Intercepted Letter from a Jihadist

by Rich Rubenstein on March 6, 2017 · 0 comments

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Friends, a leaker who will remain nameless sent me a copy of this letter from the infamous Ebal Al-Masri. It is reproduced below without comment.

From: Eqbal Al-Masri, Commander-in Chief, Global Jihad Organization

To: Local GJO Commanders Worldwide

Beloved Comrades,

You have probably heard by now that the fool in the White House has banned immigration to the U.S. from six countries. The ban is termed “temporary,” but it will probably last for years. Thanks be to G_d for giving us such an opportunity to make the Americans pay for their crimes against our people.

As you know, four of the six countries listed by Mr. Trump’s executive order are failing states that contain some of the poorest, most desperate … read more...

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A MOOD IS NOT A MOVEMENT:FIVE IDEAS FOR THE ANTI-TRUMP FORCES

Richard Rubenstein

Comrades and friends, I am not writing to advise you how to resist the Trump regime. There are as many action proposals in circulation as there are anti-Trump groups, with “resistance” the buzzword of the moment. But resistance against what, exactly, and for what purposes? Most of the tactical proposals I have seen are strangely devoid of political content. It seems that anti-Trump is more a mood than a movement with shared aims. It is a negative sentiment shared by most of the identity and interest groups that formed part of the Democratic Party coalition (or, as the President himself would put it, by the losers) during … read more...

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Suppose you’re Alice. Through the looking glass you go, to arrive at a strange place where things don’t behave as expected and the names given to them don’t fit.

In this wonderland, you find two groups arguing about the competence, organization, and political role of the major U.S. intelligence agencies. One group – let’s call them the Tweedle Dees – consider spooky agencies like the CIA and NSA bloated, inefficient, frequently dishonest, and thoroughly politicized. The Tweedle Dums, on the other hand, assert that they work for the benefit of all of us without feathering their own nests, lying to the public, or playing political games.

So, which side is which? Once upon a time, on the pre-election side of … read more...

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THE RUSSIAN PLOT: Or, How to Avoid Responsiblity for Losing a Presidential Election

Rich Rubenstein

The presidential campaign of 2016 presented Hillary Clinton with a seemingly irresistible opportunity, one that also coincided with her natural inclinations: to run to Donald Trump’s right on issues of foreign policy. Without a clue, even after the Bernie Sanders rebellion, that the working class was preparing to jump ship in key industrial (that is, de-industrialized) states, Clinton and her advisors labored hard to paint Trump as a Russian “puppet” who could not be depended on to protect America’s ubiquitous interests around the globe.

That the Democrats’ messages were mixed, if not contradictory, didn’t seem to matter. Assuming that most working people would have no … read more...

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Memorial Day Should Be An International Holiday

by Rich Rubenstein on May 30, 2016 · 1 comment

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Memorial Day is a day when this nation stops to honor the more than 1 million citizens who died in America’s wars. About half that number perished in the Civil War, whose termination gave rise to the holiday in 1868. But what was then called Decoration Day didn’t just honor the soldiers and sailors who fought to preserve the Union; it honored the Confederate dead as well, even though they were considered enemies of the United States.

Friends, it’s time – long past time – to honor the spirit of the holiday by turning it into a day to remember the war dead of all nationalities, not just our own. Most of those who paid the ultimate price for participating … read more...

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Students interested in Peace and Conflict Studies:

THERE IS STILL TIME TO APPLY TO THE 2016-17 DUAL DEGREE MASTER’S PROGRAM IN CONFLICT RESOLUTION AND MEDITERRANEAN SECURITY TAUGHT IN MALTA!

One of the world’s most interesting graduate programs is the intensive Master’s Program in Conflict Resolution and Mediterranean Security taught in Malta by George Mason University and University of Malta faculty, now entering its sixth year of operation.

Students study for 13 months and earn two degrees, one from each university. The degrees equip students to work in the fields of conflict resolution, diplomacy, international and community development, and humanitarian relief, among others. Graduates have gone on to successful careers in institutions ranging from NGOs to government agencies, international organizations, think … read more...

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TRUTH IN LABELING: THE SCALIA SCHOOL OF LAW AT GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY

Rich Rubenstein

My employer has done it again! The public university at which I am privileged to teach (and I mean that quite seriously) has accepted a large sum of money from the Koch Foundation and another Far Right donor on terms that require its first-tier law school to be renamed the Antonin Scalia School of Law.

George Mason is currently the largest academic recipient in the country of Koch brothers’ funds, which are used to finance a free-market research and lobbying institute called the Mercatus Center, an equally Hayekian economics department, something called the Institute for Humane Studies, and various other scholars and projects dedicated to the … read more...

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Elections 2016: Could America Go Fascist?

by Rich Rubenstein on March 1, 2016 · 2 comments

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The Unrest Group at the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution presented a forum on February 28 at Busboys & Poets in Washington, D.C. on “Elections 2016: Could AMerica Go Fascist? What Can We Do About IT?” Five speakers made short comments and the discussion after each presentation was terrific. My comments were as follows:

ELECTIONS 2016:
COULD AMERICA GO FASCIST? WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT IT?
Forum Presented by S-CAR at Busboys & Poets, 28 February 2016

This morning, the conservative columnist Ross Douthat wrote an op-ed in the NY Times in which he called Donald Trump “a right-wing Caesarist whose authoritarian style and outrageous promises make George W. Bush look like Cato the Younger.” What’s the point of … read more...

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If Bernie Were A Socialist

by Rich Rubenstein on February 23, 2016 · 2 comments

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If Bernie Sanders were actually a socialist, what would his program for America look like?

In our current polarized political atmosphere, the right wing thinks that Bernie is at least a socialist, if not a closet Commie. Many professed leftists are sure he isn’t one of them. The confusion isn’t reduced by the fact that Sanders calls himself a “democratic socialist,” which, it turns out, means that he admires European-style capitalism.

Bernie believes in taxing the rich in order to finance programs of assistance to the poor. He believes in trying to make business (especially the banking business) more competitive and socially responsible. He believes in a health insurance system like Canada’s, strong trade unions like Germany’s, and the tuition … read more...

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We Are All Everyone: Lessons of the Paris Attacks

by Rich Rubenstein on November 17, 2015 · 12 comments

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This piece is a little long, friends, but I hope that it sheds some light on a difficult subject.

“WE ARE ALL EVERYONE”:

LESSONS OF THE PARIS ATTACKS

Rich Rubenstein

In the aftermath of the Islamic State’s cruel and vicious attacks in Paris, one is tempted to declare, “Nous sommes tous Paris” (“We are all Paris”). Before November 14, however, virtually no one in the West was heard to declare, “We are all Beirut” – or Baghdad, Ankara, or Moscow – notwithstanding that civilians living in all these places were killed en masse by IS militants. Nor have we ever identified ourselves in slogans or Facebook profiles with the innocent Shia, Yazidis, Assyrian Christians, and other non-Westerners executed as apostates … read more...

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