An Interview Of S. Awan.

By Jerry Alatalo

r. S. Awan, editor of The Burning Blogger of Bedlam here on WordPress, has kindly accepted an invitation to participate in our new interview series. Thank you Mr. Awan for taking the time and sharing your insights in response to our interview questionnaire, presented in the following words.

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Question 1: What was your primary motivation for entering the world of blogging – the internet?

Oddly enough, when I started my main blog, it was just for fun. I had no intention whatsoever of writing about serious, grown-up subjects, politics, society, corruption, cover-ups or any kind of ‘truth-seeking’. I had no kind of ‘noble’ intentions. I originally just wanted to write about music, film, comic books and stuff that I’ve been enthusiastic about all my life. I also wrote a magazine column for a while about the supernatural and the more esoteric side of things, so this kind of stuff was what I had in mind for blogging.

What happened was that the world started to feel like it was falling apart just around the same I time I was trying to find my feet with the blogging. The refugee/migrant crisis was escalating, the horrors in Syria were unfolding, a very toxic atmosphere was spreading all across the Internet (and society) with a resurgence of really bad ideologies, and with all manner of rampant corruption and cover-ups going on in plain sight. There was also a sense that a whole sea of misinformation, propaganda and manipulation was going on all over the place – not just in the mainstream, but in various parts of so-called ‘alternative’ media too. And that there was a growing absence of good intentions in most of this, but rather a web of different interests and biases utilising the alternative media momentum and general ‘truth-seeking movement’ (if I can call it that) for their own purposes in order to advance their own agendas and to recruit people to their own ideologies and biases.

I was thus drawn instinctively to start trying to navigate and make sense of all these things, trying to make honest appraisals from the perspective of someone who considers himself largely non-partisan.

Early on, the main thing that really got me working hard was the manufactured ‘terror’ threat and the business of false-flag terrorism. I made it a goal to critically analyse every single alleged terror incident in the West as soon as it happened, so that I could play some small part in undermining the false narrative (and its objectives) as relentlessly as possible.

I guess the motivation now is just to continue to try to make sense of everything as it continues to evolve, spiral or degenerate.

Question 2: How would you describe yourself with regard to spirituality?

I would regard myself as a fairly spiritual person, in as much as that I am open to and interested in various spiritual philosophies and schools of thought.

I think a spiritual dimension to our understanding of life, the world and even politics and society, is important: though, admittedly, I’m more comfortable sticking to the meat-and-potatoes of ‘mundane’, non-esoteric things when it comes to writing these days. This is, I guess, because I will always consider my ‘spiritual’ understanding or authority as a work-in-progress and therefore not something I feel I can speak of definitively.

However, I believe – without doubt anymore – that we are partly spiritual or metaphysical beings, probably with a form of multi-dimensional consciousness. I think time is also something we don’t really understand and that there is some profound connection between time and consciousness that we haven’t figured out yet – and probably will never figure out. I tend to think that the answers to some of this reside somewhere where we can’t effectively study them – specifically, in the still-mysterious realms of sleep states and non-waking consciousness.

That’s as far as I’m willing to go, as far as making statements is concerned: as I’m still on a seemingly unending quest to develop my own understanding. And until I do so to my own satisfaction, I probably shouldn’t permit myself to speak on such subjects with any kind of authority.

Question 3: What were some of the most memorable transforming points across the years (books, personal contacts, mystical experiences, etc.) in the developing of your current spiritual perspective?

It’s hard to say – as I’m not entirely settled on what my spiritual perspective is. However, there’s a bunch of stuff I can say here. Firstly, I’ve had a number of what I would call ‘anomalous’ experiences in my life that have opened me up to the necessity of needing to think about life in different terms. I don’t really want to go into detail about what those experiences were, but they were experiences that definitely force you to get outside of boxed or mundane thinking.

I’ve generally also always been partial to deep thinking and to contemplation of the nature of consciousness and reality. A life-long attachment to science-fiction and comic books has also, believe it or not, made me naturally inclined towards those kinds of considerations. I can’t pinpoint anything to any specific books, but I do think reading Rene Descartes (the philosopher) when I was a teenager probably influenced me a little.

Most of my spiritual perspective has probably come from my own meditations or attempts at self-conditioning over the years. I also, for a period a while ago, conditioned myself to enter into extended periods of what I’m calling ‘hyper awareness’: to explain this better, I basically trained my mind to go into phases where I scrutinise or analyse every single thing I see, hear, think or feel, in order to understand the nature or reality of that thing in a hyper-aware sort of way. It’s extraordinary the knock-on effects this has if you do it often enough. It really trains you to be cognitively ‘alive’ in the moment – whereas I realised that we usually spend most of our days switched off and in a kind of default-mode that takes in reality only very dimly. The drawback with what I’m explaining is that you can’t really do it continuously or all the time, as it doesn’t lend itself to living an efficient, functional everyday life – but even doing this just periodically can have a very interesting effect on your consciousness.

I’ve found that the more cognitively hyper-aware you are at any time, the more you also become aware of yourself and others emotionally, and also the more you become acutely aware of things are connected in different ways, spiritually, energetically, temporally, etc. In that kind of state, you’re more likely to be able to instinctively see, feel or understand the ‘truth’ of a thing – or the truth of many things all at once.

I sort of wish I could maintain that kind of state of consciousness continuously – but it’s just not possible, as far as I can tell.

Question 4: What is your greatest wish for readers as a consequence after reading/considering your writings?

I guess it varies, depending on what any given article is about.

For example, one of the things I was really adamant about at one time was convincing people who were perhaps hostile towards refugees that things like compassion or our moral responsibility as human beings and developed societies shouldn’t be considered somehow as ‘outmoded’ thinking. Judging from much of the response to those articles, I probably failed to convince anyone; but it has become evident to me over the years that much of ‘conspiracy theory’ writing or blogging has moved from being about exposing truth to being about giving people justifications to no longer have any compassion for anyone but people like themselves, and to indulge in racism, sexism, homophobia or also a weird kind of religiously motivated ‘conspiracy’ lore that is really just about a specific school of confirmation bias and indoctrination.

In writing about how, for example, neo-fascists were cleverly utilising things like the refugee crisis and the fear of ‘ISIS’ to indoctrinate people into adopting Far-Right viewpoints, I wanted to wake certain people up to the reality that they were being manipulated. Likewise, in writing extensively about Zionist manipulation of Western ‘populism’ or nationalism and its manipulation of Islamophobia, I wanted to demonstrate to more people just how much the so-called ‘alternative media’ or supposedly ‘anti-establishment’ trends and platforms were being co-opted and redirected from what was initially a broadly ‘truth-seeking’ operation to what became instead an indoctrination operation.

In general terms, I guess I want to encourage people to think critically *all* of the time – and to not defer their critical thinking to other parties or agendas, whether that’s in the corporate mainstream media or in some of the highly suspect elements of so-called ‘alternative’ or ‘anti-establishment’ platforms. I really want people to break away from or stay clear of their biases or echo chambers. And to avoid being goaded into ‘camps’ based on sectarian, racial, religious, gender, or sexual biases. But to think, instead, about all of society – or even all of humanity.

Question 5: Can you offer any advice to people having a difficult time dealing with government and media lies, especially as it pertains to so many average citizens who hold erroneous perceptions on important events and situations around the Earth?

The best thing I can think to say is this: get out of the echo chambers. Get out of the camps. And this, most important of all – don’t make the mistake of thinking that anything labeled ‘anti establishment’ is automatically more reliable or noble than the MSM. Doesn’t work that way. Clever manipulators know that they have to move with the times and trends and keep reinventing and re-packaging the manipulations: clever manipulators therefore know how to use both the MSM and how to utilise the anti-MSM or anti-establishment movements and platforms.

My frustration is that too many people make the mistake of thinking that all you have to do is turn away from the MSM and then just defer your thinking to some popular, seemingly anti-establishment platforms or voices. That’s bullshit. That’s the dumbest path of all. Because some of the so-called anti-establishment platforms, movements or voices are far worse, far more manipulative, than the corporate MSM. What they do very well is to take elements of truth that the MSM won’t – and then to assimilate those ‘truths’ into a broader brainwashing agenda that has the style or appearance of genuine ‘truth-seeking’ or truth dissemination, but is really just the emperor’s new clothes.

My advice is to always question what someone’s agenda or bias is. Is the information being forwarded purely for its own sake (the sake of it being simply the truth), or is it being packaged along with an underlying ideology or agenda?

Also, I advise a broad range of news sources or information sources (both mainstream and non-mainstream). Never end up getting all your information from just one source or from just one common ideological network of sources. Keep a broad range.

And, crucially, find sources, writers or bloggers that you trust. And when I say ‘trust’, I mean trust in terms of their motivations, their intentions and their tone. Of course, in reality no writer or blogger is entirely without their own bias or some semblance of an ideological-leaning: but it is fairly easy to discern when someone is trying to manipulate you, poison your thinking, forward a cynical agenda, or simply misrepresent information.

Now, more than ever, we all need to have our critical faculties operating at maximum efficiency.

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Thank you again, S. Awan. Peace. 

 

Janice Kortkamp: “An American Housewife In Syria.”

By Jerry Alatalo

“There is no such thing as an independent press in America. I am paid for keeping my honest opinions out of the paper I am connected with. Any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the street looking for another job.”

JOHN SWINTON (1830-1901) Editor, New York Sun

or those on the spectrum ranging from an above average knowledge of the reality in Syria 2011-2017 to those with little or none, American housewife and independent journalist Ms. Janice Kortkamp has earned a great deal of respect and gratitude for energetically and courageously seeking and speaking the truth.

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“Thank you all for coming. Thank you so much to the Syrian American forum for hosting me, and sponsoring me here today. I love talking about Syria and, so, really, I’m honored to have this time with you. We’ve got a lot of ground to cover so I’ll just go right into it. If you don’t mind, I would prefer to take questions at the end. I’ll try to leave a half-hour at the end, but if there’s something really urgent, feel free to raise your hand and we’ll try to address that.”

“I do want to say that I am here on my own. I’m not here representing the Syrian … Syrian American forum, Boston College, anything else, you know. I’m just here giving you my own opinion, what I’ve learned, and what I’ve observed over the past five years of researching the Syrian war, and Syria as a country.”

“I call these presentations ‘An American Housewife in Syria’ for a reason. It’s because I am an American; I consider myself a patriotic American. I believe it is the duty of every honest American to hold our government accountable for its words and actions, and I think we’re a critical part of the checks and balances of our constitutional republic.”

“I am a housewife; I am not paid by anyone for anything. I spent a lot of time washing dishes and cleaning the house and picking vegetables in the garden and that kind of thing. I do not represent any movement, organization. corporation, denomination, other nation … and Vladimir Putin does not pay me. Nobody pays me. My husband and I, we … he’s a handyman. He fixes houses, he pays for most of my trips to Syria, although we have received some help from friends and family, which we really appreciate.”

“I started researching Syria in 2012 – in November of 2012, as a matter of fact. It’s a map (referring to visual part of presentation) of where I’ve been; I’ll show it to you in a minute … In 2012, at the end of that year, the Arab Spring as it was called was in full swing. I had been kind of watching it on the evening news, had seen Colonel Gaddafi get tortured and killed, and at that time I thought it just seemed kind of fishy.”

“I didn’t really know anything about the Middle East much, but I knew enough about Saudi Arabia – that I felt that if a freedom and democracy movement had skipped it by that maybe there was something fishy going on, and so I decided to just dig in my heels a little bit and as an American try to learn a little bit about the Middle East and what was happening there.”

“At that time on the news we’re told President Bashar al Assad of Syria would be next, and at any moment he would get pulled out of whatever bunker he was hunkering down in, and he would be eviscerated by the people protesters and a new dawn of freedom and democracy would come to Syria. And I have to confess, up until that moment I believed that narrative … because I was ignorant.”

“And so I noticed that he had, I’d started researching and I noticed that he had given an interview on RT in the end of September of 2012, and I decided to watch it just out of curiosity to see what this brutal tyrant … how he could justify the violence towards his people. And it literally was not two or three minutes into that interview when I felt in my gut that he was telling the truth; and it shocked me, and I became kind of obsessed immediately with finding out if my gut was correct, or if he was … or if what we were hearing on the news was the accurate story.”

“And he said something in that interview, though, that really messed up my life, I think, forever. He said … he said basically anybody can become President, but I am Syrian, I was born in Syria and I’ll die in Syria. And I remember thinking what’s so special about Syria?; I knew nothing of the country, and so, well, I decided to research the war, I decided to research the country as well.”

“And the more I found out about Syria itself the more fascinated in the country itself I became. So since that time I put in five years, well over 6,000 hours of research, I have conducted hundreds of interviews on the phone and via Skype etc. with Syrians, both in Syria and outside of Syria. I’ve put in a lot of time researching, you know, government documents, media reports from all over the world, listened to every speech that President Assad has done, and the opposition has done.”

“It … You know, I’ve really tried my best to be as well-rounded a researcher as I could be, but after four years of that I decided it was necessary for me to go and see if what I thought was going on matched reality on the ground.”

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That was the transcript of only the beginning (6) minutes of Janice Kortkamp’s extraordinary 1-hour, 25-minute Boston, Massachusetts presentation delivered in November 2017. What Ms. Kortkamp further points out until concluding her presentation, including her successfully shattering the many myths about Syria, will deeply shake the moral foundations of any decent man or woman in America.

In particular, Americans with little awareness or gross misperceptions of the truth about Syria hearing her talk about U.S. foreign policy toward that war-torn nation – from decades before 2011 until today in late 2017 – will experience very strong emotional reactions. For that matter, Ms. Janice Kortkamp’s painfully honest talk will certainly disturb any normal thinking person on Earth – and especially so for those owning a real sense of human decency.

Blessed are the peacemakers.

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(Thank you to Janice Kortkamp Fearing at YouTube)