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Only consistent thing about our world is that it changes. What are the fads we all sported and now are discarded for something of the moment? Pokemon Go! seems to have taken the world by storm as Elvis Presley hair cut and drainpipes were the thing in my youth. Fads in their very sillines carry some profound truth. The world changes and along with it man also changes.

If everything were to keep changing, how do we keep our balance? There is no up or down in space but still we take a bearing on celestial objects these are also not keeping still. Yet in our context these give us a bearing as ancient mariners relied on pole star during their voyages(1). We are on a planet that is revolving on the sun that itself is revolving through the Milky Way. But on the earth what is certain is the gravity that works. What does it tell us? If you throw a ball up, it shall sure come down. Such is the truth for which we kill and defend with tooth and nail.

We say God is Truth. But how well we understand or follow it?

God with his mighty arm delivered the Israelites from Egypt. He called Moses and Aaron his brother and elders before him. With such up and close encounter with God we may assume that he has had greater understanding of Truth than others. Yet within a space of 40 days Aaron was guilty of making a golden calf for the tumultuous crowd who wanted a god to lead them. When man is not fully engaged his heart and soul, the first casuality is truth. Aaron simply wanted to give the people what they wanted. He heard God but he heard it through the grapevine of populism, I suspect.

When I see the mob howling, ‘blasphemy’ on some perceived slight to the Quran, I know the feeling. The man lost his horse and he could not go anywhere because the whole household was arguing over the ways the noble steed could have bolted. After rewriting the Prophet, in scholarly ways of course, the theologians (they have several schools all well funded too,) have made him look a liar and his ideas dragged through mud and have made the world a slaughterhouse. O Truth! How Compassionate! How Beneficent! How Merciful!

benny

One recent story tells a lot about IS and its ways.

As Iraqi security forces were pressing forward in areas around Ramadi earlier this year, civilians were fleeing the battle – and IS fighters, losing the day, were trying to sneak out too.

Two women, running from the combat zone, approached a police checkpoint.

As they were being waved through to safety, one of the women suddenly turned to the police, pointed at the other, and said : “This is not a woman. He’s an IS emir [commander].”

The police investigated, and it was true. The other woman was a man, who had shaved, and put on makeup and women’s clothes. He turned out to be top of the list of wanted local IS commanders.

“When IS arrived, he killed my husband, who was a policeman, raped me, and then took me as his wife,” the woman told the police.

“I put up with him all this time, waiting to avenge my husband and my honour,” she said. “I tricked him into shaving and putting on makeup, then denounced him to the police.”

Now burkhini ban is making waves in France. LGBT is very much on the rise. So there need a rethink when we see a hijab clad ‘Ironman’like figure on the way to the bazaar?

(ack: IS group-the Full Story/20 June,2016/BBC)

Black holes draw nearby stars and if these come at a point of no turning back that is an event horizon, there is no chance of escaping their fate. In terms of history it has been determined before and as in the case of the break-up of Jugoslavia it took several centuries. Determinism is settled by bad policies and exacerbated by a bureaucratic machinery that is corrupt and by events played out elsewhere. In Syria we shall see all playing their part. We shall look at Jugoslavia first.

Geography and history of Yugoslavia play a great part in its break up. There were already several fault lines created by the culture, ethnicity and religion of people.

The most important religious influences were Western Christianity (i.e., Roman Catholicism, first brought to the western part of the region by Charlemagne and later reinforced by the Austrian Habsburgs), Eastern Orthodox Christianity (brought to the east from the Byzantine Empire), and Islam (brought to the south by the Ottomans).

Two major historical factors made the Balkans what they are today: The first was the split of the Roman Empire in the fourth century AD dividing the Balkans down the middle into Roman Catholic (west) and Byzantine Orthodox (east) — roughly along today’s Bosnian-Serbian border. The second was the invasion of the Islamic Ottomans in the 14th century. The Ottoman victory at the Battle of Kosovo Polje (1389) opened the door to the region and kicked off five centuries of Islamic influence in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia, further dividing the Balkans into Christian (north) and Muslim (south).

Because of these and other events, several distinct ethnic identities emerged. The major ethnicities of Yugoslavia — Croat, Slovene, Serb, and Bosniak — are all considered South Slavs. The huge Slav ethnic and linguistic family — some 400 million strong — is divided into three groups: South (the peoples of Yugoslavia, explained next, plus Bulgarians), West (Poles, Czechs, and Slovaks), and East (Russians, Ukrainians, and Belarusians).

The South Slavs, who are all descended from the same ancestors and speak closely related languages, are distinguished by their religious practices. Roman Catholic Croats or Slovenes are found mostly west of the Dinaric Mountains (Croats along the Adriatic coast and Slovenes farther north, in the Alps); Orthodox Christian Serbs live mostly east of the Dinaric range; and Muslim Bosniaks (whose ancestors converted to Islam under the Ottomans) live mostly in the Dinaric Mountains. Two other, smaller Orthodox ethnicities have been influenced by other large groups: the Montenegrins (shaped by centuries of Croatian and Venetian Catholicism) and the Macedonians (with ties to Bulgarians and Greeks). To complicate matters, the region is also home to several non-Slavic minority groups, including Hungarians (in the northern province of Vojvodina) and Albanians, concentrated in Kosovo (descended from the Illyrians, who lived here long before the Greeks and Romans).

Of course, these groups overlapped a lot — which was artificial and imposed from above. Islamophobia was a principal reason for this ethnic mixing came in the 16th century. The Ottomans were threatening to overrun Europe, and the Austrian Habsburgs wanted a buffer zone — a “human shield.” The Habsburgs encouraged Serbs who were fleeing from Ottoman invasions to settle along today’s Croatian-Bosnian border to defend the realm (known as Vojna Krajina, or “Military Frontier”).

In the chaos of WWII, two distinct resistance movements arose, with the shared aim of reclaiming an independent Yugoslavia, but starkly different ideas of what that nation would look like.

First, in the eastern mountains of Yugoslavia rose the Četniks — a fearsome paramilitary band of mostly Serbian men fighting to re-establish a Serb-dominated monarchy. Wearing long beards and traditional mountain garb, and embracing a skull-and-crossbones logo adorned with the motto “Freedom or Death” in Cyrillic, the Četniks were every bit as brutal as their Ustaše enemies. In pursuit of their goal to create a purely Serb state, the Četniks expelled or massacred Croats and Muslims living in the territory they held. (To this day, if a Croat wants to deeply insult a Serb, he’ll call him a “Četnik,” and a Serb might use “Ustaše” to really hit a Croat where it hurts.)

The second resistance group — fighting against both the Četniks and the Ustaše — was the ragtag Partisan Army, led by Josip Broz, who was better known by his code name, Tito. The clever and determined Partisans had dual aims: to liberate Yugoslavia as a free nation on its own terms, and to make that new state a communist one. Even while the war was still underway, the Partisan leadership laid the foundations for what would become a postwar, communist Yugoslavia.

After years of largely guerrilla fighting among these three groups, the Partisans emerged victorious. And so, as the rest of Eastern Europe was being “liberated” by the Soviets, the Yugoslavs regained their independence on their own. Soviet troops passed through, in pursuit of the Nazis, but were not allowed to stay. After the short but rocky Yugoslav union between the World Wars, it seemed that no one could hold the southern Slavs together in a single nation. But one man could, and did: Tito.

But then no man has ever created history and pulled the strings how it should go except for a short period after his natural tenure. Much of the ‘people-trouble’ in Ukraine now was determined during the Bolshevik regime under Stalin. This exactly is what we see in in the break up of Yugoslavia . Syria is no exception.

Determinism is another word for historical imperative.

(ack: RickSteve’s Croatia&Slovenia-Cameron Hewitt)

benny

 

According to Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics “the Milky Way contains a few hundred million” stellar black holes.

A black hole is a place in space where gravity pulls so much that even light can not get out. The gravity is so strong because matter has been squeezed into a tiny space. History has shown what force it unleashes when an empire crashes down. Habsburg dual monarchy in decline came down with the WWI and brought the Ottoman Empire also with it. The disintegration carries energy. How a star in collapse is same as with human institutions . When an empire collapses energy released is expressed in terms of human displacement. In the example cited we see a shock wave expressed through the ethnic minorities along the Balkans. These displaced subjects of former empire simply move on having borne the brunt of nations in their stupidity. Does it simply stop there?

How do we explain ethnic cleansing or human tragedies in terms of energy released by historical process? Quoting wikipedia ‘widespread ethnic cleansing accompanied the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina (1992–95), large numbers of Bosnian Muslims (Bosniaks) and Bosnian Croats were forced to flee their homes and were expelled by Bosnian Serbs; and some Bosnian Croats also carried out similar campaign against Bosniaks and Serbs.’

Formation of a black hole is a kind of sanitized version of colossal human tragedy that is played out as historical process. Take Syria for instance.

What is happening in Syria has no way of resolution. If Syria is rid of Assad regime which shall happen sooner or later,  we are going to see yet a greater tragedy. Another black hole perhaps? It shall swallow up the entire Middle East and with it their sectarian feuds as sure as day follows night. It may take a century for this bloodletting to dissipate itself. Perhaps what comes in there shall be a new Syria and people most earnest to take their future as wth rest of the world. There is no other way.

benny

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