Putin & Netanyahu throw monkey wrench into anti-Semitic explanations for war in Syria

Putin & Netanyahu Oct 21 2016

Rightwing & anti-Semitic supporters of Assad will be distressed to read about Netanyahu & Putin’s phone discussion today where they pledged to develop closer Russia-Israeli relations.

This news is not mainstream media propaganda. No way! It came straight from the Kremlin via Sputnik News, the preferred source of alternative media for Assad supporters.

According to this unimpeachable media source totally owned by the Russian government, “Russia & Israel have signed 19 intergovernmental agreements & work to improve the legal infrastructure of Russian-Israeli cooperation. Israel is an important trade & economic partner for Russia, with bilateral ties in industry, agriculture, high technology & more.”

That group of US antiwar activists who just came back from meeting Assad proclaiming US intervention in Syria is all about Israel are going to have to change their tune. So will Palestinian supporters who claim the war in Syria is all Israeli & US machinations. David Duke (the former Grand Poobah of the KKK) & all the other rightwing nationalists & anti-Semites making pilgrimage & swearing fealty to Assad are going to be thrown for a loop when they find out “Zionist Jews” in Israel, the US, & mainstream media are not behind the war in Syria–at least not in the way or on the same side anti-Semitic nationalists claim they are.

However will the lot of them maintain their support for Assad’s dictatorship & consider Russian bombers, special forces & mercenaries as freedom fighters when it puts them all on the same side as Netanyahu? When it is entirely evident that supporting Assad & Putin in Syria sabotages, even betrays, the Palestinian struggle for self-determination?

Let’s do a Nostradamus here: there’ll be some analytical quick-stepping, some formulaic shuffling, but many will end up still claiming Israel is behind the war in Syria & supporting Putin & Assad. That’s the way cognitive dissonance rolls in politics.

Nobel prize & Bob Dylan deserve each other

The Nobel committee is unable to get Bob Dylan to claim the damn thing for literature. I’m torn between what amuses me more: the effrontery toward the Nobel or a chance to document the nastiness of divo-Dylan.

I don’t take a position on his talents since I haven’t listened to him since his early music. Gravelly-voiced cranks aren’t my style. There are just so many wonderful women singers around the world where attitude problems are not an issue & one can just enjoy the music.

People have been asking me why the dentist told me I couldn’t play piano any more after my root canal surgery. I never could play the damn thing except in my dreams. I blew piano lessons early on cause I hated practice & never developed skills beyond “Chopsticks.”

That was just me being a smart-aleck again.

The persistence of Kashmiri activists

I just want to take a moment to say Kashmiri activists on FB are something else again. Were it not for them dogging me for months, I would never know about their struggle. I kept putting them off because I was busy but they were undaunted & kept insisting I study their struggle & write about it.

Finally, & just to get them off my back, I took their advice & spent several months working through the literature. I’m grateful for their insistence because I learned their struggle for self-determination is very important indeed. But do they let up on me? No they do not. God bless their fighting spirits for they do not allow mistakes or misunderstandings of the issues & I have learned immensely from them.

So this is not a complaint but a tribute to activists who just refuse to give up & don’t give a hoot whether you like it or whether you don’t. Not in an antisocial way but because they’re on a historic mission to end occupation & achieve self-determination. With such intransigence as they show not just on social media but most importantly in the streets against the military, the Indian government has every reason to cut their losses & get the hell out.

Day 105 of military siege in Kashmir: protests continue against occupation


Muslim women at 10:21: protest Oct 21 2016

Day 105 of the military siege in Kashmir & pro-freedom protests continue across the Valley. That’s 105 days of unarmed protesters being fired at with live ammo, tear gas & sound grenades, pellet guns; thousands of youth arrested in nighttime home invasions; thousands injured, disfigured; hundreds permanently blinded or disabled in other ways. And still they protest.

Like the carpet bombing of Yemen & Syria to crush popular resistance to autocracy, the occupations of Kashmir & Palestine show above all how threatening massive democratic movements are to the powers that be, to the capitalist magnates who think they are gods. The power of defiance can move mountains politically & that is why it is opposed with such military violence. And still they protest.

Long live Kashmiri Intifada. Self-determination for Kashmir.

(Photo of soldiers attacking unarmed protesters in Kashmir)

Rohingya refugees detained by Australia on Manus Island protest conditions

Protest for Rohingya at Manus Island detention center Oct 19---Oct 21 2016

The Australian government runs an offshore detention center for refugees & immigrants on Manus Island, in Papua New Guinea (PNG). In May of this year, the PNG Supreme court found the center to be “unconstitutional & illegal” & ordered PNG & Australia to begin moving detainees out of the facility.

Australian government immigration policies are not distinguished from the barbarities of EU or US policies. The immigration minister responded that “Australia was not a party to the legal proceedings” & its border policies would remain unchanged. According to one young Rohingya detainee, conditions at the jail have deteriorated since the Supreme Court ruling.

Many Rohingya refugees are detained at Manus Island. Imran Mohammad Fazal Hoque, a 22-year-old Rohingya held there for 2-1/2 years wrote: “We are neglected, abandoned, tortured, humiliated, beaten to death & most notably accused of being criminals & terrorists without committing any crimes.”

This is a 26-page expose on the Manus Island detention center written by Imran. It’s a very important document for human rights & immigration rights activists to read. It’s important to remember that while Australia refuses Rohingya refugee status, its corporations have quite a substantial investment portfolio in Myanmar.

This photo is a protest by Rohingya detainees at the Manus Island facility on October 19th. Long live their spirit of defiance.


Rohingya refugees in exile begin protests against genocide in Myanmar

Sydney Australia protest of Rohingya Oct 21 2016

Los Angeles protest for Rohingya Oct 21 2016

And so, led by Rohingya in exile, the battalions of international solidarity have begun to assemble. Small in numbers now, they must soon become massive.

The top photo is a protest in Sydney, Australia against the current violent crackdown on Rohingya in Arakan State, Myanmar & against Australia’s barbaric refugee policies; the bottom is from the rally in Los Angeles, USA.

Were it not for social media, we would not know of these significant events. It is not the size that determines their importance but that for the first time, the genocide of Rohingya is no longer Burma’s dirty little secret fronted by Aung San Suu Kyi & her Nobel Peace Prize. All countries doing business in the country will now be held accountable as part of the genocide. Something fundamental has changed for Rohingya justice since 2012.

End the genocide of Rohingya in Myanmar. Full refugee rights for those displaced in the violence.

Wonder Woman wanted to take on UN but Tinker Bell already did it in

Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman

Lynda Carter, who played Wonder Woman on the TV series (1975-79), was interviewed on morning news about the UN choosing the comic book super hero as its honorary ambassador, following the tenures of Tinker Bell & Winnie the Pooh.

Carter espouses the peculiar version of feminism where sexual exhibitionism is empowerment & was offended by feminist objections to the UN booby prize (no pun intended). She said Wonder Woman is a visceral part of every woman, she’s our role model, our inspiration. Yeah well, not for women of my generation who grew up with that Barbie Doll mockery of the sacred feminine that needs no grotesque exaggerations: no big hair, no bowling ball-sized breasts, no baby voice. A Barbie Doll that kicks ass is still a caricature of how women do political power.

Check out movies from the 1950s, like old Elvis movies, to see the version of woman we were taught to model & that end up in house-dresses, not so much domestic goddess or wonder woman as scullery maid.

Photo is Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman. How empowering is a cartoon caricature? The UN can stuff it.

The ordeals of unregistered Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh

Rohingya kids at Kutupalong, Bangladesh (from Mohammed Imran) Oct 21 2016

These little kids are Rohingya refugees who live in an unregistered refugee settlement at Kutupalong in the Cox’s Bazaar district in south Bangladesh. Being unregistered means receiving no assistance from the UN refugee agency (UNHCR). The Bangladeshi government denies the majority of Rohingya the right to register as refugees as well as access to international humanitarian assistance from agencies other than UNHCR.

UNHCR reports they are providing assistance to just over 32,000 registered refugees living in two official camps at Kutupalong & Nayapara. The problem is there are an estimated 200,000 to 500,000 Rohingya living in Bangladesh, most of whom live in deplorable conditions in makeshift, overcrowded, unregistered settlements near the two official camps.

Anti-Rohingya sentiment among Bangladeshi communities near the camps is stoked by resentment that refugees receive food & other aid not available to poor citizens & that Rohingya necessarily work in the informal economy at lower wages. This resentment has led to violent attacks on Rohingya, including rape, & a state of heightened insecurity & anxiety in the camps. The prejudices parallel those against undocumented immigrants in most countries which are less grounded in reality than in orchestrated campaigns of divide & conquer.

This wonderful photo is from the album of Mohammed Imran, an elected refugee representative. He explained that these little guys do not go to school–although they want to–& some of them work as child laborers.

This intolerable situation will not end without the battalions of international solidarity standing steadfast with the Rohingya in their demands to end persecution & genocide in Myanmar & for refugee rights in Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indonesia, & elsewhere.

Iraqis flee for asylum to Syria?

Can you imagine the horror of Iraqis fleeing the war between ISIS & US/Iraqi military forces having to seek asylum in Syria? There are no metaphors for hell that can contain that.

Such are the killing fields of emancipation-US style. The US war against Iraq will forever stand as one of the most monstrous criminal enterprises of our times.

Meanwhile, tiny little sectarian factions squabble over doctrinal differences, make compromises on anti-militarist principles, & stand in the way of forging antiwar unity–in the process making themselves completely irrelevant with an expiration date stamped on their asses.

What invincible hubris & recklessness makes these little grouplets think they stand above unity against war? Where did they learn such petty-assed politics?