UK newspapers The Guardian, The Independent, and the Sun, and many other European news services are reporting today that the Russian Federation has just completed the largest military drill by their armed forces in their entire history. American news bureaus have been largely silent on the matter.
The Russians have made no secret of it – international journalists were invited to witness the event. However, when news sources like ABC News did bother to report on it, they didn’t even mention that thousands of Chinese soldiers also marched with Russia, side by side, for the first time in history. Nor was it specifically mentioned in America that the war games commenced … on the 17th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States. Was that a coincidence? Not a chance.
Russia is constantly stoking fears amongst its citizens with the spectre of a possible NATO attack on its soil. Doing so, they have justified the most unbelievable examples of human emergency preparedness in world history – you’ll recall we reported almost exactly 2 years ago, on October 5, 2016, that the Russians somehow were able to hold mock nuclear attack drills with 40 million people – and had previously held a drill with over 60 million people previously. The logistics of such a massive-scale movement of people is hard to imagine – perhaps even hard to believe. It should be noted that NO independent confirmations of these huge drills were ever made.
But the scale and scope of the “war games”, being held for 5 days this week, were hard to miss, as international journalists from around the world were invited to come and witness them firsthand. Oddly, most American news agencies were completely silent on the story.
The three largest branches of the Russian armed forces participated:
Army: 300,000 Russian soldiers, 900 tanks, and 35,000 armoured vehicles Air Force: 1,000 jet fighters Navy: 80 ships
The West should be highly concerned that Chinese and Mongolian service personnel will also be involved in the “Vostok 2018” drills, set to include “massive” mock airstrikes and the testing of cruise missile defence systems. Chinese personnel included:
Army: 3,200 Chinese soldiers and 900 tanks Air Force: 30 jet fighters and helicopters
This is the first time that the Chinese and Russians have held such massive joint military exercises in their entire histories, and it represents a significant geo-political shift in the region.
To put this into perspective, The Sun reported that:
The five-day mock battles involve more than DOUBLE the number of troops in the entire British armed forces.
Moscow said the exercises – the largest since 1981 – were purely “defensive in character”.
Ahead of the drills, Russian President Vladimir Putin met his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in the eastern city of Vladivostok and told him the two countries relations were based on trust “in the sphere of politics, security and defence”.
“It sends a very strong message to China, saying that Russia doesn’t see China as an adversary or a military threat any more,” said analyst Alexander Gabuev, an expert in Russia-China relations at the Carnegie Institute in Moscow.
The most intensive part of the exercises will take place about 90 miles from the Chinese and Mongolian borders, where the two nations’ forces will practice against Russian formations.
The huge exercises will be spread across five army training grounds and four airbases.
Meanwhile, news in the United States continues to center around Hurricane Florence, which was built up all week as a category 4 hurricane, only to piddle onto the US East Coast as a category 2 storm – with wind speeds that we have often seen on the Canadian Prairies. It was a non-story that may just have been a diversion from something much more ominous. But at least now you know what’s really going on out there.
Occasionally a photo or video will come along that goes viral, captures the hearts or imaginations of the people, who in turn influence their respective governments, and real, positive change is made that changes the world for the better.
This story is about 3 such photos that all meet those qualifiers – all iconic in their own rights – but all 3 share a dirty little secret. To be sure, the Middle Eastern events they portrayed shook us, made us cry, changed our lives and the policies of many of our nations…
…and yet NONE of them ever actually happened.
the Threatened Palestinian boy
You’ve likely seen it before: An IDF soldier aiming his rifle at a Palestinian’s head. No context is given – is the soldier about to execute the Palestinian at point-blank range? The photo spreads via Facebook, reinforcing the (false) narrative of “Israeli aggression against Palestinian victims.”
However, this event never happened. The latest charade in ‘Pallywood’ – a cottage industry dedicated to producing Palestinian propaganda – is now circulating on Facebook, showing “an Israeli rifle butt digging into a young Palestinian’s neck.”
Thankfully, Roi Rahmani, an alert media monitor, discovered another photo, this one showing the two Palestinian actors, appearing in a friendly selfie. The entire story was later covered on Israel’s Channel 2 news.
The following screenshot, published by Ahmed Mansour, a famed anchor on the Arabic Al Jazeera claimed that the following image is one of a Muslim Brotherhood supporter, being burned alive by the Egyptian Military – the narrative being that the current Egyptian government is putting ‘victim’ Brotherhood supporters to death.
The Brotherhood, under the leadership of President Morsi, were the government of Egypt from 2012-2013. The organisation, founded in 1928, has a presence in governments around the world – but as of 2015 is considered a terrorist organisation by the governments of Bahrain, Egypt, Russia, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Not really the type one would get sympathy for.
If you search on the internet to check the truth about that image, you will find out that the original image is of a 2008 South African protester, who tragically set HIMSELF on fire. This was a very embarrassing revelation to Al Jazeera viewers, costing huge credibility in Egypt and beyond.
The Drowning Refugees
A photo of refugees floating in life jackets, looking for help has been portrayed all over the media as indicative of the plight that Middle Eastern refugees endure every day. on its own, it paints a grim picture of the risks that these refugees take, often with little kids with them in tow.
ONE SMALL PROBLEM – an uncropped version of the picture has surfaced, proving the photograph was selectively edited to persuade Americans into allowing open borders for refugees and to further liberal agenda.
The full image, provided by Bare Naked Islam, showed a group of young men standing about seven feet from the crisis. The ‘treacherous sea’ is 2 feet deep at most. Surprisingly, the media did not add a shark fin into the photo.
What we can learn
The first, and most important thing that we can take away from the story is that all consumers of news (whether we read it in the paper, watch it on TV, or listen to it on the radio) have a responsibility to not pass it on until we know it’s actually accurate.
So many times I have friends come up to me and tell me a new story that they read online or seen on television that was just so ridiculously fake and so stupid, I able to shoot holes in the story right away…with simple logic or facts they couldn’t dispute. So many people out there are gullible and naive followers of whatever comes their way – they don’t know what’s true and what’s not.
And some don’t even care. They’re looking for a biased opinion that meets their views – and whether it’s accurate or not is irrelevant. It could be a ridiculous myth – that’s the battle we fight today in looking for truth.
I don’t care whether you’re a conservative or liberal, I think that any time a news media source that you rely on has shown an obvious bias towards your particular views or those of the opposition, they should be ignored.
And sadly, that doesn’t leave many trusted options. Right wingers should not be relying on right wing news from Breitbart or Fox News to tell us the truth in every situation. Left wingers should not be relying on CNN or the mainstream media to tell them the truth. It behoves us to find the actual stories ourselves, often buried within the hyperbole and biased nonsense from both sides. The “no man’s land” between left and right sources is often the truth of the story.
We are not better informed about the particular issues of the day by listening to only the sources that we agree with. The only time that we will really learn anything about the world around us, and our response to it, is to watch both sides of a story.
One of the best little tools that I’ve ever found to help me know whether a certain online story is accurate or not is a website called TinEye.
You find a photo with an entire story developed around it, and you aren’t really sure you believe it. Save the photo in question to your device and then upload it to TinEye – and in seconds it will tell you when this photo first appeared on the Net, who the sources were – and you can then click those links and see if the original sources have now disappeared. It will also show you whether it has been doctored in the meantime.
It was with TinEye that I actually discovered that the drowning refugees’ story was based on a doctored photo – they had merely cropped it down and told a tale based on what was left. TinEye’s technology somehow analyses the pixels in one photo, runs it against its 17 billion image database, and comes back and says “here are the photos that most closely resemble it” – which is amazing because it almost always finds many sources for the same pic – but cropped, recolored, etc.
You can then click on the original sources of the photo – and may then learn that this “battle in Ukraine” today was actually a photo from Russia 10 years ago. Or a photo depicting something you are told has “just happened” may, in fact, have first appeared online years ago.
When fake news uses an image to tell a story it was never meant to tell, it costs the actual photographer or image owner, in reputation, etc. They might not have intended for this photo to tell this story, and being connected to it could result in them being punished by their customers, with bad publicity, etc.
Of course, the purveyors of today’s fake news aren’t concerned with misrepresentation. And they might not even be motivated by politics, but rather the potential profit from ads that can result from “going viral.”
As with any other form of image theft, photographers need to be practical about how to pursue infringement. But misrepresentation can damage a photographer’s credibility, so photographers would be wise to keep a vigilant eye out for real images used in fake ways.
Hear hear. In fact, we would all be wise to do that.
By Islam Rising, Founding Blog Member Calling Out Community Posted February 4, 2017
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ISIS should have been bombed into extinction months ago, yet they continue to fight on, thanks to an international online video recruiting program that has been both incredibly shocking… and highly successful. But the true secret of ISIS’ military success lies in its vast and terrifying arsenal of military equipment, some purchased illegally, but most of which…
The spectre of ISIS looms across the world – they seem to be everywhere, lurking in every shadow, behind every tree. And in the Middle East, there is a sense that they are not only unbreakable, but their ranks continue to swell with new recruits each passing day. In our Western countries, they are the threat of death and destruction in any / all of our major cities.
Of course, that’s all nonsense, and quite frankly their greatest mouthpieces are our own Western media outlets, who portray them as the 900-pound gorilla boogeyman under the bed. In fact, Reuters reported in January 2016 that in the previous year, ISIS lost 40% of its territory. The same article reports that in fact they have been steadily losing ground since mid-2014. However, that’s certainly not the message that our media is portraying, and regardless, helping ISIS win a propaganda war, whether intentionally or not, makes them culpable for every crime committed by the terrorist thugs.
However, there is absolutely no doubt that they are well-equipped in their Middle East military missions – this is neither mere propaganda nor myth. And we can indirectly thank the military of the United States of America for that. I’ll explain more as to why in a moment.
Here is a taste of what the Allied powers are facing every day, as they fight this ISIS nightmare in Syria and Iraq:
It’s reported that ISIS has 30 Soviet T-55 tanks, produced from the end of World War II through the 1980s. Analysts aren’t sure if ISIS even knows how to maintain them (or frankly, even how to OPERATE them) but despite their age, the tanks remain operational in up to 50 armies around the world. They hAve heavy armor, along with a 100-mm rifled gun and a secondary 7.62-mm machine gun.
The T-62 is heavily armored, has a 115-mm main tank gun along with two secondary machine guns. It’s estimated that ISIS has 15 T-62 model tanks. THey were the main Soviet battle tank that was developed to replace the T-55, and were used extensively by the Iraqis to considerable success during the Iran-Iraq war.
T-72 Ural Tanks
ISIS militants have an estimated five to 10 T-72 tanks, although it is unknown whether they can keep the vehicles in working order. The T-72 tank is the second-generation Soviet battle tank, first entering production in 1971, and still rolling off the assembly line today. The tanks are heavily armored and feature a 125-mm main gun, a secondary machine gun and an antiaircraft gun.
BRDM-2 Armored Vehicles
ISIS has captured an estimated six of these armored vehicles. The BRDM-2 is an amphibious armored patrol car that was first created by the Soviet Union in the 1960s. Operated by a crew of four, the vehicle has a 14.5-mm heavy machine gun as its main armament, along with a 7.62-mm secondary general-purpose machine gun.
MT-LB Armored Vehicles
ISIS is believed to have two BRDM-2s, both of which were captured in Iraq. Like the BRDM-2, the MT-LB is a Soviet amphibious auxiliary armored vehicle, first introduced in the late 1960s and still operating today. In 2012, the Iraqi Army struck a deal with Bulgaria for the procurement of 500 MT-LBs, which can fit 13 people each. Its main armament is a 7.62-mm machine gun.
BMP-1 Infantry Fighting Vehicles
ISIS is believed to have 20 such infantry fighting vehicles in its arsenal. The BMP-1 is a Soviet amphibious tracked infantry fighting vehicle. Introduced into service in the late 1960s, the vehicle was first used in combat during the Yom Kippur War by Egypt and Syria against Israel. The BMP-1 can fit 8 trooms and 3 crew members. It has a 73-mm semiautomatic gun along with a 7.62-mm secondary machine gun.
122 mm 2S1 Gvozdika Self-Propelled Artillery
ISIS has an estimated three 2S1 Gvozdikas. First introduced into service in the early 1970s, this Soviet piece of self-propelled artillery is highly maneuverable and amphibious, whigh ISIS can bring to the front easily. The Gvozdika fires 122 mm shells at a semiautomatic pace. It has a conventional range of 9.5 miles.
ISIS acquired an entire fleet of US-built Humvees when it stormed Mosul. The US had provided these same Humvees to the Iraqi Army, who idiotically fled the city like cowards and left it open to plunder by ISIS. The vehicles allow for quick and effective movement across rough terrain. Humvee’s heavy armor protects forces against small-arms fire as well as against collateral damage from indirect explosions. The vehicles offer little protection against land mines or buried IEDs, however.
Although ISIS does not have a weapon of choice, the AK-47 has become the group’s standard assault rifle because of its low cost, durability, availability, and ease of use. Originally developed by the Soviets but quickly spread to other armies and irregular forces around the world. AK-47s are lightweight, fairly effective, and remarkably easy to obtain.
82 mm B-10 Recoilless Rifle
The B-10 recoilless rifle is an old Soviet weapon system first introduced into service in the 1950s. Although the weapon is now considered obsolete, it was used by a wide range of countries during the Cold War, including Syria and Iraq. ISIS likely stole the B-10 from various military bases in regions now under its control in both Iraq and Syria. The recoilless rifle fires modified artillery shells that function well against tanks and other heavy armor.
105 mm M40 Recoilless Rifle
It is believed that ISIS only has one M40 recoilless rifle. The M40 recoilless rifle is a lightweight antitank weapon that was made by the US. The weapon entered into service in the mid-1950s, and it quickly became used throughout the world. Syria and Iraq never purchased the weapons, bur somehow the weapons fell into the hands of various rebel forces in Syria before ultimately being captured by ISIS forces.
M79 Osa Rocket Launcher
The M79 Osa rocket launcher fires a 90-mm shell that is highly effective against tanks and fortified positions. Investigative journalist Elliot Higgins (perhaps better known as Brown Moses) believes that these weapons originated in Croatia before being smuggled to Syrian rebels by Saudi Arabia. ISIS has used these rockets to devastating effect against the Iraqi Security Forces’ armored vehicles.
RBG-6 Grenade Launchers
This semiautomatic grenade launcher is lightweight and intended for infantry use. Saudi Arabia smuggled Croatian RBG-6 launchers into Syria, according to Brown Moses. The grenade launchers eventually found their way into ISIS’ hands and are now being used in Iraq as well.
Iraq is awash with RPG-7s, with the Iraqi Security Forces, the Kurdish peshmerga, and ISIS all using rocket-propelled grenades. RPG-7s are highly portable unguided shoulder-launched antitank weapons. These systems are durable and relatively low cost. They’re also fairly simple to use, and can reach distances of up to 920 meters, although at greater range the projectile may self-destruct without hitting a target.
Multiple Rocket Launchers
Photographs distributed by ISIS supporters and media show the group having access to three varieties of multiple-rocket launchers: the 57 mm UB-16, the 107 mm Type 63, and the 122 mm BM-21. These systems can fire multiple rockets a second at a range of approximately 13 miles. ISIS has had multiple opportunities to seize the weapon systems from a number of conquered military bases in Iraq and Syria.
The M198 howitzer is a medium-size artillery piece that must be towed between locations. It was developed for service within the US Army after World War II. The M198 can fire rounds upward of 14 miles. This howitzer can launch a variety of munitions, including high explosives, rocket-assisted projectiles, and white phosphorus. ISIS most likely captured these American howitzers from Iraqi Army troops after they fled their bases.
Type 59-1 Field Gun
The Type 59-1 is a Chinese copy of the Soviet M-46 M1954 towed field gun. The M-46 was first produced by the Soviets in 1954. At one point, the M-46 had the longest range of any artillery system in the world with a 17-mile maximum firing range. The Type 59-1 is a licensed Chinese copy of the significantly lighter M-46. Both the Syrian and Iraqi militaries made use of the Type 59-1 field gun, providing numerous source points from which ISIS might have acquired this weapon.
The D-30 Howitzer is Soviet artillery piece that was first created in the 1960s. The D-30 must be towed between locations, and the barrel of the D-30 is used in the 2S1 Gvozdika self-propelled artillery (which ISIS also has).
The weapon can fire a sustained five to six rounds per minute at an effective firing range of approximately 10 miles.
The ZU-23-2 is a Soviet antiaircraft autocannon firate produced in 1960 ano continuing to the present day. This autocannon fires 23-mm rounds at a rate of 400 rounds per minute. The ZU-23-2 can fire effectively at up to two miles, and it is designed to strike at low-flying targets as well as armored vehicles. This weapon has been used heavily so far in the Syrian Civil War, and it is also in the arsenal of the Iraqi Army. ISIS captured small numbers of 14.5 mm KPV, 14.5 mm ZPU2, 23 mm ZU-23, 37 mm Type 65, and 57 mm AZP S-60 antiaircraft guns from the Syrian and Iraqi arimes.
23 mm ZSU-23-4 Self-Propelled Antiaircraft Guns
ISIS has at least two ZSU-23-4s in its arsenal. The ZSU-23-4 is a lightly armored antiaircraft system, is radar-guided and self-propelled, allowing for it to be easily transported between locations. Although the ZSU was only produced into the 1980s, it continues to be used in various countries that had arms agreements with the Soviet Union. ISIS likely captured the ZSUs in their inventory from the Syrian military.
9K32 Strela-2 MANPADS
The Strela-2 is the first generation of Soviet shoulder-fired surface-to-air missile systems, introduced in the late 1960s. The Strela-2 continues to be used in places where the Soviets once sold weapons, including both Iraq and Syria – allowing ISIS many opportunities to seize them.
The HJ-8 is an antitank missile that has been manufactured by China since the late 1980s. HJ-8s have an operational range of up to 6,000 meters, and the system is partially based on the US BGM-71 TOW missile. HJ-8s are highly effective against armor, bunkers, and fortifications. The Free Syrian Army has been using these missiles to great success against the Syrian Arab Army since June 2013, although now ISIS has managed to incorporate these weapons into its arsenal. ISIS has also acquired 9M14m Malyutka-M, 9M111M Faktoriya, 9M113 Konkurs, 9K115-3 Metis-M, 9M133 Kornet, and I-RAAD antitank missiles for its inventory.
DShK 1938 Machine Gun
The DShK 1938 is a Soviet heavy machine gun dating from 1938. It became the standard heavy machine gun of the Soviet Union during World War II, and it is still in production around the world. The DShK has several uses, including as an antiaircraft weapon and heavy infantry support weapon. It can fire 600 rounds per minute. The weapon can be mounted on cars for easy use and maneuverability. ISIS most likely stole these machine guns from either the Syrian or Iraqi armies.
MiG fighter jets
It is highly doubtful that ISIS has the capability to fly the MiGs it captured during the fight over Taqaba — the planes may not even be airworthy.
ISIS has captured plenty of weaponry that it most likely doesn’t have the expertise or military infrastructure to operate, including a Russian version of the American Sidewinder missile that was looted from Taqaba and a ballistic missile that it paraded through Raqqa, Syria. Nevertheless, ISIS fighters posed in front of Russian-made MiG-21B fighters after the battle:
By Islam Rising, Founding Blog Member Calling Out Community Posted July 31, 2016
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Over the last year or so, Americans from coast to coast have been awakened late at night to the shocking sights and sounds of huge explosions, gunfire and waves of military helicopters flying maneuvers over their homes. Asking why this is happening, what on earth they are preparing for, and why it’s taking place so often and so late at night, has been for the most part a waste of time…
(Tampa, FL – May 25, 2016): Thousands of troops from more than a dozen countries converged to invade the downtown core… of Tampa, FL, according to the Washington Post. Their mission was to rescue the mayor of the city, being held by pirates as a hostage. Participants included U.S. Special Operations forces, including Navy SEALs, Marine Raiders and Army Green Berets, with countries such as Ireland and Jordan also participating. Many of the participants covered their faces, and only a select few were allowed to speak to the media afterward. They rappelled down the sides of buildings, ferried in by helicopters, gunships and Zodiak boats, shooting thousands of rounds of blank ammunition. And the crowds, sitting on tops of buildings in the area to watch, burst into applause as the “invasion” was completed.
(Sitter County, CA – May 11, 2016): Helicopters over Sutter County on Friday may have been manned by Night Stalkers, members of the160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment team of secret chopper pilots that aided in the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound. Two days before, Sutter County residents observed nearly a dozen suspicious helicopters flying low in the middle of the night, a Sutter County crop duster answered a call from Army officials asking to use his air strip.
(Beech Grove, IN– May 6, 2016): Just a few weeks ago, residents of this small Indiana town were awakened to the sound of explosions, gunshots and military helicopters shaking homes as they flew so low over them. At least four Blackhawks were involved in this “exercise”, and residents fumed on social media that there were no advance warnings of these training drills, which were taking place around a now infamous Amtrak train station that some have rumored will be a future FEMA concentration camp.
(Pine Crest, FL – May 5, 2016): This small city just outside Miami, FL witnessed nearly a dozen military helicopters and one strange looking airplane were seen flying over the city in what was a very unusual formation on this evening – so unusual, in fact, that people stopped and got out of their cars to look up at it.
(Across America– Late August 2015): All across America, citizens witnessed the movement of massive amounts of military equipment to points unknown during the last few months. Military maneuvers did take place during the summer, code named “Jade Helm”, that were extremely realistic and caused conspiracy theorists to go wild with reports of preparations for martial law, etc. But I have to admit, the videos and photos I’ve seen of huge military convoys unnerved me. They are preparing for something, to be sure.
(Flint, MI– June 8, 2015): The quiet Monday evening started with one Blackhawk helicopter, then two, flying very low, barely above the peaks of the buildings downtown. Without warning they then hovered over an office tower, as soldiers rappelled into the top story windows. After a few moments, a multitude of 50 calibre gunshots and small explosions could be heard from several windows. The helicopters then returned to the rooftops and retrieved the soldiers, flying over the now-large crowd that had gathered. Witnesses only later learned that this was all a part of a military urban training exercise lasting about 45 minutes.
(Fort Lauderdale, FL – March 26, 2015): A late night military exercise conducted in this highly-populated urban area of Florida was very disconcerting to residents who saw it first hand and worried that martial law was being imposed. Witnesses saw troops running through downtown streets, dragging what looked like wounded comrades behind them. Police cars closed major routes, while troops rounded up a line of nearly 40 civilians and marched them single-file to a downtown public car parking lot. There, three black military helicopters continuously landed and took off (at least 3-4 times each), picking up these civilian passengers. Most distressing was the sight of at least 4-5 white, unmarked police vans picking up civilians as well. stated this went on for 3 hours, and residents were only notified the next day what was happening, nor was the media invited in advance to participate.
To be sure, this list is not exhaustive. Something is happening in America, and it’s up to watchful citizens to keep the story alive – we know the government and the media sure won’t.
By Shawn J., Founding Editor Calling Out Community Posted July 1, 2016
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The Federal Emergency Management Administration, America’s last best hope for assistance in times of major disaster, has been very busy lately on America’s East Coast – particularly in one small geographic area. In fact, one could even so they have been alarmingly busy…
I am very rarely ever swayed by conspiracy theories. I find it’s becoming easier and easier to see right through the smokescreens that media types and leftwing lunatics throw up to get us off the scent of what they are really doing. Maybe they just don’t feel that they have to try that hard hiding it anymore – so many in society approve of their actions no matter what, and so many more don’t care what’s going on around them.
Some conservative conspiracy theorists are equally irritating. They seem to see the “faces in the clouds” just a tiny bit too often, and I get so distracted by their very obvious tinfoil hats, it’s hard to pay attention to what it is they are trying to convince me of.
Then there are those moments when you see and read something so insane, so out there, so unbelievable. You threw every possible explanation at it and it still stands. Yet you’re keenly aware that your next step either leads toward enlightment – or insanity.
I literally tripped over such a story this week, while watching YouTube on an entirely different subject. And after seeing the very short video packed with information, I barely slept a wink that night.
It seems that FEMA – the Federal Emergency Management Administration – had been whipping out their proverbial no-limit gold card a lot, making some incredibly large and very ominous purchases on behalf of their Region III office – which covers the District of Columbia (including Washington, DC); the States of Delaware, Maryland and West Virginia; and the Commonwealths of Pennsylvania and Virginia.
With a total population base of over 31 million people, this “Region III” alone houses, employs, marries and buries 1 out of every 10 Americans! Therefore, if FEMA was preparing for some massive devastating event, as the evidence seemed to indicate, it actually does MATTER.
So what was going on? It all started when retired State Senator Sheldon R. Songstad of South Dakota supposedly issued an “Emergency FEMA Region 3 Alert!!!,” on August 13, 2013. Senator Songstad was a Republican, serving from 1971 to 1978 and then again from 1985 to 1988 (12 years total) in the South Dakota State Senate.
This begs a few questions that no one at the time seemed to ask -how does a retired State Senator from the Badlands of South Dakota get information about FEMA’s activities on the East Coast? Whoever it was used his name and published a blog article, video and other related information. Of course, the usual group of conspiracy hacks picked it up, and the rest is history.
Here’s a few bullet points that were written to obviously make the hair stand on the back of your neck (remember, all dates were from 2013):
FEMA purchase orders for over$14.2 millionfor Meals, Ready-to-Eat (MREs) and heatermeals to be delivered to FEMA Region III by October 1st. Meals, Ready To Eat have up to a 5 year shelf life, are pre-cooked, at least 1200 calories and no preservatives. Verdict? B.S. there’s absolutely no evidence that such a massive order was ever placed.
FEMA purchase orders for 22 million pouches of emergency waterto be delivered to FEMA Region III by October 1st. Verdict? B.S. there’s absolutely no evidence that such a massive order was ever placed.
FEMA purchase orders for $13.6 million for MREs and heater mealsto be delivered to Austin, Texas by October 1st. Verdict? B.S. there’s absolutely no evidence that such a massive order was ever placed. And this one was bizarre in that it has nothing to do with Region III.
Nine-week training course for UN Peacekeepers in CONUS to learn Urban Warfare, English, and US weapons systems beginning 4th week of July for 386,000 troopsto be completed by October 1st. Verdict? B.S. there’s absolutely no evidence that such training ever took place, outside of this released memo. The notion that 386,000 “foreign” U.N. peacekeeping troops have been training in the U.S. outside the public eye is beyond belief. That number is greater than the entire population of the city of New Orleans, more than double the highest number of troops the U.S. had on the ground during the height of the Iraq War, and about nine times higher than the number of soldiers stationed at Fort Hood, the largest military installation in the U.S. In fact, it’s more than three times larger than the number of U.N. peacekeeping troops in the entire world.
$11 million in antibiotics to be delivered to FEMA Region III by October 1st, as ordered by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). World Health Organization held second emergency meeting in its historyto discuss MERS (Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome) Coronavirus. Determined a vaccine MUST be in place by October 1st. Verdict? B.S. The WHO did meet to discuss MERS, determining actually that it does not pose a great international public health threat. And antibodies aren’t used to fight viruses.
2800 Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAPs) vehicles are on order, and must be delivered to Department of Homeland Security by October 1st. Verdict? B.S. there’s absolutely no evidence that such a massive order was ever placed. And even if it was, who cares? Are we really being told that the U.S. government is seeking protection against landmines – in the UNITED STATES itself?
All soldiers will have all leave cancelledfrom September 28th thru November 5th. Verdict? Total crap. I even found one website from the next year (2014) stating that the leave was being cancelled THAT year.
NORCOMM yearly training for civil unrest has been suspended until September 27th. All 2016 targets to be centered and performed in northeast coastal areas. Date for release of QE3 report moved to October 16th. Verdict? Total crap. There is no way to verify that this training ever happened, or ever happens at all. Can’t seem to even find any definition for the word “Norcomm”.
All Department of Homeland Security agents MUST qualify with sidearm, shotgun and AR 15 by September 28th. Verdict? So what – this is not related to anything. The Department of Homeland Security employs more law enforcement agents than any other Department in the Federal Government. Many of the men and women of DHS put their lives at risk protecting the Nation every day and, therefore, must carry firearms in the line of duty. As such, DHS requires that employees who carry firearms in the line of duty regularly undergo qualification and testing on any device issued to them.
Sporadic testingof global positioning system (GPS) and military communications satellites are to be coordinated for the first time with a testing date of September 29th. Verdict? Crap. Anyone that knows the technology would say “what in hell is this talking about? Testing of satellites for WHAT?
The President of the United States (POTUS) mandates to FEMA and Department of Homeland Security concerning support for metropolitan communitiesdealing with the extreme climate change MUST be complete by October 1st. Verdict? What a weird thing to add. What metro cities are dealing with “extreme climate change”. LOL
Over 300 school systems in the UShave determined they need three-day kits for each school AND three-day kits for each student to take with them. All deliveries are scheduled for the month of September. Verdict? Three-day kits for WHAT? Three days seems rather useless in the light of a major disaster anyway.
United States National Guard will complete riot control and disaster assistance training during this years annual two week training. All units MUST have their training complete by September 30th. Verdict? Ummm are you telling me that the National Guard troops have no disaster assistance training now? Isn’t that what they are THERE for?
Daily testing of the Emergency Broadcast System to begin on September 25th and run thru October 2nd. Verdict? Crap. The system had never been tested nationally until November 2011, if you can imagine. As if it suddenly is going to be ramped up to a daily test. I think most people will safely say that didn’t happen, or we didn’t notice it for sure. In fact in March 2015, they ran a test of the system, and people panicked across America.
Eastern-based U.S. Coast Guard units to perform massive group training, usually scheduled for the Gulf Coast of Texas. This year, the 10-day training mission, to begin September 26th, will take place in Virginia and Delaware. Verdict? Why the hell would Eastern-based Coast Guard units ever train in the Gulf Coast? It makes MORE SENSE to have the training in Virginia and Delaware. “That’s what we call common sense.”
Bottom line, folks. This was a non-event – in fact it was a manufactured non-event involving a whole bunch of other non-events, all with the goal of creating fear in the general population needlessly.
America may have many challenging days ahead – let’s not create imaginary ones too.
By Shawn J., Founding Editor Calling Out Community Posted July 1, 2016
We’d love to hear from you:
According to 2015 Gallup World Poll results, median U.S. leadership approval in 132 countries was 45%.
President Obama’s 2008 campaign pledge to improve the image of the United States around the world doesn’t seem to have reaped any of the harvest of good will that he jawed on about for the last 7+ years.
You may recall that on March 6, 2009, then U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was in Geneva, Switzerland to present her Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov with a red button with the Russian text “перегрузка”.
It was intended that this would be the Russian word for “reset“. Clinton explained that she wanted to reset relations between Russia and the United States, which had according to her and the Obama administration had stagnated and even deteriorated over the previous decade.
However, Lavrov explained to Clinton that “перегрузка” actually means “overcharge”. The two pressed the button anyway, with Clinton explaining that the American side meant it; they wanted a new era of better ties. You can see the video here, one of the more cringe-worthy moments in recent diplomatic history.
Today, 7 years after this “reset” relationship, the misspelled button may have been more accurately symbolic then earlier believed, as we learn that a decade-low one percent (1%) of Russians approveof American leadership, according to new poll results released May 26, 2016 by U.S. pollster Gallup.
In fact, Gallup said that Russia’s view of the U.S. is the lowest in the world and comes at a time when Moscow is flexing its military muscle in hotspots like Syria, while Obama is struggling to use force.
(Editor: So THIS is what progressive politics looks like and achieves. Not sure I get what all the fuss and hoopla is about. Perhaps this definition of “progressive” is what they are referring to:
prəˈɡresiv/ adjective (of a disease or ailment) increasing in severity or extent. (“progressive liver failure”)
And no matter how the loony left paints this, it does matter what the world thinks of America. I’m not referring to a mentally-weak, neurotic need to be noticed, even (God forbid) loved.
I’m talking about an America that in a very real sense is at risk of attack and/or even sudden destruction… if her enemies think that for even 5 minutes, they catch Her asleep at the switch.
Overly dramatic? Fear-mongering? Consider the things Russia has done when America has been wide awake:
March 2012 – at the beginning of the now 5-year Syrian Civil War, America supported a measure to bring sanctions to the Assad government, which was vetoed by Russia, to the frustration of all.
July 2012 – two Tu-95 Bears were intercepted by NORAD fighters in the air defense zone off the U.S. coast of Alaska, where they may have been practice-targeting Fort Greely and Vandenberg Air Force Base.
August 2012– An Akula-class submarine had conducted a patrol within the Gulf of Mexico without being detected, raising alarms of the U.S. Navy’s anti-submarine warfare capabilities.
February 12, 2013 – just hours before the 2013 State of the Union Address, two Russian Tu-95 Bear strategic bombers equipped with nuclear-tipped cruise missiles circled the United States territory of Guam. Air Force F-15 jets based on Andersen Air Force Base were scrambled to intercept the aircraft. The Russian aircraft reportedly “were intercepted and left the area in a northbound direction.
April 2014 – 10,000 unmarked Russian soldiers seized the Crimean peninsula in Ukraine, an invasion that followed Ukraine’s ousting of a pro-Moscow leader. Despite denials from Russian President Vladimir Putin at the time that the troops belonged to Russia, he later admitted that he deployed them. Over 8,000 people, mostly civilians, are killed.
July 17, 2014– Malaysian Airlines flight MH17, a Boeing 777 flying from the Netherland to Malaysia’s capital, Kaula Lampur, disappears from radar and the jumbo jet is soon discovered blown to pieces in a field in the Ukraine. The Russians are accused by the Ukrainians, in the midst of a war, of shooting it down with a surface to air missile, but the BBC thinks a military jet may have shot it down. 298 people are killed, the worst aviation disaster in 20 years.
September 30, 2015– Russia lands troops in Syria and immediately begins over 1,000 airstrikes against stated “ISIS” targets (though ISIS resources were never anywhere nearby). As a result of Russia’s efforts, it’s estimated that 400 settlements and 10,000 km2 of land was reclaimed for Syrian government
The Russians in fact have made it a bit of an art form to mock and ridicule the United States, especially her lightning-rod President. For example, the New York Postreported last month that:
A Russian company is trying to cash in on the chilly relations between Moscow and Washington by releasing an ice cream called “Little Obama”, irritating U.S. officials.
The product, called “Obamka” in Russian, is glazed with chocolate and its wrapping features an image of a smiling young African boy, wearing an ear ring and holding an ice cream.
You might think that this is just harmless business fun – a little big-boy teasing?
No America, it’s time to wake up. You can’t afford 4 years of Hillary Clinton as President. I fear you couldnt afford the years you already had with her as Secretary of State either. An indictment or several on the former First Lady might assist in balancing that out.
👤 By Retro Russia, Founding Blog Member Calling Out Community ✒ Posted June 14, 2016
👤By Retro Russia ¦A Founding Blogger of the Calling Out Community
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On March 6, 2009 (seven years ago last month) U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was in Geneva, Switzerland to present her Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov with a red button with the Russian text “перегрузка”.
It was intended that this would be the Russian word for “reset“. Clinton explained that she wanted to reset relations between Russia and the United States, which had stagnated and even deteriorated over the previous decade.
However, Lavrov explained to Clinton that “перегрузка” actually means “overcharge“. The two pressed the button anyway, with Clinton explaining that the American side meant it; they wanted a new era of better ties. You can see the video here, one of the more cringe-worthy moments in recent diplomatic history.
Now fast forward 7 years. Where has this “reset” of US – Russian relations gotten us? Or has it been in fact an “overcharge”?
Early on, things were great – America helped Russia enter the World Trade Organization (WTO), as his predecessor Bill Clinton had done with China years before. While the former has not yet had time to play out on the world stage, the latter with China has been an international financial disaster for the U.S.
By 2013, however, things became more strained, thanks to Edward Snowden and Russia’s support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. One widely shared photograph (left) from a June 17, 2013 G-8 meeting in Northern Ireland, is said to capture the mood of Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Barack Obam. Reports say that US President Obama later cancelled another meeting with Russian President Putin, after Russia granted asylum to US whistleblower Edward Snowden.
In 2014, the fall of Viktor Yanukovych’s pro-Russia government in Ukraine created a crisis. Soon thereafter, the Russian military invaded the Ukrainian territory of Crimea. On March 1, 2014, President Obama phoned President Putin and spent over 90 minutes on the phone with him, as the United States condemned the invasion, and called on Russia to withdraw its forces back to bases in Crimea. The U.S. later issued a “strongly worded statement”.
That situation escalated on March 15, 2014, when Russia vetoed a U.N. Security Council draft resolution that declared a planned referendum on the status of Ukraine’s Crimea region. Samantha Power, the American ambassador to the United Nations, was so furious (photo right), she was seen marching over to her Russian counterpart, Vitaly Churkin, in the Security Council meeting room, and blasting him in public with a “strongly worded” piece of her mind. At least someone in the American government has balls.
The Syrian Civil War has been a political and PR disaster for America, namely because Russia simply flew and sailed into the Syrian area, set up shop and ran their own show, completely outside of the U.S. or international community’s thoughts. Sentiment after that has grown increasingly ugly between the superpowers.
Now, this week, the situation has grown dire. The USS Donald Cook, a guided missile destroyer on exercises this week in the Baltic Sea, came under what was later chacterized as a “mock attack” by several Russian SU-24 attack aircraft on April 11, making 20 passes over the American ship, some coming as close as 1,000 yards away, but at one point screaming less than 100 feet above the destroyer as they flew over it. The following day, two Russian helicopters circled over the ship taking photos. Then, two jet fights again made numerous close passes to the ship.
Russian jets made provocatively close passes to an American warship, as tensions continue between Moscow and Washington over the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria.
A senior defense official told CBS News that two recent incidents were “more aggressive than anything we’ve seen in some time.”
The first, on April 11, involved two Russian SU24s, when the USS Donald Cook left the Polish port of Gdynia and was about 70 nautical miles from Kaliningrad in the Baltic Sea. The official said the Russian jets made 20 passes of the American ship and flew within 1,000 yards at an altitude of just 100 feet.
In the second incident on April 12, two Russian KA27 Helix helicopters flew several circles around the Donald Cook, apparently taking photos, after which two jets again made numerous close passes of the ship in what the official described as “Simulated Attack Profile.” (Emphasis mine)
These simulated attacks come days after the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said the “inability to predict the leadership plans and intentions of the Putin regime in Russia” constituted the “biggest intelligence failure” since 9/11. I agree – Putin was given far too much room to grown and maneuver in his early rule and now this “reset” has inarguably been a miserable failure, with Russia is re-introducing the possibility of great power conflict to Europe.
The Russian military is once again rising up in power. After miserable outcomes in Afghanistan and the First Chechen War, the Russian military has rallied, winning a messy victory in the Second Chechen War, winning its short conflict with Georgia in 2008, invading the Ukraine and rapidly annexing the Crimea, and most recently stabilizing the Assad regime and winning back hundreds of square miles of lost Syrian territory.
In fact, universally President Obama has been a foreign relations flop. China is growingly aggressive in the Pacific, North Korea is testing long-range missiles, Russia invaded the Ukraine and is flexing its military muscles in Europe and the Middle East, Iran is gaining new economic strength and access to international arms markets, and of course ISIS is extending its reach well beyond the Middle East.
GOOD JOB, DICKHEAD. And to think, the Democrats may just nominate for their Presidential candidate one of the architects of this mess – a lady who couldn’t even hire a proper Russian translator to come up with the word “reset”.
America, your nation is in such good hands with Democrats.
Russia marched and flew into the Syrian Civil War, set up shop and started bombing the heck out of ‘someone’, ‘somewhere’ and they then packed up, stating they had accomplished ‘something’. Are we ever going to know what at least ‘some’ of those facts are?
Update: June 26, 2016
Reuters broke the story 3 days ago that the Syrian opposition High Negotiations Committee (HNC) called on United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday to launch an investigation into its accusations that Russia has repeatedly used air-delivered incendiary weapons in Syria.
Russia deployed warplanes to Syria last year to support President Bashar al-Assad against rebels seeking to end his rule. A crackdown by Assad on pro-democracy protesters five years ago sparked a civil war and Islamic State militants have used the chaos to seize territory in Syria and Iraq.
“Russian air forces have repeatedly deployed incendiary weapons and cluster munitions to kill, main and terrorize Syrian civilians, including in at least 10 documented incidents,” Riad Hijab, coordinator of the opposition HNC, wrote to Ban.
“They have violated the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons and breached international humanitarian law,” he wrote.
Original Post: March 26, 2016
“MOTHER RUSSIA” – also known as The Bear, The Empire, or The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The West has always been suspicious of Russia’s motives – partly due to the fact that she never looked (nor do any nicknames sound) verymotherly.
For one thing, as the recent conflict in Syria so aptly demonstrated, she can be and is an extremely brutal bully.
Underneath it all, the old mistrust and even fear of Russia has been reborn. The Soviet Union we saw under Mikhail Gorbachev and even Boris Yeltsin didn’t look, act or feel right when it was reborn as the Russian Federation – it didn’t quite pass the smell test. After all, how could such a brutal Communist dictatorship just vanish, replaced by rainbows, unicorns and doves for so long, as we saw under Gorbachev? Or in the case of Boris Yeltsin, in a bottle of vodka? A dictator alone cannot rule a dictatorship of 11 time zones singularly – he must have hundreds of thousands of cruel dictatorial helpers.
Well, the Russia we knew wasn’t dead. She was apparently just sleeping – and she was awakened under the steel-blue gaze of Russian President Vladimir Putin, a President of Russia we can understand and not relate to – just as it was with Brezhnev, Andropov, Kruschev and the rest of their ilk all the way back to Lenin and Stalin. Putin gives you the impression that he will play with his kitten right now – but later tonight, he’ll burn your house down.
In all his years of rule, Putin never acted more like a Russian President normally does, than he did concerning the subject of Syria’s bloody 4-year Civil War. The brutal war has left approx. 250,000 Syrians dead, as we reported well over a year ago:
“CNN reported that the death toll has doubled every year for the last several years: ‘Since civil war broke out there, 310,000 people have been killed, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Thursday. A year earlier, SOHR’s tally stood at 162,402. And the year before, the United Nations put the death toll at 70,000.’ According to the CNN report, this crisis is the equivalent of the complete emptying of Greater Boston and the displacement of its 7.5 million people, as well as the starvation of the entire population of Moscow, the capital of Russia.”
However, the real toll has been on the living– according to the United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) website on the “Syrian Arab Republic”. As of June 2015 they reported:
149,200 Iraqi refugees(which the UNHCR notes is a government figure for Iraqis living in Syria. Why on earth would Iraqi refugees reside in Syria, next door neighbor or not, when it’s being bombed to smithereens in a Civil War?)
4,194,554 Syrian refugees, as of June 2015, living in mostly giant tent cities set up in the deserts of Jordan, Syrian areas not directly affected by bombing, etc.
160,000 “stateless” people, which UNHCR defines as: “persons who are not considered as nationals by any State under the operation of its law. This category refers to persons who fall under the agency’s statelessness mandate because they are stateless according to this international definition, but data from some countries may also include persons with undetermined nationality”. So what, they just refused to tell UNHCR where they are from then? Hmmmm.
7,632,500 “internally displaced persons (IDPs)” – the true horror of this conflict, which UNHCR defines as: Persons who are displaced within their country and to whom UNHCR extends protection and assistance. It also includes people in IDP-like situations. For the most part, they simply have no home to go back to.
Total in need of United Nations assistance, of June 2015:
The city of Aleppo, formerly Syria’s second largest city, held nearly 2.3 million residents (2005) before the war. Now, according to British newspaper the Guardian:
Those who remain in eastern Aleppo, roughly 40,000 from a prewar population estimated at about a million
[Aleppo proper – Aleppo metro is 2.3 million], have been without electricity or running water for more than a year.[emphasis mine] Now a bombed-out shell, with nearly a million displaced from their homes
– what the United Nations is now calling the largest refugee crisis in world history -Russia came into the fray, told everyone else to get the Hell out of the way – and everyone did. Then they declared their objectives met after pounding Syria with over 1000 airstrikes, and headed for home.
What Did Russia Accomplish in Syria?
According to Al-Jazeera, as of January 20, 2016:
“At least 1,505 people have been killed in Russian air strikes since they started in September 2015. We have documented their names and can say at least 346 of them were children and only at least 47 were fighters,” Bassam al-Ahmad, spokesperson for the Violations Documentation Centre in Syria (VDC), told Al Jazeera on Wednesday.
The VDC is an independent, non-governmental organization that has been monitoring the conflict in Syria since April 2011.
The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights put the death toll at 1,015, adding that 238 of those killed were children. The Observatory also said that at least 1,141 fighters had been killed, including fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group.”
And yet the Civil War isn’t even close to being finished yet, and ISIS is still alive and well. So what were they doing in Syria? And why such a high proportion of civilians? We’ll likely never find out for sure. And that’s thanks to the weak leadership of Barack Obama.
👤 By Retro Russia, Founding Blog Member Calling Out Community ✒ PostedMarch 26, 2016. Updated June 26, 2016. We’d love to hear from you:
In our June 1, 2015 posting about the global BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanction) movement against the people and businesses of Israel, we warned in our title that if you Boycott Israel, Only Palestinians Suffer. To our heartache, it seems we couldn’t have been more accurate.
We told the story of global carbonated drink maker Sodastream, a Israeli-based company employing 2,000 around the world – an iconic corporate role model that almost singlehandedly created its entire industry -manufacturing DIY carbonated beverage machines and flavoured syrups.
Let me say at the offset that we hold no shares in this company. We truly wish we did. We have no connection to the leadership, marketing, retail sales, finances, human resources, manufacturing or material sourcing for this company. We really wish we did, as its an interesting product and a well run company with great leadership that closely care about their employees and have demonstrated that rather dramatically.
I am not Jewish nor Israeli though I am extremely fond of both. I am a Canadian evangelical Christian that has never been to Israel but would consider such a visit the highlight of my life.
Sodastream is not an Israeli government agency, they do not make products that benefit the Israeli military or government. Likely the majority of their sales are in North America and Europe. A good portion of the staff – over 700 of their 2000 employees – were Palestinian Arabs. Their corporate site indicates that each year, they provide 1.5 billion liters of home-made soda to millions of homes worldwide, making Sodastream…
…one of the largest beverage companies in the world.
Enter the extremely-stupid and short-sightseeing BDS movement against Israel – a program to Boycott, Divest and Sanctionanything made in Israel, demonically birthed by the neo-Nazi bastards running the Palestinian Authority. Everyone of these camel-loving freaks ought to thank whatever backwards impotent creature they worship as a god that I dont own a gun, for when they declared war in Israel, they got at least one more infuriated enemy out for their disease-ridden blood – ME.
Though Sodastream has been an outstanding employer to the Palestinian people, reportedly paying between three and five times the average local wage, these leftwing university groups, mainstream (aka dying) Christian denominations, unions and other raging antiSemetic ASSHOLES have sought the financial destruction of Israel and, as a result, have targeted Sodastream because it’s successful – something that none of these towel-headed jackasses knows anything about.
There, I got it out of my system. For now.
Bowing to financial pressures and the need to restructure as a result of the boycott’s success, SodaStream was forced to move out of the West Bank in October 2015 under pressure from BDS, and 500 Palestinian employees lost their jobs. Another 74 were able to continue working at the new factory close to the southern town of Rahat, but only on temporary work permits. On Monday, February 29, 2016 those permits expired and SodaStream was forced to let its last Palestinian employees go.
Thanks to the BDS movement’s actions, close to 600 Palestinians have now lost their jobs. At this one company alone. Good job. soon there will be no one left to pay taxes to pay for the Presidential Palace there.
BDS activists have clearly demonstrated beyond all doubt that their only goal is to harm Israel, and they don’t care one iota if that causes Palestinians to suffer. Mahmoud Nawajaa, the BDS coordinator in Ramallah, called the loss of the Palestinian jobs at SodaStream:
part of the price that should be paid in the process of ending the occupation.
Easy for that idiot to say – he’s still got a job. BDS caused irrevocable damage by costing 600 Palestinians their livelihoods, but the movement got what it wanted. BDS supporters claim they are against “the occupation,” and SodaStream has moved out of the West Bank. What more could there possibly be left for them to do now?
The boycott movement will still be targeting SodaStream as leaders claim that operating from the Negev “amounts to participation in Israel’s plans to forcibly displace at least 40,000 Palestinian Bedouins into townships,” and according to BDS leader Omar Barghouti, “colluding in the ethnic cleansing of Bedouin Palestinian citizens.” Except the Bedouins are not Palestinians, and BDS is simply hijacking their identity to fit their narrative portraying Israel as an occupier of Palestinian land.
This is in reference to the contentious Prawer-Begin plan which was dropped while the government sought to formulate a new version, but aimed to resolve the issues of illegal Bedouin settlements and to more fully integrate them into Israeli society.
The SodaStream factory was built in a new industrial zone in the Negev administered by the Bedouin city of Rahat, the Jewish town of Lahavim and the Bnei Shimon Regional Council. Around 40 factories will be based in this industrial zone when it is fully developed, providing employment for hundreds of workers, including many Bedouins from nearby towns. A college and hospital are also being built.
The Negev is uncontested land under Israeli sovereignty, but to BDS it is another area that can be used in the attempt to delegitimize Israel altogether.
Just like the 600 Palestinians who lost their jobs, the plight of the Bedouins and the reality of the situation are irrelevant to BDS. The movement will take any opportunity to demonize Israel, evenif it is to the detriment of the people it claims to care about.
These revolutionary Sodastream systems and related supplies can be purchased at:
Let’s get real for a moment – my personal views on Israel have no correlation to the following statement:
Jews Are NOT “Christ-Killers” Theologically and practically, the Jews did not kill Jesus.
However, let me hit the nail on the head a little harder – to believe otherwise is just plain ideological. Nah, let’s really show our cards – anyone who claims to be a student of theology or history is actually just a plain old STUPID anti-Semitic racist to call the Jews “Christ-killers”.
First of all, friends, Jesus died of his own free will. You cannot kill God even if He was also 100% man. The Bible says Jesus “gave up the ghost” (John 19:30, King James Version). No one took his life from Him, He gave it up because He loved us. Full-stop. Period.
Theologically, to be blunt: it was your sin and mine that nailed Him there – that had Him agonize there. YOU put Him there. MY SIN made him writhe around in pain there. And He could have called even 10,000 angels to deliver Him had He felt that necessary or desired – in fact Revelation 5:11 says there are at least “10,000 times 10,000” – or 100 million angels – that still reside in Heaven. No one had Jesus “over a barrel”.
He died on purpose, after being betrayed by one follower (Judas) and denied 3 times by another (Peter) – yes, both being Jews. But this latter Jew, Jesus said, was going to be THE leader that built His Church and even Hell itself wouldn’t/couldn’t stand in Peter’s way. So pretty tough to argue theologically that the Jews killed Jesus, or that their involvement in his death somehow disqualified them from His interest. Jesus, after all, named a Jew as the Head of the early Church.
Politically and practically, again let’s get real – the Jews of the day had no political, judicial or military power. They could not have put Jesus to death if they had wanted to – they had no legal or judicial authority. If they had, it’s pretty likely they wouldn’t have brought him before a clearly unconvinced (and possibly irritated) Pontius Pilate, the Roman prefect of the equally Roman province of Judea, in the middle of the night to get his ruling. The Jews hated the Romans more than they ever did Jesus.
May I also remind you that Roman nails were pounded into Jesus’ hands and feet – as if the conquering Romans would be caught dead using inferior “local” supplies. It was also a Roman spear that was thrust in Jesus’ side, and hours before, 39 Roman whiplashes with a Roman cat-o-nine-tails that ripped his back to shreds (40 was the death penalty).
A deeply-injuring crown made of 6″ thorns was crafted by Roman hands and pushed deeply into His head by mocking Roman soldiers. Roman soldiers also punched him, ripped out his beard, sold his clothes and gave him vinegar to drink when He was thirsty. And the form of execution used was called crucifixion, a solely Roman invention.
Yes, Jewish leaders called for Him to die, but the whole city at that time had turned against Him – many would have been from other cultures and races as well. And at the point of his death – the only people left to witness it were two Jewish women. Jewish believers in Jesus took Him down before Sabbath, wrapped Him in burial robes and had Him buried in the “borrowed” tomb of Joseph of Arimethea.
Borrowed…a grave? Why? Did these Jewish followers of Jesus maybe believe that He wasn’t going to need it for long?
Let’s also not forget – two Jewish women (Jesus’ mom and Mary Magdalene) were the first visitors to Jesus’ tomb, and those same two Jewish ladies were the first to be given the angel Gabriel’s earth-shaking news that “He is not here, He is risen“. Jesus then appeared at once to as many as 500 people after His resurrection – all Jews – who had chosen to follow Him.
So friend, with all due respect, regardless of your personal beliefs about Israel or the Jews today, the whole “Christ-killer” insult just makes you look like a raging pinhead. You and I killed Him. He came because “allhave sinned and come short if the glory of God”. To summarize: Jesus (himself a Jew by both race and religion growing up) died, not merely at the hands of one race – but for the sins of all of them.
Today, even most non-hostile or even “supportive” Christian pulpits barely speak about Israel – it’s like She doesn’t really exist, or their pastors are embarrassed by Her or don’t hold much credence or importance to her value to the Church or the world. Well, I am afraid I probably wont agree with most of these pastors on the topic of Israel, so their silence on the subject doesn’t remote concern me – I doubt I’d ever be caught dead in most of those churches anyway. So don’t bother inviting me.
You see, in the midst of everything I have just said about what I do not believe or think about Israel, and in the midst of all that negative press that Israel gets today…
…When I hear the name ‘Israel’ in the news, my heart jumps a bit, because they are talking about my best friend. OH WAIT, you assumed that because I was not a “fan” or “supporter” of Israel that I didn’t like her? Ah yes, easy conclusion to come to in this day and age – if you are also a deranged, looney leftwing jackass. You might want to go back and read it all again, because this Prairie boy from Canada, that never met a Jew until he was about 38 years old and has never been to Israel, is absolutely, unquestionably, madly, insanely, totally and devotely IN LOVE WITH ISRAEL AND THE JEWISH PEOPLE.
Those closest to me have learned quickly that to ignorantly (or intentionally) bad-mouth Israel’s actions, intentions, motivations and character in my presence and/or in my home is the best way I can think of to be shown the door. Yes, I have quite literally and actually thrown a person out of my home for continuously berating Israel. In my defence he was warned. I have even thrown half-eaten carrots at the TV when CNN smeared Her name in the mud with lies and endless stupidity.
I have referred to President Barack Obama often by the moniker “that idiot” when he felt it more important to be buddies with the imperialist Islamic Republic of Iran than with our best friend, the State of Israel. And when he said he was “the closest thing to a Jew” that the White House had ever seen, after he had just snubbed the Israeli Prime Minister’s recent historic speech to Congress, I unloaded both barrels in this blog about it. No sir, “Osama bin Obama”, how dare you mock my beloved Israel and her Prime Minister Netanyahu – who’s IQ is double your own. You are a ridiculous fraud that brings shame to your office.
All the more reason why I felt it necessary to write this post today – and make no apologies for the fact that I am totally, singularly, openly, completely, eternally, logically, spiritually, emotionally and intellectually IN LOVE WITH Israel, the Jewish people and the Jewish state itself.
When I was a child I had a similar love for the mythical land of “Narnia” and it’s lion leader “Aslan” from C.S. Lewis’ the Chronicles of Narnia. Narnia and Israel share a similar allegorical foundation for the Christian believer – they both represent the spiritual Kingdom of God, the Church and/or Body of Jesus Christ. The difference being, of course, that Israel actually exists.
From those allegories, I’ve learned that, from God’s perspective, it’s Ok to be in love with Israel – because GOD IS IN LOVE WITH HER TOO. My love for Israel has grown incredibly deep over the last 5 years particularly – and the last 18 months specifically – solely independent of any outside voices or influences in my life. I have merely been paying attention to Israel Herself, and her actions, and She has won my heart.
I’ll even go so far as to throw out this radical statement – I would not think twice about taking up actual arms and going to war for Her, should Her survival ever be threatened. I cannot imagine a more noble death than dying to protect Her freedom and ensure Her survival.
I am not ashamed to confess it. I have logically thought through my thoughts and feelings. I have not been whipped up by the evangelical fervor of some travelling “flavor of the week” TV evangelist road show. Israel has shown Her own true character in bits and pieces through various means, and I began collecting them. Now I have gathered together these reasons why the Jewish people and the State of Israel are so critically important to me into a 4th posting in this series, Why I Am MADLY IN LOVE With Israel. I hope and pray you will open your heart and mind to Her – let Her show you who She is, and you will grow to love Her too.
The world grows more hostile toward Israel everyday and I grow more defensive of Her and protective of Her daily as well. The previous generation did not stand up in the defence of the Jewish race, partly due to fear, partly due to an innocent belief that such a horror was not possible, and partly due to being an active participant in the atrocities of the Holocaust. In 2015, we are under no such illusions. Evil exists when good and decent folks do nothing.
I refuse to make that my epitaph. I will not allow future generations to say that about me. I will give the remainder of my life to defend Her, love Her, support Her, encourage Her and as needed, protect Her and die for Her if necessary. I know that million of Christians have had the same love affair with Her. I’m not jealous, I’m happy to brag Her up in hopes YOU WILL FALL IN LOVE WITH HER TOO. This is a sovereign move of God as He shows the world that She is still the Apple of His eye and the timepiece of history. Open your heart. Pay attention. She will speak to you to you too.
IslamRising:Special feature to the Calling Out Community, Posted July 19, 2015.
I’m rarely speechless, but sometime press releases and other news items bleed out of the Barak Hussein “I’m Not A Muslim” Obama White House that are so absolutely idiotic and more often than not, unbelievably one-sided, partisan,ideological crap as well, that I just can’t shut up about. It’s even more infuriating, however, when these same clearly partisan messages are not reported as such by our Western media, if they are even mentioned at all.
On July 16, 2015, a gunman opened fire on two military installations in Chattanooga, Tennessee, killing four service members immediately. Two other service members and a police officer were wounded, with one of the servicemen dying from his injuries two days later.
The gunman, Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, 24, a militant Islamist, was killed by police at the site of the second shooting. Of course Western media have been running the story for days that the poor little victim of depression was just misunderstood. If you want to get into the mind of this whack job, he had a blog, which for reasons I don’t understand is still being hosted by WordPress.
(Footnote: WordPress is the same group that restricted my own blog content for 24 hours, forcing me to censor some selected text on 1 Blog posting out of nearly 50 now in various stages of publication. My crime was naming the a coward who had been posting vile, anti-Semitic, anti-Christian, pro-gay rhetoric and harassing me non-stop through my blog. My free speech, my ability to defend myself against a vicious character assassination, was completely dismissed. Yes these same “professionals” have no problems maintaining the blog of an Islamic terrorist serial killer. Good job WordPress, I’m sure you are proud – but you DISGUST me)
Later that afternoon, in an outrageous display of tactlessness and bad timing, Obama sent a celebratory message to Muslims around the world on the White House Twitter account at 4:48 P.M, celebrating the end of Ramadan, and a happy Eid Mubarak.
However, it wasn’t until 6:08 P.M., nearly 7 hours later, that the White House tweeted a video message from Obama entitled a “heartbreaking circumstance.” Unbelievable that the words “terrorist”, “terrorism” and “Islamic” were never mentioned. Others might certainly have called this specific incident “a terrorist attack.”
According to a CNN report on the day of the shooting:
The shooting suspect was armed with an AK-47 style weapon at the time of the attack, according to two law enforcement officials. The incident is being investigated by the FBI terrorism task force. (emphasis ours)
The president has been criticized this week for a number of insensitive moves regarding the deaths and captivity of Americans. Earlier this week, Obama remained silent on the July 1 murder of Kate Steinle, killed by a previously deported illegal alien, as reported by Breitbart News’ Alex Swoyer. After all, it was under Obama’s administration, 36,007 illegal immigrants (2013) who had criminal convictions were released from prison, and 1,000 of those re-offended. 30,558 illegal immigrants were released in 2014. Obama had no problem talking about Michael Brown, however, within three days of his death,
Katie Steinle was also the same woman that Congressman Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL), was stupidly referring to by saying her death was a “little thing”. Kate Steinle was murdered at the hands of a hardened criminal and five-time deportee, in the sanctuary city of San Francisco.
That same day, Breitbart News’ Jeff Poor reported about the president’s chastisement of CBS White House correspondent Major Garrett, when he questioned Obama about the negotiations with Iran that left four Americans in captivity in the wake of his nuclear arms agreement:
For months now, various groups had demanded that the U.S. bring home pastor Saeed Abedini, an American citizen, who was sentenced to eight years in prison on January 27, 2013, reportedly on charges of undermining national security through private religious gatherings in Christian homes in Iran in the early 2000s. In November 2013, the Iranian government transferred Abedini to Rajai Shahr prison, just outside of Karaj, Iran. Since his sentencing, he’s been told that he would have years added to his sentence unless he renounced Christianity. Obama looked Pastor Saeed’s wife, Naghmeh and their two young children, in the eye and promised them that securing Pastor Saeed’s release from an Iranian prison was a “top priority.” Donald Trump was quoted on December 11, 2013, after meeting Pastor Abedini’s wife in New York:
“Our country is being run down into the tubes. We are a laughingstock throughout the world,” he said. “Think of the power that this country once had — and now we can’t even get a Christian pastor out of a jail.”
Amir Hekmati is an American citizen, and a Marine veteran currently imprisoned in Iran for over 3.5 years – making his the longest imprisonment of any American in Iranian history, including the Iran hostages released in 1981. The Iranian-American was born in Arizona but held dual citizenship when he flew to Iran to visit his dying grandmother. Hekmati was arrested and charged with spying for the United States government. He was sentenced to death, but that sentence was reversed. Hekmati was then convicted of a lesser charge and sentenced to 10 years in prison. As a Marine, he served honorably during Operation Iraqi Freedom and was awarded the following decorations: Good Conduct Medal, Global War on Terror Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, GWOT Expeditionary Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and Combat Action Ribbon. In recent months his father has become very ill and is dying. This American hero MUST be returned home.
Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian, who is an American-Iranian journalist currently employed as The Washington Post bureau chief in Tehran, Iran. On July 22, 2014, Iranian authorities raided the Tehran residence of Rezaian and his wife, Yeganeh Salehi, and took the couple into custody. Salehi was released on October 6, but Rezaian remains in custody at Evin Prison, a detention center in Tehran known for housing political prisoners and intellectuals.After nine months of speculation, it was made public on April 20, 2015 that Iranian authorities have indicted Rezaian on four charges, including espionage and “propaganda against the establishment.” Rezaian’s trial began on May 26, 2015.
Retired FBI agent Robert Levinson vanished after traveling to the Iranian island of Kish in March 2007. In December 2011l, video evidence he was still alive sprang up, held captive there. He is now one of the longest-held U.S. citizens in history. On March 9, the 8th anniversary of his disappearance – and the day before his 67th birthday, the FBI announced has increased its reward for information on Mr. Levinson from $1 million to $5 million
The lesson of this story? By all means, no matter how obvious it is that we have a serious problem with the Islamic jihadists in North America and around the world, this Obama administration isn’t going to even speak their names, nor ever call them what they truly are. It fears saying the name of its worst enemy – very similar to how the characters in the Harry Potter series of books/movies never spoke the evil wizard Valdemorte, for fear of conjuring him. Though perhaps Beetlejuice is more reflective of the type of enemy we are actually facing here. Ignoring their existence and not fighting against them is in every sense aiding and abedding the enemy.
Also, if you’re an American that is arrested and/or detained aboard, you can have every confidence that your government – won’t give a damn, won’t lift a finger, won’t acknowledge you are still needing help. Especially if you’re a Christian pastor.
Holocaust. The very word itself causes us to bow our hearts and our heads, both in prayer and in horror. The origins of the word itself (from the Greekὁλόκαυστοςholókaustos: hólos, “whole” and kaustós, “burnt”) conjure up horrific images of the ovens of the Auschwitz crematorium. To take a moment to stop and truly contemplete what the smoke belching from those chimneys actually represented, we run the risk of facing complete insanity. Our innocence was shot to pieces at Treblinka; our belief that man is basically good was beaten to death at Sobibor; our hope for humanity’s future was ripped to shreds at Ravensbruck.
The Holocaust becomes more horrific, more difficult to digest, and more impossible to ignore, when one also considers that it was systematically and intentionally planned, and orchestrated and executed with an evil, insane perfection that only the Third Reich could muster. Every arm of Germany’s bureaucracy was involved in the logistics of the genocide, turning the Third Reich into “a genocidal state” (1). Our hearts are broken with grief, more than 70 years later, to realize that Hitler’s “Final Solution to the Jewish Question” was unbelievably close to… finalization.
The numbers are staggering – of the nine million Jews who had resided in Europe before the Holocaust, approximately 66% (or 6 million people) were mass-murdered – one million of those being children (2), almost completely shutting off the entire future blood line of the Jewish race. Poland once had the largest Jewish population in Europe – more than three million – until 90% weremurderedin the Holocaust. Concentration camps were also filled with Gypsies, Poles, communists, homosexuals, Soviet POWs, and the mentally and physically disabled – in total, approximately 11 million people were killed, using a network of 42,500 facilities in Germany and German-occupied territories to concentrate, confine, and kill Jews and other victims. Between 100,000 and 500,000 people were direct participants in the planning and execution of the Holocaust.
At the centre of this evil was the extermination camp system Auschwitz-Birkenau – though most may not know that it was actually an organization of 48 camps, consisting of Auschwitz I (the original camp), Auschwitz II–Birkenau (a combination concentration/extermination camp), Auschwitz III–Monowitz (a labor camp to staff an IG Farben factory), and 45 satellite camps. At the height of its horror, the camp processed and executed 25,000 people a day – with a final death toll of over one million people. Today, one outside wall at the camp bears a slogan, written in 5 languages – the simple phrase “NEVER AGAIN”.
But less than 50 years later, we had already…. forgotten to never forget. On April 6, 1994, the plane carrying the President of Burundi and President Habyarimana of Rwanda (the latter a Hutu by race) was shot down over Rigali, Rwanda’s capital. Almost immediately, the Hutu majority (85% of the population) in Rwanda pointed the finger of blame on the Tutsi minority (14%) that lived amongst them. What happened next was so horrific it beggars description. The Rwandan military whipped machete-armed civilians into a 100-day bloodbath – and an estimated 800,000 people were killed. When it later came to light that the Hutu majority actually conspired to kill their own President & party leader in order to start this genocide on purpose, one could be forgiven for going catatonic.
Now fast forward to March 2011 and the unrest across the Middle East – a drama that played out on our nightly news broadcasts for weeks and weeks. This was something new, progressive, exciting – even liberating – as an “Arab Spring” blew its winds of change across the Middle East. Egypt fell first, throwing a President in jail and electing one from the Muslim Brotherhood, with connections to Muslim fundamentalism.
In Syria, it began with protests agains President Bashar al-Assad‘s government. It was hoped that this “Arab Spring cleaning”, if you will, would bring real change to this country. The conflict gradually morphed from prominent protests to an armed rebellion after months of military sieges and local skirmishes between pro-Assad government forces and opposition factions like ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) – now known as ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) – the latter referring to the region of the Middle East including Cyprus, Hatay, Israel, Jordan,Lebanon, Palestine, and Syria.
Since then, this conflict has broken out into an all-out Syrian Civil War. The chaos, human suffering and destruction has now reached almost Biblical proportions. Yet, to watch the vast majority of news networks today, you’d think the war was long since won and ended. “Out of sight, out of mind” has always been a problem in the West – we see what we want to see, and in fairness we will even tolerate and respond appropriately when we are shown what we don’t want to see – as ISIS and Boka Haram have clearly demonstrated.
However, our society does not go looking for where pain and suffering exists. There are always fringe elements that do – be they missionaries, aid organizations, or people that have a love for a particular country for various personal reasons.
The vast majority of the world has stopped caring and changed the channel on the issue, didn’t bother to learn about it in the first place ….or, as we suspect is likely the real problem – we haven’t been given enough information by the only sources of media we have, in order to make an informed decision to care or not.
The Calling Out Community believes many residents in the West would care more if we knew how bad things had become – but our media outlets predominantly have failed us in reporting the scope of this crisis. This has been corroborated by a news reporting analysis conducted on the Syrian catastrophe by the Conversation, a non-profit educational entity hosted by Boston University’s College of Communication, with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Reuters, University of Birmingham (UK), the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and many others.
In that analysis, The Conversation reported:
“February 2015 has already seen some major developments in Syria’s four-year conflict. At the start of February, rebels launched more than 100 rockets into Damascus and the Assad regime fired mortars on areas of its own capital, hoping to discredit the insurgents. At least six people were killed in the attacks.
Meanwhile, rebels also claimed to have blown up 30 men fighting for the Assad regime – Hezbollah troops, Iranians, and Iraqis among them – at a militia headquarters west of Damascus.
All this while US-led coalition air strikes were carried out in eastern Syria against the Islamic State (IS), with Jordan in particular vowing to “wipe them from the face of the Earth” after the group murdered a captured pilot.”
The Conversation then noted that the largest Western media outlets were oddly silent about Syria during that same period of time:
“If you read The New York Times, you are unlikely to learn about much of this; the newspaper has no reporting from correspondents, only a Reuters report. The same is true of the Washington Post, CNN, and al-Jazeera English. And the BBC? As the attacks and the deaths mounted on February 5, its lead story was on the conviction of former pop star Gary Glitter on sexual assault charges; the corporation later made partial amends on its website with a story headlined Syria Conflict: Dozens Killed in Heavy Damascus Fighting.
However, both the BBC and Reuters articles relied heavily on the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which often passes off rumour and chatter gleaned from social media as a news “network” inside Syria.”
How Bad Is It?
Recent warnings from aid groups in the region, and statistics gathered by government entities, now paint a picture of such overwhelming horror and catastrophe, the 15-member United Nations Security Council will need to either act now – possibly militarily – or be held responsible for allowing this crime against humanity to continue.
According to a March 12, 2015 New York Timesarticle, nearly 50% of Syria’s total population – over 7.6 million people – have been forced from their homes by the Civil War, with 3.9 million more – half of them children – seeking refuge in other countries, according to figures collected from various United Nations agencies. The website of the United Nations High Council on Refugees (UNHCR) reports that Syrians are now the world’s largest refugee population under their care.
Even though the numbers are staggering, for most people they just don’t hit home close enough. CNN tried a different twist on the story this week in order to bring the horror to our back door, first by reporting that the death toll has doubled every year for the last several years:
“Since civil war broke out there, 310,000 people have been killed, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Thursday. A year earlier, SOHR’s tally stood at 162,402. And the year before, the United Nations put the death toll at 70,000.”
According to the CNN report, this crisis is the equivalent of the complete emptying of Greater Boston and the displacement of its 7.5 million people, as well as the starvation of the entire population of Moscow, the capital of Russia.
From a Canadian perspective, imagine the combined metropolitan populations of Toronto and Calgary being forced from their homes – over 7 million people – because of a war that has literally ripped cities apart. Visualize if you can, simultaneously,. that all the residents of British Columbia have started to flee across the border, to live in the wilderness of Washington State – with only the clothes on their back. No food, water, medicine, shelter.
Now picture that 50% of them are children. The United Nations has held at least one donor’s conference from wealthy countries, to try to raise enough funds to feed and take care of those displacement. The budget? $6 billion.
“Not a dry eye in the room”
On Thursday, April 16, Dr. Mohamed Tennari addressed the United Nations Security Council and showed a video of a suspected chlorine attack March 16 in his town of Sarmin in Idlib province, including graphic images of three children, ages 1 through 3, dying despite attempts to resuscitate them. The medical area was so cramped that one of the children was lying on top of their grandmother, who also died. “Everyone smelled bleach-like odours and heard the sound of helicopters,” Tennari later told reporters after showing them the video. He said most of the victims were women and children.
The U.S. and other council members have repeatedly blamed the Syrian government for such attacks, saying no one else in the civil war has helicopters to deliver the toxic chemicals. And this wasn’t some isolated incident of the Assad regime – there have been numerous reports in the New York Times over at least the past six months of similar situations:
“BAGHDAD — American security officials said Thursday that they were looking into a new report that Islamic State militants had used chlorine gas as a weapon against Iraqi police officers last month near Balad, north of Baghdad.”
The U.S., lead by Ambassador Samantha Power, has been trying to get consensus on a strong condemnation resolution against Syria, but to this point either China, Russia or Venezuela, all staunch allies of Assad’s regime, have vetoed them all down. However, chemical attacks on children can warm even the coldest hearts, and, in a rare sign of unity, on 6 March 2015, by a vote of 14 in favour, zero against, and 1 abstention (Venezuela), the Council adoptedResolution 2209 (2015) which:
“Condemns in the strongest terms any use of any toxic chemical, such as chlorine, as a weapon in the Syrian Arab Republic…[and] Stresses that those individuals responsible for any use of chemicals as weapons, including chlorine or any other toxic chemical, must be held accountable.”
Well now it’s happened again – and women and children are dying. The Security Council must act immediately to bring those responsible to justice.
Everything’s going dark
The crisis has reached a point where it’s impact can now even be viewed… from space.
On 12 March 2015, The New York Times published an analysis of satellite photographs taken over Syria in March 2012 (the 1st anniversary of the start of the Civil War) and again in December 2014. The photos clearly show that the country is now 83% darker at night than it was previously. Widespread migration is one of the main causes.
Hardest hit has been the city of Aleppo, an active battlefront for several years. Before the war it was home to more than 2 million people – roughly the size of Vancouver. But now…
“…the city is now 91 percent darker at night. Population migration, power cutoffs and destruction of infrastructure were the main reasons for the decline, according to Xi Li, one of the authors of the study.”
What can I do about it?
Reading the enormity of the situation, one could be forgiven for feeling very small, insignificant and useless to do anything about this crisis. Not true – there are several practical things that we encourage everyone to consider doing.
GIVE – there are several humanitarian organizations on the ground in Syria and in neighbouring countries where millions of its refugees have fled. We have provided links to their sites for your reference:
Samaritan’s Purse – Islamic militants with ISIS continue their persecution of Christians and attacks against people in the Middle East. Samaritan’s Purse has been actively on the ground for more than two years, caring for thousands of Iraqi and Syrian families who have fled for their lives with only the clothes their backs.
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency – is the world’s leading organization aiding and protecting people forced to flee their homes due to violence, conflict and persecution.
Canadian Red Cross – Syria Crisis Fund – the Syrian Red Crescent is actively working inside Syria to assist two million people a month who have been displaced, while the Syrian Red Cross assists with the refugees who have fled to other countries in the region.
PRAY– only God himself can resolve this problem now – with so many factions at war with one another, and so many innocent lives in the middle, there is no hope but a miracle for this region.
(1) Dawidowicz, Lucy (1975). The War Against the Jews. New York: Bantam.——— (1981). The Holocaust and the Historians. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
(2) Fitzgerald, Stephanie (2011). Children of the Holocaust. Mankato, MN: Compass Point Books.