Religion

My trip to Al-Qaeda — Videos

Posted on August 25, 2014. Filed under: Blogroll, Communications, Documentary, Islam, Islam, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, People, Philosophy, Politics, Religion, Shite, Sunni, Television, Terrorism, Video, War, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , |

My trip to Al-Qaeda

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Peter Brimelow — Alien Nation: Common Sense About America’s Immigration Disaster — Videos

Posted on July 21, 2014. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Books, British History, Business, Catholic Church, Communications, Computers, Demographics, Diasters, Economics, Employment, Family, Federal Government, Foreign Policy, Freedom, Friends, government spending, history, Illegal, Immigration, IRS, Islam, Language, Law, Legal, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, media, Medicine, Natural Gas, Non-Fiction, Oil, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Press, Psychology, Public Sector, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Religion, Resources, Reviews, Security, Shite, Strategy, Sunni, Talk Radio, Taxes, Technology, Terrorism, Unemployment, Unions, Video, War, Water, Wealth, Weather, Welfare, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , |

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peter_brimelow

VDARE.com

What Price Mass Immigration – Peter Brimelow Introduction

 

Peter Brimelow of VDare on How Republican Party Has to be More White

Alien Nation: America’s Immigration Disaster

Mr. Brimelow discussed his book Alien Nation: Common Sense About America’s Immigration Disaster, published by Random House. The book focuses on U.S. immigration policy and cycles of control on immigration. Mr. Brimelow argues that legislation passed in 1965 has resulted in negative trends in immigration to the United States, including an influx of immigrants from a very few countries that he says are engulfing America. The author says that the latest immigration wave consists of immigrants who are less educated, less skilled, and less likely to share American ideals, which he argues is a detriment to American culture.

Peter Brimelow Reflects on Immigration in America, Post-Alien Nation

Michael Coren Interviews Peter Brimelow

Peter Brimelow, Immigration Road to Hell

Peter Brimelow speaks CPAC 2012

Inequality and Immigration (1 of 3)

Inequality and Immigration (2 of 3)

Inequality & Immigration (3 of 3)

Peter Brimelow On Western Culture At The Thomas Jefferson Club

The Libertarian Case Against Open Immigration | Peter Brimelow

Related Articles and Videos

George J. Borjas: Costs of Immigration – Economics Roundtable

 

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George Washington Flogged and Hung Deserters, Barack Obama Trades Terrorists for Deserter/POW? — Negotiates With Terrorists For Deserter! — Videos

Posted on June 7, 2014. Filed under: Blogroll, Business, Communications, Constitution, Crime, Economics, Energy, Faith, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Fraud, Freedom, government, government spending, Homicide, Islam, Islam, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, Natural Gas, Natural Gas, Oil, Oil, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Psychology, Rants, Religion, Resources, Science, Security, Shite, Sunni, Terrorism, Video, War, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

Project_1

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 271: June 2, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 270: May 30, 2014 

Pronk Pops Show 269: May 29, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 268: May 28, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 267: May 27, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 266: May 23, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 265: May 22, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 264: May 21, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 263: May 20, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 262: May 16, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 261: May 15, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 260: May 14, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 259: May 13, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 258: May 9, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 257: May 8, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 256: May 5, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 255: May 2, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 254: May 1, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 253: April 30, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 252: April 29, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 251: April 28, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 250: April 25, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 249: April 24, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 248: April 22, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 247: April 21, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 246: April 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 245: April 16, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 244: April 15, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 243: April 14, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 242: April 11, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 241: April 10, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 240: April 9, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 239: April 8, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 238: April 7, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 237: April 4, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 236: April 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 235: March 31, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 234: March 28, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 233: March 27, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 232: March 26, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 231: March 25, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 230: March 24, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 229: March 21, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 228: March 20, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 227: March 19, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 226: March 18, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 225: March 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 224: March 7, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 223: March 6, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 222: March 3, 2014

Story 1: George Washington Flogged and Hung Deserters, Barack Obama Trades Terrorists for Deserter/POW? — Negotiates With Terrorists For Deserter! — Videos

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Revolution – American History in HD – Documentary

Army Sergeant Who Served With Bowe Bergdahl Says He Needs To Be Tried For Desertion

Army deserter benefits

Ralph Peters: POW Bowe Bergdahl Was A Deserter

Carney on Whether Bergdahl is a ‘Deserter’

State Dept: Bergdahl Was Not a Deserter

Ted Cruz: I would Have Used Military Force to Rescue Afghan POW Bergdahl

6/2/14 Background of the 5 detainees we traded for Bergdahl, a deserter and possibly traitor

Military Psy Ops Expert: Bowe Bergdahl Is A Traitor!

Was Bowe Bergdahl Working With The Sopranos Of Afghanistan?

US Soldier Bowe Bergdahl release: Taliban detainees ‘arrive in Qatar’

Cruz Hits Obama Administration For POW Release; Rice Defends Move As ‘Sacred Obligation’

Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl Recovering in Germany After Being Freed From Captivity in Afghanistan

Fellow Soldiers Call Bowe Bergdahl A Deserter, Not A Hero

The Real Price We Paid! Six Soldiers Died Looking For ‘Deserter’ Bowe Bergdahl!

(EXCLUSIVE) Obama Speech On US Soldier Freed By Taliban In Afghanistan

US Soldier Released After Five Years Of Captivity – Bowe Bergdahl Released By Taliban

Kelly File | 5 Gitmo Prisoners demanded for P.O.W

New video of Army POW Bowe Bergdahl surfaces

Ralph Peters, Bill O’Reilly Dub Bowe Bergdahl “Crazy, Disturbed”

War Deserters – USA

Soldiers’ Traumas – From World War Two to Afghanistan | Frontline Club Talks

Afghanistan: Outside The Wire

Never Ending War in Afghanistan Full Documentary

Russia’s War in Afghanistan : Documentary on 10 Years of Soviet War in Afghanistan

AFGHANISTAN After US Withdrawal: Return Of The TALIBAN & CIVIL WAR

Bob Bergdahl, the father of current POW, Sgt Bowe Bergdahl speaks Out!

Benghazi Cover Up – CIA Employee Suspended For Refusal To Sign Non-Disclosure On Benghazi

THE EXECUTION OF PRIVATE SLOVIK

Is Ransomed U.S. Soldier Bowe Bergdahl a Deserter? UPDATED: Was Release of Taliban Prisoners Illegal?

Two GOP lawmakers charge that the Obama administration violated a law requiring the White House to give Congress a month’s notice before transferring or releasing Gitmo captivies. From the AP via Business Insider:

The White House said it moved as quickly as possible given the opportunity that arose to secure Bergdahl’s release. Citing “these unique and exigent circumstances,” the White House said a decision was made to go ahead with the transfer despite the legal requirement of 30 days advance notice to Congress.

 

For President Barack Obama (and thus America), foreign policy in every way remains a disaster. The latest incident? In swapping five Taliban leaders for a U.S. soldier who was held prisoner in Afghanistan for five years, Obama may have just exchanged somecertifiably bad guys for…a deserter from the U.S. Army. CNN’s Jake Tapper explains:

The sense of pride expressed by officials of the Obama administration at the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is not shared by many of those who served with him—veterans and soldiers who call him a deserter whose “selfish act” ended up costing the lives of better men.

“I was pissed off then and I am even more so now with everything going on,” said former Sgt. Matt Vierkant, a member of Bergdahl’s platoon when he went missing on June 30, 2009. “Bowe Bergdahldeserted during a time of war and his fellow Americans lost their lives searching for him.”

There’s this:

According to first-hand accounts from soldiers in his platoon, Bergdahl, while on guard duty, shed his weapons and walked off the observation post with nothing more than a compass, a knife, water, a digital camera, and a diary.

At least six soldiers were killed in subsequent searches for Bergdahl, and many soldiers in his platoon said attacks seemed to increase against the United States in Paktika Province in the days and weeks following his disappearance.

 

This is all completely apart from the question of whether exchanging prisoners for prisoners is a good idea while the U.S. still has over 30,000 troops in Afghanistan (and more than 100 detainees in Gitmo). And once again, yesterday, Susan Rice—she of Benghazi talking points fame—was making spurious claims on Sunday talk shows. She emphasized that Bergdahl had been“captured” on the battlefield, which may not be exactly right. Or even at all right.

I caught a few minutes of MSNBC’s Morning Joe earlier today and co-host Mika Brzezinski cautioned that whatever else we know about the five-for-one prisoner deal (which involves the Taliban going to Qatar, where they will be monitored by the government there for at least a year), we don’t know everything. Which is likely accurate and besides the point: Leaving aside the Obama administration’s constant invocations about its super-fantastic dedication to transparency, this White House has managed to make itself toxic to increasing swaths of the public and drive faith in its best intentions and ability to cross the street through the floor.

Here’s hoping that after more than a dozen years of poorly conceived and executed wars—and declining public support for the idea of America as globocop—that official foreign policy will start to appreciate the idea that we cannot undertake large and small-scale military interventions lightly.

http://reason.com/blog/2014/06/02/is-ransomed-us-soldier-bowe-bergdahl-a-d

 

The Gitmo detainees swapped for Bergdahl: Who are they?

Together with the announcement that U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was released after nearly five years of captivity came the news that five detainees at Guantanamo Bay were being transferred to Qatar.
A plane carrying the detainees left the U.S. Navy base in Guantanamo, Cuba, after the announcement that Bergdahl, who was captured by the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2009, had been exchanged for the five men.
Saturday’s transfer was brokered through the Qatari government, a senior Defense official said. According to senior administration officials, Qatar agreed to take custody of the detainees and provide assurances they would not pose a threat to the United States, including a one-year ban from travel out of Qatar.
Two senior administration officials confirmed the names of the five released detainees as Khair Ulla Said Wali Khairkhwa, Mullah Mohammad Fazl, Mullah Norullah Nori, Abdul Haq Wasiq and Mohammad Nabi Omari.
They were mostly mid- to high-level officials in the Taliban regime and had been detained early in the war in Afghanistan, because of their positions within the Taliban, not because of ties to al Qaeda.
CNN profiled them two years ago, when their names first surfaced as candidates for a transfer as part of talks with the Taliban:
Khair Ulla Said Wali Khairkhwa
Khairkhwa was an early member of the Taliban in 1994 and was interior minister during the Taliban’s rule. He hails from the same tribe as Afghan President Hamid Karzai and was captured in January 2002. Khairkhwa’s most prominent position was as governor of Herat province from 1999 to 2001, and he was alleged to have been “directly associated” with Osama bin Laden. According to a detainee assessment, Khairkhwa also was probably associated with al Qaeda’s now-deceased leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al Zarqawi. He is described as one of the “major opium drug lords in western Afghanistan” and a “friend” of Karzai. He was arrested in Pakistan and was transferred to Guantanamo in May 2002. During questioning, Khairkhwa denied all knowledge of extremist activities.
Mullah Mohammad Fazl
Fazl commanded the main force fighting the U.S.-backed Northern Alliance in 2001, and served as chief of army staff under the Taliban regime. He has been accused of war crimes during Afghanistan’s civil war in the 1990s. Fazl was detained after surrendering to Abdul Rashid Dostam, the leader of Afghanistan’s Uzbek community, in November 2001. He was wanted by the United Nations in connection with the massacre of thousands of Afghan Shiites during the Taliban’s rule. “When asked about the murders, he did not express any regret,” according to the detainee assessment. He was alleged to have been associated with several militant Islamist groups, including al Qaeda. He was transferred into U.S. custody in December 2001 and was one of the first arrivals at Guantanamo, where he was assessed as having high intelligence value.
Mullah Norullah Noori
Noori served as governor of Balkh province in the Taliban regime and played some role in coordinating the fight against the Northern Alliance. Like Fazl, Noori was detained after surrendering to Dostam, the Uzbek leader, in 2001. Noori claimed during interrogation that “he never received any weapons or military training.” According to 2008 detainee assessment, Noori “continues to deny his role, importance and level of access to Taliban officials.” That same assessment characterized him as high risk and of high intelligence value.
Abdul Haq Wasiq
Wasiq was the deputy chief of the Taliban regime’s intelligence service. His cousin was head of the service. An administrative review in 2007 cited a source as saying that Wasiq was also “an al Qaeda intelligence member” and had links with members of another militant Islamist group, Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin. Wasiq claimed, according to the review, that he was arrested while trying to help the United States locate senior Taliban figures. He denied any links to militant groups.
Mohammad Nabi Omari
Omari was a minor Taliban official in Khost Province. According to the first administrative review in 2004, he was a member of the Taliban and associated with both al Qaeda and another militant group Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin. He was the Taliban’s chief of communications and helped al Qaeda members escape from Afghanistan to Pakistan. Omari acknowledged during hearings that he had worked for the Taliban but denied connections with militant groups. He also said that he had worked with a U.S. operative named Mark to try to track down Taliban leader Mullah Omar.

http://www.cnn.com/2014/05/31/us/bergdahl-transferred-guantanamo-detainees/index.html

 

The bizarre tale of America’s last known POW

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the last known American POW, was freed after five years in captivity — an ordeal that began and ended in Afghanistan under a shroud of mystery.

The Taliban turned over Bergdahl Saturday morning to US special forces in exchange for five notorious Islamic militants who had been held at Guantanamo Bay and will be sent to Qatar, where they will stay for a year under the terms of the trade.

At least one of the prisoners, ranking Taliban leader Khairullah Khairkhwa, had direct ties to Osama bin Laden.

Bergdahl was picked up by helicopter in western Afghanistan, near the Pakistan border.

After climbing aboard, the 28-year-old Idahoan, trying to communicate with his rescuers over the roar of the rotors, scrawled “SF?” on a paper plate — asking his rescuers whether they were special forces.

“Yes,” one of the men shouted. “We’ve been looking for you for a long time.”

The Army infantryman — himself nicknamed “SF” by his comrades for his gung-ho interest in special-forces tactics — began to weep.

Bergdahl’s parents, who had lobbied continuously for his ­release, had not seen him by Saturday night, but intimated that he faces an arduous recovery from his ordeal.

Bergdahl is speaking in what appears to be Pashto, said his dad, Bob Bergdahl. It was not clear whether his son can still even speak English, Bob said.

When the father spoke to his son — for the first time in five worried years — it was to say both in Pashto and English, “I am your father, Bowe.”

“We will continue to stay strong for Bowe while he recovers,” said his mom, Jani.

The search for Bergdahl began soon after he went missing on June 30, 2009, in the same rugged wilds of southeastern Afghanistan where NFL player-turned-Army Ranger Pat Tillman was killed.

Bergdahl’s mysterious disappearance from the small military outpost there and the subsequent revelation that he was in enemy hands prompted questions that still linger.

But in the weeks before his capture, Bergdahl had made murky statements that suggested he was gravitating away from the soldiers in his unit and toward ­desertion, a member of his platoon told Rolling Stone.

“He spent more time with the Afghans than he did with his platoon,” former Spc. Jason Fry told the magazine in 2012.

As a teen, the home-schooled son of Calvinists took up ballet — recruited to be a “lifter” by “a beautiful local girl,” Rolling Stone reported, “the guy who holds the girl aloft in a ballet sequence.” The strategy worked: Bergdahl — who also began dabbling in Budd­hism and tarot card reading — soon moved in with the woman.

Even as a teen, he could fire a .22-caliber rifle with precision.

At age 20, he traveled to Paris and started learning French in hopes of joining the French Foreign Legion.

His application was rejected, and he was devastated, the magazine reported.

Bergdahl would drift for years, working mainly at a coffee shop near home. He briefly considered moving to Uganda to help villagers being terrorized by militias before deciding on a different ­adventure.

“I’m thinking of joining the Army,” he told his folks after ­already having signed up.

Bergdahl’s dream was to help Afghan villagers rebuild their lives and learn to defend themselves, his dad told the magazine.

“The whole ‘COIN’ thing,” Bob explained, referring to America’s strategy of counter-insurgency. “We were given a fictitious picture, an artificially created picture of what we were doing in ­Afghanistan,” the dad said.

Bowe Bergdahl would detail his disillusionment with the Afghanistan campaign in an email to his parents three days before he went missing.

“I am sorry for everything here,” he wrote. “These people need help, yet what they get is the most conceited country in the world telling them that they are nothing and that they are stupid.”

Bergdahl also complained about fellow soldiers. The battalion commander was a “conceited old fool,” he said, and the only “decent” sergeants, planning to leave the platoon “as soon as they can,” told the privates — Bergdahl then among them — “to do the same.”

“I am ashamed to be an American. And the title of US soldier is just the lie of fools,” he concluded. “I am sorry for everything. The horror that is America is disgusting.”

Bob Bergdahl responded in an email: “OBEY YOUR CONSCIENCE!”

One night, after finishing a guard-duty shift, Bowe Bergdahl asked his team leader whether there would be a problem if he left camp with his rifle and night-vision goggles — to which the team leader replied “yes.”

Bergdahl then returned to his bunker, picked up a knife, water, his diary and a camera, and left camp, according to Rolling Stone.

The next morning, he was reported missing, and later that day, a drone and four fighter jets ­began to search for him.

Weeks of searching turned into months. The military pushed his parents and fellow soldiers to sign nondisclosure agreements. But before everyone signed, a comrade from his unit publicly called on Facebook for Bergdahl’s execution as a deserter.

Propaganda videos of his captivity — which featured Bergdahl denouncing American foreign policy — were released.

At least once, in 2011, the prisoner, looking more haggard, fought back and tried to escape.

“He fought like a boxer,” a Taliban fighter told Newsweek.

Why Bergdahl was captured in the first place remained a mystery by the time high-level US government talks began in 2012 regarding a trade for his release.

“Frankly, we don’t give a s–t why he left,” one White House official said at the time. “He’s an American soldier. We want to bring him home.”

There was fierce debate over exchanging him for the five Taliban combatants. Sen. John McCain, himself a former POW, once described the five as “the five biggest murderers in world history,” according to Rolling Stone.

We Lost Soldiers in the Hunt for Bergdahl, a Guy Who Walked Off in the Dead of Night

Nathan Bradley Bethea

For five years, soldiers have been forced to stay silent about the disappearance and search for Bergdahl. Now we can talk about what really happened.
It was June 30, 2009, and I was in the city of Sharana, the capitol of Paktika province in Afghanistan. As I stepped out of a decrepit office building into a perfect sunny day, a member of my team started talking into his radio. “Say that again,” he said. “There’s an American soldier missing?”

There was. His name was Private First Class Bowe Bergdahl, the only prisoner of war in the Afghan theater of operations. His release from Taliban custody on May 31 marks the end of a nearly five-year-old story for the soldiers of his unit, the 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment. I served in the same battalion in Afghanistan and participated in the attempts to retrieve him throughout the summer of 2009. After we redeployed, every member of my brigade combat team received an order that we were not allowed to discuss what happened to Bergdahl for fear of endangering him. He is safe, and now it is time to speak the truth.

And that the truth is: Bergdahl was a deserter, and soldiers from his own unit died trying to track him down.

On the night prior to his capture, Bergdahl pulled guard duty at OP Mest, a small outpost about two hours south of the provincial capitol. The base resembled a wagon circle of armored vehicles with some razor wire strung around them. A guard tower sat high up on a nearby hill, but the outpost itself was no fortress. Besides the tower, the only hard structure that I saw in July 2009 was a plywood shed filled with bottled water. Soldiers either slept in poncho tents or inside their vehicles.

The next morning, Bergdahl failed to show for the morning roll call. The soldiers in 2nd Platoon, Blackfoot Company discovered his rifle, helmet, body armor and web gear in a neat stack. He had, however, taken his compass. His fellow soldiers later mentioned his stated desire to walk from Afghanistan to India.

The Daily Beast’s Christopher Dickey later wrote that “[w]hether Bergdahl…just walked away from his base or was lagging behind on a patrol at the time of his capture remains an open and fiercely debated question.” Not to me and the members of my unit. Make no mistake: Bergdahl did not “lag behind on a patrol,” as was cited in news reports at the time. There was no patrol that night. Bergdahl was relieved from guard duty, and instead of going to sleep, he fled the outpost on foot. He deserted. I’ve talked to members of Bergdahl’s platoon—including the last Americans to see him before his capture. I’ve reviewed the relevant documents. That’s what happened.

Our deployment was hectic and intense in the initial months, but no one could have predicted that a soldier would simply wander off. Looking back on those first 12 weeks, our slice of the war in the vicinity of Sharana resembles a perfectly still snow-globe—a diorama in miniature of all the dust-coated outposts, treeless brown mountains and adobe castles in Paktika province—and between June 25 and June 30, all the forces of nature conspired to turn it over and shake it. On June 25, we suffered our battalion’s first fatality, a platoon leader named First Lieutenant Brian Bradshaw. Five days later, Bergdahl walked away.

His disappearance translated into daily search missions across the entire Afghanistan theater of operations, particularly ours. The combat platoons in our battalion spent the next month on daily helicopter-insertion search missions (called “air assaults”) trying to scour villages for signs of him. Each operations would send multiple platoons and every enabler available in pursuit: radio intercept teams, military working dogs, professional anthropologists used as intelligence gathering teams, Afghan sources in disguise. They would be out for at least 24 hours. I know of some who were on mission for 10 days at a stretch. In July, the temperature was well above 100 degrees Fahrenheit each day.

These cobbled-together units’ task was to search villages one after another. They often took rifle and mortar fire from insurgents, or perhaps just angry locals. They intermittently received resupply from soot-coated Mi-17s piloted by Russian contractors, many of whom were Soviet veterans of Afghanistan. It was hard, dirty and dangerous work. The searches enraged the local civilian population and derailed the counterinsurgency operations taking place at the time. At every juncture I remember the soldiers involved asking why we were burning so much gasoline trying to find a guy who had abandoned his unit in the first place. The war was already absurd and quixotic, but the hunt for Bergdahl was even more infuriating because it was all the result of some kid doing something unnecessary by his own volition.

On July 4, 2009, a human wave of insurgents attacked the joint U.S./Afghan outpost at Zerok. It was in east Paktika province, the domain of our sister infantry battalion (3rd Battalion, 509th Infantry). Two Americans died and many more received wounds. Hundreds of insurgents attacked and were only repelled by teams of Apache helicopters. Zerok was very close to the Pakistan border, which put it into the same category as outposts now infamous—places like COP Keating or Wanat, places where insurgents could mass on the Pakistani side and then try to overwhelm the outnumbered defenders.

One of my close friends was the company executive officer for the unit at Zerok. He is a mild-mannered and generous guy, not the kind of person prone to fits of pique or rage. But, in his opinion, the attack would not have happened had his company received its normal complement of intelligence aircraft: drones, planes, and the like. Instead, every intelligence aircraft available in theater had received new instructions: find Bergdahl. My friend blames Bergdahl for his soldiers’ deaths. I know that he is not alone, and that this was not the only instance of it. His soldiers’ names were Private First Class Aaron Fairbairn and Private First Class Justin Casillas.

Though the 2009 Afghan presidential election slowed the search for Bergdahl, it did not stop it. Our battalion suffered six fatalities in a three-week period. On August 18, an IED killed Private First Class Morris Walker and Staff Sergeant Clayton Bowen during a reconnaissance mission. On August 26, while conducting a search for a Taliban shadow sub-governor supposedly affiliated with Bergdahl’s captors, Staff Sergeant Kurt Curtiss was shot in the face and killed. On September 4, during a patrol to a village near the area in which Bergdahl vanished, an insurgent ambush killed Second Lieutenant Darryn Andrews and gravely wounded Private First Class Matthew Martinek, who died of his wounds a week later. On September 5, while conducting a foot movement toward a village also thought affiliated with Bergdahl’s captors, Staff Sergeant Michael Murphrey stepped on an improvised land mine. He died the next day.

It is important to name all these names. For the veterans of the units that lost these men, Bergdahl’s capture and the subsequent hunt for him will forever tie to their memories, and to a time in their lives that will define them as people. He has finally returned. Those men will never have the opportunity.

Bergdahl was not the first American soldier in modern history to walk away blindly. As I write this in Seoul, I’m about 40 miles from where an American sergeant defected to North Korea in 1965. Charles Robert Jenkins later admitted that he was terrified of being sent to Vietnam, so he got drunk and wandered off on a patrol. He was finally released in 2004, after almost 40 hellish years of brutal internment. The Army court-martialed him, sentencing him to 30 days’ confinement and a dishonorable discharge. He now lives peacefully with his wife in Japan—they met in captivity in North Korea, where they were both forced to teach foreign languages to DPRK agents. His desertion barely warranted a comment, but he was not hailed as a hero. He was met with sympathy and humanity, and he was allowed to live his life, but he had to answer for what he did.

The war was already absurd and quixotic, but the hunt for Bergdahl was even more infuriating because it was the result of some kid doing something unnecessary by his own volition.

I believe that Bergdahl also deserves sympathy, but he has much to answer for, some of which is far more damning than simply having walked off. Many have suffered because of his actions: his fellow soldiers, their families, his family, the Afghan military, the unaffiliated Afghan civilians in Paktika, and none of this suffering was inevitable. None of it had to happen. Therefore, while I’m pleased that he’s safe, I believe there is an explanation due. Reprimanding him might yield horrible press for the Army, making our longest war even less popular than it is today. Retrieving him at least reminds soldiers that we will never abandon them to their fates, right or wrong. In light of the propaganda value, I do not expect the Department of Defense to punish Bergdahl.

He’s lucky to have survived. I once saw an insurgent cellphone video of an Afghan National Police enlistee. They had young boys hold him down, boys between the ages of 10 and 15, all of whom giggled like they were jumping on a trampoline. The prisoner screamed and pleaded for his life. The captors cut this poor man’s head off. That’s what the Taliban and their allies do to their captives who don’t have the bargaining value of an American soldier. That’s what they do to their fellow Afghans on a regular basis. No human being deserves that treatment, or to face the threat of that treatment every day for nearly five years.

But that certainly doesn’t make Bergdahl a hero, and that doesn’t mean that the soldiers he left behind have an obligation to forgive him. I just hope that, with this news, it marks a turning point for the veterans of that mad rescue attempt. It’s done. Many of the soldiers from our unit have left the Army, as I have. Many have struggled greatly with life on the outside, and the implicit threat of prosecution if they spoke about Bergdahl made it much harder to explain the absurdity of it all. Our families and friends wanted to understand what we had experienced, but the Army denied us that.

I forgave Bergdahl because it was the only way to move on. I wouldn’t wish his fate on anyone. I hope that, in time, my comrades can make peace with him, too. That peace will look different for every person. We may have all come home, but learning to leave the war behind is not a quick or easy thing. Some will struggle with it for the rest of their lives. Some will never have the opportunity.

And Bergdahl, all I can say is this: Welcome back. I’m glad it’s over. There was a spot reserved for you on the return flight, but we had to leave without you, man. You’re probably going to have to find your own way home.

 

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/06/02/we-lost-soldiers-in-the-hunt-for-bergdahl-a-guy-who-walked-off-in-the-dead-of-night.html

 

Five of the Most Dangerous Taliban Commanders in U.S. Custody Exchanged for American Captive

3:42 PM, MAY 31, 2014 • BY THOMAS JOSCELYN

The Obama administration announced today that Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who has been held by the Taliban for several years, has been freed from his captors. Reading the stories of his newfound freedom it is impossible not to feel joy for Bergdahl and his family. NBC News reports that Bergdahl held up a sign once he was on board an American helicopter that read, “SF?” The operators quickly confirmed that they were in fact U.S. Special Forces: “Yes, we’ve been looking for you for a long time.”

Gitmo

“On behalf of the American people, I was honored to call his parents to express our joy that they can expect his safe return, mindful of their courage and sacrifice throughout this ordeal,” President Obama said in a statement. The president rightly noted: “Sergeant Bergdahl’s recovery is a reminder of America’s unwavering commitment to leave no man or woman in uniform behind on the battlefield.”

Unfortunately, America is not the only party in this war that is committed to leaving no man behind. So are the Taliban and other al Qaeda-linked groups. But the president did not say who America exchanged for Bergdahl: five of the most dangerous Taliban commanders in U.S. custody.

The Taliban has long demanded that the “Gitmo 5” be released in order for peace talks to begin in earnest. The Obama administration has desperately sought to engage the Taliban as American forces are drawn down in Afghanistan, but those talks have gone nowhere to this point.  At first, the administration set preconditions for the talks, including that the Taliban break its relationship with al Qaeda. When it became clear that this was a non-starter, the administration decided to make the Taliban’s desired break with al Qaeda a goal, and no longer a precondition, for its diplomacy.

There is little hope that the peace talks will be more successful now. But the president seems to believe that Bergdahl’s exchange for the Gitmo 5 (who are reportedly being transferred to Qatar) may break the ice. “While we are mindful of the challenges, it is our hope Sergeant Bergdahl’s recovery could potentially open the door for broader discussions among Afghans about the future of their country by building confidence that it is possible for all sides to find common ground,” Obama said in his statement.

The Obama administration says that security measures have been put into place to make sure that the Gitmo 5 do not pose a threat to American national security. Let’s hope that is true; it certainly has not been the case with many ex-Gitmo detainees in the past.

THE WEEKLY STANDARD has profiled these jihadists previously on multiple occasions, and what follows below is culled from these accounts.

There are good reasons why the Taliban has long wanted the five freed from Gitmo. All five are among the Taliban’s top commanders in U.S. custody and are still revered in jihadist circles.

Two of the five have been wanted by the UN for war crimes. And because of their prowess, Joint Task Force-Guantanamo (JTF-GTMO) deemed all five of them “high” risks to the U.S. and its allies.

The Obama administration wants to convince the Taliban to abandon its longstanding alliance with al Qaeda. But these men contributed to the formation of that relationship in the first place. All five had close ties to al Qaeda well before the 9/11 attacks. Therefore, it is difficult to see how their freedom would help the Obama administration achieve one of its principal goals for the hoped-for talks.

Here are short bios for each of the five Taliban commanders. All quotes are drawn from declassified and leaked documents prepared at Guantanamo.

Mullah Mohammad Fazl (Taliban army chief of staff): Fazl is “wanted by the UN for possible war crimes including the murder of thousands of Shiites.” Fazl “was associated with terrorist groups currently opposing U.S. and Coalition forces including al Qaeda, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin (HIG), and an Anti-Coalition Militia group known as Harakat-i-Inqilab-i-Islami.” In addition to being one of the Taliban’s most experienced military commanders, Fazl worked closely with a top al Qaeda commander named Abdul Hadi al Iraqi, who headed al Qaeda’s main fighting unit in Afghanistan prior to 9/11 and is currently detained at Guantanamo.

Mullah Norullah Noori (senior Taliban military commander): Like Fazl, Noori is “wanted by the United Nations (UN) for possible war crimes including the murder of thousands of Shiite Muslims.” Beginning in the mid-1990s, Noori “fought alongside al Qaeda as a Taliban military general, against the Northern alliance.” He continued to work closely with al Qaeda in the years that followed.

Abdul Haq Wasiq (Taliban deputy minister of intelligence): Wasiq arranged for al Qaeda members to provide crucial intelligence training prior to 9/11. The training was headed by Hamza Zubayr, an al Qaeda instructor who was killed during the same September 2002 raid that netted Ramzi Binalshibh, the point man for the 9/11 operation. Wasiq “was central to the Taliban’s efforts to form alliances with other Islamic fundamentalist groups to fight alongside the Taliban against U.S. and Coalition forces after the 11 September 2001 attacks,” according to a leaked JTF-GTMO threat assessment.

Khairullah Khairkhwa (Taliban governor of the Herat province and former interior minister): Khairkhwa was the governor of Afghanistan’s westernmost province prior to 9/11. In that capacity, he executed sensitive missions for Mullah Omar, including helping to broker a secret deal with the Iranians. For much of the pre-9/11 period, Iran and the Taliban were bitter foes. But a Taliban delegation that included Kharikhwa helped secure Iran’s support for the Taliban’s efforts against the American-led coalition in late 2001. JTF-GTMO found that Khairkhwa was likely a major drug trafficker and deeply in bed with al Qaeda. He allegedly oversaw one of Osama bin Laden’s training facilities in Herat.

Mohammed Nabi (senior Taliban figure and security official): Nabi “was a senior Taliban official who served in multiple leadership roles.” Nabi “had strong operational ties to Anti-Coalition Militia (ACM) groups including al Qaeda, the Taliban, the Haqqani Network, and the Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin (HIG), some of whom remain active in ACM activities.” Intelligence cited in the JTF-GTMO files indicates that Nabi held weekly meetings with al Qaeda operatives to coordinate attacks against U.S.-led forces.

Thomas Joscelyn is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/five-most-dangerous-taliban-commanders-us-custody-released-pow-exchange_794017.html?page=2

 

The best biography of George Washington yet

Ron Chernow’s extraordinary new book paints the first president as a man in a struggle to contain his emotions

Two unforgettable images run through Ron Chernow’s great book, “Washington: A Life,” and they have nothing to do with cherry trees or wooden teeth or silver dollars thrown across the Potomac.

The first is the image of a gallows. It appears early in the narrative, when Colonel George Washington of the Virginia Militia, seeking to terrify his untutored, undisciplined, ragamuffin soldiers into obedience, builds a 40-foot-high gibbet. Soon after, he sentences 14 of his men to death for desertion and insubordination. Though he will eventually spare 12 from the noose, he will still punish them with absolutely fierce and shocking floggings, an average of 600 lashes per prisoner. “Washington made a point of hanging people in public,” Ron Chernow writes, “to deter others.” It is an expression of “his blazing temper.” It is also a result of his experience as explorer and soldier in the Virginia wilderness, “which darkened his view of human nature.” His lifelong practice will be to see “people as motivated more by force than kindness.” When he hangs his first man, the year is 1756, Virginia is still a British colony, and Washington is 24 years old.

These gallows will recur. They are what novelists call a “through-line” or motif, a pattern of figures within a story. To a historian they are that and more. They are a kind of portal into Washington’s famously elusive, enigmatic character.

Gallows and nooses were, of course, an ordinary part of Washington’s time and world. To hang a disobedient solider — or rebel — was commonplace in 18th century warfare. The British government routinely punished treason this way, with the additional flourish of disemboweling the offender while he was still alive, and then decapitating him. When Benjamin Franklin cautions the Continental Congress that “we must all hang together, or we will all hang separately,” only the first part of his famous sentence is metaphorical.

 

FORMER OFFICER: SOLDIERS WERE ‘THREATENED’ IF THEY QUESTIONED BERGDAHL STORY

by 

A former U.S. officer who served in Afghanistan with Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl claims that soldiers were threatened by U.S. authorities if they questioned his story.

After he was captured, Bergdahl said on a video from his captors that he lagged behind on patrol, although other sources in the military suggested anonymously that he walked away from his post.

“Not only has this nebulous non-story been put out for years but you know these soldiers of 4th Brigade 25th Infantry Division were threatened with legal repercussions if they spoke about Bergdahl. Everybody officially mandated silencing of what we saw has been so frustrating,” Bethea explained on BBC World Service Radio today.

Bethea served in Sgt. Bergdahl’s unit, and was an infantry officer in the U.S. Army from 2007 to 2014

CNN’s Jake Tapper also reported that many of Bergdahl’s fellow troops signed nondisclosure agreements agreeing to never share any information about Bergdahl’s disappearance and the efforts to recapture him.

Bethea explained that now he was safe, more soldiers would be trying to tell the truth of his disappearance.

BBC interviewed Bethea after he wrote an article for the Daily Beast, asserting that Bergdahl was a deserter.

“He is safe, and now it is time to speak the truth,” he wrote. “And that the truth is: Bergdahl was a deserter, and soldiers from his own unit died trying to track him down.”

Bethea admitted that it would probably be unlikely that Bergdahl would face a court martial, because it would cast doubt on the deal the United States made with the Taliban to secure his release.

“I would at least like to see an official statement on what happened,” he said, referring to the Department of Defense.

Bergdahl is currently at an American military hospital in Germany, where he is being evaluated.

Bethea said that he would reserve judgement whether or not Bergdahl betrayed his country.

“I’m not going to call the guy a traitor just because it sounds like a stronger or harsher word than deserter,” Bethea said, admitting that he didn’t know what happened to him after he was captured.

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/06/02/Former-Officer-Soldiers-Were-Threatened-if-They-Questioned-Bergdahl-Story

 

AWOL and Desertion

By 

Many people confuse the terms, AWOL and Desertion. Some people believe that AWOL is when someone is absent for less than 30 days, and someone absent from the military for 30 days or more is a deserter. That’s not quite true.

Unauthorized absence from the military fall under three articles of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ): Article 85Desertion,Article 86AWOL, and Article 87Missing Movement. Of the three, Desertion is the most serious offense.

Missing Movement

A military member has violated Article 87 if he/she is ordered to be on a ship or an aircraft, or deploy with a unit on a certain date and time, and then fails to show up. It doesn’t matter if the member failed to show up through intention or because of neglect, but it is required that the member knew about the movement. A viable defense would be that the member missed the movement through physical inability (as long as that physical inability wasn’t a result of misconduct or neglect). The possible punishment is more severe if the member missed the movement on purpose. It’s not uncommon for Missing Movement to be charged in conjunction with AWOL or Desertion, depending on the circumstances.

AWOL

AWOL, or “Absent without Leave,” is usually called “Unauthorized Absence” (or UA) by the Navy and Marine Corps, and AWOL by the Army and Air Force. The use of “UA” by the Navy/Marine Corps and “AWOL” by the Army/Air Force is historical. Prior to enactment of the Uniform Code of Military Justice in 1951 the services were governed by separate laws. However, its official title under the current UCMJ is “AWOL” (a rose by any other name is still a rose). It simply means not being where you are supposed to be at the time you are supposed to be there. Being late for work is a violation of Article 86. Missing a medical appointment is a violation. So is disappearing for several days (or months, or years). The maximum possible punishments, which I’ll discuss later in this article, depends on the exact circumstances of the absence.

Desertion

Did you know that desertion can result in the death penalty? It’s true. The maximum punishment for desertion during “time of war” is death. However, since the Civil War, only one American servicemember has ever been executed for desertion — Private Eddie Slovik in 1945.

The offense of desertion, under Article 85 carries a much greater punishment than the offense of AWOL, under Article 86. Many people believe that if one is absent without authority for 30 days or more, the offense changes from AWOL to desertion, but that’s not quite true.

The primary difference between the two offenses is “intent to remain away permanently,” or if the purpose of the absence is to shirk “important duty,” (such as a combat deployment).

If one intends to return to “military control” someday, one is guilty of AWOL, not desertion, even if they were away for 50 years. Conversely, if a person was absent for just one minute, and then captured, he could be convicted of desertion, if the prosecution could prove that the member intended to remain away from the military permanently.

If the intent of the absence was to “shirk important duty,” such as a combat deployment, then the “intent to remain away permanently” to support a charge of desertion is not necessary. However, Such services as drill, target practice, maneuvers, and practice marches are not ordinarily “important duty.” “Important duty” may include such duty as hazardous duty, duty in a combat zone, certain ship deployments, etc. Whether a duty is hazardous or a service is important depends upon the circumstances of the particular case, and is a question of fact for the court-martial to decide.

More About AWOL and Desertion

Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ)
ART. 85. DESERTION
 More of this Feature
• UCMJ Menu
• Punitive Articles of the UCMJ
 Join the Discussion
Military Law
 Related Resources
• Court Martials
• Nonjudicial Punishment (Art 15)
• Administrative Discharges
• Military Lawyers 

 From Other Guides
• Crime & Punishment
• Current Events: Law
• Government
• US Government Info

 

 

(a) Any member of the armed forces who–

(1) without authority goes or remains absent from his unit, organization, or place of duty with intent to remain away therefrom permanently;

(2) quits his unit, organization, or place of duty with intent to avoid hazardous duty or to shirk important service; or

(3) without being regularly separated from one of the armed forces enlists or accepts an appointment in the same or another on of the armed forces without fully disclosing the fact that he has not been regularly separated, or enters any foreign armed service except when authorized by the United States;

is guilty of desertion.

(b) Any commissioned officer of the armed forces who, after tender of his resignation and before notice of its acceptance, quits his post or proper duties without leave and with intent to remain away therefrom permanently is guilty of desertion.

(c) Any person found guilty of desertion or attempt to desert shall be punished, if the offense is committed in time of war, by death or such other punishment as a court-martial may direct, but if the desertion or attempt to desert occurs at any other time, by such punishment, other than death, as a court-martial may direct.

Note: For specific details concerning this offense, including elements of proof, maximum punishments, and detailed explanation, see Punitive Articles of the UCMJ.

Next Article > ART. 86. ABSENCE WITHOUT LEAVE >

 

 

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Civilisation — Videos

Posted on April 30, 2014. Filed under: American History, Art, Blogroll, Books, Catholic Church, College, Communications, Culture, Dance, Demographics, Economics, Education, Entertainment, European History, Federal Government, government spending, Heroes, history, Language, Life, Links, Literacy, media, Non-Fiction, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Religion, Security, Video, War, Water, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , |

civilization

civilization_2Civilisation by Kenneth Clark - Folio Society

civilisation-protestation-et-communication-page-101

videos

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Civilisation (1969) Part 1 of 13 – The Skin of Our Teeth [HD]

 

Civilisation (1969) Part 2 of 13 – The Great Thaw [HD]

Civilisation (1969) Part 3 of 13 – Romance and Reality [HD]

Civilisation (1969) Part 4 of 13 – Man: The Measure of all Things [HD]

Civilisation (1969) Part 5 of 13 – The Hero as Artist [HD]

Civilisation (1969) Part 6 of 13 – Protest and Communication [HD]

Civilisation (1969) Part 7 of 13 – Grandeur and Obedience [HD] No Sound

Civilisation (1969) Part 8 of 13 – The Light of Experience [HD]

Civilisation (1969) Part 9 of 13 – The Pursuit of Happiness [HD]

Civilisation (1969) Part 10 of 13 – The Smile of Reason [HD]

Civilisation (1969) Part 11 of 13 – The Worship of Nature [HD]

Civilisation (1969) Part 12 of 13 – The Fallacies of Hope [HD]

 

Civilisation (1969) Part 13 of 13  [HD]

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Collectivists Celebrate 100 Anniversary of Start of World War I By Starting World War III? — Accidents Happen — Cold War Turns Into Hot War — Videos

Posted on March 14, 2014. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Business, Communications, Constitution, Crime, Culture, Demographics, Diasters, Drones, Economics, Education, Employment, Energy, Entertainment, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, government, government spending, history, Homicide, Inflation, Investments, Islam, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, Natural Gas, Nuclear, Oil, Oil, People, Philosophy, Photos, Pistols, Politics, Programming, Radio, Rants, Raves, Religion, Resources, Rifles, Security, Shite, Strategy, Sunni, Talk Radio, Technology, Terrorism, Unemployment, Video, War, Wealth, Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , |

europe-mapUkrain-physical-mapukraine_russia_timeline

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gas_europe

map_eurrussian_gas_pipelines

 

Russia dismisses U.S. proposals in Ukraine talks

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Learn How The United States Is Behind The Kiev Ukraine Riots

Build up to WW3 – OBAMA Announces SANCTIONS to be Imposed on RUSSIA Amid UKRAINE CRISIS

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The Guns of August

The Guns of August is a documentary that follows the book by the same title by author, Barbara Tuchman (1912-1989), an eminent American historian. She received the first of her two Pulitzer prizes for this 1962 masterpiece on World War I. The documentary was made in 1965. Barbara Tuchman was highly respected for her ability to present complex subjects and present them with clarity. Until I read the previous review, I have never heard of anyone accusing her of hating Germany or its people or of her book being anti-German propaganda. But there are pictures of shot civilians and movies of smoldering ruins. Then again, there are people who claim the Holocaust never took place and is just anti-Nazi propaganda… Facts: On August 3 1914, Germany declared war on France. The German invasion plan for France called for an attack through Belgium, instead of through the heavily defended Franco-German border. Belgium was neutral and its neutrality was protected by treaty with Great Britain. The Germans attacked on August 3rd. The next day, August 4th, Great Britain declared war on Germany. Germany warned Belgium that they only wanted to reach France and if Belgium complied, there wouldn’t be any trouble. Despite its small army, Belgium chose to protect its sovereignty and its honor and paid for it. Liège, Aarschot, Andenne, Tamines, Dinant, and Leuven, where the worst of the German depredations occurred.

 

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Neocon Warmonger Senate John McCain Off To Beat The War Drums — Go Home Senator — American People Want No US Intervention Into Ukraine! — Drums Beating Along The Black Sea — Videos

Posted on March 13, 2014. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Business, Communications, Constitution, Economics, Energy, Family, Federal Government, Foreign Policy, Freedom, Friends, Genocide, history, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Natural Gas, Natural Gas, Oil, Oil, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Press, Psychology, Radio, Radio, Rants, Raves, Religion, Resources, Security, Video, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

John McCain moves to start World War 3 in Ukraine

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Congressman Ron Paul, MD – We’ve Been NeoConned

Betrayal of the Constitution: The Neocons Now Run the GOP | John F. McManus

 

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Roundtable: As Crimea Threatens Secession, Does East-West Split Hasten Ukraine’s Polit. Divide? 1/2

Roundtable: As Crimea Threatens Secession, Does East-West Split Hasten Ukraine’s Polit. Divide? 2/2

 

Who Is Provoking the Unrest in Ukraine? A Debate on Role of Russia, U.S. in Regional Crisis (1/2)

 

Who Is Provoking the Unrest in Ukraine? A Debate on Role of Russia, U.S. in Regional Crisis (2/2)

 

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President Obama’s State of the Union 2014 Address — The Young and The Jobless Betrayed By Obama — Videos

Posted on January 29, 2014. Filed under: Agriculture, American History, Babies, Blogroll, Business, College, Communications, Constitution, Crime, Culture, Demographics, Diasters, Economics, Education, Employment, Energy, Farming, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Food, Foreign Policy, Fraud, government, government spending, Health Care, history, History of Economic Thought, Illegal, Immigration, Inflation, Investments, IRS, Language, Law, Legal, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, Macroeconomics, media, Narcissism, Obamacare, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Press, Private Sector, Psychology, Public Sector, Quotations, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Religion, Resources, Reviews, Security, Strategy, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Taxes, Technology, Terrorism, Unemployment, Unions, Video, War, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Pronk Pops Show 157: October 28, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 156: October 25, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 155: October 24, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 154: October 23, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 153: October 21, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 152: October 18, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 151: October 17, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 150: October 16, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 149: October 14, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 148: October 11, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 147: October 10, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 146: October 9, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 145: October 8, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 144: October 7, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 143: October 4 2013

Pronk Pops Show 142: October 3, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 141: October 2, 2013

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts Portfolio

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 194-200

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Story 1: President Obama’s State of the Union 2014 Address — The Young and The Jobless Betrayed By Obama — Videos

Watch the State of the Union – 2014

State of the Union 2014 Address: President Obama’s Full Speech – New York Times

Obama Urges Immigration Reform | State of the Union 2014

STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS – OBAMA wants to REBUILD the PEOPLES TRUST

State of the Union 2014 Address: Obama on Raising the Minimum Wage – New York Times

Frank Luntz State of the Union Focus Group on The Kelly File – Jan. 28, 2014

Rand Paul Sotu Reaction. Rand Paul State Of The Union Reaction

Sen. Ted Cruz Reaction to the State of the Union Address

FULL SPEECH: Tea Party Response to 2014 State of the Union – Senator Mike Lee

Gohmert’s Reaction to The 2014 State of the Union

Watch the Republican Response to the 2014 State of the Union

Maximum Rage Over The Minimum Wage

Glenn Beck: Obama Became America’s First Dictator During State of the Union 2014

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Global Warming Scientists Trapped in Antarctic Ice — Alarmists Bang The Gong for Help — Rescued By Carbon Burning Helicopter — Passengers and Luggage Air Lifted Out — Videos

Posted on January 2, 2014. Filed under: Blogroll, Climate, Communications, Economics, Federal Government, Food, government spending, media, People, Physics, Politics, Rants, Raves, Religion, Science, Strategy, Talk Radio, Taxes, Video, Weather, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

MV_Akademik_Shokalskiysintists_passengers_trappedantarctica-rescuecommonwealth-bay-region-of-antarctica-ship_trappedMV-Akademik-Shokalskiy-Shiphelicopter-rescue-for-ship-in-ice

ANTARCTIC RESCUE BEGINS ON THE ICE-BOUND SHIP – BBC NEWS

All passengers airlifted from stranded Antarctic ship Akademik Shokalskiy

Frozen Out: 98% of Stories Ignore That Ice-bound Ship Was On Global Warming Mission

By Mike Ciandella January 2, 2014

A group of climate change scientists were rescued by helicopter Jan. 2, after being stranded in the ice since Christmas morning. But the majority of the broadcast networks’ reports about the ice-locked climate researchers never mentioned climate change.

The Russian ship, Akademic Shokalskiy, was stranded in the ice while on a climate change research expedition, yet nearly 98 percent of network news reports about the stranded researchers failed to mention their mission at all. Forty out of 41 stories (97.5 percent) on the network morning and evening news shows since Dec. 25 failed to mention climate change had anything to do with the expedition.

In fact, rather than point out the mission was to find evidence of climate change, the networks often referred to the stranded people as “passengers,” “trackers” and even “tourists,” without a word about climate change or global warming.

Chris Turney, the expedition’s leader, is a professor of climate change at the University of South Wales. According to Turney’s personal website, the purpose of the expedition is to “discover and communicate the environmental changes taking place in the south.”

Twenty-two crew members stayed with the ship for the time being, as the scientists and researchers were rescued. According to CNN, the ship has enough supplies for “a very long time.”

Three rescue attempts had been thwarted by growing levels of sea ice and weather conditions.

“Outside, blizzard conditions packing an abnormal amount of ice in to the area for this time of the year, summer in the Antarctic,” ABC News Correspondent Gio Benitez reported on “Good Morning America” Dec. 31.

On Jan. 2, all 52 passengers were airlifted to a nearby Australian icebreaker ship which had tried, and failed, to plow through the ice and free the Akademic Shokalskiy, on Dec. 30. “Good Morning America” said on Dec. 30, that “the ice could be as thick as 13 feet.”

According to Fox News, Turney admitted “we’re stuck in our own experiment.” They reported on Dec. 30, that a statement from the Australasian Antarctic Expedition said, “Sea ice is disappearing due to climate change, but here ice is building up.”

There was only one news story out of 41 that mentioned climate change. That was CBS “This Morning” Dec. 30. “Despite being frozen at a standstill, the team’s research on climate change and Antarctic wildlife is moving forward,” CBS News Correspondent Don Dahler said. That night, all three evening news programs still failed to make any mention of the group’s climate change research.

The MRC’s Business and Media Institute was unable to view a copy of CBS “Sunday Morning” for Dec. 29, so that broadcast had to be excluded from the tally.

Before their ship got stuck in ice, the researchers were following the trail of the explorer Douglas Mawson, who was stranded in Antarctica for more than a year, beginning in December 1912, according to the website about the expedition.

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/mike-ciandella/2014/01/02/frozen-out-98-stories-ignore-ice-bound-ship-was-global-warming-missi

Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/mike-ciandella/2014/01/02/frozen-out-98-stories-ignore-ice-bound-ship-was-global-warming-missi#ixzz2pHVy2JVs

MSM Glosses Over Irony Of Global Warming Scientists Trapped In Antarctic Ice

Somewhere far, far to the south where it is summer, a group of global warming scientists are trapped in the Antarctic ice. If you missed the irony of that situation, it is because much of the mainstream media has glossed over that rather inconvenient bit of hilarity. As an example here is an Associated Press story that avoids mentioning the real mission of the scientists aboard the icebound Russian ship:

The Snow Dragon icebreaker came within 7 miles (11 kilometers) of the Russian ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy, which has been stuck since Christmas Eve, but had to retreat after the ice became too thick, said expedition spokesman Alvin Stone.

The Akademik Shokalskiy, which has been on a research expedition to Antarctica, got stuck Tuesday after a blizzard’s whipping winds pushed the sea ice around the ship, freezing it in place. The ship wasn’t in danger of sinking, and there are weeks’ worth of supplies for the 74 scientists, tourists and crew on board, but the vessel cannot move.

So what was the exact mission of these scientists? AP is rather vague about this reporting only:

The scientific team on board the research ship — which left New Zealand on Nov. 28 — had been recreating Australian explorer Douglas Mawson’s century-old voyage to Antarctica when it became trapped. They plan to continue their expedition after they are freed, expedition leader Chris Turney said.

Um, there is a bit more to the expedition than merely following in the footsteps of a century-old voyage. But what that mission really is, AP won’t say. If AP is vague about the mission’s purpose, Reuters provides even less information.

Since the MSM isn’t forthcoming as to the real purpose of those scientists traveling to Antarctica, we turn to Whats Up With That for more insight:

The expedition is being led by Chris Turney, “climate scientist”, who has “set up a carbon refining company called Carbonscape which has developed technology to fix carbon from the atmosphere and make a host of green bi-products, helping reduce greenhouse gas levels.” The purpose of the expedition is “to discover and communicate the environmental changes taking place in the south.”

It seems they found out what the “environmental changes taking place in the south.” are.

Finally, National Geographic bluntly states the mission purpose:

…The current crop of explorers are hoping to document some of the same data and compare them to Mawson’s numbers, “using the twist of modern technology,” Turney told National Geographic earlier this month.

As may be expected, global warming might play a role in this, he suggests, particularly with respect to melted ice in the East Antarctic.

Ah, so now we see why the MSM reluctance to flat out state why the scientists are in the Antarctic. Anything to avoid an inconvenient (but accurate) headline like this:

GLOBAL WARMING SCIENTISTS TRAPPED IN ANTARCTIC ICE

Ship stuck in Antarctica awaits rescue: A ship remains stranded in Antarctica as rescue crews battle treacherous ice to reach it. CNN’s Isa Soares reports.

Libtard “Global Warming” Update: The Ice Thickens; Stranded Ship In Antarctic Awaits New Rescue Plan

52 People Trapped in Antarctica Ring in New Year 2014

Ship trapped in Antarctica

Research Ship Trapped in Antarctic Ice

Antarctica’s Ice on the Move – Antarctica’s Climate Secrets

Global Warming Hoax Explained

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

Global Warming or a New Ice Age: Documentary Film

Global cooling was a conjecture during the 1970s of imminent cooling of the Earth’s surface and atmosphere along with a posited commencement of glaciation. This hypothesis had little support in the scientific community, but gained temporary popular attention due to a combination of a slight downward trend of temperatures from the 1940s to the early 1970s and press reports that did not accurately reflect the scientific understanding of ice age cycles. In contrast to the global cooling conjecture, the current scientific opinion on climate change is that the Earth has not durably cooled, but undergone global warming throughout the twentieth century.

Concerns about nuclear winter arose in the early 1980s from several reports. Similar speculations have appeared over effects due to catastrophes such as asteroid impacts and massive volcanic eruptions. A prediction that massive oil well fires in Kuwait would cause significant effects on climate was quite incorrect.

The idea of a global cooling as the result of global warming was already proposed in the 1990s. In 2003, the Office of Net Assessment at the United States Department of Defense was commissioned to produce a study on the likely and potential effects of a modern climate change, especially of a shutdown of thermohaline circulation. The study, conducted under ONA head Andrew Marshall, modelled its prospective climate change on the 8.2 kiloyear event, precisely because it was the middle alternative between the Younger Dryas and the Little Ice Age. The study caused controversy in the media when it was made public in 2004. However, scientists acknowledge that “abrupt climate change initiated by Greenland ice sheet melting is not a realistic scenario for the 21st century”.

Currently, the concern that cooler temperatures would continue, and perhaps at a faster rate, has been observed to be incorrect by the IPCC. More has to be learned about climate, but the growing records have shown that the cooling concerns of 1975 have not been borne out.

As for the prospects of the end of the current interglacial (again, valid only in the absence of human perturbations): it isn’t true that interglacials have previously only lasted about 10,000 years; and Milankovitch-type calculations indicate that the present interglacial would probably continue for tens of thousands of years naturally. Other estimates (Loutre and Berger, based on orbital calculations) put the unperturbed length of the present interglacial at 50,000 years. Berger (EGU 2005 presentation) believes that the present CO2 perturbation will last long enough to suppress the next glacial cycle entirely.

As the NAS report indicates, scientific knowledge regarding climate change was more uncertain than it is today. At the time that Rasool and Schneider wrote their 1971 paper, climatologists had not yet recognized the significance of greenhouse gases other than water vapor and carbon dioxide, such as methane, nitrous oxide, and chlorofluorocarbons. Early in that decade, carbon dioxide was the only widely studied human-influenced greenhouse gas. The attention drawn to atmospheric gases in the 1970s stimulated many discoveries in future decades. As the temperature pattern changed, global cooling was of waning interest by 1979

The Great Global Warming Swindle Full Movie

World’s climate warming faster than feared, scientists say

Scientists say the world’s climate is warming faster than feared because previous predictions were too “optimistic” and overestimated the cooling impact of clouds

By Jonathan Pearlman, Sydney

As the planet marked its fourth hottest year on record, a study published in the journal Nature found increasing levels of carbon dioxide will lead to thinner ocean clouds and reduce their cooling impact, causing temperature rises of at least 5.6F (3C) over the course of the century.

The team of scientists said the findings show some climate models have been too “optimistic” and previous estimates of a minimum temperature rise of only 2.7F (1.5C) could now be discounted. The optimistic models did not properly assess the impact of water evaporation, which sometimes rises only a short distance into the atmosphere and causes updraughts that reduce cloud cover, the study found.

”These models have been predicting a lower climate sensitivity but we believe they’re incorrect,” Professor Steven Sherwood, from the University of New South Wales, told The Sydney Morning Herald.

”The net effect of [climate change] is you have less cloud cover.”

The study comes amid a controversy in Australia over claims by Maurice Newman, Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s top business adviser, who said the world had been taken “hostage to climate change madness”.

Mr Newman said the climate change establishment, led by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, remained “intent on exploiting the masses and extracting more money”.

“The scientific delusion, the religion behind the climate crusade, is crumbling,” he wrote in The Australian. “Global temperatures have gone nowhere for 17 years… If the IPCC were your financial adviser, you would have sacked it long ago.”

Mr Newman, a former chairman of the Australian Stock Exchange, was criticised by the opposition and pilloried by scientists, who said he was expressing “flat earth” views and should be sacked.

“His piece is a mix of common climate change myths, misinformation and ideology,” said Professor David Karoly, from the University of Melbourne, in an article in The Sydney Morning Herald.

“I would not choose a person who believes that the Earth is flat to advise Australian shipping or airline businesses on how to plan routes to travel around the world. It is clearly not sensible to have a person who believes that climate change science is a delusion as leader of the prime minister’s Business Advisory Council.”

Mr Abbott, who is something of a climate change sceptic, once claimed that “climate change is “absolute crap”, though he later said he accepts it is “real”.

Since winning a federal election last September, he has moved to scrap Labor’s tax on carbon emissions and instead proposes to address climate change by paying polluters to reduce emissions, though critics say the plan is underfunded and will not achieve its reduction targets.

The debate comes as Australia in 2013 marked its hottest year since reliable recordings began in 1910. The world’s driest continent also recorded its hottest day, hottest month, hottest winter’s day and hottest summer.

The run of warmer weather began late in 2012 and was so great that Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology last year changed its official weather forecasting map to include new colours – deep purple and pink – for areas with temperatures above 50C (122F).

Globally, according to figures released in December by the United States National Climatic Data Center, 2013 was set to be the fourth hottest year in 134 years of records behind 2010, 2005 and 1998.

Meteorologists said it was the hottest year on record for a non-El Niño year.

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Three Cheers for Phil Robertson — Duck Dynasty, Free Speech, and Religious Freedom Win One — GLAAD IS SAD — Live With It and Move On — Videos

Posted on December 28, 2013. Filed under: American History, Art, Art, Babies, Blogroll, Business, Comedy, Communications, Constitution, Culture, Demographics, Economics, Education, Entertainment, Heroes, history, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, media, Microeconomics, People, Philosophy, Politics, Press, Radio, Rants, Raves, Religion, Rifles, Talk Radio, Television, Television, Vacations, Video, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

“Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson reinstated

 

A & E lifts suspension on ‘Duck Dynasty’

‘This Week’ Roundtable: ‘Duck Dynasty’ Debate

‘Duck Dynasty’ Reversal Shows GLAAD Has an Expiration Date

A few years ago, I couldn’t imagine a network disregarding GLAAD’s recommendations

By Brandon Ambrosino

Phil v. The Gays. With which will we side? Or rather, against which will we side? This is the question that society demands we answer. Are we anti-Phil or anti-gay or anti-GLAAD or anti-A&E or anti- … ?

Perhaps no other word sums up the Duck Dynasty fiasco as aptly as the word “anti.”

Whenever I hear that someone is anti-this or that, I immediately think of the old quip about MADD – are there any mothers for drunk driving? – and ask myself if anyone is really in favor of the particular thing being protested. Since GLAAD has recently taken a hard-line stance against Phil Robertson’s “anti-gay” comments, I’ve been asking myself a similar question about defamation: Who among us is for it? Most of us are decidedly against defamation, although we choose not to publicly participate in institutional demonstrations to prove how against it we are. But, of course, GLAAD is an institution, and therefore their criticism reverberates at systemic levels.

Founded in 1985 in the wake of the AIDS crisis, GLAAD was formed to protest skewed coverage of LGBT issues and “to put pressure on media organizations to end homophobic reporting.” The original name was an acronym for “Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation,” and although the organization has recently rebranded itself by deciding that the letters G-L-A-A-D aren’t actually going to stand for anything any more, their reputation for protesting defamatory speech is well known both within and without the LGBT community.

It goes without saying that GLAAD has done a great deal of good for the LGBT community, and for that they deserve our applause and honor. As they noted in their announcement heralding their name change, their work continues to educate and influence the greater culture. Historically they’ve been a symbol of inclusion and tolerance, and they’ve worked tirelessly to infuse these values into our controlling media discourses. Frankly, though, I don’t think their hasty reaction to Phil Robertson displayed our LGBT community’s best values.

Before many of us even learned that Phil Robertson was interviewed by GQ, GLAAD had already convinced us that Phil’s words were vile and offensive, and called upon A&E “to re-examine their ties to someone with such public disdain for LGBT people and families.” (I still wonder how many of us – commentators included – have read the actual story in GQ.) A&E offered its own kneejerk response to GLAAD’s kneejerk response, and placed Phil on “indefinite” hiatus, which then prompted some Evangelicals to offer up their own kneejerk response which had something to do with the freedom of speech and now – did I hear this correctly? – Chick-fil-A. In the end, after carefully reviewing all of the responses, A&E issued a final response explaining their decision to lift Phil’s suspension, which resulted in yet another predictable response from GLAAD. I’m not sure how we do it, but we manage to craft responses to our opponents without ever having actual conversations with them.

It isn’t shocking that a conservative Christian duck-hunter from Louisiana has opinions that GLAAD deemed “anti-gay,” and it isn’t shocking that A&E immediately kowtowed to GLAAD at the first drop of the word “homophobic.” What is shocking, however, is that A&E lifted Phil’s hiatus in spite of the fact that they knew GLAAD wasn’t going to be happy about it. A few years ago, I couldn’t imagine a network disregarding GLAAD’s recommendations. A&E is certainly setting a precedent – which makes me wonder about where we are today with queer politics.

In the ’80s and ’90s, GLAAD was necessary, if only because top media outlets needed to be reminded that journalistic ethics applied to AIDS coverage, too. But in 2014, how necessary is GLAAD? I don’t mean to suggest that the organization isn’t doing some good for our world – as I’ve already noted, they are! But as America edges closer and closer to unqualified and full inclusion of LGBT persons, I wonder if an organization whose raison d’etre is to find and shame instances of discrimination isn’t just a bit archaic.

If our goal is to progress beyond defamation against LGBT persons, then that means GLAAD has a sell-by date. To put it in a different, albeit cheekier way: Defamation is good for GLAAD’s business. To bankrupt our society of LGBT defamation would certainly put GLAAD out of work. It’s hard for me to imagine I’m the only one who’s wondered about this. In fact, GLAAD’s recent name-change only confirms that their leadership has been reexamining and revising their purposes moving forward. Again, I’m not suggesting our world doesn’t need GLAAD: There certainly is a place for them. But A&E’s latest reversal should make us question what exactly that place is.
http://ideas.time.com/2013/12/28/duck-dynasty-reversal-shows-glaad-has-an-expiration-date/

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God Is Behind Going Duck Crazy — Duck Dynasty Phil Robertson Suspended From Show For Expressing Views On Gays — Will Not Inherit The Kingdom of God — I’m With Phil — Photos & Videos

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God Is Behind Going Duck Crazy — Duck Dynasty Phil Robertson Suspended From Show For Expressing Views On Gays — Will Not Inherit The Kingdom of God — I’m With Phil — Photos & Videos

Posted on December 19, 2013. Filed under: American History, Art, Art, Blogroll, Business, Comedy, Communications, Culture, Economics, Education, Employment, Entertainment, Heroes, history, liberty, Life, Links, media, Music, People, Philosophy, Politics, Programming, Radio, Rants, Raves, Religion, Resources, Reviews, Security, Talk Radio, Technology, Television, Video, Wealth, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 

Merry-Christmas-Happy-New-Year

Pronk Pops Show 185: January 2, 2014

Project_1

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 184: December 19, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 183: December 17, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 182: December 16, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 181: December 13, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 180: December 12, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 179: December 11, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 178: December 5, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 177: December 2, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 176: November 27, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 175: November 26, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 174: November 25, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 173: November 22, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 172: November 21, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 171: November 20, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 170: November 19, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 169: November 18, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 168: November 15, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 167: November 14, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 166: November 13, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 165: November 12, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 164: November 11, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 163: November 8, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 162: November 7, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 161: November 4, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 160: November 1, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 159: October 31, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 158: October 30, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 157: October 28, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 156: October 25, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 155: October 24, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 154: October 23, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 153: October 21, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 152: October 18, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 151: October 17, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 150: October 16, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 149: October 14, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 148: October 11, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 147: October 10, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 146: October 9, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 145: October 8, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 144: October 7, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 143: October 4 2013

Pronk Pops Show 142: October 3, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 141: October 2, 2013

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts Portfolio

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 184

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 174-183

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 165-173

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 158-164

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 151-157

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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 94-97

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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 55-57

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 52-54

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Segment 0: God Is Behind Going Duck Crazy — Duck Dynasty Phil Robertson Suspended From Show For Expressing Views On Gays — Will Not Inherit The Kingdom of God — I’m With Phil — Photos & Videos

 

Phil-Robertsonphil-robertson-meme_2A&E Networks 2012 Upfront - InsidePhil-Robertson5jpgphil_on_foundersA+E Networks 2013 Upfront-3Si-Robertson

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The Robertson’s of Duck Dynasty Talk About How Their Faith in Jesus Turned Around Their Lives!!

Duck Commander Phil Robertson Talks About Why This Country Needs More Jesus

Duck Commander Phil Robertson from Duck Dynasty spoke to the congregation of Saddleback church in July on why people need Jesus and why the founders would agree — and I gotta say it was awesome. I watched it last night and knew I had to post it for you guys. Duck Commander’s message is really simple, that people need to love God and love each other and he delivers it beautifully. He really is a fantastic preacher.

‘Duck Dynasty’ star: Homosexuality wrong

Phil Robertson Duck Dynasty Suspended GQ Anti-Gay -Black Racist Comments Suspension

‘Duck Dynasty’ Star Makes Shocking ‘Gay is Sin’ Comment

Duck Dynasty dared to mention Jesus

‘Duck Dynasty’ star slammed over anti-gay rant

By Andrea Morabito

Phil Robertson, patriarch of the “Duck Dynasty” clan, is being slammed for controversial comments he made about homosexuality in an interview in the January issue of GQ.

“It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me,” Robertson told the magazine. “I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.”

When the reporter asked Robertson what he found sinful, he said “Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men.”

The self-proclaimed Bible-thumper then went on to paraphrase Corinthians: “Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”

On Wednesday, GLAAD called Robertson’s statements “vile” and “littered with outdated stereotypes.”

“Phil and his family claim to be Christian, but Phil’s lies about an entire community fly in the face of what true Christians believe,” said GLAAD spokesperson Wilson Cruz. “He clearly knows nothing about gay people or the majority of Louisianans — and Americans — who support legal recognition for loving and committed gay and lesbian couples.

“Phil’s decision to push vile and extreme stereotypes is a stain on A&E and his sponsors who now need to reexamine their ties to someone with such public disdain for LGBT people and families.”

An A&E spokesman had no comment, but Robertson released his own statement responding to the controversy.

“I myself am a product of the 60s; I centered my life around sex, drugs and rock and roll until I hit rock bottom and accepted Jesus as my Savior,” he said. “My mission today is to go forth and tell people about why I follow Christ and also what the Bible teaches, and part of that teaching is that women and men are meant to be together.

“However, I would never treat anyone with disrespect just because they are different from me. We are all created by the Almighty and like Him, I love all of humanity. We would all be better off if we loved God and loved each other.”

“Duck Dynasty” has been a ratings phenomenon for A&E, drawing 11.8 million viewers to its fourth season premiere last August, the most-watched nonfiction series telecast in cable history.

Its fifth season premieres on Jan. 15.

http://nypost.com/2013/12/18/duck-dynasty-member-slammed-for-comments-on-homosexuality/

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The Pronk Pops Show 184, December 19, 2013, Segment 1: Bubbles Ben Bernanke Bumps Bubble of Quantitative Easing Down By $10 Billion Per Month — Near Zero Interest Rate Policy Will Continue Well Into 2014 –Last Press Conference — Videos

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Cardinal Dolan — What Were Thinking When He Got In Bed With Obamacare? — Collectivist Government Intervention Replace Catholic Health Care — Videos

Posted on December 2, 2013. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Catholic Church, College, Communications, Diasters, Economics, Education, Employment, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Food, government, government spending, Health Care, history, Investments, IRS, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, Medicine, Obamacare, People, Philosophy, Politics, Psychology, Religion, Resources, Strategy, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Taxes, Unemployment, Video, War, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , |

Cardinal Timothy Dolan on Meet the Press

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Hostile Government Takeover of Health Care Sector Continues — Fight Back Do Not Enroll — Repeal Obamacare Now (ROT) — ROT NOW! — Videos

Posted on November 30, 2013. Filed under: American History, Babies, Biology, Blogroll, Catholic Church, Chemistry, College, Communications, Computers, Computers, Constitution, Crime, Culture, Demographics, Diasters, Economics, Education, Employment, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Fraud, government, government spending, Health Care, history, Inflation, Investments, IRS, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, media, Medicine, Obamacare, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Press, Programming, Psychology, Radio, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Religion, Resources, Science, Security, Strategy, Systems, Talk Radio, Taxes, Technology, Unemployment, Video, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Healthcare.gov finally ready for prime-time?

Obamacare Delay – Critics – THE BIG QUESTION: Is Obama A President Or A King? – The Kelly File

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Megyn Kelly Outraged Obama Lied about Americans being able to keep coverage, shows proof

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More Than a Website

Health Site Is Improving But Likely to Miss Saturday Deadline

By

Louise Radnofsky and Spencer E. Ante

Despite recent progress at HealthCare.gov, a raft of problems will remain beyond the Obama administration’s Saturday deadline to make the troubled federal insurance website work.

The news isn’t all bad: Users say the site looks better, pages load faster, and more people are getting through to sign up for health plans.

But technical problems still affect HealthCare.gov’s ability to verify users’ identities and transmit accurate enrollment data to insurers, officials say. The data center that supports the site faces continuing challenges, and tools for processing payments to insurers haven’t been built.

Technical staff in Washington have been racing up to the end-of-November deadline. In their last public pronouncement on the effort, three days before the deadline, officials said they had much to do to get the site into a condition where it functions smoothly for a majority of users.

The success of the White House’s signature domestic initiative is riding on the technicians’ ability to fix the site, as well as the rest of the federal technology supporting enrollment. Across the nation, that effort is being eyed hopefully by supporters of the law, since the site is the centerpiece of the effort to overhaul American health care and extend coverage to millions of people.

Those hopes were deflated by a series of blows for the administration right up until Nov. 30, and the site continued to experience outages, both planned and unplanned, in the week leading up to the deadline.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that the administration was planning to change its Web-hosting provider from Verizon Communications Inc. VZ -0.62% Verizon Communications Inc. U.S.: NYSE $49.62 -0.31 -0.62% Nov. 29, 2013 1:00 pm Volume (Delayed 15m) : 4.30M AFTER HOURS $49.79 +0.17 +0.34% Nov. 29, 2013 4:42 pm Volume (Delayed 15m): 611,247 P/E Ratio 65.29 Market Cap $141.91 Billion Dividend Yield 4.27% Rev. per Employee $651,745 11/27/13 H-P Will Replace Verizon for W… 11/20/13 Investors Tell AT&T, Verizon t… 11/18/13 Supreme Court Declines to Hear… More quote details and news » VZ in Your Value Your Change Short position subsidiary Terremark to Hewlett-Packard Co. in the spring, a complex transition that could introduce new challenges and take months; and the same day, the administration said it was shelving for a year any attempts to operate an online exchange for small businesses. On Wednesday, Verizon declined to comment on its clients.

Officials mixed optimism with caution. “November 30th does not represent a relaunch of HealthCare.gov,” said Julie Bataille, a spokeswoman for the government’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which operates the site. “It is not a magical date. There will be times after November 30th when the site, like any website, does not perform optimally.”

Find Your State’s Health-Insurance Exchange

For the fix-it drive that began in late October, the administration tapped former White House adviser Jeff Zients and QSSI, a unit of UnitedHealth Group, to act as the new lead contractor, establishing a 24-hour “war room” operations center to coordinate contractors who previously weren’t working well together. Since then, officials have focused on fixing the kinds of wrinkles that were most obvious to users.

They have reported success in speeding up the response time of the system, lowering it from an average of eight seconds at launch to less than one second for most users. They say they have eliminated a host of glitches in the software so that pages now load incorrectly less than 1% of the time. And they say they have added “visual cues” to help users navigate the system more easily.

Technicians have been racing to add new computer server, storage and database capacity to the website, hoping to get the site ready to withstand 50,000 simultaneous users by Sunday, as was originally intended, said people familiar with the work. “I think we are close,” said one.

Some people involved with enrollment say they have seen a notable uptick in recent weeks. Maine Community Health Options, a nonprofit plan based in Lewiston, Maine, now is getting “hundreds of enrollments” a day, rather than the dozens it saw trickling in earlier this month, said Chief Executive Kevin Lewis.

But problems with the performance of the site’s databases, storage and servers and their interaction with each other continue to slow the site or make it unavailable for short periods, according to government officials and contractors working on the project.

Explore how America’s health-care overhaul will affect you on this first-person adventure. CLICK THE IMAGE to start interactive experience.

Karen Egozi, CEO of the Epilepsy Foundation of Florida, which has trained nearly 50 people to help others enroll, said the performance of the website has improved in recent weeks but suffers from unpredictable glitches. On Nov. 19, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius visited a medical center in Miami and watched a member of Ms. Egozi’s staff help a couple fill out an application. The website failed, in front of a local TV camera crew.

On the weekend of Nov. 23 and 24, Ms. Egozi said her navigators were able to sign up a few people. But on Nov. 25, she said the site was down for a little while. “Sometimes, similar to when the secretary was here, the site does not let us through to the next section,” she said. “It was not working today, but yesterday it worked well.”

One source of early problems: The government had bought web-hosting services from Terremark subsidiary that initially gave it a highly virtualized system of servers shared by other groups within the Medicare center, rather than a dedicated group of computer servers for HealthCare.gov. Plans are in place to replace the Verizon unit with H-P this spring.

HHS also didn’t initially contract for a backup website or monitoring tools like those used by sophisticated consumer sites, according to people familiar with the matter.

The website still has no separate backup copy, but it did replace the virtual database with dedicated hardware, and bought and installed monitoring software.

Meanwhile, the site has a backlog of users who encountered problems in its first weeks of operation. Some appear to be locked out from the early stages unless they can get their account deleted. Others are stuck at the next big stage, persuading the federal government of their identity and their income so their application for tax credits can be processed. 

Yannette Castellano waits to talk to a navigator about health-care options available under the Affordable Care Act, at the North Shore Medical Center, on Nov. 19 in Miami. AP

Guy Dicharry of Los Lunas, N.M., said he had been in limbo at the identity-verification stage since Oct. 5, despite giving the site personal information several times so it can confirm his income. He hasn’t heard back about a paper application submitted Nov. 1.

“This has been botched and is not getting fixed. If it’s not fixed, I’ll be ringing in 2014 as a newly uninsured person. I suspect that is the opposite of what the ACA was supposed to achieve,” said Mr. Dicharry, who described himself as a supporter of the Affordable Care Act. Because of their age and income, Mr. Dicharry and his wife stand to gain valuable subsidies toward the cost of coverage, but only if he buys it through the website.

Ronald Gallagher of Paradise Valley, Ariz., said he had been helping his daughter shop for coverage. After 16 hours over four days starting Oct. 1, they were told her identity was verified and she could pick a plan. But when they logged in to the website, it said her application was “In Progress.”

After failing to get help from a call center, father and daughter filled out an application over the phone in early November, but they still haven’t received a letter telling what insurance plans she qualifies for. “So far, nothing the government has done has worked,” Mr. Gallagher said.

Even when people successfully enroll, insurers say they sometimes get incorrect data. Ms. Bataille, the government spokeswoman, said officials have seen “marked improvements” in the information transmitted to insurers but “we know there are still issues that remain.” An HHS official also said that there had been improvements in identity verification, but that the agency knew it wasn’t fully fixed.

Mr. Lewis of Maine Community Health Options also worried about a larger volume of applicants, especially since insurers have now been told to find ways to process applications that come in from people as late as Dec. 23 in time for their coverage to begin Jan. 1, rather than a previous Dec. 15 deadline.

If “there’s an avalanche on that last date, I don’t know if the system will be able to support all that,” he said.

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303332904579228413800602836

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Pope Francis Attacks Unfettered Capitalism in Apostolic Exhortation or “The Joy of the Gospel” — Instead of Out of Control Government Spending and Government Failures — Videos

Posted on November 27, 2013. Filed under: Blogroll, Books, Catholic Church, College, Communications, Constitution, Economics, Education, Employment, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, government, government spending, Inflation, Language, Law, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Press, Raves, Regulations, Religion, Resources, Talk Radio, Unemployment, Video, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , |

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Pronk Pops Show 176: November 27, 2013

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Segment 1: Pope Francis Attacks Unfettered Capitalism in Apostolic Exhortation or “The Joy of the Gospel” — Instead of Out of Control Government Spending  and Government Failures — Videos

‘This Week': Pope Francis’ Economic Critique

Pope Francis on the joy of the Gospel

RCE: Sort out your financial empire – other topics addressed – glass house attitude !!!

Pope Francis unveils new vision for Catholics

Pope Francis: Unfettered Capitalism Is Tyranny

Pope Francis Goes Off On Capitalism

Is Pope Francis Anti Capitalism

Pope Francis Calls Unfettered Capitalism ‘Tyranny’

November 26, 2013

by Joshua Holland

Earlier this month, Laurie Goodstein reported forThe New York Times that Pope Francis’ softer rhetoric on hot-button social issues like abortion and same-sex marriage were causing conservative Catholics no small amount of chagrin.

It looks like they can expect more cognitive dissonance, according to this report in The Guardian

Pope Francis has attacked unfettered capitalism as “a new tyranny”, urging global leaders to fight poverty and growing inequality in the first major work he has authored alone as pontiff.

The 84-page document, known as an apostolic exhortation, amounted to an official platform for his papacy, building on views he has aired in sermons and remarks since he became the first non-European pontiff in 1,300 years in March.

In it, Francis went further than previous comments criticizing the global economic system, attacking the “idolatry of money” and beseeching politicians to guarantee all citizens “dignified work, education and healthcare”.

He also called on rich people to share their wealth. “Just as the commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill’ sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say ‘thou shalt not’ to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills,” Francis wrote in the document issued on Tuesday.

“How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure but it is news when the stock market loses two points?”

In a sense, the new pope is just grappling with the reality he faces. Polls show that American Catholics, at least, agree with the pontiff’s position that the church focuses too much on social issues. And Francis recently commissioned a survey of Catholics around the world to see where they fall on these questions.

Meanwhile, Dominic Barton, the Managing Director of McKinsey & Co., writes in today’s Wall Street Journal: ”In 2012, the top 1% of earners in the US collected 19.3% of the country’s total household income–an all-time high… The disparity is growing rapidly as well. Incomes of the top 1% grew by 31.4% from 2009 to 2012, compared to just 0.4% for the remaining 99%.”

http://billmoyers.com/2013/11/26/pope-francis-calls-unfettered-capitalism-tyranny/

Pope Francis’ new document, Evangelii Gaudium: 9 things to know and share

BY JIMMY AKIN

Pope Francis has just released a new document titled Evangelii Gaudium.

It is his first apostolic exhortation, and it is devoted to the theme of the new evangelization.

Here are 9 things to know and share . . .

1) What does “Evangelii Gaudium” mean?

It’s Latin for “The Joy of the Gospel.”

2) What is an apostolic exhortation?

It’s a papal document that, as the name suggests, exhorts people to implement a particular aspect of the Church’s life and teaching.

Its purpose is not to teach new doctrine, but to suggest how Church teachings and practices can be profitably applied today.

Some apostolic exhortations are devoted to the pastoral challenges faced in particular parts of the world (Europe, Africa, Asia, the Americas). Others are devoted to particular themes.

Previous apostolic exhortations include:

  • Paul VI’s Evangelii Nuntiandi (on evangelization today)
  • John Paul II’s Christifideles Laici (on the role of the laity)
  • John Paul II’s Redemptoris Custos (on St. Joseph)
  • Benedict XVI’s Sacramentum Caritatis (on the Eucharist)
  • Benedict XVI’s Verbum Domini (on the Word of God)

3) How much authority does an apostolic exhortation have?

It is one of the more important papal documents—more important, for example, than a Wednesday audience or a homily.

As it is of a pastoral nature rather than a doctrinal or legal nature, though, it is ranked lower than an encyclical or an apostolic constitution.

As with everything official that the pope writes, it is to be taken very seriously.

4) What leads a pope to write an apostolic exhortation?

Frequently, apostolic exhortations are written after a meeting of the Synod of Bishops.

The Synod of Bishops is a group that gathers selected bishops from across the world to discuss a particular subject.

At the synod, the bishops write a document making recommendations for the pope. It is then given to him for his reflection, and he may then write an apostolic exhortation based on the bishops’ recommendations.

Exhortations that come about in this way are called “post-synodal” apostolic exhortations because they are written after (“post-”) a meeting of the synod.

There does not have to be such an exhortation. Sometimes they hold a meeting of the synod of bishops, but no apostolic exhortation is released.

Also, not all apostolic exhortations are written after a synod, though. Sometimes the pope may decide to write one on his own, without a synod being held on the subject. This was the case with John Paul II’s Redemptoris Custos.

5) Why did Pope Francis write Evangelii Gaudium?

It was written in response to the most recent meeting of the Synod of Bishops, which took place in October, 2012.

It was devoted to the subject of the new evangelization, so that is the subject of Evangelii Gaudium.

This synod took place before Pope Francis was elected in March 2013.

It sometimes happens that a synod is held and the pope who presided over it leaves office before the exhortation is released. His successor may then choose to go forward with the project.

For example, the 2005 synod on the Eucharist was held under John Paul II, but he had passed on before an exhortation was released. Benedict XVI then took the document that the bishops had prepared and had an exhortation written.

(Usually, the pope does not draft the document himself, but it is drafted based on his decisions, and he has final approval over what it says.)

Pope Francis’s decision in this case is similar to his decision to release the encyclical Lumen Fidei, which was primarily drafted by Pope Benedict, but which he completed.

Unlike that case, though, Pope Francis contributed much, much more to this document.

With Lumen Fidei, he did not add very much to what Pope Benedict had written. Evangelii Gaudium, by contrast, is much more a “Francis document.” It regularly emphasizes the distinctive thought and themes of the new pope.

6) What is Pope Francis’ main message in Evangelii Gaudium?

As suggested by the name, the principal theme involves the need for a joyful proclamation of the Gospel to the entire world.

Archbishop Rino Fisichella, who presented the document at a Vatican press conference, summarized its main message this way:

If we were to sum up Pope Francis’s Evangelii Gaudium in a few words, we could say that it is an Apostolic Exhortation written around the theme of Christian joy in order that the Church may rediscover the original source of evangelization in the contemporary world.

Pope Francis offers this document to the Church as a map and guide to her pastoral mission in the near future.

It is an invitation to recover a prophetic and positive vision of reality without ignoring the current challenges.

Pope Francis instills courage and urges us to look ahead despite the present crisis, making the cross and the resurrection of Christ once again our “the victory banner” (source).

7) What particularly noteworthy things does the pope have to say in the document?

There is a mountain of them.

The document is 51,000 words long, which means that it is the length of a novel and takes at least 5 hours to read.

There are numerous important things that the pope says, some of which I will endeavor to unpack in future blog posts.

However, Archbishop Fisichella offers a summary of seven main themes that it covers:

The following seven points, gathered together in the five chapters of the Exhortation, constitute the fundamental pillars of Pope Francis’ vision of the new evangelization:

1.     the reform of the Church in a missionary key,

2.     the temptations of pastoral agents,

3.     the Church understood as the totality of the People of God which evangelizes,

4.     the homily and its preparation,

5.     the social inclusion of the poor,

6.     peace and social dialogue,

7.     and the spiritual motivations for the Church’s missionary action.

The cement which binds these themes together is concentrated in the merciful love of God which goes forth to meet every person in order to manifest the heart of his revelation: The life of every person acquires meaning in the encounter with Jesus Christ and in the joy of sharing this experience of love with others.

YOU CAN READ THE FULL DOCUMENT HERE.

8) Can you give a specific example of something notable he says?

Sure. It’s hard to pick just one!

Pro-lifers will be heartened to read what he has to say concerning unborn children and abortion:

213. Among the vulnerable for whom the Church wishes to care with particular love and concern are unborn children, the most defenseless and innocent among us.

Nowadays efforts are made to deny them their human dignity and to do with them whatever one pleases, taking their lives and passing laws preventing anyone from standing in the way of this.

Frequently, as a way of ridiculing the Church’s effort to defend their lives, attempts are made to present her position as ideological, obscurantist and conservative.

Yet this defense of unborn life is closely linked to the defense of each and every other human right.

It involves the conviction that a human being is always sacred and inviolable, in any situation and at every stage of development.

Human beings are ends in themselves and never a means of resolving other problems.

Once this conviction disappears, so do solid and lasting foundations for the defense of human rights, which would always be subject to the passing whims of the powers that be.

Reason alone is sufficient to recognize the inviolable value of each single human life, but if we also look at the issue from the standpoint of faith, “every violation of the personal dignity of the human being cries out in vengeance to God and is an offence against the creator of the individual”.

214. Precisely because this involves the internal consistency of our message about the value of the human person, the Church cannot be expected to change her position on this question.

I want to be completely honest in this regard.

This is not something subject to alleged reforms or “modernizations”.

It is not “progressive” to try to resolve problems by eliminating a human life.

On the other hand, it is also true that we have done little to adequately accompany women in very difficult situations, where abortion appears as a quick solution to their profound anguish, especially when the life developing within them is the result of rape or a situation of extreme poverty.

Who can remain unmoved before such painful situations?

9) Is there an extra significance to the document?

It will take time to fully process the significance of the document, but one this is immediately clear: This document is not something that Pope Francis delegated to others and allowed to be written on auto-pilot. It contains far too much of his own thought and themes for that.

This means that Pope Francis was closely involved in the writing of this document, and that shows that he cares—powerfully—about the theme of evangelization.

This demolishes the wrongheaded claims that Pope Francis doesn’t take the task of evangelization seriously.

On the contrary, it’s one of the highest priorities of his pontificate.

Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/blog/jimmy-akin/pope-francis-new-document-evangelii-gaudium-9-things-to-know-and-share/#ixzz2lszGOH94

‘Not to share wealth with poor is to steal': Pope slams capitalism as ‘new tyranny’

Pope Francis has taken aim at capitalism as “a new tyranny” and is urging world leaders to step up their efforts against poverty and inequality, saying “thou shall not kill” the economy. Francis calls on rich people to share their wealth.

The existing financial system that fuels the unequal distribution of wealth and violence must be changed, the Pope warned.

“How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points?” Pope Francis asked an audience at the Vatican.

The global economic crisis, which has gripped much of Europe and America, has the Pope asking how countries can function, or realize their full economic potential, if they are weighed down by the debts of capitalism.

“A new tyranny is thus born, invisible and often virtual, which unilaterally and relentlessly imposes its own laws and rules,” the 84-page document, known as an apostolic exhortation, said.

“To all this we can add widespread corruption and self-serving tax evasion, which has taken on worldwide dimensions. The thirst for power and possessions knows no limits”, the pope’s document says.

He goes on to explain that in this system, which tends to devour everything which stands in the way of increased profits, whatever is fragile, like the environment, is defenseless before the interests of a deified market, which has become the only rule we live by.

Shameful wealth

Inequality between the rich and the poor has reached a new threshold, and in his apostolic exhortation to mark the end of the “Year of Faith”, Pope Francis asks for better politicians to heal the scars capitalism made on society.

“Just as the commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill’ sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say ‘thou shalt not’ to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills,” Francis wrote in the document issued Tuesday.

His calls to service go beyond general good Samaritan deeds, as he asks his followers for action“beyond a simple welfare mentality”.

“I beg the Lord to grant us more politicians who are genuinely disturbed by the state of society, the people, the lives of the poor,” Francis wrote.

A recent IRS report shows that the wealth of the US’s richest 1 percent has grown by 31 percent, while the rest of the population experienced an income rise of only 1 percent.

The most recent Oxfam data shows that up to 146 million Europeans are at risk of falling into poverty by 2025 and 50 million Americans are currently suffering from severe financial hardship.

“As long as the problems of the poor are not radically resolved by rejecting the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation, and by attacking the structural causes of inequality, no solution will be found for the world’s problems or, for that matter, to any problems,” he wrote.

Named after the medieval saint who chose a life of poverty, Pope Francis has gone beyond general calls for fair work, education, and healthcare.

Newly-elected Pope Francis has stepped up the fight against corrupt capitalism that has hit close to home – he was the first Pope to go after the Vatican bank and openly accused it of fraud and shady offshore tax haven deals.

In October, Pope Francis removed Vatican bank head Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, after revelations of alleged mafia money laundering and financial impropriety.

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T.E. Lawrence

Thomas Edward LawrenceCBDSO (16 August 1888[5] – 19 May 1935), known professionally as T. E. Lawrence, was a British Army officer renowned especially for his liaison role during the Sinai and Palestine Campaign and the Arab Revolt against Ottoman Turkish rule of 1916–18. The breadth and variety of his activities and associations, and his ability to describe them vividly in writing, earned him international fame as Lawrence of Arabia, a title which was used for the 1962 film based on his World War I activities.

Lawrence was born illegitimate in TremadogWales, in August 1888 to Sir Thomas Chapman and Sarah Junner, a governess who was herself illegitimate. Chapman had left his wife and first family in Ireland to live with Sarah Junner, and they called themselves Mr and Mrs Lawrence. In the summer of 1896 the Lawrences moved to Oxford, where in 1907–10 young Lawrence studied history at Jesus College, graduating with First Class Honours. He became a practising archaeologist in the Middle East, working at various excavations with David George Hogarth and Leonard Woolley. In 1908 he joined the Oxford University Officer Training Corps, undergoing a two-year training course.[6] In January 1914, before the outbreak of World War I, Lawrence was co-opted by the British Army to undertake a military survey of the Negev Desertwhile doing archaeological research.

Lawrence’s public image resulted in part from the sensationalised reportage of the revolt by an American journalist, Lowell Thomas, as well as from Lawrence’s autobiographical account, Seven Pillars of Wisdom (1922). In 1935, he was fatally injured in a motorbike crash in Dorset.

Early life

T. E. Lawrence’s birthplace, Gorphwysfa, now known as Snowdon Lodge.[7]

Lawrence was born on 16 August 1888 in TremadogCaernarfonshire (nowGwynedd), Wales, in a house named Gorphwysfa, now known as Snowdon Lodge.[8]His Anglo-Irish father, Thomas Robert Tighe Chapman, who in 1914 inherited the title of Westmeath in Ireland as seventh Baronet, had left his wife Edith for his daughters’governess Sarah Junner. Junner’s mother, Elizabeth Junner, had named as Sarah’s father a “John Junner — shipwright journeyman”, though she had been living as an unmarried servant in the household of a John Lawrence, ship’s carpenter, just four months earlier.[9][10]

Thomas Chapman and Sarah Junner did not marry, but were known as Mr and Mrs Lawrence. They had five sons, of whom Thomas Edward was the second eldest. From Wales the family moved to Kirkcudbright in Dumfries and Galloway, then Dinard in Brittany, then to Jersey. In 1894–96 the family lived at Langley Lodge (now demolished), set in private woods between the eastern borders of the New Forest and Southampton Water in Hampshire. Mr Lawrence sailed and took the boys to watch yacht racing in the Solent off Lepe beach. By the time they left, the eight-year-old Ned (as Lawrence became known) had developed a taste for the countryside and outdoor activities.

Lawrence memorial plaque atOxford Boys’ High School

In the summer of 1896 the Lawrences moved to 2 Polstead Road in Oxford, where, until 1921, they lived under the names of Mr and Mrs Lawrence. Lawrence attended the City of Oxford High School for Boys, where one of the four houses was later named “Lawrence” in his honour; the school closed in 1966.[11] As a schoolboy, one of his favourite pastimes was to cycle to country churches and make brass rubbings. Lawrence and one of his brothers became commissioned officers in the Church Lads’ Brigade at St Aldate’s Church.

Lawrence claimed that in about 1905, he ran away from home and served for a few weeks as a boy soldier with the Royal Garrison Artillery at St Mawes Castle in Cornwall, from which he was bought out. No evidence of this can be found in army records.[12]

Middle East archaeology

At the age of 15 Lawrence and his schoolfriend Cyril Beeson bicycled around BerkshireBuckinghamshire and Oxfordshire, visited almost every village’s parish church, studied their monuments and antiquities and made rubbings of their monumental brasses.[13] Lawrence and Beeson monitored building sites in Oxford and presented their finds to the Ashmolean Museum.[13] The Ashmolean’s Annual Report for 1906 said that the two teenage boys “by incessant watchfulness secured everything of antiquarian value which has been found”.[13] In the summers of 1906 and 1907 Lawrence and Beeson toured France by bicycle, collecting photographs, drawings and measurements of medieval castles.[13]

From 1907 to 1910 Lawrence studied history at Jesus College, Oxford.[14] In the summer of 1909 Lawrence set out alone on a three-month walking tour of crusader castles inOttoman Syria, in which he travelled 1,000 mi (1,600 km) on foot. Lawrence graduated with First Class Honours after submitting a thesis entitled The influence of the Crusades on European Military Architecture—to the end of the 12th century based on his field research with Beeson in France,[13] notably in Châlus, and his solo research in the Middle East.[15]

Leonard Woolley (left) and T. E. Lawrence at Carchemish, ca. 1912

On completing his degree in 1910, Lawrence commenced postgraduate research in medieval pottery with a Senior Demy, a form of scholarship, at Magdalen College, Oxford, which he abandoned after he was offered the opportunity to become a practising archaeologist in the Middle East. Lawrence was a polyglot whose published work demonstrates competence in French, Ancient Greek, and Arabic.

T. E. Lawrence and Leonard Woolley(right) at Carchemish, spring 1913

In December 1910 he sailed for Beirut, and on arrival went to Jbail (Byblos), where he studiedArabic. He then went to work on the excavations at Carchemish, near Jerablus in northern Syria, where he worked under D. G. Hogarth and R. Campbell Thompson of the British Museum. He would later state that everything that he had accomplished, he owed to Hogarth.[16] As the site lay near an important crossing on the Baghdad Railway, knowledge gathered there was of considerable importance to the military. While excavating ancientMesopotamian sites, Lawrence met Gertrude Bell, who was to influence him during his time in the Middle East.

In late 1911, Lawrence returned to England for a brief sojourn. By November he was en route to Beirut for a second season at Carchemish, where he was to work with Leonard Woolley. Before resuming work there, however, he briefly worked with Flinders Petrie at Kafr Ammar inEgypt.

Lawrence continued making trips to the Middle East as a field archaeologist until the outbreak of the First World War. In January 1914, Woolley and Lawrence were co-opted by the British military as an archaeological smokescreen for a British military survey of the Negev Desert. They were funded by the Palestine Exploration Fund to search for an area referred to in the Bible as the “Wilderness of Zin“; along the way, they undertook an archaeological survey of the Negev Desert. The Negev was of strategic importance, as it would have to be crossed by any Ottoman army attacking Egypt in the event of war. Woolley and Lawrence subsequently published a report of the expedition’s archaeological findings,[17] but a more important result was an updated mapping of the area, with special attention to features of military relevance such as water sources. Lawrence also visited Aqaba and Petra.

From March to May 1914, Lawrence worked again at Carchemish. Following the outbreak of hostilities in August 1914, Lawrence did not immediately enlist in the British Army; on the advice of S.F. Newcombe he held back until October, when he was commissioned on the General List; and immediately posted to the intelligence staff in Cairo.

Arab revolt

Lawrence at Rabigh, north of Jeddah, 1917

Main article: Arab Revolt

At the outbreak of the First World War Lawrence was a university post-graduate researcher who had for years travelled extensively within the Ottoman Empire provinces of the Levant (Transjordan and Palestine) and Mesopotamia (Syria and Iraq) under his own name. As such he had become known to the Ottoman Interior Ministry authorities and their German technical advisers, travelling on the German-designed, built, and financed railways during the course of his research.[18]

The Arab Bureau of Britain’s Foreign Office conceived a campaign of internal insurgency against the Ottoman Empire in the Middle East. The Arab Bureau had long felt it likely that a campaign instigated and financed by outside powers, supporting the breakaway-minded tribes and regional challengers to the Turkish government’s centralised rule of their empire, would pay great dividends in the diversion of effort that would be needed to meet such a challenge. The Arab Bureau had recognised the strategic value of what is today called the “asymmetry” of such conflict. The Ottoman authorities would have to devote from a hundred to a thousand times the resources to contain the threat of such an internal rebellion compared to the Allies’ cost of sponsoring it.

With his first-hand knowledge of Syria, the Levant, and Mesopotamia (not to mention having already worked as a part-time civilian army intelligence officer), on his formal enlistment in 1914 Lawrence was posted to Cairo on the Intelligence Staff of the GOC Middle East.[19]The British government in Egypt sent Lawrence to work with the Hashemite forces in the Arabian Hejaz in October 1916.[20]

During the war, Lawrence fought with Arab irregular troops under the command of Emir Faisal, a son of Sherif Hussein of Mecca, in extended guerrilla operations against the armed forces of the Ottoman Empire. Lawrence obtained assistance from the Royal Navy to turn back an Ottoman attack on Yenbu in December 1916.[20] Lawrence’s major contribution to the revolt was convincing the Arab leaders (Faisal and Abdullah) to co-ordinate their actions in support of British strategy. He persuaded the Arabs not to make a frontal assault on the Ottoman stronghold in Medina but allow the Turkish army to tie up troops in the city garrison. The Arabs were then free to direct most of their attention to the Turks’ weak point, the Hejaz railway that supplied the garrison. This vastly expanded the battlefield and tied up even more Ottoman troops, who were then forced to protect the railway and repair the constant damage. Lawrence developed a close relationship with Faisal, whose Arab Northern Army was to become the main beneficiary of British aid.[21]

Capture of Aqaba

Lawrence at Aqaba, 1917

Main article: Battle of Aqaba

In 1917, Lawrence arranged a joint action with the Arab irregulars and forces including Auda Abu Tayi (until then in the employ of the Ottomans) against the strategically located but lightly defended[22][23][24] town of Aqaba. On 6 July, after a surprise overland attack, Aqaba fell to Lawrence and the Arab forces. After Aqaba, Lawrence was promoted to major, and the new commander-in-chief of the Egyptian Expeditionary ForceGeneral Sir Edmund Allenby, agreed to his strategy for the revolt, stating after the war:

“I gave him a free hand. His cooperation was marked by the utmost loyalty, and I never had anything but praise for his work, which, indeed, was invaluable throughout the campaign. He was the mainspring of the Arab movement and knew their language, their manners and their mentality.”[25]

Lawrence now held a powerful position, as an adviser to Faisal and a person who had Allenby’s confidence.

Battle of Tafileh

In January 1918, the battle of Tafileh, an important region southeast of the Dead Sea, was fought using Arab regulars under the command of Jafar Pasha al-Askari.[26] The battle was a defensive engagement that turned into an offensive rout, and was described in the official history of the war as a “brilliant feat of arms”.[26]Lawrence was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for his leadership at Tafileh, and was also promoted to Lieutenant Colonel.[26]

By the summer of 1918, the Turks were offering a substantial reward for Lawrence’s capture, with one officer writing in his notes; “Though a price of £15,000 has been put on his head by the Turks, no Arab has, as yet, attempted to betray him. The Sharif of Mecca [King of the Hedjaz] has given him the status of one of his sons, and he is just the finely tempered steel that supports the whole structure of our influence in Arabia. He is a very inspiring gentleman adventurer.”[26]

Fall of Damascus

Lawrence was involved in the build-up to the capture of Damascus in the final weeks of the war. Much to his disappointment, and contrary to instructions he had issued, he was not present at the city’s formal surrender, arriving several hours after the city had fallen. Lawrence entered Damascus around 9am on 1 October 1918, but was only the third arrival of the day, the first being the 10th Australian Light Horse Brigade, led by Major A.C.N. ‘Harry’ Olden who formally accepted the surrender of the city from acting Governor Emir Said.[27] In newly liberated Damascus—which he had envisaged as the capital of an Arab state—Lawrence was instrumental in establishing a provisional Arab government under Faisal. Faisal’s rule as king, however, came to an abrupt end in 1920, after the battle of Maysaloun, when the French Forces of General Gouraud, under the command of General Mariano Goybet, entered Damascus, destroying Lawrence’s dream of an independent Arabia.

Portrait of T. E. Lawrence by Lowell Thomas

During the closing years of the war he sought, with mixed success, to convince his superiors in the British government that Arab independence was in their interests. The secret Sykes-Picot Agreement between France and Britain contradicted the promises of independence he had made to the Arabs and frustrated his work.[28]

In 1918 he co-operated with war correspondent Lowell Thomas for a short period. During this time Thomas and his cameraman Harry Chase shot a great deal of film and many photographs, which Thomas used in a highly lucrative film that toured the world after the war.

[Lowell Thomas] went to Jerusalem where he met Lawrence, whose enigmatic figure in Arab uniform fired his imagination. With Allenby’s permission he linked up with Lawrence for a brief couple of weeks … Returning to America, Thomas, early in 1919, started his lectures, supported by moving pictures of veiled women, Arabs in their picturesque robes, camels and dashing Bedouin cavalry, which took the nation by storm, after running at Madison Square Gardens in New York. On being asked to come to England, he made the condition he would do so if asked by the King and given Drury Lane or Covent Garden … He opened at Covent Garden on 14 August 1919 … And so followed a series of some hundreds of lecture–film shows, attended by the highest in the land …”[29]

Postwar years

Map presented by TE Lawrence to the Eastern Committee of the War Cabinet in November 1918[30]

Emir Faisal’s party at Versailles, during the Paris Peace Conference of 1919. Left to right: Rustum Haidar, Nuri as-SaidPrince Faisal (front), Captain Pisani (rear), T. E. Lawrence, Faisal’s slave (name unknown), Captain Hassan Khadri.

Lawrence returned to the United Kingdom a full Colonel.[31] Immediately after the war, Lawrence worked for the Foreign Office, attending the Paris Peace Conference between January and May as a member of Faisal’s delegation. He served for much of 1921 as an advisor to Winston Churchill at the Colonial Office.

On 17 May 1919 the Handley Page Type O carrying Lawrence on a flight to Egypt crashed at the airport of Roma-Centocelle. The pilot and co-pilot were killed; Lawrence survived with a broken shoulder blade and two broken ribs.[32] During his brief hospitalisation, he was visited by King Victor Emanuel III.[33]

In August 1919 Lowell Thomas launched a colourful photo show in London entitled With Allenby in Palestine which included a lecture, dancing, and music.[34] Initially, Lawrence played only a supporting role in the show, but when Thomas realised that it was the photos of Lawrence dressed as a Bedouin that had captured the public’s imagination, he photographed him again, in London, in Arab dress.[34]With the new photos, Thomas re-launched his show as With Allenby in Palestine and Lawrence in Arabia in early 1920; it was extremely popular.[34] Thomas’ shows made the previously-obscure Lawrence into a household name.[34]

T. E. Lawrence, Emir Abdullah, Air Marshal Sir Geoffrey Salmond, Sir Herbert Samuel H.B.M. high commissioner and SirWyndham Deedes and others in Jerusalem.

In August 1922, Lawrence enlisted in the Royal Air Force as an aircraftman under the name John Hume Ross. At the RAF recruiting centre in Covent Garden, London, he was interviewed by a recruiting officer – Flying Officer W. E. Johns, later to be well known as the author of the Biggles series of novels.[35] Johns rejected Lawrence’s application as he correctly believed “Ross” was a false name. Lawence admitted this was so and the documents he provided were false and left. But he returned some time later with an RAF Messenger, carrying a written order for Johns to accept Lawrence.[36]

However, Lawrence was forced out of the RAF in February 1923 after being exposed. He changed his name to T. E. Shaw and joined the Royal Tank Corps in 1923. He was unhappy there and repeatedly petitioned to rejoin the RAF, which finally readmitted him in August 1925.[37] A fresh burst of publicity after the publication of Revolt in the Desert (see below) resulted in his assignment to a remote base in British India in late 1926, where he remained until the end of 1928. At that time he was forced to return to Britain after rumours began to circulate that he was involved in espionage activities.

He purchased several small plots of land in Chingford, built a hut and swimming pool there, and visited frequently. This was removed in 1930 when the Chingford Urban District Councilacquired the land and passed it to the City of London Corporation, but re-erected the hut in the grounds of The Warren, Loughton, where it remains, neglected, today. Lawrence’s tenure of the Chingford land has now been commemorated by a plaque fixed on the sighting obelisk on Pole Hill.

He continued serving in the RAF based at BridlingtonEast Riding of Yorkshire, specialising in high-speed boats and professing happiness, and it was with considerable regret that he left the service at the end of his enlistment in March 1935.

Lawrence was a keen motorcyclist, and, at different times, had owned seven Brough Superior motorcycles.[38] His seventh motorcycle is on display at the Imperial War Museum. Among the books Lawrence is known to have carried with him on his military campaigns isThomas Malory‘s Morte D’Arthur. Accounts of the 1934 discovery of the Winchester Manuscript of the Morte include a report that Lawrence followed Eugene Vinaver—a Malory scholar—by motorcycle from Manchester to Winchester upon reading of the discovery inThe Times.[39]

Death

Lawrence’s last Brough Superior,Imperial War Museum, London

At the age of 46, two months after leaving military service, Lawrence was fatally injured in an accident on his Brough Superior SS100motorcycle in Dorset, close to his cottage, Clouds Hill, near Wareham. A dip in the road obstructed his view of two boys on their bicycles; he swerved to avoid them, lost control, and was thrown over the handlebars.[40] He died six days later on 19 May 1935.[40] The spot is marked by a small memorial at the side of the road.

Roadside Memorial tree and stone with engraving at Clouds HillWarehamDorset

Lawrence on a Brough Superior SS100

One of the doctors attending him was the neurosurgeon Hugh Cairns, who consequently began a long study of what he saw as the unnecessary loss of life by motorcycle dispatch riders through head injuries. His research led to the use of crash helmets by both military and civilian motorcyclists.[41]

Moreton estate, which borders Bovington Camp, was owned by Lawrence’s cousins, the Frampton family. Lawrence had rented and later bought Clouds Hill from the Framptons. He had been a frequent visitor to their home, Okers Wood House, and had for years corresponded with Louisa Frampton. With his body wrapped in the Union Flag, Lawrence’s mother arranged with the Framptons for him to be buried in their family plot at Moreton.[42][43] His coffin was transported on the Frampton estate’s bier. Mourners included Winston and Clementine ChurchillE. M. Forster and Lawrence’s youngest brother, Arnold.[44]

A bust of Lawrence was placed in the crypt at St Paul’s Cathedral, London and a stone effigy by Eric Kennington remains in the Anglo-Saxon church of St Martin, Wareham in Dorset.[45]

Writings

Throughout his life, Lawrence was a prolific writer. A large portion of his output was epistolary; he often sent several letters a day. Several collections of his letters have been published. He corresponded with many notable figures, including George Bernard ShawEdward Elgar,Winston ChurchillRobert GravesNoël CowardE. M. ForsterSiegfried SassoonJohn BuchanAugustus John and Henry Williamson. He met Joseph Conrad and commented perceptively on his works. The many letters that he sent to Shaw’s wife, Charlotte, are revealing as to his character.[46]

In his lifetime, Lawrence published three major texts. The most significant was his account of the Arab Revolt, Seven Pillars of Wisdom. Two were translationsHomer‘s Odyssey, and The Forest Giant — the latter an otherwise forgotten work of French fiction. He received a flat fee for the second translation, and negotiated a generous fee plus royalties for the first.

Seven Pillars of Wisdom

14 Barton Street, London S.W.1, where Lawrence lived while writing Seven Pillars.

Lawrence’s major work is Seven Pillars of Wisdom, an account of his war experiences. In 1919 he had been elected to a seven-year research fellowship at All Souls College, Oxford, providing him with support while he worked on the book. In addition to being a memoir of his experiences during the war, certain parts also serve as essays on military strategy, Arabian culture and geography, and other topics. Lawrence re-wrote Seven Pillars of Wisdom three times; once “blind” after he lost the manuscript while changing trains at Reading railway station.

The list of his alleged “embellishments” in Seven Pillars is long, though many such allegations have been disproved with time, most definitively in Jeremy Wilson‘s authorised biography. However Lawrence’s own notebooks refute his claim to have crossed the Sinai Peninsula from Aqaba to the Suez Canal in just 49 hours without any sleep. In reality this famous camel ride lasted for more than 70 hours and was interrupted by two long breaks for sleeping which Lawrence omitted when he wrote his book.[47]

Lawrence acknowledged having been helped in the editing of the book by George Bernard Shaw. In the preface to Seven Pillars, Lawrence offered his “thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Shaw for countless suggestions of great value and diversity: and for all the presentsemicolons.”

The first public edition was published in 1926 as a high-priced private subscription edition, printed in London by Herbert John Hodgsonand Roy Manning Pike, with illustrations by Eric KenningtonAugustus JohnPaul NashBlair Hughes-Stanton and his wife Gertrude Hermes. Lawrence was afraid that the public would think that he would make a substantial income from the book, and he stated that it was written as a result of his war service. He vowed not to take any money from it, and indeed he did not, as the sale price was one third of the production costs.[48] This, along with his “saintlike” generosity, left Lawrence in substantial debt.[49]

Revolt in the Desert

Portrait of T. E. Lawrence byAugustus John, 1919

Revolt in the Desert was an abridged version of Seven Pillars, which he began in 1926 and was published in March 1927 in both limited and trade editions. He undertook a needed but reluctant publicity exercise, which resulted in a best-seller. Again he vowed not to take any fees from the publication, partly to appease the subscribers to Seven Pillars who had paid dearly for their editions. By the fourth reprint in 1927, the debt from Seven Pillars was paid off. As Lawrence left for military service in India at the end of 1926, he set up the “Seven Pillars Trust” with his friend D. G. Hogarth as a trustee, in which he made over the copyright and any surplus income of Revolt in the Desert. He later told Hogarth that he had “made the Trust final, to save myself the temptation of reviewing it, if Revolt turned out a best seller.”

The resultant trust paid off the debt, and Lawrence then invoked a clause in his publishing contract to halt publication of the abridgment in the United Kingdom. However, he allowed both American editions and translations, which resulted in a substantial flow of income. The trust paid income either into an educational fund for children of RAF officers who lost their lives or were invalided as a result of service, or more substantially into the RAF Benevolent Fund.

Posthumous

Lawrence left unpublished The Mint,[50] a memoir of his experiences as an enlisted man in the Royal Air Force (RAF). For this, he worked from a notebook that he kept while enlisted, writing of the daily lives of enlisted men and his desire to be a part of something larger than himself: the Royal Air Force. The book is stylistically very different from Seven Pillars of Wisdom, using sparse prose as opposed to the complicated syntax found in Seven Pillars. It was published posthumously, edited by his brother, Professor A. W. Lawrence.

After Lawrence’s death, A. W. Lawrence inherited Lawrence’s estate and his copyrights as the sole beneficiary. To pay the inheritance tax, he sold the U.S. copyright of Seven Pillars of Wisdom (subscribers’ text) outright to Doubleday Doran in 1935. Doubleday still controls publication rights of this version of the text of Seven Pillars of Wisdom in the USA. In 1936 Prof. Lawrence split the remaining assets of the estate, giving Clouds Hill and many copies of less substantial or historical letters to the nation via the National Trust, and then set up two trusts to control interests in T. E. Lawrence’s residual copyrights. To the original Seven Pillars Trust, Prof. Lawrence assigned the copyright in Seven Pillars of Wisdom, as a result of which it was given its first general publication. To the Letters and Symposium Trust, he assigned the copyright in The Mint and all Lawrence’s letters, which were subsequently edited and published in the book T. E. Lawrence by his Friends (edited by A. W. Lawrence, London, Jonathan Cape, 1937).

A substantial amount of income went directly to the RAF Benevolent Fund or for archaeological, environmental, or academic projects. The two trusts were amalgamated in 1986 and, on the death of Prof. A. W. Lawrence in 1991, the unified trust also acquired all the remaining rights to Lawrence’s works that it had not owned, plus rights to all of Prof. Lawrence’s works.

Bibliography

Sexuality

Lawrence’s biographers have discussed his sexuality at considerable length, and this discussion has spilled into the popular press.[52]

There is no reliable evidence for consensual sexual intimacy between Lawrence and any person. His friends have expressed the opinion that he was asexual,[53][54] and Lawrence himself specifically denied, in multiple private letters, any personal experience of sex.[55] While there were suggestions that Lawrence had been intimate with Dahoum, who worked with Lawrence at a pre-war archaeological dig in Carchemish,[56] and fellow-serviceman R.A.M. Guy,[57] his biographers and contemporaries have found them unconvincing.[56][57][58]

The dedication to his book Seven Pillars is a poem titled “To S.A.” which opens:

I loved you, so I drew these tides of men into my hands
and wrote my will across the sky in stars
To earn you Freedom, the seven-pillared worthy house,
that your eyes might be shining for me
When we came.

Lawrence was never specific about the identity of “S.A.” There are many theories which argue in favour of individual men, women, and the Arab nation.[59] The most popular is that S.A. represents (at least in part) his companion Selim Ahmed, “Dahoum”, who apparently died of typhus before 1918.

Although Lawrence lived in a period during which official opposition to homosexuality was strong, his writing on the subject was tolerant. In Seven Pillars, when discussing relationships between young male fighters in the war, he refers on one occasion to “the openness and honesty of perfect love”[60] and on another to “friends quivering together in the yielding sand with intimate hot limbs in supreme embrace”.[61] In a letter to Charlotte Shaw he wrote “I’ve seen lots of man-and-man loves: very lovely and fortunate some of them were.”[62]

In both Seven Pillars and a 1919 letter to a military colleague,[63] Lawrence describes an episode on 20 November 1917 in which, while reconnoitring Dera’a in disguise, he was captured by the Ottoman military, heavily beaten, and sexually abused by the local Bey and his guardsmen. The precise nature of the sexual contact is not specified. There have been allegations that the episode was an invention of Lawrence’s and (with some evidence) that the injuries Lawrence claims to have suffered were exaggerated.[64] Although there is no independent testimony, the multiple consistent reports, and the absence of evidence for outright invention in Lawrence’s works, make the account believable to his biographers.[65] At least three of Lawrence’s biographers (Malcolm Brown, John E. Mack, and Jeremy Wilson) have argued this episode had strong psychological effects on Lawrence which may explain some of his unconventional behaviour in later life.

There is considerable evidence that Lawrence was a masochist. In his description of the Dera’a beating, Lawrence wrote “a delicious warmth, probably sexual, was swelling through me”, and also included a detailed description of the guards’ whip in a style typical of masochists’ writing.[66] In later life, Lawrence arranged to pay a military colleague to administer beatings to him,[52] and to be subjected to severe formal tests of fitness and stamina.[67] While John Bruce, who first wrote on this topic, included some other claims which were not credible, Lawrence’s biographers regard the beatings as established fact.[68]

John E. Mack sees a possible connection between T.E.’s masochism and the childhood beatings he had received from his mother[69] for routine misbehaviours.[70] His brother Arnold thought the beatings had been given for the purpose of breaking T.E.’s will.[70] Writing in 1997, Angus Calder noted that it is “astonishing” that earlier commentators discussing Lawrence’s apparent masochism and self-loathing failed to consider the impact on Lawrence of having lost his brothers Frank and Will on the Western front, along with many other school friends.[71]

Bust of T. E. Lawrence atSt Paul’s Cathedral

Awards and commemorations

Lawrence was made a Companion of the Order of the Bath and awarded the Distinguished Service Order and the French Légion d’Honneur, though in October 1918 he refused to be made a Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. A bronze bust of Lawrence was placed in the crypt of St Paul’s Cathedral alongside the tombs of Britain’s greatest military leaders.[72] An English heritage blue plaque marks Lawrence’s childhood home at 2 Polstead Road, Oxford, OX2, and another appears on his London home at 14 Barton Street Westminster, SW1.[73][74] In 2002, Lawrence was named 53rd in the BBC‘s list of the 100 Greatest Britons following a UK-wide vote.[75]

In popular culture

Film

Television

Theatre

  • Lawrence was the subject of Terence Rattigan‘s controversial play Ross, which explored Lawrence’s alleged homosexualityRoss ran in London in 1960–61, starring Alec Guinness, who was an admirer of Lawrence, and Gerald Harper as his blackmailer, Dickinson. The play had originally been written as a screenplay, but the planned film was never made. In January 1986 at the Theatre Royal, Plymouth on the opening night of the revival of RossMarc Sinden, who was playing Dickinson (the man who recognised and blackmailed Lawrence, played by Simon Ward), was introduced to the man that the character of ‘Dickinson’ was based on. Sinden asked him why he had blackmailed Ross, and he replied, “Oh, for the money. I was financially embarrassed at the time and needed to get up to London to see a girlfriend. It was never meant to be a big thing, but a good friend of mine was very close to Terence Rattigan and years later, the silly devil told him the story”.[79]
  • Alan Bennett‘s Forty Years On (1968) includes a satire on Lawrence; known as “Tee Hee Lawrence” because of his high-pitched, girlish giggle. “Clad in the magnificent white silk robes of an Arab prince … he hoped to pass unnoticed through London. Alas he was mistaken.” The section concludes with the headmaster confusing him with D. H. Lawrence.
  • The character of Private Napoleon Meek in George Bernard Shaw‘s 1931 play Too True to Be Good was inspired by Lawrence. Meek is depicted as thoroughly conversant with the language and lifestyle of tribals. He repeatedly enlists with the army, quitting whenever offered a promotion. Lawrence attended a performance of the play’s originalWorcestershire run, and reportedly signed autographs for patrons attending the show.[80]
  • T. E. Lawrence’s first year back at Oxford after the Great War to write his Seven Pillars of Wisdom was portrayed by Tom Rooney in a play, The Oxford Roof Climbers Rebellion, written by Canadian playwright Stephen Massicotte (premiered Toronto 2006). The play explores Lawrence’s political, physical and psychological reactions to war, and his friendship with poet Robert Graves. Urban Stages presented the American premiere in New York City in October 2007; Lawrence was portrayed by actor Dylan Chalfy.
  • Lawrence’s final years are portrayed in a one-man show by Raymond SargentThe Warrior and the Poet

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T._E._Lawrence

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Collectivism

Collectivism

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collectivism4

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Why Obama Is Snubbing Putin | WSJ Opinion

A Plea for Caution From Russia

What Putin Has to Say to Americans About Syria

By VLADIMIR V. PUTIN

MOSCOW — RECENT events surrounding Syria have prompted me to speak directly to the American people and their political leaders. It is important to do so at a time of insufficient communication between our societies.

Relations between us have passed through different stages. We stood against each other during the cold war. But we were also allies once, and defeated the Nazis together. The universal international organization — the United Nations — was then established to prevent such devastation from ever happening again.

The United Nations’ founders understood that decisions affecting war and peace should happen only by consensus, and with America’s consent the veto by Security Council permanent members was enshrined in the United Nations Charter. The profound wisdom of this has underpinned the stability of international relations for decades.

No one wants the United Nations to suffer the fate of the League of Nations, which collapsed because it lacked real leverage. This is possible if influential countries bypass the United Nations and take military action without Security Council authorization.

The potential strike by the United States against Syria, despite strong opposition from many countries and major political and religious leaders, including the pope, will result in more innocent victims and escalation, potentially spreading the conflict far beyond Syria’s borders. A strike would increase violence and unleash a new wave of terrorism. It could undermine multilateral efforts to resolve the Iranian nuclear problem and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and further destabilize the Middle East and North Africa. It could throw the entire system of international law and order out of balance.

Syria is not witnessing a battle for democracy, but an armed conflict between government and opposition in a multireligious country. There are few champions of democracy in Syria. But there are more than enough Qaeda fighters and extremists of all stripes battling the government. The United States State Department has designated Al Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, fighting with the opposition, as terrorist organizations. This internal conflict, fueled by foreign weapons supplied to the opposition, is one of the bloodiest in the world.

Mercenaries from Arab countries fighting there, and hundreds of militants from Western countries and even Russia, are an issue of our deep concern. Might they not return to our countries with experience acquired in Syria? After all, after fighting in Libya, extremists moved on to Mali. This threatens us all.

From the outset, Russia has advocated peaceful dialogue enabling Syrians to develop a compromise plan for their own future. We are not protecting the Syrian government, but international law. We need to use the United Nations Security Council and believe that preserving law and order in today’s complex and turbulent world is one of the few ways to keep international relations from sliding into chaos. The law is still the law, and we must follow it whether we like it or not. Under current international law, force is permitted only in self-defense or by the decision of the Security Council. Anything else is unacceptable under the United Nations Charter and would constitute an act of aggression.

No one doubts that poison gas was used in Syria. But there is every reason to believe it was used not by the Syrian Army, but by opposition forces, to provoke intervention by their powerful foreign patrons, who would be siding with the fundamentalists. Reports that militants are preparing another attack — this time against Israel — cannot be ignored.

It is alarming that military intervention in internal conflicts in foreign countries has become commonplace for the United States. Is it in America’s long-term interest? I doubt it. Millions around the world increasingly see America not as a model of democracy but as relying solely on brute force, cobbling coalitions together under the slogan “you’re either with us or against us.”

But force has proved ineffective and pointless. Afghanistan is reeling, and no one can say what will happen after international forces withdraw. Libya is divided into tribes and clans. In Iraq the civil war continues, with dozens killed each day. In the United States, many draw an analogy between Iraq and Syria, and ask why their government would want to repeat recent mistakes.

No matter how targeted the strikes or how sophisticated the weapons, civilian casualties are inevitable, including the elderly and children, whom the strikes are meant to protect.

The world reacts by asking: if you cannot count on international law, then you must find other ways to ensure your security. Thus a growing number of countries seek to acquire weapons of mass destruction. This is logical: if you have the bomb, no one will touch you. We are left with talk of the need to strengthen nonproliferation, when in reality this is being eroded.

We must stop using the language of force and return to the path of civilized diplomatic and political settlement.

A new opportunity to avoid military action has emerged in the past few days. The United States, Russia and all members of the international community must take advantage of the Syrian government’s willingness to place its chemical arsenal under international control for subsequent destruction. Judging by the statements of President Obama, the United States sees this as an alternative to military action.

I welcome the president’s interest in continuing the dialogue with Russia on Syria. We must work together to keep this hope alive, as we agreed to at the Group of 8 meeting in Lough Erne in Northern Ireland in June, and steer the discussion back toward negotiations.

If we can avoid force against Syria, this will improve the atmosphere in international affairs and strengthen mutual trust. It will be our shared success and open the door to cooperation on other critical issues.

My working and personal relationship with President Obama is marked by growing trust. I appreciate this. I carefully studied his address to the nation on Tuesday. And I would rather disagree with a case he made on American exceptionalism, stating that the United States’ policy is “what makes America different. It’s what makes us exceptional.” It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation. There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy. Their policies differ, too. We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal.

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[...]

Syrian President Assad has since rejected the Arab Gas Pipeline and has instead begun working closely with Iran on Iran’s proposed gas pipeline, dubbed the Islamic Pipeline. This proposed pipeline would obviously compete directly with the Arab Gas Pipeline and its goal of delivering Mideast natural gas to Europe.

[...]

But what about Russia? Why are they choosing to side with Syria despite the massive propaganda push by the West? Russia’s economy is predominantly based upon its enormous energy supplies. Much of Europe is dependent upon Russian oil and gas, and this dependency is growing. Russia has the world’s largest reserves of natural gas. Which country has the second largest reserves? Iran.

Iran, however, is isolated with no current ability to export its vast energy supplies to Europe. Russia has its eye on the potential profits of bringing Iranian oil and gas online for Europe. For this reason, (among a myriad of others) it has sought to solidify its relations with Iran. Of course, the most direct route for moving Iran’s energy supplies to Europe is right through the heart of Iraq and into Syria. So, it appears that Russia’s alliance with Syria has less to do with Syria and much more to do with the Iranian gas that may soon flow into Syria.

In the end, these conflicts in the Middle East are all about controlling the flow of energy resources.

Read more:  Why Syria? A Story Of Competing Pipelines

 

http://consciouslifenews.com/syria-story-competing-pipelines/1164623/

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Russia’s Main Concern in Syria — Tartus Naval Base

Posted on September 10, 2013. Filed under: American History, Ammunition, Blogroll, Communications, Constitution, Crime, Economics, European History, Federal Government, Foreign Policy, government, government spending, history, Investments, Islam, Islam, Law, liberty, Life, Links, People, Philosophy, Photos, Pistols, Politics, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Religion, Rifles, Talk Radio, Terrorism, Transportation, Video, War, Wealth, Weapons, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , |

 

syriaTartus

Cyprus Base

tartus_replaces_sevastopol_port_russian_fleet

Syrian_Naval_Base_at_Tartus-hr

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Admiral-Kuznetsov

russian_warship_leaves_Tartus_Syria

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syria_civil_war_rebel_control_map_2013-08-22

Russia sends Warships to Syria WW3 looming Syria Russia Ships ‘Bound For Mediterranean’

 

September 2013 Russia said very concerned USA may respond militarily

 

Russia Builds Up Naval Presence Off Syria

Russia expands its naval presence near a key base in Syria in a build-up that U.S. and European officials say appears aimed at deterring intervention in the country’s increasingly bloody civil war.

 

Russia concerned over naval bases in Syria

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Be Careful: Russia is Back to Stay in the Middle East – Guest Post

Be Careful: Russia is Back to Stay in the Middle East

Russia is back. President Vladimir Putin wants the world to acknowledge that Russia remains a global power. He is making his stand in Syria.

The Soviet Union acquired the Tardus Naval Port in Syria in 1971 without any real purpose for it. With their ships welcomed in Algeria, Cuba or Vietnam, Tardus was too insignificant to be developed. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia lacked the funds to spend on the base and no reason to invest in it.

The Russian return to the Middle East brought them first to where the Soviet Union had its closest ties. Libya had been a major buyer of arms and many of the military officers had studied in the Soviet Union. Russia was no longer a global power, but it could be used by the Libyans as a counter force to block domination by the United States and Europeans.

When Gaddafi fell, Tardus became Russia’s only presence in the region. That and the discovery of vast gas deposits just offshore have transformed the once insignificant port into a strategic necessity.

Earlier at the United Nations, Russia had failed to realize that Security Council Resolution 1973 that was to implement a new policy of “responsibility to protect” cloaked a hidden agenda. It was to be turned from a no-fly zone into a free-fire zone for NATO. That strategic blunder of not vetoing the resolution led to the destruction of Gaddafi’s regime and cost Russia construction contracts and its investments in Libyan gas and oil to the tune of 10 billion dollars.

That was one more in a series of humiliating defeats; and something that Putin will not allow to happen again while he is president. Since his time as an officer in the KGB, he has seen the Soviet Empire lose half of its population, a quarter of its land mass, and most of its global influence. He has described the collapse of the Soviet Union as a “geopolitical catastrophe.”

In spite of all of the pressure from Washington and elsewhere to have him persuade Bashar Al-Assad to relinquish power, Putin is staying loyal to the isolated regime. He is calculating that Russia can afford to lose among the Arabs what little prestige that it has remaining and gain a major political and economic advantage in Southern Europe and in the Eastern Mediterranean.

What Russia lost through the anti-Al-Assad alliance was the possibility to control the natural gas market across Europe and the means to shape events on the continent. In July 2011, Iran, Iraq, and Syria agreed to build a gas pipeline from the South Pars gas field in Iran to Lebanon and across the Mediterranean to Europe. The pipeline that would have been managed by Gazprom would have carried 110 million cubic meters of gas. About a quarter of the gas would be consumed by the transit countries, leaving seventy or so million cubic meters to be sold to Europe.

Violence in Iraq and the Syrian civil war has ended any hope that the pipeline will be built, but not all hope is lost. One possibility is for Al-Assad to withdraw to the traditional Aliwite coastal enclave to begin the partitioning of Syria into three or more separate zones, Aliwite, Kurdish, and Sunni. Al-Assad’s grandfather in 1936 had asked the French administrators of the Syrian mandate to create a separate Aliwite territory in order to avoid just this type of ethnic violence.

What the French would not do circumstance may force the grandson to accept as his only choice to survive. His one hundred thousand heavily armed troops would be able to defend the enclave.

The four or five million Aliwites, Christians, and Druze would have agricultural land, water, a deep water port and an international airport. Very importantly, they would have the still undeveloped natural gas offshore fields that extend from Israel, Lebanon, and Cyprus. The Aliwite Republic could be energy self-sufficient and even an exporter. Of course, Russia’s Gazprom in which Putin has a vital interest would get a privileged position in the development of the resource.

In an last effort to bring the nearly two year long civil war to an end, Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov urged Syrian president Bashar al-Assad at the end of December to start talks with the Syrian opposition in line with the agreements for a cease fire that was reached in Geneva on 30 June. The Russians have also extended the invitation to the Syrian opposition National Coalition head, Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib. The National Coalition refuses to negotiate with Al-Assad and Al-Assad will not relinquish power voluntarily.

The hardened positions of both sides leaves little hope for a negotiated settlement; and foreign minister Sergei Lavrov has made it clear that only by an agreement among the Syrians will Russia accept the removal of Al-Assad. Neither do they see a settlement through a battlefield victory which leaves only a partitioning that will allow the civil war to just wind down as all sides are exhausted.

The Russians are troubled by what they see as a growing trend among the Western Powers to remove disapproved administrations in other sovereign countries and a program to isolate Russia. They saw the U.S involvement in the Ukraine and Georgia. There was the separation of Kosovo from Serbia over Russian objections. There was the extending of NATO to the Baltic States after pledging not to expand the organization to Russia’s frontier.

Again, Russia is seeing Washington’s hand in Syria in the conflict with Iran. The United States is directing military operations in Syria with Turkey, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia at a control center in Adana about 60 miles from the Syrian border, which is also home to the American air base in Incirlik. The Program by President Obama to have the CIA acquire heavy weapons at a facility in Benghazi to be sent to Turkey and onward to Syria is the newest challenge that Putin cannot allow to go unanswered. It was the involvement of Ambassador Chris Stevens in the arms trade that may have contributed to his murder; and the Russians are not hesitating to remind the United States and Europeans that their dealings with the various Moslem extremists is a very dangerous game.

The Russians are backing their determination to block another regime change by positioning and manning an advanced air defense system in what is becoming the Middle East casino. Putin is betting that NATO will not risk in Syria the cost that an air operation similar to what was employed over Libya will impose. Just in case Russia’s determination is disregarded and Putin’s bluff is called, Surface to surface Iskander missiles have been positioned along the Jordanian and Turkish frontiers. They are aimed at a base in Jordan operated by the United States to train rebels and at Patriot Missile sites and other military facilities in Turkey.

Putin is certain that he is holding the winning hand in this very high stakes poker game. An offshore naval task force, the presence of Russian air defense forces, an electronic intelligence center in latakia, and the port facilities at Tardus will guarantee the independence of the enclave. As the supplier of sixty percent of Turkey’s natural gas, Moscow does have leverage that Ankara will not be able to ignore; and Ankara well knows that gas is one of Putin’s diplomatic weapons.

When the Turks and U.S see that there is little chance of removing Al-Assad, they will have no option other than to negotiate a settlement with him; and that would involve Russia as the protector and the mediator. That would establish Russia’s revived standing as a Mediterranean power; and Putin could declare confidently that “Russia is back.” After that, the Russians will be free to focus upon their real interests in the region.

And what is Russia’s real interest? Of course, it is oil and gas and the power that control of them can bring.

Source: http://oilprice.com/Geopolitics/International/Be-Careful-Russia-is-Back-to-Stay-in-the-Middle-East.html

 

Tartus

Tartus is the second largest port city on the Syrian coast (after Latakia) and the largest city in Tartus Governorate with an estimated population of 118,000 inhabitants as of 2004.[1] The majority of the population is ethnic Levantine Arab. However, there are about 3,000 people of Greek origin who reside mainly in the town of Al Hamidiyah just south of Tartus.[2] Since the start of the Iraqi War, a few thousands Iraqi nationals now reside in Tartus.

tartus The History of Tartus goes back to the 2nd millennium BC when it was founded as a Phoenician colony of Aradus.[5] The colony was known as Antaradus (from Greek Anti-Arados → Antarados , Anti-Aradus, meaning The town facing Arwad ). Not much remains of the Phoenician Antaradus, the mainland settlement that was linked to the more important and larger settlements of Aradus, off the shore of Tartus, and the nearby site of Amrit.[6]

tartus On September 22, 2008, Russian Navy spokesman Igor Dygalo said the nuclear-powered battlecruiser Peter The Great, accompanied by three other ships, sailed from the Northern Fleet’s base of Severomorsk. The ships will cover about 15,000n nautical miles (28,000 km) to conduct joint maneuvers with the Venezuelan navy. Dygalo refused to comment on Monday’s report in the daily Izvestia claiming that the ships were to make a stopover in the Syrian port of Tartus on their way to Venezuela. Russian officials said the Soviet-era base there was being renovated to serve as a foothold for a permanent Russian navy presence in the Mediterranean.[14]

tartus The historic centre of Tartus consists of more recent buildings built on and inside the walls of the Crusader-era Templar fortress, whose moat still separates this old town from the modern city on its northern and eastern sides. Outside the fortress few historic remains can be seen, with the exception of the former cathedral of Notre-Dame of Tartus (Our Lady of Tortosa), from the 12th century. The church is now the site of a museum. Former President Hafez Assad and his predominantly Islamic administration had promised to return the site to the Christians as a symbol of deep Christianity in Syria, however he died before this promise was executed. Assad’s son, President Bashar Assad, has claimed to honor his father’s promise.

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The Truth About War With Syria — Videos

Posted on September 8, 2013. Filed under: American History, Banking, Blogroll, College, Communications, Constitution, Coptic Christian, Demographics, Diasters, Economics, Education, Employment, Energy, Farming, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Food, Foreign Policy, Genocide, government, government spending, High School, history, History of Economic Thought, IRS, Islam, Islam, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, Macroeconomics, media, Microeconomics, Monetary Policy, Money, Natural Gas, Nuclear Power, Oil, People, Philosophy, Politics, Programming, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Religion, Resources, Security, Shite, Strategy, Sunni, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Taxes, Technology, Terrorism, Unemployment, Unions, Video, War, Wealth, Weapons, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Stefan-molyneux

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Posted on September 8, 2013. Filed under: Airplanes, American History, Ammunition, Blogroll, Bomb, Catholic Church, College, Communications, Constitution, Coptic Christian, Crime, Drones, Economics, Education, Employment, Energy, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Food, Foreign Policy, Genocide, government, government spending, history, Illegal, Immigration, Inflation, Investments, Islam, Islam, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, Natural Gas, Nuclear, Nuclear Power, Oil, People, Philosophy, Photos, Pistols, Politics, Press, Radio, Rants, Raves, Religion, Resources, Rifles, Security, Strategy, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Technology, Television, Terrorism, Transportation, Video, War, Water, Wealth, Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

peace-white-dove

hawkdoves-hawks

Bye Bye Birdie HONESTLY SINCERE 1963 Jesse Pearson Ann Margret

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[youtubehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fAIoUREM2X8]

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Ann-Margret BYE BYE BIRDIE title song

War –  Edwin Starr

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Obama’s Syria War Is Really About Iran and Israel

Bob Dreyfuss

The dirty little not-so-secret behind President Obama’s much-lobbied-for, illegal and strategically incompetent war against Syria is that it’s not about Syria at all. It’s about Iran—and Israel. And it has been from the start.

By “the start,” I mean 2011, when the Obama administration gradually became convinced that it could deal Iran a mortal blow by toppling President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, a secular, Baathist strongman who is, despite all, an ally of Iran’s. Since then, taking Iran down a peg has been the driving force behind Obama’s Syria policy.

Not coincidentally, the White House plans to scare members of Congress into supporting the ill-conceived war plan by waving the Iranian flag in their faces. Even liberal Democrats, some of whom are opposing or questioning war with Syria, blanch at the prospect of opposing Obama and the Israel lobby over Iran.

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Item for consideration: a new column by the Syria analyst at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, the chief think tank of the Israel lobby. Andrew Tabler headlines his piece: “Attacking Syria Is the Best Way to Deal with Iran.” In it, he says:

At first glance, the festering Syria crisis seems bad news for diplomatic efforts to keep Iran from developing nuclear capabilities. In actuality, however, achieving U.S. objectives in the Syria crisis is an opportunity to pressure Iran into making hard choices not only in Syria, but regarding its nuclear program as well. More U.S. involvement to achieve its objectives in Syria will inevitably run counter to Tehran’s interests, be it to punish the Assad regime for chemical weapons use or to show support for the Syrian opposition in changing Assad’s calculus and forcing him to “step aside” at the negotiating table or on the battlefield.

Many in U.S. policymaking circles have viewed containing swelling Iranian influence in Syria and preventing Iran from going nuclear as two distinct policy discussions, as the Obama Administration only has so much “bandwidth” to deal with Middle East threats. But the recent deepening of cooperation between Tehran, Hezbollah and the Assad regime, combined with their public acknowledgement of these activities, indicates that they themselves see these activities as furthering the efficacy of the “resistance axis.”

Like every alliance, its members will only make hard policy choices if the costs of its current policies far outweigh the benefits. U.S. strikes on the Assad regime, if properly calibrated as part of an overall plan to degrade the regime, would force Tehran to become more involved in Syria in order to rescue its stalwart ally. This would be costly for Iran financially, militarily and politically. Those costs would make the Iranian regime and its people reassess aspirations to go nuclear.

Needless to say, such a strategy is bound to be counterproductive, since—by slamming Syria, never mind toppling Assad—Washington is likely to undermine doves and bolster hawks in Tehran and undermine the chances for successful negotiations with Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, who’ll be speaking at the UN General Assembly later this month.

In fact, both Russia and Iran have signaled recently, in the wake of Syria’s obvious deployment and use of sarin gas and other deadly weapons that they might be getting ready to join the rest of the world in condemning Syria’s chemical warfare, and that makes it far more likely that the much-postponed US-Russia “Geneva II” peace conference on Syria might work. The hawkish Washington Post today notes Rouhani’s new administration in Tehran is softening its tone on Syria, and it reports that the new Iranian foreign minister, Javad Zarif, has acknowledged the Syria has erred, saying: “We believe that the government in Syria has made grave mistakes that have, unfortunately, paved the way for the situation in the country to be abused.”

Meanwhile, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, while issuing scathing denunciations of the coming U.S. attack on Syria, has dropped broad hints that he might be willing to join with other nations if and when the United Nations weapons team concludes that Assad used nerve gas, suggesting that Russia might not block a UN Security Council resolution against Syria. In his much-reported interview with the Associated Press, Putin insisted on waiting for the UN report:

“If there is evidence that chemical weapons have been used, and used specifically by the regular army, this evidence should be submitted to the U.N. Security Council. And it ought to be convincing. It shouldn’t be based on some rumors and information obtained by intelligence agencies through some kind of eavesdropping, some conversations and things like that.”

Then, according to the Washington Post, Putin declared that he might join a UN-sponsored coalition on Syria:

He said he “doesn’t exclude” backing the use of force against Syria at the United Nations if there is objective evidence proving that Assad’s regime used chemical weapons against its people. But he strongly warned Washington against launching military action without U.N. approval, saying it would represent an aggression. Russia can veto resolutions at the U.N. Security Council and has protected Syria from punitive actions there before.

But a change in tone on the part of Russia and Iran—the latter of whom the Obama administration still refuses to invite to Geneva II if and when it occurs—won’t mean a thing if the object of war with Syria is to send a message to Iran. As Jeffrey Goldberg, writing for Bloomberg, says, for Israel it’s all about Iran:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel would prefer that Obama enforce his red line on chemical weapons use, because he would like to see proof that Obama believes in the red lines he draws. From Netanyahu’s perspective, Israel isn’t unduly threatened by Assad. Syria constitutes a dangerous, but ultimately manageable, threat.

Netanyahu believes, of course, that Iran, Syria’s primary sponsor, poses an existential threat to his country, and so would like the Iranians to understand very clearly that Obama’s red lines are, in fact, very red. As Robert Satloff, the executive director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, told me last night, the formula is simple: “If the Iranians do not fear Obama, then the Israelis will lose confidence in Obama.”

In his round-robin television appearances on Sunday, Secretary of State John Kerry—now the administration’s über-hawk—repeatedly said that bombing Syria would send a message to Iran. As he told Fox News on Sunday:

“The fact is that if we act and if we act in concert, then Iran will know that this nation is capable of speaking with one voice on something like this, and that has serious, profound implications, I think, with respect to the potential of a confrontation over their nuclear program. That is one of the things that is at stake here.”

http://www.thenation.com/blog/176040/obamas-syria-war-really-about-iran-and-israel#

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Posted on September 4, 2013. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Demographics, Diasters, Economics, Energy, European History, Foreign Policy, government, government spending, history, Islam, Islam, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, Natural Gas, People, Philosophy, Photos, Pistols, Politics, Rants, Raves, Religion, Rifles, Security, Shite, Strategy, Sunni, Talk Radio, Terrorism, Unemployment, Video, War, Water, Wealth, Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

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Jeremy_Salt_tv

The Balkanization of Syria Part 1

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Posted on September 4, 2013. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Communications, Demographics, Economics, Energy, European History, Federal Government, Foreign Policy, Genocide, government, government spending, history, Immigration, Islam, Islam, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, media, Natural Gas, Oil, People, Photos, Pistols, Politics, Rants, Raves, Religion, Rifles, Shite, Strategy, Sunni, Talk Radio, Terrorism, Unemployment, Video, War, Water, Wealth, Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Weather, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

middle_eas

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syria-map-jumbo

Documentary BBC – A History of Syria (2013)

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Published on Aug 5, 2013

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Syrian-Rebels-Canister

Syrian “rebels” are firing chemical weapons.

Published on Aug 26, 2013

FSA or SAA?
FSA or SAA?
FSA or SAA?
Syrian “rebels” are firing chemical weapons.
Syrian “rebels” are firing chemical weapons.
Syrian “rebels” are firing chemical weapons.

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Syria Rebels testing Tekkim chemicals to use as chem weapons

Published on Dec 5, 2012

This video appeared on YouTube yesterday showing what appears to be a rebel group in Syria testing a chemical combination to be used as a chemical weapon (most likely nerve agents as judged by the reaction of lab rabbits in the video) and threatening to use this chem weapon against civilians in Syria on a sectarian basis.

Non-Arabic speakers: Please click the captions button.

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CHEMICAL WEAPONS: US Armed FSA Syrian Rebels Use SARIN NERVE GAS!

Published on May 11, 2013

CHEMICAL WEAPONS: US Armed FSA Syrian Rebels Use SARIN NERVE GAS!

The US Defense Secretary says the old order in the Middle East is disappearing, although it’s still not clear what will replace it. Chuck Hagel stressed the conflict in Syria is becoming increasingly more sectarian and extremist, with the country’s collapse now more real than ever. But, while some US lawmakers make fresh calls for military intervention, Washington’s taken a backseat.

GENEVA — U.N. human rights investigators have gathered testimony from casualties of Syria’s civil war and medical staff indicating that rebel forces have used the nerve agent sarin, one of the lead investigators said on Sunday.

The United Nations independent commission of inquiry on Syria has not yet seen evidence of government forces having used chemical weapons, which are banned under international law, said commission member Carla Del Ponte.

“Our investigators have been in neighboring countries interviewing victims, doctors and field hospitals and, according to their report of last week which I have seen, there are strong, concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof of the use of sarin gas, from the way the victims were treated,” Del Ponte said in an interview with Swiss-Italian television.

“This was use on the part of the opposition, the rebels, not by the government authorities,” she added.

Del Ponte, a former Swiss attorney-general who also served as prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, gave no details as to when or where sarin may have been used.

The Geneva-based inquiry into war crimes and other human rights violations is separate from an investigation of the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria instigated by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, which has since stalled.

President Bashar al-Assad’s government and the rebels accuse each another of carrying out three chemical weapon attacks, one near Aleppo and another near Damascus, both in March, and another in Homs in December.

The civil war began with anti-government protests in March 2011. The conflict has now claimed an estimated 70,000 lives and forced 1.2 million Syrian refugees to flee.

The United States has said it has “varying degrees of confidence” that sarin has been used by Syria’s government on its people.

President Barack Obama last year declared that the use or deployment of chemical weapons by Assad would cross a “red line”.

UN has testimony showing Syrian rebels used sarin gas

Syrian Rebels Claim Saudi Prince Bandar Responsible For Chemical Weapons Attack

CHEMICAL WARFARE: Al-Nusra REBELS fighters detained in TURKEY after found in possession of SARIN GAS

Is Turkey supplying chemical weapons to rebels in Syria?

Yes, the Syrian Rebels DO Have Access to Chemical Weapons

Washington’s Blog
Sept 2, 2013

One of the U.S. government’s main justifications for its claim that the Syrian government carried out a chemical weapons attack is that the rebels don’t have chemical weapons.

However, multiple lines of evidence show that the rebels do have chemical weapons.

Potential Looting of Syrian Weapons

The Washington Post noted last December:

U.S. officials are increasingly worried that Syria’s weapons of mass destruction could fall into the hands of Islamist extremists, rogue generals or other uncontrollable factions.

Last week, fighters from a group that the Obama administration has branded aterrorist organization were among rebels who seized the Sheik Suleiman military base near Aleppo, where research on chemical weapons had been conducted. Rebels are also closing in on another base near Aleppo, known as Safirah, which has served as a major production center for such munitions, according to U.S. officials and analysts.

***

A former Syrian general who once led the army’s chemical weapons training program said that the main storage sites for mustard gas and nerve agents are supposed to be guarded by thousands of Syrian troops but that they would be easily overrun.

The sites are not secure, retired Maj. Gen. Adnan Silou, who defected to the opposition in June, said in an interview near Turkey’s border with Syria. “Probablyanyone from the Free Syrian Army or any Islamic extremist group could take them over,” he said.

***

As the Syrian opposition steadily makes territorial gains, U.S. officials and analysts said the odds are increasing that insurgents will seize control of a chemical weapons site or that Syrian troops guarding the installations will simply abandon their posts.

It’s almost inevitable,” [Michael Eisenstadt, a retired Army officer who directs the military and security studies program at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy] said. “It may have already happened, for what we know.”

***

Last week, the Syrian Foreign Ministry said the al-Nusra Front — an anti-Assad group that has been labeled a terrorist organization by the United States and is also known as Jabhat al-Nusra — had seized a chlorine factory near the town of Safirah, east of Aleppo. “Terrorist groups may resort to using chemical weapons against the Syrian people,” the ministry cautioned.

AP reports:

Questions remaining about who actually controls some of Syria’s chemical weapons stores ….

A report by the Office of the Director for National Intelligence outlining that evidence against Syria includes a few key caveats — including acknowledging that the U.S. intelligence community no longer has the certainty it did six months ago of where the regime’s chemical weapons are stored ….

U.S. and allied spies have lost track of who controls some of the country’s chemical weapons supplies, according to the two intelligence officials and two other U.S. officials.

***

U.S. analysts … are also not certain that when they saw what looked like Assad’s forces moving chemical supplies, those forces were able to remove everything before rebels took over an area where weapons had been stored.

AP hit the nail on the head when it wrote:

U.S. intelligence officials are not so certain that the suspected chemical attack was carried out on Assad’s orders, or even completely sure it was carried out by government forces, the officials said.

***

Another possibility that officials would hope to rule out: that stocks had fallen out of the government’s control and were deployed by rebels in a callous and calculated attempt to draw the West into the war.

Looting of Libyan Chemical Weapons

Fox News reported in 2011:

In August, Fox News interviewed Rep. Mike Rogers, R.-Mich., who said he saw a chemical weapon stockpile in the country during a 2004 trip. At the time, he said the U.S. was concerned about “thousands of pounds of very active mustard gas.”

He also said there is some sarin gas that is unaccounted for.

The Wall Street Journal noted in 2011:

Spread across the desert here off the Sirte-Waddan road sits one of the biggest threats to Western hopes for Libya: a massive, unguarded weapons depot that is being pillaged daily by anti-Gadhafi military units, hired work crews and any enterprising individual who has the right vehicle and chooses to make the trip.

In one of dozens of warehouses the size of a single-family home, Soviet-era guided missiles remain wrapped inside crates stacked to the 15-foot ceiling. In another, dusted with sand, are dozens of sealed cases labeled “warhead.” Artillery rounds designed to carry chemical weapons are stashed in the back of another. Rockets, antitank grenades and projectiles of all calibers are piled so high they defy counting….

Convoys of armed groups from all over Libya have made the trek here and piled looted weapons into trailer trucks, dump trucks, buses and even empty meat trucks….

The highly-regarded NTI reported the same year:

In the desert near Sirte, there was no security for dozens of small armories at the complex, where weapons are removed every day by opposition fighters, paid contractors and others. In one structure, the word “warhead” was stamped on dozens of sealed containers. At another depot, empty chemical agent munitions were found.

There is at present no viable Libyan government-sanctioned force with the capacity to keep freelancer fighters from taking what they please from the warehouses, according to the Journal.

***

U.S. Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) visited the Libyan capital, where he said gaining control over the country’s armories was a “very big topic.”

“We have a game plan to secure the weapon caches, particularly biological and chemical weapons,” McCain said.

The Telegraph reported last year:

Al Qaeda terrorists in North Africa could be in possession of chemical weapons, a leading Spanish intelligence officer said on Monday.

The head of National Police counter-terrorist intelligence, Commissioner-General Enrique Baron, told a strategic security conference in Barcelona that it was believed that the self-styled Al Qaeda of the Islamic Maghreb – AQMI – could have acquired such arms in Libya or elsewhere during the Arab Spring last year.

***

Commissioner Baron told his audience: “The Al Qaeda of the Islamic Maghreb has acquired and used very powerful conventional arms and probably also has non-conventional arms, basically chemical, as a result of the loss of control of arsenals.”

The most likely place where this could have happened was in Libya during the uprising which overthrew the Gaddafi regime, said Commissioner Baron.

In his position as the head of Spanish National Police intelligence the Commissioner-General works closely with MI6, the CIA and other Western European intelligence services.

Remember, the head of the Libyan rebels admitted that the rebels were largely Al Qaeda.  CNN, theTelegraph,  the Washington Times, and many other mainstream sources confirm that Al Qaeda terrorists from Libya have since flooded into Syria to fight the Assad regime … bringing their arms with them.  And the post-Gaddafi Libyan government is also itself a top funder and arms supplier of the Syrian opposition.  (CNN notes that the CIA may have had a hand in this operation.)

Other Countries

A reporter who has written extensively for Associated PressBBC and National Public Radio reports thatlocals in the area hit by chemical weapons allege that Saudi Arabia supplied the chemicals. And see this.

Bush administration official Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson and British MP George Galloway speculate that Israel or another country may have given chemical weapons to the Syrian rebels.

We don’t know which countries did or didn’t give chemical weapons to the rebels. The point is that there are quite a few opportunities or possibilities.

Evidence of Possession and Use

The above, of course, is simply speculation.  More important is actual evidence of possession and use.

Turkish state newspaper Zaman reported earlier this year (Google translation):

The Turkish General Directorate of Security … seized 2 kg of sarin gas in the city of Adana in the early hours of yesterday morning. The chemical weapons were in the possession of Al Nusra terrorists believed to have been heading for Syria.

Haaretz reported on March 24th, “Jihadists, not Assad, apparently behind reported chemical attack in Syria“.

UN investigator Carla Del Ponte said that there is strong evidence that the rebels used chemical weapons, but that there is not evidence that the government used such weapons.

http://www.infowars.com/yes-the-syrian-rebels-do-have-access-to-chemical-weapons/

Russia Claims Syrian Rebels Used Chemical Weapons

By PETER JAMES SPIELMANN and EDITH M. LEDERER

UNITED NATIONS — Russia’s U.N. ambassador said Tuesday that Russian experts determined that Syrian rebels made sarin nerve gas and used it in a deadly chemical weapon attack outside Aleppo in March.

Ambassador Vitaly Churkin blamed opposition fighters for the March 19 attack in the government-controlled Aleppo suburb of Khan al-Assal, which he said killed 26 people, including 16 military personnel, and injured 86 others.

The rebels have blamed the government for the attack. The U.S. Britain and France have said they have seen no evidence to indicate that the opposition has acquired or used chemical weapons.

In Washington, White House spokesman Jay Carney said “We have yet to see any evidence that backs up the assertion that anybody besides the Syrian government has had the ability to use chemical weapons or has used chemical weapons.”

Churkin told reporters after delivering an 80-page report to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that the Assad regime asked Russia, its closest ally, to investigate the attack after a U.N. team of chemical weapons experts was unable to enter the country in a dispute over the probe’s scope.

Acting U.S. Ambassador Rosemary DiCarlo said Syrian President Bashar Assad should now allow U.N. chemical weapons experts into the country to conduct an investigation of the Khan al-Assal incident as well as other allegations of chemical weapons use by the U.S., U.K., and France.

The samples taken from the impact site of the gas-laden projectile were analyzed at a Russian laboratory certified by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, Churkin said.

He said the analysis showed that the unguided Basha’ir-3 rocket that hit Khan al-Assal was not a military-standard chemical weapon.

Churkin said the results indicate it “was not industrially manufactured and was filled with sarin.” He said the samples indicated the sarin and the projectile were produced in makeshift “cottage industry” conditions, and the projectile “is not a standard one for chemical use.”

The absence of chemical stabilizers, which are needed for long-term storage and later use, indicated its “possibly recent production,” Churkin said.

“Therefore, there is every reason to believe that it was the armed opposition fighters who used the chemical weapons in Khan al-Assal,” Churkin said.

“According to information at our disposal,” he added, “the production of `Basha’ir 3′ unguided projectiles was started in February 2013 by the so-called `Basha’ir al-Nasr’ brigade affiliated with the Free Syrian Army.”

On Monday, Syria invited Ake Sellstrom, head of the U.N. fact-finding mission on allegations of chemical weapons use in Syria, and U.N. disarmament chief Angela Kane to visit Damascus for foreign-minister level talks on conducting a probe of just the Khan al-Assal attack.

The Russian ambassador strongly backed the idea, calling it “a promising process” that hopefully will lead to an investigation.

Britain, France and the United States have provided the secretary-general with information on other alleged chemical weapons attacks in Syria. Ban has repeatedly said he wants a broader investigation than just Khan al-Assal.

“We support a thorough investigation of all credible allegations,” Churkin said, but added that Russian experts “were not impressed at all” by the material provided to them by the U.K., U.S. and France.

At the White House, Carney said that Syria’s President “Bashar al-Assad called for a U.N. investigation into the use of chemical weapons and then he blocked the ability of the United Nations to conduct that investigation. The way to answer this question is to allow the United Nations to investigate.”

President Barack Obama’s administration says it has “high confidence” that Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces have killed up to 150 people with sarin gas.

In a letter to the secretary-general on June 14, then-U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice said the U.S. had determined that sarin was used in the March 19 attack on Khan al-Assal and also in an April 13 attack on the Aleppo neighborhood of Shaykh Maqsud. She said unspecified chemicals, possibly including chemical warfare agents, were used May 14 in an attack on Qasr Abu Samrah and in a May 23 attack on Adra.

The use of a chemical weapon crossed Obama’s “red line” for escalating U.S. involvement in the conflict and prompted the decision to send arms and ammunition to the opposition, not just humanitarian aid and non-lethal material like armored vests and night goggles.

Churkin said Russia plans to provide the 80-page report to the U.S., U.K. and France, and “I hope they find it persuasive.” But he said it will not be made public.

U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky had no immediate comment on the issue, noting that the Russian ambassador had delivered the “weighty and quite technical” report only minutes earlier. He said the Department of Disarmament Affairs would study it and provide guidance to the secretary-general.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/09/russia-syria-chemical-weapons_n_3568731.html

Is It Possible The Syrian Rebels (Not Assad) Used Chemical Weapons?

by EYDER PERALTA

August 27, 2013

As it lays the groundwork for a potential military strike against Syria, the Obama administration says it is all but certain that President Bashar Assad used chemical weapons against his own people last week.

Secretary of State John Kerry made the case Monday. “We know that the Syrian regime maintains custody of these chemical weapons,” Kerry said. “We know that the Syrian regime has the capacity to do this with rockets. We know that the regime has been determined to clear the opposition from those very places where the attacks took place. And with our own eyes, we have all of us become witnesses.” On Tuesday, White House spokesman Jay Carney reiterated the point, saying that “anyone who approaches this logically” would conclude that Assad is responsible.

As you might expect, Russia, which has been an unyielding Assad ally and holds veto power on the U.N. Security Council, rejected those conclusions, and the Assad regime blamed the rebels.

So, is it possible the United States and its allies are wrong? Is it possible that it was the rebels, or another group within Syria, that launched the attack near Damascus that reportedly left hundreds dead and thousands more injured?

“I have been asking myself the same question ever since it happened, because it was difficult to find a rationale [for an Assad-led attack],” says Gwyn Winfield, the editorial director of CBRNe World, a magazine that covers biological and chemical weapons for the industry.

“[A rebel attack] is feasible, but not particularly likely,” said Winfield.

What Winfield means is that this seems like a lose-lose situation for Assad. A chemical attack by the regime would seem to bolster the opposition, because it could mean an international intervention. As for the rebels, there are huge questions about whether they could have pulled off such an attack.

Back in 2002, research conducted by George Lopez, a professor of peace studies at the University of Notre Dame, cast doubt on the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. In this situation, Lopez rejects the notion that it was the Syrian rebels who used chemical weapons.

Lopez and Winfield agree that the rebels may have the motivation to use chemical weapons.

“This anarchic, killing stalemate” could motivate anyone, Winfield says, but such a scenario just doesn’t make sense.

For one thing, the alleged chemical attack happened in the Ghouta region of Damascus. It is controlled by the rebels, and civilians in the area sympathize with the rebels.

“The smart thing [for the rebels] would be for you to aim for barracks and maime/kill a significant few hundred soldiers as the best chance for reverberations that played to your advantage,” said Lopez. “This was not done.”

It seems clear, Lopez says,”that some armed unit foot soldiers were sent in by Assad some time after the attack in limited numbers. That achieved the desired effect of making the case that since Assad soldiers were hit, the weapons came from the ‘terrorists;’ but these were exemplars, too few to make a strategic difference for the rebels.”

In making the case against Assad, the U.S. has said it is his forces who have the capabilities to launch such an attack and that the rebels do not.

An August 20 report by the Congressional Research Service (pdf) says that Syria has had a vast stockpile of chemical weapons since the early 1980s and perhaps as far back as 1973. Not only that, but the military was trained by the Soviets and possesses the delivery methods — scud missiles and batteries of rocket launchers — that could be used to “rapidly achieve lethal doses of non-persistent agents in a concentrated area.”

The report goes on to explain that U.S. officials “have unanimously stated that the weapons stockpiles are secure.”

Winfield maintains that the Free Syrian Army has the experience and perhaps even the launching systems to perpetrate such an attack. But that would mean that U.S. officials, and Assad himself, were wrong when they said the chemical stockpiles were secure.

“If [the rebels] have overrun an arms dump which had some of the agent, if a defector brought a limited amount with him, then it would explain why some of the signs and symptoms showed less toxicity than we expected,” Winfield said. “That is a lot of ‘ifs,’ though.”

Lopez concurs: “Western intelligence has been standing on its head to monitor all intel about those groups hostile to the West and what they have in their weapons access and supply. The amount of gas agents seemingly used was way beyond what a clandestine group could mix and develop without detection. And it is unclear they would have the expertise to mix the agents.

“Is it possible that a rebel group overran a storage facility of the government and captured some shells that were ready to be activated and then did so?” Lopez says. “Yes, but it would have had to have been a very large seizure preceded by a big battle between Assad top teams and rebels. It could not have happened without inside/outside knowledge.”

All of that said, note that the U.S. has qualified every statement it has made about the situation.Kerry said it is “undeniable” that chemical weapons had been used in Syria and he set out a case against Assad without directly blaming the regime for the attack.

During his daily press briefing Tuesday, Carney said: “There is also very little doubt, and should be no doubt for anyone who approaches this logically, that the Syrian regime is responsible for the use of chemical weapons on August 21st outside of Damascus.”

Jean Pascal Zanders, who worked for the European Union Institute for Security Studies from 2008 to 2013 and concentrated on the non-proliferation of chemical weapons says until the U.N. investigative team presents its report, “we need to keep our minds open that the events of last Wednesday could in whole or partially have alternative explanations.”

“In fact, we – the public – know very little beyond the observation of outward symptoms of asphyxiation and possible exposure to neurotoxicants, despite the mass of images and film footage,” Zanders added. “For the West’s credibility, I think that governments should await the results of the U.N. investigation.”

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/08/27/216172145/is-it-possible-the-syrian-rebels-not-assad-used-chemical-weapons

Evidence: Syrian Rebels used Chemical Weapons (not Assad)

by  on August 27, 2013 in BlogGeneral
By Walid Shoebat and Ben Barrack

Recent news of a chemical weapons attack in Syria smacks of desperation. The question comes down to who is most desperate right now, the Assad regime or the Muslim Brotherhood rebels? Consider that since June, Assad’s forces have been winning. According to a CBS News report from last month, victories for the rebels had become “increasingly rare” and that the Muslim Brotherhood-backed opposition fighters were sustaining “some of their heaviest losses” near Damascus.

Saudi Chemicals in hands of Syrian Rebels

Saudi Chemicals in hands of Syrian Rebels

The New York Times echoed this sentiment, even saying that before gaining the upper hand, concerns were that Assad would use chemical weapons; he did not.

In fact, even before Assad’s forces gained the momentum, a UN official reportedly found evidence of rebels using chemical weapons but no evidence Assad’s regime did. This, from a Washington Times article by Shaun Waterman dated May 6, 2013:

Testimony from victims strongly suggests it was the rebels, not the Syrian government, that used Sarin nerve gas during a recent incident in the revolution-wracked nation, a senior U.N. diplomat said Monday.

Carla del Ponte, a member of the U.N. Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria, told Swiss TV there were “strong, concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof,” that rebels seeking to oust Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad had used the nerve agent.

But she said her panel had not yet seen any evidence of Syrian government forces using chemical weapons, according to the BBC, but she added that more investigation was needed. {emphasis ours}

Today, while the rebels are more desperate than they were at the time of that article, evidence of rebels using chemical weapons is available; evidence Assad’s regime has used them is not.

Waterman wrote…

Rebel Free Syrian Army spokesman Louay Almokdad denied that rebels had use chemical weapons.

That doesn’t square with a video uploaded on August 23, 2013, in which Free Syrian operatives threatened to launch chemical weapons:

A day later, on August 24th, a video was uploaded and featured on facebook that purports to show Syrian rebels loading what very well may be a rocket armed with some sort of chemical agent. The tip of the rocket is armed with a light blue tank or canister that very well contains a nerve agent. At the end of this video, two separate launches of these rockets can be seen:

This video from a Syrian TV news report claims to show chemicals (some of labels on these chemicals are in English) and weapons seized by the Syrian government in the rebel stronghold of Jobar. Note at the :10 mark a label that reads:

“Saudi Factory for Chlorine and Alkalies”

In this video, two Syrian rebels (Muslim Brotherhood gang) can be heard coordinating an attack on a nearby building. As smoke billows a short distance from the building, a rebel on the ground can be heard directing someone – presumably at the source of the launch – to change his direction. At that point, the rebel from the launch point can be heard talking about using sarin gas next:

In this video of a Russia Today news report originally broadcast on or before June 16, 2013, testimony from a United Nations panel is reported to demonstrate that rebel groups – not the Assad regime – was responsible for the use of chemical weapons in general, Sarin gas in particular, which backs up the claims in the previous video. Those who attempt to discredit the report below because it is from Russia Today should have difficulty doing so when factoring in rebels above talking about using sarin gas:

UN Panel implicates Syrian Rebels in Chemical weapons attacks

It’s significant to consider that the rebels were reportedly using chemical weapons at a time when Assad was more desperate than he is now. Again, why would Assad use chemical weapons now and not then? Who is more desperate at this point in the conflict?

The answer is, the Muslim Brotherhood rebels, who have no problem killing themselves (or their own) if the cause of Islam is moved forward.

Even CNN International, which has typically been quick to report favorably for the Muslim Brotherhood rebels, is hedging its bets lately, when it comes to who is responsible for the attack. Here is a video report from Frederik Pleitgen in which he leaves the possibility open that the rebels may have perpetrated or staged the attack:

Back in March, we chronicled evidence of chemical weapons being used by the Syrian rebels. Unfortunately, since google terminated Theodore’s YouTube account, most of the videos in that post have been deleted and have been more than a little difficult to find.

Running concurrent with the tide that turned in Assad’s favor a few months ago was another defeat for the Muslim Brotherhood – in Egypt. That defeat has been taking place ever since Mohammed Mursi was ousted on July 3rd. So why would Assad use chemical weapons now and not months ago, when his situation was much more precarious?

As the Associated Press was reporting that the U.S. is moving ships closer to Syria in response to the alleged chemical weapons attack, Reuters reported that Assad’s army found chemical weapons in tunnels that had been used by the rebels, according to Syrian state television.

Oxford University historian Mark Almond granted Russia Today an interview and explained both why western nations are so willing to blame Assad and why rebels would have a motive to murder their own people. In response to a question about why the U.S., the U.K., and France appear so eager to blame Assad, Almond said:

“Western governments… want to say ‘Gotcha’. They have been demanding the fall of Assad for more than two-and-a-half years now and it has become increasingly frustrating that his regime has shown much more resilience than they had expected, despite the resources that they and the Gulf Kingdoms have thrown into the war on the other side.

It is also like a distraction from the embarrassment of Egypt, where we see the European and the US governments basically using weasel words to avoid any kind of condemnation of a massacre in the streets of Cairo. So there are both the specifics of Syria and the context of what is going on elsewhere in the Arab world, especially in Egypt.”

Almond gives a very interesting answer to the question about why the rebels would intentionally gas their own people:

“We do have some very radical groups who would no doubt say, as they have when they have been challenged about using suicide bombers, killing innocent people, that God will recognize his own when the dead die, that he will save for heaven the justified victims and just send to hell the wicked supporters of Assad. So it is not impossible that somebody has staged this.

Consider that a man many of the Syrian rebels show the utmost of reverence for is the Muslim Brotherhood’s spiritual leader, Yusuf Al-Qaradawi. When writing about a Muslim tactic known asMuruna, Qaradawi expressed when it is acceptable for Muslims to kill fellow Muslims:

“…killing Muslims whom the unbelievers use as shields… leaving these unbelievers is a danger to the Muslims, so it is permissible to kill these unbelievers even if Muslims are killed with them in the process.” – The Case FOR Islamophobia, p. 56

Of course, if the rebels are desperate enough, Muruna could sanction the murder of their own people if it meant bearing false witness and a blood libel that would engage external forces that want Assad removed. As things stand today, the rebels are more desperate than is the Assad regime.

Specific examples include the staged death of twelve year-old Muhammad Al-Dura by Palestinians. Whether the child was used as a prop in a Palestinian blood-libel or was actually killed, he was clearly put in danger by Palestinians who shot at him as the news cameras rolled for a false report that aired on France 2. They wanted to blame the Israelis.

Earlier this month in Egypt, Muslim Brotherhood supporters were caught behaving as victims of oppression at the hands of the military. They might have gotten away with it if nothing but still shots were taken. Unfortunately for these miscreants, video was recorded that revealed a staged, mass display of despicable behavior.

Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood rebels would never get away with launching chemical weapons and taking credit for it. They’d have to do so while blaming Assad. It’s straight out of the Nazi playbook and a violation of two major commandments – Thou shalt not murder and thou shalt not bear false witness. However, the Muslim Brotherhood, as usual, provides more evil spin. It bears false witness while committing murder in order to push an agenda.

Lying, bearing false witness, blood libel, and murder.

Yeah, that smells like the Brotherhood.

**UPDATE at 8:40am EST on August 31, 2013**
Associated Press reporter Dale Gavlak reports in MintPress news that firsthand accounts indicate that the Chemical weapons attack was the result of the rebels’ mishandling of them. According to Gavlak, the weapons came from Saudi Arabia’s Prince Bandar bin Sultan and were given to rebels who did not know what the weapons were or how to store them, nor were they trained how to use them. If these accounts are correct, the Obama administration – along with more than a handful of Republican congressmen – may be complicit in a blood libel.

http://shoebat.com/2013/08/27/evidence-syrian-rebels-used-chemical-weapons-not-assad/]

First Syria rebels armed and trained by CIA ‘on way to battlefield’

The first cell of Syrian rebels trained and armed by the CIA is making its way to the battlefield, President Barack Obama has reportedly told senators.

The US announced in June that it would send light arms to the rebels but refused to provide anti-aircraft missiles and other heavy weapons.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
” src=”<a href=http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/02660/obama1_2660362b.jpg&#8221; width=”620″ height=”387″ />

The US announced in June that it would send light arms to the rebels but refused to provide anti-aircraft missiles and other heavy weapons.  Photo: JIM WATSON/AFP

Raf Sanchez in Washington

3:15PM BST 03 Sep 2013

During a meeting at the White House, the president assured Senator John McCain that after months of delay the US was meeting its commitment to back moderate elements of the opposition.

Mr Obama said that a 50-man cell, believed to have been trained by US special forces in Jordan, was making its way across the border into Syria, according to the New York Times.

The deployment of the rebel unit seems to be the first tangible measure of support since Mr Obama announced in June that the US would begin providing the opposition with small arms.

Congressional opposition delayed the plan for several weeks and rebel commanders publicly complained the US was still doing nothing to match the Russian-made firepower of the Assad regime.

Mr McCain has been a chief critic of the White House’s reluctance to become involved in Syria and has long demanded that Mr Obama provide the rebels with arms needed to overthrow the regime.

He and Senator Lindsey Graham, a fellow Republican foreign policy hawk, emerged from the Oval Office meeting on Monday cautiously optimistic that Mr Obama would step up support for the rebels.

“There seems to be emerging from this administration a pretty solid plan to upgrade the opposition,” Mr Graham said.

He added that he hoped the opposition would be given “a chance to speak directly to the American people” to counter US fears that they were dominated by al-Qaeda sympathisers.

“They’re not trying to replace one dictator, Assad, who has been brutal… to only have al-Qaeda run Syria,” Mr Graham said.

The US announced in June, following the first allegations the Assad regime had used chemical weapons, that it would send light arms to the rebels but refused to provide anti-aircraft missiles and other heavy weapons.

American concerns were born partly out of the experience of Afghanistan in the 1980s, when CIA weapons given to the anti-Russian mujahideen were later used by the Taliban.

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Big Interventionist Government Statist (BIGS) Obama Sending Military Support To Syrian Rebels Including Jabhat al-Nusra (Al Qaeda connected) — Neocon Warmonger McCain Approves — All In For World War 3 — Videos

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Muslim Brotherhood Massive Attack on Coptic Christians in Egypt — Silence From President Obama Who Supports Muslim Brotherhood — Muslim Ethnic Cleansing of Coptic Christians — Videos

Obama’s Siding With Muslim Brotherhood Not Popular in Egypt or in The United States — Videos

Muslim Brotherhood in America — Videos

Big Interventionist Government Statist (BIGS) Obama Sending Military Support To Syrian Rebels Including Jabhat al-Nusra (Al Qaeda connected) — Neocon Warmonger McCain Approves — All In For World War 3 — Videos

Launching World War 3 with The Missiles of September — Videos

Who Wants World War 3 To Start in Syria? The Warmongers Obama and McCain — Not The American People! — Videos

Muslim Brotherhood Massive Attack on Coptic Christians in Egypt — Silence From President Obama Who Supports Muslim Brotherhood — Muslim Ethnic Cleansing of Coptic Christians — Videos

Obama’s Siding With Muslim Brotherhood Not Popular in Egypt or in The United States — Videos

Muslim Brotherhood in America — Videos

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