Thursday, September 30, 2021

Zionism & U.S. patriotism both rationalize murderous land theft

From “The Zionist Story”

From “The Zionist Story”

It sounds rather abstract to say I grew up on someone else’s land. It is more to the point to say that I grew up on a block of flats in a suburb built on once beautiful olive and orange groves. I have no idea what happened to the owners of those groves. But if they are alive, they certainly live either in exile or in terrible conditions in a refugee camp.

-Ronen Berelovich, The Zionist Story

Israel holds up a mirror to the rest of the Western world. It shows us the kinds of evils that have needed to happen in order for “The West” to exist as we understand it; the only reason why the U.S. and Canada are considered “Western” countries, and why the U.S. and Canada exist at all, is because the colonists on this continent have perpetrated a larger version of the atrocities which went behind the formation of Israel.

Like the original Zionists began by violently expelling the Arabs, the European settlers during the first decades after 1492 regularly deported, killed, and enslaved the Natives who they defeated—including the non-combatants and those who surrendered. Like the Zionists have carried out the destruction of Palestinian homes and crops to make way for settlements, the American colonists carried out search and destroy raids on indigenous communities where they burned down villages and corn crops. Like the Zionists have massacred Palestinian civilians during their wars to illegally annex Arab land, the Americans carried out mass killings of such a large scale that fewer than 238,000 Natives remained in North America by the end of the 19th century, down from the at least 5 million who had lived on the continent at the beginning of colonization. (It’s likely that the number of dead is closer to 15 million, making for a widely accepted indigenous numbers cutdown of 9 in 10.)

While today’s American settlers will deny that this depopulation was deliberate, as the Zionists deny that the mass killings of defenseless Palestinians have happened, the blood can be found on the U.S. government’s hands if one looks just below the thin layer of plausible deniability. During U.S. colonialism’s continent-wide expansionist era alone, the U.S. government authorized over 1,500 wars, raids, and attacks against Natives, more than any other country has authorized against its indigenous populations. More recent U.S. attacks against indigenous peoples include the use of mercenaries and extreme police brutality to counter the Native water protectors at Standing Rock, and this year’s violent police responses to the latest indigenous anti-pipeline demonstrations in Minnesota.

In addition to the numerous recorded incidents of massacres of defenseless individuals among the targeted communities, and attempts to starve these communities that mirror Washington’s modern global sanctions, there’s ample evidence that the biggest factor in the die-off—the Native plague—was deliberately exacerbated by the settlers. As JSTOR Daily has assessed:

The Fort Pitt case is infamous. In June 1763, the fort was besieged during Pontiac’s Rebellion. Soldiers and civilians in the fort had smallpox—as did some of the Native Americans outside. Two Delaware dignitaries, in the fort for a parlay, were given “two Blankets and a Handkerchief out of the Small Pox Hospital” when they left, wrote the trader and land speculator William Trent in his diary. He concluded: “I hope it will have the desired effect.”...within weeks, Amherst was on record approving of weaponizing smallpox as one of the methods “that can serve to Extirpate this Execreble Race.”...The best evidence for intentional spread after Fort Pitt comes from the last campaign of the Revolutionary War. British General Alexander Leslie wrote his commander in July 1781, “About 700 Negroes are come down the River in the Small Pox. I shall distribute them about the Rebell Plantations.” The fact that these people, attempting to escape slavery, could spread the disease “could not have been lost on British commanders.”

This biological facet of colonial warfare was central to the genocide, and to the formation of the settler state; without the damage that European diseases did to the Natives, the colonizers wouldn’t have been able to militarily defeat the First Nations. Depopulation has been at the heart of the colonial war on this continent, making biological warfare the logical and primary tool for the colonizers to use. They couldn’t have fully taken the continent without deliberately exacerbating the Native population’s contact with foreign viruses.

This wanton mass murder of civilians isn’t the only thing that proves the U.S. has no more of a right to exist than Israel does. The slain Native combatants were also killed completely without justification, just like the Palestinian combatants Israel has slain have merely been defending their homeland from territorial theft. The only reason the U.S. has any land is due to violent expulsion projects, and every single one of the 500 or so treaties the U.S. has entered into with the tribes has been violated by the settler state. Behind every facet of the society that this country has built is a story of violence and displacement which directly parallels the story behind Berelovich’s childhood home. A story where people were forced into exile and made to live in conditions of impoverishment and violence, so that settlements could be built in the name of “progress,” “democracy,” and “civilization.”

As much as the narrative behind American patriotism tries to portray this country as a cohesive unit, as something with the credibility to be called a “nation,” the environment that’s been built for the settlers here exists on the exact same types of illegitimate foundations that the Israeli settlements are built on. And they have the same type of relationship to the colonized populations that the Israeli settlements do to Palestinian communities: segregation, partition, and discrimination. 

Residential segregation persists in the U.S., as does the disproportionate poverty that African, Native, and brown communities have historically faced. With neoliberalism has come greater poverty for these communities than was the case even during the Jim Crow era; for one example, the amount of concentrated-poverty neighborhoods in Minneapolis has doubled since 1980, with these neighborhoods being disproportionately made up of black people.

While these colonized peoples aren’t walled off from the settlers literally, like the Palestinians are, they’re kept separate by insidious forms of partition like militarized policing and real-estate redlining. In the case of the indigenous reservations, the segregation and its consequential racial inequalities have been engineered with special deliberation. As Professor Gary D. Sandefur has written, reservations can be called “the first underclass areas”:

The most important lesson to be learned from the reservations may be that it is economic, social, and physical isolation from the majority society that produces what we have come to call underclass behavior. This isolation has produced extreme poverty, high unemployment, unstable families, low rates of high school graduation, and high rates of alcoholism and/or drug abuse and crime on reservations and in central cities. These effects occur even, as is the situation on the reserva- tions, where other aspects of social organization, such as kinship and community systems, seem strong. So the key to improving life for members of the underclass may lie in reducing their physical, social, and economic isolation.

The only way to do this is through the abolition of the United States, Canada, and all other states that operate according to colonial borders. Then the First Nations can regain jurisdiction over all of the stolen land. This will open the potential for these nations to negotiate with the African nation in establishing an African autonomous oblast—parallel to how the Soviets established Russia’s Jewish autonomous oblast following the breakup of the Russian empire. When this continent has an equivalent revolution to the Bolshevik revolution, there will be no room for states that act as colonial occupiers. Like in Palestine after it’s abolished Israel, the settler state apparatus here will have to be dismantled. To see why this is necessary, one can look at all the evidence that the “United States” and “Canada” are merely larger versions of the Zionist state.


If you appreciate my work, I hope you become a one-time or regular donor to my Patreon account. Like most of us, I’m feeling the economic pinch during late-stage capitalism, and I need money to keep fighting for a new system that works for all of us. Go to my Patreon here.

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Covid-19 foreshadows the horrors of capitalist geoengineering

Apocalypse is the logical conclusion of capitalism, colonialism, and imperialism. Because these systems aren’t sustainable, they’ve always been working towards a scenario where the earth gets destroyed. While the billionaires pitch corporate-engineered geoengineering and other capitalist “solutions” as ways to prevent the encroaching climate doomsday, these billionaires are continuing this march towards doomsday nevertheless; their version of geoengineering is just a more marketable route towards annihilation than an uninterrupted hothouse earth would be.

With Covid-19 and its related crises, we’re seeing a prelude to when this marketing campaign for geoengineering ramps up sometime during the next several decades. Every time capitalists step in to “help” society during the pandemic, all they do is exacerbate inequality, state violence, violations of privacy, militarism, and the silencing of free expression—which makes the social ills behind the pandemic worse. The IMF and its driving corporate interests have taken advantage of the pandemic by imposing greater austerity, privatization, and wage cuts onto 81 countries. Big Tech has used the pandemic as an excuse to push for an additional mass surveillance system, one where people are monitored from every corner by an “internet of things” that will fill the streets with cameras and connect countless everyday items to the government’s eyes and ears. The intensifying fusion between governments and the tech industry in surveillance throughout the last year-and-a-half has laid the groundwork for this vision.

The imperialists have weaponized the pandemic against vulnerable countries like Cuba and Venezuela by tightening sanctions against them. This reinforces the paradigm of military buildup that Washington is carrying out against China and its allies—which is justified by the campaign to blame China for the virus. The tech industry’s explosion in online censorship during the pandemic has been used as a cover for further silencing anti-imperialist journalists. And as even the pro-Washington biased Human Rights Watch has reported, the rise of digital tracking during the pandemic has led to a humanitarian crisis for the lower class:

Government reliance on risky, intrusive, and unproven technologies has also threatened access to social protection measures. In a bid to prevent benefits fraud, 21 unemployment insurance agencies in the United States are reportedly using facial recognition software to screen applicants for unemployment insurance and other benefits to support people during the pandemic. This forces applicants to give up their right to privacy in exchange for lifesaving support. People have also complained on social media that difficulties in verifying their identity using the software are delaying their claims. These setbacks are the latest in a string of technology-related problems marring access to benefits in the US. Since the beginning of the pandemic, many people reported frequent website glitches and shutdowns, excessive wait times on state unemployment agency helplines, and password reset protocols that force them to wait for their login credentials by mail. Delays in obtaining benefits have forced families to cut back on food, fall behind on their bills, and skip essential medical care.

As the pandemic gets used to wage war against the global working class in these ways, capital continues to consolidate its power in accordance with the opportunities the pandemic has granted it to do so. Taking advantage of the eviction crisis that the pandemic has created, BlackRock has been buying up affordable homes, taking ownership over entire neighborhoods, and turning single-family households into rentals. The rise of civil unrest during the economic downturn has helped give private military companies an excuse to expand their policing operations into U.S. borders, with PMCs now roamingMinneapolis to regularly violate the civil rights of locals. For-profit migrant detention centers continue to exist, snatching up the population of asylum seekers that continues to grow despite the pandemic’s making conditions more dangerous for such vulnerable groups. 

This is the true meaning of the “great reset” that Biden officials have discussed: a dictatorship of capital that gets continuously more brutal and uncaring. Despite this dictatorship’s arbiters claiming to hold the solution to the crisis, they’re the reason why the pandemic has so far killed nearly 5 million people; it’s the most hyper-capitalist countries that have had by far the most Covid-19 deaths, with the U.S. being at the top after having over 700 thousand of its people die according to the official count. The five socialist countries China, Cuba, Vietnam, Laos, and the DPRK are all free from pandemic death counts any higher than Vietnam’s 19 thousand. Capitalism, colonialism, and imperialism make crises that could be manageable under socialism a thousand times worse.

Imagine how much damage capitalism’s “solutions” will do when the climate crisis gets bad enough for the billionaires to have a narrative precedent to geoengineer the planet. The world’s richest men already fully intend to bring about such a project. And due to the warming trajectory that capitalism has already set us on, geoengineering is becoming increasingly accepted as a necessary evil; according to Gernot Wagner of Harvard University's Solar Geoengineering Research Program, it’s a fact that we won’t be able to stop the more extreme warming outcome without taking greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere. In his book Geoengineering: The Gamble, Wagner concludes that we’ve reached a point of no return on the climate, one that can only be reversed by intervention that goes beyond reducing emissions.

It’s this objective truth that the ruling class is going to exploit, that will be distorted to fit the sinister version of geoengineering which billionaires seek to realize. The climate plans of Musk (who seeks to capture carbon) and Gates (who seeks to make the skies more reflective) both lack the logistical and scientific backing to be able to work. Which makes doubly dangerous the plans that people like Gates have; they want to intervene in ways that could permanently alter the atmosphere, whether that will look like a whitened sky that has unpredictable impacts on agriculture and weather, a cover of artificial clouds that could lead to ozone layer damage and acid rain, or a drastic cooling that triggers a new ice age. 

These measures, if facilitated by the capitalist class, will only be ways of avoiding the simpler solution of sufficiently reducing emissions. Worst case scenario, they’ll be implemented in a way that only cools the planet for a temporary amount of years, allowing even more greenhouse gases to fill up the atmosphere before creating rapid heating when the geoengineering effort halts. Best case scenario, we’ll experience a climatic version of the capitalist accelerationism that Covid-19 has allowed for. A future where the ruling class markets cooling routes that don’t adequately stem emissions—like how the vaccines and lockdowns haven’t adequately stemmed infections under capitalism—while the wheels of free-market fanaticism and state violence turn ever faster.

If we accept the climate “solution” that the billionaires and the imperialist governments are going to offer us, we’ll doom ourselves to a far larger repeat of the hell that capitalism has subjected us to during the Covid-19 era. The death toll created by capitalism’s crisis mishandling will jump from the millions to the tens of millions, with hundreds of millions more climate refugees. And even when it’s gotten to that point, the ruling class will demand we be grateful for how they’ve “helped” us. This argument will come from the relativist logic described by Gerry Canavan in his paper on Snowpiercer, the dystopian graphic novel about capitalist-facilitated geoengineering:

Necrofuturist themes in texts like Soylent Green and The Sheep Look Up reveal contemporary necrocapitalism as a pathology akin to drug addiction: locked in an entropic, self-destructive cycle, we compromise more and more in the name of keeping the system remaining unchanged, as necrocapitalist dispossession and violence slowly spread across more and more domains of all our lives. (This week, an American city is evacuated by flooding and never repopulated; this week, an entire province in Japan is rendered permanently uninhabitable; this week we fired all the career teachers and replaced them with Teach for America recruits and YouTube videos; this week, American police forces use tear gas, rubber bullets, and riot dogs on their own citizens night after night after bloody night with no consequences or opposition...) Necrofuturism is thus a relentless doubling-down on necrocapitalism, the knowledge that necrocapitalism is creating a world of horrors coupled with the ironclad belief that there is no possible alternative to such a future.


If you appreciate my work, I hope you become a one-time or regular donor to my Patreon account. Like most of us, I’m feeling the economic pinch during late-stage capitalism, and I need money to keep fighting for a new system that works for all of us. Go to my Patreon here.

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Colonial genocide grows amid climate crisis & imperial decline

The fascism of the Anthropocene is of a different nature than the fascism which emerged in early 20th century Europe, or than the proto-fascism which preceded it in states like the Confederacy. It retains the views about ethnic superiority and xenophobic dominionism that fascism has always had, but it’s functioning within conditions where the resources of the dominant social class are threatened by an accelerating ecological catastrophe. A catastrophe that’s the direct consequence of capitalism, the socioeconomic system that colonialism and its fascist ideological offshoots are tied to. By the nature of capitalism, imperialism, and colonialism, the reaction to this crisis is one where the dominant class sacrifices the lives of the underclass to keep its own status. And the fascists are at the forefront of this drive towards mass death.

For this reason, it doesn’t matter that the U.S. government has denounced the border patrol’s recent use of whip-like reins to beat back Haitian migrants; because the U.S. is an empire, it’s nonetheless going to keep producing the crises that inevitably lead to these and worse human rights abuses. Biden’s ongoing deportations of Haitians shows what the empire’s true intentions are towards those it’s driven into refugee status.

Imperialism created the refugee crisis—and will soon create a far bigger one

It was Washington that facilitated the rise of a dictatorship in Haiti which drove down living standards, and that then sent its Colombian mercenary proxies to carry out an assassination that further destabilized the country. It was Washington that carried out a coup in Honduras in 2009, resulting in a dictatorship that perpetuates gang violence and extreme inequality. It was Washington that helped engineer NAFTA, which drove Mexico deeper into poverty. It’s Washington that’s perpetrated sanctions and chaos-inducing meddling throughout Nicaragua, Cuba, and Venezuela. It’s Washington that’s used its neo-colonial tool the IMF to impose neoliberal policies across Latin America and the rest of the exploited world, which has made global poverty overall increase over the last several decades. All of these actions have led to the present refugee crisis, but the fascists will never admit this. Their only thought is to punish imperialism’s victims.

Global warming, an even bigger and more long-term driver of mass migration, is also being compounded by the imperial hubris that fascism embraces. The fascists, who espouse a crude free-market zealotry and a blind worship of militarism, are the biggest advocates of the unrestrained corporate pollution and imperialist warfare that’s exacerbating the climate crisis. As a consequence of these policies, U.S. imperialism is in danger of having many of its neo-colonies be destabilized due to environmental catastrophes, and much of the U.S. is in the process of being consumed by sea level rise, fires, and drought. It’s this reality that the fascists are actively destroying their own colonial and imperial holdings which is producing a historically unique series of reactions from the fascists. A reaction that involves the burning down of most of the world just to preserve capital.

In his paper on capitalist realism, the belief that there’s no viable alternative to capitalism, Gerry Canavan articulates the roots of this reaction. Pro-capitalist ideology, he says, creates the self-reinforcing belief that war, scarcity, poverty, and environmental destruction are unavoidable. Because the free market orthodoxy rejects all alternative societal models, he writes: 

Necrocapitalist practices are thus reinforced on the level of ideology by a wonderful and terrible double-bind of perpetual threat: things must be this necrocapitalist because, if they were not, our society would be even more necropolitical and wretched than it is now. That is: necrocapitalism’s own horrors are perpetually taken as proof of necrocapitalism’s necessity, even its own self-prophlyactic. We ingest the poison to keep ourselves from becoming even sicker…moral critiques of capitalism thus have the opposite effect to what one might expect: they reinforce, rather than undermine, the appeal of hurting others to perpetuate the social order.

Where will this kind of thinking lead our society in the face of the climate crisis? Never in history has civilization faced the kind of threat that global warming and biodiversity collapse pose to it. 50 years from now, around a fifth of the earth’s currently habitable land will becomeunlivable, and by the century’s end there will likely be 630 million people who’ve been forced to flee their homes. Among them, it’s possible that 83 million will die due to the impacts of global warming.

The engineering of civilization’s destruction

The environmental factors behind this migration and mass death—rising oceans, droughts, expansions of unsuitably hot areas, agricultural breakdowns—are only part of why so many will be killed or have to flee. Other contributing factors will be the wars, ethnic cleansings, resource blockades, engineered poverty, paramilitarism, and repressive state violence that the fascists are going to carry out in reaction to the environmental crises. These measures are how the fascists and their adjacent bourgeois states have responded to capitalism’s crises throughout the last half-century; the neoliberal hyper-exploitation policies, the perpetual wars, the genocidal sanctions, the paramilitary death squads in neo-colonies like Colombia, the militarization of police, the concentration camps for refugees, the stoking of racist violence, they’ve all been part of the reaction to the decline in profits that capital has undergone since the 1970s. 

As global warming intensifies, it’s contributing ever more to this contraction of capital. The breakdown of stable states in increasing amounts of countries—which imperialist intervention has exacerbated—speaks to this self-inflicted civilizational breakdown. The imperialists know that the worse the climate crisis gets, the more destabilized markets will become. So they’re deliberately making the collapse worse in an attempt to retain control over this increasingly volatile situation. Through meddling across the horn of Africa and Latin America, fomenting civil conflicts in places like Myanmar, and building makeshift fascist proxy war states in places like Ukraine that havs turned into failed states, the imperialists are cutting their losses by destroying ever more. 

Their goal is to prevent countries from joining the China-led multipolar world order by preemptively throwing them into chaos. A strategy which is accelerating civilization’s breakdown by producing unprecedented refugee crises in U.S.-destabilized countries like Syria, Afghanistan, and Libya. Syria in particular is an example of climate-enabled imperialist destruction; due to the drought that had emerged, in 2011 the imperialists were easily able to use their terrorist proxies to ignite a civil war. The imperialists are currently trying to do this again in Afghanistan, where U.S.-created jihadist groups like ISIS and the ETIM are being used to bring the climate-battered and heavily sanctioned country towards a proxy conflict.

This manufactured destabilization is creating more excuses for the U.S. to militarily intervene (neocon senator Lindsey Graham has already said that “We will be going back into Afghanistan”). Which perpetuates the unparalleled pollution from the U.S. military. Which makes the climate crisis even worse, creating even more risks of global destabilization. Which creates even more refugees. Capitalism’s crises are a feedback loop, one that capital has an interest in furthering. 

As the severity of the climate crisis has gotten more apparent, the U.S. empire has come to actively seek to further this destabilization feedback loop; in a 2019 climate report, the Pentagon named Bangladesh as a country that will likely undergo Syria-style conflict and refugee crises, and that could in turn become a location for U.S. military intervention in the next few decades. Since Bangladesh is a prime example of imperialist-imposed neoliberalism, it’s striking how the imperialists have come to openly anticipate a scenario where they’ll be waging war against the country. 

They evidently now see the crisis they’ve created as so enormous that at some point, all of their neo-colonies will be placed on the chopping block for imperialism’s warfare tactics. Exploited countries like Eritrea and Ethiopia, which Washington is waging war against through sanctions, TPLF proxy attacks, and strategic anti-government atrocity propaganda, have already become targeted in such a way. This is what it looks like when a system eats itself; engineering the collapse of ever more states weakens the markets that capital depends on, but by its nature capital can’t stop this destruction. Not when it comes to the climate, the global financial system, the geopolitical order, or any other facet.

The fascists refuse to understand dialectics, so they can’t grasp that capitalism is in decline. All they can do is react to the ramifications of the famines, mass migrations, wars, and resource shortages that their system is manufacturing amid its implosion. And what this reaction has so far looked like is a growing wave of atrocities, ones which foreshadow the kind of genocide the fascists are going to use the Anthropocene to perpetrate should they get the chance.

The banality of inhumane policies during the Anthropocene

These atrocities are the human rights abuses against the growing amounts of refugees. Australia is potentially the worst example so far of the abuses that the imperialist powers have been increasingly carrying out against the same people imperialism has driven to flee their homelands. As China’s Global Times assesses:

The "Nauru Documents," leaked by chance in 2016, exposed the dark truth of offshore refugee camps. This over-8,000-page report disclosed the shocking cases of beatings, self-harm, sexual assault, child abuse and inhuman living conditions suffered by the refugees. This triggered strong international backlash, including from the medical communities. These detention camps were denounced as Nazi-style "concentration camps." Food and drinking water supplies are severely inadequate. Safety is not guaranteed. Housing, medical treatment and epidemic prevention are extremely poor. Mobile phones and other communication devices are confiscated. Detainees have suffered long-time physical and psychological abuse. Many have died abnormally. According to a survey by the UN Refugee Agency, more than 80 percent of refugees suffered from mental illnesses, such as depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

This is what eco-fascism looks like: treating the first victims of the collapse as detritus, to be shoved into inhumane detention centers or outright hunted down for extermination. As the preventable deaths within these and other imperialist-created refugee camps show, the two are essentially interchangeable; the frequent drumbeat of deaths in ICE detention centers and CBP custody has continued under Biden, who’s been expanding the migrant camps while increasing border deportations and prosecutions. 

These are the same camps which shocked the country with stories of cramped quarters, sexual abuse of children, hunger, horrifically unsanitary conditions, and forced sterilizations. Such horrors continueto be told of by the children within them, and Senator Chris Murphy has reported about the conditions of the current ICE child facilities: “these are facilities that you wouldn't want your child in for more than 10 minutes. They are big rooms. Kids are sleeping on thin mattresses on the floor. They are sort of bunched about six inches to a foot from each other.” 

In the Covid-19 era, this situation is even more of a human rights violation than it was several years ago, when Democrats like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez were willing to describe the centers as “concentration camps.” Since Democrats wouldn’t accuse Biden of genocide, and Republicans will only criticize Biden so much for fear of admitting that the U.S. is a genocidal country, the bipartisan consensus is that the camps are merely unfortunate byproducts of the border crisis. A crisis which the fascists view as inevitable, despite their partisan-motivated criticisms of Biden’s handling of it. 

The fascists will never recognize that these refugees are fleeing their homes because of capitalism, colonialism, and imperialism. They’re not capable of such insight. All they know to do is react to the ever-growing fallout. The more destruction their social order causes, the more vindicated they feel in furthering the system’s most destructive policies—whether those policies are CIA coups, increased military spending, sanctions, wars, or the global tightening of neoliberal austerity. All of which create more refugees, which gives the fascists cause to expand their anti-immigrant atrocities under the rationale that “the homeland” is being “invaded.”

It’s this refusal to take responsibility for the evils of capitalism and imperialism, and the impulse to wage war against the scapegoated victims, that pervades every level of our government. The idea that a global resource shortage from global warming is inevitable, and that more conflicts will in turn be made inevitable, is already embraced by U.S. imperialism’s technocrats; this year, Kamala Harris reported on viewpoints she’s gathered from top military thinkers by saying that “For years there were wars fought over oil; in a short time there will be wars fought over water.” For the arbiters of capital and empire, it’s no question as to whether massive death and destruction will happen in the coming decades, because for them a better system is out of the question. This disregard for the human costs of perpetuating capitalism and colonialism, this belief that famines, wars, and genocides aren’t worth preventing, forms the basis for what the fascists want to do.

The fascists have taken this belief, and interpreted it to mean that refugees and colonized peoples—as well as disfavored ethnic or religious groups like Jews, Romas, or Muslims—must be exterminated. They view these groups as dead weight on the capitalist-imperialist order, and they view the implosion of this order as further proof that the undesirables must be wiped out. 

At least this is what the most extreme among the reactionaries believe. What’s a Nazi but someone who’s taken capitalist realism to its logical conclusion? Who’s not just accepted that capitalism inevitably creates loss of human life, but sees this loss as a good thing that should be conscioussly spurred on? Until these types of reactionaries manage to hijack the U.S. capitalist state—like they’ve already done to capitalist states like India and Brazil—eco-fascism here will remain in its current form: a series of human rights abuses that the government will claim to view as wrong, but that will keep getting worse due to the nature of late-stage capitalism.


If you appreciate my work, I hope you become a one-time or regular donor to my Patreon account. Like most of us, I’m feeling the economic pinch during late-stage capitalism, and I need money to keep fighting for a new system that works for all of us. Go to my Patreon here.

Thursday, September 23, 2021

The U.S. empire’s evils, as described by its former servants

Redemption arcs are some of the most beloved types of stories in our myths. The following quotes come from people who’ve worked for the U.S. empire in different capacities, before deciding that they can no longer be part of this machine that routinely snuffs out millions of lives for profit. They’re the confessions of those who’ve been in the heart of the beast.

I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.

—Smedley Butler, the U.S. general who would go on to write War is a Racket. (This quote is from that book.)

In 1993, I came across a review of a book about people who deny that the Nazi Holocaust actually occurred. I wrote to the author, a university professor, telling her that her book made me wonder whether she knew that an American holocaust had taken place, and that the denial of it put the denial of the Nazi one to shame. So broad and deep is the denial of the American holocaust, 1 said, that the denyers are not even aware that the claimers or their claim exist. Yet, a few million people have died in the American holocaust and many more millions have been condemned to lives of misery and torture as a result of US interventions extending from China and Greece in the 1940s to Afghanistan and Iraq in the 1990s. I enclosed a listing of these interventions, which is of course the subject of the present book.

—William Blum, who worked as a computer programmer for the U.S. State Department before becoming disillusioned with the American empire

This happened after he got involved with anti-Vietnam War activism, and was consequently pressured to quit his job. Despite having at one point wanted to become a Foreign Service Officer so he could “take part in the great anti-Communist crusade,” he would write a book exposing the atrocities of U.S. anti-communist tactics titled Killing Hope: U.S. Military & CIA Interventions since World War II. (This quote is from that book.) 

Chris Driscoll, my podcast partner, told me last night during our latest show that he was friends with Blum when he was alive, and that Blum had done a “180” in terms of his former allegiance to imperialism. Driscoll also said that he thinks Blum was “getting into heaven” after the actions he took to atone for serving the empire.

Is anyone in the U.S. innocent? Although those at the very pinnacle of the economic pyramid gain the most, millions of us depend—either directly or indirectly—on the exploitation of the LDCs [neo-colonial countries] for our livelihoods. The resources and cheap labor that feed nearly all our businesses come from places like Indonesia, and very little ever makes its way back. The loans of foreign aid ensure that today's children and their grandchildren will be held hostage. They will have to allow our corporations to ravage their natural resources and will have to forego education, health, and other social services merely to pay us back. The fact that our own companies already received most of this money to build the power plants, airports, and industrial parks does not factor into this formula. Does the excuse that most Americans are unaware of this constitute innocence? Uninformed and intentionally misinformed, yes—but innocent?

—John Perkins, who served as Chief Economist at Chas. T. Main

Chas. T. Main was a consulting firm that facilitated the assimilation of numerous formerly colonized countries into the grip of U.S. corporate neo-colonialism throughout the mid-to-late 20th century. This quote is from Confessions of an Economic Hitman, the book he wrote after becoming too overcome by guilt from carrying out this pillaging.

Many CIA agents and senior officers disappeared simply because they refused to conduct propaganda against the Serbs in Yugoslavia. Personally I was shocked at the dose of lies being fed from our agencies and politicians! Many CIA agents were directing  propaganda without being aware of what they were doing. Everyone knew just a fraction of the story and only the one who created the whole story knew the background – they are [the] politicians…The aim of the propaganda was to divide the republics so they would break away from the motherland Yugoslavia. We had to choose a scapegoat who would be blamed for everything. Someone who would be responsible for the war and violence. Serbia was chosen because in some ways it is a successor to Yugoslavia.

—Robert Baer, the former CIA operative who helped conduct the U.S.-engineered breakup of socialist Yugoslavia, speaking to an interviewer in 2015

Baer’s claims of a concerted plot to frame Serbia and its leader Milosevic have since been vindicated, with Milosevic having been exonerated by an international tribunal in 2016.

Here is what it [the empire] has decided for Afghanistan…we are in Afghanistan as we were in Germany post-World War II, that is for half a century. It has nothing to do with Kabul and state building, nothing to do with fighting the Taliban or proving that we can reconcile with the Taliban, and nothing to do with fighting any terrorist groups. Because it is the only hard power the United States has that sits proximate to the Central Base Road Initiative of China that runs across central Asia. If we had to impact that with military power, we are in position to do that in Afghanistan. And second reason we’re there is because we’re cheek-in-jowl with the potentially most unstable nuclear stockpile on the face of the earth in Pakistan. We want to be able to leap on that stockpile, and stabilize it if necessary.

And the third reason we’re there is because there are over 20 million Uyghurs, and they don’t like Han Chinese in Xinjiang Province in Western China. And if the CIA has to mount an operation using those Uyghurs, as Erdogan has done in Turkey against Assad…well, the CIA would want to destabilize China and that would be the best way to do it. To foment unrest, and to join with those Uygurs in pushing the Han Chinese in Beijing from internal places rather than external. Not saying it’s going on right now, you didn’t hear that. But it is a possibility. So that is why we’re there, and I’ll wager there are not a handful of Americans who realize that we, our military, has decided that for these strategic reasons, which are well thought out, we’re gonna be in Afghanistan for the next half-century.

—Lawrence Wilkerson, who served as a U.S. colonel under Colin Powell, speaking at the Ron Paul Institute in 2018

Wilkerson’s claims about the U.S. deliberately inflaming ethnic hatred among Uyghurs to destabilize China have since been vindicated by the recent flood of misleading U.S. media propaganda about supposed Chinese human rights abuses against the Uyghurs, and by Washington having taken the Uyghur separatist group the East Turkestan Islamic Movement off the terrorist watch list last year. The ETIM has undergone a massive increase in its resources and manpower since the lifting of the terrorist classification, and is currently being used as a means to try to destabilize Afghanistan in the wake of the Taliban’s full takeover. It’s gone from “a possibility” to fully in operation.

What happens is you get people like Tenet, you get people like John Brennan, you get people like John McLaughlin, you get people like Chris Mudd, for example—Phil Mudd, who was head of counterterrorism for George Tenet and who tried at the last minute to get me to put even more stuff into his presentation about the connections between Baghdad and al-Qaeda. You get people like that who are at the top. That screens all the many dedicated, high-moral, high-character professionals down in the bowels of the DIA, the CIA, the NSA and elsewhere. That screens their views, which are often accurate—I’d say probably 80 percent of the time very accurate—from the decision makers. So what you get is you get people like Tenet and McLaughlin and Brennan, who shape whatever they can to fit the policies that the president wishes to carry out. The intelligence, therefore, gets corrupted. So, in that sense, I am still down on the, quote, “U.S. intelligence community,” unquote.

—Wilkerson on Democracy Now in 2018, right after writing an op-ed on the march towards war with Iran titled “I Helped Sell the False Choice of War Once. It’s Happening Again.”

Wilkerson’s claims about normalized efforts among U.S. intelligence agencies to put forth misleading reports have since been vindicated—in addition to the smoking guns that have emerged over the decades regarding the lies about Iraqi WMDs, killed incubator babies, “war crimes” by Yugoslavian socialist leaders, and so on. In 2019, WikiLeaks revealed that the Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons had covered up an effort from within its ranks to uncover details about the 2018 Douma incident. Details which conflicted with the narrative from U.S. intelligence about Assad having committed a “chemical attack against his own people,” an idea which was used to justify Washington’s subsequent strike against Syria.

As U.S. imperialist propaganda against China, Russia, Cuba, and other countries continues to ramp up, comparable revelations are sure to come out in the coming years. And decades from now, we’ll no doubt have new versions of Butler, Blum, Perkins, Baer, and Wilkerson to tell us about the evils they participated in during the current era of imperialism.


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