This child waiting in a clinic in Kafr Batna, eastern Ghouta, will someday understand the Assadist claim that bombing her & her family & neighbors to protect the sovereignty of Assad’s dictatorship was the highest political good & not military barbarism. When she’s old enough, she can read those long-winded socialist tracts quoting Stalin, sometimes even Lenin, to justify the bombing of civilians as part of defeating capitalism. She’ll understand why they say morality is an impediment in politics. She can also read the Russian media & Assadist propaganda reports about the nefarious politics of the White Helmet rescue workers who pulled her & her family out of rubble & then she’ll be able to see the geopolitical necessity of vilifying them & defending dictatorship & the bombing of civilians. Likely if not certainly, she will reject it as the political treachery it is & be able to recognize fascist thought when she reads it. Because she just barely lived through it.
The only principled demands are for the immediate cessation of Syrian, Russian, US coalition bombing of civilians & for the immediate, unconditional withdrawal of all foreign military forces from Syria.
(Photo taken February 6th by Abdulmonam Eassa/AFP/Getty Images)
There are all sorts of things operating in Modi’s visit to Ramallah to visit the traitorous Mahmoud Abbas. Abbas holds the titles president of Palestine & president of the Palestinian Authority (PA) but both are appointed positions. He wasn’t elected to either one but was appointed by hacks with the same rotten politics he has. There is no state of Palestine. One can hardly call militarily occupied territories being gradually but massively expropriated by Israel & encroached on by Israeli settlements anything more than bantustates. That’s what makes the suggestion of a two-state solution so malignant & detestable, not to mention, unworkable. Abbas’ chief purpose is to administer the Oslo Accords & repress Palestinian resistance to the forcible expropriation of their lands under that US-brokered “peace plan.”
Abbas is a whipped puppy so why would Modi who presides over a state of nearly a billion people pay a state visit to the West Bank when the combined population of the West Bank, Gaza, & East Jerusalem is less than 4 million? Why would Modi pretend to play both sides of the street by having diplomatic relations with both Israel & the Palestinian Authority? The answer is that there are no divided loyalties here. Abbas is not a Palestinian freedom fighter & has nothing in common with them. He’s a two-bit shyster whose mission in life–for which he is well-remunerated–is to sell the Palestinian struggle down the river. His allegiance is solely to Israel. It’s possible, with Trump blowing smoke about cutting off funds to the PA, that Abbas wants to play Trump by asking Modi to replace the US as mediator in Palestine-Israel negotiations. But since those negotiations have led to the Oslo Accords, there isn’t much left for Abbas to betray.
Palestinians gain nothing from a Modi-Abbas alliance. Modi, however, derives legitimacy for the occupation of Kashmir. There are people in the world who actually believe that Abbas represents Palestinians. By feigning diplomatic ties to the Palestinians under the aegis of Abbas, Modi believes he can more easily undermine & isolate the Kashmiri freedom struggle. Regardless of his words, his allegiance is not with Palestinians but with Israel which supplies India with military equipment & trains its counterinsurgency forces in barbarism.
While in Ramallah, Abbas awarded Modi the Grand Collar of the State of Palestine, an honorific which appears to have been invented recently & has already compensated for lack of history with considerable disgrace. Its three other recipients include King Salman of Saudi Arabia (the guy who beheads dissidents & has been bombing Yemen for nearly three years), King Hamad of Bahrain (the guy who crushed the Bahrain Arab Spring uprising by the most brutal means, including pellet guns & incarceration of dissidents), & president Xi Jinping of China (the guy helping rescue Israel from the impact of BDS by billions in investments & exchanges–among other criminalities).
The economic & cultural boycott is not sufficient to win the struggle against Israeli apartheid & ethnic cleansing but it is an essential way to educate & broaden solidarity with the Palestinian people who will someday, without doubt, rise up & throw Abbas & his lieutenants to the curb & choose a leadership worthy of them & their historic struggle.
(Photo of Modi & Abbas in Ramallah from Reuters)
Someone has chosen just this moment to bait me on the Kashmiri Pandit issue & say my support for Kashmiris against occupation is wrong-headed. My impatience runneth over. Writing about executions of young people & other barbarisms is not like writing romance novels.
This is a cell phone photo of 18-year-old Saima Wani taken by her younger brother shortly before she was shot in the head on January 24th in a hunt to kill operation by Indian security forces chasing down two young militants, one of them her brother Sameer Ahmad Wani. She died on Saturday after 18 days on life support. Her brother Sameer & his associate Firdous Ahmad, both recent recruits to militancy, were executed on the spot since due process is no part of military occupation. Seventeen–year-old Shakir Ahmad Mir, who lived nearby & may have been among those protesting the military operation, died hours later in hospital from bullet injuries. Twelve-year-old Musharaf Fayaz picked up an unexploded shell from the hunt to kill operation after troops left without clearing the area of unexploded ordnance. He brought it home to play with & it exploded, causing massive head injuries. He later died in hospital. Another 20-year-old girl who suffered a bullet wound in the head is still recovering in hospital.
Saima Wani’s funerals prayers were attended by so many thousands of mourners that funeral prayers had to be repeated. As Ather Zia has expressed it: “mourning is resistance.”
Our deepest condolences to the Wani family who have now lost two of their beloved just in the past few weeks. Saima & Sameer have a sister & brother in addition to their parents. May both martyrs Rest In Peace after a life struggling against occupation & for freedom.
The struggle of the Rohingya people is going to be in the center of world politics (regardless of the lack of media coverage) as long as genocide continues, as long as forced deportation is being organized, as long as they live in squalid refugee camps without rights, & so long as they are denied asylum in any country they choose with visas & full refugee rights. Their struggle is our struggle. The challenge for our generation, actually our mission, is to rebuild the institutions of human solidarity with those enduring war, occupation, persecution, & genocide. How we do that determines the future of all humanity.
This is a brief video of Rohingya refugees in India where a Rohingya man eloquently lays out the problems they face as refugees.