Liberals & lowbrows want Trump dumped so we can get back to politics that matter

People get epistemological, ontological, existential, pop psychological & all that inscrutable jazz to explain why liberals & other political lowbrows like myself want Trump dumped.

Being a narcissist grandstander, he has made himself the center of world politics & put Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, & all other consequential issues out of our view while US policy proceeds without scrutiny.

Pardon the lowbrows if we’re sick of the drama & want to focus on the wars & politics of the US government which are clearly not determined by Trump since he has been otherwise occupied for his entire tenure. The proceedings have also proven a front row seat to the utter corruption of the US government in all its agencies. That alone makes the debacle worth enduring.

The squalid living conditions of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh

Rohingya living in Bangladesh (Shafiur Rahman) May 19 2017

“A typical Rohingya refugee home in Bangladesh. The PM, Sheikh Hasina, yesterday described the conditions as “inhuman.” What she omitted to say is that successive governments, including her own, have ensured that conditions remain dire.”

–Tweeted by Shafiur Rahman on May 10th

We can never confuse the squalor imposed on refugees with the dignity they command. Out of this, there is not just demoralization at being abandoned by humanity but the strengthening of resistance to ethnic cleansing.

Rohingya activists are organizing education in the camps, religious instruction, protest rallies, & are using social media to educate about who they are & what they demand.


End the genocide in Arakan state. Full human, democratic, citizenship rights for Rohingya in Myanmar & in diaspora.

(Photo from Shafiur Rahman)

A salute to the stone pelters in Kashmir & the photojournalists who record them

Kashmir stone pelter with knive (Basit Zargar) May 19 2017

If eyes are the window to the soul, we are looking at the soul of fear & a profound sadness. We are also looking at the soul of a freedom fighter.

Nationalists will look at this young man with a rock in his hand & a knife in his mouth & bray like jackasses about stone pelters & a knifing intifada. But they would miss what’s most compelling here: that his youth is being stolen from him, that he could go home & submit to occupation & colonialism but has chosen to risk his life for freedom.

We should take a moment to honor all the young freedom fighters like him & to honor the photojournalists who risk their lives to document the occupation so that we may understand & become part of the Kashmiri struggle by rendering active solidarity.

End the occupation. Self-determination for Kashmir. A salute to freedom fighters & to photojournalists on the front lines of struggle.

(Photo by Basit Zargar)

Trump who said “Islam hates us,” that “there’s a tremendous hate there” will be giving a speech on Islam in Saudi Arabia. What part of this is tragedy, what part farce?

The stinking rotten politics of Feroze Mithiborwala

Feroze Mithiborwala petition pix May 19 2017

Came across a fellow named Feroze Mithiborwala, an Indian activist who says he’s been a Palestinian supporter since 1967, is active in promoting BDS in India & is an Assad supporter who hangs in Syria with Vanessa Beeley & Eva Bartlett & on the international Assadist circuit with Pepe Escobar & Patrick Henningsen.

In July 2016, the Indian army went on a several month rampage against Kashmiris protesting the execution of the young man whose name cannot be uttered on FB but whose funeral was attended by 600,000 mourners. The army use of pellet munitions against unarmed protesters became an international outrage that exposed the occupation. The scope of the violence was documented all over social media & in leading media around the world, including the NY Times, Al Jazeera, the Guardian-UK.

Isn’t it interesting that in response to such barbarism our man Feroze Mithiborwala joined with others in a petition calling on J & K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to temper the violence, to use minimal force against protesters referred to as “angry mobs.” Most of the petition is addressed to Kashmiri youth, reproaching them for arson, looting, destruction of public property, & attacks on the Indian army of 700,000 soldiers. It is a masked defense of occupation cloaked in a sustained scolding of Intifada.

How does a guy who supports Palestinian Intifada get Kashmiri Intifada so wrong? With the same kind of political methods that aligns him with the forces of counter-revolution in Syria.

This photo which headlined the petition & Scroll article about it clearly shows the relationship of forces between unarmed youth & the Indian army. It contradicts & shames the contents of the petition.

What is the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela all about?


There’s an avalanche of articles accusing Venezuelan protesters of being well-heeled right-wingers orchestrated by the US. Some of the articles are the usual Stalinist parody of events to support the regime in power–like they do in Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Syria. There is also the tripe written by Mark Weisbrot, a longtime, influential supporter of the so-called Bolivarian Revolution whose recent piece in the Guardian-UK defending the Maduro regime was a masterpiece of idiocy or dishonesty.

This is a post I wrote in 2015 about Maduro’s immigration policies. It’s relevant that now Venezuelans are taking lengthy trips to Colombia–the reverse journey of that described here–to get goods unavailable now in Argentina–although Weisbrot claims there is no shortage of goods.

If you want to understand the Bolivarian Revolution political scam & the problems in Venezuela, Ecuador, & other Latin American countries, the writer Jeffrey R. Webber gives the best theoretical framework.


There’s the official version of the Maduro regime in Venezuela for why it’s forcibly deporting & driving out thousands of Colombian immigrants on its western border with Colombia. Then there’s the real reasons.

We don’t have to take the word of the Colombians–here wading through a border river carrying mattresses, furniture, livestock, & children–who claim they were forced out of makeshift dwellings by soldiers & were afraid of what might happen if they stayed. It’s sufficient to condemn the Maduro government for this crackdown by looking at the methods it’s employing: martial law & the suspension of all civil liberties; the deployment of 17,000 soldiers; door-to-door house searches; mass arrest of thousands; & the suspension of due process for those who claim they fled Colombia for Venezuela to escape paramilitary violence.

According to the Maduro regime, the purpose of martial law & mass deportations is to stop Colombian residents along the border from trafficking goods subsidized by Venezuela–like baby formula, rice, & gasoline–to Colombia where they are sold at jacked-up prices for a profit. Are we expected to believe this is all about profiteering from baby formula!?

Sounding like no one quite so much as Donald Trump, president Maduro said on TV: “Who comes over from Colombia? It’s people practically without education. I’m not offending Colombia, I’m just telling a truth…from Colombia, all of the poverty & misery is coming over with a people who are escaping for economic needs & fleeing war.” If international law was worth a damn thing in enforcement, our man just hung himself & does not distinguish himself from Frontex & European Union barbarism.

According to Maduro, who appealed for international aid, over 120,000 Colombians have poured into Venezuela this year. So in the meanwhile he’s employing martial law!? The UN refugee agency isn’t usually much help in these situations but Martin Gottwald, the UNHCR representative in Colombia, did say (last March) that the Maduro regime has the right to “take measures against persons in irregular migratory situations” but “due process has to be offered, with the opportunity to appeal.” Gottwald added, that if you say ‘I left Colombia running for my life, because they threatened me’, the Venezuelan government has to stop {deportation] immediately.” Collective deportations are outlawed & asylum from threats to life mandated by international treaties.

Maduro was elected as a socialist candidate. Kind of in the same way as French president François Hollande who forcibly evicts & deports Roma & assaults refugees on the French-Italian border & at Calais. What’s wrong with that picture!? If you can’t distinguish immigration policy of socialist regimes from neoliberal barbarism, there’s a problem that needs to be addressed. And rationalizations don’t cut it.

Immigration is a human right. Open the border.

(Photo by Eliecer Mantilla/AP)

A country western singer will accompany Trump to perform at a man-only party in Saudi Arabia. Misogynist debauchery & feudalism will secure Trump’s place in history.

The role of women in Kashmiri resistance to occupation by feminist Ather Zia

Ather Zia article photo

There was a sharp reaction from some who thought the photo of the young Kashmiri women flipping the bird compromised the dignity of Kashmiri women & the Kashmiri struggle. Some went so far as to denounce the photojournalist & the young woman protester.

Young woman are not going to be policed by those who want to restrict their indignation to the ladylike. If they aren’t flipping the bird to your face, they sure as hell are behind your back–not just at occupation but at patriarchy.

Ather Zia, a Kashmiri feminist, has written this valuable article elaborating the role of women in the struggle against the occupation & for self-determination–a role we have witnessed through photojournalism over & over again.

Erdogan bodyguards attack protesters in Washington, DC

Erdogan bodyguard choking American woman on US soil, May 16 2017

Erdogan apparently forgot he wasn’t in Turkey because after his visit with Trump his bodyguards attacked a small group of protesters across the street from the home of a Turkish ambassador in Washington, DC where he was staying.

The human rights activists were protesting Erdogan’s policies in Turkey & Syria & his treatment of the Kurds. The DC police were present but the goon squad broke through their line, charged across the street, & began punching & kicking protesters as if they were in Istanbul.

A video shows the goon squad resisting police to get at the protesters. Under DC law, that is at least a misdemeanor. They also sent nine people to the hospital with injuries which may entail felonious assault charges. The two thugs arrested were later released for diplomatic immunity. Media reports showed Erdogan watching the attacks from the ambassador’s home.

Photo is Erdogan bodyguard choking a woman protester. One hopes there is a provision in US law allowing those assaulted & injured to sue the Turkish government for all it’s worth. We have a Bill of Rights here which has not yet been overthrown.

Video of incident:

Indian hunt & kill operations increase in Shopian district, Kashmir

Shopian assault May 2017

According to one Indian media source, there is an increase in counter-insurgency operations, most aptly called hunt to kill operations, in Kashmir where the army ostensibly cordons an area in search of militants hiding in the district. The army has been in a furor over the opposition of residents who pour out of their homes, even in the middle of the night, to defend their sons against execution.

There was a particularly brutal operation on Wednesday morning when Indian forces moved into the Shopian district. Apparently it was intended partially to harass the families of known militants but such operations are primarily intended to terrorize & intimidate as a means of social control. Residents claimed the troops were on a rampage ransacking & vandalizing property, entering homes & assaulting residents, including women & young girls.

What’s disturbing the army is the increased resistance of residents to operations intended to terrorize. As soon as the hunt to kill operation began, residents, including women & seniors, came out of their homes to protest the vandalism & assaults & protect the youth being hunted. The army of course responded with tear gas, stun grenades, & pellet guns. Thirty people were injured, mostly with pellets, & had to be taken to different hospitals.

The claim that these operations are to find militants is exposed as pretext since the army routinely shoots at unarmed protesters & even funeral corteges.

This is a photo of Indian forces entering a town in one of their operations. Their very presence is a provocation.

End the occupation. Self-determination for Kashmir.