It wasn’t Russian hacking that did the US elections in & I’ve no doubt they were hacking up a storm. What did the elections in & got Trump elected is an undemocratic electoral system. But anyway, minus the tweeting & derangement, Clinton would not have been an improvement on Trump, nor would Sanders because the problem isn’t personalities; it’s the crisis of capitalism.

There are all sorts of jeremiads coming out about the election of rightwing extremists but that isn’t because there is a mass popular shift to the right. In fact, the right appears to be losing ground electorally despite undemocratic electoral systems.

There’s a polarization in politics because capitalism is spiraling into a deep systemic crisis. Democracy is at odds with their methods for resolving their economic problems which involves imposing greater austerity on working people against the popular will. The crisis that really matters is not capitalism’s crisis of leadership but the crisis of leadership facing working people. That’s the problem we need to solve.

Saying Trump is deranged isn’t a mental health diagnosis but a political assessment. It’s a case of privilege & narcissism combining with racism, misogyny, elitism, & stinking mendacity. He’s done more to expose the corruption of US government institutions than anyone before him & for that we should be grateful. He’s left no institution from the White House to the Congress, Supreme Court, CIA & FBI untarnished. Is that what they call a soft coup? Is this the work of the imaginary deep state? Time now to impeach his sorry ass. His work is done.

Tribute to Kashmiri photojournalists for fearless reporting of occupation & resistance

As someone who considers photojournalism almost as important as written news reports, I would like to take just a moment to salute Kashmiri photojournalists who are almost without parallel. They cover the occupation & resistance with a profound humanity so that we are never removed from the experience & cannot be emotionally detached.

The award-winning Palestinian photojournalist Muhammed Muheisen has covered Syria, Palestine, Afghan refugees in Pakistan with an exceptional sensitivity, almost tenderness, & respect. Basit Zargar has the same qualities in his coverage of Kashmir, as does Bilal Ahmad. Without wishing to embarrass them, I would like to honor & express gratitude for such daring, fearless, & powerful photojournalism that makes occupation & resistance so real for others around the world. It is a powerful means to educate & build solidarity.

Indian soldiers in Kashmir celebrating death of civilians

Indian soldiers celebrating death of cilians (tweeted by Raqeeb Ashraf) July 3 2017

Indian soldiers in Kashmir celebrating the death of Kashmiri civilians.

Just like US, Israeli, Russian, Syrian soldiers, these young men are dehumanized by the barbarities they engage in. That is the nature of militarism. There is no emancipatory character or potential in armies of occupation.

The suicide rate of Indian soldiers in Kashmir is as high as that of active duty US soldiers. India does not report the number of suicides among its veterans nor the levels of PTSD, mental illness, criminal violence but they are surely as sky high as that of US veterans. Militarism is a criminal enterprise which devours the soul of a nation if it is not actively opposed.

Go back India. Go back.

(Photo tweeted by Raqeeb Ashraf)

Supporting fascism & counter-revolution in Syria is a historical betrayal

It is deeply sad to see so many progressives jump on the bandwagon in support of Assad’s dictatorship & Russian intervention in Syria. Their opposition to US intervention is less persuasive since they spend almost no time analyzing how regime change is being pursued & more time denying the popular revolution against Assad or identifying it with the ISIS & Al-Qaeda type terrorists.

Those who uncritically support the prevailing views in support of Assad need to consider who their allies are: primarily fascist forces, white supremacists, Islamophobes & anti-Semites, & in Syria, the fascistic capitalist class. Tens of thousands of revolutionists are in Assad’s gulag or have already been tortured to death & are lying in mass graves.

Those who support Assad should consider that if the revolution they deny is defeated, it does not mean Syria will go back to what it was before with Assad ruling with an iron fist. If the revolution for a democratic society does not defeat Assad, the counter-revolutionary forces, including the US, Russia, Iran, Hezbollah, ISIS, Al-Qaeda will prevail. Syria will never again be what it was under Assad’s dictatorship. It is mortgaged to the counter-revolution & will likely be divided with the US one, but not the only, controlling factor.

Mostly progressives need to ask themselves if they want to make the massive political concessions to the hatred of Muslims & Jews which is so fundamental to Assadist ideology. And they need to ask themselves if they are willing to risk helping usher in fascism in Syria. This is no “oops, I made a wee mistake” moment but a historic betrayal with monumental consequences for all of humanity.

Not everyone has the time to study Syria & a knowledge of Syrian history & culture is not necessary. One has only to take a principled stand against the bombing of civilians & a determined stand in opposition to all foreign military intervention into Syria. When you oppose US intervention but support Syrian & Russian intervention, you stand with the counter-revolution whether you understand that or not.

Which side are you on?

A young Kashmiri mother was shot to death by the occupying army. Where is the condemnation brigade?

Husband of Tahira Begum mourning (Basit Zargar) July 2 2017

This is Ghulam Rasool Chopan mourning the death of his 38-year-old wife Tahira Begum. She went out early morning yesterday to get her 17-year-old son from the middle of a protest against a hunt to kill operation by the Indian occupying army. The army opened fire on the unarmed protesters, shooting her in the heart from the back. Four others sustained bullet wounds, including one who died on the way to hospital.

Tahira was a deeply pious woman who committed her life to her family; she is survived by three children & her husband.
As Ena Husain would ask: where are the condemnation brigades so up in arms last week about the death of the undercover policeman who shot into a crowd of protesters? Do we hear the sound of silence?

End the occupation. Self-determination for Kashmir.

(Photo by Basit Zargar)

“Two rebels were martyred, their legs & feet cut off.
Two civilians were gunned down, one among them a woman.
The condemnation brigade that worked overtime condemning a trigger happy cop just over a week ago is silent today.

No grief no condemnation no lectures on ‘humanity’ nothing.
It’s fine by them if Kashmiris are killed by the occupier but not acceptable if a Kashmiri kills another Kashmiri even in self defence & this same brigade has the temerity to accuse others of selective outrage.

How convenient.”

–Ena Husain