Adonis Diaries

Archive for September 20th, 2014

“Too bad, or Too good to be true?” Orphaned children

Losing a parent in childhood has the potential of driving people into extreme behaviors that “psychologically healthy” kids tend not to cross.

For example, 3 folds the numbers of prisoners have lost a parent before reaching 16 of age.

Illustrious geniuses such as inventors, poets, writers, statesmen… 45% of them had been orphaned .  Keats, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Swift, Gibbon, Thackeray…

Marvin Eisenstadt selected 699 of these illustrious personalities who had credible biographies, and he spent 10 years analyzing these personalities.

Do you know that:

1. Twelve of the 44 US presidents have lost a parent in childhood? Most of them were of the early presidents such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, Andrew Jackson, Andrew Johnson… because of low life expectancy in those periods.  Bill Clinton and Barack Obama have been orphaned too.

2. British prime ministers who exclusively came from upper classes, 67% of them lost a parent early on. This is twice the rate of parental loss in the upper classes in those times. A study by Lucille Iremonger.

“it appears that gifted and prodigy children are likely to emerge in highly supportive family conditions. In contrast, geniuses have a perverse tendency of growing up in more adverse conditions

Apparently, courage and consistency in carrying out a project is an acquired attitude, resulting from “remote misses” occurrences that failed to handicap you, physically or mentally. It means that if frequent bombing save you from being a “near miss” casualty, you eventually conquer your fear and start feeling invulnerable, a feeling of exhilaration that death cannot touch you any time soon.

If you had the opportunity of going through  a few tough episodes, you discover that “It’s not that tough after all”

These orphaned kids break “out of the community Frame

The diverse frames we are locked in are shattered when childhood frame ceases to exist.

Note 1: Read Malcolm Gladwell’s “David and Goliath”

Note 2: It would be an excellent idea to study whether separated parents in childhood have the same effect on the kids

Note 3: For every remote miss person who becomes stronger to face the difficulties of life, there are countless near misses who are crushed and remain disabled to function properly as normal people do.

ISIS (Daesh) video: This British hostage (John Cantlie) promoting his captor ideology and political lines 

France decided to name ISIS as Daesh in order to deny it the Islamic State status. Obama wants to promote the name ISIL (for Islamic State in the Levant, which will include Lebanon, Palestine and Jordan)

ANTAKYA, Turkey — The Islamic State released the latest in a series of propaganda videos on Thursday, a slickly produced introduction to what it promised would be a multipart series on the group and the folly of efforts by the United States to fight it.

The segment is a sharp departure from the Islamic State’s recent grisly videos showing a black-clad executioner beheading Western hostages in the desert, which helped galvanize international support for wider military action against the group.

The new video takes direct aim at a Western audience, and particularly Americans.

It features a British hostage, John Cantlie, a journalist who speaks in tones reminiscent of prime-time news. Seated alone at a table in the familiar orange jumpsuit, he promises to explain the Islamic State and persuade viewers that the latest war effort by the United States and its allies would end as badly as their previous interventions in the Middle East.

Continue reading the main story Video

Play Video|1:52

ISIS’ Goals and Tactics Worldwide

Some background on goals, tactics and the potential long-term threat to the United States from the militant group known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

Video Credit By Natalia V. Osipova and Christian Roman on Publish Date September 10, 2014. Image CreditReuters

SEPT. 18, 2014

Analysts said that the shift in tone from the previous videos sought to gain maximum exposure and showed how attuned the group is to Western sensibilities in crafting its message.

“They are masters at getting attention, and this is a masterstroke,” said William McCants, a scholar of militant Islam at the Brookings Institution. “Diabolical is the word, just evil genius.”

The new video is the latest in a series of English-language hostage videos by the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, that have tried to shape the international response to its shocking brutality and rapid expansion in Syria and Iraq.

The 3-minute, 21-second video, called “Lend Me Your Ears,” begins with Mr. Cantlie introducing himself and anticipating those who would dismiss his statement as coerced.

“Now, I know what you are thinking. ‘He is only doing this because he is a prisoner, he’s got a gun at his head,’ ” he says, pointing a finger at his temple.

Appearing tired and under stress, he acknowledges that he is a prisoner and says that since he has been “abandoned” by his government, he has “nothing to lose” by making the video.

Then he gives a pitch that has the “coming soon” feel of a promotional spot for a documentary series, promising future videos that will reveal the “systems and motivations” of the Islamic State as well as how the Western news media have misrepresented the group.

“There are two sides to every story,” he says. “Think you’re getting the whole picture?”

The video, like those before it, seems designed to forestall international military action against the Islamic State.

But while the previous videos threatened revenge for attacks, Mr. Cantlie’s message seemed crafted to capitalize on reluctance in the West to get involved in a new war.

“After two disastrous and hugely unpopular wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, why is it that our governments appear so keen to get involved in yet another unwinnable conflict?” he says.

Analysts suggested that the Islamic State had many reasons to shift away from beheading videos, if only temporarily.

Nonviolent videos are more likely to be seen by a wider audience, and the use of a Western journalist instead of an Islamic State fighter to deliver the message makes the group look more polished.

“They’re using him to present a rosy picture,” said Laith Alkhouri, a senior analyst at Flashpoint Global Partners, a New York security consulting firm that tracks militant websites.

“Despite the absence of a knife or gun to his head, he appears to be under some duress while speaking.”

While Mr. Cantlie’s life appears to be in danger, the militants have only a limited number of hostages, and killing them all would leave the group with no more leverage.

Beside Mr. Cantlie, the group holds two American aid workers and another British citizen, Alan Henning, who the group said in a previous video would be the next to die.

John G. Horgan, a psychologist at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell who studies terrorism, called the new video “evidence that these guys are winning the psychological warfare battle.”

He said staggering the releases was a kind of “choreography” that was carefully timed for maximum emotional impact.

“They don’t just want to humiliate us,” Mr. Horgan said. “They want to humiliate us on a regular, scheduled basis, and they are upping the ante every time they do it.”

Mr. Cantlie also says that future videos will address why some captives and not others have been released, presumably because of different countries’ policies on paying ransoms. Any inside information released on the topic could prove deeply embarrassing to the countries involved.

While most European countries deny paying ransoms, many have, putting millions of dollars into the coffers of the Islamic State and Al Qaeda.

And more than a dozen captives once held by ISIS were released after their governments paid ransoms, according to someone familiar with the releases. (Business as usual)

Britain and the United States do not pay ransoms, a policy that some captives’ families have said gives them no way to work for the return of their loved ones.

In the video, Mr. Cantlie spells out what the European countries had done differently.

“They negotiated with the Islamic State and got their people home, while the British and Americans were left behind,” he says.

Mr. Cantlie, a freelance journalist who has worked for The Sunday Times of London and The Telegraph, has been kidnapped twice in Syria.

He and a Dutch freelance photographer, Jeroen Oerlemans, were captured together by a group of foreign jihadists in northern Syria in July 2012, shortly after crossing the border from Turkey.

(Follow the Turkish trail for all these kidnapping)

They were both shot during a failed escape attempt and then released after one week by other rebels, the men said later.

After returning to Britain, Mr. Cantlie was a witness in the trial of a British doctor accused of playing a role in the kidnapping.

But in November 2012, the doctor, Shajul Islam, was acquitted. At the time, a British prosecutor told The Guardian newspaper that the case had collapsed because it rested exclusively on the testimony of two witnesses who were not available to testify.

On Nov. 22, 2012, Mr. Cantlie, who had returned to Syria, was kidnapped again along with the American journalist James Foley near where Mr. Cantlie had been captured the first time.

In August, the Islamic State beheaded Mr. Foley and posted a video of it online, the first of three such videos posted by the group so far.

Mr. Horgan, the psychologist, said that the video turned Mr. Cantlie into a new type of victim, one forced to speak for his oppressors.

“We need to bear in mind that he will do, understandably, whatever he has to do to preserve his life,” Mr. Horgan said. “He has no say in how this is unfolding.”




September 2014

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