Analysis & Polemic

polo writes:

"The New Imperialism"

By Pepe Escobar

ISLAMABAD -- Joseph Conrad was the first modern
writer to fully understand
that in extreme situations the distinctions and
nuances between civilization
and the "heart of darkness" collapse with a bang.
Conrad showed how the
sublime heights of European civilization could fall
into the pit of the most
barbarous practices -- without any sort of preparation
or transition (no
wonder that Belgium still has not officially
acknowledged the genocide of
millions during King Leopold's possession of the

Now more than ever it is rewarding to re-read
Conrad - and as an added bonus
to watch Francis Ford Coppola's reading of Conrad
in the recently released
director's cut of Apocalypse Now. The New Afghan
War increasingly runs the
risk of being configured as The New Vietnam.
Washington has said from the
beginning this is not Gulf War II. But now, deeply
frustrated because they
are unable to break the Taliban -- those medieval
architects of a pan-Islamic
utopia -- the Pentagon is contemplating a Desert
Storm-style invasion the
next Afghan spring. This won't be Gulf War II: this will
be Vietnam II.

Anonymous Comrade writes:

"Historian and author Howard Zinn talks with AGR"

By Nicholas Holt, AGR

Howard Zinn is one of the most well known American
historians. In the introduction to a later edition of his
revolutionary work, A People's History of the United States,
Zinn wrote that his focus as a historian "is not on the
achievements of the heroes of traditional history, but on
all those people who were the victims of those achievements,
who suffered silently, or fought back magnificently."

Soon after the September 11th attacks on the World Trade
Center and the Pentagon, Zinn concluded an essay entitled
"Retaliation" with these remarks: "We should take our
example not from our military and political leaders shouting
'retaliate' and 'war' but from the doctors and nurses and
medical students and firemen and policemen who have been
saving lives in the midst of mayhem, whose first thoughts
are not violence, but healing, not vengence, but

Anonymous Comrade writes: "The following is a beginners guide to Islamic history by Anarchist writer Paul Bowman.

"Beyond the Undifferentiated Mass

Diversity in Islam for Absolute Beginners"

Paul Bowman

Roughly 1 in 5 of the world's population is muslim - that's over a billion people. Yet for all the talk about a global society with the telecommunication revolution bringing knowledge to the masses, what most westerners from christian backgrounds know about Islam can be written on the back of a small postage stamp. So here then is a crash course.


Islam, like christianity is an expansionist religion rather than the traditionalist beliefs of a closed community. Conscious of itself as a new initiative, it seeks to preach to and convert pagan and unbeliever. However, whereas christianity found itself growing within a pre-existing state system (the Roman empire) and made concessions to a separate political power, Islam, starting as a means of filling a political vacuum, was the creative force of a new state.

Anonymous Comrade writes:

"Fireflies in the Night"

In a Corner of the Sky

The old


Shuts her bleary eyes.

The new


Wants to paint the night


(in the fir trees on the mountain:


- Federico Garcia Lorca

This is a brief, but strategic look at our present crisis, the potentialities that are unfolding within it, and the terrains of struggle that are opening before us. And this is an attempt to go beyond the ideological limitations of anarchism in its present form.

Carol Spooner writes:

I hope you will find time to read this timely & thought-provoking essay by Lyn Gerry one of the early founders of the "Free Pacifica" movement back in 1994-1995. Lyn maintains the Free Pacifica web page at
freepacifical with archives rich in information on the "how and why" Pacifica reached its current state. Carol Spooner, Committee to Remove the Pacifica Board, web page]

Dear All,

The possibility of a mediated settlement to the lawsuits and other
recent developments in the Pacifica struggle have heated up
discussions regarding "democratizing" Pacifica. I have recently
heard people within our movement who I consider admirable, whose
lives and work have been dedicated to the sort of values and
actions that I believe most of us concerned about Pacifica would
appreciate, speak with disparagement about "democracy" at

Louis Lingg writes: "In a 'Special Briefing' on terrrorism, Foreign Affairs Magazine has posted Samuel Huntington's 1993 essay The Clash of Civilizations?

Also posted are essays addressing Pakistani jehadi culture, the Taliban, "postmodern terrorism," terrorist strategies, and more.

While many visitors to the Info Exchange will chafe at the ideological disposition of these writers, such literature can provide insight into the thinking and analysis now driving U.S. policy."

La Mano Negra submitted the following essay by Brian Oliver Sheppard:



How Government Officials are Trying to to Push
Forward Corporate Agendas by Linking Terrorism
with Anarchism and the Anti-Globalization Movement

The tragedy of September 11 has provided government spin doctors with an unusually delicious opportunity to strike out at controversial and dissident beliefs. Since the attacks, prominent US policymakers have exploited an increase in patriotism and public fear, directing these volatile emotions into consent for pro-corporate, trade liberalization agendas with the implication that such is the path to safety.

In some cases, US government officials have linked the beliefs of the
terrorists to those of anti-corporate globalization protesters, referring explicitly to anarchists and other "enemies of civilization" (their words) as bedfellows. US government officials rarely acknowledge anarchist or anti-capitalist ideas at all; when they do, the intent is always ideological, and usually plays upon the useful, if somewhat antiquated, myth of anarchist as bomb-throwing maniac.

hydrarchist writes: "Some weeks ago an anonymous comrade submitted two articles in German - by Gunter Grass and Jurgen Habermas - and requested that they be translated.
Last week a translation of the Gunter Grass piece was posted on via nettime. If anyone knows whether the Habermas piece has also been translated please let us know.

Kermit Snelson" writes "Interview with Gunter Grass

Der Spiegel, 10 October 2001,1518,1 61444,00.html

(Translated from German by Kermit Snelson)

[Guenter Grass is a Nobel lauriate, an active social democrate
and among the most respected 'public intellectuals' in Germany.]

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Do you think this war is justified, Mr. Grass?

Guenter Grass: There's a politician who has described very cleverly how a
civil society should react to an attack like that on New York: civilly. It
was Johannes Rau [currently Federal President of Germany -- trans.]

SPIEGEL ONLINE: And how civil is this military attack?

Guenter Grass: Military attacks are never civil. Dropping packages of food
doesn't obscure that fact. What the UN had been accomplishing in that
country, together with other relief agencies, doing far more to alleviate
misery -- that was civil. But now they can no longer be there or work
there, for fear of the attacks.

Read the rest of this translation at"

For those of you who want to join the Office of Homeland Security Volunteer
Youth Brigade, they have a new website,

have t-shirts with the caption on the back, "Protecting America from

After the Attack: The War on Terrorism

The Editors of Monthly Review, November 2001

There is little we can say directly about the September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., except that these were acts of utter, inhuman violence, indefensible in every sense, taking a deep and lasting human toll. Such terrorism has to be rid from the face of the earth. The difficulty lies in how to rid the world of it.

Terrorism generates counterterrorism and the United States has long been a party to this deadly game, as perpetrator more often than victim.

The U.S. strategy of retaliation in the form of a global war on terrorism, already commencing on October 7 with military strikes in Afghanistan, is certain to compound this tragedy in the months and years ahead. For this reason it is now more important than ever that the realities of U.S. militarism and imperialism be brought to light, along with the role of propaganda in
removing them from the scrutiny of the domestic population.

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