Rex Tillerson on ‘that unpleasantry over there in Burma’

Rex Tillerson at the UN said the US has identified one, possibly two Burmese individuals who ‘may’ face US sanctions for the Rohingya flight. He did not identify genocide as the issue. He went on to say the US holds out great hopes for Burma’s transition to democracy under Suu Kyi & wants to give that process a chance. If those two individuals do not include General Min Aung Hlaing & Aung San Suu Kyi, the US State Department can stuff their sorry-assed sanctions. Let it be said clearly that the US is playing an essential role in the Rohingya genocide.

Indian occupying forces intimidate civilians to keep them from protesting

Elderly Kashmiri man investigated (Aasif Shafi) DEc 15 2017

An elderly Kashmiri man is stopped for inspection by Indian security forces: to what purpose? Not that seniors could not be or are not an important part of resistance to the occupation, but this is simply harassment & intimidation of civilians.

End the occupation. Self-determination for Kashmir.

Article about why senior man was interrogated:

(Photo by Aasif Shafi)

Someone must have thought of this already & if no one has, it’s an idea whose time has come: when you rescue a long-abandoned animal, there is a long period of sadness where they’re afraid & keep trying to escape. You can’t even let them out to pee without leashing or they’ll take off. They’re almost comatose & so guileless emotionally that you can watch as they slowly begin to trust affection. It takes time but they slowly begin to show their personalities & it’s a magical thing to be part of.

So here’s the idea whose time has come: there could be programs where shelters team up newly rescued animals with isolated seniors, senior centers, & traumatized children who would become part of the healing process. It would be so reciprocal–like a match made in heaven. I once had a rescue parakeet who threw her baby out of the nest. That’s almost certain death. I nursed the little birds for weeks. She slept & lived next to my heart & when I went to work she came with. At the time, I was doing professional organizing (one of the jobs I did when I got laid off) for an old irritable lonely rather antisocial man. I would give him little Daisy & tell him to love her up while I worked so she wouldn’t die. This was a guy who had been cruel to his children & his wives & once flew for the CIA. No prize package. But he was as lost & vulnerable as Daisy & he treated her with tenderness bordering on awe. Daisy lived for several years. (The fellow died later from neglect & over-medication.)

What do you think of the idea?

French journalist arrested in Kashmir

“I have worked in conflict zones around the world. I have covered the Middle East. I have covered Iraq, the Israel-Palestinian conflict, Afghanistan, Congo, Mexico, South America. But this is the first time I was arrested, harassed. My belongings were confiscated & I was put in a lock-up,” said an award-winning journalist who was arrested by Indian occupying forces in Kashmir.

The Iraqi prime minister Haider Al-Abadi announced on Twitter that the Iraqi military has “fully liberated” all of Iraq’s territory from ISIS & “secured the entire length of the Iraq-Syria border.” He waxed euphoric: the heroic armed forces defeated ISIS through “unity & sacrifice.” Speaking of that sacrifice, how many civilians were killed, how many incarcerated, how many tortured, how many were displaced & are still living in pup tents because their homes were bombed to smithereens?

Rest assured that ISIS has served such an invaluable role as part of the counter-revolution against democracy that it will reincarnate in Iraq & elsewhere. Otherwise, there is no further justification for the US military to occupy Iraq. It can withdraw its troops & declare an end once & for all to the Iraq War which has gone on in one form or another for nearly 20 years.

Who’s arming ISIS?

There isn’t enough attention payed to how ISIS & Al-Qaeda are getting their weapons & who they’re getting them from. You don’t have to be a general to know that if you want to stop paramilitary terrorism, you cut off the weapons supply lines. That’s “Counterinsurgency 101.” For a long time, it served deceit to say ISIS was armed by picking up US weapons, including Humvees & armored trucks, when they routed the Iraqi army who dropped their artillery when they fled. It isn’t mentioned how they routed them before they got the weapons. That was almost four years ago so it was time they cooked up another story to peddle.

Earlier this year, Amnesty International broke the story that the US army “lost track” of over $1 billion worth of arms & other military equipment. Amnesty was citing a 2016 US government audit by the Department of Defense which they obtained through the Freedom of Information system. Now a new study done by the Belgian research group Conflict Armament Research & funded by the European Union & German government has found that sophisticated weapons provided by the US to Syrian rebels “fell into the hands” of ISIS. The study couldn’t determine whether ISIS captured the weapons when they routed the rebels on the battlefield or whether the rebels sold or gave ISIS the weapons. A sophisticated US satellite surveillance system that allowed politicians in Washington DC to watch the assassination of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan & they don’t know what happened to over $1 billion dollars of weapons or how thousands of weapons transferred from CIA-backed rebel groups to ISIS?

Incompetence & mismanagement in the US military is not out of the question–especially since Trumpism has exposed the FBI, CIA, Congress, & Pentagon as a mafia coalition of degenerates, thieves, & criminals. But that isn’t the whole story. The Belgian study of 40,000 artillery items recovered from ISIS showed the majority of weapons used by ISIS since 2014 originated in China, Russia, & Eastern Europe. Well isn’t that interesting? The plot thickens. Clearly some of those countries bombing civilians in Syria & Iraq to defeat ISIS are also arming ISIS. It’s called playing both sides of the street, creating chaos, throwing up smoke screens because in so many ways arming ISIS facilitates the counter-revolution against the Arab Spring movements & democracy in the Middle East. That would make ISIS an ally of the counter-revolution, not the target of the bombers or the purpose of the wars.

The historic imperative remains: rebuild the international antiwar movement on a principled program, demanding the end of militarism & foreign intervention in any country under any guise for any reason.

For how long & in how many ways has it been made apparent that the two-state solution is a betrayal, that the US-brokered peace process is a death trap, that the Oslo Accords are the terms of Palestinian surrender & legitimize colonialism, that Mahmoud Abbas & the Palestinian Authority are beholden to Israel & the US & traitors to Palestinians? These are the very pillars of Zionist strategy to deprive Palestinians of their rights, accomplish ethnic cleansing, & create the Jewish-only state of Israel in all of Palestine.

Trump’s declaration about Jerusalem exposed the fraudulence & criminality of this strategy beyond dispute. The only reason the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) resurrected from its moribund political state is to slap some life back into the stinking corpse of this strategy & render it the authority of Islam. Individually, none of the member states of the OIC would fool anyone because they are so repressive toward democracy in their own countries–not to mention, completely godless. So collectively they try to pull the wool over our eyes. Their politics have nothing to do with Islam nor certainly with solidarity with Palestinians & everything to do with militarism, capitalism, & collusion with Israel, the US, & Europe. It isn’t Islamic principles that guide them but political & economic expedience at the expense of democracy in Palestine & in their own countries.

Intifada combined with active international solidarity & BDS is the only strategy that can bring peace & create a democratic, secular state where Palestinians & Jews can live as brothers & sisters. Compromise with tyranny is no part of this strategy nor of justice.

Henry Lowi from Canada on boycotting Israeli products:

“My local grocery store has a large “Kosher foods” section in which are interspersed many “Product of Israel” items. When I checked about 10 of these last items, not one had a 729 barcode….I suspect that some of these products might bear the barcode of the LOCAL importer. So, my suggestion to you is to not emphasize the barcode for BDS consumer boycott purposes, but rather that we ascertain the source of the product, being wary of “Imported by …”, “Distributed by …” etc.”