The discussions among Assadists about the politics of Tulsi Gabbard are a cornucopia of idiocy. Some argue that she has changed from 2014 when she defended Israel’s seven-week bombing siege of Gaza by saying Israel was defending itself against terrorists who hide behind human shields in schools & hospitals. Most Assadists who support her claim she’s changed since then but her ‘war on terror’ rhetoric on Syria does not support that, even if they do share her Islamophobia & anti-Semitism. Taking childlike, wide-eyed credulity to the breaking point, Ali Abunimah tweeted: “Tulsi Gabbard: end the wars & give everyone free, quality healthcare. What’s not to like?” Keep the tooth fairy away from our man Ali.

Assadists like Eva Bartlett have a different take on Gabbard’s metamorphosis because despite strong support for the Assad dictatorship, in her hustle for votes Gabbard had the temerity to say “There is no disputing the fact that Bashar al-Assad & Syria is a brutal dictator. There is no disputing the fact that he has used chemical weapons & other weapons against his people.” If Gabbard isn’t kissing Assad’s ass, her Assadism isn’t good enough for Eva. Some Assadists may be fooled by Mr. & Mrs. Assad’s European style, but not our Tulsi who recognizes an Arab when she sees one & denounces them all as terrorists.

Stop playing stupid. Gabbard has left a record of votes & cosponsored bills & media interviews & globe-trotting that testify overwhelmingly to her Islamophobia, Zionism, anti-Semitism, Hindutva nationalism, & collaboration with dictators like General Sisi. If she is your chosen candidate, you are right-wing & there are no two ways about it. Aloha or suck on that!

July 2014 MSNBC interview with Gabbard where she lays out her support for Israel:–312796739629?fbclid=IwAR2WGUmeSC13D5-

An image of undaunted Palestinians from the Great Return March in Gaza today. Seven Palestinians were reported injured by Israeli snipers on this 65th Friday of marches for refugee rights & an end to the blockade.

(Photo from Ahmad Matar on Twitter)

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Jokes about Trump’s claim that Washington took over the airports in 1776 will rival Kelly Conway’s claims about the ‘Bowling Green massacre.’

In August 2000, ninety animal rights activists were arrested in Minneapolis, Minnesota for protesting a conference advocating experiments on live animals. At least 800 riot cops were deployed to encircle us & prevent us from protesting. When it was clear that they intended to assault us, I attempted to negotiate with the officer in charge to prevent an attack. When they refused to negotiate, I stood up in the middle of the cordon & gave a speech to the hundreds watching from outside the police line. I explained that our right to protest had been taken away, that we wanted no confrontation with the police & would leave the area as the police deemed appropriate. That made it difficult for the police to attack us with the truncheons they were brandishing. But they arrested 90 of us, nearly half of whom turned out to be undercover agents, & put us on trial. Amy Klobuchar, a Democratic candidate for president, was the county attorney in charge.

When I attempted in 2009 to get part-time work as a substitute teacher in Texas, the Board of Education informed me that the FBI had flagged my criminal record for the use of a weapon of mass destruction (WMD) making me ineligible for work. I have been refused other jobs since then because of that FBI flag although I have no criminal record because the judge at my trial threw out all the charges & chided the county for bringing legal action. When I contacted the FBI, I asked what WMD they accused me of using. They refused to say. I sarcastically chided them for letting an accused terrorist walk the streets for nine years without interrogation, a formal accusation, or prosecution. They refused to remove that flag from my criminal record.

It’s quite expensive to get an FBI flag removed from your criminal record so I approached Colleen Rowley who by then had become a national celebrity as an FBI whistleblower. She refused to help me remove that flag but admitted she was the FBI legal counsel who made the decision to put it on my record in the first place. In 2002, two years after she falsely accused me of using a WMD, she wrote a public letter to then FBI Director Robert Mueller which reveals the conservatism of her whistleblowing politics & protests the Iraq War on the basis of the false accusation of WMD. So what explains Rowley’s metamorphosis in the space of two years from falsely accusing me of using a WMD to protesting the false accusation against Iraq for using a WMD?

Rowley is now a respected leader of the corrupted US antiwar movement. She is an ardent Assad & Putin supporter, supports Syrian & Russian bombing of civilians, & blithers on endlessly to mock Russiagate. Her politics remain conservative, libertarian, detestable.

(Photo of Rowley from CNN)

Putin visited Pope Francis at the Vatican yesterday where they reportedly had a “cordial” discussion on the wars in Syria & Ukraine. Syrian activists organized a #tellPutin social media campaign urging Pope Francis to take a stand against Syrian & Russian carpet bombing of Idlib. But when it comes to war, occupation, genocide, Pope Francis is a case study in the politics of ambiguity. He’s a master of proffering empty gestures to the oppressed & solidarity to the power elite.

Since becoming pope in 2013, he has often expressed concern about the conflict in Syria, called for ceasefires, held prayer vigils, & exchanges regular diplomatic messages with Assad. But when it comes to the war in Syria, Pope Francis speaks in passionate abstractions & makes no condemnations. Pope Francis cannot be called equivocal since in 2016 he appointed archbishop Mario Zenari as the papal envoy to Syria & as a new cardinal (the highest office in the church which makes him eligible to be pope). Zenari is a boldfaced supporter of the Assad regime who celebrated the fall of Aleppo to regime forces in 2016 & who posed for photos with Kinana Allouche, a reporter for pro-Assad Syrian TV who posted selfies of herself radiantly smiling in front of the corpses of Assad opponents.

Putin came & left the Vatican. There was no “clash of world views” as the NY Times claimed, particularly on the issue of homosexuality. Whatever distinctions there may appear to be are merely rhetorical. Pope Francis talks a good line on war, occupation, genocide but always manages to render solidarity to repressive regimes.

(Photo from Help Refugees)