Put Your AK’s and Blasting Caps Away!: Thoughts on Urban Guerrilla Warfare Today

In the interest of full disclosure, I have always had this strange romance for the urban guerrilla groups of the 1970’s. Rather it be the Weather Underground (The Weathermen), the SLA (Symbionese Liberation Army), The Black Liberation Army (BLA), or, in Europe, the RAF (Red Army Faction), in Germany, or the Red Brigades, in Italy, they have always appealed to me with their stories of fighting fire with fire against those in power. And having just gotten through the six-part CNN documentary, “The Radical Story of Patty Hearst” (must watch!), I thought this would be a good time to elaborate on the STL stances on violent revolution in explicit terms.

All the above groups took a violent stand against the state in order to spark a far-left revolution among the masses. The Weather Underground only committed bombings of symbolic buildings (e.g., the Pentagon), but the rest engaged in deadly bombings, shootings, assassinations, kidnappings, robberies, and prison breaks. They believed these actions would ignite “the people”, who were just kindling for them to light, and a radical leftist revolution would occur. But they were wrong.

They were in the wrong because they misjudged the stance and temperament of the average American/European. The SLA, the RAF, the BLA, etc., thought that if they just kicked things off, they would be met with great support by the people who were starving for revolution. They would conduct some deed(s) that would awaken them from the proletariat’s sense of “false consciousness” (see previous post) and begin the revolution. This resulted in these groups, barring the BLA, which was a violent splinter group of the Black Panthers, who were mostly made up of rich white college kids completely out of touch with the people. They had misjudged the mood of the population and failed in affecting the monumental, long term political change they desired

The young college kids on college campuses today need to learn this lesson before anything gets out of hand. Violence is not the answer right now. Take it from me, a college-educated piece of white trash living amongst the people today: It’s not where we’re at. And though it may feel good as an affect exercise by expressing your rage, this is not where the stand.

In short, that’s what I want you, any hotheaded radicals like myself out there, to learn from this post. Urban guerrilla tactics are not what we need right now. It would only be futile and could turn the people against our cause if we conduct our actions that way.

Che Guevara wrote that a guerrilla force must have at least 60% of the population in support of their cause to conduct a successful revolution. These 1970’s groups had only that much support among their fellow students at Berkeley.

Embarrassing Weekend for NSA and CIA Good for Democracy

U.S. intelligence took a couple of pretty hard slaps in its face this past weekend and, when reading the articles about their wasteful and ridiculous actions, the slaps were clearly justified.NSA

First off, it was announced on Friday that Germany had arrested a man accused of spying for the United States and passing on the details of a German parliamentary committee’s investigation.  It’s pretty disgraceful that the U.S. is spending taxpayer dollars to buy spies so we can know about an ally’s parliamentary actions, but it gets worse.  The intelligence the U.S. wanted from this man is what the committee was investigating: NSA spying on Germany and its Chancellor Angela Merkel.  A Reuters exclusive posted today confirms the role of the CIA in paying the spy.

There’s a lot to hate about these stupid actions, but the harm to foreign relations should be noted and is properly pointed out in the first article:

…the new allegation of American spying on an ally may make it harder for the US to get German help in its efforts to oppose Russian activity in Ukraine, and also to control Iranian nuclear ambitions.

Then, on Sunday, the Washington Post published another blistering article detailing the abuses of the NSA and its mass collection of the data of innocent Americans.  The main point of the article is the NSA is wastefully collecting data on nine people for every one alleged target it is tracking.  Which begs the often repeated questions, why is the extra tracking needed and why is there not a warrant needed for this additional tracking of innocent Americans?  An example given toward the end of the article speaks volumes on this issue.

The Washington Post article also reignites the question of why James Clapper is still DNI after clearly lying to Congress.

On the bright side of all of these revelations, we now know more about what is being done with our tax dollars and in our names as Americans.  There is no doubt these agencies have overstepped their bounds by a ton and are doing so in ways that are simply disgraceful and wasteful.  The more the American people know about NSA and CIA actions, the more they can be reigned in.

The type of secrecy these agencies are able to operate under would make any authoritarian regime envious and gets to the point of why they are such an offense to the idea of true democracy.  The fact that we spied on our allies, their leaders, and their cell phones is shameful enough but now we have doubled-down on this stupidity by spending more tax dollars trying to find out about their investigations into our spying on them.

Quick show of hands.  Who wanted their tax dollars spent on spying on Angela Merkel in the first place?  No one?  How about spending more resources on looking into their investigation of that and damaging our standing in the world even more?  Still no one?

One last question: who is in favor of continually increasing the unknown budget for this stupidity at the cost of cutting helpful social programs like education, food stamps, Medicaid, etc.?

Economic Globalization and Impunity

When the Ukrainian crisis evolved into what we now know is the annexation of the Crimean peninsula by the Russians, and beyond, something became apparent in others and my own mind: economic globalization allows nations to do whatever they want as long the ones who oppose them have significant economic ties with them.And the real problem is that everybody has and increasing amount of trade-ties with everyone else.

The annexation of Crimea is an international crime and when Russia took a hard-line regarding it, what was done? We promised stiff sanctions if such aggression continued but nothing materialized.


For when the U.S. looked to Western powers to backup their proposed sanctions against the Russian Federations nothing was done for Western Europe, and mainly Germany (the leader of the Euro-Zone), depends too much on Russian natural gas imports. Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin just had to hint at rising gas export prices or stopping them altogether and Western Europe folded.

Some Republicans, in some sort of delusion, proposed that we begin exporting American natural gas to Germany and other Euro-Zone nations to supplement Russian imports, but experts explained that such a plan would take decades.

So what happened to push back Russian interference in Eastern Ukraine was diplomacy and the situation has now been toned down with amassed Russian forces moving back from the Ukrainian/Russian border. But what if diplomacy did not work and sanctions were our only resort barring World War III?

In an increasingly economically globalizing world, sanctions may become innocuous in the future at the risk of imposing nations risking economic catastrophe in their own country.

I’m interested in hearing your opinion on this matter in terms of what can be added to my analysis and some way that economic globalization can become less of a hindrance to action against breakers of international law.



Russian Troop Movement On Ukrainian Border

russia-operations-map-1-600A report in the NYT on Russian troop movement, placement, and battle exercises along the Ukrainian border. It also outlines that German Chancellor Angela Merkel has come down with some hard-hitting speech that warns Russia of harsh sanctions if the policies of the 19th and 20th century return. But the bad part is that Russia is a strong trading partner with Germany.

Read Here.

White House Aware of Eavesdropping

nsa072way-6ff6dccc27700cd7f0508fce24bafecbf46865da-s6-c30A smashing article in the L.A. Times reports that sources tell the newspaper that the White House was aware and signed-off on eavesdropping on friendly leaders of the world including Germany, Mexico, and Brazil.

The real scandal here is that the White House has claimed they had no knowledge of these eavesdroppings-on-close- allies policies, but now unnamed officials say that the White House signed off on the collections performed by the NSA.

Read Here.