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Analysis & Polemic

YearZeroMagazine UK writes:

The Shadow Show

If you wanted to control the media,if you wanted to make sure debate was held at a minimum, what would you do? You could try the old Soviet trick of burning books, smashing down doors and taking people away. But most times people see that. They can hear the screams, smell the smoke, see the fire. Now sure you can still get away with this in both the pro and anti-coalition countiries. In antagonist and alllied states like Algeria, Iran or Indonesia they prefer the firey version of suppression. Of course it would never do for a country like ours, or the US. But not because our governments and elites desire free speech, because our governments and elites prefer a show of free speech. The two ideas are very different.

For a start play heavily with words. Call the US and the UK `democracies` when every ancient Athenian worth their salt would be turning in their graves at such an idea. Once you call `our` countries democracies then of course, by inference, other countries are not. Of course this totally dispenses with the word `oligarchy`. An oligarchy is a state, elected, voted or not, where a smallish group of people control most of the power. This is the UK, even more so in the USA.

Louis Lingg writes: "Submitted for your consideration, amusement, amazement and edification: in an editorial on November 5 the hard-right ideologues at the New York Post call for the withdrawal of US support to the Saudi kingdom.

They even suggest that wealth from vast Saudi oil revenues be placed in a trust administered to benefit the Islamic world.

Is the demise of the spoiled princelings something the Western Left and Right, as well as moderate muslims and their jehadi cousins can all agree?"

jim writes: "Writing some twenty years ago on the theme of “simulation of opposition” in too-late capitalism, and the “law of equivalence” in the “advanced democratic” political systems, radical French theorist Jean Baudrillard picked Manhattan’s World Trade Towers to illustrate his point.

An excerpt from Jean Baudrillard, Simulations, translated by Paul Foss, Paul Patton and Phil Beitchman (New York: Semiotext[e], 1983):

“Why are there two towers at New York’s World Trade Center? All of Manhattan’s great buildings were always happy enough to confront each other in a competitive verticality, the result of which is an architectural panorama in the image of the capitalist system: as pyramidal jungle, all of the buildings attacking each other. The system profiled itself in a celebrated image that you had of New York when you arrived there by boat. This image has completely changed in the last few years. The effigy of the capitalist system has passed from the pyramid to the perforated card. Buildings are no longer suspicious one of the other, like columns in a statistical graph. This new architecture incarnates a system that is no longer competitive, but compatible, and where competition has disappeared for the benefit of the correlations. (New York is the world’s only city therefore that retraces all along it’s history, and with a prodigious fidelity and in all its scope, the actual form of the capitalistic system—it changes instantly in function of the latter. No European city does so.) This architectural graphism is that of the monopoly; the two W.T.C. towers, perfect parallelepideds a quarter-mile high on a square base, perfectly balanced and blind communicating vessels. The fact that there are two of them signifies the end of all competition, the end of all original reference. Paradoxically, if there were only one, the monopoly would not be incarnated because we have seen how it stabilizes on a dual form. For the sign to be pure, it has to duplicate itself: it is the duplication of the sign that destroys its meaning. This is what Andy Warhol demonstrates also: the multiple replicas of Marilyn’s face are there to show at the same time the death of the original and the end of representation. The two towers of the W.T.C.are the visible sign of the closure of the system in a vertigo of duplication while the other skyscrapers are each of the them the original moment of a system constantly transcending itself in a perpetual crisis and self-challenge.

hydrarchist writes: "
... the following article was written by two respected Republicans who have each served long sentences for Irish republican activity. They are also representative of the section of the movement which has most radically reorientated itself towards social radicality and an embrace of a concept of republicanism which goes far beyond the limits of nationalism. There is a lot of spin around the negoiations in Ireland and anyone interested in the subject is strongly advised to treat only the official statements of the protagonists as indicative of current thinking. In tis context, Gerry Adams speech just before last weeks act of decommissioning, and the IRA statement which accompanied the same act are important documents.

Other articles and analysis by these two commentators and otheres are available from Fourthwrite and The Blanket.

Tommy Gorman & Anthony McIntyre

Belfast Irish News, 3 November 2001

In the immediate wake of Provisional IRA decommissioning the Continuity IRA launched a 1971 style bomb attack against a RUC base in West Belfast. On the same day a former loyalist prisoner was killed in front of his partner in Strabane. There have been suggestions that others from the physical force tradition were responsible for this. Alex Maskey and Pat Doherty of Sinn Fein quickly condemned both attacks. Perhaps those who carried them out will only take consolation from that condemnation feeling that such activity is one up the nose for Sinn Fein.

Anonymous Comrade offers: "(actually Fidel Castro says--with some "editing" by the Anonymous Comrade) After 26 days of relentless bombing, those who have been following
events from day to day can see that what has happened up until now is
exactly as we predicted.

The war began inexorably. We knew that it was extremely unlikely,
practically impossible, that it would not happen. Nevertheless, this
has not led us, either before or after, to become discouraged or
renounce our stance.

An Anonymous Comrade says, "This is a personal testimony written by a U.S. citizen living in India.
It's long, and emotional but definitely worth reading..."

Dear friends,

Everything I hear from "back home" suggests that visual images of the pale
corpses of seven (need I say civilian?) babies and children killed two
days ago by yet another US "smart bomb" explosion in residential Kabul are
not making it onto American television screens. Nor the visual coverage of
Jalalabad, Kabul and Kandahar hospitals presently flooded with innocent
Afghan civilians burned, maimed, disfigured and dying from direct US bomb
explosions on their homes. Nor the picture of an orphaned Afghan baby
whose face is half skin, half shrapnel from a US bomb, that greeted me on
the Telugu news station (not a CNN affiliate) when I woke up this morning.

Everything I hear coming out of the US seems to support Harper's Magazine
publisher John Macarthur's recent comment that the current US aggression
in Afghanistan is "the most censored war." When I turn on CNN (we do have
a television in the flat where I live in Hyderabad, but the neighborhood
monkeys sometimes tear up the wires, so it doesn't always work), I see
affirmation of that which is rapidly making the US "free press" the shame
of the international media community. Parochialism of fantastic
proportions, 10 second soundbytes at the expense of context and substance,
all-terror-all-the-time (as one friend of mine put it), and most insidious
in the current context, shameful dependence on and uncritical acceptance
of Pentagon handouts instead of substantial, critical coverage of the
ground situation in Afghanistan.

"If I told you I thought the world was controlled by a handful of capitalists and corporate bosses, you would say I was a left-winger,” an anarchist black blocker told pravda.ru at a recent demonstration against the Afghanistan War. “But if I told you who I though the capitalists and corporate bosses were, you’d say I was far right,” the bandana-clad youth added with a wink.

The masked gutter punk was not alone. His perspective -- a broad blend of left-wing socialism and far-right nationalist and libertarian views – has been slowly infiltrating both extremes of the political spectrum, particularly in the anti-globalist movement, and has been leading to a new synthesis of doctrine – “beyond left and right” – that is coalescing around a number of tendencies – national anarchism, social nationalism, national bolshevism – that some are calling the fastest growing ideological movement on the fringe.

Though significantly divergent in their beliefs, these ideologies are at the core of what is being called the “Third Position” – a collection of radical anti-capitalist, anti-globalist and anti-imperialist views that that are outspoken in their rejection of the corporate state, of social democracy, of Marxism, and of Zionism.

But just as these ideologies are gaining more adherents, they are also becoming the target of more disinformation, as the extreme Old Left-ists of the anti-globalist movement call conferences to attack these ideas, and as the self-righteous defenders of neo-liberalism try to force these doctrines’ square peg into their round hole of “hate” and “fascism”. Decadence is fighting back, but as the proponents of these ideas steadily resist being labeled as “far right” by the defenders of the neo-liberal corporate-socialist status quo, the globalist power structure has found itself in a boxing match with a body of water.

Bill White's full story is at http://english.pravda.ru/usa/2001/11/03/20022.html"

"Electronic lobotomies continue apace. The subject pool has expanded from a few dozen people to a couple of billion. The driving messages have become more sophisticated: cryptic, alluring, alarming. They are no longer called implants. They are called ads."

Interview with Günter Grass

Der Spiegel, 10 October 2001

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

(Translated from German by Kermit Snelson)

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

Günter 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?

Günter 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.

On October 31, the National Journal posted the following item, #6,
on its daily briefing (NJ Hotline):

FLORIDA FALLOUT: Just A Mere One Year Late

http://nationaljournal.com/pubs/hotline/h011031.ht m#6>  

Final data from the media consortium's recount of the state of FL presidential results will be delivered to members of the consortium on 11/5. And according to various sources, the data will be made public on 11/11 or 11/12.

After the attack on September 11, the seven corporate members of the media Consortium announced that they would be unable to report the results of the Florida presidential ballot study because the war on terrorism would monopolize the time and attention of their political reporters. Richard Berke of The New York Times and Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post each wrote that their Consortium member employers did not feel any urgency to publish the results because the terrorist attacks had made the Florida election dispute "unimportant". On October 17, MakeThemAccountable interviewed Craig Coelen of the National Opinion Research Center (NORC), which conducted the ballot coding and data accumulation for the Consortium. At that time, just two weeks ago, Coelen said that the Consortium might get back to the project, "around the first of the year".

Now, there is an announcement that the Consortium has decided to release the results by November 12.


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