There are nearly 10 ‘Armstrongs’ who are well known for their excellence in various fields. Three most prominent ones are from America. From these, two Armstrongs brought fame and glory and the odd one disgrace and shame.
Let me start with Neil Armstrong the first man to walk on the moon, and who passed away on Aug. 25, 2012. He was an aerospace engineer, naval aviator, test pilot and university professor; and he will be remembered forever.
The other Armstrong who comes to my mind is Luis Armstrong, nicknamed Satchmo the great, who left this world on July 6, 1971. He was a jazz trumpeter and singer with an extraordinary voice, and no one could even imitate him. His ever green hit numbers ‘What a wonderful world’, ‘When the Saints go marching in’ and ‘Hello, Dolly’ are still haunting the jazz fans. However, there is one Armstrong I want to take off from my mind is also from America, who brought disgrace and shame. He is none other than Lance Armstrong who got the dubious honor of becoming the first ‘sportsman’ to face a bonfire in a town in Kent. He cheated his fellow competitors and the officials seven times in a row to win the Tour de France with his “drug power.”
In the meantime, I pay my tribute to many other good Armstrongs, who earned fame in the field of sports, literature and music, some of whom I still remember and they are; Kary Armstrong, Billie Joe Armstrong, Gay Armstrong, Dido Armstrong, B.J. Armstrong and Roland Armstrong but sorry, Lance Armstrong is no more in my book!
BBC playing with sentiments
The BBC’s report on alleged war crimes by Syrian rebels made an amazing read. The report was in reference of a video showing Syrian fighters murdering soldiers or pro-government militiamen. The BBC report’s labeling of the culprits as “Islamist militants” was malicious and calculating.
Rupert Colville, of the UN High Commission for Human Rights, said it appeared that the victims “were no longer combatants and therefore, at this point, it looks very like a war crime.” It was absurd of the UN to focus on one crime by a few individuals while turning a blind eye to the state sponsored war crimes by the Syrian government.
Over the last 18 months, more than 35,000 Syrians (most of whom were “non-combatants”) died as a result of the Syrian government’s clampdown on the opposition.
Bashar Al-Assad deployed Syria’s entire military might to suppress the public outrage and to uphold his dictatorship. He unleashed the country’s military arsenal and obliterated entire towns and cities using heavy artillery and air firepower by Soviet supplied MiG fighters and helicopters. He also used internationally banned cluster bombs on his own people with devastating effects on the final civilian death toll.
Numerous war crimes have been documented by the UN commission investigating War Crimes in Syria against Bashar’s regime and his militias (shabbiyha) including extra-judicial summary executions of entire families of his opponents.
Wanton destruction of civilian populated areas, the abduction and rape of women and the murder of children and the elderly are only a few of the atrocities being perpetrated by the Syrian government. Bashar has killed more Arabs and Muslims in one year than Israel managed to kill throughout its 60 years of war with the Palestinians and the Arab countries.
The carnage and devastation caused by the Jewish state through the years are dwarfed by Bashar’s animosity and savagery.
The UN’s silence on the Syrian government’s war crimes is deafening. The UN’s appeasement of tyrant Bashar and the stance it adopted toward his war crimes provided him with chance after chance to obliterate the opposition and to maintain the fraudulent rule of Al-Assad clan.
The sooner war criminals of the Syrian regime are referred to the International Criminal Court the quicker the Syrian people can depose Assad’s obnoxious regime and freely elect a new government that does not have peoples’ blood on its hands.