On Hybrid Warfare

Imagine that you are a large country and that you want to destabilize an adversarial government.

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#syriaisgoingtobefreesoon

What tactics would you employ aside from direct invasion?

It’s not that hard to figure out a basic plan.

Step 1: Paint that government as bad (anti-democratic, for example).

Step 2: Support the opposition and give them positive media coverage (democratic, for example). Perhaps go as far as sending them weapons.

Step 3: If and when the enemy government suppresses the opposition, stage, along with your allies, an “international” outcry and call it “the international consensus”.

This is hybrid warfare.

The added bonus, of course, is that when that adversarial government blames you, then you can always claim that they’re crazy.

“The president is actually a crazy blood-thirty dictator!”

After all, isn’t it interesting that all “dictators” are presented as crazy? You’d think that there’d be at least one “dictator” who was at least a little in touch with reality. Stalin? Crazy. Castro? Crazy. Mao? Crazy. Gaddafi? Crazy. Khomeini? Crazy. Khamenei? Crazy. Saddam, after the Gulf War? Crazy.

Of course, the real fuckers (the ones supported by the West) are all hailed as being good leaders. Suharto? Strong, sensible. King Salman? Reformer, reasonable. Saddam, before the Gulf War? Clever, clear-headed.

The hypocrisy is mind-blowing.

Anyway, back to the point. This isn’t a conspiracy. This is logic.

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Soviet Propaganda: “Stop the Aggressor!”

After years and years of these repeated representations of the opposition as good and the government as bad, something inevitably starts to stick. After all, here we are in 2018 and where are the “enormous” protests in Venezuela? They’re gone.

But we all know that the next time that protests take place in Venezuela, they’ll revive the ghosts of 2017. No matter the situation, We$tern conservatives and liberals alike will cry out for the Venezuelans. Not for their suffering under imperialism, but for their apparent need to be rescued by imperialism.

And the conservatives and liberals will demonstrate that there is really no difference between them and they’ll say, “Remember 2017? Remember that one time? Remember?”

After all, isn’t this what happens in Iran?

Every time there is a protest, the West is quick to stump for a revival of the Green Movement of 2009. Every protest (that gets media coverage) is an “anti-government” protest, of course. Is that why the striking Bazaar shopkeepers (who aren’t We$tern-backed liberals) barely get any media coverage?

And don’t Iranian government officials sound crazy when they accuse the U.$. of supporting the liberal protests?

This the history of Iran. Denials from the Amerikkkans and the British go back to Operation Ajax in 1953 and the overthrow of Muhammad Mossadegh, the democratically-elected Prime Minister and his replacement with a brutal Amerikkkan puppet dictator – the Shah.

But Ayatollah Khamenei has a big white beard and wears a turban, so he must be insane, right?

The blueprint is so obvious that it barely requires discussion. And this is the key: for years, the U.$. denied Operation Ajax – chalking it up to a conspiracy theory as well. It was only recently (more than half a century after the fact) that it finally admitted to gutting Iranian democracy and installing a imperialist tyrant.

As it was in 1953 in Iran and 2018 in Nicaragua, the West is the master of Hybrid Warfare. Of course, it’s a tactic used by everyone, including the junior imperial partners, Russia and China. And it’s a tactic that everyone uses, because it works.

The propaganda is so effective that you don’t even realize that it’s there. The propaganda is so effective that the people making it don’t even realize that they’re making it.

It’s worth repeating – there is no conspiracy here. It doesn’t take any conspiracy to point at the facts. The CIA chief admitted to trying to destroy Venezuela last year.

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These old Tricontinental posters are my favorite, though.

And there’s no big media conspiracy here either. Journalists and reporters aren’t intentionally lying or manipulating the truth (usually). They’re simply following rational ideological positions. Anyone can go pick up a copy of “Manufacturing Consent” at the library and figure that out fairly quickly.

Journalists in Klanada and Amerikkka often continue to parrot the apparent threat by the Iranian government that they were going to “wipe I$rael off the map”. On the one hand, these are journalists who don’t speak Farsi, of course. On the other hand, in their worldview, it makes sense that Khamenei or Ahmadinejad would say that.

But following these ideological positions, journalists mistranslate and distort facts.

Indeed, the Iranian government never threatened to “wipe I$rael off the map“.

But again, news stories that sensationalize the apparently “crazy” statements of the Iranian leadership just act as another drop in the bucket. Another drop towards war against Iran.

Drip.

Drip.

Drip.

And when I$rael bombs Iranians in another country, everyone is quick to justify it. It’s a whole web of bullshit, legitimized slowly and steadily over a long period of time. Critical thinking is replaced by blind hatred for a perceived enemy. People become willing to believe anything

The propaganda works and, therefore, repeats itself.

Every once in a while on social media or forums like Reddit, a meme appears that shows women in Iran before the Revolution and women in Iran after the Revolution. Of course, the meme never shows regular women before the Revolution. Instead, it focuses on the glamorous, mini-skirted upper-class party-goers.

(A similar meme is now being used with regards to Afghanistan.)

The argument of the meme goes something like this: before the Iranian Revolution, women were free to wear whatever they liked, then Ayatollah Khomeini made everyone wear hijabs, because Islam = bad and the Iranian government is repressive.

The CIA doesn’t need to post this meme on Reddit or Facebook (although it might be doing that), because regular Euro-Amerikkkan people are ready and willing to attack Iran (and all the other countries challenging We$tern hegemony).

Of course, the idea that Iranian women are worse off completely ignores how the Iranian government has actually facilitated women in the public space, how the lives of regular Iranian women have improved dramatically since the Revolution, how middle-class and upper-class protestors wore hijab during the Revolution as a sign of solidarity with regular women, or how literacy rates for women jumped from 29% in 1976 to 87% in 2005.

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Just another powerless Iranian woman.

And this narrative, most important, also ignores We$tern patriarchy and, more specifically, We$tern patriarchy directed at Iranian women and what they wear.

Academics, journalists, and politicians are overly willing to believe nonsense, provided that it aligns with they’re preconceived notions about the world. This was demonstrated through the extraordinary claim recently that China has detained over a million Uyghurs and is housing them in re-education camps, where they are being forced to renounce Islam and accept the Communist Party as a symbol of ideal crimson infallibility.

Of course, in the end, this turned out to be nonsense. China is doing no such thing. The UN never said that China was doing such a thing, but reporters pounced on the story for its liberal sex appeal.

Were the reporters intentionally lying? Obviously not. They were simply reporting information that seemed plausible to them, despite the fact that there was no evidence and the sources were unreliable.

But, as any journalist will tell you, retractions don’t matter. People don’t remember the corrections to the lies.

Khatami thinks Americans are smart

Never forget the time that Khatami thought Amerikkkans read Alexis de Tocqueville.

So you can write a sensational headline that’s full of shit and then back-track later. The ghosts of the headlines haunt every occasion.

Journalism has already served its necessary role in the system of hybrid warfare. And you don’t even need to back-track later, if you can celebrate hybrid warfare itself!

For example, when President Nazi-Clown plans a coup in Venezuela, the New York Times is quick to write about it with nice imperialistic undertonesthe problem with a coup is that it could backfire! And, after reading any other New York Times article about Venezuela, any reader can put two and two together.

Looking around the world today, the signs of hybrid warfare are everywhere. The color revolutions in the Post-Soviet Republics (Ukraine, Georgia, etc.), the instability in the Middle East (Syria, Iran, etc.), and the attempt to dismantle the Pink Tide in Latin America (Venezuela, Nicaragua, etc.) demonstrate this most clearly.

Imperialism has evolved. Today, people embrace the nice, trendy language of the academy: “The Global North is embracing neoliberalism, which marginalizes people in the Global South blah blah blah.” No one wants to talk about imperialism or oppression. No one wants to utter the dreaded verbatim of the Cold War: “The First World” or “The Third World”. This new language masks a stark reality, as far as I can tell.

Therefore, this blog, I can promise you, will continue to use these terms as long as they remain applicable.

The First World oppresses and exploits the Third World through imperialism.

And that is something we must fight.

In the end, there’s one country that needs regime change most. Take it away, Howard:

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Drugs, Propaganda, and the Party of God

The news is abuzz with Politico’s new article that claims that Obama derailed an investigation in alleged drug trafficking and money laundering done by Hezbollah in Lebanon. The Politico article linked above charges Obama with dismantling “Project Cassandra” in order to make the “Iran Deal” possible.

I would, from the outset, question the veracity of these claims, considering a lot of the content of the article is regurgitated from allegations made back in 2011 (when Obama was president).

Of course, as usual, a little bit of reasoning ought to put the official Politico story into question. Whether or not Obama put up roadblocks against investigations is something that I do not and cannot know, beyond what the media reports (even at the end of the Politico article, they seem to call everything they’ve just said into question).

However, I do have three points that show something is very wrong with the propagandists’ rendering of Hezbollah and the fundamentals of the organization.

hezbollah

Hope and Change

1.) Hezbollah is, at least partially, a religious-confessional organization. Hezb-Allah (the Party of God) is an organization that was established in the draw-down of Lebanon’s bloody civil war, fought mostly along sectarian lines.

Hezbollah emerged as the primary representative of Lebanon’s Shi’a (although slowly, due to the competition from the Amal Movement).

The Politico article seems to suggest that Hezbollah is receiving money from both drug trafficking and Iran, or, alternatively, both Hezbollah and Iran are receiving funds from drug trafficking. The article leaves the reader guessing.

On the face of it, that would seem a bit odd, considering mainstream Islam’s pretty tight restrictions on drug use. Indeed, both Hassan Nasrallah (the leader of Hezbollah) and Ali Khamenei (the Supreme Leader of Iran) have explicitly forbade the use of drugs.

Aren’t these people supposed to be so incredibly religious that they’re unreasonable and impossible to negotiate with? Isn’t that the main line of the propaganda against them: Amerikkka can’t “trust” Iran, because they’re insane religious extremists?

Like Iran could ever trust Amerikkka!

Someone has their propaganda mixed up. It’s a jumbled policy of “throw everything at them and see what sticks”.

If you want to say that the leaders are lying and that they’ll take money from drug trafficking, then clearly they’re pragmatists and can negotiate. If you want to say they’re religious fundamentalists, then there is no way that they’re getting money from the drug trade.

2.) The Politico article centers around the drug trade in Latin American and Africa, apparently through some key business traders who have been able to secretly fund some transnational anti-Amerikkkan network.

In the past, Hezbollah’s alleged drug trafficking enterprise has been linked to the so-called Tri-Border Area. The Tri-Border Area is along the borders of Paraguay, Argentina, and Brazil. Supposedly accounting for a significant portion of weapon, drug, and human trafficking, the Tri-Border Area is notoriously mysterious, with very little reliable information regarding the market there.

TBA

It’s sort of a similar situation to North Korea, right? We don’t know anything, but everything we do know is bad and, therefore, we can extrapolate a lot of nonsense from that.

Apparently, every “terrorist” organization gets funding from the Tri-Border Area, if we’re to believe the reports. According the U.$. media and the U.$. government, both Hezbollah and Al-Qaeda receive funds from illicit trading through South America.

That seems a little strange, considering the war in Syria, where Hezbollah and Al-Qaeda are killing each other.

The Politico article does not directly mention the Tri-Border Area. It does, however, bring up the supposed “cocaine corridor” from South America up through Mexico, where the funds are not only apparently used to support Hezbollah, but also governments in Latin America that stand up against imperialism – Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador.

CocaineTrafficking

What’s the connection? Well, according to Politico, we can find it in the relationship between Hugo Chavez and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:

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Another claim with absolutely no evidence!

Isn’t it interesting that according to “interviews and documents”, Hugo Chavez is also responsible for everything bad in the world. After all, Politico says that Hezbollah has “for decades” been engaging in “narcoterrorism”?

Why is it that all of the evidence that comes up in the article is from simple testimonies and anonymous sources if this is an unquestionable fact?

If Hezbollah gets all its funding from illicit sources, then why does it even need funding from Iran?

If Hezbollah is so ubiquitous on the black market, then why isn’t there hard evidence of such trading?

Why is everything just hearsay and word-of-mouth?

This brings us to my third point.

3.) All of the supposed linchpins in the Hezbollah-drug trafficking connection conveniently work with everyone the U.S. doesn’t like right now, according to Politico. They even have this other picture in the article to drive home their point:

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Three presidents who are way better than Trump.

The article is fascinating for who make up this apparent narco-terrorist network around the world. It seems to be a blend of Russians and Lebanese businessmen traveling around the globe in search of ways to fund Putin and Hezbollah.

Isn’t it all just so convenient!

At one point, the article basically celebrates when, in 2008, “the CIA and Israeli intelligence detonated a bomb in [Imad] Mughniyeh’s car as he was leaving a celebration of the 29th anniversary of the Iranian revolution in Damascus, Syria. He was killed instantly. ”

How is this treated unproblematically in this story about Hezbollah? This was pretty big news in 2015, after seven years of Israel and the U.$. denying responsibility for the murder.

The Politico article accuses Imad Mughniyeh, who was a Hezbollah commander, of the bombing of a U.$. military barracks (by a different organization) during the Lebanese Civil War. However, notably, there is very flimsy evidence on which to blame him of any of his alleged crimes.

Also, no one seems to question the presence of a U.$. barracks on the outskirts of Beirut during a civil war.

Luckily, we don’t have to regard anything in the text with much seriousness, because the idea of “objectivity” on any level is thrown out the window. The Politico article reveals its pro-Amerikkkan bias very clearly with the following paragraph:

“Meanwhile, Hezbollah — in league with Iran — continues to undermine U.S. interests in Iraq, Syria and throughout wide swaths of Latin America and Africa, including providing weapons and training to anti-American Shiite militias. And Safieddine, the Ghost and other associates continue to play central roles in the trafficking of drugs and weapons, current and former U.S. officials believe.”

That last line is the most crucial – current and former U.$. officials believe. What does that mean? No evidence. None. Zero. Zilch.

And what is Hezbollah’s real crime? The fact that it continues to “undermine” the U.$.

This isn’t about drugs or about the black market or about terrorism (or about some bizarre used-car money-laundering scheme in Benin).

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Really!?

This is about the fact that Hezbollah has stood up, time and time again, against U.$. imperialism.

Hezbollah has defended Lebanon from invasion by Israel. Hezbollah has defended Syria against terrorist organizations like ISIS and Al-Qaeda. And Hezbollah continues to defend the Middle East from the threat of Saudi and U.A.E. influence.

Venezuela’s Problem is Capitalism

No matter what people are saying, the economic crisis in Venezuela is clearly rooted in capitalism, not socialism. Anyone who wants to say that this crisis is strictly a result of the social-democratic policies of the Venezuelan government is manipulating the facts.

The most obvious fact dispelling this is the other left social-democratic economy: Bolivia. At the moment, Bolivia’s economy is thriving, due to a boom in the demand for minerals.

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Evo’s little secret

As the price of minerals has shot up, the price of oil has plummeted. Oil, of course, has been the primary mover in making the social programs in Venezuela possible. The collapse of oil prices was not because of Venezuela’s social system, but rather because of the world market and geopolitics.

The policy crystallizes when we take a look at the words of Ali al-Naimi, who was the Minister for Petroleum and Mineral Resources in Saudi Arabia: “As a policy for Opec – and I convinced Opec of this, even Mr al-Badri [Opec secretary general] is now convinced – it is not in the interest of Opec producers to cut their production, whatever the price is.”

If you refer to the above links (both of which are BBC, hardly a leftist news outlet), we can see that the levels of production maintained by OPEC are entirely intentional. Oil prices are artificial, as OPEC countries over-produce. The rationale for such a move is, according to the BBC, the Gulf states’ attempt to keep their market-share.

However, that article also clearly demonstrates who the losers are when over-production happens: Russia, Iran, and Venezuela are at the top of the list.

Where does that leave us? Is it reasonable to assume that the drop in oil prices is entirely manufactured in order to not only maintain Gulf states’ market-share but also to destabilize countries that don’t nicely fit into U.S. global hegemony?

We shouldn’t take the right-wing baiting that Hugo Chavez’s mistake was nationalizing industries – Chavez’s mistake was rather assuming that the global powers weren’t intent on destroying his gains.

Chavez’s mistake was that he didn’t completely do away with capitalism in Venezuela.

Since the beginning of the social programs instituted by the Bolivarian government under Chavez, the West sought to undermine ever step of progress – even to the point of attempting to overthrow him in 2002.

Remember that throughout all of this:

The U.$. doesn’t hate Venezuela for the bad things it has done, but for the good things it has done.

Obama Legacy in Latin America