Categories
Uncategorized

Making Smartphone and Tablet Apps Useful for Bloggers

Just as Smartphones and Tablets are here to stay and are shaping the technological world in all new ways, so is the blogger when it relates to news, on all subjects. Journalism is having to adapt to the fact that the written word is not only in physical form now and more and more people are gaining a voice through the use of the internet.

One of the most interesting aspects of this though is the way that technology has not only aided the so called “blogger” but has changed based on their needs. Tablets and Smartphones have becomes invaluable tools for bloggers and journalists alike. If the blogger wants to get a quick image to go with their latest post it’s just a tap on the phone, then to open up an app and add the image to their blog. This means that news can be put up on the site literally as it happens, and not in just written form or using images but also video.

The Changing World of Media
The question of course is, if you are a blogger how do smartphones and tablets aid you? The answer as hinted above is that your blog is with you wherever you go. WordPress as an example has apps for most popular Operating systems and based on the phone or the tablet environment can offer different levels of functionality.

It’s not hard to realise that the tablet is of course the best environment to work on the blog (if not on a laptop of course). It provides a screen with more space, it provides the developer of the app with more functionality and more importantly it’s easier to type on. This means that the blogger can relax in any environment and write their blog. They can save it as a draft, in case they want to format it on their main computer, or if it’s something that has to be posted immediately they can do this. The blogger also has access to their comments and other important areas, even statistics if this has been set up correctly.

Blogging, or even controlling a website through WordPress or another CMS style interface is something that is still developing and growing. As more and more people join in and come up with things to blog about then they will need different way to do so. To make blogging available in a mobile form and one that has an easy interface to use is the key to part of the future, and essential to keep things inventive and creative. The internet has also been a tool that pushes innovation so as tablets and phones get better and better, so will the ability of the bloggers to share their experiences and views.

Bloggers and blogging is something that will shape the media of the future and this will lead to many changes and this will of course lead to many questions of how credible are the words of these people. Until these questions are raised and the world of blogging becomes more controlled and in ways more credible technology will still help push it into the future and it’s fair to say that smartphones and more importantly tablets will help the move into this future.

Categories
Uncategorized

Zuckerberg Crowdsource’s His New Year’s Resolution

Facebook CEO turned billionaire Mark Zuckerberg is not your average guy, which is why some of his New year resolutions are enough to leave many of people in shame. Recently, the entrepreneur announced via a post on his public profile about new ideas for his New Year’s resolution.

In the post Zuckerberg writes, “for background, every year I take on a challenge to broaden my perspective and learn something about the world beyond my work at Facebook…At our last town hall Q&A, someone asked me what my challenge will be for the new year and I said I’d love ideas from our community. I have an idea of what my next challenge might be, but I’m open to more ideas before the New Year officially begins.”

While many have suggested that the entrepreneur donate his wealth to the poor and homeless, few know that Zuckerberg has already made the same pledge as billionaires Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, which is to pledge a major portion of their wealth to philanthropic causes in what’s called the ‘Giving Pledge.’ Apart from that, Zuckerberg hasn’t been known to shy away from donating his wealth to the poor in the past. The entrepreneur has previously donated $100 million to the Newark Public Schools program which helps educate children from underprivileged neighborhoods and has also recently donated $25 million to find a cure for Ebola after the latest outbreak. Zuckerberg also made it to the top of the philanthropist list of 2013, after he donated an astonishing $960 million to various charities and foundations around the world.

After the post, suggestions have been pouring in as to what challenges mark should take on in 2015, from suggestions of deleting all those who invite FB users to a game of Candy Crush to trying to learn how to play the accordion, along with the usual jokes and snide remarks.

In the past, Zuckerberg has had a pretty good record at taking on personal challenges, like learning how to speak Mandarin. Last year, Zuckerberg held one of his Q&A sessions in Mandarin. So keeping that in mind, this year Zuckerberg will really need to up the bar. The post is available to FB users and makes for a good read. The post has over 40,000 comments along with 99,200 likes so there are a lot of suggestions for those who can’t figure out what to challenge themselves with during the New Year. Our suggestion to Mark Zuckerberg is to spend a lot of money on buying many many servers since Facebook pages are loading a bit slow lately.

Categories
Press & Media

Campaign Press Release 1 May 2013

JOINT PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release
May 1, 2013

UPDATE (21 July 2013): 42 Representatives have now agreed to co-sponsor H. Res. 190.  In addition the Global Campaign has new endorsements from the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), Rolling Thunder, Inc., and the St. Louis Fire Department.

Principal Contact (Global Campaign against IEDs):

Robert C. Morris, Jr.
Phone (U.S): (757) 869-6770
FAX: (U.S.): (270) 477-7087
Email: bob.morris@partners-international.org
Website: www.CampaignAgainstIEDs.org

Press Packet and Contacts for Media Interviews at:
http://www.CampaignAgainstIEDs.org/press-pack-4.pdf ]

 

Ground Breaking Congressional Action Condemns Improvised Explosive Devices and the Boston Marathon Bombing

House Resolution 190 condemning the IED attack at the Boston Marathon calls for unified international action against IEDs and makes the U.S. the first country to renounce those devices. 

Washington, D.C. –Representative Richard Hanna (R-NY) has introduced a bill to set the United States on the path to being the leader in reducing the global threat from Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) such as those used in the Boston Marathon Bombing.

House Resolution (H. Res) 190 formally condemns the April 15, 2013, IED attack in Boston, Massachusetts and calls upon the United States Government, the governments of all nations, the United Nations, and other international organizations to renounce the use of IEDs, as well as take actions to stop their proliferation and control the trafficking of IED production techniques.

COL (Ret) Bob Morris, of the Global Campaign against IEDs calls H. Res 190 ground breaking and historic.

“This culminates over two years of hard work by the participating organizations and others in the Global Campaign. The U.S. will become the first nation to formally condemn IEDs and call for unified holistic action against them by the Global Community. That will put the needed pressure on other countries and international organizations to take action against this threat and not sit idly by.”

While expressing condolences to the families of those who lost their lives or were injured in the Boston Marathon Bombing, the proposed Resolution “unequivocally condemns the use of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs)”; calls for the full prosecution of those responsible for the IED terrorist attack in Boston; and praises the active duty service members, first responders, and others who face the threat of IEDs and put their lives on the line to defeat them.

“What makes this Resolution particularly important is that it is ‘actionable’” says Morris, “It calls for concrete, reasonable actions by all parties beyond the traditional military focus.” These include international action against IEDs; trafficking in IED components and techniques; support to IED victims; and sharing IED related event and blast-trauma information.

Other actions Morris points to in the Resolution include: calling on all relevant agencies of the United States Government to coordinate with international partners and other responsible entities to reduce the use of IEDs and curb their proliferation; governments of all nations, the United Nations, and other international organizations, to formally renounce IEDs and assist in securing and monitoring IED components and techniques.

According to the Global Campaign against IEDs, the IED is the weapon of choice for armed groups who seek to achieve their goals through violence. There are over 500 IED events per month globally if thwarted attempts are counted according to the Department of Defense’s Joint IED Defeat Organization. In cases where IED incidents occurred in populated areas, 90% of reported casualties were civilians. These numbers point to a global epidemic of IED use.

Veterans Service Organizations (VSO) strongly support H. Res 190 and its call for all relevant agencies of the U.S. Government to support the care of active duty servicemembers, veterans, and first responders who are victims of IEDs by facilitating the exchange of blast trauma research data among law enforcement agencies, the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs, Congressionally chartered Veterans Service Organizations, and other responsible entities.

IED attacks are the leading cause of casualties and injuries for American servicemembers and are anticipated to remain the leading cause of such casualties for the foreseeable future;

“The Blinded Veterans Association fully supports H. Res. 190 and Congressman Hanna for his leadership on this effort.” Stated Thomas Zampieri, Director Government Relations. “While the vast majority of our wounded warriors in Iraq and Afghanistan come from IED blasts that cause both visible and invisible injuries, the IED event in Boston demonstrates that every country is now at high risk of these weapons being used on civilians and First Responders are at high risk” Zampieri said, “We must share blast related defense medical research between federal agencies to facilitate improved care and management of those wounded by IED’s.”

Lieutenant General (Ret.) Frank Kearney, former Deputy Director, Strategic Operational Planning at the National Counter-Terrorism Center in Washington DC and former Deputy Commander of the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) states “H. Res. 190 is a long overdue and much needed piece of legislation for its support to veterans, servicemembers, first responders and civilian victims of IEDs. More importantly,” says Kearney. “Its condemnation of IEDs and call for specific actions that will have a positive impact in reducing the proliferation of these devices by all nations sends a very clear message and a challenge to all nations to take responsibility for the solution. It should be pushed through the various Committees and approved by the House without delay.”

“AMVETS applauds the initiative of the Global Campaign against Improvised Explosive Devices, and the leadership of Representative Hanna in bringing the critical issue of IEDs to the forefront of our national political discourse,” said AMVETS National Commander Cleve Geer. “With H. Res.190, Congress has the opportunity to curb the use of the signature weapon of terrorists around the world and to spare countless lives, military and civilian.”

H. Res. 190 advances a previous call by a group of 92 Members of the House of Representatives in their May 3, 2012 Letter to President Obama urging the U.S. to develop a strategy partnered with the Global Campaign, Veterans Service Organizations, Military Service Organizations, and other public-private partners to identify the long term physical and psycho-social effects of IED related injuries; share findings and best practices with appropriate agencies and the private sector; and ensure adequate programs and benefits are available to affected veterans and their care-givers. Such findings will directly support treatment of civilians injured in the Boston IED attack. The Group is awaiting a full response.

Morris credits Representative Hanna for building support for this important legislation: “Simply put, if Congressman Hanna and his staff had not taken the initiative to lead in offering this Resolution, nothing would have happened.” Morris added: “Great credit is owed to all Members of Congress who will now come forward to take the lead on this important issue”, says Morris. “In this Resolution Members of Congress have a simple and easy choice to condemn IEDs; events such as 9/11 and Boston; and take action; or to decline to do so. IEDs are not a partisan issue. They, and the impact on veterans, servicemembers, and innocent civilians are a National issue.”

“Improvised Explosive Devices are the leading cause of injuries for American men and women in the military, and one can look to the Boston Marathon bombings to see the damage these weapons can cause to civilians,” Rep. Hanna said. “It is my hope that people all over the world will join in condemning the manufacture and use of IEDs to cause harm, inflict pain and promote terror.”

Those wishing to support the Global Campaign against IEDs can visit its website at www.CampaignAgainstIEDs.org.

Categories
Press & Media

Global Campaign Writes Op-Ed for breakingdefense.com

The Global Campaign has written an op-ed for breakingdefense.com.  It appeared on 10 May 2013 on the home page of their website.  The permenent link is [ http://breakingdefense.com/2013/05/10/why-congress-should-condemn-improvised-explosive-devices-ieds/ ].

Categories
Press & Media

Global Campaign Quoted in Ottawa Citizen Blog

The Global Campaign was quoted in the Ottawa Citizen Defence Watch Blog on 11 May 2013.  The permenent link is [ http://blogs.ottawacitizen.com/2013/05/11/500-ied-events-occur-each-month-worldwide-not-counting-afghanistan-and-iraq-says-group/ ].

Categories
Press & Media

Campaign Press Release 23 March 2014

PRESS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
March 23, 2014

Principal Contact (Global Campaign against IEDs):

Robert C. Morris, Jr.
Phone (U.S): (757) 869-6770
FAX: (U.S.): (270) 477-7087
Email: bob.morris@partners-international.org
Website: www.CampaignAgainstIEDs.org
T
witter: @StopIEDs

 

Americans Call on Congress to Honor Boston Marathon Bombing Anniversary

 

Group gathers over 1,400 signatures using an on-line petition to commemorate the Boston Marathon Bombing Anniversary and provide support to veterans and Boston bombing survivors

 

Yorktown, Virginia – The Global Campaign against Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) announced today that its on-line petition calling for Congress to pass House Resolution 190 has exceeded 1,400 signatures in just the last two weeks.

The petition, posted at [ http://www.change.org/petitions/u-s-house-of-representatives-condemn-ieds-and-support-victims-of-the-boston-marathon-attack ] on Change.org, calls for Congress to Pass House Resolution 190 (H. Res. 190). This resolution condemns last year’s Boston Marathon Bombing; calls for needed support for victims of the attack; honors the efforts of the Public Safety Sector who deal with IEDs in the Homeland; and calls upon the U.S. Department of Defense to begin sharing the blast-trauma related research and other IED event data it has with the Veterans Administration and responsible private sector organizations.

According to COL (Ret) Bob Morris of the Global Campaign, the sharing of information on blast injuries is especially important for both the Boston Marathon Bombing victims and veterans.

“The top four IED related injuries,” says Morris. “are hearing loss, traumatic brain injury (TBI), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and vision loss. Over 84% of U.S. military combat injuries in Afghanistan and Iraq are due to IEDs including 249,480 with hearing loss; 222,600 TBIs, 210,202 experiencing PTSD; and 110,022 with vision impairments. 34% of these IED victims suffer from both hearing and vision loss and 75% of TBI victims have visual dysfunctions. Percentages may be higher for Boston victims because they experienced the blast wave without any protective equipment.”

These injuries produce long-term effects. The Boston victims, like veterans, will experience for many years to come.

Public support for the Change.org petition has come from across the United States and is extremely strong.

Her comments echo the official finding in a recent National Institute of Health’s 2014 Report: Gulf War and Health, Volume 9 Long-Term Effects of Blast Exposures, report on blast injuries in Afghanistan and Iraq that identified blast injury as the “signature injury” of Afghanistan and Iraq. One of the reports most significant findings was that: “The committee’s ability to draw conclusions about associations between exposure to blast and health effects, particularly long-term health effects, was severely restricted by the paucity of high-quality information.” The actions called for in H. Res. 190 specifically address this gap.

Jeffrey Norkus, a Massachusetts veteran wrote: “I live near Boston where this horrific event took place. I also served in the US Army and fully support any actionable resolutions which may help keep civilians out of harm’s way.”

Robert Meilke, an active duty military member serving overseas stated: “IED’s are a global threat, not only to our US military serving today and in the future, but also to our law enforcement and first responders and the US civilian population. Support for this action from our US congressional members is imperative. It is one of the greatest threats we face, both globally and within the continental US.”

In her reason for signing the petition, Peg Moore of Florida wrote: “No human being, should ever be touched by one of these body mangling weapons of total destruction. They aren’t meant to just stop an enemy, they are meant to cause life-altering devastation. To kill in the most painful way possible.”

Stephen St. Clair of Missouri posted his reason for signing the petition as: “This is a weapon that cowards use. It should have the most serious penalty received for using it. Those injured need all of our help in any way to continue to live as normal a life as possible. We need not to fear to life our lives but instill fear in those who use these abominations.”

Blinded Veterans Association, AMVETs, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, Rolling Thunder, Firefighters, and others are also formally calling on congress to support H. Res. 190. To date, 52 Members of Congress, including Congressman Richard Neal (D-MA) agreed to become formal co-sponsors and joined the strongly bi-partisan for this legislation.

The group is also receiving support from legendary progressive rock artist Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull). In a message contained in Global Campaign brochures available at his concerts, Anderson says: “We don’t always ask our leaders to take us into war. But we all seek to help bring democratic freedoms and human rights – especially for women and children – to troubled nations throughout the world. On behalf of the brave young men and women of our troops, I urge you to support the victims of IED madness, now in need of rehabilitation and care. For them and their families, please support the Global Campaign against IEDs.”

The Global Campaign intends to begin presenting the petition to members of Congress in the near future as it works to have H. Res. 190 passed in time for the first anniversary of the Boston Marathon Bombing.

Morris hopes the increasing show of public support will help move H. Res. 190 through the various committees and to the floor for a vote.

“Many of the Members staffs we contact ‘want to hear from their constituents’ on this issue before making a commitment,” explains Morris. We are hoping the public will provide that voice, especially in Boston, by signing this petition and contacting their elected representatives.

The link for the on-line petition is: [ http://www.change.org/petitions/u-s-house-of-representatives-condemn-ieds-and-support-victims-of-the-boston-marathon-attack ] or [ http://goo.gl/EdxpTy ].

A copy of all signatures and signatory comments received as of the date of this Press Release as well as formal endorsements from Boston IED Victims, Veterans, and the various veterans groups is available upon request. Please contact us for any current updated list.

More information is available on the organization’s website at: http://www.CampaignAgainstIEDs.org and updates on global IED incidents as they occur are available through the organization’s twitter feed: @StopIEDs.

Categories
Blog

Campaign Update: Landmines and IEDs

Recently the Global Campaign was asked to write an op-ed column for breakingdefense.com.  During preparation of the column we were asked to clarify the relationship between landmines and IEDs.  This question arose specifically in the context of U.S. House Resolution 190 and our observation that the United Nations issues an annual resolution condemning landmines.

We are publishing this Blog post to give our answer to this question wider distribution and a permanent link for future reference.

Landmines and IEDs are not the same. Unlike landmines, IEDs are not covered under a current international treaty that bans their use. There is also a fundamental difference between the International Committee to Ban Landmines (ICBL) and the Global Campaign against IEDS. The efforts of the Global Campaign are directed at those who use IEDs for terror and violence and not toward the actions of any legitimate nation. In email communications with the Global Campaign, the ICBL has indicated that IEDs are beyond the scope of their efforts except those that are victim-activated and banned by treaty.

There is however one point at which the landmine and IED issues converge. That is when landmines are used as components in IEDs. This happens when abandoned mine stocks are left uncontrolled and find their way into the black market.

Now back to U.S. House Resolution 190 … supporting this resolution and condemning IEDs will not change anyone’s position on landmines or infer any type of altered ban on their use.

Categories
Uncategorized

Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start writing!

Categories
Blog

Microsoft receives $ 5 for every phone sold HTC Android

For each sold HTC Android, Microsoft receives $ 5. The company earned more than the licensing of Windows 7 Phone! The wars between manufacturers to blow filings have become a commonplace to the point where we no longer know who attacked whom. You may recall that Microsoft had attacked HTC. In reality, Android as a whole is concerned and therefore all manufacturers. HTC, the situation seemed to be resolved with the release of Windows mobile Phone 7. But in reality, an agreement was reached between both parties quietly, for a license of $ 5 is given for each Android smartphone sold.

If we look at overall sales, HTC had sold around 30 million smartphones since launching the platform from Google. Leaving our calculator, we see that Microsoft has won nearly 150 million dollars! Now compare this figure to 2 million smartphones sold Windows Phone 7. As a reminder, only third party manufacturers provide phones (not yet in Microsoft Phone WP7). However, they must pay a license of $ 15 (excluding negotiations). Let’s start again our calculator, which gives us a total of about 30 million. Comparing these two figures, Microsoft wins five times while watching the Android phone sales rise, by selling its own operating system! Do not forget under WP7 phones from HTC, which makes this a very good builder client for the Redmond giant.

According to a Citi analyst, Microsoft will now seek a license between $ 7.50 and $ 12.50 for each phone Android sold to other manufacturers. But the recent shock Barnes & Noble (creator of Nook) vs. Microsoft, the license will be sought even greater than that applied for mobile Phone Windows 7!

At the Nokia-Microsoft partnership many analysts said the deal was unofficially to combine the portfolios of patents of both companies. The stated objective is clearly to charge licenses to all competitors. There is no evidence so far officially this path, but it will watch closely the next filings.

Google does not require a license for his system, but the prices charged by manufacturers are not necessarily lower than the competition. Are these licenses – which are likely to multiply in the coming months – will raise prices?

Categories
Press & Media

Campaign Press Release 12 February 2014

PRESS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
February 12, 2014

Principal Contact (Global Campaign against IEDs):

Robert C. Morris, Jr.
Phone (U.S): (757) 869-6770
FAX: (U.S.): (270) 477-7087
Email: bob.morris@partners-international.org
Website: www.CampaignAgainstIEDs.org
Twitter: @StopIEDs

 

International Olympic Committee refuses to Condemn Improvised Explosive Devices – Russia Guarantees Safety from Attacks

 

International Olympic Committee refuses to formally condemn the use of Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) and the Russian Federation guarantees safety of the Winter Olympic Games

 

Yorktown, Virginia – The International Olympic Committee (IOC) denied a request by the Global Campaign against Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) to formally condemn the use of IEDs. They also refused to call on all opposing parties to recognize the neutrality of the Olympic games and refrain for any violence at the Games out of respect for the neutrality of the games and the principles of Olympism. IOC Communications Director and Official Spokesperson Mark Adams stated the IOC would not become involved in the current threat because it is “only taking an official stance on issues within our remit” stating that “as a sport organisation, the IOC’s scope is to deal with matters directly related to sport or the organisation of the Olympic Games.

In an open response to Mr. Adams the Global Campaign disagreed with the IOC’s decision.

The Global Campaign’s disagreement with the IOC position stems from the fact that their decision to not condemn the use of IEDs is actually contrary to the goal of Olympism as stated in their charter to “to place sport at the service of the harmonious development of humankind, with a view to promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity.”

While the Global Campaign recognized that the IOC lacks the capability to physically stop IED attacks, it believes that by refusing to condemn IEDs and ask that all parties respect the neutrality of the Olympic Games, the IOC increased the incentive for violent groups to seek credibility through IED attacks. The Global Campaign also expressed concern for the threat to innocent populations from IED events in connection with the Sochi Olympics and cautioned against measuring success solely by the number of violent incidents prevented at Olympic venues.

The IOC’s response is similar to that of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Washington, D.C. whose response to a similar request was that it was passing the request to the Office of the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, and that Russia “guarantee[s]” the success and safety of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.

To date the Global Campaign has not received a response from President Putin’s Office.

More information is available on the organization’s website at: www.CampaignAgainstIEDs.org and updates on global IED incidents as they occur are available through the organization’s twitter feed: @StopIEDs

The IOC can be contacted through their spokesperson, Mark Adams at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..”>mark.adams@olympic.org. Copies of the Global Campaign Letter to the IOC and their response are shown below.

Original IOC Response

From: Mark Adams
To: [Redacted]
Subject: Your recent letter to the IOC
Date sent: Mon, 27 Jan 2014 16:28:46 +0000

Dear Mr Morris,

Thank you for your recent letter to IOC President Bach and for sharing your campaign against Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) with us which is clearly a very important initiative.

As a sport organisation, the IOC’s scope is to deal with matters directly related to sport or the organisation of the Olympic Games. For this reason, we are only taking an official stance on issues within our remit.

Thank you for your understanding and we wish you best of luck with your important work.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Adams

Open Response to IOC Email dated January 27, 2014

Dear Mr. Adams:

Thank you for your recent response to our letter addressed to International Olympic Committee President Bach. We are disappointed the IOC denied our request the IOC condemn IEDs and call on all opposing parties to recognize the neutrality of the Olympic Games and refrain for any violence in connection with the 2014 Winter Olympics.

We respectfully disagree with the IOCs position that “as a sport organisation, the IOC’s scope is to deal with matters directly related to sport or the organisation of the Olympic Games. For this reason, we are only taking an official stance on issues within our remit.”

We feel the IOC’s decision not to condemn IEDs and call on all parties to respect the neutrality of the Olympic Games increases the potential for IED events in connection with the Sochi games.

The IED threat is directly within the IOC’s scope and is a serious matter directly related to sport and organization of the Olympic Games. In fact, IOC president Bach condemned the Volgograd bombings stating that IED attacks “interferes with (the athletes) realizing their full potential on the world’s biggest sporting stage”.

IEDs have been used to target sporting events globally ranging from their use against rival fans at soccer games to the 2012 Boston Marathon.

Previous IOC President Jacques Rogge unequivocally established IEDs as a matter directly related to both sport and the organization of the Olympic Games when he denounced the Boston Marathon IED attack. Both the Olympic movement and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) condemned the bombings, describing them as an attack on the spirit of human achievement and benevolence.

The IOC’s refusal to condemn IEDs and call on all parties to respect the neutrality of the Olympic Games creates the perception the IOC is retreating from that position to a reactive one, only condemning violence after it occurs rather than using its influence and position to advocate against it.

The actions we requested also meet IOC’s mission to “promote Olympism throughout the world and to lead the Olympic Movement”. They fulfill the IOC’s stated roles to act against any form of discrimination affecting the Olympic Movement; promote a positive legacy from the Olympic Games to the host cities and host Countries; and encourage and support initiatives blending sport with culture and education.

In our view the request for the IOC to call on belligerents to recognize the neutrality of the Olympic Games and refrain from violence is definitely within the organization’s remit.

The Olympic Charter states that one of the IOC’s roles is “to cooperate with competent public or private organisations and authorities in the endeavor to place sport at the service of humanity and thereby to promote peace.” The IOC’s violates this mandate by not using the potential for violence against the Olympic Games to raise awareness of and work against what is becoming the greatest threat to world peace, stability, and development. If you exclude the IED incidents per month during 2010 in Iraq and Afghanistan, there are on average, an estimated over 600 per month globally. According to statistics compiled by Action on Armed Violence, where explosive weapons were used in populated areas 91% of the casualties were reported to be civilians- most of the explosive devices were IEDs. This makes the IED problem a serious humanitarian one, where innocent civilians, most often women and children, bear the brunt of the suffering. Those in affected areas live in fear of additional attacks that disrupt everything from daily routines, to health care to elections. When displacement, destruction, and loss of personal assets are added to this mix sustainable livelihoods are degraded.

IEDs are indiscriminate weapons and their use violates the IOC’s fundamental principal

The goal of Olympism is “to place sport at the service of the harmonious development of humankind, with a view to promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity”. By not taking a position on IEDs and pro-actively dissuading groups from using them and the Olympics to advance their cause the IOC is violating its Charter that “Olympism seeks to create a way of life based on the joy of effort, the educational value of good example, social responsibility and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles.”. achieve this goal.

Finally, we are extremely concerned President Thomas Bach’s statement that “Security is the responsibility of the host country”; and his assurances with Olympic Committee Chief Alexander Zhukov’s that: “all necessary security measures have been taken and safety will be ensured” may inspire attacks.

Another of the IOCs core roles is “to oppose any political or commercial abuse of sport and athletes”. We respectfully offer that the current situation with IEDs and the Sochi Olympics has been become just such a political issue due, in part, to the IOCs failure to condemn this activity and related actions.

The instability and insecurity in Dagestan has been growing for more than 15 years without any imminent solutions. The Sochi Olympics created an opportunity for both the Russian Government and opposition groups to use the event as a means toward political gain on the world stage. When the Vilayat Dagestan conducted the suicide attacks in Volgograd and openly threatened to target international athletes and tourists in connection with the Sochi Olympics, they directly challenged President Putin’s political capital. In response, his vow to “annihilate” those responsible placed the Sochi Olympics at the center of their political confrontation.

In response, the Russian government defaulted to the traditional military approach in dealing with an IED threat. This emphasizes responses that attack the network, defeat the device, and train the force. In practice this targets the infrastructure used to produce and deploy IEDs; provides protection of military forces against IEDs; and enables military personnel to survive IED attacks. The only modification was to focus on protecting the Olympic venues from direct IED attack. This ignores the socio-economic, cultural, and other root causes that enable the use of IEDs. It also does nothing to reduce the negative psychological impact (e.g., chronic fear) from a systemic threat of IED use. In our view, the military-focused response in Iraq and Afghanistan has had limited effect; it is also failing and exacerbating the problem in Nigeria and other developing countries; and is not implementable in democratic societies.

We believe resolving the IED problem is the global community’s responsibility and the IOC shares in that responsibility. By attempting to distance itself from the issue with its position that the IOC’s “scope is to deal with matters directly related to sport or the organisation of the Olympic Games” the organization creates the perception that it has narrowed its roll in ways that deny reality.

While we understand the IOC lacks a capability to physically stop IED attacks, however we believe it has failed by not bringing pressure to bear on those who would use violence on any party during the Sochi Olympics. Instead, there is incentive for groups to gain credibility through successful IED attacks that harm President Putin’s political capital and degrade the populations’ faith and trust in their leaders and government to keep them safe.

The IOC created a political issue for the Olympic Games by accepting IEDs as political means instead of correctly categorizing them as criminal activities against social order, human rights, and universal fundamental ethical principles. By refusing to condemn IEDs as criminal acts the IOC sends the message it views such threats and attacks as acts of political violence not within their remit. This is divisive in framing the threat as one between governments and opposition groups rather than a threat against peaceful societies.

The actions we requested would have, in fact, achieved the separation between the Olympic Games and these acts of violence the IOC seeks. It would have had a positive impact on the situation by effectively moving IEDs from a military problem to a law enforcement problem emphasizing the crime rather than the political background and motivation of the attackers. When this occurs arguments shift to center around the fact that IED attacks are illegal under existing international law allowing the local community to build a public stigma against the use of IEDs. Implementation of this rule of law element also promotes police reform and accountability; good governance; international and local human rights; accessible and integrated systems of international and local justice; human rights inquiry, implementation and protections. In the end, IED users will be seen as criminals committing a crime and not making a political statement. After the July 2011 incident in Oslo, Norway correctly focused on the perpetrator’s crime effectively removing political views from the dialog on guilt and innocence.

In its failure to act the IOC is keeping the focus on the attackers and their political cause.

While security around the Olympic Games themselves is robust, we are concerned for the safety and well-being of the innocent populations throughout Russia who face a great threat from IED events in connection with the Sochi Olympics. We hope those events that do occur manifest themselves in thwarted or failed attempts rather than detonations.

Success against the IED threat cannot be measured solely by the number of incidents prevented at the Olympic venues; nor can actions to prevent IED events be, as the IOC stated: “the responsibility of the host country”.

Although it is too late to influence the host nation’s approach to this threat, there is still time for the IOC to clarify its position and work to proactively prevent IED events in connection with the Sochi Games.

Respectfully,
Robert Morris
Founder and President