Friday 27th of January 2023

of social constructs...

"Humans need to keep busy otherwise they go mad. Kings need to conquer lands, slaves need to work, soldiers need to wage wars.
Gusus Leonicus (27 AD)

The second part of this proposition is the pseudo-example shown by nature, in the ants nest. We’ve been busy like flies in a jar for a long time. History is a formal analysis, mostly biased, of this human business on a little planet. We have come a long way from the original knuckle-dragging beasts as our legs longered and our brain became heavy.

What happened to us? We are still mapping the phenomenon of our evolution from the apes that fell from the trees into the grasslands and discovered one could use a stick to clobber someone that talked too much in the group or hit something like an animal or a nut. The Chimpanzees are still working out the cracking of nuts with stones thrown from heights, while we, humans, have developed rocket engines to kill each other. So, we are still trying to work out mechanisms of living together while trying to rob each other for profit. This has led to many interpretations of social necessity and individual behaviour. This website is called yourdemocracy, because, despite all its formats, democracy seems to be the best way to achieve peace, to nurture natural protection and promote the advancement of the human mind. Good luck to you if you’ve reach satisfaction.

Phänomenologie des Geistes (The Phenomenology of Mind) is the book by Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770 – 1831) that had a profound effect in Western philosophy. It has been praised and blamed for the development of existentialism, communism, fascism, the death of god and the destruction of theology, and the promotion of historicist nihilism — a contradiction in term. Nihilism is the philosophical viewpoint that suggests the denial or lack of belief in opposition to the religiously promoted meaningful aspects of life. Most commonly, nihilism is presented in the form of existential nihilism, which argues that life is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value. Moral nihilists assert that you can develop your own code of behaviour should you wish to. We need a certain democratic decorum otherwise we could have people defecating in the streets — like some people complained about during the latest "magical” Sydney Mardi Gras. Revolutions always have had that problem: not enough public loos.

The German word Geist has both the meanings mind and spirit, and though the book is known in the English sphere as the The Phenomenology of Spirit, Gus does not believe in the "spiritual", which has religious connotation of separation of ideas from bio-structures. 

Hegel developed a form of idealism sometimes termed as absolute idealism in which the dualisms of, for instance, mind and nature, say "subject and object" are overcome. His philosophy of mind conceptually integrates psychology, the state, history, art, religion, and philosophy. His account of the master–slave dialectic has been highly influential. Of special importance is his concept of mind as the historical manifestation of the logical concept and the Aufhebung — integration without elimination or reduction — of seemingly contradictory or opposing factors; examples include the apparent opposition between nature and freedom and between immanence and transcendence. Confusing all around but fair, considering that transcendence is an illusion of mind. Illusions become the modus operandi of evolved humanity beyond the necessity of survival, which on all account is only a relative notion as the universe could exist happily without humans. 

As Hegel was finishing his work, Napoleon engaged Prussian troops on October 14, 1806, in the Battle of Jena on a plateau outside the city. On the day before the battle, Napoleon entered the city of Jena. Hegel recounted his impressions in a letter to a friend:

I saw the Emperor – this world-soul – riding out of the city on reconnaissance. It is indeed a wonderful sensation to see such an individual, who, concentrated here at a single point, astride a horse, reaches out over the world and masters it . . . this extraordinary man, whom it is impossible not to admire.

Hegel's comment to Niethammer is striking since at that point he had already composed the crucial section of the Phenomenology in which he remarked that the Revolution had now officially passed to another land (Germany) that would complete in thought what the Revolution had only partially accomplished in practice. Karl Marx: “here I come”.

All this social windmill leads us to many other philosophers, from Jean Paul Sartre to Levi-Strauss — and Structuralism (see also "The Age of Deceit").

In 1936, a part of Catalonia (the autonomous region in northeast Spain) became under the control of various anarchist, communist, and socialist trade unions, parties, and militias of the Spanish Civil War period. These included the Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (CNT, National Confederation of Labor) which was the dominant labor union at the time and the closely associated Federación Anarquista Ibérica (FAI, Iberian Anarchist Federation). The Unión General de Trabajadores (General Worker's Union), the POUM and the Unified Socialist Party of Catalonia (which included the Communist Party of Catalonia) were also involved. Although the Generalitat of Catalonia was nominally in power, the trade unions were de facto in command of most of the economy and military forces.
Socialist rule of the region began with the Spanish Revolution of 1936, resulting in workers' control of businesses and factories, collective farming in the countryside, and attacks against Spanish nationalists and the Catholic clergy. The growing influence of the Communist Party of Spain's (PCE) Popular Front government and their desire to nationalize revolutionary committees and militias brought it into conflict with the CNT and POUM, resulting in the May Days and the eventual replacement of the CNT by the PCE as the major political force in Catalonia until the arrival of the fascists.

But what defeated the Catalonians more, was the decision by Stalin to help the fascists. The ideal socialism in Catalonia showed up the totalitarian Russian government as what it was: fascism. Though Stalin used forces to help the Spanish Fascists, Capitalism would have also crushed the Catalonians with bribery and deceit. Meanwhile the “Social democratic" Hitlerian government of Germany helped the Fascists as well. The Catalonians had no hope of keeping their new utopia.

Here come the Kurd. The Kurdish question is now at the epicentre of the Syrian conflict. The Kurds have worked out a similar social structure to that of the Catalonians. But caught between the Shias, the Sunnis, Daesh, the Turks, the Iraqis and the Syrians, they are in a bind, as they also are used by the USA as pawns in their Middle east war games, the ultimate goal being to dislodge any socialism from this region, by favouring terrorism.

It becomes messy and complex. 

Enters Carne Ross (1966-). He is the founder and executive director of Independent Diplomat, a diplomatic advisory group. He became a diplomat assistant in the English foreign service in 1989. His testimony in the Butler Review directly contradicted the British position on the justification behind the invasion of Iraq. This appalling review examined the intelligence on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction which played a key part in the UK's decision to invade Iraq with the USA, in 2003. A similar Iraq Intelligence Commission was set up in the United States. As we knew and know, these inquiries were a whitewash, designed to blame the “intelligence” rather than the bullshitting invaders. See the trilogy.

Ross left the British civil service in 2004 after 15 years of service. He is now a supporter of a UN Parliamentary Assembly. In 2004, he founded the non-governmental organisation Independent Diplomat.

In the "Acknowledgements" section of his 2013 novel, A Delicate Truth, John le Carré thanks Ross for demonstrating the perils of speaking a "delicate truth" to power. This means that it is very dangerous to tell people in power that they talk shit. We know a lot about whistleblowers whose lot is being victimised for telling the truth and of exposing the shenanigans of governments.

In 2017, Ross released a documentary The Accidental Anarchist. The documentary explores Ross's change from a civil servant in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to an anarchist. The scientist and anarchist activist Noam Chomsky appears in the documentary. Ross explores the philosophy of democratic confederalism developed by Abdullah Öcalan and its influence on Kurdish groups in the Syrian Civil War such as the YPG and YPJ. Ross sees these groups as anarchist and draws parallels to the Catalonian revolution.

Catalonia is still trying to regain its independent mind but of course the pseudo-democratic government of Spain is doing every to stop this. There was similarity with the Basque region, both regions never having been under the Moors (Muslims) domination, like Spain was till the 15th century. Yet both had been under Visigoth’s rule for a few hundred years and one could speculate that the Visigoth social mind evolved into a certain type of freedom that sought equality. It is possible, here Gus speculates, that the French Visigoth side in Narbonne led to their evolution into the Cathars.  

Thus being a free-spirit (a free-mind) like the Cathars in a world ruled by Capitalists (Kings and popes in hierarchical disguise), for the Kurds is massively fraught with dangers, coming from abroad but also from within should the lure of greed be implanted by deceitful capitalistic propaganda (watch out for the Soros media), which on all account will intensify in the coming years, when peace finally comes.

Gus Leonisky
You local democratic revolutionary

other readings...

Murray Bookchin (January 14, 1921 – July 30, 2006)[5] was an Americansocial theorist, author, orator, historian, and political philosopher. A pioneer in the ecology movement,[6] Bookchin formulated and developed the theory of social ecology within anarchist, libertarian socialist, and ecological thought. He was the author of two dozen books covering topics in politics, philosophy, history, urban affairs, and ecology. Among the most important were Our Synthetic Environment (1962), Post-Scarcity Anarchism (1971) and The Ecology of Freedom (1982). In the late 1990s he became disenchanted with the increasingly apolitical lifestylism of the contemporary anarchist movement, stopped referring to himself as an anarchist, and founded his own libertarian socialist ideology called Communalism.[7]


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One needs to be under the influence of drugs. This is the answer to the question. In order not to feel the heavy burden of Time that breaks your shoulders and makes you bend to the earth, you need to be drugged, relentless.

So, drugged on what? On wine, poetry, virtue, as you chose, but you must be drugged.

And, if sometimes, on the steps of a Palace, on the green grass of a ditch, on the morning loneliness, you wake up, slightly sober, you have to ask the wind, the wave, the star, the bird, the clock, everything that flees, everything that suffers, everything that rolls, everything that sings, everything that talks, ask what time it is. And the wind, the wave, the wind, the star, the bird and the clock will tell you: "it's time to get pissed! You musn't be the enslaved martyr of Time. Get pissed! Get drugged all the time. On wine, poetry or virtue, as you choose.




Translation by Jules Letambour


I suppose here, we are drugged on red ned and democratic philosophy.

of empirical and cash diplomacy...

U.S. and Turkish officials are due to meet in Washington today to begin thrashing out the range of issues now threatening to tear the already fragile relationship between the two NATO allies apart. 

The Turkish-American discord goes back to the Obama administration when Washington persuaded Ankara to spearhead the regime-change project in Syria circa 2011, only to see the U.S. retract later, leaving Turkey holding a can of worms. 

Since then the relationship has become mired in several disputes, with the overarching geopolitical result that Turkey has steadily drifted away from its Western allies towards a détente with Russia. This has taken the form of a quasi-alliance with Moscow over the Syrian conflict—a partnership that appears to be flourishing as a “win-win” economic relationship and has resulted in the Turkish decision to purchase an S-400 air defense system from Russia.   

The situation in Syria will top the agenda during the talks in Washington on Thursday. The priority for both sides will be to avert a standoff in northern Syria where the U.S. and Turkey are pursuing sharply divergent interests. At least since 2014, the U.S. has aligned with Kurdish groups that Ankara regards as terrorists belonging to the PKK, the separatist movement waging a bloody struggle to carve out an independent state in the Kurdish homelands in eastern Turkey. On the other hand, Kurds are the Pentagon’s foot soldiers in its war against the Islamic State in Syria. 

To say the talks are taking place in an acrimonious climate is an understatement, and the trust deficit is palpable. The only high note is that both Turkey and the U.S. are diplomatically experienced enough to navigate their perennially problematic relationship as allies and, most certainly, neither seeks a showdown in Syria. Recent remarks by Pentagon officials suggest the U.S. has no intentions of terminating its alliance with Kurdish militia in eastern Syria anytime soon, as Turkey demands. Meanwhile, Turkey wants the redeployment of the Kurdish militia in Manjib in northern Syria to the east of the Euphrates. During his visit to Ankara in February, Tillerson had assured the Turks that the U.S. would heed their sensitivities over Manjib. But curiously, Turkey now alleges the U.S. is instead “lifting” the Kurdish fighters in Manjib to the frontline in the canton of Afrin, 100 miles to the west, to stiffen the Kurdish resistance against the current Turkish military operation there. 

To be sure, an elaborate pantomime is playing out. The Turks suspect that Washington is simply playing for time by engaging them in talks, while on a parallel track systematically advancing a geopolitical project to create an independent Kurdish entity carved out of northern Syria, which would eventually have direct access to the eastern Mediterranean. The Turkish press is awash in accusations of bad American intentions. In a sensational report on Monday, the pro-government Turkish Daily Star published a supposed American blueprint for establishing a full-fledged Kurdish state in eastern and northern Syria along Turkey’s borders. 

Amidst all this, Erdogan recently spoke on the phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday to discuss Syria. The Kremlin evidently takes an interest in creating space for Turkey to negotiate effectively with the U.S. Ankara also finds it useful and necessary to keep the line open to Moscow. The Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu plans to meet his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Moscow next Tuesday prior to a likely visit to Washington on March 19 to activate yet another “mechanism” between himself and Tillerson.

Turkey is openly disregarding Washington’s misgivings over the Astana process on Syria and continues to work actively with Russia and Iran. The foreign ministers from all three countries plan to meet in Astana on March 16. A statement by the Kazakh Foreign Ministry on Tuesday said that the ministers of the three “guarantor countries” would assess the results of their collaboration and “identify common steps.” The three foreign ministers propose to issue a joint statement after their meeting to determine areas of further work within the Astana process with specific reference to the tragic events in Eastern Ghouta. Again, the Turkish Foreign Ministry announced on Wednesday that a trilateral summit of the Turkish, Russian, and Iranian presidents is slated for April in Istanbul to “discuss Syria and potential steps in the region.”

Suffice to say, if Tillerson’s mission to Ankara had aimed at getting Turkey out of the Russian-Iranian orbit, he had no success. The Astana process is returning with renewed vigor, and Turkey’s growing frustration and anger towards the perceived U.S. intransigence is strengthening its axis with Russia (and Iran).

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Watch how much US cash will be thrown at Turkey to cool off. When the US looses to reasons and understanding, they throw moneys to "solve" the situation, like you've never seen before...

of refugees...

“How many years have you been living in Beirut?” I asked my barber, Eyad, after he told me, beaming, that in three months from now, he will be returning home, to Damascus.

Even one year ago, such conversations would not be easy to commence. But now, everything has been changing, rapidly and, one wants to believe, irreversibly.

Although nothing is truly irreversible, the better things are on the ground in Syria, the more threatening the West is becoming, particularly the United States. Now it is, once again, intimidating Damascus, ready to attack the Syrian army, something that could easily drag Russia and others into a lethal confrontation. The war! The West is clearly obsessed with perpetual war in Syria, while most of the Syrian people are passionate about bringing back an everlasting peace.

“6 years,” replied my barber, preparing his razor. I detected sadness and indignation in his voice, “6 years too many!”

“After you go back, then what? Are you going to open your own salon in Damascus?” I was curious. He is the best barber I have ever had, a real master of his trade, quick and confident, precise.

“No,” he smiled. “I never told you, but I’m a mechanical engineer… About being a barber; I learned the trade from my grandfather. In the Arab world now, millions are doing something that is not their main profession… But I want to return home and help to rebuild my country.”

I knew nothing about Eyad’s political affiliations. I used to consider it impolite to ask. Now I sensed that I could, but I didn’t. He was going back, returning home, eager to help his country, and that was all that mattered.

“Come visit me in Damascus,” he smiled, as we were parting. “Syria is a small country, but it is enormous!”


On February 24 2017, The New York Times, unleashed its usual vitriolic sarcasm towards the country which hosts enormous number of Syrian refugees – Lebanon:

“About 1.5 million Syrians have sought refuge in Lebanon, making up about a quarter of the population, according to officials and relief groups, and there is a widely held belief in Lebanon that refugees are a burden on the country’s economy and social structure.

Mr. Tahan, a gregarious man who sought to portray himself as the refugees’ benefactor, dismissed the idea that they are harming the country’s economy and straining social services. He said the government pushed that view to get more money from the United Nations.

Refugees, he said, benefit the Lebanese, from the generator operators providing them with electricity, to the owners of shops where they spend their United Nations food vouchers, to landowners who benefit from their cheap labor. It is an argument often heard from international organizations, which say the burden of hosting the refugees is largely offset by the economic stimulus they provide, not to mention $1.9 billion in international aid in 2016 alone, the United Nations says.

Mr. Tahan said he expected the Syrians to stay for years, based on his experience in Lebanon’s civil war.”

One would hardly encounter such a tone when the New York Times is describing the ‘refugee crises’ in the European Union. There, several super-rich and much more populous countries than Lebanon keep pretending that they simply cannot absorb approximately the same amount of people as has been sheltered by the tiny Middle Eastern nation.

In 2015, which is considered the ‘height of the refugee crises’, much less than 1.5 million people entered the European Union, seeking asylum there. Some of those 1.5 million were actually ‘refugees’ from Ukraine, Kosovo and Albania.

I covered the refugee crises from Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, but also the so-called ‘crises’ in Greece (Kos) and France (Calais). The West, which by then had already destabilized half of the world and almost the entire Middle East, was demonstrating extreme selfishness, brutal indifference, racism and a stubborn refusal to repent and to comprehend.

Whoever Mr. Tahan of the New York Times is, and whatever his agenda, he was wrong. As this report goes to print, the number of Syrian refugees living in Lebanon is dropping continually, as the Government in Damascus, supported by Russia, Iran, China, Cuba and Hezbollah has been winning the war against the terrorist groups, armed and supported by the West and its allies.

It is actually the West – its NGO’s and even their government agencies – that are “warning” the Syrians not to return home, claiming that “the situation in their country is still extremely dangerous.”

But such warnings can hardly deter the flow of refugees, back to Syria. As CBS News reported on February 2, 2018:


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dirty aussie government...

Australia has fiercely condemned the Syrian government for its continuing atrocities against civilians, which have included bombing hospitals, using illegal chemical weapons and deliberately trying to starve a civilian population, in a statement to the Human Rights Council in Geneva. 

And Australia has pushed back firmly against Russia, which has tried to soften criticism of the Syrian regime.

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Time for Australians to wake up to our dirty devious Kanbra mob of thieves and mad men and women...

puigdemont detained...

Former Catalan President Carles Puigdemont has been detained in Germany, the Reuters news agency reported, citing his lawyer.

"The president was detained when he crossed the border from Denmark, on his way to Belgium from Finland," Puigdemont's lawyer Jaume Alonso Cuevillas posted on Twitter.

Former Catalan President Carles Puigdemont had left Finland before the country's police could arrest him in line with an arrest warrant issued by Spain, Puigdemont's lawyer Jaume Alonso Cuevillas announced earlier. German police say Puigdemont has been detained on a European arrest warrant. The ex-head of Catalonia is currently being held at a police station.


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barcelona riots...

Over 80 people have been injured in clashes with riot police in Barcelona and elsewhere across Catalonia, as angry protesters denounced the arrest of former separatist leader Carles Puigdemont in Germany earlier on Sunday.

Armed with batons, riot police officers faced-off with an angry crowd as they attempted to prevent the protesters from marching on the office of the central Spanish government’s representative in Barcelona.

Police reportedly fired warning shots and bludgeoned protesters as eggs, cans and glass bottles were thrown from the crowd at the officers.


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germany's nazi past in spain is catching up...

'Politicians Need To Stay Out of This'

Following Carles Puigdemont's arrest on Sunday, Germany has landed smack in the middle of the Catalan independence battle. Politicians here say it's up to the judiciary to decide whether to extradite the former president of Catalonia, but the issue is nonetheless politically charged.

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assange is correct...

The move by the Ecuadorian embassy to cut all communication for Julian Assange was triggered by his critical remark on the arrest of Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont, which compared modern Germany to the Nazis, a source says.

The WikiLeaks founder, who is stranded in Ecuador’s diplomatic mission in London, found himself in a total communication blackout on Wednesday. The ire of the Ecuadorian government, which chose to leave its embassy staff without mobile connection rather than allow Assange to stay online, was triggered by the fugitive activists’ remarks on Catalan politics, a source close to WikiLeaks told RT.

Earlier this month, Assange criticized the German government for its decision to arrest fugitive Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont, who is wanted by the Spanish government on charges of rebellion and sedition for his role in organizing an independence referendum in the province. Assange compared the decision to that made by Nazi Germany, when it arrested Catalan leader Lluis Companys and handed him over to the fascist Spanish government of Francisco Franco.


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read from top, especially comment above this one.

143,194 people...

Over 143,000 people, including tens of thousands of rebels and their families, have left Syria's eastern Ghouta amid a ceasefire which also helped some 40,000 residents return to their homes, the Russian military said.

"143,194 people in total, including 105,857 civilians as well as 13,793 militants and 23,544 members of their families have left eastern Ghouta during humanitarian pauses," Sergey Rudskoy, Deputy Chief of Russian General Staff, said at a news briefing on Friday.

The evacuation is being monitored by the UN and other aid agencies, and a live broadcast of escape routes is available on the Russian Defense Ministry's website, it said. Russia's Reconciliation Center is negotiating another evacuation from the town of Douma, one of the last remaining strongholds controlled by militants.


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the play promises to end badly for germany.

The setting for this international political drama is a backdrop of red brick. The prison in Neumünster was built 113 years ago and it looks like a royal fortress with its gables and monumental entry gate. Inside are 571 prisoners -- and the most famous of them, the erstwhile president of Catalonia Carles Puigdemont, can be found in a cell measuring nine square meters (97 square feet). He has had a lot of visitors. 

One of those who came to see him is European parliamentarian Bernd Lucke, the founder of the German right-wing populist party Alternative for Germany, who has long since left the party and receded into obscurity. He spoke with Puigdemont in the visitors' room for 90 minutes before emerging to face the television cameras and announce with an agitated voice that the Catalonian politician was prepared to give his word of honor that he wouldn't flee if were he released from prison.

Andreas Beuth came to Neumünster as well, a well-known lawyer from the leftist scene in Hamburg, and an 18-year-old student from Lübeck representing a group called Solidarity Comité Catalonia. The group of 47 activists staged a demonstration outside the prison gates demanding that Puigdemont be released. 

It was drizzling and cold and the police were all huddled in their heated van. The protest didn't have a permit, but they let the marchers wave their Catalonian separatist flags nonetheless.


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Puigdemont on bail in germany...

The document, "Causa Especial (Special Legal Matter) 20907/2017," bears the official seal of Spain and the label "European Arrest Warrant/International Arrest Warrant." DER SPIEGEL has obtained a copy of the document, issued against Puigdemont i Casamajó, Carles. Known address: Helsinki (Finland) or Waterloo (Belgium). But whereas Waterloo is best known for Napoleon's defeat, it's actually a victory that the former Catalan president has now secured in the German city of Schleswig.

On Thursday, the Higher Regional Court located there ordered Puigdemont's provisional release from prison on bail. Spain's arrest warrant is still under review, but only for the charge alleging that he misused public funds -- and no longer for the more serious charge of rebellion, which can carry a maximum prison sentence of up to 30 years. The court ruled that the charge levelled by the Spanish government against the separatist leader "would not be criminally punishable in the Federal Republic of Germany under law applicable in Germany." 

Under the rules for European arrest warrants, Puigdemont can only be extradited for actions that would be punishable under German law. That review is not necessary for certain serious crimes, including corruption. And in their arrest warrant, the Spanish had indeed checked the box for corruption, but there was no reference in the warrant text indicating that any corruption had occurred. 

The allegation of rebellion, by contrast, is discussed at length in the warrant, but the substantiation is ultimately just as inadequate. The threshold for rebellion -- or the corresponding criminal offense of "high treason" -- is only reached in cases where evidence suggests that the suspect intended to use force to gain independence for a part of the national territory. Without force, there is no rebellion. And because there was no clear evidence of such an intention to use violence in the warrant, it made sense for the court to drop that charge.


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improving the neighbourhood in catalonia...

Posters in Barcelona calling on British tourists to throw themselves off balconies because it “improves neighbors’ quality of life” have sparked outcry on social media. Several Britons fell to their death in Spain this year.

The yellow posters scattered across the city read: “Dear Tourist. Did you know balconing? Prevents gentrification, improves neighbors’ quality of life, reduces the risk of heart disease, is LOTS of fun.”

“Balconing” is the practice of falling from a height when climbing between balconies or, if in a hotel, lunging into a pool from a balcony.


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more human suffering...

Hundreds of thousands in harm’s way in northern Syria

The escalation of conflict in northern Syria risks causing more human suffering and adding new displacement to what is already the largest displacement crisis in the world.

Tens of thousands of civilians are on the move to escape the fighting and seek safety. UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is calling on parties to adhere to International Humanitarian Law, including providing access for aid agencies.

“Hundreds of thousands of civilians in northern Syria are now in harm’s way. Civilians and civilian infrastructure must not be a target,” said the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi.

The situation of those caught in the fighting is worsened by lower temperatures across the region as colder weather is setting in. UNHCR stresses the urgency of having unfettered humanitarian access in order to be able to reach those newly displaced and assist them wherever this is required. Humanitarian organisations must be able to continue to carry out their critical work in Syria.

UNHCR also reiterates its position that any return of refugees to Syria has to be voluntary, dignified and at a time when it is safe to return. It is up to refugees to decide if and when they wish to return.

After eight years of conflict, Syria remains the largest refugee crisis in the world, with 5.6 million Syrians living as refugees in the region. Turkey is hosting more than 3.6 million, which makes it the top refugee hosting country in the world. Over 6.2 million more are displaced inside Syria according to UN estimates.

UNHCR has been supporting Syrian refugees, internally displaced people and host countries since the beginning of the crisis in 2011, and will continue to provide life-saving protection and assistance to those in need, mostly women and children.


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In light of the Turkish military operation in north-east Syria, the EU reaffirms that a sustainable solution to the Syrian conflict cannot be achieved militarily. The EU calls upon Turkey to cease the unilateral military action. Renewed armed hostilities in the north-east will further undermine the stability of the whole region, exacerbate civilian suffering and provoke further displacements. Prospects for the UN-led political process to achieve peace in Syria will be more difficult.

Unilateral action on Turkey’s part threatens the progress achieved by the Global Coalition to defeat of Da’esh, of which Turkey is a member.

Military action will indeed undermine the security of the Coalition’s local partners and risk protracted instability in north-east Syria, providing fertile ground for the resurgence of Da’esh which remains a significant threat to regional, international and European security. The secure detention of terrorist fighters is imperative in order to prevent them from joining the ranks of terrorist groups.

It is unlikely that a so-called ‘safe zone’ in north-east Syria, as envisaged by Turkey, would satisfy international criteria for refugee return as laid down by UNHCR. The EU maintains its position that refugee and IDP returns to their places of origin must be safe, voluntary and dignified when conditions allow. Any attempt at demographic change would be unacceptable. The EU will not provide stabilisation or development assistance in areas where the rights of local populations are ignored.

We share the goal of ending violence, defeating terrorism and promoting stability in Syria and the wider region. Turkey is a key partner of the European Union and a critically important actor in the Syrian crisis and the region, and the European Union commends Turkey for its important role as a host country of Syrian refugees. Turkey’s security concerns should be addressed through political and diplomatic means, not military action, in accordance with international humanitarian law. The EU continues to urge all parties to ensure the protection of civilians and unhindered, safe and sustainable humanitarian access throughout Syria.

The European Union remains committed to the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Syrian state. These can be assured only through a genuine political transition in line with UNSCR 2254 and the 2012 Geneva Communique, negotiated by the Syrian parties within the UN-led Geneva process.


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Note: the only people who are going to TRULY help the Kurds are the Syrians...