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Author Topic: 9/11 debate - enter at your own risk!  (Read 332203 times)
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https://litemind.com/problem-definition/

Einstein is quoted as having said that if he had one hour to save the world he would spend fifty-five minutes defining the problem and only five minutes finding the solution.

This quote does illustrate an important point: before jumping right into solving a problem, we should step back and invest time and effort to improve our understanding of it. Here are 10 strategies you can use to see problems from many different perspectives and master what is the most important step in problem solving: clearly defining the problem in the first place!

The Problem Is To Know What the Problem Is

The definition of the problem will be the focal point of all your problem-solving efforts. As such, it makes sense to devote as much attention and dedication to problem definition as possible. What usually happens is that as soon as we have a problem to work on we’re so eager to get to solutions that we neglect spending any time refining it.

What most of us don’t realize — and what supposedly Einstein might have been alluding to — is that the quality of the solutions we come up with will be in direct proportion to the quality of the description of the problem we’re trying to solve. Not only will your solutions be more abundant and of higher quality, but they’ll be achieved much, much more easily. Most importantly, you’ll have the confidence to be tackling a worthwhile problem.

As a systems engineer dealing with missile systems I was introduced to the "don't know squared" problem.  People don't know that they don't know.  And that leads them down all sorts of false trails.
Smudge
   
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As a systems engineer dealing with missile systems I was introduced to the "don't know squared" problem.  People don't know that they don't know.  And that leads them down all sorts of false trails.
Smudge

I think in Germany we say for this "The only thing I know is that I do not know anything." Das einzigste was ich weiß ist, dass ich nichts weiß.
   

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Everyman decries immorality
As a systems engineer dealing with missile systems I was introduced to the "don't know squared" problem.  People don't know that they don't know.  And that leads them down all sorts of false trails.
Smudge

The fact that people don't know that they don't know is a significant problem that arises from a narrow information perspective. This is why we have a controlled media in the west with an agenda driven narrative that inhibits the ability to question more.

For example, using publicly available material we can determine why the BNP is a failed political movement:

British National Party

Ideologically positioned on the extreme or far-right of British politics, the BNP has been characterised as fascist or neo-fascist by political scientists. Under Tyndall's leadership, it was more specifically regarded as Neo-Nazi. The party is ethnic nationalist, and it espouses the view that only white people should be citizens of the United Kingdom. It calls for an end to non-white migration into the UK and the removal of settled non-white populations from the country. Initially, it called for the compulsory expulsion of non-whites, although it has since advocated voluntary removals with financial incentives. It promotes biological racism and the white genocide conspiracy theory, calling for global racial separatism and condemning mixed-race relationships. Under Tyndall, the BNP emphasised anti-semitism and Holocaust denial, although Griffin switched the party's focus on to Islamophobia. It promotes economic protectionism, Euroscepticism, and a transformation away from liberal democracy, while its social policies oppose feminism, LGBT rights, and societal permissiveness.

Ethnic nationalism and biological racism

The BNP adheres to biological racist ideas,[152] displaying an obsession with the perceived differences of racial groups.[153] Both Tyndall and Griffin believed that there was a biologically distinct white-skinned "British race" which was one branch of a wider Nordic race.[154] In this, Tyndall's views were similar both to Hitler and to prominent British fascist Arnold Leese.[155]

The BNP adheres to an ideology of ethnic nationalism.[13] It promotes the idea that not all citizens of the United Kingdom belong to the British nation.[13] Instead, it claims that the nation only belongs to "the English, Scots, Irish and Welsh along with the limited numbers of peoples of European descent, who have arrived centuries or decades ago and who have fully integrated into our society".[13] This is a group that Griffin referred to as the "home people" or "the folk".[156] According to Tyndall, "The BNP is a racial nationalist party which believes in Britain for the British, that is to say racial separatism."[25] Richard Edmonds in 1993 told The Guardian's Duncan Campbell that "we [the BNP] are 100% racist".[157] The BNP does not regard UK citizens who are not ethnic white Europeans as "British", and party literature calls on supporters to avoid referring to such individuals as "black Britons" or "Asian Britons", instead describing them as "racial foreigners".[158]

They call themselves "British" without understanding that the political label is a construct that has removed the right to sovereign racial identity, by defining the sovereign area as a land mass with borders and all those born within it with that label. It is a mechanism for racial replacement which has further been exploited by joining that political entity "Britain" subordinate to the "EU".

Religion is the other significant factor:

Practising Muslims 'will outnumber Christians by 2035'

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/1936418/Practising-Muslims-will-outnumber-Christians-by-2035.html

Christians could be minority by 2018, census analysis reveals

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/dec/11/christians-minority-2018-census-analysis

Is the UK still a Christian country?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-32722155

and interestingly they reveal what the plan is:

Are we losing our religion? The answer for the UK seems to be "Yes", while the answer for the developing world is a resounding "No".

That was the conclusion of a recent analysis by the Pew Research Center in the US.

It suggests that in the UK, if current trends continue, the proportion of the population identifying themselves as Christians will fall from 64% in 2010 to 45% by 2050, while the proportion of Muslims will rise from 5% to 11%.

The proportion of the population claiming no religion in the UK - the "unaffiliated" - will also rise significantly, from 28% to 39%.

Pew's research also suggests there are likely to be more Muslims than Christians in the world by 2070, with Islam's share of global population equalling that of Christianity at just above 30% each by 2050.

Equally eye-catching is its conclusion that by 2050, under half of the population will be Christian not just in the UK, but also France, the Netherlands, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Australia and New Zealand, while Muslims will make up about 10% of Europe's population, up from 6% now, thanks to higher birth rates.

However, Christianity globally will continue to grow, with the number of Christians projected to rise significantly in sub-Saharan Africa in particular.

According to demographer Conrad Hackett at Pew, in 1910 some 66% of the world's Christians lived in Europe. Now that has fallen to about 25%.

By 2050, however, Europe will be home to just 16% of the world's Christians, while four out of every 10 Christians globally will live in sub-Saharan Africa, thanks to high birth rates and falling infant mortality.

You have to remember that Christianity is an occupying religion, it is not native to "Britain" and the native people reject it. Bring the muslim's from Africa to occupy and colonise Europe, and occupy Africa with Christianity, and the three tribes of Abraham maintain religious control, completely destroying all native ethnic races and sovereignty in the process.


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Everyman Standing Order 01: In the Face of Tyranny; Everybody Stands, Nobody Runs.
Everyman Standing Order 02: Everyman is Responsible for Energy and Security.
Everyman Standing Order 03: Everyman knows Timing is Critical in any Movement.
   

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A good example of a tightly controlled public narrative is provided by this report, which has not been plastered all over the front page news in the west:

The Pentagon's $2.2 Billion Soviet Arms Pipeline Flooding Syria

http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/the-pentagon-s-2-2-billion-soviet-arms-pipeline-flooding-syria-09-12-2017

The Pentagon is on a spending spree as it scrabbles to amass vast quantities of Soviet-style weapons and ammunition. But it’s running into problems sourcing them, and is using misleading legal documents to disguise their final destination: Syria.

Ivan Angelovski, Lawrence Marzouk BIRN Washington, Belgrade

The defeat of Islamic State in Syria is reliant on a questionable supply-line, funnelling unprecedented quantities of weapons and ammunition from Eastern Europe to some 30,000 anti-ISIS rebel fighters.

Armed with AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades fresh from state-owned production lines and stockpiles of the Balkans, Central Europe and increasingly the former Soviet Union, these US-backed troops are spearheading the battle to reclaim Raqqa, the capital of the so-called caliphate, and liberate other areas of Syria held by ISIS.

But the flow of weapons to these Pentagon-backed militia depends on misleading official paperwork, an investigation by the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN, and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, OCCRP, has uncovered.

The operation has been criticised by arms transfer experts and even worried officials in Berlin, who have seen large quantities of weapons passing through US military bases in Germany on the way to Syria.

Reporters have pinpointed more than $700 million of spending on weapons and ammunition likely destined for Syrian rebels since September 2015, when the Pentagon’s anti-ISIS train and equip programme shifted strategy.

The Department of Defense has budgeted $584 million specifically for this Syrian operation for the financial years 2017 and 2018, and has earmarked another $900 million of spending on Soviet-style munitions between now and 2022.

The total, $2.2 billion, likely understates the flow of weapons to Syrian rebels in the coming years.

The weapons and ammunition that the Pentagon is supplying to Syria are dispatched through a sprawling logistical network, including an army of arms dealers, shipping companies, cargo airlines, German military bases and Balkan airports and ports.

The purchases are routed through two channels. One is run by the US military’s Special Operations Command, SOCOM, and the other is operated by Picatinny Arsenal, a little-known New Jersey weapons depot.

The Pentagon’s anti-ISIS programme became Washington’s sole military campaign in Syria in July 2017 after President Trump closed the CIA-funded Operation Syacamore, aimed at arming Syrian rebels fighting President Assad.

Trump has pledged to “wipe out” ISIS and has allocated increased funding for the Pentagon campaign, which now has many former anti-regime groups on its pay-roll.

With vast quantities of weapons continuing to pour into Syria, concerns abound about a wider conflict emerging once the common enemy of ISIS is defeated.

Asked about the unprecedented purchase of Soviet-style arms for Syrian rebels, the Pentagon said that it had carefully vetted the recipients and was releasing equipment incrementally.

Train and equip: A Major Shift in Strategy   

As ISIS swept across Syria in 2014, the Pentagon hastily launched a $500 million train and equip programme that December to build up a new force of Syrian rebels, armed with modern US weapons, in an attempt to counter the threat.

But nine months later, the programme had collapsed, with only a handful of recruits having made it onto the battlefield.

Amid a flurry of negative headlines, the Pentagon needed a new plan: Starting in September 2015, and largely unnoticed by the media, it quietly shifted focus to arming Syrian rebels already on the ground with the Eastern Bloc arms and ammunition they were already using, according to a previously unreported Pentagon document from February 2016.

This Soviet-type equipment, both newly produced and sourced from stockpiles, is available from Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet countries, as well as China and Russia. The latter two large suppliers are out of bounds, as their military equipment falls under US sanctions.

The first Pentagon delivery, which included 50 tonnes of ammunition, arrived in October 2015, just a month after the shift in policy. The munitions were airdropped to Arab units within the then recently formed Syrian Democratic Forces, SDF, a Kurdish-led coalition currently spearheading the fight to reclaim Raqqa, and the Pentagon’s main ally in Syria.

The shipment was far from a one-time event and the SDF was not the only group to receive support – a changing coalition of rebel fighters in Syria’s south east is also being armed by the Pentagon.

Socom supply-line

Special Operations Command, SOCOM, has not previously acknowledged its role in the Syria train and equip programme, but in a written statement to BIRN and OCCRP, the Pentagon confirmed that it had been charged with procuring weapons and ammunition for Syrian rebels.

From the swift in strategy to May 2017, it has purchased weapons and ammunition worth $240 million from Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), the Czech Republic, Kazakhstan, Serbia, Poland and Romania, according to an analysis of thousands of procurement records by BIRN and OCCRP. Prior to the start of the programme, its spending on Eastern Bloc weaponry had been negligible.

While SOCOM is known to covertly supply US partners in other conflicts, documentary evidence, expert analysis, and the testimony of a contractor involved in the supply-line confirmed that Syria is the main destination for these purchases.

Between December 2015 and September 2016, SOCOM also chartered four cargo ships from Romanian and Bulgarian Black Sea ports, laden with 6,300 tonnes of the purchased munitions to be delivered to military bases in Turkey and Jordan, the main logistics bases for supplying Syrian rebels, according to procurement documents, packing lists and ship tracking data.

It also commissioned commercial cargo flights with the Azerbaijan airline Silk Way to air bases in Turkey and Kuwait, other key hubs in the anti-ISIS mission. 

The Pentagon has requested an additional $322.5 million for the financial year ending October 2017 and has asked for $261.9 million for the following 12 months [see infographic], to buy munitions for the Syria train and equip programme.

This will include tens of thousands of AK-47s and Rocket Propelled Grenades, RPGs, and hundreds of millions of pieces of ammunition, according to the funding requests made by the Pentagon and the Trump administration.

SOCOM had already made a dent in the budget by February, after it issued a $90 million shopping list specifically for Syria, seen by reporters, which includes 10,000 AK-47s, 6,000 rocket launchers, 6,000 heavy and light machine guns and 36 million pieces of ammunition.

Picatinny: A New Supply-Line Revealed

SOCOM is not, however, the only Pentagon unit that is buying munitions for the Syria train and equip programme.
The Picatinny Arsenal, a military base in New Jersey, with the help of its sister facility in Rock Island New Jersey, is also a critical part of the supply-chain.

It has bought up to $480 million worth of Soviet-style arms and ammunition for Syrian rebels since the switch in strategy, this investigation can reveal, from Afghanistan, Bulgaria, BIH, Croatia, Romania, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, Georgia, Poland and Serbia.

Picatinny boasts of its record supplying large quantities of Eastern Bloc equipment to Iraq and Afghanistan, but it has been far more circumspect about its role in the Syrian conflict, which is politically divisive internationally and involves supplying militia groups rather than state armies.

This means that while purchases of non-standard munitions – the US’s euphemism for Soviet-style equipment – were clearly marked for Iraq or Afghanistan, it appears to be Pentagon policy not to label procurement goods destined for Syria.

BIRN and OCCRP discovered seven contracts worth $71 million that were signed in September 2016 and cited Syria either by name or the Department of Defense’s internal code – V7 – for the Syria train and equip programme. But these references were quickly deleted from the public record after BIRN and OCCRP asked the Department of Defense and supplier countries about these deliveries in March of this year.

Reporters made copies of all documents before they were deleted. The Pentagon has declined to explain the alterations. 
On top of the $71 million marked for Syria, a further $408 million of Eastern Bloc equipment was made since the strategy switch with no destination mentioned.

Deliveries to Syrian rebels are set to increase in coming years as Picatinny has already earmarked as much as $950 million to be spent on Soviet-style ammunition by 2022 – it spent $1.3billion in the preceding decade – placing further pressure on the supply-line.

Picatinny’s CIA Pipeline

The CIA used a little-known Pentagon arsenal to purchase weapons for anti-Assad rebels, a contractor has claimed.

The SOCOM contractor, who asked not to be named, identified the Pentagon’s Picatinny Arsenal as a source for the CIA-run programme to arm Syrian rebels fighting President Assad as well as the Pentagon’s anti-ISIS campaign.

The CIA’s covert Operation Timber Sycamore, which was started in 2013 under President Obama, was stopped in July 2017 by President Trump.

Procurement records show that the Picatinny Arsenal previously bought Soviet-style ammunition for Camp Stanley in Texas, which, according to a 2015 report by a former CIA analyst, is the likely home of a secretive CIA depot that armed rebel groups from Nicaragua to Afghanistan.

A June 2016 Picatinny contract for “non-standard weapons” also points to CIA involvement. It says that unspecified quantities of weapons such as AK-47s and RPGs will be purchased on behalf of “Other Government Agency (OGA),” a euphemism for the CIA.

Scraping the Bottom of the Barrel

The newly revealed $2.2 billion pipeline financed by the US, as well as an earlier 1.2 billion euro pipeline financed by Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates that was previously revealed by BIRN, have meant boom times for arms producers in Central and Eastern Europe.

Factories such as the Krusik missile manufacturer in Serbia and the VMZ military plant in Bulgaria have drastically increased production in response. Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic promised on July 1 to turn “meadows and forests” into arms factories and almost double Serbia’s arms exports to $750 million by 2020 as he toured Belom, a recently opened bullet factory.

While the pipeline has yet to dry up, Pentagon contractors have been forced to scour the world for new sources and have requested permission to provide aging stockpiled material rather than newly produced material, according to documents obtained by reporters.

The US had traditionally turned to Romania and Bulgaria for non-standard armaments, but the surge in demand has forced contractors to look to the Czech Republic, BiH, Serbia, and now Russia’s neighbours Ukraine, Georgia, and Kazakhstan, and even Afghanistan, according to US procurement records.

As demand continues to grow, the competition between contractors to secure weapons, is becoming increasingly fierce, forcing them to look even further afield, including Pakistan and Vietnam, a source said.

The Pentagon contractor, who asked to remain anonymous, said that this had created an “environment where greed is the motivating factor among most … contractors involved”.

Scarce supplies have pushed the Pentagon to lower its standards for weapons and ammunition. Previously it had required suppliers to provide equipment of less than five years old but in February it dropped this requirement for some equipment, according to official documents obtained by BIRN and OCCRP.

Munitions stored in poor conditions degrade, sometimes becoming unusable or even dangerous. A Pentagon contractor due to train Syrian rebels died in June 2015 when the 30-year-old RPG he was handling exploded at a firing range in Bulgaria.

Undermining the Arms Control System

The smooth functioning of the weapons supply-line to Syria depends not only on keeping the final destination of the arms secret but also – say experts who have reviewed the evidence obtained by BIRN and the OCCRP – on supplier countries in Eastern Europe not asking too many questions about why the US is seeking so much Eastern Bloc weaponry.

These experts believe that as a result, both sides are likely in breach of their international obligations.

A valid end-user certificate guaranteeing the final destination of arms and ammunition is a standard international legal requirement to secure an arms export licence, but an end user certificate issued by SOCOM under the Syria programme and seen by BIRN and OCCRP does not mention the Middle East country.

Instead, it lists SOCOM as the final user, despite the fact the US army does not use Eastern Bloc weaponry itself. The document states that “the material will be used for defense purposes in direct use by US government, transferred by means of grants as military education or training program or security assistance.”

The document is similar in wording to four SOCOM end user certificates leaked online earlier this month, which detail how the weapons or ammunition will be for the “exclusive use of the US Special Operations Command, its NATO allies and partners in support of United States training, security assistance and stability operations”. 

In a detailed written response, the Pentagon did not dispute designating the US Army as the end user, adding it viewed the transfer of weapons to Syrian rebels as part of its “security assistance” programme, a term it uses in the legal document.

But Patrick Wilcken, an arms researcher at Amnesty International, described these end-user certificate as “very misleading” adding: “An end user certificate that did not contain this information [final destination] would be self-defeating and highly unusual.”

Washington has not yet ratified the UN’s Arms Trade Treaty, an international agreement attempting to regulate the transfer of weapons by preventing the diversion of weapons to war zones and improving transparency, and is therefore not legally bound by it. But as a signatory, the US is expected not to undermine the deal, something Wilcken argues that Washington is doing.

As a member of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, OSCE, Washington has, however, signed a series of measures to prevent weapons trafficking -- including a binding decision that end-user certificates include the final destination country.

European exporter states have ratified the ATT and are also bound by the OSCE’s decisions and the EU’s even stricter rules, known as the Common Position on Arms Exports. The EU rules apply to most prospective members.

Under the ATT and EU Common Position, exporters must weigh up the risks that arms and ammunition will be diverted and used to commit war crimes or “undermine peace and security” before issuing a licence.

Without knowing the final destination, such an assessment is impossible meaning that exporting states are acting “negligently”, Wilcken said.

Roy Isbister of Saferworld, a non-governmental organisation that works to strengthen controls on the international arms trade , said: “If the US is manipulating the process and providing cover for others to claim ignorance of the end users of the weapons in question, the whole control system is at risk.”

Authorities in Romania, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Serbia, Ukraine and Georgia were presented with US procurement documents showing that weapons they had exported were destined to Syria. Romania, the Czech Republic and Serbia told BIRN and OCCRP that they had granted export licences with the US, not Syria, listed as the final destination. Prague’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs added that it supported the US’s fight against ISIS, but refused to confirm it was aware of the arms’ final destination.

Georgia’s Ministry of Defence said an export deal was under negotiation but it had not received an end-user certificate from the Pentagon and no contract had been signed. Ukraine and Bulgaria did not respond to requests for comment.

Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Poland, Kazakhstan and Afghanistan, which have all agreed to exports to SOCOM or Picatinny for an unspecified destination since September 2015, were also asked whether they were aware if these weapons had ended up in Syria.

BiH confirmed that it had issued export licenses to SOCOM but not Syria, while Poland and Croatia said it obeyed by all international rules. Kazakhstan and Afghanistan did not respond.

German authorities appear to have been less comfortable with how the weapons pipeline was operating. A leaked Pentagon email obtained by BIRN and OCCRP reveals how Berlin had become “very sensitive” to the huge quantities of Eastern Bloc weapons passing through its territory to US bases, apparently forcing a reroute of the supply-line to Syria.

Weapons continue to pour into Syria to fight ISIS, and fears are growing about what will happen to the arms and fighters when the jihadists are defeated.

Wilcken said that he feared for the future of the Middle East.

“Given the very complex, fluid situation in Syria … and the existence of many armed groups accused of serious abuses,” he said. “It is difficult to see how the US could ensure arms sent to the region would not be misused.”

Additional reporting from Pavla Holcova, Maria Cheresheva, Roxana Jipa, David Bloss, Roberto Capocelli, Ana Babinets, Atanas Tchobanov, Aubrey Belford and Frederik Obermaier.

This investigation is produced by BIRN as a part of Paper Trail to Better Governance project.


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Everyman Standing Order 01: In the Face of Tyranny; Everybody Stands, Nobody Runs.
Everyman Standing Order 02: Everyman is Responsible for Energy and Security.
Everyman Standing Order 03: Everyman knows Timing is Critical in any Movement.
   

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Everyman decries immorality
The Moral Hazard of Proxy Warfare

https://warontherocks.com/2015/10/the-moral-hazard-of-proxy-warfare/

Adam Elkus
October 14, 2015

It has been a very bad month for advocates of the “indirect” approach to U.S. national security policy. U.S.-trained rebels in Syria handed over their weapons to al-Qaeda; and the United States has been forced to sit back helplessly and watch as Russian bombers target CIA-backed rebel forces. The Department of Defense’s train-and-equip program has been cancelled after blowing an obscene amount of money to train what amounts to a fire team of operational fighters. The separate CIA proxy program remains, but nonetheless faces an uncertain future. And that’s just a small slice of what seems to be a flood of bad news about the outcomes of train-and-equip programs designed to create pliable, pro-American proxies to fight our wars. Even the most vociferous critics of President Obama’s Syria policy, however, fail to notice the larger problem.

Proxy warfare, while tempting, is by definition what economists call a “moral hazard,” or a situation in which one party can take risks that will be wholly borne by the other party in the partnership. Because no American lives are on the line, and men saying they will fight America’s enemies are not uncommon, U.S. policymakers often imagine they can create a “third force” to advance American interests. Not only does this attitude lead to ill-chosen interventions, it also ignores the asymmetry of interest inherent in asking others to risk their lives for a distant foreign power.

Certainly the raising of proxy armies has an undeniable appeal. The United States can achieve its strategic aims without devoting blood and much treasure directly to the fight. Moreover, in certain situations proxies may be the only way to influence the outcome. In fact, certain states — such as Iran and Pakistan — have exerted influence far above their normal station in international politics through their backing and direction of proxy forces. During the Cold War, the United States both benefited from its proxies and was harmed by the proxies of other powers, offering a misleading lesson about their effectiveness. So why shouldn’t the United States use proxies?

First, the interests of proxies and their sponsors may not be aligned. It is quite understandable, for instance, that Syrian rebels would care more about fighting the hated dictator Bashar al-Assad than taking on the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). To Americans, ISIL is the main problem. But to many Sunni Arab Syrians, it is a distraction from the real horror of Assad’s murderous repression. Even if their aims did converge a bit more, proxies understand full well that their distant sponsor has limited interest in their struggle. At the end of the day, the friendly CIA officer working with them can always go back to his or her family and children in a peaceful and prosperous country. The proxy, however, cannot do the same because “home” is the very battleground that is being contested. Hence, proxies are canny survivors that will do business with anyone willing to lend a helping hand. Do not be surprised that the ostensibly pro-American Kurds will cheer on Russia’s airstrikes. They care only about their own fight, not Washington’s geopolitical rivalry with Moscow.

Proxies also create perverse incentives for U.S. decision-making concerning intervention abroad. They are cheap, flexible, scalable, and above all else expendable. Because a dead foreign proxy will never come home to the United States in a star-spangled coffin, the United States can engage in adventurism of questionable direction and value. A far older mess with proxies, the Bay of Pigs, nearly triggered nuclear war with the Soviet Union. The broadening of the Vietnam War into a struggle that destabilized the whole of Indochina was possible due to the ease with which the United States raised armies of proxies that could act as foot soldiers in the expansion of an ultimately futile war. The White House’s petulant response to criticism of the Syrian train-and-equip program suggests a lot about the problematic incentives that proxies present to American national security policymakers.

In blaming political opponents for supposedly forcing it to train a Syrian opposition army, the White House unintentionally revealed its Syrian decision calculus. The White House claims it invested in the Syrian train-and-equip program, in other words, in large part because it wanted to deflect potential criticism from domestic hawks. There are a lot of valid reasons for supplying weapons, training, and large sums of money to a Middle Eastern group of militants. It should go without saying that getting political opponents off your back is not one of them. If, indeed, this was one of the core drivers of the U.S. effort to back Syrian rebels then we should not be surprised that it has turned out to be a bloody disaster.

Finally, there is something very unjust and disturbing in the way in which the United States can encourage men to risk their lives under the false hope that Uncle Sam will be with them the whole way. In reality, we will write them off and abandon them to their fates as soon as supporting them becomes inconvenient. That is, unfortunately, the reality of international politics. If we are forced to choose between, say, keeping faith with the men we have backed in Syria and avoiding a confrontation with Russia, we will obviously not trigger World War III over a group of rebel fighters in the Middle East. But therein lies the problem. Is it right to encourage others to fight and die for us under false pretenses of U.S. support? More often than not, when following through on our promises to proxies poses far lesser challenges for us, we elect to let them burn instead of lending a helping hand. We have a long and sordid history of this, and our hapless Syrian pawns are only the latest to realize that the United States’ promises cannot be trusted.

This is, to be sure, not a blanket call to abandon the policy and strategy of using proxies to aid American interests. It is, however, a call to recognize the perverse incentives inherent in the enterprise, and the difficulties of pulling it off. Proxies are often deployed in situations where using any form of coercive force may not be in America’s interests. Proxies also allow policymakers to dodge the question of whether or not intervention is justified. We certainly — as opposed to rare situations like the Cuban Missile Crisis — will avoid any severe long-term costs. But the men who fight for us will pay with their lives for being foolish enough to believe that our word is our bond; and those who do not can be expected to do whatever it takes to survive (including flirting with our enemies). Like anything else associated with American defense and national security, the training and funding of proxies ought not to be done glibly. It should be accompanied by sober assessment of the risks, costs, benefits, and challenges inherent in the matter. However, due to the enormous temptations that proxies pose to pressured policymakers looking for solutions to difficult security problems, it is unlikely that such sober assessment will always occur when proxies are considered.


---------------------------
Everyman Standing Order 01: In the Face of Tyranny; Everybody Stands, Nobody Runs.
Everyman Standing Order 02: Everyman is Responsible for Energy and Security.
Everyman Standing Order 03: Everyman knows Timing is Critical in any Movement.
   

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Why Jihadism Won’t Be Allowed to Die

https://geopolitics.co/2017/09/02/why-jihadism-wont-be-allowed-to-die/

A serious working hypothesis is being discussed for a while now among independent geopolitical analysts. Here it is, in a nutshell.

by Pepe Escobar

Daesh may be dying – but the world is still encumbered with its walking corpse. Plan B of Daesh’s masters may have been to indoctrinate repeated waves of misguided youth across the EU and “seduce” them into D.I. Y. jihadi terror, creating fear and insecurity in Europe. I’ve just been to Barcelona — and that’s not happening. No Fear.

Daesh can also manipulate its brand name to stake a claim into what we may call the New War Belt in Southwest Asia. That’s also not happening, because the “4+1” – Russia, Syria, Iran, Iraq, plus Hezbollah – with the addition of Turkey, and with China in a “leading from behind” role, are all working together.

The unfinished war across “Syraq” coupled with spasms of jihadism in Europe could certainly still metastasize into a massive Eurasian cancer, spreading like a plague from Afghanistan to Germany and vice-versa, and from the South China Sea to Brussels via Pakistan and vice-versa.

What would happen under this cataclysmic scenario is the complete derailment of the Chinese-driven New Silk Roads, a.k.a. Belt and Road Initiative (BRI); its integration with the Russia-driven Eurasia Economic Union (EAEC); and a massive security threat to the domestic stability of the Russia-China strategic partnership, with uncontrollable bellicose scenarios developing very close to their borders.

It’s no secret which elements and institutions would very much cherish internal political chaos in both Russia and China.

Charlie gets stronger

Dr. Zbig “Grand Chessboard” Brzezinski may be dead, but geopolitics is still encumbered with his corpse. Brzezinski’s life obsession is that no peer competitor to the US should be allowed to emerge. Imagine as he lay dying contemplating the ongoing, ultimate nightmare; a Russia-China pan-Eurasian alliance.

The less disastrous scenario in this case would be to seduce either Moscow or Beijing into becoming a US partner, based on which one would pose a lesser “threat” in the future. Brzezinski focused on Russia as the immediate threat and China as the long game threat.

Thus the obsession of the US deep state and the Clinton machine in demonizing all things Russia – like an infantile neo-McCarthyism on steroids. Inevitably, what this geopolitical back hole has precipitated is China’s even more rapid advance on all fronts.

Not to mention that the Russia-China strategic partnership kept getting stronger every day – an eerie echo of Capt. Willard’s line in Coppola’s Apocalypse Now; “Every minute I stay in this room I get weaker, every minute Charlie squats in the bush, he gets stronger”.

And yet Charlie is not squatting; he’s conquering via trade and investment. And he’s not in the bush; he’s all over the Eurasian plains.

A basket of Hobbesian flare-ups

The other American dalang, Henry Kissinger, is still alive, at 94. Advising President Trump before the January inauguration, and posing as the supreme gray eminence on China matters, he suggested Russia should be courted.

But then came the clincher. Clearly identifying that the Russia-China-Iran alliance holds the key to Eurasia integration, Kissinger revealed his true colors; it’s the weakest link – Iran – that should be neutralized.

Thus his recent proclamation/warning about an “Iranian radical empire” developing/stretching from Tehran to Beirut as the “vacuum” left by Daesh is filled by the Persians.

And here we have Kissinger once again as the unreconstructed Cold Warrior that he is; exit Communism, enter Khomeinism as the supreme “evil.” And may the Lord bask in praise of the Wahhabi matrix of jihadism enablers; the House of Saud.

The Kissingerian recipe sounds like music to the US deep state; Daesh should not be routed, it should be “realigned” as a tool against Iran.

Who cares that the notion of an “Iranian radical empire” per se does not even qualify as a joke? Lebanon is multicultural. Syria will continue to be ruled by the secular Baath Party. Iraq rejects Khomeinism – with tremendously influential Ayatollah Sistani privileging the parliamentary system.

The “4+1” – backed by China — have forged a serious alliance in the fire of the Syrian war. None of this will change by a Kissinger decree. As for “filling the vacuum”, the alternative is Daesh and Jabhat al-Nusra, a.k.a. al-Qaeda in Syria. “But wait!” — say the neocons/neoliberalcons of the War Party. “We like that!”

And that brings us full circle to the initial working hypothesis. Daesh won’t be allowed to die – as much as the geopolitical re-engineering of what Dr. Zbig used to call the “Eurasian Balkans” refuses to die.

ISIS-Khorasan, or ISIS-K – that regroup in Afghanistan – can be so handy to wreak havoc in the intersection of Central Asia and South Asia, so close to key BRI development corridors.

Moscow and Beijing though, know exactly what’s goin’ on. The phony Caliphate was useful in an attempt to break off BRI across “Syraq”, as much as Maidan in Ukraine was useful to break off the EAEU. Other war fronts will follow – from the Philippines to Venezuela, all bent on disrupting regional integration projects under a Divide and Rule strategy of US satraps manipulated into Hobbesian asymmetrical flare-ups.

Sixteen years after 9/11, the name of the game is not GWOT (Global War on Terror) anymore; is how, under the cover of GWOT, to disturb geostrategic expansion by the people who matter; “peer competitors” Russia and China.


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Armed Soldiers To Replace Cops On Danish Streets

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-09-29/armed-soldiers-replace-cops-danish-streets

Even as Europe's political establishment professes its liberal ideals by accepting - or in the case of the ongoing spat between Brussels and Central Europe, forcing others to accept -  as many refugees as humanitarian virtue signalling will require, the true face of Europe is gradually emerging behind the scenes, and according to The Local.de, starting today armed soldiers from the Danish Armed Forces (Forsvaret) will replace police officers at both Denmark’s southern border to Germany and at potential terror targets in Copenhagen.

According to the Danish National Police (Rigspolitiet) and Copenhagen Police, 160 soldiers will patrol the border and take over guard duties at Jewish institutions including the Great Synagogue in central Copenhagen.

    The synagogue has been under constant police protection since a Danish-born terrorist of Palestinian descent shot and killed 37-year-old Dan Uzan, a volunteer security guard, outside the building in February 2015. The gunman, Omar El-Hussein, had earlier in the night opened fire with an automatic rifle outside a cultural centre hosting a free speech event, killing 55-year-old Finn Nørgaard and injuring police officers. El-Hussein was later shot and killed by police.

    The soldiers’ role at the German border was described as ancillary and will not entail actively checking the IDs of those entering the country. That role will still be filled by police officers and members of the Danish Home Guard (Hjemmeværnet), which has been active in border checks since April 2016.


The plan to put armed military soldiers at the border and potential terror targets has been under discussion for well over a year, or not long after Europe realized the consequences of the great welcome party thrown by Angela Merkel in 2015. The official explanation is that it is being implemented as a way "to ease the workload of an overworked and undermanned police force." The unofficial, of course, is that the police desperately need help against an ongoing influx of potential terrorists.

The 160 soldiers will relieve the police force of the equivalent of 128 full-time police officers. According to news agency Ritzau, police currently use the equivalent of 456 full-time officers on border controls and patrolling potential terror targets.

Meanwhile, Denmark has long since lost the idealistic illusion it is a noble, humanitarian home welcoming the world's refugees. As the WaPo wrote last year,  "as Europe walls itself off, the continent is left to reckon with what’s become of its long- cherished humanitarian beliefs. And to many in Denmark, the chasm between reputation and reality looks particularly gaping.

“We’re losing respect for the values upon which we built our country and our European Union,” said Andreas Kamm, secretary general of the Danish Refugee Council. “It’s becoming very hard to defend human rights.”

    This Scandinavian nation of compulsively friendly people is celebrated by U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders as a ­social-welfare utopia, one that was recently judged the world’s happiest place. Ranking high in the country’s pantheon of heroes are those who protected Jews during the Holocaust or who helped the oppressed escape from behind the Iron Curtain during the Cold War.

But when it came to those fleeing 21st-century conflicts on Europe’s doorstep, Denmark went into overdrive to broadcast its hostility. While Germany continued to welcome asylum seekers, and other European countries such as Sweden held their doors open for as long as they could, Denmark took a hard line almost from the beginning. The government slashed refugees’ benefits, then advertised the cuts in Lebanese newspapers. It enabled police to confiscate refugees’ valuables, including cash and jewelry. And authorities made it far more difficult for those already here to reunite with their families, upping the wait time from one year to three.

And now, just in case the measures were insufficient, heavily armed soliders will be there to make sure there are no more casualties as a result of Angela Merkel's "shared" generosity.


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Grand strategy

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_strategy

Grand strategy or high strategy comprises the "purposeful employment of all instruments of power available to a security community".[1] Military historian B. H. Liddell Hart states:

    The role of grand strategy – higher strategy – is to co-ordinate and direct all the resources of a nation, or band of nations, towards the attainment of the political object of the war – the goal defined by fundamental policy.

    Grand strategy should both calculate and develop the economic resources and man-power of nations in order to sustain the fighting services. Also the moral resources – for to foster the people's willing spirit is often as important as to possess the more concrete forms of power. Grand strategy, too, should regulate the distribution of power between the several services, and between the services and industry. Moreover, fighting power is but one of the instruments of grand strategy – which should take account of and apply the power of financial pressure, and, not least of ethical pressure, to weaken the opponent's will. ...

    Furthermore, while the horizons of strategy is bounded by the war, grand strategy looks beyond the war to the subsequent peace. It should not only combine the various instruments, but so regulate their use as to avoid damage to the future state of peace – for its security and prosperity.[2]

Grand strategy expands on the traditional idea of strategy in three ways:[3]

    expanding strategy beyond military means to include diplomatic, financial, economic, informational, etc. means

    examining internal in addition to external forces – taking into account both the various instruments of power and the internal policies necessary for their implementation (conscription, for example)

    including consideration of periods of peacetime in addition to wartime

Issues of grand strategy typically include the choice of primary versus secondary theaters in war, distribution of resources among the various services, the general types of armaments manufacturing to favor, and which international alliances best suit national goals. With considerable overlap with foreign policy, grand strategy focuses primarily on the military implications of policy. A country's political leadership typically directs grand strategy with input from the most senior military officials. Development of a nation's grand strategy may extend across many years or even multiple generations.

The concept of grand strategy has been extended to describe multi-tiered strategies in general, including strategic thinking at the level of corporations and political parties. In business, a grand strategy is a general term for a broad statement of strategic action.[citation needed] A grand strategy states the means that will be used to achieve long-term objectives. Examples of business grand strategies that can be customized for a specific firm include: concentration, market development, product development, innovation, horizontal integration, divestiture, and liquidation.

Limits

Strategy is considered "the essential ingredient for making war either politically effective or morally tenable."[23] Without strategy, power is a "loose cannon and war is mindless."[23] Because strategy is necessary, however, does not mean that it is possible. Political scientist Richard K. Betts has detailed some of the critiques raised by skeptics regarding the feasibility and practicability of strategy, explaining "[t]o skeptics, effective strategy is often an illusion because what happens in the gap between policy objectives and war outcomes is too complex and unpredictable to be manipulated to a specified end."[24] Beyond the difficulty of organizing resources for effective grand strategy, Betts explores both the retrospective fallacy of coherence – the tendency to see the actions of states as more coherent and purposeful than they actually were or to assume particular actions and choices as more decisive in the outcome of events than they actually were – and the prospective fallacy of control – the tendency of policymakers to believe they can exert far greater influence over events than they can. Betts highlights 10 of the skeptics' critiques that question the predictability of strategy.

    Critique 1: Luck Versus Genius. Strategy is an illusion because it is impractical to judge in advance which risk is reasonable or which strategy is less justifiable than another. The illusion persists because observers confuse what they know about results of past strategic choices with what they can expect strategies to know before the choices are tested. Almost any strategy can be rationalized and no rationale falsified at the time that a strategy must be chosen.

    Critique 2: Randomness Versus Prediction. Strategy is an illusion because results do not follow plans. Complexity and contingency preclude controlling causes well enough to produce desired effects. Hindsight reveals little connection between the design and denouement of strategies. The problem before the fact appears to be estimating risk (probability of failure), but the record after the fact suggests that the real problem is pure uncertainty.

    Critique 3: Psychoanalysts Versus Conscious Choice. Strategy is an illusion because leaders do not understand what motives drive them, and they delude themselves about what they are really trying to do. They use war not for manifest political purposes but for subliminal personal ones, so the link between political ends and military means is missing at the outset.

    Critique 4: Cognition Versus Complex Choice. Cognitive constraints on individual thought processes limit strategists’ ability to see linkages between means and ends, or to calculate comprehensively.

    Critique 5: Culture Versus Coercion. Coercive strategies aimed at an adversary’s will depend on communication. Cultural blinders prevent the common frames of reference necessary to ensure that the receiver hears the message that the signaler intends to send.

    Critique 6: Friction Versus Fine-Tuning. Even if cultural blinders do not foreordain deafness when coercive signals are sent, normal operational friction delays execution of plans and decouples signals from the events to which they are meant to respond. Strategy that depends on coupling then collapses.

    Critique 7: Goal Displacement Versus Policy Control. Organizational processes deflect attention from policymakers’ priorities to implement organizations’ habits of operation and institutional interests. Means may be applied effectively toward goals, but only to the instrumental goal of the operations, rather than the higher political objectives meant to govern strategy.

    Critique 8: War Versus Strategy. Strategy is an illusion because practice reverses theory. In theory, strategy shapes the course of war to suit policy. In actual war, the target resists strategy and counters it, confounding plans, and redirecting strategy and policy to suit the unanticipated requirements for operational success. This puts the cart before the horse and negates the rational basis for strategy.

    Critique 9: Democracy Versus Consistency. The logic of strategy depends on clarity of preferences, explicitness of calculation, and consistency of choice. Democratic competition and consensus building work against all of these.

    Critique 10: Compromise Versus Effectiveness. Compromise between opposing preferences is the key to success in politics but to failure in military strategy. Since political leaders have the last word on strategy in a democracy, they tend to resolve political debates about whether to use forces massively or not at all by choosing strategic half-measures that turn out to serve no good objectives at all.[25]


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Military occupation

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_occupation

Military occupation is effective provisional control by a certain ruling power over a territory which is not under the formal sovereignty of that entity, without the volition of the actual sovereign.[1][2][3][4] Military occupation is distinguished from annexation by its intended temporary nature (i.e. no claim for permanent sovereignty), by its military nature, and by citizenship rights of the controlling power not being conferred upon the subjugated population.[2][5][6][7]

Military government may be broadly characterized as the administration or supervision of occupied territory, or as the governmental form of such an administration. Military government is distinguished from martial law, which is the temporary rule by domestic armed forces over disturbed areas.

The rules of military government are delineated in various international agreements, primarily the Hague Convention of 1907, the Geneva Conventions of 1949, as well as established state practice. The relevant international conventions, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Commentaries, and other treaties by military scholars provide guidelines on such topics as rights and duties of the occupying power, protection of civilians, treatment of prisoners of war, coordination of relief efforts, issuance of travel documents, property rights of the populace, handling of cultural and art objects, management of refugees, and other concerns which are very important both before and after the cessation of hostilities. A country that establishes a military government and violates internationally agreed upon norms runs the risk of censure, criticism, or condemnation. In the current era, the practices of military government have largely become a part of customary international law, and form a part of the laws of war.

Article 42 of the 1907 Hague Convention on Land Warfare specify that "[t]erritory is considered occupied when it is actually placed under the authority of the hostile army." The form of administration by which an occupying power exercises government authority over occupied territory is called "military government." Neither the Hague Conventions nor the Geneva Conventions specifically define or distinguish an act of "invasion". The terminology of "occupation" is used exclusively.

Military occupation and the laws of war

From the second half of the 18th century onwards, international law has come to distinguish between the military occupation of a country and territorial acquisition by invasion and annexation,[citation needed] the difference between the two being originally expounded upon by Emerich de Vattel in The Law of Nations (1758).[citation needed] The clear distinction has been recognized among the principles of international law since the end of the Napoleonic wars in the 19th century.[citation needed] These customary laws of belligerent occupation which evolved as part of the laws of war gave some protection to the population under the military occupation of a belligerent power.[citation needed]

The Hague Convention of 1907 further clarified and supplemented these customary laws, specifically within "Laws and Customs of War on Land" (Hague IV); October 18, 1907: "Section III Military Authority over the territory of the hostile State."[8] The first two articles of that section state:

    Art. 42.
    Territory is considered occupied when it is actually placed under the authority of the hostile army.
    The occupation extends only to the territory where such authority has been established and can be exercised.

    Art. 43.
    The authority of the legitimate power having in fact passed into the hands of the occupant, the latter shall take all the measures in his power to restore, and ensure, as far as possible, public order and safety, while respecting, unless absolutely prevented, the laws in force in the country.

In 1949 these laws governing belligerent occupation of an enemy state's territory were further extended by the adoption of the Fourth Geneva Convention (GCIV). Much of GCIV is relevant to protected persons in occupied territories and Section III: Occupied territories is a specific section covering the issue.

Article 6 restricts the length of time that most of GCIV applies:

    The present Convention shall apply from the outset of any conflict or occupation mentioned in Article 2.
    In the territory of Parties to the conflict, the application of the present Convention shall cease on the general close of military operations.
    In the case of occupied territory, the application of the present Convention shall cease one year after the general close of military operations; however, the Occupying Power shall be bound, for the duration of the occupation, to the extent that such Power exercises the functions of government in such territory, by the provisions of the following Articles of the present Convention: 1 to 12, 27, 29 to 34, 47, 49, 51, 52, 53, 59, 61 to 77, 143.

GCIV emphasised an important change in international law. The United Nations Charter (June 26, 1945) had prohibited war of aggression (See articles 1.1, 2.3, 2.4) and GCIV Article 47, the first paragraph in Section III: Occupied territories, restricted the territorial gains which could be made through war by stating:

    Protected persons who are in occupied territory shall not be deprived, in any case or in any manner whatsoever, of the benefits of the present Convention by any change introduced, as the result of the occupation of a territory, into the institutions or government of the said territory, nor by any agreement concluded between the authorities of the occupied territories and the Occupying Power, nor by any annexation by the latter of the whole or part of the occupied territory.

Article 49 prohibits the forced mass movement of people out of or into occupied state's territory:

    Individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any other country, occupied or not, are prohibited, regardless of their motive. ... The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.

Protocol I (1977): "Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts" has additional articles which cover military occupation but many countries including the U.S. are not signatory to this additional protocol.

In the situation of a territorial cession as the result of war, the specification of a "receiving country" in the peace treaty merely means that the country in question is authorized by the international community to establish civil government in the territory. The military government of the principal occupying power will continue past the point in time when the peace treaty comes into force, until it is legally supplanted.

"Military government continues until legally supplanted" is the rule, as stated in Military Government and Martial Law, by William E. Birkhimer, 3rd edition 1914.

Beginning of military government


There does not have to be a formal announcement of the beginning of "military government," nor is there any requirement of a specific number of people to be in place, or "on site" before military government can be said to have commenced.

See Birkhimer, p. 25–26:

    No proclamation of part of the victorious commander is necessary to the lawful inauguration and enforcement of military government. That government results from the fact that the former sovereignty is ousted, and the opposing army now has control. Yet the issuing such proclamation is useful as publishing to all living in the district occupied those rules of conduct which will govern the conqueror in the exercise of his authority. Wellington, indeed, as previously mentioned, said that the commander is bound to lay down distinctly the rules according to which his will is to be carried out. But the laws of war do not imperatively require this, and in very many instances it is not done. When it is not, the mere fact that the country is militarily occupied by the enemy is deemed sufficient notification to all concerned that the regular has been supplanted by a military government.

The occupying power

The terminology of "the occupying power" as spoken of in the laws of war is most properly rendered as "the principal occupying power," or alternatively as "the occupying power." This is because the law of agency is always available (When the administrative authority for the military occupation of particular areas is delegated to other troops, a "principal -- agent" relationship is in effect).[9]

Because the law of agency is a very general pattern, primarily appliable in this case as the means of regulating the relationships between the said "powers", but a question however in which considerations of logistics are sometimes to be taken in consideration, that definition is not always appliable outside of those contexts which can be analysed by analogy as related to warlording, even though it does relate more generally to all possible types of military coalitions.

In most contexts determined by the application of the defined and modern laws of war, delegation to agencies generally tends to relating to civilian organizations. Juridical considerations like the above remain in the other cases merely consensual between the said powers. For example, in 1948 the U.S. Military Tribunal in Nuremberg states:

    In belligerent occupation the occupying power does not hold enemy territory by virtue of any legal right. On the contrary, it merely exercises a precarious and temporary actual control. This can be seen from Article 42 of the Hague Regulations which grants certain well limited rights to a military occupant only in enemy territory which is 'actually placed' under his control.

[10]

The conqueror is the principal occupying power.

End of military government

Rule: Military occupation continues until legally supplanted. According to Eyal Benvenisti, military occupation can end in a number of ways, such as: "loss of effective control, namely when the occupant is no longer capable of exercising its authority; through the genuine consent of the sovereign (the ousted government or an indigenous one) by the signing of a peace agreement; or by transferring authority to an indigenous government endorsed by the occupied population through referendum and which has received international recognition."[11]

This is explained as follows. For the situation where no territorial cession is involved, the military government of the principal occupying power will end with the coming into force of the peace settlement.

    Example: (1) Japan after WWII. Japan regained its sovereignty with the coming into force of the San Francisco Peace Treaty on April 28, 1952. In other words, a civil government for Japan was in place and functioning as of this date.

In the situation of a territorial cession, there must be a formal peace treaty. However, the military government of the principal occupying power does not end with the coming into force of the peace treaty.

    Example: (1) Puerto Rico after the Spanish–American War. Military government continued in Puerto Rico past the coming into force of the Treaty of Paris of 1898 on April 11, 1899, and only ended on May 1, 1900 with the beginning of Puerto Rico's civil government.
    Example: (2) Cuba after the Spanish–American War. Military government continued in Cuba past the coming into force of the Treaty of Paris of 1898 on April 11, 1899, and only ended on May 20, 1902 with the beginning of the Republic of Cuba's civil government.

Hence, at the most basic level, the terminology of "legally supplanted" is interpreted to mean "legally supplanted by a civil government fully recognized by the national (or "federal") government of the principal occupying power."

List of military occupations

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_military_occupations

This article presents a list of military occupations. Only military occupations since the customary laws of belligerent military occupation were first clarified and supplemented by the Hague Convention of 1907[1] are included In this article.

Military occupation is a type of effective control of a certain power over a territory which is not under the formal sovereignty of that entity, without the volition of the actual sovereign, and provisional in nature.[2][3][4] Military occupation is distinguished from annexation[a] by its intended temporary nature (i.e. no claim for permanent sovereignty), by its military nature, and by citizenship rights of the controlling power not being conferred upon the subjugated population.[3][5][6][7]


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Power behind the throne

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_behind_the_throne

The phrase "power behind the throne" refers to a person or group that informally exercises the real power of a high-ranking office, such as a head of state. In politics, it most commonly refers to a spouse, aide, or nominal subordinate of a political leader (often called a "figurehead") who serves as de facto leader, setting policy through possessing great influence and/or skillful manipulation.

The original concept of a power behind the throne was a Medieval-era figure of speech referring to the fact that the king's policies could be set by a counselor not seated in the throne but standing behind it—perhaps whispering in the king's ear—out of common sight. Among the earliest examples of such powerful advisors were the Mayors of the Palace under the Merovingian kings.

In history

Historical examples of a "power behind the throne" include: Nogai Khan, Mamai and Edigu in the Golden Horde; Diego Portales of Chile; Chancellor of Germany and Minister President of Prussia Otto von Bismarck, with German Emperor and King of Prussia William I as a de facto figurehead; Martin Bormann of Nazi Germany.

The Genrō had this role in Meiji period of Japan.

Another example is the rule of Pol Pot in Cambodia from 1975-78, who led the Khmer Rouge to victory following a devastating civil war. King Norodom Sihanouk returned to reign over Cambodia, but held no executive power.

In the United States, Edith Wilson – the second wife of President Woodrow Wilson – took over many of the routine duties and details of the government after her husband had been incapacitated by a stroke. Another modern example was Deng Xiaoping in China, who was recognized as China's paramount leader without holding the position of either General Secretary, head of state or head of government.

Much earlier examples that come to mind, are the magistri militum of the later decades of the Western Roman Empire. Examples of such are Stilicho the general of Emperor Honorius, Aetius, the power behind the throne of Honorius' nephew Valentinian III, Ricimer the puppet master of Emperors Avitus, Majorian, Libius Severus, Procopius Anthemius and Olybrius, and then finally Flavius Orestes, the father of the usurper emperor Romulus Augustulus, and the Germanic chieftain Odoacer, who were the masters in the West during the reigns of Emperor Julius Nepos and then Orestes' son, the aforementioned Romulus. Odoacer then deposed the figurehead Roman ruler, captured and executed Orestes, and established his own Italian kingdom as the Dux Italiae, only to be overthrown by the Ostrogothic chieftain Theodoric on the behest of the Eastern Emperor Zeno.

In Latin America, a good example was Joseph-Marie Córdoba Montoya during the Presidency of Carlos Salinas de Gortari (1988–1994). Córdoba Montoya, a French naturalized Mexican, was the Head of the Office of the Presidency, and was considered the second-most powerful man in Mexico at the time.[1] Another example in the same region is the one of the former general Manuel Noriega, who was the military leader and the de facto chief of state of Panama from 1983 to 1989.

Related terms

A related term is éminence grise (French: "gray eminence"), a powerful advisor or decision-maker who operates secretly or otherwise unofficially. This phrase originally referred to Cardinal de Richelieu's right-hand man, François Leclerc du Tremblay (also known as the Père Joseph), a Capuchin friar who wore grey robes. Because the Cardinal de Richelieu, the power behind the throne of King Louis XIII of France, as a Catholic cardinal was styled Son Eminence ("His Eminence"), his alter ego Père Joseph was called l'éminence grise (which is also the English title of his biography by Aldous Huxley). Martin Bormann was referred to as the Brown Eminence, brown referring to the brown uniform of the Nazi Party.

The modern usage of the term Proconsul, as analogy for a person from a foreign power manipulating another country's internal affairs, is also referred as the power behind the throne.


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http://www.overunityresearch.com/index.php?topic=1195.msg64801#msg64801


Abraham in religious traditions

Overview

Abraham is given a high position of respect in three major world faiths, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. In Judaism he is the founding father of the Covenant, the special relationship between the Jewish people and God – a belief which gives the Jews a unique position as the Chosen People of God. In Christianity, the Apostle Paul taught that Abraham's faith in God – preceding the Mosaic law – made him the prototype of all believers, circumcised and uncircumcised. The Islamic prophet Muhammad claimed Abraham, whose submission to God constituted Islam as a "believer before the fact" and undercut Jewish claims to an exclusive relationship with God and the Covenant.[16]


http://www.overunityresearch.com/index.php?topic=1195.msg64935#msg64935


THE NATURE OF THE COVENANT

The Abrahamic Covenant, as stated before, was unconditional, predicated on Abraham's faith in the true God. There were many promises that came with the covenant such as, to make Abraham a great nation, to bless him to make his name great and to make him a blessing, to bless them that bless him and to curse them that curse him; and finally, that in him [or through his seed] all nations of the earth will be blessed.

The fact that God had promised to bless Abraham's offspring, without a showing of their faith or obedience proves also that this Covenant was unconditional. Later on, God even tells Moses of His disappointment with the Israelites prior to their entering the promised land, but says that He will allow them to still enter the land because of the promise He had made to Abraham.

Although God made no statement to Abraham concerning the obedience of his heirs, He must have felt that they should obey Him as Abraham did, or that their failure to "walk before him" would hamper their receiving the blesings; for God instituted a law covenant as a way of bringing them into obedience. Biblical records indicate that while the Israelites were encamped in the wilderness, God instituted the Mosaic Law Covenant mentioned above, for He was not able to abide with them in their present spiritual state of disobedience. This could also indicate, and very strongly I might add, that Yahweh had known beforehand that He would bring the the Israelites into submission through the Law Covenant, and thereby made the promises to Abraham. So the Law Covenant, a covenant requiring very strict obedience, would not nullify the Abrahamic Covenant, but would aid the Israelites in obtaining the promises already made to them.[to add reference]. For the Christian, such spiritual aid would come through the Messiah, our Lord Jesus Christ.

In respect to the blessing that was promised to come through Abraham's seed [Christ], God made a statement that corroborates the belief that Christ was the promised seed, for it reveals that God viewed Himself as the nations' promised blessing. God says, "Fear not, Abram, I am your shield and your exceeding great reward" (Gen. 15:1).


http://www.overunityresearch.com/index.php?topic=1195.msg65031#msg65031


Pew's research also suggests there are likely to be more Muslims than Christians in the world by 2070, with Islam's share of global population equalling that of Christianity at just above 30% each by 2050.



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Conflation

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conflation

Conflation happens when the identities of two or more individuals, concepts, or places, sharing some characteristics of one another, seem to be a single identity, and the differences appear to become lost.[1] In logic, it is the practice of treating two distinct concepts as if they were one, which produces errors or misunderstandings as a fusion of distinct subjects tends to obscure analysis of relationships which are emphasized by contrasts.[2] However, if the distinctions between the two concepts appear to be superficial, intentional conflation may be desirable for the sake of conciseness and recall.

Communication and reasoning

The result of conflating concepts may give rise to fallacies of ambiguity, including the fallacy of four terms in a categorical syllogism. For example, the word "bat" has at least two distinct meanings: a flying animal, and a piece of sporting equipment (such as a baseball bat or cricket bat). If these meanings are not distinguished, the result may be the following categorical syllogism, which may be seen as a joke (pun):

        All bats are animals.
        Some wooden objects are bats.
        Therefore, some wooden objects are animals.

Logical conflation

Using words with different meanings can help clarify, or can cause real confusion. English words with multiple (verb) meanings can be illustrated by instances in which a motion is merged with or a causation with manner,[3] e.g. The bride floated towards her future. In this example, the bride may: Be married on a boat, airplane, or hot-air balloon, etc. —not all marriages occur in a church.[4] She could be gracefully walking the aisle towards matrimony.[5] The verb "float" has multiple meanings, and both verb meanings in the example may be proper uses of a bride "floating" toward a future. The "manner" of the scene, described by further context, would explain the true meaning of the sentence.

In an alternate illustrative example, respect is used both in the sense of "recognise a right" and "have high regard for". We can recognise someone's right to the opinion the United Nations is secretly controlled by alien lizards on the moon, without holding this idea in high regard. But conflation of these two different concepts leads to the notion that all ideological ideas should be treated with respect, rather than just the right to hold these ideas. Conflation in logical terms is very similar to, if not identical to, equivocation.

Deliberate idiom conflation is the amalgamation of two different expressions. In most cases, the combination results in a new expression that makes little sense literally, but clearly expresses an idea because it references well-known idioms.

Types


All conflations fit into one of two major categories: "congruent" conflations and "incongruent" conflations.

Congruent conflations


Congruent conflations are the more ideal, and more sought-after, examples of the concept. These occur when the two root expressions reflect similar thoughts. For example, "look who's calling the kettle black" can be formed using the root expressions "look who's talking" and "the pot calling the kettle black". These root expressions really mean the same thing: they are both a friendly way to point out hypocritical behavior. Of course, "look who's calling the kettle black" does not directly imply anything, yet the implication is understood because the conflation clearly refers to two known idioms.

An illustrative conflation brings together two Roman Catholic saints named Lazarus. One, a lame beggar covered with sores which dogs are licking, appears in the New Testament (Luke 16:19–31).[6] The other, Lazarus of Bethany, is identified as the man whom Jesus raised from the dead (John 11:41–44).[7] The beggar's Feast Day is June 21, and Lazarus of Bethany's day is December 17.[8] However, both saints are depicted with crutches; and the blessing of dogs, associated with the beggar saint, usually takes place on December 17, the date associated with the resurrected Lazarus. The two characters' identities have become conflated in most cultural contexts, including the iconography of both saints.[9]

Incongruent conflations


Incongruent conflation occurs when the root expressions do not mean the same thing, but share a common word or theme. For example, "a bull in a candy store" can be formed from the root expressions "a bull in a china shop" and "a kid in a candy store". The latter expression paints a picture of someone ("a kid") who is extraordinarily happy and excited, whereas the former brings to mind the image of a person ("a bull") who is extremely clumsy, indelicate, not suited to a certain environment, prone to act recklessly, or easily provoked. The conflation expresses both of these ideas at the same time. Without context, the speaker's intention is not entirely clear.

An illustrative conflation seems to merge disparate figures as in Santería. St. Lazarus is conflated with the Yoruba deity Babalu Aye, and celebrated on December 17,[8] despite Santería's reliance on the iconography associated with the begging saint whose Feast Day is June 21.[9] By blending the identity of the two conflated St. Lazarus individuals with the identity of the Babalu Aye, Santería has gone one step further than the conflation within Catholicism, to become the kind of religious conflation known as syncretism, in which deities or concepts from two different faiths are conflated to form a third.

Humorous conflations


Idiom conflation has been used as a source of humor in certain situations. For example, the Mexican character El Chapulín Colorado once said

    "Mas vale pájaro en mano que dios lo ayudará...no, no...Dios ayuda al que vuela como pájaro...no... bueno, la idea es esa."

meaning

    "A bird in the hand will get the worm...no, wait...The early bird is worth two in the bush...no... well, that's the idea."

by combining two popular expressions:

    "Más vale pájaro en mano que cientos volando" ("A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.")
    "Al que madruga Dios lo ayuda" ("The early bird gets the worm.")

This was typical of the character, and he did it with several other expressions over the course of his comedy routine.[citation needed]

In popular culture, identities are sometimes intentionally conflated. In the early 2000s, the popular American actors Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez were dating, and the tabloid press referred to them playfully as a third entity, Bennifer.[10]

Taxonomic conflation

In taxonomies, a conflative term is always a polyseme.[11]

Polysemy

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polysemy

Polysemy (/pəˈlɪsɪmi/ or /ˈpɒlɪsiːmi/;[1][2] from Greek: πολυ-, poly-, "many" and σῆμα, sêma, "sign") is the capacity for a sign (such as a word, phrase, or symbol) to have multiple meanings (that is, multiple semes or sememes and thus multiple senses), usually related by contiguity of meaning within a semantic field. Polysemy is thus distinct from homonymy – or homophony – which is an accidental similarity between two words (such as bear the animal, and the verb to bear); while homonymy is often a mere linguistic coincidence, polysemy is not.

Charles Fillmore and Beryl Atkins' definition stipulates three elements: (i) the various senses of a polysemous word have a central origin, (ii) the links between these senses form a network, and (iii) understanding the 'inner' one contributes to understanding of the 'outer' one.[3]

Polysemy is a pivotal concept within disciplines such as media studies and linguistics. The analysis of polysemy, synonymy, and hyponymy and hypernymy is vital to taxonomy and ontology in the information-science senses of those terms. It has applications in pedagogy and machine learning, because they rely on word-sense disambiguation and schemas.[citation needed]

Polysemes

A polyseme is a word or phrase with different, but related senses. Since the test for polysemy is the vague concept of relatedness, judgments of polysemy can be difficult to make. Because applying pre-existing words to new situations is a natural process of language change, looking at words' etymology is helpful in determining polysemy but not the only solution; as words become lost in etymology, what once was a useful distinction of meaning may no longer be so. Some apparently unrelated words share a common historical origin, however, so etymology is not an infallible test for polysemy, and dictionary writers also often defer to speakers' intuitions to judge polysemy in cases where it contradicts etymology. English has many polysemous words. For example, the verb "to get" can mean "procure" (I'll get the drinks), "become" (she got scared), "understand" (I get it) etc.

In vertical polysemy a word refers to a member of a subcategory (e.g., 'dog' for 'male dog').[4] A closely related idea is metonymy, in which a word with one original meaning is used to refer to something else connected to it.

There are several tests for polysemy, but one of them is zeugma: if one word seems to exhibit zeugma when applied in different contexts, it is likely that the contexts bring out different polysemes of the same word. If the two senses of the same word do not seem to fit, yet seem related, then it is likely that they are polysemous. The fact that this test again depends on speakers' judgments about relatedness, however, means that this test for polysemy is not infallible, but is rather merely a helpful conceptual aid.

The difference between homonyms and polysemes is subtle. Lexicographers define polysemes within a single dictionary lemma, numbering different meanings, while homonyms are treated in separate lemmata. Semantic shift can separate a polysemous word into separate homonyms. For example, check as in "bank check" (or Cheque), check in chess, and check meaning "verification" are considered homonyms, while they originated as a single word derived from chess in the 14th century. Psycholinguistic experiments have shown that homonyms and polysemes are represented differently within people's mental lexicon: while the different meanings of homonyms (which are semantically unrelated) tend to interfere or compete with each other during comprehension, this does not usually occur for the polysemes that have semantically related meanings.[5][6][7][8] Results for this contention, however, have been mixed.[9][10][11][12]

For Dick Hebdige[13] polysemy means that, "each text is seen to generate a potentially infinite range of meanings," making, according to Richard Middleton,[14] "any homology, out of the most heterogeneous materials, possible. The idea of signifying practice—texts not as communicating or expressing a pre-existing meaning but as 'positioning subjects' within a process of semiosis—changes the whole basis of creating social meaning".

One group of polysemes are those in which a word meaning an activity, perhaps derived from a verb, acquires the meanings of those engaged in the activity, or perhaps the results of the activity, or the time or place in which the activity occurs or has occurred. Sometimes only one of those meanings is intended, depending on context, and sometimes multiple meanings are intended at the same time. Other types are derivations from one of the other meanings that leads to a verb or activity.


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The Saker's most important article to date, with extremely interesting discussion in the comments!

A crash course on the true causes of “antisemitism”

http://thesaker.is/a-crash-course-on-the-true-causes-of-antisemitism/

This article was written for the Unz Review.

This is a topic which has had so much written about it that you could fill an entire city library with books entirely dedicated to this topic. Marx took a shot at it. As did Sartre. There were, of course, also plenty of good books written on this topic, but rather than list them all, I want to suggest a few simple common sense points and then go to what I consider an authoritative explanation of this thing we call “antisemitism” and which, of course, has nothing to do with Semites.

So first, let’s dump this silly term and replace it by a simple and straightforward one: judeophobia. Just like any other phobia (say, for example, russophobia) the phobia of X is the 1) fear and/or hatred of X. Some people hate Jews, others fear them (think of the “fear of the Jews” in the Scripture), some do both. So judeophobia seems both logical and uncontroversial to me.

Second, it is a truism to say that everything in the universe has a cause. That includes phobias. Including russophobia and judeophobia. For example, I would be the first person to admit that there are objective characteristics of the Russian people which makes other people fear and hate them. Like the fact that all western attempts at conquering Russia have failed. Or that the Russians have always, and still are, rejecting the Papacy. Just these two factors will create plenty of russophobia in the West, for sure.

So, the next thing we can ask ourselves is what is it in Jews which causes judeophobia. Alas, before I look into this, I need to clarify a number of assumptions I make.

The first one is that Jews are not a race or ethnicity. To prove that, I defer to Shlomo Sand’s book “The Invention of the Jewish People”. As I explained elsewhere, Jews are a tribe: A group one can chose to join (Elizabeth Taylor) or leave (Gilad Atzmon). In other words, I see “Jewishness” as a culture, or ideology, or education or any other number of things, but not something rooted in biology. However, I also fully agree with Atzmon when he says that Jews are not a race, but that Jewish culture/politics/ideology is racist (more about that later).

Next, there is also what is commonly known as “Judaism”. That, by the way, is also a misnomer, at least if by “Judaism” you refer the faith of the Old Testament, the faith of the Ancient Israel, the “God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our forefathers”. Modern “Judaism” which was created well after the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 70AD. Modern “Judaism” ought be to called “Pharisaic Talmudism” and its true creators are Shimon bar Yochia, Maimonides (aka “Rambam” in the video below), Joseph Karo and Isaac Luria. The reason why this religion ought to be referred to as Pharisaic Talmudism is modern Judaism is the continuation of the sect of the Pharisees (the only Jewish sect which survived the destruction of Jerusalem and of the Temple – all modern forms of “Judaism” trace their roots to the Pharisees) and that it’s main source of authority is the Talmud, a collection of writings based on the ideas of the sect of the Pharisees and complied from the beginning of the 2nd century. To separate them from non-religious Jews, some authors have offered the term “Judaic” to describe a person adhering to this faith. Seems reasonable to me.

Here is the key thing, while many modern Jews are non-religious and really members of a self-described Jewish tribe, there is no such thing in history as a “Jewish culture” distinct from Pharisaic Talmudism. Remember that national categories are recent creations from the 18th and 19th centuries. For most of history people defined them in reference to 1) their place of residence or birth 2) their religious affiliation and 3) the identity of the ruler they were subjects of. In contrast, nationality and ethnicity are largely modern concepts. The only thing common to a Jew from the Middle-East, Central Europe and North Africa would be teachings of Pharisaic Talmudism. It is only logical therefore to look at this unique common characteristic to try to identify the causes of the hatred and fear Jews have inspired pretty much everywhere they have ever resided.

I will use two official Jewish sources to ascertain the causes of antisemitism, first the Simon Wiesenthal Multi-Media Learning Center’s website and a lecture by Rabbi David Bar Hayim.

Here is what the Simon Wiesenthal Center writes on the page “Why The Jews? The Patterns of Persecution”

    Jewish communities existed continuously in Europe for over 2,000 years. Many of these communities were older than the countries in which they existed. Nevertheless, as the countries of Europe developed, Jews were rarely given complete citizenship status. At best they were tolerated as guests. Their social and religious distinctiveness made them persistent targets for persecution; and such persecution, in turn, intensified the cohesiveness of Jewish communities.

    The emergence of Christianity as the dominant religion in Europe intensified the persecution of Jews. Since both the religious and political life of Europe became organized around the Christian faith, Jews were seen as outcasts, the deniers and “killers” of Christ. For millions of European Christians, for over 1600 years, the hatred and persecution of Jews was religiously sanctioned. Antisemitism intensified during the l9th and 20th century industrialization of Europe as Jews participated more directly in European economic and social life.

    By 1933, the patterns of economic, social, and personal persecution of European Jews were well established. Nazi racial antisemitism and propaganda amplified and manipulated these patterns, ultimately adding one deadly tenet–that all Jews must be eliminated.

This is the garden variety cop-out: they were older, but never given citizenship, they were tolerated as guests, their social and religious distinctiveness made them targets for persecution, then the Christians accused them of killing Christ, antisemitism was religiously sanctioned, then came the Nazis and added their racist propaganda. But it has a grain of truth buried deep inside the rest of the platitudes: “social and religious distinctiveness”. What are we talking about here exactly?

This sounds interesting so let’s immediately delve into it!

The following is a lecture by Rabbi David Bar-Hayim whose biography, and gently smiling face, you can find on Wikipedia. For our purposes, just the first paragraph will be enough. It says that Bar-Hayim is an “Israeli Orthodox rabbi who heads the Shilo Institute (Machon Shilo), a Jerusalem-based rabbinical court and institute of Jewish education dedicated to the Torah of Israel”. Not a lightweight by any means, and a man with established credentials. Now let’s listen to what he has to say.

I strongly encourage you to take the time to carefully listen to his entire lecture (1h47m) to not only convince yourself that my chosen excerpts are not partial or taken out of context, but also to get an emotional “feel” for the man who not only is an articulate speaker who is clearly used to teaching, but who also conveys a coherent picture of a man who gave these topics a great deal of thought and who has to courage to call things by their names rather than to “remain silent” like so many of his “politically correct” colleges.

So here is this lecture:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6cePM18Yvp8

also, and just in case this lecture would “mysteriously” disappear from YouTube following the publication of my article, I decided to re-upload it here:

http://www.myvi.ru/watch/Why-are-the-Rabbis-Silent-about-Gaza_RMl1JJ_ftUy7fjzY7Ehgug2

Next, here are a key statements from the beginning of this lecture posted along their time-stamp so you can check for their authenticity:

    09:20 The Torah teaches that the life of a Jew is more precious than the life of a non-Jew.
    10:00 God (HaShem) prefers Jews to non-Jews and gives them a special status.
    11:00 The notion that Jews and non-Jews are equally precious to God contradicts the spirit of the Torah from beginning to end.
    16:40 According to Shimon bar Yochia (aka Rashbi) “the best of non-Jews should be killed in warfare” because just as Jews cannot know if a snake approaching you is venomous or not, Jews cannot know which non-Jew is a danger to then.
    25:16 Jews must assume that it is likely that any non-Jew they meet does not live by the Noahide Laws.

Here an explanation is needed about the so-called “Noahide Laws”. According to Wikipedia (I use it as the hyper-politically-correct source) the Noahide Laws “are a set of imperatives which, according to the Talmud, were given by God as a binding set of laws for the “children of Noah” – that is, all of humanity”. Here are these laws as listed by Maimonides himself:

    Prohibition of Idolatry
    Prohibition of Blasphemy
    Prohibition of Homicide
    Prohibition of Sexual Immorality
    Prohibition of Theft
    Prohibition of Limb of a Living Creature
    Imperative of Legal System

Sounds “kinda not modern”, but hey, that is no “worse” than the 10 Commandants, right? Wrong! Wrong for two crucial reasons. First, the penalty for breaking any one of these laws, at least according to Rabbi David Bar-Hayim, is death (listen to the lecture for yourself!). Second, this list uses a euphemism when is speaks of “idolatry”. What is meant here is not some pagan blood ceremony to sacrifice babies to some god of thunder, but “Avodah Zarah”. How do I know that? Listen to the lecture again, the Rabbi is very clear about it. And what exactly is “Avodah Zarah”? It is “foreign worship” or, to put it simply, the religions of the aliens, the others, the nations, the goyim. This is exactly the accusation made by Pharisaic Judaics against Christianity: making “That Man” (the typical Talmudic reference to Christ) into an idol. True, during the Middle-Ages overt references to Christianity were obfuscated and even today to the question whether Avodah Zarah is applicable to Christianity the official answer is wonderfully hypocritical: Christianity is a “special type of avodah zarah is forbidden to Jews but permissible to gentiles, so that a non-Jew who engages in Christian worship commits no sin”. First, this is an explicit modern Jewish admission that those Jews who convert to Christianity are committing a crime deserving the death penalty. But, more importantly, this is clearly a cop-out as this “special type of avodah zarah” has no basis in traditional Pharisaic Talmudic teachings. So this might come as a shock to many, but according to Pharisaic Talmudists, all Christians deserve to be killed for the sin of idolatry. Feel the love…

Now here is the sad part, in the USA these rabidly anti-Christians laws have been proclaimed as the “bedrock of society from the dawn of civilization” by both President Reagan and Congress. And to think that these guys fancy themselves as “Christians”…

I am sure that there are those who are absolutely convinced that what I wrote above is a gross misrepresentation of fact, that there is no way “Judaism” would really teach any such horrors. Think again, and listen to the Rabbi himself:

    25:33 Those who do not keep the Seven Noahide Laws are all therefore guilty of a capital offense
    25:49 “Avoda Zara”, i.e. idolatry meaning Christianity was the most common offense.

Of course, for those who know anything about Pharisaic Talmudism none of the above will come as any surprise. After all, did the Rabbi not also clearly state that:

    16:40 According to Shimon bar Yochia (aka Rashbi) “the best of non-Jews should be killed in warfare” because just as Jews cannot know if a snake approaching you is venomous or not, Jews cannot know which non-Jew is a danger to then.

Non-Jews are explicitly compared to snakes! He also says something similar later in the lecture:

    26:15 since you cannot bring a perishing non-Jew to court to establish his guilt, you take a neutral position by neither helping him nor killing him.

You got that? Since, like with snakes, it is impossible to tell a dangerous non-Jews apart from a safe one, you cannot just kill him. For that you need a ruling by a rabbinical court. But saving him is no option either, because he most likely deserves the death penalty (say, for being a Christian). So you do nothing when you see a non-Jew in danger or even perishing. Interestingly enough, the Rabbi is also asked if that kind of non-assistance to a person in danger could not negatively impact the reputation of Jews and he immediately replies:

    1:22:00 if not saving a non-Jew makes Jews look bad, then the Jew ought to lie about his motives

So it is okay to let a non-Jew die and, if challenged, just lie about it!

The key concept here is simple: Jews are more important to God and, therefore, to themselves than non-Jews. This is why

    1:00:30 there is no requirement to return a lost object to a non-Jew
    1:17:40 Jews can brake the sabbath to save a Jew but not a non-Jew because Jews do not consider all lives to be equal

I will stop the examples here. The Rabbi clearly says that the humanistic notion that all humans are equal is contrary to the entire spirit of the Torah. If after that you don’t get it….

What about the so-called Golden Rule about “do unto others”?

What about these:

    You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against your kinsfolk. Love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD (Leviticus 19:18 )
    What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow: this is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn. (Shabbath folio:31a, Babylonian Talmud)

Did you notice the key caveats “your kindsfolk” and “your fellow”. Pharisaic Talmudism interprets these passages are referring only to fellow Jews and not to the semi-bestial goyim! It is laughable to a Rabbi when he hears a non-Jew saying that all humans were created in the image and likeness of God. Pharisaic Talmudism explicitly contradicts that (and the Kabbalah even more so!). Still don’t agree? Which part of “ the humanistic notion that all humans are equal is contrary to the entire spirit of the Torah” don’t you get?!

The simple truth is that Pharisaic Talmudism (aka modern “Judaism”) is the only religion which teaches a God-revealed racism.

This is hardly a new discovery of mine. Just read Michael Hoffman’s superb magnum opus Judaism Discovered (available on Amazon and on his on his website). In fact, there have been thousands of books already written on this topic, and many are available online for download in various file formats. What makes the video by Rabbi David Bar-Hayim so interesting is that it is 1) official 2) recent 3) that he really confirms it all. But for those who, like myself and, I am sure, many readers here, have known about it for decades, this was absolutely nothing new.

A couple of crucial caveats here: there are many Jews out there (most, I would say) who are totally unaware of all this. Even “Conservative” and “Reform” synagogues don’t preach that too overtly (though sometimes even they do). This kind of religious racism is mostly taught in Orthodox Yeshivas and, of course, in various Haredi institutions in Israel. For these ignorant Jews any such explanations of the causes of antisemitism in world history are not only offensive (blaming the victim) but also completely unfair (“my family never said any such things!”). Second, while this kind of, frankly, demonic teachings have only been taught in religious circles, they nevertheless also have had a deep impact upon the outlook of many (but not all!) secular Jews many of whom might never have been told that all Christians deserve to be executed, but who still will have a profound and almost knee-jerk repulsion towards Christianity. The distance between Rabbi David Bar-Hayim and Sarah Silverman and her famous quote “I hope that Jews did kill Christ, I’d do it again in a second” is very, very short.

Finally, for all the (alas many) bone-headed racists out there, none of that Pharisaic ideology is transmissible by genes so please don’t give me that “all Jews” nonsense. Some Jews do espouse these views, others don’t. Remember, Jews are not a race or ethnicity, they are a tribe. A Jew who completely rejects all this religiously-sanctioned racism about goyims does not somehow still mysteriously carry in himself some “Talmudic bacillum” which can flare up and turn him overnight into a hate-filled racist.

    [Sidebar: For whatever it is worth, in my life I have seen more kindness and compassion from (secular) Jews than from my fellow Orthodox Christians. Very often in my life I have had secular Jews being like the Good Samaritan from the Gospel (Luke 10:25-37):

    And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?

    And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.

    Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?

    And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.

    Notice two things: first, Christ frontally debunks the racist interpretation of the words “thy neighbor” and, second, He also clearly commands us how we should treat all of our neighbors.]

So now we have it: the root causes of antisemitism are not to be found in some weird cause-less aberration common to every single nation on earth, but in the teachings of Pharisaic Talmudism. What is exceptionally pernicious is that by what could be referred to as cultural-osmosis non-religious Jews find themselves raised in a secular culture which still holds this kinds of beliefs, minus their external religious trappings.

Furthermore, there are many non-Jews who, when seeing both religious secular Jews equally hostile to their religion and traditions, come to the conclusion that “all Jews” are bad. Throw in enough politicians (on both sides) to bring a flame to this toxic mix and you end up with an inevitable explosion. Hence all the persecutions.

Judeophobia has its roots in the demonic teachings of the sect of the Pharisees whose religiously-sanctioned racism has, unfortunately, permeated the worldview of many secular Jews. As long as Orthodox rabbis will stick to their demented self-worship (this is real idolatry, by the way!), “antisemitism” will continue to “mysteriously” rear its ugly head.

Brecht was right, “’The belly is still fertile from which the foul beast sprang”. He just got the ‘belly’ wrong.

The Saker


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THE RISING OF BRITAIN'S 'NEW POLITICS'

http://johnpilger.com/articles/the-rising-of-britain-s-new-politics

As the Tories plot to get rid of Prime Minister Theresa May, John Pilger analyses the alternative Labour Party, specifically its foreign policy, which may not be what it seems.

6 October 2017

by John Pilger

Delegates to the recent Labour Party conference in the English seaside town of Brighton seemed not to notice a video playing in the main entrance.  The world's third biggest arms manufacturer, BAE Systems, supplier to Saudi Arabia, was promoting its guns, bombs, missiles, naval ships and fighter aircraft.

It seemed a perfidious symbol of a party in which millions of Britons now invest their political hopes. Once the preserve of Tony Blair, it is now led by Jeremy Corbyn, whose career has been very different and is rare in British establishment politics.

Addressing the Labour conference, the campaigner Naomi Klein described the rise of Corbyn as "part of a global phenomenon. We saw it in Bernie Sanders' historic campaign in the US primaries, powered by millennials who know that safe centrist politics offers them no kind of safe future."

In fact, at the end of the US primary elections last year, Sanders led his followers into the arms of Hillary Clinton, a liberal warmonger from a long tradition in the Democratic Party.

As President Obama's Secretary of State, Clinton presided over the invasion of Libya in 2011, which led to a stampede of refugees to Europe. She gloated at the gruesome murder of Libya's president. Two years earlier, Clinton signed off on a coup that overthrew the democratically elected president of Honduras. That she has been invited to Wales on 14 October to be given an honorary doctorate by the University of Swansea because she is "synonymous with human rights" is unfathomable.

Like Clinton, Sanders is a cold-warrior and "anti-communist" obsessive with a proprietorial view of the world beyond the United States. He supported Bill Clinton's and Tony Blair's illegal assault on Yugoslavia in 1998 and the invasions of Afghanistan, Syria and Libya, as well as Barack Obama's campaign of terrorism by drone. He backs the provocation of Russia and agrees that the whistleblower Edward Snowden should stand trial. He has called the late Hugo Chavez - a social democrat who won multiple elections - "a dead communist dictator".

While Sanders is a familiar liberal politician, Corbyn may be a phenomenon, with his indefatigable support for the victims of American and British imperial adventures and for popular resistance movements.

For example, in the 1960s and 70s, the Chagos islanders were expelled from their homeland, a British colony in the Indian Ocean, by a Labour government. An entire population was kidnapped. The aim was to make way for a US military base on the main island of Diego Garcia: a secret deal for which the British were "compensated" with a discount of $14 million off the price of a Polaris nuclear submarine.

I have had much to do with the Chagos islanders and have filmed them in exile in Mauritius and the Seychelles, where they suffered and some of them "died from sadness", as I was told. They found a political champion in a Labour Member of Parliament, Jeremy Corbyn.

So did the Palestinians. So did Iraqis terrorised by a Labour prime minister's invasion of their country in 2003. So did others struggling to break free from the designs of western power. Corbyn supported the likes of Hugo Chavez, who brought more than hope to societies subverted by the US behemoth.

And yet, now Corbyn is closer to power than he might have ever imagined, his foreign policy remains a secret.

By secret, I mean there has been rhetoric and little else. "We must put our values at the heart of our foreign policy," said Corbyn at the Labour conference. But what are these "values"?

Since 1945, like the Tories, British Labour has been an imperial party, obsequious to Washington: a record exemplified by the crime in the Chagos islands.

What has changed? Is Corbyn saying Labour will uncouple itself from the US war machine, and the US spying apparatus and US economic blockades that scar humanity?

His shadow Foreign Secretary, Emily Thornberry, says a Corbyn government "will put human rights back at the heart of Britain's foreign policy". But human rights have never been at the heart of British foreign policy - only "interests", as Lord Palmerston declared in the 19th century: the interests of those at the apex of British society.

Thornberry quoted the late Robin Cook who, as Tony Blair's first Foreign Secretary in 1997, pledged an "ethical foreign policy" that would "make Britain once again a force for good in the world".

History is not kind to imperial nostalgia. The recently commemorated division of India by a Labour government in 1947 - with a border hurriedly drawn up by a London barrister, Gordon Radcliffe, who had never been to India and never returned - led to blood-letting on a genocidal scale.

Shut up in a lonely mansion, with police night and day

Patrolling the gardens to keep the assassins away,

He got down to work, to the task of settling the fate

Of millions. The maps at his disposal were out of date

And the Census Returns almost certainly incorrect,

But there was no time to check them, no time to inspect

Contested areas. The weather was frightfully hot,

And a bout of dysentery kept him constantly on the trot,

But in seven weeks it was done, the frontiers decided,

A continent for better or worse divided.


W.H. Auden, 'Partition'


It was the same Labour government (1945--51), led by Prime Minister Clement Attlee - "radical" by today's standards - that dispatched General Douglas Gracey's British imperial army to Saigon with orders to re-arm the defeated Japanese in order to prevent Vietnamese nationalists from liberating their own country. Thus, the longest war of the century was ignited.

It was a Labour Foreign Secretary, Ernest Bevin, whose policy of "mutuality" and "partnership" with some of the world's most vicious despots, especially in the Middle East, forged relationships that endure today, often sidelining and crushing the human rights of whole communities and societies. The cause was British "interests" - oil, power, wealth.

In the "radical" 1960s, Labour's Defence Secretary, Denis Healey, set up the Defence Sales Organisation (DSO) specifically to boost the arms trade and make money from selling lethal weapons to the world. Healey told Parliament, "While we attach the highest importance to making progress in the field of arms control and disarmament, we must also take what practical steps we can to ensure that this country does not fail to secure its rightful share of this valuable market."

The doublethink was quintessentially Labour. When I later asked Healey about this "valuable market", he claimed his decision made no difference to the volume of military exports. In fact, it led to an almost doubling of Britain's share of the arms market. Today, Britain is the second biggest arms dealer on earth, selling arms and fighter planes, machine guns and "riot control" vehicles, to 22 of the 30 countries on the British Government's own list of human rights violators.

Will this cease under a Corbyn government? The preferred model - Robin Cook's "ethical foreign policy" - is revealing. Like Jeremy Corbyn, Cook made his name as a backbencher and critic of the arms trade. "Wherever weapons are sold," wrote Cook, "there is a tacit conspiracy to conceal the reality of war" and "it is a truism that every war for the past two decades has been fought by poor countries with weapons supplied by rich countries".

Cook singled out the sale of British Hawk fighters to Indonesia as "particularly disturbing". Indonesia "is not only repressive but actually at war on two fronts: in East Timor, where perhaps a sixth of the population has been slaughtered... and in West Papua, where it confronts an indigenous liberation movement".

As Foreign Secretary, Cook promised "a thorough review of arms sales". The then Nobel Peace Laureate, Bishop Carlos Belo of East Timor, appealed directly to Cook: "Please, I beg you, do not sustain any longer a conflict which without these arms sales could never have been pursued in the first place and not for so very long." He was referring to Indonesia's bombing of East Timor with British Hawks and the slaughter of his people with British machine guns. He received no reply.

The following week Cook called journalists to the Foreign Office to announce his "mission statement" for "human rights in a new century". This PR event included the usual private briefings for selected journalists, including the BBC, in which Foreign Office officials lied that there was "no evidence" that British Hawk aircraft were deployed in East Timor.

A few days later, the Foreign Office issued the results of Cook's "thorough review" of arms sales policy. "It was not realistic or practical," wrote Cook, "to revoke licences which were valid and in force at the time of Labour's election victory". Suharto's Minister for Defence, Edi Sudradjat, said that talks were already under way with Britain for the purchase of 18 more Hawk fighters. "The political change in Britain will not affect our negotiations," he said. He was right.

Today, replace Indonesia with Saudi Arabia and East Timor with Yemen. British military aircraft - sold with the approval of both Tory and Labour governments and built by the firm whose promotional video had pride of place at the Labour Party conference - are bombing the life out of Yemen, one of the most impoverished countries in the world, where half the children are malnourished and there is the greatest cholera epidemic in modern times.

Hospitals and schools, weddings and funerals have been attacked. In Ryadh, British military personnel are reported to be training the Saudis in selecting targets.

In Labour's 2017 manifesto, Jeremy Corbyn and his party colleagues promised that "Labour will demand a comprehensive, independent, UN-led investigation into alleged violations... in Yemen, including air strikes on civilians by the Saudi-led coalition. We will immediately suspend any further arms sales for use in the conflict until that investigation is concluded."

But the evidence of Saudi Arabia's crimes in Yemen is already documented by Amnesty and others, notably by the courageous reporting of the British journalist Iona Craig. The dossier is voluminous.

Labour does not promise to stop arms exports to Saudi Arabia. It does not say Britain will withdraw its support for governments responsible for the export of Islamist jihadism. There is no commitment to dismantle the arms trade.

The manifesto describes a "special relationship [with the US] based on shared values... When the current Trump administration chooses to ignore them... we will not be afraid to disagree".

As Jeremy Corbyn knows, dealing with the US is not about merely "disagreeing". The US is a rapacious, rogue power that ought not to be regarded as a natural ally of any state championing human rights, irrespective of whether Trump or anyone else is President.

When Emily Thornberry linked Venezuela with the Philippines as "increasingly autocratic regimes" - slogans bereft of facts and ignoring the subversive US role in Venezuela - she was consciously playing to the enemy: a tactic with which Jeremy Corbyn will be familiar.

A Corbyn government will allow the Chagos islanders the right of return. But Labour says nothing about renegotiating the 50-year renewal agreement that Britain has just signed with the US allowing it to use the base on Diego Garcia from which it has bombed Afghanistan and Iraq.

A Corbyn government will "immediately recognise the state of Palestine". But it is silent on whether Britain will continue to arm Israel, continue to acquiesce in the illegal trade in Israel's illegal "settlements" and treat Israel merely as a warring party, rather than as an historic oppressor given immunity by Washington and London.

On Britain's support for Nato's current war preparations, Labour boasts that the "last Labour government spent above the benchmark of 2 per cent of GDP" on Nato. It says, "Conservative spending cuts have put Britain's security at risk" and promises to boost Britain's military "obligations".

In fact, most of the £40 billion Britain currently spends on the military is not for territorial defence of the UK but for offensive purposes to enhance British "interests" as defined by those who have tried to smear Jeremy Corbyn as unpatriotic.

If the polls are reliable, most Britons are well ahead of their politicians, Tory and Labour. They would accept higher taxes to pay for public services; they want the National Health Service restored to full health. They want decent jobs and wages and housing and schools; they do not hate foreigners but resent exploitative labour. They have no fond memory of an empire on which the sun never set.

They oppose the invasion of other countries and regard Blair as a liar.  The rise of Donald Trump has reminded them what a menace the United States can be, especially with their own country in tow.

The Labour Party is the beneficiary of this mood, but many of its pledges - certainly in foreign policy - are qualified and compromised, suggesting, for many Britons, more of the same.

Jeremy Corbyn is widely and properly recognised for his integrity; he opposes the renewal of Trident nuclear weapons; the Labour Party supports it. But he has given shadow cabinet positions to pro-war MPs who support Blairism, tried to get rid of him and abused him as "unelectable".

"We are the political mainstream now," says Corbyn. Yes, but at what price?


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Judaism, Zionism and Conflation

http://www.gilad.co.uk/writings/2017/10/9/judaism-zionism-and-conflation

By Gilad Atzmon

Jewish Anti Zionists are occasionally irritated by the ‘conflation’ of ‘Zionism and Judaism’ but the terms are inherently related.

Conflation is usually understood as the merging of two or more distinct sets of information, texts, ideas, etc. into one. Does this concept apply to Zionism and Judaism? Are Zionism and Judaism distinct terms? Are Jews and Zionism categorically different from each other? 

For example, can Americanism and exceptionalism be conflated? Can round and circular be conflated? The distinction between terms that are related can be confusing. But the relationship between Jews and Zionism is clear. This is also true of the relationship among Zionism, Jews and Judaism. These terms are intrinsically related politically, culturally, religiously and at times they form a metaphysical continuum. 

Rabbi Yaakov Shapiro, probably the most eloquent Torah Jew spokesperson, has repeatedly argued that those who‘conflate’ Judaism and Zionism are “either Zionists or anti-Semites.” But Zionism and Judaism, as we will see next,  are integrally related.

The vast majority of Rabbinical Jews see Judaism and Zionism as correlated precepts. This is not a recent phenomenon. As early as 1942, at the peak of WWII, 818 orthodox American rabbis signed a document reaffirming the essential bond between Zionism and Judaism. The Rabbis’ document reads, “the overwhelming majority of American Rabbis regard Zionism not only as fully consistent with Judaism but as a logical expression and implementation of it.” We can also look to the Judaic teaching of Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook. Kook, who died in 1935, was the chief rabbi of Mandatory Palestine. He is considered one of the fathers of religious Zionism.  For Kook, Eretz Yisrael was the spatial centre of holiness in the world. Like other Zionist agitators, Kook rejected the galut (Jewish Diaspora). The messianic Zionist settler movement is largely inspired by Kook’s teaching.   

The Rabbis who subscribe to the Zionist enterprise clearly do not differentiate between Judaism and Zionism. For them, Zionism and Judaism are at the core of the contemporaneous Judaic call. These Rabbis do not conflate Zionism with Judaism: they simply do not differentiate the two.

But what about the so-called ‘anti Semites,’ do they ‘conflate’ Judaism and Zionism? Some critics of Israel argue that Zionist criminality is the outcome of Judaic dismissal of otherness. They point at some problematic segments within the Talmud and argue that Israeli brutality is a continuation of those inhumane teachings. Whether or not this argument is valid, the suggestion that Zionism inherited its brutality from Judaism suggests that the so called anti Semite’s understanding of Zionism and the Talmud are linked by a chain of causality, and is not a case of conflation.

So the rabbinical Zionists and the ‘anti Semites’ do not conflate Zionism and Judaism, but what about Israel and the Israelis? Israel is invested in a dialectical battle with the merger of Judaism and Zionism. Israel defines itself as the ‘Jewish’ State not the ‘Judaic’ State. Secular Zionism has, since its inception,  had an ambivalent relationship with Rabbinical institutes. Though the rabbinical institutions in Israel have managed to dictate halakha law, Israeli political institutions have, at least until now, compartmentalised religious and civil matters.

While in Judaism (as in Islam), there is no dichotomy between the religio and the civil, Zionism promised to make Jews into‘people like all other people.’ This promise was inspired by Christian civilisation -- a social environment that endeavored to maintain a dichotomy between religion and civil laws. Zionism’s original promise to civilise the Jews was intended to liberate the newly invented Jewish ‘nation’ from its ‘reactionary’ religious heritage. This indicates that even the Israelis do not conflate Judaism and Zionism. They, somehow, differentiate between the two, although they probably admit to themselves that they often overlap.

But if Judaism and Zionism are not distinct notions and, as a result, conflation is not possible, it would also be wrong to argue, as many commentators do, that‘Judaism was hijacked by Zionism.’ If anything, the facts suggest the opposite. It was Zionism that was hijacked by Judaism. Zionism began as an anti Judaic movement. It promised to emancipate the Jews from their ‘reactionary’ past by means of a ‘homecoming’. It promised to civilise diaspora Jews and make them a part of a productive, functional and autonomous nation. Many early Zionist texts read like anti-Semitic tracts. They spew anti Jewish rants. But it didn’t take long for Judaism to contain the emerging tsunami of Early-Zionist ferocity and teach the Jews to love themselves once again. It is important to note that when Zionism was anti Judaic, universalist and humanist, it was a marginal movement. Hardly any Jews followed the few early Zionist idealists. However, as soon as Zionism became tribal, expansionist and even militant, its popularity amongst Jews grew rapidly. It is reasonable to argue that it was Rabbis like Kook and later the Chabbad sect that skillfully and wittingly integrated Zionism into their Judaic teaching. By doing so, they killed Zionist anti Judaic ferocity. They reunited the tribe.

It seems that no one conflates Judaism and Zionism, not the Rabbinical Zionist who see Judaism and Zionism as one,  nor the anti-Semite who sees Judaism and Zionism in causal terms. Even the Israelis do not conflate the two.  Those who reference to conflation may do so in order to sustain the confusion relating to Jews and their politics.

Kosher Trinity And Jewish Quantum Mechanics

While pre-emancipated Jews where at ease with their ethno-religious identity, the French revolution, emancipation and secularisation introduced complexity to identity issues for European Jews. Since then, secular Jews have found it difficult or even impossible to consolidate their tribal identity within the emerging universal discourse around them. They find it impossible to fuse their cultural racial orientation with their anti racist progressive political rants. Zionism offered a solution. It promised to take the Jews away, to remove the problem. But Zionism only managed to move the problem to a new place.

Diaspora Jews have developed different tactics to deal with their identity crises. Contemporary Jewish identity is shaped like a tri-polar magnetic field in which one pole is religion, another is race and the third is politics.

When Jewish politics is subject to criticism (Israel, Zionism, the Lobby, etc.) some Jews claim to be ‘racially offended’ in spite of the fact that race, biology, blood or ethnicity was never mentioned. When Jewish racism is subject to criticism (choseness, Israel race laws, etc.) some Jews are affronted by a perceived attack on their religion.  When the religion or some obscene Jewish religious teaching is disparaged, many Jews are quick to assert that they are hardly religious anymore (which is true by the way). We are confronting a quantum leap--an evasive identity that is morphing constantly. It moves rapidly within its kosher trinity field, it is everywhere and nowhere. The reason for this is that the Kosher Trinity makes it very difficult, or even impossible to criticise Jewish politics, ideology and religion. The Kosher Trinity allows Jews to boast about their cultural symptoms and great achievements while claiming offense when any of these symptoms are discussed by others. This quantum model is set to suppress any possible dissent and avoid Jewish self-reflection. As much as you may find it hard to grasp what Jews are, Jews share the struggle to address who they are and what they are up to.


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Hungarian MP: 'Christian duty to fight Satan's Soros plan to bring migrants into Europe'

https://www.sott.net/article/364079-Hungarian-MP-Christian-duty-to-fight-Satans-Soros-plan-to-bring-migrants-into-Europe

A Hungarian MP slammed billionaire George Soros and supporters for attempting to dilute the spirit of Europe with "the forced settlement of tens of millions of migrants." He claimed there is a Christian duty to fight what he called "Satan's Soros" plan.

The lawmaker in question, Andras Aradszki, who represents the Christian Democratic People's Party (KDNP), claimed that "Soros and his comrades want to destroy the independence and values of nation states," as cited by the Budapest Beacon.

According to Aradszki this is happening "for the purpose of watering down the Christian spirit of Europe with the forced settlement of tens of millions of migrants."

"But the fight against Satan is a Christian duty. Yes, I speak of an attack by Satan, who is also the angel of denial, because they are denying what they are preparing to do - even when it is completely obvious. They frantically try to prove that there is no [refugee] quota, there is no compulsory settlement, and the Soros Plan does not exist," Aradszki noted.

"The national consultation is an outstanding opportunity for us to make our opinions known about Satan's Soros Plan," he concluded. On Sunday, the Chief Security Advisor to the Prime Minister, Gyorgy Bakondi, warned of the implications of the "Soros Plan."

"This may have serious consequences for the sovereignty of member states, for the nations themselves, and also with regard to the security of European citizens," he pointed out.

Soros stated in 2015 that the "EU has to accept at least a million asylum-seekers annually for the foreseeable future. And, to do that, it must share the burden fairly."

"Adequate financing is critical," the billionaire wrote. "The EU should provide £10,000 (€15,000) per asylum-seeker for each of the first two years to help cover housing, health care, and education costs - and to make accepting refugees more appealing to member states."

Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who has repeatedly blamed Hungarian-born Soros of fueling the refugee crisis in Europe, said that "Brussels has come under George Soros's influence."

"We have revealed the existence of the Soros plan, and the drafter himself admitted that it exists. We have placed it in the focus of politics," the prime minister said in an interview to public radio on Friday.

In July, Orban accused Soros of using the EU in order to create a "new, mixed, Muslimized Europe," according to AP. The prime minister said that Soros is now more powerful in Brussels than in Washington or Tel Aviv and he argued that European institutions should fight to limit his influence.

He noted that reforming Europe can only begin by stopping illegal migration into the EU and that Hungary's border defenses will help with that effort.

Late last month Orban called on Hungarians to participate in the government's public survey on the "Soros plan," noting that it will help the country shield itself from migration. The survey dubbed "national consultation" will ask Hungarians for their view on whether or not Hungary should become an immigrant country.

"We want a Hungarian Hungary and a European Europe," Orban said on the first day of parliament's autumn session.

Last week Goran Buldioski, director of Soros' Open Society Initiatives in Europe, told AP that Soros and his foundations support "more coherent and humane policies for helping to resettle migrants fleeing oppression and violence in their homelands" but that "there is no such thing as a global conspiracy against Hungary."

Hungary is engaged in a bitter row with the EU over the refugee relocation quotas, together with Poland and Slovakia. The issue dates back to the EU decision made in 2015 to rehouse some 160,000 refugees from Greece and Italy over a period of two years, only around 27,700 of whom have been settled so far.

Hungary claimed in September that its fences on the borders with Croatia and Serbia had helped to cut the inflow of migrants by 99.7 percent since 2015. The small inland nation now has one quarter of the length of its borders protected by a fence. The Hungarian border fence has been repeatedly criticized by other European countries, as well as by EU politicians, but Budapest has resisted pressure to remove it.


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He claimed there is a Christian duty to fight what he called "Satan's Soros" plan.

Erm.. was it not the Christian leadership that brought them here in the first place ?

Germany's Iron Lady Angela Merkel reveals she believes in God - and religion has always been her constant companion

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2228664/Angela-Merkel-believes-God-strong-Christian-beliefs.html

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has enlisted a heavyweight companion to fight alongside her in next year's general election - God.

A day after scrapping an unpopular medical charge and boosting benefits for stay-at-home mothers, Mrs Merkel has taken a leaf out of Tony Blair's book to declare that she has strong religious beliefs.

It is the first time that the former Lutheran minister's daughter, a cool-headed physicist who was raised in former Communist East Germany, has admitted that faith is a vital part of her life.

Religious leaders urge UK Prime Minister to do more for refugees


http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2016/09/12/484347/Theresa-May-pressured-to-help-refugees

British  Prime Minister Theresa May is being criticized by more than 200 religious leaders for her government’s lack of concern for refugees.

Faith leaders have signed an open letter to May calling for urgent changes to the government’s refugee policy, particularly to allow families to be reunited.

The letter said: "In the face of the unfolding human catastrophe, there are immediate and viable steps that the government can take to offer sanctuary to more refugees. We call on you to create safe, legal routes of travel, for example by adopting fair and humane family reunion policies for refugees.” 

Signatories to the letter are leaders from Britain’s major faiths: Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jain, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, and Zoroastrian.

“All our faiths teach us to alleviate suffering and share with those in need; many of our members and congregants are already active in helping refugees. We call on the Government to do more.”

The controlled opposition shares a similar position:

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jun/19/theresa-may-to-chair-cobra-meeting-after-finsbury-park-terror-attack

Corbyn had visited the scene once he was alerted to it by officials, and later returned to meet community leaders.

He said: “This is a very multi-faith community. Christians, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, all live around here. This is a microcosm of a community working together.

“An attack on a mosque, an attack on a synagogue, an attack on a church, is actually an attack on all of us. We have to protect each other’s faith, each other’s way of life. That’s what makes us a strong society and community.”

Believing in something that is not provably true, and supporting those views in an echo chamber of faith, is not a strong society Jeremy.. it is a mass delusion.
« Last Edit: 2017-10-11, 22:18:16 by evolvingape »


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Is Jeremy Corbyn on the road to Rome?

https://www.christiantoday.com/article/is.jeremy.corbyn.on.the.road.to.rome/113334.htm

Jeremy Corbyn is a long-time friend of Bruce Kent, the laicised Catholic priest and prominent CND campaigner. They have attended church together on at least one occason in the past.

In addition he is married to Laura Alvarez, from Mexico, a traditionally Catholic country.

At the funeral of Mary Turner, who was president of the GMB union, and who died in July, Corbyn was seen with his wife in the queue for Holy Communion. He also spoke at the funeral and paid his respects to her family and Mary's memory.

In the same way that someone who is not a member of the Labour Party can't just turn up and vote at a Labour Party Conference, the Catholic Church has strict rules about who can receive communion, which Corbyn will certainly know about. The Westminster Archdiocese, in which the funeral at Sacred Heart Church in Kilburn took place, expects people to be 'in full communion with the Catholic Church' if they wish to receive communion.

There are exceptions, but in general, Holy Communion is restricted to baptised and confirmed Catholics. If a baptised Anglican is on holiday and there is no Anglican church within reach, they can receive communion in an RC church.

At events where non-Catholics are likely to be present, such as funerals, Catholic priests will normally invite everyone to the altar rail, but make it clear that non-Catholics should request a blessing.

If Corbyn did actually go on to receive communion, and not merely a blessing, does this mean that he has converted? That he is no longer an agnostic?

A spokesman for the Labour leader told Christian Today: 'Jeremy has not converted to Catholicism.'

Nevertheless, Corbyn has certainly for decades been attracted by the social teaching of the Catholic Church, with its emphasis on justice for the poor and marginalised.

The story, revealed in the New Statesman, echoes those around former Prime Minister Tony Blair when he was still an Anglican. Blair joined his wife Cherie in the Catholic Church – but only after he left Downing Street.

It was common knowledge that Blair was on a journey to Rome. Cardinal Basil Hume, predecessor to Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor as Archbishop of Westminster, found he had no choice but to write to Blair in 1996 asking him to stop taking communion in Cherie's parish in Islington, the Church of St Joan of Arc.

Corbyn went to a CofE school but has always been understood to be agnostic, although he has never disclosed much about what he believes. In 2015 he said: 'I respect all faiths, I probably spend more time going to religious services than most people, of all types.'

Catholic Canon Law states that the salvation of souls in the Church must always be the supreme law. Maybe someone high up has decided the salvation of Jeremy Corbyn overrides the rules. That really would be God having the most fantastic sense of humour – if Corbyn does one day end up become Britain's first ever Roman Catholic Prime Minister. 


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Cultural Relativism

http://ironbarkresources.com/mc/mc07.htm

Many multiculturalists promote the idea of cultural relativism, i.e. "that each culture is of equal value, and should not be judged from the cultural perspectives of others". This actually means that no-one can pass judgement on another culture as that person's "value judgement" will be made on the basis of their own cultural values. In this manner of thinking, all cultures are therefore equal; and its adherents maintain that it cannot be said that other cultures, or certain cultural customs, are "wrong" or "inferior", as to do so would be to act as "culturally superior" or, at worst, even "racist".(44)

This half-baked notion would have us believe that the culture of a tribe of New Guinea cannibals is equal to the culture of the Ancient Egyptians. The "good" multiculturalist would maintain that this is so, while the rest of us may laugh at this ridiculous idea, pointing out the Ancient Egyptians' advances in mathematics, astronomy, transport, irrigation, architecture, etc., etc., etc. It would then be pointed out that, in our ignorance, we would've been making a "value judgement" based on our own culture, which is the "wrong" thing to do, and "politically incorrect" to say the least. Maybe we should never hold any opinions, nor judge any matter, ever again? But, of course, if we were ever to point out that it is part of our culture to hold such opinions, and form "value judgements", then wouldn't that be a great dilemma for the multiculturalists? You know the answer already: our cultural values are to be ignored; because, despite their ever-ready claims of cultural equality, multiculturalists place Australian culture a distant second to any other "ethnic" culture.

The absurdity of the argument of cultural relativism is also self-evident to anyone who thinks it through in its practical context. For instance, there will be times when the cultural practices of some ethnic minorities in Australia will be held to be against the law, which itself has been basically produced by, and is usually reflective of, the mainstream Australian culture. Cultural relativism is thus shown to be contradictory and unworkable.

In terms of the law, there are two matters to be pointed out. One, that a multiculturalist who says cultures can be maintained, but only subject to the law, has accepted a basic principle of assimilationism. Two, that there are multiculturalists who advocate that there should be "respect for cultural diversity reflected in the operation of the law by granting some multicultural minorities special consideration in the legal treatment of their otherwise illegal cultural and religious practices". In fact, legal decisions based on cultural considerations are already being enacted, from lighter sentences in some cases, to the allowing of Aboriginal law to operate instead of Australian law (such as the Northern Territory court which released an Aboriginal man, found guilty of a "stabbing manslaughter", on a good behaviour bond, partly in recognition that "under customary law ... [he] ... could expect to be speared through his thighs as a pay-back for the killing").(45)

Jan Pettman, an "anti-racist" lecturer, has pointed out some questions that cultural relativism avoids: "if values or interests conflict, whose should prevail? What happens if there are some values and practices we do not want in Australia? What is it that will ultimately hold us all together?".(46)

Cultural relativism is not only sheer folly, it is plain idiocy.

It is also interesting to note the words of Rush Limbaugh (publicised as "America's #1 radio talk-show host"):

    "One of the main vehicles used by liberals to attempt to de-legitimize "all that remains of national culture" for America is multiculturalism. By its very nature, multiculturalism holds that no civilization, no moral code, no way of living, is better than another. In general, it finds fault with little in most cultures - the exception being the actual nation of America, which is usually portrayed as an oppressive, racist, sexist, homophobic nation with few redeeming qualities."(47)

Much the same can be said for Australia: Multiculturalists continuously denigrate and attack Australia's way of life - our culture - (as well as attacking that of other Westernised countries, in particular those of the English-speaking world) but rarely do they attack the cultures of foreign peoples (especially those of the Third World). Most multiculturalists seem to view criticism of such foreign cultures as "politically incorrect", or even "racist"; but have no such qualms over attacking the Australian way of life. They fail to realise that this double standard shows them to be fools and hypocrites. What they also fail to realise is that such double standards help to reveal the actual mentality evident behind the ideology of multiculturalism in this country, that of being anti-Australian, if not a form of anti-White racism (for many multiculturalists, this seems to be some sort of perverse self-hatred).

To further explain about their mentality being anti-Australian: For many multiculturalists, rather than their main driving force being to seek some form of "equality" for other cultures, their main driving force is to attack the Australian nation, its culture, way of life, institutions, its British/European population, and - most telling of all - its wealth. The fact that Australia is a wealthy nation, while many Third World countries are very poor, produces a style of thinking evident within the mentality of multiculturalism; a form of what has been termed "the White guilt complex".

It should be realised from this that multiculturalism is not pro-culture (foreign or otherwise) as it purports to be, but is actually anti-culture.


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The Jewish and Christian view on female genital mutilation

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1110570413000258

Abstract

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a practice involving the removal of all or parts of the female external genitalia. It has been documented in 28 African countries and in some countries in Asia and the Middle East, but due to increasing immigration from these countries to the western world, FGM has become a worldwide human rights and health issue. Contrary to the belief that it is a practice carried out by Muslims only, it is also practiced by Christians and a minority group of Ethiopian Jews. However, FGM is neither mentioned in the Torah, nor in the Gospels, and – like in Islam – bodily mutilation is condemned by both religions. In fact, FGM is a mix of mainly cultural and social factors which may put tremendous pressure on the members of the society in question.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), female genital mutilation (FGM), also referred to as “female circumcision” or “female cutting”, “comprises all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons” [1]. The WHO estimates that about 140 million girls and women worldwide are living with the consequences of FGM and that every year in Africa alone, about 3 million girls are at risk for genital mutilation [1]. FGM has been documented in 28 African countries and in some countries in Asia and the Middle East [2]. However, it has also become a human rights and health issue in western countries where the practice is continued by immigrants from countries where FGM is commonly performed [3]. For instance, the German organization “Terre des Femmes” estimates that about 30.000 girls and women living in Germany have undergone or are at risk of being subjected to FGM [4].

Given the fact that some Sunni Muslims legitimate FGM by quoting a controversial hadith (a saying attributed to the Prophet Mohammed) in which the Prophet allegedly did not object to FGM provided cutting was not too severe [5,6] and that the least invasive type of FGM (partial or total removal of the clitoris and/or the prepuce) is also called “Sunna Circumcision” [7], FGM is widely considered to be associated with Islam. However, during a conference held in Cairo/Egypt in 2006, Muslim scholars from various nations declared FGM to be un-islamic [8,9] and, in fact, the traditional cultural practice of FGM predates both Islam and Christianity. Herodotus wrote about FGM being practiced in Egypt as early as 500 BC [3], while the Greek geographer Strabo who visited Egypt in about 25 BC reported that one of the Egyptian customs was “to circumcise the males and excise the females” [10]. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, FGM is actually practiced by Muslim, Christian and Jewish groups. There are countries, such as Nigeria, Tanzania and Niger, where the prevalence of FGM is even greater among Christian groups [11]. In Egypt, FGM is also practiced on Coptic girls [12], while in Ethiopia, the Beta Israel or Falashas, a Jewish minority, subject their girls to genital mutilation [5].

In this context, it will be interesting to have a look at the attitude of Christianity and Judaism toward FGM.

Jewish view on FGM

While, according to the Hebrew bible, circumcision is required for all male Jewish children in observance of God's commandment to Abraham (Genesis 12-17), female circumcision was never allowed in Judaism, according to the Oxford Dictionary of the Jewish Religion [13]. Buff, in his letter to the editor, states that “any form of female circumcision would be considered bodily mutilation and forbidden under Jewish law” [14]. Yet, a Jewish minority group living in Ethiopia, the so-called Falashas or Beta Israel, practice ritual female genital surgery [15]. Buff believes that “as a persecuted and isolated Jewish enclave for thousands of years, the Falashas did not have access to either definitive Jewish texts or informed rabbinical sources” [14]. In fact, the Falashas practice an archaic form of Judaism, strictly adhering to the Pentateuch, the five books of Moses. They do not speak or read Hebrew. Their bible is written in Ge’ez, which is the clerical language of the Ethiopian and Eritrean orthodox church, and they do not know the other important religious scriptures of Judaism, the Talmud and the Mishnah [16,17]. The Falashas consider themselves descendants of the tribe of “Dan”, one of the 10 “lost tribes of Israel”, and were acknowledged as such, and therefore as being officially Jewish, by the Israeli government in 1975 [17]. This entitled them to the right of settling in Israel. While until 1984 only few of them immigrated to Israel, the majority of Ethiopian Jews were taken to Israel in the course of two air bridge operations, one between November 1984 and January 1985, rescuing about 8200 Ethiopian Jews who had fled to Sudan from a famine in Ethiopia, and the second one in May 1991, rescuing 14,087 Ethiopian Jews from political constraints in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Abeba. After their immigration to Israel, the Ethiopian Jews were converted to orthodox rabbinic Judaism. Nowadays, only a minority is still living in Ethiopia [17].

In a study conducted by Grisaru et al. on 113 Ethiopian Jewish immigrant women in Israel, the authors found a variety of lesions in one third of the women, with 27% showing partial or total clitoridectomy. Although not all the women interviewed had undergone FGM, all of them stated that FGM was normative among Jews in Ethiopia, but they did not consider it related to religion. The reasons for FGM varied according to the province the women originated from, ranging from the intention to create adhesions that prevent premarital intercourse to esthetic reasons. The authors also found that the customs of FGM is readily given up by Ethiopian Jews right after their immigration to Israel, as “they see themselves a part of a Jewish society without FGM” [15].

Christian view on FGM

Literature dealing with the Christian view on FGM is very scarce, however, Christian authorities unanimously agree that FGM has no foundation in the religious texts of Christianity [18–22]. During the 2006 conference of The East Africa Program, the attending Christian (Coptic) leaders emphasized that “Christian doctrine is clear on the sanctity of the human body” [22]. Yet, as has already been mentioned before, FGM is practiced among Christian groups, e.g. in Egypt, Nigeria, Tanzania and Kenya. Although FGM is not prescribed by religious law, many of those practicing it may consider it a religious obligation, as female sexual purity plays an important role, not only in Christianity, but in all monotheistic religions.

As described above, FGM cannot be justified by any of the three monotheistic religions. The reasons for FGM are various and are clearly a mixture of cultural, social and religious factors [1]. In societies, where FGM is practiced, the social pressure on the families is very high and the necessity to conform to what is considered right may be reason enough to continue the practice. But whatever reason there may be, the fact is that FGM represents a violation of human rights which has to be fought until it has been totally eliminated.

Conflict of interest

The author has no conflict of interest.


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Expert argues Vikings carried redhead gene to Scotland

http://www.scotsman.com/heritage/people-places/expert-argues-vikings-carried-redhead-gene-to-scotland-1-3200177

THE Viking warriors who invaded Scotland in the eighth century may have harboured a fiery secret beneath their horned helmets.

According to a leading academic the Norse invaders depicted in film and history books as rugged blonds were in fact ginger.

The contentious theory could explain the auburn enigma that has long baffled scientists – why do so many Scots have red hair?

Professor Donna Heddle, director of the University of the Highlands and Islands’ Centre for Nordic Studies, believes the answer lies in a genetic gift from our Viking ancestors. She argues that the Norse were much more likely to have been red-headed than blond and that they were responsible for transforming Scotland into the world’s ginger capital.

“The perception that the Norse were blond is nothing more than a prevalent myth,” she said. “Genetically speaking, the chances of them having blond hair weren’t that likely. The chances are that they would have had red hair. Interestingly, if you look at where red hair occurs in the world you can almost map it to Viking trading routes.”

While only about 0.6 per cent of the world’s population has red hair, around 13 per cent of Scots have rust-coloured locks, with an estimated further 40 per cent carrying the recessive redhead gene.

Famous flame-haired Scots include actors Ewan McGregor and Karen Gillan, singer Shirley Manson, Mary Queen of Scots, Scottish national football coach Gordon Strachan, and of course Willie, the cantankerous school janitor from The Simpsons.

“I’ve looked into the preponderance of the red-haired gene and my supposition is that it is a Norse gene, probably from Germanic and early Celtic roots,” said Heddle.

“The only other density of red hair which compares to Scotland and Ireland is in Scandinavia. It becomes a cultural marker of the Norse and of the Vikings.

“If you look at where the red haired patterning is in Ireland, in particular, it is very much around the areas where Vikings settled.”

Heddle believes a full scale study investigating the potential links between Nordic and Celtic hair colouring now needs to be carried out.

She said: “At the moment this is purely a theory, but there does appear to be some corroborating evidence.

“If you look at the dispersal patterns there would appear to be a clear connection between a dark red spot on Scotland and a dark red sport on the north of Scandinavia compared to the rest of Europe.

“Research has shown that 60 per cent of the DNA of modern males on the Orkney Islands, where there is a particularly high proportion of redheads, is Norwegian. That evidence backs up the idea of the clear genetic influence.”

The Orkney-based academic is also keen to dispel perceptions that Vikings were little more than murderous barbarians.

She said: “Rather than being some kind of band of cutthroat, lawless pirates, hepped up to the back teeth on magic mushrooms, they were, in fact, a very organised and orderly society.

“They did have what can only be described as a hawk-like foreign policy, but when they arrived at a place they ruled it with the utmost legality. They were settlers and traders who left their imprint on our legal system, boat building techniques, literature, languages and place names, not to mention our appearance. The Norse are woven right through the tapestry of Scottish history and it is time that was recognised.”

However, not everyone agrees. Dr Jim Wilson, an expert in genetic ancestry research, remains unconvinced by the idea that Norse raiders are at the root of Scotland’s abundance of red hair.

The senior lecturer at Edinburgh University said: “There are redheads in Scandinavia and there doubtless were redheaded Vikings. Redheadedness is a north and western European trait, but the pattern of redheads in the British Isles is more consistent with the ancient indigenous Celtic inhabitants who were here before the Vikings and the Anglo-Saxons. The Vikings maybe brought a few red-hair genetic variants over with them, but the majority of redheads were already here.”

Previously it has been argued that Scotland’s poor climate was responsible for the high frequency of the ginger mutation. Emily Pritchard, a PhD genetics student at Edinburgh University, made global headlines when she published a paper postulating that in areas where summer temperatures were cooler, and winter days were shorter, people with ginger hair were more likely to survive and evolve. She argued that redhead’s pale skin provided an evolutionary advantage as it allowed the body to produce large quantities of Vitamin D.

Last year deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman was forced to apologise to Danny Alexander, the Liberal Democrat cabinet minister and Inverness MP, after she branded him a “ginger rodent” in a conference speech.

In August the UK’s first ginger pride march took place in the centre of Edinburgh with the goal of celebrating red hair and combating prejudice.

http://thedockyards.com/red-hair/


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Canaan

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canaan

Canaan (/ˈkeɪnən/; Northwest Semitic: knaʿn; Phoenician: Biblical Hebrew/Masoretic: כְּנָעַן‎ Kənā‘an; Ḵənā‘an) was a Semitic-speaking region in the Ancient Near East during the late 2nd millennium BC. In the Bible it corresponds to the Levant, in particular to the areas of the Southern Levant that provide the main setting of the narrative of the Hebrew Bible, i.e., the area of Israel, Philistia, Phoenicia, and other nations.

The name Canaan occurs commonly in the Hebrew Bible. In particular, the references in Genesis 10 and Numbers 34 define the "Land of Canaan" as extending from Lebanon southward to the "Brook of Egypt" and eastward to the Jordan River Valley.

The word Canaanites serves as an ethnic catch-all term covering various indigenous populations—both settled and nomadic-pastoral groups—throughout the regions of the southern Levant or Canaan.[1] Canaanite is by far the most frequently used ethnic term in the Bible.[2] In the Book of Joshua, Canaanites are included in a list of nations to exterminate,[3] and later described as a group which the Israelites had annihilated.[4]

Archaeological attestation of the name Canaan in Ancient Near Eastern sources relates almost exclusively to the period in which the region operated as a colony of the New Kingdom of Egypt (16th–11th centuries BC), with usage of the name almost disappearing following the Late Bronze Age collapse (c. 1206–1150 BC).[5] The references suggest that during this period the term was familiar to the region's neighbors on all sides, although scholars have disputed to what extent such references provide a coherent description of its location and boundaries, and regarding whether the inhabitants used the term to describe themselves.[6] The Amarna Letters and other cuneiform documents use Kinaḫḫu [Kinakh'khu], while other sources of the Egyptian New Kingdom mention numerous military campaigns conducted in Ka-na-na.[7]

The name "Canaanites" (כְּנָעַנִיְם‎ kənā‘anīm, כְּנָעַנִי‎ kənā‘anī) is attested, many centuries later, as the endonym of the people later known to the Ancient Greeks from c. 500 BC as Phoenicians,[4] and following the emigration of Canaanite-speakers to Carthage (founded in the 9th century BC), was also used as a self-designation by the Punics (chanani) of North Africa during Late Antiquity.

Canaan had significant geopolitical importance in the Late Bronze Age Amarna period (14th century BC) as the area where the spheres of interest of the Egyptian, Hittite, Mitanni and Assyrian Empires converged. Much of modern knowledge about Canaan stems from archaeological excavation in this area at sites such as Tel Hazor, Tel Megiddo, and Gezer.

Culture

Canaan included what today are Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, northwestern Jordan, and some western areas of Syria.[55] According to archaeologist Jonathan N. Tubb, "Ammonites, Moabites, Israelites and Phoenicians undoubtedly achieved their own cultural identities, and yet ethnically they were all Canaanites", "the same people who settled in farming villages in the region in the 8th millennium BC."[56]

There is uncertainty about whether the name Canaan refers to a specific Semitic-speaking ethnic group wherever they live, the homeland of this ethnic group, or a region under the control of this ethnic group, or perhaps any combination of the three.

Canaanite civilization was a response to long periods of stable climate interrupted by short periods of climate change. During these periods, Canaanites profited from their intermediary position between the ancient civilizations of the Middle East—Ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia (Sumer, Akkad, Assyria, Babylonia), the Hittites, and Minoan Crete—to become city states of merchant princes along the coast, with small kingdoms specializing in agricultural products in the interior. This polarity, between coastal towns and agrarian hinterland, was illustrated in Canaanite mythology by the struggle between the storm god, variously called Teshub (Hurrian) or Ba'al Hadad (Semitic Amorite/Aramean) and Ya'a, Yaw, Yahu or Yam, god of the sea and rivers. Early Canaanite civilization was characterized by small walled market towns, surrounded by peasant farmers growing a range of local horticultural products, along with commercial growing of olives, grapes for wine, and pistachios, surrounded by extensive grain cropping, predominantly wheat and barley. Harvest in early summer was a season when transhumance nomadism was practiced—shepherds staying with their flocks during the wet season and returning to graze them on the harvested stubble, closer to water supplies in the summer. Evidence of this cycle of agriculture is found in the Gezer calendar and in the biblical cycle of the year.

Periods of rapid climate change generally saw a collapse of this mixed Mediterranean farming system; commercial production was replaced with subsistence agricultural foodstuffs; and transhumance pastoralism became a year-round nomadic pastoral activity, whilst tribal groups wandered in a circular pattern north to the Euphrates, or south to the Egyptian delta with their flocks. Occasionally, tribal chieftains would emerge, raiding enemy settlements and rewarding loyal followers from the spoils or by tariffs levied on merchants. Should the cities band together and retaliate, a neighbouring state intervene or should the chieftain suffer a reversal of fortune, allies would fall away or intertribal feuding would return. It has been suggested that the Patriarchal tales of the Bible reflect such social forms.[57] During the periods of the collapse of Akkadian Empire in Mesopotamia and the First Intermediate Period of Egypt, the Hyksos invasions and the end of the Middle Bronze Age in Assyria and Babylonia, and the Late Bronze Age collapse, trade through the Canaanite area would dwindle, as Egypt, Babylonia, and to a lesser degree Assyria, withdrew into their isolation. When the climates stabilized, trade would resume firstly along the coast in the area of the Philistine and Phoenician cities. As markets redeveloped, new trade routes that would avoid the heavy tariffs of the coast would develop from Kadesh Barnea, through Hebron, Lachish, Jerusalem, Bethel, Samaria, Shechem, Shiloh through Galilee to Jezreel, Hazor and Megiddo. Secondary Canaanite cities would develop in this region. Further economic development would see the creation of a third trade route from Eilath, Timna, Edom (Seir), Moab, Ammon and thence to the Aramean states of Damascus and Palmyra. Earlier states (for example the Philistines and Tyrians in the case of Judah and Samaria, for the second route, and Judah and Israel for the third route) tried generally unsuccessfully to control the interior trade.[58]

Eventually, the prosperity of this trade would attract more powerful regional neighbours, such as Ancient Egypt, Assyria, the Babylonians, Persians, Ancient Greeks and Romans, who would control the Canaanites politically, levying tribute, taxes and tariffs. Often in such periods, thorough overgrazing would result in a climatic collapse and a repeat of the cycle (e.g., PPNB, Ghassulian, Uruk, and the Bronze Age cycles already mentioned). The fall of later Canaanite civilization occurred with the incorporation of the area into the Greco-Roman world (as Iudaea province), and after Byzantine times, into the Muslim Arab and proto-Muslim Umayyad Caliphate. Western Aramaic, one of the two lingua francas of Canaanite civilization, is still spoken in a number of small Syrian villages, whilst Phoenician Canaanite disappeared as a spoken language in about 100 AD. A separate Akkadian-infused Eastern Aramaic is still spoken by the existing Assyrians of Iraq, Iran, northeast Syria and southeast Turkey.

Tel Kabri contains the remains of a Canaanite city from the Middle Bronze Age (2000–1550 BC). The city, the most important of the cities in the Western Galilee during that period, had a palace at its center. Tel Kabri is the only Canaanite city that can be excavated in its entirety because after the city was abandoned, no other city was built over its remains. It is notable because the predominant extra-Canaanite cultural influence is Minoan; Minoan-style frescoes decorate the palace.[59]


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Promised Land

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Promised_Land

The Promised Land (Hebrew: הארץ המובטחת‎‎, translit.: Ha'Aretz HaMuvtahat; Arabic: أرض الميعاد‎‎, translit.: Ard Al-Mi'ad; also known as "The Land of Milk and Honey") is the land which, according to the Tanakh (the Hebrew Bible), was promised and subsequently given by God to Abraham and his descendants, and in modern contexts an image and idea related both to the restored Homeland for the Jewish people and to salvation and liberation is more generally understood.

The promise was first made to Abraham (Genesis 15:18-21), then confirmed to his son Isaac (Genesis 26:3), and then to Isaac's son Jacob (Genesis 28:13), Abraham's grandson. The promised land was described in terms of the territory from the River of Egypt to the Euphrates river (Exodus 23:31). A smaller area of former Canaanite land and land east of the Jordan River was conquered and occupied by their descendants, the Israelites, after Moses led the Exodus out of Egypt (Numbers 34:1-12), and this occupation was interpreted as God's fulfilment of the promise (Deuteronomy 1:8). Moses anticipated that God might subsequently give the Israelites land reflecting the boundaries of God's original promise, if they were obedient to the covenant (Deuteronomy 19:8-9).

The concept of the Promised Land is the central tenet of Zionism, whose discourse suggests that modern Jews descend from the Israelites and Maccabees through whom they inherit the right to re-establish their "national homeland". Palestinians also claim partial descent from the Israelites and Maccabees, as well as all the other peoples who have lived in the region.[1]

The imagery of the "Promised Land" was invoked in Negro spirituals as heaven or paradise and as an escape from slavery, often which can only be reached by death. The imagery and term have also been used in popular culture (see Promised Land (disambiguation)), sermons and in speeches, such as the "I've Been to the Mountaintop" (1968) speech by Martin Luther King Jr.:

    "I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land. So I'm happy, tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord."

Divine promise

The promise that is the basis of the term is contained in several verses of Genesis in the Torah. In Genesis 12:1 it is said:

    The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you."

and in Genesis 12:7:

    The LORD appeared to Abram and said, "To your offspring [or seed] I will give this land."

Commentators have noted several problems with this promise and related ones:

    It is to Abram's descendants that the land will (in the future tense) be given, not to Abram directly nor there and then. However, in Genesis 15:7 it is said: He also said to him, "I am the LORD, who brought you out from Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to take possession of it." However, how this verse relates to the promises is a matter of controversy.
    There is nothing in the promise to indicate God intended it be applied to Abraham’s physical descendants unconditionally, exclusively (to nobody but these descendants), exhaustively (to all of them) or in perpetuity.[2]
    Jewish commentators drawing on Rashi's comments to the first verse in the Bible, assert that no human collective ever has any a priori claim to any piece of land on the planet, and that only God decides which group inhabits which land in any point in time. This interpretation has no contradictions since the idea that the Jewish people have a claim to ownership rights on the physical land is based on the idea of God deciding to give the land to the Jewish people and commanding them to occupy it as referred to in Biblical texts previously mentioned.

In Genesis 15:18-21 the boundary of the promised land is clarified in terms of the territory of various ancient peoples, as follows:

    On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram and said, "To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates - the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaite, Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites."

The verse is said to describe what are known as "borders of the Land" (Gevulot Ha-aretz).[3] In Jewish tradition, these borders define the maximum extent of the land promised to the descendants of Abraham through his son Isaac and grandson Jacob.[4]

The promise was confirmed to Jacob at Genesis 28:13, though the borders are still vague and is in terms of "the land on which you are lying". Other geographical borders are given in Exodus 23:31 which describes borders as marked by the Red Sea, the "Sea of the Philistines" i.e. the Mediterranean, and the "River," (the Euphrates).

The promise is fulfilled at the end of the Exodus from Egypt. Deuteronomy 1:8 says:

    See, I have given you this land. Go in and take possession of the land that the LORD swore he would give to your fathers—to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—and to their descendants after them.

It took a long time before the Israelites could subdue the Canaanite inhabitants of the land. The furthest extent of the Land of Israel was achieved during the time of the united Kingdom of Israel under David.[5][6] The actual land controlled by the Israelites has fluctuated considerably over time, and at times the land has been under the control of various empires. However, under Jewish tradition, even when it is not in Jewish occupation, the land has not lost its status as the Promised Land.

Descendants of Abraham

Traditional Jewish interpretation, and that of most Christian commentators, define Abraham's descendants as Abraham's seed only through his son Isaac and his grandson Jacob, to the exclusion of Ishmael and Esau.[4][7][8][9] [10][11][12][13][14][15][16] This may however reflect an eisegesis or reconstruction of primary verses based on the later biblical emphasis of Jacob's descendants. The promises given to Abraham happened prior to the birth of Isaac and were given to all his offspring signified through the rite of circumcision. Johann Friedrich Karl Keil is less clear, as he states that the covenant is through Isaac, but notes that Ishmael's descendants have held much of that land through time.[17]

Mainstream Jewish tradition regards the promise made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as having been given to all Jews, including proselytes and in turn their descendants,[18] with the traditional view being that a convert becomes a child of Abraham, as in the term "ben Avraham".[citation needed]

Christian interpretation

In the New Testament, the descent and promise is reinterpreted along religious lines.[19] In the Epistle to the Galatians, Paul the Apostle draws attention to the formulation of the promise, avoiding the term "seeds" in plural (meaning many people), choosing instead "seed," meaning one person, who, he understands to be Jesus (and those united with him). For example, in Galatians 3:16 he notes:

    "The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,” meaning one person, who is Christ."

In Galatians 3:28-29 Paul goes further, noting that the expansion of the promise from singular to the plural is not based on genetic/physical association, but a spiritual/religious one:

    "There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise."[2]

In Romans 4:13 it is written:

    "It was not through the law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith."

Genesis 17:8


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Great Britain Olympic football team

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Britain_Olympic_football_team

The Great Britain Olympic football team is the men's football team that represents the United Kingdom (Great Britain and Northern Ireland) at the Summer Olympic Games (where it competes as Great Britain, currently branded Team GB). The team is organised by the English Football Association (FA) as the footballing representative of the British Olympic Association. The team only competes in the Olympic Games. In other international football tournaments, the Home Nations of the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) are represented by their own national teams, a situation which pre-dated the establishment of a GB team.

The team first competed at the FA organised tournament for the 1908 Olympics held in London, which was the first games that featured representative teams using players selected nationally (prior games in 1900 and 1904 used club teams). This team and the two that followed in 1912 and 1920 featured only English amateur players, and is seen by some as merely an extension of the English amateur team, set up in 1906 in response to the rise of the professional game.[3] In this period the team won the gold medal at the 1908 and 1912 tournaments, although exited at Round 1 in 1920. A dispute between the FA and FIFA over the inclusion of professionals saw the FA withdraw from Olympic football in 1924 and 1928, and saw no football at the Olympics at all in 1932.[1]

After the creation of the FIFA World Cup, it was agreed that Olympic football would become exclusively amateur,[4] leading to the team competing again in the 1936 Games, this time incorporating players from other Home Nations. After the break caused by World War II, the team then competed in every games from 1948 until 1972, albeit failing to qualify for the main tournament after 1960.[1] In this period the team's best performance was 4th place in 1948 at the second Games hosted in London, under manager Matt Busby.[1]

After the FA abolished the distinction between amateur and professional players in 1974, it stopped entering a team.[3] By the 1992 Games teams could use professionals, but were restricted to players under 23 years old, with only three over-age players allowed per squad.[4] Despite this change, Great Britain did not enter a football team again until London won the right to host the 2012 Games.[5][6] The FA organised the team, with Stuart Pearce appointed manager.[7] A Great Britain women's Olympic football team also competed at the 2012 Games.

Origins

The FA was formed in London 1863, when thirteen teams met to draw up a shared rule list for football, in order to facilitate matches between clubs.[8] The question of the geographical remit of this organisation does not appear to have been asked, with the FA being formed before the rise of international football. The first football matches between national teams were arranged by the FA, who invited English and Scottish players to form representative teams.[8] The Scottish teams were made up almost entirely of Scottish residents in England and in order to encourage more Scottish based players to compete, an organisation in Scotland was sought to form the Scottish team.[8] For the 1872 game between Scotland and England in Glasgow, Queen's Park Football Club took on this role, and this game is now recognised as the first international match.[9] Within a year, the Scottish Football Association (SFA) was founded to facilitate these matches, and to organise football in Scotland more broadly. The third national football association, the Football Association of Wales was founded in 1876 and a fourth, the Irish Football Association, (IFA), was founded in 1880.

The practice of playing internationals between the four countries of the United Kingdom (also known as the home nations) was thus developed before football associations were developed elsewhere in the world and, no 'United Kingdom football association' was ever formed.[1] Outside of the UK, the first national associations were formed in 1889 (in Denmark and the Netherlands),[1] and these also began to pick their own national teams. When football was included at the 1900 Olympic Games, however, many nations were still struggling to raise a team,[1] and so club teams entered instead. Upton Park represented the UK, winning the gold medal.[3]


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Everyman decries immorality
New EU map makes Kent part of same 'nation' as France

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/1527886/New-EU-map-makes-Kent-part-of-same-nation-as-France.html

By Jasper Copping and Melissa Kite

12:01AM BST 03 Sep 2006

They have tried to redraw the map of Europe before. Now a German-led "conspiracy of cartographers" stands accused of trying to use a new European Union directive to give Brussels the power to change national boundaries.

The Conservative Party fears that the directive, currently passing through the European Parliament, could be the first step of a Berlin-inspired masterplan to create a United States of Europe divided, not into nation states, but instead a series of "trans-national" regions, the templates for which have already been drawn up.

Under the changes, those living in Kent and East Sussex would find themselves not inhabitants of Britain, but the TransManche region, where their fellow citizens would not be their English-speaking neighbours but the French-speaking population of northern France.

North of the TransManche would be the North Sea region, taking in all of eastern England and vast areas of Scandinavia, Germany and the Low Countries.

Western Britain and Ireland would become the Atlantic region, a huge zone that also takes in parts of France, Spain and Portugal.

Perhaps most bizarre would be the Northern Periphery region, lumping together the population of north-west Scotland with their very distant cousins in Norway, Sweden, Finland, Greenland and Iceland.

Draft outlines of these regions have already been drawn up as part of a long-running EU project called Interreg, which has created the areas to foster cross-border- co-operation on issues such as tourism, trade, health and the environment.

The EU says that the directive on "spatial information", which requires all member states to bring their maps and data into line with the European Commission's specifications, is to help to harmonise data across Europe and allow the smoother implementation of social, environmental and transport policies.

However, the Conservative Party fears that the Germans, who are among the most vocal supporters of transnationality, will use it as a tool to dismantle nation states by strengthening and enhancing the regional templates when they take over the EU presidency next year. In June, Wolfgang Tiefensee, a German minister, said: "There is the great hope underlying the goal of a United Europe that we can permanently overcome old borders."

Eric Pickles, the shadow minister for local government and deputy chairman of the Conservative Party, said: "Under the Labour Government, Britain has already been sub-divided into regions as part of John Prescott's empire building, yet worse could be to come.

"A conspiracy of cartographers in Brussels is seeking to break up Britain into regions that cross national boundaries. I fear that there is an agenda to undermine national identities and impose a United States of Europe by stealth. Conservatives will fight these attempts to balkanise Britain."

Under the directive, Brussels will also gain access to "spies in the sky" – data provided by satellite and airborne photography and sensors – in addition to property information about people's homes. Critics believe this is a precursor to Brussels creating a new computer database, with which to levy an EU-wide property tax.

Andrew Duff, the Liberal Democrat MEP for the East of England, described the Conservative reaction to the directive and the creation of transnational regions as "childish baloney. This directive is trying to achieve a norm of statistics across Europe to develop social policy, transport infrastructure and so on," he said. "It is just a tool for policy-making."


---------------------------
Everyman Standing Order 01: In the Face of Tyranny; Everybody Stands, Nobody Runs.
Everyman Standing Order 02: Everyman is Responsible for Energy and Security.
Everyman Standing Order 03: Everyman knows Timing is Critical in any Movement.
   
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