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What Biden’s Warmongering Will Actually Look Like

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 24/01/2021 - 2:43pm in

Tags 

War, News, Politics

Image via Wikimedia Commons

There’s a news story about a US military convoy entering Syria being shared around social media with captions claiming that President Biden is already “invading” Syria which is getting tons of shares in both right-wing and left anti-imperialist circles. The virality of these shares has inspired clickbait titles like “Joe Biden Invades Syria with Convoy of US Troops and Choppers on First Full Day as President”, which are being shared with equal virality.

But if you read the original report everyone jumped on, accurately titled “US military convoy enters northeast Syria: report”, you don’t have to read too far to get to this line: “Other local media report that such maneuvers are not unusual as the US often moves transfers equipment between Iraq and Syria.”

So while this is a movement of troops between illegitimate military occupations which have no business existing in either country, it is nothing new and would have been happening regardless of which candidate had won the last US presidential election.

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Another inaccurate narrative that’s gone completely viral is the claim that Biden is sending more troops to Iraq. This one traces back to a single Twitter post by some Trumpy account with the handle “@amuse” who shared a Jerusalem Post article with the caption “BREAKING: President Biden is considering reversing Trump’s drawdown in Iraq by adding thousands of troops to combat growing terror threats in the region as evidenced by Thursday’s attack near the US embassy.”

If you read the actual JPost article titled “Baghdad bombing could be the Biden admin’s first challenge” you will see that it contains no such claim, and if you were to search a bit you would find @amuse claiming that they were sharing something they’d learned from “sources” in DC instead of accurately summarizing the contents of the article. Unless you know this person and know them to be consistently trustworthy, there is no valid reason to believe claims allegedly said by alleged anonymous sources to some openly partisan anonymous account on Twitter.

But the bogus tweet was amplified by many influential accounts, most notably by Donald Trump Jr with the caption “Getting back into wars on the first full day. The Swamp/War Inc. is thrilled right now.” Its virality then caused it to work its way outward to dupe many well-meaning anti-imperialists (myself included until I looked into it) who are vigilant against Biden’s notorious warmongering, and now there’s a widespread narrative throughout every part of the ideological spectrum that Biden is escalating warmongering in both Syria and Iraq.

It is entirely possible — probable even — that reliable warmonger Joe Biden will end up sending more US troops to Iraq and Syria at some point during his administration. But if the antiwar community keeps staring at the movement of ground troops with hypervigilant intensity, they won’t be paying enough attention to the areas where the more deadly aspects of Biden’s hawkishness are likely to manifest.

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Trump’s base has been forcefully pushing the narrative that the previous president didn’t start any new wars, which while technically true ignores his murderous actions like vetoing the bill to save Yemen from US-backed genocide and actively blocking aid to its people, murdering untold tens of thousands of Venezuelans with starvation sanctions, rolling out many world-threatening cold war escalations against Russia, engaging in insane brinkmanship with Iran, greatly increasing the number of bombs dropped per day from the previous administration, killing record numbers of civilians, and reducing military accountability for those airstrikes. Trump may not have started any “new wars”, but he kept the old ones going and inflamed some of them. Just because you don’t start any new wars doesn’t mean you’re not a warmonger.

Rather than a throwback to “new wars” and the old-school ground invasions of the Bush era, the warmongering we’ll be seeing from the Biden administration is more likely to look like this. More starvation sanctions. More proxy conflicts. More cold war. More coups. More special ops. More drone strikes. More slow motion strangulation, less ham-fisted overt warfare.

It is certainly possible that Biden could launch a new full-scale war; the empire is in desperate straits right now, and it could turn out that a very desperate maneuver is needed to maintain global domination. But that isn’t the method that it has favored lately. The US empire much prefers nowadays to pour its resources into less visible acts of violence like economic siege warfare and arming proxy militias; the Iraq invasion left Americans so bitter toward conventional war that any more of it would increase the risk of an actual antiwar movement in the United States, which would be disastrous for the empire. So rather than tempt fate with the bad publicity of flag-draped coffins flying home by the thousands again imperialism is now served up with a bit more subtlety, with the military playing more of a backup role to guard the infrastructure of this new approach.

It appears clear that this would be the Biden administration’s preferred method of warmongering if given the choice based on who’s going to be in it. The incoming Secretary of State Tony Blinken now advocates replacing the old Bush model of full-scale war with “discreet, small-scale sustainable operations, maybe led by special forces, to support local actors”. Biden’s nominee for CIA Director William Burns urged caution in the lead-up to the Iraq invasion and later expressed regret that he didn’t push back against it. Rather than picking bloodthirsty psychopath Michele Flournoy for Defense Secretary as many expected, Biden went with the less cartoonishly evil Raytheon board member Lloyd J. Austin III. All this while depraved coupmonger Victoria Nuland is being added to the administration and the murderous Venezuela coup is folded into its policy.

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Too much of the antiwar community is still stuck in the early 2000s. The western war machine just doesn’t generally kill that way anymore, and we need to adjust our perspectives if we want to address the actual murderousness as it is actually showing up. If you keep looking out for obsolete ground invasions, you’re going to miss the new form of warmongering completely.

Trump supporters who claim to oppose war missed this completely throughout the entirety of his presidency, confining the concept of “war” solely to its most blatant iterations in order to feel like their president was a peacemaker instead of a warmonger. One of the few positive developments that could potentially arise from the Biden administration is helping such people to recognize acts of violence like starvation sanctions as war, since they will be opposing Biden and that is how this new administration will be manifesting much of its murderousness.

The political/media class likes to keep everyone focused on the differences between each president and his immediate predecessor, but we can learn a whole lot more by looking at their similarities. Biden’s warmongering is going to look a lot like Trump’s — just directed in some different directions and expressing in slightly different ways — despite all the energy that has been poured into painting them as two wildly different individuals. Once you see beyond the partisan puppet show, you see a single oligarchic empire continuing the same murderous agendas from one sock puppet administration to the next.

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Thanks for reading! The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, throwing some money into my tip jar on Patreon or Paypal, purchasing some of my sweet merchandise, buying my new book Poems For Rebels (you can also download a PDF for five bucks) or my old book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

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The Saudi massacre in Yemen: A very British disgrace

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 24/01/2021 - 6:35am in

As we approach the global day of action for Yemen on Monday 25 January, Jamal Elaheebocus describes the humanitarian catastrophe inflicted by Saudi Arabia with US and UK support.

Safety first: defend firefighters under attack

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 23/01/2021 - 6:47am in

The Fire Brigades Union is facing a political attack for defending its members' health and safety, reports Luke Porter, a firefighter in south Yorkshire

Fighting fire with fire: British Gas strikers burn sham contracts

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 23/01/2021 - 3:51am in

British Gas strikers took a stand on picket lines around the country and showed management what they think of their new contacts, reports Margery Thorogood

Despite What You Heard, There Was No Peaceful Transition

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 23/01/2021 - 2:39am in

Anyone trying to find the edges of the U.S. Overton Window right now must feel like they’re tracing an amateur rendition of an early Picasso. After a summer spent chanting “defund the police,” self-identifying progressives applaud the pouring of some 25,000 troops and busloads of out-of-city law enforcement into the streets of Washington, DC. Those eager to cheer the departure of a racist, sexist, war-hawking elitist from the White House were quick to welcome a new racist, sexist, war-hawking elitist. Those who lambasted Trump for dragging more swamp creatures into the swamp rather than draining it are applauding Biden for his diverse cabinet appointments, ignoring the revolving door of corruption and oppression they represent. Those who (correctly) decried the Paris Climate Agreement for being flimsy and non-committal are celebrating Biden’s executive order to rejoin it.

Indeed, anyone applauding Biden’s first flicks of the wrist as President would do well to look beyond the window dressing. Of the 15 new executive orders that aren’t merely a light Trump-eraser, they herald the return of the classic Democratic practice of sprinkling progressive-tasting garnish around deep systemic problems. For example, Biden’s executive order to once again kill the Keystone XL pipeline project, a project that Obama had already killed (that Trump then revived) is at best a step sideways, not forwards. Biden has said outright that he has no interest in a Green New Deal, despite the fact that the watered-down version that bounced around Congress left gaping holes in truly addressing climate chaos. He has also ignored repeated calls to kill both Line 3 and the ill-fated Dakota Access Pipeline.

Meanwhile, the executive order to “advance racial equity” in the federal government grinds sharply against Biden and Harris’ own political histories while, much like Pelosi’s toothless Climate Crisis committee, it offers up no real action to address the issue at hand.

The same is true of Biden’s call to defend DACA, the Obama-era legislation that granted a renewable two-year stay-of-deportation for children who immigrated to the U.S. with their parents. As DACA recipient Ella Mendoza explained to me back in 2017, “DACA was flawed from the very beginning.” Mendoza described a carrot and stick program that demanded recipients sign admissions of illegal border crossings for momentary reprieves that could be overturned at any time. The convenient announcement of DACA around Obama’s re-election just highlighted for Mendoza that this was really about dismissing “Obama’s deportation of more than 2 million people” just in time for election day. “You can tell me it’s about children all you want, but you’re deporting our parents,” she said. In short, DACA wasn’t a dream come true. While people like Mendoza struggled to build a life under the gaze of the deporter-in-chief, Obama was only too glad to throw other children in cages, a practice many only found abhorrent when Trump did it years later. DACA isn’t comprehensive immigration reform – it never was. Establishment Democrats and their fans cooing over it like the return of a lost child doesn’t change that fact.

Looking ahead, many might feel a sense of relief that Biden at least takes the COVID-19 pandemic seriously, signing executive orders to mandate masks in federal buildings, to rejoin the World Health Organization and to address the financial free-fall impacting millions of Americans. However, if you look closely, you’ll see again that unfulfilling Democratic garnish sprinkled on deep systemic rot. The executive order to extend the CDC’s eviction and foreclosure moratorium until March 31 doesn’t address the loopholes in the original order that still allow for evictions. Furthermore, the moratorium does not cancel rent. Tenants will still be liable to pay for all missed payments once the moratorium ends, and landlords are still allowed to hike the rent during the unpaid months.

Likewise, the “pause” on student loan payments demonstrates yet again how little the Democrats are willing to help the people. The move carries over a pause which the Trump administration started while “asserting” that Biden will carry through on his campaign pledge to cancel $10,000 of student loans per borrower, noting however that it will take time as the cancellation has to go through Congress first. Great! So we’ve got a Trump leftover plus an empty promise to shave off $10k in student loans when the average debt sits at $32,731, and that’s not including accrued interest. Biden’s executive order is essentially a Post-It note ‘IOU’ with a smiley face scribbled on the back. It kicks the can over to Congress in the hopes we won’t realize that Biden could actually cancel all $1.7 trillion in student debt with a different (read: actually useful) executive order. He’s probably also hoping we’ll forget that back in 2005, Biden was one of 18 Democrats who voted excitedly for a bill that stripped student loan borrowers of bankruptcy protections, leading to a tripling in student loan debt over the next ten years. Oddly enough, Biden never voted to say, strip multi-million dollar corporations of their bankruptcy protections. If you’re a huge corporation, you can easily wriggle out of your debts to workers, communities and local governments. If you’re a destitute student, there’s no way out of your debt. Still, Biden could do it – he could lift the burden of an indebted future from millions, a move that even the likes of Business Insider agree would bolster the economy and in particular benefit communities of color and low-income households. Gee, sounds like that’d be a win-win in your quest to “advance racial equity” there Joe.

Of course, the fact of the matter is that Biden, the master-mind of the ’94 crime bill, has no interest in advancing racial equity. He’s never cared about the plight of people drowning in debt – or drowning in rising floodwaters – and he doesn’t care now. He has no intention of progressing or changing the direction of his political career. Indeed, he quite glibly announced to rich donors back in 2019 that “nothing will fundamentally change” when he takes the Oval Office. Based on his cabinet picks and his first orders as President, I think we should take him at his word.

The relief that Trump is gone is understandable. But don’t be lulled by the very conditions that gave rise to Trump’s presidency in the first place. To celebrate our so-called return to a democracy we’ve never had with a decency that is at best shallow, and at worst a conniving cover-up for crimes against humanity speaks of a belief in American exceptionalism that is neither warranted nor helpful. Underneath the progressive platitudes and unfulfilling garnish lie the same systemic rot, a rot that was perhaps most noticeable on Inauguration Day itself – when two worlds stood sharply demarcated by militarized checkpoints, and the revolving door of red and blue capitalist imperialism was almost literally visible.

Walking around DC on Inauguration Day, I felt like I was touring a vast military exhibition – which basically, I was. Military vehicles rolled down quiet neighborhood streets as if they’d gotten lost on their way to the frontlines. National Guardsmen with giant rifles and camo gear stood out like militantly sore thumbs against the backdrop of a local park. Operation Peaceful Transition (as I’ve come to call it) was in full swing, with all the irony of previous imperialist missions like Operation Iraqi Freedom. In the shadows of Biden and Harris’ gleeful photo-ops with the likes of George W. Bush, community members across DC were working tirelessly to address the effects of a city shut down, blocked off, and singularly concerned with providing the ruling class with a cushy Inauguration Day.

DC Inauguration

Credit | Eleanor Goldfield | Art Killing Apathy

DC Inauguration

Credit | Eleanor Goldfield | Art Killing Apathy

DC Inauguration

Credit | Eleanor Goldfield | Art Killing Apathy

Indeed, despite DC serving as the stage for this tragicomedy of political theater, a lot of locals weren’t focused on Joe Biden. Community members were busy raising funds and pooling resources for neighbors who were scared to leave their homes or go to work, fearing both fascist violence and the scourge of freshly deployed ICE and CBP officials (two sides of the same coin). Others were delivering groceries or hot meals to people who were understandably creeped out by the massive military and police presence in the city. Mutual aid groups set up 24-hour rolling shifts to address emergency requests and to share information about everything from checkpoints (potentially life-changing information depending on your immigration status) to local POC-owned restaurants to order food from.

Meanwhile, Biden stood at perhaps the most protected podium in the world, speaking of hope, unity, leadership, peace, and a brighter future. These are two worlds disconnected. We the people are literally barred from his world, and he has no interest in entering ours.

There is no such thing as a peaceful transition in a city with more troops than both Iraq and Afghanistan. There is no peaceful transition for the black and brown folks displaced in the fastest gentrifying city in the nation. There is no peaceful transition for a city with a higher maternal mortality rate than Syria.

There is no peaceful transition for a country with the largest military and surveillance system the world has ever seen. There is no peaceful transition for a country that represents 5% of the world’s population but 25% of the world’s incarcerated. There is no peaceful transition for a nation where slavery is still legalized, where millions have died due to lack of healthcare, housing and other basic human rights.

The revolving door of imperialist capitalist preservation turns again. But there is nothing peaceful about it. And the hope that flows from the twisted tongues of our politicians is not hope for the people. Still, that doesn’t mean that there is no hope. Indeed, quite the opposite. Our hope lies in recognizing and manifesting our power – in realizing that projects like KXL would never even have been canceled in the first place were it not for people’s collective, tireless and targeted actions.

Our hope lies in the roots – in these communities that bustle and build in the shadows of empire. It lies in the crowns of trees where tree-sitters block the way of pipelines. It lies in solidarity – in growing everything from garlic in community gardens to growing networks of interconnected local aid groups. It lies in direct action. As Direct Action & Climate Justice Organizer Alex Cohen notes, “Direct Action builds the new and stops the old. Direct Action brings hope in the darkest times. Direct Action builds community, creates assembly, fuels worth and empowerment, and builds people power. No matter how grave the time, it remains a tool available to us 24/7 and 365 days a year, on our own terms.”

It is this hope and these tactics that we must take into the Biden presidency – into every presidency.  Instead of gazing at the spires of empire through the Overton Window, fogged by false promises and twisted by hypocrisy, look closer to home. Don’t look up for liberation, look next door, down the street. These aren’t progressive platitudes but quite literally how we survive – how we fight, how we build – on our own terms in these grave times.

Feature photo | Eleanor Goldfield  | Art Killing Apathy

Eleanor Goldfield is a creative radical, journalist, and filmmaker. Her work focuses on radical and censored issues via photo, video, and written journalism, as well as artistic mediums including music, poetry, and visual art. She is the host of the podcast, Act Out, co-host of the podcast Common Censored along with Lee Camp, and co-host of the podcast Silver Threads along with Carla Bergman. Her award-winning documentary film, “Hard Road Of Hope” is about West Virginia as both resource colony and radical inspiration. She also assists in frontline action organizing and training. See more of Elanor’s work @ ArtKillingApathy.com | HardRoadofHope.com

The post Despite What You Heard, There Was No Peaceful Transition appeared first on MintPress News.

The Next Two Years Will Be The Democratic Party At Its Most Transparent

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 21/01/2021 - 3:28pm in

Joe Biden is now the president of the United States of America. His day one executive orders should have prioritized ending the single worst crisis in the world in Yemen, a war he campaigned on ending US involvement in, but they did not.

Ending US participation in the Yemen genocide could and should have begun on day one. In These Times reported the following back in November (emphasis added):

One thing Biden can do, starting on day one, is end U.S. involvement in the Yemen war — involvement that he helped initiate. ​“By executive order, Biden could get the Pentagon to end intelligence sharing for the Saudi coalition airstrikes, end logistical support, and end spare parts transfers that keep Saudi warplanes in the air,” Hassan El-Tayyab, lead Middle East policy lobbyist for the Friends Committee on National Legislation, a progressive organization, tells In These Times. ​“He could restore humanitarian assistance to northern Yemen. He could use his power as president to put pressure on other nations that are supporting the Saudi coalition — like France, the United Kingdom and Canada — and get them to follow suit. He could have the State Department put a stop on all arms sales to Saudi Arabia unless they meet certain benchmarks.”

Biden did none of these things, which while unsurprising is still inexcusable. This isn’t some ten-year infrastructure plan we’re talking about, this is the worst mass atrocity on our entire planet and it should be treated with proportionate urgency. This administration consciously chose not to end US participation in that atrocity as swiftly as possible, which will remain an inexcusable decision even if the Yemen war is eventually ended later.

Instead of grilling Biden about his decision not to prioritize his promise to end the Yemen war, which is what any real journalist would do, the press are asking him stupid nonsense questions about whether he can “unite the country”.

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In the lead-up to Biden’s inauguration we were treated to some Senate hearings on his cabinet picks, in which we learned that this administration will continue Trump’s murderous coupmongering in Venezuela, that it will maintain Trump’s incendiary decision to have the US embassy in Jerusalem, that reviving the Iran nuclear deal is a long ways off from happening and will first require consultation with Israel, and that it will be continuing Trump’s cold war escalations against China.

In one of the more bizarre displays in the Senate hearings, Biden’s nominee to lead the State Department Tony Blinken defended his support for the disastrous Libya intervention during his time in the Obama administration by blaming its aftermath on Muammar Gaddafi, the leader who was mutilated to death in the streets after a US-led intervention to oust him.

“Here’s what I think we misjudged,” Blinken said. “We didn’t fully appreciate the fact that one of the things Gaddafi had done over the years was to make sure that there was no possible rival to his power, and as a result there was no effective bureaucracy, no effective administration in Libya with which to work when he was gone.”

By “when he was gone” Blinken means when he was dead, because the United States helped kill him after staging an intervention based on lies. He is defending his push for an intervention which led to a failed state where people are sold as slaves by saying that if Gaddafi had run his country better it would not have collapsed into violence and chaos when the Obama administration murdered him.

This is like an axe murderer blaming his actions on his victim’s bad housekeeping. The brazenness with which imperialist goons can shrug off all responsibility for their actions will never cease to astonish.

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The next two years will be the Democratic Party at its most transparent. After two years they are statistically likely to lose control of the House and/or Senate, after which time they’ll be able to pawn off all imperialist bloodshed and lack of progress on an “obstructionist congress” like they did for the last six years of the Obama administration. But until then the Democrats are going to have to own all of their reactionary depravity and mass murder on their own.

This will set a sharp contrast from the past four years, where every mundane part of the US empire’s institutionalized abuse was portrayed as an anomaly unique to the Trump administration. Unable to blame their refusal to advance progressive policies and basic human decency on Trump and Vladimir Putin these next two years, they’ll be forced to kill any leftward movement all on their own. Which is why we are now already seeing mass media articles with headlines like “Under Biden, it’s time for Democrats to let go of Medicare for All”.

And this period will provide ample opportunities to highlight the fact that that’s exactly what the Democratic Party exists to do: kill all leftward movement in the most powerful government on earth. As the US continues its soul-crushing neoliberal policies at home and its murderous neoconservative policies abroad with the same degree of psychopathy it displayed in previous administrations, we must draw attention to the fact that it is the Democratic Party which bears responsibility for these things.

The sooner Americans can discredit the Democratic Party as a legitimate vehicle for progressive change, the sooner they can start looking for other tools. The first step to escape is to stop pushing against the fake door falsely labeled “exit”.

________________________

Thanks for reading! The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, throwing some money into my tip jar on Patreon or Paypal, purchasing some of my sweet merchandise, buying my new book Poems For Rebels (you can also download a PDF for five bucks) or my old book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

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Viral #TrumpsNewArmy Video Is Liberals At Their Craziest And Scariest

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 19/01/2021 - 11:36pm in

A new viral video calling on liberals to form “an army of citizen detectives” to gather information on Trump supporters and report their activities to the authorities has racked up thousands of shares and millions of views in just a few hours.

The hashtag #TrumpsNewArmy is trending on Twitter as of this writing due to the release of a horrifying video with that title from successful author and virulent Russiagater Don Winslow. As of this writing it has some 20 thousand shares and 2.6 million views, and the comments and quote-retweets are predominantly supportive.

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“On or before January 20th, Donald Trump will no longer be the Commander-in-Chief: he will lose control of the Army, Navy, Airforce, Marines, Special Forces and America’s nuclear arsenal,” Winslow’s voice begins ominously. “On January 20th Donald Trump will become Commander-in-Chief of a different army: this army.”

Viewers are then shown footage from Trump rallies while being told that they are looking at “radical extreme conservatives, also known as domestic terrorists”.

“They are hidden among us, disguised behind regular jobs,” Winslow warns. “They are your children’s teachers. They work at supermarkets, malls, doctor’s offices, and many are police officers and soldiers.”

Winslow talks about white supremacists and the Capitol riot, warning that Trump will continue escalating violence and fomenting a civil war in America.

“We have to fight back,” Winslow declares. “In this new war, the battlefield has changes. Computers can be more valuable than guns. And this is what we need now more than ever: an army of citizen detectives. I’m proposing we form a citizen army. Our weapons will be computers and cellphones. We, who are monitoring extremists on the internet and reporting our findings to authorities. Remember, before the Navy Seals killed Osama Bin Laden, he had to be found. He was found by a CIA analyst working on a computer thousands of miles away. It’s up to you.”

The viral video is being loudly amplified by popular #Resistance accounts like Majid M Padellan (better known as Brooklyn Dad Defiant) with frighteningly paranoid and HUAC-like rhetoric.

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“#TrumpsNewArmy is VILE,” one of Padellan’s Twitter shares of the video reads. “And we KNOW who they are. They are our teachers. They are our neighbors. They are our police officers. They are EVERYWHERE. EXPOSE THEIR TREASON.”

“Donald trump is on his way out,” reads another. “Good riddance. But his ‘army’ is still here, hiding amongst us. They are traitors. They are evil. And they MUST be rooted OUT.”

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America,” reads yet another. “But SOME people… they pledged their allegiance ONLY to trump. These are dangerous traitors.”

“After 9/11, we were told: If you see something, say something,” reads still another. “We have TERRORISTS in our midst. Some of us KNOW these people. It is our patriotic DUTY to expose them.”

So if you were hoping that maybe liberals would chill out and get a little less crazy with Trump out of the White House, I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

This is as insane and scary as I have ever seen these people get, and I was in the thick of peak Russiagate hysteria. An aggressively manufactured push to get an army of citizens spying on each other calls to mind the Stasi informants of East Germany, the patriotism-fueled digital “digging” of the QAnon psyop, and the NatSec LARPing of Louise Mensch Twitter, all rolled into one great big ball of crazy.

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This comes out as we are being bombarded with mass media punditry from literal CIA veterans like Sue Gordon and Elissa Slotkin forcefully hammering home the message that domestic terror is the new frontier for combating violent extremism, meaning of course that new Patriot Act-like solutions will be needed. Winslow himself spent six years traveling and doing research for a novel about a former CIA operative, and if some government agency didn’t recruit him during that period they clearly should have.

This will get frightening if it keeps up. Just as a relatively low-profile lefty blogger I routinely get liberals online falsely claiming I’m a Russian agent and saying they’ll report me to the FBI, and that’s without an aggressive campaign urging them to join a powerful digital army. The fact that Winslow stays very vague about what he means by “Trump’s new army” and constantly conflates rank-and-file Trump supporters with white supremacist terrorists means people are effectively being pointed at all Trump supporters, especially when normal Trump rallies are what he points to in the video. If this takes off it can very quickly lead to a volunteer army of power-worshipping snitches against literally anyone who is critical of US foreign policy or the Democratic Party, whether they actually support Trump or not.

In fact just following the trending hashtag I’m noticing Twitter users saying this means targeting all Trump supporters, so clearly that is the message that’s being absorbed.

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“Trumpers are pushing back so hard against this video because so many of them live in the dark, cloaked behind normal jobs and seemingly normal lives,” Winslow tweeted in promotion of his project.

Well maybe that’s because they are half the voting public, Don?

Winslow mixes in these generic comments about “Trumpers” with comments about “white supremacists”, about whom he tweets “1. We expose them. 2. We identify them. 3. We notify law enforcement. 4. We notify their employers.”

Their employers.

This is just liberals being pushed toward targeting anyone who isn’t ideologically aligned with them for destruction. I really, really hope it doesn’t take off, because it is profoundly ugly. Please don’t let the manipulators trick you into ripping each other to pieces, America. They’re only pointing you at each other so you don’t look at them.

_______________________

Thanks for reading! The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, throwing some money into my tip jar on Patreon or Paypal, purchasing some of my sweet merchandise, buying my new book Poems For Rebels (you can also download a PDF for five bucks) or my old book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

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What ‘Democracy’ Is Under Attack? Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 18/01/2021 - 2:37pm in

Tags 

War, Politics, USA, News, america

To stop the exacerbation of Trumpism the talking heads are recommending internet censorship, regulations on media, new domestic terror laws, literally anything they can possibly think of except changing the conditions which gave rise to Trumpism.

The most imminent threat to US democracy is not Russia, nor fascist insurrectionists, but the fact that US democracy is entirely fictional.

Saying US democracy is being threatened is like saying Grinches are a critically endangered species.

The previous president intervened in the primary to appoint his right-hand man as his chosen successor. That successor will be installed in a five-day, star-studded celebration surrounded by a sea of barbed wire and heavily armed soldiers. What “democracy” is under attack, exactly?

No, the Capitol riot was not “karma” for America’s international coups and regime change interventions.

Karma would be the US actually reaping what it sows.

Karma would be the US government toppled and replaced with a foreign puppet regime, and millions of Americans killed.

Karma would be tens of millions of Americans displaced by widespread violence.

Karma would be the US becoming a failed state where people are again sold as slaves.

Karma would be nuclear bombs dropped on US cities.

Karma would be Americans starved to death by crushing sanctions.

Karma would be America’s forests soaked with Agent Orange.

Karma would be mass executions of Americans in sports stadiums.

Karma would be massacres of entire towns: men, women and children.

Karma would be foreign soldiers raping and killing civilians with impunity.

Karma would be foreign-backed extremists mutilating Americans to death and publicly displaying their corpses.

Karma for US interventionism would be for America to collapse and burn in chaos and torture.

That would be “karma”.

That would be the chickens coming home to roost.

I am not saying it would be a good thing if this happened. It most definitely would not.

I am saying the US must cease brutalizing the world.

We now know for a fact that monopolistic Silicon Valley megacorporations can be pressured by the plutocrat-controlled political/media class to silence political factions online. Good thing there’s no way this can possibly go wrong.

When you realize that corporations are America’s real government, the whole “it isn’t censorship if it’s a private company doing it” argument is seen for the joke that it is. It’s also completely specious, because the government is directly involved in the censorship.

Soon social media will just be an app that sends everything you say to the FBI and gives you regular notifications that the government is your friend, and then everyone will finally be happy.

Back before he was silenced Assange tweeted “The overwhelming majority of information is classified to protect political security, not national security.”

I think of this quote often.

The mass media have earned every bit of the contempt the public has for them. Every little bit of it.

Rightists suck at conspiracy analysis because their worldview requires an elite cabal planning and orchestrating all evil dynamics, whereas leftists understand that many (though not all) of those dynamics will unfold on their own in a system where human behavior is driven by profit-seeking. In situations where you are ideologically prohibited from blaming the obvious culprit capitalism, you’ll come up with all kinds of other wacky explanations.

The best most reliable way to accurately predict what will happen in a given situation is to ignore whatever laws, trends and dynamics everyone else is pointing at and just assume the most powerful people will find a way to get whatever it is they want somehow. Doesn’t mean elites always win, and it certainly doesn’t mean we should stop fighting. It’s just the most reliable way to accurately guess what will happen in a given situation, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Sectarian feuds in the online left always boil down to “the whole system is rigged against the people” lefties versus “we can work with the oligarchic empire to advance our interests” lefties.

The US empire has two faces: the plastic smiling one based in Hollywood, and the blood-spattered one based in DC, Arlington and Langley. If you live in wealthy western nations you’re presented with the former. If you live in the Middle East or the Global South you get the latter.

One of the weirdest things in my life these days is watching people enthusiastically arguing that they should receive less assistance from their government. Never until I began commenting on US politics was this ever a part of my life. The brainwashing there is out of this world.

If a political party always succeeds at advancing sick agendas and always fails at advancing healthy agendas, it’s because it only exists to advance sick agendas.

Victory for your revolutionary political goals won’t be a victory for the ego. If you are sincere about this, you want your marginalized viewpoint to become mainstream and mundane. You want your insight and understanding to become as common as grass. You can’t be in this for you.

A lot of revolutionary-minded types get a sense of coolness and specialness from their marginalized ideology. It makes them feel good to be uniquely right about things. But that attitude will actually get in the way if your goals are attained and your views become mainstream.

If you are sincere about this stuff and not just in it for egoic masturbation (many are), you can’t keep a lot of identity wrapped up in being the underdog, in being fringe and marginalized. Because the ultimate goal is to be the exact opposite.

_________________________

Thanks for reading! The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, throwing some money into my tip jar on Patreon or Paypal, purchasing some of my sweet merchandise, buying my new book Poems For Rebels (you can also download a PDF for five bucks) or my old book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

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The Two Faces Of The US Empire

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 16/01/2021 - 3:01pm in

Tags 

Politics, america, News, War

The Biden/Harris inauguration event is going to be a star-studded celebration spanning an unprecedented five days, a giddy orgy of excitement at a murderous oligarchic empire having a new face behind the front desk after promising wealthy donors that nothing will fundamentally change.

This comes at a time when Americans are now reporting that they trust corporations more than they trust their own government or media, when pundits are gleefully proclaiming in The New York Times that “CEOs have become the fourth branch of government” as they pressure the entire political system to smoothly install Biden, when the leading contender for the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division is an Obama holdover who went from the administration to working for both Amazon and Google, and when Americans are being paced into accepting an increasing amount of authoritarian changes for their own good.

And this manic celebration and increasing brazenness of corporate power are of course overlaid atop an unceasing river of human blood as the globe-spanning empire continues to smash any nation which disobeys it into compliance so as to ensure lasting uncontested planetary hegemony.

But hey, at least they voted out fascism.

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The US empire is ugly and creepy. The more you look at it, the uglier and creepier it gets. That’s why so much effort goes into keeping the public from looking at it directly.

The US empire has two faces, one rooted in the west coast and the other in the east. The first face, which sprouts up from Hollywood, presents a grinning plastic smile to the world depicting how fun and wonderful and righteous America is and how all its systems are working completely fine. The second face, which sprouts up from DC, Arlington and Langley, is wild-eyed and covered in blood.

Just like any other two-faced monstrosity, the face you will see depends on where you are standing.

If you live in wealthy western nations, or in the US itself, you are mostly presented with the first face. The artificial culture pipeline runs from Hollywood to the rest of the world and keeps everyone seeing American life as fun, enjoyable and packed full of hilarious repartee, interspersed with the sexual attention of beautiful women and kicking bad guys into molten lava. Freedom and Democracy™️. Capitalism is totally working. You can trust these guys to run the world. News at eleven.

If you live in the Middle East, Asia, or in the Global South, you are far more likely to encounter the second face. The blood-spattered face. The face of murder. The face of tyranny. The face whose actions amount to nothing other than an endless war on disobedience, where any government which tries to insist on its own national, military, resource, commercial or financial sovereignty is smashed into the dirt by any means necessary until it either collapses or complies.

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The empire needs both faces. Without the murder face, it could not exist as an empire. Without the grinning face, the public would never consent to the murder face.

People who inhabit the hub of a murderous empire are historically unaware of its horrific nature. In the old days that was because information was easy to restrict access to. Today it’s because information is easy to manipulate and distort. That’s the only difference between this murderous empire and those of old. That and the fact that this one is brandishing about weapons that can end the world with increasing recklessness.

Humanity will not know health and harmony until it knows truth. Until we collectively come to a lucid reckoning with what’s going on in our world, in our nations, in our society, and in ourselves. The movement toward a healthy world is a movement toward becoming aware of things we previously were not aware of. In this case, as a first step, this means collectively seeing behind that grinning plastic mask to the churning death machine underneath.

_____________________

Thanks for reading! The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, throwing some money into my tip jar on Patreon or Paypal, purchasing some of my sweet merchandise, buying my new book Poems For Rebels (you can also download a PDF for five bucks) or my old book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

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Consent-Manufacturing For Patriot Act II Continues

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 15/01/2021 - 3:11pm in

It’s been obvious for a long time that the best way to stop the rise of right-wing extremism in America that everyone’s so worried about today is not to pass a bunch of authoritarian laws, but to reverse the policies of soul-crushing neoliberalism and domestic austerity which led to Donald Trump. Instead of doing this, the next president is already pushing a Patriot Act sequel and reducing the stimulus checks he’d promised the public before he’s even been sworn in.

President-elect Biden promised unambiguously that if voters gave the Democratic Party control of the Senate by electing Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff in Georgia earlier this month, checks of $2,000 would “go out the door immediately”. Warnock blatantly campaigned on the promise of $2000 checks if elected, literally using pictures of checks with “$2000” written on them to do so. This was not an unclear promise by any stretch of the imagination, yet when Biden unveiled the “American Rescue Plan” on Thursday, the number 1400 was written where the number 2000 should have been.

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The argument being pushed out at the moment is that when Democrats were blatantly promising stimulus checks of $2000 what they really meant was that Americans would receive $1400 on top of the $600 checks they’d received earlier, and everyone should have just known this somehow (perhaps via some sort of psychic precognition or sorcery). Which of course makes as much sense as someone hiring you to do a job for a given amount of money and then paying you the amount promised minus the amount you’d made at your last job.

It’s just so emblematic of US austerity policies, which are so normalized they don’t even use that word. Keep people stretched so thin that even a paltry $2000 after months and months of nothing can be spun as an excessively exorbitant indulgence which must be scaled back to keep it reasonable. In reality a grand total of $2600 in the richest nation on earth after all this time would still be a huge slap in the face, but generations of media spin have gone into keeping Americans from attaining that level of rightful entitlement.

So as of this writing the internet is full of angry Americans actually typing the words “$1400 is not $2000”, which is totally bananas. People should not have to say that the number 1400 is not the same as the number 2000. It feels like if my Twitter feed was full of people saying “Cars are not birds”, or “Pogs are not iPhones”, or “Mimes are not salad”. People should not have to make such self-evident clarifications.

But they apparently do need to make such clarifications, because scumbags like Adam Schiff are looking them right in the eye, sharing information that says “$1,400 checks” on it, and telling them that it says “$2000 relief checks”.

2 + 2 = 5.

So again, it’s pretty clear that America isn’t going to attempt to reverse the conditions which created Trump and all the extremist factions that everyone’s been freaking out about since the Capitol riot. Obama led to Trump, and the strategy going forward is to just keep tightening the neoliberal screws like both Obama and Trump did throughout their entire administrations. And, of course, to advance new “domestic terrorism” laws.

As we discussed previously, Biden has often boasted of being the original author of the Patriot Act years before it was rapidly rolled out amid the fear and blind obsequiousness of the aftermath of 9/11. Now in the aftermath of the Capitol riot we are seeing a push to roll out new authoritarian laws around terrorism, this time taking aim at “domestic terror”, which were also in preparation prior to the event used to manufacture support for them.

In a new article for Washington Monthly titled “It’s Time for a Domestic Terrorism Law”, Bill Scher argues against left-wing critics of the coming laws like Glenn Greenwald and Jacobin’s Luke Savage saying such “knee-jerk reactions” against potential authoritarian abuses fail to address the growing problem. He opens with the acknowledgement that “Joe Biden’s transition team was already working on a domestic terrorism law before the insurrection,” and then he just keeps on writing as though that’s not weird or suspicious in any way.

Scher lists among the growing threat of domestic terror not just white supremacists and right-wing extremists but “extremist left-wing domestic terrorism” as well. He approvingly cites Adam Schiff’s Confronting The Threat of Terrorism Act, which “creates a definition of domestic terrorism broadly encompassing plots that carry a ‘substantial risk of serious bodily injury’ along with an ‘intent to intimidate or coerce a civilian population’ or ‘influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion.’” The ACLU has unequivocally denounced Schiff’s bill, saying it “would unnecessarily expand law enforcement authorities to target and discriminate against the very communities Congress is seeking to protect.”

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Known CIA asset Ken Dilanian has also been trotted out to make the case that Americans have too many rights for their own good, co-authoring an NBC article titled “Worried about free speech, FBI never issued intelligence bulletin about possible Capitol violence”.

“FBI intelligence analysts gathered information about possible violence involving the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6., but the FBI never distributed a formal intelligence bulletin, in part because of concerns that doing so might have run afoul of free speech protections, a current and two former senior FBI officials familiar with the matter told NBC News,” the article warns, making sure to inform readers that “experts say the lack of a domestic terrorism statute constrains the FBI from treating far-right and far-left groups the same as Americans who are radicalized to violence by Al Qaeda or ISIS ideology.”

We can expect to see more such articles going forward.

The only way to sincerely believe more Patriot Act-like laws will benefit Americans is to believe that the US will only have wise and beneficent leaders going forward, and the only way to sincerely believe the US will only have wise and beneficent leaders going forward is to be completely shit-eating stupid. The trajectory has already been chosen, and that trajectory is the one that has already given rise to Trump. Continuing along that same trajectory can only give rise to something far uglier, and that something far uglier will have whatever new authoritarian powers are added by Joe Biden.

They’re not actually worried about “domestic terror”, they’re worried about any movement which threatens to topple the status quo. They want to make sure they can adequately spy, infiltrate, agitate and incarcerate into impotence any movement which provides a threat to America’s rulers and the system which funnels them wealth and power at the expense of everyone else. The movements which most threaten this are not rightists, who are generally more or less aligned with the interests of the oligarchic empire, but the left.

This is who they’ll end up targeting going forward, and whatever Biden and Company wind up rolling out to fight “domestic terrorism” will help them do so.

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