It’s very clear that a large number of Assad supporters have no idea what fetid political forces they have aligned with, that in fact they are marching with fascists & white supremacists. If they knew, they would be horrified because that isn’t how they see themselves.

But in human life there is the subjective & the objective: what one believes about reality & what is. When you equivocate or support Syrian & Russian bombing of civilians or US bombing of civilians, you objectively stand on the side of autocracy & fascism even if in your mind you believe you stand for peace & justice. In the end, if you facilitate the victory of fascism in Syria, who in the hell cares what is in your head?

Many Assad supporters have no idea what fetid waters they are playing in

Maarat al-Numaan, Idlib: March 2016

In my ongoing campaign to show the association of Assadists with the fascist right–not to mention the lunatic obscurantism of David Icke–it is of interest that Vanessa Beeley, Assad’s own Leni Riefenstahl, posted video lectures of Kris Roman, founder & chair of Euro-Rus, about the importance of Syria.

Founded in 2003 as a rabid, nationalist Russian friendship society (not unlike what Stalinists used to have), Euro-Rus is an association of white supremacist Europeans opposed to immigration because they want a white Europe. Their stated goal is to build international collaboration between extremist rightwing European, Russian, & American nationalists & racists. Thus its first congress in 2006 brought together the French nationalist Land & People Movement, the British Nationalist Party, the Flemish Vlaams Blok, & KKK guy David Duke. Roman maintains associations with France’s Jean-Marie Le Pen.

Any questions about Beeley’s politics? Any questions about her support for Assad?

(Photo is mobilization of Syrian revolutionists in Maarat al-Numaan, Idlib, March 2016)

Campaign to introduce anti-caste politics to Americans

A friend & Indian anti-caste activist would like to introduce the reality of Indian politics (caste-communalism) to political groups in the US. This is a long-overdue political imperative. Other than the speaking tour of Dalit women activists in 2015, I don’t recall a single forum, panel, debate, even an article, or a rally educating about the monumental issue of caste in India & South Asia. Maybe there have been smaller events on some campuses but none in my memory.

This would be absolutely shocking if Americans weren’t also fairly ignorant about the history of Blacks, Latinos, Native Americans in this country. With the attacks on public education, that is not going to improve & yet understanding racism, discrimination, inequality, persecution–especially as violent as that against oppressed castes–is one of the most important matters in politics. There can be no social change without grasping their importance & championing the demands of the oppressed.

So it is up to activists to find a way to make that education possible. It is not just a matter of solidarity in the struggle to end caste but of educating ourselves about the importance racism plays in society & broadening the struggle to end that scourge of humanity.

Does anyone have suggestions for people to contact, including academics, activists, campus groups, community organizations, church groups? A good place to begin is with contacting those who organized the tour of Dalit women. Anyone recall who they were? Put on your thinking caps & make answering my friend’s question a mission.

Assadist reimaging of Omran Daqneesh without shame

Assadist journalist Kinana Alloush with Omran

Eva Bartlett & Vanessa Beeley are in Syria again doing “independent” journalism while hanging with Assad officials & the Syrian army. Lots of gift exchanges, lots of felicitations.

They want us to know that everything the MSM tells us is lies because that’s what their handlers in the palace tell them. While we’re over here trying to get news & posting reports from MSM about the US use of white phosphorous in Raqqa, our intrepid truth-seeker Bartlett is working tirelessly to discredit the story of little Omran Daqneesh & even went to interview his father. But why are the White Helmets & Omran so often the victims of Bartlett & Beeley’s vituperations? Aren’t there bigger fish to fry? Like US bombing of civilians? Don’t they think the war is more important? That’s what concerns Syrian revolutionists & citizen journalists reporting from the war zones.

What we’d like to know is how Mr. Daqneesh & his family fell into the hands of the Assad regime after the fall of Aleppo & what kind of muscle & terrorizing the regime is using to make him lie about what happened to his family when Russian airstrikes destroyed his home, killed his 10-year-old son & traumatized his 5-year-old. We don’t fault Mr. Daqneesh for lying. He has a family to protect from the gulag.

This is a video of a revolutionist & journalist documenting Russian airstrikes in Syria. There is nothing in the entire opus of Bartlett & Beeley that comes close since they can’t get away from the palace or the army.

(Photo isĀ Assadist journalist Kinana Alloush posing with Omran. She became notorious last year for taking jubilant selfies with the corpses of rebel fighters which is a war crime.)

James Hodgkinson & the desperation of seniors

Abdalla Al Omari--politicians as homeless June 15 2017

I have no idea why James Hodgkinson waited until he was 66-years-old to become a gunman. Being unemployed at that age probably didn’t help, especially if he was already unhinged. But I first learned about the anger of seniors when I was a bank teller after I left the convent & waited on lines of them every first of the month when their social security checks arrived. I heard wrenching stories of lonely seniors living in roach-infested apartments, predatory, dangerous landlords, not having enough money for food–& that was in the 60s.

As a political activist doing lots of door-to-door & street campaigning, I have met dozens of seniors bristling with indignation at the injustices they face & the helplessness they feel.

A few years ago, there were reports of large numbers of seniors apprehended in bank & business robberies all across the US because most have no pensions & sometimes Social Security (SS) payments go as low as $500 when the average rental is nearly twice that. Since Obama trimmed the cost-of-living increase for SS, it’s very hard for most seniors to make ends meet. And it is very hard for seniors to find work.

So this is no apology for Hodgkinson but since he was active in the Occupy movement, it’s certain that he seethed with fury at the US Congress for administering the attacks on working people.

That’s why across the globe you find seniors on the front lines of struggle–from the anti-austerity struggles across Europe to the Arab Spring in the Middle East to the battles for social security in India.

It seems appropriate to add this painting by Syrian refugee Abdalla Al Omari of world politicians as homeless, powerless, dispossessed.

Ivanka Trump has shoe & garment lines manufactured in sweatshops

Trump just signed an executive order for an apprenticeship & job training program to keep jobs in America which he thanked his daughter Ivanka for helping launch. She was there at the signing, beaming ear-to-ear. How does that correlate with her use of sweatshop workers overseas working in deplorable conditions to manufacture her shoe & garment lines?

The $100 million Saudi donation to her women entrepreneur program is actually a scam being run by the World Bank who will launch a $1-billion fund next month at the G-20 meeting in Germany to help female entrepreneurs. They will control the fund, not Ivanka Trump who functions as their celebrity shill. This program needs to be investigated since the World Bank & IMF are key players in the establishment & consolidation of sweatshop economics around the world. Millions of refugees have set out on arduous journeys to escape the depredations of sweatshops depriving them of rights, dignity, & the possibility of a human life.

The World Bank has been operating female entrepreneur programs for several years in countries like Ethiopia & it appears they involve child labor. It’s hard to know because it’s difficult to access information about exactly what the money goes for. But that would correspond with their involvement in sweatshop economics which are based on child & women’s labor. It also corresponds with World Bank involvement in artisanal gold mining in some African countries where children & adults work in extremely toxic conditions & are then ripped off by middle men working with the global industry.

How much rubbish will this administration force us to swallow? Actually, it’s taking us a lot more up close & personal with exactly how capitalism works at our expense.

Such a show of unity between Democrats & Republicans over this shooting. Touching–& such high-flown rhetoric. But they show the same kind of unity when they vote billions in war appropriations.

Now if we can just unite & forge a new international antiwar movement against those wars.