Pieter on Wed, 17 Oct 2001 11:13:02 +0200 (CEST)

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[Nettime-nl] whose war?! III

[Beste Nettimers, een deel van ondergaand rondschrijven kwam hier al
aan bod via mij of anderen. Excuus & desalniettemin uit de goedheid van
een hart etc., -- PB]


"I fear that you will not reach Mecca, O Nomad! -- For the road which you
are following leads to Turkestan." -- Sheikh Saadi, *Rose Garden*, "On the
Manners of Dervishes". Quoted in Idries Shah, *The Sufis*.


Whose War?! # III, Oct. 16, 2001

think think think think think think think think think think think think
think think think think think think think think think think think think



And death shall have no dominion.
Dead men naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
Under the windings of the sea
They lying long shall not die windily;
Twisting on racks when sinews give way,
Strapped to a wheel, yet they shall not break;
Faith in their hands shall snap in two,
And the unicorn evils run them through;
Split all ends up they shan't crack;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
No more may gulls cry at their ears
Or waves break loud on the seashores;
Where blew a flower may a flower no more
Lift its head to the blows of the rain;
Though they be mad and dead as nails,
Heads of the characters hammer through daisies;
Break in the sun till the sun breaks down,
And death shall have no dominion.

        -- Dylan Thomas, 1933

(Thanks to fellow deejay, author, proofreader and beer mystic BP and poet
EW, who notes that "Great poetry, like all great art, has certain
unmistakable attributes. For one, it is timeless; this is true whether or
not it was seemingly inspired by any particular event in time.
Furthermore, great poetry at once reaches out to, and-in the process of
its creation-is touched by, the divine. Which is not to say that it is
necessarily 'religious' poetry, either in form, content, tone or what
appears to be its intrinsic nature. Indeed, it is quite often (though not
always) anything but. Whatever its setting, from whatever culture or
underlying philosophy it springs, regardless of the words, phrases and
hence the images employed, a great poem successfully expresses, or points
incisively toward, some measure of eternal truth. More bluntly put, it
cuts through the crap of everyday maya (the power of illusion, behind
whose seductive veil our free will conveniently elects to hide ultimate
reality) and tells it like it is.

Especially now, with the world yet again wracked by pain, suffering, lies
and mounting aggression, and amid an all-too-predictable flurry of
speculation & commentary, as well as the ongoing media circus that both
feeds and seeks to reinforce what the Situationists of 1968 accurately
described as "The Society of the Spectacle," it is absolutely vital to
stand back for a moment, take a deep breath, and view matters from another
and much deeper perspective (...)

(...) PS (from this side of the veil) As a close friend reminded me
yesterday, it's not necessary to take sides with respect to the current
international fiasco. There are, in fact, no sides to take. Everyone is
wrong, it's a lose-lose situation. The Taliban are terrible and should
have been got rid of a long time ago. Bin Laden is clearly mad (his mild
mannerisms notwithstanding, nor the fact that many women seem to find him
physically attractive). George W. Bush is a dangerous numbskull from whom
nothing good either can or should be expected. Tony Blair is quite
obviously a maniacal warmonger. While the entire American government,
which bears primary responsibility for this awful mess, is utterly
untrustworthy. My advice: choose not to choose. And pray (or at least,
whenever you think of it, light a mental candle in your heart)." -- EW )


DEMONSTRATION and manifestation in Amsterdam,
Dam Square, Saturday October 20, 14:00 h

Stop the War
Stop the Cycle of Violence

Justice instead of revenge
Fight terrorism by removing its causes
Solidarity with all victims of the spiral of violence
Don't make new enemy stereotypes

More info @ http://www.wereldcrisis.nl/


1) Editor's note
2) Indymedia.nl kicks off
3) Two articles at narconews.com, read this if you read nothing else
4) Judge For Yourself dept.: The evidence against Osama bin Laden as
presented by Her Majesty's Government, courtesy of Tony Blair
5) Some Further and Highly Random Reading
6) Humor Can Be a Weapon dept.
7) Jewish Moslems Manifesto: Reaction by an anonymous friend to the peace
manifestation in Amsterdam on sept. 30
8) General links


1) A note from yours truly, in the light of ongoing events & especially
the information barrage that we find ourselves confronted with, I
have increasing misgivings about feeding my poor friends and acquaintances
with yet *more* material. It seems quickly to become self-defeating to a
degree, in that this whole information overload is surely itself part of
whatever war effort (read Jean Baudrillard's *In the Shadow of the Silent
Majorities*, then reread this passage). However, enough stuff keeps coming
in & popping up that I have trouble resisting the urge to share some of
it. Perhaps it is time to ask you to let me know if you *do* want to
receive this in the future, as opposed to letting me know if you do *not*.

Among some of the comments that this zine-mag-mail whatever kinda thing
has attracted so far, a recurring theme is that of its being
anti-American. Although I think it is crucial right now to have an
understanding of US policies in the past and present, what may be even
more important is to have the same understanding of the workings of one's
*own* government (incidentally, this newsletter goes out to people in the
Netherlands, Germany, USA, Brazil and Australia, apart from any other
countries that people decide to forward it to). It is always interesting
to see how it's much easier to pinpoint other governments' faults and
mistakes than it is one's own; the question of whether this has to do with
your accidentally living in the one and only swell country on earth or
with more subtle mechanisms I leave entirely up to the reader.

Secondly, one reader pointedly remarked (with a view to the caption of
this newsletter) that it is imperative to "think *before* you act." I
couldn't agree more, that is precisely what it's intended to
mean. I would add, however, that thinking that does not result in action
can ultimately be only so much dust in the wind. As for a definition of
"action", and with reference to Erich Fromm's definition of the word in
his *The Art of Loving* for instance (or to Lao Tzu for that matter), let
me point out that regardless of the perhaps "eighties" flavor of this
newsletter, I believe action does not have to begin (nor end) with bricks
and Molotov cocktails, but may entail such simple things as talking to
one's neighbors for instance. For those who seek to take their thoughts a
step further, I'm sure there's one or other peace or environmentalist or
Third World support group or what have you nearby you that you may
consider joining, or if not, why not simply invite a couple of friends
over for dinner to discuss matters and see if perhaps you cannot come up
with some form of action or other. As for suggestions for non-violent
action, you *may* (or may not ;-) ) want to start by reading "198 Methods
of Nonviolent Action" at http://secession.net/nv-action-methods.html for
inspiration if nothing else.




2) The Dutch branch of indymedia, indymedia.nl, is finally kicking off
this week, find them at http://www.indymedia.nl/ . There'll be a
presentation to celebrate the event on Wed. Oct. 17 from 16:00 - 18:00 in
De Balie, Leidseplein, Amsterdam, or you can follow it live at their site.
Fine Dutch coverage has for long been provided at the Belgian branch,
http://belgium.indymedia.org/ , of course.


3) Two articles that affected me greatly last week can be found at
http://www.narconews.com/cuibono.html and
http://www.narconews.com/goff1.html , respectively. The first, "Cui Bono?
Building a Map to Solve the Crime", by Catherine Austin Fitts (former U.S.
Assistant Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and former managing
director of Dillon Read, now CEO of the Solari Group) details some of the
economic backgrounds & possible benefactors of a war like this.

The second, "The So-Called Evidence Is a Farce", by Stan Goff, details not
only the economic backgrounds and especially oil interests of this war,
but it is the closest thing to a sensible conspiracy theory indicating the
US itself that I have come across so far. Now, conspiracy theories are
bound to show up at a time like this (I'm quite surprised that there
haven't been much more already -- apart from the one being consistently
dished up for you on CNN & Co. of course) and I would urge everyone to be
reluctant about spreading them, but the author comes up with some very
good points I believe. As always, judge for yourself. If anything, I
believe both articles are fine examples of the art of asking simple &
obvious questions.

Incidentally, Stan Goff is the same writer as mentioned in edition # 1
(regarding his article at
http://www.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=65562 ), where I expressed
my doubts about the authenticity of his claim to be a former military
(with the Special Forces to be precise). This had nothing to do with his
being a military or not, but simply with the fact that the article had no
URL or email address and I thought it would be a hopeless task to try and
track someone of this name over the 'Net. A simple query however shows
that there does indeed seem to exist one former US military of that name,
who does write about military affairs and covert operations and so forth.
Either way, I don't think his argument could very well pass as either
terrorist propaganda or US government propaganda. That leaves us with the
option of it being a piece of leftist propaganda, which you may be
surprised to learn does not bother me greatly.


4) The evidence against Osama bin Laden, as presented by Her Majesty's



5) Some further articles that you may or may not consider worthwhile:

"The Taliban's Bravest Opponents", interview with a member of RAWA
(Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan,
http://www.rawa.org/ ) by Janelle Brown for Salon.com:
http://www.salon.com/mwt/feature/2001/10/02/fatima/print.html . The
article touches on RAWA's take on Afghanistan's Northern Alliance, among
many other things.
More on this group's viewpoints through
I'm still somewhat bemused by the sudden appearance of this group after
Sept. 11, I'd simply never heard of them before (not that I'm aware of
every radical organization in the world, for all you secret services
people out there). Perhaps my original discomfort was simply fed by the
infamous "Women In Afghanistan" chain letter that still keeps popping up
in my mailbox on an infrequently regular basis (see also
http://urbanlegends.miningco.com/library/blafghan.htm ). RAWA's goals as
stated on their website seem valid enough. Whatever the case may be, if
any of you readers has information on the authenticity of this group
(other than that they have a website and have been frequently interviewed
over the past weeks) I'd be happy to hear from you. And why, for instance,
are their goals published on a site called rawa.false.net ?

"Welcome To The Desert Of The Real", by Slovenian author Slavoj Zizek,
written soon after Sept. 11:
http://www.lacan.com/reflections.htm . A fine example of an attempt at a
more philosophical analysis of Sept. 11. This is supposed to be a
translation of a German text, but I have been unable to find the original
on the 'Net. An excellent Dutch translation of (an earlier version of) the
text was published by Actieblad Ravage, at

"The Empire Strikes Back", by Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St Clair,
http://www.counterpunch.org/empire1.html . Includes some insightful
material on the dealings of the US and the UK on the island of Diego
Garcia, now frequently in the news as a base for air strikes on
Afghanistan, apparently without the slightest sense of irony on behalf of

"Osamagate"; Michel Chossudovsky's at it again at
http://globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO110A.html . Dutch translation at
http://www.wereldcrisis.nl/article.php?sid=167&mode=flat&order=0 .


6) Some ironic takes on recent affairs:

The Onion -- "America's Finest News Source", http://www.theonion.com/ .
Don't miss their 09/11 special at

For those of you who've missed out on the Bert & Ernie craze, from the
Strange But Yes It's True It Seems dept.:

Finally, just to show you how the CIA has a brand of humor all of its own,
take a look at http://www.cia.gov/terrorism/buster.html . This is real,
folks! -- question is, are *they* real?




Jewish Moslems Sisters and Brothers
Abolish all States And their Terrorism
Down with Capitalism Organized Religion And Organized Crime
The Messiah will not come The Hidden Imam will stay in hiding
No Palestinian State
No Arab State at all
No State of Israel
No United States
No Afghanistan
No State at all will harbour Jewish Moslems

And First of All Down with the Kingdom of the Netherlands
No more of your boring Royal Weddings
No more of your tiresome Nationalist Peace-Movements
No more Preachers-Politicians No more Little Brothers and their Little
Jewish Moslems have all this World as their Enemy

Jewish Moslems
Wouldn't live their lives Like You do
In front of the Screens
In front of the Cameras
In Hiding
Your Daily Life an Invisible War
You watch it Some of you are Cheering Some of you are Whining
Jewish Moslems
Wouldn't cry for War Nor beg for Peace
Like You do

You will return to your Home, your Family, your Job
And your Holiday Flights
Jewish Moslems will desert
from all creeds, classes and nations
Jewish Moslems are not addicted to Death
Jewish Moslems don't believe in Paradise
Jewish Moslems don't believe in Economy
Jewish Moslems don't believe themselves
to be Jewish Moslems
Jewish Moslems don't exist
They have nothing to say
Like You

-- Individual Initiative, Amsterdam, 9/30/ 2001

*"This leaflet was distributed at the demonstration against the 'New
War', Amsterdam 9/30/2001. It intended to take the predictable reactions
and stances against terrorism and war to their extreme: by combining them
with some peace, love & brotherhood kitsch it hoped to arrive at the old
conclusion that everything needs to be reinvented."*


8) Further links:

ZNet, includes translations in several languages:
Indymedia, includes links to its numerous international branches:
http://www.wereldcrisis.nl/ (Dutch site)

Some general background reading & activities:

Centre for Research on Globalisation:
Transnational Institute:
Global Policy Forum:
InterActivist Info Exchange, brought to you by Autonomedia Publishers and
FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting):
X minY Solidarity Fund:
http://www.xminy.nl/ (mostly Dutch site)
Autonoom Centrum/Freewhere
http://www.xs4all.nl/~ac/ (Dutch site, a good deal of it in English and/or

Sometimes heated debates take place in several languages at the various
Nettime lists and their peers,

A final link that I didn't want to keep from you, although I can't figure
out what section to place it in, nor how serious these guys are for that
matter (in all earnestness, I personally haven't gone through the whole
site by far yet either). Either way, I thought it was a, well, refreshing
look at things. http://secession.net/


"De mensen hebben gelijk. Ja, proost, ja. De mensen hebben gelijk. De
doden groeien ons boven het hoofd. Gisteren tien miljoen en vandaag al
dertig. En morgen komt er iemand, die laat een heel werelddeel in de lucht
vliegen. De volgende week komt er iemand, die vermoordt ons allemaal in
zeven seconden met tien gram vergif. Moeten we daarom treuren? Ik ga naar
het circus. De kolonel lachte zich dood. Hij zei dat ik zo het toneel op
kon. Hinkend, met die jas, met die kop, met die bril voor die kop en die
borstel d'r op. De kolonel heeft gelijk. De mensen lachen zich kapot. Leve
de kolonel! Hij heeft mijn leven gered. Heil kolonel! Leve het bloed, leve
het gelach om de doden.
    Want wie drank heeft of een bed of een meisje, die drome zijn laatste
droom, want morgen kan het al te laat zijn, en moet van zijn droom maar
een ark bouwen en zuipend en zingend over de verschrikkingen heen de
eeuwige duisternis binnenvaren. Kom, neem nog een slok. Wie drank heeft is
gered. De anderen verzuipen in angst en wanhoop. Mijn verstand is
verzopen. Leve de bloedige kolonel. Heil kolonel! Leve het circus. Het
hele grote circus."

-- De Kift, "Leve het circus", after Erich Maria Remarque.


act act act act act act act act act act act act act act act act act act
act act act act act act act act act act act act act act act act act act

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