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Turkey vs the SDF

SYRIA UPDATE: A few days ago, Turkey conducted airstrikes against the predominantly Kurdish SDF, which is our main ally on the ground the force responsible for 95% of the gains against ISIS. Turkey is now carrying out artillery strikes along the borders of the Kurdish canton of Afrin, and have reportedly been moving forces towards the SDF-held city of Tel Abyad. The stated aim of the Turkish government is to invade SDF territory, take Tel Abyad, and then move west into Kobane canton. They also want to take Manbij and the territory around Raqqa.

The Shambling Mound's Twelfth and Thirteenth Weeks

Even observers of The Shambling Mound are entitled to a break, and that's exactly what I did last week thank you very much. A quick visit to one of the more isolated spots of New Zealand was thoroughly enjoyable although it did seem strangely appropriate to catch the tail-end of a hurricane and undergo a short blackout.

Workers At Either End of the Bayonet

I’ve never understood Australians fascination with ANZAC Day. On the 25th April 1915 a British force with an Australian contingent invaded the Dardanelles in an attempt to force the Ottoman Empire (Germany’s major ally) out of the war. The invasion was a failure. Over 8,000 Australians died in a campaign that resulted in the deaths of over 100,000 soldiers on both sides.

The Death of the ANZAC Intellectual

One of the most important reasons rational thought has been replaced by opinions and belief systems in 21st century Western society is the death of the public intellectual. Historically public intellectual’s ideas were respected by communities that understood the ideas that were put up for public discussion were independent of prevailing ideological, political and theological concerns. The public knew the public intellectual was able to provide an unbiased opinion because they were independent of the institution that employed them and the state.

Kim of North Korea

Irrespective of what you think about the Kim family’s domination of North Korea during the past 70 years, they have hit the nail on the head linking their survival to the capacity of North Korea to develop a nuclear capability.

Suicide Bombers

Technological innovations have revolutionised the art of political murder. Human beings have the capacity to carry out the most gruesome murders. The National Socialists perfected mass murder on an industrial scale. The nuclear bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima at the end of WWII resulted in the instant indiscriminate murder of tens of thousands of men, women and children. Although human beings have volunteered for suicide missions on a regular basis, the suicide bomber is a relatively new phenomenon.

Jobs and Superannuation

The next time I hear a politician, business leader or media commentator talk about jobs, jobs, jobs!! I’m going to put my fingers down my throat and vomit. Politicians, commentators and corporate types always wax lyrical about the need to create jobs. Obviously in a capitalist society if you don’t have access to inherited wealth, have a pile of money in the bank, shares and stocks and real restate or have won a Tattslotto first division prize, you need a job to survive in a capitalist society if you're not entitled to social security benefits.

The Changing Role of the State

It’s no accident the state is defined as sovereign political power. Traditionally the state was the apparatus that allowed those who exercised power within a specific territory to enforce that power. The sovereign enjoyed a monopoly in that territory on the exercise of power. Anarchists have traditionally considered themselves to be the enemy of the state because the state gives those who exercise power and accumulate wealth, the mechanism by which to enforce inequalities in the communities they control.

Anarchy and Chaos

Have you ever wondered why, in the English speaking world, the word anarchy is synonymous with chaos? Anarchism, the idea people can live their lives without rulers, not without rules, has a much wider acceptance in the non-English speaking world. To a large degree this is due to the fact anarchist ideas have never captured the public imagination in the English speaking world and no large scale political, social and cultural movements that promote anarchism have ever been a significant political force in an English speaking community.


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