ho hum: a ‘cease-fire’ and the Zionists continue to assault Palestinians…

Another ceasefire in Gaza? No, thank you:

-Sharmine Narwani:

“…After more than 2,100 mostly-civilian deaths, tens of thousands injured or displaced and chunks of Gaza buried under rubble, they managed to get Israel to serve up some “concessions.”

Israelis seemed decidedly glum. Only 69 died, but there was no decisive “victory” either, which always rankles with the IDF and makes politicians drop in the polls.

…During the seven weeks of brutal attacks against the densely-populated civilian centers, Israel managed to put the Palestinian issue back on the Arab map, draw unprecedented global censure, and give wings to the Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions (BDS) campaign to undermine Israel’s economy. Israel also managed to unify Palestinian political parties across the board – a minor miracle – and make regional heroes out of the “Palestinian Resistance.” With every lash of Israel’s whip, Palestinians found new determination to break the siege of Gaza and end Israel’s occupation.

That’s all well and good, but here’s what needs to be clear: Palestinians did not achieve their goals either.

…Israel loves ceasefires. It is part of the occupation game. Every so often, Israel flexes its muscles and beats up Gaza. The trigger doesn’t even have to come from Gaza – the place is simply a convenient punching bag and is easily justified by the “Hamas-Terror” language beamed through western media.

The goal is always the same, regardless of what the Israelis publicly claim: To take down Hamas & Company a notch or two; to inflict pain on the population of Gaza in hope that they will turn on their leaders; to cripple Gaza enough to keep Palestinians busy rebuilding lives, but not fighting occupation.

I post a lot about genocide and colonization in other areas, but need to focus more on Canada’s sordid history. Here’s a start

Imperial Abduction: The Globalization of Residential Schooling:

-Maximilian Forte

“In Canada, there have been official government apologies for the abuses committed during the residential schooling era (which lasted until 1996), plus monetary compensation, and a truth and reconciliation commission that was constituted and recently finished its work. Nonetheless the fundamental ethos of residential schooling has not only been preserved, it has been amplified into a template containing the basic operating instructions for how to approach peoples around the world who are understood to be inferior. Such inferiority can be understood, for example, in the way that other people’s governments, no matter how indisputably democratic or legitimate they may be, are consistently treated as if they were disposable.

Residential schooling in Canada and its counterpart systems in Australia and the US, all intended to “save” Native children, to “educate” and thus “improve” them, is reflective of a classic settler state ideology of the late 1800s, which emphasized evolutionary progress through assimilation. It is not an unfamiliar ideology either, for those familiar with the thinking behind “modernization” theory and the basic thrust of international developmentalism. What is interesting to note is that it is only out of these same settler states that ideas of the “responsibility to protect” (R2P) emerged and were propagated at the UN in recent years. The main actors who articulated and advocated for R2P have been primarily Canadian and Australian.

“…whatever the label, they proceed to the same abuses: rape, torture, beheadings, crucifixions”

*graphic by Tim Anderson

Lilly Martin, an American living for the past two decades in Syria, writes on her Facebook page, Syria is my Home:

It is now the 1 year anniversary of the massacre at Ballouta, Syria. This is a small village 1 hour drive from Latakia. On that fateful night, as the unarmed civilians lay sleeping in their own homes, the Free Syrian Army came in the night and slaughtered 220 persons. Fathers, Mothers, Grandparents and children. Whole families and extended families executed. One pregnant woman was cut open, and the fetus left hanging in a tree.

Some did manage to escape and told horrific stories. 100 children, with several females were kidnapped that night and taken to Selma, which is a village on the border with Turkey. They were kept captive under ground where they were tortured. One little boy had his eyes gouged out. Another child was shot through the head for fun, by the FSA.

However, 9 months later, 44 of the children were released. However, the other 50 are still captive, now more than one year underground without sunlight.

The Free Syrian Army no longer exists. They have all pledged allegiance to ISIS. Will we ever see those children again? Please pray for Ballouta, and all Syrians who have been raped, maimed, made homeless, and killed by the Free Syrian Army and ISIS.

Terrorist groups come with many names, but in the end they are all the same. Radical Islam must be stopped. It is a cancer spreading and will infect and kill everywhere. This cancer was nurtured and fed by President Obama, Prime Minister David Cameron, Pres. Hollande, Pres. Erdogan, King Abdullah and the Prince of Qatar. These are the leaders who formed an EVIL GROUP called the London 11 group. The have funded and supported their baby: ISIS. However, their baby is now up and walking and coming to bite the hand that feeds it.”


4 citizens wounded by mortar rounds in Damascus:

“Four citizens were wounded, among them three university students, and material damage was inflicted to four cars due to attacks with mortar rounds that terrorists launched on Bassel al-Assad university campus and several neighborhoods in Damascus.

excerpts from a detailed 2 part article, “Wahhabis, the Brotherhood and the Empire: Syria and the Limits of Political Islam”

*graphic by Tim Anderson

Wahhabis, the Brotherhood and the Empire: Syria and the Limits of Political Islam (1/2):

By Tim Anderson, Paper at the ‘Competing Visions in the Muslim World’ conference, University of Sydney, 14-16 August 2013

**excerpts [full article on Tim Anderson's FB page]

“A collaboration between the Egyptian Government and the US and Israel began in the late 1970s, while Syria maintained its independence. The current alliance between Iran and Syria has much to do with that common anti-imperialism. It is hardly a coincidence that these two are the only countries of the region not to host US military bases, and are thus both subject to intense ‘regime change’ pressures. Iran’s second distinction is in having an overwhelming majority (around 95%) of Shia Muslims. So while apostasy is a contentious issue in Iran’s Islamic Republic, it can be seen from a more relaxed position at home, along with a sensitivity to the position of Shia minorities in regional countries such as Pakistan, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Syria and Egypt. There seems no real Iranian Shia equivalent of the Wahhabi-Salafi doctrine of ‘takfir’, where people may be denounced and attacked simply for having a different faith.

For the above reasons, I suggest, a different set of considerations must apply when considering Islamism in Iran. On the other hand, a common Salafi network exists in Egypt, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and many of the Gulf states, coordinated for almost a century by a political group known as the Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwan: the brothers). Because this network does indeed represent an intolerant Salafi current within Sunni Islam, it links with the Saudi current of Wahhabism and has been engaged in big power collaboration for most of its existence. As the relationship between western hegemony and the most intolerant of Muslim sects may not at first glance seem apparent, a little history is called for.

a number of useful links

round-up of sites to watch regularly:


Gaza Genocide and Canada

some readings…

Israel intensifies air raids on Gaza, destroying 13-story housing unit:

“Israel took its military campaign to a new level over the weekend, flattening a 13-story apartment tower a day after an Egyptian call for an open-ended ceasefire to enable new truce talks.

Local residents said the high-rise housed 44 families. Medical officials said 17 people were wounded in the Israeli strike.

Israel air strikes killed at least seven Palestinians on Sunday, medical officials said.

Sunday’s air raids came after at least 60 Israeli strikes pounded Gaza on Saturday, killing 10 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and bringing down a 12-story apartment block.

…Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his ministers on Sunday that the Zionist state’s brutal military campaign against Gaza would continue “until its aims are achieved.”

…Israel’s stated end goals have changed several times since the beginning of its assault on Gaza.

Netanyahu also called on Gaza residents to leave any site where Palestinian resistance fighters were operating, saying the locations could be attacked.

“I call on the inhabitants of Gaza to vacate immediately every site from which Hamas is carrying out terrorist activity. Every one of these places is a target for us,” he said in broadcast remarks.

Netanyahu did not indicate where he expected Palestinians living in one of the most densely populated territories in the world to flee. Almost 500,000 Gaza residents have already fled their homes and taken refuge in hospitals, UN schools and mosques, which have been targeted by Israeli forces on multiple occasions.” CONTINUES

As Foreign Insurgents Continue to Terrorize Syria, the Reconciliation Trend Grows

DSCN4270 (800x600)

by Eva Bartlett / August 22nd, 2014, Dissident Voice [republished at Zero Anthropology]

In June, 2014, I met with Dr. Ali Haidar, Syria’s Minister of National Reconciliation, in his Damascus office. An eye surgeon and leader of the SSNP (Syrian Social Nationalist Party, an opposition party within Syria), Dr. Haidar assumed position as Minister of Reconciliation in June 2012.

Eva Bartlett: What is ‘Mussalaha’ (‘Reconciliation’)?  How did it begin?

Dr. Ali Haidar: In February, 2012, the Syrian government changed the constitution, and in May Syria held Parliamentary elections. We, as an opposition party, joined the elections, because we believe that the solution is Syria is a political one, reconciliation between all Syrians…when there is talk between all Syrians.

After much discussion in Parliament, we drafted the paperwork requesting to start a Reconciliation Ministry. President Bashar al-Assad supported the idea, and the Ministry was established in June, 2012 when the President decreed the formation of a new cabinet.

Reconciliation isn’t that we are making a deal with armed insurgents. The idea is to restore the state of security in Syria. In our work towards reconciliation, we look at two main sectors: One, the insurgents, and the other, Syrian civilians living in areas controlled by the insurgents.

Regarding the insurgents, we differentiate between the Syrian insurgents and the foreign militias. The latter refuse any dialogue with the government and are simply terrorists in Syria. And unfortunately, they are large in numbers and are the leaders of the dominant insurgent groups. The only people we communicate with are armed Syrians, not with the foreign militias.

We encourage armed Syrians to cut any ties with the foreign militias. Then, we negotiate with them on how to reconcile. We’ve been very successful, in many areas, having them disarm and go back to their normal lives. We’ve had thousands of successes.

The second focus is on Syrian society. Syrians are suffering in all respects: their security and safety, the economy, social services, education, the large number of martyrs and injured, the kidnapped, the missing, the internally-displaced… We are trying to find a solution to each one of these cases. That is the deepest meaning of ‘reconciliation’: to return people to their normal lives.