Interview with an Anarchist in Haifa about the Palestinian Resistance against Israeli Occupation

From an interesting anarchist site here.

During the last couple of months, the situation in Palestine has escalated into a generalized uprising against Zionism, colonialism and apartheid. All of Israel’s and the local far-right’s attempts to crush the spirit of the Palestinian people have resulted in a unified mass resistance, for the first time in decades. The following text is a ground level report from an occupied land, discussing the course of the insurrection, as well as the counter-insurgency tactics, and Hamas’ role in the events.

For starters, could we have some info about you? As it would help us to better understand from what position you are talking.

I’m an anarchist based in Haifa, Occupied Palestine, so-called Israel. I live in an historical Palestinian city that faced a massive attack and terrorist aggression by Zionist militias in 1948 aimed at expelling the local indigenous population and colonizing the land. Since then, the Palestinians that remain live under an ethnic supremacist and apartheid system, and the refugees abroad are still aspiring to return. I come from a settler Jewish family, arriving on this land during the ’80s, and once I got the facts straight, I knew which position I should take.

Once again, bad news spread around the world from the Palestinian and Israeli territories. In a few words, what happened there?

We had a rough few months here. Not sure exactly where to start, but it’s good to concentrate on Jerusalem/Al-Quds that, as in many other uprisings, was the trigger. During April, settlers and cops provoked people in East Jerusalem, the Palestinian part of town, especially in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood and the Al-Aqsa compound.

In order to get the background you need, know that from the Zionist occupation of 1948 to 1967, East Jerusalem was under the control of Jordan. Some of the neighborhoods were populated by Palestinian refugees escaping the Zionist invasion and Nakba of 1948. Sheikh Jarrah is one of them.

After the occupation of 1967, the Zionist state celebrated the “reunification” of Jerusalem each year, now a national holiday. Meanwhile, Jewish settlers arrived at the neighborhoods in East Jerusalem, much like the rest of the occupied West Bank, with clear plans of colonization and Judaization of the area.

In Sheikh Jarrah, an old Palestinian neighborhood in East Jerusalem, settler organizations engaged in legal battles against local residents in the Israeli apartheid court system in efforts to evict local Palestinians and replace them with Jewish settlers, claiming the property used to be owned by Jews. A few families had already been evicted during 2008, 2009, and 2017, and now, a new court ruling puts an additional eight families under a threat of eviction, which is roughly 500 people. Jewish settlements exist in other neighborhoods in East Jerusalem as well, such as Silwan and Abu Tor.

In the Al-Aqsa compound, one of the holiest places to Islam, Israel placed barriers in Bab Al-‘Amud, one of the entrances to the mosque, in the beginning on the month of Ramadan in an effort to limit the number of worshipers and restrict movement. This act provoked outrage and days of rioting ensued in Bab Al-‘Amud and the main streets in East Jerusalem. The barriers were eventually removed.

Meanwhile, tensions in the city had escalated. Some Palestinian youth posted TikTok videos of them attacking Jews around the city, and Jewish far-right gangs mobilized to attack people suspected of being Arabs in the city center. Lehava, a far-right organization, led a racist ‘Death to Arabs’ march from the city center to Bab Al-‘Amud during the riots and were blocked by police on their way.

On May 10, during “Jerusalem Day”, the national holiday celebrating the occupation of the eastern part of the city in 1967, the annual ‘flag parade’ took place in the city, and right-wing participants were expected to enter the Muslim quarter in the old city and shout racist slurs under police protection as they do every year.

Israeli police invaded the Al-Aqsa mosque, and in the intense riots, dozens of cops and hundreds of protestors were injured. Around 5 pm, Hamas announced that Israel has 1 hour to evict all of its police forces from Sheikh Jarrah and Al-Aqsa compound. As this deadline passed, Hamas launched rockets into Israel, reaching Jerusalem. Israel in response announced a military operation in Gaza, and began to bombard the Gaza Strip with airstrikes in a massacre and destruction that lasted 12 days, until a ceasefire was reached on May 21.

Meanwhile, a generalized uprising took place amongst the Palestinians, including ’48 Palestinians living in the territories occupied in 1948 (i.e., so-called “Israel”), ’67 Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza, and refugee communities abroad. A united insurrection, with days of riots in Palestinian, Israeli, and mixed cities and villages, refugee camps in nearby countries, and Israeli embassies and consulates everywhere. A general strike was also announced on May 18 involving all of the Palestinians for the first time in decades.

What are the important facts or basics we need to know about the history of this conflict? Should we call it a conflict, actually?

It is a conflict as much as an attack by a nuclear superpower with one of the most advanced armies in the world backed by the strongest state on earth against a poor occupied civilian population without an army could be characterized as a “conflict”. This is an aggression, the ‘two sides’ are the oppressor and the oppressed, the colonizer and the colonized.

The asymmetrical nature of the situation is so inherent, it’s completely ridiculous in my opinion that people struggle with ‘complexities’ while entire neighborhoods are being erased in Gaza by Israeli military airstrikes, killing 250 people in less than two weeks while Gazans have primitive rockets, most of them falling in open fields or being neutralized by Iron Dome- Israel’s defense system. The 12 people killed on the Israeli side came from mostly from the lower classes of society – mainly migrant workers and even Palestinians, as was the case in the village of Dahamash, near Ramle.

To really understand the true nature of this ‘conflict’ one must understand the inherently racist and colonialist nature of Zionism. As the Zionist occupation armies invaded this land in 1948, it was rich with culture. In what’s known as the Nakba, literally ‘catastrophe’ in Arabic, entire villages were erased, massacres were committed, and hundreds of thousands of refugees driven away off their land. In the conquest for the Jewish homeland, a massive campaign of ethnic cleansing was committed. The indigenous population abroad in refugee camps in nearby countries and all over the world are still aspiring to return.

Those that managed to stay were subjected to realities of colonialism, racism, and discrimination. Laws such as the Absentee Property Act ruled that land and property of refugees fleeing Zionist aggression is now state property. The newly arrived Jewish immigrants were housed in those empty neighborhoods and towns. Military rule was imposed on the Palestinians who remained in Israel from 1948 to 1966 that imposed land restrictions, caused their expulsion from villages, and subjected them to curfews, detentions, and various other discriminatory actions, all with one aim: to increase the Jewish presence and cleanse the land of Palestinians as much as possible.

After the occupation of 1967, unlike the one of 1948, Israel decided not to annex the West Bank and Gaza Strip to its official territory but to keep it in an unclear ‘temporary status’. Even though the Israeli military control basically every facet of the Palestinians’ life there, they are not Israeli citizens, are under military law, and have no rights. The Jewish settlers living in settlements nearby are full Israeli citizens and are under civilian law. Israeli settlements divide the West Bank into small cantons, and the separation wall since 2003 is another tool of land theft. The wall does not go through the 1967 “Green Line” border, but goes inside villages, in many cases annexing land in favor of nearby Jewish settlements.

Since 2007, the Gaza Strip has been under siege as a tool of collective punishment for Hamas’ rule over the area. Despite Israel’s claim of withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005, it still controls its borders, water, and airspace. Gaza, one of the densest populated areas in the world with a population of over 2 million, has already been bombed numerous times in military operations (massacres) in recent years, leading to thousands of casualties and a deteriorating humanitarian catastrophe.

Israel is the leading front of settler-colonialism currently in the world, one of the ugliest examples of nation building as a way of solving the problems of minorities within the boundaries of the state. There won’t be an end in sight without decolonization, return of the refugees, and a truly shared and equal existence without Zionism and apartheid. The time to start building the basis for such a future is now.

How do the Palestinian people live and/or survive? Is this apartheid taking the scale of an ethnic cleansing or a genocide? What is HAMAS’ role?

Hundreds of people are facing eviction in East Jerusalem. Gaza is in ruins, is still under a siege, and is the largest open prison in the world. Total devastation and human tragedy. 250 were killed during the latest Israeli aggression. Clean water is scarce. Health facilities were damaged, including the only lab in Gaza for testing Covid-19 cases. The pandemic is on the rise. Electricity hours are limited. Tens of thousands are displaced with no home to come back to. Unemployment and poverty are exploding.

Inside so-called Israel, Palestinians are facing an intense state terror campaign, aimed at repressing any dissent and punishing those willing to resist. About 2,000 were arrested so far in the protests this month, with more arrests expected. In the West Bank, settlements and a racist separation wall continues to divide the land into small cantons, annex lands from Palestinian villages, and make life unbearable. The refugees are still unable to return.

Palestine has been experiencing an ongoing, uninterrupted ethnic cleansing campaign since 1948. The Nakba never ended. One settler in the Eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan made it very clear: “We won’t stop until East Jerusalem becomes like West Jerusalem. Jewish. The Palestinians have no place in this vision.”

But despite all of the hardship, people are still resisting. The Palestinians stood fast during the last uprising, proved their unity, and fought the Zionist state bravely, despite all the attempts to divide them and crush their spirit. The revolt proved to be courageous and uncontrollable. None of the youth fighting the police in Palestinian and mixed cities by erecting barricades and defending against fascist invasion were obedient to any party or political faction. The new generation of fighters on the street are immune to the pacification efforts from the regular collaborator’s forces, in the form of political parties, NGOs, and respectable community and religious ‘leaders’.

Hamas’ role in the story is exactly what the “Palestinian leadership” did during every wave of popular uprising: take over the situation and kill the  appeal of mass insurrection. Just like the P.L.O. (Palestine Liberation Organization) during the first Intifada, once the militarist militias took over, the ‘professional revolutionaries’, the people became passive spectators of their own ‘liberation’. During the insurrection, the focus turned quickly to rockets launched in Gaza flying over Israeli cities, and the riots and protests largely died out. One can’t help but feel that Hamas interrupted the birth of a popular mass movement in the inner cities of the occupation that wasssssssssssssssssssssssssssss capable of creating real damage.

What about the Israelis? How do they react in this condition? Is there any far-right movement in society? Had Netanyahu the support of the people?

During the last uprising, there was a big far-right anti-Palestinian mobilization with fascist lynch mobs attacking Palestinians. In a now-infamous incident in Bat Yam, racist lynch mobs that tried to reach Jaffa rioted, smashed windows of businesses owned by Arabs, and attacked an Arab driver, all caught on live television. The police were not present. In Haifa, they stormed Palestinian neighborhoods, attacked passengers, damaged cars, threw stones at houses, and shouted racist slurs.

In Lydda, extremist settlers from the West Bank came to the city armed with guns despite the police announcing curfew in the city in the early days of the uprising and shot people, threw stones, set stores on fire, and attacked mosques and cemeteries. In a few cases the police stood by and did nothing. There is even documentation of them throwing stones at Palestinians from police lines. Those pogroms are well documented, but there are significantly more Palestinians arrested than far-right Jewish fascists.

To get into Israeli fascism and the local far-right movement would be quite a lengthy endeavor, let me just say the working class here is generally very right-wing and that Zionism has created a monster I’m not sure it can control. They are allowed to freely attack Palestinians to suppress generalized uprisings but have to disappear and go underground once exposed.

They are the direct consequence of Zionism, and it’s important for me to state that people use the far-right extremists as a way to avoid dealing with mainstream Zionism. It’s easy for liberal Israelis to get disgusted by right-wing assholes shouting death to Arabs in Jerusalem and then support IDF soldiers attacking Gaza during airstrikes, actually putting ‘death to Arabs’ into practice. In a state founded on ethnic cleansing backed by an inherently racist and colonialist ideology, one should not be surprised at the existence of racist pogromists and lynch mobs.

Netanyahu is quite a polarizing figure, but I’ll say he has the support of a huge chunk of Israeli society. But not everyone of course. During last summer, Jerusalem held some very big anti-Netanyahu demonstrations.

The “Anti-Bibi (Netanyahu’s nickname in Israel) Movement” got its momentum after corruption allegations were made public and a police investigation around these allegations is ongoing. Israel is currently in an electoral crisis after 4 elections in the last 2 years, and despite Bibi winning the largest number of votes in all of them, he was time and again unable to form a government due to Israel’s electoral system, and new elections were announced.

In the last elections held in March, Netanyahu once again got the largest number of votes, but again was unable to form a government, and the mandate went to his opponents – the rightwing Naftali Bennet and the centrist Yair Lapid, who would apparently share the government for two years each.

So for now, if things don’t change, it seems as though the anti-Bibi movement reached its goal. But things are not expected to go smoothly. Protests for and against the new government are polarizing the country, and things can go anywhere from here. There are even talks in the media about the possibility of political assassination, as the pro-Bibi camp is very unhappy about the course of events.

What about the persecuted and imprisoned people in so-called Israel? Who are they and what have they tried to do? Are there any movements against the state and the capital?

There was actually quite a long tradition of Israeli Jewish working class communities that calling for an end of the occupation. The Israeli Black Panthers, a group of young Mizrahi Jewish immigrants active in Jerusalem during the 70’s, were critical of Zionism and combined calls for an end to  military rule of Palestinians in their demands for economic and social justice. Here in Haifa, there was also a famous Mizrahi revolt in the 50’s in the Wadi Salib neighborhood – by the way, an historical Palestinian neighborhood whose population got evicted during the Nakba.

After a police officer shot and injured a person in a local café, the residents rioted for days, demanding an end to police brutality and discrimination against Mizrahi Jews by the Ashkenazi elite. An end to military rule over the Arabs was one of the demands. There was a time in which solidarity with the Palestinians was part of the radical Mizrahi working class conscience. But this tradition is long gone. The “Mizrahi discourse” today has deteriorated into liberal “identity politics” nonsense, with demands like ‘representation’ of politicians in Parliament, more Mizrahi police officers, and putting the faces of famous Mizrahi people on currency bills.

It’s hard to explain how right wing the Israeli working class is. But people are still revolting.

During the last few years, there were some incidents of police officers shooting and killing Ethiopian Jewish youth. People went out to the streets and rioted all over the country, in many cases connecting it with the Black Lives Matter movement in the so-called US. There weren’t any clear solidarity messages with the Palestinians, but a pretty significant movement against army conscription grew out of the Ethiopian-Jewish protests, under the banner “Our blood is good only for wars”. That’s a big deal in a militaristic state like Israel in which the army is above all.

Also, connections are being made, and it’s hard to predict where social processes will take us. During the anti-Netanyahu protests last summer in Jerusalem, proletariat youth met each other on the street, with Ethiopians, Palestinians, Mizrahi, feminists, environmentalists etc. protesting side by side for the same interests. Despite how liberal the overall demonstrations were, on its far edges, communities that don’t usually get to see each other face to face and are ignorant of their shared interests finally got the chance to do so.

People are now making the connections between the deaths of Ethiopian Jewish youth like Salomon Teka and Yehuda Biagda with the deaths of Palestinians like Iyad Al-Halak and Munis Anabtawi, all of whom were murdered by police. It took a long time for this to happen. But of course I don’t want to paint the picture in more romantic colors than it actually is. It’s too early to discuss any movement that is willing to give up the state and capital amongst Israelis, and I doubt it will happen any time soon. The Palestinian resistance will remain the only truly revolutionary movement in the region.

The conversation about antisemitism and anti-Zionism is starting every time this crisis is arising. Do you accept these terms and if so, what is your opinion on them? Is there anything problematic in the use of these terms? Is the state of Israel using them in its blame-game and, on the other hand, is there such hate from any part of the Palestinians?

Just talked about it with some German comrades lately! I’m going to be completely honest with y’all here: I’m sick and tired of antisemitism being brought up every time the issue of Palestine is being raised. I doubt the honesty and integrity of anyone who, while entire neighborhoods are being erased with airstrikes and people are being evicted from their homes to be replaced by settlers, all he has to say is “Yes, but the Jews”.

We need to really focus right now. People are dying. Ethnic cleansing and colonization campaigns are ongoing. State repression and terror is at an all-time high. Gaza is a Hell on earth and the situation is unbearable. This is a human catastrophe. We don’t have the time to deal with false accusations. Don’t take the bait.

I’m not going to get into how anti-Zionism is different from antisemitism. It’s so old and well known that it’s boring and cliché at this point. Most people already know these things, and many of those who don’t won’t listen anyway. The Left goes around in circles about this because it’s apparently easier to deal with false ‘complexities’ and theoretical debates than to notice what’s happening in front of your eyes. Jewish people have been opposing Zionism since the very beginning, way before the state of Israel existed.

The nation-state form is a project of reinventing the mechanism needed to ‘purify’ and simplify the land of any diversity and complexity until nothing is left but a monolithic state identity. Just notice the language they use – “Israel has the right to defend itself.” States don’t have rights. They only have “rights” insofar as they protect their citizens, and we all know states don’t do that.

I honestly think that Israel is one of the worst things that has happened to Jewish people. It’s an extension of their historical ethnic cleansing from Europe, and a step backwards in many respects. By looking at Netanyahu’s relationship with figures like Trump and Bolsonaro, and the Israeli Right’s warm relationship with its European and American counterparts, you can clearly see that Zionism and antisemitism not only do not oppose each other, they go very well together. They complement each other.

Anyway, as for antisemitism in the solidarity movement, it exists and of course needs to be dealt with. Jewish and Palestinian comrades are aware of it and have been fighting it for decades. The BDS movement for example is strictly against any kind of racism including antisemitism and has been enforcing this policy against any bigots abusing their platform.

People need to gatekeep the solidarity movement against any kind of fascist bullshit like I saw comrades in Germany confronting Turkish fascists infiltrating a pro-Palestinian demonstration. That’s good and needs to happen more. It’s different from simply labeling the whole movement antisemitic. Fascists will take a hold in any platform they feel they can use to propagate their hate, and they infiltrate social movements constantly. It’s our job as antifascists to deny that to them.

As far as the Middle East goes, could we have a “political map” on the converging and conflicting state forces? Some Palestinians, for example, were requesting on social media the help of Pakistan. On the other hand, the state of Israel has the support of the U.S.A. What is your perspective on the world’s response concerning the never-ending violence and massacre in the area?

Geopolitics of course play a big part in inflaming the so-called “conflict”. After the so-called US became a superpower in the 1940’s, and Britain drew its forces out of the Middle East, there was a strong need for a new ‘regional cop’, a Western ally to keep local interests in check. Arab nationalism was a strong force at that time, and a pro-Western power was the logical “security” needed to keep “stability”, meaning American influence and control, over the resources of the region.

Israel impressed the US during the Nakba, with the American military describing it as “the strongest military force in the region after Turkey.” This perception received further confirmation in 1967 after Israel destroyed Nasser’s Egypt and eliminated Arab nationalism as a dominant power in the region.

Even further confirmation came in 1970 when Israel protected Jordan from a Syrian invasion, probably in order to protect oil fields. This tendency grew over the years. Today, Israel receives billions of dollars in military aid from the US annually, more aid than the US gives the entire African continent. To keep a strong Israel is a significant US strategic goal, which is another reason why the US repeatedly vetoes and blocks UN decisions concerning the Palestinians.

The Palestinians, on the other hand, are completely alone and constantly betrayed by their so-called ‘allies’. The Arab countries have long ago abandoned ‘Arab nationalism’ in favor of a neocolonial order of puppet dictators and Western influence. The “Arab Spring” might have given hope for a second, but generally speaking, new dictators replaced the old ones. The latest ‘peace agreement’ between Israel and the UAE shows the lengths neoliberal monarchies in the Middle East will go in normalizing Israel’s presence as long as business and free trade are protected and promoted.

Other state powers are completely opportunistic: The Soviets gave their support during the Cold War whenever it suited their interests. The Palestinians can’t even count on their own “leadership”, as the Palestinian Authority and Hamas are themselves corrupted dictators and opportunistic bureaucracies acting against their own people. The only real ally left is the people on the ground with the international solidarity movement willing to raise its voice and act against modern forms of apartheid, colonialism, and state terror.

Is there any message you want to send to the anarchists and antifascists around the world? How can we all show our solidarity to the Palestinians or the peace and freedom fighters in so-called Israel?

The Palestinians need help and support. They need action and solidarity. Comrades loving freedom from all over the world need to raise their voice for them. Target Israeli interests in your region. Join your local BDS chapter and call for a boycott. Organize direct action. Do anything you can to get the message across. Internationalist revolutionary solidarity is our strongest weapon against state terror and repression. “Comrades” who are silent – your silence is deafening.

Anything about the future?

Fuck “co-existence.” We need co-resistance. We need a joint insurrection of Israelis and Palestinians on the ground and refugees and their supporters abroad against colonialist Zionism and the apartheid regime. We need to create the basis of a new culture, of people capable of creating an autonomy in which people could meet each other on the streets and reinvent living together. We need to share this land as equals, to smash the visible and invisible borders of fear and control, and imagine politics beyond state terror. We need all of this to not be a fantasy but a reality of struggle, courage, and forming brave connections. May we see the day.

You can check the report I wrote to Crime, Inc. concerning the last uprising, in which I dive to some of the topics I mentioned here in details.

Latest Update (End of June): As the last Flag March was interrupted by Hamas rockets, the settlers decided to hold another one. After the riots and the last escalation, there was a big controversy, but the new government held by the new prime minister Naftali Bennet eventually allowed the march to take place on June 15, with thousands of settlers and right-wing activists raiding Jerusalem yelling racist slurs against Arabs and Muslims, all under full police protection as usual.

Numerous shouts of “Death to Arabs,” calls for burning of villages and a second Nakba, and slurs against the Muslim prophet Muhammad were recorded during the march. Small groups of Palestinian resistance on the outskirts of the route of the march were brutally suppressed by riot police. Hamas once again threatened Israel, and in response to the march launched explosive balloons to towns and agricultural fields near the Gaza border, causing fires. Israel in response attacked Gaza once again, this time under the new government, which is obviously the same as the old.

From: https://radiofragmata.org/2021/07/03/fuck-co-existence-we-need-co-resistance-an-interview-with-an-anarchist-in-haifa-about-the-palestinian-resistance-against-the-israeli-occupation/

Alt Left: Rural Land Reforms: An Overview

What’s odd is that imperialism went along with land reforms in a lot of other places such as Europe and the Middle East. All of the Middle East has done a land reform.

That was one thing the wave of Arab nationalist leaders who came to power in 1950-1970 did right away, including the Baath in Iraq and Syria, Yemen, Nasser in Egypt, the FLN in Algeria, Tunisia, and Qaddafi in Libya.

I believe there was some type of land reform done in Palestine too. If you read Ghassan Kanafani, the Palestinian Leftist, in the 1930’s, he talked about how terribly exploited the Arab fellahin or peasants were in Palestine.

If you went to Yemen in the 1960’s, there was a portrait of Nasser in every house.

I’m not sure if a land reform was ever done in Morocco. It’s been ruled by a fairly rightwing king for a long time.

A land reform was probably done in Lebanon, but I don’t have details. Likewise with Jordan.

Nothing grows in the Gulf anyway, so there’s no need for a reform.

I’m not sure about Sudan or Mauritania, but I doubt much grows in Mauritania except date palms.

In all of these places, land reform was a very easy sell for whatever reason, probably because neoliberal capitalism seems to be antithetical to Islam itself. The feudal lords of the former Ottoman Empire had tried to justify feudalism on the basis that in the Koran it says something like, “Some are rich and some are poor, and this is a natural thing” but that never went over too well.

The idea that in an Islamic country, the rich Muslims were viciously exploit the poor Muslims is nearly haram on its face. You just can’t do that. All Muslims are part of the ummah. All the Muslim men are your brothers and all the Muslim women are your sisters. Also individualism never made it to any part of the Muslim World other than the Hindu variety in Pakistan and Bangladesh, but that’s not really the same radical individualism that we have in the West. It’s just an ancient caste based system.

The first thing the Communists did in Eastern Europe was to do a land reform. You will never hear it here in the West, but until 1960, the Communist regimes in the East were very popular with industrial workers and also with the peasants.

In most of the world, peasants and rural dwellers are leftwingers. This is even the case in Western Europe in France.

The US is odd in that it’s farmers are so reactionary. That goes against the usual trend.

Yes, farmers are said to be conservatives, but that usually just means social conservatism. In most of the world, peasants are literally Alt Left: left on economics and right on social and cultural issues.

A land reform was definitely done in Iran.

Obviously one was done in the USSR, and the large landowners have not yet consolidated themselves in the former USSR, mostly because everybody hates them. Large landowners have taken over some of the state farms in Russia, but for whatever reason, they are not very productive. In fact, many of the state farms are still in existence. I am not sure what sort of arrangement they have now.

50% of the food in the Russia comes from small farms, typically grown on dachas. Dachas were vacation homes that were given to all Soviet workers. They were also given a bit of land, enough to grow some crops on. After 1991, all workers were allowed to keep their dachas and small plots. This was a great idea because most of the produce in Russia is coming right off of these farms.

After World War 2, the US supported land reforms in some places as a way of heading off a Communist threat. This is one great thing about the Communists. So many great steps of social progress were only done out of fear or terror that if these were not done, the Communists would take over. Now that that threat is gone, one wonders what motivation the oligarchs have to give up anything.

In particular, land reforms were done in Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. They went over very easily. And in fact, the subsequent economic growth occurred right on the back of these reforms. There is a good argument that you can never develop a proper economy without first doing a land reform.

First of all, you need to get rid of the problem of rural poverty.

Second of all, you need to feed your own people. Large landowners in these countries typically grow food for export or simply fallow the land and keep it as an income base or a source of wealth.

When crops are grown for export, there is a problem in that the nation does not grow enough food to feed its people. This is a problem in Cuba and Venezuela right now, and it should not be. These are very fertile countries and there is no need to import food, but they have gotten hooked on some sort of “crack” of importing their food for whatever reason, possibly because most of their farmland was being used to grow crops for export.

When a nation can feed itself, this means it can feed its urban workers. This is extremely important and it is part of the reason that Stalin went at such breakneck speed in his collectivization. He had to feed his urban workers so he could industrialize because even back then, he was looking into the future and seeing that he was going to have to fight Hitler.

I’m not quite sure why, but no country seems to be able to properly industrialize and develop as long as the problem of rural poverty exists.

And once you are feeding your own people, you have solved a lot of other problems. Money that would be wasted importing inferior food from the West, especially the US, can now be spent on actual development of a national economy. The elimination of rural poverty gets rid of a constant revolutionary bur in the side of the state.

The US has always opposed land reform in Latin America because large US corporations are usually involved in growing foods for export down there. See Dole Pineapple in Guatemala. We want all of their agricultural land to go for export crops so US corporations can grow those crops or make money importing them. And we do not want them to grow their own food. That way there won’t be so much land for export crops which we need to make money off of.

Also, we want them to spend all of their food money importing lousy processed food from the US. So we make money on food both ways – importing food from crops grown for export to the US and in exporting processed food to the Latin America. This processed food is not very good for you and it is implicated in a lot of health problems in these places.

This is why the US opposes most efforts at land reform in the Americas.

An exception was made in El Salvador. After 200,000 people died, the US and the Salvadoran oligarchs were forced to the negotiating table and a land reform was one of the first things they pushed. I recall a piece written soon afterwards where the reporter went out to the rural areas and interviewed recipients of the land reform. They basically said, “Well, at least we can eat now. It wasn’t like that before.”

In semi-feudal countries, there is debt bondage whereby large landowners rent out their land to sharecroppers or peasants who never seem to get out of debt. This is a very primitive form of development.

The Philippines is notable that there has never been a land reform. And of course they have a vicious Communist insurgency.

Nor has there been one in Colombia, Guatemala, Haiti, Paraguay, Honduras, or Argentina. The first five countries are horribly screwed up. Colombia and Paraguay have active armed leftwing guerrillas, and Guatemala did for many years. Haiti is a disaster. Honduras has a vicious rightwing dictatorship that has murdered over 1,000 people.

Argentina is mostly urbanized, but the landed rural elite still runs the country. Any talk at all of land reform or even taxation of large estates as was done recently under Christine Fernandez, and the ruling class starts making ominous threats of a coup. I assume something similar is going on in Uruguay. Those countries are urbanized though, so large landownership is not such a problem.

I’m not sure if there has ever been a land reform in Brazil, but there is no dearth of large landowners.

The fact that Colombia, Guatemala, and Haiti are so backwards is largely because there has never been a land reform.

The land reform was incomplete in Venezuela.

It is interesting that every country that fails to do a land reform seems to end up with a Communist or Leftist insurgency at some point or another. It’s almost without fail. This goes to show you that most Communist insurgencies in the Third World are over the most basic things dating all the way back to French Revolution: land and bread (food).

As far as land reforms go, they were done in Mexico, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Venezuela, and Peru.

I’m not sure about Uruguay, Ecuador, Bolivia, Panama, Jamaica, Belize, the Guyanas, Chile, and most of the Caribbean.

And I’m not sure if one ever got done in the Dominican Republic after Bosch.

In El Salvador, 200,000 had to die in order for a land reform to take place. Roberto D’Aubission, the godfather of the Salvadoran death squads and the most favored visitor at the US Embassy, once said that “We will have to kill 200,000 people in order to prevent socialism in El Salvador.” What he meant by socialism was land reform.

It is notable that no land reform was ever done in India, nor in Pakistan or even Bangladesh. I had a friend whose parents were large feudal landowners in Pakistan who rented out land to farmers who ended up in debt peonage. In 1986, 14 million people a year were dying of starvation related diseases in the capitalist world. Most of that was in South Asia in Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and India. Most of these deaths were attributed to the problem of the private ownership of land.

There is a problem with the private ownership of land. In the US, we think this is sacrosanct, but on a worldwide basis, it doesn’t work very well. What do you need all that land for? What do you need more than, say, an acre and a house? Nothing, unless you are a farmer.

In China, all land is owned by the state. All homeowners lease the land, often on 100 year leases. I’m not sure how it works in the countryside.

In Mexico, much of the land is owned by the state also, a product of the land reform that occurred after the Revolution. One of the major demands of the Revolution was land reform. Pre-revolution, most peasants usually lived like serfs. The state land in Mexico is called ejidos.

If you ever can’t make it in the city, if you become unemployed or homeless, you can always go out to the countryside and take up residence in an ejido, which are something like communal lands that are formed by the group that makes up the ejido. You join this group, work the land, and get a share of the crop. At least you have enough food to eat. So in Mexico the ejidos are a stopgap measure.

In China too, if you can’t make it in the city, you can always go back to the rural areas, take up residence, and work the land. At least you will have enough to food to eat. It is illegal to be homeless in China. If you are homeless, the police pick you up and put you in shelters, which are something like college dorms. They also encourage you to go back to the countryside if you have relatives back there. In recent years, many people have moved from the countryside to the cities to make more money. Those that don’t make it can always move back to the farm.

There was debate a while back about privatizing state land, but it ran aground on the idea that the state ownership of land was necessary as a stopgap measure in the event of urban poverty. In addition, state ownership of land has prevented the development of a national oligarchy or plutocracy.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been adamant that the  development of a national oligarchy or plutocracy must be prevented at all costs. Once they develop, they are sort of like an infection in that they soon spread and take over society. The CCP has billionaire party members who are members of the People’s Assembly.

Guess what these “Communists” are advocating for? Reduction or elimination of taxes on the rich, massive reductions in social spending, state repression of labor, and the privatization of land along with most of the rest of the economy. I think this goes to show you that billionaires are the same everywhere. Whether in a Communist or capitalist country, a rightwing or leftwing country, billionaires always have precisely the same class interests that barely vary at all. It’s usually something like this:

Reduction or elimination of taxes on the rich, massive reductions in social spending, state repression of labor, and the privatization of land along with most of the rest of the economy.

This goes to show that class interests of various classes are nearly a  law in a mathematical sense and not even a theory of social science. This was what Marx was getting at when he spoke of the laws of economics. They are so predictable that we can almost class them with the laws, theorems, and corollaries of mathematics instead of the typical “true for now” theories of most of the sciences.

I have a feeling that a Hell of a lot more things are laws, too, especially in terms of basic human behavior. So many of these things seem almost unchangeable. Of course they would never apply to everyone, but it’s pretty obvious that they are general tendencies.

Alt Left: Sunni Hatred and Paranoia of the Shia and Iran: One of the Stupidest Forms of Bigotry On Earth

Almost all Sunni morons, even Pakistanis, believe that Iran wants to control the Middle East. The extreme versions say Iran wants to conquer all of the Sunni Arabs and rule over them. Almost all Sunni Arabs actually believe this crap. This thinking is especially prominent in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, the Gulf (except possibly Qatar), Lebanon, to some extent in Jordan, and Egypt and Sudan to a somewhat weak extent.

Further west in Africa, the Sunnis do not give two shits about Iran. Nor do the rest of the African Sunnis. Nor do they Turks although they hate and persecute their own Shia. Nor do the Muslims of the Caucasus, Russia, and the Stans. In Afghanistan it is particularly stupid because Afghanistan is largely Iranic culturally and even linguistically, particularly in the West. Some of the bigger warlords such as Ismail Khan over there in the west in Herat were actually openly pro-Iran.

Shias are persecuted pretty brutally in Pakistan. Sunni Salafists regularly attack their rallies with suicide bombers, killing many people. The jihadi group LET, which fights in Kashmir, is viciously anti-Shia.

No one quite knows where this comes from but it seems that anyplace where there are lots of Shia, they Shia are hated by the Sunnis.

They are persecuted by Sunni majorities in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, but not in Yemen or Syria, although there are vicious anti-Shia groups there. Sunni minorities in Lebanon and Iran and particularly in Iraq are very anti-Shia. However, the Iranian Sunnis are not treated right at all, although they have 28,000 mosques in Iran. W

hen you get over to North Africa, there are just not any Shia to hate. What’s a Shia? That’s what the North African says.

Palestinians were typically anti-Shia and especially anti-Iran historically because Arab nationalist idiots hate Iran for no good reason, as I elaborated above. Hamas caused a lot of controversy in Palestine for being so close to Iran since they were Sunnis, but they are not stupid. Recently they supported the Sunni Syrian opposition, which enraged the Syrian government. At the same time, Palestinians in Syria formed pro-government militias and fought on the side of the government, though a few went over to the jihadi opposition.

ISIS took over a large Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus for a time and the Palestinians were smeared as ISIS supporters because of this. But most Palestinians in that camp disliked ISIS. The camp is called Yarmouk, and is one of the worst hellholes in Syria. I think there may be delays in rebuilding because of government suspicion that residents sided with ISIS. So Hamas was aligned with Hezbollah, Syria, Iran, the Houthis, the Iraqi Shia, and Iran, and then like complete tools they let their bigotry get the best of them and supported the Sunni jihadis in Syria. However, Syria and Hamas have patched up their relationship.

This is especially odd considering how poorly the Shia have been treated. Before the rise of Hezbollah, the Sunnis in Lebanon would not let the Shia work at any job more respectable than a trash collector. They were like Dalits in India. Imagine that you were in the Jim Crow South and the Whites were all possessed by paranoid fantasies that the Blacks were going to declare war on the Whites, conquer them and rule over the Whites, treating them as inferiors. Crazy, right? This is how Sunnis feel about Iran. They’re all nutcases. It’s also projection, see?

But the Palestinians have become very pro-Iran these days since only Iran has stepped up to the plate to support the Palestinians and only the Shia are supporting the Palestinians at all. The Sunni Arabs would much rather kill the Shia than fight Israel, though the latter obviously is more important and the former has no importance at all.

The only significant help the Palestinians are getting is from the Shia Houthis in Yemen, the Shia Hezbollah in Lebanon, Syria, a Shia-led regime in a majority Sunni country, Shia Iran, and pro-Iranian militias in Iraq that are now formally part of the Iraqi Army itself.

They have gotten help from Jordanians who massed at the border and tried to break through, but those were probably mostly Palestinian refugees, as they make up 70% of the population but frankly lack representation in the government, which is a monarchy. Mobs tried to rush the Lebanese border too, but those were probably mostly Shia. Quite a few of them may also have been Palestinian refugees because there are a number of large refugee camps in Southern Lebanon.

It is true that large majorities in Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Sudan, Jordan, Lebanon, Yemen, Kuwait, and Qatar support the Palestinians, and there is also a lot of support for them in Turkey and Pakistan. These supporters are mostly Sunnis. But the average person does not rule in the Arab World and dictatorships are the rule. It is these dictatorships that have been selling out and making peace with Israel lately, the most outrageous of which has been the UAE, which has apparently gone full Zionist. They’re simply traitors.

However, the Saudis and Emiratis have brainwashed their populations, which used to strongly support the Palestinians but who know repeat the programmed lie that “the Palestinians are not our problem.

A while back, mobs stormed the Israeli border with Syria in the Golan and quite a few of them were killed. These were probably mostly Sunni Syrians though there may have been a lot of Palestinian refugees among them, as there are quite a few in Syria.

There was some anti-Shia sentiment when Islamic Jihad was formed because this Sunni group took inspiration from the Iranian revolution.

There was a rumor that the original Sunni leader converted to Shiism and this caused something of a scandal. The Sunnis are all absolutely terrified that Iran is going to conquer and dominate them and in the process force them to convert to Shiism. The truth is almost zero Sunnis ever convert to Shiism.

Shiism is simply not a proselytizing religion, whereas Sunnism is. One of the main complaints of the Houthis was that Saudi Arabia was sponsoring Wahhabi preachers to come into the north of Yemen and convert the Shia to Sunni Wahhabism. This roused up quite a bit of anger amid the Shia and it was a major reason for the Houthi Revolution. Once again you can see that Sunnis are projecting with their terror of the Shia forcibly converting them to Shiism.

Hamas has aligned very closely with Iran, but so have the Salah-al-Din Brigades, the Al-Aqsa Martyr’s Brigades rejectionists who took up arms in various formations, and the PFLP. I have heard that there is a portrait of Soleimani in every home in Gaza.

Alt Left: Websites of Palestinian Resistance Factions

These are all on Telegram, so it would help if you have Telegram, but if you don’t, they will still work in preview. They’re all in Arabic so you will need a translator, but Chrome has one built in.

Izz-al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades (Hamas): The largest faction. Closely allied with Iran and Hezbollah. Have 14,000 missiles, including long-range ballistic missiles, drones, suicide drones, vast tunnel systems and even underground cities, munitions factories, a navy, ATGM anti-tank missiles, MLRS missile launchers, etc. Some of their missiles are so large they have to be launched from vehicles. They have a huge army, maybe 13,000 men under arms. Almost all of their weaponry is homemade, but it all ultimately comes from Iran. The designs come from Iran and Iranians help them make them. Hezbollah helps too. Their largest presence is in Gaza. They’re quite radical but they are more pragmatic than you think. Leadership is in Iran and Lebanon.

Al-Quds Brigades (Islamic Jihad): Another very large faction, also very close to Iran and Hezbollah. Closer to Iran than Hamas. All of their weaponry comes from Iran, as does all of their money. They also have ballistic missiles. They have ~7,000 rockets in their inventory. Also radical but pragmatic. They have a large group of female fighters under their command. Leadership in Palestine, Iran, and Lebanon.

Al-Nasser Salah-al-Din Brigades (Popular Resistance Committees): Basically Fatah rejectionists who left and took up arms due to the PLO’s pacifism. More nationalist in orientation. Al-Aqsa Martyr’s Brigades are still big in the West Bank where they have automatic weapons that they manufacture themselves in factories! This is the third largest group in Gaza and they have fired many missiles in this latest fight. Saladin is a hero in the region. He was actually a Kurd. He threw the Crusaders out of Palestine. The Nasser may be a reference to Arab nationalist leader Gamel Nasser of Egypt. This group is more secular. Leadership in Palestine.

Mujahedin Brigades (Mujahedin Movement): These are said to be Salafists, but they seem quite similar to Hamas and Islamic Jihad, with whom they share philosophy and even weaponry. This is one of the smaller groups in Gaza. I don’t know much about them. Leadership in Palestine.

National Resistance Brigades (DFLP): A Marxist group that attracts a lot of the secular crowd, including Christians. They have an armed force and a lot of missiles. Their leader is Nayef Hawatmeh in Jordan, a Christian. This group has a surprisingly large presence in Gaza. It’s interesting that Hamas and Islamic Jihad get along just fine with Marxists. This group has fired quite a few missiles in the latest war. You would be surprised at how active they are. Much of the leadership is in Syria.

Martyr Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades (PFLP): Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. A member of the PLO which refuses to participate in the PLO government because they see the PLO as sellouts. Marxists. They have a surprisingly large army inside Gaza and they have carried out many attacks recently, including an attack on the port of Ashkelon. They also have a lot of women under arms. Most PFLP women do not wear hijabs. Also attracts the secular crowd and a lot of Christians. Also pretty big in the West Bank.  Basically secular Arab nationalists. They’re actually probably a lot more moderate than the other group in that they argue that all of the Jews can stay in Palestine. Leader Ahmad Saadat is in an Israeli prison. Leadership is presently in Syria.

PFLP-GC: Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command. No channel. Very close to Syria. Significant presence in Lebanese refugee camps. They have launched missiles in the latest war and they do have a presence in Gaza. Very secular. Formerly Ahmad Jibril’s group. Another PLO split.

As you can see, the PFLP-GC, the DFLP, the PFLP, and the PRC are all at least fairly secular groups. The first three are very secular. The Mujahedin Brigades, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad are Islamists.

 

 

Alt Left: The Chameleon-Like Nature of Fascism

I wrote this in objection to a paper under review right now on Academia by a Left professor of Somatic Psychology, a PhD and a very smart man, who quotes Wilhelm Reich, a Jewish pro-sex and anti-fascist writer, as saying that fascists are out of touch with their bodies. Presumably antifascists are in touch with their bodies and not repressed. Apparently sexual repression and being out of touch with your body is part of the genesis of fascism. I don’t agree. Here is my response, in part.

I think that quoting Reich on fascism is not the greatest idea. He’s not the best person to ask about fascist theory. The modern intellectual descendants of Reich (the Cultural Left) don’t have a very good view of fascism.

Further, Reich was an extreme sexual libertine who may have molested his sister and raped his maids as a boy. Reich’s sexual libertinism was rejected by all Communists in the last century and is still condemned in existing Communist countries. So Reich’s critique is ill-formed, as the Communists were just as bad as the fascists when it came to Reich’s libertinism.

Fascists are sexually repressed? I don’t know. I’ve run into some MAGA women lately who are ridiculously libertine to the point of being degenerate or depraved. They’re about this far from becoming out and out porn stars. Yet fascists they are. A friend used to be an actor in the porn industry. He told me that the industry is full of conservatives. I’m aware of a few pornstars who were basically White Supremacists.

Donald Trump’s fascism was nearly a “pornographic fascism.” He cavorted with pornstars, cheated on all of his wives, made lewd remarks about his own daughter and the teenage underage daughters of his friends, reportedly attended sex orgies, and may have raped a 13 year old girl and forced a 12 and 13 year old girl to have sex with each other. He’s as libertine as Reich, yet he’s a fascist.

Better definitions are coming out of serious scholars of the Left. There area number of modern scholars who are trying to pin down exactly what fascism is. Almost all are operating from the Left. Among these superb modern theorists of fascism are David Neiwert who blogs at Daily Kos, the authors of a blog called Three Way Fight (not sure if it’s still up), along with excellent political scientists working out of the universities.

Better older analyses of fascism also come from Lenin and especially from Trotsky, who wrote some of the best essays on fascism ever written.

A “popular dictatorship against the Left” seems to be the best definition. “Palingetic nationalism” is another, referring to the bird that rises from the ashes in mythology. Fascism appeals to “the everyman,” “the man on the street” – “the shirtless ones” of Peronist fame. That’s the appeal – to your “basic man” and “basic woman.” It also appeals to strong primitive drives of aggression, violence, projection of failures onto outsiders, expansionism, often imperialism, an opposition to liberalism and democracy. It also opposes equality and in favor of hierarchy.

Fascism involves a reverence for sacred violence bordering on the religious, a worship of “the greatness of the ancestors,” a dialogue to restore “the glory days of yore” from the ruins of the “degenerate present”, ruined by liberals, democracy, anti-nationals, nation-haters, and traitors.

Fascism has historically supported a return to traditional values and a rejection of degenerate modernism, but as we can see in the “pornographic fascism” of Donald Trump, that’s not necessarily the case anymore.

Fascism also always advocated a return to traditional male female role models, but that need to be a hindrance to basic equal de jure rights for women, as seen in the many successful MAGA women and the many often-religious MAGA men who love and cherish their wives.

Fascism has typically targeted minorities and has been racist. People think that fascism is inherently anti-Semitic, yet many early Zionists such as Jabotinsky were open fascists and supported the fascist movement in Europe. Some of the early Israeli guerrillas were Jabotinskist fascists.

I’d argue that Israel has been fascist from Day One, but certainly with the coming of Sharon and Netanyahu, the ideological descendants of Jabotinskyist fascism, Israel became literally a fascist country. Jacobinsky is the hero and spiritual founder of the Likud Party. He was an early Zionist who wrote a book in 1921 called The Iron Wall. He and his followers were strong supporters of the fascist parties in Europe in the 1920’s and 30’s. Some of the early Zionist guerrilla organizations were Jabotinskyist fascists.

In Lebanon, the Gemayalist Phalangists named after a general named Gemayal, are an actual literal fascist party. Even their name is fascist as phalange is a popular name for fascist parties. They are Christian Maronites who see themselves as transplanted Europeans, descendants of “Phoenicians,” who despise Arabs and Islam. They are also the most pro-Israel party in Lebanon. This founder of this party had photos of Hitler in his school locker when he was in high school and the party’s ideology is modeled on the classic European fascism of the 30’s.

Israeli fascism is not anti-Semitic at all, and many White Supremacists actually support Israel as the model for the racist state they wish to set up. Many dislike Jews in the Diaspora who are seen as anti-national, but have no problem with the fascist Jews in Israel and see them as fellow fascists.

A number of the anti-immigrant Right parties in Europe are pro-Israel, including the National Front in France, the AfD in Germany, and the neo-Nazi party in Austria! They often like Israel because of its strong anti-Muslim orientation. Along the same lines, the Muslim-hating Hindu nationalist fascists ruling India in the form of the BJP party, are very pro-Israel.

The pro-fascist Spanish and Italian conservatives, remnants of former large fascist movements in those countries, are pro-Israel. The fascist Saudis, Bahrainis, Egyptians, Moroccans, and Ermiratis are now pro-Israel. They’ve always been Rightists so it’s no surprise. So philosemitic fascism is absolutely possible and even existing.

Arab nationalists have always been quite fascist despite their Leftist trappings. Saddam was a fascist, as was Hafez Assad. Some think Bashar Assad is a fascist. The North African leaders, all Arab Nationalists, were fascists in the sense that they tried to destroy the Berbers’ identity and make everyone into an Arab. The Assads and Saddam also attacked Kurds and Assyrians, in both cases in attempts to turn everyone into an Arab. Saddam also attacked Turkmen. And he discriminated against Iraqis of Iranian background in the South so much that he threw hundreds of thousands of them out of the country.

The Moroccan fascists are even expansionists, having invaded Spanish Sahara. The Indonesian fascists committed genocide in East Timor and Aceh and in the entire country against Communists when they unleashed a genocide in 1965 that murdered 1 million Communist in less than a couple of months. It was as bad as the Rwandan genocide.

All of these are examples of “Muslim fascists,” so fascism and Islam are quite compatible.

There seems to be a view in the West that fascism must be White Supremacist and of course it must be anti-Semitic.

None of the above were White Supremacists. They were all non-Whites, and none were self-haters.

Also as you can see above, fascism need not be anti-Semitic.

I also listed a number of fascist and anti-Islamic movements, rightwing dictatorships along with the post-fascist conservatives in Spain and Italy. The former fascist followers of Mussolini and Franco simply melted into the rightwing movements of both countries. In Spain it was the Conservative Party, a party with fascist roots.The Francoists simply changed clothes and melted into the Conservative Party. Francoism is still extremely popular, mostly in the form of anti-separatism, these days. I’ve been to their very popular websites.

Burlusconi in Italy has inherited the descendants of fascism in Italy. A fascist and racist separatist and somewhat White Supremacist movement has formed in Northern Italy. They are White Supremacists in the sense that  they claim the are Celts or “pure Whites” and they despise Southern Italians as de facto “niggers.”

A friend in Italy told me that fascism was still very popular in Italy to this very day, although it was also widely hated as the Left in Italy is often Far Left or almost Communist. There are cities in Sicily were the leftwingers are all Communists and the rightwingers are all fascists. They engage in street battles all the time.

My friend told me that the Red Brigades, an anti-fascist Far Left group of Communists that attacked the state, was extremely popular in Northern Italy, particularly in Vicenzia Province where he lived. His sister was a strong supporter of the Red Brigades, and she came from a normal middle class background in Trieste.

Fascism is said to be anti-Muslim, yet we have Islamic fascism in Turkey, Azerbaijan, Brunei, Morocco, and probably the Taliban in Afghanistan. Turkey and Azerbaijan are classic fascists of the 1930’s type, however they have married this to Ottoman imperialism and Islamic jihadism, particularly the genocidal variety that held sway in Turkey from 1880 until 1940.

That the Taliban are a new sort of fascism was an argument of the Leftists at Three Way Fight. I’m not sure I agree with that. Other Muslim fascists used to rule in Indonesia,  Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Iran. Above I listed more Muslim fascists in the Arab World, who might better be described as rightwing dictatorships.

Fascism is chameleon-like and changes shape endlessly to mirror and capture whatever times it is in. I can even see chameleon-like fascists adopting yoga, meditation, and bodywork, the “Left” body psychology mechanisms the author refers to. Hitler was a vegetarian and a good animal rights supporter, if terrible in so many other ways.

This aspect of fascism of what makes this political mercury blob so hard to pin down. Indeed, many fascists pose as anti-Nazis and anti-fascists and accuse anti-fascists of being fascists! I’ve seen this with my own eyes.

Problem is the Modern Left starts talking about fascism, and it immediately degenerates into propaganda and nonsense where we push views that line up whatever biases our Left formation is pushing du jour. The Cultural Left, which is almost devoid of intelligence or intellectual honesty of any sort, in particular cannot be relied upon, as almost everything coming out of there is propaganda and a lie in some form or another. For instance, the Cultural Left argues that White Supremacists, anti-feminists (or what feminists would call misogynists), homophobes, and transphobes are all “fascists.”

That’s utter nonsense as none of this Identity Stuff has anything to do with the Left in the first place, as the Left is only about economics and many Communists of the last century were in fact social conservatives described under the epithets above. Many of the antifascist fighters fighting in the Allies in World War 2 were White Supremacists, racists (in particular, racist against Blacks), “misogynists” (or at the very least strong sexists), and virulent homophobes. Trannies didn’t exist back then, but they would have been hated much worse than gays.

The very racist White Southern Democrats of that time absolutely despised Hitler, Mussolini, and the rest of the European fascists along with the Japanese, who were promoting a sort of “fascist militarism.”

The Cultural Left would have us believe that Stalin, Mao, Castro, Hoxha, Deng, Ho Chi Minh, the Bulgarian Communists, etc. were all fascists because they were social conservatives. Homosexuality was banned as a bourgeois vice in the Eastern Blog. The Shining Path executed homosexuals and cocaine abusers (another bourgeois vice). The Khmer Rogue were terribly racist. I don’t think anyone will deny that they were Communists.

Even Strasserites are Communists, granted they were odd ones. Further, Strasser had no biological race-based objection to Jews. He had an economic objection. And he wasn’t the best anti-Semite. He kept asking the others why they were so overboard on the Jewish Question.

Stalin wasn’t the best on women’s rights.

The Bulgarian Communists had opinions on race that would be considered Nazism nowadays.

As noted, homosexuality was banned in all of the Communist World. Castro put them in labor camps. The Communist Party of the Russian Federation even today doesn’t have the best policy on gays nor on Jews for that matter. I’m pretty sure they are Communists.

Trans people were not even acknowledged by any Communist country ever.

We have to completely rethink our view of fascism.

It is perfectly possible to have a libertine fascism in a porn-drenched society, which is what we just went through with Trump. MAGA folks are not repressed at all in my observation. They’re not out of touch with their bodies. The Sex Revolution of the 60’s which I was a part of took care of that.

MAGA fascism even allowed for equal rights for women. MAGA women do not appear to be discriminated against legally. A lot of them made a lot of money and held high positions.

Fascism has always been homophobic, yet the Nazi brownshirts were full of homosexuals, and I’ve talked to many gay MAGA types.

I assure you that there are gay MAGA folks. I’ve talked to a number of them. Mitch McConnell is a lifelong homosexual. He’s as fascist as they come. The first brownshirts were full of homosexuals. The Republican Convention welcomed an open fascist, the founder of Ebay, to their convention. They gave him a standing ovation.

I’m aware of Neo-Nazis to this day who are open homosexuals. James O’Meara was one. A number of White Supremacists have been outed as closeted gays. One was murdered by his young Black boyfriend. A friend used to be involved in these groups and he told me that was a LOT of homosexuality in this scene.

Brazilian fascist integralism was multi-racial and formally anti-racist, populist to the core. But Bolsonaro does not come from this milieu; he represents an actual throwback in some ways to classical European fascism of the 1930’s.

Fascism has traditionally been racist, but Black and Indian fascism is a real thing. I believe that fascism knows no color. The Tonton Macoutes of Haiti were black fascists. The Black Hutu government in Rwanda was fascist, as was Mobutu in Zaire and Samuel Doe in Liberia.

A fascist indigenist Indian rights activist is running for President in Ecuador. He’s pulled support from Cultural Left morons who support his Identity Politics while overlooking his fascism, a typical error of IP types, who are the a scourge of the Left.

Obviously modern fascism opposes transsexualism, but that’s not necessarily the case into the future. Caitlin Jenner, a fully-transitioned transwoman, is MAGA.

In the future we may see even forms of fascism that offer equal rights to gays and maybe even transsexuals.

Alt Left: The Capitalist Mindset: The Left Has No Right to Rule

Trouser Snake: So what’s the endgame? Just access to more markets to continue the capitalist Ponzi scheme?

Pretty much. Some people never learn. And the people on Earth least likely to learn are capitalists. It’s like they’re drug addicts, hooked on a crack or heroin drug called capitalism. They’re as blinded as an addict.

And they’re incapable of being peaceful. They are actually mandated to destroy any form of socialism on Earth, and as far as the social democracies, well, they’ll get to those later. They simply refuse to compromise with the Left at all, and their view in general is that the Left has no right to rule.

It is this raw, pure Latin American model of ultra-capitalism or pure neoliberalism that is presently dominant in the US in the Republican Party. As this form of capitalism leads to the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer at a rapid and profound pace, it also inevitably leads to a left revolutionary reaction of some sort. This is so predictable as to almost be a law of politics along the lines of some of our physical laws like gravity.

However, this basic capitalist mindset has been subdued in most places:

  • In Europe by a social contract to ward off Communism, now fading.
  • In Canada, Australia, and New Zealand by similar social contracts, now possibly also fading.
  • In Africa by African nationalism, a local capitalism that is intertwined with such, a strong resistance to the exploitative, rape and ruin policies of colonialism, by the Marxist roots of some of the early post-colonial leaders and some independence struggles, by extreme poverty which lends itself to socialist movements, and possibly by what was probably a very collectivist tribal culture pre-colonization.
  • In the Middle East and North Africa by Islam in general, which is very hostile to extreme capitalism as anti-Islamic and an attack on the notion that all Muslims are brothers and are mandated to help each other, and also by Arab nationalism in particular, with its strong anti-colonial bent and roots in Marxism.
  • In Turkey by Islam, oddly enough. Erdogan is actually a social democrat along the lines of most Islamists (see the explanation under the Middle East and North Africa entry above).
  • In Russia and much of the former USSR by the Soviet experience which was much more popular with the people than you are told here, by and nationalism, in particular, Russian and Armenian nationalism, and by a longstanding collectivist culture with roots in a long-lasting feudalism and the underdog mindset of the masses that resulted.
  • In Japan, where corporations took over the role of the social democratic state as per Japanese ethics, nationalism, and in-group preference – our people are the best people on Earth, so we must show solidarity with each other and not let each other starve. Which model is presently falling apart. There is also a basic, possibly ancient, Asian collectivist mindset, which had been previously opposed by feudalism. However, it is easy for a collectivist culture to toss feudalism aside as feudalism is so anti-collectivist. Feudalism was a poor fit in Asia – note the experience in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos- similar to how it never worked well in the collectivist Arab world and was easily overthrown in Russia.
  • In India, where a long-standing anti-colonial ethic and independence struggle with socialist roots goes along with a long with long-standing leadership of the non-aligned countries.
  • In Central Asia, by Islam (see above) and in Iran by the Iranian revolution.

As you can see above, the capitalist morons in most of the world weren’t thinking straight, but then when are they ever? They think about as well as any addict of anything. In the Arab World, Russia, and Asia, they set up feudalism, the worst form of pre-capitalism, which generates such hatred that when it is overthrown, most former serfs go socialist or Communist.

Further, they tried to wedge feudalism into collectivist cultures, which never works, as they are the opposite of each other. This feudalism where it was longstanding led obviously to extreme forms of socialism or sometimes Communism because feudalism is so brutal and extreme that it leads, logically, to brutal and extreme counter-reactions.

This is along the lines of the theory that the more brutal and extreme the system, the more brutal and extreme the counter-reaction to that system is.

You could hardly find a country where ultra-feudalism was more ingrained in the modern era than Cambodia, along with extreme hatred between the urban and rural people. The reaction? The Khmer Rogue.

The vicious slaver regime in Haiti was overthrown by the Haitian Revolution, where all 25,000 Whites on the island were murdered in cold blood.

In the Chmielnicki Rebellion in Poland in the 1500’s, a vicious peasant rebellion took place in which not only were half the Jews killed for being allied with the feudal lords, but 1/3 of the population of the entire country was killed. Of course, all you hear about here in the West is those 25,000 Jews who were killed. I guess all those dead Gentiles didn’t count. Gee, I wonder why that is.

There were various peasant or anti-feudal serf revolts in the Inca Empire. From what little we learn of these revolts, the serfs rebelled, seized power, and killed all of the Inca feudal elite. Peasant rebellions are not only murderous, but they tend to be exterminationist.

I could go on but you get the picture.

Elsewhere, foolish capitalists imposed their capitalism via an ultra-exploitative colonial model which is guaranteed to generate extreme hatred, rebellion, and underdog views among the colonized (if not exterminationist anti-colonial rebellions – see the Haitian example above), which leads to inevitable independence struggles usually premised on underdog philosophies like socialism and Communism. By colonizing most of the world, capitalist morons insured a post-colonial world with socialist tendencies and hostility to highly exploitative neoliberalism.

Places in the World Where Extreme Capitalism (Hyper-Neoliberalism) Holds Out

Latin America is one of the few places in the world that capitalism is so extreme as to oppose even social democracy, and this is all due to the proximity and overwhelming presence of a colonial ethic under the presence of the US.

Of course, we have long had such a model here in the US, but its  savage nature has been masked by a ferocious war on Communism cleverly turned into a war on socialism, social democracy, and even petty liberalism. The great wealth of the country has also masked the brutal features of this system, as there was so much money that even the losers in the system were able to eek out a piece of the pie, although this aspect is fading  fast – look at the homeless swarming our streets.

Further, a system of social liberalism (not social democracy but headed down the road) was installed in the New Deal (as an anti-Communist social contract along the lines of the European social contracts) and further entrenched by the Great Society, here driven in part by powerful new anti-racism on the part of the state. These band-aids over the cruel neoliberal model in the US successfully kept the inevitable “peasant rebellion,” or left revolution to be more precise, postponed for a very long time.

Of course, as ultra-neoliberalism moved along its standard path of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer (greatly increased economic inequality), an inevitable left revolution started to take form. This can be seen in the Bernie Sanders insurgency in the Democratic Party, Operation Wall Street demonstrations, and even the misdirected but Communist-led BLM and anarchist-led antifa riots this summer. Once again this violence is a form of peasant rebellion and is absolutely inevitable as wealth inequality reaches a certain point.

There are a few other places outside Latin America:

  • In the Philippines, though the new president calls himself a socialist and had good relations with the Maoist NPA guerrillas.
  • In Indonesia, which however recently elected a social democrat.
  • In Thailand, where long-standing military rule tamped down class struggle, which now rages uncontrolled in a very confusing way.
  • In South Africa, where a racist White ruling class did not want to share anything with the Black underclass, and Communism, socialism, and the Left period was associated with the Black struggle for self-rule and the guerrilla war which followed. However, the ANC government is full of former Communists and people with Marxist roots.

Alt Left: How the US Staged Fascist Coups in Many Countries the World Over in the Last 70 Years

After World War, the Cold War was started and the murderous Dulles Brothers Installed the Policy known as Containment. This was implemented between 1946-48. As part of this policy, the US overthrew nationalist, social democratic, and even liberal democratically elected governments all over the world as part of the “War on Communism.” We replaced them with rightwing dictatorships. Although it is arguable, in general all rightwing  authoritarian regimes or dictatorships are probably fascist. Rightwing dictatorship = fascism.

These regimes were found most of Central America in Guatemala after 1954, in El Salvador and Honduras since forever, and in Nicaragua under the Somozas.

They were found in all of South America at one time or another. We can see them in the generals after 1964 in Brazil, the democratic facade duopoly regimes in Venezuela in Colombia (especially after 1947 and again in 1964, Ecuador, Peru until the generals’ revolt in 1968, Bolivia under Banzer after 1953, Paraguay under Strausser, Argentina and Uruguay under the generals in the late 80’s and early 90’s, and Pinochet in Chile.

They were also seen in the Caribbean in Cuba under Bautista, the Dominican Republic under Trujillo, and Haiti under the Duvaliers.

In Southeast Asia, they were found in Thieu in South Vietnam, Sihanouk in Cambodia, the monarchy in Laos, the military regimes in Thailand, Suharto in Indonesia, the Sultan in Brunei, Marcos in the Philippines, and Taiwan under Chiang Kai Chek.

In Northeast Asia, a regime of this type was found in South Korea from 1947-on.

They were found South Asia with Pakistan under Generals like Zia, in Central Asia in the Shah of Iran, and in a sense, the Arab World with Saddam (Saddam was installed by the CIA), King Hassan in Morocco, the Gulf monarchies, and Jordan. Earlier, they were found in the monarchies in Libya and Egypt that were overthrown by Arab nationalists. Also, Israel played this sort of role with a democratic facade.

We also found them in the Near East in the military regimes in Turkey (especially Turgut Ozul) and for a while in Greece under the colonels in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s.

NATO formed the backbone of a “rightwing dictatorship” in the background of Western Europe (especially Italy), where Operation Gladio NATO intelligence essentially ran most of those countries as a Deep State behind the scenes. These regimes were found in Spain under Franco and in Portugal under Salazar along with its colonies.

These regimes were not so much in evidence in Africa except in South Africa and Rhodesia and most prominently, Mobutu in Zaire and Samuel Doe in Liberia.

The fascist forms of these rightwing dictatorships varied, most being nonracist fascism but a few being racist fascists (Turkey), and others being Mussolinists (Suharto in Indonesia with his “pangesila”)

Alt Left: America’s Salad Days, or When America Ran the World, 1945-60

The UN has been an American province for a long time. Let’s take after World War 2 for example. Sure, there was a UN. But from 1945-1960, the UN and the US were pretty much synonymous. Hence the pussilanimous and disgustingly murderous behavior of the US proxy called the “UN” in the Korean War. After World War 2, we had not only defeated all of our adversaries but most of our allies lay in ruins too. We weren’t running the world before the war – Germany and Pax Brittanica were vying for that honor – but we sure were after the war.

Some people think we allowed our allies to get destroyed on purpose so we could, in our usual slimy way, end up sidelining our allies and running the world, the World Dictatorship Ruled by the US being the main US project since 1945. I don’t know why Americans think it is groovy for the US to be this swaggering, belligerent, out of control outlaw organized crime gang that rules the world.

Do Americans really think that’s cool or something? Because that’s exactly what we are. We aren’t even a country. We’re an Outlaw Empire ruled by an Organized Geopolitical Crime Gang that happens to be the top gang in the world right now?

Anyway from 1945-60, the world was our oyster. Of course, we fucked it up like we fucked up everything. Even the Marshall Plan and the rebuilding of Japan reportedly had sleazy Mafia-like subplots going on. After that, we finally started getting some good hard pushback from China and the USSR (Thank God and it was about time!), first in Cuba, next with the Missile Crisis and the Gary Powers affair, and especially in Vietnam.

The cycle of anti-imperialist revolutions followed in Algeria, the Philippines, Indonesia, Tanzania, Ghana, Kenya, Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, India, Guatemala, Peru, Chile, Palestine, Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia, Dominican Republic, South Africa, Ireland, and Guyana. Argentina, El Salvador, Honduras, Mozambique, Angola, Rhodesia the Basques followed suit. Arab nationalist revolutions took Libya, Egypt, Algeria, Syria, Yemen, and Iraq by storm.

The Shah fell in Iran in what was actually very much an anti-imperialist revolution. A revolution rocked Afghanistan.

But 1945-1960 were the America’s salad days.

Alt Left: A Rundown of the “Conservative Left”

Here is a rundown on the “conservative Left” – liberal to Left on economics and centrist to Right on social issues.

Nazbols or National Bolsheviks– The classic socially conservative and economically Leftist group. Founded in Russia by Limonov, a writer. They never had much of an ideology other than some extreme nationalism, albeit not ethnic nationalism but instead “Russian Empire nationalism” -see below. Mostly they were just permanent rebels, almost perverse in that sense. They seemed to automatically oppose anything or anyone in power reflexively. Often tarred by the Cultural Left as fascists, Nazis, etc. However, Limonov himself was neither a Nazi nor a fash. His movement united people from the left, right and center in a populist nationalism similar to Peronism. More of a Third Positionist. Arkan’s Serbian Tigers of the Serbian National Party could be seen as Nazbol. Horribly marred by racism and even genocidism. They were guilty of genocide of non-Serbs in the Balkans. Milosevic may have been similar – a racist Communist (see below).

The Alternative Left or Alt Left – more Centrist than conservative on social stuff. Already splintered to Hell and split into 13 different wings, including a moderate sort of liberal-Left White Nationalist wing rejected by the others but nevertheless one of the founding factions. Movement was originally race realist, now dropped from program. Agnostic and silent – no comment – on race realism. Brocialist Left (Brocialists), also Partyboy Left, Fratboy Left, Trollblogger Left, Shitlord Left, or Asshole Left, sometimes very irreverent and offensive but mostly just trolls. Shitlord, shitposting and trolling tendencies. Some are “trollbloggers” like Max

The Realist Left. More liberal than left on culture and more between the Cultural Left and the Alt Left on social stuff. Their beef is more intellectual – opposition to postmodernism. They are also anti-Marxist though. Basically Keynesians with safety net.

The Old Left. Hard Left on economics. Quite conservative on culture. Think KPRF or the Russian Communist Party.

Dirtbag Left, etc. Left economics. Other groups think the are too SJW. Basically brocialists. Jimmy Dore, Kyle Kuklinski, Cenk Uyghur, etc. Anti-SJW, irreverent. Partyboy Left, Fratboy Left, Asshole Left. Brocialists.

leftypol -longstanding 4chan sub. Marxist on economics but somewhat anti-Identity Politics (Idpol), nevertheless quite left on culture but not nearly as far as the Cultural Left. Sort of Cultural Left 1995, if you will.

Third Positionists. All sorts of groupings. Vary a lot but tend to be nationalists but not ethnic nationalists – anyone can come to the nation, assimilate, and be a national – French post-Revolution nationalism or Russian nationalism. Russian nationalism like French nationalism is assimilationist nationalist and typically not ethnic nationalist, accepts many minorities into the “empire” of the Russian state, Orthodox but warm towards moderate Islam and assimilating Jews, very pragmatic.

Peronism – longstanding socialist nationalism of the “common man” or shirtless ones and populist in that sense. Somewhat socially conservative. Like Nazbols in uniting right, left, and center around a populist nationalism. Also contained both Marxist and fash wings!

International Socialist Movement –  runs International Socialist Review website. Trotskyist but pragmatic, longstanding anti-Idpol on  a Marxist theoretical basis.

“Conservative Left” – There are others that are part of existing states. However they are marred by ethnic chauvinism, racism, fash tendencies, authoritarianism, brutality, or even genocidism. Erdogans in Turkey, Orban in Hungary, Arab nationalists like Baath Party people in Syria and Iraq, Burmese regime, Qaddafi’s green socialism in Libya, Iranian Revolutionary Left or even the existing state, Putin in Russia, Lukashenko in Belarus, Duterte in Philippines, Sandinistas, ETA in Basque Country (dissolved), and even Hamas &  Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood to some extent. All former Communist countries were conservative on social stuff with left economics.

Red Tories – Canadian group. Liberal-left on economics, a bit conservative on social stuff but not too much. Moderate heterodox movement.

George Wallace supporters – left populism marred by racism.

Strasserists – “White Nationalist Left” or worse Nazi Left or Racist Left in the original incarnation. Heimbach’s Traditionalist Workers Party, Tom Metzger, etc. I appreciate Metzger’s populist support for workers – albeit White workers – and ferocious anti-bossism, anti-rich rhetoric. Both are Strasserists, but they are terribly marred by racism- Metzger’s followers have murdered minorities and Heimbach’s movement was very racist. Original Strasserists disliked Jews on an economic instead of racial basis and rejected Nazi scientific racism. Nevertheless, modern Strasserists have committed racist murders against Jews, so I don’t see why the reason for their antisemitism is important. They are extremely marred if not discredited by racism. Basically Nazi Communists, if that term even makes sense. Strasserists were very pro worker and anti-capitalist, I’ll give them that. There is a huge Strasserist wing on Stormfront. Most people don’t know that.

“Economic reductionists” – slur directed by mainstream Left towards the conservative left. Also often called fascists, rightists, conservatives, racists, sexists, homophobes, transphobes, bigots, etc. probably falsely because conservative Left types are not even as bigoted as conservative Republicans, instead more centrist on minority and women’s issues, and in general most conservative Left groups support equal rights based on race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

We can go on and on here. Jack London was a sort of Racist Left akin to the WN wing of the Alt Left. The US Left was like this pre-Kennedy. Many US working class and union members are still like this, now scandalously abandoned by the Democrats and US Left as Deplorables, and hence voting Trump and Republican in vast numbers. I think the Democrats need to let these folks back into the fold, but we’re too busy screaming at them and calling them bigots and rednecks. Hence we have Trump as President and a Republican Congress. Way to go Cultural Left! Keep electing Republicans!

Repost: Are Iranians White?

Original piece with 800 comments (!) here.

It’s certainly a reasonable question, as White nationalists in general answer a resounding “No!” to that question. But even they are funny. Stormfront threw out 300 Armenians on the grounds that they were non-White. However, this decision was very controversial, and after a while, the Armenians were quietly let back in.

They have a Pan-Europeanist policy, which is one of the few noble things about that site.

Recently there were a lot of Iranians on the site, and though I believe Stormfront does officially state that Iranians are not White, there has been a quiet hands-off “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy about them, and the Stormfronters quietly let the Iranians stay in what boils down to an open secret. In other words, Stormfront officially states that Iranians are not White, but unofficially, they turn a blind eye to Iranians joining and even organizing themselves on the site.

Iranians are funny people. In 1978, I drove an ice cream truck for a living. There were a bunch of Iranians were who driving trucks too. We were all sort of budding capitalists. You lease the truck every day, buy your ice cream, mark it up, and hope for the best. A lot of us supplemented our incomes by selling dope, including me.

The Iranians were very good at this, selling joints for $1 each mostly to the many Mexicans in the parks of Santa Ana (Santa Ana was a heavily Mexican city even 30 years ago).

Once at the end of the day (we lined up at the end of the day to have our coins rolled and get our payout in easy cash) I asked them if they were Arabs. They were adamant. “We are not Arabs!” Later I learned that they don’t like Arabs much. It’s a superior versus inferior thing. The Iranians think they are better and that the Arabs are inferior, a bunch of animals.

At worst, Iranian nationalists call them “lizard-eating Mohammadens.” Image is heathen Arab Muslims charging out of the deserts of Arabia to destroy the great and proud Iranian culture. And it’s true that the Muslims did devastate Iranian culture, but they did this to all non-Muslim cultures they encountered. After all they were Jahiliyyah or grounded in ignorance.

The modern Islamic state has reinstated this view, downplaying traditional Iranian culture, making Arabic practically a 2nd official language, etc., all of this infuriating Iranian nationalists.

The real hardcore Iranian nationalists often abandon Islam altogether and claim to be Zoroastrians, the true ancient religion of Iran.

Iranian nationalists are interesting people.

Iranian nationalists hate Arabs, so you might think they like Jews, but they hate Jews about as much as they hate Arabs. They especially hate Israel. “Marg bar Israel!” is a common cry on Iranian forms (“Death to Israel!”) And the guys yelling this stuff were older professional guys in their 40’s with young kids, secular, and while respectful of Islam, not very religious.

Why the hatred of Israel? Probably, if you are an Iranian nationalist, even a secular one, Israel is seen as your mortal enemy. That’s a logical assumption.

The harder-core Iranian nationalists also dislike Pan-Turkic types, since the Turanian lunatics usually claim some or all of Iran.

The saner Iranian nationalists hate not Arabs but Arab nationalism. Arab nationalism is funny. It’s Leftist, secular, supposedly anti-racist, but they are bristling with hatred for Iranians. Saddam Hussein’s Arab nationalist uncle, who profoundly effected his views, wrote a famous tract, somewhat humorously titled, Three Whom God Should Not Have Created: Jews, Persians and Flies.

The hatred of Arabs towards Persians is similar to that of Gentiles towards Jews or Blacks towards Whites: resentment against a group that thinks they are superior. A common claim, similar to anti-Semitism, among Whites is, “The Iranians are trying to dominate the Arab World!” It’s true that the Iranians opposed Arab nationalism, but who could blame them? The Pan-Arabists were a bunch of anti-Iranian racist shits.

What’s funny about this is that there are Iranian genes running all through the Arabs of the Levant, Mesopotamia and Arabia. It is particularly the case with the Mesopotamian Arabs. The Arab Shia in Southern Iraq have a lot of Iranian blood. One of the reasons Saddam persecuted them so harshly is he thought that they were Iranian fifth columnists. In general, it wasn’t really true, but there was reason to be concerned.

In recent years, as Iran and its Shia allies have turned into the greatest defenders of the Palestinians, the Arab nationalists are in a tough spot. They hate Iran, but how can they deny that Iran is the best defender of the Palestinians in the pitiful and sold-out Arab and Muslim world? There are particular conflicts with Hamas, a Sunni fundamentalist group which is strangely also pro-Iran, and Hezbollah, whose defense of the Palestinians puts the Sunni Arabs to shame.

These realities have forced the Sunnis into all sorts of cognitive dissonance that as usual does not make much sense.

I’ve known a few Iranians. They definitely look like White people. Their skin is often very pale White, especially the females (Why is that?). Some charts strangely enough put them right next to British, Danes and Norwegians genetically. No one knows what to make of it, but we were all together in Southern Russia 4,500 years ago. Some of us took off south to Iran, and others went into Europeans to constitute the modern Europeans. We are born of the same modern roots.

I’ve asked a few Iranians, “You’re White like us, right?” You might think they would get pissed, but they usually give an instant yes or break into a huge smile. They clearly consider themselves “Europeans outside or Europe.” One even told me explicitly that.

Scientifically, it’s an reasonable assumption.

Genetically, Iranians probably have little if any Black in them. Your average German has more Black in them than an Iranian. They do have some Asiatic genes, but probably not many.

The Iranians are actually an interesting link to populations further east. There is a close link between Italians and Iranians (Italians are probably the closest Europeans to Iranians) and then there is another close link between Iranians and Indians, especially North Indians.

So the linkage goes like this (all groups separated by only one arrow are closely linked, but groups separated by more than one arrow are not so close):

Core Europeans -> Italians -> Iranians -> North Indians

So, neither core Europeans nor Italians are all that close to North Indians per se, they can become closer to them through this linkage process.

Iranian genes are common in the region, even outside of Arabia. Many Afghans have Iranian blood and it’s quite common in Pakistanis too. There is a lot of Iranian blood in the Caucasus. Most of your Chechen, Dagestani, Ingush, etc. types seem to derive from some sort of Iranian-Turkish mix. The Ossetians are actually a transplanted Iranian group living in Russia and speaking a language related to Iranian.

There is Iranian blood running through the Stans – Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. It’s probably most prominent in Tajikistan.

Persians are only 51% or Iran. Most would be surprised to learn that. The rest are Kurds, Azeris (27%), Arabs, Lurs, Mazandaris, Qashqai, Balochis, Gilakis, Turkmen and Talysh. There are also smaller groups such as Assyrians, Armenians, Georgians, Kazakhs, Chechens and Jews.

The Kurds and Balochis have serious separatist tendencies. The Arabs (Ahvaz) just fight for more rights as an oppressed minority. Azeri separatism has not really gone anywhere, since the Azeris are actually a dominant minority in Iran! The Talysh have separatist tendencies, but in Azerbaijan, not in Iran.

I don’t support the separatism of the Balochis and Kurds in Iran as long as Iran is under imperialist assault, but if this were not the case, I would think they deserve the right to self-determination. Iran is correct to suppress Arab separatism and the desire to take Iran’s oil and gas wealth with them to a separate state.

Alt Left: The State of the Alternative Left and Realist Left in the US and around the World

Both the Alt Left and the Realist Left definitely continue to exist. There are Facebook groups, websites, and even a couple of online major magazines for these groups. But both movements are quite small, there are no political parties in the US promoting this view, and as far as I can tell, there are few if any people in national office or even running for national office who are Alt Left or Realist Left.

For the purposes of this post, we will focus on the Alt Left and not the similar but not equivalent Realist Left. The differences between the two movements could be summed up by saying that the Alt Left is further to the left than the Realist Left on economics but further to the right of the Realist Left on social issues.

Some media personalities and political thinkers fall into the category of Alt Left. As an example, I would regard Cenk Uygur, Jimmy Dore, and Chapo Treehouse (the “dirtbag Left’) as Alt Left. They would fall into the category of “Bernie Bros.” There are some male Bernie supporters who are  pretty much Alt Left, but it’s not reflected in the candidate Bernie himself or anyone running along his lines – for example, see “The Squad.”

Interestingly, Bernie used to be part of the anti-Identity Politics Left or so-called “class reductionists.” The Trotskyite World Socialist website of the International Socialist Tendency is in the old Left tradition of class reductionist and  anti-Identity Politics. Most other Trots in the West are extreme SJW’s, as are almost all Western Communists and Leftists.

I would proudly call myself a class reductionist, but it’s used as a term of insult on most of the Left, where it translates to something like “bigot” or “Nazi.” Sanders also used to be a nationalist and the Alt Left is absolutely a nationalist movement, but now Sanders along with the whole Western Left is internationalist, much to their detriment.

There is a sort of an “Alt Left” forming on the Danish and French Left. A couple of the major parties there like Melancon’s in France and the Social Democratic Party in Denmark have taken an anti-immigrant line, a stance which is throwing shock waves through the Left.

Victor Orban in Hungary is said to be a Rightist. In some ways he is, but he has nationalized quite a bit of the economy and promoted huge social spending under the nationalist rubric. If he was in Latin America, we would be calling him a Communist and trying to overthrow him. Orban is virtually Alt Left.

There are also some pretty strange Alt Left-type formations on the Arab Left, especially among Arab nationalists. Keep in mind that Arab nations are very socially conservative, so even the Left parties there reflect that.

The Iranian regime is actually quite far to the Left. Most of the economy is actually nationalized and social spending is huge. They’re almost Marxist in a sense. But they don’t think much of the Cultural Left, so in a sense Iran could be an Alt Left country.

The Russian Communist Party (KPRF) supports Putin, and they are quite socially conservative for a Leftist party. I would absolutely consider the  KPRF to be Alt Left.  Putin himself is rather leftwing believe it or not, but he is very much against the Cultural Left. The Alt Left generally supports Putin, or at least I do, and I consider Putin to be a type of Alt Leftist.

The former Communist regimes were all very much against the Cultural Left, which they called Western bourgeois decadence, so in that sense, most if not all of the former Communist regimes could be thought of as Alt Left. That strain of Communism is pretty much through though.

Things here in the West as far as the Left-Right split have gotten wildly partisan and “party line,” but if you step outside the West, there’s a lot more heterogeneity.

Alt Left: The Muslim World Is for the Most Part Virtually Socialist

Semi-feudalism was eliminated in the (Arab) Muslim world at least 60-70 years ago; granted it existed prior.

It was fairly easy to take out semi-feudalism in the Arab World because it is very hard to justify such a system under Islam. The semi-feudalists had used distorted readings of the Koran to justify their oppression. For instance the fact that Mohammad said that some are rich and some are poor and this is a normal thing was given as an excuse for semi-feudalism.

Most Muslims knew intuitively that this excuse didn’t fly well in an Islamic sense, so the new Arab nationalist (mostly socialist) regimes found it easy to dismantle semi-feudalism.

I know that Palestine was semi-feudal in the 1930’s, and Iraq and Egypt were in the 1940’s. Massive land reforms in the 50’s Egypt and Iraq took out semi-feudalism. But it lingered elsewhere. In  the early 60’s, your average peasant in Yemen had a picture of Nasser on his wall. Nasser was seen as a great hero of the Arab working and peasant classes.

When the Arab nationalist and socialist Ba’ath Party came into power in  Syria and Iraq, one of the first things they did was a land reform. It was easy to do as the semi-feudal system was hard to justify Islamically, and a more equitable or socialist economics was very easy to sell in an Islamic sense.

This is because if you read the Koran, you can see the Mohammad, for all his flaws, was basically a socialist. This is why even hardline Islamist organizations like Hamas are virtually socialist. When the PLO ran Gaza, Hamas ran the social services that should have been but were not run by the state. Now that Hamas is in power, they have a huge social safety net.

Semi-feudalism will be seen as very un-Islamic nowadays, except in the case of Pakistan, where a huge substrate of Indian and Hindu culture virtually neuters whatever socialist advantages Islam may bring.

The (((Cartoon Version of the Lebanese Civil War))) Most Americans Have Heard Is Wrong

Sisera: And naturally Hezbollah was arch rivals of Israel, who was defending the Christians.

But now the tides have turned because Israel’s pet Jihadis genocide Christians.

Israel didn’t invade to rescue any Christians and they were not defending any Christians. They didn’t participate in the Civil War much. They invaded to conquer the PLO in Lebanon.

This is a cartoon (((evil Muslim Islamist Christian haters trying to genocide good Christians minding their own business version of the Civil War))). This version that most Americans believe was concocted in Israel. So the knowledge most Americans have about that war is just Israeli propaganda.

The war was pretty much rightwing or fascist Maronite Christian groups versus Leftist and Arab nationalist secular Palestinians. That was the war in a nutshell. Later others allied with one side or the other. Most of the groups who allied with the Palestinians were secular. Religious Muslims were mostly not involved in the war.

There was no Hezbollah until 1985. They were caused by the Israeli invasion. And you have it backwards. When Israel invaded, the Shia in the South (Hezbollah’s territory) welcomed them with flowers. They turned on them when the Israelis started being shits like they always do.There was no Hezbollah until 1985. They were caused by the Israeli invasion. And you have it backwards. When Israel invaded, the Shia in the South (Hezbollah’s territory) welcomed them with flowers. They turned on them when the Israelis started being shits like they always do.
The Christians didn’t need any rescuing. They started the Civil War in the first place. They stopped buses full of Palestinians and ordered everyone out and shot everyone in the head.  They did this a few times and the PLO took up arms. But left-wingers were on the side of the PLO too, and the Greek Orthodox were always fighting with the Muslims, etc. against the Maronites. And the leftwing movement of the Druze, a non-Christian, non-Muslim religion, fought alongside the Muslims. Socialists, Communists and Arab nationalists all fought with the Muslims.
The Maronites were sick and tired of the Palestinians living in their country. That’s why they started the war.
The Christians have always run Lebanon. They’re no poor victims. More like minority rule thugs.
The war started with Leftists, Syrian nationalists and Arab nationalists against the Phalange fascist Christian militia modeled after the Nazi party (your heroes). None of the former were very religious. Those were secular groups. Sunni Muslims and Armenian Christians sat out the war. The people who took up arms against the Maronites were secular Arab nationalist types. The Shia sat out the war for a very long time. They did not want to get involved. But they had sympathies with the Palestinians.
The Palestinians set up refugee cams all over Southern Lebanon to attack Israel. During this time, the Shia hated them. The Palestinians ruled like thugs and the religious Shia saw them as a bunch of Commies. They were so sick of Palestinian rule that they welcomed conquering Israelis with flowers as I mentioned.
The main Shia movement, the Amal, fought against the Palestinians alongside the Maronites at the start of the war. The Shia only turned against Israel due to Israeli abuses. They formed Hezbollah, but they spent most of their time fighting Israel. An Armenian Communist organization fought the Maronites for most of the war. These were Christians.
The war actually started when the Maronite President of Lebanon tried to force a fishing monopoly for his group along the coast. Fishermen in Sidon objected and there were popular demonstrations. Palestinians joined these demos. A sniper killed the former mayor of Sidon. To this day no one knows who killed him or why. The sniper fired at the  end of a demonstration and appeared to try to start a conflagration. The situation soon spiraled out of control and the Maronite government lost control of the situation.
The actual beginning of the war was fighting versus Maronite and Palestinian militias. The Maronite government was not involved.
You are going by the (((officially narrative))) of the war of evil Muslim Islamist Christian haters trying to genocide the good Christians of Lebanon. Except most of the “Muslims” were not even religious and the Christian militias were objectively fascist and in particular opposed to democratic rule via a census which would have made them a minority.
The war was secular Palestinians versus fascist Maronite Christians. Most religious Muslims sat out the war. There was no “evil Muslims trying to exterminate good Christians out of religious hatred” bullshit. Hezbollah never took part in the civil war itself. All they did was fight against Israel and its puppet Maronite army in the south. However, most of the soldiers in this “Maronite” army were Shia Muslims! So the war in the South was Shia Muslims in the SLA versus Shia Muslims in Hezbollah. Also there were many Palestinian Christians in the PLO fighting against the Maronites.

Socialism, Populism, and Neoliberalism in the Arab World

Sisera: The CIA’s coups have been out of control for decades, agreed.
But you support minority rule governments in the Middle East (Saddam Hussein, certainly and possibly Assad who is at least an ethnic minority. Hezbollah operated for years in a largely Christian country, etc.) because the alternative would mean Americans die in terror attacks from those countries becoming terror bases.
I don’t know that you could argue any Latin American oligarchy was more brutal than Saddam Hussein.
So you just value certain American interests that are different than his.

Saddam was brutal but he was a populist. He just didn’t tolerate any minority rebellions or opposition really. But in return for that he was a great socialist and populist leader who did great things for his people. Saddam’s rule was not oligarchic rule by a ruling class. Actually when the Ba’ath took power, they took out the local oligarchs, confiscated their land, imposed heavy taxation, nationalized many industries, etc.
Saddam was a man of the people. He was for the little guy, the average Joe Iraqi Workingman. You could also argue that Stalin and Mao were brutal in similar ways. Leftwing regimes can be pretty brutal. I am not one to dismiss that. But leftist and Communist regimes are not cases of ruling class rule or the rule by a small group of rich and capitalists over everyone else.
The whole time Hezbollah was around, Lebanon was a minority Christian country. It hasn’t been majority Christian since the 1960’s or maybe 1970’s. Anyway the Christians are not in opposition to Hezbollah. One of the Maronite leaders, Aoun, is in an alliance with Hezbollah. Hezbollah has Christian and Sunni militias in Christian and Sunni areas. The Greek Orthodox have always supported Hezbollah. It’s a populist movement. Hezbollah only came into existence because of the Israeli invasion.
You may be correct about Syria. Democracy may well vote in radical Islamists, and that would not be a pretty picture. The Syrian rebels give you a taste of what life would be like without Assad.  We already know what life in Iraq was like post-Saddam. A sheer Hell of a charnelhouse. Surely Saddam was better than what came after.
Assad is a populist. He works for everyone. It’s not a matter of the rich running the place and fucking everyone over. They just had elections for Parliament and 85% of the seats were run by Sunnis. The Sunnis run the business community. The army is full of Sunni generals. The minority rule thing is sort of dumb. Assad cuts everyone in because he has to. Anyway, if you go the democratic route in the Middle East, you end up with Islamists.
I actually do not mind popular or populist dictatorships that serve the people. That’s fine. Assad appears to have majority support too. It’s not like the majority want Assad gone and he just usurped them.
Saddam was difficult, but there were 1 million Shia Ba’ath Party members. Shia were persecuted not for being Shia but for being Islamists. Anyway, Saddam was the best choice. Look what happened when he was gone.
For whatever reason, the rich and the capitalists in the Arab World are not evil like in Latin America, the Philippines, Indonesia, etc. Everyone wants socialism in the Arab world. But Arab socialism allows businessmen to earn money, so everyone gets cut in. You don’t have hard-line socialism or Communism because you don’t have diabolical ruling classes like you have in Latin America. If the rich and the capitalists are willing to go along with a socialist or populist project, why can’t they have full rights?
Hezbollah does not control Lebanon. Anyway, Lebanon is minority rule and has been forever. Christians are guaranteed 50% of seats in Parliament but are only 30% of the population. Hezbollah is not a ruling class group. They are basically socialists like most Islamists.
You see, radical neoliberalism, Latin American style economic conservatism, Republican Party politics, etc. is a no seller in the Arab World. Literally nobody but nobody but nobody wants it. The only people proposing it are Lebanese Maronites because they are close to Europe and they are trying to distinguish themselves from Arabs by being individualists and different.
You can’t sell any sort of oligarchic rule, ruling class rule, economic conservatism of any of that in most Muslim countries. Because Mohammad, if you read him closely, was a pretty socialist fellow. Now the ruling classes in the Arab world used to be feudalists who worked the fellahin like serfs.
But the Arab nationalist revolutions that rocked the Arab world got rid of all of that. All rulers wiped out the feudal holdings and liberated the peasants. The large landowners tried to justify their rule by saying that Mohammad said there are rich and there are poor and that is fine. They got corrupt Muslims clergy to go along with this, similar to how the ruling classes get the Catholic Church to go along with the project of the rich.
This alliance was most notable in Iraq, but it existed in other places like Palestine. Egypt was largely feudal before Nasser. Nasser was not only an Arab nationalist but also a working class hero. Leftists all over the Arab World used to have pictures of Nasser on the walls. He too liberated the Muslim peasants. Feudal rule ended in Palestine in the 1930’s in the midst of an Arab nationalist revolution there.
Getting rid of oligarchic and feudal rule was easy in the Arab World because the masses never supported the oligarchs or feudalists. Rather, they hated them. So Arab socialism was an easy fit all over the region. Even the business communities gladly went along.

Watching ISIS Videos

That’s what I have been doing a lot of these days. I do not like the execution videos, and I have seen enough executions anyway.
But there are a lot of really cool combat videos, and those are really cool to look at. Basically firefights with automatic weapons, RPG’s, machine guns, technical vehicles with guns, various types of mortars, rockets, and antiaircraft guns. There is a fair amount of night fighting, which is a trip.
It’s just guys shooting at each other and blowing stuff up, so you hardly see any gore in the battle videos. However, at the end, sometimes they go to the position that they overran, and among all of the other things present at the camp there are typically the dead bodies of some of the folks that ISIS is fighting. They also have really cool music in the background. There are interviews with ISIS fighters, but I have no idea what they are saying.
The worst ISIS of all seem to be in Iraq. They look like a bunch of very, very pissed off guys. Boy are they mad!
The one thing that shines right through their rage and hatred is one word…revenge. ISIS in Iraq seems to be out for revenge. For what I am not sure, but 30% of ISIS in Iraq is former Iraqi military. I assume they are still angry that their country and leader was taken away from them in a US invasion and conquest whereby afterwards, an Iranian puppet regime was put in in place. The Iraqi Army was transformed from a radical Arab nationalist and pro-Sunni organization into a mostly Shia and objectively anti-Shia force. The Shia militias which operate separately from the Iraqi Army are particularly despised.
I have heard that the many of the people in back of ISIS at the very top are Baath Party people and former Iraqi military. Obviously they are out for revenge for the last 13 years. They want paybacks, and paybacks are a bitch.
The ISIS in Syria and Afghanistan don’t seem to be as pissed off, but I have not watched a lot of their videos out of Syria.
There’s nothing to be worried about watching these videos. I am sure that hundreds of thousands if not millions of people watch at least some of those videos. I know that the site I found the videos on is a US site, and almost all of the commenters have a savage hatred of ISIS. So the idea that watching ISIS videos means you’re a terrorist is crap. I would say far more ISIS haters watch their videos than ISIS supporters.
Just for the record, I utterly hate these scumbuckets, and if it ever comes down to it, I will grab an automatic weapon myself and try to kill them.  I am very much afraid of death, but dying fighting for your homeland and lifestyle against these hellions would actually be worth it. I would rather die fighting them than live under their rule, let’s put it that way, ok?

Other Than the Homeland, What Else Is There?

Take for example the Bashar Assad and Saddam Hussein. Both were and are horrible men in many ways, but there is one thing I always respected about both Assads and Saddam. Both were members of the Baath Party. The Baath Party was one of the few patriotic parties in the Arab World. They stood for the Arabs ferociously against the invaders.
After the US invaded Iraq in 2003, I stood 100% behind Saddam. I remember when a farmer shot down a US helicopter with an old rifle. Saddam paid a visit to him, recorded on TV.
Later during the huge battle for the Baghdad Airport, a man said that Saddam appeared out of nowhere with his bodyguards. He just turned around, and there was Saddam.
Saddam said, “Look, I don’t care whether you hate me or like me or whether you support my government or not. Now is the time to fight for our country. Don’t fight for me. Forget about me. I am not important. Fight for Iraq.”
Then Saddam gave him his gun. The man said that Saddam even moved towards the battle and fired some rounds himself. The man grabbed the gun and ran to save the airport from the invaders who were waging a Nazi-like war of aggression on the homeland, the War Against the Iraqi people.
Then, eight days after Baghdad was conquered and the government vanished, Saddam mysteriously appeared outside a mosque in Adhamiya, a Sunni neighborhood of Baghdad. He was soon mobbed by a large crowd of scores of men chanting his name. They hoisted him on their shoulders and carried him through the crowd. It was a brazen display of contempt for the new occupiers, and it was all recorded on cameras. Not only that, but the invaders never figured out where he came from or where he went afterwards.
One of the very first things the invaders did after they conquered Baghdad was to move towards the statue of Michael Aflaq, the founder of the Baath Party. Aflaq was a Christian. The Americans wanted to topple the statue but they wanted Iraqis to do it, not Americans. But they had a hard time finding Iraqis who wanted to tear down the statue as Aflaq is a hero to most Iraqis.
Finally they found some country-sellers from Chalabi’s party to do it.
The Americans wanted to tear down Aflaq’s state first of all since Aflaq was an Arab nationalist, a patriot. There is nothing America hates more than true nationalists and patriots, especially in the Third World. America wants satellite and colonies and little else. Anyone who steps out of line will be destroyed. This was the statement that was made by toppling the statue of Michael Aflaq.
Really, after the love of the homeland, what else is there?

Sykes-Picot: The Reason for the Chaos in Arabia

Arab nationalists are still mad about this one.
Not so much Bush invading Iraq or whatever the Hell Obama has done. All Obama has done is support bipartisan US foreign policy consensus that the Republicans themselves support, with the only variation being that Republicans want to double down on Barack’s machination. But all of this was just accelerating the inevitable.
Interesting how the British double-crossed the Emir of Arabia by promising support for an independent Arabia in the former Ottoman lands in 1915 and then going back on it later after they defeated Turkey. They backstabbed the Emir in typical British fashion. Recall US imperialism is very much like British imperialism as Americans are first and foremost a British people in genes and culture. After the war, they dissolved the Ottoman lands and instead of giving the Arabs freedom as they promised, they simply stole their lands from the Ottomans. The British, out of sheer coincidence, happened to donate to themselves exactly those lands where oil had just been found (Mesopotamia) and the Emir got a worthless (at that time) hunk of desert in the middle of the Arabian peninsula.
Syria and Lebanon were donated to the French for no particular reason, while the British stole Palestine (including Transjordan) and then promptly donated it to Lord Rothschild’s Jews who had demanded it as a bribe for financial support to help the British win the war.
The Kurds were screwed worst of all. There were many proposals to give them a state, but they were all ignored. The Kurds were chopped up into four countries – Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Syria, with a bit in Armenia (cool map at the link). They have been stateless ever since – the Kurds, who have existed as a nation in one form or another for possibly 3,000 years. Now, at long last, the West seems to be keen on giving the Kurds a new nation in northern Iraq, something they have been deathly opposed to for a century. Why the sudden change of heart? Color me suspicious! Imperialism never does anything decent out of the goodness of its heart. Never, ever.

PFLP-GC Battling Syrian Rebels in a Syrian Palestinian Refugee Camp

Video here.
This is a great video showing fighting between the PFLP-GC and the Syrian rebels in a Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus. The rebels entered the camp where the PFLP-GC has a huge presence, and the PFLP-GC, a very well-armed and well-trained force, fought the rebels. The Syrian Army unfortunately would not enter the camp to help the PFLP-GC fight the rebels. Quite a few of the Palestinians in the camp, including PFLP-GC members, joined the rebels to fight against their Palestinian brethren. However, over time, the PFLP-GC defeated the rebels and rousted them from the camp. In the meantime, much of the camp was destroyed.
The Palestinians are getting dragged into this conflict despite their best efforts to stay out of it.
The PFLP-GC is a pro-Syrian split from the PFLP group. The group is an old-line secular group that used to include quite a few Christian members. They strongly oppose the new radical Islamist turn that the Islamic world has been moving towards. They consider these new Islamists to be intolerant and fanatical.
The PFLP-GC has high praise for the Syrian regime. It is true that Syria has treated Palestinians better than most Arab regimes. Palestinians are allowed to work in Syria, whereas they often cannot work in other places. In addition, the PFLP-GC says that Syria still stands with the Palestinians while the rest of the world has abandoned them. There is certainly quite a bit of truth to that statement.
In terms of its relationship with Israel, the PFLP-GC is a pretty hardline group. Recently in the West Bank, there was a gathering of Palestinians at which both Hamas and the PFLP-GC spoke. Both groups praised each other although the PFLP-GC is about as secular as Hamas is Islamist. The reason both groups praised each other is because both of them take a very hard line against Israel.
The fighting in Syria has split the Palestinian movement badly. In particular, the PFLP proper has called for the PFLP-GC to be thrown out of the PLO (the PFLP-GC, along with a number of other organizations, is part of the larger PLO) for needlessly endangering the lives of Palestinians by getting involved in the Syrian Civil War. One might argue that as the rebels entered the camp, the PFLP-GC had little choice but to fight. Some say that the PFLP-GC is fighting alongside the Syrian army in other places in Syria, but this is dubious. The PFLP-GC also has training camps and a presence in Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, in particular in the south of Lebanon.
This group is rather unpopular among Palestinian groups, but after reading an interview with some of their elder members who edit and write the party’s newspaper, I rather like them. Old-time secular Arab nationalists, just like the Palestinians used to be.

Does Multilingualism Equal Separatism?

Repost from the old site.

Sorry for the long post, readers, but I have been working on this piece off and on for months now. It’s not something I just banged out. For one thing, this is the only list that I know of on the Net that lists all of the countries of the world and shows how many languages are spoken there in an easy to access format. Not even Wikipedia has that (yet).

Whether or not states have the right to secede is an interesting question. The libertarian Volokh Conspiracy takes that on in this nice set of posts. We will not deal with that here; instead, we will take on the idea that linguistic diversity automatically leads to secession.

There is a notion floating around among fetishists of the state that there can be no linguistic diversity within the nation, as it will lead to inevitable separatism. In this post, I shall disprove that with empirical data. First, we will list the states in the world, along with how many languages are spoken in that state.

States with a significant separatist movement are noted with an asterisk. As you can see if you look down the list, there does not seem to be much of a link between multilingualism and separatism. There does seem to be a trend in that direction in Europe, though.

Afterward, I will discuss the nature of the separatist conflicts in many of these states to try to see if there is any language connection. In most cases, there is little or nothing there.

I fully expect the myth of multilingualism = separatism to persist after the publication of this post, unfortunately.

St Helena                        1
British Indian Ocean Territories 1
Pitcairn Island                  1
Estonia                          1
Maldives                         1
North Korea                      1
South Korea                      1
Cayman Islands                   1
Bermuda                          1
Belarus                          1
Martinique                       2
St Lucia                         2
St Vincent & the Grenadines      2
Barbados                         2
Virgin Islands                   2
British Virgin Islands           2
Gibraltar                        2
Antigua and Barbuda              2
Saint Kitts and Nevis            2
Montserrat                       2
Anguilla                         2
Marshall Islands                 2
Cuba                             2
Turks and Caicos                 2
Guam                             2
Tokelau                          2
Samoa                            2
American Samoa                   2
Niue                             2
Jamaica                          2
Cape Verde Islands               2
Icelandic                        2
Maltese                          2
Maltese                          2
Vatican State                    2
Haiti                            2
Kiribati                         2
Tuvalu                           2
Bahamas                          2
Puerto Rico                      2
Kyrgyzstan                       3
Rwanda                           3
Nauru                            3
Turkmenistan                     3
Luxembourg                       3
Monaco                           3
Burundi                          3
Seychelles                       3
Grenada                          3
Bahrain                          3
Tonga                            3
Qatar                            3
Kuwait                           3
Dominica                         3
Liechtenstein                    3
Andorra                          3
Reunion                          3
Dominican Republic               3
Netherlands Antilles             4
Northern Mariana Islands         4
Palestinian West Bank & Gaza     4
Palau                            4
Mayotte                          4
Cyprus*                          4
Bosnia and Herzegovina*          4
Slovenia and Herzegovina*        4
Swaziland                        4
Sao Tome and Principe            4
Guadalupe                        4
Saudi Arabia                     5
Cook Islands                     5
Latvia                           5
Lesotho                          5
Djibouti                         5
Ireland                          5
Moldova                          5
Armenia                          6
Mauritius                        6
Lebanon                          6
Mauritania                       6
Croatia                          6
Kazakhstan                       7
Kazakhstan                       7
Albania                          7
Portugal                         7
Uzbekistan                       7
Sri Lanka*                       7
United Arab Emirates             7
Comoros                          7
Belize                           8
Tunisia                          8
Denmark                          8
Yemen                            8
Morocco*                         9
Austria                          9
Jordan                           9
Macedonia                        9
Tajikistan                       9
French Polynesia                 9
Gambia                           9
Belgium                          9
Libya                            9
Fiji                             10
Slovakia                         10
Ukraine                          10
Egypt                            11
Bulgaria                         11
Norway                           11
Poland                           11
Serbia and Montenegro            11
Eritrea                          12
Georgia*                         12
Finland*                         12
Switzerland*                     12
Hungary*                         12
United Kingdom*                  12
Mongolia                         13
Spain                            13
Somalia*                         13
Oman                             13
Madagascar                       13
Malawi                           14
Equatorial Guinea                14
Mali                             14
Azerbaijan                       14
Japan                            15
Syria*                           15
Romania*                         15
Sweden*                          15
Netherlands*                     15
Greece                           16
Brunei                           17
Algeria                          18
Micronesia                       18
East Timor                       19
Zimbabwe                         19
Niger                            21
Singapore                        21
Cambodia                         21
Iraq*                            21
Guinea-Bissau                    21
Taiwan                           22
Bhutan                           24
Sierra Leone                     24
South Africa                     24
Germany                          28
Namibia                          28
Botswana                         28
France                           29
Liberia                          30
Israel                           33
Italy                            33
Guinea                           34
Turkey*                          34
Senegal                          36
Bangladesh                       39
New Caledonia                    39
Togo                             39
Angola*                          41
Gabon                            41
Zambia                           41
Mozambique                       43
Uganda                           43
Afghanistan                      47
Guatemala                        54
Benin                            54
Kenya                            61
Congo                            62
Burkina Faso                     68
Central African Republic         69
Solomon Islands                  70
Thailand*                        74
Iran*                            77
Cote D'Ivoire                    78
Ghana                            79
Laos                             82
Ethiopia*                        84
Canada*                          85
Russia*                          101
Vietnam                          102
Myanmar*                         108
Vanuatu                          109
Nepal                            126
Tanzania                         128
Chad                             132
Sudan*                           134
Malaysia                         140
United States*                   162
Philippines*                     171
Pakistan*                        171
Democratic Republic of Congo     214
Australia                        227
China*                           235
Cameroon*                        279
Mexico                           291
India*                           415
Nigeria                          510
Indonesia*                       737
Papua New Guinea*                820

*Starred states have a separatist problem, but most are not about language. Most date back to the very formation of an often-illegitimate state.

Canada definitely has a conflict that is rooted in language, but it is also rooted in differential histories as English and French colonies. The Quebec nightmare is always brought up by state fetishists, ethnic nationalists and other racists and nationalists who hate minorities as the inevitable result of any situation whereby a state has more than one language within its borders.

This post is designed to give the lie to this view.

Cyprus’ problem has to do with two nations, Greeks and Turks, who hate each other. The history for this lies in centuries of conflict between Christianity and Islam, culminating in the genocide of 350,000 Greeks in Turkey from 1916-1923.

Morocco’s conflict has nothing to do with language. Spanish Sahara was a Spanish colony in Africa. After the Spanish left in the early 1950’s, Morocco invaded the country and colonized it, claiming in some irredentist way that the land had always been a part of Morocco. The residents beg to differ and say that they are a separate state.

An idiotic conflict ensued in which Morocco the colonizer has been elevated to one of the most sanctioned nations of all by the UN. Yes, Israel is not the only one; there are other international scofflaws out there. In this conflict, as might be expected, US imperialism has supported Moroccan colonialism.

This Moroccan colonialism has now become settler-colonialism, as colonialism often does. You average Moroccan goes livid if you mention their colony. He hates Israel, but Morocco is nothing but an Arab Muslim Israel. If men had a dollar for every drop of hypocrisy, we would be a world of millionaires.

There are numerous separatist conflicts in Somalia. As Somalians have refused to perform their adult responsibilities and form a state, numerous parts of this exercise in anarchism in praxis (Why are the anarchists not cheering this on?) are walking away from the burning house. Who could blame them?

These splits seem to have little to do with language. One, Somaliland, was a former British colony and has a different culture than the rest of Somalia. Somaliland is now de facto independent, as Somalia, being a glorious exercise in anarchism, of course lacks an army to enforce its borders, or to do anything.

Jubaland has also split, but this has nothing to do with language. Instead, this may be rooted in a 36-year period in which it was a British colony. Soon after this period, they had their own postage stamps as an Italian colony.

There is at least one serious separatist conflict in Ethiopia in the Ogaden region, which is mostly populated by ethnic Somalis. Apparently this region used to be part of Somaliland, and Ethiopia probably has little claim to the region. This conflict has little do with language and more to do with conflicts rooted in colonialism and the illegitimate borders of states.

There is also a conflict in the Oromo region of Ethiopia that is not going very far lately. These people have been fighting colonialism since Ethiopia was a colony and since then have been fighting against independent Ethiopia, something they never went along with. Language has a role here, but the colonization of a people by various imperial states plays a larger one.

There was a war in Southern Sudan that has now ended with the possibility that the area may secede.

There is a genocidal conflict in Darfur that the world is ignoring because it involves Arabs killing Blacks as they have always done in this part of the world, and the world only gets upset when Jews kill Muslims, not when Muslims kill Muslims.

This conflict has to do with the Sudanese Arabs treating the Darfurians with utter contempt – they regard them as slaves, as they have always been to these racist Arabs.

The conflict in Southern Sudan involved a region in rebellion in which many languages were spoken. The South Sudanese are also niggers to the racist Arabs, plus they are Christian and animist infidels to be converted by the sword by Sudanese Arab Muslims. Every time a non-Muslim area has tried to split off from or acted uppity with a Muslim state they were part of, the Muslims have responded with a jihad against and genocide of the infidels.

This conflict has nothing to do with language; instead it is a war of Arab Muslim religious fanatics against Christian and animist infidels.

There is a separatist movement in the South Cameroons in the nation of Cameroon in Africa. This conflict is rooted in colonialism. During the colonial era, South Cameroons was a de facto separate state. Many different languages are spoken here, as is the case in Cameroon itself. They may have a separate culture too, but this is just another case of separatism rooted in colonialism. The movement seems to be unarmed.

There is a separatist conflict in Angola in a region called Cabinda, which was always a separate Portuguese colony from Angola.

As this area holds 60% of Angola’s oil, it’s doubtful that Angola will let it go, although almost all of Angola’s oil wealth is being stolen anyway by US transnationals and a tiny elite while 90% of the country starves, has no medicine and lives unemployed amid shacks along former roads now barely passable.

The Cabindans do claim to have a separate culture, but language does not seem to be playing much role here – instead, oil and colonialism are.

Syria does have a Kurdish separatist movement, as does Iran, Iraq, and Turkey – every state that has a significant number of Kurds. This conflict goes back to the post-World War 1 breakup of the Ottoman Empire. The Kurds, with thousands of years of history as a people, nominally independent for much of that time, were denied a state and sold out.

The new fake state called Turkey carved up part of Kurdistan, another part was donated to the British colony in Iraq and another to the French colony in Syria, as the Allies carved up the remains of the Empire like hungry guests at a feast.

This conflict is more about colonialism and extreme discrimination than language, though the Kurds do speak their own tongue. There is also a Kurdish separatist conflict in Iran, but I don’t know much about the history of the Iranian Kurds.

There is also an Assyrian separatist movement in Iraq and possibly in Syria. The movement is unarmed. The Assyrians have been horribly persecuted by Arab nationalist racists in the region, in part because they are Christians. They have been targeted by Islamo-Nazis in Iraq during this Iraq War with a ferocity that can only be described as genocidal.

The Kurds have long persecuted the Assyrians in Iraqi Kurdistan. There have been regular homicides of Assyrians in the north, up around the Mosul region. This is just related to the general way that Muslims treat Christian minorities in many Muslim states – they persecute them and even kill them. There is also a lot of land theft going on.

While the Kurdish struggle is worthwhile, it is becoming infected with the usual nationalist evil that afflicts all ethnic nationalism. This results in everyone who is not a Kurdish Sunni Muslim being subjected to varying degrees of persecution, disenfranchisement and discrimination. It’s a nasty part of the world.

In Syria, the Assyrians live up near the Turkish and Iraqi borders. Arab nationalist racists have been stealing their land for decades now and relocating the Assyrians to model villages, where they languish in poverty. Assad’s regime is not so secular and progressive as one might suspect.

There is a separatist conflict in Bougainville in New Guinea. I am sure that many different tongues are spoken on that island, as there are 800 different tongues spoken in Papua New Guinea. The conflict is rooted in the fact that Bougainville is rich in copper, but almost all of this wealth is stolen by Papua New Guinea and US multinationals, so the Bougainville people see little of it. Language has little or nothing to do with it.

There are separatist movements in the Ahwaz and Balochistan regions of Iran, along with the aforementioned Kurdish movement. It is true that different languages are spoken in these regions, but that has little to do with the conflict.

Arabic is spoken in Khuzestan, the land of the Iranian Arabs. This land has been part of Persia for around 2,000 years as the former land of Elam. The Arabs complain that they are treated poorly by the Persians, and that they get little revenue to their region even though they are sitting on a vast puddle of oil and natural gas.

Iran should not be expected to part with this land, as it is the source of much of their oil and gas wealth. Many or most Iranians speak Arabic anyway, so there is not much of a language issue. Further, Arab culture is promoted by the Islamist regime even at the expense of Iranian culture, much to the chagrin of Iranian nationalists.

The Ahwaz have been and are being exploited by viciously racist Arab nationalists in Iraq, and also by US imperialism, and most particularly lately, British imperialism, as the British never seem to have given up the colonial habit. This conflict is not about language at all. Most Ahwaz don’t even want to separate anyway; they just want to be treated like humans by the Iranians.

Many of Iran’s 8% Sunni population lives in Balochistan. The region has maybe 2% of Iran’s population and is utterly neglected by Iran. Sunnis are treated with extreme racist contempt by the Shia Supremacists who run Iran. This conflict has to do with the fight between the Shia and Sunni wings of Islam and little or nothing to do with language.

There is a separatist movement in Iran to split off Iranian Azerbaijan and merge it with Azerbaijan proper. This movement probably has little to do with language and more to do with just irredentism. The movement is not going to go very far because most Iranian Azeris do not support it.

Iranian Azeris actually form a ruling class in Iran and occupy most of the positions of power in the government. They also control a lot of the business sector and seem to have a higher income than other Iranians. This movement has been co-opted by pan-Turkish fascists for opportunistic reasons, but it’s not really going anywhere. The CIA is now cynically trying to stir it up with little success. The movement is peaceful.

There is a Baloch insurgency in Pakistan, but language has little to do with it. These fiercely independent people sit on top of a very rich land which is ruthlessly exploited by Punjabis from the north. They get little or no return from this natural gas wealth. Further, this region never really consented to being included in the Pakistani state that was carved willy-nilly out of India in 1947.

It is true that there are regions in the Caucasus that are rebelling against Russia. Given the brutal and bloody history of Russian imperial colonization of this region and the near-continuous rebellious state of the Muslims resident there, one wants to say they are rebelling against Imperial Russia.

Chechnya is the worst case, but Ingushetia is not much better, and things are bad in Dagestan too. There is also fighting in Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachay-Cherkessia. These non-Chechen regions are getting increasingly radicalized as consequence of the Chechen War. There has also been a deliberate strategy on the part of the Chechens to expand the conflict over to the other parts of the Caucasus.

Past rebellions were often pan-Caucasian also. Although very different languages are spoken in these areas, different languages are still spoken all across Russia. Language has little to do with these conflicts, as they have more to do with Russian imperialism and colonization of these lands and the near 200-year violent resistance of these fierce Muslim mountain tribes to being colonized by Slavic infidels.

There is not much separatism in the rest of Russia.

Tuva reserves the right to split away, but this is rooted in their prior history as an independent state within the USSR (Tell me how that works?) for two decades until 1944, when Stalin reconquered it as a result of the conflict with the Nazis. The Tuvans accepted peacefully.

Yes, the Tuvans speak a different tongue, but so do all of the Siberian nations, and most of those are still with Russia. Language has little to do with the Tuvan matter.

There is also separatism in the Bashkir Republic and Adygea in Russia. These have not really gone anywhere. Only 21% of the residents of
Adygea speak Circassian, and they see themselves as overrun by Russian-speaking immigrants. This conflict may have something to do with language. The Adygean conflict is also peripherally related the pan-Caucasian struggle above.

In the Bashkir Republic, the problem is more one of a different religion – Islam, as most Bashkirs are Muslim. It is not known to what degree language has played in the struggle, but it may be a factor. The Bashkirs also see themselves as overrun by Russian-speaking immigrants. It is dubious that the Bashkirs will be able to split off, as the result will be a separate nation surrounded on all sides by Russia.

The Adygean, Tuvan and Bashkir struggles are all peaceful.

The conflict in Georgia is complex. A province called Abkhazia has split off and formed their own de facto state, which has been supported with extreme cynicism by up and coming imperialist Russia, the same clown state that just threatened to go to war to defend the territorial integrity of their genocidal Serbian buddies. South Ossetia has also split off and wants to join Russia.

Both of these reasonable acts prompted horrible and insane wars as Georgia sought to preserve its territorial integrity, though it has scarcely been a state since 1990, and neither territory ever consented to being part of Georgia.

The Ossetians and Abkhazians do speak separate languages, and I am not certain why they want to break away, but I do not think that language has much to do with it. All parties to these conflicts are majority Orthodox Christians.

Myanmar is a hotbed of nations in rebellion against the state. Burma was carved out of British East India in 1947. Part of Burma had actually been part of British India itself, while the rest was a separate colony called Burma. No sooner was the ink dry on the declaration of independence than most of these nations in rebellion announced that they were not part of the deal.

Bloody rebellions have gone on ever since, and language has little or nothing to do with any of them. They are situated instead on the illegitimacy of not only the borders of the Burmese state, but of the state itself.

Thailand does have a separatist movement, but it is Islamic. They had a separate state down there until the early 1800’s when they were apparently conquered by Thais. I believe they do speak a different language down there, but it is not much different from Thai, and I don’t think language has anything to do with this conflict.

There is a conflict in the Philippines that is much like the one in Thailand. Muslims in Mindanao have never accepted Christian rule from Manila and are in open arms against the state. Yes, they speak different languages down in Mindanao, but they also speak Tagalog, the language of the land.

This just a war of Muslims seceding because they refuse to be ruled by infidels. Besides, this region has a long history of independence, de facto and otherwise, from the state. The Moro insurgency has little to nothing to do with language.

There are separatist conflicts in Indonesia. The one in Aceh seems to have petered out. Aceh never agreed to join the fake state of Indonesia that was carved out of the Dutch East Indies when the Dutch left in 1949.

West Papua is a colony of Indonesia. It was invaded by Indonesia with the full support of US imperialism in 1965. The Indonesians then commenced to murder 100,000 Papuans over the next 40 years. There are many languages spoken in West Papua, but that has nothing to do with the conflict. West Papuans are a racially distinct people divided into vast numbers of tribes, each with a separate culture.

They have no connection racially or culturally with the rest of Indonesia and do not wish to be part of the state. They were not a part of the state when it was declared in 1949 and were only incorporated after an Indonesian invasion of their land in 1965. Subsequently, Indonesia has planted lots of settler-colonists in West Papua.

There is also a conflict in the South Moluccas , but it has more to do with religion than anything else, since there is a large number of Christians in this area. The South Moluccans were always reluctant to become a part of the new fake Indonesian state that emerged after independence anyway, and I believe there was some fighting for a while there. The South Moluccan struggle has generally been peaceful ever since.

Indonesia is the Israel of Southeast Asia, a settler-colonial state. The only difference is that the Indonesians are vastly more murderous and cruel than the Israelis.

There are conflicts in Tibet and East Turkestan in China. In the case of Tibet, this is a colony of China that China has no jurisdiction over. The East Turkestan fight is another case of Muslims rebelling against infidel rule. Yes, different languages are spoken here, but this is the case all over China.

Language is involved in the East Turkestan conflict in that Chinese have seriously repressed the Uighur language, but I don’t think it plays much role in Tibet.

There is also a separatist movement in Inner Mongolia in China. I do not think that language has much to do with this, and I believe that China’s claim to Inner Mongolia may be somewhat dubious. This movement is unarmed and not very organized.

There are conflicts all over India, but they don’t have much to do with language.

The Kashmir conflict is not about language but instead is rooted in the nature of the partition of India after the British left in 1947. 90% of Kashmiris wanted to go to Pakistan, but the ruler of Kashmir was a Hindu, and he demanded to stay in India.

The UN quickly ruled that Kashmir had to be granted a vote in its future, but this vote was never allowed by India. As such, India is another world-leading rogue and scofflaw state on a par with Israel and Indonesia. Now the Kashmir mess has been complicated by the larger conflict between India and Pakistan, and until that is all sorted out, there will be no resolution to this mess.

Obviously India has no right whatsoever to rule this area, and the Kashmir cause ought to be taken up by all progressives the same way that the Palestinian one is.

There are many conflicts in the northeast, where most of the people are Asians who are racially, often religiously and certainly culturally distinct from the rest of Indians.

None of these regions agreed to join India when India, the biggest fake state that has ever existed, was carved out of 5,000 separate princely states in 1947. Each of these states had the right to decide its own future to be a part of India or not. As it turned out, India just annexed the vast majority of them and quickly invaded the few that said no.

“Bharat India”, as Indian nationalist fools call it, as a state, is one of the silliest concepts around. India has no jurisdiction over any of those parts of India in separatist rebellion, if you ask me. Language has little to do with these conflicts.

Over 800 languages are spoken in India anyway, each state has its own language, and most regions are not in rebellion over this. Multilingualism with English and Hindi to cement it together has worked just fine in most of India.

Sri Lanka’s conflict does involve language, but more importantly it involves centuries of extreme discrimination by ruling Buddhist Sinhalese against minority Hindu Tamils. Don’t treat your minorities like crap, and maybe they will not take up arms against you.

The rebellion in the Basque country of Spain and France is about language, as is Catalonian nationalism.

IRA Irish nationalism and the Scottish and Welsh independence movements have nothing to do with language, as most of these languages are not in good shape anyway.

The Corsicans are in rebellion against France, and language may play a role. There is an independence movement in Brittany in France also, and language seems to play a role here, or at least the desire to revive the language, which seems to be dying.

There is a possibility that Belgium may split into Flanders and Wallonia, and language does play a huge role in this conflict. One group speaks French and the other Dutch.

There is a movement in Scania, a part of Sweden, to split away from Sweden. Language seems to have nothing to do with it.

There is a Hungarian separatist movement, or actually, a national reunification or pan-Hungarian movement, in Romania. It isn’t going anywhere, and it unlikely to succeed. Hungarians in Romania have not been treated well and are a large segment of the population. This fact probably drives the separatism more than language.

There are many other small conflicts in Europe that I chose not to go into due to limitations on time and the fact that I am getting tired of writing this post! Perhaps I can deal with them at a later time. Language definitely plays a role in almost all of these conflicts. None of them are violent though.

To say that there are separatists in French Polynesia is not correct. This is an anti-colonial movement that deserves the support of anti-colonial activists the world over. The entire world, evidenced by the UN itself, has rejected colonialism. Only France, the UK and the US retain colonies. That right there is notable, as all three are clearly imperialist countries. In this modern age, the value of retaining colonies is dubious.

These days, colonizers pour more money into colonies than they get out of them. France probably keeps Polynesia due to colonial pride and also as a place to test nuclear weapons and maintain military bases. As the era of French imperialism on a grand scale has clearly passed, France needs to renounce its fantasies of being a glorious imperial power along with its anachronistic colonies.

Yes, there is a Mapuche separatist movement in Chile, but it is not going anywhere soon, or ever.

It has little to do with language. The Mapudungan language is not even in very good shape, and the leaders of this movement are a bunch of morons. Microsoft recently unveiled a Mapudungan language version of Microsoft Windows. You would think that the Mapuche would be ecstatic. Not so! They were furious. Why? Oh, I forget. Some Identity Politics madness.

This movement has everything to do with the history of Chile. Like Argentina and Uruguay, Chile was one of the Spanish colonies that was settled en masse late. For centuries, a small colonial bastion battled the brave Mapuche warriors, but were held at bay by this skilled and militaristic tribe.

Finally, in the late 1800’s, a fanatical and genocidal war was waged on the Mapuche in one of those wonderful “national reunification” missions so popular in the 1800’s (recall Italy’s wars of national reunification around this same time). By the 1870’s, the Mapuche were defeated and suffered a devastating loss of life.

Yet all those centuries of only a few Spanish colonists and lots of Indians had made their mark, and at least 70% of Chileans are mestizos, though they are mostly White (about 80% White on average). The Mapuche subsequently made a comeback and today number about 9% of the population.

Because they held out so long and so many of them survived, they are one of the most militant Amerindian groups in the Americas. They are an interesting people, light-skinned and attractive, though a left-wing Chilean I knew used to chortle about how hideously ugly they were.

Hawaiian separatism is another movement that has a lot to do with colonialism and imperialism and little to do with language. The Hawaiian language, despite some notable recent successes, is not in very good shape. The Hawaiian independence movement offers nothing to non-Hawaiians (I guess only native Hawaiians get to be citizens!) and is doomed to fail.

Hawaiians are about 22% of the population, and they are the only ones that support the independence movement. No one else supports it. It’s not going anywhere. The movers and shakers on the island (Non-Hawaiians for the most part!) all think it’s ridiculous.

There are separatists in the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh, but I doubt that language has much to do with it. Like the myriad other separatist struggles in the NE of India, these people are ethnically Asians and as such are not the same ethnicity as the Caucasians who make up the vast majority of the population of this wreck of a state.

This is another conflict that is rooted in a newly independent fake state. The Chittagong Hill Tracts were incorporated into Bangladesh after its independence from Pakistan in 1971. As a fake new state, the peoples of Bangladesh had a right to be consulted on whether or not they wished to be a part of it. The CHT peoples immediately said that they wanted no part of this new state.

At partition, the population was 98.5% Asian. They were Buddhists, Hindus and animists. Since then, the fascist Bangladesh state has sent Bengali Muslim settler-colonists to the region. The conflict is shot through with racism and religious bigotry, as Muslim Bengalis have rampaged through the region, killing people randomly and destroying stuff as they see fit. Language does not seem to have much to do with this conflict.

I don’t know much about the separatist struggle of the Moi in Vietnam, but I think it is more a movement for autonomy than anything else. The Moi are Montagnards and have probably suffered discrimination at the hands of the state along with the rest of the Montagnards.

Zanzibar separatism in Tanzania seems to have nothing whatsoever to do with language, but has a lot more to do with geography. Zanzibar is a nice island off the coast of Tanzania which probably wants nothing to do with the mess of a Tanzanian state.

The conflict also has a lot to do with race. Most residents of Zanzibar are either Arabs or descendants of unions between Arabs and Africans. In particular, they deny that they are Black Africans. I bet that is the root of the conflict right there.

There were some Talysh separatists in Azerbaijan a while back, but the movement seems to be over. I am not sure what was driving them, but language doesn’t seem to have been a big part of it. Just another case of new members of a fake new state refusing to go along for the ride.

There were some Gagauz separatists in Moldova a while back, but the movement appears to have died down. Language does seem to have played a role here, as the Gagauz speak a Turkic tongue totally unrelated to the Romance-speaking Moldovans.

Realistically, it’s just another case of a fake new state emerging and some members of the new state saying they don’t want to be a part of it, and the leaders of the fake new state suddenly invoking inviolability of borders in a state with no history!

In summary, as we saw above, once we get into Europe, language does play a greater role in separatist conflict, but most of these European conflicts are not violent. In the rest of the world, language plays little to no role in the vast majority of separatist conflicts.

The paranoid and frankly fascist notion voiced by rightwing nationalists the world over that any linguistic diversity in the world within states must be crushed as it will inevitably lead to separatism at best or armed separatism at worst is not supported by the facts.

What’s Going On In Iran? (With Emphasis on Iranian Nationalism and Iranian Secessionist Movements)

Repost from the old site.

Updated February 6, 2008:

Most people do not realize that the famed Shah of Iran was actually a blood and soil, Persian supremacist, ethnic nationalist, primordialist, volkisch, fascist along the same lines as Hitler’s Nazis and Milosevic’s Serbs. Yet it is true – in fact, the Shah even formed an alliance with Nazi Germany.

The Nazis attempted to form all sorts of alliances with people they mistakenly regarded as genetic inferiors – including Bosnian Muslims, Palestinian and Iraqi Arabs, Ukrainian, White Russian, Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian rightwing nationalists, Iranians and some of the upper-caste peoples of East India.

The East Indians, of course, are part of the original Aryans – the light-skinned invaders who descended from the steppes into India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Afghanistan at various times in the past 3,500 years. In India, they displaced the native Indians – the Dravidians or South Indians – and pushed them to South.

They also twisted the Hindu religion by adding on their casteism, which was apparently not present in the original pre-Aryan system. Originally, in the caste system, those at the top were the lightest-skinned and the lowest castes tended to be the darkest. It is interesting that over thousands of years the Brahmins have become progressively darker.

The Nazis were fascinated that these Brahmins regarded themselves as fellow Aryans and even sent researchers over to India to measure skulls and analyze the facial characteristics of statues and engage in other peculiarities of Nazi racial research. The Brahmin class of India has always returned the favor and many have long been supporters of Hitler, Nazism and fascism in general.

The fascinating article linked above deals with something that is little known to most Americans – a neat summary of many of the views expressed by what are best termed Iranian nationalists. Americans have no understanding at all of this ancient, proud culture.

The piece notes the Western deceit that modern nationalism began with the Treaty of Westphalia in 1600’s Europe, when the principle of inviolable national borders was first codified. In fact, this is a Western narcissistic view. Other nations, in particular Persians and Iranians, have a long history of what could be called nationalism, depending on how one defines the term, dating back maybe 2500 years to Cyrus the Great.

US idiots like George Bush and the council of clueless super-Zionist advisors whispering in his ear provoke this ancient culture at their peril.

The piece goes on to discuss the Minorities Question in modern Iran. Most people do not recognize that Persian and Iranian are not synonymous. Persian is an ethnic group, but Persians only constitute 51% of all Iranians. Azerbaijanis are a huge group in the northwest, constituting 23%.

US imperialism and Kurdish nationalism make much of Azerbaijanis supposed desire to break away from Iran, but there is not much truth to that. Those who say such things do not understand history. It is true that there is an Azerbaijani minority that invokes irredentism and wishes to break away from Iran and reunite with “northern Azerbaijan”, the independent state of Azerbaijan.

But the majority of Azerbaijanis have no desire to do such a thing. People do not understand that despite the racist Persian ethnic nationalism of the Shah, Azerbaijanis have typically ruled Iran for many centuries now. In fact the Supreme Jurisprudent Ayatollah Khameini is an Azerbaijani.

The Sassanid Empire was one of the most prominent empires in the world from 200-600, a rival to the Roman Empire. This culture, to many, represents the pinnacle of Iran’s power in the world. Its religion was Zoroastrianism and it was characterized by great tolerance towards religious minorities, especially Christians and Jews.

The Sassanids were defeated in the mid-650’s by invading Arab Muslim armies, many Iranians were put to the sword, and many Iranian nationalists have resented the resulting forced imposition of Islam ever since. According to these nationalists, there is a difference between those societies where Islam was “native” – supposedly Arab societies, and those where it was imposed by force – supposedly all non-Arab countries.

This greatly simplifies matters, and in many ways is false. For instance, Islam has deep roots in the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Muslim India, Eastern China, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey, Albania, Kosova, Bosnia, the Caucasus and in Sub-Saharan Africa.

So the case of Iran is not generalizable. In most cases, where Islam conquered non-Arab lands, many of the natives converted and become passionate Muslims. In fact, some of the world’s most ferocious and fundamentalist Muslims have traditionally come from non-Arab lands like Afghanistan and Pakistan. But in Iran, something different happened: Islam ran up against Persian nationalism.

To understand the conflict between Iranian nationalism and Islam is essential to understanding modern Iranian culture. The Khomeinists have enraged Iranian nationalists by declaring wholesale war on Iranian nationalism. According to the mullahs, there is no need for Iranian nationalism since Islam supplants it. Iranian nationalists are often theologically diverse, secular, atheists, agnostics, or even Zoroastrians.

Even worse, the mullahs seem to have imposed a pro-Arabism on Iran. This is sure to infuriate Iranian nationalists. Iranian nationalists have always had a resentful and bigoted attitudes towards Arabs (and some towards Muslims – who they regard as having a barbaric Arab religion).

When you hear an Iranian nationalist hurl an insult like “lizard-eating Mohammadens”, this is the rage they are mining. It is the rage at a primitive culture of desert barbarian wanderers – so barbaric, in fact, that they “ate lizards” – that invaded the glorious, superior, Sassanid Zoroastrian Empire and destroyed it, supplanting it with inferior Arab Islamic culture and religion.

The mullahs have not only waged war on symbols of Iranian nationalism, but they have also tried to import Arab culture and language, much to the fury of Iranian nationalists. Since, to Islamic fundamentalists, Arabic is the language of Islam (a bigoted and irrational construct on its face), they tend to promote Arab culture and language over native culture and language.

This tends to produce friction between Islamic fundamentalists and non-Arab nationalists in the non-Arab parts of the Muslim World. For instance, it is often difficult to find a copy of the Koran in any language other than Arabic. And many non-Arab Muslims claim that Arabs, especially Gulf Arabs, look down on them and despise them when they go Mecca on hajj.

The Arab chauvinism in Islam has been a long-term hindrance to spread of the religion. Furthermore, for centuries after the conquest of Islam, the greatest Iranian poets, authors and scientists – beloved by all Iranian nationalists – were ordered to be killed by the fundamentalist Islamic morons ruling Islam at the time. Few of these heroes of Iranian culture were killed, but the fact that their deaths were even condoned stings.

It is important to note that Shia Islam was also imposed at the point of the sword sometime later and many Sunni Iranians were put to death.

The remains of this violent religious imposition can be seen today, when one notes that Sunni Islam (Iran is only about 75% Shia Muslim) continues to hold sway in the outliers of the Iranian state – in the desolate Balochi barrens of the southeast, in the northeast near Afghanistan, and in wild, mountainous Iranian Kurdistan in the northwest.

All of these parts of the Iranian state remain largely outside of the regime’s control, and Sunnis continue to complain, legitimately, of discrimination by Iranian Shia Muslims.

The rage between Iranians and Arabs is difficult for outsiders to fathom, but is essential to understanding the region. Sunni Islam is synonymous with Arab identity and nationalism, as Juan Cole astutely notes, in the same way that White Christianity is synonymous with American nationalism. Hence, the secularism of Arab nationalists has always been a bit of a lie.

The Arab masses and regimes are Sunni. Shia minorities have traditionally been suppressed in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Yemen, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan and even in Lebanon. This is the root of the Sunni-Shia conflict that rages ferociously in Iraq today.

See here for a particularly bigoted and insane example of Sunni Iraqi bigotry from the interesting blog of a secular Iraqi woman. Note that she ridiculously claims that Shia Islam was invented by the Iranians to destroy the Sunni Islamic civilization of the Arabs.

I realize that sounds like the ravings of a mentally ill person, but this is how many Sunni Muslims, especially Sunni Arabs from Mesopotamia, the Gulf and the Levant, regard Iran and Shiism.

When we understand this sick, crazy, racist hatred, we can understand why Saddam attacked Iran, and why he was supported in that war by all of the states in the Arab peninsula. We can understand why the secular King of Jordan intones darkly about a “Shia Belt” snaking ominously from Iran, across Iraq, to Syria and Southern Lebanon under Hezbollah control.

We can understand the insane, Nazi-like massacres of crowds of Shia civilians – men, women and children of all ages – in Iraq by both the Sunni Islamist guerrilla animals and Saddam’s secular, Shia-hating fascist Arab nationalists. We can understand why the government of Yemen launched a murderous war on the Zaidi Shia of northern Yemen, who constitute 40% of Yemen but are locked out of the state.

We can understand why the Sunni Muslim states of the Gulf are supporting the preliminary plans for a US attack on Iran, and why these states and the Iraqi Sunni-Nazi rebels will stand up and cheer till they can’t talk if the US invades Iran. We can understand why the viciously racist Sunni Arab bigots of Iraq intone darkly, “We will never be ruled by the blackhats (the Shia)”.

While the Arab attitude towards Iran and the Shia has always been one of sheer, Nazi-like racist hatred, the Iranian attitude towards Arabs has tended to be one of the disdain of a supposedly superior people for a supposedly inferior one.

I have droned on enough on this subject, and we need to move on to the rest of the post. If you wish to dive into this fascinating matter further, click the link above and take a crash course in Iranian history, the minorities of Iran and modern-day Iranian nationalism. I hope you enjoyed this excursion.

April 7, 2006

Iranshahr, Sistan-Balochistan Province: Sunni Islamist guerrillas shot and seriously wounded Hojatoleslam Yusef Mohammadi Soleimani, a top cleric who represents Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in the Centre for Higher Education here.

April 8, 2006

Iranshahr, Sistan-Balochistan Province: 6 armed Sunni Islamist guerrillas abducted Eshaq Nezamdoust, a local Iranian official who was in charge of distributing oil products here.

April 9, 2006

Iranshahr, Sistan-Balochistan Province: Sunni Islamist guerrillas shot dead 2 Iranian army officers here, Mostafa Ahmadi and Behzad Qolipour.

May 4, 2006

*****
Many of you are probably aware of the furor over Mahmud Ahmadinejad, the figurehead President of Iran, and his comments regarding Israel and the Holocaust. This much-distorted comments are grist for the propaganda for a campaign to get the US to wage a military attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities, primarily for the benefit of the Zionist state in Israel.

If the US won’t do it, “mad dog” Israel says, then Mad Dog Israel herself may be forced to take matters into her own hand. Ahmadinejad shoots off his mouth quite a bit and says some dumb things, but it’s important to note that he is just a figurehead with little power. Remember when reformist Khatami had the same office as Ahmadinejad, and all the Iran-haters said that Khatami had no power anyway?

Well, shoot, Ahmadinejad has the same power as Khatami. If Khatami had no power than Ahmadinejad also has no power, logically speaking. In Iran, the office of the President seems to be mainly utilized these days to vent off steam from the unhappy population, to give them somewhere to channel their dissatisfied energies.

Ahmadinejad’s comments in question concern his purported remarks to “wipe Israel off the map” and his Holocaust denial. First of all, let us note that Holocaust denial in various forms is not unusual at all amongst Arabs and Muslims, especially Islamists.

Furthermore, many misguided non-genocidal persons on both the Right and Left, are caught up in the nonsense of Holocaust Denial and Holocaust Revisionism. Lamentable as it is, it does not necessarily make one a new Hitler.

As far as Ahmadinejad’s comments to wipe Israel off the map, Juan Cole makes clear that he was apparently paraphrasing Khomeini’s remarks from 25 years ago, when the Ayatollah compared Israel to the Shah’s regime, and said in poetic Persian that “the Occupation regime over Jerusalem shall vanish with the page of time”. Cole is adamant that there is no killing of anyone, much less military action, implied in that remark.

Nevertheless, led by the Jewish Lobby and their Gentile fellow travelers on the Fox TV circuit, the US neoconservatives have been hammering out a devious propaganda campaign designed to paint Ahmadinejad, and Iranian Muslims in general, as insane suicidal maniacs out to finish the work that Hitler started.

The supposed evidence is the Holocaust revisionist remarks and the “wipe Israel off the Earth” remark, which Cole has convincingly demonstrated that it is being misquoted. Supposedly, Ahmadinejad is a member of a Shia mystical sect that believes that the 12th Mahdi, or hidden Mahdi, who supposedly vanished on the site of holy Shia mosque in Samarra that was recently detonated by Al Qaeda, is going to return soon.

This religious belief is roughly analogous to the Christian crazies who think that the “end times” are here and Jesus is coming back soon. The common thread in both loony beliefs is that the world is coming to an end. Because Ahmadinejad believes in this nonsense and supports suicide bombers fighting the Zionist regime in Israel, the Israeli Lobby paints him, and an entire nation of Shia Muslims, as suicidal nutcases.

They want to get a nuclear bomb in order to suicidally fire it at Israel, which in the process will destroy Iran with the inevitable US and Israel nuclear retaliation. Clearly, this is a serious question: Is Iran actually capable of such an insane act? We can’t afford to be wrong about our answer here. I have thought about this for months now, and I do not believe that Iran or its leaders are suicidally insane.

I realize there are ominous consequences if I am wrong, including the deaths of maybe 100,000 Israeli Jews. But I am willing to stick my neck out here, just for the sake of argument. I would also like to take this time to argue passionately against any kind of lunatic US or Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear program, a disastrous idea with truly dangerous consequences.
******

May 13, 2006

****
Kerman Province, Between Kerman and Bam: Armed terrorists with the radical Sunni Islamist group Jundallah (Army of Allah) disguised themselves as cops and set up a roadblock on this highway deep inside Iran and stopped motorists and pulled them out of their vehicles. 11 males were lined up next to a ditch and executed. A 12th man was killed when another vehicle was sprayed with gunfire as it drove past.

A 12-year-old boy was wounded by gunfire, but instead of finishing him off, the terrorists strung him up on a power pylon. He survived, but was badly traumatized. Afterward, the terrorists fled into the Kofout Mountains southeast of Kerman.

The scene of the terrorist attack by Jundallah on the Kerman-Bam highway 130 miles from where Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran come together. Terrorists set up a fake roadblock and murdered 12 civilians in cold blood here.

The murders stunned the nation, which despite its “terrorist” reputation, is actually a very safe country for travelers. Jundallah has its origins in the Sunni population of the Iranian province of Sistan-Balochistan.

The Sunnis here complain of discrimination and ethnic cleansing by Iranian Shia officials, charges which have a basis in fact. There are suggestions that Jundallah may be based over the border in Afghanistan, possibly in the wild deserts of Nawruz Province. Clearly, Jundallah has a safe haven in the area where Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan all come together. This is one of the more dangerous places on Earth.

Travelers heading there are advised to take a bodyguard, or preferably several bodyguards. None of the three governments in the region have much control over this area. It is overrun with drug traffickers (usually smuggling heroin or opium), who travel in large, very heavily-armed convoys.

They periodically fight it out with Iranian troops. Iranian troops have lost an incredible figure of hundreds of troops in just a few years fighting running battles in this border region with drug traffickers. Jundallah has links to Al Qaeda. In March, they killed 22 people in Zahedan, a very wild and dangerous city located where Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran all come together. Last year, the group beheaded an Iranian security officer.

Iranian officials say that Jundallah is the arm of Al Qaeda inside Iran, and they say that Jundallah leader Abdolmalek Rigi is bin Laden’s right hand man in Iran. That is probably correct.
*****

May 15, 2006

Kerman Province: Iranian Basij and Revolutionary Guard paramilitaries tracked down and killed 10 terrorists who murdered 12 drivers in cold blood on the Kerman-Bam highway 130 miles from where Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran come together (see May 13 entry for details).

May 19, 2006
****
Syria: Syrian officials arrested dozens of leaders of the various Shia Arab Ahwaz fronts who are waging guerrilla war in Iran’s oil-rich Ahwaz Province. I cannot support this struggle, which is simply designed to steal much of Iran’s oil wealth. However, the Arabs in this region fought bravely in the Iran-Iraq War and suffered heavy casualties.

They complain that they do not see much of the oil wealth in this region. The area was heavily damaged in the war, and the Iranian government hasn’t even rebuilt it very much. The Arabs also complain of discrimination. There is some truth to all of this, but one of Iran’s top military leaders is an Ahwaz Arab.

If Iran had any sense, they would institute affirmative action to hire Ahwaz Arabs, rebuild the Ahwaz region and let the area see much more of their present share of the wealth. This conflict has always been fed by Arab nationalist fascists like the Baath fascists in Iraq, whose hatred of Iran borders on the insane and pathological.

Furthermore, in recent days, US and British Special Forces and intelligence are in the region assisting the insurgency. By arresting most of the top leaders of the insurgency, Syria is spitting in the eyes of Arab nationalist bigots all over the Arab World, and is throwing its lot in with Shia solidarity (Syria is ruled by a Shia sect) and Syria’s alliance with Iran.
*****

Where Helen Thomas is Coming From

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQcQdWBqt14]

This is the famous video where some rabbi set up Helen Thomas and got her on camera saying that the Jews should get out of Palestine and go back to Europe where they came from.

This comment has been attacked as everything from stupid to anti-Semitic. It’s neither, really.

The comment is best analyzed in seeing where Thomas herself is coming from. Helen Thomas is the child of Lebanese Christian immigrants to the US, specifically Greek Orthodox Arabs. These comments of hers are quite in line with the typical Arab attitude about the Zionist Jews forming their state on the ashes of Palestine. The attitude is that the Jews are occupying Arab land in Palestine and that they ought to go back to Europe where they came from. So, she’s just talking like a typical Arab, nothing more, nothing less.

Although many Arabs who say such things are anti-Semites, not all are. Surely they are anti-Zionists. Rather than a battle of racists, this is really a war between two tribes, the Arabs and the Jews, and increasingly between the Muslims and the Jews. Tribal wars are not very pretty affairs, but it’s often incorrect to accuse the parties involved in the war of racism. Were those who hated Germans and Japanese during WW2 a bunch of racists? Get real.

The Jews do not like Arabs very much. Understandably so, as the Arabs won’t stop trying to kill them. Likewise for the Arabs in turn. If members of some enemy tribe kept trying to kill my people and more particularly me, I would surely opt to paint myself with the flimsy stain of temporary racist sin as opposed to daubing my body with the sturdy blotch of universalist death.

But it’s not much of a choice.

Further, Thomas’ comments must be seen in terms of her Greek Orthodox Arab religion. There were many Greek Orthodox living in Palestine before the Nakba, and many were ethnically cleansed. George Habash, leader of the PFLP, was ethnically cleansed with his family from Lydda, and his own sister was killed by the Jews. He was permanently radicalized. The Greek Orthodox refugees spread out to the surrounding Arab states, and many were attracted to secular Arab nationalism. Waddi Haddad, another PFLP radical, was also Greek Orthodox.

In Lebanon, the Greek Orthodox live heavily in the South with the Shia, but they often have their own villages. During the latest Lebanese war, when Israel invaded a Greek Orthodox village, the Lebanese Army surrendered, but the Israelis were soon attacked by a Greek Orthodox militia from the Syrian Social Nationalist Party, a pro-Syrian and pro-Hezbollah political party.

In the early days of the Lebanon War of 1982, the first suicide bombers were often Leftists, often Lebanese Christians, typically Greek Orthodox, from parties like the SSNP. Only later did Hezbollah take up the tactic.

In Lebanon, the Greek Orthodox support Syria and Hezbollah and despise Israel. The Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem is a ferocious anti-Zionist and even anti-Semite who has supported suicide bombings and Hamas. The Greek Orthodox had a large population in Jerusalem. Recall that one of the four quarters of the Old City, the Christian Quarter, is mostly Greek Orthodox.

Unfortunately, the Greek Orthodox, and the Orthodox Church in general, has a long history of anti-Semitism. Note the anti-Semitism of the Russian Orthodox Church. Some say that Orthodox anti-Semitism is even worse than Catholic anti-Semitism. Note that the Orthodox Church sees itself as the true pure church, and has never gone through Vatican I, forget Vatican II. My understanding is that they don’t even like Catholics, and consider Catholics to be some sort of liberal deviationists.

The anti-Semitism of the Orthodox involves accusations that the Jews are Christ-killers and the ancient enemies of the Christians. In this way it is similar to Catholic anti-Semitism, which is all about a homicidal or even genocidal response to their descendants of those who committed the Deicide.

The Nazis killed 80% of the Jews of Greece, who were mostly living in the formerly majority-Jewish city of Salonika (now Thessaloniki).  Israelis who vacation in Greece report that Greeks are quite hostile, and describe them as anti-Semites.

One of the worst Christian anti-Semites was the 4th century Archbishop of Constantinople, Church Father Saint John Chrysostom. He delivered a series of homilies about Judaizing Christians, suggesting that they needed to choose one religion or the other.

The Jewish people were driven by their drunkenness and plumpness to the ultimate evil; they kicked about, they failed to accept the yoke of Christ, nor did they pull the plow of his teaching. Another prophet hinted at this when he said: “Israel is as obstinate as a stubborn heifer.”…

Although such beasts are unfit for work, they are fit for killing. And this is what happened to the Jews: while they were making themselves unfit for work, they grew fit for slaughter. This is why Christ said: “But as for these my enemies, who did not want me to be king over them, bring them here and slay them.”

Here’s an excerpt from Homily 6…

You [Jews] did slay Christ, you did lift violent hands against the Master, you did spill his precious blood. This is why you have no chance for atonement, excuse, or defense.

Pretty ugly stuff.

In spite of these sentiments, or, even more frighteningly, possibly due to them, this man was made an Orthodox saint! His hatred for the Jews was palpable. He wanted them hunted down and killed, and he wanted their synagogues burnt to the ground.

In that sense Orthodox anti-Semitism is worse even than Catholic anti-Semitism founded in part on Saint Augustine. At least Augustine felt that the Jews should be preserved in humiliation as witnesses to the triumph of Christianity. Neither accorded the Jews full humanity, but at least Augustine was willing to let them survive, albeit as some sort of Catholic version of the dhimmi.

So, while I have no knowledge of whether or not Thomas is an anti-Semite, this is the cultural milieu that she comes from. She may have heard dinner-table conversations like this while growing up in her Greek Orthodox home.

Settlers are Not Innocent Civilians

Retrospectively, I support the American Indians for heroically defending their lands against the White settler-colonial imperialist invaders. Defending the homeland against the invaders of all types is the sort of nationalism that is progressive and that everyone should rally around.
Not only that, but it is acceptable for the nationalists defending their homelands to kill the settler-colonial fascist invaders and colonists, including the so-called “innocent civilians” in their midst.
So it was right and proper for Amerindians to kill White adult settlers, for Uighurs and Tibetans to kill Han adult settlers, for Palestinians to kill Jewish adult settlers, for Sarahwi in Spanish Sahara to kill Moroccan adult settlers, for West Papuans to kill Indonesian adult settlers, on and on. I leave child settlers off the target list since they don’t have the ability to leave and go home.In this framework, settlers are not “innocent civilians” at all.
The Chinese fascist regime deliberately flooded Tibet and Xinjiang with Han settlers, who colonized these lands, monopolized the economy, relegated the natives to minority status, and oppressed the natives. This is sheer ethnic warfare of the most barbaric fascist type and it is what was behind the recent ethnic riots in Urumqi, Xinjiang, in China’s West.
The situation with the settler-colonialism of the fascist Jews in Palestine is well-known and needs no elaboration here.
Fascist Indonesia invaded the sovereign state of West Papua in 1965 after the Dutch colonists fled. Since then, they have committed genocide against the natives, most of whom are Melanesians or Papuans and are ethnically unlike the Malays of Indonesia. They have stolen the resources and flooded the land with fascist Malay settler-colonists.
The West Papuans are very poorly armed, often defending themselves with bows and arrows. The West has supported fascist Indonesia to the hilt in this conflict, probably because big US corporate interests have made alliance with the Indonesian fascist elite in plundering the land of West Papua for valuable natural resources.
Spanish Sahara was decolonized and immediately declared its independence in 1953. It was immediately invaded on very hazy and spurious grounds by Morocco. This blatant invasion and conquest of territory by armed imperial force, similar to the case of West Papua, has been supported to the hilt by every single US regime ever since.
The implication is that 65 years after the Great War Against Fascism, fascist regimes the world over continue to find a warm and fuzzy place to call home in the corridors of Washington, DC.
This is due to the fact that monopoly capital will always support fascism, and any state dedicated to monopoly capitalism as the US is will always support fascist regimes around the world, and probably has no choice about the matter. As long as monopoly capital rules the US, we are probably stuck with fascist-lovers in the White House.
The Algerian revolutionaries (I get a lot of my ideology from Frantz Fanon) targeted the pied noir settler-colonialists, and most of them fled.

The Role of Iran in Arab -Islamic Resistance to Imperialism and Zionism

This post will provide an overview of why the Iranian regime is hated so much by US imperialism and Zionism, and why they plotted a Green “color revolution” to throw out one of the last holdouts of Arab – Islamic resistance in the region.
Except for Iran, Syria, Hamas-Gaza and Hezbollah, all of the rest of the Arab and Islamic World has folded in the face of the Zionist onslaught or been bought off by US imperialism.
Saddam was another rejectionist, but the Zionist traitor neoconservatives engineered an illegal invasion to bring him down.
Ghaddafi was threatened with invasion by the same folks, and promptly folded.
The Palestinians now effectively have no outside support.
Egypt collaborates with Zionism to police the Gaza border and assists in the starvation and deprivation of the Gazans. Egyptian police prevent guns from flowing to the Gazans for their noble resistance to the Zionist enemy.
Jordan was captured long ago. Elections are not allowed in Jordan, because the 65% Palestinian population would elect a radical anti-Zionist regime.
Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco are bought off and sold to the US. Anti-US and anti-Israel demonstrations are regularly crushed with brutality in Tunisia. None of these states are democracies, because democracy would allow an anti-Zionist and anti-US regime to be elected.
In Arabia, there are no democracies. All of the regimes are sold out to the US. There are US military bases in all nations, for the sole reason of policing the Arabian peoples. The effect is that the Arabian peoples are under a dictatorship of US military bases combined with local satraps and Quislings. It’s true the Saudis allow fighters to go to Arab lands, but only to Iraq to fight the Shia that they hate so much.
Lebanon has been under imperialist-Zionist assault for years now. With the election of a French Jew to head the French state, France is now firmly in the Zionist camp. This, along with a colonial attachment to the Lebanese fake state that never died, explains why France has gone along with imperialism-Zionism in Lebanon.
Iraq is now occupied by imperialism-Zionism in the form of the US military and will be occupied into the forseeable future. Iraq was attacked because it was one of the only Arab holdouts that stood steadfast against imperialism and Zionism in the region. Also, they allowed no bases and opened up their oil to non-Americans.
The invasion, in collaboration with the Zionist enemy, was planned to remove the holdout Saddam of the Arab resistance, to remove the competitors of US oil companies from the oil fields they were developing, to take over Iraq’s oil for the US, to use Iraqi oil to flood the oil market and lower the price, killing the Saudis and Gulf states of their oil weapon (the Gulf Arabians, while US allies, are distrusted by International Zionism, and they hatched the Iraqi invasion).
With permabases in Iraq and the biggest US embassy on Earth in Baghdad, US control over the region was seized by force.
It was only due to fortitude that the Iraqi resistance soon led an insurgency against the invaders. If they would not have done this, we know for a fact that the US military would have done a “left turn at Baghdad, and headed for Syria”, as their Zionist masters were ordering them too.
With Iraq out of the way, Libya was quickly subdued with threats of force.
Arafat was murdered by the Israelis. They placed a Mossad agent as his cook and poisoned his food. The Abbas clique went along with the poisoning since they hated Arafat. Getting Arafat out of the way was a long-standing goal of the Zionist agenda. Then elections were held in Palestine, but the results came out wrong and Hamas won.
The Abbas forces were trained by the US to be the shock troops of Zionism in Palestine. Indeed, Abbas forces are utilized primarily against those Palestinians in Hamas who still dare to resist the Zionist enemy.
A plot was concocted to oust the pro-Syrian regime in Lebanon, but it failed. Syria probably killed Hariri, but Hariri was selling out Lebanon to imperialism and Zionism, and Syria would not stand for that.
What does Syria want? One thing and one thing only. They want the Golan back. For this, they will sacrifice everything, the Palestinians, Arabism, you name it. The only card left that Syria holds to enable it to get back the Golan is their auxiliary force in Lebanon, Hezbollah. This is why Syria must not allow Hezbollah to be dismantled. If Hezbollah is dismantled, Syria has lost their last cards too get the Golan back, and they will never be able to get their land back.
The killing of Hariri resulted in international pressure against Syria, including sanctions. There was also an international effort made to disarm and dissolve Hezbollah. The effort to get rid of Hezbollah seems to have failed, although pro-Hezbollah forces won 45% in the last elections. The mini-Hariri crowd that won with 55% is widely seen as the voice of imperialism and Zionism in Lebanon.
A few years ago, with the connivance of US imperialism, US neoconservatives along with Israel concocted a plot to attack Hezbollah in Lebanon. The purpose here was to decisively defeat Hezbollah and wipe out their substantial missile stockpile. This invasion largely failed to accomplish this mission.
The UN was then given the task of occupying South Lebanon to enforce Zionist and imperialist rule on sovereign Lebanese land. This effort has largely failed, as Hezbollah has restocked their missiles and they are now better armed than before the invasion.
This background shows you that Ahmadinejad is one of the last holdouts in the region against total dominaton by US imperialism and Zionism. This is why the Iranian regime is being targeted so forcefully.

George Habash, a Revolutionary Life

Repost from the old site. On the George Habash, leader of the Palestinian PFLP, who died a little over a year ago.
The following tribute to George Habash, leader of the Palestinian Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) was delivered to a meeting organized by the CPGB-ML in Central London on last year, February 2008, soon after Habash’s death. The Communist Party Great Britain Marxist-Leninist, basically a hardline pro-Stalin group, last time I checked. This document is interesting for various reasons.
For one, it shows that hardline Communist rhetoric in the style of the former USSR is still popular. The PFLP are lauded for being a hardline Marxist-Leninist organization. It’s hard to say whether they still are or not, as they seem to be downplaying this in recent years, and no one really knows what Communism even means anymore.7
It is true that there was a Communist state in South Yemen, but I am not sure if they accomplished much down there.
One of the biggest heroes of the Arab Left is Gamel Nasser, leader of Egypt. One great thing that he did do was to initiate a land reform. Most Arab states probably do not have feudal or semi-feudal land relations in the countryside anymore, but Egypt did in the 1950’s. 10% of landowners owned most land, and 25% of landowners owned almost all of the land.
The vast majority of the rural population was reduced to the status of landless laborers or sharecroppers in debt peonage on the land of the landlords.
Nasser was able to break up the large estates by buying them up via the government and giving the land to the sharecroppers. It was one of the great progressive events in modern Arab history. Back in the day in Yemen, you would go into the houses of the poor in South Yemen and see Nasser’s picture on the wall – they knew he was a hero to the Arab poor, and mostly for the land reform.
Unfortunately, land reform was not enough. Population was exploding and Egypt desperately needed to put more farmland into production. Hence the Aswan Dam, a necessary evil.
But even this did not solve the problems, as the rural poor continued to pour into the cities to look for nonexistent work. The landowners were bought off by assuring them a place in industry, which was and is heavily corrupt and tied in with the state. But the Egyptian economy was so shaky that the rich didn’t really feel like investing in it.
Socialism was and is a pretty easy sell across the Arab World, in part due to Islam. Islam is a pretty socialist religion, although fundamentalists will argue the point with you and point out that the Koran says that there are those who have more and those who have less and this is ok. Nevertheless, the Koran is hardly a raging individualist tract.
Nor are the deserts of the Arab World suited for individualism. In such an environment, the every man for himself libertarian is lost and probably dead quite quickly. One must form alliances or one will be destroyed. One must work cooperatively or the elements will take your life. In a world of perennial scarcity, mass hoarding by a few means death for many more.
Hence, in the past century, most independent Arab states have opted for some kind of socialism. Where the states could not do it, the religious or militant groups did. There is no hatred of welfare or government as we have it in the individualist US. Socialism is simply normal and free market libertarianism is seen as a bizarre and cruel aberration.
Nevertheless, in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and probably other places, the clergy did resist land reforms on the grounds that they were un-Islamic. Iraq, newly emerging from semi-feudal relations in the 1960’s, saw the Iraqi Communist Party become one of the largest parties in the country. It was particularly popular with poor Shia who flooded in from the countryside and poured into what later became Sadr City.
At that time, the Shia clergy were widely regarded as corrupt. They were tied in with large landowners, often involved in money-making scams, and were noted for enticing women into sexual relationships with them.
One of the few great things that the Shah of Iran did was to institute a land reform to realign the semi-feudal relations in the Iranian countryside. It went off pretty well, but some ethnic groups opposed it and hence were persecuted.
The tone of the Communist Party Great Britain Marxist-Leninist in the statement below is what might be called Stalinist or anti-revisionist.
Anti-revisionists hold that the problems with Communist states came from them leaving the path of true Communism and diluting their economies with capitalist relations. I do not know how much there is to that, so I can’t comment on revisionism. But even staunch Marxist sites nowadays post long pieces stating flat out that the Soviet model failed.
The North Star Compass is a pretty interesting site. It’s run by former Communists from the East Bloc and the USSR, and it is dedicated to the reestablishing of the Soviet Union as a socialist state. For these folks, Gorbachev was enemy #1. There are quite a few interesting essays there, and for those who think that Putin is a Communist, these guys really hate Putin.
For those who think that Russian Communists are all racists and anti-Semites, note that the North Star Compass despises the newly emerging fascist threat in the USSR.
There are many Trotskyite sites on the Net. The Trotskyites used to be totally nuts on the question of “Stalinists”. Can you believe that they supported the German attack on the USSR and opposed the Soviet army’s war in Afghanistan?
Trotskyites seem to have calmed down a lot lately. Many of them are supporting the Nepalese Maoists and the Colombian FARC. They even support Cuba. Usually this is measured with a tone that these states and movements would be better off if they adopted Trotskyism. Truth is that it is possible that Trotskyism has hardly even be tried anywhere, except possibly in the USSR from 1917-1922.
Trotskyites have a reputation as the ultimate splitters, and in the Philippines they have, incredibly, taken up arms alongside the feudal and fascist state against the Maoist NPA. In Defense of Marxism is a good example of a Trotskyite site.
It seems that many Communists nowadays in the West are Trotskyites of some sort. No one really knows what to make of them, and many Stalinists just laugh about them and regard them as irrelevant. Western Trotskyites seem to have a lot of money for some reason, and often put up nice websites. Non-Trotskyite Communist sites often have mild critiques of Trotskyism as some sort of irrelevant hairsplitting movement.
Western Trotskyites were heavily Jewish in the West until 1967 or possibly earlier. World Trotskyism opposed Israel in the Six Day War and Jewish Trotskyites consequently defected en masse. Many seem to have made their way into the neoconservative movement.
There are a variety of reasons for the heavy Jewish presence in Trotskyism, and that Trotsky himself was Jewish cannot be ignored. Trots have tended to oppose both Stalinism and Maoism as horribly brutal ideologies that committed atrocious human rights violations. Trotskyism has been a serious movement only in the West and it has tended to flounder in the rest of the world.
One of the Trots’ main points is that a rapid buildup of urban industry is essential for the development of a modern socialist state. Trots are almost the opposite of the Maoists and their emphasis on the peasantry.
There are sites that basically uphold the former USSR and even Stalin, but they are often angry at Maoists, whom they accuse of adventurism. In India, Maoists are killing traditional Communists in the state of Bengal, a state that has been run by pro-Soviet Communists for about 30 years now.
Marxism-Leninism Today is an example of a pro-USSR, pro-Cuba, anti-Maoist site. They support the CPI-M (Communist Party India-Marxist) in Bengal and are not too happy with the Indian Maoists for killing their comrades.
Here is a cool site by a Georgian artist who is the grandson of Joseph Stalin, showing the Stalin family tree among other things.
Stalinism.ru is a site run by Russian Stalinists, but if you can’t read Russian, it’s not for you.
The National Bolshevik Party is some sort of a bizarre marriage of Stalinism and racial nationalism (I don’t want to say Nazism, but I fear that is what it is). It’s Russian too, but check out the scary party image, complete with Nordic lettering, and the background on the homepage. Lots of related links at the bottom – looks like they have chapters all over the place.
Another great site, coming from a somewhat different point of view, a Maoist one, is Single Spark (now offline but their materials were collected and are available at another site). Although Maoists are often described as ultra-Stalinists, Maoists and Stalinists are not necessarily the same thing.
The Maoists have always been the real bomb-throwers on the Far Left.
Despite Cold War rhetoric, pro-Soviet Communists often did not take up armed struggle until all peaceful avenues for change were blocked, and the Left was up against a death squad state. Otherwise, the idea was to try to gain power through parliamentary means, despite Lenin’s denouncements of “parliamentary cretinism”.
If the state was reasonably democratic and not killing the Left, the pro-Soviets often argued that “an objectively revolutionary situation did not exist”. On the other hand, Maoists tend to reject all bourgeois democracy as invalid, particularly in very backward societies with mass extreme poverty and accompanying disease, hunger and premature death.
Hence, Maoists have launched insurgencies against formally democratic states as Peru, Sri Lanka, Chile, Bolivia, Ecuador, Philippines, Nepal and India in recent years. In most of these cases, the pro-Soviet Left decided to sit out armed struggle, and the Maoists were denounced as adventurists irresponsibly taking up arms in spite of a lack of an objectively revolutionary situation.
In Peru, the war launched by the Shining Path led to a state that was less and less democratic and soon became just another Death Squad State. Thus in 1984, the pro-Cuban Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA) took a vote and decided that “an objectively revolutionary situation existed” and opted to take up arms.
Another difference is that despite Cold War rhetoric, Maoists are often a lot more vicious than the Castroites and pro-Soviet rebels. Maoists have no qualms about killing “class enemies” – anyone prominent advocating rightwing politics or abusive landowners – whereas the Castroites often try to take the high ground in guerrilla war.
Examples in Latin America are the Castroite ELN in Colombia, URNG in Guatemala, FSLN in Nicaragua, FMLN in El Salvador, the aforementioned MRTA, and the FARC in Colombia. Despite crap from anti-Communists and the US government, all these groups have tried pretty hard to abide by the rules of war. At any rate, the overwhelming majority of grotesque human rights violations in each of these conflicts were committed by the state.
On the other hand, the Maoist Sendero Luminoso was a profoundly savage and cruel guerrilla group, though they almost seized power.
Communism doesn’t mean that much anymore. Cuba allows religious believers to join the party, and there are millions of liberation theology Leftist Catholics in Latin America and the Philippines. The Chinese and Vietnamese Communists have introduced major elements of capitalism into their economies, while retaining a great deal of socialism at the same time.
Over the course of a few years, from 2003 to 2005 and 2006, the Nepalese Maoists underwent a sea change in politics. They went from hardline Maoists railing against revisionists and opposing anything but the dictatorship of the proletariat, to an embrace of multiparty democracy and a mixed economy and measured critiques of Mao, Lenin and Stalin as outdated for the needs and realities of today.
I think this is fantastic. I care nothing about dogma. I just want results, and I don’t really care how you get there – capitalism, socialism, communism or whatever. If Marxism is indeed an ever-evolving science (which, if it is a science, it must be) then there must be no treating its elementary texts as some sort of religious books.
The works of Marx, Lenin, Mao and others must be regarded as the works of men, not Gods, positing theories. These theories must be tested in praxis to see how well they test out, as in any empirical investigation. The theories of these mortals will either test out or they will not, and if not, we need to adjust them accordingly.
We know what our goals are; all that is at stake is how to get there.
Let us listen to top leader Prachanda and other Nepalese Maoist leaders, from the Single Spark site:

Since MLM is a progressive science, the people’s war calls for ideology and leadership that is capable to complete a new People’s War in the 21st century. Our Party’s CC Extended Meeting last September held that the ideologies of Lenin and Mao have become old and inadequate to lead the present international revolution.
The political and organizational report passed by the meeting says, ‘The proletariat revolutionaries of the 21st century need to pay their serious attention towards that fact that in today’s ground reality, Lenin and Mao’s analysis of imperialism and various notions relation to proletariat strategies based on it have lagged behind.’
As Marxism was born in an age of competitive capitalism, the strategies and working policy formulated during the times of Marx had become old when they arrived at Lenin’s times of imperialism and proletariat revolution.
Similarly, the ideologies developed by Lenin and Mao at the initial phase of international imperialism and proletariat revolution have become inadequate and lagged behind at the present imperialistic phase. Therefore, ‘the main issue is to develop MLM in the 21st century and to determine a new proletariat strategy.1
The second [wrong trend] …is not to concentrate on how revolutionary struggle can be developed in one’s country by developing correct strategy and tactics, but to talk more of world revolution, enjoy classical debate, eulogize strategy and tactic of the past successful revolutions, teach other fraternal parties as if they know everything about the concrete situation in that country and stick to what Lenin and Mao had said before.
This trend represents dogmatism.2
What we think is that situation has undergone a considerable change, so the communist revolutionaries must not stick to what Lenin had said about insurrection and what Mao had said on Protracted People’s War.3
Q. You have envisioned a people’s republic, no?
Prachanda: Mao Zedong’s People’s Republic cannot fulfill the needs of today’s world. It cannot address today’s political awareness appropriately. Mao said cooperative party theory; we called it competitive party theory. We have said let’s move ahead from the conventional People’s Republic and develop it as per the specialties of the 21st century.
Q. You do not follow the old concept of communism?
Prachanda: Definitely not. What happened without competition? In the USSR, Stalin gave no place to competition and went ahead in a monolithic way. What was the result?4
Q. Does Communism make sense today?
Prachandra: It’s a big question, starting with Marx, Lenin and Mao Zedong, who wanted to apply the Marxist teachings in semi colonial countries. Now, we still need Marxism, but in accordance to the needs of the 21st century. We have to apply Marxist science in a very new context, understanding social, economic and also technological changes, without dogmatism and without sectarianism.
We are trying to develop a completely new concept, different from what happened in the past century. When we are in the government, our experiment will surprise everybody.
Q. This will happen only if foreign investors trust a communist government…
Prachandra: Yes, I know. We cannot ignore the whole process of liberalization in the world. So, we will apply mixed economics to this country. Right now, we are not saying that we plan a total socialist economy, though we will not blindly follow western liberalism. We have some national priorities and we will welcome foreign investors, using capital from abroad for the well being of Nepal.5
Though Mao made some bold experiments to revive and develop socialist democracy, his efforts did not result in any qualitative advance. Why did socialist democracy ultimately fail? Why did it have to bear the stigma of ‘totalitarianism’ from its adversaries?
If the revolutionary communists of the 21st century have ‘to win the battle for democracy’, as Marx and Engels had declared in the famous Communist Manifesto, we must dare to question the past practice in socialist democracy and take some bold initiatives.6.
All selections from this document7.

CPGB-ML Tribute to Habash

In his 1944 speech, “Serve the People”, Comrade Mao Zedong said these famous words:

All men must die, but death can vary in its significance. The ancient Chinese writer Szuma Chien said: ‘Though death befalls all men alike, it may be weightier than Mount Tai or lighter than a feather.’ To die for the people is weightier than Mount Tai, but to work for the fascists and die for the exploiters and oppressors is lighter than a feather.

Today, the heroic Palestinian people are continuing to resist, whether in the breaking of the barrier with Egypt to alleviate the genocidal siege of Gaza, or in the martyrdom operation at Dimona, the nuclear site where imperialism and its stooges do not demand inspections, to express a sense of grief at the loss of Al-Hakim, Dr George Habash, one of the greatest leaders of the Palestinian people, and, more importantly, to celebrate his glorious life and give real political vitality and clarity to the essential work of building solidarity with the Palestinian people in the British working class and in the anti-war and other progressive movements.

Nice memorial poster of PFLP leader George Habash. In all of the obits in the US news, few detailed the reason for the radicalization of Habash. At university in Lebanon, he was apolitical and preferred to play guitar. He raced home during the “Israeli War of Independence” to his home in Lydda. Jewish militias attacked the town and forced 95% of the city to flee.Most were Palestinian Christians. His sister died of typhoid fever during the siege of the town and Habash buried her in the backyard. He blamed the Jews for blocking access to the hospital that could have saved her. There were some notorious massacres of Palestinians during the attack on Lydda, including the execution of many young men in a mosque.The Jews forced Habash and others to line up and leave their homes and all of their possessions. One man asked if he could return to get the keys to his house and for making this request, he was shot dead in front of Habash’s eyes. From that point on, the apolitical future doctor was transformed into a revolutionary.

Comrade George Habash, who has passed away at the age of 82, gave more than six decades of his life to the revolution. He was born into a prosperous Greek Orthodox family in the Palestinian city of Lydda.
At that time, the Palestinian people were under the rule of the British colonial mandate, which was systematically preparing the way for the creation of a Zionist settler colonial state, which, in the words of Sir Roland Storrs, the first British governor of Jerusalem in the 1920s, would form “for England a ‘little loyal Jewish Ulster’ in a sea of potentially hostile Arabism”.
In the summer of 1948, whilst studying medicine in Beirut, George went back home to help organise resistance to the Zionist catastrophe that was sweeping over the Palestinian people, driving them from their ancestral homes and lands into exile and dispossession.
At this time, he and his whole family, along with 95 percent of the inhabitants of his native city, were forced out at gunpoint by the Zionist terrorists and ethnic cleansers commanded by Yitzhak Rabin. Years later, Habash was to observe:

It is a sight I shall never forget. Thousands of human beings expelled from their homes, running, crying, shouting in terror. After seeing such a thing, you cannot but become a revolutionary.

During al-Nakba, the catastrophe, more than 700,000 Palestinians were driven from their homes and lands, made stateless and refugees.
Graduating as the first in his class, Dr Habash eschewed the chance to pursue a lucrative career, opting instead to open a people’s clinic offering free treatment and a school for refugees in the Jordanian capital, Amman.
Around this same time, he and his comrades founded the Arab Nationalist Movement (ANM), the first pan-Arab movement to take up armed struggle against colonialism and to win back the lost lands.
The significance of the ANM should not be underestimated.
It was the root of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).
Not only that, but from its ranks also came revolutionary forces in many parts of the Arab homeland, including the National Liberation Front in Aden and South Yemen, which not only defeated British imperialism in a revolutionary armed struggle to win national liberation, but, later as the Yemen Socialist Party, leading the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen, stood in the vanguard of to date the only real attempt to build an Arab socialist state on the basis of the scientific principles of Marxism-Leninism and the dictatorship of the proletariat.
In the 1960s, Comrade Habash, like many other anti-imperialist fighters then, before and since, came to accept that the liberation struggle of the oppressed people, if it was to be crowned with success and carried through to the end, needed to be based on Marxism-Leninism. Lamis Andoni, an analyst for al-Jazeera, who knew Comrade Habash well, expressed matters this way in his tribute to his friend:

He belonged to a generation influenced by Franz Fanon, Mao Zedong, General Vo Nguyen Giap and later by Che Guevara. In their views, colonialism epitomised systematic, institutional violence and subjugation of people under its control …
In the early 1960s, George Habash, already a paediatrician in Amman known for treating the poor for free, endorsed Marxism as he grew convinced that the national struggle should not be separate from the struggle for social justice.

After the founding of the PFLP in December 1967, following the Arabs’ bitter defeat in the June 1967 war, Habash declared that the struggle was “not merely to free Palestine from the Zionists but also to free the Arab world from remnants” of Western colonial rule. All Arab revolutionaries, he said, “must be Marxist, because Marxism is the expression of the aspirations of the working class”.
In a 1969 interview, he declared:

By 1967, we had understood the undeniable truth, that to liberate Palestine we have to follow the Chinese and Vietnamese examples.

Indeed, Comrade Habash paid close attention not only to the Chinese and Vietnamese revolutions, but to the experience of all the socialist countries and the revolutionary movement in all parts of the world.
Cuba and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea were also two countries close to his heart and with which he and the PFLP forged tight bonds of active solidarity. In the memorial hall for Comrade Kim Il Sung in Pyongyang, the Korean comrades proudly display the several awards and medals presented to their great leader by the PFLP over the years.
Under Habash’s leadership, the PFLP forged close and active ties of combat solidarity with national liberation movements in all parts of the world – the ANC in South Africa, the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, and the Irish Republican Movement, to name but a few, embracing training, material assistance, joint operations and moral encouragement.
In the September 1970 hijackings that gave the PFLP worldwide fame, Leila Khaled was joined by Patrick Arguello Ryan, a militant of the Sandinista National Liberation Front and the only martyr of those operations.
In 1983, after the Nicaraguan revolution, the Sandinistas commemorated Arguello by renaming the Geothermal Plant at Momotombo in his honour. A poster still available on the PFLP website describes Arguello as the “symbol of common Nicaraguan/Palestinian struggle”.
Comrade Habash sought to translate into reality, and himself embodied, these inspiring words of Che Guevara, which go to the very essence of proletarian internationalism:

Let the flag under which we fight be the sacred cause of the liberation of humanity so that to die under the colours of Vietnam, Venezuela, Guatemala, Bolivia, Brazil will be equally glorious and desirable for a Latin American, an Asian, an African and even a European.

Comrades, the Palestinian revolution is a complex and difficult one, throwing up many challenges and inevitably differences of view. Equally inevitably, Comrade Habash often found himself embroiled in internal controversy, particularly in terms of the sometimes painful compromises, concessions and retreats that have been forced on the Palestinian people at various times.
But what shines out is the fact that he never lost sight of the importance of unity in the national liberation movement.
In their own tribute to their leader, the PFLP put matters this way:

In 1987, with the outbreak of the great Intifada, Dr. Habash called for upholding Palestinian national unity, and convening the Palestinian National Congress in Algeria in 1988.
Comrade Al-Hakim always understood national unity as a necessary condition for the continuation of the struggle and the national liberation movement, whether in Beirut during internal fighting among Palestinians and after as well, recognising that the internal contradictions among Palestinians could not be solved through military mechanisms, but rather through the democratic processes of the liberation movement.

Lamis Andoni, to whom we have already referred, wrote:

‘His message to the Palestinians was to restore our unity,’ Issam Al Taher, a senior aide, who saw him a day before his death said.‘Unity, unity, unity — that was his only message,’ said Al Taher.

Andoni notes of the relationship between George Habash and Yasser Arafat:

The two men never severed ties and continued a complex relationship of camaraderie and rivalry until the end.

Andoni continued:

Tall and handsome, Habash exuded a certain charisma that disarmed his distracters who admired his persistence but criticised what they saw as rigidity. A stroke that partially paralysed half of his body changed his appearance later but did not affect his ardour for the cause.
It was that Habash that I saw and met for the first time in Tunis in 1983. The PLO was expelled from Beirut too and most its leaders moved to this northern Mediterranean capital of Tunisia. Habash moved to Damascus, Syria instead.
On that day the PLO was holding a meeting. Most of the leaders had arrived and then there was a stir and silence. Habash entered slowly on crutches, hampered and subdued by his physical disability.
The hall, filled with hardened fighters, stood on their feet while Arafat hugged Habash and escorted him to his seat.

Of the final period of Habash’s life, Andoni notes:

He would get so distressed during conversations discussing the events in Palestine and most recently in Iraq, that his wife, and closest friend Hilda, would interfere to stop it.When Israel besieged Arafat in 2002 in his compound in Ramallah, Habash stood by his rival. When Arafat died, amid Palestinian suspicion that Israel may have been involved, Habash deeply mourned him.
The few times I was able to see him over the last three years, he never stopped monitoring and learning every detail about Palestinian life. His physical ailment deepened the sense of soulful pain he internalised.
Those who were with him during his last days recall how disturbed he was by the rift between Fatah and Hamas. He opposed the strategy of Mahmoud Abbas, the current Palestinian president, of accommodating US and Israeli demands but did not endorse Hamas’ military take over of Gaza.
His main concern was the damage brought upon the Palestinians by the most serious internal rift in their history.

It is not surprising, therefore, that the mourning for Comrade Habash has transcended the differences in the Palestinian ranks. President Mahmoud Abbas declared three days of national mourning, noting that Habash had dedicated his life to struggling for his people. Hamas leader Ismail Haneya said, “Dr. George Habash spent all his life struggling for the cause of the Palestinian people.”
Islamic Jihad described him as a “real leader” and other Palestinian organisations paying their tributes included the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Palestine Popular Struggle Front, who said that his path was and is one of liberation for the Palestinian and Arab people.
In its December 1967 Founding Statement, the PFLP declared:

The masses are the authority, the guide, and the resistance leadership from which victory will be achieved in the end. It is necessary to recruit the popular masses and mobilise them as active participants and leaders …
The only language that the enemy understands is the language of revolutionary violence …
The slogan of our masses must be resistance until victory, rooted in the heart with our feet planted on the ground in deep commitment to our land. Today, the Popular Front is hailing our masses with this call. This is the appeal. We must repeat it every day, through every breakthrough bullet and the fall of each martyr, that the land of Palestine today belongs to all the masses.
Every area of our land belongs to our masses who have defended it against the presence of the usurper, every piece of land, every rock and stone, our masses will not abandon one inch of them because they belong to the legions of the poor and hungry and displaced persons …
The struggle of the Palestinian people is linked with the struggle of the forces of revolution and progress in the world, the format of the coalition that we face requires a corresponding … coalition including all the forces of anti-imperialism in every part of the world.

Much more can be said on the life, work and legacy of Comrade Habash, but in summary these are some of the things he advocated and taught:
• That the fundamental way to liberation lies through armed struggle and people’s war based on the masses.
• That for the struggle to be successful and carried through to the end it needs to be based on Marxism-Leninism, the scientific world outlook of the working class.
• That the oppressed peoples must uphold proletarian internationalism in their struggle for liberation, based on militant unity within and between the three major currents of the world revolutionary process, the socialist countries, the national liberation movements, and the working-class movement in the imperialist heartlands.
• That the liberation of the nation necessitated the principled and democratic unity of all the forces of the nation, even though major differences will also exist and must be struggled over.
Clearly, all these are not just lessons for the Palestinian people alone.
In June 2000, age and ill health led Comrade Habash to step back from the day-to-day leadership of the PFLP. Giving an inspiring speech on that occasion, in many respects he wrote his own epitaph. He told his comrades:

What I have lived through over the course of these militant decades, and the rich experience I have acquired, is not a matter to be taken for granted. It is your right, and the right of coming generations to review the content and lessons of this experience with all of its many successes and failures.

As befits a man who gave all of his own life and strength to the revolution, Comrade Habash said of the martyrs, the prisoners and his comrades, and it is with Comrade Habash’s own words, from his farewell address, Palestine Between Dreams and Reality, that we conclude this tribute:

I remember each of the martyrs, one by one, and without exception – those martyrs to whom we are indebted, for whom we must continue the struggle, holding fast to the dream and holding fast to hope, and protecting the rights of the people for whom they shed their blood. Their children and their families have a right to be honoured and cared for. This is the least we can do for those blazing stars in the skies of our homeland.
I also remember now the heroic prisoners in the jails of the occupation and the prisons of the Palestinian Authority – those militants who remind us morning and night of our patriotic duty by the fact that they are still there behind bars and by the fact that the occupation still squats on our chests. Each prisoner deserves the noblest signs of respect …
Now permit me to express my gratitude to all the comrades who have worked with me and helped me, whether in the Arab Nationalist Movement or in the Popular Front. They stood beside me during the hardest conditions and the darkest of times, and they were a great help and support for me. Without them I would not have been able to carry out my responsibilities.
They have been true comrades, in all that the word implies. Those comrades helped to create a congenial atmosphere, an environment of political, theoretical, and intellectual interaction that enabled me to do all that was required. Those comrades have a big place in my heart and mind.
I offer all my thanks and appreciation to each one of them by name. In addition, to the comrades who vigilantly guarded me, looking out for my safety, all these long years, I offer my gratitude …
As a last word, I feel it necessary to say that I know well that the goals for which I worked and struggled have not yet been attained. And I cannot say how or when they will be attained. But on the other hand, I know in light of my study of the march of history in general, and of Arab and Palestinian history in particular, that they will be attained.
In spite of this bitter truth, I leave my task as General Secretary of the Front with a contented mind and conscience. My conscience is content because I did my duty and worked with the greatest possible effort and with complete and deep sincerity. My mind is content because throughout my working years, I continually based myself on the practice of self-criticism.
It is important to say also that I will pay close attention to all your observations and assessments of the course taken by the Popular Front while I was its General Secretary. I must emphasise that with the same close attention, if not with greater attention, I will follow and take to heart the observations and assessments of the Palestinian and Arab people on this course and my role in it.
My aim in this closing speech has been to say to you – and not only to you, but to all the detainees, or those who experienced detention, to the families of the martyrs, to the children of the martyrs, to those who were wounded, to all who sacrificed and gave for the cause – that your sacrifice has not been in vain.
The just goals and legitimate rights which they have struggled and given their lives for will be attained, sooner or later. I say again that I don’t know when, but they will be attained.
And my aim, again and again, is to emphasise the need for you to persist in the struggle to serve our people, for the good of all Palestinians and Arabs – the good that lies in a just and legitimate cause, as it does in the realisation of the good for all those who are oppressed and wronged.
You must always be of calm mind, and of contented conscience, with a strong resolve and a steel will, for you have been and still are in the camp of justice and progress, the camp whose just goals will be attained and which will inevitably attain its legitimate rights. For these are the lessons of history and reality, and no right is lost as long as there is someone fighting for it.

Notes

1. Ashok. May 2006. Our Experiences of Ten Tumultuous Years of People’s War, The Worker#10, pp. 68-73. On Lenin and Mao , p. 71.
2. Basanta. May 2006. International Dimension of Prachanda Path. The Worker #10, pp. 82-90.
3. Ibid. On Models: Page 87.
4. Kishor Nepal. June 2006. Prachanda Interview. Maoist Revolution Digest.
5. Alessandro Gilioli. Early November 2006. Prachanda: Our Revolution Won . Italy: L’espresso. Excerpts.
6. Prachanda. November 18, 2006. Democracy: The Forbidden Fruit or Nectar for Progress? Speech at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit in New Delhi.
7. MLM Revolutionary Study Group in the U.S. Dec. 21, 2006. Assessing Recent Developments in Nepal: A Bibliography on the State, a Peaceful Transition to Socialism, Democracy and Dictatorship, Negotiations and Their Relevance to the International Communist Movement in the 21st Century.

The Yezidis – A Mysterious Kurdish Religious Sect

About two years after the publication of this post, I wrote an update to this article, Do the Yezidis Worship the Devil? which goes into much more detail about the religion.
Since hardly anyone has any idea about who or what the Yezidis of Northern Iraq are, an introduction is in order. The Yezidis are a minority religious group that lives in Northern Iraq, Eastern Turkey, Eastern Syria, Armenia, Northwestern Iran, Georgia, Russia and Germany.
Some estimates put the number of Yezidis at 100,000. However, Yezidi spokesmen say there are 600,000 Yezidis, mostly in Iraq. Other estimates put the number of Yezidis as high as 2 million. There are 10,000 Yezidi refugees in Germany. German Yezidis have created a home page to help introduce others to their religion, but unfortunately it is all in German.
The Yezidis are more of a religious than an ethnic grouping. All Yezidis are Kurds and they all speak Kurdish. In Iraq, most of them live north of Mosul and in the Sinjar Mountains near the Syrian border. There are also Yezidis in Tel Afar, Mosul and the city of Sinjar. Iraq’s Yezidis are seizing Iraq’s democratic moment to press for their rights for the first time.
Yezidis have long been persecuted by Muslims as heathens and devil-worshipers. Although it’s true that the Yezidis worship a peacock angel they call Lucifer, they are basically good, upstanding, moral people. They are not in any way analogous to the actual devil-worshipers who exist in the West, like Anton Levay’s Church of Satan (COS), etc.
Yezidis do not believe in Heaven or Hell and they do not regard Satan, who they regard as the Chief of the Angels, as evil. Instead, he is sacred. The Yezidis feel the Devil created the world and is de facto in charge right now. From the perspective of my life at the moment, those scenarios seem distinctly possible.
Yezidis are allowed to eat pork, unlike Muslims. But bizarrely, they cannot eat lettuce (because the Kurdish word for lettuce rhymes with their word for devil) or wear yellow. This dietary code is not often followed these days. The restriction on eating lettuce may have been due to outbreaks of E. Coli.
Like the Zoroastrians, Yezidis do not accept converts – a tendency which may result in the end of Yezidism with time. Yezidism shares many things with Zoroastrianism, and some commenters regard it as either a Zoroastrian sect or a religion with roots in Zoroastrianism.
My opinion is that a synthesis between Zoroastrianism, Islam, Judaism and pre-religious paganism is more accurate. It is likely the Yezidism predates all of these – Zoroastrianism, Islam and Judaism – in fact, it may be one of the oldest extant human religions.
Somewhat similar to the caste system of Hinduism, another ancient religion, Yezidis have seven levels of initiation, or classes. The classes are princes, sheiks, senators, seers, ascetics and the community of the faithful. The large faith community class makes up 70% of the community.
This split, with a small elite sect who retain most of the (oral) knowledge of the religion and a large majority of mere followers who are kept in the dark about most of the religion, is also similar to other “secret” religions in the area, including the Sabeans, the Druze and Alawi.
The Alawi of Syrian and Lebanon are a highly divergent Shia sect, a split-off from the extremist Nusairi split early in the history of Shiism. Although the Druze call themselves Muslims, it is probable that they are not Muslims at all, since their religion is so divergent. Instead, like Bahaism, the Druze religion is more properly considered to be related to Islam, rather than part of Islam proper.
The Druze date back to the 1100’s and also seem to be the result of a Shia split, similar to the split that birthed Alawism. Both sects persisted via extreme tribalism, refusing intermarriage, accepting no converts, keeping their religion secret, pretending to be Muslims to avoid persecution while still practicing the religion in secret, and especially, seeking shelter in the difficult, mountainous terrain of the Levant.
The Sabeans or Mandeans of Iraq are probably the last remains of the ancient Gnostic religion; they may also be former Diasporic Sephardic Jews who split off from Judaism in Iraq around the year 600. The Mandeans also worship the North Star, revere John the Baptist and consider Jesus Christ as the font of all evil on Earth!
In Yezidism, marriage across classes is strictly forbidden, again reminiscent of Hinduism. However, people do marry across caste nonetheless. Although the new Iraqi regime is basically a puppet regime of US colonialism, at least the Yezidis do have three members of the new Iraqi Parliament, all elected on the Kurdish list.
Saddam’s regime persecuted the Yezidis first for being Kurds and second for their religion as they were viewed as heathens. Yes, Saddam’s regime was not completely secular. Under Saddam’s extremely racist, fascist-like, Sunni Arab Nationalist regime, Yezidis, Kurds, Assyrians, Shia and Turkomen were all persecuted by the Ba’ath Party.
For instance, Assyrian Christians were denied an identity by the Baath and referred to as “Kurdish Christians”. The Baath forbade the use of the Assyrian or Turkoman languages in the schools. Yezidi religious studies have been banned in Iraq since 1963, the year of the Baathist coup.
In its censuses, Baathist Arab nationalist racists called the Yezidis “an Arabic people”, clearly a falsehood. Saddam’s racist Arab regime engaged in ethnic cleansing of the Yezidis on several occasions. Usually, the Yezidis were driven off their land onto other lands, and their land was given to nearby Arabs.
In 1978, 126 Yezidi villages in Sinjar were “collectivized” into 10 villages while 10 villages near Dahuk were destroyed and the villagers were forced into another village. The new villages created for the Yezidis lacked even basic health care, and it was hard to earn a living. Arab invaders who colonized Yezidi lands forbade the Yezidi from herding animals, and the new villages the Yezidis were pushed into lacked decent pasture.
In 1997, two Yezidi teachers from Elqush were arrested by Saddam’s intelligence services and tortured until they agreed to stop teaching the Yezidi religion.
In the same year, in Ayn Sufna, Baathists stole 1,500 Yezidi properties and gave them to Arab and Kurdish tribes in the region. Saddam’s army surrounded a Yezidi village in 2000, but left after the Yezidis staged a defiant demonstration.
In the no-fly zones formed by the allies in the Kurdish Regional Government area of Iraq instituted after the Gulf War, the Yezidis have fared much better than they did under Saddam.
They liberated many villages that were seized by Arab colonists and today in school, classes in the Yezidi religion are even taught in areas where there are good numbers of Yezidi pupils. However, since the US invasion, the Yezidi situation in some ways has worsened.
The entire north of Iraq has come under the control of Kurdish racist fascist parties, the KDP and PUK. These parties are lately promoting a sort of Kurdish Sunni racism which attacks Sunni and Shia Arabs, Shia, Christian and Yezidi Kurds and Assyrian Christians – in short, everyone who is not a Sunni Kurd.
The racist Sunni Kurds succeeded in preventing large numbers of all of these groups from voting in the election in February 2005.
In the case of the Yezidis, Kurdish racists never even allowed polling stations to open in a number of Yezidi zones. Racist Sunni Kurds have been attacking and ethnically cleansing Assyrian Christian villages in the north for decades now, a process which accelerated when the Allies granted the Kurds their Kurdish Zone in 1991.
This is a continuation of long-standing Kurdish Sunni Muslim racism against Assyrian Christians extending back to the 1920’s. In that decade, Kurdish Muslims gleefully slaughtered huge numbers of Assyrians in a naked display of Islamist bigotry that reached genocidal proportions.
Formally, the Yezidi religion was founded in the 1100’s by Sheikh Uday bin Masafel al-Amawi. Uday was born in Damascus but died in Shaikan in northern Iraq. His tomb in Shaikan is now Yezidism’s holiest site. As noted above, many scholars trace Yezidism to one of the world’s oldest extant religions, Zoroastrianism, founded in ancient Persia.
Traditionally, Yezidism is variously regarded as either an offshoot of Zoroastrianism or Shia Islam. Those who say the Yezidis are Shia hold that they are an extreme Shia “Sevener” Ismaili sect similar to the Druze and the Alawi (see discussion of the Alawi and Druze above).
A better analysis is to regard Yezidism as a syncretic mix between Zoroastrianism and Shia Islam.
Others note Judaic traits in the Yezidis; some suggest that the Yezidis are former Jews who broke away from Judaism and formed a new religion. Indeed, some theorists that the Kurds in general are former Jews. See Rabbi Joe Katz’s Eretzyisroel site for more on that interesting theory, which may have some validity.
The best analysis would leaven the Zoroastrian-Shia syncretism of Yezidism with dollops of Judaism and tablespoons of ancient paganism, while noting the Yezidism is probably older than any of its parts, except for the pagan.
Oddly enough, the Yezidis have a monk and nun class, men and women who dress in white and have taken a vow of celibacy. Yezidis are also said to be sun worshipers, in another similarity with Zoroastrianism.
A famous Yezidi, Sharfadin, has a tomb in Sinjar. Sharfadin also serves as a personified sun god. Note that sun-worship is one of the most ancient of human religious tenets, dating back to the Egyptians and probably beyond.
The leader of the Yezidis is a prince called mir, or mireh shekha. The Yezidi religion is passed down orally through families and officially, there are no Yezidi religious texts. However, closer analysis seems to reveal that there are a couple of Yezidi holy books, but they are hidden by followers, and their existence is denied to outsiders.
Outsiders have somehow managed to get a hold of a couple of copies of these holy texts, or at least parts of them, and they have been published, both in print and on the Internet. Some say that these supposed Yezidi holy texts are actually fakes, and that no extant holy texts exist, as all knowledge is oral.
I glanced through the material in these texts along with an analysis of them. Shall we say that Yezidism is an immensely complex religion and that this article does not begin to tickle out an understanding of it?
Kakaism is another Kurdish sect that is very similar to Yezidism. It arose 1000 years ago in northern Iraq due to conflicts between the Umayyad rulers of Islam and the Zoroastrian priesthood. Kakais, like Yezidis, are forbidden from cursing Satan on religious grounds. Hence, many Muslims see them, like the Yezidis, as devil-worshipers. There are 300,000 Kakais in Kurdistan.
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