Ajamu Baraka still tanking politically

Ajamu Baraka, the Green Party guy, objected to the White Helmet Oscar, making the scurrilous Assadist claim that they are Al-Qaeda & saying: “The White Helmets are not the Red-Cross, they are not a neutral humanitarian group, they are partisans, that is why they evacuated with the rest of the “rebels.” If you want to support one side or the other in the conflict that is fine and your right, but don’t pass it off as an “objective” moral truth and a unassailable humanitarian position.”

Why would Baraka think those pulling bodies & survivors out of cement rubble should be neutral? Could be neutral? Wouldn’t that be a sign of derangement? And what’s the hooey about “objective moral truth & an unassailable humanitarian position”? What about revolution against dictatorship & counter-revolution by carpet bombing civilians?

Every time I post against Assad, I lose at least two Facebook friends. If Assadist propaganda appeals to them, rest assured it’s not a brain drain.

16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama September 1963, that killed 4 little girls

Birmingham 4 girls Sept 1963

These are the four little girls killed in the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing on September 15, 1963 in Birmingham, Alabama. From left to right, they are: Carole Robertson (14 years), Cynthia Wesley (14), Denise McNair (11), Addie Mae Collins (14). Several sticks of dynamite attached to a timing device were planted underneath the church steps. The girls were killed because they stopped to use the bathroom before entering services.

The bombing was an act of white supremacist terrorism carried out by four segregationists & KKK members. The FBI knew as early as 1965 who the perpetrators were & relayed their investigation to J. Edgar Hoover, the unsavory creep who headed the FBI. He refused to file charges & sealed the files so no action could be taken against the four bombers until 1977, five years after Hoover croaked–14 years after the crime.

One of the reasons Hoover was averse to prosecuting the bombers, other than his loathsome character & repugnant racism, was that Gary Thomas Rowe, a paid informant & agent provocateur for the FBI, was likely involved in the bombing–as he was in several other crimes & murders of civil rights activists for which the FBI gave him immunity & entered him in the Witness Protection Program.

Three of the bombers were given life sentences; one was never prosecuted. Three have croaked–good riddance. One is still locked up. J. Edgar Hoover & Gary Thomas Rowe got away scot-free. May they burn in hell.

A tribute to these little girls who are icons of the yet unfinished civil rights struggle in the US. May they Rest In Peace.

Children’s Crusade for civil rights in Birmingham, Alabama, May 1963

Birmingham Children's Crusade May 2-5 1963

The role of Black elementary & high school students in the US civil rights movement is not widely known although countless photos show them on the front lines of the school desegregation battles facing racist taunting & threats.

These are school kids during the Birmingham Children’s Crusade in May 1963 leaving classes & marching to the mayor’s office to discuss segregation. Thousands of kids participated after being trained in non-violent resistance by adult activists. In the light of Palestinian & Kashmiri Intifada, it seems almost quaint today that involving children in political protest was extremely controversial. But most adults were horrified, including figures like Malcolm X who said “real men don’t put their children on the firing line.” Many of the kids testified as adults that they were determined to participate & committed to civil rights.

Hundreds of the kids were arrested & brought in school buses to a gymnasium used as a holding cell where they were held up to five days. When the kids didn’t back down to authorities, they were attacked with fire hoses & dogs. No exemptions from violence were given by authorities due to size & age. At the time, leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr. were concerned about a lull in movement activities, probably due to battle fatigue & warding off violence. The Children’s Crusade was thought to have inspired many adults to resume their place with their chldren.

A tribute to those children who today are in their 60s, 70s, & 80s. A tribute to the US civil rights movement which inspired millions around the world to stand against oppression.

K-9 unit attack at Children's Crusade 1963 Birmingham

(Photo of K-9 unit attacking student)

(Photos from archives of civil rights movement)

Iraqis in Mosul can testify that the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children by 1996 has not be “worth it” but is criminal

Flight from Mosul (REUTERS:Zohra Bensemra) Feb 27 2017

Emancipation US-style: it was almost 21 years ago, in May 1996, when Madeleine Albright despicably said the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children resulting from US intervention was a price well paid for achieving US policy goals in Iraq. “We think the price is worth it,” she said.

By “we” of course she didn’t mean the Iraqi families who had watched their beloved children suffer & die. She meant presidents Bush, Sr. & Clinton who initiated & extended the first Gulf War against Iraq starting in 1990, & the generals in the Pentagon who so ruthlessly executed it including with the use of depleted uranium.

Twenty-one years on, these women testify to the achievement of US policy goals: after 21 years of war & occupation now battling ISIS paramilitary forces for control of Mosul by bombing the place to smithereens & forcibly displacing tens of thousands of fleeing civilians.

Maybe it’s time to ask Iraqis if they think the price was “worth it.” Maybe it’s long since time to prosecute all those US officials involved in the barbaric occupation & bombing of Iraq. It is way past time to rebuild the international antiwar movement demanding the US get the hell of of Iraq.

March 20th marks 14 years since the invasion of Iraq & the overthrow of former US ally Saddam Hussein under the presidency of Bush, Jr. If there are no protests or pickets to mark that day in your town, call one or find some way to demand the US immediately & unconditionally withdraw from Iraq.

US out of Iraq & Syria now!

(Photo by Zohra Bensemra/Reuters)

The political character of Zionism

Palestinian argues with occupying army circa 2014

Reposting this from February 27, 2015 about the political character of Zionism:
The term “Zionism” is not an epithet. Nor is anti-Zionism a mask for social hatred of Jews. The Exodus mythology justifying Israel’s foundation is unraveling & the dystopian vision of Zionism stands exposed by the barbarous excesses of Israeli ethnic cleansing in Gaza. There is no Biblical or historic claim to Palestine.

The Pentagon can arm Israel to the teeth with the latest high-power armaments, drone bombers, F-35 stealth fighters, & Iron Domes but it cannot give Israel justification for colonialism, for the expropriation & ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. Israeli apartheid has no real theoretical defense. That’s why their only defense is to demonize Hamas & try to identify anti-Zionism with social hatred of Jews. But Zionism’s demise is written in its mission.

Zionism is a right-wing ideology originating in the late 19th century in response to persecution & pogroms against Jews in Europe. It emerged in an era when European colonialism in Asia, Africa, the Americas, & Pacific was starting to be addressed by progressive political forces. Dividing up the world & competing for plunder was a fundamental conflict between nations which led to the first World War. The socialists of the day believed racism & colonialism should be challenged & historically vanquished or it could destroy humanity.

Zionist ideologues, based on their privileged class, were hobbled in their vision of freedom from persecution by a belief in the superiority of Jews & a rejection of any kind of assimilation like modern nation-states entail. Thus Zionism in the historic contest between colonialism & social freedom for all, chose to side with colonialism, adopted its methods & perspectives to set up a Jewish-only state, & rejected the struggle against racism & colonialism.

The Jewish holocaust of WWII was part of European colonialism. What distinguished it was not the extreme barbarism against Jews. Europe & the US were long-involved in unimaginable crimes against Indigenes & black & brown-skinned peoples. Even the massive Atlantic slave trade is only a part of that horrific history. What distinguished the holocaust was that barbaric practices honed against colonized peoples were now being turned on European peoples in the metropolitan center.

There has always been strong objection by progressive Jews to the right-wing proposals of Zionists. Some of the most powerful writings & critiques are by Jews who detested the stinking elitism, wanted to ally the struggle against antisemitism to the struggle against racism & colonialism, & considered it treachery to ally with the forces of reaction. Many of them died in the holocaust while Zionists exploited it to peddle their nefarious scheme. What had been an ideology without a hope now became a social movement.

After 69 years of Zionist terrorism & colonial expropriation, of watching the US & European powers abet Zionists in setting up a country on their lands, Palestinians are finally marshaling the forces of justice & human rights around the world to stand with them. As Palestinian solidarity & the cultural & economic boycott (BDS) of Israel grows, Zionists will become more rabid. An Israeli law firm just won damages in a US federal court against the PLO & Palestinian Authority for fomenting terrorism. They have already begun to go after BDS groups as hate groups. Palestinians are up against the most powerful & reactionary forces in the world. They have not been daunted for 67 years by the odds against them. Nor should we be.

Build the economic & cultural boycott of Israel! Demand “No aid of any kind to Israel!”

(Photo is Palestinian men arguing with Israeli occupying forces in West Bank, circa 2014)

Assadists braying like jackasses over White Helmet Oscar win


One of Assad’s true-believers said the Oscar win for the White Helmets means Assadist vituperations “are not being heard” so they have to increase the volume of their rants ten times “to get a positive response.” Actually she’s wrong. They are coming in loud & clear like a chorus of braying jackasses. They just aren’t being believed because they sound too much like Assad’s very own ventriloquist dummies.

I knew people in the Hands Off Syria Coalition before they were Assadist propagandists

I knew people in the Hands Off Syria Coalition when they were principled antiwar activists; some were socialists. I remember when they opposed war in a principled way–not just US wars but all wars & wouldn’t have imagined supporting Syrian & Russian bombing of civilians as a freedom struggle.

But that was when they could tell revolution from counter-revolution, took gulags & accusations of torture very seriously & would not have posted idiotic claims accusing Amnesty of “stoking war in Syria” by documenting the monstrous criminality of Assad’s regime.

That was when they scorned David Icke as an anti-Semitic crackpot for teaching that reptilian Jewish bankers run the world. They would have howled with disbelief at the thought that one day they would post articles from one of his journals edited by his smarmy disciple & Assad propagandist Eva Bartlett.

I remember when they wouldn’t have touched the likes of Tulsi Gabbard with a ten-foot pole because of her Muslim-hating, support for military dictatorship in Egypt, adulation of Assad’s dictatorship in Syria, support for fascist Modi & the caste system in India, & willingness to serve in Trump’s regime. Now they promote her as an antiwar champion even though she’s just playing both sides of the street to see what shakes out best for her.

It’s not easy to tell where it all went wrong with them because it didn’t happen overnight. But there is something of the sorry-assed lemming in their self-righteous rush to a cliff led by propagandists whooping battle cries about fake news & head-choppers. It’s just so awkward to watch a rebel morph into a lemming like a bad remake of invasion of the body snatchers.

Khaleb Khatib on baby Omran

5-year-old Omran Daqneesh Sept 2016


Khaleb Khatib, the cinematographer for “The White Helmets” documentary is also photographer for the organization in the field. He did not take this footage of baby Omran being rescued in August 2016 in Aleppo after Russian airstrikes. That was taken by photojournalist Mahmoud Raslan. Three people were killed in that strike, including Omran’s 10-year-old brother who was playing outside.

The little guy is clearly in shock & according to journalist Sophie McNeill did not cry until he saw his mom & dad when they arrived at the hospital in a second wave of people injured in the airstrikes.

Thousands of children have died since 2011. Khatib, who is 21-years-old was asked in a media interview about this incident with baby Omran. He said seeing kids like Omran is a daily occurrence, that he has “a lot of photos of injured children & it is very sad. I hate all of the world whenever I see a child crying, injured or killed.” He added “During a normal day in Aleppo, I wake up to the sound of air strikes & go to see if there is a new massacre….Air strikes on populated areas that are not under the control of the Syrian army are ongoing. Most hospitals in Aleppo are targeted & the arson makes me crazy.” That interview was of course before the fall of east Aleppo in December 2016.

His only comfort he said is calling his family who managed to flee Syria to Turkey. “All they want is for me to be with them in Turkey.”
The White Helmets deserve more than an Oscar; they deserve the highest respect for risking their lives to save others.