That's the way I felt when I saw a recent flier calling for prison reform and support for California hunger striking prisoners from the Los Angeles left grouping Martin Luther King Jr. Coalition. It said:
"We fast in solidarity with....people of every gender, race and religion who have been killed by state and vigilante violence."Having seen this group speak out on Yemen, Gitmo, drones and spying, not to mention Trayvon Martin, Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Patriot Act, and remain silent on the human tragedy in Syria, I added "* Some Exceptions Apply" and sent it back to them.
I felt the same way about the organizing for 26 June 2013 - UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture done by Veterans for Peace, Code Pink, and Interfaith Communities United For Justice and Peace, March Forward, Progress Democrats of the Santa Monica Mountains, the Topanga Peace Alliance, the MLK Coalition, and SOA Watch-LA. Again, it deserved that asterisk *Some Exceptions Apply.
How can you protest torture in the year 2013 and not mention the Assad regime? Is there anyplace on Earth where as many people are being tortured and so meanly. Is there anyplace else where the torture of pre-teen children is a regular practice. Is there any place else where they are killing women by forcing live rats into their vaginas?
Sadly, it gets even worst when they aren't ignoring Syria...
posting features an image of someone holding up a sign dripping with red paint that says "STOP the MASSACRE in SYRIA" but UFPJ does not oppose the intervention of Hezbullah from Lebanon or fighters from Iran and Iraq that are killing for Assad. Nor do they oppose the Russian supply of cluster bombs and Scud missiles that are destroying Syrian cities. They only oppose any intervention on the side of the people fighting against Assad.
They somehow expect to stop the massacre by demanding that the US and the world continues to do what they have been doing, not intervening militarily, while the number of Syrians killed in the two and a half year old conflict rose from hundreds to over a hundred thousand. Just why they think continued non-intervention will change the trajectory of death in Syria is not clear. UFPJ writes:
We urge you to reject any military intervention in Syria, including arming the rebels or creating a no-fly zone, and instead to focus on increasing humanitarian assistance through the United Nations and building active multi-lateral diplomacy without preconditions with all involved parties for an immediate ceasefire, a full arms embargo, and negotiations to end Syria’s civil war.Fighting fire with fire is a well-proven fire fighting technique and there most certainly is a military solution to being bombed. In fact, once you have exhausted the possibility of talking or pressuring those who are dropping bombs on you out of it, there remains only military solutions to stopping the bombs.
Why is this important?
You can’t put out a raging fire by pouring gasoline on one side of it. There is no military solution to the crisis in Syria, and more arms to any side mean more civilians will be killed.
Assad has been slaughtering his people and destroying some of the oldest cities on Earth with his artillery, air force, and missiles. And make no mistake about it, the opposition doesn't have an air force, large missiles or much in the way of artillery. This is a very one-sided fight as far as military power is concerned. All the large scale damage and slaughter like you'll see in the video below has been done by Syrian government forces.
Nobody has been able to talk him out of destroying neighborhoods like this as long as they continue to reject his dictatorship and these western activists, who claim to be for peace and justice*, are opposed to anybody making him stop, i.e. creating a no-fly zone, or giving the people being bombed weapons to shoot down bombers.
Their "talk only" strategy may sound just right for a peace movement a million miles from the massacres but I am quite sure that if any of these activists had been at the scene of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre and suggested that the police not be called because they would bring weapons and "that would only add to the violence," they would have been treated quite rudely by everyone under fire.
This is a very one-sided fight and UFPJ and much of the peace* movement in the US is intent on seeing that it stays that way. Their opposition to military intervention has been one-sided as well. As for their "focus on increasing humanitarian assistance through the United Nations," I have shown in other posts how this aid mainly benefits the Assad regime and has even shown up in the hands of Hezbullah fighters.
Their use of "peace and justice*" definitely deserves an asterisk.
This asterisk needs to be added to the mission statements of all the groups above and many others in the so-called peace and justice movement in the United States because it seems intent on ignoring what is now being called the greatest humanitarian crisis in twenty years, the worst refugee crisis since Rwanda.
How much do they really matter if the Left is too busy to respond to this?
And how useless are those on the Left who are silent when a government anywhere is doing this to its own people:
UN warns of plight of children in Syria
August 03, 2013 9:02PM
The UN has sounded the alarm about the plight of women and children in Syria's Homs, urging all parties in the conflict to enable access to some 400,000 trapped civilians.
"The situation of women and children in the Syrian city of Homs is rapidly deteriorating," UNICEF said in a statement, adding that "new checkpoints are preventing more supplies from entering" the neighbourhood of Al-Waer.
"Cannot all those involved agree that the innocent women and children in Homs, and across Syria, should be spared all possible suffering?" UNICEF's Executive Director Anthony Lake asked.
Around 400,000 civilians, mostly women and children, who were forced to flee other areas of Homs have sought refuge in Al-Waer, and are now "living in partially constructed buildings, schools and other public buildings", Lake said.
But the situation there "has worsened, with reports of intense daily clashes, and rocket and mortar strikes causing many casualties", he added. More...
Amy Goodman has one of the loudest voices on the US Left thanks to her daily Pacficia & PBS broadcasts. She rarely mentions Syria and when she does it is about the big power politics surrounding it, almost never about the people, their struggle or their suffering. She never mentions how many Syrians died yesterday. Her show definitely deserves an asterisks. It should always be written "Democracy Now* [some exceptions apply]."
Here is another example of Assad regime brutality and the cavalier reaction of some in the US Left:
Published on Aug 29, 2012Why is it that even in the Left press the story about the rebel soldier biting a human heart got more play than this story about a government repeatedly attacking people in bread lines with its air force?
Syrian government forces have dropped bombs and fired artillery at or near at least 10 bakeries in Aleppo province over the past three weeks, killing and maiming scores of civilians who were waiting for bread.
Syria: Government Attacking Bread Lines
Civilian Deaths at Bakeries Are War Crimes
Here is how one US Left organization turns the reality of Assad attacks on bread lines on its head. Writing on the Worker's World website 31 July 2013, Sara Flounders says:
The Free Syrian Army and the religious sectarian groups have been incapable of providing for the social needs of the population in the areas they occupied, not even to sustain bread lines or organize basic medical needs.
Some have noticed that lately the Left has been championing a flurry of causes but has lacked the focus necessary to build the movement. Bob Wing of the On-Line University of the Left wrote of this in the CCDS newsletter, 2 Aug 2013. He hopes that:
The heartless combination of the Supreme Court's gutting of the Voting Rights Act, the House Republicans flatly shunning the immigration bill and the Trayvon Martin outrage should be a wake up call about the grave dangers posed by the far right and may give rise to a renewed motion among African Americans that could give much needed new impetus and political focus to the progressive movement.This guy is hoping that black people will ride in on a white horse and save the progressive movement from a lack of focus. It will never happen that way because the peace and justice movement is the heart and soul of the progressive movement and it lacks focus because the most urgent need for peace and justice right now is in a place the Left doesn't want to go.
Assad's New Strategy: Nothing Makes People Flee Like Murdering Their Children
The PSL School of Falsification: A Libyan Rebel Sets the Record Straight
Why Support the Syrian Revolution?
Assad Regime Thanks US Peace Movement for its Support!
UN Reports 5,000/Month Killed in Syria as LA Peace Movement Waves Killer's Flag on Wilshire
Update Sunday 4 Aug 2013: The national president of Veterans for Peace, Patrick McCann, informs me that it is only "the LA chapter of Veterans For Peace" that supported the pro-Assad "No War of Syria" protest and that the national executive committee has made no such endorsement saying "I'm of the same opinion as you on Syria." I got my information from this ANSWER Coalition list of endorsers and this UNAC list of supporters so watch those spaces for updates as well.