Monday, May 21, 2018

Speaking of combating anti-communism at the DSA camp out- part 1

By SJ Otto
This past weekend I had a great time at the Democratic Socialist of America (DSA) camp out. Along with enjoying the great outdoors, I got to sleep in a small but dry tent through a very rainy night, at Eisenhower State Park. I came in Friday night. I hung out with people from all over Kansas, Kansas City and Nebraska. We all had dinner, drank some beers and socialised. That is what most people do on a camp out.
Saturday afternoon we had four speakers and/or discussions.  After all, what is a DSA camp out without some discussions on politics? The group was small, about 25 people, but these are the dedicated folks who plan to take what they have learned back to their prospective cities and inspire others. It was also just a good way for DSA people to get together and talk about what we are doing in our prospective cities and states.

First speeker: Combating anti-communism

Phil Brown, Omaha, Nebraska, gave a speech on "Combating anti-communism."
"Anti-communism is part of the US ideology," Brown said. "At every level of our culture anti-communism is pervasive. It's Orthodox American ideology. Communism is featured as an evil force. A threat to the American way of life, to the American dream."
Brown explained how the US created this climate of anti-communism which was obvious during the red scare years, but also pushed in more subtle ways.
" Leftist Groups have distanced themselves from communism," Brown continued. "They stress they are not communist. None of those attempts worked. If you challenge the bourgeoisie they will label you a communist.  A democratic socialist runs for office, he is labelled a communist. Red baiting doesn't help us. "
Much of Brown's speech was about all the ways the corporate leaders of this country have associated any challenge to their authority as communism.
"Even Medicaid could be labelled communism," Brown added.
He pointed out some of the absurdities of anti-communism.
"Many Americans see themselves as millionaires who are temporarily removed from that class by the fact that they just don't have their money yet," he added.
All of this creates the kind of class confusion that has protected the wealthy classes from the working class. It has created a kind of hostility to working class ideas while not being hostile to the upper classes.
Brown said that  anti-communism is a form of intervention and some leftists take part in it.
" Intervention in Korea, Vietnam, Latin America, Central America, regardless of what we think of these other countries some progress is made," he added.
Brown pointed out that most of the countries that have been labelled as authoritarian, un-democratic and anti-freedom, (common catch phrases) may fall short of the progressive values we want to see, yet they  began as movements that people supported for legitimate reasons. He used the fall of the Soviet Union as an example of a cause that many leftist supported, but in the end that support worked against a lot of them.
" If we are pressing for social change it doesn't help us too be red baiting," Brown added. "It makes a liberal or progressive agenda easy to shoot down."

I only stayed Friday Night, while others stayed clear through Sunday. Besides drinking beer and sleeping under the stars (sort of) I swam in the lake. A lot of people were there from Wichita. Jim Phillips spoke on the history of DSA. That story will be in part 2 of this story.

To be continued=>

Friday, May 18, 2018

Over 1,000 years of idiot divine rights governments and we are still obsessed with royalty

It is ridiculous that Europeans put up with the divine rights theory for more than 1,000 years, and that took place after several centuries of republican and quasi democratic rule in Rome. And even today people in the US and Europe obsess over the royal family and their weddings. The royals get a lot of money and a job where all they really have to do is stand around, wave and allow the paparazzi to photograph them. And how did they get this important job? They were born into it. the idea was that a person is chosen by God to rule over a country based on their birth. Hundreds of years ago these people were bloody tyrants. They were cruel and got their wealth from taxing the poor peasants who they abused.  -SJ Otto

From the Huffington Post:

They grace our tabloid covers and drive page views for websites. The sartorial choices of the Duchess of Cambridge ― and now Meghan Markle ― are seemingly endless fashion blog fodder.
And then, of course, there are the big events. Nearly 23 million U.S. viewers watched the coverage of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s 2011 wedding. An estimated 33.2 million people in the U.S. watched Princess Diana’s funeral in 1997, and around 17 million tuned in to see her 1981 wedding to Prince Charles.
“I think it’s fair to say that the American people are quite fond of the royal family,” then-President Barack Obama remarked during a 2015 Oval Office meeting with Prince Charles. “They like them much better than they like their own politicians.”
The interest extends all the way to Queen Elizabeth. Season two, episode one of Netflix’s “The Crown” attracted three million viewers in the U.S., according to Nielsen.
But why are Americans so fascinated with British monarchs and their relatives? We spoke to psychologists and royal family experts to find out.

A fascination from childhood
The first explanation may seem fairly obvious, but it’s meaningful: “We are fascinated and obsessed with fairy tales. They have been a part of our society’s fabric since childhood. They help us escape from the everyday mundane,” Dr. Sudeepta Varma, a psychiatrist and clinical assistant professor at NYU’s Langone Medical Center, told HuffPost.

For the rest click here.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Angst over Colin Kaepernick, player protests will be washed away as Supreme Court ruling on sports gambling takes root

So the serious issue of equal treatment of black people is now dwarfted by a new law to let people bet on sports. So human greed now tops news over equal treatment of human beings. People are once again, not more important to our society than greed and making money. -SJ Otto

Kaepernick, and player protests, remains a hot-button issue for the league to sort out. Whatever slump the NFL suffered from backlash over Kaepernick in 2016 sitting and then later taking a knee during the national anthem to protest inequality will likely be a blip compared to the coming wave of legalized sports wagering revenue and interest. And, really, when is the NFL ever about anything but revenue?
The gold rush is on for the NFL after Monday’s 6-3 ruling by the United States Supreme Court to strike down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which for 25 years has essentially limited sports betting to Nevada.
For the rest of the story click here.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Pulling out of the Iranian nuclear deal was a dumb-ass and dangerous move

By SJ Otto
Last Tuesday the US endured one more ignorant foreign policy blunder by our brutish-buffoonish President Donald Trump, as he pulled this country out of the Iranian nuclear deal. The consequences of this action may be grim. It could actually lead this country into war, as Amanda Erickson, of The Washington Post, suggested early today.
Very few countries in Europe are happy with Trump’s actions. I’m not a fan of the Iranian regime, but I also don’t really believe that Iran’s government seriously wanted to build a nuclear bomb. The agreement did provide some peace in a region that is constantly at war. We simply don’t need to be at war with Iran.
Each morning, as I sit at my breakfast table and get ready for work, I realize that the Republican Party has provided us with a president that is so despicable that I want to throw a brick through my TV set. Every few years we get someone as contemptable as Trump—such as Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush. These are leaders who make sure those of us who are poor, common workers and people on the left, feel exclusion as their right-wing policies are forced on us. Wealthy elites are given a glutton of tax breaks, freebies and an atmosphere of complete control over the working people they command. Workers are left powerless in an atmosphere where they have no control over their own destiny. Poor people are relentlessly attacked with a kind of pogrom that deprives them of almost everything they need to survive. Foreign policy under these leaders is an orgy of jingoism and relentless war against all who would dare to question the mighty US Empire.
And this action, pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal, is based on a desire for war against a perceived opponent as well as contempt for the former President Barack Obama. This is a major action based on intolerance of a non-Christian nation and a left-wing (at least compared to the far-far-far-far-far right-wing attitudes of Trump) president.[1] I should point out that a few Republican presidents, such as Gerald Ford, were able to lead this country without the blatant contempt that the other leaders inflicted on us. That’s not to say Ford’s policies were very different, just that he wasn’t in our faces so much as the other leaders.
Trumps scuttling of the Iran deal is straight-out contempt of any action taken by former President Obama. Trump argues that he can get a much better deal. He has re-introduced sanctions that will hurt the people of Iran. He has threatened countries, in Europe, who may find themselves in violations of Trump’s own unilaterally inflicted sanctions. He, and his flunkies, such as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, have insisted that other countries that do business with Iran won’t be able to do business with the US.
Trump claims he can do something about Iran’s use of terrorism. What he is really referring to is Iran’s support for proxy armies, such as Hezbollah. The US and its allies, such as Saudi Arabia, are doing the same kinds of things. We don’t call it terrorism when we do it. But the actions are the same. Saudi Arabia is trying to create its own little mini-empire, mostly in Yemen. They have been actively carrying on their own “terrorism,” such as recklessly bombing civilian targets. So Trump has two different standards for countries in the Middle-east. Proxy armies are terrorism if our opponents do it, but taking part in wars and expanding conflicts are just the norm for the US and its allies. 
Iran and Israel have already traded missile attacks in Syria, just after Trump’s announcement to pull out of the deal, which has proven Amanda Erickson’s prediction that the action would result in war. Trump is so sure he can develop a better deal with Iran that he is willing to put other people’s lives on the line. He is willing to risk the lives of US soldiers, along with those of our allies and the lives of both military and civilians in Iran.
We are seeing the actions of a swaggering bully who wants the citizens of the world to realize that the Trump “Empire” is something our president takes seriously and he is willing to bet the lives of other people to prove to himself.

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[1] Obama was actually a centrist and not a leftist at all.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

DSA members hear about Mexican MORENA Party

Members of the Democratic Socialist of America (DSA) heard about a new political movement in Mexico, called the MORENA Party, during their monthly Sunday meeting. Dennis Romero, who addressed the meeting, said the new party is similar to Bernie Sanders here in the US.
“Andrés Manuel López Obrador is their presidential candidate,” Romero said.
He added that the presidential elections will be coming up this July 1. He also said he believes this group is much more democratic than the Chávez movement in Venezuela.
“He’s about 20 to 40 percent ahead in the polls,” Romero said.
He added that he didn’t think the rich cared much about poor people livening in Mexico.
“If you want money, people there just tell you to go to America,” Romero said. He pointed out that there would not be so many people who want to come to the US if they could make enough money in Mexico.
Romero said that more radical groups have endorsed Obrador, such as the Zapatista Movement.
DSA members agreed it is important to get news from non US Mainstream sources, such as Del Sur, which is a good source of news on Latin America.

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Tuesday, May 08, 2018

WSU President Bardo trashes liberal arts education

By SJ Otto

Wichita State University President John Bardo (and we can assume with the backing of his “owners” David and Charles Koch), has taken aim at liberal arts education. He is taking a direct attack on a whole field of study. According to WSU’s The Sunflower:

Bardo said creating “an elite little liberal arts college” at WSU “ain’t gonna work.”
“Do we wish we were an elite little liberal arts college?” Bardo said to the crowd. “That’s not who we are.

“We’re educating people like you and me who have to go to work for a living.”
Bardo said Fairmount College — what WSU was formerly known as — was founded “to serve the working people of Wichita, not to serve the intellectual elite.”

He said he favored technology as a key part of his values of education. 
According to Wikipedia:

Liberal arts education can refer to academic subjects such as literaturephilosophymathematics, and social and physical sciencesor it can also refer to overall studies in a liberal arts degree program. For both interpretations, the term generally refers to matters not relating to the professionalvocational, or technical curriculum.

Bardo and similar conservatives, across the country, seem to be taking aim at liberal arts, colleges, degrees and programs. For decades conservatives have had a hard time dealing with Universities that have been sanctuaries for leftists, both liberal and socialists. Universities have traditionally drawn out leftists to their staff. Conservatives have tried to get rid of tenure, which has protected leftists, such as Marxists, from being fired. Universities are one of the few places a Marxist can feel protected from being fired for their views. But now Conservatives are attacking an entire field of study. There is a new GOP tax bill that is the latest example of an anti-intellectualism that’s been brewing for decades.

According to The Atlantic;

The GOP and the American right consistently position themselves against the universities. This is a commonplace of the culture war. But why? America’s universities regularly rank among the most prestigious worldwide, making undeniable contributions to medicine, science, technology, economy, the arts, athletics, and the humanities. America’s universities also attract some of the world’s brightest minds, spurring innovation and dominating globally by countless measures. Conservatives might be proud of the universities as particularly stunning examples of American pluck and ingenuity. Instead, the tax bill appears to be symptomatic of the GOP’s growing disillusionment with higher education. This is, at least, how a number of college presidents and leaders have interpreted it.

So Bardo is part of a growing movement of conservatives who want to tear down public universities all across the US. Why do they hate this kind of education? They seem intent on creating a society of autotrons. They favour highly skilled students with technical abilities. They look up to technology as the one of the most important traits of modern society. But they don’t seem to favour letting a person question the essence of our society. The study of social interactions might bring up such questions as the issues of fairness. They may have to worry about the possibility that socialism or Marxism might come up for discussion. Anything that questions the absolute value of capitalism and the positions such people hold could threaten the conservative way of life. They don’t want their highly technical geniuses to be able to think about society and how it works. They don’t value a person who studies philosophy or sociology in general. That is especially true if such a person is not employed full-time. Thinking about society—questioning the system or looking for a better system is something our modern conservatives don’t want.
The worst part of all of this is that conservatives, such as Bardo, are willing to destroy an entire field of study just to get their agenda across. Such narrow-mindedness has no place in a modern university. Bardo and his cronies don’t belong on a modern-day campus. Bardo has no business running a university. People who do that job need to be education oriented. Bardo would do a fine job running a small business. 

But he has no business running a school of any kind.

Thursday, May 03, 2018

Pompeo believes in “swagger” for the US

From The World Can’t Wait:
Speaking at the State Department this week, Mike Pompeo, Trump's new Secretary of State pledged that the U.S. will get its "swagger" back. 
Democrats raised a little alarm about Pompeo when he was up for CIA Director, noting that he had called for the execution of Edward Snowden and was against the closure of Guantanamo or the ending of NSA surveillance.  And then, they gave him the CIA to run.  When the State job came up, again, they said it was going to be "very difficult" for Trump to get him confirmed. 

That was a set-up to everyone who thought the Democrats would actually try to stop the Trump/Pence regime's candidate.

Only five days after being swiftly confirmed - with the votes of 7 Democrats - Pompeo made a quick trip to the closest U.S. allies in the Middle East:
Is that the cold swagger of a bully with more than 4000 nuclear weapons threatening to attack North Korea and/or Iran for either having a few nuclear weapons (North Korea) or having had possible plans to develop one which, according to international experts and inspection agencies, have been halted (Iran)?

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

May Day in Wichita, KS, This Year, 2018

By SJ Otto
This year, progressive people in Wichita, KS, celebrated International Workers Day, May Day, with a potluck and a movie. These events took place tonight. The group wasn't very big. Every year some of us get together and try to celebrate this worker's holiday that has been a special day all over the world.
After dinner we all watched the film Maestra which gives the incredible history of the 1961 country-wide literacy campaign. The film followed some women who actually took part in a literacy campaign in the country side where there was no electricity or running water. It was inspiring to see that some countries put an emphasis on service to others rather than pandering to the greed of those who already have a lot of wealth.
For information on the founding of May Day click here.

Here we are watching the film.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Many came out for Take Back The Night March

By SJ Otto
Several hundred people attended the Take Back The Night March, last Friday Night. The marchers started at the parking lot in front of the Museum of World Treasures where several speakers addressed the event. The march was sponsored by the  Wichita Area Sexual Assault Center (WASAC).
" One in three women and one in six men will be sexually assaulted," said Jessica Stong, the main speaker.
There were four speakers, and all of the speakers were sexual assault victims. Two of the speakers were men.
“In England, in the 1970s, Women got tired of being afraid of walking home at night and that is where they got the phrase, “take back the night.”
“I was molested by a family member,” said Darrel, one of the survivors that spoke.
He added that he was molested by an uncle.
“My parents protected him, he said.”
Another survivor, Sarah, said she had been raped by a guy who was so rough, he dug his nails in her.
All the speakers said it was important to expose those who are rapist or sexual molesters. They said it is important to not be ashamed, as many felt they were.  
Jessica Stong was the main speaker at the rally before the march.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Daily Kos defends Robert Mueller

From Daily Kos:

By Monique Teal
This is huge, HUGE news: Yesterday the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 14-7 to approve legislation to protect special counsel Robert Mueller. FOUR Republicans on the committee joined Democrats to pass this legislation to shield Mueller from Trump.

This is the first time Congress has advanced legislation to formally protect Mueller from being fired by President Trump. This would not have happened without strong grassroots support.
But our work's not done yet. Now we need to increase the pressure on Mitch McConnell and the Republican leadership to make sure this bill gets a vote on the floor. Can you chip in $5 to support Daily Kos and our work to protect the special counsel investigation?
Our next step in this campaign is to get Mitch McConnell to bring the bill to the full Senate for a vote. We will need the Daily Kos community to continue to put pressure on McConnell and the rest of the Republicans to do the right thing and protect Robert Mueller and his investigation.

Help us protect special counsel Robert Mueller and his investigation by giving $5 now.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Koch network success in Trump era draws Democratic pushback

The Koch brothers, David and Charles, with their sprawling networks, are now getting pretty much everything they ever waned in our government, thanks to our Idiot and Chief Donald Trump. They have watched with delight as Trump destroys the environment one piece at time, but definitely he is on track to leave us in the dust. Workers or losing their rights all the time and the Koch brothers love it. They love to see our workers graveling and begging their bosses for the most mundane rights.  They can’t stand to see workers controlling their own fate.
The Koch brothers are among the most dangerous men in the country today. They are fighting any action on global warming. They want to cook our planet and steam it up with industrial sludge.
-SJ Otto
Here is an AP article on the brothers:

By Lisa Mascaro, AP Congressional Correspondent
The sprawling network funded by the billionaire Koch brothers is having a very good run with President Donald Trump in the White House and Republicans in control of Congress.
Tax cuts are now signed into law. A conservative judge is seated on the Supreme Court. And many governmental regulations, including those on labor and environmental practices, are facing rollbacks.
That success is starting to get attention. Democrats are increasingly questioning how far the network's influence extends into the White House, casting the groups' backing by industrialists Charles and David Koch as puppeteers behind Trump's agenda and hoping to rouse their own donors to fight back. The network in turn is ratcheting up its focus on areas where it aligns with Democrats — most notably immigration legislation — and reviving calls for bipartisanship.
"We've come off one of the most successful years in our network's history," said James Davis, executive vice president of Koch-backed Freedom Partners and a spokesman for the
Seminar Network, the broader organization of groups and donors. "And we're going to turn up the heat on both parties to drive forward."
For the rest click here.

Friday, April 20, 2018

The opioid epidemic is really a fentanyl epidemic—and we don’t need all the hype

By SJ Otto
At least a few times a week we hear of “The U.S. opioid epidemic.” The news is full of scary statistics, with staggering death tolls. Some news outlets claim this is one of the deadliest drug epidemics since the 1960s. But as with the crack cocaine epidemic of the 1980s and early 1990s, not all the news we got was accurate. If we could believe all the hype and hysteria the mainstream news media fed us, at times we should have seen the country fall apart with so many people using these dangerous drugs. But America has endured from one drug epidemic to the next.
What is being called the “U.S. Opioid Epidemic” should really be called the “fentanyl epidemic.” With all the deaths that are being reported, most are attributed to street drugs mixed with fentanyl. The latest celebrity to die from fentanyl was Prince. The singer was using the common painkiller Vicodin when, unbeknownst to him, it was laced with fentanyl. The obvious conclusion is that he bought bootlegged Vicodin and it was laced with fentanyl. Police are finding that drug all over the streets, even in cocaine.
According to the National Safety Council, “Over 42,000 Americans died of opioid overdose in 2016, and government and public health officials are scrambling to find effective ways to reverse this frightening trend.” Such death statistics are constantly thrown at us by the mainstream news media. But what seems to be coming across more and more often is the fact that fentanyl is largely responsible for many of these deaths.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is supposedly cheap and easy to make. It is real powerful and is added to all kinds of street narcotics to boost their potency. The problem with this drug is that it is extremely potent.

According to Wikipedia, “fentanyl is about 75 times stronger than morphine for a given amount. Some fentanyl analogues may be as much as 10,000 times stronger than morphine.” Street heroin, in the past century, has always led some people to die from overdoses. For a regular dose of heroin to a non-addict is usually about half a grain. An addict will need several grains. That is a really small amount. For the same amount of fentanyl for the non-addict and addict, to get the same affects as heroin would require amounts that are no more than specs. A spec of salt or a single salt crystal would be the amount of fentanyl an addict might need to get high. It would not take much more than that to kill a person, addict or non-addict.

In the last few decades heroin has been sold in powder form, either in grams or “spoons” or “spoonful.” Recently some heroin has been stamped into pills. But the drug is almost always diluted or cut with other powders to stretch it out and make it appear as if the buyer is getting way more than they really get. Mostly milk sugar and quinine are used to stretch the heroin out. In the past, these powders have usually range from 10 percent to one percent heroin. So the user puts as much as a quarter gram, half or even a whole gram, when in reality the heroin is no more than a few pinches mixed with a lot of non-active powder. Some of the heroin today may be more potent and cheaper than in the past. The danger comes when a user buys heroin that is way more potent than usual. Other factors can contribute to an overdose, such as being drunk when shooting up. Alcohol and heroin are a deadly combination and should always be avoided.
In the case of fentanyl, the drug is so potent it almost has to be cut to prevent an overdose. And because it is so potent, it takes just a little too much, in a powder, to kill a person. It’s hard for the user to really understand how much of the drug they are using, especially when mixed with heroin, fake pharmaceuticals and non-narcotics such as cocaine.
The whole idea that doctors are the culprits, because they are writing too many prescriptions and luring people into addiction is ludicrous. Supposedly, according to recent news reports, people run out of their prescriptions and then head for the nearest heroin dealer. There are a lot of holes in this scenario. Overall this nation needs to be looking into stopping fentanyl and needs to stop wasting time chasing doctors who write too many pain killer prescriptions. There are plenty of people who need legitimate prescriptions for pain killers. There is no need to insist that the average person will become a heroin addict simply because he or she has a prescription to a common pain killer, such as Vicodin or Lortab. Such opioids are relatively harmless when prescribed for pain. We do need to spend public funds on drug rehabilitation for people who have serious problems or for addicts who want to quit. Funding for prevention also makes sense. What we don’t need is a lot of new regulations that make it harder for pain patients to get the medicine they need. We also don’t need more laws to punish people for having a drug problem. We don’t need more drug testing to throw addicts off of public assistance. Most of all we don’t need the hysteria that results from the hype and actions of politicians over these drug epidemics. We need to use common sense. In the 1980s we filled the prisons with people whose only crime was having a drug problem. Such laws created problems we are still trying to fix today. Recent statements and actions by our President Donald Trump make no sense at all, such as capital punishment for drug dealers. We need cooler heads and people who have common sense working on this epidemic and not reckless politicians.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The Failure of Welfare Reform

The following is in rebuttal to the very many articles by the likes of such writers as Cal Thomas, who are jumping all over welfare reform as an example of great conservative politics. The only problem the reform is a disaster as the following article shows: By SJ Otto

From Slate:

If you want a sense of how thoroughly America’s welfare system has decayed thanks to the reforms Bill Clinton signed into law two decades ago, consider Arizona.
Despite being home to one of the nation’s most crushing child poverty rates, the state has all but stopped giving cash assistance to its needy. During 2014, for every 100 poor families with children in Arizonajust 8 families received aid. And even that tiny fraction is likely to shrink. Last year, while trying to chip away at a $1 billion budget deficit, lawmakers lowered the maximum amount of time Arizonans could receive welfare payments before being kicked off the rolls permanently—it’s now just 12 months.
This was a first. Most states enforce a five-year time limit. Some, including Arizona, have gone as low as two years. None had tried the one-year-and-you’re-out approach.
For the rest click here.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Science March was cold and windy in Wichita

By SJ Otto
The March for Science was fairly small this year, maybe about 20 people, here in Wichita, KS. It was real cold and windy. The March was this Saturday at the Historic Courthouse stairs. The local march was sponsored by the Air Capital Sceptics.
Science Marches were conducted all across the country Saturday, April 14.

From CNN:
Crowds turned out in cities around the world Saturday for the second annual March for Science.
Saturday's crowds were notably smaller than those that showed up for the first march in April 2017, but attendees expressed as much optimism and hope as they did last year.
According to the non-partisan March for Science organization, the main event was set to take place in Washington, while more than 230 satellite events were scheduled around the world in different forms, be they marches, rallies or science exhibitions.
"There definitely aren't as many people present this year, but the people and speakers here are equally as passionate to help advocate for science," said Mackenzie Mittleman, 24, who attended the march in Washington for a second year.

For the rest click here.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Syrian Researcher: Focusing on an Alleged Chemical Attack Ignores War’s Ongoing Deaths by Airstrikes, Bullets

I have come across several people on the left who believe we should take a stand against the Bashar al-Assad (بشار اسد) Regime and some have even suggested supporting the Free Syrian Army, which the US has been supporting. There are a few points they try to make. Most have claimed they are not supporting US imperialism and yet they believe we should demand Assad step down. That is the same position the US takes and as far as I am concerned the US has no authority to tell a foreign leader to step down. Some of these so-called leftists are claiming that the slaughter of his own people is unjustifiable and we should take up the cause to get rid of him. I don't actually support Assad, but I oppose the FSA because it is a reactionary faction, similar to the Nicaraguan Contras. They are mostly Islamists. I am not an Islamist. I don't support Islamist revolutionaries. Many of those people would kill us if we went to Syria. I refuse to take up the causes of US imperialism. They plan to put puppet governments all over the Middle East. That does not help anyone. One thing I will not support is the imperialist efforts to replace Assad with a puppet government. - SJ Otto

As the United Nations Security Council holds an emergency session over the growing prospect of a war between Russia and the U.S., after President Trump threatened U.S. strikes in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma, we get response from Syrian-Canadian writer Yazan al-Saadi. “Let’s remind everyone that the U.S. is striking Syria already. You have more than 2,000 soldiers on the ground. There are bases.” He adds, “For me, as a Syrian, I see it as an occupation, just like how I see the Russians are an occupation on the country.” Regarding the alleged chemical attack in Syria, he says, “This ignores the fact that most deaths are happening through conventional means,” such as airstrikes.

For the rest of this article click here.