Cradle of Civilization

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Archive for the ‘War’ Category

Muslims take 13 Christians and chop their heads off

Posted by Fredsvenn on March 29, 2014

Just two days after the brutal massacre that took place in the Syrian Armenian village of Kessab in which Muslims, sent by Turkey, butchered eighty Christians. Well, according to Barnabas Fund, it turns out that amidst this slaughter, Muslims took at least thirteen Christians and chopped their heads off in cold blood.

While the world is in collective denial about the dangerous and vicious aspirations of Turkey, thinking that the rising Muslim nation is a model for peace in the Islamic world, the reality is that the Turkish government is responsible for this massacre and mass decapitation of Armenian Christians.

Erdogan will only continue organizing the slaughter Christians, and he will use the facade of helping the Syrian people as a coverup for his murderous plans. Obama, David Cameron, Herman Rompuy and others responsible should be charged with treason against humanity for their funding of these horrid and brutal crimes.

The creator of this monsterism comes from Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait with donations and support from Muslims pouring in from all over the world, which are then cajoled for military support from the West on bogus “democracy” arguments.

According to the recently released 2014 World Watch List, which ranks the 50 nations where Christians are most persecuted, Syria is the third worst nation in the world in which to be Christian, Iraq is fourth, Afghanistan fifth, and Libya 13th. All four countries receive the strongest designation, “extreme persecution” (other designations are “severe,” “moderate,” and “sparse” persecution).

Aside from being so closely and harshly ranked, these four nations have something else in common: heavy U.S. involvement. Three — Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya — were “liberated” thanks to U.S. forces, while in the fourth, Syria, the U.S. is actively sponsoring “freedom fighters” against the regime, many of whom would be better labeled “terrorists.”

While most Americans are shielded from the true nature of the war by the U.S. media’s reluctance to report on it, Arabic media, websites, and activists daily report and document atrocity after atrocity—beheadings and bombed churches, Christians slaughtered for refusing to convert to Islam, and countless abducted for ransom or rape—at the hands of those whom the U.S. supports.

Muslims take 13 Christians and chop their heads off

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Turkey Vows Action to Defend Tomb in Syria From Al-Qaeda

Posted by Fredsvenn on March 26, 2014

Syria’s Christians face new threat — “convert, submit to Islam or face sword”

War in the Fertile Crescent

The Historic Scale of Syria’s Refugee Crisis

The Historic Scale of Syria’s Refugee Crisis

Rebels in Kessab

Attacks on Armenian city of Kesab, Syria, via Turkey

ANCA urges U.S. for action on Kessab, Karabakh ready to welcome refugees

Two Thousand Kessab Armenians Find Safety in Latakia

Kessab Targeted by Al-Qaeda Front Groups in Cross-Border Attack from Turkey

Kessab: Deep Roots Under Attack

Kessab: Deep Roots amid Fallen Leaves

Save Kessab

Save Kessab: An Urgent Appeal to All Armenian Americans & People of Good Conscience
– Urge the Obama Administration to Stop Turkey’s Support for the Destruction of Kessab, Syria

Over four millennia, Babylonian, Egyptian, Persian, Greek and Roman influences crossed paths in Syria. Today, precious cultural sites from these eras are being damaged as the Syrian civil war takes its toll on the country's cultural heritage. This week, the United Nation's cultural organization UNESCO made fresh reports about damage to Syria's historic sites.

Over four millennia, Hurrian, Sumerian, Aramean, Egyptian, Persian, Greek and Roman influences crossed paths in Syria. Today, precious cultural sites from these eras are being damaged as the Syrian civil war takes its toll on the country’s cultural heritage.

Damage done to the Cathedral of Constantine and Helen

Syrian art smuggled from the midst of civil war to show in London

“Stop the destruction of Syrian cultural heritage!” urges UNESCO Director-General

ht Tammam Matisses La Danse kb 130503 blog Tammam Azzam   The Syrian Museum

The world according to the Syrian artist Tammam Azzam I

https://aratta.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/997bb-clearing_a_path.jpg

AQIM from northern Mali, LIFG from Libya, Muslim Brotherhood from Egypt, and with support from Saudi Arabia, Israel, Qatar, Turkey, and others – all are converging on Syria (in black), and then Iran. Should Syria or Iran, or both fall to Western-backed terrorist brigades, and if the West manages to use Kurds across Turkey and northern Iraq to create a conduit (in red), a path will be cleared into Russia’s restive Caucasus Mountains and onto Moscow itself. 

Nations standing in the way of this horde, including Turkey and Georgia, risk being carved up or drawn into protracted, costly conflict. Other nations at grave risk from Western-backed terrorism include Algeria, Pakistan, and China.

Turkey Vows Action to Defend Tomb in Syria From Al-Qaeda

Global Blitzkrieg: West’s Terror Battalions Eye Russia Next

Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011. According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies, especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey, are supporting the militants operating inside Syria. Foreign-based militants linked to al-Qaeda terrorist network are using safe houses in southern Turkey to cross into Syria to engage in an insurgency war against government forces.

Christians have been killed in Syria, and many more have fled the country. Christian churches were in Damascus 600 years before the Muslim religion even began but now Christians make up less than 10% of the population. It is almost an identical story to what is happening in Iraq and Afghanistan. Christians fear that if the rebels, who are made up of Muslim extremists take over, they will be persecuted and killed.

Turkey continues its anti-Armenian policy line, with its extreme manifestations observed in the Armenian-populated areas of Syria, in particular, Kessab, the Nagorno Karabakh President’s spokesman told Panorama.am. “Through subversive attacks, Turkey tries to drive Armenians out of Syria as well as exterminate the country’s Armenian community,” David Babayan said.

Turkey are funding and letting Al-Qaeda to operate in Syria, but has now pledged military action to defend a tiny enclave inside Syria where a platoon of its troops guards a memorial to an Ottoman forebear who died more than 700 years ago, after reports al-Qaeda threatened an attack.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan says no violation of the country’s territory will go unanswered as he seeks to win over voters and battles allegations of corruption against his government ahead of local elections on March 30.

“If a mistake is committed toward Suleyman Shah, then Turkey would do whatever is necessary,” Erdogan told Star television in an interview today. “Our territory is safeguarded under international agreements. Any attack on our territory will amount to an attack on Turkey.”

The US as the Chief Architect of the Syrian Crisis

Attacks on the Armenian Nation – and Recognition

Water Wars: Land snatched from Syria supplies third of Israel’s H2O

The Yazidis and the Conflict in Syria

The Kurds in Syria

Circassians in Syria

Norske tekster:

Situasjonen i Syria

ALARM: Pågående folkemord mot kristne i Syria

En ny «kald krig» – Syria?

60 Minutes: «Christians of the Holy Land»

KAIROS-dokumentet: «Okkupasjonen er en synd mot Gud»

Irak:

Save Iraqi Christians

Hva skjer med Iraks kristne?

De kristne i Irak trenger deg nå!

Nok er nok – Fred mellom folkene NÅ!

Kamp for land i Sørvest Asia

 

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Attacks on Armenian city of Kesab, Syria, via Turkey

Posted by Fredsvenn on March 23, 2014

Activist: Rebels Robbing Homes, Desecrating Churches in Kessab

Kessab Entirely Emptied as Clashes Rage in Area

Urgent: Turkish Government supporting a new genocide for Armenian s in Syria

Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011. According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies, especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey, are supporting the militants operating inside Syria. Foreign-based militants linked to al-Qaeda terrorist network are using safe houses in southern Turkey to cross into Syria to engage in an insurgency war against government forces.

Christians have been killed in Syria, and many more have fled the country. Christian churches were in Damascus 600 years before the Muslim religion even began but now Christians make up less than 10% of the population. It is almost an identical story to what is happening in Iraq and Afghanistan. Christians fear that if the rebels, who are made up of Muslim extremists take over, they will be persecuted and killed.

Kesab is an an ancient Armenian town in northwestern Syria, administratively part of the Latakia Governorate. Administratively, Kesab belongs to Latakia District; one of the governorate’s four Manatiq, and the centre of Kesab nahiyah sub-district. It dates back to the period of Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia. The population today is mainly Armenian with an Alawite Arab minority. They have their own dialect of the Armenian language, which is still in use even among the new generation.

It is situated near the border with Turkey on the slope of Mount Casius. It is located 59 kilometers north of Latakia, just 3 kilometers away from the Turkish border (which is the former Syrian province of Alexandretta), and 9 kilometers from the Mediterranean Sea.

The town is surrounded with small villages and farms with a majority of Armenians: Duzaghaj, Esguran, Sev Aghpyur, Chinar, Chakhaljekh, Keorkeuna, Ekizolukh, Baghjaghaz (Upper and Lower), Karadouran, Karadash and the abandoned village of Bashurd.

Kesab, for centuries populated by Armenians, has always been a familiar summer retreat for Armenians from around the country. In these years of fighting, it became a safe haven for countless families from Damascus and Aleppo, who sought refuge there.

In the morning of March 21, the Armenian-populated city of Kesab in Syria became the target of attacks by armed bands that raided the Syrian territory after crossing the Turkish border. Attacks on the Armenian-populated town of Kesab in Syria were launched from three border points in Turkey. Some residents retreated to mountains to avoid danger, others left for Latakia.

In a blatant aggression that proves Erdogan’s involvement in supporting the terrorist groups, a Syrian fighter jet was shot down as it was pursuing the terrorist gangs inside the Syrian territories in Kassab area on Sunday, a military source said. Turkish officials said that the Turkish military shot down a Syrian aircraft. They said the plane had violated Turkish airspace on Turkey, near the Syrian border around the Armenian villages of Kesab.

The incident occurred after nearly 48 hours of attacks on the area of Kesab. Syrian rebels on the Turkish side of the border attacked Kesab, government forces retaliated with both ground and air power, and in the process all the residents of the area — mostly Armenians — were forced to evacuate. They took to Latakia, by boat and by road, until the roads were closed. Although there are no reports of casualties, there are countless reports of missing persons.

Rebels who have entered Kessab are desecrating churches, pillaging houses, and destroying government buildings. The rebels came from the Turkish side of the border and are receiving support from the Turkish military. A few Syrian Armenians have been unable to leave Kessab, and their fate is unclear.

The Armenian mayors of the various villages reported earlier in the day, Sunday, March 23, that the villages are all empty. “Kesab is gone,” they said, referring to the destruction, and to their own loss. However, the town is now being defended by Syrian military who try to repel the militants.

Victims were reported as a result of attacks, but not among Armenians. Fighting in Kesab continues. The Syrian army is trying to push back the offensive forces. Currently the clashes are still going on. The residents of Sev Aghbyur and of other areas that are in danger have been transferred to more secure places.

Rebels fired two rockets into the port city of Latakia, which is the main hub for operations to ship out Syria’s chemical weapons for destruction under a deal reached with the United States and Russia.

Syria has dismissed the military aggression which the Turkish government has waged against Syria’s sovereignty and the sanctity of its land in Kasab area over past two days as reflecting Turkey’s actual involvement in the events in Syria from the beginning of the crisis up to now.

An official source at the Foreign and Expatriates Ministry labeled in a statement on Sunday Turkish aggression as “unprecedented and unjustifiable” that also reflects bankruptcy of Erdogan. The aggression, the source noted, included firing tank and artillery shells on the Syrian territories to secure coverage for the armed terrorist groups to enter into Syria from the Turkish land.

It reiterated that these “serious” Turkish military attacks reflect Erdogan’s failure to handle the needs of the Turkish people who have rejected the Turkish government’s hostile policies against Syria as they also rejected the corruption which Erdogan is involved and uncovering the involvement which led to the Turkish people to take part in massive protests against Erdogan demanding the departure of his regime.

“This escalation came in the framework of the aggressive policies of Erdogan’s government and its openly-provided support to the armed terrorist groups,” said the source, adding that the terrorist groups have taken up the Turkish lands as a shelter, springboard and arming center for them to kill innocent Syrians and destroy the infrastructure of the Syrian people.

Turkey made a point of not allowing Syrian planes within a few kilometers of their shared border. The Syrian aircraft that was shot down reinforced that policy. Syria accused the Turkish government of aggression.

A cousin of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Hilal al-Assad, local head of the National Defence Force militia in the coastal province of Latakia, where the Assad family originates, and seven of his fighters were killed in clashes with the Nusra Front and other Islamist brigades, was killed on Sunday in battles with Islamist rebels near the border with Turkey, activists and state media said. The National Defence Force is a militia set up to support the army in its three-year battle with rebels seeking to overthrow Bashar al-Assad.

Syria demands Erdogan government halt its aggression, support terrorism and show respect to the Security Council’s relevant resolutions, the Foreign Ministry source said.

It also voiced Syria’s demand the Turkish government “refrain from involving Turkish army in unavailing and unjustifiable adventures against a neighboring country that have only the feelings of fraternity and good-neighborliness towards the Turkish people and the desire to continue good bilateral relations that serve the two neighboring countries and their peoples”.

Syria, today, is divided among the various forces who control specific areas of the country. The rebels have been unable to take or keep the north, or the Syrian seacoast. This attack from beyond Syria’s borders — from Turkey to the north — may be an effort by the rebels to try to reach and take first the north (the area around Kesab), and then the seacoast areas.

The involvement of Turkey, in support of the rebels fighting against Bashar Assad’s government, leaves the Armenians stuck in the middle, hostages of a situation in which they are the victims, not the actors.

Syria has a proud record of having helped the Armenian refugees during and after the Genocide. Syrian-Armenians have thrived and their culture has been embraced in Syria. Syrians know well what happened to the Armenians in 1915, on their land, a part of the Ottoman Empire back then.

One of the world’s oldest Christian communities going back to ancient Antioch and Damascus in the first century AD, Syria’s Christians are fearful of an uncertain future in a country that is becoming very hostile against minorities, after “Free Syrian Army” (FSA) jihadists have been massacring and expelling Christians and Muslim Shia Alawites from their towns and villages.

The Armenians are staying on the sidelines and out of the fighting. No doubt they fear an unknown future. I hope that Syria will continue to protect its Armenian population, regardless of the outcome of the current revolution, and will take steps to protect Armenian and Syrian history.

The history of the region of Kesab

The region of Kesab was part of the ancient civilization that spread from the Syrian coasts up to the Orontes River, six millennia ago. During the Seleucid period the Kesab region was at the centre of the triad comprised Antioch, Seleucia and Laodicea.

The Laodicea-Seleucia coastal road passed by the Karadouran bay whereas the Laodicea-Antioch road passed through the Duzaghaj valley. The Mount Casius at those times, was believed to have been the sanctuary of Zeus.

During the reign of the ruler of the short-lived Armenian Empire Tigranes The Great, in the 1st century BC, and later the Roman era, the Syrian coast flourished greatly and had a positive affect on the development of the Kesab region.

Being located on the borders of the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia, the region of Kesab was gradually developing by its Armenian migrants. A research conducted on the peculiarities of the Kesab Armenian dialect and the dialects of the Armenians in the region of Alexandretta and Suweidiyeh, shows that the Armenians of Kesab and the surrounding villages are the remainders of migrants who came from the region of Antioch.

The migration of the Armenians to the region increased in the 14th and the 15th centuries, during the Mamluk and the Ottoman periods, in an attempt to avoid persecutions, trying to find much more safer mountainous regions such as Kesab and Musa Dagh.

The first Armenian refugees settled in the area now called Esguran. After a period they moved uphill and settled in the area now called the town of Kesab, turning it to a centre of the whole region and the destination of new refugees.

During the 1850s Kesab turned into a mission field with the arrival of Evangelical and Catholic missionaries rising anger among the Armenians of the region who were following the Armenian Apostolic Church. In the beginning of the 20th century, the population of Kesab region was around 6000 (all Armenians), with more than 20 schools, as a result of denominational and political divisions.

The first disaster in Kesab happened in April 1909. This calamity costed the Armenians 161 deaths and a massive material loss. After the event, Catholicos Sahag I Khabaian visited Kesab. The Armenian Genocide in 1915 proved even more destructive.

After the ceasefire, the Armenians who survived the genocide returned to Kesab in a process that lasted till 1920. But the eastern and northern areas of the region still remained unsecured, because they were constantly vulnerable to attacks from neighboring Turkish villages. A voluntary group of 40 men successfully foiled many attempts by bandits to invade the region at that time.

In 1922, peace was established after the entrance of the French troops into Kesab, but on the 5th of July 1938, the Turkish army entered the Sanjak of Alexandretta and Antioch, in an agreement with the French colonial authorities, and the region was renamed as the province of Hatay Province.

Before the start of World War II, in order to prevent Turkey forming an alliance with Germany, the French (who held a mandate over Syria) initiated a referendum, in 1939, to determine the future of Alexandretta, the Sanjak of Iskenderun.

By a few dozen votes, it was determined that the entire region would be transferred to Turkey. Musa Ler (or Musa Dagh) and Kesab were part of that region and so they too were to go back to Turkish domination. The residents of Musa Dagh left the region, and only the Vakif village remained Armenian.

The residents of Kesab, however, took up arms and fought for nine months to resist the decision to become a part of Turkey. It is said that it was with the mediation of a high-ranking cardinal of the Catholic Church, Cardinal Krikor Aghajanian, who interceded with the Pope, who sought French support to keep Kesab within Syria.

Many Armenians left Kesab for Lebanon or took refuge in the mountains. Many important personalities visited Kesab during that time. On 23 June 1939, the Hatay government was officially dissolved and the whole region became part of Turkey.

By the efforts of the Armenian community of Paris, Cardinal Krikor Bedros Aghajanian and the Papal representative to Syria and Lebanon Remi Leprert, many parts of Kesab inhabited by Armenians were separated from Turkey and placed within the Syrian boundaries.

The result of the annexation of the Sanjak of Alexandretta proved disastrous for the Armenians of Kesab: Mount Casius was attached to the Turkish side including their farms, properties, laurel tree forests and the grazing lands located in the mountain’s bosoms and valleys that once used to belong to the native Armenians.

Besides, with this annexation, the Armenians of the town were also deprived from their traditional and historical Barlum Monastery, where the inhabitants used to celebrate the feast of Surp Asdvadzadzin (feast of Virgin Mary) during the month of August of each year.

Kesab

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Syria’s Christians face new threat — “convert, submit to Islam or face sword”

Posted by Fredsvenn on March 16, 2014

“Every person has two homelands, his own and Syria”

— Historian Andre Parrot (Former director of the Louvre Museum).

ChristianRefugees

Since nearly century Ottomans committed massacres against the Armenians claimed the lives of more than a million and a half Armenians, now trying to restore these neo-Ottoman massacre in Kesab, but with different tools!

150 Christian citizens of Israel demonstrated today (Mar. 23) outside the European Union’s delegation in Tel Aviv against the EU’s silence in relation to what they termed “the ethnic cleansing of Christians throughout the Middle East.” The protesters demanded that the EU act on their own cry for human rights and fight for the Christians throughout the Middle East, who are quickly becoming extinct everywhere but Israel.

Last week the Christian Lobby sent a letter to the EU Ambassador in Israel and 18 other western Ambassadors protesting their inactions. “We, the members of the Christian Lobby in Israel, found it appropriate to turn to you and cry out about the human and citizens’ rights condition of our Christian brothers across the Middle East.

The slaughter, persecution, discrimination, apartheid, the ethnic cleansing, and all the crimes committed against the Indigenous Aramaic & Christians of the Middle East, in Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Gaza, Lebanon and the Palestinian Authority, among others, and continue to be committed without any intervention of the Western countries,” the letter states.

In the Letter the CL demand that the EU take action. “We are turning to you as someone who represents a Western country, which engraved the values of human and citizens’ rights on its flag. Get up and take action. Prove to the slaughtered and the persecuted, and to yourselves, that you believe in those values and act accordingly, wholeheartedly, and not half way.”

A recent study warns that Christianity is at the risk of being wiped out in the biblical heartlands of the Middle East. According to the London Daily Telegraph, which cites the study, 10% of Christians worldwide – approximately 200 million – are “socially disadvantaged, harassed or actively oppressed for their beliefs.”

With over 2.3 billion Christians around the world, the study notes that Christians face the most persecution in the region of the world where Christianity first originated – the Middle East.

According to The Counter Jihad Report “Prominent indicators confirm that the U.S. is the chief facilitator of the persecution of Christians around the world today.” It is astonishing that this is what the United States would devolve to in the 21st century.

According to the recently released 2014 World Watch List, which ranks the 50 nations where Christians are most persecuted, Syria is the third worst nation in the world in which to be Christian, Iraq is fourth, Afghanistan fifth, and Libya 13th. All four countries receive the strongest designation, “extreme persecution” (other designations are “severe,” “moderate,” and “sparse” persecution).

Aside from being so closely and harshly ranked, these four nations have something else in common: heavy U.S. involvement. Three—Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya—were “liberated” thanks to U.S. forces, while in the fourth, Syria, the U.S. is actively sponsoring “freedom fighters” against the regime, many of whom would be better labeled “terrorists.”

While most Americans are shielded from the true nature of the war by the U.S. media’s reluctance to report on it, Arabic media, websites, and activists daily report and document atrocity after atrocity—beheadings and bombed churches, Christians slaughtered for refusing to convert to Islam, and countless abducted for ransom or rape—at the hands of those whom the U.S. supports.

It’s enough to point out that “the largest massacre of Christians in Syria,” to quote a top religious leader, was left wholly unreported by any major U.S. news network. The massacre took place in Sadad, an ancient Syriac Orthodox Christian habitation, so old as to be mentioned in the Old Testament.

In late October, the U.S-supported “opposition” invaded and occupied Sadad for over a week, till ousted by the nation’s military. Among other atrocities, 45 Christians—including women and children—were killed, several tortured to death; Sadad’s 14 churches, some ancient, were ransacked and destroyed; the bodies of six people from one family, ranging from ages 16 to 90, were found at the bottom of a well (an increasingly common fate for “subhuman” Christians).

The jihadis even made a graphic video (with English subtitles) of those whom they massacred, while shouting Islam’s victory-cry, “Allahu Akbar” (which John McCain equates to a Christian saying “thank God”). Another video, made after Sadad was liberated shows more graphic atrocities.

The worst Christian massacre—complete with mass graves, tortured-to-death women and children, and destroyed churches—recently took place in Syria, at the hands of the U.S.-supported jihadi “rebels”; and the U.S. government and its “mainstream media” mouthpiece are, as usual, silent (that is, when not actively trying to minimize matters).

Where is the worldwide outcry against this unspeakable evil? The millions of victims of jihad must speak in one voice and cry, Defeat these supremacist savages.

‘Largest Massacre of Christians in Syria’ Ignored

Confirmed: U.S. Chief Facilitator of Christian Persecution

Christians rally in Israel against Muslim discrimination – See more at: http://pamelageller.com/2014/03/christians-rally-israel-muslim-discrimination.html/#sthash.RZ5vw9T0.dpuf

Christian protesters demanded that the EU act on their own cry for human rights and fight for the Christians throughout the Middle East, who are quickly becoming extinct everywhere but Israel.

The U.S. is “the chief facilitator of the persecution of Christians around the world today according to this report.” It is astonishing that this is what the United States would devolve to in the 21st century.

According to the recently released 2014 World Watch List, which ranks the 50 nations where Christians are most persecuted, Syria is the third worst nation in the world in which to be Christian, Iraq is fourth, Afghanistan fifth, and Libya 13th. All four countries receive the strongest designation, “extreme persecution” (other designations are “severe,” “moderate,” and “sparse” persecution).

Where is the worldwide outcry against this unspeakable evil? The millions of victims of jihad must speak in one voice and cry, Defeat these supremacist savages.

– See more at: http://pamelageller.com/2014/03/christians-rally-israel-muslim-discrimination.html/#sthash.wRLT0Gb5.dpuf

A Coalition of Christians and Muslims, made up of Assyrians, Armenians, Greeks, and Syrians – American citizens in Los Angeles recently demonstrated in front of the Turkish Consulate under the title “Stop your aggression against the Syrian people”. Turkey, a NATO member state, has with other NATO states and alongside Qatar and Saudi Arabia been a major contributor to the violence that has beset Syria for the last 3 years.

WORLD’S FUTURE RULERS ON SYRIA:

Foreign Jihadi Rebels Loot Homes, Take Hostage, Brutally Kill Females, Kids To Death

The worst massacre of Christians in Syria so far — complete with mass graves, tortured-to-death women and children, and destroyed churches — recently took place at the hands of the U.S.-supported jihadi “rebels”; and the U.S. government and its “mainstream media” mouthpieces are, as usual, silent (that is, when not actively trying to minimize matters).

Christianity in Syria

The archbishop in Syria: “We have shouted for aid to the world but no one has listened to us”

Syria’s Christians face new threat — “convert, submit to Islam or face sword”

Syria Christians Pray for Peace in Damascus as Rebels Close In

Al-Qaeda Rebels in Syria Tell Christians to Pay Up or Die

The church in Syria

Help Syrian Christians:

Syria-christian-massacre-2

syria-christian-girl-beheaded-2

Radical Islamist rebels running the northern Syrian city of Raqqa have made the Christians living in the area an offer they can’t refuse: pay for protection, convert to Islam, or “face the sword.”

Thousands of Syrians, including large numbers of Christians, have fled from their homes, especially in the Homs and Hama governorates and more recently Damascus and Aleppo. There have been reports of the targeting of Christians by both government and opposition sides. Several prominent Syrian Christians have been killed.

Most Church leaders point out that any such targeting is not religiously motivated but is either politically motivated or is criminal activity for economic gain. Many Christians fear that radical Islamist groups are becoming more influential, and that this may lead to increased hostility towards Christians and other minorities. They fear that they may becomemore vulnerable to criminal activity, including kidnapping-for-ransom incidents.

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The wasteland: Horrifying aerial pictures show full scale of destruction of Syrian city of Homs

Posted by Fredsvenn on December 22, 2013

Shells of houses: The Khaled bin Walid Mosque is scarred and pockmarked from shrapnel spat into the city by the daily explosions that hit the city. Beyond the mosque, the shells of buildings and homes give the city the look of a post-apocalyptic wasteland

Shells of houses:

The Khaled bin Walid Mosque is scarred and pockmarked from shrapnel spat into the city by the daily explosions that hit the city. Beyond the mosque, the shells of buildings and homes give the city the look of a post-apocalyptic wasteland

The wasteland: Horrifying aerial pictures show full scale of destruction of Syrian city of Homs

Homs, previously known as Emesa, is a city in western Syria and the capital of the Hom Governorate. It is 501 metres (1,644 ft) above sea level and is located 162 kilometres (101 mi) north of Damascus. Located on the Orontes River, Homs is also the central link between the interior cities and the Mediterranean coast.

Homs is a major industrial center, and with a population of at least 652,609 people, it is the third largest city in Syria after Aleppo to the north and the capital Damascus to the south. Its population reflects Syria’s general religious diversity, composed mostly of Arabic-speaking Sunni Muslims and Alawite and Christian minorities. There are a number of historic mosques and churches in the city, and it is close to the Krak des Chevaliers castle, a world heritage site.

“Emesa” is a compound of “Ham-Es”, with the Es representing an assemblage of the locally revered sun god in (El-Gabal) in ancient times. The name “Emesa” or “Hemesa” is also attributed to “Emesenoi”, the name of the Arab tribe that ruled the area before its incorporation into the Roman Empire. When the name of the tribe became attached to the city is indiscernible, but is generally thought to have been used under the Romans.

The royal family of Emesa, also known as the Emesani Dynasty or the Sempsigerami of Emesa, sometimes known as The Sampsiceramids were a ruling Roman client dynasty of priest-kings in Emesa, Syria Province (modern Homs, Syria). They can be viewed both as Arameans and Arabs.

Emesa was famous for the worship of the strong ancient pagan cult El-Gebal, also known as Elagabal. The city was renowned for El-Gebal’s place of worship the Temple of the Sun. El-Gebal was worshipped in the form of a conical black stone. El-Gebal was the Aramaic name for the Syrian Sun God and means God of the Mountain.

“Emesa” was shortened to “Homs” or “Hims” by its Arab inhabitants, many of whom settled there prior to the Muslim conquest of Syria. This name has been preserved throughout the period of Islamic rule continuing to the present day. It was known as “la Chamelle” by the Crusaders, although they never ruled the city. A second possibility about the origin of the city’s modern name is that it is an Arabic form of the city’s Latin name “Emesus”, derived from the Greek “Emesa” or “Emesos”.

For roughly 2,000 years, Homs has served as a key agricultural market, production site, and trade center for the villages of northern Syria. It has also provided security services to the hinterland of Syria, protecting it from invading forces.

Excavations at the Citadel of Homs indicate that the earliest settlement at the site dates back to around 2300 BCE. Biblical scholars have identified the city with Zobah mentioned in the Bible.

In 1274 BCE, a battle took place between the forces of the Egyptian Empire under Ramesses II and the Hittite Empire under Muwatalli II at the city of Kadesh on the Orontes River near Homs. It was possibly the largest chariot battle ever fought, involving perhaps 5,000–6,000 chariots.

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Peace and love to the hearts of people

Posted by Fredsvenn on November 8, 2013

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Obama’s and John McCain’s friends in Syria – the so-called “Syrian rebels” continue to bring death and destruction upon Christians and Christian churches in Syria. They’re little else than bloodthirsty killers seeking to impose Islamic law on the Syrian people. Other religious groups, like Kurds and Shia Muslims, have also been targeted.

Now, a colossal 40-foot bronze statue of Jesus Christ cast in Armenia rises on mountain top of a Syrian mountain, apparently under cover of a truce among three factions in the country’s civil war, and has appeared between front lines in the war-ravaged Syria “to save the world.”

Jesus stands, arms outstretched, on the Cherubim mountain, overlooking a route pilgrims took from Constantinople to Jerusalem in ancient times. The statue is 12.3 meters (40 feet) tall and stands on a base that brings its height to 32 meters (105 feet), organizers of the project estimate.

Soaring higher than Rio’s famous Christ the Redeemer, the statue stands 39 meters tall, one meter shorter than its Brazilian counterpart, in the mountaintop, Byzantine-era Cherubim Monastery, lording it over the city of Saidnaya, 27 kilometers north of Damascus.

From its vantage point above the sea, the statue overlooks an historic pilgrimage route from Istanbul to Jerusalem. The statue, created by Armenian sculptor Artush Papoian, made it to Syria and was installed without incident on October 14, when Orthodox Christians celebrate a commemoration of the Virgin Mary, whose icon is a chief draw for the monastery.

Al-Ghadban said that the main armed groups in the area – Syrian government forces, rebels and the local militias of Sednaya, the Christian town near the statue site – halted fire while organizers set up the statue, without providing further details.

Rebels and government forces occasionally agree to cease-fires to allow the movement of goods. They typically do not admit to having truces because that would tacitly acknowledge their enemies.

The backers’ success in overcoming the obstacles shows the complexity of civil war, where sometimes despite the atrocities the warring parties can reach short-term truces.

It took three days to raise the statue. Photos provided by organizers show it being hauled in two pieces by farm tractors, then lifted into place by a crane. Smaller statues of Adam and Eve stand nearby.

But the statue was not born of recent events in Syria. The project took 8 years and was set back by the civil war that followed the March 2011 uprising against President Bashar Assad.

While Syria’s ethnic Armenian population has been fleeing the country in droves – including to Armenia itself, which has built a “New Aleppo” to accommodate the arrivals – the project has been in the works since 2005, Russia’s Komsomol’skaya Pravda reports.

Backed by the Russian government, along with the Russian Orthodox Church, the project, billed “I have come to save the world,” was supposedly the brainchild of one Yuri Gavrilov, a 49-year-old Moscow native who runs an organization in London called the St. Paul and St. George Foundation.

Russians have been a driving force behind the project — not surprising given that the Kremlin is embattled Assad’s chief ally, and the Orthodox churches in Russia and Syria have close ties. Al-Ghadban, who spoke to The Associated Press from Moscow, is Syrian-Russian and lives in both countries.

Al-Ghadban said he began the project in 2005, hoping the statue would be an inspiration for Syria’s Christians. He said he was inspired by Rio de Janeiro’s towering Christ the Redeemer statue.

“We hope that this sculptural composition brings peace and love to the hearts of people, and that our work will help restore peace and calm in this long-suffering region,” the Foundation’s director, Samir el-Gadban, told Komsomol’skaya Pravda.

Christians and other minorities are all targets in the conflict, and the statue’s safety is by no means guaranteed. It stands among villages where some fighters, linked to al-Qaida, have little sympathy for Christians.

So why put up a giant statue of Christ in the midst of such setbacks and so much danger? Because “Jesus would have done it,” organizer Samir al-Ghadban quoted a Christian church leader as telling him.

In midst of Syrian war, giant Jesus statue arises

Amid Syria’s civil war, a 40-foot statue of Jesus rises on mountain top between front lines

Posted in Rarities, Syria, War | Leave a Comment »

Circassians in Syria

Posted by Fredsvenn on October 16, 2013

Circassians in Istanbul show their solidarity with their kin in Syria

https://i0.wp.com/static2.demotix.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/a_scale_large/1000-3/photos/1327860224-circassians-in-istanbul-show-their-solidarity-with-their-kin-in-syria_1024873.jpg

Circassians in Istanbul show their solidarity with their kin in Syria

Circassians in Syria

Circassian diaspora

Circassians flee Syria conflict for refuge in Russia

Syria’s Circassians Caught in Crossfire

Three-time Refugees: Syrian Circassians back to Russia

Syria’s ethnic Circassians seek Russia return

Circassians in Syria who have chosen not to take sides in the more than two-year-long civil war in the country were brought to Turkey last week from Beirut, where they had taken refuge. Today’s Zaman spoke to them at a refugee camp in Nizip, a district of Gaziantep province. The accounts of the Circassians show how the violence in Syria has brought great suffering.

The group of Circassians, 180 people out of which 27 are children, were flown to Turkey by private plane thanks to the help of the Solidarity Committee of World Circassians (DÇDK). “We have been left without a homeland and hope. People in Syria are not even valued as much as a chicken, say Ekrem and Semaze Harun, who arrived in Turkey with their three children. The Circassians say they had to leave Syria because they chose to remain impartial. They first took shelter in Beirut. Ekrem Harun said he was selling medical supplies in Syria but had to leave everything behind when the war broke out. He said they only took their pajamas and passports with them. “We don’t have any plans for tomorrow. Our only plan for now is to survive,” Ekrem Harun said.

“In Syria, no one has any assurance about their life, property or honor. We had no other option but to flee. We were left without a homeland and hope. When we were desperate, Turkey opened its arms to us,” the couple said. According to Ekrem Harun, Syria is being dragged into a sectarian war. “There are around 100,000 Circassians in the country, but they live quite far from each other. When the war began, we chose to be impartial, but we were caught between two fires [one from the regime, one from opposition forces]. The most dangerous thing in Syria for now is to remain impartial. Everyone is our enemy,” he said.

Genetically, the Adyghe population has shared ancestry mainly with European population. There is little influence of Central and South Asian populations:

“Senere fortalte min søster at melkemennene våre var kaukasere, spesifikt cirkassere som i Syria blir kalt al-chirkaas. Disse flyttet ned til midtøsten, ved hjelp av det ottomanske riket, fra nordvest kaukasus i 1860 og 1870-årene etter å ha bli forfulgt av russerne. Cirkasserne beriker det syriske bybildet. Hadde dere sett ansiktet mitt i bussen da en ung mann steg på, snakket trillende på syrisk dialekt med flammende lyserødt hår og grønne øyne.I det sekundet brydde jeg meg ikke om sosial etikette, istedet stirret jeg perpleks på skapningen foran meg som så mer ut som en karikatur av en skotte enn en syrer.”

Damascus: Kontraster

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Malwiya – “Today’s barbaric occupiers display Mongol-like disrespect for their imperial prize.”

Posted by Fredsvenn on October 12, 2013

Damaged Malwiya in Samarra2005-03-31 Malwiya Rubble in Samarra2005-03-31

The 52-metre (170-foot) Malwiya tower in City of Samarra has been Damaged

“U.S. forces subdued the city [Samarra] on the Tigris last October [2004], but some of the city’s resistance fighters regrouped in Fallujah, the City of Mosques, which was of course destroyed by a ferocious attack in November. Samarra itself has been a site of ongoing military action, so the U.S. troops who now own it have naturally sought to employ its highest buildings as lookout posts.

Appropriating everything they wished, they established a lookout atop the minaret, and posted snipers there. According to Reuters, “Crouched behind sandbags, U.S. snipers sometimes fired at militants from the minaret.” Local people wrote letters of protest about this abuse of the holy place. (added emphasis)

According to al-Jazeera, U.S. forces left the post two weeks ago, but Iraqi police report that after their departure the top floor was blasted by insurgents. The Boston Globe reported that two men were observed entering the structure and that they placed a bomb that produced the explosion before fleeing the premises. Debris of crumbled brick and clay was blown down onto the ramps, and Agence France Press reported a jagged hole on the top level.

It’s hard to understand why any insurgent faction would target the mosque. It is a Sunni mosque, but respected by the Shiites, and Shiites haven’t been attacking Sunni mosques anyway. A colleague in Middle Eastern history suggests that insurgents might have wanted to prevent it from being used as a sniper position in future.

… What I was raised to consider “Judeo-Christian ethics” are conspicuously absent in occupied Mesopotamia. U.S. troops have tortured and sexually abused innocent civilians, and killed tens of thousands. From the bizarre killing of the Baghdad Zoo’s prized Bengal tiger to the contamination of land, rivers and atmosphere, to the doubling of child malnutrition, the invasion piles up crime upon crime. It is as though it were seeking to so impress the subject population with arbitrary cruelty that it will be terrorized into submission (added emphasis).

Indeed, Iraqis compare this occupation with the Mongol invasion led by Hulegu Khan in the 1250s, which destroyed Baghdad’s canal network, sacked the library, and slaughtered 80,000 men, women and children. Hulegu (grandson of Genghis Khan) had demanded that the last Abbasid caliph, al-Mutasim, recognize Mongol sovereignty, rather like George W. Bush demanded Saddam grovel before U.S. imperial demands. Al-Mutasim refused, thinking the Muslim world would rally to his side should the Mongols invade. He miscalculated.

Today’s barbaric occupiers display Mongol-like disrespect for their imperial prize. “Let’s take over the minaret,” they reason, and if that usage makes a precious monument a target, and it gets damaged, well, it’s the Iraqis’ just desserts. (added emphasis) The foot soldiers of the new Golden Horde are encouraged to believe that Iraqis must be subdued in order to protect the U.S. from more 9-11s.

Better their buildings get blown up than ours, even those of theirs that have been there for hundreds or thousands of years. History doesn’t matter. Like Bush told CBS’s 60 Minutes last April: “History? We don’t know. We’ll all be dead.” And what will the dead (or the “raptured” (added reference)) care about Iraq’s National Library or the Ishtar Gate or the Malwiya Minaret?”

The Bombing of the Malwiya Minaret April 4, 2005

Posted in The Fertile Crescent, War | Leave a Comment »

Hamoukar

Posted by Fredsvenn on October 12, 2013

Balas encontradas en Hamoukar

Hamoukar is a large archaeological site located in the Jazira region of northeastern Syria near the Iraqi border (Al Hasakah Governorate) and Turkey. The Excavations have shown that this site houses the remains of one of the world’s oldest known cities, leading scholars to believe that cities in this part of the world emerged much earlier than previously thought.

Traditionally, the origins of urban developments in this part of the world have been sought in the riverine societies of southern Mesopotamia (in what is now southern Iraq). This is the area of ancient Sumer, where around 4000 BC many of the famous Mesopotamian cities such as Ur and Uruk emerged, giving this region the attributes of “Cradle of Civilization” and “Heartland of Cities.” Following the discoveries at Hamoukar, this definition may have to extended further up the Tigris River to include that part of northern Syria where Hamoukar is located.

This archaeological discovery suggests that civilizations advanced enough to reach the size and organizational structure that was necessary to be considered a city could have actually emerged before the advent of a written language. Previously it was believed that a system of written language was a necessary predecessor of that type of complex city. Most importantly, archaeologists believe this apparent city was thriving as far back as 4000 BC and independently from Sumer. Until now, the oldest cities with developed seals and writing were thought to be Sumerian Uruk and Ubaid in Mesopotamia, which would be in the southern one-third of Iraq today.

The discovery at Hamoukar indicates that some of the fundamental ideas behind cities — including specialization of labor, a system of laws and government, and artistic development — may have begun earlier than was previously believed. The fact that this discovery is such a large city is what is most exciting to archaeologists. While they have found small villages and individual pieces that date much farther back than Hamoukar, nothing can quite compare to the discovery of this size and magnitude. Discoveries have been made here that have never been seen before, including materials from Hellenistic and Islamic civilizations.

Excavation work undertaken in 2005 and 2006 has shown that this city was destroyed by warfare by around 3500 BC., before writing was even invented, probably the earliest urban warfare attested so far in the archaeological record of the Near East. Contiuned excavations in 2008 and 2010 expand on that.

They were assaulted by a force armed with slingshots and clay balls. The attackers, possibly from a city named Uruk and perhaps motivated by Hamoukar’s access to copper, succeeded in taking the city, destroying part of it through fire.

Eye Idols made of alabaster or bone have been found in Tell Hamoukar. The eye is a recurrent and symbolic motif in the art forms from the pre-dynastic to neo-assyrian periods. However it is not possible to decide whether it is a decorative, magical or religious talisman. Eye symbols are found in nearly all ancient cultures, from the far flung corners of the globe. The emphasis of the all seeing eye, seems to portray in nearly all cultures, a sign of divinity and holiness.

The image of an eye has always been a powerful amulet in Mesopotamia and thousands of these eye idols, schematised humanoid figures have been found in and around the now called ‘Eye Temple’ at Tell Brak, the biggest settlement from Syria’s Late Chalcolithic period, dating to the late Uruk period.

These anthropomorphic lithic sculptures are fashioned from various materials, such as lime stone, soap stone, alabaster and baked clay. The simplest form of these graven images, is a flat trapezoid body, with a thin elongated neck, supporting an oversized pair of eyes. Other examples have multiple sets of eyes, some three eyes in a row, two pairs of eyes one above the other, and on occasions a smaller eye figure of a similar style is engraved within the trapezoid body. Family groups have also come to light. There are also more three dimensional versions which display a set of pierced eye forms on top of a conical body. This type are composed of natural stone and baked clay, and their broad bases enable them to stand upright unsupported.

Other eye talismans have been found depicting models of eyes cut into semi precious stones, these are known to date from Sumerian down to Neo-Assyrian periods. These artefacts are known as the ‘Eyes of Ningal’. The goddess Ningal was the wife of the god Nanna, also known as Sin and she was the mother of the sun god Shammash, who was worshiped at Ur. Her cult developed independently in Syria as early as the second millennium BC, where her name was changed to Nikkal. This form of her name was also used in Babylonia.

Other statuettes and figurines have been found, which depict worshipers, rather than Gods, looking into the heavens with wide staring eyes, at various other temple sites scattered across the Mesopotamian planes, throughout most periods. Although there is no evidence from any excavated materials that eye idols were made of perishable materials such as tamarisk wood, dough, bitumen or wax, this may have been done if the eye idols were votive offerings. However this practice is documented in cylinder seals and ritual inscriptions for other votive objects at other temple sites.

Note that eye idols of the form shown in figure 4 (below), would appear to display the horned cap denoting divinity. This form of head gear is seen on god figures from the early third millennium BC onwards. Originally it was a general indication of a divine status, its use as a symbol of a particular major deity was never consistent. The Kassite kudurrus contains an inscription that names this symbol as that of the supreme God Anu (An). However in Neo-Assyrian art it was transferred to the new national God Assur.

The style of the devine cap has changed from time to time according to fashion, it could be domed or flat topped as in the below examples, or may be depicted trimmed with feathers, surmounted by a knob or a fleur-de-lys. Caps today still seem to represent holiness and divinity, still worn by the pope and the cardinals of Rome, the Jewish scull cap and the turban, which are all modern day examples. It is hard to argue that they are not connected in some way to antiquity and mythology.

The basic iconography of the horned cap of divinity may be  linked to the Bull of heaven the destroyer of worlds (a mythological Titan, given to ishtar/inanna by her father the great god Anu/An). Read “the epic of gilgamesh” for more details. Or linked to Bos primigenius (a wild species of beast) that roamed the planes of Mesopotamia, standing six feet at the shoulder, with enormous horns, hunted by the Assyrian Kings is probably where the mythology of the heavenly Bull first originated, also ‘the zodiac sign Torus’ ? the Apis Bull of Egyptian mythology.

There are no concrete theories as to the purpose of the eye temple and the reason for the numerous graven eye images that were found there and therefore they appeal to a very broad section of mankind. Some because they collect antiquities, some because they believe that these idols may be indicative of alien activity on the earth in ancient times

It is clear why collectors of antiquities, especially those whose interest is centred around the cradle of civilisation would like to have a decent specimen for their collection as they are truly both fascinating and mysterious.

In the eyes of a forger, they appear to be easy to manufacture and as they exchange hands for quite sizable sums in the ebay community. But there seems to be a big problem! I have spoken to the BM regarding eye idols. The man there told me that as far as he was aware, these idols did not come with the horned cap of divinty. The reason why there are so many idols with hair dos or caps of divinity presenting to the market is any ones guess.

Tell Hamoukar

Tell Hamoukar is an interesting site, dated to 3500 B.C., in eastern Syria near the border of Iraq and Turkey. With a central city covering 16 hectares, it is as highly developed as sites in southern Iraq such as Uruk and Nippur and seems to debunk the theories that ancient civilization developed in southern Iraq and spread northward and westward. Instead Tell Hamoukar is offered as proof that several advanced ancient civilizations developed simultaneously in different parts of the Middle East. [Source: Natural History magazine, Clemens Reichel of the Oriental Institute of Chicago]

Excavations indicate that Tell Hamoukar was first inhabited around 4000 B.C. perhaps as early as 4500 B.C. By around 3700 B.C. is covered at least 13 hectares and displayed signs of an advanced civilization: a 2.5-meter-high, 3.4 -meter-wide defensive wall, large scale bread making and meat cooking, a wide array of cylinder seals, presumably used to mark goods. Many seals were used to secure baskets and other containers of commodities.

The simplest seals had only simple markings. More elaborate ones had kissing bears, ducks and a leopard with 13 spots. Scholars believed that more elaborate seals were used by people of high status and indicate a hierarchically-ordered society. But as advanced as Tell Hamoukar and other places in the area were they are not regarded as advanced as those in southern Iraq, where writing developed.

Tell Hamoukar contains a 500-acre site with buildings with huge ovens, which offer evidence that people were making food for other people. The city seems to have been a manufacturing center for tools and blades that utilized obsidian supplies further north and supplied the tools throughout Mesopotamia to the south. Other sites being excavated in northern Syria include Tell Brak and Habuba Kabira, both of which appear ro be much larger than previously thought.

The oldest known example of large scale warfare is from a fierce battle that took place at Tell Hamoukar around 3500 B.C. Evidence of intense fighting include collapsed mud walls that had undergone heavy bombardment; the presence of 1,200 oval-sapped “bullets” flung from slings and 120 large round balls. Graves held skeletons of likely battle victims. Reichel told the New York Times the clash appeared to have been a swift, rapid attack: “buildings collapse, burning out of control, burying everything in them under a vast pile of rubble.”

No one knows who the attacker of Tell Hamoukar was but circumstantial evidence points to Mesopotamia cultures to the south. The battle may have been between northern and southern Near Eastern cultures when the two cultures were relative equally, with the victory by the south giving them an edge and paving the way for them to dominate the region. Large amount of Uruk pottery was found on layers just above the battle. Reichel told the New York Times,“If the Uruk people weren’t the ones firing the sling bullets, they certainly benefitted from it. They are all over this place right after its destruction.”

Discoveries at Tell Hamoukar have changed thinking about the evolution of civilization in Mesopotamia. It was previously though that civilization developed in Sumerian cities like Ur and Uruk and radiated outward in the form of trade, conquest and colonization. But findings in Tell Hamoukar show that many indicators of civilization were present in northern places like Tell Hamoukar as well as in Mesopotamia and around 4000 B.C. to 3000 B.C. the two placed were pretty equal.

Artifacts from Hamoukar

The Eye Idols of Tell Brak

Hamoukar

 

Posted in The Fertile Crescent, War | Leave a Comment »

George Carlin – Arrogance of Mankind

Posted by Fredsvenn on October 10, 2013

Posted in Rarities, War | Leave a Comment »

 
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