Immaculate Heart of Mary, full of love for God and mankind, and of compassion for sinners, I consecrate myself to you. I entrust to you the salvation of my soul. May my heart be ever united with yours, so that I may hate sin, love God and my neighbor, and reach eternal life with those whom I love. May I experience the kindness of your motherly heart and the power of your intercession with Jesus during my life and at the hour of my death. Amen. (Catholic prayer)
Scholars should support change
Green became the national color of Libya under Gaddafi. It symbolized the predominant religion of Islam as well as Gaddafi’s “Third Universal Theory” as expounded in his Green Book, his book of political writings, published in 1975.
"Nationalism is the basis for the survival of nations. Nations whose nationalism is destroyed are subject to ruin. Minorities, which are one of the main political problems in the world, are the outcome. They are nations whose nationalism has been destroyed and which are thus torn apart."
For Ibn Khaldun, the most fundamental question is what keeps a group of people together and bounded.
This is the basis of all culture, civilization and political power or dominion (mulk). Without this basic ingredient, no group of people, tribe, clan or larger community can attain political power, build an urban life and preserve it.
This is where we meet Ibn Khaldun's central concept of "asabiyyah," i.e., group solidarity and social cohesion (comparable with Civic Humanism and Classical Republicanism).
Asabiyyah is the glue that binds a group together. It gives them the power and ability to protect them against outside aggressors. It enables them to establish peace and order among themselves. It prepares them to build "umran," i.e., civilization.
But this is also where we face a major Khaldunian dilemma: when a group of people bounded and empowered by asabiyyah reaches urban life and attains civilization, they lcan ose their social cohesion and sense of solidarity.
As individuals begin to enjoy the benefits and comfort of civilized life in an urban setting, they become lax, lazy and "too mellow" to protect themselves against the onslaught of those who maintain their "bedoin virtues" and warrior qualities. It is only a matter of time before they are overrun by others.
Ibn Khaldun argues that each dynasty (or civilization) has within itself the seeds of its own downfall. As rulers establish themselves at the center of their empire, they become increasingly lax, less coordinated, disciplined and watchful, and more concerned with maintaining their new power and lifestyle at the centre of the empire—i.e, their internal cohesion and ties to the original peripheral group, the `asabiyya, dissolves into factionalism and individualism, diminishing their capacity as a political unit.
In the Khaldunian paradigm, the price of civilization can be the loss of social cohesion, group solidarity and the noble qualities that come with them. Those who lose their asabiyyah also lose their asalah, i.e., nobility.
This becomes a recurrent theme..: you attain power, urban life and civilization through your asabiyyah; but when you begin to enjoy the benefits of a sedentary and civilized life, you lose your cohesion...
It's our task to revise and enlarge his analysis to understand the key questions of cohesion, urbanization and civilization in larger urban and global settings.
This is an urgent task especially for the contemporary Muslim world that suffers from lack of both social cohesion and civilizational unity. Failed and weak states, non-state actors, tribalism, sectarianism, ethnic nationalism and a host of other problems deprive Muslim societies of any "glue" that will protect them against aggressors and realize their intellectual and material resources for culture and civilization.
It is high time for contemporary Muslim societies to read Ibn Khaldun... Maintaining both social cohesion and urban civilization might be a herculean task. But it is a challenge that must be met to overcome many of our modern ailments.
The Arabo-Islamic historian Khaldun (1332-1406 AD) is ranked among the best in history, on par with the earlier Greco-Roman historians such as Plutarch or Xenophon; truly one of the most best scholars produced by the Arabs. Ibn Khaldun has tabulated the mighty legacy of the Iranians in Islamo-Arabian civilization in his text, the Muqaddimah. Regarding the Iranian legacy in Islamo-Arabian civilization, Ibn Khaldun declares that:
“…It is a remarkable fact that, with few exceptions, most Muslim scholars…in the intellectual sciences have been non-Arabs…
Thus the founders of grammar were Sibawaih and after him, al-Farisi and Az-Zajjaj. All of them were of Persian descent…they invented rules of (Arabic) grammar…great jurists were Persians… only the Persians engaged in the task of preserving knowledge and writing systematic scholarly works.
Thus the truth of the statement of the prophet becomes apparent, ‘If learning were suspended in the highest parts of heaven the Persians would attain it”… The intellectual sciences were also the preserve of the Persians, left alone by the Arabs, who did not cultivate them…” [Golden Age of Persia, London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, p.91]
Abd al-Rahman ibn Muhammad ibn Khaldun was one of the most original thinkers of the Middle Ages. He was also a politician and diplomat. In his treatise, the Muqaddima, he pioneered a general sociological theory of history. Ibn Khaldun was born on May 27, 1332 in Tunis.
Turkey has been a patron of international jihadism since the hospitalisation of prince Bandar ben Sultan in 2012, and godfather of the Muslim Brotherhood since the overthrow of Mohamed Morsi and the quarrel between Doha and Riyad in 2013-14.
By transmitting arms to al-Qaïda and Daesh which were sent by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and NATO, president Erdogan wove close relations with the jihadist organisations.
However, the intervention of Hezbollah in the second war against Syria, from July 2012, then that of the Russian Federation, in September 2015, turned the fortunes of war. From this moment on, the gigantic coalition of the «Friends of Syria» lost a lot of the terrain they had occupied, and encountered increasing difficulty in recruiting new mercenaries. Thousands of jihadists deserted the battle-field and fled to Turkey.
But in fact, most of these jihadists are incompatible with Turkish civilisation.
Indeed, the jihadists had not been recruited to form a coherent army, but simply to swell the numbers. There were at least 250,000 of them, perhaps even many more.
At first, these men were Arab delinquants supervised by the Muslim Brotherhood. Progressively, were added Naqshbandi Sufis from the Caucasus and Iraq, and even young Westerners in a quest for Revolution. This implausible mixture can not hold together if it is displaced to Turkey.
First of all because now, what the jihadists want is a state of their own, and it seems impossible to proclaim another Caliphate in Turkey.
And then for all sorts of cultural reasons. For example – the Arab jihadists have adopted the Wahhabism of their Saudi benefactors. According to this desert ideology, History does not exist. They have therefore destroyed many antique vestiges, allegedly because the Qu’ran forbids idolatry. While this has not caused problems in Ankara, there is no question of allowing them to touch the Turko-Mongol patrimony.
Although we do not know precisely the number of jihadists in Syria and Iraq, we may estimate that they are are now no more than between 50,000 and 200,000.
Given that these mercenaries are massively irrecuperable, what is to be done with them? The cease-fire agreement, the text of which is deliberately imprecise, leaves open the possibility of an attack against them in Idleb. This governorate is occupied by a bevy of armed groups who have no links with one another...
Contrary to Daesh, these jihadists have never learned how to organise themselves correctly, and remain dependent on aid from the Atlantic Alliance. This aid comes to them across the Turkish border, which may soon be closed. However, while it is easy to check trucks which travel on well-defined routes, it is not possible to control the passage of men crossing the fields. Thousands, perhaps even tens of thousands of jihadists could soon flood into Turkey and destabilise it.
Turkey has already begun changing its rhetoric. President Erdoğan accused the United States of continuing to support the jihadists in general and Daesh in particular, suggesting that if he had done the same in the past, it was under the evil influence of Washington.
Turkey’s about-face, if it is to be confirmed in the months to come, will provoke a chain-reaction of consequences. Beginning with the fact that President Erdoğan now presents himself not only as the ally of Russia, but also as the partner of Hezbollah and the Islamic Republic of Iran. The end, therefore, of the mirage of Turkey as leader of the Sunni world, fighting the «heretics» with Saudi money.
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee slammed UN Security Council Resolution 2334 as an act of hate and contempt against the State of Israel and criticized Secretary of State John Kerry's speech against construction in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria during a visit to the Knesset Tuesday.
"It is the role of a sovereign state to decide for itself," Huckabee said in the Knesset. "John Kerry's speech was without precedent in history. He argues that Israel can be Jewish or democratic, but not both. How did he come to that [conclusion]? He took the faith and the religion out of the equation of what Israel is."
"The UN Resolution was an act of hatred and contempt. Very rarely are Syria, North Korea, Russia, etc. condemned. Israel is condemned far more. There are more condemnations in the UN when Israel builds houses than when Iran builds a nuclear reactor," Huckabee said.
"The world doesn't hate you because of where you are, but because of what you are - and especially because of who you are. [i.e. the world is anti-Semitic]
The Muslim world is far larger and there is no justification for Israel to withdraw from the territories, he added.
Huckabee is "America’s leading Christian Zionist politician." He believes that the land of Israel was promised to the modern-day Jews by God. He has written that, "the Jews have a God-given right to reclaim land given to their ancestors and taken away from them."
Huckabee is a Rapturist. Rapturists believe in the physical return of Jesus to greater Israel. The Jews remain the apple of God’s eye, the land promised to the patriarch Abraham being their inheritance. The land from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River must be secured for Israel. Solomon’s Temple will be rebuilt...
Huckabee supports the creation of a Palestinian state outside “Israel.”
People who don't accept living in Palestinian ghetto's have to leave the land of the Jews. He suggested Saudi Arabia and Egypt as prospects for such a state... He stands against the creation of a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem. He has stood against any pullback of settlements on the Golan Heights and the West Bank.
Picked by President-elect Donald Trump to be a key figure in the US State Department John Bolton is calling on the US to impose harsh cuts in US aid to “retaliate” against all 14 nations which voted in favor of the UN Security Council resolution critical of Israel’s settlement expansion.
Bolton suggested this as leverage to push a second UN vote to “repeal” the initial vote, saying it would represent a “last chance” for nations to placate the Trump Administration by voting against the resolution, and then “we’re going to take steps to show our unhappiness.”
Of course, a “repeal” resolution would almost certainly be vetoed by one of the other four permanent UN Security Council members, potential multiple members, meaning it is a non-starter at any rate. The cuts would also end up going after a number of nations Bolton and other hawks probably won’t be comfortable targeting.
That’s because while Bolton “emphasized” Venezuela and Malaysia as targets, the 14 yes votes also included three NATO member nations, Britain, France, and Spain, as well as massive recipient of US military aid Egypt, as well as key US ally Japan.
John Bolton is a senior fellow at the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute and the chairman of the Gatestone Institute, a right-wing “pro-Israel” activist group that has been accused of fomenting anti-Muslim sentiment. A longtime national security hawk, Bolton is a former board member of the Project for the New American Century and a past adviser to the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs.
Bolton is a steadfast supporter of the right-wing Israeli government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and, like many members of Netanyahu’s cabinet, an opponent of Palestinian statehood. Claiming that it “would inevitably lead to a terrorist state on the other side of the border with Israel,” Bolton has fervently criticized the Obama administration for seeking a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. (rightweb info)
Israeli-Palestinian diplomacy sadly fits the classic description of insanity: "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." The identical assumptions – land-for-peace and the two-state solution, with the burden primarily on Israel – stay permanently in place, no matter how often they fail.
The time is ripe for a new approach, a basic re-thinking of the problem. It draws on Israel's successful strategy as carried out through its first 45 years. The failure of Israeli-Palestinian diplomacy since 1993 suggests this alternative approach – with a stress on Israeli toughness in pursuit of victory. This would, paradoxically perhaps, be of benefit to Palestinians and bolster American support.
On the Israeli side, nearly everyone agrees on the need to win acceptance by Palestinians (and other Arabs and Muslims); differences are tactical.
David Ben-Gurion articulated one approach, that of showing Palestinians what they can gain from Zionism.
Vladimir Jabotinsky developed the opposite vision, arguing that Zionists have no choice but to break the Palestinians' intractable will.
Their rival approaches remain the touchstones of Israel's foreign-policy debate, with Isaac Herzog heir to Ben-Gurion and Binyamin Netanyahu to Jabotinsky.
Deterrence, that is, convincing Palestinians and the Arab states to accept Israel's existence by threatening painful retaliation, underlay Israel's formidable record of strategic vision and tactical brilliance in the period 1948 to 1993. Over this time, deterrence worked to the extent that Israel's Arab state enemies saw the country very differently by the end of that period; in 1948, invading Arab armies expected to throttle the Jewish state at birth, but by 1993, Arafat felt compelled to sign an agreement with Israel's prime minister.
For a brief period, "The Handshake" (as it was then capitalized) between Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat and Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin served as the symbol of successful mediation...
The accords, however, quickly disappointed both sides. Indeed, while Israelis and Palestinians agree on little else, they concur with near-unanimity on Oslo having been a disaster.
Moral responsibility for the collapse of Oslo lies solely with Yasir Arafat, Mahmoud Abbas, and the rest of the Palestinian Authority leadership. They pretended to accept Israel's existence but, in fact, sought Israel's elimination in new, more sophisticated ways, replacing force with delegitimization...
This brings us to the key concept of my approach, which is victory, or imposing one's will on the enemy, compelling him through loss to give up his war ambitions.
Thinkers and warriors through the ages concur on the importance of victory as the correct goal of warfare.... Technological advancement has not altered this enduring human truth.
Israel has just one option to win Palestinian acceptance: a return to its old policy of deterrence, punishing Palestinians when they aggress.
Deterrence amounts to more than tough tactics, which every Israeli government pursues; it requires systemic policies that encourage Palestinians to accept Israel and discourage rejectionism:
Respond to activities designed to isolate and weaken Israel internationally by limiting access to the West Bank. When a Palestinian attacker is killed, bury the body quietly and anonymously in a potter's field. When the PA leadership incites to violence, prevent officials from returning to the PA from abroad. Respond to the murder of Israelis by expanding Jewish towns on the West Bank.
When official PA guns are turned against Israelis, seize these and prohibit new ones, and if this happens repeatedly, dismantle the PA's security infrastructure. Should violence continue, reduce and then shut off the water and electricity that Israel supplies. In the case of gunfire, mortar shelling, and rockets, occupy and control the areas from which these originate.
True peacemaking means finding ways to coerce Palestinians to give up rejectionism, accepting Jews, Zionism, and Israel.
When enough Palestinians abandon the dream of eliminating Israel, they will make concessions needed to end the conflict. To end the conflict, Israel must convince 50 percent and more of the Palestinians that they have lost.
An Israel victory liberates Palestinians. Defeat compels them to come to terms with their irredentist fantasies and the empty rhetoric of revolution...
That said, this change won't be easy or quick: Palestinians will have to pass through the bitter crucible of defeat, with all its deprivation, destruction, and despair.... But there is no shortcut.
For Washington to be helpful means not dragging the parties back again to more negotiations but robustly supporting Israel's path to victory.
That means supporting Israel taking the tough steps outlined above, from burying murderers' bodies anonymously to shuttering the Palestinian Authority. It means diplomatic support for Israel, such as undoing the "Palestine refugee" farce and rejecting the claim of Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital.
Israel needs to win.
Back to the NeoCon-Era
Flashback 2002: Daniel Pipes' Campus Watch
A disturbing development is campus-watch.org, a website compiling "black lists" of faculty at US campuses whom it considers biased, and compiling "dossiers" on them.
William Cook: Israel & The Axis of Evil
In a letter to the President, dated April 3, 2002, five months before the National Security Strategy Policy Report was issued as the guiding document for the Bush administrations' foreign policy, Perle, Daniel Pipes, Norman Podhoretz, William Kristol, William Bennett and many others from the New American Century Project, wrote: "No one should doubt that the United States and Israel share a common enemy. We are both targets of what you have correctly called an 'Axis of Evil.'
Bush: Daniel Pipes is a man of peace
President Bush is expected to bypass the Senate and appoint an outspoken Middle East scholar to a federal think tank over the objections of Democrats and others who say he is anti-Muslim. According to sources close to the matter, Bush intends to appoint Daniel Pipes, director of the Philadelphia-based Middle East Forum, to the board of the U.S. Institute of Peace.
Daniel Pipes: "No substitute for victory"
John Hawkins: Do you see any sort of possible solution to the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians within say the next decade? If so, how do you think peace could be achieved?
For the past eight years, the Obama administration has discreetly argued with Israel over its settlement building on the West Bank and Jerusalem. In public, the Obama government maintained the ludicrous but convenient fiction that fruitful talks were under way that would lead to creation of two states in historic Palestine.
No one really believed this nonsense: not Israel, not Mahmoud Abbas, not the UN, not America’s allies, including its client Arab states. By keeping this lie going meant that no one would have to do anything to block Israel’s in-you face expansion.
When Barack Obama and his foreign policy cadre made occasional public peeps of protest, he and VP Joe Biden were slapped down and abjectly humiliated. It mattered not that the Obama administration pledged to give Israel $38 billion of US taxpayer’s money to buy arms, vetoed an endless series of UN resolutions condemning Israel for illegal expansion and massive violations of human rights, Israel made clear who was really boss in Washington, and it wasn’t Barack Obama.
When Netanyahu did an end run around Obama by coming to address Congress, US congressmen and senators, made giddy by Netanyahu’s presence and its promise of lavish political donations caused these yes-men to jump up and down in crass adulation of the ‘King of Israel.’
America’s media lauded Netanyahu and blasted Obama for trying, however feebly, to assert America’s interests in the Mideast and slow down Israel’s quest for lebensraum.
As the wise Voltaire observed, 'To learn who rules over you simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize'.
Now, the specter of bumptious Donald Trump hangs over the moribund administration, accentuated its manifest failures abroad.
If we believe Trump’s Tweets this week in response to the US refusing, for once, to veto a mild UN resolution on Palestine, the Mideast is in for a rougher time than usual.
Trump does not know much about the Mideast. He will rely on a tight circle of extreme Zionists he has named to deal with the issue. That’s crazy and utterly deluded – unless Trump somehow hopes to push Israel into a real two-state peace deal by somehow using his cohorts of Greater Israel expansionists.
Mideast peace hardly seems in the offing. Israel’s hardline far right, increasingly ascendant, appears bent on further expanding Israel’s ‘temporary’ borders into parts of Syria. Some ultra-Zionists even talk about Iraq’s oil in Kurdistan. Why not. The feeble Arab states are collapsing. Egypt's president is funded by Saudi and Israeli money. The Saudis are useless and crazed by childish dreams of power.
What to do with all those Palestinians? The late Gen. Ariel Sharon had the answer: shove them into the barren wastes of Jordan, a US-Israeli protectorate, and call it Palestine. If the world does not like it, too bad.
A new apartheid state is being born. All of President Obama’s perfumed orations about Mideast peace have come to nothing.
Eric S. Margolis is an internationally syndicated columnist. He is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post, Lew Rockwell. He appears as an expert on foreign affairs on CNN, BBC, France 2, France 24, Fox News, CTV and CBC.
As a new year begins I wish to reflect on the Syrian government’s continued resistance and impending victory —with the help of the Russian military— against western backed terrorist forces.
The US-led failure to oust Bashar Al Assad’s secular government is a global game changer that may decidedly tip the balance of power away from the US and its western and Mid East allies (Saudi Arabia, Qatar and, until very recently, Turkey).
Syria’s withstanding would not have been possible without Russian involvement, firmly placing Russia as a counter to western power as we move into 2017.
Don't demonize political opponents
Western actions in Syria (and the broader Middle East) have highlighted just how hypocritical and contradictory western powers are.
While the US has long claimed to be waging a global war on terror, it’s overt support of terrorist groups in Syria, such as the US-backed ‘moderate’ terrorist group Nour al-Din al-Zinki, as well as terrorist staples such as Al Qaeda and the Nusra Front, demonstrates the US’ willingness to promote terrorism for its own interests.
This is not a new trend. The US has been arming and backing Islamist radicals and terrorist groups for decades, especially in its efforts to undermine the influence of Russia –a world power that does not seek uni-polar power, like the US does, and has repeatedly called for a multi-polar world in terms of both culture and politics...
Much of the US’ motivations for radicalizing Sunni Muslims are linked to its unwavering support for Israel. But it also greatly serves the US’ own hegemonic interests, not least its efforts to undermine the Soviet Union in the past and Russia presently.
With US President-elect Donald Trump seemingly intent on a detente with Russia the tide could turn. If Trump does indeed plan to improve US-Russia relations, and given Russia’s increasing status and global importance, 2017 could mark the beginning of the long transition to a saner and potentially more multi-polar world...
The year 2017 is
about to come holding events and
developments that we do not know
However, in our minds and hearts, we hold all hopes that 2017 would be a year in which the crises of the Arab world end, the wars and disputes stop and the wounds heal.
The year 2017 is approaching, while the Arab nation is living a bitter reality and unprecedented conditions on the level of the Zionist occupation of Palestine and Jerusalem and the level of wars, crises and conﬂicts that are faced by more than one Arab country.
The terrorist groups are still attacking everywhere in Syria, Iraq, Libya and other Arab counties. Yemen is still in a state of division and is attacked by neighboring Arab states.
Let the New Year 2017 be an occasion to mobilize a patriotic and national spirit; unify our internal front and strengthen its ties that pass any differences or narrow judgments...
Let the new year be an occasion to unite the ranks and confront the nation‘s problems by brotherhood and a solidarity spirit; promote our work to the level of responsibility in defending Palestine, Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia and other Arab countries that confront occupation and terrorism.
Let us make the new year an occasion to neutralize the prevailing frustration state and work to spread out the hope that occupation, terrorism and extremism will inevitably end, sooner or later.
Amid the current ceasefire and ahead of the upcoming negotiations between the Syrian government and opposition in Kazakhstan's capital Astana,
Syrian authorities are working on a plan to attract investments in order to restore the country and the recently liberated city of Aleppo in particular.
Syrian Minister of Tourism Bishr Riyad Yazigi told Sputnik Arabic: "We are considering necessary easing of some requirements to attract investments into the country and first of all into Aleppo."
Bishr Riyad Yazigi, who came to inspect recently liberated Syria's second-largest city with the government delegation, noted that the Syrian authorities are eager to cooperate with investors who understand the peculiarities of Aleppo and are ready to set special terms for investments.
The minister said that the country's experts are estimating the damage to the historic part of the city and are working on a plan of reconstruction.
Meanwhile, the Russian media suggested what will be the top priorities for the country's government in 2017, noting that the Syrian government should draw certain lessons from the long-time conflict.
"It will no longer be a fight against certain ethnic, religious or political groups but a battle for restoration of the integrity of the country," says Russian online newspaper Vzglyad. It will require unconditional subordination to the government in Damascus. The government, in turn, will face a new task of reconstruction of the dilapidated state and restoration of social and inter-ethnic ties within the country.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad met on Thursday Faleh al-Fayad, the National Security Advisor and Envoy of Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar Abadi.
Al-Fayad conveyed to President al-Assad a message from al-Abadi, in which he affirmed the importance of cooperation and coordination between Syria and Iraq in their war against the terrorist organizations and the need to enhance this cooperation in the coming period.
During the meeting, stress was placed on the achievements made in the two countries in terms of the war against terrorism, with the most recent ones being the expelling of terrorists from Aleppo in Syria and the advance of Iraqi forces in Mosul.
Both sides affirmed that these achievements represent a victory for the two brotherly people of Syria and Iraq as they share the same enemy, which is terrorism and its destructive Takfiri ideology.
President al-Assad and al-Fayad also highlighted the importance of concerted efforts of all countries in the fight against terrorism as the outcome of this war will not only influence the shaping of the future of the region, but will also have its impacts on the whole world, especially that terrorism knows no boundaries, a fact that was proved through the terrorist attacks that have hit many of the countries in the region and beyond.
Sufism: The Religion of the Heart
Sufism or Taṣawwuf is defined as the inner mystical dimension of Islam. Practitioners of Sufism, referred to as Sufis. Sufis strive for ihsan (perfection of worship) as detailed in a hadith: "Ihsan is to worship Allah as if you see Him; if you can't see Him, surely He sees you." Rumi stated: "The Sufi is hanging on to Muhammad, like Abu Bakr."
In them appears all that you are -- your hypocrisy, iniquity and insolence.
You do not see clearly the evil in yourself, else you would hate yourself with all your soul.
Jalaluddin Rumi, born on September 30, 1207 CE in Khorasan (now Afghanistan)
See also: Russia 2012: Suicide bomber kills Sufi cleric - West blinks at Wahhabism's dark side
God Bless Our Home - Saddam's Hiding Place - A Farmhouse near Tikrit
Inside the house, blankets are piled on the two beds which sit under a child's poster depicting Noah's ark: it shows a colourful queue of cartoon animals in pairs skipping towards the great wooden ship.
"December the 13th, at around 8:30 p.m. Baghdad time, United States military forces captured Saddam Hussein alive. He was found near a farmhouse outside the city of Tikrit, in a swift raid conducted without casualties" George Bush 14-12-2003
“The way to happiness: keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry. Live simply, expect little, give much. Fill your life with love. Scatter sunshine. Forget self, think of others. Do as you would be done by. Try this for a week and you will be surprised.”
“To become a happy person have a clean soul, eyes that see romance in the commonplace, a child’s heart, and spiritual simplicity.”
“Personally, I believe that prayer is a sending out of vibrations from one person to another and to God. All of the universe is in vibration. There are vibrations in the molecules of a table. The air is filled with vibrations. The reaction between human beings is also in vibration. When you send out a prayer for another person, you employ the force inherent in a spiritual universe.
You transport from yourself to the other person a sense of love, helpfulness, support—a sympathetic, powerful understanding—and in this process you awaken vibrations in the universe...”
“Sudden I stopped. I was out of breath. I asked myself, “What is this all about? What is the meaning of this ceaseless rush? This is ridiculous!”
Then I declared independence, and said, “I do not care if I go to dinner. I do not care whether I make a talk. I do not have to go to this dinner and I do not have to make a speech.” So deliberately and slowly I walked back to my room and took my time about unlocking the door. I telephoned the man downstairs and said, “If you want to eat, go ahead. If you want to save a place for me, I will be down after a while, but I am not going to rush any more.”
So I removed my coat, sat down, took off my shoes, put my feet up on the table, and just sat.
Then I opened the Bible and very slowly read aloud the 121st Psalm, “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills from whence cometh my help.”
I closed the book and had a little talk with myself, saying, “Come on now, start living a slower and more relaxed life,” and then I affirmed, “God is here..."
Escalating tensions between rival Libyan armed forces threaten to plunge the North African country deeper into turmoil only weeks after the fall of the Islamic State group's bastion Sirte.
The deeply tribal nation has been sharply divided since the 2011 ouster of Moamer Gaddafi, with rival militias vying for influence and control of oil resources.
The power struggle pits an administration based in eastern Libya (the democratic elected secular Tobruk government), backed by military strongman Khalifa Haftar, against a NATO|UN-brokered unity government (GNA) in Tripoli supported by Islamist militias from the western city of Misrata (a Muslim Brotherhood stronghold).
"The situation is most likely going to escalate further given that the voices of war are now the loudest" after an air strike by Haftar's forces against the Misrata militias, analyst Mohamed Eljarh of the Atlantic Council said.
The Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) is the centrepiece of Western hopes to stem an upsurge of jihadism in Libya, but it has failed to assert its authority across the country.
The rival (democratic elected) authority in the east has refused to cede power and has its own armed forces, which call themselves the Libyan National Army (LNA) and are led by Haftar.
Pro-GNA fighters mainly from the Western town of Misrata drove IS from Sirte in December, capping a deadly months-long campaign for Kadhafi's hometown.
The Misrata militias include hardliners determined to fight Haftar's army. Haftar's army (the Libyan National Army) has battled jihadists in second city Benghazi for more than two years and blames Misrata militias of backing diehard extremists.
On December 7, two days after Sirte's liberation, tensions flared when hardline Misrata militias joined an attack against Haftar's forces launched by an alliance of Islamist and tribal fighters.
The assault on a town near Libya's "oil crescent" -- where Haftar had seized four export terminals from pro-GNA forces in September -- was launched from Al-Jufra air base in southern Libya. The LNA repelled it and since then has frequently bombarded the base, calling it a den of "terrorists".
Martin Kobler, the UN special envoy to Libya, said he was "alarmed by the tensions in Libya's south" and urged all sides "to act with restraint and to resolve issues through peaceful dialogue". US State Department spokesman John Kirby warned that further fighting could embolden the Islamic State group and other jihadists to reorganise.
Despite the recapture of Sirte, which had been IS's main base in Libya, the jihadist threat persists in the country where experts say IS cells are present in several other areas including Tripoli.
Main Islamist Forces in Libya
Libyan tribal leaders, local councils, civil society organisations, activists and youth groups have affirmed their support for Libya’s only elected body, the House of Representatives (the parliament) and the Libyan National Army, led by Marshal Khalifa Haftar.
In a statement, read out in English in the video below, they also declared their opposition to the United-Nations-brokered body, the so-called “Government of National Accord” (GNA), and the Skhirat Agreement of 2015, which set up that body.
The GNA is led by Fayez al-Sarraj, who acts as front-man for the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) and other Islamist groups, many of which are active supporters of terrorism.
The MB lost the 2014 parliamentary elections – Libya’s second elections since the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi’s regime – to more liberal and secular groups. This prompted the MB to mount an armed putsch against the newly elected parliament, which was forced to relocate from the capital, Tripoli, to Tobruk in the east.
The Skhirat Agreement appeases the MB and the other Islamists by giving them a decisive voice in the GNA.
In their statement, the Libyan civil society groups also voiced their lack of confidence in the UN special envoy to Libya, the German diplomat Martin Kobler, who understand very little, if anything, about Libya.
Lebanese authorities believe a positive development in the Syrian crisis settlement was possible due to Russia's efforts, State Minister for Presidential Affairs Pierre Raffoul told Sputnik Saturday.
"There are many safe and stable regions in Syria now …. We see that the Free Syrian Army is in contact with Russia, this is a positive development," Raffoul said, adding that he expects a further breakthrough in the crisis settlement particularly following the liberation of the Syrian city of Aleppo. Raffoul added that Russia's contribution was especially valuable when it comes to uniting the Syrian people.
"It is necessary to appreciate Russia’s role in the Syrian crisis, especially regarding the unification of the Syrian people, as the division of Syria, as well as of the Arab region overall, would have a negative impact for the entire world," he said.
Since 2011, Syria has been engulfed in a civil war, following violent protests as part of the so-called Arab Spring. Lebanon, which borders the war-torn country, has taken in more than one million of Syrian refugees.
To look at Islam without seeing the Sufis is to miss the heart of the matter.
Without taking account of the Sufis, we cannot understand the origins of most contemporary political currents in the Middle East and Muslim South Asia, and of many influential political parties. They are the muscle and sinew of the faith.
And, however startling this may seem, these very Sufis -- these dedicated defenders and evangelists of mystical Islam -- are potentially vital allies for the nations of the West.
Many observers see a stark confrontation between the West and Islam, a global conflict that entered a traumatic new phase with the Iranian revolution. But that perspective ignores basic conflicts within the Muslim world itself, a global clash of values over the nature of religious practice, no less than overtly political issues.
For the Islamists -- for hard-line fundamentalists like the Saudi Wahhabis and the Taliban -- the Sufis are deadly enemies, who draw on practices alien to the Quran. Where Islamists rise to power, Sufis are persecuted or driven underground; but where Sufis remain in the ascendant, it is the radical Islamist groups who must fight to survive.
Around the world, the Sufis are struggling against violent fundamentalists who are at once their deadly foes, and ours. To look at Islam without seeing the Sufis is to be ignorant of a crucial clash of civilizations in today's world: not the conflict between Islam and the West, but an epochal struggle within Islam itself.
If the word "Sufi" conjures up any images for Americans, they normally involve mystical poetry or dance. Thirteenth century poet Rumi was a legendary Sufi, as are Turkey's whirling dervishes. But these are just the most visible expressions of a movement that runs deeply through the last thousand years of Islam.
Emerging around the year 800, they were originally pious devotees, whose poor woolen clothes showed their humility: "Sufi" comes from the Arabic word for wool.
Above all, the Sufis sought the divine reality or ultimate truth that stands above all the illusions and deceptions of the material world.
But the orders are more than confraternities of pious devotees. Early in their history, Sufis developed a powerful military streak, making them the knights of Islam, as well as the monks and mystics.
The expansion of Islam outside the core areas of the Middle East is above all a Sufi story... They presented an Islam that incorporated local traditions and worship styles, including Christian saints and Hindu gods.
The Sufis might sound like America's worst nightmare. But it would be a terrible mistake to see the Sufis as enemies. Sufis certainly have fought Western forces through the years, and Sufi-founded movements have on occasion engaged in terrorist actions -- witness the Chechens. But in the vast majority of cases, such militancy has been essentially defensive, resisting brutal colonial occupations. This is very different from the aggressive global confrontation pursued by groups such as Al Qaeda.
Today, moreover, Sufi brotherhoods face a deadly danger from the strict puritanical or fundamentalist Islam represented by Qaeda and similar movements, which are as threatening to the Sufi brotherhoods as they are to the West. To the extent that we, like the Sufis, face a real danger from violent jihadi fundamentalism, our interests are closely aligned with those of the Sufis.
But the Sufis are much more than tactical allies for the West: they are, potentially, the greatest hope for pluralism and democracy within Muslim nations.
The Sufi religious outlook has little of the uncompromising intolerance that characterizes the fundamentalists. They have no fear of music, poetry, and other artistic forms -- these are central to their sense of the faith's beauty -- and the brotherhoods cherish intellectual exploration. Progressive Sufi thinkers are quite open to modern knowledge and science.
While proudly Islamic, Sufi believers have always been in dialogue with other great religions.
This open-mindedness contrasts with the much harsher views of the fundamentalists, who we know by various names.
Salafism claims to teach a return to the pure religion taught by the prophet Muhammad in the seventh century, and in that early Islamic community Salafis think they can find all they need to know about life and law. The most powerful and best-known version of this back-to-basics ideology is the Wahhabi movement that emerged in the 18th century, and which in modern times has built a worldwide presence on the strength of Saudi oil money.
At its most extreme, this exclusive tradition rejects knowledge that is not clearly rooted in the Quran and Islamic legal thought, and regards other religions and cultures as dangerous rivals lacking any redeeming virtues. Al Qaeda and its affiliates represent an extreme and savage manifestation of this fundamentalist current.
As fundamentalist Islam spreads around the world, Sufism is one of its targets. But Sufis are anything but passive victims, and in their resilience lies their true importance to the West.
In many nations, Sufi brotherhoods exercise influence within local regimes, and those alliances allow them to drive back radicalism. Sufis, better than anyone, can tell disaffected young Muslims that the quest for peace is not a surrender to Western oppression, still less a betrayal of Islam, but rather a return to the faith's deepest roots....
The West's best hope for global peace is not a decline or secularization of Islam, but rather a renewal and strengthening of that faith, and above all of its spiritual and mystical dimensions.
Philip Jenkins is Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor University. He is author of "The Lost History of Christianity: The Thousand-Year Golden Age of the Church in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia -- and How It Died" (HarperOne, 2008).
Israel apology after plot against UK politicians
- Salah Haj Yahya, 50, an Arab Israeli who lives in Taibeh, runs a mobile clinic on behalf of Physicians for Human Rights and leads medical teams going to Gaza.
Can you say something about Physicians for Human Rights? What is its agenda? What does providing healthcare as a political act mean?
- “We fight for the right to health and liberty, which everyone deserves. This includes citizens of Israel, migrants, refugees, Palestinians and people with no legal status. Our teams, medical and welfare ones, extend assistance to all these populations.”
- Gaza has been under siege for almost a decade. We don’t really know what’s happening there. Describe what you see there.
- “Gaza is cloaked in desperation. You feel it the minute you cross the border. It’s like traveling to another world. Already at the crossing you see seriously ill people, mainly cancer patients, waiting in line in a hall. They are hoping for some compassion and permission to cross the border and receive some treatment. You go by car and see ruins, thousands of destroyed houses, factories in ruin, sewage flowing through the streets.”
- The UN isn’t the most popular institution in Israel right now. In its last report it stated that without a massive investment in reconstruction, Gaza will be “unsuitable for habitation” by 2020. Explain what that means.
- “Look, we walk through the streets, we don’t just go to hospitals. We see what’s going on. More than 60 percent of the inhabitants are unemployed. There’s terrible poverty. There is simply no money. Not for food or for medications, not for warm clothes for children. People light fires in order to stay warm. It’s quite common in Gaza to see a fire outside a tent standing next to a ruined house. People are afraid to move far from ruined houses even though there’s no chance they’ll get any compensation. They know that if they move away someone will take over the land and they’ll lose that as well.
“The education system isn’t working. The health system is finished. Agriculture is dying. There are no materials, no way of working and even if there is some produce there’s no one to sell it to. I just saw something I couldn’t believe – they sell a kilo of strawberries there for 3 shekels. If that’s what the vendor in the market charges, how much did the farmer make?
Water sources are contaminated. The water is unfit to drink, unfit for any use. There is hardly any electricity. Gaza is on the brink of a humanitarian disaster. There’s hardly any international aid and the Arab states aren’t succeeding in providing any assistance.”
- Not succeeding or not trying?
- “Not succeeding, but not really trying.
“After serving for 30 years in this job, I see no changes in Gaza, it’s only gotten worse. It’s a sad place..."
“There are two million people there who are really suffering. I haven’t spoken with each and every person there but I can tell you that they are very weary. They’ve gone through three wars and are fed up.
The vast majority there only want to lead a normal life, earn a living, educate their kids and have food and clothes for them. This simply doesn’t exist there. A father faces his children and can’t give them a thing. It pains him. That’s what I’m hearing from people there...”
In 2011 Gaddafi's Green Revolution was destroyed by NATO backed Islamists (Salafists|Al-Qaeda & Muslim Brotherhood)
Amid reports the perpetrator in a deadly terror attack in Jerusalem was inspired by the ISIS terrorist organization, one Likud MK said the attack was part of a larger trend towards a global front of radical Islam facing Western civilization.
MK Amir Ohana (Likud) rebuffed the notion the attack, committed by an Arab resident of the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber, was a response to Israel’s administration of Judea and Samaria.
"Israeli citizens are facing terror for more than 100 years,” said Ohana. "Was it the 'occupation of 1967'? Of course not. Was it the desperation? Was it the unemployment? What was it?
Actually what it was and - still is - is the unwillingness of the Arab influential majority around us to accept the existence of the State of Israel as a Jewish state. And it will go on, it will not stop. We say it yesterday. And what we need to do is to fight and combat the Islamic terror that hurts not only us but the Western world.”
But more broadly, said Ohana, the attacks on Israel are part of a larger rejection of Western civilization by radical Islam.
"It is what Samuel Huntington referred to as the clash of civilizations. One civilization who supports freedom and another civilization who opposes it.
And in this struggle we should stay united - the Western world, the free world should stay united and fight that terror very harshly."
"The world’s seven billion people – most of whom are against the occupation – are wrong,
and six million Israeli Jews – most of whom support the occupation – are right.
That’s the reality in the eyes of the average Israeli... " Gideon Levy, 4-7-2014
"War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; Ignorance is Strength"
It is my judgment that WWIII has been averted by a combination of restraint on the part of Vladimir Putin, confident that Donald Trump will make things right once he is in office, and public intelligence. For the first time in history, a sufficiency of retired intelligence professionals and alert citizens have come together to demonstrate with compelling depth that both the US secret intelligence community and their fellow travelers, the US media (both mainstream and “progressive”) cannot be trusted to tell the truth about anything of import.
For those who wish to learn more, a few links as starting points.
Robert Steele: 'The DHS-FBI Report Against the Russians is Absolute Crap'
Berto Jongman: 'John Brennan and CIA Being Full of Crap'
In my view, the truth at any cost lowers all other costs. The truth is not available from the US secret intelligence world or the US media – for truth, we must look to one another.
Robert David Steele is a former American spy, one of the first to be assigned the terrorist target as a full-time assignment, and also the senior civilian responsible for creating the Marine Corps Intelligence Activity (MCIA), both in the 1980’s. Today he is the CEO of Earth Intelligence Network, a non-profit educational corporation that teaches holistic analytics, true cost economics, and Open Source Everything Engineering (OSEE).
The Iraq War & Faulty Intelligence
“I would have [authorized the invasion]... And so would almost everybody that was confronted with the intelligence they got,” Jeb Bush told Fox News’ Megyn Kelly (May 2011)... But he acknowledged that the “intelligence that everybody saw, that the world saw, was faulty...”
Washington, 14-12-2005 — President Bush accepted responsibility on Wednesday for going to war with faulty intelligence..
Senate Report on Pre-war Intelligence on Iraq: The Senate Report on Iraqi WMD Intelligence was the report by the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence concerning the U.S. intelligence community's assessments of Iraq during the time leading up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
Colin Powell, 17-5-2016: U.N. Speech “Was a Great Intelligence Failure”. The speech set out to detail Iraq’s weapons program, but as the intelligence would later confirm, that program was nonexistent. Powell says his speech was approved by former CIA chief George Tenet.
One of the deputies of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), Altan Tan stated that his party should have rejected PKK 'violence' with a strong voice: "HDP was supposed to stand against violence perpetrated by the PKK. People expected us to take a stance against them," he said.
FSA trainingcamp in Turkey 2012. On 29 July 2011 a group of defected officers announced the formation of the Free Syrian Army (FSA). Composed of defected Syrian Armed Forces personnel, the rebel army seeked to remove Bashar al-Assad and his Baath-party from power (i.e: a military coup).
Touching upon the fact that the PKK has upped terror activities despite the HDP's success in the June 7 elections, passing the 10-percent threshold by 3 points, Tan said: "We have made our greatest democratic success in the June 7 general elections. I am asking those who undermined this political and non-violent success: What have you gained?"
The PKK broke a two-and-a-half year unilateral cease-fire with the Turkish state in July 2015, and resumed its armed campaign, which has seen civilians targeted. Hundreds of police, military officers and civilians were killed in PKK attacks...
A report on the alleged Russian influence operation and hack linked to the recent American presidential election finally appeared on Friday, jan 6, 2017. The report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence was entitled “Background to ‘Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections’: The Analytic Process and Cyber Incident Attribution.”
RT (Russia Today) also is indicted in the report for opposing “Western intervention in the Syrian conflict.”
An annex to the report even describes RT International as promoting “radical discontent”, an odd expression that might have been coined by the Comintern.
I am personally quite familiar with RT International and also with quite a few of the American and European contributors who have appeared on their programs, many of which feature speakers holding quite adversarial positions on issues of the day.
I am unaware of anyone ever being coached or pressured to adopt a certain viewpoint to conform with an editorial policy and believe that on most issues RT is no worse than many American and European news outlets.
If RT coverage of the American election was biased, it is little different than what was occurring in the U.S. media—and if there is a problem with that for the drafters of the report, it appears to be attributable to the fact that the slant was unacceptably pro-Trump rather than pro-Clinton. Trump has said that the only reason anyone is concerned with the possible Russian involvement is that Hillary lost. He is probably correct. Did Russian media coverage really amount to an attack on the United States and our way of life? Did people in America actually vote in large numbers based on what RT International was reporting?
So the latest attempt to nail perfidious Moscow is, to my mind, yet another mish-mash of soft facts combined with plenty of opinion and maybe even a bit of good old Cold War-style politics. A lot of sometimes wild speculation and judgments based on fragmentary information taken together are not a good basis for determining foreign policy...
Iraqi Shiite militias are terrorists
Flashback: Khomeini & the Sunni Resistance
"We closed this path since the very beginning"
Quran 7 (The Heights) 157: "[There are] those who follow the messenger, the unlettered Prophet, whom they find mentioned in their own (scriptures),- in the Torah and the Gospel..
Khamenei & The MOTHER-sign Cancer
Sayyed Ali Hosseini Khamenei was born on the 17th of July 1939:
Sun in CANCER, Moon in Cancer (born in the morning) or Leo (afternoon, evening) .
In Cancer the Sun gives a quiet, reserved, retiring, sensitive disposition yet inclined to publicity. Versatile, changeable; with many ups and downs, changes of occupation and position but desires to stick to his own course. Possesses a fertile imagination and dramatic ability, loves nature, adventure and strange experiences. Is mediumistic, receptive an influenced greatly by surroundings. Industrious, prudent, frugal and very conscientious. Has a retentive memory. Loves approbation, sympathy and kindness; fears ridicule. Fruitful and reproductive. - Question to Khamenei’s wife (Mansoureh Khojaste Bagherzadeh, born 14-3-1947) :
What does your husband expect from you?
- Answer: He doesn’t expect anything but a happy, calm, and healthy family environment.
See also: Zodiac Signs and Iranian Calendar
"My little African son, Obama wants to kill me"
According to the Guardian, Bennett heads an “extreme rightwing nationalist and pro-settler” party. The Jewish Daily Forward has called him the “dangerous man who dreams of leading Israel” while the New Yorker says he is “the face of the next generation of religious nationalism” in Israel.
Naftali Bennett, born 25 march 1972: Sun in ARIES, Moon in LEO.
Those two signs represent the Two Tribes where (according to Jewish tradition) the Jewish State of Israel is build on.
Judah is a lion's whelp; From the prey, my son, you have gone up. He bows down, he lies down as a lion; And as a lion, who shall rouse him?" (Genesis 49:9 )
Benjamin, 'ravening as a wolf, devouring his prey by morning, dividing the spoil at night' (Gen.49:27), is ARIES.
That Israel a rogue state has long been beyond dispute in discerning company. In light of the recent revelation that an Israeli official, working for the country’s embassy in London, was plotting ways to “take down” various British politicians over their opposition to Israeli settlements and support for a Palestinian state, it is now becoming increasingly apparent within the mainstream.
Or at least it should be given that this latest scandal comes as only the latest exposure of such nefarious activity on the part of a state that has long operated with scant regard for international law at home and overseas.
Indeed rather than a state operating in accordance with international law and diplomatic norms, Israel increasingly evinces the character of a rogue state making up its own rules and norms as it goes along.
Whether the on-going illegal military occupation of the West Bank, the expansion of illegal Jewish-only settlements on Palestinian land, or the siege of Gaza, which comes under rubric of collective punishment and is therefore illegal, we are talking here a country that believes it can act with impunity...
The political backlash in response to the exposure of this shocking violation of diplomatic protocol has involved the leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, calling for a full investigation. In this he is being supported by MPs from both sides of the political divide.
Corbyn has previously come under huge criticism in the mainstream media for his long record of support for justice for the Palestinians.
Donald Trump’s sworn enemy Senator John McCain has admitted handing the FBI a dossier which claimed the President-elect ordered Russian prostitutes to perform a lewd act.
The Arizona senator issued a public statement saying he had passed on the document to federal agents despite it being riddled with errors and unverifiable claims:
“Late last year, I received sensitive information that has since been made public,” he said. ‘“On examination of the contents, and unable to make a judgment about their accuracy, I delivered the information to the Director of the FBI. “That has been the extent of my contact with the FBI or any other government agency regarding this issue.”
The two men have been involved in a bitter feud since July 2015 after Trump disrespectfully said McCain was “not a war hero”. In October McCain publicly said he refused to support Trump in the election. ’.
The President-elect engaged in 'perverted conduct' because he 'hates' Barack and Michelle Obama, the report claimed.
In response to the reports, Donald Trump tweeted: "FAKE NEWS - A TOTAL POLITICAL WITCH HUNT!"
Christopher Steele, co-founder of London-based Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd, prepared the 35-page document that alleges the Kremlin colluded with Mr Trump’s presidential campaign and that the Russian security services have material that could be used to blackmail him.
His research was initially funded by anti-Trump Republicans, and later by Democrats.
For months, he had been playing a dangerous game; tipping off journalists about what he said he had discovered from his sources in Russia about Donald Trump’s alleged dealings with the Kremlin, as well as claims that the FSB had hugely compromising information about Mr Trump’s activities during visits to the country.
Donald Trump has branded the allegations in the dossier “fake”.
He said: “I think it was disgraceful that the intelligence agencies allowed any information that turned out to be so false and fake out,” he said. “I think it's a disgrace, and that's something that Nazi Germany would have done and did do.”
"No, the Kremlin has no compromising information against Donald Trump. This is an absolute fabrication, a hoax and total nonsense. The Kremlin does not collect compromising information. The publication of the report from the US intelligence, which refers to the compromising information that the Kremlin supposedly has on Trump is nothing but pulp fiction," Putin's official spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. (See more at: Pravda, 11-1-2017)
Flashback: US Senate History 1941-1963
June 9, 1954: "Have You No Sense of Decency?"
Joseph Welch reacts to Senator Joseph McCarthy
Wisconsin Republican Senator Joseph R. McCarthy rocketed to public attention in 1950 with his allegations that hundreds of Communists had infiltrated the State Department and other federal agencies. These charges struck a particularly responsive note at a time of deepening national anxiety about the spread of world communism.
McCarthy relentlessly continued his anticommunist campaign into 1953, when he gained a new platform as chairman of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. He quickly put his imprint on that subcommittee, shifting its focus from investigating fraud and waste in the executive branch to hunting for Communists...
In the spring of 1954, McCarthy picked a fight with the U.S. Army...
The army hired Boston lawyer Joseph Welch to make its case. At a session on June 9, 1954, McCarthy charged that one of Welch's attorneys had ties to a Communist organization.
As an amazed television audience looked on, Welch responded with the immortal lines that ultimately ended McCarthy's career: "Until this moment, Senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness."
When McCarthy tried to continue his attack, Welch angrily interrupted, "Let us not assassinate this lad further, senator. You have done enough. Have you no sense of decency?"
Overnight, McCarthy's immense national popularity evaporated. Censured by his Senate colleagues, ostracized by his party, and ignored by the press, McCarthy died three years later, 48 years old and a broken man.
McCarthyism is the practice of making accusations of subversion or treason without proper regard for evidence. It also means "the practice of making unfair allegations or using unfair investigative techniques, especially in order to restrict dissent or political criticism".
Dozens of militants were detained and four of them killed in a security operation in Russia's southern region of Chechnya on Wednesday, the provincial head was quoted by local news agencies as saying.
Moscow has waged two wars against separatists in its predominantly Muslim region since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
The province is now governed by Ramzan Kadyrov, the son of former Chechen President Akhmad Kadyrov, a former rebel fighter (the Kadyrov clan defected to the Moscow side at the beginning of the Second Chechen War in 1999).
The security situation in the North Caucasus region remains volatile as unemployment and corruption is rife, pushing some young men to embrace radical versions of Islam.
"Four militants were annihilated during a special operation on Wednesday evening," Kadyrov is quoted as saying by TASS news agency. He said one of the local security personnel was killed..
“Those killing innocent people must be either stopped or put behind bars or exterminated. This has to be done by whatever method. Our fatwa is that those who have shed blood, those who do not want to stop must be killed by any method” says Sultan Mirzayev, the Grand Mufti of Chechnya.
Most times, when you hear such quotes from Imams around the world, it’s usually either followed by, or preceded by, “Jihad!” and “Kill the Infidels!” or “Death to America!.” In the case of Sultan Mirzayev, he’s talking about Wahhabis.
In the same interview the above quote is pulled, Sultan Mirzayev also says: “Wahhabism is the plague of the 20th and the 21st centuries. All Arabic scholars have come to be unanimous that those fighting against Wahhabism are on the path of jihad, following the way of Allah."
He goes on to say Wahhabi’s and terrorists “are bringing evil into the world and the entire world must oppose them...
The Chechens generally practice Sufism.
The basic premise of Sufism, for those who don’t know, is to venerate God through total devotion, and to focus on becoming better Muslims, and closer to God, through mystical and spiritual methods.
Chechnya’s Sufi roots come from the importation of the Qadiriyya Sufi Order in the 18th century, and later the Naqshbandiyya, through the efforts of Shaykh Mansur and his leading the Caucasus Muslims against the Russian invaders. After Shaykh Mansur’s leading of the Chechens and other Caucasus peoples, Sufism spread and took a strong foothold among the people.
The Naqshbandi’s are a liberal Sufi Order, that preaches social adaptability, disavows radicalism, and excludes fanaticism and radicalism while favouring silent, personal zikr as the highest form of worship.
It’s precisely because of this liberal take on Islam that the Wahhabi’s are adamant on involving themselves in Chechen conflicts; to spread conservative Wahhabi Islam.
Wahhabism eventually overtook about 10% of the Chechen population.
They refused to accept a single centralized government advocated by the Chechen President of the time, Aslan Maskhadov.
Even when he moved towards their ideals and tried to impose Islamic laws over the country, instead of his own personal goal of more secular laws, they did not accept him because he was a practicing Sufi. In their eyes, this meant he was a heretic...
As they grew stronger, the Wahhabis began to increasingly attack Chechen Sufi’s and their practice of Islam.
They had numerous clashes with Sufi adherents, killing clergymen and officials who openly spoke out against Wahhabism.
After the Apartment Building bombings in 1999, Russia and Chechnya went to war in their second war of the decade.
When Ahmad Kadyrov became President of Chechnya, he envisioned a return to the Sufi way of life Chechens have always practiced.
He envisioned symbols of Sufism littered around the nation, in hopes that it would strengthen Sufism and decrease the influence of Wahhabism.
Among his goals was a huge main mosque in Grozny where Chechens could flock to for learning Islam without the indoctrination of Wahhabi ideals. Though he never made it during his life, his successors, including his son, have continued the projects, and today, have constructed the Ahmad Kadyrov Mosque, where the Chechens hope students who attend the madrassah there will learn and benefit from the more spiritually-inclined teachings of Islam that are being taught at the institutions.
Patriarchal Men Will Punish You
See also: Women in Islam – a Wider Perspective
“It is important to remember that the next president will be the one that God chooses”. “They can say what they want, do what they can, but the one who will be elected is the one who loves the Jews in Israel but hates the Jews in America. That is the big surprise that will happen.” (Read more at breaking israel news 2016)
On the eve of Donald Trump’s inauguration as the 45th president of the United States, Rabbi Nir Ben Artzi, a mystic and spiritual leader, made several startling predictions this week concerning the impending transfer of power and the changes in store for America, Israel, and the world:
“The media will discover that outgoing President Barack Obama is a traitor,” Rabbi Ben Artzi told Kikar HaShabbat, a Hebrew language news service for Orthodox Jews. “Obama, like an injured beast, helped Hillary Clinton whose sole intention was to continue his agenda...”
“When Trump takes office, he will receive help directly from Heaven, that will enable him overcome these obstacles, and bring peace to the world,” Rabbi Ben Artzi declared. “And for this reason, Trump will succeed greatly.”
The rabbi also addressed the recent UN resolution passed on December 23, the eve of the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah... The rabbi dismissed the UN as irrelevant.
“Every decision the UN has made is meaningless. They will all be cancelled out and are already erased in Heaven. The resolution will fall, just as the United Nations itself will fall.”
“Every nation that tries to take away parts of Israel, the nation and the people will be destroyed,” he warned: "Their sword shall enter into their own heart, and their bows shall be broken..." (Psalm 37:15)
When the Jews do what God wants from A to Z - study Torah, pray, obey the ten commandments - they will have protection, good economy, healthy, and no one in the world will be able to harm Israel or the Jews in Israel.
All of the chaos and Armageddon is overseas, outside of Israel. God is doing this to separate between good and evil, to let the good grow and take away the evil from the earth.
God is strengthening the Jews in Israel and opening the way for the messiah. When God crowns the messiah king, very soon, all of the suffering of the Jews in Israel will end, the problems and trouble will end.
There will continue to be natural disasters all over the world. Besides Armageddon, there will be conflicts, natural forces, fire, heat, earthquakes, winds, storms, rain, floods, and accidents with airplanes, ships, and trains.
In Israel, the economy is the best in the world! They will continue to build houses, businesses, stores, roads, and settlements. Israel is the most protected place in the world.
There is a cloud of fire around the borders of Israel, the source of all the blessing is in Israel!
Redemption started in the year 1948 - blessed are those who believe! The believers will be among the first, the non-believers will suffer.
Every country that wants to hurt the state of Israel, through the economy, war, or conflict, God will strike them with the ten plagues of Egypt, each a hundred times worse.
Mark my words! Do not forget that God brings terrible things to the world and warns of them before hand. If they do not repent, He harms them. God loves the state of Israel, He protects it and does things so that the people of Israel wake up, so that they don't believe in the Arabs because they are dangerous and so that they ask for God's help.
To the people who live abroad, some of which are Israelis who left Israel - you must believe! You must believe!
Jewish parents and mothers, watch over your daughters and sons and warn them of assimilation.
Explain to them what it means to be a Jew. They need to understand that Jews have souls and that it is connected to God. The gentiles don't have souls.
According to Samuel Katz, who was brought up as a Satmar but later became secular, boys in the ultra-orthodox community are taught that non-Jews aren’t quite human.
Speaking from Berlin, where he is doing biomedical research on a Fulbright fellowship, Katz explained that growing up in such a community, “you don’t see commonality with people who aren’t Jewish. There is a completely different taxonomy of people. There are Jews and then there are non-Jews, who don’t have souls.”
When the messiah comes, “every boy is taught that the bad goyim will be killed and the good gentiles will have the privilege of serving us, of being our slaves," he told Haaretz.
“There’s an empathy 'blind spot' that imbues the Haredi outlook.” (Haaretz 7-1-2014)
Samuel Katz fought to leave behind the only world he knew.
Only religious books were allowed in the insular Hasidic community in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where he grew up. New York City pulsed all around him, but he lived a world apart. Men and women were separate. Everyone ate strictly kosher. They spoke Yiddish almost exclusively.
Katz and the other boys studied at a yeshiva, or Jewish school. There were no public schools, no concerts, and minimal interaction with anyone outside the community. But when he was 10, his parents divorced, and things changed for him.
"I was looking for some escape. So there was this library next to my house.. The more Katz read, the more he wanted to read. Books on psychology, human behavior and philosophy...
"You know, I've studied God's law all my life, and you're a Jewish male — I mean, you're the pinnacle of creation. And suddenly you're not the pinnacle of creation. You're the endpoint at this moment in time and something else will happen soon. It's hard to explain what that was like, but it was beautiful," Katz says.
While the U.S. fights to be global hegemon, Russia has hedged its bets on a multipolar world. But where will a President Trump take this struggle?
There is a fatal flaw in how Russia and its foreign policy goals are understood in the West. Largely, this is the fault of a mass media that lifts its talking points directly from government reports and press releases without the slightest bit of healthy skepticism.
Western officials and the analysts who appear on major TV networks most frequently to talk about Russia fail to understand that Russian officials see the world through an entirely different lens.
Our inability in the West, to see or even acknowledge the validity of this second perspective, is at the root of the current conflict.
The general consensus in the West is that Russia under Vladimir Putin is an expansionist power.
The common progression from there in Western analysis is that Putin desires, as part of some ideological plot, to destroy Western society.
The reality is that Putin shows very little interest in exporting any specific ideology beyond Russia’s borders. He is generally speaking a pragmatist. In other words, he is the opposite of many Western leaders who feel it their duty to export Western liberal democracy worldwide.
So, what is this new Cold War actually about?
The war of words between the West and Russia is actually a battle between two global visions: Will we live in a unipolar world where terms are dictated by the United States alone, or will we live in a multipolar world where one power does not wield outsized and dangerous levels of unchecked influence?
While the U.S. fights to be global hegemon, Russia has hedged its bets on a multipolar world. Its global vision is therefore far less dark and macabre than is commonly suggested.
To suggest that Moscow aims for global domination as part of an evil plot is to misunderstand Russia fundamentally. Moscow is not aiming to replace the U.S. as global arbiter of right and wrong. The Kremlin knows its limits.
So no, Russia does not desire world domination or the destruction of Western civilization. The U.S. on the other hand, appears to favor sacrificing order and peace for hegemony at all turns.
With U.S. President-elect Donald Trump about to take office, the U.S. finds itself at a fork in the foreign policy road.
Will the US under Trump accept that multipolarity is the safer of two courses and the most beneficial for a greater number of the world’s inhabitants? Or will it pursue its same course of sacrificing world stability in a desperate attempt to hold onto its own waning power?
Trump’s choices will determine whether this new Cold War begins to heat up or cool down...
If Trump can understand the benefits of multipolarity and global cooperation, not just to countries like Russia, but to the stability and security of the U.S. itself, then 2017 may become a turning point for the better in U.S. foreign policy.
If he can’t shed the shackles of “American Exceptionalism” which keeps the world on a violent and unstable trajectory and ensures the continued growth of threats to the security of all nations, then he will be no different than his predecessors.
donald trump: megalomaniac or a defender of justice and liberty for all?
There is a famous Arabic saying that basically means the best of things lies in the middle.
It makes sense, right? The middle is where you find moderation, compromise, and solutions that satisfy all parties to some extent. The middle is where agreements were made to end brutal wars. It is where negotiations succeed in settling conflicts and establishing peace.
The middle is what makes co-existence among people exist.
But what has happened to the middle today? No one can be in it without being accused of treason for failing to support one’s people, government, ideology, or religion. No one would believe that you are in the middle. If you criticize one side, this puts you automatically on the other side even if you don’t support the other side. As if it is impossible to be neutral!
Things have become either black or white. No space in the middle for some shades of grey. And the problem is this lack of middle ground has translated into actions that caused endless death and hatred
It does not confine itself to one area or country. It has spread all over the actual and virtual worlds...
As long as you're not siding with one group against the other, your views are considered invalid...
One would expect living in such an era where information is so easy and cheap to get, people would be more objective and educated.
You would expect people who live in a closely connected world to be more tolerant and accepting of each other. You would expect people to use all the forums that modern technology invented for us to listen to each other and learn rather than listen to reply with already prepared answers. You would expect people to talk to reach the truth together rather than debate to prove each other wrong.
I don’t know what and how long it will take to go back to the middle where we respect and try to accommodate each other. However, I surely know that as long as we are far away from the middle, we will continue to be lost in a world of hatred and darkness.
People say NO to the terror of a 'Might Is Right' minority
Over 75 percent of people in east Aleppo
chose evacuation to government side
Leith Fadel, Al-Masdar News, 15/01/2017
BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:35 A.M.) - A United Nations report from January 11th confirmed that an estimated 147,000 people were evacuated from east Aleppo last month.
According to the U.N. report, 36,000 people, including rebels, were evacuated from the besieged neighborhoods in the provincial capital to the rebel-controlled areas of Aleppo and Idlib.
Another 110,000 people were evacuated to government-held areas, including the formerly besieged neighborhoods, the U.N. report added.
Of the 110,000 evacuated to the government side, some 50,000 people have returned to their old neighborhoods in east Aleppo, while several still remain inside the western part of the city.
Russia’s Defense Ministry is surprised by a lack of assistance to civilians in Aleppo from international organizations, though the city has been liberated from militants for a month already, spokesman of the Russian Defense Ministry Major General Igor Konashenkov said on Saturday.
As yet main assistance to people in Aleppo comes from the Russian center for reconciliation of the warring parties, from the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent. The civilians receive regularly medical supplies, food, water, hygienic goods and warm clothes. They also receive medical assistance.
"It gives the impression that many international organizations, now that the city is recaptured, have all of a sudden lost any interest to it along with the desire to offer assistance," the defense ministry’s spokesman said. (TASS 15-1-2017)
Cinemas and singing concerts are merely a depravity, Saudi Arabia’s top religious cleric said, adding that cinemas are dangerous as they may show films which are “immoral,” “atheist” and can change the country’s culture.
“We know that singing concerts and cinemas are a depravity,” Grand Mufti Abdul-Aziz ibn Abdullah Al ash-Sheikh said in an interview on Saudi TV on Friday, as cited by AFP.
The heated discussion on cinemas and their ‘danger’ started after the top cleric was asked about the plans of the Saudi General Authority for Entertainment to license concerts and consider opening cinemas.
Cinemas “might show movies that are libertine, lewd, immoral and atheist, because they rely on films imported to change our culture,” he stated, adding that there is also “no good” in signing concerts.
According to the head of the Saudi supreme council of clerics, both concerts and cinemas represent a "call for mixing between sexes.”
“At the beginning they would assign areas for women, but then both men and women will end up in one area. This corrupts morals and destroys values,” he said.
The Grand Mufti, however, said that “entertainment through cultural and scientific media is OK.” But the Saudi General Authority for Entertainment should “not open doors to evil.”
Joseph, the Dreamer: Most Beloved Son Of Jacob
"I am the Vine" - Joseph & Jesus
“Joseph is a fruitful vine, a fruitful vine near a spring, whose branches climb over a wall. With bitterness archers attacked him;
they shot at him with hostility. But his bow remained steady, his strong arms stayed limber, because of the hand of the Mighty One of Jacob, because of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel, because of your father’s God, who helps you, because of the Almighty, who blesses you with blessings of the skies above, blessings of the deep springs below, blessings of the breast and womb.
The vine is one of the most vivid symbols in the Bible and is used to express the relationship between God and His people.
In pre-Christian times DIONYSUS symbolized the Vine (the right to dream) and the Spring (element Water, spiritual unity with God)
Dionysus is the (androgyn) god of the grape harvest, winemaking and wine, of fertility, theatre and religious ecstasy in ancient Greek religion and myth.
In Greek mythology, Apollo (Virgo) and Dionysus (Pisces) are both sons of Zeus (Jupiter). Apollo is the god of reason and the rational, while Dionysus is the god of the irrational and chaos. The Greeks did not consider the two gods to be opposites or rivals...
The Lord of Souls & Bearer of the Divine Feminine
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