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07 May 2014

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JohnH

And where do all the Christianists in the House stand on this issue? And where is their noisy support base--Pat Robertson, the Christian Coalition, etc?

I know. They are very busy. Rabid support of Israel is very time consuming...

When jihadis took Ma‘loula a year ago, I wrote a letter to the editor of the local paper about it. It was just about the only letter of mine they didn't published. What happens to one minority in the ME is far more important than what happens to any other.

Bandolero

Turcopolier

I've seen videos of so many killings and murders in Syria in almost any cruel way one can imagine that I'm not surprised of crucifications. I have seen some of such pictures from Raqqa before where it was written that the handful of people killed by crucification had allegedly thrown bombs in that place of Raqqa to kill people as a means to challenge Allah's (ISIS') rule. Who knows the truth? I don't. I guess hardly anybody who wasn't there at the time of the alleged crime knows the truth.

And, frankly, regarding to the method of killing, I don't see crucification as so much outstanding. A lot of cruel things are going on. And with that I don't even think about executions in the US through obviously untested toxic substances.

Regarding the news about crucifications it seems to me that most western media are putting a dark "black hat" on ISIS in an effort to contrast it with more "white hats" given to other armed opponents of the Syrian government including Al Qaeda's Nusra front. David Ignatius had a couple of days ago published an interesting article from the southern front in Syria which I found quite revealing. Money Quote:

A fighter from the Deraa region explains the simple reason his forces cooperate with Nusra: “They have a lot of support.”

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/Opinion/Columnist/2014/May-05/255180-syrias-rebels-admit-they-are-unable-to-govern.ashx

So, it's likely not an understatement to say that the US or it's international partners who are equipping anti-government fighters in Syria with US-made ATGM are still fighting side by side with Al Qaeda in Syria.

But that's not quite a new development. And I have another thing, which worries me even more. Currently, what I try to understand, is how these Syrian soldiers and their comrades were killed:

http://youtu.be/qup_wu8Le0A

There are some videos out from the "southern front" - the attackers seem to come from Jordan going north in the UN monitored disengagement zone between Syria and Israel, or maybe they come directly from Israeli controlled Golan heights, who knows. The guys who do the attack seem to have effective weapons, US made TOW ATGM and so on, and likely have killed scores of Syrian soldiers in that south-western Syrian border region in the last week. What I wonder is that many killed soldiers look like as if they have no injuries, and some items next to the dead Syrian soldiers look like what might be unpacked gas masks they weren't able to put on themselves before death.

Might it be possible that the anti-government forces equipped with US-made ATGM operating close to the Syrian-Israeli border have also some kind of toxic gas available for their Southern offensive that they systematically use to kill Syrian soldiers without an actual fight?

That would be quite a new development.

ffintii

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_tax

Catholics do it too

turcopolier

ffintii

Not the same thing at all. The jizya is imposed on non-Muslims. pl

turcopolier

Bandolero

Well, you are different, an apologist for crucifixion. pl

WP

All,

What state supports ISIS?

WP

turcopolier

WP

IMO, no state supports ISIS. They seem to have drifted so far away from the intersts of Sunni run states and other jihadi groups that they are on their own. IMO they should be hunted down by all. pl

Tyler

We need to reimagine militant orders for the modern age precisely for this reason .

Bandolero

Turcopolier

No, I'm not an apologist for crucifixion. I find it deeply disgusting, but I find other methods of killing also deeply disgusting, like cutting people's head off and things this. And I find sectarian violence and persecution deeply disgusting, be them Christians, Jews or others. Yet, in what I've noticed so far is that in Syria Christians are a target, but not so often, because some insurgents think targeting Christians may make a bad impression on some of their western backers, so these guys are more likely to target Alawites and Shia to live their sectarian dreams.

And, of course, when trying to put all these jihadi crucifications, beheadings, bombings and so in in perspective, I remember the mostly Christian Nazi Germany's crimes, and of course, I also remember this 60 minutes interview:

http://youtu.be/FbIX1CP9qr4

jr786

In 1990, I spent some time in Damascus, renting a room from a Christian family in the old city, near bab tuma. I'd go up to Mal'oula on the bus to buy that horrible wine they made there, bringing it back in a 5 gallon plastic jug that I'd share with the bleach salesman - a Muslim.

It was like a medieval village, secure in itself and past, no threat to anyone. Endless pity and loss for that part of the world. Dead forever.

Medicine Man

Them and those Boko Haram savages in Nigeria.

Highlander

Colonel,

What we see being played out in this situation is the self hatred of incompetent western elites.

The wimpy turds who went to Harvard and Yale see Christianity and christians (even though, many of the elites still profess some kind of half ass allegiance to christianity) as eminently sacrificial offerings to the barbarian hordes, who are slowly gathering strength in such disparate locations as north London, Detroit,Zurich,Milan, and south LA.

And I must say, the remaining christians are pretty slack jawed, and blank eyed when it comes to recognizing what is about to descend on them and their descendants.

kao_hsien_chih

Wonderful. Crucifixion and religious persecution for democracy! Hooray for democracy!

kao_hsien_chih

Colonel,

I was thinking that the point Bandolero was trying to make was that the media portrayal of ISIS is made particularly stark only to highlight the Western-supported factions of the insurgents as the "good guys" in comparison, coupled with insistence that they are totally different things. That argument does seem to have a certain merit (regardless of whether it is true or not)

If so, the proper response to this might not be so much to just condemn ISIS but to show that other rebel factions (that are still fighting the Assads that is) are in cahoots with them as well, that is, for example, the Nusra would just as happily crucify a Christian as ISIS types. (which, as far as my admittedly limited understanding goes, is true) so that we can highlight the administration's (and others') attempt to distinguish between the good rebels who "deserve to win and govern Syria...because they want to be good secular democrats" and bad rebels who are Medieval Jihadis is full of nonsense and self-delusion.

Booby

To KHC

We're certainly picking up some strange bedfellows in our pursuit of democracy for the world. Jihadis in Syria, neo-Nazis in the Ukraine. It only make sense in the Alinsky model. If you do evil in the name of a good cause it is not evil. I fear that Nuland & company really believe that they are bearers of truth & freedom. Frightening.

turcopolier

Bandolero

"the mostly Christian Nazi Germany's crimes" Come now. You know very well that the NSDAP was a specifically anti-Christian political party that proclaimed an atheist philosophy. To seek to connect Nazism's crimes against humanity to Germany's christian heritage is a distortion of history. A similarly false analogy would lie in claiming that because Israel oppresses the Palestinians Judaism as a religion is responsible. pl

Bandolero

turcopolier

Though the Nazis based their ideology on a lot of non-christian mythology, the people in Germany between 1933 and 1945 were as much Christian as they were before and after that time.

Though Hitler had taken over some views from Martin Luther - for example Hitler's anti-semitism was in part based on Luther's anti-semitic teachings, Hitler himself was all his life Roman-Catholic, and when he was in power, he promoted unity of Catholic and Lutherian beliefs.

And, of course, one of the Nazis main ideological tasks was fighting against what they called "Judeo-Bolshevism" which is in one form or another quite similar to a very old Christian topic: it's the age old fight of the church against "jews" and "infidels." Seen from that angle, the Nazi movement was very Christian, just like the Inquisition was.

Bandolero

turcopolier

An addendum. Maybe it's a misunderstanding again. I didn't want to claim that the Nazi crimes are a crime of Christianity or specicially to blamed on Christianity.

I just wanted to give an example that Christians, when they blame other religions, say Islam or Judism, for being violent ideologies committing huge crimes due to this, they overlook the barbaric crimes some Christians have proved time and again to be able to commit. Hitler was Roman Catholic all his life, and most German Nazis and German's population under the Nazis were Christians.

That said - I think it's dead wrong to blame any world religion for the cruel crimes some members of these religious groups do. I do regard all of the religions more like a mass psychological tool instead - similar to mass media - that can be used for pacification of people as well as for incitement, depending on the intentions of the guys running the show. So what I long for is that all religious leaders put their religion in the service of a less cruel world.

In the medieval times they are enough crimes from the Spanish inquisition death tortures to witch burning all over Europe which were quite specifically Christian, though.

Bandolero

kao_hsien_chih

Yes, that's the observation point I wanted to make.

Since a couple of months the non-western aligned ISIS group is especially singled out in (western) mass media as being cruel and committing especially cruel crimes. That media portrayal distracts from the reality that many of the western-aligned groups in Syria commit similar cruel crimes en masse, too.

turcopolier

Bandolero

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_views_of_Adolf_Hitler

Hitler was not "a Catholic all his life." He did not formally leave the church? I would be at a loss to tell you how one formally leaves the Catholic Church. What does one do, go to a coven of atheists where one signs a document of renunciation in front of of committed atheists like you?

These people in ISIS are what they are specifically because of their understanding of Islam. If you do not know that then you are ignorant of Islam. pl

David Habakkuk

jr786,

It is beyond belief appalling.

That the British appear to have been in the forefront of those pushing Syria towards disintegration is awful.

What I still find difficult to understand is the sheer stupidity of our policy.

If on the basis of some cynical Machiavellian logic one might think we, or indeed anyone else, benefited from this chaos, it would make some kind of sense.

But if there is any such logic, I cannot see it.

What appears to be at issue is simply a kind of imbecilic, and vastly destructive, thrashing around.

turcopolier

bandolero

"the reality that many of the western-aligned groups in Syria commit similar cruel crimes en masse, too." This is the kind of sophistic multiculturalism that often serves as "framework" for graduate students. Is that what you are?

I rooted around a bit on the subject of defection from the Catholic Church. At different times and place the possibility has been acknowledged in canon law but no longer. I have no idea whether such defection was allowed or admitted a possibility by the Church in Austria or Nazi Germany in Hitler's time.

The normal attitude of the RCC is that if you are baptized you will always be a Catholic and they are just waiting for you to return. pl

Bandolero

turcopolier

To leave the church in Germany, people have to go to the "Standesamt" or a similar public office (how it's named depends on the region), and officially declare leaving the church. Under Hitler leaving the church was done quite the same way, and some people, Nazis and others, in that time, especially 1937 - 1939, did exactly that. Hitler did not do that, and the Catholic church did not excommunicate him neither, so as he was officially Roman Catholic, it's very clear in German eyes that he was Roman Catholic. A completely different question is whether he was a good christian, of course Hitler was not.

The Wikipedia article you linked to has a marker on it: "The neutrality of this article is disputed." And, interestingly, the article has no German version. I guess, it's because for Germans the fact that Hitler was Roman Catholic is so obvious, that one can't make a long Wikipedia article about that in German language. And he was in many ways quite an average German Christian of his time, in speeches Hitler often announced how a good Christian he was, while he didn't went often to church services and in the background had a political fight with some churches - mainly some Lutherian ones.

Hitler's love for the Christian churches was not at all a one way street. The Catholic Church in Germany at that time showed in multiple instances how proud it was on it's son Hitler. The churches often praised Hitler and remonded that their common holy mission was to fight judeo-bolshevism. And even after Hitler's death in April 45 the German Catholic Church ordered all it's branches to hold fine prayers in honor of the valued son of the church who just deceased.

A basic core of Nazism was "Glaube, Sitte, Heimat" - what defined the "Volksgemeinschaft" - and the churches - both of them - were very much part in it. After WWII was finished the role of the German catholic church in regard to Nazism was left much in the dark, at least in West Germany, because the church was once again need to agitate against Bolshevism, what was in a way kind of a replay of the Hitler era, only this time it was not directed against jews, too. After the cold war ended, some change happened, but again the Catholic church was needed, this time for a "Clash of Civilizations" between Christian-Judaist culture and islamic barbarity as formulated by Bernard Lewis.

However, in recent years of the informational age a bit more truth about the reality of the relationship between the churches and Hitler leaked through anyway. If you like to know more, here is a well sourced German texts about the relationship of Hitler, Nazism and the Catholic church:

http://www.heise.de/tp/artikel/32/32534/1.html

Or, of course, take the Russian version of the Wikipedia article you linked which is completely different in content:

http://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%A0%D0%B5%D0%BB%D0%B8%D0%B3%D0%B8%D0%BE%D0%B7%D0%BD%D1%8B%D0%B5_%D0%B2%D0%B7%D0%B3%D0%BB%D1%8F%D0%B4%D1%8B_%D0%90%D0%B4%D0%BE%D0%BB%D1%8C%D1%84%D0%B0_%D0%93%D0%B8%D1%82%D0%BB%D0%B5%D1%80%D0%B0

Regarding barbaric ISIS crimes, I understand quite well that those who do these, are doing this because these who commit them, see that as their interpretation of Islam. My point was, terror organisation, whose terror is more in line with western interests commit similar ugly crimes, take the Al Qaeda aligned Al Nusra Front as example, or Islamic front and a host of more of groups with that medieval islamic ideology.

But I have also seen ugly crimes from western aligned more secular groups, some of what they did resembled more like Nazi style genocid, including shooting dead not only men, but all women and children in some villages, too, to ethnically cleanse areas of government loyalists - and then blame the crime on the victims. These genocidal and false flag crimes are different murderous crimes then crucifying people or beheading them, but I find them similarly ugly.

turcopolier

Bandolero

There is much to admire about you Germans, but the "clarity" that leads you all to make religion an activity linked to the state is despicable. In Germany one must petition the state to escape taxation to support a religion that you happen to be enrolled in on government records? This is simply a manifestation of your slavish obeisance to authority, any authority. However much you may wish to despise us, we have been free of such nonsense since the 1st Amendment freed us from established religion. It will be interesting to see how you defend your continuing servitude to government. pl

Bandolero

Turcopolier
"In Germany one must petition the state to escape taxation to support a religion that you happen to be enrolled in on government records?"

The character of that is more an official declaration than a petition, but, yes, that's the way, it is here in Germany, and it was here so, if I'm rightly informed, since the Bismarck era, long before WWI.

"This is simply a manifestation of your slavish obeisance to authority, any authority."

Here I agree.

"However much you may wish to despise us, we have been free of such nonsense since the 1st Amendment freed us from established religion."

There's much more in what America was an improvement over the old world of Europe which most US people came from some time ago. And much what is today common sense in Germany, like anti war or human rights positions, freedom and democracy, ethnical equality, the value of dignity, and so much more, what we, me included, value a lot, came to Germany largely as part of the US re-education campaign for Germany after WWII. Of course, these were idealistic values from an ideal America, where sometimes black US soldiers taught Germany, how much the US educates Germans on racial equality, and than, when these black US soldiers went back home in the US, they had to take a back seat in the bus because the front seats were reserved for whites.

Nevertheless, many Germans, me included, were - and are - quite enthusiastic about these universal human values brought to Germany by the US army - and the CIA. Now, that idealistic picture of the values brought by the US to Germany clash with reality one can't miss anymore: eg Iraq war WMD lies, financial meltdown, US support for very questionable regime change projects like in Libya, Syria and Ukraine, the large scale of NSA global communications monitoring.

And, so, a major current of what's currently happening in Germany, I would describe as idealistic views of a peaceful, free & democratic US-led world are breaking apart here.

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