Forthcoming

“We have a system of justice in this country that treats you much better if you're rich and guilty than if you're poor and innocent”. from civil rights attorney Bryan Stevenson

“This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn. To drag a man in fetters into the grand illuminated temple of liberty, and call upon him to join you in joyous anthems, were inhuman mockery and sacrilegious irony. Do you mean, citizens, to mock me, by asking me to speak today?” Frederick Douglass, WHAT TO THE SLAVE IS 4TH JULY? 07.05.1852 (full text in blog)

Senator Elizabeth Warren "We're a country that is built on our differences; that is our strength, not our weakness"

 

Nov 5, 2018 A report on two pstate NY races:--CD 19, and NY State Senate 42. From Egypt and Tunisia new films by and about women-- "Youm el-Setat" and "El-Jaida"

Sept 24 Do war memoirs really advance education? Attacks on BDS and Americans' freedom of speech continues.

Sept 17-- Sport stars and politcal dissent stemming from Kaepernick's actions. NY State's Sept 13 Primaries

Sept 10  Assessing Muslim Americans' ongoing fight for Muslim rights, and in the context of today's election cycle.

Aug 27, Where are Muslim Americans in the US administration's immigrant purge?

Aug 20 Celebrating achievements-- Sam Anderson and Rosemari Mealy. And still more published memoirs fro Middle East peoples

August 1- The inexorable struggle for Palestinian rights

July 2, WBAI Radio  Exploring EXILE in American literature:--  "Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits", and "In The Light of What We Know".

June 25 EXILE in literature: a review of the novels "Cutting For Stone" and "A Thousand Years of Good Prayers".

June 18, The vicissitudes of Nepal's fledgling democracy. And a review of White House Ramadan "iftar" ceremonies.

June 11 The rentier economy of Jordan and current public protests. How the UK and US use Jordan. And celebrities' role in news.,

June 4 "Naila and The Uprising" a film memory of Palestinian resistance. And: why is Tariq Ramadan imprisoned?

April 30 How could detante in Korea affect other conflicts? And a look at our own role in plastic pollution.

April 23  The US mission creep into Syria, and more reviews of children's books about refugees. 

April 16  Why are Islamist rebels are being escorted out of the so called liberated areas, and where are they going? and a review of new Arab American memoirs 

April 9; Saudi Arabia's long and deep times with the US film industry. And we review the plethora of Arab women's memoirs

April 2 documenting war trauma. Do some war traumatized matter more than others? 

March 26 Iraq's neglected agricultural industry, and the persecution of Swiss-Arab Muslim scholar Tariq Ramadan

March 19, Iraq today. And the legal challenges facing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against apartheid Israel.

March 12,Commentary on the fall of Myanmar's Ang Sang SuKyi; and recent observations for Iraq.

Jan 8, 7:45 am Film review of "Land of the Pomegranates", and an introduction to the American organization "Muslimish"

Nov 27, Russia and Syria: commentary on this longstanding relationship in the current international scene

Nov 20. A look at the new crisis created around Lebanon PM Hariri's resignation. Comments on a culture that's infused and spilling over with sexual predators.

Nov 13 Update on Kirkuk, Iraq. Veterans Day USA: Is celebration of war heros increasing?.

Nov 6, WBAI  News of Kirkuk, N. Iraq after the failed Kurdish referendum; Accusations towards male religious figures in ongoing sexual abuse exposes.

Sept 25: Syria update: the changing status quo and resulting change in US media coverage.. The Kurdish referendum

Sept 18: Myanmar's Ang San Su Kyi's eary history; beware of simplistic sectarian analyses

Sept 11: women as pawns in justifying American "wars to protect"

August 28, 7:45 am WBAI. Linda Sarsour, Arab American and US Muslim community leader: in her defence. Margo Shetterley author of "Hidden Figures"

Aug 21, WBAI Palestinian-American Rasmea Odeh, stripped of citizenship and deported this week.

Aug 14: BN Review of the anti-Israel boycott action in the US Congress. WBAI, 90.5 fm

July 10:  Nepal just completed its first election in 20 years for nationwide local admin posts.

July 3, WBAI Radio. "All politics is local":-- the hard work of using local news resources.

June 26: WBAI Radio We ask why is there no anti-war movement in the US? And: “Martyrdom”—an archaic phrase but a concept we need to think about today.

June 19  On the 50th anniversary of the 1967 war, and Israel's seemingly unstoppable political, diplomatic and territorial march, it’s remarkable that the Palestinian voice is heard at all.

June 12  The dilemma of 'moderate Amercian Muslims; following ReclaimNY , a child of Steve Bannon and Robert Mercer.

May 1, Workers Day, WBAI 99.5 fm. BN Aziz highlights the rise of the 'gig economy'

April 24, 7:45 WBAI 99.5 fm. A check on our progress as American Muslims; and, Lynne Stewart: the Peoples' Lawyer. 

See Ramzy Baroud's assessment on how our Muslim community misuses celebrity Muslims as surrogates for their own stuggle.

 

Monday April 17 WBAI Radio, NYC. Why is there essential no anti-war movement in the USA?

April 10;  A critical look at media coverage of the US assault on Syria; and an update on ReclaimNY.

B. Nimri Aziz weekly radio commentary on events around the globe and in the USA. Listen in at 99.5 fm, or online www.wbai.org where we are livestreamed.

"We are more alike than we are different"

  Maya Angelou

March 8, Women's Day Radio Specials  10-11 am on WJFF Radio, 90.5 fm, and 11:am on WBAI, 99.5 New York: B. Nimri Aziz interviews director Amber Fares about her new film "Speed Sisters" and exerpts from 2009-2010 interviews with professional women in Syria, Nadia Khost and Nidaa Al-Islam.

 

 

As a Black writer, I was expected to accept the role of victim. That made it difficult in the beginning to be a writer.      James Baldwin

I often feel that there must have been something that I should’ve done that I didn’t do. But I can’t identify what it is that I didn’t do. That’s the first difficulty. And the second is, what makes you think you’re it?   

         Harry Belafonte, activist and singer at 89

 

It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble; It's what you know for sure that just ainst so.

Mark Twain

 

You can't be brave if you've only had wonderful things happen to you.

Mary Tyler Moore

 

 You can’t defend Christianity by being against refugees and other religions

Pope Francis:

 

"I don't have to be what you want me to be". Muhammad Ali

"The Secret of Living Well and Longer: eat half, walk double, laugh triple, and love without measure"  attributed to Tibetan sources

Recent audio posts include interviews with Rumi interpreter Shahram Shiva, London-based author Aamer Hussein, South African Muslim scholar, professor Farid Esack, and Iraqi journalist Nermeen Al-Mufti's brief account of Kirkuk City history. Your comments on our blogs are always welcome.

 

Fallujah1, Fallujah2,Fallujah3

2014-03-20

by Barbara Nimri Aziz

For over a month I’ve been trying to write about Fallujah. It’s an attempt to gain a grip on news coming out of Iraq.

This essay began two months ago when the name Fallujah leapt onto US news headlines with stories about al-Qaeda gaining control of what was known as a “restive” city populated by tribes “disloyal” to Iraq’s central government.

Across much of that land, day after day, year after year, Iraqis are being killed, wounded, disheartened and driven out by ferocious bombings and shootings. Somehow, it was only when Fallujah flared up that the world was alerted to real trouble. What can one make of this? Who is really responsible for continuing instability across Iraq? What kind of future can any citizen-- any child or parent or official, anyone at all--expect? It’s been almost 25 years since the cruel UN blockade began a continuous downward spiral of life there.

That January rebellion in Fallujah pointed us to a specific threat. And Washington’s response was swift--a commitment to sell the Iraqi government missiles and other weapons to subdue those rebels. Thereafter Fallujah fell out of the news. Apart from reports by two seasoned Iraq observers, Arbuthnot and Jamail that those US armaments gave the Iraqi prime minster a license to annihilate his opposition and crush the city once and for all, press attention waned.  

Until March 17, two days ago when we hear again about A-Qaeda.  Matt Bradley and Ali Nabhan give a dazzling account in wsj.com about a former Iraqi loyalist officer now heading those Fallujah rebels.  

Let’s admit it; for most of us Fallujah is largely a mythic entity. Alarm in the US press in January over Fallujah (let’s call it Fallujah 3) was augmented by a marketing campaign by Amazon.com using algorithms to alert anyone tagged as an Iraq observer about resources on Fallujah. For example, I was invited to purchase any number of books about the place. Not about Fallujah’s society and economy or its earlier history:—Fallujah 1. (Fallujah 1 is the unheralded city I passed on my 10-15 hour drive there during Iraq’s 13 years of sanctions with Fallujah’s lights signaling that we were finally nearing Baghdad. Fallujah 1 was a market center of 300,000 inhabitants, a major hub for the surrounding farms, where we stopped for supplies on our return journey across the desert to Jordan.)

No. These Amazon.com titles were about battles, specifically the American war on Fallujah.  Most of eleven books listed are accounts of the once-celebrated 2004 US assault on the city that defines another Fallujah: Fallujah 2. Fallujah 2 is an event belonging to US troops—their personal story of a siege and battle-- and to journalists who used these soldiers and the Pentagon as their main sources.

The Battle of Fallujah’s bloodiness and ferocity is mainly associated with the deaths of 450 or so Americans killed there. Not with the tens of thousands of Iraqi victims. That battle, 18 months into US occupation when Iraqi resistance emerged, was a celebrated US military victory. The alleged “subjugation of a key Iraqi city” was, we were informed, a turning point in America’s war in Iraq.

Simultaneously another account about Fallujah did not make world headlines. This was Fallujah 2b. This story is amply documented by the Italian RAI TV film Fallujah, The Hidden Massacre and a book by the highly regarded Al-Jazeera correspondent Ahmed Mansour. Mansour’s "Inside Fallujah,The Unembedded Story" (not included in the 2014 Amazon.com list) is further corroborated by two capable journalists also on the scene at the time—Dahr Jamail and Rahul Mahajan. 

Fallujah 2b is a very ugly and very different portrait of that Fallujah battle, a picture that during the past decade has been enhanced with health reports of Fallujah’s residents. Multiple studies confirm they continue to die and suffer from diseases caused by chemical weapons and other deadly projectiles fired on them. See for example Patrick Cockburn’s 2010 summary.

One cannot help but wonder if the fierce resistance of the people of Fallujah and their reported embrace of the notorious al-Qaeda today is not somehow an outcome of their suffering and injustice stemming from the 2004 U.S. assault and brutality experienced at the hands of American troops. There is sufficient documentation of that infamy that it must be part of any discussion of Fallujah today. The US military may have battled Fallujah and quelled that 2004 rebellion. But that these people were subjugated? It seems not.

Aziz’ blogs are also carried on www.counterpunch.org

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