Those of us who are part of the movement for anti-colonial proletarian revolution within the U.S. are going to have to approach the coming generation through a lens of insurgency vs counterinsurgency. This need for us to embrace this kind of siege mentality comes not from some adventurist fantasy, but from the fact that the state is coming at us in a way which prompts such a mentality.
Importing the foreign counterinsurgency tactics of occupation warfare & psychological operations
To understand what I mean, just look at the ways the U.S. national security state has already brought its foreign wars home, as was summarized last year by MR Online's Martin Schoots-McAlpine:
The connections between American counter-insurgency and domestic politics are not just on the discursive level. In "The other side of the COIN: counterinsurgency and community policing", Kristian Williams provides an excellent overview of the material relationship between American military counter-insurgency programs and American policing. This is specifically evident with regard to trends towards the militarization of the police and so-called "Community Policing" initiatives. Williams demonstrates how, in a modern example of the "imperial boomerang", many of the methods employed by modern police forces were developed and refined by the American military, including during its occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan. In turn, the military partnered with police forces to learn how to better control conquered populations, be they black people living in American cities or Iraqis living under American occupation in Iraq.
The imperial boomerang effect is also present when it comes to Israel's colonial war, another project of U.S. imperialism. Like the Iraq invasion, this war's goal is the occupation of a sovereign territory, which has required the pacification of the territory's population and the innovation in repressive techniques that are being increasingly applied to America's own citizens. Throughout the last decade or so, there's been an Israelification of U.S. domestic security, where America's police have been receiving training from the Israeli "counterterrorism" units that specialize in extrajudicial assassinations of Palestinian leaders, massacres of Palestinian civilians, and assaults of defenseless Palestinians.
Throughout the last decade, there's emerged documentary evidence that this IDF training has caused U.S. police to murder more unarmed nonwhite people than they did previously, a fact that last year caused the U.S. national security state to reveal more of its counterinsurgency model when the anti-black police violence provoked record protests.
As Schoots-McAlpine also described, this counterinsurgency effort against Black Lives Matter started with manipulative media narratives, likely coordinated with the help of the internal propaganda network that was unleashed by the 2013 lifting of a previous ban on covert U.S. government psychological operations directed at American citizens. These narratives were a dual deception, involving both vilification of the oppressed and manufactured sympathy for the oppressors. The protesters were painted as immoral looters, and the police were painted as being on the side of BLM's cause.
There are some uncanny parallels between these pieces of propaganda, and the model for narrative manipulation that's been adopted by the Zionist state throughout its recent campaigns for suppressing Palestinian uprisings. This is apparent while reading the following passage from the "Global Language Dictionary," the rhetorical playbook that Zionist propaganda expert Frank Luntz wrote for Israel's public relations managers in their statements from throughout the last decade:
The first step to winning trust and friends for Israel is showing that you care about peace for BOTH Israelis and Palestinians and, in particular, a better future for every child. Indeed, the sequence of your conversation is critical and you must start with empathy for BOTH sides first. Open your conversation with strong proven messages such as: Israel is committed to a better future for everyone"--"-Israelis and Palestinians alike. Israel wants the pain and suffering to end, and is committed to working with the Palestinians toward a peaceful, diplomatic solution where both sides can have a better future. Let this be a time of hope and opportunity for both the Israeli and the Palestinian people.
These posturings of concern for the wellbeing of the targeted population, accompanied by constant vilifications of those fighting for that population's rights, are how the U.S. will try to use propaganda to neutralize a hypothetical near-future anti-colonial class uprising. As the commentator Caitlin Johnstone speculated several years ago about how the media will behave in response to the first hints of a U.S. civil war:
The same manipulators who have been deliberately fanning the flames of America's hysterical divisiveness will immediately pivot towards deescalation and unification the second it starts to look like plutocratic properties could be endangered. If there is ever a spike in violence that looks like it could get out of hand, you may be absolutely certain that any politician or media figure involved will immediately change their tune, and all mainstream outlets from MSNBC to Fox will be saturating the airwaves with narratives of reconciliation. It will tug at the heart strings. It will probably involve dead children. And it will work.
When applied to revolutionary violence rather than reactionary violence, the calls for peace will come with an effort to portray the entirety of the social movements behind the conflict as functioning under the direction of one sinister entity. To justify the siege of Gaza and the destruction of Palestinian buildings, the Israeli media and political class always reference Palestinian society as "The Hamas;" The Hamas thinks," "The Hamas believes," "The Hamas should know," "When the Hamas understands, he will stop," and "When The Hamas is hit hard he will never dare to attack Israel again" are the kinds of statements constantly proliferated within the Zionist propaganda echo chamber.
These statements come with denunciations of Hamas for supposedly putting children in the line of fire (which is how Zionists frame the fact that Israel indiscriminately shoots at peaceful protesters in the Palestinian Right to Return demonstrations). Eerily reflective of Johnstone's prediction about the rebels being painted as the ones who are killing children.
Already, reactionary U.S. pundits and politicians have replicated this tactic for justifying the brutalization of the BLM protesters, assigning the unrest entirely to "antifa" or to "outside agitators." Such narratives will be expanded upon as the anti-colonial and class conflicts intensify, and they'll indeed work at pacifying those under the sway of the propaganda.
Relying more on physical warfare, censorship, & surveillance as the threat of revolution fails to die down
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