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Everything Old is New Again

With Abbott’s opportunist, imperialist kowtowing march to war in the Middle East, legislative attacks on civil liberties to “balance” security needs, governmental hate-preaching racism, fear and McCarthyist terror-baiting the garrulous tenor of the day in Australia, Redgum’s classics resonate. Have you ever been a member of “Team Australia”? answer, quick, no obfuscations or context.

Aamer Rahman satirises Danny Nalliah and Australian bigotry against Muslim women:

Related Links

Fears escalate as more young Australians enlist in overseas terror campaign
As a Muslim, I condemn Ebola.

Tony Abbott apologises to Alan Jones for not acting on ‘hate preachers’ – Under this Grabbit Law, would the dogwhistling settler Grabbit himself have been admitted to Australia?

‘“By all means let Australians who want to say stupid things to say stupid things but there’s no point importing troublemakers from overseas to stir people up.”

Grabbit is also being disingenuous as under one part of his proposed new police state laws currrently before Parliament:

‘As well, a person would only have to be ‘reckless’ as to whether words could cause a person to engage in terrorism, which is far less than the requirement of ‘intends’ under the existing incitement law.

For example, statements supporting armed resistance to the Assad regime could be caught by the proposed law.’

Terrorists under the bed? TAB has the answer

JDL Australia & NZed #JSIL stalkers & promoters of violence now active again on FB

Orientalism and the ISIS spectacle.

‘The ISIS-led insurgency currently gripping the western and northern regions of Iraq is but a continuation of the imperialist-sponsored insurgency in neighboring Syria. The state actors responsible for arming and funding said insurgency hold the same principal objectives in Iraq as those pursued in Syria for the last three years, namely: the destruction of state sovereignty; weakening the allies of an independent Iran; the permanent division of Iraq and Syria along sectarian lines establishing antagonistic “mini-states” incapable of forming a unified front against US/Israeli imperial domination.’

ISIS: An expression of imperialism in Iraq

A War for Power

”How much death and destruction would American terror warriors have to cause before their ostensible opponents rejected their claims of noble intent? During the thirteen years of the “war on terror,” actions of the United States government have consistently and predictably strengthened anti-American terrorist groups. To chalk this all up to stupidity — rather than unstated imperial imperatives — is to choose ignorance.”

The Role of Proxy Terror

What is needed is a language to address this dilemma, that of the respective imperial uses of Islamophobia and religious ideologies, and in that sense takfiris, although sometimes derided as a sensationalistic term, is very much an exact term. What is not needed, what is downright pernicious, is a frightened language. A direct language must be fully prepared to address the awesome magnitude of the violence and cruelty and, it must be said, terrorism of this latest phase of imperialist repositioning in the region. A failure to do so will result in the victory of the Internet spectacle.

Always worth a reread at these times is Seymour Hersh’s Redirection article from 2007.

There are No Moderate Syrian Rebels

‘The Obama administration’s new plan hinges on Saudi Arabia’s support for the training effort, including an offer to host training camps on Saudi soil. The Saudis are in no way a reliable partner for the U.S. in the Syrian conflict. Even discounting the fact that Saudi-purchased anti-tank rockets somehow found their way into ISIS’s hands, the Saudis have a notorious history of supporting unsavory groups in the Syrian conflict, including Salafists in the Islamic Front. The greater Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the training program is, the greater pressure there will be for Islamic Front fighters to receive U.S. arms and training. After Congress balked at the Obama Administration’s request for $500 million, the Saudis offered to fund the training and arming of the Syrian rebels. This means that there is a large chance the U.S. will directly support groups who work closely with Jabhat al-Nusra.’

A Secret Betrayal — Kurdish Refugees in Iran

After Iran and Iraq signed a border agreement, Iranian support to Barzani stopped and the revolt collapsed. Barzani told the CIA that, “Complete destruction [is] hanging over our head…We appeal [to] you…[to] intervene according to your promises.” Despite this, “the U.S. refused to extend humanitarian assistance to the thousands of refugees created by the abrupt termination of military aid.” Kurds then fled en masse to Iran, where many applied for refugee status in the U.S.

However, few people at Embassy Tehran were aware that the U.S. government had made a commitment to the Kurdish people.

Victim Diva

Betty Boop Banalitytabloid burnt offerings
grovel to my dictates
shock horror twerking scandal!
if you could ask Elvis,
would he not say
my heaving gyrations
transcend colour, sex,
class and race?
your acquiescence
in this rotting pop corn age
my attention-seeking militates.

tread those egg shells lightly
i throw down each day,
my name writ smooth and broadcast,
to remain in orbit, you must obey.
i have no allies,
only competitors in crimes
of appropriation,
fickle backslappers –
fans are not fans who disagree,
my privilege is to make decrees,
blogged, statused and tweeted.

form inverted Vs,
witless adoration fuels
my trajectory,
that dance i made my own?
there’s nothing new under the sun
that has not been borrowed or
stolen in show biz
from non-white cultures,
just ask Elvis –
from above i may watch,
so twerk your tail feather
and coyly brush your crotch.

yet this sympathetic magic
can never transmute you to me –
are exploiter and exploited,
voyeur and object,
entertainer and entertained
on the same branch of the tree?
trust me, this industry enslaves us all,
i need you more than you need me,
get busy, buy my song,
pity me, and dance my dance.

Jinjirrie, October 2013.

Focus on elite individuals and their manufactured victimhood serves as a bait and switch – instead of challenging the structure of capitalist patriarchy, we are baited to participate voyeuristically in the divide and rule show enabled by the ruling elite and their oppressive structures, especially the media. There’s something to be said for the Australian tradition of tall poppy lopping.

It benefits the ruling capitalist patriarchy if women are seen to be attacking other women, if folks are absorbed with their own gripes and not on the structures of oppression. The ‘meritocracy’ divides, rules, disempowers and kneecaps the coordinated class struggle.

Musician Sonia Montez Speaks Out in Support of the Cultural Boycott of Israel

Boycott the Red Sea Jazz Festival in Israel
Boycott the Red Sea Jazz Festival
Inspirational singer and composer Sonia Montez advocates for boycott of apartheid Israel:

“When Mexico bleeds, and no one listens, who suffers. Would you play in a festival in Mexico that was supported by corrupt officials, the ones who feed into the violence epidemic sweeping Mexico? Do you not know that the Zapatistas have a history of supporting Palestinian human rights causes? You may think what is happening to the Palestinians is wrong but your willing nature to participate in celebration for their oppressors shows more of your character than your words offer. If music is beauty, what beauty lies in playing for a festival in which the native (like you are native to your country) population could not even attend because of humiliating checkpoints placed to break the spirit of said population. What if one day you were not allowed to return to Mexico because the government had taken over your land and placed more ideal residents there? Would you play for a government endorsed jazz festival. Do you think you’d be playing for the people then?”

Sonia continues on her Facebook wall:

Music, as I was taught, is a form of artistic expression and part of my being as an artist is an unwavering resolve to speak out against the bullshit my government supports.

and

music is “awesome” when the people making it behave “awesomely”

To a Zionist who attempts to smear and intimidate her, Sonia replies

I peacefully revolt for the future of mine and because I am a true mother who understand no mother should have to watch her child suffer at the hands of MY government. I will speak for the rights of your children, even if you choose to blind them in ignorant privilege. I do not want your children and my son to have to carry the burden your apathy will leave on the shoulders of future generations.

So, I hope they’re watching. I hope they see every video and link I post. You have just tried to make me fear my government, sir. I am not scared of you or they.

On Israel’s expulsion of Bedouins from the Negev under the Prawer Plan:

Right now, Israel’s Prawer Plan is displacing 70,000 Arabs from the Nagev Desert. People not allowed to enjoy your show. By playing in a government supported/endorsed cultural event, you are effectively distracting from and supporting this action.

Would you have played in apartheid South Africa? Would you have played for colonizers and settlers during Manifest Destiny? Stevie Wonder, Roger Waters, Elvis Costello, Chris “Daddy” Dave, and many others have joined the cultural boycott. What makes them over the top and you so correct?

Palestinians would not be allowed to put on such a lavish festival, just look at what they had to go through to put on a marathon. To suggest Palestine would even have enough funds to put on a music festival (because they would have to be allowed by the colonizing government to put on a music show on their own land and already live in inhumane conditions) shows mis-education on the the reality of the apartheid. I’m talking about independent and internationally recognized violations of human rights. Over 200 resolutions by the UNSC that only remind the apartheid state needs to heed the treaties they already agreed to but choose to violate at every turn.

….

You may play for people, but the government uses your silence to white-wash a very serious issue. You want to be a puppet? Fine, but then don’t get uppity when people call you a puppet. You could have joined Chris Daddy Dave and Palladino, the Matt Schofield Band, Salif Keita, Stanley Jordan… you could have become an educated artist. You could have done research and requested to visit Hebron, using activist escorts, so you could see for yourself how ridiculous the notion is that you are somehow lifting people up by playing the Red Sea Jazz Festival (which sounds like a pretty piece of propaganda from a brochure or something)

I am sure you are not watching these videos, why would you, confronting fact isn’t easy. But, in the event your curiosity and ethics grab hold, here is what you are really helping to “lift up” in a dire political situation (the dire situation isn’t political, it’s about basic human rights). You were saying “yes” to house demolitions, “yes” to peaceful demonstrators being pelted with uncovered and broken rubber bullets, “yes” to checkpoints, “yes” to ethnic cleansing with every hit. Your grooves translated into “yes” for kidnapping children in the middle of the night, “yes” to the illegal settlements (all settlements are illegal under international law), “yes” to the constant oppression and fear that Palestinians live through on a daily basis.

The reality you didn’t play for people, the amazing people of Judaic faith fighting the occupation that is being carried out in their name, you helped zionists. And, that, at the end of the day, is something you must live with. Every time Amnesty International finds a new study showing a more violations by the IDF, every time B’Tselem ???? has to demonstrate, every time a refusenick is jailed for not wanting to serve the oppressor, your name will be on the side of the system, not the people

Antonio Sanchez, whom Sonia Montez is addressing, replaced Chris Daddy Dave and the Drumhedz, who, along with the Matt Schofield Trio, cancelled performances at the Red Sea Jazz Festival held in Israel in August.

Related Links

Sonia Montez – Of Tears and Honey
A Bicycle Ride In The Park

Le Trio Joubran and Mahmoud Darwish

Mahmoud Darwish (13 March 1941 – 9 August 2008)

‘This siege will persist until we teach our enemies
models of our finest poetry

the sky is leaden during the day
and a fiery orange at night… but our hearts
are as neutral as the flowery emblems on a shield

This low, high land
this holy harlot…
we do not pay much attention to the magic of these words
a cavity may become a vacuum in space
a contour in geography’

from State of Siege

‘I am dreaming of white lilies
of a song-filled street
a house that’s well-lit.
I want a good heart
not the weight of a gun’s magazine.
I want a day & its sunlight
& no fascist victory exultation in it.
I want a smiling child in this day
not an issue of the war-machine.
I came here because I thought a sun
was approaching its zenith not setting.
I refuse to die
turning my gun my love
on women & children
to guard the orchards & wells
of oil tycoons & tycoons of weapons factories.’

from “A Soldier Dreams of White Lilies

I Have Behind the Sky a Sky

I have behind the sky a sky for my return, but I

am still polishing the metal of this place, and living

an hour that foresees the unknown. I know time

will not be my ally twice, and I know I will exit

my banner as a bird that does not alight on trees in the garden.

I will exit all of my skin, and my language.

And some talk about love will descend in

Lorca poems that will live in my bedroom

and see what I have seen of the bedouin moon. I will exit

the almond trees as cotton on the brine of the sea. The stranger passed

carrying seven hundred years of horses. The stranger passed

right here, for the stranger to pass over there. I will soon exit

the wrinkles of my time as a stranger to Syria and the Andalus.

This earth is not my sky, yet this sky is my evening

and the keys are mine, the minarets are mine, the lanterns are mine, and I

am also mine. I am the Adam of two Edens, I lost them twice.

So expel me slowly,

and kill me quickly,

beneath my olive tree,

with Lorca …

Related Links

Mahmoud Darwish, “Unbeliever in the Impossible”

Poems by Mahmoud Darwish

Mahmoud Darwish Biography

Selected Works: On the 5th Anniversary of Mahmoud Darwish’s Death

Sensational – Assaf on Arab Idol

From the Guardian:

Mohammed Assaf, who is thought to be the favourite to win the TV talent show, has enthralled viewers from Gaza, the West Bank and the entire Palestinian diaspora with his rendition of traditional songs – some lamenting the loss of his homeland – and his self-effacing charm. For many in Palestine, enduring a grinding existence under occupation, Assaf has come to symbolise hope and national aspiration.

AND MOHAMMED ASSAF HAS WON ARAB IDOL 2013 – CONGRATULATIONS!

Happiness to all Palestinians – may the news of this personal victory for Assaf raise awareness to the plight of his people in Palestine, and zionism be defeated all the sooner with the power of music.

More acclaim has been awarded to Mohammed Assaf. According to Ma’an Newsagency:

Mohammad Assaf, the first Palestinian to win the popular Arab Idol TV singing contest, will also become the UN’s first Palestinian ambassador.

A diplomatic source in Beirut, where MBC’s Arab Idol is filmed, told Ma’an the agreement was signed days ago to make Assaf the first-ever Palestinian refugee to become a UN ambassador. He will become the Palestine refugee agency UNRWA’s first-ever regional youth ambassador, the source said Saturday.

“A man with a golden voice is going to take the Palestinians’ voice to the universe. At long last, a fantastic story out of Gaza that will touch the hearts of the world,” he said, speaking on condition of anonymity as the ambassadorship had not yet been announced.

“It is is a wonderful day for Palestine and for the UN.”

From Mohammed Assaf’s acceptance speech: “A revolution is not just the one carrying the rifle, it is the paintbrush of an artist, the scalpel of a surgeon, the axe of the farmer. Everyone struggles for their cause in the way they see fit. Today I represent Palestine and today I am fighting for a cause through my art and the message I send out.”

UPDATE 24/6/13

‘The rocket fire followed a suprise Israel Defense Forces drill that took place on Sunday.’

So what was this Israeli forces ‘drill’ if not a provocation? a teddy bear’s picnic? – spiteful Israel began reprisals against Gaza last night.