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Monday, July 25, 2016

Claim: Climate disasters increase risk of armed conflict in multi-ethnic countries!: So Now What Blame The American Civil War On Global Warming To?

CO2 is the root of all evil.
The media release is below.
Climate disasters increase risk of armed conflict in multi-ethnic countries
Climate disasters like heat-waves or droughts enhance the risk of armed conflicts in countries with high ethnic diversity
This finding, to be published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, can help in the design of security policies even more so since future global warming from human-made greenhouse-gas emissions will increase natural disasters and therefore likely also risks of conflicts and migration.
“Devastating climate-related natural disasters have a disruptive potential that seems to play out in ethnically fractionalized societies in a particularly tragic way,” says lead author Carl Schleussner from the Berlin think-tank Climate Analytics and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). Almost one quarter of conflicts in ethnically divided countries coincide with climatic calamities, the scientists found; importantly, this is even without taking climate change into account. “Climate disasters are not directly triggering conflict outbreak, but may enhance the risk of a conflict breaking out which is rooted in context-specific circumstances. As intuitive as this might seem, we can now show this in a scientifically sound way,” says Schleussner, who has also been a research fellow at Humboldt University, Berlin, at the Integrative Research Institute on Transformations of Human-Environment Systems (IRITHESys).
“We’ve been surprised to which extent results stick out compared to e.g. inequality”
Previous research often either focused on climatic variables such as temperature increase that cannot be directly translated into societal impacts, or has been limited to case studies. The new study moves beyond that by focusing directly on natural disaster-related economic damage data, collected by the international reinsurance market leader Munich Re. Using the mathematical method of event coincidence analysis, this is combined with a conflict dataset established by security research, and a common index for ethnical fractionalization. The study looks at the period 1980-2010.
“We’ve been surprised by the extent that results for ethnic fractionalized countries stick out compared to other country features such as conflict history, poverty, or inequality,” says co-author Jonathan Donges, co-head of PIK’s flagship project on co-evolutionay pathways COPAN. “We think that ethnic divides may serve as a predetermined conflict line when additional stressors like natural disasters kick in, making multi-ethnic countries particularly vulnerable to the effect of such disasters”
“A very special co-benefit of climate stabilization: peace”
The study cannot provide a risk assessment for specific states. Since armed conflicts and natural disasters are fortunately rare events, data from single countries is necessarily limited and does not suffice for statistical analyses.
“Armed conflicts are among the biggest threats to people, killing some and forcing others to leave their home and maybe flee to far-away countries. Hence identifying ethnic divide and natural disasters as enhancing destabilization risks is potentially quite relevant,” says co-author Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. “Human-made climate change will clearly boost heatwaves and regional droughts. Our observations combined with what we know about increasing climate-change impacts can help security policy to focus on risk regions.” Several of the world’s most conflict-prone regions, including North and Central Africa as well as Central Asia, are both exceptionally vulnerable to human-made climate change and characterized by deep ethnic divides. “So our study adds evidence,” Schellnhuber concludes, “of a very special co-benefit of climate stabilization: peace.”
Article: Schleussner, C.-F., Donges, J.F., Donner, R.V., Schellnhuber, H.J. (2016): Armed-conflict risks enhanced by climate-related disasters in ethnically fractionalized countries. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Early Edition, EE) [DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1601611113]
Weblink to the article once it is published:

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Extreme Skier Dies from Injuries In Chile Avalanche, here It's Come Al Gore And Friend's Will Blame Her Death On Global Warming

DEVELOPING: An extreme skier who was taking part in a film shoot died from her injuries after she got caught in an avalanche in Chile, her sponsor, Red Bull, announced Monday.
Swedish skier Matilda Rapaport, 30, was rushed to a hospital after the July 14 avalanche. She had won the famed Scandinavian Big Mountain Championships in 2011 and the Xtreme Verbier competition in 2013.
"A member of the Red Bull family since 2013, Matilda will be missed by the ski community, her fans and her supporters. Along with her many friends, our thoughts are now with her husband Mattias and her family," her sponsor announced in a statement.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Senate Democra Attack on Climate Skeptics Generates Threat Of Physical Volence Against Skeptic? How IS Gender Equality Bring Applied Here? Here What I have To Say About Your climate science , See The Pic

By the middle of this week, about 20 Democratic Senators in the US will have stood up before their congress to talk about the fossil fuelled machinery of climate science denial.
The Senators are naming the fossil fuel funders, describing the machinery and calling out the characters that make up a “web of denial”.
“The web is so big, because it has so much to protect,” said the Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, who bookended the first evening of speeches.
The senate heard how fossil fuel companies such as ExxonMobil, Peabody Energy and the billionaire oil brothers Charles and David Koch had funnelled millions into groups that had spread doubt about the causes of climate change.
In a resolution also being tabled, the upper house will be asked to acknowledge that the fossil fuel industry had done just what the tobacco industry had done – “developed a sophisticated and deceitful campaign that funded think tanks and front groups, and paid public relations firms to deny, counter, and obfuscate peer-reviewed research” and “used that misinformation campaign to mislead the public and cast doubt in order to protect their financial interest.”

Groups like the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), the Heartland Institute, the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow and many, many others are under scrutiny for the way they have attacked the science linking fossil fuel burning to climate change while accepting cash from fossil fuel interests.
Whitehouse also took time to describe the large body of work in peer-reviewed journals that have examined the funding, the networks and the tactics of organised climate science denial. Climate science denial is itself a live area of academic research.
Already, groups being named in the speeches are reacting. The CEI called it “a McCarthy-style attempt to shut down the democratic process”. When Senator Chuck Schumer said those who had participated in the web should be “ashamed of themselves”, Steve Milloy said he had “never been prouder.”

But the impact of climate science denial – the decades of policy delays, the confusion among the general public and the deliberate politicization of the science – does not stop at the US border.Australia has been a consumer, a contributor and a victim of the web of climate science denial.
Australia has long provided personnel and contributors to the efforts of several of the key groups being named in the US Senate.
The late Dr Robert Carter, once of James Cook University, was an advisor and active contributor to several of the groups, including the Heartland Institute and the Science and Public Policy Institute (SPPI).
Malcolm Roberts (the wannabe One Nation Australian Senator) and bloggers JoNova and her husband David Evans have all written reports for the SPPI that claim human-caused climate change is some sort of elaborate hoax.
Retired Australian meteorologist William Kininmonth is also an SPPI science advisor.
Australian politicians have flown over to the United States to speak at conferences for climate science denialists hosted by the Heartland Institute – the group that once compared the acceptance of human-caused climate science to the values of terrorist and mass murderer Ted “Unabomber” Kaczynski.
Former Family First Senator Steve Fielding, current Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi and the current Nationals MP George Christensen have all spoken at Heartland’s conferences. The conferences themselves have been enthusiastically sponsored by several Australian groups over the years.

Australia’s role in the web of denial has been running since the 1990s, when groups like the CEI flew staff to Australia to firm up opposition to greenhouse gas regulations around the world.
Partnerships were formed with groups like the Melbourne-based Institute of Public Affairs, which has hosted and supported many visits from US-based climate science denialists.
Once here, those speakers will write columns for newspapers, do radio and television interviews and travel around the country to give talks.
In 2011 when the Gillard Government was trying to introduce laws to put a price on greenhouse gas emissions, the enlisted Pat Michaels, of the Cato Institute, as a science advisor. Cato is another member of the web of denial. Michaels once estimated that about 40 per cent of his funding came from the petroleum industry.
The impact of all this on the Australian public and the way the media covers climate science is clear.
There remains a split among Australians about the cause of climate change, despite multiple studies showing that more than 90 per cent of climate scientists are in agreement that it’s the burning of fossil fuels that’s driving up temperatures, fuelling weather extremes, raising sea levels, melting ice sheets and killing corals (and that’s just a few of the impacts).
The public becomes doubtful and the media, so often looking for controversy and conflict, has been a conduit for the fossil fuelled messages.
The fossil fuel companies, meanwhile, retain a grip on their so-called “social licence to operate.”
When Senator Whitehouse said the web of denial is “so big, because it has so much to protect” we might also think that we have so much to lose.
In failing to unravel the web of denial and by allowing our public discourse to be polluted by fossil fuelled PR outfits, ideologues and pseudo-science, who knows how much time we may have lost.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Wow… Senators to Expose Web of Denial Blocking Action on Climate? But Senators Should Expose Web of Denial When It Come To Gender Identity?


how individuals perceive themselves and what they call themselves? 

enators to Expose Web of Denial Blocking Action on Climate
Follow #WebOfDenial and #TimeToCallOut
Washington, DC – Today, Monday, from 4:45 p.m. to 6:45 p.m., tomorrow, Tuesday, from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., and throughout the week,* 19 Senators will take to the Senate floor to call out Koch brothers- and fossil fuel industry-funded groups that have fashioned a web of denial to block action on climate change.

Despite polling that shows over 80 percent of Americans favor action to reduce carbon pollution, Congress has failed to pass comprehensive climate legislation. The Senators will each deliver remarks detailing how interconnected groups – funded by the Koch brothers, major fossil fuel companies like ExxonMobil and Peabody Coal, identity-scrubbing groups like Donors Trust and Donors Capital, and their allies – developed and executed a massive campaign to deceive the public about climate change to halt climate action and protect their bottom lines.
As part of their effort to draw attention to the web of denial, Senators Whitehouse, Markey, Schatz, Boxer, Merkley, Warren, Sanders, and Franken are introducing a resolution describing and condemning the efforts of corporations and groups to mislead the public about the harmful effects of tobacco, lead, and climate. The resolution also urges fossil fuel corporations and their allies to cooperate with investigations into their climate-related activities. Congressman Ted Lieu (D-CA) is introducing the resolution in the House this week.
Use #WebOfDenial and #TimetoCallOut to follow the speeches on Twitter.
EVENT: Senators to call out Koch brothers- and fossil fuel-backed web of denial blocking climate action
WHO: Senator Harry Reid (D-NV)
Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA)
Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL)
Senator Jack Reed (D-RI)
Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY)
Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD)
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)
Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)
Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
Senator Al Franken (D-MN)
Senator Chris Coons (D-DE)
Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)
Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI)
Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM)
Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA)
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Senator Edward Markey (D-MA)
Senator Gary Peters (D-MI)
WHEN: Monday, from 4:45 p.m. to 6:45 p.m.
Tuesday, from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
*Several Senators will also deliver their remarks during the day on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Follow #WebOfDenial and #TimetoCallOut for specific times.
WHERE: Senate Floor
From: Enderle, Emily (Whitehouse)
Sent: Sunday, July 10, 2016 5:40 PM
Subject: RE: Web of Denial Floor Speeches and Embargoed Resolution
T minus one day until the speeches commence! We’re expecting Leader Reid to kick things off just after 4pm tomorrow. The tentative schedule of speakers and the groups they’ll be covering is included below. Given the fluid nature of this schedule and the senate floor schedule in general, please don’t share this information outside of your organization. We’ll keep you posted about any major changes. Again, gallery passes are available in 530 Hart for anyone who’d like to watch in person. You can also tune in on C-SPAN2.
The press advisory announcing the web of denial speeches and resolution will be issued tomorrow morning, which we’ll circulate as soon as it goes out along with a clean copy of the resolution. Info about the speeches and the resolution text remains embargoed until then. Senators Whitehouse, Markey, Schatz, Boxer, Merkley, Warren, Sanders, and Franken are the current list of resolution cosponsors.
Some suggested tweets are included below and our graphics template is attached. Feel free to use these as guides as you craft digital content. The hashtags in play are #WebOfDenial and #TimeToCallOut. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to Di if you have any social media questions. Her email address is and direct # is 202.224.9217.
Tentative Schedule – Web of Denial Speeches
Sen. Reid – ~4:10 (Leader Time) – Americans for Prosperity, Nevada Policy Research Institute
Sen. Cardin – 4:45 – Annapolis Center for Science-Based Public Policy
Sen. Coons – (tent.) 5pm – Group TBD
Sen. Udall – 5:15pm Western Fuels Association
Sen. Kaine – 5:30pm – Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy
Sen. Schumer – 6pm – Mercatus Center (tent.)
Sen. Merkley – 6:15pm – Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine
Sen. Blumenthal – Time TBD (or Tuesday) – Americans for Prosperity, American Legislative Exchange Council
Sen. Whitehouse – Time TBD – The Advancement of Sound Science Center, Chamber of Commerce, Committee for Constructive Tomorrow, Franklin Center for Government and Policy Integrity, James Madison Institute, John Locke Foundation, Locke Institute
Sen. Boxer – Time TBD – Hoover Institution, Reason Foundation, Pacific Research Institute
Sen. Coons – Time TBD (or Monday)– Group TBD
Sen. Schatz – 5pm – Center for Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, Heartland Institute
Sen. Franken – 5:15pm – Heritage Foundation
Sen. Warren – 5:30pm – Science and Public Policy Institute
Sen. Heinrich – 5:45pm – American Legislative Exchange Council
Sen. Shaheen –6pm – Competitive Enterprise Institute, Energy and Environmental Legal Institute
Sen. Reed – around 6pm – SEC climate change disclosures and the dangers of climate change denial from a national security perspective
Sen. Markey – 6pm to 6:30pm –Acton Institute, George C. Marshall Institute, Lexington Institute, Global Climate Coalition
Sen. Peters – 6:30pm – Cato Institute
Sen. Blumenthal – Time TBD – Americans for Prosperity, American Legislative Exchange Council
Sen. Whitehouse – Time TBD – The Advancement of Sound Science Center, Chamber of Commerce, Committee for Constructive Tomorrow, Franklin Center for Government and Policy Integrity, James Madison Institute, John Locke Foundation, Locke Institute
From: Enderle, Emily (Whitehouse)
Sent: Thursday, July 07, 2016 3:53 PM
Subject: Web of Denial Floor Speeches and Embargoed Resolution
As most of you know, Senators Whitehouse, Markey, Boxer, Schatz, and ~15 other Senators are planning to talk about the climate denial apparatus and its key groups in a series of floor speeches on Monday and Tuesday, with the vast majority of speeches expected to take place between 6-8:30pm on Monday and 5-7:30pm on Tuesday. The latest list of groups to be covered is included below. The catch phrase is “Web of Denial” and #WebOfDenial and #TimeToCallOut are the hashtags. Gallery passes are available at our front desk (SH 530) for anyone who’d like to watch the speeches in person. You can also tune in on C-SPAN2.
Attached, please find an embargoed copy of the resolution Members plan to introduce in both chambers on Monday that describes and expresses congressional disapproval of industrial denial activities that have obscured the truth on tobacco, lead, and climate. So far, Senators Whitehouse, Markey, Schatz, Boxer, Merkley, and Warren have signed on to the Senate resolution. Rep Lieu is leading the charge in the House. You’re welcome to share the resolution internally and among trusted allies but please don’t distribute it widely until the embargo lifts at 10am on Monday. We will send a clean copy on Monday morning. Please direct any questions about the House resolution to Megan Price from Rep Lieu’s staff (cc’d). Thanks to LCV, Sierra Club, Union of Concerned Scientists, Clean Water Action, and Public Citizen for supporting it. Let us know if we can add your organization to the list of supporters.
We’re planning to issue a press advisory about the speeches and resolution at 10am on Monday. Don’t hesitate to reach out to Rich and Di from our comms shop with any press questions. We’ll send out sample social media material and keep you posted on speakers, list of groups, timing, etc. It’d be great if you would like to help amplify.

Emily Enderle
Chief Environmental Policy Advisor
Office of Senator Sheldon Whitehouse
Web of Denial Organizations
1. The Advancement of Sound Science Center (defunct)
2. Acton Institute (MI)
3. Americans for Prosperity (VA)
4. American Legislative Exchange Council
5. American Petroleum Institute (DC)
6. Annapolis Center for Science-Based Public Policy (defunct)
7. Cascade Policy Institute (OR)
8. Cato Institute (DC)
9. Center for Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change (AZ)
10. Chamber of Commerce (DC)
11. Committee for Constructive Tomorrow (DC)
12. Competitive Enterprise Institute (DC)
a. Cooler Heads Coalition
13. Energy and Environmental Legal Institute (formerly American Tradition Institute)
14. Franklin Center for Government and Policy Integrity (VA)
15. George C. Marshall Institute (now The CO2 Coalition) (VA)
16. Global Climate Coalition (defunct)
17. Heartland Institute (IL)
18. Heritage Foundation (DC)
19. Hoover Institution (CA)
20. James Madison Institute (FL)
21. John Locke Foundation (NC)
22. Lexington Institute (VA)
23. Locke Institute (VA)
24. Mercatus Center (VA)
25. Nevada Policy Research Institute (NV)
26. Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine (OR)
27. Pacific Research Institute (CA)
28. Reason Foundation (CA)
29. Science and Public Policy Institute (VA)
30. Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy (VA)
31. Western Fuels Association (CO)
a. Funded Greening Earth Society and Informed Citizens for the Environment

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Claim: Global Warming Makes Clouds Move? Clouds Move Because The Wind Not Global Warming More Liberal Ass Back Ware Thinking!

Clouds move because the wind is carrying the parcel of cloudy air along. Wind occurs at all levels of the atmosphere from the ground up to higher than a jumbo jet can fly. Sometimes there can be no wind on the ground, but cirrus clouds very high up can be seen moving because of the wind where they are.

They’ve analyzed the cloud record?
The media release is below.
Clouds are moving higher, subtropical dry zones expanding, according to satellite analysis
Scripps-led study confirms computerized climate simulations projecting effects of global warming
A Scripps Institution of Oceanography at University of California San Diego-led research team analyzing satellite cloud records has found that the cloudy storm tracks on Earth are moving toward the poles and subtropical dry zones are expanding. Cloud tops are also moving higher in the atmosphere.
The record confirms computer climate models that have predicted these changes to have taken place during the past several decades as a consequence of the accumulation of societally generated greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
“What this paper brings to the table is the first credible demonstration that the cloud changes we expect from climate models and theory are currently happening,” said study lead author Joel Norris, a climate researcher at Scripps.
With the simultaneous roles clouds play in cooling and heating the planet – reflecting solar radiation back to space but also trapping solar energy in their structures – clouds are among the most important variables in climate.
Their complex behavior has been one of the biggest areas of uncertainty for scientists attempting to understand current climate and forecast future trends.
Inconsistent satellite imaging of clouds over the decades has been a hindrance to improving scientists’ understanding. Records of cloudiness from satellites originally designed to monitor weather are prone to spurious trends related to changes in satellite orbit, instrument calibration, degradation of sensors over time, and other factors.
When the researchers removed such artifacts from the record, the data exhibited large-scale patterns of cloud change between the 1980s and 2000s that are consistent with climate model predictions for that time period, including poleward retreat of mid-latitude storm tracks, expansion of subtropical dry zones, and increasing height of the highest cloud tops. These cloud changes enhance absorption of solar radiation by the earth and reduce emission of thermal radiation to space. This exacerbates global warming caused by increasing greenhouse gas concentrations.
The researchers drew from several independent corrected satellite records in their analysis. They concluded that the behavior of clouds they observed is consistent with a human-caused increase in greenhouse gas concentrations and a planet-wide recovery from two major volcanic eruptions, the 1982 El Chichón eruption in Mexico and the 1991 eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines. Aerosols ejected from those eruptions had a net cooling effect on the planet for several years after they took place.
Barring another volcanic event of this sort, the scientists expect the cloud trends to continue in the future as the planet continues to warm due to increasing greenhouse gas concentrations.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Cosmo: Global Warming Causing Shark Attacks!? Naked Science - Shark Attacks,

Shark Attack File - Man Eating Sharks [Nature Documentary] Cosmo: Global Warming Causing Shark Attacks!?

Cosmo: Global Warming Causing Shark Attacks!? Shark Kills Woman Swimming Off New South Wales Beach - 3 April 2014,

Cosmo: Global Warming Causing Shark Attacks!?

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) explains that sharks do not normally hunt humans, but if they do attack, it is usually a case of mistaken identity. Assuming a large, predatory shark has not been exposed to human flesh before  
Many shark biologists distinguish between a bite and an attack based on severity.

Cosmopolitan Magazine warns that 2016 will be a big year for shark attacks around the world and global warming is to blame.
In a Cosmo essay shared with EsquireMagazine, Sarah Rense writes that last year saw “a record number of shark attacks” with a total of 98 attacks and six deaths. In comparison, she says, ten years ago there were only 58 attacks. Moreover, experts have predicted that 2016 will be “a big shark attack year,” she writes.
Her foregone conclusion? The cause “is largely climate change.”
Oddly, Ms. Rense does not examine statistics on numbers of swimmers, or on seal migration patterns (which account for killer sharks’ primary food source) or even a year-by-year analysis of shark attacks going back beyond ten years to see whether the trend holds up over time. Instead, she employs the single, unremarkable statistic of 98 incidents of shark attacks in 2015 to insist that global warming must be the culprit.
Rense does, of course, throw in a dollop of pseudo-science, citing a “recent study” according to which warmer oceans are pushing sharks 20 miles further up the coast each decade. This slow northerly push means that sharks are crossing paths with more humans and “reaching New York and New Jersey beaches, where fewer people will be expecting them,” Rense writes.
If Rense’s theory holds and “global warming” is truly to blame, then the extra shark attacks should fall within that 20-mile swath of beach where sharks are allegedly venturing for the first time.
Unfortunately for Rense—and Cosmopolitan—this simply isn’t the case. There was only one shark attack in New York and none in New Jersey since the year 2000. The most serious shark incidents in New Jersey history occurred exactly a century ago, in 1916, when a series of shark attacks between July 1 and 12 left four people dead and one injured.
In 2015, by contrast, the greatest increase in attacks actually occurred in North Carolina and Florida, regular haunts for sharks having nothing to do with climate change.
Of the eight U.S. counties with more than 15 shark attacks since the year 2000, four are in Florida (accounting for a whopping total of 273 attacks), two in Hawaii and the other two in South Carolina.
According to a report from the International Shark Attack File at the Florida Museum of Natural History, the most likely explanation for the greater number of shark attacks has nothing to do with “climate change” at all.
“The number of shark-human interactions occurring in a given year is directly correlated with the amount of time humans spend in the sea,” the Museum’s report states.
Moreover, “as world population continues its upsurge and interest in aquatic recreation concurrently rises, we realistically should expect increases in the number of shark attacks and other aquatic recreation-related injuries,” the report says.
The Museum warns against the sort of inferences drawn by Ms. Rense as highly unscientific, noting that “short-term trends in the number of shark bites up or down must be viewed with caution.”
“Such marked yearly fluctuations in shark-human interactions, be they regional or international in scope, are not unusual,” it says.
But there is no reason to let facts get in the way of a good story, especially when the villain of the story is the bogey man of “climate change.”

Deunking Syria’s Brutal Civil War.’ Caused Bye Global Warming, Tracing Syrian Conflict Back To Iraq’s Civil War? Syria Remained At The Center Of The New Christian Religion Until The Seventh Century, When The Area Succumbed to Muslim Arab Rule?

The relationship between Iraq and Syria has a troubled history with many contradictions. It has been strained during most of the countries' recent history. Nevertheless, the two sides are so similar and close that there have been projects to turn them into one entity ever since the founding of postcolonial states in the Arab Middle East.

The first king in Iraq after its separation from the Ottoman Empire was also previously the king of Syria. However, as Iraq and Syria were under the control of two different powers (Britain in the case of Iraq, and France in the case of Syria), they were not governed by King Faisal I during the same period.

The Baath party failed to unify Syria and Iraq, despite the fact that the party’s ideology was based on the idea of Arab unity and its branches ruled the two countries simultaneously. This failure was a result of the unique relationship between the two, one which is characterized by strong similarities and discord at the same time.

Iraqi politician Ahmad Chalabi’s recent — albeit unrealistic — call to establish a confederation bringing together the two countries signals a continued lack of faith in the feasibility of the Sykes-Picot Agreement, which set the borders of the two countries.

While that call lacks seriousness, the biggest paradox is that the al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) has become the first political-military organization to deal practically with the two countries as a single political unit.
An important aspect of the religious and sectarian divide in the region is based on the historic conflict in the seventh century between the army of Ali bin Abi Talib, the fourth Islamic caliph based in Kufa, Iraq, and the army of Muawiyah Ben Abi Sufyan, the Umayyad dynasty founder who settled in Damascus.

A great deal of the sectarian tension currently plaguing the two countries results from historical conflicts, and from telling the story of these conflicts in a way that serves the different parties in their current confrontations.

However, the issue goes beyond ideology, reaching actions on the ground. At a time when many people are talking about the need to stop the Syrian civil war from extending to Iraq, it is worth mentioning that the relationship between the two countries and their respective turmoil existed even before the outbreak of the protests in Syria.

The political and social transformation in Iraq that followed 2003 had a significant effect on Syria. President Bashar al-Assad's regime tried to be in harmony with the will of the majority of Syrians in opposition to the war and its consequences, but probably for different reasons. Syria allowed the flow of foreign fighters to fight the US forces in Iraq. The insurgency, however, led to results that would affect Syria at a later stage.

Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi refugees, including opponents of the regime, started flowing into Syria, and most of them chose to live in Damascus.

The stories told by refugees who escaped the “Iraqi hell” contributed to molding the feelings of the Syrians. By way of those stories and experiences, many Iraqis brought their political and sectarian divisions to Syria. The economic pressure represented by the presence of these huge numbers of Iraqis in Syria — at a time when the Syrian state was increasingly marred by corruption and loosening social safety nets through the increasing adoption of economic liberalism — contributed to fueling the economic and social problems that paved the way for Syrian protests at a later stage.
The support that Syrian opposition groups received from regional Sunni powers is also related to these powers’ desire to counter Iranian influence in Iraq. They wanted to win Syria in order to compensate for their loss in Iraq.  

The idea of keeping Syria “out of Iraq” currently looks like an illusion that doesn’t differ much from the previous one of distancing Syria from Iraq. The two countries offer a new model for a region in which the state is decomposing, and where inter-state solidarities are flourishing. The destinies of the two countries are connected today more than ever.

Harith Hasan is an Iraqi scholar and writer. He has a PhD in political science and his main research interests are state-society relations and identity politics in Iraq and the Arab Mashriq. On Twitter: @harith_hasan

History of Syria


Present-day Syria is only a small portion of the ancient geographical Syrian landmass, a region situated at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea from which Western powers created the contemporary states of Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Israel in the post-Ottoman era of the early twentieth century. Greater Syria, as historians and political scientists often refer to this area, is a region connecting three continents, simultaneously cursed and blessed as a crossroads for commerce and a battleground for the political destinies of dynasties and empires. Exploited politically, Greater Syria also has benefited immeasurably from the cultural diversity of the people who came to claim parts or all of it, and who remained to contribute to the remarkable spiritual and intellectual flowering that characterized Greater Syria’s cultures in the ancient and medieval periods. Throughout history, Greater Syria has been the focal point of a continual dialectic, both intellectual and bellicose, between the Middle East and the West. Today, Syria remains an active participant in the trials and tribulations of a troubled and volatile region.

Early History

Since before 2000 BC, Syria has been an integral part of, or the seat of government for, powerful empires. The struggle among various indigenous groups as well as invading foreigners resulted in cultural enrichment and significant contributions to civilization, despite political upheaval or turmoil. The ancient city of Ebla existed at the center of an expansive empire around 2400 B.C. The chief site, unearthed in the vicinity of Aleppo in the 1970s, contained tablets providing evidence of a sophisticated and powerful indigenous Syrian empire that was involved with, and probably controlled, a vast commercial network linking Anatolia (today part of Turkey), Mesopotamia (an ancient region of southwestern Asia in present-day Iraq), Egypt, and the Aegean and Syrian coasts. The language of Ebla is believed to be the oldest Semitic language, and the extensive writings of the Ebla culture are proof of a brilliant culture that rivals those of the Mesopotamians and ancient Egyptians.

After the King of Akkad (Mesopotamia) destroyed Ebla, Amorites ruled the region until their power was eclipsed in 1600 B.C. by the Egyptians. The following centuries saw Syria ruled by a succession of Canaanites, Phoenicians, Hebrews, Aramaeans, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Seleucids, Romans, Nabataeans, Byzantines, Muslim Arabs, European Christian Crusaders, Ottoman Turks, Western Allied forces, and the French. Although Syria has absorbed the legacies of these many and varied cultures, the very existence of this string of foreign dominating powers exemplifies the political, economic, and religious importance of Syria’s strategic location.

Highlights of early Syrian history include the impact made by such dominant powers as the Phoenicians, Aramaeans, and Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Empires. During the second millennium B.C., the seafaring Phoenicians established a trade network among independent city-states and developed the alphabet. The Aramaeans, overland merchants who had settled in Greater Syria at the end of the thirteenth century B.C., opened trade to southwestern Asia, and their capital at Damascus became a city of immense wealth and influence. Aramaic ultimately displaced Hebrew as the vernacular in Greater Syria and became the language of commerce throughout the Middle East. Beginning in 333 B.C., with the conquest of the Persian Empire, Alexander the Great and his successors brought Western ideas and institutions to Syria. Following Alexander’s death in 323 B.C., control of Greater Syria passed to the Seleucids, who ruled the Kingdom of Syria from their capital at Damascus for three centuries. In the first centuries A.D., Roman rule saw the advent of Christianity in Syria. Paul, considered to be the founder of Christianity as a distinct religion, was converted on the road to Damascus and established the first organized Christian Church at Antioch during the first century.

The Coming of Islam

Syria remained at the center of the new Christian religion until the seventh century, when the area succumbed to Muslim Arab rule. Prior to the Arab invasion, Byzantine oppression had catalyzed a Syrian intellectual and religious revolt, creating a Syrian national consciousness. The Muslim Arab conquest in A.D. 635 was perceived as a liberating force from the persecution of Byzantine rule, to which Syria had been subjected since A.D. 324. But with Damascus as the seat of the Islamic Umayyad Empire, which extended as far as Spain and India between 661 and 750, most Syrians became Muslim, and Arabic replaced Aramaic. Syrian prestige and power declined after 750 when the Abbasids conquered the Umayyads and established a caliphate in Baghdad. Syria then became a mere province within an empire.

Muslim control of Christian holy places was elemental in provoking the first major Western colonial venture in the Middle East, when European Crusaders established the principalities of Edessa, Antioch, Tripoli, and the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem between 1097 and 1144. The ensuing jihad against the foreign occupation was a unifying force for Arabs in Greater Syria until the area became a province of the Ottoman Empire in 1516. Syria’s economy did not flourish under Ottoman rule, which lasted for 400 years. Yet, Syria continued to attract European traders and with them Western missionaries, teachers, scientists, and tourists whose governments began to agitate for certain rights in the region, including the right to protect Christians.

A Brief Period of Independence

The period between the outbreak of World War I in 1914 and the granting of France’s mandate over Syria by the League of Nations in 1922 was marked by a complicated sequence of events during which Syrians achieved a brief period of independence (1919– 20). However, three forces were at work against Arab nationalism: Britain’s interest in keeping eastern Mesopotamia under its control in order to counter Russian influence and to protect British oil interests; the Jewish interest in Palestine; and France’s determination to remain a power in the Middle East. Ultimately, Syria and Lebanon were placed under French influence, and Transjordan and Iraq, under British mandate. The termination of Syria’s brief experience with independence left a lasting bitterness against the West and a deep-seated determination to reunite Arabs in one state. This quest was the primary basis for modern Arab nationalism.

The French Mandate

The period of French Mandate brought nearly every feature of Syrian life under French control. This oppressive atmosphere mobilized educated wealthy Muslims against the French. Among their grievances were the suppression of newspapers, political activity, and civil rights; the division of Greater Syria into multiple political units; and French reluctance to frame a constitution for Syria that would provide for eventual sovereignty, which the League of Nations had mandated. Only in the wake of a widespread revolt instigated by the Druze minority in 1925 did the French military government begin to move toward Syrian autonomy. Despite French opposition, the Soviet Union (today Russia) and the United States granted Syria and Lebanon recognition as sovereign states in 1944, with British recognition following a year later. These Allied nations pressured France to leave Syria, but it was not until a United Nations resolution in February 1946 ordering France to evacuate that Syrians finally attained sovereignty. By April 15, 1946, all French troops had left Syrian soil.


Syria endured decades of strife and turmoil as competing factions fought over control of the country’s government following independence in 1946. This era was one of coups, countercoups, and intermittent civilian rule during which the army maintained a watchful presence in the background. From February 1958 to September 1961, Syria was joined with Egypt in the United Arab Republic (UAR). But growing Syrian dissatisfaction with Egyptian domination resulted in another military coup in Damascus, and Syria seceded from the UAR. Another period of instability ensued, with frequent changes of government. The Arab Socialist Resurrection (Baath) Party (hereafter, Baath Party), with a secular, socialist, Arab nationalist orientation, took decisive control in a March 1963 coup, often referred to as the Baath Revolution. The Baath Party had been active throughout the Middle East since the late 1940s, and a Baath coup had taken place in Iraq one month prior to the Baath take-over in Syria.

Bashar Al-Assad
Hafez al-Assad (Arabic: حافظ الأسد‎ Ḥāfiẓ al-Asad,
6 October 1930 – 10 June 2000)
President of the Syrian Arab Republic on Time magazine cover, 19 December 1983. He was in office from 22 February 1971 – 10 June 2000.

Image: Time magazine
Factionalism continued within the Baathist regime until the assumption of power by then Minister of Defense Lieutenant General Hafiz al Assad following a bloodless military coup in November 1970. Internal conflict between the Baath Party’s more moderate military wing and more extremist civilian wing had been exacerbated by external events, including Israel’s defeat of the Syrians and Egyptians in the June 1967 war, as a result of which Syria lost territory in the Golan Heights, as well as Syria’s disastrous intervention on behalf of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in Jordan in September 1970 (events later dubbed Black September).

Assad, approved as president by popular referendum in March 1971, quickly moved to establish an authoritarian regime with power concentrated in his own hands. His thirty- year presidency was characterized by a cult of personality, developed in order to maintain control over a potentially restive population and to provide cohesion and stability to government. The dominance of the Baath Party; the socialist structure of the government and economy; the military underpinning of the regime; the primacy of members of the Alawi sect, to which Asad belonged, in influential military and security positions; and the state of emergency imposed as a result of ongoing conflict with Israel further ensured the regime’s stability. Nevertheless, this approach to government came at a cost. Dissent was harshly eliminated, the most extreme example being the brutal suppression in February 1982 of the Muslim Brotherhood, which objected to the state’s secularism and the influence of the “heretical” Alawis. Moreover, the country’s economy suffered, and progress was hindered by an overstaffed and inefficient public sector run overwhelmingly according to Baath Party dictates.
Bashar Al-Assad
Bashar al-Assad (Arabic: بشار الأسد‎, Baššār al-ʾAsad; born 11 September 1965)
President of the Syrian Arab Republic and Regional Secretary of the Ba'ath Party.
Image: Agência Brasil

Hafiz al Assad died in 2000 and was promptly succeeded by his son, Bashar al Assad, after the constitution was amended to reduce the mandatory minimum age of the president from 40 to 34. Bashar was then nominated by the Baath Party and elected president in a popular referendum in which he ran unopposed. From the start, the younger Assad appeared to make economic and political reform a focus and a priority of his presidency. He has faced resistance from the old guard, however. After a brief period of relaxation and openness known as the Damascus Spring (July 2000–February 2001), dissent is once again not tolerated in Syria, and it appears that any reforms will be slow in coming. Nevertheless, Assad reportedly is slowly dismantling the old regime by enforcing mandatory retirement and replacing certain high-level administrators with appointments from outside the Baath Party.

2011 Syrian Uprising
Syria was under an Emergency Law since 1962, effectively suspending most constitutional protections for citizens. Its President Hafez al-Assad led Syria for nearly 30 years, banning any opposing political party and any opposition candidate in any election. The Syrian government justified the state of emergency to the fact that Syria was in a state of war with Israel. According to BBC News, the government and ruling Ba'ath Party own and control much of the media. Criticism of the president and his family is banned and the domestic and foreign press are censored. The state exercises strict internet censorship and blocks many global websites with local appeal, including Facebook and YouTube, as well as opposition sites.
The popular uprising, taking place in various cities in Syria, began on 26 January 2011. Like other pro-democracy rebellions which have erupted across the Middle East, the protests have taken the form of various types, including marches and hunger strikes. In reacting to the largest uprising to take place in the country for decades, Syrian security forces have killed hundreds of protesters and injured many more.

Source: Library of Congress and others
More about Syria:

 Searchable Map and Satellite View of the City of Damascus (capital city)

 Searchable Map and Satellite View of Syria
Political Map of Syria

 Syria Country Profile
Syria in Figures
Syria key statistical data.

Map of Western Asia and the Middle East
Map of Northern Africa and the Middle East
Political Map of Asia

External Links:
Syrian History
A Syrian website documenting the recent history of Syria, from 1900 to 2000, by Sami Moubayed.

Wikipedia: History of Syria
Wikipedia article about the History of Syria.


Leonardo DiCaprio fly 12,000-mile round trip from LA to St Tropez on the French Riviera. by private jet To cry over Global Warming




Oscar-winning actor and global warming activist Leonardo DiCaprio will be giving a speech on manmade global warming later this month. The actor’s busy party schedule will probably require – as it has in the past – that he board a private jet and fly halfway around the world.

Some 500 of his Hollywood friends are invited to hear DiCaprio talk about manmade global warming. Even though most of them are based in Los Angeles, the event will take place in Saint Tropez, France – roughly 12,000 miles round trip. The Daily Mail reported:
The reception – the grand-sounding Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation Annual Gala To Fund Climate and Biodiversity Projects – will be held on July 20 at the Bertaud Belieu Vineyards on the French Riviera.

Celebrities including Kate Hudson, Charlize Theron, Cate Blanchett, Marion Cotillard, Penelope Cruz, Robert De Niro, Scarlett Johansson, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Kevin Spacey are all expected to attend, along with a host of international rock and pop stars, supermodels and tycoons.

And while a table seating 12 people at the gala costs up to £125,000, the real price will be paid by the environment.

If just one guest among the 500 invitees chooses to fly the 12,000-mile round trip from LA to St Tropez by private jet – a notoriously environmentally unfriendly way to travel – they will produce 86 tons of carbon dioxide greenhouse gas.

Even those who use a scheduled flight will be responsible for releasing seven tons of CO2 – leading green campaigners to ask why the event could not have been held in Hollywood or in St Tropez during May’s Cannes Film Festival, when many of the guests would have been there anyway.
This is hardly the first time the actor has crisscrossed the globe, raising awareness about how carbon emissions are causing global warming. Page Six reported in May about the actor’s acceptance of a “green” award and his ironic disregard for carbon emissions and their supposed effect on global warming:
DiCaprio was at the Cannes Film Festival this week, and was spotted there partying at club Gotha on Monday with model Georgia Fowler, then jetted back to New York for the Riverkeeper Fishermen’s Ball at Chelsea Piers on Wednesday, where he was honored by the clean-water advocacy group and Robert De Niro.
Just 24 hours later, DiCaprio reappeared back in France for amfAR’s [The American Foundation for AIDS Research] glitzy Cinema Against AIDS gala, where he gave a speech