April 24, 2014

[Videos] Marked for Destruction: The Plight of Syria's Christians with Christian Community Leaders + Armenia's Ambassador to the UN, H.E. Garen Nazarian at the UNSC

"Forgotten Fire" by Adam Bagdasarian, a novel about the Armenian Genocide. It was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2002. 

Today, April 24, 2014, marks the 99th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. A hundred years later, Armenians and other minorities in northern Syria continue to face threats to their lives from the Turkish government, its NATO partners, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and global Jihadist terrorists who are under their influence.

An excerpt from, "Turkey’s Armenian syndrome" by Fehim Taştekin, Al Monitor, April 22, 2014:
The three simultaneous events above illustrate Turkey’s “Armenian syndrome,” which recurs on each anniversary of April 24, 1915. The Armenian couple in the first story represents the legacy of a historical tragedy and a numerical proof of what happened. The empathy accorded to the couple shows that facing up to history is possible in places of cohabitation. The second story reflects the popular sentiment that matches the state’s narrative of the “Armenian atrocities.” It's symbolic of the large social base in which the official policy of denial of the events of 1915 is readily embraced. The third story is quite new for Turkey. It represents the urge to face its own history, a trend that currently lacks popular support.

It took ages for a small group of Turkish intellectuals and politicians to utter the words “Armenian genocide” in a country where the 1915 chapter of history books was headed the “Armenians’ atrocities.” A newly published book — "1965: 50 years before 2015, 50 years after 1915" by Aris Nalci and Serdar Korucu — provides a striking account of Turkey’s attitude on the “genocide” throughout the years.
Video Title: Marked for Destruction: The Plight of Syria's Christians with Christian Community Leaders. Source: ArmenianAssemblyDC. Date Published: April 17, 2014. Description:
Remarks by Bishop Armash Nalbandian, Primate of the Armenian Church in Damascus, Syria at an event at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. entitled "Marked for Destruction: The Plight of Syria's Christians with Christian Community Leaders" on January 27, 2014.
"Today, we are faced with the potential extinction of the Church, not just in Syria, we have seen it in Iraq. Potentially, if Syria collapses, we face it in Lebanon and other surrounding countries."

Video Title: Armenia's Ambassador to the UN, H.E. Garen Nazarian at the UNSC - January 29, 2014. Source: ArmenianAssemblyDC. Date Published: April 17, 2014. Description:
Armenia's Ambassador to the United Nations, H.E. Garen Nazarian gives a history lesson to the Turkish Ambassador during a thematic debate of the UN Security Council entitled "War, its lessons, and the search for a permanent peace" focusing on prevention, mechanisms of truth, systematic approach to reconciliation, particularly in the aftermath of conflicts. The debate was presided by Prince Zeid Ra'ad Zeid Al-Hussein, Ambassador of Jordan, which held the Council's rotating presidency for the month of January.

April 23, 2014

Roundtable Discussion on the Problem of Evil + Roundtable Discussion on Analytic Theology

Video Title: Roundtable Discussion on the Problem of Evil. Source: Center for Philosophy of Religion. Date Published: October 20, 2012. Description:
Meghan Sullivan, Trent Dougherty, and Sam Newlands discuss the Problem of Evil.

Video Title: Roundtable Discussion on Analytic Theology. Source: Center for Philosophy of Religion. Date Published: February 4, 2013. Description:
Michael Rea (University of Notre Dame), Trent Dougherty (Baylor University) and Oliver Crisp (Fuller Theological Seminary) discuss Analytic Theology.

Updates on Egypt [4.23.14]: MB's War of Terror Against Egyptian State Enters New Dimensions, Candidates Contemplate Terminating Camp David Accords, Tamarod Youth Movement Admits It Was A Popular Veneer For Army's Calculated Re-Entry Into Politics

Barring an assassination by the Muslim Brotherhood with assistance from its Western and Zionist allies, the popular and charismatic General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi will be Egypt's next president. Sisi received 188, 930 signatures in support of his presidential campaign; his opponent only received 31, 555 (Source).

An excerpt from, "Terrorism expands from Sinai to Cairo" by Safaa Saleh, Al Monitor, April 16, 2014:
Brig. Gen. Khaled Akashe, a security expert who was formerly in charge of the security issue in the northern Sinai, explained to Al-Monitor that the shift in terrorist operations from distant locations to the heart of the country was one aspect of the escalation against the state. According to him, at first these groups were betting on isolating and controlling the Sinai Peninsula to establish an Islamic emirate. The targeting of locations such as Ismailia, Suez and Port Said was aimed at the most important navigation passage in the world: the Suez Canal. This was done to influence international public opinion, as foreign states would fear for their own interests in the canal. In addition, these three provinces have the largest gathering of Egypt’s army units.

Akashe described the shift toward the capital as a move intended at striking the “lifeblood” of the country. Attacks against Cairo and the cities of the Delta, which are densely populated, would result in a high number of casualties, as happened during the bombing of the security directorate in Mansoura on Sept. 24, 2013, and the bombing of police and army checkpoints in Sharqiya and Qalyubiya provinces on Dec. 29, 2013, and March 15 of this year. The attacks on these provinces, in addition to those in Cairo, attract both domestic and international headlines.

“The shift of terrorist operations toward the capital represents a strategy adopted by these groups to achieve victory on all fronts, whether in remote locations or in the heart of the capital. They see Cairo and the Delta cities as the hottest battlefield, where there is a group of Muslim Brotherhood facilitators providing protection and hiding places [for fugitive members]. The dense population provides freedom to easily move around explosives and hide between human masses,” Akashe added.

Kamal Habib, an expert in the affairs of Islamic groups, told Al-Monitor the shift of violence from the outskirts to the heart of the capital was a normal and expected change used to pressure the security apparatus. The groups wanted to show that they have the upper hand within the state and can extend their operations to the heart of the Delta cities and even the capital. It was only normal for groups such as Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, the Furqan Brigades and Ansar al-Sharia to launch violent operations where they are geographically located.
Video Title: Spokesmen for Front-runners in Egyptian Elections Discuss Annulment of Peace with Israel. Source: MEMRI TV. Date Published: April 23, 2014.

An excerpt from, "How Egypt’s Rebel Movement Helped Pave The Way For A Sisi Presidency" by Sheera Frenkel and Maged Atef, BuzzFeed, April 15, 2014:
“What we drafted was a revolutionary statement. It was about peace, and going forward on a democratic path,” Doss told BuzzFeed. “What was read was a statement that could have been written by the army.”

For five days, millions of Egyptians had taken to the streets and demanded an end to the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood. Their numbers surpassed even the wildest expectations of Tamarod, a then-largely unknown group that organized the protests. The five founders became instant celebrities, and on the night of July 3, the moment it appeared their victory was imminent, all of Egypt’s television stations had turned to them for a statement on what would happen next.

“What state TV read was as if it had been written by the army, it threatened the Brotherhood, told them they would use force if necessary,” Doss said. “I was shocked. I understood then that the movement had completely gotten away from us.”

It was, he realized later, the end of a process that began weeks earlier, in which the army and security officials slowly but steadily began exerting an influence over Tamarod, seizing upon the group’s reputation as a grassroots revolutionary movement to carry out their own schemes for Egypt.

“What they did, they did in our names because we let them,” said Doss, who admits he turned a blind eye for too long to what was happening behind the scenes at Tamarod. “The leaders of Tamarod let themselves be directed by others. They took orders from others.”

While the Tamarod movement has, in the past, been linked to Egypt’s interior ministry and its members have admitted in off-record interviews to taking phone calls from the army, never before has a member of Tamarod said that they were under the direct guidance of Egyptian army and intelligence officials. The accusations confirm the suspicions of many in Egypt that the group could not have enjoyed such widespread success without being helped along by senior Egyptian officials.

Time Magazine's Media War On The Middle East's Christians

 Crime Magazine: Go Fuck Yourself.

Ulson Gunnar wrote on Facebook on April 17:
TIME Magazine decides to defile the struggle of Christians under siege by Western backed, funded & armed sectarian extremists across the Middle East in their latest article, "Christians and Tyrants: Why the Middle East's Persecuted Minority is Making Unholy Choices."

Back in reality, Christians back the military in Egypt and the government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria because they have protected them and other minorities for DECADES from the confused ideology of US-Saudi-Israeli backed extremists like the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda, and the likes... 
An excerpt from, "Christians and Tyrants: Why the Middle East persecuted minority is making unholy choices" by Aryn Baker, Crime Magazine, April 10:
In February, the 20 or so Christian families still living in the northern Syrian town of Raqqa were given the same choice. The cost of protection is now the equivalent of $650 in Syrian pounds, a large amount for people struggling to make ends meet in a war zone. The other two options remain unchanged. This time the offer came from the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), an extremist antigovernment group that seized Raqqa in May 2013 from more moderate rebel brigades and declared the town the capital of its own Islamic state.

April 22, 2014

[Videos] Inside Story - Gabriel Garcia Marquez: A literary giant + García Márquez: A Witch Writing - First 11 minutes

An excerpt from, "Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel-winning author, hailed" AP, April 22:
Long into the night, the line of mourners stretched for nearly a mile, waiting their turn to file into Mexico City's majestic Palace of Fine Arts and bid farewell to Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the Colombian Nobel laureate considered one of the greatest Spanish-language authors of all time.

Garcia Marquez, who died Thursday at age 87, was eulogized in a brief ceremony Monday evening in the dramatic art deco lobby by the presidents of both Mexico and Colombia, two countries linked by the writer through his birth, life, heritage and career. Though he was born in Colombia, Garcia Marquez lived in Mexico for decades and wrote some of his best-known works here, including One Hundred Years of Solitude.

"We come as admirers and friends of Gabo from all corners of the planet," Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said, using the nickname by which the writer was known throughout Latin America. "He will live on in his books and writings. But more than anything he will live forever in the hopes of humanity."

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said the death was "a great loss not only for literature but for humanity. Various generations … found answers to the questions of life in his stories and tales."
An excerpt from, "Barack Obama & Bill Clinton Pay Tribute To Literary Hero Gabriel Garcia" WENN, April 17:
Obama writes, “With the passing of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the world has lost one of its greatest visionary writers – and one of my favorites from the time I was young… I offer my thoughts to his family and friends, whom I hope take solace in the fact that Gabo’s work will live on for generations to come.”

And Clinton, who previously called the author his “literary hero” adds, “From the time I read One Hundred Years of Solitude more than 40 years ago, I was always amazed by his unique gifts of imagination, clarity of thought, and emotional honesty… I was honored to be his friend and to know his great heart and brilliant mind for more than 20 years.”

Meanwhile Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos offers, “A thousand years of loneliness and sadness for the death of the greatest Colombian of all time!”
Inside Story - Gabriel Garcia Marquez: A literary giant. Source: Al Jazeera. Date Published: April 18.

García Márquez: A Witch Writing - First 11 minutes. Source: Evandro Motta. Date Published: November 2, 2011.

Updates On Syria [4.22.14]: US And KSA Arm Jihadist Terrorists With Advanced Anti-Tank Weapons, Crazy Neocons Continue On The Warpath Against Moscow, DC Desperateados Rehash The Same Failed Chemical Weapons Storyline

Photo: Lords of war President Obama and Saudi King Abdullah laughing it up as they begin supplying international Jihadist terrorists in Syria with new advanced anti-tank weapons and air defense systems. The blood of Syrians is on their hands. Assad's hands are merely splattered, he can still shake hands with his people at Easter ceremonies, but Barack Abdullah Obama's hands are drenched to the bone.
Source of photo

1. US And KSA Arm Jihadist Terrorists With Advanced Anti-Tank Weapons. An excerpt from, "US reportedly starts supplying Syrian rebels with anti-tank weapons" RT, April 7, 2014:
Then over the weekend, a blog that specializes in covering the Syrian conflict published screenshots from just-uploaded YouTube videos alleged to show rebels using the US-made tube-launched, optically-tracked, wire-guided anti-tank missiles.

Until more photos or videos of the missile and possible other locations pop up, it's hard to tell who might have been the supplier. But most likely, the TOWs were indeed foreign-supplied to the rebels,” one blogger wrote. “Since the TOW missiles are made in the US such a transfer likely needs permission from the Obama administration.”
2.  Crazy Neocons Continue On The Warpath Against Moscow. An excerpt from, "Russia-US crisis may soon spread to Near East" by Vitaly Naumkin, Al-Monitor, April 21, 2014:
This information came as no surprise to Moscow, which as Russian sources say, was already aware of deliveries of antitank weaponry. According to them, an expansion of deliveries was discussed during President Barack Obama's visit to Riyadh on March 28. At the same time, a senior administration official at the press briefing on the president’s bilateral meeting with King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz said that “our approach on that issue hasn’t changed” and confirmed “concerns about certain types of weapons systems that could be part of a proliferation that would not serve our interest.”

Moscow analysts believe that the following circumstances played a role in changing the course of the American administration.

First of these is the worsening in Russian-American relations due to the reunification of Russia and Crimea, alongside the strengthened role of neoconservative elements in the Washington bureaucracy, who are anxious to spite Russia wherever they can, and to hinder normalization of American-Iranian relations. These are the very same people who worked behind the scenes during the coup in Kiev. As Robert Merry recently wrote, referring to William Pfaff, Victoria Nuland “even identified the man who should replace Yanukovych after his ouster,” and “the United States spent some $5 billion in fostering ‘democratic institutions’ in Ukraine designed to nudge the country away from Russian sway.” He said that only “saner heads would have understood how dangerous this kind of activity can be.”
3. DC Desperateados Rehash The Same Failed Chemical Weapons Storyline. An excerpt from, "US: Some Indication Chlorine Gas Was Used in Syria" by Jason Ditz, Antiwar, April 21, 2014:
Both government and rebels reported the incident, and blamed one another. They have identified the chemical as chlorine gas, and each insisted the other deliberately released it, though civilians and not combatants appear to have been the ones hit with the gas.

The US, as it so often does, couched the whole thing as a possible Assad government use, and didn’t suggest the rebels were even under suspicion. Yet Syria did not report chlorine as part of its significant chemical weapons arsenal, and most nations abandoned the gas in military use in favor of more effective chemicals around World War One.

Attempts to attribute blame aside, chlorine gas is a common enough chemical for industrial uses, and it seems entirely possible that during the intense fighting in Kfar Zeita the gas was inadvertently released.
Video: Syria's Assad pays Easter visit to old Christian town. Source: AFP. Date Published: April 21, 2014. Description:
Syria's President Bashar al-Assad paid an Easter Sunday visit to a historic Christian town newly recaptured from jihadist-backed rebels, as opposition fighters counter-attacked his forces in a key battleground city.

April 10, 2014

Great Decisions: "Energy Independence" by Dr. Flynt Leverett

Video Title: Great Decisions: "Energy Independence" by Dr. Flynt Leverett. Source: USArmyWarCollege. Date Published: April 9, 2014. Description:
Energy independence, by taking the bargaining chip of oil dependence off the table, would be good for American foreign policy. But the very technological advances that make independence possible have created a dilemma for lawmakers. In a government with fixed resources, should the U.S. encourage more traditional fuel production or invest in the young technology of renewable resources?