Voices from Russia

Sunday, 9 January 2011

A Ray of Hope: Muslims Offer Their Bodies as Human Shields at Coptic Christmas Liturgy

Coptic clergy in Amman (Jordan) offer prayers for those killed in the Alexandria church bombing…

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Especially in light of recent events, we need to see the good things around us. This is an all-too-rare moment, but it’s a ray of hope. Egypt’s majority Muslim population stuck to its word Thursday night. Muslims honoured their promise of solidarity to the weary Coptic community when thousands of Muslims showed up at Coptic Christmas Eve services in churches around the country and at outdoor candlelight vigils. From the well-known to the unknown, Muslims offered their bodies as “human shields” for last night’s liturgy, making a pledge to fight the threat of Islamic militants together with their Coptic neighbours. They want to move towards an Egypt free from sectarian strife.

Muslims protect a Coptic church by their presence at Christmas services

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“We either live together, or we die together”, were the blunt words of Mohamed El-Sawy, a Muslim arts tycoon whose cultural centre distributed flyers at churches in Cairo Thursday night, and who was credited with first floating the “human shield” idea. Among those shields were movie stars Adel Imam and Yousra, popular preacher Amr Khaled, the two sons of President Hosni Mubarak, and thousands of citizens who said that they consider the attack on a Christian church was an attack on Egypt as a whole. “This isn’t about ‘us’ and ‘them’”, said Dalia Mustafa, a student who attended liturgy at Virgin Mary Church on Maraashly. “We’re one. This was an attack on Egypt as a whole, and I’m standing with the Copts because the only way that things will change in this country is if we come together”. In the days following the brutal attack on All Saints Church in Alexandria, which left 21 dead on New Year’ eve, solidarity between Muslims and Copts hit unprecedented highs. Millions of Egyptians changed their Facebook profile pictures to the image of a cross within a crescent, symbolising “One Egypt for All”. Around the city, banners went up calling for unity, depicting mosques and churches, crosses and crescents, together as one.

9 January 2011

Susie Madrak

Crooks and Liars

http://crooksandliars.com/susie-madrak/ray-hope-muslims-offer-their-bodies-h

Editor’s Note:

Thank you, to my correspondent who pointed up this article to me. Let’s keep it simple and focused. The Tea Party and the wingnut extremists who follow them are pushing hatred. Just look at the recent shooting in Arizona! That’s the end result of the hatred spouted by Limbaugh, Palin, Beck, Coulter, et al. There’s only one way to stop them… to stand physically in their way and shout, “NO!” You can’t be nice about it… it’ll do nothing but rile you (the rightwing nutters won’t notice you one little bit). Get out the cosh and brain ‘em! That’s the only language they understand! Don’t forget, the REAL Church doesn’t hate Muslims, it doesn’t support an oligarchic dictatorship, and it doesn’t worship money as the Limbuaghs, Palins, and Becks of this world do. REALLY STAND UP FOR JESUS! Cosh a rightwinger today… God will bless you for it!

BMD

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A Sign of a Crack in the OCA Edifice… A Cleric Condemns the Tea Party’s Warmongering

Filed under: Christian,Orthodox life,politics,religious,USA — 01varvara @ 00.00

Do ponder the fact that the Republican Party prefers to use such violent and extralegal means as their “method of first resort”… “Pro-Life?” I think NOT.

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These guys run loose in this country and do stupid stuff. There’s no authority over them, so you can’t come down on them hard when they escalate force… They shoot people, and someone else has to deal with the aftermath. It happens all over the place.

Brigadier General Karl Horst, US Army

(Speaking of DynCorp mercenaries in Iraq)

Editor’s Foreword:

A friend sent this on to me… it’s important because the ultimate source is an OCA clergyman. As everyone knows, Paffhausen is a radical extremist Tea Party wingnut (along with such dubious konvertsy types as Dreher, Nelson, Mattingly, and Whiteford). Do you remember his hissy fit over “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell?” Do you remember how he refused to be in New York when a bishop of the UOC (MP) opened an important exhibition, because he had to meet the First Profit of the Mormons in Washington DC at a neocon soirée? That means that any OCA clergyman who speaks against the Tea Party takes his “life” in his hands… it’s an indication of courage and uprightness. It’s why I’m keeping the original informant anonymous, even though my correspondent named him. I’ve always held priest’s identities inviolate and private… Piggy Iggy Burdikoff, Alexander Lebedeff, Gregory Jensen, and Roman Krassovsky are nasty sorts… and they’re NOT alone, unfortunately. Any priest who speaks up, even anonymously, puts his situation in jeopardy. So… this is a sign of a crack in the OCA edifice… don’t try to guess the author… such guesses are usually wrong.

Given that JP is such a rightwing lunatic, is he taking CIA money (as the ROCOR did prior to the fall of the Sovs)? There’s no open evidence, to be sure, but all parties know how the former US Ambassador to the Ukraine tried interfering in the ROCOR Sobor prior to the reconciliation… and how JP’s trip to Georgia didn’t receive wide Russian press coverage (how DID the OCA finance such a trip when it can’t afford institutional necessities?). It’s an interesting question…

BMD

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WikiLeaks revealed what many fairly well knew for a long time. American defence contractors in Afghanistan used US taxpayers’ money to finance paedophilia and the rape of boys in Afghanistan. In particular, this was evident in DynCorp’s practises. This has been going on since the invasion of Afghanistan and the bringing in of private (mercenary) contractors. Do your research, check it out, and see if that’s really what you want your tax dollars to pay for. Where are all the self-righteous Tea Party extremists on this issue? We wouldn’t expect Palin so speak up on it since she likely has no idea where Afghanistan is, and if she doesn’t have a dictionary and someone to read it for her, she wouldn’t know what paedophilia is; but there are other Tea Party right-wingnut Religious types who are intelligent enough to know about these things, but they don’t seem to care in the least. After all, they’re doing all this to protect America from Fundamentalism, aren’t they?

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Editor’s Afterword:

Newspaper accounts state that Herbert Lanese, the CEO of DynCorp, said of striking workers, when he headed the McDonnell Douglas aerospace unit, “You have to look at them like I do, as your mortal enemy. I wish they were dead. I wish their children would starve to death. I wish they would lose their houses”. He denied it, of course, but as this nihilist pig wanted to outsource work to foreign sweatshops so that he’d earn an obscenely fat bonus, I wouldn’t give his denial much weight at all. If such is so, the reports about DynCorp’s abuses must be true according to all laws of logic. The GOP LOVES such people… they’re HIGH on Boehner’s and McConnell’s hit parades… it’s the “freedom” of Citizens United in action.

According to Joseph Stiglitz {the 2001 Nobel Prize laureate in Economics: editor} in The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict (W.W. Norton), mercenaries working for firms like Blackwater and DynCorp cost the DoD up to 1,222 USD (37,718 Roubles 946 Euros 786 UK Pounds) a day or 445,000 USD (13.736 million Roubles 344,653 Euros 286,135 UK Pounds) a year in 2007 {that’s what the contractor charged the government… there’s a whole lotta profit-makin’ going on before the merc gets their relatively paltry cut of it all: editor}. By contrast, an Army sergeant costs the DoD 140 (4,322 Roubles 109 Euros 90 UK Pounds) to 190 USD (5,865 Roubles 147 Euros 122 UK Pounds) a day in pay and benefits, 51,100 (1. 578 million Roubles 39,577 Euros 32,857 UK Pounds) to 69,350 USD (2.14 million Roubles 53,712 Euros 44,592 UK Pounds) a year. Since US taxpayers are underwriting both the uniformed soldiers’ paycheques and the payouts to the mercenary employers, where’s the savings? A merc costs the DoD over six to eight times what it costs to pay and maintain a single soldier in the forces. Ergo, money from the taxpayer’s pocket-book made these shadow armies great. Observe that hypocritical SOBs such as Boehner and McConnell don’t complain about this… they don’t put it on their deficit reduction “hit list”. After all, it’s going to line the pockets of the oligarchs… shut up, and do your patriotic duty! It’s time for income redistribution… as Citizens United pointed up in another facet of the decision, it’s time for the poor to give up what they have to the rich… it’s what Democracy is all about (don’t forget… Corporations are “people”… they have RIGHTS! That’s what the “Original Intent” crowd just said about the 14th Amendment in Citizen’s United)!

Why is the USA using mercenary contractors in the first place? For instance, what is their status under the Geneva Convention? Are they soldiers or are they franc tireurs? If a mercenary contractor commits sexual abuse, beats up or kills a civilian, or uses torture, what is the liability of the USA, legally? As they’re not enrolled in the forces, they aren’t subject to normal military discipline and they aren’t liable under the UCMJ; that smells like “deniability”, doesn’t it? After all, the Bush junta operated torture facilities in the Baltics, the Ukraine, and Romania, didn’t they?

Isn’t it nice to know that you’re “protected?” You know… if they use it there… they COULD use it here. It proves that the Republican Party has NO moral qualms over the use of torture, sexual abuse, and physical coercion. The use of violence as a means of first resort troubles them not in the least. Remember that the next time you see Sarah Palin shoot an animal from a helicopter (do look at her hands… the perfect manicure reveals that her makeup artist is sitting behind her). It certainly puts a new face on Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Anne Coulter, et al, doesn’t it?

Thanks to my correspondent, and kudos to the clergyman who expressed his opinion. When the OCA falls, you’ll be surprised to see “who’s been naughty, and who’s been nice”… that’s the way of things in this fallen world. You’ll never be bored covering Orthodoxy in America…

Here’s a link to an article about DynCorp. As you read it, reflect well that the Sectarian moralistas of the Tea Party excuse such shit (and that JP and his konvertsy pals excuse it by their association with them):

http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=11119

BMD

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