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Outsider Views - by Mike Pouraryan

 
: Briefly :-)
Q1 2014 is coming to an end. The first day of spring has begun and with it the possiblities at hand.

We here at "outsider views' decided to break the silence temporarily to briefly reflect upon a very challenging World which has been before us especially over the past few weeks. Whether it was the disappearance of Flight MH370, the Russian takeover of Crimea and the on-going challenges around the World, such events has given leaders around the World sleepless nights. As we continued the planning process, we have continued to assess the situation in Afghanistan. It was with a sense of shock and horror as the attack of the Serena Hotel in Kabul occurred which resulted in the killing a Young Afghan Family. A 40-year reporter for Agence France Press,, his wife and two of his children were shot at point blank range. It is absolutely horrific beyond words which underscores the plight of Afghanistan as it finally says goodbye to the Karzai years.


As we gear up for the new Quarter, we will be assessing the state of the World and assessing ideas & on-going thoughts: the essence of why this project will evolve and continue. We want to take this opportunity to express a continued sense of appreciation to all who visit daily and hope that we will continue to exceed expectations as the evolution of this project evolves. We hope that this very hopeful, uplifting and engaging talk is enjoyed to underscore how hopeful one must be no more what the circumstances may be:



We end this retrospective with the hope that the Worldwide search for MH370 culminates is a sense of closure for the families as Australia and the World continues their search. We hope the almighty grant all the families a sense of solace on their loss a prayer for those lost souls.




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: Oh well


As we assess the World this week here for Outsiders, I nearly fell out of my chair in laughter. Field Marshall Al-Sisi, the Egyptian Military Ruler, has declared his intentions to run for President. I nearly fell out of my chair in laughter at how the World somehow was amazed. The Egyptian Elite has played its' hand brilliantly as Journalists are muzzled, the ordinary man and woman on the Street is suffering while the top 1% gets ever so powerful. The case of the Al Jazeera Staff being detained is just one example. We have worked to add our humble voice for the Al Jazeera Staff to be released while on twitter using the hashtag (#FreeAJStaff).

I have also been assessing the latest out of Afghanistan. My mind drifted back to 2007 as I wrote about Karzai on "ordinary faces" @ Really Long Link


I can't help but reflect upon the current forgotten war: Afghanistan. It was a year that saw the lies of Pat Tillman (which I talked about),it saw the Taliban roaring back stronger than ever and Afghanistan becoming the biggest poppy producer in the world. Yet, Hamid Karzai went on the BBC and at the White House announced that everything was great. When Karzai was asked about the poppy production, he claimed that poppy was actually decreasing. Karzai also invited the "good" Taliban to join him. Why the Taliban want to join a corrupt, discredited government is beyond me. Karzai also has no credibility. Tariq Ali, the Pakistani/British Commentator, told of Karzai's younger brother running the Heroin ring and also running a weapon smuggling operation. I am just amazed as to the nerve of this man standing besides President Bush and going off telling us how things are great. But, I guess an ordinary face in the crowd like me is not supposed to understand and question, just believe what he's being fed.


Many of us knew then what a fool he was. It is interesting how the media now is noting how Karzai is drifting away. This is as Afghanistan is beginning elections for a new President that features some of the leading personalities that are part of the Afghan 1%. They include Ashraf Ghani, the former Finance Minister, a brother of Karzai and Abdullah Abdullah, the former Foreign Minister. I never forget while on the "grid" making the rounds on Facebook how a friend remarked about a conversation he had with Abdullah Abdullah. What was remarkable was how this friend was impressed--yet noted that after the morning jog on the Dubai water front, he got into his chauffeur drive Rolls Royce and drove away. It is about power and money--nothing else. Although President Obama summoned his commanders to Washington for a meeting this past Tuesday, it will be worst in 2014 as the Taliban continue onward, drugs become ever so rampant and the plight of the person on the street becomes ever so challenging.

The atrocities in Syria are becoming ever so rampant. The UN has been at the forefront of documenting some of the profound atrocities especially against Children. It was simply tragic to see a child who was carried out of Mosque in Aleppo that was hit by Government Helicopters. The hope that Assad would be overthrown is now an unrealistic as ever as ever as all have fought this war to a standstill. It is exactly that the trench warfare of World War I until the breakthrough battles of 1916 that ultimately culminated in peace. One example of the profound atrocity is the case of Dr. Shah, a British Surgeon who was killed by Syria Security Forces after being captured working in a Rebel Hospital. Dr. Shah's mother confronted Syrian Officials courageously as she demanded justice for his slain son. What can one answer a mother who has lost a son? In the meantime, the war in Syria is consuming Lebanon and Iraq and causing havoc in Jordan.

One thing is for sure: No one must envy the inbox of the US Secretary of the State and the President of the United States right now.
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2013: Quite a Year

December 22nd 2013 04:52
: A Retrospective On Our World...and Gearing Up 4 2014
Celebrating the Holidays
Never Losing Hope


It has been quite a year of war, famine,continued economic and environmental calamity as every region of the World has had its' share of challenges


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: Will we have the courage to face up?
9/11 is Patriots Day in the United States. It is a day to remember those souls who lost their lives during that horrific day. I remember that day as if it was yesterday. America has continued to pay a very very heavy price for all the wars it has fought since 2001:


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: Never a Dull Moment
The past 10 days has been, yet again, quite challenging around our World.

I begin this retrospective with some good news. John Kerry, the US Secretary of State, has been able to bring the Palestinians and Israelis back to the negotiating table. We have been here before, though. I am not sure what will be different this time. However, the fact that they are talking is something in fact that should be celebrated. Hopefully it is not talking about talking. What is clear is that both sides are severly hampered by their own internal political challenges as exemplified by Hamas in Gaza and the settler community in Israel


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: A Lot of Minefields to Navigate thru....
I begin this edition of "World Watch" with the Middle East. The Great War for the soul of the Middle East continues onward.

The tragedy that is the Islamic Republic in Iran continues with no apparent end in sight. One of the children of the Revolution, Hashemi Rafsanjani, has been devoured by the Revolution. At the age of 78, he decided to file an application to run for President again. His application was rejected by the Guardian Council on the grounds of being "too old" and being implicated in the so-called "putsh of 1388"--basically having been supportive of the Green Movement. I had written extensively being hopeful that somehow his continued clout back in 2009 would somehow change things in Iran. But, his children were imprisoned, he was gradually stripped of his existing authorities and his control of the Islamic Azad University of Iran was stripped away from him. He said he won't challenge the determination of the Guardian Council and has called for unity. What is tragic is that the current bunch of characters that has been approved are a joke. What is further tragic is that out of a country of 70 Million, only 7 people have been approved--the seven who have all been functionaries in the regime whose only loyalty is basically to Khameini, the leader of the Revoulution (known in the West as the Supreme Leader). What is fascinating to watch, though, is to see which of the so-called candidates will prevail. Whatever happens, Khameini will continue to have the final say on all matters of State and the defacto dictatorship and control by the Revolutionary Guards will continue with no end in sight. In the meantime, security measures have been stepped up as Iran seems to be on the path to cut itself from the Worldwide Web--just like the North Koreans. There were also reports of a cyber attack by the Iranians against US Energy assets. The Iranians have denied it--but it gave fuel to the folks over at the Fox News Network in the United States to have a field day about all kinds of conspiracy theories. It must be noted that the US spearheaded a Cyber attack on the Iranian Nuclear Program that ultimately has led to Iran ultimately deciding to take itself out of the Worldwide web


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: Accepting Change...and Being Upbeat...The Key....
The World over the past 10 days has continued to be on the edge ever more. Syria continues to burn, Mexicans continue to die in a pointless Drug War, Bangladeshi Workers perished as they tried to make a living, Europe's economic malaise became worst while wild fires in Southern California threatened 4,000 homes as it consumed 43 square kilometers .

I begin with Syria. Syria has been hit by Israeli Bombs. I just saw the latest from Chinese Central Television where reporting reflects 4 Israeli hits over the past 48 hours. What is clear is that Israel has made a clear decision to intervene. The decision to intervene has to do with the fact that Hezbollah, the Lebanese Party with a very strong military wing, has decided to intervene in Lebanon on the side of Bashar Al Assad. Hassan Nasrallah, the Hezbollah Leader, has said that it is to protect the Shia Population. I have seen reports that they have deployed in Damascus as well to protect the Shia shrine of Zinab, a grand daughter of the Prophet and a shia shrine


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Afghanistan: What Now?

February 26th 2012 18:33
: Will Afghans ever get a break?
The past number of weeks has seen an Afghanistan that, in my view, has gone from bad to worst. It began with a very, very disturbing report on the BBC about Afghan Children dying of Cold and all the Minister in charge could do was to apologize.

Beyond the daily trials of ordinary Afghans, there is of course the War. The War continues to rage on. The burning of the Koran by NATO troops added fuel to the raging fire. The NATO commander, the US Secretary of Defense and the President all issued swift apologies and promised investigations. But demonstrations have continued on


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: Is there room for Hope?

Over the past three weeks, I have been thinking about the year that has passed. 2011 has been quite a year. The pace of change and the actions have been nothing less than spectacular. When the final history is written, 2011 will be remembered as very much a transformational year in many ways


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2011: The Year In Review (The Launch)

December 4th 2011 22:13
: A Year 4 the History Books
It has been quite a year!!!!

I have been trying to to catch my breath as I launch the "Year-In-Review" here and now. Between the Arab Spring, changes in Africa and Russia, the continued challenges of Climate Change, the US Political Scene, the continued economic calamity, The "occupy" Movement, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Iran, Syria, Egypt, Tunisia, Pakistan, Europe's Economic Meltdown, the Media and continued technological transformations--I view it as nothing less than Breathtaking


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: Now What?
Ex-President Rabbani has been assassinated in Kabul. He was the Chairman of the High Peace Council that was supposed to be the vehicle for Peace that Karzai was pursuing. Karzai has cut short his visit to the UN to return to Kabul.

From the reports I have reviewed, Rabbani lived in the same neighborhood that was the subject of the bold attack last week targeting the Kabul Diplomatic Quarter. When a senior guy like Rabbani is killed--who's next? The fiction of a Taliban withering way seems to be a fiction as the days goes by


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: When will the suffering end?
Although I had not written about Afghanistan and Pakistan in a while, the war continues to rage on and the suffering of the average man and woman on main street continues on with no apparent end in sight.

I have been a constant critic of the Afghan War. As I write this, over 100,000 US and NATO troops continue to fight on. One of those brave souls was my own cousin who is a US Army Major. Two days after he left Afghanistan, the base he was at was attacked by the Taliban. I saw his wife's posting on Facebook when she thanked the Almighty that he had left. We were all thankful too. Many died that day, though. I note this because this is a War that has impacted all in a major way--a war that seems to have no end


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: Wow!!!
As the Fourth year of "Outsiders" Begin, it is while being witness to a World that continues to be ever more in a state of Flux. I have been monitoring the reports coming out of Kabul about the attack on the Intercontinental Hotel.

As I write this, the firefight seems to be continuing. Apparently six suicide bombers got into the Hotel and started shooting away. The Al Jazeera Reporter noted that the situation was changing by the minute and one more report just noted how Afghan Special Forces along with ISAF forces were running in to try and find these guys and kill them. I find this especially ironic as a new conference was supposed to be conveyed at the very hotel to begin the process of transfering security responsiblity to the Afghans


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: Wow
As I write this, I am monitoring CNN noting that Osama Bin Ladin has been killed and the US has his body. According to reports, he was killed in a Drone Attack outside Islamabad. This is a huge development that will have profound implications.

More to come


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