Tag Archive: syria

hm. so i couldn’t sleep. just had too much going on in my head. so i thought i’ll jump on here and throw a little bit at the screen. probably more for me than any of you, but that’s okay.

the one thing is the crisis in Syria. which to be honest i don’t really know a whole lot about. not enough by any stretch of the imagination.

i know that a while back over 600 people had been killed. but i also know that chemical attacks were made. i know the death toll is well over 1000 now.

i know that America are paused to intervene. i know that UK, France, Germany and Turkey have joined the calls for intervention.

i know that America does not have the greatest reputation both in terms of their motivation for getting involved in world skirmishes and also their actual involvement in a number of countries, both in the middle east and beyond.

i read that Kevin Rudd, prime minister of Australia had this to say: “I do not believe the world can simply turn a blind eye to the use of chemical weapons against a civilian population resulting in nearly 300 deaths, or more, and some 3,600 people hospitalised.” [The Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/26/syria-us-un-inspection-kerry]


meanwhile from the corners of the CNN.com website to the front page of the Onion satirical online news site, from Twitter to Facebook and beyond, a huge number of people seemed to be spending the last 24 hours obsessed with the goings on at the Video Music Awards show.

in particular, Miley Cyrus and the number she performed with Robin Thicke, that was so sexually explicit and in-your-face dodgy it sent a picture of the reaction of Will Smith and his family while she was performing viral just by their looks of disbelief and what-the-heck-is-going-on-here-ness

i watched the video and it was too much of too much. as Robin Thicke’s mom commented after she was shown it, “I can’t unsee that.”

it is bothering me that the Miley Cyrus thing clogged up the Facebook status and Twitter feeds and only here are there is there mention of what is happening in Syria

[it should bother me equally as much that i spent more time following information about Mileygate than i did researching the situation in Syria, although Val and i both ended the evening sharing information with each other as we read up on different reports of it]

also remembering that the previous 24 hours had been completely taken up by the internet’s overwhelmment at the news that Ben Affleck would be playing Batman in the new Superman vs Batman movie [to date more than 50,000 signatures have been added to a petition asking for him to be deBatmanned]


Eugene Cho is someone who i follow on Twitter. He is a follower of Jesus and from what evidence I have of his life I have a lot of respect for him. He challenges and encourages me regularly by what he writes and shares.

he tweeted some stuff about the war in Syria and got all sorts of conversations going:

Eugene Cho ‏@EugeneCho: We can’t do nothing in the face of genocide in Syria. It may not be popular but one we must make.Praying for wisdom and courage for leaders.

Eugene Cho ‏@EugeneCho: Stunning and shameful. Over 1,000,000 children have fled Syria and another 2,000,000 children are displaced within the country. #WeMustAct

Eugene Cho ‏@EugeneCho: I’m so torn but…Yes, I do support military intervention in Syria. There’s a distinction between military aggression & military protection.

to which he got some huge pushback – some was more accusatory:

wondermirk ‏@wondermirk: @EugeneCho Really bro? I can’t retweet that. Violence is simply not acceptable. Fighting for peace is like fornicating for virginity.

Maxwell Mooney ‏@MaxwellAMooney: @EugeneCho come a long way from the pacifism you endorsed not long ago. Could it have to do with your recent political ties with the Prez?

while others were more just wrestling with the question themselves:

Warwick Rendell ‏@WarWraith: @EugeneCho It’s something we were discussing earlier. How do you protect the oppressed from the violent oppressor without violence?

And as someone who has a strong focus on non-violence [certainly a more focused intentional view on non-violence since our time over here as we have faced the idea and concept and questions related to it a lot more] it feels like a huge catch-22. If doing nothing means we see another potential Rwanda, then surely there has to be a better answer? But if entering violently just escalates the violence and creates flashbacks to time in Iraq and a lot of the mess that happened there, then what?


Back to Eugene Cho, who feeling similiar to me about the fact that the Miley Cyrus dodgefest was receiving more focus and attention than Syria tweeted these:

Eugene Cho ‏@EugeneCho: That so many would be outraged by #MileyCyrus and yet, so apathetic by what’s going on in Syria, Congo,& North Korea…is truly outrageous.

Which made perfect sense, until this conversation happened on Facebook:

Eugene Cho: That so many would be outraged by ‪#‎MileyCyrus and yet, so apathetic or uninformed by what’s going on in Syria, Congo, and North Korea…is truly outrageous. The former is entertainment. Yes, bad entertainment but the latter is real life.

Tracy Bieger: While I wholeheartedly agree about the horrible atrocities taking place here, I think the former is also real life. The very real implications of a young woman who is looked at by other young girls as a “role model”, and the objectification and sexualization of young girls is still okay. This only fuels human trafficking, and the rape culture we still live in. Very real life.

Eugene Cho: Tracy Bieger – Appreciate that comment. Fair pushback. Really fair and important. Another reminder why we need to be open to pushback. Thanks for sharpening me.


To be honest, feeling pretty helpless.

What is there to do besides making statuses, tweeting my interest/horror/outrage and then moving on again next week when the next big thing hits?

And how do i differentiate in my mind the “big” thing that is Ben Affleck as the new Batman or Miley Cyrus twerking Robin Thicke inappropriately and the “big thing” that is a war that has currently seen more than 1000 people die?

To me, both are glaringly obvious symptoms that we live in a broken, messed up world. Which is both quite scary, but also quite encouraging in a sense as it just makes a whole lot of the Jesus-following stuff i believe a lot more clear.

The world is definitely in need of some saving. And i happen to know a Saviour. I don’t think that’s a huge coincidence, but I do think I need to figure out some more stuff in terms of the ‘what do we do with this stuff’ness of it all.

Anyone got any thoughts or ideas?


“Another high school shooting!”

i was sitting in a typical american diner this morning waiting for my friend and half watching the news when this story came on.

a story or two later it was, “Another suicide bombing” and this time a double suicide bombing.

the question this raises in me is, ‘Does this event shock me?’

Do both of these events, as individual horrific events of destruction, not simply ‘the news’, trigger in me a revulsion and a pain, some kind of deep empathic groaning? Do they make me cry out, “WHY?” to God? Do they make me cry out, “Why?” to society? Do they make me sad? Does a little something die somewhere in the recesses of my soul?

Because it really should. There has to be something huger, more hectic, than just “Another…”

For the friends and family and other relatives of the victims [and even the killers] it is a whole lot more than “Another…” This one hit home. Does it need to be someone we know before it has the same effect for us? For me?

And why even write this? What difference is another blog post going to make? The answer for the most part is a huge zero. A bigger danger than “Another…” is definitely that our response is limited to social media type words and empty platitutes which make us feel like we’ve done something when in actual fact we’ve done maybe the opposite of something. We’ve gossiped it all up on to a page or screen and so we can pat ourselves on the back and feel like we’ve made a difference [How’s that Kony protest going, by the way?’] but really where is the change?

I’ll be honest. For me this is a reminder. Simply that. Not trying to change the world although that would be great and hopefully the more we think and wrestle and really dig into this stuff the more creative solutions or resolutions we can come up with to do something. But a reminder to me that this was a tragic event. Each one.

We can’t forget! We can’t let each isolated tragic incident become just another “Another…” Each new incident has a community or communities that are irreversibly affected. We have to join in the mourning every time. Not get dragged down by it, but we dare not become immune.

Remember. Remember. Remember. Then act. We have to move towards action.

Who here has an idea for where we go next?

[As i went to Google to get details for the shooting it turned out to have been a report linked to last week’s Santa Monica school shooting which can be found here. The suicide bombing took place in Damascus, Syria here.]


so my new ‘The Weekly Mash [and Peace!]’ blog is still in its early days but it’s been encouraging to see new people subscribing almost daily – as it is still quite new though not a lot of people are visiting each of these posts and there have been some amazing things there, so if you are someone who reads stuff on Irresistibly Fish [my main blog] all the time, then i encourage you to at the very least pick one of the five days here below that sounds the most interesting and check it out cos there was some good stuff in the week that was:

Monday saw a very interesting advertising campaign from K-Mart with the tagline of “You’ll Ship Your Pants” 

On Tuesday, in the aftermath of the bombing that took place towards the end of the Boston marathon it was a look at context and condolences from across the world.

Wednesday saw a very interesting social experiment take place that involved strangers sitting in boxes of plastic balls answering interesting questions.

Thursday was a look at the fact that everyone [even the atheists, scientists among us] embraces faith in one way or another via an excellent excerpt from a book called “The Awakening of Hope” by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove

Friday saw a very important reflection on the need to slow down and step away from the busyness regularly, or at least sometimes.

…and you can ignore this link cos it’s really just connecting you to a site that shows you how to knit a sweater for a ferret. no, seriously, i warn you…

[for last Saturday’s Round Up of Geeks, lady mirrors and wild animal eating habits, click here]

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