Congress Of The United States, American People.

Posted on September 20, 2014

by Jerry Alatalo

cumberland 1-1Why would President of the United States Barack Obama ask the United States Congress for $500,000,000 to train and arm men to overthrow Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, who was re-elected for a third term by Syrians in July with 88.7% of the vote? Perhaps others reading this who’ve wondered the same thing are interested in hearing President Assad’s 40-minute swearing-in speech for a possible answer. It would be interesting to know which elected representatives in the US Congress and Senate made the effort to listen to Assad’s speech before voting on the $half-billion package for anti-Syrian “moderate” rebels.

The purpose of posting this information is in hopes of developing increased understanding of the causes for conflict and disagreement in Syria, Iraq, Israel-Palestine, and the volatile, energy-rich Middle East region. Perhaps a greater understanding will be beneficial in that dialogue and political agreement become seen as the preferable option over military operations. This post is neutral, meaning it is not concerned with convincing any man or woman that one “side” is right while the other “side” is wrong. Humanity is one family – there is only one “side” – and any act of violence directed toward others is in actuality an attack on the family of man.

This effort has set goals on first, minimizing to the greatest extent the potential for violence. Second, clearing up to the greatest extent any existing misinterpretations, misunderstandings, intentional or unintentional omissions and/or deceptions, while concentrating on building as solid as possible basis/foundation of truth of circumstances in the Middle East at this time. And third, maximizing the understanding or philosophical recognition/awareness that choosing the war/killing option is unwise, destructive, and too often chosen without the fullest, most complete range of factual information.

Finally, the major intent here is to advocate strongly – to the American people and the United States Congress – for the idea that choosing the military option only becomes justifiably exercised in situations of genuine self-defense, after:

Inviting all concerned, affected persons

Examining all facts and viewpoints, and

Engagement in extensive discussion and debate of the highest moral and ethical nature

A large segment of Bashar al-Assad’s speech can be read here, then the video of the entire address.

“…after the true face was uncovered, the killing, the destruction, the eating of hearts and livers, and the beheadings. They tried all ugly means, they tried all ugly ways, they pursued all different ways, but they failed. They failed… All previous battles were for the sake of winning this confrontation. Regarding the enmity toward the nation, they were waiting for this stage in order to take away the legitimacy. To show the Syrian people as a weak people who were not able to rule themselves, in order to create justifications for foreign interventions under false pretexts”.

“From our perspective as citizens, the elections were a declaration of real affiliation with the state, which is above affiliation with identity or affiliation with a passport. The election was our battle to defend sovereignty, legitimacy, and national decision-making and the dignity of the people. And the huge participation was a referendum in favor of sovereignty against terrorism in all its forms. It wasn’t important for many people who would win. What was important was the elections, and you with your votes, you defeated the terrorists”.

“And you also defeated the Syrian spies who provided a cover, a political cover for the terrorists. And you also defeated those people who are behind this plot, superpowers and others who work with those superpowers, officials and decision-makers who dictate. Syrian refugees, who also had their say, and who surprised the whole world, and showed the real Syrian picture of Syrians holding on to their decision-making, and holding on to their sovereignty. The situation, the difficult situation, did not prevent them from participating in this election”.

“They went out in the streets, participated in these elections. Some of them went out although they were suffering physically and mentally. Others also risked their future, despite the fact that they need, and others confronted threats, threats which were timed to prevent them from participating. The Syrians chose their candidate and put their papers in the box. This simple step showed that the Syrians realize that it was not just elections; it was defense of the unity of the state and its sovereignty and its dignity”.

“And this is what made them prevent elections being held in some of the countries, some Arab countries and other countries. This was the stance of the West. How can they say they are defending people who they prevent from electing (voting), when they believe such steps are against their interests. But we thank them, for by their ignorance they have increased the enthusiasm of the Syrians, instead of decreasing this enthusiasm”.

“The Syrians declared by these elections that they are Syrians from the bottom of their hearts. And they also proved what we said at the beginning. The main reason behind the Syrians leaving the country is the terrorism of the armed groups and their brutality. So how can any sane person believe that someone whose state has assaulted them and who left the oppression of the state, how can you believe such a person would stand with the state with this enthusiasm as we saw from the refugees and the displaced in the elections?”

“How can a citizen who hates his state, as some people assume, how can such a person be capable of being such a difference? The elections, the presidential elections for many Syrians, was like a bullet – a bullet where they were firing on the chests of the terrorists and those who support them. Thousands of bullets were fired and hit their targets, and stood in the ballot box”.

“A lot of invasions, ever since the beginning of history, thousands of years – after the French colonialists left less than seven decades ago, Syria is still alive and capable, and no more do we want to be a people who surrender. This leads only to the verge of collapse, the abyss. And many of those people put down their arms with the framework of teachings in their religious institutions”.

“… On the other hand, what about the millions of honorable people, those who work in the public sector and also outside the public sector; hundreds of thousands of young men and women who decided to take up arms and be martyred in defense of the state? What about those civilians who decided to continue with their national duty despite the threats, and the families who stood with steadfastness and stayed in the country despite the very harsh circumstances? What about all of those people; all those people did not do this because they received orders, or because of directives from above”.

“They did this because they were raised well, and this led to such honorable people in society. This fundamental part of raising the children, this is what makes the civilian abide by the law by conviction – not because he’s afraid of punishment. And those who work in the public service are serving the citizen because they want to – not because they want to gain personal benefits. And this makes people realize that he who is stealing is stealing from one person or a few people but, when he doesn’t pay taxes, he’s stealing from millions of people”.

“This is what leads people to help their fellow citizens, and it prevents others also from being transformed into mercenaries who are used against the nation when any conspiring side wants to use them. And this is what makes all of the steps which the state will take much more deeply effective. So, let the fight against corruption be our priority in the upcoming era in the state institutions and the society as a whole. Let us put it out as a priority – not just in front of the officials – but a priority for all of us as individuals, so that every one of us, when we even mention fighting corruption, let him then go and work truly to fight corruption in order to uproot it”.

“Ladies and gentlemen, the countries who stand behind terrorism in Syria tried to destroy all forms of life in the country. So, at the same time where we had the killings which targeted all different Syrians from all walks of life, without any differences, we saw the destruction of infrastructure which was built for decades with the blood and sweat of generations of Syria. This targeting of infrastructure was continuing systematically. There is no doubt that this destruction against the state, it targeted every individual, especially when it comes to their life”.

“And this increased the challenges and concerns; and it also led to the issue of the problem of the people. The property of the people. The life of the people, the ongoing attacks on the oil fields. The oil fields are one of the most important sources of finance for the state. Also, the attacks on the gas fields, which provide electricity. The attacks which took place against the electric power stations; the attacks against the electric networks which provide electricity for the provinces. This led to electricity being cut off and led to only a few hours of electricity being provided on a daily basis”.

“Tourism, which flourished in Syria, and which was also an important source of income for the state and the citizens, whether it be inside or outside; we can say that now tourism income is just about zero. The circumstances which we witnessed in the state, the change of priorities of the state, this showed a lot of people who don’t have conscience and this led them, led such people to abandon, to not pay their bills, to pay their taxes. All of the problems have piled up to lead to a very difficult economic situation which is being felt by every single Syrian”.

“And because the biggest destruction against the economy was the financial economy, in order to heal this problem we must begin by focusing on retrieving the structure, the buildings, the factories, the roads, the infrastructure and also other places which were destroyed. This sector is the very widespread sector which includes, its benefits include, all people, all walks of life in Syria and has a positive impact on the other economic sectors, which will not be healthy, once again, without reconstruction”.

“Let us all begin, hand with hand, to rebuild Syria; to be in favor of reconstruction, not destruction. And, as we have proven for the past three years, let us prove that the will of the Syrians is many times stronger than the will of the terrorists. Brothers and sisters, on this day, we are heading towards a new phase. What distinguishes this phase, what distinguishes this phase is consensus on protecting the country and reconstruction, rebuilding the country technically and financially as well. What distinguishes this period is that there is consensus on eliminating terrorism and also bringing people back to the right path”.

“At the time when we look towards the future, we are in need of addressing the problems, the bigger problems of the state. And this requires our joint efforts standing shoulder to shoulder in the upcoming period; this means a relationship between the leadership and the people. Leadership doesn’t mean the people are cancelled out, and their opinions aren’t taken into consideration. And it also doesn’t mean relying only on the leadership, drawing fully on the individuals of the leadership. There must be a reactionary relationship, meaning we go together towards a future – if we really want to succeed”.

“So, from here we hold the term responsibility, for all of us as individuals; together we will build Syria and rebuild what was destroyed, and that we will continue striking terrorism and going ahead with local reconciliations in all areas, in order for no Syrian to remain outside or in refugee camps”.

“Our perseverance prevented the so-called Arab Spring from succeeding. It led to the death of this, but there is no need to extend our condolences. If this spring was real spring, then it would have begun in the backward countries; the backward Arab countries. If the revolutions of the people aimed to get democracy and justice, then it would have begun with the most backward countries; the most oppressive countries. Those countries who were behind all of the hardships, all of the difficulties; behind all of the wars; behind the inappropriate thinking; behind the problems which we witnessed”.

“These countries were the main reason behind Israel’s success and its continued presence. What proves this is their current stance towards the Israeli assault on Gaza. Where is their sympathy which they show towards Syria or the Syrian people, as they alleged? Why don’t they support Gaza with money and weapons, where are their mujahideen? Why didn’t they send the mujahideen to defend our people in Palestine? In order to know the answer, we must realize that what is taking place in Gaza today, brothers and sisters, is not separate – is not isolated”.

“Ever since the occupation of Palestine, up until the invasion of Iraq and dividing Sudan, and the attempts to divide Iraq which are taking place today – all this represents one complete chain which is planned by Israel and the West. This is something basic, but the implementation is being carried out by the oppressive, backward countries in the Arab world. …These countries, aren’t they the ones who incited the West and Israel in order to wage the 1967 war which we are still paying the price for, in order to eliminate the Gamal Nasser trend that was posing a threat to their thrones at that time?”

“These countries, weren’t they the countries who supported Iran during the reign of the Shah, and when the Iranian government decided to become, after the revolution, in support of the Palestinian cause, in support of the Palestinian people, and change the Israeli Embassy to the Palestinian Embassy – weren’t these countries, weren’t they the ones who turned against Iran because Iran took these steps? Didn’t those countries support the crimes of the Muslim Brotherhood or the Devil Brotherhood in Syria in the 70’s and 80’s, against Syria, against the people and the state, the state which didn’t do anything to the countries?”

“These countries are the ones who gave a peace initiative in 1981 and there was a threat: ‘If you don’t accept there will be bloodshed; a lot of blood will be spilled’. And when the Palestinians refused, after one year, we saw the Israeli invasion of Lebanon. And after that we saw the PLO leaving Lebanon. Not because they care for the civility of Lebanon, but because they care for Israel. These countries, they themselves, they surprised us in 2002 with an initiative which includes three words: ‘Normalization In Exchange For Peace’. It was announced a peace initiative in Beirut 2002. It was amended and Sharon responded, the Israeli Sharon responded, ‘It’s not worth the paper which it was written on’. And he then waged a war and hundreds of Palestinian martyrs fell…”

“And when Israel assaulted Lebanon, or when Israel waged its aggression against Lebanon in July of 2006, those countries said that those people were adventurers, and they began to put pressure on the West and Israel in order for there not to be a ceasefire  before the Lebanese resistance is destroyed. Because these countries succeeded in their missions, they were assigned with the mission of spreading tales under the title of the Arab Spring, and the Arab League leadership, after it gave its role to other Arab countries, the role of the Arab League began to be calling on NATO and imposing a siege on the Arab countries who do not obey dictations”.

“All of these events, and the other events, which might be less or more important – I’m giving you only examples, of course – all of these events are connected to one another. For the sake of achieving one goal. In order to eliminate the Palestinian cause. And all the money paid by those countries since their founding was to achieve this goal. And here they are in today in Gaza; they are playing the same role which they played in Syria. In Gaza via the Israeli terrorism, and here in Syria via the terrorism which comes from 83 citizenships”.

“The means differ, but the goal is one, and the master of the plan is one. And this leads us to another important issue, which is that some express or say that they don’t care, I mean some in Syria, some say they don’t care for what happens in Gaza, because they believe we have enough problems. And others say they are glad with what is happening to the Palestinians, because some of the Palestinians were not loyal to what Syria gave them for decades. In both cases, this is naïve behavior. Because what is taking place in Syria and the region is related directly to Palestine and to what is taking place in the occupied territories”.

“And dissociating ourselves here is like someone who is looking at a fire burning the home of his neighbor and doesn’t help extinguishing the fire, believing that it won’t come to his house. So, he who believes we can live in security and disassociate ourselves from the Palestinian cause is mistaken. It will remain the central cause… Connecting what is taking place in Syria and in Palestine, especially as we all know that the global and regional policies regarding this region, especially the Arab countries – they are related first and foremost to what is taking place in Palestine”.

“And this requires from us to differentiate, clearly, between the Palestinian resistive people who we must stand behind and, some of those who neglect the favors; the real resistance fighters who we must support, and others who wear the mask of resistance in accordance with their interests. When we believe that our crises are not related to what is taking place in Palestine – and our local vendors know that we will take the wrong decisions, and the solutions will not be complete, and the result will be failure, in addressing any problem which we are witnessing in our country”.

“Ladies and gentlemen, people like you who fought and showed steadfastness and stayed in their country which was subject to an aggression which we have not seen, are a people who deserve appreciation. People who brought back the real meaning of revolution; people who proved that the Syrians live with honor and are martyred with honor; and that their honor and dignity is more valuable to them than life itself; and that their belief in God along with their belief in land and the people and the nation. And although we have made a big achievements lately in our fight against terrorism, irrespective of this we will not forget the people also who were beheaded. And we will succeed”.

 “Honorable Syrian people, the challenges are big and the missions are also huge. Our confidence in ourselves also doesn’t mean that we should take issues lightly. We have a strong will, and with our will we can transform this into a chance, and if the price we paid was a high price, let our achievements be at the same level of this high price – as long as we have the will”.

“The upcoming phase has begun, the new phase has begun, and we are ready. Syria deserves from us all efforts, and we will spare no efforts, as I said, as our heroes didn’t spare anything from their blood and their souls. I will be the individual who belongs to you, lives with you, and takes your opinion to account, and also draws inspiration from your vigilance”.

“Together with you, Syria will stand high, will remain steadfast, will not be defeated by the foreigners, and we shall remain an impossible target to be defeated”.


(Thank you to Le Journal de la Syrie at YouTube)


How Many More Must Die.

Posted on September 20, 2014

by Jerry Alatalo

aaa-28Father Clyde Harvey spoke at TEDx Talks about what he experienced after hearing about a 6-year old girl being murdered in Trinidad. He had other topics to present before hearing that bad news, but then changed his talk after becoming profoundly moved upon learning of another child’s murder. He admits that days earlier, before hearing the news of the 6 year-old girl’s death, he learned a 1 year-old boy had also been murdered, but regrettably he had fallen into our world’s wide-spread apathetic state and “brushed it aside”.

Mr. Harvey shares with the audience his self-critical analysis and remorse for “brushing aside” such a great tragedy, and asks the men and women there to change; to stop acting in what he called, “the theater of our lives”.

One gets the impression while listening to this spiritual man that he is fighting against possibly displaying anger or righteous indignation, and restraining his emotions over how he feels about a society and world that allows such madness and inhumanity to persist.

He asks the audience, “Will we become discomforted enough to change?” He shares what he’d heard about the situation in Syria, where “children have become targeted and killed”, because the next generation cannot be allowed to become born and live. He talks about a writer/friend who coined a phrase, “Some are guilty, and all are responsible”. Father Harvey turns the phrase around: “All are guilty, and some are responsible”.

Referring to the TED Talks, Mr. Harvey points out that participating in them are about much more than feeling good about ourselves, but about real transformation of ourselves, our society, and the world.

It seems he is directing his talk in equal measure to the audience and himself, with the intensity generated from his personal experience of receiving very disheartening news. During the talk, Father Clyde Harvey said, “You do not deal with corruption by fixing it. You deal with corruption by removing it; you’ve got to move it out”.

For a short talk of 18-minutes, it is extraordinary in that Father Harvey conveys a universal message applicable to almost every undesired, difficult situation – whether consequential in small, medium, or large measure. Extraordinary, focused, ever-current, and memorable.


(Thank you to TEDx Talks at YouTube)