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Thinking for Ourselves about "Terrorism"

charleslb
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9/5/2014 4:42:43 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Do you feel the conditioning? What with the U.S. Currently reaping the evil its recent invasion and occupation of Iraq has sown in the form of a "terrorist" army's bid to take over that country, the American mass media are utterly in overdrive conditioning our psyches to lock onto "terrorism" as their focal fear. "Terrorism" is indeed the new thought-terminating evil ism, replacing "communism" as the menacing global force bent on the wanton destruction of our benign way of life which we should all uncritically rally around the flag to righteously oppose.

Well, the conventional wisdom that the news media and government is purveying certainly works out to psychologically gear us for fear, for the kind of existential insecurity that will make us promptly and unwittingly retreat into the protective embrace of the national security state, of the Department of Fatherland (oops, I mean Homeland) security, of the DDO-corporate complex, of increasingly militarized police agencies, and so on. In short, we're being taught to love Big Brother because he's only there to keep us safe from the fanatical foreign Other. Truman and the rogues gallery of Cold-War era presidents had the "reds" to justify their warmongering and the CIA's many and various crimes; Herr Hitler also had communists, and of course the Jews, to exploit as justifications for his unspeakable crimes, and today we have "terrorists" and "Islamists".

If we dare to suspend our credulous consumption of the conventional thinking promoted by the likes of CNN and Newsweek (and the movies and TV "dramas" in whose alternate reality "terrorists" are ubiquitous and worthy adversaries of a superpower such as the U.S.!) , and to engage our critical faculties, that the powers that be have ulterior motives for propagating the fear and loathing of "terrorism" is virtually a truism, a given. Waging a war against "terrorism" clearly does serve nicely as a pretext for military spending, for military aggressions that enrich and extend the hegemony of corporate elites, for expanding the powers of spy and law enforcement agencies to systematically violate our right to privacy and due process, for the covert villainies of the CIA, etc. So of course the media component of the big business-big government-military-media complex must do its part and inculcate a worldview in which the biggest baddest bogeyman, the most monumental evil on the planet; and, shades of the McCarthy era, lurking behind virtually every bush, is al-Qaeda!

But certainly 9/11 did happen, and the decapitation of journalists isn't a very nice thing to do, despite my use of scare quotes terrorism isn't an entirely fabricated-out-of-whole-cloth fiction, we can't very well afford to omit it from our worldview. So how then would terrorism be interpreted in a more realistic, critical, and conscientisized worldview?

1. Firstly, as already touched on, "terrorism" would be recognized as a both a real phenomenon and also a modern ideological trope that's hyped and exploited as an effective fear tactic, a casus belli, and a facile moral justification, highly serviceable for manipulating the consent of the American public to imperialistic wars/occupations; to the use of repression and military-police violence by Third-World client governments ostensibly engaged in the good fight against "terrorism" but in actuality engaged in enforcing the order of the plutocratic world-system; to the erosion of our traditional civil rights and liberties; to the evolution of a system of social control that may still retain some slight semblance of, but certainly none of the substance of, a democratic form of political life (not that the truth be told we've ever actually had a terribly substantial democracy to boast of); ultimately to the end of living and the beginning of existing, Third-World style, for all but a relatively small elite.

2. "Terrorism" quite arguably should also be viewed as an economic and social justice issue ("It's the economy, stupid!"). That is, it's in large measure a product of and fueled by the crying lack of economic and social justice in developing countries; by the material poverty, immiseration, and disenfranchisement of the Third World's huddled masses. And the core (rich) countries and elites of the world-system, to a culpable extent enjoying global economic supremacy, through the imposition of neoliberal "reforms" and governments that function as their compradors, are indeed the primary guilty parties generating the suffering that drives some to take up arms. Yes, it's the overaccumulating ways of our capitalist ruling class and our middle-class consumerism wreaking reprehensible human and ecological consequences in the countries that we exercise hegemony over that's the answer to the question "Why do they hate us?".

That is, "terrorism" is a manifestation of righteous anger, not envy; of an understandable reaction against the egregious inequities of the global status quo, not a form of reactionary insanity. A guerrilla style of resistance and "terrorism" is merely the poor man's way of waging war against the vastly superior forces of the world-system and its bulwark, the United States. Genuine terrorism, i.e. violence intentionally directed at innocent civilians, is simply one of the illegitimate excesses of a legitimate and laudable armed struggle for liberation. But of course we're programmed to view it as pure villainy, even though our own unprincipled, profit-motivated wars tend to rack up "collateral" casualties in the hundreds of thousands.

Well, "terrorism" looks to us to be pure and abject villainy because our mainstream news media (in the words of an old song) accentuates the negative, the extremism and religious bigotry of "Islamists", for instance; and eliminates the positive, the so-called "terrorist's" desire to free his society from the dominion of a transnational capitalist system that condemns it to indigence and dependency. The whole social and political justice dimension of "terrorist" struggles is given virtually no shrift at all even though it quite often, as in the case of the Palestinian struggle for freedom, is obvious and glaring. Instead the focus is entirely on the fanaticism and fundamentalism of "jihadists", their medievalism and anti-Westernism and sexism and whatnot. This one-sided portrayal leaves the average Westerner feeling morally superior to backward and bigoted "militants" and inclined to support a hard line against them, rather than the kind of sympathetic and constructive response that might perhaps make us somewhat less of a target.

In brief, if we wish to be a part of the solution rather than the problem, we need to cultivate a worldview that pays more critical attention to the socioeconomic factors breeding "terrorism". It's our rape of the Third World that has impregnated it with "radicalism", until we own up to this our attempts to stamp out "terrorism" will be in bad faith and to not much avail.

3. Perhaps we might also interpret "terrorism" in Toynbeean terms of the dynamics of the encounter of vulnerable societies with a technologically dominant civilization. That is, the rise of "terrorism" in Third-World societies in the process of being assimilated by the world-system and the Western, American, late-capitalist form of civilization of its core, dominant nations can be interpreted as a zealotic response. Yes, "zealot" isn't a terribly flattering term, however Toynbee's zealot is not merely an irrational fanatic; rather, he's someone with and reacting out of a realistic sense of his culture's endangered status, of the prospect of its assimilation-beyond-recognition and extinction. The stakes of the zealot's "culture war" are quite real indeed, and his struggle is for genuine cultural and political self-determination.

continued below
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
charleslb
Posts: 4,740
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9/5/2014 4:44:39 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Conclusion

A right that we claim to recognize, until honoring it conflicts with the interests of our economic and political establishment.

At any rate, shouldn't anyone with a substantial, world-historical culture to preserve (such as, say, a Muslim) be opposed in a zealotic fashion to adapting to the current world-system and its late-capitalist "civilization"? To state the case against our "civilization" briefly, its "technological understanding of life", to borrow Heidegger's terminology, supplants humanistic values; its materialism marginalizes spirituality; it has no concept of authentic human happiness, utterly confusing it with hedonistic pleasure; consequently it mass produces poignantly unfulfilled and alienated individuals who seek to fill and assuage the hollowness of modern life with sex, drugs, money, possessions, and pop culture. A pop culture that has liberated itself from the kind of sexism behind the custom of making women wear burqas, only to go to the other wrong extreme of wantonly sexually objectifying women's bodies to sell everything from condoms to hamburgers. An increasingly dumbed-down, crass, cheaply sensationalistic, and downright pornographic pop culture. A pop culture driven by capitalist values and whose purveyors have absolutely no discernible sense of social responsibility (the capitalist's simplistic bottom-line mentality is that if sensationalism is what sells why produce programming that intellectually and aesthetically elevates an audience?). A pop culture unabashedly in the forefront of social and cultural decay.

Well, combine this sordid and bleak cultural state of affairs with the bigger picture of hegemony that American cultural imperialism is merely one aspect of and is it really any wonder that devout Muslims, Catholics, Hindus, et al., have become increasingly zealous in their opposition to the creeping Americanization of their societies? An interpretation of "terrorism" that appreciates the cultural issues and existential insecurities of the zealot, rather than dismissing them as mere fundamentalist bigotry, would certainly be more constructive.

4. Or, we can remain self-righteously entrenched in our own bigotry, refusing to consider the "terrorist's" point of view and painting him as a feral fiend who can't be negotiated, reasoned, or empathized with. But if our project is the formulation of an open and fair-minded worldview we must refuse to go in for such a demonization and own the fact that for "civilized" "good guys" we're a heck of a lot more lethal than feral "terrorists"! Well, apparently ISIS has achieved a death toll of 200,000, but estimates of the cost in human lives of the U.S.' invasion/occupation range from 600,000 (Lancet) to 1.2 million (ORB). And then of course there's the enormous murder toll of the sanctions that kept Saddam in check before the unnecessary invasion. America is clearly the superior life taker, and it's chutzpahic hypocrisy for commentators and U.S. officials to moralize against the atrocities of "terrorists". If we were genuinely moral, genuinely cared about the lives of innocent Iraqi civilians we wouldn't have snuffed so many of them. And as for the "medieval" barbarism of ISIS, beheading journalists and whatnot, I'd wager that American artillery and bombs created more than one headless corpse. The upshot is that our worldview needs to include an honest recognition and acknowledgment of our own hypocrisy.

Developing such a self-critical and insightful worldview is indeed the real first step toward ending the modern scourge of terrorism. But alas our jingoistic egos and media much prefer to cast us in the role of sterling champions of decency and democracy, and our "terrorist" foes in the role of inhuman monsters; the media also has a counterproductive MO of feeding on and into fear (just this morning it treated an "unresponsive" private plane whose pilot had simply died at the controls as a potential terror attack, covering it like a major breaking story!) rather than promoting rationality; and our leaders, well, they have a vested interest in encouraging our black-and-white and fearful mentality and perpetuating "the war on terror". Yes, "terrorism" will probably remain a feature of modern life for quite some time to come.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
charleslb
Posts: 4,740
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9/5/2014 11:48:06 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/5/2014 6:25:44 PM, AnDoctuir wrote:
Great read, Charles. Bravo, and thank you.

And thank you for the kind feedback.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
charleslb
Posts: 4,740
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9/6/2014 12:36:14 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Hmm, not much feedback yet. Perhaps my point of view isn't really all that controversial.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
Greyparrot
Posts: 14,288
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9/6/2014 8:00:18 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
I'd agree with most of that post Charles, but many groups labeled as "terrorist" also commit atrocities on non-imperialist nations and other people in their own native land.

I'd submit the true terrorist as you describe may have been obfuscated and hijacked by some groups such as ISIS.
Greyparrot
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9/6/2014 8:01:19 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/5/2014 11:48:06 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 9/5/2014 6:25:44 PM, AnDoctuir wrote:
Great read, Charles. Bravo, and thank you.

And thank you for the kind feedback.

Still a great read though.
charleslb
Posts: 4,740
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9/6/2014 4:09:28 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/6/2014 8:00:18 AM, Greyparrot wrote:
I'd agree with most of that post Charles, but many groups labeled as "terrorist" also commit atrocities on non-imperialist nations and other people in their own native land.

I'd submit the true terrorist as you describe may have been obfuscated and hijacked by some groups such as ISIS.

Yes, you're quite correct, terrorism is a complex phenomenon that doesn't always readily lend itself to being neatly pigeonholed, either by a conventional or by my type of critical analysis. One's critique of the conventional two-valued orientation, in which "terrorists" are simplistically portrayed as the demonic antithesis of American goody-goodiness, does also have to take account of violence that cannot be justified in the name of fighting the power of the world-system and its client governments. However, my analysis is still somewhat relevant to the instance of ISIS and its ongoing murder spree in the defunct nation of Iraq. It was, after all, the U.S.' actus reus of militarily invading and occupying Iraq that set up the instability currently erupting in a blood bath of a civil war. So yes, there is indeed once again a tie-in between the behavior of the global powers that be and terrorist militancy even in the case of ISIS. Also, there's the way the news media is facilely incorporating ISIS into the ideological category and trope of "terrorism", interpreting it so as to make it serve as justification for the "war on terror" and the U.S.' ongoing pursuit of its realpolitik / realeconomik interests in the region. Mm-hmm, my analysis may need to be broadened a bit, but it's arguable that it already, to some extent, covers what's tragically taking place in Iraq.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
charleslb
Posts: 4,740
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9/6/2014 4:12:19 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/6/2014 8:01:19 AM, Greyparrot wrote:
At 9/5/2014 11:48:06 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 9/5/2014 6:25:44 PM, AnDoctuir wrote:
Great read, Charles. Bravo, and thank you.

And thank you for the kind feedback.

Still a great read though.

Thank you.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
fazz
Posts: 1,617
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9/7/2014 1:38:22 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/6/2014 4:12:19 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 9/6/2014 8:01:19 AM, Greyparrot wrote:
At 9/5/2014 11:48:06 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 9/5/2014 6:25:44 PM, AnDoctuir wrote:
Great read, Charles. Bravo, and thank you.

And thank you for the kind feedback.

Still a great read though.

Thank you.

Your writing is almost newspaper quality. But I would delete some tangential paragraphs.

*Get to the juicy morsels first, deliberate personal truisms later?
charleslb
Posts: 4,740
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9/7/2014 3:16:24 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/7/2014 1:38:22 PM, fazz wrote:
At 9/6/2014 4:12:19 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 9/6/2014 8:01:19 AM, Greyparrot wrote:
At 9/5/2014 11:48:06 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 9/5/2014 6:25:44 PM, AnDoctuir wrote:
Great read, Charles. Bravo, and thank you.

And thank you for the kind feedback.

Still a great read though.

Thank you.

Your writing is almost newspaper quality. But I would delete some tangential paragraphs.

*Get to the juicy morsels first, deliberate personal truisms later?

Thank you for your constructive critique of my style. Would you perhaps care to share any input on the topic?
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
charleslb
Posts: 4,740
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9/7/2014 3:20:39 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Well, Obama is scheduled to deliver a speech this Wednesday about ISIS. Both its contents and omissions will of course be quite predictable and cliched. He'll no doubt speak to the viciousness and murderousness of ISIS without making any reference whatsoever to the death toll of this country's two economically-motivated aggressions and inhumane sanctions against the former nation of Iraq. And he'll focus on how ISIS's ambitious agenda of a Levantine caliphate makes it a threat to the stability of the entire region without apportioning any responsibility to the agenda of the global empire whose realeconomik interests he upholds and whose actions in Iraq have made possible the rise of a "terrorist" army such as ISIS *. In other words, we can look forward to more mock-righteous and hypocritical pronouncements leading to no ethical or effective response.

* Historian Vijay Prashad (from a Democracy Now! interview): "American troops have already tried to defeat, you know, the ancestor of the Islamic State, which was al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia. There"s a very dangerous game going on here, both from Hillary Clinton, from the Republicans, from Tony Blair. They want to make the case that the Islamic State is a child of the Syrian war. They want to deny the fact that the Islamic State has its roots fundamentally in the destruction of the Iraqi state by the American invasion in 2003. You know, it"s very easy to destroy a state. It took the Iraqi people over a hundred years to build institutions; that was destroyed by the Americans in an afternoon. Once you destroy the state, you create a vacuum. For the first time on Iraqi soil, one saw al-Qaeda groups come in, and that was in 2004, when Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who was a Jordanian militant, comes into Tal Afar and creates al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia. You know, even bin Laden found him to be a bit unpalatable, because he was deeply sectarian and extraordinarily violent. The Americans tried to crush al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia, but by 2006, despite the big surge, despite the bombing of Fallujah, Ramadi"you know, names that the American public now are quite familiar with"despite the razing of these cities, the Islamic State was born in 2006. It"s not yesterday"s creation. This was a product of the Iraq War." http://www.democracynow.org...

And from another Democracy Now! interview:
AMY GOODMAN: Patrick, what happens to companies like Chevron, ExxonMobil?

PATRICK COCKBURN: Well, I think, you know, they were involved in Kurdistan. They were involved in the rest of Iraq. Some of the very biggest companies, like Exxon, they have resources elsewhere. But I think that there"s probably a feeling that what they"re expected from Iraq is going sour. It"s going sour in southern Iraq, the big superfields there, because they"re beginning to worry about security...

Yep, as author Patrick Cockburn points out here, our corporate masters are nervously concerned about their interests in Kurdistan and elsewhere in the former Iraq, hence the U.S.' "humanitarian" interest in the plight of the Kurds and ISIS's other victims. If ISIS was just as homicidal but was pro-American and could be counted on to protect the interests of petroleum megacompanies such as Exxon and Chevron do you really think that our mainstream new media would in the same fashion be hyping what an evil "terroristic" organization it is?
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
fazz
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9/7/2014 4:57:12 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/7/2014 3:16:24 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 9/7/2014 1:38:22 PM, fazz wrote:
At 9/6/2014 4:12:19 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 9/6/2014 8:01:19 AM, Greyparrot wrote:
At 9/5/2014 11:48:06 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 9/5/2014 6:25:44 PM, AnDoctuir wrote:
Great read, Charles. Bravo, and thank you.

And thank you for the kind feedback.

Still a great read though.

Thank you.

Your writing is almost newspaper quality. But I would delete some tangential paragraphs.

*Get to the juicy morsels first, deliberate personal truisms later?

Thank you for your constructive critique of my style. Would you perhaps care to share any input on the topic?

What do I think??

Well, for one thing there is a lot of terrorism out there. But the U.S. sort of lets the horrible terrorism go free (eg: Boka Haram) and instead creates this bizarre narrative about the Orientalist plot to install a Islamic Caliphate inside the U.S.?

Its such an interesting narrative, but that's all it is a big storybook that Parents read to their children before tucking them in bed at night. How long can people believe in fairytales and still expect a free world, sigh.

This is the REAL narrative...

I will admit Muslims are a billion, yes a scary number, and no, Islam is in about 20 to 30 different countries who all hate each other. So there is no organized religion here, not in the sense that We have a unified Pope to unify us. There is no threat of Islam against the West because Islam does not exist as Islam but many "small islams" in 3 or 4 areas of the world (i generalize but a big pool in Middle East, Some in South East Asia, Some bordering Russia).

Secondly, Christianity is an organized religion. Even Buddhism has a unifying leader. Islam is a bunch of nomads. A simple lot. Living in mountains, afghans, and deserts, bedouins. Islam is truly a religion of the poor, by the poor, for the poor. Example: It spread in India even amongst the Hindu majority because of oppression under the Caste system. The lower caste in india basically converted to the caste-less islam to escape segregation. A religion of poverty, thus.

Islam does not believe in Peace, but believe me as a Muslim we are too stupid and disorganized for War. Now how does Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfield expect a rag tag bunch of third worlders to unify and rise up against the U.S.?
charleslb
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9/8/2014 12:35:50 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/7/2014 4:57:12 PM, fazz wrote:
At 9/7/2014 3:16:24 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 9/7/2014 1:38:22 PM, fazz wrote:
At 9/6/2014 4:12:19 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 9/6/2014 8:01:19 AM, Greyparrot wrote:
At 9/5/2014 11:48:06 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 9/5/2014 6:25:44 PM, AnDoctuir wrote:
Great read, Charles. Bravo, and thank you.

And thank you for the kind feedback.

Still a great read though.

Thank you.

Your writing is almost newspaper quality. But I would delete some tangential paragraphs.

*Get to the juicy morsels first, deliberate personal truisms later?

Thank you for your constructive critique of my style. Would you perhaps care to share any input on the topic?

What do I think??

Well, for one thing there is a lot of terrorism out there. But the U.S. sort of lets the horrible terrorism go free (eg: Boka Haram) and instead creates this bizarre narrative about the Orientalist plot to install a Islamic Caliphate inside the U.S.?

Its such an interesting narrative, but that's all it is a big storybook that Parents read to their children before tucking them in bed at night. How long can people believe in fairytales and still expect a free world, sigh.

This is the REAL narrative...

I will admit Muslims are a billion, yes a scary number, and no, Islam is in about 20 to 30 different countries who all hate each other. So there is no organized religion here, not in the sense that We have a unified Pope to unify us. There is no threat of Islam against the West because Islam does not exist as Islam but many "small islams" in 3 or 4 areas of the world (i generalize but a big pool in Middle East, Some in South East Asia, Some bordering Russia).

Secondly, Christianity is an organized religion. Even Buddhism has a unifying leader. Islam is a bunch of nomads. A simple lot. Living in mountains, afghans, and deserts, bedouins. Islam is truly a religion of the poor, by the poor, for the poor. Example: It spread in India even amongst the Hindu majority because of oppression under the Caste system. The lower caste in india basically converted to the caste-less islam to escape segregation. A religion of poverty, thus.

Islam does not believe in Peace, but believe me as a Muslim we are too stupid and disorganized for War. Now how does Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfield expect a rag tag bunch of third worlders to unify and rise up against the U.S.?

The likes of Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and the rest of the First World's political and economic establishment don't really expect the Islamic world to ever en masse mount an actual jihad against the West, "Islamists" are merely the new dastardly and scary antagonist in the post-Cold War narrative of America's global projection of its benevolence and righteousness (the American narrative of course excludes the more accurately descriptive term "imperialism"). That is, "Islamists" and "terrorists" are simply exploited as justifications for U.S. foreign policy, aggressions, and neocolonialism. And at home they're used to frighten Americans into patriotic obedience and acceptance of the curtailment of their once cherished personal liberties. Yes, as you seem to agree, we're indeed in the process of having our reality shaped by an updated version of the same propagandistic American narrative that has been used so effectively to keep John and Jane Q. Public on board with the program of the ruling elite for quite some time now.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
charleslb
Posts: 4,740
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9/8/2014 12:39:40 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
With the anniversary of 9/11 coming up the media over the next several days will be stepping up its customary hyping of "terrorism". Just remember that what it's actually engaged in is its unofficial but very real function of attempting to program us with fear and ideology to make us more pliant pawns of the economic and political powers that be. (Yes, there's simply no need for an official propaganda agency when the private sector's corporate-owned media functions so effectively and thoroughly as an ideological apparatus.)
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
fazz
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9/8/2014 6:36:45 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
"Islamists" are merely the new dastardly and scary antagonist in the post-Cold War narrative of America's global projection

I only agree with you on this subject above. There was a power vaccuum left by the end of the Cold War and the narrative structure required a new "Other" to create a spectre of villiany.
charleslb
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9/8/2014 4:15:34 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/8/2014 6:36:45 AM, fazz wrote:
"Islamists" are merely the new dastardly and scary antagonist in the post-Cold War narrative of America's global projection

I only agree with you on this subject above. There was a power vaccuum left by the end of the Cold War and the narrative structure required a new "Other" to create a spectre of villiany.

Well, but isn't this a rather key and big point to be in agreement on?
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
charleslb
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9/8/2014 4:37:26 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/8/2014 12:00:03 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
At 9/8/2014 11:39:57 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
Why is eloquent writing so compelling?

Why is bacon tasty to most Vegans?

Oh Greyparrot, you scamp you. At any rate, I'm a vegetarian who enjoys the taste of soy bacon and imitation bacon bits, and the simple reason is that I grew up eating bacon and other animal flesh. So, if you're merely suggesting that bacon and eloquent writing are an acquired taste, well, I'm okay with that insight.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
charleslb
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9/8/2014 4:40:46 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Ultimately, the solution for our current troubles with "terrorism" comes down to the old slogan "No justice, no peace". The abolition of our current world-system, based on the special interests of its economic elites, and structured to promote their hegemony; the overthrow of a global status quo that unjustly condemns the majority of human beings to some degree of chronic poverty, and to de facto disenfranchisement, even if they live in a so-called "democracy"; and the creation of a radically different world-system based instead on principles of distributive justice and social compassion, in which an equal and ample portion of economic well-being is guaranteed to each and every person on the planet as quite simply a basic human right; this will eliminate the existential factors that are largely responsible for driving human beings to adopt and kill for political and theological philosophies of hate, thus in large measure eliminating "terrorism". But of course our ruling elites would prefer to preserve the status quo that they have a vested interest in, and simply use their police, intelligence, and military assets to keep the "terrorist" threat contained.

Well, this is their established MO, after all. It's the same tack that they take with the discontent bred in immiserated minority communities by our society's structural economic and racial injustice; i.e. using law enforcement and the penal system to maintain control of disaffected populations, in fact warehousing an enormous number of black and brown men in penitentiaries and jails where they pose no threat at all to the socioeconomic status quo. And of course the same approach is also taken to managing the dysfunctional and law-breaking drug-dependent victims of modern life, criminalize their way of coping with their existential plight and warehouse them in prison, right next to the disproportionately incarcerated black and brown men who resort to economically surviving by selling them drugs. A perpetual "War on ..." designed to contain threats to the system and its ruling class, and that keeps our attention distracted from the real malefactors at the top, this is all that our leaders have to offer us. And this, in short, is why, realistically speaking, the problem of "terrorism" will not be eliminated any time soon.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
AnDoctuir
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9/8/2014 4:43:40 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I've always thought it the metaphor a pig presents that makes it so tasty. You know, there's something of the kid burning ants with a magnifying glass in it... Joyce has a line on it: "Most of all he liked grilled mutton kidneys which gave to his palate a fine tang of faintly scented urine" --toilet humour in gustatory taste. There's a lot more to taste than you'd think. Check out some of the things hypnotists are able to make you think you enjoy. And a fitting meal for an American, then, a good plate of pig.
AnDoctuir
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9/8/2014 4:44:39 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Kudos on the vegetarianism btw, Charles. That's one of my goals for myself. Might settle me down a bit too I hope.
AnDoctuir
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9/8/2014 4:45:59 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Oh, and yourself and Mr. Parrot are fine folk, lol... (Though Mr. Parrot seems to have only recently found religion.)
charleslb
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9/8/2014 4:53:16 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/8/2014 4:45:59 PM, AnDoctuir wrote:
Oh, and yourself and Mr. Parrot are fine folk, lol... (Though Mr. Parrot seems to have only recently found religion.)

Thank you, I do try to be a fine fellow, vegetarian, and communist (of the non-sectarian variety).
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
AnDoctuir
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9/8/2014 4:57:37 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/8/2014 4:53:16 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 9/8/2014 4:45:59 PM, AnDoctuir wrote:
Oh, and yourself and Mr. Parrot are fine folk, lol... (Though Mr. Parrot seems to have only recently found religion.)

Thank you, I do try to be a fine fellow, vegetarian, and communist (of the non-sectarian variety).

You never get any urges to go out and rape and pillage the masses?
AnDoctuir
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9/8/2014 5:09:08 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Seems a common thing in communists (according to Stefan Molyneux who is undeniably a joke, but has a small point here) that we've generally done some of the most awful things before taking up the communist mantra. There's a sort of "you have to feel it as bad to know it as bad" dynamic there (Vonnegut captures it too with that former scoundrel turned humanist millionaire in Cat's Cradle). Molyneux then would be a societally whipped b*tch but he gets the jump in the ad hom department of argumentation all the same. I guess you have to be sure when you're questioning God or something (and I say "God" there to refer to everything, which is our first conception of God)...
AnDoctuir
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9/8/2014 5:10:47 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Go on Charles, tell us... I figure it just makes you easier to relate with and thus agree with. Next post: "The Sordid Past of DDO User Charleslb".
AnDoctuir
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9/8/2014 5:20:50 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I don't think it's just penitence either. I remember most of the bad things I've done and why, and there's always been a sort of careful, studious regard to go with them... Often in fact I was doing as family or friends had, though perhaps I did do it to extremes. Hey, maybe it's just some of us. And it reminds me again of that hunting for sorrow in murderers, but I'm past it. Jesus I have some f*cked up memories though. I once got beaten half to death in a shipping container in the middle of the night. That's a weird one: remembering just blows and darkness and voices. Yeah that one wasn't me doing bad, but my own vengeful sins followed it.
AnDoctuir
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9/8/2014 5:27:40 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/8/2014 5:20:50 PM, AnDoctuir wrote:
I don't think it's just penitence either. I remember most of the bad things I've done and why, and there's always been a sort of careful, studious regard to go with them... Often in fact I was doing as family or friends had, though perhaps I did do it to extremes. Hey, maybe it's just some of us. And it reminds me again of that hunting for sorrow in murderers, but I'm past it. Jesus I have some f*cked up memories though. I once got beaten half to death in a shipping container in the middle of the night. That's a weird one: remembering just blows and darkness and voices. Yeah that one wasn't me doing bad, but my own vengeful sins followed it.

I met one of those dudes after and bit a big lump out of his chest just beneath his heart. I've seen the scar since, it's something even more frightening than that memory. Something real, I guess.