Aleppo: The 21st Century’s Sarajevo?

Syria.jpg

Since March 15,2011 the nation of Syria has been in the grips of a violent civil war which has since grown into a proxy conflict involving up to 45 nations. Hundreds of thousands have died, millions have been displaced, and, after all of that the government led by President Bashar al-Assad remains in power. Furthermore, over the past 48 hours, the primary battleground for this bloody conflict, the city of Aleppo, has finally fallen after years of battle to pro-Assad forces who now, according to the UN and various humanitarian watch groups, are carrying out atrocities in formerly rebel controlled areas of the embattled, ancient city.

It is a conflict that the UN and the international community as a whole have been unable to quell and, it could be argued, may have even exacerbated the conflict. It is certainly true that without Russian-Iranian intervention on the side of Assad and US intervention on the site of the Syrian rebels that, most likely, this conflict would not have lasted as long as it has and the toll in human suffering would not be as high. From the “red line” talk that President Obama declared and then backed away from to the use of chemical weapons which may or may not have been used by the rebels instead of Assad, to the airstrikes from both Russia and the United States that seem to go astray every now and again to kill each other’s personnel on the ground in Syria, this conflict has, truly, devolved into a miasma of violence and confusion to which, seemingly, there are no winners and only losers.

Continue reading

‘Recognize’

The following is a transcript of a speech delivered before the Assembly of Shackelton by citizen Elsi Badez on 25.2.2254 in response to the Federated States message sent to Luna two days prior on 23.2.2254. It has not been altered in any way other than the omission of ambient sounds for the preservation in the Shackelton archives. 

Honored citizens of Shackelton, I speak not only to you today but to all of the citizens of Luna. I speak to you in the hopes that you will stop the rumblings of self delusion and romanticism that, at the merest utterance from that world which had forsaken us, seems to have swelled over the past couple days. This is not an address, or a speech, or an appeal as much as it is a call.  A call to use sense. A call not to dishonor the work of your forbears, some who’s memories are still fresh in the minds of those who stand in this very chamber today. It is a call to sever the sentimental ties that are awakening in you the desire to gaze back upon that blue and green wasteland that has kept our minds, our ambitions, and our people anchored for too long. Yes, I speak of that world where mankind spawned. I speak of Earth, of Terra. I speak of that crumbling edifice of civilization that now, when we have lived in the void and the Grey for so long, comes beckoning. For what purpose? To bend us to their cataclysmic and small wars? To chain us to their political games and engulf or tranquil, quiet home in the flames of conflict? Of death? Of ruin?  Continue reading

70th Anniversary of D-Day

DDAY

Today marks the 70th Anniversary of the greatest moment of the greatest conflict the world has ever seen. It was this morning, at about 6:30 am 70 years ago that scared, cold, seasick men of the Allied forces pushed ashore the beaches of Normandy, France which was to be christened with their blood as well as the blood of the Axis forces that opposed them. It was the culmination of months of planning, of logistics unseen in war or peace, and of the collision of the fascist ideology against that of democracy. For all that it was it was a terrific and unmitigated blood letting that announced to the world how the greatest calamity the world has ever witnessed, World War II, would be resolved. While the end was months away its beginning of the end was writ on the beaches of Gold, Juno, Sword, Utah, and Omaha and it was writ with the blood of heroes. Continue reading