Imagining Palestine: On Barghouti, Darwish, Kanafani, and the Language of Exile

For Palestinians, exile is not simply the physical act of being removed from their homes and their inability to return. It is not a casual topic pertaining to politics and international law, either. Nor is it an ethereal notion, a sentiment, a poetic verse. It is all of this, combined.

The death in Amman of Palestinian poet, Mourid Barghouti, an intellectual whose work has intrinsically been linked to exile, brought back to the surface many existential questions: are Palestinians destined to be exiled? Can there be a remedy for this perpetual torment? Is justice a tangible, achievable goal?

Barghouti was born in 1944 in Deir Ghassana, near Ramallah. His journey in exile began in 1967, and ended, however temporarily, 30 years later. His memoir "I Saw Ramallah" – published in 1997 – was an exiled man’s attempt to make sense of his identity, one that has been formulated within many different physical spaces, conflicts and airports. While, in some way, the Palestinian in Barghouti remained intact, his was a unique identity that can only be fathomed by those who have experienced, to some degree, the pressing feelings of Ghurba – estrangement and alienation – or Shataat – dislocation and diaspora.

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Will Biden Fall for a Few Further Feckless Sanctions?

The Washington Post and other media, owned and operated by the MICIMATT (Military-Industrial-Congressional-Intelligence-Media-Academia-Think-Tank complex), yesterday beat the drums for more sanctions on Russia. (See, for example, this and this.)

Cuticles Beware!

The owners and operators of major- and minor-league media are biting their nails down to the cuticle. Could Biden’s immediate extension of the New START Treaty, plus his agreement with Putin on the telephone "to explore strategic stability discussions on a range of arms control and emerging security issues" threaten a thaw in U.S.-Russian relations?

Perish the thought! No thaw; no détente; no rapprochement. Oh, the Things That Go Bump in the Night! – things that could complicate the MICIMATT campaign to exaggerate the national security "threat", in order to justify obscenely high levels of funding for "defense" against an "aggressive" Russia?

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GOP Rep. Biggs: Failure To Withdraw From Afghanistan a ‘Slippery Slope’

From The American Conservative:

Arizona Republican Congressman Andy Biggs warned President Biden that any delay in keeping the timetable to withdraw in Afghanistan could lead to what he called a “slippery slope.”

“I respectfully urge you to continue to remove United States service members from Afghanistan in the coming weeks, with the goal of ensuring all our brave men and women in uniform return from the theater before May,” Biggs wrote in a letter to Biden.

The U.S. agreed to withdraw all US service men and women from Afghanistan in a deal with the Taliban by May 1 in return for peace talks and a cessation of violence. This would bring an end to America’s longest war, which began in response to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin recently refused to say whether the US would keep the May withdrawal deadline.

The Taliban is very likely prepared to resume its campaign of violence against the US and coalition targets if it perceives that coalition forces have stalled or reversed course on the agreed-upon withdraw, according to the Afghanistan Study Group co-chairs who testified to the House Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on National Security. They testified that US troop levels may have to double their troop presence or more if the US stays beyond May 1.

The calls to delay the withdrawal in order “to give the peace process sufficient time to produce an acceptable result… is an all-too-familiar slippery slope,” wrote Biggs.

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A Global Demand to 35 Governments: Get Your Troops Out of Afghanistan / A Thank You to 6 That Already Have

The governments of Albania, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mongolia, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine, UK, and US all still have troops in Afghanistan and need to remove them.

These troops range in number from Slovenia’s 6 to the United States’ 2,500. Most countries have fewer that 100. Apart from the United States, only Germany has over 1,000. Only five other countries have more than 300.

Governments that used to have troops in this war but have removed them include New Zealand, France, Jordan, Croatia, North Macedonia, and Ireland.

We plan to deliver a big THANK-YOU to every government that removes all of its troops from Afghanistan, along with the names and comments of every signer of this petition.

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