Sunday, May 12, 2024

The Road to a Stateless Axis of Resistance

 "Modernity is one of the most delicate and vital issues confronting us, the people of non-European countries and Islamic Societies. A more important issue is the relationship between an imposed modernization and genuine civilization. We must discover if modernity as is claimed is a synonym for being civilized, or if it is an altogether different issue and social phenomenon having no relation to civilization at all. Unfortunately, modernity has been imposed on us, the non-European nations, in the guise of civilization."

-Ali Shariati

"Do not ask who I am and do not ask me to remain the same: leave it to our bureaucrats and our police to see that our papers are in order. At least spare us their morality when we write."

-Michel Foucault

The American Empire has really fucked up and they have fucked up pretty predictably, in a way that so many empires before it have fucked up that it's downright cliche. America, in its infinite exceptionalism, has bitten off way more than it can chew on the world stage and created a downright formidable alliance devoted to its destruction in the process. I speak now of the Axis of Resistance, a loosely affiliated, ragtag coalition of rogue states and militias who, after decades of crushing western Frankenstein monsters like ISIS and Al-Qaeda, have finally trained their sites on America's original Middle Eastern terrorists in Israel. At first glimpse it may appear that Babylon and their Zionist proxies are winning this war, what with the mountain of dead children reaching the clouds above Gaza, but I implore you to look again.

While Israel horrifies a world with too many smartphones to ignore the Nakba anymore, Houthi rebels have launched over 60 attacks against imperial shipping in the Red Sea, the Islamic Resistance of Iraq has launched over 150 airstrikes against American bases across the Middle East, Hezbollah has made the northern region of Israel virtually uninhabitable with their own artillery barrage, and Iran has joined the melee by throwing over 300 rockets and drones into Israel's Iron Dome, all while all of the above remain under heavy sanctions and military siege by the United States and its western partners. 

The material results of this unprecedented onslaught are far less relevant than the propaganda that these deeds has delivered to a watching world and that propaganda tells us all that the power of the American Empire is worthless in the face of a few pissed off peasants with homemade drones and nothing left to lose. And while these renegades rage, those of us in the west who have stumbled over our conscience in the coverage of the slaughter in Gaza rage with them, creating the most formidable antiwar movement any empire has seen in decades.

Even if Benjamin Netanyahu and Joe Biden manage to succeed in ethnically cleansing the Gaza Strip, the damage to American prestige and its malignant influence over the Islamic world may be irreversible. Israel, Babylon's bloody jewel in the desert, could very well become Uncle Sam's Waterloo and it won't be China or Russia dancing over his grave either. Those overworked wannabe superpowers are far too busy policing their own increasingly rambunctious and ungovernably massive populations. 

No, the true victors of this third-world third world war will be the militias, modern day reflections of the ancient tribes that once roamed these deserts freely before some WASP in beige short pants drew a bunch of lines all over them. We really should have seen this coming. Even before America gave those militias a crash course in three-dimensional warfare with the War on Terror, all the pieces of this set match were already firmly in place, but somehow Michel Foucault seemed to be the only white man who knew the chessboard.

You see, Iran is not the primary source of the Axis of Resistance's momentum. If that were true, their own republic wouldn't be as corrupt and toothless as any of their neighbors. While Iran has actually done very little in response to Israel's mounting atrocities, the Shia militias who are supposedly their proxies have set a thousand raging dumpster fires across the region, often while the Mullahs begged them to tone it down. That's because the Houthis and the Popular Mobilization Forces don't actually answer to Iran. 

They answer to the Islamic Revolution, a popular uprising against a wealthy and decadent western monarchy that succeeded with zero backing from any foreign world power thanks to an eclectic united front of young anti-imperialists galvanized against the spiritual emptiness of the colonial Enlightenment. This was the original Axis of Resistance, a weird coalition of communist college students and Shia clerics who looked not to Moscow or Beijing for influence, but inward towards their region's own tribal traditions that strove for solidarity through diversity. 

Tehran was never meant to be the final destination of this strangely old revolution. The more radical founding fathers of the Iranian Islamic Guards like the Fatah-trained Mohammad Montazeri and the Fidel Castro influenced Mostafa Chamran strove to form an "Islamic International" against capitalism, Zionism, and Wahabism, drawing on Ali Shariati and the Ayatollah Khomeini's notion of the "solidarity of the oppressed." 

But an impoverished nation like Iran, crippled by mounting international sanctions and sabotage, never would have been able to sustain this wild dream without the help of a meddlesome American empire constantly crashing into their backyard and changing the property lines. There would be no Sadrists without Saddam Hussein's American backed rampage against the Shia tribesmen of modern Mesopotamia. There would be no Hezbollah without the Israeli invasion of Southern Lebanon. There would be no Islamic Resistance in Iraq without the War on Terror.

And as this Axis of Resistance to western imperial chaos stretched and grew increasingly diverse, the Iranian government's influence over its actions and ambitions began to wane. The Sadrists lashed out openly against the Mullahs' influence over Bagdad, the Houthi rebels overthrew a dictatorship that Tehran still wanted to groom in Sanaa, and Hezbollah refused to bow to the Mullahs' corrupt quislings in Beirut. 

The Axis of Resistance may not be a traditionally anarchist arrangement, it has always been an uneasy alliance of rogue states like Iran and Syria and non-state actors like the Houthis and Hezbollah, but the fascinating thing about this arrangement is that the longer the American war machine overstays its welcome in the region, the more rogue these non-state actors seem to become, to the point where the supposed proxies are beginning to overpower the influence of their funders back in Tehran.

Both Hezbollah and the Sadrists have formed fully functioning parallel governments to the states that Iran props up within their nation's borders and the populations that they serve have rallied around these stateless alternatives to central governance, forming thriving, diverse, and autonomous communities while the states they reject rot. This same strategy of crowdsourced Islamic rebellion has proven equally successful in the new war on Zionist terrorism as well. Poorly armed militias from Hodeida to Fallujah have gone rogue to cripple international maritime trade and pin down illegal American troop movements while Washington fails miserably to stop them. Just look to the Red Sea if you don't believe men.

After bombing Houthi targets in Yemen over 148 times since January, Joe Biden has thrown up his hands and openly admitted defeat. Tim Lenderking, Biden's special envoy to Yemen, announced in early April that the administration was open to "diplomatic solutions" including ending certain sanctions and recognizing the legitimacy of the Houthi government. The Houthis thought about it for a couple of weeks and then started shooting again, even expanding their targets to the Indian Ocean while informing condescending jackals like Biden and Lenderking that they weren't interested in engaging their humanitarian blackmail.

Western anti-imperialists can learn a lot from this Axis of Resistance and at the risk of once again being declared a heretic by my fellow anarchists, maybe we should even consider swallowing our ideological puritan pride and fucking join them. After all, wasn't it a broad and diverse coalition of third world states and first world stateless actors that nearly turned the movement against the Vietnam War into an international revolution? You will never defeat a massive conglomerate of oppression like the American Empire with a single ideology. Foucault, himself a proudly decadent Queer anarchist heretic, recognized this fact and was roundly ridiculed by his fellow comrades on the left for suggesting that Islam could be a viable force against imperialism that should be taken seriously. But shouldn't it be? 

What we really need now is to make the Axis of Resistance increasingly stateless by increasing the involvement of a diverse array of stateless actors across the globe, from street fighting anarchists like antifa and the black blocks to modern day militias like the Boogaloo Boys and Black Guns Matter. From third world liberation movements like the EZLN and the YPG to first world black market entrepreneurs like the Hell's Angels and the Latin Kings.

The dream is not simply to create a stateless international coalition against empire, but to create a thousand stateless tribes that can peacefully coexist with radically divergent neighbors regardless of the empire's existence. Once we render this superpower and all superpowers irrelevant, ending their reign of terror will be as simple as blowing them away like the dead seeds of a dandelion. And the Mullahs will   evaporate into the ether right along with them.

35,000 dead Gazans is enough. It's time for the stateless left in the west to step down from their soapboxes and look east again for inspiration. Let's end this Nakba and the next one by smashing the state that subsists on such carnage once and for all and let's make weird and dangerous friends doing it.

Peace, Love, & Empathy- Nicky/CH

Soundtrack: Songs that influenced this post

* Stop Whispering by Radiohead

* Rock the Kasbah by the Clash

* Joiner by Blondshell

* Ahead by Wire

* Cannonball by the Breeders

* Rill Rill by Sleigh Bells

* Public Image by Public Image Ltd

* Elevate Me by the Pixies

* Bad Penny by Big Black

* Slow Dog by Belly

* Atmosphere by Joy Division

This post is dedicated in loving memory to Steve Albini, an artist who understood the power of terrorizing the powerful on a budget. Godspeed you brilliant bastard. We'll keep the radio blaring for you while you're out.

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