What I’m Thankful For

I’m taking a little time off for the holiday. The clan is gathering and I’m looking forward to it. The older son is coming in but my younger son won’t make it because as a resident, he’s not as free to come and go. Oh well.

Anyway, I hope you all enjoy gathering with friends and family as well. Give a hug or a kiss to whomever you want, letting them know how much they mean to you. You may not see them again next year.

As for myself, I’m very grateful for all you. You’ve made this blog one of the biggest and most widely-read in the Orthodox blogosphere. More importantly, I feel that I’ve come to know many of you as well. I think of you as my friends, I hope you feel the same way about me.

God bless you all.


  1. To ALL, I promise this WILL be my last post. I just want to clear the air,(if anyone cares) why I am leaving so that there is no confusion. M. Stankovich made it very clear to me that what I write, and what I am trying to convey is not always the same. I both love and hate you, M. Stankovich.(mostly love) Estonian, made it clear that words matter, I agree. Gail believes you are all a distraction, and believes I need a break to check myself, and am overwhelmed by Monomakhos. Not true, Gail, but I love you for your compassion, and love that only a true good woman could bring here. You are a blessing to Monomakhos, and I’m sure all that have known you. Misha is a good soul deep down inside, but he also has a little devil on his shoulder that eggs me on. Brian, is the angel on my shoulder. Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald,the door to my misguided, and sinful hate for many in Hierarchy. Peter Millman, is my anger, and reminds ME to calm down. Peter also asked me to be his Spiritual Father, in jest, but finds my words, inspiring to him, how can I NOT love him! BUT, George is the one I identify with the most, in a Christ like manner he let’s the chips fall where they may. Like our Lord’s example, he allows us to make fools of ourselves, and fall into sin, but also allow us to repent, and ask forgiveness. He also gives us a great stage to those who have great spiritually motivating words to share. George rarely judges us, and simply let’s it ride to hopefully a Christian like ending, and return. We ask a lot from George, we should give him a break. Imagine the weight he must feel, what he should or should not allow on his blog. I would not want that responsibility. We should all be thankful for George, and the endless hours he puts into this blog, and what it takes away from him spiritually, mentally and physically. I believe he does it for the right reason, with love and care for us all, and I love him and respect him for that. George, you know where I live and are always welcomed in my home, with my family. Patrioti, your Philotimon is true! O Theos na se Poteasi!

    Now, finally, the main reason I am leaving this blog, is because after the last year and a half or so here on Monomakhos, I have seen you all not only as brothers and sister in Christ, but as friends. I have shared many personal things about my life, my family history, and opinions that I have only shared with close friends, and relatives in the offline world. So because I care about you all, and love you all, and though we believe we know each other. We really don’t in reality, at least I don’t. I don’t want to be responsible in harming any of you with my words that intentionally or not, come out of my mouth. My last conversation with M. Stankovich, made that very clear to me, and words DO matter. In my lust to BE HEARD, I could not forgive myself if any of you were seriously hurt mentally, spiritually, and/or physically, because of my vanity.

    On this Thanksgiving Day, 2017, I give thanks that I have somewhat known you all, and you are all always in my prayers. I hope and pray that we will meet again, at the most festive banquet, and grand table of all, with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

    In Christ’s Love,

  2. Awh, if everybody would just chill a bit the tryptophan would kick in and we’d be back to wet noses and shiny coats.

    No autopsy, no foul. That’s my standard. But play as you have the gumption to do so. George will referee and censor/edit whatever he needs to keep law enforcement at bay. We all take the whole thing a little too seriously because at the end of the day we’re just a little colony of fleas on the back of a big dog debating which way he should wag his tail without any recourse.

    It really isn’t all that significant. It just seems that way because, perhaps, we are getting something from the interaction.

  3. How many of those who refuse to celebrate Thanskgiving on account of Advent ignore lent fasting at their Greek Parade celebrations? They should read Michelle Malkin’s Defense of Internment, for what a rightwards court awaits despite what lefist attorneys tell them, for their visas and citizenships were clearly under false pretenses:

  4. Deepstate Orthogoguery says

    VE is right. Russian aspergianism mythologizes American love of Russia and ignores how Americans always saw them as the Magog, Devil’s Grandchildren. William Lee Miller shows Lincoln despised Russia. Thomas Andrew Bailey showed Russian ships went to Union ports to escape capture for criminal acts, not to support the Union. Now, Spiritual Security (Daniel P. Payne, Journal of Church and State, Vol. 52, No. 4) shows how all Orthodox, Russian, Greek or Syrian are seen as suspect by the American Deep State. “In order to be a world superpower once again, Russia needs an instrument that will serve as the unifying cultural factor in its self-identity. That instrument is the ROC.” And Payne is a Graduate of the Greek Seminary, Holy Cross!

  5. M. Stankovich says

    Please forgive me for moving the topic related to Saunca’s friend here after the thread exhausted itself, but I am struck by three prominent themes that have emerged: 1) the discomfort, unreasonableness, and even outrage at the very ideal of male celibacy, of sexual abstinence, and the call for purity & “chastity”; 2) what seems to be this absolute imposition instilled by the reparative therapy movement that healing and reconciliation of homosexuals to the Church must include a return to heterosexual orientation – and for the radical reparative therapy creeps & charlatans, like Nicolosi and NARTH, this must include heterosexual marriage and children; 3) and what seems to me a particularly cynical conclusion that relies upon acceptance of the first two themes, that male sexual abstinence and purity is so preposterous, so impossible, and so unreasonable that failure and regression into homosexual “bouts” of impurity – or male infidelity in general (including pornography) – is common, normative, and to be expected. The notable “human” exception, of course, is if a woman attempts to exercise the same prerogative, whereupon every smartphone of the pious male defender of this ego-compromised filth lights up with the identical ringtone. What was that phrase you like, Mr. Michalopulos, “Sauce for the goose…” It seems to me, however, that Saunca’s concerns are not being addressed with anything but platitude; platitude that reek of the $.99 store men’s “famous brand cologne” clone.

    I have attempted to make a simple point about homosexual orientation for a very long time on this and other sites, utilizing many forms of argument. I seemingly always end up in some pitiful, pointless, distraction that has no practical or helpful answer for someone like Saunca who is distressed regarding someone she loves, who looks to the church, and is offered a beeswax candle and a dismissive condolence. Or worse, she cannot even reasonably predict what response she will receive when, where, or from whom she approaches. Yet, we continue to insist we have “addressed” these issues, convinced we are, in fact, following the directive of the Lord to, “not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’” (Matt. 10:5-7). Hey, and wait till you get to Chapter 25! So, I have reached a very practical point in my understanding of this dilemma, in this context: homosexuality is a phenomenon wholly attributable and only occurring in this fallen and broken world as a consequence of our disobedience and rebellion against our God; it is not attributable by creation or intention to our God; it was not “in the beginning,” nor will it be “of the end.” At one point I indicated it had an “ontological” value in this world in the simplest sense of “primal existence,” and I stand by that statement because we are outright fools to argue that it does not “exist” or that it is not a “reality,” and we need to accept and address it as a reality. Does homosexuality define or characterize a human being? Of course not. But its existence is so inseparable from one’s person as to be indistinguishable, if only because of the overwhelming uniqueness: it generally defies all of one’s family and religious values, life expectations, and is in direct opposition and confrontation with personal faith and the faith of one’s family like no other comparable human behaviour. I have said many times, for no other issue have I sat and listened to the despair of parents who fear the worst possible future for a homosexual child, a future of prejudice and social limitation, i.e. the impossibility of a “normal” life. And it is frequently here, at this profound point of vulnerability, that the reparative therapists promote their lies, “We can help you change,” with no corroborating evidence whatsoever, berating, demeaning, later blaming their “patient’s” lack of progress on a lack of commitment, and their “failure” on a “resistance to change.”

    From a practical, realistic, and honest perspective, I see absolutely no reason why we – those so moved to reach out to those who struggle with this burden, this podvig of homosexuality, pastors and laity alike – should concern ourselves with issues of why someone is homosexual. We have wasted countless precious time arguing over the peripheral “data” of the etiology of homosexuality – and this is not to say that such work has not been extremely profitable in reducing stigma and shame, promoting dialog, and forcing us to hold serious discussions – to simply say no one has the answer. We can make a significant number of statements as to what does not cause homosexuality, and we have some strong suspicions about the contributions to the cause in this world, but tomorrow everything we suspect could prove wrong. It is truly unnecessary, impractical, and unhelpful information that, more often than not, results in contention and divisiveness. Let us move on to the true mission here.

    Strip away every cause, every action, every desire, and every motivation to lead another human being to the rigorous path to salvation, and we are left with words of St. Paul to Timothy:

    For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time… I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. (1Tim 2:3-8)

    The Lord necessarily calls the despicable and the “abominations” at the same time as he calls the righteous and the just because their is only one way (cf. Jn. 14:6); one door (cf. Jn.10:9); one humility & repentance (cf. Matt. 16:24); and in the spirit of one mind of chastity [σωφροσύνη , which literally means “single-mindedness] and purity. The point, if you are not seeing it, is that this is a not a special path – a “prescription only” remedy for homosexuality, but the path to which we are all called without exception, and a path upon which we all struggle. And obviously I oversimplify for brevity. For those of us without this podvig of homosexuality, it is our responsibility to reach out, and for those who struggle to accept the unconditional joy and love of Jesus Christ the Physician to assist you in bearing your burden. We share the guilt in our mutual neglect. Obviously, we have many areas of our Christian life where we have resisted our responsibilities to the Gospel, and as the consequences of our neglect, indifference, and arrogance are reflected in the decline of public morals, the confrontation will be more difficult to deny.

    A last word to the Solitary Priest: I don’t mean to be an [expletive deleted] about this, but today I’m feeling like your Nathan:

    For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. (Eph. 6:12-13)

    Pardon me, Reverend Father, but a silent priest who does not “come forward” because he fears being “name-called” by creeps and the unrighteous is emasculated and helpless. Instead, “Let them see your zeal for your people and be put to shame,” (Isa. 26:11) and empower us to suppoert and sustain you.

  6. Michael Bauman says

    Michael S. Finally a statement from you that is clear and concise. First one of yours on this topic that I have been able to follow.

    In case you missed it, I have been saying pretty much the same thing. Human sexuality is a mess in this world. Purity, chastity, fidelity and repentance are for all of us.

    Is same sex attraction any worse than the preverted urges of a pornography addict, the philanders and the fornicators? These too can seem ontological. Each in it’s own way promotes separation, lonliness and fear. SSA has a stigma not given to the other forms of perversion. It is part of our sexual sinfulness to create such stigmas so that we feel justified and therefore do not need repentance. “Thank you Lord that I am not like that man…”

    Same sex attraction is a podvig. All sexual perversions are a podvig. The only reorientation necessary is toward God and a commitment to engage in the struggle with each other in mercy and repentance.

    SSA does carry an extra burden. Marriage is quite unlikely to be part of the healing. But marriage still requires purity, chastity and repentance just not as much abstinence.

    “Help me to see my own sins and not to judge my brother.”

    • Gail Sheppard says

      Hey, Michael! Hope all is well. Haven’t addressed you in a while. 🙂

      I think the ONLY thing that makes homosexuality more concerning is the fact that there is such a huge attempt on the part of some to legitimize it in the Church. THAT’S what makes it different.

      • Michael Bauman says

        Gail, all is well by the grace of God.

        You are correct. Just the effort alone makes it difficult to address it properly. In his homily today, our priest addressed the need to do a better job of both transmitting and taking up the traditional virtues. It is not about individual choices and values (code for hedonistic rebellion) but about repentance and obedience.

        saunca, it is not the homosexuality of the Pentatonix singers that is the problem. The problem is that the display of their homosexuality has become more important than the music. They are now an LBGTQRSTUVWXYZ group. Agenda driven including smarmy jokes and innuendos. The quality of their music has declined dramatically as a result. I am no longer a fan. That is too bad because they can really sing.

  7. Joseph Lipper says

    It sounds like Solitary Priest is referencing the St. Gregory Palamas monastery in Etna,CA. This monastery is part of the self described “Church of the Genuine Orthodox Christians of Greece”. Hmmm.

    • George Michalopulos says

      If so, I’d go easy on them. I know that they’re not “canonical” but I understand where they’re coming from.

      • Joseph Lipper says

        Yes, name calling such as “non-canonical” is probably pointless. We can probably declare most anything to be “non-canonical” if we really try hard enough.

        However, with all due respect for the Greek Old Calendarists who have broken off communion, it wouldn’t be fair to them to engage in “Inter Christian Dialogue” with “Ecumenists”.

        • Gail Sheppard says

          Joseph, et al., George didn’t act on this, but if he had put this priest in touch with Saunca so she could give him her young friend’s contact information (not that she would, because she wouldn’t), I would be concerned. Being with a canonical jurisdiction doesn’t come with any guarantees, but it does suggest that the priest is operating under some kind of oversight.

          I think it is strange for a priest to offer to assist a young girl whom he has never met. If it’s an inquirer, that’s a little different, but this is a very young woman who is vulnerable because of her circumstances and I can’t see an Orthodox priest extending himself like this. Certainly not on a blog! (However, to be fair, I can’t see a middle aged bishop texting a young, female catechumen, either. . . but THAT happened!)

          I am unaccustomed to hearing our priests talk about being in the throws of the demonic or about how “so many” of them are in a “no win situation” if they “reiterate the church’s teaching.” These are not statements an Orthodox priest would make, IMO. – Anyone can call himself a priest. That doesn’t mean that he is in the sense that we understand it and if he is going to talk about how he operates in this capacity, I think it’s fair to ask him just what kind of priest he is. That was the reason for my question.

          I notice he didn’t answer.

          • Solitary Priest says

            Gail, just for the record, I am servicing an OCA parish right now, though I’m on loan from another jurisdiction. I operate under the supervision of my Dean, the Chancellor,and the Ruling Bishop.
            Furthermore, the state in which I’m serving in has even stricter regulations about misconduct than the OCA itself. I had to submit to a background check which involved giving every address where I had ever lived, my marital status,children,etc. If there were even a whiff of a scandal, I couldn’t function in this state nor in the diocese.
            I may or may not remain here long.I have a son in another state who desperately needs me now. I hope to retire to a monastery some day. I can’t see any other way to save my soul. I’m sorry if I scandalized you or anyone else here.

            • Gail Sheppard says

              Solitary Priest, thank you for responding. For what it’s worth, I don’t think you scandalized anyone and there was no fear, at least on my part, that you would physically take advantage of this young woman. My concerns were more for her emotional and spiritual well-being.

              When I mentioned what that bishop had done surprised me, it was not to compare what you were doing to what he did, but only to say that there have been occurrences that have happened in the Church that have shocked me. In my opinion, the issue with the bishop could have deterred this young woman (I believe she was 21) from coming into the Church. (Maybe it did, I don’t know.) Christ’s admonishment, “And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea,” were ringing in my head at the time. “Little” means vulnerable and because this young woman was a catechumen, she was a “child,” at least with respect to the Church. Anyway, that’s how I saw it. Like with the Moore case, many feel the “creepazoid” factor is unimportant. I’m not one of them.

              Several years ago, there was another priest on this site. He said he was an Orthodox priest. I was new to the Church and quite impressed with him. The man who brought me to the Church, who had 30 years under his belt, realized that something was amiss. It caused quite a rift between us at the time because I was so taken with this man who called himself Father Symeon if memory serves me. I even invited this man to another group. Because I was so invested in him, it shook me to the core when I found out he was not Orthodox. He ran a little church where he performed liturgies, baptisms, and instruction all quite unsupervised. The memory of this no doubt fueled my concern in your case and for that, I apologized.

              I would encourage you to continue posting. It’s fine to be open with regard to your own struggles. We all have them.

              Thank you, again, Father, for responding to me. I hope all goes well with your son and I also hope to see you posting here again. Please forgive me if I was too direct about my concerns or if I offended you in any way. Initially, just wanted to make sure you were Orthodox and operating under some kind of oversight. Because my inquiry was perceived as a little strange, I felt I had to explain why.

              • Solitary Priest says

                Dear in Christ Gail,
                No need to apologize to me. We’ve both learned something. In your case, you learned not to be taken in by someone pretending to be a priest. I learned that reaching out to someone online is not a good idea.
                In all fairness, Saunca did express dissatisfaction that no priest came forward. Then when I came forward, she didn’t like the answer. If the young lady’s priest is such that she fears getting yelled at, I can only conclude two things. Either the priest is young and lacks experience or else he’s some type of zealot who may be inclined to yell at almost anybody.
                Your post caused me to review the bishop’s texts. I’m afraid they are creepy. No single man, let alone, a bishop, should be alone with a young woman like that. In fact, the young lady was already in the church. But there was no need for the bishop to give her unction and communion, when she had a priest of her own. If no priest were available, he might do it in a hospital, not in her apartment. I’ve known priests who never visited single people alone. One married priest took his presbytera with him. A hieromonk would take his deacon with him.
                It might be a good idea for any monk, bishop or not, to refrain from kissing any woman, except for a sister, daughter, mother, or anyone else above suspicion. On the other hand, a peck on the check seems far less sinister than those text messages.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  Saunca, I see where you’re coming from and I see (to the extent that I can) that you have a good heart. While it is off-putting for us today, living as we do in an un-spiritual/Christian age, the fact remains that all of us are under a “cruel, demonic disorder”. Now, if I were a priest I wouldn’t come right out of the gate were I counseling the young lady in question. But that is something that with proper pastoral guidance she’s going to realize at some point in her life.

                  I look at myself at all those times I served on parish councils (I was a prick) or when I was a Mason (at around the same time that I had a deep interest in the esoteric arts) and only now realize that I too was under such an oppression. I thank God daily that He allowed me to live this long and repent. And I pray that I don’t ever lose that repentance.

                  I don’t mean to get all treacly here; I’m no Magic Christian –far from it. I only state this so that your young friend doesn’t think that her ordeal will always be thus, that she must identify as what her feelings tell her. Those feelings change believe it or not. Not just feelings but beliefs, attitudes, ideologies, etc. I imagine you don’t entertain the same ideas now that you did when you were 18. That’s all I’m saying.

                  I mean no offense.

                • Michael Bauman says

                  Saunca, what she is struggling with us a virulent demonic disorder but that information, true though it is, can be too much to take in.
                  The temptation to suicide is part of the same disorder. The lie that she and her parents will be better for if…..

                  For mercy to be applied, we must be merciful and we have to be willing to accept mercy. Despair can be the fluo side to pride. At least it is for me.

                  Also, we are each of us suffering from besetting sins that are difficult to get at and submit to His love. Same sex attraction is one big one right now.

                  Your friend is lucky she has you but she is not alone although I am sure she feels like she is.

                • Gail Sheppard says

                  Solitary Priest,

                  RE: “Your post caused me to review the bishop’s texts. I’m afraid they are creepy. ”

                  Yes! This poor girl was a catechumen, too. I think about her from time to time and say prayers. I hope she is still in the Church.

                  I think some people believe that because there was no touching, his advances were harmless. What a lot of men don’t realize is that when a woman receives unwanted attention, especially from a much older man, there is an “ick factor.” It can cause a strong visceral reaction. If he is also sending mixed messages, i.e. pastoral, as well as sexual, it becomes more difficult for the young woman to separate the uncomfortable feelings from her feelings for the Church. It essentially robs her of that safe, “falling in love” feeling. Instead, the woman experiences intense discomfort with all things “Church.” If she flees from these feelings, she may never have the opportunity to come into the Body again; nor will her husband, her children and potentially others who are in her world.

                  If taking the Church away from someone in an effort to meet one’s sexual needs isn’t a type of “rape,” I don’t know what is. In both cases, something is forced on the woman and in both cases, something important is lost.

                  • Solitary Priest says

                    Not to quibble, Gail, but if the girl was a catechumen, the bishop could hardly have given her unction and communion. That does not mitigate his inappropriate behavior.

                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      Solitary Priest,

                      The friendship/relationship (not sure what to call it) appears to have begun when she was a catechumen. I hope she is still in the Church.

                      In her own words: “When His Grace and I first met, I was a catechumen. In a way, I feel as though my naivete and unfamiliarity with how to interact with clergy was taken advantage of by the friendship-style relationship he established with me from the beginning.”


  8. Solitary Priest,

    I appreciate your sticking your neck out, as well as your willingness to help Saunca’s friend.

    It is so very easy to be misunderstood. Demons are hateful creatures and will seize upon any weakness in man without mercy or compunction. This is true of any passion or weakness of any kind – even mental or physical illness – those things we choose, as well those things we do not choose that are our inheritance in Adam.

    I have a question for us all. Is there anyone here who doesn’t suffer some sort of cruel demonic disorder, a weakness whether chosen or not, that is continually exploited by our adversary? Any hand raised would that of a liar. If not, we need to realize that it is possible to be compassionate without compromising the truth or even feeling the need to ‘figure out’ the cause.

    It is these very works of the devil that Christ in His immeasurable compassion came to destroy so that you and I and everyone who suffers from them, in whatever form, can be free.

  9. The people perish without a Vision. The Vision the Christ left to all people is God’s Will spoke directly by the Word of God. Love and serve God alone applies to every human soul. As well as living by His Word, and not bread alone. Nor is God’s Will that people tempt Him and the Holy Spirit. A single minded application to do God’s Will stated in The Vision is the only WAY to heal homosexuality because doing the Vision will lead anyone out of the great whore and free them of her many plagues: one of which is homosexuality. True Faith must be applied, to allowed acceptance of the healing. Unbelievers cannot accomplishment this. Why make some of these who have entered into the great whore. priest, who above the laity, serve what should be Holy Communion to faithful Christians. They are not worthy to be priests because they have entered the great whore, which the fact of their homosexuality proves this. St John Chrysostom and St Paul are very clear in their condemnation of this sin. No one alive today outranks these 2 with other considerations being more important than their God given instructions.

  10. Gail Sheppard says

    Saunca, why not try to find a Spiritual Mother for this young woman? Mother Theodora was/is mine. (I imagine she is still saying prayers for me.) It’s often easier for women to talk with other women. Spiritual Mothers have to receive a blessing to do this type of work so they tend to have a “mother’s heart,” which I imagine would be most helpful in this situation. They are often more available and they continually pray for you, which gives you strength. Most importantly, they keep you connected to the Church, which would be my greatest concern for this young woman. I don’t want her to feel cut off from it because she sees this as some kind of obstacle.

    Interestingly, monastics are the EASIEST people to talk to because they have seen it all. They have no illusions about how broken we are. If a priest knows you have confessed to your Spiritual Mother, he will put the stole over you and say the prayers of absolution without you having to also confess to him. Sometimes it’s easier to talk with someone who is not in your parish.

    I would contact the Orthodox Monastery of the Transfiguration. Feel free to tell them about my experience with Mother Theodora and that I suggested you call. They might be able to help you find someone for this young woman. She is going to need a lot of handholding, a lot of love and a lot of prayers, all of which she richly deserves. You tell her I said that!


    • George Michalopulos says

      Gail, may I go off on a tangent which you set into motion?

      It’s this: in a better, more structured American Orthodoxy, there’d be a plethora of women’s monasteries where laywomen could go to confess their sins (and then go to their parish priest for absolution). In other words, I think you’ve hit a nail on the head.

      Why do I say this? Mainly because I don’t believe it’s seemly for a priest to hear the confessions of women. Not because they “haven’t heard it all” or that they “can’t empathize” or that they’re “sexist” or whatever, but because I think it’s an unnecessary burden on a man to hear what may burden a particular woman’s heart, especially if it’s sexual.

      I’ve been contemplating this ever since I read Everyday Saints and read the story about an old nun who was scandalized because she thought only a monastic priest could hear her confession. It’s a rather humorous story in that the author (Tikhon Shevkunov) was forced to climb through a window like “a Romeo” (in his own recounting of this event) in order get to her room because the Commies had closed the monastery gates (or some such).

      Anyway, I like the idea of women confessing to a spiritual mother and then going for absolution afterwards. It makes sense.

  11. Indeed, Mr Orthogogueryy, the west countenanced the genocide of Armenians, Greeks, Jews, Kurds and Serbs just to keep them Ruskins off the straits so Germany can build a tunnel straight to CHina at the expense of every other country in between, just as Marco Opolo negotiated when he met Kublai Khan.