Adonis Diaries

Archive for July 31st, 2018

Have you ever dislodged a Manipulator ahead of time? We all have been suckers many times in our life.

Don’t get played.

By Dan Rockwell?

Cowards, manipulators, and backstabbers encourage you to take risks so they don’t have to.

They posture in shadows. Let others get dirty. They step into the light when it’s safe.

Leading requires risk-taking.

Don’t lead if you can’t take responsibility. Backstabbers and players, on the other hand, manipulate leaders. They want benefit while others take risks.

Players and manipulators always drive toward self-interest, secretly. Even when making others look bad, its to strengthen their own position.

Exposing manipulative players:

Ask ten questions to see if you’re being played.

  1. Are you being asked to keep secrets?
  2. Is someone creating paranoia and weakening relationships?
  3. Has someone whispered negative information about another in your ear?
  4. Who’s in the loop? Who’s left out?
  5. Whose life gets easier? Whose gets harder?
  6. Why is it important for you to take the lead, rather than someone else?
  7. Who looks good if it works?
  8. Who takes the fall if it fails?
  9. How is the team impacted?
  10. Are you functioning within organizational values?

Bonus: Who’s doing the work? Manipulators maneuver others into doing most of the work.

Defeating manipulative players:

All organizations have players and backstabbers who place self-interest ahead of all other interests. They thrive in silence and secrecy.

Silence implies permission.

Secrets strengthen manipulators.

Openness and transparency defeat manipulative players.

Don’t attack them. Don’t play their games. Open the shades. Turn on the lights. Watch them fall in line or scurry like cockroaches.

Performance wins when everything’s on the table.

Transparency defeats manipulators.

When you smell the stench of manipulation, invite all stakeholders to a meeting that spells out all deliverables, responsibilities, deadlines, and communication channels.

Don’t waste time attacking manipulators. It’s a distraction. Create high performance cultures with transparency.

How can leaders lessen the power of manipulators?

What kind of a Move is the U.S. Making in Syria’s calamity?
Note: Article posted in 2013. A great way to analyse the process in the Syrian civil war and foreign interventions
U.S. Secretary of  State, John Kerry, directed that U.S. assistance to the armed Syrian rebels has been  authorized.
It comes in the form of a tranche of $60 million in aid,  initially said to be “non-lethal aid.” Supposedly, that translates as food and  medicine.
Kerry made the announcement this week in Rome, at a meeting  of Friends of Syria, a group of 11 nations.
The leaders of the acknowledged  Syrian opposition were there, too, and they decried the offer as too paltry, but  they are probably wrong to be upset.
 posted on March 1, 2013  in The New Yorker “In Syria, the U.S. Makes a Move”
anderson-syria-aid.jpg . Photo by Pablo Tosco
The odds are good that the declared U.S. assistance is just that—the declared assistance. New weapons of Croatian origin  have been flowing to the rebels since December via the Saudis, and have helped  them here and there on the battlefield.

It has been difficult to account for covert activities or triangulated  logistical operations. The British, too, have announced their willingness to  enhance their support for the rebels.

William Hague’s offer of aid from Britain, which would  require the lifting of E.U. restrictions, is for non-lethal “combat gear,” like night-vision goggles and flak jackets.

Underneath all the opacity and the declarations and the leaks, it seems  evident that the Obama Administration has decided to remain cautious but to  provide backing for Syria’s rebels, who are fighting an increasingly violent war  to unseat the entrenched military regime of Bashar al-Assad.

It is now a  23-month-old conflict with over 70,000 dead and  counting. (to reach 500,000 in 2018). Sometime this week, a million Syrians will have fled their country to neighboring ones as refugees. (To reach 7.5 millions outside and as many inside Syria)

In Jordan, there are now nearly half a million, and more are arriving every day. (And the same is for Lebanon). For the U.N. and other humanitarian agencies, Syria’s war is now the most urgent refugee crisis in the world, with no end in sight.

With Assad’s regime entrenched; fighting taking place daily in most of  Syria’s cities; Iran providing an apparently endless supply of war materiel to  Assad; the Russians, determined to act as power brokers, stubbornly covering the  regime’s back diplomatically.

Additionally, given Syria’s extraordinarily strategic position in the Middle East, it was inevitable that White House would  sooner or later have to come up with a policy to replace its wait-and-see hand-wringing.

Is it wise, or right, to arm Syria’s rebels? (Not wise)

Is it even a U.S. responsibility to do so? History will provide the final verdict, but there is probably not a  wholly right or wrong response at this point.

Syria’s diverse armed opposition is too engaged in war with the Syrian regime to be truly assessed, monitored,  and somehow “made safe” in exchange for U.S. support, and that seems unlikely to  change soon.

This is a hydra-headed war, a bit like a high-stakes poker game, and the best Washington can likely do is take a deep breath and sit down at the table to try  its hand, hoping to make some profit by doing so and not lose the family farm in  the process.

Given the U.S. role in the world, there is no real option but to play,  because out of Syria’s mess will come some kind of new reckoning between the  world’s powers where everyone’s leverage lies in the new Middle East.

The  Russians have staked their bets, and, in their own way, the Chinese, the  Iranians, the Turks, and the Saudis have, too. So has everyone else in the neighborhood, even the small fry. The result is a bloody stalemate.

For better  or worse, everyone is looking to the Americans to tip the balance, because that  is the role that a superpower, still in the game, is expected to play. This is  not about what’s right so much as it is about the game.

If the Americans want  the outcome to favor them and their allies they must try to help mold it. Direct  aid may have its risks, but no move at all means losing, too.

Israeli soldiers using Palestinian kids as shields. Photo by  Nidal Nidal Chehade.
الصورة الاولى من نابلس والثانية من موجهات سجن عوفر<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> جنود الاحتلال الصهيوني يستخدم الاطفال دروعا بشرية

Read more: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2013/03/in-syria-the-us-makes-a-move.html#ixzz2MNintcIn

Diary of Syrian Kidnapping: Richard Engel Reveals…

NBC News’s Richard Engel was dispatched to cover Syria’s civil war last December (2013?).

He and his crew were dragged from their car at gunpoint, blindfolded, gagged, and held captive by the shabbiha militia for 5 days.

Engel documented his captivity in April’s 2013 issue of Vanity Fair in a journal-like format, of which this is an excerpt. 

A group of about 15 armed men were fanning out around us. Three or four of them stood in the middle of the road blocking our vehicles. The others went for the doors. They wore black jackets, black boots, and black ski masks. They were professionals and used hand signals to communicate.

A balled fist meant stop. A pointed finger meant advance.

Each man carried an AK-47. Several of the gunmen began hitting the windows of our car and minivan with the stocks of their weapons. When they got the doors open, they leveled their guns at our chests.

Time was slowing down as if I’d been hit in the head. Time was slowing down as if I were drowning.

This can’t be happening. I know what this is. These are the shabbiha. They’re fucking kidnapping us.

“Get out!” a gunman was yelling as he dragged Aziz from the car.

Then I saw the container truck. It wasn’t far away, parked off the road and hidden among olive trees. The metal doors at its rear stood open, flanked by gunmen.

We’re going into that truck.

I got out of the car. Two of the gunmen were already marching Aziz to the truck. He had his hands up, his shoulders back, his head tilted forward to protect against blows from behind.

Maybe I should run right now. But the road is flat and open. The only cover is by the trees near the truck. But where?

I saw John standing by the minivan. Gunmen were taking Ian toward the truck. It was his turn. Like me, John hadn’t been touched yet.

Our eyes made contact. John shrugged and opened his hands in disbelief. Time was going very slowly now, but my mind was racing like a panicked heart in a body that can’t move.

“Get going!” a gunman yelled at me in Arabic, pointing his weapon at my chest.

I looked at him blankly, pretending not to understand.

Foreigners who speak Arabic in the Middle East are often assumed to be working for the C.I.A. or Israel’s intelligence agency the Mossad. The gunman took me by the finger, holding on to it by the very tip. I could have pulled it away with the smallest tug.

John was the next to join us in the back of the truck. He walked slowly, as if being escorted to a waiting limo. John is a New Yorker and was dressed entirely in black. He has long white hair and a devilish smile, and his nickname is the Silver Fox.

John and I had been in a lot of rough places—Libya, Iraq, Gaza. John, Ghazi, and Aziz were among my closest friends in the world.

At least I’ll die with my friends.

The rebel commander Abdelrazaq was confused. He thought this was a misunderstanding. He thought that this was a group of rebels who’d gone rogue and were acting like commandos.

“What are you doing?” he yelled to the gunmen as they loaded him into the truck. “We are Free Syrian Army! We are Free Syrian Army! I am a commander with the Free Syrian Army.”

We were traveling in rebel territory. Government forces weren’t supposed to be here.

“Oh, you’re Free Syrian Army?” one of the gunmen answered. “Here’s to your Free Syrian Army.” He kicked Abdelrazaq in the face, then smashed a rifle butt into his back.

The gunman seemed to be in charge of the others. We would learn that his name was Abu Jaafar. He spoke with a thick Alawite accent.

Alawites are a sect of Shiite Muslims, and for 4 decades Alawites and Shiites have ruled over the rest of Syria.

Bashar al-Assad is an Alawite. But Alawites and Shiites are only around 10 percent of the population. Almost all of the rest—and all of the rebels—are Sunni Muslims.

This is a sectarian war. So are most of the conflicts these days in the old Ottoman provinces of the Middle East. We’d become part of a long fight that wasn’t ours.

“Do you love Bashar?,” Abu Jaafar asked.

“Of course I love President Bashar,” Abdelrazaq replied.

“You don’t even deserve to utter his name, you animal,” Abu Jaafar said. Once again he kicked Abdelrazaq and beat him with his rifle butt.

“We are journalists from American television,” I said in En­glish.

One of the gunmen grabbed me by the hair and smashed my head against the metal wall of the container. “Who are you?” he asked in Arabic. I pretended not to understand.

“We are journalists. We work for American television,” I said again.

Everyone was in the truck by now. The metal floor smelled of diesel fuel and machine oil and was very cold and slippery. I kept sliding down as I sat with knees at my chest and my back to the container wall. I was watching Abu Jaafar beat the commander.

Several of the gunmen closed the doors to the container and stayed with us inside. They turned on flashlights. They were prepared.

Two of them lifted me to my feet and wrapped duct tape around my mouth, eyes, and wrists. They stripped off my belt and shoes. They did the same to the rest of the group. Now blind, I felt hands reaching into my pockets and taking my phone and my passport.

They’ve done this before.

I didn’t have much else on me. I had deliberately left my main mobile phone in Turkey.

I’d cleaned my laptop, too, removing files and contacts that could be incriminating to a suspicious mind. We had each pared down before coming in. Kidnapping is always a threat in this life of reporting on men hurting one another because of religion and politics.

An Israeli business card left in a wallet could be a death sentence. I knew that many of the shabiha gunmen would assume we were spies anyway—conspiracy theories are a weed in this part of the world.

An Egyptian newspaper once publicly identified me as the C.I.A. station chief in Cairo. It seemed so stupid at the time. I was only 24, a little young to be a station chief, and, of course, I was never with the C.I.A.

The truck started up and eased out of the grove. We could feel it traveling over bumpy roads.

I’ve reported on Shiite militias butchering Sunnis, and on Sunnis bombing Shiites in Iraq. I still felt like a reporter. I was still on a story. This was sectarian violence. This wasn’t happening to me but to them. I was angry with myself for thinking that.

Stay focused. You are here. You need to survive this. The first few hours are the most dangerous.

The truck came to a stop about 20 minutes later. Metal scraped against metal as the rear doors creaked open. Light and cold air rushed in.

“Where is the gunman?,” Abu Jaafar asked.

“That’s me, sir,” said the young man in the green fatigues. Abdelrazaq’s bodyguard could not have been more than 20.

Abu Jaafar’s men took the bodyguard out of the truck.

“Finish him,” Abu Jaafar said.

The gunmen had their AK-47s set on burst. They each fired four or five rapid shots, paused, then squeezed off another burst. The bodyguard didn’t scream or utter a word. He died too quickly for that. I heard his body hit the ground.

Abdelrazaq started to shout at Abu Jaafar.

“These people are journalists. They have nothing to do with this. I brought them here. I am responsible. Kill me. Let them go.”

Abu Jaafar said, “Get the gasoline.”

They drenched Abdelrazaq with liquid from a bottle.

“No, no!” Abdelrazaq begged.

“Burn him,” Abu Jaafar said.

They splashed Abdelrazaq with more liquid.

It was water.

They wanted to break us and terrorize us and make us docile. They were having fun doing it.

Abu Jaafar was laughing most of the time. In the coming days we would become familiar with his short, repetitive, girlish laugh: Heh, heh, heh, heh, heh.

The doors of the container were closed again. The gunmen left us alone in the back of the truck. We could hear guns being charged outside. AK-47 rounds were chambered and ready to fire.

Now they’ll spray the truck with gunfire and execute us all. 

We all lay down in the truck, hoping they’d shoot over us. My face was pressed against the floor. I tucked my hands under my cheek to get it off the cold, greasy metal. I drifted off to sleep. There’s peace in sleep. Aziz was lying on top of me. I could feel his heat. He was wearing cologne and it smelled good. In sleep I could escape.

Am I sleeping or am I awake? I’ll pretend to stay sleeping. Sleeping is invisible.

To read Engel’s full diary, click here to subscribe and receive the issue.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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