Analysis & Polemic

The Politics of Upward Redistribution

Henry C.K. Liu

The Bush Administration is totally consistent in the economic policy of
its war on terrorism. Taking care of business is the core of the
supplyside ideology of market fundmentalism. It is consistent with the
strategic thrust of its geo-political war on terrorism, through a
coalition of state power, notwithstanding that, terrorists of all
different stripes generally identify social injustice with state power,
both domestically and internationally. Radical, or extremist Islam
fundamentalism considers both the secular Islam states as well as the
theocratic Islam states part of the regime of nation states that has
given birth to the politcal and socio-economic-cultural imperialism that
acts as the midwife of political terrorism. In this respect, it is not
much different from other religious funamentalism. The Church of Rome
went through the conflict between Church and State, and reached a
compromise of spearating the two conflicting institutions in the
spiritual and the political spheres. Religous fundamentalism has yet to
completely accept this separation, even in the US, where the intrusion
of religion into state supported education remain active. Islam
fundamentalism, insulating from Western liberalism, continues to reject
secularism in politics and culture.

Autonomedia writes: "Nature And Politics

by Jeffrey St. Clair and Alexander Cockburn

America's Greens Rally to Flag, Run for Cover

Hot to present themselves as staunch flag-waggers, some of
America's premier environmental organizations have
disgracefully ditched their principles.

The Sierra Club, America's oldest green group, has abruptly
turned off its campaign against the anti-environmental
program of the Bush administration.

We have secured an internal memo in which the club's high
command explains to its staff why it's suspending its
campaigns. "In response to the attacks on America," the memo
goes, "we are shifting our communications strategy for the
immediate future. We have taken all of our ads off of the
air; halted our phone banks; removed any material from the
web that people could perceive as anti-Bush, and we are
taking other steps to prevent the Sierra Club from being
perceived as controversial during this crisis. For now we
are going to stop aggressively pushing our agenda and will
cease bashing President Bush."

The memo then instructs club staffers on how to respond to
the press: "If you are asked about what this terrorism does
to the Sierra Club's agenda, please respond simply by saying
that right now the public needs to focus on comforting each
other and strengthening our national security to deal with
the crisis at hand."

Imagine if this craven posture spreads across the public
interest movement.

Louis Lingg writes: "The Bush administration pointedly avoided including HAMAS and Islamic Jihad in their released list of terrorist organizations. This due perhaps to their recognition that neither directly threatens American citizens nor interests, or to the recognition that the cooperration of both is required to resolve the Palestinian issue.

Middle East News Wire has posted an interview with Ghazi Hamad from 'Palestinian Report.' Hamad is an HAMAS affiliate and editor of the Islamist publication Al Risala.

An excerpt: Palestinian Report: What are the differences between Hamas and Islamic Jihad?

Hamad: The ideology of
Hamas is more widespread, because they are a part of the Muslim Brotherhood all over the
world and they get experience from different countries. They are more involved in political
issues, political experiments.

Perhaps because its leaders are many and its institutions form a kind of school of philosophy
and because they have been willing to build a relationship with the [Palestinian] Authority, I think Hamas
tends to be more pragmatic and can create a kind of common understanding with the Authority.
These days, they can be closer to each other, they can understand each other. Islamic Jihad
keeps away from this political game because it feels that the armed struggle is the only way to
achieve their goals."

Response 911

Anarchists Against the Expansion of Capitalism and the War

Written by:

Arsenal: A Magazine of Anarchist Strategy and Culture

Autonomous Zone

Chicago Anarchist Defense Fund

and other Chicago-area anarchists

"It could have been any of us." Through the shock of 9/11
and the realization that several thousand people were
suddenly dead and missing, we also considered the millions
of lives lost and damaged as a result of unwanted U.S.
government intervention here and abroad. Patriotism and
hysteria are on an upswing, while states and global capital
are negotiating, and sometimes competing, for position
around the world. Anarchists have a role and an
opportunity. The situation demands an analysis that looks
at the past and thinks forward.

shoplift writes: "As the detainee and prisoner population exploded to more than two million, the county jail started to disappear from the American landscape. Through the labors of specialized designers known as a ‘justice architects,’ today’s county jail is likely to appear to be a warehouse, tucked away in the industrial area of town. In a newer approach, designers superimpose faux-glass facades over concrete walls to make a jail look like a downtown office building. Tacoma, Milwaukee, Baltimore, and points between have cloaked their jails with detached architectural imagery to strip them of their social context.

This perversion of reality slowly grows more extreme and Disneyesque. A planned jail near Colonial Williamsburg is designed to blend in with the existing historic architecture. Soon, tourists can gag for photos in the 18th century stocks without being disturbed by the notion of a 21st century jail.

Louis Lingg writes: "Is Pakistani President Musharraf and his ISI (Interservices Intelligence) playing a double game with the U.S.? has posted With a Friend Like Pakistan by Christopher Deliso.

He explores several intriguing questions: Is Musharraf sabotaging American strikes to impede the advance of the Northern Alliance? Are Taliban militiamen building bases in Balochistan with Pakistani connivance? Are Amercian mis-hits onto civilian structures and facilities a result of Pakistani intelligence dis-information? The Taliban just caught and executed opposition figure Abdul Haq; who was the rat?

One of War Secretary Rumsfeld management mantras is "expand the problem." If military action in Afghanistan stalls, and Pakistani deception proves true, will the problem be expanded to include a nuclear-armed Pakistan?"

Anonymous Comrade writes: "Thoughts in the Presence of Fear

by Wendell Berry

I. The time will soon come when we will not be able to remember

the horrors of September 11 without remembering also the

unquestioning technological and economic optimism that ended on

that day.

II. This optimism rested on the proposition that we were living

in a "new world order" and a "new economy" that would "grow" on

and on, bringing a prosperity of which every new increment would

be "unprecedented."

jim writes: "The New Statesman - Oct 15, 2001

"War on Terror":

The exile who despairs of his "ignorant" homeland
denounces the war and its hawks.

Gore Vidal interviewed by Johann Hari

The United States has been forced to reimagine itself this past
month. So who better for the New Statesman to track down in his
obscure mountain hideaway (no, not Bin Laden) than the man who has
dedicated his life and writing to telling Americans their real,
non-sanitised history: Gore Vidal. This is a man, after all, who knew
and influenced the icons that defined 20th-century America. He was a
close friend of more than one president (not forgetting that Eleanor
Roosevelt urged him to run for elected office), was sucked off by
Jack Kerouac, was attacked (both in print and to his face) by Norman
Mailer, was a confidant of the Oklahoma bomber and Bill Clinton, and
had to tell Tennessee Williams to stop trying to cruise Jack Kennedy.
Now that the 20th century has truly reached its symbolic end, this is
surely the ideal man to help us understand the new, battered America.

When asked if he is sleeping well, knowing that the US is in Dubbya's
hands, he replies: "Let's just say I'm in a total state of insomnia."
Unlike those who are rallying behind the president, Vidal retains his
withering contempt for the man. His father was a "failure", and "when
you get a bad gene pool, you don't necessarily enlarge it for high
diving, if I may complete the grotesque metaphor". Bush has, in
Vidal's eyes, failed to rise to the occasion since the attacks. "For
those with an eye and ear for the false note, every note is truly
false." It is not his mangled and incoherent words that appal Vidal,
however. "No, I'm judging by actions. Obviously, requesting all those
special powers pushes us even further along the path towards Hitler's
Enabling Act of 1933. That is the worst that he could do."

Anonymous Comrade writes: "The Saudi Connection
Stephen Schwartz

Spectator (The Dominion 13 Oct 2001)

The first thing to do when trying to understand "Islamic suicide
bombers" is to forget the cliches about the Muslim taste for
martyrdom. It does exist, of course, but the desire for paradise is
not a safe guide to what motivated last month's suicide attacks.
Throughout history, political extremists of all faiths have willingly
given up their lives simply in the belief that by doing so, whether
in bombings or in other forms of terror, they would change the course
of history, or at least win an advantage for their cause. Tamils blow
themselves up in their war on the government of Sri Lanka; Japanese
kamikaze pilots in World War II flew their fighters into United
States aircraft carriers.

Autonomedia writes:

"Human Sacrifice Is a Thoroughly Modern Phenomenon

By Hans Magnus Enzensberger

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, September 17, 2001

[Born in 1929, the poet and essayist Hans Magnus Enzensberger was a member
of the influential postwar literary Group 47; in 1965 he founded the
journal Kursbuch, which he led until 1975. Since 1979 he has lived in
Munich. Numerous books of his poetry and essays are available in English,
including "Civil Wars: From L.A. to Bosnia" (1995).]

The swifter the comment, the shorter-lived its relevance. Nothing against
timeliness! But moments when no one knows what will happen next are
precisely the times when there is good reason to attempt a distanced view.
For example, on globalization: A German academic by the name of Karl Marx
analyzed this phenomenon in considerable depth as much as 150 years ago.
He certainly would not have dreamed of being "for" or "against" it. In the
conflicts that erupted in places like Seattle, Gothenburg and Genoa, he
would have seen no more than a bout of shadow-boxing. Protesting against
such a massive historical fact may be honorable, but the best it can
achieve is worldwide television drama, showing that naive
anti-globalization protesters are in fact themselves part of what they
seek to combat.

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