Tag Archives: Middle East

this pressed – your right to know: Timeline of ISIS in Iraq | Timestream | Ntrepid


From the Study:”Many scholars attribute the rise of radical Islamist organizations in the Middle East, like al-Qa’ida and its successors, to the US military operations in Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom, 2001) and Iraq (Operation Iraqi Freedom, 2003). According to the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ (CSIS) report, Al Qaeda in Iraq, the operations1 radicalized Iraqi Sunnis, who viewed foreign occupation as a justification for self-defense in the form of ‘jihad.’ The “US Military Operations” timeframe further highlights the amount of AQI activity—the precursor to the Islamic State—following the start of both operations. Scandals such as the Abu Ghraib prison incident,2 in which American soldiers were shown taking disparaging pictures of prisoners, further radicalized and mobilized moderate Iraqis, CSIS adds.:

via   Timeline of ISIS in Iraq | Timestream | Ntrepid.

this pressed: French troops edge closer to Libya border to cut off Islamists


French troops edge closer to Libya border to cut off Islamists.

word: recalcitrant


recalcitrant 

Definition: (adjective) Marked by stubborn resistance to and defiance of authority or guidance.
Synonyms: refractory
Usage: Neither could he mobilize his army to go forth to war, nor could he punish his recalcitrant subjects. Discuss.

The Pomegranate


 

The Pomegranate

 

Pomegranate Fruits. Español: Una granada, frut...

Pomegranate Fruits. Español: Una granada, fruto del granado (Punica granatum). Eesti: Granaatõun. Français : La grenade, fruit du grenadier. Русский: Плод граната. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The pomegranate is a reddish-yellow fruit native to semitropical Asia. Slightly larger than an orange, it has a tough rind, juicy pulp, and many seeds. The fruit is eaten fresh, the juice is a key ingredient in grenadine syrup, and the rind has been used as a medicinal astringent for centuries. The pomegranate has long been a religious and artistic symbol as well, appearing in ancient Asian literature, the Bible, and Greek mythology. Which Greek goddess was tricked into eating pomegranate seeds? More… Discuss

 

from Democracy Now: Will Iraq or Syria Survive? UN Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi on Sectarian War & the Disastrous ’03 Invasion


Will Iraq or Syria Survive?  UN Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi on Sectarian War and the Disastrous 03' Invasion.

Will Iraq or Syria Survive? UN Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi on Sectarian War and the Disastrous 03′ Invasion. (click to access program)

As a Sunni militancy overtakes large parts of Iraq, former U.N.-Arab League special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi joins us to discuss the escalating Iraqi conflict, the long-term impact of the 2003 U.S. invasion, and the crisis in neighboring Syria. A former Algerian freedom fighter who went on to become Algeria’s foreign minister, Brahimi has been deeply involved in Middle Eastern diplomacy for decades. He has worked on many of the world’s major conflicts from Afghanistan and Iraq to South Africa. Brahimi resigned as the U.N.-Arab League special envoy for Syria last month after a lengthy effort that failed to bring about peace talks between the Syrian government and rebel groups. On the legacy of the U.S. invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq, Brahimi says: “The biggest mistake was to invade. I am tempted to say that every time there was a [U.S.] choice between something right and something wrong, not very often the right option was taken.” On Syria, Brahimi says the conflict is “an infected wound … if not treated properly, it will spread — and this is what is happening.”
 

Transcript

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: Sunni militants have seized part of Iraq’s largest oil refinery located in the northern Iraqi city of Baiji. The militants reportedly now control three-quarters of the refinery complex. Meanwhile, Shiite families are leaving the city of Baquba in droves out of fear the militants from ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, will soon seize the city. Baquba is located just 40 miles from Baghdad. Many analysts say the fighting in Iraq has become a proxy war between the Sunni-led Saudi Arabia and Shiite-led Iran. On Tuesday, Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, vowed on live television to protect Shiite shrines in Iraq. Rouhani said many Iranians have already signed up to go to Iraq to fight. This came as Iraq’s Shiite-led Cabinet accused Saudi Arabia of promoting genocide in Iraq by backing Sunni militants.

In Washington, President Obama is scheduled to meet today with the four top congressional leaders. There are conflicting reports of his plan of action. The Wall Street Journal reports Obama has decided against immediate airstrikes in Iraq, but The New York Times reports Obama is considering what the paper described as a “targeted, highly selective campaign” of airstrikes. One official told the Times the campaign would most likely use drones and could last for a prolonged period.

Joining us to discuss the situation in Iraq and across the wider region is Lakhdar Brahimi, who resigned his post last month as the United Nations-Arab League special envoy for Syria. Brahimi has been deeply involved in Middle Eastern diplomacy for decades. He’s a former Algerian freedom fighter who went on to become Algeria’s foreign minister. As a diplomat, he has worked on many of the world’s biggest conflicts, from Afghanistan and Iraq, from Haiti to South Africa. He’s a member of the Elders, a group of retired statesmen formed in July 2007 at the initiative of Nelson Mandela; it was originally chaired by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, now by Kofi Annan.

Democracy Now!’s Nermeen Shaikh and I interviewed Lakhdar Brahimi on Tuesday. He’s in Paris, France. I started by asking him to respond to what’s happening in Iraq right now.

LAKHDAR BRAHIMI: Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham have invaded and taken control of the second-largest city in Iraq, which is absolutely extraordinary. That is the city of Mosul. I understand that they went down also and took a part—or, you know, maybe they are still there—of the city of Tikrit, the birthplace of Saddam Hussein, and that they were marching on Baghdad, and they have been stopped somewhere. And I doubt very much that they will enter Baghdad in any significant manner. But this indicates the fragility of the state of Iraq that has been created by the Americans after they invaded the country in 2003. It’s really extraordinary that the state, as important and as rich, as a matter of fact, as Iraq, cannot protect the second-largest city in the country.

It also vindicates what the secretary-general of the United Nations and myself have been saying for months, years even. And that is that the situation in Syria is like an infected wound: If it is not treated properly, it will spread. And this is what is happening. You know, the secretary-general has very often warned that if Syria is not attended to properly, then most, if not all, of its neighbors were in danger. And this is one of the neighbors of Syria.

Of course, it had—it has its own problems. And this latest development is an addendum, something that has come on top of the problems that were there. Those problems were that the country was more and more divided along sectarian lines, and the corruption was rife, and the government was not capable—has not been capable of re-establishing services, like water, electricity, sewages and so on, at the level they existed under Saddam, when the country was under extremely severe sanctions.

So, this is where we are. Syria is—you know, there is fighting there. There is killing. There is—bombardments are taking place. And people are—you know, there is no development taking place, and people are leaving their homes, their villages, their cities, either remaining inside the country as internally displaced people or going to neighboring countries like Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey, in particular. And quite a few of them have gone to Iraq, actually.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Ambassador Brahimi, you mentioned the complicity of the United States invasion of 2003 in the present situation in Iraq.

LAKHDAR BRAHIMI: Yes.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: I want to turn to comments made by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair over the weekend. He said, in fact, the 2003 invasion of Iraq was not responsible for the violent insurgency now engulfing the country. He was speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show. Let’s just go to a clip.

TONY BLAIR: So my point is very simple: Even if you left Saddam in place in 2003, then, when 2011 happened and you had the Arab revolutions going through Tunisia and Libya and Yemen and Bahrain and Egypt and Syria, you would have still had a major problem in Iraq. Indeed, you can see what happens when you leave the dictator in place, as has happened with Assad now. But if you say to me, would I prefer a situation where we’d left Saddam in place in 2003—do I think the region would be safer, more stable, if we’d done that—my answer to that is unhesitatingly no.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Ambassador Brahimi, that was former British Prime Minister Tony Blair speaking over the weekend.

LAKHDAR BRAHIMI: Yes.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Could you respond to the comments he made about the 2003 invasion?

LAKHDAR BRAHIMI: You know, the situation in Iraq was extremely bad, and definitely it was called the “Republic of Fear” with reason. You know, you cannot justify post facto an invasion that was absolutely horrible. I mean, first of all, it was unjustified. Second—I mean, it was built on a lie. You know, the weapons of mass destructions were just in the imagination of some people who wanted to invade Iraq. Second, things have—I mean, justifications were invented after—democracy, getting rid of a dictator, and I don’t know what. That very dictator, when he was just as a dictator as he was in 2003, was a very good friend of the United States and of Britain when he was fighting Iran in the ’80s. But let’s, you know, forget about that for the moment. So, the invasion was absolutely horrible.

And this—you know, it has—I mean, let’s talk about what is—what is important to talk about now: terrorism. There was no terrorism. There were no terrorists in Iraq in those days. Terrorism was sucked in, brought in, by—as a direct consequence of the invasion. And it flourished, first of all, in Iraq, and then it went to Syria, and now it is back in Iraq. So, to say that 2003 had nothing to do with what is happening now is a little bit an—I don’t know—overstatement, understatement. Certainly not reality.

AMY GOODMAN: Ambassador Brahimi, Paul Bremer, the first head of the so-called coalitional—Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, one of the first things he did in that role was to sign the Coalition Provisional Authority Orders 1 and 2, completely dismantling Iraq’s government and military. During your tenure as U.N. special envoy for Iraq, you referred to Bremer as, quote, “the dictator of Iraq.” Writing in The Wall Street Journal over the weekend in the wake of the present violence that’s engulfing Iraq, Bremer said, quote, “It is time for both American political parties to cease their ritualistic incantations of ‘no boots on the ground,’ which is not the same as ‘no combat forces.’ Of course Americans are reluctant to re-engage in Iraq. Yet it is President Obama’s unhappy duty to educate them about the risks to our interests posed by the unfolding drama in Iraq.” Can you elaborate, Ambassador Brahimi, on your comments about Paul Bremer being dictator of Iraq and what that meant for Iraq?

LAKHDAR BRAHIMI: You know, I was just repeating something that he said himself. I think he said—and he has written, I think, in his memoirs—that nobody in the history of Iraq had as much power as he had. For my money, that is equivalent to being a dictator. And he was doing everything he wanted.

And you have mentioned, you know, the dissolution of the army. Every American who knew anything about Iraq, and there were quite a few, many of them in government—former ambassadors, people who know Arabic, who know the country, who know the region—they were all unanimous: Don’t touch the army. There are definitely, you know, 10, 15, 100, 1,000 officers that have, you know, blood on their hands, that are corrupt, that should be taken off the army. But keep the army. This is the backbone of the country, and it is going to cooperate with you. And as a matter of fact, a lot of people, including in the military, were already talking to some of the Iraqi militaries to see how they can come back and reorganize themselves and work with the occupying power. But Mr. Bremer—and he was saying that he was under instructions from the secretary of state for defense, Mr. Rumsfeld—said, “No, no, no. We will dissolve the army.” And they went ahead and did it. I think that—you know, I don’t think there is any, any, any argument that that was a mistake then.

Should—what should the Americans do today? I fully understand the hesitation of President Obama to send foreign troops in, American troops into Iraq again. As a principle, foreign troops meddling in an internal situation like this is not a very good idea. I also hear that there is a possibility that they will be talking to Iran, and I’m sure that they will be talking to other neighbors of Iraq, chief of them—amongst them, Saudi Arabia, to see what needs to be done to help Iraq solve its problems and perhaps stop these terrorist organizations from making more progress. But be careful that this help from outside does not make things worse. I think that it’s—you know, there is a lot of sectarianism in Iraq. I don’t think there is a secret—that’s a secret or anybody ignores that fact or says it doesn’t exist. So, please, if you help face this ISIS, that’s great, but make sure that you don’t make things worse by making—by supporting more sectarianism, not less sectarianism.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Ambassador Brahimi, on the question of sectarianism, there have been several reports that suggest that in the initial days of the Iraq invasion in 2003, there were some neoconservative members of the Bush administration that actively fostered sectarianism between Sunnis, Shias and Kurds as a way of—as a policy of kind of divide and rule. Could you comment on that?

LAKHDAR BRAHIMI: I have told my American friends several times, of course, I am not privy to what was taking place in the Pentagon, where responsibility lied for Iraq. President Bush had given full, total responsibility to the Pentagon over Iraq. What was discussed there and what they did there, I don’t know. But as somebody from the region just looking at what was actually taking place, it was extremely hard not to believe that sectarianism was being promoted and that the people that were being put in charge were—I mean, of course the Kurdish region was given to Kurds 100 percent, and no—the rest of the Iraqis had no part in it. But in the rest of Iraq, the impression one had was that the people that were preferred by the occupying powers were the most sectarian Shia and the most pro-Iranian Shia, so, you know, that Iran—that Iraq is now very, very close to Iran. Again, from the point of view of somebody who looks at things from outside, I have absolutely no knowledge of what went on in the high spheres of power in Washington. The impression we had is that these people were put in charge either out of total ignorance—and that is extremely difficult to accept—or intentionally. But the fact is, you know, that the system that was established was very sectarian.

AMY GOODMAN: Ambassador Lakhdar Brahimi. He resigned his post last month as United Nations-Arab League special envoy for Syria. We’ll be back with him in a moment.

[break]

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman, as we continue our conversation with Ambassador Lakhdar Brahimi. He resigned as U.N.-Arab League special envoy to Syria last month. Democracy Now!’s Nermeen Shaikh and I interviewed him yesterday. He’s in Paris, France. I asked him what the gravest error of the U.S. was in its 2003 invasion of Iraq.

LAKHDAR BRAHIMI: The biggest mistake was to invade Iraq. Having invaded Iraq, you know, I would be probably very, very unfair, but I am tempted to say that every time there was a choice between something right and something wrong, not very often the right option was taken.

If you want one instance of what was wrong, it’s probably the dissolution of the army, because the army was the backbone of the country, because the army was nonsectarian. You know, the majority of the soldiers were Shia. And I think in the officer corps—it would be very interesting to take a look back—you would find that there were a lot of Shia in it. Saddam was not—you know, I mean, didn’t care about who was Sunni or who was Shia. What he cared for is who was with him and who was not, you know, who would—whom he considers as loyal 1,000 percent and whom he does not. You know, I asked some American friends, couple of times—I don’t know if you remember that deck of cards with Saddam being the ace of spades. Out of those 54 bad guys in Iraq, I used to ask my American friends whether they knew how many Shia were in that deck of cards. One of them said zero. One of them said four or five. Actually, the number of Shia in that deck of cards was 35.

During the war, I mean, Saddam was terribly unfair. Although a lot of Shia were fighting in the ranks of army of their country against Shia Iran, I think he was extremely suspicious of the Shia, because they were Shia. And he has killed a lot of religious leaders, a lot of—so, you know, there was—there was that, but nothing like what existed after that and what exists today.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Ambassador Brahimi, you’ve suggested that sectarianism was excarcerbated following the 2003 invasion of Iraq by the U.S.

LAKHDAR BRAHIMI: Yeah, sure.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: One of the other effects, which you mentioned earlier, was the spread of terrorism, and in particular, of suicide attacks in Iraq, which prior to 2003 were unprecedented. In other words, neither Iraq nor Afghanistan nor Pakistan nor Syria had ever witnessed suicide attacks before 9/11 occurred and, subsequent to that, the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. So could you talk about some of the implications of that, what the effects of that have been, and how you think that phenomenon, which is now so widespread, should be dealt with?

LAKHDAR BRAHIMI: It did not exist in Iraq. And, you know, this al-Qaeda did not exist at all. It had no dormant cell in Iraq. It was brought in after the invasion as a way of people coming to fight a crusader, a power, invading a sister Muslim country. That is when al-Qaeda came in and started to recruit Iraqis and to bring in non-Iraqis. The ancestor of ISIS was created as a direct consequence of the invasion of Iraq, nothing else. And, you know, it developed and so on, and you remember 2005, 2006, 2007 were absolutely horrible years in Iraq, when civil war was really taking place, with the Americans at the receiving end themselves. And, of course, they destroyed Fallujah completely; the Americans destroyed the city of Fallujah completely.

Car bombs and so on did exist before, but it did no exist in Iraq, and al-Qaeda had absolutely no presence in Iraq before the invasion. It really became a reality as a direct consequence of the invasion in 2003 and developed from there. And what you see today there is the son or the grandson of what happened in—I mean, you know, I’m sure some of your viewers may remember the name of Zarqawi, a Jordanian, very, very cruel man who was one of the leaders of the al-Qaeda in Iraq in those years, 2005, 2006. So, this is it. Al-Qaeda and what—the terrorist organizations that exist today in—as far as Iraq is concerned, and Syria, as a matter of fact, their origin is definitely post-2003.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: I want to turn to comments made by the former U.S. ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford. He resigned from his position in May. He was speaking to Christiane Amanpour on CNN earlier this month.

ROBERT FORD: I was no longer in a position where I felt I could defend the American policy. We have been unable to address either the root causes of the conflict, in terms of the fighting on the ground and the balance on the ground, and we have a growing extremism threat. And there really is nothing we can point to that’s been very successful in our policy, except the removal of about 93 percent of some of Assad’s chemical materials. But now he’s using chlorine gas against his opponents, in contravention of the Syrian government’s agreement in 2013 to abide by the Chemical Weapons Convention. The regime simply has no credibility, and our policy is not addressing the Syrian crisis as it needs to.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: That was Robert Ford, the former U.S. ambassador to Syria. Ambassador Brahimi, could you comment on what he said and also what you see the flaws with U.S. policy vis-à-vis Syria being today?

LAKHDAR BRAHIMI: I was very, very surprised when I heard him say that he left because he couldn’t support the American policy anymore. Very, very surprised that—you know, of course, I’m not familiar with what was going on inside the government and what discussions he had with the secretary of state and others before he left, but the impression I had was that he left because he reached retirement age and he was tired of dealing with a very, very difficult problem in Syria. That was understandable. This is—this is something, you know, very surprising to me, what he said about him not capable of supporting the U.S. policy anymore. Again, the view in the region was that he was making the policy, or at least he was taking a very, very important part in making that policy.

You know, what was wrong with American policy, I think every single party that dealt with Syria over the last three years have made mistakes. The United States, like everybody else, misjudged the meaning and the—you know, what was happening and, you know, where things were going. You know, mistakes were made in Tunisia, when everybody thought that, you know, President Ben Ali was so strong, so well organized, that these demonstrations are going to last two days, three days, three or two weeks, and then they will be over and the men will be there. He left after less than a month. Mubarak in Egypt—you know, Egypt is a stable country, a very well-organized country. Their police was tremendously strong and well equipped. They will manage to—you know, to ride this storm. And to be fair, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, they took quite a while. They were telling those young people, I mean, “Go home. You know, you are going to be killed for nothing. The regime is not going to fall.” This is—this was—so, everybody made a mistake there. So when the—you know, and Libya, Libya, the country, you know, everybody thought that Libya would fall in a matter of days. It took several months and several billion dollars spent by the Americans, the French, the British and others in bombarding and destroying the country. And, by the way, look at the results: They are not great.

When the turn of Syria came, I think, understandably, everybody said, “Ah, OK, you know, this is now the trend. People—I mean, this regime resist one month, three weeks, six months. So this will be the case in Syria.” So I think that the Americans, like everybody else, thought that the regime was going to fall, and everybody started talking about the day after. And people were afraid that they would not be ready for the day after, that the regime will fall, and we will not be ready how to help the country rebuild and so on and so forth. It has taken maybe almost three years, three, four years, before people started to realize that this was different. And by the way, the Russians were the first who said this—Syria is not going to follow suit to what happened in Tunisia and Egypt; the regime is not going to fall. And nobody listened to them. I think if we had, perhaps it would have been better for all of us.

AMY GOODMAN: Why did you quit as former U.N. and Arab League envoy for Syria?

LAKHDAR BRAHIMI: You know, I wanted to quit one year before I did, because in these kind of jobs, you come and try a few ideas and then move on. This is not a 9:00 to 5:00 job that you do for years and years. That is one reason.

The second reason is that, you know, we organized that conference in Montreux, Switzerland, and we moved from there to what we thought was going to be negotiations between the opposition and the government. And that was a failure, mainly because of the government. And then the government announced that they were organizing presidential elections, meaning that they were going a totally different way from what we were discussing in Geneva. So I think it was the normal thing for me to do.

I have tried this working with the Russians and the Americans. Together, the three of us have organized the Geneva II Conference. I led those discussions, two rounds of discussions in Geneva. That has taken us nowhere. I think it is time to tell the Syrian people we are not delivering, and we—I apologize to them for that, but also to tell everybody else, “Please be careful. This is—this is a very, very bad, very complicated, very dangerous situation, and you have got to pay more attention to it.” I hope that, you know, they will pay a little bit more attention and that they will help the secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, who is really devoting a great deal of attention to Syria. I hope that he will be helped to do a better job than I have been able to do until the end of May.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Ambassador Brahimi, you’ve also suggested, in an interview you gave to the German news magazine Der Spiegel earlier this month, that the situation in Syria is so much worse than it was in Afghanistan in 1999 when you resigned your U.N. position there. Could you explain why you think that’s the case?

LAKHDAR BRAHIMI: You know, in Afghanistan, there was a, yeah, civil war, but the factions in Afghanistan were not over-armed the way the parties that are involved in Syria are. There was—you know, nobody had the aviation that the Syrian government has or the tanks and the artillery that they have. It was, you know, this horrible war, low-intensity civil war. And, you know, the Afghans were, in their way, much better organized and also much more open in their discussions with us. For example, we never had, in all those wars of civil war—you know, after the Russians left, anyway, that’s the part I know—we never had any problem going for the vaccination in spring. All the factions knew that teams from the United Nations were going to go all over the country and vaccinate kids. And that happened. It hasn’t been that easy in Syria.

You know, the Russians had destroyed quite a little bit of the country, and the Afghans, very early on, before the Taliban, destroyed Kabul when the Russians left. But after that, there wasn’t that kind of destruction that you see in Syria now. Homs—friends who went to Homs recently told me that it looks like the pictures we see of Berlin in 1945. So the level of destruction is absolutely horrible. You know, when I arrived on the scene in ’97, with the years of Russians and the—of the internal civil war between the factions, there was something like five million refugees from Afghanistan. In three years only, in Syria, we have two million and a half refugees, six or seven million internally displaced. And by next year, if things continue the way they are, we are going to have four million refugees—population being about the same, 23 million in Syria, maybe 25 or 26 [million] in Afghanistan. So, the level of violence and destruction is much higher in Syria than it was in Afghanistan.

AMY GOODMAN: Lakhdar Brahimi, who resigned his post last month as United Nations-Arab League special envoy for Syria. We’ll be back with him in a minute.

Flash – Israel plan to seize West Bank land ‘alarms’ UN’s Ban – France 24


Flash – Israel plan to seize West Bank land ‘alarms’ UN’s Ban – France 24.

Security Council: The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question


Security Council: The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question

United Nations Webcast- webtv.un.org

United Nations Webcast- webtv.un.org (Click to access)

today’s birthday: Gertrude Bell (1868)


Gertrude Bell (1868)

Bell was a British traveler, author, and one of the builders of the modern state of Iraq. After graduating from Oxford, she journeyed throughout the Middle East and, in World War I, placed her unmatched knowledge of Middle Eastern conditions and her fluent Arabic and Persian at the disposal of the British government. In 1915, she became the first woman appointed to the British intelligence service and later helped determine Iraq’s borders. Bell worked closely with what famous adventurer? More… Discuss

Mehndi


Mehndi

Mehndi is a form of temporary skin decoration popular in the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia. Henna paste—made from the leaves of a shrub native to these regions—is applied to the skin, typically on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. The decorated area is then wrapped to lock in body heat and create a more intense color, usually a reddish brown. Traditionally, mehndi adorns the skin of brides, and occasionally grooms, at their weddings. How long does the color last? More… Discuss

The Dead Sea


The Dead Sea

The lowest body of water on the surface of the Earth, the Dead Sea is a landlocked salt lake bordered by Israel, the West Bank, and Jordan. One of the saltiest water bodies in the world, the Dead Sea hosts few life forms. The high salinity makes bathing here a unique experience, as one cannot help but float in its waters. It is also common practice when visiting the Dead Sea to coat one’s body with its mineral-rich mud. What health issues do some people believe the Dead Sea and its mud can cure? More… Discuss

this pressed: The Iraq-ISIS Conflict in Maps, Photos and Video – NYTimes.com


 

Excepts from the article: Growing Humanitarian Crisis Published June 12 TweetThe United Nations estimates that at least 500,000 Iraqis were displaced by the takeover of Mosul. Food supplies are low and there is limited fresh water and little electricity. An additional 430,000 people were displaced by fighting In Anbar Province, which insurgents have controlled for more than six months.

The Iraq-ISIS Conflict in Maps, Photos and Video – NYTimes.com.

devocional Music: Adoramus Te Christe – G. Palestrina – St. Peters Basilica in the Vatican (time to brush up on your Latin!)


Adoramus Te Christe – G. Palestrina – St. Peters Basilica in the Vatican

Libertyville High School Choir performing at St. Peters Basilica – Spring Break Tour, March 2011
Dr. Jeffrey Brown, conductor

Adoramus Te Christe,
Et benedicimus Tibi:
Adoramus Te Christe,
Et benedicimus Tibi:

Quia per sanctam crucem tuam
Redemisti mundum.
Adoramus Te Christe,
Et benedicimus Tibi,
Adoramus Te Christe

 

Obesity Weighs Heavily on World


Obesity Weighs Heavily on World

The burden of obesity has grown considerably in recent decades, with about 30 percent of the global population—a whopping 2.1 billion people—now overweight or obese. Over the past 33 years, obesity rates soared 28 percent in adults and 47 percent in children, and the number of overweight and obese people more than doubled. For now, the US retains the unenviable distinction of hosting the largest portion of the world’s obese—13 percent. Though obesity was once limited to rich nations, more than two-thirds of the world’s obese now live in developing countries. In the Middle East and North Africa, more than half of adult men and nearly two-thirds of adult women are overweight or obese. More… Discuss

Enhanced by Zemanta

Just a thought: “Captivating: Advertizing is all we are about profitsprofitsprofits


Just a thought: “Captivating: Advertizing is all we are about profitsprofitsprofits: 

Do you remember a time when the internet was full of information, but advertizement free?

Well now is just the opposite!”

Captivating Advertizing is all we are about moneymoneymoney

Captivating: Advertizing is all we are about profitsprofitsprofits

Enhanced by Zemanta

news: Cancer in Refugee Camps


Cancer in Refugee Camps

Historically, combating infectious diseases and malnutrition have been the primary concerns of health workers in refugee camps. Unfortunately, this leaves those refugees with equally deadly but non-communicative and expensive-to-treat diseases, like cancer, with few treatment options. This is a growing problem, say researchers, as refugees today remain displaced for substantially longer periods than in the past and the numbers of those displaced have swelled considerably in recent years. Between 2010 and 2012, the UNHCR Exceptional Care Committee, which funds costly medical care for refugees, approved and funded just half of the applications from refugees in Jordan with cancer. More… Discuss

Enhanced by Zemanta

Noam Chomsky (2014): What Does National Interests Actually Mean?


Noam Chomsky (2014): What Does National Interests Actually Mean?

Published on May 11, 2014

©2014 Leigha Cohen Video Production http://www.leighacohenvideo.com/

Noam Chomsky talks about: What is the Meaning of the Term National Interests as it refers to those who have impacted and created United States domestic policies? Secondarily, Chomsky talks about how these interests;are often of those who are economically the most advantaged who have impact also on our foreign policies in the Middle Eastern in countries such as Egypt, Israel and Saudi Arabia and other countries like Cuba since 1945.

This was part of a larger program that Noam Chomsky gave “Prospects for Palestine” that was held at MIT in Boston, Ma. on May 5, 2014 which was sponsored at MIT by the Palestine@MIT group pal_exec@mit.edu & http://palestine.mit.edu/ and https://www.facebook.com/palestineatmit and can be seen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEpn6…

Unless otherwise indicated, all materials on in this video are copyrighted to Leigha Cohen Video, All rights reserved. No part of this video may be used for any purpose other than educational use and any monetary gain from this video is prohibited without prior permission from me. Therefore, reproduction, modification, storage in a retrieval system is prohibited. Standard linking of this video is allowed and encouraged.

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

THIS DAY IN THE YESTERYEAR: KING HUSSEIN OF JORDAN ENTHRONED (1953)


King Hussein of Jordan Enthroned (1953)

Jordan’s King Hussein reigned from 1953 until his death in 1999, ascending the throne after his father was declared mentally unfit to rule. Hussein generally espoused a pro-Western policy that brought him into conflict with Arab leftist leaders and Palestinians in Jordan. His neutral stance during the Gulf War and a 1994 peace treaty with Israel secured his reputation as a moderating force in Middle Eastern politics. As a teen, Hussein survived an attempt on his life. What allegedly saved him? More… Discuss

Enhanced by Zemanta

ARTICLE: DUBAI


Dubai

Dubai is one of the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates. It is also the name of the emirate’s main city. Dubai is distinct from the other emirates in that oil revenues account for only a small part of its gross domestic product, although they did play a key role in transforming the sheikhdom into the international trade, business, and travel hub it is today. In recent years, Dubai has also made headlines for its ambitious building projects and now boasts what record-breaking structures? More… Discuss

Enhanced by Zemanta

Johnny Cash – I Won’t Have To Cross Jordan Alone (Johnny Cash Hymns From The Heart 1962)



Johnny Cash Hymns From The Heart 1962

I Won’t Have to Cross Jordan Alone Lyrics

Johnny Cash

When I come to the river at the ending of day
When the last winds of sorrow have blown
There’ll be somebody waiting to show me the way I won’t have to cross Jordan alone
I won’t have to cross Jordan alone Jesus died all my sins to atone
In the darkness I see he’ll be waiting for me I won’t have to cross Jordan alone
[ piano ]
Often times I’m weary and troubled and sad
When it seems that my friends have all flon
There is one thought that cheers me and makes my heart glad
I won’t have to cross Jordan alone
I won’t have to cross Jordan…
[ guitar ]
Though the billows of trouble and sorrow may sweep
Christ the Saviour will care for his own
Till the end of my journey my soul he will keep and I won’t have to cross Jordan alone
I won’t have to cross Jordan…
Enhanced by Zemanta

Archbishop Chullikatt: Flagrant and widespread persecution of Christians in Middle East §RV


Enhanced by Zemanta

TODAY’S SAINT: ST. MARON’S DAY


St. Maron’s Day

St. Maron (also spelled St. Maroun), the patron saint of Lebanon, was a monk who died in 410 CE. The Feast of St. Maron, as it is known in Lebanon, does not have the cultural significance for its citizens that it had in past eras—today, Maronites only make up one-quarter of the Lebanese population (between one-half and one million). In Lebanon and abroad, the most common ceremony of the feast day is the Maronite liturgy, which is a distinctive blend of Catholic doctrine, Arabic music, and singing inSyriac-Aramaic, a classical language that was spoken by JesusMore…Discuss

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Why TB patient has life ban in Dubai | manishareview


Why TB patient has life ban in Dubai | manishareview.

Enhanced by Zemanta

THIS DAY IN THE YESTERYEAR: ISRAELI SUBMARINE DAKAR DISAPPEARS WITHOUT A TRACE (1968)


Israeli Submarine Dakar Disappears without a Trace (1968)

Israel bought the INS Dakar from the UK in 1965. The submarine departed for Israel on January 9, 1968, but disappeared en route with its entire crew. An international search mission yielded no answers. Over a year later, a fisherman found the stern emergency buoy marker from the Dakar on the coast of what is now the Gaza Strip, but further searches failed to turn up anything. The exact cause of the submarine’s sinking remains unknown. Where and when was its wreckage finally found? More… Discuss

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

NEWS: UN: HALF OF SYRIANS NOW IN URGENT NEED OF AID


UN: Half of Syrians Now in Urgent Need of Aid

The situation in Syria is dire. According to UN estimates, half of the Syrian population is in urgent need of aid. The bloody uprising that began in 2011 has claimed more than 100,000 lives and displaced millions. Some 2.3 million people have fled Syria for neighboring countries, and more than twice this number are displaced within the country. About 9.3 million Syrians, nearly half of whom are children, are now in desperate need of assistance. The UN is appealing to the international community for $6.5 billion (£4 billion), the largest UN appeal for a single cause to date. More… Discuss

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Christmas comes to the Gaza Strip, despite storm damage and flooding – #Focus



The snow storm that hit the Middle East two weeks ago has affected people from Beirut to Cairo. In the Gaza Strip, thousands have been left unable to return to their homes, as torrential rains and melting snow flooded the streets. Christmas is coming too to some parts of the enclave; of the 1.7 million Gazans, there are 176 Roman Catholics and 1200 Orthodox Christians – fewer than 1% of the population. Our correspondent found out what kind of Christmas they’ll be having this year.
12/24/2013 REPORTS
An in-depth report on a major news issue.
More FRANCE24 reports:
http://www.france24.com/en/reportages

THE EVIL EYE


The Evil Eye

The people of the world have many superstitions, but one in particular is shared by a number of cultures, especially those of the Mediterranean and Middle East: the evil eye. Traditions and beliefs surrounding the evil eye vary, but it is generally thought to stem from envy and malice toward prosperity and beauty. Thus, in many cultures, unguarded praise of one’s possessions or children is thought to invite misfortune. Who is typically thought to be most vulnerable to the evil eye? More… Discuss

 

WATER POLITICS


Water Politics

According to the World Health Organization, each person requires about 5 gallons (20 liters) of water per day to adequately meet drinking and hygiene needs. Yet billions live without sufficient water resources. The Middle East, for instance, shares about 1 percent of the world’s available water among 5 percent of the world’s population, and its major rivers cross international borders. Such discrepancies can lead to conflict. Which Middle Eastern conflicts have been fueled by water politics? More… Discuss

 

Predator Nation on Democracy Now


Predator Nation on Democracy Now

Predator Nation on Democracy Now (Click to follow the smell of money…)

From Democracy Now: “The Empire President: Jeremy Scahill on Obama’s “Neo-Con” Doctrine of Military Force in U.N. Speech”


From Democracy Now:  “In an address to the United Nations General Assembly, President Obama openly embraced an aggressive military doctrine backed by previous administrations on using armed force beyond the international norm of self-defense. Obama told the world that the United States is prepared to use its military to defend what he called “our core interests” in the Middle East: U.S. access to oil. “[Obama] basically came out and said the U.S. is an imperialist nation and we’re going to do whatever we need to do to conquer areas [and] take resources from people around the world,” says independent journalist Jeremy Scahill. “It’s a really naked declaration of imperialism … When we look back at Obama’s legacy, this is going to have been a very significant period in U.S. history where the ideals of very radical right-wing forces were solidified. President Obama has been a forceful, fierce defender of empire.”

 

Just a Thought: “Let’s learn to appreciate more Chamber Music…beside the full orchestra compositions…So continue to stay tuned for newly posted extraordinary performances…and Thank You!


Just a Thought:  “Let’s learn to appreciate more Chamber Music…beside the full orchestra compositions…So continue to stay tuned for newly posted extraordinary performances…and Thank You!

 

What’s in a Name: Hussein (from Wikipedia)


 
 
For other uses, see Hussein (disambiguation).
Hussein
Pronunciation Arabic[ħuˈseːn, ħiˈseːn, ħuˈsajn]
Egyptian Arabic: [ħeˈseːn, ħoˈseːn]
Gender Male
Origin
Word/Name Arabic
Meaning Handsome
Other names
Related names Hassan
Look up Hussein in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Hussein (also spelled Husein, Husain, Hussain, Husayin, Hussayin, Huseyin, Husseyin, Huseyn, Hossain,Hossein, or Husseyn) (Arabic: حسین‎, Ḥusayn), is an Arabic name which is the diminutive of Hassan, meaning “good”, “handsome” or “beautiful”. It is commonly given as a male given name, particularly among Shias.[1] In some Persiansources the forms Ḥosayn, Hosayn, or Hossein is used.[2] On the Subcontinent or South Asia, the form used is “Hussain” or “Hossain” in the Bengal region.

 

Word: SEDITIOUS


seditious 

Definition: (adjective) In opposition to a civil authority or government.
Synonyms: insurgentsubversive
Usage: In an attempt to discourage rebellion, the dictator announced that anyone found in possession of seditious literature would be executed. Discuss.

 

Nigel Farage confronts Barroso on global warming scam (State of the Union 2013)


http://www.ukipmeps.org | http://twitter.com/Nigel_Farage
Join UKIP: http://ukip.datawareonline.co.uk/Join…
Translations into Italian, French and Polish here:http://www.ukipmeps.org/articles_714_…

European Parliament, Strasbourg, 11 September 2013

• Speaker: Nigel Farage MEP, Leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), Co-President of the ‘Europe of Freedom and Democracy‘ (EFD) Group in the European Parliament – http://nigelfaragemep.co.uk

With a response from José Manuel Barroso, President of the EU Commission and a cameo appearance by Guy VERHOFSTADT MEP (Belgium), President of the Liberal group (ALDE)

• Debate: State of the Union
Statement by the President of the Commission
[2013/2623(RSP)]

Transcript

Round One

Well, Mr Barroso, not just you but the entire unelected government of Europe and a chance perhaps for our citizens to reflect on where the real power lies in this Union.

I’ve listened to you for nearly ten years – full marks for consistency – you are a man that likes fixed ideology, you probably picked it up when you were a communist or Maoist, or whatever you were, and for the last ten years you’ve pursued euro-federalism combined with an increasing green obsession.

And yes, it’s been good – for bureaucrats, for big businessmen, for landowners, it has not been a bad decade. But it has been a disaster for poor people, unemployed people and those on low wages.

The euro which you believed would give us monetary stability has done the very opposite, it was a misconstruction from the start, and it’s pretty clear that youth unemployment, at nearly 50% across the Mediterranean, is probably nearly double what it would have been as a direct result of the misconstruction that is the euro.

They’re in the wrong currency, but I know that you’ll never ever admit to that, and the euro I think will die a very slow and painful death. But you’re all in denial about that.

But it’s the green agenda that I find really more interesting. You keep telling us that climate change is an absolute top priority, and you’ve been greeted with almost hysteria in this place over the last ten years.

Well, those of us who have been sceptical about this have been mocked, derided, called ‘deniers’.

We’ve argued from the start that the science wasn’t settled, and we’ve argued very strongly that the measures we’re taking to combat what may or may not be a problem are damaging our citizens. 

And we’ve been proved to be right. Tens of millions forced into fuel poverty, manufacturing industry being driven away because of course our competitors in China and in America are going for cheap fossil alternatives and of course wind turbines blighting the landscapes and seascapes of Europe.

And still today you go on about green growth. Well, the consensus is breaking behind you – you know, [Industry] Commissioner Tajani the other day said that actually we face a systematic industrial massacre.

It is time to stop this stupidity and to help you [holds up colour pictures] there is the NASA photograph last August of the northern icecaps. And there is the NASA photograph this year of the icecaps. They increased by 60% in one year. Leading American scientists are now saying we are going into a period of between 15-30 years of global cooling.

We may have made one of the biggest stupidest collective mistakes in history by getting so worrying about global warming. You can reverse this in the next seven or eight months. You can bring down peoples’ taxes. If you don’t, they will vote on it in the European elections of next year.

Round TWO

“Well next year’s European elections will not be contested on the old division lines of left and right and several group leaders have agreed with that today. Frankly that is all irrelevant. 
It will be contested between those of us who believe in national democracy within the nation state; and those who believe that the 28 countries that are part of the EU are better governed by these institutions. That in a sense is what this comes down to.

But Mr Barroso, those of us who believe in national democracy do not want to take us back to the Western Front or 1914. Those of us who believe in national democracy will say to you that it is a healthy assertion of identity. 

But it also shows a deeper understanding of why the problems of Europe were caused in the past. It is democratic nation states in Europe that are stable and will not go to war with each other. 

I will remind people that without the vote in the House of Commons two weeks ago that we would now be at war in Syria. What better proof can there be that nation state democracy can be a force for good. 

…………………………….
Video source: EbS (European Parliament)
…………………………….

 

Nigel Farage lambasts “extreme militarists” during Syria debate (“Arm the rebels? What are you thinking of?”)


http://www.ukipmeps.org | http://twitter.com/Nigel_Farage
Join UKIP: http://ukip.datawareonline.co.uk/Join…
European Parliament, Strasbourg, 11 September 2013

• Speaker: Nigel Farage MEP, Leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), Co-President of the ‘Europe of Freedom and Democracy‘ (EFD) Group in the European Parliament – http://nigelfaragemep.co.uk

Blue card questions:
- Charles TANNOCK MEP, Conservative Party, ECR Group
- Ioan Mircea PAŞCU MEP, Socialist Group (S&D)

• Debate: Situation in Syria
Statement by the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
[2013/2819(RSP)]

Transcript

I represent a group that is against military action in Syria. We’re against it not because we’re pacifists. We’re against it not because we don’t care about the awful things going on there. 

We’re against because we think there’s some pretty poor thinking going on.

This idea that somehow the rebels are the good guys and Assad are the bad guys really is over-simplifying a situation where of course we know that Al-Qaida have significant representation amongst those rebel groups.

And of course we’ve seen it all before. An endless series of military adventures over the course of the last 10 to fifteen years, one of which of course – notably, in Afghanistan – is still going on and is not achieving any of its original aims.

And I was worried when I heard the Americans telling us to begin with, it was about punishing Assad, and then within a week it was about regime change, a position that I know the noble Baroness herself supports.

We think firing a thousand criuse missiles in is likely to make an unstable situation even worse than it is now.

But of course, Baroness Ashton, in a sense, you’re sitting pretty, because as the highest paid female politician in the world, luckily, you got a non-job. Because the EU, thank goodness, hasn’t yet got a foreign policy, and as a result of that what we saw two weeks ago in the House of Commons was a nation state democracy standing up and saying something. 

And as a direct result of that vote in the House of Commons we have not gone to war in Syria, we have entered a period of negotiations, and Assad has a chance to prove to all of us whether he is a good man or a bad man. Continue reading

John Kerry


 

 
 
For the sixteenth-century English politician, see John Kerry (MP).
Page semi-protected
John Kerry
John Kerry official Secretary of State portrait.jpg
68th United States Secretary of State
Incumbent
Assumed office
February 1, 2013
President Barack Obama
Deputy William Joseph Burns
Preceded by Hillary Rodham Clinton
United States Senator
from Massachusetts
In office
January 3, 1985 – February 1, 2013
Preceded by Paul Tsongas
Succeeded by Mo Cowan
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
In office
January 6, 2009 – February 1, 2013
Preceded by Joe Biden
Succeeded by Bob Menendez
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship
In office
January 4, 2007 – January 3, 2009
Preceded by Olympia Snowe
Succeeded by Mary Landrieu
In office
June 6, 2001 – January 3, 2003
Preceded by Kit Bond
Succeeded by Olympia Snowe
In office
January 3, 2001 – January 20, 2001
Preceded by Kit Bond
Succeeded by Kit Bond
66th Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts
In office
March 6, 1983 – January 2, 1985
Governor Michael Dukakis
Preceded by Thomas O’Neill
Succeeded by Evelyn Murphy
Personal details
Born John Forbes Kerry
December 11, 1943 (age 69)
AuroraColorado, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Julia Thorne (1970–1988)
Teresa Heinz (1995–present)
Children Alexandra
Vanessa
John (Stepson)
André (Stepson)
Christopher (Stepson)
Alma mater Yale University
Boston College
Religion Roman Catholicism
Signature
Website http://state.gov/secretary
Military service
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch  United States Navy
Years of service 1966–1978
Rank US-O3 insignia.svg Lieutenant
Unit USS Gridley (DLG-21)
Coastal Squadron 1
Commands PCF-44
PCF-94
Battles/wars Vietnam War
Awards Silver Star ribbon.svg Silver Star
Bronze Star ribbon.svg Bronze Star Medal
Purple Heart BAR.svg Purple Heart (3)

John Forbes Kerry (born December 11, 1943) is an American politician who is the 68th and current United States Secretary of State. He served as a United States Senator from Massachusetts from 1985 to 2013, and was chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Kerry was the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party in the 2004 presidential election but lost to incumbent George W. Bush.

The son of an Army Air Corps veteran, Kerry was born in Aurora, Colorado. He attended boarding school inMassachusetts and New Hampshire and went on to graduate from Yale University class of 1966, where he majored inpolitical science and became a member of the Skull and Bones secret society. He enlisted in the Naval Reserve in 1966, and during 1968–1969 served an abbreviated four-month tour of duty in South Vietnam as officer-in-charge (OIC) of aSwift Boat. For that service, he was awarded combat medals that include the Silver StarBronze Star, and three Purple Hearts. Securing an early return to the United States, Kerry joined the Vietnam Veterans Against the War in which he served as a nationally recognized spokesman and as an outspoken opponent of the Vietnam War. He appeared before the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs where he deemed United States war policy in Vietnam to be the cause of “war crimes.”

After receiving his J.D. from Boston College Law School, Kerry worked as an Assistant District Attorney and co-founded a private firm. He served as Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts under Michael Dukakis from 1983 to 1985, where he worked on an early forerunner to the national Clean Air Act. He won a tight Democratic primary in 1984 for the U.S. Senate and was sworn in the following January. On the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he led a series of hearingsfrom 1987 to 1989 which were a precursor to the Iran–Contra affair.

In 2002, Kerry voted to authorize the President “to use force, if necessary, to disarm Saddam Hussein“, but warned that the administration should exhaust its diplomatic avenues before launching war. Kerry based his 2004 presidential campaign on opposition to the Iraq War. He and his running mate Senator John Edwards lost the race, finishing 35electoral votes behind the Republican ticket headed by President George W. Bush (just 19 short of the 270 required for election). Subsequently, he established the Keeping America’s Promise PAC.

Kerry became chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 2009, and in 2011 he was appointed to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction. Having been nominated by President Barack Obama to succeed outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and then confirmed by the U.S. Senate by a vote of 94–3 on January 29, 2013, Kerry assumed the office on February 1, 2013

CELEBRATORY GUNFIRE


Celebratory Gunfire

A common practice in places such as the Balkans, the Middle East, South Asia, Latin America, and some parts of the US, shooting a firearm into the air in celebration occurs most often on holidays such as New Year‘s, Christmas, and Eid. Falling bullets are responsible for damaged roofs and shattered windows. Worse, they can result in injury and even death. Why is the mortality rate among those struck by falling bullets much higher than the mortality rate normally associated with gunshot woundsMore… Discuss

 

Syria Govenrnment’s: “No evidence has been shown” they are responsible for attack


http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-202_162-57601138/strike-on-syria-may-unleash-more-turmoil-u.n-secretary-general-ban-ki-moon-warns/

Syria gov’t: “No evidence has been shown” they are responsible for attack

September 3, 2013, 12:22 AM

Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister tells CBS NewsElizabeth Palmer that “armed groups” were behind Damascus attack which killed hundreds, and Washington should put forward credible evidence to prove their case that the Syrian government used chemical weapons.

MEASLES-LIKE VIRUS LIKELY BEHIND DOLPHIN DEATHS


Measles-Like Virus Likely Behind Dolphin Deaths

Scientists believe they have finally figured out what is causing the extensive dolphin die-off along the US east coast: a measles-like virus. In the past two months, more than 300 bottlenose dolphins have washed up dead or dying on beaches stretching from New York to North Carolina, about 10 times the average for this period. An outbreak of cetacean morbillivirus, which suppresses the immune system and leaves those affected vulnerable to other diseases, is thought to be responsible for the “unusual mortality event,” as it has been designated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric AdministrationMore… Discuss

 

NO MAN’S LAND


No Man’s Land

No man’s land is territory whose ownership is unclear or under dispute and is often unoccupied. The term—then spelled “nonesmanneslond”—was likely first used in medieval Europe to describe a contested territory or refuse dumping ground between fiefdoms. During WWI, it was used to refer to the land between enemy trenches too dangerous to occupy, and during the Cold War, it became associated with territories near the Iron Curtain. What stretch of no man’s land is known as the “Cactus Curtain“? More… Discuss

 

SYRIAN CRISIS HAS CREATED ONE MILLION CHILD REFUGEES


Syrian Crisis Has Created One Million Child Refugees

As reports emerge of another alleged chemical weaponattack by the Syrian government against its own people, the flood of refugees out of the war-torn country has continued. This week, the one millionth child refugee fledSyria. Another two million children are displaced within the country. The UN High Commissioner for Refugeesworries that an entire generation of Syrian youth is now at risk, as even those that escape physical harm may well suffer psychological trauma as a result of the violence and losses they have endured. The current refugee crisis is the worst in decades, reaching levels not seen since the Rwandan genocideMore… Discuss

 

This Day in the Yesteryear: PHILIPPINE OPPOSITION LEADER BENIGNO AQUINO, JR., IS ASSASSINATED (1983)


Philippine Opposition Leader Benigno Aquino, Jr., Is Assassinated (1983)

Aquino, leader of the Philippines‘ Liberal Party, was planning to run for president in 1972 when Ferdinand Marcos, the incumbent, declared martial law and had Aquino arrested on inflated charges. Aquino served eight years in prison, at one point demonstrating against his sentence with a 40-day hunger strike. In 1980, he was released to go to the US for heart-bypass surgery. After three years in exile, he returned to the Philippines and was immediately assassinated. Why had Aquino gone back? More… Discuss

 

Today’s Birthday: RAYMOND POINCARÉ (1860)


Raymond Poincaré (1860)

A career statesman, Poincaré ascended to the highest echelons of French government, serving as prime minister on several occasions and as president from 1913 to 1920. In the lead-up to World War I, Poincaré, a conservative and nationalist, worked to prepare France for possible hostilities, strengthening its military and its alliances with Russia and Britain. His efforts paid off, and Germany was defeated by the Allied Powers in 1918. What prompted him to send French troops into Germany in 1923? More…Discuss

 

MAX BRUCH – Violin Concerto No, 1 in G Minor. Op. 26. – SHLOMO MINTZ/Claudio Abbado/Chicago Symphony


MAX BRUCH – Violin Concerto No, 1 in G Minor. Op. 26. – SHLOMO MINTZ/Claudio Abbado/Chicago Symphony
For more information on violinist, Shlomo Mintz, please go to his official website at: http://www.shlomo-mintz.com/en/biography

Shlomo Mintz (born October 30, 1957) is an Israeli violin virtuoso, violist and conductor. He regularly appears with orchestras and conductors on the international scene and is heard in recitals and chamber music concerts around the world

Biography.  Continue reading

Today’s Birthday: EDWARD JOHN EYRE (1815)


Edward John Eyre (1815)

Several years after immigrating to Australia from England, Eyre decided to explore his new home. His expeditions took him, often with one or more Aboriginal companions, through some of Australia’s harshest terrain. He subsequently became a British colonial official, serving for a time as a protector of Aborigines. His sympathies, however, appear not to have extended to other marginalized groups. As governor of Jamaica, Eyre authorized hundreds of executions while suppressing what uprising? More… Discuss

 

THE REPUBLIC OF UPPER VOLTA, NOW BURKINA FASO, GAINS INDEPENDENCE (1960)


The Republic of Upper Volta, Now Burkina Faso, Gains Independence (1960)

In the European scramble for African territory in the late 19th century, France took control of the region that is now Burkina Faso. During World War I, however, the area was torn apart by violent opposition to colonial rule. To prevent continued uprisings, it was named a separate territory, Upper Volta, in 1919. When anti-colonial agitation resumed after World War II, the area became a republic, achieving full independence two years later in 1960. After what was “Upper Volta” named? More… Discuss

 

SUPERMAX


Supermax

Supermax prisons provide long-term, segregated housing for the most dangerous criminals. An early supermax-style prison unit opened in Australia in 1975 but was shuttered after just two years due to human rights concerns. Since then, the supermax model has been adopted by many corrections systems around the globe despite continued criticism. “Unabomber” Theodore Kaczynski and 9-11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui are among the most infamous US supermax inmates. What is everyday life like for them? More… Discuss

 

BIPARTISANSHIP: WHAT IT IS, WHAT IT DOES AND TO WHOM!


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bipartisanship is a political situation, usually in the context of a two-party system, in which opposing political parties find common ground[disambiguation needed] through compromise, in theory. Realistically, each party advances their own political agenda at the expense of the other party because of the conflicting ideologie…

As you can see, the so called in-fight  does not have anything to do with a moral, progressive or expected socio-political outcome from which the vast majority of the population to benefit in any way>>>>I wonder why? 

What does the outcome of two extreme right ideologies conflicting, has to do with the national progress and well being of the population of a country? 

This Day in the Yesteryear: THE GULF OF TONKIN INCIDENT (1964)


The Gulf of Tonkin Incident (1964)

While on patrol in the Gulf of Tonkin, the USS Maddoxwas attacked by North Vietnamese torpedo boats. Two days later, US boats were supposedly attacked again without provocation. These events—known collectively as the Gulf of Tonkin Incident—prompted US Congress to pass a resolution allowing President Lyndon B. Johnson to use military force in Southeast Asia without a formal declaration of war, leading to increased US involvement in the Vietnam War. Had there in fact been a second attack? More… Discuss

 

THE INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY IS ESTABLISHED (1957)


The International Atomic Energy Agency Is Established (1957)

In 1953, during the Cold War, US President Dwight D. Eisenhower proposed the creation of an international body to regulate the use of nuclear power in his “Atoms for Peace” address to the United Nations General Assembly. Four years later, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was established to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy. The IAEA may purchase and sell fissionable materials, and it inspects for compliance with the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Is the IAEA part of the UNMore… Discuss

 

BENTO


Bento

Traditional Japanese bento is a style of boxed meal prepared in a thin plastic or lacquered wood box that is divided into small compartments, each of which contains a separate dish. Bento has existed in Japan for centuries. Today, these compartmentalized meals are available in convenience stores and kiosks, but some still prepare them at home as a special lunch for children or as a meal to bring to work. In one elaborate form of bento called kyaraben, the food is made to look like what? More… Discuss