Judging by many social media posts, there are those who think it acceptable to torture ISIS prisoners of war or desecrate & dismember their corpses. That was also argued by many when Gaddafi’s corpse was publicly desecrated. This statement by Kashmiri Mir Laieeq is worth reposting again because it addresses the issue of the oppressed & human rights supporters holding themselves to a higher standard of humanity than fascists do. It’s a moving, powerful statement & the best rebuttal to those who would degrade their humanity in the name of revenge:

“indian state despite its grave, unspeakable crimes against us, has not been able to kill our humanity, it has failed to make hatred the defining virtue of our struggle, despite its beastly behaviour we have not turned into beasts, instead we have retained our dignity and ethical fabric, despite being victims of an atrocious war imposed upon us we have maintained our moral compass, the humanitarian gestures like rescuing occupying soldiers even when most of them have been acting like savages is a reflection of who we are and what we aspire to be! In all this lies the biggest defeat of this oppressive state and our greatest victory, it also gives us hope that a free kashmir will not be built upon pathological hatred of the other, but upon the ideals of human fraternity, dignity and brotherhood. Kashmir today even in one of her most painful times has a lot of lessons to offer to Indians and world at large: we are willing to sacrifice our lives to achieve freedom but we won’t lose our morality in the process, we refuse to slip into savagery and hatred despite the cruelest provocations like killing and blinding of our children. As for us, Azaadi is not a mere destination but a means towards a more humane, just and ethical society.”

Just so we’re clear: dancing or pissing on a war criminal’s grave is not the same as desecrating a corpse. It is refusing to be party to the eulogies. It is not our role to forgive those who have committed monstrous crimes against other human beings & it be would be a betrayal of those who have suffered to do so. Forgiveness too often masks indifference or apologetics. Justice is the demand of those who suffered & died; helping them achieve that is where we come in. Dance or piss away on Zahreddine’s grave.

Syrian general Issam Zahreddine gets blown up

major general issam zahreddine

Normally gruesome photos should be avoided but we need to confirm if mainstream media was correct in identifying this soldier as 56-year-old Major General Issam Zahreddine who was just blown up by a land mine in Syria & who is being grieved & heralded by Assadists & other fascists as a hero for gallantry on the battlefield? Is this the guy Syrian revolutionists call the “Druze beast”?

Does that gallantry include beating arrested protesters in the 2011 popular revolution against Assad’s dictatorship? Does it include blowing up US journalist Marie Colvin & French photographer Remi Ochlik in 2012? Does it include threatening Syrian refugees if they tried to return home? Does it include war crimes like those here where he engaged in torture of war prisoners & the desecration & dismemberment of their corpses? Can they explain why Zahreddine is gloating over the bodies of half-naked ISIS fighters in Deir ez-Zor? Did they come to battle with their pants pulled down or were their bodies desecrated?

Assadists & other fascists are brushing off his war crimes because they were committed in the interests of national sovereignty. The question is: national sovereignty for who? The Assad dictatorship or the Syrian revolution against him? The answer is: the torture of prisoners & the desecration of corpses are war crimes condemned not just by international law but by every standard of human civilization.

Good riddance to the general. May he rot in hell.

(Photo from General Zahreddine’s Facebook wall, May 16, 2016)

Jonathan Cook tanks again with his mansplaining gone wild

Jonathan Cook has amended, rather than retracted, his deplorable article to say he expected to be accused of mansplaining. Being a sophist along with being completely ignorant about but still opposed to feminism, he prefers we call it “richsplaining” so we don’t take offense when he suggests snidely that we don’t owe solidarity to rich & famous women who have been assaulted & raped.

Not content to leave bad enough alone, he goes on to say identity politics are “used like a bludgeon” that “just reinforces a tribal politics that neoliberalism can richly exploit as the modern equivalent of divide & rule.” So you see how it works in his disordered mind? When the oppressed organize to stop the assaults on their human & democratic rights, they are bludgeoning & acting tribal. How about we make an accusation of our own? When Cook demeans women who stand up against sexual assault, he is engaging in misogyny & he’s not the first to do so. Turkeys like him are a dime a dozen.

If identity politics are irrelevant & play into the hands of capitalist exploiters, can Cook explain the Rohingya genocide to us? Can he explain the countless attacks, persecutions, genocides against Muslims? The hundreds of thousands of Black & Latino kids in US prisons for smoking a joint? The extremes of violence & persecution against Dalits & other oppressed castes in India? The genocide against the Mayan people, involving mass rape of women & children? Can he explain a damn thing going on in this world where the identity of victims in war, occupation, & genocide are not relevant?
He needs to stop amending & defending his piece of rubbish article & get off his high horse. He would be better at writing “Memoirs of a Misogynist Know-Nothing”

My old neighbors/friends gave me a birthday party where I met an elderly friend of the family who has long suffered from sciatica. When I was laid off my factory job, I studied shiatsu (Japanese form of acupressure) intending to use it to pay my way through Chinese medical school. After 9/11 hit it was very difficult to make a living doing that so I was forced to withdraw from school. But I still practiced shiatsu on family & on the side with something of a speciality in sciatica. So I offered to give the woman a shiatsu–which I haven’t done for several years now.

I could not believe that I forgot some of the energetic meridians which I thought were etched on my brain–though I remembered those involved in sciatica. Shiatsu has been a life-saver in my life in recovering from the trauma of sexual harassment in the workplace & the death of my brother but I forgot how powerful it is. Even though my touch was rusty & my meridians somewhat off course, I could tell she felt overwhelmed by the experience. Mostly it’s the therapeutic aspect & science of acupressure but also it’s being touched in a non-sexual but comforting way. Touch itself is healing. For anyone suffering emotional trauma, it is near-miraculous. As it is for sciatica & other ailments.