Iraqi protesters storm the Green Zone: justice will come when they raze it to the ground

Iraqi protesters storm Green Zone in Baghdad ( REUTERS:Khalid al Mousily ) May 22 2016

For the second time within a month, thousands of protesters in Baghdad, Iraq stormed the Green Zone which Al Jazeera says “houses parliament, government buildings & foreign embassies.” The Green Zone is a 10-square-km (3.9 sq mi) area completely surrounded by steel-enforced concrete blast walls with entry points controlled by Iraqi & US troops.. It is a military fortress with the biggest US embassy in the world, & with the UK, Australian, & Egyptian embassies. It garrisons US & foreign troops, mercenaries, & is the base for military contractors.

To Iraqis, the Green Zone represents the US occupation which Obama declared ended in 2011. It is a monstrous edifice which was also the focus of protests during the Arab uprisings in 2011. It will be a glorious day when Iraqi protesters have razed it to the ground & send the whole lot of criminals packing.

Iraqi military forces opened live fire & used tear gas against the protesters. Media reporting on the protest is canned from one media source to the next & comes straight from the military. They say “dozens” of protesters were injured & that “authorities could not immediately verify reports that several civilians had been killed.” A media that wasn’t embedded up the ass of the US Pentagon would consider it a matter of journalistic integrity & responsibility to find out just how many were injured & killed. When soldiers are shooting live ammo, it is likely there were fatalities. Borrowing a page from the Israeli army, military authorities actually claimed some Iraqi soldiers were stabbed.

It was reported that protesters appealed to the soldiers by chanting “Oh army, the country is hurt! Don’t side with the corrupt!” It is a profound political tragedy that international antiwar forces are too weak to provide massive solidarity with the Iraqi people. No political mission is more imperative than rebuilding that movement. On May Day, in the state of Odisha, India, protesters carried a banner saying “American attackers should lick Iraqi dust!” We second that.

Our fullest solidarity & deepest respect to the Iraqi protesters standing against one of the most powerful & barbaric military forces in the world.

(Photo of protesters by Khalid al Mousily/Reuters)

Cyclone Roanu in Bangladesh

Chittagong, Bangladesh Cyclone Roanu (EPA) May 22 2016

Several Facebook friends have marked in safe from Cyclone Roanu in Chittagong, Bangladesh. This is a photo of that cyclone. We’re glad to hear you are safe.

These Facebook mark-ins are a very effective way to know our friends are safe in natural disasters. But they also tell us just how widespread these floods, landslides, cyclones, hurricanes, tornados are on our planet. They are not all natural disasters but the results of climate change caused by the environmental policies of neoliberal plunder & colonialism. They are really a call to arms.

Thank God you’re safe in Chittagong.

(Photo from EPA)

CBS has a special on tonight titled ‘The Spymasters – CIA in the Crosshairs’ which is a straight out glorification & justification of the CIA. All of the interviewees are former CIA directors. It’s like a line-up of the living dead. Their calculated defense of torture is absolutely chilling.

It’s insufferable that we have to watch the CIA glorified as plot lines in most drama series on TV. It is monstrous that they try to sell us this crap about the CIA saving the US from terrorists. The CIA is today what it has always been: an agency of mass terrorism & torture. The only purpose for this twisted TV special is to convince us the surveillance state & torture are essential to our safety.

In a humane society, the CIA, FBI, & Pentagon would be dismantled & its agents prosecuted & punished for crimes against humanity. We wouldn’t waterboard or inflict torture on them as they have done to thousands. That’s barbarism. A humane society doesn’t use methods of oppression which are the stock-in-trade of neoliberalism, the barbaric phase of capitalism.

The right-wing politics of Sean Penn: if he walks & talks like a dirt-ball, he might be a dirt-ball

Sean Penn & Prendergast (Ben Gabbe:Getty Images) May 21 2016

Don’t stop me now. I’m on a roll with my damnations of Sean Penn for posturing as a liberal while operating as a wretched-assed right-winger hanging with the most reactionary forces in world politics.

His collaboration with the Clintons, Duvalier, & Martelly in Haiti puts him in the criminal category without dispute but he also associates with the Zionist extreme right. He made the obligatory pilgrimage to Israel to be photographed with Shimon Peres last year. This photo is from when he was given the Champion of Jewish Justice Award in 2014.

The award ceremony/pro-Israel rally was hosted by Sheldon Adelson, (the right-wing gambling magnate who just endorsed Drumpf) & Shmuley Boteach, a crazy-pants, right-wing Zionist rabbi who actively promotes illegal settlements in the West Bank. The guests at this vampire’s ball included Chris Christie, notorious for a million idiocies & his support for Drumpf; Elie Wiesel, the guy who milks his holocaust experience for all it’s worth in honoraria & who accused Palestinians of using their children as human shields to justify Israeli carpet bombing in 2014; Alan Dershowitz, who leaves a sulfurous odor wherever he appears; Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, whose endorsement of Bernie Sanders was lauded by his supporters despite her many right-wing associations; Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the notorious Islamophobe making a bundle posing as a feminist reformer.

Another person present was John Prendergast, always referred to in media as a human rights activist but who is almost certainly a CIA operative based in Africa (second from the left in this photo). He’s always seen with George Clooney on the occasions when Clooney leaves his red carpet lifestyle to war monger for US intervention into Darfur. Prendergast plays a central role in the conflict with Sudan over Darfur (a region in Sudan) & was a key US operative in the secession of South Sudan from Sudan. It is certainly relevant that Israel has considerable investments (i.e., plunder operations) in South Sudan. He is also involved as an operative in other African countries.

It’s just a fact in politics that you can’t play both sides of the street. When Penn associates with the most right-wing & corrupt elements in world politics, we can assume that is where his political commitments are. It’s the old “if it walks & talks like a dirt-ball it must be a dirt-ball” thing.

(Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images)

{Thank you to Faranak Karimpour for the info about the pro-Israel rally}