After serving 7 years in prison for exposing US war crimes, it’s entirely believable that Chelsea Manning is not a fascist as she’s being accused for attending an extreme right nightclub party in Manhattan to celebrate Trump’s first year in office. She herself identified them as the “fascist/white supremacist hate brigade.” But she didn’t booze it up & party hearty with white supremacists for the several reasons she offered: (1) she “crashed” the party, (2) she was confronting enemies “face-to-face in their space”, (3) she was “gathering intel”, (4) she was there “to bridge gaps between left & right.”
She may be a complete fool, colossally stupid, or politically naive. But she may also feel affinities with that crowd having to do with racism. No one gives a rat’s ass about her gender but there are no free passes on white supremacy, not even for whistleblowers.
A Finnish woman journalist of Palestinian ancestry was prevented from covering the visit of US vice president Mike Pence to Israel today because she refused to be strip searched. She was singled out from other journalists & taken behind a curtain at Netanyahu’s office where she was interrogated, frisked, scanned with a metal detector, & then told to remove her bra. When she refused, she was barred from covering the event.
This is not the first time ethnic profiling & strip searching has been an issue for Palestinians or Arabs visiting Israel, including reporters. Reported incidents go back to at least 2011. Most often strip searches occur at Israel’s international Ben Gurion airport but many foreign airports allow Israeli security officials to do pre-flight strip searches for Israeli carriers.
In a 2011 incident, a pregnant Palestinian Al-Jazeera reporter left an event after being ordered to remove her shirt & then after several minutes of undress being ordered to remove her bra. Several Arab reporters who had been invited to the same event by Israeli officials were ordered to remove their underwear & then had to sit for nearly half an hour before their clothes were returned. Several months later in the same year, a pregnant photojournalist on assignment for the NY Times was strip searched entering Israel from the Gaza Strip. Because of her pregnancy, she requested not to go through an x-ray machine inspection but instead was forced through the machine three times by laughing, mocking soldiers who may have mistaken her dark features as Palestinian.
The Foreign Press Association (FPA) in Israel is protesting the strip searching of the Finnish reporter & accusing Israel of ethnic profiling as a way to intimidate reporters. The FPA represents about 400 journalists working for international media in Israel & the occupied Palestinian territories. All of the reporters hold Israeli press credentials which are only granted after extensive background checks so these strip searches of Palestinian & Arab journalists are entirely gratuitous, racist, discriminatory, & of a piece with apartheid. They are the kind of humiliations Palestinians face daily passing through the at least 100 military checkpoints within the occupied West Bank.
Photo is schoolchildren in Hebron partially strip searched as they pass through a checkpoint.
Allow me to pontificate a bit, based on my experience in politics: methods matter in politics. I have never seen one single person, no matter their political stature, who resorted to lies or deceits of any kind, slanders, gossip, vilifying, exaggerations, backstabbing, or rhetoric full of hate who has turned out well politically. Some take longer to rot & many don’t emit the odor of decay but they never go the distance with principled politics. They don’t know principled politics but only how to manipulate & smear. Something other than indignation at injustice inspires them. When the Assadist called me a “dirty whore” for opposing Assad’s dictatorship, he was not an errant Assadist getting carried away with hate. Such is the rhetoric of political desperation, corruption or fascism, & most certainly of misogyny.
Serendipitously, I came across a post I wrote about the Assadist response to the January 20, 2017 article in the NY Times by Syrian citizen journalist Lina Shamy titled “I went to Aleppo to study; I left in a convoy of refugees.” Throughout the murderous bombing siege by Syrian & Russian warplanes in 2016, Shamy twittered invaluable reports from east Aleppo. She was forced to leave the city in the convoy of buses with tens of thousands of others when the Syrian Army took over. These are among the responses to her article on the FB walls of Assad propagandists Leith Abou Fadel & Vanessa Beeley. Not a single voice of protest was raised when Shamy was called a whore, terrorist bitch, harlot bastard, or retard:
–“Maybe she’s talking about how she went to east Aleppo to study & practice about “how to be a jihadi sex toy.”
–“She studied head-chopping & prostitution.”
–“I didn’t know there’s a school for sex jihadi.”
–“She’s the new Mossad agent playing character for the jue-wish shekel war fund.”
–“She was probably there to give Bilal Abdul Kareem a blowjob.”
–“She majored in how to blow a salafi 101.”
You can follow Lina Shamy on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/Linashamy
Last Thursday, a decapitated, bloodstained doll was hung by a rope from a fence in front of the Emir Sultan Mosque in Amsterdam with a note warning against “Islamization” in the Netherlands. The aggression was claimed on Twitter by Rechts in Verzet (Right in Opposition), a far rightwing political group which uses a photo of Dutch politician Geert Wilder as their masthead on FB (https://www.facebook.com/rechtsinverzet/).
Geert Wilder, a racist Islamophobe obsessed with what he calls “jihadism” is an elected politician who leads the campaigns against “Islamization” not just in the Netherlands but in all of Europe. He likens the Quran to Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” & calls for it to be banned, calls for a ban on construction of new mosques & a ban on Muslim immigration. He is an agnostic who has made a religion out of Islamophobia combined with ardent Zionism.
After its formation in 2014, Wilder associated himself with Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West (Pegida), a German nationalist far-right movement with political ties to European fascist groups. Wilder has spoken at their rallies across Europe. That Pegida has an Israeli affiliate & is associated with Zionism only exposes the real character of Zionism as a rightwing political current rather than an emancipatory movement against the persecution of Jews. Swastikas & Nazi salutes stand side-by-side with Israeli flags at Pegida rallies even though the nationalist attacks on mosques, temples, & Jewish graveyards come from these same forces. Zionism, nationalism, libertarianism, fascism & Assadism are of a piece.
It is of considerable political importance to note that leading Assadists & their journals, including Eva Bartlett, Vanessa Beeley, & Global Research, also have associations with European fascism which is why their rhetoric about “jihadism” & “Islamization” in Syria resonates with that of Pegida, Wilder, & Rechts in Verzet who hung the decapitated doll on the mosque gate.
(Photo is the decapitated doll from the Twitter wall of Rechts in Verzet)
January 2017 post on Assadist associations with European fascism: http://www.maryscullyreports.com/assadists-mourn-death-of-right-wing-shithead/
A long-overdue campaign to ban pellet guns, initiated by Amnesty International India. Please sign & widely share this petition:
I know cursing is cool in academic circles to show their earthiness when their theoretical tracts are incomprehensible. Mine was the generation that first began spouting “fuck” as an expression of liberation when it had for generations been naughty boy’s language. But it is so not appropriate in an international forum where so many people have cultural sensitivities to vulgarity. Quite frankly, it lowers the IQ in a political discussion so I would ask again that people not use it on my wall. Use a thesaurus & come up with more creative terms of abuse. Abuse of power I love, so go to town.
As I recall, the detestable Christopher Hitchens came to journalistic prominence reporting on a British government sex scandal. Let his political decline into war apologist be a caveat to those socialists making themselves expert commentators on Trump & the porn star but failing to analyze or even mention his racist immigration polices, his anti-abortion activism, or his policies toward Palestinians, Kashmiris, the Rohingya genocide, or any of the US wars. Is it coincidence that one of the most prominent of these Trump gossip experts is an Assad supporter? If you are serious about the politics of social transformation, you don’t mistake salacious gossip for serious politics.
Hundreds of thousands of women are marching across the US. There are no reports yet from marches planned on every other continent. The US organizers attempted to give the marches an electoral focus but reportedly placards demanding immigration rights are one of the most prevalent demands. Immigration rights are of course a women’s rights issue, not just because it involves women & children but because feminism is a humanitarian ideology.
(PS: anyone who continues with the “pussy parade” denigrations only shows their hopeless misogyny. Kick their ass to the curb.)
Photo is NYC Women’s March 2018.
(Photo by Craig Ruttle/AP)
Anyone else remember the days when women reporters were censured & publicly excoriated for participating in women’s rights, especially abortion rights, marches? Now they’re boasting of their activist days.
Just to set the record straight when the Trump crowd led by Fox News claim undocumented immigrants have a high violent crime rate: several studies done by reputable research organizations going back 100 years prove conclusively that the crime rate of immigrants is significantly less than that of native-born US citizens.