Syria

A Great Sifting of Religions

by mgopin on December 11, 2015 · 1 comment

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Has anyone else sensed that global crisis is becoming like a massive sifter of the major religions? It is separating out hate ideology from piety, so that as the sifting increases we are starting to see who in each religion is a charlatan hater cloaked in religious garb, and who is penetrating deeper every day into spiritual authenticity and sacred courage.

See this article. Here is an excerpt:

As Rabbi Rick Jacobs defined it in his December 2013 address at the URJ Biennial in San Diego, “audacious hospitality isn’t just a temporary act of kindness so that people don’t feel left out; it’s an ongoing invitation to be part of a community where we can become all that God wants us to be—and a way to transform ourselves in the process.”  At this moment more than ever, the world needs people like Rivka—those who are willing to uphold the

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Reflections on recent events

by mgopin on October 21, 2015 · 0 comments

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Originally posted here on Oct. 19, 2015.

I am starting to see very clearly that there are those people who have the moral and emotional intelligence to understand two sides of a conflict, two enemies at once, and there are those who need to demonize someone in every situation. There are those who can empathize with their own community and with another, and there are those who at every turn look to demonize one group and whitewash their own. These are two camps of humanity, one with an evolved mind, and one with a primitive mind. Educational levels and graduate degrees having nothing to do with these two camps.

I am horrified by the mob mentality, I am saddened by many people I have helped and defended, not from my own community, who the first chance they get, join virtual lynch mobs.

The fact is that it is easy to …

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THE SAUDIS AND IRANIANS NEED TO TALK:

AND WE NEED TO MAKE IT HAPPEN

 

In recent years I have worked deeply on quiet conflict management interventions from Afghanistan to Iran, but mostly in Syria. I have watched the unnecessary suffering of countless people, the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Syrians, the greatest civilian displacement in Middle Eastern history, and I have watched it up close through the lives of my students and friends.

 

As an analyst my job is to study, inquire and reflect. Everything we conflict analysts, peace builders and trainers–Western, Muslim, Arab, Christian and Jewish–are learning from experience in the field, and from our students and friends all over the Middle East, is that we are caught in a deepening maelstrom of violent disasters due to the perpetual state of war between two states with radical philosophies that have been at loggerheads since 1979, Saudi …

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Fossil_Fuel-e1407859699259

Here is the excerpt of my new article published on Huffington Post.
Please check out the whole writing from here as well, and your comment is always welcome.

Managing the Madness in the Middle East

…in the long term, a world based on fossil fuels is completely unsustainable, and states and individuals must each take concrete steps to rapidly move away from their use. It is not the first time in history that a resource craved by everyone distorted all rational investment in and valuation of citizens. The less valuable that oil becomes, the more valuable will be the minds and hearts of every single woman, man and child in the region, every minority, and thus there will be clear incentives to invest in every citizen rather than sacrificing them to a god of war that is always insatiable. The god of war may have a religious body

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Nationalism and Groupthink

by mgopin on October 17, 2014 · 3 comments

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The root of this maddening reversal of the military is irrational thinking of the body politic, and the human illness of groupthink, which is in essence the scourge of nationalism and nationalist thinking. otherwise intelligent, thoughtful even nice people, becoming monstrous because the political establishment, having gotten into power through racial or national flag waving, told them that the violent path was the only one–until the day, that is, that they shrugged their shoulders, and said it was NOT the only path. Like America and the Communist domino effect in Vietnam. The outdated philosophy here, or brain fart, is nationalism. Rational self-interest is fine, but the only rational future is in the liberal, socially contracted state, without the flag-waving brain distortions.…

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Situation in Kobani

by mgopin on October 16, 2014 · 0 comments

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There are a great many Muslims who are about to be slaughtered. They are not Gazan, they are not dying at the hands of Christians or Jews. They happen to be Kurds and they are about to die at the hands of Muslims funded from the Gulf. I just need to share my outrage at how little traffic I see on this. And it dovetails the absence of traffic about Syrians dying in general. It seems that it only turns into global outrage when Western Christians or Jews are doing the killing. And that is unacceptable. The Abrahamic religions are not ready for power, nor will they ever be. The only way that any minority, anyone weaker, ever gets defended in history is by benevolent autocrats with a reason, or by pluralist democracies. Religion is great for the heart, let’s keep it away from guns and power forever,

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Kurds call to arms as Islamic State closes in on Syrian town.
There is going to be a massacre in the large city of Kobani in Syria, and ISIS is closing in with tanks. Tanks! Hard to spot those with stealth fighters??? Someone please explain.

Kurds Call to Arms as Islamic State Closes in on Syrian Town, Reuters

A statement issued by the YPG, the main Kurdish armed group, vowed “never ending” resistance to Islamic State in its advance on Kobani. “Every street and house will be a grave for them.”

“Our call to all the young men and women of Kurdistan … is to come to be part of this resistance.”

YPG Syria

(Photo: Basnews)

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Fossil Fuel Funds / Baking

by mgopin on October 7, 2014 · 3 comments

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FOSSIL FUEL FUNDS

As long as Sunni fossil fuel jihadi funds continue to flow there will be only two choices for the minorities of the Middle East: Autocracies or shared democracies.

BAKING

Being half baked is such a waste,
You used all those resources, only to make something inedible.
If you bake, bake all the way.
If you live, live all the way.
If you love, love all the way.

 …

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Artificial Dangers / Oil Spills

by mgopin on October 3, 2014 · 3 comments

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ARTIFICIAL DANGERS

Artificial sweeteners
are dangerous to your health,
whether they come
in the form of chemicals,
or disingenuous smiles
from artificial people

OIL SPILLS

Islamaphobia and jihadhysteria has become an excellent cover for the oil industry. Kill on the surface, cover up the toxic bedrock.

 

ISIS Iraq attack

 

(Photo: Prophecy Tracker)…

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Men and Women in War

by mgopin on September 26, 2014 · 1 comment

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“Force protection”. A clean phrase, and its cousin “collateral damage”, that actually mean together that today, men don’t get killed in war much. The vast majority of the dead and wounded are women and children. From Syria to Gaza, from Afghanistan to Congo. The luckier women escape the bombs aimed at them, the luckier ones escape the rape aimed at them. They are merely left to care for abandoned children who have lost their food and lost their minds. People think that ISIS and Boko Haram are the great evil of the world against women, formerly it was the Taliban as the great embodiment of evil against women. But in truth, they are just the caricatures, the showpiece cowards, who flaunt their insanity. The truth is that the entire modern construct of male war is an act of cowardice, where the majority of victims are women and children. Men have …

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