Trump bombed Syria and made a lot of people mad. How can you not make them mad when you’ve killed 15 people? He broke a lot of things, too, but he can always say: “Look, Vlad, what’s the big deal? I’m a billionaire. You’re a billionaire. But them some new planes out of your own pocket if it takes that to placate them.” The people are a different matter. But even that is mitigated by pointing out they were all (or almost all?) military people who have signed on to the program.
For some inexplicable reason, I feel I have a read on this guy. I long have. It surprises me to think so few do. Even that is hard to know for sure because in this scenario, as in all others, liars spin the facts this way and that for their own purposes. In the case of a President, the motivation to do so is high.
At any rate, his actions clearly turn a lot of memes on their head. Clearly, he is not a pawn of Putin, as U.S. media has insisted for months. Clearly, he does not hate Muslims, as they have also insisted. It is now spun that he is impulsive and acts from the heart. “Trump said he would not do Syria! No way! No how! Then he saw a picture,” I have heard.
Or perhaps it is all spin. The trouble with conspiracy theories is that, once a few of them prove to be true, you readily swallow the next one coming down the pipe. There are cabals hanging about and they do try to skew things. But these cabals have hated Trump from the beginning. I think it is because he is not one of them and they don’t feel able to control him. We all know that Trump is not a Republican. He took over the Republican party. It might just as well have been the Democratic party. He simply read the tea leaves and saw that, at the moment, the Republican party was easier to commandeer. When he says ‘drain the swamp,’ he is not referring to one party or the other.
Anyone in small business, which I have been, can easily conceive of a businessman who loves his country but thinks the slippery boobs have ruined it, saying: “There! I built my business. Now let’s see if I can fix the country.” A BIG businessman can easily miss this because he is primarily worried about Trump’s effect on the stock market, but a small businessman doesn’t care, or at least it is not his chief concern. If you’re experience is something else entirely, you heard the ‘grab them by the you-know-what’ and concluded life around him was a 24/7 brothel. I always thought It was nonsense. I always agreed with him that it was ‘locker room’ talk. I did this because I have been in the locker room and they do not read Plato in there.
He can spin this as I believe it really is. There are some things so barbarous that you cannot go there. Chemical weapons are among them. They are not good, especially when you have just had photos of the victims thrust under your nose. He did what he did impulsively, from the heart. Yet even that cannot be determined with certainty. Insiders said he leaned on and took options from the military people. He didn’t hastily tell them what to do. He let them tell him, and chose from the choices they presented.
It is easy to conclude that they, however are swayed by the business model. When BigDefence gets too big, it must keep the profits rolling in. If it does not, the stockholders will bolt for some noble competitor – say, BigPharma. So if the world threatens to get too peaceful, they must stir up the pot. It is the United States, not Russia, that is bombing many countries. It will never be fixed because money drives everything here. You solve nothing by taking out a bad guy. Another bad guy simply sees a fine new career opening. It is the play that must be changed, not the actors in the play, who simply follow the script given them – sometimes begrudginly, sometimes with gusto. Human reformers can change the actors, but they cannot change the play. Only God’s Kingdom will do that.
In a world where barbarities are commonplace, it is tough to know where to draw the line. “What’s one more slaughter in the greater scheme of things?” is easy to say. Is it preferred for Trump to say: “Ah, well – shit happens?” Obama drew a line in the sand and it was instantly crossed. Perhaps leaders should keep their mouths shut over such things, and not make grandiose remarks about slaughter being ‘unacceptable’ (duh) and how people will ‘be held accountable.’ They won’t be, usually. Why carry on as though they will, except so as not to look like a helpless fool. And don’t carry on about people being ‘cowardly.’ They may be despicable, but surely it is not cowardly to be willing to die for a cause – any cause, from Boy Scout to Barbarians-R-Us. Also, don’t whine on about how the terrorists are trying to change our way of life, but we won’t let that happen. If anything, they want us to maintain our way of life and thereby be easier targets to kill. And even the terrorists will say: “Look, they elect their leaders over there, and the leaders come over and kill all our loved ones. That makes them not so innocent after all.” Victims of massive suffering and evil, many turn into unreasoning animals that must be taken out, like putting down a vicious dog. But that doesn’t mean you must judge them for it; many in the West become unreasoning animals with far less provocation.
A man that recoils at the use of chemical weapons and reacts immediately can be spun as not such a bad thing. He can say to Putin: “Sorry. I lost it. but nothing has changed in the big picture. Let’s work together when it is expedient to fix the world.”
It’s not my cause. I am a neutral Jehovah’s Witness, interested in these things only as ‘current history.’ All human governments will drop the ball; the only question to be answered is upon which toe will if fall. The Kingdom arrangement, as detailed in the Bible, is the only permanent answer. So if you have read these words and said: “Harley is an idiot! I’ll write to tell him so,” please don’t. I will respond by saying: “you forgot to mention that I am also a moron.”
Bolivian Ambassador Remembers The U.S. Saying Iraq Had Chemical Weapons!
By Guest Nicole
The Russian Defense Ministry says the US missile strike on a Syrian airfield wasn't very effective, with only 23 out of 59 Tomahawk missiles reaching their target. The locations of the remaining 36 missiles’ impact is now unknown, the ministry added.
WWIII? - US fires 50+ missiles at Syrian military base near Homs in response to ’Assad’s chem attack’
The US has launched 50 to 60 Tomahawk missiles against the Syrian military base near Homs after President Donald Trump ordered the strikes in response for the chemical attack in Idlib, blaming the incident on President Bashar Assad.World News
By The Librarian
Graphic Video of the chemical attack in Syria today:
Who is responsible for this crime against humanity that the main stream media is ignoring?
By Guest Nicole
How do you explain proselytizers to a friendly newcomer?
Our hands were covered in cookie dough and crushed dates when the knock on the door startled us. Safa was not expecting anyone but she seemed happy to see two women in the doorway. The pretty blonde extended a hand and told Safa how happy she was to meet face-to-face after their phone conversation. The perky brunette behind her nodded enthusiastically. I assumed they were parents from the nearby school, dropping in to say hello.
It was smiles all around as I introduced myself, but there was no context given as the blonde handed Safa an iPad and pressed play. And that is when it hit me: these nice women who were heading over to the couch to chat had come with a mission in mind. They were Jehovah’s Witnesses, replete with Arabic literature and videos, who were hoping to “educate” Syrian refugees about the afterlife perks of conversion.
Safa arrived in Canada from Syria by way of Jordan nine months ago. She came with her husband, two sons, and a baby on the way. I am part of a sponsorship group that pooled financial and emotional resources to bring her family to Toronto and support them for a year.
In Syria, Safa was married in her teens, quickly had her two boys, and lived with her parents-in-law. Now she lives in downtown Toronto with her husband, Ziad, and their two boys, now four and two. She piles her kids into a stroller that needs an engineering degree to understand, and traipses around a city with temperatures she doesn’t even have a word for—all in a language she barely knows. On a weekly basis, she is bombarded with texts and visits from a group of Canadian do-gooders who breeze in and out of her life bearing gifts, paperwork, and kindly suggestions.
Safa and I were spending the morning making ma’amoul cookies, a traditional date-filled butter variety. My suggestion of using a measuring cup was met with disdain that I didn’t need help translating. Her system of using an empty labnah (yogurt) container worked just fine. We sat on the floor—a bit awkward for this middle-aged Canadian—rolling out cookies while chatting and gossiping with Google Translate as our invisible third. Her toddler ran around causing trouble, while the baby slept in a swing. The experience of baking together was so natural and familiar to Safa; it was the most relaxed I had seen her in months. That is, until the knock on the door.
The two women who sat on the couch didn’t seem to care about Safa’s lack of English, or that she was wearing a hijab and is an observant Muslim. They prattled on about Jesus, never pausing to see if she understood. But with pamphlets and video in Arabic, it was clear this wasn’t their first stop on their conversion crusade—likely a coordinated effort targeting the Syrian newcomers. They then began telling me about the connections between Christianity and Islam, as if all I needed was a little enlightenment and I too would join forces.
I can only imagine what Safa was thinking as I chastised the women for going after a vulnerable population that has an ample sense of hospitality. I kept smiling, as did they, but you wouldn’t need one word of English to understand that we were having a disagreement. When I told them they couldn’t come back, they dropped the facade of generic pleasantness. The blonde practically snarled at me saying that since Safa invited them, they could return as often as they like.
Safa stood there with teacups in hand looking bewildered. Google Translate and I tried to explain about Jehovah’s Witnesses, but a round of charades couldn’t quite get the message across that those nice white women wanted her to abandon her religion—one of the last remaining constants from her life in Syria. I told her that they were selling Christian Bibles.
She nodded at me, smiling, but I recognized the perplexed shrug she gave me. It is the look of resignation when confronted with another ridiculous Canadian habit, such as tobogganing in sub-zero snowstorms, strapping screaming children into car seats, or using measuring cups while baking. She has been in Toronto for nine months and a couple of pretty, white women in her apartment telling her what to do no longer surprises her. Sometimes, I am amazed that she lets any of us past her doorstep.
We went back to our dough, and Safa schooled me for my clumsy rolling technique.
Emma Waverman (@emmawaverman) writes for Reader’s Digest, Today’s Parent, Canadian Living.
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By Guest Nicole
Civilians and fighters to be allowed out of east Aleppo in return for evacuation of people from rebel-besieged towns.
Syrian state television aired footage said to show evacuation buses in southwest Aleppo [Reuters]
The evacuation of thousands of increasingly desperate Syrian civilians and fighters stranded in besieged east Aleppo is set to resume after a new deal was reached between rebel and the Syrian government.
Buses started entering several neighbourhoods on Sunday under the supervision of the Red Crescent and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), state news agency SANA said.
A source in Aleppo told Al Jazeera that as part of the latest deal, a total of 4,000 people will evacuate the Shia-majority towns of Fua and Kefraya in Idlib province, which are currently besieged by opposition fighters.
The source, who wanted to remain anonymous, said 1,500 people in the government-besieged towns of Madaya and Zabadani as well as everyone in eastern Aleppo will also be allowed to evacuate as part of this deal.
Syrian state media reported that government forces would only allow civilians and fighters to leave eastern Aleppo once families in Fua and Kefraya are evacuated.
Buses and Red Crescent vehicles arrived at the entrance to the two towns on Sunday, al-Manar TV, run by the Lebanese Hezbollah group, said on Sunday.
The new deal comes days after the Syrian government claimed victory in Aleppo, which had been partly under rebel control since 2012.
Busses and ambulances
Mohammed Shakiel Shabir, an aid worker based in rebel-held Idlib province, said approximately 100 buses were being prepared to collect the civilians from Khan al-Asl, a suburb of Aleppo city.
"We are taking several ambulances, food and medicines and approximately 100 coaches to Khan al-Asl," he told Al Jazeera.
"Each coach can transport around 40 people so [God willing] we will be transferring thousands to safety."
Reports differ on how many people remain in eastern Aleppo, with numbers ranging from 15,000 to 40,000 civilians, along with an estimated 6,000 fighters.
The evacuation of eastern Aleppo was suspended on Friday after rebels and government forces accused each other of violating an earlier deal.
According to the UN, more than four million people live in besieged or hard-to-reach areas in Syria, with limited or no access to food or medical supplies.
The UN Security Council is to expected to discuss the possible deployment of observers to Aleppo later on Sunday and vote on a resolution demanding immediate and unconditional access for UN staff to ensure the delivery of humanitarian aid.
According to several UN delegations on Twitter, the Council will meet for a special session at 12:00GMT to discuss a French-drafted resolution.
The draft resolution, obtained by the AP news agency, calls on Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to immediately redeploy UN staff already on the ground to carry out "neutral monitoring" and "direct observation and to report on evacuations".
It stresses that evacuations of civilians "must be voluntary and to destinations of their choice".
Vitaly Churkin, Russia's UN Ambassador, said on Friday he would examine the draft but was sceptical that monitors could be deployed quickly.
Aleppo, Syria's second largest city and once a key cultural and economic hub, has been divided between government forces and rebels since 2012.
The evacuation agreements came a month after the Syrian government and allied militias launched a military offensive to retake the entire city. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has hailed the operation as a victory.
The Syrian conflict started as a largely unarmed uprising against Assad's rule in March 2011. It has since morphed into a full-scale civil war that has left hundreds of thousands dead and more than half of the country's prewar population displaced inside and outside of Syria.
By Guest Nicole
Video footage emerged from the Bani Zaid district of Aleppo, Thursday, showing the discovery of a large cache of foreign-made weapons and missiles, found in a house in territory controlled by the so-called Islamic State.
Pope Francis demonstrates love for neighbor by welcoming 12 Syrian Refugees to the Vatican.
By Guest Nicole
US to send nuclear-capable B-52 warplanes to bomb ISIS as military ups campaign to eradicate terrorists in Syria and IraqBy TheWorldNewsOrg
The US is set to send nuclear-capable B-52 warplanes to bomb ISIS
The warplanes will start attacking terrorist targets in Syria and Iraq in April
B-52 Stratofortresses replace B-1s that have returned to the US for updates
Mammoth planes carry a 70,000-ton payload and can drop cluster bombs
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3477636/US-send-nuclear-capable-B-52-warplanes-bomb-ISIS-military-ups-campaign-eradicate-terrorists-Syria-Iraq.html#ixzz423UfCiSA
This is footage shot by a Russian camera crew in Homs in 2016. It shows the true devastation caused by explosive weapons in populated areas. Please share this footage - when the world stands up in outrage that such things can happen to a city and the people that live there, then perhaps the world can stop such things happening to a city and the people that live there.