Since this is my 53rd year as a political activist in most of the US social movements, allow me to share a life lesson (one of many) from my experience: never lie in politics. Don’t exaggerate, misrepresent, or make things up to serve your point of view, & always do your homework. Once you start lying, you’re on the well-trodden slippery slope to corruption. You may not always be right & when you are not, you must correct yourself so you are not lying to yourself as well as others. But take my word for it, when you start lying, it becomes politically habitual, even necessary to cover your ass, & in the long-run you lose all credibility even with those who agree with you. If no one can trust your word, it’s time to retire from politics & take up golf. And one more thing: always stand your ground & do not allow yourself to be silenced or bullied in the interests of the oppressed.

It’s true the Maduro government is completely corrupt & represents the interests of Venezuelan capital, not that of working people. It has no rights whatsoever to shoot at unarmed protesters. But it is solely up to the Venezuelan people to settle the score with their government. The US Pentagon (which represents competing American capital) has no legitimate role whatsoever. Those focusing only on the Maduro regime without opposing US military intervention & sanctions are trying to hide their support for war against the Venezuelan people. There’s a political term for such people: war mongers. War mongers have close association with war criminals.

The extreme political aggression of undermining the US Bill of Rights (the foundation of US democracy) to oppose BDS speaks to the importance of Israel as a fortress against democracy in the Middle East. Just as it speaks to the importance of the Palestinian struggle against colonialism, apartheid, & genocide. Their struggle is now inextricable from the struggle for democratic rights in the US.

Trump keeps pretending he’s withdrawing troops from Syria & Afghanistan. But we don’t have to pretend we believe him. There’s a snowballs chance in hell that US troops will be withdrawn from either country.

This is the body of Samah Zuhair Mubarak, a 16-year-old Palestinian girl extrajudicially executed & left bleeding to death today at a checkpoint in the occupied West Bank. Israeli occupying soldiers shot her to death & justified it by saying she tried to stab a soldier with the green knife shown here just above her left knee. Remember what French Zionist Bernard-Henri Lévy called the “Stabbing Intifada” & other Zionists & apologists for Israeli crimes called the “Knife Intifada” or the “Lone Wolves Intifada” in 2015? That’s the so-called ‘Intifada’ when the Israeli army gunned down Palestinian young people on an almost daily basis & planted knives on them justify it. There was even film footage of Israeli soldiers planting a knife on one victim.

It isn’t possible to know what immediately incited the occupying soldiers to gun this young girl down in cold blood–other than they’re trained in genocide–because the forensics will be done by the Israeli military. The certainty is that she did absolutely nothing to provoke this monstrous crime. May she Rest In Peace. And may we work tirelessly to build Palestinian solidarity by honoring BDS, with rallies, forums, educational forums.

End the occupation of Palestine! Self-determination for Palestinians!

(Photo from several Palestinian sources on FB & Twitter)