When you consider how Israeli snipers target the legs of young protesters, creating hundreds of amputees; how India uses pellet guns to blind, disfigure, & disable hundreds of unarmed protesters; how Burma created long-term disabilities by shooting at fleeing Rohingya (as documented in the Physicians for Human Rights report “Shot While Fleeing”); it seems that creating mass disability is a primary military tactic to destroy political resistance to occupation & genocide. That puts the struggle for disability rights in the heart of the struggle against occupation & genocide.

Disability has always been an issue in war, including for the armies deployed. Just in Afghanistan, land mines & unexploded ordnance cause 140 civilian incidents every month, at least 30-percent of them killed & the others sustaining amputations. Over the course of 18 years of war, the disability rate would be upwards of 20,000. That’s just in one country. That puts the struggle for disability rights in the heart of the struggle against war.

The photo is 29-year-old Ibrahim Abu Thurayyah who was killed by an Israeli sniper in December 2017 while protesting at the Gaza border. He was a double amputee who lost both legs & a kidney in the 2008 Israeli bombing siege of Gaza. May he Rest In Peace.

(Photo by Mohammed Salem/Reuters)

There are new reports that Syria & Russia are using white phosphorous in bombing Idlib. The US State Department said several weeks ago it had received numerous reports about chemical bombing in Idlib but had ‘made no definitive conclusion’. The US is in no position to be condemnatory since it used white phosphorous in its 2017 bombing siege of Raqqa which wiped out entire families & turned the city into a wasteland of bombed-out concrete. It also routinely used it in Iraq (including Mosul in 2017), Afghanistan, & bankrolls Israel which uses it in Gaza. This new report came from Daily Sabah, a conservative Turkish daily often called a propaganda outlet for the Turkish government. They published video footage of Syrian warplanes dropping 18 phosphorus bombs on the town of Khan Shaykhun, Idlib. The White Helmet rescue workers have reported similarly going back to April when the Idlib siege began.

Assad propagandists & their guppies will immediately leap to a defense of Assad, mocking the sources of the reports & making long juridical arguments about how Assad has no need to use chemical weapons since he is winning the war. (Their tacit defense is that he’s a snazzy dresser who looks European, not Arab, & wouldn’t do such a thing.) When you ask why Syria & Russia are bombing hospitals where chemical exposure could be definitively proven or disproven, Assadists claim they were not medical facilities at all but depots where ‘al-Qaeda affiliated Salafi jihadi terrorists’ hole up & store weapons. They have an answer for everything because Assad pays them well for sowing confusion & distrust. Nihilism is the nature of fascism & Assad’s propagandists have made it an art form of the Leni Riefenstahl kind. Truth is, one of the main reasons that Syrian & Russian bombers target hospitals is to exclude the possibility that medical personnel could confirm & document that those treated showed symptoms consistent with chemical exposure.

Since Syria & Russia are carpet bombing Idlib, one can ask whether chemical weapons are a more gruesome way to die than the barrel bombs (oil drums filled with shrapnel & explosives) they’re also using. Being bombed & burned to death is a hellish, unimaginable way to die but survivors of such weapons sustain deep, disfiguring, disabling burns, eye & respiratory infections, gastrointestinal irritation, organ damage to liver, kidney, heart, lung, or bones.

Principled antiwar activists would not be running interference for the Syrian & Russian air forces. They would be in the streets demanding, as these children of Idlib, that Syria & Russia stop the bombing.

(Photo of children in Idlib from Help Refugees on Twitter)

NBC News recently reported that the US government pays $775 for each unaccompanied or kidnapped child per night to the for-profit private prison companies running the concentration camps. Separated children pay better than keeping them in a facility with their parents. Concentration camps for children are very profitable operations since all you need is a warehouse & concentration camp guards marinated in racist hatred.

This is a quite useful investigative report on the financial forces behind the concentration camp system which every day gets closer to the ethos of Auschwitz. Racism & fascism have a hand-in-glove relationship.