Vanessa Beeley busted for fake news about White Helmets

Vanessa Beeley, Assad’s own Leni Riefenstahl, might be tanking her career by making up all that fake news about the White Helmet rescue workers. She is so busted.

So many fact-finding missions to Syria, so many interviews, articles, videos detailing their stealing, massacring, head-chopping, lurid associations with terrorist groups, & exorbitant funding by USAID & other European governments.

Now to find out from Fares Shehabi, the Assad official in Aleppo, Eva Bartlett, & Beeley herself reporting from east Aleppo that they never existed in the first place. Accompanied by her Syrian army security, she asked terrified civilians in east Aleppo if they knew about them & she only got quizzical looks in return. Such credulity shouldn’t be let loose in a war zone.

Max Blumenthal has his own explaining to do. But then again he’s probably not getting the big bucks from Assad & won’t have hell to pay for his phony investigative reports & condemnations of the White Helmets. Mostly he plagiarized from Beeley anyway.

PS: We hope the White Helmets are safe, wherever they are. Unlike Beeley, we presume they had the good sense to remove their helmets before the Syrian army arrived.

Robin Yassin-Kassab on the character of the Syrian revolution

Robin Yassin0Kassab video

This is a presentation by Robin Yassin-Kassab, co-author with Leila Al-Shami of “Burning Country: Syrians in Revolution & War.” His presentation is a marvelous, succinct elaboration of the Syrian popular movement against Assad.

Unlike Assad propagandists or reluctant Assadists, Yassin-Kassab actually knows something about what is going on; his analysis is not driven by confusions, Muslim or Arab-hating, war propaganda, or rationalizations for dictatorship.


Flattery from war-mongers is worth horse manure

Noticing many Assad supporters flatter & ingratiate themselves with me before launching into their “head-chopping” stuff: they admire me; consider me a “dear friend”; only take exception to my confusions about Syria.

Coming from people who pillory small children & hero-worship Assad & Putin, every one of those paltry flatteries feels like a punch in the face.

Ather Zia poem #Muslim registry

Ather Zia's poem on Muslim registry Dec 21 2016

Ather Zia’s #poem about the #Muslim registry

i hear
we will be in the Muslim registry
our faces will be pixelized
irises digitized,
each finger, and
the opposable thumb
that all homo-sapiens
possibly evolved together,
will be memorized

i hear,
my young cello playing son
who finally remember directions to Safeway,
daughter whose singing never stops
dead friend’s soft-spoken wife, a master at making apple pies,
husband who loves funny shows
(i still wonder why he always wants something to make him laugh)
sick aunt who waits to be buried in a quiet spot
in Southern California, where she was born –
will all be exhibits
and held as a proof
for the way we pray

i hear
my faith, does not measure up,
but will be accounted for –
and here i was,
for years and years thinking I had none
little did I know,
it only needs one, against many,
to register my faith as evidence
of an uncommitted crime
(From Ather Zia’s blog:

Veteran antiwar activists betray internationalism to support Syrian & Russian bombing of civilians

Nothing is more wrenching than to see antiwar activists going back to Vietnam who now say they won’t protest Syrian & Russian bombing of civilians because their only duty is to protest the involvement of their own governments.

That is a profound betrayal of antiwar traditions with analogs going back to WWI when international antiwar forces first decisively ruptured over supporting their own governments in a war fought over the colonial division of the world among European powers & the US.

The anti-Vietnam War movement involved millions around the world in protest actions coordinated for the same day. Activists outside the US never considered it of no concern to them because their own countries weren’t bombing Vietnam. The same was true of Iraq & several other wars.

By such provincial logic as these veterans now so pitifully express, all solidarity with Palestine, Kashmir, the Rohingya, Bhopal, the Guarani & other indigenous peoples, Standing Rock Sioux, Roma, Blacks, Latinos, Native Americans, Dalits & other oppressed castes is now politically none of our business. They’re of no concern to us if they live somewhere else. The oppressed are on their own. If they’re being deported, shot at, occupied, bombed, disappeared, jailed, murdered, ethnically cleansed, what’s it to us if our government is not involved? They’re probably all “jihadists” anyway & we have bigger fish to fry. With that kind of thinking the war-makers have us just where they want us: with our heads stuck up their ass.

The oldest traditions of human civilization are based on social solidarity, on honoring the humanity of others. It’s expressed in religion, music, art, progressive political traditions. But now when they want to support Assad’s dictatorship & Syrian & Russian bombing of civilians, veteran antiwar activists are turning their backs on all that & talking provincial drivel.

Solidarity as the iron law of social transformation has not changed; the activists have gone sour or been confused by propagandists. They have time to come to their senses before they edge seamlessly into political affinity with the Kremlin & then eventually with the US Pentagon. There’s a long tradition to political degeneration too.

Right-wing traditions of targeting children & the Assadists

Insha Malik, 14 yo:July 2016 (AFP)

Yesterday, I posted about Assadist propaganda vilifying & mocking the suffering of children in Syria–children who have lived through five years of daily bombing, sustained injuries, permanent disability, psychological trauma, lost parents & beloved, witnessed others buried alive in rubble or blown apart by bombs.

In the post, I said that in 50 years of antiwar activism I had never before seen children exploited with such malice, that it seemed the unthinkable & a violation of the sacred. I was speaking of its use only by those who organized against wars & should have made the distinction that targeting children for violence is a mainstay of racism & war-mongering.

These are among the most prominent uses of children in propaganda which expose the ideological current Assadism belongs with:

1) Prior to the US civil rights movement in the 1960s, “pickaninny art” was an ubiquitous form of anti-Black propaganda; it appeared on postcards, calendars, books, cartoons, magazines, newspapers. The most common theme was a Black infant holding on to a twig suspended over an alligator pit. This genre of hate literature inculcated racism in white people at the same time as it expressed fear of Black youth rebellion against oppression.

2) Human rights groups have condemned Israel for targeting children in their massive bombing campaigns over Gaza, including bombing schools, refugee centers, hospital, residences, public parks & beaches. During the 2014 bombing that lasted seven weeks, the despicable Elie Wiesel put out a full-page ad in international media claiming Palestinians used their children as human shields. Israel has long claimed that to explain away the high fatality & injury rates of Palestinian children by the Israeli military.

The portrayal of Palestinian youth as terrorists, the rubbish a year ago about a “knifing Intifada” are part of vilifying Palestinian youth & are used to justify indefinite detention of Palestinian youth without charge in the military gulag which involves torture.

3) Kashmiri activists have written cogently over the course of the occupation & particularly during the current military rampage of how Indian occupying forces target youth in arrests, torture, detention, disappearance. In the current siege since July 8th, the number of small children down to the age of four & youth who have been injured, disfigured, permanently disabled by pellet munitions is in the several hundreds. Some are blinded in both eyes, some only partially blinded; most will suffer lifelong health problems from lead pellets that cannot be extracted from internal organs.

The photo is 14-year-old Insha Malik, blinded in both eyes by pellets in July, just after the current military siege began in Kashmir. She was hit by nearly 100 pellets while inside her family home.

The targeting of children is systematic because the oppressors are terrified of every new generation whose spirit of defiance must be broken, who must by violently inculcated with self-hatred & fear of oppressive authority. Against rebel youth, they set armies to disable or kill the spirit that stands fearless & steadfast against oppression. Assadist propagandists draw from this same cesspool of racism to generate their attacks on Syrian children as budding “jihadists.”

To stand with the children of Syria, Palestine, Kashmir, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, & the Rohingya we must demand no to war, no to occupation, no to genocide, no to colonialism.

(Photo from AFP)