How to circumvent Turkey’s social media block

Access to several social media sites was blocked for over an hour in Turkey today during a reported military coup. Although internet traffic appears to be flowing normally again, Turkey’s government frequently responds to political events by blocking certain websites or throttling traffic. 

“We saw the throttling of connections from Turkey to Twitter and Facebook just after the reports of the coup in Turkey,” Doug Madory, the director of internet analysis at Dyn Research, told TechCrunch. “We did not see any problems with YouTube, but I have also seen others report problems accessing that website.” Livestreaming services like Twitter’s Periscope and Facebook Live appeared unaffected by the block. 

Overall, internet traffic in Turkey may have dropped by half, according to CloudFlare data. CloudFlare CEO Matthew Prince tweeted, “From CloudFlare data, appears there’s about a 50% drop in Internet traffic coming out of Turkey.”

Turkish censorship of social media has been relatively easy to circumvent in the past — users could use DNS services like Google Public DNS to evade the blocks. But Turkey has become more sophisticated in how it blocks its citizens from accessing social media, according to Madory.

How to circumvent Turkey’s social media block

“This time Turkey appears to be restricting bandwidth when accessing social media. This represents a more sophisticated censorship technique that is harder to detect,” Madory said. “Users should still be able to circumvent it using a VPN, but the average user in Turkey may still not have that technology readily available.”

Variations in online censorship techniques may be partially due to the fact that the Turkish government orders shutdowns but does not provide technical details to service providers about how to enforce them. Blocking techniques can vary between internet service providers and telecoms, according to the digital civil liberties organization Access Now. “We believe this is because the authorities order a shutdown, but to some degree it is left to the carriers to work out how exactly they will implement the block,” Peter Micek, global policy counsel at Access Now, told TechCrunch. Because Turkey primarily relies on DNS blocking, using a VPN is usually enough to circumvent the block, but other techniques might become necessary too. 

Turkey certainly isn’t the only nation with a history of cutting off access to social media in times of political upheaval — Egypt and Iran have blocked access in the past. Access Now advocates for internet access with its #KeepItOn campaign and has called on Turkey to restore internet access for its citizens. “People in Turkey will need access to information and,given the outbreak of violence, access to emergency services — all of which depend on stable communications channels,” Micek said. “To protect human rights, authorities should keep social media and the internet on.”

Here are a few techniques for getting around internet blocks during times of turmoil:
Install Tor

Tor, short for “The Onion Router,” is a service that bounces your traffic around a network of anonymous servers so that it’s difficult to track. It’s free and easy to install, but because of how it works, it can be very slow and isn’t recommended for things like streaming live video.

The easiest way to use Tor is by installing its browser bundle, which includes everything you need and is available for many operating systems.

On Android, Orbot and Orfox provide similar functionality, and are also free. 

Here is a guide to using Tor and Orbot, written in Turkish. 

Use a VPN

A Virtual Private Network routes your traffic through servers in other locations throughout the world, which is useful for getting around certain types of censorship or blockage. There are dozens of VPN providers, and TechCrunch doesn’t recommend any in particular — you may have to do a little research to find one that meets your needs and fits in your budget.

Some popular paid VPNs:
And free or ad-supported ones:
Hotspot Shield
VPNs are a popular resource for Turkish citizens trying to access social media during a blackout: Hotspot Shield reported a 322% growth in new installs in Turkey within the first 2 hours of the reported coup.

Change your DNS

Blocking can be done at the Domain Name System level, meaning the service many ISPs provide that connects a website name (like with an IP address (like Replacing your default DNS with another, like Google’s Public DNS or one from the OpenNIC project can get around this form of censorship.

Peer-to-peer messaging

Firechat is a good thing to have on your phone in case other messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Line go offline. Firechat forms a peer-to-peer network with nearby phones instead of using a central server, allowing people to communicate even when mobile services are being disrupted, whether by deliberate interference or something like a widespread power outage.
Just because one app is blocked doesn’t mean they all are. If Twitter is down, Tumblr may be up. If you can’t upload a video to YouTube, try DailyMotion or even put it in the public folder of your Dropbox.

This article originally appeared in : How to circumvent Turkey’s social media | by Kate Conger (@kateconger), Devin Coldewey

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Muslims in US protest coup attempt in Turkey

Muslims in US protest coup attempt in Turkey - Turkish Americans say they stand with democratically-elected government in Ankara

Hundreds of Turkish Americans alongside American Muslims converged on the white House on Friday to protest a coup attempt in Turkey.

Chanting slogans in support of Turkey’s democratically-elected government and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the group urged respect for democracy in the country.

“We are here to stand against the uprising against democracy in Turkey. We stand with our people of Turkey,” said Yasar Colak, President of the Diyanet Center of America that was inaugurated by Erdogan in April.

A minority group controlling some military assets, including helicopters and fighters jets, tried to wrest control of the country.

A helicopter controlled by coup plotters fired at civilians and threw bombs onto the grounds of the Parliament in Ankara.

Muslims in US protest coup attempt in Turkey

Colak said those responsible for bombing the Parliament will pay the consequences.

Muslims Americans with origins from Syria, Palestine, Egypt and other countries also joined the group.

Speaking to the press, Executive Director of Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) said he joined the group to send a message to the junta that he condemned any attempt to topple a democratically-elected government.

“This coup is not an assault only on democracy, it is an assault on national sovereignty of Turkey,” Nihad Awad said.

A similar scene played out in New York’s Time Square where hundreds of Turks were joined by Muslims from Egypt, Syria, Palestine, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan and Americans to protest the attempted overthrow of the government in Ankara.

The group waved Turkish flags while they chanted patriotic slogans in solidarity with Erdogan, and sang the Turkish national anthem.

"They use their guns not to protect their people, but to kill their people," Samy Ahmed, 31, an Egyptian graduate student at City University of New York told Anadolu Agency. "They tried to make a coup against the elected president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan," he said, adding "Alhamdulillah [All praise is due to God], all people who stand for freedom, democracy, social justice and human rights came here to support Turkey and stand behind it.”

Turkish national Ahmet Yigit, 28, who owns a consultancy firm focused on business and trade and condemned the coup, said he was shocked when he first heard.

"As a person who graduated from an American University, I see that people in the U.S. are trying to improve themselves by studying science. Those soldiers who attempted the coup have to change their mindset,” he said. “Turkey is the only safe haven in the Middle East, where there is bloodshed. We, the Turkish people who live abroad, are behind our government and nation," he added.

Forty-seven-year-old community activist Ibrahim Kurtulus, 47, read a prepared statement in front of the group of protesters and promoted democracy, the will of the people and called for the U.S. to stand with its NATO ally.

"We are against any kind of coup ... we feel the Turkish military has been hijacked ... [we] will not allow the freely elected government of Turkey to be taken over," he said.

Kurtulus called on the U.S. to stand with the elected government of people, and stressed "we firmly believe that the best foundation for lasting stability in our NATO ally of Turkey is a democratic political order."

He concluded by emphasizing that the voices of people who protest peacefully must be heard.

This article originally appeared in : Muslims in US protest coup attempt in Turkey | | Kasım İleri | 16.07.2016 

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Turkish president tells supporters government is in charge

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told the nation Saturday that his government is in charge after a coup attempt brought a night of explosions, air battles and gunfire across the capital that left dozens dead. The state-run news agency said more than 750 soldiers have been detained across the country.

However, fighting continued throughout the morning, with the sounds of huge blasts echoing across the capital, Ankara, and Istanbul, including at least one bomb that hit the parliament complex. Government officials said the coup appeared to have failed as Turks took to the streets overnight to confront troops attempting to take over the country.

Addressing supporters outside Istanbul Ataturk Airport on Saturday morning, Erdogan told the crowd assembled there: "They have pointed the people's guns against the people. The president, whom 52 percent of the people brought to power, is in charge. This government brought to power by the people is in charge. They won't succeed as long as we stand against them by risking everything."

Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said security forces have defeated coup plotters in several places, including police and government buildings, according to the state-run Anadolu news agency.

"There is no where they have they have proper control," Bozdag said. "God willing, they will be defeated in the remaining areas and those in the air will be brought down."

Turkey's Police Chief Celalettin Lekesiz says 16 coup plotters have been killed in clashes at Turkey's military police command. In comments carried by the state-run Anadolu Agency on Saturday, Lekesiz said 250 others in the military police command were arrested. The police chief said clashes at the command are continuing but "are about to come to an end."

Turkey's state-run news agency says Turkish military chief of staff Gen. Hulusi Akar has been rescued in an operation launched at an air base in the outskirts of Ankara. Anadolu Agency says the general is being taken to a safe location. Broadcaster CNN-Turk said Akar was taken hostage at the military's headquarters and transported by helicopter to the Akincilar Air Base. CNN-Turk said Akar would now take over the command of the operation against the coup plotters.

Earlier, Erdogan said the government was arresting coup supporters in the military and warned "they will pay a heavy price for their treason to Turkey," according to a transcript of his remarks provided by his office. "Those who stain the military's reputation must leave. The process has started today, and it will continue just as we fight other terrorist groups."

An official in the president's office says at least 60 people have been killed and more than 330 people have been arrested. The official spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to speak to the media.

In images broadcast on CNN-Turk, dozens of soldiers walked among tanks with their hand held up, surrendering to government forces on Istanbul's Bosporus Bridge. Discarded gear was strewn on the ground. People, some holding flags, climbed onto the tanks.

Anadolu reported that 754 members of Turkey's armed forces have been detained across the country. At the Etimesgut armored units training command, in the outskirts of Ankara, some soldiers who took part in the attempted coup were arrested by fellow officers or soldiers and handed over to police, the agency reported.

Erdogan, who said his general secretary had been abducted by the coup plotters, flew into Ataturk airport early Saturday and was greeted by large crowds. Hours earlier, as the coup attempt got underway, his office declined to say where he was, and he was forced to give an interview over FaceTime to a television station.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim has called all legislators for an emergency meeting Saturday, Anadolu reported.

The chaos capped a period of political turmoil in Turkey which critics blamed on Erdogan's increasingly authoritarian rule, which has included a government shake-up, a crackdown on dissidents and opposition media and renewed conflict in the mainly Kurdish areas of the southeast.

Turkey, a NATO member, is a key partner in U.S.-led efforts to defeat the Islamic State group, and has allowed American jets to use its Incirlik air base to fly missions against the extremists in nearby Syria and Iraq. A coup against the democratically elected government could make it difficult for the United States to continue to cooperate with Turkey.

U.S. President Barack Obama urged all sides in Turkey to support the democratically elected government. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said he spoke to Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and called for respect for democracy.

The coup attempt began late Friday, with a statement from the military saying it had seized control "to reinstall the constitutional order, democracy, human rights and freedoms, to ensure that the rule of law once again reigns in the country, for law and order to be reinstated."

Fighter jets buzzed overhead, gunfire erupted outside military headquarters and vehicles blocked two major bridges in Istanbul. Soldiers backed by tanks blocked entry to Istanbul's airport for a couple of hours before being overtaken by pro-government crowds carrying Turkish flags, according to footage broadcast by the Dogan news agency.

But the military did not appear unified, with top commanders taking to television to condemn the action and order troops back to their barracks.

"Those who are attempting a coup will not succeed. Our people should know that we will overcome this," Gen. Zekai Aksakalli, the commander of the military special forces, told the private NTV television by telephone.

Fighter jets under the control of loyalist forces were flying over the capital to strike at helicopters flown by coup supporters, the Anadolu news agency said. NTV reported that one helicopter was shot down. Gunfire and explosions rang out.

Erdogan called on Turks to take to the streets across the country, and many did, marching through the streets of Izmir and Istanbul, waving Turkish flags and gathering in the main square in Ankara. The Dogan news agency reported that soldiers fired on a group of people trying to cross the Bosporus bridge to protest the attempted coup, and that some people have been hurt. TV footage showed people running for cover amid gunfire.

Troops also fired in the air to disperse a growing crowd of government supporters at the Taksim monument in Istanbul as military helicopters flew overhead. A nearby mosque made an anti-coup announcement over its loudspeakers. Several blasts and the screech of fighter jets were heard in central Istanbul as dawn approached.

At least 42 people were killed in the capital, NTV quoted the prosecutor's office as saying. Parliament Speaker Ismail Kahraman said a bomb hit one corner of a public relations building inside the parliament complex, injuring some police officers. Turkish media broadcast images of plaster and debris strewn on the ground there.

Special forces police appear to be deployed in the grounds of the parliament complex, just across the street from the military headquarters.

In Istanbul, an official at Haydarpasa Numune Hospital said at least 150 people were admitted with wounds but would not comment on whether there were fatalities. NTV reported six dead had been brought to that hospital. An official at Istanbul's Sisli Hamidiye Etfal Training and Research Hospital said they had also received dead and wounded. Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not allowed to comment publicly.

In his TV address, Erdogan blamed the attack on supporters of Fethullah Gulen.

Erdogan has long accused the cleric and his supporters of attempting to overthrow the government. The cleric lives in exile in Pennsylvania and promotes a philosophy that blends a mystical form of Islam with staunch advocacy of democracy, education, science and interfaith dialogue.

By Saturday morning, a top Turkish official said the coup attempt appeared to have been repelled. The senior official told The Associated Press that all government officials were in charge of their offices. The official requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

As the crisis unfolded, there were reports that access to popular social media sites like Twitter and Facebook had been blocked within the country. Facebook declined comment, but Twitter said it suspected "intentional" interference with its service. 

( Associated Press / Soguel reported from Istanbul. Emrah Gurel and Cinar Kiper also contributed from Istanbul. )

READ MORE - Turkish president tells supporters government is in charge

Turkey coup attempt, warplanes flying over Ankara, Istanbul

Turkey coup attempt, warplanes flying over Ankara, Istanbul - War planes were seen flying over the Turkish capital of Ankara and Turkey's most populous city Istanbul Saturday, following a military coup attempt in the country.

Xinhua reporters saw warplanes such as F-16 fighters and military helicopters flying over head and heard sounds of guns and suspected warplane bombing.

Meanwhile, three warplanes were seen flying over Taksim area in central Istanbul and huge explosions were heard.

A military statement on Turkish media said Friday the armed forces have fully seized power in the country but President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said early Saturday the coup attempt has failed, urging people to protect democracy.

According to the military statement, reported on NTV, the military move was made to restore the constitutional order, democracy, human rights, freedom and rule of law.

The statement said that all our international agreements and commitments is continue to be kept valid.

Turkey coup attempt, warplanes flying over Ankara, Istanbul


"We hope that our good relations with all countries of the world will be continued," the statement said.

President Erdogan's office website said he is safe and and that a coup attempt by a small group of soldiers was "unsuccessful."

In his appearance on CNNTurk via a reporter's mobile phone, Erdogan urged people to take to the streets to protect "democracy."

"This is an act encouraged by the parallel structure." he said. "I believe that this act will have the necessary punishment that will be given by our nation."

The president was referring to the movement led by U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gulen, who has been accused of running a parallel state and trying to topple the Turkish government.

"I will be at the squares as well either in Istanbul or Ankara, " Erdogan said in remarks delivered later on NTV.

Shortly after Erdogan's statement, soldiers started leaving the Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, while some Turks walk toward the airport, the Hurriyet daily said.

It said supporters of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan are among the throng gathering there.

Reports earlier said that tanks were sent to the airport, where all flights were canceled. ( Antara )

READ MORE - Turkey coup attempt, warplanes flying over Ankara, Istanbul

Danger! Chemicals Inside! Call 911

Hollywood suicide points to chemical danger – The suicide of a young woman in the Hollywood Hills might have seemed just another sad Tinseltown story but for large notes plastered on the window of the car in which she died: "Danger! Chemicals Inside! Call 911."

Police and coroner's investigators had seen this before — three or four times in the past year — and they knew the danger was real to them and the neighborhood. Had the chemical cloud escaped from the car with people nearby, many others could have died, according to authorities. An evacuation of residents was contemplated but never carried out.

Equally troubling was the fact that directions for the chemical suicide method, first publicized in Japan, were obtained from an easily accessible website through which the woman formed a suicide pact with a stranger who backed out at the last minute.

Police Detective Kevin Becker said 23-year-old Ana Gutierrez, an unemployed resident of suburban Culver City, had formed an online friendship with the man in a suicide chat room.

"She had financial problems and couldn't find work. Both of them had some issues and they decided it was time to go," Becker said.

From information provided by the man, whom Becker refused to identify, the two decided to use a method described on the suicide site. It involved mixing chemicals into a toxic brew that when released would kill anyone in the vicinity instantly.

"I've seen plenty of suicides but not like this," said Becker, who went to the scene on the morning of May 23.

Someone who had seen this sort of thing before was Los Angeles County coroner's spokesman Ed Winter, who also went to the upscale neighborhood not far from the Hollywood Bowl.

"That was our third or fourth one in 12 to 15 months," Winter said. "They originally popped up overseas. The most publicized one was in Japan where a porn star posted that she was going to do it and she did."

Winter said his office has been aware of the website, which gives instructions for a mixture of chemicals including hydrogen sulfide, which was used in the Hollywood case. He said the mixture is incredibly lethal.

"One big breath, and boom. That's it," Winter said.

He said there were about six bottles of chemicals in the car where the woman was found.

For officers working the case, it brought back memories of a 2009 incident in Pasadena. A shopping center was evacuated after a 23-year-old man carried out a similar suicide, posting notes on the outside of a car with a skull and crossbones warning of chemical dangers. In that case, the car was locked in 100-degree heat but there were no injuries to officers who wore protective gear to open it.

Winter said coroner's investigators have learned of about 35 cases nationwide in the past two years of people killing themselves in a similar way. The common link is the use of lethal chemicals in an enclosed space, usually a car, and the signs posted to warn that there is a potential for a larger catastrophe if the poisons are released into the area.

While most suicides affect only the deceased and their families, these cases have the potential to kill strangers.

According to Becker's reconstruction of the incident, Gutierrez and the man met up in Hollywood, had some food and quite a bit of alcohol.

"He told us he couldn't hold his liquor and he got sick," said Becker. "He got out of the car and stumbled away. No way would he have been alive if he had stayed in the car."

Becker said the man wandered away, then came back later to check on the woman and found her dead. He walked to a nearby hotel and called 911. Becker said the man mentioned the notes on the car referring to a chemical, and police raced to the scene followed by a Fire Department hazardous materials crew in protective suits.

"Coincidentally, the hazmat officers had done a training exercise on chemical suicides the week before," he said. "If they didn't know about it, the officers could have been injured." And if anyone had opened the door while the chemical was active, he said they could have been killed.

As it turned out, the door was open and the woman had fallen out on the passenger side of the car, he said. By the time authorities arrived, the fumes were dissipating.

"This is a do-it-yourself method," Becker said. "It forms a toxic cloud." Once released from the enclosed space, it dissipates quickly, he said.

Police and fire officials cordoned off the area around the scene for several hours and warned residents about a possible evacuation, but it wasn't necessary.

"It was very unnerving," said Mike Chessler, a TV writer who lives near where the car was parked. "I looked outside and saw a police car blocking my garage and the body was lying across the street between the car and the curb. And then there were suddenly so many people here."

Chessler said he suspected the woman and man might have been the same people he saw about a month earlier sitting on a curb across the street from his home.

Becker said he didn't know why they chose the location. The case remains under investigation, he said, and the woman's distraught parents were being interviewed.

FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said the bureau has been made aware of the Hollywood incident but has no direct involvement.

"We collect intelligence on these incidents, clearly because of the potential for criminal or terrorist uses," she said.

Attorney Douglas Mirell, who has handled cases involving Internet crimes, said the only way for someone to try to shut down the website would be to find the internet service provider for the website and investigate whether the website operator is violating the ISP's terms of service contract.

The website operators, however, may be protected from prosecution because they are neither encouraging nor discouraging suicide. Nor are they selling the ingredients for the chemical mixture. ( Associated Press )

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Should we call the cosmos seeking ET? Or is that risky?

Should we call the cosmos seeking ET? Or is that risky? — Astronomers have their own version of the single person's dilemma: Do you wait by the phone for a call from that certain someone? Or do you make the call yourself and risk getting shot down?

Instead of love, of course, astronomers are looking for alien life, and for decades, they have sat by their telescopes, waiting to hear from E.T. It didn't happen, and so now some of them want to beam messages out into the void and invite the closest few thousand worlds to chat or even visit.

Others scientists, including Stephen Hawking, think that's crazy, warning that instead of sweet and gentle E.T., we may get something like the planet-conquering aliens from "Independence Day." The consequences, they say, could be catastrophic.

Should we call the cosmos seeking ET? Or is that risky?
This undated handout image provided by NASA shows a message carrying Golden Record that Voyager carried, a phonograph record-a 12-inch gold-plated copper disk containing sounds and images selected to portray the diversity of life and culture on Earth. Astronomers have their own cosmic version of the single person’s Valentine’s Day dilemma: Do you wait for that interesting person to call you or do you make the call yourself and risk getting shot down. Their version involves E.T. Instead of love, astronomers are looking for life out there in the universe. For decades, astronomers have sat by their telescopes, listened and waited for a call from E.T. only to be left alone. So now some of them want to aim their best radars and lasers out to the sky to say “We’re here, call us” to the closest few thousand worlds. They can bring us all sorts of new technologies and answers to burning questions, some hope. (AP Photo/NASA)

But calling out there ourselves may be the only way to find out if we are not alone, and humanity may benefit from alien intelligence, said Douglas A. Vakoch, whose title — for real — is director of interstellar message composition at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California. SETI stands for Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, and until now it's been mostly a listening-type thing.

This dispute — which mixes astronomy, science fiction, philosophy, the law, mathematics and a touch of silliness — broke out Thursday and Friday at a convention in San Jose of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

And this week several prominent space experts, including Space X founder Elon Musk and planet hunter Geoff Marcy, started a petition cautioning against sending out such messages, saying it is impossible to predict whether extraterrestrial life will be benign or hostile.

Vakoch is hosting a separate conference Saturday at the SETI Institute on the calling-all-aliens proposal and what the messages should say.

The idea is called active SETI, and according to Vakoch would involve the beaming of messages via radar and perhaps eventually lasers.

We've been inadvertently sending radio and TV signals out to the cosmos for some 70 years — though less now, with cable and satellite sending shows directly down to Earth. In fact, each day a new far-off planet may be just now catching the latest episode of the 1950s sitcom "I Love Lucy," said astronomer Seth Shostak, a senior astronomer at the SETI Institute.

There have been a few small and unlikely-to-work efforts to beam messages out there in the past, including NASA sending the Beatles song "Across the Universe" into the cosmos in 2008. NASA's Voyager probe recently left the solar system with a "golden record" created by Carl Sagan with a message, and the space agency's New Horizon probe will also have greetings on it by the time it exits the solar system.

But what scientists are now talking about is a coordinated and sustained million-dollar-a-year effort with approval from some kind of science or international body and a message that people agree on.

It's an "attempt to join the galactic club," Vakoch said. He assured a crowd of reporters: "There's no danger of alien invasion from active SETI."

But as a science fiction author, as well as an astrophysicist, David Brin thinks inviting aliens here is a bad idea. Even if there is a low risk of a nasty creature coming, the consequences could be extreme.

"I can't bring myself to wager my grandchildren's destiny on unreliable assumptions" about benevolent aliens, Brin said.

Brin noted that European explorers brought slaughter and disease to less technologically advanced people in the Americas more than 500 years ago. He called for the science community to put efforts on hold for an ethical and scientific discussion on "why it won't go the same way as between Cortez and the Aztecs."

As Brin, Shostak, Vakoch and others sparred at a news conference, 84-year-old Frank Drake sat in the back quietly. Drake, a pioneer in the search for extraterrestrial life, created the formula called Drake's Equation that scientists use to estimate the chances that other life is out there. More than 40 years ago, Drake and Sagan beamed a message into space to look for aliens, a first for Earth.

It was a short message from the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, and it was aimed at a star cluster called Messier 13. It will take 25,000 years to get there, Drake said.

"The probability of succeeding is infinitesimally small," Drake said, rolling out calculations about the incredible amount of time it takes messages to go back and forth and his estimate that the average civilization will last only 10,000 years.

So why'd he do it? Curiosity, Drake said. And it doesn't matter if our civilization is gone by the time E.T. answers, if he does.

"We get messages from the ancient Greeks and Romans and Socrates all the time, long since gone. Still valuable," Drake said. "We're going to do the archaeology of the future."
This article originally appeared in : Should we call the cosmos seeking ET? Or is that risky? | Associated Press | By SETH BORENSTEIN | February 13, 2015 2:25 PM

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Persaingan Antara Amerika dan Perancis Dalam Memerangi Islam?

Mali negara Afrika barat yang berpenduduk 15 juta orang ini adalah negara kedelapan yang rakyatnya dibom dan dibunuh oleh kekuatan Barat setelah Irak , Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yaman, Libya, Somalia, dan Filipina. Belum termasuk berapa banyak tiran yang didukung oleh negara Barat di kawasan itu. Invasi ini semakin mengokohkan perang kolonial Barat terhadap dunia Islam.

Invasi ini sekali lagi membuktikan Dewan Keamanan PBB sekedar menjadi alat politik negara-negara Barat. Dewan Keamanan PBB Dewan Keamanan PBB pada Kamis (20/12/2012) dengan suara bulat telah menyetujui rencana intervensi militer di Mali dengan dalih yang menyesatkan yaitu “menyatukan kembali negara Afrika Utara yang berperang.”

Negara-negara Afrika Barat ingin mengirim pasukan berkekuatan 3.300 personil untuk mengusir kelompok-kelompok bersenjata yang memasuki wilayah gurun yang luas dan menerapkan hukum Islamsetelah terjadinya kudeta militer di Bamako Maret yang menciptakan kekosongan kekuasaan di negara itu.

Persaingan Antara Amerika dan Perancis Dalam Memerangi Islam?

Rencana untuk intervensi militer, awalnya disepakati oleh Masyarakat ekonomi Negara Afrika Barat (ECOWAS) dan tidak akan melibatkan intervensi langsung pasukan Barat. Resolusi diperkenalkan oleh Perancis – yang sebelumnya menjajah Mali – hingga disetujui oleh 15 anggota DK.

Namun Perancis mengambil inisiatif menyerang Mali tanpa legitimasi PBB. Sekjen PBB mengeluarkan dukungan justru setelah Perancis menyerang. Perserikatan Bangsa Bangsa (PBB) setuju dengan intervensi militer Prancis di Mali. Sekjen PBB, Ban Ki-moon, mengatakan aksi tersebut mendapat dukungan internasional dalam pernyataannya di Markas PBB, Senin (14/1), dan dilansir Reuters, Selasa (15/1).

Dalam membenarkan serangan militer ini, Perancis, Inggris dan negara Barat lainnya sekali lagi menggunakan label memerangi ‘terorisme’ dan melindungi rakyat Mali. Untuk mendapatkan simpati dari masyarakat Barat, media telah menekankan aspek ‘Islamis’ dari oposisi yang ingin menegakkansyariah Islam.

Mencegah Berdirinya Negara Islam ?

Ada kemungkinan beberapa motif kenapa Perancis menyerang Mali. Pertama adalah kekhawatiran Mali menjadi sebuah negara Islam. Satu hal yang sangat ditakuti Barat selama ini adalah berdirinya negaraIslam terutama daulah Khilafah Islam yang menerapkan syariat Islam dan menolak segala bentuk intervensi Barat.

Ketika Presiden Amadou Toumani Toure dilengserkan dari posisinya oleh seorang kader militer pada pertengahan Maret, Gerakan Nasional Bagi Pembebasan Azawad (MNLA) dan Gerakan Kesatuan andjihad di Afrika Barat (MUJWA) menguasai wilayah utara dan kota-kotanya termasuk Gao dan Timbuktu. Para mujahidin Mali bertekad untuk meraih kemenangan dan menerapkan syariah Islam.

Nicolas Sarkozy saat masih menjadi presiden Perancis telah memperingatkan tentang ancaman ini. Pada pada hari Jumat (13/4) dia menyerukan pentingnya melakukan segala upaya guna mencegah berdirinya sebuah negara yang dia sebut sebagai teroris atau Islam di wilayah pantai di Afrika Utara. Hal ini menyusul dominasi pemberontak Tuareg dan pejuang Islam di Mali utara. Saat itu dia telah mengingatkan kemungkinan Perancis melakukan intervensi.

Tampaknya presiden Perancis saat ini melanjutkan kebijakan dari Sarkozy yang dikenal sangat anti Islam. Sebutan teroris memang kerap kali dilabelkan oleh Barat untuk siapapun yang menolak penjajahan Barat dan menginginkan tegaknya syariah Islam. Terorisme kemudian menjadi label sakti untuk membenarkan apapun tindakan Barat meskipun melanggar hukum internasional yang mereka buat sendiri.

Warning Terhadap Mujahidin Suriah ?

Invasi Perancis ini juga bisa jadi merupakan warning bagi negeri-negeri Islam lainnya yang ingin menegakkan negara Islam apalagi Khilafah. Bahwa Barat akan melakukan intervensi mencegah hal keinginan mulia umat Islam ini.

Gelombang keinginan mendirikan negara Islam yang menerapkan syariah Islam secara menyeluruh memang sangat mengkhawatirkan Barat. Terutama melihat kondidi terkini Suriah sekarang. Semakin menguatnya pasukan mujahidin dan melemahnya rezim Assad menjadi ketakutan Barat.

Berbeda dengan Tunisia, Mesir, ataupun Yaman,hingga saat ini Barat belum mendapatkan penggganti yang legitimed untuk rezim bengis Assad yang kemudian tetap dibawah control Barat. Tidak hanya itu, para mujahidin yang dekat dengan masyarakat Suriah dan menjadi ujung tombak perlawanan terhadap Assad, dengan tegas menolak intervensi Barat, tawaran demokrasi meskipun dengan istilah negara madani (negara sipil). Para mujahidin dengan tegas akan menegakkan Khilafah Islam, membebaskan Al Quds dari penjajah Israel, menyelamatkan muslim Rohingnya dan negeri-negeri Islam lainnya.

Namun, Barat harus berpikir beribu kali kalau hendak menyerang Suriah kalau atas izin Allah SWT Khilafah akan tegak di sana. Rakyat Suriah bersama umat Islam dari negeri-negeri Islam lainnya akan bersatu melakukan jihad melawan intervensi penjajah. jihad yang dilakukan dan didukung oleh mayoritas rakyat Suriah, bukan hanya satu atau dua kelompok.

Menghadapi kelompok-kelompok mujahidin di Irak dan Afghanistan, saja Barat sudah kesulitan, apalagi menghadapi rakyat Suriah dalam perang semesta (total) melawan penjajah Barat. Disamping itu,amerika dan Eropa akan berpikir keras , mengingat intervensi militer pastilah membutuhkan dana yang besar. Sementara saat ini kondisi ekonomi mereka sedang dalam kesulitan.

Persaingan Amerika dan Perancis ?

Aroma persaingan amerika dan Perancis juga tampak dalam invasi ini sangat kental. Perancis tampaknya tidak ingin melepaskan Mali dari cengkramannya setelah selama ini benar-benar mengkontrol negara ini. Sementara amerika , mulai berusaha menanamkan pengaruhnya dengan mendukung kudeta militerterhadap Presiden Amadou Toumani Toure yang didukung oleh Perancis.

Dalam Soal Jawab tentang kudeta militer di Mali yang dikeluarkan Hizbut Tahrir (24 Maret 2012 M) dijelaskan bagaimana amerika belakangan mulai berkerja memperluas pengaruhnya di Mali dengan menggelar perjanjian dengan Mali untuk melatih militer Mali dengan dalih memerangi terorisme.militerMali memilih para perwira dan mengirim mereka ke amerika untuk mengikuti pelatihan.

Laman al-‘Ashru (24/3/2012) mengutip dari diplomat amerika yang meminta tak disebutkan namanya menyatakan: “pemimpin kudeta Kapten Amadou “Ahmadou“ Haya Sanogo dahulu dipilih diantara sekelompok perwira oleh kedutaan amerika untuk mendapat pelatihan militer untuk memerangi terorisme dan pelatihan itu bertempat di amerika Serikat“. Ia menambahkan bahwa “Sanogo beberapa kali pergi ke amerika dalam tugas-tugas khusus …“.

Sementara Perancis tidak mendukung kudeta itu. Prancis membekukan kerjasama politik, militer dan ekonominya dengan Mali. Begitu juga bantuan-bantuannya kepada Mali. Sebaliknya amerika bertindak sebaliknya. Juru bicara kemenlu AS Victoria Nuland menegaskan negaranya tidak mengambil keputusan membekuan bantuan-bantuan amerika ke Mali“ (Aljazeera, 23/4/2012). Bantuan amerika ke Mali mencapai 137 juta dolar per tahun.

Hal ini menunjukkan Amerikalah yang berada di balik kudeta militer yang terjadi di Mali. Tujuannya untuk menanamkan dan memperluas pengaruhnya di negeri Islam Mali itu. Negara Paman Sam ini berusaha menggantikan pengaruh Prancis sebagai penjajah lama Mali. Untuk itu amerika ingin menunda pemilu mendatang di Mali sebab lingkungan politik yang ada masih loyal ke Prancis. Melalui kudeta ini amerika membalik meja permainan atas para pemain dari antek-antek Prancis yang sangat memahami permainan sesuai politik Prancis.

Begitulah Mali menjadi terikat dengan amerika,melalui gerakan “militer“. Lingkungan politik lama yang dibangun Prancis sulit untuk menguasai situasi baru. Paling jauh yang mungkin terjadi adalah partisipasi yang tidak efektif di pemerintahan baru di bawah pengaruh amerika.

Invasi langsung terhadap Mali, adalah cara Prancis untuk mempertahankan pengaruhnya. Tanpa melalui persetujuan dewan keamanan PBB, negara ini langsung melakukan invasi. Setelah serangan, baru DK PBB menggelar pertemuan darurat atas permintaan Prancis pada Senin (14/1) di New York. Dubes Prancis untuk PBB Gerard Araud mengatakan pemerintahnya mendapat “dukungan dan pengertian” dari 14 anggota Dewan Keamanan PBB lain.

Prancis sebelumnya telah mengirim 550 tentara ke kota Mopti dan Bamako, dan setelah pekan lalu menurut seorang sumber Kementrian Pertahanan negara mode itu kepada kantor berita Reuters, jumlah kiriman pasukan kemungkinan akan bertambah menjadi 2.500 dalam beberapa hari.

Negeri Islam yang Kaya

Mali adalah negeri Islam, lebih dari 90 % penduduknya muslim dan telah masuk Islam sejak ratusan tahun lalu. Pada akhir abad ke-19 penjajah Prancis menduduki Mali dan mengumumkan penggabungannya ke Prancis pada tahun 1904. Prancis memberikan kemerdekaan formalistik pada tahun 1960. Mali adalah negeri yang kaya bahan tambang berupa emas, phospat, kaolin, bauksit, besi, uranium dan banyak lainnya. Tidak mengherankan kalau Eropa khususnya Perancis dan amerika saling berebut kekayaan alam Mali.

Perancis sendiri sangat membutuhkan Mali, sebagai negara penghasil uranium di Afrika Barat. Dua pertiga listrik Prancis berasal dari tenaga nuklir, memerlukan impor uranium yang signifikan dari negara tetangga Niger. Sebagai produsen emas ketiga terbesar di Afrika Mali juga sangat menggiurkan.

Begitulah negeri Islam menjadi rampasan penjajah yang rakut. Semua itu tidak lain karena kaum muslimin terpecah belah, diperintah dengan selain Islam. Para penguasanya tidak memelihara urusan-urusan masyarakat, sebaliknya para penguasa kaum Muslimin itu justru memuluskan kepentingan-kepentingan kaum kafir penjajah. Sekali lagi disinilah relevansi perjuangan Hizbut Tahrir untuk mewujudkan kembali Khilafah untuk seluruh dunia Islam, yang menyatukan dan melindungi negeri Islamdari kebuasan penjajah Barat.(ts/Farid Wajdji/judul asli: Dibalik Invasi Militer Perancis ke Mali/ Januari 2013 namun masih relevan dengan kekinian)

This article originally appeared in : Jangan Lupakan Kejahatan Perancis di Mali, Negeri Islam Kaya Yang Dijajah | | Redaksi | Minggu, 15 November 2015 10:30 WIB

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