Water cannons used against G20 protesters

German water cannons at G-20 (AP Photo:Matthias Schrader) July 9 2017

Hamburg, Germany, G20 Protests:

Police are here using water cannons & armored vehicles to clear a road of protesters on July 7th. Germany has been using water cannons against protesters for a few years now. Hungary has been using them against refugees trying to cross its borders. They’re deployed regularly now against protesters most notably in the Philippines, Chile, Venezuela, Kashmir, Russia, Indonesia, Turkey although other countries are now purchasing them for use.

Their use against the US civil rights movement & South African anti-apartheid struggle have made them an iconic image of repression. So of course the regimes that most deploy them are among the most repressive flouters of democracy. They will again become part of the repressive arsenal in every country if their use is not vigorously opposed. They are assault weapons which cause broken bones, damage to internal organs, skin, respiratory, & eye damage. Using them against exhausted, malnourished, traumatized refugees is an abomination.

(Photo by Matthias Schrader/AP)

White phosphorous & suicide bombers in Mosul

White phosphorous in Mosul (YouTube) July 8 2017

Some media, particularly Russian & English media, have been reporting for about a year that ISIS has increased its use of women fighters, women suicide bombers, & women using children as human shields. Today they released a photo of a woman holding a small child fleeing the fighting in west Mosul & identified her as a suicide bomber who blew up herself & the baby.

It might be wise to suspend damnations until these reports can be verified by some reputable source. We know ISIS forcibly uses children as fighters; these are victims & defined as such under international law, not to mention every semblance of good sense. It may well be the women are also coerced but we don’t know since women are also perfectly capable of criminal activity.

What makes the reports reek is that the source of this information is Iraqi state TV from Iraqi reporters embedded with the Iraqi army & special forces shelling Mosul with rockets & mortars without regard for the hundreds of thousands of civilians there. The woman in the recent incident died with her child; two soldiers & several civilians were reported injured. There’s no indication Iraqi state TV reports on the number of civilians killed by Iraqi mortars or the US use of white phosphorous in Mosul. It’s reported by other sources as over 10,000 civilians. Such selective outrage is always more suggestive of propaganda.

Last week, Newsweek & Associated Press reported on ISIS women fighters using their children as human shields & claimed ISIS was using women & children to stop US coalition air strikes & Iraqi ground force rockets & mortars. The US coalition & Iraqi forces have been bombing & shelling hundreds of thousands of civilians for over nine months, including elderly, infirm, disabled, women & children. Why would the sight of another woman & child fleeing the bombing deter them for one moment from letting off bombs? In fact, Newsweek quoted an unnamed Iraqi commander who said “under the circumstances civilian casualties should be acceptable.” His exact words: “They’re all ISIS. Just kill them all. There are civilians there, but they are ISIS families.”

This is not to defend or downplay the criminality of ISIS in any way or to suggest that using women & children is beneath them since we know they use children as soldiers & have contemptible attitudes toward women. But there is no need to invent atrocities to justify the barbaric US coalition & Iraqi siege of civilians in Mosul.

The only principled demands are the immediate cessation of bombing in Iraq & Syria; the immediate, unconditional withdrawal of all US coalition, Russian, Iranian, Hezbollah, & other foreign military forces; & the end of all military aid to Iraq.

(Photo is white phosphorous bombing of Mosul by US coalition forces from YouTube)

Indian army has strewn streets of Kashmir with razor wire

Woman with child crossing razor wire barrier (Basit Zargar) July 8 2017

A woman in Srinagar is helping her small daughter get past a razor wire barrier set up by the occupying army to obstruct protests on the anniversary of the 2016 uprising that lasted from the execution of BW on July 8th through December. Not that the repression has scaled back but on the contrary, it has increased.

The most notable barbarity, almost the hallmark, of the repression during that uprising was the use of pellet munitions against unarmed protesters. Almost 1,100 pellet victims were admitted to Kashmiri hospitals; 523 of them were under the age of 20. Most suffered permanent health problems including infections because the pellets cannot be extracted from internal organs; hundreds suffered partial or permanent blindness; all suffered disfigurement & permanent scarring. It was so monstrous that international media actually had extensive reporting about the atrocities.

Altaf Ahmed of the Jammu & Kashmir Pellet Victims Association said most pellet victims have gone through several surgeries & require still more treatment, surgeries, & post-surgery care. But the expenses are beyond the means of most working families & the government of Kashmir has done nothing to provide assistance. Because many are blinded & disabled & likely suffering severe emotional trauma, they are unable to leave their homes unassisted, let alone go out to work. This is just exactly what the Indian army intended in order to bring resistance to occupation to its knees. It has not only failed to accomplish that criminal purpose but has broadened the international scope of opposition to occupation by its arrant barbarity exposed first & foremost by Kashmiri activists on social media.

End the occupation. Stop the use of pellet guns, other lethal weapons, razor wire barricades. Self-determination for Kashmir.

(Photo by Basit Zargar)

Rohingya children are starving to death in Myanmar

Starving Rohingya girl (ROSMAIDA BIBI (YOUTUBE)  July 8 2017

The World Food Programme (the UN food assistance program) estimates that 80,500 Rohingya children in Arakan (Rakhine) state, Myanmar under the age of five will need treatment for acute malnutrition in the next year. That means they’re starving to death & the primary treatment for that is food. They base this estimate on an on-the-ground investigation where they interviewed 450 families in 45 villages in Maungdaw district, just one of the five districts in Arakan. This is likely an underestimate since the UN does not have starvation statistics from the concentration camps where at least half of the residents are children.

The situation is so alarming that the NY Times posted an article about it by Women In The World which featured this little girl, 4-year-old Rosmaida Bibi, who is barely the size of a one-year-old. She lives in one of the concentration camps where the Aung San Suu Kyi regime forcibly confines Rohingya.

According to a UNICEF report in May, the situation in all of Myanmar for child malnutrition & starvation is a catastrophe because of the military campaigns the government is conducting against ethnic groups in Kachin, Shan & Kayin states & other areas. UNICEF estimates 2.2 million children are affected by the violence, by human rights crimes against children including trafficking & denial of health & education services & that every day in Myanmar at least 150 children under the age of five die from starvation.

The UNICEF report said the “fruits of rapid development & reconciliation efforts” by the Suu Kyi regime have not yet reached “remote, conflict-affected regions” of Myanmar. There’s a point at which such diplomacy becomes outright & deliberate deceit & obfuscation. Which reconciliation efforts is UNICEF referring to? The ethnic cleansing siege in Arakan state that forced 75,000 Rohingya to flee for their lives? That executed, mass raped, tortured, incarcerated thousands of Rohingya since October? If the Myanmar military can get its troops into those remote regions & multinational mining firms can move their equipment in to expropriate lands & destroy the environment, why can’t they get food aid to starving children?

(Photo is Rosmaida Bibi from YouTube via NY Times)

I deleted a video which supported Kashmiri political union with Pakistan. That is one position within the Kashmiri freedom struggle but it isn’t my place to promote one position or another. As a supporter of Kashmiri self-determination, my only role is to educate & build solidarity so that Kashmiris may democratically decide their own fate.

Such a big deal they’re making about a 30-minute meeting between Putin & Trump. What do they think is going to happen at the meeting? Some major change in US-Russian relations?

Putin will wink at Trump to remind him of the dirt in that dossier & just in general play Trump’s fears & narcissism. Trump will wave his tiny little hands around to assert his manhood, talk about a new detente, & then shake hands to give media something to talk about for two weeks. That will be it. And they will continue to collaborate in bringing down the Syrian revolution.

Assadist ideologues claim the struggle in Syria is between a benign & popular leader, far too stylish & western to be a dictator, & extremist Muslim head-choppers. Assad propagandists claim there never was a revolution; their misguided & uninformed followers claim there was a revolution but it was coopted by those head-choppers. How & when that cooptation took place is never explained since it would require investigation & time better spent supporting Assad & chasing honoraria.

It is of interest that from the beginning of the revolution against Assad until today, the libertarian journal Global Research campaigned with a vengeance against it, vilified its participants, & has done immeasurable damage to the political movements by introducing conspiracy theory, Islamophobia, & anti-Semitism into their assessment of the revolution. They campaigned against all of the Arab uprisings as orchestrated by the CIA & Mossad.

On June 27, 2011, Ibrahim Qashoush, a 34-year-old fireman, poet, & folk singer in Hama, Syria led thousands of protesters in the main city square chanting “Bashar, depart from here.” A few days later on July 1st, he led 250,000 protesters in chants in the same square. This video is of the July 1st protest. He was assassinated by Assad’s security forces two days later on July 3rd, his throat slit & vocal chords pulled out, & his body dumped in a nearby river–a warning to those who raised their voices against Assad’s dictatorship.

The revolution is imperiled by US, Russian, Iranian, Saudi, & Hezbollah military intervention as the forces of counter-revolution. But it is not yet defeated & protests continue in those cities that are not under siege by carpet bombing, including by white phosphorous, chlorine & sarin gas, barrel & thermonuclear bombs.

Our fullest solidarity with the Syrian revolution, including with the White Helmets who risk their own lives to rescue victims of the counter-revolution.

Our tribute to Ibrahim Qashoush. May he Rest In Peace.