Wednesday November 21, 2018
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In absence of magic wand, humanity needs to think on crises like Syria

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As resilient as Russia and France sound the reality is undeniable that they are killing civilians in their revengeful attacks on Syria. “An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind,” said Mahatma Gandhi which aptly explains where these revengeful attacks are leading us.

Moscow’s warplanes carried out an astounding 394 raids in the last three days, killing more than 731 ‘rebels’ across Syria.

French warplanes carried out more than 160 raids earlier on Monday, with 23 people arrested and dozens of weapons seized. A round of airstrikes on the Islamic State’s (IS) Syrian stronghold of Raqqa was carried out on Tuesday as well. Authorities reported seven strikes and, at least, three major explosions in the city.

Earlier, French President François Hollande called the Paris attacks an “act of war” and vowed to be “merciless” against those responsible, made it clear that he would no longer be deterred by the border between Iraq and Syria.

However, what is not being reported is the number of civilians dead, wounded, abandoned, orphaned and/or deprived of all those basic amenities, which will allow them to merely survive due to these vengeful assaults.

These countries definitely do need to set these terror outfits straight, but their strategies need to be focussed. These indiscriminate air strikes claiming to be hitting the ‘rebels’ do claim the lives of civilians and damage their residences rendering them with nothing to cling to.

The blame doesn’t squarely lie on Russia and France or any European nation aiding these powers in attacking ISIS (and Syria), but the US is to be blamed equally.

Obama, at the last UN General Assembly meeting, remarked while countering Russian attacks on Iraq and adjoining the Syrian nation, “In accordance with this logic, we should support tyrants like Bashar al-Assad, who drop barrel bombs to massacre innocent children, because the alternative is surely worse.”

This is a logical statement considering that the air bombing by Russia is not creating any less destruction (of life and emotions) as compared to local militants of the state.

Although, the irony of Obama’s statement is that the US is not a guiltless spectator in the Syrian situation either.

The US has continuously supplied weapons to rebel opposition groups in Syria, which have landed in the hands al-Nusra, a terror outfit. On the other hand weapons for the Iraqi army have reached the ISIS.

According to a BBC report, “Isis has made use of the weapons it seized from the Iraqi army in its successful takeover of large swathes of the country, including an estimated 1,500 Humvees, some armed with TOW missiles, howitzers, and precision-guided weaponry.

It’s also interesting that the US just happens to be the largest arms supplier nation in the world.

Pope Francis, in his recent visit to the US, addressed the Congress saying, one of the prime reasons of weapons being sold in the world is for industrial gain, to attain more money “…money that is drenched in blood, often innocent blood”.

This tossing of blames will continue to stay with us until we die or a mystical fairy descends on Earth to wave her magical wand and cure the world of its maniac fascination with violence making the world a better place.

What we all are failing to see is the extraordinary destruction these reckless assails and counter attacks are causing to the innocent citizens in these regions. Syria is already under severe devastation by ISIS and is now even under the violence gambit of these powerful nations.

For a local citizen in Syria or Iraq, I wonder, what is the difference between ISIS, Al Qaeda and Russia, France or the US?

For them, they are all the same; they all have (and yet continue to) devastated their lives every single day.

Human rights are for all humans and not just of the French, Russian or Americans. These rights apply to Syrians, Iraqis, Afghans and Sudanese as well. However, a bad excuse is given that, at times, the segregation of rebels and civilians is impossible and collateral damages happen.

So it’s fair by all means that you turn into a larger, organised terror group against the innocent civilians of a country that has become the core hate target of the world.

The development of a nation should not be measured by its arms supply but by its ability to accept, include and nurture the ravages that the humanity has gone through.

The ease of torturing others has become so rampant in this global age that massacres seem to be just another resentful attack. But in the bargain we are overlooking its repercussions on the innocent just because someone has better set of words to justify it.

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Google Doodle Celebrates First Message of Humanity into Space

Astronomer and astrophysicist Frank Drake from Cornell University wrote the message with the help from American astronomer Carl Sagan, among others

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Google Doodle celebrates humanity's first message into space. (VOA)

In 1974, scientists sent humankind’s first, three-minute long interstellar radio message – the Arecibo Message – and 44 years later, Google on Friday celebrated the feat with a Doodle.

The Arecibo message is a 1974 interstellar radio message carrying basic information about humanity and Earth sent to globular star “cluster M13” 25,000 light years away, with a hope that extraterrestrial intelligence might receive and decipher it.

The message was sent from the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico.

It had exactly 1,679 binary digits (210 bytes) which, if arranged in a specific way, can explain basic information about humanity and earth to extraterrestrial beings.

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Representational Image of ‘Doodle for Google’. Flickr

The message was broadcast into space a single time via frequency modulated radio waves.

Astronomer and astrophysicist Frank Drake from Cornell University wrote the message with the help from American astronomer Carl Sagan, among others.

Also Read- Social Circles Pose More Risks Online Than Strangers: Microsoft Study

“It was a strictly symbolic event, to show that we could do it,” Cornell University professor Donald Campbell was quoted as saying in an Independent report.

Since it will take nearly 25,000 years for the message to reach its destination — and an additional 25,000 years for a reply, if any, the Arecibo message is viewed as the first demonstration of human technological achievement. (IANS)