The Tragedy of Uglegorsk: Exodus from the “City of the Dead”

Excellent Post- Civilians are just pawns, countries just strategic stepping stones and peoples wishes simply ignored. The Photo’s are precious inroads to what the people are feeling. Again excellent post

SLAVYANGRAD.org

Original: Komsomolskaya Pravda
Translated by Alya Bailey / Edited by @GBabeuf
Photo credits: Aleksandr Kots, Dmitriy Steshin

uglogorsk_head

The Militia opened a humanitarian corridor for the residents and organised the evacuation. The Ukrainian side did not want to let the civilians cross their front line.

People started leaving the town early in the morning. We ran into the first group of refugees already on Gorlovka’s outskirts. Packed cars with windows steamed on the inside and white sheets, scarves on aerials and mirrors. People had hardly any belongings with themthey escaped with only the clothes they were wearing and had filled the vehicles to the brim. Then we saw a few Urals with children in the cabs. The first transfer point is at the administrative building of one of the mines. Here, the Militia is checking ID papersa lot of Ukrainian soldiers are left in the city, hiding…

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Dear Syria: From One Refugee to Another – Ramzy Baroud repost from Dissident Voice

Ramzy Baroud often touches a nerve for me, his writing is thoughtful and always shows connectedness to his subject.

I have wanted to post on recent issues relating to the Australian Counter Terrorism Legislation Amendment (Foreign Fighters) Bill 2014 and its capacity for thoughtless personal impact through poor policy interpretation of an overly zealous law initiated under the cloud of ‘Terror Threats’ to Australia trumpeted by our government. The implementation of Policy in Australia means the fact that you are Palestinian, will never be forgotten (even if you become a citizen of this country and carry her passport) by security forces of Customs and Border etc and the various Police entities involved in working under this Act.

Double whammy if you are a Palestinian from Syria.

Triple whammy if your birthplace as a part of the diaspora post 1948 was Libya.

Quadruple whammy if you were once an asylum seeker to these shores.

Quintuple if you had to return to Syria for any valid reason over the past few years.

I am still debating whether it is timely to post my piece or if I should do further research and wait for the right moment to be more in tune with the universe and less fucking angry. (Takfiri outsiders in Al Yarmouk killed by multiple poorly aimed gunshots at least 3 men in recent street ‘court assassinations’ for swearing as I just did- Fuck them and their proxy war trainers, suppliers, financiers and supporters)

I want to THANK you Ramzy for this piece, for the 7 reminders and warnings and particularly for the reminder that some people really do understand why you think of your mother when you hear the word ‘refugee’ and why you say, “Dear Syria”……………….

Dear Syria: From One Refugee to Another

Whenever the word ‘refugee’ is uttered, I think of my mother. When Zionist militias began their systematic onslaught and ‘cleansing’ of the Palestinian Arab population of historic Palestine in 1948, she, along with her family, ran away from the once peaceful village of Beit Daras.

Back then, Zarefah was six. Her father died in a refugee camp in a tent provided by the Quakers soon after he had been separated from his land. She collected scrap metal to survive.

My grandmother Mariam, would venture out to the ‘death zone’ that bordered the separated and newly established state of Israel from Gaza’s refugee camps to collect figs and oranges. She faced death every day. Her children were all refugees, living in shatat – the Diaspora.

My mother lived to be 42. Her life was tremendously difficult. She married a refugee, my dad, and together they brought seven refugees into this world – my brothers, my sister and myself. One died as a toddler, for there was no medicine in the refugee camp’s clinic.

No matter where we are, in time and place, we carry our refugee ID cards, our undefinable nationalities, our precious status, our parents’ burden, our ancestors’ pain.

In fact, we have a name for it. It is called waja’ – ‘aching’ – a character that unifies millions of Palestinian refugees all across the globe. With our refugee population now dominated by second, third or even fourth generation refugees, it seems that our waja’ is what we hold in common most. Our geographies may differ, our languages, our political allegiances, our cultures, but ultimately, we meet around the painful experiences that we have internalized throughout generations.

My mother used to say – ihna yalfalastinieen damitna qaribeh – tears for us Palestinians are always close by. But our readiness to shed tears is not a sign of weakness, far from it. It is because throughout the years we managed to internalize our own exile, and its many ramifications, along with the exiles of everyone else’s. The emotional burden is just too great.

We mask the unbearable aching somehow, but it is always close to the surface. If we hear a single melody by Marcel Khalifeh or Sheikh Imam, or a few verses by Mahmoud Darwish, the wound is as fresh as ever.

Most of us no longer live in tents, but we are reminded of our refugee status every single day, by the Israeli occupation, by the Gaza siege and the internally-displaced Palestinians in Israel, by the Iraq war and the displacement of the already displaced Palestinians there, by the despicable living conditions of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, and throughout the Middle East.

But for us, Syria has been our greatest waja’ in years. Aside from the fact that most of Syria’s half a million Palestinian refugees are on the run again, living the pain of displacement and loss for the second, third, or even fourth time. Nine million Syrian refugees are now duplicating the Palestinian tragedy, charting the early course of the Palestinian Nakba, the catastrophe of 1948.

Watching the destitution of the Syrian refugees is like rewinding the past, in all of its awful details. And watching Arab states clamor to aid the refugees with ample words and little action feels as if we are living Arab betrayal all over again.

I watched my grandparents die, followed by my parents and many of my peers. All of them died refugees, carrying the same status and the same lost hope of return. The most they ever received from the ‘international community’ was a few sacks of rice and cheap cooking oil. And, of course, numerous tents.

With time our refugee status morphed from being a ‘problem’ to an integral part of our identities. Being a ‘refugee’ at this stage means insisting on the Right of Return for Palestinian refugees as enshrined in international law. That status is no longer just a mere reference to physical displacement but also to a political, even a national identity.

Political division may, at times, dominate Palestinian society, but we will always be united by the fact that we are refugees with a common cause: going home. While for the Palestinians of Yarmouk near Damascus, being a refugee is a matter of life and death – often by starvation – for the larger Palestinian collective, the meaning of the word has become more involved: it has been etched onto our skin forever.

But what can one say by way of advice to the relatively new refugees of Syria, considering that we are yet to liberate ourselves from a status that we never sought?

There can be only reminders and a few warnings:

First, may your displacement end soon. May you never live the waja’ of displacement to the extent that you embrace it as a part of your identity, and pass it on from one generation to another. May it be a kind of fleeting pain or passing nightmare, but never a pervasive every day reality.

Second, you must be prepared for the worst. My grandparents left their new blankets in their village before they fled to the refugee camps because they feared they would have been ruined by the dust of the journey. Alas, the camps became home, and the blankets were confiscated as the rest of Palestine was. Please remain hopeful, but realistic.

Third, don’t believe the ‘international community’ when they make promises. They never deliver, and when they do, it is always for ulterior motives that might bring you more harm than good. In fact, the term itself is illusory, mostly used in reference to western countries which have wronged you as they have us.

Fourth, don’t trust Arab regimes. They lie. They feel not your pain. They hear not your pleas, nor do they care. They have invested so much in destroying your countries, and so little in redeeming their sins. They speak of aid that rarely arrives and political initiatives that constitute mostly press releases. But they will take every opportunity to remind you of their virtues. In fact, your victimhood becomes a platform for their greatness. They thrive at your expense, thus will invest to further your misery.

Fifth, preserve your dignity. I know, it is never easy to maintain your pride when you sleep in a barren street covered in cardboard boxes. A mother would do whatever she can to help her children pass into safety. No matter, you must never allow the wolves awaiting you at every border to exploit your desperation. You must never allow the Emir, or his children or some rich businessman or sympathetic celebrity to use you as a photo-op. Do not ever kneel. Don’t ever kiss a hand. Don’t give anyone the satisfaction to exploit your pain.

Sixth, remain united. There is strength in unity when one is a refugee. Don’t allow political squabbles to distract you from the greater battle at hand: surviving until the day you return home, and you will.

Seventh, love Syria. Yours is an unparalleled civilization. Your history is rife with triumphs that were ultimately of your own making. Even if you must leave to distant lands, keep Syria in your hearts. This too shall pass, and Syria shall redeem its glory, once the brutes vanquish. Only the spirit of the people shall survive. It is not wishful thinking. It is history.

Dear Syrian refugee, it has been 66 years and counting since my people’s dispossession began. We are yet to return, but that is a battle for my children, and their children to fight. I hope yours ends soon. Until then, please remember the tent is just a tent, and the gusts of cold wind are but of a passing storm.

And until you return home to Syria, don’t let the refugee become who you are, as you are so much more.

Ramzy Baroud is an author and a journalist. His latest volume is The Second Palestinian Intifada: A Chronicle of a People’s Struggle (Pluto Press, London). He can be reached at ramzybaroud@hotmail.com. Read other articles by Ramzy.

VIDEO: “Israeli Control of Congress”, American intelligence team [FIRST TIME IN HISTORY!] gave a military briefing at ‘Damascus Terror Conference’, to an audience of key military leaders of Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Russia

sedwith:

Must see video: Gordon Duff speaks in Damascus on US Policy links to organised crime and Israeli control of policy, John McCain and his Da’ash IS gangs and Chuck Hegals role in preventing US bombing of Syria over ‘gas attacks’.

 

Originally posted on the real SyrianFreePress Network:

Israeli Control of Congress Cited in Terrorism Keynote

Russian and US delegations chiefs with Barakat of Syria reading findings-750

Damascus Terror Conference Gets a Taste of “AIPAC’s” Criminal Ties

By Gordon Duff, Veteran Today Senior Editor

Two days of meetings were brought to a screeching halt when Gordon Duff spoke at the Damascus conference.

Seated on his right, and speaking next, was Colonel James Hanke, US Army Special Forces (ret). On his left, the Syrian Minister of Justice Najm al Ahmad and Mike Harris. Handling the camera on this short video is Jim W. Dean.

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This may well have been the first time in history an American intelligence team of “non-activists” gave a military briefing to an audience of this type, including key military leaders of diverse tribal forces throughout Lebanon, Syria and Iraq, a Russian delegation and others from around the world.

VT_s Colonel Jim Hanke, former Attache to Israel VT’s Colonel Jim Hanke…

View original 245 more words

the real Syrian Free Press

Israeli Control of Congress Cited in Terrorism Keynote

Russian and US delegations chiefs with Barakat of Syria reading findings-750Russian and US delegations chiefs with Barakat of Syria reading findings

Damascus Terror Conference Gets a Taste of “AIPAC’s” Criminal Ties

By Gordon Duff, Veteran Today Senior Editor

Two days of meetings were brought to a screeching halt when Gordon Duff spoke at the Damascus conference.

Seated on his right, and speaking next, was Colonel James Hanke, US Army Special Forces (ret). On his left, the Syrian Minister of Justice Najm al Ahmad and Mike Harris. Handling the camera on this short video is Jim W. Dean.

.

.

This may well have been the first time in history an American intelligence team of “non-activists” gave a military briefing to an audience of this type, including key military leaders of diverse tribal forces throughout Lebanon, Syria and Iraq, a Russian delegation and others from around the world.

VT_s Colonel Jim Hanke, former Attache to IsraelVT’s Colonel Jim Hanke, former…

View original post 243 more words

Australia in Iraq – Is it War?

If you didn’t see the new Chaser Media Circus on the ABC, here’s your chance. I have put my favourite from the first episode- a 1 minute ‘tubechop’ below.

Had enough of the governments blah blah where do we stand, ‘well yes but not really’ and well ‘its humanitarian’ attitude to bombing in Iraq? (And wait for it … Syria) then this explains it all in just 1 minute.    (It won’t suck your meager download from Australian telco providers if you click either!)

1 minute grab from “The Chaser Media Circus” on the ABC 15/10/2014

But if you want the full 30 minute program click the link below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDBU0k6MadA

Xanana Gusmao PM of Timor Leste speaks at the UN General Debate

http://webtv.un.org/watch/timor-leste-general-debate-69th-session/3808487676001

Watch 30 minutes of SANITY in the UN from a tiny, poor nation with INSPIRATIONAL LEADERSHIP

Timor-Leste, General Debate, 69th Session 25 Sep 2014 –

Statement by His Excellency Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão, Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste at the general debate of the 69th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations (New York, 24-30 September 2014).

‘Poet Guerilla’, now Statesman in one of the World’s poorest developing Countriesin New York Talks about Peace

 

Xanana Gusmao, Prime Minister and Minister of Defense and Security of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste

Xanana Gusmao, Prime Minister and Minister of Defense and Security of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste http://portuguese-american-journal.com/xanana-gusmao-doutor-honoris-causa-by-the-university-of-coimbra-portugal/

KEY NOTE ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY THE PRIME MINISTER THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF TIMOR-LESTE

KAY RALA XANANA GUSMÃO

AT THE HIGH-LEVEL MINISTERIAL LUNCH MEETING ON PEACE AND CAPABLE INSTITUTIONS AS STAND-ALONE  GOALS IN THE POST-2015
DEVELOPMENT AGENDA

New York
22 September 2014

Distinguished guests
Ladies and gentlemen,

We are all here because we are committed to advancing human development, eradicating poverty and securing a sustainable future.

The world took a great step forward in 2000 when the United Nations agreed on the Millennium Development Goals.

The MDGs focused the global development effort on achieving eight goals that addressed poverty, education, gender, child mortality, maternal  health, disease, environmental sustainability and development funding. Since the adoption of the
Millennium Development Goals we have experienced unprecedented human progress.

We have seen hundreds of millions of people lifted from poverty, and improved health and education outcomes across many countries of the world.

However, it is important to note, that much of this progress is not because of the global development effort, but because of the rise of Asia and, in particular, of China.

It is even more important to note, that there are still 2.2 billion people living in poverty in fragile and conflict affected nations – nations that will not achieve even a single Millennium Development Goal by 2015.

The common factor in many of the nations left behind, despite the MDG initiative, is conflict.

Sometimes a truth is so obvious that it is easily overlooked. The truth we have learned through bitter experience in Timor-Leste is that you must have peace – before you can even begin to rebuild a state.

Ladies and gentlemen, there was not a Millennium Development Goal that addressed this fundamental truth. (my emphasis)

We must ensure we do not ignore the obvious, as we work together to formulate the post 2015 development agenda.

I am very pleased to see that a peace related goal is one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals suggested by the Open Working Group.

Sustainable Development Goal 16 is to: “Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.”

This is a very welcome move, but I believe it should be Sustainable Development Goal number 1, as none of the other 16 goals will be achievable
without peace and effective state institutions. (my emphasis)

Let me share with you some hard ‘truths’ we learned in Timor-Leste to explain what I mean.

Firstly, while we have made remarkable progress in many areas, we are not on track to reach the targets set under even one of the Millennium Development Goals. This is perhaps in part, because we are a very young nation. We are
younger even than the Millennium Development Goals, having only achieved our independence in 2002 after a war of resistance that lasted nearly a quarter of a century.

But it is also because following independence, and despite extensive assistance from the international community, we found ourselves trapped in a cycle of violence and unrest. In 2006, we faced our greatest crisis as sections of
our police and army resorted to armed conflict and took us to the brink of civil war. The crisis wiped out years of development progress and we realised that our problem was not that we were poor but that our institutions were weak.

Children stopped going to school, health clinics were deserted because people were too scared to make the journey to the clinic, our economy was stagnating because the government went into shut down and international investors fled. We had 150,000 people living as displaced people in their own country because they were too scared to go back to their villages.

After much national reflection, we decided we had to make our number one priority the peaceful resolution of our differences. We realised that there can be no development if there is chaos. We realised that without peace, we would betray the dreams of all those who died in our quest for independence. And we realised that without peace, we would be failing our children.

So we started a dialogue. We convinced our rebel soldiers in the mountains to surrender peacefully. Our friends here at the United Nations said it would take a decade but within two years, the tents were gone and our people had all returned home to their villages.

And we began to rebuild our State institutions.

We still have a long way to go. But you only have to compare Dili of eight years ago with the Díli of today to know we are on the right track and that we have made remarkable progress.

Ladies and gentlemen

As we embarked upon the process of consolidating peace and building our institutions we discovered that our experience was not unique. There were
other nations around the world which were fragile, or affected by conflict, that were not on track to achieve a single Millennium Development Goal.

We came together to speak with one voice as the g7+ group of fragile and conflict affected nations. The g7+ now represents 20 nations that have learnt, through bitter experience that a global development framework will not work without a focus on peace building and State building. (my emphasis)

Sadly, the crisis in South Sudan is the most recent example of the hope of development progress being destroyed by conflict, and the failure of state institutions.

And then there is the Ebola crisis gripping West African nations that highlights the critical need for capable institutions to address what could become a global health crisis.

I want to state here that Timor-Leste will contribute $1 million to assist the West African g7+ member nations dealing with the Ebola crisis.

And we see disturbing events in the Middle East unfold which prove the need for peace and properly functioning governments.

We also have to ask the question – who profits from conflict in developing nations? The answer of course, is ultimately those corporations that
manufacture and sells the arms. We need some collective action in the United Nations to properly monitor and investigate who profits from conflict. (my emphasis)

Ladies and gentlemen,

If we are serious about having sustainable development goals that will have a transformative impact on human development and global peace and security, then we need a stand-alone goal that addresses peace building and effective, accountable and inclusive institutions. (my emphasis)

I urge the international community to embrace this goal so we can ensure that no nations, and no people, are left behind by the global development agenda.

And so, as we look into the future, I hope that securing global, regional and national peace will be our consuming agenda.

Because there can be no sustainable development without peace.

Thank you very much.

22 September 2014
Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão

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I thank ETAN mailing list of a brilliant site  www.etan.org