www.skegley.blogspot.com The Blog of Sam Kegley.
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Welcome to my blog http://www.skegley.blogspot.com/ . CAVEAT LECTOR- Let the reader beware. This is a Christian Conservative blog. It is not meant to offend anyone. Please feel free to ignore this blog, but also feel free to browse and comment on my posts! You may also scroll down to respond to any post.
For Christian American readers of this blog:
I wish to incite all Christians to rise up and take back the United States of America with all of God's manifold blessings. We want the free allowance of the Bible and prayers allowed again in schools, halls of justice, and all governing bodies. We don't seek a theocracy until Jesus returns to earth because all men are weak and power corrupts the very best of them. We want to be a kinder and gentler people without slavery or condescension to any.
The world seems to be in a time of discontent among the populace. Christians should not fear. God is Love, shown best through Jesus Christ. God is still in control. All Glory to our Creator and to our God!
A favorite quote from my good friend, Jack Plymale, which I appreciate:
"Wars are planned by old men,in council rooms apart. They plan for greater armament, they map the battle chart, but: where sightless eyes stare out, beyond life's vanished joys, I've noticed,somehow, all the dead and mamed are hardly more than boys(Grantland Rice per our mutual friend, Sarah Rapp)."
I must admit that I do not check authenticity of my posts. If anyone can tell me of a non-biased arbitrator, I will attempt to do so more regularly. I know of no such arbitrator for the internet.
Monday, August 7, 2017
The Washington Post is, in this Christian conservative's mind and experience, a large part of Fake News. Once in a while they reveal something but still spin it left. I feel that Jeanie and I must see the movie Dunkirk. Winston Churchill, the British leader who was required to attend military school as an incorrigible youngster, was the strongest voice for survival and ultimate victory in WW II. He was chosen as the man of the twentieth century. A great reminder of this post is that the "allies" helped so much in winning WW II for the good side in the war. Hooray for India here! Their immigrants are among America's very best for their assimilation into the USA.
For Google's own reasons you must scroll way down this page to pick up the Washington Post story today. I dunno!
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BY ISHAAN THAROOR
"Dunkirk,” the taut blockbuster by British-born filmmaker Christopher Nolan, is one of the runaway successes of the summer, grossing more than $300 million worldwide since its July 21 release.
It depicts the harrowing May 1940 evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force, which had been trapped by the rampant Nazi military at the French port of Dunkerque. In their hour of desperate need, more than 300,000 British soldiers were rescued with the aid of a motley civilian flotilla of fishing trawlers, family yachts, barges, tugboats and merchant vessels, which ferried them from the beaches and onto the safety of Ol' Blighty. Had they not escaped, the saga of World War II may have had a far more abrupt ending. For obvious reasons, the drama and heroism of the evacuation lives long in the British imagination. The rescue was followed by a stirring oration from Winston Churchill, just days into his term as prime minister, in which he declared his nation would “go on to the end” and fight the enemy “on the beaches,” “in the fields and the streets.” The film closes with the speech being read out by an exhausted, freshly rescued soldier. A strategic calamity becomes a rallying cry, a quintessential exhibition of British pluck and courage against the odds.
Nolan himself has stressed that he didn't want to get “bogged down in the politics of the situation,” instead creating a tense, enthralling film that plunges viewers into the terror and alienation of war. But that has not stopped commentators and critics from drawing all sorts of broader political meaning from it.
Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen lamented the conspicuous absence of Germansfrom a story that's about running away from them — as well as any hint of the wider monstrosity of the Nazi regime. British journalist Jenni Russell feared the story's “narrative of heroic retreat,” anchored in a seemingly bottomless reservoir of British national pride, was not the message needed at a time when British politicians are marching toward a potentially catastrophic rupture with Europe.
“Nothing could be less helpful to our collective psyche as the country blunders toward Brexit,” she wrote. Then there was this remarkable bit of chest-thumping: “We see the deep and abiding bond of nationhood. And it is that bond that calls forth extraordinary acts of rescue from ordinary men in boats,” extolled the Heritage Foundation, an influential right-wing think tank in Washington. “In a day when soulless globalism is the established orthodoxy of the West (save for Brexit and the United States in recent months), Nolan’s depiction of nationhood in 'Dunkirk' is a much-needed medicine for our culture.”
This is wishful fantasy, as many of the film's skeptics have noted. Perhaps the most fervent backlash against “Dunkirk” has come from Indian media, where critics justifiably complain about Hollywood's “whitewashing” of World War II.
There were at least four companies of the Royal Indian Service Corps on the beaches of Dunkirk. Mustered thousands of miles away, they joined an empire's global struggle — one that had little to do with the freedoms and aspirations of those in their own homeland. One of the companies was forced to surrender to the Germans; three others were among the last to be evacuated. A British army officer was court-martialed for trying to secure their safe passage in defiance of superiors who didn't think it worth the trouble.
No Indian soldier appears for even a fleeting second of the film, though Nolan does give a tiny cameo to colonial African soldiers among the French. The result is an erasure of history that many argue should no longer be tolerated.
“Observers said [the Indian contingent was] particularly cool under fire and well-organized during the retreat. They weren’t large in number, maybe a few hundred among hundreds of thousands, but their appearance in the film would have provided a good reminder of how utterly central the role of the Indian Army was in the war,” wrote historian John Brioch. “Their service meant the difference between victory and defeat. In fact, while Britain and other allies were licking their wounds after Dunkirk, the Indian Army picked up the slack in North Africa and the Middle East.”
Some 2.5 million soldiers from the Indian subcontinent served in World War II; 87,000 died. Their contributions have gone woefully underrecognized in the West — particularly in Britain, where many seem to prefer their tidy myths of a brave little island holding its own against the Nazi menace. Nolan's film is just the latest affront.
“The focus on Britain 'standing alone' sometimes risks diminishing how the war brought pain in many places, right across the globe,” wrote Yasmin Khan, the author of “The Raj at War: A People’s History of India’s Second World War.” “The war, especially when viewed from the East, was about two empires locking horns rather than a nation taking on fascism. Above all, the narrative of a plucky island nation beating back the Germans omits the imperial dimension of the war. Many people living in the colonies were caught up in a vicious conflict beyond their control.”
Of course, neither Nolan nor Hollywood should have to shoulder this burden of history alone. Khan and others point to decades of enforced British amnesia — generations of British schoolchildren were taught little of the colonial contribution to the war effort or, for that matter, the horrors exacted in the name of the British Empire.
For Indians, Churchill's lionization in the West is hard to swallow, given his stated contempt for many of Britain's colonial subjects and complicit role in the deaths of millions of Indians in a famine. More than seven decades later, it's strange that so many people, including British and American politicians, still need to see the British bulldog as such an untainted, heroic figure.
“A nation that turns away from the truths of its past ... runs the risk of stunting its future,” wrote Mihir Sharma for Bloomberg View, reacting to a recent poll that show the British public exulting in the exploitative legacy of their empire. “Acts of colossal self-delusion, like Brexit, then become inevitable. There’s no clearer sign of a nation’s descent into self-absorption and petty nationalism than the conviction that its darkest shame is in fact its greatest glory."
• International pressure is ratcheting up on North Korea in the wake of its repeated ballistic missile tests. On Saturday, the United Nations Security Council passed a new round of punitive sanctions on Pyongyang with the significant assent of permanent members China and Russia. The Chinese, historic allies of North Korea, are now displaying their impatience with the dictatorial regime of Kim Jong Un.
“Do not violate the U.N.’s decision or provoke international society’s goodwill,” said the Chinese foreign minister at the ASEAN regional conference in Manila. The summit was attended by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who sought to enlist other nations to pressure Pyongyang after the sanctions passed.
U.S. diplomats stress that they’re not pushing regime change, and that they want the North Koreans to submit to negotiations. “Certainly we want to resolve this issue through negotiations, and this pressure campaign, the sanctions, it’s all about trying to convince the North Koreans that the fast way forward is to come back to the table and talk,” said Susan Thornton, the assistant secretary for East Asian and Pacific affairs.
Meanwhile, prominent Singaporean former diplomat and public intellectual Kishore Mahbubani discusses how ASEAN, much maligned in the past for its perceived fecklessness, ought to be seen as a template for global governance.
• The situation in Venezuela continues to deteriorate.On Sunday, authorities put down a small insurrection at a military base near the city of Valencia, arresting seven men who they say participated in a "terrorist attack" against the government of unpopular leftist President Nicolás Maduro, according to Reuters:
“Venezuela's armed forces issued a statement calling the rebellion an ill-fated ‘propaganda show’ aimed at destabilizing the country and reaffirmed their allegiance to Maduro.
"Authorities said the men were mercenaries working for a U.S.-backed opposition to bring down nearly two decades of Socialism in oil-rich Venezuela, raising the specter of a further government crackdown on dissent in coming days.
"'These attacks, planned by delirious minds in Miami, only strengthen the morale of our armed forces and the Bolivarian people,’ said Socialist Party official Elias Jaua.”
Some in the opposition have staked their hopes on the military turning against Maduro and his allies, but observers believe too many high-ranking officers and top brass have benefited from the regime’s largesse and lucrative government contracts.
• Israel plans to shut down the offices and revoke the credentials of Qatari-funded network Al Jazeera and its journalists, arguing that the channel is guilty of “incitement.” Government officials, though, did not offer specific examples to my colleagues to justify the decision. From my colleague Loveday Morris:
“Accusing Al Jazeera of incitement, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed last month to shut down its Jerusalem bureau amid clashes between Israeli authorities and Palestinian worshipers over access to the Al-Aqsa Mosque site in Jerusalem’s Old City. However, his office declined to give specific examples of content they deemed to have stoked tensions."
However, Al Jazeera sees Israel operating in lockstep with Qatar’s adversarial neighbors, who have imposed a diplomatic and trade boycott on the Qataris for the past two months:
"The collusion by Netanyahu with his Arab autocratic neighbors leaves little doubt that free independent media and truth are ready to be sacrificed as collateral damage in the power politics of the region,” wrote Al Jazeera’s Jerusalem bureau chief, Walid Omary, in an opinion piece in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. “Since its inception, Al Jazeera has provided Israel with a rare conduit for airing its viewpoints to Arab and Muslim audiences and participating in dialogue with them.”
A man carries a child in front of campaign posters showing Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga on Aug. 6. (Baz Ratner/Reuters)
A concrete bridge and a narrow, garbage-filled river divide the slum of Mathare in Nairobi into two parts, a space between ethnic groups and voting blocs that are competing fiercely — and many say dangerously — over Kenya’s presidential elections scheduled for Tuesday.
On one side of the rutted bridge is a community of ethnic Kikuyus, the tribe of incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta, 55. On the other side are the Luos, the tribe of opposition candidate Raila Odinga, 72. Most days, those tribes peacefully coexist. But as the election approaches, the river is a line not to be crossed.
For all of Kenya’s success and modernization, its elections are still decided almost exclusively by ethnicity, with the Kikuyus and Luos at the forefront of a fractured electorate. Since Kenya became independent in 1963, three of its four presidents have been Kikuyu. A Luo has entered, and lost, every presidential election.
“There’s no ideological daylight between the candidates,” said Murithi Mutiga, a researcher for the International Crisis Group. “It’s just about numbers that the ethnic alliances will bring them.”
In 2007, a tightly contested race devolved into ethnic violence that left 1,200 dead, with swaths of Mathare burning to the ground and young men clashing with machetes. Kenyatta and William Ruto, his current vice president, were among those charged by the International Criminal Court for inciting violence. Both cases were later dropped for lack of evidence.
Odinga, the son of a former vice president and himself a prime minister from 2008 to 2013, has lost three presidential elections since 1997. It’s likely that this might be his last attempt at the presidency, and Odinga has already said that the only way he could lose is if the results are rigged.
Last week, when Chris Msando, an election official, was found dead, with signs of torture on his body, Odinga supporters said it was an early sign that the vote could be marred. Msando was one of few officials with access to the country’s computerized voting system. So far, there are no indications of who killed him. Human Rights Watch called his death “catastrophic” for the election preparations.
On Friday, families in Mathare were packing their belongings, preparing to leave the slum before possible violence. Some of Odinga's supporters have suggested that a loss would translate into immediate bloodshed. “If he loses,” said Akal Nicholas, a Luo lab technician, "Kenya will burn."— Kevin Sieff
A woman browses in a Moscow newsstand among papers featuring President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin on July 8. (Kirill Kudryatsev/Agence France-Presse via Getty Images)
The big question(s) Reporting from Russia in 2017 is, predictably, a somewhat fraught adventure. Even as ties between Washington and Moscow continue to deteriorate — and the Russian government's tolerance for a free press remains low — the appetite for stories on election meddling and potential ties to President Trump grows ever greater. So The Post's Russia team — Moscow bureau chief David Filipov, Moscow correspondent Andrew Roth and national security editor Peter Finn — took to Reddit over the weekend to answer questions on just what it's like to cover this story right now. The whole chat is well worth your time, but here are some of the most interesting moments: Are you ever afraid of repercussions from the Russian government due to your reporting? Filipov: We have to constantly watch what we do and say, and follow the laws, because you can get in trouble here if you don't. But that's just like reporting anywhere. My feeling is that the Russian government wants its reporters to work in the US, so they aren't going to constantly give us a hard time. What's difficult is getting official sources to talk! What are some generalizations of how the Russian people view the American people? Filipov: That Americans are not their government, they want to be friends, they are a big nation like Russia, friendly, prosperous. But in the past 25 years since the end of the Cold War, the predominant view is that America did not want Russia to join the West, it wanted the West to subvert Russia ... In general, there's a sense that Americans talk about friendship while they're trying to roll you. Is the Russian public generally aware of the reputation of the Washington Post and the role it's taken in reporting on the recent Russia-related scandals? And has that affected how Russians, or particularly Russian officials, interact with you on a professional basis? Roth: Russian officials know about the reputation of the Washington Post, and in some cases that reduces their willingness to talk to us. It's not quite the reception you expect for Radio Free Europe or Voice of America, but we're getting there. To the general public, if you tell someone you're from the "Vashington Post" they hear "Washington" and get the picture. That said, there are plenty of people who take a chance on working with us, plus sources that we've been working with for years, and nothing has really changed.
It seems like we'll never escape some Russia story or another, doesn't it? The New York Times has an explanation of why that seems to be the case, while The Post urges the U.S. to stand up to disinformation from Moscow and other corners. Elsewhere, the Guardian sees good news in the U.N.'s vote against North Korea this weekend, while Al Jazeera runs down what's at stake beyond Kenya's borders in the country's election this week.
Parenting is hard enough without having to worry whether or not the state will remove your children from your custody. But in a deeply reported piece, The New Yorker explores why that worry is much more oppressive for some Americans than others. Meanwhile, The Post learns more about a celebration of twins in a small Ohio town that was founded by a pair, while The New York Times reports on how air conditioners have become ubiquitous in parts of the country where they were once a rarity.
After enabling the Sun Belt to thrive, it is becoming ubiquitous in regions where it once wasn’t needed.
By Emily Badger and Alan Blinder | The New York Times • Read more »
The United Arab Emirates are a valuable U.S. ally, one American officials have nicknamed "Little Sparta” thanks to its zeal in expanding its fight against terrorism. But as the UAE has boosted its military capabilities, it's also running afoul of — even undermining — American policy goals in places like Yemen and Libya, both home to grinding and brutal wars, and in the dispute with Qatar. “It’s great that we have a partner in the Emiratis," said a former senior U.S. official, "but we don’t always see eye to eye." (Adam Schreck/Associated Press)
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