Animals in Conflict: Diesel, Dobrynya and Sentimental Security



Binoy Campmark writes at CounterPunch:

When it was realised that a police Belgian Shepherd by the name of Diesel had perished at the end of a last act of defiance in St. Denis by suspected ISIS militants, social media, allied to the sentimental industrial complex, took over. Extensive coverage scrolled across the screens, powered by such hashtags as #JeSuisChien. According to Jean-Michel Fauvergue, who led the assault, there was “little doubt that she saved the lives of police officers.”

The political chance to exploit this death was too good to miss, and canine solidarity was met in kind by a Russian gesture from the Interior Ministry to provide a puppy in turn. Dobrynya was duly described as the dog that melted French hearts.

Such animals duly suffered the indignity of anthropomorphic depiction. “Diesel,” it is noted, “had a distinguished career with the police and had been decorated with service medals.” Headlines featured the rather cynical suggestion that dogs “around the world” were paying their “own tribute to hero police canine killed in siege.”

Various dog owners, without a second thought, posted pictures on various media platforms featuring dogs on hind legs, sporting a French flag. One beagle was given to chewing on a sheet with Diesel’s name written on it, covered in tricolour love hearts. Other “dogs of war,” also made their photographic, and photogenic appearance across the media. They, it is suggested, must have known what this was all about.

Such behaviour sent sparks of rage through areas of the world where the focus on such animal feats was seen as less important as human fates. Boko Haram had been heavily involved in a campaign, replete with suicide attacks, on civilian targets. As the fate of Diesel was reaching Twitter pitch, Nigeria was still recovering from attacks which left some 2000 dead were registering a relative murmur.

Some critics saw this as a disturbing revelation. Regular RT pundit Catherine Shakdam suggested that, “Much can be said about a society when it cries over a police dog more than its own on account of geography and ethnicity.” Ben Norton, writing in a similar vein for Salon, felt that the appreciation for a French police dog’s life said more about a pressing loss of humanity than anything else.

Empathy and proportionate grief are never equally distributed. Horrors are a matter of unequal parcelling out, and reflection. The human conscience is never capable of focusing on more than a few matters at a time, and such a focus is culturally and contextually limited. Your neighbour’s fate is probably more relevant than a suffering African child, though an illusion is often given that African lives matter. As suffering victims, perhaps; as full human beings, less so.

In canine friendly societies, dog lives count. The domestication of the animal eventually saw it becoming unquestioning companion and servant. In literature and art, the dog would come to represent steadfast fidelity to often brutish masters.

Former President of France, Charles de Gaulle, would remark that, as he got to know men better, the more he found himself loving dogs. Sigmund Freud, bringing his sometimes skewed psycho-analytic eyes to bear upon the issue, saw dogs as unconditional in love to friends while biting enemies, “quite unlike people, who are incapable of pure love and always have to mix love and hate.”

Read more here.



Posted in Activism, Animals, Curiositys, Living, Media&Culture, News, Politics, Psychology | Leave a comment

Mysterious California landslide: Public warned to stay away from warped road (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

© MierImage Aerials

A road in Santa Clarita, California, turned into an asphalt mess in just three days, and no one knows exactly why.

What started off as a small ripple on Vasquez Canyon Road soon turned into a scene from a post-apocalyptic blockbuster: the asphalt torn, utility poles dangerously tilted.

Local authorities were quick to close the road on November 19, attracting curious on-lookers as well as extreme sports daredevils.

Despite danger warnings, skateboarders have used the opportunity to explore the naturally-made ramp, and one man was seen riding his dirt bike on the newly-formed ripples. 

Officials with the Los Angeles Department of Public Works even took to Twitter to warn people away from the site as the landslide was still underway.

CBS Los Angeles reported on Sunday that the road buckled over a 60-meter stretch, with some parts rising as high as 4.5 meters.

UCLA Professor Jeremy Boyce told the media that it was unclear what had caused the phenomenon.

“There was no big rainstorm that triggered this. There was no big earthquake that triggered this,” Boyce said.

The road sits on private property and efforts to contact the owner are still ongoing.

“Everything is being looked into because nothing is obvious. There’s no indication that seismic activity had anything to do with it,” Steve Frasher, a spokesman with the LA Department of Public Works, said.



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Meet the man who funds ISIS: Bilal Erdogan, the son of Turkey’s President

(Here is a recent picture of Bilal, shown in a photo from a Turkish 2014 article, which “asked why his ships are now in Syria”)

By Tyler Durden | ZeroHedge

Russia’s Sergey Lavrov is not one foreign minister known to mince his words. Just earlier today, 24 hours after a Russian plane was brought down by the country whose presidentthree years ago said “a short-term border violation can never be a pretext for an attack”, had this to say: “We have serious doubts this was an unintended incident and believe this is a planned provocation” by Turkey.

But even that was tame compared to what Lavrov said to his Turkish counterparty Mevlut Cavusoglu earlier today during a phone call between the two (Lavrov who was supposed to travel to Turkey has since canceled such plans).

As Sputnik transcribes, according to a press release from Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Lavrov pointed out that, “by shooting down a Russian plane on a counter-terrorist mission of the Russian Aerospace Force in Syria, and one that did not violate Turkey’s airspace, the Turkish government has in effect sided with ISIS.”

It was in this context when Lavrov added that “Turkey’s actions appear premeditated, planned, and undertaken with a specific objective.”

More importantly, Lavrov pointed to Turkey’s role in the propping up the terror network through the oil trade. Per the Russian statement:

“The Russian Minister reminded his counterpart about Turkey’s involvement in the ISIS’ illegal trade in oil, which is transported via the area where the Russian plane was shot down, and about the terrorist infrastructure, arms and munitions depots and control centers that are also located there.”

Others reaffirmed Lavrov’s stance, such as retired French General Dominique Trinquand, who said that “Turkey is either not fighting ISIL at all or very little, and does not interfere with different types of smuggling that takes place on its border, be it oil, phosphate, cotton or people,” he said.

The reason we find this line of questioning fascinating is that just last week in the aftermath of the French terror attack but long before the Turkish downing of the Russian jet, we wrote about “The Most Important Question About ISIS That Nobody Is Asking” in which we asked who is the one “breaching every known law of funding terrorism when buying ISIS crude, almost certainly with the tacit approval by various “western alliance” governments, and why is it that these governments have allowed said middleman to continue funding ISIS for as long as it has?”

Precisely one week later, in even more tragic circumstances, suddenly everyone is asking this question.

And while we patiently dig to find who the on and offshore “commodity trading” middleman are, who cart away ISIS oil to European and other international markets in exchange for hundreds of millions of dollars, one name keeps popping up as the primary culprit of regional demand for the Islamic State’s “terrorist oil” – that of Turkish president Recep Erdogan’s son: Bilal Erdogan.

His very brief bio:

Necmettin Bilal Erdogan, commonly known as Bilal Erdogan (born 23 April 1980) is the third child of Recep Tayyip Erdo?an, the current President of Turkey.

After graduating from Kartal Imam Hatip High School in 1999, Bilal Erdogan moved to the US for undergraduate education. He also earned a Masters Degree in John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 2004. After graduation, he served in the World Bank as intern for a while. He returned Turkey in 2006 and started to his business life. Bilal Erdogan is one of the three equal shareholders of “BMZ Group Denizcilik “, a marine transportation corporation.

In the next few days, we will present a full breakdown of Bilal’s various business ventures, starting with his BMZ Group which is the name implicated most often in the smuggling of illegal Iraqi and Islamic State through to the western supply chain, but for now here is a brief, if very disturbing snapshot, of both father and son Erdogan by F. William Engdahl, one which should make everyone ask whether the son of Turkey’s president (and thus, the father) is the silent mastermind who has been responsible for converting millions of barrels of Syrian Oil into hundreds of millions of dollars of Islamic State revenue.

By F. William Engdahl, posted originally in New Eastern Outlook:




Posted in Big Oil, Bizarre, Corruption, Financial Terrorism, Islam, Mafia, Manipulation, Middle East, Money, News, Politics, State Terrorism, Terrorism, Unbelievable | Leave a comment

Naikan Therapy – 3 questions to put things in perspective

Image Paul Fosbury/Gallery Stock 

by Gregg Krech

Naikan is a Japanese word that means “looking inside,” though a more poetic translation might be “seeing oneself with the mind’s eye.” It is a structured method of self-reflection that helps us to understand ourselves, our relationships, and the fundamental nature of human existence. Naikan was developed in Japan in the 1940s by Ishin Yoshimoto, a devout Buddhist of the Pure Land sect (Jodo Shinshu). His strong religious spirit led him to practicemishirabe, an arduous method of meditation and self-reflection. Wishing to make such introspection available to others, he developed Naikan as a method that could be more widely practiced.

Naikan’s profound impact resulted in its use in other areas of Japanese society. Today, there are about 30 Naikan centers in Japan, and Naikan is used in mental health counseling, addiction treatment, rehabilitation of prisoners, schools, and business. It has also taken root in Europe, with a dozen Naikan centers now established in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland. However, Naikan is still relatively unknown in North America. David K. Reynolds, Ph.D., introduced Naikan to North America in the 1970s and later incorporated its framework into Constructive Living, an approach that also includes elements of Morita Therapy. Reynolds was the first to write extensively about Naikan in English. Naikan programs and retreats have been offered regularly in the United States since 1989 by the ToDo Institute in Vermont. But with the exception of a small number of adventurous Westerners who have studied Naikan in Japan, or who have attended programs in North America and Europe, few Westerners have experienced and explored this Japanese practice of self-reflection.

Naikan broadens our view of reality. It’s as if, standing on top of a mountain, we shift from a zoom lens to a wide-angle lens. Now we can appreciate the broader panorama; our former perspective is still included, but it is now accompanied by much that had been hidden. And what was hidden makes the view extraordinary.

The Three Questions

Naikan reflection is based on three questions:
What have I received from ____?
What have I given to ____?
What troubles and difficulties have I caused ____?

These questions provide a foundation for reflecting on all relationships, including those with parents, friends, teachers, siblings, work associates, children, and partners. You can reflect on yourself in relation to pets, or even objects such as cars and pianos. You can reflect on a specific period of time, one day or a holiday visit to your family. In each case, you acquire a more realistic view of your conduct and the give-and-take that has occurred in the relationship.

The questions themselves seem rather simple. They are. The depth of experience, insight, and realization that can come from the practice of self-reflection is not a result of intellectual analysis or complex theories. Our challenge is to just see reality as it is. These questions are simple inquiries for our investigation of life’s mysteries and miracles.

Let’s begin our inquiry with the first question: What have I received from ____?

To examine your relationship with another, begin by looking at what you have received from that person. My wife made me fresh-squeezed orange juice this morning. She washed my breakfast dishes. She gave me the watch I’m wearing. These are all simple, clear descriptions of reality. Her attitude or motivation does not change the fact that I benefited from her effort. Often we take such things for granted. We hurry through our day giving little attention to all the “little” things we are receiving. But are these things really little? They only seem so because, while we are being supported, our attention is else- where. But when there is no hot water for a shower or we lose our glasses, these little things grab our attention. Suddenly we are conscious of the true value of hot water and clear vision.

As you list what you have received from another person, you become grounded in the simple reality of how you have been supported and cared for. In many cases you may be surprised at the length or importance of the items on your list, and a deeper sense of gratitude and appreciation may be naturally stimulated. Your heart and mind begin to open to the grace that underlies all life. Without a conscious shift of attention to the myriad ways in which the world supports us, we risk our attention being trapped by problems and obstacles, leaving us to linger in suffering and self-pity.

So please take a few minutes now and begin making a list of what you have received during the past 24 hours in detail. This type of daily reflection is called daily Naikan (nichijo naikan). You are not limited to examining your relationship to one person, but can include anyone who supported you during the past day. Be specific and write down as many items as you can remember. What kind of food did you eat? Where did you go this past day? How did others support you? Did someone open a door? Did someone wash your dishes, or was there hot water and soap available to you for washing dishes? What made it possible for you to brush your teeth or drive a car? Take ten minutes and make as thorough a list as possible…





Posted in Health, Living, Media&Culture, Visions, Brain, Psychology, Buddhism, Philosophy | Leave a comment

User behaviour

Header schulson essay be069967A pigeon involved in one of B F Skinner’s experiments. Photo by Bettmann/Corbis

Websites and apps are designed for compulsion, even addiction. Should the net be regulated like drugs or casinos?

by Michael Schulson

(Michael Schulson is an American freelance writer and an associate editor at Religion Dispatches magazine, where he helps produce The Cubit, a section covering science, religion, technology, and ethics.)

When I go online, I feel like one of B F Skinner’s white Carneaux pigeons. Those pigeons spent the pivotal hours of their lives in boxes, obsessively pecking small pieces of Plexiglas. In doing so, they helped Skinner, a psychology researcher at Harvard, map certain behavioural principles that apply, with eerie precision, to the design of 21st‑century digital experiences.

Skinner trained his birds to earn food by tapping the Plexiglas. In some scenarios, the pigeons got food every time they pecked. In other arrangements, Skinner set timed intervals between each reward. After the pigeon got food, the system stopped dispensing treats for, say, 60 seconds. Once that period had elapsed, if the bird pecked, it got another payday. The pigeons never quite mastered the timing, but they got close. Skinner would randomly vary the intervals between food availability. One time there’d be food available again in 60 seconds. The next, it might be after five seconds, or 50 seconds, or 200 seconds.

Under these unstable conditions, the pigeons went nuts. They’d peck and peck. One pigeon hit the Plexiglas 2.5 times per second for 16 hours. Another tapped 87,000 times over the course of 14 hours, getting a reward less than 1 per cent of the time.

So? Well, here’s a simple illustration of how Skinner’s pigeon research applies to contemporary digital life. I’ve picked a hypothetical example: let’s call him Michael S, a journalist. Sending and receiving emails are important parts of his job. On average, he gets an email every 45 minutes. Sometimes, the interval between emails is only two minutes. Other times, it’s three hours. Although many of these emails are unimportant or stress-inducing, some of them are fun. Before long, whenever Michael S has an internet connection, he starts refreshing his email inbox every 30 minutes, and then every five minutes and then, occasionally, every two minutes. Before long, it’s a compulsive tic – the pecking pigeon of web usage.

Should we blame Michael S for wasting hours of his life hitting a small button? We could. He does have poor self-control, and he chose a profession in which email is an important form of communication.

Then again, would we blame Skinner’s pigeons, stuck in a box, pecking away until they get their grains and hemp seeds, while a pioneering researcher plumbs the glitches in their brains? Who’s in charge, really, of this whole scenario? The pigeons? Or Skinner, who designed the box in the first place?

By 2015, it’s a platitude to describe the internet as distracting. We casually talk about digital life in terms of addiction and compulsion. In the 2000s, users nicknamed the first mainstream smartphone the crackberry. In conversation, we describe basic tools and apps – Facebook, email, Netflix, Twitter – using terms otherwise reserved for methamphetamine and slot machines.

Psychologists have been discussing the possibility of internet addiction since 1996, just three years after the release of the first mainstream web browser. But there’s no consensus about how to diagnose internet addiction, or whether it’s even a real thing. Estimates of its prevalence vary wildly. Unlike heroin, the internet doesn’t kill people, and has obvious utility. Plus, it can be difficult to disentangle the medium (the internet) from the addictive experience (pornography, for example, or online gambling).

In any case, these diagnostic categories tend toward extremes. They don’t seem to encompass the full range of experiences on display when people joke about crackberries, or talk about getting sucked into Tumblr and Facebook.

Yet, for millions of people, the internet is often understood in terms of compulsion. Critics blame the internet itself for this state of affairs, or they blame individual users. Neither makes much sense. The internet is not a predetermined experience. It’s a system of connections and protocols. There’s nothing about a global computer network that necessitates addiction-like behaviours…




Posted in Bizarre, Brain, Curiositys, Globalization, Health, Matrix, Media&Culture, Psychology, Technology, Visions | Leave a comment

The Art of Self-Culture and the Crucial Difference Between Being Educated and Being Cultured

Illustration from Mr. Tweed's Good Deeds by Jim StotenIllustration from Mr. Tweed’s Good Deeds by Jim Stoten

John Cowper Powys’s Forgotten Wisdom from 1929


“The art of self-culture begins with a deeper awareness … of the marvel of our being alive at all; alive in a world as startling and mysterious, as lovely and horrible, as the one we live in.”

“In order to be cultured and not to stand below the level of your surroundings it is not enough to have read ‘The Pickwick Papers’ and learnt a monologue from ‘Faust,’Anton Chekhov wrote in an 1886 letter to his brother, outlining the eight qualities of cultured people — among them sincerity, “no shallow vanity,” and a compassionate heart that “aches for what the eye does not see.” This essential difference between being educated and being cultured is what the great British novelist, philosopher, literary critic, educator, and poet John Cowper Powys (October 8, 1872–June 17, 1963) examined in greater dimension a generation later in the 1929 masterwork The Meaning of Culture (public library) — one of the most thoughtful and beautifully written books I’ve ever encountered.

Powys begins with the tenet that “culture is what is left over after you have forgotten all you have definitely set out to learn” and sets out to examine what, exactly, is left over — which is often too surprising and subtle, too aglow with inarticulable radiances, to fit into our intellectual templates of understanding.

He writes:

Whenever I am lost in admiration for a man or a woman, as fulfilling my ideal of what a human being should be, it is rarely that such a person fits precisely into the formula whose qualities I have defined so patiently as bearing the hallmarks of culture.


Whatever it may be, it is clear that it appeals to elements in us which are deeper-rooted and more widely human than any trained aesthetic taste or any industriously acquired scholarship.


I am sometimes tempted to regard the truest culture as the compensation of the unsuccessful, something that … can remain with us when all else is taken away.

Such a conception of culture, Powys points out, is something entirely different from a good education or a cultivated aesthetic taste. In a sentiment triply timely today, as we struggle to glean wisdom in the age of information, he considers that crucial difference:

The truth is that as education is only real education when it is a key to something beyond itself, so culture is only real culture when it has diffused itself into the very root and fibre of our endurance of life. Culture becomes in this way something more than culture. It becomes wisdom; a wisdom that can accept defeat, a wisdom that can turn defeat into victory.

And it can render us independent of our weakness, of our surroundings, of our age. It is at once an individual thing, a fortress for the self within the self, and a universal thing, a breaking down of the barriers of race, of class, of nation.

This kind of culture, Powys asserts, ought to be pushed “down and in, till it is blood of our blood and bone of our bone,” so that it can inform our morale and permeate what we call character. Without such osmotic synthesis, he cautions, what passes for culture is a falsehood devoid of humanity:

The reason why that super-refined aesthete, Mr. Osborne, the villain in Henry James’s “Portrait of a Lady,” is so repulsive a figure, is that his culture has remained purely intellectual and aesthetic. It has neither fortified his stoicism, nor subtilized his human sympathy. Culture without natural human goodness has an extremely disconcerting effect. There is something weird and terrifying about it.

Echoing the metaphor that a seventeenth-century gardener coined for human nature, Powys considers how we cultivate such authentic culturedness within ourselves:…




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What Are Animals Thinking and Feeling?


Have you ever wondered what animals think and feel? Let’s start with a question: Does my dog really love me, or does she just want a treat? Well, it’s easy to see that our dog really loves us,easy to see, right, what’s going on in that fuzzy little head. What is going on? Something’s going on.

But why is the question always do they love us? Why is it always about us? Why are we such narcissists?I found a different question to ask animals. Who are you?

There are capacities of the human mind that we tend to think are capacities only of the human mind. But is that true? What are other beings doing with those brains? What are they thinking and feeling? Is there a way to know? I think there is a way in. I think there are several ways in.We can look at evolution, we can look at their brains and we can watch what they do.

The first thing to remember is: our brain is inherited. The first neurons came from jellyfish.Jellyfish gave rise to the first chordates. The first chordates gave rise to the first vertebrates. The vertebrates came out of the sea, and here we are. But it’s still true that a neuron, a nerve cell, looks the same in a crayfish, a bird or you. What does that say about the minds of crayfish? Can we tell anything about that? Well, it turns out that if you give a crayfish a lot of little tiny electric shocks every time it tries to come out of its burrow, it will develop anxiety. If you give the crayfish the same drug used to treat anxiety disorder in humans, it relaxes and comes out and explores. How do we show how much we care about crayfish anxiety? Mostly, we boil them.

Octopuses use tools, as well as do most apes and they recognize human faces. How do we celebrate the ape-like intelligence of this invertebrate? Mostly boiled. If a grouper chases a fish into a crevice in the coral, it will sometimes go to where it knows a moray eel is sleeping and it will signal to the moray, “Follow me,” and the moray will understand that signal. The moray may go into the crevice and get the fish, but the fish may bolt and the grouper may get it. This is an ancient partnership that we have just recently found out about. How do we celebrate that ancient partnership? Mostly fried. A pattern is emerging and it says a lot more about us than it does about them.

Sea otters use tools and they take time away from what they’re doing to show their babies what to do, which is called teaching. Chimpanzees don’t teach. Killer whales teach and killer whales share food.

When evolution makes something new, it uses the parts it has in stock, off the shelf, before it fabricates a new twist. And our brain has come to us through the enormity of the deep sweep of time. If you look at the human brain compared to a chimpanzee brain, what you see is we have basically a very big chimpanzee brain. It’s a good thing ours is bigger, because we’re also really insecure.

But, uh oh, there’s a dolphin, a bigger brain with more convolutions. OK, maybe you’re saying, all right, well, we see brains, but what does that have to say about minds? Well, we can see the working of the mind in the logic of behaviors. So these elephants, you can see, obviously, they are resting. They have found a patch of shade under the palm trees under which to let their babies sleep, while they doze but remain vigilant. We make perfect sense of that image just as they make perfect sense of what they’re doing because under the arc of the same sun on the same plains,listening to the howls of the same dangers, they became who they are and we became who we are.

We’ve been neighbors for a very long time. No one would mistake these elephants as being relaxed.They’re obviously very concerned about something. What are they concerned about? It turns out that if you record the voices of tourists and you play that recording from a speaker hidden in bushes, elephants will ignore it, because tourists never bother elephants. But if you record the voices of herders who carry spears and often hurt elephants in confrontations at water holes, the elephants will bunch up and run away from the hidden speaker. Not only do elephants know that there are humans, they know that there are different kinds of humans, and that some are OK and some are dangerous.

They have been watching us for much longer than we have been watching them. They know us better than we know them. We have the same imperatives: take care of our babies, find food, try to stay alive.Whether we’re outfitted for hiking in the hills of Africa or outfitted for diving under the sea, we are basically the same. We are kin under the skin. The elephant has the same skeleton,the killer whale has the same skeleton, as do we. We see helping where help is needed. We see curiosity in the young. We see the bonds of family connections. We recognize affection. Courtship is courtship. And then we ask, “Are they conscious?”

When you get general anesthesia, it makes you unconscious, which means you have no sensation of anything. Consciousness is simply the thing that feels like something. If you see, if you hear, if you feel, if you’re aware of anything, you are conscious, and they are conscious…




Posted in Activism, Animals, Brain, Curiositys, Health, Living, Media&Culture, Philosophy, Psychology, Rights, Visions | Leave a comment




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Created by SafeQualitySchools.orgAP_info_v5

Created by ACLU.orgmass-incarceration-infographic

Watch the documentary below to learn the truth about how the “war on drugs” is a political tool the government invented to keep Americans enslaved.



Posted in Big Brother, Bizarre, Curiositys, Drugs, Freak U.S.A, Manipulation, Media&Culture, Politics, Rights, State Terrorism, Unbelievable, Visions | Leave a comment

No man left behind: Dramatic details emerge of downed Su-24 pilot rescue

A Mi-8i helicopter of the Russian Aerospace Forces circles around the territory of Khmeimim air base in Syria. © Dmitriy Vinogradov

Gripping new details of the rescue of the downed Russian Su-24 pilot have been revealed. The details are straight out of the movie “Black Hawk Down,” and reveal how Russian Marines saved the pilot in a breath-taking frontline op involving a fierce shootout with militants.

Cpt Konstantin Murakhtin, who escaped death after his jet was attacked by a Turkish Air Force F-16, parachuted into the middle of territory held by hostile Syrian rebel fighters, making any effort to save him incredibly dangerous. His fellow pilot Lt Col Oleg Pershin was reportedly killed by Turkmen militants in the air even before landing.

Murakhtin was fortunate enough to land safely, but his position was directly in the line of crossfire from the Syrian Army and terrorists. He activated a life beacon and could do nothing but wait for help.

The Marine rescue team sent to save the pilot left Russia’s Khmeimim airbase minutes after the Su-24 bomber was shot down by the Turks in Syrian airspace, just one kilometer from the Turkish border.

“We moved out just 15 minutes after we got information that the Turks had downed our aircraft. The area was between Durin and Turkmen heights, where fierce shootouts have been taking place. We scrambled three [Mi-8] helicopters which headed for the probable crash site,” a source close to the rescue operation told RIA Novosti.

When approaching the site the incoming helicopters came under heavy fire from terrorists. Two Russian choppers had to return to base, while one crash-landed under mortar shelling with crew and 12 Marines on board. One Marine, Aleksandr Pozynich, was killed in action as he left the chopper to find cover from mortar shelling from a nearby hilltop.

An on-the-spot video shot by reporters from ANNA-News who were in the area shows the Mi-8s and the dramatic moments the Russian Marines came under fire and escaped the landing site.  Their chopper blew up after being hit by an anti-tank rocket launched from the ground.

Syrian military who were nearby rushed to help the Russian Marine, covering the group from three sides. The Syrians came “right on time,” says the source, and managed to extract the Russian troops from under fire. 

Murakhtin, who won the Top Navigator award at Russia’s biggest military flying competition last year, said he will ask to return to duty as soon as he is declared fit by doctors.

“I must pay back the debt for my commander,” he said.



Posted in Curiositys, Middle East, Military, News, Russia, Terrorism, War | Leave a comment

How the Islamic State is Really Anti-Islamic

by Nazia Nazar, Contributor, Waking Times

Islam proclaims that killing one human being (unjustly) is equal to killing the whole humanity (Qur’an, 5:32).

In this perspective, the recent Paris terror attacks as well as all other incidents of terrorism which cause the death of innocent people should actually be considered as the attacks on the whole humanity. Notwithstanding, the terror incident in Paris has once again triggered the old debate as to what extent Islam should be blamed for the barbaric acts committed by ISIS, which is known as the Islamic state of Iraq and Syria, but actually it deserves to be called as “Inhuman State” for its barbaric activities all over the world.

The people who are prone to blame Islam and Muslims for this recent terror episode should not be oblivious of the fact that ISIS had committed the same kind of atrocity in Beirut, resulting in the killing of scores of Muslims just one day before the terror attacks rocked Paris.

Muslim Casualties in Terrorism

The figures show that ISIS has perpetrated far more atrocities against the Muslim world than it has caused death and destruction in the West.

According to a report by the United Nations, ISIS was responsible for 9,347 civilian deaths only in Iraq in 2014. It seems ridiculous that their ambition is to create an Islamic state; hence, its members are feeding on the blood of Muslims. The question arises that if ISIS supposedly upholds the true Islamic ideology, why do they kill Muslims at all? Do they intend to create an ‘Islamic state without Muslims’?

Same goes with Al-Qaeda which has killed a large number of Muslims in its wild pursuit of the West and the ‘infidels’. According to a report published by Spiegel, “Between 2004 and 2008, al-Qaida claimed responsibility for 313 attacks, resulting in the deaths of 3,010 people. And even though these attacks include terrorist incidents in the West — in Madrid in 2004 and in London in 2005 — only 12 percent of those killed were Westerners.”

Here again arises a simple question: if terrorism is synonymous with Islam, why are the Muslims the largest victims?

The need is to understand that Muslims constitute the second largest religious group in the world. If Islam teaches terrorism, every 6th person in this world should be a terrorist. Be honest and ask yourself, how terrifying is it to hang out with Muslims in your daily life? The terror groups which hardly constitute 1% of total Muslim population cannot be the representative of Islam and Muslims by any scientific definition.

ISIS’ Un-Islamic Gestures

Islam has set some ethics of war by prescribing: never fight against non-combatants, women, children and elderly people; and never destroy property unnecessarily. Not a single instance could be quoted from reliable sources of history about the violation of any of the above terms in the era of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). How can ISIS supporters justify their barbarity, inhumanity, rape and slaughtering in the light of the above teachings?

The fact of the matter is that ISIS is the composition of criminal elements and newly converted Muslims who have scant or no knowledge of Islam at all. This fact is corroborated in a recent news story in media about the extremely ‘liberal’ lifestyle of the female suicide bomber Hasna Ali Boulahcen who was involved in the November, 2015 Paris attacks. According to her brother, as revealed in news reports, Hasna was a ‘party girl’, ‘heavy drunker’ who hung out with drug dealers. She started wearing hijab (covering head) a month ago and was “never interested in studying her religion.”

Same goes with many other members of ISIS, who proclaim themselves as true Muslims while living an un-Islamic lifestyle. The mockery is that those characterless figures of ISIS claim to be the Caliph of Muslims, which is considered a pious position in Islam. They are perhaps not aware of the fact that Shur a(consultation) and Bay`ah (pledge of allegiance by the Muslims) are the two most important principles of appointing a Caliph for the Muslims in Islam. On the other hand, the fact of the matter is that a large majority of Muslims and Islamic scholars all over the world have categorically denounced ISIS and its leader as the Caliph, which makes no room for this terror group to proclaim its Islamic identity. This has also happened in early the Islamic era when the deadliest enemies of Islam disguised themselves as Muslims, (called hypocrites).

Islam ordains strict punishment for those who create chaos and disorder on earth. Since ISIS terrorists are causing death and destruction around the world, they deserve strict punishment according to true Islamic teachings. Muslims scholars from Al-Azhar, Cairo have already called for the extermination of ISIS terrorists as a religious obligation.

Who Supports ISIS?

It is quite easy to blame a religious ideology for the ongoing phenomenon of terrorism. However, it is also pertinent to investigate who provides funding and support to these terror organizations worldwide. How are such tiny groups able to pull-off such large-scale violence amid the surveillance systems of mighty intelligence agencies around the world?

The truth is that ISIS had emerged in the wake of the Middle Eastern conflicts, and associated itself with Al-Qaeda. It is no more a hidden fact that the Al-Qaeda was trained and funded by the CIA to fight a proxy war to expel the Soviet army from Afghanistan in 1970’s. It is no longer hidden that aUSAID project had designed special textbooks to promote distorted Jihadi ideology in 1980’s. Those books were distributed at Afghan refugee camps and in the Pakistani madrassas, which eventually strengthened the terrorist network in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

After the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the United States set forth its expansionist agenda in Afghanistan, Iraq and other Middle Eastern countries. No other incident except 9/11 could provide a better pretext for the US intervention in Afghanistan and Iraq. Finally, Afghanistan was destroyed while hunting down Osama Bin Laden, who was finally killed in Pakistan in such a secret way that nobody ever saw his dead body.

Iraq was punished for allegedly having weapons of mass destructions, which later proved to be a blatant lie. When it became boring to blame Al-Qaeda for each and every atrocity, it was gradually replaced with ISIS, which emerged prominently in the wake of the Syrian crisis as a well-equipped and “richest terror organization in the world.”

This is not a fabricated story. Renowned world analysts have explicitly criticized US expansionist policies and the western agenda for causing turbulence in the Muslim world, creating a vacuum for the terror group to flourish.

History repeats itself, especially in the United States, which is playing the same game it played in Afghanistan in 1970’s. ISIS is being used by the US to fight the proxy war against the Assad regime in Syria. In a media report, General Thomas McInerney, who had served in top US military positions, had confessed that the US, “helped build ISIS,” when the terror group was successful in getting weapons in the wake of terror attacks at Benghazi consulate in Libya in 2012. The same media report revealed that some members of ISIS were, “trained by the United States at a secret base in Jordan in 2012.” In this political game, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and Turkey also acted as the US allies and strengthened ISIS’ network.

A Pakistani commander of ISIS, Yousaf al Salafi, had already confessed to receiving funding from the US. Recently, Seumas Milne, cited a report in The Guardian which revealed that British intelligence had also cooperated with the CIA to provide arms to the rebel group in Syria. A couple of days ago, Russian president Putin stated that forty countries including G20 had been involved in financing ISIS. Putin’s recent statement seems to corroborate what the Canadian economist and University of Ottawa Professor Emeritus of Economics Dr. Michel Chossudovsky had uttered in the following words:

“A criminal undertaking at a global level … and there is an ongoing war … The global war on terrorism … which is fake…. It tells us that somehow America and the Western world are going after a fictitious enemy, the Islamic state, when in fact the Islamic state is fully supported and financed by the Western military alliance … They say Muslims are terrorists, but it just so happens that terrorists are made in America. . . . The global war on terrorism is a fabrication, a big lie and a crime against humanity.” [Source]

This article (How the Islamic State is Really Anti-Islamic) was originally created and published byWaking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Nazia Nazar and It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this copyright statement.



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