China fears North Korea-US conflict ‘at any moment’

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE BBC)

China fears North Korea-US conflict ‘at any moment’

  • 14 April 2017
  • From the section Asia
The Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, 14 April 2017Image copyright AFP
Image caption“All relevant parties should be highly vigilant,” the Chinese foreign minister says

China has warned that “conflict could break out at any moment” as tension over North Korea increases.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi said if war occurred there could be no winner.

Mr Wang’s comments come as the US voices increasing concern at North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons and deploys a Navy carrier group off the Korean peninsula.

China, North Korea’s only backer, fears conflict could cause the regime to collapse and problems on its border.

Mr Wang said: “One has the feeling that a conflict could break out at any moment.

“I think that all relevant parties should be highly vigilant with regards to this situation.”

“We call on all parties to refrain from provoking and threatening each other, whether in words or actions, and not let the situation get to an irreversible and unmanageable stage.”

The USS Carl Vinson, 8 April 2017Image copyright GETTY IMAGES
Image caption The US carrier group deploying off the Korean peninsula is led by the USS Carl Vinson

Adding to Chinese unease, President Donald Trump said on Thursday that “the problem of North Korea” would be “taken care of”.

“If China decides to help, that would be great. If not, we will solve the problem without them! U.S.A.”

The North Korean military responded on Friday by saying it would “mercilessly foil” any US provocation.

“Our toughest counteraction against the U.S. and its vassal forces will be taken in such a merciless manner as not to allow the aggressors to survive,” read a statement from the army, reported in English by North Korea’s official news agency, KCNA.

The US president has recently demonstrated his willingness to resort to military methods. He ordered a cruise missile attack on Syria in retaliation for a suspected chemical weapons attack, and the US military just used a huge bomb against so-called Islamic State in Afghanistan.

Washington is concerned North Korea might develop the ability to launch a nuclear weapon at the US.

Mr Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping have been in contact by phone since their summit last week in Florida, and Reuters quotes US officials as saying tougher economic sanctions against North Korea are also being considered.

Media caption John Sudworth asks people on the Pyongyang subway how they feel about the country’s nuclear tests.

China is concerned any conflict could lead to a huge refugee problem on its border with North Korea. It also fears the collapse of the North Korean regime, which would remove a buffer between China and a country with US military bases, and has thus long been wary of pushing Pyongyang too hard.

But, in a sign of growing frustration with its neighbour, it recently blocked coal imports from the North. And Chinese state broadcaster CCTV reports that the government will suspend direct Air China flights between Beijing and Pyongyang from Monday 17 April.

There is also intense speculation that North Korea could carry out a sixth nuclear bomb test or another missile launch – possibly a long-range missile – on Saturday.

Saturday marks the 105th anniversary of the birth of its first leader, Kim Il-sung.

In an interview with the Associated Press, North Korea’s Deputy Foreign Minister Han Song Ryol accused the Trump administration of “becoming more vicious and more aggressive” in its policy towards the North.

An institute linked to the North Korean foreign ministry also warned that “thermo-nuclear war may break out any moment”.

Young Soldier

Young Soldier

When we were young did we not all play

Pretending to be generals and sergeants

In our backyards or barns filled with hay

President Mom calling a truce,

To fill our bellies with hot biscuits and ham

No foul, no harm, no spills I guess

When young, is not time and the world

Our personal sandbox full of new thrills

17 who can now say that I am not a man

Jungles and deserts I now low crawl

With M-16 with 203 in my hand

I hold my breath and tweak my sight

With one finger the trigger I quietly squeeze

One less breath, one less man

As the earth inhales their blood

To me one more notch, one more trophy

As his last breath leaves with the wind

Is there blood on your conscience

For the blood on your hands

Not knowing your temple

Is the target

17 your life is over

Before it began

Here Is The Solution To The Kashmir Conflict: Both Parties Do This And The Conflict Is Over!

(HERE IS THE SOLUTION TO THE KASHMIR CONFLICT: BOTH PARTIES DO THIS AND THE CONFLICT IS OVER)

I am going to write this article as a ‘Medium’! I have never been able to afford a trip to Kashmir and my health these days would never allow me to go even if I could afford to do so. I am basing my decision on the plethora of articles that have been written on the area and the conflict that has been raging there for years. Some of the articles were written by professional News Paper Reporters but most have been written by tourist and by people whom have lived there at different points in their lives. There are a few reasons that I believe that a person like me is qualified to write this article whether you think so or not and I will explain them to you now. I am a person who has absolutely nothing to gain or to lose concerning the conflict there. I know no one there and I have no business interest there, I am simply an unconnected observer who simply wants peace for all people on both sides of the issue. The other thing is that I am totally honest and unbiased, I am not against either Nation, I only wish peace and prosperity for all people on both sides. Also, I am a Christian, I am not Hindu nor am I a believer of Islam I have no ties at all to India nor to Pakistan.

 

In compromises the results are usually that neither side is overjoyed nor is either side really over the top mad. You gain and you lose in a good compromise. In this case I am going to bring up two main results of my compromise that are directly aimed at both sides equally. First though, all sides of the current (LoC) Line of Control must at once stop all aggression toward everyone. Doing this does many things, first and foremost it helps keep the soldiers and civilians alive and uninjured on both sides of this Line of Control. If all offensive actions stop the people of the region can once again open their stores and factories and be allowed to walk their streets in safety. This constant state of aggression does nothing positive for the citizens on either side of this ‘border’. If your side of the border has ‘militants’ who refuse to quit trying to kill people then the government and the soldiers from that side of the border must neutralize these aggressors at once. Neither side can allow a hand full of hate filled animals to start a full-blown war with your neighbors. Whether it is soldiers or militia units the government must make it plain that any aggressors will be put in prison for the rest of their lives, or executed if they continue to try to cause this war. If this is implemented on both sides, there is no more violence on either side of the (LoC).

 

I am going to address the issue of the Kashmir Border with you now. This conflict between India and Pakistan has resulted in nothing but death to soldiers and civilians on both side for years now, the conflict is not a positive issue for the people on either side. The Leaders of both Countries must step up and order a total stop of all aggression, if they are Leaders then they both need to act like it. I am going to suggest that the ‘unmovable Border’ be exactly where the ‘Line of Control’ is right now. Both sides have been dealing with this line in the sand for years now, make this line the official Border right now! This concept is sort of like the issue with the two Korea’s. There was a long bloody war where the Armies fought up and down that peninsula for years causing the death of thousands of soldiers and civilians until they finally settled on a Border at the 38 parallel that is also called the DMZ or demilitarized zone. That conflict is more about nonreligious ideologies of freedom and Capitalism or Communism and no freedom. Your conflict goes back to the time of Mr. Gandhi when you became two Nations instead of just one. Your conflict is now and was then about your Religions, Hindu and Islam. Pakistan was created because the Islamic people who lived in India wanted their own Islamic Nation once India was freed from the British Crown in 1948. That was almost 70 years ago and yet people are still dying there. Each side blames the other, one side shells the other and kills a few people so the other side will retaliate and does the same thing. The Political Leaders and the Military Leaders must call a total truce on both sides and they must punish any of their own who break this truce at once, they must not tolerate anyone who breaks the truce. For the good of your own people the Leaders on both sides must grow up right now or this conflict will last forever or until both sides blow each other off the map with their nukes and what would that event profit any of you, you will all be dead!

Russia’s President Putin’s Aggression In Europe Should Worry Every Russian Citizen

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

Putin’s aggression in Europe should worry the US

Russia: The biggest issue for the next US president?

Russia: The biggest issue for the next US president? 00:40

Story highlights

  • Richard Shirreff: European security is a matter of American security
  • Putin’s aim is clear: to re-establish Russia as one of the world’s great powers, he says

Gen. Sir Richard Shirreff is a senior British army officer and former deputy supreme allied commander Europe. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

(CNN)Since the formation of NATO in 1949 the defense of Europe and the free world has depended on the absolute certainty that whatever president is occupying the White House, the United States will come to the aid of a NATO member if attacked. Any doubt about the American commitment, and the credibility of NATO’s doctrine of collective defense, is holed below the waterline.

At a time when the West faces a greater threat from a resurgent Russia since the most dangerous crises of the Cold War, NATO, more than ever, needs to stand strong, united and credible.
Russia’s invasion of Crimea and Ukraine in 2014 may have already lit the fuse that could lead to the unthinkable: nuclear war with Russia in Europe.
Consider the words and actions of President Vladimir Putin, who has described the breakup of the Soviet Union as the “greatest geo-strategic tragedy of the 20th century.” In his speech on March 18, 2014, the day Crimea was admitted into the Russian Federation, Putin majored on the threat the West posed to Russia by its continued encirclement and warned about the possibility of push back: “If you compress the spring to its limit, it will snap back hard: something you should remember,” while claiming the right to protect the interests of Russian speakers everywhere, “even if it will worsen our relations with some states.”

Who are Putin's allies?

Who are Putin’s allies?01:40
Overnight, Putin became NATO’s strategic adversary, starting a dynamic that could lead to a clash with NATO over the Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia (which have significant Russian-speaking minorities).
Two years on and the threat is even greater. Indeed, the ratchet of tension clicks tighter on an almost weekly basis: Even this week we wake up to news of Russia sailing warships near the British coast in “a show of force and a show of capabilities,” according to Peter Felstead, editor of Jane’s Defence Weekly.
Unprecedented levels of military activity on the borders and in the airspace of the Baltic states, Finland and Sweden have been matched by the rapid buildup of military forces in Russia’s Western Military District on the borders of NATO.
For example, in January, Russia announced the formation and deployment of three motor rifle divisions, about 60,000 troops, along the Russian frontier with the Baltic states. And the Russians have kept themselves busy with regular so-called snap exercises to test the readiness of their military, at least one of which was based on a scenario of invasion and occupation of the Baltic states.
Putin’s strategic aim is clear: to re-establish Russia’s status as one of the world’s great powers and to dominate the former republics of the Soviet Union — imperialist intentions that might have been acceptable to great powers in the 19th century but which are an affront in 2016. If the opportunity presents itself, he may well activate long-held plans to march into the Baltic states.

Russian relations with the West at new low

Russian relations with the West at new low 02:29
To paraphrase British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s 1938 comment on Czechoslovakia, why are events in these faraway countries of which we may know little important to Americans?
First, because if Russia puts one soldier across the borders of the Baltic states it means war with NATO.
Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania have been members of NATO since 2004 and are therefore protected underArticle 5 of the Washington Treaty, the founding document of NATO, which states that an attack on one is an attack on all. A Russian attack on the Baltic states puts America at war with Russia — meaning nuclear war, because Russia integrates nuclear weapons into every aspect of its military doctrine.
And don’t think Russia would limit itself to the use of tactical nuclear weapons in Europe. Any form of nuclear release by the Russians would almost certainly precipitate nuclear retaliation by the United States, and the dreadful reality of mutually assured destruction and the end of life as we know it would follow.
Indeed, Russia is at war with America already. Russian hacking of Democratic Party email servers and, if confirmed, WikiLeaks publicizing of Clinton campaign emails to discredit the Democrats and propel Donald Trump — arguably what Putin would classify as a “useful idiot” into the White House — is classic Maskirovka — deception, aimed at undermining the intelligence and integrity of the enemy in a way that remains below the threshold of conventional warfare. In the words of Dmitri Trenin of the Carnegie Moscow Center, and a man with close connections to the Putin regime, the Kremlin has been at war since 2014.

The Iceland Summit that helped end the Cold War

The Iceland Summit that helped end the Cold War 00:59
But although the clock may be ticking close to midnight, it is not too late. Maintenance of the peace we have enjoyed in Western Europe for nearly 70 years depends on effective deterrence. The bar of risk must be raised too high for Russia to consider any opportunistic move into the Baltic states. This requires forward basing of a credible military capability in the Baltic states and eastern Poland (rather than the token presence agreed at the NATO Warsaw Summit in July).
NATO reserves able to move quickly and effectively to bolster defenses in the Baltics will send a powerful message. It also requires Canada and European members of NATO to recognize that military capabilities lost from cumulative disarmament over the past two decades must be regenerated. This means increasing defense spending, almost certainly above the 2% of gross domestic product agreed — but often not acted upon — by NATO members (less the United States, UK, Estonia and Greece).
2017 is 100th anniversary of the first occasion the United States intervened in one of Europe’s wars. The region’s security is a matter of American security, and it means continued and close engagement in Europe and a continuation of the strong leadership that America has given NATO from the start.

Turkey’s Erdogan Will Not Tolerate Peace With The Kurdish People!

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF NEWSWEEK)

TURKEY AIRSTRIKES KILL OVER 160 SYRIAN KURDS NORTH OF ALEPPO, MILITARY SAYS

The Turkish military said its jets conducted 26 raids Wednesday night.

The Turkish air force has conducted strikes against the U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish militia north of the besieged city of Aleppo, killing at least 160 members of the militia, Turkey’s state-run news agency said Thursday.

The military conducted the raids late Wednesday and targeted 18 Kurdish positions in the Maarraat Umm Hawsh region, according to Anadolu news agency. The strikes mark a significant escalation in Turkish action against Kurdish forces in northern Syria and are likely to exacerbate tensions between Ankara and Washington, two NATO allies.

It comes as Iraqi and Kurdish forces are battling to liberate the Iraqi city of Mosul from the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) and Ankara instead backs Syrian rebels against ISIS in northern Syria, ratcheting up tensions with Kurdish forces who had also made advances against the radical Islamist group.

AleppoMembers of the Syrian Civil Defence search for victims amid the rubble of a destroyed building following reported air strikes in the rebel-held Qatarji neighborhood of the northern city of Aleppo, October 17. Turkey conducted airstrikes against Syrian Kurdish forces Thursday north of Aleppo.KARAM AL-MASRI/AFP/GETTY

Turkey is suspicious of Kurdish intentions in northern Syria. The Kurdish YPG militia says it is defending the region from ISIS, beating them back into Raqqa province near its de-facto capital of the same name. But Ankara views Kurdish advances as an attempt to join up two administrative blocs to form a semi-autonomous state, known locally as Rojava, on the country’s southern border.

Turkey opposes any Kurdish moves towards self-determination, viewing the militiamen as linked to the Kurdish militant group outlawed in Turkey, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The group has waged a decades-long insurgency against Turkish authorities in a conflict that has left tens of thousands of people dead.

A fragile two-year ceasefire between the PKK and Turkish forces collapsed in July 2015, leading to further PKK attacks and a Turkish military operation in southeastern Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish areas. Turkey subsequently sent Syrian rebels into northern Syria in August to oust ISIS from territory but to also slow Kurdish advances in the region and prevent what it viewed as a land grab.

While Turkey views the YPG as an extremist organization, Washington views them as valuable partners on the ground in the battle against ISIS, and the most effective fighters to combat the group in Syria.

U.S. Support for the War in Yemen Is Indefensible

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME MAGAZINE)

WORLD AFFAIRS

U.S. Support for the War in Yemen Is Indefensible

A destroyed vehicle is pictured in the Yemeni port city of Hodeidah on Oct. 13, 2016.
AFP/Getty ImagesA destroyed vehicle is pictured in the Yemeni port city of Hodeidah on Oct. 13, 2016.

Ray Offenheiser is the President of Oxfam America.

‘Deference to Saudi Arabia has cost America its moral footing’

Not even funerals are sacred in a time of war.

Last Saturday, as hundreds of Yemeni mourners waited to pay their respects to a beloved elder, warplanes obliterated the funeral hall they were gathered in killing more than 140 people and wounding more than 525. This is not an isolated incident but rather the latest tragedy in Saudi Arabia’s military intervention—facilitated by U.S. intelligence sharing and aerial refueling.

These are your tax dollars at work.

The humanitarian impact of the bombing campaign is staggering—no civilian is left unaffected. Yemen, the poorest country in the Middle East before the start of this conflict, is now on the brink of starvation. The numbers do not sufficiently represent the desperation that this conflict has wrought, but they’re a start. More than 19 million people do not have access to clean water, 14 million people are suffering from hunger and malnutrition, and more than 3 million Yemenis have been driven from their homes.

We live in a world where the rules of war are continually flouted and the U.S.-supported Saudi-led campaign in Yemen is no exception. In the more than 3,000 strikes since the conflict began, civilian sites are routinely in the line of fire. Hospitals, schools, factories, homes, markets—there is no safe space in Yemen today. And with Saudi Arabia’s purchase of more than $115 billion in U.S.-manufactured military equipment approved since the war in Yemen began—including air-to-ground munitions as well as tanks—the jeopardy civilians are facing is marked with a deep American imprint.

Newly disclosed government documents reveal that State Department lawyers warned that the U.S. could be implicated in war crimes for supporting a Saudi-led air campaign in Yemen.

The sale went ahead anyway.

Now, in the wake of Saturday’s attack, the U.S. announced that it will immediately review its support to the Saudi-led coalition. This review cannot be a smokescreen for inaction or a place holder for responsibility. As of now, it is unclear how the review will unfold, what the timeline is, and who will be responsible for carrying it out. And U.S. support for the coalition will continue even though the very need for a review casts a long shadow on anything that takes place until it is finalized.

The lack of transparency from the get-go is an insult to the families of the massacred, who are still burying their dead, and for the families of those wounded in the attack desperately trying to seek assistance for their loved ones. At the very least, the U.S. should suspend its support for the campaign until the review is completed.

Deference to Saudi Arabia has cost America its moral footing. Many Members of Congress agree. Last month, 27 senators—including top leaders—voted to block a sale of tanks and other defense equipment to the Kingdom in a direct rebuke to the Obama administration. While the measure did not pass, it was a sign of the growing realization in Congress that U.S. support for the war in Yemen is indefensible.

To be clear, the Saudi-led coalition is not the only ones responsible for the violence and loss of life. All sides involved in this horrific war are responsible for the serious violations that have led to this humanitarian catastrophe. But the U.S. is only supporting one side.

In the end, one has to wonder how this will ultimately reflect on President Obama’s legacy. He and his foreign policy leadership will surely look back upon the decisions they’ve made about Yemen with regret in light of the carnage and the daily assault on human dignity.

Each day the U.S. supports this war, with every air strike that hits a civilian site, every civilian killed, maimed or going hungry; with every U.S. weapon used in Yemen and every war plane refueled that kills or wounds civilians, the U.S. tarnishes its reputation in the world. Some things should still be sacred.

The Story Of The Great Battle Of Alesia By Julius Caesar Against The Gauls In 52 B.C.

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF HISTORY AT GOOGLE +)

THE BATTLE OF ALESIA

 

JULIUS CAESAR

In 52 BC during the siege of Alesia, Roman legions under Julius Caesar would find themselves not only besieging Gallic forces of equal strength, but fighting a massive relief army sent to rescue their trapped comrades. Surrounded and out numbered by as much as 5 to 1, Julius Caesar would achieve one of the most remarkable military victories in history.

During the Roman Gallic campaign of 58-51 BC, Caesars brutal repression of the populace was severe and earned him many enemies among the tribes of Gaul. There had been many revolts and small-scale rebellions with which the Roman army dealt with easily. However, Caesar knew that if the Gallic tribes ever formed a solid alliance against him, the legions under his command would be hard pressed to maintain Roman rule.

One Gallic Prince, Vercingetorix, realized if Gaul ever wanted to become free of their Roman overlords, all the tribes within Gaul would have to put aside their differences and join forces. Vercingetorix called upon all the tribes not allied with Rome and informed them of his planned rebellion, all present agreed to support the uprising, it was time to expel their Roman masters once and for all.

Vercingetorix adopted a policy of engaging the Romans in a guerilla war, burning all crops and towns in the Romans path as to deprive them of food and shelter. After some initial successes, Vercingetorix made the fatal error of fighting the Romans in a pitched battle and suffered a terrible defeat at Gerovia in 52 BC. With the remainder of his Gallic army Vercingetorix withdrew to the fortified hill town of Alesia.

When Caesar arrived at Alesia with his 70,000 men he saw why Vercingetorix and his army of 80,000 had chosen this spot to make a stand. Alesia was an invulnerable hill, a natural fortress, Caesar could not attack such a defensive position without suffering immense casualties.

Caesar had but two options before him, retreat or lay siege. Caesar decided on the latter, knowing he could rely on his Legions who’s discipline and fighting ability as well as their fortification and engineering skills, were without equal.

Caesar set about spreading his soldiers into eight camps surrounding the hill. While the Romans were taking up their positions, Vercingetorix launched a surprise cavalry assault down the forward base of the hill, although caught by surprise the Romans managed to hold their positions suffering minimal casualties and the attack was repulsed.

To prevent any further cavalry attacks upon his men, Caesar ordered his troops to dig a deep trench between the two rivers on either side of the forward base of the hill. The Romans then began to construct a defensive corridor around Vercingetorix’s entire position and prepared themselves to defend its entire length.

Caesar also ordered the installation of deadly obstacles and booby traps containing rows of metal spikes, sharpened stakes and circular ditches designed to cripple and maim any attackers. The Romans also dug two more ditches, one of which was flooded. The earth from these ditches was used to construct a fifteen foot wall upon which the Romans built a ten foot fence which was dominated by conning towers.

 

Roman Forts Alesia

ROMAN FORTIFICATIONS

 

 

THE SIEGE

 

 

 

Vercingetorix did nothing to prevent the Romans from completing their siege fortifications, he was confident in the fact that he had sent for reinforcements before the Romans had arrived and knew he would soon be relieved. Caesar was aware that a Gallic army was approaching Alesia, and began building a second defensive trench system facing outward around the inner works already completed.

The Romans had just barely finished their outer defenses when the Gallic relief army slowly began to arrive, even tribes loyal to Rome abandoned their allegiance and sent troops to aid Vercingetorix’s besieged army.

The Gaul’s had assembled an immense army numbering 258,000 men. With Gallic forces camped outside his outer line and Vercingetorix’s 80,000 strong army still positioned atop Alesia, Caesar and his 70,000 men (12) Legions, now found themselves completely surrounded and heavily outnumbered.

At dawn the next day, the Gallic army outside the Roman lines launched a major cavalry attack, seeing this Vercingetorix ordered an infantry attack down the slope in the direction of the oncoming cavalry. As the Gallic cavalry advanced into the Roman defenses mayhem ensued, the Gallic horse were cut down and impaled against the metal spikes and sharpened stakes.

Of those horseman which did get past the wall of spikes, the Roman trench system easily swallowed up the remaining survivors. Vercingetorix’s infantry attack on the inner defenses fared no better as wave upon wave of Gallic infantry met their end attempting to navigate the Roman killing fields.

After suffering horrendous casualties the Gauls reached their objective and began their assault on the Roman wall. Vercingetorix’s hopes that his men could break through soon vanished, as Roman infantry hurled their javelins into the Gallic ranks stopping the assault dead in its tracks. The Roman archers stationed atop the conning towers now finished off any stragglers attempting to flee, by nightfall the Romans had forced the Gaul’s to fall back.

Losses on the first day of battle had been so severe, that the Gallic leadership decided to halt any further attacks all the next day in order to regroup. It had become very apparent to the Gaul’s, that any further daylight attacks against such a fortified position would result in the destruction of their army. The Gallic chiefs therefore decided on a night attack.

At midnight that evening, the Gaul’s launched a surprise attack on the Roman outer defenses. Vercingetorix once again ordered an assault in the same direction from atop Alesia towards Caesars inner defenses. The Romans now faced fierce onslaughts from their front and rear. Once again thousands of Gaul’s were impaled against the spikes or killed by javelins and arrows fired from the ramparts.

After much carnage, the weight of the Gallic attack had cleared the deadly obstacles and began their assault on the Roman walls. All night long the Gaul’s poured in seemingly endless reinforcements to break through the Roman fortifications.

 

Roman vs Gaul Alesia

 

The Romans now found themselves hard pressed to hold the enemy back from overwhelming their positions. The sheer weight of the Gallic attack now began to show signs of success, as it began to slowly breach the Roman defenses in some sectors. With the situation critical, Caesar himself rushed to the trouble spots along the Roman line to join in the hand to hand fighting alongside his exhausted troops.

Witnessing  Caesar riding up and down the lines with his purple cloak flowing in the breeze, letting his troops no that he was there and fighting along side them, gave the individual Roman soldier renewed vigor to throw the Gaul’s back. The fighting would continue in this manner all through the night, as dawn approached the exhausted Gaul’s once again began to fall back.

After two days of fighting, both Gallic armies had suffered horrendous casualties and were low on supplies. At another council of war the Gallic chiefs found themselves faced with the grim reality of surrender or continue on fighting. To surrender meant Gaul would be defeated and completely fall under Roman rule. After taking stock of their remaining forces they found they had enough troops for one more good assault and decided on the latter.

The Gallic army outside the lines decided to concentrate their attack on the Roman forces encamped on the northern side of Alesia. During the night 40,000 of their best troops slowly positioned themselves for the assault.

At dawn they launched a surprise early morning attack. At the same moment the remainder of the Gallic forces outside the lines launched their assault across the plains towards the  Roman outer defenses. Vercingetorix, then divided his entire army and hurled them against different points along the Roman inner lines to divide and weaken the Roman defenses, Caesar and his legion’s found themselves facing an all out assault.

The fighting now became more desperate and savage, the Gaul’s knew this was there last good chance of defeating the Romans and pressed home their final attack. Caesar noticed that his  defenses were weakening on his northern sector and gave the order that all Roman cavalry units should leave their positions and rush to that area and attack the Gaul’s from the rear.

Just as the Gallic attack on the Roman northern defenses began to push the Romans back, the Gauls were suddenly surprised to find Roman cavalry bearing down on them. Caught between enemy cavalry to their rear and infantry at their front the Gaul’s panicked and fled the field in all directions. The Roman cavalry continued their charge against the fleeing Gaul’s chasing down the survivors and cutting them down without mercy.

Witnessing their best troops being massacred, the Gaul’s attacking the Roman outer defensive lost heart and began to fall back. The withdrawal soon turned into a route as the Roman cavalry swung onto the plain and charged into these troops as well, what was left of the Gallic army began to disintegrate.

After three days of fighting the battle of Alesia was over, the Romans had won a crushing and decisive victory for the loss of 12,000 men, the Gauls had suffered 60,000 killed and 40,000 taken prisoner, destroying the powerful Gallic tribes and turning the nation of Gaul into a province of the Roman Empire.

Caesar, had successfully defended twenty-five miles of entrenchment and beaten two armies, which combined outnumbered him five to one. The next day Vercingetorix surrendered, he was chained and sent to Rome to be part of Caesars triumphant parade, where during the celebration, he was ritually strangled.

 

VERCINGETORIX SURRENDERS TO CAESAR

This Literary work © GreatMilitaryBattles.com

 

 

 

 

The Life And Times Of A Famous European Glass Maker In The Early-Mid 1600’s

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF AUTHOR PAUL ENGLE ON HIS GOOGLE + WEB SITE)

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Gift For The Innocent

One of the distinctive roundels designed
by Andrea della Robbia for the facade of the
Ospedale degli Innocenti.

In early 1597, Antonio Neri turned twenty-one. He was in his final year of training for the priesthood in the Catholic Church. The war with the Ottoman Empire in Hungary was winding down and men were returning to Florence from the front lines, among them Don Antonio de’ Medici, Neri’s future benefactor. At this time, there is no indication of Neri’s future activity as a glassmaker, but he certainly had been deeply involved in learning alchemy for several years. It is not surprising since his father was the personal physician to Grand Duke Ferdinando de’ Medici and his grandfather was a celebrated barber-surgeon. He probably grew up seeing the chemical arts practiced on a daily basis.

This same year, Antonio Neri’s father, Neri Neri, was commissioned along with three colleagues from the physician’s guild to make a complete revision of the Ricettario Fiorentino. [1] This was the physician and apothecary’s reference used throughout Europe and in Tuscany it carried the weight of law; every medical professional was required to own a copy and adhere to its prescriptions. The first edition had been published almost a century earlier; it was revised periodically to keep it current with the latest thinking and remedies.

Reviewing the book’s recipes is of course interesting. The final prescription, for example, is one for the age-old remedy of chicken soup. However, the preparation of this particular recipe with its raw juices would certainly make most modern patients turn a bit green.  An attempt to look beyond the technical methods is also intriguing; we are rewarded with a glimpse into the personalities of the men who wrote the book. One of the authors in particular has a story that illustrates how shrewd maneuvering can be used for good, even in times when self-serving and corruption were endemic.

The four authors’ names do not appear in the book itself, but they are documented in a letter from the college of physicians acknowledging the directive of the grand duke and pledging to purge the text of any preparations that could be dangerous. [2] In addition to Neri Neri and Francesco Rosselli (son of the royal apothecary), the other two co-authors were Giovanni Galletti and Giovan Battista Benadù. [3] Giovanni Galletti, is difficult to pin down. His family resided in Florence and he exchanged letters with a Filippo Galletti in Rome, who may have been a brother or cousin. Adding intrigue to the connection, Filippo was working as a confidential correspondent—read: a spy—for Ferdinando I de’ Medici around 1600. [4] The fourth co-author, Benadù, a physician and surgeon from Fivizzano, north of Pisa, died in 1603. [5] His will provided for an annual gift to Santa Maria Nuova hospital [6] and another to the Ospedale degli Innocenti, a gift that amazingly supported the orphanage into the nineteenth century. [7]

Little information exists about these men, it would seem impossible to extract any meaningful insight into their personalities, but perhaps we can take a small step in that direction. Neri Neri’s coauthor, Benadù, administered his financial gift to the Ospedale degli Innocenti with a large dose of shrewdness. The measures he took to ensure the purposeful use of his money, even after his death, reveal a man who cared a great deal about the less fortunate. In the 1400s, the wealthy silk merchants’ guild started Innocenti to be responsible for the welfare of abandoned children. By the late 1500s, the orphanage struggled under a mountain of debt. Grand Duke Ferdinando made a concerted effort to improve the situation and it became a well run, efficient institution, although throughout its history, it was not without problems. Over centuries of operation, it had seen the abuse of children and exploitation by both parents and the government. Famine hit Tuscany on a regular basis and less of it was due to natural causes than one might imagine. The grand dukes tended to make large trade deals, with Spain and other states, which depleted supplies and drove the local price of grain beyond what poorer families could afford. In those hard times, the Ospedale degli Innocenti experienced overflows of abandoned children. It was discovered under Cosimo I de’ Medici’s rule that some desperate families had found creative ways to take advantage. Destitute mothers left their infants at Innocenti, where children were assured of a square meal, a warm bed and an education. The same mothers then sold their milk to the orphanage, in effect collecting a wage to wet nurse their own children.

Florentine accountants invented double entry bookkeeping, and the Medici gave that innovation a good workout. They pioneered the use of municipal bonds, the purchase of which was sometimes made compulsory. At the time, they were a novel approach to fund a city’s development, and selling bonds under the banner of the orphanage was an early bit of marketing genius. It is unfortunate that the money often did not stay with the orphanage, but the obligation to pay off these debts did. The Medici often raided the accounts to pay for other projects both civic and personal. Under Ferdinando, the situation improved, but was far from stable. Through a clever maneuver, Benadù ensured his money went to the orphanage alone and not to bondholders. He left an inheritance for the day-to-day operation of Innocenti, putting control in the hands of the monks at the Badia Fiorentina monastery, where it was beyond the reach of greedy hands.

The 1597 edition of Ricettario Fiorentino produced by Neri Neri, Francesco Rosselli and their colleagues proved so popular that Grand Duke Francesco II [8] ordered it reprinted without changes in 1623. [9]

[1] Neri, Benadù, Rosselli, Galletti 1597.
[2] Corradi 1887, p. 55.
[3] Giovan Battista di Nicolao Benadù (?–1603), not to be confused with Priest Giovanni Benadù from Lucca.
[4] For more on the Galletti family cf. Crollalanza 1878, p. 222. About Filippo Galletti cf. Zapperi 1994, pp. 50, 71; Liebreich 2005, pp. 67, 281. For letters to Giovanni, see ASR 1591.
[5] He set up a trust fund for his sisters and their female relatives, which was still functioning in the twentieth century. Cf. Arrigoni 1882, p. 34.
[6] Lamioni 1994, p. 530.
[7] Cardini 1968, p. 190. The Innocenti records identify Benadù as both physician and surgeon and his monetary gift played a supporting role in the continued operation of the facility (AOI 1603.) As mentioned above.
[8] Ferdinando II de’ Medici (1610–1670).
[9]  Neri, Benadù, Rosselli, Galletti 1623.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Khomeini Shows His Love For All Non Shiite’s

 

Special Dispatch Memri
Iranian General Discusses Shi’ite Liberation Army Under Command Of Qassem Soleimani, Who Is Subordinate To Supreme Leader Khomeini September 15, 2016 Special Dispatch No.6611

On August 18, 2016, Ali Falaki, a retired general in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) who commanded a brigade in the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War and claims to have volunteered to fight in Syria, gave an interview to the Iranian website Mashregh, which is close to the IRGC. In it, he spoke of the “Shi’ite Liberation Army” that Iran has deployed on its three battlefronts in the Middle East – in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen – stating that it comprises divisions based on ethnicity that Iran has established for this purpose. These divisions, he said, are the Afghan division (Fatemiyoun), the Pakistani division (Zaynabiyoun) and the Iraqi division (Hayderiyoun), in addition to the Lebanese Hezbollah division that is operating in Lebanon and Syria. Falaki explained that these divisions comprise the Shi’ite Liberation Army that operates according to the ethnic model adopted by Iran in the Iran-Iraq war.[1]


Ali Falaki (Image: Farsnews.com)

Falaki stressed that while the Shi’ite Liberation Army forces on the various fronts are divided by ethnicity, their command structure is Iranian, and is headed by IRGC officers under the command of Qassem Soleimani, head of the IRGC’s elite Qods Force, which operates outside Iran’s borders. He added that Soleimani answers directly to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khomeini.

Falaki, who said that he maintains direct contact with the top echelons of the Iranian Army and IRGC, proudly reported that he had commanded, as part of the Afghan division, many Iranian Army soldiers who had volunteered to fight in Syria since February 2016. He said that it had been decided that they would be incorporated into the Afghan division of the Shi’ite Liberation Army as commanders. Falaki appears to be referring to February reports that Iran had replaced IRGC officers in Syria with Iranian Army soldiers and to relations between the IRGC and the Iranian Army, which have had their ups and downs.

Like other Iranian spokesmen, Falaki stressed that Iran is not sending Iranian forces to directly fight on the various fronts in the Middle East, but is creating local fighting forces that it provides with “guidance, organization, and management” by means of IRGC officers, and, when necessary also reinforces with the ethnic divisions of the Shi’ite Liberation Army. Wherever “there is a need for this army, the people in that region will be organized and supplied with the necessary forces,” he said. He added that the Shi’ite Liberation Army was established “because of the existence of Israel,” which Khamenei has vowed will cease to exist in about 20 years, though in practice the Shi’ite Liberation Army is fighting against Sunnis in the Middle East.

It should be mentioned that Falaki uses the term “Shi’ite Liberation Army” to mean two things: one, that its mission is to liberate Shi’ites, and two, that it is itself distinctly Shi’ite.

Following are excerpts from Falaki’s interview on the Mashregh website:[2]

“The First Seed Of The Shi’ite And Muslim Liberation Army Was Germinated In Syria”

“We have certain weaknesses in Syria that I do not wish to currently discuss, but some of them stem from a weakness we have in Iran. From here [in Iran], we come to South Lebanon and support the Shi’ites there; we come to Bahrain and Yemen at great expense and support the Shi’ites there.

“In Lebanon, we found [Hizbullah secretary-general] Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, but here [in Iran], we could find no leader among all the active revolutionary [Afghan] clerics willing to be on the frontlines [like he is], nor could we organize such large forces [as Hizbullah]. We were not able to properly support the three million Shi’ite Afghans [living in Iran as refugees], and it is very unfortunate that for 30 years we ignored Afghan Shi’ites who, despite their oppression, resisted the arrogance of the east [Russia] and the West [the U.S.] in Afghanistan. We saw them as mere laborers waiting [for work] at intersections or as criminals. This generation [of Afghans in Iran] stepped up and showed heroism, altruism, courage, and daring in Syria. They shone under the command of the Iranian forces…

“Under the command of [Qods Force head] Haj Qassem [Soleimani], the Afghans prevented Zaynabiyya, Damascus, and the airport from falling [to the Syrian rebels]… We must not think that we [Iranians] are fighting in Syria, [but rather that] the Afghans are being courageous there under our command…

“The name ‘Fatemiyoun’ refers to explicit aid from God. The name ‘Fatemiyoun’ produced two great events… [for Iran] in the world of Islam. First, during the [Iran-Iraq] War, we were tasked with creating unity among [ethnic] sects [in Iran] – Lors, Kurds, Baluchis, Persians, and Arabs – [albeit] in separate frameworks,  [which all fought] the Ba’ath Party [in Iraq]. We transformed all the [ethnic] sects into military divisions, and during the war never dared to say that some of the brothers were Sunnis and some were [Shi’ite] Afghans.

“The Fatemiyoun banner was raised, and thus the first seed of the liberation army of Shi’ites and Muslims was germinated in Syria. Today we have the privilege [of forming the Shi’ite Liberation Army] because back then, we created the unity among the [ethnic] sects; now, we have created international [Shi’ite] unity. The [Pakistani] Zaynabiyoun division comprises Pakistanis under the command of IRGC officers. The [Afghan] Fatemiyoun division has several brigades comprising Afghans, and even has some Sunni members. IRGC [officers] guide this division. These divisions include IRGC commanders and [Afghani] commanders, from squad commanders to staff officers. These divisions have a single uniform and a single banner. They come under a single umbrella organization and fight on a single battlefront. We also have the Hayderiyoun division, which comprises Iraqis. We also have a Hezbollah division, which is divided into two: one part is Hezbollah in Lebanon and the other is Hezbollah in Syria, which comprises the people of Damascus, Nubl, and Al-Zahraa.

“The [Shi’ite] Liberation Army was formed because, with God’s help, in 23 years there should be no such thing as Israel. These divisions are on the Israeli border. The Fatemiyoun have laid the groundwork for this fight.

“The second thing, that we are happy to see is spreading to everyone, is that our previous [patronizing] view of these [Afghan] brothers has changed…”

“Wherever There Is A Need For This Army, The People In That Region Will Be Organized And Supplied With Necessary Forces”

“The Shi’ite Liberation Army was established, and it is currently under the command of [Qods Force head] Haj Qassem Soleimani, who obeys the leader [Khomeini]. One of this army’s fronts is in Syria, another is in Iraq, and yet another is in Yemen. The forces in this army are not meant to be only Iranian; [instead], wherever there is a need for this army, the people in that region will be organized [to form it] and supplied with the necessary forces…

“We [Iranians] are not meant to come [to Syria] as forces operating [on the ground]. We want [Iranian] elements who know how to teach, organize, and manage to come to Syria. This way, the forces in that region can spring into action…

“Some of the commanders of the army [of the Syrian regime] fled abroad, and some of its bases were captured. The crushed Syrian army units have today regrouped with renewed strength. Therefore, there is no need for us [in Iran] to send an army there. We can stand alongside the Syrian army, organize Syrian forces, and prepare them for battle. [In the future] we can remove the enemy occupation of Syria, just as we did in [Iranian] Kurdistan, which took a year or two – but controlling foreign incursions into Syria is up to the Syrians themselves and we cannot prevent it.

“Regime change and changes of president can happen only when the enemy is no longer [in Syria]…  For example, we succeeded, within two years, to expel the enemy presence in Kurdistan in western [Iran], but it took us years to impose law and order there… Today, this region is considered one of the safest in Iran… even though 20 years ago, they were beheading IRGC personnel with pottery shards…”

The Iranian Army Felt It Had A Roll To Fulfill In Syria

“The Iranian army felt that it had to fulfill a role in this [Syrian] arena. According to my knowledge, the army told Qassem Soleimani that it wants to fulfill its duty in this matter [i.e. fighting in Syria]. Qassem Soleimani told this to the leader [Khomeini], and the leader gave his blessing… Some volunteers from various military units, who were mostly experts in aerial combat, were sent to Syria in mid-February 2016.

“These [Iranian army] forces were competent enough to operate independently, but we decided that they would operate as part of the [Afghan] Fatemiyoun [division]. God rewarded me by placing me in command of them as part of the Fatemiyoun [division]. I placed them in charge of the area and transferred means to them, and after a short period, the [Afghan] unit was placed under their command. Neither their rank nor their weapons in Iran were the same as they were [after they joined] the Fatemiyoun [in Syria]. But due to their presence in Syria and after a short time fighting alongside the [Afghan] Fatemiyoun brothers, they became one organization, wore the same uniform, and fought in the same trenches. They became fast friends.

“I also told [Iranian ground forces commander] Amir Pourdastan that I was proud to fight along with the brothers from the [Iranian] army on one of the global battlefront outside of Iran, just like during the sacred defense period [the Iran-Iraq War]. [Back then] there was no difference [between us and them] and they were like the Basij boys [of the IRGC].

“I spoke with the commander who was tasked with sending [Iranian soldiers to Syria] and he said: ‘One of my concerns is to curb the wave of volunteers who want to be sent [to Syria]. According to the needs of the [Iranian] General Staff, we only send the necessary amount of forces [to Syria]. Had I allowed it, we would have had several divisions of [Iranian] volunteers [in Syria].’

“The presence of these forces has been hugely beneficial [in the Syrian arena]. They also suffered martyrdoms and injuries, but this did not damage their morale or make them less determined. They were experienced, brave, and passionate…

“The [volunteers] coming from Iran to Syria are given a monthly stipend of $100.”

“We Do Not Wish To Produce An Atomic Bomb… [But Rather] Prove… That [We] Can Reach Higher Than France [And] England… In All Fields… Even On The Military Level”

“Until our power grows, the world of the arrogance [the U.S.] will never let us be. Some wonder why there is a need for tension between us and the Western world. I must say that if we tolerate this tension for a while, we will be a match for [the enemy] and then they will no longer dare fight us. We do not wish to produce an atomic bomb. We only want to prove that our people and country can reach higher than France, England, Austria, and Denmark in all fields – humanities, science, economy, technology, as well as human rights, and even on the military level.

“If we destroy the enemy that is currently mobilizing against us, there will be no room for any other country [to mobilize against us]. When we show our true might, they will no longer be able to do anything against us…”

 

End notes:

 

[1] In the first part of the interview Falaki refers to the problem of the Afghan refugees in Iran, who number some 3,000,000. The Iranian regime recruits young men from among these refugees to fight in Syria as part of the Afghan division. The fighters receive a monthly stipend and, if they fall in battle, their families’ social status is enhanced.

[2] Fars (Iran), August 18, 2016. It should be mentioned that the interview was deleted from the Mashregh website shortly after publication.

Is The Pope Actually As Ignorant As His Words Are Saying He Is?

 

I am not a Catholic, but I am a Christian. I do not believe that the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church is stupid nor ignorant, at least I hope that he isn’t. I know that as a ‘religious leader’ of a ‘Christ based’ faith the Pope is suppose to be kind, good, and welcoming to all people of the Earth. Peace and love are the hallmarks of God’s teachings so the Pope is correct in his inviting of all persons out of war torn countries and into country’s that are not ‘war torn’. But, at the same time you show wisdom in the protection of your family, your country, and the Church. In pretty much any other circumstance Pope Francis would be correct in welcoming the Muslim and Persian people from North Africa and the Middle-East into Europe and the rest of the civilized world as to not do so would be cruel and racists. But if the Pope does not understand the difference of this situation compared to, for example, free travel between members of EU country’s then he is quite ignorant.

 

I have stated my opinions on racism several times in articles that I have written here on this site throughout the years. I believe that any form of racism is evil and that evil will get a person condemned at their judgement before the Throne of Christ. If I, you, the Pope, or anyone else are anti-Muslim or Persian people, then we are being racist and this is a sin that will be held against our charge. I do not believe for even one moment that Pope Francis is a racist person. As I said earlier that in any other circumstance Pope Francis would be correct in trying to get all country’s on Earth to open their doors to these war refugees, but not in this case. If the Pope really thinks that what he is saying to the public is correct, then he is an idiot. If he does’t believe what he is saying, then he is being a liar. For anyone, especially a ‘Religious Leader’ to be a liar or an idiot is not a good thing. I will not judge the Pope on which one he is being, that is God’s job, not mine.

 

In both of the previous paragraphs I have referred to this particular circumstance as being different than any other circumstance. The reason that Pope Francis is wrong in his trying to get Europe and the rest of the world to allow in these refugees is not because they are Muslim people, Persian people, or even African people. The color of their skin has nothing at all to do with anything. The issue is what has saturated these people between their ears, and that issue is Islam! This ‘religion’ has been around for almost 1,400 years and for it’s whole existence including right from it’s inception it is and has always been a religion of hate, murder and conquest. Ever since their ‘prophet’ Mohammad was still alive he participated in the extermination of all people and all other faiths in every country this disease has spread to. As most of you know the word Islam means ‘submission’ as in total submission to the will of Allah. Any who will not submit are to be killed. Believers are ordered to infiltrate a country, grow strong from within, then attack and destroy until that country has only one faith, Islam. Any country who lets believers of this ‘faith’ in among their people are inviting their own murderers within their own homes. Some people, those who haven’t read or studied their scriptures or paid any attention to world history over the past 1,400 years, will say that I am being Islamophobic. I am telling you, wake up, read, and learn because it is you who are being ignorant. Read the Quran which is ‘the words’ of the prophet Mohammad, read the real Islamic holy book, the Hadith, which is ‘the actions’ of the prophet Mohammad. The play book for your destruction is laid out in black and white, it is you who are being ignorant and it will cost you your country, your way of life, and your life. So, is the Pope being ignorant? Read, learn, then make an intelligent decision instead of an un-knowledgeable one.

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