Just Dunno…

Was adding some links to Iraqi sites, referenced in a comment by Neil Remington Abramson to an earlier article, and came across this. Don’t recall this issue assuming much Canadian media prominence, at least so far:

Purged by ISIS, Iraq’s Christians appeal to the world for help

Fox News,
July 23, 2014

Iraqi Christians are begging for help from the civilized world after Mosul, the northern city where they have lived and worshiped for 2,000 years, was purged of non-Muslims by ISIS, the jihadist terror group that claims to have established its own nation in the region.

Assyrian Christians, including Chaldean and Syriac Catholics, Syriac Orthodox and followers of the Assyrian Church of the East have roots in present day Iraq, Turkey, Syria and Iran that stretch back to the time of Jesus Christ. While they have long been a minority and have faced persecution in the past, they had never been driven completely from their homes as has happened in Mosul under ISIS. When the terror group ordered all to convert to Islam, pay a religious tax or face execution, many chose another option: flight.

“By 12 noon on Saturday, the Christians — all of them — left the city,” Yousif Habash, an Iraqi-born bishop of the Syriac Catholic Church, told FoxNews.com.

Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, included 60,000 Christians in 2003. By last month, the number had dwindled to just 35,000. It now stands at zero, according to Ignatius Yousef Younan III, patriarch of the Syrian Catholic Church.

“We have to pray to wake our master, the Lord Jesus,” a somber Younan, who was in Mosul earlier this month and has discussed the situation with the Pope, said Wednesday on Fox & Friends.

Habash, who roundly criticized the Obama administration and the United Nations, specifically, for what he called their “careless absence” in taking action against the militants, said such violent intolerance demanded action from the international community.

“Where is the conscience of the world? Where is the United Nations? Where is the American administration to protect peace and justice?” he asked. “Nobody has said a word.”

Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, is the “first cradle of Christianity in Iraq,” Habash said. But after Islamic militants seized the city on June 10, Arabic letters with a chilling ultimatum were left at the homes of Iraqi Christians.

“The letter said that if you don’t convert or if you don’t pay, there is a sword between you and us, meaning execution,” Habash said.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki condemned ISIS’s actions on Sunday, a day after Mosul’s Christian population fled to other areas, such as the nearby self-rule Kurdish region.

“What is being done by the Daesh terrorist gang against our Christian citizens in Ninevah province, and their aggression against the churches and houses of worship in the areas under their control reveals beyond any doubt the extremist criminal and terrorist nature of this group,” al-Maliki said in a statement released by his office. “Those people, through their crimes, are revealing their true identity and the false allegations made here and there about the existence of revolutionaries among their ranks.”

Pope Francis also called for an end to Christian persecution in Mosul, holding a moment of silence Sunday in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican.

“Violence isn’t overcome with violence. Violence is conquered with peace,” the pope told the crowd. “Our brothers and sisters are persecuted, they are chased away.”

The U.N. said on Sunday that at least 400 families from Mosul — including other religious and ethnic minority groups — had sought refuge in the northern provinces of Irbil and Dohuk.

Dr. Sallama Al Khafaji, a member of the Iraq High Commission for Human Rights, reportedly told a local news agency that ISIS militants forced their way into the home of an Assyrian family in Mosul, demanding a “jizya” or poll tax. When the family said they could not produce the money, three jihadist militants raped the mother and daughter in front of the husband and father, who later committed suicide, according to the report.

Mosul is home to some of the most ancient Christian communities, but the number of Christians has dwindled since 2003. On Sunday, militants seized the 1,800-year old Mar Behnam Monastery, about 15 miles south of Mosul. The resident clergymen left to the nearby city of Qaraqoush, according to local residents.

Irbil’s governor, Nawzad Hadi, has pledged to protect fleeing Christians and other minority groups. The territory is currently home to more than 2 million refugees and internally displaced people from Iraq and Syria, according to the United Nations.

FoxNews.com’s Cristina Corbin and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

I am told that there is much evil perpetrated in the name of Islam. Evil deeds that are in fact non-Islamic.

Posted in Iraq, Islam, Christianity | Leave a comment

Human Shields In Iraq: Came and Went

Remember the stories of people from the west going to Iraq in 2003 to act as human shields, in the belief that they wouldn’t be bombed by western forces. Most left, at or prior to the time of the invasion, when they realized how they were going to be used strategically by the Iraqi government.

A bannered overview of one set of group dynamics at the time:

One of the leaders if not the principal leader, Ken O’Keefe:

Same banner, different take:

At least they had the freedom to leave.

Posted in Iraq, War and Remembrance | 1 Comment

J. Geils Band: First I Look At The Purse

J. Geils Band on the mercenary territory:

Another live version:

Somebody help me, yas…

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Ohel Jakob Synagogue, Munich
Photo by Louis Davidson

From a 2006 story about the newly-built synagogue in central Munich:

New synagogue a symbol of “hope”

Robert Boyes, The Times, London
via Ottawa Citizen, November 10, 2006: A6

A huge new synagogue, Europe’s largest Jewish centre, was opened in the heart of Munich yesterday, to mark the 68th anniversary of Kristallnacht–or Night of Broken Glass, when Nazis went on an anti-Semitic rampage across Germany…

“This building shows that we Jews are again part of German society,” said Charlotte Knobloch, the leader of Germany’s Jewish community.

She choked back tears as she recalled how, as a frightened six year-old, she had clutched her father’s hand and run past burning Jewish shops in Munich on November 9, 1938.

“Now I have just handed the key to this new synagogue to a child who is the same age as I was on that night,” she said. “The circle has been closed.”

Posted in Germany, Judaism, Nazis | Leave a comment

Whale Music

Regularly out of time. In the past short while, saw Whale Music for the first time. 1994 film debut of Maury Chaykin (1949-2010), playing an addled and reclusive former pop star, now composing music for the whales. Script co-written by Paul Quarrington (1953-2010) and director Richard J. Lewis, based on Quarrington’s novel of the same name (1989).

Complete film is currently on Youtube (from a copyright perspective, don’t know how this can be):

Doesn’t fade, twenty years later.

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Recycled Resistance II

Wrote about a 1999 article by Michael Bradley, “From slingshots to stealth jets”, concerning how the history of the Balkans is that of taking advantage of weaponry left by others. Extracted a portion or the article. A further extract:

Arrogantly assuming that the latest Byzantine technology would conquer the Balkans, where NATO [Novus Adriaticae Terrae Ordum--"New Order for Adriatic Lands"] had failed, Belisarius, after initially driving the Bulgars away from Constantinople in 559, invaded Macedonia and Serbia in order to bring order and stability to the Balkans. His army was never heard from again.

But Belisarius left a lasting legacy: “Greek fire”, a combustible, squirtable mixture of pitch, sulphur and pine resin, supposedly invented by Callimacus of Heliopolis, circa 550. No longer did Balkan tribesmen have to melt down imported metals over crude charcoal hearths. Their ability to turn Roman cookware and newer Byzantine scrap from armour into many more “bees” [projectiles] and new-fangled swords was much enhanced.

The Byzantines (whose favourite method of execution was flaying victims alive for arena sport) were horrified at the atrocities committed by the Balkan tribes.

Cause and effect…

Posted in War and Remembrance, Yugoslavia | Leave a comment

Mr. Maybe


Photograph by Neil Remington Abaramson
Texada Island, July, 2014
Reproduced with permission

Neil Remington Abramson wrote as follows (reproduced with permission):

When I was a bachelor, living for the first time in my own rented house, I had a dog. Pippin was a basenji, named from Lord of the Rings. She was a great dog. and likely my best friend at the time.

When the woman who became my first wife moved in with me, it turned out she didn’t care for dogs. She began a negativity campaign to try to get rid of Pippin.

I said, “This dog was here before you. She has rights. You two should get along.”

The eventual ex told all our friends: “He prefers the dog to me.”

But she also got along with Pippin, and Pippin clearly had no problem with her.

I have a friend, now, 35 years later, who thinks that maybe she has found Mr Right. They are going to live together awhile, to see if they have struck gold. Unfortunately, Mr R hates dogs, and my friend has a pug she loves, to the point of calling it her “son”. I am the “uncle.”

So my friend has asked me to care for my “nephew” dog, and it may be permanent, if Mr R becomes “the chosen one.” I love the little guy, even though he is pretty ornery.

I think it’s wrong to try to separate a woman from her dog. I think it’s possibly a harbinger of worse to come. It’s also against my values to choose a newcomer ahead of one’s long-time friend.

I am not so perfect, though. My stepfather made me give up my cat Midnight, when I moved to Vancouver from London.

My stepfather was terribly allergic to cats, he said, and he also said that if I had a cat, he would never visit me.

My stepfather’s daughter had two cats; he visited her.

So my stepfather wouldn’t visit me, and I also couldn’t visit him, if cat hair was anywhere. So I had to find Midnight a good home, if I wanted to see my stepfather in our respective homes, which I did.

My stepfather was a long-time family member, much longer than Midnight, so maybe that’s the way around my value of loyalty?

In terms of my friend’s dog, currently staying with “uncle” me, I bet Mr Right is going to become Mr Maybe, after all of this.

My friend came to visit her little dog twice last week, having been living with Mr M for all of the same two days.


Photograph by Neil Remington Abramson
Texada Island, July, 2014
Reproduced with permission

Posted in Dogs, Relationships | Leave a comment