Which Erdogan are we to believe? The man of the people, champion of the oppressed one who speaks out for Palestinians, Rohingya, Syrians? Or the realpolitik guy who brokers economic & political deals with Israel & Burma & violently represses Kurds; who houses US nuclear weapons on Turkish soil, allows US warplanes in Syria to use Turkish airbases, has the second largest army in NATO; makes unsavory deals with the European Union denying refugee rights to Syrians & other refugees trying to reach Europe; & who represses democracy protesters, raids newspaper offices & arrests reporters?
Did those Turkish naval ships he promised in May 2015 to rescue Rohingya refugees stranded in the Andaman Sea ever arrive? Did the millions in humanitarian aid he promised to refugees in Bangladesh ever get delivered? Did the humanitarian aid he promised to Gaza ever get delivered? Only the Turkish media controlled by Erdogan answers those questions in the affirmative because if they didn’t, they would be incarcerated.
Erdogan could be called a master of grandstanding empty gestures but his actions & inactions speak louder than words. This photo is a billboard in Ankara, Turkey in 2013 with images of Netanyahu & Erdogan celebrating their economic & political rapprochement. Turkey dropped the demand that Israel end the blockade of Gaza in exchange for an apology, some economic contracts, & $20 million compensation for Turkish activists killed by Israeli commandoes on the 2010 humanitarian aid flotilla to Gaza. Erdogan eventually threw the organizers of the flotilla under the bus by publicly asking, “Did you even ask me before you set sail?”
Always in politics, there is the deed before the word.
Can Kashmiris explain to us what this two model villages with human rights thing is all about? Isn’t it an admission that under AFSPA & the occupation there are no human rights?
Got another nastygram complaining that I write my own posts rather than post articles. What can I tell you? I’m a political writer so that’s what I do. If you don’t like my point of view, let me refer you to Twitter or you might even try googling. But don’t pester me with your nonsense. I’m already behind in my writing.
When pressed by an interviewer from France 24, Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina refused to characterize the human rights crimes in Burma as ethnic cleansing or genocide but simply repeated that the atrocities were “unacceptable.” There are stronger condemnations for children farting or picking their noses at the dinner table.
The reason she’s watering down the scale of criminality against the Rohingya people is to avoid public outrage (certainly not UN or governmental censure) over their forcible repatriation. She said Bangladesh has received guarantees from Burma for the safety & security of Rohingya refugees on their forcible return. There are over one million Rohingya refugees just in Bangladesh from successive waves of genocide so Sheikh Hasina knows exactly what is going on in Arakan state. Rohingya refugees have been quoted as saying they would rather die than return to Burma & it is what they say that counts. The fate of Rohingya refugees is for them to decide.
Photo is Sheikh Hasina doing her humanitarian schtick with a Rohingya child she will try to forcibly return to a concentration camp in Burma & to another genocidal offensive.
December 16th, 2016 marked the fall of east Aleppo to the Assad dictatorship & its foreign military backers, the final weeks of a brutal military offensive against the uprising in Kashmir, & the final weeks of a genocidal offensive against the Rohingya people in Burma. There were tens of thousands of victims & incalculable suffering for Syrians, Kashmiris, Rohingya. It was a time of requiems.
It was then I received this video & an article from Umar Lateef Misgar expressing solidarity from Kashmiris with Aleppo. That solidarity from one besieged people to another is as moving now as it was then. Requiems do not signal that war, occupation, genocide have triumphed but only that they take their toll on human beings. Solidarity means the struggles continue until human rights, justice, & peace have triumphed.
Article titled “Fall of Aleppo: the Day After” by Umar Lateef Misgar:
Rex Tillerson at the UN said the US has identified one, possibly two Burmese individuals who ‘may’ face US sanctions for the Rohingya flight. He did not identify genocide as the issue. He went on to say the US holds out great hopes for Burma’s transition to democracy under Suu Kyi & wants to give that process a chance. If those two individuals do not include General Min Aung Hlaing & Aung San Suu Kyi, the US State Department can stuff their sorry-assed sanctions. Let it be said clearly that the US is playing an essential role in the Rohingya genocide.
An elderly Kashmiri man is stopped for inspection by Indian security forces: to what purpose? Not that seniors could not be or are not an important part of resistance to the occupation, but this is simply harassment & intimidation of civilians.
End the occupation. Self-determination for Kashmir.
Article about why senior man was interrogated:
(Photo by Aasif Shafi)
Someone must have thought of this already & if no one has, it’s an idea whose time has come: when you rescue a long-abandoned animal, there is a long period of sadness where they’re afraid & keep trying to escape. You can’t even let them out to pee without leashing or they’ll take off. They’re almost comatose & so guileless emotionally that you can watch as they slowly begin to trust affection. It takes time but they slowly begin to show their personalities & it’s a magical thing to be part of.
So here’s the idea whose time has come: there could be programs where shelters team up newly rescued animals with isolated seniors, senior centers, & traumatized children who would become part of the healing process. It would be so reciprocal–like a match made in heaven. I once had a rescue parakeet who threw her baby out of the nest. That’s almost certain death. I nursed the little birds for weeks. She slept & lived next to my heart & when I went to work she came with. At the time, I was doing professional organizing (one of the jobs I did when I got laid off) for an old irritable lonely rather antisocial man. I would give him little Daisy & tell him to love her up while I worked so she wouldn’t die. This was a guy who had been cruel to his children & his wives & once flew for the CIA. No prize package. But he was as lost & vulnerable as Daisy & he treated her with tenderness bordering on awe. Daisy lived for several years. (The fellow died later from neglect & over-medication.)
What do you think of the idea?
“I have worked in conflict zones around the world. I have covered the Middle East. I have covered Iraq, the Israel-Palestinian conflict, Afghanistan, Congo, Mexico, South America. But this is the first time I was arrested, harassed. My belongings were confiscated & I was put in a lock-up,” said an award-winning journalist who was arrested by Indian occupying forces in Kashmir.