Adonis Diaries

Archive for September 7th, 2013

Drawing Humanity

Diala ElMasri, a regional intern at the World Youth Alliance Middle East, posted this Sept. 6, 2013:

I may not know how to draw but I do know very well that I love to draw.

I particularly love the deep sense of tranquility that I delve into every time I hold a pencil and try to put my whole world onto this small piece of paper. Whether what ends up on this paper is anger from a particular political situation, some scrambled lines that show a deep sadness from the cruelty that I see every day, or whether it is a love story or a story of childhood dreams coming true – the result are beyond the paper itself, a profound peace of mind like no other. 

images

However for the past few weeks, I have more than ever felt compelled to draw – but this time it’s different.

This time the paper and pencil do not seem to suffice to portray all the turmoil inside of me; this time I do not end with peace, but rather more of this feeling of lost.

This time I am worried about the culture that we are turning into,

I am worried about the senseless beings wandering aimlessly around us,

I am worried that a picture of a singer’s scandal shakes us more than a picture of a massacre of real men and women does.

As I draw, I try my ultimate best to portray pragmatic terms, depicting both the theory and the practice. When these two concepts become conspicuously divergent, my task becomes all the more challenging.

For example, in recent times, political terminology has become over-used and sometimes abused. You hear people speaking of the right to democracy as an abstract term, not identifying the myriad of shades that lie within it.

You hear demands for economic development, as if this is a process ensured through a bunch of policies, forgetting that the individual lies at the very center of it.

I try to draw democracy.

I start with people voting and asserting their rights. And it strikes me that people are being possessed with an overarching ideology that a leader transmits, that they are held by their throats to be able to survive financially, that they have to rebel and kill and watch their children get killed to be heard.

I try to draw a nation, a government, a political order, a land…

And I fail again:  I cannot depict the famine that our Arab world is witnessing, the murder, the torture and at the same time, and simultaneously at the other end, you witness people not showing a single sense of empathy, or even the slightest human concern.

And because I am convinced that drawing is an illustration of my view towards humanity and life, I refuse to draw anything but life in  humanity.

Each time I find myself ending up with a blank paper, and an incomparable anger.

What makes you angry at the world?

What makes you want to spend days and nights working?

What makes want to fight?

Or are you so used to a sense of inferiority that you no longer give it another thought.

You became utterly convinced that you cannot change, and that seeing people die is part of life or of a bigger political game, a natural sacrifice for the fight of power and money.

Our problem is that we lack identity; we lack a sense of belonging not to a land, but rather to humanity.

We speak about humanity in abstract terms as if we know what we are talking about. However, we do not belong to it.

We belong to an ideal (or an idea) we set for ourselves from the moment we become aware of our being, and anything besides this ideal is outside our circle of concern.

We are no longer crashed, not even moved, when the countries around us with their people and their dreams are crushed in one missile.

I tried to draw anger.

I looked closely into what really fills people with rage, and I did not find anything worth noting. Every time you turn your eyes away from a brutal picture of adverse events or every time you refuse to hear the news you are turning away on parts of your own humanity.

I try to draw humanity and all I can fathom are skewed parallel lines of millions and millions of individuals that would never meet.

I want to draw a revolution, a revolution from within.

At a point I look at myself and I cannot identify with you anymore, humanity slipped away through a culture that has taught us to ignore and accept.

We forgot how our self leapt for the first time we saw a beggar on the road – that was long ago when we were children, back when we were not contaminated yet.

I will draw.

A million hidden stories on the curves of the lips reaching the threshold of fear and insecurity. These are stories of belonging, of love, of concern, of failure, of sadness.

Together they are the masses of my revolution.

And I will draw sharpness in the eyes, one that made us neglect the fundamentals of this life.

Revolution softens – they will soften.

And I will draw all the contradicting terminologies, all the images of suffering, on the cheeks, stepping on them with anger and rage never seen before, until the cheeks restore the redness that had long faded away into pale identical individuals.

And the mouth will be open. Yelling and screaming against corruption, against fear, against brutality, against silence.

Yelling and screaming until the skin cracks open into star constellations, into dust from the moon, into fire and glow and love, into stars, tiny little stars.

Until the heart says I found home.

Another “Red Line” for the desolate people in the Middle-East?
Chemical attacks in Syria?
And it turned out that the chemical gas was fluoride?
US considering a military response? Supported by the French President Holland without the backing of the parliament and people?
What? France has no idea of what to do with its soldiers returning from Mali and western Africa?
France of Holland was fighting Jihadist terrorists in Mali, the same kinds of terrorists it wants to defend in Syria?
A fresh war territory is to be created to amuse the French generals and testing new aircrafts and missiles…?

The desolate people in the Middle-East (ME) have no strong relations with any superpower, just clients for useless preconditions attached to weapons exported at ludicrous price tags….

Even Russia has much stronger relations with Israel than Syria and Egypt combined, and even at the peak of the Soviet Union alignment…

The Soviet Union was the first superpower to recognize Israel State at the UN, and expected Israel to become the first Communist State in the ME…

The Zionist Lobby in current Russia is by far more dynamic and influential than all the “non-existent” Arabic lobbies in Russia…

And Israel bombed Syria 3 time this year, with Putin green lights.

No, no one is coming to the rescue of the desolate people in the ME and North Africa: The only aid is military strikes to humiliate the people even further… into total submission to the eternal colonial powers

The editorials in the US dailies are not meant to educate and inform the US citizens on the problems of the people in the ME: The role of the editorials is to warn the US citizens of the recurring decisions of the US government for impending military strikes on the desolate people in the ME

Obama weighs possible military response after Syria chemical attack?

Oliver Holmes and Roberta Rampton published in Reuters this August 24, 2013

WASHINGTON/BEIRUT (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama considered options on Saturday for a possible military strike on Syria in response to a nerve gas attack that killed hundreds as Syria sought to avert blame by saying its soldiers had found chemical weapons in rebel tunnels.

A senior U.N. official arrived in Damascus to seek access for inspectors to the site of last Wednesday’s attack, in which opposition accounts say between 500 and well over 1,000 civilians were killed by gas fired by pro-government forces.

In the most authoritative account so far, the medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said 3 hospitals near Damascus had reported 355 deaths in the space of three hours out of about 3,600 admissions with nerve gas-type symptoms.

The accounts and video footage of the victims – men, women and children – have heightened Western calls for a robust, U.S.-led response after 2-1/2 years of international inaction on a conflict that has killed 100,000 people.

U.S. military and national security advisers met Obama at the White House on Saturday to consider options for a response, the day after Washington said it was realigning forces in the Mediterranean to give him the option of attacking Syria.

Obama, long hesitant to intervene, said in a CNN interview broadcast on Friday that the United States was still gathering information about the attack.

He noted, however, that chemicals weapon use on a large scale would start “getting to some core national interests that the United States has, both in terms of us making sure that weapons of mass destruction are not proliferating, as well as needing to protect our allies, our bases in the region“.

In a development that could raise pressure on him to act, American and European security sources said U.S. and allied intelligence agencies had made a preliminary assessment that chemical weapons had been used by pro-Assad forces this week.

MILITARY OPTIONS

Among the military options under consideration are missile strikes on Syrian units believed to be responsible for chemical attacks or on Assad’s air force and ballistic missile sites, U.S. officials said. Such strikes could be launched from U.S. ships or from combat aircraft capable of firing missiles from outside Syrian airspace, thereby avoiding Syrian air defenses.

Major world powers – including Russia, Assad’s main ally which has long blocked U.N.-sponsored intervention against him – have urged the Syrian leader to cooperate with U.N. chemical weapons inspectors already in Damascus to pursue earlier allegations.

Syria accuses rebels of staging the attack to provoke intervention. State television said soldiers had found chemical weapons on Saturday in tunnels that had been used by rebels.

A presenter said 5 blue and green plastic storage drums shown in video footage, along with rusty mortar bombs, grenades, domestic gas canisters and vials labeled “atropine“, a nerve gas antidote, were proof that rebels had used chemical weapons.

Separately, the state news agency SANA said soldiers had “suffered from cases of suffocation” when rebels used poison gas “as a last resort” after government forces made “big gains” against them in the Damascus suburb of Jobar.

It said clashes were still raging in the area but that the army had advanced and found “chemical agents” in rebel tunnels.

The leader of the opposition Syrian National Coalition, Ahmad al-Jarba, and the head of the rebel Free Syrian Army, General Salim Idriss, denied on Saturday that rebels had used chemical weapons.

At a press conference in Istanbul, Idriss said the rebels would respond, but not with “similar crimes”.

Jabra said the “most important cause” of the attack was the silence and inaction of the international community, especially the West.

A scheduled August 25-27 conference of military chiefs of the United States, Jordan, its main Western allies and Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, intended to help contain the fallout of a war spilling beyond Syria’s borders, has been given added urgency by the gas attack.

WAITING FOR OBAMA

“We had been expecting to talk mainly about stabilizing Jordan,” said a European defense source. “Instead, it will be dominated by Syria. It’s all really waiting on the Americans and what they decide they want to do …

“There have been discussions, but so far they have been very inconclusive. As the scale of what happened in Damascus becomes clear, that may change.”

U.N. High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Angela Kane arrived in Damascus to press for access to the scene.

“The solution is obvious. There is a United Nations team on the ground, just a few kilometers away. It must very quickly be allowed to go to the site to carry out the necessary tests without hindrance,” French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said during a visit to the Palestinian territories.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said Berlin expected Russia to “raise the pressure on Damascus so that the inspectors can independently investigate”.

While some of the United States’ NATO allies, including France, Britain and Turkey, have explicitly blamed Assad’s forces for the chemical attack, Russia said the rebels were impeding an inquiry and that Assad would have no interest in using poison gas for fear of foreign intervention.

“Assad does not look suicidal,” senior pro-Kremlin lawmaker Igor Morozov told Interfax news agency. “He well understands that in this case, allies would turn away from him and … opponents would rise. All moral constraints would be discarded regarding outside interference.”

Alexei Pushkov, pro-Kremlin chairman of the international affairs committee in Russia’s lower house of parliament, said: “In London they are ‘convinced’ that Assad used chemical weapons, and earlier they were ‘convinced’ that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. It’s the same old story.”

Russia said last month that its analysis indicated a projectile that hit the city of Aleppo on March 19 contained the nerve agent sarin and was most likely fired by rebels.

President Hassan Rouhani of Iran, Assad’s most powerful Middle Eastern ally, acknowledged for the first time on Saturday that chemical weapons had killed people in Syria and called for the international community to prevent their use.

(Additional reporting by Megan Davies in Moscow, John Irish in Paris, Madeline Chambers in Berlin, Yeganeh Torbati in Dubai, Asli Kandemir and Dasha Afanasieva in Istanbul and Washington bureau; Writing by Kevin Liffey; Editing by Louise Ireland)

Note 1:

President Barack Obama said, "The world set a red line. The world set a red line when governments representing 98 percent of the world's population said the use of chemical weapons are [inaudble] and passed a treaty forbidding their use, even when countries are engaged in war." </p><br /><br /><br />
<p>I guess this doesn't apply to the Israeli's. </p><br /><br /><br />
<p>GOD BLESS HYPOCRISY!
Shared by Ryan Ghandour
Phosphorous munitions is also banned by 98% of the world communities, except the 5 superpowers and Israel refused to sign on.
President Barack Obama said,
“The world set a red line. The world set a red line when governments representing 98% of the world’s population said the use… of chemical weapons are inadmissible and passed a treaty forbidding their use, even when countries are engaged in war.”
Can we deduce that world conventions in periods of war do Not apply to Israeli? Political HYPOCRISY at its best application?

Note 2: I am under the impression that the Syrian army was hitting Jorba and the nerve gas stored in tunnels by the rebels detonated. Probably the Syrian government knew about the Saudi Arabia intelligence services shipping chemical gas to the rebels and wanted the world community to take notice of this escalation.  The US, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and France are trying to throw smokescreens and defuse the responsibility toward the Syrian regime.

Note 3JP Chevenement wrote:

“With respect to the Convention on the prohibition of chemical weapons signed at Paris on 13 January 1993… Syria and Egypt were Not among the signatories. Why?

The Egyptian negotiator Amr Moussa explained that his country would adhere to this convention when weapons of mass destruction, nuclear, bacteriological and chemical would have eliminated the Middle East…

The NPT Review Conference [2] may 2010 aims to create a nuclear-free Middle East.

It is in this general framework that should be taken to preserve the balance of security in this region. ”

JP Chevenement


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