The division among feminists on the issue of war became most acute during the US-NATO war against Afghanistan when the US Pentagon used women’s rights & Islamophobia to justify that war.
It’s no coincidence that many of the most ardent pro-war feminists are also Zionists. That’s not a baseless charge since if you know the feminists promoting war you can verify their Zionism quite easily since they are outspoken about it.
Antiwar feminists have always linked women’s rights to opposition to war because women & children suffer so massively & so unspeakably in every war without exception. Feminist activists organized women’s contingents at every antiwar protest to make those political links clear. Anita Bennett was a central leader in organizing some of the biggest women’s antiwar contingents & is a hero of mine to this day for her outstanding work.
No one would be so small-minded as to shun pro-war women as not genuine feminists. But let us speak frankly: if you support US wars justified by women’s rights & Islamophobia & if you support Clinton because she is a woman, regardless of her war-mongering, your feminism is blunted, debased, amoral.
In June 2011, Hillary Clinton, then Secretary of State, gave a speech saying it was time the US started thinking of Iraq as a business opportunity because of its oil supply & because it had one of the largest customer bases in the Middle East.
At that time, as a result of the US war, an estimated 500,000 Iraqis had died since the invasion in 2003; child malnutrition rates were nearly 30 percent; almost 70 percent of Iraqi children suffered psychological problems; most Iraqis had no access to safe drinking water which caused a cholera outbreak in one part of Iraq; the US use of depleted uranium & white phosphorous had caused hundreds of thousands of birth defects & cancers; at least 3 million Iraqis had been displaced or fled as refugees to other countries; 500,000 children had died as a result of US sanctions.
None of that registered as human rights or war crimes to Clinton who as Secretary of State knew exactly what was going on in Iraq. She had her come-to-Jesus-moment in 2014 only when she considered running for president & realized an antiwar stance would make her rightwing, war-mongering politics more palatable to voters.
Those who campaign for Clinton as the lesser evil candidate have lost their grip on reality. It’s one thing to be a lesser evil voter; it’s quite another to campaign for Clinton. The majority of American voters don’t even bother to register because they want no part of this travesty & mockery of electoral democracy. When you campaign for Clinton precisely because she will take more aggressive military action against Assad in Syria, you have placed yourself not just on the wrong side of justice but on the side of barbarism.
No to US wars & bombing! Yes to immediate, unconditional withdrawal of all US forces, mercenaries, CIA operatives, & other vile creatures associated with the Pentagon.
The photo is an Iraqi boy, a victim of US militarism.
Anyone involved in political organizing, especially of broad-based social movements like the antiwar movement or civil rights movements around the world, knows that persistence & patience are required & that misanthropy will get you nowhere.
Movements ebb & flow from protests close to a million to rallies of a handful. Sometimes you even stand alone because those who oppose independent social movements make sure nothing gets done. Those committed to human rights don’t let a little isolation get them down but just keep doing the work of movement building. Not because they’re fools for martyrdom but because justice is so important & when political events make action possible, the ragtag movement is in place to maximize & mobilize it.
One of the central issues in Indian politics is the formation of a massive anti-occupation movement that can strengthen the Kashmiri struggle against occupation & for self-determination. For US antiwar activists, the problem is familiar. The US is bombing the hell out of several countries & antiwar protests only rally in the few hundreds & sometimes in the few thousands. If instead of staying steadfast, we started spewing venom about the American people, hating on them for not marching, we’d end up cranks & cynics of no good use politically. More importantly, we would not have an understanding of why war has not rallied more massive & active opposition.
This is all to introduce a two-day educational event about Kashmir in Kolkata, India organized by the People’s Film Collective where the two teachers were Kashmiri activists & the work of our own Rollie Mukherjee was featured. The impressive event is part of building an anti-occupation movement & the organizers are to be saluted.
The incisive, sardonic Mir Suhail:
This brilliant cartoon speaks for itself but for those who don’t know, the reference to the 2014 flood in Kashmir is because (exactly like Bush’s week-long delay in sending half-assed relief to Black residents in Hurricane Katrina) the Indian occupying army took several days to rescue & evacuate Kashmiris. Several hundred died, thousands were left homeless.
They’re reporting a drought in southern France, the worst in over a decade. California & Texas just went through droughts too & not a single death was reported from famine in those places. Supermarkets were filled to the rafters.
Without getting into the economic policies leading to ecological ruin in Africa, we’d sure like to know why every time there’s a drought in an African country, like Somalia a few months ago, hundreds of thousands die from famine?
If people were dropping dead from famine in France, California, or Texas there would an international clamor for food relief.
But wait a second. Every summer when US schools let out & the free lunch programs end, there are thousands of poor kids in the cities dumpster diving for garbage to eat. Especially since Clinton’s welfare destruction in the early 90s.
Do you think racism could be involved?
Every time I write a celebratory obituary of some monstrous war criminal or political scoundrel, someone of more refined sentimentality objects to the cruelty. They do that song & dance about not speaking ill of the dead, of not dancing or pissing on someone’s grave but finding something about the deceased that was redeeming & positive.
Sentimentality is not a quality I cherish nor certainly one I excel at. Hard-nosed is a regrettable family trait. But we’re not without mercy. Dante Alighieri was merciless. His epic poem “Inferno” puts my paltry sarcasms to shame altogether. He had nine circles of hell where he sent lowlifes & didn’t bother with obituaries. With unrivaled poetic flourish, he dispensed them all to suffer the unimaginable for all eternity. He’s my kind of guy. The sentimental should thank their lucky stars I haven’t the poetic skills of Dante even if I am not remiss in vengeance & stop complaining at my obits.
Now next time someone dies—say Kissinger or Netanyahu—if anyone can find something about them worth flattering, I will certainly take note in a postscript to my condemnation where I will ridicule the hell out of any flattery. After all, I did mention that Elie Wiesel was a snappy dresser. But otherwise, I look forward to celebrating their demise. The only one who won’t is Lucifer since his place already stinks too much of evil.