Syria's Gettysburg, Assad's Stalingrad

Syria's Gettysburg, Assad's Stalingrad

How The Military Conflict Over The Liberation Of Eastern Aleppo Is Equatable To The Battle Of Gettysburg Or Of Stalingrad.
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The Syrian war has demonstrated an interesting double talk in the recent events at Aleppo. The demonization of the Syrian military is creating a false reality given the nature of the rebels holding out any Eastern Aleppo. The militants in the rebel enclaves of remaining territory are foreign backed fighters and their families sponsored by the oil kingdoms such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar, as well as facilitated into Syria by Turkey. They are devout Wahhabists and far right conservative groups, and have strong ties with Al Nusra and Al Qaeda. While the media at times to portray these as "moderate rebels"; we should keep in mind that ISIL ideology is Takfirism, an even more far right conservative branch of Wahhabism. We must also remember that Syrian Kurdish forces with their allies of the Syrian Democratic Forces (A United States backed Kurdish lead rebel group) had initially led the assault on Aleppo having been the region's main blockade of ISIL advancement. And they managed to capture the initial western part of the city, and then organized effort's with the government to recapture the rest of the city. Once Turkey had entered northern Syria with their military a few weeks ago, a common cause forged a cooperative between the government and the Kurds who Turkey has taken actions against as well. Since the Al Nusra and Al Qaeda militants were being funneled through Turkey into Syria, it created common ground for the legitimate rebels being lead via the SDF and Government forces to work together. Just as the Kurdish Peshmerga forces and the Iraqi mobilization army have allied together to defeat ISIL; and who have also done so as a means of mutual defense against Turkish intervention in northern Iraq. As the Syrian war comes to a conclusion and the defeat of Daesh in the region is achieved, we must remember to look forward to the post war order.

If we are being honest and disassociate from personal bias, and if we are being militarily consistent, telling the Syrian president to step down after his recent victory at Aleppo would be like telling Abraham Lincoln to step down after the Battle of Gettysburg. Or asking Stalin to step down after the battle of Stalingrad. One has to respect military accomplishments even in the face of unfortunate loss of life. The Syrian Government militarily demonstrated its competency and ability to legitimize itself as a nation. That used to mean something in the eyes of the international community. Our continued efforts to remove Assad now would be like if Britain and France continued to help the Confederate States of America even after their major defeat at Gettysburg.

In times of uncertainty and high levels of chaos and despair, let us not forget the imperative responsibility we the citizenry have to hear both sides of the story in regard to claims of war crimes and violations. International law and military law has stipulations that are being followed by the international community and all parties responsible for all actions will be held accountable. We must remember to look forward beyond the conflict in an effort to build a post war order that reflects the best of humanity during these great times of its worst aspects.

Cover Image Credit: Sputnik news

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This Is How Your Same-Sex Marriage Affects Me As A Catholic Woman

I hear you over there, Bible Bob.
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It won't.

Wait, what?

I promise you did read that right. Not what you were expecting me to say, right? Who another person decides to marry will never in any way affect my own marriage whatsoever. Unless they try to marry the person that I want to, then we might have a few problems.

As a kid, I was raised, baptized, and confirmed into an old school Irish Catholic church in the middle of a small, midwestern town.

Not exactly a place that most people would consider to be very liberal or open-minded. Despite this I was taught to love and accept others as a child, to not cast judgment because the only person fit to judge was God. I learned this from my Grandpa, a man whose love of others was only rivaled by his love of sweets and spoiling his grandkids.

While I learned this at an early age, not everyone else in my hometown — or even within my own church — seemed to get the memo. When same-sex marriage was finally legalized country-wide, I cried tears of joy for some of my closest friends who happen to be members of the LGBTQ community.

I was happy while others I knew were disgusted and even enraged.

"That's not what it says in the bible! Marriage is between a man and a woman!"

"God made Adam and Eve for a reason! Man shall not lie with another man as he would a woman!"

"Homosexuality is a sin! It's bad enough that they're all going to hell, now we're letting them marry?"

Alright, Bible Bob, we get it, you don't agree with same-sex relationships. Honestly, that's not the issue. One of our civil liberties as United States citizens is the freedom of religion. If you believe your religion doesn't support homosexuality that's OK.

What isn't OK is thinking that your religious beliefs should dictate others lives.

What isn't OK is using your religion or your beliefs to take away rights from those who chose to live their life differently than you.

Some members of my church are still convinced that their marriage now means less because people are free to marry whoever they want to. Honestly, I wish I was kidding. Tell me again, Brenda how exactly do Steve and Jason's marriage affect yours and Tom's?

It doesn't. Really, it doesn't affect you at all.

Unless Tom suddenly starts having an affair with Steve their marriage has zero effect on you. You never know Brenda, you and Jason might become best friends by the end of the divorce. (And in that case, Brenda and Tom both need to go to church considering the bible also teaches against adultery and divorce.)

I'll say it one more time for the people in the back: same-sex marriage does not affect you even if you or your religion does not support it. If you don't agree with same-sex marriage then do not marry someone of the same sex. Really, it's a simple concept.

It amazes me that I still actually have to discuss this with some people in 2017. And it amazes me that people use God as a reason to hinder the lives of others.

As a proud young Catholic woman, I wholeheartedly support the LGBTQ community with my entire being.

My God taught me to not hold hate so close to my heart. He told me not to judge and to accept others with open arms. My God taught me to love and I hope yours teaches you the same.

Disclaimer - This article in no way is meant to be an insult to the Bible or religion or the LGBTQ community.

Cover Image Credit: Sushiesque / Flickr

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The Paths We Take

I can control my destiny, but not my fate.
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Have you ever wondered if life would be different in more ways than one, considering the different choices we make? Personally, I’ve always wondered what my life would be like, whether it would still be in the best shape as it is currently. Throughout the majority of my life, I have always wondered, “why do these bad things happen?” I had never really believed in a higher power, so I never had anywhere to turn to for answers. There’s also the case that everything that happens, happens for a reason. To this day, I one hundred percent, believe that.

If I hadn’t gone through the most abusive relationship of my life, I wouldn’t be where I am today. For instance, would I really be living in my own home in Albany to this day, if I hadn’t met my ex? Those two don’t seem to correlate at all, right? The main reason I moved to Albany to begin with, was for my ex.

The original plan wasn’t to move out to Albany; it was never to find someone at college and “claim” to fall in love. My original plan was to stay at home, with my dad, in the small town of Norwich, NY, and become a cop. I knew I wanted to move on to bigger and better things, but there are still many people who say the same thing…

“I need to get out of this town.”

Ironically, they haven’t left, but I did…

The original plan wasn’t to take a semester off and work for the Albany Legislature, that was just a shot in the dark. I had received an email, about a potential internship. Thinking “what the hell” I applied. I applied just to say I did it, never did I imagine I would actually be accepted. Six months later, I’m sitting in the office of Assemblyman Joseph Giglio. Little did I know at the time, this was going to be the turning point of my life. It would define my career choices, and my life in many more ways than one.

In any case, it was the conscious decision that I needed to leave my hometown and branch out to somewhere new. Would I really have met my current boyfriend, if I never made the move to begin with? Even if he did live two hours away from me. These subtle choices make me beg the bigger question, could this be the inner workings of fate?

I catch myself continuously reflecting on where my life is, and how it felt as though I was on a roller-coaster that would twist and turn in directions that I would have never guessed. I was at my lowest point right before I met the most important person in my life-Josh. He lifted me up from the lowest point and continues to do the same to this day. I wonder how my life would be currently if I hadn’t met him, or if he wasn’t as supportive and loving as he is. Where would I be?

I’m not trying to say that I “wouldn’t be here,” but it’s inevitable to question how much in my life would be different if certain things had never happened. I’m forever grateful for the people in my life and the way that fate has taken me. For all the obstacles that I had to overcome, that eventually led me to the climb out of this metaphorical hole that I found myself in. To the people that have come and gone, teaching me valuable lessons to which I have become a bigger and better person. For those bridges that were eventually mended after a big and powerful wreckage. I believe there is a reason for me to be in this world, whether it’d be on the basis of fate or the choices I make for myself.

This gives me a reason to keep going, and keep pushing forward.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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