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Post 9-11 Radical Open Letter

Succinct language proffered by this anonymous letter translated from the french by New York based post-situ zine notbored! incites one's consciousness and calls for using "any means necessary" to combat the crisis of our current terror-state. Posted many months ago on the translator's website, distributed at anti-terror-war marches in Portland, this open letter still packs a punch into just two pages.
Smoke Screens

Who benefits?

"This democracy has perfected for itself a fabrication of its inconceivable enemy: terrorism. In effect, this democracy wants to be judged more by its enemies than by its results. The history of terrorism is written by the State, and is therefore very educational. The masses of spectators can never by allowed to know everything about terrorism, but they must nevertheless be told enough so that they are persuaded that - compared to terrorism - everything else appears to be acceptable and in every case more rational and more democratic [... ] The secret dominates this world, and primarily as the secret of domination." - Guy Debord, Commentaries on the Society of the Spectacle, 1988.

"It remains to be said that people are naturally changeable and it is easy to persuade them of something, but it is difficult to strengthen their degree of persuasion; it is necessary that things be so arranged that, if there are those who do not believe, one can persuade them by the use of force." Machiavelli, The Prince.

In this society that is in an advanced state of decomposition, terrorism has proved itself to be a means by which power strengthens itself or simply maintains its existence.

The practice of terrorism is both modern and archaic. It responds to precise requirements when public order is menaced by social forces that appear to be uncontrollable. Without going as far back a Nero - who, in 64 A.D., burned all of Rome so as to persecute the Christians who, claiming equality for all before God, menaced the foundations of Roman civilization (i.e. slavery) - we can recall that terrorist strikes planned in high places have marked the entire history of the 20th century. And these strike haven't laced originality as far as form is concerned, for they always have the same purpose. From the direct manipulation of Russian terrorists by the Okhrana the Czar's secret police, at the beginning of the 20th century, to the kidnapping and assassination of Aldo Moro in 1978 by the teleguided Red Brigades; from the burning of the Reichstag (staged by Goebbels in 1933) to the police bombs in the Piazza Fontana in Milan in 1969 - all the acts of spectacular terrorism have as their common objectives the silencing of the opposition, the justification of the imprisonment or killing of dissidents, the rallying of frightened populations to existing power, and the consolidation of generalized oppression.

All of these operations spread fear, feed unverifiable rumors, sustain the use of paid informants, train their abused spectators in the most servile behaviors, and extend the special powers devoted to the services of control and surveillance. In each of the cases cited above, the "guilty parties" were evidently those who were the easiest to give up to the furious public, whose responses had already been conditioned. The "mysteries" that nevertheless enveloped each of these acts of war were also and simultaneously presented as impenetrable, that is, until changes in the administration of affairs made it possible to reveal the plausible nature of the truly guilty parties to the mystified public, but, as one says, after it was too late.

The strategic act of terror of 11 September 2001, to which the enslaved media pompously refer to as "the events" so as to thicken the plot, is also a "mystery" [full of] contradictory official declarations, aberrant proofs of guilt, pre-selected media rumors, repeated lies, untestable hypotheses, furies who avenge but are unknown, suspects who are not responsible [endnote 1], mass arrests (public and secret), varieties of military mobilizations, increases in the illegal use of surveillance, [and] fraudulent stock market transactions. But the reviled act encapsulates the direction of the irresistible march of domination, which is present in all the parties of the world of the commodity.

The owners of this world, speaking with the unanimous voice of all of their political representatives, miraculously find within these attacks the justification that guarantees the replication of all their currently existing enterprises, which don't fail to take in all the domains that concern them: from genetic manipulation to industrial war, from the mastery of resources (notably energy) to the falsification of food, [and] from the re-development of land to the management of the living. Already, as the result of this surprising gift from the skies, fear - that ancient leaven in the bread of servitude (commodity servitude, too, for fear sells) - has taken over. For the owners of this world, it is now a question not only of violently dispersing a contestatory movement that seems to break out everywhere (Cincinnati, Gotenborg, Genoa, Addis-Adeba, Kabul), but also, and even more profoundly, of assuring the total voluntary submission of all citizens by increasing consumption ("a patriotic act") and by reinforcing at the global level illegal police tactics that accompany these urgent measures. The war against Afghanistan is part of this larger action; it prolongs it.

With all our international friends, we call for the complete opposition to this war. Because it is also against us that this war is being fought. Its true aim is "the crushing of all opposition, even the most benign, until the total colonization of all aspects of life is everywhere on the entire surface of the earth." It is necessary to expect that "where a sign of a dissidence is found, a terrorist will also be discovered."

"If this world - which silently kills hundreds of thousands of Africans each year and relegates the youths in the suburbs (which resemble camps) to a life that is an interminable and deadly bore - chooses to bomb the Afghans on prime-time TV so that it can forget about the prior crisis and pursue its opponents, we must do something. We must show this world - using all possible means, including demonstrations, texts, radio interventions and speeches in the street - that it cannot massacre its own population."

"This world is at the mercy of an indiscretion, and 'they' come to us to furnish the occasion. It's up to us to seize it." [Endnote 2]


30 September 2001

Endnote 1: The principal [suspect], bin Laden, who was quickly declared guilty, is, like Noriega or Saddam Hussein, an old ally of the special services of the State that was attacked. It isn't always a good thing to be a chief collaborator with the USA.

Endnote 2: Institute for Contemporary Prehistory (redivivus), The Reichstag Burns Again, 25 September 2001, text in English.

[Translated from the French by NOT BORED! and posted on 20 October 2001.]
Late congratulations 22.Sep.2004 14:32

Tomás Rosa Bueno basileos@gmx.net

Thank you for publishing this easy-to-understand, mommy-look-how-I-know-my-history version of "The Reichstag is burning again". Thank you for allowing the counterfeiter Little Billy-the-Bored-Kid to show us once again, as if anybody needed any aditional proof of his lack of character, his ability to choose parts of many articles from one source - one that despises him utterly - to produce a watered-down version of revolutionary writing and pose as a radical among his New York buddies.

The anarchist (we mean this as an insult) Billy has "translated" our texts for the last time. Run back to your anarchist asshole, Billy, and yell for protection as you usually do. We're going to get you. As we usually do.

For the Contemporary Prehistory Institute,
Tomás Rosa Bueno

Read the original here:  http://tinyurl.com/5kvpr

And here's the original , straight from the horse's mouth 22.Sep.2004 15:47

Tomás Rosa Bueno basileos@gmx.net

The Reichstag is burning again!

Published in September 2001 on the Debord(el) of ...

«Such a perfect democracy constructs its own inconceivable foe, terrorism. Its wish is to be judged by its enemies rather than by its results. The history of terrorism is written by the state and it is therefore highly instructive. The spectators must certainly never know everything about terrorism, but they must always know enough to convince them that, compared with terrorism, everything else must be acceptable, or in any case more rational and democratic.»

(Guy Debord, Comments on the Society of the Spectacle, IX, Paris, 1988)


The society in which we have to live, the society of globalized misery and passivity, proved once again that it is capable of any vileness, that it will not hesitate at anything to reach its goals. From Buenos Aires to Beijing, from El Cairo to Tokyo and from Tel Aviv to Moscow, the mouthpieces and watchdogs of this world's owners hurry to join their yapping to the chorus of infinite revenge. The minister of the interior of Italy, the operetta general in Islamabad, the capo di tutti i capi of Holy Mother Russia, the increasingly pathetical chief of the Palestinian police, the thief of Paris, the current doorman in London and the conceited fool of Brasilia all join the illiterate cowboy of Washington to feed the popular anger against the horror perpetrated in New York and to profit from it to advance their own projects. The attack against the WTC, as well as the burning of the Reichstag, the bomb in the Piazza Fontana of Milan, and the assassination of Archduke François-Ferdinand, among thousands of other similar acts of terrorism, all have one thing in common: they all served the purpose of distracting the public from dangerous issues and strengthening the State's repressive military apparatus. Despite its extensive use by seemingly revolutionary movements, there is no "good" terrorism. Terrorism is always an act of State. In the case at hand, as shown by our « old friend » the blundering Italian minister of the interior when he likened terrorism to the anti-capitalist demonstrations (saying the truth involuntarily seems to be an occupational disease of Italian ministers -- it's too bad nobody hears them), the planes that hit the twin towers were literally a heaven-sent gift to all the powers that be of the earth. Just hear them cheering.


Let there be no mistake about this: the missiles sent against the talebans are aimed at our heads. The true purpose of any action against the poor Afghani mudjahidin, who after all are only an enemy of convenience for our very democratic leaders, is not the capture of Bin Laden (being chased in other countries seems to be an occupational disease of former US collaborators), but the crushing of all opposition, even the mildest one, to the total colonisation of all aspects of life all over the planet. The talebans do not allow Afghanis to watch CNN ! Let's bomb them! The Genoese do not allow finance ministers to meet in their city ! Let's shoot them! In Brazil, the minister of education is calling the public servants "anti-democratic" for striking in "these troubled times". Sinking Argentina and putsch-ridden Paraguay are hunting their Arab spice merchants and restaurant owners. In the Philippines, the Moro guerrillas are being threatened with the bombing of their villages, which was unthinkable just two weeks ago. In the whole world, governments are beating their drums and preparing for war against their own citizens. Now, thanks to American and United airlines and to whatever entity commandeered their planes, wherever any sign of dissent is found a terrorist is sure to be found behind it.


We have to oppose this new war directed at us with all our strength. If this world that silently kills hundreds of thousands of Africans every year and confines its youth to camp-like suburbs where life is an endless and lethal bore chooses to bomb Afghanis on prime time TV to postpone its latest crisis and to hunt down its opponents, we cannot let it have its way. We have to show this world by all means available, through demonstrations, writings, posters, radio raids and street speeches, that it cannot slaughter its own population and get away with it.

This world was indeed at the mercy of an indiscretion, and « they » have just provided it to us. We only have to grab it. To the streets, now!

September 25, 2001

(Circulate this message)

Contemporary Prehistory Institute