Ziaur Rahman on crackdown on Rohingya in Arakan state, Myanmar

Rohingya (Ziaur on FB) Oct 12 2016

Ziaur Rahman, a Rohingya human rights activist, sent me news about the violent crackdown against Rohingya in Arakan state in Myanmar going on right now. You can imagine the distress of Rohingya refugees unable to contact their families to find out what is going on. This is Ziaur’s statement:
“Who keeps speaking & working for the end of extra-judicial killings, attacking on Rohingya civilians & arbitrarily arresting Rohingya in Arakan State of Myanmar???

I don’t want to write details right now about ongoing massacre of Rohingya in Maungdaw. Later I will try to update what the hell is going on there by killing & cleansing Rohingya? This is the time to stand & request to the international community, world leaders & Rohingya activists & supporters to protest for calming down Arakan & take action against criminals who committed crimes against humanity.

There are pictures of Myanmar army providing guns to Rakhine Buddhist civilians to kill, rape, assault Rohingya & fire at Rohingya villages with heavy weapons in Arakan.

So, are there no true people in the world who may protest the killing & stop genocide against Rohingya? Where is the international community? Where the human rights & humanity today? These Buddhists are not acting like human beings but like ferocious animals against Rohingya.

(Photo is Rohingya family)

Violent crackdown on Rohingya in Myanmar

On October 9th, border guards on the Myanmar border with Bangladesh were fatally attacked. There’s no report authorities have any idea who did it but in response they have launched a violent crackdown on Rohingya Muslims as part of the systematic genocide against them.

This statement is from several Rohingya advocacy groups denouncing the indiscriminate violence:


The Kofi Annan Commission on human rights in Myanmar: a snow job extraordinaire

Rohingya internment camp (NYUNT WIN : EPA) Oct 12 2016

In October 2015, researchers from the International State Crime Initiative (ISCI) based at Queen Mary U. of London issued a report titled “Countdown to Annihilation: Genocide in Myanmar,” documenting that Rohingya in Myanmar “face mass annihilation & are in the final stages of a genocidal process” conducted by the government.

When Aung Sang Suu Kyi was elected as State Counsellor in March 2016, she became the front office for the military junta who remain committed to the genocide of Rohingya. Rohingya have been persecuted for decades but the 2012 massive wave of violence against them & the May 2015 refugee crisis in the Andaman Sea finally made the world notice the persecution of Rohingya.

Starting (at least publicly) in 2011, Obama, Hillary Clinton, European Union officials, Christine Lagarde of the IMF were part of opening up Myanmar to foreign investment by making pilgrimages to Suu Kyi (recently released from house arrest) & likely holding secret negotiations with the junta in a campaign to remove the stigma of Rohingya genocide.

For 24 years, the EU had introduced a resolution to the UN General Assembly condemning human rights violations in Myanmar. The US has imposed sanctions since 1997 which Obama began to suspend piecemeal starting in 2012. In August 2012, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) condemned the genocide & promised to bring a resolution to the UN General Assembly (UNGA) that October. The OIC is an alliance of 57 countries that claim to speak for the “Muslim world.” There is no indication the OIC has ever brought a resolution on genocide in Myanmar to the UNGA but in July 2015 they got one passed at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. It was anticipated by Myanmar that they would present one to the September 2016 UNGA.

On August 23rd, 2016, the Myanmar government announced the formation of a nine-member advisory commission headed by Kofi Annan, a former UN Secretary General & 2001 Nobel Peace Prize winner. The Annan Commission was tasked with “conflict resolution, humanitarian assistance, reconciliation & development” in Arakan state & was given one year to research & make recommendations to the government.

Several human rights groups were jubilant, including the ISCI & Amnesty International, believing that Suu Kyi was addressing the genocide of Rohingya. But they should have taken a closer look at the other members of the commission: a former adviser to Annan from Lebanon; a Dutch diplomat formerly involved in a UN program on HIV/AIDS; two Arakan Buddhists; two Muslims, neither of them Rohingya; & two government representatives. The composition of the commission has ‘snow job’ written all over it.

The commission convened in Rangoon (Yangon) on Monday, September 5th with speeches by Annan & Suu Kyi. On Tuesday & Wednesday, Annan took his entourage to Arakan state where they were met by protesting Buddhist nationalists & where he claimed he met with Muslim religious leaders, Buddhist monks, civil society organizations, internally displaced persons, & state politicians. The commission was back in Rangoon by Wednesday evening.

On Thursday, Annan held a press conference where only ten questions were allowed from among hundreds of international reporters. One reporter asked “Did any of you witness anything you would describe as oppression?” Annan answered, “Personally, I did not see it there.” That would mean that whichever “internally displaced persons” he spoke with in Arakan were not in one of the 40 concentration camps where Rohingya are forcibly confined in squalid conditions.

Then Annan told reporters, “We are not here to do a human rights investigation or to write a human rights report”…but to write an “impartial report” of recommendations “to reduce tension & support development” in Arakan state. He insisted the commission would work rigorously, impartially, independently–& should have added to blow smoke up your rumps.

Even the UN, EU, & US Congress have denounced Myanmar for genocide—for killings, torture, arbitrary detention, mass rape, forced labor, internment camps, deprivation of health care, free movement & citizenship rights, the flight of hundreds of thousands of people—& Annan didn’t see anything.

When researchers in October 2015 documented that Rohingya in Myanmar “face mass annihilation & are in the final stages of a genocidal process,” how is that in September 2016 our man Annan didn’t see a damn thing wrong? Corruption so profound, so stupid & contemptible must have cost Suu Kyi & the generals a fortune to buy.

The only reason that commission was convened & that Annan was chosen to head it was to grease the wheels of diplomacy for Suu Kyi heading into the September 2016 UN General Assembly & to provide cover for Rohingya genocide.

This month eleven political parties, including Buddhist nationalists, called for the dissolution of the Annan Commission. In its defense, Suu Kyi could point to the fact that for the first time in 25 years, the EU did not make a resolution at the UNGA & that the OIC withheld its resolution condemning Rohingya genocide. She could proudly point to the fact that after her September 14th meeting with Obama, he signed an executive order terminating all sanctions against Myanmar for human rights crimes.

Photo is Rohingya in one of the 40 concentration camps in Arakan state.

(Photo by Nyunt Win/EPA)

Second anniversary of forcible disappearance of Ayotzinapa 43 in Mexico

September 26th was the second anniversary of the forcible disappearance of 43 students at Ayotzinapa Teacher’s College in the state of Guerrero, Mexico. The students, all young men, were political activists.

The parents & family’s have evidence they were kidnapped by the Mexican army. The Mexican government has closed the case to avoid further scrutiny of these monstrous crimes. After two years, it’s unlikely most have survived the torture.

The grief of families for their beloved who were forcibly disappeared is never resolved & it is never politically forgotten. They are always expressed in photo montages–going back to those disappeared under fascist General Franco in Spain over 80-years ago.

This is a commemoration & tribute to the Ayotzinapa 43 in McAllen, Texas. It is not an event to lay to rest the demand the justice but is part of the international struggle against forcible disappearance.


Thank heavens for Kashmiri activists on social media.

Srinagar (Mukhtar Khan:AP) Oct 11 2016

Day 94 of the military siege in Kashmir: over 12,000 injured, some permanently; over 7,000 arrested. India is saber-rattling with Pakistan to divert attention from the brutality of the occupation & this photo is what the Guardian-UK thought important to publish.

The Indian army has curfews in place so they can no longer get photos of Kashmiri women praying so we get this: smoke & dust around a government building.

Thank heavens for Kashmiri activists on social media.

(Photo by Mukhtar Khan/AP)

Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte has become poster child for libertarian paranoia

Manila drug roundup in slum (- Noel Celis:AFP:Getty Images) Oct 11 2016

In the surreal & simple-minded world that libertarians invent, there are no conflicts between classes, only conspiracies & orchestrations. So when millions of people enter history on their own behalf, like in the Arab uprisings, it’s all CIA & Mossad performance politics.

Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte has become the poster child for their favorite tableaux: US regime change. Libertarians insist media reports about Duterte’s mass murder spree gunning down suspected drug users & street peddlers are orchestrated by the US to demonize Duterte. They claim the video where he compares himself favorably to Hitler is staged. All the demonization is a prelude to a US regime change operation against Duterte. Obama called Duterte a “colorful character.” Is that demonization?

There is no objective reality to them, only fictitious representations, because at the heart of libertarianism is profound misanthropy & contempt for working people. But this is not a tableau in Manila. These are suspects in an anti-drug operation carried out in a slum. What’s the evidence for drug crimes? None is needed. Who cares if Duterte is shooting down poor people? There’s too many of them anyway & they cause crime. If libertarians feign concern for victims of violence, it is only to make a stronger case for their US regime change scenario.

The real story–not the fictitious scenario–is that under neoliberal economic policies in Manila, public lands where dispossessed people build lean-to shacks for shelter & community are being privatized to build sweatshop facilities, resorts & golf courses, upscale shopping malls & condos. For years, slum residents have fought hundreds of pitched battles with bulldozers & riot police to keep from being evicted & made homeless. Authorities have employed arson over & over again to burn slums down & avoid that resistance. Now the so called war on drugs is being used as part of slum clearance.

There needs to be regime change in the Philippines–of the kind led by working people on their own behalf to end the tyranny of class inequality & violence. Libertarians think that’s all fairy tale stuff, that the world is run solely by the elite & their secret police & that working people have no role to play except as extras. They have no concept that “an injury to one is an injury to all.” That’s why libertarianism ends up at the extremes shading into racism, nationalism, xenophobia, paranoia, the wrong side of history.

We stand with the working people of the Philippines who fight so tenaciously for housing, against militarism, for human rights. We stand with the drug users & the alleged drug peddlers. No one, even Duterte, is above the law & everyone deserves their day in court.

This group are slum residents being detained in the operation.

(Photo by Noel Celis/AFP/Getty Images)

Raunch & woman-hating are part of culture

Donald Trump is a racist, woman-hating slime-ball who could only be considered a political leader in the barbaric phase of capitalism. But many are old enough to remember the sex scandals in the presidency of John Kennedy & Bill Clinton or Kissinger mocking the advantages of power for getting sex. He called power an aphrodisiac but didn’t mention that much of it involves prostitution & sexual assault.

But who’s kidding who? Raunch permeates culture not just among the powerful & not just in the US. Porn, strip clubs, bachelor parties, pedophilia, the glorification of prostitution are ubiquitous & multi-billion dollar industries. Some of this is even justified by obtuse currents of feminism. That’s why there’s such a widespread problem with sexual harassment, assault, & rape starting in the teens. It’s winked at as a boys-will-be-boys thing.

It’s not part of most people’s upbringing but if you spend time in the US military or all-male environments, you can bet your sweet ass that the filth pouring out of Trump’s mouth is as familiar as the ABCs. That’s another of the detestable aspects of militarism.

This is not a defense of that twisted sick-assed blowhard–but enough with the media commentators who pretend they’ve never heard such raunch. It’s in the culture, stupid! I avoid it like the plague because I detest the objectification of women. Working in an all-male environment taught me how to bully the crap out of harassers. But please, let’s not pretend his woman-hating crap comes as a surprise

Special forces & mercenaries are not freedom fighters no matter which army they fight for

Why does it seem that many Assad supporters are aggressively promoting Trump? Pepe Escobar is frivolous about politics so that makes sense from him but not from those who are actually progressive. Why does their animosity for Clinton include so little political critique & so much spite?

On the contrary, why do so many Assad opponents campaign for Clinton who has a proven record of supporting monstrous wars of never-ending barbarism? Like in Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya–& yes, Iraq.

It’s not just the vicious cycle & banalities of lesser evil politics. It isn’t just a competition between the deluded on both sides over whether Russian, Syrian, or US bombers dominate in Syria. When you get right down to it, it’s a conviction shared by both sides that militarism is the answer to acute social conflict, that bombing is a form of freedom fighting, that special forces & mercenaries are freedom fighters if they’re doing their dirty work for the side you’re on.

Before he was arrested, Khurram Parvez had a strong political presence on social media, both on Facebook & Twitter–even after the current siege began on July 9th. His posts were succinct & tough-minded. There wasn’t a word of incitement except defense of

Kashmiris against occupation & human rights crimes.
He had thousands of readers which explains why the Indian army had to lock him up. He also played a central role in educating & exposing forcible disappearance as a political weapon in several countries in South Asia & Latin America.

This is the website of his organization (which is also handling his legal defense), the Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS). If you draw down the “Reports” & other menus, you can read what it is the occupying army doesn’t want us to know.