September 2nd, 2020

Erin Smith: Contextual insurgency.

My political buddy Erin Smith has a very informative article at Center for Security Policy:

https://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/2020/08/25/contextual-insurgency-lessons-from-a-week-observing-portland-black-bloc/

'This article examines an ongoing effort by a complex, distributed antifa network to conduct a “dilemma action,” intended to target the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) based on several days of open-source research and direct observation.

Put simply a dilemma action is a strategy using carefully-targeted types and degrees of civil disobedience to cause security forces to either concede the space and thus exhibit weakness, or respond in a manner that appears disproportionate and evokes negative sentiments in the population. (Sorensen, 2013)

Civil disobedience for a dilemma action is usually characterized as “non-violent.” but it must be remembered that within radical left organizing circles property damage by itself is considered non-violent by definition. Portland protests in particular have been marked by a nightly damage toll heavily biased towards law enforcement and government property and buildings.

The course of the nightly action against the PPB followed a fairly predictable pattern: a contingent of notional BLM protesters rendezvoused with a group of antifa black bloc at a public park close to their objective. As they moved towards the police building which was their target, “corkers” -a sort of bicycle-mounted blocking force- closed off side streets and the scouting line -typically on mopeds- moved ahead and on the flanks. Behind them came the main contingent of black bloc. Upon arrival at the PPB the streets were blocked with vehicles and burning dumpsters, with the “corkers” stationed to direct traffic away from the action and the scouts setting up a picket line extending out several blocks, watching for police reinforcements and creating the strong impression of antifa control of territory. ...'

Read the whole thing at the link.

Middle East: American Jewish Committee to open UAE office.

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/286509

'The American Jewish Committee (AJC), which for more than 25 years has advanced understanding and fostered cooperation between Arab states and the Jewish people, on Wednesday announced its plans to open an office in the United Arab Emirates.

The move comes in the wake of the historic announcement on August 13 by President Donald Trump, His Highness Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that the UAE and Israel would establish full diplomatic relations.

"The establishment of diplomatic relations between the UAE and Israel realizes a vision that AJC has helped to pursue for decades," said David Harris, AJC CEO. "By moving forward on our plans to open an office in the Emirates, AJC hopes to expand on our decades of bridge-building and create a wider network of stakeholders in the new relationships made possible on August 13."'

And ... you can eat kosher there.

https://twitter.com/IsraelArabic/status/1301077022270259200/photo/1

Yoram Hazony: The challenge of Marxism.

https://quillette.com/2020/08/16/the-challenge-of-marxism/

'For a generation after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, most Americans and Europeans regarded Marxism as an enemy that had been defeated once and for all. But they were wrong. A mere 30 years later, Marxism is back, and making an astonishingly successful bid to seize control of the most important American media companies, universities and schools, major corporations and philanthropic organizations, and even the courts, the government bureaucracy, and some churches. As American cities succumb to rioting, arson, and looting, it appears as though the liberal custodians of many of these institutions—from the New York Times to Princeton University—have despaired of regaining control of them, and are instead adopting a policy of accommodation. That is, they are attempting to appease their Marxist employees by giving in to some of their demands in the hope of not being swept away entirely. ...'

Retrospective: 12 years.

My posting on LJ during calendar year 2008 was fairly light. The year was dominated by my tumultuous relationship with G, and the business of raising the newly-arrived Bunny. She took her first steps in November.
https://asher63.livejournal.com/235896.html

I didn't post a lot on politics and current events - although, interestingly enough, Abu Dhabi was in the news on today's date in 2008 as well:
https://asher63.livejournal.com/231203.html

Overall, it was a difficult year. But these two made it all worth it:
https://asher63.livejournal.com/239204.html