Posted in art, illustrations, tagged 30x45cm, acrylic, Aesop Fables updated, art, Benny Thomas, death, even seals, fables, Famine, Knights, plague, The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, war on October 15, 2013 |
Leave a Comment »
A frightful sight was the knight astride a horse caparisoned with silver buckles and headpiece of gold. The beast knew his fame alright. His flaring nostrils and sleek body armor plated gave a terrible aspect, and flanks catching shafts of light from infernal regions he emerged, made all who saw him shudder. The rider whose visor was down held his shield loosely and sat as if born to ride didn’t stir.
He let his steed make his paces.
The animal at last spoke. He said,’ O Knight of Thousand Wars have we not covered ourselves in glory?’
War said,’ None dared hold ground before us.’ The horse said,’ Isn’t time then we called it a day and rested from our bloody business?’
War would have but there were three other horses closely in heels. The horses bearing knights named Plague Famine just paused till Knight Death caught up with them. Seeing this infernal sight of nags of the most loathsome aspect Knight War patted his horse by the mane and said,’From where are these coming?’
The war horse shrugged off saying that these were ever on heels the day they set out to conquer.
War had to agree that they would not be able to alight for the fear of being trampled to death by them.
Read Full Post »
When Libya’s dictator for more than four decades fell victim to the Arab Spring, Col. Moammar Gadhafi’s influence didn’t end. It is now contributing to increased attacks by rebel groups, the arming of terrorists and a hunger crisis in other parts of Africa.
“This is a setback for the international community which has invested so much money in the past decade in democracy, peace, and security in Africa,” said Dr. Mehari Taddele Maru at the Institute for Security Studies based in Pretoria, South Africa.
After Gadhafi’s fall, thousands of his soldiers left the country with stockpiles of weapons, including machine guns, ammunition, and shoulder-fired missiles. Maru says at least 2,000 of them were mercenaries who returned to their native countries in sub-Saharan Africa, including Mali, Niger, Mauritania, and Nigeria. . Many have already returned to fighting.
In the West African country of Mali, when ethnic Taureg fighters returned from Libya well armed, it encouraged Taureg separatists to launch a new rebellion against the government in January. While Gadhafi’s weapons were no match for the NATO forces that came to the rescue of Libyan revolutionaries, they were far superior to the weapons of the impoverished Malian army. A mutiny by Mali’s out-gunned and frustrated soldiers turned into a coup d’etat when they stormed the Presidential Palace in March, erasing more than two decades of democratic rule.
In the chaos that has ensued after the coup, Taureg separatists in Mali have had more success than ever before. On Sunday they seized the last government holdout in the north, the legendary town of Timbuktu. There is now concern a Taureg victory in Mali could inspire another rebellion in neighboring Niger.
“The Tauregs in Niger got funding from Gadhafi. The government of Niger has been able to negotiate with them for peace, but for how long? That is questionable,” said Maru.
Gadhafi’s fighters and weapons also streamed into other nearby countries in the Sahel region bordering the Sahara desert. It is an area where a major Al-Qaeda affiliate has announced it acquired thousands of Gadhafi’s weapons.( Abc News of April3,2012)
This is a classic example of Cluster Principle I wrote in a number of posts in the past. West helping the rebels was part self interest, part idealism and in keeping with democratic traditions of the west. But it often cuts into the interests of the west ( as in the case of Iraq) and it underpins inversion principle. Cluster principle explains how this is brought about.
Read Full Post »
Once upon a time Chicken Little was walking along the village lane and saw a gaggle of geese going in a file. He crossed the lane in order to see them better. One goose stepped smartly and stepped on his little toe and it hurt. He flapped his tiny wings and was all astir. ‘This must be war!’ Chicken Little was certain. He ran to tell his Mama. But Mother Hen said geese were not on warpath. Chicken Little didn’t like to be proved wrong. So he asked, ‘How can you be sure of what I have seen, Mama?’ Mother Hen knew that she had to come up with a better answer to silence him. ‘It is common knowledge, Chicken Little,’ Mother Hen giving him an indulgent look said, ‘Had you laid as many eggs as I have, you will know you have been shooting your mouth.’ Chicken Little stood his ground and said, ‘But I felt its brutal thrust, yes I did.’ Chicken Little still staring at the scratch said,’ The goose-stepping marauders are on the war path.’ Mother Hen shooed him to attend to his supper and sleep off. Chicken Little did as he was told.
Later in the evening when the rooster came home Mother Hen lost no time in telling the news. ‘Order for mobilization has gone out. Geese have been given their marching orders.’
The Rooster said, ‘Is my comb all in order, Dearie?’
‘You are not getting mixed up in any of this?’
‘Sure I am,’ The Rooster crowed, ‘A war comes and I cannot let it go by.’
The rooster already saw himself as a Field Marshall. Mother Hen cackled in frustration. But Mr. Cock-a-lock said firmly, ‘I do not ask why I was given such colors when I cut a figure in a fight.’ Without so much as a good bye he preened himself and made a right about turn to face his imaginary enemies. Mother Hen ran a little behind him telling, ‘Go There shall be drumbeats and trumpets blaring as you march off. But when you return there shall be none.’
The rooster stopped dead in his tracks and looking at Mother Hen he said, ‘Lay your eggs if that cheer you up but leave the war to me.’ Without waiting to hear reason the Rooster merely marched on promising not to come back without covering himself in glory. On the way he met Porky who just had wallowed in mud and was feeling frisky. Porky saw Rooster and hollered, ‘What is the tearing hurry, Mr. Cock-a-lock? The Rooster mentioned a war had been declared. ‘How do you know that?’ Porky was not taking things at their face value. He countered it by asking, ‘ Tell me in a way I can understand: why would geese march in formation, goose-stepping across the country if not for war?’
Porky took time to digest this and the Rooster made a turn as though he had his baton already, ‘It is time to cover myself in glory.’ Porky didn’t buy this talk about glory. He grunted to admit,’ I covered myself in mud and let me tell you, and I feel great.’ The Rooster went off all spruced up. On the way he saw a Turkey who said war never appealed to him. The Rooster suggested he could prove his mettle. ‘Only war can take us to the top.’
The Rooster was sure war always ended in great rejoicing. ‘Don’t you wish when the President reads out recipients for Medal for Valor and you are among them?’
Mr. Turkey excused his lack of enthusiasm and said, ‘A war always ends badly for us. There will be thanksgiving and invariably we end on the occasion stuffed with sage. ’
The rooster thought the trouble with the world was they had no stomach for war. ‘There is a war and Mr. Turkey is already reaching wrong conclusions.’ He was certain he would not like to spend company with such fearful fowls.
On the way the rooster saw a fox and asked where the recruiting office was. The Red Fox saw the plump cockerel and said, ‘What a magnificent get up!’ Mr. Cock-a lock felt pleased. He returned the compliment, ‘You look no bad yourself‘
Yes Mr. Fox had his whiskers neatly drawn to a point and his thick tail fluttered, ‘’But are you dressed for the occasion?’
‘I hope I am,’ the rooster said somewhat shaken by the commanding presence of the fox.
‘Mr. Fox,’ the rooster stuttered,’ I ho-ho-hope you don’t think I will shy away when war has been declared?’
‘No, no’ the fox was certain, ‘ but you could do with more medals.’
The rooster crowed, ‘Cock-a doodle doo! That is why I am here to enlist.’
The rooster reminded again the fox where he was to enlist. The fox led him to his den where he asked the rooster to be bound over. ‘Why?’
‘Discipline, discipline. Think of it when your comrade’s life is in your hand. If you don’t have it you put your comrade’s life in danger. Think where this lack of discipline will lead to?’
Mr. Fox was very convincing and the cockerel was sure that the nation’s life was safe in his hands. Thus the cock let himself tied and taken to deeper recesses where he saw heaps of bones chewed clean. Shrugging at the mess the fox observed they were recruits who had no stomach for discipline.
Brightening up Mr. Fox looked at the trussed up cock and said, ‘Have no fear. But I have discipline that is far greater than all they had.’
(reprinted from Elves Bells of Nov.9-’10)
Read Full Post »
‘The war in Afghanistan is in danger of becoming a forgotten conflict because of events in Libya and across the Middle East, David Miliband has warned.
The former foreign secretary told the BBC more effort was needed to find a political solution before British and US troops are withdrawn in 2014′.(April,13-BBC news.uk)
How forgotten a war could be? I wanted to find out answer to this myself. So I unearthed the address of my schoolmates, the Ghazni brothers, who came in the eighties to do Engineering. They had scholarship and were in affluent circumstances. Their bulging wallet made all the boys root for them. Moe the Gregarious never lacked friends. Unlike Mohammed, his twin brother Ummer the Moaner just brought motherly instincts out of any girl. Ummer had his harem of weepers who comforted the fatherless boy while Moe threw money around despite a terrible tragedy.
Under occupation he lost many of his relatives. His father and his grandfather were lined up against a mud wall by the Soviet Army for retaliation. They were picked at random and shot. As sop to the outrage the Americans sent many helter-skelter on special grants to study. The twins were beneficiaries of that impersonal windfall. Moe celebrated life in honor of the dead. Ummer felt the loss of his dear ones with all the intensity his sensitive nature could bear. They both felt their loss last time I met them at the turnstile of our adult lives. Ten years ago they had moved over to their hometown in order to add their expertise for the village once again under seige. Five years ago Moe was killed by Taliban because he refused to be cowed down. He despite threats sent his daughter to College and for it he was executed with a bullet at close range. Ummer lost his family impersonally by a drone attack. They were on their way to attend a wedding. It was all a mistake, the news said so. I could get Ummer and asked if the Afghan War was a forgotten war. ‘How can I ever forget the death of my brother, my right hand? How can I forget loss of my wife. My heart is ripped apart?’ Later he said,’ I am part of a growing army of dead,-and the dead never changes opinions’.
For once he was dry eyed and said in the end,’The dead can only think of what made them dead’. No war can be forgotten by those who are in the line of fire. Thinking it over Ummer had run out of tears and it must yet rankle deep within.
Read Full Post »
Posted in current news, moral philosophy, tagged eye for eye, fighter, honor killing, Israel, Law of Moses, Munich massacre, murder, nation, oudeh, Palestine, prejudices, race, revenge killing, Shariah law, terrorist, tooth for tooth, war on July 3, 2010 |
Leave a Comment »
DAMASCUS, Syria – Mohammed Oudeh, the key planner of the 1972 Munich Olympics attack that killed 11 Israeli athletes, died Saturday morning in Damascus, his daughter said. He was 73.
Oudeh was a leader of “Black September,” an offshoot of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat’s Fatah group that was established to avenge the 1970 expulsion of Palestinian guerrillas from Jordan.
My title to this post may be misleading to Palestinians. They would term he was a fighter.
Whereas for an Israeli he would be nothing but a terrorist.
“Before Munich, we were simply terrorists. After Munich, at least people started asking who are these terrorists? What do they want,” he said. “Before Munich, nobody had the slightest idea about Palestine.”
So one who plans murder of athletes (for the simple reason they belonged to the state of Israel) is a propagandist and not guilty of murder.
On the flip side of this let us see what Israel set out to do: Oudeh escaped narrowly an attack by Israel’s Mossad spy agency in 1981. He was sitting in a hotel cafe in Warsaw, Poland, when a gunman shot him in his left wrist, chest, stomach and jaw.”It was a Palestinian double agent, recruited by the Mossad. … He was arrested 10 years later, put on trial (by the PLO) and executed.”
In setting a wrong to right with another wrong both Israel and Palestine have merely clouded the moral question. When shall we get to see the truth?
After the last man has been either killed (revenge killing or honor killing, no matter what you call it) truth shall be determined. The angel who walks length and breadth of the globe will count the number of people stoned for adultery,hands cut off for stealing or fried in an electric chair for real or imagined crimes, poisoned or killed by hired assassins for power or for family wealth and ask the Most Glorious seated on the White Throne of Judgment ,’What is the moral of this slaughter house, O Lord?’
What do you think will be the answer?
(ack:AP News-reporter Albert Aji)
Read Full Post »
Overheard at the Gehenna.
‘”Whenever I hear war I am losing some millions of souls who would have otherwise made my kingdom resound with their joyous sounds.’
“Oh whenever I hear talks of peace I am winning as many to my kingdom where gnashing of teeth and wailing make my sleep sweeter.”
The first speaker is God who regrets men who have proved too sheep-like to listen to some warmonger on the earth. The second of course is Satan who has created politicians, wolves in lambskins to play peacemakers. These speak of ‘doing the right thing.”
Duty of any religion should be to create man who knows his mind and heart. If he does not know how shall he give the best of his will, actions, emotions and thoughts? He may speak of his holiness but with one whose mind is confused and emotions in turmoil it is like rags. Similarly what kind of obedience the Master can expect from a servant who is dull of understanding and inconsistent?
Suppose man had the inner courage and character not to fight a war in which he doesn’t believe or thinks is immoral, will the warmongers prosper? Those who do not have the courage of their beliefs( not drawn from some silly babbling of a prophet) will only blow themselves up like some crack their knuckles not having anything better to do. Those who cannot believe in themselves will not get it right even if the prophet be from Allah.
Read Full Post »
In the Middle Ages Rufus the Robber King wanted to make his kingdom grander than all other kingdoms of Europe. He asked Pope Weasel I for his blessings. Having got it he rounded up all Jews and on pain of death he made them cough up their wealth. The Pope said,’it is tainted, blood is all over your hands.’ So he suggested a way to make his sins disappear. A series of Crusades was the result. Accordingly the king went to war with the infidels for the glory of God. He robbed all the way to Jerusalem and raped women and put every Moslem he could find to sword. Rufus the Robber King saw to that none lived to tell the carnage and wanton destruction he had unleashed in his wake. The Church prospered and Robber King made his kingdom preeminent among all European kingdoms. Having made Europe a graveyard the king ordered a day of great rejoicing. Throught the kingdom church bells rang and in the great Cathedral King Rufus XII and and members of the royal house gathered to offer thanks to God. Great bells pealed while the choir sang Te Deum. Such joy reverberated throughout the kingdom was only matched by bitter wailing from cottages where women lost men or and mothers their sons.
There arose great many who had been watching the kings who had amassed greater power and wealth. When they piously declared God as the cause for their glory the skeptics said,’God is dragged through mud by rascals. Now God has become their accomplice!
It was indeed so. God became a synonym for every evil that these blackguards let loose. Sure enough churches became empty and places for Saturday night revels.
Soon enough the Royal House of Albion had to go into war with the House of Watercress over a trifle. King Rufus was certain God was on his side. Whereas King Baldwin of Watercress knew God was on his side. After these two kingdoms decimated each other the remaining made peace guaranteeing peace in their life time. But as they went their own ways they were met by brigands who were determined to string them up from every tree.
‘Why we never hurt you or robbed you.’ cried they. They replied,’ We are people of the forests and most of us live in caves. Peace of our forefathers echo now with ‘war’. How can we live in peace when every tree murmurs, ‘avenge us?’
‘Having disturbed the peace of our gods and ancestors do you pretend that you are innocents?’ the brigand chief asked them.
Both Royal Houses, whoever left of these knelt down and prayed ‘God Help us!’
But no help came.
*God is Truth. He does not take sides for good or evil. Yet He has set in motion the events to play with reference to Truth. He has left His Word, prophets and Nature to teach us how to live our lives. The Royal Houses of Albion and Watercress had made war so often to make every one confuse the good and evil. Worse still it blighted the very Nature. The very emblem of God is in Truth that Nature testify even though it is a mirror image.
Nature abhors falsehood. It demands satisfaction.
*We call God’s help for satisfying our petty, and sometimes ignoble wishes. Nature is the mirror of God. Our nature included. If our nature cannot live in peace with one another one may be pretty sure it will compromise environment and nature in general.
Read Full Post »
Czech director Jiri Menzel’s Closely Watched Trains (Ostre sledovane vlaky) was the recipient of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1967. Based on Bohumil Hrabal’s novel of the same name, it tells the end of innocence for a railroad worker who is not very bright and has not much of a career plan either. In the days of Nazi occupation for a Czech of course all such notions are not worth a straw.
Milos, the young apprentice railroader (Vaclav Neckar) comes from a line of failures. His grandfather, a hypnotist, was crushed to death while trying to hypnotize the German army into retreating, and his father retired at the age of 46 and sleeps on the sofa all day. Milos happily takes the trainman’s job, since all he will have to do is stand on the platform and kill time. Just the same he is keenly conscious of his failure in scoring with girls. In such chaotic times of a city under occupation for the young Milos things aren’t as bad as not losing his virginity.
This is a movie about innocence in such dismal times. Young Milos sees various sort of characters as they go about: for example there is a train dispatcher, who delights in rubber stamping his female conquests; and a sweet young conductress (Jitka Bendova) with whom Milos unsuccessfully tries to make out. Fearing he isn’t adequate as a man, he tries to commit suicide. In that department also he turns out to be a failure. Then a friendly doctor (played by Jiri Menzel, the director) suggests that the unhappy youth distract himself while making love (say, think of a soccer game) or find a more experienced woman. When the stationmaster refuses to volunteer his wife, young trainee Milos bravely seeks other candidates and finally succeeds with a resistance fighter named Victoria.
He at last breaks the jinx of failure through love. Relieved and happy to discover that he is indeed a man, the youth sets out to blow up a Nazi ammunition train and
succeeds. In the end he is a hero.
‘Ordered by the Czech Communist government to return his Oscar, Menzel refused, opting instead to make a “repentance” film which sang the praises of collectivism. This second film has long since been forgotten, while Closely Watched Trains remains on record as one of the biggest financial successes of the Eastern European Cinema’. (Quoted from Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide.)
* Vaclav Neckar – Milos, a railroad worker
* Jitka Bendova – Conductor Masa
* Vladimir Valenta – Station Master Max
* Libuse Havelkova – Max’s wife
* Josef Somr – Hubicka, a dispatcher
Alois Vachek – Novak; Jitka Zelenohorska – Zdenka; Vlastimil Brodský – Counselor Zednicek; Jirí Menzel – Dr. Brabec; Marie Jezkova; Kveta Fialova – Countess; Ferdinand Kruta – Max’s uncle Noneman; Nada Urbankova – Victoria Freie
Oldrich Bosak – Art Director; Olga Dimitrov – Costume Designer; Jirí Menzel – Director; Jirí Menzel – Screenwriter; Jaromir Sofr – Cinematographer; Jiri Sust – Composer (Music Score); Ruzena Bulickova – Costume Designer; Jiri Cvrcek – Set Designer; M.A. Gebert – Editor; Bohumil Hrabal – Screenwriter; Bohumil Hrabal – Book Author; Jirina Lukesova – Editor; Zdenek Oves – Producer
Europa, Europa; A Generation; Skrivánci na niti; Ivanovo Detstvo; Eroica; Black Peter; Tak Nachinalas Legenda; Dark Blue World; Do You Remember Dolly Bell?; Mon Oncle Antoine
* Run Time: 89 minutes
The film won several international awards:
* The 1967 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film
* The 1969 BAFTA Awards for Best Film and Best Soundtrack
* The Grand Prize at the 1966 Mannheim-Heidelberg International Filmfestival
* A nomination for the 1969 DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures
* A nomination for the 1968 Golden Globe for Best Foreign-Language Foreign Film
( ack:wikipedia,answers.com,Allmovie Guide)
Read Full Post »
Pie-in-the-Skye is no ordinary kingdom. The king was a louse and yet the subjects were the most patriotic in their sentiments. Everytime the king sent his coach driven by a team of six Arabian horses for some errand or other the people turned out in droves to pay their respects. The king was never allowed to show himself since a sight of him would have given their secret away. The King was shown to be ten foot tall and of the most magnificent bearing. The king knew he was a louse and his name was King Crusty.
The Royal House of Hot Biscuits never gave out press releases or employed a press agent. Somehow the patriotism of the man on the street got the better of him and he was apt to tell any visiting stranger that his king was the greatest. By repetition the royal person became enlarged as though he was the grandest. Indeed he was a louse till he wanted to prove he was not.
There was a neighboring kingdom by name Mush-hush beyond the mountain ranges. King Crusty never had an inkling his fate was bound with that realm by name Mush-hush, where thistles grew and men lived in squalor. No one would have thought it a place to settle down unless he had a taste for thistles.
One day Queen Crusty came into her husband’s study and said,” You don’t know who you really are! They speak of you as though you are Invincible, a god!”
“ Who me?”
“Yeah. You are a Hercules. That is what the people say.”
“ Whoever heard of a 90 pound Hercules. A god who is incontinent to boot?’
The Queen would have none of it. She said, “ You as my reports go, can swallow Mush-hush in one gulp. Show people that you are indeed as they think. Goaded by the Queen the king set out to conquer Mush-hush. The king and the army reached the border. Just before battle cry was to sound the army waited for the king’s signal. But the king felt his belly raging and he was helpless. He let go his shit there and then. It was a deluge that all the rank and file saw and they were soon rolling on the ground in uncontrollable laughter. How can an army laughing their heads off fight a war? Since then Pie-in-the Skye never practised war.
The people realized their king was just like any other, no more or less. They in fact felt more protective towards their king who was physically weak. Still he was their king.
Read Full Post »