Russian troops demining unexploded ordnance from cluster bombs they dropped in east Aleppo

Russian soldiers Aleppo, Syria January 31, 2017. REUTERS:Ali Hashisho) Feb 4 2017

The Russian Defense Ministry reported that it deployed troops to clear explosive devices in east Aleppo. They’re actually present in Aleppo as an occupying army but they do have to demine thousands of buildings & public roads to make it habitable because of their use of cluster munitions in over one year of bombing the city.

Cluster munitions, which are dropped from warplanes or fired in rockets, contain hundreds of small explosive devices the size of an apple that spread over large areas indiscriminately & are designed to explode upon impact. But unexploded ordnance, including cluster bombs, bullets, shells, grenades, & land mines, often do not detonate, are buried in rubble or the ground, & continue to maim & kill long after, even decades after their deployment. There are millions of unexploded ordnance in every country subjected to military attack by US-NATO & Russian warplanes.

Russia & Syria deny the use of cluster munitions in east Aleppo because they are banned in international law but there is photographic & video documentation along with testimony from Syrians being bombed with them.

The photo is Russian soldiers on foot patrol in east Aleppo. Presumably assault rifles are not used for demining but to enforce occupation.

End Syrian, Russian, & US bombing of civilians in Syria. No foreign military intervention. Out now.

(Photo by Ali Hashisho/Reuters)

On media using the term “migrant” rather than “refugee”

Media continues, for xenophobic & racist political purpose, to call all refugees “migrants,” even Rohingya fleeing genocide & those from African & Middle Eastern countries fleeing war.

Immigration policies, which are coordinated internationally by governments, used to distinguish between economic & war migrants to deport economic migrants back to their home countries. That distinction is no longer operative; all are considered deportable

We should dispense with the term immigrant & call them all refugees since most of them come from countries economically gutted by neoliberal sweatshop economics & often with US or other foreign troops deployed.

They are all refugees. They are all human. They are all our brothers & sisters. Open the damn borders.

As if being called obtuse wasn’t insolent enough, I was asked to write an article about the left & Syria which the editor accepted & rewrote in language completely foreign to me. I objected & edited the editor’s rewrite.

I got an email just now saying the edited rewritten “piece was not articulated as cogently as it needed to be in order to meet the magazine’s publication standards” but that I was welcome to submit other articles. Excuse me? What are the odds I’ll put myself through that again?

Someone told me that “regrettably” I was “growing more aggressive/obtuse with the passage of time” because I didn’t see things the way his racist friends did. Isn’t that a mouthful? Halfwits say the damnedest things.

East Aleppo: “liberation” or military occupation?

Russian armored vehicles east Aleppo (REUTERS:Omar Sanadiki) Feb 3 2017

Russian foot patrols east Aleppo (REUTERS:Ali Hashisho) Feb 3 2017
Propagandists Eva Bartlett & Vanessa Beeley are touring the globe to speak about Syria. Bartlett is in Canada denouncing fake news like a broken record, & with her fingers always on the pulse of substantive avant-garde politics, taking time out to campaign against the “The White Helmets” movie getting an Academy Award for best short documentary.

Oddball socialist groups (& anybody who knows socialist groups knows just how oddball they can be) in Finland & the UK are sponsoring Beeley speaking & presenting her slideshow of the “liberation” of east Aleppo. She has albums of herself surrounded by jubilant children celebrating the Syrian army & speaks of residents dancing in the streets after 6 years of carpet bombing by Syrian & Russian warplanes. You wouldn’t think war-traumatized children would be up to boogying & jubilation but that’s what our “independent” journalist reports.

Though Beeley & Bartlerr are escorted by Assad officials & protected by Syrian soldiers in Syria & most journalists are banned from entering the country, they continuously taunt media for not being in east Aleppo. Well apparently Reuters photojournalists were recently issued visas & traveled to “liberated” east Aleppo, of course without military protection though not without regime surveillance.

What they found in east Aleppo is quite at odds with Beeley & Bartlett’s liberation narrative. The two of them better hotfoot back to Damascus to find out how they’re supposed to explain what Reuters is turning up because it doesn’t look at all like liberation.
Reuters didn’t record any street dances nor any jubilant kids. They found the streets heavily patrolled by Russian armored vehicles & heavily-armed Russian soldiers on foot patrols. Pardon our confusion, but that looks like a military occupation & nothing like a liberation. Why would Russian troops have to heavily patrol a city where the residents think of them as emancipators from terrorists?

Does this look like occupation or liberation? Will we be given another round of fake news accusations to explain all this?

(Photo of armored vehicles by Omar Sanadiki & photo of foot patrols by Ali Hashisho via Reuters)

On the color revolutions & libertarians

Let it never be said libertarians have not made theoretical contributions to politics & when they are again the marginal, lunatic fringe, they will be recognized for their contributions to comedy.

Their inventive minds have elaborated the concept of color revolutions–or at least extended the shelf life of such foolishness. More than a concept, it is an accusation, a real low-blow condemnation. If you don’t like what’s going on, like the anti-Trump protests or Women’s Marches, you dismiss them as a color revolution. The women’s color revolution is of course pink, The Trump color revolution could only be orange (even though the color’s already been claimed) with a bleached mop attached.

A color revolution is a “good old-fashioned regime change operation” which libertarians claim is going on any time a dictator is opposed or gets called out for criminality. There’s so many of the damn things they’ve run out of primary colors to name the regime change operations & are now working from a more creative color palette. A very extraterrestrial palette, like their thinking.

So go ahead, Color us pink. Color us orange. It makes no difference cause regime change is exactly what we’re after.

The monumental political contributions of Muslims to social transformation

A Facebook friend claimed there are no Muslim-led progressive movements in the world, including anti-racism, women’s rights, environmental, pro-Palestinian, anti-Islamophobia, animal rights.
Although a Muslim, he said Muslims had stopped organizing “around good,” that the best they accomplished was charity, “putting a plaster on the injustice” rather than stop it at its root.

But what about the Arab uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, Syria, & reverberations in other countries like occupied Iraq? What about the intransigence of the Palestinian & Kashmiri struggles against insuperable odds & for so many decades completely isolated? Those are/were social revolutions that challenge the very foundations of power. What about the extremes of violence & repression used to destroy them? And still they rise. And still they resist.

Keeping in mind that even massive protests are not revolutions, is there anything comparable to the Arab Spring, Palestine, Kashmir anywhere else in the world? We only wish.