(The inimitable sarcasm of Usman A Khan Tahir)
(The inimitable sarcasm of Usman A Khan Tahir)
In the early 90s, a political & personal friend of many years wrote an article saying the Oslo Accords were the best the Palestinians could get & they would have to eat them. In a letter to the editor, I objected that the Accords were terms of surrender & self-determination could be won through struggle. The fellow responded with a fury, compared me to a rabid sectarian, & severed all personal & political connections with me. It smarted at the time.
A few years ago, another longtime political & personal friend called me a crank who is overly critical & nurtures old grievances. That smarted.
Today, both of them are Assad supporters rallying for counter-revolution against the revolution in Syria & in a furor about those old airplane hangars.
The moral of the story? Don’t disagree with me or you’ll end up less than redoubtable hacks marching for dictators like Assad & Putin alongside allies like David Icke & David Duke.
(Tongue-in-cheek alert but maybe disagreeing with me will lead you straight to political hell. Why chance it?)
This photo was taken at the Hands Off Syria Coalition rally in Los Angeles on Friday protesting the killing of a couple old airport hangars. One of the Assadists is holding up a placard reading “White Helmets are Terrorists.” In the context of the US so-called war on terror, that is a deliberate provocation inviting US bombers to target rescue workers in Syria.
Last week, Bilal Abdul Kareem, a US journalist in Syria, announced he had filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration for including him on the US kill list. Assadist social media sites were filled with elation & fist pumping that Kareem was being targeted by US drones.
Calling for the US to target civilians, rescue workers & reporters in Syria betrays the stinking rotten politics of Assadist forces. Since when do progressive antiwar forces call on the US Pentagon to bomb rather than immediately, unconditionally withdraw? Since when do they turn their backs to accusations that Assad is gassing & bombing civilians but get roused to furor over a couple old airport hangars? Since when do they proclaim the Syrian army a salvation army & denounce rescue workers as terrorists?
There is still time for erstwhile antiwar activists & socialists to withdraw from this conglomeration of political degenerates. Make a clean break before you end up in the same political place as fascists of other generations.
(Photo from Twitter)
Someone asked me if I liked the idea of the US bombing all of Assad’s airbases, as Clinton proposed. Anyone else unclear about where I would stand on that?
PS: I’m still picking my jaw up off the floor at the question.
Turns out the skeletal baby Chihuahua my Annie & Juan-Pierre rescued is an old miniature Pinscher who is a very sick little guy.
Sometimes, rescue is just giving the poor little ones a home to die so they aren’t alone. No comfort to those who watch them die so bereft of love.
They’re reporting record low turnouts for elections in Kashmir today. That should be read as a massive “no” vote. It was Ather Zia who said last year that Kashmiris have already voted a “referendum in blood.”
One woman read my post about Salah Skaff mourning the death of his infant daughter Amira & commented: “As it may sound too rational, this war has been going on for at least six years, people should not (have) been having babies in the middle of a war zone.”
No sister, it doesn’t sound rational at all. It sounds supremely racist, insular, ignorant, & despicable.
Monitoring people on social media isn’t my job but I run across many friends on other people’s walls. It used to be that I would see Palestinian solidarity supporters liking up rubbish about Rothschild bankers & the Illuminati. Hate combined with stupidity is a hell of a cognitive disorder to overcome so they were all deep-sixed.
Now I’m seeing friends liking up Assadist rubbish about Syrian gassing of civilians being a fake news thing. Could be mindless liking, could be a learning curve issue, could be confusion, could be agreement. It’s also not my job to interrogate people about their beliefs. But my tolerance for that kind of confusion has flown the coop.
Lots of people don’t bounce over things like that. I have a waiting list of Kashmiri & Rohingya activists I want to engage with so what’s the point of holding on to confusionists when I can learn something?
While the Hands Off Syria Coalition was out in force over the bombing of a couple airport hangars, this young father Salah Skaff was mourning the death of his baby girl Amira killed in a Syrian airstrike over Douma. Several other cities were also bombed with casualties & serious injuries in every one.
You can feign outrage over dead airport hangars (which are back in action today for further bombing missions) but you cannot fake this kind of grief nor the trauma of baby Omran in Aleppo.
Rebuild the international antiwar movement to demand Syria stop the bombing of civilians & the immediate, unconditional withdrawal of US, Russian, Iranian, & all foreign military forces from Syria.
We can never compensate Salah & Amira Skaff & all who have paid such a price for the epic failure of international solidarity but we can begin to do the right thing for those still fighting against dictatorship.
(Photo by Bassam Khabieh/Reuters)
There’s a lot of suffering in the world, a lot of treachery. It can seem daunting & pointless to protest what could be a losing battle. It’s easier to take the low road of cynicism & misanthropy.
We only lose the moment humanity refuses to stand against oppression, if we decide wallowing in discontent matters more than fighting for our children.
If we learn nothing else from Palestinian & Kashmiri Intifada, from the Syrian revolution & all the Arab uprisings, it is to stand our ground against dictatorship, colonialism, apartheid, ethnic cleansing, social hatreds of all kinds, whatever the odds. The weakness is not that they stand & fight but that the battalions of international solidarity have not yet roused to stand with them.
This is a little Kashmiri boy looking out the window of a van to relish the rain which is causing flooding all over Kashmir. When you get the “there’s no use in fighting” blues, keep this little guy in mind & get over it.
(Photo from Basit Zargar)