What Do You Know About Syria

It’s been five years of a brutal war and almost every day the international media has carried some Syrian related story, from revolution to refugee and while most of Europe is now cowering under its bed in fear what can you really tell me about Syria and its brutalized population? For a future blog post I would like to try and paint a picture of Syria before the war but with your help and contribution.

John Wreford Photographer

What Do You Know About Syria

So tell me:

It’s been five years of a brutal war and almost every day the international media has carried some Syrian related story, from revolution to refugee and while most of Europe is now cowering under its bed in fear what can you really tell me about Syria and its brutalized population?

For a future blog post I would like to try and paint a picture of Syria before the war but with your help and contribution:

Did you have the chance to visit Syria?

Are you Syrian or have friends and family who have or are living there?

What do you think Syria was like as a country before the conflict?

Do you know where it is?

Please post your thoughts, your questions and experiences, I would like to avoid turning this is into another place of conflict so let’s not get…

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"Merchant Prince" Coveney Too Busy To Do His Job

The sewage from thirty nine homes has continued to pour out onto the beach at Doldrum Bay all Summer. It is still flowing undisturbed into the beautiful and protected coastal Howth environment.

Irish Water have committed via the EPA to a short term solution being in place by the end of September. This short term solution consists of putting a pipe out into the sea and diverting the sewage off the beach.

This will still be an illegal discharge and they will remain in breach of their Ringsend License. It also raises questions about their right to carry out work on the foreshore at all. Irish Water have assured the EPA that they are moving forward with a long term solution.

An unsightly and unauthorised warning sign has been installed on the cliffs 15 minutes walk from the site of the discharge. It has no name or contact details on it but presumably was erected by Irish Water.

Regarding the change.org petition – Mr. Patrick Jackson has repeatedly tried to contact Simon Coveney via email, social media and at his offices in an attempt to arrange a handover of the document. He has received no reply or acknowledgment.

Unfortunately, it would seem that our petitioning efforts have fallen on deaf ears and a firmly closed door despite Minister Coveney having boasted that his door would always be open to people concerned about the marine environment.

END

Behind Their Lines: Our Mutual Dead

Armistice Day: the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918, when the First World War ended.

In 1916, following the death of her older brother, Margaret Sackville wrote a poem imagining that future time when the fighting and killing would cease. Men had made the war – and now it would be left to the grieving women to make the peace.

Reconciliation 
When all the stress and all the toil is over, 
And my lover lies sleeping by your lover. 
With alien earth on hands and brows and feet. 
Then we may meet. 
Moving sorrowfully with uneven paces, 
The bright sun shining on our ravaged faces, 
There, very quietly, without sound or speech, 
Each shall greet each. 
We who are bound by the same grief for ever, 
When all our sons are dead may talk together, 
Each asking pardon from the other one 
For her dead son. 
With such low, tender words the heart may fashion, 
Broken and few, of kindness and compassion, 
Knowing that we disturb at every tread 
Our mutual dead.
Margaret Sackville, published in The Pageant of War, 1916

"Keep Money Out Of Touts Hands!" | My Face Value Interview

Chris caught up with John Aldridge and Graham Penrose to talk about My Face Value, a new way of fans and supporters purchasing tickets.

The Redmen TV is Uncensored LFC Television. Stats, Sketches, Analysis, Features, Interviews and Real Fan Opinions broadcasting after every Liverpool game. 
Starring: Chris Pajak, Paul Machin, Darren Farley, James Boughen, Owen Cooper and The Bitter Red 
Produced By All Machin Productions LTD http://www.youtube.com/AllMachinProductions

Homelessness as a Measure of a Nations Collective Empathy

Challenging events visit everyone during the course of their lives. The death of a loved one, the break down of a relationship, betrayal by someone that was trusted, problems with addiction, post traumatic stress, serious illness, mental health issues or intractable financial problems amongst many, many others.

The most upsetting events often cause people to question long held views and opinions. In the end and after overcoming or dealing with the issue people tend to acquire a measure of wisdom and a deeper understanding of the world they live in and the people that live around them – many of whom may have been previously invisible to them.

Homeless people are invisible to almost everyone.

I have been homeless on three occasions in my life for various reasons. None of which I saw coming. The causes that resulted in my homelessness were composite – a series of creeping, evolving and unforeseen events which over time produced that result.  

I can therefore I think speak about the subject with a certain degree of authority. I do feel that it is important when commenting on social issues that personal experience informs the opinions expressed.

Theoretical analysis and opinions based on studying a subject or working with those impacted by an issue can help a person without first hand experience still express very valid observations or create policy or author legislation. But that too very much depends on the emotional intelligence of the person in question.

It is my opinion that in modern Ireland our politicians, commentators, policy makers, charities and agencies are populated with people who are professional wafflers with little or no understanding of the social context of many of the constituents who it is their duty to serve.

Homelessness is an unacceptable condition for even one citizen of this nation to be experiencing. I often overhear or hear first hand comments like – “junkie”, “alco”, “mental”, “gambler”, “irresponsible”, “get a job”, “work like the rest of us”, “lazy” – when people are discussing homelessness.

Life is lived on a knife edge, a slight deviation right or left on that knife edge can result in utter desolation.

Homelessness is not just the state of not having a home. It causes the afflicted to suffer myriad other side effects – humiliation, degradation, loneliness, to question self worth, hunger and the kind of pain that hurts your soul.

Men, women and children in their thousands are being allowed to wallow in this pit of despair and downward spiral and after the initial furore surrounding street deaths of homeless people the debate has become muted and an attitude of resigned acceptance has once again settled in.

The collective empathy of a nation is measured by its attitude to certain phenomena. In Ireland, the Irish pride themselves on being welcoming, friendly and generous to visitors and market that internationally to attract tourists.

How I wonder would this sit with the opinion of the young man I walked past yesterday on the Ha’Penny Bridge on a sunny day in August with hundreds of others walking past him every hour – many in Dublin and Donegal jerseys on their way to “Croker” for the game. Smiling faces, laughter, ice creams, enjoyed in the company of family and friends.

And there he sat with a plastic cup that held of few brown coins and a look in his eyes that showed that he held little or no hope. He did not look angry. He did not look sad. He looked like he had come to the realisation that nobody and no one gave a damn one way or the other and that like the very few pieces of litter that blow around what was once “dirty Dublin” – he too was simply an object to be walked around while grimacing slightly.

Dublin does not suffer from a rubbish problem like it once did, instead now it’s streets contain human litter – the discarded elements of our society that Ireland has chosen to sacrifice in favour of austerity, cow-towing to the troika and gifting tax breaks to global conglomerates.

We should as a nation be thoroughly ashamed of ourselves and may God forgive us for being the exact opposite to what we portray ourselves as.

Kurdish resistance is still strong in the terrorist Islamic Republic of Iran

The Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI), was founded under the leadership of Qazi Mohammadi, (also known as Peshawa) on August 16, 1945. Peshawa declared the First ever Kurdish Republic the next year, on January 22, 1946, and was elected as its President.

The creation and establishment of this Republic was historic, as it was the first time in the history of our nation that the Kurds were governing themselves in one part of Kurdistan. The Republic was short-lived, its message and objectives, however, continue to live on in our nation’s memory.

The Kurd’s and the PDKi have not given up on their struggle for the liberation of Kurdistan from occupation and the Kurds from oppression. 71-years has since passed, and the Kurd’s resistance is still strong.

The Party has vowed to continue on the struggle for the liberation of Kurdistan and for this, it has had hundreds of its leaders and Peshmargas, paying with their precious lives. The Party has since this year’s Nawroz (Kurdish New Year) announced that it will continue on sending its Forces to be among our people, and it will not stand by while the terrorist Islamic Republic of Iran terrorizes and militarizes Kurdistan any further.

For this, ever since late June, a number of its Peshmargas and cadres have like our leadership made the ultimate sacrifice and have become the symbol of our renewed struggle. Hundreds of others have gone deep inside east Kurdistan to carry out their organizational and political activities.

The Party has stated that it will intensify and increase the number of the Peshmarga Forces, and its activities. The Kurds have welcomed this decision and have pledged their support and assistance to the Forces.

Long live PDKi
Long live Peshmarga
Long live Kurdistan

Extensive Network of Jihadist Training Camps in Afghanistan Still Operational

Stills from video showing Taliban ‘Omar ibn Khattab’ training camp in Kunduz – long operational – not touched – why?

Claimed as cleared by Afghan National Army & drone strikes in 2014 and 2015. Camps in Jawzjan, Zurmat, Paktia & Ayyubi still also host jihadists in Afghanistan.

Harakat Ul Mujahideen, Imam Bukhari Jamaat, Uzbek jihadist groups operating in Syria & Afghanistan and moving into Iraq and also the Islamic Jihad Union train at these and other Afghan camps.

Haqqani Network, a powerful subgroup of the Taliban, recently released a video from its Salahadin Ayyubi camp someplace in eastern Afghanistan.

The Turkistan Islamic Party, an Uighur jihadist group within al Qaeda’s international network, showcased a training camp reportedly in Afghanistan last year also.

At the end of the video Mullah Abdul Salam the Taliban’s Shadow Governor for Kundûz swears allegiance to new the new Taliban Emir Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada.