The Evening Blues - 11-7-23
Hey! Good Evening!
This evening's music features New Orleans songwriter, producer and piano player Allen Toussaint. Enjoy!
Etta James, Dr. John and Allen Toussaint- Groove Me
"At best every single person who had any power and supported this [Gaza genocide], including Justin Trudeau, Biden, etc… need to go to jail for the rest of their lives. All their wealth should be taken and given to their victims.
This has always been true, by the way. Our societies have been run by absolute scum, basically forever. Our system does not work. It promotes to the top of both private and public power the worst people in the world, people who make Jeffrey Dahmer look like a boy-scout. If their victim counts were as low as Dahmer’s, we’d live in a comparative paradise."
-- Ian Welsh
News and Opinion
"God commands ... "
13 Thou shalt not kill.
1 Samuel 15
3 Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’ ”
Jonathan Cook - worth a full read, here are some snippets to whet your appetite:
The BBC’s Lucy Williamson was taken once again this week to view the terrible destruction at a kibbutz community just outside Gaza attacked on Oct. 7. As we have been shown so many times before, the Israeli homes were riddled with automatic fire, both inside and out. Sections of concrete wall had holes in them, or had collapsed entirely. And parts of the buildings that were still standing were deeply charred. It looked like a small snapshot of the current horrors in Gaza.
There is a possible reason for those similarities — one that the BBC is studiously failing to report, despite mounting evidence from a variety of sources, including the Israeli media. Instead the BBC is sticking resolutely to a narrative crafted for them, and the rest of the Western media, by the Israeli military: that Hamas alone caused all this destruction. Simply repeating that narrative without any caveats has by now reached the level of journalistic malpractice. And yet that is precisely what the BBC does night after night.
Just a cursory look at the wreckage in the various kibbutz communities that were attacked that day should raise questions in the mind of any good reporter. Were Palestinian militants in a position to actually inflict physical damage to that degree and extent with the kind of light weapons they carried? And if not, who else was in a position to wreak such havoc other than Israel? A separate question that good journalists ought to be asking is this: What was the purpose of such damage? What did the Palestinian militants hope to achieve by it?
The implicit answer the media is supplying is also the answer the Israeli military wants Western publics to hear: that Hamas engaged in an orgy of gratuitous killing and savagery because … well, let’s say the quiet part out loud: because Palestinians are inherently savage. With that as the implicit narrative, Western politicians have been handed a licence to cheer for Israel as it murders a Palestinian child in Gaza every few minutes. Savages only understand the language of savagery, after all.
For this reason alone, any journalist who wishes to avoid colluding in the genocide unfolding in Gaza ought to be increasingly wary of simply repeating the Israeli military’s claims about what happened on Oct 7. Certainly, they should not credulously regurgitate the latest agitprop from the IDF press office, as the BBC is so evidently doing.
What we know from a growing body of evidence gleaned from the Israeli media and Israeli eyewitnesses — carefully laid out, for example, in this report from Max Blumenthal — is that the Israeli military was completely blindsided by that day’s events. Heavy artillery, including tanks and attack helicopters, was called in to deal with Hamas. That appears to have been a straightforward decision in regard to the military bases Hamas had overrun. ...
For decades, the military’s so-called Hannibal procedure has directed Israeli troops to kill fellow soldiers rather than allow them to be taken captive. For the same reason, Hamas expends a great deal of energy in trying to find innovative ways to seize soldiers. ... To avert this scenario, Israeli commanders reportedly called in the attack helicopters on the military bases overwhelmed by Hamas on Oct. 7. The helicopters appear to have fired indiscriminately, despite the risk posed to the Israeli soldiers in the base who were still alive. Israel’s was a scorched-earth policy to stop Hamas achieving its aims. That may, in part, explain the very large proportion of Israeli soldiers among the 1,300 killed that day.
Joe Biden and Benjamin Netanyahu discussed “the possibility of tactical pauses” in Israel’s military operations in Gaza to facilitate humanitarian aid, according to a readout of a call between the leaders earlier today. ...
The pair agreed to speak again in the coming days. The readout did not indicate if Netanyahu was receptive to any so-called tactical pause, but he has ruled out the possibility of a ceasefire and US secretary of state Antony Blinken left the Middle East today with no progress towards a humanitarian pause in the fighting.
The US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, has ended his tour of the Middle East admitting that his efforts to secure a sustained humanitarian pause and greater constraint in Israel’s assault on Gaza was still “a work in progress”.
His comments on Monday followed a meeting with Hakan Fidan, the Turkish foreign minister, in Ankara. He will now head to a meeting of G7 foreign ministers in Japan where he will brief colleagues on the US approach to the crisis, and its impact on western standing.
Over four days of talks, which started in Jerusalem, diplomatic progress appears if anything to have gone into reverse. Blinken was unable to persuade the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Neyanyahu, to adopt a humanitarian pause while talks on hostages stalled over the sequencing and length of the pause in hostilities required for their release.
In a further bombardment on Sunday night, Israel also imposed another temporary communication blackout in Gaza, despite US requests not to do so.
The number of aid trucks crossing the Egyptian border into Gaza at the Rafah crossing went down from 100 on Friday to closer to 30 in the following days.
Watch a libertarian make a total ass of himself:
The IDF bombed the al-Maghazi refugee camp on Saturday, killing at least 51 people according to the Palestinian WAFA news agency, and injuring dozens more. Mohammed Alaloul, a journalist for Turkey’s Anadolu Agency, reported: “An Israeli air strike targeted my neighbors’ house in Al-Maghazi camp. The house next door partially collapsed.” He added that two of his sons—Ahmed, 13, and Qais, 4—had been killed and his wife, mother and two other children were injured.
The IDF bombed schools that were being used as shelters in refugee camps at Al Bureij, killing at least 15, and Jabaliya, killing six—in a camp that had already been bombed three times last week, killing hundreds. UN officials warned that this might be a sign that IDF forces could bomb more of the roughly 150 UN shelters in Gaza, which are housing around 700,000 of Gaza’s roughly 2.2 million population. ...
US officials have ruled out even a ceasefire in talks with their Middle Eastern counterparts. As he met Jordanian and Egyptian officials in Jordan’s capital Amman, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken ruled out any halting of the IDF onslaught against Gaza. A ceasefire, Blinken said, would “leave Hamas in place to regroup and repeat attacks.”
In a series of debased, politically-criminal statements, Israeli officials made it clear that they intend to annihilate Gaza’s Palestinian populations, except possibly for those who accept relocation to concentration camps outside Gaza. These statements came after Israeli Intelligence Ministry officials proposed last week to kill all Palestinians who did not accept deportation outside of Gaza, thus completely destroying the area’s Palestinian population.
On Sunday, Israeli Heritage Minister Amichai Eliyahu said he was dissatisfied with the current level of mass killing in Gaza and supported annihilating the zone with nuclear bombs. Asked on Kol Barama radio if he supported dropping “some kind of atomic bomb” on Gaza, Eliyahu replied: “That’s one option.” Israeli Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government issued a reprimand to Eliyahu for making this statement, claiming it was “disconnected from reality.” Other Israeli ministers’ statements show, however, that Eliyahu’s genocidal statement was not an exaggeration or aberration, but faithfully reflect Netanyahu’s policies.
Israel demonstrates its respect for international law and international institutions by murdering UN aid workers:
The deaths of scores of aid workers in airstrikes on Gaza over the past month has made the conflict the deadliest ever for UN workers. At least 88 people who worked for the UN’s agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, have been killed since 7 October. Forty-seven of its buildings have been damaged.
Separately, at least 150 health workers have been killed in Gaza – 16 while on duty – and 18 emergency-service workers for Gaza’s civil defence, according to the UN. More than 100 health facilities have been damaged.
As journalists in Gaza reported that the Israel Defense Forces bombed the cancer ward of a pediatric hospital in Gaza City on Sunday, advocates for a cease-fire in the blockaded enclave pleaded with powerful Western countries allied with Israel—including the United States—to take action to stop the bombardment that has now killed more than 4,000 children in one month.
Local news outlets Palestinian Hadath, Mayadeen, Haya Jadeeda, and Quds Network reported that the third floor of al-Rantisi Pediatric Hospital had been hit by an Israeli airstrike, while Reutersreported that eight people had been killed in the attack.
The Daily Beast reported late last month that medical providers in the ward, which is called the Dr. Musa and Suhaila Nasir Pediatric Cancer Department and is the first and only children's oncology department in Gaza, feared a possible bombing of the hospital, where at least 10 children were receiving in-patient treatment and could not be evacuated when Israeli officials threatened northern Gaza with imminent airstrikes.
"It's an impossible situation," said Dr. Zeena Salman, an American pediatric oncologist who has volunteered at the hospital, told The Daily Beast. "There's a number of patients who are not stable enough to transfer to another hospital. And there may not be enough resources in the hospital."
Al-Rantisi Hospital has also been providing shelter to around 1,000 civilians since Israel's total siege in Gaza began last month.
In its latest show of solidarity with the Palestinian people, the government of South Africa on Monday announced it will withdraw all diplomatic staff from Israel over its objection to what one official called the Israeli military's "genocidal acts" against Gaza and the West Bank during its ongoing assault on the blockaded enclave.
All of South Africa's diplomats have been called back from Tel Aviv, said Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, a minister in the office of President Cyril Ramaphosa, who said last month that people in South Africa, where an official apartheid system was in place for more than four decades, "can relate to what is happening to Palestinians."
As the death toll in Gaza climbed over 10,000 and the number of children killed by Israel's bombardment surpassed 4,100, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni told the press that the diplomatic mission was being recalled because "a genocide under the watch of the international community cannot be tolerated."
"The failure of the international community to hold Israel to account and... to stop the impunity and the genocidal acts that the Israeli government is doing to the Palestinian people will mean a total collapse of a multinational system," said Ntshavheni. "If... the United States does not stop the bombardment by Israel of the Palestinian territory, it will mean everybody will take matters in their own hands and do as they please."
Hundreds of protesters succeeded Monday in blocking the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, or ILWU, from loading weapons onto a ship docked at the Port of Tacoma in Washington State and believed to be headed to Israel, which has killed more than 10,000 people in Gaza in a month of heavy bombing.
In an Instagram post published around 4:50 pm PT, Arab Resource and Organizing Center (AROC) Bay Area said that demonstrators picketed the port for 12 hours and managed to delay the ship by more than eight. While ILWU workers were not able to load the vessel, military personnel managed to secure the cargo.
"Today they wanted to get in and out as fast as they could because they are ashamed of what they're doing," one demonstrator said in a video shared on AROC Bay Area's Instagram. "They didn't want us to be able to be here and stop them."
"We showed the world that Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia, no one in the Pacific Northwest is going to say it's OK to commit genocide," they added.
The ILWU had originally been scheduled to load the MV Cape Orlando between 7 and 8 am local time, according to a schedule shared by local Real Change News reporter Guy Oron. However, ILWU workers toldBreakThrough News that dispatch told them Monday morning the ship would be loaded by military personnel already inside the terminal when the protest started. ILWU workers have a right not to work any vessels that present "health and safety" concerns such as a demonstration, and one worker told BreakThrough they would not cross a picket line. ...
The organizers said that activists would continue to track the ship en route to Israel.
"Our comrades across the world are going to be showing up at the next place this boat goes," the organizer in the AROC Bay Area Instagram video said.
Donald Tusk, who declared victory in last month’s Polish parliamentary election, will have to wait several weeks before having a chance to form a government after the president, Andrzej Duda, said he would offer the first chance to do so to the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party.
PiS, the nationalist, populist party that has governed Poland for the past eight years, won the most votes of any party in the election but fell far short of a majority of seats in parliament. All other parties have ruled out entering a coalition with them, leaving them without any obvious path to retain power. A broad coalition of opposition forces, the biggest of which is led by Tusk, the former prime minister and European Council president, have said they are ready and willing to form a government.
Constitutionally, however, the president chooses who gets the first shot at forming a coalition. Duda, who has long been aligned with PiS, has taken his time to make a decision, which has been seen by many as a time-wasting tactic. On Monday evening, in a televised address, Duda said he had held consultations with PiS and Tusk’s Civic Coalition and both had claimed to be confident of forming a government.
“Both – the representatives of Law and Justice, which obtained the best result in the elections, and the Civic Coalition, which took second place – presented their candidates for prime minister and expressed their will to form a government,” said Duda. “Therefore, I decided to continue the good parliamentary tradition, according to which the opportunity to form a government is given to the winning party.”
Duda nominated the PiS prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, as his candidate. When the Sejm, the lower house of Poland’s parliament, reconvenes next Monday, Morawiecki will have two weeks to attempt to form a working majority. PiS figures have claimed they still have a chance to build a coalition.
Nearly five dozen people indicted on racketeering (Rico) charges related to protests against a planned police and firefighter training facility near Atlanta appeared in court on Monday as their supporters rallied outside the courthouse. ...
The Georgia attorney general, Chris Carr, obtained a sweeping indictment in August, using the state’s anti-racketeering law to target the protesters and characterizing them as “militant anarchists”.
Demonstrators and civil rights organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union, have condemned the indictment and accused Carr, a Republican, of levying heavy-handed charges to try to silence a movement that has galvanized environmentalists and anti-police protesters across the country.
All 61 people indicted were scheduled to be arraigned on Monday, that is to have the charges against them formally read in court. Fifty-seven of them appeared, called in small groups before the Fulton county superior court judge Kimberly Esmond Adams over a three-hour period, and each waived arraignment.
The US and UK militaries owe at least $111bn in reparations to communities most harmed by their planet-heating pollution, a first-of-its-kind study calculates. The research employs a “social cost of carbon” framework – a way to estimate the cost, in dollars, of the climate damage done by each additional tonne of carbon in the atmosphere. “The environmental costs of maintaining the global military reach of the US and UK armed forces are astonishing,” said Patrick Bigger, research director of the Climate and Community Project and co-author of the report.
According to the report, which was published by the UK-based thinktank Common Wealth and the US-based Climate and Community Project, the two militaries have generated at least 430m metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent since the 2015 United Nations Paris climate agreement. That’s more than the total greenhouse gas emissions produced in the UK last year.
To offer minimal compensation for damage caused by those emissions, the US military should offer $106bn in international climate financing, while the UK military should offer $5bn, the researchers write, employing an equation drawn up by a Columbia University researcher in 2021. Those figures, though eye-popping, are “extremely conservative”, the authors say.
“We wanted to get a sense of the minimum scale of climate finance that both of these countries owe due to the effects of their military operations,” said Khem Rogaly, a researcher at Common Wealth and study co-author. “But it really is the minimum.” One reason: they are based on “opaque” and “incomplete” data from the US and UK governments, which don’t include most emissions from the institutions’ supply chains. The figures omit data from 2017 and 2018, when the UK military failed to report its emissions estimates, and from 2022, which the US has not yet released. They also fail to account for certain climate impacts of military activity such as the unique climate-warming properties of jet fuel, among other issues.
Also of Interest
Here are some articles of interest, some which defied fair-use abstraction.
A Little Night Music
Allen Toussaint - Everything I Do Gohn Be Funky
Allen Toussaint - Sweet Touch Of Love
Allen Toussaint - Yes We Can Can
Allen Toussaint - On Your Way Down
Allen Toussaint - Chokin' Kind
Allen Toussaint - A Certain Girl
Allen Toussaint - Working in the Coalmine
Allen Toussaint - Soul Sister
Allen Toussaint - From A Whisper To A Scream
Allen Toussaint - St. James Infirmary
Allen Toussaint - Wham Tousan