Does Tony Blair evoke homicidal impulses in anyone else? Every time I see his photo I just want to punch the living daylights out of him.

From Northern Ireland to Afghanistan to Iraq to Palestine, he’s played a monstrous role. His latest dropping is that “many millions” of Muslims hold a viewpoint that is “fundamentally incompatible with the modern world.” That from one of the biggest war criminals of our generation.

My mother always quoted the Bible to me in vengeful moments, saying, “Revenge is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” Why should God have all the fun? The guy needs to be prosecuted this side of hell.

Gaza Children’s Choir make fundraising album

Gaza Children's Choir

Project Peace On Earth (PPoE), a US humanitarian group that uses music to promote human rights, released the song Haumea (We Are The Ones) on Sunday to commemorate Easter & their hopes for peace in Palestine.

PPoE partnered with the National Centre for Community Rehabilitation (NCCR) in Gaza who assembled a Children’s Choir to perform. NCCR assists people with disabilities–a growing problem in Gaza because of Israeli bombing. The team from PPoE worked for three months to train the children who had no singing experience & then record the song & film them for the album.

Haumea was released on YouTube & Vimeo on Easter day but is part of a two volume album called “2 Unite All” to be released April 19th. Peter Gabriel, Roger Waters, & several other musicians will be singing 30 songs.

Proceeds go to Palestinian relief agencies for surgical teams, medical supplies, & PTSD therapies.

This is Haumea (We Are The Ones)–dedicated to Palestinian as well as Kashmiri, refugee, & other children suffering assaults on their lives & very humanity.

(Photo is NCCR Children’s Choir)

Amal Clooney: human rights lawyer, my ass!

The Clowneys

Can we put to rest the notion that Amal Clooney is a human rights lawyer? We’ll put aside her former defense of Enron; we’ll acknowledge she has a couple high-profile cases like Assange & the Irish republicans alleging torture by the British army in 1971. Good for her. It could mean she’s not completely corrupt. It could also mean she’s scratching for credentials.

If you’re a human rights lawyer, you can’t play both sides of the street. But she defended the king of Bahrain against charges of monstrous human rights crimes against activists in the Bahraini uprising of 2011, including using excessive force, jailing thousands, torturing many to death, excessive use of tear gas & pellet guns. Her defense was to clean up his image internationally when he’s a lowbrow murderous thug. For those who witnessed that glorious uprising, it is absolutely unspeakable she would defend the guy.

After Israel’s 2014 carpet bombing of Gaza, she was asked to be on a three-person UN commission investigating Israeli war crimes but declined citing schedule conflicts. It would be damn uncomfortable to cite Israel for war crimes & human rights violations if you support Hillary Clinton whose groveling speech to AIPAC vilifying Palestinians will go down in infamy. What do you bet that political relationship was more a consideration than her schedule?

As for George, he’s a worthless bum; war-mongering is the only time he emerges from red carpeting through life.

(Photo is the two of them taken somewhere by someone)

CBS news is reporting the panic about ISIS targeting nuclear facilities. Whether it’s true or not, who knows? If they have that kind of intelligence on ISIS war plans, why don’t they know who’s arming them & cut them off? How did it happen that ISIS became more of a peril than the US Pentagon with 1,000 military bases all over the planet? What smells about that story?

Refugees at Idomeni, Greece protest closing of border to Macedonia

Refugees sleeping on tracks Idomeni (Darko Vojinovic:AP) Mar 28 2016

Chilren on tracks (Stoyan Nenov:Reuters)

Refugees (who the Guardian-UK now refers to as “refugees & migrants” to sanctify the EU distinction between refugees from war & those fleeing sweatshop economics) are sleeping on train tracks to block train traffic & protesting in other ways at Idomeni, Greece near the border with Macedonia.

They’ve also held several rallies laying with their children on the tracks demanding Macedonia reopen its border which is now completely sealed. Banners read: “Open the borders”; “I’m child & might not know much, but I believe treating people disrespectful for being born on the other side of the planet is called: ‘RACISM”; & “We are humans, not animals”.

Estimates of how many are stranded at the border vary from one source to the next, ranging from 6,500 to 20,000. But of course, tens of thousands more are stranded on the Greek islands, mostly in detention camps. Two weeks ago, Greek officials estimated the number of refugees trapped in Greece at 44,000 & said by next month it could increase to between 50,000 & 70,000. Of course, they expect NATO operations in the Aegean Sea to reduce the flow of refugees by 70 percent. (Will they start torpedoing the plastic dinghies? Or just picking them up & deporting them back to Turkey?)

The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) & Frontex estimates don’t jibe but about one million refugees have entered Greece since January 2015 through today. According to the EU statistics agency (Eurostat), in 2015 alone, the EU accepted about 700,000 asylum applications from Syrians, Afghans, Iraqis, Pakistanis, & others from the Middle East. Many of these were declined, many were or will be deported.

UNHCR also reported that between January 1st & March 1st, about 120,000 had entered Greece from Turkey; that’s 60,000 a month. Since March 1st, only 20,000 had entered on that route, testifying to the malicious efficacy of the NATO operation.

No one expects demented trolls like run the EU to be good at math, but if you factor in 2015 asylum applications; assume falsely that 96,000 refugees who entered Greece in January & February 2016 got past the Macedonian border & 24,000 got left behind; & that the 20,000 who entered this month could not proceed because the border was closed in early March, then you have 44,000 refugees trapped in Greece. That leaves about 180,000 refugees unaccounted for.

Dimitris Vitsas is the Greek official coordinating this whole fiasco-cum-atrocity for the EU. He’s been quite blunt that the border to Macedonia will remain on lockdown, that most refugees will be living in detention centers-cum-concentration camps for at least two years while being processed for deportation. But of course he hopes this can be accomplished speedily “without recourse to force.”

Italian officials are now fortifying their coast on the Adriatic Sea across from Albania in case any refugees try to take that route out of Greece.

Immigration & human rights activists need to chart an international course of action to demand: Immigration is a human right. Open the borders.

(Top photo by Darko Vojinovic/AP; bottom photo by Stoyan Nenov/Reuters)

The Yemeni uprising has not been bombed to smithereens

Yemen Mar 26 2016 (from Naila Smith)

Images from last Saturday’s march in Yemen protesting the Saudi-led bombing campaign evoke memories of the Arab uprisings in 201l. Their importance & inspiration to suffering humanity around the world in the struggle for democracy & human rights cannot be overestimated.

Women played a leading role from Egypt to Bahrain to Yemen. While the US-NATO justified their wars as salvation armies for women from the tyrannies of Islam, women in veils were leading protests against violent military resistance from the regimes. And of course the youth were just as glorious & defiant.

The Arab uprisings have been mocked, vilified, & many have written obituaries for what might have been. But cynicism is not a useful analytical tool. The politics that drive such profound & massive social upheavals don’t just go away by repression–even of the monstrous scale of the US-backed Egyptian junta & even if people need time to recover psychic energy, evaluate what happened & their options, & decide lying low is the ‘better part of valor’ for now.

Protests continue in Bahrain; the forces of revolution against the Assad regime recently publicly marched; Palestinians continue Intifada against all odds; & Yemenis marched during a bombing siege with warplanes circling overhead.

So much is at stake for the US & European powers in the Middle East that they bankroll Israel as a military fortress against democracy to the tune of well over $4 billion a year; that they are willing to turn whole countries into a killing field; that they vilify war refugees as Muslim terrorists; that they foment anti-Muslim hysteria, persecution, & legislation; that they constantly fine-tune the rancidities of Islamophobia to orchestrate all these crimes. Islamophobia is the soundtrack to a comprehensive program of counterrevolution in the Middle East.

We have more to learn about the character of democracy & how to make social change by studying the dynamics of the Arab uprisings than by parsing irrelevant distinctions between politicians.

Long live the Arab revolutions! Long live Palestinian Intifada!

(Photo is March 26 2016 march in Sana’a, Yemen)

Solidarity between Palestinian & Irish political prisoners

Bobby Sands in memorial mural along Falls Road, Belfast

Solidarity is one of the most powerful forces in the world. It is not an act of noblesse oblige but the iron law of social transformation. It can change the world.

Someone shared this extraordinary document in a post about Bobby Sands & the 1981 hunger strikers in Northern Ireland. It is a solidarity statement smuggled out of Israel’s Nafha prison from Palestinian political prisoners to the hunger strikers who were Irish political prisoners in Long Kesh prison near Belfast.

Margaret Thatcher ruthlessly allowed ten prisoners, including Sands, to die before the strike was ended. One-hundred thousand people attended his funeral.

We honor all political prisoners, including Mumia Abu Jamal in the US, for their contribution to the struggle for democracy & human rights.

(Photo is a memorial mural of Bobby Sands in Belfast.)