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Analysis & Polemic

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

"Beyond the Undifferentiated Mass

Diversity in Islam for Absolute Beginners"

Paul Bowman

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


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

Anonymous Comrade writes:

"Fireflies in the Night"

In a Corner of the Sky

The old


Shuts her bleary eyes.

The new


Wants to paint the night


(in the fir trees on the mountain:


- Federico Garcia Lorca

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

Carol Spooner writes:

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

Dear All,

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

Kermit Snelson" writes "Interview with Gunter Grass

Der Spiegel, 10 October 2001

http://www.spiegel.de/kultur/gesellschaft/0,1518,1 61444,00.html

(Translated from German by Kermit Snelson)

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

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

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

SPIEGEL ONLINE: And how civil is this military attack?

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

Read the rest of this translation at openflows.org."

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


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

After the Attack: The War on Terrorism

The Editors of Monthly Review, November 2001

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

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

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

http://www.narconews.com/zmarcosfourthworldwar.htm l

The 4th World War

By Subcomandante Marcos

The following text is an excerpt from a talk given by
Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos of the Zapatista Army
for National Liberation (EZLN) to the International
Civil Commission of Human Rights Observation in La
Realidad, Chiapas, Mexico, on November 20, 1999.

Translated by irlandesa
The Restructuring of War

As we see it, there are several constants in the
so-called world wars, in the First World War, in the
Second, and in what we call the Third and Fourth.

One of these constants is the conquest of territories
and their reorganization.

If you consult a map of the world you can see that
there were changes at the end of all of the world
wars, not only in the conquest of territories, but in
the forms of organization. After the First World War,
there was a new world map, after the Second World War,
there was another world map.

At the end of what we venture to call the "Third World
War," and which others call the Cold War, a conquest
of territories and a re-organization took place. It
can, broadly speaking, be situated in the late 80's,
with the collapse of the socialist camp of the Soviet
Union, and, by the early 90's, what we call the Fourth
World War can be discerned.

Full story is at

http://www.narconews.com/zmarcosfourthworldwar.ht ml


[This is an expanded version of an article excerpted
from Propaganda Review (Winter 1987-88).
Subscriptions: $20/yr. (4 issues) from Media Alliance,
Fort Mason, Bldg. D, San Francisco, CA 94123. This
article was drawn from an interview conducted by David
Barsamian of KGNU-Radio in Boulder, Colorado
(cassettes available for sale; write David Barsamian,
1415 Dellwood, Boulder, CO 80302), and an essay from
Chomsky's book Radical Priorities, edited by C.P.
Otero (1984). Black Rose Books, 3981 Boulevard St.
Laurent, Montral H2W 1Y5, Quebec, Canada.]

Propaganda, American-Style

by Noam Chomsky

Pointing to the massive amounts of propaganda spewed
by government and institutions around the world,
observers have called our era the age of Orwell. But
the fact is that Orwell was a latecomer on the scene.
As early as World War I, American historians offered
themselves to President Woodrow Wilson to carry out a
task they called "historical engineering," by which
they meant designing the facts of history so that they
would serve state policy. In this instance, the U.S.
government wanted to silence opposition to the war.
This represents a version of Orwell's 1984, even
before Orwell was writing.

In 1921, the famous American journalist Walter
Lippmann said that the art of democracy requires what
he called the "manufacture of consent." This phrase is
an Orwellian euphemism for thought control. The idea
is that in a state such as the U.S. where the
government can't control the people by force, it had
better control what they think. The Soviet Union is at
the opposite end of the spectrum from us in its
domestic freedoms. It's essentially a country run by
the bludgeon. It's very easy to determine what
propaganda is in the USSR: what the state produces is


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