Al Franken endorses Hillary Clinton: turds of a feather

Operation Cast Lead:white phosphorus munitions (Reuters)

Former SNL comedian & current Minnesota senator Al Franken just endorsed Clinton for president. His sniveling character combined with her groveling support for Israel is certainly what clinched the deal. Clinton & Sanders both support Israeli colonialism & apartheid but she aggressively promotes it (to rake in Zionist money) while Sanders avoids international issues that might alienate his “socialist” groupies.

As a senatorial candidate in January 2009, Franken attended a rally in a Jewish community center in Minneapolis to support Israel during its 22-day bombing assault over Gaza in Operation Cast Lead (Dec 27th 2008 to Jan 18th 2009)–whilst the bombing was going on.

In Operation Cast Lead, an estimated 1,419 Palestinians were killed, including 308 children & teens. More than 5,000 others were wounded, some permanently incapacitated; 3,540 housing units were destroyed & 20,000 people made homeless; 18 schools were destroyed & 262 others were damaged; 20,000 meters (12 miles) of water & sewage networks were destroyed; over $10 million of damage was done to the power infrastructure; hundreds of factories & businesses were destroyed.

Israel was condemned by human rights groups for using white phosphorus munitions supplied by the US (which the US uses extensively in its wars). It is not illegal to use under international law–though it is completely immoral–except in populated areas, which of course, all of Gaza is. White phosphorus is highly flammable & similar to Napalm which burns flesh right to the bone.

Al Franken, a lesser evil guy, was an enthusiastic supporter of Cast Lead & pledged to support Israel at the Minneapolis rally. He hasn’t wavered in that pledge but also supported Israel’s carpet bombing assaults over Gaza in 2012 & 2014. Accordingly, he has often been picketed at his offices in Minneapolis by Palestinian solidarity activists. He needs to be thrown out of office on his ass. Clinton can have his endorsement; it stinks of apartheid & genocide.

Honor the economic & cultural boycott of Israel; buy nothing with barcode beginning 729.

(Photo of white phosphorus munitions by Reuters)

Israeli police in occupied East Jerusalem harass Palestinian youth


The media caption to this photo read: “Israeli border police frisk a suspected Palestinian youth next to the Damascus Gate of the Old City of Jerusalem, Feb. 25, 2016. Israeli police have taken several security measures in the old city to limit the stabbing attacks against Israelis.”

“A suspected Palestinian youth”!? Is that the same thing as “walking while Black” in the US? The Old City of Jerusalem is in East Jerusalem which has been illegally occupied by the Israeli military since 1967. It’s where the Al-Aqsa mosque is located. Palestinian males have long been barred from praying at the mosque so Israeli occupying police naturally assume Palestinians have no right to walk in the area where they live & where their families have lived for generations.

“Several security measures” probably refers to the martial law Israel launched in East Jerusalem last year in its pogrom against Palestinian youth. As for those stabbing attacks against Israelis? Israel has yet to prove most of them are anything more than baseless allegations & propaganda to cover for moving in more illegal settlers to take over East Jerusalem. If there are some scuffles when Palestinians resist occupation & martial law, that’s called Intifada.

Long live Palestinian Intifada! Honor the economic & cultural boycott of Israel. Buy nothing with barcode beginning 729.

(Photo by Atef Safadi/EPA)

Mayan women protest in Guatemala against massive human rights crimes in 1960-96 genocide

Mayan women in Guatemala (AP Photo:Moises Castillo) Feb 26 2016

Only a few days ago, Kashmiri Women’s Resistance Day commemorated the February 1991 mass rape of women & torture of men at Kunan Poshpora, protested sexual violence as a military tactic, & the impunity of the Indian occupying army.

Yesterday, Mayan women in Guatemala commemorated the National Day of Dignity for the Victims of Armed Internal Conflict to honor the victims of the civil war between 1960 & 1996. They commemorate annually on February 25th because on that day in 1999, a UN-backed truth commission (CEH) released its investigation titled “Guatemala: Memory of Silence” describing Guatemalan military violence against the civilian population, including torture, forced disappearance, mass rape, massacres & mass graves, razing entire villages & crops, displacing entire communities, & acts of genocide against the Mayan people. There is no healing from such monstrous crimes without justice. Genocide has a long memory.

In twelve volumes the truth commission detailed 200,000 dead, 45,000 forced disappearances, displacement of one million people, & over 100,000 women raped. First the army took the men & massacred or disappeared them; then they returned for the women who they raped in front of their children. Like the “comfort women” of the Japanese army in WWII, women were forced to work shifts at military bases where they were turned into domestic & sexual slaves.

The UN-backed truth commission presented the report in 1999 to then president Álvaro Arzú, the military high command, & other Guatemalan officials–most of whom were up to their eyeballs in the genocide or in giving post-war amnesty to military personnel involved. The women have not ceased from seeking justice despite every attempt by the Guatemalan regime, military, & judiciary to thwart them. In 2012, Mayan women testified at the trial of military dictator & evangelical Christian, Efrain Rios Montt, the man responsible for mandating & orchestrating the crimes (in collusion with the US Pentagon). He was found guilty of genocide & crimes against humanity in 2013 but a Guatemalan court overturned the verdict only a few days later. He is awaiting retrial but the courts will make sure he continues to elude justice.

Because of the social stigma associated everywhere with rape & sexual crimes, it is politically extraordinary & beyond admirable that women around the world who were victims of rape as a military tactic are coming forward resolutely & in large numbers to demand justice. They include the survivors & advocates of tens of thousands of women forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese military in WWII, the women of Kashmir, & the Mayan women of Guatemala. What they have made absolutely clear to the world is that military rape is a systematic, cold-blooded military operation of war & occupation, not a case of troops gone wild.

Our deepest respect & commitment to stand with them in exposing the monstrous crimes of militarism.

(Photo by Moises CastilloAP)

Afghans being denied asylum by European Union

Stranded Syrian refugee (Reuters:Yannis Behrakis) Feb 26 2016

This young boy is a “temporarily stranded” Syrian refugee in a makeshift camp near the Greek village of Idomeni close to a crossing point on the Greek-Macedonian border. Temperatures now are 12 degrees Celsius in the daytime & 3 degrees at night (54 degrees Fahrenheit daytime & 38 degrees at night)

An estimated 20,000 refugees are stranded in 18 camps on the Greek side of the border because EU countries (most notably Austria, Serbia, & Germany) are only accepting Syrian & Iraqi refugees & are refusing asylum to Afghan refugees. Macedonia has sealed both its north & south borders & created a massive bottleneck in an attempt to keep Afghans from moving north.

While Greek police are assailing refugees & attempting to bus them back to relocation camps, communities in the region are providing shelter & support to refugees by opening up sports arenas for shelter; pharmacies & hospitals are offering medical assistance; citizens & businesses are providing food & aid.

Afghan refugees are second in number to Syrians so the crackdown on them, which began last October, was a way to eliminate tens of thousands of asylum seekers. Although there is no provision in EU law for a Safe Country of Origin list to designate who is a refugee & who an “economic immigrant,” the EU devised such a list last September. Afghanistan was not on it because it is a war zone.

In October, German officials began publicly defending their denial of asylum to Afghans. The Interior Minister, braying like a jackass, said Afghan refugees were mostly middle-class & that large amounts of development aid was being sent to Afghanistan so they should stay in their own country to rebuild it.

It should have been pointed out to Herr Jackass that German troops were part of the NATO forces making Afghanistan unlivable to millions, that forced millions to flee to Pakistan & Iran, & now to Europe. According to an investigation by German media sources, 1,650 Afghans employed by the German military as interpreters were eligible for safe haven but 60 percent of their applications were denied. Instead, Germany is now trying to fast-track deportation procedures back to Afghanistan.

Last week, several EU countries signed a joint statement laying out tighter entry restrictions barring Afghans & preventing them from moving north. Hundreds are now stuck in Macedonia because Serbian officials are denying them entry & in Greece because Macedonia is denying them entry. The joint statement said that “longer residence in a safe third country” are grounds for rejecting asylum seekers & noted as an example “Afghan nationals who for a longer time stayed in Turkey or Iran”. This certainly comes from the EU which is winging it as it goes along, extemporizing idiotic new rationalizations (to supplement the Safe Country of Origin list) to flout international law governing the rights of refugees to asylum. What possible rational relevance is it that an Afghan fleeing war first fled to Iran or Turkey (where it might not have worked out) & then fled to Europe?

This EU denial of Afghan refugees may play a role in why UN operations in Afghanistan recently denied the US occupation existed & described it a civil conflict. Or is that assuming too much coordination between government bodies? One could never assume too much malevolence.

And for all that, the EU is willing to leave those with special health needs, those who are war-traumatized, elderly, infirm, children, to be stranded for long periods in near freezing temperatures & squalid conditions. It may be time to dump the EU as too vicious for human society.

Immigration is a human right. Open the borders. And it should be added, US out of Afghanistan!

(Photo by Yannis Behrakis/Reuters)