Is Marco Rubio ‘far-right’?

These links certainly seem to think so:

  • “[He] tacked to the far right in his Senate votes and his rhetoric.” HuffPost
  • “Rubio Turns Hard Right” The Atlantic
  • “Here are seven ways Rubio is far more extreme than other candidates” ThinkProgress
  • “Marco Rubio’s support for a far-right candidate is unsurprising to anyone who has watched his career from the beginning. As a perpetual hypocrite, Rubio has a solid record of doing and saying anything that will advance his own personal interests.” HuffPost
  • “Meet Marco Rubio’s Far-Right Neocon Donors… [He] has proven himself a reliable ally of hardline supporters of Israel…” The Nation
  • “This man is a wingnut: Why Marco Rubio is as extreme as the rest of the lot” Salon
  • “[He] is a reflexive military interventionist with appalling judgment” The American Conservative

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Palestinian right of return: UN Resolution 194 and Israel’s ethnic nationalism

“refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible;”

Sources: 1) and 2)

 

“Israelis have largely rejected this passage, believing that it in effect is calling for the “right of return” of Palestinian refugees to Israel, something that would destroy the Jewish character of the state.”

Source: 3)

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Words from Qamişlo after the 27 July massacre

These responses came from a YPG official in Qamişlo, Rojava, after the horrific Daesh (Isis/Isil) massacre of 27 July.

What is life usually like in Qamişlo?

Despite being a Kurdish city, Qamişlo also has an Arab, Assyrian and Syriac population. Although there are sometimes disagreements in general, life runs at its normal pace. People get up to go to work in the mornings and all social spheres and businesses are open. There is a dual administration in the city. A small part of the city is under the control of the Syrian regime and the rest is under [Rojava’s] autonomous administration.

How have people been responding to the attack?

This attack was the biggest in recent years. Both civilians and buildings were targeted. The explosion was huge and destroyed a large area and many lives. The people ran to help in rescue attempts, and the injured were taken to hospital quickly. Rescue attempts are continuing with winches and diggers because many people are trapped under the rubble. It is also very hot, which makes things more difficult.

Was it an attack aimed completely at civilians or also at Rojavan security forces?

The attack occurred on the main road going from Amuda to the centre of Qamişlo. The explosion happened in front of the Qasimo Mosque, where the Qamişlo uprising first began. The mosque was completely destroyed in the attack. Because the bomb-laden truck was so big, it would have been impossible for it to enter the road where the Asayish [the local security forces] are based, and that place is also far away from the main road. This shows that the attack targeted the mosque and civilians.

How can Daesh be defeated?

Daesh is a mutation of terrorist organisations that were created by western states to limit and threaten states in the region. Now states like Turkey are threatening the European states and the west with Daesh. For it to be defeated, the support from these states needs to be stopped.

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Trump the authoritarian

In January 2016, political scientist Matthew MacWilliams said:

Trump’s electoral strength — and his staying power — have been buoyed, above all, by Americans with authoritarian inclinations

This assertion was backed up by an online poll of 1,800 Americans, which found that a belief in obedience to authority was the only “statistically significant variable” that helped to predict support for Trump.

On 5 July, voters got a taste of what Trump would be prepared to do as president. Praising former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, he said:

you know what he did well? He killed terrorists. He did that so good. They didn’t read them the rights, they didn’t talk. They were a terrorist – it was over.

In other words, the rule of law matters very little for Donald Trump. Whoever is deemed to be a terrorist (or in the case of Hussein, read ‘opponent’) is immediately imprisoned or killed. Many innocent Iraqis bore testament to such hard-line rule.

One example of his lack of respect for due process was in 1989, when he launched an ad campaign urging the rapid execution of five African-Americans who had been falsely accused of a rape in New York.

More recently, Trump has expressed his admiration for North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and for the Tiananmen Square crackdown in China.

The billionaire’s policies have also betrayed his authoritarian tendencies. For example, he has:

  • Promised to “open up” libel laws which would make it easier for rich individuals or government officials to protect themselves from media scrutiny.
  • Praised the internment of Japanese-Americans during the Second World War.
  • Called for parts of the internet to be shut down.
  • Promised to deport US citizens whose parents came to the USA illegally.
  • Called repeatedly for the use of more torture by the US government.

With these policies in mind, which have been likened to Hilter’s, it should surprise no one that Trump has been called a “latter-day Mussolini”.

Does America really want that?

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Trump the racist

When Donald Trump started out on his journey to become the Republican party’s presidential nominee, he made it very clear that he was more than prepared to push stereotypes about different ethnic (or religious) groups, saying (now quite infamously):

When Mexico sends its people [to the USA], they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people that have lots of problems. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.

But he didn’t stop with his fictional idea of “the Mexicans” as one homogeneous group of criminals. He would soon apply this philosophy to “the Muslims” and “the blacks”, too.

In particular, he played up to legitimate (but overblown) fears in the USA about the threat posed by Daesh (Isis/Isil). As a group adhering to the small, chauvinist sect of Wahhabism (like al-Qaeda), which represents less than 1% of the world’s 1.2-billion-strong Muslim population, Daesh should never have been compared to the entire religion of Islam. When asked whether all Muslims hated the USA, however, Trump confidently said (in an intentionally vague manner) that “a lot of them” did. He also called for:

a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States

And with this statement, he was essentially saying that no Muslims – Wahhabi or otherwise – could be trusted.

Trump has not only demonstrated his abilities to heighten ethnic and religious tensions since becoming a presidential nominee, though. His historic record of discrimination has been detailed by numerous news outlets in recent months. The New York Times, for example, concluded in one such article:

Here we have a man who for more than four decades has been repeatedly associated with racial discrimination or bigoted comments about minorities, some of them made on television for all to see. While any one episode may be ambiguous, what emerges over more than four decades is a narrative arc, a consistent pattern — and I don’t see what else to call it but racism.

Vox, meanwhile, said:

As much as his history of racism may show that he’s racist, perhaps who’s supporting or opposing him and why is just as revealing — and it doesn’t paint a favorable picture for Trump.

It’s no wonder, then, that there are states in the USA where 0% of African-Americans back Trump. Nor is it any surprise that up to 82% of Latino voters view Trump unfavorably.

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Trump the male chauvinist

Donald Trump, the man who owned the Miss Universe organisation for almost two decades, has become well known for his male chauvinist behaviour, including appearance-based insults and unwelcome romantic advances. He has been accused of treating women as “property” and has called breastfeeding “disgusting“.

In 1991, he spoke to Esquire magazine about the media, saying:

You know, it doesn’t really matter what [they] write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass.

And over the years, he has made a habit of objectifying women.

As a presidential candidate, says a woman who previously worked with Trump:

Trump’s positions on the issues are anti-women on their face. He is opposed to reproductive freedom. This is a fundamental right and important to most women in the electorate. He is opposed to the Affordable Care Act, which has empowered women. He is opposed to raising the minimum wage, which affects women more than men. He is in favor of deporting undocumented migrants who have raised families in the United States.

Considering his policies and his words, it is not at all surprising that over 70% of registered women voters in the USA viewed Donald Trump negatively in March 2016.

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Media criticism of Turkish State finally moving to the forefront

After the most recent terrorist attack on Turkish soil inspired or organised by Daesh (Isis/Isil) on 28 June, I once again highlighted the context of Ankara’s long-standing complicity with Wahhabi extremism – in anticipation of understated media attention on the current government in Turkey.

However, I was pleasantly surprised to see that a number of news outlets actually did blame the Turkish regime for allowing the spread of Wahhabi thought in Turkey whilst simultaneously waging war on the country’s Kurdish communities – which have been some of the biggest critics of Daesh and its allies in Ankara.

Committed advocates of Kurdish rights over at Kurdish Question and ROAR Magazine were always going to slam the ethno-religious chauvinists currently ruling in Turkey. But other sources which have unfortunately parroted government propaganda all too often also chimed in this time.

The Guardian, for example, went with the headline:

Turkey paying a price for Erdoğan’s wilful blindness to Isis threat

and explained that:

[The] President’s preference for blaming everything bad that happens on the Kurds is no longer working

The Huffington Post also released a critical post, headlined:

How Erdogan Enabled ISIS To Attack The Turks

Salon, meanwhile, said:

Turkey’s “double game” on ISIS and support for extremist groups highlighted after horrific Istanbul attack

Although increasingly measured coverage from the liberal Western media may be coming far too late for hundreds of murdered Kurdish civilians, it’s nonetheless a positive step towards exposing President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his cronies as the murderous chauvinist tyrants that they are.

Let’s hope they keep it up.

Posted in Daesh, Erdogan, ISIL, ISIS, Kurdistan, Kurds, politics, Turkey, Wahhabism | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

If the Democrats choose corporations over workers, Bernie will take the fight to the Convention

In spite of some concessions made to centre-left voters in the USA, the Democratic Party has shown it is unlikely to abandon its commitment to pro-corporate trade deals like the TPP.

If this situation doesn’t change, Bernie Sanders says he will take the fight for workers’ rights to the Democratic convention:

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RATM members fighting the US establishment once more

Prophets of Rage is a new supergroup bringing together Chuck D from Public Enemy, Cypress Hill’s B-Real, and Tom Morello, Brad Wilk and Tim Commerford from Rage Against the Machine (RATM). It has presumably been formed to encourage US citizens to hit the streets ahead of the US elections later this year.

RATM frontman Zack de la Rocha chose not to reunite with the group for this year’s tour, but has given his blessing to the project. At the same time, Chuck D insists that the Prophets of Rage are not an attempt to replace Zack, and that he will just “keep the seat warm for whenever Zack de la Rocha wants to come in”.

The best thing about the project is probably that alternative politics are being thrust into the public debate yet again. Guitarist Tom Morello, for example, has appeared on TV in recent weeks critiquing the exploitation at the heart of capitalism and insisting that change will only come from below – not by hoping that Bernie Sanders will somehow solve all of the USA’s problems.

See more of Morello’s comments here:

and here:

And see one of the first Prophets of Rage performances here:

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The Honduran State is still ordering the assassination of social activists

Back in March 2016, The Canary reported on the murder of land activist and community leader Berta Cáceres in Honduras. A founding member of the Civic Council of Indigenous and Popular Organizations of Honduras (COPINH), she had long fought against logging, hydro-power and mining projects. She was shot four times while in bed on 2 March.

For decades in the 20th century, Honduras served as a military base for counterrevolution in Latin America, training up vicious right-wing paramilitary groups with full US support. Today, seven years on from a US-backed coup against a reformist government, Honduras is still a country where the military machine serves the interests of local and international elites rather than Honduran citizens.

And this reality was further proven on 21 June, when reports emerged that Cáceres had been on the hitlist of a US-trained unit in Honduras. A former soldier, who has now fled the country, explained to The Guardian how he and others had refused to carry out orders to assassinate the environmental activist:

If I went home [now], they’d kill me. Ten of my former colleagues are missing. I’m 100% certain that Berta Cáceres was killed by the army

 See The Guardian article for more.
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