Adonis Diaries

Archive for the ‘Essays’ Category

“Are there moderate Muslims?”

Posted on September 25, 2008 (and written in Oct. 26, 2207)

Note: This lengthy article was meant to be exhaustive. If you want me to split it in two articles, I will be ready to do it.

It coincided that I was reading chapters of two books concomitantly “Quand l’Amerique refait le Monde” by Ghassan Salameh (Salami) and “L’Apocalypse” by Oriana Fallaci  when I realized that the topic of current Islamic fundamentalism is wreaking havoc on the disposition of many western people.

Mostly, the western people tended to be liberal in many issues but could no longer reconcile a liberal attitude toward Islam: Mainly the reality of the virulent traditional Islamic behaviors toward strict adoption of the Koranic laws that regulate the daily life for the Muslims and trying to circumvent the civil laws in Europe.

Ghassan Salameh has investigated the genesis of the new trend in the US ruling government toward Islam after the Twin Towers September 11 attack and which was based on the studies of a few “prestigious” American academics on Islam. 

Salame stated that the neo-conservative elements in the Bush administration have adopted Bernard Lewis as their guru in matters related to Islam and the anti-Muslim movements. 

Professor Lewis was fascinated and excited in the 1950s with everything related to Islam and then turned sour, negative and dissatisfied with the Islamic World: he repeatedly claimed in his studies that the Muslims have a rage and a strong tendency to hate the Western Nations as a product of their sense of inferiority complex toward the West and propagated the concept of an invasion to saw the grains of democracy in the Near East.

After the September 11 attack on the Twin Tower, the neo-conservatives like Perle, Wolfowitz, Abrams, and Gaffneys directed the debate toward the confirmation of pre-emptive offensive against the infantile specie of the political regimes in the Muslim World.

The spreading notion of an ineluctable conflict of Islam with the USA.  Pipes went as far as eliminating any cause for using cultural instruments in the arsenal of the war.

It is obvious that Oriana Fallaci has made up her mind that there are no moderate Muslims, unless they are Muslims by birth but No longer practicing  believers: simply because the Koran is the Koran and there is no way to interpret the Sourates to coincide with civil laws in the western nations. 

Actually, the late Oriana Fallaci was a staunch liberal but could not swallow the latest slaughtering of foreign prisoners by extremist Muslims and how Muslim immigrants are flaunting the civil laws in Europe.

Fallaci insists that the word “terrorism” is not good enough; the mass media should remain consistent and say “Islamic terrorism”; a term that would satisfy the terrorist Zionists immensely. 

Fallacy relied on St. John’s apocalyptic vision where a Monster with seven heads and ten horns would emerge from the sea and then the Beast on land would execute all the Monster’s orders. Thus, the Monster is Islam and the Beast is represented by the European liberals and leaders who are trying to appease Muslims and exhorting them to moderation by dangling carrots instead of raising the heavy sticks.

I was surprised by the coincidence to read that Oriana Fallaci also adopted the views of Bernard Lewis on Islam and considered him as the ultimate authority for truth on Islamic matters.

Apparently, the then 80-years old Lewis and growing more senile by the by, gave an interview to a German daily where he lambasted the West for not believing that radical Islam is the main enemy, instead of the new fascists. Lewis is hammering the notion that all of Europe is going to be Islamist by the year 2100. (If mankind survive till then)

Thus, there is a disposition to fit theories that antagonize the Muslim World by accepting as evidence the many terrorist acts perpetrated by extremist Muslims.

The vehement attitude of Fallaci toward Islam stems from two premises:

First, all of the terrorist attacks in the World are perpetrated by Muslims, (obviously wrong and faked wishes) and

Second, the practices of Muslims’ behavior in the Western World are based on the teaching of the Koran which cannot be reconciled with the rational civil laws in the western countries they live in. (How these laws are biased to the privileged elite classes are Not broached)

The first premise may be true if we rely solely on the media accounts that, almost exclusively and consistently, show that the current terrorist attacks in the Western World, such as USA, Spain, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and Holland where “terrorism had struck”, were done by Muslims.  She focused on the terrible acts of slaughtering hostages by Muslim radicals in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Russia.

Fallaci forgot to mention that terrorism has also been striking in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Philippine, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Palestine, and Lebanon, Africa, to name but a few, in order to destabilize these States, where terrorism was carried by Hindu, Christians, and various Muslim sects against each other castes.

The hidden facts that terrorism is done by the western extremists are not widely publicized and mostly toned down and not taken up relentlessly by the media.

For example, the Oklahoma City bombing was first attributed to Muslim extremists and then the US had to admit that it was a purely US extremist act; not to mention the dozen of mass killings in the US schools and universities

Moreover, most of the western terrorist acts are ordered by the states or committed by organizations supported by the states and consequently not divulged and buried as national security secrets.

Actually, all the terrorist acts of the Israeli settlers and the government on Palestinians and other adjacent States are coined as “individual actions by crazy people”

Fallaci should have recalled the many terrorist acts that ravaged Italy and Germany in the 60s and 70s and committed by the extremist left movements and done by non-Muslims; she also decided to forget the recent decade long terrorism and genocides that plagued former Yugoslavia and which was started by Christians among themselves in self cleansing mechanisms and then cleansing themselves with the blood of the Muslims in Kosovo and Serbia. (And current far-right parties terrorist activities)

Fallaci should have taken up also these terrorist occurrences of destabilizing many third world countries, and going on even today, by the US and Israel. She has indeed experienced these Western terrorist acts during her long career as a journalist, but she decided to focus her venom on Islam, thus satisfying the present Western propaganda strategy of misinformation and distortion.

As for the second premise, Fallaci poured her venom on those Muslims who claim to be moderate, simply because they didn’t join a radical group or didn’t commit a terrorist act but engage practically in “awful behaviors”. 

For example, how can a Muslim claim to be moderate if he prevents his wives or daughters to be integrated in their new societies, ordering them to swim in their long robe “dishdasha/jalabiya”, even if this practice is tantamount to drowning, or having three wives and treating them as slaves, or beating his wives because it is permitted by “Al Shari3a”, killing his daughters because they refused to marry the men that he selected for them, lambasting school directors because they allowed their sons and daughters to be offered sweets containing hints of alcohol, and so on.  (But many of these customs are practiced by many non-Muslims religious sects, and the Koran does Not encourage many of those imposed patriarchal privilege systems)

Fallaci claims that nine out of ten of the Islamic divine inspired laws are opposite to the Italian civil laws, and consequently, there is no possibility of coming to acceptable terms with Muslim believers. (Let Italy just carry out the civil laws on non-abiding Muslim citizens to encourage “moderate Muslims” to follow suit)

If we recapitulate the history of the world we can demonstrate that almost every religion encouraged terrorist acts throughout history when the goal was to establish a theocratic state, governed by the clerics, or to maintain the power of the religious hierarchy caste over the citizens and the other minority castes. 

European history is packed with genocidal periods where the majority of a Christian sect tried to exterminate other secondary Christian sects in France, Spain, Byzantium, Russia, and Germany, to name a few, and labelled them “heretics” and their shed blood a duty.

The one main factor that permitted the western Christian societies to edge toward rational civil laws and weakens the Christian Orders was that the New Testament dealt only with spiritual doctrines: Christ died before his religion was firmly established and didn’t have to enact laws organizing society when the Roman civil laws were the law of the land.

The major problem with the Muslim religion and its inability to establish rational civil laws for the land is that the Prophet Muhammad vanquished his arch enemy the Koreish tribes in Mecca, while still alive and had to re-organize the tribal society with laws emanating from the “unique God” and the mainstream customs among the tribes.

For maybe esthetic reasons, the Sourats of the Koran were organized according to length and not chronologically as logic would dictate; otherwise, the Muslims would have realized that the sourats in the first 13 years of Islam were purely spiritual and not deviating far from Jesus’ teaching. 

Actually, whatever variations there are in Islam and Christianity, are identical to the views of the different schisms in Christianity in the early centuries (mostly based on Jewish customs sect) and which provoked mass extermination of the smaller Christian sects by the dominant Christian sects.

For example, the status of the Virgin Mary, the duality of Jesus, the Holy Ghost and a multitude of other differences that Byzantium was famous with splitting hair were points of contention among the Christian sects and still are.

If the Koran was divided into two volumes, the spiritual volume related to the first 13 years of its formation and the second volume related to the earthly laws governing the City-State of Medina and then society in the Arab peninsula among the tribes, then communication among the two cultures would have been possible and the Muslims would not have reverted to rigid dogma forced upon them by 10 centuries of domination of Central Asian tribes (Mongol Empires) and culminating by their close associated tribe the Ottomans.

As is common among all religions, the religious orders emphasize the earthly concepts that can be impressed upon the believers by attaching heavy burdens on their daily life for total subjugation. 

Ironically, Christianity created daily burdens of religious obligations that were Not included in the “Bible”, just to impose its hegemony over the soul of its believers.

Jesus strongly denounced the Jewish Order for the daily heavy burdens they encumbered the Jews with and lambasted the order as a hypocritical order. 

Nevertheless, Christianity, whether Roman or Lutheran or Protestant, feverishly created religious obligations that were not in the New Testament but dug up from the Jewish religious books or from the proclamations of the saints and religious leaders to subjugate their members into a tight closed caste.

In general, Christianity is an open religion and the Western Nations in their zest to proselytize their respective dominant religion endeavored to invade the “barbarous” people for the proclaimed purpose of indoctrinating these people into the Christian values; most of these people were subjugated into changing religions nominally but kept their “pagan” traditions.

However, the Christian Maronite sect in Lebanon has reverted to a closed religion and adopted the caste system since the independence of Lebanon in 1943. 

The Maronite sect has agreed on a tacit pact with the non-Christian castes not to allow non-Christian members from the other castes in Lebanon to be baptized Maronites; I can testify that even Lebanese living overseas were not permitted to change religion: the Maronite Order made it clear that the process of changing religion is not feasible. 

This Maronite Christian sect has sold out its soul to preserve its supremacy as a caste in Lebanon local politics and ended up losing its supremacy in 1989 at the Taef Conference in Saudi Arabia.

Consequently, the divergence between the western societies and the Muslim societies are the result of types of revealed Books; the main Christian Book that basically does not contain earthly laws but were created later by the dominant Christian orders, and the Muslim Book that does specifically include earthly laws for governing societies.

The western societies have succeeded in establishing rational, though debatable, civil laws created by men (women had not yet fully participated in most of these laws); and they don’t have to bend their laws to accommodate Muslim immigrants who are stuck with divine laws to run their daily lives. 

This is not to say that the Western World has to adopt pre-emptive strategies of conquering Muslim and Arab countries on the flimsy crusading abstract notion of spreading democracy and the international civil laws, when the geo-political reality is clear and is meant to control energy resources and stopping the expansion of China in world politics.

As for the Moslem World, if the purpose of all these upheavals is catching up with the technology of the western societies then the burden resides mainly on accepting the premise that the spiritual doctrines should be separated from the rational civil laws. 

Otherwise, if the Muslim World wants to survive under its own set of divine obligations and be ruled my mullah, and sheikhs, and muftis then let it be proclaimed openly and unite under this purpose and let the world live as separate entities; societies that instituted civil laws and those insisting on man-made “inspired divine laws”.

In either case, there is no basic need for forced hegemony of one civilization over another if the human mind cannot device a method for human communication and entente: forced hegemony has never worked or lasted in history, and all the evidences are leading to the fact that the current western forced hegemony is failing, unless partitioning the Arab World into cantons is viewed as a definite success of the new pre-emptive “war” strategy, which has nothing to do with cultural differences.

Islam is carrying an insurmountable burden of awkward traditions, not just because of the 5 centuries of Ottoman domination, but 11 centuries of Muslim Sunni of Central Asian tribes that dominated most of the Muslim World, from Mongolia, to Kazakhstan, Kirghizia, Azerbaijan, the Caucasus, Iran, Afghanistan, India, and Turkey.  These hordes have established empires and the local vassals adopted the rigid dogmas and tribal customs of their caste systems.

Any recent reforms undertaken in the Middle East were thwarted by the Western powers to divide these nations and establish theocratic States and dictators most amenable to their creators.  Our inability to change and communicate, even internally among ourselves, is related fundamentally to our autonomous caste structure.

Fallaci was sensing right, but she was fighting cancer. Anyway, rational behavior is not the rule in this somber period within the Bush Administration, even if many of its leaders seem physically fit, aside of Dick Cheney.

Note 1:  The proposition that the Sourates of the first thirteen years were spiritual in nature was investigated by Antoun Saadi in the 1940s and published in a book “Al Islam fi ressalataih al Massihiyat wa al Mohammadiyah” translated liberally as “Islam (Message of Peace) by its two messengers Christ and Mohammed”

Note 2: Antoun Saadi is the founder of the Lebanese-bases Syria National Social party in 1936. A secular party , wanting to separate the religious sects dominance in the political and social structure and the government civil laws and regulation. This party was attacked by the sectarian parties encouraged by the mandated colonial powers of France and England on the Near-East region. This party claimed that we are one people in Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq and was the preadhead of confronting the Zionist plans that were backed by the colonial powers and the USA and Russia.

Note: The Lebanese-based Syria National Social party was founded in 1936 by Antoun Saadi, during the French colonial mandate over Lebanon and Syria. It is a secular party that practice the separation of religion from civil law systems and has been spreading to current Syria, Palestine, Jordan and Iraq.

This party is at a total odd with the concept of ethnic identity and race of the Nazi and Fascist ideologies, and does Not even recognize Language as a basis for National identity or kinds of religions.

The foundation of a National people is the daily trades among the communities and their customs and traditions.

This party had the unfortunate luck to be instituted as the Nazi and Fascist parties got roots in Europe. And the name also included National Social too.

This party was adopting the symbol of the Land that resembled the Nazi Swastika and in color too.

The so-called secular leftist parties in the Near East, which at the time bowed to Stalin communist policies and directives, labelled the Party as Nazist without reading any of its books and daily articles on all the political and cultural issues of the period.

Besides the secular Communist and Syria National Social parties, all the other parties were created on a sectarian affiliation basis, and they still dominating the political systems landscape in the Near East.

هو ضحية «زوبعته»

كان صديقي الأستاذ الجامعي يستمزج آراء الحاضرين عن عناوين لكتب يمكن أن يرسلها لصديق له في الولايات المتحدة

طلب منه نصيحته وتزويده بكتب تتحدث عن المجتمعات العربية وتاريخ تطورها وأزماتها في المنطقة. وبعدما تطوّع البعض بالإشارة إلى بعض العناوين، قمت بدوري بتذكيره بعدم نسيان أنطون سعادة وكتبه.

كانت ردة فعل صديقي الأستاذ الجامعي فورية من دون أي تلكؤ، فقال: «لا لا لا يمكن أن أروّج للفكر النازي».

كانت المفاجأة كبيرة بالنسبة إليّ بما أن الحكم على فكر سعدة جاء من قِبل أستاذ جامعي يُفترض أن لا يكون عنده تحيّز تجاه أيّ أفكار، طالما أن المسألة بالنسبة لطالب الكتب في الولايات المتحدة تتعلق بالبحث والدراسة، وبالتالي لا مجال لأخذ موقف ايديولوجي تجاه الأفكار طالما أنها تتعلق بالأبحاث.

المفارقة الثانية كانت في موقف صديقنا الأستاذ الجامعي أنّه حكم على فكر سعادة بأنه جزء من الفكر النازي. من خلال الحكم بالنازية على فكر سعادة، تأكّدت أن صديقنا لم يقرأ، بل لم يطلع بتاتاً على فكر سعادة.

عندما سألته كيف يحكم وهو بالأكيد لم يقرأ سعادة، أجاب: «لا داعي لقراءته فالموضوع واضح من عنوانه. كل مظاهر حزبه وشعاراته كانت نازية». مع هذا الجواب، تأكّد لي ما كنت قد لاحظته من خلال عملية تقييم تاريخية فكرية وسياسية وتنظيمية وحتى أمنية لمسار الحزب السوري القومي الاجتماعي في تاريخ سابق أوصلتني إلى بعض الملاحظات، لا مجال لذكر جميعها هنا، لكن نقطة مهمة جديرة بالذكر والبحث والتمحيص.

في المحكمة العسكرية 8 تموز

هذه الملاحظة كانت تتعلق بشعارات الحزب من رايته التي تتوسطها الزوبعة مع اللونين الأحمر والأسود، مما كان يعطي شبه تطابق مع ألوان العلم النازي.

إذا أضفنا إلى ذلك الملابس والتحية وبعض الظواهر الأخرى التي كان يتمظهر بها الحزب النازي، لوجدنا شبه تطابق. ومع إضافة كلمة القومي الاجتماعي، يصبح الأمر كأنه نسخة معدلة للحزب النازي.

لا أخفي أنني في شبابي كنت ضحية لهذا الخلط في المظاهر قبل أن أطّلع على فكر سعادة. لكن بعد الاطلاع على فكره، وجدت المفارقات الكبيرة الصادمة.
أولاً، فكر سعادة هو فكر غاص في التاريخ والجغرافيا السورية وفي المجتمع السوري بشكل عميق ودقيق ولم يكن ناقلاً لمجرد أفكار قومية كانت تتداول في تلك المرحلة التاريخية.
ثانياً، إنّ سعادة لم يرتكز في مقولاته القومية إلى أيّ نظرية عنصرية تتعلق بنوع من البشر، لا بالعلاقة الجينية ولا بالتفوق العرقي ولا بالخصوصية البيضاء، ولا حتى بالجذور الأصولية لتاريخ مكونات المجتمع السوري. كان سعادة خارج كل هذه المواضيع، بل كان عالماً اجتماعياً سياسياً بامتياز. درس ما يمكن أن أسمّيه جيولوجيا الطبقات المتراكمة للحضارة السورية عبر التاريخ. ضم فيها النشاط الاجتماعي الحضاري لكل من سكن وأقام، أو حتى مرّ مرور الكرام وأثّر بنهضة الحضارة السورية. هذا العلم ينطبق على كل الحضارات المتلاقحة والمتتابعة التي تشكل صيروة الحضارة الإنسانية.
ثالثاً، قومية سعادة لم ترتبط بعرق ولا حتى بلغة. فاللغات تتابعت وتلاحقت على مدى امتداد الحضارة السورية والمجتمع السوري. فالسريانية كما الآرامية كانت مستقبلة ومتلاقحة مع اللغة العربية، ورغم أنها سبقتها حضوراً في المجتمع السوري، إلا أنها أغنتها، وما زالت آثارها حتى اليوم.
خامساً، كان سعادة ينظر إلى القومية كحركة إنسانية ارتقائية ومحكوم عليها للبقاء أن تكون حرة أولاً وغير مستعمرة أو مستتبعة. وبالتالي نشر فكر الاستقلال والحرية في مجتمعه مقاومةً للاستعمار، كما نشر فكر التغيير والانتفاض على الواقع المتحجر أو الرجعي والقيام بالعمل الثوري الضروري للتغيير، فاستنهض القوة فينا التي لو فعلت لغيّرت وجه التاريخ.

سادساً، يسجل لسعادة «الزعيم» أنه كان من الرواد الأوائل لتفصيل والتحذير من الخطر الصهيوني، وحرض على أهمية التصدي له قبل أن يستفحل في السيطرة على المنطقة، وتنبه بفكر وقّاد ويقظ واستشرافي لمن سماهم يهود الداخل.

وكم كانت هناك أحداث لاحقة صادقة وساطعة من خلال تعاون قوى عديدة في الجغرافيا السورية وفي محيطها بالتعامل علناً أو سراً مع العدو، حتى إنّ البعض قاتل معه ومن أجله ضد مجتمعه وأمته.
سابعاً، يسجّل لسعادة أنه قارب المسألة الطائفية بشكل دقيق وشخّص مخاطر هذا المرض، في حين أنّ أحزاباً علمانية كانت تدّعي امتلاك النظرية العلمية، اكتفت بنقل المرويات والنظريات الغربية المتعلقة بالصراع الطبقي، التي قد تكون صحيحة في مجتمعات صناعية لا تنخرها الطائفية، لكنّها تناست خصوصية منطقتنا وابتلاءها بهذا المرض، ألا وهو الطائفية.
ثامناً، يسجّل لسعادة أنه استحضر مقولات غابت عن كبار علماء الدين الذين كانوا وما زالوا غارقين بالتبشير ليس لدينهم بل أيضاً لمذهبهم، فطرح نظرية الإسلام برسالتيه، المحمدية والمسيحية، وهي نظرية قرآنية ابراهيمية، غابت عن منظور وعن خطاب العديد من علماء الدين، فأعاد بذلك الوحدة والألفة بين الديانتين بالإشارة إلى جذورهما المشتركة.
تاسعاً وهي بنظري من أهم ما تفرد به سعادة وخاصة في عصرنا الحالي، بفضل العلوم الحديثة والفوارق بين المادة والطاقة، بين ما هو صلب وملموس وما هو في حيز الأنوار، بفضل علوم الفيزياء الكونتية، فتحدث سعادة عن «المدرحيات» وشدد على أهمية الجمع بين الروحانيات والماديات بحيث يبقى التوازن الفكري والعقائدي عند الإنسان.
أمام عظمة هذا المفكر،

نجد أن المظهريات من شعارت ولباس ورايات وشعائر كانت أولاً العائق الأساسي لحكم البعض وممن لم يقرأوه أن يحكموا عليه بأنه فكر نازي.
سعادة أغنى الفكر ليس فقط السوري، بل العالمي أيضاً بنظريات جديرة.

من ملف : 70 عاماً على استشهاده: أنطون سـعادة الآن وهنا

More than 60 million destitute people in northern Nigeria, Somalia and Afghanistan, the lawless and most hard-to-reach places could go unvaccinated, Red Cross chief warns

Peter Maurer, Red Cross chief, December 8, 2020.

Nick Webster. Dec 8, 2020

More than 60 million people in conflict zones and lawless regions could remain unvaccinated against Covid-19, the head of the Red Cross warned.

A global operation to vaccinate billions of people is due to begin.

But millions of the most vulnerable people may never receive a vaccine.

These include about 26 million refugees and tens of millions of internally displaced people.

One of the vaccines must be stored at minus 70°C, creating unique challenges for isolated communities.

“Producers of vaccines must be aware of the special conditions in which hundreds of millions of people are living, who are not close to any cold-chain supply,” Peter Maurer, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, told The National.

Our focus is to negotiate with state authorities so underprivileged groups and displaced people have access to vaccines

“Since the pandemic, we have focused on the very difficult to reach conflict areas, where we are active.

“Our estimate is there are probably more than 60 million people living in areas outside of recognised government control.

“We must continue to negotiate there to prepare the ground for vaccines to be delivered.”

Specific requirements of the Pfizer and BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine mean healthcare providers must store it either in dry-ice for shorter periods or in specialised freezers at minus 70°C.

The vaccine has proved to be more than 90% effective in trials and is the leading candidate for viral protection, with several others promising similar efficacy.

Daily distribution in the US requires a carefully choreographed project including 12 trucks, 20 daily flights and specifically designed “pizza box” packaging that will keep vaccines safely stored.

A pharmacy technician from Croydon Health Services takes delivery of Covid-19 vaccine shots, developed by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE, at Croydon University Hospital in Croydon, U.K., on Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020. Having cleared the shot from Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE, the U.K. is set to become the first Western country to vaccinate its citizens, a turning point in the battle to halt a pathogen that has killed more than 1.5 million people. Photographer: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire/Bloomberg
A pharmacy technician from Croydon Health Services takes delivery of doses of a Covid-19 vaccine, developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, at Croydon University Hospital. Bloomberg

The vaccine developed in the US by Moderna remains stable at a regular freezer temperature of minus 20°C for up to six months. After thawing, it can last for 30 days and can be kept at room temperature for up to 12 hours.

Once approved, several distribution operations are planned for other vaccine manufacturers elsewhere in Europe, Russia and China that will have similar demands on cold-chain logistics.

Conflict zones most vulnerable to vaccine shortfall

Geographical challenges, poor infrastructure and active conflicts will make it particularly difficult for aid workers to reach populations of refugees, asylum seekers and stateless people.

In Nigeria, a decade-long conflict between militias and the government has forced more than two million people to flee their homes. According to the UN, 7 million in the country are reliant on humanitarian aid for survival.

Meanwhile in Somalia, warring factions have displaced close to 3 million and a further million have been displaced in Afghanistan.

The World Health Organisation is working with its partners Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and the UN children’s fund to ensure that the infrastructure and technical support is in place to safely deliver as many doses to conflict areas as possible.

TOPSHOT - People gather outside a tent in one of the IDP (Internally Displaced People) camps in Pulka on August 1, 2018. - As the presidential race heats up ahead of February polls, the Nigerian government and officials of Borno state, the epicentre of the Boko Haram Islamist insurgency, are encouraging and facilitating the "return" of tens of thousands of people. As he campaigns for a second term in office, the incumbent president is working to show that he has delivered on his pledge to defeat the Islamists. But the reality is that people are being sent back to camps across Borno state while Boko Haram is still launching devastating attacks against military and civilian targets. Pulka is a garrison town built on a model becoming increasingly common across Nigeria's remote northeast region: a devastated town turned into a military base so soldiers can protect satellite camps and humanitarian agencies can distribute aid. (Photo by Stefan HEUNIS / AFP)
People gather outside a tent in one of the IDP (Internally Displaced People) camps in Pulka on August 1, 2018. Stefan Heunis / AFP

“Our focus is to negotiate with state authorities so underprivileged groups and displaced people have access to vaccines,” said Mr Maurer.

“We cannot have distribution cold chains required for the vaccines in some areas, such as northern Nigeria for example.”

Inside conflict zones, poor healthcare centres or a total collapse of services often mean regular vaccination programmes are abandoned. Precarious infrastructure and disputed borders can also make delivery of vaccines extremely difficult and dangerous.

These areas often have limited access to electricity, making the consistent refrigeration required for safe deliver a major issue, particularly in rural areas and warmer climates.

“Some regions never make the headlines and by nature are doubly underprivileged as they never get attention,” said Mr Maurer.

“I am worried about the forgotten conflicts in Iraq, Myanmar and Central America, which is very often out of the picture and context. (And Syria, Lebanon and Yemen?)

“Yemen falls into the news and then oblivion. We want to equalise these visibility discrepancies.

“No conflict emerges as more serious than another.”

Which vaccines will be delivered?

Many different vaccines are likely to become available in 2021 and the ICRC said it would consider which are available to use on staff and vulnerable populations.

“We are exploring all the vaccines that may be available and will decide which staff who are most at risk before we administer,” said Mr Maurer.

“As a default position we will wait for WHO approval on which vaccines are safe. This is a duty of care that is of critical importance.

“We have not taken a decision yet on which one. We should also be talking about testing and medicine.

“There is no reason why we will not use the vaccine that is locally available and considered safe, if it is available in certain places.

“We will not look for a uniform decision for all our operations around the world.”

Mosul. The ICRC president, Peter Maurer, is listening to what families have experienced during the war and their suffering.
ICRC president, Peter Maurer, speaks to families affected by the war in Mosul, Iraq. Courtesy: ICRC

Funding gaps create uncertain 2021 for aid organisations

Serious funding shortfalls during the pandemic threaten to derail some of the supporting work planned by aid organisations next year.

The ICRC, which employs about 20,000 people in more than 80 countries has run up a $139 million deficit.

Cutbacks have been restricted to operations in largely peaceful countries and at the organisation’s Geneva headquarters, where 100 staff are expected to lose their jobs.

One of the most publicised service cuts was the closure of a specialist centre in Lebanon to treat people wounded in conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Yemen.

Further spending cuts are planned for 2021, with $94m slashed from food aid and operational budgets in 30 countries.

You cannot shield yourself and your economy by only investing in your own country

The ICRC has made an appeal for 2.3 billion Swiss Francs ($2.6bn) for 2021 to support its work for people affected by conflict.

Mr Maurer called for a more united international co-operation to help the most vulnerable communities.

“In this region, it is inevitable that burden sharing is discussed again in the wake of the pandemic,” he said.

“Work is needed by humanitarian organisations, but also by political actors.

“There is a powerful argument to develop that you cannot shield yourself and your economy by only investing in your own country.

“Your economy will be haunted if you do not manage the global pandemic and stabilise the most fragile areas. Pandemics will not stop.

“These are issues that must play out in the dynamics of countries who need to stabilise their own economies but also invest in the global public good, such as fighting the pandemic.

“We hope this will lead to more generous support for humanitarian organisations.”Updated: December 8, 2020 11:18 AM

Read More

Red Cross chief: operations in Iraq and Afghanistan are underfunded

Mental Health Day: war and Covid-19 strain leave many in Middle East suffering in silence

Special report: Beirut families of ‘the missing’ demand answers

Is Lebanon political system immune to radical non-violent revolts?

Posted on June 24, 2011

Has anyone seen a swan (baja3) physically? In the flesh, or even flying or walking? 

If you are asked “what is the color of a swan?”  I bet your answer is “White, obviously”. 

Actually, a black swan was identified a few years ago.  Is it possible to eventually identify a multicolored swan?

You might say that finding a black swan, or even a tribe of black swans, or a mixture of black and white swans stand to reason, but is it feasible to have a green, blue… swan?  You might respond that genetic engineering can produce whatever colored swan you desire as a pet…

Why do you think all of us believed that a swan must be white, and nothing but white?  Most of us have not seen a swan, except in pictures, movies or documentaries; we might not even be able to identify a swan from a duck if the bird is not named…

Even nature, which changes slowly and its trends can be mostly predicted, has the potential of surprising us with rare events, a few of them catastrophic.  

We got in the habit of expecting frequent disasters from man-designed and man-made systems, within a few years of their applications and usage by people…

The variability in living creatures and the behaviors of users are a thousand folds more numerous than variability in nature.  Wouldn’t you be appalled in total disbelief to hear any designer of systems claiming that the product is definitely designed and manufactured to be entirely controlled and managed according to users’ satisfaction, safety, and health?

The teams of designers of many professions such as scientists, engineers, psychologist, legal professionals… are aware of two things:

First, there will be frequent minor malfunctions to the system in terms of financial loss, safety and health causalities, but these malfunctions can be controlled and fixed.

Second, any system contains rare catastrophic malfunctions that will eventually occur (doud al khal minho wa fih) and predicting these rare events is very challenging and out of control and management. 

When you hear of economic-safety analysis trade-off of a system, bear in mind that the study concerns the number of casualties and the financial cost that owners (more frequently the State or the tax payers) will have to set aside for these calamitous eventualities.

The funny part is that:

First, no money is ever set aside by the private shareholders for these catastrophes and the States or tax-payers will eventually cover up the expenses.

Second, transparency and full disclosure to the general public is never disseminated widely, if ever published.

Third, the public and communities in most countries have No Say in the design and decision-making processes of vast man-made systems.

Fourth, no man-made system has instituted an independent specialized and dedicated team responsible of gathering data and analysing statistics of the various malfunctions.  Most malfunctions are barely reported and serious hazardous events are dusted-off under the carpet:  No read, never happened!

Do you know that the UN agency for health is forbidden to collect and report statistics on nuclear disaster consequences?  That the atomic UN agency is not to share statistics with other UN agencies concerned with health and safety of world population?

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, a mathematician by formation wrote  “The Black Swan:  The power of the unpredictable” and “Savage hazard”. 

Taleb was initially trying to explain the financial crisis since he is in the financial business.  The theory is fine and explains many fluctuations in man-made designs, for example the international financial system.

The problem emerges when Taleb ventures to extend his theory to the current “Arab” revolts and Arab political systems.  The is no doubt that political structures are essentially man-made designs and that the current acceptable varieties as within the realm of “How a democratic political system satisfies the criteria of the Western system democratic types.”

Taleb contends that since governments in Lebanon take turn, for example representing “opposition alliances”, as in Italy, the inherent and natural fluctuations in the system instability are resolved naturally.

Basically and literally, Taleb claimed that Lebanon political structure is immune to drastic revolts , on the ground that dictator regimes fall badly because the system try hard to control minor legitimate discontents, and consequently, the system is fragile when any major revolt strikes unexpectedly.

Either Taleb (Lebanese of origine)  is using selective memory, or he is faking not to be that familiar with the history of Lebanon’s political structure.

I suspect that Taleb confused catalysts with causes in the case of Lebanon, a confusion he frequently warned against, in analyzing the cases of the “Arab Spring” revolts and the financial crisis.

First, since independence in 1943, Lebanon officially recognized two failed internal coup d’etats, one in 1949 and another in 1961 (both done by the Lebanese-based Syria National Social party).  Lately, Lebanon witnessed a minor failed coup d’etat at the ministry of communication, because a private interest wanted to conserve its mobile communication business.

Second, Lebanon witnessed two officially recognized civil wars, one in 1958 and another one in 1975 that lasted 17 years.

Since the end of the civil war in 1991, Lebanon experienced a major military coup d’etat in 2008 that started in the Palestinian camp of Nahr el Bared around Tripoli:  The army needed 11 months to overcome the uprising of the Islamist salafists Jund al Sham, and hundreds of fallen martyrs and handicapped soldiers.

Beirut experienced a quick military coup in 2007 by Hezbollah, as the government attempted to control land communication lines.

The war of 2006 against Israel was actually a military coup perpetrated by the Lebanese government to control Hezbollah’s military might.

Third, Italy has true political parties with programs and policies.  The election laws in Italy are among the fairest and most equitable in the western States.  Frequent changes in governments didn’t prevent Italy to continue being among the leading economic powers in the world.

Italy is very generous in investing in the poorer nations and its grants are relied upon in most States around the Mediterranean Sea basin.  Italy has many contingents in the various UN peace-keeping forces…

Where as, for example, Lebanon is practically a Non-State country or a pseudo-State since its independence.  The 18 religious sects represent the main de-facto powers and also by law to exercising political influence.  Civil status of every “citizen” is run and administered by the officially recognized religious sects that own more than 50% of the land.  Every religious sect is backed by over three confessional “political parties”.

The two historically secular political parties, the Communist and the Syrian National Social parties, were denied participation in the Parliament via biased and tailored-made election laws and procedures.

The Syrian National Social party was recently permitted to enter the parliament, carried on the shoulders of other main confessional parties. 

The multi-theocratic system, backed by the financial institutions that lend Lebanon governments to cover budget deficit, have vested interests in prohibiting the constitution of any viable and sustainable modern State governing system.

Fourth, Lebanon lacks sustainable public institutions and any long-term programs and policies.  The only benefit the citizen enjoys is a mere passport.  There exist no serious governance for the people to march against and demand reforms.

Was Taleb aware of the actual conditions and situation in Lebanon for him to categorize Lebanon as falling in line within the “stable” political systems and immune to radical revolts as Italy?

The hot season has started in the northern hemisphere, and the Spring Revolt might cool off a bit.  In Lebanon, we missed the spring upheavals that swept the “Arab” world, but we planted the seed of a fresh drastic non-violent revolt for the next spring season.

The youth in Lebanon organized five marches in various cities in Lebanon demanding change in the confessional political structure.

Next Spring, the revolt will still be non-violent, but the target and purpose of the revolt will not be a matter of a reform here and another there.  The traditional “leaders” have demonstrated that they refuse to establish a functioning State for all “citizens”:  Lebanon has been run by Non-State governments, or care-taker governments.

The Youth Movement for Change must be ready for the dawn of the next spring season: It must start doing serious due diligence. For example,

1.  Specialized teams have to dig-up and dust-off the policies and programs stored in the basements of ministries.  The goal of reviewing and revising already studied programs is: “A political system from the people to the people”.

2. The Lebanese have to feel they are true citizens with equal rights under the law.

3. The Lebanese have to enjoy fair and equitable election laws that allow common people to accede to decision-making positions.

4. Laws have to be revised for citizens, regardless of genders, race, or religious affiliation, to have fair opportunities to all political positions and job opportunities in the public and private institutions and enterprises.

5. The Constitution has to be re-written to separate religion from civil power and responsibility…

Radical changes are possible: There are no other alternatives to patching up a rotten political and social structure.

It is not feasible to move on with small incremental reforms under the power of the ferocious religious and financial oligarchies that have been dominating our lives and subjugating us to constant instability and indignities.

We have grown up to be mature and responsible adult “citizens”.  Lebanon is Not immune to drastic revolts, and the next revolution will be successful!

Note 1: Nassim Taleb, a mathematician, was a trader and worked for 20 years as consultant to large investment banks in New York and London. He created Empirica LLC for trading.  He is engineering professor at the polytechnic institute at the University of New York.

Note 2: This article was posted 9 years ago. Currently, Lebanon is under a total bankruptcy at all levels: State, banks, Central Bank, financial and economy. Lebanon is going through drastic calamities: the electric-magnetic atomic pulse devastation of the Port of Beirut, and a lingering Covid-19 pandemics. 75% of the Lebanese are poor and no government is to be agreed upon.

Le plus grand Nuremberg de tous les temps se prépare

Par Jean-Michel Grau. 17/02/2021

Aujourd’hui, c’est un deuxième tribunal de Nuremberg qui se prépare, avec la mise en place d’une «Class Action» sous l’égide de milliers d’avocats mondiaux derrière l’avocat américano-allemand Reiner Fuellmich qui poursuit les responsables du scandale du Covid-19 instrumentalisé par le Forum de Davos.

À ce sujet, il est utile de rappeler que Reiner Fuellmich est l’avocat qui a réussi à condamner le géant de l’automobile Volkswagen dans l’affaire des pots catalytiques trafiqués.

Et c’est ce même avocat qui a réussi à condamner la Deutsche Bank comme entreprise criminelle.

Selon Reiner Fuellmich, toutes les fraudes des entreprises allemandes sont dérisoires comparées aux dommages que la crise du Covid-19 a causés et continue de causer.

Cette crise du Covid-19 doit être rebaptisée «Scandale du Covid-19» et tous les responsables doivent être poursuivis pour dommages civils pour cause de manipulations et de protocoles de tests falsifiés.

C’est pourquoi, un réseau international d’avocats d’affaires plaidera la plus grande affaire de délits civils de tous les temps, le scandale de la fraude Covid-19 qui s’est entre temps transformé en plus grand crime contre l’humanité jamais commis. 

Une commission d’enquête Covid-19 a été ouverte à l’initiative d’un collectif d’avocats allemands dans le but de faire un recours collectif au niveau international en utilisant le droit anglo-saxon.

Voici la traduction résumée de la dernière communication du Dr Fuellmich du 15/02/2021

« Les auditions d’une centaine de scientifiques, médecins, économistes, juristes de renommée internationale qui ont été menées par la commission d’enquête berlinoise sur l’affaire Covid-19 depuis le 10.07.2020, ont entre-temps montré avec une probabilité proche de la certitude que le scandale du Covid-19 n’était à aucun moment une affaire de santé.

Il s’agissait plutôt de bétonner le pouvoir — illégitime, car obtenu par des méthodes criminelles — de la “clique de Davos” corrompue, en transférant la richesse des populations aux membres de la clique de Davos, en détruisant, entre autres, les petites et moyennes entreprises en particulier.

Des plateformes comme Amazon, Google, Uber, etc. pourraient ainsi s’approprier leurs parts de marché et leurs richesses. »

État d’avancement de l’enquête du Comité Covid-19

  • a. Le Covid-19 comme tactique de diversion par les « élites » corporatistes et politiques dans le but de déplacer les parts de marché et la richesse des petites et moyennes entreprises vers des plateformes mondiales telles qu’Amazon, Google, Uber, etc.
  • b. Contribution de la taxe sur l’audiovisuel en vue de la reconstruction d’un nouveau paysage médiatique qui offre une véritable information indépendante
  • c. Sécurisation des structures agricoles régionales
  • d. Sécurisation d’une monnaie régionale pour éviter qu’une nouvelle monnaie ne vienne « d’en haut » pour être allouée en cas de bonne conduite
  • e. Considérations psychologiques de la situation : comment en est-on arrivé là ?

Recours en annulation de l’approbation d’une vaccination, déposé contre la Commission européenne, procès à New York du statut des tests PCR, procès allemands, procès canadiens, procès australiens, procès autrichiens, procès à la Cour de Justice Internationale et à la Cour Européenne des Droits de l’Homme.

« Nous avons constaté ce qui a été confirmé à maintes reprises : la dangerosité du virus est à peu près la même que celle de la grippe saisonnière, indépendamment qu’il s’agisse d’un nouveau virus (entièrement ou partiellement fabriqué) ou que nous ayons simplement affaire à une grippe rebaptisée “pandémie Covid-19”.

En attendant, les tests PCR de Drosten ne sont même pas capables de nous dire quoi que ce soit sur les infections contagieuses.

Pour aggraver les choses, les dommages sanitaires et économiques causés par les mesures anti covid ont été si dévastateurs qu’il faut parler d’un niveau de destruction historiquement unique. »

« Le fait qu’il n’ait jamais été question de santé est particulièrement évident, sinon que les injections de substances génétiquement expérimentales déguisées en “vaccination” causent maintenant de graves dommages, y compris des conséquences fatales, à une échelle de masse. 

La population mondiale a servi de cobaye à ces injections expérimentales de gènes à la fois progressivement et extrêmement rapidement. 

Afin de plonger la population dans la panique, des mesures de confinement dangereuses et nocives (même selon l’OMS) de port du masque obligatoire, inutile et dangereux, et de distanciation sociale, inutile et contre-productive, ont été introduites. La population était ainsi “prête” pour les injections. »

« En attendant, de plus en plus de personnes, et pas seulement des avocats — à juste titre — exigent, outre l’arrêt immédiat de ces mesures meurtrières, un contrôle juridictionnel par un tribunal international véritablement indépendant, sur le modèle des procès de Nuremberg. 

Un exemple de demande de ce type et un extrait émouvant d’une allocution du médecin anglais Dr Vernon Coleman peut être trouvé dans le lien suivant :(1)

En outre, une interview d’un lanceur d’alerte d’une maison de retraite berlinoise, témoigne que sur 31 personnes vaccinées là-bas, dont certaines par la force, en présence de soldats de la Bundeswehr, et dont le test était négatif avant la vaccination, 8 sont maintenant décédées et 11 sont sujettes à de graves effets secondaires. »(2)

Réunion extraordinaire du Comité Covid de Berlin mercredi 17/02/2021

« Dans ce contexte, une réunion extraordinaire du Comité Covid de Berlin aura lieu le mercredi 17.02.2021 en direct et avec de nombreux invités qui y participeront via Zoom.

À partir de 14 heures, l’état des lieux sera résumé. En outre, il sera question de la manière dont les contributions de la taxe sur la redevance audiovisuelle peuvent être conservées et utilisées pour la reconstruction d’un nouveau paysage médiatique qui serve réellement la liberté d’expression, et comment les contributions déjà versées pour la propagande insensée des 11 derniers mois peuvent être récupérées par le biais d’une mise en demeure.

Il y aura des contributions et des discussions sur la manière dont l’approvisionnement alimentaire peut être assuré, en particulier en renforçant l’agriculture régionale ; mais aussi en créant des monnaies régionales, si nécessaire avec le retour de l’UE à la CEE, sur la manière dont on peut s’assurer que la politique de la “clique de Davos”, basée sur l’impression de monnaie à partir de rien, peut être arrêtée et qu’un retour à des monnaies stables peut être réalisé.

Mais surtout, des experts nous expliqueront comment il a pu arriver que nous nous retrouvions dans cette situation de chantage inimaginable il y a encore un an.

Dans la deuxième partie de la session, qui débutera à 19 h, des personnalités de renommée mondiale et de haut niveau commenteront l’état des litiges juridiques internationaux en cours, y compris les différentes actions collectives, comme résumé ci-dessus. 

Mais il sera également question de la manière dont les principaux responsables, en particulier politiques, des crimes contre l’humanité commis ici peuvent et doivent être tenus pour responsables en droit civil et pénal dans le cadre d’une nouvelle Cour internationale de justice qui sera créée conformément aux directives des procès de Nuremberg avec une distribution internationale. »

Le lien vers la session spéciale du Comité Covid annoncée ici sera disponible le 17.02.2021 via le site web du Comité.(3)

Commentaire :

Pour bien comprendre ce qui est en train de se jouer avec ce nouveau tribunal de Nuremberg pour juger la plus grande affaire de délits civils de tous les temps, c’est en tirant sur le fil du mensonge du Dr Drosten pour avoir faussé le protocole des tests PCR pour le compte de la clique de Davos, que tout va venir avec.

Les commanditaires de l’oligarchie financière, Klaus Schwab, le grand architecte de cette gigantesque prise d’otages, les politiques à la tête de l’UE, bras armé de l’exécution des directives de Drosten et de l’OMS qui ont amené tous les gouvernements occidentaux à prendre hier les décisions ravageuses de confinement, de couvre-feu, de port du masque obligatoire et de distanciation sociale et aujourd’hui de vaccins mortifères pour les plus âgés d’entre nous.

« Ce sont ces vérités qui feront tomber les masques des responsables des crimes commis. Aux politiciens qui ont eu foi dans ces personnages corrompus », dit le Dr Fuellmich, « Les faits présentés ici sont la bouée de sauvetage susceptible de les aider à rectifier le tir et à entamer le débat scientifique tant attendu du public, afin d’éviter de couler en même temps que ces charlatans criminels ».

Ensuite, à la lumière de cette dernière communication du Dr Fuellmich, deux propositions de la réunion extraordinaire du Comité Covid de Berlin retiennent l’attention :

  • Tout d’abord la manière dont l’approvisionnement alimentaire peut être assuré, ce qui apparaît quelque peu surréaliste eu égard à la situation d’aujourd’hui. Si l’on se réfère au planning du Forum de Davos de Klaus Schwab, il n’en est rien. Celui-ci a bel et bien prévu une rupture de la chaîne alimentaire dès la fin du second semestre 2021.(4)
  • Ensuite, la création de monnaies régionales. Là, il est clair que le Comité Covid de Berlin anticipe déjà le krach boursier mondial qui s’annonce et dont l’oligarchie financière du Forum de Davos à la manœuvre compte bien profiter pour mettre en place la monnaie numérique européenne dans l’attente d’une monnaie mondiale pour créer un crédit social à la chinoise dont deviendra dépendante la classe moyenne de tous les peuples ruinés par la fermeture de leurs commerces, PMI— PME, industries culturelles et touristiques, équipements sportifs, etc.

Rien que ces deux aspects de la prise d’otage 2.0 dont le monde occidental est victime depuis bientôt un an devraient en toute logique être suffisamment motivants pour nous faire comprendre définitivement que nous sommes face à un “populicide” qui ne demande qu’à nous broyer si nous restons inertes, les bras ballants sans rien faire.

C’est pourquoi il convient à chacun d’entre nous de tout mettre en œuvre dès maintenant afin que cette coalition juridique internationale puisse être opérationnelle le plus tôt possible. Pour ce faire, que toutes celles et tous ceux d’entre nous qui souhaitent rejoindre l’action collective des avocats français pour participer à cette reconquête de nos libertés se mettent déjà en contact d’ici le 21 février avec l’action collective(5)

Notre survie est à ce prix ainsi que l’avenir de nos enfants.

How childhood trauma seriously affects health across a lifetime?

Posted on October 29, 2015

In the mid-’90s, the CDC and Kaiser Permanente discovered an exposure that dramatically increased the risk for 7 out of 10 of the leading causes of death in the United States.

In high doses (of  childhood trauma ), it affects brain development, the immune system, hormonal systems, and even the way our DNA is read and transcribed.

Folks who are exposed in very high doses have triple the lifetime risk of heart disease and lung cancer and a 20-year difference in life expectancy. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a mere syndrome among the more serious ones.

And yet, doctors today are not trained in routine screening or treatment. 

Now, the exposure I’m talking about is not a pesticide or a packaging chemical. It’s childhood trauma.

 By Nadine Burke Harris. TEDxSKE  link.

How childhood trauma affects health across a lifetime?

Childhood trauma isn’t something you just get over as you grow|

What kind of trauma am I talking about here? I’m not talking about failing a test or losing a basketball game. I am talking about threats that are so severe or pervasive that they literally get under our skin and change our physiology: things like abuse or neglect, or growing up with a parent who struggles with mental illness or substance dependence.  (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)

For a long time, I viewed these things in the way I was trained to view them, either as a social problem — refer to social services — or as a mental health problem — refer to mental health services.

And then something happened to make me rethink my entire approach.

When I finished my residency, I wanted to go someplace where I felt really needed, someplace where I could make a difference. So I came to work for California Pacific Medical Center, one of the best private hospitals in Northern California, and together, we opened a clinic in Bayview-Hunters Point, one of the poorest, most underserved neighborhoods in San Francisco.

Prior to that point, there had been only one pediatrician in all of Bayview to serve more than 10,000 children, so we hung a shingle, and we were able to provide top-quality care regardless of ability to pay. It was so cool.

We targeted the typical health disparities: access to care, immunization rates, asthma hospitalization rates, and we hit all of our numbers. We felt very proud of ourselves.

But then I started noticing a disturbing trend. A lot of kids were being referred to me for ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, but when I actually did a thorough history and physical, what I found was that for most of my patients, I couldn’t make a diagnosis of ADHD.

Most of the kids I was seeing had experienced such severe trauma that it felt like something else was going on. Somehow I was missing something important.

Before I did my residency, I did a master’s degree in public health, and one of the things that they teach you in public health school is that if you’re a doctor and you see 100 kids that all drink from the same well, and 98 of them develop diarrhea, you can go ahead and write that prescription for dose after dose after dose of antibiotics, or you can walk over and say, “What the hell is in this well?”

So I began reading everything that I could get my hands on about how exposure to adversity affects the developing brains and bodies of children.

And then one day, my colleague walked into my office, and he said, “Dr. Burke, have you seen this?” In his hand was a copy of a research study called the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study.

That day changed my clinical practice and ultimately my career.

 The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study is something that everybody needs to know about. It was done by Dr. Vince Felitti at Kaiser and Dr. Bob Anda at the CDC, and together, they asked 17,500 adults about their history of exposure to what they called “adverse childhood experiences,” or ACEs.

Those include physical, emotional, or sexual abuse; physical or emotional neglect; parental mental illness, substance dependence, incarceration; parental separation or divorce; or domestic violence.

For every yes, you would get a point on your ACE score. And then what they did was they correlated these ACE scores against health outcomes. What they found was striking.

Two things:

Number one, ACEs are incredibly common. 67%of the population had at least one ACE, and 12.6%, one in eight, had four or more ACEs.

The second thing that they found was that there was a dose-response relationship between ACEs and health outcomes: the higher your ACE score, the worse your health outcomes.

For a person with an ACE score of 4 or more, their relative risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease was two and a half times that of someone with an ACE score of zero.

For hepatitis, it was also 2.5 times. 

For depression, it was 4.5 times.

For suicide tendency, it was 12 times.

A person with an ACE score of 7 or more had triple the lifetime risk of lung cancer and 3.5 times the risk of ischemic heart disease, the number one killer in the United States of America.

This makes sense.

Some people looked at this data and they said, “Come on. You have a rough childhood, you’re more likely to drink and smoke and do all these things that are going to ruin your health. This isn’t science. This is just bad behavior.”

It turns out this is exactly where the science comes in.

We now understand better than we ever have before how exposure to early adversity affects the developing brains and bodies of children.

1. It affects areas like the nucleus accumbens, the pleasure and reward center of the brain that is implicated in substance dependence.

2. It inhibits the prefrontal cortex, which is necessary for impulse control and executive function, a critical area for learning.

3. And on MRI scans, we see measurable differences in the amygdala, the brain’s fear response center.

So there are real neurologic reasons why folks exposed to high doses of adversity are more likely to engage in high-risk behavior, and that’s important to know.

But it turns out that even if you don’t engage in any high-risk behavior, you’re still more likely to develop heart disease or cancer. 

The reason for this has to do with the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis, the brain’s and body’s stress response system that governs our fight-or-flight response.

How does it work? 

Imagine you’re walking in the forest and you see a bear. Immediately, your hypothalamus sends a signal to your pituitary, which sends a signal to your adrenal gland that says, “Release stress hormones! Adrenaline! Cortisol!” And so your heart starts to pound, your pupils dilate, your airways open up, and you are ready to either fight that bear or run from the bear.

And that is wonderful if you’re in a forest and there’s a bear. 

But the problem is what happens when the bear comes home every night, and this system is activated over and over and over again, and it goes from being adaptive, or life-saving, to maladaptive, or health-damaging?

Children are especially sensitive to this repeated stress activation, because their brains and bodies are just developing. High doses of adversity not only affect brain structure and function, they affect the developing immune system, developing hormonal systems, and even the way our DNA is read and transcribed.

For me, this information threw my old training out the window, because when we understand the mechanism of a disease, when we know not only which pathways are disrupted, but how, then as doctors, it is our job to use this science for prevention and treatment. That’s what we do.

So in San Francisco, we created the Center for Youth Wellness to prevent, screen and heal the impacts of ACEs and toxic stress.

We started simply with routine screening of every one of our kids at their regular physical, because I know that :

1. if my patient has an ACE score of 4, she’s two and a half times as likely to develop hepatitis or COPD, she’s four and half times as likely to become depressed, and she’s 12 times as likely to attempt to take her own life as my patient with zero ACEs.

2. I know that when she’s in my exam room.

For our patients who do screen positive, we have a multidisciplinary treatment team that works to reduce the dose of adversity and treat symptoms using best practices, including home visits, care coordination, mental health care, nutrition, holistic interventions, and yes, medication when necessary.

But we also educate parents about the impacts of ACEs and toxic stress the same way you would for covering electrical outlets, or lead poisoning, and we tailor the care of our asthmatics and our diabetics in a way that recognizes that they may need more aggressive treatment, given the changes to their hormonal and immune systems.

So the other thing that happens when you understand this science is that you want to shout it from the rooftops, because this isn’t just an issue for kids in Bayview.

I figured the minute that everybody else heard about this, it would be routine screening, multi-disciplinary treatment teams, and it would be a race to the most effective clinical treatment protocols.

Yeah. That did not happen. And that was a huge learning for me.

What I had thought of as simply best clinical practice I now understand to be a movement.

In the words of Dr. Robert Block, the former President of the American Academy of Pediatrics, “Adverse childhood experiences are the single greatest unaddressed public health threat facing our nation today.”

And for a lot of people, that’s a terrifying prospect. The scope and scale of the problem seems so large that it feels overwhelming to think about how we might approach it.

But for me, that’s actually where the hopes lies, because when we have the right framework, when we recognize this to be a public health crisis, then we can begin to use the right tool kit to come up with solutions.

From tobacco to lead poisoning to HIV/AIDS, the United States actually has quite a strong track record with addressing public health problems, but replicating those successes with ACEs and toxic stress is going to take determination and commitment, and when I look at what our nation’s response has been so far, I wonder, why haven’t we taken this more seriously?

You know, at first I thought that we marginalized the issue because it doesn’t apply to us. That’s an issue for those kids in those neighborhoods. Which is weird, because the data doesn’t bear that out.

The original ACEs study was done in a population that was 70 percent Caucasian, 70 percent college-educated.

But then, the more I talked to folks, I’m beginning to think that maybe I had it completely backwards. If I were to ask how many people in this room grew up with a family member who suffered from mental illness, I bet a few hands would go up.

And then if I were to ask how many folks had a parent who maybe drank too much, or who really believed that if you spare the rod, you spoil the child, I bet a few more hands would go up.

Even in this room, this is an issue that touches many of us, and I am beginning to believe that we marginalize the issue because it does apply to us. Maybe it’s easier to see in other zip codes because we don’t want to look at it. We’d rather be sick.

 Fortunately, scientific advances and, frankly, economic realities make that option less viable every day. The science is clear: Early adversity dramatically affects health across a lifetime.

Today, we are beginning to understand how to interrupt the progression from early adversity to disease and early death, and 30 years from now, the child who has a high ACE score and whose behavioral symptoms go unrecognized, whose asthma management is not connected, and who goes on to develop high blood pressure and early heart disease or cancer will be just as anomalous as a six-month mortality from HIV/AIDS.

People will look at that situation and say, “What the heck happened there?” This is treatable. 

This is beatable. The single most important thing that we need today is the courage to look this problem in the face and say, this is real and this is all of us. I believe that we are the movement.

Late Oriana Fallaci visions are as senile as those of John’s

Posted on June 21, 2010

Note: I decided to abridge a previous article denouncing the rambling of late Oriana Fallaci against Muslims and comparing the new extremist factions behavior as resembling St. John’s apocalyptic vision.

Oriana Fallaci is an Italian journalist turned writer; she was dying of cancer when she published her last book “Fallaci interviews Fallaci” followed by “Apocalypse”. 

Fallaci was a very liberal personality most of her life, defending the oppressed, until she turned sour and dissatisfied with the state of affairs perpetrated by the slaughtering of foreign hostages by Muslim extremists in Russia, Iraq and Afghanistan. 

Yes, Fallaci was furious that most of the recent terrorist activities in Europe such as in Spain, Italy, France, Holland and Russia were perpetrated by Muslims. (Until the far-right movements in these countries took over the terrorist activities)

Fallaci practiced selective amnesia in this book to avoid mentioning the genocides and terrorist activities in former Yugoslavia that were perpetrated by Christians, Catholics and Orthodox, and the daily terrorism in Iraq among the Muslims sects of Sunni and Shia.  

Fallaci went as far as supporting anyone, even Nazis or fascists, as long that the political program was to stop Muslim’ immigration to Europe and to never provide them with the legitimacy of a European citizenship. 

Fallaci ended her career by lashing out at legislations that permit homosexuals and lesbians to officially marry and adopt children “because it is a sin” and contrary to human procreation process. 

Oriana Fallaci had made up her mind that there are no moderate Muslims, lest they are Muslims by birth but are no longer practicing  believers: simply because the Koran is the Koran and there is no way to interpret the Sourates to coincide with civil laws in the western nations. 

The vehement attitude of Fallaci toward Islam stems from two premises:

First, all of the terrorist attacks in the World are perpetrated by Muslims, and

Second, the practices of Muslims’ behavior in the Western World are based on the teaching of the Koran which cannot be reconciled with the rational civil laws in the western countries they live in.

 I have responded on these two premises in my previous article and will focus on the alternative apocalyptic versions.

Fallacy used St. John’s apocalyptic vision to offer her version of Islam as the Monster and enliven her ejaculations and substantiate her stand, as if a flawed concept can be clarified by a more obscure premise. 

In St. John’s apocalyptic version a Monster with seven heads and ten horns would emerge from the sea and the Beast on land would execute all the Monster’s orders until the an angel descend from heaven and lock the Monster and punish the Beasts.

Thus, the Monster is Islam and the Beast is represented by the European liberals and leaders who are trying to appease Muslims and exhorting them to moderation by dangling carrots instead of raising the heavy sticks.

The Monster is to emerge from the sea, though the Muslim World is mostly a vast desert until now.  Either the 100-years old St. John was completely dehydrated, and thus seeing mirages, or he had a vision of another Ice Age period and thus, wet continents have exchanged climatic states, or Fallaci was getting out of whack and delving into uncharted territories.

For the time being, the USA is the only superpower located smack between the Pacific and the Atlantic.

The USA has waged two World Wars and invaded Asia and Europe and the only superpower to have landed troops in all continents and are still present, even after the end of the last “hot” world war more than 60 years ago.

The USA has many heads in finance, economy, technology, sciences, mass media, music and movie production, agriculture, and a military supremacy with extra three horns in space exploration, maritime hegemony, and genetic experimentation. 

The Beast can be represented by the world States leaders executing the US Administrations orders, then the intelligencia and educated people interpreting favorably the misinformation that the successive US administrations are propagating to spread democracy by pre-emptive wars.

Many leaders are emulating the Beast, either out of fear of economic embargo, sanctions, military reprisals, ordered terrorist activities, or because of local politics, or allegiance to the neo-conservative program. 

So far, many nations have joined the Bush Junior war on Iraq without the UN approval , and most of them have ended up retrieving their troops after seeing the light or their leaders failing in elections. 

The three main Beasts to shoulder this pre-emptive war were Blair of Britain, Saudi Kingdom and Israel. 

I will only focus on the Saudi Monarchy/Theocracy Beast.

Wolfowitz has said after the US troops entered Iraq: “Now, we can get our troops out of Saudi Arabia, after twenty years, without fear of destabilizing the region.” 

There is no doubt that Saudi Kingdom not only encouraged the US with its plan to invade Iraq but also financed this campaign directly and indirectly. 

The Saudi Wahhabi sect caste was first, getting revenge on the Iraqis for giving their supremacy over the other castes in Saudi Arabia, the scare of their life in 1993: Saddam  invaded Kuwait and approached the Saudi Kingdom and

Second, the Wahhabi caste was encouraging the US to get its troops out of Saudi Arabia because Bin Laden was recruiting heavily on the basis of the “infidel Christians” spreading their impurity in the land,

Third, because the Saudi Monarchy and Wahhabi caste are completely reliant on the US to maintain their social structure, and

Fourth to keep communist China influence out of the Iraq, Iran, and Syria.

The Monster can be named; it is the neo-conservatives, Evangelical “Christians” in the USA.  They are an amalgam of dozens of Baptist and Protestant sects with the single main belief in the process of how the Second Coming of their Messiah is going to happen.

The neo-conservatives are clamoring that all the Jews should be relocated in Israel and then, after the Jews re-build their famous Temple in Jerusalem, they will launch a targeted crusade toward Israel, with the intention of Christianizing the new heretics of Jews; this campaign would be effective and completed and only then the Messiah would feel comfortable to come back!

The odds are the neo-conservatives would repeat Titus’ feat of destroying the newly erected Temple and scatter the Jews all over the world.  If the Jews believe that the support of the USA is free of charge then they are under the spell of the demon; the Jews will have to pay back everything with high interest too.         

 Fallaci had a most striking interpretation of why the intelligent Oussama Ben Laden decided to televise an appearance a couple of days before the second Presidential US election of Bush Junior.  Ben Laden warned the Americans that if they re-elect Bush then he will have no option but to repeat another deadly strike. 

Bin Laden knew that his speech will galvanize the arrogant US citizens into shedding their apathy for voting and move in mass to voting heavily for Bush against the favorite Kerry. 

The Bush Administration needed Bin Laden alive to sustain their propaganda against Islam and linger a while longer in Iraq.  Bin Laden needed Bush in power to recruit heavily among the anti-American Muslims.

This is the ultimate deal between the staunchest extremist Beasts to wreak havoc in the world and create a definite cultural clash between the Christian West and the Islamic World.

The current generally rigid Islam is a major factor to the prevention of effective communication between the West and the Muslim World but it is not the only main factor. 

Most of the Muslim World is organized in Caste Systems (closed religious autonomous sects) due to the influence of India and the domination of the successive Mongol Empires to the whole region for over ten centuries. 

The most effective venue is not to lambaste mercilessly Islam but to aid our region to gradually break out of our caste structures so that we may communicate internally as a society and then open up to the West later on as people free to speak and publish our opinions without undue internal harassments.

This gradual change is not meant to impose democracy by pre-emptive wars but to allow our societies to invent alternative open systems that work in each Middle East States.

Currently, a substitute Beast will be propagandized: China.

I could not help but write a short poem related to the same theme.  Worst, I could not help but sharing it with you; it is titled “Redundant Prophets“:

Tormented youths, hearing voices, experiencing apocalyptic nightmares,

Seeking desperately a corner in a desert,

Preferably when available nearby,

In desolate locations, in complete isolation,

To exorcise their dark dreams,

Their oppressive loneliness, the demons in their soul,

And to find peace of mind.

Archangel Gabriel materialized to a few of them,

Talking to them in a centaur voice,

Vast and reaching the skies,

Or plainly in a human form, surrounded with blinding light.

Gabriel would not let them in peace,

He would harass them during their wretched life,

Urging them to fear the Unique God,

And pray and glorify God’s name, and proselytize in God’s name.

Most were not as lucky in fame,

And have never seen a divine apparition;

They did pass that critical phase in life, in good mental stability,

And reduced level of exacerbated anxiousness.

The difference between Prophets and young crazies

Can be traced to the genetic laziness of Gabriel;

Or most likely to the current glut in redundant prophets.

There is no hope for most Lebanese who are Not from the “elite class

By Adib Y Tohme

There is no hope for this generation, born before the war and who spent his life pretending that everything is going well in a country where everything went wrong.

The generation of the 50 year-old, who thought they had lived in the shade of false peace and finds themselves forced to do everything back to survive.

There is no hope for this generation whose only hope is to expatriate to compete with the generation of their children in markets where the experience, maturity, expertise they have gained for decades have become heavy weight to manage.

There is no hope, but in fact who still dares to speak of hope among this disillusioned, desperate generation that finds itself overnight at the end of the roll, lost, lazy not to understand what’s happening to him in order not to sink ..

Who still dares to talk about hope when trust is no longer viable?

No trust in bankers who were very busy to attract Dollars deposits in return for high interest rate on to replace their own money transferred abroad, and for losing on investments oversea.

No confidence in the central bank governor Riad Salami, supposed to build a climate of confidence in the banking system, and who is charged with money laundering by Swiss justice.

No confidence in the head of the house Nabih Berri, who by playing a small unmovable dictator in his chamber of deputies, has transformed parliament into a museum of political dinosaurs and where every deputy was allocated a monopoly on a section of the economy.

No confidence in the former head of government Saad Hariri, who resigned promptly when everything was going to collapse and failing to deliver on promises and grants, wants to come back when everything really collapsed and failing to constitute a government, after months of being designated to quickly form a government, as he announced.

No trust in the President of the Republic Michel Aoun, who negotiated his election with the same sectarian/feudal, civil war leaders , and failed to transform any hope for change and reform into politics of managing with the same leaders of the failed system: helpless and unable to move forward on any reforms.

No confidence in the Secretary General of Hezbollah who, as a true guide to the republic, is driving a torn country from collapse to marginalization under the heavy sanctions of the US to our financial system.

No trust in any political parties, journalists, judges, public officials, all those who gravitate around people of power in organized corruption networks.

Everyone who knew but couldn’t do anything before the drama and claim it’s always too late to act.

No trust in the people.

This people submissive when they believed they had everything, and can’t become free or less enslaved when they realize they have nothing left.

What to do? What can be done? To where from here and now?

Try, try again, try to shake consciousness, scare to try to create a click, fail again, fail better, swallow even more to disappear.

Note: Public optimism is the opium for the downtrodden.

Ask Master Trump on how he is going to make America Great. Ask Stalin, Mao, Hitler…

Save the Yemeni people from mass genocide in this insane war and for No reasonable cause.

A vicious armed conflict of landmines and airstrikes has devastated the population, triggering a humanitarian crisis like no others, Not even in the Congo, Somalia, Sudan… and for an entire generation.

As of December, 100,000 children under the age of five are so severely malnourished that they could die if they do not receive urgent treatment.

Take a good look at this picture. This 4-year old weighs only 14 pounds. Starving children don’t cry.

Take Action Now!
A picture posted By Avaaz in their pleas for donations

How many pictures of dying children the world community requires to get off their bureaucratic chairs and get moving and active to remedy to this insane war?

A war launched on one of the poorest countries, even before Saudi Kingdom, US, Britain, France, Israel and Emirates decided to eradicate this people and its civilization off the face of the globe?

We have seen such kinds of pictures in many countries in the world and for many decades, children dying of famine, of degraded quality of water, of lack of available medicines… following “civil wars”, climate change, and forgotten sustainable projects to give remote people a chance to survive.

How many of these pictures must the colonial powers needs to revise their exploitation programs at the expense of people and the degradation of nature?

The tiny bodies of these wasted children can no longer cry. Instead they use every last calorie to keep their organs pumping. But the mothers cannot stop crying for them, the last of the tears that both of them can shed.

Over 17,000 civilians died from bombs (as accounted by world organizations and US, as well as over 100,000 other children in Yemen who starved to death, unable to get enough food or medical care during the devastating civil war.

There are millions in Yemenis who will Not live to maturity, handicapped, life expectancy drastically reduced… when “humanitarian aids” reached them, at the end of the tunnel.

Half of all medical facilities have been destroyed or forced to close, and 80% of the population needs urgent humanitarian aid — including 12 million children.

Take Action Now!
A picture posted By Avaaz in their pleas for donations

Medics, volunteers, and humanitarian groups are trying to fill the gaps. Most probably, these groups are Not allowed to enter this war-zone, or even be allowed to bring in what is necessary to alleviate the miseries.

Even as the bombs keep falling, local aid workers and volunteers are going all out to provide for everyone they can — setting up hospitals, delivering emergency food aid, and life-saving surgery on the very frontlines of a most brutal war.

What kinds of aids are needed right now, immediately?

  • Help fund critical medical facilities in devastated areas of Yemen;
  • Provide life-saving food aid for thousands of desperate families;
  • Ensure thousands of people have access to critical medicines and pay for a fleet of ambulances;  
  • Fund mobile clinics and power medical centres with emergency generators. 

Swapping Punishment and counter Revenge at the expense of people in Lebanon, including the refugees, Palestinians and Syrians)

Note: This idea came to me in a flash and made plenty of sense given the many concording evidences, months and years after the events that happened in Lebanon. This conjecture is Never approached in articles and news, on the ground that the “active” feuds between Israel and US administration should be taboos.

The US embassy in Lebanon does Not need many secret agents: It receive intelligence pieces directly from the sources: ministers, deputies, Central Bank, private banks, and all its institutions.

The employees “agents” in every Lebanese institution are trained to recognize the kinds of fresh information that the US desire to obtain for the control of Lebanon “politics”

Most of the other embassies, with a few exceptions, receive the intelligence that the US wants to share with them, and in return they also share their intelligence with the US embassy.

Lebanon is ideal carrefour for collecting and swapping intelligence pieces in Lebanon and mostly of the “Arabic’ and Islamic States. That is why this pseudo-State is Not to erased from among the UN States.

Actually, most Lebanese “politicians” and in high level positions prefer to play double and triple agents, which is fine if they “register” as such with the US embassy, as long as they have “no direct contact” with the other agents without the approval for certain events and for a period.

Occasionally, and for local politics in Israel, Israel likes to forget that it is a tiny State and totally dependent on the US and has to plan a priori with the US in Lebanon politics.

In these circumstances, when Israel decide to play the strong partner in Lebanon or the adjacent States without the approval of the US, Israel is punished for tarnishing the “standing” of the US in this strategic turntable of intelligence swapping for the entire Middle-East, once Israel activities turn sour and it is the US that has to pay the dear price in the region.

Israel had deliberately targeted the US Liberty intelligence ship during the 1967 war, for 3 hours and killed 33 navy men. The US buried this bloody “accident” to the public, but I conjecture that is why the US didn’t build or sold any warships to Israel. It is the job of Germany to fund Israel war ships and submarine and built in France.

The US never forgot the heavy casualties it suffered in 1983 to its marines for the blowing of their headquarter close to Lebanon airport. Israel reneged on the deal to vacate Beirut and most of the occupied territories, and to quickly withdraw to the stretch of land in the south, a land that it occupied for 23 years.

The US responded by allowing Syria to get a mandated power over Lebanon politics in order to clip Israel control over many politicians.

And the resistance against Israel forces was launched that ended in Israel withdrawal in 2000 without any explicit pre-conditions.

The pre-emptive war in 2006 that lasted for 33 days is another tragic events.

I conjecture that the US was Not ready to launch this war on Hezbollah and Lebanon at this time, but Israel, for local politics, lied that it can destroy Hezbollah military forces.

A week into the war, Israel discovered that the morale of its army was Not at par with the goal of the war. Israel wanted to stop the war, but the US was outraged for being lead/dragged to this war and pressured Israel to resume the war, against all odds.

Israel ended up begging the US to quickly demand a cease fire.

In retaliation for this fiasco, the US got its revenge in 2008 by leaking the “safe havens” of Israel Mossad locations in Beirut to Hezbollah.

Within 3 days, Hezbollah had “closed” all of Israel spy networks in Lebanon and pressured the dual Lebanese political agents to desist from direct contact with Israel. And the US regained some of its standing with easy direct intelligence from Lebanon institutions.

Feeling safe, the nonchalance of the US control of Lebanon lead to the total bankruptcy of the State of Lebanon at all levels: US policies encouraged Lebanon civil war “leaders” to loot the wealth of Lebanon and its budgets since 2008.

Note: Israel is at odd with US policies in Lebanon. Israel has decided that “No more military pre-emptive wars on Lebanon, Not even on a smaller scale”. Israel desires a “stable” Hezbollah. Otherwise, Israel will be sucked into successive nightwares.




March 2021

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