Notice the extensive media coverage of ‘Palestinian violence’ in response to Trump’s provocation. Resistance to occupation, apartheid, ethnic cleansing is not violence in the moral universe of the oppressed. To my memory, media has expressed no such concern about Israeli violence, including the carpet bombing of Gaza.

On the torture of political prisoners

Hooded Afghan POWs (Noorullah Shirzada:AFP:Getty Images) Dec 7 2016

Reposting this from December 7th, 2016 because it addresses torture of political prisoners in war & occupation. The issue is an old one for the US because of Abu Ghraib & Guantanamo & for Syria because of the horrific Amnesty International report about torture & hanging in Assad’s gulag. It came up most recently because of violent assaults on 18 Kashmiris in Tihar jail in India. Torture & assault of prisoners involves several human rights crimes. Regardless of international law, it remains routine in prisons & there is an entire network of secret torture prisons all over the globe.

The more we are aware of this criminality against political prisoners or even criminal prisoners, the more effectively we can organize to oppose it.


Media reports that these hooded prisoners of war captured in Jalalabad, Afghanistan are “suspected ISIS & Taliban fighters” being paraded to media at a press conference by Afghan security forces. The photo accompanies articles on the emergence of ISIS in Afghanistan.

Hooding as a torture technique began under the Gestapo in WWII. It was refined in secret CIA research between 1950 & 1962 which experimented with sensory deprivation like hooding, hallucinogenic drugs, electric shocks, sleep deprivation, & sexual humiliation. Out of this program, the CIA developed its interrogation manual to which it has added other techniques like waterboarding. Alfred McCoy has written an important book on this program titled “A Question of Torture: CIA Interrogation, from the Cold War to the War on Terror.”

When torture of Iraqi prisoners by US soldiers & CIA operatives at Abu Ghraib prison was exposed in 2004, McCoy explained that the techniques used were not due to psychological perversities of the soldiers involved (at least not solely) but were straight out of the CIA manual. The soldiers were not acting out psycho derangement but were instructed in the techniques.

After the public became aware & outraged at these monstrous practices, which are classified as war crimes, both at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq & at Guantanamo Bay, the US military drafted a new field manual for interrogation procedures which it issued in 2006 under the Bush regime. It was mostly a dog & pony show to appease public outrage since what happens in US torture prisons stays in US torture prisons.

The manual–which is only for the US military & does not alter the CIA manual or practices–lays out what is not allowed in torture: waterboarding, military dogs to terrify or attack prisoners, deprivation of food or water, beatings, electric shock, burns or other forms of physical pain, forcing prisoners to be naked, perform sexual acts, or pose in a sexual manner, & hooding.

Afghan security forces are trained & armed by the US Pentagon. The only reason Afghan soldiers rather than US soldiers are parading these prisoners in hoods is because the US could be prosecuted for doing so under its own torture guidelines in the 2006 manual.

The US is entirely implicated in this incident which is a war crime. Because of “jihadist” war-mongering language, they think it can be justified for ISIS & Taliban prisoners. Wrong! The humane treatment of prisoners of war is international law from which neither the US nor Afghan military under US direction are exempt.

US out of Afghanistan!

(Photo by Noorullah Shirzada/AFP/Getty Images)

Ron Dermer, Israeli ambassador to the US & Netanyahu’s alter-ego, speaks with an American accent since he was born & raised in Miami. At the age of 46 he has only lived in Israel for 21 years. He’s all over television news lauding Trump’s decision to make Jerusalem the capital saying ‘it has been the capital of Israel for 3,000 years’. Israel was established by force in 1948, which is only 69 years. The Bible is a religious text, not a land deed.

Al Franken resigned & that’s a good thing since at least seven women have accused him of sexual assault. When he denied the charges, claiming the women misunderstood or are lying, he sucked the reality right out of the room & lent credence to the charge that women often falsely accuse. Women have lost nothing by his resignation since women’s rights & freedom will be won by our struggles, not by politician’s grandstanding.

The criminal insanity of forcibly repatriating Rohingya refugees to Burma

Mumtaz Begum, 30, Ro rape victim (Alison Joyce:Getty Images) Dec 7 2017

This is 30-year-old Mumtaz Begum, a Rohingya woman suffering physical & psychological trauma from Burmese soldiers raping her & then torching her home. Estimates of the number of Rohingya refugees range between 650,000 to nearly one million. All of them are suffering extreme trauma from the genocidal assault seeing loved ones & neighbors executed in the most unspeakable ways, being raped or witnessing women & children raped, human rights crimes & terror beyond imagination. So when Bangladesh, the UN, & other countries approve the Burmese/Bangladeshi scheme to forcibly repatriate Rohingya refugees to concentration camps under guard by the Burmese military, they are willingly, knowingly sending traumatized Rohingya back so that the generals & Suu Kyi can finish off the dirty work of genocide. No one is unclear about that.

We cannot cease advocating for Rohingya refugee rights. It is a fight that will significantly strengthen the essential international struggle for immigrant & refugee rights from the southern border of the US to the western borders of Europe to the Mediterranean to the borders of Australia.

There can be no decisions about repatriating the Rohingya refugees to Burma without their direct participation in every decision made about their fate.

(Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)

Israeli troops assault Palestinians at Al Quds mosque compound protesting Trump’s treachery

Palestinians protesting Trump decision about Jerusalem at Al Quds (DOAM) Dec 7 2017

Israeli occupying forces at the Al Quds mosque compound are assaulting hundreds of Palestinians protesting Trump’s decision to call Jerusalem the capital of Israel.

Just wondering: are these women standing unarmed & defiant against Israeli soldiers pointing assault weapons at them the same Muslim women the US claims need to be saved by bombing the hell out of several countries?

Free Palestine. Build the economic & cultural boycott of Israel (BDS); buy nothing with barcode beginning 729.

–photo tweeted by DOAM‏ @doamuslims (Documenting Oppression Against Muslims)

Kashmiri artist Masood Hussain does series on pellet injuries to children by Indian occupying army

Child injured by pellets Masood Hussain

Children of conflict:

This is from a series of digital art by artist Masood Hussain done in the 2016 uprising in Kashmir when the Indian occupying army went ape with the use of pellet guns–often injuring, blinding, disfiguring children inside their homes. It’s what Ather Zia calls ‘directed stray bullets’.

These are the statistics of the military rampage from July 8th when the uprising began (in response to the murder of a young man whose name & image are censored on FB but whose funeral prayers were attended by over 600,000 people) to December 1st, 2016:

–115 killed
–15,000 injured
–7,330 injured by pellets
–22 youth totally blinded
–307 youth who may lose eyesight
–1,255 youth with partial blindness
–505 women molested
–65,000 houses, shops, structures damaged
–37 schools torched
–9,700 people arrested
–608 arrested under Public Safety Act allowing indefinite detention without charges

End the occupation. Self-determination for Kashmir.

(Statistics compiled by Research Section, Kashmir Media Service)

Massive opposition around the world to Trump’s decision about Jerusalem

Palestinian flag Dec 7 2017

Even US media commentators, all of whom support Israel (or they wouldn’t be on TV), are criticizing Trump’s treachery against Palestinians because ‘it jeopardizes the peace process’. What they mean is that it exposes the US-brokered peace process that led to the Oslo Accords selling Palestinians down the river & legitimizing colonialism. It will be harder for the US to blow smoke out of both sides of its nether-regions. How can there be a peace process while the US declares Jerusalem as Israeli territory; while the US subsidizes new Israeli settlements in the West Bank by bankrolling flights & resettlement costs including Hebrew language courses for Zionists moving from Toledo or Poughkeepsie to Hebron (according to a public document issued under Obama)?

There are massive protests in several places around the world, including Gaza & the West Bank, opposing Trump’s stinking treachery against Palestinians. A Facebook friend from Michigan is organizing a rally against Trump making Jerusalem the capital of Israel. It’s been a while since there have been massive, international protests to support Palestinians. We should all consider calling protests in our own towns where we can also raise the issues of US & European support for the settlements & US military bankrolling of Israel. We could use the rallies to build BDS.

Palestinian Intifada must go international if they are to win justice & a democratic secular state where Jews & Palestinians can live as brothers & sisters–as they did before Zionism showed up.

Trump declared Jerusalem the capital of Israel. That from an ass who doesn’t know the capital of Arkansas or NY for that matter. But who gave him the right to designate squat since geography is the least of his ignorances? They can stick the US embassy anywhere they like, including where the sun don’t shine, but nothing is going to stop the Palestinian struggle against colonialism, apartheid, ethnic cleansing. Jerusalem will always be the capital of Palestine. Trump’s declaration only means we have to redouble our efforts in solidarity with Palestinians. Honor BDS.