Sunday, January 28, 2024

The Forgotten Plight of the Negev Bedouin

 Something strange happened last October in the embattled holy lands that very few western observers managed to pick out of the bones from the various massacres. 17 Gentiles were among the victims slaughtered by Hamas on the 7th and just five days later, a village of 187 was erased from the map in the West Bank in a violent pogrom led by heavily armed illegal Jewish settlers. This may all just sound like another tragic week in the history of the Levant until you realize that all 204 of these sorry souls were Bedouin Arabs, a small marginalized tribal population that has somehow found itself at the withering mercy of both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Some of the first victims of the Al-Aqsa Flood were Israeli citizens of Bedouin decent, and they included a five-year-old boy killed by a stray rocket, a fifty-year-old man shot dead while attempting to rescue injured ravers at the Nova Music Festival, and a 25-year-old construction worker and father of two gunned down defending a Jewish family near the Sderot police station. Another six Bedouins were among the hostages and only two have been returned. Nevertheless, none of these harrowing facts have stopped the Zionist mobs of the West Bank from targeting Bedouin villages like that of Wadi al-Siq as part of their supposed revenge for the events of October 7th.

That tiny collection of tin shacks clinging to the rugged mountainside east of Ramallah was surrounded by masked settlers and uniformed IDF reservists armed to the teeth with assault rifles and carved from the earth like a cancer from the face of God. Those men opened fire upon unarmed crowds, invaded homes and tied up and assaulted women and children in front of their husbands and fathers at gunpoint. Farmlands were torched, tractors and livestock were stolen, and the battered citizens of Wadi al-Siq were told that every last one of them would be annihilated if they ever returned.

This is a sad but common chapter in the long plight of the Negev Bedouins, a semi-nomadic indigenous Arab population spread across the shifting borders of the Holy Land who have long suffered the brunt of the violence that goes into drawing those lines. The Bedouins are an ancient people who trace their lineage back to the times of Muhammed and even earlier. Arab for "desert dweller," there are roughly 4 million Bedouins spread across communities throughout the Arab world, from Morocco to Iraq, and many Arabs still revere them as ideal representatives of their culture do to their rich, poetic oral traditions and their rugged code of honor, but few people have seen their entire way of life obliterated by colonialism the way the Bedouins of the Negev Desert have. 

During the Nakba of 1948, 85% of the Negev Bedouins were forcefully expelled from their ancestral lands. About 40,000 ended up in the West Bank but most remained internally displaced within Israel's ever-expanding borders. Today, 200,000 Bedouins barely eke out a meager existence in a desolate region of the Israeli occupied Negev known as the Siyag. Just over half live in 7 government-built Bedouin-only townships where they have been subjected to multi-generational genocidal campaigns of "forced urbanization" and fallen prey to the despairs of crime, poverty, and addiction that comes with such "progress."

The remaining 90,000 live in 46 villages, 35 of them are totally unrecognized by the Israeli government. Here the Bedouins have found themselves at the mercy of the all the very worst trappings of the state. Their movement is heavily policed by arbitrary checkpoints and mandatory IDs. Restrictive zoning and planning regimes have cut them off from basic recourses like water and electricity and barred them from building any infrastructure more substantial than trailers and tents. And they have faced an endless roulette of displacement with entire villages demolished overnight, paved over, and replaced by tony Jewish suburbs.

Sadly, those Bedouins who managed to flee to the West Bank haven't fared any better. They remain virtually unrecognized by the Palestinian Authority who hung them out to dry in the 1993 Oslo Accords when the region that most of the tribes occupy, known as Area C, was essentially handed over to be governed by the Israeli Military. Even before October 7th, this isolated population had been the victims of constant pogroms at the hands of fascist Jewish settlers who have wantonly pillaged their lands while the IDF watches, and the PLO washes their hands. 25 Palestinian Bedouin villages have been violently razed in the last few years alone, displacing 1,517 people and counting.

So, what the hell did these impoverished sheepherders ever do to earn so much disdain and cruelty from nearly every side of the Israeli-Palestinian clusterfuck? In the simplest of terms, they are anarchists. For centuries the Bedouins have struggled to maintain a way of life that predates the European concepts of Westphalia and Balfour, and they continue to stubbornly practice their stateless existence in a land thatched by arbitrary boundaries and manufactured hierarchies. In both Israel and Palestine, the Bedouins govern themselves under an ancient code of unwritten laws passed down orally and overseen by tribal courts and clan councils. They subsist largely on kinship networks that essentially act as Islamic mutual aid societies providing community support wherever it is needed.

Much of these traditions have been badly eroded along with virtually everything else that the Negev Bedouins hold dear by generations of expulsion and displacement which has divided tribes and isolated clans from their elders, but the Bedouins still choose overwhelmingly to rely on their own indigenous tribal justice systems rather than the racist Israeli police state or the Palestinian Authority's corrupt Sharia courts and this is what makes these penniless peasants a threat to all of these institutions. The Bedouins don't fucking need them, and they can still remember a time when the rest of the Middle East didn't need them either.

I strongly believe that the most important fact that most westerners and even many Middle Easterners fail to recognize about the ongoing conquest of the Middle East is that the state itself is a tool of colonialism that is totally alien to those lands. Before the British marched into Jerusalem with their mandates and borders, the Levant was a poorly governed and largely peacefully lawless Ottoman backwoods with a diverse population of Arabs, Jews, Christians, Druze and Mandeans that coexisted harmoniously within their own diverse tribal frameworks. No single set maintained a monopoly on the use of force. 

This confounded the British invaders who failed repeatedly to convince any of these populations to divide themselves up into separate and far more easily subjugated ethno-states. The Crown was ultimately forced to import this brand of racism from back home in the form of fascist European Zionists. You see, the Arabs of the Levant weren't just wiped out because they were brown, like the European Jews in Nazi Germany, they were wiped out because they initially refused to be governed. Sadly, many of the victims of the Nakba have embraced statehood for the same reasons that so many victims of the Holocaust did. Their collective memories of a life before states have been wiped out by the devastating trauma of genocidal colonialism.

But the Bedouins still remember. Their history, much like that of many indigenous stateless peoples, remains oral and thus unmolested by academic revision. These were the first Muslims, the ones who originally conceived of that religion as an alternative to traditional empires. In fact, Islam's first sect was a tribe of Bedouin nomads known as the Khawarij, who vehemently opposed the centralization of power even within Islam as an impediment to tribal diversity and liberty, and these remain the only values that can save the Middle East and the rest of us, diversity and liberty. 

The Bedouins still remember. Maybe it's time the rest of us did too.

Peace, Love & Empathy- Nicky/CH

Soundtrack: Songs that influenced this post

* Something Beautiful by Sinead O'Connor

* I'm Set Free by the Velvet Underground

* Halo by Depeche Mode

* John the Revelator by Blind Willie Johnson

* Orange Crush by REM

* The Mess Inside by the Mountain Goats

* Crucify by Tori Amos

* Sadness As a Gift by Adrianne Lenker

* Sin by Nine Inch Nails

* Cherub Rock by Smashing Pumpkins

Sunday, January 21, 2024

Adulthood is a Racket that Millennials are Right to Reject

 Being a self-unemployed, thirtysomething, literary visionary can be a depressingly thankless existence. The pay sucks, the publishers are clueless, the editors are dicks and the endless barrage of finger-wagging rhetorical questions from the sanctimonious adults in the boomer peanut gallery rarely withers. When are you going to get a real job? When are you moving out of your parent's house? When are you going back to school? When are you going to get married and start a family? I've heard them all a thousand fucking times and it really does simply amount to a single declarative condemnation. Nicky, you need to grow the fuck up.

My usual response to this mandatory life sentence is as simple as it seems to be infuriating to my elderly interrogators. Why? Seriously. Try asking that question to any professional boomer busybody some time and watch them short circuit. They never have a real answer to give. But if they could just give me one good reason why I should swallow my dreams to become what passes for a responsible adult in America today I would gladly get a job at Olive Garden tomorrow. Better yet just name me six unmedicated adults who wouldn't happily march into oncoming traffic right now if they could write it off as a business expense. I'll even give you a minute to get back to me on that one...

That's what I thought.

What the hell is adulthood anyway other than another empty social construct used to justify participation in a deeply unwell society? The fucking icecaps are melting but I should be in some kind of big fucking hurry to make shit for pay in some joyless corporate death march that ends with me being buried alive in debt in the suburbs after pumping out two and a half more lambs to the slaughter on the sacrificial shrine of endless war and environmental degradation. With all due respect, concerned boomers, you can all go fuck yourselves with broken glass because I would rather be a goddamn child then grow up to be anything like you.

Thankfully, I'm far from alone in this refusal to cooperate with mass suicide by "normal." There are droves of millennials just like me who are statistically less likely than any generation in modern memory to date, procreate, work a 9-to-5 or move out and this socioeconomic boycott has resulted in us becoming near universally reviled by our elders in increasingly public displays of disaffection. Everywhere you look there is some new expose or op-ed on how my generation is fucking up quite literally everything. 

Millennials are consistently presented by nearly every facet of the omnipresent mass media panopticon as lazy, greedy, ungrateful children who need to shut up, breed, and participate in the joyful degradation of the planet's withering resources.  And I'm not here to tell you that we aren't fucked up. I'm here to inform you that we have every fucking right to be considering the spiritually empty society that you have shoved down our throats since we were literally children.

Millennials may be failures by the current standards of adulthood, but we are also the most overworked and overeducated generation in American history and all this hard labor has only made us poorer and more precariously employed than any other generation since the Great Depression and it all begins with that abusive racket known as the compulsory school system.

Children as young as four are corralled, itemized, objectified, and fed onto an assembly line that grooms us to shut up, sit still and fill out reems of scantron forms for eight hours a day while role crazy, dead-end bureaucrats govern our every move and police anything even resembling critical thinking. All so we can be herded into the federally funded, for profit, college system where we are encouraged to learn literally anything but an actual trade while we get robbed blind and end up in the exact same pointless service industry jobs as our comrades who had the good sense to flunk or drop out.

This whole circus is nothing but a trillion-dollar shakedown and the only thing covid did was expose it for what it's always been by ripping the curtain off. Productivity has been increasing rapidly in this country for fifty years now while hourly compensation has remained frozen in an era when you could buy a three-bedroom house for less than thirty grand. Meanwhile unemployment has doubled, and student loans have shot through the roof like a cannon while the American Empire squanders the fortune its mined from generations of wage slaves on declaring total war against any culture not perverted enough to worship the Dollar like a golden calf.

All things considered; I actually think that the millennial response to realizing that our lives have been a glorified pyramid scheme has been a perfectly healthy one. We dropped out. We collectively rejected degrading employment while slowly drifting back to the tribal values of the multigenerational household and mutual assistance that a deeply polluted and morally bankrupt western culture chucked aside for contrived notions of economic liberalism and conspicuous consumption. 

Unfortunately, however, my generation and the one beneath ours has also fallen under the sway of another modern racket called social media which has aggressively isolated us from each other by monopolizing our social lives beneath the constant surveillance of the state and its reigning plutocracy. This is the real crisis of my generation; the crisis of chronic and downright systemic loneliness being trafficked to us by the vultures of big tech. 

According to a 2021 Harvard study, 61% of young Americans report experiencing "serious loneliness" and Scientific American has found the current rate of friendship formation to be at a historic low. Self-harm and suicide rates are rising and razor blades arrent even the cheapest way to bleed yourself dry. Psychiatric researchers estimate that the health effects of prolonged social isolation are about the same as smoking a pack of Marlboro's a day. 

Something is seriously fucking wrong here, and it can't be fixed by simply raising the minimum wage or forgiving student loans. When entire generations are choosing to slowly kill themselves with smartphones instead of engaging with society then society has clearly failed, and we need to stop blaming the victims for this failure. Millennials are pretty fucked up brats because you fucked us up by encouraging us to sell our souls to a system that boomers came this close to overthrowing not so long ago.

Back in 1960, the brilliant subversive psychologist, Paul Goodman, published a study on juvenile delinquency called Growing Up Absurd. At the time, America was facing a similar generational crisis with the gray flannel robots of the Eisenhower era freaking the fuck out about the rise in moral degeneracy in the form of youth gangs, beatniks, and Rock n Roll. 

Goodman poured over the numbers and came to the startling conclusion that the kids were right because the system was bullshit. Young people were totally justified in their rejection of "growing up" because society had failed to give them anything worth growing up into. Cold War America was bereft of meaningful work, honorable community, and spiritual sustenance and I think that even the countercultural sellouts of the boomer generation will agree that these conditions have only grown more dire over the decades.

The solution to this problem remains the same today is it was then and it's far from an easy fix. The solution is revolution. Or as the good Doctor Goodman prescribed, developing new social and moral identities that reject the malignant standards of a debased society. Creating an economy independent of government regulation and wage slavery. Embracing independent thinking and intergenerational cooperation instead of the involuntary servitude of compulsory schooling. Abandoning the spiritual desert of suburbia for agricultural village life amongst the ruins of the Rust Belt. Dropping out of mass society and embracing a more intimate tribal existence.

If this isn't adulthood, then fuck adulthood. Children of all ages deserve something better to grow into. As for me, I may never write the next great Queer American novel, but I'd rather die typing in my parent's basement than live on my knees for a paycheck and you boomers can take that to the fucking bank because I learned it from you before your generation sold its soul for a seat at the adult's table.

Peace, Love & Empathy- Nicky/CH

Soundtrack: Songs that influenced this post

* My Generation by the Who

* The Middle by Jimmy Eat World

* Changes by David Bowie

* Bad Kids by Black Lips

* Caught In My Shadow by the Wonder Stuff

* Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana

* Full Time Job by Squirrel Flower

* Drink Before the War by Sinead O'Connor

* 1979 by Smashing Pumpkins

* Rock Star by Hole

* Grey Cell Green by Ned's Atomic Dustbin

* We Are Not Alone by Karla DeVito

Sunday, January 14, 2024

The Strange and Lonesome Death of Artsakh is a Warning to Palestine

 It didn't end with a death march. It didn't end with mass graves. It didn't end with firing squads or gas chambers. The Second Armenian Genocide didn't end a thing like the first one did but that didn't make its ending any less devastating or any less genocidal. The destruction of Artsakh ended with a whimpering statesman signing a piece of paper and just like that, an entire nation was erased. While Israel has been busy mercilessly grinding the Gaza Strip into a fine powder with the whole world watching, another far quieter but equally merciless Nakba has taken place in Central Asia with the whole world looking the other way.

On September 28, 2023, Samuel Shahramanyan, the last president of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, better known to its ethnic Armenian citizens as Artsakh, signed a ceasefire with Azerbaijan in which the latter nation agreed to end its brutal siege of the prior provided that the NKR kindly agreed to cease to exist. On the first day of 2024 this genocidal "peace" deal formally went into effect but not before the last 100,000 citizens of Artsakh abandoned their ancestral homeland to run for their lives.

In many ways, this was the most shockingly successful genocide of the Twenty-First Century with thousands of years of culture and history obliterated with the click of a pen, but the final chapter of this final solution actually began several years earlier like so many others, with an American-sponsored bloodbath. After years of careful planning and hording high-tech weaponry, Recep Erdogan's revanchist NATO sultanate of Turkey decided to reenact the Armenian Genocide by micromanaging a brutal proxy assault on the contested territory of Artsakh in 2020 using the neighboring Ottoman puppet state of Azerbaijan like a hammer.

Armed to the teeth with both Turkish and Israeli drones along with tens of millions of dollars in American cluster munitions, Azerbaijan's notoriously ruthless strongman, Ilham Aliyev, laid siege to the supposedly treaty-protected Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, bombarding crowded civilian city centers and shelling the refugees who dared to flee from them. Over 6,000 people were slain in just over one month and another 90,000 were forcibly displaced under the threat of genocide. What population that remained was herded into the last corner of their territory as it was cut in half and totally surrounded by heavily armed Turkic gestapo.

A single road was left open connecting Artsakh to the Armenian mainland. In late 2022 that road was closed, and a crippling ten-month long blockade followed, barring the already impoverished and shellshocked people of the NKR from all food and medicine. In September of last year, Azerbaijan struck again, easily routing the cornered nation's last remaining military positions within 24 hours and forcing its besieged government to concede to its own erasure. It was a strange and lonesome ending to a long and storied resistance movement. An ending that felt almost unfathomably anticlimactic to anyone actually familiar with Armenian history.

Ethnic Armenian settlements have existed in the region known as Nagorno-Karabakh for over 3,000 years, often at the mercy of the constantly competing Ottoman and Russian empires. Artsakh was just one piece of the ancient Christian region of Armenia which had once stretched across Eastern Turkey and deep into the Caucuses of modern-day Russia and Western Iran. Much of this territory along with 1.5 million Armenians was erased by the Ottomans during the gruesome final days of their vampire empire in one of the darkest chapters of the First World War.

That same damnable war also led to the rise of the Soviet Union which would ultimately include what little remained of Armenia as well as the neighboring Turkish outpost of Azerbaijan. In a typically cruel attempt to divide and conquer, the Bolsheviks arbitrarily incorporated the Armenian region of Artsakh into the Soviet Republic of Azerbaijan in spite of the vehement protests of the Armenian partisans who had helped them dethrone the Czar. Repeated requests for sovereignty nearly broke out into open warfare before the Kremlin finally caved and established the Nagorno-Karabakh Oblast within Soviet Azerbaijan in 1923.

But the movement to return Artsakh to Armenian rule never ceased and when peaceful attempts by the oblast to break away from Azerbaijan failed during the waning days of the Soviet experiment, a brutal ethnic conflict erupted into the First Nagorno-Karabakh War which raged on for 6 long years between 1988 and 1994. The ensuing carnage resulted in tens of thousands of fatalities, hundreds of thousands of refugees, and unspeakable atrocities committed by both sides. An uncomfortable peace was finally brokered by France, Russia and the United States in a coalition known as the Minsk Group but the people of Artsakh didn't need meddlesome outsiders to tell them who they were. 

After all, if Azerbaijan had the right to independence from the Russian Federation, then why shouldn't Artsakh have the right to their own independence from Azerbaijan? And so, the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic boldly declared its independence with a popular referendum in 1991 without the recognition of a single UN member state, including Armenia, and I believe that it is this silent betrayal, the betrayal of nation states against nation states, that ultimately dammed Artsakh to its tragic fate over thirty years later.

The most disturbing thing about the strange and lonesome final days of Artsakh is that quite literally every single nation state touching that region, friend or foe, found some way to fuck those people over and few states fucked Artsakh harder than the Armenian fatherland. The final ceasefire that proved to be the final nail in Artsakh's coffin was actually built on the internationally brokered ceasefire that officially ended the Second Nagorno-Karabakh War in 2020 while handing over half of Artsakh to Azerbaijan and affording them the territorial advantage to take the rest of the Republic four years later. This oddly tragic ceasefire was brokered by the original three nations of the Minsk Group along with Azerbaijan and Armenia but conspicuously excluded any representatives from the Republic of Artsakh and also seemed to exclude the consent of the citizens that Armenia supposedly represents, who were nothing short of infuriated to learn of their nation's act of diplomatic betrayal.

In fact, while this ceasefire may have temporarily silenced the rifles on the frontlines, it also led to months of riots back home in Yerevan, nearly a year of open upheaval that saw crowds of irate citizens seizing parliament buildings and beating their supposed representatives half to death in the streets. Scores of high-ranking Armenian officials resigned in disgust, including the nation's own Minister of Defense, and an alleged coup launched by members of the Armenian Military was barely thwarted in 2021. That's because representative democracy only truly represents the will of the highest bidder and in Armenia that bidder has become the United States who have sickeningly played both sides of the trenches in this conflict for the same reasons that they turned Ukraine into a geopolitical boobytrap, to sow discord amongst the ranks of its rivals.

After arming their mortal enemies in Azerbaijan for years with multi-million-dollar military hardware, the United States has taken to simultaneously dangling NATO membership over Armenia's heads like scraps to a beggar that they put out in the cold themselves. In fact, Armenia spent the two weeks prior to Azerbaijan's final assault on Artsakh engaged in joint military exercises with the United States intended to prepare them for "evaluation" on NATO eligibility, in spite or perhaps because of the fact that Armenia is already a member of Russia's own NATO-style military alliance, the Collective Security Treaty Organization aka the CSTO. This game of ballistic Caucasian footsie has been going on for years and it's likely what inspired Russia to ignore its own security obligations to Armenia when Azerbaijan launched airstrikes within their borders during the Second Nagorno-Karabakh War in 2020. You don't have to be a conspiracy theorist to conclude that this is precisely what Washington is after, especially when you remember that they sold Baku the bombs that struck the fatherland. 

But sadly, Armenia has become just corrupt and desperate enough to fall for this shell game just like Kiev did. That shiny NATO dream of a Coca-cola in every fridge and an Apache Helicopter on every pad.  Thousands of years of pride and resistance down the shitter, all so a few thugs in Yerevan can have a whisper of a chance at joining the same military alliance that arms their old chums in Turkey. Not that Sultan Erdogan gives a flying fuck about any empire but his own. His expressed goal in this whole sorry sorted affair is actually just to pave over Artsakh in order to turn it into an off-ramp for China's Belt and Road Initiative known as the Middle Corridor. But Israel can live with that just so long as Turkey doesn't open that corridor through Iran, so they've gladly filled in for their Yankee overlords as Azerbaijan's biggest arms supplier in order to convince them to tear a page from their own playbook and choose genocide over diplomacy. 

If your head hurts that's because this schizophrenic skullduggery is absolutely batshit crazy but it's also precisely what states do and it's what states have always done. They rise, they fall, they fuck each other over, and they devour entire nations like Artsakh in the process just to spit them back out again. Contrary to western lore, a nation is not a government built on the fickle materialism of blood and soil. A nation in its truest form is a tribal community bound by a shared history, culture, and vision for the future. The state on the other hand is nothing but a cartel designed to capture a nation behind its borders and destroy any real sense of community that once bound it with a monopoly on the use of force and the shifting territorial ambitions of the elites that such a caste system inevitably creates.

Artsakh was a great nation destroyed by a state and that state wasn't Turkey or Azerbaijan or even the United States of America, it was Armenia, with its corrupt elites and its globalist neoliberal ambitions. This tragedy is a warning in the shape of a self-inflicted genocide. Artsakh thrived for centuries before the poisoned invention of the Westphalian Nation State redefined its existence as mere geographical collateral. So, did Palestine. Every nation should think twice before they consider any state to be a solution because in an age of collapsing empires any state can easily become a nation's final solution.

Peace, Love & Empathy- Nicky/CH

Soundtrack: Songs that influenced this post

* Vampire Empire by Big Thief

* Wardance by Killing Joke

* Jerusalem by Sinead O'Connor

* Right Back to It by Waxahatchee 

* Schizophrenia by Sonic Youth

* The One I Love by REM

* Violets by Hole

* Hug of Thunder by Broken Social Scene

* Sanctified by Nine Inch Nails

* I Thought You'd Change by Hotline TNT

Sunday, January 7, 2024

Revenge of the Renegades of the Red Sea: What We Can All Learn from the Houthi Rebels

 There is something just absolutely soul crushing about watching a war on live television, especially when all the networks seem to be rooting for the bad guys. However, despite what those jackals on cable news might tell you, what's going on right now in Gaza is not a war, it is a goddamn holocaust and even in an age when forever wars seem to grow on trees, this bloodbath is downright unprecedented in its almost casual cruelty. While the unblinking cameras roll, one of the most powerful modern armies on earth is laying into a glorified concentration camp with the full weight of its hi-tech arsenal while pretending to be the victim because a few sadistic orphans they used to sponsor managed to get in a shot between massacres.

Shall we pour over the grotesque statistics one more time? In less than 3 months, the state of Israel has slaughtered over 22,000 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, including nearly 10,000 children. Another 50,000+ have been wounded and everyone on the ground with a functioning calculator seems to agree that this estimate is likely extremely low. Another 7,000 people are missing, including about 5,000 women and children, most of whom are presumed to be dead or dying, crushed beneath the rubble of a crowded urban graveyard decimated by million-dollar murder machines. 85% of a population of 2.3 million is now homeless with 70% of all homes in Gaza and half of all buildings damaged or destroyed. At least a quarter of this population is now on the brink of famine and infectious disease, with public health experts predicting nearly 500,000 to drop dead where they cower within the next year.

Genocide is the word for this, and we all know it, but we all just sit by every day and watch it happen as if it were some kind of sick new reality TV show about blowing up brown children. It's fucking sickening and the western media's posture of detached objectivity is the worst kind of complicity money can buy. That's because this genocide isn't simply an Israeli genocide, it is an Israeli facilitated proxy genocide and American tax dollars pay for every bomb dropped on another hospital. While the Biden Administration gasps like a soap opera debutante at the deeds of their increasingly unhinged Zionist golem, they hand that sick thing another blank check to keep the bodies rolling. We arm these cannibals with $3.8 billion dollars in aid a year and Genocide Joe still has to circumvent Congress to hand them another $106 million bucks in tank shells so they can shoot orphaned teenage amputees in the ICU.

This is an American holocaust, and we all have blood on our hands now. We can no longer pretend like we don't know but what do we do? What can we do? What can anyone do? The sense of helplessness hangs heavy in the air with the stench of burning corpses like fog. But then, like a flash of lightening in the desert sky, the Houthi rebels appear. A rugged, swashbuckling, renegade militia of bearded brown pirates straight out of some bygone era of guerrilla solidarity and radical chic. It's hard for any self-respecting anti-imperialist not to smirk while these Shia Che Guevaras slice up the Red Sea with AKs and Zodiac boats and finally hold western capital responsible for their crimes by simply taxing their access to the waters off their impoverished shores. 

The Houthi rebels have boldly hijacked Israeli linked cargo ships and scared many more away with a driving steel rain of drone strikes and missile attacks, and the enemy is feeling the pain. 12% of all global trade passes through the Red Sea, which connects the Mediterranean to Asia via the Suez Canal. This includes a whopping 30% of the world's shipping traffic. While the Houthis daring nautical stunts have carefully avoided a single civilian casualty, they have effectively rerouted global trade by forcing freight companies to sail all the way around the Cape of Africa for their imperial plunder, causing two-week delays and raising costs by 15%.

And the beautiful thing about this pirate insurgency is that the west is totally powerless to prevent it. America is rattling its silver saber with Operation Prosperity Guardian, a ten-nation coalition that conspicuously excludes any state actually on the Red Sea, with an armada of 20 warships led by two aircraft carrier battle groups. But what have they achieved? A few downed dinghies and a dozen dead rebs? The Houthis laugh and bark "bring it on!" That's because they know that there is nothing the masters of the universe can do that will save them one dime. Any military action in those waters will only drive business farther away.

For once, the peasants have these fuckers by the balls and the only weapons that Babylon has left at their disposal are your television set and your smartphone. They are working very hard to tell you exactly who they want you to believe these rebels really are and roughly 90% of what they are telling you is pure weapons-grade horseshit. "Iranian proxies! Iranian proxies!" Every time a Shia picks up a gat, you can hear some retired five-star American pigfucker with a merkin toupee squealing "Iranian proxies!" and it's often half-true but not this time. Yemen's Houthi rebels may be Shiites but only technically. The Houthis actually belong to a renegade strain of Shia Islam known as Zaydism which is closer in its fundamental theology to Sunni Islam than it is to the dominate Twelver Shiites of Iran who tend to view the Zaydis as heretics.

The Houthi movement formed in the northern Saada province of what was then North Yemen in the 80s as a broad coalition of tribal groups committed to the revival of Zaydism which had previously ruled the region as an imamate for over a thousand years before the west stepped in with their endless procession of proxy strongmen. One of those strongmen was an ambitious thug named Ali Abdullah Saleh who came to power in 1978 and united Yemen for the first time with his conquest of the communist South in 1990. Saleh didn't take too kindly to the flamboyantly anti-imperialist Houthis who calling him out for being a hired gun for infidel conquistadors, so he violently cracked down on what had originally been a fairly moderate movement with a series of massacres that culminated in the assassination of the Houthi's founder and namesake, a Zaydi religious scholar and former member of parliament named Hussein al-Houthi, in 2004. 

This is when the insurgency really began. Hussein's brother, Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, quickly transformed the movement into a formidable militia modeled after Lebanon's Hezbollah and in 2012, on the heels of the Arab Spring, his insurgency exploded into a nationwide popular rebellion. The US and their Saudi henchmen attempted to stop the bleeding by swapping out Saleh for his top general, Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, but he didn't last two years before being overthrown in 2014. 

While it is true that the Houthis quite openly take inspiration from Iran's Islamic Revolution and that the Mullahs have frequently stated their moral support for the movement, their influence has been grossly overblown by the western powers who this rag-tag militia have consistently humiliated. The Iranian's actually financed Hadi and begged their Houthi admirers not to overthrow the prick. Even after Tehran's arch enemies in Saudi Arabia invaded Yemen with America's support in 2014 there exists no verifiable proof of any kind of substantial Iranian assistance.

Even the State Department has admitted as much in cables released by Wikileaks, stating that their analysts believed that the lion's share of the Houthis growing arsenal actually came from corrupt officials within Yemen's American-armed Republican Guard who would later collapse and largely join the Houthis after Hadi hit the bricks and sided with the Saudi invaders. The real motivation behind the Houthi's bombastic campaign in the Red Sea is actually a simple thirst for revolutionary justice. 

Much like Gaza, Yemen has been the victim of an atrocious American proxy genocide. After kicking Hadi out, America had their tools in Saudi Arabia cut Yemen off from the outside world with a crippling blockade before financing a seven-year carpet bombing campaign. By the time Washington's Wahhabi puppets finally forfeited in a truce in 2022, 377,000 Yeminis had been slaughtered, the overwhelming majority of them being women and children of Zaydi decent.

What the Houthis are doing in the Red Sea right now is what the Houthis have always done best and it's something that any aspiring enemy of the pigfucker state should steal a chapter from. The Houthis are turning the tables on their cowardly tormentors by flipping the script. They have affectively launched their own counter-blockade against another one of America's proxy states and in the process, they have brilliantly highlighted the fact that the genocide in Gaza is actually just one piece in an international campaign of Washington sponsored terrorism that also includes the genocide in Yemen.

This is what makes the Houthi rebels truly dangerous to empire. It's not their ideology. It's their strategy. A form of decentralized guerrilla solidarity that we could all benefit from. Just think about it; Queer anarchists like yours truly hit the streets demanding to abolish the RICO Act which is used to lynch non-binary Atlanta Forest Defenders and outlaw bikers alike. The Hell's Angels return the favor by trafficking bootleg hormone blockers into states banning their use by minors, selling them to teenage runaways at cut-rate prices using untraceable crypto currencies, empowering hackers to expand the dark web to include humanitarian supplies to besieged polities like Gaza and Yemen, encouraging the decentralization of power among their people which would in turn allow local Queer groups to rise up in solidarity with their conservative Muslim brethren which would in turn encourage conservative Muslims to reproach the third genders that they once coexisted with prior to western colonization.

Local actions directed at a single enemy, provoking a chain reaction of international revolutionary upheaval. I believe that this is what that ghoul Henry Kissinger warned us about with his infamous "Domino Theory" and I do believe that it could still be a beautiful thing. 

Peace, Love & Empathy- Nicky/CH

Soundtrack: Songs that influenced this post

* 7/4 (Shoreline) by Broken Social Scene

* Rebels by Drive-By Truckers

* Renegades of Funk by Rage Against the Machine

* Pretend We're Dead by L7

* Midnight Rider by the Allman Brothers Band

* Suspect Device by Stiff Little Fingers

* A Drug Against War by KMFDM

* Rise Above by Black Flag

* War Pigs by Black Sabbath

* Sea Swallow Me by Cocteau Twins

This screed is devoted in loving memory to John Pilger and Antonio Negri. Two men who devoted their lives to advocating for the annihilation of empire and inspired me to do the same. Their legacies remain vital just so long as pissed off people refuse to sit by and do nothing while evil men succeed.