When you just think about the Rohingya, Palestine, Kashmir, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, & all the other wars & all the neoliberal plunder & all the refugees being turned away & getting killed, it can really kick the crap out of you. It can overwhelm & make it seem like humanity is a wash. It may seem wiser to make the world go away & just drown ourselves in diversions, culture (low or high), YouTube, or even booze. Get over it. As long as people, including little kids, are suffering & fighting back against oppression, don’t do the wallow. Pace yourself but keep stepping to build solidarity & try to make this world suitable for human beings to live & love in.

Amnesty petition against use of pellet guns against Kashmiris

Please watch the brief video on the criminality of India using pellet guns in Kashmir & then sign the Amnesty petition against their use:


It will take a lot more than a petition to force India to stop using pellet guns & other weapons on unarmed civilians & to end the occupation but petitions serve a role in educating others, in building solidarity, & in putting political pressure on the Indian government.

Amnesty petition: https://www.amnesty.org.in/action/detail/ban-pellet-shotguns

“Both the generals & Aung San Suu Kyi sing from the same Buddhist nationalist hymn book & their vision of Burma does not have much space for Muslims–& no space for Rohingya. Her stance is nothing less than 100% genocidal. The generals view Western Burma (Myanmar) as an originally Muslim-free region & part of the kingdom of Burma–despite all evidence to the contrary that Rakhine was a rich, cosmopolitan, multi-ethnic & multi-faith kingdom.”

–Maung Zarni, Burmese dissident in exile

The U.S. sides with Burmese generals in genocide against Rohingya

Rohingya bodies in river Sept 14 2017

No one wants Trump to make a public statement about the genocide of Rohingya even if he reads it off a teleprompter from a script supplied by the State Department. He’s a stupid jackass & an Islamophobe who has nothing credible to say about anything. His indifference & contempt would be impossible to hide & his involvement would only be unseemly & inappropriate to the gravity of a genocide.

But the US has weighed in on the genocide & not in a good way. In its competition with Russia & China, it has been currying favor with the junta & with the Suu Kyi regime. In the first statement it issued nearly two weeks after the genocide began, the US refused to criticize the Burmese military. Instead, it said the generals should respond responsibly to the terrorist attacks that incited the military: “They {the generals} have a responsibility to carry out those activities in accordance with rule of law & international human rights.” How do you carry out a genocide responsibly & according to what rules of law?

The second statement from the State Department was the same blither & the same refusal to criticize the military but they added that since October 2016 the US has provided nearly $63 million in humanitarian assistance to the Rohingya displaced in the last genocidal assaults. Really? We’d like to see an accounting of that dough even though we don’t hesitate to say it’s probably as big a lie as their claims that they donated millions to Haitian earthquake relief & to Afghanistan humanitarian aid. Somewhere between the promise & the delivery it ends up in the wrong hands if it’s ever dispensed in the first place.

The US State Department can blither about terrorists until the cows come home but their refusal to address the 400,000 refugees fleeing for their lives says everything you need to know about US policy in Burma & about its attitude toward genocide.

(Photo is Rohingya refugees who drowned when their boat capsized. May they Rest In Peace.)

Maung Zarni calls it genocide in Arakan, not ethnic cleansing

Rohingya in river 2017 Mohammad Ponir Hossain:Reuters: Sept 12 2017

There is a distinction made in international law between ethnic cleansing & genocide. Ethnic cleansing is defined as systematic efforts to drive out an ethnic or religious group from a geographical area. Genocide is defined as systematic efforts to exterminate them outright. The scorched earth methods used to accomplish both are indistinguishable, especially massacres.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres & Phil Robertson from Human Rights Watch have chosen to define what is happening to the Rohingya people as ethnic cleansing. That is apparently the establishment line. Rohingya activists & Burmese dissident Maung Zarni do not hesitate for very strong reasons to call it genocide. Making such a distinction doesn’t mean the UN will do more or less to stop the genocide; because of Chinese & Russian support for Burma in the UN Security Council, the UN hasn’t even condemned what’s going on. Guterres only shook the naughty finger at the generals & the head of the UNHCR said it looked like ethnic cleansing.

You can hear some of that debate about ethnic cleansing or genocide here (in a video within this article) between Phil Robertson & Maung Zarni. They also take up the question of Aung San Suu Kyi’s role where Robertson expresses hopes that Suu Kyi will come around & “step up to halt the genocide”. You ought not to be in a position of authority on human rights issues if your credulity is still on the level of a five-year-old who can’t come to grips with the fiction of the tooth fairy. Maung Zarni who has no illusions on that score (& no commitments to power) answers quite cogently.


(Photo is Rohingya refugees attempting to cross into Bangladesh by Mohammad Ponir Hossain/Reuters)

Bangladeshi civilians rush to border to help Rohingya refugees

Refugee fromRohingya being offered food by Bangladeshi volunteer  (EPA) Sept 14 2017

A young Rohingya boy receives food from one of the many Bangladeshi volunteers who have rushed to the border to offer help.

Never underestimate the capacities of working people to do the right thing for other human beings in need. Misanthropy is a dead-end political wasteland. Respecting others is what brought Bangladeshis to the border to give a hand. Theirs is the kind of spirit that shows humanity is still worth fighting for.

(Photo from EPA)

Maung Zarni, Burmese dissident in exile, addresses the issue of ARSA as more civilian self-defense units than organized militias & certainly not Saudi-backed Wahhabi jihadis as the most reactionary political forces in the world claim:

“The Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army’s attacks against Burmese border guard posts in Oct 2016 & Aug 2017 more closely resemble the Nazi victims’ uprising at Auschwitz in Oct 1944 than a properly organised & armed “insurgency.” In October 1944, the Jewish inmates killed four SS officers in one barrack at a concentration camp & the SS responded by killing about 500 Jewish & Polish prisoners. Similar large scale terror campaigns were launched by the Burmese military in 1978 & 1991-92, expelling upwards of 260,000 people in each wave.”