Revolutionaries in the U.S. need to adopt the mentality that they're being perpetually targeted by counterinsurgency, because they already are. Throughout this last year's Black Lives Matter protests, the U.S. National Security State has unleashed vilifying propaganda about the demonstrations coming from "outside agitators," promoted media glorifications of the police that portray law enforcement as sympathetic to racial justice, used America's network of liberal NGOs to funnel support for the movement into the Democratic Party, and flooded militant protests with liberal "peace police" to temper radicalization.
All of this has no doubt been done with the orchestration of U.S. intelligence; covert government propaganda within U.S. media has been officially legal since 2013, and the FBI has been working to infiltrate and co-opt social movements for decades. But such tactics are just the most surface-level aspects of the counterinsurgency that our government is going to wage in response to the social upheaval, power-grid breakdowns, mass migrations, and additional pandemics that U.S. military analysts expect to befall the country in the coming decades. What we must prepare for is a full domestic replication of the invasion and occupation tactics from Washington's wars abroad.
To carry out these tactics, the U.S. will need to put those within its borders under the most extreme environment of propaganda, censorship, and surveillance imaginable. Here's what this environment will look like.
To understand the role that propaganda and co-optation tactics like the ones from the George Floyd protests are going to play in this coming war against liberation struggles, we must understand what that liberation movement will look like. This year, in response to unprecedentedly huge anti-police protests and the subsequent acceleration of U.S. military aid to police departments, sociologist Temitope Oriola predicted an armed anti-police insurgency within the U.S.
He said that the poorest and most disenfranchised members of the colonized communities in this country reflect the characteristics of populations that have historically resorted to armed struggle to try to attain liberation. And that when they start proportionately retaliating against the ever-intensifying incidents of police brutality, their insurgency is going to carry too much social weight to be ended simply by assassinating movement leaders. The Africans, natives, and indigenous brown immigrants will have already taken on their rightful role as the vanguard of the proletarian revolution on this continent, a role that they'll be able to take due to their disproportionate targeting and exploitation under colonialism.
And at a certain point within our generation, the settler state's systematic destruction of their wealth and increasing brutalization of their communities will leave them with no choice but to wage a revolt. A revolt too resilient to be quelled by the loss of some of those within their ranks. As Oriola speculates, "Entities operating independently will spring up, but over time, a loose coalition may form to take credit for actions of organizationally disparate groups for maximum effect. There will likely be no single leader to neutralize at the onset. Like U.S. global counter-terrorism efforts, neutralizing leaders will only worsen matters."
If the conditions of the colonized peoples in this country are going to get this bad, the U.S. counterinsurgency leaders will have an obstacle towards the initial component of their strategy. As the Joint Publication 3-24: Counterinsurgency manual describes, swaying a population towards the side of the U.S. military is indispensable to the military's victory:
To be effective, officials involved in COIN [counterinsurgency] should address two imperatives--political action and security--with equal urgency, recognizing that insurgency is fundamentally an armed political competition... COIN functions, therefore, include informational, security, political, economic, and development components, all of which are designed to support the overall objective of establishing and consolidating control by the HN [host nation] government... This is the core of COIN, because it provides a framework around which all other programs and activities are organized. As described above, depending on the root causes of the insurgency, the strategy may involve elements of political reform, reconciliation, popular mobilization, and governmental capacity building.
Oriola's prediction says that when the revolt starts, black elites will join the settler ruling class in calling for "peace." This unity between colonialism and the country's tiny black bourgeoisie will be used to spin the narrative that black America is overwhelmingly opposed to the actions of the "extremist" rebels, and that whites should therefore feel no guilt in reporting insurgency participants or insurgency sympathizers. The liberal NGO-industrial complex, and its deep ties to the media, will come in handy throughout this "pro-peace" propaganda campaign.
But this won't be enough to end the revolt, prompting the anti-insurgency propaganda to take on a more paranoid nature.
If this revolt can't be stopped through targeted assassinations, it certainly won't be stopped by denunciations of the "extremist" insurgents. As Oriola says, "African-American leaders will likely be helpless to stop the insurgency. Anyone who strongly denounces it in public may lose credibility among the people. Authenticity would mean developing a way to accommodate the insurgents in public rhetoric while condemning them in private." And there's where the necessity for creating an atmosphere of paranoia will come in; to make a movement with this much popular backing appear to lack credibility, the state will have to portray the rebels not just as "extremists," but as agents of a conspiracy by Washington's adversaries.
This is the approach that Colombia's white supremacist government has taken towards demonizing the anti-austerity and anti-colonial protests that have been rattling the country. The Colombian government, with the direction of a neo-Nazi faction that's taken control over law enforcement, has been attributing the demonstrations and all related anti-neoliberal organizations to a subversion plot by "Castro-Chavismo." This fearmongering about foreign interference is part of the "dissipated molecular revolution" theory, a model for counterinsurgency developed by Colombia's fascist former president Álvaro Uribe. It posits that by treating everyone that challenges free-market fanaticism--from human rights organizations to unions to civil society--as part of this supposed foreign-orchestrated conspiracy, the government will be able to preemptively stamp out Colombia's potential socialist revolution on a molecular level.
The neoconservative think tank the Heritage Foundation, which has put forth statements endorsing facets of Uribe's conspiracy theory, has already adopted the equivalent tactic for demonizing BLM. Last fall the think tank utilized U.S. claims of Chinese interference, along with debunked Xinjiang atrocity propaganda from the fat-right Christian propagandist Adrian Zenz, to bolster its argument for China being behind the protests:
The Chinese Communist Party has an interest in sowing discord in the U.S., particularly during an election year. Robert O'Brien, President Donald Trump's national security adviser, last month said the CCP has targeted U.S. election infrastructure with cyberattacks. Criticizing America for systemic racism is not just hypocritical but a convenient distraction from the Chinese Communist Party's human rights violations against Uighurs and other Turkic Muslim minorities in China's Xinjiang province. Americans have a right to know who is behind the continued violence in our cities. As a sovereign nation, we should know whether a foreign government is fueling this internal damage to our country. The U.S. government should connect the dots and investigate the extent of the Chinese Communist Party's support for the Black Lives Matter organization and the riots. It's past time for answers.
When the anti-police insurgency starts, these kinds of conspiracy theories about the anti-colonial liberation movement will be more broadly embraced by the media. At least among the settlers who've psychologically separated themselves from the oppression of the colonized, and who therefore won't be sympathetic to the actions of the insurgents, this will make the insurgency appear lacking in legitimacy. Which will create the perceived justification for the atrocities that the occupier is going to carry out to try to crush the rebellion.
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