A belated anti-obituary for Charlie Ruiter

Someone said my post about McCain was gloating over his terminal cancer. No it was not. I wouldn’t stoop that low to wish evil on anyone, even those I detest or those who imperil healthcare for working people. Except maybe in the case of Henry Kissinger. But I’m no sentimental fool & don’t care what happens to him in the afterlife.

Once before in my life, it happened that a union official got me fired for several months because I campaigned against his union busting compromises. I was escorted off the premises by armed guards & had no income, no help to get rehired from the union, & had to pay hefty for a private attorney to get my job back. The union official worked with the company to get me declared mentally ill so I would be forced on medications & would not be rehired. After I was rehired under threat of a lawsuit against both the union & company, he sabotaged the arbitration hearings, not allowing my witness to speak nor me to defend myself, so that I could not recover lost income. Then he had the effrontery to tell me he was given early retirement in return.

Within a few weeks after the arbitration he dropped dead. Many coworkers asked me what I thought about that. What should I have said? “Wah wah wah. Now that he’s croaked all is forgiven”? I haven’t got that level of dishonesty in me so I answered what I really felt: “I can’t make up my mind whether to dance or to piss on his grave.” Then I made a good act of contrition & any lingering guilt disappeared.

Max Blumental & Glenn Greenwald now hanging with Tucker Carlson

It seems astonishing that most of the celebrity journalists & so-called intellectuals have tanked over the issue of Syria, siding with the Assad regime rather than the revolution of working people against his dictatorship. Their capitulation to the fascist right becomes farce when they blither about a new Cold War because of the investigations into Trump’s connections to Russia. They’ve completely discredited themselves as intellectuals & don’t exhibit the investigative skills required in a 7th grade book report.

This is not some new phenomenon in intellectual & political history. This kind of mass exodus to the right has often occurred among progressives during war, most notably WWII. The courage to stand one’s ground does not flow naturally from being able to write. It comes hard to people when they realize great poets were cheeseheads & often scoundrels in real life. It comes harder to learn that people who talk a good game to earn a living are actually deeply conservative thinkers on the make & not committed activists for social justice. How else do you explain that Max Blumenthal & Glenn Greenwald now find common cause with Tucker Carlson who is one of the most racist & stupid commentators on Fox News?

Denial of freedom of religion in Srinagar by Indian authorities

Jamia Masjid, Srinagar July 27 2017 (Basit Zargar) July 28 2017

Throughout the siege & occupation of the Al Aqsa compound, Kashmiris have over & over again used social media to express solidarity with Palestinians. They understand the denial of religious freedom & desecration of Muslim holy sites because Indian occupying forces are engaged in the same aggression at Jamia Masjid in downtown Srinagar.

For the sixth consecutive week, Indian authorities have padlocked the premises to disallow congregational Friday prayers at the mosque. Denial of the right to worship is fundamental to the occupation & part of the international onslaught against Muslims. Standing with their right to religious freedom is part of the struggle against war, occupation, ethnic cleansing from Srinagar to East Jerusalem to Syria & Myanmar.

(Photo of Jamia Masjid by Basit Zargar)

Deraa, Syria: indistinguishable from Gaza, Yemen, Iraq, other cities in Syria after years of bombing liberation by Syria & Russia

Deraa, Syria July 28 2017 ( REUTERS:Alaa al-Faqir) July 28 2017

Deraa, Syria after years of carpet bombing by Syrian & Russian bombers: indistinguishable from Gaza, Yemen, Iraq, & the rest of Syria. There are nearly 147,000 civilians in the Deraa metropolitan area. This is not liberation from terrorism. This is terrorism.

Deraa became known as the “cradle of the revolution” after the Assad dictatorship arrested 15 teenage boys for spray painting graffiti against his regime in 2011. This sparked protests across Syria that ignited the massive revolution of working people against dictatorship.

Long live the Syrian revolution against Assad’s dictatorship.

(Photo by Alaa al-Faqir/Reuters)

White Helmet rescue workers function as bomb squads to clear undetonated cluster bombs

White Helmets clearing cluster munitions (Reuters:Alaa al-Faqie) July 28 2017

These are White Helmet rescue workers in Deraa, Syria taking advantage of a temporary ceasefire to clear unexploded cluster bombs dropped by Syrian air strikes. There are thousands of unexploded ordnance laying in the ground waiting to detonate & take out everything & everyone in proximity. Children are frequent victims.

Undetonated cluster bombs & other munitions cannot be handled & destroyed by untrained amateurs but require explosive specialist training & specialized equipment so they don’t blow themselves up. White Helmets play the function of bomb squads after receiving training courses in Turkey & Jordan & being provided with the necessary equipment. It still remains an extremely dangerous job.

Civilian rescue teams emerged in Syria in 2012 when Assad began bombing cities or areas where there was massive public opposition to his dictatorship. It was neighbors & residents coming to rescue the injured trapped in rubble from the bombing. Of course foreign agencies with ulterior motives glommed on to them; it happens all the time to human rights groups & activists all over the world. In some cases, it tempers the resistance of those groups. In the case of Syrian rescue workers now known as the White Helmets, it got them professional training in urban search & rescue operations, emergency & trauma care, setting up & managing field hospitals in a bombing zone, & in operating as bomb squads. It made them more effective in rescuing people buried in rubble, in treating their injuries, & saving their lives.

Full solidarity with the White Helmets. Full solidarity with the Syrian revolution against Assad’s dictatorship.

(Photo by Alaa al-Faqir/Reuters)

Reuters news service disgraces itself in coverage of Israeli siege & occupation of Al Aqsa

Palestinians outside Al Aqsa July 27 (REUTERS:Amir Cohen) July 28 2017

Reuters news service has broken its silence about the Israeli siege & occupation of the Al Aqsa compound in East Jerusalem by posting this photo of Palestinians running from an assault by Israeli troops outside the compound. They said this took place “after Israel removed all security measures it had installed at the compound.”

True enough Israel removed the metal detectors & surveillance cameras but they then increased patrols within the sacred site & placed snipers on the roofs. That’s not an end to the siege & occupation but an escalation. The Noble Sanctuary is a sacred religious site to Palestinians & has been for over 1,300 years. Jews & Christians have absolutely no claims to the site that aren’t manufactured to justify colonialism. Israel is attempting to desecrate & eventually destroy the site in order to build a temple there based on a pipe dream about Solomon’s temple & the Ark of the Covenant–showing that they watch too much racist Indiana Jones & read not enough history.


End the occupation. Self-determination for Palestine.

(Photo by Amir Cohen/Reuters)

On the intellectual, political & moral bankruptcy of Assad supporters

Assadist meme

This vulgar, unseemly thing was posted to my wall by an Assadist in a recent barrage by them to counter a photo I posted about civilians being bombed & killed by Russian air strikes at Arbin outside Damascus. I hastily deleted it because it’s so offensive but am reposting it to show their level of political debate. They speak in memes of hate & Islamophobia. This is the same intellectual level & not a whit more cogent than the writings of Eva Bartlett, Vanessa Beeley, Tim Anderson, Rania Khalek, Max Blumenthal, Ben Norton, Denis Rancourt, Sara Abed, & the entire stable of them at Counterpunch, Global Research, & Consortium News.

Apologies for its vulgarity but it’s all they’re packing in defending dictatorship, carpet bombing, terrorism, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, & their political alliance with the fascist right.

Posted only for educational purposes.