Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Winter Soldier

Watching the film Winter Soldier today, there are so many first visceral reactions. The backdrop is that the New York governor is resigning for sleeping with prostitutes, which is pretty inexcusable, except the corporate press's tenor of "oh of course he has to resign," when Bush and Cheney just grin down from their pile of corpses is pretty aggravating. The film is one of those necessary ones that just wrenches all the lies out into the light. It's a documentary about the Winter Soldier investigations/hearings where veterans of the U.S. invasion and occupation of Vietnam tell about what they did and saw. I can't convey the power of it, you should just go watch it. I might go and schedule a screening in my neighborhood because it is that good.
There's going to be a New Winter Soldier that begins tomorrow and goes through this weekend. If you have a blog, tell people about it. If you're on a list-serv, spread the word. There's a lot that people can do to help. Spread the word. Let people know. We need to get it up on reddit and delicious. It needs to be talked about. The war needs to end.

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Monday, September 10, 2007

Like Powell at the U.N., Bush trots out another general puppet

Petraeus is Bush. Say it again and again, if you have to. The puppet might as well have Bush's hand sticking in his back for all the independence he has. Bush's credibility is shot on the war and Petraeus is his proxy, a new untarnished voice, to repeat Bush's script. And every journalist and politician who, in turn, repeats Petraeus's findings is either a moron or someone in on the take. Petraeus is just another prop at the photo-op over the wreckage.
This can happen because the corporate media, for all it's self-deprecatory apologies for cheerleading us into this war (though always in past tense), continues to fight for the war. This is the liberals' grossest moment, from the New York Times and Jon Stewart on down, their champions tinker with rhetoric and pander to argument, but only push responsibility and tell us to believe it means more war. It all indicts the left, a left that doesn't even exist, because we're not smashing this whole machine apart.

This moment is truly depressing in so many ways. We have the republicans panting blood from eating children wholesale and the internal hemorrhaging of a party run by career criminals and simplest minds. Democratic politicians, the naked army they have always been (Obama, the great hope™, threatening more war on the rest of the world, Clinton the Corporate Lawyer shamelessly pandering knowing full well she will leap right if she gets the primary, etc), trying their best to play "republicaner."
And still no left.
Let's take stock. The liberals, represented by Kos and his ilk, who write a good game, but who are the indentured servants of the democratic party - no more independent than junkies - and smart enough to know that the Party is a collosal failure, yet still hooked to the gills. Then you have the institutional left, old C.P. fronts, who are still yoked to the throat with party line, infighting, and the verse-chorus-verse of New York Times Ad-March on Washington-Paper Sales. I actually love and care for this last group quite a bit, but the same old song and dance gets tired after awhile and it's frustrating that instead of fifteen little groups, we can't have one or two bigger groups getting to work.
Then there are the anarchists, who seem to be permanently arguing a propaganda of the deed that says "Anarchism isn't going to work." Like a list serv flame war that meets in person, it is the politics of a mob who happened to attend Sarah Lawrence. Some promise all the fun of hardcore Maoist cadres with none of the actual discipline and others who're just seeking riot porn to star in or videotape. But reacting against the anti-practice of the university marxists means an anti-theory of spontaneity navigated by the radicaler-than-thou only after it has been authorized by the purer-than-thou and vetted by the colorfully dressed unimaginative ones. A generation of kids who wore the clothes of the seventies growing up in the nineties reduced to reenacting the sixties and afraid of the future.
Every once in awhile, I catch a glimpse of the promise and the excitement rekindles, but I didn't today. These are depressing times and we need to get our act together.

Petraeus is bush and there is no left, repeat if you have to. We need to ignite a left and get rid of the the whole system that bush rides.

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007


Before we get to the death of Lady Bird Johnson, let's examine the impending (metaphorical) death of another onerous loser: McCain's spectacular dreams, for higher power coming crashing to earth. It is remarkable that on the day his top aides quit and the crowds murmur that he's bleeding money out of a slipshod operation, he announces that his two campaigns, against the people of Iraq and towards his presidential aspirations, are going just dandy. While it is tempting to draw further parallels, we must be careful: his campaign for president is teetering on failure, but the venture in Iraq is a criminal enterprise. So while we're weakly rooting for someone better for president, our hearts and minds go out to the Iraqi people and we have no joy in celebrating the butchery McCain has designed and abetted for them.
This is important to point out because a lot of commentators, and liberals especially, buy into this claptrap about the war "not going well." A presidential campaign can go well or it cannot go well; this rape and murder of a nation can never "go well." Ever. So while we will get drunk on cake and celebrate when McCain eventually bows out (and we'll recall his simultaneous statements on his dual Titanics), it is important to be clear about where the parallels lie and where they just obfuscate the obvious truth.
Speaking of obfuscation, CNN should fire their puppet Sanjay Gupta*, who out-and-out lies repeatedly and clearly willfully, in his libeling of Michael Moore and his new film SiCKO. If the first clip of Moore being ambushed on Wolf Blitzer isn't enough to make your blood boil, Gupta's blatant disregard for the truth on the Larry King follow-up is fairly outrageous. Of course, firing Gupta doesn't solve the real problem: Fox News is as bad as CNN. Maybe people think it should read the other way around (i.e., CNN is as bad as Fox), but if they're equal, why split hairs? Fox gets hammered time and again, deservedly so, for its racist, sexist, war-mongering demagoguery. Yet CNN regularly features the racist salvos of Glenn Beck and the racist capitalist droolings of Lou Dobbs, just to mention the worst of the pack. Yet liberals who dis Fox cop to CNN as if it's better.
Obfuscation and propaganda didn't start with the cable news channels and it doesn't end with them, either. We can look no further than the gross obit of Lady Bird Johnson who just seems so sweet and charming after being written up in her New York Times obit. The Times has the temerity to suggest that, well let me just quote:
"She was an early supporter of the environment and, in championing highway beautification, worked to banish billboards and plant flowers and trees."
Lady Bird Johnson's husband held a bloody shift conducting one of the most criminal and evil chapters in the history of humans on this earth, the american war against the people of Indochina. I've never heard hide nor hair of her criticism of these crimes at all. In particular, LBJ personally authorized the use of Agent Orange, an anti-life herbicide that obliterated miles and miles of vegetation and killed millions of animals and people. Her steadfast resolve in defending and standing by the scum that was her husband is clear in the obit, but nowhere is pronounced her complicity and the blood on her hands for any of this. As we like to say around here, Hell Burns Hotter Tonight.

*Call 404-827-1500 and press #2 to tell them.

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Monday, April 09, 2007


Paul Street has list of websites for soldiers and vets who're opposed to the war which I've posted below. The Times had an article about the growing issue of AWOL soldiers. What is the antiwar movement doing (and not doing) to support and assist more soldiers who don't want to continue perpetuating the crime of Iraq and Afghanistan? What else should we be doing?

Courage to Resist

GI Rights Hotline

Different Drummer

Citizen Soldier

Iraq Veterans Against the War

Gold Star Families for Peace

Veterans for Peace

Bring Them Home Now

Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors

Veterans Against the Iraq War -

Democracy Rising

West Point Graduates Against the War

Jonah House

War Resisters Support Campaign

Center on Conscience and War


Nuremburg Principles – soldier’s legal and moral duty to resist orders to commit war crimes.

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton says that if people want to find someone who regrets their vote for Iraq, there are a lot of other candidates. We're two years out to the election and while we're quite critical of the entire election process, we still vote, and the watchword for Clinton for the next two years will not deviate: she told us to look elsewhere and even if we were never going to vote for her anyway, we can only advise all people against the war to not vote for her as well. Even if she wins the primary.

In better news, if you are in the nyc region this weekend, the grassroots media conference is happening. Be there or be square.

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Thursday, February 01, 2007

An update

We were going to post something about rethinking activist strategies, but instead, we'll just strongly recommend Dan Berger and Andy Cornell's article Winning the (Anti) War and Rebuilding Political Imagination. But we think you'll be back. Why? Because we just posted the full text of George Jackson's Soledad Brother.

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Wednesday, January 24, 2007


If you're like a lot of political people on the internet, you skim the liberal blogs. There's a lot of them, some of them are actually well-written, and while the political analysis is often misses the mark, they can sometime surprise you with some sharp critique (usually before ruining it with their standby solution: simply vote and contribute to candidate X). And they hate them some Bush and that's always fun to read.
But like candy, there's always a price to pay for enjoying the sweetness. If I was a better writer, I'd extend this metaphor into something about a lack of teeth. I'm not a better writer. In the Bush-bashing case, it is a critique that focuses an entire system into a single man and then argues that a different single man would make everything better or at least get us headed back in the right direction. Except that Bush is simply a representative of a system and anyone else the system picks to represent it is simply a different face on the same body. In this case, the system is modern capitalism (and it's auxiliary cultural components of white supremacy and patriarchy). Changing the face is not enough: it's like giving a concentration camp a paint job. If that seems a bit strong, ask the Iraqis living under the gun.
So now the ugly ugly beast is waving its fangs over at Iran. Now, before I go any further, I don't think that the U.S. is going to invade Iran. I also know that there is dissent within the ruling class, personified in some instances by the Democratic Party, against the idea of invading Iran. This doesn't change our criticism one whit: first, the U.S. isn't going to invade Iran because the generals aren't morons. Iranian president Ahmadinejad can pretty much say to Bush's bullying "Yeah? You and what army?"
Besides that, the U.S. for all it's bluster doesn't invade countries that have a chance. Think back about the last two decades of U.S. invasions: Grenada and Panama. We used proxy armies to terrorize most of Latin America and I don't think they'd employ that strategy again in the middle east even if they could: remember Osama Bin Laden and his origins in Afghanistan. Yugoslavia and even the first Gulf war? Big coalitions. Not happening anytime soon on Iran. The U.S. is a rogue nation and a bully and, even if we're moving a bunch of big ships into the gulf, we all know that it's just bluster.
As for those Democrats in congress hedging and hawing about the idea of invading, if Iraq had gone smoother, they'd be right in line to invade. Their criticisms are about the strategy and not the goal.
Now let me go out on a real limb and advance an argument that I have and that I never thought I'd even think. I think Iran has a pretty convincing case on needing nukes to prevent war. Think about it and put yourself in Ahmadinejad's shoes. A few years ago, America's ruling regime announces three primary enemies: Iraq, Iran, and North Korea. Now you're Iran. Iraq obeys and disarms, lets the weapons inspectors in, and what does it get? Bombed, occupied, robbed, raped, and cut up. The U.S. installs its main architects of '80s Latin American Death Squad strategy, ferments strong ethnic rivalries, build a bunch of permanent bases, and starts stealing oil wholesale. North Korea? Disobeys and immediately ramps up production of a nuke. Even though the thing may not even work, what does the U.S. do? Whimper and insist on new negotiations. It's like an old Highlights Goofus and Gallant strip. Be honest: if you were Iran, who would you emulate?
Reagan wanted nukes and that sick scumbag should've been arrested. Ahmadinejad isn't even making the case, but I'd support it.
Where do the Liberal bloggers come in on this? I was reading "Crooks and Liars" the other day and they asked about Bush's Iran bluster: where's the evidence? Though they were channeling MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, they said it was the question everyone needs to be asking right now. Now they meant where is the evidence for Iran wanting to harm the U.S. This is the most psychotic response ever. If Ma Barker showed up at your door and said she needed help because there was a bank downtown that was threatening her, you wouldn't you ask for the evidence. The evidence is that Ma Barker has a history robbing banks. Now imagine that you happen to bump into Ma Barker in the bank mid-robbery and she says to you: "I know this doesn't look good, but we have to succeed, and the bank next door has been threatening me so we have to go there, too."
Iran is just another bank to these people and we have all the evidence we need: the war in Iraq is a crime on a barely imaginable scale, we need to have criminal prosecution of the criminals, and anyone who tries to change the subject to debating the legitimacy of Iran needs to be corrected sternly.

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Friday, December 29, 2006

Saddam, Ford, and a new addition

After typing in our newest addition, Excerpts from Scanlan's Guerrilla War in the U.S.A. January 1971 Issue, it is pretty remarkable to witness this particular week in America. On the one hand, there is a certain American bloodlust for the execution of Saddam Hussein. The right, vampires that they are, are just exhausting their necrophilia. The liberals, under their usual delusions of "pragmatism," lament that the execution won't lead to a more docile colony. Ugh. Saddam was a bad man, but we do no one service by pretending for moment that he was some sort of vanguardist against empire OR that his crimes, monstrous as they were, can even approximate the wholesale brutality of Bush 1 or 2 or Clinton. Clinton's Secretary of State, the always smiling and friendly seeming Albright, was asked about killing half a million Iraqi children and didn't blink an eye in, not challenging the charge number, but defending the murder. With all due respect to A.Y. Davis's Prison Abolitionism, Saddam should be in a cell somewhere and his cell mates should be Billy, Georgy 1, and Georgy 2.

Yet, same news cycle, we get the veneration of Ford. "Nice guy, Ford." You have to appreciate the degree with which the media personalizes the guy. As if he was the friendly guy who hung out around the water cooler and bought an extra box of their kid's girl scout cookies, instead of, say, the guy who green-lighted the Indonesian genocide of a third of East Timor's population. Why is Ford celebrated? Because he pardoned Nixon, showed that the system worked, and that "we as a nation" needed to heal. So let's get this straight: Nixon, bloodthirsty murderer of Vietnam, gets a pardon because we need to heal from his legendary crimes (not that he was even prosecuted for the crime of Vietnam), but Saddam has to swing from the neck because a puppet court says so? Imperial justice: No Justice, Just Empire. (and lastly, to keep our contradiction level high, Ford apparently said something about how Gay couples "ought to be treated equally. Period." Geez, and Carter is referring, correctly, to Israel as an Apartheid state. How these guys change when they're no longer in power and thirty years have passed.)

In other news, the United Arab Emirates is apparently switching some holdings from Dollars to Euros. Muy Interesante!

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Monday, December 18, 2006


Iran switched its central bank foreign-held currency from Dollars to Euros. Picture us with raised eyebrows because this sort of thing is a pretty big deal. We won't fumble through a poorly laid out explanation about how currency is, to some extent, a house of cards and when macro changes of this sort happen, the effects can be huge. The Asian Financial Crisis in the late nineties is just one example and that was because of private Hedge funds. Just to be clear, recall that pre-invasion Iraq had just switched to Euros and Bush switched it back to dollars ASAP.
Now, this isn't the same thing as China switching over, but it is still mighty interesting.

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