European Civilization – Iain Abrach http://iainabrach.org/ Thu, 10 Nov 2022 02:07:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://iainabrach.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/default1-150x150.png European Civilization – Iain Abrach http://iainabrach.org/ 32 32 Film shines spotlight on Israel’s small Samaritan community fighting for its future https://iainabrach.org/2022/11/10/film-shines-spotlight-on-israels-small-samaritan-community-fighting-for-its-future/ Thu, 10 Nov 2022 02:07:20 +0000 https://iainabrach.org/2022/11/10/film-shines-spotlight-on-israels-small-samaritan-community-fighting-for-its-future/ Samaritans have lived in the Land of Israel for 3,600 years. Some may be familiar with references to them in the New Testament, but few know who they really are. A multi-faceted new project from the Yeshiva University Center for Israel Studies introduces the Samaritans to a wide and varied audience and explores how they […]]]>

Samaritans have lived in the Land of Israel for 3,600 years. Some may be familiar with references to them in the New Testament, but few know who they really are.

A multi-faceted new project from the Yeshiva University Center for Israel Studies introduces the Samaritans to a wide and varied audience and explores how they managed to survive for millennia despite the efforts of conquering powers to erase them. Basically, the project asks how the Samaritans plan to continue surviving in the future when there are only 862 of them today.

The Samaritans are a distinct religious group descended from the northern tribes of biblical Israel, specifically the tribes of Ephraim, Menashe, and Levi. They are not – and never have been – Jews, Muslims or Christians. They hold both Israeli and Palestinian nationality.

“Our programs and projects are about studying Israel in all its incredible complexity. You can’t get more complex than the Samaritans,” said historian Dr. Steven Fine, director of the Center for Israel Studies.

The Samaritans Project includes a book of scholarly essays, a feature-length documentary, and an exhibit at the Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC. All three share the same title: “The Samaritans: A Biblical People.” A Samaritan cookbook and artwork created through a collaboration with the Jewish Art Salon are also part of the project.

The film, from Israeli director and producer Moshe Alafi, will have its US premiere theatrically and live at the Other Israel Film Festival in New York on November 8. A premiere in Israel will follow on December 17 at the Jerusalem Film Festival.

“People find it amazing that there are non-Jewish Israelites. It is difficult to understand the fact that these people keep all the Torah commandments, yet they are not Jews,” Fine told The Times of Israel.

Edited by Fine of Yeshiva University, the academic book is illustrated with high-quality photographs of archaeological and archival finds, and of Samaritan life in the past and present. His 24 scholarly essays cover many topics, including the historical Samaritan-Jewish split, early Christianity and the Samaritans, Muslim encounter with Samaritans, and Samaritans in modern Israel.

“The Samaritans have always been a ghost people next door. A significant amount of scholarship and archaeological literature about them only began to emerge in the 1980s,” Fine said.

The Samaritans have always been a ghost people on the side

The support of the Samaritans by early European Zionists and Jewish leaders in the Land of Israel was essential to the survival of the Samaritans in the 19th and early 20th centuries. An essay by Dr. Katharina E. Keim on rabbi, scholar, and folklorist Moses Gaster highlights his relationship (mostly by correspondence) with the Samaritans. He emphasizes the importance this had in terms of legitimizing their identity and their historical ties to the Jews.

“The Samaritans: A Biblical People,” edited by Steven Fine. (Brill)

An essay by Dr. Reuven Gafni cites a critical letter sent by Rabbi Ḥayyim Abraham (Mircado) Gagin, then Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem, to the Ottoman authorities in 1842, when the Samaritan community in Nablus was threatened with extinction. In it he “decreed that the Samaritans should be regarded as ‘a branch of the children of Israel, who recognize the truth of the Torah'”.

“This assertion made by the Jewish Chief Rabbi…may with some certainty have had far-reaching consequences, both in terms of protecting the Samaritan community of Nablus from immediate harm and, to some extent, in terms of shaping the social relations. and mutual perceptions between the city’s Samaritan and Jewish minority communities over the following decades,” Gafni writes.

“The Jews essentially saved the Samaritans and changed the relationship between the two communities — made them more positive — after three and a half millennia of enmity,” Fine said.

Cooperation between the Samaritans (who traditionally base themselves on their holy Mount Gerizim above Nablus) and Israel’s second president Yitzhak Ben-Zvi led to the integration of the Samaritans into Israeli society and the establishment of a Samaritan community in Holon, south of Tel Aviv.

According to the Museum of the Bible’s chief curator, Dr. Jeffrey Kloha, an exhibit on the Samaritans fits well with the museum’s mission to explore biblical history, manuscript traditions, and the impact the Bible has had on different groups. The partnership with Yeshiva University brought together different areas of expertise and backgrounds.

Samaritans during prayer in the synagogue of Kiriyat Luza. (Ori Orhof/Courtesy of the Museum of the Bible)

The exhibit includes historical background, ancient manuscripts, and archaeological artifacts from the Land of Israel, as well as regions in Europe and Asia where Samaritan communities existed at various points in history before disappearing. However, the remaining Samaritans and the way they live today in Kiryat Luza (on Mount Gerizim) and Holon come to the fore.

“It was important to represent the people well. Our goal is to tell the story of the Samaritans as they would tell it, because that is what produced the community as it is today and as they pass it on,” Kloha said.

To this end, five video stations show Samaritans talking about their traditions, ritual practices, identities and lives.

Through the videos and other installations, visitors are introduced to the Samaritan Torah, which is written in an ancient script known as Paleo-Hebrew. The Samaritan Torah is similar to a version discovered at Qumran and used by Jews during the Second Temple period. It is largely the same as the Jewish Torah, the main difference being the tenth Samaritan commandment calling for the building of an altar and the performance of sacrifices on Mount Gerizim. (The Samaritans built a temple to God on Mount Gerizim in the 5th century BCE. The Temple Mount in Jerusalem is not considered holy by the Samaritans).

Samaritans take part in the traditional Passover sacrifice ceremony, in which sheep and goats are slaughtered, at Mount Gerizim near the northern West Bank city of Nablus on April 29, 2018. (AFP )

At Passover, the Samaritans literally replicate the biblical sacrifice by slaughtering large numbers of sheep and goats and burning them in pits. After branding themselves with the blood of animals, the community eats the meat by hand with bitter herbs, as it is ordered.

Since the Samaritans, who are led by a high priest rather than rabbis, evolved separately from Judaism, they have distinct traditions and different interpretations of Torah law. For example, Samaritan women spend their periods completely separate from everyone else. They stay in a designated room, use a separate bathroom, and have food brought to them rather than cooking for others.

A Samaritan mezuzah is a large inscribed stone slab placed above the front door of a house, rather than a small, narrow box containing scriptures attached to the door frame. Samaritan couples do not stand under a hoppa at their wedding.

Dedicatory inscription from Delos, Greece, mentioning the “Israelites who worship towards Argarazein”, 150 BCE. (Steven Fine)

“How to put the Bible in everyday life, in an everyday context, is something that everyone struggles with. The Samaritans are an example for people to reflect on,” Kloha said.

Alafi’s powerful film focuses on the most pressing issue for the Samaritans – physical survival. They are all extremely worried, but they disagree on how to ensure not only survival but also growth. It is a painful situation for a people who claim they were once a million.

Some favor bringing in new blood (literally, as there are only four family lines among the Samaritans) to expand the gene pool and ensure that every young member of the community can marry whoever they choose. .

Alafi devotes much of the film to the relationship between a young Samaritan named Shadi and his new Ukrainian wife Natasha, who is trying to adjust to a new environment and a very different way of life.

“There are currently 30 Ukrainian women who have married in the community. It is definitely changing, but I think it is a win-win situation for Samaritan men and Ukrainian women,” Alafi said.

Others strongly oppose this trend and insist on continuing the long-standing tradition of marriage, despite the obvious genetic risks.

The film shows Samaritan historian and community emissary Benyamin Tzedeka trying to convince the high priest and his wife that they should consider bringing a large group of Brazilians to Israel who have expressed a sincere interest in the religion and the way of life samaritans. He suggests that they could live separately from the community until they have learned and proven themselves. The high priest and his wife are not enthusiastic about the idea.

Alafi, who spent six years making the film, said he deliberately left out topics such as how Samaritans might deal with modern issues like homosexuality or vegetarianism. Nor did he explicitly address the dangers of endogamy.

Young Samaritan at Passover. (Moshe Alafi)

“They are a people who live on the border between an ancient civilization and a mixture of complex modern geopolitical problems. I think it’s much more interesting to focus on that,” the filmmaker said.

Kloha said a significant part of the exhibit at the Museum of the Bible deals with how Christians, Muslims and Jews have interacted with Samaritans throughout history.

Relations between Jews and Samaritans have been negative for thousands of years and only improved relatively recently. Alafi suggested that this can be attributed to the ability to connect with sincerity and appreciation with someone “who is me but not me”. Fine of Yeshiva University thinks this idea can be applied more broadly.

“Socially, it is important for the Jewish world – and for others – to deal with people who are very similar to them and not to hate them for it. Samaritans is a safe place to think about this skill building. We need to connect with other people and groups about what we share and what we agree on, and put our differences in a box,” he said.

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Turkey: my cruise through Greek, Roman, Christian and Islamic civilizations and empires https://iainabrach.org/2022/11/07/turkey-my-cruise-through-greek-roman-christian-and-islamic-civilizations-and-empires/ Mon, 07 Nov 2022 00:07:36 +0000 https://iainabrach.org/2022/11/07/turkey-my-cruise-through-greek-roman-christian-and-islamic-civilizations-and-empires/ Interestingly, my fascination with Turkey started with the nearly 500 episode Netflix series, “Resurrection: Ertugrul”. For someone who isn’t much into movies or TV, this series kept me glued to the screen for over four months. I was amazed how they were able to produce so much quality content in six years, that too outdoors. […]]]>

Interestingly, my fascination with Turkey started with the nearly 500 episode Netflix series, “Resurrection: Ertugrul”. For someone who isn’t much into movies or TV, this series kept me glued to the screen for over four months. I was amazed how they were able to produce so much quality content in six years, that too outdoors. The story, loosely based on Ertugrul, father of Osman I who founded the Ottoman Empire, was gripping, but I was also impressed with present-day Turkey for producing such a series of masterpieces.

Istanbul Hippodrome obelisks. Top photo, the author in front of the entrance gate of the opulent Dolmabahçe Palace in Istanbul. It is forbidden to take photos inside the palace.

Turkey straddles two continents, Europe and Asia. The European part of Turkey called Thrace is only 3% of the country but has 10% of the Turkish population, and a good part of Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city, is in Thrace. The capital of Turkey, Ankara, is on the Asian side of Turkey, called Anatolia or Asia Minor. The popular tourist destinations Antalya, Pamukkale and Cappadocia are found in the Anatolian Peninsula. By the way, Turkey changed its name to Turkiye to avoid confusion with a certain Thanksgiving bird but excuse me if I alternate between the two names in this article.

The first thing that got me excited about this trip was the Covid lull we find ourselves in at the moment. I hope this is more than a lull and even though we have not been able to completely eliminate the virus from the planet, we are able to bring it under control. With the disappearance of mask, test and vaccine mandates and the hassle of related paperwork, it was much easier to travel. We’ve lost three years to this virus and it’s time for us to move on. Don’t complain at all!

Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, a church transformed into a mosque.

As excited as I was for the world to go on, it also meant that I now had to share the planet with other adventuring travelers. This has become evident in the bustling city of Istanbul. It was once known as Constantinople after Emperor Constantine, and it was the capital of the Easter Roman Empire and the center of Orthodox Christian civilization under the Romans and later the Byzantines before falling to the Ottomans in the 15th century. You see layers of history in its monuments and churches which have since been converted into mosques.

Interior view of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul.

With more than 15 million inhabitants, Istanbul is one of the most populated cities in the world. Traffic is a nightmare in some areas and we had to constantly change our plans to get to some of the stops on the route and abandon a few others. Thanks to our guide, we “enjoyed” a few non-touristy experiences like traveling on the local train and taking shortcuts through the tunnels that I never want to repeat again.

Strolling around the Hippodrome was nice and how we started our city tour. The hippodrome was once the center of public life, and games and chariot races were held here. Interestingly, there was a bike race going on when we visited. The obelisk with Egyptian hieroglyphs made me think about how global they were back then too, and I offered to share some of my knowledge of hieroglyphs with our guide.

Heaps of spices and other goodies at Istanbul Spice Bazaar.

The Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace are all in the same complex and we spent a lot of time in the complex exploring them. The Blue Mosque takes its name from the blue Iznik tiles used to decorate it. Hagia Sophia (pronounced HAYA meaning pure), which the Ottomans converted into a mosque (it used to be a church) after conquering Constantinople, is breathtakingly beautiful inside and out. Topkapi Palace was the place from where the Ottoman sultans ruled. The vast complex includes several courtyards and a harem where the women of the palace lived. A stroll through the Spice Bazaar with heaps of spices, baklava and Turkish delights was how day 1 ended and I’m not complaining.

Camlica Mosque is one of three mosques in Istanbul with six minarets.

Day 2 began with our minds blown away by the opulence and splendor of Dolmabahce Palace. Built at the end of the 19th century, it became the official residence of the Ottoman sultans. What set it apart from other palaces in the world was the number and size of the chandeliers, the generous use of gold, and the ornate walls and ceilings; no wonder it cost over a billion dollars in today’s money. One can justify the abolition of the Ottoman sultanate and the transformation of Turkey into a republic after visiting this palace.

Istiklal Caddesi in Istanbul.

Right in front of the palace was the spectacular Çamlıca Mosque on the Asian side of Istanbul. One of Istanbul’s three mosques with six minarets, it is huge and can hold over 50,000 people. A Bosphorus ferry ride to the European side and a local train ride to the bustling Istiklal Caddesi area was an interesting experience. I would describe this neighborhood with dozens of shops, restaurants and baklavarias as Istanbul’s Times Square. It’s also interesting how the tram passes right in the middle of the street without clear markings, and it’s your responsibility to steer clear of its path. We ate lunch and sampled all sorts of freshly made baklava until we couldn’t due to limited real estate in the belly area.

Colorful Bakalavas in Istiklal Caddesi, Istanbul.

In the 500 episode Netflix series I mentioned earlier, I picked up some Turkish words such as gardash (brother) and abla (older sister) which I tried to incorporate into conversations and show our guides and other locals we interacted with. But the Turkish language also has several words that have made their way into Urdu and Hindi like jannat (sky), adalat (courtyard) and hava (air), although sometimes pronounced slightly differently, I felt right at home.

Caves and rock formations in Cappadocia.

I was wondering why Cappadocia, our next stop in Turkey, isn’t one of the wonders of the world. Although known for its hot air balloon experience, it has so much more to offer. The rock formations and natural caves that are even used today as restaurants, hotels and residences are interconnected underground cities, each of them home to thousands of people hiding from their enemies for weeks – together they should be one of the wonders of the world. Needless to say we did all the things recommended in this area including staying in a cave hotel. Although we were delighted that the hot air balloon flight which was to be canceled due to windy conditions finally took place, we were shocked to learn that two tourists died that day following an accident in wind-bound hot air balloon.

The hot air balloon ride was our neat new experience and the views were spectacular.

Antalya is a southern Mediterranean resort town that offers beautiful beaches, tons of activities and sightseeing opportunities in equal measure, and that’s exactly what we did. After a trip to the magnificent Duden Waterfall, the Antalya Museum and a stroll through the Old Town, it was time to relax and enjoy the luxury our all-inclusive resort had to offer.

Speaking of luxury, we were able to incorporate a shopping activity into the whole trip, Turkiye is famous for Turkish delight (they are also called Turkish delight in Turkey), baklava (you have no idea how many varieties) , towels (these are called Turkish towels because other types exist), Turkish coffee (called Turkish coffee or kahve because other types exist), Zultanite (a color-changing gemstone mined in Turkey only), and Turquoise ( named so because it was formerly marketed in Turkey). Turkey may claim intellectual and material rights to these unique products that it operates, produces and/or manufactures, and I must claim a subset of these products as my own.

See also


The white terraces of Pamukkale are known for their geothermal activity.

The next day was long and started early and the only reason I’m not complaining is because we had to cover two big things on our itinerary – Pamukkale, a three hour drive from Antalya and Ephesus, a three-hour drive from Pamukkale. .

Pamukkale is known for its geothermal activity, that carbonate-rich water flowing over white terraces, a site that can only be experienced but not described. No wonder it often appears in lists of the best places to visit in the world. I went a little overboard with photos before reluctantly wandering off to spend some time in nearby Hierapolis, an archaeological site of an ancient Roman city.

Library of Ephesus, an ancient Greek/Roman city in Turkey.

I read somewhere that one good thing about having a bad memory is that you can enjoy the same good thing over and over like it’s the first time every time. I live by that statement and it happened once again with me on our next stop in Ephesus, an ancient Greek/Roman city that we visited on our Greek Island cruise a few years ago. without knowing at the time that it was part of Turkey. I felt a sense of deja vu (and was a bit scared) as I was able to remember some of the ruined buildings. I even told the guide that there was a town exactly like this in Greece and he even believed me (and must say the same to his other guests). After fooling my guide (and myself), I consider my job here done and ready to return to the United States. Needless to say we had a good laugh about it on the way back and I’m certainly not complaining.

There are things I want to complain about though (water retention tops the list) – things I didn’t experience in Turkey and deserve to go back for that reason. As curious as I was, I chickened out of a Turkish hammam experience after learning about the intense scrub/exfoliation massage that can leave you looking like a red (but super clean) potato. The Whirling Dervishes show, a Sufi religious/spiritual experience, is another experience that I couldn’t fit into my schedule and this song by Jodha Akbar should suffice for now. There are things I can complain about, but there are many other blessings that I can’t even count. Thank you for everything you have offered to Turkiye.

(Photos by Padma Nadella)


Padma Nadella is an IT professional who lives in Eagan, Minnesota with her husband and 15-year-old son. She runs a Facebook group for Minnesotans to collaborate on health and fitness related events and activities. The group now has more than two thousand members. A jack-of-all-trades, she likes to play volleyball, travel around the world and above all entertain, but touches everything else.

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How population growth and climate change are linked as the ‘Anthropocene engine’ transforms the planet https://iainabrach.org/2022/11/03/how-population-growth-and-climate-change-are-linked-as-the-anthropocene-engine-transforms-the-planet/ Thu, 03 Nov 2022 12:09:47 +0000 https://iainabrach.org/2022/11/03/how-population-growth-and-climate-change-are-linked-as-the-anthropocene-engine-transforms-the-planet/ (The Conversation is an independent, nonprofit source of news, analysis, and commentary from academic experts.) (THE CONVERSATION) At first glance, the links between global population growth and climate change seem obvious. The more people we have on this planet, the greater their collective impact on the climate. However, closer examination with a longer time horizon […]]]>

(The Conversation is an independent, nonprofit source of news, analysis, and commentary from academic experts.)

(THE CONVERSATION) At first glance, the links between global population growth and climate change seem obvious. The more people we have on this planet, the greater their collective impact on the climate.

However, closer examination with a longer time horizon reveals relationships between population size and climate change that may help us better understand humanity’s plight as the world‘s population approaches 8 billion people. – a milestone the United Nations expects the world to take around November 1st. 15, 2022.

Back to the Stone Age

For much of human evolution, our ancestors were exposed to large climatic fluctuations between ice ages and intermittent warmer periods. The last of these ice ages ended about 10,000 years ago.

Before the ice caps melted, sea levels were about 400 feet (120 meters) lower than they are today. This allowed humans to migrate across the world. Wherever they went, our ancestors reshaped the landscapes, first by clearing the forests, then by the first agricultural practices that emerged in a number of regions from the end of the last ice age.

Paleoclimatologist William Ruddiman has suggested that these early actions – cutting down trees and expanding agriculture – caused an initial small increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. This has contributed to a stable climate over the past 10,000 years by thwarting downward trends in carbon dioxide levels that could have triggered another glaciation event.

By reshaping landscapes, our ancestors actively constructed the niches they inhabited. This process is an important aspect of evolutionary change, creating important feedback dynamics between evolving species and their environment.

As humans evolved, the demands of a growing population, associated knowledge creation, and energy consumption created a feedback cycle that my colleagues and I call the Anthropocene Engine. This engine has transformed the planet.

Reigniting the engine of the Anthropocene

The engine of the Anthropocene has been running for at least 8,000 years. This led to the rise of modern civilizations and ultimately to the environmental challenges we face today, including climate change.

How does the Anthropocene engine work?

First, populations had to reach a critical number of people to succeed in creating enough knowledge about their environment to be able to begin to actively and deliberately transform the niches in which they lived.

Prosperous agriculture was the product of this knowledge. In turn, agriculture increased the amount of energy available to these early societies.

More energy supports more people. More people drove to early settlements and later to cities. This allowed the specialization of tasks and the division of labor, which in turn accelerated the creation of more knowledge, which increased the energy available and also allowed the size of the population to grow. And so on.

Although the details of this process differ across the world, they are all driven by the same Anthropocene engine.

The problem of exponential growth

As an evolutionary biologist and historian of science, I have studied the evolution of knowledge and complexity for over three decades and developed mathematical models with colleagues to help explain these processes. Using the universality of processes underlying the Anthropocene engine, we can capture these dynamics in the form of a growth equation, which includes the links between population growth and increased energy consumption. .

A consequence of positive feedback cycles in dynamical systems is that they lead to exponential growth.

Exponential growth can start very slowly and be barely noticeable for a while. But this will end up having dramatic consequences where resources are limited.

Driven by the engine of the Anthropocene, the human population has grown exponentially and individual societies have approached collapse several times over the past 8,000 years. The demise of the Easter Island civilization and the collapse of the Maya Empire, for example, have been linked to the depletion of environmental resources as populations grew. The dramatic decline in Europe’s population during the Black Death in the 1300s was a direct result of the overcrowded and unsanitary living conditions that facilitated the spread of Yersenia pestis, or plague.

Biologist Paul Ehrlich warned of uncontrolled growth in his 1968 book “The Population Bomb”, predicting that growing global demand for scarce resources would lead to societal collapse without changes in human consumption.

But overall, humanity has always found a way to avoid catastrophe. Knowledge-based innovations, such as the Green Revolution – whose large-scale effects Ehrlich had not foreseen – allowed people to set the record straight, leading to more cycles of innovation and (almost) of collapse.

An example is the sequence of energy regimes. It all started with wood and animal power. Then came coal, oil and gas.

Fossil fuels fueled the Industrial Revolution and, with it, greater wealth and advances in health care. But the era of fossil fuels has had dramatic consequences. It nearly doubled the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in less than 300 years, causing the unprecedented rate of global warming humanity is experiencing today.

At the same time, inequalities have become endemic. Poorer nations that have contributed little to climate change suffer the most from global warming, while just 20 wealthier countries are responsible for around 80% of emissions.

The next energy transition to avoid collapse is underway with the rise of renewable energy sources like wind and solar. But studies – including a report released ahead of the 2022 UN Climate Change Conference in November – show that humans are not changing their energy use fast enough to control climate change.

Use knowledge to reset the cycle again

Every species, if left unchecked, would grow exponentially. But species are subject to constraints – or negative feedback mechanisms – such as predators and limited food supplies.

The engine of the Anthropocene has allowed humans to emancipate themselves from many negative feedback mechanisms that would otherwise have controlled population growth. We have intensified food production, expanded trade between regions, and discovered medicines to survive disease.

Where does that leave humanity now? Are we approaching the inevitable collapse due to climate change of our own making, or can we make a new transition and discover innovations that reset the cycle?

The introduction of negative feedbacks into our socio-economic and technical systems – not in the form of radical population control or war, but in the form of norms, values ​​and regulations on excessive greenhouse gas emissions greenhouse – can help to control climate change.

Humanity can use knowledge to keep itself within its environmental limits.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article here: https://theconversation.com/8-billion-humans-how-population-growth-and-climate-change-are-connected-as-the-anthropocene-engine-transforms-the-planet – 193075.

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Vision of the “century of Turkey” and the opposition bloc https://iainabrach.org/2022/10/28/vision-of-the-century-of-turkey-and-the-opposition-bloc/ Fri, 28 Oct 2022 21:05:00 +0000 https://iainabrach.org/2022/10/28/vision-of-the-century-of-turkey-and-the-opposition-bloc/ President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan unveiled his long-awaited vision document for the “Century of Turkey” at the Ankara Arena on Friday. The content and text of a short video, which was posted on Erdoğan’s social media account earlier this week, contained important clues to the vision document. Telling the incomplete story of Şakir Zümre, a pioneer […]]]>

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan unveiled his long-awaited vision document for the “Century of Turkey” at the Ankara Arena on Friday.

The content and text of a short video, which was posted on Erdoğan’s social media account earlier this week, contained important clues to the vision document. Telling the incomplete story of Şakir Zümre, a pioneer in the Turkish defense industry who launched initiatives at the behest of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the film was introduced with the following statement: “Through the vision of the century of Türkiye, which will be built on the achievements of our country and civilization, we will launch initiatives for the next century and, inchallah, our dream will come true one by one.

This short film alludes to a setting that approaches Turkish modernization from the perspective of continuity while highlighting the revolutionary initiatives launched under Erdoğan’s government. In this sense, it explains how the dreams of the founder of Türkiye came true during the two decades of rule of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party).

It will come as no surprise that the AKP party’s election campaign portrays Turkey as a rising power in many areas (including defense industry, foreign policy, education and technology) and Erdoğan as a leader who launched important new initiatives. Thus, the party will draw a straight line from Atatürk to Erdoğan.

Vision

The vision document, which uses “inclusive and encompassing” language to urge various social groups to launch new initiatives and shape Turkey’s next century, focuses on “hope” and “working together”. The decision of the AK party to invite pro-opposition journalists to the unveiling of its vision document – which presents themes such as the Republic, democracy, our civilization, building on national-indigenous values, the fight against domestic and foreign tutelage, independence and becoming an active global player – was also in line with the “Century of Turkey” discourse.

Erdoğan gained a psychological advantage over the opposition by launching his re-election campaign early and quickly. After reaching out to the Alevi community and proposing a constitutional amendment to safeguard women’s right to wear the religious headscarf, the Turkish president also outstripped the opposition by forging a rhetorical framework for his campaign. How the opposition bloc, popularly known as the “table for six”, might respond to this ambitious and inclusive agenda will be up for debate over the coming weeks and months.

The opposition bloc, whose selection of a presidential candidate remains late, has been slow to make key policy choices and present its vision for the future. The Republican People’s Party (CHP) imagined the idea of ​​the “Second Century of the Republic” without claiming any claims, reducing this concept to mere periodization. It would not be surprising if the Republic were a central theme in the campaign rhetoric of this movement. By contrast, Kılıçdaroğlu’s sporadic references to “making amends” and “rebuilding” are still very ambiguous, and it remains to be seen what the remaining opposition parties will approve of. To make matters worse, it is still unclear what kind of “reconstruction” the Good Party (IP) and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) might agree on.

With the election just seven months away and all the candidates working on their campaigns, embracing the Republic will likely be a common theme. However, it remains to be seen whether ‘reconstruction’ will be enough to compete with the bold new measures the government is pledging to take in ‘the century of Turkey’. Either way, it’s safe to assume there will be some debate over “which Republic” we’ll have.

CHP dominance

Meanwhile, the CHP’s dominance on the “table of six”, coupled with the “bullying” of the pro-CHP media against the remaining opposition parties, continues to irritate Meral Akşener of the Good Party and Ali Babacan, the president of the DEVA.

The former recently complained of “the bewilderment of those who support and try to reorganize” the main opposition party. Afterwards, Babacan issued a stern warning: “Everyone should come to their senses and stop dreaming. Either we’ll do it together or not at all.

In truth, the “table for six” has become a sort of chessboard where the political leaders concerned compete internally and their supporters publicly. The various nomination tricks were plagued by reciprocal threats from commentators that “you can’t win without us”.

In my opinion, neither Akşener nor Babacan have much leeway in the face of CHP impositions. At this point, any politician who leaves “the table” will receive a hammer blow.

The president of the Good Party made a serious mistake by dismissing the possibility of becoming the opposition’s co-candidate for the presidency in the first days. This statement undermined his party’s potential popular support. In the end, that was not enough to ease the pressure from CHP circles – which she is now complaining about. His humiliation by the HDP leadership, which constantly reminds opposition leaders that HDP voters supported them in the last municipal elections, only makes the situation worse.

Meanwhile, Babacan seems to think he can exert some influence on the opposition bloc by keeping “the table” centered on the transition process. Ultimately, however, this approach was not enough to stop the CHP from making impositions.

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The why and what of the Ukrainian crisis https://iainabrach.org/2022/10/26/the-why-and-what-of-the-ukrainian-crisis/ Wed, 26 Oct 2022 07:31:46 +0000 https://iainabrach.org/2022/10/26/the-why-and-what-of-the-ukrainian-crisis/ We are faced today with an avoidable crisis between the United States and Russia that was predictable, deliberate, but easily solvable with common sense. But how did we get here? Allow me to introduce a bit of history into the current crisis. Every day before February 24, 2022, we learned that war in Ukraine could […]]]>

We are faced today with an avoidable crisis between the United States and Russia that was predictable, deliberate, but easily solvable with common sense.

But how did we get here?

Allow me to introduce a bit of history into the current crisis. Every day before February 24, 2022, we learned that war in Ukraine could be imminent. Russian troops, we were told, were massing on Ukraine’s borders and could attack at any time. US citizens have been asked to leave Ukraine and relatives of US Embassy staff have been
evacuated.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s president advised against panic and made it clear that he did not believe a Russian invasion was imminent. Vladimir Putin has denied plans to invade Ukraine. He asks that the process of accepting new members into NATO be halted and that Russia be given assurances that Ukraine and Georgia will never become members.

President Biden declined to give such an assurance, but made it clear that he was open to discussing other issues of strategic stability in Europe. In the meantime, the Ukrainian government has made it clear that it does not intend to implement the 2015 agreement to unite the Donbas provinces with Ukraine with a high degree of local autonomy – a agreement with Russia, France and Germany that the United States accepted.

Was this crisis avoidable?

Recently, I learned some insights from a senior US official familiar with the history involved. It’s Jack Matlock. He was a Russian expert at the National Security Council, Director of Soviet Affairs at the State Department, and eventually served as US Ambassador to Moscow as the Soviet Union was on the verge of collapse. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, many observers mistakenly believed they were witnessing the end of the Cold War, when in fact it had ended at least two years earlier with negotiation and was in the interest of all parties.

President George HW Bush hoped that Gorbachev would succeed in keeping most of the 12 non-Baltic republics in a voluntary federation.
Since Putin’s main demand is an assurance that NATO will admit no more members, especially Ukraine or Georgia, the current crisis would obviously have had no basis if there had not been enlargement of the Alliance after the end of the Cold War, or whether the enlargement had taken place in parallel with the building of a security structure in Europe that included Russia.

Was this crisis foreseeable?

Absolutely. NATO enlargement was the biggest strategic mistake made since the end of the Cold War.

I think the administration’s recommendation to admit new members to NATO at this time is wrong. If passed by the US Senate, it could go down in history as the biggest strategic mistake made since the end of the Cold War. Indeed, nuclear arsenals are capable of ending civilization on Earth as we know it.

If NATO is to be the main instrument for unifying the continent, it can logically only do so by expanding to all European countries. But that doesn’t seem to be the goal of the US government, and even if it was, it can’t be achieved by accepting new members on a piecemeal basis.

The decision to expand NATO piecemeal was a reversal of US policy that brought about the end of the Cold War. President George HW Bush proclaimed the goal of a “Europe complete and free”. Gorbachev had spoken of “our common European home”, had welcomed the representatives of the governments of Eastern Europe which had separated from their communist leaders and had ordered a radical reduction of the Soviet forces, declaring that a country could not to be safe only if there was safety for all.

President Bush also assured Gorbachev at their meeting in Malta in December 1989 that the United States would not “exploit” this process if the countries of Eastern Europe could choose their future direction through a democratic process. (The admission to NATO of countries that were then members of the Warsaw Pact would, of course, be “beneficial”). Gorbachev was assured, though not in a formal treaty, that if a united Germany was allowed to remain in NATO, there would be no shifting of NATO jurisdiction eastward, “not one inch”. In a spirit of friendship, Gorbachev took them at their word.

These statements were made to Gorbachev before the breakup of the Soviet Union. After the collapse, the Russian Federation had less than half the population of the Soviet Union and a demoralized and completely broken army. If there was no reason to expand NATO after the Soviet Union had recognized and respected the independence of the countries of Eastern Europe, there was even less reason to fear the Russian Federation. Russia as a threat.

Was this crisis deliberate?

Unfortunately, the policies of Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Donald Trump and Joe Biden have helped bring us to this point.
The admission of Eastern European countries to NATO began with the administration of Bill Clinton and, through the activities of Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, continued under the administration of George W. Bush, but that’s not the only thing that has raised Russian objection. At the same time, the United States began to withdraw from arms control treaties that had once curbed an irrational and dangerous arms race and laid the groundwork for the end of the Cold War. Most important was the decision to withdraw from the Ballistic Missile Elimination Treaty, which had laid the foundation for a series of agreements that ended the nuclear arms race for a time.

After 9/11, Putin was the first foreign leader to call President Bush and offer his support. He kept his word and facilitated the attack on the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. By then, it was clear that Putin was looking for a security partnership with the United States, because the jihadist terrorists who were targeting the United States were also targeting Russia. Nevertheless, Washington continued to ignore Russian (and also allied) interests by invading Iraq, an act of aggression that not only Russia but also France and Germany opposed.

Although President Obama initially promised to improve relations through his ‘reset’ policy, reality has shown that his administration continues to ignore the most serious Russian concerns and replicates earlier US efforts to disengage former republics. of Russian influence and even to promote “regime change”. in Russia itself. US actions in Syria and Ukraine were seen by the Russian president and most Russians as indirect attacks on them.

And as for Ukraine, the United States deeply interfered in the country’s internal politics and actively supported the revolution and overthrew the elected Ukrainian government in February 2014, the Maidan rebellion was born.
Relations continued to deteriorate during President Obama’s first term, particularly due to the activities of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Things got even worse during Donald Trump’s four years in power. Trump, accused of being a Russian fool, embraced every anti-Russian measure that came his way, while flattering Putin as a great leader.

Can the crisis be solved by using common sense?

Have we so quickly forgotten the lesson of the Cuban Missile Crisis?? It was resolved through effective negotiation. At this point, it won’t be an easy task because things have deteriorated so much. So far, there has never been an attempt by a neutral party to bring the belligerents to negotiate. Whenever it has been attempted, it has been by supporters who have their own interests in things. Switzerland, with its rich history of neutrality, is in a much better position than any of the others. I personally cooperate with the Neutrality Initiative to help achieve this noble goal.

*Pascal Najadi is an international investment banker and as Director of Dresdner Bank Group, London was responsible for Central Asia, Russia, Africa, Central Europe and the Middle East . He is interested in international affairs and civic debate in Switzerland. He also produced the film “Grounding” about the bankruptcy of Swissair. He currently lives in Switzerland in retirement.

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Garum is the fish sauce chefs love https://iainabrach.org/2022/10/19/garum-is-the-fish-sauce-chefs-love/ Wed, 19 Oct 2022 18:37:59 +0000 https://iainabrach.org/2022/10/19/garum-is-the-fish-sauce-chefs-love/ You won’t find much – if any – mention of garum, the fermented fish condiment, on menus at San Francisco’s Saison or Angler restaurants. But a few drops of this umami-rich elixir makes diners sing, “Mmm, what is You’ll find garum in dishes ranging from dry-aged amberjack crudo with fish head adobo to aged wagyu […]]]>

You won’t find much – if any – mention of garum, the fermented fish condiment, on menus at San Francisco’s Saison or Angler restaurants. But a few drops of this umami-rich elixir makes diners sing, “Mmm, what is You’ll find garum in dishes ranging from dry-aged amberjack crudo with fish head adobo to aged wagyu with blistered chicory and juice.


“In fact, it’s used pretty much everywhere on our menu,” says Paul Chung, culinary director of the two Saison Hospitality restaurants. “Garum is one of those things where it’s pure umami in the sense that it’s not soy-based. It’s similar except it’s just salt and heat and gasoline pure protein, so it’s a bit cleaner, but with a lot of depth.”


Chefs have quietly rolled out this pungent and favorite condiment that dates back to the Roman Empire for centuries, in fact – relying on the centuries-old process of intensively salting a raw protein source to extract its liquid, minimizing the waste while extracting complex flavors. Garum is similar to Asian fish sauces although less salty. Its closest modern relative might be Worcestershire sauce or colatura di alici, the Italian sauce with aged anchovies. Of course, seeing what a principle of cheffery it is to learn rules just to break them, restaurants today attach the term to all sorts of fermented sauces they develop using ingredients as diverse as smoked mushrooms. and bee pollen and sometimes deploying additional cultures like koji.


Garum, whose name derives from the Greek, traces its origins to the Greeks and Phoenicians, who marketed the fermented fish mixture as early as 500 BC. It was historically made from the entrails of small fatty fish like sardines, mackerel and anchovies, which were layered between salt and aromatic herbs, then left in open vats under the Mediterranean sun until they reach the appropriate power. The process, which could take months, relied on the sun for bacteria in the fish’s guts to break down the fish’s flesh into a viscous liquid – turning its proteins into umami-rich amino acids, glutamic acid and glutamate. .


Garum was immensely popular throughout the Roman Empire. References to the condiment abound in “Apicius,” a collection of Roman cooking recipes named for first-century gourmet Marcus Gavius ​​Apicious. Roman scholar Pliny the Elder, who was one of the first to define it, called it an “exquisite liquid”.


“There was probably a bottle of garum on every table in every household in the Roman Empire,” says Paul Breslin, professor of nutritional sciences at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ, and faculty member at Monell Chemical. Senses Center in Philadelphia. “It was salty, salty, sour, a little fishy; it had a lot of similar principles to modern ketchup. People were constantly shaking it on their food.”


Until the Italian city of Pompeii was sealed in time by volcanic ash during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, it was considered the pinnacle of civilization in ancient Rome, largely because “it was one of the largest producers of garum,” notes Breslin.


Not everyone was so fond of it; The Roman philosopher Seneca less fondly described it as the “expensive entrails of rotten fish… [burning] the stomach with its salty putrefaction. “Indeed, according to ancient sources, the process of making garum was so stinky that laws were passed to keep production away from urban areas. This may explain why archaeologists have discovered surprisingly few sites where garum was produced despite its wide – varied popularity.


Garum plants have been discovered in the western Mediterranean and North Africa, including Spain, and in 2019 archaeologists found one outside the city of Ashkelon in southern Israel. one of only two ever discovered in Israel. Enjoyed until medieval times, garum probably only disappeared from European and Mediterranean cuisine because the Roman trade routes that brought the sauce inland were disrupted.


Salty extraction elixirs on the Asian continent, on the other hand, have remained embedded in people’s cultural heritage since ancient times, as Chung points out. He started making garum with his family as a kid in Virginia, when they caught skinny pogues in the summer and fermented the innards for homemade fish sauce. These days, he and head chef Richard Lee experiment with non-meat ingredients like cold-smoked mushrooms, and they occasionally infuse fish-based garums with spices and herbs like Sichuan pepper, cinnamon, shiso or hyssop with anise towards the end. of the fermentation process.


Restaurant garums are not limited to traditional fish bases either; they are also made from dry-aged beef, duck, tuna, and even antelope.


“But most of the time our garums are designed to be neutral, to bolster the proteins we’re using in a dish,” says Lee. Of course, the process has been considerably modernized since the days of stone vats. Temperature-controlled dehydration stations and hot rooms enable year-round production at Saison and Angler.


As Americans increasingly appreciate umami, garum is once again gaining center stage. At coastal Iberian restaurant Porto in Chicago, homemade anchovy garum ups the ante in vaca vieja beef tartare, which chefs Marcos Campos and Erwin Mallet emulsify with raw oyster and egg yolk before garnishing of salted caviar. At the Catskills restaurant, the DeBruce, garums run the gamut from beef to mushrooms and bee pollen, where they have all but replaced soy as a seasoning.


One of Executive Chef Eric Leveillee’s favorite uses is in the elemental dish of Hudson Valley Beef with Wild Berries. He grills dry-aged beef over charcoal, slices and brushes it with beef garum, and places it on a plate covered with wild-picked berries. “The dish was so simple, but the garum gave it just enough complexity to make it truly excellent,” says Leveillee. “I love the nuance of the garum; the flavors are clearer and more complex and we can follow its progress more closely and stop the process once it has reached what we want it to reach.”


If all this garum talk is pushing you to make your own, theoretically all you need is a bunch of fresh sardines or mackerel, some salt, a clay container, and a sunny spot (ideally with a fairly large radius for the – ahem – pungent aromas). Still, Chung considers it a risky business for those who are not into fermentation. “There are ways to prevent the growth of bad bacteria, like increasing the salt, but you still have to be careful about fats that go rancid,” he says. That’s why he recommends starting with a lean meat product instead of fatty fish, which requires frequent fat filtering to prevent rancidity.


Perhaps your best bet might be to pay close attention the next time you go out to eat – especially when you’re grabbing a bite of steak or fish with umami so complex you can’t help but blurt out “Mmmm, what is this?”


Why, it’s just a few shakes of old fish sauce.

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Putin’s Strategy Echoing Hitler’s Mistakes on the Eastern Front https://iainabrach.org/2022/10/16/putins-strategy-echoing-hitlers-mistakes-on-the-eastern-front/ Sun, 16 Oct 2022 19:04:05 +0000 https://iainabrach.org/2022/10/16/putins-strategy-echoing-hitlers-mistakes-on-the-eastern-front/ James Thornton Harris is editor of the History News Network. For more information, see www.JamesThorntonHarris.com. Red Army soldiers in Stalingrad, February 1943 In one of the ironies of history, while Russian President Vladimir Putin continues to call Ukraine’s leaders “Nazis”, it is his own flawed military strategy that closely matches Hitler’s during the invasion. disaster […]]]>

James Thornton Harris is editor of the History News Network. For more information, see www.JamesThorntonHarris.com.

Red Army soldiers in Stalingrad, February 1943

In one of the ironies of history, while Russian President Vladimir Putin continues to call Ukraine’s leaders “Nazis”, it is his own flawed military strategy that closely matches Hitler’s during the invasion. disaster of Russia in 1941.

Here are five mistakes in military strategy made by Putin and Hitler:

● Their decision-making was based on an ignorant and paranoid worldview in which both believed that their nations were being deliberately turned into “slave states” by a hostile West.

● Based on a combination of poor intelligence and wishful thinking, they both assumed that their armies could quickly break through a weak and disorganized enemy army and force surrender.

● The two dictators surrounded themselves with yes men and obsequious generals who lacked critical thinking and only told their bosses what they wanted to hear.

● They both believed that the United States did not have the will to fight, and that if they got involved, their forces (or weapons) would arrive too little or too late to make a difference.

paranoid worldview

Both Hitler and Putin shared a bitter, grievance-filled view based on the belief that their nation was deliberately surrounded and weakened by “hegemonic” Western nations. They both based their diplomatic and military strategy on the principle that they must be allowed to expand and that the Western nations (or “Anglo-Saxon nations”) must withdraw and accept a “new reality”.

In their 2021 book, Hitler’s American Bethistorians Brendan Simms and Charlie Laderman describe Hitler’s distorted outlook:

He blamed the defeat of Germany (during the First World War) on a plot between the British, Americans and the Jewish plutocracy… According to him, the Germans were then (economically strangled) and reduced to the status of “slaves” in a plantation.

In a September 30 speech in the Kremlin, Putin accused the United States and NATO of creating a “neo-colonial system” aimed specifically at destroying Russia. He railed against the “undisguised wickedness of these Western elites towards Russia”, caused by his nation’s refusal to be “robbed during the period of colonial conquest”.

The fantasy of easy victory

In making the decision to launch a massive invasion of a neighboring country, Hitler and Putin relied on faulty intelligence. In both cases, they had shaped their intelligence services to tell them what they wanted to hear and eliminated any independent voices that would question their judgement.

Hitler predicted that his invasion of Russia, Operation Barbarossa, would take no more than four months. He told his confidants that the Russian people were racially inferior and that the communist leadership was inept. He assured those around him that “just kick down the door and the whole rotten structure will crumble!”

Hitler’s fantasy that Stalin’s army would be child’s play was shared by German military leaders. In 1941 he distributed a “Handbook on the Military Forces of the USSR” which assured soldiers that the Red Army was “unfit for modern warfare and incapable of decisive resistance”.

Putin’s belief, which his intelligence services endorsed, was that the Ukrainian leadership was weak and that he would flee Kyiv once Russian tanks approached. He also publicly proclaimed that the Ukrainian people wanted to be part of Russia and would welcome its invading forces.

Arun Iyer, a senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy, noted in a recent report that “the Russian intelligence apparatus miscalculated both the resolve and capability (of Ukraine) as well as the level of support from the International community”.

Obsequious Generals

Both Hitler and Putin insisted on personally directing the military strategy of the invasion and appointed “yes men” as army commanders to carry out their plans.

When Hitler launched his invasion of Russia in June 1942, the German army was commanded by General Wilhelm Keitel, a man chosen for his willingness to carry out the Führer’s orders without question. Other generals distrusted him and called him “Lakeitel”, a pun derived from lakai (“lackey” in German).

Sergei Shoigu, who has no military experience, was appointed defense minister by Putin in 2012. The son of a Communist Party boss in a remote Soviet region, he held a low-level government post under Boris Yeltsin. He gained Putin’s trust and quickly became a close friend, even going on vacation with him.

Role of the United States

Both Hitler and Putin viewed democracies in the United States and Europe as inherently weaker than their authoritarian regimes.

According to Timothy Snyder, a Yale history professor and author of the books on tyranny and blood lands, Putin, and other dictators generally believe that democracies are inherently weak: “Authoritarian regimes seem efficient and attractive because they can make quick decisions. But they often make bad decisions quickly.

Snyder added that “Trump’s attempt to overturn the January 6, 2021 election has left the American system fragile.” By invading Ukraine, Putin thought he would “make Biden weak”.

In Blood and ruins, historian Richard Overy notes that Hitler had “disparaging opinions about the ability or willingness of the United States to fight a major war given its lack of military preparedness” in 1940 and its “long history of isolationism “. At one point, Hitler said that American officers would crumble in battle because they were “just businessmen in uniform, not real soldiers.”

Putin, according to US Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall, made a similar mistake. Kendall said the dictator ‘overestimated the capability of his own military’ while he ‘seriously underestimated the global reaction that invading Ukraine would provoke’, as well as ‘the will and courage of the Ukrainian people “.

How will the war end?

Hitler’s Operation Barbarossa lasted four years, cost at least 20 million dead (civilian and military), and only ended when the Red Army captured Berlin and approached within a few blocks of the Fuehrer’s bunker.

Why did Hitler fight to the end when virtually all of his remaining defense personnel told him defeat was inevitable?

Hitler insisted that “history teaches us that all coalitions break, but you must wait for the moment…we will continue this struggle until, as Frederick the Great said, ‘l ‘one of our accursed enemies gives up in despair'”.

Hitler believed that President Franklin Roosevelt was controlled by the “Jewish plutocracy”. When FDR died suddenly on April 12, 1945, Hitler celebrated in his bunker, saying the United States would now sue for peace. But President Harry Truman was quick to assure the nation that he would press “full speed” to win the war.

Many pundits believe Putin is prolonging the war – hoping, like Hitler – that the US and European coalition will crumble and Ukraine will be forced to sue for peace.

Again, this is probably the fantasy of an isolated dictator. Rafael Behr, columnist on European affairs for The Guardian diary, observed,

Dictators underestimate the strength of democracies because they see only the weakness of leaders who submit to the risk of regime change in free elections. They see strong opposition and a free press as vulnerabilities in the system, making it harder to control from above. They fail to realize that it is the qualities behind resilience and adaptability that have made liberal democracy the most successful model of organizing society in the history of human civilization.

So far, the democracies are winning. We can only hope it stays that way.

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“We Are Proud Boys” details 4 levels of membership in an extremist group https://iainabrach.org/2022/10/14/we-are-proud-boys-details-4-levels-of-membership-in-an-extremist-group/ Fri, 14 Oct 2022 20:13:00 +0000 https://iainabrach.org/2022/10/14/we-are-proud-boys-details-4-levels-of-membership-in-an-extremist-group/ A new book, “We Are Proud Boys”, details the four levels of extremist organization membership. Author Andy Campbell explains the levels involving tattoos, breakfast cereals and banning masturbation. Proud Boy’s top tier requires arrest or “serious violent combat”, according to founder Gavin McInnes. Loading Something is loading. Thank you for your registration! Access your favorite […]]]>
  • A new book, “We Are Proud Boys”, details the four levels of extremist organization membership.
  • Author Andy Campbell explains the levels involving tattoos, breakfast cereals and banning masturbation.
  • Proud Boy’s top tier requires arrest or “serious violent combat”, according to founder Gavin McInnes.

When Gavin McInnes, the far-right Canadian shock athlete, announced the formation of the Proud Boys in 2016, the stated goal was to champion the historic contributions of white men and their champion, former President Donald Trump.

Its members identify as “Western chauvinists” and see their enemy as “antifa”. Chapter leaders emulate the operational security language of a warring military organization and celebrate violent clashes with leftists in the streets.

For the past six years, the Proud Boys have shown up at Black Lives Matter protests and marched in liberal cities, serving as the self-proclaimed vanguard of the MAGA movement. They were on the front lines of the January 6 insurgency, its leaders collaborating with paramilitary groups such as the Oath Keepers in an effort to prevent certification of the 2020 election, and several have since been charged with offenses ranging of illegal possession of weapons to seditious. conspiracy.

But as journalist Andy Campbell details in his new book, “We Are Proud Boys,” as the group ultimately takes itself very seriously, mimicking the operational security language of a military organization, with tactical units at the lurking for trouble at street protests, it’s essentially a drug-and-drink-fueled brotherhood based on a cult of personality and cultural grievances; still potentially dangerous, as evidenced by his arrest record, but also cringe-worthy.

This is perhaps no clearer than in the rituals required for members to progress through the organization.

How a man becomes a boy

Based on extensive research and information gleaned from a left-leaning insider within the organization, HuffPost Editor-in-Chief Campbell details four levels of membership within the Proud Boys. The first is quite simple: a simple token.

“In the first degree, a new recruit must declare allegiance to the Proud Boys, often and at every opportunity, whether online or in their personal life,” Campbell writes.

The organization is rooted in white supremacy, requiring its members to commit to the belief that European civilization was, is, and always will be superior to all others. “The actions of the Proud Boys,” notes the Southern Poverty Law Center, “bend their disavowals of bigotry: the Proud Boys and rank-and-file leaders regularly launch white nationalist memes and maintain affiliations with known extremists.”

Unlike similar far-right groups (or its “antifa” enemies), this is also not a group or political leaning that wants its supporters to remain anonymous. In fact, members, including small business owners, have openly bragged about their membership, sometimes managing to garner media coverage that paints them as mere colorblind patriots.

While the Proud Boys are encouraged to brag about their membership, obfuscation is an essential part of belonging to the group. Although some key leaders have been labeled neo-Nazis, the group as a whole tends to avoid overt racism, trumpeting that some of its members are indeed non-white (women, however, are not allowed).

But as Campbell notes, racial supremacy is at the core. You don’t have to be white to be Proud Boy, according to its founder, but you do need to know your place.

“If you’re black or Hispanic, it doesn’t matter, I don’t care,” McInnes said during one of his online broadcasts, as Campbell reported. “I’m all about the culture. Now part of that is acknowledging that white men seem like the ones who did it, and respecting that, but that doesn’t mean you’re not invited to celebration.”

McInnes did not respond to a request for comment sent to his media company.

Western chauvinism as white pride

The future Proud Boys, who will be initiated into the first level of the group, pledge allegiance not to white supremacy per se, but to what is considered white culture: “I am a western chauvinist and I refuse to apologize for ‘creating the modern world.’

As the informant told Campbell, this ceremony can be impromptu, set in the middle of a drunken march through a town, and involves a rookie – who has gained sufficient confidence by attending public events – and a superior within the organization facing each other, raising their right hand, and reciting the oath in a call-and-response manner. With this, a recruit becomes a member.

To gain access to the second tier, a Proud Boy deemed ready by the executives stands in the middle of a circle, surrounded by their executives, who then begin punching him – Campbell’s source suffered a cracked rib – the violence also ending when the man in the middle can recite the names of five breakfast cereals, supposedly to test their freshness under pressure.

“If the embarrassment of the punching ceremony isn’t enough,” writes Campbell, “a second-degree Proud Boy should also underwrite one of the truly weirdest sides of the band. That’s the politics of ‘ no handjob’ described by McInnes: he is only allowed to masturbate once a month, and he can otherwise only ejaculate when he is “within one meter of a woman with her consent”.

From there, things “become permanent,” writes Campbell. The third level: “The recruit must obtain a Proud Boys tattoo or mark”, the first being much more popular.

At this point, initiation at different levels could be confused with rites of brotherhood. But while most of the group’s antics and internal politics are laughable, there is always a danger in groups of drunken and radicalized men who believe they are engaged in a war against an unholy enemy.

The final level: violence

McInnes himself explained the fourth and final tier of Proud Boys members during a 2017 appearance on Joe Rogan’s podcast (since deleted by Rogan’s publisher, Spotify): “Fourth Degree,” he said. – he says, “you are arrested or you engage in a violent and serious fight for the cause.”

This violence is supposed to be self-defense. But part of being a proud boy is looking for a fight – and the apparent efforts to get that fourth tier landed some in jail. Outside a Manhattan venue in 2018 where founder McInnes worshiped a far-right Japanese assassin inside, members of the Proud Boys assaulted counter-protesters outside. Two of them were later convicted in state court of “attempted gang violence,” among other charges.

Former official Proud Boys leader Henry “Enrique” Tarrio was also accused of engaging in a seditious conspiracy on January 6, when pro-Trump insurgencies, members of the Proud Boys front and center, provoked scuffles with the police in an effort to overturn the 2020 elections, their anti-fascist opponents nowhere in sight.

“Our client is eagerly awaiting his trial and showing a full picture of all the evidence the government intends to show,” Tarrio’s attorney, Nayib Hassan, told Insider.

Tarrio was not in DC on the day of the attack but, according to prosecutors, he helped direct the actions of his fellow Proud Boys from afar. He maintained his innocence (another former leader, Jeremy Bertino, recently pleaded guilty).

McInnes, meanwhile, managed to avoid the kind of legal troubles his supporters now face. He ostensibly severed ties with the group he founded in 2018, following arrests on the sidelines of his speech in Manhattan. His alleged ‘arrest’, during a live broadcast in August, turned out to be a publicity stunt: the man who founded a far-right street gang was not in prison, but on vacation in the south of France.

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Reviews | How Ukrainians define their enemy: ‘It’s not Putin, it’s Russia’ https://iainabrach.org/2022/10/11/reviews-how-ukrainians-define-their-enemy-its-not-putin-its-russia/ Tue, 11 Oct 2022 22:48:19 +0000 https://iainabrach.org/2022/10/11/reviews-how-ukrainians-define-their-enemy-its-not-putin-its-russia/ During a visit to Kyiv last weekend, I kept asking Ukrainians a question that vexed me: Is your war against President Vladimir Putin – or against Russia itself? Almost every time I got the same inflexible response. The enemy is a Russia that must be defeated and transformed. In the eyes of Ukrainians, this terrible […]]]>

During a visit to Kyiv last weekend, I kept asking Ukrainians a question that vexed me: Is your war against President Vladimir Putin – or against Russia itself? Almost every time I got the same inflexible response. The enemy is a Russia that must be defeated and transformed.

In the eyes of Ukrainians, this terrible conflict has become a clash of civilizations. They argue that most Russians support Putin’s brutal war the same way most Germans supported Adolf Hitler. Unless Russia as a nation abandons the imperial dreams evoked by Putin, the conflict cannot be resolved through negotiations.

“Russia has to go through the same process as Germany after World War II,” presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak insisted on Saturday in an interview with me and other members of a group organized by the German Marshall Fund, which I am an administrator. . “If Russian society does not understand what they have done, the world will be plunged into chaos.” He enthusiastically predicts that post-war Russia will dissolve into five or six smaller nations.

This Ukrainian desire for outright victory — while understandable for a country that has suffered a vicious assault on its civilian population — poses a painful dilemma for the Biden administration. As President Biden made clear in a May 31 essay in The New York Times, the United States seeks “a negotiated end to the conflict” in which Russia withdraws from occupied territory. Biden is looking for a Ukrainian victory, but not a total Russian defeat.

For me, thinking about the end of this war juxtaposes two contradictory lessons of the 20th century. Historians generally agree that the punitive peace imposed on Germany after World War I contributed to the Nazis’ vicious quest for revenge. But historians also agree that the decisive outcome of the Second World War, with Germany and Japan forced into unconditional surrender, enabled the miraculous post-war revival of the two countries.

Ukrainians, from top leaders to ordinary citizens, seem convinced that Putin’s Russia must be defeated, not just Putin himself. Olga Datsiuk, a 33-year-old television producer, relaxing over lunch at a cafe, was smiling but emphatic during an interview on Saturday. “We think Russia and the Russians are responsible for all of this,” she said. The same view was expressed by Sergiy Gerasymchuk, who heads a foreign policy think tank called Prism: “It’s not Putin; this is Russia,” he told us. “There is a chance of reconciliation, but not in my lifetime.”

The Ukrainian narrative centers on the divergent paths the two countries took after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Ukrainians turned West, towards the European Union and embraced a free but corrupt version of democracy. Russia initially flirted with the West, under President Boris Yeltsin, but after a decade of chaos and humiliation, Russians hailed Putin’s strong hand when he was elected president in 2000.

Russia has never had a post-communist housecleaning, and from the Ukrainian point of view, this is the root of the current catastrophe. “The Russians, in a way, are afraid [of democracy]Datsyuk said. “That’s what Ukrainians will never understand. They choose safe space and warm food instead of freedom. The two companies diverged, says Alina Frolova, a former deputy defense minister who now heads a think tank called the Center for Defense Strategies. “Russia had 10 years of freedom after 1991, but it chose to return to its traditional empire.”

Ukraine’s pro-Western democracy threatened Putin, and he worked tirelessly, obsessively, to crush it. Its war on Ukraine began in 2014, when it seized Crimea and parts of the Donbass region, and culminated in this year’s scorched earth invasion.

But the Russian assaults have only deepened Ukraine’s distinct identity. A gathering of Ukrainian intellectuals in June, sponsored by two major universities, compiled a list of 74 ways the war had changed society. Group member Valerii Pekar described this new spirit as “civic Ukraineism” – in its national pride, love for its armed forces and commitment to a European, democratic future.

So how will this clash of civilizations end? In the West, we try to imagine a negotiated peace. Putin could retreat to pre-invasion lines. … Or mediators could devise a formula for postponing the final resolution of the status of the occupied territories. … Or the Russian army could rebel against the dictates of the Kremlin. …Or Putin could be replaced by a successor who cannot or will not continue the war.

The Ukrainians I met in Kyiv unanimously rejected such an interim settlement. They want Ukraine to regain all of its territory and Russia to lose decisively. The war will end, said Oleksiy Danilov, the secretary of the National Security and Defense Council, “when the Russians understand that they have no chance of victory”.

Americans have the painless joy of watching Ukrainians fight for freedom. But there will also be growing risks for us if the war continues to escalate. We must calibrate them carefully and avoid a direct US-Russian conflict. But we cannot entirely escape the dangers.

Surely this is a war worth winning. I don’t want to see Russia destroyed, and I think any argument that it’s an alien civilization forever is wrong. But the ideology that Putin represents and that many Russians embrace must be defeated.

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International Conspiracy…is a conspiracy against the Middle East – ANHA | HAWARNEWS https://iainabrach.org/2022/10/09/international-conspiracyis-a-conspiracy-against-the-middle-east-anha-hawarnews/ Sun, 09 Oct 2022 01:10:00 +0000 https://iainabrach.org/2022/10/09/international-conspiracyis-a-conspiracy-against-the-middle-east-anha-hawarnews/ The Kurdish people are one of the oldest sects in the Middle East and in the world. These are the peoples from whom the first human civilizations emerged on their land. However, these ancient peoples have not enjoyed their legitimate rights according to United Nations constitutions and norms or even religious norms since the elimination […]]]>

The Kurdish people are one of the oldest sects in the Middle East and in the world. These are the peoples from whom the first human civilizations emerged on their land. However, these ancient peoples have not enjoyed their legitimate rights according to United Nations constitutions and norms or even religious norms since the elimination of the Mediyya civilization (728-550 BC). which laid down the organizational, administrative, political and military foundations, as well as the official titles, the organization of the state administration and the military terminology, and whenever the Kurdish people strove to realize their rights, they was subjected to campaigns of extermination and melting down, with dozens of irrefutable proofs.

In modern times, all the uprisings led by the Kurdish people for their freedom and the enjoyment of their legitimate rights have been suppressed, and the colonial powers, mainly the Turkish occupying state, have tried to eliminate them by plotting plots and military campaigns against them, beginning with Mahmoud al-Barzanji’s first uprising in Southern Kurdistan. (1919-1922), the uprising of Samco Aga Shakaki in Rojhilat (1918-1922), until the uprising of Kojakri in Bakur Kurdistan (1921), passing by the uprising of Sheikh Saeed (1925) and the uprising of Dirsem ( 1937-1938).

All Kurdish uprisings were suppressed by eliminating the leaders of the uprising, so the Turkish occupying state sought to eliminate the Kurdistan liberation movement by eliminating the leader Abdullah Ocalan with an international plot, the first of which was conducted on October 9, 1998, which was submitted to Syria just before the coup in Turkey in 1980.

Following the announcement of the founding of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) led by leader Abdullah Ocalan in Turkey and Bakur Kurdistan in 1978, the Turkish state attempted to eliminate the PKK and its leadership by all means. So, leader Abdullah Ocalan came out of Turkey to Rojava in 1979, and a year later there was a military coup in Turkey. On September 12, 1980, under the leadership of Turkish General Kanaan Everen, with the aim of foiling and defeating revolutionary movements, in which all government centers and institutions were turned into prisons, a campaign of arrests and kidnappings of freedom fighters and democratic activists was launched. by the Turkish authorities, most of them were PKK leaders and supporters, and dozens of PKK leaders, such as Mazloum Duggan, Mohammed Khairy Darmush, Kamal Bir, Akaf Yilmaz, Ali Jijek, Muzaffar Ayata and Mustafa Soo, were arrested by the Turkish authorities.

In March 1981, executives and leaders of the PKK began a hunger strike against the regime of severity and torture in Amed prison, and several executives of the PKK cited under torture.

So Chief Mazloum Dogan said about the level of torture and the psychological warfare system on people held in Amed prison: “Why can’t anyone be a light against this darkness? I will be a light against the darkness”.

On March 20, 1982, on the eve of Newroz, he courageously sacrificed and martyred himself under the slogan “Resistance is life, surrender is death”.

Following the resistance from Amed Prison and the launch of the August 15, 1984 movement, Chief Ocalan developed the struggle within the concept and philosophy of revolutionary people’s war. Chief Abdullah Ocalan explained: “During the period from 1987 to my departure from Syria on October 9, 1998, I myself prepared uninterrupted and arduous campaigns on the ground; in order to empty of its content the opportunism that was imposed on us and to paralyze the organization of Konter Guerrilla and JITEM”.

“These tireless efforts could not have been won on their own, but they were able to cripple the disadvantages of opportunism and Konter Guerrilla’s plans in our liquidation, and empty them of them. This is what happened. actually happened when we arrived in late 1998.”

Leader Abdullah Ocalan’s position in the Middle East helped meet the demands of revolutionary people’s war, creating an enabling and conducive environment for this war, closing the door to the imposition of dictates and concessions. Chief Ocalan emphasizes in this regard: “It was a very important strategic situation, where the conditions were the most appropriate in terms of escalating people’s war, both in terms of concluding strategic relations and in terms of securing and providing tactical support in the area of ​​training and logistical needs in particular.

The Turkish state failed to eliminate the PKK, so it resorted to modernist capitalist states. In 1988, an exercise was held in the United States of America under the name “Suppression of the Eastern Turkish Uprising by the Turkish Army and the US Army”, the main objective being to eliminate the PKK.

Chief Ocalan left Syria after being threatened by Turkey with the direct support of America and NATO countries of a war against Syria “Syria finally gave in to Turkish pressure and the chief Abdullah Ocalan left on October 9, 1998, and Israel’s Mossad intelligence was monitoring the commander’s movements in Syria,” leader Abdullah Ocalan traveled first to Moscow, then to Rome, from Greece and then to Kenya. During this period, America warned Russia and all European countries not to grant shelter and asylum to leader Abdullah Ocalan, and leader Abdullah Ocalan stresses: “My departure from Syria is linked to the operation carried out by NATO’s Gladio network.

Turkish Occupation Army Chief of Staff Ilker Bashbug said, “The United States effectively delivered Ocalan to Turkey with a view to neutralizing it and gaining control of the party.

The main reason for the arrest of leader Abdullah Ocalan is to derail the peace process he initiated on the one hand, and on the other hand to eliminate any democratic thought in the region and in the Middle East. The most important thing is to eliminate the philosophy of people’s revolutionary war. Chief Abdullah Ocalan points out that the main and obvious reason for this period is: “Both Israel and America were not adamantly peaceful and political at the time. In other words, until my arrest, they watched so fiercely the continuation of infertility, “even on a low level.”

The international conspiracy against leader Abdullah Ocalan is a conspiracy targeting the entire Middle East. This is the beginning of Western intervention led by the United States of America in the Middle East after World War II under the pretext of bringing democracy After the arrest of leader Abdullah Ocalan, America invaded the Iraq in 2003 and has established military bases in many parts of the Middle East. Syria was forced to relinquish the Sandjak of Alexandretta to Turkey in 2004, reaching the wave of the so-called Arab Spring in 2010.

Chief Abdullah Ocalan was detained but continued his struggle in Imrali prison. He emptied the international conspiracy of its content by introducing the concept of a democratic nation, developing the concept of a revolutionary people’s war which has now reached its peak in all of Kurdistan, particularly in Rojava, NE, Syria. Thousands of intellectuals, researchers and scholars in the Middle East and around the world have embraced the ideas and philosophy of leader Abdullah Ocalan.

The international conspiracy against Chief Ocalan continues to this day and is renewed in various ways and methods. On October 9, 2019, the Turkish occupation state launched an occupation attack against the regions of Girê Spi and Serêkaniyê, and on October 9, 2020, an agreement was reached between the al-Kazemi government and the Democratic Party of Kurdistan of In order to thwart the experiment of the autonomous administration of Şengal, the isolation of the chief “APO” Ocalan intensified, and the Turkish occupation state intensified its attacks against Kurdistan of the south, using all kinds of modern and internationally banned weapons, in the midst of international silence, and this is proof that the countries of capitalist hegemony, led by America and Israel, do not want to stop the war in the Middle East.

T/ Sat.

ANHA

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