Gearoid (rhymes with hemorrhoid) O Colmain is an Irish propagandist of the Catholic fascist tradition who holds Stalin, Bishop Fulton Sheen (a ferocious anti-communist during the McCarthy era), Putin, Assad, Duterte, Suu Kyi & the Burmese generals in the highest regard. His profile picture is the ruthless Albanian Stalinist Enver Hoxha. He is a co-thinker of Eva Bartlett & Vanessa Beeley who publicly support & post his views on Syria & the Rohingya genocide.
This is his latest contribution to political thought: “The Spanish Inquisition is a dark legend created by fanatical Judeo-Protestants to demonise the Church. Spanish missionaries worked miracles in South America. Many of the myths and legends about Spanish brutality were based on faulty sources.”
There are many who might want to reconsider association with such debased & racist ideas.
Just a word about criticism of Bangladeshi prime minister Sheikh Hasina: of course, over a million Rohingya refugees present massive problems for her government & would even if she weren’t administering a sweatshop economy. But forcible deportation of 800,000 traumatized refugees to concentration camps in Burma or to an uninhabitable island is a criminal solution worked out with the Burmese genocidaires.
It is the human right of Rohingya refugees to participate fully in decisions about their lives. They are human beings, not livestock. They have made it eminently clear that they do not want to go back to Burma where the ‘final solution’ awaits them. What Hasina should be demanding is the end of genocide, massive humanitarian aid from other countries, & asylum in any countries the refugees choose with visas & full refugee rights.
This is a quite interesting article about resistance politics in Thailand which is ruled by a military junta. But the article also offers insights into building social movements elsewhere. It is written by Giles Ji Ungpakorn, a Thai activist in exile after being charged with lèse-majesté crimes for insulting king Pumipon who is now dead as a doornail.
It must seem I’m a cynic who’s always complaining about politicians & finds nothing worthy in most of their words & deeds. It comes up in my messages around Pope Francis who talks a good game but then compromises with tyranny in deeds. Why should any compromise on war, occupation, persecution, genocide be tolerable? Why should we not set the highest standards of justice possible & stick to our commitments? We’re socialized to accept the lesser evil but to my mind we should demand the highest good & accept no discounts on that.
Bangladesh prime minister Sheikh Hasina will be visiting Pope Francis in Vatican City on a trip to Rome from February 12th to 14th. She’s going there at his invitation & also to attend a UN meeting on agriculture.
Hasina is on a full-throttle campaign to legitimize the forced deportation of Rohingya refugees & what better person to help her than Pope Francis? He cries crocodile tears for refugees while he sold Rohingya victims of genocide down the river by refusing to even utter the name “Rohingya,” let alone protest the genocide, while dining with Suu Kyi & the generals in Burma. He waited until he said a mass in Bangladesh before he made a hero of himself in his own eyes & an object of pity even to world media by saying “Rohingya”–like it was a brave thing to do rather than a pathetic gesture while a genocide is going on. No possible harm could have come to him by standing with the Rohingya people rather than the genocidaires. That wasn’t cowardice. It was collusion.
When Pope Francis talks theology, no one butts in with criticisms. That’s his venue of authority. But when he talks politics (including against women’s rights)–or more aptly, when he stands mute as a tree stump during genocide–he does not represent all Roman Catholics but just the Vatican & he needs to be excoriated as sharply as any other politician.
Hasina is not going to the Vatican to get a blessing or hear Pope Francis say “Rohingya” again. She’s going to get his endorsement for the forced deportation of Rohingya refugees which he will support in the most florid & detestable way. What the hell would Jesus say at such betrayal of the oppressed!?
(Photo of Sheikh Hasina from Daily Sun)
It’s not possible now to drag out Aung San Suu Kyi to sell that Burma-Bangladesh forced deportation scheme. She shot her human rights credentials by presiding over the Rohingya genocide. So Sheikh Hasina has to do the dirty work & heavy lifting of selling that monstrous scheme to force refugees back to concentration camps without toilets so the Burmese genocidaires can finish off the extermination of the Rohingya people. She appears to be calling on world politicians to help her drown out the voices of Rohingya refugees & make the plan acceptable to the rest of us.
But whatever made her think that getting Indonesian president Joko Widodo to endorse forced deportation would make it credible or acceptable? Before Widodo has any cachet on human & refugee rights, he has some reforming to do in Indonesia–like ending Indonesia’s practice of indefinite detention for Rohingya refugees. In May 2015, (while Widodo was president) it was Indonesian fishers, not the Indonesian navy, who rescued 1,000 Rohingya refugees adrift in the Andaman Sea without food or water. There were an estimated 25,000 adrift in boats fleeing Burma & the Indonesian navy did nothing. No international agency has made an accounting for what happened to the thousands not rescued–human rights criminality of unspeakable proportions because it can only mean they were allowed to drown. Three years later, those survivors rescued by the Indonesian fishers are confined to camps, not free to leave the camps & move freely about the country. They cannot work & are dependent on service providers like UNHCR for basic necessities.
Stand with the Rohingya refugees against forced deportation & demand asylum in any country they choose with visas & full refugee rights.
(Photo is Widodo & Hasina from PID)
Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh are protesting against their forcible deportation back to the killing fields of Burma. But Bangladeshi prime minister Sheikh Hasina can’t manage the sweatshop economy & over a million refugees at the same time. To counteract Rohingya opposition, she must be orchestrating this parade of politicians coming to visit her from around the world to offer their support for the deportation plan between Bangladesh & Burma’s genocidaires. It’s an insane plan to deport refugees whilst the Burmese army & vigilante death squads are still torching villages & Rohingya refugees are still fleeing for their lives. But instead of demanding that governments around the world provide massive humanitarian assistance & asylum with visas & full refugee rights, Hasina is going to deport them to Burma or to an uninhabitable island. That way she won’t jeopardize those trade & sweatshop contracts based on child labor that Bangladesh has going with so many countries.
One of the latest to show up was Switzerland’s president Alain Berset. He talked trade with Hasina, expressed concern for Rohingya refugees, commended Bangladesh for its “solidarity, assistance, & protection” for the refugees, made the obligatory photo op visit to Cox’s Bazar, & pledged 12 million francs ($12.7 million) for the refugees on top of the 8 million francs ($8.5 million) pledged last October. Not to seem ungrateful, but Switzerland is one of the richest countries in the world. Twenty-million francs is chump change from the petty cash drawer–if in fact any of it was actually dispensed. Countries pledge & often don’t dispense.
Berset also commended the forcible deportation plan as a “positive step toward a solution to the current crisis.” “Current crisis” is his euphemism for genocide but if you’re promoting a forced deportation plan it wouldn’t be advisable to use that term. Feigning humanity he does not possess, he said, “it will be important that all returns are voluntary, safe, & carried out in dignity.” Maybe on his photo op visit he didn’t see or hear Rohingya refugees demanding that they not be forcibly returned.
One final question: to how many Rohingya refugees has Switzerland offered asylum? Do we hear the sound of zero, zip, nada, zilch?
Stand with the Rohingya people. Demand no forced deportation & asylum in any country they choose with visas & full refugee rights.
(Photo of Berset & Hasina from bdnews24)
Wajid Khan is a British Labour Party politician & member of the European Parliament. Seldom do I find a politician inspiring but this is an excellent statement he made to the parliament on the brutalities of the Indian occupation of Kashmir & calling for Kashmiri self-determination.
It breaks my heart to see that Eva Bartlett, a fascist & anti-Semitic professional propagandist for the Assad dictatorship, spoke at the commemoration of the Bloody Sunday massacre in Derry, Ireland. On January 30, 1972, British troops in Northern Ireland fired into an unarmed group of marchers in Derry protesting the British occupation & internment of Irish rebels. Fourteen people were killed.
If those Irish republicans, like the fourteen who were killed on Bloody Sunday or those like Bobby Sands who died in internment & fighting for a united Ireland knew such a person would be invited to commemorate their contributions, they would rise from their graves in protest. We grieve for what has happened to the Irish freedom struggle. May it rise again in solidarity with the Syrian, Palestinian, Kashmiri, Rohingya, & other freedom struggles.
A new acquaintance sent me a video talk by Christopher Hitchens to prove he was not an Islamophobe. After his support for the Iraq War, I don’t give a rat’s ass what he was. Even in his hay day, I always thought he was a man who could string words together well but lacked depth, insight, & mostly commitment. There was no ‘there there’ to his writings. There was form but no content. Until he became a hack writing war propaganda. I’d like to say ‘may he RIP’ but I can’t get those 500,000 Iraqi kids out of my mind. Or for that matter, the so-called ‘liberation’ of Mosul.