Category Archives: History

This covers the history of many countries over centuries. My main interests are the British Isles, Russia and America.

Jonathan Pollard

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J POLLARD

In 1954 Jonathan Pollard was born in the United States. Mr Pollard is Jewish and his family identified very strongly with the worldwide Jewish community. Despite that his family was not fervently religious.

Pollard did well at school. He went on to obtain a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s. Thereafter he found gainful employment as a civilian intelligence analyst in the US Navy. Soon afterwards he wed. He was privy to all sorts of secret information. The United States and Israel had a very cordial relationship and shared intelligence. However, this did not extend to sharing everything. Mr. Pollard came across information that was potentially useful to the Israelis that was not passed on to them by the US Government.

At a party in New York in the early 1980s Pollard met an Israeli diplomat. He spoke to the diplomat about his job and his enthusiasm for helping Israel. The diplomat was suspicious of Pollard’s exuberance. Could he be a crackpot? Was he coat trailing? Was he trying to get the Israeli intelligence services to recruit him so the USA could then expose Israeli espionage in the country? Mossad looked into Pollard’s case. They soon arrived at the conclusion that he was genuine.

Handlers met Pollard frequently. He handed over information to his handlers. They were specific in requesting certain file numbers. Pollard was doing this because of his ardent Zionism. He found out about anti-Israeli plots in much of the Muslim world. The Israeli Government paid Pollard handsomely for what he was doing.

Jonathan Pollard approached the Pakistanis, Chinese and others offering to sell them secret information. They declined perhaps not trusting him. Why would an avowed Zionist assist Pakistan? Pakistan does not recognize Israel and is a sworn enemy of the country. Pakistan does not allow Israelis into the country.

Mr Pollard slipped up when he was seen accessing files that were beyond his remit. This aroused suspicion. He was  asked if he was willing to be questioned. Pollard agreed. During the interview He asked to make a phone call to his wife. As it was a voluntary interview the FBI agreed. He had the right to leave at any time. He made a phone call to his spouse. In it he slipped in the anodyne word ‘cactus’. This was a prearranged code word to indicate that he had been caught. His wife knew this innocuous word meant to remove evidence. She removed sacks of sensitive documents from the house. Later Mr Pollard was arrested. He and his wife were charged with espionage. The charges against Mrs Pollard were reduced to being an accessory after the fact.

Some Israeli diplomats fled the country within hours of Pollard’s arrest. Pollard agreed a plea bargain with prosecutors. He had to give them chapter and verse on all he had done. The intelligence services wished to assess the damage. They also believed there was another Zionist mole in US Naval Intelligence. How else had Mossad known which files to ask for? This person was known as Mr X. He has never been unmasked. Pollard was also required to refrain from speaking to the media.

At his trial Pollard was found guilty. The bench awarded him life imprisonment. He felt hard done by. However, he had given a media interview whilst awaiting trial and this was a material breach of his plea bargain. He contended that he pleaded guilty because his wife had medical treatment withheld from her until he pleaded guilty. His wife had the temerity to claim that medical treatment in prison was worse than in concentration camps. This was an outright lie and hideously offensive. It hugely trivializes the Holocaust. She was treated humanely and she exploited the Holocaust to gain sympathy. People are not worked to death in US prisons.

Mr Pollard renounced his US citizenship and became an Israeli which in a federal penitentiary. His wife was soon released.

It was put to Pollard that there was nothing anti-Jewish about his conviction. Some of the lawyers on the prosecution side were Jewish. He likened them to kapos in extermination camp. This extremely insulting and self-serving statement made light of the Holocaust. He was not going to be killed. These lawyers were upholding the judicial system and democracy.

If Pollard was so Zionist why did he accept payment for his work? Why did he offer to spy for the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Pollard said what he did was justified because his primary loyalty was to Israel. A Palestinian-American could advance the same argument. How about a Chinese-American or an Iranian-American. He was paid by the USA. The USA spent money and time amassing this secret information. Sources were lost to the USA as a result of his actions.

President CLinton almost released Pollard in the 1990s. Several intelligence chiefs lobbied very strongly against it and threatened to resign if Pollard were set at liberty.

Pollard became a cause celebre for Zionists. Netanyahu visited him in prison. In 2014 Pollard was set free. He moved to Israel.

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  1. In which year was Pollard born?
  2. Which country was he born in?
  3. What is his faith?
  4. Which degrees did he obtain?
  5. Which branch of the armed services did he work for?
  6. Was he a sailor?
  7. Which country did he spy for?
  8. Which other countries did he offer to help?
  9. Was he paid?
  10. Was he married?
  11. Was he imprisoned?
  12. What was his sentence?
  13. What is his current status?
  14. Which president almost released him?
  15. Why did Clinton not let him out?
  16. Where does Pollard live?
  17. What did Pollard say about Jewish lawyers who prosecuted him?
  18. Was his wife sent to prison?
  19. What is your opinion of him?

 

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Jewish population of the world==========================================

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15 to 20 m

but what about non halachichally Jewsih people. up to 40 m.

matrilineal. mother’s mothers mother mothers. even if not part of the faith

evlis.

be optimistic and inclusive.

every jewish person is a small victory against genocide.

what is no abortion? then Jewish population would have recovered from the holocaust long ago.

farewell McCain ================================================

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88. born in panama

us navy. family in navy

vietnam

shot down. POW. refused rlease. chritsin

republican politics. cold warrior

pro life

against big money but took it

tried for GOP nomination 2000. dirty tricks from bush

loayl to bush. for liberation of Iraq.

2008. candidate. backing from Lieberman. mixed up sunni and shia

knew little about economics

anti-racist. Bangladeshi daughter

loathed trump

brain cancer.

degeneration.

 

Azerbaijan

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AZERBAIJAN

Azerbaijan is a country that can be regarded as being in Europe or in Asia. This country is in the Caucasus Mountains. It is beside the Caspian Sea. The climate is cool in winter and warm in summer. It is cold and snowy atop the mountains.

This country has neighbours – namely – Georgia, Russia, Armenia, Turkey and Iran. The Nakhchivan Exclave is an area of Azerbaijan which does not connect to most of Azerbaijan by land. Nakhchivan is separated from the rest of the country by Armenia. It is Nakhchivan that borders Turkey and not the main part of Azerbaijan that does.

There is oil below the ground. Where it seeps up it goes on fire. In ancient times some people here were Zoroastrians – as in they followed the faith preached by the Prophet Zarathustra. This country’s name means ”Land of Fire.”

The people of this country have mixed routes. Many centuries ago they were called Albanians but were in no wise connected to the country that is now called Albania. They were Christians in the Dark Ages. Then Islam came in the 8th century AD. They people converted en bloc. They practiced the Sunni version of the faith. They were part of the Islamic Empire. At time the land was ruled by Arabs. Later it became part of Iran.

The Turks passed through 900 years ago. The language of Azerbaijan is Azerbaijani. This is the same as Old Turkish. Then the Mongols passed through.

When the Iranians came back in the 17th century they had most of the people change to Shia Islam. Later this country became part of the Ottoman Empire. Then Azerbaijan became independent again. By the 18th century the country had fallen apart into many different emirates.

In the late 18th century the Russians persuaded some Azerbaijani emirs to be their liege men. The Azerbaijani emirs often fought each other.

In the 1820s Russia and Iran signed a treaty. Azerbaijan was divided along a river. Two-thirds of the country went to Iran and the remainder became part of the Russian Empire. Tabriz, the historic capital, is in Iran.

Russian was introduced as the official language. Russians moved in especially when the railway was built. The Russians did not interfere with the Islamic faith. Most Azerbaijanis were highly traditional. They were traders and farmers. The land was famed for its carpets.

Oil was discovered at a fishing port called Baku. Baku became the capital. In the 1860s oil started to be pumped. The Nobel brothers from Sweden came here. They made a fortune. One of them was Alfred Nobel who started the Nobel Prize. Britishers and Frenchmen came too. There is still a street in Baku that bears Nobel’s name.

More Russians and Ukrainians moved into the country in the late 19th century. There were many Armenians too. These foreigners were concentrated in Baku.

Socialist and liberal ideas were spread. The oil workers often labored in terrible conditions. Some Azerbaijanis spoke of independence from the Russian Empire. However, the Tsar would not permit free expression or elections. Many Azerbaijanis felt little loyalty to Russia. They were not Russian, were not Christian and in some cases could not speak Russian. They believed their country to be occupied. Most of its wealth was expatriated.

There was much revolutionary activity. Joseph Stalin organized a bank robbery there to raise funds for the Bolsheviks (communists). An Armenian socialist named Stephan Shaumpanian was there – agitating for revolution.

In 1914 the First World War broke out. Some Azerbaijanis volunteered for the Russian Army. In 1917 there were two revolutions in Russia. The Russian Government’s authority in Azerbaijan was severely weakened.

In October 1917 the Communists seized power in St Petersburg which was then the Russian capital. The new Prime Minister was Lenin. He said that non-Russian countries were allowed to become independent.

On 28 May 1918 Azerbaijanis met in Ganja and proclaimed the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic. The country was independent! However, Baku was still controlled by Russia. Half the population of the city was not Azerbaijani.

The Azerbaijani Army wanted to liberate Baku. In 1918 the Ottoman Empire formed the Army of Islam. This was an army for all Turkic Muslims whether Sunni or Shia. Muslims in Turkey, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and so on were to unite. The Army of Islam came to Baku to try to wrest the city from the foreigners.

Baku was held by a bizarre alliance of Red Russians, White Russians, British, Indians, Armenians and Georgians. The Battle of Baku was fought in August and September 1918. The Army of Islam was beaten back at the Wolf’s Gate – the highest point in Baku. A British general named Dunster commanded Baku. He did not want his enemy to capture the Wolf’S Gate because then they could bombard Baku Harbour.

Dunster then decided to evacuate. He shipped his men out. There were 28 communist commissars in the city. Among them was an Armenian named Stepan Shaumpanian. He and his comrades sailed to Turkmenistan. There they were seized by White Russians and executed. They were later buried in Baku with great honour in the middle of the city.

The Azerbaijani nationalists took control of Baku in September 1918. The later sent a delegate to Paris to the peace conference. They secured recognition of their state. This was the first secular Muslim state in the world. President Wilson of the USA professed himself deeply impressed by the Azerbaijani representatives whom he met.

In 1920 Lenin changed his mind about Azerbaijani independence. He wanted oil. The Red Army invaded Azerbaijan. The Azerbaijani Army was defeated. The country was then declared to be part of the Transcaucasian Soviet Socialist Republic. This included Georgia and Azerbaijan. Baku was besieged at this time. A train of food to relieve the starving people was sent. It was intercepted at Volgagrad by Stalin who took all the food for his men.

In 1922 the country formed part of the Soviet Union. The General-Secretary of the Communist Party of Azerbaijan was a Russian named Sergei Kirov. The first few general-secretaries after him were also Russian. Only in 1936 did Azerbaijan become a union republic of the USSR.

The communists forced women to cast off the veil. Gender equality was enforced.. The secret police rooted out those suspected of wanting independence. They were labeled reactionaries, counter-revolutionaries, enemy agents, traitors, extremists and bourgeois nationalists. They were tortured and sent to slave labour camps. Many were executed.

Stalin moved other ethnicities into the country and he moved Azerbaijanis out. He gave Azerbaijani land to Georgia and Armenian land to Azerbaijan. Ganja was renamed Kirovabad after Kirov was assassinated in 1934.

In the Second World War many Azerbaijanis were conscripted into the Red Army. Some distinguished themselves by valorous deeds. The country’s oil was vital to the USSR.

After the Second World War oil production shifted to Kazakhstan. There was much development in Azerbaijan in the 1950s. Many apartment blocks were built.

In 1970 Heydar Aliyev was made General-Secretary of the Communist Party of Azerbaijan. He was effectively governor of the country.

In the 1970s there was an Islamic Revolution in Iran. The Soviet Government was very anxious in case it spread to Azerbaijan. It did not occur. In 1980 Aliyev became part of the Politburo and moved to Moscow.

In the late 1980s the government stopped sending people to prison for speaking their minds. The Azerbaijan Popular Front was formed. It campaigned for independence.

Fighting broke out between Azerbaijanis and Armenians. Dozens were killed.

On 20 January 1990 there confrontations between the Soviet Army and protestors. The army opened fire and over 100 people were killed. Aliyev resigned from the Politburo in protests. Many people left the Communist Party over the massacre.

In late 1991 the country declared independence. Armenia and Azerbaijan went to war over Nagorno Karabakh. This is now a frozen conflict.

The 1990s was a time of great upheaval. In 1994 Aliyev became president. He signed a truce with Armenia. The country suffered hyperinflation. He managed to right the economy. The country returned to stability.

In 2003 it was clear that Heydar Aliyev was terminally ill. In October he resigned the presidency and handed over to his son Ilham. In December Heydar died. He is interred at Honour Cemetery in Baku.

Ilham Aliyev has been re-elected several times.

The capital is Baku.

The currency is the Manat. This is derived from the Russian word for coin.

This is a resolutely secular country. Headscarves are not allowed for schoolgirls – no exceptions.

AZAL is the national airline.

The flag is blue, red and green horizontal bars from top to bottom. There is a nine pointed white star and crescent moon on the middle bar.

 

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  1. Which two continents could this country be said to be part of? Two marks.
  2.  This country is astride which mountain range?
  3. Which sea is this land beside?
  4. What is the capital city?
  5. What faith was the main one here before Islam?
  6. What is the main Muslim denomination here?
  7. Which three empires ruled this land?
  8. What was this country called that is also the name of another European country?
  9. Name the neighbours of Azerbaijan?
  10. What does Azerbaijan mean?
  11. Why might it have had that name?
  12. What is the name of the historic capital of Azerbaijan?
  13. Draw the flag. Five marks.
  14. What is the currency?
  15. What is the official language?
  16. What exclave is beside Turkey?
  17. What is the disputed area with Armenia?
  18. Who was the first secretary-general of the Azerbaijan CP?
  19. Who organized a bank robbery here before the First World War?
  20. Who was Shaumpanian? Three marks.
  21.  What happened at the Battle of Baku? Five marks.
  22. Who was the secretary-general of the Azerbaijan CP in the 1970s?
  23.  What is this country’s most important export?
  24. What is the name of the national airline?
  25. Which language is Azerbaijani most closely related to?
  26. Which country contains most of historic Azerbaijan?
  27. Who is the president of Azerbaijan?
  28. Which Swedish inventor lived in Baku?

 

should we welcome abortion in Ireland =================

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can we rejoice?

people are not people

some people switch off compassion.

I know good people who have done this.

I knew an elderly German. uxorious, loving grandfather etc…. was in SS. Do not know what he did.

people are multidimensional

judge people. we all have the right to judge

be honest about why you have abortion

woman in 20s married , plenty of money, married so husband could buy expensive clothes and be in the golf club

baby does not have a choice

embryos do not look like humans

if you are a foetus be worried. I am being flippant.

get your rosaries off my ovaries

catholic Ireland is gone. holy Ireland is gone

we were  a virtual theocracy for 50 years

no hope of repeal of new law. it will be widened/

 

 

Why did Germany almost have a communist revolution in 1919?

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In 1919 the First World War had just ended. The Weimar Republic had been founded in Germany in 1918. The republic was detested both by conservatives and communists. The country was polarised and therefore ripe for revolution.

There were several reasons why Germany almost had a communist revolution at this time. These were – suffering caused by the war, the lack of respect for the government, the example of Russia and the anti-democratic character of the German elite.

Germany had lost the First World War. The horrific suffering engendered by war made people furious. Many of them had lost faith in their government. The Allies kept up the blockade of Germany until the Treaty of Versailles was signed in June 1919. The blockade meant that many Germans were almost starving. Because they were malnourished and irate they were susceptible to communist propaganda. They sought a radical solution to their problems.

The old system of Imperial Germany seemed to have failed the working class. The Kaiser and his acolytes had started an unnecessary war in 1914. They had caused the deaths of millions of Germans and still lost. In October 1918 soldiers and sailors in Germany had mutinied. They had hoisted the red flag of communism.

Russia had had a communist revolution in October 1918. This inspired many Germans. They believed that in Russia a new state was being built that would advantage the working class. Germans who had been Prisoners of War in Russia during the war came home in 1918. They had been exposed to communist ideas. Many of them wanted to launch a communist revolution in Germany.

In January 1919 the Spartakists (communists) had attempted a communist revolution in Berlin. They had tried to overthrow the social democrat government headed by Friedrich Ebert. Ebert had asked the head of the army General Groener to defeat the Spartakists. Groener had done so. Groener used the Free Corps to help him. The Free Corps were right wing ex-soldiers.

The social democrats wanted some of the same things as the communists. They wanted to redistribute wealth. They wanted good public services paid for by high taxes. However, the social democrats believed they could accomplish their goals through peaceful and democratic means. Communists said that parliamentary methods were a sham. They rejected bourgeois legality because they said that reactionary elements in the army, the police, the courts and the civil service would thwart them. Communists said that armed revolution was the only way to bring about radical social change.

In conclusion, Germany came close to a communist revolution because of its social, economic and political conditions. A wave of revolution was sweeping Europe at the time. Communist revolution was only averted because the conservative elite joined forces with the social democrats to crush the communists.

 

 

 

Romania

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ROMANIA

Romania is a European country. It is in Eastern Europe. The neighbours of this nation are Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Moldova and the Ukraine.

Romania was inhabited by the Trac people in ancient times. Then the Dac people lived there. The Romans called this country Dacia. They conquered Dacia. The Roman poet Ovid was exiled to Tomis on the Black Sea. This city is in Romania.

The Roman Empire broke up. Romania became independent. The country split into several warring kingdoms. The Romanian language grew out of Latin. Hungary conquered Transylvania in the Middle Ages. Romanians followed Orthodox Christianity whereas the Hungarians were Catholics.

Tatars traded with the Romanians. The Tatars had enslaved Gypsies. Gypsy slaves were sold to Romanians. The aristocrats and monasteries owned people.

The Ottomans conquered Wallachia in the 15th century. Vlad Tepes fought them and drove them out. Wallachia, Dacia and Moldova were united in 1499. However, under renewed Ottoman assault this union fell apart. The whole of Romania was conquered by the Ottomans again. Some Romanians were taken as slaves.

The Ottomans brought some Turkish words into the Romanian language – chiftele, pantofi, ceai, ciorba and so on. The Ottomans did not attempt to convert the Romanians to the Mohammedan faith. The Ottomans demanded tax and recruits for the army.

In the 18th century the Hungarians defeated the Ottomans and drove them out of Transylvania. The Hungarians came to rule that province. The Russians beat the Ottomans in Moldova and pushed them out. The Ottomans still ruled Wallachia. An agreement was reached that a Christian prince must rule Wallachia on behalf of the Ottomans.

In 1848 there were revolutions across Europe. By that time Hungary was part of the Austrian Empire. Hungarian nationalists in Transylvania rebelled. Romanians helped the Austrians to put down the Hungarian uprising. The Romanians were a majority in that province.

In 1859 a major rebellion in Wallachia succeeded. Wallachia broke away from the Ottomans in all but a purely nominal sense. Romania acquired a ‘domnitor’ named Alexandru Ioan Cuza. Cuza was the ruler. Cuza abolished slavery. He was too liberal for some aristocrats. He was overthrown after a few years.

Wallachia searched for a new prince. They found one from a minor German princely family – Hohenzollern-Sigmarinen. Carol I came over from Germany to be Prince of Wallachia. It was felt that a proper country needed a monarchy.

Romanian copied much of the French legal code. France was the cultural leader in Europe. Many French words were borrowed by the Romanian language. The Romanian Flag – blue, yellow and red vertical bars – is based on the Tricolore. The country changed to the Latin alphabet

In 1878 Wallachia took advantage of the defeat of the Ottomans by Russia to proclaim her formal sovereignty. Prince Carol I became King Carol I. Wallachia renamed herself Romania. The country was a parliamentary democracy.

In 1914 the First World War broke out. Romania at first remained neutral under King Ferdinand. In 1916 Romania entered the war on the Allied side. She was soon whipped by the Germans, Austro-Hungarians, Bulgarians and Ottomans. Bucharest was captured by the Central Powers only four months after Romania had declared war.

In May 1918 the Treaty of Bucharest was signed. Romania had to pay crippling reparations. She was out of the war. In November 1918 the Central Powers were defeated by the Allies. The Treaty of Bucharest was declared null and void by the Central Powers and the Allies.

On 1 December 1918 the unification of Romania was proclaimed. This included what is now called the Republic of Moldova, some land in Bulgaria and Hungary.  This is the largest that Romania ever grew.

Ferdinand died. He was succeeded by Carol II. Carol II was a playboy. He abdicated in favour of his baby son Mihai. However, Carol II soon returned and resumed the throne.

Ultra nationalism grew. The League of the Archangel Michael wanted to persecute non Romanians and those who were not Orthodox Christians. The Crusade of Romanianism was another ultra nationalist party.

Romania was neutral at the outset of the Second World War. The Soviet Union threatened Romania into returning Bessarabia to them. Hungary was backed by Germany and demanded Transylvania back. Bulgaria got land back too. German troops demanded the right to be stationed in Romania. It was granted. They built Bucharest Airport. Romanian Jews were killed as part of the Holocaust.

In 1941 Germany invaded the Soviet Union. Romania joined on the German side. Romania regained land. However, in 1943 Romanian and German troops suffered a major reverse at Stalingrad. In 1944 the Red Army entered Romania. King Mihai ousted the dictator Ion Antonescu. The Romanian Army turned against Germany.

In 1945 the communist party became the dominant party. In 1947 the communists told Mihai to abdicate the crown or hundreds of hostages would be shot. He complied and left the country.

In 1948 the Communists became the sole legal party. Gheorghiu Dej ruled the nation. It was the Socialist Republic of Romania. The president died in 1965. He was succeeded by Ceausescu. This man had himself declared the Genius of the Carpathians. In 1989 his policies caused such malnutrition that he was overthrown and executed.

In the 1990s Romania adjusted to capitalism. Many people went abroad to work. The king returned but the monarchy was not restored.

Romania has the Danube flowing on its southern border. The Carpathians are the main mountain range. Moldoveanu Pic is the tallest mountain. The country has cold winters and hot summers. There are bears in the forests.

20 000 000 people live in Romania. The population is falling. There is a very low birth rate and half the young leave the nation.

Bucharest is the capital city. It contains the second largest building on earth – the House of the People.

Romanian is the official language. There are ethnic minorities such as Hungarians, Germans, Gypsies and Turks. Chinese and Nigerians have moved in too.

The last King of Romania died in 2017. With him perished any chance of the restoration of the monarchy.

 

 

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  1. What is the population of the country?
  2. Name an ethnic group here besides Romanians.
  3. Name the five neighbours of Romania. Five marks.
  4. Which country used to be part of Romania?
  5. What are the colours of the flag? Three marks.
  6. Which country did Romania copy in the late 19th century?
  7. Which empire ruled Romania from the 15th to the 19th century?
  8. Which country used to rule Hungary?
  9. What big river flows along Romania’s frontier?
  10. What is the main mountain range in Romania?
  11. What is the tallest mountain in the country?
  12. Who was the last king?
  13. Where did the royal family come from?
  14. What alphabet used to be used for the Romanian language?
  15. Is this country landlocked?
  16. Who was Alexandru Ioan Cuza?
  17. What is the southern part of Romania called?
  18. In what year was Romania first united?
  19. What did the Romans used to call this country?
  20. Who were the first people to live in Romania?
  21. Who was the last communist ruler of this country?
  22. Would you like to visit this land? Five marks.
  23. What is the population?