Contrasting News - Linked in the Middle
It seems that something very interesting and positive is going on in Bolivia, as the Qhepus Anarchist Collective (posed on the excellent ainfos anarchist newswire) take up the story...
Bolivia is a poor, backward country, turned into a colony of Yankee imperialism, where an insipid bourgeoisie uses this "nation" as its own property, rotating the country's governors between the members of its social class, and opening the doors of the country to imperialism and the transnational companies so that they can pillage the natural resources of the country however they feel fit. And this has already been going on for a long time....To all this must be added that there are a total of 10 municipalities that have expelled the state authorities and got rid of institutions like the police and army, to put into practice, once and for all, the communitarian model that the Aymará people call "ayllu".
This "ayllu", in agreement with the Aymará view of things, is a system where Direct Democracy is put into practice, as the main decisions are made on the basis of open assemblies of the whole population, and where Mutual Aid and Solidarity form part of daily life for these people, who are looking to build a better society through means of these valuable tools. And without doubt they will obtain it, as long as they, together with the inhabitants of the cities, can free themselves from the claws of the State, be it national or supranational (imperialist).
The world's libertarians must salute with raised fists these initiatives by the indigenous communities that inhabit Bolivia, who, without parties or vanguards, support each other in natural organizations, seeking by themselves to construct a future of Freedom....
Well, if it is as you say, I salute you with raised fist.
On the flip side - Seymour Hersh, the multi-award winning journalist who originally broke the My Lai massacre story and who recently broke the Abu Ghraib torture, gave a speech recently in which he shows how deep the hole goes in that prison and Iraq really goes. It's really deep:
"I can tell you it was much worse. There are worse photos, worse events....some of the worse things that happened you don't know about.....The women were passing messages out saying 'please come and kill me' because of what's happened, basically what happened is those women who were arrested with young boys, children, the boys were sodomised with the cameras rolling, the worse above all of them is the sound track of the boys shrieking. That your government has...."
You could dismiss this as the ramblings of a conspiracy theorist with a tinfoil-hat if it was not for the fact that the assertions come from somebody who has received the Pulitzer Prize for international reporting. How fundamentally wrong can this Iraq enterprise be when we are asked to stand shoulder to shoulder with a corpse-machine that uses the rape of children as a weapon of war? Can you rape your way to a democracy? If you accept (as the evidence points to) that the horrific operations in Abu Ghraib come from the top - there is no other conclusion than it is all wrong. Blair can ask us to rejoice because Iraq is free, well Tony, state sanctioned rape is not freedom. It is all wrong. The enterprise that is Operation Iraqi Freedom and the system that spawned and sustained it must be brought down, person by person, bit by bit. Then we can talk freedom.
And here is the link between the two - I am hopeful that what is happening in Bolivia is part and parcel of building a better world. A world without the corpse-machine of the military industrial complex. A world of direct democracy. Dick Cheney was right, we are entering a state of perpetual war - but for those opposing the corpse machine, the war will not be fought with cruise missiles or Depleted Uranium rounds - it will be fought in hearts and minds, on streets, in lockdowns, insurgencies, petitions, die-ins, demos, by surviving, through non-compliance and a million other ways - until their whole enterprise is stopped dead.