not only mortars, but gunfire, too, on Damascus

When will war and violence innocent Syrians are experiencing end?

In Gaza

Jobar, roughly one km east of the old city of Damascus, is one of several sites known to have been infiltrated by "rebels" and from where they fire mortars... and gunfire... on various parts of Damascus Jobar, roughly one km east of the old city of Damascus, is one of several sites known to have been infiltrated by “rebels” and from where they fire mortars… and gunfire… on various parts of Damascus. Photo from Apr 28, 2014.

This afternoon, having been walking through crowded streets on an notably warmer day, I took a breather in the shade, against the wall of the old city, between Bab Touma (Thomas Gate) and Bab Sharqi (East Gate). The grassy patch is small there, but better than nothing. Ten meters away, the sidewalk, then the busy road encircling the old city.

To the east lies Jobar, somewhere just under a kilometer away, from where “rebels” have been firing mortars in all directions, including into the old city of Damascus and other areas. But I wasn’t expecting gunfire from there to here.

Shortly after 3 pm, as I sat along that…

View original post 613 more words


A Timeless Leadership Message.

Posted April 28, 2014

by Jerry Alatalo

“The foundation of morality is to have done, once and for all, with lying.”

– T.H. Huxley (1825-1895) British biologist, writer

superior555-1While searching for information on September 11, 2001, this writer first became aware of former Malaysia Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, who Malaysians voted for multiple times and held that high office for 20 years. He is 89 years-old now and, because his is a remarkable life, it seemed like a good idea to share a public lecture he recently gave. The lecture title is “Leadership In Today’s Society” and during the talk Dr. Mohamad shares his broad philosophical views on what he considers the criterion for becoming a man or woman leader.

Without any claim to being an “expert” or academic researcher on the life of Mahathir Mohamad to the point of writing a biography, just let it be said that, in the small amount of time spent listening to his words and viewing a documentary of his life, people would benefit from his wisdom. He was born in Malaysia during the time when Britain ruled it as a colony, and from an early age he had involvement in the political situation there. He became one of seven Malaysians who became subsidized/helped by the government to go to university, where he successfully completed studies and began a twenty year stretch as a practicing physician.

All during Dr. Mohamad’s time in medical practice he continued to stay active in his nation’s political affairs, with a particular emphasis on education. He saw the need to take action to facilitate a great increase in literacy, and eventual increases in Malaysians’ higher learning at the university level. After 20 years in medicine he became appointed Malaysia’s Minister of Education, worked to greatly expand his fellow citizens’  educational opportunity, and won the respect of Malaysians in that capacity.

After Malaysians gained independence from Britain, a series of political events opened up Dr. Mohamad’s rise to high-level government positions – first Minister of Education, he then became Malaysia’s Prime Minister, and was re-elected for 20 years until resigning from politics. He has since traveled widely giving lectures and interviews, reading, and speaking his opinion when he feels it is necessary.

Two of his more important activities since leaving Malaysian political life have been forming the “Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal”, an event in 2010 that did not carry official legal weight but became widely known, and his participation in another Kuala Lumpur event: “9/11 Revisited: Seeking the Truth”, held in 2012. The War Crimes Tribunal found Britain’s Tony Blair and America’s George W. Bush guilty of war crimes for their actions leading to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. In the final report the judges wrote: “The evidence showed that the drums of wars were being beaten long before the invasion. The accused in their memoirs have admitted their own intention to invade Iraq regardless of international law.”

As mentioned, the War Crimes Tribunal did not carry official legal weight, however it was an attempt to hold Blair and Bush responsible for their actions. In America, President Barack Obama decided not to prosecute Bush administration officials, and said to Americans it was time to “look forward, not back.” Congressman Dennis Kucinich attempted to move 35 Articles of Impeachment against George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, but his action was unsuccessful.

Dr. Mahathir Mohamad’s initiative to try Blair and Bush for war crimes/crimes against peace gives people an idea of the moral character of the former Malaysian leader. His words spoken during the opening address of “9/11 Revisited” also give people a sense of the type of leader, morally, Dr. Mohamad is:

“The purpose of this conference is the search for truth… As a result President Bush wanted to go on a “crusade” against Muslim countries. This conference is about finding the truth about world-shaking events of 9/11. Attempts will be made to blackout reports on the talks and discussions here, they will be made by the very protagonists of free speech and the free press, but the alternative media will frustrate them, and shed light on the events. The majority will probably conclude that the allegations by the speakers are preposterous, but a substantial number will believe, or at least rethink their views of the events.”

“As I said earlier, 9/11 has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Afghans, as well as thousands of American and British soldiers. It has devastated two Muslim countries and destabilized them with fratricidal wars which promise to last a very long time. It has divided the world into Muslim and non-Muslim, and sowed the seeds of division and hatred within them. It has undermined the security of nations everywhere, forcing them to spend trillions of dollars on security measures.”

“Yet, the threat remains not so much from alleged terrorists as from the powerful states and their crusade to change the world. Truly, 9/11 is the worst man-made disaster for the world since the end of the two world wars. For that reason alone, it is important that we seek the truth, because when truth is revealed then we can really prepare to protect and secure ourselves. Finally, I would like to thank the speakers for coming all the way to speak at this forum. Their dedication to finding the truth is laudable.”

“I would also like to thank those present for the support and their willingness to hear the views of the speakers, despite the likelihood of their being shocked and disgusted with the behavior of those in whom we placed our trust to create a better world for humanity. Now, it is with great expectation – not with great pleasure, but with great expectation – that I declare this conference on seeking the truth about 9/11 open. I thank you.”

Interested readers can find films on YouTube of speaker presentations at “Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal” and “9/11 Revisited: Seeking the Truth”.

Dr. Mahathir Mohamad is a man who has earned the respect of many men and women who value leaders with morality, ethics, and honesty. Let it be said that this world can never produce enough leaders with the highest human qualities, so the example of Dr. Mohamad serves and benefits people no matter where on the hierarchy of power they find themselves. All people on the highway of life – from those who possess little or no power, to those at the mid-range of the power scale, to presidents, prime ministers, and CEOs – have something to gain from this 89 year-old world leader and moral force fighting the good fight.

This lecture is more a philosophical event than one that deals with specific and current world issues. Given the manner in which Dr. Mohamad conveys ideas to his audience – in the soft-spoken, non-concerned about impressing with intellectual superiority using complex academic language, straight-forward and honest – listeners perhaps risk missing out on the essential and profound wisdom moving from his heart to all who hear.

You may agree or not. Dr. Mahathir Mohamad delivers a historic and timeless message. 


(Thank you to UTP Official at YouTube)