Twitter just suspended the account of the Russian embassy in Syria. One would be a fool to think they did it to monitor ‘fake news’ or advance the truth about Syria. Russia has several media venues to peddle their rubbish including RT, Sputnik, Tass, Pravda, Mint Press, Duran, Global Research, the buffoon Pepe Escobar, an entire stable of professional propagandists, & guppies like Ben Norton, Max Blumenthal, & Rania Khalek. It does not serve those who want to fight tyranny to have governments or social media censoring what we don’t agree with. We don’t have to read it, we do have to know what they’re saying in order to politically respond, & we are always most protective of human rights if we do not join with the jackass chorus demanding censorship. In the long run, it is the voices of social transformation who will be silenced if we do not stand for freedom of speech.

According to the White Helmet rescue workers, since the Syrian & Russian bombing offensive began on Idlib, Hama, & Aleppo on April 26th, 830 civilians, including 199 children, have been killed. Since the regime is targeting civilians, not terrorists, there is no report on the number of ‘al-Qaeda affiliated Salafi-jihadi terrorists” killed, if any. Media has shown precious little interest in reporting either the deaths of civilians or of terrorists–if they even know how to identify terrorists from freedom fighters.

Propagandist Eva Bartlett has written & reposted her RT rubbish several times about how White Helmets use children for propaganda purposes. Alas poor Eva has only been in politics for a few years & entered them as a professional propagandist for Assad based on her associations with demented anti-Semite David Icke. She has no political history as an independent activist, especially in antiwar politics. Her interests are solely in supporting the status quo of power & not the struggles of working people against injustice, inequality, & dictatorship. So she might not know, although she is masterful at lying through her ass, that photojournalists often focus on women & children because that is the most compelling way to tell the story of war, occupation, & genocide.

This photo is not a made-for-propaganda moment. It is White Helmets recovering & trying to save the life of a little girl buried by Syrian or Russian bombing of civilian neighborhoods, market places, farm fields in Idlib. If the White Helmets publish this photo, it is not to peddle lies against the Assad dictatorship but to show the character of the regime bombing offensive against civilians.

Stop the bombing of Idlib. Demand the immediate, unconditional withdrawal of all Russian, Iranian, US-coalition, Israeli, Hezbollah forces & mercenaries from Syria.

(Photo from White Helmets, July 30 2019)

Israeli military authorities summoned three-year-old Mohammad Rabee Alayan in for interrogation about stone pelting police & military jeeps in the West Bank town where he lives. There have been hundreds of Palestinians in the West Bank shot down or assaulted by settlers & occupying forces & thousands in Gaza bombed or shot at by Israeli snipers. And Israel dragged a little kid just out of diapers in for interrogation on stone pelting?

Build BDS.

(Photo is little Mohammad Rabee Alayan)

When Duterte took office as president of the Philippines on June 30th, 2016, he vowed to eradicate drug addiction. Even those who have followed the so-called ‘war on drugs’ in the US involving racist hysteria about ‘narco-terrorist Black youth gangs’ & martial law in the Black community were aghast at the vigilante violence of Duterte’s campaign. Using police & vigilantes, the homicidal campaign did not target drug traffickers so much as the urban poor who the government has been attempting to forcibly remove from slums for years. Images of the young victims bound with duct tape & left like road kill on the public streets traumatize all who view them.

In the first eight months of the campaign, a Filipino newspaper kept track of those extrajudicially executed, including how many & their names. By February 2017, the number executed had reached 11,000–over 1,000 victims every month. For some reason, the newspaper then stopped keeping an account. It’s possible the numbers became overwhelming but more likely they were threatened by the regime. Now there are only guesstimates of the death toll since the Duterte regime maintains its vigilante war under close wraps. Some media with sloppy reporting claim about 5,000 have been murdered in the past three years. Al Jazeera estimates–based on what we do not know–as high as 20,000. There are also tens of thousands of poor people who turned themselves in for imprisonment hoping to escape the death squads. They remain imprisoned in squalid overcrowded prisons under Auschwitz conditions.

The UN Human Rights Council (UNHCR) has denounced, sometimes more like chided, the Duterte regime for the death squads but has never taken decisive action. However, on July 4th the UNHCR voted to investigate the human rights situation in the Philippines. Eighteen members of the UNHCR voted to approve the investigation, 14 voted against (Angola, Bahrain, Cameroon, China, Cuba, Egypt, Eritrea, Hungary, India, Iraq, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia), & 15 countries abstained from voting. Most of the countries that voted against the investigation are also signatories to the letter endorsing China’s genocide of Uyghur Muslims. If Cuba & China are so damn revolutionary, we’d like an explanation for why they continue to side with the most reactionary forces in world politics, including Duterte, Assad, Putin.

Drug addiction is a mass problem everywhere but murdering poor people & desecrating their bodies is not the way to cope with what is a public health & social issue. Part of any thorough, respectable UNHCR investigation should necessarily, though it will not, include the sources of drug trafficking to the Philippines & elsewhere, especially the trafficking of methamphetamines & other drugs from Burma & China & any involvement by the CIA which has been historically up to its eyeballs in drug production, processing, & trafficking in Southeast Asia.

This photo is Filipino protesters at a funeral march for 17-year-old student Kian Delos Santos who was killed by police during an anti-drug raid in Manila. One of the remarkable things about Filipinos is their fearless protests against US militarism & against Duterte’s war on the urban poor despite the danger it places them in.

(Photo by Noel Celis/AFP/Getty Images, December 2017)

There really needs to be an analysis of the integration of sectarian socialist groups into Stalinism & their convergence with fascism & Assadism. You can’t tell any of them apart these days. True to form for Stalinism, Assadism, & fascism, they are denouncing the protests of thousands in Moscow against government corruption & the Putin regime’s attempts to manipulate municipal elections by removing all opposition candidates.

One does not have to do a political anatomy or demographics of participants in those protests to support their right to protest. We don’t have to agree with the politics of all 30,000 protesters which are likely very disparate. We only have to stand with the right of people to publicly protest governmental policies they disagree with–even if we disagree with the politics of the protesters. We certainly agree with the democratic demand that elections be free of governmental interference. Or have the Assadists cum fascists already forgotten their own vituperations against charges of Russian interference in US elections?

It is reported that 1,400 people, nearly half the protesters that came out last Saturday, were arrested after being brutally assaulted by police. Echoing Putin authorities, Assadists cum fascists denounce the protests as “unauthorized”, led by Alexander Navaly (who is actually in jail), & justify the crackdown because the protest held up traffic on a main street in Moscow. Even if the protesters had applied for a permit, their right to protest would have been denied. But to Assadism cum fascism, political power makes right & popular protests are to be denounced. In which country have they ever supported popular movements against repression & dictatorship? Syria? Venezuela? Nicaragua? China? Sudan? Egypt? Bahrain? Russia? the US? the Philippines? Kashmir? Algeria? Tunisia?

Photo is from the protest in Moscow last Saturday where police are assaulting protesters demanding free & fair elections & ballot status for opposition candidates.

(Photo by Maxim Shemetov/Reuters)

The NY Times, one of the leading voices of American Zionism, came out this week with two major articles about BDS written by ‘liberal Zionists’. A liberal Zionist is one who supports a Jewish-only state & a bantustate solution for Palestinians but is squeamish about the most violent aspects of Israeli colonialism like occupation & outright genocide. Like Bernie Sanders, who typifies that point of view, they focus criticism on Netanyahu & distinguish him from the apartheid policies that are the very nature of Zionist Israel.

The article on July 27th, written by David M. Halbfinger, Michael Wines & Steven Erlanger (Erlanger was NY Times bureau chief in Jerusalem; Halbfinger presently holds that position) is titled “Is BDS Anti-Semitic? A Closer Look at the Boycott Israel Campaign” & was republished on July 28th under the title “A Look at the International Drive to Boycott Israel.” On July 29th, the Times published an article by Eric Alterman, a Zionist columnist for the liberal journal The Nation, titled “Does Anyone Take the BDS Movement Seriously?” Using the restrained language of liberal Zionists rather than the rabid vituperations of right-wing Zionists, the authors of “Is BDS Anti-Semitic” do a sophisticated smear job on the political forces behind BDS, attempting to associate it with terrorism & even snidely with anti-Semitic vandalism clearly identified by police authorities as coming from nationalists of the fascist sort, not from BDS activists. Mostly, the authors attempt to disparage the impact of BDS in the US. Alterman also tries to disparage the impact of BDS, saying with undisguised disdain, “Like vegetarian diets & carbon-neutral living, it has become something that is vital to espouse, but much less important to explain, let alone carry out.”

But why, if BDS is so ineffectual, did the authors of “Is BDS Anti-Semitic” enumerate the mountains of legislation in the US attempting to outlaw it, including the US House resolution last week condemning it because it will delegitimize Israel & undermine support for a bantustate solution? Why didn’t they discuss the hundreds of attempts by Zionists on US campuses to ban BDS activism? And of course, they only talk about the US, not the hundreds of Zionist initiatives around the world attempting to outlaw BDS.

Actually, Israel doesn’t need BDS to delegitimize it. Apartheid, colonialism, massive demolitions of whole villages & expropriations of Palestinians lands, genocidal bombing of Gaza, Israeli snipers shooting down unarmed protesters at the Great Return March are more than enough to expose the Zionist state for what it is: a death trap for Palestinians & Jews. As for undermining that bantustate solution? Behind the chimera of a two-state solution, the Oslo Accords, which legitimize occupation, expropriation, ethnic cleansing, speak for themselves. As Israeli journalist Gideon Levy, once a supporter of bantustates for Palestinians, pointed out so cogently a few weeks ago, the two-state solution was never a serious proposal by Israel but only a stalling tactic & political maneuver.

If BDS is so ineffectual, why have 28 US states passed legislation restricting or banning individuals & companies from boycotting Israel if they have state contracts? Only eight US states have not already introduced anti-BDS legislation or resolutions. Why are Zionists willing to trash the Bill of Rights in order to make it impossible to criticize Israel, let alone boycott it if BDS is as harmless as vegetarianism or carbon-neutral living? Why are professors being fired, BDS panels being banned & even litigated against if it’s just a way for anti-Semites to discredit poor little righteous Israel?

Photo is from the one-year anniversary of the Great Return March on March 30, 2019. Palestinians in Gaza appeal to the world to defend them against genocide by building BDS.

(Photo from BDS

A work done in 2015 titled “Theater of War” by Rollie Mukherjee protesting land grabs & killing by Israel in Gaza. It shows the stencil cut of different tools used for demolishing homes & underneath the skeletons of Palestinians. The young girl & flowers symbolize the fragility of human life, especially of the children targeted by Israel, in combat against the forces of oppression, which in Gaza means the embargo & continuous carpet bombing.

Syrian & Russian warplanes continue targeting residential neighborhoods, public markets, farm fields in Idlib for now 91 days in a row using barrel bombs & incendiary weapons. By one estimate, 800 civilians, including 200 children, have been killed. In response, Assad propagandists Bartlett & Beeley are mocking the suffering of children as staged & continue to hammer away with drivel against White Helmet rescue workers as terrorists engaged in organ trafficking. That’s because the suffering of children & the work of the White Helmets most expose the crimes of the regime. The two propagandists travel the world on expense accounts, after receiving instructions from their Syrian handlers, denouncing the Syrian Arab Spring as terrorists & being feted as independent journalists.

Somewhere along the way the international antiwar movement heard the Islamophobic & anti-Semitic denunciations of the deranged propagandists & collapsed. Their brains fell out & they now talk collectively through their asses. There are those who prefer a pedagogical response to such a monstrous betrayal of the Syrian struggle against dictatorship & try to reason with corruption. Others know it is no longer possible to bring them back from political oblivion & wouldn’t want to work with them if they could. Once they smugly denounced millions of civilians as “al-Qaeda affiliated Salafi-jihadi terrorists” & actively supported Syrian & Russian bombing of civilians to defend the self-determination of the Assad dictatorship & prevent a “US regime-change operation,” there was no hope that such a corpse could be resuscitated. May they rot in hell.

The corruption & collapse of the antiwar movement does not mean the majority of people in the world support the Assad regime & turned their backs on the Syrian people. On the contrary. The problem is that misrepresentation & confusion about the role of the US-coalition in the counterrevolution undermined efforts to build a movement in support of the Syrian Arab Spring. Despite the immense betrayals & failures, the Syrian uprising against the Assad dictatorship fights relentlessly on against considerable odds. In the long run, rest assured, it will bring the regime down.

Stop the bombing of Idlib. Demand the immediate, unconditional withdrawal of all Russian, Iranian, US-coalition (including Israel), & Hezbollah forces & mercenaries from Syria.

(Photo from Idlib by Muhammad Said/Anadolu Agency)

Another account of the Kashmiri men returning home after 23 years of wrongful incarceration in an Indian prison.

“Many of the people are asking to compensate these gentlemen for wrongfully incarcerating them for 23 years. I wonder what money would suffice for the loss of two decades, will it turn the sands of time? There are hundreds of Kashmiris being tortured as we speak, little kids, people who are humans. Bruised and wrecked. Their only crime; being and identifying as what no one can deny. Kashmiris. Jailed for being Kashmiris. Shouldn’t they be released? But no. Let Kashmiris hit the bucket. No riches on the gods beautiful earth can compensate them. Welcome back home my friends. Viva la Cashmere.”

–Zachriah Sulayman

A scene from Syrian & Russian bombing of Ariha, Idlib: there are those who turn their faces from this reality or say, as Madeleine Albright did of 500,000 Iraqi children killed by US sanctions, that it was “worth it” to achieve US policy goals–or in the case of Syria, to achieve self-determination for the Assad dictatorship & prevent a “US regime-change operation.” To those so corrupted we say where, when, & how did you lose your humanity? What bizarre ideology swept you off your feet & rotted your brain so that the deranged accusations of Assad propagandists hold sway rather than the voices & documentation of the Syrian Arab Spring uprising against dictatorship?

Stop the bombing of Idlib! Demand the immediate, unconditional withdrawal of all Russian, Iranian, US-coalition (including Israel), & Hezbollah forces & mercenaries from Syria.

(Photo by Muhammad Said/Anadolu Agency)