Back today after a week of catching up reading & personal stuff but am now a week behind on social media. When I return from work today, I’m going to review the books I read, including “No Friend But the Mountains” by Iranian-Kurdish journalist & human rights activist Behrouz Boochani which he wrote in text messages while incarcerated in Australia’s Manus Island gulag for refugees (now closed down). A few months ago, Boochani overstayed his visa on a speaking tour of New Zealand & does not intend to seek asylum in Australia. His brilliant prison memoir was highly recommended by Carol Sughrue who has personally assisted refugees from Manus getting resettled in the US.

The second book is “Assad or We Burn the Country” by American journalist Sam Dagher. It is probably one of the most comprehensive books about the rise of the Assad dynasty & dictatorship, the rise of the Syrian Arab Spring & its militarization, the intervention of Russia, Iran & Hezbollah, the emergence & role of foreign militias, including Al-Qaeda & ISIS, which were either Assadist or linked to defense of the Arab Spring. Dagher shares the same weakness of others in not understanding the seemingly schizophrenic character of US-coalition intervention. Too many are still looking to ‘humanitarian’ intervention by the US Pentagon to save the Arab Spring from slaughter when all military forces in Syria are in accord on the imperative need to crush that uprising by any means necessary. The US can live with the Assad dictatorship as it has long collaborated with it in establishing CIA rendition prisons there. But it cannot live with a popular democratic uprising which will strengthen the Palestinian struggle as well as resistance to US occupation in Iraq & the Arab Springs in other countries.