viernes, 23 de junio de 2017

How many civilians are dying in the final assault on Mosul? | MercatorNet | June 23, 2017 | MercatorNet |

How many civilians are dying in the final assault on Mosul?
MercatorNet | June 23, 2017 | MercatorNet |

How many civilians are dying in the final assault on Mosul?

How many civilians are dying in the final assault on Mosul?

Unimaginable suffering in a 'Stalingrad in the desert"
Michael Cook | Jun 23 2017 | comment 

Civilians fleeing west Mosul pass the body of an ISIS fighter / Ivor Prickett for The New York Times
Militants of the Islamic State blew up the 850-year-old Grand al-Nuri Mosque in west Mosul the other day. Its beautiful brickwork minaret, which tilted like the Leaning Tower of Pisa, collapsed into a heap of rubble.
The story flew around the world, for it was framed as a symbol of both the barbaric destructiveness of ISIS and of the group’s desperation. It was at the Mosque in 2014 where Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared a "caliphate". Analysts believe that ISIS blew it to deny the Iraqi Army a propaganda victory. But Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi says that the liberation of Mosul is only a few days away.
Lost in all this are the deaths of thousands of civilians as an international coalition battles ISIS soldiers who are fighting to the death. In comparison with their own losses to ISIS terrorism, the Western media have barely bothered to cover the story. Their readers aren’t interested one of toughest urban street battles since World War II – a kind of Stalingrad in the desert.
East Mosul, on the other side of the Tigris River, was cleaned of ISIS in March. The battle has moved on to west Mosul, the old city, where an estimated 150,000 civilians are trapped. ISIS is using them as human shields.
Little newsworthy happens from day to day -- another street taken; a few more ISIS fighters killed. Civilians die in coalition airstrikes; they die fleeing from the carnage, gunned down by ISIS snipers; they die in car bomb attacks; they die of starvation.
One man who managed to escape west Mosul a few days ago told the International Rescue Committee that he had survived by eating cardboard soaked in water. A woman said that she and her children had survived off bread and tomato paste for four months. 
The figures are uncertain, but since the Iraqi Army launched its attack in November on Mosul last year, more than 8,000 civilians have died. During that time about 45 people have been killed by ISIS operatives in attacks in Germany, the UK, and France. About that number are dying every day in Mosul.
There are no mounds of flowers and candlelight vigils for these innocent victims of the war. People are too traumatised; they have enough trouble ducking the bullets and bombs and keeping their children fed.
It’s perfectly understandable that British newspapers give wall-to-wall coverage to terrorists in a van mowing people down on London Bridge and stabbing bystanders to death. Those victims could be our relatives and friends; they speak the same language; they live in the same houses; they drive the same cars.
But from time to time it’s good to benchmark our pain against people who really know what suffering is.   
Michael Cook is editor of MercatorNet.MercatorNet
MercatorNet | June 23, 2017 | MercatorNet |
Twenty years ago on Monday the first Harry Potter book burst onto the market and became a children’s fiction phenomenon. I read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone myself, eventually, to see what all the fuss was about. But had I been 10 or 11+ the title alone would have grabbed me – the “philosopher’s stone” would have been a new and intriguing concept.
I have no idea how much “philosophy” is in J.K. Rowling’s hit series, but it is very clear that there’s a huge amount of entertainment in them, and, as our lead article today points out, reading for pleasure is a legitimate pursuit. In a companion piece Dr Susan Reibel Moore affirms that their pace and wit are among the things that make the books score highly.
There are more important and weighty issues covered in other articles and we hope you enjoy them all, whether you are Down-Unders holed up with the flu, or Northerners melting in the heat.

Carolyn Moynihan 
Deputy Editor, 

Harry Potter turns 20
By Di Dickenson
Let's focus on reading for pleasure rather than literary merit.
Read the full article
How many civilians are dying in the final assault on Mosul?
By Michael Cook
Unimaginable suffering in a 'Stalingrad in the desert"
Read the full article
The Genevan Psalter: Calvin’s musical reformation
By Chiara Bertoglio
And its seedbed in the Catholic French court.
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Bernie’s religious test is bad for all believers
By Ismail Royer
A Muslim defends religious pluralism in the public square.
Read the full article
The Islamic crisis of reason
By J. Budziszewski
The God of Islam does not have to be reasonable.
Read the full article
The magical appeal of Harry Potter
By Susan Reibel Moore
Twenty years ago youngsters were hooked. Why?
Read the full article
Canada’s new human rights law: use trans pronouns or else
By Bruce Pardy
Few Canadians realize how seriously their new anti-discrimination statutes infringe upon freedom of speech
Read the full article
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
By Raffaele Chiarulli
Worse than the best Pirates installment but still better than the worst.
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Glamorous and carefree or unmarried and lonely?
By Nicole M. King
Rethinking the single life.
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In its ethical cookbook, medicine needs more than autonomy
By Toni Saad
If autonomy is given priority in ethical inquiry, it spells the end of ethics
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Reforming the WHO: can the first African General Secretary be an agent for change?
By Steve Fouch
Or is the WHO already a spent force?
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Multiculturalism: all good - right?
By Marcus Roberts
And is large scale immigration the only answer to population decline?
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