Category Archives: middle east

thinking about gaza-truths, half-truths and lies: help to tiptoe through the issues


Map of gaza; Wikimedia Commons

‘Both sides of this conflict need to compromise’ John Kerry. By the way the USA paid for the bombs that did the damage in Gaza and will pay for most of the aid to rebuild it.
Billions of dollars that could have been spent constructively-treating malaria and Ebola for example.

Also bizarre seeing the commemoration of the centenary of the start of the ‘war to end wars’ by Britain juxtaposed on the TV news with pictures of the Israelis waging a ‘hightech war’ bombing Gaza installations and incurring heavy and predictable civilian casualities in the process.

there is good news

Syria is cooperating with the inspectors to destroy chemical weapons.

Pope Francis has a conversation with Eugenio Scalfari….How the Church must change. ‘You need to meet people and listen to them.’

Oracle retains America’s cup for the USA after a series of races that has transformed sailing for ever and demonstrates how teamwork can transform a situation.

People who look for good news.

looking towards Syria, dawn 21 august 2013


Blood red towards the east was the sky that morning

But here was no blood, just desperate writhing bodies

Foaming at the mouth and gasping, struggling there.

Looking towards Syria that fateful morning.


But there was no blood, so why the red?

Perhaps it’s Gaia‘s blush of shame.

An attack at night on sleeping children.

Looking towards Syria.  She tries to understand.


In future years the old soldier talking with yet unborn children….

Oh yes!  He said, I was part of the brigade that did the gas attacks.

For there were many!  He talked,eyes shining, standing straight.

“I saved my country then and I am proud to tell you that.”

Looking towards Syria and trying to understand.

Text and photographs geoff clements

all the world’s a stage!


All for one and one for all!

Appalled the world watches while children burn!

Horrified the spectators stare!  So many maimed.

This is not a Virtual Reality show!

This is real! in living rooms everywhere!

Now!  Do something! and act decisively!

But how?


Albi cathedral The Last Judgement.


No quiz show with the answer there!

Real people dying on-screen now!

Death is no bluff to be postponed!

Or a political position

Taken at one’s choice!

It is there! Inevitable! For us all.

But now?

Standing over Syria

Syrian traditional costume.

Details on Syria and an interactive map..

Is there no other way but force?

So many have died already.

Use our imagination and humanity.

Syria is a country of the bible,

Proud peoples with an ancient history.

The world wishes that no more should die.

Gassed in their sleep like rats.

A dirty deed that no one claims.

Women and children are fleeing

Leaving their men behind to fight and die.

Let us think. There are other ways.

Who is standing for what over Syria?

Stand up! Stand up and be counted!

Geoff Clements

refugees from syria


160 000 Syrians living in the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan. A picture giving an idea of the scale of the problem caused by the war in Syria. In all more than 1.5 million people have fled to neighbouring countries or further afield since it started and approximately half of these are registered as refugees. The United Nations High commissioner for refugee’s estimates of the size of the problem just continue to rise month after month. In addition the United Nations estimates there are over 4 million displaced civilians remaining within Syria.

the rosetta stone


photo geoff clements

The Rosetta Stone is the object that is most frequently looked at by visitors to the British Museum. It was found in 1799 by a French soldier as part of a wall in the town of Rashid (Rosetta) in the Nile delta. Its importance was immediately recognised. (Virtually) The same text is written in three different sets of symbols: from above Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, Demotic script and Ancient Greek, but they are incomplete as the stone was found broken. Much of the upper part of the stone with the hieroglyphs is missing.   It is a decree by Ptolemy V in 196 BP and the stone had originally been placed in a temple. At the time of the discovery of the stone ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs were undeciphered so it was of immense importance. There is still controversy about the deciphering of the stone’s message by Thomas Young and Jean-François Champollion, a very difficult process which took twenty years to establish a basic understanding. Foreign names were written phonetically in both the Demotic script and the Egyptian hieroglyphs, providing an important key to the transliteration. It has taken much longer to learn to understand Egyptian hieroglyphs more completely.  The use of  Egyptian hieroglyphs had ceased and their understanding forgotten after the banning of non-Christian  cults by Emperor Theodosius I in 391. This understanding has allowed a study of  Egyptian life and history.

The term ‘Rosetta Stone’ is used to describe a bit of information that is the key to solving a problem.

Egypt has issued a request for the return of the Rosetta Stone.

evidence that poison gas has been used in syria by assad’s 7th army: individuals are responsible and should be prosecuted at the hague

Do we need to revisit the horrors of poison gas used in war?poison5

No one in their right mind can support a state using poison gas against its own people.

The response is simple, effective and non-violent: those states, organizations indeed all entities and individuals supporting Assad in Syria from now on should be deemed to also responsible for the use of gas.

These leaders or Heads of State all will be held individually responsible and will be prosecuted at the Court of Human Rights;
No more planes flying from Iran.
No more boats or planes from Russia
No more blocking of the UN Security Council by China

Support in the UN Security Council is moral support and individuals who provide this moral support should also be held individually responsible.

I have seen sufficient evidence of poison gas usage on the BBC News, Sky News and the Times correspondent among others to put this beyond reasonable doubt. Assad’s government must take the responsibility as the only side to have this material in Syria. It is their duty to secure, or destroy it. Implicit in referral to the Hague would be a full investigation of the facts and testing of the evidence.

added 29 04 2013 Confidential document from Commander of 7th Regiment Assads Syrian army. All soldiers are ordered to wear gas masks in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta……