Bulletin N°492


15 May 2011
Grenoble, France

Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,

Strategy is knowing what you want, writes Anthony Wilden in his book, The Rules are No Game (1987), and tactics is knowing how to get it. Strategy without tactics is simply wishful thinking, while tactics without strategy is impossible.

People who are tactically illiterate can learn tactics by themselves, he continues; but strategic illiteracy requires outside intervention. Wilden warns us that tactics can never defeat strategy; only strategy can defeat other strategies. The tactics of foot soldiers make generals famous, and this is why Imperialists teach only tactics to the people they colonize, who are expected to sacrifice their lives if necessary for the strategies they never understood. The colonized are never taught strategy.

From the books we are reading on communication theory and systems analysis, we have learned that in open, goal-seeking systems the causes of events are found in the goals sought (taking into account the constraints encountered while seeking these goals). Anthony Wilden uses the example of the drive home : As we leave headed for our destination, he explains, we have many choices on how to proceed. We choose our path by rejecting alternative ways, but as we approach our destination our choices become more and more limited, until we have no alternative than to pull into the driveway (or dive into our bed, as the case may be). The cause of our actions is the goal we have set and the constraints we have encountered; not our original departure. [From CEIMSA Bulletin #236: ON PREDATORS, PARASITES, AND PEDESTRIANS.]

These axioms are discussed more fully by Professor Wilden in his book, Man and Woman War and Peace: The Strategist's Companion (1987), and they are premised on the proposition that transnational corporations have declared a world-wide war against all of us. The same war that is being fought for the capitalist strategy in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya is being fought in the streets and workplaces of Western Europe, North America, and elsewhere --different battle fields, different tactics; but the same Grand Strategy, i.e. maximum profits for important corporations. We didn't declare this war, it was declared on us; and as in any war, the first tactical move is an effort to disarm the enemy, to take what you want without casualties. This requires propaganda and psychological warfare (a.k.a. advertisement and marketing).

According to the principles of Information Theory, there is no contradiction between the wealth of information that is circulating today and the impoverishment of ideas: information does not create ideas; it is ideas that create information. Only experience can create ideas. We are awash in an ocean of information but we have insufficient ideas to be able to understand the meaning of the information that engulfs us. Our paucity of ideas is linked to our failure to experience "emotionally competent stimulus" (ECS). [See CEIMSA Bulletin # 447: ON THE CARNIVORES OF WAR AND THEIR PARASITICAL ATTACHMENTS.] Today, the life described in Hurbert Marcuse's "One Dimensional Man" appears like a cornucopia of experience, a voluptuous Valhalla, compared to daily life of an ever increasing number of the "surplus population" living in the world's slums, while the rest of us find ourselves caught up in a forest of gadgets that block our energies and distract our attention from the ominous trends that sweep us up in a direction that we had no intention of following, toward our mutual distruction.

The present state of consumer society can be best understood as the alternative to corporate "dirty wars," such as took place in Argentina: Better to be zombies, walking on the surface --ahistorical and anxious-- than among those drugged and gutted dissidents who were dropped en mass from cargo planes, taking off from an Argentine military base regularly twice a week, while flying over the South Atlantic to sink off the shores of Argentina to the bottom of the ocean and disappear as fish food. [See CEIMSA Bulletin #408: ON BODY HEAT AND THE ETHICS OF "MINDING" ONES OWN BUSINESS.]

One war, many battle fields; one Grand Strategy with a variety of sub-strategies, grand tactics, and tactics . . . . [See Wilden, Man and Woman, pp. 232-244.]

The 5 items below suggest an altogether different gestalt, different from the bourgeois appearances of material reality which tend to dominate our perceptions, our thinking, our words, our actions . . . .

Item A., sent to us by New York University Professor Mark Miller, are two articles describing class struggle in New York City, as we speak.

Item B. are recent Internet links to "LA BELLE RESISTANCE/ BEAUTIFUL RESISTANCE," sent to us from Palestine by Dr. Catherine Shamas.

Item C., sent to us by Reader Supported News, is the May 11 Democracy Now! broadcast with Noam Chomsky discussing "The Arab Spring's Threat to Western Colonialism."

Item D. is a an Electric Politics audio broadcast with the inimitable George Kenney interviewing New York City civil rights lawyer Chase Madar, discussing "The Bradley Manning Case."

Item E. is a 2009 Counter Punch article by Gabriel Kolko, giving a long-term analysis of US-Israeli imperialist strategies and their tactics in Gaza.

And finally, we invite CEIMSA readers to revisit the history of Imperialist violence in Palestine, 63 years latter . . . .

The Nakba

Israelis Defy Nakba Law on Independence Day
On the 63rd Israeli Independence Day,
Israelis defy the ban on mourning the Nakba in the heart of Tel Aviv

Francis McCollum Feeley
Professor of American Studies
Université Stendhal Grenoble 3
Director of Research
Université de Paris 10

from Mark Crispin Miller :
Date: 14 May 2011
Subject: Days of protest in New York! Thousands march on Wall Street, hundreds march on Lincoln Center (to "rebrand" the David Koch Theater)

Thousands Protest Draconian Budget Cuts With March on Wall Street,
Demand That We "Make the Banks Pay"

by Lauren Kelley

Thousands of New Yorkers descended on Wall Street yesterday to protest the awful budget cuts being proposed by NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg and draw attention to the fact that the big banks are to blame for the city\'s financial problems. Organized by the May 12 Coalition, the march brought out at least 10,000 protesters (and maybe as many as twice that number), including teachers, union workers, labor advocates, and city officials. As the Huffington Post reports, "Demonstrators from the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) alone, which faces more than 4,000 teacher cuts if Bloomberg\'s budget is enacted as is, numbered in the thousands." One attendee, journalist M. Gould-Wartofsky, tweeted that he "[hadn\'t] seen anything like this in NYC since before 9/11."

Again, HuffPost:
Rev. Al Sharpton, UFT President Michael Mulgrew and an array of city councilmembers and state elected officials laid the blame for the budget cuts squarely at Bloomberg and Wall Street\'s feet.
"Wall Street recovered, hedge funds got stimulated, and now they want to lay off teachers and close day care centers," Sharpton said. "We\'re going where they sent the money," he said of the march.
Organizers claimed the city could prevent budget cuts by reinstating the state\'s "Millionaire Tax," ending subsidies for large companies that failed to meet job-creation targets and renegotiating city contracts with the big banks. They estimate their proposals could save New York City $1.5 billion and billed the event as a demonstration not just against the Bloomberg budget plan but also as an effort to "make the banks pay."

NY1 has some good footage of the protesters marching and chanting, and you can view the May 12 Coalition\'s excellent photos of the event here.

Rowdy, Friendly Crowd of 500 Marches in NYC to Rebrand David H. Koch Theatre
"The Tea Party's Wallet"

by Kristen Gwynne

On Wednesday night, a diverse crowd of more than 500 New Yorkers gathered at Martin Luther King High School behind Lincoln Center in preparation for a “Guerrilla Drive-In,” a satirical urban take on the drive-in movie. The rowdy event was designed to shine a spotlight on the now infamous Koch Brothers and their efforts to cover up their far right wing, anti-environment, anti-union agenda by donating large sums of money to New York City cultural institutions.

The audience witnessed the world premiere of Brave New Foundation’s short film, and the event culminated in adding a sign reading “I am the Tea Party’s wallet” to the name plate of the Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater. (After donating more than $100 million dollars to Lincoln Center in 2008, the institution renamed its New York State Theatre, which houses the New York City Ballet and Opera, the David H. Koch Theater.)

Led by Reverend Billy and the radical marching band Rude Mechanical Orchestra, the crowd paraded (popcorn in hand) from the high school to Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. From the plaza behind the theater, activists watched the film “The Koch Brothers Exposed” and Reverend Billy, dressed in white pants and a matching jacket, spoke into a megaphone as the crowd tightened: “We’re here because we love the Earth and we love our city. This must stop!"

The boisterous, fun loving crowd then marched to the front of Lincoln Center to participate in a “guerilla rebranding” of the Koch Theatre. The event was orchestrated by key staff from the Brave New Foundation and AgitPop, along with the Rude Mechanical Orchestra, and of course the popular Reverend Billy, who leads a radical, 50-person performance community that describes itself as "wild anti-consumerist gospel shouters." The crowd included a gaggle of local "stealth" activists recruited via a secret text message strategy set up by AgitPop, reminiscent of "flash mobs."
“We realize the Koch brothers spend a lot of money to put their names on buildings but not other places they give their money – the Tea Party and union busting," explained Tenene Allison, Political Director of Brave New Foundation, a non-profit organization that uses video and new media to inform and mobilize the public. Thus, renaming the Koch Theater by adding “I am the Tea Party’s wallet” simply put the context behind the man. John Sellers, CEO of AgitPop, a netroots subvertising agency delivering boots-on-the-ground guerilla marketing to progressive campaigns, called the Koch Brothers “evil geniuses with billions of dollars and a deeply formed political agenda capable of changing the course of history and democracy.” 
Prior to the action, several attendees said they were unsure what the event  entailed but were eager to participate. The Danger and The Yes Men, two New York City event/activism listservs, had alerted them. Judith LeBlanc, National Field Director of Peace Action and distributor of popcorn at the event, put it like this: “Stay with us and march to see the world premiere of a movie to mock villains in public funding and services.”
As revealed in “The Koch Brothers Exposed,” brothers David and Charles Koch have donated $31 million to the Tea Party, $50 million to deny climate change, $34.6 million to union-busting organizations, and much more to other right-wing think tanks and conservative candidates. The film and rebranding are part of an effort by Brave New Foundation to expose the family’s multimillion dollar campaigns to pump money into the right wing agenda and further their own business interests as oil refiners.
In front of Lincoln Center, before a large crowd, organizers projected visuals onto the building from a projector inside the Empire Hotel, across the street from The Koch Theater. Theater attendees watched the crowd from the balcony above the sidewalk, and passers-by stopped to check out the action – it was a difficult one to miss. Organizers and attendees alike were excited by the success of the event. A peaceful evening, the mood was hopeful and positive – New Yorkers took back, at least for a moment, one of their most prized institutions, and they had one hell of a time while doing it.

The action lasted until about 9pm, when four NYPD paddy wagons rolled-up, and legal counsel Wylie Stceklew advised the crowd to disperse. just as Lincoln Center attendees were leaving their events -- creating a juxtaposition of evening clad concert goers and the casually dressed protesters. As the police formed a human barricade on the sidewalk and pushed on-lookers north, the crowd and band continued to sing “We’re Not Going to Take It.”  For Reverend Billy, however, the advice came just moments too late, as he was arrested on trespassing charges while leaving the scene.

Kristen Gwynne is a freelance writer and a journalism student at NYU.

© 2011 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.

From Catherine Shamas :
Date: 14 May 2011

Hi Friends, Salut les amis
A small report about Beautiful Resistance on France 24,  There is some
mistakes but as usual...
un court reportage sur la belle resistance sur France 24. Il y a
quelques erreur de reportage mais bon, c'est le cas un peu avec le media

En français:

sur Youtube, en français:

et en anglais:

from Reader Suppoprted News :
Date: 14 May 2011
Subject: Arab Spring's Threat to Western Colonialism

Speaking at the 25th anniversary celebration of the national media watch group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, world-renowned political dissident and linguist Noam Chomsky analyzes the US response to the popular uprisings sweeping the Middle East and North Africa. 'Across the [Middle East], an overwhelming majority of the population regards the United States as the main threat to their interests,' Chomsky says. 'The reason is very simple ... Plainly, the US and its allies are not going to want governments which are responsive to the will of the people. If that happens, not only will the US not control the region, but it will be thrown out.'

Arab Spring's Threat to Western Colonialism

Portrait, Noam Chomsky, 06/15/09. (photo: Sam Lahoz) 
Noam Chomsky, Democracy Now!

from George Kenney :
Date: 13 May 2011
Subject: Podcast interview re Bradley Manning w/ Chase Madar.

Dear Francis,
     The Bradley Manning case is disturbing -- should be disturbing -- to thoughtful people. Despite his not even having been put on trial yet, the Obama administration seems determined to punish Manning through detention conditions as severe as they can make them. Some call it torture. It's meant as a warning to other would-be leakers but how well that works remains to be seen.
     To talk about the Manning case and related issues, including so-called "humanitarian intervention," I turned to the New York based civil rights lawyer Chase Madar. Chase also writes for the London Review of Books, Le Monde Diplomatique, the American Conservative, and CounterPunch. He's a very smart, decent guy and I think you'll like this one.
     As always, please don't hesitate to forward the link.

P.S. I recorded this conversation on March 31, so it's been slightly overtaken by events. Nevertheless, it holds up very well. The explanation for the delay is long and complicated and has to do with cell phone sound quality -- not to worry, after editing the sound quality is quite good -- and while I wish I'd managed to get it produced faster, serendipitously, it leads neatly up to next week's show with Steve Kleinman, a veteran military intelligence officer and one of America's top interrogators.

The Bradley Manning Case

from Counter Punch :
Date: 21 January 2009
Subject: Tactics and Strategies and How They Fail.

How to Inflame the Entire Muslim World

Understanding Gaza