Syria – Castles and Ancient Ruins

Me and a guy from the hotel decided to head towards the Krak des Chevaliers castle and other ancients ruins just east of Hama. We arranged a driver to take us to these places. He couldn’t speak good English so it was difficult to know what we were looking at.

The Krak des Chevaliers castle is considered among the best preserved in the world. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Each of the photos are expandable.

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Newsweek – March 11th – Amazon Bans Holocaust “Denier” Books

My top news tweets from the past seven days. (Note: Images may not show up in Firefox)

The biggest news of the week is Amazon’s decision to ban a number of Holocaust revisionism books. Amazon has come under pressure from numerous Jewish groups. They finally caved under pressure.

Today Amazon, the huge, Seattle-based online book distributor, has removed from sale “dangerous” books authored by Dr. Arthur R. Butz of Northwestern University, Carlo Mattogno of Italy, and other eminent dissident scholars who dare to ask scientific and technical questions about the operation of alleged homicidal gas chambers in Auschwitz. These heretics have trespassed on the sacred liturgy of Holocaustianity and their troubling treatises must be forbidden so as to preserve the holiness of World War II dogma.
Amazon has been selling these and similar books for years, but in the past 20 months rabbis and the Yad Vashem “Holocaust” museum have pressured Amazon to remove these and cognate titles. Moreover, Amazon’s owner, Jeff Bezos, purchased the Washington Post and fashioned it into a beachhead of Left wing orthodoxy. The process may have politicized and neutralized his formerly Libertarian instincts.
Books advocating Satanism and sodomy, and denying the Allied holocaust against German civilians, and the Israeli holocaust against the Palestinians, continue to be sold by Amazon.
The censorship is conducted under the rubric of “fighting hatred” and “combatting anti-Semitism.” But this is just special pleading. Books evincing hatred for Germans, Arabs, Iranians and white southern “deplorables” are all on offer at Amazon, as are books denying that Jesus Christ rose from the dead. So it all depends on whose ox is being gored. As many of you know, there’s one sacred cow that is more equal than others. Its name is the Golden Calf.

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Syria – Hama

(Continued from “My Journey Through Syria in 2011 – Aleppo“)

I spent a few nights in Hama, arriving from Damascus by bus. Again the time period was May of 2011. I intended to stop here to take a day trip to the well-known Crac des Chevaliers castle just west of Hama. At the hotel there was just one other tourist, a young man from Japan. The hotel owner spoke fluent English and was really helpful in pointing out places of interest in the area. There were curfews after about 9 PM due to rising tensions. This was around the beginning of the disaster that would soon unfold over Syria. There were no violence, protests, or rallies in Hama at the time – just an atmosphere of concern. There had been skirmishes in Daraa, which is in the southwestern portion of the country, that had killed scores of people. The owner was more cautious about the events going on unlike the owner of the hotel in Aleppo where I stayed previously. The Aleppo hotel owner had little concern about rising tensions and just brushed it off as something temporary.

The town of Hama had a sad history. Back in 1982 the elder Assad, Hafez, ordered the army to come into Hama and take on the Muslim Brotherhood which was opposed to the government. It was a bloody battle that killed thousands of citizens and destroyed much of the historic city center. Some remnants still remain however:

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Newsweek – March 4th Edition

My top news tweets from the past seven days. (Note: Images may not show up in Firefox)

http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-39142260

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Palmyra Syria in 2011

Palmyra has (had) among the world’s greatest ruins of the Roman Empire. I stayed in Palmyra for three nights. This was in mid-May of 2011. I arrived from Hama. During my entire stay, I saw just one other foreign tourist, who was from Germany. I basically had Palmyra for myself. There was a lot of hiking as Palmyra was a large site. Most shots below were taken with a Nikon D300. I used a Bogen tripod for a lot of evening shots.

I stayed in this hotel while visiting Palmyra. It was right next to the sights. The town was small and seemed to be built specifically for the tourist industry, which had suffered since 9/11. Sadly, much of Palmyra now lies in ruins.

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May 14th, 2011 (images are clickable)

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