Media reports that a special division of the US Congress has paid out $17 million of taxpayer’s money in the past 20 years to settle sexual harassment & assault cases against members of Congress. That may not be as outrageous as depleting the Social Security trust to pay for their monstrous wars but combined it may be grounds for revolution.

Chinese military & economic investment in Burmese fascism

Suu Kyi with Chinese pres. Xi Jinping in Beijing May 16 2017 (EPA) Nov 16 2017
There’ve been many articles in political journals for a few years analyzing a deteriorating relationship between China & Burma. Maybe they should define deteriorating since they appear to use a different measurement than the rest of us. Or maybe they believed the fiction of a civilian government under Suu Kyi at odds with the fascist military junta. Even before Suu Kyi was elected to office she was running interference for a Chinese mining company in a joint venture project with the junta when villagers protested the environmental & cultural destruction.

Using the metric of foreign investment, China invested over $19 billion in Burma from 1988 to January 2017, including almost $3 billion in 2016 alone. That’s considerably more than any other country primarily because of economic sanctions for human rights crimes–a factor of no concern to China. Of course China now faces competition from several countries, not just the US, Europe, & Canada, but it’s way ahead in the game, especially in the extractive industries like mining & oil & gas exploration.

Using the metric of military aid, Chinese sales of aircraft, armored vehicles, naval vessels, & artillery dwarf every other country. The sole exception is missiles where Russia supplies more than double what China supplies. Once again, the advantage is due to military sanctions by the US, Europe, & Canada. So as long as the Rohingya genocide is an issue, China will maintain its military dominance. Which is likely one reason it’s such an ardent supporter of the junta & Suu Kyi.

Photo is Suu Kyi meeting with Chinese president Xi Jinping in Beijing on May 16, 2017.

(Photo from EPA)

Iranian woman in hijab (Tatan Syuflana:AP) Nov 16 2015

Go ahead. Mess with her hijab. Make her day.

Iranian martial arts competitor, Hanieh Rajabi, at Wushu World Championships in Jakarta, Indonesia.

(Photo by Tatan Syuflana/AP)

(Reposting just because this makes me laugh.)

Indian occupying forces harass elderly in Kashmir

Kashmiri senior man getting frisked (Kashmir Xpress News) Nov 18 2017

The Indian occupiers must have been certain this senior fellow was packing an assault rifle under his coat. Doesn’t he look like a Pakistani-trained or Saudi-backed terrorist? Otherwise two of them, including the counterinsurgency guy, would never frisk an elderly gentleman. They wouldn’t want anyone to think they were harassing elderly civilians just going about their business. Justify this outrage, nationalists!

End the occupation. Self-determination for Kashmir.

(Photo from Kashmir Xpress News)

Most women are probably not thrown for a loop by all the men who advocate women’s rights being exposed as sexual predators. Even in progressive activist circles, the worst offenders often carry the biggest women’s rights banners. Right along with the sexual harassment & sometimes aggression, there are the constant put downs & demeaning comments suggesting women are inferior intellectually & politically. Most of us could fill a couple volumes with our beefs & charges & sometimes serious threats to our safety. The good news is that most men don’t engage in sexual misconduct. The better news is that women can learn how to handle some of these creeps with a verbal uppercut to the jaw. They should count themselves lucky that we don’t just shoot them.

Kashmiri friend Zulkarnain Banday has posted an important caveat about using Wikipedia to research anything about Kashmir. I could not agree more & have also posted such cautions. Wikipedia is run by a Zionist awarded a few years ago by the State of Israel for services rendered propaganda. Wikipedia takes a wrecking ball to truth on any entries involving Israel, Palestinians, Kashmir, the Rohingya, or most issues about Muslims. It’s impossible to unravel reality from propaganda & Islamophobia. The way Wikipedia’s lying-assed entries can be used is on geography & statistics & sometimes it’s useful to go through the links provided where there is information at odds with the Wikipedia entries.

In general, the caveat about Wikipedia applies to all research: vet & double-check every source & never talk through your hat. So many have ended up supporting Assad’s dictatorship & Russian & Syrian bombing of civilians precisely because they did not bother to do elementary homework of the kind considered de rigueur for an honest 7th grade book report.

Children are not accidentally harmed but are directly targeted in war, occupation, & genocide

Man grieving child Nov 2017

Palestinian children & youth are under siege in the West Bank with hundreds being manhandled & arrested by Israeli occupying troops. In Palestine, as in the Kashmiri occupation, as in the Rohingya genocide, children are not accidentally harmed in action against adults but are directly targeted in the most unspeakable ways, including beating, shooting, disabling, disfiguring, beheading, burning, & bombing.

This wrenching photo of a father grieving his dead child was posted on Twitter in a post about the current Russian bombing of civilians in Syria. In fact, it’s from the seven-week Israeli carpet bombing siege of Gaza in 2014 where Palestinians & several human rights organizations claimed Israeli bombers directly targeted children. The horror is that this could also be the West Bank, Kashmir, Arakan state, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, Afghanistan.

As the oppressors see it, terrorizing, disabling, or killing children is a way to end future defiance & resistance of the oppressed. Their terror of & violent obsession with children is a phenomenon witnessed also in the apartheid (Jim Crow) era of Black oppression in the US. Our response must be to oppose war, occupation, genocide because the protection & defense of children is the most elementary human decency. There are no exceptions or mitigations to our opposition such as those introduced by Assadists, fascists, nationalists.

Kofi Annan & delegation from The Elders ask Pope Francis to be a weasel & not use the name Rohingya when he visits Burma

Pope Francis with Elders Lakhdar Brahimi, Kofi Annan, Mary Robinson and Ricardo Lagos meet Pope Francis in November 2017. (Credit- Servizio Fotografico L'Osservatore Romano) Nov 16 2017

On November 6th, Pope Francis had a private meeting with a delegation from The Elders, a group of retired diplomats & politicians led by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. The Vatican delegation included Annan, Mary Robinson, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ricardo Lagos, former president of Chile, & Lakhdar Bramini, a former Algerian politician & UN diplomat.

The Elders, a group initiated by Nelson Mandela in 2007, are an active group of globetrotters who show up in trouble spots all over the world. But age has not brought them political wisdom & they remain stuck in the UN-super powers approach to conflict resolution which often puts them at odds with justice for the oppressed. Their failings are most apparent in regard to the Palestinian struggle against Israeli apartheid & ethnic cleansing where they promote the two-state bantustate solution for Palestinians & actively oppose BDS. A bantustate solution is not just compromised politics; it’s LaLaLand stuff.

Kofi Annan was operating on his own, not representing The Elders when he was hired by Suu Kyi in August 2016 to head a commission to come up with ‘reconciliation & development’ proposals for Rakhine/Arakan state. Media reported it as an independent human rights investigation into persecution of the Rohingya but they weren’t really hearing Annan who talked in ambiguities to confuse them. He told a Yangon press conference, “We are not here to do a human rights investigation or to write a human rights report” but to make recommendations “toreduce tension & support development” in Arakan state–whatever the hell that means.

Annan told reporters that during the couple days he spent in Arakan he personally did not witness persecution of Rohingya–even though he was brought to one of the 36 Rohingya concentration camps. He cancelled a visit in October 2016 after the genocidal offensive began against the Rohingya that sent up to 100,000 fleeing for their lives to Bangladesh. If he had gone to Arakan, he would have seen the military occupation. He would have seen whole villages torched & heard reports from Rohingya residents of extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrests, forcible disappearances, mass rape by soldiers & nationalist death squads. But our man Annan didn’t want to see that because he was commissioned by Suu Kyi & the generals to produce a whitewash of genocide.

Annan’s 63-page report came out almost on the eve of the August 25th genocidal offensive & has now been rendered useless even as a whitewash. What’s most despicable about the report is that Annan obliged the racism, social hatred, & genocidal impulses of Suu Kyi & the generals by refusing to use the name Rohingya & referring to them as “Muslims in Rakhine state”–not just denying genocide but stripping them of every vestige of dignity.

So what was Annan’s mission at the Vatican on the eve of Pope Francis’ visit to Burma on November 27th? Following the lead of the Burmese generals, Suu Kyi, Catholic Cardinal Charles Maung Bo & the bishops of Burma, The Elder delegation urged the pope to refrain from using the name Rohingya because it is “incendiary” & “so emotional.” How low can you go after genocide has sent close to one million Rohingya fleeing from mass rape, executions including the beheading & burning of infants & children, & the torching of hundreds of villages?

These are dignitaries so we’re supposed to show a little deference. What they deserve is scorn, contempt, & possibly prosecution for obstruction of justice. One hopes Pope Francis will rise above such cesspool politics to stand forthright with justice & the Rohingya people.

(Photo from Servizio Fotografico L’Osservatore Romano)

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