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Syria in Seattle: Commune Defies the U.S. Regime
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A protester burns an American flag during a protest against racial inequality in the aftermath of the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in Seattle, Washington, U.S. June 7, 2020. REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson - RC2T4H98GPNG

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The marriage of post-Lockdown and George Floyd protests has nurtured a rough beast that is still immune to any form of civilized debate in the U.S.: the Seattle Commune.

So what really is the Capital Hill Autonomous Zone cum People’s Republic all about?

Are the communards mere useful idiots? Is this a refined Occupy Wall Street experiment? Could it survive, logistically, and be replicated in NYC, L.A. and D.C.?

An outraged President Trump has described it as a plot by “domestic terrorists” in a city “run by radical left Democrats”. He called for “LAW & ORDER” (in caps, according to his Tweetology).

Shades of Syria in Seattle are visibly discernable. Under this scenario, the Commune is a remixed Idlib fighting “regime counter-insurgency outposts” (in communard terminology).

For most American Right factions, Antifa equals ISIS. George Floyd is regarded not only as a “communist Antifa martyr”, as an intel operative told me, but a mere “criminal and drug dealer”.

So when will “regime forces” strike – in this case without Russian air cover? After all, as dictated by Secretary Esper, it’s up to the Pentagon to “dominate the battlefield”.

But we’ve got a problem. Capital Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ) is supported by the city of Seattle – run by a Democrat – which is supported by the governor of Washington State, also a Democrat.

There’s no chance Washington State will use the National Guard to crush CHAZ. And Trump cannot take over Washington State National Guard without the approval of the governor, even though he has tweeted, “Take back your city NOW. If you don’t do it, I will. This is not a game.”

It’s enlightening to observe that “counter-insurgency” can be applied in Afghanistan and the tribal areas; to occupy Iraq; to protect the looting of oil/gas in eastern Syria. But not at home. Even if 58% of Americans would actually support it: for many among them, the Commune may be as bad if not worse than looting.

But then there are those firmly opposed. Among them: the “Butcher of Fallujah” Mad Dog Mattis; color revolution practitioners NED; Nike;

JP Morgan; the whole Democratic Party establishment; and virtually the whole U.S. Army establishment.

Welcome to the Only Occupy Others movement.

Still the question remains: how long will “Idlib” be able to defy the “regime”? That’s enough to cause an alleged “bully”, Attorney General Barr, many a sleepless night.

Real Black Power

Trump and Barr have already threatened to criminalize Antifa as a “terrorist organization” – even as Black Lives Matter has pointed a yellow dagger in the asphalt of 16th St. in D.C. towards the White House.

And that brings us to the across the board legitimacy enjoyed by Black Lives Matter. How’s that possible? Here is a good place to start.

Black Lives Matter, founded in 2013 by a trio of middle class, queer black women very vocal against “hetero-patriarchy”, is a product of what University of British Columbia’s Peter Dauvergne defines as “corporatization of activism”.

Over the years, Black Lives Matter evolved as a marketing brand, like Nike (which fully supports it). The widespread George Floyd protests elevated it to the status of a new religion. Yet Black Lives Matter carries arguably zero, true revolutionary appeal. This is not James Brown’s “Say It Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud”. And it does not get even close to Black Power and the Black Panthers’ “Power to the People”.

The gold standard on civil rights, Dr. Martin Luther King, in 1968, concisely framed the – structural – heart of the matter:

“The black revolution is much more than a struggle for the rights of Negroes. It is forcing America to face all its interrelated flaws—racism, poverty, militarism, and materialism. It is exposing evils that are rooted deeply in the whole structure of our society. It reveals systemic rather than superficial flaws and suggests that radical reconstruction of society itself is the real issue to be faced.”

The Black Panthers, young, extremely articulated intellectuals who had mixed Marx, Lenin, Mao, W.E.B. Du Bois, Malcolm X and Frantz “Wretched of the Earth” Fanon took MLK’s diagnosis to a whole new level.

As summed up by the Panthers’ Minister of Information Eldridge Cleaver: “We believe in the need for a unified revolutionary movement … informed by the revolutionary principles of scientific socialism.” That synthesized the insights of MLK, who was, crucially, a proponent of color blindness.

Fred Hampton, the target of a de facto state assassination in December 1969, made sure the struggle transcended race: “We got to face some facts. That the masses are poor, that the masses belong to what you call the lower class, and when I talk about the masses, I’m talking about the white masses, I’m talking about the black masses, and the brown masses, and the yellow masses, too. We’ve got to face the fact that some people say you fight fire best with fire, but we say you put fire out best with water. We say you don’t fight racism with racism. We’re gonna fight racism with solidarity. We say you don’t fight capitalism with no black capitalism; you fight capitalism with socialism.”

So this is not only about race. This is not only about class. This is about Power to the People fighting for social, political and economic justice under a system that’s intrinsically unequal. It expands on the in-depth analysis by Gerald Horne in The Dawning of the Apocalypse, where the 16th century is fully dissected, “creation myth” of the U.S. included.

Horne shows how a bloodthirsty invasion of the Americas engendered fierce resistance by Africans and their indigenous populations allies, weakening imperial Spain and finally enabling London to dispatch settlers to Virginia in 1607.

Now compare this depth of analysis with the meek, almost begging for mercy “Black Lives Matter” slogan. One is reminded, once again, of Malcolm X’s sharpness: “We had the best organization the black man’s ever had—niggers ruined it!”

To solve the Black Lives Matter question, one must, once again, follow the money.

Black Lives Matter profited in 2016 from a humongous $100 million grant from the Ford Foundation and other philanthropic capitalism stalwarts such as JPMorgan Chase and the Kellogg Foundation.

ORDER IT NOW

The Ford Foundation is very close to the U.S. Deep State. The board of directors is crammed with corporate CEOs and Wall Street honchos. In a nutshell; Black Lives Matter, the organization, today is fully sanitized; largely integrated into the Democratic Party machine; adored by mainstream media; and certainly does not represent a threat to the 0.001%.

The Black Lives Matter leadership, of course, argues that this time, “it’s different. Elaine Brown, the formidable former chairwoman of the Black Panthers, takes no prisoners: Black Lives Matter has a “plantation mentality”.

Try to set the night on fire

Set the Night on Fire is an extraordinarily absorbing book co-written by Jon Wiener and the inestimable Mike Davis of City of Quartz and Planet of Slums.

Cataloguing in exhaustive detail the L.A. of the Sixties, we are plunged into the Watts riots in 1965; the antiwar movement joining the Black Panthers to form a uniquely Californian Peace and Freedom Party; the evolving grassroots unity of the Black Power ethos; the Che-Lumumba club of the Communist Party – which would become the political base of legendary Angela Davis; and the massive FBI and LAPD offensive to destroy the Black Panthers.

Tom Wolfe notoriously – and viciously – characterized L.A. supporters of the Black Panthers as ‘radical chic”. Elaine Brown once again sets the record straight: “We were dying, and all of them, the strongest and the most frivolous, were helping us survive another day.”

One of the most harrowing sections of the book details how the FBI went after Panthers sympathizers, including the sublime Jean Seberg, the star of Otto Preminger’s Saint Joan (1957) and Godard’s Breathless (1960).

Jean Seberg contributed anonymously to the Panthers under the codename “Aretha” (yes, as in Franklin). The FBI’s COINTELPRO took no prisoners to go after Seberg, enrolling the CIA, military intel and the Secret Service. She was smeared as a “sex-perverted white actress” – as in having affairs with black radicals. Her Hollywood career was destroyed. She went into deep depression, had a stillbirth (the baby was not black), emigrated, and her – decomposed – body was found in her car in Paris in 1979.

In contrast, there have been academic rumblings identifying the sea of converts to the Black Lives Matter religion as mostly products of the marriage between wokeness and intersectionality – the set of interlinked traits that since birth privileges heterosexual white men, now trying to expiate their guilt.

Generation Z, unleashed en masse from college campuses across the U.S. into the jobs market, is a prisoner of this phenomenon: in fact a slave to – politically correct – identity politics. And once again, carrying zero revolutionary potential.

Compare it once again to immense political sacrifices of the Black Panthers. Or when Angela Davis, already a pop icon, became the most famous black political prisoner in American history. Aretha Franklin, when volunteering to post bail for Davis, famously framed it: “I’ve been locked up for disturbing the peace, and I know you’ve got to disturb the peace when you can’t get no peace.”

Elaine Brown: “I know what the BPP [Black Panther Party] was. I know the lives we lost, the struggle we put into place, the efforts we made, the assaults on us by the police and government – I know all that. I don’t know what Black Lives Matter does.”

It’s open to endless debate whether Black Lives Matter is intrinsically racist and even inherently violent.

And it’s also debatable whether taking a knee, now a household ritual practiced by politicians (complete with Kente scarves from Ghana), cops and corporations, really threatens the foundations of Empire.

Noam Chomsky has already ventured that the protest wave so far carries zero political articulation – and badly needs a strategic direction, far beyond the obvious revolt against police brutality.

The protests are dying down just as the Commune emerges.

Depending on its evolution that may pose a serious problem to Trump/Barr. The President simply cannot allow a running color revolution to develop in the middle of a major American city. At the same time he’s impotent as a federal authority to dissolve the Commune.

What the White House can do is to dog whistle its own counter-insurgency units, in the form of armed to their teeth white supremacist militias, to go on the offensive and crush the already flimsy supply lines of the wokeness-cum-intersectionality crowd.

Occupy after all took over key areas of 60 American cities for months just to suddenly dissolve into the ether.

Additionally, the Deep State has already war-gamed plenty of scenarios to deal with siege situations way more complex than the Commune.

Whatever happens next, one key vector is immutable. A state of permanent insurrection only benefits the 0.00001% plutocracy comfortably ensconced while the plebs set the night on fire.

(Republished from Strategic Culture Foundation by permission of author or representative)
 
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  1. You sissies are scared of Black Lives Matter.

    When actually, they’re run by your buddies. The rich people who are so good to you and whom you will do anything for.

  2. Pepe Escobar is a great writer. He knows quite a bit about the Middle East and Asia, which is where he lives and works. He really don’t know nuffin about the former United States. This is evident from his jagged ambivalence about BLM, moreso about the pseudo-left exploiters of BLM. But , once considering the kind of deadly political pressures Pepe Escobar faces anytime he writes anything, including threats to the safety of his own home, and the safety of his own person and family, …… we will certainly forgive him . But don’t look for any plan of actionable response, the man just does not know…..He should be looking for a way out for his own kind, in Brazil. Too painful I guess…..

    • Replies: @lavoisier
  3. Thank Pepe Escobar for this excellent article. For me was most iluminating. Gracias.
    Padre Nacho

  4. A123 says:

    Capital Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ) is supported by the city of Seattle – run by a Democrat – which is supported by the governor of Washington State, also a Democrat.

    Without federal intervention, the situation is owned by:
    — DNC Mayor, Jenny Durkan
    — DNC Governor, Jay Inslee

    The Democrats get 100% of the blame for the ongoing problem.

    Trump 4-D Chess out maneuvered the intellectually inferior DNC by sending up the “National Guard” trial balloon. He never intended to use them. The Democrats are now on record *blocking* federal assisistance. They are on their own.

    … may pose a serious problem to Trump/Barr. The President simply cannot allow a running color revolution to develop in the middle of a major American city.

    Seattle was already ‘100% Color Revolutionary’ as a SJW Globalist stronghold. This ‘Color Revolution’ is attacking its own. Profound incompetence in action.

    Trump can & will let Ultra Left battle the Extreme Left in Seattle. It is a symbol of the horrific dangers of SJW Globalism. #BlueVotesBurnCities.

    Noam Chomsky has already ventured that the protest wave so far carries zero political articulation – and badly needs a strategic direction,

    Hmmmm…. On this limited point, I agree Chomsky and I have adjacent views.

    The Seattle Zone has neither strategy nor logistical viabilty. This is another reason why Trump can stay out of the situation. The Zone poses no threat to the Christian Populism of U.S. Citizens.

    PEACE 😇

    • Troll: bluedog
  5. Thanks, Pepe. I’m waking, not woking. BLM is an arm of the Deep State! Wow! Will suddenly dissolve into the ether. Wow!

    Still confused, though. The Seattle autonomous zone? Commune? Real? Ether?

    Anyway, your article is marvellous. Thanks a lot.

  6. More like ISIS than Assad.

  7. Biff says:

    Seattle Washington is literally the anus of North America – hence “wipe your CHAZ”….

    • Replies: @Realist
  8. TG says:

    Look at how efficiently the government got rid of “Occupy Wall Street.”

    They an easily crush, disenfranchise, disperse, make irrelevant, and get rid of “Black Lives Matter,” if they choose to.

    They don’t choose to. BLM is an elite creation, stir the proles up to fight each other for crumbs while the billionaires continue to loot the country.

    • Replies: @Digital Samizdat
  9. Realist says:
    @Biff

    Seattle Washington is literally the anus of North America – hence “wipe your CHAZ”….

    I beg to differ…North America has a plethora of anuses…any large city qualifies.

  10. polistra says: • Website

    No, it’s not defying the US regime. Groups that defy the US regime are bombed to the ground immediately. See Waco.

    This group is being supported, not bombed. Therefore it is PART of the US regime.

  11. @TG

    Yup. As long as BLM are not blocking the titans of finance from going to work on Wall Street, they will be tolerated (or even supported) by the 1%. But force those banksters to use their heliports to get to work, and they will crush your little demonstration!

  12. In general, a pretty good article from Pepe. Just a few quibbles:

    Horne shows how a bloodthirsty invasion of the Americas engendered fierce resistance by Africans and their indigenous populations allies, weakening imperial Spain and finally enabling London to dispatch settlers to Virginia in 1607.

    Fierce resistance from the Africans? It was the Spanish/Portuguese who first brought the Africans to the Western Hemisphere in the first place, well after the invasion phase was complete. (They initially tried enslaving Indians, but that didn’t work too well; the Indians were too susceptible to buebonic plague.) While some Indigenous resistance did continue on and off as long as Spain had colonies in the New World, none of them were ever dispositive. What ultimately drove the Spanish out was a revolt against them begun not by the Indians, but by the Creoles (Simón Bolívar, Manuel de las Rosas, et al.). And that didn’t occur until the 19th century … long, long after the English had already arrived, and even after the US had won idependence.

    Tom Wolfe notoriously – and viciously – characterized L.A. supporters of the Black Panthers as ‘radical chic’.

    Actually, Radical Chic took place in New York at the apartment of Leonard Bernstein, not LA.

  13. SteveK9 says:

    As another commenter noticed, Pepe Escobar knows nothing about the US. He keeps writing about it, because that is what sells for him … I guess. Actually his writing has become more and more chaotic on any topic, including his other favorite China.

    The riots are the natural progression of the ‘Woke/SJW’ movement, if we can call it that. Hopefully White guilt will start waning at this point. Many comparisons are being made to the Bolshevik Revolution, the rise of National Socialism, and the Cultural Revolution … there are certainly similarities. Hopefully what is left of America will wake up before they find it too late.

    Here is some encouraging news, at least as reported, 800,000 people have asked for tickets to Trump’s rally in Tulsa, OK. This could be the beginning of the pushback against the Covid Rouge.

    • Replies: @Peter Gent
  14. @SteveK9

    If you want to know how we got here…

    Michael Foster https://www.facebook.com/mscottfoster/posts/10103134592089630

    “During the Korean War, captured American soldiers found themselves in POW camps run by Chinese Communists. The Chinese treated captives quite differently than their allies, the North Koreans, who favored savagery and harsh punishment to gain compliance.

    The Red Chinese engaged in what they called “lenient policy,” which was a sophisticated psychological assault on their captives. After the war, American psychologists questioned the returning prisoners intensively, because of the unsettling success of the Chinese program.

    [MORE]

    The Chinese were very effective in getting Americans to inform on one another, in contrast to the behavior of American POWs in WWII. For this reason, escape plans were quickly uncovered and escape attempts themselves were rarely successful.

    When an escape did occur, the Chinese usually recovered the man easily by offering a mere bag of rice to anyone turning him in. In fact, nearly all American prisoners in the Chinese camps are said to have collaborated with the enemy in one form or another.

    How did the Chinese get compliance from the American POWS? These men were trained to provide only name, rank, serial number. Short of torture, how could the captors hope to get such men to give military information, turn in fellow prisoners, or publicly denounce their country?

    The Chinese answer was to start small and build. Prisoners were asked to make statements so mildly anti-American or pro-Communist as to seem inconsequential “The United States is not perfect.” “In a Communist country, unemployment is not a problem.”

    Once they complied with these minor requests, the men were pushed to submit to more substantive ones. A man who had agreed that the United States is not perfect might be asked provide examples. He might then be asked to make a list of “problems with America” and sign his name.

    Later, he might be asked to read his list in a discussion group with other prisoners. “After all, it’s what you really believe, isn’t it?” Still later he might be asked to write an essay expanding on his list and discussing these problems in greater detail.

    The Chinese might then use his name and his essay in an anti-American radio broadcast beamed not only to the entire camp, but to other POW camps in North Korea, as well as to American forces in South Korea.

    Suddenly he would find himself a “collaborator.” Aware that he had written the essay without any threats or coercion, a man would change his image of himself to be consistent with the deed and with the new collaborator label, resulting in more extensive acts of collaboration.

    The majority collaborated by doing things which seemed trivial to them but which the Chinese were able to turn to their own advantage. This was particularly effective in eliciting confessions, self-criticism, and information during interrogation.

    The majority of the men believed the Chinese story that the United States had used germ warfare, and many felt that their own forces had been the initial aggressors in starting the war. Similar inroads had been made in the political attitudes of the men:

    Many expressed antipathy toward the Chinese Communists but at the same time praised them for “the fine job they have done in China.” Others stated that “although communism won’t work in America, I think it’s a good thing for Asia.”

    Our best evidence of another man’s true feelings and beliefs is their behavior, not their words. What the Chinese knew is that a man uses this same evidence to know what he himself is like. He observes his behavior to understand his own beliefs, values, and attitudes.

    Writing was one type of confirming action that the Chinese urged incessantly upon their prisoners. It was never enough to listen quietly or even to agree verbally; they were always pushed to write it down as well. Psychologist Edgar Schein describes this tactic:

    A further technique was to have the man write out the question and then the [pro-Communist] answer. If he refused to write it voluntarily, he was asked to copy it from the notebooks, which must have seemed like a harmless enough concession. But, oh, those “harmless” concessions.

    Seemingly trifling commitments can lead to extraordinary further behavior. A written declaration is physical evidence of your commitment, leaving no opportunity to forget or to deny what you have done. The irrevocably documented act drives you to make your self-image consistent.

    We tend to think that a statement reflects the true attitude of the person who made it, even if we know the person did not freely choose to make it. Unless there is strong evidence to the contrary, observers automatically assume that someone who makes a statement means it.

    Think of the double-barreled effects on the self-image of a prisoner who wrote a pro-Chinese or anti-American statement. Not only was it a lasting personal reminder of his action, it was also likely to persuade those around him that the statement reflected his actual beliefs.

    A similar technique involved political essay contests that were regularly held in camp. The prizes for winning were invariably small–a few cigarettes or a bit of fruit–but were sufficiently scarce that they generated interest from the men.

    Usually the winning essays took a pro-Communist stand, but not always. Most prisoners would not want to enter a contest that required writing a Communist tract. So the prize was sometimes given to essays that supported the USA but made small concessions to the Chinese view.

    The men participated voluntarily in the contests because they saw that they could win with an essay favorable to their own country. But perhaps without realizing it, they began to shade their essays a bit toward communism in order to have a better chance of winning.

    The Chinese wanted as many Americans as possible to enter these contests so that, in the process, they might write things favorable to the Communist view. If, however, the idea was to attract large numbers of entrants, why were the prizes so small?

    They chose to employ the smaller rewards because they wanted the men to own what they had done. No excuses, no ways out were allowed. A prisoner who salted his political essay with a few anti-American comments could not be permitted to shrug it off as motivated by a big reward.

    It was not enough to wring commitments out of their men; those men had to be made to take inner responsibility for their actions. We accept inner responsibility for a behavior when we think we have chosen to perform it in the absence of strong outside pressures.

    The big things to understand here are:

    1) when you see yourself doing something, you change your self-image to include “I am a person who does that thing”

    2) when you think others see you a certain way, the same.

    3) you will act in ways that are consistent with your self-image

    So in light of that, please consider how being a user of Social Media, especially real-name social media, is structurally identical to being a prisoner in a Chinese POW camp during the Korean war.

    When you endorse a cause on social media, the rewards are worthless. Tiny rewards mean that you will not perceive your statements as being coerced, you will own them. And yet, the public eye puts pressure on you to say things that are pro-social in a very particular way.

    Most people want to appear compassionate. A political slogan, a bleeding heart story, these things that you spread virally, they change your self-image. And they leave you with evidence, public evidence, that you are the kind of person who speaks out about “systemic oppression.”

    Social media created the feedback loop that drove everyone mad with social justice. Just like in the Chinese camp, the subtle but constant pressure to make cheap moralistic statements resulted in mass conversions. I believe this is the true cause of the “great awokening”

    Source: https://twitter.com/0x49fa98/status/1272180537541656577
    ‘THE SOURCE OF THE GREAT AWOKENING ZERO HP LOVECRAFT’

  15. Exile says:

    This piece is woefully silent on the purge of BLM’s former leadership over its sympathy with Nation of Islam and its criticism of the ADL, or their replacement by Jewish surrogates.

    As silent as Noam Chomsky has always been on the Jewish Question.

    And the idea of “white supremacist militias” attacking our brave new revolution is pure antifa-fan-fiction.

    Antifa’s CHAZ is no more an American revolutionary movement than Bolshevism was Russian.

    America has always been a White country and any movement to make it otherwise is an invasion, not a revolution.

  16. lavoisier says: • Website
    @Army of the Potomac

    Agree. He is a fine writer but this analysis shows a profound misunderstanding of what is happening now.

    We are dealing with fundamental differences in people. In their cultures, their talents, their desires.

    Assimilation has failed.

    The only revolution that can be coherent at this point in time is separation of the races.

    When BLM espouses separation I will know they are serious in their hatred.

  17. Sounds like BLM is a de-fanged, de-clawed & neutered kitten compared to the Black Panthers.

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