Monday, January 05, 2015
Saving lives in the Middle East
Faith-based groups race against time, winter cold and Islamist butchers to reduce the slaughter
Yazidi and Christian communities trace their Syrian and Iraqi roots back nearly 2,000 years. Now they are being systematically exterminated. Not merely driven out. Exterminated – along with Jews, Bahais and even Muslims insufficiently fundamentalist to suit Islamic State (ISIS) butchers.
While they have not yet attained the scale of Nazi and Communist slaughters, these Islamofascist savages may have surpassed their Twentieth Century predecessors in depravity. They ask terrified children, “Who wants to be beheaded first?” then butcher them in front of the others. They bury people alive. Islamist “soldiers” teach little boys how to slice the heads off every man in “enemy” Syrian tribes. They torture and rape girls and women, before selling them into slavery, prostitution or forced marriage – and demand that surviving women dress “modestly” in black robes, gloves and veils, and be banned from school and public life. They sell their victims’ blood and organs, to finance still more weapons and atrocities.
One of the few safe havens for those who escape is Israel, which provides security, education, healthcare, jobs and religious freedom. Another million-plus refugees have fled to camps and streets in Turkey, whose government and people have become exhausted from trying to feed, clothe and shelter so many that Turkish military forces are now preventing Syrians from entering the country. American, European, Middle Eastern and other promises of weapons and aid have been too little, too late or simply not kept. Even the UN’s World Food Program has barely enough money to feed refugees beyond mid-January.
Terrorized multitudes unable to reach safety in Israel or Turkey are caught between Islamic State hordes and slow, painful deaths from starvation, disease and freezing winter temperatures. Many escaped with only the clothes they were wearing. Many precarious lives have been sustained only because RUN Ministries operates “Community of Hope” refugee camps and safe houses in the region.
These people have seen their relatives hung, shot, beheaded, crucified or beaten to death. They have left everything behind and been hunted down like animals. It they are able to escape, they travel by day and sleep in fields by night, hoping to reach a safe shelter – and hoping it has food, water, blankets, medicines and tents to share. By November 2014, Virginia-based RUN (Reaching Unreached Nations) was protecting 26,000 refugees; by the end of December, the number had skyrocketed to 100,000!
But as president Eric Watt says, it costs some $250,000 to build one Community of Hope camp and equip it with sufficient supplies to last 30 days for 1,000 men, women and children. Merely providing warm blankets costs tens of thousands of dollars. Contributions are sorely needed to save more lives.
In early December, RUN volunteers were forced to ask refugees who had already been in a camp more than a month to move out, at least for awhile, so that newly arrived families could be fed and protected. That would mean going back into the rocky fields, often without even blankets to keep warm at night.
“Please don’t make us leave,” parents pleaded. “If we leave, we are afraid our children will die.”
Meanwhile, Islamic State patrols periodically swoop into RUN camps, to kidnap girls, steal food, poison water supplies, and abuse and murder RUN volunteers and transport drivers.
Mr. Watt recounted the story of Alyssa, a 28-year-old Christian woman whose family was liquidated by ISIS death squads. “After my family was killed, I was kidnapped and brought to a terrorist camp, with more than 100 new widows my age,” she said. “We were forced to become ‘wives’ to these men. If we tried to leave, they would torture us. The other widows told me to obey everything these men said, if I wanted to live. Every night, a man would beat and rape me, and during the day we were forced to cook for the ISIS fighters. Many nights, the men would take turns with us and do very bad things.”
Eventually, Alyssa escaped – but with no family, income or future without RUN’s help, and our aid.
So far, the vaunted “international community” has done little. It has been quick to vilify and condemn Israel for “occupying” Palestinian land and “oppressing” Muslims. But it has done little to stop these Islamic State butchers from annihilating Christians and any others who resist. The “coalition of the willing” has been small and futile. It has provided insufficient aid, only muted outrage, and no calls for boycotts, divestment and sanctions for countries aiding and abetting ISIS or ignoring its depredations.
RUN Ministries has built six now-overflowing Community of Hope camps in Northern Iraq and is raising funds to construct four more. It’s purchased 5,000 water filters, to protect people against water-borne diseases, and countless thousands of heavy blankets. It fears that ISIS will continue murdering Yazidis until their millennia-old community is wiped out, and the Middle East is completely cleansed of “infidels.”
Until just a few months ago, Halan was a Yazidi elder, responsible for forty families. When Islamic State neared their village, he led the families into the mountains, where they built smaller makeshift homes that they hoped would be hidden and safe. But the butchers found them. “Their leaders told the terrorists to save bullets,” Halan said. “So they used big knives to cut men’s heads off and chop their bodies into pieces.” They murdered all the men, took the women and left him for dead.
“I had nothing left, and my heart was broken,” he wept. But he found a RUN camp, which took him in.
However, the new Holocaust is continuing, and growing. Thankfully, other private sector organizations have also stepped forward. Gleaning for the World, likewise based in Virginia, collects food, clothing, medicine, medical supplies, furniture and many other items; loads them on pallets; and ships them by air, sea and truck all over the world. Forbes magazine has rated it “the most efficient charity in America.”
Gleaning president Ron Davidson says accounting records demonstrate that every dollar in donations is multiplied 212 times when GFTW uses the money to collect and ship aid internationally.
Gleaning has now teamed up with Glenn Beck’s Mercury One Foundation and other faith-based organizations, Reverend Davidson notes, to raise money and send even more supplies to Iraq, Syria and Turkey. ISIS has trapped some 500,000 desperate people – and is indoctrinating and training teenage boys to become incredibly vicious terrorists. The stupider ones become suicide bombers, while others are groomed for export to foreign countries, to launch coordinated or lone-wolf attacks.
These butchers are an existential threat to families, human rights and religious communities everywhere – not just in Iraq, Syria or the Middle East, but in the United States, Europe and throughout the world.
Only intensified allied military campaigns can stop, roll back and obliterate Islamic State terrorists. However, we private citizens can play vital roles: raising our voices, demanding action, and supporting RUN Ministries, Gleaning for the World, Mercury One and other organizations that are doing all they can to prevent yet more horrific murders, slavery and ethnic cleansing.
There are few better ways to step forward … and begin your 2015 giving … than by helping now.
United Nations Going After the First Amendment!
We have provided in-depth coverage of how the United Nations has tried to attack your Second Amendment rights. So, it should be no surprise for us to tell you that the U.N. is going after your First Amendment rights as well!
The U.N. is pushing for all member countries to adopt ‘hate speech legislation.’ They claim it is to protect “human rights.”
Now, I know what you may be thinking: “What’s so wrong about banning hate speech?” Well, there’s a lot wrong with it! Look at what is happening in the United Kingdom…
The U.K. is facing some pretty serious problems. For one, radical Islamists are terrorizing the country’s citizens on what seems like a daily basis. Sure there are the terrorist threats that pose a real danger to British society. But there are also the common criminals who are terrorizing society.
The U.K. also has a problem with immigration. The EU’s open border policy has led to an influx of unskilled, foreign workers who have leeched off the country’s entitlement system and made it harder for British citizens to find work (sound familiar?).
The country’s solution has been to introduce hate speech legislation banning the use of derogatory language towards ANY group of people!
This is what the U.N. wants for America… They want us to dismantle our First Amendment and force Americans to bite their tongues and accept political correctness.
There was a recent story out of England of a 19-year old man who videotaped himself ripping up a Koran, throwing it in the toilet, and then lighting it on fire.
Instead of protecting his speech rights, the Police brought charges against the man for hate speech and creating a public disturbance.
He now faces crippling fines and maybe even jail time… All for speaking his mind.
There’s also the case of Reality TV-star Katie Hopkins. After word broke that a Scottish nurse had contracted Ebola, Hopkins took to Twitter and wrote a series of tweets that, according to the police, constitute “hate speech.”
I realize that this is happening in the United Kingdom, not the United States. But it is important to paint this backdrop because if the United Nations had its way, the U.K.’s hate speech laws would be copied worldwide!
This is what they want in the United States. They want the police to arrest people for saying ‘mean things.’
And I’m not going to sugarcoat it… this is already happening here in the United States. Countless people have been arrested and harassed by police for writing disparaging comments about Barack Obama and the Democrat party.
If criticizing the Democrats were a crime, you’d have to lock me up and throw away the key…
Obviously I say that in jest, but this is actually what some Liberals want… They want for the government to police what citizens say and write. They want to stop you from talking about “inflammatory” topics. They want the ability to fact-check their opponents and take down Internet posts they deem to be “incorrect.”
I mean, look at the situation in Scotland. Do you know why Scottish Police are looking into Katie Hopkins’ tweets as hate speech? They enforced the law because they were inundated with citizens complaining about the posts.
Not only have these politicians made it illegal to talk bad about someone, but also they have conditioned the people to run to police the minute they hear something that offends them. That, to me, is worse.
This is the Left’s end-game. They want this country to become a place where citizens are terrified of opening their mouths. They are creating a modern day “1984” where the government monitors all your conversations and punishes any speech it doesn’t agree with it.
But more importantly, they want to gut the First Amendment and force citizens to comply with draconian government speech regulations.
This isn’t just hyperbole… Harry Reid tried to change the First Amendment this past year. He tried to gut the Constitution to stop you from engaging in political speech.
That failed. Now, the United Nations swoops in to finish the job and dismantle the First Amendment under the auspices of fighting “hate speech.”
I hate racism and bigotry just as much as anyone else. But I am not willing to abolish our Freedom of Speech just to fight it.
Are gun owners mentally unstable?
Asserting that gun owners are mentally unstable would appear to be the hidden agenda behind the piece of research reported below. What they found was that mental instability was just as likely in non-gun homes as in gun homes. How disappointing for them!
Psychiatric Comorbidity, Suicidality, and In-Home Firearm Access Among a Nationally Representative Sample of Adolescents
Joseph A. Simonett et al.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death among US adolescents, and in-home firearm access is an independent risk factor for suicide. Given recommendations to limit firearm access by those with mental health risk factors for suicide, we hypothesized that adolescents with such risk factors would be less likely to report in-home firearm access.
To estimate the prevalence of self-reported in-home firearm access among US adolescents, to quantify the lifetime prevalence of mental illness and suicidality (ie, suicidal ideation, planning, or attempt) among adolescents living with a firearm in the home, and to compare the prevalence of in-home firearm access between adolescents with and without specific mental health risk factors for suicide.
Design, Setting, and Participants
Cross-sectional analysis of data from the National Comorbidity Survey-Adolescent Supplement, a nationally representative survey of 10?123 US adolescents (age range, 13-18 years) who were interviewed between February 2001 and January 2004 (response rate 82.9%).
Risk factors for suicide, including a history of any mental health disorder, suicidality, or any combination of the 2.
Main Outcomes and Measures
Self-reported access to a firearm in the home.
One in three respondents (2778 [29.1%]) of the weighted survey sample reported living in a home with a firearm and responded to a question about firearm access; 1089 (40.9%) of those adolescents reported easy access to and the ability to shoot that firearm. Among adolescents with a firearm in home, those with access were significantly more likely to be older (15.6 vs 15.1 years), male (70.1% vs 50.9%), of non-Hispanic white race/ethnicity (86.6% vs 78.3%), and living in high-income households (40.0% vs 31.8%), and in rural areas (28.1% vs 22.6%) (P<.05 for all). Adolescents with firearm access also had a higher lifetime prevalence of alcohol abuse (10.1% vs 3.8%, P<.001) and drug abuse (11.4% vs 6.9%, P<.01) compared with those without firearm access. In multivariable analyses, adolescents with a history of mental illness without a history of suicidality (prevalence ratio [PR], 1.13; 95% CI, 0.98-1.29) and adolescents with a history of suicidality with or without a history of mental illness (PR, 1.20; 95% CI, 0.96-1.51) were as likely to report in-home firearm access as those without such histories.
Conclusions and Relevance
Adolescents with risk factors for suicide were just as likely to report in-home firearm access as those without such risk factors. Given that firearms are the second most common means of suicide among adolescents, further attention to developing and implementing evidence-based strategies to decrease firearm access in this age group is warranted.
JAMA Psychiatry. Published online December 30, 2014. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2014.1760
For more blog postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated) and Coral reef compendium. (Updated as news items come in). GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten.
List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or here (Pictorial) or here (Personal)
Posted by JR at 1:35 AM