Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was born April 28, 1937 and died December 30, 2006. He was the fifth President of Iraq, holding that position from July 16, 1979 until 9 April 2003. He was one of the leading members of the revolutionary Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party, and afterward, the Baghdad-based Ba’ath Party and its regional organization Ba’ath Party, Iraq Region, which advocated ba’athism, an ideological marriage of Arab nationalism with Arab socialism. (Patricia Ramos, july 2013)
"The national security of America and the security of the world could be attained if the American leaders [..] become rational, if America disengages itself from its evil alliance with Zionism, which has been scheming to exploit the world and plunge it in blood and darkness, by using America and some Western countries. What the American peoples need mostly is someone who tells them the truth, courageously and honestly as it is.
They don’t need fanfares and cheerleaders, if they want to take a lesson from the (sept. 11) event so as to reach a real awakening, in spite of the enormity of the event that hit America.
But the world, including the rulers of America, should say all this to the American peoples, so as to have the courage to tell the truth and act according to what is right and not what to is wrong and unjust, to undertake their responsibilities in fairness and justice, and by recourse to reason..."
Saddam Hussein, INA 15-9-2002
"The despot thinks he is just as God... What a nadir and mean fate!
The despot, as represented in this age, in our day, imagines he can enslave the people..
But they were born free. They were freed by God’s will through prophets and messengers, to be slaves only to Him and not to anyone of the people." Saddam Hussein, Iraq Daily 4-3-2003
A person with a God Complex may refuse to admit the possibility of their error or failure, even in the face of irrefutable evidence, intractable problems or difficult or impossible tasks.
The person is also highly dogmatic in their views, meaning the person speaks of their personal opinions as though they are unquestionably correct.
Someone with a god complex may exhibit no regard for the conventions and demands of society, and may request special consideration or privileges.
"That is the issue that will continue in this country... It is the eternal struggle between these two principles -- right and wrong -- throughout the world. They are the two principles that have stood face to face from the beginning of time, and will ever continue to struggle.
The one is the common right of humanity and the other the divine right of kings." Abraham Lincoln (October 15, 1858 Debate at Alton, Illinois)
"Happy day, when, all appetites controlled, all poisons subdued, all matter subjected, mind, all conquering mind, shall live and move the monarch of the world. Glorious consummation! Hail fall of Fury! Reign of Reason, all hail!" Abraham Lincoln (February 22, 1842 Temperance Address)
"...To be a human being among human beings, and remain one forever, no matter what misfortunes befall, not to become depressed, and not to falter - this is what life is, herein lies its task." Fyodor Dostoevsky (to his brother Mikhail, Dec. 22, 1849)
“All mankind is from Adam and Eve. An Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly.
“Do not therefore do injustice to yourselves. Remember one day you will meet Allah and answer your deeds. So beware, do not astray from the path of righteousness after I am gone." Prophet Muhammad, Last Sermon
“Human beings are members of a whole,
In creation of one essence and soul.
If one member is afflicted with pain,
Other members uneasy will remain.
If you have no sympathy for human pain,
The name of human you can not retain.”
(Persian poet & humanist, born in Shiraz, Iran, c. 1210)
"Holism is the most fundamental discovery of 20th century science. It is a discovery of every science from astrophysics to quantum physics to environmental science to psychology to anthropology.
It is the discovery that the entire universe is an integral whole, and that the basic organizational principle of the universe is the field principle: the universe consists of fields within fields, levels of wholeness and integration that mirror in fundamental ways, and integrate with, the ultimate, cosmic whole...." "For many thinkers and religious teachers throughout this history, holism was the dominant thought, and the harmony that it implies has most often been understood to encompass cosmic, civilizational, and personal dimensions. Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha, Lord Krishna, Lao Tzu, and Confucius all give us visions of transformative harmony, a transformative harmony that derives from a deep relation to the holism of the cosmos."
About political holism
Political holism is based on the recognition that "we" are all members of a single whole. There's no "they," even though "we" are not all alike. Because "we" are all part of the whole, and therefore interdependent, we benefit from cooperating with each other. Political holism is a way of thinking about human cultures and nations as interdependent. Political holists search for solutions other than war to settle international disagreements. Their model of the world is one in which cooperation and negotiation, even with the enemy, even with the weak, promotes political stability more than warfare.
In an overpopulated world with planet-wide environmental problems, the development of weapons of mass destruction has rendered war obsolete as an effective means to resolve disputes.
Political dualists consider political holists unpatriotic for questioning the necessity to defeat "them." In times of impending war, political dualists tend to measure patriotism by the intensity of one's hostility to the country's immediate enemy. Naturally, they would view as disloyalty any suggestion that the enemy is not evil, any call for cooperation with the enemy, any criticism of one's own country.
To political dualists, cooperation with the enemy means capitulation, relinquishment of the nation's position of dominance.
"The West creates enemies; in the past it was the communism then it became Islam, and then it became Saddam Hussein for a different reason. Now, they want to create a new enemy represented by Bashar. That's why they say that the problem is the president so he has to leave. That is why we have to focus of the real problem, not to waste our time listening to what they say." (Bashar al-Assad, 9-11-2012)
The policy should be to help peace in the region, to fight terrorism, to promote secularism, to support this area economically, to help upgrade the mind and society like you did in your country. That is the supposed mission of the United States, not to launch wars. Launching war doesn’t make you a great power." (Bashar Al-Assad, 26-1-2015)
The Jewish priests expected the Messiah to come in like a Lion with great fanfare and overwhelming military might for subduing the enemies of Israel. They did not expect the Messiah to be born in humble circumstances or to grow up as a common craftsman. Jesus threatened the authority and the lifestyle that the priests had grown accustomed to, as they grew very rich while helping the Roman authorities to maintain control over Israelite-controlles towns. It must have been difficult for the Jewish Priests to consider that the promised Messiah would come as a threat to themselves, God's representatives to His own people. They viewed him as being opposed to the established authority that controlled the Temple and the People, which would likely seem contrary to what they might expect from the long-awaited Messiah.
As we debate the many troubling policy proposals coming from our current administration, Christians must focus on Jesus [the New Testament] above everything else — even our government, leaders, and comforts.
When we approach Jesus in an honest and innocent way ('be like a child') it’s obvious what type of actions Christ would be for and against. The [New Testament] tells us clearly what type of person he was, and gives us countless examples to solidify his loving character...
But we find creative ways to excuse ourselves from following Christ, because we often find that his actions contradict our vested interests — our lifestyle, political views, and self-preserving worldview.
The problem for many Christians is that instead of asking themselves, “What would Jesus do?” they ask, “What does 'the Bible' say is permissible?” Instead of emulating Jesus they prefer to “follow the Bible,” and for the questions that were previously asked above, they would respond with verses and spiritual principles justifying their actions...
If this sounds familiar, it’s because we see this happening in the New Testament. The Pharisees — “experts” in their law and faith — constantly questioned Jesus about what was permissible:
Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife? Teacher, which command in the law is the most important? Can you show us a miraculous sign from heaven to prove your authority?
Unfortunately, we can become so devoted to studying the Old Testament.., that we ignore Jesus [the New Testament].
The [New Testament] is pointing toward Christ.. So we should never make the mistake of valuing any verse over Christ.
Here is what Jesus tells us to do:
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”
And he said to him: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.
And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matt. 26: 36-40) This is the foundation of our faith — to love God and love others.
Sojourners are Christians who follow Jesus, but who also sojourn with others in different faith traditions and all those who are on a spiritual journey. We are evangelicals, Catholics, Pentecostals and Protestants; progressives and conservatives; blacks, whites, Latinos, and Asians; women and men; young and old. We reach into traditional churches but also out to those who can't fit into them. Together we seek to discover the intersection of faith, politics, and culture.
On Thursday China’s Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, said Palestinians must be able to build an independent state to correct a “historical injustice.”
In a press conference in Beijing with Palestine’s Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki, Wang reiterated China’s longstanding support for an end to Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine and the creation of an independent Palestinian state.
Wang noted that 70 years after the U.N. General Assembly passed Resolution 181 calling for the creation of an independent Palestine alongside Israel, Palestinians are still being denied their independence.
“This is unfair. This kind of historical injustice must be corrected. It cannot continue,” Wang said.
In Arab League talks earlier this year, Chinese President Xi Jinping urged that East Jerusalem should be established as the capital of the Palestinian state and warned against the “marginalization” of the Palestinian struggle for statehood.
“Maintaining the legitimate interests of the Palestinian people is the responsibility of the Arab League as well as the international community.”
Wang’s statement came as a group of Palestinian political prisoners in Israel’s Nafha prison announced they would join the upcoming mass hunger strike, led by imprisoned Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti, scheduled for April 17, Palestinian Prisoner’s Day.
“We shall gain our dignity and rights by facing the arrogance of the occupier with our empty stomachs, armed by the justness of our cause and popular support.”
John F. Kennedy was the first president to make a major arms sale to Israel, the only president to push hard to deny Israel the atomic bomb, and the last president to reach out to the greatest champion of Arab nationalism, Egyptian President Jamal Abdul Nasser.
The Arab peoples rose to freedom and independence in the very years which saw the rise of Israel.
From the cooperation of these two awakened nationalisms could come a new golden age for the Middle East.
But from their destructive vendetta can come nothing but misery and poverty and the risk of war.
The Middle East needs water, not war; tractors, not tanks; bread, not bombs.
There is already little enough available in the way of financial and physical resources for either side to be devoting its energies to huge defense budgets. The present state of tensions serves only the worst interests of Arab and Israeli alike. But a new spirit of comity could well serve the highest ideals of both.
For the original Zionist philosophy has always maintained that the people of Israel would use their national genius not for selfish purposes but for the enrichment and glory of the entire Middle East.
The earliest leaders of the Zionist movement spoke of a Jewish state which would have no military power and which would be content with victories of the spirit...
I cannot believe that Israel has any real desire to remain indefinitely a garrison state surrounded by fear and hate.
Not long ago Donald Trump was describing U.S. “intelligence” agencies in mocking quote marks and comparing them to Nazi Germany for damaging leaks about him. As a presidential candidate, word was he barely wanted to sit still for top-secret briefings.
Not anymore, according to Trump’s CIA director.
"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?" Matthew 7:1-5
Mike Pompeo paints a picture of his boss as an enthusiastic consumer of intelligence briefings, including top-secret assessments of threats posed by Syria, Russia and North Korea.
In his first public speech since becoming head of the Central Intelligence Agency, the former Republican House member called the Trump administration’s relationship with the intelligence community “fantastic.” Almost every day, Pompeo or his deputy provides Trump with an intelligence briefing, the CIA chief said. Vice President Mike Pence is usually there too.
Trump initially rejected the intelligence agencies’ findings that Russia hacked into Democratic emails and leaked them last year to harm Democrat Hillary Clinton’s campaign and help him win.
He continues to dismiss as “fake news” questions about whether anyone close to him collaborated with Russia, and he continues to assert without evidence that former President Barack Obama had Trump Tower under surveillance and leaked damaging information.
But Trump’s decision last week to bomb a government airbase in Syria may have brought Trump closer to the intelligence community that now reports to him.
The CIA and the other U.S. intelligence agencies came up with some “hypotheses” about who was responsible for a deadly chemical attack on civilians and, “in relatively short order,” gave Trump “a high-confidence assessment” that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was to blame, Pompeo said.
Pompeo is among the many top Trump administration officials who vehemently reject the president’s past pronouncements that Russian President Vladimir Putin is an admirably strong leader with whom the U.S. can make deals.
“This is a man for whom veracity doesn’t translate into English,” Pompeo said of Putin. Russia is “on their six or seventh story now” about what they allege happened in the Syrian chemical attack, “none of which have an ounce of truth to them,” he said.
Haaretz newspaper became the focus of widespread criticism for publishing an ope-ed article on Wednesday that called religious Zionists, “more [dangerous] than drivers in car-ramming attacks”. Yossi Klein, a regular contributor to Haaretz, wrote: “The national religious are dangerous. More dangerous than Hezbollah, more than drivers in car-ramming attacks or kids with scissors. The Arabs can be killed, but they cannot. What do they want? To rule the country and cleanse it of Arabs.” “I have more in common with the Eskimo of Alaska than with all the [national-religious leaders] and everything they represent”, Klein wrote.
Haaretz publisher Amos Shocken dismissed the criticism in a twitter post. “I don’t understand the excitement (Pavlovian, I must say) from the Yossi Klein’s article, when it is similar to something I said six years ago”
Shocken was referring to an op-ed he wrote in 2011, in which he referred to Jews living in Judea and Samaria as creating an illegal apartheid state and ethnic cleansing. He said that their participation in politics was “undemocratic”.
The inflammatory article earned the ire of no less than Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who called on the newspaper to issue an apology.
“The article in Haaretz is disgraceful,” Netanyahu wrote on Facebook late Wednesday. “The national religious community is the salt of the earth, their sons and daughters serve in the army and national volunteer service for the state of Israel and the security of Israel. I am proud of them like the rest of the country’s citizens. Haaretz needs to apologize.”
Zionism promised to reinvent the Jew as a proud authentic, ethical, universal, productive, organic, humble and civilised human being.
If Athens stands for universalism and inclusive ideologies and Jerusalem stands for tribal and exclusive thinking, Zionism was a promise to introduce Athens to the Jerusalemite.
Zionism may have been, at one stage, a genuine attempt to bring this about. However, it was doomed to fail. It was set into a conflict with the indigenous Palestinian population. It was inspired by Biblical plunderous ideology. It was unethical to the bone. Zionism is, practically speaking, a repetition of a Biblical sin. The deceptive attempt to portray the Jewish state as an ordinary society is doomed to fail. The current, hawkish Israeli government is fully aware of all this. They know about the unbridgeable gap between Athens and Jerusalem. They are familiar with the unavoidable neurosis, but they also know how to resolve it. As we can see, Israel has given up on Athens...
The history of Western civilisation can be realised as a continuous battle between Athens and Jerusalem. Between the universal and the tribal. Between the ethical and the plunderer.
Our assets known as humanism are all associated with Athens.
Interestingly enough, the Jews who contributed to humanism, such as Jesus, Spinoza and Marx and many others, were people who opened their hearts to the Athenian philosophy. Jesus, Spinoza and Marx broke away from Jerusalem.
To stand up against Israel is to fight against the invasion of Jerusalem. To stand up against Israel is to fight for the revival of Athens.
On Thursday (april 13, 2017), Yossi Klein doubled down on his claims during an interview with Army Radio.
“I didn’t make an inappropriate generalization; I just gave my opinion on Religious Zionism.”
“I gave my opinion and I stand by it.” (Arutz Sheva 15-4-2017)
Religious Zionism is an ANACHRONISM, Something that is not in its correct historical or chronological time, especially things or persons that belongs to an earlier time. It's comparible with Wahhabism in the Islamic world. They reject secularism. The Bible and the Quran are their 'constitutions'.
Religious Zionism refers to extremism in the Jewish religious world, notably: Zealotism & Phariseeism.
Phariseeism: doctrines and practices of the Pharisees. Hypocritical observance of the letter of religious or moral law without regard for the spirit.
The term "zealot" (zealous on behalf of God) derives from Greek (zelotes), "emulator, fanatic, admirer or follower". Zealots were known in the time of Jesus as religious fanatics who defended the Law and national life of the Jewish people relentlessly opposing any attempt to bring Judea under the dominion of idolatrous Rome. This they had in common with the Pharisees. The Zealot sect traces its roots back to the Maccabean revolt about 150 BC, about the same time the Pharisees began. The Zealots objected to Roman rule and violently sought to eradicate it by generally targeting the Romans, their Jewish collaborators, and the Sadducees, by raiding for provisions and other activities to aid their cause.
Although celebrated as heroes who saved Jewish practice and Torah law from suppression and abrogation by the Syrian Greeks, the Maccabees are portrayed in the First Book of Maccabees as religious zealots, murdering coreligionists who had chosen the path of Hellenism.
Hellenism represented an "enlightened" worldview considered by many to be the way of the future.
Nations who shut themselves off and did not confront the challenge of Hellenism were falling by the wayside. Because it was viewed as the wave of the future, the pressure to acculturate to Hellenism was quite intense in Judea. Therefore, the people of Judea had to decide whether the universalistic focus of Hellenism constituted a danger to their ancestral religion and its God or whether it simply represented a more modern and "progressive" way of life that could be merged with Jewish practice.
Was the appropriate response, then, to reform Judaism in the spirit of Hellenism or to assume a stance protective of traditional Jewish values by "liberating" Judea from the Syrian Greeks?
The Jewish Hellenists chose the reform path; they wanted to move beyond separatism and assimilate the positive aspects of Greek culture into Judaism.
As First Maccabees recounts, "In those days there emerged in Israel lawless men [Jewish Hellenists] who persuaded many, saying, ‘Let us go and make a covenant with the nations that are around us; for since we separated ourselves from them, many evils have come upon us’" (I Maccabees 1:11).
The Maccabees refused. They answered with a resounding "no".
A Jewish text enigmatically describing the fall of the eastern tyrant Nero as presaging the rise of the Messiah may refer to Syrian leader Bashar al Assad...
The Jewish text predicting the rise of an ‘Eastern Nero’ and his destruction is known as the Otzar Midrashim, which relates the story of a Talmudic sage who received an angelic message regarding the coming of the Messiah.
This will be for you a sign: when you see that the Nero of the East has fallen in Damascus, the kingdom of the east will fall, and then the salvation of Israel will grow, and the Messiah of the House of David will arrive and [the Jews] will go up to Jerusalem. (Otzar Midrashim)
Dov Bar Leib, an end-of-days blogger, is sure that this ancient source is may be referring specifically to Assad and his imminent downfall.
“Assad is unique in the Arab world. Unlike most leaders of Muslim-majority countries, Assad is not a religious Muslim,” Bar Leib explained to Breaking Israel News. “He is a westernized secular leader. In Hebrew, secular is chiloni which comes from the word ‘Hellenized’. Assad is a mixture of Greece and Arab, Edom and Ishmael. He is the Greek Nero in the Middle East.”
Bar Leib explained that the connection to historical figures is a necessary part of the tikkun olam (“fixing of the world”) that precedes the coming of the messiah. “In the End of Days, all of the great ancient leaders who harmed Israel will come back in order to be destroyed, thereby fixing what they did in their previous lifetimes,” said Bar Leib. For Assad, as an incarnation of Nero, his fall necessarily means Israel ascending.
Syria, formerly a formidable existential threat to Israel backed by Russia, is now a shadow of its former might. As the 'Hellenized' Arab Nero, Assad’s impending downfall may indeed portend a prophetic era of Jerusalem rising.
CUI BONO – "who benefits" – is the first question an experienced detective asks when investigating a crime.
Since I was a detective myself for a short time in my youth, I know the meaning. Often, the first and obvious suspicion is false. You ask yourself "cui bono", and another suspect, who you did not think about, appears.
For two weeks now, this question has been troubling my mind. It does not leave me. In Syria, a war crime has been committed. The civilian population in a rebel-held town called Idlib was hit with poison gas. Dozens of civilians, including children, died a miserable death.
Who could do such a thing? The answer was obvious: that terrible dictator, Bashar al-Assad. Who else?
And so, within a few minutes (literally) the New York Times and a host of excellent newspapers throughout the West proclaimed without hesitation: Assad did it! No need for proof. No investigation. It was just self-evident.
Of course Assad. Within minutes, everybody knew it. A storm of indignation swept the Western world. He must be punished!
Poor Donald Trump, who does not have a clue, submitted to pressure and ordered a senseless missile strike on a Syrian airfield, after preaching for years that the US must under no circumstances get involved in Syria. Suddenly he reversed himself. Just to teach that bastard a lesson. And to show the world what a he-he-he-man he, Trump, really is.
The operation was an immense success. Overnight, the despised Trump became a national hero. Even liberals kissed his feet.
BUT THROUGHOUT, that question continued to nag my mind. Why did Assad do it? What did he have to gain?
The simple answer is: Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
Assad had the least to gain from the dastardly deed. On the list of "cui bono", he is the very last.
Assad is far from being a fool. Even if he were a fool, his advisors include some of the cleverest people on earth: Vladimir Putin of Russia, Hassan Rouhani of Iran, Hassan Nasrallah of Hizbullah.
So who had something to gain? Well, half a dozen Syrian sects and militias who are fighting against Assad and against each other in the crazy civil war. Also their Sunni Arab allies, the Saudi and other Gulf Sheikhs...
And Israel, of course. They all have an interest in arousing the civilized world against the Syrian dictator.
FOR ME, a professional journalist most of my life, the most depressing aspect of this whole chapter is the influence of the American and Western media in general
I read the New York Times and admire it. Yet it shredded all its professional standards by publishing an unproven assumption as gospel truth, with no need for verification. Worse, the "news" immediately became a world-wide truth. Many millions repeat it unthinkingly as self-evident, like sunrise in the east and sunset in the west. No questions raised. No proof demanded or provided. Very depressing.
What does that say about the American people, and about humanity in general?
LONDON - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is an "arch-terrorist" and it is time Russia realised he is "literally and metaphorically toxic", British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said Sunday. Johnson said Assad's ally Moscow still had time to be on the "right side of the argument", in a Sunday Telegraph newspaper article.
"Assad uses chemical weapons because they are not only horrible and indiscriminate. They are also terrifying," Johnson wrote.
"In that sense he is himself an arch-terrorist, who has caused such an unquenchable thirst for revenge that he can never hope to govern his population again. "He is literally and metaphorically toxic, and it is time Russia awoke to that fact. They still have time to be on the right side of the argument."
He said the chemical assault had changed the West's stance on Syria: "The UK, the US and all our key allies are of one mind: we believe that this was highly likely to be an attack by Assad, on his own people, using poison gas weapons that were banned almost 100 years ago," he wrote.
the syrian arab army - arch terrorists?
Responding to British Prime Minister Theresa May's claim that Russia is on the “wrong side of the argument” when it comes to Syria, Ambassador to the UK Alexander Yakovenko said “the opposite is true.”
He noted that there is no moderate opposition alternative to the present government in Syria, referring to a similar statement made earlier by a former British ambassador to the Middle East state, Peter Ford. That’s why there is an “urgent need for lasting ceasefire and political process among the Syrians, so that they can decide for themselves.”
“It seems that our Western partners don't like this approach and want to decide for the Syrians who will take part in the political process and who shall not," he told the Daily Mail. (RT Russia, 17-4-2017)
"It was Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood that started an Islamic revolution in 2011, which created a domino effect, extending into Syria and across the globe.
The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, empowered by the revolution in Egypt, rose to establish an Islamic order in Syria, attempting to eliminate Assad, as their counterpart did to Mubarak in Egypt. Assad’s loyal ally Russia came to his defense, while the US government under President Barack Obama threw Mubarak under the bus. Time and time again, Obama stood shoulder to shoulder with Islamic radicals...
9/11 ringleader Muhammad Atta, the head of Al-Qaeda Ayman al-Zawahiri, and Islamic State head Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi were all members of the Brotherhood. Osama Bin Laden was a member of the Saudi branche of the Muslim Brotherhood. (The Saudi MB doesn't allow its members to weaponize foreign fighters, that's why Bin Laden was expelled from the organisation.)
Today, President Donald Trump must make it clear to foreign leaders that there is a new sheriff in town, and we will not tolerate those who engage in, or support, Islamic terrorism." Brigitte Gabriel (Breitbart, 17 April 2017)
Riyadh — Saudi King Salman received Speaker of the Russian Federation Council (the parliament’s upper house) Valentina Matviyenko here on Sunday. During the meeting they reviewed relations between the two countries and prospects of bilateral cooperation.
Earlier after a meeting with Speaker of the Shoura Council Abdullah Al-Asheikh, Matviyenko said Russia and Saudi Arabia share the aspiration for consolidation in fighting terrorism.
“We have more in common. We share the aspiration to fight and cooperate in the efforts to fight international terrorism,” she said.
“The ongoing contacts between ministries and authorities help us better coordinate in fighting terrorism..."
Matviyenko arrived in Riyadh with a delegation on Saturday on a three-day visit. Ahead of the visit she said that the Kingdom is a partner in combating terrorism, adding that cooperating with it guarantees security in the region.
She said that during her talks with Saudi partners, she will voice the importance of uniting efforts to fight terrorism, achieve regional stability and resolve conflicts.
"“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” Dalai Lama
Valentina Matviyenko, the speaker of the Federation Council, believes that Russian authorities should consider the philosophy behind the idea of a 'ministry of happiness'.
"The meaning behind the ministry [of happiness] is very deep and philosophical. Its focus is the human being, his or her mood, and whether the decisions made by authorities will help to ensure everyone's happiness," Matviyenko said, in an interview for Russia's NTV television channel.
"If we were to make one decision or another, they would first have to be screened, on whether or not things would be better for the person as a result of their adoption," she added, explaining the functioning of the existing agency in the United Arab Emirates.
Russia, the veteran politician noted, does not need to replicate the experience of the Gulf country directly, but leaders and lawmakers should take the positive philosophy behind the idea seriously.
"It's not necessary to create [an actual] ministry of happiness, but it is worth thinking about the philosophy behind it, for legislative and executive authorities to bring it to life."
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has warned that the ongoing aggression against impoverished Yemen may deprive a whole generation of children of education this year...
UNICEF Representative in Yemen Mertixell Relano sounded the grim warning at a press conference in the Yemeni capital, Sana'a, adding that during the past seven months, more than three-quarters of Yemeni teachers had not received their salaries, which may in turn leave up to 4.5 million children incapable of finishing the school year.
The economic crisis largely began last year, when former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a staunch ally of Saudi Arabia, moved the country's central bank from Sana'a to Aden. Hadi claimed that the popular Houthi Ansarullah movement, which is in control of large swaths of Yemen, including the capital, looted the bank; an allegation that was categorically rejected by the Houthis.
On Saturday, the UN announced that it would hold a High-Level Pledging Event for the current humanitarian crisis in the impoverished country, co-hosted by Switzerland and Sweden on April 25, as 18.8 million Yemenis are in need of humanitarian or protection assistance.
Tens of thousands of Yemenis staged a mass rally in the capital Sanaa
to protest against the Saudi bombing which recently entered its third year. FARS News 17-4-2017
Sana'a is the largest city in Yemen and the centre of Sana'a Governorate. Sana'a has a population of approximately 1,937,500 (2012), making it Yemen's largest city.
Under the Yemeni constitution, Sana'a is the capital of the country, although the seat of the internationally recognised government moved to Aden in the aftermath of the 2014–15 Yemeni coup d'état. The Houthis ousted the US- and Saudi-backed Yemeni government of Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi. Saudi Arabia, which sees Houthis as proxies of Iran, its biggest regional rival, responded with a military campaign, aimed at ejecting the Houthis and returning Hadi to power.
According to the United Nations and other outside monitors, the fighting has killed 10,000 and left 370,000 children malnourished and 10,000 more dead of preventable disease. Nearly 3 million Yemenis have been pushed out of their homes.
The Obama administration condemned the civilian death toll in Yemen and urged the Saudis to exercise more restraint.
Do they feel no sense of shame? What callousness. What disgrace.
"The story of the exodus is a story of freedom. It's the story of an incredible people who were liberated from oppression and raised up the face of humankind." Donald Trump, Easter 2017 speech.
How outrageous that our compassion should dry up the moment we realised that this latest massacre of the innocents wasn’t quite worth the same amount of tears and fury that the early massacre had produced. It fact it wasn’t worth a single tear.
For the 126 Syrians – almost all of them civilians – who have just been killed outside Aleppo, were Shia Muslims being evacuated from two government-held villages in the north of Syria (Kafrya and al-Foua’a citizens)
And their killer was obviously from al-Nusra (al-Qaeda) or one of the Sunni “rebel” groups we in the West have armed and thus didn’t qualify for our sorrow.
I recalled all those maudlin stories about how Ivanka Trump, as a mother, had been especially moved by the videotape from Khan Shaykoun, the site of the chemical attack on 4 April, and had urged her father to do something about it.
And then it was Federica Mogherini, the EU’s ‘High Representative” for foreign affairs and security policy, who described the attack as “awful” – but insisted that she spoke “first of all as a mother”.
Quite right, too. But what happened to all her maternal feelings – and those of Ivanka – when the pictures came in from northern Syria this weekend of exploded babies and children packaged up in black plastic bags? Silence.
The suicide bomber approached the refugee buses with a cartload of children’s cookies and potato chips – approaching, I might add, a population of fleeing Shia civilians who had been starving under siege by the anti-Assad rebels (some of whom, of course, were armed by us).
Yet they didn’t count. Their “beautiful little babies” – I quote Trump on the earlier gas victims – didn’t stir us to anger.
Because they were Shias? Because the culprits might have been too closely associated with us in the West? Or because – and here’s the point – they were the victims of the wrong kind of killer.
For what we want right now is to blame the “evil”, “animal”, “brutal”, etc, Bashar al-Assad...
We cried over and lamented and even went to war for those “beautiful little babies” whom we believed to be Sunni victims of the Assad government. But when Shia babies of equal humanity were blasted to pieces this weekend, Trump could not care less. And the mothering spirit of Ivanka and Federica simply dried up....
Iran News Update (INU) features news, analysis, and commentary on events inside Iran and the Iranian Diaspora around the world. News and information is provided in cooperation with the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), the parliament in exile of the Iranian Resistance, and the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK)
Senator John McCain, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, met with Maryam Rajavi the president elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran. Maryam Rajavi expressed her gratitude to senator McCain for his unsparing efforts in support of the MEK (People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran).
She said, "Today, there's a general accord within the region on the clerical regime's damaging role and there's little question that the non secular fascism ruling Iran is the prime source of war, coercion and crisis within the region."
"Regime change isn't solely the necessity for ending brutal violations of human rights in Iran but to establish peace and tranquility within the region," she added. "As long as the clerical regime is in power, it'd not quit export of terrorism and fundamentalism."
Senator McCain said he believed that the Iranian regime, Bashar Assad and Daesh were all reticulated and indivisible entities. McCain stressed on the necessity to oust Bashar Assad and to confront the Iranian regime's damaging role in Syria and Iraq.
Maryam Rajavi noted, "The Iranian individuals and Resistance are more determined than ever for the overthrow of the regime and institution of democracy and widespread sovereignty."
Prior to this meeting, senator McCain was accompanied by Maryam Rajavi for a visit to one of the MEK headquarters in Tirana where he was warmly welcomed...
He told MEK members, "You have stood up and fought and sacrificed for freedom, for the right to determine your own future..." "I thank you for being an example, an example to the whole world..."
The MEK is designated as a terrorist organization by Iran and Iraq, and was considered a terrorist organization by the United Kingdom and the European Union until 2008 and 2009 respectively, and by Canada and the United States until 2012.
john mccain, totally in love with a right-wing war-messiah, visiting:
libya: belhadj (ex-al-qaeda) - syria: fsa & al-qaeda leaders - iraq kurdistan: barzani
There is one foreign policy goal that matters above all the others, and that is to keep the United States out of a new war...
Sad to say, America’s history of war is not encouraging. America’s shining nobility in World War II and its positive, though flawed, role in the Korean War, should not obscure America’s many disastrous wars of choice, when America went to war for deeply flawed reasons and ended up causing havoc at home and abroad...
President Lyndon Johnson took America to war in Vietnam, in 1964, mainly to protect himself against right-wing charges that he was “weak on communism.”
President George W. Bush took America to war in Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003 to topple the Taliban and Saddam Hussein, according to the remarkably naive neoconservative game plan to rid the greater Middle East of regimes hostile to US interests.
President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton extended these wars into Libya and Syria in 2011 to topple Moammar Khadafy and Bashar al-Assad.
Now, with just a few weeks on the job, Donald Trump seems to be continuing or expanding the wars of his predecessors, while threatening to initiate a war with nuclear-armed North Korea.
North Korea is part of 'the axis of evil'.The term was used by U.S. President George W. Bush in his State of the Union address on January 29, 2002, and often repeated throughout his presidency, to describe governments that his administration accused of sponsoring terrorism and seeking weapons of mass destruction. Iran, Iraq, and North Korea were portrayed by George W. Bush during the State of the Union as building nuclear weapons. The notion of such an axis was used to pinpoint these common enemies of the United States and rally the American populace in support of the War on Terror.
Since the birth of the United Nations in 1945, such wars of choice are against international law. The UN Charter allows for wars of self-defense and military actions agreed upon by the UN Security Council. The UN Security Council may approve military interventions to protect the civilian populations from the crimes of their own government under the doctrine of “Responsibility to Protect.” No country can go it alone other than in self-defense.
Many Americans dismiss the UN Security Council on the grounds that Russia will veto every needed action. Yet this is absolutely not the case. Russia and China indeed agreed to a military intervention in Libya in 2011 in order to protect Libya’s civilian population. But then NATO used that UN resolution as a pretext to actually topple Khadafy, not merely to protect the civilian population.
Russia and China also recently teamed up with the United States to achieve the nuclear agreement with Iran, to adopt the Paris Climate Agreement, and to adopt the Sustainable Development Goals. Diplomacy is feasible. Getting one’s way all the time is not.
It’s not so hard to rev the American public to fight a war, even a horribly misguided one, if the government claims falsely that the United States is under attack or is acting in the service of some grand humanitarian cause.
Yet these have been the pretexts, not the reasons, for the wars of choice... The weapons of mass destruction of Saddam Hussein turned out not to exist. The claim that Khadafy was about to commit genocide against his people was propaganda.
The ongoing war in Syria is yet another case in point. We know from WikiLeaks and other sources that US strategists were looking for a way to topple Assad for years before 2011, hoping that economic instability and IMF-backed austerity would do the job. The United States and Saudi Arabia wanted him out because of Iran’s backing of the regime. When the Arab Spring erupted in early 2011, the Obama administration judged this to be the opportune moment to nudge both Assad and Khadafy out the door.
When Assad showed his staying power, Obama ordered the CIA to coordinate efforts with Saudi Arabia and Turkey to defeat the regime through a support for anti-regime fighters on the ground.
I believe that four reforms to foreign policy
are vital for our survival in this growing mayhem.
“For some time I have been disturbed by the way the CIA has been diverted from its original assignment,” wrote former president Harry Truman in the Washington Post on December 22, 1963. It was exactly one month after the assassination of President Kennedy.
“It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of the Government. This has led to trouble and may have compounded our difficulties in several explosive areas..” “This quiet intelligence arm of the President has been so removed from its intended role that it is being interpreted as a symbol of sinister and mysterious foreign intrigue — and subject for cold war enemy propaganda...”
-- First, the CIA should be drastically restructured, to be solely an intelligence agency rather than an unaccountable secret army of the president... We need to end the military functions of the CIA, yet Trump has recently expanded the CIA’s war-making powers by giving the agency the authority to target drone strikes without Pentagon approval.
-- Second, it is vital for Congress to reestablish decision-making over war and peace. That is its constitutional role, indeed perhaps its most important constitutional role as a bulwark of democratic government. Yet Congress has almost completely abandoned this responsibility.
-- Third, it is essential to break the secrecy over US foreign policy making. Most urgently, we need an inquest into America’s involvement in Syria in order for the public to understand how we arrived at the current morass.
-- Fourth, we need urgently to return to global diplomacy within the UN Security Council.
America has developed a level of wealth, productivity, and technological know-how utterly unimaginable in the past. Yet we put everything at risk through our wanton addiction to war.
If we instead used our vast knowledge, economic might, and technological excellence to help cure diseases, end poverty, protect the environment, and ensure global food security, America would profoundly inspire other nations and do much to secure a new era of global peace.
Jeffrey D. Sachs is University Professor and director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University, and author of “The Age of Sustainable Development.”
A plan on settling the Syrian crisis already exists but it was approved not in Washington, but in New York by the United Nations Security Council passing Resolution 2254, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov pointed out on Wednesday. When asked if any US plan on Syria had been discussed at his meeting with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Lavrov noted that "for us, such plan already exists." "It was approved long ago, not by the United States but by the United Nations...."
"The resolution covers all aspects of a peaceful settlement based on the principle that only the Syrian people have the right to decide on their country’s future."
"There are some who do not like the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254 emphasizing the need to respect Syria’s sovereignty and stipulating that only the Syrian people have the right to decide the future of their country," Russia’s top envoy noted. "These forces are trying to whip up provocations and create pretexts in order to change the regime instead of resolving the crisis.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and I discussed the Syrian issue in detail," he added.
"I am confident that there is no alternative to the honest implementation of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254," the foreign minister stressed.
The Rejection of American Exceptionalism
Christian Internationalism in the United States - A forgotten movement
Michael G. Thompson, Cornell University Press
"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.
The world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hope of its children…
This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron." Dwight Eisenhower, April 16, 1953
'For God and Globe' recovers the history of an important yet largely forgotten intellectual movement in interwar America.
Michael G. Thompson explores the way radical-left and ecumenical Protestant internationalists articulated new understandings of the ethics of international relations between the 1920s and the 1940s. Missionary leaders such as Sherwood Eddy and journalists such as Kirby Page, as well as realist theologians including Reinhold Niebuhr, developed new kinds of religious enterprises devoted to producing knowledge on international relations for public consumption.
For God and Globe centers on the excavation of two such efforts—the leading left-wing Protestant interwar periodical, The World Tomorrow, and the landmark Oxford 1937 ecumenical world conference. Thompson charts the simultaneous peak and decline of the movement in John Foster Dulles's ambitious efforts to link Christian internationalism to the cause of international organization after World War II.
Concerned with far more than foreign policy, Christian internationalists developed critiques of racism, imperialism, and nationalism in world affairs. They rejected exceptionalist frameworks and eschewed the dominant "Christian nation" imaginary as a lens through which to view U.S. foreign relations.
In the intellectual history of religion and American foreign relations, Protestantism most commonly appears as an ideological ancillary to expansionism and nationalism. For God and Globe challenges this account by recovering a movement that held Christian universalism to be a check against nationalism rather than a boon to it...
One World, One God
Ave Maria - Alexandrow Ensemble (Russian Army Choir)
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and in the hour of our death. Amen.
Mine eyes have seen the glory - Alexandrow Ensemble
In the beauty of the lillies Christ was born across the sea, With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me. As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free, While God is marching on! Glory, glory, hallelujah! His truth is marching on...
”Eisenhower was horrified by the Holocaust, but said
he would not have supported the creation of Israel
if he had been president in 1948." Jason Maoz, in 'Ike and Israel'
Secretary of State John Kerry’s remark that it is a “mistake” to insist that the Palestinian Authority recognize Israel as a Jewish state brings to mind a little-known episode in the early 1950s, when the Eisenhower administration briefly embraced the notion that Israel should stop identifying itself as a Jewish state.
The key figure in this unusual chapter in U.S.-Israel relations was a young U.S. Army officer named Henry A. Byroade, who in 1952 was picked by President Harry Truman to be Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs.
According to a previously unpublished interview with Byroade in the files of the Truman Presidential Library, in Missouri, the president summoned Byroade for a discussion in late 1952, shortly before he left office.
“I was very critical of both the policies of Israel and our policy towards Israel,” Byroade recalled. “And he outlined his view[s] for me, which really were very surprisingly similar my own. I left there extremely encouraged that we would get White House backing for what I called an even-handed, balanced policy position between both Arabs and Israel.”
Bryoade reasoned that if Truman was ready to back away from Israel, then his successor Dwight Eisenhower, who had much weaker ties to American Jewry, would be even less supportive of Israel. And he was right.
In April 1953, Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett visited Washington and got a first-hand taste of how Byroade was reshaping U.S. policy. Byroade demanded that Israel make territorial concessions to the Arabs, and threatened Sharett that the Eisenhower administration would present “our own peace plan,” which Israel might not like.
On the same day two leaders of the anti-Zionist American Council for Judaism (ACJ) met with President Dwight Eisenhower.
The Council had provoked tremendous controversy with its lobbying in the 1940s against creation of a Jewish state. What is not widely realized is that even after Israel was established, the Council continued its activities and, in fact, had even more impact on U.S. policy than previously.
ACJ officials Lessing Rosenwald and George Levison urged the president to consider American Jews a purely religious group with no obligations to Israel.
They also denounced the idea of American Jewish immigration to Israel and said the Israelis should become “Middle Eastern” like their neighbors.
Levison came away from the meeting convinced that Eisenhower was “in general agreement with our views.”
By the spring of 1954, Byroade was ready to go public. On April 19, 1954, in an address to the World Affairs Council, in Dayton, he called on Israelis to “look upon yourselves as a Middle Eastern state, rather than as a headquarters… of a world-wide grouping of people of a particular religious faith.” He also demanded that Israel “drop the attitude of the conqueror” and halt what he called “retaliatory killings.”
Then, with the approval of Secretary John F. Dulles, Byroade delivered the keynote address at the ACJ’s annual convention, in Philadelphia on May 1. Byroade repeated his demand that Israel become “a Middle Eastern state.”
The American Council for Judaism (ACJ) is an organization of American Jews committed to the proposition that Jews are not a national but a religious group...
In particular, it is notable for its historical opposition to Zionism. Although it has since moderated its stance on the issue, it still advocates that American Jews distance themselves from Israel politically, and does not view Israel as a universal Jewish homeland.
Support for the American Council for Judaism came primarily from Jews of British, Dutch, French and German descent who were historically attached to Classical Reform Judaism, but also from many Jewish socialists who opposed Zionism. Jewish intellectuals who at one time or another passed through the Council included David Riesman, Hans Kohn, Erich Fromm, Hannah Arendt, Will Herberg, Morrie Ryskind, Frank Chodorov, and Murray Rothbard.
ave maria - arabic | idf army choir: see the light
On 26 February 1991, Iraqi troops began retreating from Kuwait. A long convoy of retreating Iraqi troops formed along the main Iraq-Kuwait highway. Although they were retreating, this convoy was bombed so extensively by coalition air forces that it came to be known as the Highway of Death.
Military chiefs around the world recognise that language is one of the most effective weapons in their armoury.
Why expose the true nature of conflict, the logic goes, when briefings can be dressed up with euphemisms that serve to make the general public feel better about whatever military expedition is underway? The US military, in particular, has often been keen to use slang and doublespeak to smooth over the wrinkles.
Think about the first Gulf War in 1991 or the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq.
Both conflicts were laden with benign terms such as "surgical strikes", a phrase that eased the consciences of Americans who had been scarred by the "carpet-bombing" of the Vietnam War, which itself is a soft term for a particularly virulent form of saturation munitions. Then there was "friendly fire" and "collateral damage", which somehow turn bad news into something less unpalatable.
Arguably the peak example of such doublespeak also found infamy in the 2003 US-led invasion.
In the build-up to the intervention, military chiefs talked broadly about their battle plan, dressing up a proposed fierce assault on Baghdad as a "shock and awe" campaign, a term coined years earlier at the National Defence University.
The phrase was particularly effective in hoodwinking the US public into believing that "shock and awe" could help the military avoid a messy ground war and in obscuring the likely level of civilian casualties on the ground.
Experts believe that civilian deaths amounted to more than 6,640 people (or more than 300 per day) during the three-week "shock and awe" offensive on Baghdad – a bitter truth that deviated far from the dominant US narrative of precise and "surgical strikes" on military targets and little or none of that "collateral damage".