Sunday, April 25, 2021

Joe Biden's Fabulous Fool's Peace

 Oh sweet lord Satan, is this it? Is this really how it ends? With Joe Biden struggling to pronounce Pashtun words on badly shuffled cue cards. Is this it? After twenty long years that could only accurately be described as goddamned, is this finally mercifully it? Twenty years! Twenty years in Afghanistan! Has it really only been twenty years? It feels more like forty or four hundred. Twenty years. Twenty years of drone strikes and bombing hospitals and wedding parties. Twenty years of digging graves for men who came home broken but alive. Twenty years of propping up dope lords, rapists, and pederasts. Twenty years of insisting that such beasts were moderates in the business of women's lib. Twenty years of stacking corpses too high to accurately count the dead. Higher than those merciless mountains standing like gallows made from god's serrated fangs. Twenty years of the longest war in America's storied history of geostrategic bloodletting.

And now you say it's over? Poof! Just like that. With a wave of Lady Liberties extinguished torch, with a wave of Joe Biden's bony finger, this is how it ends? With that sad broken old fool of a death merchant announcing that he may be the fourth president to preside over this atrocity but he will also be the last. And just like that, on September 11, 2021, this forever nightmare is over.  Yeah, I'm not fucking buying it either.

For starters, this plan carries the bizarre distinction of being a peace deal that violates a preexisting peace deal. Donald Trump's diplomatic wunderkind, Zalmay Khalilzad broke his back doing back flips over buzz saws in Doha to get the Taliban killing machine to agree to a cease fire, and for an entire year, those grizzled imperium slayers sustained from murdering a single solitary pig-dog American based on the promise that we would finally fuck off by May 1, 2021. It was all set and ready to go. All the work had already been done. And Biden just drops in and wipes his ass with the thing, and for what? Another four months and a photo-op? You're gonna put our precious boys and girls in uniform on the chopping block for that? Why? Seriously, what the literal fuck?

But that's not all folks! Biden's little speech, and that is indeed all this peace plan amounts too, a speech from a killer in Depends, promised the removal of all US and NATO coalition troops. It said absolutely nothing about the Pentagon's 13,000 contract killers. It said nothing about the unknown number of CIA agents and black-ops operatives active in country. It said nothing about the lethal air war that kills more women and children than all the M4's and AK's combined. Peace? What fucking peace? This thing that has been pompously promised to us isn't peace. It's a lie. Fool's peace. If I were just a little more paranoid, I might suspect that this deal was designed to fail. Then again, is that really so far fetched considering the Biden regime's hundred day history of duplicitous diplomacy?

If I could boil Joe Biden's fool's peace doctrine down to an easy formula, I would say it goes something like this. Make a great big ambiguously worded media friendly peace announcement without ever signing anything on paper. While those imbeciles in the Fourth Estate fawn over the majesty of geriatric Camelot, stall and drag your feet on what few details you provided and leave ample room for tax funded third parties to sabotage the thing. Then once the other side loses patience with this nonsense and lashes out, blame them from your high horse for spoiling your glorious peace offering and continue the violent status quo with the newly minted pedigree of "Hey man, we tried." Like I said, this would all sound paranoid even to a tinfoil hat Yippie like me if we hadn't done it twice already.

We did it with Yemen, where Biden made another vague and flowery speech about ending all American support for 'offensive' Saudi military operations in the region while promising a commitment to aid in that psychopathic kingdoms defense against their victims. Since then there has been virtually zero discernable change in our involvement with that ghastly holocaust. The Saudis continue to pulverize Yemen with American war toys and the United States continues to aid those butchers in their decidedly offensive blockade which threatens to starve children under the age of 5 in the hundreds of thousands. And as if that weren't diabolical enough, we simultaneously deny the very existence of a blockade while fingering our own puppet in exile, Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi for the the crime that isn't happening. And naturally, every time a Houthi gets lucky enough to nail a Saudi gas station we blame them for not being serious about peace.

And we're doing the same goddamn thing to Iran. Biden ran on restoring the 2015 JCPOA Nuclear Deal that Trump unilaterally violated. But the moment Biden shuffles into office, he finds all kinds of reasons to keep the Trump era sanctions cooking. Meanwhile, Iran is left economically crippled while COVID ravages their people like blanket-born small pocks and Israel chucks cyber terrorist attacks at them like tomahawks. Under those dire conditions, Iran has seen it fit to raise plutonium levels to grades never even attempted before. Contrary to Biden's campaign promises, relations have gotten worse with Tehran even while we engage in pussyfooting peace talks through EU negotiators.

What the shit? Can we just have Trump back? At least he trampled on peace deals without all the crazy mind games. But that's what Joe Biden's fabulous fool's peace is really all about, achieving the same stupid results while looking smart doing it. You see, nothing substantial ever really changes with America's foreign policy. The same unelected professional war mongers maintain their footing in the Pentagon, State Department, and the CIA. The same goals are always in place, dismantle the Muslims, isolate the Chinese, and destroy the Russians. What American's vote for is the PR team for these hellacious shenanigans, and with Biden they hired the same clean up crew that made America look professional again after 8 years of Bush overplaying his hand in Iraq. What we're seeing now is another session of imperial cleanup after Trump's single term abortion. That's what you idiots really voted for, the propaganda of a lesser evil.

What? You didn't think they were serious about change, did you? Silly Americans, democracy is for kids. Peace is for tinfoil hat Yippies like me. But I'll keep ranting if you keep reading.

Peace, Love, & Empathy- Nicky/CH

Soundtrack; songs that influenced this post

*  Stuck Inside Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again by Bob Dylan

*  Bloodletting by Concrete Blonde

*  Rock and Roll by the Velvet Underground

*  Sabotage by the Beastie Boys

*  California Uber Alles by Dead Kennedys

*  Shell Game by Bright Eyes

*  No Children by the Mountain Goats

*  Control by Mannequin Pussy

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Why Donbass Matters

 Dark storm clouds are gathering over the contested Ukrainian border regions of Donbass and Crimea as two antiquated superpowers surge headlong towards a conflict that could easily end in nuclear oblivion. It may take two dinosaurs to tango but it doesn't take a paleontologist to tell you that this disaster in waiting has 'made in America' written all over it. After months of belligerent violations, it was a flurry of press releases from the White House, Defense Department, and NATO that finally empowered the American funded puppet regime of Vladimir Zelensky in Kiev to finally torch the Russian brokered Minsk Peace Agreement and openly seek to rid itself of Russian influence over Crimea and local autonomy over Donbass by any means necessary. And why not? The White House openly admits that during their first phone call on Good Friday, Biden offered Zelensky, "unwavering support for Ukraine sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of Russia's ongoing aggression in Donbass and Crimea." For those of you who don't speak fluent NATO, that's code for, 'Bomb! Bomb! Bomb!'

And NATO membership is what this growing disaster is all about. According to NATO bylaws, a nation cannot be absorbed into the NATO blob until it first purges itself of all territorial disputes and foreign military presence. That means the Russian annexed region of Crimea and the independent republics of Luhansk and Donetsk need to be obliterated. Russia naturally can't stand for such foreign villainy on its borders and thus we find ourselves in Doctor Strangelove country with 40,000 NATO troops knocking at the door and two Russian armies and three airborne units ready to greet them.

This colossal shitstorm has been a long time coming. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the US has been dumping billions of dollars through the National Endowment for Democracy into influencing Ukraine to join the NATO fold in ganging up on their Russian neighbors. We lost patience with simply perverting democracy in 2014 when the democratically elected president Viktor Yanukovych chose closer ties with Russia over Euro servitude. The US called in its allies in the nation's fledgling neo-Nazi movement and they launched a coup that chased that nations democracy to Moscow and ended with an openly racist junta in power in Kiev.

America underestimated the nation's ethnic Russian population in Ukraine's east however. The already autonomous region of Crimea chose to return to Russia before Obama's favorite fascists could purge Russia's Black Sea Fleet from the peninsula which had been Russian territory for centuries before Khrushchev unceremoniously gifted it to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic decades before an independent Ukraine had ever existed. The Novorossiyans of the Donbass attempted to follow suit with their own referendum in 2014, but Russia left them high and dry when they chose independence over rejoining the motherland. The result was a violent civil war that's claimed over 14,000 bodies in the name of assimilation.

The western media blames Russia for every mortar out of Mariupol, though they've offered absolutely bupkis in the way of evidence for their cockamamie conspiracy theory of a Russian invasion. If Russia had invaded, this thing would have ended like Georgia's 2008 attempt to purge itself of ethnic undesirables for NATO membership. Russia kicked their ass back to Tbilisi before John McCain could get his dick hard. If anything, Russia has shown enormous restraint in Ukraine, but I'm less than impressed with their motives for doing so.

NATO is an imperial protection racket and it always has been. Contrary to popular mythology, the Warsaw Pact was constructed to defend the Soviet Union from western intervention. The US never gave a shit about communism. NATO was always about lynching Russia and lynching Russia was always about denying Asia a viable land bridge to the European economic integration which would have spelled out the end of Atlantic supremacy once and for all. This is why the Cold War never really ended. It just got colder with NATO's obliteration of Yugoslavia and its expansion deeper and deeper into Russia's sphere of influence to the point where Moscow has now found itself literally surrounded on all sides with no one left to turn to but China, the real powerhouse at the top of our shitlist.

This is why the tiny impoverished border region of Donbass matters so much to both sides of this conflict. To those rusted old Cold War juggernauts, it's just another domino in NATO's conspiracy against the Eurasian Century. But Donbass is more than just a game piece. It is a proud autonomous region which has struggled valiantly for its dignity against both western and eastern influence for generations, going all the way back to the stateless tribal proto-anarchism of the Cossacks who suffered harsh persecution from the Bolsheviks. This persecution only multiplied when the region became an unsurprising stronghold for Nestor Makhno's Anarchist Black Army. Donbass was further punished for their intransigence with devastating famines under Stalin, but this didn't stop them from becoming the backbone of Khrushchev's Ukrainian front against the Nazi invaders who slaughtered Novorossiyan civilians by the millions. 

This proud history of hard-headed rebellion continued when the region voted overwhelmingly to leave the Soviet Union and help build an independent Ukrainian republic. However, when Donbass discovered that they were simply trading one set of masters for another, they did what they do best and rebelled in a bloody coal strike that nearly ended in a civil war during the early-mid nineties. Finally, after years of abuse from Kiev, the last straw fell with the coup against Yanukovych, whom the region had voted for by 90%. When the same fascist flags their fathers died beneath went up over Kiev and announcements were made to ban their indigenous Russian language, the Novorossiyans said enough. From across the region they returned to their hometowns, taking a huge chunk of Ukraine's working class military with them, and they voted to finally declare independence as the Donetsk People's Republic and the Luhansk People's Republic in 2014.

They expected Russia to have their backs like Crimea. But when the region chose independence over annexation, Russia left their ethnic brethren with the cold war shoulder. Even the Moscow brokered Minsk Agreement ignored the popular will of the People's Republics and suggested reintegration back into Ukraine as part of a Russian style federation. And now, once again, the Donbass stands alone between two warring masters. As a Panarchist who views popular secession as a sacrament of a truly free society, this breaks my heart. Like the Armenians in Artsakh, the Novorossiyans in Donbass did everything right and now face certain punishment for doing so. The voice of the people has been made loud and clear by generations of Novorossiyans, but all Russia and NATO can hear is each other talking over their perceived lessers.

The solution to this tragedy is not a unipolar world or a bipolar world, it's a thousand polar world. Only when the small tribes of this planet stand united under the solidarity of massive stateless autonomy will the world truly see how big we really are. Only when the people of Luhansk and Donetsk can look to the people of Chiapas and Chechnya and Rojava and Artsakh for solidarity will they truly be heard in every language. The only solution to a world governed by several flags is a world governed by a million. I just pray it's not too late for the proud people of the Donbass. They deserve better than obliteration. They deserve liberation. We all do.

Peace, Love, & Empathy- Nicky/CH

Soundtrack; songs that influenced this post

*  Declare Independence by Bjork

*  Back In the USSR by the Beatles

*  Today by Smashing Pumpkins

*  Haven't Got a Clue by Dramarama

*  All These Things That I've Done by the Killers

*  High and Dry by Radiohead

*  Shitlist by L7

*  Wake Up by Arcade Fire

*  U-Mass by the Pixies

*  Expressway To Yr Skull by Sonic Youth

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Anarchists Need to Drop the Adjectives

 Every decade or so anarchism seems to find its way back into the limelight for another 15 minutes. We're usually roundly vilified but it still offers us a rare window to attract the non-political class and shop around our ideas. In the late nineties we had the Anti-Globalization Movement and the Battle of Seattle. About a decade and change later we had the Occupy Movement and today I believe we may be approaching another 15 minute window with the uprisings against the grotesque overreach of our post modern police state. The seemingly unique thing about this latest upsurge in stateless insurrection is that it appears to have two bipolar sources, one on the left and one on the right. On the left we have the rise of an old but reinvigorated movement known as Antifa, engaging in fantastic displays of direct action with the state across the Pacific Northwest. On the right we have the more libertarian Boogaloo Movement, creating their own powerful brand of confrontational street theatre with their heavily armed and well organized marches on state capitols across the heartland. Both groups are autonomously decentralized and stateless in nature and outlook. But both groups represent apposing ends of the ideological anarchist spectrum.

All in all, this need not be a bad thing and it really isn't that unusual either. Anarchism has always been a movement that defies and transcends the traditional left-right spectrum. But attempt to suggest as much online and just wait for the bricks to fly.

Contrary to the popular caricature of the tattooed green haired vagabond like myself, anarchism is an almost mind bogglingly diverse ecosystem of fantastic radical freaks. Travel into this jungle online and you will find yourself amidst a teeming forest of colorful countercultures. You have your modern day barbarians of anarcho-primitivism, your cyber punk geeks of crypto-anarchism, your dandy nihilist outlaws of egoism, and your maligned heathen LARPers of National Anarchism. But most of my fellow anarcho-freaks can find themselves beneath one of two major ideological umbrellas. The red leftists of anarcho-communism and the right libertarians of anarcho-capitalism, and here is where my beloved stateless ecosystem finds itself in the eternal conflict that threatens to spoil our latest fifteen minutes of zeitgeist defining public imagination.

The internet is lousy with ancoms and ancaps wasting their precious intellect shitposting on each other's perceived flaws, to the degree that many have foolishly come to see the other as a bigger enemy than the state itself. According to your average ancom keyboard guerrilla, an anarcho-capitalist is a greedy, self-absorbed, commodity fetishist who wants nothing less perverse than to hand over the reigns of power to major corporations and usher in a new era of puppy eating Social Darwinism. And according to your average ancap social media maven, an anarcho-communist is but a knuckle-dragging, quasi-Maoist, rube out to round up everybody's private property and declare the year zero. Both of these representations bare little resemblance to reality and both sides would likely quickly realize this if they could get past their kneejerk revulsion to heavily loaded labels like communist and capitalist. The anarcho-interpretations of both are far from incompatible and even farther from anything you'll find in a mainstream history book, and this is where anarchy without adjectives comes into play. 

Developed in a time of far greater social upheaval than ours, anarchism without adjectives was designed by a couple of Spaniards named Ricardo Mella and Fernando Terrida del Marmol in the 1880's to end the eternal bitching of their eras own communists and individualists, and unite them under a single game plan to annihilate the state they both despised first and then sort out the less dyer details along the way to a new stateless society. It was always intended to be more of a strategy than an ideology and it ended up being adopted by some of the era's greatest and most diverse anarchist minds, like the so-called Italian Lenin, Errico Malatesta, and the mother of American Individualist Feminism, Voltarine de Cleyre, before their 15 minutes blew up into an unfortunate fit of headline grabbing assassinations. 

To me anarchism without adjectives always made sense as more than just a strategy because I've always been something of an anarchist with a thousand adjectives. DeLeonist libertarian socialism will always be my first love because of my childhood infatuation with Marxism and my lifelong fixation with the full spectrum direct democracy of radical syndicalism. But my devotion to a stateless Queer nation has come to be the most significant motivator for my continued dedication to smashing the state and in a twist even I didn't see coming, I've come to see typically ancap philosophies like the Non-Aggression Principle and Agorism as the best ways to achieve my goals for a new humane society without fucking it up like my forefathers did with a bunch of dick-wagging initiatory violence. 

And that's what I love about anarchism without adjectives. It allows us to erase silly ideological lines and allows everyone with something stateless to offer, a place at the table. It's a veritable market place of non-dogmatic ideologies competing in real time. The only real absolute is that everything must be voluntary. Nothing must be coerced. As long as every idea, every new society, remains a choice, it remains kosher for a new revolutionary era of exploration. Wanna live like a barbarian in a torch lit cave without the evils of polyfibers and plumbing? Fuck it, make it voluntary and give it a shot. Wanna create a new Kowloon Walled City of cyberpunk capitalist debauchery? Fuck it, make it voluntary and give it a shot. Wanna create a post-apocalyptic red light republic of genderfuck neon haired syndicates? Fuck it, I'm gonna make it voluntary, and give it a shot.

The future is simply too unpredictable for doctrinaire model building bullshit and dogmatic absolutes. When Western Society finally collapses beneath the weight of its own imperial hubris, you and I will see more revolutionary changes evolve in the first 15 seconds than we've seen in the last 1500 years. The only way for anarchism to survive the coming cataclysm is to remain united by a collective open mind to the endless possibilities of the greatest upheaval this planet has seen since the dinosaurs. Antifa and Boogaloo both have all the right ideas, they just need to respect each other's right to approach those ideas from different directions and remain open to the possibility that somebody outside their circle might know something they don't. Otherwise, we're just going to blow another 15 minutes on shitposting and ballyhoo and it might be the last 15 minutes we got.

If humanity has a future, it's anarchism. If anarchism has a future, it's without adjectives. Lets make it fucking happen people. Some tattooed green haired vagabond believes in you.

Peace, Love, & Empathy- Nicky/CH

Soundtrack; songs that influenced this post

*  Rebellion (Lies) by Arcade Fire

*  Heroes by Peter Gabriel

*  Free to Decide by the Cranberries

*  Walking Far From Home by Iron & Wine

*  Pay Your Way in Pain by St. Vincent

*  Come As You Are by Nirvana

*  No Cars Go by Arcade Fire

Sunday, April 4, 2021

America's Many Wars On Children

 It's hardly unusual for me to take the news personally. It comes like a card with being a journalist with clinical depression. But some weeks the news almost feels tailor made to tare me down and the last few weeks have been like that with one story after another. A flurry of anti-trans laws have been proposed across middle America, seeking to restrict access for gender non-conforming minors to everything from athletics to medical care. Kids are literally drowning at the border just to be packed into shipping containers like sardines if they survive the Rio Grande. And in spite of endless talk of peace, the US continues to back a blockade in Yemen that promises to starve millions of children beneath the age of 5. All this may read like random savagery, but I can't help but to detect a theme. All three of these stories show a clear disdain for children by the United States Government.

Youth rights has long been a personal crusade of mine because, as a genderqueer youth in a conservative Catholic setting, I suffered the trauma of being perpetually fucked with and stigmatized for reasons I couldn't even completely comprehend. It's amazing how many youth rights advocates can say the same and it's sad that that seems to be what it takes to make adults in this country give a shit about children. If you're under the age of 18 in this country, you are essentially someone else's property, either an adult or the state that stands for them. In this country most kids can't vote, can't drive, can't choose where they live or who they live with, can't step outside unattended after dark, can't work, and can't make independent decisions about their education or much of anything else for that matter. They basically have the same rights as house pets and even when Americans crow about their rights, it's usually just a paternalistic call to infantilize and protect them from their own free will with more restrictions and less autonomy. And it is this total lack of respect for the basic human rights of the young which color all three of the stories above and below.

The trans issue is often badly framed by both sides of the debate. The issue is much bigger than school sports, public bathrooms, and hormones. It comes down to the question of what gives the state the right to determine something as intimate as gender identity? This isn't a matter of public record, it's a matter of medical privacy. No one should be given the ability to restrain any individuals access to public facilities or private medical care simply because they happen to be a 40 year old civil servant with boundary issues. It's as absurd as the entire notion of segregating children on the basis of something as therapeutically fluid as childhood gender expression. If you really want to regulate the athletics of minors, a job that strangely only seems to be available to adults, than do it based on something concrete like weight class and stop humiliating minors based on the nature of their genitalia. It's fucking perverse and someone has to say it.

As bizarre as America's fixation on childhood gender regulation is, I don't think anything more perversely displays the canyon wide juxtaposition between state paternalism and respect for children as individuals like the current tragedy at the border. If you are legally underage and accompanied by an adult, really any adult, crossing the border, then your rights often evaporate automatically and you're sent back to the tent village purgatory of Tijuana. But if you happen to be an unaccompanied minor, you are rewarded with the right to be obtained and warehoused like cattle. This is supposed to be a display of mercy, but it's really just a display of the warped value American society puts on youth "safety." What's really happening is that these kids are being arrested for the crime of being a minor outside the possession of an adult authority figure. All this despite the fact that these are mostly teenagers who managed to travel from Guatemala to the Rio Grande with little more than a phone number of a stateside relative scrawled on their arm. Give them a goddamn phone and a bottle of water. Don't make them choose between two rival cartels at either side of an invisible line who are both equally capable of violating their basic human rights.

All of this, like every domestic American sin, ultimately comes back to war. The crimes this empire perpetrates at home are but microcosms of how they run the world and define their very existence on the global stage. You see the ultimate American war crime, the one most prevalently brandished with reckless abandon by even the most liberal of congressmen is the crime of economic sanctions, a form of financial terrorism which seeks to disproportionately starve the children of nations out of compliance with America's demand for total obedience. It essentially amounts to a tax on the lives of a populace's most vulnerable members, and in almost any country that means children. America is currently engaged in this act of economic barbarism in over thirty countries, most of which rest in the Third World, and America has taken this measure to downright genocidal proportions on more than one occasion.

Yemen is one more occasion. In almost gleeful spite of his own kumbaya rhetoric regarding America's complicity in the Saudi genocide in Yemen, Joe Biden has done quite literally nothing to end the UN sanctioned blockade on the poorest country in the Middle East that is on track to push more than 2 million children under the age of 5 into severe malnutrition and beyond. This after 5 years of a holocaust who's casualties have been roughly 25% underage and have included targets like school busses and goddamn playgrounds. More than 2,300 children have been slaughtered between 2018 and 2020 alone, and I'm sick of feeling like I'm the only one who thinks this war on children matters. Biden's neoliberal death squad, headed by that dead eyed prick, Antony Blinken, continues to kick the peace can down the road every time the Houthi rebels lash out at a Saudi oil facility as their children starve and nobody ever makes the connection unless they're screaming from the fringes like me.

Children are human beings. They're not just statistics for adults to pet or squash on a whim. They are unique individuals like anybody else and they need to be respected as such. Until we stop patronizing them at home and murdering them abroad, we shouldn't expect to make anything in the way of progress as a society because broken, compliant, and silenced children all to often become broken, compliant, and silenced adults. This is the ultimate result of America's many wars on children and it shouldn't be exceptable to any of us. Children need more than our support, they need our respect and solidarity. Lets give them the autonomy that we were denied in our youth and end this ugly cycle of international abuse once and for all.

Peace, Love, & Empathy- Nicky/CH

Soundtrack; songs that influenced this post

*  Children of the Revolution by T. Rex

*  Kids by MGMT

*  Surrender by Cheap Trick

*  Down in the Street by Big Star

*  Respect by Aretha Franklin

*  Shake it Out by Florence + the Machine

*  Minor Threat by Minor Threat

*  Hear You Me by Jimmy Eat World

*  Ringside by Julien Baker