I will refrain from posting the video of laughing Assad troops torturing a wailing baby goat because it didn’t have an ID card & cannot say it loves Assad.

What we admire in others reflects same quality in ourselves

It probably can’t be said enough that what we admire in others usually reflects that same quality in ourselves. I heard that first said after I had given the eulogy for my socialist mentor George Lavan Weissman who died in 1984 at the age of 70.

George & I could not have been more different in our backgrounds: he was an only child from a wealthy family; I was one of 19 kids with an electrician father. But we shared an antipathy to groveling & grandstanding & a belief in the human race. I got to know him because in 1974, after his first wife died, he remarried a woman in New Hampshire & spent most of his time there. I took over managing his house in NYC where he spent a week each month for editing work.

He was an oddity to me: a man with a Harvard education, wealth, an extremely intellectual person with considerable political knowledge, but no hauteur. No attitude. No condescension toward people like me. I said to him once (heedless of the insolence): “You could have been somebody, George. Didn’t you ever want to be somebody? Why’d you stick with being a socialist?” He answered me, “I always thought self-aggrandizing ambitions were beneath the dignity of a socialist.”

When I gave his eulogy, I talked about that quality in George. George Breitman (a peer of George’s & the editor of Malcolm X’s writings) approached me & said “I never met you before but I know you from your eulogy. I know what you value. What we value in others reflects who we are.” I’d never thought of that before. But when people say they admire my passion for justice, they are really expressing their own passion for justice. And that is the profound affinity which has brought us together on social media. Heart emoticon

Iconic photo of grieving Kashmiri boy

Iconic photo of Kashmir boy June 2 2017

An interesting article in Indian media about this young boy grieving the death of a mate killed by what Ather Zia calls a “targeted stray bullet” last March.

The image is so wrenching & powerful that it went viral & must be causing the Indian army no end of sleepless nights. They think an internet blackout will deter such images from being seen? They underestimate Kashmiri resistance, tenacity, inventiveness.

End the occupation. Self-determination for Kashmir.


You call me bitch, I kick your ass. It’s that simple & very swift. We never see you again on my wall. Amen.

Tribute to photojournalists in Kashmir

Photojournalists in Kashmir (Basit Zargar) from March 11 2017: June 2 2017

We should take a moment to honor Kashmiri photojournalists who risk their own lives to report on the occupation. Without their presence on social media, we would not know the scope of violence & grief Kashmiris endure. Media would still only be doing flower gardens, snow-covered trees, fishermen on Dal Lake but now are compelled to publish at least some photos of the brutal occupation.

This photo from Basit Zargar was captioned: “Saving our skin from teargas shells, stones & rubber bullets during clashes between government forces & Kashmiri protesters in the old city of Srinagar.”

End the occupation. Self-determination for Kashmir.

(Photo by Basit Zargar)

Kashmiri stone pelter: civilian defense guard for unarmed protesters

Kashmir protester by Bilal Ahmad on May 16 ?June 2 2017

The Kashmiri stone pelter: a civilian defense guard for unarmed protesters against the Indian army arsenal of machine & sub-machine guns, combat shotguns, assault & sniper rifles, semi-automatic weapons.

This young protester is juggling his entire arsenal during a conflict between students & the army in Srinagar.
End the occupation. Self-determination for Kashmir.

(Photo from May 16th copyright:© Bilal Ahmad)

India attacking religious liberty in Kashmir

Masked Kashmiri protester (Bilal Ahmad) June 2 2017

A masked Kashmiri protester prepares to hit a stone thrown at him by Indian forces in an assault after Friday prayers inside the compound of Jamia Masjid mosque in Srinagar. The Indian army is harassing worshippers & obstructing access to the mosque just as Israel does Al-Aqsa mosque in East Jerusalem.

The struggle in Kashmir has not shifted to religious extremism as media claims but Kashmiri right to worship without harassment & violence is under attack by the occupying army.

(Photo from May 19th copyright:© Bilal Ahmad)

Some US State Department guy says despite Trump pulling out of the Paris agreement, the US is still the greatest nation on earth. And here a conservative child welfare group just ranked the US #36 in child welfare with over half a million hungry kids (a very conservative estimate).

Define great.