N.W.BOYER…Christian Author

Posts tagged “BBC

SAVING THE WORLD for the CHILDREN

When will people look around them and say that the world is worth saving because there are innocent, little children living on every country of the earth? They don’t deserve wars, riots in their neighborhoods, drive-by shootings or any other form of brutality.

Take a long, hard look at this little boy. He is in Yemen and he is starving.

A child in Yemen
(BBC credit)

I was so touched by this child who is very sick, but when he saw the BBC camera, he was just barely able to give a little smile. (Photo from TV)

Pray for this little boy…that somehow he will get the help and food that he needs.

This BBC video showed the catastrophe happening in Yemen today. The people in the communities are still being bombed. The people have little or no food. People are walking around with the virus, saying that they won’t go to the hospital because “they will kill you there!” This is because the rumor has spread that the medical staff and doctors do “mercy killings” if you arrive there with the virus. The government, however, is denying that there are many virus cases at all…saying that they have less than 10 people who have died of Coronavirus. The people know that is a lie.

When asked by the BBC reporting staff, who were wearing masks while interviewing the people, why the people in the crowded streets were not wearing masks? They said that they didn’t have to wear masks because “Allah will protect them.” Ignorance, governmental control and war has left these people and their children in a desperate situation.

To try to understand why there is a war in Yemen in the first place, this excellent graphic given below is your best resource for understanding what is happening in the Middle East, specifically Yemen.

“The economic devastation that pushed millions to the brink of famine and created the worst cholera epidemic in living memory is no accident of war: It is the product of deliberate policies by the warring parties.

The Saudi-led coalition, with its warplanes, blockades and vast economic power, bears a large share of the blame. But the Houthis are also at fault. They have manipulated relief aid, recruited child soldiers and planted vast numbers of land mines, according to aid workers and human rights groups.

Peace talks in Sweden in December offered a faint glimmer of hope for an end to the war. A shaky cease-fire in the key port of Hudaydah is holding.

But if politics fails, many fear that Yemen could lapse into even worse fighting. Famine could become a reality. And millions of civilians would pay the heaviest price, yet again. (Watkins and Walsh)

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The Holy Scriptures are very clear when it comes to harming children:

It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. Luke 17:2

Not only are the children of Yemen being harmed, the children of America are also being harmed by what is happening in our society today. This is not to neglect writing about the sadness in all the other countries of the world. It is not to forget the fact that there is terrible trafficking of children. The more we allow anarchism to continue in our country…motivated distrust between races and an extended close-down of schools and businesses…our families and their children are going to suffer… as it tears into the fabric of our democracy. We must save our society for the children!

These are the things that need to be taught to our children and reminded to our young people:

  • They are not in the starving as the children of Yemen. We have well-stocked food banks if there is a need.
  • They are not forced to work long hours in factories as our early emigrants.
  • They haven’t lived today through a food famine in the U.S., like the children in Ireland during the Potato Famine.
  • They are not in the middle of a Great Depression like their great-grandmothers and fathers endured.
  • The children of this generation also haven’t had to live in the Martin Luther King, Jr. era when injustice was confronted head-on.
  • They need to be reminded in school and at home that because of King and others, the Civil Rights laws and changes gave opportunities to excel to all minority children.
  • All children need to know that Americans can learn to live in peace together…most people are not racists.

Why do some American young people behave badly? Perhaps they should give this some thought for if their country collapses, they may be like the children of Yemen. Yet, some continue doing these things:

  • Roaming the streets night after night
  • Destroying property
  • Setting fires
  • Attacking police
  • Shouting at people trying to peacefully eat in a restaurant.
  • Acting like they are for a “cause” when they can’t explain what the cause is all about when asked to explain their actions.
  • Shooting at children in the playgrounds and front yards
  • Being a terrible example to their younger brothers and sisters.
  • Not taking jobs that are available, even after so many lost jobs due to the virus…for work signs are still out there.
  • Sitting around waiting for hand-outs for things they should work for…like cellphones and Nike tennis shoes etc.
  • Not listening to parents, church leaders or their church clergy on how to behave…that is…unless those leaders are NOT saying anything.
These children are our Future Generations. Our prayers go out for them because the future will be theirs.

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LET’S TAKE A MOMENT and LOOK at what AMERICA COULD EVENTUALLY EXPERIENCE IF WE LOSE ALL LAW AND ORDEROR IF WE ARE ATTACKED, LIKE 9-11, AND IT THROWS US INTO WAR! IT WOULD NOT BE MUCH DIFFERENT THAN THAT OF THE PEOPLE OF YEMEN.

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Saving our people and our planet must be a high priority in every country. There is no choice. We must SAVE OUR WORLD FOR OUR CHILDREN! Can we do that, even with our best intentions…or the best of leaders…without TURNING TO GOD? WE HAVE BEEN TOLD THE ANSWER and it is the ONLY ANSWER FOR OUR CHILDREN TO BE SAFE.

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”  2 Chronicles 7:14

Report by Derek Watkins and Declan Walsh of the N.Y Times…Just 2 years ago.

CLICK ON THIS LINK BELOW

(Credit Information for link given above:)

1. Civilian strike locations from Human Rights Watch and our own reporting.

2. Data on coalition air raids from the Yemen Data Project.

3.Control map data from the American Enterprise Institute’s Critical Threats Project.

4.Data on Yemen’s G.D.P. from World Bank. Locations of strikes on fishing and agricultural targets from Yemen’s Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation and

5.Ministry of Fish Wealth, via a report by Martha Mundy at the London School of Economics. Additional work by Larry Buchanan.

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The Power of Art…Rembrandt

Rembrandt as young man 1629-1631

Detail of Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, 1629-1631, by Rembrandt van Rijn. (Courtesy Walker Art Gallery, National Museums Liverpool)

 

The life of Rembrandt could be a portrait of anyone…anywhere.  The difference being that he was a genius as a painter.  Rembrandt had to go against the political scene with his art.  He had to stay true to his own interpretations of how to paint, which made him different from many of the artists of his time.  Difficulties forged into his life as a young man, who at one point painted while having to take care of a one year old child.  His indiscretions and artistic interpretations of the powerful brought him much controversy.  Bankruptcy and financial problems also loomed large.  Would he not be astounded at the auction prices for any of his works?  As we know, his students also copied his works which eventually ended up on the auction block as Rembrandt originals, selling for millions.  Today’s technology has opened up the ability to determine which paintings were truly those of the artist.

 

Rembrandt Portrait Expected To Fetch £25 At Auction

Rembrandt’s “Portrait of a man, half-length, with his arms akimbo” is brought into the auction room by Christie’s employees before selling for 18 million pounds ($29.59 million) at Christie’s auction house in London December 8, 2009. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

Nevertheless, take one look at his portraits and you see a person who understood, sometimes with humor, the inward thinking of a person…their real personalities. At times, he would paint a self portrait practically hidden in a painting.  His ability to cast light and shadow made his works spectacular to put it mildly.

One of the best videos that I have found on Rembrandt and his life in Amsterdam along with the critiques of his most noted paintings is by the BBC  British Collections.  On this day, while keeping your distance and staying put from the Pandemic, perhaps you would enjoy, as did I, this special presentation.   N.Boyer

Video:   The Power of Art   Turn Up Sound

 


What is the Syrian crisis all about?

Syrian child AP picture

Syrian Child Photo Credit AP

As the world becomes extremely tense and upset over the situation in Syria, the average person probably wonders what this is all about.  The horrors of it, with chemical attacks on little children and civilians, make it a matter of total world concern.  What is happening in Syria could happen in any country.

The best explanation with charts and statistics that I have seen so far is the following article posted by the BBC  (British Broadcasting Company).   At the end of this article is the question….”Will this war ever end?”   That question is a hard one and is probably on everyone’s mind.

BBC ARTICLE BELOW:

Why is there a war in Syria?

  • 15 March 2018
A father reacts after the death of two of his children by shellfire in the rebel-held al-Ansari area of Aleppo, Syria (3 January 2013)Image credit by REUTERS  

A peaceful uprising against the president of Syria seven years ago has turned into a full-scale civil war. The conflict has left more than 350,000 people dead, devastated cities and drawn in other countries.

How did the Syrian war start?

Anti-government protesters on the streets of the Syrian city of Deraa on 23 March 2011Image credit AFP 

Even before the conflict began, many Syrians were complaining about high unemployment, corruption and a lack of political freedom under President Bashar al-Assad, who succeeded his late father Hafez in 2000.

In March 2011, pro-democracy demonstrations erupted in the southern city of Deraa, inspired by the “Arab Spring” in neighboring countries.

When the government used deadly force to crush the dissent, protests demanding the president’s resignation erupted nationwide.

The unrest spread and the crackdown intensified. Opposition supporters took up arms, first to defend themselves and later to rid their areas of security forces. Mr Assad vowed to crush what he called “foreign-backed terrorism”.

The violence rapidly escalated and the country descended into civil war.

How many people have died?

Child in hospital in Eastern GhoutaImage credit by GETTY 

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based monitoring group with a network of sources on the ground, had documented the deaths of 353,900 people by March 2018, including 106,000 civilians.

The figure did not include 56,900 people who it said were missing and presumed dead. The group also estimated 100,000 deaths had not been documented.

Graphic showing the 353,900 people killed and 56,900 missing in the Syrian civil war, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights,
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Meanwhile, the Violations Documentation Center, which relies on activists inside Syria, has recorded what it considers violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law, including attacks on civilians.

It had documented 185,980 battle-related deaths, including 119,200 civilians, by February 2018.

Charts showing the 185,980 battle-related deaths recorded by the Violations Documentation Center broken down by cause
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What is the war about?

Children in Eastern Ghouta, SyriaImage credit AFP

It is now more than a battle between those for or against Mr. Assad.

Many groups and countries – each with their own agendas – are involved, making the situation far more complex and prolonging the fighting.

They have been accused of fostering hatred between Syria’s religious groups, pitching the Sunni Muslim majority against the president’s Shia Alawite sect.

Such divisions have led both sides to commit atrocities, torn communities apart and dimmed hopes of peace.

They have also allowed the jihadist groups Islamic State (IS) and al-Qaeda to flourish.

Syria’s Kurds, who want the right of self-government but have not fought Mr Assad’s forces, have added another dimension to the conflict.

Who’s involved?

Free Syrian Army fightersImage credit REUTERS

The government’s key supporters are Russia and Iran, while the US, Turkey and Saudi Arabia back the rebels.

Russia – which already had military bases in Syria – launched an air campaign in support of Mr. Assad in 2015 that has been crucial in turning the tide of the war in the government’s favor.

The Russian military says its strikes only target “terrorists” but activists say they regularly kill mainstream rebels and civilians.

Iran is believed to have deployed hundreds of troops and spent billions of dollars to help Mr. Assad.

Thousands of Shia Muslim militiamen armed, trained and financed by Iran – mostly from Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement, but also Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen – have also fought alongside the Syrian army.

The US, UK, France and other Western countries have provided varying degrees of support for what they consider “moderate” rebels.

A global coalition they lead has also carried out air strikes on IS militants in Syria since 2014 and helped an alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias called the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) capture territory from the jihadists.

Turkey has long supported the rebels but it has focused on using them to contain the Kurdish militia that dominates the SDF, accusing it of being an extension of a banned Kurdish rebel group in Turkey.

Saudi Arabia, which is keen to counter Iranian influence, has also armed and financed the rebels.

Israel, meanwhile, has been so concerned by shipments of Iranian weapons to Hezbollah in Syria that it has conducted air strikes in an attempt to thwart them.

How has the country been affected?

Children fleeing Eastern GhoutaImage credit AFP 

As well as causing hundreds of thousands of deaths, the war has left 1.5 million people with permanent disabilities, including 86,000 who have lost limbs.

At least 6.1 million Syrians are internally displaced, while another 5.6 million have fled abroad.

Chart showing the 6.1 million Syrians internally displaced and the 5.6 million who are now refugees
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Neighboring Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey, where 92% of them now live, have struggled to cope with one of the largest refugee exoduses in recent history.

The UN estimates 13.1 million people will require some form of humanitarian help in Syria in 2018.

The warring parties have made the problems worse by refusing aid agencies access to many of those in need. Almost 3 million people live in besieged or hard-to-reach areas.

Map showing where Syrian refugees have fled to
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Syrians also have limited access to healthcare.

Physicians for Human Rights had documented 492 attacks on 330 medical facilities by the end of December 2017, resulting in the deaths of 847 medical personnel.

Chart showing 492 attacks on medical facilities by the end of December 2017, resulting in the deaths of 847 medical personnel

Much of Syria’s rich cultural heritage has also been destroyed. All six of the country’s six Unesco World Heritage sites have been damaged significantly.

Entire neighborhoods have been leveled across the country.

INTERACTIVE See how Jobar, Eastern Ghouta, has been destroyed

February 2018

Satellite image shows many buildings have been destroyed in the residential neighbourhood of Jowbar

August 2013

Satellite image shows part of the residential neighbourhood of Jowbar in 2013

A recent UN assessment found 93% of buildings had been damaged or destroyed in one district of the rebel-held Eastern Ghouta region near Damascus.

How is the country divided?

A boy in the besieged town of Douma, Eastern GhoutaImage credit REUTERS 

The government has regained control of Syria’s biggest cities but large parts of the country are still held by rebel groups and the Kurdish-led SDF alliance.

The largest opposition stronghold is the north-western province of Idlib, home to more than 2.6 million people.

Map showing territory control in Syria
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Despite being designated a “de-escalation zone”, Idlib is the target of an offensive by the government, which says it is targeting jihadists linked to al-Qaeda.

A ground assault is also underway in the Eastern Ghouta. Its 393,000 residents have been under siege by the government since 2013, and are facing intense bombardment as well as severe shortages of food and medical supplies.

The SDF meanwhile controls most territory east of the River Euphrates, including the city of Raqqa. Until 2017, it was the de facto capital of the “caliphate” proclaimed by IS, which now controls only a few pockets across Syria.

Will the war ever end?

Eastern Ghouta under bombardmentImage credit AFP 

It does not look like it will any time soon but everyone agrees a political solution is required.

The UN Security Council has called for the implementation of the 2012 Geneva Communique, which envisages a transitional governing body “formed on the basis of mutual consent.

But nine rounds of UN-mediated peace talks – known as the Geneva II process – since 2014 have shown little progress.

President Assad has appeared increasingly unwilling to negotiate with the opposition. The rebels still insist he must step down as part of any settlement.

Meanwhile, Western powers have accused Russia of undermining the peace talks by setting up a parallel political process.

The so-called Astana process saw Russia host a “Congress of National Dialogue” in January 2018. However, most opposition representatives refused to attend.