Shimon Peres, architect of Israeli colonialism & ethnic cleansing croaks

Shimon Peres, one of the architects of Israeli colonialism & ethnic cleansing & in so many ways the Henry Kissinger of Israel, croaked today at the age of 93.

I look forward to writing his obituary almost as much as that of Kissinger. It won’t have a single word of praise for a life of violence & stinking mendacity. Media will be filled ad nauseam with such crap.

Some object to my anti-obituaries & consider them demonizing, even dehumanizing. Talk to the hand. Peres was a human being all right–just like Hitler, Stalin, Franco, Pinochet, General Omar Suleiman, Kissinger. Don’t ask me to pull my punches when they croak.

Jammu & Kashmir High Court refuses to ban use of pellet guns

Kashmiri pellet protesters (Mehraj Bhat:Irinnews) Sept 28 2016

In what India must have thought was a foxy move, they announced on August 15th that the Indian military would seek alternatives to the deadly pellet munitions that were disfiguring, blinding, & disabling thousands of unarmed Kashmiri protesters. They proposed PAVA or chilli grenades as less deadly although they are extremely dangerous.

The Indian army made that announcement in response to legal action against pellet munitions filed in the Jammu & Kashmir High Court on July 25th & to make India look good in international media which was reporting the horrors pellets inflicted on unarmed protesters. But they never had any intention of withdrawing pellet guns from service in Kashmir. On August 20th, they filed an affidavit in the J & K High Court claiming pellets guns were necessary in “extreme situations” as an alternative to live ammunition. Less people end up dead that way & more end up blinded, disfigured, disabled, & in lifelong pain. Such is the deranged thinking of militarism.

The Jammu & Kashmir High Court ruled on pellet guns last Wednesday, September 21st. The J & K High Court operates just like the Israeli courts do in sanctioning human rights crimes against unarmed Palestinian protesters. It refused to ban pellet guns saying the use of such lethal force is “inevitable” when the army is confronted with violent protesters.

Along with that ruling, two of the judges denied the legal brief to prosecute soldiers involved in the use of pellet guns. Impunity for human rights & war crimes in Kashmir is guaranteed by the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) enacted in 1958 & modeled on a 1942 British colonial law to repress the Quit India Movement.

The High Court said the issue of pellet munitions cannot be adjudicated since no fact-finding authority has reported evidence of excessive force or violations of standard operating procedure (SOP) in Kashmir. That would be because investigative delegations from the UN Human Rights Council as well as Human Rights Watch & Amnesty International have been refused entry to Kashmir.

But let’s get real! For the past 82 days of the siege, mainstream & social media have been filled with hundreds of photos of Kashmiris, including children & elderly, who were pummeled with thousands of lead pellets. The Indian army admitted publicly in Indian media that it does not follow SOP in discharging pellet guns which is to shoot below the waist–as if injuries below the waist were civilized in some way. They claimed with the deranged hubris of power that unarmed protesters were hit above the waist when they knelt to pick up stones to throw.

This photo is protesters outside the main hospital in Srinagar (in August) who were injured by pellet guns fired by Indian soldiers.

End the occupation. Stop the use of pellet guns & all weapons against unarmed protesters. Self-determination for Kashmir.

(Photo by Mehraj Bhat from Irin News)

Section 124A in the Indian Penal Code: a colonial provision to prevent criticism & opposition to government policies

Tamil Nadu youth booked for sedition (Sept 28 2016) from Indian Express

On September 19th, a Kashmiri college student at AMU in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, India was arrested on charges of promoting hatred & anti-nationalism & was expelled from school for commenting on FB about the Sept. 18th attack on the Indian army base in Uri, Kashmir.

Yesterday, Mudasir Rashid, a Kashmiri student in Udaipur, India was arrested for ‘anti-nationalist’ posts on FB about the Uri attack & was also suspended by the college. He was reported to authorities by activists in ABVP (a rightwing nationalist student group) who protested & vandalized college property to demand he be expelled from college & from India.

On August 2nd, a group of rightwing nationalist youth went to the police about Tauseef Ahmad Bhat from Sopore, Kashmir who worked for a mobile company in Chhattisgarh. They complained about “anti-India content” on his FB wall. He was arrested on sedition charges, is still in jail & his several bail appeals have been denied.

Tauseef Ahmad Bhat is booked under section 124A of the Indian Penal Code which is a malignant piece of legislation banning criticism against the government in any form, including articles, cartoons, speeches. It reads:

“124A. Sedition — Whoever, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards, the Government established by law in India, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, to which fine may be added, or with imprisonment which may extend to three years, to which fine may be added, or with fine.”

In 2010, Arundhati Roy, Kashmiri activist Syed Ali Shah Geelani, & five others were charged under 124A for speeches they made at a conference about Kashmiri self-determination. In 2012, Aseem Trivedi, a political cartoonist was arrested under 124A in Mumbai for anti-corruption cartoons & for “insulting the Constitution” during a 2011 protest. In 2015, Kovan, a Tamil folk singer in the state of Tamil Nadu was charged with 124A for a song criticizing the state government’s liquor policy. Thousands of villagers in the state of Tamil Nadu have been threatened with 124A & hundreds have been charged for protesting since 2011 against a nuclear power plant.

In February of this year, the JNU student union president Kanhaiya Kumar was arrested in Delhi under 124A. He was charged with sedition for ‘anti-India slogans’ at a student rally protesting the 2013 hanging of a Kashmiri activist convicted for a 2001 attack on the Indian Parliament. Kumar was eventually released after widespread protests in India.

On August 17th of this year, Amnesty International India was charged with sedition & “promoting enmity” by police in Bengaluru after the ABVP nationalist student group filed a complaint for a function AI held to protest human rights violations in Kashmir.

Indian courts claim 124A prosecutions are for incitement to violence & public disorder so none of the high-profile cases accompanied by public protests resulted in trials, convictions, & jail time. It’s primarily used to harass, intimidate, & stifle dissent. But then there are the countless cases of activists like Tauseef Ahmad Bhat who has been in jail & denied bail since August. At least 58 people were arrested under 124A in 2014, the first year India published data on sedition charges. There is no report on what happened to them in the courts or if they continue to suffer forms of harassment.

Section 124A has never been used in Kashmir since they have the Public Safety Act which allows the Indian army to pick up activists & jail them indefinitely without charges or trial. It also appears that most of those in India charged with sedition are for opposing the nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu or for speaking out against the occupation & human rights crimes in Kashmir in order to weaken attempts to build an anti-occupation movement in India.

It is of considerable interest that the Indian Penal Code was enacted in 1860 by British colonial authorities. Section 124A was added ten years later as a means to repress opposition to colonial rule. India did not discard the 124A colonial provision when it became independent in 1947 & in fact, the Supreme Court upheld it in the Kedarnath Singh v. State of Bihar case in 1962.

Photo is Tamil Nadu youth involved in anti-nuclear protests who were arrested for sedition under 124A. They claim their passports are blacklisted so they cannot travel abroad.

(Photo from Indian Express)

Emancipation US-style in Afghanistan: 15 years of bombing & war crimes

Afghan child brick worker  (Hedayatullah Amid: EPA) Sept 27 2016

Emancipation US-style: When it comes to freeing the oppressed from tyranny, no one does it better than the US Pentagon:

Coming up on the 15th anniversary of the US-NATO invasion, there are millions of Afghan refugees mostly in Iran & Pakistan (where they are being victimized); Afghans are denied asylum in Europe; an estimated 150,000 Afghans have been killed since 2001–which is certainly a massive underestimation after 15 years of massive bombing; many Afghans have suffered & died from monstrous war crimes committed by US & NATO troops; hundreds of Afghans have been tortured & murdered in the notorious Bagram prison run by the CIA; child labor is rampant.

The US continues to fly hundreds of drone bombing sorties; admits to 10,000 soldiers deployed there but is likely lying & does not report the number of mercenary thugs it deploys which some estimate at 20,000. As of one year ago, 2.356 US soldiers died in the Afghan operation, not counting those who died later as a result of injuries or those 22 a day who commit suicide or those permanently disabled physically & psychologically as a result of the war.

We know something about the human cost of the US war in Iraq–which has not ended. Millions dead, millions disabled, millions traumatized for life. But the deaths of 500,000 children (reported several years ago & certainly not the number of all Iraqi children who have died) were “worth it” according to Madeleine Albright, Bill Clinton’s Secretary of State.

For the most part, there is a news blackout on the US war in Afghanistan which also involves Pakistan. Maybe that explains, at least in part, the weakness of the antiwar movement in protesting this war. There will be protests coming up for the anniversary of the war on October 7th.

The photo is a little boy, who cannot be more than 5-years-old, working at a brick factory in Kabul, Afghanistan. This is the face of emancipation US-style.

US out of Afghanistan! Out of Syria! Out of Iraq!

(Photo by Hedayatullah Amid/ EPA)

Why are Ivy League educations producing such moronic presidents & candidates?

Clinton lies so articulately. Articulate is what a good education should, but doesn’t always, get you. Trump, for example, also has a class-A education & he can’t string a coherent thought together without his bombast getting in the way.

But perhaps some are too young to remember George Bush Sr. & Jr. who were both notorious for their ineptitude with thought & language. A comedic industry emerged from the verbal gaffes of GB Jr. Before GB Sr. was president, the NY Times had a practice of publishing presidential press conferences verbatim. He’s probably not stupid since those who run this country put him in charge of the CIA, made him VP, then president. But you wouldn’t know it from his verbal skills. He was such a bumbling linguistic idiot that I believe the NY Times might have ceased publishing press conferences to cover for the guy.

This is not a defense of bumbling idiocy since what Trump can’t coherently express is a head stuffed full of political rubbish & malice. But there is certainly no lesser evil when Clinton is only able to counter with practiced & articulate deceits.

Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD) defends Khurram Parvez

Khurram Parvez (who has been jailed for nearly two weeks under the draconian Public Safety Act) was a member of the Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD). Hundreds of thousands have been forcibly disappeared, tortured, & executed in nearly 50 countries, most flagrantly in Asia & Latin America (with the collusion of western collaboration written all over it.)

Several South Asian countries belong to AFAD, including Kashmir, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Thailand, Nepal, Bangladesh. They collaborate with organizations in China, Pakistan, North Korea, Cambodia, South Africa, Benin in West Africa, & several Latin American countries.

AFAD is presently campaigning for the release of Khurram Parvez, not just because he is a leading human rights figure but because it is a serious challenge to their work if activists can be arrested & held indefinitely without charge.

Please introduce yourself to their work & their defense of Khurram Parvez by liking & sharing their Facebook page:

If the election was today, right after that debate, “None of the above” would win in a landslide. They were both just as dreadful as we feared. It wasn’t possible for psychic health to watch 90 minutes of it without commercial interruption so I constantly switched to the only other show on: “Baywatch” reruns. That’s how desperate & deplorable it was.

New York Times published spoof on poverty in America claiming millions are no longer starving

The NY Times published a spoof titled “Millions in US climb out of poverty, at long last.” The satiric piece won’t be appreciated by the 43 million Americans, including 14 million children, who are still classified as poor–or for that matter by the 3.5 million the NYT says “climbed out of poverty” in 2015. Most of them can’t afford to buy the newspaper so they won’t know about the joke at their expense.

The NY Times noted that $24,300 is the poverty line for a family of four. That’s an estimate government economists arrived at after sucking on helium for several hours & being threatened with their jobs if they set the poverty bar too high. There is no place in the entire US where four people can live on that paltry amount except maybe in Alaskan tundra. The cost of living estimate for a single adult is $28,474. So what makes it possible for four to live on $4,000 a year less?

The article noted that the Black & Latino communities have the highest levels of poverty. “Climbing out of poverty” isn’t so easy when you have racist discrimination obstructing your every step.

The NY Times is mimicking the World Bank who claimed a few months back that world poverty is decreasing. The UN also just reported that over 60 million people in Latin America have been “lifted out of poverty” by liberal regimes that have cut poverty almost in half. Of course when you know the World Bank standard for poverty is US $1.90 a day, then you understand they’re all talking through their ass. Again.

Only one question remains: are the poor climbing or being lifted? The metaphors don’t fit when for most people living in poverty feels more like being suspended over a bottomless pit.

The unseemly fawning over Assad, Modi, & Clinton

Modi given flower Sept 26 2016

It’s in style now to offer birthday felicitations on FB on the birthdays of political figures. They were abundant, if not over-florid, on the 11th for Assad & on the 17th for Modi. Now we’re being prompted to start early on felicitations for Clinton whose birthday is next month.

Some of us would rather chew construction nails or stick knitting needles in our eyes than stoop to fawning over lowlife politicians. But that’s just those proud enough to want to keep their dignity intact.

This sarcastic tweet is from a man who writes for Dawn, the Pakistani newspaper. It may not be biting enough but it isn’t kissing ass.