by Antidote’s Laurent Moeri
“When the battle is over and the martyrs sleep, the cowards emerge from the alleys to tell us of their heroism.” – Graffiti in Homs, Syria
Prelude – Mission Impossible
What follows is an attempt at the impossible: a critical review of the situation in Ukraine, the involvement of Putinʼs Russia, and the international Leftʼs capacity (or lack thereof) to respond to social uprisings without repeating prescribed narratives. It is written on one sole premise: that the victims of an eventual military escalation in Ukraine will predominantly be ethnic minorities such as the muslim Crimean Tatars, marginalized groups such as the Sinti and Roma, and the working class—while bureaucrats in Brussels and the Czar and his clan in Moscow will continue to further their respective interests. To highlight the likelihood of this prediction, a comparison will be made between events in Chechnya and Crimea.Continue Reading
AntiNote: The following is an extended excerpt of a radio interview, edited for readability. We strongly encourage you to listen to the full interview (here); we regretfully removed large sections, containing important information, due to space concerns.
On 3 May 2014 Chuck Mertz of This is Hell! Radio (Chicago) talked to author, scholar and activist Ali Abunimah about a way forward in Palestine. This week, Abunimah and Max Blumenthal brought their joint speaking event, The Future of Palestine, to the Chicago Cultural Center. Like many of our readers, no Antidote writers were able to attend due to a large ocean in the way—but we hope this conversation provides a tantalizing taste of the issues and perspectives that were discussed there. If you went, we’d love to hear what you took away from it.
Abunimah brings rare optimism and fresh thinking to the debate around the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But at the same time he hints strongly at a much darker future for Palestinians—as well as everyone else. He reveals new, hidden facets of the emerging global, militarized, security-obsessed neoliberal regime that Naomi Klein described more broadly in The Shock Doctrine. This system’s literal conduits are already being established, and it is these international connections Abunimah makes that we find the most chilling, the most sensitizing, and the most potentially solidarity-inspiring. The Palestinians’ plight, in increasingly direct ways, is all of ours. Read on.
“The same companies profiting from mass incarceration of people of color in the United States are profiting from Israeli occupation.”
Excuse me Mister – How Far is it from Simferopol to Grozny?”
“Terek on his stones is fretting / With a troubled roar;
Wild Chechen, his dagger whetting, / Crawls along the shore.
But your father knows war’s riot, / Knows what he must do.
Sleep, my darling, sleep in quiet, / Bayushki-bayu.”
– popular Cossack lullaby written by the Russian Poet Lermontov
“Don’t buy from the Blacks!”
AntiNote: As news breaks today of military incidents between Ukrainian government forces and separatist militants in the East, we are once again reeling from the quickly-shifting circumstances in that country. This interview with Volodymyr Ishchenko is less than a week old, and may already be nearing its expiration date…
But: Ishchenko’s statements (as well as his writing; links below) contain a certain wisdom and thoughtful consideration that make them less perishable. As today’s violence sends the international commentariat into fits of hyperbole, lambasting one side or the other (as if there are even just “two sides!”), we find that Ishchenko’s reasoned call for more nuance is as relevant—even urgent—as ever.
AntiNote: this article was the result of a recent collaboration between LeftEast and the new Balkan web portal Bilten.org, where it can be read in Serbo-Croatian. It appeared in the original English last week on LeftEast. Reprinted with permission.
“While the EU proclaims democracy and universal human rights, a new form of nationalism is on the rise – one that is not founded in the nation-state but is instead fortifying the wealthy core member-states by turning the periphery into an alert border zone.”
by Tsvetelina Hristova and Raya Apostolova
When Greece began construction of a wall along its border with Turkey in 2012, nationalist formations in Bulgaria voiced the same demand for the country’s southern border. Back then, this demand seemed comic at best and was ridiculed throughout the political spectrum. Two years later, a barbed-wire fence along the Turkish-Bulgarian border is a nationalist dream-come-true.
Transcribed from This is Hell! Radio’s 12 April 2014 episode and printed with permission. Listen to the full interview here.
Argun, Chechnya, 2002. International Women’s Day. 12 Chechen women showing portraits of their missing male relatives. Source: Thomas Dworzak via Fotojournalismus (Tumblr)
“The mistake people make is to say that there’s violence in Chechnya because Chechens are violent. Politics is what motivates ethnic conflict. Ethnic conflicts don’t happen because a particular ethnicity is inclined to violence.”