Is QAnon the Most Dangerous Conspiracy Theory of the 21st Century? Reply

No. The Russophobia, Sinophobia, and Iranophobia promoted by the neocons and neoliberals are the most dangerous collection of conspiracy theories.

By Charlie Warzel

New York Times

In 2019, the F.B.I. cited QAnon as one of the dangerous conspiracy theories posing domestic terrorist threats to the United States and cited past incitements of violence from its adherents. Despite its fringe origins, the conspiracy movement continues to grow in troubling ways. QAnon-supporting candidates are running for office in surprising numbers (Media Matters’ Alex Kaplan reports that “at least 14 candidates made it out of primaries to the ballot in November or to primary runoffs.”) The movement has been tacitly embraced by President Trump and his re-election campaign, who’ve amplified QAnon accounts and even some of their memes.

For those who haven’t paid attention to the community since the early days, the movement’s growing popularity is alarming and often confusing. Some have compared it to a budding religion. Personally, the phenomenon has always struck me as a dark iteration of vigilante investigations that grew popular on message boards in the 2010s — citizen journalism gone wrong.

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‘Ode to Putin’ appears in Portland from Trump Statue Initiative Reply

I disagree with widespread claims that Trump is somehow Putin’s puppet. The Trump administration has been too hawkish toward Russia (unilaterally abrogating the INF Treaty, for example) rather than not hawkish enough. Russia is just a province in the global capitalist empire in which the US ruling class is the senior partner. Putin is not much different from a state governor that occasionally gets uppity. But this is still hilarious.

Let’s talk about Biden’s possible foreign policy…. Reply

This is some excellent commentary. I have predicted for 20 years that as the aggressive militarism of the neocons produced one failure after another, the ruling class would eventually shift to an effort to maintain the empire under the cover of liberal internationalism, economic dominance, and totalitarian humanism. “From the world’s policeman to the world’s EMT” as this guy says. It appears that is what Biden’s foreign policy team is planning.

Nancy Pelosi and Liz Cheney Unite Against Troop Withdrawal Reply

When Trump was running for prez in 2016, I thought that he was instinctively and certainly rhetorically to the “left” of both the normal Republicans (neocons and supply-siders) and the “centrist” Democrats (neoliberals) on a wide range of issues, particularly foreign policy, trade, and criminal justice reform, although I figured he would end up governing as a normal Republican most of the time. It appears that I was right. He has governed as a normal Republican generally, although on trade, criminal justice, and foreign policy he has been somewhat left of the duopoly at times as well. Even his recent shenanigans involving the DHS goons were comparatively mild when compared with those of George H.W. Bush, who really did call out the US armed forces in response to the LA riots of 1992, and who presided over the killings at Ruby Ridge the same year (William Barr was involved in the coverup!), or Bill Clinton, who presided over the massacre at Waco in 1992, or Wilson Goode, even the African-American liberal mayor of Philadelphia, who presided over the MOVE massacre in 1985. Trump’s DHS shenanigans remind me more of Ed Koch’s repression of the Tompkins-Square Park riot in 1988 (I was there!). As I’ve said, Trump is just another New York liberal.

By Curtis Ellis

The American Conservative

After President Trump stated his desire to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, Germany and South Korea, the bipartisan war party sprang into action.

Veto-proof majorities in both houses of Congress approved a defense appropriations bill that authorizes $740 billion in military spending. Along with all the other dubious and downright awful provisions, the House’s version of the bill has included a measure designed to thwart the president from bringing troops home. House Democrats worked with Liz Cheney (R-WY) on an amendment putting several conditions on the administration’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, requiring the White House to certify at several stages that further reductions wouldn’t jeopardize counterterrorism or national security.

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Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Reply

An old article from the 1980s describing Libya’s economic system. There were many problems with Qaddafi, but the reason he was so hated by the Western imperialists is that he expelled Western petroleum interests from the country and created the wealthiest nation on the African continent. The Western powers tried to cripple Libya’s economy with decades-long sanctions, before launching an outright invasion in 2011. Under King Idris, Libya was a backward, starving colony of the Western oil companies. Since Qadaffi’s fall, Libya has become a Somalia-like failed state with open-air Middle Passage-like slave markets.

By Mark Johnson

New Internationalist

Libya presents an enigma. It is a thinly populated country on the margin of the Arab world, yet it appears to exercise a far greater influence than its economic and strategic importance would suggest. Last year it attracted not only headlines but President Reagan’s bombers as well. 1951 Libya has been regarded by Westerners as not much more than a useless tract of desert. Its main exports were ones they could largely do without: esparto grass used for paper, and scrap metal from relics of World War Two battles.

But then came oil. American companies played the leading role in opening up the oilfields and Libya was soon in the fast lane to economic development.

The process of rapid change dealt King Idris’ regime a fatal blow, and in 1969 a group of nationalist army officers under Colonel Muammar Gaddafi took power.

Gaddafi and his Revolutionary Command Council describe their philosophy as ‘socialist’ and ‘revolutionary’. As a ‘Jamahiriya’ – a state of the masses – Libya’s system of government is supposedly based on the exercise of power by the people. Libyans who disagree, arguing that the popular committees which formally run the country represent little more than a political party loyal to the colonel, get short shrift from the Government.

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IMF Made Loans to Belarus Conditional on a Lockdown. Lukashenko Turned Them Down Reply

Anti-Empire.Com

Additional conditions which do nto apply to the financial part are unacceptable for Belarus, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said when speaking about external lending during a meeting to discuss support measures for the real economic sector on the part of the banking system, BelTA has learned.

Aleksandr Lukashenko asked the participants of the meeting how things were with the provision of foreign credit assistance to Belarus. “What are our partners’ requirements? It was announced that they can provide Belarus with $940 million in so-called rapid financing. How are things here?” the head of state inquired.

At the same time, he stressed that additional conditions which do not apply to the financial part are unacceptable for the country. “We hear the demands, for example, to model our coronavirus response on that of Italy. I do not want to see the Italian situation to repeat in Belarus. We have our own country and our own situation,” the president said.

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Get the Fuck Out of Afghanistan! Reply

By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit

Exile in Happy Valley

This is the part of the horror movie where the plot collapses beneath the weight of one too many clichés. Having already gruesomely dispatched all the more promiscuous teens, the knife wielding masked psychopath has cornered the chaste final girl in an old dilapidated farmhouse. The backdoor is seemingly wide open, but instead of making an easy and sensible, if anticlimactic, escape, the bookish antagonist takes the fucking stairs to the attic, leaving her no place left to hide from the monster stalking her. You, the audience, is left beside yourself. Your mind boggles at the hackneyed rational of a supposedly sensible heroine. You’re left with no other plausible response than to yell out at the silver screen, “Get the fuck out of the house!” In 2020, this is the analogy where we as Americans find ourselves. Only we are all the final girls, the masked psychopath is a seemingly unkillable war of our own creation, and the farmhouse that we refuse to escape from is the imperial crypt called Afghanistan. If you are one of the few remaining committed anti-imperialists in this country, you find yourself on the outside of this colossal mess looking in, practically begging, “Get the fuck out of Afghanistan!”

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So Close, But Yet So Far… Reply

I came across this recent statement from a leftist activist. The comments below were made as part of a wider argument that opposition to PC is nothing more special pleading by reactionaries who merely want to be exempt from criticism, which is the standard leftist reply to criticisms of “wokeness.”

No that’s the thing: the right won near-total political power & they still can’t be happy because they lack cultural hegemony. They wanted power by any means & now they have it & it’s ashes in their mouths b/c they get no respect, everybody despises them, it’s their monkey’s paw.

These comments are a perfect example of someone who comes close to scoring the winning touchdown and drops the ball as the last second. The USA is certainly a “far-right” nation in the realm of foreign policy (a Romanesque uber-imperialism). The US class system has moved past mere center-right neoliberalism toward a full-blown right-wing plutocracy of the kind found in pre-modern and contemporary “Third World” societies. The US has the largest police state of any country that is a formal democracy, and the highest incarceration rate of any nation (with the possible exceptions of China and North Korea, two outright totalitarian regimes). If you define “right-wing” as retrograde authoritarianism (as most leftists do) then, yes, the right has “near-total political power” in the US.

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103 Democrats Join GOP in Voting Down Omar Amendment to Accelerate US Withdrawal From Afghanistan Reply

“Imperialism is awesome.” -The Democraps

By Jake Johnson

Common Dreams

The House of Representatives on Tuesday voted down a proposal by Rep. Ilhan Omar to accelerate the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan and help bring to a close the longest war in U.S. history.

The Minnesota Democrat’s amendment (pdf) to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) fell by a vote of 129-284, with 103 House Democrats joining 181 Republicans in voting no.

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Giuliani, speaking at summit of Iranian dissidents, compares mullahs to the mafia Reply

Both the Trumpists and the neocon/Bush Republicans that have colonized the Democrats seem to have Iran in their sites. Not a good sign.

By Adam Shaw

FOX News

The top Iranian resistance group held its annual summit Friday, whose attendees included Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who joined calls for the overthrow of the regime in Iran — calls that have been boosted by recent protests in Tehran and international pressure from the U.S.

The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) held the Free Iran Global Summit online due to the coronavirus and had estimated that participants from 102 countries and 30,000 locations would attend the event.

Giuliani was one of a host of speakers from across the globe who dialed in remotely and symbolically delivered a letter on behalf of a bipartisan coalition of U.S. politicians and officials, including former Sen. Joe Lieberman, former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey and former Sen. Robert Torricelli.

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Trump Announces Big Escalation With China Over Hong Kong Reply

The USA had the uprising in CHAZ, and the PRC had the uprising in Hong Kong. Both Trump and Xi Jinping can go fuck themselves.

The Americans are concerned that one of the major provinces (China) in the global capitalist empire (in which the US ruling class is the senior partner) is getting a bit uppity, and using the Hong Kong issue as some political leverage against the Chinese.

The main thing that I like about Trump is that being an incompetent moron who talks like a mafia ordering a hit, he presents the state as it actually should be presented, i.e. as organized writ large (which may be somewhat defamatory of organized crime). I figured that would be the case when he was running for prez which is why I was inclined to root for him from the apathetic sidelines.

I also figured that Trump would be the symbolic figurehead for the gallant last stand of traditional WASP America and that his eventual flameout would be the final defeat of the remnants of the pre-1968 culture, meaning that the right-wing of the system would largely be vanguished leaving us true anti-systemists with only one enemy rather than two, the rising forces of totalitarian humanism rooted in the left-wing of the managerial class and its ideology of Cromwellian/Khomeinist “wokeness.”

 

Memories from Nemesis: Tale of a Peruvian Maoist Reply

A somewhat interesting review of Abimael Guzman’s autobiography. For quite some time, I have held the view that the Shining Path developed what is arguable the most advanced critique of imperialism on the Marxist “far-left,” although it’s not substantially different from what anarchist anti-imperialists were saying in the 19th century. Marxists still held to a generally pro-imperialist line at the time. Marxist anti-imperialism really begins with Lenin (at least as far as major theorists). It’s also interesting how the Shining Path’s emphasis on recapturing a supposedly glorious Inca past resembles the primordialism found in aspects of fascist thinking. Pol Pot’s emphasis on reclaiming Angkar was similar.

By Frank Beyer

“Mao Zedong Thought” was a major global ideology at a time when China didn’t have much to offer the world economically. Chairman Mao influenced a wide range of groups, such as the Black Panthers in the United States and revolutionary movements in Nepal, India, and the Philippines. Mao was also a guiding light for one particular Peruvian revolutionary: Abimael Guzman. This acolyte’s revolution caused radical waves long after Mao’s death in 1976 – and ultimately ended in failure.

In 1965, a philosophy professor at Peru’s University of Huamanga named Abimael Guzman — also known as “Chairman Gonzalo” — travelled to China with seven other Peruvian communists; he would return to become the most famous Maoist in Latin American guerrilla history. While in Beijing, Guzman got to see Chairman Mao, but only from afar.

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