Being besieged today by a troll claiming to be a Kashmiri Pandit trying to expose the truth which I keep thwarting by blocking all her many personas. Her last persona (likely not her last) said “My middle finger salutes you hypocritical bitch.”

I used my own middle finger to salute her by sending her to the Facebook block cemetery where all her other personas rot. Do not mess with a woman who controls a block button. If it was the nuclear one I’d have to blow you up.

The call for a US-imposed No Fly Zone in Syria in dead wrong

Aleppo on July 19, 2016. (AFP)

There is a growing clamor for a No Fly Zone (NFZ) in Syria coming from a lot of media & from some opponents of the Assad dictatorship. A NFZ is a geographic area over which aircraft are not permitted to fly. Those calling for a NFZ are appealing to the US Pentagon to impose & enforce it. There is so much wrong with that approach to ending the bombing in Syria that it’s hard to know where to begin. Does anyone in their right mind actually believe Syria & Russia will compliantly allow the US to obstruct their military operations in Syria?

One wishes those promoting a NFZ were simply ignorant of its history & use by the US government. But the likelihood is that many of them are not & are in fact brokering for a more aggressive US military role in Syria. They have illusions that under a Clinton presidency the US will finally go after Assad to take him down. But US policy, by act if not by word, supports the Assad regime because they want to destroy the popular revolution against him. The US has always been able to truck with dictatorships but it has never been able to tolerate a popular democratic movement against them. In trying to figure out what to do in such a volatile situation, the US may have improvised tactics they later had to reverse but their strategic intention is to destroy the revolution against Assad, not to take down the Assad regime.

The elementary thing adherents of a NFZ do not understand is that US policy toward Syria or any other country is not determined by the person in the Oval Office but by the oligarchy (the owners of Wall Street & the corporations) who really run this country through think tanks, special consultants like Kissinger, international cartels, the Pentagon & CIA. Presidents administer policy; they do not formulate it.

The US, in league with the UN, has previously used NFZs in Iraq (1991-2003), Bosnia & Herzegovina (1993–1995), & Libya (2011). Look at the state of those countries today as a result of US intervention, including the use of NFZs, & ask yourself if that is your vision for the emancipation of Syrians from the Assad dictatorship. Those countries are descending into hell & permanent war.

Those calling for a NFZ imposed by the US mask their war-mongering proposal by saying ‘the Syrian people are calling for a NFZ, so how can we deny them?’ Or they talk about how the children of Syria are being bombed to smithereens & say only the heartless & childless could possibly deny them a NFZ. Are they remotely familiar with what the US has done to hundreds of thousands of children just in Iraq? Do they remember that Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, speaking for the Bill Clinton presidency, said the death of 500,000 Iraqi children was “worth it” to accomplish US policy goals in the Middle East? Those who look to US militarism for emancipation will have a lot to answer for to the children of Syria if their proposal for a NFZ is not defeated.

As for their claim that the “Syrian people” are appealing for a US-imposed NFZ–who do they think they’re kidding? Syrian society is as riven with political differences as every other society. There are certainly those who look to the US for military help against Assad because they are desperate & don’t understand the US has been in Syria since 2011 to thwart the popular uprising against Assad. It isn’t the job of antiwar activists to lobby the US Pentagon to switch sides & pull off a humanitarian intervention. Like the so-called humanitarian intervention in Bosnia, it would be a disaster for Syria. Those who hold up the NFZ in Libya as a model need to have their heads examined.

Some claim that opposition to a US-imposed NFZ is a betrayal of solidarity, of taking a position of superiority toward Syrians who know best what they need. Talk to the hand! The fight in this country & around the world is against US militarism–a militarism with nearly a thousand military bases all over this world; that is revving up militarism in Japan, India, Australia, the Philippines, Cambodia, Vietnam; that is bankrolling Israeli ethnic cleansing of Palestinians & carpet bombing of Gaza; that has nuclear war heads pointed at millions of people in this world. US militarism has touched & corrupted the very fabric of US society & of those where it is deployed. Only a fool would look there for emancipation from Assad—especially when the US & Israel are now in a military alliance with Russia in Syria.

There are forces in Syria who damn well know that continued US military intervention in Syria spells Armageddon; who know that NFZs are an instrument of war, not a humanitarian way to end it. Those are the Syrian voices we need to listen to, not to the war-mongers no matter how opposed they are to Assad.

What is the solution for ending the bombing in Syria? There are no quick fixes. The only solution is to re-mobilize antiwar forces internationally to demand Russia, the US, Israel, Syria stop the bombing. And we must organize, agitate, educate about what is really going on in Syria against those misguided forces who support the Assad dictatorship in the name of democracy.

(Photo is a Syrian man in the rubble of a building following bombing by Russian or Syrian warplanes in Aleppo on July 19, 2016. From AFP)

There are some who may think I need to lighten up a little on my wall, maybe by giving more updates on Betty Windsor. But we live in monstrous times, what I call the barbaric phase of capitalism, & the horrors inflicted on millions of people by war & occupation cannot be ignored.

You can lose equilibrium by facing so much suffering in the face, you could become a misanthrope & crank–unless you keep your eyes on the children & the kind of world that they deserve to come of age in, to live & love in. Keep them as your commitment & charge ahead undaunted. They face war. How can we stand down from less?

Israel on bombing siege of Gaza

Gaza August 2016 (Reuters)

Israel has been pounding Gaza with airstrikes since yesterday. They claim it’s in response to a rocket from Gaza that landed in the Israeli city of Sderot just outside the apartheid barrier caging Gaza. In response to one alleged rocket (for which documentation is not forthcoming), Israel is collectively punishing all Palestinians in Gaza.

Sderot is the town where during the 2014 Israeli carpet bombing siege residents pulled up easy chairs in the hills overlooking Gaza & sat there guzzling beers & waving flags to cheer on the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.

We need not stand helpless. We need to dry our tears & build the hell out of the economic, cultural, & academic boycott of Israel (BDS).

We also need to stand ready to hit the streets in public rallies to oppose Israeli bombing for purposes of ethnic cleansing.

(Photo is Israeli bombing of Gaza from files of Reuter)

Syria: viral pictures, brutal war

Omran and Alan Aug 22 2016

It isn’t overkill to post this article by Usman A Khan Tahir about the meaning of the “viral” reaction to little Omran Daqneesh. Syria is one of the most important issues in contemporary politics & what happens there will affect every country in the world, not just the Middle East. Its killing fields already have.

Contending forces, including those who support the Assad dictatorship & those who oppose it, are responding to the image of Omran quite differently. Those responses should be factored in when you try to understand what is going on in Syria & which side stands with justice. Will militarism & dictatorship prevail or will they be defeated?

This article helps clarify some of those issues.

How do you get to be a “geopolitical analyst”? Talking gibberish & jive like Pepe Escobar & laying out a game plan for Drumpf?

Burkini growing in popularity among non-Muslims since Cannes ban

There’s a media report that since the Cannes ban on the burkini, sales around the world have increased, especially to non-Muslim women who for many reasons are not comfortable in bikinis.

According to the report, they represent nearly half the market.
For some, it may be a modesty issue (what’s wrong with that?) but for many it offers sun protection & beats lathering on toxic sunscreen. For others, it may be to avoid the body shaming that dominates misogynist society. You may just want to cover up the “wobbly parts” or cellulite or scarring. Nobody wants to be a warrior for women’s rights at the beach; you just want to go there to relax.

Some non-Muslims apparently were concerned it was cultural appropriation but Muslims may see it as imitation being a form of flattery & social integration.

Tribute to the Kashmiri Intifada

Rollie Mukherjee--Long live Kashmiri Inrifada...

This untitled work by Rollie Mukherjee is a tribute to Kashmiris in the 43rd day of a violent siege. Though untitled, Rollie added: “Long live Kashmiri Intifada. End the occupation. Self-determination for Kashmir.”

Dear brothers & sisters of Kashmir, we deeply regret that international solidarity with your struggle is yet too weak to stay the hand of Indian military aggression. But your work for so long to break the news blackout by campaigning on social media is at last bringing deeper & broader understanding of your struggle for justice to people of good will around the world.

We stand with you & hope to build an active & international solidarity movement. Your intransigence against violent oppression is a beacon to suffering humanity around the world showing the oppressed how to stand defiant against tyranny. Our deepest respect & fullest solidarity.

Long live Kashmiri Intifada. End the occupation. Self-determination for Kashmir.

Ali, the 10-year-old brother of Omran Daqneesh dies from Russian or Syrian bombing

Ali and Omran Daqneesh

It has been confirmed to NBC News by the hospital in Aleppo, Syria, that Ali Daqneesh, the 10-year-old brother of Omran, died today from injuries sustained in the same Syrian or Russian airstrike that destroyed his family’s home.

While the rest of the family, including Omran & three other siblings, escaped their home with minor physical injuries & major psychological trauma, Ali was playing in the street with friends when the bombs exploded last Wednesday.

It is estimated that at least 400,000 have died since 2011 as a result of bombing by Syria & its several military allies, including particularly Russia. We know that includes tens of thousands of small children.

May little Ali Rest In Peace. May we not rest until we actively oppose this monstrous war.
Ordinarily I do not post gruesome photos but I make this exception to assure conspiracy theorists & Assadists that we are not being played by the US Pentagon & that the death of this small boy is not being staged–& perhaps also in the hope that they will feel shame for their vile imputations against 3-year-old Omran.
(Photo of Ali & Omran from The Telegraph News)

“About seeing”: how Assadists & anti-Assadists view the photo of Omran Daqneesh

John Berger, the artist & social critic, has written several books & essays “about seeing,” about how we view art & how that is affected by political ideology. Nothing could demonstrate his insights better than the array of political reactions to the photo of 3-year-old Omran Daqneesh.

It isn’t coincidental that Assad supporters are enflamed by the photo & see it as war propaganda, as a manipulation by the US Pentagon to justify a regime-change intervention into Syria. As if the US isn’t already there up to their eyeballs. Some of their explanations are simply beyond the pale of human decency: he only had a “minor scalp injury” so what’s the big deal?

Of course what Assadists don’t want addressed is why Syrian or Russian warplanes are bombing civilians because their phony-assed narrative denies they are even doing so. Their contorted, sickening rationalizations include blaming the Daqneesh family for being in a war zone or claiming Assad & Putin created a bomb-free alley for civilians to exit before they bombed the place to smithereens. How did political analysis get to the level of dreck?

Anti-Assadists saw the photos with quite a different eye. It’s beyond dispute that those who want US intervention recognized its war-mongering potential. But those who oppose all military intervention into Syria, including at its current barbaric levels, see little Omran as an antiwar icon, as a way to visually drive home to others what war & militarism is doing in so many countries around the world. Just like the image from the Vietnam War of the little girl doused in napalm running down the road.

The image of the little girl from Vietnam had a powerful affect on viewers by showing the horror & barbaric nature of the Vietnam War. Should media not have published it?

Why would anyone protest the photo of a child victim of war? Why would they not want that to be front-page news all over the world? What the hell are they trying to hide?