It was Soviet civilization, but it was still civilization. Eastern Ukraine does not even have that anymore as the civil war between the Kiev-based government and pro-Russian separatists has caused the remnants of law and order to crumble. The government has gained a foothold in the separatist-controlled territory, and now has control over the crash site of MH17. Only time will tell if that brings answers.
Word to Christians from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria: Convert, leave, or die. Forget accommodation. Forget religious tolerance and related catchphrases from the always tolerant, perpetually forbearing West. Convert, leave, or die.
Against the backdrop of attempts to exterminate — not just subdue, not just conquer; exterminate — Christianity in the Middle East, Secretary of State John Kerry’s frantic appeals for an Israeli stand-down in the war with Hamas look more absurd by the second. The firers of rockets from Gaza into Israel are of the same kidney as the ISIS terrorists. If you’re not one of them, they want you gone or dead.
ISIS have expelled all the Christians from their territory in Mosul and commenced destroying evidence of any faith other than their own twisted brand of Sunni orthodoxy.
As predicted, the treasures of Iraq's past, which are the heritage of the three Abrahamic faiths, are being obliterated. ISIS removed the worshippers from the mosque at the tomb of the prophet Jonah and bombed it into oblivion, according to the Christian Post. The shrine is associated with the prophet Jonah, whose aquatic adventures Jews, Christians, and Muslims all know from their respective scriptures. Like many ancient holy sites, it was built atop ruins of even older churches where earlier centuries of faithful had worshipped. It was sacred to all the Abrahamic faiths and known as a symbol of the area's religious heritage.
As Operation Protective Edge continues in Gaza, the Jews of the European diaspora are looking about and seeing an increasingly hostile home. A pair of particularly violent outbreaks of anti-Semitism in France and the Netherlands seems to foreshadow a future conflagration fueled by moral relativism and sparked by Europe’s growing Islamic slums. Muslims spouting Sharia and jihad have no room for Israel and Jews in their future world, and post-Christian Europe offers little resistance to those who promise hate and violence.
A search for the good guys and bad guys of Iraq commenced during a hearing in the House Committee on Foreign Affairs with representatives from the Departments of State and Defense on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki was the first "bad guy," in the view of Congress. A few representatives are still making thinly veiled accusations about incompetence on the part of Bush for sending troops into Iraq, or Obama for taking them out, but most seem to agree that Maliki is out of favor.
On the other hand, several congressmen expressed support for the Kurds, both in general and in their desire for an independent state. One remarked that no American troops were lost in the Kurdish territories during the Iraq war, thanks to the friendliness of the Kurds.
Warm wishes were also expressed towards Jordan, while any partnership with Iran was roundly condemned.
John Kerry has made a surprise visit to Jerusalem to negotiate a cease-fire between Gaza and Israel, but since the conflict thus far has served only to unify Gazans and Israelis alike in mutual dislike, a more creative solution will be needed.
There is a certain appeal to this image of Kerry flying in unannounced to Israel's airport—which was recently closed to Americans for safety reasons—perhaps with a red, white, and blue cape fluttering in the breeze created by passing missiles. It is not terribly realistic, though. Both Israelis and Gazans view Egypt and the Obama administration—the powers that negotiated the ceasefire in 2012—with suspicion, and that will make a repeat deal challenging.
Besides that, neither side would gain much from a return to the tense, non-violent hostility of a month ago. For Israel, it would be a matter of time before war began again. And besides that, explained Jerusalem Post reporter Gil Hoffman, Israelis are almost unanimously behind the ground invasion:
The communist apologists over at the Nation, the self-described “flagship of the left,” have outdone themselves. The liberal rag, notorious for its long record of useful idiocy in the service of tin-pot dictators and tyrants, has once again fallen in love with Castro's Cuba. You would think it was the sixties all over again.
A self-congratulatory article about the Nation's educational staff trip to Cuba sets a dangerous precedent by commending the Cuban government for its political and economic advancements. But the Castro regime is just as guilty of crimes against humanity as it was four decades ago. Just because the island is showing feints at “progress” does not make the regime worthy of praise.
Last week, Cuba renewed its ties with Russia—Big Brother’s Big Brother. Putin forgave 90 percent of Cuba’s debt, amounting to $32 billion. There are also reports, and denials, that Russia has agreed to fund the Lourdes electronic eavesdropping base in Cuba.
It should come as no surprise to anyone that our secretary of state, John Kerry, was caught on a hot mic bashing Israel during a commercial break while in an interview with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday. Kerry sarcastically characterized the IDF’s Operation Protective Edge in Gaza as a “hell of a pinpoint operation” while on speaker-phone with an adviser.
After all, it was less than three months ago that Kerry said Israel could become an Apartheid state if a Palestinian state were not established. This comment, made behind closed doors during a sitting of the Trilateral Commission, put Kerry on the defensive for a few days before he issued a classic non-apology apology.
Witness the latest fruits of modern leftist foreign policy, as embodied in this instance by the much ballyhooed Obama/Hillary Clinton “Russian Reset”: 298 people who booked a flight on Malaysian Air’s Flight 17, now dead. Brutally slaughtered by those thugs supplied and inspired by Vladimir Putin — the ex-KGB agent who has come to view the president of the United States and his secretary of state (make that secretaries of state, in the plural) as, in the vernacular, wimps. Leaving him free to do anything and everything from invading Crimea to supplying anti-aircraft missiles to his favored thugs prowling the Ukrainian countryside.
There is serious, understandable grief for the deaths of those associated with AIDS research. Here, for example, is the Gay Star News:
The AIDS research community and activists were stunned and horrified to learn that prominent AIDS expert Dr Joep Lange was among those killed aboard a Malaysian Airlines flight which was shot down over Ukraine on Thursday.
The most prominent Christian landmark in Iraq was emptied of its Christians on Sunday. Mar Behnam is a Syriac Catholic church that was built by a fourth-century Assyrian king. The church was his penance for killing his son, a Christian convert. It is now under the control of Islamic extremists from ISIS, and the monks having been sent away with nothing but the clothes on their backs, according to AFP. They walked for miles before Kurdish Peshmerga forces picked them up and took them to Qaraqosh.
The monks were the last Christians to leave the plains of Iraq; a few still live in Baghdad, but the rest have fled to Kurdistan.