Saint Valentine’s Day-The story behind is hardly romantic

Who was Saint Valentine and why he was murdered-by Paul Ratner

Valentine’s Day is named after St. Valentine, who has become known as the patron saint of lovers. He was a rather mercurial figure about whom little is known.

Who was St. Valentine and why does he somehow bless the hearts of lovers in the middle of February? One can imagine some combination of a cherubic Cupid and a saintly old man with a nice smile fulfilling that role. The truth is, of course, more complicated. First of all, there was not just one Saint Valentine. And the one we most commonly associate with the holiday was a martyr who happened to be beheaded on February 14th in a story that is hardly romantic.

There were actually three men named Saint Valentine who all lived around the same time in the third century AD. Two of these men, known as Saint Valentine of Rome and Saint Valentine of Terni, lived in Italy. And the third was in a Roman province in North Africa.

The one we officially celebrate on Valentine’s Day is the Saint Valentine of Rome, but it’s likely the stories of several Valentines merged into one over time since “Valentius” (meaning “worthy,” “strong” and “powerful” in Latin) was a popular moniker at the time. Several martyrs ended up with that name.

The church itself has some doubts about what specifically happened in Saint Valentine’s life. In 496 AD, Pope Gelasius I described St. Valentine’s as a martyr like those “whose names are justly reverenced among men, but whose acts are known only to God.” He knew how little was really known about the saint while establishing February 14th as the day to celebrate St. Valentine’s life.

Trial of St. Valentine

Circa 260 AD, The trial of St Valentine, patron saint of lovers. Original Artist: By Bart Zeitblom (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

St. Valentine of Rome was supposedly a temple priest who was executed near Rome by the anti-Christian Emperor Claudius II for helping wed Roman soldiers who were not allowed to marry in the Christian faith.

St. Valentine of Interamna (modern Terni, Italy) was a bishop who was also martyred. It is additionally possible they there the same person – one biography says Bishop Valentine was born and lived in Interamna but when he was on a temporary stay in Rome, he was imprisoned, tortured, and beheaded there on February 14, 269 A.D. 

According to one storyline, the Roman Emperor went to such measures against Valentine because the saint tried to get him to convert to Christianity. This just enraged Claudius who tried to get Valentine to renounce his faith. The martyr refused, so the emperor ordered him beaten with clubs and stones and subsequently executed.

One or both of the St. Valentines are thought to be buried in a cemetery in the north of Rome. Little is known about the third Valentine in North Africa other than his supposed martyrdom.

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The Ehtisham Review-Neo-Imperialism-3-Occupation

The Ehtisham Review-Neo-Imperialism-3-Occupation 

The two world wars, especially the second one,
weakened the grip of colonial powers. Britain sought an honorable way out
and managed it to some extent. The Dutch tried to hang on to Indonesia,
but were driven away. The French, unable to hang on to Vietnam, let the
Domino theory oriented U.S. to fight and end up in a humiliating defeat.
The French struggled in Algeria too, but De Gaulle came to rescue.  Most
of the rest of the colonies went the same way. 

Colonialism has been replaced by occupation of abstract space, under which
International Financial Institutions (IFI) and
MNCs function. The Third World countries have been granted sovereignty on
paper. The West controls over 80% of the resources of the world.  (39).
              The US initiated the process in Cuba in the late
nineteenth century when it drove Spain out of Cuba. Though the country had
its own flag, constitution, currency and an army, all major foreign policy
decisions were made by the U.S. The US also kept in its hands sugar,
tobacco, tourism and nearly all foreign trade. (40).            
  The newly sovereign states did enjoy legitimacy among its people. But
the governments which tried to wrest control of its resources were
subjected to military coups-Iran, Indonesia and many other countries.
South Africa was able to overthrow the dictatorship of the minority, but
had to let the minority have continued control of business, finance and
industry.(41).              The leaders were allowed revolutionary
slogans as long as they did not act on them and collaborated with
Neo-imperialism.               The leaders of the new nations may
voice revolutionary slogans, yet they find themselves locked into the
Global Capitalist Orbit, cooperating perforce with the First World nations
for investment, trade, and aid. So we witnessed the curious phenomenon of
leaders of newly independent Third World nations denouncing imperialism as
the source of their countries' ills, while dissidents in these countries
denounced these same leaders as collaborators of imperialism.

Independence was allowed in most instances when a comprador
class had been created, which would collaborate with the colonial power in
turning the country into a client state.  

Most of the Third World consists of client states in which Foreign Direct
Investment (FDI) is permitted on terms favorable to investors.
Corporations get cheap labor, subsidies and raw material. In a client
state, corporate investors enjoy direct subsidies and land grants, access
to raw materials and cheap labor, low, if any taxes, and subservient labor
unions, no occupational safety measures, no minimum wage, no restriction
on child labor and no consumer or environmental safety measures.  (42). 

The Third World offers the life to capitalists what
colonies did to rulers in the nineteenth century. The collaborators enjoy
opportunities to line their pockets with the foreign aid sent by the West.
Security forces are armed and trained by the United States in the latest
technologies of terror and repression.  But independence even though only
on paper, kindles the aspiration to real independence. Once in a while
emerges a national leader, as in Venezuela or Bolivia, who manages to
extract power from corporate rulers. But more often, they lose their life
viz Allende of Chile. (43).
 Bibliography and
References:1. .2.     Porter, Donald
Clayton   “The Sachem (The Colonization of America, Book IV)” (New
York, NY: Bantam, 1981).3.   Abernethy, David. "The Dynamics of Global
Dominance, European Overseas Empires 1415–1980". (New Haven, CT :Yale
University Press,
2000).4.  5.   Davies,
Norman – “Europe : A History” (New York, NY, Oxford University
Press, 1996)6.    Mazower, Mark- "Hitler's Empire: Nazi Rule in
Occupied Europe". (London: Allen Lane,2008).7.    Frieden, Jeffry
A.  “The Modern Capitalist World Economy: A Historical Overview”
“     Lens,
Sidney; Zinn, Howard: “The Forging of the American Empire.” (London:
Pluto Press. 2003)  9.  Hudson, Michael:”Super Imperialism: The
Origin And Fundamentals of U.S. World Dominance” (London, UK. Pluto
Press, 2003).10.  Obrinsky, Mark. "Profit Theory and Capitalism".
(Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press,
1983).11. 12.
Parenti, Michael – “Against Empire” San Francisco, CA, City Lights
       Publishing, 1998.16.
Ibid17. Ferro,
Marc-“Colonization: A Global History” (Abingdon, UK: Taylor & Francis,
1997).  19. Murray Gordon, "Slavery in the Arab World", (New York ,
USA New Amsterdam Press,  1989.).   20. ibid 17  21. Backman,
Clifford R. “The Worlds of Medieval Europe”. (Oxford, UK: Oxford
University Press, 2003).   22.   Romila Thapar, “A History of
India “,( New York , USA. Penguin Books. 1966).    23. Robinson,
Chase “Islamic Historiography.” (New York: Cambridge University Press
2003).  24. Frances Moore Lappe and Rachel Schurman’s article “The
Population Puzzle” published in the magazine “Caring For Families”
(IC #21) published in Spring 1989.  25. Rorabacher, John Albert –
“Hunger and Poverty in South Asia” (New Delhi, India. Gyan Publishing
House, 2010). Page 486, featuring “Albertini, Rudolph von, and Wirz,
Albert. European Colonial Rule, 1880-1914: The Impact of the West on
India, South East Asia and Africa    26.  Fanon, Frantz, "The
Wretched of the Earth," Maspero Publishing house, Pref. by Jean-Paul
Sartre. Translated by Constance Farrington. (London : Penguin Book,
2001). 27. Marx & Engels on Ireland and the Irish
Question. Progress Press Transcribed: Einde O’Callaghan and Andy
Blunden. 28. Henderson,
John S. “The World of the Ancient Maya”.  (Ithaca,  N.Y. Cornell
University Press. 1981). 29. Miller, Jonathan D. “Infrastructure 2013:
Global Priorities, Global Insights”. Washington, D.C . Urban Land
Institute and Ernst & Young,
2013.30. 31. 32.  33. ibid
15 34. 35. ibid 15 36. ibid
15  37. Easterly, William “The White Man's Burden: Why the West's
Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good” (New
York, NY. Oxford University Press,
2007). 38. Stiglitz,
Joseph E, "Globalization and Its Discontents," (New York: W.W. Norton and
Co Inc, 2002).40. Moruzzi, Peter “Havana Before Castro: When Cuba was a
Tropical Playground” (Layton, UT. Publisher Gibbs Smith,
43. Harmer, Tanya “ Allende's Chile and the Inter-American Cold
War” (Greensboro, NC. University of North Carolina Press, 2011).

Dr. S. Akhtar Ehtisham
All religions try to take over the establishment and if they fail, they
collaborate with it, be it feudal or capitalist.


Afghanistan: In midwinter attacks, a brutal Pakistani reply to Trump –

This article describes the change of US policy under president Trump as it relates to Afghanistan and Pakistan.  US policy now authorizes local commanders the authority to undertake local action unlike the established policvy under president Obama who had to sanction actions, particularly attacks in Pakistani territory.  The Trump administration has further put a hold on military and financial aid to Pakistan and is openly encouraging India to get more involved in ther regional conflict.  The complex situation has many ramifications for the future of the region.  According to US sources the recent bloody attacks in Afghanistan are Pakistan’s response by supposedly activating the militants in the tribal areas it controls.  No one knows the truth but conspiracy theories and their after effects will continue to bleed the region for the forseeable future.
Nasik Elahi


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