In that great big inclusive socialist party everybody’s talking about, would I have to hang with the creeps from Freedom Road Socialist whose role models are Joseph Stalin, Putin, & Assad, or the WSWS website who are as batshit crazy as they get? Cause I would rather put knitting needles in my eyes or go cloistered nun.

Those “al-Qaeda affiliated Salafi-jihadi terrorists” sure do come in all disguises. You just can’t tell them from civilians. But then, according to Assad propagandists & their guppies there are no civilians in Idlib, Hama, & Aleppo, only terrorists.

The corrupt antiwar movement will have to live with culpability for marching with fascists to prevent antiwar actions anywhere in the world against Syrian, Russian, & US-coalition bombing. They’re too busy occupying an abandoned embassy in DC. But mostly they support Syrian & Russian bombing of civilians. They will continue to give each other human rights awards as they limp into political oblivion.

(Photo of the town of Ma’harin from Idlib Plus)

Solidarity with Idlib, Hama, & Aleppo from Irish activists attending last night’s meeting with Paul Conroy & Yassin Al Haj Saleh at Trinity College, Dublin.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif cited “moral principles” when recently asked why Iran executes homosexuals (including by public hanging) for their sexual orientation. In February, a so-called peace delegation to Iran led by Medea Benjamin met with Zarif & afterwards Benjamin tweeted that they “were blown away by his brilliance & commitment.” By his commitment to what? Hanging homosexuals? Mandating what women wear? Repressing Kurds? Arresting & jailing journalists (46 currently in jail in Iran)? Militarily intervening against the Syrian Arab Spring?

So if you post anything on my wall impugning the Rohingya as terrorists or equating ARSA with the Burmese military, you’re toast. You won’t be back a second time.

Let’s try to get this straight: when Bartlett & Beeley go to Syria & report with quotes from the Russian & Syrian ambassadors, the Grand Mufti (responsible for hanging people), Fares Shehabi (an Assad flunkey), the Syrian Army, & themselves, is that journalism?

These must be two more of those “al-Qaeda affiliated Salafi-jihadi terrorists” in Idlib & Aleppo provinces disguising themselves as children injured in Syrian & Russian bombing. Or maybe they’re what fascist propagandists Bartlett & Beeley call “crisis actors” who cry, play scared, act dead on orders from their White Helmet handlers. One could only believe such racist, Islamophobic tripe if one is marinated up to their eyeballs in ‘war on terror’ ideology. That people who once had some political cachet promote this rubbish to support Assad speaks to the irredeemable corruption of the political movement today. People blither on about the growth of the socialist movement today. Where are all those socialists & what’s their point if they aren’t out marching to oppose Syrian, Russian, & US-coalition bombing in Syria?

Stop the bombing! Stop the war on the Syrian Arab Spring!

(Photo from White Helmets)

Russian & Syrian bombers have really found those barrel bombs (oil drums filled with explosives & shrapnel) effective in taking out “al-Qaeda affiliated Salafi-jihadi terrorists” like this infant named Saleh al-Hmoud who was killed yesterday (along with his mother & sibling) in the town of Zerbeh, Aleppo province. The corrupt antiwar movement & creepy socialist cults that dominate it, like Freedom Road Socialists, are busy supporting the bombing, denouncing the Tiananmen Square massacre as a fraud, & posting tributes to Joseph Stalin & Assad. They are now marching lockstep with fascists in support of dictatorship & the Islamophobic ‘war on terror’. It wasn’t much of a fall from grace for such political operatives. Stalinism has found its natural habitat in fascism.

(Photo from White Helmets)

The rabid nationalism of Buddhists in Burma & Sri Lanka should not confuse us about the character of Buddhism. My generation, where millions around the world marched against the Vietnam War, well remembers the massive protests by Buddhist monks & the grim images from 1963 of Buddhist monks in South Vietnam self-immolating to protest persecution of Buddhists under the US-backed Ngo Dinh Diem regime which favored Catholics. Buddhists were then 70% to 90% of the South Vietnamese population. Diem’s sister-in-law Madame Nhu remains notorious for offering to supply the matches for what she dubbed the ‘barbecues’. The US was covertly involved in Vietnam at that time but did not deploy troops until 1965. However, in a matter of months after the 1963 immolations & protests, Diem was arrested & assassinated in a CIA-backed military coup. The US certainly didn’t engineer the coup to end persecution of Buddhists but to prepare the political groundwork for the deployment of troops.

As US military presence in Vietnam increased after 1965, more & more Buddhist monks engaged in massive protests & in self-immolation as an act of political opposition to the war. Self-immolation is a grisly tactic of civil resistance used since in other countries, including Czechoslovakia, India, Tibet, the US, by Turkish Kurds, & most recently in 2011 when Tunisian Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire, igniting the Arab Spring uprisings in several countries. A least seven other protesters in North Africa have since set themselves on fire to protest autocratic regimes.

Contingents of Buddhist monks were a fixture at antiwar protests from Vietnam through the several US wars which followed. Since there is no antiwar movement today, their presence is not evident but when a principled antiwar movement is rebuilt, it is certain they will again take up a central role.

Photo is Buddhist monk Quang Duc self-immolating on a Saigon street on June 11, 1963 to protest persecution of Buddhists by the South Vietnamese government.

(Photo by Malcolm Browne/AP)

Pope Francis has got some explaining to do. He was installed as pope in 2013 after the Nazi pope was ousted for disgracing the papacy by protecting thousands of priest rapists from prosecution. Pope Francis was supposed to clean up that mess. In the past six years, all he has done is formulate a new policy in March 2019 codifying what the Vatican has been doing for the past 100 years: hiding rapists from civil authorities & making their crimes against children a sin absolved in confession rather than a crime requiring prosecution in a court of law.

Now a report has been released showing that for the past eight years (six of them under Pope Francis), the Catholic Church has spent $10.6 million in eight Northeastern US states lobbying against & blocking legislation to support victims of clergy sexual assault.

This catastrophe is not going to end until the Catholic laity begin to organize active opposition to Vatican obstruction of justice by protecting rapists. It remains a mystery why civil authorities around the world have not taken action against the Catholic Church for harboring rapists & obstructing justice in a court of law. Rapists’ confessions to their priests are of no legal concern or interest because we don’t give a damn how they clear up their relationship with God. A suitable justice or act of contrition would be they all burn in hell. Our concern is solely the children who they have so immeasurably harmed.

(Photo is first page of three-page report on Catholic Church lobbying in eight states. Report can be accessed within the linked article.)