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Our World: The Implosion of Iraq and the New Caliphate
Sunday, 13 July 2014 23:56
In my last update to this blog on June 15, I said that the ill-fated invasion of Iraq by ex-president bush and his cohorts in 2003 and its aftermath , was nothing but a terrible tragedy, but really  astounding things has happened in the wake of the sectarian deterioration and renewed acts of extremely serious violence in Iraq and that is  the people whose actions led to these natural, predictable catastrophes are becoming re-invented and have been appearing onto the major television channels and op-ad pages to offer their opinions to what needs to be done instead of offering profuse apologies and the promise of penance. But I am not going back today to that very sad history , because I want  to talk about the events which followed the stunning successes of the insurgents , who with a sudden drive into Mosul, which is the second largest city in the country were able to subjugate it in a very short time and then  they started moving southward and eastward ending with controlling almost all of northern Iraq, and to celebrate their success they said on June 30 that they were establishing an Islamic caliphate on the territories they  control in Iraq and Syria, a proclamation which was replete with religious, cultural and historical symbolism, they also proclaimed their leader as caliph, which means "leader for Muslims everywhere" and demanded that all Muslims pledge allegiance to him and reject democracy and what they said was  garbage from the west. They abandoned their early name, the Islamic state of Iraq and Syria [ISIS], and adopted a new name, the Islamic state. This declaration harkens back to the rise of Islam when the Prophet Muhammad's followers conquered vast territories in the middle Ages and setup a state which was governed under strict Islamic law, this became a dream which has been sought by many jihadists but this caliphate with its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi at its head, is very different from its forebears. Its announcement will be rejected by many Muslims, but it will be cast aside by many Muslims even if they believe in the concept of a caliphate, as perfidious, premature and blasphemous.
Iraq: Sinking Into the Abyss
Monday, 16 June 2014 02:26

The ill-fated invasion of Iraq by ex-president Bush and his cohorts, and its aftermath are nothing but a terrible tragedy.  I have discussed this crazy adventure on this blog on many occasions, but today I am going to talk about what has been happening there during the last few days which was a great calamity.  The recent calamitous events started with the Islamic state of Iraq and Syria [ISIS], who with a sudden with a drive into Mosul, the second largest city in the country, were able to subjugate it in a very short time and from there started to move southward and eastward ending with controlling almost all of northern Iraq.  ISIS is an extremely radical Islamic group which is dreaming of creating a new caliphate in Sunni areas of Iraq and in Syria under the Islamic Sharia law which covers both religious and non-religious aspects of life, something similar to the old Taliban regime in Afghanistan, the group was formed by Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, born in Samarra, where his family was from.  Very little is known about him, but a biography posted on jihadist websites last year said he held a Ph.D. in Islamic studies from a university in the capital.  ISIS has been responsible for most of the killing which was tormenting Iraq for the last few years, which claimed more than 5,000 lives this year only, but all that does not compare with what they accomplished very recently when during a little more than a week which started with their drive into Mosul, an absolutely stunning exploit which was described by many people as an earthquake.

Our World: The Contest for the Big Prize
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Saturday, 24 May 2014 18:41

For the last three months, the world has been spun into a very serious crisis, an East West confrontation reminiscent of the standoffs between the Soviet Union and the West, a cold war which ended in 1991 following the demise of the Soviet Empire.  The recent crisis between the West and the Russian Federation [the name Russia was given after the dissolution of the Soviet Union], the crisis resulted from the latter’s annexation on March 18 of the Crimean peninsula, the Russian move was rejected by the United States the EU and Ukraine who reacted to it by imposing a series of sanctions, which included visa and travel bans and the freezing of bank accounts of some of the most senior Russian officials, but it exempted Putin himself, who in fact he responded to it to it by prompting rebellions in two very important provinces in the south eastern part of Ukraine [Donetsk and Lugansk] which are  populated by a majority of Russian speaking people who started with Putin’s help to arm themselves and began occupying official buildings and government offices, gaining increasing influence and power in their areas, who later on conducted referendums in their areas that showed an overwhelming preference by the people to secede from Ukraine and join Russia.  As of now the situation is stalled, but there is no doubt that Russia would ultimately absorb them.  This is not the final end of the game, this is only the first round in the war between Russia and the west for the control of Eurasia, because whoever controls Eurasia will be supreme in the world, Eurasia is the big prize.

The Ukraine Crisis: The Crimean Referendum and after
Wednesday, 23 April 2014 16:15

The referendum on the status of Crimea was held on March 16, 2014. The polling started at 6 AM local time and lasted 12 hours, the people were asked whether they wanted to join Russia as a federal subject, or if they wanted to restore the 1992 Crimean constitution and Crimea's status as part of Ukraine. The European Union, United States, Canada and several other nations condemned the decision to hold the referendum. In addition the Tatar who make about 12% of the peninsula’s population who are Sunni Muslims, called for a boycott of the vote. On march 15 The United Nations Security Council failed to adopt a resolution declaring the referendum invalid, because Russia vetoed it, However, the Crimean parliament and the Sevastopol city council considered the ousting of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych on Feb. 22 as a coup , and the new interim government in Kiev as illegitimate. As a response to these developments, the Crimean leadership argued that they had to enquire of their people what they wanted for their future, whether they want to stay with the Ukraine or they preferred to go to Russia, so they scheduled a referendum for Sunday March 16, during which the Crimean officials declared that over 97% of voters supported the choice to join Russia with a turnout of over 80% of the 1.5 milion Crimean who were eligible to vote, the next day Crimea declared its independence from Ukraine the and requested to join the Russian Federation. On the same day, Russia recognized Crimea as a sovereign state.

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