Israeli pogrom against Palestinians

Between October 1st & November 13th, 86 Palestinians–mostly young protesters–were killed by Israeli fire. Israeli journalist Amira Haas published an article in Haaretz challenging the “stabbing Intifada” narrative peddled by Israel, the US, & media. She suggested–what is really beyond dispute–that knives were planted after summary execution of activists by Israeli forces.

Je suis Palestinian. Build BDS (barcode beginning 729).

We all grieve for Paris but how long will the requiems go on as drums of war?

It isn’t that the requiems over Paris are overwrought. It hasn’t been a week yet & the horror deepens. But soon they’ll be going on longer than grief over the school shootings at Sandy Hook. No one wants to sound the cynic but the selective character of grief has a political character: not just that white lives are more valued & terrorism thought more shocking in Paris than Beirut, but that more poignant the grief depending on who the terrorists are.

There are French & Russian war planes over Raqqa, Syria–a city where 220,000 people live. This is being applauded by some of those weeping over Paris. If they don’t believe the lives of Arab peoples matter, they can just say that outright–because their selective requiems betray.

It isn’t that we don’t all grieve for Paris. We’re numb from grief from decades of unending war. There are antiwar activists that go back to WWII, Korea, Vietnam, & many wars too brief to remember like Panama & Grenada. There are Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Libya, Kashmir, Palestine, Yemen. Those who only grieve for Paris & cheer on or ignore these others don’t feel grief at all but just a sentimental version of ‘my country right or wrong’ patriotism–& that’s a very different thing. If we misjudge, they can stop cheering on the bombers over Raqqa

French retaliatory bombing of Raqqa, Syria: a requiem

Why does news of French retaliatory bombers over Raqqa, Syria feel like a requiem? Or even worse, Armageddon? French & Russian bombers are both bombing a city of over 220,000 people without coordinating operations. Somewhere in the region Syrian & US bombers (along with Turkish, UAE, & Bahraini bombers) are also deployed–again without coordination. What could possibly go wrong?

Raqqa is reported to be an ISIS stronghold & descriptions of how they run the city sound as barbaric as Israel in Gaza & the West Bank or India in Kashmir. But is bombing civilians to death really the best way to address ISIS control?

Media actually claims there are few civilian casualties. Well then what are they targeting in Raqqa? If they know where ISIS is headquartered in the city why can’t they just send their psycho squads, those well-trained Black Hawk down guys, the kind who took out Osama bin Laden?

But let’s cut the crap. We already know from Afghanistan, Yemen, Pakistan, Iraq, & elsewhere that human life means nothing–it’s all collateral damage, all “worth it” as Madeleine Albright put it, to achieve US-NATO policy goals. And of course therein lies the rub: all the regimes sending bombers have conflicting interests & goals. Isn’t that how world wars begin?

The historic imperative remains: rebuild the international antiwar movement.

Eagles of Death Metal band flouts cultural boycott of apartheid Israel

Jesse Hughes in Tel Aviv (Orit Pnini) Nov 18 2015

This is the kind of story from whence conspiracy theories evolve–but it’s still a coincidence worth noting. The band playing at the Bataclan theater in Paris when it was attacked last Friday is called Eagles of Death Metal (EODM), a group from Coachella valley in southern California. Frontman Jesse Hughes & the other band members escaped through a backstage door while 89 audience members, including members of the band entourage, were killed.

EODM just released a statement about the attack which is making all the media. It reads in part: “While the band is now home safe, we are horrified & still trying to come to terms with what happened in France….Although bonded in grief with the victims, the fans, the families, the citizens of Paris, & all those affected by terrorism, we are proud to stand together, with our new family, now united by a common goal of love & compassion.

We would like to thank the French police, the FBI, the US & French State Departments, & especially all those at ground zero with us who helped each other as best they could during this unimaginable ordeal, proving once again that love overshadows evil….Vive la musique, vive la liberté, vive la France, & vive EODM.”

So touching, isn’t it? And such a contrast to last July when EODM rejected the direct appeal of musician Roger Waters to honor the Boycott, Divestment, & Sanctions (BDS) movement & refuse to perform in Israel. Lead singer Hughes, a conservative Republican, told the audience at the Tel Aviv club that he “would never boycott a place like this.”

Playing up to Israeli apartheid, Hughes told the audience about his response to Waters. According to one Israeli publication he said, “You know what I wrote back? Two words.” According to another Israeli publication he said, “And you wanna know what I wrote back? Two words: F**k you. Ain’t nobody gonna keep me from my people here in Tel Aviv.” Whatever his actual words, the audience reportedly ate it up. So he continued, saying about Waters: “Never waste your time worrying about what an asshole thinks about you.”

According to an Israeli source (though unconfirmed), EODM will again play Tel Aviv next summer.

So of course we’ll take the sound advice of our man Hughes & ‘not waste our time worrying about what an asshole thinks.’ We’ll proceed without delay to adding EODM to the boycott of Israel. It’ll be no great loss. Their music stinks anyway.

(Photo of Hughes performing in Tel Aviv by Orit Pnini)

Filipino protesters stand against Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Manila.

Filipino protesters (Ezra Acayan:Reuters) Nov 18 2015

Filipino antiwar protesters never disappoint our expectations. Here they are confronted by riot police as they march to the venue of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Manila.

APEC is an alliance initiated by Australia & the US under the Bush (senior) regime in 1989. It now includes 21 members with a coastline on the Pacific Ocean. That coastline requirement is one of the ways the US & Canada insinuate themselves into the political concerns of southeast Asian countries like Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam.

If Pacific rim countries concerned themselves with Fukushima contamination of the Pacific, such an alliance would be useful but Fukushima doesn’t appear to have been on any summit agendas. That’s because APEC is really a free trade alliance to strengthen the sweatshop economy. If it was an outright military front with the US, it’s unlikely China would be admitted to membership. The militarization of the region is dealt with by other alliances excluding China.

We have only one question to our Filipino brothers & sisters: what, no effigy of Obama!? Other than that, our deepest respect for leading the world in building antiwar opposition.

(Photo by Ezra Acayan/Reuters)

Another ISIS terrorist disguised as a refugee child

Refugee boy wih glasses (Carl Court:Getty Images) Nov 18 2015

European regimes & US governors demonize refugees to justify the flouting of international law requiring asylum. There are several international agreements mandating asylum for those fleeing persecution & war though most inadequately define who is eligible–giving just enough wiggle room for the regimes to flout the agreements completely.

There’s some derangement involved here because they can’t just leave tens of thousands of people camped on the eastern & southern borders of Europe with no human services & no place to go. Will they declare war on them & start bombing? Start rounding them up in cattle cars for deportation? Let them starve & freeze to death?

This is where the austerity policies imposed on European countries have a head-on collision with European war & neoliberal colonial policies in the Middle East & Africa–a collision & a calamity exposing the utter political bankruptcy of those policies & those regimes. Meanwhile the bankers & oligarchs are making out like bandits.

Meet one of the alleged barbarians at the gate: a little boy coming ashore at the Greek island of Lesbos. We don’t know if he’s with family or one of the thousands of unaccompanied children. A silly question, but do most of them even have passports to drop at the scenes of terrorist attacks? Is the Syrian embassy issuing thousands of passports every day so people can run for their lives?

We wish this little fellow Godspeed on his journey & stand with his right to asylum–not just mandated in international law but a practice held sacred for centuries.

Immigration is a human right. Open the borders.

(Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

Slavoj Zizek: the philosopher of Bernie Sanders socialists

There’s no need to do an exegesis of the latest droppings of Slavoj Zizek published in “In These Times” about the Paris attacks, the refugee crisis, ISIS, Islamophobia, & what the left should do about all that. He’s gone the way of Christopher Hitchens & just as pathetically–done in by xenophobia, narcissism, & small-minded arm-chair politics. He’s also a windbag who masks how little he has to say with maximum tonnage of obfuscations. That way he sounds like a percipient philosopher rather than the fool he is. He’s a suitable philosopher for Bernie Sanders socialism. They both rant; they’re both xenophobes & racists.

Time to get rid of false prophets; time to make room for the fresh air of intelligent unpretentious rebels rooted in actively trying to change the world–not in blow-hardism.

Meet the “barbarians at the gate”: ISIS disguised as refugees

Refugee at Serbian border (AP Photo:Darko Vojinovic) Nov 17 2015

What those whipping up anti-refugee hysteria forget is that we cannot un-see what we have already in hundreds of photos showing refugees to be mostly families, including elderly, small children (often unaccompanied by parents), disabled. That’s as true of immigration from the Middle East as it is for those from Africa. There’s no way they can be turned into terrorists ‘threatening the very foundations of western civilization’–though that might be a good thing if it shakes the colonial mentality to its roots.

This woman is waiting in one of the mile-long lines to register with police at a refugee center in southern Serbia. It’s reported refugees are anxious lest Europe use the Paris attacks to close the borders. Most of the borders are already closed.

The xenophobia & political agendas of European regimes have created a massive human rights crisis on their borders. They can’t actually believe they can strand tens of thousands of people like this woman in the dead of winter? Or are they that insane?

Immigration is a human right. Open the borders. Organize against their damn wars!

(Photo by Darko Vojinovic/AP)

Nothing in the ISIS story makes a damn bit of sense–especially those oil revenues

Media’s been reporting for the past several months that ISIS rakes in US $40 to $50 million a month from crude oil sales smuggled from oilfields under its control in Iraq & Syria. That would explain why the Pentagon claims they’ve bombed 232 “oil infrastructures” since November 3rd. It doesn’t explain why the oil keeps coming.

According to reports from the most respected lying-assed corporate media, ISIS has been able to bring in equipment, technical experts, engineers, & oilworkers from abroad to manage the oil business. As the story goes, they sell the crude to smugglers & brokers at discount prices & smuggle it out to Turkey & Syria in fleets of small tankers so US bombers won’t spot them. Fifty-thousand barrels a day is a lot of tankers. It must take a lot of camouflage to fool all those bombers & whiz past high-tech satellite surveillance. How do they make it past Turkish border patrols? And why in the hell is Turkey bombing the trough that feeds them?

So many questions; so few answers. You don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to say the story doesn’t add up.

Scapegoating refugees for terrorism in Paris


Right out the gate of this latest hysteria, refugees & immigrants are coming under attack as if they had something to do with terrorism. Xenophobia is an essential component of the racism that makes the world go round under neoliberalism, the barbaric phase of capitalism.

There’s very much a news gray-out about what’s happening with Syrian, Afghan, Pakistani, Palestinian refugees on Europe’s eastern borders–at a time when winter has made conditions for thousands of un-sheltered people unbearable.

How dare they pass off the malarkey that one of the terrorists in Paris posed as a refugee & made it all the way from Turkey to Paris just so he could blow up the place! This isn’t the first time they’ve pulled that crap. Just a few months ago, French police were on a manhunt in the refugee camp at Calais looking for a Syrian refugee who they claimed had done the same thing so he could blow up Britain. How they could possibly know that remains a mystery. He must be another one of those terrorists who leaves his passport as a calling card for police.

While there’s something of a news gap about refugees on the Turkey to Europe route, there are alarming reports about what’s gong on at Calais where the majority of refugees are Africans & others on the Libya to Europe route. First there were a series of unexplained fires at the camp last Friday that all began late at night. Now there are sporadic media reports that Calais will be targeted by police for harboring suspected terrorists.

Attacking primarily black African refugees & attempting to break up their camp rather than integrate them or let them move on to Britain is a deft even if utterly malignant use of racism to begin the onslaught against refugees & immigrants. Aid workers at Calais report huge numbers of unaccompanied children living in the camp. Is ISIS so clever as to be using small children now to blow up Europe? Will French police shoot them down or arrest them just like they’ve let them starve?

This photo is the camp at Calais.

Immigration is a human right! Open the damn borders! All out in defense of refugees & immigrants. The ass we save will be our own.

(Photo by Markus Schreiber/AP)