Archive | May 27th, 2012

The Politics of Language and the Language of Political Regression

NOVANEWS
By Prof. James Petras
 

Global Research

Capitalism and its defenders maintain dominance through the ‘material resources’ at their command, especially the state apparatus, and their productive, financial and commercial enterprises, as well as through the manipulation of popular consciousness via ideologues, journalists, academics and publicists who fabricate the arguments and the language to frame the issues of the day.

Today material conditions for the vast majority of working people have sharply deteriorated as the capitalist class shifts the entire burden of the crisis and the recovery of their profits onto the backs of wage and salaried classes. One of the striking aspects of this sustained and on-going roll-back of living standards is the absence of a major social upheaval so far. Greece and Spain, with over 50% unemployment among its 16-24 year olds and nearly 25% general unemployment, have experienced a dozen general strikes and numerous multi-million person national protests; but these have failed to produce any real change in regime or policies. The mass firings and painful salary, wage, pension and social services cuts continue. In other countries, like Italy, France and England, protests and discontent find expression in the electoral arena, with incumbents voted out and replaced by the traditional opposition.

Yet throughout the social turmoil and profound socio-economic erosion of living and working conditions, the dominant ideology informing the movements, trade unions and political opposition is reformist: Issuing calls to defend existing social benefits, increase public spending and investments and expand the role of the state where private sector activity has failed to invest or employ. In other words, the left proposes to conserve a past when capitalism was harnessed to the welfare state.

The problem is that this ‘capitalism of the past’ is gone and a new more virulent and intransigent capitalism has emerged forging a new worldwide framework and a powerful entrenched state apparatus immune to all calls for ‘reform’ and reorientation. The confusion, frustration and misdirection of mass popular opposition is, in part, due to the adoption by leftist writers, journalists and academics of the concepts and language espoused by its capitalist adversaries: language designed to obfuscate the true social relations of brutal exploitation, the central role of the ruling classes in reversing social gains and the profound links between the capitalist class and the state. Capitalist publicists, academics and journalists have elaborated a whole litany of concepts and terms which perpetuate capitalist rule and distract its critics and victims from the perpetrators of their steep slide toward mass impoverishment.

Even as they formulate their critiques and denunciations, the critics of capitalism use the language and concepts of its apologists. Insofar as the language of capitalism has entered the general parlance of the left, the capitalist class has established hegemony or dominance over its erstwhile adversaries. Worse, the left, by combining some of the basic concepts of capitalism with sharp criticism, creates illusions about the possibility of reforming ‘the market’ to serve popular ends. This fails to identify the principle social forces that must be ousted from the commanding heights of the economy and the imperative to dismantle the class-dominated state.

While the left denounces the capitalist crisis and state bailouts, its own poverty of thought undermines the development of mass political action. In this context the ‘language’ of obfuscation becomes a ‘material force’ – a vehicle of capitalist power, whose primary use is to disorient and disarm its anti-capitalist and working class adversaries. It does so by co-opting its intellectual critics through the use of terms, conceptual framework and language which dominate the discussion of the capitalist crisis.

Key Euphemisms at the Service of the Capitalist Offensive

Euphemisms have a double meaning: What terms connote and what they really mean. Euphemistic conceptions under capitalism connote a favorable reality or acceptable behavior and activity totally dissociated from the aggrandizement of elite wealth and concentration of power and privilege. Euphemisms disguise the drive of power elites to impose class-specific measures and to repress without being properly identified, held responsible and opposed by mass popular action.

The most common euphemism is the term ‘market’, which is endowed with human characteristics and powers. As such, we are told ‘the market demands wage cuts’ disassociated from the capitalist class. Markets, the exchange of commodities or the buying and selling of goods, have existed for thousands of years in different social systems in highly differentiated contexts. These have been global, national, regional and local. They involve different socio-economic actors, and comprise very different economic units, which range from giant state-promoted trading-houses to semi-subsistence peasant villages and town squares. ‘Markets’ existed in all complex societies: slave, feudal, mercantile and early and late competitive, monopoly industrial and finance capitalist societies.

When discussing and analyzing ‘markets’ and to make sense of the transactions (who benefits and who loses), one must clearly identify the principle social classes dominating economic transactions. To write in general about ‘markets’ is deceptive because markets do not exist independent of the social relations defining what is produced and sold, how it is produced and what class configurations shape the behavior of producers, sellers and labor. Today’s market reality is defined by giant multi-national banks and corporations, which dominate the labor and commodity markets. To write of ‘markets’ as if they operated in a sphere above and beyond brutal class inequalities is to hide the essence of contemporary class relations.

Fundamental to any understanding, but left out of contemporary discussion, is the unchallenged power of the capitalist owners of the means of production and distribution, the capitalist ownership of advertising, the capitalist bankers who provide or deny credit and the capitalist-appointed state officials who ‘regulate’ or deregulate exchange relations. The outcomes of their policies are attributed to euphemistic ‘market’ demands which seem to be divorced from the brutal reality. Therefore, as the propagandists imply, to go against ‘the market’ is to oppose the exchange of goods: This is clearly nonsense. In contrast, to identify capitalist demands on labor, including reductions in wages, welfare and safety, is to confront a specific exploitative form of market behavior where capitalists seek to earn higher profits against the interests and welfare majority of wage and salaried workers.

By conflating exploitative market relations under capitalism with markets in general, the ideologues achieve several results: They disguise the principle role of capitalists while evoking an institution with positive connotations, that is, a ‘market’ where people purchase consumer goods and ‘socialize’ with friends and acquaintances. In other words, when ‘the market’, which is portrayed as a friend and benefactor of society, imposes painful policies presumably it is for the welfare of the community. At least that is what the business propagandists want the public to believe by marketing their virtuous image of the ‘market’; they mask private capital’s predatory behavior as it chases greater profits.

One of the most common euphemisms thrown about in the midst of this economic crisis is ‘austerity’, a term used to cover-up the harsh realities of draconian cutbacks in wages, salaries, pensions and public welfare and the sharp increase in regressive taxes (VAT). ‘Austerity’ measures mean policies to protect and even increase state subsidies to businesses, and create higher profits for capital and greater inequalities between the top 10% and the bottom 90%. ‘Austerity’ implies self-discipline, simplicity, thrift, saving, responsibility, limits on luxuries and spending, avoidance of immediate gratification for future security – a kind of collective Calvinism. It connotes shared sacrifice today for the future welfare of all.

However, in practice ‘austerity’ describes policies that are designed by the financial elite to implement class-specific reductions in the standard of living and social services (such as health and education) available for workers and salaried employees. It means public funds can be diverted to an even greater extent to pay high interest rates to wealthy bondholders while subjecting public policy to the dictates of the overlords of finance capital.

Rather than talking of ‘austerity’, with its connotation of stern self-discipline, leftist critics should clearly describe ruling class policies against the working and salaried classes, which increase inequalities and concentrate even more wealth and power at the top. ‘Austerity’ policies are therefore an expression of how the ruling classes use the state to shift the burden of the cost of their economic crisis onto labor.

The ideologues of the ruling classes co-opted concepts and terms, which the left originally used to advance improvements in living standards and turned them on their heads. Two of these euphemisms, co-opted from the left, are ‘reform’ and ‘structural adjustment’. ‘Reform’, for many centuries, referred to changes, which lessened inequalities and increased popular representation. ‘Reforms’ were positive changes enhancing public welfare and constraining the abuse of power by oligarchic or plutocratic regimes. Over the past three decades, however, leading academic economists, journalists and international banking officials have subverted the meaning of ‘reform’ into its opposite: it now refers to the elimination of labor rights, the end of public regulation of capital and the curtailment of public subsidies making food and fuel affordable to the poor.

In today’s capitalist vocabulary ‘reform’ means reversing progressive changes and restoring the privileges of private monopolies. ‘Reform’ means ending job security and facilitating massive layoffs of workers by lowering or eliminating mandatory severance pay. ‘Reform’ no longer means positive social changes; it now means reversing those hard fought changes and restoring the unrestrained power of capital. It means a return to capital’s earlier and most brutal phase, before labor organizations existed and when class struggle was suppressed. Hence ‘reform’ now means restoring privileges, power and profit for the rich.

In a similar fashion, the linguistic courtesans of the economic profession have co-opted the term ‘structural’ as in ‘structural adjustment’ to service the unbridled power of capital. As late as the 1970’s ‘structural’ change referred to the redistribution of land from the big landlords to the landless; a shift in power from plutocrats to popular classes. ‘Structures’ referred to the organization of concentrated private power in the state and economy. Today, however, ‘structure’ refers to the public institutions and public policies, which grew out of labor and citizen struggles to provide social security, for protecting the welfare, health and retirement of workers. ‘Structural changes’ now are the euphemism for smashing those public institutions, ending the constraints on capital’s predatory behavior and destroying labor’s capacity to negotiate, struggle or preserve its social advances.

The term ‘adjustment’, as in ‘structural adjustment’ (SA), is itself a bland euphemism implying fine-tuning , the careful modulation of public institutions and policies back to health and balance. But, in reality, ‘structural adjustment’ represents a frontal attack on the public sector and a wholesale dismantling of protective legislation and public agencies organized to protect labor, the environment and consumers. ‘Structural adjustment’ masks a systematic assault on the people’s living standards for the benefit of the capitalist class.

The capitalist class has cultivated a crop of economists and journalists who peddle brutal policies in bland, evasive and deceptive language in order to neutralize popular opposition. Unfortunately, many of their ‘leftist’ critics tend to rely on the same terminology.

Given the widespread corruption of language so pervasive in contemporary discussions about the crisis of capitalism the left should stop relying on this deceptive set of euphemisms co-opted by the ruling class. It is frustrating to see how easily the following terms enter our discourse:

Market discipline – The euphemism ‘discipline’ connotes serious, conscientious strength of character in the face of challenges as opposed to irresponsible, escapist behavior. In reality, when paired with ‘market’, it refers to capitalists taking advantage of unemployed workers and using their political influence and power lay-off masses workers and intimidate those remaining employees into greater exploitation and overwork, thereby producing more profit for less pay. It also covers the capacity of capitalist overlords to raise their rate of profit by slashing the social costs of production, such as worker and environmental protection, health coverage and pensions.

‘Market shock’ – This refers to capitalists engaging in brutal massive, abrupt firings, cuts in wages and slashing of health plans and pensions in order to improve stock quotations, augment profits and secure bigger bonuses for the bosses. By linking the bland, neutral term, ‘market’ to ‘shock’, the apologists of capital disguise the identity of those responsible for these measures, their brutal consequences and the immense benefits enjoyed by the elite.

‘Market Demands’ – This euphemistic phrase is designed to anthropomorphize an economic category, to diffuse criticism away from real flesh and blood power-holders, their class interests and their despotic strangle-hold over labor. Instead of ‘market demands’, the phrase should read: ‘the capitalist class commands the workers to sacrifice their own wages and health to secure more profit for the multi-national corporations’ – a clear concept more likely to arouse the ire of those adversely affected.

‘Free Enterprise’ – An euphemism spliced together from two real concepts: private enterprise for private profit and free competition. By eliminating the underlying image of private gain for the few against the interests of the many, the apologists of capital have invented a concept that emphasizes individual virtues of ‘enterprise’ and ‘freedom’ as opposed to the real economic vices of greed and exploitation.

‘Free Market’ – A euphemism implying free, fair and equal competition in unregulated markets glossing over the reality of market domination by monopolies and oligopolies dependent on massive state bailouts in times of capitalist crisis. ‘Free’ refers specifically to the absence of public regulations and state intervention to defend workers safety as well as consumer and environmental protection. In other words, ‘freedom’ masks the wanton destruction of the civic order by private capitalists through their unbridled exercise of economic and political power. ‘Free market’ is the euphemism for the absolute rule of capitalists over the rights and livelihood of millions of citizens, in essence, a true denial of freedom.

‘Economic Recovery’ – This euphemistic phrase means the recovery of profits by the major corporations. It disguises the total absence of recovery of living standards for the working and middle classes, the reversal of social benefits and the economic losses of mortgage holders, debtors, the long-term unemployed and bankrupted small business owners. What is glossed over in the term ‘economic recovery’ is how mass immiseration became a key condition for the recovery of corporate profits.

‘Privatization’ – This describes the transfer of public enterprises, usually the profitable ones, to well-connected, large scale private capitalists at prices well below their real value, leading to the loss of public services, stable public employment and higher costs to consumers as the new private owners jack up prices and lay-off workers – all in the name of another euphemism, ‘efficiency’.

‘Efficiency’ – Efficiency here refers only to the balance sheets of an enterprise; it does not reflect the heavy costs of ‘privatization’ borne by related sectors of the economy. For example, ‘privatization’ of transport adds costs to upstream and downstream businesses by making them less competitive compared with competitors in other countries; ‘privatization’ eliminates services in regions that are less profitable, leading to local economic collapse and isolation from national markets. Frequently, public officials, who are aligned with private capitalists, will deliberately disinvest in public enterprises and appoint incompetent political cronies as part of patronage politics, in order to degrade services and foment public discontent. This creates a public opinion favorable to ‘privatizing’ the enterprise. In other words ‘privatization’ is not a result of the inherent inefficiencies of public enterprises, as the capitalist ideologues like to argue, but a deliberate political act designed to enhance private capital gain at the cost of public welfare.

Conclusion

Language, concepts and euphemisms are important weapons in the class struggle ‘from above’ designed by capitalist journalists and economists to maximize the wealth and power of capital. To the degree that progressive and leftist critics adopt these euphemisms and their frame of reference, their own critiques and the alternatives they propose are limited by the rhetoric of capital. Putting ‘quotation marks’ around the euphemisms may be a mark of disapproval but this does nothing to advance a different analytical framework necessary for successful class struggle ‘from below’. Equally important, it side-steps the need for a fundamental break with the capitalist system including its corrupted language and deceptive concepts.

Capitalists have overturned the most fundamental gains of the working class and we are falling back toward the absolute rule of capital. This must raise anew the issue of a socialist transformation of the state, economy and class structure. An integral part of that process must be the complete rejection of the euphemisms used by capitalist ideologues and their systematic replacement by terms and concepts that truly reflect the harsh reality, that clearly identify the perpetrators of this decline and that define the social agencies for political transformation.

Posted in Politics2 Comments

Jeff Rense’s 1st Wife Describes his Cheating

NOVANEWS

indiv.jpeg

left, First wife Janet was a 19-yr-old UCSB cheerleader(This isn’t her.) 

“I got an STD from Jeff because of his cheating.

I had post-traumatic stress disorder due to the marriage and wish I had gotten some counseling.

[Editor’s Note: Janet, the first of Jeff Rense’s nine wives, (married in 1969) is the fourth wife to speak publicly about a pattern of exploitation & abuse spanning over 40 years.

Jeff advertises for women in the following terms: “Jeff Rense is truly an American Treasure…known as a consummate journalist and patriot and equally known for his kindness, loyalty, sensitivity, compassion and intelligence. You believe in his values and admire his courage and sacrifice.

Jeff Rense is a fraud, a ticking time bomb for the “Truth movement” and everyone associated with him. He poses as a Christian and hosts exemplary Christian pastors like Ted Pike, Texe Marrs & Brother Nathaniel.

He poses as a champion of free speech while siccing his LA lawyers on web hosts that post the truth about him. If you can’t handle the truth or if, like Jeff Rense, you can’t tell the difference, do not read this.]

by Janet
(henrymakow.com) 

My name is Janet, and I was Jeff Rense’s first wife.

I received a phone call from “Megan,” Jeff’s latest ex-wife, on Mother’s Day.  What a shock to be reminded of Jeff and the horrible devastation he wreaked upon me over 40 years ago.

I had no idea I was merely the first in a long line of Jeff’s devastated ex-wives and girlfriends.  When I told Megan my story, she was surprised to learn how little he has changed over the years.

I was only 19-years-old, a student at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) when I met Jeff, who was a 23-year-old UCSB graduate.

He had told Megan that he married me to avoid the draft; that I was just a “marriage of convenience.”  But that is a lie.  He married me because he loved me, or so he said.

Jeff was very handsome and charming.  It was 1969; there were riots happening in the student community (Isla Vista) adjacent to the UCSB campus.  Students had burned down the bank, and the community was filled with police cars and tear gas.

Jeff was reporting on the riots for a local radio station.  He was also doing live sports reporting for the UCSB basketball games, and he was an after-school sports coach for 6th grade girls.

JR1976.jpg

JEFF CHANGED MY LIFE FOR THE WORSE

Before meeting Jeff, I was a happy person.  I was slightly shy, but I was  a cheerleader and had many good friends.

But that all changed.  Jeff would tell me repeatedly that my friends were   against me, and I could trust him.  He succeeded in isolating me.  (Megan said he does the same thing to her.)

I was very innocent when we married.  I thought our marriage would be monogamous, and that Jeff only loved and wanted me.  But instead he was very interested in sex with other women, and he told me about it.

He showed me a pornographic picture he had taken of his last girlfriend before our marriage.  He told me of his plans for his 6th grade girls’ sports team that he coached.  He was choosing the most attractive ones and waiting until they were old enough, 17 or 18 years old for sex.  He called them his “farm team.”

While married to me, Jeff signed up for an art class at UCSB, even though he had already graduated.  He went to a class in which the students would draw pictures of nude models.  I found out from my friends that Jeff was having sex with the nude models.   I was distraught and inconsolable.  I got an STD from Jeff because of his cheating.

FAST BUCK ARTIST

Jeff was also a “cheat” in other ways.  He spent most of his years in Isla Vista in a house he rented which was located right on the cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean.  But he never paid any rent.  That is because he overcharged his roommates.  Not only did he never pay rent but he would make a $250 profit each month – that is how much he overcharged.

He also took advantage of his knee injury by suing the school he was working for when the injury occurred (this is the school where he coached his “farm team”).

He won a few thousand dollars from them, and used this money to start a small deli in Isla Vista, upstairs from the general store.  He called this deli “Mario’s” after Mario Lanza.  He was a huge fan of Mario Lanza.

I was very unhappy after learning that Jeff was cheating on me.   Jeff then pressured me to end the marriage and got us an annulment.   I did not receive anything; there was no settlement.  He kept our dog, Teddy.

I DROPPED OUT OF UNIVERSITY

I was a very different person after Jeff.  In looking back, I believe I had post traumatic stress disorder due to the marriage and wish I had gotten some counseling.

I had completely lost all of my self-esteem.   I was out of contact with my friends.  I was so devastated that I would not leave the house.

I had gone from a happy cheerleader to being agoraphobic.  I dropped out of UCSB, and ultimately finished my degree at a much less prestigious school.  It took me years to recover from my experience with Jeff Rense.

I met Jeff’s stepmother (Paige Rense) while we were married. It was very sad; they had a very poor relationship.  I think that may be part of the reason he cannot have a happy relationship with a woman.

It is very hard for me to revisit this period.   I do not want to think of it.  I am telling my story in solidarity with the other women who were abused by Jeff, and to prevent there being any future victims.

Ex wife #3 — I Knew JR as a Predator 

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Israel’s New Weapon in Britain.

NOVANEWS

by Laura Stuart

As Britain is labelled the centre of anti Israel hatred, Israel sets about scraping the barrel  and comes up with Hasan Afzal. Israel is doomed!

Hasan Afzal of “Muslims for Israel  and his anti Islam/Muslim agenda have been exposed on deLiberation before read here and here.

I wonder if he feels an idiot now for saying that there is no War on Islam since the official confirmation hit the headlines? Probably not! We have to assume that he has very thick skin.

What I want to know is just how lucrative is it being pro Zionist and anti Islam for Muslims? We should be told.

Total “Sell Out” Muslim

Surah An Nisa (The Women) 4 – 139

الَّذِينَ يَتَّخِذُونَ الْكَافِرِينَ أَوْلِيَاءَ مِن دُونِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ أَيَبْتَغُونَ عِندَهُمُ الْعِزَّةَ فَإِنَّ العِزَّةَ لِلّهِ جَمِيعًا

Those who take disbelievers as allies instead of the believers. Do they seek with them honor [through power]? But indeed, honor belongs to Allah entirely.

Posted in ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Israel’s New Weapon in Britain.

Jihad and Anti-Jihad

NOVANEWS

by 

By Humayun Gauhar

First, my gratitude to all of you who showed concern about my eyes, wished me well, prayed for me and raised my morale.

I submitted this article last Friday, a day earlier than usual, because on Saturday morning, yesterday when you read this in ‘Opinion Maker’ , I’m would have got the first injection in my left eyeball and, if I’m normal (about which there may be reservations amongst some), I should be out of action for the day. So to save my eyes from further strain, let me make just a few universal points in light of the chatter going on about the NATO supply routes and what people refer to as our strategic and diplomatic failure in Chicago.

First, we should always remember that we chose to call Pakistan an Islamic state in all three of our constitutions. Thus we can make no law that is repugnant to the Quran and Sunnah. That also means that we cannot do anything that is repugnant to the Quran and Sunnah. Now let’s see the extent to which we live up to Islamic ideals.

For those of you who believe that the Quran is God’s Word, He says that the utmost and every possible effort must be made to avoid war. For those who don’t, read on, for no civilized and truly educated person can think otherwise.

God repeatedly emphasizes in the Quran, particularly in verses 2:190 to 2:194 in its second chapter, Surah Al Baqarah, and in verse 4:90, the conditions in which Muslims can go to war as a last resort. The Prophet (pbuh) also gave us rules of war. These conditions were revealed to him at a time when he and his small band of followers had been evicted from Mecca to Medina and their homes and properties taken over by the rulers of the city. Thus was fought Islam’s first armed Jihad at the wells of a place called Badr, which the heavily outnumbered Muslims won.

To put it in a nutshell:

1.    First and foremost, every effort must be made to avoid war.  

2.     War can only take place after all peaceful efforts to prevent it fail.

3.    All war in Islam is defensive, a struggle for liberation to vacate one’s home, property or homeland from occupation and to help other Muslims to do the same provided it has been sanctioned by the central authority to which one belongs. This is the only kind of war sanctioned in the Holy Quran. It is called armed Jihad.

4.     Jihad means struggle. Armed Jihad is not to be confused with higher forms of Jihad or struggle, like Jihad against ones baser instincts, Jihad of the Pen or Jihad with or one’s own wealth or against illiteracy, poverty and so forth.

5.     Justice must prevail during armed Jihad.

6.     Action can be taken only against armed combatants.

7.     No action can be taken against women, the elderly and children.

8.     Animals, crops and trees are to be spared.

9.    There can be no loot and plunder, the supreme example of which was set by the Holy Prophet (pbuh) after the peaceful conquest of Mecca. 

10.Even during conflict, all possible efforts must be made repeatedly through all means to end war. (Verse 8:61).

11.Prisoners of war must be treated humanely, they cannot be tied, when they walk, walk with them, feed them from what you eat.

12.If a POW teaches 10 Muslims to read and write, free him. 

13.If ransom is paid for a POW, free him.

14.There is no compulsion in religion and every one has freedom of religion. (Verse 2:256). Thus POWs cannot be forced to become Muslims.   

15.If a POW embraces Islam freely and willingly, free him.

Talk of the Geneva Conventions that came centuries later.

Thus we must understand that fighting to protect oneself or liberate oneself against invaders and occupiers is the only kind of combat, skirmish, battle or war sanctioned in Islam. Verses 2:192 and 4:90 also tell us that relations with all states, whatever their religion, if any, should be peaceful. Verse 49:13 enjoins that necessary wars should be limited in time and space, meaning you cannot go on fighting forever, anywhere and everywhere, for no rhyme or reason, once the cause for war has been removed. As soon as the occupier is ejected the cause for war ceases to exist so all hostilities must cease forthwith and peace return, or at least an absence of war should prevail.

Assuming it indeed was Al Qaeda led by Osama Bin Laden operating out of Afghanistan that was the perpetrator of 9/11, alone or unwittingly being used by some agency, did the United States of America have just cause for war? Yes, it did, for their homeland had been attacked and many of its citizens killed. They had every right to take action against them. It matters little whether the US is an Islamic state or not, God’s principles are universal in time and space and applicable to all humankind.

Did the US first use peaceful means to prevent war? Yes, it did. It asked the Taliban government of Afghanistan led by Mullah Omar to either hand over Osama Bin Laden to them or at the very least, evict him from there. We helped the US in this effort, which was not the wrong thing to do. We tried for a month. Mullah Omar refused. Only then did the US attack on Afghanistan take place with the avowed purposes of either killing or arresting Bin Laden and toppling the Taliban government for giving him refuge and thereby becoming accessory to the crime, so that another such attack could never take place again. They failed in their first objective; they succeeded in the second, though Mullah Omar escaped on a Honda motorcycle we are told.

So far so good. But for the US and NATO to have occupied Afghanistan for over a decade, subjugate it and install their puppet government there is totally wrong. Thus for us to ally ourselves with them in this latter endeavor is un-Islamic and not a Jihad by any means. Further, for the US to kill our innocent citizens even as collateral damage is a disgrace to us and to Muslims. Making impotent threats and noises makes it pathetic as well. With the Taliban government gone, with Osama Bin Laden killed as they claim on May 2 last year, with Al Qaeda in disarray and out of Afghanistan and virtually out of Pakistan, the causes for war against Afghanistan don’t exist any longer, nor certainly do they exist for its continuing occupation. They talk of getting out by 2014, but only to get their troops out of harm’s way. They will still retain 20,000 troops there till 2024 and have military bases. That is wrong, to put it mildly. What makes it comical is that such conditions are imposed by the victor, not the vanquished, which America, NATO and by extension and all those that helped the US are. To help them in this endeavor is un-Islamic too. Our effort should be to assist America and NATO to get out of there as soon as possible. That would be Islamic, to help liberate the Afghans from their occupation and subjugation by foreigners.

Second question: are the USA and NATO using every means possible to end the war, the occupation and subjugation of Afghanistan? No. Yes, they are certainly creating the optics of making such efforts, like talking to some Taliban and holding bootless meetings in Bonn and Chicago, but that is only to get their troops out of harm’s way by 2014 and to create the impression of liberation. But that will remain an impression only so long as 20,000 or whatever number of troops and military bases remain.

Thus, in the light of God’s injunctions, I would suggest that the war we were involved in during the Eighties in alliance with the USA and others to expel the Soviet Union from Afghanistan was truly a Jihad – just, moral and Islamic. Today, the war in which we are allied with the USA and NATO in their continuing occupation and subjugation of Afghanistan is an anti-Jihad – truly unjust, truly immoral and totally un-Islamic.

Now decide for yourself whether we should open the NATO supply routes or not.

Posted in Middle East1 Comment

Islamophobia: Washington’s “New Colonialism”

NOVANEWS

By Dr. Ismail Salami

In an organized act of brutality, a number of US soldiers went on a house-to-house shooting spree in Zangabad village, Kandahar in March and massacred 16 people including nine children while they were sleeping and all Washington had to say were a few words of condolence and apology nonchalantly strung together in order to appease the overwhelming public rage in Afghanistan. Western media however reduced the number of the killers to one.

The bodies were reportedly wrapped in blankets and were set on fire.

Obama’s words crocodile’s tears

US President Barack Obama said he was deeply saddened, “I offer my condolences to the families and loved ones of those who lost their lives, and to the people of Afghanistan, who have endured too much violence and suffering. This incident … does not represent the exceptional character of our military and the respect that the United States has for the people of Afghanistan.”

As contradictory as these words seem, the very ‘exceptional character’ of the US military had earlier urged them to burn copies of the Holy Quran, an incident which saddened the hearts of Muslims all across the world. 

These and earlier incidents are not coincidental and well attest to a prevailing mindset in the US military and a dominant policy in Washington. It is clear that the US government has commenced a large-scale campaign against Islam with the express intention of debilitating the Muslim community.

In fact, the war on Islam started in 2001 when the then US president George Bush made a crass reference to his so-called war on terror as ‘crusade’. He warned Americans that “this crusade, this war on terrorism, is going to take awhile.” Bush’s politically untoward remark rang alarm bells in Europe and the Muslim world although it went barely noticed in the American community who took the word for its sound rather than for its meaning. 

Gradually, Washington instilled a sensation of anti-Islamism in America and Europe by attributing the nine-eleven tragedy and ensuing terrorist operations to the Muslims. Soheib Bensheikh, Grand Mufti of the mosque in Marseille, France said Bush’s use of the word ‘crusade’ was most unfortunate and that “It recalled the barbarous and unjust military operations against the Muslim world” by Christian knights.

A delusional man who was overwhelmed with the idea of a messianic mission, George Bush wittingly or unwittingly dragged the world to the margins where a clash of civilizations was imminent.

The legacy of hatred which was started by George Bush was later continued in the form of classes and organized trainings.

In line with this Islamophobic policy funded by Washington and the powerful Zionist groups in the country, the US military has long been involved in fomenting anger and hatred against the Muslims by teaching its future leaders that a “total war” against the Muslims would be necessary to protect America.

According to hundreds of pages of course material and reference documents obtained by Danger Room (wired.com), the US military held a course at the Defense Department’s Joint Forces Staff College and taught the students that they had to use a Hiroshima-style in Muslim counties and target the “civilian population wherever necessary.”

The officer in charge of the hate lessons was Army Lt. Col. Matthew A. Dooley who still maintains his position at the Norfolk, Virginia College. Sadly, those who sat in his classes are now in the top positions in the US military.

The course ‘Perspectives on Islam and Islamic Radicalism’ was offered five times a year for groups of 20 at a time, the course may have been taught to as many as 800 mid-level and senior US military officers. 

In a July presentation, Dooly said, “We have now come to understand that there is no such thing as ‘moderate Islam. It is therefore time for the United States to make our true intentions clear. This barbaric ideology will no longer be tolerated. Islam must change or we will facilitate its self-destruction.”

In his ugly lessons, he taught that “International laws protecting civilians in wartime are no longer relevant,” and that mainstream Muslims are dangerous, because they’re violent by nature. He also called for a Hiroshima-style destruction of the holy cities of Mecca and Medina.

Those who sat in his classes and patiently listened to his mad remarks are the ones who are now serving in Afghanistan and teaching the same hate lessons to their subordinates and even encouraging them to wipe out the Muslim community.

The atrocities perpetrated by the US military in the Muslim countries over the past 11 years or so are closely associated with and inspired by these appalling teachings.

Washington and the Zionist groups have long been making relentless efforts to depict Islam and the Muslims in dark shadows. An in-depth investigation into Islamophobia ‘Dubbed as Fear, Inc. The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America’ was carried out by the Center for American Progress in the United States. The report sheds light on the collective efforts of the Zionist groups funded by the United States in pedaling a hatred for and a fear of Islam in the form of books, reports, websites, blogs, and carefully crafted talking points. According to the report, these wealthy donors and foundations also provide direct funding to anti-Islam grassroots groups.

The project of Islamophobia which has cost more than $40 million over the past ten years has been funded by seven foundations in the United States: 1. Richard Mellon Scaife Foundation; 2. Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation; 3. Newton and Rochelle Becker; 4. Foundation and Newton and Rochelle Becker Charitable Trust; 5. Russell Berrie Foundation, Anchorage Charitable Fund and William Rosenwald; 6. Family Fund; 7. Fairbrook Foundation.

After all, Islamophobia is nothing new. Despite its rising upsurge in recent years, there have been efforts in the past to promote this pernicious trend.

Years ago, prominent Orientalist Edward Said warned of these calculated efforts in the West, arguing that the essentializing nature of the Orientalist enterprise has resulted today in misguided, inaccurate depictions of Islamic cultures: “Most of the pictures represent mass rage and misery, or irrational (hence hopelessly eccentric) gestures. Lurking behind all of these images is the menace of jihad. Consequence: a fear that the Muslims will take over the world.”

Islamophobia is a form of political colonialism; an ideological war against Islam and the Muslims. It is a pernicious practice used by Washington and its allies to justify their lust for Muslim blood, give validity to their military expeditions in Muslim countries and seize hold of their numerous resources. 

Posted in USAComments Off on Islamophobia: Washington’s “New Colonialism”

Koran Burning – Dehumanizing Muslims

NOVANEWS
BY STEPHEN LENDMAN

Despite constitutionally guaranteed religious freedom, America consistently violates fundamental rights, including respecting all faiths equally.

More than other ethnic/religious groups, Western discourse portrays Muslim/Arabs stereotypically as culturally inferior, dirty, lecherous, untrustworthy, religiously fanatical, and violent.

In his book, “Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People,” Jack Shaheen explained how they’ve been defamed and vilified throughout decades of cinematic history. From silent films to recent ones, they encourage prejudicial attitudes, and reinforce notions of Western values, high-mindedness, and moral superiority.

Worse still are slanderous post-9/11 media commentaries about dangerous gun-toting terrorists, the need to closely monitor them, and rid society of those considered dangerous.

Never mind rule of law principles, right or wrong, or whether accused targets are guilty. Saying so’s all that matters to justify America’s war on terror. It needs enemies. When not around, they’re invented.

As a result, Muslim Arabs and others suffer hugely, including at home. Koran burning incidents provide more proof. It symbolizes America’s contempt for Islam.

Importance of the Koran

According to observing Muslims, the Koran’s an exact record of words revealed by God through the Angel Gabriel to Muhammad. He taught them to others. Scribes passed them on. Throughout centuries of Islamic history, its 114 chapters remained unchanged.

The Koran’s the primary source of Muslim faith and practice. It covers all human concerns, including wisdom, beliefs, worship and law. It also focuses on God’s relationship with humanity, and provides guidelines for a just society, proper relationships, and just divisions of power.

It teaches love, not hate; peace, not violence; charity, not selfishness; and tolerance, not terrorism. Its five pillars include profession of faith, prayer five times daily, fasting during Ramadan, charity, and performing the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in a lifetime for those able to afford it.

Clashes Over Latest Afghanistan Koran Burning Incident

It’s happened before and each time incites rage. The latest incident involves US Bagram Air Base forces dumping Koran copies and other Islamic holy materials in debris piles for burning.

Military officials lied saying they contained “extremist inscriptions” and were used to “facilitate extremist communications.” The latest incident followed previous ones and release of a January video showing Marines urinating on Afghan corpses.

Protests erupted each time. Hollow apologies heightened anger, especially after a decade of brutal war, occupation, daily killings, and extreme deprivation in ravaged Afghanistan.

America’s History of Dehumanizing Enemies

“You’ve Got To Be Carefully Taught” is one of many memorable Rogers and Hammerstein “South Pacific” songs. Its lyrics went as follows:

“You’ve got to be taught
To hate and fear,
You’ve got to be taught
From year to year,
It’s got to be drummed
In your dear little ear
You’ve got to be carefully taught.

You’ve got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
And people whose skin is a diff’rent shade,
You’ve got to be carefully taught.

You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late,
Before you are six or seven or eight,
To hate all the people your relatives hate,
You’ve got to be carefully taught!”

Early or later, it works the same way by drumming it repeatedly into impressionable minds, including US military recruits in training.

It begins by creating Groupthink. Individuality and free thought are expunged. Recruits are intimidated to go along.

For example, Marines begin days chanting:

“This barrack contains 45 highly motivated, truly dedicated romping stomping blood thirsty kill crazy United States Marine Corps recruits, sir.”

Unlike football crowds chanting “defense,” Marines shout “kill.” Their combat mandate demands it. By combining weapons training with brainwashing, robotized human killing machines are created.

Major media and Hollywood scoundrels help. They’re enlisted to demonize enemies. Racial epithets vilified Japanese soldiers. They were dehumanized as brutal animals. So were North Koreans, Vietnamese, and other non-whites. Asians and Arabs are called sneaky, deviant, and other degrading terms. Training manipulates impressionable minds to believe it.

In fall 2006, former Marine Sgt. Martin Smith’s article headlined, “Learning to be a Killer: Remembering Marine Corps boot camp,” saying:

Indoctrination involves “dehumanizing the enemy in order to train (recruits) how to overcome any fear or prejudice against killing.”

“The process of dehumanization is central to military training. During the Vietnam War, the enemy in Vietnam was simply a ‘gook,’ ‘dink,’ or ‘slope. Today, ‘raghead’ and ‘sand nigger’ are the current racist epithets lodged against Arabs and Muslims.”

“After every command, we would scream, ‘Kill!’ But our call for blood took on particular importance during our physical training, when we learned how to fight with pugil sticks-wooden sticks with padded ends-how to run an obstacle course with fixed bayonets, or how to box and engage in hand-to-hand combat.”

“We were told to imagine the ‘enemy’ in all of our combat training, and it was always implied that the enemy was of Middle Eastern descent. When some raghead comes lurking up from behind, you’re gonna give ‘em ONE,’ barked the training DI. We all howled in unison, “Kill!”

“We were being indoctrinated with schemes for war in the Middle East. Our hatred of the ‘Arab other’ was crafted from the very beginning of our training through fear and hate. In these ‘dirty wars,’ troops cannot tell friend from foe, leading to war crimes against a civilian population.”

Other US service branches also manipulate young minds to kill. They reinforce training mandates in war zones. They violate lawful rules of engagement (ROE). In Iraq, some commanders ordered killing all military-aged Iraqi men on sight.

Yet US Army Field Manual 27-10 incorporates Nuremberg Principles, Judgment and the Charter and Law of Land Warfare (1956). They prohibit crimes of war and against humanity and require disobeying lawless orders.

But US service members risk Court Martial and prison terms by putting rule of law principles above chain of command orders. Either go along or be penalized if charged.

Manipulating Public Opinion

Vilifying enemies isn’t new. Nor do boot camps alone create Groupthink. Political, academic, religious and other leaders euphemize killing and dehumanizing to justify lawless acts.

For example, calling Soviet Russia the “evil empire” or communism a “cancer” manipulates public opinion to accept aggressive state policy as justified.

In Nazi Germany, Jews were called “parasites,” “Jewish bacilli,” and other dehumanizing terms to facilitate Hitler’s “final solution.” Raul Hilberg’s “The Destruction of the European Jews” is its definite history.

He called their annihilation no accident, saying:

“When in the early days of 1933, the first civil servant wrote the first definition of ‘non-Aryan’ into a civil service ordinance, the fate of European Jewry was sealed.”

He also said “moral obstacles must be removed” and internal conflicts resolved to facilitate the horrors of war and planned atrocities.

Throughout America’s history, racist/hateful dehumanization targeted Native Americans, Blacks, Latinos, other marginalized groups, and now Muslims. For example, Native people were called plundering, murdering savages, and much more. Doing so facilitated ritual slaughter.

America’s holocaust inspired Hitler’s. How could Washington complain when it committed its own. Each time, mass slaughter’s justified, sanitized, and/or suppressed. Pain, suffering, and death aren’t images policy makers want publicized.

Rhetoric softens horrific acts. Civilian deaths become “collateral damage.” In Vietnam, “pacification” meant forced displacement. “Incursion” was code language for invasion. Creating a “sanitized belt” meant removing everyone, bulldozing areas, and erecting “defensive positions” with heavy weapons.

“Sincere regrets” conceal deliberate killing. Free fire zones become “humanitarian bombing.” Propaganda softens and conceals crimes of war and against humanity. Language hides ugly truths.

Ronald Reagan’s national security advisor, Robert McFarlane, euphemized war horrors. He said America must remain prepared for “low-intensity conflict. The use of force can never be our preference or our only choice. It cannot yet be discarded, however, as an instrument of policy.”

In fact, it’s often preferred policy. It’s disguised as humanitarian, democratic liberation, when, in fact, it’s imperial aggression for unchallenged dominance.

Orwellian language facilitates warmaking. When used effectively, mass slaughter and destruction become normal, though for the most part ugly facts are suppressed.

Entire war zones become destroyed villages to save them. Brainwashed troops make it possible with ease.

Groupthink removes ravaged countries, mass slaughter, and human suffering from their mindsets.

Training indoctrination makes them effective killing machines in combat. Burning Korans alone show they’re well taught.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

Posted in EducationComments Off on Koran Burning – Dehumanizing Muslims

Anti-Iranian Propaganda

NOVANEWS
by Stephen Lendman
When America goes to war or plans one, media scoundrels march in lockstep.
Articles, commentaries, editorials, and broadcasts feature Washington handout-style journalism.
Managed news misinformation substitutes for truth and full disclosure. Readers and viewers are deceived and betrayed.
For years, Iran and Syria have been targeted for regime change. Independent governments aren’t tolerated. Puppet ones are planned to replace them. Scoundrel media play leading roles.
On May 24, The New York Times headlined “Iran Nuclear Talks End with No Deal.”
P5+1 talks failed as expected. Washington bears full responsibility. Deal-making isn’t at issue. It’s portraying Iran as uncooperative for added justification to wage war.
“The six wanted a freeze on Iranian production of uranium enriched to 20 percent purity, which is considered a short step from bomb grade.”
In fact, it’s a giant one to 90% required for weapons making. It’s especially so without intent to produce them.
Medical isotopes and other peaceful applications require 20%. NPT provisions permit it. Iran fully complies. Washington and Israel are serial violators. Their belligerence threatens humanity. Tehran threatens no one.
EU lead negotiator Catherine Ashton said “very intense and detailed discussions (left) significant differences” unresolved. They’ll remain so in future meetings. A June 18-19 Moscow one is planned. Nothing substantive will change.
“We will maintain intensive contacts with our Iranian counterparts to prepare a further meeting in Moscow,” Ashton announced.
Iran’s chief negotiator, Saeed Jalili said:
“Of the main topics in using peaceful nuclear energy is the topic of having the nuclear fuel cycle and enrichment. We emphasize this right.”
“This is an undeniable right of the Iranian nation….especially the right to enrich uranium.” If P5+1 nations negotiate in good faith, “we will, of course, welcome some offer to cooperate on.”
Iran didn’t go to Baghdad to surrender. Its position won’t change in Moscow. Washington demands it. The Times left that and other key issues unaddressed and/or misreported.
On May 26, Reuters headlined “Iran has enough uranium for 5 bombs: expert,” saying:
The Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) claims “Iran has significantly stepped up its output of low-enriched uranium and total production in the last five years (to provide) enough for at least five nuclear weapons if refined much further.”
David Albright heads ISIS. He impersonates a nuclear expert. He’s a former pseudo-UN weapons inspector. Former Iraq chief weapons inspector Scott Ritter called him a “nuclear expert who never was.”
His “track record (reveals) half-baked analyses derived from questionable sources….He breathes false legitimacy into these factually challenged stories by” claiming fake credentials.
Albright founded ISIS. It’s self-serving. It shuns truth. He fronts for power, privilege, and war profiteers. He’s part of Washington’s anti-Iranian agenda. In Iraq, he played the same role. He’s a pro-imperial opportunist.
In June 1996, he appeared once as as a pseudo-Iraq weapons inspector. His role was political, not scientific. He observed and regurgitated what Washington wanted to hear. He’s doing it now on Iran. His credibility is sorely lacking. He has none.
Claiming Iran is able to produce five bombs is inflammatory and misleading. All nations with commercial reactors produce enough uranium and plutonium for bomb-making. Only a handful, in fact, do it.
Iran isn’t one of them. That’s the headline not featured. Instead, deceptive ones heighten tensions for war.
IAEA head Yukiya Amano represents Western, not global interests fairly. He serves Washington’s anti-Iranian agenda. On May 25, he claimed inspectors found Fordo plant enriched uranium traces up to 27%.
Around 90% is needed for bomb-making. Iran purifies to 20%. Most amounts are around 3.5%. Traces signify nothing. Iran’s main stockpile complies with what it claims. No weapons development or production evidence exists.
At times, over-enrichment occurs. It’s normal, not unusual or cheating. Technicians adjust accordingly. IAEA inspectors should have left it unmentioned.
Media scoundrels, of course, jump on it in headlines. Many readers don’t go beyond a few paragraphs to know it’s insignificant.
On May 25, a Washington Post editorial headlined, “Iran’s hard bargain,” saying:
Iran rejected Western “confidence-building measures.” It demanded rights Washington rejects. “(E)xtended negotiations will only benefit Iran.”
“What’s most concerning about the Baghdad talks is that they failed to show that the regime of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has made a strategic decision to strike a bargain.”
“Instead, Tehran sought something for nothing: acceptance by the West of its uranium enrichment in return for assertions that it is not seeking nuclear weapons and promises to cooperate with international inspectors.”
“In fact, no ‘right’ to process uranium exists under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.”
Fact check
Iran wants (and deserves) to be treated like other countries with commercial nuclear operations. It complies fully with NPT provisions. Washington and Israel are nuclear outlaws.
Iran’s operations are more intensively monitored than any other nation. Washington and Israel prohibit inspections for good reason. Massive cheating would be found. Imperial powers never tell all or say they’re sorry.
NPT permits uranium enrichment as long as countries agree to rigorous monitoring. WP editors better check their sources. They, in turn, need to find another line of work.
Yousaf Butt is a nuclear physicist. He’s a Federation of American Scientists consultant. In January, his Foreign Policy article headlined “Stop the Madness,” saying:
“Despite all the hype, Iran’s nuclear program has yet to violate international law. It’s time to calm down, think, and above all halt the rush to war.”
“The IAEA considers 20 percent enriched uranium to be low-enriched uranium and ‘a fully adequate isotopic barrier’ to weaponization.”
Iran complies. It does nothing illegal. NPT doesn’t prevent a nuclear weapons “capability” or “option.” Dozens of nations have it.
Singling out Iran is for political reasons. It’s not about legitimate fears of an illegal weapons program in the hands of a country threatening to use them.
The key red line Iran won’t cross is “diverting” nuclear material for weapons production. Numerous experts and independent reports “affirmed (for) years that they have no evidence (of) any such program.”
Multiple rounds of sanctions “go far beyond anything related to its nuclear program.”
The hype about it is political. It has no scientific basis whatever.
Washington Post editorial assertions are false, misleading, and inflammatory. Iran is legally entitled to pursue its nuclear program.
P5+1 proposals were disingenuously one-sided. Unreasonable demands were made. Nothing was offered in return. Western good faith wasn’t present in Baghdad. It’s an oxymoron. It doesn’t exist.
Tehran negotiated responsibly. Not good enough, said Washington. Prove a negative was demanded. Refuse and be blamed for Western obstructionism.
Multiple rounds of discussions won’t change things. WP editors think the “slide toward war remains desirable. Iran cannot be granted much more time to build and install centrifuges.”
Washington is infested with hotheads. WP editorial and op-ed writers are among them. They have lots of scoundrel media company. Promoting war makes it more likely. Body counts and vast destruction don’t matter.
Nor for USA Today. It’s post-Baghdad editorial headlined “How the US can win at nuclear poker with Iran,” saying:
“There’s an old poker saying that if you look around the table and can’t figure out who the chump is, it’s you. Too often in high-stakes negotiations with rogue states such as North Korea and Iran, the U.S. has looked a lot like the chump as it tried to curtail those nations’ nuclear weapons programs.”
“(O)nly a sucker could be confident that….Iran really, really means” what it says.
Scoundrel media report this way. Managed news duplicity substitutes for real news, opinion and analysis.
Media liars bear full responsibity. So does Washington for failure, not Iran. Tehran can’t succeed without a willing partner. It hasn’t had one in decades. It has the worst of all relationships now. Obama itches for more war post-election.
He feigns negotiations while planning it at the same time. Munich and Hitler’s Non-Aggression Treaty with Soviet Russia come to mind. Washington and Israel are no different. Hawks in both countries are especially worrisome. They’re bent on aggression and won’t accept less.
In response on May 22, the Tehran Times headlined “Iran must take firm stance at Baghdad talks, saying:
For years, Iran “bravely resisted” unreasonable demands to halt its peaceful nuclear program. Tehran believes pursuing it is a legitimate right. It’s “non-negotiatble.”
At the same time, Iranian officials try to build trust and resolve differences. They negotiate in good faith. In return, they’re rebuffed, stonewalled, and betrayed.
It’s up to Washington to break the deadlock and end sanctions. They’re harsh and unfair. Short of capitulation, tug-of-war diplomacy won’t end. Hillary Clinton said Tehran must “close the gaps. All of our sanctions will remain in place and continue to move forward” for the duration.
They’re about making Iran’s economy scream. They’re not for its legitimate nuclear program. That’s red herring camouflage for bigger fish to fry. At issue is installing puppet leaders Washington controls. War looks likely to try.
Negotiating with America accomplishes nothing. It never did before and won’t now. “Therefore, resistance seems to be the only option left for the Iranian side to convey its message to the West and to uphold the inalienable rights of the Iranian nation.”
America and Israeli want imperial dominance. Iran wants to live free in peace.
Sovereign states deserve that much and more. Wars won’t end until enough of them unite and resist. If not soon, they’ll continue and expand dangerously.
Never in history has one nation devoted so much firepower to global death and destruction.
Saving humanity depends on restoring peace and stability before it’s too late to matter. There may not be much time left to do it.

Posted in IranComments Off on Anti-Iranian Propaganda

Inshah Malik is trying rebuild Kashmir with a different weapon – her pen

NOVANEWS

Young writer Inshah Malik tells the stories of Kashmiri women and the often brutal effects on them from decades of conflict.

Note: Inshah Malik is a frequent contributor to Opinion Maker.

By Rebecca Byerly,

 

Inshah, The young fighter. Pen is her weapon

 

SRINAGAR, INDIA-CONTROLLED KASHMIR

Inshah Malik may have a plan to share with the conflict-weary women of the Arab Spring. For most of her 27 years, she has lived through a brutal clash that ripped apart her homeland in Kashmir, on the border between India and Pakistan.

Recent posts

Now Ms. Malik, like a growing number of other young Kashmiris, is trying to rebuild her community with a different weapon – her pen.

For communities to heal and women to gain a greater role, she says, it’s crucial that her people never forget the collective memories of women searching for their loved ones and being brutalized by conflict. Though she’s just starting out, her work might offer examples for the women of SyriaEgyptLibyaTunisia, andYemen. How can they start rebuilding their communities and making a space for themselves when the protests die down and the world stops paying attention?

RELATED: The five most dangerous countries for women

Malik has written a collection of stories of women from villages in a recently published book, based on her graduate thesis “Muslim Women Under the Impact of Ongoing Conflict in Kashmir.” She writes of women such as Dilfroz, who was raped in front of her family during an army search, thus bringing attention to stories that usually go unheard. She hopes to have the book reprinted in Kashmir at a reduced cost so that it can be used in the course curriculum in universities.

“In Kashmir, for the entire conflict, women have always been out there fighting,” Malik says, looking out the window of her home in Srinagar, the summer capital.

In 2010 she frantically posted Facebook updates as Indian security forces smashed these windows during massive protests. “The conflict has actually proven to be more brutal for women because … [that] violence [was] intended to demean the community, to demean the enemy, to demean the people who are fighting the authorities,” she says.

Kashmir is one of the most militarized place in the world, with some 600,000 Indian soldiers policing the region near the Himalayas where India, Pakistan, and China converge. The military presence picked up in 1989 when Pakistani-trained militants began crossing the border into Indian-controlled Kashmir, leading to an armed movement for independence from India.

In the years that followed, Amnesty International reports, more than 70,000 people were killed, thousands of women were widowed, and thousands more were raped. By the late 1990s, the armed movement was quashed by Indian forces.

The conflict goes back to 1947, when most of Muslim-majority Kashmir was grabbed by India during the partition of India and Pakistan. Kashmiris were promised a plebiscite on their political future by the United Nations, but that vote was never allowed to happen.

Recent posts

In the last two decades, the movement has shifted from an armed struggle to stone-throwing protests. Now, young Kashmiris, like Malik, are turning to social media and other nonviolent tools.

Growing up in the midst of the strife in the 1990s, Malik remembers her father, uncles, brother, and other men in the neighborhood being dragged out of their houses at gunpoint during crackdowns by Indian soldiers. She recalls that the women left in their homes were terrified of being raped or molested.

Having lived through these horrifying moments, she wanted to reach out to the women in her community. She spent weeks listening to the stories of dozens of women who were raped in a single night in 1991 in Kunan Poshpora, a remote village in Kashmir.

Caught in the middle, women were raped by both soldiers and militants. But the abuse did not stop with the original attack. They were then often blamed by their families and shunned by society for what had happened to them.

Even in those bleak times, Malik writes, it was women like Raja, who was brutalized in Kunan Poshpora but spoke out against the army while helping the women raped in her village, who held society together.

“I want to give Kashmiri women a tongue to tell what they have faced,” says Malik, who is pursuing a Ph.D. on women and the Kashmiri conflict at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi.

Though protests are still important, she says it’s time that Kashmiris find other ways to advance their cause.

The women of Syria, Libya, and Egypt, who are now facing similar challenges, should pen narratives too, Malik suggests. She hopes to draw attention to crimes of sexual violence and to lobby for greater acceptance of rape victims within their communities.

While her stories are only a beginning, she’s already pushing for increased understanding of subjects long thought taboo.

RELATED: The five most dangerous countries for women

Kashmiri activist Anjum Zamarud Habib, the only Kashmiri woman to be jailed under a draconian terrorist law know as the 2003 Prevention of Terrorism Act, spent five disconsolate years behind bars on terrorism charges that were later overturned. She wrote about the injustices she faced in her book “Prisoner No. 100.”

Malik has given a voice to young women – and men – who grew up during the conflict, Ms. Habib says.

“The children of conflict are more educated and more experienced” than her previous generation, she says. “My wish is that more women come forward. The movement has already been transferred to the next generation, whether they like it or not.”

But rebuilding a society fractured by war, especially for women, will not be easy. Malik, along with the young women of the Arab Spring, are now reaching for a role in society beyond what has ever existed for them before.

Posted in Pakistan & KashmirComments Off on Inshah Malik is trying rebuild Kashmir with a different weapon – her pen

Sacha Baron Cohen: Zionist Propagandist- denigrates Europeans & Palestinians

NOVANEWS

Precommentary by David Duke — A few years Sasha Cohen, in his character of rapper Ali G, asked to interview me. As an American I never saw his British show and consented to the interview totally unaware that he was a complete Jewish supremacist shyster. Interestingly enough, even with his ambush, he and his Jewish producers realized the interview of me simply gave out too much information exposing Zionism and Judaic extremists like him. So, you can’t find my interview included in the compilations of his Ali G Show! He didn’t want his audience to see that his planned ambush of me turn into a fiasco for him, so he didn’t dare make the program available! Steven Salaita exposes in this article the extreme ethnic racism of this radical, supremacist Jew. It  validates once again my books on articles on why the worldwide Zionist power in media is an implacable enemy of not only the Europeans and the Palestinians but all humanity! –DD

By Steven Salaita. Sacha Baron Cohen’s latest film The Dictator has led to the praise typical of movie reviewers for corporate publications. Baron Cohen, according to most of these reviewers, is something of a maverick: an iconoclastic outsider, an unorthodox entertainer, an erstwhile rebel, a genius provocateur. None of these superlatives is accurate.

There is one descriptor that is too infrequently applied to him: Zionist shill. Plenty of writers have noted Baron Cohen’s ardent Zionism, but few have suggested that his Zionism should cast him in a negative light (“Before ‘The Dictator’ and ‘Borat’, friends recall, Sacha Baron Cohen was a very nerdy, very funny, Israel-oriented guy,” The Times of Israel, 11 May 2012 ).

Even fewer have examined how that Zionism visibly influences his thematic choices and public role-playing.

His commitment to Zionism is troublesome for numerous reasons: it supports the historical and current dispossession of Palestinians, situates him as an advocate of militaristic state power, calls into question his ethical commitments, and places him in Hollywood’s safest political space, that of fealty to Israel, a space in which the title of maverick loses all significant meaning.

It isn’t difficult to find evidence of Baron Cohen’s politics in his invented characters. While there are obvious iterations of Zionism in the dictator, Shabazz Aladeen, tomfoolery on behalf of Israel is also evident in earlier characters Brüno and Borat. Through both characters, Baron Cohen engaged in questionable behavior, what can accurately be called outright exploitation.

With Borat, for example, Baron Cohen named an actual country, Kazakhstan, when the concept behind that movie could have accomplished the same comic purpose with a made-up nation.

Even worse, in showing Borat’s origin at the start of the movie, Baron Cohen ditched the sound stage in favor of a real village in Romania, Glod, whose residents were appalled to learn that the documentary they thought Baron Cohen was filming turned out to be a degrading parody, leaving the villagers divided and infuriated (“We all hate Borat: the poor Romanian villagers humiliated by Sacha Baron Cohen’s spoof documentary,” The Daily Mail, 17 October 2008 ) . Those who participated were paid a tiny sum for their trouble;Borat grossed more than $260 million.

(Romania, Kazakhstan, what’s the difference, right? If the assumption from which Baron Cohen worked — that to most Americans, Eastern Europe and Central Asia are little more than a swath of backward foreign people — then it only reinforces the malice of naming actual countries and shooting on location, for the point had already been made before Baron Cohen decided to humiliate an entire village.)

With Brüno, Baron Cohen was even more mean-spirited. [Bruno was a disgusting parody of Germans] He searched out a “terrorist” for the flamboyant Brüno to offend. Baron Cohen’s search took him, of course, to the West Bank, where he again used a phony pretext to lure an unsuspecting Palestinian, Ayman Abu Aita, into an interview whose purpose was quite different than what Abu Aita was led to believe.

Since the film’s release, Abu Aita has dealt with the vitriol of his neighbors and colleagues who feel he humiliated them through his participation in Brüno’s spectacle (“The non-profit worker from Bethlehem who was branded a terrorist by Brüno,” The Guardian, 31 July 2009 ). Abu Aita wasn’t paid for his time; Brüno grossed $139 million. Given the material exploitation of people in Romania and Palestine, these characters aren’t just harmless fun, after all.

Shabazz Aladeen — a name that manages to parody Arab and African American cultures — isn’t meant to be harmless. As with other characters, Baron Cohen has made numerous public appearances in character. His favorite tactic with Aladeen is to complain about the Zionists in Hollywood who refuse to grant him awards (“Sacha Baron Cohen to attend Oscars, claims victory over ‘Zionist snakes in Hollywood’,” Haaretz, 25 February 2012 http://www.haaretz.com/culture/sacha-baron-cohen-to-attend-oscars-claims-victory-over-zionist-snakes-in-hollywood-1.414742). Out of character, Baron Cohen explained to Howard Stern, another ardent Zionist, that “all these dictators blame everything on the Zionists. It’s a great scapegoat” (“Sacha Baron Cohen to Howard Stern: you inspired me,” Jewish Journal, 8 May 2012 ).

There is a disturbing connection to be made between Baron Cohen’s Zionist politics and his willingness to exploit real communities and to bastardize ethnic imagery. Zionism, an ideology that can accommodate liberal and humanistic discourses, cannot be practiced without a concomitant abrogation of the rights of those who are not Jewish, a reality that becomes even more severe when we consider that the vast majority of Palestine’s indigenous inhabitants are Muslim and Christian.

If his ethnic typologies are unoriginal, then his dictator’s complaints about Hollywood Zionists are completely banal. It is a grand tradition among pro-Israel commentators to attribute Arab dislike of Israel to everything but the inequitable practices of Zionism.

As Aladeen indicates, complaining about Zionism is an irrational Arab pastime, one they are brainwashed into by hideous dictators (whose power, of course, has nothing to do with Israeli, European and American meddling); Arab stupidity is so pervasive it totally ignores Israel’s greatness and the many benefits Israel could provide to Arabs if only they were smart enough to listen. Arabs passively accept their destiny. They are programmed culturally to submit to authority. They are not equipped with the intellectual gifts necessary for democratic modernity. There is nothing to do but colonize them.

The conflation of Zionism with proper multicultural modernity has a long history in American film, particularly in movies that endeavor to oppose racism. In Hollywood’s anti-racism, criticism of Israel falls into the same category as white supremacy, a point illustrated in American History X when one character holding a camcorder implores another to share some of the things he has learned about race in America.

After the usual complaints about lazy minorities and declining Western values, the speaker rants, “And I hate Tabatha Soren and all her Zionist MTV fucking pigs telling us we should all get along.” American History X uses the scene to make a point about anti-Zionist activists, suggesting that they are not very different than neo-Nazis.

The speaker even mispronounces “Zionist” in case viewers are unclear that cultured, educated people do not find Zionism distasteful. The proper democratic citizen does not contest Zionism; doing so puts him or her in the company of obese, unkempt skinheads.

Baron Cohen reinvigorates this dubious history when his dictator travels the country ranting about Zionists. Who but a jackass would keep company with the cartoonish Shabazz Aladeen?

The first rule of good satire is to ridicule sites of entrenched power, not to reinforce them.

Racial satire is even trickier, for many a would-be satirist has used the cover of humor to buttress racist paradigms, something Baron Cohen does when he satirizes groups of people that are elsewhere victims of his troublesome politics. That’s the difference between Dave Chapelle, a brilliant satirist and stand-up comedian, and Baron Cohen, a buffoonish ideologue.

Sacha Baron Cohen is not a maverick. He is an apparatchik of Hollywood’s most profitable brand. [And Tribe!]

Posted in USA1 Comment

Media Continues to Dance to Zionist Extremist Piper on Iran

NOVANEWS

The controlled media continues to dance to the tune played by its Zionist extremist controllers on Iran. The latest example comes with news reports—now distributed worldwide –claiming that Uranium enrichment levels of 27 per cent have been found in one of Iran’s nuclear facilities.

The headlines, which have read “Iran enrichment ‘at higher level’ – IAEA” and UN finds evidence of 27 per cent uranium enrichment in Iran  among others, have all focused on minute particles found by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors at the Fordo site in Iran.

This has been widely touted as “proof” that Iran is developing enriched uranium for nuclear weapons.

The reports have all either underplayed or ignored the part of the IAEA report on the matter, which specifically states that the Iranian government had already explained that the higher readings for the particles were most likely caused by facility start-up procedures, and are a common occurrence at such enrichment stations in all parts of the world.

Furthermore, as the IAEA report reveals, Iran has continuously allowed full access to all of its nuclear facilities to international inspectors—unlike Israel, which has refused to sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and has never allowed anyone to inspect its Dimona facility where hundreds of nuclear weapons have been manufactured and stored.

In addition, nuclear weapons require uranium enrichment levels in excess of 90 per cent, and Iran has repeatedly stated that it only requires low enrichment Uranium, that is, up to 20 per cent, for its nuclear energy and medical programs.

All of these facts have not stopped the Zionist-extremist controlled media from continuing to incite hatred against Iran, with the intention of persuading the American people to support an attack on that nation, in exactly the same way that the Jewish Supremacists incited the attack on Iraq.

Posted in IranComments Off on Media Continues to Dance to Zionist Extremist Piper on Iran

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