Maybe some are thinking it’s too much about Kashmir too much of the time. You make a commitment to solidarity, you stick to it. You stand steadfast with those on the front lines of oppression facing down nearly one-million war-equipped trigger-happy, pellet shooting soldiers engaging in nighttime home invasions to kidnap kids, make mass arrests, sexual assaults & humiliations, torture, disappearances. If we were in that situation, we would not consider there was ever too much solidarity. Thinking ahead, we would understand that today it’s Kashmiris (Palestinians, Rohingya, Syrians, Afghans, Uyghur, West Papuans) & if we don’t stop them, tomorrow it will be us. That ‘they came for the Kashmiris & I was not a Kashmiri so I did not speak out…then they came for me’ thing is real. The iron law of social transformation is ‘an injury to one is an injury to all’ though the Quran puts that much more poetically.
Following the lead of Russian state-owned media, Assadists & Stalinists are making quite a stink about Hong Kong protest leader Joshua Wong meeting White Helmets director Raed Al Saleh at the Bild100 Fest in Germany. Like that’s a bad thing!? Being fools, they’re trying to build a conspiracy around the encounter, suggesting a ‘color revolution’ in the making which is another of their terms for a ‘US regime-change operation’. Good lord, but they make a mockery of politics. The meeting between Wong & Al Saleh was an encounter between freedom fighters to be welcomed by human rights activists everywhere.
The BILD100-Fest 2019 was dedicated to the fight for freedom in Hong Kong, the struggles against dictatorship & oppression around the world & for democracy & freedom. Does Russia really want to come out publicly & oppose all that? There’s really no need for such admissions since their aggression in Ukraine & annexation of Crimea, their carpet bombing of civilians in Syria, their arming & support for the Rohingya genocide & for the siege & blockade of Kashmir tell us everything we need to know about Russian politics. Russiagate & meddling in the US elections is chump change compared to those monstrous crimes.
(Photo is left to right, White Helmets director Raed Al Saleh, Iranian-Austrian political activist Mina Ahadi, Hong Kong protest leader Joshua Wong, & Kiev Mayor Vitali Klitschko by Hannibal Hanschke/Reuters)
As Syrian & Russian war planes turn Idlib into a killing field & as thousands of Syrian refugees in Turkey are being forcibly deported back to Syria where they face arrest, torture, execution, the Assad regime called a trade union conference in Damascus to express solidarity with the counterrevolution. Since trade unions are outlawed in Syria, except for the state-sponsored, Assad controlled federation, it wasn’t really a trade union conference but a dog & pony show.
We know it’s not a trade union conference since legal unions do not exist in Syria but also because the US delegation included at least seven people who have no associations whatsoever with trade unions but are corrupt Assad propagandists. Paul Larudee (first row far right) is a piano tuner, Rick Sterling (behind Larudee) is a retired engineer, Judith Bello (2nd from far right second row) is a retired engineer & yoga teacher, Ajamu Baraka (second row far right) works for a think tank of some kind. Rania Khalek & Anya Parampil (3rd & 6th from left in second row) work for Russian state-owned media, & Max Blumenthal (4th from left in second row) is an all-around rightwing jackass who as a millionaire travels the world supporting dictators & denouncing popular movements against them as ‘US regime-change operations’. Who knows who the hell the others are!? Who cares? All of them are in Syria to promote the Assad dictatorship & Syrian & Russian bombing of civilians going on as they posed for pictures.
Whilst Idlib burns with at least 550,000 in flight for their lives from bombing with no place to go, Blumenthal, Khalek, & Parampil were posting photos of themselves dining in swank & trendy nightclubs. Blumenthal’s investigative journalism turned up the invaluable info that Damascus has forty new nightclubs & that more couples are cohabiting without marriage now that Assad’s secular regime is triumphal. Since they were there to party on Assad’s propaganda expense account, they didn’t bother to investigate the massive bombing in Idlib or the crisis faced by thousands of refugees forced to return to a war zone. What kind of people go to war zones & slaughter of such apocalyptic dimensions & post photos of themselves grinning ear to ear in nightclubs?
This delegation at the September 8-9 propaganda event in Damascus is from US Labor Against the War, a group whose social media followers are all Assadists & Stalinists. If they ever served a progressive role in US politics, that is long since ended. May they rot in hell.
(Photo from US Labor Against the War)
Photo of Blumenthal, Khalek, Parampil dining in style while Syrian refugees starve and thousands of civilians are being bombed:
Just for the record, I don’t apologize for deleting Zionist, anti-Semitic, Islamophobic, misogynist, Assadist, Hindutva, racist or white supremacist comments. You don’t persuade people with stinking rotten politics on social media any more than you do relatives at family dinners. You post rubbish, I delete it. Amen.
LETTER FROM A KASHMIRI FRIEND TO Shabnam Mayet & Mary Scully:
“Dear Mary & Shabnam
I hope you are well.
I am writing from Indian Occupied Kashmir. I am sure you will understand that I am unable to share my name because I am a Kashmiri residing in India and l will be arrested and charged for speaking against the occupation of my homeland by the world’s biggest democracy. I ask that you share this on any platform that you can.
On 5 August, when India revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir by abrogating Article 370, the entire Kashmiri population was jailed and their internet and mobile connections were disconnected. At that time I was away from my hometown and therefore lost contact with my family and friends. Days passed in a state of terrified waiting. Without any news of home, the knowledge of more and more Indian troops moving into Kashmir and all my dear ones caged and disconnected from the outside world, I could only imagine the worst.
Finally on 31 August I could not take the silence or the waiting any longer booked my ticket home. So there I was at an Indian airport, with a friend wondering why there were only 40 people on an entire flight. We were told to keep the window shutters closed during landing for security reasons. Usually window shutters have to remain open during descent, so this was the opposite of every flight I had ever taken. It felt like even the sky at home was under curfew. I managed to keep the window shutter half open… I wanted desperately to see if my Kashmir looked different now.
As we landed, I saw military choppers and tens of thousands of armed men parading in camouflage uniforms, this was a first in all my years of retuning home. As we disembarked hundreds of military personnel in both uniform and plain clothes were arriving as well, having been brought in from all over India.
With the communication blockade, my cell phone was disconnected along with the internet connection.I walked out of the airport into an eerie silence. A few private cars passed me on the road and I eventually managed to get a lift towards the city. I kept my flight ticket with me, as I had heard that it would be treated as a curfew pass. After 4 hours on a trip that usually takes 50 minutes, I reached my hometown. Home felt like it was burning, there was a complete curfew in place and thousands of armed soldiers on the ground. Sometimes they can bring the prison to you.
I Spent 8 days in Srinagar. I tried to visit both the old city (Rajouri kadal, Gojwara, Nowhatta, Khanyar, Safa kadal, kawdara) and the outskirts. I saw armed men, including Jammu Kashmir Police, stationed every 10 meteres, pellet guns, large-calibre guns, camouflage suits, concertina wires and barricades were deployed to every corner. Kashmiris were invisible, rare sightings on our own streets. People were being warned against gathering for Friday prayers in Jamia Masjid, Hazrat Bal and in the other shrines of Srinagar city.
I was sure to be home by 8 pm daily, as this was when the military temporarily lifted the curfew so the next battalion could start their daily curfew imposition routine. One night as I rode home in complete darkness, I looked up only to find that the road side lights of entire city had been broken. I kept thinking who would do this, my cousin told me that the police and armed forces keep breaking the lights during their night patrols in order to scare us.
I met many people and had many painful conversations about our situation. For the first time in India’s occupation we are numb. We have been betrayed. We are unwilling to accept India’s unilateral revocation of Kashmir’s special status and the house arrest of every mainstream politician under under the guise of security. In this age of super communication and 5G, India has forced us to share our grief the old fashioned way, by letters and landlines.
I spent a week at home. My cousin took me to the airport on his bike, we were stopped 4 times. At one check-point the officer said,”whether you are going to the airport or hospital, we won’t allow you”. An ambulance arrived after us and I saw a patient lying inside. The police officer mocked the patient, saying that he had been paid to lie in the ambulance. The Indian government puts whatever happens in Kashmir on the Pakistani payroll, regardless of whether it is a peaceful protest or stone pelting.
I would have rowed my Shikara to you,
But I hope you know,
Our Jehlum is curfewed.
Your Kashmiri Friend”
An updated report on resistance to the Indian Army in the Anchar Soura neighborhood of Srinagar:
The Houston, Texas ‘Howdy, Modi’ rally on September 22nd which will be broadcast to over 300 million people will include a segment honoring Mahatma Gandhi & Martin Luther King, Jr. India & its Hindutva adherents in the US know the brutal colonial occupation will never ‘win the hearts & minds’ of Kashmiris so it is attempting to hoodwink the rest of the world that Modi, who also fosters caste oppression & Muslim pogroms & disenfranchisement in India, has some kind of political affinities with Martin Luther King, Jr. who fought racist oppression of the Black community. Color that a travesty.
Toronto #StandWithKashmir rally, Sunday, September 15th, 2019.
Tulsi Gabbard, who has long-time public associations with Modi & the Hindutva crowd both in the US & India, was asked about Kashmir. This video is Gabbard at her sleaziest calling it a “complex” issue, “not as clear-cut as this one side versus this one side….there are concerns that should be addressed about human rights violations & civil rights violations.” Concerns like occupation by one-million soldiers, pellet guns, mass rape, forcible disappearance, curfews, mass incarceration & torture, mass graves, extrajudicial executions? No, she ignores that reality & instead makes veiled reference to the Pandit issue & despite her own political history of homophobia, impugns Kashmiris for Indian government policy outlawing homosexuality, brings up the Islamophobic canard about oppressed Muslim women, & refers to Kashmir as a “sovereign country” by which she means Kashmir is a part of India. The girl’s slick. But she is a dirt ball.