Children of the Kashmiri Intifada

Kashmiri Intifada Feb 13 2017

Some were confused by my post about the Kashmiri woman stone thrower & reproached me for mocking Kashmiri women. Let me simply say it would be unthinkable that I would ever mock the men, women, & children on the front lines of freedom struggles. My post refers back to this reposted one from last month about the role of small children in Intifada.

Satire, including sarcasm & mockery, is the genre of the oppressed to reverse power relationships & prevent anger at injustice from souring into misdirected hatred. It is a genre I employ often against the oppressor, never against the oppressed who are our own. For them, there is only respect & solidarity.
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“Kashmiri Intifada:
You see this same kind of image of Palestinian children against Israeli soldiers. In Belfast in 1983, I saw many small boys taking rocks after armored vehicles of the occupying British army.

Some living sheltered lives get on a high horse & shake the naughty finger: “where are the parents?” To stop children from resisting occupation you would have to keep them locked up. Something about a child that doesn’t like an occupation–especially when children are the targets of pellet guns (Kashmir) or bombers (Gaza).

The tragedy here is not that children resist oppression but that the Indian government makes it necessary for them to do so & takes away their childhood in the process.

End the occupation. Self-determination for Kashm

A boy grieves in Kashmir

Kashmir young boy at Pulwama grieving Mar 9 2017

A boy mourns the deaths of young men killed by Indian occupying soldiers in Pulwama, Kashmir. May those who died Rest In Peace. Heartfelt condolences to those left to grieve.

There is nothing left to be said except building international solidarity & demanding India end the occupation is a political imperative. Kashmiris have stood alone in their historic struggle long enough.

End the occupation. Self-determination for Kashmir.

More ground troops deployed to Syria & more planned for Afghanistan. Will Trump now be held to account & will that rubbish about deep state & soft coups finally hit the skids?

So is the CIA looking at me from inside my computer? Will they see me picking my nose?

(Not that I do. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

I’m all set to denounce WAHHABISM as soon as I know what it is

Read an article today in Huffington Post titled “WAHHABISM: THE IDEOLOGY OF HATE.” In all caps, just like that, so we knew it meant business. It was by a Muslim woman in a hijab & with a PhD so it must all be true. She said “Wahhabism is racist, misogynistic, sectarian, & hateful.”

Wow, it’s really bad stuff & I’m all set to denounce it. Just as soon as someone else, with or without a hijab, with or without a PhD, tells me how it differs from the crap I grew up with in grade school (& is still taught in Texas & Mississippi). Or how my denunciations will distinguish between Wahhabism & US Pentagon war-mongering (just so there’s no misunderstandings). Or what to say if someone asks me how it differs from Salafism & if Sunnis & Shia are just the same (& if maybe Trump’s Muslim ban isn’t in fact judicious). And if Christianity controls US politics in the same way Wahhabism does Saudi Arabia.

I just gotta get all that straight before I take that WAHHABISM to the cleaners. Assadists, call me.

Islamophobia indistinguishable from Assadism

Researching a post today & came across a website with headlines about the dangers of Muslim population growth, the weekly crucifixions of Christians in Syria, the Caliphate Cub training camps for women & children in Syria that make children refugees even more dangerous than adult “jihadists”, claims the White Helmets are an Islamist propaganda group deriving from the Muslim Brotherhood, claims the Muslim Brotherhood are trying to take down Trump, & a brief against the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt claiming they threw babies & old women off balconies & went on a rampage of decapitation, disemboweling, & cutting out the hearts of their opposition.

Golly, I thought. How did I end up on the Hands Off Syria Coalition website?

PS: The MB had engaged in street violence against other activists but at this time they were being massacred in the streets by the military regime under General Sisi & it was a political duty to defend them against that–regardless of their previous conduct. The decapitation, disemboweling crap is just Islamophobia carried to the extremes in the style of Assadism.

The real history of the White Helmets: citizen rescuers risk own lives to save others

White Helmet buried in debris Aleppo. REUTERS:Stringer: Mar 9 2017

Assad supporters led by Beeley & Bartlett have built an entire industry savaging the White Helmet rescue workers. On the level of propaganda, it’s scurrilous but it betrays the psychological & intellectual level of pre-adolescent psycho. The latter is for a shrink & psychotropics to deal with; the former is a political matter that needs to be addressed, loathsome as that is.

Civilian rescue teams emerged in Syria in 2012 when Assad began bombing cities or areas where there was massive public opposition to his dictatorship. It was neighbors & residents coming to rescue the injured trapped in rubble from the bombing. Of course foreign agencies with ulterior motives glommed on to them; it happens all the time to human rights groups all over the world on an array of issues. In some cases, it tempers the resistance of those groups. But in the case of Syrian rescue workers, it got them professional training in urban search & rescue operations, emergency & trauma care, setting up & managing field hospitals in a bombing zone. It made them more effective in rescuing people buried in rubble, in treating their injuries, & saving their lives.

But Bartlett from her pulpit at Sott (a shabby journal she edits for the reactionary demento David Icke) pounds out accusations that “the Soros-funded White Helmets were caught faking civilian casualties of Russian airstrikes” & “massive evidence” shows they were set up to support what she calls the head-chopping jihadists in Syria. The “massive evidence” she produces is culled from various Russian media sources or from Beeley’s numerous blogs denouncing them as an al-Qaeda & ISIS front. Even in small claims court, the judge would throw that kind of rubbish-based evidence out.
If people fall for this rubbish, that’s unfortunate, but capitalism has produced many kinds of cognitive disorders in many, not to mention competing economic, social, & political differences.

Media reported recently that 150 White Helmets have died in their work but that is likely conservative & only an accounting since 2014 when they became a formal group of citizen rescuers. There is probably no way of measuring how many self-sacrificing, courageous people died rescuing people before the group received training in how to navigate piles of shifting cement rubble without getting buried in it.

There are an estimated 3,000 White Helmets, mostly men but also women, & they receive a stipend from agencies funding them. The question that Assadist propagandists never address is exactly what do those foreign agencies give these citizen rescuers to induce them to remain in bombing zones, set up field hospitals targeted by Syrian & Russian bombers, climb mountains of shifting rubble to pull out bodies & survivors, & treat the injured with limited medical training? How much does it cost these agencies to get human beings to risk their lives in service to others & why bother to pay them when for so long they did it without compensation but just to save others from being buried alive?

Media is reporting that millions of Syrian children are emotionally shattered by the war, many enduring complete psychological collapse beyond PTSD. How do these rescue workers handle their own emotions & witness the terror, grief, & tragedy around them without the PTSD or catastrophic trauma experienced by all victims of war? They don’t. That’s what makes them so extraordinary.

Respect & tribute to the White Helmets.

(Photo of White Helmet buried in rubble from Reuters)

Refugee crossings on US-Mexico border down 40 percent in 2017

Morning news reports, & the local refugee shelter confirms, that crossings on the US-Mexico border from Texas to California were down 40% in January & February. Border Patrol apprehended only about 19,000 trying to cross & they speculate it’s because of Trump’s actions.

At the same time, there are unprecedented numbers of refugees from Haiti, Central America, Mexico, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Syria, & several African countries encamped on the Mexican side of the border without social services or shelter.

Open the borders. Immigration is a human right.

Media portrays International Women’s Day as fight for more CEOs

Hundreds of thousands of women around the world marched yesterday over life & death issues. Morning news highlighted a woman who complained we are underrepresented on corporate boards & that stupid glass ceiling. The overwhelming number of women haven’t gotten out of the sub-basement to get near the ceiling.

That was how media misrepresented 1970s feminism as all white middle-class women, writing Black, Latina, & working class feminists right out of history of which we were a central part. Just as they misrepresented its emergence in the 1960s as all man-hating lesbians & spinsters too ugly to get a man.

That would qualify as fake news & unfortunately it’s where most people, including younger feminists, got their views of the women’s liberation movement that changed the world. Not enough, but in consciousness of women’s oppression & in the first steps of ending it. Until leaders like Gloria Steinem & Betty Friedan railroaded it into the Democratic Party & parked it.