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Saturday, October 31, 2015

Vienna Talks Heart of Darkness: "2. State institutions will remain intact."

That China, Egypt, the EU, France, Germany, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United Nations, and the United States all agree that, after maybe a half million slaughtered and ten million made homeless, that Syrians should be forced to submit to point No. 2 of their JOINT STATEMENT Final declaration on the results of the Syria Talks in Vienna as agreed by participants reveals the true banality and corruption of the Syria talks going on in Vienna right now.
2. State institutions will remain intact.
For context please note that this statement doesn't say word one about reforming state institutions, hense a continuation of all the following of implied.

"State institutions will remain intact." means keeping war criminals in power.

It is precisely the task of the Syrian revolution to destroy the existing Baathist state institutions and rebuilt democratic ones. Nothing less will undo the damage of 45 years of Baathist rule or justify the tremendous cost of this conflict to the Syrian people. In this single statement of agreement the Vienna "participants" show they are all enemies of the Syrian people,

Syria is the Paris Commune of the 21st Century!

Click here for a list of my other blogs on Syria

ACTION ALERT: Tell PBS Frontline What's Really "Inside Assad's Syria"

Email From Syrian American Council:

ACTION ALERT: Tell PBS Frontline What's Really "Inside Assad's Syria"

Dear Friend,

SAC is issuing a Call to Action and we need YOUR help. The honest truth about what's happening in Syria is at stake.

Earlier this week, PBS Frontline released a feature "Inside Assad's Syria," with correspondent Martin Smith, that tried to portray Syria as not so bad under Assad.

He said that those under Assad's yolk view all rebels as extremists. He said that we should not try to defeat the Assad regime. He even asked if "new borders will need to be drawn" to carve up our beloved Syria. We can not accept this.

We can't sit idly by while pro-regime propagandists whitewash Assad's crimes. ACT NOW TO TELL PBS THAT SUCH DISTORTED JOURNALISM IS UNACCEPTABLE:

1) Let PBS know how you feel about this Frontline report by using the PBS Frontline "Contact Us" field.

2) Email Martin Smith to let him know that you are outraged by his report and found it to be dishonest. Email Smith at msmith@rainmedia.net -- let's overflow his inbox!

3) Join our Twitter campaign ‪#‎InsideAssadsSyria‬ to tell the real story about the atrocities taking place Inside Assad's Syria right now.

4) Share this Action Alert!

When taking these four actions, please reference this op-ed by Smith use the messaging points below. Here's why the PBS Frontline report was divorced from the realities inside Assad's real Syria:

1. The lie: Smith claimed there was consensus among the people he talked to that there were no moderate rebels and that the protests had been hijacked by foreign jihadists.

The truth: People did not speak freely to Smith -- talking negatively against Assad in Assad's Syria is a death warrant. Even Smith wrote this. So what makes Smith think the "consensus" he saw was real?

The checkpoints near the Damascus Old Suq of Hamidiya are manned by Hezbollah. Why did he not notice this or inquire about them? There are over 15,000 Shiite foreign fighters supporting Assad in Syria. Why did he never attempt to meet with them or even mention them?

Suq Hamidiya -- It is crawling with Mukhabarat which is why the regime allowed Smith to walk there without a minder. The people there were not speaking freely. The woman at 8:00 whose sons all left Syria were probably fleeing conscription as tens of thousands of Syrians have, but she could never have told him so. Did Smith even try to ask why they left?

2. The lie: Smith's contact, Thaer al-Ajlani, is described as just a "war reporter.

The truth: Thaer al-Ajlani is actually a regime official who heads military propaganda for the Damascus area. He previously headed Assad's parliamentary press office. His mom is Ambassador to Greece. This is why he received a huge military parade at his funeral. To describe him as merely a "hero to the regime," as if he were a private citizen, reflects either very shoddy background research or a deliberate omission of information.

3. The lie: Smith described early protest videos as "confusing" regarding who fired first, the regime or the demonstrators!

The truth: This description is an insult to all the media activists who gave their lives to spread the truth. The first protest video from Deraa shows clearly protesters fleeing in panic after the first sounds of gunshots. Even Assad himself said that the protesters did not take up arms until Ramadan (late July 2011). Smith's presentation of such a baldly revisionist viewpoint as fact shows either that he was taken for a ride (which reflects poorly on his judgement as a reporter) or had an initial pro-regime bias (which reflects poorly on PBS for sending him).

4. The lie: Najdat Anzur is presented as merely a "director."

The truth: It should be blatantly obvious (and should have been mentioned) that Najdat Anzur is not merely a "director." Anzur was able to transform a three-day official notice to leave the country by a government ministry into a multi-day trip to the Alawite coastal areas. He had an Air Force Intelligence Colonel as his bodyguard and driver. The presence of a Mukhabarat (secret police) agent from the most feared branch during Smith's trip to pro-regime areas again prevented his interviewees from speaking freely.

5. The lie: There is concern among the "internal opposition" that they are at risk of "liquidation" by rebel groups.

The truth: There is no basis to this claim. Nothing like this has ever happened. It is not just Syrian exiles who accuse them of being fake opposition, as Smith alleged, but it is also thousands of Syrians (many of whom are now dead or in detention) that protested against Mahmoud Marei's fake "internal opposition" efforts Hai'et al-Tansiq al-Wataniya. The "internal opposition" consists of about 25 individuals total who have never held protests, command no rebel brigades, and represent only themselves.

6. The lie: Smith claims that the "tactic of the rebels" outside Damascus is to fire mortars at regime areas and that the regime simply "responds" by barrel-bombing civilians.

The truth: The regime has been bombarding civilians in the Damascus suburbs, including with Sarin gas, ever since those areas fell outside its grasp in 2012. After years of bombardments, the main group in this area (Jaish al-Islam) launched large-scale rocket attacks on the regime for only a few days before it was dissuaded from continuing its attacks. This is in no way the rebels' main "tactic" -- and the regime would have barrel-bombed them regardless.

These are just a few of the grossly inaccurate, misleading and dishonest points in Martin Smith's documentary "Inside Assad's Syria." The entire program is littered with deception, missing background information, and biased reporting. It is clear there was an agenda set by the reporter and the fixers inside. This shamelessly biased and deceptive reporting is an indignity to the thousands of martyrs who were brutally murdered at the hands of the Assad regime, and to all those who still in detention, under siege, and in constant fear of bombardment.

JOINT STATEMENT Final declaration on the results of the Syria Talks in Vienna as agreed by participants

Linux Beach has obtained the following statement that is said to be the basis of the Syria talks taking place in Vienna now. We are publishing it here without comment so that we can make it widely available as quickly as possible.

JOINT STATEMENT: Final declaration on the results of the Syria Talks in Vienna as agreed by participants

Meeting in Vienna, on October 30, 2015, China, Egypt, the EU, France, Germany, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United Nations, and the United States [“the participants”] came together to discuss the grave situation in Syria and how to bring about an end to the violence as soon as possible.

The participants had a frank and constructive discussion, covering major issues. While substantial differences remain among the participants, they reached a mutual understanding on the following:
  1. Syria’s unity, independence, territorial integrity, and secular character are fundamental.
  2. State institutions will remain intact.
  3. The rights of all Syrians, regardless of ethnicity or religious denomination, must be protected.
  4. It is imperative to accelerate all diplomatic efforts to end the war.
  5. Humanitarian access will be ensured throughout the territory of Syria, and the participants will increase support for internally displaced persons, refugees, and their host countries.
  6. Da'esh, and other terrorist groups, as designated by the U.N. Security Council, and further, as agreed by the participants, must be defeated.
  7. Pursuant to the 2012 Geneva Communique and U.N. Security Council Resolution 2118, the participants invited the U.N. to convene representatives of the Government of Syria and the Syrian opposition for a political process leading to credible, inclusive, non-sectarian governance, followed by a new constitution and elections. These elections must be administered under U.N. supervision to the satisfaction of the governance and to the highest international standards of transparency and accountability, free and fair, with all Syrians, including the diaspora, eligible to participate.
  8. This political process will be Syrian led and Syrian owned, and the Syrian people will decide the future of Syria.
  9. The participants together with the United Nations will explore modalities for, and implementation of, a nationwide ceasefire to be initiated on a date certain and in parallel with this renewed political process.
The participants will spend the coming days working to narrow remaining areas of disagreement, and build on areas of agreement. Ministers will reconvene within two weeks to continue these discussions.

OK, one comment. None of the principle parties to the conflict, including the Syrian government and the Free Syrian Army appear to have a seat at the table.

Syria is the Paris Commune of the 21st Century!

Click here for a list of my other blogs on Syria

Friday, October 30, 2015

Refugiados sirios en Kusel: "Esperar no es sano"

Refugiados sirios en Kusel: "Esperar no es sano"

Basel y Luna Watfa: él es traductor, ella trabajó en Damasco como periodista política. Desde hacen semanas viven en un albergue para refugiados en Kusel. Condenados a esperar. Pero con esperanzas y metas.

Luna Watfa vive con su nuevo marido Basilea
Actualmente en el albergue de refugiados en Kusel
Aspira nerviosa su cigarrillo y a cada rato vuelve a mirar su reloj pulsera. Que se siente inquieta, dice Luna Watfa, de 34 años, de Damasco. Que el tiempo simplemente no pasa y que eso se hace peor, semana a semana. "No hay nada que hacer aquí, sólo se trata de matar el tiempo." La periodista siria ya lleva esperando cinco semanas a que se le registre.

Algunas personas, debido a la espera aparentemente infinita, ya han estado pensando volver a Siria, dice Luna Watfa. La espera, la incertidumbre, la falta de privacidad y la falta de perspectivas de volver a ver luego a los niños, son factores, dice ella, que le hacen perder las esperanzas. "Muchas de las personas, con las que hemos hablado aquí, dicen que se habían imaginado todo de manera muy diferente. Pese a todo, ellos piensan que Alemania u otro país de Europa son un buen lugar para iniciar una vida mejor, ¡una vida con derechos!"

"Privacidad igual cero"

Viviendas de refugiados en Trier "Esto es un desastre total".
Mientras Luna y su marido Basel sepan, dónde en Rhenania-Palatinado les va a corresponder vivir, tratan de ocupar su tiempo lo mejor posible. Mientras muchos de los hombres juegan fútbol y los niños pasan en bicicleta, monopatín o con coches de muñecas, la pareja muchas veces se mantiene al margen. Buscan rincones tranquilos, lo que resulta casi imposible en medio de otros 700 refugiados. "Privacidad igual cero", dice Basel Watfa.

Que también las noches son terribles, acota su mujer. "Todo el tiempo hay esa bulla, música fuerte, niños gritando, siempre, de día y de noche. Algunos ni siquiera hablan tu idioma, ni cualquier otro idioma. Y reaccionan de la manera correspondiente a tus pedidos de que no metan tanta bulla."

Esperar, nada más que esperar

Haga clic aquí para obtener una lista de mis otros blogs en español

Rara vez la periodista logra concentrarse en escribir. Habiendo perdido su computador y la cámara en su huida, se afana en digitar sus textos en su pequeño smartphone. "Echo de menos el sentimiento de ser periodista, el hablar con personas me hace sentir lo que ellos sienten, entiendo lo que sienten y de qué están hablando. Y puedo hacer que todo el mundo sepa, lo mucho que cada uno de ellos sufre." Si bien la pareja está agradecida de estar por fin en lugar seguro y de haber encontrado, en Kusel, un albergue para refugiados casi de lujo. Pese a ello están aburridos de esperar. "Ya en el largo viaje se está permanentemente esperando. Cuando se llega aquí, uno piensa, basta de esperar, tiene que acabarse ahora." La espera no es sana, dice también Basel. Pero es buena para algo, agrega: "Creemos que podemos obtener aquello, de lo que hemos soñado. Una vida segura en Alemania, con toda la familia, en un pequeño departamento y por fin poder volver a trabajar." Luna y Basel Watfa quieren por fin escribir, educar e informar – sobre Siria, el régimen e ISIS. Quieren volver a sus profesiones de traductor y periodista. Y ante todo aprender alemán cuanto antes. Un informe de Alexandra Dietz. También disponible en Inglés Captura: 28.10.2015, 7:00 horas
See also: Basel & Luna made it from Syria to Germany safely but they still need your help
Click here for a list of my other blogs on Syria

A report from Luna & Basel, Syrian refugees in Germany: "Waiting is not Healthy"

Luna and Basel Watfa were recently interviewed by SWR (Südwestrundfunk), the state radio, TV and news website for the federal states of Rhineland-Palatinate and Baden-Württemberg. They are currently living in a Syrian refugee camp in Kusel, a small town in Rhineland-Palatinate of not more than 5000 residents. Reported by Alexandra Dietz. The German to English translation has been done by Ralph Apel and edited by Clay Claiborne. Originally published on 28 October 2015. Also available in Spanish at Linux Beach.

Syrian Refugees in Kusel "Waiting is not Healthy"

Basel and Luna Watfa: he is a translator, she worked in Damascus as a political journalist. For weeks now they have been living in a refugee shelter in Kusel. Condemned to wait, but with hopes and aspirations.

Luna Watfa lives with her new husband Basel
currently in the refugee shelter in Kusel
She is looking at her wristwatch over and over again as she nervously pulls on a cigarette. She feels restless, says 34 ­year-old Luna Watfa from Damascus. Time just does not pass and it is getting worse from week to week. “There is nothing to do here, this is only about killing time." This Syrian journalist has now been waiting five weeks for her registration to be completed.

Because of the seemingly endless waiting, some people are even thinking about going back to Syria, Luna Watfa reported. Waiting, uncertainty, lack of privacy and no prospect of seeing the children again soon, make her feel hopeless. “Many people who we spoke to here say they had imagined all this quite differently. Even so they think Germany or another country in Europe is a good place to start a better life, a life with rights!"

"Privacy zero"

Refugee shelters in Trier "This is a total mess."
Until they know where they will be staying in Rhineland-Palatinate, Luna and her husband Basel are trying to use their time as best they can. While many men are playing football, kids are driving around with bicycles, scooters or doll carriages, the couple often sits apart. They are looking for quiet corners, which is almost impossible among 700 other refugees. "Privacy is equal to zero," says Basel Watfa.

The nights are terrible too, adds his wife. "All the time there is noise, loud music, screaming kids, always, day and night. Some don't speak our language or even some other language we know, so they don't respond to our prays for quiet."

Waiting, only Waiting

The journalist rarely gets around to writing. Having lost her computer and the camera while fleeing to Germany, she is typing her texts, with great difficulty, on her small smartphone. "I do miss the feeling of being a journalist, talking with people makes me feel what they feel, I do understand what they are feeling and what they are talking about. And I can let the whole world know how much each of them is suffering." The couple is indeed grateful to finally be safe and having made it to Kusel, one of the better refugee accommodation. Nevertheless, they are tired of waiting. "One has been constantly waiting on the long journey. When you arrive here, you think, so we have waited enough, it must now finally come to an end." Waiting is not healthy, Basel also says. But it has been good for something, he adds: "We believe that we will get what we have dreamed of, a safe life in Germany, to be able to finally go back to work and live with the whole family in a small apartment." Luna and Basel Watfa would like to finally write again, to educate and to inform – on Syria, the regime and ISIS. They would like to be back to their professions as a translator and a journalist. And above all they would like to learn German as soon as possible.
See also: Basel & Luna made it from Syria to Germany safely but they still need your help
Click here for a list of my other blogs on Syria

Monday, October 26, 2015

Neue Spielarten des Kolonialismus und Krise der linken Werte

[English] [Spanisch] Deutsch von Ralph Apel
Neue Spielarten des Kolonialismus und Krise der linken Werte 
Raúl Zibechi

Wenn die Sichtverhältnisse am ungünstigsten sind, weil starke Stürme die Wahrnehmung der Realität trüben, kann es zweckmäßig sein, den Blick zu erheben, Hänge zu erklimmen um nach breiter angelegten Beobachtungspunkten zu suchen, um den Kontext zu erkennen, in dem wir uns bewegen. In dieser Zeit, da die Welt von zahlreichen Widersprüchen und gegenläufigen Interessen durchquert ist, ist es dringend erforderlich, die Sinne zu schärfen, um weiter und nach innen zu scheuen.
Es sind Zeiten der Verwirrung, in denen die Ethik Schiffbruch erleidet, die elementaren Referenzpunkte verschwinden und sich so etwas wie ein „alles gilt“ installiert, das es ermöglicht, beliebige Sachen unter der alleinigen Bedingung zu unterstützen, dass sie sich gegen den Hauptfeind richten, unabhängig von jeglicher Betrachtung von Prinzipien und Werten. Das sind Abkürzungen, die in Sackgassen münden, wie etwa die Gleichstellung von Putin mit Lenin, um auf ein Beispiel zu sprechen zu kommen, das fast Mode geworden ist.
Die russische Intervention in Syrien ist ein neokolonialer Akt, durch den sich Russland auf dieselbe Seite der Geschichte stellt, wie die USA, Frankreich und Großbritannien. Es gibt keinen guten, emanzipatorischen Kolonialismus. So sehr auch versucht wird, die russische Intervention auch mit dem Argument zu rechtfertigen, sie habe zum Ziel, den Islamischen Staat und die imperiale Offensive in der Region aufzuhalten, so handelt es sich doch um nichts Anderes, als um eine zu jener symmetrische Aktion, die wegen ihrer identischen Methoden und mit ähnlichen Argumenten verurteilt wird.
Die Frage, der ich zentrale Bedeutung beimesse, ist: Warum erheben sich aus der lateinamerikanischen Linken Stimmen, die Putin unterstützen? Es ist offensichtlich, dass viele ihre Hoffnung auf eine bessere Welt in die Intervention von Großmächten wie China und Russland gelegt haben, von denen sie erwarten, dass sie die noch hegemonischen Mächte eindämmen oder ihnen eine Niederlage bereiten. Das ist, angesichts der von Washington in unserer Region begangenen Schandtaten, durchaus verständlich. Aber es handelt sich um eine strategischen Fehler und eine ethische Abweichung.
Ich möchte in dieser besonders kritischen Situation auf ein historisches Dokument zurückgreifen: auf den Brief an Maurice Thorez (Generalsekretär der Französischen Kommunistischen Partei), der im Oktober 1956 von Aimé Césaire geschrieben wurde. Der Text wurde zur Zeit einer jener Windungen der Geschichte geschrieben, kurz nach dem XX. Parteitag der KPdSU, bei dem die Verbrechen des Stalinismus angeprangert wurden; im gleichen Monat der ungarischen Volksaufstands gegen das pro-russische bürokratische Regime (in dem Tausende ums Leben kamen) und der kolonialen Aggression gegen Ägypten als Reaktion auf die Nationalisierung des Suez-Kanals.
Césaire trat damals aus der Partei aus, nach einem peinlichen Parteitag, auf dem die Führung sich als selbst einer minimalen Selbstkritik angesichts der Offenbarung von Verbrechen außerstande erwies, die sie in der Tat unterstützt hatte. Er stammte aus Martinique, ebenso wie Frantz Fanon, dessen Lehrer er in der Oberschule gewesen war. Er war Dichter und in den 30er Jahren Mitbegründer der Negritude-Bewegung gewesen. Im Jahr 1950 schrieb er Diskurs über den Kolonialismus, ein Werk, das in den schwarzafrikanischen Gemeinschaften großen Widerhall fand. Sein Brief an Thorez war, nach Worten von Immanuel Wallerstein, das Dokument, welches die wachsende Distanzierung zwischen der kommunistischen Weltbewegung und den diversen nationalen Befreiungsbewegungen am besten erklärte und zum Ausdruck brachte (in Diskurs über den Kolonialismus, Akal, S. 8).
Ich finde in seinem Schreiben drei Fragen, welche die aktuelle Krise linker Werte beleuchten.
Die erste besteht in der mangelnden Bereitschaft, mit dem Stalinismus zu brechen. Césaire wendet sich gegen den ethischen Relativismus, durch den die Verbrechen des Stalinismus mit dieser oder jener mechanischen Phrase beschwört werden sollen. Wie diesen immer wieder erneut wiederholten Kehrreim, Stalin habe Fehler begangen. Millionen zu ermorden ist kein Fehler, auch wenn dies im Namen einer angeblich gerechten Sache geschieht.
Ein Großteil der Linken haben keine seriöse, selbstkritische Bilanz des Stalinismus gezogen, der, wie auf diesen Seiten mehrfach beschrieben, weit über die Person Stalins hinausgeht. Was den Stalinismus ins Leben rief, war ein auf den Staat und auf die Macht einer zur Staatsbourgeoisie werdenden, die Produktionsmittel kontrollierende Bürokratie fokussiertes Gesellschaftsmodell. Und es wird weiter auf einen Sozialismus gesetzt, der jenes alte, überlebte Modell der Zentralisierung der Produktionsmittel wiederholt.
Die zweite dieser Fragen besteht darin, dass die Kämpfe der Unterdrückten laut Césaire nicht als Teil einer wichtigeren Menge von Konflikten behandelt werden können, weil es eine Einzigartigkeit unserer Probleme gibt, die sich auf keinerlei anderes Problem reduzieren lässt. Der Kampf gegen den Rassismus, sagt er, ist von ganz unterschiedlicher Natur, als der Kampf des französischen Arbeiters gegen den französischen Kapitalismus und kann nicht als ein Fragment jenes Kampfes verstanden werden.
An diesem Punkt berühren der antikoloniale und der antipatriarchale Kampf dieselben Fasern. Diese Kräfte würden in solchen Organisationen verdorren, die ihnen nicht eigen sind, für ihre Zwecke, von ihnen geschaffen und an Ziele angepasst, die nur von ihnen selbst bestimmt werden können. Heute noch gibt es jene, die nicht verstehen, dass die Frauen ihre eigenen Räume brauchen, wie alle unterdrückten Völker.
Es handelt sich darum, behauptet Césaire, Bündnisse nicht mit Unterordnung zu verwechseln, einer häufigen Erscheinung wenn linke Parteien danach trachten, die Forderungen der verschiedenen Unterschichten zu einer einzigen Sache zu assimilieren, mittels der hochheiligen Einheit, die nichts anderes tut, als die Unterschiede durch Einführung neuer Unterdrückungen zu homogenisieren.
Die dritte, hochaktuelle, von Césaires Brief beleuchtete Frage bezieht sich auf den Universalismus. Das heißt, auf die Konstruktion nicht eurozentristischer Universale, in denen die Totalität sich nicht über die Diversitäten erhebt.Es gibt zwei Arten, sich zu verirren: durch ummauerte Segregation im Besonderen, oder durch Auflösung im 'Universellen'”.
Wir sind noch weit davon entfernt, ein Universelles aufzubauen, in dem alles Besondere enthalten ist, das die Vertiefung und Koexistenz all dieser Besonderen beinhaltet, wie Césaire vor sechs Jahrzehnten schrieb.
Jene, die auf den bestehenden Mächten symmetrische Mächte wetten, auf ausschließende, hegemonische, aber linke Mächte; jene, die den bösen Bomben der US-Amerikaner die guten Bomben der Russen gegenüberstellen, folgen dem vom Stalinismus vorgezeichneten Weg, mit der Vergangenheit und den Unterschieden tabula rasa zu machen, anstatt für etwas anderes zu arbeiten, für eine Welt, in die viele Welten passen.

Zuerst erschienen in “La Jornada” am 16.10.2015 http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2015/10/16/opinion/020a2pol

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Zibechi: New colonialisms and left values


Mural by Diego Rivera, at the Palacio Nacional, Mexico City.

16 October 2015
By: Raúl Zibechi

When visibility is minimal because powerful storms cloud the perception of reality, it may be appropriate to enlarge one’s view, to climb slopes to look for broader observation points, in order to discern the context in which we move. In these times, when the world is crossing through multiple contradictions and interests, it’s urgent to stimulate the senses to gaze far and inside.

Times of confusion in which ethics are shipwrecked, basic points of reference disappear and something is installed like “anything goes,” which permits supporting any cause that goes against the bigger enemy, beyond all consideration of principles and values. Shortcuts lead to dead ends, like equating Putin with Lenin, to use a somewhat fashionable example.

The Russian intervention in Syria is a neocolonial act, which places Russia on the same side of history as the United States, France and England. Good, emancipating colonialisms don’t exist. As much as Russian intervention is justified with the argument of stopping the Islamic State and the imperial offensive in the region, it is nothing more than an action symmetric to one using identical methods and similar arguments that is condemned.

The question that I consider central is: Why are voices from the Latin American left raised in support of Putin? It’s evident that many have hung their hopes for a better world, on the intervention of the big powers like China and Russia, with the hope of stopping or overthrowing the still hegemonic powers. It’s understandable in view of the exploits that Washington commits in our region. But it’s a strategic error and an ethical deviation.

I would like to illuminate this especially critical juncture, appealing to a historic document: the letter to Maurice Thorez (secretary general of the French Communist Party), written in October 1956 by Aimé Césaire. The text was born in one of the corners of history, a little after the XX Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, where the crimes of Stalinism were denounced; the same month as the uprising of the Hungarian people against the pro-Russian bureaucratic regime (which resulted in thousands of deaths) and of the colonial attack Egypt for the nationalization of the Suez Canal.

Césaire renounced the party after a shameful congress in which the leadership was incapable of the least self-criticism before the revelation of crimes that, in fact, it was supporting. He was born in Martinique, like Frantz Fanon, where he was a secondary school teacher. He was a poet and the founder of the blackness movement in the 1930s. In 1950 he wrote Discourse on colonialism, with a big impact in black communities. His letter to Thorez was, in the words of Immanuel Wallerstein, “the document that best explained and expressed the distancing between the global communist movement and the different national liberation movements” (in Discurso sobre el colonialismo, Akal, p. 8).

I find three questions in his letter that illuminate the crisis of left values through which we travel.

The first is the lack of will to break with Stalinism. Césaire turns against the ethical relativism that seeks to exorcise the crimes of Stalinism with “some mechanical phrase.” It’s like that cracking of the whip that is repeated over and over, saying that Stalin “committed errors.” Murdering millions is not an error, even though it supposedly kills in the name of a just cause.

The largest part of the lefts do not make a serious and self-critical balance of the Stalinism that, as has been written in these pages, goes way beyond the figure of Stalin. What gave life to Stalinism is a model of society centered on the State and on the power of a bureaucracy that comes from a State bourgeoisie, which controls the means of production. It continues betting on a socialism that repeats that old and expired model of centralization of the means of production.

The second is that the struggles of the oppressed cannot be treated, Césaire says, “as part of a more important whole,” because a “singularity of our problems exists that cannot be reduced to any other problem.” The struggle against racism, he says, is “of a very different nature than the struggle of the French worker against French capitalism,” and cannot be considered “a fragment of this struggle.”

On this point, the anti-colonial and anti-patriarchal struggles touch the same fibers. “These forces would be faded into organizations that are not their own, made for them, made by them and adapted to objectives that only they can determine.” Even today there are those who don’t comprehend that women need their own spaces, like all oppressed peoples.

It’s about, affirms Césaire, “not confusing alliance and subordination,” something very frequent when parties of the left seek to “assimilate” the demands of the different groups below to a single cause, through the sacrosanct unity that does nothing more than homogenize differences, thereby installing new oppressions.

The third question that Césaire’s letter illuminates, highly topical, is related with universalism; in other words, with the construction of non-Eurocentric universals, in which the totality is not imposed on the diversities. “There are two ways of getting lost: by walled segregation in the particular or by dissolution into the ‘universal.’”

We are still far from constructing “a universal depository of all the particulars,” which supposes the “deepening and coexistence of all the particulars,” as Césaire wrote six decades ago.

Those who bet on powers symmetric with the existing, excluding and hegemonic ones, but of the left; those who oppose the bad bombs of the Yankees with the good bombs of the Russians, follow the path traced by Stalinism of making a clean sweep with the past and with differences, instead of working for something different, for “a world where many worlds fit.”

Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada | Translation: Chiapas Support Committee. Also available in German.

Syria is the Paris Commune of the 21st Century!

Click here for a list of my other blogs on Syria

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: The Holocaust denier

On Wednesday, 21 October 2015, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the World Zionist Congress that in November of 1941, it was the Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini that convinced Hitler to exterminate the Jews. Haaretz reported:
In a speech before the World Zionist Congress in Jerusalem, Netanyahu described a meeting between Husseini and Hitler in November, 1941: "Hitler didn't want to exterminate the Jews at the time, he wanted to expel the Jew. And Haj Amin al-Husseini went to Hitler and said, 'If you expel them, they'll all come here (to Palestine).' According to Netanyahu, Hitler then asked: "What should I do with them?" and the mufti replied: "Burn them."
What I recount in the remainder of this post is a small part of the history of the Nazis extermination campaign that took place before the Mufti spoke to Hitler. If Netanyahu believes what he told the Zionists, either he believes what I am about to recount did not happen or he doesn't consider these mass murders to be part of the Holocaust. There is no other logical conclusion. Either way, Netanyahu is clearly a Holocaust denier.

Jewish women about to be killed by an Einsatzgruppe - not part of Netanyhu's Holocaust

All this happened before the Palestinian Grand Mufti met Adolph Hitler in November 1941. This selection is from WW2history.com:
Einsatzgruppen killing squads start 22 June 1941

Just as he had during the invasion of Poland, two years before, SS General Reinhard Heydrich ordered Einsatzgruppen (special task forces) of security personnel (mostly SS, Gestapo, Police and SD) to enter the Soviet Union in the wake of the German invasion in June 1941. Their task was simple – to kill those people who were believed to pose a threat to Nazi rule.

Hitler had announced that the war against the Soviet Union was to be a war of ‘annihilation’ and this time, unlike during the invasion of Poland, the army leadership were fully aware – and, indeed, complicit – in the criminal nature of the enterprise. Central to the army’s compliance were the ‘Commissar Order’ and the ‘Barbarossa Decree’. The first called for German soldiers to isolate and then kill any Soviet Political Commissars they found; and the second authorized the army to shoot out of hand any ‘partisans’ they saw, and also permitted the enforcement of collective reprisals against local communities. The German army leadership was in no doubt, therefore, that this was to be a war unlike the one in the west. ‘In Great Russia force must be used in its most brutal form,’ recorded General Franz Halder in his diary on 17 March 1941, after a meeting with Hitler. ‘The intelligentsia put in by Stalin must be exterminated.’i

The army leadership also knew that there would be special units – the Einsatzgruppen – under the control of Heydrich and his boss, Heinrich Himmler, who would be doing much of the dirty work of killing away from the front line. So when, in May 1941, Heydrich briefed the 3,000 members of the Einsatzgruppen at their training base in Pretzsch in eastern Germany, the scale of the murderous task ahead of them was obvious. The overall vision of this war of ‘annihilation’ was so clear, and the threat posed by what Hitler called ‘Jewish-Bolshevism’ perceived to be so great, that Heydrich almost certainly did not find it necessary to be overly proscriptive about the exact categories of people the Einsatzgruppen should kill. Indeed, the one document which exists – dated 2 July 1941 - in which Heydrich outlines the tasks of the Einsatzgruppen, mentions only the bare minimum of people to be killed (‘officials of senior and middle rank and ‘extremists’ in the party… the people’s commissars, Jews in the service of the party or the state’). That this was the least expected of the Einsatzgruppen is clear from another key passage in the document: ‘No steps will be taken to interfere with any purges that may be initiated by anti-Communist or anti-Jewish elements in the newly occupied territories. On the contrary, these are to be secretly encouraged.’ And since no one could predict the scale of these ‘purges’ that were to be ‘secretly encouraged’ it is safe to conclude that no Einsatzgruppe commander risked censure no matter how many people his unit shot.

From the start of the war the men of Einsatzgruppe A, operating in the Baltic States, were the most murderous, often killing all the male Jews of military age they found. They also discovered they could, as Heydrich wished, successfully ‘incite’ purges. In Kaunas, Lithuania’s second city, Jews who had just been released from prison were clubbed to death by a local ‘patriot’ known as the ‘Death Dealer’, who after he had killed them, climbed on the bodies and played the Lithuanian national anthem on an accordion.ii

Then, over the next few weeks and months across the whole of Nazi occupied Soviet Union, the Einsatzgruppen changed their policy and started targeting every Jew – including women and children. This change occurred after more manpower was allocated to the killing task by Himmler towards the end of July. [months before the Mufti met Hitler] Two SS brigades were ordered to assist in the ‘cleansing’ task so far pursued by the Einsatzgruppen – and eventually 40,000 people would be involved in the killings.

‘The transition from the killing of male Jews to the extermination of entire communities happens quite early, in August,’ says Professor Omer Bartov. ‘In August Himmler goes on a visit to the front and while he does that, in every place that he visits there seems to be a change in the policy. We don’t have orders by him, but it is quite likely that he orally transmits the order that now it is time to destroy entire communities. Whether that is the beginning of the ‘Final Solution’ or not is again another big debate, [ Clearly Netanyahu doesn't think so.] because what is happening there at that point in these communities is that people are being killed where they live.

Einsatzgruppe killings summer of 1941, not part of the Holocaust according to Netanyahu
This next exert is from the excellent PBS series on Auschwitz:
After a series of meetings between Hitler and Himmler in the summer of 1941 there was an escalation in the persecution of the Soviet Jews. New units were committed to special duties in the East, among them the 1st SS Infantry Brigade. In a typical action, they approached the town of Ostrog in the western part of the Ukraine on August 4th 1941, where over ten thousand Jews from the surrounding area had been gathered together. Among them were 11 year old Vasyl Valdeman and his family. They were now at risk. The Nazi killing squads in the East had now began to target Jewish women and children as well as men.

Vasyl Valdeman—Jewish resident, Ostrog: We knew something would be done to us here. When we saw people hit and driven along here with spades, even small children realised why people were carrying the spades.

One of the members of the 1st SS Infantry Brigade at the time was Hans Friedrich. He claims not to recall exactly which actions he took part in that summer, but he does admit to participating in killings like the one in Ostrog.

Hans Friedrich—1st SS Infantry Brigade: "They were so utterly shocked and frightened, you could do with them what you wanted."

Vasyl Valdeman: "Kids were crying, the sick were crying, the elderly were praying to God. Not on their knees but seated or lying down. It was very tough to go through it all, hearing all this wailing and crying. Then they had everyone get up and said 'Go', and as soon as people started moving, they selected people for shooting, for execution."

The selected Ukrainian Jews were taken out to this spot and a pit was dug. In scenes which were repeated right across the areas of the Soviet Union occupied by the Nazis, men, women and children were ordered to strip and prepare to die.
We don't know what was really said between the Mufti and Hitler, but clearly the Holocaust was well underway before they met. Netanyahu is willing to deny this, and prettify Hitler, if he thinks he can score propaganda points against the Palestinians that the Zionists are oppressing and dispossessing today. During World War II, the Zionists had an ignoble history of collaboration with the Nazis, and they have never tired of using the Holocaust to justify their theft of Palestine. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu now shows us how quickly he is willing to deny the true source, history and extent of the great massacre of his people if he can use it to score points against those they seem willing to exterminate. Holocaust denial is illegal in 14 European countries. Netanyahu should be arrested the next time he visits any one of them.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Life as it was under Gaddafi's democracy in Libya

Mummar Gaddafi use to have rallies in Green Square with well over a million supporters until I made him stop.

That may be a bit of hyperbole. These are the facts: Qaddafi claimed 3 rallies in Green Sq. on June 17th, July 1st & 8th 2011 at which he claimed he had 1.7 million supporters. After I published Tripoli Green Square Reality Check on July 19th showing there was no way Green Square could hold that many people, and it was widely circulated by the Libyan Youth Movement among others, Gaddafi never made that claim again. I consider it one of my most significant contributions to their revolution.

Naturally, all the "anti-imperialists" were promoting these rallies as proof of Gaddafi's popular  support. Worker's World Party made that claim, so did the Party for Socialism and Liberation. I wrote in that:
Now others reporting on these pro-Qaddafi protests have estimated much lower numbers for these crowds, in the range of 10,000 to 30,000. It has also been said that the majority of those in attendance had some relation to Qaddafi security forces, approximately 10% of the Libya population has such an association. It threatened them if they failed to show up.

Yesterday Counterpunch published an article that is sure to hail a new round of nostalgia for Gaddafi's "democracy" by "anti-imperialists" that were never forced to live under it.  Libya: From Africa’s Wealthiest Democracy Under Gaddafi to Terrorist Haven After US Intervention by Garikai Chengu, starts out with the claim that:
Prior to the US-led bombing campaign in 2011, Libya had the highest Human Development Index, the lowest infant mortality and the highest life expectancy in all of Africa.
What is important to remember about all these facts and figures about life in Libya under Gaddafi from the United Nations and other international bodies is that they were all supplied by the Libyan government and are therefore no more reliable than the government that supplied them.  Consider this alternate view from my Is Libya better off than it was?, 29 June 2012:
Contrast that with this view of Qaddafi's Libya published on the eve of the February 17th uprising in afrol News:

afrol News, 16 February - While the Libyan economy drowns in petrodollars and its "Great leader" Muammar al-Ghaddafi buys support abroad, almost half of its youth are unemployed. The non-oil sector is tiny.

Libya is the richest North African country. Counted in GDP per capita, Libya indeed is on an Eastern European level.

But that does not reflect the real economy of the average Libyan, with around half the population falling outside the oil-driven economy. The unemployment rate is at a surprising 30 percent, with youth unemployment estimated at between 40 and 50 percent. This is the highest in North Africa.

Also other development indicators reveal that little of the petrodollars have been invested in the welfare of Libya's 6.5 million inhabitants. Education levels are lower than in neighbouring Tunisia, which has little oil, and a surprising 20 percent of Libyans remain illiterate.

Also, decent housing is unavailable to most of the disadvantaged half of the population. A generally high price level in Libya puts even more strains on these households.

But the key of popular discontent is the lack of work opportunities, which strongly contrasts the Libyan image of a rich nation constantly propagated by the regime and its Soviet-style media.
One Libyan, responding to those like Cynthia McKinney, who were repeating Qaddafi's lies and telling the world how wonderful Qaddafi's Libya was, had this to say:
Have you been to Tripoli and seen the districts of Hadba Shergeeya, AbuSleem, Hay Alislami, Soug al Jomaa to name only a handful? Is it acceptable that in 2001, in a country with vast oil riches, and after 42 years of trying, that this country still has raw sewage pouring onto streets where children play, that some parts of the capital do not have phone lines or water pipeline? Is this credible leadership?

5- You mention that in Libya there are ‘excellent institutions of learning’. This is nothing short of laughable. Did you know that some libraries in the main uni have no books? Did you know that in other libraries where they have sections for books, you are forbidden to enter these sections? Did you know that corruption in academic institutions is rife, where most lecturers take bribes to allow students to progress, largely because their wages are pathetic, and sometimes delay in receiving these wages sees them without pay for months. Did you know when the ‘brother leaders’ daughter was studying Law in the main uni they banned all males from the law school for the duration of her uni years? So if you were her age, male and wanted to go to law school at Tripoli main uni…you couldn’t. Tough luck. The ‘brother leader’ says you can't, so you can't.

6- Please tell me I misread your statement that Libya has good ‘medical facilities’? Are you not aware that most Libyans who require specialist care travel to foreign countries to receive this care? some countries FAR poorer than ours, i.e. Tunisia. Such is the market for ‘medical-tourism’ to Tunis that there are Libyan-only medical centres. Perhaps you don't know that you can't even get simple things such as the Flu jab in Libya. Its in such low quantities that it runs out within weeks. Perhaps you don't know that when one of my friends passed away with a heart attack the hospital where he was taken (well known) took 15 minutes to find an ECG that worked, and later kept replacing the defibrillator, because they were malfunctioning. Is this not a farce?

7- You talk of our sense of belonging to Africa. Do you not know how much money Qaddafi pumps into Africa? Have you not heard of the war with Chad where countless Libyans and Chadians needlessly died? Do you not know of Qaddafi funding of rebel movements around Africa contributing to more bloodshed?

You need to seriously revise your knowledge of the country if you want to be a credible activist for peace, or a worthwhile defender of Qaddafi. You are doing him more harm than good by demonstrating your lack of grass roots knowledge.
This is just a sampling. There is a lot more information available for a fact-based analysis that show that even on the highly touted economic front, Qaddafi's Libya wasn't all it was cracked up to be by those under the spell of the illusions he so skillfully created for them.
So much for "anti-imperialist" illusions about the fabulous Libyan economy. Here are a couple of selections from my Behind the Green Curtain: Libya Today:
The Bread Queue in Janzour: posted to the Free Generation Movement facebook page this morning, July 18, 2011 at 6:17am

Today, at a queue for bread in Janzour, I witnessed the following.

Production was slow and the queue was getting longer. The owner of the bread store came out, apologized and told those waiting that due to fuel shortage his machines were working at 50%. He urged people to just buy bread for ¼ dinar and then come back later for more. He said there was also a flour shortage so urged, again, for people to be economical.

One women shouted “it’s not your flour, its Moamers flour, who are you to ration it?”

The people in the queue were visibly angered by this comment and one man shouted “and do you think your moamer carry the flour here on his back?”

She fell silent but immediately made a phone call.

Minutes later people whispered in the man’s ear to leave as she is a well known revolutionary committee member and loud mouth. He disappeared into the side streets moments before uncountable security trucks turned up with armed men.

The men demanded that the shop owner tell them who the “traitor” was. The shop owner said that he was just a customer and can’t remember just a single person from hundreds of daily customers.

The security chief said to him “Either tell us who he is, or we close this place down”. The man bravely stood tall and said “Close it, but if you want me to give you details about a man I do not know then you are delusional”.

A symbol of defiance from a man standing in a queue. A symbol of nepotism by one woman who thinks she can say and do as she pleases because of who she knows. A symbol of intimidation by security forces enforcing jungle law.

You cant even speak your mind in a bread queue, and then Saif AlGaddafi says “we will have elections”. On what planet do these people live?
And more on those popular Green Square rallies:
1.7 million rally for Qaddafi? Not as it seems! Now we have another video from Qaddafi's massive support rally in Tripoli on July 8th, 2011. I have already blogged about certain questions surrounding this march in my dairy. Now this video from libyaresistence purports to show that many of those in attendance weren't from Tripoli. They write:

Attempts to call on Tripoli residents to abandon local mosques and pray at Green Square back fired for the regime, as attempts were made to show the people of Tripoli stood by the “leader”. Local mosques remained open despite the call by authorities, and local residents turned out in full to pray at their usual mosques in defiance of the regime. The atmosphere was visibly positive as it was very apparent that everyone present was making an open stand against the regime. The regime amassed another crowd at “green square” to rally for their cause. The crowd was not as large as previous Friday and FGMovement were in attendance to evaluate the situation. See this video for our explanation of the size of the crowd and the scenes at the square. Rest assured, people of Libya, the majority of the people of Tripoli were nowhere near “Green Square” today.
In Qaddafi's Million Man March, 7 July 2011, I described how the Gaddafi regime encouraged attendance at these "popular" rallies:
Ahmed went missing in Tripoli near the very beginning of the uprising. His family now believes that he was arrested on February 22 and taken to the notorious Adu Salim prison with many others. At the time they assumed he had been shot dead and disappeared by soldiers, mercenaries or one of Qaddafi's security services, like so many others.
So when a member of one Qaddafi's revolutionary committees told Ahmed's father, "We have your son, he is being held at Abu Salim prison. If your family does not come out to demonstrate on Friday you will never see your son again.", they paid him no never-mind and an extended clan of around 50 adult males and family refused to attend the rally. A few hours after the rally Ahmed's still warm body was dumped outside the family home with two bullets in his head.Many other families received similar threats. "We did not think it was possible that he (Ahmed) was still alive, we thought the guy was just making threats," said Mohammed, Ahmed's uncle who was interview by AFP.
These "anti-imperialists" would rather see people suffering under a police state than attempting to rebuild a "failed state," which is the task of every revolution that overthrows a state, and now they want to sell their revised history of life under Gaddafi. Fortunately, I have only to go back to my archives to refuted them.

See also: Random notes on “anti-imperialism” by Louis Proyect, 21 Oct 2015

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Ray McGovern shows the arrogance of the "anti-imperialists" knows no bounds!

All though I've known Ray McGovern a long time, we parted ways a number of years ago over my support for the people's liberation struggles in Libya and Syria and his support for the "anti-imperialist" regimes of Mummar Gaddafi and Bashar al Assad. Still he never showed much interest in what was happening in Syria. For instance, he never addressed the Assad regime's many months of bombardment of East Ghouta with conventional weapons until in the early morning of 21 August 2013, Assad turned to sarin in a desperate attempt to kill the revolution in East Ghouta and reconquer it for the regime by murdering over 1400 civilians, including about 400 children with an internationally banned chemical weapon. Then Ray McGovern and his VIPs jumped to the defense of Assad, claiming that Assad was being set up and the opposition had gassed its own people. After he posted that notion to his blog, I responded at Linux Beach with My dare to Ray McGovern & VIPS on Syria CW attack, 7 September 2013, in which I challenged him to name the "the senior opposition military commanders" he claimed his secret intel sources told him had planned the attack. I didn't hear a word in response. When I followed that up four days later with Secret Intel Source of Ray McGovern & VIPS Revealed! in which I proved that this secret intel source was none other than Yossef Bodansky, an Assad family insider, again there was no reply and no denial. Today we have new reports of the Russians bombing in East Ghouta. Or are those people just making stuff up again?

More recently, we were both at the Veterans for Peace National Convention in San Diego, CA this August where he was a featured speaker and I had bought a table to support the Syrian cause and a 8ft x 6ft banner that called Ray McGovern out by name. He walked pass my table many times without ever stopping to argue or even say hello.

Now, that I have launched a fund raising drive for a couple of Syrian refugees, Basel & Luna made it from Syria to Germany safely but they still need your help, I have finally provoked a response from Ray McGovern. This is what he wrote:
Friends --

[ Luna, who is a journalist and photographer and had been working with the Violations Documentation Center to ]... document Assad's chemical massacres in East Ghouta in 2013, was being charged with  "leaking fake photos of chemical massacre to foreign parties." Although I didn't know it at the time, she was the author of an important report in the sarin attack that Basel translated, and I published under the title Witness to CW Attack: When Paradise turned to Hell. F

You may wish to become fully informed re how the false charges re "Assad's chemical massacres in East Ghouta in 2013 brought the U.S. to the very brink of overt attack, a la shock and awe on Baghdad.  I'm sure these are remarkable people.  The charitable explanation, I suppose, would be that they were, as so many still today, misinformed and mistaken. For what it is worth, in my view Justice and Peace activists need to ensure that they are fully informed on things manufactured by those who very nearly succeeded in getting a major war started.

Pls see, for example:
Thanks for listening.
ray mcgovern
So Ray McGovern is going to be "charitable" and assume that Syrians who were in Damascus at the time and investigated it on the ground are "misinformed and mistaken." Ray McGovern and his secret intel sources know better and he is here to set them straight. He links to a 20 month old "anti-imperialist" defense of Assad that presumably already says everything that ever needs to be said about the massacre even though the UN has said the sarin came from Assad's arsenal and more recently authorize a new investigation that will name names this time. Does the arrogance of our "anti-imperialists" know no bounds?

The less charitable explanation, given McGovern's view that Assad is innocent of chemical massacres, is that Luna Walfa was guilty as charged by the Syrian government of "leaking fake photos of chemical massacre to foreign parties" and probably deserved everything that happened to her, and by extension, so do most of the political prisoners in Assad's detection centers. I said yesterday that the Mint Press crowd was standing right next to Luna's tortures in the some dark corner of Damascus. Well, its clear, Ray McGovern was there too and helping to tighten the screws.
tortured to death by regime

Then he tells this couple that war has separated from their children, have become two of millions of Syrian refugees that have been forced to flee their homeland to avoid being barrel bombed in their sleep, and take that perilous trip on a rubber "death raft," that they're the ones "who very nearly succeeded in getting a major war started." I wonder what Syria would be like today if that had happened! Ray McGovern, give yourself a big pat on the back. Does the arrogance of our "anti-imperialists" know no bounds?

Syria is the Paris Commune of the 21st Century!
Click here for a list of my other blogs on Syria

Monday, October 19, 2015

"Руки прочь от Сирии" относится и к России

[Английский] [на арабском языке] [французский] [Испанский] [итальянский] [Немецкий]

Переводclayclai обратиться к российским сd_sovaria
Уже несколько лет я работаю с группами активистов и интеллигенции, которые занимаются поддержкой народа Сирии в трудные для них времена: сначала в борьбе с режимом Асада, теперь еще и с ИГ. Мы общались друг с другом в закрытой почте и стали известны как группа Critical-Syria. После недавнего усиления поддержки режима Асада со стороны России, включающего в себя бомбардировку гражданских целей на тех 80% территории Сирии, которые не контролируются режимом, и появления на сирийской земле российских войск мы решили выпустить открытое письмо о происходящем и предложить людям его подписать. Я принимал участие в его составлении. Как вы можете видеть, в списке подписавшихся уже не только люди из группы Critical-Syria. Теперь мы просим и вас подписаться. Чтобы это сделать, напишите мне на электронный адрес (cjc@LinuxBeach.net) ваши имя и род деятельности/место жительства/принадлежность к какой-либо организации; вы также можете оставить эту информацию в комментариях под этим постом. Ваше имя войдет в список, который затем будет опубликован здесь, на Pulse Media и во многих других местах. Открытое письмо расположено ниже. Я очень надеюсь, что вы поддержите нас своей подписью.

"Руки прочь от Сирии" относится и к России"

Будучи отдельными людьми или группами из разных стран, объединенными общей приверженностью миру, правосудию и правам человека, мы осуждаем военное наступление, которое началось с воздушной атаки, совершенной Россией в Сирии 30 сентября 2015 года, и последовательно форсируется.
В то время как российское правительство заявляло, что эти операции были направлены против Исламского Государства (ИГИЛ), большинство атак производилось на территории, где не было представителей ИГИЛ. Фокус российского военного наступления находится на оппозиционных сообществах в северной части Хомса, действующем центре сопротивления Режиму Асада.
Жертвами российской агрессии 30 сентября стали преимущественно мирные жители, среди которых были и дети. Гуманитарные условия в этом регионе были ужасающими до того как Россия начала наступление, так как эта местность долгое время находилась под осадой режима из-за сопротивления.
Режим Асада вызвал разрушение на территории всей Сирии. Гражданская война, которая началась расстрелом протестующих за демократию, унесла жизни более четверти миллиона сирийцев, вынудила половину населения покинуть дома и сделала беженцами миллионы. В ходе проведения этих действий, был утерян контроль над половиной страны. Не смотря на то, что мир никогда не может быть восстановлен режимом, который разрушил его, кажется, что Россия планирует использовать свою военную силу, чтобы поддержать режим, который пал бы несколько лет назад без иностранной поддержки. Эта операция, проводимая войсками России, может лишь усугубить агонию сирийского народа, увеличить поток беженцев и укрепить влияние экстремистских сил, подобных силам ИГИЛ.
Заявление России о том, что ее военная эскалация законна, в той же степени не похожа на правду, что и заявления США, которыми они пытались оправдать войну против Вьетнама. Если правительство, которое призывает к вторжению извне, незаконно, то таков и призыв. Соединенные Штаты также несут ответственность за катастрофу, как и все региональные
и международные участники, которые оставили устремления и жертвы Сирийского народа за пределами повествования и заменили их своими стратегическими потребностями и амбициями.
Мы осуждаем недвусмысленно зверские репрессивные действия режима Асада, а также действия России по продлению его существования. Если Россия хочет договориться о политическом переходе в Сирии, она должна прекратить поддерживать режим жестокости и бурные атаки по мирным целям, а также прекратить поощрять постоянный отказ режима Асада от участия в каких-либо мирных действиях.
Атаки по гражданскому населению нарушают нормы международного права. Мы призываем международное сообщество, правительства стран, а также ООН гарантировать соблюдение Резолюции СБ ООН 2139, участвующей стороной которой является Россия, и которая предусматривает, что "Все стороны немедленно прекращают все атаки по гражданскому населению и беспорядочное использование оружия в населенных регионах". Мы призываем тех, кто озабочен проблемами мира во всем мире и защитой прав человека, присоединиться к нам в петиции против грубых действий России всеми способами, имеющимися в вашем распоряжении - лоббированием ваших представителей, публичными демонстрациями, публичными петициями и другими формами протеста.
Bill Fletcher, Jr. (Писатель / Активист, бывший президент, TransAfrica форум)
Yassin al Haj Saleh (Сирийская писатель, живущий в изгнании, Стамбул)
Gail Daneker (Друзья для ненасильственного мира, штат Миннесота, США)
Clay Claiborne (Linux Пляж Productions, Венеция, штат Калифорния, США)
Terry Burke (Миннесота Комитет солидарности с народом Сирии, США)
Brian Slocock (Старший преподаватель политологии Университета Пейсли, Пенсионеры, Великобритания)
Mohja Kahf (Профессор сравнительной литературы и ближневосточных исследований Университета Арканзаса и член сирийского Ненасилие Движения)
Afra Jalabi (Сирийская Писатель и вице-председатель, через день после ассоциации)
Andrei Codrescu (Поэт, заслуженный профессор, Государственный университет Луизианы, США)
Stephen R. Shalom (Редакция, Новая политика, США)
James Sadri (Кампания Сирия, Великобритания)
Jean-Pierre Filiu (Профессор, Sciences Po, Париж Школы международных отношений)
Juan Cole (Профессор истории, Университет штата Мичиган и Blogger, обоснованного Комментарий, США)
Robin Yassin-Kassab (Писатель, Шотландия)
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Paul Woodward (Война в контексте, США)
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Nader Hashemi (Директор, Центр ближневосточных исследований, Университет Денвера, США)
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Şener Aktürk (Факультет международных отношений, Коч университет, Турция)
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Michael Karadjis (Учитель, Сидней, Австралия)
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Kareen El Beyrouty (Экономист и член Сирия движение солидарности, Великобритания)
Mark Boothroyd (Сирия движение солидарности, Великобритания)
Graham Campbell (RISE Глазго Глазго Восток и TUC Unite / шотландские конгресс профсоюзов делегата, Великобритания)
Clara Connolly (Иммиграции и правам человека Адвокат, Великобритания)
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Mike Gapes (Труда и кооперативный Член парламента для Ilford Юга, Великобритании)
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Peter Tatchell (Директор, Питер Фонда Тэтчел)
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Stephen Hastings-King (Автор, Итака, Нью-Йорк, США)
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Laila Alodaat (Юрист, Великобритания)
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Farouk Mardam Bey (Издательство, Париж, Франция)
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Rihab Naheel (Комитет солидарности с народом Сирии, штат Миннесота, США)
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Faisal Alazem (Директор, Канадский совет Сирии)
Haytham Alhamwi (Управляющий директор, переосмыслить восстановить общество, Манчестер Сирийские Community, Великобритания)
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Pierluigi Blasioli (Студент университета Пескара, Италия)
James Bloodworth (Журналист, редактор левой ногой вперед, Великобритания)
Luke Cooper (Преподаватель в политике, Англия Раскин университет, Великобритания)
Samantha Falciatori (Гуманитарное Волонтер и солидарность Активист, Италия)
Terry Glavin (Автор / Журналист / Обозреватель, Канада)
Juliette Harkin (Докторант, Университет Восточной Англии, Великобритания)
Nancy Lindisfarne (Антрополог, автор, Великобритания)
Grant Padgham (Солидарность Активист, Великобритания)
Mary Rizzo (Сирия Солидарность Активист, Blogger на wewritewhatwelike.com, Италия)
Harry Shotton (Студент и Активист, Великобритания)
Kellie Strom (Художник и детский писатель, Великобритания)
Jonathan Neale (Писатель, Великобритания)
Planet Syria (Организация, Великобритания)
Bill Scheurer (Исполнительный директор, на земле мир, Нью-Виндзор, штат Мэриленд, США)
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Harald Etzbach (Переводчик / Журналист, Германия)
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Andrew Pollack (MENA Сеть солидарности, США, New York)
Richard Dawson (Заинтересованный гражданин, Лос-Анджелес, Калифорния)
Robin ‘Roblimo’ Miler (ИТ / Наука репортером и редактором, США)
Louis Proyect (Писатель, контр фильм соредактор, Нью-Йорк)
John Wilborn (Ветераны за мир, Глава 168, Луисвилл, штат Кентукки, США)
Fouad Roueiha (Журналист и соучредитель солидарности с сирийским народом комитета, Рим, Италия)
Gerard Di Trolio (Редактор, rankandfile.ca, Торонто, Онтарио, Канада)
Thomas F Barton (Военного сопротивления новости)
Ricardo Salabert (Политический активист, Португалия)
Manuel Barrera (Митрополит государственный университет, Санкт-Пол, штат Миннесота, США)
Jason Schulman (Редакция, Новая политика, США)
Edna Bonhomme (Кандидат, Принстонский университет, Бруклин, Нью-Йорк, США)
Associazione Rose di Damasco (Комо, Италия)
Riccardo Bella (Активист в Сирию и Палестину, Милан, Италия)
Veronica Bellintani (Студент, активист и добровольцев с сирийских беженцев, Италия)
Peter Clifford (Ближний Восток Blogger, Великобритания)
Sune Haugbølle (Департамент общества и глобализации, Роскилле университета, Дания)
Karama Napoli (Комитет в поддержку арабских народов, Италия)
Fiore Haneen Sarti (Активист по правам человека, Италия)
Abdulrazzak Tammo (Лидерство консультант, курдский Движения за будущее Сирии / Великобритания)
Ahmad Sadiddin (Научный сотрудник в области экономики развития, Университет Флоренции, Италия)
Jane Kelly (Активист, Великобритания)
Jamie Milne (Трудовых Друзья Украины, Великобритании)
Lara Bartocci (Вольнодумец и графический дизайнер, Италия)
Steven Heydemann (Профессор Ближнего Востока, Колледж Смита, США)
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Luke Staunton (Сирия движение солидарности, Великобритания)
Joshka Wessels (Докторантура Исследователь Сирии, Центр разрешение международных конфликтов, Университет Копенгагена, Дания)
Carol Coren (Социальное предприятие Предприниматель, Орегон и Пенсильвания, США)
Anthony Saidy (Автор, Лос-Анджелес, США)
Ralph Apel (Инженер, Франкфурт-на-Майне, Германия)
Linda Parsons (Сторонник Сирийской народной революции, Солт-Лейк-Сити, штат Юта, США)
Saskia Sassen (Комитет по глобальной мысли Колумбийского университета, США)
Ali Rahabi (Сирийская Активист, координационные комитеты местных в Сирии, Дейр-эз-Зор, Сирия)
Zaher Sahloul (Врач, президент Сирийской американского медицинского общества, США)
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Polly Kellogg (В отставке доцент, Сен-Клу государственный университет, штат Миннесота, США)
Basel Watfa (Фармацевт и переводчик, Сирии лагерь беженцев, Кузель, Германия)
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Seyla Benhabib (Профессор политологии и философии Йельского университета, США)
Annalisa Roveroni (CIVIC Cooperativa Sociale, Италия)
Enzio Zuffo (Istituto Sviluppo Olistico, Италия)
Fred Mecklenburg (Новости и письма, Чикаго, США)
Ron Aminzade (Профессор социологии, Университет Миннесоты, США)
MJ Maynes (Исторический факультет, Университет штата Миннесота, США)
Qusai Zakarya (Сирийская Активист)
Meredith Tax (Писатель и председатель Центра по светскому пространства, Нью-Йорк, США)
Deidre A. Kellogg Ketroser (Активист по правам человека, адвокат по делам беженцев / советник, Миннеаполис, США)
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Bassam Al-Kuwatli (Сирийская Гражданское общество и политический деятель, Газиантеп, Турция)
Marese Hegarty (Солидарность Активист, Ирландия)
Suzanne Ruta (Автор и переводчик, Нью-Йорк)
John Game (Blogger, Англия)
Gab Chaag (Blogger, Мексика)
Trond Reivheim (Blogger, Норвегия)
Haid N Haid (Руководитель программы, Генриха Бёлля Stiftung)
Bill Weinberg (Писатель и редактор, Первая мировая война 4 Доклад)
Debbie Ryce (Ванкувер Британская Колумбия, Канада)
Maryam Sharifzad (ИТ, Лос-Анджелес)
David McDonald (Фотограф, Сиэтл)