Archive for the ‘Activists and Activism’ Category

 

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WRITTEN BY Francesco Petronella, translated by Mary Rizzo

Why is the war in Syria and its dead remembered only if Trump and Erdogan intervene, badly? Or when something touches Rojava?

Operation “Spring of Peace”, conducted on Syrian territory by the Turkish army against the Kurdish YPG militias (part of the security forces of the NES, commonly known as Rojava), comes as a thunderstorm that wipes out the fog of hypocrisy. It clearly shows the inherent contradictions in the way the Syrian conflict has been viewed by the Western world, and by Italians in particular.

The first “great discovery” that the Turkish offensive in northeastern Syria (NES) has brought to light is as extraordinary as it is obvious: there is a war in Syria.

9 YEARS OF WAR, ANYONE REMEMBER THAT?

The mainstream media, the in-depth news talk shows and the whole Western media circus connected to it, seem to have remembered the war in Syria only through the US withdrawal and the Turkish offensive. This creates some perplexity in the face of a conflict that has been going on, continuously, for almost 9 years and has resulted in a civilian death toll that is officially (under)estimated to count between 370,000 and 570,000 deaths.

In Syria, in fact, people died even before Trump gave the green light to Erdogan’s Turkey to launch the operation. One only has to look at the last battle ground between the self-styled Islamic State and the SDF and the constant Russian-Syrian government raids against anti-Assad rebels in the Idlib area, under the canton of Afrin.

In that region – regarded by the Assadists as “in the hands of fundamentalists” – people died (and still today die) in a very particular way. Local health officials, in fact, communicate the coordinates of hospitals, clinics and field schools to the Syrian army and to its responsible bodies, so that missiles and Russian-Syrian government air raids avoid these targets by focusing their firepower on the rebel positions.

IDLIB AND GHOUTA HAVE BEEN FORGOTTEN

The outcome, as evidenced by various sources including the UN and the WHO, is exactly the opposite: health and school facilities are systematically targeted by the Russian-Syrian forces using these coordinates supplied to them.

Mohamad Kattoub of the Syrian-American Medical Society (Sams), interviewed by the Italian agency “Dire”, said that of the 38 hospitals hit from April to July 2019 in the Idlib area “14 had shared their coordinates for the first time” with Assad’s forces.

A very serious act and a blatant crime against humanity, but also news that, taken up by almost no one in the Italian media, has not aroused a fragment of the political and social uproar seen in recent days for the Turkish campaign against the YPG. Almost as if there were double standards at play, however, ones that follow an already common pattern.

In February 2018, with operation “Olive Branch”, Turkish forces together with Syrian anti-Assad rebels took control of the Syrian canton of Afrin, which until then was controlled by the Kurdish YPG. The operation sparked protests in many of Italy’s cities, enraged tweets against Turkey and even the call for a No Fly Zone in the area to counter the air raids against Afrin.

A few months earlier, civilians living in Eastern Ghouta, a Damascus suburb controlled by anti-government militias, were subjected to indiscriminate airstrikes by Russian-Syrian government forces, with deaths in the thousands. Yet, also in that case, in the face of the outcry over Afrin, there was only silence for Ghouta.

COMMUNICATION IS EVERYTHING

Why did Afrin matter more than Eastern Ghouta, and today, why does Rojava matter more – for us Westerners – than Idlib?

The reason is because the difference between civilian deaths in Syria and victims of the Turkish invasions is purely political.

Without a doubt, abandoning Rojava to its own – terrible – fate after the SDF and YPG have been praised as having “defeated the Islamic State” is just as counterproductive as it is immoral and wrong, but this isn’t enough to explain why there is so much indignation currently.

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The YPG – talking about “Kurds” is a simplification that can even be misleading – arouse particular sympathy in certain circles of the Italian and international left, from Youth Social Centers to parliamentary forces. Everyone in recent days has spoken in favour of the Kurdish-Syrian cause and against the Turkish offensive and the issue has entered – to the detriment of the Turkish players – also on the football pitch.

The reason for this feeling between the YPG – armed branch of the Syrian wing of the Kurdish PKK – and the Italian left is due to the fact that the former have had, over the years, the incredible ability to propose their cause as a one that is socialist, libertarian, gender-friendly and even gay-friendly. They, as mentioned in a previous article, had the ability – for a just cause – to use the mass media and social media in their favour.

NOT JUST ROJAVA

To understand the phenomenon, just sift through social media or enter any bookstore. If we talk about the YPG or SDF, the images are always those of proud young women armed with machine guns and with the wind blowing through their hair: the perfect nemesis of the male-dominated jihadists and obscurantists of the Islamic State or al-Qaeda. The antithesis of what we as Westerners define as “wrong” in Islamic culture.

Bearded and observant? Terrorist. Woman without a headscarf? Courageous leftist revolutionary. The reality, unfortunately or fortunately, is much more complex than that.

Needless to say, among the Kurdish population, the vast majority of whom are Sunni Muslims, there are also bearded men who pray five times a day and observe Ramadan like any devout follower of Islam. Needless to say, Rojava, the PYD (of which the YPG are the armed branch) are only the forces on the ground, a fragment of a spectrum – the Kurdish cultural one – that is far wider and more diversified.

It would be superfluous, if these purely aesthetic and formal aspects were to become the substance of the discussions on the Middle East, those that make us define –  à la Fallaci – in a Manichean way, the “good” and the “bad”, fomenting the enormous misinformation in the West on the subject.

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THE FORGOTTEN LEFT/S IN SYRIA

It is less superfluous to point out that the application of Democratic Confederalism in Rojava theorised by Ocalan was not the only “left-wing experience” of the Syrian conflict.

In the forgotten Eastern Ghouta, experiments in the organisation of civil society were undertaken by the rebels, involving the provision of the welfare and assistance needs from below through the Local Coordination Committees – tansiqiyat in Arabic – in competition with the top-level structure of the regime, known with the term Nizam (literally ‘system’). All this is following the writings of a Damascus dissident Omar Aziz, for whom the goal of the Syrian revolution – “the time of the revolution” – was to reduce the dependence of Syrian citizens on the regime and its structures – the time of power – for its daily livelihood.

Is there anything more left-wing than that? And Aziz was not the only one. Razan Zaytouneh, Samira Khalil are only some of the names, unknown in the West to almost everyone, of those who dreamed of a secular and democratic Syria, but did not have the press agents necessary for this dream, the original dream of the Syrian revolution, so it  was never able to reach the lazy ears of the Westerner.

Let us be clear, this is not a condemnation of the YPG, the SDF or of Rojava, but of the way in which we, here in Italy and the West, perceive and/or think we understand the war in Syria with the terrifying result that when we talk about it, the discriminating factor between general protests and indifference does not seem to be concerned with the loss of life, almost always civilian lives, but it is all about us and our ideological belonging.

This is why the visual narrative offered by the YPG is successful. It gives the left – or presumed such – a subject with which it is easy to empathise. Just as, always on an ideological and communicative level, the images of the Assad military and the “great defender of Christianity” (and beacon of American anti-imperialism) Putin against bearded terrorists fuel the rhetoric of the radical right.

Add to this the possibility that the attack – again from our ideological point of view as Westerners – or the invasion is carried out by the “absolute villain” Erdogan thanks to the betrayal of the “even worse villain” Trump against the “absolute good guys” of the YPG, we have the perfect storm: a scenario where it’s in fact too easy to take sides.

Even at the expense of forgetting now – as happened in the past – the rest of Syria, so it will be easier to forget it again when the Rojava emergency is over.

Original:  http://caffeopinione.com/rojava-erdogan-sinistra-ypg/?fbclid=IwAR07lVFI2iZ0RGK-AXUHzCDnhJfpobMHwFcIRMtotaCLZBIAE84mtgGDd9I

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Written by Yassin Al Haj Saleh, translated by Na Assouad (into Italian) and Mary Rizzo (into English)

13 October 2019

Suppose that we Syrians resigned ourselves and no longer had hope in the revolution, suppose that the revolution has come to an end and we wish, as many actually would, to turn the page and move on. I ask myself if our enemies would even allow us to do that? Would the despicable regime accept it?

No, they would desecrate the revolution, the memory of the martyrs and they would cancel every trace of it, as they have already done in Ghouta. They would falsify everything that happened, as they have been doing, imprisoning those who have returned to the “lap of the motherland”, torturing and killing them.

Would the protectors of the despicable regime accept it? No, never! They first have to paint the page as black as possible, they have to burn it and then scatter its ashes.

It must serve as an example for everyone! Isn’t that what they have always done in the past?

Would the comrades of the despicable regime accept it? No, never! They will continue their war, against even the memory of the revolution, against the term “Syrian revolution”, as long as the despicable regime stays in power.

They will pursue this memory and destroy it to the bitter end, dragging it in the mud with insults and lies until the end of their days.

For these reasons, the despicable regime and its accomplices and protectors can slaughter us, but they will never defeat us, because they do not even know the concept of politics, they are bereft of values, they can do nothing but contemplate their crimes.

The Syrian revolution has come to an end. It’s true! But the Syrian Cause has just begun.

And the enemy of the revolution is the same enemy of the cause, so there is no other choice than to continue, to persist, but with different methods, other rhythms, basing ourselves on the lessons that the martyred and battered revolution has given us.

The crux of the cause is the construction of Syria on the basis of the values of the revolution, of the republic, the takeover of politics and of the country, dignity and justice, to continue the battle after the defeat.

Written by Mary Rizzo, long-time Ken-skeptic, and only cheated out of money for the “Ferry to Gaza” that never saw the light of day.

It’s been over three and a half years since Ken O’Keefe announced (and started asking for money) the World Citizen Solution. In the meantime, he’s often announced he’d actually announce what this whole Solution actually was, but all he’s pretty much come up with was that he paid a lawyer a lot of other people’s money to look into the solution, the time of which to properly announce has not yet arrived.

He must have over-estimated his followers’ patience, because he’s been dumped by almost all of his supporters and those involved in the “solution” and even been dumped by many of those who promoted him, allowing him to gain more followers, and most importantly, get a lot of donors, using their “reputations” in the “alternative news”, anarcho-capitalist “investment”, “truther” and conspiracy theorist movements (such as David Icke and those whose income were derived from association with him).

He bitterly fights (or insults or blocks) whoever has actually questioned him, but the one thing they’ll never get from him is ACCOUNTABILITY.

Well, if Ken won’t come up with the goods, somebody better. It’s time for some research, and since his former followers are laying low, I guess that means I’ll do some digging.

I’ve searched for anything I could find about the World Citizen Solution in the past six months. I’ve come up with almost nothing.

Almost.

Then, it hit me, clear as the light of the new day. I suppose people weren’t paying attention. It was there in front of their eye(s) all the time.

Now, before I get ahead of myself, I have to make a premise. In the beginning, Ken was about ecology. He was about burning passports. Then he was about anti-war. Then he was about Palestine. Then he was about Banksters. Then he had some spiritual-ish place in a tropical island decorated by his girlfriend. Then he was about TSA. Then he was about going to Thailand and doing who knows what and being arrested for not updating his visa, which is required by every foreigner who is prolonging their presence in the country. Almost all of these campaigns had him asking people to give him money so that he could do these things and make videos about them. He claimed again and again that he was risking his life, that people were trying to kill him. Wait… he actually said he DID die and that he came back to life, so the Ken we are seeing has also been resurrected from the dead. Usually that brings an epiphany, when people have near death experiences, it makes them want to make peace with the universe and since he is a believer in God, the common response is to live life to the fullest, but also to make amends with those he may have hurt (or cheated). But rather than just answer all of his donors when they asked either if they could have their money back or know EXACTLY how it was spent, he spewed more nastiness at them and did it from a tropical swimming pool (again, those tropical zones!) where he repeatedly said that he was fearing “they” would kill him. (Well, his donors were angry, but he doesn’t mean them. He means the PTB (“Powers That Be”). It seems that currently he’s living a nomadic life of being the guest at the homes of his followers in many different countries. Apparently, he has ZERO interest in revealing either what the money was spent on (other than generic “expenses” and the famous report from the famous lawyer), so people…. It’s no use to keep asking. You are not going to get an answer NOR are you going to get your money back. EVER. End of. You should  have listened to our warnings years ago.

But, if you look through the evolution of Ken over the years, you find that there are some strange things, and I’m going to put on my tin hat right now and tell you that he might even be “one of them”! An Operative or an Infiltrate into all of your movements.

Ken joins movements (that already exist), gives them a twist where he assumes a sort of “leadership” role, while at the same time, stressing that it’s a true movement of a HUGE group of people. He doesn’t abide anyone shifting him out of leadership position, though. Once he’s pretty much gotten what he could out of the movement (or some within it have grown wise to him) he shifts to another movement. He completely dominates in the same way whatever it is that the movement is doing/discussing and challenged anyone else in it for the leadership of it. He’s not got his heart in all of it, probably, he wasn’t the Star of a White Nationalism and Guns convention (Free your Minds) in some American backwoods, nor was he the key draw in the Alt Guru event called, with incredibly originality, “Open Minds” and, sad to say, he didn’t outshine turbo-libertarian Jeff Berwick or right-wing Milo Yiannopoulos in the Anarcho-Capitalist conference held in a five-star hotel in Mexico, but he does enjoy the limelight and the special perks of these events and caters whatever his speech is to the feelings of those attending, because all of them have wallets and all of them can recruit other people to following Ken. Following his trajectory, you can see how, in 12 easy steps, he went from the One State Solution to the World Citizen Solution, losing almost all the original followers and requiring him to start a new group of them each and every time. Aloha indeed.

The strange thing, though, is that most of the movements he enjoys the greatest popularity in can be considered along the “conspiracy theory” spectrum. If you look at this video, where he talks about finance, you can see it was picked up because of one of the lines he says as a message to his followers (who discuss whether it’s the Freemasons, Illuminati, Jesuits or Reptilians who control the world, though lately, he’s added Jews, feeling emboldened by the zeitgeist).

KOK is it the illuminati

 

Clearly, these are the discussions of those who follow him. So, it would stand to reason that he’d KNOW that they were very tuned-in to the related symbolism. He’d HAVE to be, right? He’d have to just KNOW you would not put this picture of yourself up as the symbol of your campaigns on one of the sites you use to ask for money, because it would be a red flag to whoever is donating to you.

KOK illuminati

 

Then, let’s look at the campaign, the one that probably spelled the definitive downfall of Ken as the (One) World (!!!) Citizen (Final) Solution. Here it is, with the money collected ONLY through the Indiegogo site of that campaign. This site does not include any other way that money was donated to it. So, raised by Ken’s followers and paid exclusively to Ken from this one means of collection was $113, 470. Not a huge amount, but certainly, a lot of money that was going to something people believed in and wanted answers concerning how their donations would specifically stop the perpetual cycle of war.

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Yes, that was what the purpose of WCS was, at least, that was the one in black on white. It might be hard to do much of ANYTHING with a shiny silver coin that has no value as currency, but maybe in time will become some hot little collector’s item.

 

But wait… the coin was just one of the perks. There were others, including a t-shirt. Let’s see how that got distributed:

KOK sticker

JJ Alexander, a donor (only donors could comment) as recently as three months ago (that is, three years and three months after he donated) said that he felt Ken scammed them. JJ got the sticker, BUT NO SHIRT! Oh, and where are the other actions he promised, while we are at it?

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I believe it’s reasonable to say that everyone can stop waiting for the solution Ken will give you (with money he asks for to do it) to end the perpetual cycle of war, you can probably also stop waiting for the T-shirt promoting him and “his Solution”.

At this point, I feel it is safe to say that the World Citizen Solution, the source of disappointment to so many believers has revealed itself as being nothing more than a sticker. People who donated (maybe not even all of them, but at least most of them) have something to stick on their luggage, when they go to tropical islands and exotic places, or to five-star hotels and retreats in Bali.

You got a sticker. Hope the glue at least does what you expect it to.

KOK sticker 2

 

all that glitters

Any person who has been a campaigner for Palestinian rights is aware of the various techniques that Israel uses to whitewash the occupation of Palestine and the oppression that the Palestinians are subject to. Along with Hasbara, which is a kind of prepared narrative to dominate the talking points and shift the discourse to a place where it makes Israel appear to be the underdog fighting for its legitimate rights instead of its actual reality as a brutal militarily occupying force against Palestinians, there is “whitewashing”. When regimes or countries that are not democratic use whitewashing, they make use of propagandists to determine talking or selling points that make these countries seem more democratic, more progressive and more appealing than they really are. The curtain is never pulled back to show what lay on the other side of all that “great stuff”.

Israel invests heavily in campaigns of tourism. “Two Sunny Cities, One Break” and “Douze Points” are only two of the campaigns in recent years that have sought a new, fashionable kind of tourist, one that was looking for the nightlife and a place to party 24 hours, and mostly a place to continue the promotion with selfies to be shared, encouraging yet more tourism to Israel in a virtuous circle. In the advertisements, the emphasis is on discotheques, pools, chic restaurants and bars. It’s all about fun and hedonism. That doesn’t mean that the “heritage” tourism, to religious sites and kibbutzes has stopped, it’s just that the advertising focus wants the potential tourist to believe that going to Tel Aviv is exactly like going to Milan, Prague or Madrid, only in this case, your holiday will never be spoiled by rain and your fun never stops. It is selling the side of Israel that reaps the benefits from the occupation, and doesn’t actually have to even think about Palestinians existing on the other side of the wall or who are living imprisoned on the outskirts of Jewish Settlements or any of the other situations where Palestinians do not experience full rights, including the right of free movement in their own country.

The BDS movement has a statement on ethical tourism which begins as follows:

Based on the UN’s World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) affirmation in its statutes that it fundamentally aims at “the promotion and development of tourism with a view to contributing to […] universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion”

It would follow that tourism to countries where there is a brutal occupation, violations of human rights and enclaves of persons living in grave peril under bombing and siege by their “government” and its allies would be exactly like violating the BDS call to boycott Israeli tourism. To go to places like that would require a particular behaviour set in order to be ethical, and that set has to be consistent. One can’t dance in the Tel Aviv discos and also show solidarity by avoiding all institutional links of any sort with Israel. You can’t pick and choose parts from each; it’s all or nothing.

The Syrian government has learned so much from the Israeli government’s use of hasbara, of throwing the rock and hiding the hand. One can say that it realises that slick propaganda is the other side of military occupation and oppression. They are working hard at whitewashing Syria, pointing out the sun, fun and pride of the “loyalist” Syrians (who never had to experience the bombs and destruction of any of the opposition areas, because the opposition did not have the military power or the conviction to subject the civilian population to sieges and air strikes). But, the regime can’t do it alone. It can’t put up slick advertisements on major Western TV channels. It is really limited in the extent to which it can promote the false narrative. This means that it has to find an alternative.

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Facebook main photo of the Syrian Ministry of Tourism

The Syrian Ministry of Tourism has always been the propaganda arm of the regime. In the past, the process of vetting (and interrogating) tourists, with those finally passing through all the hoops specifically having limited or no access to some places and making a person fully aware that the “walls have ears”, made tourism there a sort of adventure tourism and a bit of a Truman Show. You accept that you have certain limits, which you are careful to not overstep. And how could you ever forget, with pictures of Big Brother everywhere, at public transport hubs and markets, but even on archaeological sites and churches. Everyone around you knows you can be called a spy, so you will only hear the most glowing and fervent praise of the government. The element of it being an inauthentic experience for everyone was more than mitigated by: for the tourist,  beautiful scenery and a very different kind of experience (something to write home about as weird but exciting), for the Syrians playing along, making some money off of tourists. Everyone played the game, but at least, everyone knew it was a game.

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The regime in the past also had a habit of involving bloggers and journalists – and not just those whose topic was travel, but especially those who were active in blogging for Palestine or Arab Nationalism – in “junket trips” where they not only had the government approved handlers, but were also shown many of the same places, with a similar narrative and the instructions to “take the talking points back home”, with a sort of briefing of what the points were. That allowed them to create a group of people who, given the amount of perks and the hospitality, were either blinded or they felt morally obligated to pay back the courtesy. Letting oneself be wilfully blinded works if someone can ignore reality. That was certainly easier in the past, when Syria was never in the news, when people “disappeared” for having told a joke or their opportunities were determined by how much they were able to prostrate themselves before the dynasty in power and all of its long arms around the country.

Today, it is impossible to ignore what is going on in Syria. That half of the country’s population has become refugees or internally displaced. That enormous areas of the country have been destroyed by constant and relentless air raids by the regime and other occupying forces, with Russia and Iran’s proxy militias playing the leading roles in these destructive raids, expecting their payback now and in the future. That hundreds of thousands of civilians have “disappeared” and many have been documented in photographs smuggled from a Syrian prison where they were tortured to death. That massacres of all kinds have been documented, with loyalists rejoicing and calling the victims terrorists, even the children who were slaughtered by knives, nerve gas or barrel bombs.

To go to Damascus and other regime-held areas, partying in the shisha bars, sunbathing at the beaches, buying souvenirs in the souks and visiting the sites, whether pretending to be “independent”, while employed by RT, or on a fact-finding mission, getting only the facts the regime wants one to get, with the loyalist behaviour doing the self-censorship, would require a certain, pathological kind of disconnect from reality, along with a severe ethical deficit.

To go to Saydnaya and to just look at the beautiful church, denying that the regime’s most brutal torture prison is located in the same village, is just like going to Tel Aviv, and not pulling the curtain back on Hebron’s misery.

Beware of any “journalist” or “tourist” going to Syria being anything but a propaganda tool for the regime and a knife in the heart of the Syrian people whose struggle for freedom was also a struggle to no longer play the game of lies and deceit. To live in their own country, authentically, without the oppression of the dynasty in power.

Internatinal-SolidarityApril 2, 2019

Dear Friends:

Critical developments around the globe compel the creation of a new type of transnational socialist and anti-authoritarian solidarity network.

Objectively, we are facing the growth of authoritarian capitalist governments, an increasing economic and military competition between the U.S. and China, and the ominous consequences of climate breakdown. In addition, we confront insurgent white-supremacist and other racist ethno-nationalist movements which, similar to ISIS in their extremist views, are willing to employ mass-violence against Muslims, Jews, and other marginalized people.

Subjectively, a new generation of youth is getting interested in socialism because capitalism’s inhumanity and exploitation does not offer it a better future.

The Me Too movement challenging sexual abuse is growing among women around the globe and targeting the abuse of women in government, all fields of work, and the family. The Black Lives Matter movement which emerged in the U.S. in response to state-sanctioned police murder and abuse of Black people has struck a chord internationally. There is no lack of popular protests and strikes around the world, from Sudan, Algeria, Iran and Palestine to Europe, and from China and India to Latin America, Haiti, and the U.S. However, some of these struggles are being crushed by various authoritarian and imperialist forces, and others face the danger of rightwing populism.

In response to these struggles, the international Left has been disappointing. The Syrian revolution was not only crushed by the Assad regime with the help of Russia and Iran. It was also abandoned or rejected by the majority of the international Left. The poor and starving masses in Iran and Venezuela are being told by supposed “socialists” and “peace and justice” advocates that their miseries are only caused by U.S. imperialism and that they have to live with authoritarian regimes like the Islamic Republic or Maduro’s state as the “lesser of the two evils.”

There is no doubt that U.S. imperialism and settler colonialism are the cause of much misery and death in the world both presently in the actions of the Trump administration and historically. Nonetheless, the U.S. is not the only capitalist-imperialist power exploiting and oppressing humanity. We live in a world of various imperialist and sub-imperialist power rivalries. In particular, Chinese and Russian imperialism are competing with U.S. imperialism for global dominance.

In the face of this reality, however, many leftists are rationalizing the actions of authoritarian regimes such as those of Putin in Russia, Assad in Syria, Khamenei in Iran, Ortega in Nicaragua, and Maduro in Venezuela – simply because these governments use the rhetoric of anti-U.S. imperialism. Some socialist observers have named this rationalization or support the “red-brown alliance” which follows the “campist” approach of dividing the world into competing military camps, and negating the role of the working class and oppressed peoples within those “camps.”

Given the evidently sordid and bloody history of U.S. imperialism, many Western leftists justifiably endorse Karl Liebknecht’s declaration, made in 1915 amid the depths of World War I, that “the main enemy is at home.” Liebknecht was expressing what he thought should be the position of socialists in an inter-imperialist war. His statement should not be used as an excuse to abandon working-class struggles around the world. Unfortunately, today, many on the Left have twisted this principle to minimize or deny well-documented chemical-weapons attacks by the Assad regime in Syria; murders of protesters in Russia, Venezuela, and Iran; mass-internment concentration camps such as those holding a million Uyghur Muslims in China’s Xinjiang region; and other heinous attacks of state violence carried out by regimes that claim to be against U.S. imperialism. Such views greatly violate the core ethical principles of humanism, egalitarianism, and human solidarity with oppressed peoples, and confuse the struggles of workers and the oppressed against capital and the State with inter-imperialist intrigues.

We need a transnational socialist and anti-authoritarian solidarity network that breaks with such careless and undiscerning views of the world and instead sets human emancipation, not inter-imperialist rivalry, as its aim. We need to create a network that offers in-depth analyses, genuine grassroots socialist solidarity, and forums for working out real solutions – such as alternatives to capitalism, tackling climate breakdown, and overcoming patriarchy, racism, homophobia, transphobia, and xenophobia.

We believe that the essence of socialism is humanism, the idea that human beings have the potential to use their reasoning capacity to move forward, establish intercommunication and relations free of domination and servitude.

The signatories of this call include a variety of socialist and Marxist humanists, anarchists, and anti-authoritarians. We reject the systems that existed in the former USSR and the People’s Republic of China as authoritarian. We oppose capitalism both in private and state form as well as racism, sexism, and heterosexism. We seek humanist, intersectional, and sustainable ecological alternatives to oppression and ecocide.

Please join us in an effort to create a transnational and anti-authoritarian socialist-humanist solidarity network with the initial aim of organizing speaking tours and building a speakers’ bureau with a related website aimed at the following:

  1. Concrete expressions of solidarity with ongoing progressive and revolutionary popular struggles on the basis of opposition to capitalism, racism, sexism, heterosexism, transphobia, and xenophobia.
  1. Genuine dialogue and debate on humanist alternatives to capitalism, visions of a free and sustainable society, liberation of women, and LGBT persons, the right to self-determination, and a commitment to truth, reason, and human emancipation.

We propose a speakers’ bureau that would offer a resource list of speakers/ topics and coordinate speaking tours which would bring together local, national, and international issues and struggles.

This is an international effort aimed at concrete solidarity work and dialogue on the burning questions of our day, and hopes to prove that the idea of emancipatory socialist solidarity can be credible in theory and practice.

If you agree with these ideas and would like to be part of this effort to form a Transnational Socialist-Humanist Solidarity Network, please contact us at transnationalsolidarity@protonmail.com

 Signatories:

Abou Jaoude, Elias, Sofware Developer, Lebanon

Alliance of Middle Eastern Socialists

Afary, Frieda, Producer of Iranian Progressives in Translation, member of Alliance of Middle Eastern Socialists, U.S.

Afthinos, Pantelis, Internationalist revolutionary socialist website, e la liberta, Greece

Al-Saadi, Yazan, Syrian Canadian Writer

Amina, Syria solidarity activist, U.S.

Ayoub, Joey, Writer, editor and researcher, IFEX, Global Voices, Scotland

Independent journalist and activist, Argentina

Castro, María, Professor of Spanish and French Studies, U.S.

Chelliah, Lalitha, Maternal and Child Health Nurse – Socialist, Australia

Cuffy, Robert, Socialist Workers’ Alliance, Guyana

Dehkordi, Sara, Manjanigh Collective, Germany

Fareid Eltayeb, Amgad, Spokesperson of Sudan Change Now movement & producer of Sudan Seen blog

Fischer, Dan, Graduate worker, U.S.

Galyon, Shiyam, Syrian American feminist and campaigner

Hensman, Rohini, Writer, independent scholar and author of Indefensible, India

Hirsch, Michael, New Politics Editorial Board member, U.S.

Kousinatas, Kostas, Internationalist revolutionary socialist website, e la liberta, Greece

La Botz, Dan, Teacher, writer, co-editor of New Politics, U.S.

Language professor, Seattle, U.S.

Lopez, Rocío, Mexican-American writer, U.S.

LeFage, Shanelle, Climate activist, U.S.

Leonard, Ralph, Writer and student, U.K.

Maria, Eva, Independent Venezuelan Socialist Feminist, U.S.

Masjedi, Fatemeh, Iranian feminist and history scholar, Europe

Melcher, Thorne, transgender activist, writer and coder, U.S.

Munif, Yasser, Syrian Sociology Professor, U.S.

Noor, Yalda, Psychologist, U.S.

Petersen-Smith, Khury, Socialist and geographer, U.S.

Quiquivix, Linda, Community scholar and farmer, U.S.

Ram, Joshua, Writer, U.S.

Ramírez, Krys Méndez, Disability Justice organizer and Ethnic Studies scholar, U.S.

Reid Ross, Alexander, geography professor, and author of Against the Fascist Creep, U.S.

Reimann, John, Former Recording Secretary of Carpenters’ Local 713 and current producer of OaklandSocialist.com blog, U.S.

Rizzo, Mary, Editorial Staff of Le Voci de la Libertà, Italian blog for the Syrian Revolution, Italy

Ruder, Eric, socialist and journalist, U.S.

Saravi, Jose, writer and translator, Argentina

Schulman, Jason, New York City Democratic Socialists of America

Sethness, Javier, Family Nurse Practitioner and author, U.S.

Shurmand, Azadeh, Iranian women’s studies scholar, Europe

Sloughter, Tristan, Denver Democratic Socialists of America, U.S.

Soeller, Peter, Anti-fascist activist and writer, U.S.

Smith, Ashley, Socialist writer and activist, U.S.

Weston, Matt, Social Worker, U.S.

Wind, Ella, Middle East Studies scholar and member of Democratic Socialists of America, U.S.

Zekavat, Sina, Alliance of Middle Eastern Socialists, Germany

Zuur, Cheryl, former president, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Local 444, U.S.

Original: https://www.allianceofmesocialists.org/call-for-the-formation-of-a-transnational-socialist-humanist-solidarity-network/

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(Aleppo Civil Defense/Pool/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

WRITTEN BY ASMAE DACHAN for Avvenire (print edition of 12 January, 2019)

Sixty thousand civilians of the city outside Aleppo are living under siege by the Jihadists of al-Qaeda. Two hundred who oppose are “wanted” by the terrorists. They are also not spared Assad’s bombs

The ordeal of Syrian civilians appears to be endless. The advance of the militias of Hayat Tahrir al Sham (HTS), a group affiliated to al-Qaeda, in the citadel of al-Atareb, in the Aleppo province, opens up a new, disturbing scenario. Roughly sixty thousand people live in the area, many of them displaced from other cities. In recent days, the militia bombed al-Atareb, which was under the control of the last pockets of resistance, the opposition forces, as well as being one of the first cities to have declared itself independent of the regime in 2012. In this town, civilians had organised themselves into committees for self-government. The HTS has surrounded the city, succeeding in easily advancing in an area where the forces of the National Liberation Front (NLF), a military opposition group supported by Turkey, are in the minority. According to the agreements signed by Turkey, Russia and Iran last September in Sochi, Ankara would have the task of curbing the terrorist militias of the north-west of Syria, supporting the military actions of the NLF, but the resounding advance of HTS at al-Atareb, just like at Darat Izza, simply reinforces the many perplexities regarding its implementation expressed by many parties. Al-Atareb is seen as an important conquest to many because it is in a highly strategic area, both from the logistic and economic point of view, because here one finds the main route of connection between Aleppo and the Bab Al Hawa pass (the only official border crossing with Turkey).

The terrorists immediately disseminated a list with the names of about two hundred matlubin, a “wanted” list, that included many women, all active in the self-government committees and protagonists of the revolts against both the regime and ISIS. Among them we also find the eighty-year-old Hajja Hamra Akush, known as “the mother of the opponents”, a woman known to everyone and whose home had served as a safe house for military deserters who refused to fight against their fellow countrymen.

Civilian sources report executions, kidnappings and violence, in addition to the closure of all schools. Concerning public health, the situation is dire; there is a lack of medicine and the few remaining medical staff is unable to provide for the needs of the entire population. The particularly harsh winter only aggravates the situation. Al-Atareb is one of the most emblematic examples of the way in which the moderate opposition, made up of civilians, women and men, who only sought a different Syria, without a regime and without extremists, were left entirely to their own devices, abandoned and at the mercy of the countless forces on the field. The fear of civilians in the area now is that the presence of the terrorists in al-Atareb is going to be used as a pretext to justify a new wave of joint Russian-Syrian regime bombing. According to civilian sources, more than seven hundred people have been killed in the city in recent years. No one can tell just how much more blood has to be shed by civilians before their lives become the priority in international negotiations.

A rally in al-Atareb on September 28, 2018 for the Syrian Revolution. Chants include:  “The Baathists [the party of Bashar al-Assad] went crazy when we demanded freedom”:

 

Translated by Mary Rizzo

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Written by Labib Nahhas: Rather than luxury, ambition or idealism we have to understand undoubtedly that there is no other option left in front of us.

(1) Some believe that the revolution – from early on – had to open proper channels of communication with the Russians and build the right discourse to deal with them and their interests, but the reality is that Russia never thought of a political solution in Syria. If we take a closer look at Russia’s history and its experiences, and if we consider Putin’s czarist character and his own experience in Chechnya and closely follow his speech to the West about the Syrian issue and his focus on combating “Sunni terrorism”, we will reach a definite conclusion that the policy of the Russian regime in Syria would not change, especially in the absence of a clear and appeasing alternative. Just as the Assad regime has resorted to the “Hama model” in dealing with the Syrian revolution as a successful model from his point of view, it is logical that Russia resorts exclusively to the “Grozny model,” which openly boasts of being an ideal example of dealing with “insurgencies.”

Russia has taken all necessary military steps to impose a new political reality in Syria, and has established political tracks alternative to the Geneva process, arriving at the Sochi Conference, which resulted in the idea of the so-called Constitutional Commission, through which the Russians plan to obtain the legitimacy of “the opposition” and its joining in a political process that ensures the continuation of the Syrian regime (and perhaps Bashar himself) and gives the green light to the international community to open the door for the reconstruction in Syria and the flow of funds for this purpose, to be equal to a reward for the regime for its criminality and success of the Russian project in Syria in a conclusive way. Then, if Syria is without big economic and financial support it will remain a ‘failed state” threatened by a new explosion under the influence and corruption of the Assad regime and Iranian intervention and its penetration of the heart of Syrian society. For the knowledge: The cost of the reconstruction in Syria is estimated at between $ 250 billion to about $ 1 trillion; the regime does not possess from it any proportion and Russia is not able to contribute in it. Even those countries that support Russian military action in Syria in secret will only be able to support the reconstruction process with an international green light and existence of a political solution with Syrian and international legitimacy.

(2) The path of the Constitutional Commission will undoubtedly lead to a complete end to the revolution militarily, tame it completely politically, and consolidate Assad’s rule. Therefore, a fundamental question arises: What is the interest of the revolution and the Syrians in the participation of those who claim to represent the revolution in the so-called constitutional committee? The answer is: there is no interest, not partial nor total, neither in the near term nor in the long run, and there is no possibility of achieving any gain (unless there is someone who trusts the Russians as guarantor and the regime as an executor), or if we would consider the installation of some associated with the “opposition” in a future government under the rule of the regime to be a positive thing or would recognize that such “achievement” is the ceiling of the current revolution and the most achievable under the new political “realism.”

There is a fundamental problem in the existence and composition of the political “opposition” and the parties that run the political process and the so-called negotiating process in the name of the revolution: most of these are not revolutionaries at all, but traditional opponents at best under the cover of a fancying reality and they are incapable of acting (or even imagining) outside the frame of regional and international understandings (no matter how fragile). They never understood the true meaning of being a revolutionary for the sake of freedom and dignity against a criminal regime. They were engulfed in the concepts of “realism” and political “experience”, and became part of a system that they supposedly rebelled against one day, because it deprived them and their people of their rights and freedom (we don’t mean the Assad regime).

We have to ask and answer with all frankness and clarity: What is the constitution that will be written under the auspices of the Russian occupier?! What is the reference and legitimacy of the names that are presented as political “opposition”, and how have they been reached (to clarify: the satisfaction of the regional and international parties about persons or their performance does not give legitimacy)? What is the experience of these names in writing constitutions? In the name of whom this “opposition” negotiates? What are the papers of this “opposition” to negotiate in accordance with its current structure and its relationship with the interior (or lack thereof) and its defeatist speech? Do these “politicians” have a clear road map of milestones and results for what they are doing? Do they tell their people what is happening?

The most important question: Do they really think that this path will lead to the writing of a constitution that protects the rights of the Syrians and weakens the powers and authorities of the regime! And provides a safe environment for the return of the displaced and the preservation of their property! But more importantly: who will force the regime to implement this presumed constitution! Is there among these “opponents” (with the exception of the hired ones) whomever will be safe to go to Damascus to work within the future government of Assad and under the supervision of his security services?

(3) The logic of these “politicians” depends on two basic ideas: First, what is happening in Syria is an international and regional agreement, and political “experience” and “realism” require identification with this agreement. The second point is that we have no choice but to follow the path of the Constitutional Commission, and those who do not like this path: “Let him suggest another option!!!” Of course, the previous speech is based on big fallacies and miserable logic and refuted, and lacks the minimum degrees of desire for change and revolutionary spirit.

As for this international and regional agreement that is dealt with as sure, unavoidable destiny; what must be understood is that the international and regional community has not yet reached a final solution or agreement on Syria (although there is – at present – greater acceptance of the continuation of the regime in some form with cosmetic modifications considering the absence of a real, acceptable alternative.) However, the complexity of the Syrian issue has made the countries behave differently with different allies according to each region of Syria, and in general, we are still far from the comprehensive solution. But the Russian political momentum on the ground and in diplomatic corridors began to bear fruit, especially in the absence of any effective and counter political activity by the revolution.

Even if there was an international tendency towards a solution or concept against our interest as revolution and Syrians, the least we can do is to refuse and say “no” and, most importantly, to strive to impose a reality on the ground, militarily and socially (and this is of highest importance) hindering any solution that does not achieve our minimum interests. The “international decision” regarding the speech and mentality of the political upheaval about the revolution has changed into a self-fulfilling prophecy, into a pretext for their failure and inability to perform or deliver anything outside the bureaucratic routine of their work of attending meetings and conferences and then marketing what they are doing and justifying and suppressing those who disagree. However the reality is opposite to what they think, and the new reality that we need as Syrians and revolution is possible despite its extreme difficulty, but it needs hard work and great sacrifices, and breaking into fields outside their “comfort zone” and this is what they do not want to do.

(4) As for the alternative to the “Constitutional Committee”: I did not hear of someone who was offered poison then drank it voluntarily, rather exhausted himself in drinking it and justify that in front of people, rather he calls them to it! The alternative exists and is available but is not ready and requires work by everyone because there is no other option.

The alternative is to cling to the Liberated Land in the Syrian north under a unified civil authority and a revolutionary army, in which the factions will dissolve permanently as the only option to continue, and to strive to build the military, political and popular environment necessary for the success of the project, and develop the patch of this project in the near future to include the east of Syria completely within a regional-international frame that preserves the minimum of our interests as Syrians and takes into account the interests of the countries closest to us.

Our speech must be absolute rejection of any process collaborative with the criminal regime and the occupation forces, because we as Syrians reject the foreign occupation and refuse to be under the rule of a collaborator regime that brought the occupation forces and committed war crimes against our people, because we cannot live under the authority of these criminals preserving our lives and the lives of our people and the next generations. If millions of Syrians inside and outside Syria need a safe haven where they can live in freedom and dignity, enjoying their full rights as citizens and human beings, this will not be achieved under the rule of the Russian-Iranian occupation and their lackey the Assad regime.

Syria is divided – for those who did not realize that yet – and the Russian and Iranian occupation forces created their own spheres of influence and gave the Assad regime a “useful Syria” homogeneous socially and politically according to their perception. Our goal in the near future is to create a safe haven for Syrians in Syria outside the regime and occupation control, and starting from these areas through military, security, political and popular work to build a new model and reunite Syria.

(5) This regional-international framework that we need in the north and east of Syria depends mainly on the return of the Turkish-American relations and the attaining of agreement regarding its minimum borders between the two sides on the Syrian file in general and northern and eastern Syria in particular, which is a crucial semi-decisive matter in dismantling the Astana-Sochi system, that carries the largest part of the calamities we are living today (without ignoring the evil of the dealing and handling of the factions and political “opposition” with it). There is no doubt that the Western policy toward Turkey in recent years has played a major role in the induction of the change – maybe historical – in the context of Turkey’s foreign relations. However, this change is not permanent, and the Turkish side knows well that Russia is not a party to build a long-term alliance with (and there is a long history confirming that) especially since the experience of recent years proved that the commitment of the Russians to the agreements is very low, and Turkey knows that Russia will gradually squeeze it in a narrow corner after stripping it from as much of its papers in Syria as it can to force it to accept a comic solution that does not realize its ambitions.

Turkey has been and remains the most important ally of the revolution, the strategic depth of the Syrians, as Syria is Turkey’s strategic depth, geopolitically, demographically and economically. Now, more than ever before, and despite the difficulty, the revolution must rebuild the relationship with Turkey on the basis of common interests (which are many) and through a long-term perspective. Turkey is living under a great threat, internally and externally, and in fact does not have a true ally to rely on from the regional or international powers (with which a relationship of competition and cold war prevails), and here comes the role of the emergence of a revolutionary political-military leadership with real legitimacy emanating from the real strategic depth of the revolution, the Syrian interior, capable of presenting various bold visions based on real common interests with Turkey and, most importantly, providing the tools capable of implementing these visions and proposals.

(6) The realization of a safe haven (homeland) for free Syrians within Syria including the north and east of the country will have acceptance at regional and international parties (and there are movements on the ground in this direction) if posed in the right context and provided the tools necessary to achieve it, and the most important from that is that it is suggested by a Syrian party possessing credibility and legitimacy. It is a must to stop talking in the language of humanity and international law, and speak in the language of interests and in the name of the real will of the people, and what this people really wants and what realizes their interests. The preservation of the lives and dignity of civilians is not achieved through processes of reconciliation with the criminal regime with Russian guaranty, nor with surrender of heavy weapons, nor keeping civilians at the mercy of a regime that has proved to be closer to animals in its conduct. Saving civilians is with ensuring a safe haven and safe environment for them. And it is a must that it is the goal of the revolution in the next phase. It is a must to impose a new reality within Syria, and building regional and international support in any way possible.

The negotiating bodies that have spearheaded the political revolution do not possess any ability in negotiating and have been made heavy with sticky gelatinous individuals looking for their own role and personal interest. The time has come to overthrow these figures or the entire bodies. The Revolution is in need of categorizing new leaderships and open the way for the real “generation of the revolution”, and collect the military, political and popular capital of the revolution in one project and one front, even if this requires the execution of a revolution within the revolution itself, because most of the current “leadership” individuals are no longer susceptive to reform or development, and the revolutionary bodies need to be re-produced within new frameworks radically different from what preceded.

Some will say that this is an impossible project or that previous attempts to achieve it have not worked, but we have to understand undoubtedly that there is no other option left in front of us, and that achieving this solution is a matter of existential necessity rather than luxury, ambition or idealism. It is impossible to continue with divided factions and straying political leaderships that are unable to carry out the present duty. Owners of personal or factional projects need to realize that even the success of their projects requires the success of the greater project of the revolution. It is a must to freeze the participation of any party representing the revolution (or claiming to do so) in the trajectory of the “Constitutional Committee” and all efforts must be focused on a new speech and vision and real project that will serve the country and its people instead of running behind the mirage in a scene in which Syria is destroyed.

Arabic https://twitter.com/LabibAlNahhas/status/1016726029505875971
THE VOICE OF THE ARAB SPRING #Syria #Idlib#Aleppo
https://twitter.com/TNTranslations

UNDERGROUND SHELTERS

underground shelters from Production on Vimeo.

THE SYRIAN HOLOCAUST

The Syrian Holocaust from Production on Vimeo.

ABEER

The Syrian Holocaust from Production on Vimeo.

INTERNALLY DISPLACED PEOPLE

IDPs from Production on Vimeo.

mahmoud al bashaInterview with Mahmoud al-Basha by Francesco Petronella, previously published in the print version of Sedici Pagine Magazine

Q: A year ago, around Christmastime, the city of Aleppo was besieged, bombed and then evacuated. What are your memories of those days?

A: I still perfectly remember everything that happened. The insane bombardment of the Assad regime and the Russians struck the city with weapons, even ones that are internationally prohibited. I still remember when the Russians started to use thermobaric missiles and bunker busters. At that time, I was doing whatever I could to allow the international media to understand what was going on in the city. I worked a great deal with them to show and document how the Russians and the Assad regime were killing innocent civilians. They took aim at all the hospitals and water tanks, without allowing any humanitarian aid to enter into the city under siege. In this desperate situation, the Russian air raids struck my neighbourhood, causing the death of 31 civilians. One of the was my brother Anas.

anas clown

Anas al-Basha, the “clown” of Aleppo

Anas refused to leave the city before the siege started. I still remember his answer when I begged him to leave as soon as he could: “I’m not going to leave the city, I don’t want the children of Aleppo to feel so sad, I want to do something for them so that they smile and I want to help the poor civilians who are still living here.”

Only three days before he was killed, Anas was recording a voice message for me through WhatsApp to explain to me what the situation was like and how he was helping the people. “Now, I’m going to the bakery – he said – we’re going to distribute bread to the people who haven’t got anything to eat.” Then, all of a sudden, there was the terrible noise of an explosion that was just steps away from him. “Can you hear what an awful life we are living?” he asked me. “The Russian raids are striking everything, every single day.”

When he died, my family and I were unable to even give him our final goodbyes. My friends buried him in Aleppo with other innocent people, killed like he was.

Q: How has life in Aleppo changed a year since then?

Life hasn’t changed since last year. The only difference is that there are no longer the bombing raids, which ceased once the Assad forces controlled the entire city. The majority of the urban fabric is destroyed, simply rubble. The regime was unable to guarantee a better life, or even a normal life, to the people. In Aleppo, before the war, there were around 5 million people. Today, there are only 2 million. The majority of the civilian population has become homeless or has sought refuge in other parts of Syria or abroad. The persons who live in the city today have  returned under the control of regime intelligence, without freedom or rights. Most of the young people have fled Syria in order to avoid forced recruitment in the regime army. Today, Aleppo is swarming with militias that come from various countries. Everywhere you look you see Russian, Iranian and Iraqi flags. The Assad regime no longer has any decisional power, Russia and Iran are the ones who hold the reins, especially in the military and political sphere.

Q: After what took place in Aleppo a year ago, how has the relationship between Christians and Muslims changed in the city and in the entire country?

A: The relationship between Christians and Muslims has changed. As I said before, around 3 million people had left the city from the start of the war, among them, many Christians. They weren’t really involved in the war because it was very easy for them to get visas for the EU or the USA. The strategy of the Assad regime, since the start of the Syrian revolution, was that of taking advantage of the minorities and using them as a pawn, where they would pretend for the Western countries that they were the only ones protecting them. There are many Christians against the Assad regime, but they left Syria. Many of them play an active role in the political Syrian opposition.

Q: What do you think life will be like in Aleppo and in Syria a year from now?

A: I think it will be exactly the same as it is right now. Aleppo will remain a ghost town and a place of destruction. There is no water, no electricity. There is no hope and no future in the eyes of the civilians. Very many families of Aleppo have become refugees in different countries. Hundreds of extended families are no longer together because of this war.

The city of Aleppo will return to be full of life only when the war ends. When the regime that has killed hundreds of thousands of persons will answer before the international courts of justice. When 500 thousand detainees are freed from the military prisons. When the international community will finally judge Bashar al-Assad for having used chemical weapons against innocent civilians. Aleppo will once again be a beautiful place only when those who have killed my brother Anas are facing Justice and are no longer able to kill persons, to kill children.

Mahmoud al-Basha is a Syrian journalist, fixer and activist. Hailing from Aleppo, Mahmoud currently lives in Turkey where he continues his work to raise awareness of the suffering and the terrible situation of his country.

Translation by Mary Rizzo
Original: https://levocidellaliberta.com/2018/01/27/natale-ad-aleppo-un-anno-dopo-la-tragedia/

2bd5ea7488e456ef48d3f3ca38cfd728
Release detained protesters in the nationwide uprising in Iran!

to: Honorable Antonio Guterres
UN Secretary-General;

Following the Iranian people’s nationwide protests to secure freedom as the legitimate right of the people of Iran, which began on December 28, 2017, the dictatorship ruling Iran started the massacre of unarmed and defenseless demonstrators and massive arrest and torture of protesters in prisons; acts that are a clear indication of a crime against humanity, and the United Nations is responsible to confront it. According to Iranian regime officials, 90% of the detainees are young people under the age of 25. On January 4, 2018, Amnesty International called for the end of the killing and arrest of demonstrators in Iran. On January 3, 2018, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights warned the Iranian regime about repressive measures and said that Iranian regime officials should respect the rights of all demonstrators and detainees, including their right to life and security.

We, the undersigned, urge you to take effective action and make binding decisions for the unconditional release of thousands of arrested demonstrators in Iran, and warn the Iranian regime that, if this process continues, more serious actions will be adopted by the United Nations.

Respectfully,

PLEASE SIGN 
https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/Iran-Protests

Original message in Farsi.

ken hitWe are used to Ken O’Keefe addressing his public and followers, and the world itself, in terms of his revelation of a simple fix to solve all the world’s problems. Yes, ALL of them. Ken says that “Just by changing this one thing”, there would be “world class education, infrastructure, everything that a healthy society requires can be had, even in the most corrupt African country”. He is sure that with JUST THIS ONE THING we can “solve every other problem!” and, most importantly, given Ken’s precedents, there will be an “Abundant supply of money for all of us”.

In a video from last year, but which has been making the rounds in recent days with the title “How to Solve all the problems in the world” (you can’t say he sets low goals), he presents his idea in the tried and true format of talking head rant. He puts out some vague concepts, clearly sure that his followers may not really know how banking and finance and currency systems work. First of all, Ken begins with defining who is making the problems in the world exist, and he comes upon a SHOCKING discovery…. He certainly is the first to ever realise that financial systems hold enormous power and control.  We await his next video release when he reveals to us that night follows day.

But, don’t be discouraged from watching it by realising that he holds no secret truths and solutions. The actual video is really worth it for the freak moments where he espouses his theories (and we will later learn, he borrows them from a historical figure). He allows debate among reasonable people to discuss “who” literally runs the world… he knows, but he ain’t sayin’ in this video, that information is available elsewhere. This current video has to circulate among the new cultists he’s trying to woo, court, influence and ultimately fleece.

He’s going for a new target after his World Citizen Solution fizzled into absolutely nothing except a spectacular exposure by all of his former cohorts about it being a pyramid scheme and at any rate, without any basis in reality. All of this while Ken has been based out of Dominica, with speaking engagements in white-power summer jambourees to keep the finances liquid. He has pretty much drained the old target, so he can rebrand as an economics expert, particularly to those who are into fiat currency and to those who suddenly are interested in Bitcoin, because it seems to hold some promise of what really matters to Ken, an “abundant supply of money”.

So, he doesn’t say WHO runs the world, but you can still be debate whether it’s the “Jesuits, Reptilians, Illuminati or Freemasons”, all of course the NATURAL subjects in any debate, right? Well, among Icke fans, certainly.

Ken talks about loans, which is basically how banks finance themselves, only having to keep a 10% reserve of the money deposited, the banking system certainly has devised a clever way to make money with other people’s money. But, people who actually have money aren’t forced into putting it in banks, nor in asking for loans. Ken surely doesn’t need to ask for a loan, he asks his followers to finance his lifestyle, which, as noted, includes purchase of land and international travel.

Now, after Ken does this preamble, things get more interesting: “Those of us who cannot be bought because we operate on a level that goes way beyond the material” (so much for his abundant supply of money and constant crowdfunding efforts), “we are not rewarded for such behaviour” (because you need a reward for not being bought and various other ethical behaviour?) “we are punished. We reward the paedophiles, we reward the liars, people with no morals at all.” (pregnant pause).

So, how can those running things (finance, right?) keep control on everything? By sex video tapes of people who have political power! Get ready for it: “Maybe Barack Obama is gay. Maybe we have a videotape of him having sex with another man.” Then he continues, “Maybe we have videos of political leaders having sex with little boys or little girls. If I was (sic) in charge of the world and I was (sic) a psychopath (cough cough) and completely drunk on my own power, you can bet damn sure that’s what I would do.”

Never mind that this really doesn’t have anything to do with the argument at all, unless it makes some sense to those who debate whether it’s the Illuminati or the Jesuits or the Jews who control everything. Attempting to fit it into the KOK world, we do learn that it is ALREADY his modus operandi when he defends himself against those attacking him. After he finishes accusing opponents of being traitors, infiltrates and paid shills to thwart his mission, he accuses them of suffering from jealousy or some other uncontrollable emotional connection to him, and he is required to counter them as was illustrated in his example above. A recent example is someone who was once his fan and who went public with a post against him and was “outed” by him on the basis of “sex tapes” he found of her in some ritual she was high priestess of (bear in mind the world he moves in, folks). So, he’s not a psychopath, he just acts like one. His own rebuttal is here, where he dubs his former follower Jew Nice.

Now, we get to the meat of his proposal, “Let’s take back control on the issuance of money and not just on a national level”. Yeah, let’s. How can we do that? Well, economics expert that is KOK, he instructs that “Every country should be issuing its own currency”. Most of the countries of the world actually do that already, Ken! But there has to be a twist on it, right? “In that way we can free ourselves of the banking debt.” Got it? All clear right?

Not really. So, how can we get more details on how to do Just That One Thing? We go to seek other videos by Ken, such as “Ken O’Keefe explains why Hitler was right”. There are loads of versions of this talk he gave, many of them with newsreel footage of starving Germans and Hitler basking in the glory of the Germans he saved from starvation. Ken doesn’t waste time pandering to the Reptilians Control the World set, he goes straight for the real target, the Jews. More specifically, “Jewish Bankers”. According to Ken, “the major crime of Hilter was to get Germany out of a banking debt. He had the nerve to say ‘Fuck Off’ to the bankers.” According to Ken, Hitler “brought that nation back to a powerhouse within several years just by using their own (sic) money supply.”

 

Ken-OKeefe-HitlerNow, one doesn’t have to be either an economist or a historian to realise the enormous idiocy of the claims of O’Keefe. First of all, Hitler’s economic policy was not about abundant distribution of money to all for world class everything. His was a war economy based on the idea of the supremacy of a command economy. The wealth was not about fair distribution or creation of wealth, but it was obtained via expropriation and the looting of German Jewish wealth. It was based on forced labour, not only of the conquered people, but also of the domestic population. Ken can call history “Bullshit! Bullshit!” but his ignorance of how that economy actually worked and the immense human exploitation and suffering surrounding it is clear. Just as his idea that the moeny was “their own”. When Hitler occupied the various countries, he robbed them of their gold reserves and also had access to (mainly) private capital. When Hitler commandeered the Reichsbank, his dummy currency expansion was able to fraudulently strengthen the Reichsbank. That this could be in any way praised as a model staggers the imagination.

When Ken says something about interest-free money, well, of course the printing of money or creation of money independent of any reserve or economic situation isn’t weighted down with interest. It will affect only inflation (which is limitless, as Zimbabwe’s 79.6 billion percent inflation in 2008 teaches us), which can be a far greater problem than interest charged on money being loaned. Ken seems to lose stock (if he ever had it) of the theoretical aspect of money as a unit of account, store of value and medium of exchange. The printing of dummy money is yet another pyramid scheme, but with a bigger picture, ill-defined, but all the same, THAT ONE THING! And, for all those countries (most of them) that have their own currency? Why is everything so bad and so unfair?

If we follow Ken’s logic, it seems that the (final) solution to all the world’s problems involves a lot of unethical, inhuman and historically failed scenarios. We’ll pass on this one.

 

timthumb

One of the celebratory posters of the Syrian General plastered in various Italian cities. It bears almost all the signs of the Fascist and Neo-fascist propaganda, (use of this stylised alphabet, the declaration of HONOR!) Interestingly enough also the Italian far left celebrates the same “hero”.

WRITTEN BY RICCARDO CRISTIANO, translated by Mary Rizzo

(Translator’s note: CasaPound is an Italian political movement that is proudly “far right”. It is the first “centro sociale” (youth and student movement starting in the 90s that is primarily far left) that considers its inspiration Fascist. Like many far-right movements in Europe, it maintains a very active base, which often makes up for its lack of “official” political recognition, though it currently participates in elections with its own candidates and in coalitions with other right-wing parties. Though the militants of CasaPound are renowned for their frequent episodes of violence and xenophobia, they also are very active in ideological recruitment in campaigns that are nationalistic, at times having a social character, such as proposals for interest-free public housing, and together with groups such as the European Front for Syria, are involved in the dissemination on the street level (literally) of international issues with propaganda for the regime in Syria in particular, because, in their own words: “For Six years Assad has been the best defence of Europe against terrorism”.) 

Sunday morning. The British press reported that Sahar Dofdaa, who was only one month old, had died in Damascus. She starved to death. She was born in the village of Hamuriya in al-Ghouta, an area that has been besieged for years by troops loyal to the government of Damascus and controlled by a fundamentalist group, the Jaysh al-Islam, which keeps a tight hold on the town’s inhabitants. It is the same area where Assad’s army, in 2013, used chemical weapons to massacre civilians, even if the UN has been unable to officially declare the culprit, because since 2012, the UN peacekeeping troops have been removed from Syria. The British newspaper The Guardian has published the statements of Dr. Yahya Abu Yahya, who speaks about a great number of cases of severe childhood malnutrition such as that of Sahar, born from a mother who did not have the strength to nourish her child, citing seventy infants who are dying of starvation and four thousand children who suffer from nutritional deficiencies. And the sample from which he refers is limited to just nine thousand children.

If not even this fact can shake us, it is probably because the propaganda machine has convinced us that in al-Ghouta, just as in other areas controlled by fierce jihadists, everyone is a terrorist, even children who have lived just one month of life. Instead, this is in all probability precisely the dramatic outcome pursued with ferocity by the regime since 2001. This is also the case with Idlib.

Tuesday morning. Although in Italy very little media time has been dedicated to it, there is an interesting piece of news from the International press: Russia has vetoed the resolution that would allow prosecution of the investigation in regard to the chemical weapons massacres in Syria, the Joint Investigative Mechanism, whose mandate expires in November. A report was scheduled to appear by the end of October concerning the massacres perpetrated this summer at Khan Shaykhun near Idlib by means of chemical weapons. In this massacre, just as in the Ghouta massacre with chemical weapons, many children were killed. Russia sought to discuss the report on the Khan Shaykhun massacre before renewing its mandate.

Wednesday morning. It should be mentioned that one hundred Italian cities have woken up discovering that Casa Pound and the European Front for Syria have plastered walls and monuments with slogans written to celebrate one of the most notorious Syrian army commanders, Issam Zahreddine, a war criminal responsible for crimes against humanity, recently killed in combat in Syria, supposedly struck by a landmine planted by ISIS. This General of the Syrian Republican Guard, has been placed in the “short list” of individuals that are subject to special and personal sanctions on behalf of the European Union, with the accusation that he was the organiser of the chemical attack on Khan Shaykhoun.

The General had become famous for a photograph that portrays him standing close to hanged bodies that had clearly been tortured prior to their execution, as well as a film that shows him walking in front of a row of corpses so long that he cuts his walk short before even finishing the entire review. According to family members of Marie Colvin, the journalist that was assassinated in Syria, he ordered the artillery attack that killed her when he learned where the famous reporter was staying. Among his last public actions, an interview released just a few weeks ago. Turning to the millions of Syrian refugees who fled abroad after losing everything, Issam Zahreddine said, “If you know what’s good for you, you will never again set foot in Syria.” It’s important to know that in addition to the far right who signed the banners, among the environments that sympathise with him are also groups of the radical left.

Originale: http://formiche.net/2017/10/26/casa-pound-fronte-europeo-siria/

 

 

BY SAMANTHA FALCIATORI
The Syrian situation is hell on earth. To understand what is happening is our human duty, as well as being indispensable for the comprehension of those phenomena that cross over the natural confines of that land. For this reason, our Magazine will always follow the Syrian war as closely as we can; a war which is in fact many different and overlapping wars, so as to provide an always up-to-date picture that is as accurate as possible.

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We have interviewed a volunteer of the Red Crescent, witness of the massacre of Al-Bayda and Banyas in May 2013 in which over 400 civilians were slaughtered, house by house, to then be buried in mass graves. His is a testimony that at 4 years from the massacre tells the story of one of the darkest and most bloody pages of the Syrian war.

What you are about to read is a unique testimony of one of the bloodiest pages of the Syrian war, the massacre that began on 2 May 2013 of the civilian population of two towns in the coastal area. The National Defence Force (NDF) and the Shabeeha, pro-government militias comprised of Shi’as and Alawites (the religious group to which the Assad family belongs), attacked the Sunni-majority towns of Al-Bayda and Banyas, nestled in the Alawite-majority zone between Tartous and Latakia, stronghold of the Syrian regime, with summary slaughtering the inhabitants (Sunni), breaking into their homes, setting them on fire, burning alive those who were inside, including infants.

The Banyas Local Council has identified a total of 410 victims, the Syrian Network for Human Rights has counted 459. The UN Investigation Commission on Syria has investigated this massacre, among many similar ones, identifying the perpetrators, ascertaining that there was no presence of armed opposition, nor were there any military clashes in the city during the massacre, and concluded in its report A / HRC / 24/46 (pages 32-33) that there was “reasonable evidence that the perpetrators were governmental forces”.

It is the Syrian regime itself that has confirmed the responsibilities of its militias carrying military operations on Al-Bayda and Banyas, broadcasting images of the carnage (as in this news report from al Manar) on the government-friendly TV channels, but always claiming that only terrorists had been killed. The images of women and children, including newborns, mutilated and burned alive, as well as the testimony of the survivors, tells another story.

We were able to interview an eyewitness of that massacre, already heard by Human Rights Watch investigators for their No One’s Left investigation. The man was in Banyas and was part of the team that the Syrian security forces sent after the massacre to arrange the corpses in the mass graves and clean up the streets. He accepted, asking for anonymity for security reasons, to tell Zeppelin what happened and what he saw, providing a rare and precious testimony also about the planning of the massacre (which had been in the planning for several months) and its political / religious motives. This is the transcript of the interview.

The massacre of Al-Bayda and Banyas can be understood in the wider project of ethnic cleansing of Syria, and it fits within the framework of the efforts of international justice to take the first steps toward punishing those responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity, thanks also to those eyewitness accounts, like this one, that, though they are brutal, should be listened to.

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Testimony of a volunteer of the Red Crescent from Banyas. 

He witnessed the 2013 massacre and disposed of the bodies in a mass grave afterwards. He requested anonymity for security reasons. The interview was recorded over Skype on January 5, 2017. 

Q: What can you tell me about that day? What happened and what did you see? 

[..] The Syrian Red Crescent could enter the city only 3 days after the massacre, because the army prevented all the people from coming in or out of Banyas [..] Banyas is a coastal town between Tartous and Latakia, the two biggest cities in the coastal area; Banyas is a smaller town, of about 50,000 people. It was one of the first which took part in the revolution, when people took to the street for many reasons, regarding what was happening in Deraa, the lack of freedom, but also because there were tensions between the rural areas of Banyas, mainly Alawite, and the city, mainly Sunni, and they felt the injustice because all the employees, all those working in courts, hospitals, in the oil industry of Banyas are all Alawites, and people felt injustice and took to the street. This was a choke for the regime because it thought that a coastal city, where the coastal area was the stronghold of the regime, would not participate in any kind of demonstrations. So Banyas was a surprise for the regime, they hated it, because they saw people demanding the fall of the regime in the heart of its stronghold.

Q: And the demonstrations were in the Sunni part of the city or all over the city?

In the Sunni part. In Banyas you have the Sunni part which is the old city of 50-60 years ago. Then when the Alawites took power, they came from rural areas, so all the officers, State employees settled in Banyas and built new neighbourhoods, so Banyas was getting bigger and now it is in two parts: the southern part, which is Sunni, and the northern part, which is Alawite. Christians are living in between, in the two parts. The Christians who are originally from Banyas are living with the Sunnis because that is the old city, and the new Christians who came to Banyas from other towns are living in the new neighbourhoods, the Alawite ones [..]. The demonstrations were 100% in the Sunni part. Christians, for many reasons, did not take part in them. I did, but secretly, because the regime tried to prevent Christians and Alawites from participating in the demonstrations because it did not want them to look like a national thing whose demands came from everybody[1], so it tried to emphasize their Sunni trait.

Q: So there was dissent also among the Christian and Alawite community? 

Yes, they tried to prevent them from getting in because when Alawites and Christians would come to the demonstrations it looked like it was not religious or radical [as the regime wanted to depict the demonstrations] but it would be a Syrian demonstration. But still, in the first 3 or 4 demonstrations, there were Alawite people coming from the Alawite neighbourhoods secretly who participated in the demonstrations. I have videos of this, many Alawite people came, they had speeches, they were welcome and people were crazy about them because they were Alawites supporting their demands, it was great. But after that, in May 2011 the Syrian army surrounded the city, they cut electricity in the Sunni part, they cut food [deliveries] preventing it from coming in, the siege lasted for 2-3 weeks, and after that they rolled the tanks and got into the city. They took a lot of prisoners, they were tortured in the Banyas stadium, where they took the people, 10,000 maybe, tortured them and humiliated them[2]. People were taken to the military prison in Tartous, Damascus and Homs, some people were never returned. We think they were killed under torture. After this, when the army came back to the town, patrolling the city, there were a couple of people trying to make very small demonstrations, like putting some homemade bombs where government forces were coming or going, but nothing as serious as it was happening in other parts of Syria[3], I think just 2 or 3 soldiers died in all these actions. This was still 2011, early part of 2012, then in Banyas everything was back to [normal] [..].

Suddenly, in early 2013 [..] all the Alawites involved in the militias of the regime, some were my friends […] they started to say that the people of Banyas were planning for something big. I said: “What are they planning for? Come on, the demonstrations have stopped, nothing is happening anymore”, so this kind of propaganda became to spread among the Alawites […]. There is a militia, the National Defence Forces (NDF), they are mainly civilians, 100% Alawites, and they are very tough, with a very strict point of view with the regime, they want all opposition dead, they started getting arms from the government and to participate in the battles all around Syria. One of them was called Ali Shaddoud, he is very famous in Banyas, he is a pharmacist. He is the founder of the NDF in Banyas and he told me personally that something big is happening in Banyas. Frankly I did not believe him.

Q: Because the opposition was not strong in Banyas? 

Yes, because in 2013 it was defeated. The government was in full control of the city, so “what will happen? Nothing”. But he told me “something very big is happening”. When I tried to understand from some friends of his, some told me that the regime was trying to focus on Damascus and the coastal area and it did not want anything to happen there, so if there are Sunnis remaining in this area they wanted them to have a lesson, so they cannot oppose the regime anymore […] Then there was no intervention by Hezbollah, Iranians or Russians, so the regime was afraid that it could not control all Syria, so it was trying to preserve Damascus and the coastal areas.

Q: They did not target the political or military opposition: they targeted the Sunnis.

Of course. From the Alawite point of view when they say “opposition” they do not mean the political meaning of the word, they cannot say “Sunni” in the street because that would be rude and sectarian, but by “opposition” they mean “the Sunnis”. And when they said “we want them to have a lesson”, they meant the Sunnis. This was clear since the early months of 2013. But it was not before the early days of May 2013 that… it happened very fast, we started to see tanks coming to the town, and it was not 100% weird, Syria was at war […] we thought maybe they are moving troops and vehicles, ok. But then they put tanks and mortars on the hill of Banyas, in the Alawite part of the town, the hill that overlooks the city. We started to see people that were not from the town, they were wearing regime uniforms but they did not sound like they came from Banays. Some people who saw them, including my brother, saw Lebanese people having dinner in a restaurant in the Alawite part of Banyas, this restaurant is famous because the NDF gather there. They were clearly Lebanese, so Hezbollah or close to Hezbollah, I do not know, and they were talking about a big operation that was coming to Banyas. There was this guy, Kayalli, the commander of a militia, he comes from Turkey, from the Alawite minority in Turkey, they are fighting for the regime and this Kayalli lived in Latakia, where he went on TV and said, literally, “Banyas is the only weak point for the government in the coastal area and we will put an end to this, the traitors can come in the coastal areas through Banyas and we need to end  it”, he said this 2 or 3 days before the massacre[4].

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The Alawite General Ali al Kayalli, better known as Mihrac Ural (he is of Turkish origin, but has Syrian nationality) is the head of a pro-government militia, composed of Alawites and  Shabeeha, called Syrian Resistance, based in al Baseet, North of  Latakia. He was among those responsible for the massacre of Banyas. In this photo, he is in the centre, with flowers in his hand, together with his men. Credits to: sbs.com.au.

On the day of the massacre I was in the church because it was the Thursday before Easter[5] and suddenly […] we heard gunshots, we went out and saw the army and militia telling people to go home, so we went home. In the evening, we started to see… not from my home, but I went to the Alawite part, I saw 200-300 men coming from the highway, they were walking on the bridge that comes down to Banyas, some of them wearing masks on their faces, and also Alawite people, some of them were my friends, started to join them and I asked them “what are you going for with your guns?” They said “there is an operation in Banyas and al Baida”, al Baida is south of Banyas and it was famous in the first months of the revolution because it was actively participating in it […] so they began with al Baida, which is Sunni. Families of Banyas are living in al Baida and vice versa, so they are very close to each other. They started in al Baida and I was on the phone with a friend, and he was shaking, he was very afraid. I was surprised and asked “what is happening?”, because we thought they were going to take some men to prison, or beat and humiliate them as they did every day everywhere, but he told me “no, it is not beating nor humiliating, they are killing people”.  And I was like “What? Killing people? Why?” and he said “Yes, they are killing people.” He told me that his mother’s family were burnt alive, some people were killed by gunshots, some were burnt, they gathered people in a shop and burnt them, like 60 or 70 dead bodies there, and people started to flee the city. So this is what they [regime people] wanted. It was May 2nd.

On May 3rd […] they came to Banyas and made a massacre […] in the heart of the Sunni part of the city. My home is very close to this so I went on the roof and I saw clearly the tanks bombing the city, I was able to see clearly the shells coming over my house, I saw them with the naked eye, and dropping down in the middle of the town. Then again these masked men came and did these atrocities. I did not see it, but many people told us, they started to kill people with swords, axes, guns, by burning, and I know families by name. They came and killed whole families…for example the Taha family had 17 people killed, they killed father, mother, sons, the son’s wives and sons and so on.

 

Q: So was it a deliberate ethnic cleansing of the Sunni population of the city?

Of course, because they targeted [Sunni] families, like the Taha family, the Shighri, even when they see “Shighri” on your ID card the government forces would be upset because they see that you are 100% from Banyas, so 100% opposition, so 100% Sunni. So they did ethnic cleansing of [Sunni] families. People started to flee, to Latakia. Also my family wanted to go there and they were accepted. I did not go there but my sister did and at the entrances of Latakia there were regime checkpoint and they were screening people from Banyas, if they knew they were Sunnis they sent them back, if they were Alawites or Christians they let them in. This lasted until May 4th, when they moved to another Sunni village […] called al Basateen, where they did not do ethnic cleansing but they took 95-96 men to prison and we have not heard of them since. So we assume they were also killed under torture. After the killing was over, it was a real shock to see even the Alawites who are 100% with the regime, being shocked and upset. A friend of mine, she was working in my same company, told me that her brother, an Alawite who supports the government, was part of these NDF and went to Al-Bayda to participate in what he thought was a regular operation of the regime, and he was shocked by the amount of atrocities done, the amount of killings, burning bodies, killing children, he fainted and they had to take him to hospital. He could not eat for two days, he was in shock, even people who are very radical with pro Assad [positions] were in shock, it was completely unprecedented, unexpected. After that they began to steal, they took a lot of cars, family homes’ furniture, we could see them putting them on army trucks. After 2-3 weeks they let people go back to Banyas, but not to Al-Bayda. Al-Baida is still empty to this day. 

Q: But they didn’t let the Sunnis come back, or also the Sunnis?

Also the Sunnis. But of course after this a lot of, and by “a lot” I mean A LOT, of Sunni families in Banyas left. As my Alawite friend said, it was a lesson. So many families went to Turkey, and from there they came as refugees in Europe. […] Now in the Sunni part of the city you can only see old men, children and Sunni people coming from other towns, like Aleppo, these are the pro-regime Sunnis of Aleppo so the regime lets them stay in Banyas.

Q: When could you enter the targeted neighbourhoods as a Red Crescent volunteer?

We entered on May 7th, 8th and 9th for three consecutive days to bury the bodies, because they were in the street. I didn’t go to al Baida, because other teams were going there. Some members of the Red Crescent managed to smuggle out some photos of the dead bodies and these are the only photos we have of this massacre. They put us in a lot of trouble because they did not expect members of the Red Crescent, which is controlled by the regime, to smuggle photos out. These are the only photos because no media was allowed to go in and I know the people who took the photos and smuggled them out.

Q: There is a lot of disinformation about the photos because they don’t have a source, being smuggled out secretly. So some people say they are Christians killed by Daesh [ISIS] or Palestinians killed by the Israelis, or whatever, so…

Look, the regime is not stupid. It is evilly smart. It tried to confuse us, its supporters put together some photos of Banyas, Palestine, Iraq and said “look, this is not Banyas!” but I can know exactly which photos were taken by us and I can tell you where they were taken, I can pinpoint them on Google Maps, and some of the photos are taken in such known streets that people know it is Banyas. These photos are taken by members of the Red Crescent. [..] I have an Alawite friend, he is the one who took the photos of the children. So let’s see the photos[6].

 The first one with children with a yellow shirt, another one with jeans, this is in Banyas. And this [scene of the] photo, I saw it personally, with the naked eye. I can assure you 100% that I saw this horrific scene. The second one, the two babies, I did not see this personally but it is in Banyas, and also the other one. The fourth one  is in Al-Bayda, I know this street, it is not Banyas, it is Al-Bayda. The other one, with the blood, the boy and the men, also this is in Al-Bayda and I know the guy, the family of the guy. The photo with the woman and the children, this is also in Banyas, in a neighbourhood called Ras Al-Nabe’. The last photos, with another woman and children, which is by the way the same as above, this is Banyas, and I know these stairs, everybody in Banyas knows them, this small street is in Banyas, in Ras al-Nabaa. The regime ordered us to open mass graves and put people in them. We were not able to put all the families in the mass grave together, respectfully. I will not forget where it is. We put a lot of bodies in it, I think 40-50 bodies and I heard from my friends that there are also mass graves in al Baida. We managed to bury all the bodies. […] We know from the Local Councils in al Baida and Banyas that there were 300 killed in al Baida and over 100 in Banyas. So totally 410. Half of them, more or less, women and children.

Q: I wonder something: after the massacre the regime blamed terrorists…

Actually no [..] they said the government attacked Banyas because there were terrorists hiding weapons there.

Q: But how can they justify the fact that in al Baida and Banyas many women and children died because of the massacre? How could they all be “terrorists”?

I know what you mean, but if you think that the people who support the regime try to find excuses, maybe you are wrong. From my friends, my colleagues, at work, at university… more than 75% of the people who are pro-regime, like Alawites and some Christians, they do not need excuses. Actually I hear some neo-fascist-nazi things, like “kill them, they are insects, they are animals, let them be taken out”. Of course some of them say “Yeah, killing children is not ok, but this is all their parents’ fault, they want the Islamic State, they want to kill minorities, so they had the right punishment”. You can hear this [being said] without any shame, so people do not need excuses, they know, they knew that the regime killed them, but they try to defend it, they try to convince themselves that they are terrorists, and maybe a couple of mistakes have been done, but they are living well with this. You cannot imagine how much hatred there is. Mainly the minorities feel like this, really, they are like Nazis, I’m sorry to say it but…of course some of the minorities are with the revolution, they stand bravely, but I’m talking about the mainstream.

Q: Many people say that before the revolution the Syrians lived together peacefully…

No, this is a big lie, we lived in a lie. We had a secretive regime that controlled every aspect of life and society […] In my classroom, we were like 20-25 guys, and 10-11 of us did not have the father because they were imprisoned and were never seen again. People tried to forget what happened in the 80’s, the horrible Hama massacre, but the hatred is real. […] The Alawites took all the positions in the coastal areas, all State employees are Alawites and many young Sunni were forced to go abroad to work.

Q: One last question: when I was reading the Human Rights Watch report… 

“No one’s left”? I was interviewed for that report[7].

Q: So maybe you remember that it says that the regime started the operation in al Baida because a man confessed there were deserters. What do you think about it?

No, I think that’s irrelevant. Banyas took part actively in the demonstrations, we hid some deserters, there was an assassination operation against a regime officer, all this happened. But I know it was deliberately planned months before, you cannot make such an operation in a city where there is no violent engagement like in Homs, Aleppo, Damascus or the rural areas. You cannot kill 400 people just to get a few deserters, the amount of forces that came to Banyas but are not from Banyas, all the talking to my Alawite friends about a lesson [to give] to the Sunnis in the coastal areas, I think it was well planned.

[…] The regime didn’t even bother to emphasise this confession as a pretext, it said “it was an operation, maybe some mistakes were done, but the rest is propaganda against us”. Since the early days there was a lot of talking about tanks, Lebanese and militia men coming to town having conversations, it was all obvious. But we were shocked by the size of it, it was huge to kill 400 in two days! […]

I think it was a deliberate ethnic cleansing. It was not part of the daily activities of the war […] We have not seen this elsewhere, in Latakia I saw a shooting on a demonstration that killed 30 people, but still that was “regular activity”.  But this and the Ghouta attack are beyond the clashes between regime and opposition. It was ethnic cleansing, also in Ghouta they were 100% Sunnis and in Banyas no Alawite or Christian was injured, not killed, not even injured. [..] My friend, who took the photos of the massacre, is still having nightmares to this day, after more than three years […] Those two days changed everything, I had friends and family who are with the regime, two of my cousins tried to defend the massacre and we are not talking anymore since the massacre. So divisions are also in the families, imagine in the society. They say there were terrorists, but in that area there was not jihadist or ISIS presence, it was a stronghold of the regime […]. I remember one thing, I was talking with a guy whose uncle was a prominent Alawite officer who worked for Hafez al Assad, Ali Douba, he was very famous because he was the head of the Military Intelligence Services, and this guy told me once: “Do you know why they chose Banyas?” and I said “No, why?”. “Because they could not do it in Latakia or Tartous because they are big cities and by doing it there they would risk to paralyse the city, so they decided to punish Banyas because it is small and even if life stopped in Banyas, that would not have affected the economy”. […]

Q: Ok, thanks a lot for your time and testimony [..].

Thank you. I don’t want this story to die, I want people to know. It’s very important what you and others are doing.

Source: http://www.thezeppelin.org/al-baida-e-banyas-massacro/

[1] Regardless of ethnicity or religion, as the demonstrations actually were.

[2]This episode is well documented. See Amnesty International, Syrian student tells of torture ordeal in mass stadium detention, 24/05/2011.

[3]For an overview of the story of Banyas from the early demonstrations to the massacre and the development of local councils and brigades, see S. DARWISH, M. DIBO, Cities in Revolution. Baniyas. Al-Bayda: The White City, 24/05/2011.

[4]Video online: https://youtu.be/y0P4rhRjR9I.

[5]The Orthodox Easter was on May 5th in 2013, the massacre started on Good Thursday, May 2nd.

[6]Yallasouriya, The Baniyas Massacre: Why Assad Did It, 6/05/2013. Online: https://goo.gl/km1NY9 In this link videos of the aftermath of the massacre can also be viewed.

[7]“No One’s Left”. Summary Executions by Syrian Forces in al-Bayda and Baniyas, ibid.

Interview by Samantha Falciatori. Introductory text by Samantha Falciatori, translated by Mary Rizzo

big_art__xgj6_xlqm_geje0Ahwazna

Hamid Mansour: We should address the West to correct the stereotypical image it has of Arabs

Saad al-Din Ibrahim:  Iranian regime uses minorities to foment discord among Arabs

Zafer Mohammed al-Ajmi: The best defense is a good offense; move the battle inside Iran

Fatima Abdullah Khalil: Liberating Ahwaz will be a severe blow to Iran

Ayoub Said: The occupation benefited from both internal and external factors

Ismail Khalafullah: We have six solutions to the Ahwazi situation, including a popular revolution

Hassan Radhi: The occupation is trying to obliterate the identity of the people of Ahwaz

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The Arab European Foundation for International Relations (EISO) on Saturday held a symposium entitled “The Implications of the Arab-Iranian Conflict on the Ahwazi Issue” on August 26, in light of the Arab-Persian conflict.

The seminar included several sessions that began with a morning session on “the Arab-Iranian conflict in light of the transformations of the Middle East”, followed by the first lecture by Dr. Saad Eddin Ibrahim and Dr. Barbara Ibrahim, on “Methods of Conflict Management in the Middle East.”

In the second lecture, Fatima Khalil spoke about the “nature of the Arab-Iranian conflict: the geopolitical axis of the conflict.” The third lecture, in which Dr. Zafer al-Ajmi spoke, broached on “the role of the Ahwazi question in the Arab-Iranian conflict.” In the evening, the symposium was divided into three lectures. The first, entitled “The Right to Self-Determination, was given by Dr. Ismael Khalafallah. And the second lecture by Ayoub Said entitled “Occupying the Ahwaz: Reassessment of the Status quo” and the third lecture Presented by Hassan Radhi and focused on the policies of the center towards the people of Ahwaz over the past two decades.”

—————–

Hamid Mansour, the member of the Executive Committee of the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahwaz, has given the opening speech of the symposium, where he proclaimed the launch of the Arab-European Foundation for International Relations “AEFIR. It will be of significant role in media, politics, and culture. A host of Ahwazi youth who is interested in the Ahwazi plight witnessed AEFIR’s launch. In his speech, he pointed to the weak Arab influence in the Western society, which has the upper hand in the world today, noting that this allowed the opponents to be alone in the arena of influential work.  They managed to create a distorted stereotype in the minds of Western public opinion due to their strong political and media presence, to be the sole basis for interpreting the reality of the political conflict in the Arab region, which in the end results in shaping an unfair Western opinion of the just Arab causes. He stressed the important role played by NGOs and public relations centers in rectifying the way through which civil and official institutions in the West look on just Arab causes, as well as building inter-relations and developing them among peoples to achieve common interests. Mansur pointed out that the AEFIR will pay great attention to filling the vacuum and building relations in order to mobilize for international cooperation on the Ahwazi question and the other just Arab causes. He called for developing and renewing the discourse, especially that the contemporary world does not tackle such issues in terms of values of justice and ideals. Interest is the foremost criterion. For it, armies are mobilized, positions are adopted, and leaders are unseated. He indicated that the most important objective of the institution is to correct the image of Arabs without begging. He pointed out that Arab issues are indivisible, and the Ahwazi plight is an integral part thereof. He stressed that the Arab interest necessitates broadening the scope of the issue’s perspective in order to make it stronger by avoiding partial solutions that only emphasize weakness and powerlessness. He said that the foundation seeks to present the Ahwazi issue as a just Arab and humanitarian cause. It seeks to manifest its national dimension, not only the political and historical aspects. AEFIR yet plans to render clear the strategic importance of the Ahwazi plight for the other Arab questions. Also, the newborn Foundation aims to explain to the whole world how settling the Ahwazi issue will be of significant importance for stability in the region and enhancing global peace and security.  According to the lecturers, the foundation shall reiterate that ditching the Ahwazi cause will show the world how Arabs are ready to concede their rights.

Dr. Saad Eddin Ibrahim, director of the Ibn Khaldun Center for Development Studies, in his lecture entitled “Methods of Conflict Management in the Middle East” said that the Iran is a challenge to the Arab region. He indicated that it is not a threat. According to him, a threat is a thing that comes from outside such as Israel. The Iranian threat is part of the region. He noted that Iran acted as the policeman of the Gulf since its last monarch Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, with the blessing of the US. He pointed out Jimmy Carter said from Tehran that Washington welcomes Iran’s role as a policeman to maintain the security of the Gulf.

He considered that justice as a value is one of the main demands of all peoples of the world, stressing that the demands of the people of Ahwaz are an integral part of all the demands and slogans that united the whole world, such as values of freedom and democracy. He explained that Ahwaz had been isolated from its Arab sphere and given to the shah in return for an agreement that would enable Britain to search for oil on the eastern shore of the Gulf. This was part of the Sykes-Picot agreement and others. He said that this ambition could be stopped by awareness, coordination, and solidarity among all local factions to face up to the expansionist Persian hegemony. He argued that this expansionist desire will not be halted by changing the regime there, history tells us so. It is a deep-rooted orientation in the Persian mindset. He noted that the absence of the Egyptian role over the past two decades enabled Iran to spill over its influence into at least five Arab countries. It began to exploit the rampant poverty in some African countries to infiltrate the east coast of Africa in an attempt to besiege the Kingdom (of Saudi Arabia) and Egypt. He pointed out that the Persians are the inventors of chess, a game through which you can defeat your rival using his papers, and this is what is happening now that the Iran exploits any popular base in the Arab countries as a launch pad for spillover. He pointed out that Iran has started to play on the heartstrings of those who have a love for Ahlul Bait, Prophet Mohammed’s family. This issue attracts many sympathizers in Egypt. For those people, Iran offers money and other forms of aid. It helps them build their institutions. These establishments promote Shiism in its essence. Ibrahim called for the need to cooperate to create rational public awareness without hostility or hatred against anyone, including the Iranians themselves, as the Persians Iranians make up only 40%, of the Iranian people and the rest are groups of different ethnicities, pointing out that the Persians are the strongest group and they managed to prevail over the rest of the people. Yet he called on all those marginalized in Iran to stick to solidarity, stressing that Ahwazis are entitled to spread brotherhood and solidarity with all oppressed groups on the basis of equality and justice for all, and cooperate with all liberal groups in the region, to seek to acquire an observer status at the Arab League and United Nations.

——————–

Dr. Dhafer Mohammed Al Ajmi, Executive Director of Gulf Watch Group, in his lecture entitled “Positions of Gulf States on Ahwaz: Reality and Hope”, pointed out that the international relations are administered by two types of personalities, either a diplomat or a soldier. He sees that ambiguous positions are over in the Gulf.  “Saudi Arabia stands firmly in the face of Iran’s expansionism,” said Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. “Saudi Arabia is well aware of the fact that it is a target of the Iranian regime, and that the Kingdom will not wait until the battle rages on the Saudi soil, but it will work to move the battle inside Iran ” He stressed that the solution to the Iranian meddling in the Gulf countries is to shift the theater of the battle into the Arabian territories of Ahwaz, stressing that working in this spot shall be very painful for Iran. He cited a statement of former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami, where he said: “Iran lives by Khuzestan.” He concluded by calling for the unification of speech and efforts for the Ahwazis to obtain their right to self-determination.

Fatima Abdullah Khalil, a writer and researcher on the Arabian Gulf’s affairs, in her lecture entitled “Iranian expansion from Ahwaz to Yemen”, concluded GCC states should be the Launchpad for resisting the Iranian schemes since they are more stable, richer and more independent compared to neighboring Arab countries. She pointed out that the GCC countries began recently to try to bring back the Arab Shiites to the Arab and Gulf sphere, through the Saudi-Iraqi rapprochement. She pointed to the need to promote Yemeni containment from within through integrating the Yemeni people into the Gulf, and supporting groups opposed to Iran, particularly Ahwazis. Yet she stressed that retaking Ahwaz is an Arab national necessity, and a geostrategic necessity, which will pave the way for Ahwaz to be independent and join the GCC. The lecturer noted that clawing back Ahwaz will be a deadly blow to Iran.

In a lecture entitled “The occupation of Ahwaz, reassessment of the status quo, Ayoub Said, writer and researcher on Ahwaz, addressed the era relating to the annexation of Al-Ahwaz in 1925 and the subsequent obliterating of its historical sovereignty in light of interlocked regional and international conditions that pushed in this direction.

He also focused on the internal factors that combined with the external factors, which led to losing control over Ahwaz. Foremost of these factors was the lack of incubators for the policies of Prince Khazal, which indifference and somewhat satisfaction at the overthrow of the Prince and the occupation of Ahwaz.

Dr. Ismail Khalafallah, a lawyer and researcher on international law and director of the Association of Rights and Freedoms in France, discussed the Ahwazi issue in a lecture entitled “The right of the Arab people of Ahwaz to determine their own destiny and the legitimacy of their resistance” In several points as follows:

1 – What was taken by force, can only be restored by force which requires a sweeping and comprehensive revolution against the Iranian occupiers.

2 – Unifying and gathering all the political and military forces of Ahwazi in one front inclusive of all the factions, to end the Iranian occupation of Ahwaz.

3 – Raise the awareness of Arab people Ahwaz concerning the need to muster within a unified body organized politically, militarily, socially and culturally, to counter Iranian colonialism.

4 – Intensifying efforts aimed at raising awareness within the Arab and Islamic society and the international community, that this issue is part of the decolonization efforts and asserting that the Arab region of Ahwaz is a pure Arab land that was seized by the Iranian colonizer in complicity with the US.

5 – Promoting the idea of the right of the Arab people of Ahwaz to gain independence from Iran at national, regional and international levels.

6 – Working to remove all political and intellectual differences between all factions of the Arab people Ahwaz both at home and abroad.

In a lecture titled ‘policies of the center towards the Ahwazi people’ over the past two decades, Hassan Radhi, director of the Ahwaz Center for Media and Strategic Studies, focused on woes experienced by the Ahwazis under the occupation in the social, economic and political aspects in light of the repressive policies aimed at wiping out the identity of the Ahwazi people.

http://ahwazna.net/en-540_Hague_Seminar_Focuses_on_Ahwaz_in_Context_of_Arab_Iranian_Conflict_.html

Ken O’Keefe is back with a band new video of himself ranting (give the sheeple what they want?) and doing his usual Tourettes-inspired performance. He tells us he reckons he might be arrested, and if he is going to get arrested (and whatever for, pray tell?) he will go on a hunger strike. YAWN. Well, it might be interesting if you actually were emotionally stimulated by that psychotic HERO/VICTIM schtick he’s into about himself. Because, as you know by now, 99% of the things he writes about or rants about have himself in the middle of them. What’s a narcissist to do if they can’t stop talking about the Most Fascinating of Subjects?

At any rate, the new video, to spare you having to see all 17 minutes of it yourself, as a public service, we provide a really quick rundown of the salient points.

First, the title, and what a title!

Ken O’Keefe on the “Jewish Supremacist Talmudic Satanic Pedo Bankser Cult”

Yes.
He wrote that.
“Bankser”.

And also the rest of it. Hitler couldn’t have written a better title, could he?
Ken dropped the stuff about Zionism being the problem. For all the years and years Palestinians have been pounding the reality that they oppose those who oppress them, and those who oppress them are Zionists, they have no problem with Jews and have nothing to do with the racist rants going on. No. That is old school, that is too “politically correct” and the Palestinians’ will doesn’t matter any more. For Ken, the problem isn’t Zionism, it’s Jews, no nuance.

Anyway, here are some choice bits: Hitler Ken talks about the MAJOR problems of everyone  (else) in the whole damned activist world making videos about current events while he has been laying low, but busy, so busy. Oh, Laying Low is what got him into all the trouble with his Fans in the first place. He put on a big show to get a lot of money ASAP for something no one quite understood and which we wrote about here and here and here and here, warning people it was a scam, but people got scammed. His entire team challenged him and like all his teams in the history of Kendom, LEFT HIM and couldn’t stand to see his ugly face ever again. And like all these events, they are “idiots and agents” (left out clowns this time). He goes on for a while about how all those other people are horrible and [shock, horror] how they want him to prove that he is innocent after all the accusations. Somehow, Ken doesn’t think he has to prove his innocence. People just have to believe him. Oh, he DOES have a mickey mouse “statement” (unsigned and hilarious as all hell) on his site. Claims that is enough to keep the plebes satisfied, so they better STFU if they expect him to prove the accusations against him as false. Uhm. OKAY.

But, the brilliant thing is this: “I control the money!” he says with a wry smile.

Yeah.
That’s the problem Kenny boy.

People would like the money BACK, or that something actually is done with it THAT IS THE PROJECT THEY THOUGHT THEY WERE GETTING.

But Ken doesn’t “Do” projects that are actually going to serve the purposes for their creation, as we will point out very shortly.

Ken says that his purpose is to be a Lure for the Bait.
Uh, yes… try to figure that one out on your own. In “my” dictionary it sounds like “Controlled Opposition”, so in this, he actually does seem to finally say something that makes sense in its own roundabout way.

He’s says he’s going “back to the Jewnited States” soon. The land of Jewish Banksters. He is FORCED to use a USA passport (yeah, sure… first they force you to go to the Jewnited States, then they make sure you use a USA passport to do it, the nerve!) He’s pretty sure he’s going to get arrested, so he preventively told us he will hunger strike, because Ken’s Rights are sacrosanct. He assures us he would not commit suicide.

Then we get to the up closse and personal portion of the video. He brags about his girlfriend who has many talents including telling the World War II story – (the Greatest Story Never Told, all that Hitler lovefest stuff).  In the video we get him doing a little less of “come to yer uncle” that we had grown accustomed to, and instead have an “Against All Odds” romp video of them in the sunset, where at a certain point it looks like she is trying to see if there is something in his shorts. It’s pretty tacky, but we have gotten used to tacky from the Ken and GF team. And yes, we can deal with his being overwhelmed with lust/love for her, but when he says that when a woman like her shows interest in a man “You wouldn’t even THINK for a second before you’d be with her, or maybe you’re homosexual”, you have to fight to hold back the vomit.

And, that’s pretty much that! He said the J-word, he coupled it with other triggers including Pedo and Satanists, (oh, never mind that one of the people in the campaign promoting and pimping for his World Citizen Solution had THIS cool picture of what is commonly known as Lucifer as his icon on facebook). Ken’s speaking such “truth to power!”luke brown

At any rate, we know, yes.. we know that this WCS will end up like everything else he does… end up being all spent in the RUNNING of the thing.. the THING never ever happens!! (Trade not Aid, Samouni Project, Ferry to Gaza, Tahrir 4 Gaza… where did all that money (or all that little money in some less successful Go Fund Ken’s Ego campaigns) go? It sure didn’t go to Palestinians in any way other than them being a background for his own showing off of his major ego.

You don’t believe me? Well, let’s have a look at just ONE project, shall we? ALOHA PALESTINE.

It had big name promotors, Tony Benn, Jeremy Corbyn, Lauren Booth, Alexei Sayle (well, little big names, but we aren’t picky right now, it was a European-based project, but he did insert all kinds of inspirational Gandhi and Nelson Mandela quotes in there). He went around promoting it with Lauren Booth and made quite a flashy little video with animation of a cool looking ship.

Got a LOT of money.

 

This is the ferry… well, not really. This is the ANIMATION of the FERRY, because that is as far as he ever intended to have it go. Here are the returns found at the Companies House. Oh, of course, no taxes paid, it was a CIC, all the money is clean. Because you are doing something for the benefit of society and the community. Ken’s society and community are evidently his own little ring of people who make the money while the project develops…..but then, the project goes kaput and all that money… DONATED MONEY from basically normal people who have to work for a living and scrimp and save, but always try to keep anything extra aside for those who need help and money more than they do. In this case, he used THE PALESTINIANS, and gave them nothing in return.

Look at the accounts filed, available for anyone to peruse on the Companies House site.

£36,690 was spent in ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES out of £36,888
LET THAT SINK IN…. £36,690 spent to have £198 that could be used for the ferry!
And that was just the FIRST YEAR! in the second year, it went in the hole £2091.

£0.00 for the Palestinians. People pimping for Ken,  pushing for others to donate, then, lots of money coming  in and NOTHING spent on anything but Ken and his cronies. Let that sink in. It makes his rants just seem like some hot bullshit from a snake oil salesman.

This text was written by Dyab Abu Jahjah in 2012. This is his site.
Relative to revolutions all around the world, the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions are historical miracles and a shining example of non-violent, civilized uprisings. The Yemeni revolution, in its insistence on non-violence and its discipline, is truly amazing, as is the revolution in Bahrain. The Syrian revolution, in its enormous sacrifices in the face of a ruthless killing machine, is a historical epic. The revolutions in Libya is an epitome of effectiveness.
We cannot just mention Libya in passing because the Libyan case has become the favorite example for conspiracy theorists and doubters in the revolution. It is true that the intervention by NATO is complicated and is definitely not innocent. But it is also true that the agenda of the Libyan revolutionaries is not identical to NATO’s agenda. This divergence will emerge slowly but surely because the relationship between the Libyan revolution and NATO is not one of submission. European powers wanted to secure the oil contracts that they had signed with Kaddafi and at the same time appear to support the Arab revolution after their shameful support for Ben-Ali and Mubarak to the very end. The Libyan revolutionaries wanted air cover in their confrontation with Kaddafi’s barbaric killing machine. and unfortunately no Arab or Islamic country was able to provide such a cover. Hence, a deal was struck, and we must look at this deal from the point of view of shared interests. In the end, Libya has been liberated and there are no occupation forces and no NATO mandate on Libya. As for the oil contracts, they are a matter of commerce because oil is nothing more than a commodity that is sold by the state based on the people’s interests; it does not represent our dignity or our honor. Isn’t it better for a free Libyan people to trade and cooperate with foreign countries to benefit itself rather than for a dictator like Kaddafi to do the same thing while oppressing his people for the benefit of himself and his sons with their many lovers?

A free people determines its path by itself and no one can claim any longer that a deranged tyrant knows his people’s interests better than the people. The alternative, for those who are always asking about alternatives, as if we were replacing one totalitarian government with another, is always the ballot box. What’s more important, and what is true in any region in the Arab World, is that foreign intervention is a small detail in the midst of the massive historical movement that the Arab revolution represents, which neither the reactionary oil oligarchies nor Western imperialism will be able to co-opt no matter how hard they try. The old regimes and their remnants will fail in their attempt to paint the Arab revolution as a western conspiracy to dethrone them because of their achievements in pursuing the interests of the people. The people know that the historical trend in our region is one of revolution, and they are aware of the West’s attempts to intervene and co-opt the revolution, but they are also capable of thwarting these attempts. In Syria, for example, the revolutionary forces have rejected military intervention and instead called for international protection and observers, and some insist on most being Arab, in spite of the enormous oppression and killing. Those who accuse the Syrian revolutionaries of being traitors are similar to someone who denies a seriously ill patient medicine because that medicine is made in Paris or London and is being distributed by United Nations agencies.

The current Syrian flag

WRITTEN BY SHIBLI ZAMAN
All kinds of scum are defending Bashar al-Assad following his attack upon the people of Idlib with chemical weapons. I’ve had to respond to many of these heartless people who prefer their vacuous Alex Jones based conspiracy theories over human life but…seriously…at least 10 kids under the age of 11 died an excruciating death so I am just way too PISSED OFF to carry on. But I want to address this Russian LIE that they supposedly bombed a munitions depot where the rebels were storing Sarin gas.

Sarin gas is highly unstable and is easily rendered inert.

“Decomposes thermally to form a variety of phosphorus containing products as well as propylene. The rate of decomposition increases with increase in temperature, and in the presence of acids. At the boiling point of GB, under atmospheric conditions, decomposition is fairly rapid.”
[PubChem: https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/sarin…]

The Russian account of having bombed a Sarin containing depot is scientifically impossible. If you bomb Sarin with incendiaries, it will be rendered INERT by the exceedingly high temperature of any blast. It just takes 150 °C to decompose Sarin into various forms of phosphorous. The average missle emits 2,480 °C (4,500 °F) which is way beyond what it would take to completely erase any Sarin.

Then these imbeciles are claiming that pictures of the White Helmets wearing only gas masks and no HAZMAT suits means there couldn’t have been a Sarin attack. Make up your minds! Either there was a gas attack or there wasn’t. Russia ADMITTED that Sarin was released upon the population because even they weren’t stupid enough to deny the overwhelmingly obvious! And to debunk this nonsense about the White Helmets not wearing Hazmat suits, by the time they and other personnel would have arrived in the area the Sarin would have dissipated. This is from the Center for Disease Control: “Because it evaporates so quickly, sarin presents an immediate, but short-lived, threat.” [https://emergency.cdc.gov/agent/sarin/basics/facts.asp]

Finally, as Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, a former commanding officer of the British Armed Forces Joint Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear (CBRN) Regiment, said:

“Axiomatically, if you blow up Sarin, you destroy it…It’s very clear it’s a Sarin attack…The view that it’s an al-Qaeda or rebel stockpile of Sarin that’s been blown up in an explosion, I think is completely unsustainable and completely untrue.” [BBC]

So, the bottom line is that there are two versions of events here:

1) Tons of eye witnesses on the ground testify to the Russian/Syrian aerial bombardment of chemical weapons. There are PICTURES of the spent casings and tanks on the ground. The entire world knows Bashar and the Russians did it, and the SAA, Russia and Iran are the only people ON EARTH saying otherwise.

2) The SAA first released a statement saying they did nothing. That was a lie that Russia themselves ratted out when they admitted that they bombed Idlib. The first question is: Why were they bombing a residential area in Idlib? They claim that they were targeting a munitions depot that contained chemical weapons.

The SAA/Russian explanation is 100% a lie that can easily be proven by SCIENCE in that if they bombed a stockpile of Sarin gas, it would not release and kill everyone. It would be rendered completely inert and USELESS.

In the end you can’t argue with basic CHEMISTRY AND SCIENCE.

And there are a bunch of kids who choked to death on their own bodily fluids, and the fact that people are defending Bashar after that pisses me off immeasurably. So be warned: My tolerance level for nonsense when it comes to this tragic and painful subject is ZERO.

[The Hoaxer Project Report, pp. 39-41] WRITTEN BY LAIRD WILCOX

Robert F. Kennedy wrote:

“What is objectionable, what is dangerous about extremists is not that they are extreme, but that they are intolerant. The evil is not what they say about their cause, but what they say about their opponents.”

In analyzing the rhetoric and propaganda of several hundred militant “fringe” political and social groups across the political spectrum, I have identified a number of specific traits or behaviors that tend to represent the extremist “style”…

1. CHARACTER ASSASSINATION.

Extremists often attack the character of an opponent rather than deal with the facts or issues raised. They will question motives, qualifications, past associations, alleged values, personality, looks, mental health, and so on as a diversion from the issues under consideration. Some of these matters are not entirely irrelevant , but they should not serve to avoid the real issues.

Extremists object strenuously when this is done to them, of course!

2. NAME-CALLING AND LABELING.

Extremists are quick to resort to epithets (racist, subversive, pervert, hate monger, nut, crackpot, degenerate, un-American, anti-semite, red, commie, nazi, kook, fink, liar, bigot, and so on) to label and condemn opponents in order to divert attention from their arguments and to discourage others from hearing them out. These epithets don’t have to be proved to be effective; the mere fact that they have been said is often enough.

3. IRRESPONSIBLE SWEEPING GENERALIZATIONS.

Extremists tend to make sweeping claims or judgments on little or no evidence, and they have a tendency to confuse similarity with sameness. That is, they assume that because two (or more) things, events, or persons are alike in some respects, they must be alike in most respects. The sloppy use of analogy is a treacherous form of logic and has a high potential for false conclusions.

4. INADEQUATE PROOF FOR ASSERTIONS.

Extremists tend to be very fuzzy about what constitutes proof, and they also tend to get caught up in logical fallacies, such as  post hoc ergo propter hoc  (assuming that a prior event explains a subsequent occurrence simply because of their before and after relationship). They tend to project wished-for conclusions and to exaggerate the significance of information that confirms their beliefs while derogating or ignoring information that contradicts them. They tend to be motivated by feelings more than facts, by what they want to exist rather than what actually does exist. Extremists do a lot of wishful and fearful thinking.

5. ADVOCACY OF DOUBLE STANDARDS.

Extremists generally tend to judge themselves or their interest group in terms of their intentions, which they tend to view very generously, and others by their acts, which they tend to view very critically. They would like you to accept their assertions on faith, but they demand proof for yours. They tend to engage in special pleading on behalf of themselves or their interests, usually because of some alleged special status, past circumstances, or present disadvantage.

6. TENDENCY TO VIEW THEIR OPPONENTS AND CRITICS AS ESSENTIALLY EVIL.

To the extremist, opponents hold opposing positions because they are bad people, immoral, dishonest, unscrupulous, mean-spirited, hateful, cruel, or whatever, not merely because they simply disagree, see the matter differently, have competing interests, or are perhaps even mistaken.

7. MANICHAEAN WORLDVIEW.

Extremists have a tendency to see the world in terms of absolutes of good and evil, for them or against them, with no middle ground or intermediate positions. All issues are ultimately moral issues of right and wrong, with the “right” position coinciding with their interests. Their slogan is often “those who are not with me are against me.”

8. ADVOCACY OF SOME DEGREE OF CENSORSHIP OR REPRESSION OF THEIR OPPONENTS AND/OR CRITICS.

This may include a very active campaign to keep opponents from media access and a public hearing, as in the case of blacklisting, banning or “quarantining” dissident spokespersons. They may actually lobby for legislation against speaking, writing, teaching, or instructing “subversive” or forbidden information or opinions. They may even attempt to keep offending books out of stores or off of library shelves, discourage advertising with threats of reprisals, and keep spokespersons for “offensive” views off the airwaves or certain columnists out of newspapers. In each case the goal is some kind of information control. Extremists would prefer that you listen only to them. They feel threatened when someone talks back or challenges their views.

9. TEND TO IDENTIFY THEMSELVES IN TERMS OF WHO THEIR ENEMIES ARE: WHOM THEY HATE AND WHO HATES THEM.

Accordingly, extremists may become emotionally bound to their opponents, who are often competing extremists themselves. Because they tend to view their enemies as evil and powerful, they tend, perhaps subconsciously, to emulate them, adopting the same tactics to a certain degree. For example, anti-Communist and anti-Nazi groups often behave surprisingly like their opponents. Anti-Klan rallies often take on much of the character of the stereotype of Klan rallies themselves, including the orgy of emotion, bullying, screaming epithets, and even acts of violence. To behave the opposite of someone is to actually surrender your will to them, and “opposites” are often more like mirror images that, although they have “left” and “right” reversed, look and behave amazingly alike.

10. TENDENCY TOWARD ARGUMENT BY INTIMIDATION.

Extremists tend to frame their arguments in such a way as to intimidate others into accepting their premises and conclusions. To disagree with them is to “ally oneself with the devil,” or to give aid and comfort to the enemy. They use a lot of moralizing and pontificating, and tend to be very judgmental. This shrill, harsh rhetorical style allows them to keep their opponents and critics on the defensive, cuts off troublesome lines of argument, and allows them to define the perimeters of debate.

11. USE OF SLOGANS, BUZZWORDS, AND THOUGHT-STOPPING CLICHES.

For many extremists shortcuts in thinking and in reasoning matters out seem to be necessary in order to avoid or evade awareness of troublesome facts and compelling counter-arguments. Extremists generally behave in ways that reinforce their prejudices and alter their own consciousness in a manner that bolsters their false confidence and sense of self-righteousness.

12. ASSUMPTION OF MORAL OR OTHER SUPERIORITY OVER OTHERS.

Most obvious would be claims of general racial or ethnic superiority–a master race, for example. Less obvious are claims of ennoblement because of alleged victimhood, a special relationship with God, membership in a special “elite” or “class,” and a kind of aloof “highminded” snobbishness that accrues because of the weightiness of their preoccupations, their altruism, and their willingness to sacrifice themselves (and others) to their cause. After all, who can bear to deal with common people when one is trying to save the world! Extremists can show great indignation when one is “insensitive” enough to challenge these claims.

13. DOOMSDAY THINKING.

Extremists often predict dire or catastrophic consequences from a situation or from failure to follow a specific course, and they tend to exhibit a kind of “crisis-mindedness.” It can be a Communist takeover, a Nazi revival, nuclear war, earthquakes, floods, or the wrath of God. Whatever it is, it’s just around the corner unless we follow their program and listen to the special insight and wisdom, to which only the truly enlightened have access. For extremists, any setback or defeat is the “beginning of the end!”

14. BELIEF THAT IT’S OKAY TO DO BAD THINGS IN THE SERVICE OF A “GOOD” CAUSE.

Extremists may deliberately lie, distort, misquote, slander, defame, or libel their opponents and/or critics, engage in censorship or repression, or undertake violence in “special cases.” This is done with little or no remorse as long as it’s in the service of defeating the Communists or Fascists or whomever. Defeating an “enemy” becomes an all-encompassing goal to which other values are subordinate. With extremists, the end justifies the means.

15. EMPHASIS ON EMOTIONAL RESPONSES AND, CORRESPONDINGLY, LESS IMPORTANCE ATTACHED TO REASONING AND LOGICAL ANALYSIS.

Extremists have an unspoken reverence for propaganda, which they may call “education” or “consciousness-raising.” Symbolism plays an exaggerated role in their thinking, and they tend to think imprecisely and metamorphically. Harold D. Lasswell, in his book, *Psychopathology and Politics*, says, “The essential mark of the agitator is the high value he places on the emotional response of the public.” Effective extremists tend to be effective propagandists. Propaganda differs from education in that the former teaches one what to think, and the latter teaches one how to think.

16. HYPERSENSITIVITY AND VIGILANCE.

Extremists perceive hostile innuendo in even casual comments; imagine rejection and antagonism concealed in honest disagreement and dissent; see “latent” subversion, anti-semitism, perversion, racism, disloyalty, and so on in innocent gestures and ambiguous behaviors. Although few extremists are clinically paranoid, many of them adopt a paranoid style with its attendant hostility and distrust.

17. USE OF SUPERNATURAL RATIONALE FOR BELIEFS AND ACTIONS.

Some extremists, particularly those involved in “cults” or extreme religious movements, such as fundamentalist Christians, militant Zionist extremists, and members of mystical and metaphysical organizations, claim some kind of supernatural rationale for their beliefs and actions, and that their movement or cause is ordained by God. In this case, stark extremism may become reframed in a “religious” context, which can have a legitimizing effect for some people. It’s surprising how many people are reluctant to challenge religiously motivated extremism because it represents “religious belief” or because of the sacred-cow status of some religions in our culture.

18. PROBLEMS TOLERATING AMBIGUITY AND UNCERTAINTY.

Indeed, the ideologies and belief systems to which extremists tend to attach themselves often represent grasping for certainty in an uncertain world, or an attempt to achieve absolute security in an environment that is naturally unpredictable or perhaps populated by people with interests opposed to their own. Extremists exhibit a kind of risk-aversiveness that compels them to engage in controlling and manipulative behavior, both on a personal level and in a political context, to protect themselves from the unforeseen and unknown. The more laws or “rules” there are that regulate the behavior of others–particular their “enemies”–the more secure extremists feel.

19. INCLINATION TOWARD “GROUPTHINK.”

Extremists, their organizations, and their subcultures are prone to a kind of inward-looking group cohesiveness that leads to what Irving Janis discussed in his excellent book Victims of Groupthink. “Groupthink” involves a tendency to conform to group norms and to preserve solidarity and concurrence at the expense of distorting members’ observations of facts, conflicting evidence, and disquieting observations that would call into question the shared assumptions and beliefs of the group.

Right-wingers (or left-wingers), for example, talk only with one another, read material that reflects their own views, and can be almost phobic about the “propaganda” of the “other side.” The result is a deterioration of reality-testing, rationality, and moral judgment. With groupthink, shared illusions of righteousness, superior morality, persecution, and so on remain intact, and those who challenge them are viewed with skepticism and hostility.

20. TENDENCY TO PERSONALIZE HOSTILITY.

Extremists often wish for the personal bad fortune of their “enemies,” and celebrate when it occurs. When a critic or an adversary dies or has a serious illness, a bad accident, or personal legal problems, extremists often rejoice and chortle about how they “deserved” it. I recall seeing right-wing extremists celebrate the assassination of Martin Luther King and leftists agonizing because George Wallace survived an assassination attempt. In each instance their hatred was not only directed against ideas, but also against individual human beings.

21. EXTREMISTS OFTEN FEEL THAT THE SYSTEM IS NO GOOD UNLESS THEY WIN.

For example, if they lose an election, then it was “rigged.” If public opinion turns against them, it was because of “brainwashing.” If their followers become disillusioned, it’s because of “sabotage.” The test of the rightness or wrongness of the system is how it impacts upon them…

Saeed al-Bahrani died in the hospital of Mahshor (Mahshahr) city

Saeed al-Bahrani, 39 year old community activist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Written by Rahim Hamid, Ahwazi freelance journalist and human rights activist based in the USA

An Iranian regime militia shot an unarmed wheelchair-bound disabled Ahwazi activist dead in front of his wife and children in their home, apparently “revenge” for his civil rights activism.

The armed group belonging to the Basiji (also known as Sāzmān-e Basij-e Mostaz’afin), one of the five forces of the ‘Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution’, stormed into 39-year-old Saeed al-Bahrani’s house in the town of Koura in southern Ahwaz capital on Sunday evening, April 2, 2017, shooting him dead in front of his horrified wife and three children.  The regime militiamen gave no reason for their actions, with al-Bahrani’s wife and family having no legal recourse despite this brutal murder.

Saeed, aged 39, was a tireless community activist, a Sunni cleric and a widely admired and respected local figure in the poverty-stricken town, who spent much of his life engaged in campaigning for civil rights and freedom for the marginalised Ahwazi people.

Koura county is one of the most populated and deprived areas affiliated to Mahshahr port city, this port is the capital of petrochemical industry of Iran, however, its Arab locals denied any basic rights and employment in oil and gas petrochemical complexes  have been driven to live  in medieval poverty.

According to Ahwazi rights groups and activists, such cold-blooded murders of activists by the regime’s troops and militias are routine.  Ahwazi activists say that the continuing silence of UN and other international human rights organizations on the Iranian regime’s rule by terror, in which grotesque human rights abuses are just another tool of governance, effectively gives the regime carte blanche to continue.

Ahwazi Arab activists on 26 February 2017 has circulated an amateur video on social networking sites showing an Ahwazi citizen lying on the ground, having been shot at by an Iranian police officer in the Zaafaraniya district, west of the capital of Ahwaz.

The police shot at the young Ahwazi man ‘in cold blood’, hitting him in the right leg, when he refused to be searched by them.

The video shows the young man unconscious and soaked in blood, with a crowd of concerned and angry people around him, while the police sit in their patrol car nearby.

Sources confirmed that the police did not call an ambulance to take the injured man to hospital until some of the locals from the Zaafaraniya district intervened and took him to a hospital in Ahwaz City Centre themselves. There were conflicting reports about the injured man’s latest condition, with some saying he has died of his injuries.

This is the fourth time within the last few months that there has been an incident of this kind.  On 9 February of 2017, a random shooting by Iranian soldiers killed a young Ahwazi man in Falahiyeh City and another citizen was wounded in the city of Shush on Wednesday 22 February by Iranian intelligence.

Raghad Abbas, three-year-old victim.

Also, Ahwazi human rights activists have reported on October 27 2016 the murder of a three-year-old girl, Raghad Abbas (pictured), who died instantly on being shot through the heart as she sat in the back of her parents’ car when Iranian security forces opened fire indiscriminately on the vehicle on Monday October 24th.  Her father, Abbas Hassan Mashal Al-Sari, aged 41, who was driving the car, and her mother, Zahor Abdul-Sada Al-Sari, were also critically wounded in the shooting, which took place in the Alawi neighbourhood, a western suburb of the regional capital, Ahwaz. Neither of her parents were armed or involved in any illegal activities, and no reason has yet been given for the attack, nor has any apology been issued for the murder of the little girl.   Immediately after the brutal slaying, the security officers responsible dragged the injured, newly bereaved father, Abbas Hassan, from the vehicle and arrested him as his traumatized, also injured wife looked on, and as their daughter’s dead body sat in the back seat, before taking him to an undisclosed location.

The attack on the family’s vehicle was apparently part of another ongoing brutal crackdown by regime security forces on Ahwazi Arabs.

These random acts of violence are typical of the way the Iranian regime forces act in the Al-Ahwaz territories – taking pleasure in every opportunity to flaunt their complete control over every aspect of the civilians’ lives.

For years, the Ahwazi Arabs have been killed, shot, attacked, beaten, insulted and humiliated on a daily basis by the thugs of the Iranian regime, who act with impunity, secure in their knowledge that they have a carte blanche to act as they please.

As long as oil continues to flow from Ahwaz, many in the world seem quite prepared to turn a blind eye to the spilling of blood and shedding of tears of the dispossessed Ahwazi Arabs.

This is unacceptable. We pledge to continue to draw attention to the injustices being suffered by the Ahwazi Arab population until such time that justice and humanity will prevail.

For too long, Ahwazi Arabs have suffered in silence, the ultimate invisible victims. It is hard to understand just how isolated and betrayed the Ahwazi people feel, savagely persecuted by Iran for almost a century with the silent, treacherous complicity of the international community.  Compounding this problem is the media blackout surrounding events in  Ahwaz,  with the current regime’s effective hermetic sealing off of the region assisted by the collusion of the world which is either wholly indifferent or swallows the Iranian regime’s obscene lie of ‘resistance to occupation’ wholesale.

Ahwazis face vast challenges in bringing attention to the plight of the people in a world constantly preoccupied with “more pressing concerns” and a region awash in systemic violence, much of it directly or indirectly courtesy of the same regime responsible for their suffering.

Need to mention that the core attention of the majority of Iranian rights groups has broadly been devoted to spotlighting the violations that are committed against persons that live in Tehran capital and central Persian regions. These organizations in their written goals claim that they are seeking democracy, civil freedom and putting an end to racial oppression and discriminations but such stated objects have never been put into action when they deal with the human rights issues linked to Ahwazi Arabs as well as other ethnic groups. Until about two years ago, there has not been even a simple statement or action by Iranian human rights organizations denouncing the execution and persecution perpetrated against the Arab people of Ahwaz. Only after many actions carried by Ahwazi activists only two or three organizations, among dozens of Iranian human rights organizations, took action by revealing the human rights violations in Ahwaz. The other organizations engaged in ultra-racist duplicity to evade highlighting the Ahwazi plight.

Despite living in the region which holds over 95 percent of the oil and gas resources claimed by Iran – the reason for the British backing of Iran’s  1925 annexation of Ahwaz in exchange for oil contracts – Ahwazi Arabs live in medieval poverty under an effective apartheid system, being viewed as inferiors due to their Arab ethnicity; most of the population exists below the poverty line, with limited or no access to jobs, education, healthcare, or even basic utilities such as electricity and gas or running water.

Presentation by the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahwaz

WRITTEN BY RAHIM HAMID*
A delegation from the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahwaz confirmed “that the Ahwazi cause is the real weakness of Iran, if it were recognized as a state that is occupied by Iran, it would be a fatal blow to the Iranian regime’s back and all Iranian interference in the internal affairs of the region. They explained that “the Persians’ own space is less than half of Iran, and the rest belongs to a variety of components of Arabs of Ahwaz,  Turks of  Azerbaijan, Baluch of Baluchistan and Kurds of Kurdistan, and this is yet further proof of the weakness of Iran.  During the seminar that is entitled “Mechanisms for recognition of the state of Ahwaz”, which was held yesterday in the presence of a number of Bahraini deputies, the  delegation of  the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahwaz said,  “Arab states  realize the weakness of Iran, we do not know  why they do not want  to take advantage of these points, the Council of the Bahraini House of Representatives has made a great proposal that is to recognize  Ahwaz as an independent state, and we hope that  the rest of the parliaments of the Arab States follow this step  to recognize our cause of Ahwaz, and we will explore ways of implementing the initiative launched by the Council of Representatives of Bahrain. ”

According to sources, the deputies will discuss in the coming days with a delegation of Ahwaz a variety of mechanisms to implement the former parliamentary proposal to recognize the State of Ahwaz, and how to reintroduce it in the House of Representatives again.”

The Bahraini deputies, in their proposal, stressed that Bahrain is the first to support the right of Ahwaz and support the right of this people to defend itself, they stressed the just cause of Ahwazi freedom and announced upcoming initiatives to internationalize it.  Raising the proposal by the House of Representatives to demand recognition of Ahwaz as an occupied  Arab state has been attacked  by the Iranian media,  accusing the Kingdom of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia  of attempts to destabilise the national security of the country following the memorandum submitted by the Bahraini House of Representatives  to  the Parliament in order to recognize it as an occupied Arab state and should support it by every legal means in all levels, not only politically but also in the human rights area and through the media.

MP Issa Turki said the issue of Ahwaz is an Arab cause that has been forgotten, and this term will change after the mobility of Ahwazis,  it is a human rights issue par excellence, and requires us to provide support and assistance to this just cause, especially in the international circles, so that we can be the voice of this issue calling on  the Arab League to adopt the cause of Ahwaz  based on the principles of justice and humanity that is consistent with the legal principles enshrined in international law.

For his part, Chairman of the Human Rights Committee MP Mohammed Almarafi said, addressing himself to Ahwazis, “Your cause is the cause of all the Arabs, we will support you to give this issue all the legitimate channels through Gulf Cooperation Council, the Arab League, and the United Nations Council”, and he emphasized the granting of the Ahwazi Arab people of their rights and rejecting what is practiced on them as unspeakable abuses. “We call on the international community to take notice of Ahwazi human rights, this situation affects international peace, and the Kingdom of Bahrain is a forerunner in taking into account all rights of peoples, and Ahwaz was, in fact, a state and we support them in order so that their state is returned, and every human being  who has the power to support it should  exercise all kinds of pressure on the Iranian regime,  making the Ahwazi case a core issue.

As former MP Nasser Al Fadhala said, “It is beautiful to see the House of Representatives of Bahrain welcoming  the case of Ahwazi Arabs  in an unprecedented way. We spent years in support of the Ahwazi, and it has been our wish to hold a conference for Ahwazis in Bahrain, and the House of Representatives  can provide high moral support to the political elite of Ahwaz.”

Two  members of the Executive Committee of the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahwaz, during the seminar said that  approximately one-third of Iran’s waters and more than 95% of the oil and gas claimed by  Iran is located in Ahwaz, also  Ahwaz includes agricultural wealth in the palm dates, wheat, barley, corn, sugarcane, citrus and vegetables, mineral iron, mercury resources. He explained that the Ahwazi oil is the lightest oil in the world and is used in many industries. The independence of Ahwaz will transform Iran into a weak state. They added that the Ahwaz population ranges between 10 and 12 million and is rising. There have been 12 popular uprisings since 1925 against the Iranian occupation and they have given many martyrs for the return of Arab sovereignty of Ahwaz, showing the world, despite all media blackout and global lack of attention, that the Arab people did not kneel to the occupation.

Bringing the Ahwazi cause to greater public awareness

They added that Iranian violations in Ahwaz are countless, most notably the executions in the streets and that is not limited to men but includes women and children, as well as mass arrests,  unfair courts, and dissemination of drug. There is denial of employment to  Ahwazis, as well as the Ahwazi environment being destroyed by  building dams on the rivers Ahwazi,  diverting its waters into the depth of the Persian  provinces, and this criminality against Ahwazi people, has resulted in the draining of the marshes.  The regime not only confiscates Ahwazi  lands, but they began to demolish Ahwazi homes, preventing the people from learning the Arabic language and imposing the Persian language. There has been a ban placed on the wearing of traditional clothing in regime institutions, preventing the naming of children with Arab names and the changing of the names of all Ahwazi Arab places into Persian. Towns have been built for settlers with full support for them, giving them the jobs denied to Arabs. This is to bring about demographic change to the Ahwazi areas. There are also common criminal activities against the people, such as shooting at civilians and many other crimes that need seminars to shed light on them.

The members of the Executive Committee of the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahwaz, during the seminar, displayed clips of the torture of children and prisoners practiced by the Iranian regime against Ahwazis, surprising the attendees at how the Iranian regime advocates human rights in Bahrain, which commits all these crimes in Ahwaz.

They said, “Resistance of Ahwazis, after 3 months of occupation, started and continued through several methods such as  of adherence to  Arabic  language and holding seminars and organizing demonstrations and protests in Ahwaz, and demonstrations in the Diaspora, there are many revolutions that broke out on Ahwazi land, but with great regret, the media blackout dealt a painful blow to our struggle and that is why people have heard little about the Ahwazi plight that is a human rights cause deserving of all the world’s support and solidarity.

The delegation  said Iran has an expansionist project, as the region will not see peace and security, but should create a deterrent  project to  Iranian expansionism, which was started from the days of the Shah, but now it is wearing the clothes of religion, starting from the rule of Khomeini,  so with the Liberation of Ahwaz, Iran would lose the current means  for the success of its expansion,  all its oil from Ahwaz to destabilize the Arab countries. The Ahwazi people, for 91 years under oppression, had to move to European countries to hold demonstrations , seminars, fund human rights organizations and start political movements and media outlets in Europe with the aim of moving the Western media.”

The Bahraini deputies stated they know the history of Al-Ahwaz and violations that the people are suffering and their stolen nation, their human rights denied, and this increases their belief in justice, as Ahwaz is a continuation of the Elam civilization period that lasted for 7000 years,  stretching  from Iraqi Basra to the Strait of Hormuz, an area of 375,000 km, which includes many Arab cities, the most important are Abadan and Mohammerah, Ahwaz and Bushehr.

*Ahwazi Human Rights activist and freelance journalist based in the United States