Religious sisters posing as prostitutes to save sex slaves eye expansion | Reuters

An army of religious sisters who rescue victims of human trafficking by posing as prostitutes to infiltrate brothels and buying children being sold into slavery, is expanding to 140 countries, its chairman said on Wednesday.John Studzinski, an investment banker and philanthropist who chairs Talitha Kum, said the network of 1,100 sisters currently operates in about 80 countries but the demand for efforts to combat trafficking and slavery was rising globally.The group, set up in 2004, estimates one percent of the world’s population is trafficked in some form, which translates into some 73 million people. Of those, 70 percent are women and half are aged 16 or younger.”I’m not trying to be sensational but I’m trying to underscore the fact this is a world that has lost innocence … where dark forces are active,” said Studzinski, a vice chairman of U.S. investment bank The Blackstone Group.”These are problems caused by poverty and equality but it goes well beyond that,” he told the Trust Women Conference on women’s rights and trafficking hosted by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.Detailing some cases involving trafficking and slavery, Studzinski said the treatment of some victims was horrific.He told of one woman enslaved as a prostitute who was locked up for a week without food, forced to eat own her faeces, when she failed to have sex with a target of 12 clients a day.In another extreme case, one woman was forced to have sex with a group of 10 men at the same time.

Source: Religious sisters posing as prostitutes to save sex slaves eye expansion | Reuters

Now the truth emerges: how the US fuelled the rise of Isis in Syria and Iraq | Seumas Milne | Comment is free | The Guardian

The war on terror, that campaign without end launched 14 years ago by George Bush, is tying itself up in ever more grotesque contortions. On Monday the trial in London of a Swedish man, Bherlin Gildo, accused of terrorism in Syria, collapsed after it became clear British intelligence had been arming the same rebel groups the defendant was charged with supporting.

The prosecution abandoned the case, apparently to avoid embarrassing the intelligence services. The defence argued that going ahead with the trial would have been an “affront to justice” when there was plenty of evidence the British state was itself providing “extensive support” to the armed Syrian opposition.

Terrorism has come about in assimilationist France and also in multicultural Britain. Why is that?
Kenan Malik
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That didn’t only include the “non-lethal assistance” boasted of by the government (including body armour and military vehicles), but training, logistical support and the secret supply of “arms on a massive scale”. Reports were cited that MI6 had cooperated with the CIA on a “rat line” of arms transfers from Libyan stockpiles to the Syrian rebels in 2012 after the fall of the Gaddafi regime.

Clearly, the absurdity of sending someone to prison for doing what ministers and their security officials were up to themselves became too much. But it’s only the latest of a string of such cases. Less fortunate was a London cab driver Anis Sardar, who was given a life sentence a fortnight earlier for taking part in 2007 in resistance to the occupation of Iraq by US and British forces. Armed opposition to illegal invasion and occupation clearly doesn’t constitute terrorism or murder on most definitions, including the Geneva convention.

But terrorism is now squarely in the eye of the beholder. And nowhere is that more so than in the Middle East, where today’s terrorists are tomorrow’s fighters against tyranny – and allies are enemies – often at the bewildering whim of a western policymaker’s conference call.

For the past year, US, British and other western forces have been back in Iraq, supposedly in the cause of destroying the hyper-sectarian terror group Islamic State (formerly known as al-Qaida in Iraq). This was after Isis overran huge chunks of Iraqi and Syrian territory and proclaimed a self-styled Islamic caliphate.

The campaign isn’t going well. Last month, Isis rolled into the Iraqi city of Ramadi, while on the other side of the now nonexistent border its forces conquered the Syrian town of Palmyra. Al-Qaida’s official franchise, the Nusra Front, has also been making gains in Syria.

Some Iraqis complain that the US sat on its hands while all this was going on. The Americans insist they are trying to avoid civilian casualties, and claim significant successes. Privately, officials say they don’t want to be seen hammering Sunni strongholds in a sectarian war and risk upsetting their Sunni allies in the Gulf.

A revealing light on how we got here has now been shone by a recently declassified secret US intelligence report, written in August 2012, which uncannily predicts – and effectively welcomes – the prospect of a “Salafist principality” in eastern Syria and an al-Qaida-controlled Islamic state in Syria and Iraq. In stark contrast to western claims at the time, the Defense Intelligence Agency document identifies al-Qaida in Iraq (which became Isis) and fellow Salafists as the “major forces driving the insurgency in Syria” – and states that “western countries, the Gulf states and Turkey” were supporting the opposition’s efforts to take control of eastern Syria.

Raising the “possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality”, the Pentagon report goes on, “this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran)”.

American forces bomb one set of rebels while backing another in Syria
Which is pretty well exactly what happened two years later. The report isn’t a policy document. It’s heavily redacted and there are ambiguities in the language. But the implications are clear enough. A year into the Syrian rebellion, the US and its allies weren’t only supporting and arming an opposition they knew to be dominated by extreme sectarian groups; they were prepared to countenance the creation of some sort of “Islamic state” – despite the “grave danger” to Iraq’s unity – as a Sunni buffer to weaken Syria.

That doesn’t mean the US created Isis, of course, though some of its Gulf allies certainly played a role in it – as the US vice-president, Joe Biden, acknowledged last year. But there was no al-Qaida in Iraq until the US and Britain invaded. And the US has certainly exploited the existence of Isis against other forces in the region as part of a wider drive to maintain western control.
Source: Now the truth emerges: how the US fuelled the rise of Isis in Syria and Iraq | Seumas Milne | Comment is free | The Guardian

Doctors who put us into sleep are alike airline pilots

Doctors who make people sleep during a surgery are called anaesthetists. Besides sedating they also make attempts to decrease consciousness of the patient or numb a particular body part during surgeries. They anesthetise people by various methods like giving anaesthetic gases through our inhalation path or by giving some anaesthetic drug through the veins. Here in this discussion we will be primarily talking about an anesthesia known as general anaesthesia, in which the anaesthetist puts the patient into a deep sleep like state so that the later can’t perceive any pain during the surgery. In contrast, local anaesthesia is different where a particular body part is anesthetised and the patient is generally awake.

That was a brief introduction about anesthetists, now let’s talk about airline pilots. Obviously, I don’t need to spend much words to explain who are they, as most of us know about them. Airline pilots are those professionals who fly an aircraft.

Have you ever noted any similarities between these two set of professionals i.e. the pilots and the anaesthetists. Interestingly, this author feels they have a similar type of working style, although they work with completely different stuff at totally dissimilar environment.

During surgeries under general anaesthesia the anaesthetists work like a pilot in a disciplined and steady manner. Alike a pilot who checks all necessary equipment’s before taking off, the anaesthetist too cross checks different instruments and parameters he will need throughout the surgery.

Before take-off a pilot will also try to acquire information about the weather conditions he might be facing while the aircraft will be in the sky. An anaesthesia doctor also does similar type of job, like knowing the type of surgery, possible risks that might be involved during the operation, any special precautions if needed etc., so that the surgery flows smoothly.

Once the airplane is in the air the autopilot takes care of most of the things and unless the ride is too bumpy or difficult one. Similarly, in the current time anaesthetists depend on certain automatic machines partly and sometimes almost totally to take care of parameters like blood pressure, heart rate etc. and drive the surgical procedure cool like an autopilot of an airplane (however not always, sometimes surgeries also goes arduous).

Finally, a airplane has to land to complete the journey. Believe it or not if you have ever visited an operation theater the feel of completing the anesthetic care after a general anesthesia is remarkably same as landing an aircraft. Just as pilots prepare for landing including turning seat belt signs on for passengers, anaesthetists too prepare themselves in similar way when the surgery is going to end. Anaesthesia doctors will start giving certain medications and interventions to return the patient to awake, alert and oriented state.

Anaesthesia doctors are real boon for human life since they serve as an armour of the surgeon to take care of the diseased individual. Likewise are the airline pilots who stay alert and vigilant to take us to reach us to our desired destination safely. Through this post let’s show our gratitude to both type of these professionals for serving the mankind daily, silently.

Why do people blog?

Why did I plan to write this post? It’s because of one of the causes why I prefer to blog, simply to acquire some peace of mind.

Peace of mind is something that an individual can derive from a wide variety of things like watching movies, listening to music, talking to persons we like to talk with, writing a story, eating their favorite food etc. Many people derive pleasure through their writings and then sharing it with others, as I am doing with you now.

There are certain thoughts which we perceive inside ourselves and are best narrated to the external world via writing, a silent way of expressing the beauty of our minds. Blog writing serves this purpose largely. In certain emotional situations specially at times when we are sad, blogging becomes our only friend which painstakingly listens to every cry of our heart. At my childhood days, when computer or blogging would not have been this popular as today, we had to note the fragments of our emotions in a piece of paper that always had chance to get lost or worn out. Simultaneously, it was not possible to share with our wellwishers, unlike blog writing.

Besides providing comfort to our feeling, writing in a blog also helps to discover many hidden writers who would otherwise not dare to write an article. I feel if the current day technology was present when Shakespeare did his writings, the world would have got few more good authors like him. In the current time blogging has given the chance to many less popular authors to show their creative work. Even a non-professional writer becomes courageous to write and weigh his writing by sharing his written craft with the real world. Readers can be reached much easily than before, thanks to the latest technology of internet and blogging.

Blogging is also popular among the business professionals. By means of a blog a businessman can tell to his customers about his products with no extra cost or minimal cost. Blogging services are provided freely by various blog hosting companies. The customers can directly contact the seller and resolve their queries along with their feedback about scopes of improvement. Henceforth, it helps both the seller and the buyer. Moreover, small sellers who can’t afford huge marketing expenses may find blog as a cheap but powerful tool to promote their products.

For public figures blogging is like a gods boon. A political party leader who is not blessed enough by the media to air his voice sufficiently may find his blog as one of the best platform to let people know about his agendas in detail. Otherwise, news channels for unknown reasons might not broadcast everything that is positive about that leader (specially true about honest economically weak politicians). In addition to that the leader can also know about the opinion of common man via the feedback he receives on his blog.

Next, is as a source of information. Blogs serves to provide information about different things that are important in man’s life like, but not limited to, health, travel, law, science, news etc. There are hundreds of blogs that deal with health and fitness related issues.

Finally, are the bad guys who too probably do type a post in a blog. These people may be a criminally minded person or a group of people with plans to make peace disappear from common man’s life. Bad people may post things that can engage or motivate their readers to get involved in crime or become the prey of crime.

Those were some of the causes I could sketch why people write a blog. However, this list may be much more longer or probably endless.