano?

La incriminación fue la noticia bomba de comienzos de un año electoral y la diputada derechista Patricia Bullrich, de Unión Por Todos-Propuesta Republicana, organizó rápidamente que Nisman explicara la denuncia a una Comisión del Congreso.

Bullrich, quien habló varias veces con el fiscal antes de su muerte, está vinculada a varias fundaciones estadounidenses en Argentina, y de la misma manera la diputada Laura Alonso, destacadas ambas por apoyar a los sectores más fundamentalistas de Estados Unidos contra Cuba, Venezuela, Argentina o cualquiera de los países claves en la integración latinoamericana.

El domingo 18 de enero por la tarde, el fiscal Nisman fue encontrado sin vida, por su madre, llamada por dos custodios ante la falta de respuesta de éste. El departamento estaba cerrado por dentro, incluyendo la puerta de servicio, que tiene dos cerrojos; el de arriba, que podía abrir la madre, pero el de abajo tenía una llave trabada por dentro y debieron llamar al cerrajero para que la abriera.

El cuerpo de Nisman obstaculizaba abrir la puerta del baño. Tenía un disparo en la cabeza, una pistola y un casquillo de bala calibre 22 estaban en el piso a su lado. Una imagen desoladora. Tenía 51 años. Y los primeros resultados de la autopsia realizada por reconocidos forenses con presencia de expertos peritos determinaron que «no habían intervenido terceros».

Toda la información, incluyendo lo que se conoció después, mencionaba un disparo sólo a poco más de 1 centímetro de la sien derecha, lo que llevaba a pensar en un suicidio. La muerte se clasificó como «dudosa» hasta que se terminen las pericias, algunas repetidas para que no queden dudas.

La presidenta Fernández de Kirchner, en su primera carta en Twitter, nunca dijo que fuera un suicidio. Incluso lo puso en duda al escribir la palabra entre signos de interrogación. Y en su segunda carta sostuvo con mayor precisión que no creía en un suicidio. En todo caso en un suicidio inducido, y no precisamente por el gobierno, ya que en realidad es el gobierno el único afectado en este juego de servicios de inteligencia extranjeros y locales y de la oposición interna, mayoritariamente dependiente de Washington y sus fundaciones.

Desde Bolivia, el presidente Evo Morales definió certeramente esta situación: le pusieron una emboscada a la presidenta argentina, dijo al denunciar los sucesos.

Es de un simplismo aterrador pensar que a un gobierno a cuya presidenta se acusa sin prueba alguna, con una denuncia tan deficiente que ni siquiera parece redactada por el fiscal, podría convenirle la trágica muerte de éste.

La oposición política local, que ya armó varios escenarios golpistas en el país, se tomó el hecho como una bandera para acusar al gobierno. Los medios de comunicación y especialmente el Grupo Clarín, que se niega a cumplir con la Ley de Medios Audiovisuales que debe terminar con los nefastos monopolios mediáticos, comenzaron a especular confundiendo a la población, cautiva de ese enorme poder desinformador.

Es tal la intoxicación informativa, que nadie sabe distinguir entre el informe de la Fiscalía investigadora y los “juicios paralelos” que se escenifican en televisión.

Fue el gobierno el que insistió para que la reunión en el Congreso fuera pública, es decir, para que todo el mundo pudiera ver lo que se iba a debatir allí, lo que curiosamente la oposición rechazaba. Los legisladores del oficialismo desde el primer momento que Bullrich convocó la audiencia especial, afirmaron que concurrirían para interrogar profundamente al Fiscal con la determinación de llegar al fondo del asunto. La muerte del fiscal se lo impidió.

La muerte de Nisman está siendo utilizada de una manera perversa por los medios de comunicación opositores y por toda la red de desinformación mundial al servicio del poder hegemónico, intentando responsabilizar al gobierno en una de las campañas más duras que se recuerde.

El golpismo encubierto está siendo desarrollado por un sector del Poder Judicial, una estructura decadente que nunca se democratizó, y por los medios de comunicación masiva, la oposición y la acción de los servicios de inteligencia locales que fueron desplazados por el Ejecutivo y venían desde la pasada dictadura y antes de ésta. Pero, indudablemente, también por Estados Unidos e Israel.

El Estado israelí publicó en Estados Unidos un breve comunicado en la mañana del 19 de enero de 2015 sobre «la trágica circunstancia» de la muerte de Nisman, término que se utiliza para describir un suicidio; y el mismo día el secretario general de la DAIA, Jorge Knoblovits, dijo a los medios argentinos –como está registrado– que «creían que era un suicidio» y que esa entidad estaba preocupada por el destino de la Causa. ¿Por qué luego cambiaron de rumbo?

Siguiendo el lineamiento del Estado israelí, exhortaban a continuar con la Causa –como si alguien hubiera hablado de abandonarla– y además a llevar a la justicia a los culpables del hecho y continuar con lo que estaba actuando Nisman. Es decir –y esto no puede perderse de vista– mantener la acusación contra Irán, lo que significa continuar en el cerrado círculo que comenzó en julio de 1994 con pistas y testigos falsos. ¿Qué hay en las sombras de esta Causa?

En la escena del crimen

El colaborador cercano del fiscal fallecido, Diego Lagomarsino, “experto en informática”, contratado por Nisman con un salario inusualmente altísimo, fue a ver al fiscal el sábado 17 de enero. Él mismo se presentó espontáneamente a la justicia para decir que le había llevado un arma vieja, la pistola calibre 22 con la que luego se “suicidó” el fiscal.

Primero dijo que Nisman le pidió la pistola para defenderse. Pero en realidad Lagomarsino estuvo 2 veces al edificio donde vivía el fiscal, supuestamente seguro y altamente vigilado, como se ofrecía a los compradores de departamentos en ese lugar. De la última visita en la noche no hay registros de salida. La investigadora Fein dijo que, según lo registrado, Lagomarsino salió el domingo en la mañana, es decir, al día siguiente de la muerte de Nisman.

La denuncia publicada íntegra el día 20 de enero es absolutamente una pieza sin valor jurídico, por su redacción, sus contradicciones y la falta de pruebas. Las escuchas telefónicas ilegales, que un canal de televisión opositor dio a conocer también violando toda norma, no agregan nada, al contrario, resultan hasta pueriles. Reconocidos juristas señalan que aunque todo lo que se dice fuese cierto no constituye delito porque nada de eso se realizó.

El curioso –y desconocido en el medio– periodista colaborador en el sitio de internet del Buenos Aires Herald, Damián Pachter, quien en la noche del 18 de enero dio, por Twitter y sin avisar a su medio, la primicia de que se había encontrado muerto al fiscal Nisman, decidió irse del país argumentando «miedo». Primero sacó un boleto de ida y vuelta a Uruguay, pero de pronto apareció en Tel Aviv.

Pero lo extraño es que sale hacia Uruguay y sigue hasta Israel, donde dice que pidió refugio. Luego se sabe que Pachter es argentino-israelí y que viajó con su pasaporte de Israel.
- ¿Por qué pidió asilo, si era ciudadano israelí y estuvo 3 años en el ejército de ese país?

Lagomarsino también estaba gestionando la actualización de su pasaporte, para lo cual concurrió a las oficinas pertinentes el mismo día 12, cuando Nisman hizo pública su imputación. Inmediatamente tras la muerte del fiscal, las autoridades le retuvieron el documento y se le prohibió salir del país.

La sospecha sobre Pachter aumentó cuando dio a medios europeos varias entrevistas hablando de la persecución de periodistas en Argentina, donde los medios opositores publican notas insultantes contra la presidenta y otros funcionarios sin ningún problema.

Otro dato importante a registrar. El fiscal Nisman utilizaba un automóvil de alta gama, un Audi, de un yerno de uno de los denunciados como encubridor local en el caso AMIA, Hugo Anzorreguy, el ex jefe de la SIDE en el momento de la voladura de la AMIA. Y además ligado al ex agente de la CIA Frank Holder, de oscura historia en Centroamérica, que como tantos ex agentes de otros países manejan agencias de seguridad locales.

En Estados Unidos, los sectores más recalcitrantes como el republicano Marcos Rubio, Bob Menéndez y otros, acusan a la presidenta y al gobierno de Argentina sin prueba alguna, lo cual es una amenaza y una presión sobre la justicia local, la misma que ejercen los medios masivos de comunicación argentinos, que de diversas formas advierten a fiscales y jueces que esta causa, como la de la AMIA, tienen que tener los “culpables” que ellos determinen. Los llamados de esos legisladores, además, evidencian su conexión con la derecha argentina.

Quieren una destitución aparentemente “institucional” del gobierno, un golpe blando, pero con muertes. No quieren la verdad.

Además de golpear a Argentina en el mismo momento en que se acrecienta el golpismo en Venezuela contra el presidente Nicolás Maduro, intentan debilitar a los organismos de unidad e integración que se consolidan en América Latina.

Si algo faltaba al terminar esta serie, se conoció que el ex presidente, de Uruguay, José Mujica desmintió la versión de que un diplomático de la Embajada de Irán en Montevideo fuese expulsado 2 semanas antes por estar vinculado a la colocación de un aparente artefacto explosivo en las inmediaciones de la Embajada israelí en esa ciudad. Esa versión la publicó el diario israelí Haaretz y la retomaron varios medios en el mundo.

Queda entonces la pregunta que puede tener una rápida respuesta: ¿qué están preparando los expertos en atentados de falsa bandera en nuestros países?

- «Causa AMIA: el atentado de 1994 fue problablemente fomentado por un ex ministro argentino del Interior», Red Voltaire , 3 de julio de 2013.
- “Argentina’s President slams Israel Lobby”, Voltaire Network, 18 February 2013.
- « Mensaje de Cristina Fernández sobre el Memorandum entre Argentina e Iran», por Cristina Fernández de Kirchner , Red Voltaire , 8 de febrero de 2013.
- «Ataques terroristas en la Argentina 1992 y 1994: no fueron de origen islámico», por Adrian Salbuchi, James Fetzer, Red Voltaire , 28 de octubre de 2009.
- “Iran and the AMIA Bombing in Argentina”, by Belén Fernández, Voltaire Network, 26 July 2009.
- «El AJC acusa al Hezbollah de los atentados de Buenos Aires a pesar del fallo de la Corte Suprema argentina», Red Voltaire , 16 de agosto de 2006.
- «Fuga documentación clasificada de inteligencia sobre atentado terrorista», por José Petrosino, Oscar Abudara Bini, Red Tango, Red Voltaire , 27 de septiembre de 2006.
- «Se acusa a los musulmanes de los ataques a AMIA y la embajada de Israel sin pruebas», por Juan Gabriel Labaké, Red Voltaire , 4 de septiembre de 2006.
- «Investigando la bomba en la Asociación Mutual Israelita», por José Petrosino, Red Voltaire , 22 de julio de 2006.
- «¿Musulmanes o pista israelí?», por José Petrosino, Oscar Abudara Bini, Red Voltaire , 22 de julio de 2006.
- «Washington pretende rescribir la historia de los atentados de Buenos Aires», por Thierry Meyssan, Red Voltaire , 20 de julio de 2006.
- «Kirchner y el sistema de inteligencia argentino», por Jorge Serrano Torres, Red Voltaire , 26 de septiembre de 2004.
- «Nota del ministerio de las relaciones exteriores de Argentina, 25 de Agosto de 2003», Red Voltaire , 25 de agosto de 2003.

Da’esh : Washington’s Proxy Army Trained to “Occupy” Syria [Brookings Institute]

Libya 360

November 27, 2014

By Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya
Smoke rises from the the Syrian town of Ain al-Arab, known as Kobane by the Kurds, after a strike from the US-led coalition as it seen from the Turkish-Syrian border in the southeastern village of Mursitpinar, Sanliurfa province, on October 14, 2014. (AFP Photo/Aris Messinis)

Is the US planning the occupation of Syria by training an unconventional insurgent invasion force?

Think regime change in Syria is off the drawing board? Think again. The bombing of the ISIL or ISIS in Syria is part of a brinkmanship campaign leading up to a potential non-conventional invasion, parallel to the re-introduction of the US military to Iraq.

The ISIL and the other anti-government forces in Iraq and Syria are not the only ones to disregard the Iraqi-Syrian border drawn by the British and French by Sykes-Picot in 1916. The US also disregarded the border and international law when it began to illegally bomb Syria.

The bombing campaign was not enough for some in the US Congress. In a joint statement on September 23, the arch-hawks US Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham called for US troops to be sent into Syria too. Both of them praised the Pentagon’s illegal airstrikes in Syria and then argued for US ground troops as well.

Although McCain and Graham went out of their way to say that this would not be an occupation of either Syria or Iraq, this is almost exactly what they were calling for when they said that the military campaign had to also be directed against the Syrian government.

Since, and even before the calls for an invasion of Syria by McCain and Graham different suggestions have circulated about an invasion of Syria.

The dilemma is that Washington does not want the Pentagon to directly invade Syria itself. It wants to pull the strings while another force does the work on the ground. Candidates for an outsourced invasion of Syria include the Turkish military or other US regional allies. There, however is also an impasse here as Washington’s allies are also afraid of the consequences of an invasion of Syria.

This is where a third opinion comes into the picture: the construction of a multinational insurgent army by the US.

Using non-state actors to invade and occupy Syria

While there seems to be no consensus on a Syrian strategy within the US political, intelligence, and military establishments, the objective of regime change is universally adhered to across the board. Regardless of the existence of a consensus, the US is moving ahead with the creation of an anti-government invasion force.

The third option is slowly emerging.

A few days after the US began the bombing of Syria, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey made it clear that the Pentagon also planned on creating a viable anti-government army in Syria consisting of 12,000 to 15,000 insurgents.

There also seems to be a growing consensus among the realist and neocons for US President Obama’s preference of using a rebel army to invade Syria. The Brookings Institute has been a major cheerleader for this.

During this same timeframe, the Brookings Institute released an opinion piece clearly calling for US intervention. The text, authored, by former CIA analyst for monitoring the Persian Gulf and US National Security Council official Kenneth Pollack, stipulated that Washington’s “strategy cannot require sending U.S. troops into combat. Funds, advisers, and even air power are all fair game — but only insofar as they do not lead to American boots on the ground.”

Pollack played an influential role in getting support for the illegal 2003 invasion of Iraq. He worked at the Council of Foreign Relations as its director of national security studies. He made the above statement as the director of research for the Saban Center for Middle East Policy and goes well beyond it by publishing a drawn-out October 2014 proposal for creating a US-made rebel invasion force as a means of taking over Syria and eventually conducting regime change in Damascus.

The Brookings Institute proposal suggests that a rebel Syrian army “is best not done in Syria itself. At least not at first” (p.9). The report points to the US and NATO success in “covertly” creating armed forces around the world, including the assembly of a Croat military, and deduces that these experiences would make it “entirely realistic for the United States to build a new Syrian opposition army” (p.8). It also says that the ideology of the fighters does not matter by stating the following: “A great many of those recruited may well be religious, even highly religious, including Salafist. That is not the issue” (p.9).

Welcome to the Brookings Institute and its Saban Center

What is the Brookings Institute exactly and why do suggestions from this think tank and others like it, matter?

The Brookings Institute is an influential think tank that has a revolving door of personnel with the US government and major corporations. All that one needs to do is look at its trustees and executives, which include interlocked directorships with the Carlyle Group, Goldman Sachs, and JP Morgan Chase.

Brookings also has ties to Israel and a full branch dedicated to Washington’s Middle East strategies and policies called the Saban Centre for Middle East Policy. Martin Indyk – the former US ambassador to Israel, a former high-level lobbyist for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), and the founder of AIPAC’s research arm (the Washington Institute for Near East Policy) – is the Director of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings. Like Indyk, Kenneth Pollack was involved in shaping the Middle East policies of the Clinton Administration.

It is also worth noting that the Brookings Institute’s Saban Center is named after US-Israeli businessman and media mogul Haim Saban. Saban himself is on the board of trustees for Brookings.

There is a Qatari connection too. One may remember that Washington was hostile towards Al Jazeera when it first emerged as a news broadcaster, because of its coverage of US actions in the Middle East.

Saban tried to buy half of the Al Jazeera network from Qatar in 2004 and 2009, but failed. In the same timeframe as the 2003 Anglo-American invasion of Iraq, the first set of negotiations happened when he went to Qatar with Bill Clinton in 2003.

It is possible that Brookings may have played a role in pacifying Al Jazeera. In 2009, the Institute setup an overseas branch in Qatar called the Brookings Doha Center. The new chapter in Doha included Qatar’s ruling Al-Thani family alongside people like Madeleine Albright, Zbigniew Brzezinski, and Fareed Zakaria as chairs and advisors.

It was in the same year that the Brookings Institute published a report, which included Pollack and Indyk as authors, called Which Path to Persia? The report outlined a map for confronting Iran and alluded to the neutralization of Syria, in one way or another (including the procurement of a peace agreement with Damascus by Israel), to “mitigate blowback” from Lebanon’s Hezbollah and the Palestinians, specifically Hamas, as a prerequisite for an enabling an attack on Iran.

All in all, the ideas that come out of the Brookings Institute are discussed at the highest levels within policymaking and corporate circles.

Is the Syrian Invasion Force Slowly Emerging?

Is a rebel invasion force emerging to attack Syria? In no uncertain terms, Brookings argues that it is.

Pollack’s report stipulates the following: “Adopting such a strategy would mean first and foremost that Washington would have to commit itself to building a new Syrian army that will rule Syria when the war is over. Although [Obama’s] description of his new Syria policy was more modest and tepid than his explanation of the Iraq piece of the strategy, he does appear to have committed the United States to just that course. More than that, it will mean putting the resources, prestige and credibility of the United States behind this effort. The $500 million now appropriated is a good start, but it is only a down payment on a much larger project” (p.8).

The US goal of training rebels in Saudi Arabia and Turkey is an indication of this too. On September 10, about two weeks before it started bombing Syria, Washington declared that Saudi Arabia had given it the green light to train a rebel army in the Arabian Peninsula. “We now have the commitment from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to be a full partner in this effort — the train-and-equip program — to host that program,” one official was quoted as saying by the New York Times.

The Brookings Institute in its proposal for an invasion of Syria: “The Saudi offer to provide facilities to train 10,000 Syrian opposition fighters is one of reasonable possibility, although one of Syria’s neighbors would probably be preferable. Jordan already serves as a training ground for America’s current training program and it would be an ideal locale to build a real Syrian army. However, Turkey could also conceivably serve that purpose if the Turks were willing” (p.10).

About two months later, in November, after US Vice President Joe Biden met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul, it was announced that Kirsehir would be used by Turkey to train Syrian anti-government forces that the US would equip against Damascus.

The report also makes it clear that building the new opposition army “should not mean bolstering the existing ‘Free Syrian Army’” (p.10). Instead, the existing US-backed insurgent groups will slowly be swallowed or destroyed by the new opposition force that the US and its allies are constructing.

In mid-November, the Pentagon also presented a proposal to the US Congress, saying that it wants to arm Iraqi tribesmen with Kalashnikov rifles, rocked propelled grenades, and mortars. What is omitted is the cross-border dispersion of these tribes in both Iraq and Syria and the possibility that these weapons could be used in an attack on the Syrian government.

What moderates?

The talk about supporting “moderates” is very misleading. It is already clear that the ideology of the proposed insurgent army is not a key issue in practice for many US officials. There is also enough evidence to show that the Free Syrian Army, Al-Nusra, the ISIL, and the other insurgent forces are also collaborating and trading fighters.

The Telegraph, for example, had this to say on November 10 about Saddam Jamal, a US-backed Free Syrian Army commander that became an ISIL commander: “Before joining ISIL, Jamal had been a drug dealer, then a commander in the western-backed Free Syrian Army, claiming contacts in the CIA.

It is also clear that religion is a mask for the ISIL too. The same British article writes the following testimony from Saddam Jamal’s body guard about his massacre of a Syrian family: “The ISIL commander felt no remorse for killing this Syrian family, his bodyguard said, nor did he believe he was fulfilling a God-given creed: for him being a member of the extremist group was a matter of business, not religion.

In the end the ISIL may be used to incubate fighters or collapse, like the Free Syrian Army, into the proposed invasion force to occupy Syria.

Invasion army or armies?

General Dempsey said that “the anti-ISIL campaign could take several years to accomplish.” Leon Panetta, the former head of the CIA and Pentagon, has also claimed that this war will turn into a thirty-year US military project that will extend to North Africa, West Africa, and the Horn of Africa.

According to Brookings: “At some point, such a new Syrian army would have to move into Syria, but only when it was ready. Only when a force large enough to conquer and hold territory – something on the order of two to three brigades -were ready should it be sent in” (p.11).

A war of attrition that that will take years of fighting is underway. This matches up with the ideas about training an insurgent invasion force over the years.

In their joint statement Senators McCain and Graham said that President Bashar Assad will not stop fighting the so-called “moderate” US-backed insurgents “that remain committed to his ousting- especially when the United States and [its] partners still, correctly, share the same goal and will now be arming and training Assad’s moderate opponents.” In other words, the US-trained Syrian forces will ultimately target the Syrian government.

 

[Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya is a sociologist, award-winning author and geopolitical analyst.]

Obama’s Legacy: Permanent War and Liberal/Radical Accommodation?

Black Agenda Report

February 18, 2015

by BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka

“African American radicals – unlike many white radicals – cannot afford the luxury of being unclear about the nature and interests of the white supremacist, patriarchal, colonial/capitalist order.”

The announcement by the Obama administration that it will seek congressional authorization to expand the war on ISIS in Syria and possibly send more heavy weapons to its client government in Ukraine did not generate the kind of muscular opposition and sense of urgency that one would expect from the anti-interventionist liberals and significant sectors of what use to be the anti-imperialist and anti-war left.

Outside of a few articles written by some of us confined to the marginalized and shrinking left, the reports that the administration was considering both of these courses of action were met with passing indifference. It is as if the capitalist oligarchy’s strategy of permanent war has been accepted as a fait-accompi by the general public and even significant numbers of the left.

The fact that the U.S. President could launch military attacks in Syria, supposedly a sovereign state and member of the United Nations, for six months without any legal justification and not face fierce criticism in the U.S. and internationally demonstrates the embrace of lawlessness that characterizes the current epoch of Western imperialist domination.

And the acquiescence of much of the left in the U.S. and Europe on the issue of Syria and the U.S.-supported coup in Ukraine reveals the moderating and accommodating forces within the faux left that attempts to bully and intimidate anti-imperialist critics.

To oppose the dismemberment of Syria or criticize the dangerous collaboration between the U.S. and racist neo-Nazi elements in Ukraine was reduced to the silly and intellectually lazy arguments that one was “pro-Assad” or a dupe for Putin!

“It is as if the capitalist oligarchy’s strategy of permanent war has been accepted as a fait-accompi by the general public and even significant numbers of the left.”

The current ideological environment did not evolve by accident or by the particular confluence of historical events. The disappearance of anti-imperialism among the cosmopolitan left in the U.S. and Western Europe is reflective of a monumental ideological accomplishment by the propagandists of empire. The professional propagandists of empire and Western dominance were able to adroitly “introject” into the center of the radical world-view and consciousness a liberal ideological framework that privileged “anti-authoritarianism over anti-imperialism.

The political consequence of this shift in consciousness has been disastrous for oppositional left politics throughout the West but particularly in the U.S. As the U.S. increasingly turned to lawless violence to advance its interests over the last seven years of the presidency of Barack Obama, “leftists” in the U.S. objectively aligned themselves with the U.S./EU/NATO axis of domination through their silence or outright support in the name of opposing authoritarian regimes.

The human consequence of this collaboration with U.S. and Western militarization by progressive forces in the U.S. and Europe has translated into unrestrained violent interventions from Libya to Syria and back to Iraq. Along with the escalations of direct military interventions, economic warfare and subversion directed at the state and people of Iran, Russia, Venezuela, and other progressive states in Latin America has resulted in the unnecessary suffering of millions.

And while the left and millions of Europeans will mobilize to condemn the 17 lives lost in the incident in Paris and defend “Western values,” there is no massive moral outrage from the Western public for the millions that have died at the hands of Western imperialism and the death and destruction that is promised with policies being considered for Syria and the Ukraine by the ruling elite in the U.S.

Fortunately, despite the political confusion of many leftists and the moral duplicity of liberals, signs of growing opposition to U.S. war-mongering are emanating from a historically familiar place – African American young people.

“While the left and millions of Europeans will mobilize to condemn the 17 lives lost in the incident in Paris and defend “Western values,” there is no massive moral outrage from the Western public for the millions that have died at the hands of Western imperialism.”

Similar to what occurred in the 1960s when opposition to the Vietnam war was catalyzed by the student organizers of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) working on the frontlines of struggle in the deep South, “Black Lives Matter” activists and the many other formations and tendencies crystalizing out of the Ferguson and anti-police violence movements are making the connection between violence and militarization in the internal colonized areas of the U.S. and the state violence being waged by the U.S. state beyond its’ borders.

Resistance to the logic of white supremacist colonialist/capitalist domination on the part of these young activists is leading them to a resolute anti-imperialist and anti-war stance, just like the young black activists of SNCC some fifty years ago.

Alicia Garza one of the founders of the Black Lives Matter movement offers a welcomed lesson to the faux left:

“There is absolutely a link between the militarization and the use of force to police black communities in the US and the role of the military to police people of color and Black people in the global South. In both scenarios, the police and the military are used to protect private property and the interests of the elite, but are also used to dampen and or eliminate any resistance to the status quo.”

The experiences of these activists in the U.S. and their increasing connections with struggling peoples’ throughout the world is making it clear to them that the slogan “to protect and serve – capital, ” not only applies to the occupation forces that police the racialized colonies inside the U.S. but also the role of the U.S. military abroad.

Black against empire,” is not only a title to a book; it also captures the radical stance that conscious black radicals in the U.S. must assume.

The systemic degradation that characterizes the social experiences of African American workers, the marginalized poor, and working class of all of the oppressed and colonized nations and peoples’ by the U.S. empire, strips away the pretense of a benevolent hegemon. The lived experience of oppression means that African American radicals – unlike many white radicals – cannot afford the luxury of being unclear about the nature and interests of the white supremacist, patriarchal, colonial/capitalist order. It is and will be the primary enemy.

“The slogan “to protect and serve – capital, ” not only applies to the occupation forces that police the racialized colonies inside the U.S. but also the role of the U.S. military abroad.”

On Sept. 12, 2001, the day after the attack in New York city and before it was clear what forces were behind the attack, neoconservative pundits revealing the pre-determined strategy that was to guide U.S. policy in the 21st century, were forcefully arguing that the U.S. must be prepared to use force in the world and in the immediate period to declare war on “militant Islam.” The countries identified for immediate attack included Syria, Libya, Iraq, and Iran, with China thrown in as well.

Permanent war and lawless gangsterism to protect and advance U.S. global economic and political interests was codified in the National Security Strategy (NSS) issued by President Bush on Sept. 21, 2002.

And while the pursuit of that strategy made President Bush the symbol of U.S. arrogance and generated vociferous liberal and progressive opposition, Barack Obama has faithfully carried out that very same neocon strategy becoming the smiling brown face of U.S. polices as morally repugnant as his predecessor – but without progressive, popular opposition.

However, the lack of moral outrage and opposition to the reactionary policies of Barack Obama is changing and will change even more rapidly as the new generation of black activists shift the center of oppositional politics back to the radical black tradition.

When/if that happens, there will be a much needed rebirth of the anti-war and anti-imperialist movement and radical activism in the U.S. will take a qualitative leap forward.

[Ajamu Baraka is a human rights activist, organizer and geo-political analyst. Baraka is an Associate Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) in Washington, D.C. and editor and columnist for the Black Agenda Report. He is a contributor to “Killing Trayvons: An Anthology of American Violence” (Counterpunch Books, 2014). He can be reached at www.AjamuBaraka.com.]

 

How to Uphold White Supremacy by Focusing on Diversity and Inclusion

December 10, 2014 | 2014 in Review

Liberalism’s Inherent Racism

by Kyra

Since the civil rights movement, white people have exploited every opportunity to conceal their colonialist legacy and longstanding (ab)use of white supremacist power. They’ve proven time and again that they have no interest in rectifying that history, only in dealing with the fact that they could no longer deny the reality of those injustices. One effective tactic has been to separate white supremacy and colonialism from the way racism is understood and taught through schools, history textbooks, news media, and through any white-controlled institutions. These lessons, of anti-racism as-told-by-white-people, will be familiar to you: that racism is only explicit racial prejudice; that separatism is the essence of Jim Crow (and therefore inclusion is the antithesis to de jure segregation); and that the remedy for a racist society is a colorblind one.

All of these assumptions are grounded in liberalism: the egalitarian principle which works to ignore and erase difference rather than to undo oppression. It strives for a post-feminist, post-queer, post-racial or racially colorblind world. Liberalism as an ideology deems equal rights and equal treatment as a higher priority than? material justice, or as an effective means towards ?it. Its presumptions of equality are false, as individualist equality may be written into law and policy while material inequality thrives. It effectively abstracts and obscures power dynamics along lines of race, class, and gender. The difference between material justice and liberalism is the difference between actually making reparations for a long history of racism and countries like Austria, Finland, Hungary, France, and now Sweden removing all mentions of “race” from their legislation.

Liberalism is not the opposite of conservatism on a left-right political spectrum, but a set of values that informs various other political ideologies including conservatism and libertarianism. Even the most popular manifestations of feminism and radical political thought (anarchism, communism, and socialism) are their most liberal forms. You can recognize the influence of liberalism in any political philosophy or practice that?, ?consciously or not?, ?focuses on individual equality before social power. What is it that says that ending racism means setting aside our differences and finding commonality? Liberalism. What is it that says that we need love to bring us together and to end the hate which drives us apart? Liberalism. What is it that says to choose unity over disunion? Liberalism. What is it that says racism/sexism/sizeism hurts everyone? Liberalism.

A large public art structure with alphabetical blocks spelling out 'LOVE'.

Photo CC-BY jm scott, filtered.

All of these ideas value a certain perception of equality at the expense of those who suffer due to social inequality. That’s why you’ll notice this rhetoric so frequently employed to dismiss oppressed people who direct their anger…at their oppressors. Through a white-writing of history (and history textbooks) that erases and minimizes all of the revolts that were necessary for change, liberals are able to demand that protesters remain totally peaceful, pacifist, and nonviolent (by which they mean non-destructive of property) in the face of dehumanization, degradation, and absolute repressive violence (the actual destruction of human life). White liberals and their sympathizers take ideas and quotes from Martin Luther King out of context and use them to shame disruptive protesters as rioters and looters, dismiss more militant activists as spiteful and vengeful, blaming them all for their own conditions.

The toxic effects of liberalism are clear in diversity advocacy and its language. Take the reframing of affirmative action as an initiative to promote diversity. Affirmative action was created in recognition of a centuries-long legacy of racism and historically discriminatory hiring/admissions practices. It is remedial in nature, and requires the recognition of past and ongoing wrongs that need to be righted. In stark contrast to this, diversity emphasizes the pragmatic benefits to morale, productivity, and profits. Diversity is the practice of mixing together different bodies within a common organization, and is a prime resource to be capitalized upon by businesses and organizations that are white owned and/or operated. Diversity still benefits those in power by taking advantage of the various experiences and vantage points of different racial/gender/sexual backgrounds. Rather than respecting difference and redistributing power based on it, diversity only “celebrates” difference in order to exploit multiculturalism for its economic value.

There is a reason that diversity is consistently promoted as being beneficial to everyone, disregarding who benefits most from various arrangements of diversity. As a dominant mode of thought, we must challenge liberalism if we hope to challenge the structures of domination that it both masks and reinforces, through diversity or otherwise.

A wall that reads 'Imagine' with a peace symbol on it.

Image CC-BY Matteo Piotto, filtered.

“Inclusivity” and “exclusivity” are politically meaningless without context and divert attention away from specific power dynamics. In common use, they are assigned inherently positive and negative values without specifying who is being included or excluded. This is why you might see a group proudly promote itself as being more “open” and “inclusive” than a group which is intentionally exclusive to create a safer space for a specific marginalized group. This is because de jure segregation is so strongly associated with racism. Still, segregation is not racist in and of itself. It is racist depending on a history of white supremacy, depending on who is enforcing segregation, and depending on the material impact of said segregation.

While after a history of slavery and Jim Crow segregation, fighting for desegregation was obviously necessary, but that progress is not inherent to diversity and inclusion. They are only valuable insofar as they reduce a white stronghold on power. How would racial diversity or the inclusion of men benefit the organizational team behind Black Girl Dangerous? What about organizations like the Trans Women of Color Collective or INCITE! which could only be opened to more racial diversity through the inclusion of whites? Diversity and inclusion whitewash and undermine the very basis of their value for racial justice and feminism: providing access to resources, representation, and power to identity groups that lack them. Not only is “inclusivity” politically meaningless, but to frame the benefits of stronger representation of marginalized races, genders, etc. within “diversity” gravely strips the progress it provides of its power and political significance. There is then danger in uncritically advocating for—or even just discussing power dynamics in terms of—diversity or inclusivity.

Closed spaces for marginalized identities are essential, especially ones for multiply marginalized identities, as we know from intersectionality (not to be confused with the idea that all oppression is interconnected, as many white women who have appropriated the term as self-proclaimed “intersectional feminists” seem to understand it). Any group, whether organized around a shared marginalized identity or not, will by-default be centered around the most powerful within that group. For example, cisgender white women will dominate women’s groups that aren’t run by or consciously centering trans women and women of color. A requirement for all groups to be fully open and inclusive invites the derailment and silencing of marginalized voices already pervasive in public spaces, preventing alternative spaces of relative safety from that to form. Hegemony trickles down through layers of identity, but liberation surges upwards from those who experience the most compounded layers of oppression.

So why do so many people seeking racial justice, female empowerment, and queer liberation still choose to advocate for “diversity” and “inclusion”? They appeal to liberalism. They prevent oppression from being named. They prevent us from speaking truth to power. They make progress sound friendly to those in power. Companies can tokenize women and people of color throughout their advertising. They can get way more credit than they deserve for being not 100% white men. They can profit from the increases in efficiency and productivity associated with more diversity. All of the above ignore the fact that companies needed to have diversity initiatives to make them less overwhelmingly white in the first place; that white people are the ones in the position of being able to grant access in the first place. When we work for justice and liberation, we can’t accept progress that is conditional on being economically beneficial.

The only way to prevent that is to name oppression for what it is; to speak truth to power. If a group is dominated by whites, men, and other privileged classes, don’t let that be reduced to a diversity issue.

You may have seen the phrase before and possibly even used it yourself, but if you still focus on inclusion and diversity, you don’t truly understand: assimilation ? liberation. When we talk about diversity and inclusion, we necessarily position marginalized groups as naturally needing to assimilate into dominant ones, rather than to undermine said structures of domination. Yes, we need jobs; we need education; we need to access various resources. What we don’t need is to relegate ourselves to the position of depending on someone else to offer us inclusion and access to those resources. Inclusion is something they must give, but our liberation is something we will take. The cost of assimilation is always in the well-being and lives of those who are not close enough to power to be able to assimilate. Another less popular expression of our expression more sharply calls attention to these dangers of uncritical integrationism: assimilation = death.

 

This work is licensed under the Decolonial Media License 0.1.

 

[Kyra is a Chinese-Amerikan trans woman working to create space for radical racial justice through technology where progress has been limited to liberal white feminism. She serves on the board of directors of the Free Culture Foundation and founded the Empowermentors Collective, a skillshare, discussion, and support network for trans, disabled, and queer people of color who share a critical interest in race, gender, and technology. She Tweets in spurts and bouts @kxra.]

The Virgin Fallacy: From the Famine Cotton Board to the Millennium Village Project

Critical Investigations into Humanitarianism in Africa (CIHA)

February 13, 2015

by Cilas Kemedjio

 

In this three-part series (we post Part One today), Cilas Kemedjio takes on the ongoing crusade to spread neoliberal dogma and “western values.”  Part Two addresses William Easterly’s call to governments and aid agencies to be “guardians of virtue,” while Part Three moves to the continued efforts of Jeffrey Sachs to create development nirvanas in African (and other) societies.

 

TOE

The cover story in The Economist (June 1997) was “Emerging Africa.” It was a classic display of the arrogant paternalism that has come to be the hallmark of the new humanitarianism. We are told that poor countries, referred to as “swallowers of endless charity,” will continue to make “legitimate demands on the conscience of the rich world.” In order to maximize the efficiency of aid programs, reforming corrupt models of governance should be the priority of donors: “If a country’s government is too venal or incompetent to spend the money as specified, it must be told to allow non-governmental organizations to step in or do without aid altogether” (The Economist 13-14). William Easterly makes the case for this neoliberal agenda in the language of virtue in his book The Tyranny of Experts: Economists, Dictators and the Forgotten Rights of the Poor. Easterly, a believer in the “Invisible Hand” theorized by Adam Smith, advocates an orthodox laissez-faire capitalism, that, coupled with democratic institutions, is the golden path towards growth. Jeffrey Sachs, in an article (“The Limits of Convergence: Nature, nurture and growth”) published in the same issue, credits Adam Smith for understanding better than modern economists the curse of tropical geography, that is, the link between geography and poverty (or growth). Sachs contends that global capitalism is “the most promising institutional arrangement for worldwide prosperity that history has ever seen.” Sachs claims that market-based policies and “fiscal rectitude” can help mitigate the “disabilities of the tropics.” The Economist, Easterly and Sachs all agree that good governance constitute the most important factor in the march out of extreme poverty: “Good government is not just a moral concern, or a basis for social stability and political legitimacy. Corruption, government breach of contract, expropriation of property, and inefficiency in public administration are found to harm growth.” For Sachs western economic domination may have been built upon the West’s nearly exclusive hold on capitalism. In the era of globalization, he suggests that economic prosperity should become “common property.” Jeffrey Sachs, the humanitarian at the center of Nina Munk’s The Idealist Jeffrey Sachs and the Quest to End Poverty, and Easterly, the unapologetic advocate of globalization, do find another common ground: the virgin fallacy.

idealistThe concept of virginity is at the heart of the undertakings of European colonization, from slavery to humanitarianism without borders by way of colonization. The tabula rasa authorizes the colonial project with the attendant exploitation of human resources whose privileged modality is constituted of forced labor. The virginal state presupposes a certain laziness or morbidity of native residents, whence the exotic mythologies of the unused reserves of human energy that precede the enslavement of peoples expropriated from their virgin lands. Allen Isaacman and Richard Roberts, in Cotton, Colonialism, and Social History is Sub-Saharan Africa (1995), argue that programs of cotton colonialism were built upon the empirical observations and fantasies of European visitors, traders, missionaries, and administrators. Their view of Africa’s potential to produce cotton stemmed from the nineteenth-century romantic images of Africa as a beautiful tropical region through the prism of neo-mercantile policies. Most expectations rested on the assumption that African rural societies enjoyed abundant leisure that could be used to fuel the cotton industry. The colonial production scheme was also based on the presumption of an underutilized labor force, the consequence of Africans being “congenitally lazy.” Therefore, it was the divine duty of colonial nations to “heal” this malady by forcing Africans in the cotton fields.

Jean-Paul Sartre, in his much-celebrated preface to Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth, writes that the invention of the native was a result of the reduction of “the inhabitants of the annexed country to the level of superior monkeys in order to justify the settler’s treatments of them as beasts of burden.” Starvation was only one of the modalities for achieving the complete breakdown of the humanity of the colonized. Isaacman argues that “Mozambican peasants underwrote the Portuguese textile industry with their labor and were forced to sacrifice their own food security” (Cotton is the Mother of Poverty 1996). The Famine Control Board, established by the Portuguese, could be said to represent a Humanitarian Mission at the heart of colonial exploitation.

If colonies were the grounds for the first Humanitarian missions of modern times, the battlegrounds of the Nigerian civil war, otherwise known as the Biafra war (1967-1970), became the theater of another experimentation: partisan humanitarianism. This new brand of humanitarian intervention, popularized by Doctors Without Borders, has recently become the cornerstone of the new ethical order world order. The Right to Protect, as it is known, institutionalizes the sovereignty of human rights over State sovereignty. Libya and Côte d’Ivoire have been, for better or for worse, targeted for this humanitarian experimentation. Jean Ping, the former President of the African Union Commission, laments how Libya is in chaos, after the NATO bombings that left the country in shambles and more than 50,000 deaths according to various estimates (Éclipse sur l’Afrique. Fallait-il tuer Kadhafi? 2014). Côte d’Ivoire has yet to recover from the disastrous French and United Nations military intervention following what amounted to be nothing more than a post-electoral dispute (Laurent Gbagbo selon François Mattei. Pour la Vérité et la Justice. Révélations sur un scandale français, 2014). I argue that this transformation of Africa as a ground where new experiments in international affairs are conducted proceeds from the Virgin Fallacy.

Easterly, in the name of fighting poverty, ends up casting Africa as a virgin land waiting to be molded by the conquistadores of morality and democracy, this time charged with the mission to protect the rights of the poor: “If you wonder what you can do about global poverty, here is virgin territory for action” (Easterly 34; emphasis added). The salvation of the poor, this theory surmises, will only come as a consequence of the spread of individual rights that are “Western values.” Sachs would probably agree with the assessment about the failure of development in Africa, but contends that it’s because foreign aid has been insufficient to generate satisfactory results. Sachs’s humanitarian approach to fight extreme poverty takes the form of the Millennium Villages Project while Easterly’s relies on the neoliberal dogma of free enterprise, globalization, and political freedom. Easterly is critical of Sachs’s philanthropic approach that seeks to create islands of successes in a sea of failure. Sachs’ humanitarianism is an experiment designed “to test his theories about ending poverty, and to demonstrate that his proposed series of interventions could be used on a grand scale to eradicate extreme poverty across Africa” (Munk 213). These theories, manufactured in Western laboratories, do not account for the complexities of African communities. The inability to learn from failures and successes that are written into the long history of fighting poverty in Africa calls into question this experiment that inevitably resurrects the tabula rasa mindset. In this sense, it does remain trapped within the paradigm of Africa as virgin territory.

 

[Cilas Kemedjio is Director of the Frederick Douglass Institute for African and African-American Studies at the University of Rochester and co-editor of the CIHA Blog.]

WATCH: Dr. Sohail Daulatzai: “Welcome to the Terrordome”

Published on May 22, 2013

“As the profound anti-Muslim racism of the post-9/11 era deepens, the role and place of Muslims in the U.S. is under intense scrutiny by both Muslims and non-Muslims, as questions around “radicalization,” citizenship, and belonging continue the shape these debates. But the fears of Islam and Muslims in the United States are not new. In fact, they can be traced back to the presence and legacy of Malcolm X, who sought to internationalize the struggles of Black people in the U.S. and connect them with the struggles taking place throughout the non-white world. As Malcolm X said, “the same rebellion, the same impatience, the same anger that exists in the hearts of the dark people in Africa and Asia, is existing in the hearts and minds of 20 million black people in this country who have been just as thoroughly colonized as the people in Africa and Asia.”

In framing white supremacy as a global phenomenon, and understanding the systemic roots of inequality, Malcolm X provides us with a historic lens and contemporary frame for thinking about the role and place of Muslims in the United States, as endless war is waged, racism persists and capitalism wreaks havoc around the world.”

 



 

 

[Sohail Daulatzai is an Associate Professor in the Department of Film and Media Studies and the Program in African American Studies at the University of California, Irvine. He is the author of Black Star, Crescent Moon: The Muslim International and Black Freedom beyond America (2012) and is the co-editor (with Michael Eric Dyson) of Born to Use Mics: Reading Nas’s Illmatic (2009). His writing has appeared in The Nation, Counterpunch, Al Jazeera, Souls, Amer-Asia, Black Routes to Islam, and Basketball Jones, amongst others. He has written liner for the 2012 release of the 20th Anniversary Deluxe Box Set of Rage Against the Machine’s self titled debut album, the liner notes for the DVD release of Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme and the centerpiece in the museum catalog Movement: Hip-Hop in L.A., 1980’s — Now.]

Islam, Hip Hop and the Liberation Struggle w/ Daulatzai & Almustafa

Published on Feb 9, 2015

Islam, Hip Hop, and the Black liberation struggle as discussed with acclaimed author and professor, Dr. Sohail Doulatzi. Plus the People’s Poet, Kahlil Almustafa. teleSUR


 

 

 

Western Intervention and The Colonial Mindset

conformity-is-unity-3
Poster courtesy of Mark Gould
January 20, 2015
By Prof. Tim Anderson
+++

In these times of ‘colour revolutions’ language has been turned on its head. Banks have become the guardians of the natural environment, sectarian fanatics are now ‘activists’ and the Empire protects the world from great crimes, rather than delivering them.

Colonisation of language is at work everywhere, amongst highly educated populations, but is peculiarly virulent in colonial culture. ‘The West’, that self-styled epitome of advanced civilisation, energetically reinvents its own history, to perpetuate the colonial mindset.

Writers such as Fanon and Freire pointed out that colonised peoples experience psychological damage and need to ‘decolonise’ their minds, so as to become less deferential to imperial culture and to affirm more the values of their own cultures. The other side to that is the colonial legacy on imperial cultures. Western peoples maintain their own culture as central, if not universal, and have difficulty listening to or learning from other cultures. Changing this requires some effort.

Powerful elites are well aware of this process and seek to co-opt critical forces within their own societies, colonising progressive language and trivialising the role of other peoples. For example, after the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, the idea that NATO forces were protecting Afghan women was promoted and gained popularity. Despite broad opposition to the invasion and occupation, this ‘humanitarian’ goal appealed to the missionary side of western culture. In 2012 Amnesty International put up posters saying ‘NATO: keep the progress going’, on women’s rights in Afghanistan, while the George W. Bush Institute collected money to promote Afghan women’s rights.

The unfortunate balance sheet of NATO’s 13-year occupation is not so encouraging. The UNDP’s 2013 report shows that only 5.8% of Afghan women have had some secondary schooling (7th lowest in the world), the average Afghan woman has 6 babies (equal 3rd highest rate in the world, and linked to low education), maternal mortality is at 470 (equal 19th highest in the world) and average life expectancy is 49.1 years (equal 6th lowest in the world). Not impressive ‘progress’.

In many ways the long ‘feminist war’ in Afghanistan drew on the British legacy in colonial India. As part of its great ‘civilising mission’ that empire claimed to be protecting Indian women from ‘sati’, the practise of widows throwing themselves (or being thrown) on their husband’s funeral pyre. In fact, colonial rule brought little change to this isolated practice. On the other hand, the wider empowerment of girls and women under the British Raj was a sorry joke. At independence adult literacy was only 12%, and that of women much less. While India still lags in many respects, educational progress was much faster after 1947.

Such facts have not stopped historians like Niall Ferguson and Lawrence James attempting to sanitise British colonial history, not least to defend the more recent interventions. It might appear difficult to justify colonialism, but the argument seems to have a better chance amongst peoples with a colonial past seeking some vindication from within their own history and culture.

North American language is a bit different, as the United States of America claims never to have been a colonial power. The fact that US declarations of freedom and equality were written by slave-owners and ethnic-cleansers (the US Declaration of Independence famously attacks the British for imposing limits on the seizure of Native American land) has not dimmed enthusiasm for those fine ideals. That skilful tradition certainly influences the presentation of Washington’s recent interventions.

After the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq we saw a change in approach, with the big powers enlisting sectarian fanatics against the independent states of the region. Even the new Iraqi state, emerging from the post-2003 rubble, was attacked by these fanatics. An ‘Arab Spring’ saw Libya trampled by a pseudo-revolution backed by NATO bombing, then delivered to a bunch of squabbling al Qaeda groups and western collaborators. The little country that once had the highest living standards in Africa went backwards decades.

Next came brave Syria, which has resisted at terrible cost; but the propaganda war runs thick. Few in the west seem to be able to penetrate it. The western left shares illusions with the western right. What was at first said to be a nationalist and secular ‘revolution’ – an uprising against a ‘dictator’ who was killing his own people – is now led by ‘moderate rebels’ or ‘moderate Islamists’. The extremist Islamists, who repeatedly publicise their own atrocities, are said to be a different species, against whom Washington finally decided to fight. Much of this might sound ridiculous to the average educated Arab or Latin American, but it retains some appeal in the west.

One reason for the difference is that nation and state mean something different in the west. The western left has always seen the state as monolithic and nationalism as something akin to fascism; yet in the former colonies some hope remains with the nation-state. Western populations have never had their own Ho Chi Minh, Nelson Mandela, Salvador Allende, Hugo Chavez or Fidel Castro. One consequence of this is, as much as western thinkers might criticise their own states, they are reluctant to defend others. Many who criticise Washington or Israel will not defend Cuba or Syria .

All this makes proxy wars more marketable in the west. We could even say they have been a relatively successful tactic of imperial intervention, from the contra war on Nicaragua to the proxy armies of Islamists in Libya and Syria. So long as the big power is not seen to be directly involved, western audiences can find quite attractive the idea that they are helping another people rise up and gain their ‘freedom’.

Even Noam Chomsky, author of many books on US imperialism and western propaganda, adopts many of the western apologetics for the intervention in Syria. In a 2013 interview with a Syrian opposition paper he claimed the foreign-backed, Islamist insurrection was a repressed ‘protest movement’ that had been forced to militarise and that America and Israel had no interest in bringing down the Syrian Government. He admitted he was ‘excited’ by Syria’s uprising, but rejected the idea of a ‘responsibility to protect’ and opposed direct US intervention without a UN mandate. Nevertheless, he joined cause with those who want to ‘force’ the Syrian Government to resign, saying ‘nothing can justify Hezbollah’s involvement’ in Syria, after the Lebanese resistance group worked with the Syrian Army to turn the tide against the NATO-backed jihadists.

How do western anti-imperialists come to similar conclusions to those of the White House? First there is the anarchist or ultra-left idea of opposing all state power. This leads to attacks on imperial power yet, at the same time, indifference or opposition to independent states. Many western leftists even express enthusiasm at the idea of toppling an independent state, despite knowing the alternatives, as in Libya, will be sectarianism, bitter division and the destruction of important national institutions.

Second, reliance on western media sources has led many to believe that the civilian massacres in Syria were the work of the Syrian Government. Nothing could be further from the truth. A careful reading of the evidence will show that almost all the civilian massacres in Syria (Houla, Daraya, Aqrab, Aleppo University, East Ghouta) were carried out by sectarian Islamist groups, and sometimes falsely blamed on the government, in attempts to attract greater ‘humanitarian intervention’.

The third element which distorts western anti-imperial ideas is the constrained and self-referential nature of discussions. The parameters are policed by corporate gatekeepers, but also reinforced by broader western illusions of their own civilising influence.

A few western journalists have reported in sufficient detail to help illustrate the Syrian conflict, but their perspectives are almost always conditioned by the western ‘liberal’ and humanitarian narratives. Indeed, the most aggressive advocacy of ‘humanitarian intervention’ in recent years has come from liberal media outlets like the UK Guardian and corporate-NGOs such as Avaaz, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. Those few journalists who maintain an independent perspective, like Arab-American Sharmine Narwani, publish mostly outside the better-known corporate media channels.

Imperial culture also conditions the humanitarian aid industry. Ideological pressure comes not just from the development banks but also the NGO sector, which maintains a powerful sense of mission, even a ‘saviour complex’ about its relations with the rest of the world. While ‘development cooperation’ may have once included ideas of compensation for colonial rule, or assistance during a transition to independence, today it has become a $100 billion a year industry, with decision making firmly in the hands of western financial agencies.

Quite apart from the dysfunction of many aid programs, this industry is deeply undemocratic, with powerful colonial overtones. Yet many western aid workers really believe they can ‘save’ the poor peoples of the world. That cultural impact is deep. Aid agencies not only seek to determine economic policy, they often intervene in political and even constitutional processes. This is done in the name of ‘good governance’, anti-corruption or ‘democracy strengthening’. Regardless of the problems of local bodies, it is rarely admitted that foreign aid agencies are the least democratic players of all.

For example, at the turn of this century, as Timor Leste gained its independence, aid bodies used their financial muscle to prevent the development of public institutions in agriculture and food security, and pushed that new country into creating competitive political parties, away from a national unity government. Seeking an upper hand amongst the ‘donor community’, Australia then aggravated the subsequent political division and crisis of 2006. With ongoing disputes over maritime boundaries and petroleum resources, Australian academics and advisers were quick to seize on that moment of weakness to urge that Timor Leste’s main party be ‘reformed’, that its national army be sidelined or abolished and that the country adopt English as a national language. Although all these pressures were resisted, it seemed in that moment that many Australian ‘friends’ of Timor Leste imagined they had ‘inherited’ the little country from the previous colonial rulers. This can be the peculiar western sense of ‘solidarity’.

Imperial cultures have created a great variety of nice-sounding pretexts for intervention in the former colonies and newly independent countries. These pretexts include protecting the rights of women, ensuring good governance and helping promote ‘revolutions’. The level of double-speak is substantial.

Those interventions create problems for all sides. Independent peoples have to learn new forms of resistance. Those of good will in the imperial cultures might like to reflect on the need to decolonise the western mind.

Such a process, I suggest would require consideration of (a) the historically different views of the nation-state, (b) the important, particular functions of post-colonial states, (c) the continued relevance and importance of the principle of self-determination, (d) the need to bypass a systematically deceitful corporate media and (e) the challenge of confronting fond illusions over the supposed western civilising influence. All these seem to form part of a neo-colonial mindset, and may help explain the extraordinary western blindness to the damage done by intervention.

 

 

References

Tim Anderson (2006) ‘Timor Leste: the Second Australian Intervention’, Journal of Australian Political Economy, No 58, December, pp.62-93

Tony Cartalucci (2012) ‘Amnesty International is US State Department propaganda’, Global research, 22 August, online: http://www.globalresearch.ca/amnesty-international-is-us-state-department-propaganda/32444

Ann Wright and Coleen Rowley (2012) ‘Ann Wright and Coleen Rowley’, Consortium News, June 18, online: https://consortiumnews.com/2012/06/18/amnestys-shilling-for-us-wars/

Noam Chomsky (2013) ‘Noam Chomsky: The Arab World And The Supernatural Power of the United States’, Information Clearing House, 16 June, online: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article35527.htm

Bush Centre (2015) ‘Afghan Women’s Project’, George W, Bush Centre, online: http://www.bushcenter.org/womens-initiative/afghan-womens-project

Some detail of Syria’s ‘false flag’ massacres can be seen in the following articles:

Dale Gavlak and Yahya Ababneh (2013) ‘Syrians In Ghouta Claim Saudi-Supplied Rebels Behind Chemical Attack’, MINT PRESS, August 29, online:http://www.mintpressnews.com/witnesses-of-gas-attack-say-saudis-supplied-rebels-with-chemical-weapons/168135/

Rainer Hermann (2012) ‘Abermals Massaker in Syrien’, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 7 June, online: http://www.faz.net/aktuell/politik/neue-erkenntnisse-zu-getoeteten-von-hula-abermals-massaker-in-syrien-11776496.html

Stephen Lendman (2012) Insurgents Named Responsible for Syrian Massacres’, ICH, 11 June: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31544.htm

Richard Lloyd and Theodore A. Postol (2014) ‘Possible Implications of Faulty US Technical Intelligence in the Damascus Nerve Agent Attack of August 21, 2013’, MIT, January 14, Washington DC, online:https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/1006045-possible-implications-of-bad-intelligence.html#storylink=relast

Marinella Correggia, Alfredo Embid, Ronda Hauben, Adam Larson (2013) ‘Official Truth, Real Truth, and Impunity for the Syrian Houla Massacre of May 2012’, CIWCL,May 15, online: http://ciwclibya.org/reports/realtruthhoula.html

ISTEAMS (2013) ‘Independent Investigation of Syria Chemical Attack Videos and Child Abductions’, 15 September, online: http://www.globalresearch.ca/STUDY_THE_VIDEOS_THAT_SPEAKS_ABOUT_CHEMICALS_BETA_VERSION.pdf

Seymour Hersh (2013) ‘Whose Sarin?’, LRB, 19 December, online: http://www.lrb.co.uk/v35/n24/seymour-m-hersh/whose-sarin

Souad Mekhennet (2014) ‘The terrorists fighting us now? We just finished training them’, Washington Post, August 18, online: http://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2014/08/18/the-terrorists-fighting-us-now-we-just-finished-training-them/

Marat Musin (2012b) ‘THE HOULA MASSACRE: Opposition Terrorists “Killed Families Loyal to the Government’, Global research, 1 June, online: http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-houla-massacre-opposition-terrorists-killed-families-loyal-to-the-government/31184?print=1

Sharmine Narwani (2014) ‘Syria: the hidden massacre’, RT, 7 May, online: http://rt.com/op-edge/157412-syria-hidden-massacre-2011/

Sharmine Narwani (2014) ‘Joe Biden’s latest foot in mouth’, Veterans News Now, October 3, online: http://www.veteransnewsnow.com/2014/10/03/510328joe-bidens-latest-foot-in-mouth/

Truth Syria (2012) ‘Syria – Daraa revolution was armed to the teeth from the very beginning’, BBC interview with Anwar Al-Eshki,YouTube, 7 November, online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FoGmrWWJ77w

Movement Ferguson, Beware the Nonprofit Industrial Complex

Black Agenda Report (Image & Video courtesy of Libya360)

January 21, 2015

by

Reuters/Stephen Lam

“As our movement evolves and we remain dependent on major donors and foundations instead of building grassroots funding, we will always be hindered and misdirected away from the trek toward fundamental systemic change.”

An article in London’s DailyMail.com about the funding that Billionaire George Soros and his Open Society Foundation is giving to organizations in the Ferguson and #BlackLivesMatter movement has sparked defense of Soros on social media and speculation that the article is part of an extreme right agenda or mentality to belittle the movement and discredit “funders committed to racial justice.” For sure, a quick web search shows there is hardly a shortage of rightwing extremists disparaging Soros’ bankrolling of liberally progressive organizations and programs.

But applying a more left than liberal analysis to the article and to Soros reveals there is a deeper, dare one say, warning for the left. The DailyMail.com isn’t right wing by any U.S. corporate press standard. More revealing and to the point is that the history of his Open Society funding in all sorts of social justice efforts nationally and internationally (not just Ferguson) can be compared to the strategy used by formations like Stephen Currier’s Council for United Civil Rights Leadership that sterilized the Civil Rights Movement of its Black Power and other more radical elements that were legitimately elevating the struggle for civil rights to a struggle for human rights.

In Malcolm X’s eloquent fashion, he described how white philanthropy and white leadership influenced civil rights organizations at the time of the March on Washington:

“They had a meeting at the Carlyle Hotel in New York City. The Carlyle Hotel is owned by the Kennedy family; that’s the hotel Kennedy spent the night at, two nights ago; it belongs to his family. A philanthropic society headed by a white man named Stephen Currier called all the top civil-rights leaders together at the Carlyle Hotel. And he told them, ‘By you all fighting each other, you are destroying the civil-rights movement. And since you’re fighting over money from white liberals, let us set up what is known as the Council for United Civil Rights Leadership. Let’s form this council, and all the civil-rights organizations will belong to it, and we’ll use it for fund-raising purposes.’ Let me show you how tricky the white man is. As soon as they got it formed, they elected Whitney Young as its chairman, and who do you think became the co-chairman? Stephen Currier, the white man, a millionaire. Powell was talking about it down at Cobo Hall today. This is what he was talking about. Powell knows it happened. Randolph knows it happened. Wilkins knows it happened. King knows it happened. Every one of that so-called Big Six–they know what happened!


“Once they formed it, with the white man over it, he promised them and gave them $800,000 to split up between the Big Six; and told them that after the march was over they’d give them $700,000 more. A million and a half dollars–split up between leaders that you have been following, going to jail for, crying crocodile tears for. And they’re nothing but Frank James and Jesse James and the what-do-you-call-‘em brothers.”

“We know in our organizations we have conversations and make decisions about the best ways to make ourselves more ‘attractive’ to funders.”

The Council for United Civil Rights Leadership also advanced the confining and prohibitive nature of to the Non-profit Industrial Complex as we know it today by centralizing donations and then discouraging tendencies toward building independent grassroots funding bases. The Counsel worked to oppose tactics like civil disobedience and boycotts by controlling distribution of funds and using connections to corporate media establishment.

Out of necessity Soros has obviously taken this strategy to a new level to be make it commensurate with today’s evolved political and ideological movement. While, of course, few if anyone may be “getting rich,” no one – particularly those of us working in the non-profit industry – can deny the influence funders have on what not-for-profit formations do or won’t do, what political positions they take or don’t take, etc. Even if, as the director of Soros’s fund disclaims “they have no ‘direct’ control over the groups they give to, and said they are all trying to improve accountability.” “Direct” is the operative word.

If we think of this as funders literally dictating to organizations we will miss how this works. An organization or individual doesn’t have to be told anything directly. Those who do foundation fundraising know the first level of control is “fitting” within funders’ guidelines just to apply. The next level is how radical an organization will dare go after receiving money when they know (no matter if it’s a person who is a major donor or a foundation) funders are generally more politically conservative than those applying for funds and that they will invariably need refunding. We know in our organizations we have conversations and make decisions about the best ways to make ourselves more “attractive” to funders. These are just two ways funders can control social movements.

There is a radical element to the Ferguson movement that realizes the police and the whole judicial system are agents of the state and the power elite, corporate class. They realize this is not merely an issue of “accountability,” as framed by the Open Society Director in the DailyMail.com article. These radical and more politically clear elements see that this is about more than isolated incidents like that of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and Trayvon Martin. They are calling and working for human rights, peoples’ empowerment which would ultimately threaten the status quo to which funders like Soros belong.

“This is not merely an issue of “accountability.”

Together with historical and political context, the DailyMail.com article affords us an opportunity to more critically analyze the role and influences of the non-profit industrial complex. For example, the article reports that, “One recipient of his funding is the Organization for Black Struggle, which in turned established a group called the Hands Up Coalition, that has helped make ubiquitous the ‘hands up, don’t shoot’ slogan.” However, without disapproving of the slogan, the tactic of non-violent civil disobedience, or the Hands Up Coalition, there are also those in this national movement looking at the legitimacy of self-defense as was done in the 50s and 60s. They’ve questioned the “hands up, don’t shoot” slogan and offered an alternative, “fists up, fight back.” While the politically faint of heart may want to reduce such a slogan as foolhardy and irresponsible, they would be reminiscent of those during the Civil Rights movement who denounced, criticized, and mischaracterized armed self-defense as well as the Black Power movement; of those who misrepresented or misunderstood the essence of what was at stake. Many of them today attempt to rewrite that history and sterilize it of its progressive examples and effectiveness of armed self-defense.

It would be naive to think the likes of Soros and his Open Society Foundation/Institute would ever fund an organization like the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement that pulled the covers off of the national epidemic of impunity for police murders with its 2012 report, “Trayvon Martin is All of Us,” showing that every 28 hours a Black person is murdered in the U.S. by agents of the corporate controlled U.S. government and those agents given impunity. We should likewise doubt Soros’ OS would support their follow up resource, “Let Your Motto Be Resistance: A Handbook on Organizing New Afrikan and Oppressed Communities for Self-Defense.

The big picture to see are the broad and long term effects of rich people and all those with vested interest in the nonprofit industrial complex controlling the purse strings of our movement. As our movement evolves and we remain dependent on major donors and foundations instead of building grassroots funding, we will always be hindered and misdirected away from the trek toward fundamental systemic change.

Many of us recognize the easier said than done lessons from the Church about building a grassroots funding base. For centuries the Church has done this very well.

The difficult part of creating a grassroots funding base for politically radical action is raising the level of political consciousness among the Black masses such that we embrace the indispensability of funding our own work to realize true empowerment and self-reliance. Too many Black organizers think we need the Black elite but the masses outnumber the elite class by so much that it’s not unreasonable to envision 200 thousand people contributing and average of 5 dollars a year with which we could fund some independent and radical programs to the tune of millions.

This will require revolutionary organization and revolutionary consciousness. Sekou Ture of Guinea taught us, “Without revolutionary consciousness there can be no revolution. Without political education and revolutionary practice there can be no revolutionary consciousness.”

Dependence on the philanthropy of capitalists can never be revolutionary.

 

[Netfa Freeman is a long time Pan-Africanist, human rights activists based in DC and a co-host/producer for Voices With Vision on WPFW 89.3 FM.]