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13 May, 2000
“Planning a Revolution from A Hot Tub in the Hamptons”

Nick Trikhovitch and I just bought his manual on guerrilla warfare from St. Marks books in the East Village. Simcha says a lot of what we’re organizing is playing out now in South America. The Cuban revolution, the FARC-EP rebels in Columbia, Shining Path in Peru. The Allende Regime in Chile, which the US toppled in 1973. Salvador Allende was neither guilty of having communists in his cabinet, nor of coming to power via the armed overthrow of the Chilean government. He was something more intolerable still; he was a democratically elected Marxist.

On September 11th, 1973 Allende’s socialist experiment came to an end. The military seized power and General Augusto Pinochet took power with the direct backing of the CIA. A brutal crackdown followed. The day after the coup the head of the air force proclaimed the need to exterminate “the cancer of Marxism.” Members of the Allende government were rounded up and placed under detention. Thousands of alleged leftists were detained, questioned, and tortured in the national soccer stadium. At least 3,000 Chileans were killed or disappeared in the aftermath of the coup-and this is by a conservative count. Simcha’s father had been one of them. In the place of a democratically elected socialist government Chile received a military dictatorship that would rule with an iron fist until 1990.

The guerrilla warfare manual teaches us how to convert a shotgun into a rocket launcher. It demonstrates how to ambush enemy columns and illustrates the best way to make Molotov cocktails. It makes me recognize something that wasn’t entirely clear in the beginning. Having a revolution may entail killing a whole lot of people. I don’t know how I feel about that.

Being that New York isn’t exactly known for its jungles, I suggest a trip out to Long Island, the closest thing to jungle light. Nick wants to fuck Lauren in my parent’s hot tub and I want to terrorize rich people in the woods. The irony of guerrilla warfare in the Hamptons escapes no one.
Nick Trikhovitch and Lauren Van, Izzy Vitz and his girlfriend Zivia, Simcha, Zoe Zapata and I take the LI Double R to East Hampton early Saturday morning. Zoe is a busty Chilean with a huge crush on me. Benjamin and my parents are already out there. It never ceases to amaze me how much Zivia has changed. She used to be a quiet, somewhat bookish girl with glasses and now she’s a Raver with platinum blonde hair and neon bright clothes. Zivia got hot while I was away. How she and Izzy ended up together is a mystery to me. By evening we’re all in the hot tub. Izzy is joking about an orgy, but he and I know he’s not really joking. Izzy and I are the kind of guys that can’t get into a hot tub without thinking about group sex.

“It really stands for ‘Y U Fuckin’ Everybody,” Izzy whispers to Zoe about my organization and I jokingly elbow him in the ribs.

Everyone’s been drinking Coronas and Red Stripe all day and I have to remind the crew that we’re not just out here for recreation. We, after all, have to learn how to kill the capitalists.

“So who’s a capitalist? Besides your parents I mean,” Nick asks laughing.

“My Dad isn’t a capitalist,” I retort. “These books would lead us to believe that a capitalist is anyone who exploits their workers.”

“So we’re supposed to kill all these capitalists?” Izzy laughs.

“All the ones that won’t come over to our side,” I say.

Izzy Vitz has read more about communism than any of us but doesn’t believe in any of it.

“In America that would mean killing a whole lot of people. Too many, if you ask me. By the time the revolution is over you’re talking Hitler-Stalin proportions,” argues Zivia.

“But you have to admit that there are a good chunk of people that profit extensively from the majority of the world being poor,” says Nick as he slaps the side of the hot tub, “like Sebastian’s parents.”

“Doesn’t mean you have to kill anybody,” says Lauren Van.

“Well what is it that you think a revolution is?” demands Izzy.

“That’s exactly what a revolution is, and that’s why I don’t believe in revolution,” says Zivia.

“It doesn’t have to go down like that,” I tell them.

“Oh, and what do you have in mind Mr. Wants-to-run-around-in-the-woods-to-practice-guerrilla- warfare?” asks Lauren.

“With Sebastian you have to separate his reckless adventurism from his politics every once in a while,” says Nick as he lights up a Newport.

“No, you don’t. If I have to kill a capitalist or two to free my people I’d do it. I’m just not about genocide,” I state.

“Who are ‘your people,’ Sebastian? Why do we have to kill anybody?” asks Zoe suddenly interested.

Zoe is the whitest Chilean I know and I want to fuck her brains out. Her orange bikini fits her nicely. She’s liked me for a while and Izzy is trying to get me laid. There’s something intense about these Chileans. Ronnie Lestor who robbed my house, Simcha the socialist and now this cute thing.

“Ah, the difficult questions. What will it be, Sebastian? How much do you want that omelet?” asks Simcha channeling Fidel Castro with a Coheba cigar in his mouth.

“Sebastian doesn’t want blood, he wants social justice,” interrupts Lauren.

“Let him answer for himself,” says Izzy.

“Let’s be clear with these terms first,” Simcha says, “If a capitalist is an exploiter, well fuck it then, they’re our enemy. If a communist is a freedom fighter for the workers and oppressed then that’s the side we want to be on. And if a revolution is the right means to end exploitation and suffering, then that’s what we want. If we have to kill a lot of people, then we didn’t do something right during the planning stage.”
“I’m well with that,” I say.
“Is YUFE the planning stage to a commie revolution?” laughs Nick Trikhovitch.
“We’ll just have to wait and see,” I say.
“Planning the revolution from a hot tub in the Hamptons. I love the irony,” says Simcha.
Two hours later Simcha, my brother Benny, Trikhovitch, Lauren Van, Zoe Zapata, and I are dressed in olive and black fatigues stalking through the woods with water guns and two dangerously realistic toy shot guns. We’ve played this game before. We call it Operation Reinhardt. In this game of vandalism and make believe, we are all transported back to Poland in 1943 as Jewish partisans behind Nazi lines. In the past we’ve dug up road signs, stolen flags, destroyed property and incinerated the local high school football goal posts. This time we’d be ambushing cars. Zivia and Izzy Vitz aren’t really into the whole game as much as they are into doggy style in the hot tub. They wish us luck and tell us not to get arrested. After crossing through several other properties placing many a chair into a pool, we arrive at a highway intersection. Using caution tape and orange neon rope we section off three sides of the intersection. With two Super Soaker 2000’s and several water balloons our objective is to lie in wait until a car stops at our blockade. When a person gets out to move it we’ll hit them with everything we’ve got.
I am crouching with Zoe and my brother in the woods, Super Soaker rifles ready. There isn’t any wind so the trees don’t rustle. Whoever stops at the blockade is going to get drenched. That in itself is a harmless teenage prank, a bunch of drunken kids fucking around on a Saturday night. Only I am somewhere else. To me, when that person stops they aren’t just some Hamptonite about to get soaked. I am suddenly in the middle of a great revolt and I am going to kill someone for the first time. I am engaging in political violence. Once I do this I can do it over and over again, kill as many people as I have to. I hear the car before I see it. I am in a trance. My enemy uses violence. I must use violence against my enemy. My enemy causes suffering. I must make my enemy suffer. I pump my water gun. It’s heavy like the biggest water gun ever made. 3000 won’t be out ‘til summer. In my mind it goes “click clack.”

Caught somewhere between the Holocaust and a violent future that I can see inevitably coming, I get ready to shoot.

In dreams I have seen buildings burning, I have had front row seats at an execution and I’ve seen children beaten with rifle butts. I’ve seen them in my mind, but what the mind makes real forms the basis of conviction. I see Nick ready to fire and I see Lauren and Simcha readying the water balloon launcher. And I hear the car coming. Maybe it’s a troop transport. Maybe it’s a tank. Don’t shoot ‘til you see the whites of their eyes. That one always stuck with me. It’s a black Escalade. The driver slows down, stops, and then gets out. It’s a dude in a sweater. It’s a soldier. It’s a capitalist. Don’t shoot ‘til you see the whites of his eyes.

I yell, “Fire!”

My brother Benjamin and I fire the opening salvo. He jumps in the air and yells out. The girls hit his car with water balloons and a girl yelps from inside. It all happens real fast. We don’t wait around to see what happens. All six of us tear ass back into the woods to meet up at the rendezvous point. I snap out of whatever fucked-up fantasy land I’m in and hightail after my brother deep into the tree line.

We repeat the process two more times at different intersections. Finally someone calls the cops on us and we have to hide in the woods for what seems like an unusually long amount of time as some cops walk around with a flashlight looking for us. The column gets back to base without any casualties.

I climb into bed next to Zoe and she starts rubbing my cock. Soon we’re going at. Zoe has enormous Chilean breasts. I lose my virginity to her about three hours later. It is exactly as special as I thought it would be. Believe me when I say I won’t be the first, nor the last high-minded rebel leader to cum on a girl’s face.


8 March, 2015
Waltham, U.S.A.
“The Drunken Peace Process”

This is a heavily lubricated, likely implausible treatise written by both Israeli Zionists and Palestinian Patriots who wished both peoples to survive history and the endless war. This vision was facilitated by copious amounts of beer, rum, vodka, wine and liquor. If any of them went to bed together, that’s a deeply hidden secret.
Sometimes we drank in apartments. Sometimes in class. Sometimes in prison. It was actually untenable to spend long periods of time together. The trust was just that low.

“The status quo of Israel in Palestine is not sustainable!” Muhammed Al-Khalidi yells banging his fist on the table. While there is anger in eyes, it is soulful anger. Righteous anger. The kind of anger white graduate students with big breasts can get behind. There was rumor he was sleeping with the Polish attaché to the road map. The solution process. Whatever it was billed at.

Al-Khalidi continues, “There are critical security, international relations and domestic crisis issues that threaten the very existence of the Israeli and Palestinian peoples much more so than the ongoing, comparatively low intensity occupation of the Palestinian zones of control in the West Bank and blighted Gaza. The region at large is in an acute state of political and social unrest; the governments of Somalia, Afghanistan, Tunisia, Libya, Iraq, Syria, Egypt and Yemen have fallen resulting in foreign occupations, civil wars and general anarchy. Shi’a Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia are at proxy war throughout the Muslim world.”

“He’s going to call us a Jewish Military colony again,” predicts Amitai Ben-Gross Ben-Gurion the great, great, great grandson of Israeli’s foremost founding father.

And Al-Khalidi does “many will object to us describing Israel as a “Jewish military Colony”, object to calling the separation barrier “Apartheid Wall” but linguistics and agreement of a shared paradigm are vital to the success out this unit’s objectives. We assure you the credentials of our core research team from Israel is sufficiently grounded in lived experiences of both the intelligence service and defense forces; while our Palestinian team’s Jihadist and patriotic background would be of little question.”

“None of us friends are very pro-peace, we are pro-survival!” Al-Khalidi notes adhesively.
Everyone clinks their class to “fuck peace!”
“Labriut! Fuck peace,” exclaims Nasr the elder statesman. He never drinks. Well he drinks with water anyway. He’s wanted for torture in Jordan, Israel and the West Bank.
“Fuck the stupid peace process up its tukass!” adds Sebastian Adon.

“Chaos and revolution are spreading while security, what little there was is unraveling. All of this was acutely exacerbated by the 2001 & 2003 American invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq; resulting in the virtual non-governance of both countries today.”
“This treatise has been researched and written by a group of Israelis and Palestinians who are concerned with the collective survival of their respective peoples as they occupy and are occupied in the heart of this massive, un-ending conflict. There is very little hope of this macros-regional war or micro-peace settlement between Israel and Palestine being resolved on the level of government. Palestinians have two competing governments; Hamas and Fatah; Israel has coalition government, but in reality is controlled as a military oligarchy on the behest of Ashkenazi Judaism and the foreign policy goals of the United States of America.”

“The only way I can ever really bother to hang out with you is if the booze is flowing,” says Bashir to Amitai, “otherwise I would probably just try and shoot you, or blow you up. I wouldn’t kidnap you, you talk way too much.”

Now it is Sebastian Adon’s turn to ramble on about Palestine with five or six shots of Vodka in him,

“For the approximately 13-14 million humans living in Greater Israel/ historic Palestine; the scenarios are not optimistic in the slightest. Peace is improbable, demographics are not favorable to the 4-5 million categorized Jews and beyond the religious overtone of the landmarks described by three world religions as ‘holy land’; Israel is also a nuclear armed semi-peripheral power aligned completely and dependent on financially a Jewish Lobby and interest in the United States which cultivates the specific and direct interests of two intractable groups; the US military-industrial complex and the 1-2 million Ashkenazi (European) Israeli Jews; which enjoy a standard of living inside the Jewish colony markedly different from the Jews of other ethnic backgrounds.”

The Palestinians distrust Adon the very most because he offers a lot. In terms of both game theory and booze. But he is the most eye brow raising Israelite in the pile.

“There has been ceaseless warfare in the Maghreb & Middle East since 2000. All of the scenarios discussed in the treatise are inseparable from the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians, but it is naïve and European to link the peace of the region of our specific peace. A peace that will never, ever be,” he says.
Bashir gives him a thumbs up.
“Thus we concern ourselves in this manuscript with Israelis (of all religions and ethnicities) and Palestinians (of all demographics). We are concerned with the broader course of humanity, but this has been authored to ensure that regardless of humanities general course; there will always be Palestinians, and there will always be Jews; and if there are to be “Israelis” an identity that is less than 84 years old; we must engage in radical steps to subvert the course of the mainstream Zionist project; delink ourselves of Euro-American hegemony and stop the inevitable slaughter of our collective peoples.”

Time for another shot, is what Nasr’s eyes say. The elder statesman with greying hair smiles and motions for Al-Khalidi to take over reading.

“To stop the flood gates from opening, to address the broad systemic internal contradictions of the Israeli state and to secure the third Hebrew commonwealth, a radical policy of reorientation must begin with a realistic assessment of the only other three parties on the ground besides Memshala Yisrael which can broker regional stability. Muslim Brotherhood- Hamas. Kurdistan. Iran, yes, yes I said it; Iran.”

“The central thesis of this desperate drunken experimental treatise has two parts, as its authors are diametrically grounded in two opposing war camps; Political Islam and Zionism; both of which reflect deeply nuanced interpretations of their respective ideologies; but are wildly different in fundamental social policy.”

Emma takes over reading, “Part One; is that in order to safeguard Israel as a ‘Jewish National Home,’ some very fundamental assumptions on regional security and domestic policy must be altered to reflect new realities emerging on the ground. The most vital among them being recognition of the Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islamiyya (Islamic Resistance Movement/Hamas), Kurdistan Workers Party and Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps as the only viable partners the State of Israel has to implement lasting détente, separation and a cessation to this prolonged conflict with an endgame result of peace.”
Al-Khalidi reads Part Two; actualization of Palestinian human rights and opposition to occupation and apartheid is the only mechanism for survival that Jews, particularly non-white Jews have to secure the survival of their people.

“Why did you have to make it all micro-ethnic and shit,” Amitai asks Emma.
“Because people need to stop lumping Israelis into one big bundle when it’s really the white Israelis and their relationships with the American Jews that make our work so impossible.”

“Onwards to hudna!” exclaims Bashir who is lit.
Hudna, means ceasefire.

Emma concludes the presentation, wine on her breathe, “this treatise is broken into nine Sections each with sub-segments utilized to illustrate the viability of the central thesis.”
“Section One is a brief synopsis of the diversity and contradictions within the Palestinians and Jewish narratives with a focus on linguistics.”
“That one is going to go well with red and white wine,” she says.

“Section Two is a baseline on Hamas’ tactics and beliefs to establish how they have developed as a movement in relation to the Muslim Brotherhood, and Sunni political Islam.”

“Section Three demonstrates Hamas’ evolution in response to failed Israeli tactics of counter-insurgency,” and, “Section Four deals with the evolution of the Hamas’ military-political strategy over time.

“Section five explains how these evolutions can be interpreted as establishing Hamas as a reliable partner for separation and economic development & is a resistance strategy for the Jewish and Palestinian diaspora.

“Section Six outlines a strategy for bringing the long warring antagostoic-protagonistic factions to détente.”

“Section Seven is the case for full Palestinian and Israeli support for Kurdistan,” she goes on.
“Don’t forget to tell them about the Palestinian space program,” Sebastian notes.

“Section Eight is an outline of Iranian possibilities and their able proxy Hezbollah.”

“Section Nine is a listing of all known relative players that must be brought into coalition to support the aims of the treatise.”
“Sober and patiently.”
“And section Ten is about the Palestinian space program and why the United Nation’s should pay for it,” Emma concludes, “no, actually no matter how drunk I get I don’t ever want them to have a space program,” exclaims Sebastian Adon.
“Before we begin, I’m going to need to see Nasr take a sip of something,” announces Emma Solomon.
“I’m a practicing Muslim. I’m not drinking anything besides tea,” he responds.
“I cannot believe that the only way to get any land out of you Jews was to ply you with liquor,” says M. Bashir shaking his head.
“Yes, deplorable,” notes reformed terrorist Anya Layla who now attends Columbia University.
“Are you really banging the UNDP attaché?” Amitai asks inappropriately.
“Yes. Without a doubt I am. My sad story made her feel close to me. I exploited it for boat loads of sex,” smiles Bashir.
“Well played. Shall we get to the manuscript then,” Sebastian suggests.
“Fire away comrade Abu Yazan,” Nasr smiles calling him by his made up Arabic name he acquired fighting in Syria.
Sebastian tilts back some red wine.
“Ok, so let’s make sure everyone takes this drunken rambling serous style! Where is your drink Muhammed Abu Muhammed!” he is calling M. Nasr by a more colloquial name to butter him up.
“Why do they call you Abu Yazan?” Anya Layla asks him.
“I volunteered with the YPG in Syria towards the end of the ISIS intervention. I was dating a Russian woman who had a son named Yazan, so I called myself Abu Yazan and it was catchier for them then my fictitious Kurdish guerrilla name or my Hebrew name clearly.”
“Interesting, so many names, like a devil.”
“He’s no devil, worse, he’s an articulate trilingual Zionist! Like the original pioneers who caused the catastrophe, he probably doesn’t even dislike us,” notes M. Baagral.
“It’s true, most of us don’t actually dislike any of you,” Amitai says.
“Well, even with six of seven glasses of wine in me, I don’t like or trust any of your delegation. You’re all plotting away with land your grandparents stole. You stole it all.

“It is no longer a question of moralizing the conflict, obsessing over past failures or temporarily abating a cycle of degenerating violence. Or conducting expensive anthropological studies on identity,” reads Nasr sober.

“Both the Israeli Knesset, the Palestinian resistance factions, the various Persian & Arab power brokers and the para-state organizations on the ground (and in Diaspora) all realize that neither by sheer will nor by force of arms can they destroy one another. Blame for the modern quagmire that is the Middle East may fall squarely on the post-colonial powers of Europe and the United States for proliferation of arms without stipulation or control. However the new reality is that if the third Hebrew Commonwealth of Israel is to survive; if a Palestinian State is to be brought into being; as well as if any measure of regional stability is to be achieved, radical and unorthodox steps must be taken to close the breach. The breach is not simply a result of Israeli defense against Arab aggression, or vice versa; it is a breach in the foundation of the modern security calculus. All parties involved must become more attuned to the heightened stakes via lessons of history and sound political science.”

“This treatise offers an objective analysis of the Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islamiyya in order to advocate for its recognition as a viable partner, not in immediate peace; but in implementation of separation, economic development and most importantly; Hudna . It makes a fundamental case for supporting Kurdish national ambitions in Turkey, Iraq and Syria. We advocate for a full and lasting partnership between Israel and the revolutionary Shi’a government in Iran. These are all fairly radical steps.”

Emma pours Adon another glass of wine. She knows that he will give away too much if he isn’t counter balanced by more hardline people. Sebastian reads,
“To claim that Memshala Israel has secured its borders, or contained conventional military threats to its existence is to say that glass is made out of sand. The process by which glass is made from sand renders the base substance un-alterably changed and requires much the release of energy through fire and heat to yield something far more unstable than its original form. While the cousins of Ishmael and Yitzhak, the Israelis and Palestinians, are indeed two peoples intractably bound to a single, tiny piece of land, they are met with a reoccurring problem. The Israeli public and government (currently) lack the will to commit genocide. The Palestinian Resistance factions cannot (currently) procure or introduce a means to mass murder that won’t render their own homeland a house of ash.”
“Surely whispered in both camps is the notion that it wouldn’t be ‘objectionable’ for the other and their kind to be ‘pushed into the sea’ or ‘dumped on the other side of the Jordan.’ The survivors of the Shoah cannot (yet) bring themselves to this, nor would international opinion condone genocide in the Holy Land in this day and age. As for the Palestinians, pushing the Jews into the sea has more to do with rhetoric than ability, conscience or even intention. The ancestors of both races defended the holy land against the Christian Crusaders locked arm in arm.”

“Do you really think Hamas and Likud could possibly agree to any of this stuff,” Malka Dror asks Amitai Ben Gurion.
“No. We’re completely wasting our time even having a sandwich with them,” he replies.
“Is he about to make a big deal over low comparative body counts?”
“Yup, exactly what he’s about to do.”

“There are over 1,400 years of precedent for relatively peaceful co-existence and less than 100 to the contrary . Anyone telling you otherwise has a vested interest in your ignorance.”

“Even the death toll of the First Intifada (estimated at 421 Israeli/1,549 Palestinian ) and the more bloody melee of the Second Intifada, which included suicide bombers and collective punishment, cost only 1,062 Israeli and 5,500 Palestinian lives . The invasion of the Gaza Strip in 2008 resulted in 13 Israeli and 1,417 Palestinians . In the ongoing Gaza Wars in 2010-2015 an estimated 100 Israelis and over 5,000 Palestinians have lost their lives.”

“That means that in the entirety of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict beginning in 1948; less than 50,000 people have cumulatively died, comparatively to virtually all other ethnic conflicts that is a foot note, a statistic.”

“The body count of the Palestinian Israel civil war is comparatively low when compared with other global ethnic conflicts like those waged in Sri Lanka, Sudan, Burundi, Rwanda and Chechnya.”

The entire sober room seems to gawk at this statement. Which loosely was translated into Arabic and Hebrew as; this whole conflict is lame because you don’t kill enough of each other.
Nasr sips his black tea with lemon. He was poisoned by a Mossad cell about ten years ago with neurotransmitters. Had the Israeli commando cell not been arrested in Jordan he would never have gotten access to the antidote. Because Nasr and Sebastian are both cigarette smokers, the two of them have the most time to reflect on various things that emerge in drunken

deliberation. Also, Nasr is completely sober and Sebastian is nearly impossible to get drunk. Especially since in essence these sessions were his plot with Nasr’s approval and endorsement. The first rule and second rule of negotiate with Zionist terrorist club was to keep the talking going and allow the demographic realities to set in. These realities were accepted by both Sebastian and the progeny of the great Satan Amitai.

“Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood must be engaged as the only viable partner capable of securing Palestinian temporary acceptance of the third Hebrew Commonwealth and thereby securing the Jewish National home by buying both sides more time for ultimate reconciliation before more desperate measures are introduced. The Kurdistan Workers Party must be supported aggressively by both people overtly and covertly. Iran is the only semi-peripheral power both sides can count on, as all other states besides Egypt are European inventions; and Egypt is an incredibly unstable place locked between a US backed military dictatorship and the Muslim Brotherhood.”

One time in the not so distant pass Sebastian Adon, who Arabs call Abu Yazan announced that he was very difficult person to disappear. The Palestinian M. Nasr saluted that because he too was hard to disappear. Then Sebastian spent about six weeks in involuntary detention. So really you could get to anyone in America thought Nasr.
Nasr was about twenty years older than the other delegates and like Sebastian took the whole process seriously, even if he objected to consuming alcohol. A lot of info on the delegates is unnecessary. Amitai was very well spoken for a 22 year old and was biologically related to several Zionist heavy hitters. Emma was calm, cool and collective no matter how much she drank. Bashir really hated Jews no matter how much land they offered to give away because as a youth he was shot in the chest in Gaza. Emma had huge breasts, so no one really ever wanted to offend her. Malka spoke with a Russian accent. Al-Khalidi came across like a spoiled diaspora intellectual. Anya and Baagral both looked like they were ready to take over an air plane on one hours’ notice.
Mostly they all hung out like tragic exiles in Sebastian’s rented town house. And the booze kept flowing as they all spoke about options, solutions and possibilities. You could say the situation couldn’t get any worse, but that’s not correct. The underlying reality was that demographically the Palestinians already made up more than 20% of the population of Israel proper. Combing everyone in imagined Palestine there were 13 million persons, just under half Palestinian Muslims. What was there to drink about, especially since more than half of the Palestinian delegates are practicing observant Muslims?
“I would have to be poisoned before I gave away one inch of land,” states Nasr.
“We’re going to have to appear poisoned to not be killed by our own parties by giving away anything at all,” states Anya Layla.
“If I have to poison all of you to get you to agree to a deal, of course I’m trained to do it,” says Sebastian Adon.
“You sneaky Zionist dogs will pay for your crimes,” taunts Muhammed Bagraal.
“Just calm your pretty face and lean in,” Sebastian replies.


8 March, 2016
New York City.
“Polina Mazaeva”

In the year leading up to my misadventures and deployment in Iraq and Syria on behalf of my little group’s foreign training operations; my long distance girlfriend was the striking red head singer from Nizhniy Novgorod deep in the heart of the Russian Federation.
We were both writers and both artists, she took only slight interest in my Middle Eastern Affairs.

Dearest Sebastian,

Hi, Maybe because of many of all in my life you don’t know. You are important for me, that’s why I winding all, afraid to lose you. I don’t want to be selfish, it just happens. And I really didn’t want any relationship before I knew you better, because I needed to take a break after the last relationships, and do something with my psyche and my life.

Why I love you? When you wrote me from October, I just can’t understand, why you sent me so long letters. Especially, because most of them were difficult for me to read. I just wanted to be polite and answered when I could. But then I saw that you feel bad, very bad. And I have a rule – if I have failed so far in my plans, I need to support those who don’t see for themselves how much they can do. You can do all you wish. You can gather people and organize them for common activities. For good deal. You are a wonderful person. You supported me later. And I began to be inspired by you. I learned how you feel, how you sympathize with other people, what your heart is. You have a beautiful smile and so much fire. Simply, we are all people, and we all have weaknesses that we have to contend with. And you too, and me.

Now you inspire me more and more, and I like your ideas, because I begin to understand them (it was difficult before because of the language barrier), and of course this feeling – I hate it, but I miss you constantly and I would not want to share you with anyone. I’m really unstable for the last 3 years, there were so many reasons, that’s why I did not want to get attached to anyone – it would create problems for everyone.

But you’re great, just know this. I love your smile. Your eyes. Even when they are tired after a hard day. I love your voice and I love your face. I love your body (so far in the pictures), I love your thoughts and that thing which guides you, the reasons why you are and what you do. You are a very kind person, so you suffered a lot. And you are wonderful, in any case, even when your strength is running out. I just love you because you are exist. I would follow you everywhere and support you in any crazy thing, and I would share with you my most beautiful night dreams. And if you would nearby, I couldn’t let you leave a bed, I would give you all of me. Simply, you are very important and forgive me, if somewhere my old complexes I project on you. I’m not perfect in this. Sorry. It happens only one timeline, then leaves. Wait a little, please, you’ll see a lot of good from me. And I hope you feel little better today or soon. If you need speak about any of your problems I always here.

Nizhny Novgorod stands at the confluence of two rivers – the Volga and the Oka. Oka divides the city in two parts, the upper part and the lower one. And people from the top hate people from the bottom, because the upper part is educated and cultured people of the European type, and in the lower part live orcs.

The legend says, that once upon the time the holy elder Makariy (person who founded our famous Makaryevsky monastery) sailed down the Oka. He sailed, and moored to the pier at the mouth of the Pochaina River near Nizhny Novgorod. He was seen by women who washed their underwear there. And they thought that he was a beggar. They beat him with wet panties and trousers, and he was very offended. And he cursed the city (so, probably, everything here is so terrible). He said that when there is a Last Judgment, the city will flood one of the rivers, Pochayna. But so far with the city there is a lot of other garbage.

The main square of the city is the Minin and Pozharsky square. There are monuments to Minin and Pozharsky, as well as access to the Upper Volga Embankment and to the monument to Valery Pavlovich Chkalov was a Russian aircraft test pilot and a Hero of the Soviet Union (1936), also to Chkalovchka staircase, very large and beautiful.

The policy of our city is this: we have a historic city and we preserve its historical appearance. In fact, you can read: “We don’t want to spend money on reconstruction, and when the houses collapse by themselves, these lands will be bought by rich people to build another shopping center.” Malls here are very large, real small smart cities. But I’ll write about this later too.
So, here a little photo of the area of Minin and Pozharsky, as well as – the upper Volga embankment.

Wait for Part 2 tomorrow) Here is not so bad in general, cause many of strange and interesting.
As you know, I started translate your book and do it when I have time, but I need your help. Even if I can’t write on English, I can see much of difficult places in the book, which I can’t change without you, Cause all it written by you. I can tell you, that there are many difficult words which people don’t perceive when many of it. And also there are many strange structures in your text. And things you know, but people don’t. So. For example: “they are all mostly unfamiliar with the dynamic of free association based two tiered consensus utilized by the People’s Army.”
I can’t change this phrase exactly for simpler text, cause it is how you called these things officially. But who knows, what is it? People can lose their interest on this phrases.

Also: “multidisciplinary; a linguist, a paramedic, a marine, a fire commissioner, a spook and an inner city transport” – but transport is not profession! You can’t tell this about any person, but may be you mean – a driver of inner city transport? It would be more correct, or I can’t understand something.

Also: “Sebastian and Adelina are lovers living together for the last nine months in the exile of Massachusetts so despite it” – great!! Readers at last can see real faces, real persons in your books, vut not a difficult phrases, But after this I read: “one shit given not a shit of a shit…” Is it a deliberate tautology? But it not sounds, IMHO.

So, I translate it more free, but I markered some places in text with red and asked you questions, please, take a look in this document and help me 🙂 i will need it much. And I really have to translate with free style, ‘cause many things sounds tricky 🙂

I love you. It is really interesting thing you wrote, but let people chance to read it with easiest way :-*
So, can I edit it as I do it on Russian (only), and you will check it after of course?)

This is all I can write for now. I am thinking of you and hoping your ongoing projects bring forth victory.

Your lover,

Polina Mazaeva

P.S> Don’t get distracted by the Palestinians.


5 March, 2000
New York City, U.S.A.
“The Bus to Zion”

Red, Mike and I are sitting on a bench in a grey concrete bus depot along a black asphalt highway that looks like an airport tarmac. It has taken me six days to recover. On the seventh we haul ass across the barren dunes to reach the depot. We’d barely spoken since the Transmogrification. There has been no strength for more words.

The potential means of transport can vary incredibly in this place. Not another vehicle in sight. Enormous deep desert sand dunes surround us although the sands are now rocky and red. A change of wind and the highway depot will be gone. Mike Washington and I are wearing the black pinstripe suits we took from a locker in the depot. The funny hats and implanted jerry curls mean that we’re both dressed as Orthodox Jews.

Mike hands me a lunch box. It says Molly’s Escort Service on it. There’s an image of a stripper in lace with handcuffs on it painted black and red. Something inside it is rather heavy.

“What’s this?” I ask Mike.

“Open it.”

“I think I’d rather not.” I say.

“What advice do you give a soldier too afraid to pull the trigger?” asks Mike.

Mike Washington leans against the bus stop wall and pulls a green pack of cigarettes from his pocket. He flips open a gold Zippo lighter and lights it up. He takes a pair of scissors out of his pocket and cuts off his jerry curls. He throws the black hat into the sand.

“You’re the Mr. Pinstripe Suit. You’re the fuckin’ killer,” I respond.

“You said it, not me.” Mike says.

A bus pulls up with Acadian writing on the side. I don’t know what it says. Mike Washington motions for me to get on the bus. The fare card reader is broken and the driver points to sign that has the number 40 and a Mesopotamian letter next to it. Mike hands the driver a wad of various coins in different currencies and the driver shakes his head in annoyance and waves us through with his hand. The bus is packed with people all speaking in different languages. I move to take an open seat in the front of the bus. Mike stops me.

“The Blacks didn’t bleed to sit in the back bus for Jews to get lazy and die near the front.”

“What are you talking about?” I ask Mike

“Always sit in the back of the bus.” Mike states emphatically.

“If you say so.” I respond.

The bus driver shrugs as we cram our way through a wide aisle obstructed by blocking limbs and bags probably best consigned to the bottom of the bus. There’s the redheaded girl taking up several seats stretched out and a bunch of what look like guards around her. She’s even more pregnant. Four guards in brown suits are standing while everyone else is sitting. She’s dead asleep and Mike tells me with his eyes to keep moving. We find two seats in the last row. I put the lunch box on my lap.

“Don’t you wanna know what’s inside?” Mike asks me.

“I already know what’s inside,” I say.

The bus chugs to a start. It drives for a few miles and then clunks to a stop. In a jarring lurch the front of the bus elevates itself on hydraulics. There’s a pause and clank. The bus rockets into the upper atmosphere. Clouds fly by the windows. Not even the children cry out. I see metal steam punk wings extend out the sides of the bus.

“Let go of your nose. You look like an idiot,” he says. He takes out his cigarettes. They were inside my suit pocket.

“You probably can’t….” I begin to say.

He’s already smoking on the omnibus.

“That isn’t just a pregnant girl,” Mike says.

“Huh?” I ask.

“That isn’t a girl at all anymore. If I told you that that wasn’t a pregnant shiela but a ticking time bomb inside a pregnant woman hiding itself? How would you deal with the situation?” Mike says.

“Only you ask questions like that.” I tell him

“It’s a valid question. Think the kid’s yours?”

“Huh? Here’s a better question. Why would I ‘deal with’ anyone? Why would I deal with a pregnant girl in the first place? And it definitely isn’t mine,” I tell Mike.

“She’s the kind of woman that has the potential to spread confusion up and down the aisles,” Mike says.


“Because that’s the kind of broad she is.” Mike says.

I feel a cold sweat and clammy palms. I feel the fear of something too impending to plan properly for.

“I’m not into this today,” I tell Mike.

“And I’m not a reincarnated Warsaw Ghetto fighter babysitting an insolent boy pilgrim either.”


“What kind of name is Mike Washington?”

“It’s a generic American hero name,” I respond.

“Remember when you used to stay up all night letting me write stories for you? Stories about me for Mr. Van Kirk.”

“Yeah…” I stammer.

“You made up a name for me. For the guy you wanted to be. What name was that?” Mike asks me.

“Mike Washington,” I say.

“Yeah. Do you think that’s my name?”

“Probably not.”

“Who carried you through your ten years of prison hospitals when all you wanted to do was let them program you or die? When you were screaming down in that hole, who did you call out to when you needed to be strong? Me, motherfucker. Me. When the devil whispers your name do you tell yourself it’s the voice of God? Are you having trouble picking sides?”

“You are the fuckin devil!” I spit out.

“Don’t cheapen yourself by thinking that the spiritual dichotomy is as simple as two guys in a room playing chess. And don’t paint a saint a sinner simply because you haven’t read the right books, or know the rules to the great game.”

“Where is this bus going?” I ask, tired of his tirade.

“Someplace the little time bomb inside that woman shouldn’t go. They think they have a virgin but what they really have is a sad and sorry whore from Babylon. The men guarding her don’t even know who they serve. Someone ordered them to seize the mother just like someone ordered me to protect you. We all have our orders, little pilgrim, but that don’t change the fact that you’re still Mr. Pinstripe Suit on a mission.”

“What the fuck does that mean?”

“It’s a lyric from a Big Bad Voodoo Daddy song.”

“I know it is. What does it mean in relation to me?!” I demand.

“Mr. Always-on-the-go,” he sings, “I know you got the answer, and we all wanna know.”

The men in the suits look in our direction. When they talk it sounds like nails scraping across a black board.

“I can’t kill the beast, pilgrim. You may have the answer, but you still don’t know how to fire your weapon and we’re seriously running out of time.”

The eyes of the four men go pitch black. The children on the bus start screaming. One of the bodyguards picks up a small girl who is yelling loudest of all and flings her across the bus. Her head cracks against the windshield. Her dead body hits the ground.

“If I told you we were gonna soon engage in actions that sacrifice innocents for a greater good would you be willing to do it? Some people are gonna have to die to save the whole. You and me, too if necessary.”

I stare at the men with the black eyes and look at my hand. My hand is shaking. I don’t dare open the box.

“Open the box, boy. We don’t have much time,” Mike mutters under his breath.

The other passengers have moved as far away from the four men in the brown suits as they possibly can and are cowering in the back of the omnibus near us.

“Are you still a communist, boy? Are you still one guided by your belief in some collective good?” Mike continues.

I give him a dead blank look.

“The greatest amount of good for the greatest amount of people right? Individuals have to sacrifice for the greater good. Sacrifice or be willing to sacrifice others cause we ain’t leaving without her means of production.”

He slaps me on the back and stands up.

“Just remember that you’re the fuckin’ omelet,” Mike yells at me.

The rest happens very quickly. Mike’s cigarette hits the ground. He reaches into his suit pocket and pulls out a golden handgun and takes off down the wide aisle running. Whenever this happens I think in onomatopoeia. Too much Adam West when I was little.

He pushes his way through the crowd and bum rushes one of the brown suits giving a flying kick to one as he shoots another in the face. BLAM! As he lands on top of the man he kicked, he carefully fires quickly point blank at the head of second. BLAM! It explodes like a firecracker in a watermelon. Blood gets on everybody and everything. The passengers are screaming as he darts up the wide aisle, he catches the arm of the third as he reaches for his own gun and turns around and shoots the fourth. BLAM! Mike swings the gun around and brings the barrel down on the face of the third suit he’s caught the arm of. Shit brown blood is all over the place. The last man standing manages to get his pistol out, a German Lugar, and tries to fire at Mike. Mike twists his arm and the man fires haphazardly all over the bus. Several shots hit the driver and the controls. The omnibus lurches into a dive. Mike manages to overpower him and shoots the final bodyguard in the back of the head. BLAM! In less then five seconds my imaginary friend has shot four brown-suited men and his face is covered in their blood. So is the pregnant woman. This is Mike at his most decisive. The pregnant girl is pale and silent. There’s blood splattered running down her face. Her hair is colored with the cheap red die Eastern European women seem to love. Like Jessica Rabbit. The color crimson. I run up to the front. The control panel is covered in the blood and brains of the dead driver. We’re now in free fall.

“If the bus gets to ZION, so help me God, we’ll be in trouble!” Mike yells.

“ZION? Is that where we’ve been going?”

“Open the lunch box and end this situation. Those were not men of flesh. This is not just some frivolous girl. We cannot let this bus get to the City of Lights in one piece,” Mike continues.

“What’s in the box?” I ask again.

“You know what’s in the fucking box.”

I think to myself that my imaginary friend wants me to shoot this pregnant red haired girl and I wonder what that says about my mental health. The holes in the heads of the four brown shirts close up. Slightly groggy they start to get up. Mike, still looking at me, shoots them again quickly without batting an eye. He slides the magazine out of his handgun and drops the empty clip to the floor.

I open the box. There’s a silver plated stethoscope inside.

“You thought there’d be a gun in there?” he smirks. “You don’t know how to shoot. What makes you think I’d give you a gun? Go listen to her heart.”

I place the stethoscope on her right side above the breast.

“Left side, pilgrim.”

I replace it. I hear the rapid thud of a panicked girl’s heart.

The beating heart becomes like a vibration. The heartbeat is transmitting a code. I interpret the code mentally like a black and white comic book. I see Mike, the girl named Red and myself on the flying omnibus. It’s very Roy Lichtenstein.

“What’s your name?” I watch myself say.

“I told you my name is Red. I’m scared. Please don’t kill my child and me. They got inside without my permission and they’ll enter someone else as soon as you kill us,” I watch her say.

“What do you want me to do?”

“Don’t trust anything you hear me say without that stethoscope. It will try and get you two to bring me to Zion. You need to get him out of me before we get there or you’re going to have to kill us both. I trusted him and he got inside me. Please help us.”

“Who got inside you?”

“The laughing devil Clown. Please don’t let your friend kill me and my baby just to stop the beast.”

“Bring…down….the….bus,” she whispers in my ear.

I remove the stethoscope.

“There’s gotta be some other option,” I watch myself say.

“Those things will be up in a minute. Ammunition is finite even in dreams. If you think drinking is bad while pregnant you can be sure sky diving is worse,” Mike says.

“With what fucking parachute?!”

“With the parachutes in our goddamn suits.” Mike yells.

“What about her? What about the other passengers?”

“In AMrika a crisis decision is between Coke and Pepsi. For everyone else it’s about the least worst option.”

“And what’s our least worst option, Mr. Washington!?”

“I shoot out a window and we dive out of a plane with the woman tied to me because if the shoot doesn’t support two people you’re the only person who’s absolutely not expendable for the time being.”

“That sounds like a terrible idea,” the pregnant redhead says.

“All of us dying a flaming, horrible death in a flying bus accident is not exactly on my agenda, sweetheart,” Mike tells her.

“So here’s a better idea. I change out of this suit and she gets her own parachute. You and I can share.”

“I’m under strict orders to keep your altruism from getting us killed,” Mike says.

“I order you to let me give her my parachute.”

“What makes you think I take my orders from you?” He snaps.

The omnibus dips vertically and I nearly fall over and careen down the aisle.

“Time is of the essence boys,” the girl moans.

“This isn’t Terminator, Sebastian. Just because I protect you doesn’t mean I have to listen to you. You have less then a minute to keep some of us alive. Changes of wardrobe are absolutely out of the question.”

With reflexes faster than I’ve ever seen the four men are back up and on top of Mike tearing at his suit, their fingers extending multiple joints wrapping around his body with their screeching screams piercing our ears. Mike struggles to pick up his gun that has been knocked from his hand. Mike kicks the gun in my direction. The four suits strike his face and wrap tentacle fingers around him like a ball of suited male violence. They crash up the aisle and smash directly against the front windshield. The glass strains and cracks.

He lets out a terrific yell. Like a war cry.

The windshield breaks and the five of them fly out the window.

The air sucks through the bus. A passenger tumbles down the aisle and out the window, too. I manage to grab the girl’s arm. I’ve been socialized to grab onto attractive young women in the event of an emergency as if it were protocol. This can’t be very good for the baby. The thing inside her feels nothing. With one hand clutching the girl I empty a few rounds of Mike’s pistol at a side window. The air pressure sucks the shattered glass outside. Holding the little Red head tight I mutter a prayer to a vague conception of a higher power and jump out the window.

There’s a deafening rush of air. I’ve never seen the sky this blue. The bus disappears below me. Out of the corner of my eye I see Mike’s parachute inflated like a great, grey balloon, a brown suited figure hanging off him. A kick sends the brown suit tumbling toward the ground miles below. Where the fuck is the ripcord, I wonder afraid to let go of the girl who has wrapped herself around me with all her strength as we plummet to our deaths. It doesn’t matter, soon enough the blue balloon parachute inflates on its own with a RIP and POP and BANG. Red is wide-eyed and holding onto me still for dear life. I’ve lost my hat. Least of my concerns, I reckon. It’s automated-action adventure time and I’m a good three miles above the desert with Red wrapped around me tight. I wonder what she’ll name the baby.


Exchange Place, Jersey City
18 July, 2017
“The War Room”

I was watching the news from the safe house, then the power went out. They lose power in Erbil for around 4 to 8 hours a day. The news was bad, well the news is always bad when it comes to the Middle East. They’re killing Palestinians in Jerusalem again for the third day straight over metal detectors near the Dome of the Rock. Syria is completely on fire; the Russians are making slow, and decimating progress. Iran is fighting Saudi Arabia in Yemen. Iraq is on fire, the Americans are directing the Coalition of crusaders, and Mosul has almost fallen. Libya is on fire; they say life was normal just five years ago. There are rumblings about a major American troop increase in Afghanistan. The entire region is one powder keg after another. One group of after another ready to kill each other so the big powers get their oil.
The temperature reached 112 degrees today, the power goes out several times a day in this city. I’m on the roof of a housing complex to the South of the 60-meter road in Erbil. A referendum for independence is coming in two months. It’s a two-hour drive in any direction to an atrocity, but I’m bored. I’m drained, and I’m bored, and I’m wondering what my place in this is. There are things I can tell a person, and they think I’ve read a lot or traveled a lot, but mostly there are things I tell people that they can’t see and they can’t hear, so they shut down. They can’t believe the conclusions I’ve come to since they condemn me, they condemn where I’m from; they are uncomfortable conclusions about why this war is happening. Why it has always been happening. Who and what are to blame.
I have about 48 hours before the car picks me. These Kurdish gangsters with sympathies toward the resistance are going to put me and four duffle bags of supplies in a car and bring me to another city, to wait for a truck and then I’ll be moving on the road to where I’m supposed to be. Where I’ve been invited to work. I have many detractors. But I also have unfathomable love for the game.
Erbil is stunning in its dull mediocrity. It’s wasted potential and its sprawl. I’m seated in the fading dusk and dead lights; I’m about to make my last broadcast before I go over the border and then really, who knows. The city is shaped like a melted clock, a 7,000-year-old time piece with a citadel at its center. I’m on the roof of the New Ishkan apartment complex; I’m about to try and explain what’s happening here. For anyone who cares. Probably a couple of officers in the underground, only my mother and maybe Daria watch the whole broadcast. No, I’m lying to myself, probably I’m only talking to myself on the roof.
The trouble with seeing things no one else sees is that they call you insane. But, I’m not crazy. The world is crazy, the world is fucking insane. I don’t have a broad audience, and I have a small, devoted following from my previous works. I wonder what to say this time at the fire station; the rebel radio I send back to Brooklyn and places outside this wasteland.
Is there a message from all the things I’ve learned? Is there anything anyone needs to hear? Isn’t there anyone left to tell a story too? I don’t think so. Everyone knows what I’m doing here and how it will end. For I am not writing a novel, I am diffusing a series of dreams into a manuscript in English for a tiny chapter of the book of life that was manifested a year ago.
I smoke a cigarette. I comb my hair. I imagine she’s watching me. I look out over the city that never was and probably won’t be ‘the next Dubai.’ I pick up my notes and turn on the camera. I try and explain to the resistance and those who love me, the context of massive events that brought my unit here to Kurdistan. It’s never going to be the next Dubai here, for the record.
I read and record segments one minute apart. As if anyone actually follows my posts on social media or has anything vital to contribute.
When you open your paper, turn on your TV, or boot up your smart phone and attempt to understand what is happening; you are already tuned into people paid well to validate a view you already had. One such view is that there is a war going on between Islam and the mainly Christian Eastern & Western Bloc that affects China too. Both Russia and the United States have been poorly managing Wahhabi-Salafist terror in their countries since long before the Cold War supposedly ended in 1991. The United States by funding it and Russia by committing war crimes against whoever deploys it against them or their interests. China has been battling Islamic separatists that wish to section off 1/5 of its country to the Northwest in Xinjiang province. Perhaps what you tune into tells you it’s all some massive clash of civilizations. This ridiculous idea was popularized by Samuel Huntington in 1992. Other writers and pundits declare the events all part of a long running proxy war extending past when Francis Fukuyama ended history after the Cold War. If you’re are deeply religious, and much of the human race is, you might periodically wonder if this is the end of times. As humans have wondered many, many times before. Neither the media nor the thought leaders nor your religious intuitions are paid by telling the truth. They are paid because you like how they interpret horrifying, unpredictable events for you. You subscribe to their interpretations because they assist you in rationalizing, wholly irrational human behavior, predatory government malfeasance and social policies that enable an endless war.
From your house of worship or via your TV screen you might try to rationalize what’s happening here in the killing fields of the Middle East through the prism of your respective prophet’s scriptures or favorite pundit’s words. The news is a nasty circular addiction. A part of religion is a repetitive act of denial. You almost have always to deny that vast portions of the rest of your species are even loved or protected by God. Which allows a dynamic whereby you systematically begin to not care as much about whole blocks of other humans, based on something you must have faith is real, but cannot be proved by science or reason. So in many regards, any group of religious practitioners that equate a Godly protection to a set of scriptures always provably re-written and re-translated by fallible man. It is implicit to accept the belief that your hands are washed of much of humanities manifest suffering. But the wretched of the earth are statistically Muslim, Christian, Buddhist and Hindu in relatively equal proportions. But let’s look at the flood of violence from this phase of this longest war today. Let’s try and be dispassionate, objective and ration without losing our solidarity or our souls.
I could only assure you on the political science and international development level it is wholly rational what is happening in the world today. Outside of wars for diminishing resources, prophetic revelations and clashing civilizations. It is the product of high-level planning and an absence of low-level care. We might extend that to the human tragedy generally and the Middle East Highly specifically.
The steak is just as tender in New York, London, Berlin, Beijing, Shanghai, St. Petersburg and Moscow. The politicians in these places and those who manage them live in the similar style of homes. People that own energy companies, big financial firms, manage banks, own the arms or information tech companies; their mansions and yachts have similar styles and elite luxury amenities. The suits that their businessmen wear are of similar styles and fine materials. The sports cars their kid’s drive are all around the same speeds, and costs since luxury items are all price fixed. The women for sale in all three power blocks have the same price tags and services for sale.
Thank God the “Cold War” is supposedly over because, for a cold war, a kind of hot series of medium scale wars, civil wars, and highly bloody armed events occurred in almost every single country on earth between 1945 and 1991. Although most respective national histories are total propaganda by omission, it has been agreed in the West that Communism was soundly disproven and defeated and of course the West “won.”
We are supposedly all very democratic in the West. We have Republican or Parliamentary governments with generally only two major opposing parties and free-market economies. The Russians supposedly are that thing called Democracy as well. After all the looting that happened in the gangland 90’s under the Shock Doctrines. Nigeria will tell you it’s a democracy and so will a lot of other people. It’s hard to find a Kurdish political party without the word Democracy in it. The absolute most war town, brutal, depraved place on earth is called the Democratic Republic of Congo.
In reality, we all have highly Managed-Democracies. Scripted even. They are managed differently in Russia than in the West. Also generally with two parties of angry, loud ambitious lawyers, technocrats and oligarchs trying their hands in populism. In European social democracies, after looting the entire earth, they raised taxes and funded social services. Well certainly in Russia with only one relevant party Yedinaya Rossiya (United Russia), democracy is slightly easier to implement. In Russia, the Communist Party is still the second biggest party. Anyone effectively opposing United Russia or even writing about in a negative way is promptly killed. Its corruption is referred to as the “party of crooks and thieves.” But most Russians agree that Vladimir Putin has restored security and dignity to Russia. So America is a two party state and Russia is also two party state. Designer consumer goods are readily available in both places. Russians as the losers of the Cold War are demographically poorer than Americans, but Russians have higher rates of university graduation and literacy. Both have pretty enormous domestic reserves of fossil fuels. Which is why their ferocious Middle Eastern proxy war can’t be just about oil at all.
China has a one party state, and it is run by the Communist Party. Its impressive economic growth since embracing of State Capitalism in 1986 has propelled it to be a clear contester to the Western Hegemony. China is disinterested in both military interventions and experiments in the Middle East. All three powers have increasing energy needs which American and Russia can meet in their borders and China cannot, who therefore has elected to colonize every country in Africa. However, energy resources; oil and natural gas are the engines of both war and development.
America in 2017 has willing proxies in Egypt, Jordan, and Israel. Its base for all Central Command, Military operations is in Qatar. The USA invaded Iraq in 2003. It mostly withdrew in 2011 but has returned to contain ISIS in 2014. Saudi Arabia and all the Gulf States are Western oil clients, but all of them have intrinsic ties to the propagation of radical Islam.
Russia has a long term client relationship with Syria and it’s only Mediterranean Naval base there. Along with Crimea which it annexed in 2014 on the black sea, this is one of only two warm water ports. They key Russian regional ally is Iran. Iran as a result of the American invasion of Iraq controls everything in Iraq that is not Iraqi Kurdistan, the Sunni Triangle and the remains of the ISIS held areas (Ar Raqqah, Anbar, Al-Hawijja, Deir-Ez-Zur). Most people here call them Daesh, the ac
For over 2/3rds of the human race the very events critical to their respective, overlapping and at times contradictory faiths took place in Egypt, the Levant and Mesopotamia. For followers of Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Baha’i, and numerous sub-sects of each this is where their very prophets were all born, raised and communicated with the source.
From the very moment, according to their own religious texts, that the Israelites arrived out of Egypt there has never, accept for several long authoritarian periods of Islamic Caliphate rule been one even year of continuous peace. The Crusades were a several hundred year attempt to establish a genocidal, white supremacist Catholic foot hold in an area only slightly larger than modern Israel. When not seeking to expand Islam into ¼ of the earth or repulsing Christian incursions; the Abbasids, the Umayyads and the Ottomans were fighting constant wars with Mongol hordes, each other or the long running Sunni v. Shi’a wars.
There is nothing that can be written academically or rhetorically, presented on any medium to give the West or the East a new conscience. It is now a simple matter of public record that the developed world has accepted that the only obligations it has to the maldeveloped world is periodic mitigation. Famines, wars, floods and disease epidemics are to be poorly managed by direct aid. Multilateral efforts though the United Nations are to be the extent of collaboration. NGOs will proliferate as donor trends determine. Regular military intervention will remove or shore up state systems intrinsically hostile to any of the three centers of global power; named Washington, Moscow and Beijing.
The World Wars and Cold Wars brought humanity closest it has come to total self-destruction. But, there was nothing particularly stable about the Pax-American from 1991 to 2001. The Russian and Chinese embrace of free market capitalism has not altered in the slightest way how they maneuver as states toward their citizens and world. Albeit with fewer disasters periods of social engineering. There is nothing particularly comforting about the Chinese hegemony when it fully arrives.
Consistent for nearly 100 years has been the Middle Eastern theater of a war which changes locations, ideologies, factions and names; but is in fact a singular ongoing war.
If we accept the validity of real politics being intrinsically hostile an equity in the international order; if we excuse every type of growing human rights violation as explained in national interest; the center cannot hold. The earth has only so much capacity economic pillage. The weapons of war are exponentially more destructive. The exodus towards the West is overwhelming. We cannot prove broad conspiracy nor do we have to. We cannot confirm or deny something in the human nature is self-interested, violent and cruel.
But, we can truly verify a coherent, consistent willingness for wealthy nations to prey on the developing ones and keep them deliberately dependent and maldeveloped.
The Middle East has been in flames since 1919 and it is irresponsible to pretend that has something to do with civilization, religion, or cultural clashes. It fundamentally has to do with two forces pushing from the East and the West toward an energy resource. But that is in itself simplistic since both the United States and Russia have some of the largest proven reserves under their own territory. A Middle Eastern market for the weapons needed for constant warfare a vital aspect. Both the Western and Eastern Blocs are seeking to control the oil in the ground and sell the dozens of Middle Eastern players’ advanced and simple tools for defense but mostly more killing. The various holy sites for the innumerous religious believers who convolutes the basic thesis, but is the third pillar to the equation. Were there no oil, there would be no willingness to arm so many opposing players. Observe Somalia where Muslims in a desert and absolutely no Western powers really care until high profile piracy occurs.
Were there no arms racing there could only be small wars. Without political actors in Moscow as well as Washington, London and Berlin there couldn’t be such a cauldron of bloodshed. There have been countless stated rationales for intervention, proxy arming and invasion. It is nearly impossible to convince the democracies they ever did anything to escalate this. The war with the Islamic State has become a focal point, almost an obsession for everyone, but it is the latest manifestation of a long running problem.
Before there was ever such a thing as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria; the usual pundits and politicians screamed Cold War. Then East and West heavily armed everyone. Israel then tripled its land mass, Syria became the Russian proxy, and Egypt changed opportunistically sides. Next, they screamed contain the Iranian Revolution than the West armed Saddam Hussain. A gruesome eight-year war later Iraq genocided the Kurds. During this period to give the USSR their own Vietnam, the Saudis, Pakistanis, and American created Al-Qaeda and turned then Communist Afghanistan into the ungovernable Islamist warzone it is today. Then Saddam annexed Kuwait, and the West invaded. Several atrocities against Shi’a and Kurds later he remained in power. The pundits screamed loudest after September 11th, 2001 and the Global War on Terror began. Russian atrocities in Chechnya in 1990’s where 1 in 7 Chechens was killed were replied to with the 2002 Beslan and 2004 Ord Nost Hostage crises. Hundreds of innocent Russian hostages died in both events. An estimated 240,000 people had died in Chechnya in two wars which leveled the separatist state. Most regimes including Israel saw waves of protest in 2011 over domestic grievances and inequality during the Arab Spring. Virtually all regimes besides Tunisia quelled the uprisings. Civil War broke out in Libya and Syria. By 2014 Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, and Syria were all in total unrest, ashes, and anarchy. The corrupt military dictatorship of Egypt had been overthrown, then restored with U.S. intervention. Saudi Arabia and Iran were fighting proxy wars all over the region.
Turkey has clearly logistically enabled the creation of a Sunni oriented, Wahhabi Salafist ultra-fundamentalist Jihadist entity which took the world by complete surprise. Saudi Arabia has long provided it with a hateful Sunni version of Islam. Qatari actors gave its sophisticated propaganda and branding. Pakistan coordinated it as they had in Yemen and Afghanistan.
Then Islamic State took dozens of Syrian and Iraqi cities including Mosul, had come dangerously close to taking Baghdad, before turned back by Iranian coordinated militias and Kurdish Democratic Confederalists. The Peshmerga and the Iraqi military had fled in varying ways exposing civilians to atrocity.
But allegedly quite a lot of these Sunni tribes people liked living under the Islamic State non-state governance. It validated their identity, it gave them something big and powerful to believe in. But, now they are near the brink of annulation.
It is actually not important to indict who thought up the Islamic State, who planned it. Some say Gulf States, some say Iran, Israel and the West. The evidence though is clear that Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar all fueled its development and Pakistan has the only intelligence service capable of working out the variables. It is child like to believe it was created by Islamists and Ba’athist officers in U.S. custody.
I take a little break to watch the last lights of the sun dip below the low range to the West of the city. The whole roof is lit up in white neon lights. I continue the broadcast.
It can be difficult to figure out what’s happening out here in the Middle East. It can become an abstraction of alien cultures, conflicts and ethnic configurations that are easily blurred to an uncaring or untrained eye. It is hard to get your head around how the alleged cradle of human civilization became such an everlasting intractable bloodbath. Perhaps it is only the responsibility of the Western audience to know what is happening because the collateral of the carnage is spilling over into their European and American cities. No one will perhaps admit that, but yes. And it is also important to render the Middle East more human because the weapons distributed here are from the West or Russia. The oil being pumped is being bought and sold by Western or Russian firms. Most people living in the West don’t actually know what Kurdistan is, but that doesn’t say so much as most people in the West don’t know where a lot of things are. I would go so far as to say the majority don’t care.
Most probably won’t admit that they didn’t know that the Kurdish ethnic group existed until 2014. It was not until various pundits made it clear “the Kurds” were actively fighting the Islamic State did anyone ever hear about things like the Peshmerga, the People’s Protection Units (YPG) or about Kurds in general. The perversity and violence of ISIS kept it in the headlines for the past three years and the Kurdish issue has increasingly been at the forefront of understating geopolitics in the region. Particularly because Iraqi Kurdistan, administered by the Kurdish Regional Government as an autonomous area since 2003 is set to hold it next referendum vote for independence on September 27th, 2017. And it is sitting on top of the fifth largest proven crude oil reserve on earth. No one should totally wash their hands of what happens in the Middle East because its conflicts are fought with Western and Russian weapons, paid for by American and Russian tax dollars. The companies pumping out the oil are largely Western or Russian based firms.
There are in fact a lot of players, but all of them fall into four big tents; Western Allies led by the United States Military and Coalition forces. Russian Allies most prominently Syria and Iran. Gulf Sunni Client States that claim they are Western Allies but can call be linked to the Islamic State through one or two acts of deductive reasoning. And the 40 million Kurds spread across Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria. The Kurds, who are world’s largest stateless people are seeking some viable means to safe guard their long abused community and of course, get rich off the oil under their Iraqi territory.
I plan to be very repetitive with names and places that matter. Or places that have more than one name so the reader can try and learn them. There are a lot of overlapping players, a lot of acronyms, national interests, international interests and underlying religious and ethnic antagonisms that go back thousands of years. There is a very long history of desert prophesy. This is certainly the land of Zoroaster, Abraham, Bab & Bahaullah (Iran); Moses (Egypt), Jesus (Israel/Palestine) and Muhammed (Saudi Arabia). Well documented and repetitive ethnic killing is reality of life here for over 4,000 years punctuated by foreign occupations, colonies and Islamic empires. Devastating foreign invasions on behalf of Mongolia and Europe altered the entire composition of the region; culturally, politically and genetically. There is deep rooted tribalism which has to be understood as a means of both loyalty and social organization. There are monarchy’s created by Europeans to crown their favored Bedouins as oil clients. There was the re-birth of the Jewish State for the third time in three thousand years. There was the re-birth of the revolutionary Shi’a State in Iran which carries a similar sense of Messianic optimism and zealous indoctrination to preserve for Shi’a what the Jewish one does for Jews. There is absolutely a more recent history since 1947 of several large and also small wars and protracted atrocities. Such as those experienced by the Palestinians at the hands of almost everyone in the region. You could rightfully say with a straight face that since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in 1919; there has been a constant war playing out inside every single country of the region.
The Western Media’s linguistic and cultural detachment from these antagonistic protagonists’ borders on being a crude Orientalism. An anti-Islamism mixed with a thirst for covering and sensationalizing bloodshed. The fact that suicide bombs are regularly going off in Western cities has made everything more immediate, more visceral. But it is undeniable now that some of the biggest beneficiaries of being Western petro-colony clients (Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman) can be linked to funding and supporting Wahhabi Salafist doctrines when not being caught outright funding the Islamic State.
And frankly the enduring miserable heat doesn’t help anything. While obsessing, that is the word I would use; obsessing about the about the regions 5 million Jews and 7 million Palestinians of Greater Israel, West Bank and Gaza takes up a lot of printed word on the subject. The enduring issue, the issue that everyone needs to become more fluent in is the question of Kurdistan.
Beyond the wars, the ceaseless violence and the conservative, mostly intolerant, male dominated nature of Middle Eastern society in general; and Arab, Kurdish and Persian society in particular. All anthropological and political variants are made worse by what I would call a claustrophobia. A feeling of being trapped in small spaces disguised as holy lands with nowhere to really go. Or fear of impending genocide, which affects all the players out here, and there are many. As I did not write this article for academics, let me paint with broad brushstrokes a paragraph on demographics.
There are 35-40 million Kurds mostly spread across Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria. They are mostly Sunni Muslims., There are two primary types of Muslims; Sunni and Shi’a which differ on a range of practices and beliefs, but are mostly divided over who was the rightful successor of the Prophet Muhamad. Shi’a declare it was Muhammad’s cousin and son in law Ali and have been historically persecuted by the Sunni caliphates and rulers. Sunni Islam, which is the majority sectarian faction of global Islam (say 70-90%) Shi’ism is the smaller (say 10-20%) faction of the Ummah, or Global Muslim community which is about 1/3 of the human race.
Kurds are also the world’s largest stateless people. Linguistically, culturally, spiritually and often militarily Kurds are great deal like Persians.
The nation of Iran which is a Revolutionary Shiite Islamic State since 1979, is about 65% Persian or say 50 of its 80 million people. There are also 9-10 million Kurds living there. While they are certainly not free from Iranian Shar’iah law; they are generally better treated than everywhere else in their historic lands of settlement. In Iraq a genocide called Anfal happened in 1988 which brutally killed 180,000 Kurds. In Turkey Kurds and Turks have been in an open civil war since 1984. In Syria, Arabization campaigns and forced resettlement made them third class citizens. Iran had an anti-Western, anti-Shah revolution in 1979. The United States promptly armed U.S. client Saddam Hussain to the teeth. Then sold guns secretly to Iran in the Iran-Contra Affair. While North Korea, Libya and Israel all sold arms and also secretly advised the Iranians. An 8 year war occurred fought in the style of World War I with trenches and poison gas where over a million people were killed. In the last days of the war Saddam Hussain ordered Al-Anfal or the systematic killing of 180,000 Kurdish Iraqis.
The nation that used to be Iraq was ruled by Saddam Hussain and the Ba’ath Party until 2003 when the US successfully “liberated” the nation. Only the Kurds would call it liberation as both the Shi’a and Sunni Iraqi Arabs both for the most part hate the United States. The Ba’ath party which was nominally Arab-Socialism but really a one man dictatorship is also found in Syria. It is the political party of President Bashar al-Assad, who is an Alawite, but we will come back to that.
It is certainly neither irrational nor poorly documented that historically everyone out here has at one point tried to annihilate each other. As most of the groups out here have at one point, or are actively today trying to obliterate each other. None of this is helped by the obvious fact that biggest Western powers & Russia cannot and will not allow control of natural resources under Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States to go unspoken for. Or be nationalized. Or be made inaccessible by virtually endless conflict.
Hewler, which again is Erbil in Kurdish, is a city of 2-3 million, the world’s oldest continuously inhabited city. It has a tall mound fortification in the very center. The Citadel which has been the fortress defending Erbil, Hewler s all Kurds call it, for nearly 5,000 years. Like Moscow, Hewler is a series of ring roads; the 30 meter, the 60 meter, the 100 meter and the 120 meter which are punctuated nearly every other block by a 5 Star Hotel. In 2011-2014 a building boom erupted and everyone was making money.
By the time I arrived in Iraq, or Kurdistan (as it is called by most of the Kurds living in this KRG zone); ISIS was fully driven back into Iraq proper by Peshmerga forces. Mosul was completely besieged by the Iraqi Military with nightly airstrikes hitting the positions in the Old City and Medical City.
The city of Hewler was once dubbed “the next Dubai”, but that’s a very dubious claim. For one thing, Hewler or Erbil isn’t any fun. For another, however you define that word fun, Erbil is not either pretty or architecturally impressive. That is because it is estimated that under the region of North Iraq; called the Kurdish Regional Government, autonomous since 2003 and home to 5 million Kurds and various minorities such as Turkmen (former Turkish administrative class of the Ottoman empire), Assyrian Christians (Syriacs & Chaldeans), Yazidis (recently genocided by ISIS), whatever is left of Iraq’s Baha’i community and a growing community of Western expats; the KRG sits on top of what might the fifth largest proven oil reserve.
But, in 2014 ISIS got about half an hour west of Erbil and was stopped by Coalition airstrikes in Makhmar. Everyone panicked and had begun evacuating their family’s hours before. ISIS had taken Mosul, then a city of over 2 million and Iraq’s second biggest with under 400 fighters. ISIS had invaded Sinjar (Shengal), the historic home of the Yazidis, murdered over 5,000 men; carried an unknown number of women into sexual slavery and trapped most of the remaining Yazidis up in the mountains. The Peshmerga, the military forces of KRG’s two main parties; KDP (Democratic Party of Kurdistan which controls Erbil) and PUK (Patriotic Union of Kurdistan which controls Sulymanyia, which is also called Slemani) had basically retreated from both Sinjar and their positions in Makhmar and were incapable of repulsing the 2014 ISIS offensive. What is now a matter of historical records; the US air force hammered ISIS positions in Makhmar and stopped the advance there and the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) proxies; YPG Militia (People’s Protection Units) and the PKK armed wing People’s Defense Forces invaded Sinjar, cracked open a corridor for safety and by all accounts saved the majority of the remaining trapped civilians there.
Speaking on the subject of claustrophobia. There are an estimated 35-40 million Kurds; 14.3-20 million in south east Turkey, 8.2-12 million in Iran, 5.6-8.5 million in the Kurdistan autonomous region in North Iraq and 2-3.6 million in Northern Syria (Rojava). Armenia, Azerbaijan & Georgia all have populations which total under 50,000. 2 million Kurds live in the diaspora; particularly concentrated in Germany, France, Sweden and Netherlands. As well as in Russian Federation, Belgium, United Kingdom, Kazakhstan, Switzerland, Denmark, Jordan, Austria, Greece, USA, Kyrgyzstan, Canada, Finland and Australia (highest to lowest concentrations).
As you can see from the spreads of these numbers; no on actually knows how many Kurds there are. Politically speaking these numbers are very problematic, since Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran in their own various ways and strategies would all prefer the Kurds not to even exist.
As stated in 1988, towards the end brutal eight year of the Iraq-Iran War, in Chumchumal Iraq, the Baath Party under Saddam Hussein began a genocide against the Iraqi Kurds. 180,000 Iraqi Kurds were loaded onto trucks, placed in concentration camps, driven to the south of the country, ordered to dig a ditch then shot and buried. Poison gas was used in the city it Halabja. Tens of thousands of villages around Chumchumal were emptied. The majority of the Kurdish population in that region fled to Iran. Only the US invasion of 1991 slowed the genocide. The invasion in 2003 basically allowed the PUK and KDP to seize northern Iraq and make it autonomous. In 2014 the KRG was fiscally cut off from Baghdad and began selling oil directly to Turkish, Russian, American and Israeli companies.
There are only Iraqi flag in Erbil inside 5 Star Hotels and most government buildings. But the red, white, green emblazoned with a yellow multipronged star is virtually everywhere else.
The Kurds a saying, “Our only friend in the mountains,” which related their historic persecution at the hands of an unending series of foreign occupiers’ particularly but limited to Arabs and Turks. Whenever invaded, without fail in thousands of recorded engagements Kurds fall back to the mountains which make up the majority of their imagined, and historic territory; and promptly begin guerrilla wars.
In Turkey, the Turkish government has long banned Kurdish language and culture for years. It has been described as “highly effective cultural genocide” For decades the Kurds were assimilated, repressed and told they were “Mountain Turks”. In 1914 the Ottoman Empire conscripted the Kurds to help carry out the Armenian genocide. Because of official apology, long running dialogues for reconciliation and a common enemy; Turkey, Armenia is one of the biggest supporters of the PKK’s (Kurdish Workers Party) war against the Turkish state. In 1984 the PKK began it’s insurgency against the Turkish state. More than 50,000 Turkish citizens, mostly of Kurdish descent were killed in this still running war. In 1999 PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan was arrested, tortured and placed in solitary confinement on an island prison near Istanbul. Reading the works of Murray Bookchin; Ocalan renounced Marxist-Leninism in favor of his own non-state, pro-democratic, gender co-equal, ecologist vision called “Democratic Confederalism” which is now the official PKK ideology. After several failed rounds of ceasefire and peace talks, after the arrest of all Kurdish parliamentarians after the 2017 Coup in Turkey and after repeated bombardment of PKK positions in Iraq, Turkey and Syria as well as great complacency if not active support of the Turkish state to allow ISIS fighters to come and go over its territory; the PKK has been physically pushed back to mountain bunkers in the Qandil Mountains of Northern Iraq and positions in Sinjar, but enjoys enduring popular support amongst Turkish and Syrian Kurds. Its political parties repeatedly are elected to Turkish Parliament, subsequently banned and their leaders jailed.
In 2004 the PKK Syrian affiliate PYD (Democratic Union Party) began rapidly organizing a militia and administrative structures which later protected, then effectively occupied Kurdish areas in Syria during the atrocities of the Syrian Civil War (which has led to the deaths of over 550,000 people largely civilians and displaced over 13 million internally or into neighboring countries in vast miserable series of camps.
In 2014 the PYD (Democratic Union Party) and its militia force the YPG/YPJ (YPG is People’s Protection Units [male] and YPJ is Women’s Protection Units [female]; now numbering around 45,000 light infantry fighters) defeated ISIS in the Siege of Kobani with Peshmerga, PKK and coalition air support. In the past three years the PYD, through its civil society organ the Tev Dem (Movement for Democratic Society); is for the most part governing a 4 million person non-recognized parallel state; three cantons in Northern Syria called the Democratic Federation of Rojava- Northern Syria.
Afrin Canton (to the West of Rojava, but still land locked) is isolated by a Turkish supported incursion toward Aleppo, Syria. Kobani the central canton is connected by land to Jazira Canton which borders the Kurdish Regional Governorate (KRG). Because the KDP (Democratic Party of Kurdistan), majority KRG party based in Hewler/Erbil is incredibly dependent on Turkey for exporting oil and development assistance, actually most of the 5 Star Hotels, apartment towers, and consumer goods in Iraqi Kurdistan are a product of that economic relationship; Rojava is quarantined on all sides. The only people getting in are well resources journalists, NGO workers and people getting smuggled mostly over the Iraq-Syria border through a combination of bribes or Kurdish family loyalties.
The Turkish border to the north is completely sealed. The Free Syrian Army/ Turkish forces occupy a land strip from the Turkish border to the city of al-Bab, which cuts Rojava’s Afrin canton from the Kobani & Jazira Cantons. Jazira borders Iraqi Kurdistan, and the Sinjar Mountains are partly under YPG/PKK/PYD control and partly under Peshmerga/KDP control. All flights to Qamishly go through Damascus. Most of the Syrian territory south of Raqqa is in the hands of ISIS or the Nusra Front (another Al-Qaeda rebrand). The Assad government and its military control of the Qamishly airport make it possible to have supplies airlifted in and about 20 NGOs, can go over the Syrian/Iraqi border.
The YPG/YPJ making up the majority of the SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces) has pushed ISIS back to Raqqa (which is now completely surrounded by Syrian Democratic Forces). The YPG/YPJ has been politically dressed up as the SDF incorporating varying smaller militia forced from ethnic minorities and various rebranded Syrian Free Army groups. This pluralism for US Government and military intelligence foreign donors has occurred because of three reasons:
1) Virtually every Western nation has declared the PKK a terrorist group, so overtly supporting the PYD militia YPG/YPJ is outrageous and offensive to Turkey, a critical regional ally. Who spends way more time bombing the Kurds in PKK and YPG rather than do anything constructive to oppose ISIS. So SDF is a thinly veiled way for the United States to say it isn’t directly funding a group it called a terrorist group to fight another terrorist group, but that is exactly what is happening. Turkey has bombed Iraq and invaded Syria by proxy forces cutting off the Western most Rojava canton Afrin from its two eastern cantons Kobani & Jazira.
2) The YPG/YPJ is along with the Iran controlled Iraqi Shiite PMU (Popular Mobilization Forces, also called Al-Hassid Al-Sha’abi the only credible ground forces in consistently rolling back ISIS. Without the PMU, ISIS might have taken Baghdad in 2014. Without YPG, Rojava would have been over run. The PMU is regularly accused of atrocities and is controlled via Shi’a clerics loyal to Iran. The YPG/YPJ should be viewed as a military asset of the PKK militarily expedient to the U.S. led Coalition “Enduring Resolve” Operational needs.
3) When ISIS is defeated, the PMU will be used against Peshmerga in Kirkuk. Turkey, the Baathist Military and NUSRA front will be attacking Rojava in different configurations. SDF is an effort on the PYD part to make the militia forces more multiethnic, and thus remain eligible for American war money.
Mosul fell to the Iraqi military around July 9th, 2017 after nine months of fierce urban warfare. Raqqa is expected to fall by the end of the summer. ISIS redoubts in Tel Afar, Iraq (a historic Turkman city) were predicted to fall by September, but mysteriously the city was found to be empty after just eight days of fighting by the end of August. Hawijja, Iraq historically a Kurdish city long emptied and Arabized by the genocide is widely believed to be one of the most pro-Wahhabi Salafist centers as far as the population’s sympathies. Its population supported Al Qaeda, currently supports ISIS and regularly launches terror attacks in neighboring Kirkuk. There is desolate barren zone in the Anbar a province (outside Kurdish zone) which also needs to be pacified.
All of this leads analysts to conclude ISIS will be militarily defeated in all major remaining Iraqi and Syrian cities by January 2019. Importantly Raqqa, it’s only remaining official headquarters could be over by November. The mop up operations in and around Deir Azure will pale in comparison to the possibility of war between the Peshmerga against the Hashid al Shabi and Iraqi Army in Kirkuk.

I end the irregular broadcast. No one is watching besides maybe the NSA and Polina Mazaeva. And Polina will not appreciate it all very much because frankly, by leaving Russia I voted with my feet on the future. But, this is a plan we had been planning now for several years.

We have to get the unit into Syria and remain on the ground for around two years without being captured by the revolution or the enemy. There’s eight of us scheduled to go in, I recruited all the others one by one over three years. This entire context will not be affected by the tiny move, a maneuver of smuggling in foreigners into Rojava, now called ‘the Federation of Northern Syria’; there are many much bigger plots afoot. The commitment on the part of the resistance being minimal, this is a campaign of medical force multiplication. Surely any faction is worthy of the training and the system; this one is most in line with the fundamental analysis I have presented.
And that’s all I have to broadcast tonight. Probably not anything most analysts didn’t come to in varying degrees. If Daria saw it she’s bored. If Polina Mazaeva, my Russian lover and confidant saw it she’s annoyed, or worried or both. Daria is my old partner back in Brooklyn. Polina is my editor and my lover in theory. She lives in the City of Nizhny Novgorod in Russia. In reality Polina only has only a tiny little bit of emotional skin in this game.
I had my tongue between the legs of a foreign correspondent at a party a few weeks ago and she told about a room she found in Mosul filled with Turkish visa stamps, it was just the latest piece of conspicuous circumstantial evidence.
Everybody thought Talafar would be a battle not a total ghost town. That took only 8 days to liberate.
The forces assembled in Rojava are democratic, feminist, ecological and non-aligned. They are multi ethnic, they are armed for defense. They are on good terms with the US and Russia alike. There isn’t any room here for mistakes. I will leave in two days with my companions are we will begin implementation of the training program as soon it is possible. My time in Iraq has been a series of disappointing nightmares, but that is not all fair. For I have seen some very heroic things amid all the catastrophes. But I will first the stories of many of the heroes and villains I met along the roads here as I awaited by passage to a place that inspires so much hope and fear. For everything out here is a circus of death, but it is not as though this is unusual for the region or the world. Life continues here amid all this. For both the foreigners, the colonists and locals all have human intentions. Human lives that the media and carnage obstructs the story of.
There are things I could teach you about politics and religion, that are lost on the great mass of self-interested and self-serving antagonistic protagonists described here. But those things are the back drop for our tale.
This story will attempt to provide a glimpse of the people that lived in or were drawn toward the fires of the killing fields when one world ended and new world began.


19 February, 2000
“The Lieutenants”

Every day I jump on the #4 train and head up to the Bronx. Today 1 am handing out newly printed broadsheet flyers that hammer out our rough little call to arms. I am taking down numbers when a kid I don’t recognize approaches me. He introduces himself as Simcha. He is Chilean Jewish and his look is difficult to place. He wears neat clothing, formal but not preppy, and has an intense look about him. He isn’t tall in stature, nor is he incredibly articulate or easy on the eyes. He looks a little Latin and a little Gorski. Unbeknownst by me, I have just met one of the first great ideological influences of my blossoming political ideology.

“My name is Simcha Rathajzer. We’ve met before but you might not remember me.”

I extend my hand to give him a pound, but he shakes it firmly instead.

“Sebastian Adon.”

“I know exactly who you are, comrade. I want to talk to you about this club you’re putting together.”

“What do you want to know?”

“What is your intention by founding this organization? I understand you’ve recently become a member of the Young Communist League.”

“That’s true. I joined last week. How did you know that?”

“I was surprised to hear you had become a communist. Some people are saying the organization you want to found is a front group.”

“I don’t know what that means.”

“A front organization is an issue specific group funded by a larger communist organization to bring young people towards political action and then condition them to accept communism. You are somewhat familiar with the loaded nature of your new affiliation?”

“No. Not particularly.”

“You haven’t exactly picked the most beloved of ideologies to embrace for your new found desire to be political. There have been nearly a hundred years of government action against the party you are affiliated with, not mention assassination, imprisonment, and deportation of many of the more radical members,” Simcha continues.

“I’m hangin’ on your every word, but how do you know all this stuff? Everyone else is like ‘politics, yeah that sounds cool’ but you seem to have thought about a lot of this stuff before.”

“I’m a socialist. I’m not a member of any of the big organizations. It’s just something that my family has believed in and I grew up with.”

“Isn’t a socialist like a halfway communist?”

“I get the impression, and this is not meant as an insult, that your reading of the Communist Manifesto is your only real exploration into this school of thought. You’re telling everyone that you embrace the most hated of adversarial cultures in American society, an ideology our government fought a bloody hundred-year, international conflict to contain. You’re going to make a lot of people nervous with all this. I just want you to be aware of that.”

“I’m quite aware.”

“There’s another thing. Your own political ideas aside, once again, what is your intention by creating this new organization?”

“To build a fighting force for people’s struggle.”

“You need to pick your words carefully. Is your objective to spread Communism or is your objective to make apathetic high school students care about political issues?” Simcha continues to grill me.

“Well I hardly see those two ideas as mutually exclusive.”

“I thought as much. Did the YCL put you up to this or are you acting as a free agent?”

“They don’t even know I’m going to do this. We have a meeting tomorrow to request to use their meeting space on 23rd Street.”

“Do you have a name yet?”

“Youth Resistance Front.” I tell Simcha, proudly.

“You need a better name. That name connotes violence and no one will join.”

“Well, we have ‘til tomorrow to come up with something better.”

“I’ll join if you change the name.”

“Will you help me better understand my ideology so I can articulate more effectively to the kids around the City? I could use a person like you on my team.”

“Yeah, I’m down. I want to help you with this thing. Just remember that what you’re doing has a lot of baggage that comes with it. You really ought to read a bit more before you jump head on into organizing a project like this.”

“You can make me better informed as we go.”

“Yeah, have you talked with Isaac Zucker yet?”

“Who? Crack? No, why?” I ask remembering the friend I stole from before I was locked up.

“Zucker and his brother are both members of the International Socialist Organization. Hubert O’Domhnaill ’s brother is in the same organization you are. You gotta connect with all these kids that are already political to help you get the kids who don’t have a clue.” Simcha advises.

“O’Domhnaill and Crack are socialists?” I said incredulously.

“Isaac is and recently, Hubert has become highly sympathetic to certain working class ideals.”
“This is perfect! The four of us ought to sit down and work this out as a group.”

“I’m sure we could make that happen.”


Zivia Lubetkin is following this organization stuff with mounting interest. She and Sebastian had been very close before he was sent away. She is curious to see if the massive overhaul of each of their lives will allow them to continue the near-sibling relationship they once enjoyed. Sebastian is now sober and political. Zivia is not so sober and a platinum blonde, candy-raver girl.

Zivia has observed that kids end up getting involved in the new organization for a variety of reasons. There is the shock of Sebastian, this crazy kid everyone knew who has come back reformed, preaching a firebrand popery of communism, personal discipline and individualized reclamation of one’s purpose. It is not like Sebastian has a unique ability to make a political issue make sense. Zivia thinks that he is articulate but not always well informed. He does have charisma pouring out his ass.

Zivia knows that he is making all of this up as he goes along. Even though he openly admits to his communist leanings, his political rhetoric is acceptable because he knows that all of the kids he targets are united in their political ignorance. The first step is to educate the group about what is wrong with the system. Zivia sees that Sebastian recognizes that the real challenge is youth apathy. She has watched his sidekick Simcha chime in and list the things we should care about—problems like nearly perpetual war, worker exploitation and wide-scale global poverty. Then the potential recruit always says,

“Tell me more.”

Then Sebastian takes down the kid’s phone number. Sebastian and his crew are not pretending to have detailed explanations or pseudo-intellectual horseshit solutions. They just say that there are many problems. Then they invite the recruits to help get some resistance going.

That’s what they are calling it: a resistance movement.


There are fifteen minutes left before the scheduled meeting with Mr. Leban, who is the local Communist Party leader. We are meeting with him to negotiate getting the permission of the Communists to allow us to use one of their rooms as a meeting hall. Izzy Vitz, Nick Trikhovitch, Hubert O’Domhnaill , and I are all sitting on a stoop on 23rd Street trying to come up with a name. These are the kids who have really pledged to help me make this new organization happen. The only concrete thing we have decided is that there will be four cells that take on different jobs. The service cell will undertake grassroots, community projects. The publication cell will put out a political newspaper. The recruiting cell will agitate and get more members. And the activist cell will organize political actions. Each cell will have a leader. The four cell leaders will be the leadership of each chapter. The decision making body will be called the Executive Committee. It will be made up of two cell leaders per chapter. We plan to focus our recruiting at the magnet public high schools. The name everyone involved has unanimously shot down is my Youth Resistance Front.

“So what names are we still toying with?” asks Izzy.

“Youth Resist,” reads off Trikhovitch.

“Nope,” says Hubert.

“I don’t really like that either,” I say.

“Students for Change.”

“Definitely not,” says Izzy.

“Youth Protest League? That’s just retarded.”

“Next,” says Micky.

“Youth United for Justice.”

We sit on that one for a minute.

“These names fucking suck,” I say.

“Hold on, what’s the point of this whole thing, Sebastian,” asks Hubert O’Domhnaill .

I think on it.

“To put everyone on equal footing.”

“Then how ‘bout this for a name: Youth United for Equality?”

“The Y.U.F.E. Yeah. That could work,” I say.

“Is that pronounced yufe or yufee?” asks Trikhovitch.

HAMSA, s.2.

6 April, 2017
“Send in the Volunteers”

My name is Daniel Newey. I’m lanky and have a disarming grin, so say the ladies. I’m just having a kid, which is to say a laugh; the ladies don’t say nothing like that. I’m British clearly, but also part a cheeky Jew. It’s not a very well thought out part to be honest. I became active in the Kurdish movement protesting Turkish arms deals and attending cultural events at the centers. My working class British city had literally hundreds of Jihadists who took off for the Middle East and joined Daesh. Fuck all mate, hundreds! They took wee kinds and wives with them. They thought it was the end of times. Well it had end of times properties, I’ll give it that.
So I was always an activist with politics of the progressive kind, but I love Kurds man! They’re so awesome. Humble, principled mountain people. Love um! Sometime in August of 2016 I made up my mind to travel to Kurdistan and join up with the People’s Protection Units; the famous and glorious Y.P.G. .
So I worked a bit, saved about 2,000 quid and there I had a chance to ask the right questions about who to contact, literally just an email address called YPGREVOLUTION, and I answered a bunch of questions for them. Then I was approved to go.
Bu life happens, you have a girlfriend you can’t bring, and you have an apartment you can’t just leave. You also have a bit of fear in you. No one wants to die! Unless you’re one of these Jihadist tossers. You make various excuses. Well not me, I don’t worry about dying. I had a pretty boring apartment. My job was bullocks.
I had become friendly with Helen Qerechow, whose British name was Ana Campbell via the protests and Kurdish events. She was far more ideological than I was. She was what we called later a ‘true believer’. Me, I just wanted to kill Daesh, and also the Turkish fascists. I wasn’t stupid to the politics mind you, but I was more of the fighterly mind set. I had set myself on a warpath. I grew up working class and I would die working class and revolution would never come home to the U.K., but if I could contribute well to the YPG and aid the Kurdish resistance then I would feel like I was a man of my word. All these years yelling about arms deals and Turkish coups all didn’t ever do much, but it was how you made friends with Hevals and aspiring Hevals. Heval in Kurdish means comrade/friend. It’s what movement people call each other affectionately and ideologically.
So I was scheduled to begin the Academy in Qerechow in August of 2017. I had booked a direct flight to Erbil from Heathrow. Ana was in the class before me for the YPJ; Women’s Protection Units, the co-gendered women’s structure.
Now my motives were pure, but they were not ideological. Apo didn’t make me do it! I just felt that Daesh was a heinous evil. I felt the Turks to be aggressors. And I wanted to avenge the fact that so many people from my city had headed over to the enemy. An enemy which throws homos off roof tops. Kidnaps and sex enslaves young women. Commits genocide! And until the operation Inherent Resolve was gradually taking over the entire Middle East into their “Caliphate”.
So I packed my bag and joined the volunteers. The proud, inglorious 500 or so who ended up with the YPG and its affiliated structures.

HAMSA, s.1.

16 February, 2000
New York City
“Mr. Activist”

The infamous and quixotic Mr. Adon is back. There he is after a ten-month disappearance wearing a pine-green jumpsuit and a white beret. He is urging his compatriots to get organized. He proudly proclaims that he has become a communist. No one is entirely sure what that means. He says that drugs and alcohol keep us from our full potential and that we have to become a movement of young people dedicated to retaking our society. No one has really ever heard a person talk like that around school. He wants us to become revolutionaries.

Within three days of his reappearance he has made quick rounds of the NYC magnet high schools to organize a meeting. Trikhovitch certainly isn’t going to give up alcohol and become a communist, but he is intrigued by the concept of this ‘change by struggle and fight’ that Sebastian Adon has been preaching since his sudden return.


There are about forty kids sitting on the Rock on February 16th, 2000. They are mostly Sebastian’s old crew from the public magnet schools as well as his little brother Benjamin and a few of his friends. Everyone is milling around near the summit smoking cigarettes until Sebastian and Nick Trikhovitch arrive wearing black suits and dark sunglasses. The dress code was Trikhovitch’s idea.

Sebastian begins his call to arms.

“As many of you know I committed a string of vile and self-serving acts in my previous life. I was sent away because of them. If I’ve put any of you through bullshit, hell or otherwise, I sincerely apologize. I’ve been locked up for ten months and I have learned only two things of any value from this trial. The first is that we have been deeply wronged by the forces, which govern our nation. The poverty, misery, and general oppression, which are the fruits of our American comfort, have raped the soul of our generation. Our dreams have been perverted and our ideals warped. We all used to think that we could the world. Now, all we want to do is get fucked up, shut down and drop out so we don’t have to acknowledge the fact that we once believed in things. All that is left is for us to make money, make babies and die. The second thing I learned is that it is never too late to revive our lost hopes and dreams. We don’t yet have a plan. We don’t yet have points of unity or a list of concrete grievances. We just know something is wrong within this nation.”

Those assembled process his proclamation in different ways. To some it is a minstrel show from out the 1960’s, to others it is like witnessing their pent up frustrations and middle class rage being channeled into pieces of a dream.

“Mr. Trikhovitch and I want to create an organization, an association of young women and men ready to fight. We don’t even have a name yet. We just want to get ourselves organized and learn how to take our country back.”

Trikhovitch doesn’t say a word. He doesn’t have to. Those assembled know the boys worked out the particulars behind closed doors. This is Sebastian’s second attempt at making a speech. There is no applause this time like there had been when he ran for Freshman Rep. Just 40 youngsters in the February cold, hands stuffed in coat pockets, thinking with fire and breathing out smoke. No one says a word. No one walks away.

“We can use the copy machine in my Dad’s study to run off your little manifesto,” volunteered a husky and extremely wealthy Canadian named Belfy Andrews.


One of the first things I did as a free man was to go down to 23rd Street and 7th Avenue to the Communist Party USA Headquarters and sign up to join the party. The building looks run down. Everyone inside calls each other comrade, which for some reason seems a little silly. I have to be honest with myself. I’m still not exactly sure what dialectical materialism really means. I don’t have class-consciousness. My knowledge of communism is limited. My understanding is that capitalism is a system of competition that pits people against each other and benefits only a select few. This select few is a group called the bourgeoisie. They control something called the means of production. Throughout history there has been a constant struggle to take back the means of production. With each struggle a new group lands on top. Communism is about achieving equality. The group that is able to do that is called the proletariat. Once the proletariat seizes the means of production in something called a revolution there will be freedom. There will be opportunity. And there will finally be true equality.

After haggling with an elder statesman on the fourth floor of the office, I receive a Red Card and become a 16-year old, card-carrying member of the Young Communist League.


I decided somewhere along the way home from the Family School that I will no longer drink alcohol or take drugs. It is not so much that I associate substance abuse with my previous condition. It is more to prove to myself that I did not need the Family School to be sober. I looked up some AA meetings in the City and have started going to a group called Midnight in the West Village. People are really shocked with my ability to give heartfelt survivor advice but I am used to the sharing rhetoric of AA from my time at the Family School. I found a sponsor at my second meeting. He is a gay news reporter from CNN.

I bounce around friends’ houses for the first few weeks. Then after a long dinner with my parents, they decide to let me move back in. I assure them that I am able to live in the City and not get into further trouble. We try to figure out what schools I can get into this late in the school year. They are nervous, but happy to see me. I guess a few people are.


Nick Trikhovitch has been reading the Communist literature I brought back from the national office. I have been trying to turn him commie red. We are attempting to put our ideals into writing.

“Largely from here on out it becomes an issue of good propaganda,” he observes. “The message is good, right? But we got to give ‘um some quick victories, show them their time and energies yield dividends.”

“Go on,” I say watching Nick collect his thoughts.

“I’m not saying that I’m a theorist of any kind. I’m not even really convinced I get everything Marx is saying. But I understand enough. I understand that I live in a society with massive inequality and that one solution is rooted in this text. But we can’t call ourselves commies. If we do, we won’t get anywhere.”

“It’s always been like that, right? The lie that this society is better than the ones a couple hundred years before? The history books in school make you think it is,” I respond.

“The books are filled with lies. There may be no real way to quantify human suffering but like I said, if our manifesto smacks of socialist crazy talk no one will join.”

“So we’ll stick to the basics,” I say.

I pause smoking my Newport. We are sitting on his roof with a typewriter in the bitter cold.

“The unpleasantries of life,” he says as he types, “are to be blamed first upon our own inaction.”

“I like that,” I tell him.

“What did you really learn in the camps Sebastian?” he asks me for the first time.

“Self-reflection at gun point.”


My silence and perhaps hateful stare communicates to him that this is a subject I am not yet ready to talk about in depth. He types a few more notes. Feels like we’ve been up on this roof writing for days.

“This organization is being created to get our compatriots to understand that something must be done about the way we live?” he suggests.

“Not exactly. This organization is being created to train revolutionaries.”

“What is that fucking phrase? Don’t use words that set off red flashing lights. That phrase is used to sell cars and beauty products too, you know. No one knows what it means, not even you,” he tells me.

“Excuse me?”

“Teenage angst is society’s way of marginalizing the confusion and breakdown of our ideals. We are all being changed living in this country. We are being force-fed conceptions of beauty, economic relationships and the necessity of material things. Our social circle is the perfect example of bourgeoisie youth reeling from the contradiction of what we know is right and what we are taught to accept. We grew up with everything in the world at our finger tips, but it is all based on this grotesque system exploiting other people for us to have our comforts,” he tells me, “Revolution means we’re gonna tear it all down and blow it all up and start from scratch.”

“Well isn’t that what we want, Nick?”

“It’s a stupid buzz word and a scary thought to the sane. You’re talking about different kinds of exploitation here, Sebastian. Are you saying American wealth is predicated on the suffering of the international working class or are you saying that we’re suffering because of our socialization to accept this reality?”

“I’m saying that we’re asking some pretty big questions for kids who are just sixteen. What I saw in those camps was the tip of the iceberg. We need to keep asking these questions and we need this organization to put these ideas in a format regular people can understand.”

Nick pauses looking at me intently for a moment while he flicks his Newport over the railing.

He reads as he types the second sentence of our treatise,

“This organization is being created to absolve us of the horror our nation has unleashed upon this world.”

“That I can dig,” I say.

“What are we gonna call this little outfit?” he asks me.

“I’m not sure yet. Something militant.”



27 May, 2017
“Hand Cuffs or a Bag.”

Did I do it all for a woman? I might have.
The air ship lands in Erbil. Everyone claps, as if they don’t know this is exactly what a plane should do. Everyone on the plane proceeds to take their safety belts off and clog the passage way. Welcoming me on the morning of Ramadan 2017 to the oldest continuously inhabited city on earth, are bored but friendly police and overweight militia men. Erbil was voted “the next Dubai” a few years ago. Before it almost fell to the Islamic State bandits and the price of its illegal oil sales dropped out. It’s still busy and modern and very, very secret policed. The Iraqi Kurds and their Peshmerga militia of the KDP; Kurdistan Democratic Party based here almost fled in sand person baggy mass when ISIS got within half-an-hour away and got turned back by the god fire called coalition airstrikes.
When I leave this place, it will be in hand cuffs or a bag. Or I will walk out the door of a plane in Cuban made linen shirt, with a fake gold watch and a green partisan cap. One of the brothers will show up with a stolen car and get me at the airport. A Russian woman is going to throw her arms around me, and then I’m going to go to medical school. Or I’m gonna die here ingloriously and get buried in an unmarked grave, probably after being badly tortured.
But this is what they trained me for. Grandiose dreams verses nightmares.
The other night I helped the Kurdish Mafia sell a list of 5,700 ISIS fighters to an unknown foreign intelligence buyers in Beirut, probably Russia or Israel. In return for my traffic and troubles, they gave me the keys to an empty apartment in the South of the City or Erbil, and $300 to buy some food. Since I’ve been here about two months; I arrived on the day Ramadan began in late May I’ve traded medical skills and cunning, also hard drives and flags for food and shelter. The supporting mini-brigade of volunteers will all be coming in on different flights, on various days. I’m the second man in. The rest will come in the summer and fall. Some are healers and some a professional killers, but I think we’re all a little crazy to be doing this pro bono.
I don’t think she’s gonna meet me at the airport, dead or alive. War or medical victory.
I arrived in Erbil, called Hewler by the Kurds, with $200 dollars American and two black boxes of cargo; the necessary instruments I need to establish a clandestine camp for emergency medical training somewhere inside Greater Kurdistan, but most likely in Northern Syria. In the autonomous zone called Rojava. The quickly expanding liberated territory with what reports describe as an obsession with Abdullah Ocalan, and his paradigms about women’s liberation, ecology and non-state democracy. Anything could be happening there, but all I know is they are crush the ISIS Cheta kilometer by kilometer at rapid speeds. Raqqa is completely besieged by the YPG, which stands for People’s Protection Units, the largest mostly Kurdish fighting force the U.S. backed coalition fights through in Syria. Cheta, means bandit, which is what we all equate the Islamic State fanatics with being.
But, some could suggest that the internationalists have bandit qualities too. Angels and devil, vagabonds and misfits, even cannibals they say.
I am a non-ideological man. Well, I was until recently. I have to say much of the writing of Abdullah Ocalan is very compelling. The Kurds declare that every life needs a leader, and perhaps that is true; because I am not as hard as Apo, he sets a path of incredible elevation. He demonstrates the impossible is sometimes possible, he does it from prison. Though I play an activist of sorts on the stage of life, I’m not one to take a creed and make it my religion. I am also a non-sentimental man. Though I cry sometimes for myself and my predicament as an agent of progress. An aspiring revolutionary or a real one maybe. Though it is my profession to indiscriminately prolong human life. I’m a paramedic. Waiting for me back in Russia, though how long she will wait is anyone’s guess; is a lover with a young son who isn’t mine. An age seven Syrian Russian Druse, his father fucked off to Dubai. Waiting for me back in New York City is a mother and father who are scared, my father is also slowly dying. My brother runs a racket in Barcelona. It’s a growing but benign racket. Waiting back in Brooklyn and Haiti is an underground army of nearly 2,000 ambulance workers and their sympathizers. My 33 birthday was very well attended as was my Passover Seder. Though history if it remembers will both absolve me, but call me a Jew, it is only half of me. My sentimental half you ask? No, my cunning, ruthless and deceptive half. No, just a half. The blood is neither a help nor a hindrance.
You will have to forgive me when I say that out here I know I am completely alone. What I see, and what drives me day by day up the treacherous mountain out of this wasteland toward my goals is bigger than me. But it is not a political theory or an imaginary friend. And this time, it is not a Russian woman. Though certainly a few them of can be found hanging around feigning excitement or outrage in regards to my work.
Regarding the nature of my work, well it is of course the training of emergency medical technicians with overlapping with training instructing them how to self-sustain medicine and Democratic Confederalism, which is to say freedom fighting for stateless democracy.
In the Cuban tradition which I have studied and admire one mixes politics and medicine in service of the poor and oppressed.

HAMSA, 13.

giphy (2)
“A Report from Havana”

Reads Carla Santiestiban:
This year it is estimated that the Republic of Cuba, recently opened to US tourists since 2014 is absorbing 4 million visitors a year. There is no longer an off season, there is only a rapid scramble to accommodate multiplying American tourists who are forgoing more traditional tourist destinations of Mexico, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Costa Rica for Cuba. Such is working class America’s pursuit of the mostly all-inclusive, approximately two week annual vacation on a beach for two under $4,000.00, with or without a cruise.
There are two currencies available in Cuba, the Convertible Peso (CUC) pegged to the dollar with an 87 to 96 CUC trade in value on island dollar to CUC. There is also the Cuban Peso (CUP) worth 24 or 25 CUP to one CUC, depending on the arbitrary ruling of the vendor, which for a Gringo, will almost always be 24. The ideal conversion currencies are Euros and Canadian dollars, and any debit/credit card issued by an American bank is useless.
But, Cuba is so safe. Because really as a non-Spanish speaking American, really all of the countries we like to go to are not safe, at all. Mexico and Jamaica outside resorts are really, really not safe. Maybe more so than much of the USA, Cuba at all hours is not a threat to you. You would really have to go out of your way to robbed or molested in Cuba. Allegedly sometimes people are given the 25x less valuable CUP as change for a CUC, but that never happened to me and they really look quite a bit different. There are not only committees of unpaid, innocuous secret Police called Committees for the Defense of the Revolution (CDR) on every single block, but a heavy police presence as well. Grey and blue is armed and a dark green unarmed military deployment assisting in both traffic and making arrests. A vast consensus exists now that tourism is the only thing this country is floating up on. Which is not wholly true accompanied with biomedical research, pharmaceuticals, medical/technical services and soon oil.
Cubans don’t for the most part speak English, at all. So it’s good that I know some. Enough to navigate, bargain and order food, but also to show respect. But that doesn’t keep them from trying because the monthly salary is currently around 32 CUC a month for teachers and around 1,000 CUC a month for certain types of doctors or top officials. Which means that virtually every single person has a second job and third kind of hustle related to tourism.
According to my new comrade Raphael, “every single week the government roles out more and more small liberalizing regulations, everything is changing, but with smarts, piece meal. To obtain the clear gains of capitalism, while preserving the health and educational benefits we fought sixty years for in our revolution.”
Rafael believes within 5 years the Party will remain, Fidel, Raul, Che, and Emilio Camfuegos (a much lesser known hero) will all be venerated; but capitalism will be here mostly in the sectors of tourism and petroleum. Cuba has major reserves off the North West coast. Which is good according to Carlos, “As the CIA has almost completely destabilized Venezuela, the faltering ally who under Chavez began trading Cuba oil for technical support and doctors amongst other things. But now Chavez is dead and Maduro is neither as popular nor effective as leader.
Whether you blame mismanagement, the drug trade, the Columbian Civil War (now mostly over thanks to Cuba) or socialism itself; the impending end of the Bolivarian Revolution/ Socialism in Venezuela; Cuba made a détente with USA in 2014.
The revolution to all the Cubans I drank with, road tripped with, beach burned with, danced until 7am with, debated with, played Dominos or GO with, took long walks on the Sea Wall (Malecon) with, did business with; because as a US citizen I was certain there not for tourism at all but one of the 12 categories I signed on my affidavit. In my case, business trip. Which could really also have been medical research or cultural exchange. And clearly no one, right now in the State or Finance Department cares.
Between 1994 and 1999 Cuba experienced a time called the Special Period in Times of Peace. Abruptly cut off from the USSR which collapsed as a patron and protector by 1991.
“But now we are in a delicate new time,” explained Mauricio Alfonso, retired nuclear physicist and internationally famous habladore,(big talker) also host of the Casa Bellvista, in Miramar, the wealthier, more suburban diplomatic district. “It is unclear to those of us following the international news whether Trump will make the blockade an anachronism, an do lots of god business, or be influenced by the Cubans in Miami, and make things unreasonable again.”
But everyone else, all 24 of my mostly new friends were optimistic, unabashedly so. There was not one without a relative in Miami. Not one who didn’t want to visit or live in New York. Not one, except the older ones who didn’t openly so, we need more to keep this going.
Carlos Cancio is a 54 year old translator for the Medical Brigades and teaches English, French and Italian at a university in Sancti Spiretos, in the very center of the island near UNESCO protected Trinidad, allegedly a historic wonder of colonial architecture. I was a bit more about the night club Cabaret deep in the cave.
“I have a daughter in the USA, I hope the laws will change and she will be able to see us soon in person, she defected and it is heart breaking for us. But it is true, the younger generation doesn’t know exactly why this is so important, they are less political and more culturally curious about the USA. I will tell you though just 5 years ago it would have been a reportable crime to talk with you, to have you in my home.”
And Carlos, who I have corresponded with as a colleague for 3 years since I met him in Haiti, is markedly candid, “There is some middle way the leadership is trying to find. We did not have this revolution to give everything away for rap music and new clothing, and no one will ever accept anything less than the one unified party that brought us here. But, we are slowly finding a middle way like China and Vietnam to preserve the party and liberalize the economy, on our own timetable. Our own terms.”
Carla Santiestiban is 26, petite and vaguely malnourished she has a three year old son Hayson in Camaguey. She left the city about a month ago with a 6 month internal Visa Cubans need to live in Havana, a city of roughly 2.7 million people. Carla and I met in a WiFi park, for 3 CUC any Cuban can go online in dozens of parks, but no YouTube or Instagram. Facebook is newly allowed. All pornography is not only blocked, but a serious crime to import or partake in. A serious issue now is prostitution Carla says. Young girls like her come from all over the country are coming to Havana attempting to bed foreign tourists for money, or opportunity. The Party is cracking down hard. No Cuban, who cannot plausibly converse with the foreigner is safe. Police when the see girls with foreign men will ask for papers or make arrests. Prostitution as a repeat offence carried 4 years in prison. It is currently illegal for a Cuban and a foreigner to share a bed for one night without some clearly documented prior history of friendship or relationship. “Except the hotels, Carla says, “they are hypocrites, rich tourists will do as they want. The issue in play is money. No one makes enough money. So we attach ourselves to tourists and hope for something better, but really it is black and white. Some girls just want 60 CUC to screw. Some want relationships,” she explained. “Which do you want,” I joke realizing she attached herself to me. “I want you marry me and take me to New York,” she jokes, but it’s a half way joke.
There are really only 5 Communist Parties left on earth, in the sense of continuity between a group which staged a revolution and objectively brought their people tumultuously to higher ground, that’s 5 of 206 countries post-Cold War.
China and Vietnam are communist, but went capitalist economically in 1986. Laos is not such a revolution to write home about, its people didn’t gain much. Russia’s second biggest party is the party that ran the USSR, but it’s very secondary to Putin’s United Russia. North Korea is to communism was to communism and will be to communism well, anyway finally it stopped calling itself that and no one was upset. But Cuba has really no reservations about being Communist, staying communist and really only two of 24 Cubans I Communist partied with had any issue with that. Liberalization and higher salaries was means to shore up social gains, not an ends in itself at all.
Carla told me, “You’re crazy to romanticize anything. It’s very hard here. We always are working, two three jobs. It’s never secure, it’s never enough.” Tu entiendo nada, she reminded me every day. Carla never, ever went so far as to criticize the party, but she never ever seemed to accept the social benefits outweighed the gain. During my two weeks in Cuba two of her friends were arrested by the police for “being with foreigners”, which was understood as a euphemism for hooking. Actually Carla was constantly worried about being arrested when out with me, even after Norma and Carlos both assured me she was not going to be harassed, which coming from two connected people seemed like enough to me, but not her.
You never ever feel, at least not when you only speak English, that you are in a highly disciplined police state, which for now is really governed on the admittedly liberalizing ideas of President Raul Castro, one of the 12 original, last surviving M26 July revolutionaries that landed in Cuba on the Granma yacht to launch the revolution. And to put that in perspective for the Cubans in Cuba, this is like George Washington’s brother being still alive, but also something far more profound. 86 men invaded Cuba to end the Bautista dictatorship in 1952, and only Raul is still alive.
“It’s so different, now we talk about whatever we want we criticize whatever we want,” says Rafael, “we can’t form a second party, we can’t make demonstrations and we can’t print serious opposition to the party, but all else is open now,” he says.
There is a painting openly hanging in the chic Ideas Café in Vedado of the Granma Newspaper, the party daily organ, hanging as roll of toilet paper. The TV is a poorly produced mix of lectures, telenovelas from the continent, and subtitled American serials. There is a heavy open trade in American pop culture via USB, there is actually an Agency de Rap in district Centro. And none of the American pop culture is prohibited.
Isabel, the only other Cuban I met in open opposition says, “They all live stupidly trapped in the past. They are holding on to a revolution that is actually very over. And when they all die soon,” she says never referring to a Castro by name, “no one will care about liberalization. It’s happening, it’s going to happen more and nothing will stop it. We are living in a time warp still.” Isabel is GLBTU rights activist, and a so-called independent journalist.
“All CIA stooges and subversives,” Carlos explains, “they are all on a CIA payroll to discredit the regime and accelerate liberalization on the terms of the North.” And only Carlos goes so far as to affirm that the USA is still mostly an actually antagonist, and only Isabel would go so far as to state both the USA and the party are two evils on their own. But for everyone else this is Special Period in a Time of Tourism.
Which means that Cuba is open for business, more and more day by day. Direct foreign investment is booming, new hotels and new developments are going up and across the capital everything is for sale.
In Casa Particulars, private homes run a bit like Airbnb for between 15 to 50 CUC a night you basically just live with a key in a Cuban home, and you find these also on every single block. And in country where the maximal price of cocktail is 2-6 CUC and a five star hotel hotel costs nearly what a 5 star hotel costs. There isn’t really any since of anything in between. Which is to say that you can reach the white sand beaches of Varadero of Caya Largo del Sur and spend well above Mexican all inclusive, or kind of ball out at 100 CUC a day. And it’s all very much a feeling of tourism wise, not being ready for the big leagues, not quite elite but why would you think it would be that way, the only country to go out of its way as population to not go capitalist. And I would say Cubans are warm and amazing. I would go so far as to say in 12 days you can’t see anything, or know anything without Spanish. But, you have to use common sense. And you have to ask yourself what you are getting out of your vacation, because Cuba has soul. It has a lot of authentic, indigenous soul. Which is currently being granted to you for a limited time at a price that does beat out the rest of beach properties you could escape to.
And things are changing, on Cuban terms and they will continue to do so. Here is the one country in all of the developing world that eradicated illiteracy, brought health care to a first world level and projected itself as a power despite being no more than 13 million people. And you get all the beach, all the club, all the music, all the real sense of a national pride based on hard struggle and work; and maybe all you want is cock tail. And some sand. And surely for that it’s a big Caribbean, but if you would like to see something that is alive not selling itself while dying, this is the reverse of all you were taught. But absolutely everyone could use more.
Before he deployed to Kurdistan, Sebastian Adonaev decided to take a pre-death holiday and carry a message to the people of Cuba through an old contact in the Medical Brigades. He met a young woman named Carla Santiestiban in a city park and she attached herself to him. First, for ‘sexual practice’ and second to discover what he was doing in Havana. Third, because he made love well enough to not charge him for it. And she needed money for baby formula. No she didn’t.
What are you doing here? Vacation?
I came to bring a proposal to the Health Ministry. I don’t work for the CIA, or the Mossad, or the M5 or 6. Not even 7. Or anybody important who fucks things up economies and assassinates people, or plies people with whores. I’m actually Al Amin, I mean people can trust me. They say I’m part Shi’a. I’m good with my hands. I am an American Communist.
A freelance trouble walker maker? Maybe worse, like an anarchist with a white linen suit. Like I previously deduced. No one cares though. You treated me quite a bit like a whore last night. But I treated you like a mark, so maybe it was all ok. All in the balencio. I know you’re good with your fat little hands.
My hands are normal sized! Do you remember how hard I tried to justify Cuban style communism? And myself? I really wanted to be liked wanted and desired, you know mi amore.
I remember your penis down my throat and getting fucked pretty hard in English. I think you tied me up. You do that a lot to women Mi Amore? Tie bitches up? I’ve had a lot bigger better if you can handle the small talk papi. Do you remember my son? I told you about my baby. The one I was trying to feed, fuck your silly ideas about communism up the ass. Seriously. It doesn’t work well. I want higher wages and tight modern blue jeans! And luxury carrots!
Was it always you doing this with the foreigners or did I? Hm. Miss a crucial sex traffic plot point and road signal? I didn’t come to Havana for this.
All men come to Havana for this punto. Yes, you fucked a Cuban whore with no money and contributed very little since you managed to not have to pay me after the very first night. Do you think I sit in parks making translator app small talk to get banged around in overpornofied fashion? With my legs over your chubby shoulders. Well I guess you weren’t that chubby. Fucked me like a hooker though, papi. You don’t make love ever do you to anyone? What about your Russian girl? The one you never met yet.
So you liked me? A little? I don’t want to talk about Polina.
Pocito. Yes my friendly gringo asshole do I kind of like you. You’re medium classy and thick to fuck. You try way too hard to prove you’re not an American, but you’re an American and unfortunately I’m not the chick who you were hoping to irrationally solve all here problems with green cards and rough sex. It should make you sick I’m a mother though, the things you called me in bed. Man, go home to Brooklyn and get some work with your fat hands and friends of hands.
Carla: Who’s paying you for all this this? You’re a fucking spy aren’t you!
I don’t work for the Central Intelligence people or the Mossad.
I don’t care. No one cares though. You don’t speak Spanish so you can’t talk to like 90% of the population. You treated me quite a bit like a whore though. One hundred CUC for the fuck you gave me was not enough. The rest was all pro bono as your Jews say.
Sebastian: Tell me again, was our exchange really just commercial?
I have a son. I live on $16 a week, what don’t you get baby asshole?
What kind of lover do you take me for?
A freelance trouble walker. A guy who thinks he’s too classy to pay, but doesn’t mind paying once if he can pay the rest in art and small talk; you think I need your art and companionship? I don’t it was a lost business opportunity those two weeks. A total wash. Well anyway I hooked from the park when you travelled to the interior on your business.
Sad. I’m feeling sad and small. Like a guy who bought sex.
Wake up. Communism is dead, I’m poor and you’re having fun times Havana behind your Russian girlfriends back. Right? Am I right? I know I’m right, I’m a woman.
You’re right. I guess nothing is super real to me. I’m just getting comfortable in pretty places before I perhaps maybe die in the war. That’s the excuse anyway. The hope is not to die of course, but death seems quite possible.
Wake up. Don’t go to Syria. Communism is dead, I’m super poor and you’re still calling yourself communist. Right? Am I right? Wake up, you live in some Cold War fantasy world, but its 2018 papi. Don’t die in Syria.
I don’t feel a lot of guilt. You faked it all very well.
Carla: Not as a well as your Russian girlfriend does. You’re gonna kill her when you die though, maybe. Me and you are a summer fling, but you and she, well she invested in you to deliver her. To let her be weak and you be strong. But here you are with me, here you are talking about Syria. You can’t help but feel sorry for you a little. But, you’re not a good horse to bet on for marriage. But she still sucked my dick and fucked me every single night I was in the capital. It was maybe just sexual practice.

HAMSA, 12.

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“A Passover to Remember”

Reads Sebastian Adonaev:
It was a Passover to remember. Tonight’s the night, am I right?! The House of Adonaev, the family name of the soon to be SDF Partisan Kawa, also to be known by his Arab guerrilla name Abu Yazan; was down on the edge of the District Financial had not seen such a feast in years. It was the second night of Passover of the Hebrew Year 5777, the spacious loft apartment of Avram and Barbara was filled nearly to capacity around a long make shift series of contiguous tables. Candles flickered, Israeli pop music, Jazz and Afro-pop played over the sound system. Red wine, white wine, Champaign and Vodka. The place kept filling up. In the coming morning, perhaps in eight hours, Sebastian Adonaev would leave for Cuba. From Cuba he would fly to Moscow, travel by train to Nizhny Novgorod, then fly to Iraq and shortly after be smuggled into Northern Syria. It was unsaid, but reflected on popular attendance, that many were making sure they didn’t miss the last chance to see him alive they might get.
Adonaev was always known for having dinners, political salons and regular salons, Jazz with red lights and Hebrew feasts like Passover, Chanukah, Sukkot, but not Purim; that sort of used the excuse of a holiday to get everyone under one roof.
Later, those left breathing and sober went out together into night. They did techno at the Output, a mega venue. Never was actually fun, never was good for talking to women.
It was evident by the nature of the music that there was no soul to any of this. There was no battle cry, no telling out of a forlorn loves song, there wasn’t even words. There was no feeling anything except the thumping bass, which crept through the warehouse and rattled the bones more the nerves. The people look like zombies, they make little words and ideas they make transactions. And everyone was on drugs. So it probably didn’t matter what was or was not being programmed into them.
In the mass of gyrating listless corpses were vampires selling more cocktails. It would be easy to speculate that the dead could dance if you called a lot of this dancing with crystal powders, bumps of this and that, the bass began to shake the floor in pulsing waves. He could sense other tribesmen, knew Israelites were here and there buying and selling.
This was underground to them, thus was the rebellion. Escaping from empty meaningless lives into the technology. He imagines that maybe each session was different by a little but he liked words, liked romance. His world view was fine if Dancehall, Soca and Calypso. His world was either a world of the future or a golden age or both, there was no middle way, this was hell and demon shit. This was fire and brimstone. Perhaps that allegory gave it too much credit. This was the neo Rock and Roll, the beat drop in all the capitals of the empire.

In the dark and red and base of this grim warehouse deep into the Queens/Brooklyn border, sitting in the corner collecting twenty dollars an hour to not do much yet, he wonders two things, at the same time. Firstly he wonders when his papers will arrive which give him ability to leave the Mountain for good, for it is better to die in battle than end your wasted self here. Second, though he doesn’t hope for it. He wonders how he got so lost. Was there not anything better he could be doing? Finishing up a manuscript, making the new girl a painting, writing the blueprint, sleeping in a bed. So alien here. In the corner writing a book no one will read on a smart phone with a radio in his pocket hoping it won’t go off, which there are at least 3 more hours of wishing, the zombies don’t drop tonight. Not cause he can’t handle it, but because he doesn’t care.

If she showed up here it would be sad. He’s slowly fucking his way out from under her memory, going through slow motions that he’s a single man. Better to not write about it, less maybe it’ll happen. He thinks it healthy to not even use her name in polite conversation.

When the world ends, he guesses the last Harrah will probably make burning man look meek. But there will be techno. Now that its 5am the zombies are gonna fall over. Well that’s what they pay him for. That possibility. If he smoked some weed maybe he’d be better adjusted. Everything about civilian life is hard. What’s your name and what’s your number is so-so hard. He’d sooner intubate a child in a moving ambulance. Well that’s extreme. It’s hard to talk to people you fundamentally don’t believe are human any more. And there’s never anything to say. All parts of his identity betray him. If only were he a strong and silent type, but he is not. All the things he wants to talk about are unattractive. Actually all of them, beginning with dialectical socialism, history, Russian literature, bipolar disorder, theology, parapsychology, Medical internationalism, black power, Cuba, Haiti, revolutionary theory, and maybe also the Israel Palestine conflict and his role in it. But actually all those things are unattractive to most women. So he tries to pretend that things like their careers, their interests, and their history are interesting. But he can’t take that so far even as an empath.

All he can think about right now is when will this stupid fucking zombie party be raided by the cops. Wonders if he should go down the ally and make that happen. He would but that idea passes, he’s not a snitch. This is not a party, for people who don’t take drugs.

All that time I kept thinking, this is probably the last time I will see New York alive. The day after, really the morning after Passover I boarded a plane to Havana. I was sleep deprived, but felt so excited to be out of this Babylon rat race.

HAMSA, 11.

“The Creative Mind of Polina Mazaeva”

Polina Ivanovna Mazaeva and I met on Facebook, which is kind of banal. She looked in her photos like a red-headed version of my very first love Gabby, and so we took for about a year to casual banter and not so causal dream planning. Lots of co-psyche-social support. A lot of sharing of writing through google translate, I’m not even sure she spoke English very well when the writing first began sometime in late 2016. I was probably not her only mail order boyfriend, but I planned to be an exceptional one.

Reads Polina Mazaeva:
! It is only “google translator” translation! We can it make much better! It is based on real events that have not yet occurred. I am like a precognitive person I think sometimes, I know you will understand. I miss you and the weather is still cold. Yazan is afflicted with attention deficit disorder and I’m struggling to keep him in school. Kisses.

(Yazan is her seven year old Syrian Druse son.)

Grandmother always said that human history is built on legends. Legends can turn human consciousness. They are building a world system. And every person, regardless of fame and origin, also has a legend. Sometimes it grows and becomes so huge that it transcends one person, grows and becomes public. If you do not believe me, tell me, how much do John Lennon’s panties cost? More Rubles than you even know!

I was much more fortunate than the famous musician. Because if you hold this diary in your hands, then we are still in the same reality. Before you start reading, I should warn you. Some things that I wrote half a lifetime ago, cause a rush of blood even to my transparent cheeks. Now I have changed beyond recognition, and I am ashamed of many thoughts of the past. But I cannot hide them, since I think and act differently half a lifetime ago, I would never be the same as now. I changed some lines and edited them so that the reader was comfortable navigating in time. As much as it is possible in the circumstances of this story.

October 6, 2018, the near Future!

The outgoing day unswervingly followed its manner of spoiling the mood of people. It would seem that it’s much worse: the school year barely had time to start, as you were overwhelmed with a ton of homework and extra-curricular duties. Do this, learn it, take part in the contest for the best beaver from the dried stems of bamboo, show others an example and draw a portrait of your best friend. Especially when you consider that my friends at my school did not start, not counting Anki the dog-owner. That is, the “doggirl” she was nicknamed for a special love with dogs, and with people she has about the same as me. No wonder: no one loves children from large and poor families, who only dreamed of smartphones and who does not shine to dress, like the girls on the pictures in Togmler.

And the “Capsule of Time” on the nose. Such an event, when they gather all the best students from different schools and force them to write touching letters to their descendants, and then put the whole thing in one big urn and dig in for many years. Then somebody (at best) extracts “letters of happiness” to the light and solemnly reads to the disciples of the future. In the worst case – just lets in the expense of a school subbotnik. To kindle fires, or you yourself understand in what capacity.

To my regret, I turned out to be one of those “lucky ones” who had the honor to put aside the maggot for these shoots from a bright future. And today there was to be a photo shoot about this. They told everyone to look better than they really are. And you understand what a 15-year-old girl can come up with about this, who has neither work nor well-off parents. That’s right – nothing good.

For this reason, yesterday I again had to spend my lunch money for a conversation with Mr. Comrade Marmalade. So it’s called on the Internet, but in the life of this guy I have not met. All that is known about him is that he is about the same age as me. And that he is studying in some particularly cool school, just does not say exactly where. I do not know the real name either. And I understand how stupid this will sound, but … I can say with full confidence that this person can be considered my only friend. Without him, I would have completely gone mad, there is so much injustice in my life, and only he is the only one I can tell about everything. I do not have a smartphone, just a button phone. But, fortunately, in our remote places there were still Internet clubs, not yet rebuilt into some other laser tag. People have not forgotten how cool is sometimes a personal presence, even if you are fighting over the net. And this fact gives me a chance for moral support of the only person in this world who understands me.

Mr. Comrade Marmalade is a character I created after you because you (Sebastian) are both cool and smooth like a cool Mr. Butter. I honor you as writer this way my love.

As usual, after talking with Mr. Comrade Marmalade, I calmed down a bit. Decided to follow his advice and talk with his mother, with whom my relationship is not glued. It’s useless to talk to my father, and he was not my father at all-when I was eight years old my mother met this ram and, to brighten up her loneliness, married him. After the first spit in my soul happened the second: the mother gave birth to Seryozha. This small squeaking lump of evil grew wider day by day, as if even his physical shell was filled with a sense of self-importance. Now he is three years old and looks like Homer Simpson from the cartoon. The same bald and fat, and just as little understands what they want from him. But his mother simply adores him and devotes all his time to him. The stepfather devotes his time to work as a loader and his school friends, with whom he successfully divides his love for a bottle every day for almost six months. A neighbor on the landing says that soon it will all end badly for him and he will be fired, but at work, only Tajik guest workers will be left as porters, because they are always sober. But none of our family seems to care about that, and her mother likes to turn away from unpleasant subjects, and when her stepfather returns home, she simply goes into the bedroom and puts Seryozha. The stepfather remains in the kitchen, eats his dinner, smokes and after a while breaks into my room, where I try to do my homework. He sits on a chair and asks me to turn to him and listen to what an adult, intelligent person will say to me. I break away from the lessons and try to pretend that I’m very interested. Because if you try to agree to him, after half an hour he, satisfied, is expelled from the room and goes to the bedroom, where the mother already pretends to be asleep. There he falls to his part of the bed and is forgotten by a sound sleep until the morning. At six the alarm goes off and he again goes to work as a loader. And as soon as the door closes behind him and the key turns in the lock, each of the remaining houses exhales quietly and begins to gather for their business.

I dress my rejuvenation from my neighbor’s shoulder, because I have nothing more to wear. I’m having breakfast with what’s left from yesterday, picking up my backpack and going to school. The mother rises, reluctantly takes a shower (because after a night in the stepfather’s stepfather’s room without this in any way) and goes to prepare food for her beloved Seryozhenka. Sometimes she pretends not to notice me, and then suddenly takes offense at the fact that I did not tell her “Good Morning” first. On this we diverge, and I remember my mother again when I hear the whistling of a teapot from a window on the way to school.

Yesterday I broke the tradition of almost not talking to my mother and asked her to buy me a mascara and a dress to look decent on the photo, which will go to the city’s educational news blog. But the mother pretended not to hear me. I repeated my question, but she just turned away and rather grumbled “leave me alone.” And then she simply retired to the bedroom, to her Seryozhenka.

Having lost all hope of transformation, I locked myself in a bathtub. From the mirror, I saw an ugly face: narrow brown eyes. Liquid light brown hair to the shoulders. The red tubercle above the lip is the first signs of herpes that grows in all directions, just the day before the photo session. And now the eyelids are still swollen from tears of resentment. Cool.

I had five minutes to make a decision. Now I admit that I did a pretty bad thing: but what was left for me under the current conditions? I waited until my mother drove Seryozha for a walk. She did it quite detached, without even calling me to help her pull out the stroller. Probably was too angry with me, but I was just glad about it.

From my hiding place I heard the wheelchair rattling its spokes on wheels, rolled out onto the landing. As the elevator rose and opened, letting my mother and Seryozhenka in, how his doors slammed shut and the booth went down. As soon as everything was quiet, I left the bathroom and made my way into my parents’ bedroom. There they have a closet in which the mother hides usually all the valuable things and things that should not be caught by the eyes of me personally. She does not know that I’ve already found many interesting things there…

I crept in there and found a cosmetic bag, in which the mother keeps her little secrets, which should help her to keep my stepfather’s interest. For example, a tube of cheap hand cream. Or here, colorless lipstick (mother almost does not make up). And the only toilet water, to which “daddy” was ruined on the day of her birth (she herself was to blame, it was necessary to choose someone richer, not this drunkard). Somewhere on the very bottom of the cosmetic bag there should be an old-old mascara that needs to be rubbed with a brush, like shadows. If this compound is applied to the eyelashes, then there will be nothing like this ink.

Finally, I groped for the right box and, squeezing it, I took my hand out into the light. But rummaging through the cursed cupboard, I did not hear the front door open. And as soon as I returned the cosmetic bag to the place and tightened the closet doors, I was waiting for a surprise.

Silent scene – my alcohol-stained “daddy”, barely standing on his feet, swaying in the doorway, trying to realize the full extent of my impudence. After all, as luck would have it, the bedroom is just opposite the front door. And who knew that today his patience will burst with patience, to whom the labor of Tajik migrant workers really turned out to be both cheaper and sober.

And then it was like in a bad movie. That is, as in a movie with a bad ending, and not some foreign comedy, where everything always ends well! Like our love for each other. Please don’t die in this war Sebastian Adonaev.