Sean Matthew King hosts a discussion between Brent Lengel, an anarcho-communist, and Keith Knight, an anarcho-capitalist.
Press TV. Listen here.
A prominent rights group says it has credible evidence that US drone strikes in Somalia are killing civilians.
Amnesty international says it carried out an extensive investigation. A team of researchers traveled to Somalia. There, they conducted forensics tests and interviews with more than 150 individuals. The group also analyzed corroborating evidence. This included satellite imagery, photos from the aftermath of airstrikes and munition fragments.
A good article from Matt Taibbi, though I don’t really agree that the Russiagate hoax is comparable to the WMD hoax (that Mueller was involved in perpetrating as well). The WMD hoax started a war that possibly killed over a million people, while Russiagate just makes the bulk of the media and political class look like idiots (which most people already know anyway).
By Matt Taibbi
Note to readers: in light of news that Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s investigation is complete, I’m releasing this chapter of Hate Inc. early, with a few new details added up top.
Nobody wants to hear this, but news that Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller is headed home without issuing new charges is a death-blow for the reputation of the American news media.
As has long been rumored, the former FBI chief’s independent probe will result in multiple indictments and convictions, but no “presidency-wrecking” conspiracy charges, or anything that would meet the layman’s definition of “collusion” with Russia.
A senior Justice Department official said that Mr. Mueller would not recommend new indictments.
Attorney General William Barr sent a letter to congress summarizing Mueller’s conclusions. The money line quoted the Mueller report:
[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.
Over the weekend, the Times tried to soften the emotional blow for the millions of Americans trained in these years to place hopes for the overturn of the Trump presidency in Mueller. As with most press coverage, there was little pretense that the Mueller probe was supposed to be a neutral fact-finding mission, as apposed to religious allegory, with Mueller cast as the hero sent to slay the monster.
By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit
Exile in Happy Valley
I’m a creature of sonic evolution, dearest motherfuckers. A hand grenade with Luna moth wings. It’s rather ironic for a diagnosed agoraphobic but the only thing that’s evolved more than my fluid gender identity is my equally fluid ideology. In thirty short years I’ve evolved from indentured Catholic to agnostic existentialist to Gnostic Christian witch, from juvenile anarcho-punk to Bolivarian Bolshevik tankie to panarcho-syndicalist gadfly. One thing that hasn’t changed throughout this intellectual metamorphosis however is a life long devotion to the sanctity of life.
Being a far-left pro-lifer has always seemed like a contradiction to most of my ilk but it has always made perfect sense to me. Egalitarianism in all its dimensions has always been about the stewardship of the weak in humanity by the strong. I actually believe that my early pro-life values are largely responsible for informing my radicalism rather than contradicting it. In a strange bid of karma, the Catholic Church may have accidentally created this church-burning commie-pinko by instilling those values in me at an impressionable age. I guess you could say I did a reverse Dorothy Day, from devout do-gooder to bomb-throwing heretic, sunrise, sunset.
This doesn’t mean that I’m on the same page with the pro-life movement at large, not by a long shot. I personally find your average pro-lifer to be a self-serving, single-minded, chauvinistic, pig-fucker with a severe penile Napoleon complex. As much as I despise the idea abortion, I’ve come to the hard conclusion that you can’t regulate someone else’s body without creating a berth for tyranny too wide for any self-respecting anarchist to tolerate. My approach to the issue has essentially become one of harm reduction. Combat abortion by making it irrelevant through the proliferation of affordable alternatives like the morning after pill. I feel that with this issue the bulk of the pro-life movement has revealed themselves to be puritanical hypocrites, more concerned with policing behavior than creating viable alternatives for desperate young women. As two thirds of a female and a feminist to boot, I find this hypocrisy to be particularly hard to swallow. You don’t have to be pro-choice to recognize that a rape victim doesn’t deserve to be polluted by a monster’s progeny, you just have to not be a dick. A tall order for too many of my fellow pro-lifers.
Press TV. Listen here.
The United States foreign policy has always served the interests of the military-industrial complex and that is why President Donald Trump is actively trying to increase the Pentagon’s budget while also pressing allies to spend more on defense, says an American analyst.
Keith Preston, director of Attackthesystem.com, made the remarks while discussing reports that Washington was drawing plans to require allies with American troops stationed in their countries to pay for the deployment.
Under White House direction, the Trump administration plans to ask Germany, Japan and eventually any other country hosting US troops pay the full price of American soldiers deployed on their soil, plus 50 percent or more for the privilege of hosting them.
“It is an interesting relationship because the United States on one hand pays the military bills and provides for the military defense of these countries in Asia and in Europe and also at the same time the Americans use this position… to maintain political hegemony,” Preston told Press TV on Sunday.
Washington’ pressure on Germany, the UK and France to follow Trump in abandoning the 2015 Iran nuclear deal was one of the examples of this trend, the analyst said.
The Trump administration’s plan to maintain several hundred troops in Syria despite a promise to evacuate the country was another hint at this behavior, according to Preston.
John Bolton, Trump’s national security adviser, said Sunday that the US was in talks with the UK and France to prolong foreign military presence in Syria in order to prevent what he called a possible presence of the Daesh terror group.
“So clearly this is a move by President Trump to simply generate revenue for the United States and for the US military budget,” he said. “Much of what the American politics is about is simply making money for the so-called military-industrial complex.”
He said while the US military budget was around $700 billion annually, the military industrial complex’s real revenue was difficult to calculate “because there is so man different channels of revenue.”
Press TV. Listen here.
The administration of US President Donald Trump is backing pro-American politicians in Latin America as a strategy to regain US hegemony and reverse the so-called “pink tide” movement in the region, says a political analyst in Virginia.
“I think that the American foreign policy at present is to try to reverse that, to try to roll back what was called the pink tide,” said Keith Preston, chief editor of AttacktheSystem.com.
“This seems to be the general paradigm that’s evolving; that the Americans are trying to exercise hegemony over Latin America [and] reclaim influence that has been lost in recent decades,” Preston told Press TV on Friday.
Pink tide is a term used todescribe the rise pf populist movements in Latin America in the late 1990s that opposed American hegemony. The movement was led by the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, who was elected in 1998.
The shift also represented a move toward more progressive economic policies and coincided with the democratization of Latin America following decades of inequality.
PressTV-US ‘very strongly’ considering NATO membership for BrazilUS president Donald Trump says he is “very strongly” considering NATO membership for Brazil or some other formal alliance with the Latin American country.
Trump said on Tuesday he was strongly considering NATO membership for Brasilia as he met Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro at the White House, even though the South American nation doesn’t quality to join the Western military alliance.
Trump also said he supported Brazil’s efforts to join the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), a club of the world’s advanced economies.
Bolsonaro, known as the “Trump of the Tropics”, ran an unabashedly pro-Trump, pro-American campaign last year, emulating Trump in tone and style. It seems to have paid off for Bolsonaro on his first official trip to Washington.
Bolsonaro is an avid admirer of Trump and his policies, particularly those with regard to opposing anti-imperialist governments in Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba.
In January, Bolsonaro also said that he is open to considering the establishment of a US military base in Brazil as a way to “counter Russian influence” in neighboring Venezuela.
By Will Schnack
Even if we were to vote, where is the line drawn? We all know that Ralph Nader gave Bush the election, and we know that Bernie and the Greens and Libertarians did the same thing. So, what are we to do? Press that even the exposure of these people is a good thing? That they put pressure on the others to bend their policies a bit, to appeal to more people? Or are we just supposed to run into the pen that the sheepdog leads us into every time we realize that the sheepdog was never going to win in the first place? And if we’re voting for people who aren’t going to win, why aren’t we all just writing in our disparate but favorite candidates, and our friends and neighbors? Where is the line drawn with useless voting?
The working class often votes Right-wing, because some of the working class is composed of the small property-owner or the owner-operator and sole-proprietor of their business, or are working to get there. Others are white trailer trash who see affirmative action and other programs as privileges that they themselves don’t have but are being punished for. Some are just rural folks. There are tons of demographics among the working class, and not all of them white, that supported Donald Trump.
The Algerian president says he will stay in power beyond his term expiring next month, despite growing calls for him to step down. Abdelaziz Bouteflika issued a statement on Monday which confirmed his plan would see him stay in power beyond his tenure. He said he hopes the county will witness a new government and a harmonious transition. While Bouteflika gave no timetable for such transition, he said the shake-up of Algeria’s political, economic and social systems would start in the very near future. Algerians have been protesting for weeks against Bouteflika’s rule and his plan to run for another term. The ailing leader withdrew from his next presidential bid but scrapped the upcoming election. He also said that he would stay in office until a new constitution is adopted.
Press TV. Watch here.
Political commentator, Keith Preston, believes Algeria’s ongoing crisis is rooted in decades of political, economic, and social unrest.
My interview with the Balkans Post.
The incident in Christchurch, New Zealand has been among the most serious incident of violence against Muslims in the West, an American analyst in Virginia says.
Here’s the full transcript of the interview:
The verdict is in. Trumpism is business as usual.
An important article in Foreign Policy from 2017.
The “solution” for the Middle East: The US should cease its “regime change” operations and support for jihadis. Israel should withdraw to its pre-1967 borders, and Saudi Arabia and the Gulf monarchies should be isolated and contained as pariah states.
“In 2006, in the midst of a fierce war between Israel and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice famously stated that the world was witnessing the “birth pangs of a new Middle East.” She was right—but not in the sense she had hoped. Instead of disempowering Hezbollah and its sponsor, Iran, the war only augmented the strength and prestige of what is known as the “axis of resistance,” a power bloc that includes Iran, Iraq, Syria, Hezbollah, and Hamas in Palestine.
But the 2006 war was only one in a series of developments that significantly transformed the geopolitical and military nature of the axis—from the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, which first opened the door to greater Iranian regional influence, to the more recent fall of Mosul to ISIS in 2014, which led to the proliferation and empowerment of Shiite militias. These changes have prompted a fundamental reconfiguration of the contemporary Middle East order. Arab elites, grappling with the consequences of an eroding Arab state system, poor governance, and the delegitimization of authoritarian states following the 2011 Arab Spring, enabled Iran and its partners, including Russia, to build a new regional political and security architecture from the ground up. With the support of Tehran as the undisputed center of the axis, Shiite armed movements in Iraq and across the axis of resistance have created a transnational, multiethnic, and cross-confessional political and security network that has made the axis more muscular and effective than ever before.”
I almost never endorse politicians. I generally regard all elected officials, from the President to dogcatchers, as employees of the real ruling class (C. Wrights Mills’ “power elite”). Voting is merely participating in the king’s coronation rituals in a way that conveys legitimacy on the state. However, there are times when political campaigns can be used for propagandistic purposes. Ron Paul’s presidential campaigns in 2008 and 2012 are examples, and Tulsi Gabbard’s present campaign is another potential example.
I doubt she will get the nomination. The Democrapic party will either find a way to block that from happening (i.e. cheating), or she will simply fail to do well in the primaries because, in my experience, most of the kinds of people who are likely to be voters in the Democratic primaries are not people who consider foreign policy to be a primary issue. What passes for “the Left” in the US is, with some exceptions, pathetic when it comes to international relations. They’re far more interested in idpol, expanding the welfare state, and environmentalism (i.e. advancing the interests of the left-wing of the First World middle class). However, a Tulsi vs. Trump contest in 2020 would be a highly interesting turn of events for a range of reasons.
I think she would actually do better in a general election than in the primaries, though I don’t know if she could beat Trump or not. I think not because not only are there the standard issues like incumbent’s advantage but also because, given her views on international relations, the overlord class would pour money into the Republicans to keep Tulsi out of the White House, and the media would work overtime to ensure her defeat. Notice the only time the media (other than FOX) ever said anything good about Trump were the two times he attacked Syria. It would be a highly interesting and comical situation because the political class, capitalist class, deep state, media, etc would suddenly rally behind Trump after years of endless hating on him because they would view him as objectionable though more easily contained and less immediately threatening to the empire’s interests. It would be a true “memory hole” moment. Such a situation would also greatly exacerbate the cleavage between neoliberals (most of whom would move to Trump) and progressives (most of whom would stay with Tulsi). Certain dividing lines would become clearer among the center (radical center vs. establishment center) and right (neocons vs nativists vs populists vs non-interventionists) as well.
Of course, even if she won Gabbard would be constrained by the wider ruling class, political, and deep state apparatus. At best, she would be another Jimmy Carter, i.e. a moderate who is a generally decent person but essentially unable to maneuver within the framework of a system of overwhelming opposition by elites. The “Trump hate” that has been piled on by the wider ruling class is nothing compared to the “Tulsi hate” that would come about if she were elected (the same would be true of a Republican with similar views).
Any US president who seriously moved against the interests of the oligarchy would meet the same fate as Mosadegh, Arben, Suharto, Diem, Sihanouk, Allende, Saddam, Qaddafi, so many others.
Press TV. Listen here.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s upcoming trip to the Middle East is yet another attempt by the United States to shore up support for anti-Iran projects it has long been running with help from its “Zionist and Saudi” allies in the region, an American analyst says.
Pompeo will fly to the Middle East on Tuesday, stopping first in Kuwait before heading to Israel and Lebanon.
Keith Preston, director of Attackthesystem.com, said Washington was trying to strengthen the alliance between the US, Saudi Arabia and Israel — what he referred to as the “Atlanticist-Zionist-Wahhabi” alliance– in order to push back against Iran, which is the main force keeping them from taking full control of the region.
Saudi Arabia and some other Arab governments in the Persian Gulf region “have a common objective in opposing the influence of Iran in the region.”
“Obviously Iran is the primary bulwark against the greater Israel, against Israeli expansionism and of course, the (Persian) Gulf states have wanted to expand the region a well and at this point they see Iran as the primary obstacle to that,” he added.
That is how those countries have been running all sorts of plots such as financing Daesh and other Takfiri groups to take out Syria, their other rival in the region, the analyst argued.
“So once again, there is a convergence between the interests of the Gulf monarchies, between the Israelis and between the Americans in trying to eliminate any kind of political autonomy that nay Middle Eastern nation might have,” he added.
The reason, according to Preston, is “because the Americans, the Saudis and Israeli have been largely successful in destroying many other nations in the region.”
Pompeo made a similar trip to the region in January to try to forge a unified Arab front against Iran, a dream that has brought together even Saudi Arabia and Israel.
PressTV-Pompeo to push anti-Iran message in Mideast next weekUS Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will start a five-day tour of the Middle East next week, where he will discuss security issues in the region.
Pompeo’s main objective in the tour was laying the groundwork for the Middle East Strategic Alliance (MESA), a concept similar to an Arab NATO. Trump first floated the idea of forging MESA during his visit to Saudi Arabia in 2017.
The US hosted an anti-Iran summit last month in Warsaw, Poland. However, US efforts to build pressure against Iran faced a setback after ministers from several European Union members opted out of the summit.
By Nicky Reid
Exile in Happy Valley
Do you remember the Democrats, dearest motherfuckers? Not the neoliberal, gutter capitalist, Clintonista kind or even Bernie’s brand of drone-strike socialists, but the peace loving hippie kind. The doves who tried to end the Cold War and marched against the draft and stuck flowers in the barrels of National Guard rifles. The liberal lions who took on the war machine, who made love not war, who couldn’t hug their children with nuclear arms, and braved the perils of grassy knolls and brainwashed Arabs to bring just one ounce of sanity to Capitol Hill. Sure they were corny and preachy and a little grabby in cocktail party coatrooms but they had character and cojones and conviction. What ever happened to those liberals, before their bleeding hearts were eaten whole by those nasty neos? Where have all the flowers gone? Tell me, dearest motherfuckers, do you remember the Democrats?
Yeah, me neither, and here comes another one of my famously merciless reality checks. With the exception of few fantastic McGovern hiccups, they never actually fucking existed. The Democrats have always been a war party, even back when the Republicans were still Lindbergh worshiping isolationists. Don’t get me wrong, the Dems were always big on that Feed the World-style, Kumbaya charity shit, but there chief staple was usually more white phosphorous than whole grain granola. Both World Wars, Korea, Vietnam; all started by Democrats. Even the Republican crusades in the Persian Gulf initially passed with broad Democratic support and lingered into holocausts with broad Democratic indifference. Much like the Republicans relationship with putting America first, the Democrats only get in touch with their hippie-dippie side when it serves their partisan needs, with Yemen as your latest rule-proving exception.
Lately, though, it seems to be getting worse. Since the Sixties, the Dems have at least generally payed lip service to ideas like detente and diplomacy, particularly atop their ivory soap boxes of the legacy media. But if you turn on NPR or CNN these days, you would be forgiven for believing you were interrupting a less than clandestine meeting of the John Birch Society. According to such bleeding brains as Rachel Maddow and Wolf Blitzer, Vladimir Putin is responsible for everything from Hillary’s biological unelectability to the ravages of climate change. Donald Trump makes the rare intelligent decision to simply meet up with Kim Jong-un for pho and playful banter and he’s appeasing the Axis of Evil. John Bolton throws a monkey-wrench into the goddamn thing and suddenly he’s the latest neocon “adult” to be proclaimed a progressive folk saint. The Donald firebombs an orphanage in Crimea and he finally becomes a “real” president. OK, I made the last one up, but these are some sick sick fucks.
This is a fairly low-brow article from a mainstream “conservative movement” site (as opposed to high-brow conservatives like the H.L. Mencken Club or The American Conservative). It’s interesting how these types think that somehow “conservatism” is going to make some big comeback even as the Left is winning or gaining ground on virtually every issue, certainly every social and cultural issue. Gen Z is no more going to embrace a return to Reaganite “fusionism” than they’re going to embrace rotary dial telephones. But the point this article makes about the “Oppression Olympics” is on point.
The ATS philosophy of freely associating voluntary “tribes” and decentralized local communities offers an alternative to the conventional right-wing, the statist orientation of most of the Left, the “culture war” paradigm and to the “Oppression Olympics.”
By Rachel Alexander
As the left becomes more intolerant, its various factions are encountering more conflict with each other. Black Lives Matter and other minorities create “spaces” where white people aren’t allowed — which exclude sympathetic white liberals. Transgenders and feminists get into vicious fights over whether transwomen are really women. Radical immigration groups crash LGBT marches. Feminists on college campuses broadly paint male co-eds as rapists — even liberal men. Comedians who routinely mock conservatives are finding themselves chased away from college campuses by snowflakes who don’t like their LGBT and race jokes. Bernie Sanders’ supporters are investigating the mysterious death of former DNC staffer Seth Rich, while Hillary Clinton supporters ridicule them as conspiracy theorists.
The left’s dominant factions are even more likely to run into conflicts with each other as a result of the left taking over much of society. Since conservatives are increasingly blocked out of areas like education, the left is free to run rampant. For example, there is no longer a debate over whether to teach children encouraging messages about being LGBT in school. Instead, the debate is whether to include transvestites, polygamists and more controversial aspects of gender and sexuality in the discussion. CARTOONS | Henry Payne View Cartoon
White liberal professors are finding themselves under siege in upper academia. Michael Rectenwald, a professor at NYU, said in February that he was leaving the left after becoming fed up with the snowflakes, trigger warnings, safe spaces and other hostile behavior he was subjected to. He explained on Facebook, “today’s ‘Left’ is rife with the most obscene, abusive, nasty, spiritually ugly and utterly unethical, hypocritical and fanatically horrible people I’ve ever encountered in my 58 years on earth.”
Tulsi Gabbard is turning out to be the most anti-statist of any of the presidential candidates (a very low standard to say the least). She has also introduced legislation to end federal marijuana prohibition as well. For many years, I have argued that the central focus of anarchists, libertarians, and anti-statists should be opposing US imperialism in the international realm, and opposing the so-called “criminal justice system” (police state), prison-industrial complex, over criminalization, war on drugs, “consensual crime” laws,” surveillance state, anti-terrorism laws, etc. as opposed to the Left’s focus on identity politics, environmentalism, and expanding the welfare state, and mainstream libertarianism’s focus on opposing the welfare state. We should also be striving to take the anti-gun control issue away from the patriotic, cop-loving, military-worshipping reactionary right, and frame gun control as means of oppressing the poor and minorities (which it clearl is).
By Dominic Holden
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, the Democratic presidential contender from Hawaii, told BuzzFeed News unequivocally she wants to decriminalize sex work, asserting a clear position on an enormous underground industry that’s largely ignored by American politicians.
“If a consenting adult wants to engage in sex work, that is their right, and it should not be a crime,” Gabbard said. “All people should have autonomy over their bodies and their labor.“
Most candidates in the 2020 race have skirted the issue, including President Donald Trump, but questions about sex work are beginning to chase the Democratic presidential pack.
Gabbard’s embrace of the issue comes just days after Sen. Bernie Sanders was asked for his position and didn’t have one. “That’s a good question, and I don’t have an answer for that,” he told The Breakfast Club.
When asked in late February if she supports decriminalization, Sen. Kamala Harris, who opposed a sex work decriminalization measure in 2008, told the Root, “I think so. I do.”
The White House didn’t answer questions from BuzzFeed News last year about whether Trump thought sex work or paying for sex should be legal. Nor would officials say if the president supported the Justice Department busting a website accused of posting sex work ads.
It’s obviously true that most of the MSM, particularly television, is simply the propaganda arm of the Democratic National Committee, just as FOX, talk radio, Christian broadcasting, and the Wall Street Journal are simply the propaganda arm of the Republican National Committee.
By Caitlin Johnstone
Hawaii Congresswoman and Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard recently appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, where instead of the light, jokey banter about politics and who she is as a person that Democratic presidential candidates normally encounter on late night comedy programs, the show’s host solemnly ran down a list of textbook beltway smears against Gabbard and made her defend them in front of his audience.
Normally when a Democratic Party-aligned politician appears on such a show, you can expect jokes about how stupid Trump is and how badly they’re going to beat the Republicans, how they’re going to help ordinary Americans, and maybe some friendly back-and-forth about where they grew up or something. Colbert had no time to waste on such things, however, because this was not an interview with a normal Democratic Party-aligned politician: this was a politician who has been loudly and consistently criticizing US foreign policy.
I don’t “believe” in electoral politics, because elected officials are just the paid employees of the power elite proper (see C. Wright Mills), but this would still be great because it would force the power elite to really step foward and show its hand. “Hell, no. We ain’t having this!”
The ruling class has already waxed hysterical over Trump, who is just an old-fashioned Nixon-Rockefeller Republican (“Nixon was the last liberal president”-Noam Chomsky) and governs like a normal Republican on most domestic issues. Imagine how the oligarchy would respond to Tulsi/Paul?
Any US president who seriously moved against the interests of the oligarchy would meet the same fate as Mosadegh, Arben, Suharto, Diem, Sihanouk, Allende, Saddam, Qaddafi, so many others.
This article is an important illustration of why a pan-anarchist movement, committed to global revolutionary struggle, needs to transcend the left/right paradigm. These romantic medievalist anarchists are people that we need as part of cultivating a mass audience for the project of state/ruling class/empire abolitionism.
By Alexander William Salter
The American Conservative
I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided; and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past.” These words are Patrick Henry’s, uttered in the course of his famous oration known for its powerful closing words “give me liberty or give me death.” Although Henry probably did not intend it as a sociopolitical axiom, the Anglo-American conservative tradition has adopted it as such. Conservatives rightly look to the past to influence their views of the future. Change in the basic structure of society’s institutions is inherently perilous, and must be guided by the “lamp of experience” lest reform lose its way.
But experience accumulates as time marches on. Proposed changes to public life that seem radical and dangerous in one era can embody wisdom and stewardship in another. Applied conservatism is nothing less than continual constitutional craftsmanship. And in that context, “constitution” refers not to whatever is formally drawn up in a document, but the actual procedures and practices that comprise a society’s public sphere.
In this spirit, I propose a position that seems extraordinary, but I am convinced is vindicated by historical experience: the state is a fundamentally anti-conservative force, and in order to preserve the good, true, and beautiful things in society, it’s got to go. In short, I argue that conservatives should seriously consider anarchism.
I realize such a position seems absurd, at least on its surface. Conservatism has long held that the existing political order deserves respect precisely because it is the result of custom, habit, and experience. Massive changes in basic social institutions almost always create chaos. How then can one be both conservative and anarchist?