Monthly Archives: December 2007

rip benazir bhutto (1953-2007): 21st century assassination & sovereignty in south/west asia

Dear Readers,

Benazir Bhutto, the former prime minister of Pakistan, was assassinated today.   White pages, black typeface,  piecing together the articles, thinking they meant her death as a metaphor, please let it be a metaphor, and  there it was.  A mythical return, the first woman leader of an Islamist nation, gone too soon after her return to Pakistan.

I feel like, regardless of where you stand on Benazir, political assassinations have historically been used to paralyze nations and peoples fighting for increased recognition of their human rights. And it works. And this is no different.

Tariq Ali, journalist, intellectual, and fruit of a political organizing lineage in Pakistan that rivaled, though not quite matched Benazir’s own epic political legacy, wrote a piece on Benazir’s return in the London Review of Books, it came out in mid-December (http://www.lrb.co.uk/v29/n24/ali_01_.html).

Ali aptly placed the crux of the matter on regional sovereignty. The question now is what does Benazir’s assassination mean for regional, political and personal, sovereignty?

A couple standout quotes from the Ali piece:

–On Benazir’s return to an embattled Musharraf regime in which only the yes men suvived: “[Musharraf’s] political allies were worried that their opportunities to enrich themselves even further would be curtailed if they had to share power with Benazir.”

–On the impact of the decaying war in Afghanistan: “Instead of encouraging a regional solution that includes India, Iran and Russia, the US would prefer to see the Pakistan army as its permanent cop in Kabul. It won’t work. In Pakistan itself the long night continues as the cycle restarts: military leadership promising reforms degenerates into tyranny, politicians promising social support to the people degenerate into oligarchs. Given that a better functioning neighbour is unlikely to intervene, Pakistan will oscillate between these two forms of rule for the foreseeable future. The people who feel they have tried everything and failed will return to a state of semi-sleep, unless something unpredictable rouses them again. This is always possible.”

What did Malcom’s assassination mean?  His dimmed star the crest of a tree ornamented with strange fruit, history.  What did Ghandi’s assassination mean?

And what does Benazir’s assassination mean when the headline for the breaking news of her death on CNN is “Oil Jitters,” because the whole damn story is covered for its impact on oil investors.  Human life, pay the price, all of us, for the hierarchical drip that floods some lives with value, droughts other lives as modern day commodities/collateral histories.  Control.

Just what does it mean that the Daughter of the East or the West was warned repeatedly to be careful, to be safe?  Just why is that a primary headline from the New York Times to CNN to the BBC?  Wasn’t Dr. Martin L. King, Jr., warned to watch out?  Couldn’t he have gone away rather than charge on fueled by the voice of his people?  Why didn’t she shrink into oblivion rather than raise her life to death?  Because she was a leader, loved and hated by people, but a leader nonetheless.

RIP.

Fuck the mainstream media.

Peace,

rs/N

JUst

Advertisements

xmas eve: huckabee please

Dear Readers,

Naxal here, with All the News That’s Fit to Flip.  Today it’s rape, murder, vendetta, the New York Times, and Democracy Now. 

[At the outset, it should be noted that I am against the prison industrial complex and for a society where accountability and healing is increasingly possible.]   

On Dec 20, 2007, Democracy Now ran a story, “He Should Have Known,” about how Republican front runner, Mike Huckabee, pardoned a sex offender and murderer named Wayne Dumond.   

The very next day, Dec 21, the New York Times’ runs a front pager with this headline: Charming and Aloof, Huckabee Changed State.

So what’s the real story? 

It all depends on who you let in your ear.

In pardoning Dumond, Huckabee, then governor of Arkansas, ignored numerous letters from women who wrote to say they too had been raped by this man.  But what Huckabee did not ignore was vendetta. 

V for Vendetta.

The one who put Drumond away was a 17 year old high school cheerleader, and a distant relative of former Governor of Arkansas, Bill Clinton.  Raped by Dumond.  Dumond gets sentenced to life-plus under Clinton’s governorship.   

“[A]nd the perception among conservatives, who were ardently opposed to Clinton, was that he was—this man had been falsely imprisoned, had been—even if he was guilty, he had been punished too harshly. And so, they pressured Huckabee [Governor of Arkansas from 1996-2007] to release him.” That’s from Nico Pitney, national editor of The Huffington Post.

Huckabee pardons Drumond.   

Charming and aloof?  The NY Times article reads like an endorsement.  “[A] singuar clemency problem that continues to haunt him,” is the closest the article comes to outing Huckabee for this doozy.  See, Drumond was pardoned by Huckabee and then went on to murder Carol Sue Sheilds. 

Check this video put out by Carol Sue’s moms (posted at huckabeefacts.com): Click Here

It deserves note that the NY Times has run several front page articles on other presidential hopefuls, like Obama and Clinton.  But none with the reverence of the recent pieces on Huckabee.  So let’s stay informed, us survivors, shall we? 

Stay tuned for more, of all the News That’s Fit to Flip, by your political poet informer. 

Peace,

rs/N

hoop dreams: 11 days till 2008

Dear Readers,

I’m writing you from my sublet apartment in Brooklyn.  Moms is dancing behind me.  She’s practicing for my cousin Manu’s wedding.  Her dance number is gonna be part of the ladies sangeet.  That’s when the women from both lines come together to dress, sing, laugh, slit eyes at the next, gossip and make sure everyone knows where the hell they are on the hierarchy of thangs.

Has anyone else been having off the hook dreams?  Like chock full ‘o dreams dreams?  Wake up and still be tired from escaping, realizing, growing kinda dreams?  Plasma, hi-def, LCD, kinda dreams? 

Yeah, me too. Hoop dreams.

 

This morning I woke up thinking of hoop dreams.  Maybe cause a new homegirl watched that shit off Netflix the other night, she stayed warm while some of us were trudging through the slush to make it to a dancefloor. 

Hoop dreams.  Ever since I can remember I was sporting bracelet sized earings.  Check my 5th grade picture.  Hairspray stiff bangs, like a lateral shark’s fin just right there on my forehead.  Vest with the mad fall leaves print, black satin backing, gold buttons big enough to flop even after I buttoned up.  White cotton turtleneck underneath.  Bubble gum translucent my lip gloss is poppin.  Smilin eyes with built in sparks.  And earings you could shape bricks with.  White.  Plastic.  Big enough to hide behind.  Big enough to walk in and get noticed all in the same damn moment.  A fifth grade picture to die for.  Smile for the camera?  Fuggetaboutit.  I was smilin for the people.  Been doin it ever since. 

Hoop dreams.  Been sportin $4 mid-sized heart shaped bamboos for the past two months.  Bought em gold from a beauty supply joint at the Fulton Street Mall, figured they’d fade down to silver and it’d be like two for the price of one.  Right now they bout a dusty bronze.  That’s in *good light.*  LOL

Hoop dreams.  For the new year, 2008, the year I turn 30, I wish that every time someone texted or typed LOL they were truly Laughing Out Loud.  You know, as opposed to when you Laugh All Silent.  You know what I mean.  Nah?  Okay, here goes a true LAS type situation: you’re in class, you’re crackin up on the down low.  bff one desk up and two desks over is in on it with you.  Together, you are both LAS, Laughing All Silent.  Body heaving.  Eye’s tearing.  Mouth as tight as a CIA trained, glass ceiling gate keeper.  Do Not Make Eye Contact With Her Or You *Will* Explode.  Lips shivering, anticipation rising, the moment crests on the horizon like waves.  It’s almost time.  Your LAS is about to be a LOL.  And then it happens.  And you’re ass goes home with 1000 sentences to write: I will not LOL in class.  I will not LOL in class.

So, troops.  Today its *hoop dreams.*  God’s eyes and dream catchers pulling low these ear lobes like a fly girl buddha.  Stay tuned for more of what you need: holiday cheer you can feel for real.

Peace Pumpkins,

N/RS