As Christmas approaches, remember that peace and joy shouldn't go hand-in-hand with the creation of political prisoners. Ted Kelly (WORKERS WORLD) writes about one political prisoner in the US:
Since 1972 — nearly half a century ago — Russell Maroon Shoatz has languished in a prison cell built on stolen land, poisoned and irradiated by the fossil fuel industry.
A Black Panther Party member and soldier in the Black Liberation Army, Shoatz was falsely accused of killing a cop in the Cobbs Creek area of Philadelphia in 1970.
His family, pillars of their community, have tirelessly fought for his release and carried Maroon’s revolutionary message through the years, whether in solidarity with MOVE, Mumia Abu-Jamal, George Floyd, Walter Wallace Jr., or other struggles demanding justice.
After 48 years of imprisonment, Shoatz, 77, is currently held at SCI Dallas in Luzerne County, Penn. In 2015 the state Department of Health found the cancer rate there was “significantly higher than expected.” Shoatz survived prostate cancer only to develop Stage Four colon cancer in 2019. In November, he tested positive for COVID-19.
There's so much work to be done to make this a better world.
Closing with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
Wednesday, December 23, 2020. This is going to be a brief snapshot. And I warned yesterday that it would be late. I just got out of surgery and I'm still woozy so this isn't going to be very long.
Rakmini Callimachi has been exposed as a fabricator and a racist. THE NEW YORK TIMES 'reporter' is in free fall. Brian Cathcart (BYLINE TIMES) notes, "After a lengthy internal investigation, the New York Times (NYT) has issued a series of corrections and apologies relating to work by one of its star reporters, terrorism specialist Rukmini Callimachi, winner of both a Pulitzer Prize and an Emmy. Callimachi, who has admitted only limited errors, has been moved to other duties." Sana Saeed (AJPLUS -- scroll down) points out:
Caliphate, like most journalism around "terrorism" and "Muslim
violence" or "radicalization," relied on unconfirmed sources, displayed
disregard for usual ethical and factual considerations in reporting, and
uncritically accepted the Global “War On Terror” (GWOT) narrative. The
latter, in particular, introduced us to a lexicon of terms and ideas
that reinforce the concept of a looming, amorphous threat of brown and
Black bogeymen from the lands of sand and oil.
As an example, take the term “radicalization” – there’s no agreed upon criteria for how to define this term for any group. State bodies like the FBI have long exploited that ambiguity, and the media has followed suit. Think back to that moment when a horde of reporters in 2015 went into the San Bernardino shooters’ home and examined innocuous Muslim ritual beads and books as proof of brewing “radicalization.”
The Caliphate project and Callimachi's work were simply well-produced exercises in fearmongering rooted in racist tropes of Muslim/Muslim-adjacent subjects – even if you take out the fraudulent story of Shehroze Chaudhry, aka “Abu Huzayfah.”
Very rarely, if ever, does this strain of journalism focus on anything other than so-called “radical Islamist violence.” Other forms of nonstate political violence such as white nationalist or militias will be categorized under other beats. In doing so, nonstate violence by groups and individuals identified as Muslim or using language derived from Islam to package their political goals (whether or not it’s “actually Islam” becomes irrelevant) is pathologized; it becomes something unique, cosmic and disconnected from the historical circumstances and material conditions.
And in this process, there is a mass dehumanization of Muslims.
In the US, we pretend to be offended by anti-Muslim hate and racism against Arabs. We pretend. A blowhard like Donald Trump makes an idiotic statement and we all pretend to be outraged. Pretend. That's become so obvious.
Bill Maher continues to host a program on HBO despite his non-stop attacks on Arabs and Muslims. And Rukmini's actions are ignored.
Ignored? Why this or that reported on them!!!!
FAIR. Where's FAIR? FAIR calls out THE NEW YORK TIMES for everything. Except racism against Arabs. They've published posts at FAIR as late as yesterday but not one word on Rukmini. What about the other media watchdog? What about POYNTER? Nothing. This is the biggest media story of the week and not one word at the media watchdog POYNTER.
Again, in the US we pretend to be bothered by racism . . . except when the racism is used to justify war. Then all our 'brave' watchdogs look the other way. Racism that demonizes humans as 'the other' doesn't get called out. They're all Bill Maher in the media apparently -- which means they are all disgusting.
US President Donald Trump has pardoned four former Blackwater security guards convicted over their involvement in the killing of 14 Iraqi civilians in 2007.
Nicholas Slatten, Paul Slough, Evan Liberty and Dustin Heard opened fire in Baghdad's Nisoor Square while escorting an American diplomatic convoy.
The White House said the pardons were supported by the public and lawmakers.
But the father of a boy who died called them "indescribable" and a rights group said Mr Trump had hit a "new low".
Yes, that is disgusting. But as the western media is making clear, the lives of people in the Middle East do not matter. They won't waste time defending them. There will be a little outcry regarding the Blackwater issue because it can be used to attack Donald Trump. But it's all pretense and that's obvious by their refusal to call out Rukmini.
Again, in the US, it's Christmas time and that's supposed to be about humanity and peace and love and compassion and being grateful. You'd never know as the intrinsic racist nature of the corporate media --and much of the 'alternative' media -- is on full display yet again.
Christmas is a propitious time "for reconciliation and to achieve peace," writes the Chaldean patriarch Card Louis Raphael Sako in his Christmas letter to the faithful, recalling the apostolic letter "Fratelli tutti" in which Pope Francis invites us to "be brothers, rather than fight each other".
He continues "Christians and Muslims should leave their differences aside, love and serve each other as family members. Let us join hands as one team to change our situation and overcome these crises and give the priority to our homeland, by mutual respect that consolidate values of coexistence."
For Iraqi Christians the Christmas holidays represent a double celebration: because, for the first time, it will be a celebration of the whole nation, without making distinctions between Christians and Muslims. A joy and satisfaction that are the prelude to the visit by Pope Francis, who in early March will make an apostolic journey - the first abroad since the beginning of the new coronavirus pandemic - to the Arab nation, touching symbolic places: from Baghdad to Mosul, passing through Ur dei Caldei and the plain of Nineveh, the cradle of the Christian presence in the country.
The Patriarch writes: "For the past two decades, we have celebrated Christmas in an insecure condition that continue to worsen significantly in 2020 due to Corona pandemic in an unprecedented way. Moreover, we were obliged to suspend prayers and pastoral activities in our Churches since March 2020 for the safety of our people.".
We live in a disappointing time in a disappoint nation with really no one to look up to.
AOC is a non-stop embarrassment, Jimmy Dore has noted this repeatedly. But did no one catch this Tweet from AOC?
Marco Rubio didn't rush to defend AOC. And so she thinks its payback that's she not defending him or anyone else as Joe Biden's staffer offers curse words about Republicans?
Payback, is that what you're offering, AOC? Then you are useless and I'm sorry I defended you when you were called a bitch. If you were offended when your were name called, you should be willing to step and defend others. You're not doing that, you're being a hypocrite. You have nothing to offer except to reveal what a tremendous fake you truly are.
Nancy Pelosi is awful, no question, but AOC is kidding herself if she thinks she herself has the maturity to replace Nancy.
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