It could be said some are going overboard in supporting Erdogan as the “democratically elected” president against the military coup–as if he represented the voice of the Turkish people in their majority.

His August 2014 election was laden with controversies & charges of corruption. Umpteen serious charges of irregularities came not just from Erdogan’s political opposition but from international observers. It can hardly be said he’s democratically elected unless one claims that arrant corruption is part & parcel of modern electoral politics. To an extreme degree.

There are outright goofy analyses of Turkey’s “bourgeois democracy” under Erdogan versus a military junta. It’s one thing to stand with the Turkish people who fought back a military takeover because of the violence it would surely usher in. It’s quite another to pretend the violent, repressive Erdogan regime is any kind of democracy.

“The quality of mercy is not strained;
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest;
It blesseth him that gives & him that takes.” –Shakespeare

If you substitute mercy with solidarity in this beautiful passage from The Merchant of Venice, the message is the same. Solidarity is not an act of charity nor noblesse oblige but one of the most powerful & reciprocal forces in the world.

It is recognition that as human beings our fates are tied together, that we are bound by economics, religion, culture, & politics–including occupation, colonialism, & war–& that social transformation is forged only by our unity as brothers & sisters to end tyranny & make this world suitable for children to live & love in. Solidarity is the iron law of social transformation.


The crisis on the left–however broadly or narrowly that is defined–is nowhere exposed more shamefully than in the silence about the siege in Kashmir. It is as barbarous as the Israeli occupation of Palestine. But only a handful of progressive intellectuals, other than Kashmiri & Indian activists, are raising banners of protest & solidarity. Tariq Ali (who I have disagreements with on other issues) is one of the few educating about Kashmir.

Some of them can quote Karl Marx chapter & verse but when it comes to war, occupation, colonialism, they are only capable of parsing distinctions between two-bit politicians. Power struggles are the only thing that interest them & the struggles for justice just too plebeian for their attention.

There’s a crisis on the left suggesting that the old guard no longer knows its ass from its elbow in politics. That means young activists must come to the fore who champion the oppressed & who stand steadfast with them knowing that “An injury to one is an injury to all” is the iron law of social transformation.

Long live Kashmiri Intifada. End the occupation. ‪#‎FreeKashmir‬

In a discussion about Kashmir, a rude nationalist (are there any other kind?) asked “who is this laughing bitch?” referring to me. Before he learned the other half of it, I escorted his ass to the block button. Why take away his manhood in public?

Kashmiri activists & supporters are calling on human rights supporters with Twitter accounts to participate in a twitter storm today to get the word out about the murderous siege going on involving indiscriminate killing.

This is my introduction to Twitter campaigning since I only opened it when I was locked out of FB & I can’t say it’s an entirely glorious experience. But it is useful for flooding news & building solidarity.

The internet is locked down in Kashmir so they won’t know that people around the world stand with them. Social media is breaking the news blackout. Kashmiris can no longer be allowed to stand alone.

The tweet hashtag being used is ‪#‎freekashmir‬.

8:00 am Pacific Time (US)
11:00 am Eastern Time (US)
3:00 GMT (UK)
8:30 PM Indian Standard Time
1:00 am (Sunday, July 17th Australia Eastern Time)

So glad Pope Francis is coming around to my view of capitalism. Though it’s hard to find many who don’t think it stinks. But he’s got a ways to go before he gets serious or comes close to socialism. His support for Israel & opposition to women’s rights are whoppers when it comes to politics & I for one don’t think it’s good enough to just dislike poverty. Bernie Sanders & Pope Francis are kindred spirits but their populism leaves me cold.