Alex Foti on Sun, 27 Mar 2016 10:30:14 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> salafi easter and finis europae: let's break the loop

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From: Alex Foti <>
Date: Wed, Mar 23, 2016 at 11:55 AM
Subject: salafi easter and finis europae: let's break the loop

as self-appointed agony aunt of the fall of europe for u dear
nettimers, lemme tell you that damned liège and brussels are
where i've been doing activism since the mid-2000s.

Since the late-november lockdown (if it sounds antilabor is because
it is) of the whole capital of the EU, Brussels hasn't been the
same. After march 22, it will take a while to revert to a new normal
whatever it is. In terms of gravity, i think it falls between London
seven-seven and Paris friday 13. In London, it was shocking to find
out that there were british natives willing to blow themselves up in a
subway, today it's incredible to find out that abdeslam has possibly
arranged the logistics for major attacks on two European capital
cities, and that the same bombmaker (the third guy with the black
hat) was behind Paris and Brussels . Two brothers known to the police
wearing black gloves on one hand and carrying heavy baggage can enter
the airport of a city that was put on the highest alert? well i guess
they didnt consider people travelling by cab.. jesus and jezebel..

Anyway, enough tears and shrines, enough islamophobia, let's break
the loop that since 9/11 has been repeating itself with distressing
frequency - civilians are targeted by hellbound jihadists - the
media goes into sorrow porn overdrive - the people go into (often
narcissistic) collective mourning - politicians become bellicose to
boost falling consensus - wars are unleashed - and they inevitably
boomerang home.

OK. for sake of politics and analytics, alqaeda and isis are
not equivalent - although both salafi groups - alqaeda was less
threatening especially to europe - it was composed of an alienated
middle class and didn't benefit from the benefits of full land
sovereignty, both in military and propaganda terms like isis does -
the fact it brought terror from the sky was probably the reason why
airport security has become fixated on boarding and nothing else.
alqaeda where ghosts in the machine, isis is an army of ruthless
operatives that explicitly aim for mass appeal among alienated
young muslims born and raised in european banlieues. alqaeda was
conspiratorial like europe's post-1815 secret societies, isis has
the strategies of a (right-wing) revolutionary party. isis has the
potential to unleash civil war in europe of the houellebecqian kind
(although not with the same ending, namely cryptofascists like trump
could be the ultimate beneficiaries of the clash of identities).
finally, isis is genocidal both in terms of ideology and behavior,
while alqaeda showed restraint vs say muslim brothers.

since the threat to us eurolanders is mainly internal (we're not
kurds, shias or non-orthodox sunnis in the maghreb and middle east,
luckily), it's clear that refugees have nothing to do with jihadist
attacks, which they are actually fleeing from in their home countries.
Will the brussels attacks cement the shameful deal that Merkel
recently struck with Erdogan for the EU? bombs in Istanbul and Ankara
are usually portrayed by western media not as part of european
politics and have been viewed as part of the global war in the middle

To break the vicious circle of aggression, repression, intervention,
reprisal the middle eastern question needs to be solved for good,
which means first of all solving the Syrian conundrum. i must admit
that nothing shortcircuits me intellectually like the Syrian war does.
Like in the yugoslav war, the aggressors are clear but the victims can
have nasty allies fighting on their side. Like the lebanese war, it
is a war of multiple fronts and shifting ethnic/religious/political
alliances. what was once known as the left has been united at least on
one thing: let's support the kurdish militias in syria and denounce
repression of kurds in turkey. when putin intervened to save assad
from falling, a weird thing happened. suddenly, many lefties forgot
all about the arab spring trampled upon by the dictatorship and
started rooting for the fall of aleppo, occupied and defended by
islamist forces funded by turkey, saudi arabia, and the gulf states ah
the contradiction - to be on the side of houthis and hezbollah means
to be on the side of assad, but to be against the shias means being on
the side of isis and the arch-reactionary house of saud.

in the ensuing siege of aleppo, kurdish militias behaved
opportunistically: they captured territory to the chagrin of erdogan
who shelled them, and enjoyed russian air support, similarly to what
happened the year before, when they had gotten last-minute help
from american aviation, and had managed to reverse the desperate
situation of Kobane, one of the few glimmers of hope in the disastrous
predicament we're facing.

the ceasefire prevented aleppo from falling to assadist forces (now
pushing toward palmyra?) and now russia has pulled out, reaching a
deal of sorts with the us methinks, whereby the russians get to have
a say in the future of syria; in exchange after a new constitution
assad will have to resign (he thought he could reconquer the country,
but he's just a pawn in putin's grand game of revanchism). let's
hope for a federal syria and an independent, sovereign kurdistan
(although kurdish politics covers a pretty wide spectrum going from
barzani's oil barons in irak to ocalan's pkk and syria's pyd and
finally these crazy bastards that have adopted suicide bomber tactics
(white falcons, is that their name?). these two things are not only
commendable, they are tremendously useful: the would protect europeans
(not to mention syrians, kurds, lebanese) more than any draconian
police laws or a european CIA would (if at all).

if europe was over with the end of schengen, now it's deader than
dead. we're no longer europeans, but french, germans, italians,
spaniards (and catalunyans), belgians (whatever it means in a country
split along language lines with autonomous brussels being claimed
by flemish politicians altho it is increasingly french-speaking -
b4 the attacks merkel quipped that michel had better worry about an
ever-closer belgium rather than the ever-closer europe cameron is
pulling out of - but the two are coterminous). this is ominous because
the nation-state is intrinsically discriminatory toward minorities and
immigrants and has consistently been a recipe for confrontation and
war since its origins in the mid-19th century.

we are living in post-european times although the flag is still there
and the commission is still functioning (and the euro circulating).
what is to be done? i phrase it like lenin - because what i am
about to propose is downright jacobinist (am i shifting from
anarcho-populism to green leninism? who cares..). let's take
blockupy/diem25 to its ultimate consequences and strategize to
establish a radical democracy in a new european federal state based
on free cities and autonomous regions. this would entail taking
over brussels and frankfurt (how to do it? i dunno but varoufakis,
pablo iglesias and especially ada colau might have some good ideas),
dislodge neoliberals from power, and defeat the forces of european
fascism like lega, dpp, fn, wilders etc.

yes, you understood right: a European Continental/Common Republic that
we'd have to fight mightily for, in order to guarantee the protection
of fundamental human, civil, gender, cyber, labor fundamental rights,
and achieve full fiscal, social, political (and military) union. A
european republic that acts as geoconomic counterbalance to america
and china and as a geopolitical counterweight to russia (without being
dragged into war by nato, poland and the baltic states) and put the
visegrad countries before a clear-cut choice over so-called european
values. Last and foremost, such a republic would have the legitimacy
to mobilizes its citizens against forces like isis that threaten the
lives of multigender/multiethnic and a/mono/poly/theistic europeans
who inhabit big cities.

hairy easter to you all

ps read the last volume of Michael Mann's sources of social power if you
get a chance

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