It cannot be said strongly or often enough that every time we do not act to oppose the laws–now operating in 26 US states & being made a law by the US Senate) making support for the cultural & economic boycott of Israel a felony, we are not just weakening Palestinian solidarity but undermining the US Bill of Rights which is the foundation of American democracy.

We need to form local, state, & national coalitions to systematically oppose & defeat these attacks on free speech, free association, the right to assembly, the ability to build solidarity against war, occupation, genocide. If we do not, we will be forced to abandon the Black community (where systematic & egregious violations of the Bill of Rights have been unchallenged for over 35 years) & Palestinians who these laws have in their crosshairs & all the rest of us will be completely disarmed against the advance of tyranny in this country.

Palestinians are fighting a life & death battle against genocide. Either we move into action to oppose these anti-BDS laws or they again will stand alone.

(Photo of young man at Great Return March by Mustafa Hassona)

The majority of Democratic senators voted in violation of the Bill of Rights to make supporting the cultural & economic boycott of Israel a felony punishable by substantial fines & jail time. Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, & Kirsten Gillibrand, who all support Israel & oppose BDS, were among those few who voted against the bill. Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar who prosecuted me for protesting against experimentation on live animals & is now running for president in the 2020 elections was among those supporting the bill.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but the US has no plans whatsoever of ending its war against Afghanistan. The official Pentagon estimates of US troops deployed there is 14,000 of which Trump intends to draw down only 7,000. The Pentagon does not report the number of mercenaries, special forces, or CIA operatives it deploys there but the numbers are considerable. NATO ended its Afghan combat operations in December 2014 but nine countries (Italy, Germany, the UK, Georgia, Romania, Australia, Poland, Turkey, & the Czech Republic) still have a total of 13,000 troops in the country. What about them?
Obama’s so-called ‘withdrawal’ from Iraq is instructive for what the US means by withdrawal. There was great fanfare in October 2011 about the full withdrawal of US troops but the Pentagon left over 20,000 personnel in the Baghdad embassy which is walled off from the rest of the city. What the hell are they doing there? How many are mercenaries, special forces, CIA? One year ago it was reported that there are 5,200 US troops in Iraq (not counting mercenaries, special forces, & CIA). When were they re-deployed to Iraq?

But it isn’t just a matter of troop numbers in an age of high-tech slaughter by drones, robots, bombers. Most of the siege of Mosul in 2016 was by US bombers. The number of US troops involved is not reported because they are called trainers for the Iraqi military just as the remaining troops will be in Afghanistan.

The photo is a US Air force B-52 bomber dropping a load of 750-pound bombs. B-52s & stealth bombers are some of the aircraft used in attacks on Afghanistan. The C-130 Hercules military transport plane was used to drop the Mother of all Bombs on Afghanistan in April 2017.

US & all foreign troops out of Afghanistan!

(Photo from Reuters/USAF handout)

Elliott Abrams–a rabid Zionist & Kissinger protégé who has a human rights crime rap sheet ten miles long (especially in drug trafficking to fund the Nicaraguan Contras, in Latin America, Central America, Palestine & the Middle East)–has been appointed the US official to deal with Venezuela. US international policy is not personal or personality-driven. We have no more to fear from Abrams than we do from any other flunkey diplomat overseeing US foreign policy. US policy is formulated on the needs of US capitalism which is in the vortex of a profound worldwide crisis.

What Abram’s appointment signals is increasing US military & human rights threats against the people of Venezuela. We should be alarmed about his appointment only because of those threats to Venezuelans. We should not panic about Abrams but must organize rallies around the world demanding “No US war against Venezuela!”

Senator Mitch McConnell scheduled another vote for this afternoon on an unconstitutional bill encouraging states to punish people for supporting the economic & cultural boycott of Israel for colonialism, apartheid, & genocide against the Palestinian people (BDS). This is not just a direct assault on Palestinian justice but on the US Bill of Rights. BDS is now directly linked to the entire Bill of Rights, the foundation of US democracy.

If we do not move into action with rallies, protests, forums, & coalitions to overturn these laws, we will soon be pledging allegiance to apartheid Israel, spending time in jail for posts like this, & fighting a rearguard battle for free speech & freedom of association. When we did not organize to protest violations of the Bill of Rights in the Black community, we set the stage for this eventuality. It is long-since time to organize.

(Photo is of Black Mountain in Belfast in the occupied six counties in the north of Ireland)

Air traffic controllers at LaGuardia airport in NYC calling in sick & flight attendants threatening to strike is what forced Trump to end the government shutdown. There’s an ironic symmetry to that since the massive assaults on the already compromised US labor movement began in the 1980s when then president Reagan fired all the striking air traffic controllers. But more importantly, this labor action shows the power of labor to bring this rightward shift in US domestic politics (it has always been right-wing in international politics) to an end.

Assadist & Islamophobe Ben Norton (if you don’t believe me, listen to his podcast Moderate Rebels) has exposed hateful “comedian” Bill Maher’s war mongering over Venezuela. Real cutting edge politics to state the obvious! Now if we can just get our man Norton to stop denying the Chinese genocide against the Uyghur people & stop vilifying the Syrian Arab Spring uprising as “Wahhabi/Salafi jihadi terrorists”.

We scoffed when fascist Eva Bartlett said “I’ve been to Syria (embedded with the Syrian Army) & everything media tells you is a lie.” Now those who support US military intervention in Venezuela are using the same line. They claim, just as Assad propagandists Bartlett & Beeley did, that if we haven’t been to Venezuela or don’t know a Venezuelan that our opposition to US war is knee-jerk, unthinking ‘isolationism’. I’ve been an antiwar activist since 1966 & have studied every one of their damn countless wars but I haven’t been to a single one of those countries because my working class jobs did not make that possible. We don’t have to know the landscape of a country to understand US militarism or why the US is going to war against them. Or what are libraries for? In most of those wars, the antiwar movement has actively collaborated with activists within the country being bombed.

That the antiwar movement collapsed over Syria is not a surprise since the left went right over 40 years ago & no one has written a cogent analysis of that process & complex phenomenon. Ironically, it is Stalinism which thrives despite the collapse of the USSR. But that has everything to do with the convergence of Stalinism with fascism. They have finally found their natural habitat & hopefully their final resting place in hell.

No US war against Venezuela! It is up to Venezuelans to settle their score with Venezuelan capitalism led by Maduro.