The Spectre of Barbarism and its Alternative Michael A. Lebowitz

10 September, 2010 — The   B u l l e t Socialist Project • E-Bulletin No. 414

The following two documents are presentations made or prepared for different purposes in Venezuela. The first (‘The Spectre of Barbarism and its Alternative: Eight Theses’) was presented at a conference of Venezuelan intellectuals organized by Centro Internacional Miranda (CIM) in Caracas on ‘The New International Situation and Construction of Socialism in the 21st Century’ on 1 October 2009; this paper points to both the international struggle and (peripherally on this occasion) the internal struggle. The second intervention (‘The Responsibility of Revolutionary Intellectuals in Building Socialism’) was presented at a CIM conference, ‘Intellectuals, Democracy and Socialism,’ on 2 June 2009 – a conference in Caracas composed largely of leading Venezuelan intellectuals which generated much controversy because of public criticisms of ‘the process’ made there; despite my statement that this presentation was ‘general rather than specific to Venezuela,’ it nevertheless was declared to be as an attack on PSUV (Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela) by a Chavist faction linked to the oil ministry.

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National Security Archive Update, September 13, 2010: “No-Go” Tribal Areas Became Basis for Afghan Insurgency Documents Show

13 September, 2010 — National Security Archive

U.S. had “Absolutely No Inclination” to Negotiate with Taliban September 2001; Pakistan Disagreed, Claimed “Real Victory” Only Through Talks

Washington’s Immediate 9/11 Demands to Islamabad

For more information contact:
Barbara Elias – (202) 994-7000 /

Washington, DC, September 13, 2010 – Pakistani tribal areas where Osama bin Laden found refuge were momentarily open to the Pakistani Army when “the tribes were overawed by U.S. firepower” after 9/11, but quickly again became “no-go areas” where the Taliban could reorganize and plan their resurgence in Afghanistan, according to previously secret U.S. documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act by the National Security Archive and posted today at

According to U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Ronald E. Neumann, the 2005 Taliban resurgence in Afghanistan was a direct product of the “four years that the Taliban has had to reorganize and think about their approach in a sanctuary beyond the reach of either government.” This had exponentially increased casualties as the Taliban adopted insurgency tactics successful in Iraq, including suicide bombings and the use of IEDs. Ambassador Neumann warned Washington that if the sanctuary in Pakistan were not addressed it would “lead to the re-emergence of the same strategic threat to the United States that prompted our OEF [Operation Enduring Freedom] intervention” in 2001.

As current U.S. strategy increasingly pursues policies to reconcile or “flip” the Taliban, the document collection released today reveals Washington’s refusal to negotiate with Taliban leadership directly after 9/11. On September 13, 2001, U.S. Ambassador Wendy Chamberlin “bluntly” told Pakistani President Musharraf that there was “absolutely no inclination in Washington to enter into a dialogue with the Taliban. The time for dialog was finished as of September 11.” Pakistan, as the Taliban’s primary sponsor, disagreed. Pakistani Intelligence (ISI) Chief Mahmoud told the ambassador “not to act in anger. Real victory will come in negotiations… If the Taliban are eliminated… Afghanistan will revert to warlordism.”

The new materials also illustrate the importance of the bilateral alliance to leaders in both Islamabad and Washington. One cable described seven demands delivered to Pakistani Intelligence (ISI) Director Mahmoud by U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage two days after the attack, while another reported Pakistani President Musharraf’s acceptance of those requests “without conditions” the next day. However, the documents also reveal fundamental disagreements and distrust. While Pakistan denied that it was a safe haven for anti-American forces, a State Department Issue Paper for the Vice President claimed “some Taliban leaders operate with relative impunity in some Pakistani cities, and may still enjoy support from the lower echelons of Pakistan’s ISI.”

Visit the Archive’s Web site for more information about today’s posting.


THE NATIONAL SECURITY ARCHIVE is an independent non-governmental research institute and library located at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. The Archive collects and publishes declassified documents acquired through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). A tax-exempt public charity, the Archive receives no U.S. government funding; its budget is supported by publication royalties and donations from foundations and individuals.

NO2ID Supporters’ Newsletter No. 157 – 9th September 2010


Next week the Identity Documents Bill, the legislation that is said to scrap ID cards, begins its last parliamentary lap with its final stages in the House of Commons on 15th September. So by the end of the month we should see most of the Identity Cards Act repealed.

NO2ID will be organising a celebration. “Well begun is half done,” according to the proverb. But it is important to remember that although the legislation does get rid of the National Identity Register, it is only a good beginning, since the government has yet to take on board all of NO2ID’s criticisms.

There are few amendments tabled, and they would not improve the Bill from our point of view. There is still too much data-sharing allowed. The new definition of an “identity document” still bundles into law a badly thought-out conception of official identity, that Britons have managed without for hundreds of years.

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UK Investigates Iraq War – US is Silent

13 September, 2010 — The Real News Network

Gardner: MI5 head testimony disproves Bush-Cheney-Blair claims intelligence agencies agreed on Iraq WMD

UK Investigates Iraq War – US is Silent
, posted with vodpod

David Gardner is International Affairs Editor at the Financial Times. He was born in Brussels and educated at Stonyhurst College and St John s College, Oxford. He joined the Financial Times in 1978 and has worked mainly as a foreign correspondent or writer on international affairs. His assignments include: Mexico & Central America correspondent, European Union correspondent, Middle East Editor, South Asia bureau chief. He was the FT’s Chief Leader Writer and Associate Editor from 2006 until this year. In 2003 he won the David Watt political journalism prize for his writing on the Arab world. He is the author of the recent Last Chance: the Middle East in the Balance (published by I. B. Tauris in the UK and Palgrave Macmillan in the US), which in April was long-listed for the 2010 George Orwell book prize for the art of political writing. He was made a Senior Associate Member of St Antony s College Oxford in 2008, and is an associate editor of Europe’s World, the pan- European policy journal published out of Brussels. David Gardner has lectured at think-tanks, foundations and universities in Europe, the Middle East and the US, and is a frequent broadcaster on radio and television.

September Eleven: Hope or Hate? “Book burning is a special kind of savagery…” By Felicity Arbuthnot

11 September, 2010 — Global Research

“No creature smarts so little as a fool.” (Alexander Pope, 1688-1744.)

Numerous commentators on the demented, hate filled ramblings of “Pastor” Terry Jones, who may or may not celebrate his 11th September by an evening of Qur’an burnings, have referred to the potential of Muslim retaliation across the globe. General Petraeus is concerned about backlash to US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. President Obama and Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, more or less reiterated his stance – whilst saying they are powerless to stop his hate filled initiative. One can only speculate as to whether they would be as sanguine were it the Torah or Talmud being burned.

Yet the avalanche of comments also create a further divide.

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Information Clearing House 13 September, 2010: The Hyperinflation Mirage

13 September, 2010 — Information Clearing House

Tony Blair and the Great Islamic Threat
By Gwynne Dyer
Blair has never publicly acknowledged that Saddam was actually an enemy of radical Islam: admitting that would drain the last dram of logic from his justification for invading Iraq. So he only talks in general terms about fighting “radical Islam” and hopes that the more ignorant part of the public will think that includes the Iraq war.

War Criminal
By The Press Association
Tony Blair is to receive an award for his global human rights work.

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The American Occupation of Afghanistan and the Birth of a National Liberation Movement By Prof. Marc W. Herold

7 September, 2010 — Global Research

Edited Transcript of a Public lecture by professor Marc Herold, Massachussetts Institute of Technology M.I.T., Cambridge, Mass. August 2010

Kabul, August 1996 before the Taliban entered. An old man in his neighborhood that was destroyed by years of inter-factional fighting, following the withdrawal of the Soviets in 1989. Photo by photo-journalist anthropologist, Teun Voeten (from

I shall discuss ten points:

  • The Taliban entering Kabul on September 27, 1996. Who were they?
  • Arrival of” the guest” (Osama bin Laden) in May 1996 and Al Qaeda’s agenda (very different from that of the Taliban);
  • 9/11 and the implementing of the neo-conservatives’ Project for a New American Century (PNAC);
  • US aerial attacks during Oct-Nov Dec. 2001 (release of my first Dossier on Dec. 10, 2001 documenting the slaughter civilians, families, etc…) beginning of armed opposition to the invader;
  • Crucial battles in the northern plains of Afghanistan during Oct-Nov 2001 and what each side learned. Mullah Omar retreats on a motorcycle into the mountains north of Kandahar on Dec 8, 2001;
  • Begin of slow reconstitution of the Taliban, 2002-4. US anti-guerrilla operations alienate increasing numbers of common Afghans. By early 2004, I could write about the “Taliban’s Second Coming”:
  • Key point: the way the Americans (and later NATO) fought the Afghan resistance built a national liberation movement. People who fight a foreign occupation are a resistance, not terrorists. Provide lots of concrete examples of this;
  • Analysis of what I mean by the three words in the Afghan “national liberation movement.” Differences exist with other national liberation movements as in Algeria and Vietnam;
  • The primary struggle now is to oust the foreign occupiers;
  • End with three stark photos depicting maiming, abduction and fear.

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Information Clearing House Newsletter 10 September, 2010 Weekend Edition: Quran-Burning Nut Job

10 September, 2010 — Information Clearing House

Taliban And US Get Down To Talks
By Syed Saleem Shahzad
The Taliban are for the first time in serious negotiations with the US. The Pakistan military and Saudi Arabia are acting as go-betweens to facilitate the talks.

The ‘Meaning’ of 9/11
It’s not what you think
By Justin Raimondo
Today, nine years after the event, the Israel lobby is using the anniversary of the attacks to whip up anti-Muslim hysteria to a fever pitch, and they have plenty of bucks to do it.

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