March for Our Lives: blowing off steam or exercise of political power?

March for our Lives (MICHAEL REYNOLDS:EPA-EFE:REX:Shutterstock) Mar 24 2018

This won’t be a popular thing to say but I’m going to say it anyway: There are probably a million marching in DC for gun reform with close to 1,000 marches around the country. As a seasoned rally organizer, I know the kids at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida were not the primary organizers. It took tens of thousands of dollars to pull off this event with know-how in rally permits, crowd control, transportation, etc. What’s impressive as hell were the young people speaking with extraordinary power & eloquence. What’s less than impressive is that they made a connection between gun reform & getting out the vote but not a one in DC made the connection between gun violence & US militarism. Gun violence is not some disembodied phenomenon but is directly rooted in militarism. Many of these kids, especially those not sucked into the Democratic Party apparatus, have or will make that connection between school shootings & war & what these protests show is that they are potentially a mighty force for change & for rebuilding the antiwar movement. The reason it matters is that they use the same disembodied method to condemn the holocausts under Hitler & even use the same slogan “never again.” The causes of genocide & gun violence become abstractions & opposition is reduced to a moral crusade to avoid confronting the real causes of both. The more abstract & disembodied, the less effective, reducing public protest to blowing off steam rather than exercising political power.

Photo is from Washington, DC rally today.

(Photo by Michael Reynolds/EPA-EFE/Rex/Shutterstock)

The video of the Israeli policeman strangling a Palestinian boy is fake & I have removed it. Those who shared it might want to do so also. There are enough monstrous crimes by Israeli forces against Palestinian kids that there’s no need to invent any & it only discredits the just cause of the Palestinians.

Eastern Ghouta falls to Syrian regime

Syrian soldiers taking selfies with terrified women Mar 24 2018

Assad propagandists are waxing triumphal about the Syrian army taking down Eastern Ghouta in a brutal siege that lasted 33 days. Well of course the forces of reaction defeated unarmed civilians. To do so, they used 1,578 ground missiles; 2,976 bomb strikes; 5,416 rocket launchers; 447 incendiary weapons, including napalm & white phosphorous; 8 toxic gas attacks, including with chlorine; unknown numbers of cluster bombs & bunker buster bombs; 7,013 artillery assaults with mortars & missiles. Over 1,400 civilians were killed, some burned to death by napalm & phosphorous, others suffocated by chlorine. The number of injuries are upwards of 6,000.

There are videos of Assad officials taunting survivors & forcing them to chant pro-Assad slogans in order to receive food & water. There are soldiers taking selfies with terrified women & children. But the propagandists are making this terrifying experience look like a festival of celebration by posting photos of soldiers holding little kids, helping the elderly, carrying the injured in their arms. It’s a glorification of militarism fully endorsed by the utterly corrupt antiwar movement.

This is a watershed moment in time, separating the wheat from the chaff: those who cheered on the slaughter of civilians & the destruction of the Syrian Arab Spring uprising & those who opposed it. The latter are in the majority, no matter the number of likes on social media cheering on slaughter. Most of those likes are Russian trolls. For so long, so many held out hopes that the measure of savagery by the Syrian regime would rouse its supporters from their political stupor rooted in Islamophobia & anti-Semitism & aligned with international fascist forces. But hope is now replaced with certainty that those who support the Assad regime, regardless of their confusions, have helped defeat one of the most important social, political, & revolutionary struggles of the past 100 years. May they rot in hell.

Photo is triumphal Syrian soldiers taking selfies with terrified women & children. In the fall of Aleppo, the Syrian army separated women & children from men which is ominous for all those involved.

Stand with the Syrian people & demand the immediate cessation of Syrian, Russian, Turkish, & US coalition bombing & the immediate, unconditional withdrawal of all foreign military forces from Syria.

(Photo circulated on Twitter)

If I made a list of those who call themselves Marxists that support the Assad dictatorship, all of the international gurus of the left would be on it. If I made another list of all of them who have not said a peep about the Kashmiri & Rohingya struggles, it would include the same people. Most mention BDS & the Palestinian struggle a couple times a year but you probably couldn’t get a cogent explanation out of most of them. No need to continue excoriating the left for failures. It’s dead as a doornail. It’s a parody of itself, reduced to gossiping & infantile Trump-fixation. They just like to call themselves Marxists since it sounds intellectual & rebellious. But they’re dopes.

“It would be a shame if all those buses suddenly fell into a massive sinkhole somewhere on route to Idlib. Best thing is to eliminate them all once and for all time. Letting them go means Syria will have to fight them again in the near future.”

–An Assadist proposing what humanity has come to know as the “final solution” on Twitter post of Assad official Fares Shehabi about civilians, who Shehabi calls “jihadi monkeys,” being evacuated out of Eastern Ghouta.

“…it is surely elementary ABC that for the international left, supposedly the inheritors and continuators of Enlightenment values, torture committed by anybody and against anybody under any pretext whatsoever is completely beyond the pale. If the prisoners were al Qaeda, it makes absolutely no difference to the case; how can those who protested the bestial behaviour of the US in Abu Ghraib, or the use of torture by Nazis or the French in Algeria, justify the torture and execution by hanging of 13,000 people by the Assad regime and still claim to be part of the socialist and humanist tradition? I still cling to the hope that some of those who may have embarked on a course of political support for a savage dictatorship can turn back in time before their path leads them far from the ranks of the left and far from our common humanity.”

–John Scott on fascist Vanessa Beeley & those on the left who justify the torture of political prisoners because they are “monsters, mostly hardcore Al Qaeda.”