In Love With Terror, Or: The Danger of Working with Rank Amateurs

The Amateurs

(Andreas) Baader — (Ulrike) Meinhof. Kommune 1 / K1 / Tupamaros West Berlin / the Blues. Rote Armee Fraktion (Red Army Faction) / RAF. Sozialistisches Patientenkollektiv (Socialist Patients’ Collective) / SPK. June 2nd Movement / J2M. Revolutionary Cells / RZ. Rote Zora…

And in 2002, a mediocre BBC documentary featuring lotsa footage of pigs being slaughtered. Baader-Meinhof: In Love With Terror, Ben Lewis, BBC (2002).

See also : Anti-Nazi Schmazi (August 2, 2008)

Kevin Curran thinks Jeff ‘The Snowman’ Monson is one of the ‘Most Intimidating Fighters of All Time’. Which may be true. One thing he certainly isn’t is a neo-Nazi, but that — in addition to being a self proclaimed anarchist, crazy, a roid boy, and insane — is how Curran describes him.

The Professionals

In Israel:

Police arrest Anarchists at protest outside home of Army Commander
Saed Bannoura
IMEMC & Agencies
August 5, 2008

Israeli police attacked dozens of peace activists, members of the Anarchist movement in Israel, who were staging a protest in front of the home of Israeli Army Colonel, Aviv Reshef, in charge of Ni’lin area in the West Bank on Tuesday afternoon. 25 protesters were arrested.

The police claimed that the protesters clashed with policemen who arrived at the scene.

The anarchists were protesting the killing of an 11-year old Palestinian child who was shot and killed by army fire last week.

Reshef had, just a few days before the killing, been merely “reprimanded” for an incident in which a soldier under his command shot and wounded a bound Palestinian youth in Bil’in village. Reshef stated in a hearing that he did not order the soldier to shoot the bound youth.

The youth, who was already wounded, was shot at close range by a rubber coated bullet while he was bound and blindfolded. The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories B’Tselem released video footage of the incident.

The footage was filmed by a young Palestinian girl from the village. Soldiers later arrested her father as an act of revenge.

During the funeral of the child on Monday, Israeli soldiers fired stun grenades, rubber coated bullets, tear gas and rounds of live ammunition at the residents. An Israeli military commander claimed that the Palestinian blocked a main road and that the army “used all riot dispersal means”.

Tuesday’s protest in Israel was carried out around 6 in the evening when nearly forty protesters arrived in front of the home of Reshef. The police arrived at the scene and ordered them to leave.

Israeli police sources claimed that the protesters refused to leave and attempted to move closer to the officers’ house. The police arrested nearly 25 peace activists and took them to a police station for questioning.

The police force issued a statement in which it did not deny aggressive behavior carried out by the police but stated that they acted due to an order from the Attorney General which strictly bars any protests in front of homes that belong to Israeli Army officers.

The history of the United States, chief sponsor of the Israeli state, is recounted in Zinn, Konopacki and Buhle’s A People’s History of American Empire, which Sarah Johnson reviews for the Harvard Political Review.

Redrawing American History
Zinn explores the darker side of the American past
Sarah Johnson

A People’s History of American Empire
By Howard Zinn, Mike Konopacki, and Paul Buhle
Metropolitan Books, 2008 – 288 pgs.

“Instead of creating a new way of thinking, our government used 9/11 as an excuse for another rampage of empire!”

From the beginning of A People’s History of American Empire, Howard Zinn stakes out his position on war and American imperialism. Employing a cartoon illustration of himself speaking at an anti-war rally, Zinn travels back through time to demonstrate how “our military has been used not for moral purposes but to expand economic, political, and military power.”

Shock horror et cetera. Speaking of peace-making, the US Army has fashioned a computer game where YOU get to kick terrorist ass!

The Virtual Army Experience (VAE) provides participants with a virtual test drive of the United States Army. The core of the 19,500-square-foot VAE is the America’s Army computer game, rendered with state-of-the-art Army training simulation technology to create a life-size, networked virtual world. The VAE highlights key Soldier occupations, Army technologies, operating environments and missions, within a fast-paced, actionpacked, information-rich experience that immerses visitors in the world of Soldiering. Participants employ teamwork, rules of engagement, leadership and high-tech equipment as they take part in a virtual U.S. Army mission.


    And what is war, what is needed for success in war, what are the morals of the military world? The object of warfare is murder; the means employed in warfare — spying, treachery, and the encouragement of it, the ruin of a country, the plunders of its inhabitants… trickery and lying, which are called military strategy; the morals of the military class — absence of all independence, that is, discipline, idleness, ignorance, cruelty, debauchery, and drunkenness.

    ~ Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace, 1872

Finally, AFP has picked up on the story inre Maurice Sinet’s allegedly anti-Semitic jibe at French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s son Jean:

Satirist sparks uproar with Sarkozy son Jewish jibe

PARIS (AFP) — A French newspaper satirist has sparked a feverish tug-of-war over free speech and anti-Semitism with a biting column on the engagement of President Nicolas Sarkozy’s son to a Jewish heiress. Published on July 2 in the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, the piece cost the 79-year-old Sine, a veteran cartoonist and anarchist writer whose real name is Maurice Sinet, his job after he refused to apologise…

Sousan Hammad comments on the case in ‘The Antisemitism Incitement Craze’ (Counterpunch, August 5, 2008).

About @ndy

I live in Melbourne, Australia. I like anarchy. I don't like nazis. I enjoy eating pizza and drinking beer. I barrack for the greatest football team on Earth: Collingwood Magpies. The 2024 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
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6 Responses to In Love With Terror, Or: The Danger of Working with Rank Amateurs

  1. Dean T says:

    Interesting story re. the Israeli anarcho peace freaks… though the media usually reports the death or injury of Arabs at the hands of the Israeli military, it never gives the details of any Israeli citizen resistance to its murderous military… glad to see that there’s some activists there that are prepared to oppose the regime’s brand of apartheid. Where’s the Israeli left, ie. Gush Shalom, CPI, during such clashes? I know that there’s a difference of tactics between the left factions, but news of any opposition is rather thin on the ground. Any web sites you know of that I could check out for such info?

  2. Dean T says:

    BTW, the RAF may have said that they were Marxist Leninists, but in practice they were mere terrorist adventurists. Where was the mass organisations supporting them? Were they the leading force in key industrial unions? NO, to both questions. They were nothing but radical pissed off student revolutionaries, albeit murderous ones. They just helped set back the communist movement in Germany in the 70’s, not further it!

    Tactics are the leading cause of dissent between the left groups, not necessarily ideology. I just hope that there is some decent unity between your mob and mine come the APDSE in November… or else if I can go, I may be hangin out with some of your mob (my geriatric crustie mates)!

  3. @ndy says:


    The Alternative Information Center (AIC) is an internationally oriented, progressive, joint Palestinian-Israeli activist organization. It is engaged in dissemination of information, political advocacy, grassroots activism and critical analysis of the Palestinian and Israeli societies as well as the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

    The Electronic Intifada (EI), found at, publishes news, commentary, analysis, and reference materials about the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict from a Palestinian perspective. EI is the leading Palestinian portal for information about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and its depiction in the media.

    The International Solidarity Movement (ISM) is a Palestinian-led movement committed to resisting the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land using nonviolent, direct-action methods and principles. Founded by a small group of activists in August, 2001, ISM aims to support and strengthen the Palestinian popular resistance by providing the Palestinian people with two resources, international protection and a voice with which to nonviolently resist an overwhelming military occupation force.

    A useful Aussie blog.


    Dunno. They certainly claimed to be operating within a Marxist framework, albeit one heavily informed by anti-imperialism, and advocated a militant form of opposition to West Germany’s role in Western imperialism, and Berlin’s role as one of the metropoles. In my view, what they attempted was to create a political environment hospitable to urban guerilla warfare, and hoped that their actions would both hamper the conduct of the West German state and inspire industrial and political militancy. They also viewed themselves as forming part of an international movement in opposition to Western imperialism, of which theirs was merely one front.

  4. grumpy cat says:

    Hi all
    Dean T, I think you can make a criticism of the RAF without having to get into a fight about were they Marxist-Leninists or not. In fact such arguments over labels distracts from debating the content of politics.
    rebel love

  5. Tim B says:

    Hi Dean,

    You may already know this, but re Israeli anarchists I think the most well-known site of an active group is the Anarchists against the Wall one.

    It’s basically just a compilation of actions that they’ve been involved in/are going on, but I reckon it’s quite interesting.


  6. @ndy says:

    uh-huh yeah… i thought this short piece by lawrence jarach might be useful. it’s titled ‘anti-imperialism: another statist ideology’ and it forms the editorial for a recent # of ajoda (#65, spring/summer 2008). what r/ship it has to a previous disco inre anarchism and aboriginal sovereignty might also be worth exploring (although that mainly took the form of an exchange between john tracey and myself), and possibly also the doctrine of anti-fascism…

    During the era of neo-colonialism, the Anti-Imperialist was primarily interested in supporting whatever National Liberation outfit happened to be causing the most problems for American and/or British (and to a lesser extent French, Portuguese, and Dutch) foreign policy, using the binary logic that the enemy of one’s enemy is one’s friend. What that meant in practice was that the Anti-Imperialist was nothing more than a shill for a smaller state (or a state in the making). Adhering to the ideology of Anti-Imperialism was a way to advocate something called Revolution, while avoiding the problems associated with local and international class struggle. The Oppressed Nation (usually represented by the Stalino-Maoist National Liberation Front) became the revolutionary subject, supplanting the more familiar international working class. Anti-imps, who would never even consider sitting in the same room as a local Stalinist, gleefully expressed their active solidarity with the new rulers of formerly colonized countries, even going so far as to excuse the liquidation of dissident Leftists in North Vietnam and the suppression of striking workers in Castro’s Cuba.

    No anarchist would be in favor of imperialism (or sexism, or racism, or fascism) of course, but declaring oneself to be an Anti-Imperialist still means one of two things (and perhaps an overlap of the two). On the one hand it is an empty and passive opinion, requiring no particular strategy or action, and needing no explanation. On the other hand, it doesn’t just mean that one is against imperialism; it specifies a particular way to fight against imperialism—that is Anti-Imperialism. It still means taking sides in disputes between parties vying for government control (either trying to keep it or trying to overthrow it). Anti-Imperialism remains attractive to Leftists precisely because it mandates that anti-imps support whatever Popular Front-type formation happens to be in an antagonistic relationship toward a chosen imperial state; thus it requires little in the way of critical thinking. Anti-Imperialism is an unthinking person’s revolutionary (im)posture.

    Seeing the armed struggles of foreign Left-nationalists as the only relevant international revolutionary activity and taking their cue from Che (the executioner of the aforementioned striking workers), anti-imps in Germany and the US (and elsewhere) tried to open up armed fronts in solidarity with the North Vietnamese in their war against the United States. Starting from about 1969 their muddled reasoning led to the creation of urban guerrilla formations like the Red Army Faction and the Weather Underground. These vanguardists substituted self-referential and sectarian ideas for revolutionary theory, and militarized clandestine armed struggle for the revolutionary self-organization of workers.

    In Germany, the end of overt US involvement in Southeast Asia shifted the main focus of anti-imps to the struggle of Palestinians against the brutal expansionist policies of the State of Israel. The chilling, self-marginalizing, and nazi-echoing apotheosis of German anti-imps (in collaboration with the Marxist-Leninist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine [PFLP]) arrives with the selekzia (selection—a process first made infamous at Auschwitz) at Entebbe in 1976. Jews—not just those holding Israeli passports—were separated out as permanent hostages from among the hijacked passengers; the others were released. A further adventure was to have been the assassinations of the heads of the Jewish communities in Berlin and Frankfurt.

    By the mid-1980s, the marginalizing antics of the remnants of the WU had devolved into a series of actions mostly undertaken to provide them with the resources to maintain their self-chosen clandestine existence: bank robberies, armored car holdups, and shoot-outs with the police. Despite this self-defeating strategy, the romantic allure of urban guerrillaism has led many anarchists (following their mentor Ward Churchill) to provide financial and moral support to surviving imprisoned Third World nationalists and “North American anti-imperialists”—decoded: white people who unequivocally support the Revolutionary Leadership™ of Third World nationalists.

    A decade ago, the anti-imps of ANSWER supported Milosevic the ethnic cleanser. These days, American and European anti-imps express their solidarity with the clerical obscurantists and misogynists of Hamas and Hezbollah, and/or the Stalinists of the PFLP because they are resisting the militarist ethnic cleansing of the State of Israel. It doesn’t seem to bother the anti-imps too much that these gangs spend almost as much time fighting, kidnapping, torturing, and killing each other in order to consolidate their political and territorial hegemony.

    Anarchist anti-imps are compelled to take sides in every dispute, desperate to find some group—any group—whose Revolution™ they can support. Being activists, they have to Do Something; more often than not they get sucked into Popular Fronts (ANSWER—Worker’s World Party; World Can’t Wait—RCP), becoming more bodies at the latest march, at worst insisting—against all evidence to the contrary—that these cross-class fronts really are authentic grassroots progressive coalitions subject to direct democracy, and not under the control or sponsorship of Leninists at all.

    Anti-Imperialism is just as bankrupt today as it was in the ‘40s and ‘70s; it should be avoided as a label and position by any principled anti-statist. Anarchists have always supported internationalist working-class based tendencies promoting self-organized resistance to colonialism and imperialism, regardless of its country of origin. We have also avoided Popular Front-based pseudo-opposition to fascism and imperialism, whether it is of the Islamist or Stalino-Maoist variety. The relevance of anarchist and other anti-statist ideas and practice can only increase by us refusing to be fooled by the adherence of our supposed allies to yet another statist ideology.

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