The already bloody Israeli onslaught against Gaza is intensifying, causing hundreds of deaths and driving tens of thousands from their homes.
IT WAS the bloodiest day in an already bloody conflict.
On Sunday, July 20, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) rained death on the Gaza City neighborhood of Shejaiya, leaving more than 65 people dead. For hours, Israeli forces pummeled the area with air strikes and tank fire. Plumes of black smoke rose to darken the skies, and the steady crash of shelling indiscriminately rattled homes, shops and bones.
At least 17 children and 14 women were among those killed in Shejaiya. Medical facilities and staff were overwhelmed by the steady arrival of dead and injured bodies. Corpses wrapped in white burial shrouds were stacked on top of each other while pools of blood gathered beneath them. Traumatized and terrified families did what they could to shelter from the violence.
Beyond the massacre in Shejaiya, Israel continued to expand its ground offensive, using tanks to plow through residential blocks and calling in air strikes with increasing frequency. All in all, more than 100 Palestinians died on July 20, bringing the total killed during Israel’s 13-day military assault on the besieged Gaza Strip to 437, with more than 3,000 wounded. Nearly 80 percent of the Palestinians killed have been civilians, according to UN officials. By contrast, 13 Israeli soldiers have been killed and an even smaller number of civilians.
Since 2007, the people of Gaza have lived under a blockade imposed by Israel that has left the civilian infrastructure in tatters. Even before Israel’s offensive, there were shortages of medical supplies, electricity, building supplies and water treatment facilities. These shortages are now claiming the lives of injured people who would otherwise live.
Into this breach stepped countless individuals who risked their own lives to dig under rubble for the dead and injured, and who spent countless hours at hospitals and makeshift clinics treating the wounded.
Lab technician Taghreed Harazin carried her personal medical supplies as well as her baby’s diaper bag so she could provide help to those who needed it. Wadha Abu Amr, an elderly woman, cut her foot on a piece of glass as she tried to find somewhere safe from Israel’s bombs. As Harazin bandaged her foot, Abu Amr explained that she fled what is now Beersheba during Israel’s 1948 war to ethnically cleanse Palestine.
"I’m afraid that this is another 1948," she said. “God forbid. We were driven out in 1948, and we are being driven out again now.”
The death toll in Israel’s assault, which began on Monday, reached 81 by Thursday afternoon, including 22 children. Hundreds of Palestinians have been injured.
(Top photo: Kinan Hamad, 6 years old, sole survivor after Israel bombed his home and killed his entire family.)
Of course, this comes just days after the US government agrees to send Egypt’s new junta regime a fresh shipment of attack helicopters to be followed by further military aid.
“The United States will deliver to Egypt 10 Apache helicopters that were held up last year after President Mohamed Morsi was deposed, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told the Egyptian defense minister on Tuesday. Mr. Hagel said the helicopters would be used in Egypt’s efforts against terrorism in the Sinai, the Defense Department said in a statement. In a separate call, Secretary of State John Kerry told Egypt’s foreign minister, Nabil Fahmy, that he is certifying to Congress that Egypt is living up to the terms of the 1979 peace treaty with Israel, a move that allows the release of some aid to Cairo, a State Department spokeswoman said.” (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/23/world/middleeast/egypt-us-to-deliver-helicopters.html?_r=0)
Lawyers and rights campaigners say rulings infringe basic law after defence unable to present case and witnesses not heard
ONE HUNDRED years ago this week, the Ludlow Massacre resulted in the death of as many as 25 striking coal miners and members of their families, about half of them children. Members of the National Guard, joined by militiamen from robber baron John D. Rockefeller’s private armies, were sent in to break the strike that miners had been waging for more than seven months, demanding recognition of their union, part of the radical Western Federation of Miners.
The tent colony of about 1,200 workers in Ludlow was isolated from much of the country, but was walking distance from other smaller, similarly constructed camps. In sustaining their strike, workers overcame their geographic isolation—but also organized across ethnic and racial divisions that the operators had assumed would keep workers divided.
The workers at Ludlow came from all over the world. The strikers included Mexicans, Slavs, Italians, Austrians, Poles, Greeks, Japanese, Hungarians, Swiss, Bohemians, Finns, French, Swedes and more. Black and Brown workers who didn’t fit into these categories were tallied as “colored,” regardless of their ethnicity, and represented a small but significant number of strikers. This was the population of the tent city that came under assault.
In memory of Hugh Thompson, Jr. who died #tdih 2006 (age 62.) On March 16, 1968, during the My Lai Massacre, Chief Warrant Officer Hugh Thompson blocked fellow U.S. troops with his helicopter, had his crew train machine guns on them, and rescued a group of civilian Vietnamese villagers hiding in a bunker. His actions led to an end to the brutal massacre. Learn more from this ballad by David Rovics, here: http://bit.ly/19ZLJWY
On November 27, 1868, Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer led an early morning attack on a band of peaceful Cheyenne living in western Oklahoma.
The surprise attack, known as the Battle of the Washita River, is hailed as one of the first substantial American victories in the wars against the Southern Plains Indians.
Custer and 150 men of the 7th U.S. Cavalry attacked at dawn on November 27, after marching all night. Their target was a camp of about 300 Cheyenne living with Chief Black Kettle, who almost exactly four years earlier had survived the dawn massacre at Sand Creek, in Colorado.
Within a few hours of the attack, Custer’s men had destroyed the village and killed as many as 103 Cheyenne, including Black Kettle and his wife, Medicine Woman. Custer then ordered his men to destroy “everything of value to the Indians.” That included slaughtering more than 800 horses and mules.
Of the 53 people taken captive, most were women and children. Custer likely used the hostages as “human shields,” a strategy he used often during the Indian wars and wrote about in his 1874 book, My Life on the Plains: Or, Personal Experiences with Indians.
Although the incident is called a battle, it was more of a massacre, says Joel Shockley, a park guide at Washita Battlefield National Historic Site. Custer’s orders were to go to the Washita River and follow it until he found the hostile Indians.
Before he reached the hostile group, however, he discovered Black Kettle and his peaceful village. Black Kettle was leading his people to reservation land and out of harm’s way, Shockley said.
The Seventh U.S. Cavalry charging into Black Kettle’s village at daylight, November 27, 1868. (Library of Congress)
Damn. If you read only a single chapter of Marx’s “Capital,” let it be this blistering jeremiad in which he tears to shreds the hypocritical barbarism which characterized the dawn of capitalism.
With its colonial oppression, genocide against indigenous populations, and enslavement of African peoples, Marx writes, it is no exaggeration to say that “capital comes into the world dripping from head to foot, from every pore, with blood and dirt.”
The discovery of gold and silver in America, the extirpation, enslavement and entombment in mines of the aboriginal population, the beginning of the conquest and looting of the East Indies, the turning of Africa into a warren for the commercial hunting of black-skins, signalized the rosy dawn of the era of capitalist production. These idyllic proceedings are the chief momenta of primitive accumulation. On their heels treads the commercial war of the European nations, with the globe for a theatre. It begins with the revolt of the Netherlands from Spain, assumes giant dimensions in England’s Anti-Jacobin War, and is still going on in the opium wars against China, &c.
The different momenta of primitive accumulation distribute themselves now, more or less in chronological order, particularly over Spain, Portugal, Holland, France, and England. In England at the end of the 17th century, they arrive at a systematical combination, embracing the colonies, the national debt, the modern mode of taxation, and the protectionist system. These methods depend in part on brute force, e.g., the colonial system. But, they all employ the power of the State, the concentrated and organised force of society, to hasten, hot-house fashion, the process of transformation of the feudal mode of production into the capitalist mode, and to shorten the transition. Force is the midwife of every old society pregnant with a new one. It is itself an economic power.
The history of the colonial administration of Holland — and Holland was the head capitalistic nation of the 17th century —
“is one of the most extraordinary relations of treachery, bribery, massacre, and meanness”
Nothing is more characteristic than their system of stealing men, to get slaves for Java. The men stealers were trained for this purpose. The thief, the interpreter, and the seller, were the chief agents in this trade, native princes the chief sellers. The young people stolen, were thrown into the secret dungeons of Celebes, until they were ready for sending to the slave-ships
The treatment of the aborigines was, naturally, most frightful in plantation-colonies destined for export trade only, such as the West Indies, and in rich and well-populated countries, such as Mexico and India, that were given over to plunder. But even in the colonies properly so called, the Christian character of primitive accumulation did not belie itself. Those sober virtuosi of Protestantism, the Puritans of New England, in 1703, by decrees of their assembly set a premium of £40 on every Indian scalp and every captured red-skin: in 1720 a premium of £100 on every scalp; in 1744, after Massachusetts-Bay had proclaimed a certain tribe as rebels, the following prices: for a male scalp of 12 years and upwards £100 (new currency), for a male prisoner £105, for women and children prisoners £50, for scalps of women and children £50.
Colonial system, public debts, heavy taxes, protection, commercial wars, &c., these children of the true manufacturing period, increase gigantically during the infancy of Modem Industry. The birth of the latter is heralded by a great slaughter of the innocents. Like the royal navy, the factories were recruited by means of the press-gang. Blasé as Sir F. M. Eden is as to the horrors of the expropriation of the agricultural population from the soil, from the last third of the 15th century to his own time; with all the self-satisfaction with which he rejoices in this process, “essential” for establishing capitalistic agriculture and “the due proportion between arable and pasture land” — he does not show, however, the same economic insight in respect to the necessity of child-stealing and child-slavery for the transformation of manufacturing exploitation into factory exploitation, and the establishment of the “true relation” between capital and labour-power.
With the development of capitalist production during the manufacturing period, the public opinion of Europe had lost the last remnant of shame and conscience. The nations bragged cynically of every infamy that served them as a means to capitalistic accumulation. Read, e.g., the naïve Annals of Commerce of the worthy A. Anderson. Here it is trumpeted forth as a triumph of English statecraft that at the Peace of Utrecht, England extorted from the Spaniards by the Asiento Treaty the privilege of being allowed to ply the negro trade, until then only carried on between Africa and the English West Indies, between Africa and Spanish America as well. England thereby acquired the right of supplying Spanish America until 1743 with 4,800 negroes yearly. This threw, at the same time, an official cloak over British smuggling. Liverpool waxed fat on the slave trade. This was its method of primitive accumulation.
Whilst the cotton industry introduced child-slavery in England, it gave in the United States a stimulus to the transformation of the earlier, more or less patriarchal slavery, into a system of commercial exploitation. In fact, the veiled slavery of the wage workers in Europe needed, for its pedestal, slavery pure and simple in the new world.
Tantae molis erat, to establish the “eternal laws of Nature” of the capitalist mode of production, to complete the process of separation between labourers and conditions of labour, to transform, at one pole, the social means of production and subsistence into capital, at the opposite pole, the mass of the population into wage labourers, into “free labouring poor,” that artificial product of modern society. If money, according to Augier, “comes into the world with a congenital blood-stain on one cheek,” CAPITAL COMES DRIPPING FROM HEAD TO FOOT, FROM EVERY PORE, WITH BLOOD AND DIRT.
Helen Keller and Mark Twain
Keller and Twain shared a close friendship during their lives.
Twain viewed Keller as one of the “most remarkable women of the twentieth century.”
Keller once said of Twain:
I recall many talks with Mark Twain about human affairs. He never made me feel that my opinions were worthless, as so many people do. He knew that we do not think with eyes and ears, and that our capacity for thought is not measured by five senses. He kept me always in mind when he talked, and he treated me like a competent human being.
He never embarrassed me by saying how terrible it is not to see, or how dull life must be, lived always in dark. He wove about my dark walls romance and adventure, which made me feel happy and important.
That is why I loved him.
On another occasion, Keller wrote of visiting Twain in 1906 while he was giving a speech denouncing the war that the U.S. was then waging against the people of the Philippines:
We listened breathlessly. He described how six hundred Moros [indigenous Filipinos] — men, women, children — had taken refuge in a crater bowl, where they were trapped and murdered by order of General Leonard Wood. Upon these military exploits, Mark Twain poured out a volcano of invective and ridicule. All his life he fought injustice wherever he saw it in the relations between man and man — in politics, in wars, in outrages against the natives of the Philippines, the Congo, and Panama. I loved his views on public affairs, they were so often the same as my own.
Yes, lets imagine a world WITHOUT MUSLIMS, shall we?
Without Muslims you wouldn’t have:
Crank-shaft, internal combustion engine, valves, pistons
Architectural innovation (pointed arch -European Gothic cathedrals adopted this technique as it made the building much stronger, rose windows, dome buildings, round towers, etc.)
Treatment of Cowpox
3 course meal (soup, meat/fish, fruit/nuts)
Gardens used for beauty and meditation instead of for herbs and kitchen.
- Mariner’s Compass
- Soft drinks
- Plastic surgery
- Manufacturing of paper and cloth
It was a Muslim who realized that light ENTERS our eyes, unlike the Greeks who thought we EMITTED rays, and so invented a camera from this discovery.
It was a Muslim who first tried to FLY in 852, even though it is the Wright Brothers who have taken the credit.
It was a Muslim by the name of Jabir ibn Hayyan who was known as the founder of modern Chemistry. He transformed alchemy into chemistry. He invented: distillation, purification, oxidation, evaporation, and filtration. He also discovered sulfuric and nitric acid.
It is a Muslim, by the name of Al-Jazari who is known as the father of robotics.
It was a Muslim who was the architect for Henry V’s castle.
It was a Muslim who invented hollow needles to suck cataracts from eyes, a technique still used today.
It was a Muslim who actually discovered inoculation, not Jenner and Pasteur to treat cowpox. The West just brought it over from Turkey
It was Muslims who contributed much to mathematics like Algebra and Trigonometry, which was imported over to Europe 300 years later to Fibonnaci and the rest.
It was Muslims who discovered that the Earth was round 500 years before Galileo did.
The list goes on………..
Just imagine a world without Muslims. Now I think you probably meant, JUST IMAGINE A WORLD WITHOUT TERRORISTS. And then I would agree, the world would definitely be a better place without those pieces of filth. But to hold a whole group responsible for the actions of a few is ignorant and racist. No one would ever expect Christians or White people to be held responsible for the acts of Timothy McVeigh (Oklahoma bombing) or Andreas Brevik (Norway killing), or the gun man that shot Congresswoman Giffords in head, wounded 12 and killed 6 people, and rightly so because they had nothing to do with those incidents! Just like the rest of the 1.5 billion Muslims have nothing to do with this incident!
And once again, learning more from tumblr than school and forcefully accepted understandings of the world
Here’s a novel idea: Imagine a world without bigots!
even better imagine a world without morons who never bother to study cultures other than their own so that they know better than to state dumb shit like this here
Or, according to the logic of the original image, we could imagine a world without Christians. Hmmm, what would that look like.
Well, the Americas would still belong to the Native population, since there would never have been a genocide in these lands which killed tens of millions of people. Africa would be a prosperous land mass, as there never would have been tens of millions of slaves stolen from that continent, thus depriving the region of its most valuable resource, human labor. There would never have been World War I or II, as both were fought between Christian nations, and which caused the deaths of hundreds of millions of people.
We could really go on like this all day …
Of course, in truth, it is just as wrong to exclusively attribute all of these atrocities to a single heterogeneous religion such as Christianity, just as it is wrong to associate all atrocities that happen to be committed by those professing to be Muslim with the entire religion of Islam. There are many political, cultural, and social factors at play in any historical event.
[TW: Violence, photo of dead body]
Don’t hold your breath waiting for these massacres committed by the US military in Afghanistan to be remotely treated in the same way as the Boston violence. No one will question the religious background of these soldiers, nor whether their terrorism indicts military culture itself. There will be no moments of silence held for their victims, nor will most Americans even know that this tragedy had taken place.
Three years ago, the U.S. was stunned by a horrific story that emerged from the front lines of the war in Afghanistan: Several members of an Army platoon had killed at least three unarmed Afghan civilians, apparently for sport. The soldiers referred to themselves as ‘the Kill Team”—a nickname that seemed tailor-made for television news, which devoted hours of coverage to the case.
I wonder how many minuets of silence was observed by America in their memory. Or was American time too precious to be wasted in the names of these brown bodies?
Panjwayi Massacre. Don’t forget.
Simultaneously, over in China … apparently attacks on schools are a growing phenomenon there, too.
Whether it’s a gun, knife, or homemade explosive, a broken society with too many cracks in its social infrastructure will inevitably let fall through countless people suffering from mental, social, and/or economic dislocation who give release to their despair in the most sadistic and violent ways possible.
BEIJING — A knife-wielding man injured 22 children and one adult outside a primary school in central China as students were arriving for classes Friday, police said, the latest in a series of periodic rampage attacks at Chinese schools and kindergartens.
The attack in the Henan province village of Chengping happened shortly before 8 a.m., said a police officer from Guangshan county, where the village is located.
Is All That Turkey and Stuffing a Celebration of Genocide?
By Laura Elliff, Vice President, Native American Student Association
Thanksgiving is a holiday where families gather to share stories, football games are watched on television and a big feast is served. It is also the time of the month when people talk about Native Americans. But does one ever wonder why we celebrate this national holiday? Why does everyone give thanks?
History is never simple. The standard history of Thanksgiving tells us that the “Pilgrims and Indians” feasted for three days, right? Most Americans believe that there was some magnificent bountiful harvest. In the Thanksgiving story, are the “Indians” even acknowledged by a tribe? No, because everyone assumes “Indians” are the same. So, who were these Indians in 1621?
In 1620, Pilgrims arrived on the Mayflower naming the land Plymouth Rock. One fact that is always hidden is that the village was already named Patuxet and the Wampanoag Indians lived there for thousands of years. To many Americans, Plymouth Rock is a symbol. Sad but true many people assume, “It is the rock on which our nation began.” In 1621, Pilgrims did have a feast but it was not repeated years thereafter. So, it wasn’t the beginning of a Thanksgiving tradition nor did Pilgrims call it a Thanksgiving feast. Pilgrims perceived Indians in relation to the Devil and the only reason why they were invited to that feast was for the purpose of negotiating a treaty that would secure the lands for the Pilgrims. The reason why we have so many myths about Thanksgiving is that it is an invented tradition. It is based more on fiction than fact.
So, what truth ought to be taught? In 1637, the official Thanksgiving holiday we know today came into existence. (Some people argue it formally came into existence during the Civil War, in 1863, when President Lincoln proclaimed it, which also was the same year he had 38 Sioux hung on Christmas Eve.) William Newell, a Penobscot Indian and former chair of the anthropology department of the University of Connecticut, claims that the first Thanksgiving was not “a festive gathering of Indians and Pilgrims, but rather a celebration of the massacre of 700 Pequot men, women and children.” In 1637, the Pequot tribe of Connecticut gathered for the annual Green Corn Dance ceremony. Mercenaries of the English and Dutch attacked and surrounded the village; burning down everything and shooting whomever try to escape. The next day, Newell notes, the Governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony declared: “A day of Thanksgiving, thanking God that they had eliminated over 700 men, women and children.” It was signed into law that, “This day forth shall be a day of celebration and thanksgiving for subduing the Pequots.” Most Americans believe Thanksgiving was this wonderful dinner and harvest celebration. The truth is the “Thanksgiving dinner” was invented both to instill a false pride in Americans and to cover up the massacre.
Was Thanksgiving really a massacre of 700 “Indians”? The present Thanksgiving may be a mixture of the 1621 three-day feast and the “Thanksgiving” proclaimed after the 1637 Pequot massacre. So next time you see the annual “Pilgrim and Indian display” in a shopping window or history about other massacres of Native Americans, think of the hurt and disrespect Native Americans feel. Thanksgiving is observed as a day of sorrow rather than a celebration. This year at Thanksgiving dinner, ponder why you are giving thanks.
William Bradford, in his famous History of the Plymouth Plantation, celebrated the Pequot massacre:
“Those that scraped the fire were slaine with the sword; some hewed to peeces, others rune throw with their rapiers, so as they were quickly dispatchte, and very few escapted. It was conceived they thus destroyed about 400 at this time. It was a fearful sight to see them thus frying in the fyer, and the streams of blood quenching the same, and horrible was the stincke and sente there of, but the victory seemed a sweete sacrifice, and they gave the prayers thereof to God, who had wrought so wonderfully for them, thus to inclose their enemise in their hands, and give them so speedy a victory over so proud and insulting an enimie.”
The Pequot massacre came after the colonists, angry at the murder of an English trader suspected by the Pequots of kidnapping children, sought revenge. rather than fighting the dangerous Pequot warriors, John Mason and John Underhill led a group of colonists and Native allies to the Indian fort in Mystic, and killed the old men, women, and children who were there. Those who escaped were later hunted down. The Pequot tribe numbered 8,000 when the Pilgrims arrived, but disease had brought their numbers down to 1,500 by 1637. The Pequot “War” killed all but a handful of remaining members of the tribe.
Proud of their accomplishments, Underhill wrote a book (above) depicted the burning of the village, and even made an illustration (below) showing how they surrounded the village to kill all within it.
ISRAEL IS raining death and destruction from the skies on the people of Gaza.
After assassinating Hamas military chief Ahmed al-Jabari on November 14, Israel followed with a massive assault—under the benign sounding name “Operation Pillar of Cloud”—on Gaza.
… In the single deadliest strike since Israel’s military operation began, the Israeli navy fired at a home where they claimed a member of the Islamic Jihad was hiding (if he was ever there, he was apparently away at the time). The four-story apartment building in Gaza City was reduced to a pile of rubble.
As Israeli drones flew overhead, a crowd of men dug at the wreckage with their bare hands, hoping to find survivors. The Associated Press described the scene:
Frantic rescuers, bolstered by bulldozers, pulled the limp bodies of children from the ruins of the house, including a toddler and a 5-year-old, as survivors and bystanders screamed in grief. Later, the bodies of the children were laid out in the morgue of Gaza City’s Al Shifa Hospital. Among the 11 dead were four small children and five women, including an 81-year-old, Gaza health official Ashraf al-Kidra said.
… BUT FROM Israel’s top leaders, there was no concern about civilians dying. On the contrary, many called for a grotesque collective punishment for Gaza’s population.
Israel’s Deputy Prime Minister Eli Yishai of the Shas party, for example, proudly proclaimed, “We must blow Gaza back to the Middle Ages, destroying all the infrastructure, including roads and water.”
This is an explicit call for Israel to commit war crimes under the Geneva Conventions, which forbid deliberate targeting of civilian populations, including “drinking water installations and supplies and irrigation works.”
… Such attacks are not the actions of a nation “seeking peace” with Palestinians, as Israel repeatedly claims. They are designed to provoke a Palestinian response, which is then used to unleash an overwhelmingly brutal assault under the pretext of “fighting terrorism.”
The Israeli state has been targeting Gazans ever since they dared to democratically elect Hamas in Palestinian Legislative Council elections in 2006. For the act of daring to stand up to continuous, repeated brutality, all Gazans are now paying a heavy collective price.
It will take a mass outcry—here in the U.S. and around the globe—to make Israel stop its latest assault on Gaza.
"In all, 87 Palestinians, including 50 civilians, have been killed in the six-day onslaught and 720 have been wounded.
"Three Israeli civilians have died from Palestinian rocket fire and dozens have been wounded."
The Palestinian civilian death toll mounted Monday as Israeli aircraft struck densely populated areas in the Gaza Strip in a campaign to quell militant rocket fire menacing nearly half of Israel’s population.
An overnight airstrike on two houses belonging to an extended clan in Gaza City killed two children and two adults, and injured 42 people, said Gaza heath official Ashraf al-Kidra.
Shortly after, Israeli aircraft bombarded the remains of the former national security compound in Gaza City. Flying shrapnel killed one child and wounded others living nearby, al-Kidra said. Five farmers were killed in two separate strikes, al-Kidra said, including three who had been identified earlier by Hamas security officials as Islamic Jihad fighters.
Civilian casualties began to shoot up on Sunday, after Israel said it was stepping up attacks on the homes of suspected Hamas activists. After that warning, an Israeli missile flatted a two-story house in a residential area of Gaza City, killing at least 11 civilians, most of them women and children.
It remained unclear who the target of that missile attack was. However, the new tactic ushered in a new and risky phase of the operation, given the likelihood of civilian casualties in the crowded territory of 1.6 million Palestinians. The rising civilian toll was also likely to intensify pressure on Israel to end the fighting. Hundreds of civilian casualties in an Israeli offensive in Gaza four years ago led to fierce international condemnation of Israel.