After the presidential debate, I’m looking for a country to emigrate to. I’ll go almost anywhere I can get a visa & promise to keep my political discontents to myself if you’ll take me in.

Clinton grandstanding on Syria

When Clinton said removing Assad in Syria will be a No. 1 priority for her administration, she was playing to a certain constituency for votes. Obama has been saying the same thing since 2011.

Clinton also said the US “should pursue a diplomatic solution in resolving Syria’s internal conflict.” Who knows what that means, especially after the collapse of the recent cease fire in just days? It’s not as if diplomatic negotiations ever get much for the oppressed. The Oslo Accords surrendering Palestinian self-determination came out of one of those. Either that, or they’re a dog & pony show. But the substance is usually in the secret parts.

For antiwar activists, the US has no rights whatsoever to intervene in Syria, militarily or diplomatically. Nor do Russia, Iran, Israel, or all the other foreign forces.

The Nobel Peace Prize: Why invest so much delusion in a farce?

Assad supporters are triumphal that White Helmets lost the Nobel Peace Prize. Those who oppose Assad are bummed they lost. Why invest so much delusion in a farce?

The Nobel Peace Prize is almost always awarded to a war or human rights criminal–or a potential one—& rarely to a genuine champion of human rights. That’s been true over 100 years. When Kissinger received it in 1973 whilst the US was carpet bombing North Vietnam, it became an international symbol of hypocrisy. Winning it was like stepping in cow manure if you actually gave a damn about war & human rights.

Political activists have got to stop making fools of themselves over honorifics & awards. Especially one so discredited as the Nobel.

Bombing of funeral wake in San’a, Yemen

Sana'a funeral parlor bombing 10.8.16 (Mohammed Huwais:Agence France-Presse — Getty Images) Oct 9 2016

It’s not that war was ever a civilized enterprise. The very nature of it is mass murder. But modern high-tech bombing capabilities really bring it home that in war, nothing is sacred. There are international laws like the Geneva Conventions that mandate limits on military conduct but no judicial body that actually prosecutes offenders, at least any from the major military offenders like the US, NATO, Israel, Syria, Russia, Pakistan, India, the Saudi Arabian coalition in Yemen.

It’s routine to commit war crimes like bombing ambulances, hospitals, residential areas, market areas, mosques, children playing, wedding parties, schools—& it’s just as routine for a UN investigation to find that human rights & war crimes “may have been” committed. A war crimes tribunal can’t do much with equivocations.

Yesterday, fighter jets from the Saudi-led coalition–armed by the UK & given logistical support by the US–made repeated bombing passes over a community center in Sana’a, Yemen, where a funeral wake was being held. The death toll isn’t final but so far 140 mourners were bombed to death & over 550 were injured. Hospitals were so overwhelmed that media broadcast appeals for all off-duty doctors to come help. Bodies were charred, shredded, dismembered beyond recognition—including those of children. Bombing doesn’t make massacres less grotesque but only more efficient.

The US said it was “deeply disturbed” by the airstrike & “may” consider cutting its support to the Saudi-led bombing which has gone on since March 2015. The US spokesperson says they’ll initiate an immediate review & adjust their support to accord with “US principles, values, & interests.” Like the US principles employed in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Iraq, Somalia, or those they bankroll for Israel in Gaza? Does that mean the US will stop bombing ambulances, hospitals, wedding parties, mosques, schools in those countries?

When asked about the bombing massacre, a Saudi coalition official denied carrying it out & attributed it to “other causes.” Like evil fairies from outer space? Here the Saudis are borrowing from the handbook of Obama who proclaimed an end to the Iraq war whilst deploying thousands of troops & mercenaries there. They’re also imitating Assadists who repeatedly insist Russia & Syria are not carpet bombing cities but that the damage is done by missiles from “US-backed head-chopping jihadists.” According to their Assad apologetics, Russia didn’t bomb that UN aid convoy; “jihadists” did.

Many who support Syrian & Russian bombing of Syrian civilians are denouncing the US & Saudi coalition for the massacre in Yemen. As they should. Now if they can just generalize their opposition to militarism & understand that bombing civilians to smithereens is never going to be recognized as a method for human liberation from tyranny.

Photo is the community center where the wake was held. Is such violence acceptable in Aleppo though not in Sana’a?

Our deepest regrets to the people of Yemen that the international antiwar movement is too divided & too weak to stay the hand of US, UK, & Saudi coalition militarism.

(Photo by Mohammed Huwais/AFP/Getty Images)

Russia vetoed a resolution at the UN Security Council on Saturday to end Syrian & Russian bombing of east Aleppo where 275,000 people live. They didn’t just veto so they could finish killing the 275,000 “US-backed mercenary throat-cutting, heart-eating jihadists” who live there but because they heard Russophobia is growing in the district.

Intifada: the fearless political resistance of unarmed youth

Palestinian Intifada at Al Quds University, West Bank (Oct 9 2016)

You cannot tell from here if this is Palestinian or Kashmiri Intifada: fearless youth armed only with rocks up against occupying armies shooting live ammo, rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas grenades, & in Kashmir pellet rifles.

This is Palestinian Intifada protesting today outside al-Quds University in the West Bank. Israeli soldiers injured over 50 Palestinian youth. Human rights groups have reported excessive use of force particularly against Palestinian children & teens over the past year. How they measure this new level of excessive is unclear since it’s hard to recall when the violence against Palestinian youth wasn’t beyond every standard of human rights criminality.

According to the UN, which is better at counting victims than demanding justice for them, Israel’s occupying army has injured over 2,679 young people since the beginning of this year. According to another agency, over 62 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli soldiers in the past year.

These young protesters are depicted as terrorists, both by Israel & India. Israel has made rock throwing punishable with jail terms but under administrative detention it doesn’t need any cause at all to arrest Palestinians, including children, & hold them indefinitely without charge. Not unlike Kashmir’s Public Safety Act where nearly 500 youth have been booked in the past 92 days for protesting & rock throwing.

You can see the character of military occupation: no rights at all. And most important & deadly, the targeting of children & teens to head off & destroy Intifada, the fearless resistance to occupation & self-determination.

Long live Palestinian Intifada. Long live Kashmiri Intifada. Self-determination for Palestine & Kashmir.

Personal relationships are not exempt from the stresses of war: which side are you on?

Every war I have opposed since 1966 has tested & strained relationships within my family & among my friends. Some relationships are lost forever & family reunions are a mine field. It doesn’t seem necessary does it? But people feel ardently about their politics, especially on the issue of war.

The antiwar & Palestinian solidarity movements, socialist & progressive activists are engaged in a volatile, life & death dispute over what is going on in Syria. How it’s understood & the differences resolved have international consequences for the oppressed.

So forgive me, but if too many of your posts reek of anti-Semitism (blaming Israel for the war in Syria) or Islamophobia (all that “jihadist head-chopping, heart-eating rapist” stuff) or if you find excuses for Russian & Syrian bombing of civilians, I really don’t have the stomach for it. I’m just not made that way.

Some of my Facebook friendships will be ending. There’s no antipathy. I still loved my mother when I couldn’t go home till I converted to war-mongering. But I could stay away from home a while till she cooled down where on FB the postings are right up close & in your face.

Day 91 of military siege in Kashmir

Paramilitary forces in Kashmir Express Photo by Shuaib Masoodi) Oct 8 2016

Day 91 of the military siege in Kashmir:

92 Kashmiris killed, 13 from pellet injuries: most were protesters, some were children in their homes, some elderly traumatized by army violence.

Over 12,344 injured admitted to Kashmir hospitals: 7,136 with pellet injuries–over 1.000 blinded, including 300 totally; many with perforated vital organs from pellets, such as brains, lungs, heart, liver, intestines, kidneys; & permanent disfigurement for most; 374 injured by live ammo.

According to official government statistics, over 7,000 arrested: 450 are booked under the Public Safety Act allowing detention without charge; 1,500 help in police stations across Kashmir not included in the 7,000 statistic.

Number of disappeared not officially recorded.

Just as Israel in Palestine, the Indian occupying army is targeting youth & for the same reason: to destroy Kashmiri Intifada & the struggle for self-determination.

Stand with Kashmiri Intifada.

End the occupation. Self-determination for Kashmir.

(Photo of paramilitary forces in Kashmir by Shuaib Masoodi from Kashmir Express)

Does Vijay Prashad think “Jihadists” are more the problem than US militarism?

Afghans protesting US Oct 8 2016

Vijay Prashad, a leading intellectual for what is called the left, wrote an article for Alternet titled “15 Years Later the Taliban Is Back in Power in Afghanistan & More Radical Than Ever.” It was published on the eve of the 15th anniversary of the US-NATO occupation of Afghanistan. Prashad wrote: “The US war aims were simple: prevent Afghanistan from being a haven for al-Qaeda & bring democracy to Afghanistan by ejecting the Taliban. There were also noises made about liberating women & educating the Afghan citizenry.”

It’s news to veteran antiwar activists that the purpose of the US war was to bring democracy to Afghanistan. Certainly Afghans would give testimony (as they do in this photo) that massive bombing; monstrous war crimes; CIA & US military torture prisons; tens of thousands killed or maimed by land mines; schools, homes, mosques, fields, bombed to smithereens; millions of war refugees in Iran, Pakistan, & Europe; thousands of war orphans & child workers; tens of thousands killed, including 11,000 this year, have not been particularly effective ways to teach primitives like themselves what democracy is all about.

So does Prashad think the Taliban are more the problem in Afghanistan than US occupation? We ask this question because he also favorably posted Max Blumenthal’s attack on White Helmet rescue workers in Syria which uttered nary a peep against Russian & Syrian bombing of cities with hundreds of thousands of people. Does Prashad believe the people being carpet bombed in Aleppo are what Assadists call “US-backed & financed head-chopping, heart-eating rapists” & not ordinary men, women, & children?

So has Prashad joined the US Pentagon’s war on terrorism, seeing “jihadists” as the problem in the Middle East & that occupation & bombing are the best way to teach those backward people what real democracy is?

You can’t have it both ways in politics. Understanding Taliban politics & their role in Afghanistan is essential. But when you focus your analysis on them rather than 15 years of US bombing & brutalities, you are making political compromises. Whatever makes Prashad think the US has anything to do with resolving political conflicts in the Middle East—most of which have been created by colonialism & US & European intervention?

The photo shows what Afghans not profiting from US drug trafficking think of the US occupation: it is a 2010 protest of Afghans blocking a major highway to Kabul & shouting “Death to America” .

US out of Afghanistan! US out of Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, Yemen, Somalia! We demand the immediate, unconditional withdrawal of US & all foreign military forces–air & land, overt & covert.