Putin, Assad, & Duterte are criminals, not champions of the people

Those who consider Putin, Assad, & Duterte as champions of the people who are being demonized by the US really ought to consider how they determined that view. Just because the US expresses criticism does not make those guys freedom fighters.

Choosing political loyalties on the basis of any government’s antipathies makes hacks, not political thinkers out of even the most sincere.

Protests continue in Kashmir

Oct 5 2016

This photo of young protesters in Srinagar yesterday is another case of how media subtly portrays Palestinian & Kashmiri activists as isolated, nihilistic youth. Kashmiris are under siege by the largest occupying army in the world: one soldier to every seven Kashmiris. They are being shot at with live ammo, tear gas & sound grenades, & pellet guns. They’re being arrested in night raids on their homes & detained indefinitely under the Public Safety Act. They can damn well defend themselves by any means necessary. Since youth are specifically targeted in violence & arrests, one can easily understand their fury.

Media hasn’t published photos of protests by journalists, now in the third day, against the closing down of Kashmir Reader & India’s censorship of Kashmiri media. Quite a significant protest, but without social media we wouldn’t even know about it.

The coalition of Kashmiri political groups called for a complete shutdown of businesses until October 13th to protest the occupation. On Friday, October 7th, they’re leading a march in Srinagar protesting India’s campaign to create war hysteria with Pakistan to divert international attention from the barbarous occupation & siege in Kashmir. The same coalition issued a call for people to occupy roads leading to police stations on October 10th to protest police involvement in killing & maiming Kashmiris. We shouldn’t hold our breath wondering if Reuters or Yahoo will publish photos of those massive events.

End the occupation. Self-determination for Kashmir.

(Photo by Danish Ismail/Reuters)

Assadists claim White Helmet rescues are staged

Aleppo Oct 4 2016 (REUTERS:Abdalrhman Ismail) Oct 5 2016

A lot of Assad supporters claim Max Blumenthal was too gullible about the White Helmets for saying they actually rescue people when Syria & Russia are bombing. According to them, over 95-percent of the photos & videos are staged–just like libertarians claim all the Arab uprisings against dictators were staged by the CIA & Mossad.

They’d make their case a whole lot stronger if they could explain how you get hundreds of thousands of people in several countries to play revolution. How much do they have to pay them to get shot at, beaten, jailed, tortured, disappeared? What’s the per diem on that? As good as US mercenary pay? And how do they get people to act out fake rescues when Syria & Russia are dropping bombs?

This photo is a medic holding a dead child after Syrian & Russian airstrikes in Aleppo. How do you fake images like this?

(Photo by Abdalrhman Ismail/Reuters)

Mariam Barghouti from Ramallah, West Bank responds to Max Blumenthal on White Helmets

This is the response of Palestinian Mariam Barghouti from Ramallah, West Bank to Blumenthal’s so-called exposé of the White Helmets. Blumenthal, long regarded as a champion of Palestinians, is among those dividing the Palestinian solidarity movement over defense of Assad’s dictatorship. That’s only one reason why it’s so important to rebut his hack investigation. In the end, he will do nothing but discredit himself & end up a hack for Global Research.
Max Blumenthal has reached serious lows in his latest piece. Rather than address a universal phenomenon on how international aid abuses areas of need and conflict for instance, he has chosen to vilify and demonize human rights organizations that try in any way possible to preserve life in a region constantly bombarded by Russian and Regime bombs.

What Max has done, is build a career off of the Palestinian cause and in return he neglects our Syrian brothers and sisters in the most sinister manner he managed to muster. I am exhausted and sick of having our voices (those of us from the region and in the region) be condensed into soundbites and short quotes so journalists like Blumenthal can build a name for themselves only to betray our Arab brothers and sisters.

His piece is exemplary of what lack of nuance and stripping of agency looks like. It is not courageous investigative journalism reporting, rather a cop out article that whitewashes the crimes of oppressors. I’m too appalled to even link the article here.
What on earth have we done?

Palestinian responds to Max Blumenthal’s scurrilous “exposé” of White Helmets

50 Palestinians who died in Assad's jails (from Twitter of Talal Alyan from Gaza) )ct 5 2016

The outraged responses of Syrians & Palestinians to Max Blumenthal’s scurrilous “exposé” of the White Helmets are the most cogent rebukes to journalists who defame rescue workers & do not denounce Syria & Russia for bombing cities with hundreds of thousands of people.

This photo montage was tweeted by Palestinian Talal Alyan who identified them as 50 of at least 448 Palestinians who died in Assad’s prisons & said about 1,080 Palestinians remain in Assad’s jails.

In another tweet, Alyan said: “Should we write about Niraz Saied & the over 1,100 other Palestinians in Assad jails?”
“Nah, lets direct our outrage at rescue workers?”

Sometimes I wonder if people only come to my wall if they want to cry or be depressed. It isn’t my intention to focus on the grim. I actually love the world we live in. I just don’t like it like it is.

When I left the convent, the novice mistress said to me “I knew you’d leave eventually because you always loved people more than you loved God.” I don’t know how she measured that. But I do love people & the only reason I focus on their suffering is to end it. It’s my way of trying to make the world suitable for children to come of age in, to live & love in.

It’s probably not a good idea to visit my wall on your down days. Go to YouTube & find a disco song.

Suspicions do not constitute evidence

It’s hard for some people to accept but suspicions don’t constitute evidence. To understand complex issues there is no alternative to study. That doesn’t mean reading only sources that confirm your suspicions but those that oppose them.

Philosophers & historians have been debating for centuries about how to unravel social complexities but there isn’t one of them that thought it could be done by sniffing one’s way through suspicions. The only thing they did agree on is the need for study.

Home by Rollie Mukherjee: a tribute to Kashmiri freedom fighters

Home by Rollie Mukherjee

Another tribute to Kashmir by Rollie Mukherjee who posted it with this poem titled “Home” by Omair Bhat.

It has a particular poignancy since Kashmiri children are reporting distress at being forced indoors, now for 87 days, as a result of the curfew & indiscriminate use of weapons & also because the Indian army is conducting night raids into homes to arrest youth whilst minimizing witnesses & opposition to their aggression.
Home, a small house in a
small town, I hear
that you have fallen cold
tonight. In your arms
autumn has frozen
stars to death.
From home to only desolate
hollow of an empty grave now,
your shiver has picked up
on poor
farmer’s house,
a blacksmith’s
house, sad
sad house, small and blue in
the night,
and made it shudder with
Your shingles no more
like silver of the moon,
the tusks of your windows
breaking like ice on water. Your rivers
have ran dry. Your
for infinite love has wilted
away. Tonight,
In your silence I hear
children weep. I hear
that your pain has stirred
dead of our nameless
country. What cure
must I invent to
hold you together? What
prayer must I
say to not let you
fall apart ?

India restricts pellet guns for animals but it’s open season on Kashmiri protesters

Kashmiri boy with pellet injury Oct 4 2016

In July of this year, as a result of animal rights activism, the Indian government ordered restrictions on the sale of pellet & air guns. They can now only be sold through licensed arms dealers. Activists had campaigned over 15 years against unrestricted access to pellet guns because of their aggressive use against birds, squirrels, & dogs. Modern pellet guns have such immense power that pellets pass through the bodies of animals, shattering bones, causing spinal injuries & paralysis, & embedding in internal organs which can lead to gangrene. Most animals hit with pellet buckshot cannot be treated by a vet & half of them die.

Although the ruling doesn’t mandate any restrictions on pellet gun use, restriction of sales is important for animals rights (if it’s actually enforced) to reduce the amount of widespread cruelty to animals. It’s certain they will continue to be used in hunting animals because, according to an Indian manufacturer who supplies the Indian army with pellet munitions, they are intended only for animals.

So India now restricts pellet munitions to protect animals, including in Kashmir, which they claim is an integral part of India. But the Jammu & Kashmir High Court just ruled it is legal & not a violation of human rights to use them against unarmed protesters. With no disrespect to animals intended, does that mean the life of a Kashmiri youth is less valuable than a squirrel or a quail?

The Indian army uses high calibre pellet guns in Kashmir though it’s reported they use the calibre normally used against birds. Pellet guns have injured at least 4,000 people, partially or fully blinded over 800, killed nine, disfigured, disabled, & caused lifelong health problems for hundreds. That doesn’t include the injuries & deaths from other weapons used.

This is day 87 of the murderous siege in Kashmir. The occupying army is arresting hundreds of young people in night time raids on their homes in order to reduce public opposition to mass arrests. They are being held under the Public Safety Act which means indefinitely without charge. Many will be disappeared. Massive unarmed protests continue, the use of pellet guns against them also continues.

End the occupation. Self-determination for Kashmir.

(Photo is Kashmiri boy recently injured by pellet buckshot)