Social media makes the unbearable suffering of millions of men, women, & children so immediate, so overwhelming. War in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan & elsewhere; occupation in Palestine & Kashmir; genocide in Burma; death squads in the Philippines; millions of refugees shut out of one country after another. Social media also makes forging bonds of solidarity & building an international movement to stand against war, occupation, & genocide more possible than ever before in human history. We can feel overcome sometimes by being witness to the scale of suffering & the power of the oppressors. But ours is a a beautiful world & we cannot allow it to be a cauldron of hatred & oppression. We can change the world if we commit ourselves to working with others to do so. No human being is alien to us. An injury to one of ours is an injury to all of us.
It turns out the US Congress didn’t know the Pentagon had 800 troops in Niger. We know Commander-in-Chief Dumb-as-a-Stump Trump thinks Africa is a country & Niger is a river in Egypt. So then who is formulating US military policies & deciding where to deploy troops? The American people require an explanation for this but even if we never get one we demand the removal of all US troops from the African continent, from the Middle East, & from all the other countries where they are deployed.
My Facebook block list is so long it’s going into its tenth volume. Some consider that a sign of my intolerance or unwillingness, even inability to debate those who disagree. As I have said before, one of the arts of politics is knowing when to save your breath. It took me forty years of trying to persuade my conservative family that socialism was not necessarily evil before I smartened up & let them believe what they wanted. If anyone thinks it worth their time to debate Stalinists, Assadists or other fascists, let me know & I’ll connect you to my block list. I give you forty years of wandering in the desert to also smarten up. But why waste your time when there is solidarity to build?
The Hands Off Syria Coalition, in its support for the Assad dictatorship, has destroyed the antiwar movement, divided & weakened the Palestinian solidarity movement, finished off what was left of a corrupt socialist movement. Now leading figures from the Hands Off Syria crowd are coming out with analyses of the Rohingya genocide to support Burma’s fascist military junta. They ignore genocide & portray the Rohingya as dominated by Wahhabi/Salafi terrorists armed by Saudi Arabia. Among those leading figures are fascists Eva Bartlett & Vanessa Beeley & Sara Flounders, a Stalinist activist since the 1960s.
Let me speak in the first person here since Flounders is an activist of my generation whose politics I have been at odds with since the 1960s. Her sectarian politics in the US antiwar movement have assured it remains fractured & insignificant. If the lilliputian cult she leads called Workers World cannot control the movement they do everything in their power to destroy it as a movement. So much so that under Flounders & other erstwhile socialists like Jeff Mackler, the US antiwar movement is led by retired FBI & CIA agents. For years, despite endless wars of monstrous barbarity, Flounders, Mackler, & other left cults refused to collaborate in united antiwar actions but each held their own which they could control. What brought them together in the Hands Off Syria Coalition was their mutual political corruption into sycophants to state power & supporters of fascism in Syria. They are now locked in the death grip of their fascist allies like Assad, David Duke, & other extremist right groups around the world. After they merged in the Hands Off Syria Coalition with David Icke & his disciples Bartlett & Beeley (who believe extraterrestrial reptiles that morphed into Jewish bankers run the world), it’s only a matter of time before they dissolve or collapse into a pile of horse manure.
Almost everything Flounders writes or speaks about Burma & the Rohingya people is a lie to support the fascist military junta. Her interviews & articles are being spread by Bartlett & Beeley who function as ventriloquist dummies for the Assad regime & on their own are incapable of thought. In a monotone that lacks all charisma but has the death rattle of fascism. Flounders explains her support for Burmese fascism & genocide by claiming the US only supports the Rohingya because the US wants military bases in Burma. She never does get around to explaining how the US supports the Rohingya or how she knows the Saudis support the Rohingya with arms & training. Instead, she switches the subject to Yemen to pretend Assadists & other fascists are not heartless monsters & to avoid condemnation of the genocide against the Rohingya people. How long will people allow these demented Stalinists & fascists to disorient them about whether to stand with fascists or with freedom struggles?
Woman in blue in this photo is Flounders disrupting a tribute concert to the White Helmet rescue workers held last March in Grand Central Station, NYC.
Stand with the Rohingya people against genocide & in their struggle for full human, democratic, civil, & refugee rights.
One of the worst aspects of women’s struggle against violence is a sense of powerlessness, sometimes almost paralysis. That’s true of verbal abuse as well as physical assault. But in physical assault, it can become a life & death matter. This video was done for Kashmiri women but the self-defense techniques in the last half are invaluable to know for girls & women as well as men who are physically assaulted.
As unspeakable as international silence from governments over the Rohingya genocide, there’s nothing new about it. They’ve all known exactly what is going on in Burma for a long while without uttering a peep of protest. They were also dead silent about the Rwanda & Bosnian genocides. With all that “Never again” stuff they try to make it sound like they actually did something to end the holocausts of Jews, Roma, disabled, socialists, & others in Europe. But World War II was not about ending holocausts; it was about the unfinished work of WW1 & conflict between countries over the colonial division of the world. In fact, most countries did no more against genocide in Europe than against genocide in Africa & Burma. Genocide will not be ended by governments but by millions of people around the world standing together against war, occupation, & genocide & militarism in all its malignant forms.
Even though we know children are directly targeted by Israeli bombers in Gaza, Indian soldiers using pellet guns in Kashmir, & Burmese soldiers who execute or orphan Rohingya children, we are never inured to the horrors of crimes against children in war, occupation, & genocide.
This photo is one-year-old Anouba Gulzar whose family lives in the Pulwama district of Kashmir. This morning, army vehicles passing through their village found the road blocked & in retaliation began ransacking homes, breaking windows, smashing up the town. When soldiers arrested little Anouba’s father Gulzar Ahmed Dar–probably for objecting to the rampage–several family members including his wife, elderly parents, & other residents, including children rushed to his rescue. The soldiers turned on them, severely beating dozens with their fists & guns, including Anouba & an eleven-year-old boy who was admitted to hospital for injuries. Doctors treating them said one of the two infants they treated had “serious abdomen trauma injury.” Thirteen unarmed civilians were injured, some seriously, & seven people were arrested.
Following this barbaric incident, hundreds of area residents gathered on the highway to protest & chant anti-India slogans. Child welfare is central to war, occupation, & genocide because children are specifically targeted. The harm done them is not accidental or in the Pentagon’s repugnant terms “collateral damage.” Injuring, disabling, disfiguring, traumatizing children is a strategy to demoralize & minimize resistance.
Stand with children. Stand with Kashmiris. End the occupation. Self-determination for Kashmir.
(Photo of Anouba from Greater Kashmir)
The team of 8 doctors from this area (out of 32 from the US) who will provide medical care to Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh will be headed out November 4th. I just received a reminder to send in my pledge so they have it when they leave. It’s primarily Muslim doctors who organized this work through their religious affiliations. The doctor organizing it here spoke at our solidarity rally earlier this month & said all contributions would go directly from their hands to refugee medical care. If anyone would like to contribute to their work, please message me & I can send you the address where to send the money. From your heart to that of a Rohingya man, woman, or child.
“There’s only one conclusion on the Rohingya in Myanmar: It’s genocide.”
Believe it or not, that is a headline in CNN news today. That was the conclusion of the panel of judges & genocide scholars at the International People’s Tribunal on Burma’s Crimes Against Humanity last September at the University of Malaya-Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. But the head of the UNHCR, the UN General Secretary, Human Rights Watch, & other such authorities insist it be called ethnic cleansing. This isn’t just a quibbling over terms. Designating it as genocide would put political pressure on governments to do more to sanction Burma than the nothing they have done beyond shaking the naughty finger. It points out the chicaneries in international politics because the methods of ethnic cleansing do not differ from genocide.
CNN article in full: http://us.cnn.com/…/op…/myanmar-rohingya-genocide/index.html
(Photo of Rohingya refugees disembarking in Bangladesh from Twitter)