“once more, again
and forever
[they] broke all the vases and
stole all the flowers.
Of course,
the right to kill is theirs,
the right to live isn’t even ours.”

–Zafar Iqbal

“There is no civil society in India, there never has been. It is not even a fucking country if we think seriously. It is futile to hope that voices from India will ever amplify to force their government to stop the colonial-genocidal project in Kashmir. For a large number of Indians, Kashmir is a prized trophy, a ‘paradise’ which they will never want to part with.

With the right wing government in power and its equally monstrous media wings injecting poison of majoritarian nationalism into the arteries of India, the hate against the ‘anti national’ Kashmiris is rising to unprecedented levels. Not that their ‘secular-liberal’ predecessors were any better, they indeed laid the foundational doctrines of Indian occupation of Kashmir.

The colonial-genocidal project in Kashmir has clearly exposed the ugly underbelly of the original idea of India and it is here in Kashmir this oppressive empire will find its graveyard. Inshallah.”

–Mir Laieeq

Trump, who is deranged & criminally racist, is going to deploy National Guard troops on the US-Mexico border. The National Guard are state, not federal, troops so he has to get the agreement of four governors. So far, he has Texas & Arizona where the governors are also upper class racist twits. For the past few years, most of those crossing the border are young women with small children or unaccompanied children. Immigrants on the southern border are poor working people from several countries, including Haiti, Bangladesh, Syria, Mexico, & Central America. They are our brothers & sisters, not our enemies, & certainly not dangerous. The Democratic Party has undue influence in sections of the immigrant rights movement & tries to keep protests & rallies timid little parades rather than massive political protests at a time when the latter is necessary. Immigrant rights is the issue of our times. If we get it wrong, all of humanity will suffer.

A new ethos has emerged in world politics out of the so-called war on terror that associates terrorism with Muslims & Arabs & justifies barbarism in the interests of fighting “head-chopping jihadis.” This ethos has long been fully operative in propaganda against the Palestinian struggle but some of its ugliest manifestations emerged in the Arab Spring uprisings, first with orientalist & demeaning analyses of those uprisings, like those of Robert Fisk. Then there were those who approved of the massacres of Muslim Brotherhood (MB) members in Egypt. It’s true that after the election of Morsi, the MB played a violent & reactionary role in Egyptian politics. But when the military ousted Morsi & turned on the MB, it was a human rights issue to stand with them against the violence & slaughter. One progressive after another justified those massacres because the MB were after all extremists. Since when do human rights advocates consider it allowable for armies to mow down people we don’t agree with? When did human rights advocates decide it was okay to endorse the methods of oppressors & ignore the civilized demands of due process?

This vengeful ethos has come to fruition in Syria where fascists, Stalinists, & political halfwits converge to justify the carpet bombing of civilians whom they label “head-chopping jihadis.” Is bombing the only way their demented minds can conceive of fighting terrorism? But of course they’re not fighting terrorism. They’re fighting revolution. They’re going after Muslims & Arabs fighting for democracy against dictatorship.

How did this ethos emerge from the war on terror? How was it progressives got suckered into adopting this ethos when it is the rationale used to occupy Afghanistan, to bomb the madrassa filled with little kids in Kunduz, to carpet bomb Mosul & Raqqa, Aleppo & Eastern Ghouta into dead zones? To carpet bomb Yemen for now over three years? People can rant & rave against the degeneracy of the left but quite frankly that’s a straw man. The so-called left hasn’t exerted much energy, let alone influence, for at least 40 years. For the most part, they’ve been talking to their own belly buttons & not even to each other. The political crisis is profound & one singular sign of that is that many who oppose Assad call for a humanitarian US intervention against him. What planet are they flying in from? Out of this political crisis & stagnation, the extreme right wing has been emboldened & Stalinism has finally found its true home within fascism. Politics, like nature, abhors a vacuum & in the absence of political leadership, that vacuum has been filled with the decaying windbags of the left marching lockstep with fascists.

Is there a solution to this crisis? Damn right there is. It is to look to those Muslims & Arabs being vilified as terrorists who are standing up against all odds against war, occupation, genocide. Those are the leaders of political regeneration. It’s a tragedy such leadership is not forthcoming from those countries that conduct the wars against Muslims & Arabs. But we should thank our lucky stars that leadership does exist & that it emerges from the oppressed who have a vested, uncompromising interest in freedom. We’re talking Palestinians, Kashmiris, Rohingya, Syrians, Afghans, Yemenis, Iraqis, Egyptians, Bahrainis. You know: the very ones we’re supposed to hate.

This statement by Kashmiri photojournalist Aasif Shafi is important because of the extreme danger journalists face from the occupying army when they cover hunt to kill operations or protests. As Indian authorities said in the arrest of Kamran Youssef, journalists are not supposed to document Indian human rights crimes; they are supposed to cover wedding parties, religious ceremonies, sports games, non-political funerals. The last thing journalists need is to be impugned for their motives or accused of being informants. Though even photographing protests in the US, I am often asked if I am an undercover police agent so under occupation suspicions must be heightened. You judge a photojournalist by the content of their work & in that regard Aasif’s work speaks for itself.


Afghan air force, auxiliary of US Pentagon, bombs madrassa ceremony in Kunduz

Kunduz kids bombed Apr 2nd (Global Village Space) Apr 4 2018

Nothing can steel you for the unspeakable war crimes the US has committed in Afghanistan since the war & occupation began in 2001. Gruesome & bestial crimes, always under the guise of fighting the Taliban & now ISIS. The crimes began immediately on the occupation when US special forces trucked hundreds of surrendered Taliban fighters in overcrowded airless shipping containers where they all died from thirst & hyperthermia & then were dumped in mass graves. The detailed description of that crime will haunt you forever. The roster of US-NATO criminality includes carpet bombing prisons with Taliban & other prisoners; several special rendition prisons like Bagram where CIA torture methods are employed; tens of thousands of airstrikes, including the Mother of All Bombs in April 2017; millions of land mines which have caused hundreds of amputations, including of children who think they are toys; massive homelessness & dislocation, thousands of children orphaned, & millions of refugees.

This Monday at noon, the Afghan air force bombed a religious ceremony going on in a madrassa in Kunduz province. It was a large festive gathering to honor little kids for memorizing the Quran & completing their religious courses. The Afghan military justifies the bombing by claiming senior Taliban commanders were present at the ceremony. The Taliban issued a statement denying any were in attendance. The death toll so far is at least 100 with 50 injured–mostly children & religious teachers. It doesn’t matter if the Taliban had a battalion of fighters & all their top commanders present at that ceremony. If there were children or civilians present, it is absolutely forbidden under international law to bomb the madrassa. Under antiwar principles, it is immoral as hell to bomb a civilian venue.

The US Pentagon dummied up on the bombing & let the Afghan air force take full responsibility. This appears to be a new US tactic in Afghanistan. But the US military selects the Afghan pilots, trains them, supplies them with the war planes loaded with laser bombs, & even has US commanders speak for them to media because the US Pentagon considers Afghans inferior, incompetent & unable to speak for themselves. The Afghan air force is an appendage of the US Pentagon & under its complete control; it is not an independent military. Of course the Afghan government has to own responsibility for this war crime but in collaboration with the US Pentagon.

The US has absolutely no right to be in Afghanistan. It is an old adage that Afghanistan is the ‘graveyard of empires.’ May it be so that the Afghan people bring down the US empire. But they cannot do so without international support which they are not receiving after nearly 17 years of war & occupation. Our fullest solidarity with the Afghan people. Our deepest regrets at the historic failure of the international antiwar movement to mobilize antiwar opposition because it is too busy defending the Assad dictatorship & Russian & Syrian bombing of civilians in Syria.

Photo is children at the bombed madrassa ceremony. May they Rest In Peace.

US out of Afghanistan!

(Photo from Global Village Space)

“And those who are sitting in their homes are coughing like TB patients because of the pepper gas which the army uses as its favourite pastime. Imagine the plight of old people, chest patients & kids.”

–Shajarat U Durr on the Indian army hunt to kill operations where 18 Kashmiris were killed

Kashmiri friends: I’m having trouble finding out the actual death toll from the Sunday encounters. I’ve read that others have died since Sunday from injuries at the encounters. Can someone give me a reliable figure?

Families grieve & bury their beloved gunned down by Indian occupying army

Mother of Aetimad Ahmad killed in Shopian April 1st (Kashmir Dispatch) April 4 2018

Mother of Aetimad Ahmad holding her son before his funeral. She is among at least 18 families grieving & burying their beloved who were killed in one of the Indian army shoot to kill operations last Sunday. Words cannot contain grief.

May they Rest In Peace. Sincere condolences to the families & friends of those killed.

End the occupation. Self-determination for Kashmir.

(Photo from Kashmir Dispatch)

Kashmiri police shoot up Shopian hospital

Kashmiri doctors have played a leading role in treating the injured, protesting the occupation, & expressing solidarity with freedom struggles around the world, including with Palestinians, Rohingya, Syrians, & others. This is a statement from Doctors Association Kashmir about an incident where police personnel shot up inside the premises of District Hospital Shopian, which is a violation of international law now routinely flouted:
“Police resorts to indiscriminate firing inside DH Shopian; incident shameful and dastardly: DAK

Doctors Association Kashmir took a very strong note of the firing incident inside District Hospital (DH) Shopian by Police personals. Dr Suhail Naik, President Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) said that “it is a matter of great shame that police personal resorted to indiscriminate firing inside the premises of DH Shopian after they barged into the hospital to retrieve a dead body. In addition to this dastardly act they also damaged the hospital property. It is sheer luck that none of the staff was injured or killed in this incident. Doctors and other staff are still in a state of mental shock and are not able to deliver their duties effectively since this unfortunate incident“

Dr Naik said that “according to Geneva Convention, in the war zones hospitals and ambulances are spared but it is very unfortunate these rules are thrown in the trash in this part of the world and we are at the receiving end by making us easy targets. Police, the law protectors are acting as law damagers by resorting to such type of hooliganism.”

Jammu and Kashmir Doctors Coordination Committee also expressed dismay on hearing upon this shameful incident and expressed concern over the conditions in which the doctors have to work.

DAK stresses upon the Director General of Police, Mr S P Vaid to intervene in this grave issue and issue advisory to his men for proper behaviour with the hospital staff so that we can deliver our duties fearlessly and with confidence. If immediate steps are not taken we would be forced to take extreme steps which will be detrimental for state health care and whole onus will lie with the Govt.

Dr Masood ul Hassan
Media and Publicity Secretary,