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The Race for Iran

Best regards from the Leveretts

Dear readers,

Thank you very much for the kind words we received for Karin Elizabeth’s first birthday.  She is thriving and is a delight for her parents.  We also ask your forebearance as we have not been posting as frequently as we would like.  We are crashing to finish a book manuscript, tentatively entitled, Going to Tehran: Why the United States Must Come to Terms with the Islamic Republic of Iran. We are grateful to all who are helping to sustain the site as we complete this manuscript.  We will continue posting as frequently as we can and hope to be back to our regular pace very soon.

Best regards, Flynt and Hillary

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594 Responses to “Best regards from the Leveretts”

  1. Fiorangela says:

    a very brief comment while I try to absorb what this means –

    I borrowed from the library a recorded version (recorded by Time Warner) of Le Carre’s “Absolute Friends,” published in 2004 or 2005. Just finished listening to it, and am thunderstruck that the plot, as it culminates is almost exactly how the latest bin Laden snuff event took place. The safe house, the double-deception, the killing of women, the taking of other women/wives into custody for interrogation –maybe its stock spycraft; maybe the bin Laden snuff was a routine mission; maybe it was all fiction; definitely, whether fiction or real, the ultimate value and goal of the event was propagandistic.

    David Ignatius is a journalist who also writes fiction. His fiction is widely read at CIA, according to reviews of his books Amazon dot com. I know I heard Ignatius tell an interviewer (in a video recorded for C Span in the past year or 18 months) that in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, the Bush administration considered the “failure of imagination” that had caused them not to contemplate the possibility of ramming a plane into a building (which of course is a bald faced lie, not fiction, but that’s another matter). To help them think more imaginatively, the White House called upon Hollywood scriptwriters to come to a colloquium and present possible scenarios. In other words, to write, 9/11, the Hollywood version.

    In Fall 2010 Chris Hedges spoke to a group in Youngstown, Ohio, a dying city. He talked about that dying city in a subsequent speech in Troy, New York: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYCvSntOI5s In the Troy speech, Hedges mentioned that the US became involved in World War I** after the US government took the unprecedented step of creating the Creel commission, which purveyed relentless propaganda to demonize “the Hun” — Germany and the German people. Hollywood took the lead in that propaganda campaign; at the time, the Hollywood studios were run by Jewish men.

    Warner brothers were at the forefront of the anti-German propaganda. The Warner brothers grew up in Youngstown, Ohio, where their Polish immigrant parents settled in about 1897. The Wasklosar sons showed silent films on screens in tents and rented halls in the booming steel and mill towns between Youngstown, OH, and New Castle and Pittsburgh, PA. Many small film production companies formed in that period; most of them disappeared.

    “Warner Brothers, on the other hand, grew and grew. Established by the Warner brothers as a distribution outfit in 1912, their move into film production came in 1918. For a time, the company relied on Monty Banks’ two-reel comedies between the release of occasional features. The Warners acquired Vitagraph in 1925, then First National, and were one of the studios that led the industry into talking picture production. Then too, the period marked the serious involvement of American banking and investment houses in the motion picture business. They financed the aggressive competition for the acquisition of blocks of theatres initiated by Adolph Zuckor in 1919 [and perfected by Warner brothers]. By the mid-twenties, the industry was effectively controlled by a small number of large corporations that owned the theaters. The stage was set for the switch to sound, the era of the small production company had more or less passed into history.”
    :http://early-american-cinema.com/articles/monty_banks.html

    Thus, in the early years of Wilson’s administration, wealthy zionists –Untermyer, Brandeis, Rothschilds, Warburgs, Schiffs– had agents of influence –Brandeis, Morgenthau — in the highest places in US government, and had well-greased financial and ideological relationships with the new, powerful means of mass communication and persuasion, the Warner brothers film studio, and several other film studios headed by Jews and now headquartered in California. All of those levers were worked to shape the American psyche to hate Germans and to support the involvement of the United States in a war on Germany. In 1918, Warner brothers produced the first in a series of anti-German films, “My Four Years in Germany.” That film was both a box office success and successful in achieving its propaganda goal: inciting sufficient hatred of Germans among Americans that Americans willingly went to war on a state in which a majority of Americans had ethnic and cultural roots.

    The Warner brothers reprised their propaganda mission in the early 1930s, when Jewish financiers, once again led by Samuel Untermyer, sought to either dominate Germany or, failing that, destroy Germany. And once again, according to research by David Irving and others who have survived the chilling effect of censorship of any version of history that does not match the zionist narrative, British financial affairs and the attempt to preserve the British empire were in the balance that required US weight to topple Germany.

    This article from Norman Lear’s website offers an insight into the ideological drive behind the Warner brothers efforts to involve the United States in war, although it fails to mention that BEFORE Germans had taken what were, in my opinion, relatively mild measures against certain categories of Jewish people in Germany, Jews had openly and unequivocally declared WAR on German, and had stated in no uncertain terms the intent to cause the German economy to fail. Germany depended on imports to feed its population; many Germans had already starved to death as a result of World War I and the harsh terms of the Versailles treaty.

    Here is what Steven J. Ross had to say about the 1939 Warner brothers film, “Confessions of a Nazi Spy,” :http://www.learcenter.org/pdf/WWRoss.pdf

    “the first film to portray Nazis as a threat to America, . . . film critic Welford Beaton, [said the film] marked the first time in the annals of screen entertainment that a picture ever really said something definite about current events, really took sides and argued for the side with which it sympathized.” In an emotional memo to Jack WARNER, producer Lou Edelman proudly told his boss, “Last night, the motion picture had a Bar Mitzvah. It came of age. It said, ‘Today I am a man.’

    The sentiment was not universal. Continues Ross: “Nazis banned the film everywhere they could exert pressure. For many people, Confessions of a Nazi Spy was more than just another movie. Today, six decades after Pearl Harbor, it is easy to talk nostalgically about World War II as the “Good War,” **** a war where the forces of
    “good” and “evil” were seemingly easy for Americans to identify.
    Although recent films such as Saving Private Ryan (1998) and The Thin Red Line (1998) reminded audiences of the horrors of that war, they never questioned the wisdom of American involvement. But in the mid 1930s, the real horror for politically engaged citizens was how few people wanted to hear about the lurking dangers of fascism or the threats posed by the expansionist policies of Adolf Hitler. . . . It was the first major studio production to take an explicit stand on foreign policy and warn Americans about the dangers of a particular regime.

    Film scholars refer to the 1930s as the “Golden Age of Hollywood,” a time when films were at their lavish best. But the 1930s were also the decade when Hollywood emerged as a major force in the nation’s political life. Movie stars used their celebrity to bring attention to the dangers posed by fascists abroad and at home. Although anti-fascist celebrities were able to reach tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of Americans, politically engaged filmmakers wanted to reach millions. And no movie
    moguls were more committed to fighting fascism than Harry and Jack WARNER. At a time when few studios were willing to jeopardize lucrative foreign sales,***** the WARNER brothers produced a slew of highly politicized anti-fascist films: Black Legion (1937), Juarez (1939), Confessions of a Nazi Spy (1939), Espionage Agent (1939), British Intelligence (1940), Sea Hawk (1940), Underground (1941) and Sea Wolf (1941).

    This article examines the events that led to the making of Confessions and the variety of reactions the studio encountered as it tried to disseminate powerful messages to millions of Americans. The WARNERs’ films proved so powerful that they prompted congressional investigations of propaganda in motion pictures before and after World War II—investigations that sent a chilling warning throughout the motion
    picture industry about the dangers of political activism.”

    This morning, California representative Adam Schiff appeared on C Span to discuss the activities of his House Intelligence committee. He had high praise for the US Department of Treasury office of Terror Finance and Intelligence, whose efforts produce a “chilling effect” on organizations such as the Holy Land Foundation. Schiff is proud of the role he has been able to play is shutting down the activities of the Holy Land Foundation, which he said operated under the cover of assisting hospitals and the poor in Islamic cultures, but that was likely a cover for funding terror groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah [that operate hospitals and assist the poor].

    Over these last few days the people of Palestine have commemorated the Nakba — the 1948 trauma in which Jewish fighters drove some 700,000 Palestinians from their homes into refugee status from which they have not yet been able to emerge. A Palestinian teen produced a video commemorating the Nakba, in which she recounts all the suffering and humiliation that she is “Sick of.” :http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bIO4W3nxGaM&feature=player_embedded

    I’m sick of being lied to by my government. I’m sick of partisans for Israel telling Americans who they should hate and who they are not permitted to criticize. I’m sick of being told that killing is the way problems are solved. I’m sick at heart that for all their lives my children have been surrounded by an “entertainment culture” that promotes greed and hatred.

    ___
    *** at ~9 minutes Hedges explains that Wilson had campaigned on the promise of keeping the US out of Europe’s wars. However, British and French bankers had made substantial loans at risk and were concerned that if Germany won the war, their loans would not be repaid. Recall that Niall Ferguson wrote in the opening pages of Vol. 1 of his biography of the Rothschilds that the Rothschilds had more power than all the monarchs and governments in Europe; whether or not a war was to be waged was decided by the Rothschilds. Recall also that Amscher Mayer (Rothschild) established his first banking house in Frankfurt, and sent his five sons each to a different European capital to manage banking in those cities, and the branches were intricately networked to each other and to ruling government decision-makers and industrialists.

    Recall also that shortly after his election, Wilson was approached by Samuel Untermyer, who claimed to represent a woman with whom the notorious womanizer Wilson had had an affair. She would destroy their letters for a small sum, but a larger sum than Wilson could afford. Untermyer offered to cover that sum, in return for a small favor; and so Louis Brandeis, leader of the zionist organization in the US, became a Supreme Court justice and Wilson’s right hand man and counselor. Brandeis counseled Wilson on the necessity of involving US in the war in Europe, and Brandeis organized the zionist delegation, including most prominantly, Bernard Baruch, who surrounded Wilson at the Versailles peace talks.
    Back to Untermyer — he played a major role in establishing the US Federal Reserve system in ~1913, in which both the house of Rothschild and the Warburg bank of Europe/Palestine as well as Schiff financial interests were represented (Chelsey Clinton married a Schiff).

    **** Mr. Ross and Hollywood studios and some financiers and some zionists, like Ben Gurion and Netanyahu Sr. and Jr. may consider World War II the “good war,” but eminent MIT professor Dr. John Dower disagrees. In a colloquy with Dr. Sanho Tree, Dower conceded that writing his latest book, “Cultures of War” was emotionally draining. Cultures of War: Pearl Harbor Hiroshima 9-11 Iraq is an attempt to confront the common elements in the terror language and terror behavior employed to involve the American people in war, and employed to wage that war. Dower felt forced to confront several new developments in the history of fighting wars: the use of new techniques of mass propaganda to incite people to hate; the deliberate use of weapons and tactics of war on civilians with the intent to terrorize and demoralize civilians; and the avoidance of moral considerations before waging war — that is, the waging of pre-emptive war, which runs counter to any notion of Just War theory. Since the publication of Dower’s work in 2010, the US has added another novel twist on waging war: the responsibility to protect — the rationale used to embroil the US in a civil war in Libya.

    ***** Notice that Warner brothers made the difficult decision to forgo lucrative distribution of their films in Germany AFTER the conclusion of the 1933 Transfer Agreement, negotiated primarily by Arthur Ruppin in collaboration with the Nazi government. Under the terms of that agreement, in addition to the transfer of some 50,000 German Jews and their wealth to Palestine, an estimated $650 million of wealth flowed out of Germany and into New York, together with tens of thousands of German Jews. The wealth that Hitler cooperated in transferring to Palestine is widely credited with enabling the Jewish state in Palestine to prosper at a time when the rest of the world experienced depression, and it built the infrastructure and roots of the state that became Israel 9 years later. AND, the wealth that the Nazi government cooperating in transferring to the United States financed studios such as Warner brothers, which used the wealth to propagandize Americans to destroy Germany.

  2. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Sakineh Khanum:

    I have good news for you!

    I’m surprised none of the sages that have crossed your path were able to give you a satisfactory answer, because your question is a simple one – unless I have quite misunderstood it.

    People who are so blessed as to go through life whilst having a relationship to the divine, to their Creator, go through their lives with that relationship defining every living moment of their lives; every breath they take is taken in a world whose horizons are defined by the knowledge of that relationship. As such, every thought, every word, every deed, is a prayer to God; a prayer to want to be closer to Him, to think, say and do things that wil please Him, that you know He would want you to do – your inner voice, your conscience, your soul. And, conversely, every day of your life, every event in each and every day – these are all signs from Him in response to each of His creatures’s prayers, each thought, word and deed.

    He speaks in signs.

    The formal daily prayers are mnemonic instruments dispersed throughout the day to help one come back into God-consciousness from the gheflah (heedlessness) of one’s everyday existence. “Mnemonic instruments” is just another word for Ritual. The texts of the Koran are used in these Ritual, as verds, as magical spells and incantations to place you in the same morphic field as all the rest of your co-religionists in time and space who have similarly partaken of and participated and participate in this ritual. The physical motions and the spoken and thought words are the walls and doors that circumscribe the sacred chamber, withink which the actual communion takes place in languages very different than the spoken word – languages that touch you and transport you at much deper levels that the cognitive.

    I hope this helped :o)

  3. Unknown Unknowns says:

    manam says:
    May 12, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    Voice of Tehran says:
    May 12, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    you must have uncovered the truth behind why the US has to fence people in, and IRI has to fence people out, and why the US has the most journalists in prison while IRI has the least

    *

    The reasons people want to live in Europe and the US has to do with teh fact that the standards of living in those countries is higher, due to the relative overall strengths of their economies, which is based on their mastery of certain technologies that they happened to come across first due mainly to historical accident.

    The reason a relatively few number of journalists find themselves on the inside of US prisons is because the system of governance is so entrenched, and its subjects so pliant, that the system does not have to worry about a radical idea setting off a spark that will ignite the barn. When you have micro-sprinkler systems set up in every nook and cranny of your barn, you do not have to worry about every barn burner that comes across your path, and you can devote yourself to the hypocritical past-time of criticizing other less totalitarian systems of government (who do not have as consolidated a grip on power as does the US elite) for not providing sufficient “freedom” of the press.

    This kind of hypocrisy worked to some degree during the cold war years that characterized much of the past century, but very few people outside the US buy it, and even the sheeple and Rush Limbaugh ditto-heads of the US are waking up to the fact that it is so much bullshit. What good is “freedom” of the press when no matter what you say and how loud you say it, it isn’t going to make a damn bit of difference to the way teh oligarchs run the country and to the continued maldistribution of wealth away from those who produce it to those who enjoy the fruits of their labor?

  4. Unknown Unknowns says:

    • Photi says:
    May 12, 2011 at 12:19 pm
    “UU, the Deviationist article is unclear to me. Is this meant to be a piece of government propaganda aimed at discrediting Ahmadinejad’s inner circle? If so, in English the propaganda has failed. If anything the article stands as an indictment against those who are NOT part of the Deviationist grouping.
    “What are the connotations conveyed with the farsi word which is being translated as “deviationist” and what is the practical understanding of this propaganda when understood in farsi?”
    The reason I posted the article and took the time to translate the post was because I found it interesting to read one person’s take on Ahmadinejad and the movement or group that he heads. I neither agree or disagree with that person’s interpretation or take on Ahmadinejad; I was just trying to establish a typology in my mind, and I thought I’d share my efforts with others.
    Regarding your questions about Mahdism, the truth is I’m not well read on the subject cannot be of any help to you. But I can make one correction: you should not refer to the Mahdi as our “Savior”. We are not in need of salvation, or if we are, it is not the kind of need that can be fulfilled by the appearance in this world of a single man. Our salvation depends on our own thoughts, words and deeds; the grace of God, and the intercession of those closest to Him.

  5. manam says:

    Voice of Tehran says:
    May 12, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    you must have uncovered the truth behind why the US has to fence people in, and IRI has to fence people out, and why the US has the most journalists in prison while IRI has the least

  6. Sakineh Bagoom says:

    Fio,

    At the risk of sounding in an echo chamber, I, too, appreciate your posts. You have done exactly what I asked you to do, that is: to educate, here and elsewhere (well I don’t know about elsewhere, but knowing you, I know you do). Keep’em coming!

    Empty, UU, et al,

    I don’t know if this is the best forum for this question, but I don’t frequent other religious forums and since this thread is taking a more religious tone, I am going to ask the question that has been bugging me since I was 8 years old. I’ve put this question to many of doctors of religion and akhunds/mullahs and have yet to receive a satisfactory answer. If you know the answer or know a doctor of religion who does, please. . .

    First some background. In Islam it is said that the purpose of prayer (Ṣalāh/Ṣalāt/namāz) is to act as a person’s direct communication with God. One recites the Sura Al-Fatiha and then a reciting of another Sura is obligatory. The other Sura should be a short Sura and Sura al-Ikhlas is recited in most cases. In this Sura however one reads قُلْ هُوَ اللَّهُ أَحَدٌ(Say, He is Allah, One [only, and unique]).. قُلْ means ‘say’. Why do you say ‘قُلْ’? As far as I know God has never spoken to me directly, so I can’t say onto God ‘قُلْ’/say, and expect a response. We are told that the last time God spoke to someone was to Moses, well maybe Abraham to leave Ur. Even the Quran was delivered to the prophet (PBUH) by Jibril (Gabriel) and not God directly. So, why does one say ‘قُلْ’?
    Now I realize that the meaning in reality is: Say, (O Muhammad [PBUH] He is Allah, One [only, and unique], since the prophet [PBUH] was asked “Tell us of your Lord’s ancestry.” Thereupon Allah sent down this Surah. But when you are in direct communication, why ‘قُلْ’/say?

  7. Fiorangela says:

    James, @ 7:22 and later you evade the most important issue: Did British enslave Irishmen, yes or no?

  8. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    I think the English, French and Spanish all quickly came to see that Europeans did not do well in the Caribbean, for heavy labor. Climate killed them. This was reason black Africans were imported.

  9. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    I assume you are kidding. And since when did the Britsh take control of the language of the Irish? One reason the Irish have done so well in the EU is their proficiency in English.

  10. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    Part of the political climate at the time included frenzied “conservative” reaction to Carter’s deal with Panama re: Panama Canal. Another big issue was SALT II nuclear arms reduction treaty with Soviet Union (defeated by incredibly stupid US Senate).

  11. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    My understanding is that the Republicans in fact did make a deal with the Iranians, to delay release of the hostages, so that Carter would be more likely to be defeated. Read a good biography of CIA director (under Reagan) Casey and see what you think.

  12. BiBiJon says:

    Any comments on this?

    http://www.opednews.com/articles/1/Jimmy-Carter-s-October-Sur-by-Robert-Parry-110512-491.html

    “… disgruntled elements of the CIA and Israel’s Likud hardliners may have teamed up with ambitious Republicans to remove a U.S. president [Carter] from office.”

  13. Voice of Tehran says:

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article28078.htm

    …But Hillary, being a total idiot, has chosen a country that has other than military weapons. While the Amerikans support “dissidents” in China, who are sufficiently stupid to believe that democracy exists in Amerika, the insulted Chinese government sits on $2 trillion in US dollar-denominated assets that can be dumped, thus destroying the US dollar’s exchange value and the dollar as reserve currency, the main source of US power.

    Hillary, in an unprecedented act of hypocrisy, denounced China for “human rights violations.” This from a country that has violated the human rights of millions of victims in our own time in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Libya, Somalia, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, secret CIA prisons dotted all over the planet, in US courts of law, and in the arrests and seizure of documents of American war protestors. There is no worst violator of human rights on the planet than the US government, and the world knows it.

  14. Fiorangela says:

    James, do you mean THIS enslavement of the Irish people, http://irishblog-brianclarkenuj.blogspot.com/2011/02/irish-slavery-sustained-by-historian.html


    British control of their language, media and history is like an iron fist in a velvet glove. History they say is written by the conquerer which is particularly true in Ireland’s case, who despite a certain certain independence in the non-occupied south, are very much a compliant state of the crown, in every sense of the literal word. This is still very much the case today with rampant official censorship where the story of Irish slavery, is the one that the English pirates intended would never see the light of day. Unlike African experience, the Irish slavery story along with their holocaust, utterly and completely disappeared as if it never happened.

    They were shipped in the hundreds of thousands, men, women and young children as slaves, human cargo transported in tall British ships bound for the West Indies initially.The Irish slave trade began when James II sold 40,000 Irish prisoners as slaves, to the colonialists of the Americas. His Majesty’s Proclamation in 1625 ordered all Irish political prisoners to be sent overseas and sold to English settlers in the West Indies. By the middle of that century, the Irish were the largest number of slaves sold to both Montserrat and Antigua. Three quarters of the total population of Montserrat were Irish slaves.

    Whenever the Irish rebelled or disobeyed an order, just like back in Ireland they were tortured with cruelty. The British slave owners would hang them by their hands, while setting their hands or feet on fire, as a form of punishment that was an example to the rest. They continued to burn the Irish alive, while putting their heads on long pikes in a public place, as a warning to other Irish slaves. I will not elaborate on the torture in the interest of goodwill and peace.”

  15. Fiorangela says:

    Dan Cooper, sorry, I guess I should have typed in “Irony Alert.”

    Critical thinking is not as dependent on a specific website as it is on the content, facts/evidence, and logic of an argument. That is one of the tragedies of the use (I would say abuse) of C Span as a platform from which to disseminate the kind of propaganda that Schiff delivered this morning: C Span has an aura of credibility above all other media outlets in the US. I guess it’s inevitable that the bad guys would exploit and debase C Span — that seems to be the pattern of zionism.

  16. James Canning says:

    Fior,

    An excellent film dealing with the slavery was made. Not easy to watch, to be sure!

  17. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    The enslavement of young girls was part of the abuse of tens of thousands of mostly poor Irish children in hundreds of institutions run by the R Catholic Church. Tom Kelly had a brief report in the Daily Mail May 21, 2009 (you can Google it). I will try to find the Vanity Fair piece (may have been in another mag).

  18. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    I think there was a very good story on this in Vanity Fair. I’ll check, and if not I will obtain something for you. Amazing story.

  19. Dan Cooper says:

    Fiorangela

    Ths is the first time that I have come accross the website: “Workers of the World”

    however, The article that I posted from this website which is By Joyce Chediac, titled: “Syria – What’s behind protests?” is a good one and in my opinion represent the realities on the ground.

    http://www.workers.org/2011/world/syria_0519/

  20. Liz says:

    Pak,

    The green plot to overrule the majority of voters and to steal the elections is the real crime.

  21. Fiorangela says:

    don’t be sucked in by “Workers of the World” website, Dan Cooper; what do such peons know about how the world works?

    Adam Schiff, US representative from California and on the House intelligence committee has access to information that most other mere taxpayers and citizens (and Wikileaks) have “no need to know.”

    Schiff knows that the ‘Arab Spring’ did NOT emerge from the Tunisia uprising, triggered by the immolation of a Tunisian flower vendor. No, no, insists Schiff; the Arab revolutions started in Iran in 2009, when peaceful protesters against the fraudulent election in Iran were brutally repressed.

  22. Dan Cooper says:

    People in the U.S. and around the world have broad sympathy for the popular demonstrations taking place in the Middle East. All the uprisings, however, are not necessarily the same.

    Protests against Western client regimes, such as those in Egypt and Tunisia that have so severely squeezed the workers, have the potential to liberate the people from crushing poverty and repression. However, the situations in Libya and Syria are somewhat different.

    http://www.workers.org/2011/world/syria_0519/

    These governments, though certainly flawed, have been targets of U.S. destabilization efforts for decades because they have taken positions independent from Washington. The Western powers, led by the U.S., are trying to take advantage of the wave of protests in the region to intervene in Libya and Syria in order to make these countries captives of Western colonialism and reduce the workers there to day laborers for imperialism.

    Contrast this to Bahrain and Yemen, both ruled by U.S. client regimes long alienated from the workers who live and work there. These regimes have fired upon, arrested and tortured demonstrators. Yet neither country has been declared a no-fly zone, and neither government has been the object of sanctions. In Libya, however, the West’s “humanitarian intervention” to “protect civilians” has meant six weeks of bombing that has destroyed much of the country’s civilian infrastructure.

    Now the same Western powers bombing Libya are threatening Syria, the sole remaining independent secular state in the Arab world. Both the U.S. and the Economic Union have imposed sanctions on Syrian government officials. Why?

    For one thing, Washington is trying to break up the strategic progressive alliance between Syria and Iran. It is also trying to stop the crucial support Syria gives to Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas on the West Bank. To do this, U.S. finance capital seeks to destabilize Syria, destroy its sovereignty and bring it back into the imperialist orbit.

  23. Fiorangela says:

    Jon Huntsman, former US amb. to China, may run for US president.

    anyone else notice that his wikipedia entry says, “9th United States Ambassador to Jesus”

    Jon Huntsman, Jr. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jon_Huntsman,_Jr.

  24. Photi says:

    UU, the Deviationist article is unclear to me. Is this meant to be a piece of government propaganda aimed at discrediting Ahmadinejad’s inner circle? If so, in English the propaganda has failed. If anything the article stands as an indictment against those who are NOT part of the Deviationist grouping.

    What are the connotations conveyed with the farsi word which is being translated as “deviationist” and what is the practical understanding of this propaganda when understood in farsi?

  25. Photi says:

    *characteristic number 4

  26. Photi says:

    UU, never mind about the first part of my comment as your second comment helps guide the inferences to be made. I am still interested in issue number 4 though.

    Also, could you elaborate on the social mores and liberal/conservative concept within an Islamic context and/or within an Iranian context. thanks.

  27. Photi says:

    Unknown Unknowns,

    Here’s a better (comprehensive) translation (mine) of the 13 characteristics that Hamid-Reza Moqaddam-Far identified with the Ahmadinejad group:

    Certainly not all those characteristics are bad that you list. Is the implication that the Ahmadinejad group is acting deceptively with malice or are they just being patronly?

    Regarding number 4 and the “[mis]use of Mahdism.” Are you able to describe this in more detail? The Muslims know the Mahdi’s return to public life (May God hasten his reappearance) will be soon. Soon in the Divine context is not necessarily soon in the human context. Do the Scholars have a good grasp on what is meant by “soon?” It has already been about 11oo years since the Messiah’s disappearance, is it possible we have yet another thousand years to wait?

    A good many of these nation-states many not even exist that far into the future (though the nations in some form surly will), so it seems eschatological beliefs should only play a background role in the ephemeral events and trivialities of the Dunya. What’s the ideal balance?

    Also, from the Islamic point of view, who is responsible for the events leading up to Armageddon? The forces of Good or the forces of Evil? If I am not mistaken, it will be the forces of Evil who begin the Final War after a sharp decline in Civilization. Call me optimistic, but the current state of humanity is not actually worse off than it was one thousand years ago. With strong momentum towards universal education, they can call us peasants no more. Isn’t it quite plausible his return is not for another thousand years? Because we don’t know, shouldn’t we all be working on a plan to stop this insane persistent war? ‘Towards a strong national defense’ should be the motto of everyone until the bloodshed stops.

    As our Savior, the Muslims yearn for the Imam’s return, but do we actually want to be responsible for instigating the evil which necessitates his reappearance?

  28. Pak says:

    Dear UU,

    I study something as useless as you study. Thanks for the luck.

  29. Pak says:

    Dear whoever will pass on this message to Persian Gulf, since he is still ignoring me,

    Here is a video of Mohammad Mokhtari – a Green martyr who was gunned down on 25 Bahman – performing during Ashura ceremonies:

    http://youtu.be/LOI_oz7k-Po

    Mohammad was neither traditional nor religious in the context of the IR. But he was still Iranian, and as an Iranian he recognised his own culture and history, and so he involved himself in all of our traditions.

    The regime is best at dividing society into khodis (us) and gheyre khodis (them), and therefore portrays their fight against reform as one of Islam vs profanity, or East vs West, or tradition vs liberalism, and so on. The same way that Zionists portray their struggle as one against anti-Semitism, when it clearly is not.

    But justice will prevail. We need an Iran where all Iranians can live and prosper side by side, not an Iran where greedy, hypocritical leaders divide Iranian society, and create tension between people.

    In the words of Mohammad’s Facebook status update before being murdered:

    خدایا ایستاده مردن را نصبیم کن که از نشسته زیستن در زلت خسته ام

    I will leave it up to Empty or whoever to translate this one.

  30. Fiorangela says:

    James Canning @ 2:08 re enslaving Irish girls — that’s a story I’d never heard. Can you post sources and details?

  31. Rehmat says:

    A poll (March 24 – April 7, 2011) taken by the US-based Pew Research Centre among 1000 Egyptians – 62% of the participants responded they want to establish an Islamic state with real democratic values.

    The poll results are published in Egyptian daily Al-Ahram in its May 5-11, 2011 edition.

    The poll concludes that Egyptians are largely divided over the issue of religion. Whereas about 62 per cent think laws should strictly follow the teachings of the Quran, only 31 per cent of Egyptian Muslims say they sympathise with Islamic fundamentalists. Nearly the same number, 30 per cent, say they sympathise with those who disagree with fundamentalists, and 26 per cent have mixed views on this question. A majority of 81 per cent generally think religious leaders are having a positive influence on the country.

    Meanwhile, the public is “clearly open to religious-based political parties being part of a future government” and most people have a favourable opinion of the Muslim Brotherhood, “which has been a major presence in Egyptian society for decades, although it was officially banned from politics throughout the Mubarak era,” noted the survey. That said, only 17 per cent of respondents say they want the group to be part of the future government.

    Analysts note that the poll has perhaps underestimated the popularity of the Muslim Brotherhood among Egyptians. Poll results showed the group had relatively equal ratings as those of other political groups, including the relatively secular 6 April Movement and political leaders Amr Moussa, Ayman Nour and Mohamed El-Baradei. Whereas three in four of the surveyed group have favourable views of the Brotherhood, and 37 per cent have a very favourable view, the poll found that seven in 10 Egyptians express a positive opinion of the April 6 Movement, a protest organisation formed just three years ago.

    An overwhelming majority – 77 per cent of Egyptians are happy that former president Hosni Mubarak is gone. “This is not to say that many do not remain cautious about the prospects for political change: just 41 per cent say that a free and fair choice in the next election is very likely, while as many (43 per cent) think it is only somewhat likely, and 16 per cent say it is unlikely,” according to Pew.

    Democracy has become a major priority for 71 per cent of Egyptians, compared to 60 per cent last year. Most people desire free and fair multi-party elections, and 54 per cent of the surveyed sample favoured democracy over political stability. But most Egyptians (82 per cent) also aspire for improved economic conditions, a fair judiciary (79 per cent) and maintaining law and order (63 per cent). “When a good democracy is tested against a strong economy, it is a 47 per cent to 49 per cent draw, respectively,” said the survey.

    Regarding economic conditions, the survey finds Egyptians somewhat more positive than they were a year ago. About one third (34 per cent) now rate the economy as good, compared with 20 per cent in 2010; still, most (64 per cent) say economic conditions are bad. But fully 56 per cent think the economy will improve over the next year. Just 25 per cent were optimistic in 2010.

    http://rehmat2.wordpress.com/2011/05/12/poll-62-egyptian-favor-islamic-democracy/

  32. Unknown Unknowns says:

    From what I see, Hamid-Reza Moqaddam-Far’s 13 attributes can be profitably boiled down to three main spectra within which teh various political positions can be said to fall:

    1. Composition of Iranian identity (PreIslamic/ Islamic/ Modern)
    2. Institution of the Guardianship of the Jurisconsult (nature and extent of authority)
    3. The responsibilities of the state in bringing about and maintaining social justice (and the limits thereto)

    Other possible spectra:

    4. Social mores (conservative – liberal)
    5, Stance toward the US & the West (ideological – pragmatic)

    Now if we take these three (and I am sure that other important spectra can be added), and try to place each political formation somewhere within each spectrum, we should reach a better understanding of how each issue plays out in the current political. If the spectra of attributes and characteristics make up the ranks in our analytical chart, the political formations would be the files. So, I don’t know, help me out here:

    A. Ahmadinejad/ Masha’i & Co.
    B. Hashemi Rafsanjani & the Kargozaran-e Sazandegi
    C. Khatami & the Dovvom-e Khordad Movement
    D. Musavi
    E. Karrubi
    F. Rezai
    G. Qalibaaf
    H. Khamenei
    I. Sistani
    J. Etc.

    Notice how groups such as The National Front, The Communist Party, The Royalists, etc. are too marginal to be included in the discourse (except as fringe phenomena).

  33. Unknown Unknowns says:

    1- قدرت‌طلبي
    2- مطلق‌انگاري خود و خودمحوري
    3- التقاط فكري
    4- استفاده ابزاري از موضوع مهدويت
    5- تأكيد افراطي بر باستان‌گرايي و ايرانيت
    6- عدم اعتقاد به ضرورت حاكميت ولايت فقيه در زمان نزديك به ظهور
    7- قائل بودن به اسلام بدون روحانيت
    8- انسان‌محوري بر مبناي التقاط تفكر اسلامي و اومانيسم
    9- صلح جهاني با معنايي متضاد از فرهنگ قرآني
    10- عدالت‌محوري با رويكرد مساوات (عدالت توزيعي)
    11- عرفان‌گرايي كاذب، معناگرايي خرافه‌آميز
    12- زير سؤال بردن مديريت الهي انبيا
    13- تظاهر به سنت‌گرايي در عين اعتقاد به مدرنيته

    Here’s a better (comprehensive) translation (mine) of the 13 characteristics that Hamid-Reza Moqaddam-Far identified with the Ahmadinejad group:
    1. Thirst for power
    2. Self-centeredness
    3. Syncretistic thinking
    4. [Mis]use of Mahdism or Islamic Messianism as an instrument [to forward personal agendas]
    5. Excessive focus [and glorification of] Iran’s pre-Islamic past and on Iranian identity
    6. Absence of belief in the necessity of the institution of the Guardianship of the Jurisconsult in the times prior to the reappearance of the Mahdi (the Guided One)
    7. Assertion of [the possibility; desirability? of] an Islam unmediated by clergy; a non-hierocratic Islam
    8. Anthropocentrism, based on a syncretism of [secular] Humanism and Islam
    9. [Belief in means and methods of bringing about] world peace which are contrary to Koranic culture[al values].
    10. An egalitarian conception of social justice; belief in an [active, ] distributive form of social justice
    11. False spirituality; a spirituality co-mingled with superstition
    12. The questioning of the divine basis of the ministries of the prophets
    13. Feigning conservatism and a commitment to traditional values while actually subscribing to the values of modernity

  34. Unknown Unknowns says:

    I would be grateful to know if anyone knows of an article or preferably a full-length book that summarizes the various political factions and movements of today’s Iran: who the important personalities and thinkers are, and the differences in what they believe. I’m pretty sure such a book does not exist in English (though an informative article might be out there), but I have yet to come across a source in Persian.

    Translated by Nader Uskowi:

    Wednesday, May 11, 2011
    The Deviationists

    The managing director of Iran’s semiofficial Fars News Agency Hamid Reza Moqadam-Far today offered a detailed description of the ideological and political beliefs of the “deviationist” group, used to describe an inner circle of politicians and thinkers around president Ahmadinejad, led by his chief of staff Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie. Below are the highlights of Moqadam-Far’s speech (to read the complete speech in Farsi, click here).

    The Deviationist views are based on ancientism (the belief that Persia’s ancient times were better than the present); Iranism and the Iranian school (as opposed to Islamism and the Islamic school); Norouz (Persian new year) celebrations; and nationalism.
    The Deviationist understanding of the concept of velayat (Islamic governance) is void of Velayat-e Faghih (wherein senior Islamic scholars exercise temporal authority) and the obligations to follow the Vali Faghih (supreme leader).
    The Deviationist group uses Mahdaviat (the belief in and efforts to prepare for the Mahdi, the Shia’s Hidden Imam) for its own advantage and offer a weak and simplistic understanding of the belief in the Hidden Imam and the concept of waiting and preparing for his arrival.
    The Deviationists ignore the importance of Marjas (senior ayatollahs) and offer a belief in Islam without the clergy. The group’s deviations on this issue are manifested in their political, social and cultural behavior.
    The Deviationist group believes in “humanist Islam,” centered on the individual, as opposed to a religion centered on God and the Islamic faith.
    The Deviationist group believes in social justice centered on equality. They also offer a positive interpretation of modernity as opposed to traditionalism.

    Moqadam-Far said the group’s deviationist line is unprecedented in the history of the Islamic Republic. He emphasized their lack of belief in velayat faghih and the supreme leader during the preparation period for the imminent arrival of the Mahdi and their ideological belief in gaining the ultimate political power in the country.

  35. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Nice post, Rehmat. I thought this was the money-quote:

    The reason why western mainstream media is obsessed with Dr. Ahmadinejad – is best explained by a former Jewish writer, Brother Nathanael Kapner, who said last year: “The only world leader with the guts to tell truth these Zionist-censoring days, is Muslim President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. And although the Iranian President boldly told the UN Assembly last week that 9/11 was an inside job, the american delegation and all of its European puppets walked out on the truth-teller, calling his proven statements “hateful and offensive”. Why? Because the Zionist-controlled diplomats fear to offend their Jewish enablers like AIPAC and its subsidiary, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy”.

    And I had read this too about Moslehi’s claim:

    “Moslehi, as intelligence minister is known for exposing western lies. After attending a cabinet meeting last week, he denied that US had killed Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan.

    “He died some time ago due to sickness and is no longer alive, we have exact information to prove this,” Mosley told the semi- official Mehr News agency.”

    My first reaction was that I had heard similar kinds of claims before from the IRI (for example, that they have proof that the three Jewish hikers were spies, and so on). If Moslehi indeed does have this “proof”, now is the time to expose it to the light of day. If he does not, then he should shut up. Put out or shut up, I say.

  36. Persian Gulf says:

    M.Ali says:
    May 11, 2011 at 1:48 am

    Well, I don’t deny that for elders. But for the new ones, it’s absolutely not the case, at least to the extent I have seen. I lived in university dorm for years. rarely you could see somebody is praying. Fasting was different. And there are reasons for that in Iran (not now in the summer time). Just an example, few years ago when I first saw an Iranian friend of mine here, he used to pray daily and fast every Ramazan too. At the same time, he used to go to clubs and bars quite regularly, and drinking, of course, was part of his practices and other stuff too. He is almost a decade older than me, perhaps about your age.

    We (my other friends who were about the same age, little younger or older) however couldn’t believe this. Those of us closer to him used to tell him how come? It’s not possible. But he did not see any contradiction and instead was arguing for people of his age and his friends alike, these actions being a norm. Praying was part of their daily job.

    Long story short, a year after getting to know us, he stopped fasting!, and almost a year later, he got the disease. I mean, became like us; i.e. praying was dropped too…. Now, I think, only God has remained with him, the Prophet and some vague ideas about religion.

    I would argue you would rarely seen even this modest action among the youth (the new ones are far away from these stuff). An absolute majority are non-practicing, and what is with them is not really in the category of religion. It’s a sort of spirituality I would say. In that sense, I don’t think polls would give you a good grasp of an actual situation. And polls about politics and religion in Iran are very slippery simply bc it’s hard to express your true feelings.

    How many Shias wear black in Ashura?…. I beat my chest modestly during Ashura just to show sympathy and bc it’s a norm (orf as fyi likes to say). Am I considered as a religious person? What role religion plays in my daily life? This is the issue. The radical change is here. 2 generations ago, religion was part of the unified identity of most of Iranians. now, it doesn’t play any significant role. It doesn’t mean, it’s diminished, and it won’t diminish probably.

  37. fyi says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says: May 11, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    Kindly please explain the difference.

  38. Castellio says:

    Maybe he’s getting ta’dib correctly.

  39. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    fyi,
    You don’t understand the difference between takwin and tashri’.

  40. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    And don’t forget the thousands of poor Irish girls condemned to slavery for engaging in premarital sex in the Republic of Ireland.

  41. James Canning says:

    Rehmat,

    We could be sure that numerous stooges of the ISRAEL LOBBY in the US Congress (both houses) would pressure Obama in effort to subvert the unity government (Fatah/Hamas). After all, the US and Israel conspired to subvert the previous unity government even though it endorsed the 2002 Saudi peace plan.

    Facilitating theft of large portions of the West Bank is the core of the programme of many of these stooges in the US Congress.

  42. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    don’t forget the castrati (Italian boys castrated so that their voices did not change and they could sustain the choirs at Mass).

  43. fyi says:

    Photi says: May 11, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    Western Modernity is Godless although as of late a few new gods have been ushered in: Democracy and the Rule of Law coming to mind. But Western Modernity, being Godless, is not necessarily Evil. Therefore, its breaking of the Custome – in Muslims societies as well as others, was not always and everywhere an Evil act.

    Consider these in the 19-th Century:

    a man married a woman in Samarqand and sold her into slavery in Bukhara.

    The burning of the widows by Hindus,

    the bonding of feet of girls in China, etc.

    The castration of Black boys to be sold into slavery as servants of females in the world of Islam,

    Arbitrary arrests, imprisonment, torture

    The circumcision of women

    The murder of female babies in India, China, Korea – desiring a man-child

    Thank God for the Western Godless Modernity that destroyed such practices.

    When you write the word “equilibrium”, you are implicitly invoking an analogy with physics. Physics the (mathematical) science of inert matter and fields. Humans, gathered in society, are neither inert nor inactive. They feel and suffer.

    No matter how accurate and insightful these (implicit) notions of social/political/economic/cultural forces and their equilibria might be, they do not mean that one ought to gloass over the sufferings that they cause for human beings.

    Yes, there might some day be a new equilibrium but during that time a man or a woman could go from a youth to an old man. And Youth, you must know, is precious and irretrievable. When these social forces – implicit in your argument – ruin people’s lives, how are those ruinations to be compensated? How or who will redeem these damaged and injured human lives?

    Islam does not make any claims or rulings. The Revelations do. Everything outside of the Revelations are opinions (of possibly & hopefully learned) men. They now control the organs of power in this or that society and thus tell others, at the point of a gun, what Islam is.

    As you witnessed, in Pakistan, a Muslim was murdered in broad daylight by another Muslim since he disagreed with the “Blasphemy Law” of Pakistan.

    As things stand at this moment in history, Muslims have very little chance of settling around a mature modernity since free airing and discussions of view points is not possible without fearing for one’s life.

  44. Photi says:

    fyi,

    you wrote: “
    What need is being fulfilled by an immodest dress?

    Ans: The need of women to feel desirable and wanted – it caresses their ego and gives them a positive feeling about themselves.

    Is this need real or false?

    Ans: I cannot answer this since I do not know what you mean by “Real” and “False”. Normally, the Opposite of “Real” is “Imaginary” and not “False”. The opposite of “False” is “True”.

    Empirically, there is a need in females to preen themselves and present their most attractive self to both men and women. Why that is so, I do not know but it obtains in all human socities.

    Could this need be properly managed and fulfilled?

    Ans: It was being properly managed and fulfilled through “orf”, before the Pharisee Muslims gave us their vision of Islamic society; i.e. Islamic Nekbat.

    If yes, how?

    Ans: “Orf”/Custom and Personal judgement – leave the security machinery of state out of this.

    Much of the “orf” that you speak of was destroyed or was made to be obsolete as modernity made its way around the globe. The real disaster was modernity (though i might be inclined to call that disaster a beautiful disaster) and what you describe as the “Islamic Nakbat” has only been a response to that disaster, a response which is still actively in the making. The worldviews present among educated Iranians at the time of the Islamic Revolution were clearly influenced by the West’s particular interpretations of modernity, a modernity which did not have Islam at its center. What we see developing now is a Muslim interpretation of modernity, act II of a ten-act play. Would you describe the Renaissance as the “European Nakbat?”

    As the Muslims settle in to a matured modernity, Islam’s “clash” with said modernity should lessen over time. Eventually the Orf will find a new equilibrium, when it finds that equilibrium the orf will again be able to regulate society in its natural way. The equilibrium has not yet been found, so how can you prematurely label the non-existent equilibrium a Nakbat?

    Considering Islamic dress, i probably fall into the liberal category. I have not yet ever read a hadith where the Aimma (as) have enforced hijab on a woman (though i am no alim so there very well may be such a hadith). Encouraging the good and forbidding the evil is not a function the ‘State’ should take on lightly. Being obsessed with standards of dress divert attention away from more important matters. However, Western sabotage on Muslim societies is a demonstrated fact, so the state machinery has developed in response to an unnatural state of orf.

    Islam does not prohibit sociobiological perspectives on human behavior. Islam does not deny human nature, it provides a method of controlling human nature. The biological aspect of human nature would be considered the “nafs”, that part of ourselves which ties the humanity into the animal kingdom. Human needs arising out of our evolutionary past are legitimate in Islam, but by virtue of being given free will the way in which humans express those needs can vary considerably. Islam sets the standards of modesty and then gives the Muslims a choice. If Allah gives humanity free will then the ‘State’ should be reluctant in taking away that free will. After all, humans will be Judged according to how we use that free will. Liberalism does not have to equal decadence and Muslims do not have to be governed within a police state.

    David Attenborough from the BBC:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L54bxmZy_NE&feature=related

  45. Rehmat says:

    In order to blackmail Abbas’ Fatah government in the West Bank, the Zionist regime has announced to withhold US$90 million share of PA tax revenue on the lame excuse that as result of the Fatah-Hamas reconciliation – some of that money can fall into Hamas hands. A Shylock do know how to skin a cat, right!

    In the footsteps of their Zionist masters in Tel Aviv, 29 Democrat Party Senators have signed a letter, penned by Robert Menendez from New Jersey and Bob Casey from Pennsylvania – asking Barack Obama to withhold US aid to PA (Fatah faction) pending assurances that Hamas will not join the PA unity government…….

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2011/05/11/israel-thou-shalt-not-aid-pa-unity/

  46. Fiorangela says:

    re Chas Freeman: Clarence Thomas famously said that his nomination hearing (for Supreme Court justice) was a “high tech lynching.”

    Debbie Menon, who runs MyCatbirdSeat, has several very informative articles on the ‘low-down zionist’ lynching of Chas Freeman, here, within James Wall discussion which links to a talk by Freeman that can be viewed and read HERE: :http://www.thejerusalemfund.org/ht/display/ContentDetails/i/29130/pid/897; and an earlier conversation between Freeman and Jared Malsin, here- :http://mycatbirdseat.com/2010/09/charles-freeman-stifling-debate-on-israel-has-deadly-consequences/

    As Lucas’s commented at 5:09 and 8:39, Ambassador Chas Freeman’s views and principled positions had to be silenced since Freeman advanced American values, integrity, and interests, rather than the rogue and lawless values of Israel.

    This morning’s C Span Washington Journal interview of Matt Levitt crystallizes Freeman’s thesis that “Stifling Debate on Israel has Deadly Consequences.” Levitt worked in Stuart Levey’s brain-fart department in the US Department of Treasury between 2005 and 2007, and is now at WINEP, the AIPAC spin-off that CREATED the Treasury Dept. office of anti-terror finance and intelligence.

    In his C Span appearance, Levitt had 45 minutes of free access to millions of Americans to persuade them that the work of the US government Office of Intelligence and Department of Treasury in spying on and short-circuiting financial transactions was a “good thing” that “kept Americans safer” and “is an important tool in the war on terror.” Shutting down the Holy Land Foundation “which funds Hamas, a terror organization” was one of the victories of Levitt’s work at the Treasury Dept. Levitt was also a “consultant” to the 9/11 Commission that has conclusively “asked and answered” the Who Did 9/11 question: it was bin Laden.

    Two elements of Levitt’s appearance on C Span deserve attention, first, the number of times he used the phrase, rule of law; and second, to hark back to a brief discussion we had about the Rothschilds, the use of information by international predatory financiers.

    It seems to me that when a practiced speaker such as Matthew Levitt uses a phrase three or four times, it is intentional; he wishes to make a point, he knows how and desires to cement a concept in the minds of his audience. Levitt said “rule of law” at least three times, and in conjunction (or cahoots) with moderator Libby Casey, reviewed several times the “safeguards” that are in place to protect the privacy of the financial dealings of ordinary Americans — we don’t have to be concerned that our ATM transactions are being scrutinized, said Levitt. Levitt would have us believe that when we fill out a form addressed to the US government in compliance with requirements of the US Treasury Department, to accompany a bank transaction that exceeds a certain dollar amount, that information –our name, address, social security number, etc. — is not accessible by the US government! We know better. So what is Levitt’s agenda?

    The other day I posted one of the most powerful passages in Chas Freeman’s speech at the Palestine Center (link above). Here it is again, in expanded form:

    ” . . .the golden rule has been largely forgotten. The principle that one should not do to others what one would not wish done to oneself had been integral to both faiths. [But in the Holy Land] Amoral and unscrupulous zealots have the podium. . . .

    Obfuscatory euphemisms are, unfortunately, the norm in the Holy Land. But rhetorical tricks can no longer conceal the protracted moral zero-sum game that is in progress . . . Israel’s Cabinet openly directs the murder of Palestinian political leaders. . . .

    As always in such mayhem, truth and the law have been the first to go missing. . . .

    the former head of the Israeli Defense Forces’ (IDF) Legal Department has argued:

    “If you do something for long enough the world will accept it. The whole of international law is now based on the notion that an act that is forbidden today becomes permissible if executed by enough countries . . . . International law progresses through violations.”

    A colleague of his has extended this notion by pointing out that:

    “The more often Western states apply principles that originated in Israel to their own non-traditional conflicts in places like Afghanistan and Iraq, then the greater the chance these principles have of becoming a valuable part of international law.”

    These references to Iraq and Afghanistan underscore the extent to which the United States, once the principal champion of a rule-bound international order, has followed Israel in replacing legal principles with expediency as the central regulator of its interaction with foreign peoples. The expediently amoral doctrine of preemptive war is such an Israeli transplant in the American neo-conservative psyche.”

    Israel routinely flouts the rule of law. In a speech at a major temple in the US some months ago, Israeli author Gershom Gorenberg told his audience that the earliest zionists functioned on the principle that the rule of law did not apply to them, that their only rule was to create the Jewish state. Gorenberg displayed a copy of the legal opinion that had been buried in Israeli archives for decades, that stately unequivocally that settlement of lands taken in war is a violation of international law. Israel has not only willfully ignored that determination, but, as Gorenberg detailed, has worked to destroy awareness of international boundaries to Israel’s land by adopting a government policy of erasing the “green line” from all maps used by Israelis, including Israeli school children. Thus, Gorenberg, said, it is not just an early settler zionist mentality that ignored the rule of law, it is state of Israel policy to ignore the rule of law. That mindset in Israel of ignoring the rule of law has only grown worse over time, concluded Gorenberg. That’s point one, on Rule of Law.

    Point two is that Matt Levitt is a member of WINEP, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. WINEP is a creation of and serves the purposes of AIPAC, the major Israel advocacy organization. AIPAC evolved from a chain of early zionist organizations that reorganized and rebranded themselves in a bid to avoid and evade the demand of the United States that the organization register as a foreign agent. In a speech to children of holocaust survivors in California in fall 2010, Mitchell Bard (editor of online Jewish Virtual Library, inter alia) said, “AIPAC does what the government of Israel wants it to do.” :http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/ArabLo

    The office and activities that Levitt discussed on C Span was created at the urging of WINEP and staffed with executives recommended by WINEP; WINEP, a creature of AIPAC which has not complied with the most basic rule of law — that it register as the agent of a foreign government — and that represents a foreign government that throughout its history has shown only disdain for the rule of law. Why should Americans believe ANYTHING that Levitt says, or place ANY trust in the activities of the US Treasury Department?

    Furthermore, why is robust debate and refutation of positions such as Levitt’s shut down by so many of America’s media, including American media’s “Colin Powell,” C Span? One answer is the chilling effect of CAMERA — the Jewish organization that monitors C Span and slaps C Span’s wrist for any anti-ISRAELI statements. By what absurd mechanism has it happened that Americans are censored and silenced from participation and rebuttal of information such as Levitt produced on C Span, by an organization whose purpose is to protect and defend Israel?

    the second point — how organizations like WINEP mimic the Rothschilds in their use of information — will have to wait until I get back from the library.

  47. kooshy says:

    UU-

    I guess one can say, that it’s about time for Iran, to offer her own educational courses one like “Principals of exporting revolutionary thoughts for everyday uprisings” or like this one “Principals of countering color revolutions by destabilizing adversary’s client states” these could be offered online, and I venture a guess that Professor Lucas wouldn’t mind to take these courses himself, for his own continued education.

    I would love to see this one is offered “Principals of countering propaganda by educating adversary’s agents”.

  48. Rd. says:

    fyi says:
    “Empirically, there is a need in females to preen themselves and present their most attractive self to both men and women. Why that is so, I do not know but it obtains in all human socities.”

    Perhaps it has to do with their DNA of reproductive responsibilities/desires!!!! As it is generally the female who selects her male counter part, for the best potential off-spring, contrary to the general “male” belief. Except forced marriages.

  49. fyi says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says: May 11, 2011 at 10:47 am

    Spiritual Authority cannot be transferred to a collection of human beings since that collection is not human, does not have a spirit or soul. IT cannot receive spiritual blessings since it is not a spiritual entity.

    Any claim by the Doctors of Religion to have received the Spiritual Authority of Imams is a meta-physical impossibility and a lie.

    Consensus by Uleam is irrelevant.

    Counter example: 10 men are blessed – as a collective – by God. One is a fiend and a criminal. Has God blessed him as well?

    I support the Rule of Law, I do not support evil laws that condone slavery, pedophilia, stoning etc.

    I tried to point out a way out to you and to those like you from the dead-end street that you are in.

    I pointed out that the Injil of Jesus (the Record of the Acts, Deeds, and Words of the Immaculate Perfect Man, born of the Virgin, the Spirit of God) is in contradiction to the claims of Sharia and thus negated the rants of Falliable Fallen men.

    You reject Injil of Jesus, that is your choice.

    But the Evil of aspects of Islamic Law remains; for that reason Turks support seclarism and for that reason young people in Iran damn Sharia. For Shria – Law – has become not an instrument of protection but an instrument of oppression.

  50. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    BiB wrote:
    “Wilayate tashrii, implementing the sharia passes to the fuqaha, different than wilayate takwini which is always with the person of the masoom (as).”

    fyi wrote:
    “I do not subscribe to that theory.”

    Whether you subscribe to it or not is completely irrelevant. This is the Shia view and not a single faqih holds a different view. Even the two or three akhbaris that are left accept this- otherwise they wouldn’t have mullahs. The only point of debate is the extent of the wilayate tashrii.

    As such any muqalid is mawali of a marja who is a shari wali and has to be obeyed in legal questions.

    In all your rantings (you used this word first in reference to me) you don’t have a place for the law, and that is the major problem with your opinions.

    Stick to geopolitics and stop thinking too much about electronic chastity belts.

  51. fyi says:

    Eric A. Brill says: May 10, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    “He is [Ahmadinejad's] wali and as such has to be obeyed.”

    The Shia Doctrine of Imamat posits that there is a separate station called “Welayat”. That this station is higher than Prophethood. The Prophet of Islam, in this Doctrine, was both Wali and Prophet.

    Stating that Mr. Khamenei is the “Wali” of Mr. Ahmadinejad, indeed the Wali of All Muslims, in essence, is saying that he has been elevated to the “Welayat” station.

    I do not think any Shia Doctor of Religion could go on record and support that position.

  52. fyi says:

    Empty says: May 10, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    Thank you for your long and detailed response.

    I do not think that our positions on freedom are very far apart, I think you are stating that the exercise of freedoms is constrained or enhanced by the historical process; that these constraints/enhancements are mediated through the institutions of the human societies to the individuals.

    I think if that is what you have meant, then, from a historical/empirical view point, I could agree with you.

    But the claim of Revelations is that they are valid for all times and all places. Historical situations that constrain or limit Human Freedom are not teleologically acceptable to the Revelations; I should think.

    But I will have to think more about what you have written.

    And I cannot object to your idea of building capacities for freedom over time. But in case of the Islamic Disaster in Iran, it seems to be, the machinery of the state is being used to destroy capacities for freedom in some instances.

    You also asked:

    What need is being fulfilled by an immodest dress?

    Ans: The need of women to feel desirable and wanted – it caresses their ego and gives them a positive feeling about themselves.

    Is this need real or false?

    Ans: I cannot answer this since I do not know what you mean by “Real” and “False”. Normally, the Opposite of “Real” is “Imaginary” and not “False”. The opposite of “False” is “True”.

    Empirically, there is a need in females to preen themselves and present their most attractive self to both men and women. Why that is so, I do not know but it obtains in all human socities.

    Could this need be properly managed and fulfilled?

    Ans: It was being properly managed and fulfilled through “orf”, before the Pharisee Muslims gave us their vision of Islamic society; i.e. Islamic Nekbat.

    If yes, how?

    Ans: “Orf”/Custom and Personal judgement – leave the security machinery of state out of this.

    Does this person have the appropriate capacity to understand the need, the correct way to fulfill it, and the means to fulfill it?

    Ans: It is not for me or anyone else to judge the intellectual capabilities of other people – especially women. On the average, I have found women to be saner than men, in my opinion. I would not be telling them how to dress themselves; it is not my place. I am another human being just like them.

    Does this person’s fulfillment of this need in public negatively exposes others (children and adults alike) in public to, let’s say, “social pollution”?

    Ans: I do not know what you consider “social pollution”. Usually, one defines criminal activities and non-criminal activities in the Law and everything else is permitted.

    But I have a few questions for you:

    The 75,000 or so prostitutes that roam Tehran’s streets: are they sources of “social pollution” or not?

    Swearing in public when in an auto-accident, is that a form of “social pollution”?

    How about aggressive groping of females in the streets of Tehran (or Cairo)?

    Why is it that the Islamic Government neglects these other forms of “social pollution” while picking on (young) women who wish to be stylish?

    Is being stylish against Islam?

    Must all Muslim women be like these fat ugly women that one sees from time-to-time in the West?

    The Iranian society, overwhelmingly considers immodest dressing a social pollution.

    Ans: So be it, then let the Iranian society deal with it through “custom” (orf).

  53. Fiorangela says:

    oh jeez
    Lucas got access to teh internets again.

    there goes the neighborhood.

  54. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Pak:

    I TOL’ UU couldn’t keep away! Bet you miss that cute little Bala though, huh? Too bad he wasn’t… you know, didn’t want to hang around our watering hole.

    What are you studying, anyway? Something practical, I hope. Not something stupid like Islamic Studies (like me!). Well, good luck with it, whatever it is. RFI provides a nice break. Hopefully it won’t be too distracting :)

  55. Unknown Unknowns says:

    kooshy:
    “…the good news is, to boost up students and instructors “spirits” the good professor Lucas now offers an off Langley campus makeup course which is to be offered this coming term this one is called “Dynamics of failed color revolutions…”

    *

    Are you Syrious? :D

    Nice post. Put a smile on my face.

  56. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Empty:
    Oh, I know. Just clownin around.

    By the way, why do the Leveretts never participate in any of the discussions? Not that I’m offended. Just curious. Anyone?

  57. kooshy says:

    PaK man, how are you, I thought you said you are in middle of exams and wouldn’t want to waste time on this site, hey man what happened, you are back, hey you better stick to your studies or “Professor Lucas may end up giving you a failure, like that last course and related workshop you took with him, I mean ” the Iran’s elections 88” for “Advance Color Revolutions 101” , but the good news is, to boost up students and instructors “spirits” the good professor Lucas now offers an off Langley campus makeup course which is to be offered this coming term this one is called “Dynamics of failed color revolutions”, for those students who took the ACR101 and related workshop there is chance to obtain “some” founding by the Soros foundation only if the good professor puts in the good words. Remember, those students who work hard and graduate, for sure will immediately be hired, and will get a job to work on campus.

  58. Scott Lucas says:

    BiBiJon,

    Freeman & Moslehi are very different episodes — US case was one in which Freeman was casualty of ongoing battle over Administration approach to “Israel”; Iran case is one in which Moslehi was catalyst for new stage of contest for power between Ahmadinejad’s office (including Rahim-Mashai) & Supreme Leader’s office….

    S.

  59. Empty says:

    RE: “Leveretts: ……. You can come back from your sympathy strike now and start posting again.

    Correct observation. Wrong assumption.

  60. Pak says:

    Dear Persian Gulf,

    There is a difference between protesting, and revolting. Protesting these unlawful actions against Ahmadinejad is not inciting a revolution. The same way that protesting about the elections was not inciting a revolution. Things only get nasty once the ruling elite expose their undemocratic face by cracking down on protests with brute force.

    If Iran is a democracy, especially under the so called democratically elected, pro-democratic Ahmadinejad, then people have a right to protest. But from my understanding of recent events, it just goes to show that Iran is not democratic at all, and everyone is in one way or another a puppet of Khamenei or the Guards. And parliament is the biggest joke of all.

    First they got rid of the secular nationalists, then they got rid of the Islamic leftists, then they got rid of the reformists, and now they are even getting rid of the conservatives. What will be left? A skeleton of extremism, headed by Khamenei. Who knows what will happen once he passes away.

  61. BiBiJon says:

    Scott Lucas says:
    May 11, 2011 at 5:09 am

    Glad it is still fresh in your mind. Do me a favor. Can you do a contrast-and-compare piece on the ‘intrigues’ surrounding Freeman vs Moslehi and tell us how much hay should be made in each case?

    Thanks

  62. Scott Lucas says:

    BiBiJon,

    Re: “Do you recall the ‘Chas’ affair?”

    I certainly do. We wrote about it at the time:

    “Between 2001 and 2003, many of the State Department’s Arabists were pushed out the door because their expertise was an unwelcome hindrance to the Bush Administration’s plans on Iraq and the Middle East. The intelligence services saw their information and assessments skewed to fit political agendas, with their agencies taking the blame when the Administration’s ‘intelligence’ — for example, on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction — was proved wrong. The Obama Administration had tried to promote a revived intelligence community, for example, through the highlighting of Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair and indeed Freeman’s selection, and the raising of the State Department’s profile (and spirits) under Hillary Clinton.

    What it has just learned, if it didn’t sense this already, is that such ambitions — and indeed the policies beyond them — have to accept the limits set by ‘Israel’.”

    http://www.enduringamerica.com/march-2009/2009/3/11/how-israel-limits-us-foreign-policy-the-not-so-curious-case.html

    Best,

    S.

  63. BiBiJon says:

    Scott Lucas says:
    May 11, 2011 at 3:09 am

    Do you recall the ‘Chas’ affair?

    “Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair announced today that Ambassador Charles W. Freeman Jr. has requested that his selection to be Chairman of the National Intelligence Council not proceed. Director Blair accepted Ambassador Freeman’s decision with regret.”

    http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2009/03/10/freeman

  64. M.Ali says:

    Ahmadenijad’s support among the political elites, i.e. the old gaurds, was never that big to begin with. His support was always with the people, and this power play isn’t exactly a high priority issue for the people, so its not something Ahmadenijad could have expected much support from the layman.

  65. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Leveretts:

    Moslehi is in, Shams-e Tabriz is back, and Molana has a new spring in his step.

    You can come back from your sympathy strike now and start posting again.

  66. Voice of Tehran says:

    ScumPack says:
    May 10, 2011 at 6:51 pm

    “” I hope you enjoyed it; I am sure that you did not.”"

    Dear SP , you hit the nail on the head…

  67. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Persian Gulf:
    Think what you will. I live in Darrous, if you must know. If you live in Tehran too, I’d been hapy to hook up with you over a nice cup of coffee, maybe in Khane-ye Honarmandan below Karim Khan, or in the Cinema Museum’s Cafe in Baq Ferdows. Whatever, dude.

  68. Roland says:

    If the news is correct, what does Bahrain king is cooking up with such a statement regarding Iran? He want to use Iran to ease shia population? Making a bargain?

    http://presstv.com/detail/179317.html

    “Bahrain king seeks Iran co-op in crisis “

  69. Scott Lucas says:

    Eric,

    Re your “Khamenei could simply have ‘ordered’ Ahmadinejad to retain Moslehi whether Ahmadinejad wanted to or not”.

    Effectively, that is what the Supreme Leader’s office did, through the letter to Moslehi and through Khamenei’s public statements. They were supported by the leadership of the Revolutionary Guards, by clerics from Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi to Tehran Friday Prayer leader Hojatoleslam Siddiqi, by prominent legislators such as Bahonar and the 90 MPs who called for questioning of Ahmadinejad, and by the judiciary with the arrests of some in Ahmadinejad’s office (including provocative claims such as “sorcery” and “exorcism”).

    As M. Ali notes, this power play by the Supreme Leader’s office might have been countered if some of those groups had given support to Ahmadinejad. None of them did, pointing to his narrow (and arguably shrinking) base for power within the establishment.

    Three “red lines” have been set down for the President: 1) no more moves on the Ministry of Intelligence; 2) no manipulation of 2012 Parliamentary elections; 3) no anointing of Rahim-Mashai as a successor.

    S.

  70. Voice of Tehran says:

    Consumers and Investors Seek Protection With Guns and Gold

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig10/fry7.1.1.html

    “”Even after last week’s steep selloff in the commodities markets, the “Flight to Safety” trade is still on…big time. Gold may have retreated from its all-time high, but applications to purchase a handgun continue soaring to record levels. According to the FBI, background-check applications for handgun buyers are on a record-setting pace so far this year. “In this year’s first quarter,” Bloomberg News reports, “the FBI’s Instant Criminal Background Check System processed 4.25 million requests on prospective gun buyers – up 16% from a year earlier.” If the current pace continues, the number of “gun checks” would hit a seventh straight annual record….

  71. M.Ali says:

    PS, I’m going by polls. Polls, again and again, show that Iranians are religious. I also go by the way people act. Iran is the sort of country where even prostitutes don’t visit their clients on Moharram. Religion is a strange thing. I’ve had friends who would drink all year long but on Ramadan start praying and not drinking. I’ve had a girlfriend in Tehran that would come to my house, we’d make out, and then she’d do abulation and pray. How many Shias wear black in Ashura? Many of the Shia Iranians I know in Dubai also wore black, even those that didnt seem religious even in the slightest.

    How many of these so-called non-religious friends of yours will deny God? How many of your Shia friends will strongly criticize Ali, much less insult him? How many of my Sunni friends will say something bad about Mohammad (or even Ali, now that I think about it)? How many Iranians do you know that, as they grow older, they become more religious? A lot of my younger friends don’t pray and a lot the older generation do pray. Its not the young generation are changing, because the same older generation weren’t that outwardly religious as a young person. My grandfather (from my father’s side) prays, goes to the mosque on a regular basis, etc, etc. But as a young man, they tell me he used to drink and never pray.

  72. M.Ali says:

    Something else to add to Unknown Unknowns’ comment. I believe that Iranians do not want democracy in the same way the west wants. I’d even argue that most of the Arabs, even in the Arab spring, don’t want democracy in the way the west thinks of it. They want a better governmnent and a better life, and democracy has just been the word of the day to represent it. Asia still is attracted to singular leaders, this is why, there has always been attraction towards powerful, strong, leaders in Asia.

    One of my Iranian friends clearly started he didn’t like democracy. His argument was that in a democracy, everyone “mikhoreh” (steals), but in a monarchy, its just one entity.

  73. M.Ali says:

    Eric made a good point, and Pak should look at the incident in that right. Claiming that “Shah” Khameini can do whatever he wants is wrong.

    As it has been proved again and again, it seems Khameini’s role has been at balancing out the different parties and sorting out crises. I like Ahmadenijad, but what if another President came about, could do whatever he desires, with no one to stand against him? Or maybe the only group against him was the Majlis, so we have a clash against each other, with no laws being passed by the Majlis, and no support given by the President, until the whole system collapses, like we have seen in many regional (i.e. new) democracies, such as Lebanon, Thailand, Pakistan, and so forth.

    In the current situation, it seems a lot of politicians were against Ahmadenijad’s decision, and that is why, the situation got resolved NOT in Ahmadenijad’s favor. If Ahmadenijad had a lot of support among his colleagues in the government, then he could have formally fired him, and gotten the Parliament’s approval. If I am not mistaken, the President cant even fire him, without the Majlis’ approval, so he asked him to resign.

    This is really not a big deal. Whenever something minor happens in Iran, people claim that the roof is collapsing. Such political manourverings happen in all the countries. The reason this even happens IS because no one has absolute, unquesioning authority over everyone. Khameini has been smart since he was the SL. He tried to appease the correct political parties. It has been a win-win situation with him. He hasn’t tried to be a Shah.

  74. Persian Gulf says:

    M.Ali:

    Not really, I think you overestimate the religious aspect of Iranian people. Is that bc you are part of the minority sect in Iran? I know for the fact that my Sunni friends are way more religious than the Shia ones.
    basically, I don’t call it religiosity at all which most of Iranians are not; it’s a sort of metaphysics (خواستن خدا و خرما باهم). IMHO, a tool to escape “materialistic worldview” for which embodies dire consequences.

  75. Persian Gulf says:

    Unknown Unknowns:

    “becuase I live in Tehran’s green zone..”

    Please don’t lie. I didn’t ask where you live, and it is not that important for me at all. enjoy wherever you are. It’s clear you are not in Iran. a man of faith like you shouldn’t easily lie like this. Expediency will kill your virtue. I am not going to discuss anything with you about anything. Tell whatever you like. You just lost your credits, if any.

  76. Persian Gulf says:

    Eric:

    “Do most people in Iran, at least educated people, really believe this?”: NOT AT ALL.

    All these show is a fight to reduce Khamenei’s power on the part of educated people. most of them are so fed up with him that don’t see him legitimate at all let alone going through specific decision like this. for example, we have 4 million students in Iran at the moment. you can be sure at least 3.5 millions see him that way (0.5 million is A VERY good credit that I gave just for the sake of not being labeled as talking like greens), simply don’t believe him. and it was the case when I was a student in Iran too. in every classroom, big or small, the supporters of Khamenei were in visible minority; less than 10% I would say.

    I have read in other places that, why don’t Ahmadinejad supporters come out and protest to show support for him? they must be kidding. the majority who voted for Ahmadinejad are silent votes including many in my broader family members. just hopeless. they saw Dr.Ahmadinejad talking differently, and they thought this guy would do something or change the situation. we did a big revolution just over 3 decades ago and paid a very heavy price. so, people are not interested in another revolution anytime soon. yet there are trying different ways to get out of this impasse. now even Ahmadinejad understood he is nothing(he was in illusion about his power beforehand to be specific). I have to admit that during the campaign, people like BiB made a lot of noises about supporting Ahmadinejad and they know think they are the true beholders of the presidency. they simply don’t give a damn to those silent majority. for them SL is everything and the rest are just servants of him. it’s their lifeline after all, why don’t they be like what the are?

    in fact, I have come to the conclusion that voting in Iran is USELESS (indeed, I had lost my hope a few years ago, but then Ahmadinejad injected some hope which turned out to be nothing. now, only God can topple this Velayate-Sheitanie-Faghih). no matter what you want, there is always, somebody or some groups, that dictate their opinion. this was the case at the time of Khatami, and by all accounts we have seen it at the time of Ahmadinejad (the rest of Ahmadinejad’s presidency became a joke. seriously it would have been better for him to resign. a president did not show up for work for 11 days, while he was healthy and it was just in protest over a decision, and no major outlet talked about it in detail. no discussion of the sort in the state TV. you CAN NOT find something like this anywhere in the world that has election).

    A friend of mine, who is in fact a supporter of IR and critical of the greens to a great degree, always says people should refrain from voting for few elections. let the turn out get down dramatically. only then IR might give up some of the God given rights back to the people. and I fully think now, he was quite right.

  77. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Eric:
    Final thought on the last post: they do not want to see the “Decay of the Angel” (to use Yukio Mishima’s words) as they still rightly believe that there is a Light that never goes out.

  78. Unknown Unknowns says:

    VoT:
    What I liked about the video was the fact that a German had put together this tribute (you can tell by the fact that in the end he also made it a tribute to the half-dozen or so mostly German scholars and activists who have been imprisoned or are still in prison because of the thought-crime laws against “HollowCo$t” revisionism. I also like the music (which is pretty intense, like you say, to go along with the images of Jewish abuse of Palestinians), but which makes a sublime transition to “Here comes the Sun”, with the images of abuse being replaced by images of Hope – that of Ahmadinejad. Anyway, there it is.

    BiB – I think you would enjoy the video too if you go back to the link.

  79. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Eric A. Brill says:
    May 10, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    Thanks to Loyal for posting the letter from Khamenei.

    As others have pointed out, Khamenei was not purporting to “reinstate” Moslehi, who technically hadn’t resigned or been fired in the first place. That being the case, this looks like the sort of political battle that occurs from time to time in the US, on one issue or another – not the flagrant overstepping of Khamenei’s constitutional authority that it initially appeared to be.

    There is a difference worth mentioning, though, between how such a battle would play out in the US and in Iran.

    There is no equivalent to a separate Supreme Leader in the US system, of course. The closest equivalent to Khamenei’s letter in an internal US government dispute might be a letter from a group of powerful Senators and/or Congressmen expressing their displeasure with the US president’s actual or imminent termination of a Cabinet member. Such a letter would never be directed to the Cabinet member, however. It would either be addressed to the president or simply be an “open letter,” since the writers (or at least their legal advisers) would undoubtedly recognize they have no authority to “order” or “request” or even “suggest” that an executive-department official remain in his position against the expressed desire of the official’s boss – the president. In other words, what Khamenei did would be considered inappropriate in the US, and would be very unlikely to occur.

    But that may reflect just a difference in national style, since even Khamenei’s letter plainly stopped short of overstepping his constitutional authority. Nothing in the Iranian constitution restricts the Supreme Leader from making his preferences known, and he often does so (just as he also makes a point of not expressing his preference on other occasions).

    Though it thus seems clear to me now that Khamenei understood the constitutional limit on his authority in this dispute and did not try to overstep it, I remain surprised and disappointed that many other commentators – reportedly including some high government officials – nevertheless believe Khamenei had greater authority than he chose to exercise. Based on several quotations reported earlier by Pak, at least several high officials appear to believe Khamenei could simply have “ordered” Ahmadinejad to retain Moslehi whether Ahmadinejad wanted to or not. If what Pak quoted really reflects the beliefs of those officials, their position on the matter is really not different from that expressed by Bussed-in Basiji: “He is [Ahmadinejad's] wali and as such has to be obeyed.”

    Do most people in Iran, at least educated people, really believe this? I don’t mean to ask whether they believe it’s true as a practical matter, since I understand that it may well be true in that sense. I’m asking more specifically whether most educated people in Iran believe it’s true under the constitution – that, if push comes to shove and the president simply stands his ground, the Supreme Leader may simply overrule his decision on a matter that’s plainly within the president’s authority under the constitution?

    *

    I would say the short answer to your insightful question is yes.

    The transition from monarchy to republicanism (or constitutional monarchy) in Europe took place over a period of a couple or even several centuries, and was hastened by the fusion of church adn state starting with Constantine (324 CE) and the Holy Roman Empire, and the Reformation reaction thereto. In Islamdom, where we have had separation of church adn state from the time of the fifth “Rightly-Guided” Caliph’s abdication (the beginning of the Umayyad dynasty), this transition, if indeed it is to take place, is going to have a much different character, not least becuase the moderating affect of the de facto separation of mosque adn state mitigates the resentment towards authority that ushered in teh European and American backlashes which had its early manifestations in the Glorious Revolution of 1688 (James II being overthrown by the Protestant William of Orange and Mary, James’ daughter) and culminated in teh revolutions of 1776 and 1789.

    Most so-called “educated” Iranians make teh mistake of thinking that the majority of Iranians have made the transition to wholeheartedly wanting the constitution adn the rule of law to replace some form of mon-archy (authority vested in a single person) – simply because THEY have made this “progressive” transition. This is simply not the case. The majority of Iranians do not want the “farr-e eezadee” (the divine favor bestowed on their kings of old, and then manifested in the form of ismat – inerrency or impeccbility – on their Imams, to evaporate, only to be replaced by a messy bureaucratic process, which is, ultimately, empty of any divine grace. Most Iranians do not want that light to be extinguished, which is the secret or key to understanding why the seed of Imam Khomeini’s theory of the Guardianship of the Jurisconsult fell on fertile ground: in the absence of the Imam of the Age (who is in an occulted state), and in light of the monarchy’s abject failure single-handedly to deal with the issues contronting the nation as a result of the avalanche of modernity, it offered the nation a way to have its cake and eat it too; hence teh paradox “Islamic Republic”.

    The above should give you a glimpse into what I meant earler when I said that teh SENSE of the concept “Constitution” is different in teh minds and souls of the Iranian nation (than that of, say, America’s).

  80. Thanks to Loyal for posting the letter from Khamenei.

    As others have pointed out, Khamenei was not purporting to “reinstate” Moslehi, who technically hadn’t resigned or been fired in the first place. That being the case, this looks like the sort of political battle that occurs from time to time in the US, on one issue or another – not the flagrant overstepping of Khamenei’s constitutional authority that it initially appeared to be.

    There is a difference worth mentioning, though, between how such a battle would play out in the US and in Iran.

    There is no equivalent to a separate Supreme Leader in the US system, of course. The closest equivalent to Khamenei’s letter in an internal US government dispute might be a letter from a group of powerful Senators and/or Congressmen expressing their displeasure with the US president’s actual or imminent termination of a Cabinet member. Such a letter would never be directed to the Cabinet member, however. It would either be addressed to the president or simply be an “open letter,” since the writers (or at least their legal advisers) would undoubtedly recognize they have no authority to “order” or “request” or even “suggest” that an executive-department official remain in his position against the expressed desire of the official’s boss – the president. In other words, what Khamenei did would be considered inappropriate in the US, and would be very unlikely to occur.

    But that may reflect just a difference in national style, since even Khamenei’s letter plainly stopped short of overstepping his constitutional authority. Nothing in the Iranian constitution restricts the Supreme Leader from making his preferences known, and he often does so (just as he also makes a point of not expressing his preference on other occasions).

    Though it thus seems clear to me now that Khamenei understood the constitutional limit on his authority in this dispute and did not try to overstep it, I remain surprised and disappointed that many other commentators – reportedly including some high government officials – nevertheless believe Khamenei had greater authority than he chose to exercise. Based on several quotations reported earlier by Pak, at least several high officials appear to believe Khamenei could simply have “ordered” Ahmadinejad to retain Moslehi whether Ahmadinejad wanted to or not. If what Pak quoted really reflects the beliefs of those officials, their position on the matter is really not different from that expressed by Bussed-in Basiji: “He is [Ahmadinejad's] wali and as such has to be obeyed.”

    Do most people in Iran, at least educated people, really believe this? I don’t mean to ask whether they believe it’s true as a practical matter, since I understand that it may well be true in that sense. I’m asking more specifically whether most educated people in Iran believe it’s true under the constitution – that, if push comes to shove and the president simply stands his ground, the Supreme Leader may simply overrule his decision on a matter that’s plainly within the president’s authority under the constitution?

  81. kooshy says:

    All in all, in this letter he is cleverly asking the minster to continue his work with the “Support of the servant government “, up on the surface he did not formally reinstate him, but the letter was enough for the government to understand what is expected, and if they do not complied with his wishes, for sure they have problem having his continued support.

    Security matters based on Iran’s constitution is not a domain of the president, but rather it’s collectively a task of in all conscience, of all the branches that form the system headed by the leader, who’s supposedly responsible for the unity and security of the nation. Therefore, traditionally leader’s approval on security matters is required, if it was not for the support of the leader of the revolution after the last election Mr. Ahmadinijad could not have survive the forces that wanted to topple his government.

    I remember there was a similar disagreement between Mr. Khamenaie and Mr. Khomeini toward the end of Mr. Khamenaie’s presidency which finally a few letters later resulted in President agreeing with the leader’s wishes.

  82. Pak says:

    Dear VoT,

    Unfortunately, I was unable to frequent England for the wedding, but I did manage to catch a glimpse of it on TV. I am not sure why you addressed the article to me; I assume that you want my opinion on the wedding, so here it is:

    I thought it was very nice, although William sure needs some hair implants, and Catherine is dangerously thin. The Queen was very grumpy, and the Duke of Edinburgh was as usual eyeing up the girls, in particular Catherine’s sister, Philippa. To be fair to the Queen, she is 85, so spending a whole day being paraded around London must get tiring. The same goes with her husband, who is 95. Overall, the wedding was nice. I would use a more colourful adjective, but nice really sums it up; neither here nor there, just nice.

    As for the whole concept of the British monarchy, I am neither pro nor anti. I would say I am apathetic. While previous royals have a dodgy reputation, monarchs since Victoria have proven to be far more effective. And nowadays, they are more Hollywood than anything else. I would say that only a minority of British are proper monarchists, while an even smaller minority are republicans (membership of republican groups numbers in the tens of thousands). The majority are apathetic, like me. May be if one day the Queen imposes herself on Westminster, and decides to order the police to mow down protesters with guns, then people’s opinions will change. But so long as there is freedom to think whatever you want about the monarchy, people will remain apathetic (it is ironic that the actor who played the King in the King’s Speech – Colin Firth – admitted that he is actually a republican).

    Anyway, that was my two cents. I hope you enjoyed it; I am sure that you did not.

  83. Pak says:

    Dear M.Ali,

    Congratulations on the wedding, although I think that the marriage loan is supposed to contribute to your living expenses, and not for hosting parties.

    Regarding your generalisations: if I viewed everything as black and white, then I would not even bother coming onto this site (especially in the middle of my exams). And if by Westernised you mean defending the right to live, to protest, and to be represented by an accountable government, then count me in as a Westernised fool.

    Also, if Shah Khamenei – the omnipotent representative of God on Earth (even though there are more senior clerics than him) – can overrule his best bud “Doctor”, just because “Doctor” did something that Shah did not like – irrespective of the law (because, remember, Shah has divine right) – then anything can happen. And if anything can happen, then the elections in 2009 can happen. This is why running around like a headless chicken while waving around Eric’s election analysis is not proof that the elections were legitimate, nor is praying religiously to some post-election polls that were overseen by the “non-partisan”, “I did not vote for Ahmadinejad” Dr Marandi.

    Just ask B-in-B what really happened. But make sure that you are committed enough, because otherwise he might have to “sacrifice” himself to shut you up.

    Indeed, Iranians are in a big mess, especially when they do not stand up for their rights: why are Ahmadinejad supporters not protesting against his blatant neutering? I could not care less for him, but I am still angered that even he cannot perform his duties. And when Iranians do happen stand up for their rights, they apparently become CIA-backed Zionist foot soldiers who are slaves to the West.

  84. Empty says:

    Fyi,

    I am not too certain that we share a common definition for freedom to argue its origin, scope, and how it could be helped or hindered. I personally define freedom as the capacity to correctly manage and fulfill (مدیریت و اغنا صحیح) of physical and spiritual needs and desires. This could be an individual’s capacity, a family’s capacity, a community’s capacity, a nation’s capacity, or the entire humanity’s capacity. Capacities must then be built and the higher this capacity is built, the more freedom is obtained. Therefore, I think, freedom when defined in this manner, is transformed from being a “product” (to have or not have) to being a “process”. To build capacity, societies must develop a good understanding to tease apart real needs from the false ones. And they must also develop correct mechanisms to fulfill the correct need. Because building capacity requires a lot of investment of time, energy, and resources that are shared (i.e. belong to Beytol-mal), correct and just management of resources, too, are required. By design, capacity building is sustainable only as a social phenomenon. That means, there is a limit to any one individual to be able to build her or his capacity and sustain it over a long period of time. One cannot be a very wise and knowledgeable individual in an ocean of idiots for too long. One cannot swim in a pool of manure and not to stink. In this context therefore, to argue about “individual freedom” demonstrates an incomplete understanding about what capacity building means.

    I will use an example to clarify my point. The need to eat “correct” food to survive is a real need. By “correct food” I mean food that is free of all physical and spiritual toxins of all sorts. People’s freedom in fulfilling this need is proportional to their capacity in correctly managing and fulfilling the need. People’s capacity is also directly related to correct production and availability of correct food, correct means to obtain the food correctly, and correct knowledge about the amount needed and an exercise of will on the part of mature emancipated adults. If, however, a person or a group (collectively) overeats, that means that person or group has not developed the capacity to correctly manage his/her/their need. That person or group is not fully free as, at minimum, he/she/they are a slave of an un-managed desire.

    A society that chronically produces foods that are materially and spiritually unsafe and toxic, short changes the workers for their production, specific companies have unmatched monopoly advertising and distributing that sort of food everywhere including school cafeterias and vending machines that puts young children (who have not fully developed the capacity to know/choose/afford the correct food yet), then the members of that society have a diminished capacity and under-developed freedom to choose the “correct” food.

    Now, can a person/an individual in the privacy of his/her home produce materially and spiritually toxic food and consume it? Certainly so long he or she does not expose another non-emancipated (non-Balegh) person or does not expose a mature adult to it forcefully. This is covered, for example, in Iran under the rule of “تجسس نکنید” [Do not search].

    Using the example of immodest dressing by men and women in public, then I would ask the following questions:

    What need is being fulfilled by an immodest dress? Is this need real or false? Could this need be properly managed and fulfilled? If yes, how? Does this person have the appropriate capacity to understand the need, the correct way to fulfill it, and the means to fulfill it? Does this person’s fulfillment of this need in public negatively exposes others (children and adults alike) in public to, let’s say, “social pollution”?

    The Iranian society, overwhelmingly considers immodest dressing a social pollution. I am not going into degrees and such (i.e. how much or how little, how loose or how tight, etc.). That, too, is a “variable” and changes but it always changes within a limited range. Even in the US and in the Iranian communities that may have been here for decades, women who dress a certain way are always talked about behind their back, gossiped about, etc. Nevertheless, I personally believe in capacity building at all levels. I believe it to be the most sustainable way to raise consciousness and create spiritual shifts in the society. The examples you keep on using and the frequency with which you bring up these examples gives an incorrect impression that on a daily basis, women and girls are being hit over the head, assaulted, and harassed for a bit of hair. That is simply not true. It is the law in Iran for women to dress modestly and cover their hair. I live and work part of the year in Iran. To date, neither myself has been a subject of harassment nor have I witnessed others to be the subject. Perhaps it happens right I get to the street or right after I leave a location. But the way you keep on talking about this issue, I should be able to observe it at least once or twice in the period of months that I am there.

    Having said that, I do think there are better ways to educate people to respect the rule of law. If we could get people to respect the traffic laws, we could get them to do anything.

  85. Empty says:

    Kooshy,

    I agree with you. My translation does sound quite awkward. I noticed it after I had posted it. I also struggled with the first and second line. Thank you for offering alternatives.

  86. kooshy says:

    Empty Jan

    I think on the translation of the first sentence of the leader’s letter to Mr. Moslehi, it was more appropriate to use “up to date” than word “design” (rozamad) sounds more like up to date to me , what do you think, with my many respects for your usual great translations. Again sorry for being “Mullah Loghati”

  87. Empty says:

    fyi,

    RE: The Right to Life: Whosoever kills a human being without (any reason like) man slaughter, or corruption on earth, it is as though he had killed all mankind … (5:32)
    Do not kill a soul which Allah has made sacred except through the due process of law … (6:151) And whoever saves a life it is as though he had saved the lives of all mankind” (5:32).

    I think you are inferring “the right to life” from the order/obligation/responsibility not to kill.

  88. Empty says:

    fyi,

    RE: “Per your observation, the concepts of “Fitrat” and “Keramat” may be utilized to develop intellectual rebuttals to the vision that I had sketched. But this must be further developed via the application of Philosophy. I have learnt, from a reliable and trustworthy source, that in Ibn Sina’s philosophy, there are discussions that could be further developed in support of an Islamic Civil Society. Regrettably, no one is doing that.”

    Besmellah. It’s never too late to roll up your sleeves.

    دگران کاشتند و ما خوردیم….ما بکاریم و دگران بخورند

    Others sowed, their harvest we eat
    We shall sow for others to have something to eat.

  89. fyi says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says: May 10, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    I do not subscribe to that theory.

  90. Empty says:

    Eric,
    Here is the translation/interpretation of what Loyal posted:

    In the name of God the compassionate the merciful

    Hojatol-eslam Excellency Mr. Moslehi [with the wish for sustained success], Minister of Information,

    Strength, continuity, and design in accordance with contemporary needs of the information ministry is one of the most critical foundations of the strength of the Islamic system. Therefore, I would request from you to be more vigilant in carrying out important internal and foreign tasks and given the significant resources which are at the disposal of this ministry, from skilled and dedicated human resources to up-to-date technologies and given the support you receive from the dedicated government and other organization, please do not allow this important organization to suffer from any short comings in carrying out its duties. I pray for you and your advisers and other esteemed managers and all my beloved revolutionaries . May you be successful.

    Seyyed Ali Khamenei,
    Farvardin, 30, 1390

  91. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    M.Ali,
    Congratulations! Don’t wait too long with having kids, the sooner the better, especially now that you get money for each one…

    fyi,
    Wilayate tashrii, implementing the sharia passes to the fuqaha, different than wilayate takwini which is always with the person of the masoom (as). Like I said, gotcha!

    VoT
    Die Welt ist ein seltsamer Ort und unser Trost ist dass es in einer kurzen Zeit zu Ende geht. Durch die Pflege von Freundschaften zwischen den Brüdern und Schwestern können wir in dieser Welt ein bisschen vom Himmel der uns inshallah erwartet kosten.

  92. Loyal says:

    To: Eric A Brill

    http://www.3nasl.com/archive/view/2154130

    بسم‌الله الرحمن الرحیم

    حجة‌الاسلام جناب آقای مصلحی دام توفیقه
    وزیر محترم اطلاعات

    استحکام و انسجام و روزآمدبودن دستگاه اطلاعاتی کشور یکی از پایه‌های مهم اقتدار نظام اسلامی است، لذا از شما میخواهم بیش از پیش در انجام مأموریتهای مهم داخلی و خارجی وزارت اطلاعات اهتمام به خرج داده و با سرمایه‌ی عظیمی که آن وزارتخانه از نیروی انسانی توانمند و انقلابی و متدین و فن‌آوریهای روز برخوردار است و با حمایت دولت خدمتگزار و همکاری سایر نهادهای اطلاعاتی اجازه ندهید کوچکترین فترت و سستی در انجام وظائف قانونی آن دستگاه مهم پیش آید. برای شما و معاونان و مدیران محترم و همه‌ی فرزندان عزیز انقلابی‌ام در وزارت اطلاعات دعا میکنم. موفق و مؤید باشد.

    سیدعلی خامنه‌ای
    ۳۰/فروردین/۱۳۹۰

  93. Does anyone have a copy of the actual letter that Khamenei sent to the Minister of Intelligence?

  94. Voice of Tehran says:

    Unknown Unknowns says:
    May 10, 2011 at 2:18 pm
    Re.:Rammstein , AN video

    Thanks UU , PUUHH , a real heavy duty one , although I could only watch until minute 3:02 , it stopped.
    And if I would see the footage , where the Zionist soldiers are breaking the arm of a Palestinian kid with a stone , a MILLION times ,I would have the same feeling of digust and despair , like I had , when I first saw it.
    Reminded me , when a friend took me to a small cinema in Bremen/Germany , with No prior warning ( I was 19 ) and watched my first Stanley Kurbrick movie : Clockwork Orange , an unforgettable event in my life.
    It took me to the abysm of ‘human’ thinking.
    They should show both movies , Clockwork Orange and Full Metall Jacket , over and over again , may be we would then know in which miserable state the world is presently in .

  95. fyi says:

    M.Ali says: May 10, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    The Right to Life:

    Whosoever kills a human being without (any reason like) man slaughter, or corruption on earth, it is as though he had killed all mankind … (5:32)
    Do not kill a soul which Allah has made sacred except through the due process of law … (6:151)

    And whoever saves a life it is as though he had saved the lives of all mankind” (5:32).

    [This last one is in the Torah as well: “He who has saved a Life has Saved a world.”]

    Individual’s Right to Freedom:

    Prophet (S) are as follows: “There are three categories of people against whom I shall myself be a plaintiff on the Day of Judgment. Of these three, one is he who enslaves a free man, then sells him and eats this money” (al-Bukhari and Ibn Majjah).

    Security of Private Life:

    “Do not spy on one another” (49:12).

    “Do not enter any houses except your own homes unless you are sure of their occupants’ consent” (24:27).

    The Right to Protest Against Tyranny:

    “God does not love evil talk in public unless it is by some- one who has been injured thereby” (4:148).

    Freedom of Conscience/Religion:

    “There should be no coercion in the matter of faith” (2:256).

    Protection from Arbitrary Imprisonment:

    “No bearer of burdens shall be made to bear the burden of another” (6:164).

  96. Voice of Tehran says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says:
    May 10, 2011 at 8:52 am
    VoT,
    Koestlich…

    Ich kann diese verdammten Vaterlandsverräter , wie SP , auf den Tod nicht ab.
    Danke Dir , für Deine wertvollen Kommentare ; wenn es Dich nicht geben würde , müsste man Dich erfinden , die Welt ist ein seltsamer Ort.

  97. M.Ali says:

    fyi, You mentioned this several times, but what exactly are “intrinsic rights of the individual”

  98. fyi says:

    M.Ali says: May 10, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    If men were not in the state of Fall, governance and coercion would not have been necessary.

    As you have pointed out, there is an insoluable tensions between these two extremes.

    We need then to find the middle ground.

    But this middle ground cannot be found/reached if the intrinsic rights of the individual – what you call extereme individualism – is not recognized.

    This is not an abstraction, human beings are autonomous moral agents and thus are free to pursue their own interests within both the Law and Custom (orf).

  99. Unknown Unknowns says:

    VoT:

    finally found the ahmadinejad tribute video I’ve been looking for. The music is Rammstein, from what I have read. Enjoy.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHcy1iVZREY

  100. James Canning says:

    Voice of Tehran,

    Was there a single “bimbo” contending for Prince William of Wales? He had a number of very striking and intelligent lady friends or “girlfriends”.

  101. M.Ali says:

    fyi,

    As a challenge to your extreme thought experiment of the state controlling everything, here is another one:

    The state enforces nothing. Period.

    I think one of our posters will join you in this anarchist haven, was it Arnold?

  102. James Canning says:

    M. Ali,

    Congrats on getting married. And how very interesting that a third of Iranian women admired Vladimir Putin most among the world leaders from which they chose.

  103. James Canning says:

    M. Ali,

    Yes, many American “leaders” either are unable to comprehend the element of nationalism in Iran that causes Iranians to support the nuclear programme even if it hurts the Iranian economy, or they pretend not to recognise this fact. For fact it is.

  104. M.Ali says:

    A little off-topic, but got married last month and got a marriage loan, which is one of the good Doctor’s initiatives. Marriage loan is 5 million toman (that is, around 5000 dollars) to be paid back in five years, free of interest except for a small processing fee, which is around 100 dollars.Interestingly and those advocates of equal rights, you will be happy to note that the payment of the loan is actually 2500 for the man and 2500 for the woman.

    We’re using the amount to help us for the wedding party, which is going to end up being more than that, but at least its a help.

  105. James Canning says:

    Empty,

    I think it is a bit delusional for Roberts to argue the military adventure in Libya was an effort to evict the Chinese oil companies. Chinese oil compnaies were and are welcome in Iraq. Surely if the US wished to evict the Chinese from Libya, this wish would also extent to Iraq. And bear in mind that the US is forcing Iran to rely on Chinese investment and help, for developing Iranian energy resources. And the US is fostering the huge Chinese investment in copper etc in Afghanistan.

  106. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    The huge growth of the national security sector in the US during the Second World War was reversed once the war was over, but then it was revived due to the threat from the USSR and its allies.

    And Franklin Roosevelt was a determined anti-colonialist (and anti-imperialist). Ditto for Truman.

  107. fyi says:

    Empty says: May 10, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    In the final analysis, the question is if Human Beings are free to be Immoral, Irreligious, and Sinful.

    Do people have an intrinsic right to chose Evil instead of Good?

    Or does the state have the right and durty to create and maintain the infrastructure – which is becoming more and more feasible technologically speaking – to prevent that?

    Imagine, as a thought experiment, a state in which – through wonders of automation and cheap and automated food production – every human being is confined in a stainles steel cell and through electric shocks is forced to perform his daily prayers and his fasts, one in which he could only access his wife when and if it is deemed permissible, and due to his isolation from other human beings could not harm anyone else has ensured no sin, according to Sharia, is ever going to take place. Thus this state will have scceeded in eliminating sin by removing its possibility.

    What is wrong with this picture?

  108. James Canning says:

    Arnold,

    Yes, how many billions of dollars has been spent on the Bushehr nuclear power plants? Let’s hope Bushehr #1 can stay on line and get operating to its expected normal level asap.

  109. fyi says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says: May 10, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    The Spiritual Authority of Imam could only go to another human being and not to a collective.

    To my knowledge, such a chain of authority does not exist.

    For if it were, like the Popes, one could point to a chain of individuals throughout the last 1200 years that hold such Spiritual Authroity among the Shia.

  110. Empty says:

    fyi,

    RE: “Clearly, neither Mr. Bussed-in-Basiji or Mr. Unknown-Unknowns find anything wrong with using technology to replace Moral Police with machines. I am certain, metaphysically speaking, that very many Muslims will find nothing wrong with this. In fact, I will not be surprised if someone is working, somewhere, on Islamicly Intellgient Chastity Belts.”

    I have not seen any valid evidence that supports what you are stating. However, it does appear that you have been thinking about these quite extensively and deeply.

  111. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    fyi,
    Gotcha! In the occultation of the Imam (as) wilayate takwini remanis with the Imam (as). In the occultation of the Imam (as), the duty to implement sharia- wilayate tashrii- passes to the ulama. Who said so? The Imams themselves and aql supports this.

    Being a slave of God doesn’t mean you are free to make up the rules as you like. This the fatal flaw of the Sufi-types.

  112. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Eric,
    For me it’s clear from 110-1,2 that the SL can intervene in any matter that he deems to be national interest. Notice the distinction of what is a national interest and how to intervene are at his discretion.

    110-8,9,10 say that the President serves conditioned on the approval of the SL so either SL can overrule Presidential firings because a minister is junior to the President or the SL can tell the President that if he doesn’t rescind the firing, the SL will in turn fire the President, thus indirectly getting to his goal.

    But as M.Ali pointed out, Ahmadinejad didn’t technically fire the IntMin but asked him to resign- which is the usual political way, the IntMin did so and here the Sl wrote a public letter to the IntMin to resume his duties. When the President got upset, the SL basically told him: it’ not your call because this is a matter of national interest and I overrule you, and if you could be so nice to finish the remaining time in your term because I really wouldn’t like to fire your ass- which I will do if necessary.

    I think if you try to add the political aspect and implementation of the law, rather than simply focusing on the letter of the law, the matter will become clearer.

  113. fyi says:

    Unknown Unknowns says: May 10, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    From the vase oozes out what it contains.

  114. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Photi says:
    May 10, 2011 at 11:30 am

    Unknown Unknowns,

    In the commentary on al-Kafi that you quoted (@May 10, 2011 at 6:07 am), it was stated that the compiler of al-Kafi, Kulayni, “sometimes reports traditions with men in the isnad, who were not strictly speaking disciples of the Imams; sometimes they belong to a different persuasion like the Zaidis, sometimes they are ghulat, extremists in their views. Some men in the isnads are those who regarded one of the earlier Imams as the final Imam and there are even men entirely unconnected with Shi’i views.[7] The scholars of tradition elaborated a system of categorising the different traditions according to the level of authenticity of a tradition, in terms of isnad and subject matter.”

    I found this passage altogether interesting. In particular, do you know anything more about who are the ghulat?

    *

    Ghulat is the plural form of the Arabic ghuluu, which means to exaggerate. In this xontext, “those who exaggerate or take to extremes [the qualities and excellencies of the Shi'a Imams.]

    It is a general term used for many heretical sects and personalities which used to hang around the Imams (especially the 5th & 6th Imams, Imam Muhammad al-Baqir and his Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq) like groupies. They often attributed super-human attributes to the Imams, such as clairvoyance, and the ability to commune with the occult world. Their histories, usually survived in the form of heresiographies, make for interesting reading. For example, one sect believed (and still believes) that Ali was an incarnation of the Godhead (the “Ali-allahis”) – a clear syncretism of Mesopotamian Nestorianism with other heresies. another sect believed that Gabriel had made a terrible mistake, and that teh Koran was Ali was the intended recipient of the Koran. We are told in the canonical collections of ahadith that the Imams had a hell of a time trying to shake them off. My favorite treatment of the subject (albeit somewhat tangential to the main thrust of the book) is Amir-Moezzi’s “the Divine Guide in Early Islam” SUNY Press, late 90′s. It is a graduate level book, quite dense at times, but absolutely fantastic scholarship.

    For BiB & fyi who were debating the place of and efficacy of reason in Islamic thought, the excursus on the transformation of the semantic field ‘aql is indispensible.

  115. Arnold Evans says:

    Bushehr starting is on my list of things like fair elections on Egypt – I hope to see it, and it looks like it’s coming, but it has a too good to be true aspect that makes me skeptical until it has officially and irreversibly happened.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-13351134

    Iran’s Bushehr nuclear plant begins operation

    Iran’s first nuclear power station has begun operating at a low level, says the Russian company that built it.

  116. Unknown Unknowns says:

    fyi:

    I am not a defender of traditional Islam. I am a centerist, and because the center of gravity within the soociety in which I live happens to be quite close to that which is seen as traditional Islam, then I submit to the will of my community. Traditional Islam cannot and will not outlast the onslaught of modernity unless it adapts. And, almost by definition, a religion is not good at adapting to change. But just as Ferdowsi was a *symptom* of the will of the nation to accept Islam but on its own terms (e.g., to keep its own language, unlike the Egyptians, who actually think they are Arabs now, thanks to the wholesale swallowing of their culture by that of the invading Arabs to their east), Khomeini is a symptom of the will of the nation to accept modernity, but on its own terms.

    To me, this process moves at a glacial pace, and it is the mistake of impetuous types such as Reza Shah and his son, and Ata Turk, so enamoured with modernity that they wanted to force it upon their subjects (very premodern thinking) that does more damage even than the invading cultures to our north and west.

    to me, those of you who insist on bringing modernity to Iran at the race that is convinient to you and to your way of thinking sound as silly as those Arabophile Iranians who insisted on speaking nohting but Arabic in the wake of the Arab invasion, saying it is the language of the Holy Scrptures, that it is the wave of the future, et cetera ad nauseum.

    to me, all you fools that talk of “human rights” (and slavery) and women’s rights and gay rights and how stupid Ahmadinejad is to say that we don’t have gays in Iran, and those who speak of the “international community”, and think of Iran as a rogue nation, and all that shyte – you know what? All of you can go fuck yourselves. Here we have a community who bestowed personhood to women a full millenium before Europe decided that women might have souls afterall, and that they maybe should not be the property of men, like animals, and that they should maybe be able to inherit property and to own and operate businesses just like Moslem women have done for over a thousand years. And here we have the same Johnny-Come-Lately society now arrogating the right to tell us that we are mistreating our women. Like we care what you and your vicious anchestors have to say about women. The same who used to drape the legs of pianos lest their menfolk lose control of themselves in the parlor (yes, seriously!), and whose womenfolk now traipse around in the nude or half nude, arrogate to themsleves the right to tell us how our womenfolk should dress, like we care one iota about what comes out of your neurotic schizoid minds, especially when it comes to the proper treatment of womenfolk. It is pathetic how blind you westerners are to your arrogance (present company is usually excepted, seeing as the regulars here do not have that arrogance), but it is even more pathetic to see the Iranian equivalent of Oreos and Uncle Toms and House Niggers sucking it up to the master of the [White] house, haivng completely lost any sense of identity with or pride towards their own culture.

    If you can’t stick to geopolitics, go join a church. Desperate? Try hare Krishna. they are all big on human rights, INDIVIDUAL rights, and a nice kumbaya every 30 minutes.

  117. Photi says:

    Unknown Unknowns,

    In the commentary on al-Kafi that you quoted (@May 10, 2011 at 6:07 am), it was stated that the compiler of al-Kafi, Kulayni, “sometimes reports traditions with men in the isnad, who were not strictly speaking disciples of the Imams; sometimes they belong to a different persuasion like the Zaidis, sometimes they are ghulat, extremists in their views. Some men in the isnads are those who regarded one of the earlier Imams as the final Imam and there are even men entirely unconnected with Shi’i views.[7] The scholars of tradition elaborated a system of categorising the different traditions according to the level of authenticity of a tradition, in terms of isnad and subject matter.”

    I found this passage altogether interesting.  In particular, do you know anything more about who are the ghulat? 

  118. fyi says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says: May 10, 2011 at 10:09 am

    Men are envisioned as “Slaves of God” and because they so belong to God they are free from the claims of others on their souls. That was one of the reasons that initially a Muslim could not be made into a slave.

    Thus, the idea of Freedom emanates from the Slavery to God.

    In regards to high status of Man, that is true as far as it goes.

    But the Revelations have not deputized the State (the Islamic State in all its incarnation over the last 1400 years) to assume the role of God and require obedience to its writ.

    The State, a machine for furtherence of human life, is not worthy of human devotion in the same manner as God.

  119. fyi says:

    Unknown Unknowns says: May 10, 2011 at 10:16 am

    I am pleased that you have indicated the variation of the actual Islamic practices in Time, in Space, as well as its varied Conceptualization as they pertain to the issue of Slavery in Islam.

    But I was asking you, a Muslim, if Slavery is Moral or not (based on Revelations of the Quran).

    Your responses basically indicates to me that you find slavery to be moral.

    Perhaps then you can state who can be justly and truthfully enslaved based on Sharia?

    So, on this thread, the defenders of Traditional Islam have admitted that Islam is against Freedom of the Individual, is against Liberty, is for Tyranny and is for Slavery.

    I think Islam needs better defenders.

  120. fyi says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says: May 10, 2011 at 10:01 am

    You have a good analogy in the approach of Protestant Christians to their scripture in contradistinction to that of the Catholics.

    However, this analogy does not completely obtain.

    The reason is that – from a Catholic perspective – the authority to define and uphold what Christianity is – its doctrines and its practices – lies with the Church since Jesus explicitly stated, to St. Peter, “On you I shall build my church.” So, from the point of view of the Catholic (and Orthodox) Churches, outside of teh Church Christians do not have the authority to formulate Christian doctrine (but have the authority to explore it).

    For this reason (the delegation of the Authority from Jesus to St peter and then to his successors) the Church Tradition becomes important sources of the doctrine as well as constraints on future interpretations.

    There is nothing like this in Sunni Islam. So a Sunni Muslim, in principle, is not bound by the opinions of others as to what the Revelations state. There is no higher Authority that could constrain him. That is one reason that we have the phenomena of neo-Salafi Jihadism. The late Mr. bin Ladin declared War of America and we have seen the consequences.

    The Shia claim that the Spiritual Authority was passed unto Imam Ali and from him to some of his male descendants. Be as it may, with the Occultation of the 12-Imam, that chain of authority disappears. Therefore and in my opinion, the Shia Tradition also lacks the force of Spiritual Authority that the Catholics could claim. The works of Doctors of Islamic Sciences are then opinions of fallen and fallible men.

    It might be useful, in pursuing the Truth of the Revelations and in one’s commitment to find such Truths , to study prior or contemporary opinions about Revelations, Hadiths etc. as contextual material as well as for the purposes of knowing what has been done before. But the Spiritual Authority to constrain one from pursuing one’s own understanding of the Revelations does not exist in contemporary Islam.

  121. Bussed-in-Basij,

    I notice you’ve not responded to my last email.

  122. Castellio says:

    Fiorangela: thanks for the Egyptian coroner article.

  123. fyi says:

    Empty says: May 10, 2011 at 10:06 am

    Thank you for your comments.

    I am aware of military applications of autonomous robots.

    But the same technology has civilian applications.

    I agree with you that such an oppressive system, based on the application of cybernetics, Artificial Intelligence, and Embedded Systems will cause many suicides as the only way for a Muslim to escape orthopraxis.

    Clearly, neither Mr. Bussed-in-Basiji or Mr. Unknown-Unknowns find anything wrong with using technology to replace Moral Police with machines. I am certain, metaphysically speaking, that very many Muslims will find nothing wrong with this. In fact, I will not be surprised if someone is working, somewhere, on Islamicly Intellgient Chastity Belts.

    Someone in Iran engineering training in biomedical sciences could suggest an Islamic Chastity Belt to Islamic Authorities in Iran. No doubt that he will be lavishly funded and praised as a great Muslim Innovator.

    Per your observation, the concepts of “Fitrat” and “Keramat” may be utilized to develop intellectual rebuttals to the vision that I had sketched.

    But this must be further developed via the application of Philosophy.

    I have learnt, from a reliable and trustworthy source, that in Ibn Sina’s philosophy, there are discussions that could be further developed in support of an Islamic Civil Society. Regrettably, no one is doing that.

  124. Unknown Unknowns says:

    fyi:

    I don’t know why you insist on engaging me in subjects that I have said I do not believe you have sufficient grasp of, but ok. What the hell. (You can tell I’m bored, I hope).

    First of all, it is my understanding that if you want to buy a slave, you can do so in Muritania, where a thriving (traditional) slave trade can be found.

    And as to your second question (which goes to the issue of the morality of slavery in Islam), you say “A yes or no answer will suffice.” This illustrates my point that these are complex issues, and the fact that you think that the issue is actually answerable with a yes or no, demonstrates my point that you are not capable of grasping the subtelties of the issues involved (just as I am useless at your expertise, which is geopolitics).

    Islam when? Islam where? Have you not been reading my beseeching against universalizing and eternalizing? Don’t you realize that, for example, in Twelver Shi’a Islam, one is free to choose one’s own mujtahid, each of which will have a slightly different take on the question? If you do realize it, then why ask for a yes or no answer? And if you don’t realize it, well… then what can I say? And how about differences in space? While what I said obtains in Iraq, for example, it does not obtain in Iran, whose kind of Shi’ism has gone through and continues to go through radical changes since the revolution that put an end to the Nekbat of the undue influence of your fellow Christians. And through time? Just within twelver Shi’ism, the takes on the question, in my untrained and unworthy opinion at least, vary in the phases of the existance of the Imams on the material plane, during the period of the Lesser Occultation (the period of the 4 Nayebs), the period of the Greater Occultation up to the triumph of the Islamic Revolution, and the present situation, where the issue of maslehat [expediency] has taken its rightful place center-stage.

    And then there are all the different sects of Islam, the different kalamic schools, the different schools of aquida’, the various sufic rites, the various nomian and antinomian heresies (motesharri’ va ghayr-e motesharri’) – which Islam are you asking about? Or are you asking about my personal Islam (which would be another oxymoron, betraying your misunderstanding of the role of the individual vs. community)?

    Do you still say that “A yes or no answer will suffice.”

    If you would be so perverse as to not leave me any choice, I would have to answer yes-and-no.

    Seriously, if and when you come to Iran, let us go and have a (non-alcoholic) beer (on you), and we can talk until the cows come home. But this forum is not conducive to a meaningful interchange on subjects such as these between the two of us as there is insufficient common ground and too many mismatched asumptions.

    An alternative, if you cannot wait to come back, is to let me know, and I will set up one of those 900 numbers here, where you can pay like, say, $2.99 a minute and we can talk all you want.

    Let me know.

    Love,

    UU

  125. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    fyi,
    This illusionary invented right is also where the Sufi-types have lost the path. Sharia is itself central to tariqah, there is no tariqah without sharia, the ahkaam themselves are ways of purify your soul and ascend to higher levels of reality. This is the difference between the irfan of people of like Allamah Tabatabai and Imam Khomeini and the veiled hell of these Sufi-types.

  126. Empty says:

    fyi,

    RE: “A collar made of durable resins and metals that monitors heart-lung-blood-sugar levels can enforce forcred fasting via admininstration of electric shocks. Such a device can already be built. Another, made of strong polymers, could be an intelligent chastity belt with a username and password. A pubescent Muslim girl – indeed any Muslim woman – may be fitted with one and the username and password will only be known to her father, her husband, or her brother. Such a device can be built today and widely used in the field.”

    Interesting you mention this. You are entering the field of cybernetics (as a biological expansion of the field of Artificial Intelligence) which is now being increasingly used in military and information wars. In the US military, they are trying to use such methods to increase the hours the soldiers could endure without feeling tired or feel thirsty or hungry.

    I think (based on my Islamic belief system) that its application on humans is going to be a failure as it goes against Fitrat and Keramat of humans. First and foremost tangible outcome that I could predict as a consequence of such practices would be dramatic increases in suicide rates.

    A very fascinating and fast-growing field.

  127. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    fyi,
    Not every injustice done in the name of religion can be attached to religious people, just as not every injustice done in the name of the individual, liberty and freedom can be attached to the advocates of these.

    Your problem is that in your pursuit of individual rights you have forgotten about obeying God. Of course there is such a thing as individual rights but that is not the standard to judge everything else by, obeying God is the standard to judge everything else by- individual behavior and societal customs and behaviors.

    How do we know what obeying God is? We study revelation- which in our time is the Holy Quran and the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad and his Ahlul Bayt (sawa). Who studies them? Whoever is qualified based on open and clear criteria- not based on some illusionary invented right that as a human being I have a God-given right to interpret revelation according to my personal likes and dislikes. Incidentally this is the problem with many Protestant dissenting sects.

    So yes God has given the individual a very high status in creation but conditioned on him obeying his Creator. If you haven’t understood this basic reality from the various religions, you really haven’t understood religion at all.

  128. Empty says:

    M. Ali,

    RE: “I also want to make a post about my differences with all the Iranians here. My agreement with most of them is that we all seem to love Iran, but look at the differences:”

    You forgot to mention that each and everyone could also hold several contradictory opinions at once without actually suffering from or exhibiting symptoms of cognitive dissonance.

  129. fyi says:

    M.Ali says: May 10, 2011 at 6:10 am

    As I stated before, I think it will be a good idea to give some thought to the role of individual.

    When Abraham was told by God to leave Ur, he did; he had no obligation to his exteneded family.

    I do not consider emphasis on the individual and his God-given and intrinsic rights as an indiaction that I am a mess.

    Far from it, I believe – with metaphysical certainity – that I am no solid ground here.

    I think very many people have become accustomed to their rights abridged by the state that they can no longer concieve of alternatives.

    In the United States, you can see this quite readily: as the imperial project gained momentum and the machinary of state was enhanced and strengthened to support that ambition, individual liberty and freedom declined. Liberty, in the United States, has diminished substantially over the last 100 years.

    In Muslims states, the fear that Human Liberty will lead to Moral and Social Chaos, has led to the imposition of orthopraxis by the State as a preventive measure. Thus, until the late Mr. Khomenini’s amalgamation of the Principles of Republicanism and the Principles of Islam, the Mullahs and Ulemas and assorted Doctors of Religious of Sciences of Islam preferred Tyranny.

    I repeat again, the advances in cybernetics, information technologies and sciences, and robotics are going to make it possible to create intelligent devices that could enforce Islamic orthopraxis in an automated manner.

    A collar made of durable resins and metals that monitors heart-lung-blood-sugar levels can enforce forcred fasting via admininstration of electric shocks. Such a device can already be built.

    Another, made of strong polymers, could be an intelligent chastity belt with a username and password. A pubescent Muslim girl – indeed any Muslim woman – may be fitted with one and the username and password will only be known to her father, her husband, or her brother. Such a device can be built today and widely used in the field.

    Mr. Bussed-in-Basiji states that he is concerned about the “After Life” of people as well as their Lives here and now. It was precisely the same wording that was used by the Inquisition when it burnt heretics at the stake – burn the flesh to save/liberate the soul.

    Unless and until the absolute rights of the individual are admitted and protected, the oppressive tyranny that I have sketched could be the fate of Muslims.

  130. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    UU,
    Muchas gracias, if you were a girl I’d marry you…

  131. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says:
    May 10, 2011 at 8:52 am
    VoT,
    Koestlich…

    It seems you are a cunning linguist (with a delicious sense of humor).

  132. fyi says:

    Unknown Unknowns says: May 10, 2011 at 6:07 am

    I am aware of the late Mr. Kafi’s book.

    However, as a student of Philosophy, I fail to understand its relevance to the issues of Faith, God, Revelations, and the individual and the relationship that obtains between them.

    The Law, as such, is an after-thought, first comes the Revelation and the attempt to understand it.

    I think you reference to this work is an indication that for you and very many others, the Islamic Law is indeed Islam. Whether a Muslim studies the Quran and tries to understand and assimililate its message is not as important and his conduct according to the ideas of men who lived a millenia before.

    I believe that is the fundamental difference between myself and people such as yourself.

    Now, per the ideas of late Mr. Kafi; why are there no slave markets any more in Islam?

    In fact, is slavery morally wrong in Islam or not?

    A yes or no answer will suffice.

  133. Empty says:

    M. Ali,

    RE: “Supreme Leader: Article 1 – CAN DO WHATEVER HE PLEASES. Article 2 – See Article 1″

    Theoretically, the entire concept and role of Vellayat_e Faqih (as I have understood) rests upon one and only one core idea: Velayat_e Faqih MUST do (to the best of his ability) what pleases God (not what pleases himself, or a particular interest group, or a particular whim of the moment, or the right, the left, the center, or what is politically correct or incorrect, or whether the east or west or north or south like or dislike it, etc.).

    The adjective “Fagih” is meant to embody, in its entirety, not only a very deep understanding of Islam and needs of Ummah but also a systematic and deliberate practice of Fiqh in his day-to-day private and social life as well as affair of the Ummah. Majlis Khobregan (all members of which must be knowledgeable in Fiqh and Adel in practice and elected by people) has the critical role and the responsibility to monitor that all these happen and take appropriate actions if things are not in accordance with the law.

    Furthermore, it is “Velayat_e Faqih”, not Hookomat_e Faqih, or Rahnemaee_e Faqih, or Amir_e Faqih, etc. What this means (based on my very limited understanding of the constitution, Imam Khomeini’s writing on the concept, Nahjolbalagheh, and other sources that I have read) is that enshrined in the very concept of “Vali” is a reverent power based on deep love and respect that is earned and has withstood the test of time. It is also legally explained by the constitution and Khobregan, etc. One cannot legislate love and respect. Therefore, it is always earned and re-affirmed by the Vali.

    Given this, the constitution not only has given the Velayat_e Faqih the legal power to intervene but an absolute responsibility to intervene not only in the structure but also functions of day-to-day government if it deems what is being done does not serve the interest of Ummah. For example, during the imposed Iraq war, at the time when Iraq had used chemical weapons against Iranian, the responsibilities of commander in chief had been delegated to the executive branch. The executive branch was planning, in fact, to use chemical weapons to retaliate. It was the Valiy_e Faqih that intervened and said “no” while this was considered a “strategic” decision of those who were governing and executing the day-to-day affairs of the imposed war.

    Related to the information minister, Moslehi, here are the facts. I do not care much about idle gossip or he-said/she-said rumors but what was is transparently communicated orally and/or in writing:

    1) Moslehi submitted his resignation to President Ahmadinejad.
    2) Ahmadinejad accepted Moslehi’s resignation.
    3) Velayat_e Faqih wrote a letter to Moslehi (not Ahmadinejad) and asked him to rescind his resignation.
    4) Moslehi rescinded his resignation.
    5) Moslehi continued his post as the information minister.

    I am not a legal expert here but even based on my very limited understanding of the specifics of the constitution, I do not even see that Valiy_e Faqih over-writing anything president did. If president wishes to fire the information minister, then he should do so openly and transparently as he did with the Foreign Minister. Backdoor dealing and pressures to resign and all that nonsense conducts should be left to the politics of the West not a government that wishes to be operating based on Islamic principles.

    I have been also following to see if Majlis Khobregan Rahbari has been reviewing any violation. To date, I have not seen any such discussions.

  134. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    VoT,
    Koestlich…

  135. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    M.Ali,
    The Ahmadinejad administration was a good start, inshallah more in the near future.

  136. M.Ali says:

    BiB, given your concern, then I’d hope you put in some effort in helping us in this world too. Thanks.

  137. I searched for something completely different, but found your website! And have to say thanks. Nice read. Will come back.

  138. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    M.Ali,
    OK cool, but as a fellow Muslim I do care about your welfare in this world and the next…

  139. M.Ali says:

    BiB, that’s okay. I’ll tell them that you did your part and told me so, so you don’t have to concern yourself about my existance after this world.

  140. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    M.Ali
    Of course in the next world when God asks you about wilayate Imam Ali(as) you won’t be able to plead ignorance given that you lived in a Shia country. Start thinking about that before you die.

  141. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    M.Ali,
    I agree that Ahmadinejad is the first to do anything in centuries and God bless him for that. Also you have understood the basic role of the SL very well. Be happy that as a Sunni Allah (swt) put you in the Shia Islamic Republic.

  142. Empty says:

    Paul Craig Roberts RE: Libya and Syria:

    EXCERPTS:

    1. About Italy’s help to the rebels, “Italy is an American puppet state and will do anything that America tell it to do. I don’t think Italy has a role as an independent country.”

    2. “In my [PCR] opinion, there is no legitimate rebellion in Libya. It’s all a CIA operation. The United States government is trying to get China out of Libya because China has extensive energy investment in Libya and also in two other North African countries and the United States is very disturbed by the recent report from the International Monetary Fund that China will surpass the United States as the number one economic power within the next five years. So, Washington is trying to evict China from the Mediterranean and that is why the Libyan so-called rebellion is unique. It did not take place in the capital city and it is also an armed rebellion which has not previously characterized Arab protest. It originates in the East where China’s oil investments are located. So, what this is…is an effort to evict China from Libya.”

    3. “The end game would be probably to partition the country and eject China from the east which would be under CIA operation.”

    4. “For the same reason Washington is focused on Syria because in Syria the Russians have a very large naval base in which they intend to keep guided missile cruises and aircraft carriers. And Washington does not want Russians with a navy in the Mediterranean. So, what happens is Washington got caught off guard by Arab protests in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain and they quickly learned they could use Arab protests as a cloak behind which to hide while China and Russia are evicted from the Mediterranean.”

    Source: ;http://presstv.com/detail/179142.html

  143. M.Ali says:

    This is what the US never understands about Iranians (and neither do most Iranian diasporas)

    10. If the price Iran paid for its nuclear program was a worsening of its economy, would you be more inclined or less inclined for Iran to continue with the program?

    Choices are:

    More inclined
    Less inclined
    NS
    Total

    More inclined has 51.6, while Less Inclined has 37.3%.

  144. M.Ali says:

    As I’m going through masoud’s link of the survey, I came across to the question:

    6. Which non-Iranian global figure or statesman do you admire most?

    THe choices being:

    Chirac
    Musharraf
    Putin
    Sheikh Zayed
    King Abdullah Abdullaziz
    Other
    None/Not sure
    Total

    Seperated into different answers of Male/Female, the male Iranians’ number one choice (not including the None/Other choice which is over 40%) is Putin at 17.2%, close to Shk Zayed’s 12.9%.

    None of that is important. What’s amusing is that the Iranian women chose Putin with an overwhelming 31.6%.

    When is IRAN getting our own Beefcake Leader? Khatami looked handsome, but he was no Putin.

    http://www.funnyordie.com/slideshows/7df05c1f10/pictures-of-vladimir-putin-looking-like-a-complete-badass

  145. Voice of Tehran says:

    ScumPack says:
    May 10, 2011 at 6:08 am

    “”LA , LA , LA , LA…”"

    See SP , this is what it’s all about , you never address the core of the issue.
    BTW , with your LOVE for Western values , I wonder if you participated in the wedding party of William and Kate :

    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/international/royalwedding/she_the_sacrifice_at_altar_q3kAzkx3hN6ClhLol5X6aP?ref=notif&notif_t=like

    …Who can blame her?

    Kate waited eight years for this moment, outlasting an endless parade of bimbos and stunning babes, most of them blond, at least five of them wedding guests (go figure, Brits), to win the hand of the badly balding heir to the throne.

    “You look beautiful!” William said, sounding a trifle too surprised, as she sailed into his orbit. These had to be the second-most dorky words ever to emerge from the mouth of a prince, after Wills’ dad’s unfortunate musings on becoming Camilla’s feminine hygiene product…

  146. M.Ali says:

    And to BiB’s comment on the constitution:

    Dear brother, why even write the responsibilities of the SL, if he can do anything? Why not save time and just write:

    Supreme Leader:

    Article 1 – CAN DO WHATEVER HE PLEASES.
    Article 2 – See Article 1

  147. M.Ali says:

    Masoud’s survey link was excellent. It is always interesting to look at polls on Iran.

    I relink it again to look at it again more time-

    http://www.iranvajahan.net/english/pdf/iranpollresults.pdf

  148. M.Ali says:

    I also want to make a post about my differences with all the Iranians here. My agreement with most of them is that we all seem to love Iran, but look at the differences:

    FYI – I don’t agree with his focus on individualism in our culture and Islams. His vision of Islam does not match with the people’s Islam. As a non-religious person, I admit that our people are religious, and not in the Me-way that FYI calls for.

    Persian Gulf – Underestimates the people’s love for the system and the religioness of the Iranians. In Iran, what you see, is not what you get. There are so many shades and masks, that it is hard to really get the picture of Iran based on the few people one encouters and the discussions. Polls and actual activities on the ground are the best proof.

    Bussed-in-Basij – Annoyingly fanatic. I come from a town in Iran where its all Sunnis and neither the Pahlavis nor the current IRI has done shit for us (except the good Doctor, who has done more for my city than the last 30 years), but reading BiB’s comments, one could very easily realize that if their walled us in and burned us, he wouldn’t raise his voice. His unrelenting fanatisim is what I find most disheartening about Iran, the inability to face facts. If someone he support lies, he says its okay to lie. He gives full support to the SL, turning religion into bod-parasti [idol-worshipping], something that the Prophet came to destroy.

    Khamenie is just a MAN, as were all your countless Imams, as were members of Ahl-ul Bayt. Only Prophet Mohammad, in Islam, is considered the Perfect Man. The only interesting aspect of Shia-ism to a non-religious person like me is their refusal to bow down to anyone based on title alone. They considered Mohammad’s closest friends to have taken the wrong path, so they disowned him, but everything after that is unquestioning alliance to an Idol.

    Rehmat – Everything to him revolves around Jews. I’m getting bored of it.

    Liz – BiB, but with less swear words.

    Pak – He views Iran in a black & white format, unable to see the multilayer complexities of this great and choatic nation, and can not understand why the elections did not turn out as the western media and facebook predicted, so he insists it was false. To me, it reminds me of the joke of articles written by barely-Iranians at western media, such as Tehran Bureau. Like the one I read last time about taxi-drivers, all of them anti-government statements, not knowing that in Iran, there are two certainities in addition to death and taxes, and that is that 1) Iranians ALWAYS complain 2) Iranians almost ALWAYS agree with strangers. Go in any taxi, and talk about how great the Agha is, and they will agree. Talk about how bad Ahmadenijad is and they will agree. The biggest joke of that article was how one taxi driver refused payment because he agreed with them so much, which seems the writers of the article were unable to understand the concept of toarof.

    Unknown Unknowns – Shades of BiB, but funnier and more polite, and more hope that he can at least try to see both sides.

    Empty – I don’t think I have any major issues with Empty, mainly because I can see that he doesn’t argue as much as contribute.

    Pirouz – I also don’t have any issues with Pirouz, because his opinion generally is in line with mine.

    VoT – I’ve seen him only recently siding towards groupthink, which I think can be dangerous, as he was more objective previously.

    What a mess we Iranians are!

    I disagree with almost all of you, but that’s the beauty and greatness of Iran. Multiple religions, an incredible mish-mash of ethnicities during thousands of years, has resulted in a people that are all Iranians, but only unite when there is adversity.

  149. Pak says:

    VoT said: “AN did not take a break , he rather started a 10 day long contemplation and he should be much more determined now to complete his historic tasks.”

    In other words: “la la la la la la la la la.”

  150. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Bussed-in Prof:

    In response to your question, for the benefit of he who is probably beyond the reach of mere mortals like you and I:

    Great Shi’i Works

    ‘Al-Kafi’ by Al-Kulayni
    Dr. I. K. A. Howard
    Al-Serat, Vol. 2 (1976), No. 1

    The Author

    The author of al-Kafi was thiqat al-Islam, Abu Ja’far Muhammad b. Ya’qub b. Ishaq al-Kulaini al-Razi. He died in 328 A.H. or 329 A.H. (939 or 940 A.D.). Very little is known of his life and there is some dispute as to whether the nisba by which he is known is al-Kulaini or al-Kulini. However, it is agreed that it refers to a village in Iran, Kulain or Kulin; both were villages there.[1]

    He first worked as a religious scholar and faqih (student of fiqh or religious law) among the Imami-Shi’i scholars of al-Raiy in Iran. Then he moved to Baghdad and became head of the religious and legal scholars of the Imamis during the time when al-Muqtadir was Caliph. Al-Kulaini’s life’s work took place during the time of the sufara’ of the Mahdi (the agents who acted on behalf of the Hidden Imam during the lesser occultation, al ghaiba al-sughra).[2]

    Al-Kulaini is accredited with several works during this period. Among these are, as well as al-Kafi, a Kitab al-rijal, (a book in which men are assessed as authorities for traditions), al-Radd ‘ala ‘l-Qaramata (“Refutation of the Carmatians”, Rasa’ il al-a’immata “Letters of the Imams” and an anthology of poetry about the Imams. Only al-Kafi appears to have survived.[3]

    Al- Kafi

    Al-Kafi is a collection of the traditions taught by the Prophet and the Imams and handed down to the Muslim Community by the disciples of the Imams. The name al-Kafi means “that which is sufficient” that is, the book was intended to be a comprehensive collection of Imami-Shi’i traditions. This is explained by al-Kulaini in his introduction to the work:

    “…You wanted to have a book which would be sufficient (for your religious needs) (kafin), which would include all kinds of knowledge (‘ilm) of religion, which would be adequate for the student, and to which the teacher might refer. Thus it could be used by anyone who wanted knowledge of religion and of legal practice (‘amal) according to sound traditions (athar) from the truthful ones (the Imams) …”

    It is claimed that it took al-Kulaini twenty years to complete al-Kafi. It is indeed a very full and comprehensive work, divided into three sections, al-usul, al-furu and al-rawda.

    The usul give traditions concerning the principles of religion and principles on which religious law is based. The furu’ concern the traditions which elaborate the details of religious law, while the rawda is a collection of traditions outlining various points of religious interest and including some of the letters and speeches of the Imams.

    One of the principal features of the work is that the traditions are presented systematically in chapters according to their subject matter. This is a system which Islamic scholars had begun to use in the second half of the second century and in the third century of the Islamic era. Al-Kulaini was not the first Imami scholar to use the method. There are other works of traditions which use the same method, notably Kitab al-Mahasin of Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Khalid al-Barqi (d. 274/887).[4] However it seems to have been the first work to present such a comprehensive survey of Imami traditions in this manner.

    The source collections of traditions were known as usul. These were collections of traditions, either heard directly from the Imam or at least at second hand. There were said to have been four hundred of such collections.[5] These traditions were not arranged in chapters according to subject but arranged in the order in which the traditions were heard, regardless of subject matter or which particular Imam they were heard from.[6] It was these usul as well as earlier edited collections which were the basis of al-Kulaini’s collection as he heard them taught by earlier scholars. Unfortunately with the development of the comprehensive collections, the usul must have become less important, and only a few survive in manuscript.

    Traditionists before al-Kulaini and traditionists after him, examined the isnads (chain of authorities) with great care. Their purpose was to make sure that all reporters of a particular tradition were men of true faith; al-Kulaini himself seems to be less concerned with the isnad than with the matn or content of the tradition. Thus he sometimes reports traditions with men in the isnad, who were not strictly speaking disciples of the Imams; sometimes they belong to a different persuasion like the Zaidis, sometimes they are ghulat, extremists in their views. Some men in the isnads are those who regarded one of the earlier Imams as the final Imam and there are even men entirely unconnected with Shi’i views.[7] The scholars of tradition elaborated a system of categorising the different traditions according to the level of authenticity of a tradition, in terms of isnad and subject matter.

    The number of traditions in al-Kafi is 15,181;[8] according to another reckoning 15,176.[9] If the traditions reported in different sections are counted, the number is over 1,000 more. Of the basic traditions, 5,072 are considered sound (sahih) by scholars, i.e. first category; 144 are regarded as good (hasan), second category; 178 are held to be trustworthy (muwaththaq), third category; 302 are adjudged to be strong (qawi), fourth category; and 9,484 are considered weak (da’if), fifth category.[10] The fact that a tradition is considered weak does not mean that it is not true. What it means is that the scholars of tradition have found some weakness in the tradition, usually one of the persons in the isnad, which suggests the possibility that the tradition might not go back to the Imam as claimed. The science developed by Islamic scholars of tradition in order to examine the isnads and subject matter of traditions is a very specialised study; it involves, in particular, `ilm al-rijal, the study of the backgrounds of individual traditionists who have handed on the tradition.

    The usul of al-Kafi are divided into eight kutub or chapters and most of the kutub are divided into abwab or sections. The eight kutub are.

    Kitab al-’aql wa-’l'jahl, “The Chapter of Reason and Ignorance”. This chapter presents the theological distinction between reason and ignorance.
    Kitab fadl al-’ilm, “The Chapter of the Excellence of Knowledge”. In this chapter knowledge (‘ilm) is dealt with on the basis of its basic early Islamic meaning of the traditional knowledge of Islam, i.e. knowledge of religion that has been passed on and inherited. In the course of this chapter, sections deal with the methods of approaching Islamic traditional knowledge; the methods of judging the truth of the subject matter of traditions, a description of traditions from the Imams and arguments against the use of personal opinion (ra’y) and analogy (qiyas).
    Kitab al-tawhid, “The Chapter of Unity”. This, as its name suggests, deals with the theology of God.
    Kitab al-hujja, “The Chapter of the Proof”. This deals with the need for man and the world to have “a proof”. That “proof” is the Imams, and before them it was the prophets. It also includes an historical section on the Imams.
    Kitab al-Iman wa-’l-kufr, “The Chapter of Faith and Unbelief”. This is a comprehensive survey of the elements of faith (iman) and unbelief (kufr). It includes such important topics as “the pillars of Islam”, and it also deals with the difference between faith (iman) and submission to God (Islam).
    Kitab al-du’a', “The Chapter of Prayer”. This does not concern the statutory salat which is also translated “prayer”. This chapter deals with personal prayers (du’a') as distinct from the salat which is performed in a prescribed manner at prescribed times. It records prayers recommended by the Imams for a variety of situations and occasions.
    Kitab al-fadl al-Qur’an, “The Chapter of the Excellence of the Qur’an”. The title of the chapter shows that it concerns the advantages that accrue to the believer who recites the Qur’an, as well as advising on the methods of recitation.
    Kitab al-’ishra, “The Chapter of Companionship”. At first sight it seems rather surprising to find such a chapter included in the usul or principles of religion. The main concern of the other chapters has been man’s relationship with God. This chapter emphasizes that that relationship with God also encompasses man’s relationship with his fellow men.

    The furu’ of al-kafi are concerned with the elaboration of the details of Islamic law. Islamic law, as is well known, concerns the whole man and his conduct towards God is as much a matter of Islamic law as his conduct towards his fellow men. The furu’ contain many more traditions than the usul and there are 26 kutub. It opens in the traditional Islamic manner with the Kitab al-tahara , “The Chapter of Purity”, which concerns the ritual purification that is necessary before prayer (salat) and when the state of ritual purity is broken. The next book Kitab al-haid, “The Chapter of Menstruation” concerns one of the important states in which ritual purity is broken, that of menstruation. The third book also concerns a state which breaks ritual purity, that of death and Kitab al-jana’iz, “The Chapter of Funerals” deals with funerals and other matters concerned with burial rites. The Kitab al-salat, “The Chapter of Prayer” outlines the rules for ritual prayer, and also gives details of superrogatory prayer.

    Following Kitab al-salat is another pillar of Islam, the alms tax (al-Zakat) paid as a Muslim. After this comes the Kitab al-siyam, “The Chapter of Fasting”. Here the rules of the prescribed fast of Ramadan are outlined as well as those of voluntary fasts, and fasts performed as an act of expiation. Kitab al-Hajj, “The Chapter of the Pilgrimage” gives the rules of that great Islamic rite. Al-Kulaini also includes in this chapter a section on visiting the tombs of the Prophet and the Imams (al-Ziarat).

    The next chapter Kitab al-jihad presents traditions on the regulations for holy warfare. It is followed by Kitab al-ma’isha which conerns the manner of earning one’s living. All sorts of trading problems are treated in this chapter. Marriage (nikah) is the subject of the next book. There are numerous details including a very detailed section on mut’a or temporary marriage. Marriage is naturally followed by the birth of children and the next book deals with what is necessary and what is recommended at that time. Although it deals with a variety of matters concerned with the birth and bringing up of children, it is called Kitab al-’aqiqa. Aqiqa is actually a sacrifice performed on behalf of a seven-day old child. The hair of the child is cut off and its weight in silver given as sadaqa “charity”. The Prophet performed this sacrifice on behalf of al-Hasan and al-Husain and Fatima gave away the sadaqa. After marriage and children, the next subject is that of divorce (al-talaq). The different laws concerning divorce are detailed in traditions from the Prophet and the Imams.

    Then the different kinds of slaves and the different methods of freeing them are discussed in kitab al-’itq wa’-l-tadbir wa-’l-katiba. The next two chapters concern hunting (said) and ritual slaughter (dhaba’ih). There follow three chapters on daily living: one is concerned with foods (at’ima) another drinks (ashriba), and the third with clothes, ornaments and courteousness (al-ziq wa-’l-tajammul wa-’l-muru’a). After this comes a chapter on domestic animals (dawajin). Two chapters deal with inheritance. The first entitled al-wasaya deals with bequests while the second al-mawarith outlines the ordinary laws of inheritance. The remaining chapters all concern the administration of the law. Kitab al-hudud outlines the circumstances and the manner in which punishments, which have the authority of the Qur’an, and the Prophet should be administered, while al-diyat concerns the laws of blood vengeance and details the compensation that must be given if someone harms another physically. Kitab al-shahadat concerns the requirements for testimony in legal cases, and Kitab al-qada’ wa-’l-ahkam outlines the code of behaviour incumbent upon judges and what type of people they should be. The furu closes with a discussion of oaths, vows and the manner of atonement when the former two are broken in Kitab al-aiman wa-l-nudhur wa-’l-kaffarat.

    In the rawda of al-Kafi, al-Kulaini does not follow the systematic method he had used in the usul and the furu’. The traditions follow one another in what appears to be a fairly inconsistent order. It certainly lacks the detailed systematic approach that is so obviously present in the other two parts of the book.

    In presenting the traditions in al-Kafi, al-Kulaini’s main approach seems to have been to let the traditions speak for themselves. He intervenes very little himself. Sometimes he thinks it necessary to explain some discrepancy or apparent inconsistency, but these occasions are very rare. His main contribution to the task has been the massive work of collecting and editing.

    The importance of al-Kafi as a work of tradition is considerable. It is regarded as one of the four major works of Shi’i traditions. This has led to considerable number of commentaries being written about it by later writers. The most important of these is Mir’at al-’uqul fi sharh akhbar al al-rasul by al-Majlisi (d. 1110/1698). Other commentators include Mulla Sadr al-Din al-Shirazi (d. 1050/1640), al-Mazandarani (d. 1080/1699), al-Qazwini (d. 1089/1678) and Muhammad Baqir b. Damad (d. 1040/1630). All these commentaries have been published, though most of them nearly a hundred years ago. In addition to these commentaries, there are numerous others, many of which have also been published.[11]

    The great value of al-Kafi to Shi’i Muslims is emphasized by the number of outstanding scholars of their community who have considered it worthwhile to write commentaries on the work. Al-Kafi represents a decisive moment in the collection of traditions from the Prophet and the Imams and their systematic presentation.

    Notes:

    Cf. ‘Ali Akbar al-Ghaffari’s introduction to his eight volume edition of al-Kulaini’s al-Kafi Teheran, 3rd edition 1388-), I, 9-13
    Ibid. I 13-14
    Ibid. I 14
    Ibid. I 23-24 citing page 8 of al-Kulaini’s text.
    This work has been edited in two volumes by Jalal al-Din al-Husaini and published in Teheran, 1370 A.H.
    On the Usul, see Agha Buzurg al-Tihrani al-Dhari’a ila tasanif al-Shi’a (Najaf and Teheran, 1963-), II, 125-129.
    Hashim Ma’ruf al-Hasani Dirasat fi ’1-Kafi wa’-l-Sahih (Sur 1968) 137-8
    Based on a count of the various categories of Traditions given by Agha Buzurg al-Tihrani op.cit. XVII 245.
    This number is given by Ali Akbar al-Ghaffar’i in his introduction to al-Kafi, I, 28 footnote 3
    Agha Buzurg al-Tihrani, op.cit., XVII, 245.
    F. Sezgin, Geshichte des arabischen Schrifttums (Leiden 1967-), I, 541-2.

  151. Voice of Tehran says:

    M.Ali says:
    May 10, 2011 at 5:28 am
    You wrote:
    “But this is not what happened. Ahmadenijad’s 10-day break was reassessing the situtaion.”

    AN did not take a break , he rather started a 10 day long contemplation and he should be much more determined now to complete his historic tasks.

  152. Scott Lucas says:

    The attempt by Ahmadinejad’s office was a “forced resignation” of Minister of Intelligence Moslehi. The news was put out by IRNA that Moslehi has resigned, when he had not. Soon, Ahmadinejad’s critics counter-attacked, revealing the pressure on Moslehi to go.

    The immediate cause of the conflict was Moslehi’s attempt to dismiss a Deputy Minister, Hossein Abdollahian, who is considered close to the Ahmadinejad camp, especially the Presidential Chief of Staff (and likely 2013 Presidential candidate) Esfandiar Rahim-Mashai. There are claims that the Ahmadinejad camp wanted to put in Abdollahian as Minister of Intelligence.

    The wider cause of the conflict — intersecting with the discussion here of Constitutional authority of Supreme Leader and of President — is control over Ministry of Intelligence. This has historically been a Ministry under the oversight of the Supreme Leader’s office. The attempt to replace Moslehi was perceived by SL’s office as challenging that practice.

    (In 2009, Ahmadinejad had replaced Mohseni-Ejei with Moslehi as Minister of Intelligence. While this caused some tension, SL’s office and President’s office eventually agreed on the move — the situation differed from today because of the convergence of Khamenei and Ahmadinejad over the post-election threat.)

    With Ahmadinejad professing on Sunday to accept authority of Supreme Leader, two issues now will test the apparent resolution: 1) whether President’s camp make another move on Ministry of Intelligence; 2) whether Ahmadinejad continues to support Rahim-Mashai as his successor.

    Best,

    S.

  153. Roland says:

    haha US/west have always spread lies about nations, how weak, fragile etc them are…so pathetic. Iran stands strong after 30 yrs of isolation and sanctions.

  154. M.Ali says:

    Eric & Pak,

    As far as I know, Khomeini didn’t ORDER the change.

    Remember, Ahmadenijad didn’t even FIRE the minister, he pushed him to resign.

    A constitutional crisis would have been as follows:
    Ahmadenijad FIRES the Minister.
    Khameini REHIRES him and PREVENTS Ahmadenijad from firing him again.

    But this is not what happened. Ahmadenijad’s 10-day break was reassessing the situtaion. He realized that majority of the politicians were not taking his side, so he figured it was not a battle worth losing allies over, and backed down.

    As can be guessed, this exists in all countries, where politicians are forced to back down on certain issues, to keep things stable and to their benefit.

  155. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Martin Lings’ superlative (partial) translation of the ayas where the angels are commanded to prostrate themselves before Adam:

    [2:30]
    ..verily I am about to make on earth a viceregent… [BC]

    [2:34]
    And when We said unto the angels: ‘Make prostration before Adam’, they prostrated themselves all save Iblis… [BC]

    [2:35]
    And We said: ‘O Adam, dwell thou and thy wife in the Paradise…’. And come not nigh this tree, for then would ye be transgressors. [BC]

    [2:37]
    Then Adam received words from his Lord, Who relented towards him. Verily He is the Relenting, the Merciful. [BC]
    Then Adam received words from his Lord, Who relented unto him. Verily He is the Ever-Relenting, the All-Merciful. [RS] [L-QD]

    [2:38]
    We said: ‘Go fallen hence, all of you together. Yet assuredly will I send unto you a guidance, and whosoever shall follow My guidance, no fear shall come upon them, neither shall they grieve.

  156. Unknown Unknowns says:

    I recommend Theirry Meyssan’s excellent website:

    http://www.voltairenet.org/en

    I also visit the WhatReallyHappened site as a religious ritual on a daily basis, my religion being Laughter at All Costs!

  157. Unknown Unknowns says:

    “[The Third World War] is a war that has been fought by the United States against the Third World. It might also be called the Forty–Year War, like the Thirty–Year and Hundred–Year Wars in Europe, for this one began when the CIA was founded in 1947 and continues today. As wars go, it has been the second or third most destructive of human life in all of history, after World War I and World War II.” — John Stockwell, former CIA official and author

  158. Unknown Unknowns says:

    The trade volume between Tehran and Ankara was at $5 billion in 2009.
    This volume was at almost half that in the first two months of this year ($2.1B)
    At this rate, the volume at year’s end will be at $24B.
    I guess Ahmadinejad is expecting the rate to increase even more, as he is projecting a volume at year end of $30B – 6 times that of just two years ago.

    Incredible! I imagine similar figures (though perhaps not quite as stellar) obtain with China.

    Sara Palin: How’r them sanctions working for ya? Well, we’re sitting pretty. don’t know where we’d be without ya, darlin’.

    If Ahmadinejad’s projec

    Tehran-Ankara trade value hits $2.1b
    TEHRAN: The value of trade between Iran and Turkey surpassed 2.1 billion during the first two months of 2011.

    The amount shows 78.72 percent increase in comparison to the same period previous year, IRNA reported.

    The two countries’ trade value stood at $10.6 billion in 2010, which was 97 percent more than 2009.

    Recently Turkish Statistical Institute reported that the two countries’ trade value will surpass 15 billion dollars in 2011 by enforcing the inked preferential trade agreement.

    President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in February announced that the value of trade between Iran and Turkey will reach $30 billion during Iranian calendar year 1390 (to end March 20, 2012).

    Ahmadinejad made the remarks during a joint press conference with Turkish President Abdullah Gul.

    “The value of trade exchanges between the two countries surpassed 10 billion dollars last year and we are determined to increase it to 30 billion dollars through comprehensive cooperation,” Ahmadinejad stated

  159. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Dear Seyyed,

    I forgot to mention that, needless to say, when I said “Debate THAT, motherfluffer”, I was addressing Bill not you. And of course I kid bill only because he says he takes a “perverse pleasure” in, what’s the word? mmm, … debating.

    And for the uninitiated, fluffer is an esoteric technical term borrowed from the pornography industry which one of my (born-again) subordinates taught me. He was trying not to resort to the use of a similar word which enjoys a wider circulation, which, perverse boss that I was, I used in addressing him on occasion (like fluffing, I mean, ruffling his hair). It sounds a lot worse than it was. It was all in good fun, and we actually had a good time together in that San Francisco office. We were, after all, in the construction industry. :D

  160. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Dear Seyyed PG:

    Ah, well I see that while I was working on the rest of my response to you, you did not heed my request and jumped the gun a little. Not to woorry. I have to go shower and breakfast now anyway, so I will wait for you to let me know if you have anything to add after reading the rest of my post, or whether your response stands as is. I will then attempt to formulate a response. But becuase I contradict myself (So? I contain myltitudes!, as Walt Whitman said in his Leaves of Grass), I will stay and give you a mini response now:

    I do not hate the greens. I hope and pray that I don’t hate anyone, even my worst enemies. i just think that they are a victim of the ideology of a by-gone era. Of course I don’t hate them. Both my parents and practically all my family (with the exception of my sister, whose intelligence shines through here) are greens. Practically everyone in my limited social circle is green (becuase I live in Tehran’s green zone). I feel their pain on a daily basis. Their pain is real. And it is all the more painful for me to witness when I see that all they do is cling on to their old obsolete ideological neuroses by doing notihng but watching the negativity and filth that spews out of VoA, BBC Persian adn all the rest of that crap day in adn day out, and are blinded to the great beauty of the country as it is and in potentia.

    Yes, I like Michel Foucault. I think he is a deep thinker and is probably the only one of the post-structuralist Frenchies worth taking the time to read. Even though he is over my head. But, dear Seyyed, it is NOT impossible. The world is magic. Have faith, and trust in your Lord that what you are doing, treading the Straight Path (sirat al-mustaqim) is not in vain. He will do the rest. Remember, you are teh main character in a faery tale of your own making, and one thing you do NOT have control over is that all faery tales have a happy ending – for the hero and heroine – not for the villain.

    Yes, modernity “is part of human evolution and it bears some sort of truthfulness.” Of course. It is God’s Act II. His way of saying, “the plot thickens.” And what a glorious plot! A story which you bargained for on the Day of Alast, a part of the bargain for which was that you forget all about the bargain, the better to enjoy the ride.

  161. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Dear Seyyed Forever Persian Gulf (et al):

    One of the major mistaken assumptions of your recent critique of Dr. Afrasiabi’s article is that the Islamic Republic is a democracy. Alhamduli’llah [By the grace of God], it decidedly is NOT. What it IS I do not know – maybe something like a from the grass roots up meritocratic hierocracy (grass roots up meaning that the hierophant keeps one eye up on God to see what He intends for His creatures, and another eye level and slightly downward, to see what the will of the people is within the ambit of freewill afforded them by their Cherishing and Nurturing Lord [rabb]. What I think it is *trying* to be or do, its “project”, as it were, is the seemingly impossible task of conflating an authoritarian tradition of the divine right of kings which has traditionally been forced on the nation with a could-give-a-fuck attitude of the clergy, who, for over a thousand years have thrown their hands in the air and retreated in their ivory towers to write millions of pages of so-called fiqh, made irrelevant by the fact of their political quietism – and all this in the context of the avalanching snowball of modernity, the reaction to which was its original impetus.

    You can make all sorts of statements from the sidelines about excuse-making, justifying, apologetics, etc. that you want, (and you would be engaging in a favorite past-time of Green Zone Iranians: the vile venting of their venomous and futile negativity – which is actually a symptom of their double-bind envy at being a marginalized part at best of Iranian society on the one hand and being [quite literally] rejected [at the visa consulate] by the society which they mistakenly consider their spiritual home), but do you really believe you could do a better job than the other Seyyed who has agreed to take on this awesome Trust? I know I couldn’t.

    033.072
    YUSUFALI: We did indeed offer the Trust to the Heavens and the Earth and the Mountains; but they refused to undertake it, being afraid thereof: but man undertook it;- He was indeed unjust and foolish;-
    PICKTHAL: Lo! We offered the trust unto the heavens and the earth and the hills, but they shrank from bearing it and were afraid of it. And man assumed it. Lo! he hath proved a tyrant and a fool.
    SHAKIR: Surely We offered the trust to the heavens and the earth and the mountains, but they refused to be unfaithful to it and feared from it, and man has turned unfaithful to it; surely he is unjust, ignorant;

    Here, God admonishes us for being “unjust [unto ourselves]“, and “foolhardy” because, like the Commoner who falls in love with the Princess, our love is an impossible dream or undertaking. It is our azali [pre-eternal] love for our Sleeping Beauty (who is “a Hidden Treasure” who “wants to be known” – in teh Koranic, not Biblical sense :P) which possesses us to shoulder this undertaking, the acceptance of the awesome responsibility of the Trust (of the vicegerancy of God on Earth); and as such, the admonition of the glorious ayah 33.72 is the admonition of the Beloved to her Lover, and not one of Lord to Servant, as is the case when God responds [2.30] to the angels, who question His wisdom in creating Adam[kind], in “creating creation in order to be known” thus: “I know that which ye know not.”
    That which He knows, by the way, for those who have followed me this far, which the angels know not, is that all faery tales have a happy ending, that the lighting of the Stage is well worth the candle, and that the Kiss that awakens Sleeping Beauty is indeed reciprocated (that the love of the Commoner, which ordinarily would be an Impossible Dream, is requited – the beloved’s FAITH in love is NOT in vain) – reciprocated by another Kiss, which turns the Common Toad into a Prince, and they live happily ever after.

    Because, boys and girls, we are living in a faery tale. And life is magical. And the world is made of stories, NOT of atoms. And the World is governed by Symbols, not by eternal Laws (Confucius). (There are no laws, only long-term tendencies – Alfred North Whitehead). And you, gentle reader, are the main character in that story, not an unresolved and irresolvable egoic tension (between id and superego) encapsulated in a bag of skin, floundering on the fringes of the Big Bang.
    THAT is the optimism and indeed exuberance that is the Islamic anthropogony, anthroposophy, mythology and psychology that is the corrective to Christianity’s World-as Crypt cosmology (a derivative in turn of Gnostic, Manichean, Zoroastrian, Hindic and ultimately Egyptian origin), wherein the need for the supposedly salvific coming of the Christ and his sacrifice on the cross is necessitated by Postlapsarian Man’s Original Sin, which landed him and his temptress wife into the Crypt of the Demiurge. (Nothing but nothing is going to cause your salvation except your own thoughts, words and deeds, and the mercy and grace of God, whose will may or may not be swayed by those among His beloved who are closest to Him – least of all belief in Jesus as your savior upon your deathbed, irrespective of your sins. There is a moral order to creation:
    099.006
    YUSUFALI: On that Day will men proceed in companies sorted out, to be shown the deeds that they (had done).
    PICKTHAL: That day mankind will issue forth in scattered groups to be shown their deeds.
    SHAKIR: On that day men shall come forth in sundry bodies that they may be shown their works.
    099.007
    YUSUFALI: Then shall anyone who has done an atom’s weight of good, see it!
    PICKTHAL: And whoso doeth good an atom’s weight will see it then,
    SHAKIR: So. he who has done an atom’s weight of good shall see it
    099.008
    YUSUFALI: And anyone who has done an atom’s weight of evil, shall see it.
    PICKTHAL: And whoso doeth ill an atom’s weight will see it then.
    SHAKIR: And he who has done an atom’s weight of evil shall see it.
    What a contrast! And indeed, THAT, ultimately, as I hope my esteemed Sandwich Munching Professor would agree, is the First Cause of the dynamo that is driving the growth of Islam as the world’s fastest growing religion, irrespective of the various and sundry immediate and proximate causes: truth. Debate THAT, motherfluffer!
    Here is the ayah. I wish the USC database had the Sayle translation, which, with its archaic language, is particularly poignant in this glorious [what else can I call it?!] passage. And Arberry’s. And of course, that of Martin Lings’s, where available.) Enjoy the passage in its full context, and give praise to the Lord and Cherisher of Creation (rabb al-‘alameen).
    Subhaana rabb-I al-adhim wa bi hamd-eh’. Subhanallah. Subhanallah. Subhanallah. Alhamduli’llah. Wa’stakhfiru’llah, wa atubu alayk, ya rabb-i.

    002.030
    YUSUFALI: Behold, thy Lord said to the angels: “I will create a vicegerent on earth.” They said: “Wilt Thou place therein one who will make mischief therein and shed blood?- whilst we do celebrate Thy praises and glorify Thy holy (name)?” He said: “I know what ye know not.”
    PICKTHAL: And when thy Lord said unto the angels: Lo! I am about to place a viceroy in the earth, they said: Wilt thou place therein one who will do harm therein and will shed blood, while we, we hymn Thy praise and sanctify Thee? He said: Surely I know that which ye know not.
    SHAKIR: And when your Lord said to the angels, I am going to place in the earth a khalif, they said: What! wilt Thou place in it such as shall make mischief in it and shed blood, and we celebrate Thy praise and extol Thy holiness? He said: Surely I know what you do not know.

    002.031
    YUSUFALI: And He taught Adam the names of all things; then He placed them before the angels, and said: “Tell me the names of these if ye are right.”
    PICKTHAL: And He taught Adam all the names, then showed them to the angels, saying: Inform Me of the names of these, if ye are truthful.
    SHAKIR: And He taught Adam all the names, then presented them to the angels; then He said: Tell me the names of those if you are right.

    002.032
    YUSUFALI: They said: “Glory to Thee, of knowledge We have none, save what Thou Hast taught us: In truth it is Thou Who art perfect in knowledge and wisdom.”
    PICKTHAL: They said: Be glorified! We have no knowledge saving that which Thou hast taught us. Lo! Thou, only Thou, art the Knower, the Wise.
    SHAKIR: They said: Glory be to Thee! we have no knowledge but that which Thou hast taught us; surely Thou art the Knowing, the Wise.

    002.033
    YUSUFALI: He said: “O Adam! Tell them their names.” When he had told them, Allah said: “Did I not tell you that I know the secrets of heaven and earth, and I know what ye reveal and what ye conceal?”
    PICKTHAL: He said: O Adam! Inform them of their names, and when he had informed them of their names, He said: Did I not tell you that I know the secret of the heavens and the earth? And I know that which ye disclose and which ye hide.
    SHAKIR: He said: O Adam! inform them of their names. Then when he had informed them of their names, He said: Did I not say to you that I surely know what is ghaib in the heavens and the earth and (that) I know what you manifest and what you hide?

    002.034
    YUSUFALI: And behold, We said to the angels: “Bow down to Adam” and they bowed down. Not so Iblis: he refused and was haughty: He was of those who reject Faith.
    PICKTHAL: And when We said unto the angels: Prostrate yourselves before Adam, they fell prostrate, all save Iblis. He demurred through pride, and so became a disbeliever.
    SHAKIR: And when We said to the angels: Make obeisance to Adam they did obeisance, but Iblis (did it not). He refused and he was proud, and he was one of the unbelievers.

    002.035
    YUSUFALI: We said: “O Adam! dwell thou and thy wife in the Garden; and eat of the bountiful things therein as (where and when) ye will; but approach not this tree, or ye run into harm and transgression.”
    PICKTHAL: And We said: O Adam! Dwell thou and thy wife in the Garden, and eat ye freely (of the fruits) thereof where ye will; but come not nigh this tree lest ye become wrong-doers.
    SHAKIR: And We said: O Adam! Dwell you and your wife in the garden and eat from it a plenteous (food) wherever you wish and do not approach this tree, for then you will be of the unjust.

    002.036
    YUSUFALI: Then did Satan make them slip from the (garden), and get them out of the state (of felicity) in which they had been. We said: “Get ye down, all (ye people), with enmity between yourselves. On earth will be your dwelling-place and your means of livelihood – for a time.”
    PICKTHAL: But Satan caused them to deflect therefrom and expelled them from the (happy) state in which they were; and We said: Fall down, one of you a foe unto the other! There shall be for you on earth a habitation and provision for a time.
    SHAKIR: But the Shaitan made them both fall from it, and caused them to depart from that (state) in which they were; and We said: Get forth, some of you being the enemies of others, and there is for you in the earth an abode and a provision for a time.

    002.037
    YUSUFALI: Then learnt Adam from his Lord words of inspiration, and his Lord Turned towards him; for He is Oft-Returning, Most Merciful.
    PICKTHAL: Then Adam received from his Lord words (of revelation), and He relented toward him. Lo! He is the relenting, the Merciful.
    SHAKIR: Then Adam received (some) words from his Lord, so He turned to him mercifully; surely He is Oft-returning (to mercy), the Merciful.

    002.038
    YUSUFALI: We said: “Get ye down all from here; and if, as is sure, there comes to you Guidance from me, whosoever follows My guidance, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.
    PICKTHAL: We said: Go down, all of you, from hence; but verily there cometh unto you from Me a guidance; and whoso followeth My guidance, there shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve.
    SHAKIR: We said: Go forth from this (state) all; so surely there will come to you a guidance from Me, then whoever follows My guidance, no fear shall come upon them, nor shall they grieve.

    002.039
    YUSUFALI: “But those who reject Faith and belie Our Signs, they shall be companions of the Fire; they shall abide therein.”
    PICKTHAL: But they who disbelieve, and deny Our revelations, such are rightful Peoples of the Fire. They will abide therein.
    SHAKIR: And (as to) those who disbelieve in and reject My communications, they are the inmates of the fire, in it they shall abide.

  162. Persian Gulf says:

    Unknown Unknowns says:
    May 9, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    “…what I think it is *trying* to be or do, its “project”, as it were, is to conflate a & b, and all this in the context of the avalanche of modernity, the reaction to which was its original impetus.”

    well you can call it anything. people have done so already. Michel Foucault has a better description in that context. I am sure, you are aware of that. however, I have said this before, you can’t make a high rise by cheap materials. IT IS SIMPLY NOT POSSIBLE. a bunch of reactionaries can’t overcome the enormous hurdles that modernity, in its western dimension at least, has brought to our societies that you are so fed up with (could be rightly so). those people that did not understand modernity, post-modernity…in their true terms can’t simply offer an alternative(s). after all, modernity… is part of human evolution and it bears some sort of truthfulness.

    and I don’t need to take refuge in a comfort of rejecting anything western, but I am as critical of the western democracy as I am of Iran’s theocracy. either you have an answer you or else can’t silence people by a simple name calling, be it greens or anything else.

    “…a marginalized part at best of Iranian society on the one hand and being [quite literally] rejected [at the visa consulate] by the society which they mistakenly consider their spiritual home),…”

    I am not part of marginalized people, neither do I think of the U.S as a spiritual home. in contrast, continuing your path will surely put you in a total marginalization of Iranian society, if at all you care or not is your decision.
    I recommend you, instead of bashing your countermen for whatever the reason (right or wrong), give up whatever the citizenship you have first and go to live in our great homeland. only then, you would be able to truly criticize a segment of our society that you so hate that don’t even want to see part of their hardships.

  163. Bussed-in Basiji,

    First, let me cite again Article 136 of the Iran Constitution, which unambiguously authorizes the president to dismiss ministers:

    “The President can dismiss the Ministers and in such a case he must obtain a vote of confidence for the new Minister(s) from the Assembly.”

    Now let’s turn to Article 110 of the Iran Constitution, which lays out the Supreme Leader’s powers. Rather than simply cite section numbers and leap directly to your grand conclusions, why don’t you cite actual text and explain how that text leads you to conclude that the Supreme Leader may reinstate a minister fired by the president:

    Article 110 — Leadership Duties and Powers

    (1) Following are the duties and powers of the Leadership:

    1. Delineation of the general policies of the Islamic Republic of Iran after consultation with the Nation’s Exigency Council.

    2. Supervision over the proper execution of the general policies of the system.

    3. Issuing decrees for national referenda.

    4. Assuming supreme command of the Armed Forces.

    5. Declaration of war and peace and the mobilization of the Armed Forces.

    6. Appointment, dismissal, and resignation of:

    a. the religious men on the Guardian Council,

    b. the supreme judicial authority of the country,

    c. the head of the radio and television network of the Islamic Republic of Iran,

    d. the chief of the joint staff,

    e. the chief commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, and

    f. the supreme commanders of the Armed Forces.

    7. Resolving differences between the three wings of the Armed Forces and regulation of their relations.

    8. Resolving the problems which cannot be solved by conventional methods, through the Nation’s Exigency Council.

    9. Signing the decree formalizing the election of the President of the Republic by the people. The suitability of candidates for the Presidency of the Republic, with respect to the qualifications specified in the Constitution, must be confirmed before elections take place by the Guardian Council, and, in the case of the first term of a President, by the Leadership.

    10. Dismissal of the President of the Republic, with due regard for the interests of the country, after the Supreme Court holds him guilty of the violation of his constitutional duties, or after a vote of the Islamic Consultative Assembly testifying to his incompetence on the basis of Article 89.

    11. Pardoning or reducing the sentences of convicts, within the framework of Islamic criteria, on a recommendation from the Head of judicial power.

    END OF ARTICLE 110.

  164. Fiorangela,

    Castellio asked you:

    “Fiorangela: Are you working on a book collecting your many thoughts? If not, why not?”

    Well?

  165. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Please disregard the previous post, as it was mistakenly posted prematurely when my finger hit some damn key >:~|

  166. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Dear Seyyed Forever Persian Gulf:

    One of the major mistaken assumptiions of your recent critique of Dr. Afrasiabi’s article is that the Islamic Republic is a democracy. Alhamduli’llah [By the grace of God], it decidedly is not. What it IS I do not know. what I think it is *trying* to be or do, its “project”, as it were, is to conflate a & b, and all this in the context of the avalanche of modernity, the reaction to which was its original impetus.

    You can make all sorts of statements from the sidelines about excuse-making, justifying, apologetics, etc. that you want, (and you would be engaging in a favorite past-time of Green Zone Iranians: the vile venting of their venomous and futile negativity – which is actually a symptom of their double-bind envy at being a marginalized part at best of Iranian society on the one hand and being [quite literally] rejected [at the visa consulate] by the society which they mistakenly consider their spiritual home), but do you really believe you could do a better job than the other Seyyed who has agreed to take on this awesome Trust? I know I couldn’t.

    033.072
    YUSUFALI: We did indeed offer the Trust to the Heavens and the Earth and the Mountains; but they refused to undertake it, being afraid thereof: but man undertook it;- He was indeed unjust and foolish;-
    PICKTHAL: Lo! We offered the trust unto the heavens and the earth and the hills, but they shrank from bearing it and were afraid of it. And man assumed it. Lo! he hath proved a tyrant and a fool.
    SHAKIR: Surely We offered the trust to the heavens and the earth and the mountains, but they refused to be unfaithful to it and feared from it, and man has turned unfaithful to it; surely he is unjust, ignorant;

    Here, God adomnished us for being “unjust [unto ourselves, that is]“, and oolhardy because

  167. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Pirouz:
    Personally speaking, I don’t think this matter comes close to the Constitutional disregard seen in America’s history, such as Andrew Jackson’s unconstitutional disregard of the Supreme Court in forcing the Cherokee people into a death march in the 1830s. I don’t think we’re seeing such in the current Iranian context of powers between Iran’s executive and leader branches of government.
    Moreover, in this context, I tend to draw comparisons between the two republics in terms their age. Iran’s republic is roughly 30 years old, and in the American matter I refer to, the US was roughly 50. Republics tend to develop through a maturing process (in my opinion). And I have to say, many of the opinions of support for Khamanei are reminiscent of such that Jackson enjoyed in the 1830s.

    *

    On your application of historical knowledge to add perspective to a complex issue: well done! It is indeed indubitably true that republics go through a process of growth and maturation. Let us hope that the addition of the adjectival modifier “Islamic” to the paradoxical title the Iranian nation-state has chosen to give itself of late lends this amalgam more strength and endurance than that of its American cousin across the oceans (which has just as indubitably seen its precocious growth turn into a premature old age, complete with its unsavory symptoms of senility, decay, and stench), just as her alchemy has bestowed upon her chosen form of government superb efficacy. Ameen.

    I have framed the issue a little differently (see my conversation with Castellio, below). Your historical perspective is a most welcome addition to the conversation, while at the same time it is necessary to recognize the elemental difference between the two different institutions (both called Presidency), the two living documents called Constitution, and last but by no means least, the anomolous presence of a third element, absent on one side of the equation: the institution of the Guardianship of the Supreme Jurisconsult in the absence of the occulted Imam, may God help us bring about the conditions necessary for his Return.

  168. Persian Gulf says:

    Pirouz says:
    May 9, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    “Moreover, in this context, I tend to draw comparisons between the two republics in terms their age. Iran’s republic is roughly 30 years old, and in the American matter I refer to, the US was roughly 50. Republics tend to develop through a maturing process (in my opinion). And I have to say, many of the opinions of support for Khamanei are reminiscent of such that Jackson enjoyed in the 1830s.”

    Sorry but we have the experiences of not just 200 years of American republic rather all those other countries as well. and we live at the age of internet, satellite, TV….none of them were existed at that time. what is the point of having all these historical information then? it’s ok to say I am on the side of Khamenei, but to make a ridiculous comparison like this is just to discredit yourself entirely.

    As for Afsariabi’s article (http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/ME10Ak02.html): in fact, I have a great respect for him, but when he writes about internal stuff, those are mere b***s***. I am pretty sure he checks this website, so he can get this at face. he, including some people here in this forum, were criticizing Iran’s reformists, to the point of justifying killing unarmed protesters, for violating democratic norms. at that time, democracy was everything. so, what happened to democracy this time? why is it different this time? sounds like these people have no shame.

    let’s look closely at the b***s*** he produced today:

    “…with the president appearing to have learned the lesson not to question the higher authority.”

    oh really? somebody with nearly 25 million votes has to learn the lesson from higher authority. who has given that authority to his dear SL? he doesn’t tell us how the president learned the lesson. was it any punishment involved. it seems, Afrasiabi has no shame to defend a one man dictatorship.

    “If he decides that it is in national interests to let go of Mashai and thus end a major source of tension with the power elite in Iran, then Ahmadinejad may have no choice but to do so, irrespective of his dislike of such a decision.”

    I think, Ahmadinejad should have resigned and put Khamenei under pressure. one thing that I agree with Afrasiabi is the lame duck nature of his presidency from now till the end of term. how come letting go of Mashai is national interest but ignoring Moslehi is not?

    “Ahmadinejad’s request to appear live on television and explain his reasons for dismissal and absence from work was rejected by Iranian national television, whose director is a Khamenei appointee. ”

    so, a president of a country doesn’t have the tool to communicate with his people effectively. it’s amazing Afrasiabi doesn’t see this as a fully dictatorship system. it’s not that surprising though, Khatami was almost in a similar position as IRIB was censoring him even though he was not brave enough to go to the limit.

    “The president’s image has been tarnished and, according to some Iran analysts, it will take some time before he can fully recover…”

    who said so? how does he know? in the contrary, Ahmadinejad has got more popularity on the eyes of ordinary Iranians. if there was any image that was tarnished, it was the image of Mr.Khamenei not Ahmadinejad.

    “By agreeing to keep Moslehi as intelligence minister, Ahmadinejad made good on his promise that Iran’s enemies would take to their grave their sinister wish to see a clash between himself and Khamenei.”

    As I said before, these people always look for outside conspiracy to justify their sinister actions at home. where is the outside threat this time? the west is too busy with whole lot of other issues, and this guy wants to silence any voice inside the country with an outside ghost.

    “Ahmadinejad momentarily stood up to the leader over Moslehi – and paid a dear political price. ”

    well, with many so called elites (idiots) directly installed by Khamenei, is this a strange development? I think, Eric explicitly mentioned the pity of having these so called elites (idiots) on the positions of power. not even a fraction of these elites could raise his voice in support of the elected president of the country and at least reminding Khamenei of his dictatorial act. what a great freedom of expression and open political order we have. I suggest we go out and celebrate for our unique political system.

    “It is not healthy, for Iran’s external image and its solidarity with other nations, that the president appears to have lost a lion’s share of his clout and autonomy.”

    so, wasn’t this an important “national interest” to be considered by Khamenei? Khamenei (falsely) justifies his action by preserving national interest while at the same time tarnishing the image of an elected president. it’s all too clear how Khamenei cares about national interests. somebody should ask him national interest or your interest sir?

    “at a time that Iran can ill-afford to be a house in disarray – foreign policy priorities are simply too urgent. ”

    again, foreign conspiracy. this is the best time that Iranians can pay attention to the mess, created by a dictator such as Khamenei, inside the country. it is all too clear that Iran’s system can’t harvest the transformation in the ME without changing it’s attitudes at home. it simply can’t win the hearts and minds more than what it is. it might even lose what it already has.

    “The passing political crisis in Iran and the resolution in favor of the undisputed leadership of Khamenei reminds one of Karl Marx’s wisdom that even an orchestra has but one leader. ”

    and final approval for a dictatorial rule. I am not sure why he should say all those b***s*** to come to this point. just tell this at the beginning and don’t waste people’s time with your highly hypocritical article. and remember this is the guy that often writes about hypocrisy in the west and it’s political system (rightly so).

  169. Rehmat says:

    Barack Obama did it again. Jewish Lobby asked Obama to release Jewish master-spy Jonathan Pollard if he wish to get re-elected in 2012 – but instead he staged a White House PSYOP on Osama Bin Laden.

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2011/05/10/israel-i-asked-for-pollard-not-osama/

  170. Pirouz says:

    Regarding the China analogy, no analogy is identical. But as the Leveretts’ have pointed out, Khamenei has signalled in the past that Iran would change its attitude with a change of US actions. And Hillary has hands-on experience in dealing with Iranians prior to the “Axis of Evil” moment. So she has a unique perspective among policy advocates.

    I’m surprised this analogy isn’t better understood by regular readers of this blog. The Leveretts’ advocacy on this matter is central to this blog effort, and has been articulated in detail in multiple posts as well as media appearances.

    Regarding the K/AN issue, Afrasiabi offers a perspective today in Asia Times Online.

    Personally speaking, I don’t think this matter comes close to the Constitutional disregard seen in America’s history, such as Andrew Jackson’s unconstitutional disregard of the Supreme Court in forcing the Cherokee people into a death march in the 1830s. I don’t think we’re seeing such in the current Iranian context of powers between Iran’s executive and leader branches of government.

    Moreover, in this context, I tend to draw comparisons between the two republics in terms their age. Iran’s republic is roughly 30 years old, and in the American matter I refer to, the US was roughly 50. Republics tend to develop through a maturing process (in my opinion). And I have to say, many of the opinions of support for Khamanei are reminiscent of such that Jackson enjoyed in the 1830s.

  171. BiBiJon says:

    Greetings. Before delving into the 2 things on my mind, I wanted to say this is one of the more readable conversation threads I have come across. I learn so much from UU, VoT, Empty, Eric, and Fiorangela, and …. that if I weren’t speechless I’d thank them.

    Item 1)

    NPR is running a three part series titled “Inside The United States’ Secret Sabotage Of Iran”. I heard the first segment today, and this caught my ears:

    Bruce Riedel (ex-CIA) on STUXNET and other sabotage of equipment destined for Iran:

    “One of the benefits of these kind of [covert sabotage) programs is that over time it builds paranoia and fear inside the Iranian nuclear program — that they have to be extremely careful that anything they buy may turn out to be a self-destructive pill once it’s ingested inside the Iranian program,” Riedel says.
    http://www.npr.org/2011/05/09/135854490/inside-the-united-states-secret-sabotage-of-iran

    ———-

    Unintended consequences of this could be enormous. No, not for Iran, but for marketability of western products. Unless the state department can convince China, for instance, that the US is beside herself with unadulterated joy witnessing China’s rise, then wouldn’t china too have to be ‘extremely careful that anything they buy may turn out to be a self-destructive pill once it’s ingested inside?’

    ===========================================================================
    Item 2)

    Aa request for Geo-politicians to wonder out loud about the three gateways coming together:

    Iran, gateway to Asia
    Turkey, gateway to Europe
    Egypt, gateway to Africa

  172. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    Yes, Israel and foolish “supporters” of Israel in the US Congress have encouraged gross violations of international law by presidents of the US.

    Meanwhile, a Palestinian community leader in Chicago is subject to harassment, apparently.

    http://electronicintifada.net/content/us-freezes-chicago-palestinian-leaders-bank-accounts/9926

  173. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Eric,
    We disagree if you don’t think that Article 110 gives the SL the right to overrule decisions by the President in case of national interest. I’m a bit puzzled that you ask for an argument but don’t give one yourself, meaning your reference to Article 136 which gives the President the right to fire ministers does not contradict the right of the SL to overrule that decision in case of national interest.

    However, if you just want to be a dick about the whole thing then OK, let’s just agree to disagree.

  174. Castellio says:

    UU: Yes, the comparative work is difficult (but necessary) and language is so very often deceptive.

    As for Jesters and Clowns, they are royalty for the wise. A hard path joyfully followed.

  175. Bussed-in Basiji,

    “The argument is that Article 110-1,2 directly give the SL the right to intervene in matters of national interest and that this was such a case (as explicitly mentioned by the SL the next day). If that one doesn’t work for you, Article 110-8,9,10 condition the service of the President on the approval of the SL.”

    If those are your arguments, it’s probably best that we just agree to disagree.

  176. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Bill says:
    May 9, 2011 at 12:04 pm
    Persian Gulf,Thank you for the post. You may be right about BiB but you never know until you try. I will also let you in on a little secret–I like debating and the more sorid the better!! It’s a guilty indulgence of mine!

    *

    Bill: you are welcome to debate all you want. But a word of caution: do not get too chummy with the likes of fyi, SP, Bala, etc. These fellow Christians of yours enjoy debating too, and they like to do it “en mass” (but never on a Sunday) – in other words, they like mass-debating, which sometimes can land them in some pretty sticky situations.

  177. Pak says:

    Dear VoT,

    When Marandi admits that Ahmadinejad is in trouble – which he did – then something is definitely going on behind the scenes. If you prefer shutting your eyes, sticking your fingers in your ears, and singing ‘la la la la la’, then so be it. Ignorance is a bliss!

    Just out of interest, how do you explain the contradiction between your name, and your spoken language? I guess you could technically argue that Germans and Persians are Aryan, but that is truly opening a can of worms…

  178. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Castellio:
    “The difficulty, of course, in simply stating that it is the right of each people to determine their own freedom (to which we both agree) is that even within any given society different definitions and tendencies exist, and people have every right to compare themselves with other states.”

    *

    Agreed. However, as I tried, unsuccessfully I guess, to point out, it is in the process of comparative analysis where things start to unravel, becuase beebol tend to universalize and eternalize in preference to contextualizing. To use my earlier example: becuase both countries have some thing that both call a “Constitution”, everyone assumes that their function, significance, efficacy, pliability, sacrality, etc., are the same, whereas of course they are not. Nail and nail are pronounced similarly, adn are even spelled the same, yet only a child would make the mistake of equating the two. I guess when it comes to comparative sociology, we are all mere children, as it is too easy to make childish comparisons and be armchair philosophers of sociology, and more, much more difficult to make a well thought-through comparison – even a simple one.

    I for one cannot do so; what limited knowlege I might have is good for the first (easy) part, which is iconoclasm. I have little if anything of a positive value to contribute. Hence my self-description as Court Jester and Class Clown.

  179. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Oops, last comment meant for VoT.

    The only good thing to come out of Microsoft: the undo button.

  180. Unknown Unknowns says:

    thank you, and “SP” made me laugh (your abbreviating your own epithetic for the little guy who just can’t keep away from teh Bar cuase he just HAS to keep Packing his shit and keep on trippin.

  181. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Eric,
    The argument is that Article 110-1,2 directly give the SL the right to intervene in matters of national interest and that this was such a case (as explicitly mentioned by the SL the next day).

    If that one doesn’t work for you, Article 110-8,9,10 condition the service of the President on the approval of the SL. If this is the case, a lesser cabinet members service is also conditioned by the SLs approval even if not explicitly stated in the law.

  182. Castellio says:

    Fiorangela: Are you working on a book collecting your many thoughts? If not, why not?

  183. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    VoT,
    Danke fuer dein posting, muslim-markt hat immer gute Artikel…

    Bill,
    I like the spirit of your post, however as I have said before and Fio also said some things are neither up for debate nor compromise. I look forward to your post and will just add here that there is nothing mysterious about why the US has committed itself to Wahabism and Ale Saud.

    For the record I didn’t call PG a kafer, I said his lack of prayer in private is a major problem if he claims to be Muslim.

    Seyyed Persian Gulf,
    I agree with you that your fellow Mazi Ali Larijani is a charlatan (I quite like his big brother Muhammad Javad). The other gentlemen you mention are neither as bad as you say nor as good as some others say.

  184. Bussed-in Basiji,

    “The President in Iran certainly has the right to fire a minister but the SL has the right to overrule him. That’s the argument in a nutshell.”

    That’s the “argument,” or merely the conclusion of some argument you didn’t bother to present?

    What’s the “argument?”

  185. Fiorangela says:

    Bill wrote:

    “I would rather be talking with my adversary instead of dealing with the one who outright refuses dialogue. In the later instance there is no hope for compromise.”

    sometimes compromise is a toxic thing.

    In the good ‘ole days, a woman who “compromised” her virginity was not “compromised,” she was fallen. Some things really are black or white.

    The USofA compromised itself into several immoral and illegal wars. Hundreds of thousands died. Perhaps that’s a compromise posture — if US had NOT “compromised,” but gone into ie. Libya without the pretense of “compromise,” even more would have died.

    Ambassador Chas Freeman was compromised out of a position in US government by a foreign agent who was under indictment on charges of treason (Stephen Rosen) who teamed with a psychopathic Islamophobe, Daniel Pipes, to compromise Freeman’s reputation.

    America’s moral integrity has been compromised by her outreach to Israel, that turned into a capitulation: (from the Chas Freeman link) –

    “As the former head of the Israeli Defense Forces’ (IDF) Legal Department has argued:

    “If you do something for long enough the world will accept it. The whole of international law is now based on the notion that an act that is forbidden today becomes permissible if executed by enough countries . . . . International law progresses through violations.”

    A colleague of his has extended this notion by pointing out that:

    “The more often Western states apply principles that originated in Israel to their own non-traditional conflicts in places like Afghanistan and Iraq, then the greater the chance these principles have of becoming a valuable part of international law.”

    These references to Iraq and Afghanistan underscore the extent to which the United States, once the principal champion of a rule-bound international order, has followed Israel in replacing legal principles with expediency as the central regulator of its interaction with foreign peoples. The expediently amoral doctrine of preemptive war is such an Israeli transplant in the American neo-conservative psyche. Neither it nor other deliberate assaults on the rule of law have been met with concerted resistance from Palestinians, Arabs, or anyone else, including the American Bar Association. The steady displacement of traditional American values – indeed, the core doctrines of western civilization – with ideas designed to free the state of inconvenient moral constraints has debased the honor and prestige of our country as well as Israel. “

  186. James Canning says:

    Kathleen,

    Cheney, Feith, Wolfowitz, and other neocons wanted to invade Iraq for years before they were able to dupe the American public and go forward in March 2003. Lying to the American people meant nothing to them because they had arranged for protection, and of course they continue to benefit from the protection they arranged. A crucial part of the scheme was to render the New York Times and the Washington Post ineffective in exposing the conspiracy that set up the illegal war, by drawing them into the scheme.

  187. Kathleen says:

    Gleen Greewald over at Salon has had some great pieces up about the legality and precedent set by the US just flying right into Pakistan to get Osama. Keep wondering if Obama and crew will send out the navy seals to hold Bush, Cheney, Feith, Wolfowitz, Rice accountable for their crimes against humanity in Iraq or whether hearings and trials would suffice?

    Do you think the Iraqi citizens could have access to Bush, Cheney, Feith and their wives to find out everything about the false pre war intelligence and why they were willing to invade a country based on their pack of lies? Those war criminals are responsible for far more deaths and Osama. Hold them all accountable.

    Former head of the CIA’s Bin Laden unit Micheal Scheuer was on the Diane Rehm show the other day. Focused on Pakistan. Brought up Saudi Arabia, Israel etc.

    Worth the listen

  188. James Canning says:

    Rehmat,

    Re: Daniel Levy piece in the Guardian – - There are 500,000 illegal Jewish settlers in the West Bank. I don’t think the sense of “insecurity” comes from the fact most of the Israeli population is from numerous other countries. The problem, to my thinking, is that Israel is unable to get out of the West Bank due in large part to foolish “support” from the ISRAEL LOBBY in the US. Yet Israel must get out of the West Bank for its own sake.

    Too many Israelis seek security by trying to make Israel an appendage of the EU or even the US. This strategy works against Israel’s need to settle into the neighborhood while its can.

  189. fyi says:

    Bill says: May 9, 2011 at 11:50 am

    Agreed about Al Ghazzali but perhaps he was also reflecting the spirit of his times as well.

    Be as it may, there is always a tension between Human Reason and the Revelation. I think I would not have been as critical of Al Ghazzali had he just stated that he had faced the Revelations with his Human Reason and his Reason was defeated.

    I could respect that.

    But why go and tell others that “I have failed and you should not try either.”?

    [Incidentally, the late Mr. Khomeini broke with Ghazzali on 6 points.]

    Perhaps, by his time, Islam, in the hands of the common Muslim people, had ecome a religion of intolerance of those who, due to God’s endowment of them, were of superior intellect or of soul.

    Common Envy.

    And then what happened was that millions of people put their minds on auto-pilot, susbtituted orthpraxis for Religion, and sought out the slumber of the Pharisees.

    The men of intellect were murdered or advised to pursue other venues while those men whose souls could not be quenched by the platter of the pharisees sought refuge in the Sufi orders.

    As for Muslim womnen, even that was unobtainable.

    They got exactly nothing except being able to go to shrines (where orthopraxis permitted the existence of those shrines) to wail.

    These polities, then, chose ignorance and the better informed people came around and took advantage of them and kicked them around.

    Now that they have so rudely been awakened from their collective histroical choice of Will-full (Pharisee) ignorance, they are running arond screaming about Injustice and all.

  190. paul says:

    The internet is full of folks who prefer debating to truth.

  191. Bill says:

    Persian Gulf,

    Thank you for the post. You may be right about BiB but you never know until you try. I will also let you in on a little secret–I like debating and the more sorid the better!! It’s a guilty indulgence of mine! Regardless BiB has strong opinions as we all. While he may indicate an air of indifference to us ‘Kafirs’ he is here posting so that means he wants to influence us or at the least to defend what he thinks is right. Nothing wrong with that and as we have all done from time to time we will call him out on certain subjects. It could be a waste of time but frankly I would rather be talking with my adversary instead of dealing with the one who outright refuses dialogue. In the later instance there is no hope for compromise. Look for my next post to BiB sometime tonight–I have a couple of points to make regarding our mutual stance on the repugnance of the Salafists and how some of his positions actually echo that overly rigid mindset. We will most likely disagree but it should be interesting!

    Thx
    Bill

  192. Persian Gulf says:

    Liz:

    is it your way to drag me into a discussion?! if a debate is futile, as you said so, why should you even mention that? isn’t it bc you know by heart that what I said is just right? you can’t dispute anything that I said in my comments. it’s as simple as this.

  193. Castellio says:

    UU: You’re not arguing that there aren’t more free or less free societies, but that it is the right of the people within each society to decide for themselves.

    I have no argument with that.

    You state that there is an argument as to the definition of freedom within American society. I have no argument with that, either. (I am not American, but my line of analysis would focus more on the militarization of the American economy, pushing the fusion of the parties earlier, to Truman, who I believe is the more legitimate fracture point than Reagan.)

    The difficulty, of course, in simply stating that it is the right of each people to determine their own freedom (to which we both agree) is that even within any given society different definitions and tendencies exist, and people have every right to compare themselves with other states.

    The people of Bahrain will discuss the state of Iran versus Saudi Arabia in considering their own predicament. And to do so they will discuss the different histories of Sunni and Shia, as they should.

    Historical consciousness can’t be contained within political borders, and there are very few thoughtful people who would want to do this in their own thinking.

    So the actuality of America (or the west) will remain a part of the considerations of Iranians. The challenge, really, is why the actuality of Iran is not more a part of the consideration of Americans as they consider their future.

    There is much that the west can learn from Iran (Fiorangela is certainly open and eager to do so). FYI believes there is much that the west can learn from Islam, which is the general thrust of his contributions, but suspects Iranian interpretation of Islam on several key matters.

  194. Voice of Tehran says:

    Unknown Unknowns says:
    May 9, 2011 at 10:59 am

    Excellent comment UU , as usual.
    After a long time and by chance I watched Al-Jazeera ( BBC Light according to UU ) yesterday night and there was an halfhour !! show on the alleged “POWER STRUGGLE ” in Iran.
    There was this old green crapist from London , who I used to see on BBC Persia (KhodaBiamorz) , one Arab guy in Doha and our dear Dr. Marandi ( who was unfortunately not in his best form ).
    The lady , who was running the show , seemed totally overstraint with the complexity of the topic and I wonder , whether she would find Iran on the map.
    The aim was of course to turn the ‘family matter’ into a catastrophe and all the b.s. we all know , it was disgusting.

    Another matter , today I read an article about the internal conflict in Iran in a German Blog , which is run by Turks.The author of this article is Dr.Yavuz Özoguz
    I am always amazed how he holds Iran and the Islamic Revolution and especially Ayatollah Khamenei in the highest possible esteem , simply unbelievable.
    This article of Dr. Ö. starts with:
    “”Sie haben keine Chance im Iran gegen die Heiligkeit der Zeit!”"
    “”They Do Not have a chance in Iran against the Holiness of the TIME “”
    and this from a Turk !!!
    BiB will undestand the article clearly and I am verry sorry , that I do not have the time to translate it for you.

    http://www.muslim-markt.de/forum/messages/2960.htm

    P.S. Especially interesting for our misguided ones , fyi , SP and his boyfriend Bala

  195. Liz says:

    Persian Gulf,

    I simply don’t agree with you, but I think a debate would be futile.

  196. Bill says:

    Fyi,

    Again thanks for the return post. It is funny you mention Al Ghazzali. Have you read his mind enslaving master work “the incoherence of the philosophers?” I have and I had to puke several times while reading it. The central point of it was a rejection of critical thought in favor of what was divinely revealed–in short just be a mindless sheep(We all know Proffesor Crocodile agrees with that.) Al Ghazzali and Iby Tamiyya in my estimation were the worst thing to happen to Islam. They both basically relegated Sunni theology to just mindless obedience of jurisprudence. Makes you wonder if they wondered why life was even neccesary? I will respond to the rest of your post later. Until then good day and have a great week!

    Thx
    Bill

  197. Bill says:

    Bussed in Basiji,

    Wonder of wonders we actually agree on something–the salafis are crap!!! Now that is progress. It is truly a mystery as to why the US is so stupid trying to be ‘friends’ with the Saudis who have a dagger buired to hilt in our backs. The fanatics eminating out of that corrupt dictatorship are the proverbial snakse head causing much of the instability across the globe! I am a bit tied up right now but will respond later to the rest of your post. Until then thanks for taking the time to pen your thoughts to me.

    Thx
    Bill

  198. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Castellio:
    There are, however, more free and less free societies, and I tend to think that the more free societies are not only better for those who don’t believe, but often for those who do believe as well.

    *

    Surely a sophisticate such as yourself realizes that each society’s definition of freedom differs. As a matter of fact, the split within your own society as to how freedom is envisaged and defined is a major difference in the approach to governance of the two parties (or at least it was, before the two merged post reagan into one party with two right wings) – that is, one definition whereby freedom obtains when the forces of nature, including the power of corporate giants is brought to heel of the people, by the people and for the people, whereas the other view sees it as the exact opposite; the emancipation of these forces from the bonds of government, and the placing of the commons within the hands of individuals, families, clans, corporations. The classic communitarianism vs. libertarian divide.

    So given this, surely there will come a day when we stop comparing societies to one another and denegrating one society with the yardstick of another’s. surely the truly enlightened view is not to compare and contrast according to obsolete 18th and 19th C universalist criteria, adn to look after one’s own house and let others look after theirs.

    this is not directed at you, of course, but it strikes me as exceedingly odd that people obsess about the “constitutionality” of what Seyyed Khamenei may or may not have said or done, ditto, Mr. Ahmadinejad, when the constitution of their own country of citizenship lies in tatters. And of course, it is doubly ironic because for the US state religion, the Constitution is a holy document (or was), as they have dispensed with worshipping a god or a king, and decided some time back to put all their eggs in the basket of the Rule of Law, which first the Republican, and then the Democratic Party proceeded to stomp on, like a madman on Kool-Aid; whereas the status of the constitution of teh IRI is that not only is it profane, but that it is experimental at best – it is nothing more than a roadmap, a mnemonic tool or device to aid in navigating the actual territory, which is ethical governance in accordance with the Sources of Law AS INTERPRETED EACH GENERATION BY the learned experts of our society. (Sorry to shout, but I fear even with the shouting the intended audience, fyi, will not hear this simple truth, becuase he has for too long gone to the tabbakhi and had Maqz-e Khar [considered a highly prized delicacy among ex-patriots] for breakfast.

  199. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Empty says:
    May 8, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    Nicely done.

    The synthetic religions have definately been much more murderous.

  200. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    fyi,
    Allamah Tabatabai, Ayat. Javadi Amoli, Ayat. Mesbah are all philosophers who have written books about theology.

    Shahid Sadr, Ayat. Wahid Khorasani, Ayat. Jafar Sobhani are jurisprudents who have written on theology.

    The best intro to Shia theology written in contemporary times is “al-Mursil, ar-Rasool, ar-Risalah” by Shahid Sadr.

  201. fyi says:

    masoud says: May 8, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    You asked: “So you don’t like the Hijab or you think Friday prayers are stupid, why the hell do you think this is a first order political issue?”.

    I do not know what you define or how you define a first order political issue.

    But my poistion has been very clear and very political: that the individual has intrinsic and inalienable rights bestowed on him by God and nobody, least of the all the state, is Justly permitted to trample on those rights.

    It matters not what the majority think – the rights remains intrinsic.

  202. fyi says:

    Pirouz says: May 8, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    China faced military threats from the Soviet Union.

    US was the “balancer” for the Chinese.

    The analogy breaks as Iran faces no military threats that warrant reapproachment with US.

    If the current political dispensation fails in Pakistan and an anti-Shia Salafist state is constructed in Pakistan, then, and nonly then, there might be a threat to Iran.

    Of course, such a state could not last long given teh Ahmadi and Shia populations of Pakistan.

  203. fyi says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says: May 9, 2011 at 6:09 am

    Please recommend a philosopher belonging to Usuli school that has written on theology.

  204. Persian Gulf says:

    Eric:

    “…Khamenei’s US-equivalent would get very little support, at least from the educated elite, and he would quickly back down. If there’s not pressure on Khamenei to do so, I must say I’m a little disappointed in the Iranian people.”

    are you joking? who can dare to criticize Mr.Khamenei? over the years, I have never seen anybody in Iran openly criticizing him. he is the representative of Hidden Imam in Iran!! (seriously this is his official title).

    there is an enormous pressure on Ahmadinejad to accept the order, not just by words but by actions too. the dogs (not all of them, the majority I mean, with their head Charlatan Ali Larijani) in the parliament, presumably a place to hear the voice of Iranian people, are issuing letter after letter to tell the president to accept the order and show allegiance. almost the whole elite (read idiots) are barking to say how important it is to listen to Khamenei. people like Tavakoli, Larijani, Seddighi, Ahmad Khatami, Mohsen Rezaei, Ghalibaf… don’t have an identity on their own. without their dear supreme leader, they are nothing. they say we are soldiers of the SL. what do you expect from this so called elites? their educations say everything. except a few, the rest don’t have credible degrees.

  205. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Eric,
    The President in Iran certainly has the right to fire a minister but the SL has the right to overrule him. That’s the argument in a nutshell.

  206. Bussed-in Basiji,

    I’ve already been too hasty in giving opinions on this Khamenei/Moslehi matter, since it’s become clear to me, in stages, both that I’d misunderstood the facts and that it’s more than a little difficult to clear up one’s misunderstanding of the facts even when one recognizes that. I’ll try to clear that up before I start opining again.

    With one exception: There really cannot be any dispute that the president can fire a minister. The first sentence of Article 136 of the Iran Constitution reads:

    “The President can dismiss the Ministers and in such a case he must obtain a vote of confidence for the new Minister(s) from the Assembly.”

    In any constitution, law, agreement or similar document, a good lawyer can nearly always move up one or two levels of generality until he finds some provision that appears to support his position. US constitutional lawyers do that all the time: nearly all of the “action” involves rather broad concepts such as “due process,” equal protection or various forms of freedom of expression.

    But when the lawyer for the other side can point to a very specific statement on the subject matter, guess who wins? You won’t find much US constitutional jurisprudence on the question of whether the US president (as distinguished from, say, Congress) has authority to fire the head of the CIA. Certainly Congress has other ways to bend the president to its will (or at least to try), but simply firing the head of the CIA is not one of them.

  207. Timoz says:

    A new survey on the iranian population was released some weeks ago by the right-wing convervative, pro-israel/zionism RAND, of course they try to downplay the support for the iranian goverment, try to shift and divert focus from the result its so pathetic…

    http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/technical_reports/2011/RAND_TR910.pdf

    What does the poll show us then? The same result as the other surveys, namely:

    * Majority think that the economy is doing good (47% average – 9% Very Good 5% Excellent).

    * The sanctions have not a big impact, in fact many view it positive (probably because they have showed themselves that they could manage themselves independenly and still manage to develop and create working opportunities, development etc).

    * 87% support iranian nuclear energy work. 98% think thats their full right (which of course it is). And a majority support development of nuclear weapons (no wonder, a deterance is the only way to fend off zionist aggression and US wars in the region).

    * A majority oppose reestablishing ties with the US.

    * A majority have a negative view on obama.

    etc

    It is these kind of surveys that the white house pundits doesnt want to know about?
    The iranians show support for their gov and they reject the US politics. Funny how the US/clinton etc want to portray it differently, straight up liars straight up warmongers.

  208. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Goli,
    Excellent post, agree completely with you.

    Eric,
    Please read Article 110 sub-sections 1,2,8,9 and 10. 110-1 and 2 are enough to give the Supreme Leader authority and it could be argued that 110-8,9, and 10 imply such authority given that a minister is lower ranking than the president who serves on the condition of being accepted by the SL. Also if you listen to what the SL said in the speech the next day he said that he will intervene whenever an important national interest is in danger- again (110-1,2). So I think the argument that it was unconstitutional has no merit.

    Also saying that you have a father-son relationship with your wali is bullshit. He is your wali and as such has to be obeyed- he’s not your Daddy! Anyway, anyone trying to question this wali relationship will get them in hot waters because that’s what Shiism is about and you know what happens when these Shias get pissed off…

    Seyyed Persian Gulf,
    Baradar! Everything you say is old news about “people connected to the system”, “paid members” all the rest of the bullshit that keeps you happy about the illusions you have. I don’t doubt that among your friends people are after the material world. Just don’t say that everyone or all the youth in Iran are like you and your friends. It’s just not the case. The only one disconnected is you.

    I’m sitting in beautiful north Tehran (sometimes in other towns and cities when I’m on the road) and I know Iran very well- rich, poor, religious, taghuti, city, country…don’t assume that everyone is like you and your friends in beautiful Mazandaran. Continue to pray hypocritically in public and I pray that start doing it in private as well because that has nothing to do with whether I and people like me are assholes or not. You’re the one that loses in the current situation. And for the record I never said you are kafer, I said you will go to hell if you don’t pray, there’s a difference but maybe the beautiful sun and scenery in shomal has affected your brain functions Seyyed-jan.

    masoud,
    Thank you for your well thought-out response to the relevant issue of this site. I agree with the basic thrust of your analysis. The problem I think lies primarily with the US elites who cannot come to terms with the Islamic Revolution- notice I said the “Islamic Revolution”, not “Iran”. In other words if they could come to terms with the Islamic Revolution as a historic fact, they will come to terms with Iran.

    fyi,
    The usuli Jafari school includes philosophers, theologians and jurisprudents. It gives aql a central place in the religion- that was my reference to the first chapter of Usul al-Kafi- and is in contrast to al-Ghazzali, which you accused me of being like. In other words you have no clue. Stick to geopolitics.

  209. Voice of Tehran says:

    Read and compare that to the present events in Iran…..

    Posted on Apr 25, 2011
    By Chris Hedges ( Pulitzer Price Winner )

    http://www.truthdig.com/report/page2/the_corporate_state_wins_again_20110425/#

    “”….We live in a fragmented society. We are ignorant of what is being done to us. We are diverted by the absurd and political theater. We are afraid of terrorism, of losing our job and of carrying out acts of dissent. We are politically demobilized and paralyzed. We do not question the state religion of patriotic virtue, the war on terror or the military and security state. We are herded like sheep through airports by Homeland Security and, once we get through the metal detectors and body scanners, spontaneously applaud our men and women in uniform. As we become more insecure and afraid, we become more anxious. We are driven by fiercer and fiercer competition. We yearn for stability and protection. This is the genius of all systems of totalitarianism. The citizen’s highest hope finally becomes to be secure and left alone.

    Human history, rather than a chronicle of freedom and democracy, is characterized by ruthless domination. Our elites have done what all elites do. They have found sophisticated mechanisms to thwart popular aspirations, disenfranchise the working and increasingly the middle class, keep us passive and make us serve their interests. The brief democratic opening in our society in the early 20th century, made possible by radical movements, unions and a vigorous press, has again been shut tight. We were mesmerized by political charades, cheap consumerism and virtual hallucinations as we were ruthlessly stripped of power.

    The game is over. We lost. The corporate state will continue its inexorable advance until two-thirds of the nation is locked into a desperate, permanent underclass. Most Americans will struggle to make a living while the Blankfeins and our political elites wallow in the decadence and greed of the Forbidden City and Versailles. These elites do not have a vision. They know only one word—more. They will continue to exploit the nation, the global economy and the ecosystem….

  210. Pirouz says:

    Masoud, I’m not 100 percent sure of this (who is, concerning this issue?) but it’s my understanding Khamenei gave Ahmainejad some time to think the matter over. for Ahmadinejad to decide on either resigning, or accepting Moslehi as his minister, or rejecting Moslehi as his minister.

    Khamenei had the backing of the MPs, as you say, and that’s when Ahmadinejad decided to back down.

    We here in the US are used to the different branches of our government leveraging one another. Perhaps not so much in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

  211. Pak says:

    Dear Eric,

    Sorry for the misunderstanding. Yes – I was referring to the recent reinstatement of Moslehi, who was previously forced to resign by Ahmadinejad.

    I will put away my shovel for now (although the Iranian constitution has been violated numerous times before, so your reaction is somewhat overdue).

    Rumours are spreading like wildfire about the current relationship between Khamenei and Ahamdinejad. And they will remain rumours, because there is no transparency in Iranian politics.

    But, in a nutshell, it appears that Ahmadinejad tried to replace Moslehi, the intelligence minister (some say because Moslehi fired a friend of Ahmadinejad, others say because Ahmadinejad wanted to wrest control of the ministry). Khamenei refused, and forced Moslehi to retract his resignation. The intelligence ministry is too important for Khamenei to lose direct control of, given the highly sensitive information that it holds.

    A mini fallout occurred in Iranian media, with pro-Ahmadinejad media defending Ahmadinejad while denying Khamenei’s orders, and other media starting a massive slur campaign against Ahmadinejad.

    The situation also provided the perfect opportunity to turn up the heat on Ahmadinejad’s chief of staff, Mashaei. Many people, including traditional supporters of Ahmadinejad (e.g. Mesbah Yazdi) accuse Mashaei of plotting to overthrow the mullahs. They accuse him of being pro-Iranian (shock horror) instead of pro-Islam, and they also think that he is the mastermind behind the recent dodgy video about the hidden Imam. Basically, they hate him, a lot, and they are increasingly worried that Ahmadinejad is being influenced by him.

    Anyway, Ahmadinejad went AWOL for over a week, refusing to attend cabinet meetings, and cancelling a trip to Qom. Eventually he reappeared, and declared that he has a father-son relationship with Khamenei, so disagreements are only a part of loving relationships. This pissed off people like B-in-B even more, because in their opinion Khamenei is absolutely right, so there cannot be any disagreement with him (I posted some examples of people’s reactions earlier).

    Now is a period of limbo. As usual, state media gives the impression that everything is hunky-dory, but there are deep fissures under the surface. The question is whether Ahmadinejad will shut up and put up, or stick to the path he intends to take.

    Which leads me to my final point. What I am most interested in is finding out what Ahmadinejad supporters think. Given that they denounced the Green Movement for undermining democratic principles, are they ready to similarly denounce Khamenei? What is more important to them: democracy, or the system?

  212. A “mea culpa” correction on the facts involved in the Ahmadinejad/Khamenei friction, though it has no direct bearing on the conclusion I reached in my preceding post.

    I understand now that, when Ahmadinejad sacked a Minister of Intelligence for the first time (Mohseni-Ezhe’i), Khamenei did not formally object, and Ahmadinejad did not re-instate that Minister of Intelligence. it was instead Ahmadinejad’s appointment of Esfandiar Rahim Masha’i as first vice president, at about the same time, that upset Khamenei enough to object. Although Ahmadinejad at first ignored Khamenei’s protest, he eventually did back down and withdrew his appointment of Masha’i (though he appointed him instead to the non-cabinet but important position of chief of staff to the president).

    The key fact remains that Ahmadinejad chose to back down in the Masha’i matter; Khamenei didn’t “order” him to dismiss Masha’i. That may strike some in Iran as a distinction without a difference, but it strikes me as important and certainly would be a critical distinction if something like this ever happened in the US. What happened last year in the Masha’i affair did not violate Iran’s constitution; what happened more recently in the Moslehi affair did – at least if it happened as Masoud has reported.

  213. Castellio says:

    Empty at 7:03…

    My thoughts were simple: some of whom I consider the most religious Christians were burnt to death for making available the Bible in English. Translating the Bible out of Latin, the privileged language of the religious-state elite, was a heresy.

    I wasn’t trying to point to particular heresies in the Islamic Republic of Iran, nor to accuse it of being necessarily worse than elsewhere. I’ve never lived there. I don’t really know. I can’t feel it from the inside.

    There are, however, more free and less free societies, and I tend to think that the more free societies are not only better for those who don’t believe, but often for those who do believe as well.

    Having said that, defining the line between decadence and freedom is an on-going dynamic.

    I do not think that freedom necessarily leads to decadence, it can lead to moral revival and the implementation of tougher moral strictures. Was the Iranian revolution a burst of freedom that led to a popular and necessary implementation of tougher moral strictures, or was it ‘highjacked’ by the Mullahs, or was it (is it) both?

  214. Persian Gulf and Masoud,

    As I’ve written before, it’s always been my impression that Khamenei has observed the constitution – leaning heavily on Ahmadinejad at times (just as certain “powerful influences” lean very heavily on US presidents at times), but never actually overstepping his constitutional bounds.

    As far as I can tell, my impression has been correct until now. But this incident certainly looks like a departure. It strikes me that Pak is right here. And once Khamenei steps beyond the constitution and gets away with it, what is the point of a constitution? Just a useful piece of paper to back up Khamenei’s exercise of authority when he can get what he wants by staying within it, but a nuisance to be ignored it when it stands in his way?

    American democracy certainly has its flaws, but I can’t even imagine something like this happening in the US. If it ever did, Khamenei’s US-equivalent would get very little support, at least from the educated elite, and he would quickly back down. If there’s not pressure on Khamenei to do so, I must say I’m a little disappointed in the Iranian people. Claims of “theocracy,” which I’ve always felt over-blown, are starting to look more credible to me.

  215. masoud says:

    Eric,

    I believe the letter published was to Moslehi, ‘ordering’ him to continue showing up for work and duties in general at the Ministry of Intelligence. Ahmadinejad still held meetings without Moslehi/refused to attend meetings for about two weeks after this letter was published. Ahmadinejad only folded after the vast majority of MP’s, who do have the power to impeach Ministers(and presidents) signed a letter warning Ahmadinejad what he was up against. AN’s office has in the past characterized some of Khameni’s actions(eg. the sacking of Mashaei as first VP) as “Moral Orders”.

  216. Goli says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says: May 1, 2011 at 10:05 am

    BIB,

    I agree with your statements about the negative aspects of cultural practices of ancient Iran (many of which are still present) and the historically positive role of Islam in changing those practices. I generally do not agree with your strict interpretation of what you believe are the edicts of your Islam with regards to hejab and other matters concerning women, and as for your comments toward the end of your response, I am sorry but you just lost me.

    But with regards to hejab in the context of the negative aspects of ancient Iranian culture as you point out, consider that many scholars believe the veil and seclusion of women were introduced to Arabs before Islam through Iran where it was a status sign. I don’t want to have any reminisces of the notorious Persian ostentatiousness and Zoroastrian cast system in Iran and from what I could tell, I don’t think you do either.

  217. Persian Gulf says:

    Eric:

    “Why bother with a constitution at all if one individual is free to ignore it whenever he wishes?”

    that’s the right question. if fact, I made this statement before that if Khamenei is willing to do these stuff, why do we need president at all? he can just install a premier and change that person at will. he can put the blame on the premier whenever the heat in the society goes up. the fact of the matter is, Khamenei’s position is ridiculous. all these controversies are bc of his position and the parallel powerful source of power it produced. it has effectively made other institutions, specially the parliament, a joke. the sad thing is he has many dogs barking for him in various positions of power.

  218. kooshy says:

    Iran’s intelligence minister says the country has reliable information that former head of the al-Qaeda terrorist group Osama bin Laden died of disease some time ago.

    “We have accurate information that bin Laden died of illness some time ago,” Heidar Moslehi told reporters on the sidelines of a Cabinet meeting on Sunday.

    He questioned Washington’s claim that bin Laden was killed by American troops in a hiding compound in Pakistan on May 1.

    “If the US military and intelligence apparatus have really arrested or killed bin Laden, why don’t they show him (his dead body) why have they thrown his corpse into the sea?” Moslehi asked.

    “When we apprehended [former Jundallah ringleader Abdul Malik] Rigi, we showed him and also aired his interview,” ISNA quoted the intelligence chief as saying.

    By releasing such false news, he said, the White House seeks to overshadow regional awakening.

    Moslehi said US officials resort to such PR campaigns to divert attention from their domestic problems as well as their “fragile” economic situation.

    US President Barack Obama claimed that Osama bin Laden was killed by US forces on May 1 in a hiding compound in Pakistan.

    A US official later announced that bin Laden’s body was abruptly buried at sea, falsely boasting that his hasty burial was in accordance with the Islamic law, requiring burial within 24 hours of death.

    However, burial at sea is not an Islamic practice and Islam does not have a timeframe for burial.

    US officials also claimed their decision for a sea burial was made because no country would accept bin Laden’s remains, without elaborating on which countries were actually contacted on the matter.

    Analysts, however, have raised serious questions as to why US officials did not allow for the application of a DNA test to officially confirm the identity of the corpse before its hasty burial.

  219. Goli says:

    Pirouz,

    I think Cole is far more determined to keep out comments supporting the legitimacy of the elections than any other issue he might disagree with. Perhaps the reason for this is two-fold. First, liberal Iran bashers are deeply troubled by the democratic aspects of the Iranian form of government as well as the fact that it has the support of the majority of Iranian people. This creates for them, at least for the ones with a conscience, a conundrum, and delegitimizing the elections, lessens the pain. Juan is determined to keep it that way. Further, I think many of these people realize now that they were wrong and I think they just don’t want to be reminded of the truth or have anyone else exposed to it.

  220. Pak,

    I see now that we have been referring to two different sackings/reinstatements of a Minister of Intelligence. I was referring to the first: the sacking (by Ahmadinejad) and reinstatement (by Ahmadinejad) of Mohseni-Ezhe’i. You apparently were referring instead to the more recent sacking (by Ahmadinejad) of Heydar Moslehi and his “reinstatement” by Khamenei.

    On that, I agree with you entirely. Khamenei had no authority whatsoever to do that. It’s not ambiguous under Iran’s constitution. I understand Ahmadinejad accordingly has ignored Khamenei’s “reinstatement,” reportedly refusing to allow Heydar Moslehi to participate in cabinet meetings.

    How this test of wills gets resolved is beyond my ability to predict, but I give Ahmadinejad credit for standing his ground. Those who argue that the Supreme Leader’s religious authority allows him to “trump” clear constitutional grants of presidential authority are begging this unduckable question:

    Why bother with a constitution at all if one individual is free to ignore it whenever he wishes?

    My understanding had been that Khamenei had never before claimed a right to “trump” the constitution, and I still believe my understanding was correct prior to this most recent incident. This time, though, if Khamenei really did claim to be formally “reinstating” Heydar Moslehi, I agree with you entirely that Khamenei is ignoring the Iranian constitution.

    This makes it very important (for me) to know exactly what it was that Khamenei claimed to be doing when he “reinstated” Heydar Moslehi – merely expressing his desire more strongly, or purporting to “order” Ahmadinejad to reinstate his Minister of Intelligence? I’ve read only conclusory statements by strongly anti-government sources on this narrow but important point, with no detail about what Khamenei actually wrote or said.

    Can anyone point me to more detail on this?

  221. Persian Gulf says:

    Pirouz says:
    May 8, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    well, not really that old to remember it as I was born in 1980. however, I have read about it a bit. if I am correct, the communist party disposed the nationalist one in 1949. and if we take 1972 as the last day of open antagonism, which was in fact not the case at least toward the end of 60s, then it took 2 decades for the two countries to come the term. our case looks like the North Korean model. it’s now more than 3 decades. in any case, I am supportive of a rapprochement and don’t see any contradiction between internal problems and the outside one. it’s the opposite to some extent. a system that is so insecure that needs a foreign conspiracy is not going to resolve anything. A corrupt system without the approval of its citizens can’t be a good representative to resolve any outside issue. on the contrary, if Iran’s government had the support of most of its citizen, specially most of the ones abroad that have the real voice, its situation with the U.S might have been different. just remember, what this force had done after the 2009 presidential election.

    the ones residing abroad are not Iran’s gov. missionaries. rather they are antagonistic toward the system to a great extent. many of them only lived during IR era. the system has to ask itself, why? why not using such an awesome tool? please be advised that there was time that Iran’s government could ignore the ones abroad. the reason being number, lack of connections and so on. now, based on Iran’s government claim, there are nearly 5 million Iranians abroad. if they only connect to and influence on 2 people inside the country, ignoring all the written and visual media, that would be a considerable diffusion coefficient.

    and the regional situation is by no means in the direction of focusing on Iran, at least will not be for the foreseeable future. the nuclear issue has totally lost the momentum and probably won’t be back on the fore for the time being. so, we have the opportunity to bring about issues that for 3 decades we needed to keep them quite. the U.S had a last final chance to attack Iran in 2005, 2006 and that was lost. we are ready for a war and won’t back off. this is the end of the story.
    I am not that aware of American history, but I don’t remember the U.S has ever attacked a country with the size and population of Iran, let alone its deterrent capabilities. constantly talking about attacking Iran is in fact gives excuse to the one on power to abuse people.

    I personally don’t believe an insecure Khamenei will ever come to the term with the U.S. it seems, the U.S side is no different, and is even worse. I would say, somehow both have taken this issue hostage. so, you can’t say let’s wait for few more years and don’t talk bc we are in the state of transition. it doesn’t make sense for average citizens either.

  222. Pirouz says:

    Well, I just checked Juan Cole’s site and he indeed censored my comment.

    Merely mentioning Mr. Brill’s analysis and the public opinion polls that corroborate the official 2009 election results appears to be a red line.

    It almost makes one consider some of the generalized criticisms certain American conservatives put forward against their liberal counterparts.

  223. Persian Gulf says:

    masoud says:
    May 8, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    “So you don’t like the Hijab or you think Friday prayers are stupid, why the hell do you think this is a first order political issue?”

    you are wrong. it’s the first issue, in fact. I have talked about Friday prayers and the wider Khamenei’s hold on power as being major structural problem. the source of inefficiency, indeed.

    If they ask me where do you want to go, I WOULD SAY MECCA TOO. so what? it’s a trip, after all.اصلا کی گفته هرکی میره مکه نماز میخونه و روزه میگره. من ده ها نفر رو دوران دانشجویی میشناختم که رفتن مکه و مدینه با این عمره های دانشجویی، شاید ازشون الان بپرسی ندونند قبله کدوم طرفه. I never said Islam is going to disappear from Iran. what I said is, more and more RELIGIOUS PEOPLE are distancing themselves from IR.

    I have made comments about Hijab before. Still say this, it needs at least 5 years. I can bet on 10 years time, Hijab will NOT BE MANDATORY in Iran. if I am correct, satellites have been broadcast to Iran for nearly 12 years now. even in such a short period of time, it has changed the norm. BE SURE, in 10 years time, when the generation completely exposing to satellite TVs and internet, grow up, and specially when their parents get old enough not being able to dispute, it will be impossible to force mandatory Hijab. however, I didn’t say Hijab is the first issue. but the way system injects its ideology IS THE FIRST issue.

    the fact of the matter is, the Islamic Republic LOST the generations after the revolution. it doesn’t mean Islam is lost, nor does it mean IR is going to disappear anytime soon. when the war generation gets old enough, the ideological ground is very shaky. and IR should be blamed for its stupid policies over the past 3 decades (something you people are telling us don’t talk. ok, we didn’t talk for years and we are seeing the disaster). it has zealously injected something that no longer can be hold on. you seem not to understand that the system can’t breath with the current environment for long. it had great opportunity for transformation, and I am afraid to say the little existing opportunities are getting lost. on the political sphere, it didn’t produce politicians from the new generation that have reasonable popularity and acceptability and astuteness too. a system like this simply can’t continue for long.

    I am afraid you wake up tomorrow and see everything is lost. then first or last won’t matter anymore.

  224. Goli says:

    Masoud says: May 8, 2011 at 7:45 pm
    Well said Masoud.

  225. masoud says:

    Empty,

    I don’t have any more information than I posted, I think all the questions asked are in the PDF. I actually found that particular result a little stupefying myself. I’m not un-religious(especially by expat standards), but given the choice, i’d book the trip to NY, no questions asked. Other questions in that survey point to a conservative youth bias as well.

    I laughed at loud when I read question 2: “Which of the following do you most admire?”.
    Between Germany, US, UK, Turkey, Russia and Saudi Arabia the winner, by a factor of 2, was “Other + None”.

  226. Goli says:

    And I bet you also Eric that if tomorrow Obama decided to insist on renominating Chas Freeman and to put a few others like him in influential positions (a scenario that is obviously outside of the American political discourse and would not happen), he will be impeached shortly thereafter based on the “uncovering” of some impeachable illegal activity.

  227. Rehmat says:

    “It is unlikely that Israel will welcome a more independent, strategic or empowered Palestinian counterpart. Yet, Israel is today more, not less, insecure and uncertain of its future,” wrote Daniel Levy in Gurdian (April 28, 2011).

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2011/05/09/levy-israel-is-more-insecure-than-ever/

  228. Rehmat says:

    fyi – the people who carried out 9/11 were not Muslims but Israeli Jews and their American poodles.

    http://www.veteranstoday.com/2010/03/19/22329/

    And I assure you it’s not a Muslim website.

  229. Goli says:

    Eric A.Brill,

    Perhaps one could say that the “powerful influence” of the supreme leader in Iran is analogous to the “powerful influence” of the Israel Lobby in the United States. Both are above the constitution, but while in the case of Iran, the guardianship of the jurist is, at least in theory, in the best interest of the shias and by implication Iran, in the US, the Israel Lobby’s power and influence is in the best interest of Jews and Israel and not the US. I bet even George Washington would prefer entangling church and state to “entangling alliances with any portion of the foreign world.”

  230. Empty says:

    Masoud,

    Thank you for posting this. Do you, by chance, have the whole report? Also, would you know if they asked of people any subsequent questions if they had relatives in any of those cities (except for Mecca)?

    I found it interesting that more 18-29 year-old singles than older people and married wanted to go to Mecca. Also, I wonder if a ranking scale was used or if the respondents had only one answer to pick. In which case, one could add up the numbers for Paris, London, and New York as similar if any subsequent question clarified “motivation” (i.e. have relatives, job, education, etc.).

  231. masoud says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says:
    May 7, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    Regarding US-IRI relations, i agree they won’t be able to have a cooperative arrangement in the middle east. Positions are too far apart, and the current wave of revolutions will limit the range of both actors’ power. The script is written, as far as the Middle East is concerned, it’s really on the details that are left to be filled in.

    But the US can still come to an understanding with Iran about Central Asia and the Caspian Region in particular. I’m sure that the US has no intention of seeing Russia and China carve up this resource rich region amongst themselves, and Iran is really the only other game in town. I would go so far as to say that if the US wants exercise any kind of influence at all in this region, it is going to have to form a working relationship with Iran.

  232. Empty says:

    RE: “It was members of a school of Sunni Islam, the main stream of Islam, that attacked US.”

    I have read the official 9-11 report and other written explanations that have been provided about who actually were those who supposedly attacked US. If that report was written by a graduate student for her/his thesis work, that student would be still attending school or be graduating with an ABD (anything but dissertation). The report suffers from severe internal validity. Your assertion related to the attack on US suffers from sever external validity.

  233. Empty says:

    RE: “It was members of a school of Sunni Islam, the main stream of Islam, that attacked US.”

    I have read the official 9-11 report and other written explanations that have been provided about who actually were those who supposedly attacked US. If that report was written by a graduate student for her/his thesis work, that student would be still attending school or be graduating with an ABD (anything but dissertation).

  234. masoud says:

    Well,

    After telling everyone to shut it down, i’m going to do the only reasonable thing and offer my two cents. PG/FYI/PAK/BILL positions on this matter are completely in the wrong. So you don’t like the Hijab or you think Friday prayers are stupid, why the hell do you think this is a first order political issue? This is dumber than the whole Obama birth certificate episode. And rather than quote my neighbors or my aunt on this matter, here is a Zogby poll conducted in 2006:
    http://www.iranvajahan.net/english/pdf/iranpollresults.pdf

    1. If you could take a trip to any of the following cities – and money was not an issue – which city would be your first choice to visit?
    Mecca 32.8
    Paris 14.1
    New York 12.8
    Dubai 10.6
    London 10.4
    .
    .
    .
    14. Would you most like to see Iran’s society become more secular and liberal, more religious and conservative, or just stay as it is?
    More secular and Liberal: 30.7
    More Religious and Conservative:36
    Just stay as it is:15
    No Statement:18.3

    For all this bullshit about the coming ‘lost generation’, Mecca is still the most popular international destination(By a factor of three!). And if Karbala was on there, it would likely be second. That aside, indications are that the more religious-less religious and don’t-really-give-a-shit camps are all, are pretty much tied up. How the hell does that augur a collapse, imminent or otherwise, because of a wholesale abandonment of Religious practice?

    Neither Islam nor the IRI is going to collapse anytime soon in Iran. You want to make it happen? Be my guest, go out there and make it happen. But do me a favor and stop with repetitive hyperventilating. Here is a more level headed take on these issues:

    :montages.blogspot.com/2008/04/what-do-iranians-think-of-sharia-and.html

    How is it that a foreign Marxists are so much more rational than highly educated Iranians on this issue?

  235. Empty says:

    fyi,

    RE: “One has to face the situation as it obtains on the ground; adherents of mainstream Islam at war with US”

    Could you specify the geographic boundaries of a US territory that is under the occupation and daily assault of any adherents of mainstream Islam? You need not to provide longitude and latitude. An approximate location will suffice.

  236. Pirouz says:

    PG,

    Using the Leverett analogy of PRC, the same “public inhibitions” applied to ordinary folk as well as most of the elite regarding potential US-PRC rapprochement. But it did get initiated in 1972.

    That’s the main thrust of this advocacy.

    I don’t know your age or how long you’ve been aware of the social aspects of American life, but one of my American uncles fought against the Chinese in Korea. There was a lot of antipathy towards the PRC, particularly among the elite that had lost holdings due to nationalization.

    It was positively breathtaking to see this overcome by Nixon/Kissinger flying to Beijing.

    This is what most of us are hoping for with regards to US-Iran relations.

    So just because you can’t posit such an opinion in the Iranian media today, just remember that it was at least as severe in China before 1972.

  237. James Canning says:

    Rehmat (& Fiorangela),

    The immediuate focus was on the issue of to what degree the Dreyfus affair caused a change in the attitudes of rich French Jews toward the Zionist scheme. Theodore Hertzl was very much influenced by the affair. Rich Jews readily intermarried with the aristocracy and high bourgoisie in France.

    The Revolution promoted the idea that Jews in France were not a minority, but were Frenchmen (or women) of the Mosaic faith.

  238. fyi says:

    Empty says: May 8, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    The adherents of Muslim heresies did not attack the United States on 9/11/2001.

    It was members of a school of Suuni Islam, the main stram of Islam, that attcked US.

    Members of the heretical sects of Islam: Bahai, the Babi, the Druze, the Alawaite, the Ahmadi, and even the Shia (acoording to some Sunnis) were neither supportive nor involved in this war.

    One has to face the situation as it obtains on the ground; adherents of mainstream Islam at war with US.

    A few more heresies and the war would end, no?

  239. Rehmat says:

    James Canning – France is one the European country from Jewish communities were expelled most frequently. Staring from 554, 561, 1182, 1306, 1322, 1394 and finally in 1453 CE.

    However, currently, France is home to world’s third largest Jewish community (600,000). The US has world’s largest Jewish community followed by Israel.

    After centuries of persecution at the hands of Greeks, Romans and Christian Byzantine – the Jews, for the first time, were able to develop their Hebrew language and culture and enter into the circle of power – becoming ministers, advisers, and physians to the Khalifahs. It was under Muslim rule that Hebrew got its first grammer, and the Torah its most highly developed Jurisdiction. Hebrew found its first philosopher, Musa ibn Maymun – and its first mystical thinker, Ibn Gabirol. Cordoba’s ruler al-Rahman III, appointed a Jew by the name Hasdai ben Shapirut, his prime minister.

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2009/03/10/did-muslims-hate-the-jews/

  240. fyi says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says: May 8, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    Usuli School has no Theo-logy; no study of God and his ways.

    None.

    For that you need to go to the Kalam and to the philosophical schools of Mulla Sadra, Ibn Rush, Ibn Sina, and Suhrewardi.

  241. Empty says:

    Castellio,

    Heresies exist in all human systems no matter how they officially define themselves. They are by-products of imperfect beings doing imperfect things based on their imperfect understanding of how things should or shouldn’t be. Humanity as whole is a work in progress. The statement you made was a sweeping generalization and quite categorical and had an as-a-matter-of-fact flavor to it. While I had not observed you to do that before, I was opportunistic in that I used it to expand on something that is often assumed (in the society) and goes just as often unchallenged.

    I know of states whose religion is democracy and they commit the most undemocratic acts with dedication and regularity of a daily prayer. I know of some other ones whose religion is human rights and they commit some of the most egregiously inhuman acts with passion and commitment on a regular basis. I know of systems whose religion is free market system but corporate monopolies are their most revered and practiced rituals. So, heresies exist everywhere. Therefore, why single out a system that overwhelming majority of its people believe and would like very much for it to be based on the teachings of a divine religion? What is the real fear here? Is there a fear that there would be, all of a sudden some sort of rampant killing and massacre of people in the name of a divine religion? I have to look at the historical evidence and say that, tragically, just in the past one hundred years more than 124 million people have been killed in the name of democracy, human rights, nationalism, socialism, and all other –isms that have their roots, in one way or another, in false religions of modernity and secularism. As I am typing these words, all over the world there are babies, children, parents, and brothers and sisters who are enjoying the virtues of secularism by rolling in their own and their loved ones’ blood and tears.

    Yes, I agree that we must challenge heresies. But we must be fair and challenge all heresies and do them with correct evidence.

  242. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    Yes, Jews thrived in France. Absolutely no question about that.

  243. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    Do you have an alternative explanation for the reason the Rothschilds in France would be more sympathetic to the Zionist scheme than the Rothschild family in England?

  244. Persian Gulf says:

    masoud:

    The U.S-Iran relation is an abstract notion. what do you expect from people here to say about it? I think, most of the people said it’s a good one, should I occur!

    please be advised that people like me can’t express what is happening in the country in Iran’s media. we simply don’t have the media. we can’t go to the radical oppositions’ camp for obvious reasons. I will not see any of my comments in any major news agencies inside the country should I post them. and this is a website, at least I know for the government people, that gets checked.

  245. Persian Gulf says:

    Bill,

    as “fyi” rightly said you are waiting your time with BiB. these people have no religion. it’s all about power for them and insecurity to some extent.

    you are talking about tolerance for other faiths, hahaha, you have made my day. Look, I am a Seyyed, presumably the descendant of what Shia is all about (and I carry that in most part of my name!). I was born and raised into a religious family. and grew up totally in era of the Islamic Republic and under heavy propaganda of the state. I am not a socially disconnected person regarding religion as for the time that I lived in Iran I had attended nearlly all religious gathering including Muhharams. now, based on BiB’s own words, I am a “kafar”. basically a non-believer almost. and it’s worse in my case bc it would be getting out of Islam. practically, this guy believes I can be killed without mercy. and I will be the hell eventually anyway (LOOOL).

    when the action in the virtual world is this, you can imagine what would be the situation in the real world.

    it’s just waist of time to try and have a dialogue with these people. and seriously, they are not the majority in Iran. and they are getting isolated day by day. hopefully will be in the dustbin of history soon.

  246. Persian Gulf says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says:
    May 7, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    “Maybe in “your region”- wherever that is- they won’t go out to defend Ayat. Khamenei, but in “my region” north Tehran there are enough who will- and remember this is supposed to be the base of the opposition.”

    Honestly, I didn’t want to continue a debate with you. in fact, there is no point talking to an extremist, who doesn’t have any shame to lie, like you. but this statement of you strikes me a lot. I am not a Tehrani, but lived in northern Tehran on and off for about 2 years, and I kind of know Tehran relatively well. In every trip that I made to Iran, including the last one, I resided in northern part of Tehran for most of time staying there. just tell me where in northern Tehran are a lot of people ready to die for Khamenei? (why don’t we see them out?) except paid members of the system, it’s practically impossible to find credible crew. well, I have to admit there are teenagers, mostly coming from families connected to the system or very rich religious families, that somehow get into this Basij business. that dies down once they grow up (let’s say go to university at the soonest).

    when I say my region, it’s sort of a bench mark. that means, when my region is like that (which is more IR than the IR itself), you draw the line for the rest yourself. a region that Nategh got more than 90% of the caste votes. a region that in every election more than 90% participate….

    Baradar!, the time to have Basijies to die for SL is gone. the new generation, like their secular counterpart, is more concerned about grabbing opportunities and taking what the materialistic world is going to offer them. I suggest you don’t put all your eggs in their basket. a year and half ago a friend of mine made a comment that I now think was a very thoughtful one, though I ridiculed him at the time. he said, look, there are people in the opposite camp that are willing to die. this is absolutely not the case for Basijies. they scape in every major fight specially if they are without weapons. this is a significant shift for the system’s supporters.

    and you are wrong for the role of Mullahs. They might have been able to lead in Iran, but it’s not going to be the case (didn’t you look at Mohsen Rezaei’s campaign movies? he was trying ride on this notion and badly failed). I would say Mullahs are at the cross-road. new technologies have completely revolutionized that outlook. they are getting socially discontented day by day. ironically, my generation is last one that still has little faith on them. the new ones are totally fed up with anything like Mullahs. this is an obvious fact on the ground.

    finally, I doubt you live in Iran, mainly due to the use of words, expressions and so on. don’t know if anybody has ever dispute that or not. frankly, I was not that focused on your comments. and I am not regret at all in not reading the b***s*** you have produced in this webstie.

  247. Pirouz says:

    So Juan Cole has a guest post titled ““Jahanpour: Is Iran Next? Supreme Leader Versus Ahmadinejad””. I made a comment on the post but so far it hasn’t passed Juan’s moderation. No idea if he’ll allow it (he’s censored such comments in the past). Here’s my comment:
    ————–
    “Following the fraudulent presidential election in June 2009…”–Jahanpour

    This is as far as I got.

    When someone can successfully challenge the Brill analysis as well as the corroborating evidence of five credible public opinion polls that mirror the official election results, than I’ll take such assertions seriously. Until then, when I see this claim made in a purported analysis, I simply stop reading. The writer can’t be taken seriously.

  248. Castellio says:

    Photi, I agree. It is a projection. I disagree that it is a “reaction” to a history of persecution, although its possible, as you say, that Freud would have thought that. Culture is not innate.

    Empty, I think I understand your point, if it is that “freedom” is just another word for on-going theft of symbols and histories of the vanquished within a narrative of the powerful. I don’t disagree with you on that.

    I am humbly proposing, however, (and both these facts can exist in the same universe) that official religions create official heresies which are then considered threatening to the state – whether or not they are.

    I think it pretty rare for a true believer not to transgress into the official heresies of state religions.

  249. nahid says:

    حضور احمدي‌نژاد و حيدر مصلحي در جلسه هيأت دولت
    خبرگزاري فارس: جلسه هيأت دولت عصر امروز (يكشنبه) به رياست محمود احمدي‌نژاد و با حضور حجت‌الاسلام والمسلمين حيدر مصلحي وزير اطلاعات تشكيل شد.

    ● گزارش تصويري مرتبط
    ——————————- به گزارش خبرنگار حوزه دولت خبرگزاري فارس، حجت‌الاسلام والمسلمين مصلحي وزير اطلاعات به دعوت رئيس‌جمهور در جلسه هيأت دولت حاضر شد.

    در اين جلسه علاوه بر رئيس‌جمهور و حجت‌الاسلام والمسلمين مصلحي، اكثر اعضاي هيأت دولت حضور دارند.
    انتهاي پيام/ع

    http://www.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=9002181579

  250. Empty says:

    More for those who do believe in “virtues of a secular state the allows the truly religious to be so”……….

    SUZAN SHOWN HARJO: “Yes, we must start with Geronimo, the man and the leader and the person who has become a fine role model for our children all over Indian Country, and for him to be compared to a terrorist and to be called an enemy is shocking. Really shocking that this happened. And it wasn’t just that his name was used, although that would be bad enough, because that’s what happens in America is that our names are not our own. They’re stolen—our tribal lands, our personal names. And then we’re renamed in order to control us, very frankly. And that’s been going on for a very long time and was made official through the Civilization Regulations from the 1880s to the 1930s, which banned religious ceremonies, banned the sun dance and other so-called religious ceremonies, as they say, banned any act of a medicine man—they said a “so-called” medicine man—confined native people to reservations. This was 50 years of generational religious suppression that forced a lot of the native languages and religions underground, and most of them never reemerged, certainly not as full as they had been in the past.”

    SOURCE [view webcast]: http://indian.senate.gov/hearings/hearing.cfm?hearingid=5172&witnessId=10152

  251. Hillary and Flynt,

    As usual, we’ve digressed entirely from where this thread began. Since it’s Mother’s Day in the US, however, I’d like to refer back to the very first comment in this thread, by Castellio:

    “A brief and kindly intended note: Try not to burn out. Pace yourselves. The struggle is long. The youth of your child short.”

    I’ll second that, especially the last sentence. However trying one-year-olds may be at times, at least they go wherever their parents decide to go for the day. Other than on a special day like Mother’s Day (today), for which my wife and I long ago established the “Whatever Mom wants to do” rule, it gets pretty tough to get your kids to do what you want on a beautiful Sunday afternoon when they are, say, 14, 19 and 22 years old.

    True, you don’t have to change their diapers when they’re that old, but I think most parents of teenagers (and beyond) would sign up for diaper-changing any day, if it meant their kids would still do what their fuddy-duddy parents would like to do once in a while.

    Enjoy that little girl.

  252. Photi says:

    I think Freud would call the Israeli behavior over the decades as a “reaction formation” to their 2000 year persecution by Rome and her descendants.

  253. Photi says:

    Castellio,

    Reading the Benny Morris interview you linked to, when he describes the Arabs he may as well be looking in the mirror. All in the same interview he justifies his own barbarity while condemning the Arab barbarity. There are so many logical contradictions in that interview which i suppose exposes the logical fallacy of Zionism.

    To paraphrase Morris, there is just something inherently wrong and disturbing about Islam that causes the Arabs to become violently upset when the Jews and the other champions of refined Civilazation steal Arab land, rape Arab women, and murder Arab children. The nerve. What kind of religion is this?

    This interview makes it quite clear that the Jews are re-creating their plight with the shadow play they are directing in Palestine.

  254. pirouz_2 says:

    @Eric and Fiorangela:

    Thank you both for your answers.
    By the way Eric, it is not just Mr. Mottaki, the first example of the minister who was sacked from the cabinet by Ahmadinejad himself despite the opposition of Khamenei was none other than the predecessor of Mr. Moslehi, the former intelligence minister, Mr. Ejei. He sacked Mr. Ejei, despite Khamenei wanting him to stay in his position and the result was that Mr. Ejei was appointed to the position of Attorney Genral of Iran.

    Also I would like to express my opinion about one part of your (Eric’s) answer to my question: I don’t think that between 1981 -1997 there was a truly competitive presidential election in Iran. In my opinion the history of competitive elections where the president could have a different opinion from that of the leader goes back to only 1997.

  255. Fiorangela says:

    pirouz_2,
    a graphic answer to the question you asked of Eric Brill.

  256. Pirouz 2,

    In the example you give, I don’t know (nobody can know) whether a US president would decide not to sack a Secretary of Defense due to pressure from the other powerful influences you mention (among others). Sometimes yes, sometimes no – just as the same is true in Iran.

    Iran is different in that one “powerful influence” (the Supreme Leader) has a greater ability to sway public opinion than does any “powerful influence” in the US. That does not change the “constitutional fact,” however, that the president in either country is free to ignore that “powerful influence,” as Ahmadinejad appears to be doing it now in Iran.

    The authority Khamenei has in Iran is very considerable for three reasons that don’t exist in the US: (1) many other actual powers are assigned to the Supreme Leader, which gives him more ways to “punish” a president who ignores his advice; (2) many people in Iran, and elsewhere, mistakenly believe that the Iranian constitution actually gives the Supreme Leader power to make or overrule decisions that are in fact within the sole authority of the president; and (3) Khamenei happens to be a very popular figure, apart from his official title; after all, he won the presidency twice himself, by huge landslides, and has been prominent in Iranian politics for several decades.

    These factors distinguish Iran from the US in the context of an example such as the one you’ve given. I recognize that. Nonetheless, in both countries, the president gets to make the call. If Obama ignored the advice of “powerful influences” and sacked his Secretary of Defense, no one would suggest the US was experiencing some sort of constitutional crisis. They’d merely note that Obama was challenging some “powerful influences,” not claiming authority he doesn’t have.

    It’s exactly the same in Iran.

  257. Empty says:

    Those interested in photos of cabinet meeting, see here: ;http://www.irna.ir/Display.aspx?NID=030376224

    Those interested in photos of Ayatollah Khamenei and President Ahmadinejad yesterday (during Fatemieh Events), see here: http://www.irna.ir/Display.aspx?NID=030374722

  258. Fiorangela says:

    oh James Canning, you would go and bring up the Dreyfuss affair. It’s been used to explain everything except why sliced bread is superior to a nice loaf.

    I drank the French koolaid too; then I became skeptical as I realized that Gertrude Stein and her brother deliberately MOVED TO Paris in just that period of time, and lived in Paris and thrived, as Jews, as known Jews, in Paris, during that “outpouring” of “virulent antisemitism.” sniff sniff sniff; something’s fishy.

    just came upon this information today: Dominican Republic governor was concerned that Jews in France were being mistreated so instructed DR’s ambassador to offer Jews a haven in DR. No takers.

    why’s that? Why no Jews eager to escape the “virulent antisemitism” of France?

    Here’s a clue, in three or four parts, all from Jacob Raisin’s The Haskalah Movement in Russia, 1913.

    Part 1.

    “A glimmer of light pierced the Russian sky at the accession of Catherine II (1762-1796). This “Semiramis of the North,” the admirer of Buffon, Montesquieu, Diderot, and, more especially, Voltaire, whose motto, N’en croyez rien, she adopted, endeavored, and for a while not without success, to introduce into her own country the spirit of tolerance which pervaded France.

    *** France was a tolerant nation; Jews thrived in France.

    Part 2. ***Some organized groups of Jews strenuously resisted Enlightenment, which pervaded France:

    “From which it would appear that though the opposition to Haskalah [Jewish enlightenment/emancipation/renaissance] in Russia was by no means as violent as had been the opposition to enlightenment in France, for instance, or even among the Jews of Germany and Austria,21 it was a bitter and stubborn conflict between parents and children in the adjustment of old ideals to a new environment.”

    *** for centuries Western Europe and the US have been the battle ground on which Jewish groups have waged civil wars against their fellow Jew, not much different from the Ashkenazi Jewish war that is being waged against Arabs AS WELL AS Mizrahi Jews in Palestine and against Mizrahi Iran.

    Part 3. ***Austria, FRANCE, and Germany offered university educations to Jewish people:

    “Austria, Switzerland, France, and chiefly Germany, became once more the Meccas whither Russo-Jewish graduates repaired to finish their studies, and where they formed a sort of Latin Quarters of their own, and led almost a communal life.

    And then along came Pinsker and zionism:

    Part 4: (forgive the long passage, but please take the time to read and absorb; I’m no good at removing the pieces of chicken from the fesenjan)

    “Of course, it requires many years and a great expenditure of money to establish a nation on a firm basis.### But in Pinsker’s dictionary the word “impossible” does not exist. “Far, very far,” says he, “is the haven of rest towards which our souls are turning. We know not even whether it be East {283} or West. But be the road never so long, it cannot seem too long to the wanderers of two thousand years.”

    Pinsker’s impassioned appeal made a deep impression. It was obvious that colonization would be the shortest road to renationalization. But as to the place in which the colonies should be established, no agreement could be reached. Pinsker, like Herzl after him, left the problem unsolved. Some preferred America or even Spain. In southern Russia a society, ‘Am ‘Olam (The Eternal Nation), was organized on communistic principles. It sent an advance guard to the United States, where, as the Sons of the Free, they established several settlements, the best-known of which was New Odessa, in Oregon.8 The majority, however, preferred Palestine,*** the land which, in weal or woe, in pain or pleasure, remains ever dear to the Jewish heart; the land to which the ancient exiles by the waters of Babylon had vowed that sooner than forget her would their right hands forget their cunning and their tongues cleave to the roofs of their mouths; the possession whereof had been held out as the most alluring promise, and to be deprived of which the prophets had regarded as the severest punishment.
    {284}

    Zionism, even Territorialism, among the Russian Jews is by no means solely the result of modern anti-Semitism. At the same time that Mordecai Manuel Noah was planning his Jewish state Ararat in western New York (1825), Gregori Peretz, who, as a child, had been converted, with his father, to the dominant religion, and had been advanced to the rank of an officer in his Majesty’s army, was dreaming of the renationalization of his alienated brethren. As a leading figure in the councils of the Dekabrists, he never ceased his efforts until his comrades accepted the restoration of Israel to his pristine place among the nations of the earth as part of their revolutionary programme. But with the suppression of the Dekabrists by Nicholas I the scheme died “a-borning,” and sank into oblivion. Later, David Gordon revived the yearnings of Judah Halevi by his articles in the weekly Ha-Maggid (1863), which he edited in Lyck, Prussia. Smolenskin’s writings resound with a love for Zion from the very beginning of his literary career. And a rising young Hebraist, Eliezer ben Yehudah, while still a student of medicine, wrote, in 1878, and again in 1880, stirring letters to the editor of Ha-Shahar, in which he advocated the return to the Holy Land and the revival of the holy {285} tongue as a conditio sine qua non for the realization of the Jewish mission. These views, at first advocated by the Hebrew-writing and Hebrew-reading Maskilim, gradually filtered into the various strata of Russo-Jewish society, and when the clouds began to gather fast in Russia’s sky, and the change in the monarch’s policy augured the approach of evil times, Zionism rapidly made enthusiastic converts even among the most Russified of the Jewish youth. On November 6, 1884, for the first time in history, a Jewish international assembly was held at Kattowitz, near the Russian frontier, where representatives from all classes and different countries met and decided to colonize Palestine with Jewish farmers.

    Since then Haskalah in Russia has become nationalistic and Palestinian. Even those who were at first opposed to it gradually grew friendly, and finally became “lovers of Zion” (Hobebe Zion). Among the Russo-Jewish students in Vienna, Smolenskin, the militant Zionist, organized an academic society, Kadimah, a name which, meaning Eastward and Forward, contains the philosophy of Zionism in a nutshell.

    Here is the money quote that carries the deep implication that zionists sought a way to discourage migration to France, and that for that reason the Dreyfuss affair was, shall we say, hyperbolized:

    Seeing that the Alliance Israélite Universelle encouraged emigration to America, both he and Ben Yehudah published violent attacks {286} on the French society, and endeavored to thwart its plans as far as possible.9 The Hebrew weekly Ha-Meliz, published in St. Petersburg, was a staunch supporter of the movement, and a little later Ha-Zefirah, published in Warsaw, which was at first indifferent, if not antagonistic, joined the ranks. In Russian, too, the Razsvyet and especially the Buduchnost spread Zionism among their readers, while books, pamphlets, and poems were published in Yiddish for circulation among the masses. In addition to the Hobebe Zion societies formed in many cities, secret societies were organized, such as the famous Bene Mosheh (Sons of Moses), which had for its object the moral and intellectual improvement of the future citizens of the Jewish Republic; the Bilu (initials of Bet Ya’akob leku we-nelekah, “O House of Jacob, come and let us go”), formed by Israel Belkind, who went to Palestine with his fellow-students of the University of Kharkov, and founded the colony of Gederah; and the Hillul (Hereb la-Adonaï u-le-Arzenu, “A sword for God and our land”), the members of which pledged themselves to remove any obstacle to the cause of nationalism, even at the cost of their lives. The Bone Zion (Builders of Zion), a sort of Masonic fraternity, {287} was a very potent secret society, which undertook to constitute itself a provisional Jewish Government, and assiduously watched the Zionistic societies and their leaders in every portion of the globe.”

    ### German farmers, German merchants and tradesmen, American taxpayers, Iranian assets, Arabian oil wealth, and German, Russian, American, Iraqi and Palestinian Arab blood have provided that “great expenditure of money to establish a nation.”

  259. Empty says:

    Translation/interpretation from: http://irna.com/NewsShow.aspx?NID=30376237

    [Date: 18/2/1390 @ 21:39pm -- Sunday, May 8th]

    “Genuine defense of Velayet_e Faqih is an obligation”

    President Ahmadinejad in government meeting this evening stated that “all members of the government, in their deeds, are wisely and precisely threading the path of Velayet_e Faqih and from this point forward all members of the cabinet and government must in addition do the same in their words even more steadfastly than in the past. This is an تکلیف [obligation].” He emphasized that “today, we must do this due to the conducts of two groups: One group consists of those who think Velyat_e Faqih is a tool to be used by them in their petty arguments and the other group are those who do not really know how to properly defend this beautiful phenomenon [Velayat_e Faqih].”

  260. pirouz_2 says:

    Eric;
    here is what I think about the matter. I always look at Khamenei as the “centre of gravity” of the system. If the majority of the centres of power in the system are in a certain opinion, Khamenei HAS TO LEAN towards that opinion. In this most recent disagreement, you should notice that the only person who actually was by the side of the president, was the president himself.
    Of course the question now becomes even if the president was alone, based on the constitution does he have the right to throw out a minister and replace him with another at will? Well the answer may be “yes” but that doesn’t mean that the president will act on that right.

    Allow me to ask you a question:
    I dont know the US constitution, so for the purpose of this question, lets assume that for replacing one minister, the US president does not need the vote of confidence of the congress, and that it is within his authority to throw out say defence secretary and replace him with anyone he wishes.
    If Obama wanted to get rid of say the defence secretary, but Israeli lobby, Energy lobby, the financial and insurance lobbies and all other major lobbies were against his decision, as a result, if the majority of the congress were against that move,
    if all armed forces 4-star generals were to express discontent about presidents decision, how do you think he would behave? I mean how do you think Obama would behave?

  261. PAK WROTE TO PIROUZ:

    “I still do not see where Khamenei found the constitutional authority to reinstate Moslehi.”

    Shouldn’t you be asking yourself the same question, in light of the following question you’d posed to me: “Maybe I should have made myself a bit clearer by explaining the situation, namely that Khamenei recently reinstated the minister of intelligence who had previously resigned under pressure from Ahmadinejad.”

    Seems inconsistent to me, Pak, until I remind myself of your common practice: Reach a conclusion, and then lay out whatever version of the facts will support that conclusion. Sometimes, when you switch to another conclusion, you find it necessary to lay out a different version of the same facts.

    That’s exactly what you’ve done here.

  262. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    fyi,
    Yeah thanks for committing to a specific date…in 77 years. Of course you and I won’t be around to check if you were right, but I will ask my descendents in my last will to take a big shit on the grave of whichever one of us was wrong…

    Also I clearly stated that Muslims don’t need to be in the west or even Islamize it and that it is better for them to live their lives in the old Muslim societies, so nothing to fear here. You think self-defense is fear, it’s not, it’s the opposite of fear and yes we will root out every last western occupier if necessary, so your rant is completely off mark. As usual you might have read the words but somewhere between your eyes and your brain something got lost.

    Also mentioning al-Ghazzali when criticizing a Shia shows your ignorance of Islamic theology, meaning that usuli Jafari school is very different than al-Ghazzali especially when comes to the issue of aql and it’s centrality in religion. If you had a clue you would know that the very first chapter of Usul al-Kafi which is the ultimate Shia collection of revayat is the chapter on…ask UU what the very first chapter of Usul al-Kafi is.

    Pak,
    Articles 1,2,8,9 and 10 either directly or indirectly give him this right- take your pick. Considering that the head of the cabinet (the President) serves on the condition of the SL’s approval, a member with less authority also does. However 1 and 2 are broad enough without need to resort to the other article. To say that it was unconstitutional is patently false.

    Also as always you avoid points that affect your argument negatively like the one raised about the firing of Manucher Mottaki. I’ll give you a better example, the firing of the previous intelligence minister Ejei. Anyway I doubt you are going to address any of these cogently.

    But more interestingly than all this, I thought this site is too time consuming for you, but anyway nice to have you back, I told you that you couldn’t stay away…

  263. b says:

    My take on the current political situation in Iran:

    http://www.moonofalabama.org/2011/05/iran-no-sorcery-but-a-constitutional-struggle.html

    Thanks for the discussions here which helped me put this together.

  264. Pak,

    I was so excited by your contrition that I ignored your response to my comment on Iran’s Foreign Minister:

    “His name was Manoucher Mottaki, and he was fired by Ahmadinejad, which, according to the constitution, is entirely lawful. Ergo, I have no idea what your point is.”

    My point – as you now seem to accept, based on your other response – is that the president has authority to appoint cabinet ministers. I used the Mottaki incident as an example. If the president, and not the Supreme Leader, has sole authority to appoint and dismiss the Foreign Minister, one might conclude (correctly) that the president also has sole authority to appoint and dismiss lesser ministers, such as the Intelligence Minister.

    I was trying to teach you by example, by analogy – and to make the additional point that that’s the way it is even if Khamenei is strongly opposed to what Ahmadinejad decides.

    As it turned out, that was unnecessary since you, in your separate response, frankly admitted your mistake on this key point. Nevertheless, this good example will be useful for you to keep in mind. You’ve been known, on other matters, to revert to your previous mistaken views.

  265. Pak,

    Thanks for reporting that the Iran constitution grants the president, not the Supreme Leader, sole authority to appoint ministers. You might have added “remove” as well, by the way. But the important point is that you’ve acknowledged your earlier mistake: Contrary to what you wrote earlier, Khamenei did not “reinstate” the Minister of Intelligence. Ahmadinejad did.

    I, and many others here, already knew you were mistaken about that, but it’s an important step in the right direction for you to recognize it yourself. Absent that, who knows: You might be spinning all sorts of elaborate theories based on entirely baseless premises. Your acknowledgement of your mistake – even if you weren’t able to acknowledge it explicitly – gives me confidence that we won’t be seeing any more of that from you.

    Even in your “exile,” after all, you still should be able to stick to the truth.

  266. Unknown Unknowns says:

    The Osama Bin Dead Awhile Plot Thickens. I wonder if this time the Iranian claims are reallu going to come through. If so, it could be the straw that breaks Uncle’s Sam’s back.

    Iran’s intelligence minister says the country has reliable information that former head of the al-Qaeda terrorist group Osama bin Laden died of disease some time ago.

    “We have accurate information that bin Laden died of illness some time ago,” Heidar Moslehi told reporters on the sidelines of a Cabinet meeting on Sunday.

    He questioned Washington’s claim that bin Laden was killed by American troops in a hiding compound in Pakistan on May 1.

    “If the US military and intelligence apparatus have really arrested or killed bin Laden, why don’t they show him (his dead body) why have they thrown his corpse into the sea?” Moslehi asked.

    “When we apprehended [former Jundallah ringleader Abdul Malik] Rigi, we showed him and also aired his interview,” ISNA quoted the intelligence chief as saying.

    By releasing such false news, he said, the White House seeks to overshadow regional awakening.

    Moslehi said US officials resort to such PR campaigns to divert attention from their domestic problems as well as their “fragile” economic situation.

    US President Barack Obama claimed that Osama bin Laden was killed by US forces on May 1 in a hiding compound in Pakistan.

    A US official later announced that bin Laden’s body was abruptly buried at sea, falsely boasting that his hasty burial was in accordance with the Islamic law, requiring burial within 24 hours of death.

    However, burial at sea is not an Islamic practice and Islam does not have a timeframe for burial.

    US officials also claimed their decision for a sea burial was made because no country would accept bin Laden’s remains, without elaborating on which countries were actually contacted on the matter.

    Analysts, however, have raised serious questions as to why US officials did not allow for the application of a DNA test to officially confirm the identity of the corpse before its hasty burial.

  267. James Canning says:

    Rehmat,

    Interesting post re: comments of Turkish ambassador to Washington, in Los Angeles Feb. 11th. Namik Tan did a good job of setting the record strait re Turkish support of Iranian domestic nuclear power programme (and opposition to any nukes).

  268. James Canning says:

    Have Israeli warplanes been training in Iraq? PressTV has report.

    http://www.presstv.com/detail/178886.html

    Ex-Mossad head, Meir Dagan, has said Israeli attack on Iran would be foolish.

  269. Pak says:

    Dear Pirouz,

    Chapter 9 details the powers of the executive. Specifically, section 2 article 133 states that the President has the authority to appoint ministers.

    As identified by B-in-B, article 110 (in chapter 9) outlines the powers of the Supreme Leader. Here is an English translation (Eric take note):

    Following are the duties and powers of the Leadership:

    1.Delineation of the general policies of the Islamic Republic of Iran after consultation with the Nation’s Exigency Council.
    2.Supervision over the proper execution of the general policies of the system.
    3.Issuing decrees for national referenda.
    4.Assuming supreme command of the armed forces.
    5.Declaration of war and peace, and the mobilization of the armed forces.
    6.Appointment, dismissal, and acceptance of resignation of:
    1.the fuqaha’ on the Guardian Council.
    2.the supreme judicial authority of the country.
    3.the head of the radio and television network of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
    4.the chief of the joint staff.
    5.the chief commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps.
    6.the supreme commanders of the armed forces.
    7.Resolving differences between the three wings of the armed forces and regulation of their relations.
    8.Resolving the problems, which cannot be solved by conventional methods, through the Nation’s Exigency Council.
    9.Signing the decree formalizing the election of the President of the Republic by the people. The suitability of candidates for the Presidency of the Republic, with respect to the qualifications specified in the Constitution, must be confirmed before elections take place by the Guardian Council;, and, in the case of the first term [of the Presidency], by the Leadership;
    10.Dismissal of the’ President of the Republic, with due regard for the interests of the country, after the Supreme Court holds him guilty of the violation of his constitutional duties, or after a vote of the Islamic Consultative Assembly testifying to his incompetence on the basis of Article 89 of the Constitution.
    11.Pardoning or reducing the sentences of convicts, within the framework of Islamic criteria, on a recommendation [to that effect] from the Head of judicial power. The Leader may delegate part of his duties and powers to another person.

    I still do not see where Khamenei found the constitutional authority to reinstate Moslehi. May be you can find out for me.

  270. Pirouz says:

    Eric,

    It was reported that, in relation to the issue over the Minister in question, Ahmadinejad stated that Khamenei have given him some time to think over the matter. And that he (Ahmadinejad ) will, by that time, either resign, or accept Moslehi as his minister, or reject Moslehi as his minister. The key here being Ahmadinejad’s ultimate decision on the matter.

    Fyi,

    My reading of the constitution is that it is vague in certain matters, as well. That’s why I was asking for Pak to offer a citation and specify details on how the constitution was violated.

  271. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    Yes, the French branch of the Rothschilds can be said to have had a different feeling toward the Zionist project, than the English branch of the family.

    The Dreyfuss affair likely helps to explain this.

  272. Pak says:

    Dear Eric,

    His name was Manoucher Mottaki, and he was fired by Ahmadinejad, which, according to the constitution, is entirely lawful. Ergo, I have no idea what your point is.

    Hold on a moment while I find my shovel.

  273. PAK WROTE:

    “May be I should have made myself a bit clearer by explaining the situation, namely that Khamenei recently reinstated the minister of intelligence who had previously resigned under pressure from Ahmadinejad. I am sorry for overestimating your understanding of Iranian politics.”

    You didn’t overestimate my understanding – just your own. Khamenei has no authority to “reinstate” the minister of intelligence, and he did not. Ahmadinejad did. Certainly Khamenei has the write to express his views strongly, as he did. Perhaps that is why Ahmadinejad reinstated the minister, though one must wonder why he didn’t do so immediately if Khamenei actually had power to “order” that. One also must wonder why Ahmadinejad continues not to follow Khamenei’s “orders” on other matters.

    Perhaps the answer is that Ahmadinejad feels more strongly about those other things, and knows that Khamenei has no authority to “order” him to do so.

    Pak, while we’re at it, refresh my memory: What’s the name of that guy who’s serving as Iran’s Foreign Minister? Do you remember who appointed him, and fired his predecessor? How did Khamenei feel about that?

  274. fyi says:

    Pirouz says: May 8, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    The Iranian Constitution is silent on the adjudication of disputes between the President, the Head of Judiciary, the Parliament on the one side and the Office of the Supreme Jurisprudent on the other.

    Concievably the Assembly of Experts could interovene in such cases but then its madante has to be enlarged and it – or a subset of it – must be organized as a Court of (Constitutional) Law.

    Mr. Khamenei is well on his way to create a political crisis.

    There is absolutely no chance of impeaching Mr. Ahmadinejad without -a the same time – political suicide by his opponentse [reminiscent of the Jihadist Suicide Bombers]

    I suspect that these developments are going to further make it very difficult to replace Mr. Khamenei – at his death or incapacity – by anything except a committee.

  275. Empty says:

    Fiorangela,

    As I was reading one of your posts, I learned a couple of really interesting information that I didn’t know at all. Had it not been for your post, I doubt I would have run into them. I felt grateful and didn’t want to ignore a نعمت [blessing] without having shown my appreciation.

    p.s. I am not a psychologist, so I could not possibly be an astute one. Also, my appreciation was for a benefit that I had already received without any future expectation of your hard work. I am not greedy.

    Re; whether what you say would make any change, as the poem goes:
    تو نیکی می کن و در دجله انداز…..که ایزد در بیابانت دهت باز

    [interpretation -definitely took liberty here to preserve the meaning for form:

    Be charitable near Tigris,
    Give with generosity and bliss,
    In a far away desert and strange place,
    God shall reward you with abundance and grace.

  276. Castellio says:

    I thought Achcar handled himself well discussing a difficult subject… the “anti-semitism” of the Palestinians and the role of the Mufti. (The first question asked of him during the public Q & A is whether Arafat was the Mufti’s nephew.)

    Achcar mentioned Beny Morris’ interview of 2004, which I had largely forgotten, but here it is: http://www.deiryassin.org/bennymorris.html

    In terms of grasping underlying Israeli resistance to overtures to peace, it remains a seminal document.

    Thanks for pointing to the Bloom thesis. I have my doubts if pages 420 to 430 would have been allowed to remain in a thesis anywhere in North America or Europe. How has this thesis been received during the past 3 years? Are there reviews of the historical accuracy of the thesis?

  277. Fiorangela says:

    Castellio — watched more of the Segev vimeo — 31 minutes. It only got worse. Turned it off, taking heart medicine — I’m going to take photos of the pink azaleas and pink tulips in my garden, then spend a few hours at the museum.

    as for Segev,
    .

    .

    .

    never mind.

    so angry with segev’s distortions and lies and smugness that there is nothing sufficiently powerful that I can say that won’t land me in jail or, worse, tarnish my soul.

  278. Pirouz says:

    Pak,

    Perhaps you can offer a citation from the constitution and detail specifically where and how the constitution was violated.

    Or, since yo admit you’re not a legal expert, perhaps you can refer to one which provides the basis of your assertion.

  279. fyi says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says: May 8, 2011 at 4:29 am

    You wrote:

    “I don’t believe that Muslims should live in kafer societies- even the ones that are native converts….”

    In fact, Muslims have lived among the non-Muslims from the time of the Prophet: in Ethiopia, and later in coastal cities of Inida, Indochina, China, and Indonesia as well as the “Sahel” region of Africa.

    In fact, that was how Islam was propagated to those new areas.

    You statement is thus patently falsified by historical record.

    But you have a more important task I think.

    For you, it is to get out if your mental ghetto and grapple with the world as it is and not as how you wish it to be.

  280. fyi says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says: May 8, 2011 at 4:33 am

    My estimate on the life expectancy of the Islamic Republic of Iran is 110 years.

    77 more years are left of its life; 3 generations.

  281. fyi says:

    Bill says: May 8, 2011 at 3:36 am

    I agree with much of what you have written.

    Mr. Bussed-in-Basiji is a frightened man who, live very many Muslims since the time of Al Ghazzali, has decided to put his mind on auto-pilot. He sees enemies behind every bush, a soldier behind every tree, and an gent provocateur behind every question. His fears, however, can never be assuaged since he lacks that Faith that could sustain him with Confidence.

    Likewise for your former friend.

    And they are not by far the worst that could be – in Indonesia there are many who believe that the Arabic greeting, “Al Salam Aleykum” is reserved for Muslims and refuse to use it to greet a non-Muslim.
    These last 2 we owe much of this to the joint US-Saudi effort in discrediting the Islamic Revolution in Iran by propagating the Salfist ideas; but now the chicken have come back home to roost, haven’ they.

    That very many Muslims even bring up the spread of Islam in the West is further indication of how abjectly, in their hearts, in their hearts, they feel about their own position in the world and in the position of Islam; that Islam needs the seal-of-approval of spread in the West – the superior civilization – to validate it as a vital religion. The Prophet of Islam, on the other hand, possessed the Absolute Faith to send emissaries to the superior polities around Arabia and invite them to Islam. This is lacking now.

    And then there were very many Shia Iranians who would consider non-Muslims ritualistically impure – like some of the ultra-orthodox Jews – who would refuse to touch a Christian. I had friends whose mothers were Christens and Muslims fathers and were not touched…. Or you go eat in the school cafeteria after the Islamic revolution and they put a separate plate for you lest you contaminate others by being a Jew or a Zoroastrian or Christian.

    You have a good point regarding the double standard. I think, however, that in the case of War in Palestine you are missing the centrality of the Al Haram Al Sharif; as long as it is not in the hands of Muslims, that war will go on – the Judaic Fantasy vs. the Islamic Reality.
    But your larger point is valid: more than 50,000 Muslims were massacred in Gujarat in 2002 by the complicity and at time active participation of the police and political officials of the Indian State of Gujarat but nary a peep came out of IOC or the Islamic Republic of Iran, or Saudi Arabia.

    In regards to the Southern Sudan, I viewed it as Civil War.

    In regards to the Massacre of Armenians, Turkey’s position is well-known. What is less known is that there are other Muslims states that have no official position in that regard but the facts are well-known and are publicized. [There used to be at least 10 or so monuments – all in Armenian Churches - in Iran commemorating the massacres of 1905.]

    You won’t get any argument from me regarding the Great/Lesser Satan. Many of the problems of the Islamic Republic are self-inflicted wounds. But look at the positive side – the delusions and fantasies of Pharisee Muslims, their bigotry, prejudices, and intolerances are being little by little destroyed in practice.

    I think you are putting too much stock in the Arab Spring. It will not lead to true freedoms since in the Arab World, even the intellectual foundations of the foundations of such things do not exist. They are imported ideas that with the first whiff of cold will die on vine; all it takes is for a new idea to be labeled “fitna” (disorder).

    Nothing external can cure the deep fear inside very many Muslims that their religion is inadequate to the world – from Pakistan where people whisper to one another to the effect that – in comparison to Hindu India – it is because of Islam that they do not have democracy to Iran where more and more people are rejecting the Pharisee Islam but do not know what to substitute for it.

    I agree with you previous post that the Shia Muslims have the best chance of assimilating the Godless Modernity of the Present Age but that is only potential. And that potential will not be realized solely on basis of the application of Doctrine of Ijtihad. In my opinion, it will need further development of Kalam and other branches of philosophy.

  282. Pak says:

    Dear Eric,

    May be I should have made myself a bit clearer by explaining the situation, namely that Khamenei recently reinstated the minister of intelligence who had previously resigned under pressure from Ahmadinejad. I am sorry for overestimating your understanding of Iranian politics; your election analysis must have thrown me off course.

    Now, I am not a legal expert, but my understanding of the Iranian constitution leads me to believe that Khamenei acted unconstitutionally. According to B-in-B, this is not true, and Khamenei actually does wield ultimate authority. But hey, this still questions your (out of touch) assertions about the dynamics of Iranian politics.

    I have a shovel if you want to continue digging a hole though.

  283. Fiorangela says:

    James Canning @ May 6, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    “Most of the Rothschilds, and other upper-class British Jews, feared the potential consequences of the Zionist ideology that propounded the theory of Jewishness as a race and national indentity distinct from the state where the Jews lived. They instead saw themselves as English, or British, who happened to be Jewish by religion.

    Most upper-class British Jews opposed the Zionist project in Palestine, prior to the First World War. They were thoroughly integrated into the social and economic life of Britain.”

    from Etan Bloom’s thesis on Arthur Ruppin and the Production of Hebrew Culture:

    Ruppin’s new approach was different in its essence from the prior colonization plans of the First Aliyah and the Baron Edmond de Rothschild administration. For all its relative sophistication and reliance on colonial technology, Rothschild’s colonization activity remained not entrepreneurial or political, but philanthropic – in an idiosyncratic combination of the zdaka and transformative models. Rothschild saw
    himself as a private individual doing good for the Jewish people and not as a capitalist developer. Nor did he conceive of himself as a political figure seeking to create an autonomous, self-sufficient entity that could become a Jewish homeland, which was the way Ruppin thought from the very start of his operations.”

    and

    “Rothschild and the Paris-based Jewish Colonization Association (JCA), which
    assumed control over the Rothschild colonies in 1900, opposed the agenda of
    Practical-Zionism to the degree that they were anti-political, that is they refused to
    conceive of Jewish settlement in Palestine as an assertion of political sovereignty,
    something to be directed by a proto-governmental agency. They were opposed to any
    hasty activity that might endanger their position as a “Jewish plantocrasy” largely
    dependent on the exploitation of Arab labor in small colonial-capitalist plantations
    (Penslar 1990, 145).”

    Two crucial bits of information that are omitted from most zionist narratives of the establishment of Israel and “antisemitism” in Europe in the late 19th and early 20th centuries are that (1) the Jewish population had exploded in Europe at that time, and most of those Jewish people who were added to the rolls of the Russian and German state were urban — unable or unwilling to do agricultural work in a society that was still surviving on a subsistence economic model. And (2), as governments became more relatively democratic, emancipation worked its way to the Jewish communities. Jews have ALWAYS lived in host states as a state-within-a-state; the leaders of those Jewish communities exercised dictatorial, not democratic or representative, authority over their Jewish population. That power was frequently enforced by arrangements between the Jewish community leader and the secular, host state’s government, sometimes to the extent that Jewish leaders could pronounce death sentences on members of the Jewish community. With democratization of the secular state, emancipation for Jews really meant that lower class Jews (the great majority) was freed from the all too frequently oppressive authority of their Jewish masters.

    This had a yin and a yang effect, much like emancipation of slaves: Jews were no longer subservient to their Jewish leaders, but this population bulge was still not equipped to feed itself.

    Both Ruppin and Jabotinsky were appalled at the state of physical squalor and degradation in which (mainly) Slavic Hungarian Jews lived. Ruppin established strict rules about how Jews in Israel should carry out sanitary functions and maintain a certain level of cleanliness. As well, Ruppin applied eugenic principles to the Jews who would be admitted to Israel, and Slavic Hungarian Jews were NOT among the elect. In reviewing statistics of Jews who were killed in Europe in the war, the largest number are from Slavic regions. Einsatzgruppen carried out its work in those regions; according to the Nuremberg testimony of an SS leader, persons to be executed by SS were selected by the town’s rabbi.

    All of this is background for the hypothesis: Rothschild had a philanthropic interest in the wellbeing of Jews. Apparently his idealism ran at a slight angle to Ruppin’s ideology of creating the ‘new Jew.’

    One more selection from Bloom’s work highlights that conflict of idealism vs. ideology between Rothschild and Ruppin:

    “the so-called First Aliyah, which suffered, according to his analysis, from several weaknesses caused by their economic structure being heavily based on the generosity of Baron de Rothschild. The Baron’s unconditional philanthropy led to an ever-weakening connection between them and the land, since it was not developed through their efforts and work but fell into their hands “as a present” (Ruppin 1908/1998, 209). It is important to emphasize that this specific criticism will shape his attitude to the young immigrants of the Second Aliyah.”

    http://www.tau.ac.il/tarbut/tezot/bloom/EtanBloom-PhD-ArthurRuppin.pdf

  284. PAK QUOTED VARIOUS STATEMENTS MADE BY OTHER PEOPLE AND ASKED ME TO EXPLAIN WHY THESE STATEMENTS DO NOT REVEAL DEFECTS IN IRAN’S CONSTITUTION:

    I am going to … ask Eric A. Brill a couple of questions:

    What is your take on the recent unconstitutional moves by Shah Khamenei? …

    Here is an overview of official opinions in Iran at the moment, courtesy of Professor Sahimi at Tehran Bureau: …

    “One of the cabinet ministers told me, we believe that if his Excellency [Supreme Leader Khamenei] decrees the divorce of the president’s wife, the president’s wife will become haram [religiously forbidden] for him and the president will no longer be able to touch her. We consider the Velaayat-Faghih above and beyond the constitution.”

    EAB COMMENT:

    You do not explain, Pak, why you refer to this as an “official opinion.” Even Professor Sahimi labels it as nothing more than a “belief” held by some cabinet minister. More important, I’m not sure why you think Iran’s constitution provides this (it does not) merely because some cabinet minister “believes” it does, nor why some off-hand remark by some unnamed “cabinet minister” is worthy of comment – or, frankly, even repetition in this case.

    I’ve read many such off-hand remarks by many unnamed people, variously described as “cabinet ministers,” “scholars” or some other title that seems to add weight to what they say. Very many have said, for example, that Khamenei may at will nullify an election, or remove a president from office, or remove any legislator or judge who does something Khamenei does not like. Thousands upon thousands of writers have written that Khamenei has “final say in all matters of state” – that he may, for example, nullify any law he does not like, decree a new law in its place, overrule the president on any exercise of power granted to the president by Iran’s constitution, and on and on.

    None of those statements is true, nor has Khamenei ever tried to exercise such non-existent powers, nor has he ever suggested that he could do so if he ever felt like it. These are just idle statements, baseless expressions of opinion.

    What can one do, however, other than to shrug one’s shoulders and point this out. At some point (right from the outset, in my view, but here you are nonetheless), it is fair to shift the burden to the individual who makes such a statement, and ask questions such as: “What provision in Iran’s constitution did you have in mind when you made that statement?” Or “Has Khamenei ever removed a president, or a legislator, or a judge, or nullified a law, or overridden a decision by the president that was within the president’s constitutional authority?” Or “Has Khamenei ever claimed he could do any of these things if he wanted to, and that he has not yet done so only because the urge has not yet struck him?” Or (here’s my favorite): “When someone claims Khamenei has a particular constitutional power that he’s never exercised or even claimed the right to exercise, shouldn’t the person making that claim be expected to offer some evidence that such power exists, rather than simply to toss out some baseless assertion and ask others to prove that it’s not correct?”

    PAK QUOTED ANOTHER STATEMENT MADE BY SOMEONE ELSE:

    “His excellency, Ayatollah Khamenei, is in the ‘control tower’ and monitors anything that may be against the interests of the society. He does not want anything for himself. Monitoring the president is that control tower… The relation between the president and the Leader is not one between father and son, because the president is a soldier of Velaayat-e Faghih and obeying him is a must. The president has said the same, but words are not the criterion, we are awaiting action [by the president].”

    EAB COMMENT: See my comment above, to which I would add this: If, as this speaker says, Ahmadinejad is not behaving in the manner which this speaker believes is required under Iran’s constitution, perhaps Ahmadinejad does not agree with the speaker about what Iran’s constitution has to say. In other words, perhaps Ahmadinejad, unlike the person who made this statement, has actually read the constitution.

    PAK QUOTED ANOTHER STATEMENT MADE BY SOMEONE ELSE:

    “The legitimacy of anyone who hesitates to obey the Supreme Leader is questionable. More than any other time, senior officials must obey the Supreme Leader. The legitimacy of all organs of the government and the political system emanates from the Velaayat-e Faghih.”

    EAB COMMENT: See my first comment above. Nothing needs to be added to it here.

    PAK QUOTED ANOTHER STATEMENT MADE BY SOMEONE ELSE:

    “If you [the president] really accept Velaayat-e Faghih, why do you not accept his orders? In order not to reveal their true intentions, some people claim that they follow the Imam’s [Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's] line and Velaayat-e Faghih, but their actions and their words indicate that they lie.”

    EAB COMMENT: See my first comment above. Nothing needs to be added to it here.

    PAK QUOTED ANOTHER STATEMENT MADE BY SOMEONE ELSE:

    “Because Velaayat-e Faghih considers the interests of the society, his order is above the laws. He leads the society in the absence of Imam Mahdi. He leads the society in utter tranquility, and he leads not only our country but also all the Muslims of the world.”

    EAB COMMENT: See my first comment above. Nothing needs to be added to it here.

    PAK QUOTED ANOTHER STATEMENT MADE BY SOMEONE ELSE:

    “If someone receives not just 20 million votes [that former president Mohammad Khatami received], but 40 million, and the Supreme Leader does not certify it, the votes do not endow any credibility to that person.”

    EAB COMMENT: See my comment above. Nothing needs to be added to it here.

    FINALLY, PAK HIMSELF WROTE:

    There are endless other examples of similar opinions, but there are only so many hours in a day…

    EAB COMMENT: You are indeed correct, on both points.

  285. Fiorangela says:

    Empty — thank you for your kind words; you are an astute psychologist and obviously know that a little bit of praise absolutely compels someone like me to keep digging, keep typing, keep making a fool of himself on the chance, the chance that it might make a difference.

    Castellio, I could not make myself watch more than about 10 min of the Segev interview that you posted — http://vimeo.com/22038755 I thought Segev was condescending and cruelly intent on forcing his Arab counterpart to accept causal agency. Many of us have seen that mindset and process dozens of times and thrown shoes at it each time. The problem with the Segev clip is that Segev is advertised as one of the ‘good guys.’ Maybe if I had watched more of the clip I would have gotten a different perspective. It is wearying.

  286. Lysander says:

    I’ve been meaning to ask those here familiar with domestic Iranian politics, what’s the nature of the dispute between Ahmadinejad and SL Khamenei? Who is this Esfandiari guy? And why did Ahmadinejad dismiss intel chief Moslehi?

    I’ve heard a number of theories here, including that ‘nejad was looking for better relations with the west and the SL was more hard line. Don’t know if that is true. It has that “It’s always about us” arrogance one sees in western analysis.

    Any insight would be most appreciated.

  287. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Pak,
    Read Asle 110 and the broad powers it gives the Supreme Leader especially sub-articles 1,2,6,7,8,9 and 10. Nothing unconstitutional.

    Just say what you want to say and stop trying to give it an academic bent. Say “the constitution gives the SL too much power” or something like that, but don’t say it is unconstitutional because it isn’t.

  288. Pak says:

    Hello,

    I am going to ignore B-in-B’s ‘extremist, and proud’ rant, and ask Eric A. Brill a couple of questions:

    What is your take on the recent unconstitutional moves by Shah Khamenei? Do you still maintain that the IR constitution upholds democratic values in Iran?

    Here is an overview of official opinions in Iran at the moment, courtesy of Professor Sahimi at Tehran Bureau:

    :http://youtu.be/MWmMSIXaNs8

    “One of the cabinet ministers told me, we believe that if his Excellency [Supreme Leader] decrees the divorce of the president’s wife, the president’s wife will become haram [religiously forbidden] for him and the president will no longer be able to touch her.

    We consider the Velaayat-Faghih above and beyond the Constitution.”

    :http://www.isna.ir/ISNA/NewsView.aspx?ID=News-1762483&Lang=P

    “His excellency, Ayatollah Khamenei is in the ‘control tower’ and monitors anything that may be against the interests of the society. He does not want anything for himself. Monitoring the President is that control tower… The relation between the President and the Leader is not one between father and son, because the President is a soldier of Velaayat-e Faghih and obeying him is a must. The President has said the same, but words are not the criterion, we are awaiting action [by the President].”

    :http://www.isna.ir/ISNA/NewsView.aspx?ID=News-1762166&Lang=P

    “The legitimacy of anyone who hesitates to obey the Supreme Leader is questionable. More than any other time, senior officials must obey the Supreme Leader. The legitimacy of all organs of the government and the political system emanates from the Velaayat-e Faghih.”

    :http://www.isna.ir/ISNA/NewsView.aspx?ID=News-1762138&Lang=P

    “If you [the President] really accept Velaayat-e Faghih, why do you not accept his orders? In order not to reveal their true intentions, some people claim that they follow the Imam’s [Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's] line and Velaayat-e Faghih, but their actions and their words indicate that they lie.”

    :http://www.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=9002171198

    “Because Velaayat-e Faghih considers the interests of the society, his order is above the laws. He leads the society in the absence of Imam Mahdi. He leads the society in utter tranquility, and he leads not only our country but also all the Muslims of the world.”

    :http://www.entekhab.ir/fa/news/25166

    “If someone receives not just 20 million votes [that former president Mohammad Khatami received], but 40 million, and the Supreme Leader does not certify it, the votes do not endow any credibility to that person.”

    There are endless other examples of similar opinions, but there are only so many hours in a day, and I am still technically in exile. But still, let me know what you think. I would also like to know what Ahmadinejad supporters think of recent events, bearing in mind that he has been straight-jacketed by Khamenei’s unconstitutional actions. What is it going to be, uphold the democratic rights, or shut up and put up for the system?

  289. Rehmat says:

    Turkish Ambassador in Washington and former Ambassador in Tel Aviv (2007-2009). Namik Tan, was a guest speaker at a dinner meeting of the Los Angeles World Affairs Council (a neocon think tank) in Century City’s Intercontinental Hotel on February 16, 2011.

    As expected, Namik Tan was confronted by several paranoid Zionist questioners, fed on Israeli lies. His responses were sort of educating the brainwashed Americans at large by the country’s Jewish controlled mainstream media.

    In response to Turkish support for Iran’s nuclear program, Tan said: “Former IAEA director general Mohamed ElBaradei asked for Turkey’s assistance to persuade Iran to come to the negotiating table. Once Ankara was assured by Washington that it was in compliance with this request, Turkey began exchanging messages with the Iranians. We went to Iran and don’t forget, it was the Persians who invented the game of chess – it took two 18-hour days to get their cooperation. We don’t want Iranian nuclear weapons in our neighborhood. Take a moment to imagine our neighborhood – Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, the Caucasus. We’re in the center of complex problems”. Turkish President Abdullah Gul during his rcent visit to Tehran had supported Iranian civilian nuclear program. Commenting on that statement, Tan said: “Iran has the right to develop peaceful nuclear energy. Any country has the full right to have nuclear energy, but not to develop nuclear weapons. We are not siding with Iran – we are side-by-side with Iran”.

    On Turkey-Israel relations, Tan said: “Israel is our friend, this matters profoundly. There have been good relationships between Turks and Jews for 517 years – 120,000 Jews live in Turkey. We were the second nation after the US to recognize the state of Israel”. In fact USSR was in the second place. Turkey was second Muslim-majority country to bless the European Jewish occupation of 56% of Arab Palestine, Iran being the first Muslim country to do that.

    Tan, without mentioning Israeli Commando attack on Turkish ship carrying aid to Gaza on May 31, 2010 – and murdering nine Turkish aid workers in cool-blood – said:”Our Israeli friends made a mistake. I’m pretty sure they’ll realize this. Just make an apology. In the early 1990s during a joint NATO exercise, the US accidentally fired two missiles onto a Turkish frigate resulting in 10 Turkish deaths. The US apologized. The alternative is they’ll lose, we’ll lose and the US will lose.”

    On US-Turkey relations, Tan said: “I am disappointed when Washington questions me about the shift in Turkey’s political axis. Turkey is not going anywhere”. Tan also stressed that Turkey being world’s 16th largest economy, has to look after it national interests by having friendly relations with ME countries.

    And then came the usual ‘smoking gun’. “What about women’s rights in Turkey?” asked an idiot western feminists. “Our women are sophisticated and elegant. Working rights were established in Turkey before the US,” replied the ambassador.

    http://rehmat2.wordpress.com/2011/05/08/tan-iran-has-the-right-to-develop-peaceful-nuclear-energy/

  290. Dan Cooper says:

    The Assassination Of bin Laden – Its Use & Abuse

    By James Petras

    In the face of major strategic losses, as evident in the astonishing assassination of top military officials, Obama had to mount a political spectacle ­ a “military success story” ­ the killing of unarmed bin Laden, to buoy the spirits of the American public, military and its NATO followers.

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article28050.htm

  291. Dan Cooper says:

    We might ask ourselves how we would be reacting if Iraqi commandos landed at George W. Bush’s compound, assassinated him, and dumped his body in the Atlantic.

    Noam Chomsky: My Reaction to Osama bin Laden’s Death

    By Noam Chomsky

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article28045.htm

  292. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Date! Date! Date!

  293. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Bill-jan,
    “ilegible” should read “ineligable”, I was trying to avoid the word “illegitimate” when discussing the issue of births, which would have been one pun too far…

  294. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    fyi,
    Waiting for you to tell us the date of the collapse of the IRI…

    masoud,
    Waiting to read your take on Iran-US relations…

  295. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    UU,
    Thanks for the back-up, eltemase dua…

    Bill-jan,
    Thanks for concluding that Salafis are crap.

    Remember I don’t believe in freedom of religion like you do. For example, Bahais are a political movement to cause rifts in our society which is one of the main strategies of the British and US in our countries in the last centuries. Same goes for evangelical missionaries. You see I don’t view them as religions but as viruses in our society that need to be dispensed with, preferably that they emigrate to their spiritual homelands (for example Haifa Israel or somewhere in the southern US).

    Furthermore you falsely assume that I think Muslims should live in the west. I don’t believe that Muslims should live in kafer societies- even the ones that are native converts. In fact I think westerners have the right to deal with the Muslims as they see necessary if they are a threat to their societies. Muslims do not have an absolute right to live in the western societies as they please- especially the Wahabi idiots- I mean these idiots squat on the freakin toilet seat to take a leak for God’s sake! Move to freakin Saudi Arabia!

    You also list births as one of the illegible evidences for the growth of Muslims. Excuse me, when did birth become illegible as a method of expanding a religion? Are these Bill’s rules of what’s allowed and what isn’t?

    You also list immigration, OK again there seemed to be a reason that these western countries- especially Europe in the late 20th century- needed immigrants. And in the Anglo heritage countries citizenship is based on residence after a certain period so that’s why you have “American” or “Canadian” or “British” Muslims who are either foreign born or children of immigrants. As such they are an example of the growth of Islam in these societies. Get it?

    In the racist European countries many have also received citizenship- I know it’s usually described as “acquired” citizenship- but remember you ain’t gettin that EU passport if the Man doesn’t give it to you. Also if you check the birthrates of Europeans they don’t replace death rates and so isn’t nice that someone is still fucking and having kids in Europe. So again, we have the growth of Islam in these societies but apparently growth only counts for you if an adult European ethnic converts to Islam, and I guess nobody has done that…right?

    Bill this issue is so lamely discussed in the west, the positions so narrowly defined that we haven’t gotten anywhere on it in the last 50 years. The fundamental question of whether Muslims should even live in kafer societies is not answered by our dear practicing immigrant brothers and sisters. How the westerners handle different religions in their society- especially idiots like Wahabis- is not my business .

    Conversely, how Muslims deal with other religions in their societies is not your business. We have our rules about what is a religion what isn’t and we follow that. In fact the Armenian and Assyrian churches in Iran are very happy that we boot the evangelical competition and have realized that the Islamic Republic has benefited them in keeping their members from going evangelical.

    Bill-jan, this is the Middle East, has it’s own way of doing things and had so long before the Americans entered the picture and will continue to so do long after the Americans go back to Kansas- a REALLY fuckin tough neighborhood as the Israelis keep tellin you guys, (Dorothy you are no longer in Kansas…there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home…)

  296. Kent says:

    “Former Mossad chief: Israel air strike on Iran ‘stupidest thing I have ever heard’”

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/former-mossad-chief-israel-air-strike-on-iran-stupidest-thing-i-have-ever-heard-1.360367

    is it just propaganda,- trying to get Iran caught off guard for a future attack?

  297. Bill says:

    fyi,

    Thank you for the kinds words. You may not remember but I have posted here several times so I am used to these responses. Heck one of my posts was questioned because it appeared to be hasbara like because it defended Israel. That one was quite rich considering I had never even heard of the word ‘hasbara’ until then. Ahh but I digress. I do have to admit I do like a sorid debate and frankly when I saw the comment from BiB I had to respond. As I expected I got no answer but instead an ad hominem diatribe. Alas I tried again as you will note. My hope is BiB will see I am not as closed minded as he thinks but was sincerely just asking him to back up his claim.

    The reasoning for my question to BiB was two fold. I want to see the sources validating this and also to open a discussion of the abject hypocrisy regarding this topic. We always here of how Islam is growing in the West but when the discussion moves to non Muslim faiths in the Islamic world the crowd goes silent because they are inconveniat truth many are in a demographic freefall. I liken this all to the debate on Islamophobia in which the west is continually beat over the head with this while at the same time the Islamic world largely refuses to discuss the human and religious rights abuses endemic across the entire Islamic world. A stark example is the Islamic world’s fixation on the Israeli Arab conflict and conversely it’s absolute silence on the genocide in Sudan. Since the early 90′s the UN Security Council and Human Rights commision has fielded and ruled on almost 300 resolutions regarding Israel(in fact the majority of all resolution amazingly focus on Israel while 99% of the world’s population is addressed by fewer resolutions.) All the while 2.5 million died in Sudan since the early 90′s with each and every resolution raised being blocked by the OIC with only 15 squeaking through. When two made it through recently the responses from the Islamic world further exemplified this hypocrisy 1) From Iran “It is an attack on Islam” and 2) Turkish PM Erdogan said “No Muslim could perpetrate a genocide” which is not so ironically keeping in line with his denial of the Armenian genocide which Turkey still says never happened.

    Frankly BiB’s response is indicative of the mindset of never owning up let alone being willing to consider they don’t hold the absolute truth on all matters. Instead the meme is perpetuated that its Great Satan(the US) and Little Satan(Israel) truly at fault for everything. Anything that can’t be tied to these, like Sudan, just get swept under the carpet because it obliterates the grievance victimology stance these people try to argue from. Sadly it tells me this is largely an unsolvable problem because one side is incapable of ever considering that just maybe they themselves are share the blame. The whole debate over the Iranian election is another example of this which you and I are both quite familiar with. The regime refuses to discuss it and instead is silencing anyone internally who questions it. I can only hope the “arab spring” will envelope the entire Islamic world and actually allow true free speech, inquiry, conscience, and will. When those values take root regardless of the dictates of faith I think we will then be able to address the issues at hand instead of fighting.

    Thx
    Bill

  298. Bill says:

    Bussed-in Basiji,

    This may be a shock to you but I have read the Quran, several Hadith sources (such as Bukhari), the Sira, and about 30 other books on Islam. Currently I am in the process of making my way through a couple books explaining the nuances of Shia vs. Sunni. What started me on this journey was a friend disowning me out of the blue stating he could not be friends with people of the book. What I did not know at the time was that he started attending a Salafist Mosque in Chicago heavily under the influence of the Saudis. When I made my way through several books I realized the error of his ways was taking all scripture literally without taking into account the context of the Sura(along with an almost exclusive reliance on Hadith vs. the Quran.) A nice example I saw explaining Sura 5:51 said “This verse is not telling us to be against Jews or Christians, but it is telling us that we should take care of our own people and we must support each other(http://www.answering-christianity.com/sami_zaatri/friends.htm). In summary while I still have a huge issues with Islam I fully recognize this “friend” following Wahhabi ideology represented a deviant distortion of what Islam should be. After all if Allah is supposed to be a “mercy” for us how in the world can he be if Muslims truly can’t be friends with us? You are correct I am somewhat closed to Islam but that is fact of my faith in Christianity. By that same token I would expect you to be somewhat closed due to your faith in Islam. By the way my girlfriend ten years removed from Iran is Shia.

    What I was chiding you over was making a statement with no facts to back it up. Yes Muslims are exponentially growing in the West but the facts clearly state the overwhelming majority of the growth is attributed to immigration and birth rates. I also pointed out the double standard visa via religious freedom in the West vs that in Islamic world. Stark examples I highlighted was the plight of Bahais in Iran, the fact every Muslim majority state categorically bans missionary work for non Muslim faiths, and the death penalty for Apostasy in Islam(yes I know the Quran does not say this but the consensus on Hadiths do.) In summary I am simply asking you to answer my questions and debate the double standard in the Islamic world respective to other faiths. It is right to point out Islam is growing in the West but you need to point out the why. You also need to take into account we have true religious freedom in the West which uniquely predisposes us to the growth of Islam. In contrast the Islamic world has aspects of Sharia codified into their laws that not only mandate but in fact institutionalize discrimination of non Muslims rendering almost entirely unable to grow their faiths. Islam being popular is not an answer.

    Thx
    Bill
    (P.S. Based on my studies to date I have come to the conclusion the Shias got it right and the Sunnis wrong. I believe this because Shias never closed the gates of Ijtihad which trapped the Sunni world in a time warp beholden to laws origninating from 700AD. The proof is the fact Shias of all Muslims, in my estimation, have been the most succesful to date and the one most likely to integrate with other cultures. In contrast the Sunni world seems beholden to Hadith(man made), rigid jurisprudence, and almost devoid of any aspect of the spirituality of Isalm(except for some Sufis.))

  299. Voice of Tehran says:

    http://www.anunews.net/

    “”Obama and the Jews: Social Engineering in the American Military and the Coming War with Iran”"

    Barack Obama’s rip-roaring foray into international Agitation-Propaganda for Empire culminated today with his address to the 101st Airborne of Fort Campbell, Kentucky, subsequent to the alleged killing of Osama bin Laden last week in Pakistan. It had all the elements of George W. Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” shtick from May of 2003, minus a Presidential landing on an American aircraft carrier. The rest of the script, and the unfolding tragedy the script is unsuccessful in obscuring for the 1% of the American population that can actually think on occasion, remain painfully identical.
    //http://mark1marti2.wordpress.com/2011/05/06/obama-and-the-jews-social-engineering-in-the-american-military-and-the-coming-war-with-iran/

  300. Rehmat says:

    The British Israel lobby and the so-called ‘anti-Zionist’ groups had campaigned for weeks against holding an anti-Israel panel meeting at the University of Westminster Campus (London, UK). The topic of the debate was ‘Jewishness and Israeli criminality’. The debate, scheduled on May 3 made a huge success.

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2011/05/08/london-panel-jewishness-and-israeli-criminality/

  301. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Nephew of Sadat killer returns to Egypt from Iran

    (AP) – 9 hours ago

    CAIRO (AP) — The nephew of President Anwar Sadat’s assassin and son of a wanted Islamist returned to Egypt for the first time in two decades on Saturday after Egypt’s new leaders removed him and others from an entry blacklist in an apparent shift in policy.

    Khaled el-Islambouli returned with his wife, two children and three siblings after getting travel documents from the Egyptian Embassy in Turkey, Cairo airport officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to reporters.

    The ruling military council that took control of Egypt from ousted President Hosni Mubarak has removed nearly 2,000 people from a list of Egyptians barred from entering the country. Other officials said many more Egyptians remain barred from entry, and a separate blacklist for foreigners remains in place.

    Some, like el-Islambouli and his family, were not sought by authorities but had been included on the list under Mubarak’s rule as a way to pressure their wanted relatives. Most of those barred from entry were Islamists who traveled to Pakistan and Afghanistan in the 1980s to join the fight against the Soviet forces that invaded Afghanistan.

    After a wave of attacks by Islamists in Egypt in the 1990s, Mubarak’s government had decided to prevent them from returning to Egypt and also included their families.

    An expert in Islamic movements said allowing the return of family members who are not wanted eliminates a policy that some had blamed for radicalizing Islamists and turning them against Egypt’s leaders.

    “Denying those who fought in Afghanistan in the 1980s, known as Arab Afghans, was one of the reasons why al-Qaida came into being in the first place,” said Ammar Ali Hassan.

    Hassan described the change as a “humanitarian gesture.”

    Some security officials worry that allowing such a large number of former Jihadists to return to Egypt may pose a security a risk. But Ammar said their return could also provide a trove of intelligence information on those who are wanted.

    El-Islambouli left Egypt at the age of 2. He is the nephew of the man who killed Sadat in 1981, whose name is also Khaled el-Islambouli.

    The airport officials said he had been living in Iran, where his wanted father, Mohammed el-Islambouli, is also believed to be living.

    His father is one of a number of Egyptians Mubarak’s regime had wanted extradited from Iran. He is wanted in connection with attacks in Egypt in the 1990s. The extradition issue was one of several that further soured relations between Iran and Mubarak’s government.

    Iran first cut diplomatic ties after Egypt signed a peace agreement with Israel in 1979 and provided asylum for the deposed Iranian Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi.

    The interim government that took office after the fall of Mubarak has said it is ready to open a new page with Iran. It is not clear if el-Islambouli’s return is related.

  302. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Bussed-in-Professor:

    My hat’s off to you, for single-handedly taking on a whole barrage of bullshit, and doing a magnificent job at it. A tour de force performance. I especially enjoyed teh way you dispensed with Bill. Masha’llah, subhanallah, wa’lhamdu li’lah!

  303. Empty says:

    RE: “It has nothing to do with Iran-US relations or middle east geopolitics.”

    What do norms, daily practices, cultures, and values have anything to do with geopolitics, ongoing war with the Moslem people, and the war front that keeps on expanding? Who really cares who does what to whom, how often, and when? Why do all roads end up leading to metaphorical Rome? Why would an Iranian-born game designer get overt and covert support to design the game 1979: The Game for a global youth? He aims, according to himself, to show that “there are no good guys” and that an Afghani plumber who is working to feed his three kids and is attacked by the US and thinks of the US soldiers as bad guys is morally equivalent to the US solider who thinks he is the good guy and is attacking the Afghani plumber believing he is the bad guy.[1] What has a video game got anything to do with geopolitics? Why would US Navy SEALs which, 32 years ago, had undergone major “Declawing” all of a sudden get their own reality show “Geronimo EKIA” and their first screening in Casablanca? What difference does it make what women wear in Iran or elsewhere and how much of their body they show or don’t show?

    Let’s consult some sources. First, the United States’ own unclassified “Human Terrain Team” Handbook [2].

    “The human dimension is the very essence of irregular warfare environments. Understanding local cultural, political, social, economic, and religious factors is crucial to successful counter-insurgency and stability operations, and ultimately, to success in the war on terror. In stability operations and irregular warfare, the human aspect of the environment becomes central to mission success. Information on social groups and their interests, beliefs, leaders, and the drivers of individual and group behavior is needed to conduct effective counterinsurgency operations. The expertise for conducting research and analysis to provide valid and objective information on these topics are highly specialized in the social sciences. Social science research of a host nation’s population produces a knowledge base that is referred to as the Human Terrain, or ‘The element of the operational environment encompassing the cultural, sociological, political and economic factors of the local population’………….“Some regions locally produce a compilation of salient regional news items from Arab media and translate them into English (i.e. The Baghdad Mosquito)………….the optimum composition of the [data collection] team would include at least one member of the team will speak the language of the area of operation, one member will be a subject-matter expert of the area, and one team member will be a female (to allow the team access to the 50% of the population frequently overlooked in military operations)…..”[2].

    That reminds me, how is the trial for the American “hikers” going? Did Sarah something or the other go back for her trial?

    I digress.

    Continuing with HTT quotes…. “Certain forbidding areas have been closed to direct social and cultural research for decades. The availability of social scientists with extensive field experience in these areas is presently lacking. Until a time when social science can be conducted more freely in regions where HTTs are deployed, the HTA supplements the Social Scientist’s methodological expertise with a cultural and regional expertise……….Human Terrain comprises the entire spectrum of society and culture. This should be the focus of the HTA’s interpretation. In non-kinetic roles, the population is the primary battlefield, and the HTA will have considerable knowledge of this aspect. The HTA will need to determine how to win the support of the local population, how a certain COA will mitigate distrust between the local population, and will use their extensive familiarity with all aspects of the local society and culture to make those determinations. “So What?” Regardless of the task, the HTA should be continually asking himself/herself this question. The HTA needs to bear in mind how their analysis or conclusions are relevant to the needs and success of the unit, and how their analysis and conclusions satisfy the tasking. This is particularly important in self-initiated products, like assessments and media summaries” [2].

    And they should add blogs, websites and message boards such as this one.
    Regarding women’s dress…… “The paradox of being a subject (mind) and an object (body) has created much anxiety in the modern woman. While she may exercise her mind (subject) options while attempting to create a more “meaningful” lifestyle, she will still generally experience anxiety about her basic sexual desirability, herself as an object. This anxiety can be allayed only by successfully attracting and keeping a man. Thus, the American female continues to try to enhance her physical attractiveness through her selection of clothing and her use of make-up. Her efforts are designed to make herself, as closely as possible, into a stereotype of the cultural ideal of feminine beauty rather than to enhance her own unique physical appearance” [3].

    [1] ;http://www.joystiq.com/2011/02/16/1979-the-game/
    [2] ;http://www.vho.org/aaargh/fran/livres9/humterrainhandbo.pdf
    [3] Storm P. (1986). Functions of Dress: Tool of Culture and the Individual. Prentice Hall College Division Publishing, 1st Edition.

  304. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Fiorangela says:
    May 7, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    Arthur Koestler’s Thieves in teh Night adn of course Leon Uris’s Exodus can be added to the category of Bullshit “Historical” Novels too…

    BTW, I loved the Bacon analogy your brought up. How insightful!

  305. Fiorangela says:

    James Canning, I have an interest in the role of the Italian city states in the Crusades — which might actually be more appropriately said the other way: the Crusades did much to enable the prosperity of the Italian city states.

    But for numerous reasons, I view with great skepticism histories written by Jewish persons. If that strikes you as bigoted, so be it. The fault is not mine but should lay at the feet of that host of Jewish authors who have written history as propaganda to demonize others and to glorify the Jewish people. Michael Oren comes to mind; Benny Morris is in the category; the author of “The Crooked Road to Auschwitz” is among the propagandists-as-historians; the Kagans have made a cottage industry of writing history that is really propaganda.

    I quoted Gilad Atzmon in an earlier post; the Jewish people have a tendency to write history without reference to facts or documents, and in order to serve some internal or inter-community purpose, rather than to provide enlightenment and, to use W H Auden’s term, “accurate scholarship.” One example of how history is distorted by failing to incorporate all the facts is found in a series of lectures by Robert Weiner on the nineteenth century in Europe: Weiner does not include a rigorous discussion of zionism, or a serious examination of the Rothschilds, both of which arose in that period and were a major influence on decisions made by other states that caused the deaths of millions of people and the expenditures of vast sums of treasure and wasted productive effort.

    Furthermore, as Israel Shahak has described, and as Raisin has substantiated in “The History of the Haskalah Movement in Russia,” the vast majority of Jewish people in Europe did not emerge from semi-literate status until the mid- to late-18th century; far from being part of that ferment, they rode the coattails of the Renaissance and the enlightenment kick-started by Francis Bacon, the greatest transformation in thinking that western civilization has known. On the other hand, by the time that most Jewish authors cite as the era of “Jewish emancipation,” around 1780, Filangieri was already wrestling with concepts of morality and law and governance, and the Founding Fathers of the United States were corresponding with him and shaping the United States Constitutional republic on the processes and ideas of Bacon’s revolution and Filangieri’s intellectual framework.

    Most Jewish thinkers do not comprehend, or refuse to submit to, the new thinking process that Bacon set in motion. To use one of Bacon’s favorite metaphors, most Jewish intellectuals are “spider” thinkers: they manufacture a substance from within their own minds, without necessary relation to the facts of nature or of reality, and spin their stuff in a bid to invent reality, but all they invent is a web that ensnares and is ultimately too fragile to stand the test of time and human betterment. The Enlightened intellect, Bacon argued, is more like a bee, that gathers pollen from sources throughout the world of nature, and processes the pollen/information logically, to arrive at theories about the nature of reality and the reality of nature.

  306. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    fyi,
    Khak tu saret, idiots like you have been predicting the downfall of the IRI for 32 years and counting, come on smart ass give us a date when this disaster is going to end, at least Soros gave us a date…come on hot shot give us a date for when the nekbat is going to end, otherwise shut it…

  307. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    masoud,
    The owners of the site don’t want to change the format of allowing open debate despite requests for other formats, maybe they have their reasons…

    As to your very relevant point about Iran-US relations, the Leverett’s think the US should come to terms with Islamic Republic as it is, I think the two countries are not capable of having a healthy relationship for another 20-30 years given the reality of their past and that the current situation is good for Iran (for reasons I have explained before).

    Please tell us your take if it is not the usual pie-in the sky naive repetitive shit seen so often on this and other fora.

  308. fyi says:

    masoud says: May 7, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    The roots of the political crisis of 2009 must be sought on the Islamic Disaster in Iran.

    The vote for Mr. Mousavi – 13 million – was a vote against that nekbat.

    As the pharisee leaders of the Islamic Republic continue insisting on their foolishness, the crisis will again and again reappear and with more severity.

    This Islamic Disater will not last.

  309. masoud says:

    Persian Gulf, BiB, FYI etc..

    My opinion:

    Enough with the shit show. It’s become much too repetitive. It has nothing to do with Iran-US relations or middle east geopolitics. You’re not going to resolve anything no matter how long you keep going back and forth(not that anyone really knows what you’re arguing about anymore anyway), and this conversation only decreases the signal to noise ratio on this site. You can just as easily agree to disagree or exchange emails and take this conversation offline.

  310. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Seyyed Persian Gulf,
    The hell for hypocrite Seyyed’s is the worst one, not fun at all. My condolences on the shahadat of our mother Hazrat Zahra (sa)

    I never implied you were raped, I said it was bad that they forced you to pray. I think you misunderstood. Also like I said I don’t give a rat’s ass what you do at home but it’s good that you hypocritically pray in public, at least you keep the image and that’s good enough. At least you are smart enough to “respect the norm” as you call it.

    Also I never conceded 15-20 % youth religiosity. You keep saying that the youth are not religious but it’s not true. Did you go out today on shadahat of Hazrat Zahra (sa)? Oh yes I forgot everybody who was out was just out hypocritically because they were forced to…

    Maybe in “your region”- wherever that is- they won’t go out to defend Ayat. Khamenei, but in “my region” north Tehran there are enough who will- and remember this is supposed to be the base of the opposition.

    Also I don’t what you mean by misuse of religion in order to get power, Imam (r) from before the revolution said the goal is Islamic government and that non-Muslims don’t have the legal right to claim sovereignty in Iran. Very clear and straightforward. Then when he came to Qom he said the majority want Islamic rule and what a bunch of intellectuals want is unimportant. And to this day the majority want Islamic rule and Velayate Faqih- with the exception of your region of course.

    One final point Seyyed, never ever forget that historically in Iran the Mullah always wins and your generation is not gonna change that…

    fyi,
    As usual you are confused, I said it is permissible to lie when the goal is defending the religion, not that it is permissible to lie period. As usual you have a hard time with simple logical arguments like it is permissible to commit a lesser evil in order to maintain or protect a larger good. Surely you agree with this ( as any sane person would). Also believe me nothing of what you have said so far has been so threatening as to require me to lie about anything.

    Also, your use of the rape-chastity analogy was lame, so I reminded you of the Imams advice not use analogies- and yes the Imams are authoritative and appealing to them is your and my only hope given our barren record of good deeds…

    Bill,
    Gee what was I thinking, how foolish of me to look at the last thirty years in Europe and the US and think that Islam is becoming popular, to look at every freaking election in Muslim countries and think that people voting for Islamic parties means they are becoming atheists. You are right no evidence whatsoever, I’ll email the folks at the “Global Islamic Statistics Center” and get those numbers to you right away…

    Also, as to giving reasons why to become Muslim- what’s the point of debating with a person who has already decided not to accept any reasons that would be offered. Maybe one of the reasons for becoming Muslim is that it asks you to increase your humility as your knowledge increases. If that one doesn’t work for you, how about because it allows me to chop the head off atheists who come from over the horizon and occupy our land and take our oil…that one one works for me…

  311. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    and I have a great interest in the role of the Italian city states in the Crusades.

  312. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    Which one? I read a lot of histories of London.

  313. Persian Gulf says:

    nahid:

    واقعیت اینه که مجلس ایران الان طویله ای بیش نیست(بجز یه اقلیت اندکی). یه اکثریت دستمال بدستی که فقط چند تا افسار و قلاده کم دارند(نمی دونم چرا از دفتر نماینده خداوند در روی زمین نمیفرستند براشون). مجلس بعدی احتمالا همین رو نخواهد داشت و میشه کلا اسمش رو تغییر داد به “طویله شواری اسلامی ایران” یا همان “سینه چاکان بی لیاقت در خدمت رهبری نایب امام زمان”.

    وقتی میگم جمهوری نگاه گوسفندی به ملت ایران داره یعنی همین. موقع انتخاب که شد مجلس در راس امور هست در زمان تبلیغات مخصوصا تو اون تلوزیون ضد ملی ضرقامی. اصلا وقتی انتخابات حداقل آزادی رو نداره اسمش رو نمیشه انتخابات گذاشت. تو تاریخ بهمون گفتند دوره پهلوی مجلس فرمایشی بود و شاه عملا انتخاب می کرد. الان چه فرقی با اون موقع داره؟ من مطمعن هستم نسلهای بعدی تو تاریخ به همین عبارات راجع به طویله آقای خامنه ای بر می خورند.

  314. Persian Gulf says:

    fyi says:
    May 7, 2011 at 11:47 am

    “I think their wealth, or rather the concern about their wealth, is symptomatic of the lack of economic grwoth and development in Iran.”

    well, I am not sure of the first part, it could be. however, I kind of disagree with you about the second part. the lack of growth is not a substitute for accepting rampant corruption. the fact that we are not as productive as other countries does not mean to accept corruption at face. or let’s say, even if our economic growth was something tangible, we would still needed to be concerned about the fate of those money in various foundations.

  315. nahid says:

    ● واقعاً چه شد که فقط ظرف چندهفته؛ احمدی‌نژاد به درجه‌ی «فراماسونربودن» مفتخر و «خطر احمدی‌نژاد» (که از شش‌سال پیش فهمیده شده بود!) یک‌مرتبه اعلام شد؟!

    اگر خاطرتان باشد؛ آقای احمدی‌نژاد در اولین کنفرانس مطبوعاتی‌اش در سال جدید خبر داد که «فهرست 250 نفره‌ای از مفسدان اقتصادی» را تهیه و به قوه‌ی قضائیه ارسال کرده و در انتظار رسیدگی به جرائم و تخلفات این عده و گزارش نتایج این رسیدگی به ملت است.

    که گویا فهرست مزبور، شامل «نام برخی چهره‌های موسوم به اصولگرا» نیز بوده است. این را از این بخش از یک گزارش «سایت سبز دینی آینده» بفهمید که نوشته است: [...گرچه بعد از این اقدام احمدی‌نژاد، زمزمه‌هایی مبنی بر «عجیب بودن اقدام وی» به گوش رسید و برخی شایع كردند رییس دولت به‌جای ارسال «فهرست مفسدان اقتصادی» و پرونده‌های آنان به دستگاه قضایی؛ نام «برخی از رقبا و منتقدین خود را كه از بزرگان جریان اصولگرایی هستند» به عنوان مفسد اقتصادی اعلام كرده است...].

    و اگر خاطرتان باشد، به محض اعلام‌شدن این موضوع از سوی رئیس‌جمهور؛ هم سخنگوی قوه‌ی قضائیه (حجت‌الاسلام محسنی اژه‌ای) و هم رئیس سازمان بازرسی کل کشور (حجت‌الاسلام پورمحمدی) در مصاحبه‌هایی رسانه‌ای اظهارداشتند که: [برخی از نام‌های موجود در فهرست احمدی‌نژاد، مربوط به «پرونده های مختومه» هستند و برخی نیز بدهكاران بانكی هستند كه وصول مطالبات دولت از آنان باید توسط دولت پیگیری شود]. و جالب‌تر اینکه مدعی شدند: [«در فهرست 250 نفره‌ (ی ارسالی از سوی رئیس‌جمهور) مفسد اقتصادی وجود ندارد»!].

    که دوست اسلامگرایی، به شوخی و درحالی‌که به‌شدت خنده‌اش گرفته بود، در این‌باره بهم ‌گفت: لابد همه‌شان از «خیرین مدرسه‌ساز» بوده‌اند که احمدی‌نژاد اشتباهی اسم‌شان را به‌عنوان «مفسد اقتصادی» گزارش کرده بوده!

    حالا که این بخش از مطلب را خواندید؛ بد نیست این آمار را هم (به‌نقل از روزنامه‌ی کیهان) از «چگونگی توزیع ثروت در جمهوری اسلامی» بخوانید: [براساس آمار منابع آگاه، بيش از ۵۰ هزار ميليارد تومان درجيب ۳۰۰ فرد حقيقي و حقوقي قرار گرفته است].

    که با توجه به اینکه مطابق آخرین آمار رئیس‌کل بانک مرکزی جمهوری اسلامی، «حجم کل نقدینگی کشور نزدیک به 250 هزار میلیارد تومان است»؛ می‌توان این‌طور نتیجه گرفت که: درحالی‌که «200 هزارمیلیارد تومان» در تملک «هفتاد و چهار میلیون و نهصد و نود و نه هزار و هفتصد نفر» قراردارد؛ ‌ «50 هزار میلیارد تومان» در تملک «300 نفر» قرار داده شده است»! [به ازای «هر نفر از جمهور مردم»: دو نیم میلیون تومان؛ به ازای «هر نفر خیر مدرسه‌ساز!»: 166 میلیاردتومان!/ واقعیت این است که: حتا در مهارگسیخته‌ترین نظام‌های کاپیتالیستی هم چنین توزیع سرمایه‌ی ظالمانه‌ای وجود ندارد].

    خب این مسئله، معنی دیگری هم می‌تواند داشته باشد جز اینکه:
    «احمدی‌نژاد فراماسون و ضد انقلاب است که برمی‌دارد اسم یک‌عده خیر مدرسه‌ساز که پرونده‌شان مختومه شده بوده را به عنوان بدهکاران کلان بانکی و مفسد اقتصادی مطرح می‌کند»؟!

    ● قبل از عیدِ همین امسال بود که آقای احمدی‌نژاد در جمعی گفت: «چیزهایی در سینه‌ی من هست که اگر فقط بخشی از آن را به مردم بگویم، خیلی‌ها جائی برای مخفی‌شدن در ایران پیدا نخواهند کرد».

    و چه‌بسا به همین جهت باشد که آقای «محمدرضا باهنر» و برخی دیگر از «دلسوزان نظام»؛ به‌دنبال تصویب طرحی در بهارستان هستند که برای کنارگذاشتن رئیس‌جمهور، نیازی به حضور وی در مجلس نباشد و بهارستان‌نشینان محترم بتوانند بدون شنیدن دفاعیات رئیس‌جمهور، بی‌معطلی، رای به عدم کفایتش بدهند چون وضعیت «امرجنسی»‌ست!

    خب حق هم همین است. شما بگوئید: کسی که فراماسون است؛ اصلاً نوبت به رسیدگی به کفایت یا عدم کفایتش می‌رسد؟! یا: اصلاً باید نشست و به دفاعیه‌اش گوش داد؟!

    ● یاد لطیفه‌ای افتادم که در دهه‌ی نورانی شصت سر زبان‌ها افتاده بود و کنایه داشت به سوء‌استفاده‌ی برخی اشخاص از ولایت فقیه برای کوبیدن هرشخصی که اندک انتقادی به سیستم حکومتی وارد می‌کرد. این لطیفه که:

    شخصی داشت نماز می‌خواند و مشغول قنوت هم بود. کسی که از کنارش می‌گذشت بهش گفت: اخوی نمازت قبول نیست. قبله کاملاً در خلاف جهتی‌ست که تو ایستاده‌ای!
    طرف که آدم فرصت‌طلبی بود، فرصت را مغتنم دید و انگار که همچنان به دعای دست مشغول باشد، به صدای بلند گفت: درود بر رزمندگان اسلام. سلام بر شهیدان. مرگ بر ضد ولایت فقیه. مرگ بر منافقین و صدام….
    افزونه:
    سکوت آقای احمدی‌نژاد در بر حملات ناجوانمردانه و بعضاً غیراخلاقی و گاه ضداخلاقی برخی بازیگران سیاسی در «سبز دینی راست»؛ سکوتی هوشمندانه و به‌غایت راهگشاست. سکوتی که در تمام دوسال گذشته و در برابر «زشت‌ترین توهین‌ها و تهمت‌های پاره‌ی چپ الیگارشی صنفی – خانوادگی» هم نشکست. این فوق‌العاده است و به شعله‌ی فروزانی می‌ماند که پارافین شمع را ذوب می‌کند و روی دستان کسانی می‌چکاند که این آتش را تعمداً روشن کردند.

    http://www.goftamgoft.com/?Pn=view&id=958

  316. Fiorangela says:

    thanks for the rec to the Financial Times article, James.

    tell me this: how receptive would you be to a history of London by an Irish Catholic?

  317. James Canning says:

    Fior,

    BTW, you might enjoy Simon Sebag-Montefiore’s review of the new history of the Mediterranean, in the weekend Financial Times today. Pisa and Genoa get more credit for their roles in the Crusades than is typically the case. (Simon is a member of one of the grand English Jewish families.)

  318. Fiorangela says:

    James Canning, we disagree, and the facts favor my version of events.

  319. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    The great financial power of the Rothschilds and related families was not brought to bear on England, in an effort to force Britain to create a Jewish state carved out of the Ottoman Empire. British leaders, including Arthur Balfour, appear to have given more weight to the power and influence of international Jewry to affect the outcome of the war than was warranted by the facts. But Britain was also promising Russia control of the Straits, in a desperate bid to keep the Russian Empire in the war after the overthrow of the monarchy in early 1917. (Preventing Russian control of the Straits was a primary element of British foreign policy for well over the preceding century.)

  320. Fiorangela says:

    Rehmat, I think taxpayers should see a far deeper problem in this latest manifestation of Foxmania: (from your link at

    “The City University of New York (CUNY), has withdrawn its offer of an honorary degree to the award-winning Jewish playwright Tony Kushner by bowing to its Jewish trustee Jeffrey Wiesenfeld’s campaign. Jeffrey Wiesenfeld, an investment banker and former Republican Party aide, claims that Kushner had described the removal of Palestinians in order to create Israel as an act of ethnic cleansing and supported a boycott of the state.”

    City University of New York is a public, that is, taxpayer supported, university. It is not the neighborhood synagogue or community center, it is a public university for ALL the citizens/taxpayers.

    “The Free Academy founded by Townsend Harris in 1847 was changed into the City College the same year, creating the centerpiece for the CUNY system to emerge in the 20th century. City College was the head of New York City’s early university system, adding Hunter College in 1870 and Baruch College in 1919. The City College system continued to evolve throughout the 20th century, including the fusion of the Hunter College and City College campuses in Queens into Queens College in 1937.

    Creating the CUNY System

    The individual legislative mandates for Hunter College, City College and other public universities in New York City allowed each school to control its budget and admissions policies. This institutional freedom became problematic as university ranks swelled with veterans enrolling at schools under the GI Bill. The CUNY system was created in 1961 by the state legislature to coordinate local and state educational requirements. The inaugural members of the CUNY system in 1961 included 10 institutions such as Hunter College, City College, Baruch College, Brooklyn College and Queensborough Community College.

    CUNY Policies on Tuition and Enrollment

    CUNY colleges and universities offered free tuition from 1847 until a budgetary shortfall in 1975 forced each institution to levy tuitions.” http://www.ehow.com/about_5084423_history-cuny-colleges.html

    In “They Knew They Were Right,” Jakob Heilbrunn explains that the first neocons were Trotskyite first or second generation Jewish immigrants who were angry that they had not been admitted to Yale or Harvard and had to settle for tuition-free education at CUNY. There they organized their own kind of debating society and honed the ideologies and debate-as-combat tactics that have come to dominate the American neoconservative movement. :http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/KnewT As the dustup over Kushner’s honorary degree from CUNY suggests, Jewish people now appear to consider CUNY their own; the standards of academic freedom and of robust examination of all sides of an issue appear to have been subordinated to maintaining the Jewish narrative.

    Israeli born musician and writer Gilad Atzmon uses his considerable talent, time, and passion to inform people of the unique nature of Jewish historiography:

    “For the nationalist and political Jew, history is a pragmatic tale, it is an elastic account. It is foreign to any scientific or academic method. Jewish history transcends itself beyond factuality, truthfulness or correspondence rules with any given vision of reality. It also repels integrity or ethics. It by far prefers total submission, instead of creative and critical thinking. Jewish history is a phantasmic tale that is there to make the Jews happy and the Goyim behave themselves. It is there to serve the interests of one tribe and that tribe only. In practice, from a Jewish perspective, the decision whether there was an Armenian genocide or not is subject to Jewish interests: is it good for the Jews or is it good for Israel.” :http://www.gilad.co.uk/writings/truth-history-and-integrity-by-gilad-atzmon.html

    In a more recent essay, Atzmon argued that this self-serving method of doing history leads to dangerous and unethical decision being made:

    At the moment our history books are sealed and cemented. We cannot engage in a real study of our most relevant past and we are therefore denied the right to consider its meaning.
    Consequently, we have failed to encompass the real ethical meaning of world war II and the holocaust in particular. Similarly, we are silenced when it comes to the events that led towards the 2nd Iraq War.
    We are supposed to wait for the current Iraq Inquiry with the almost absurd hope that rabid Zionist Martin Gilbert will be kind enough to show us the truth.

    With history being squashed it is hardly surprising that the same people who flattened Hamburg, Pforzheim, Dresden, Hiroshima and Nagasaki continued to do the same in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq.

    Similarly, the same lobbies that pushed Britain and America to a deadly confrontation with the Muslim world are now pushing us to flatten Iran.” :http://www.gilad.co.uk/writings/give-history-a-chance-by-gilad-atzmon.html

    Incredibly, or to take it to a personal level, to my despair, when Atzmon attempted to demonstrate to an Aspen, Colorado-based radio talk show host why Jewish dominance of the media and think tanks — and I would add universities — is dangerous for the United States, for Israel, and the world, the Aspen jockey used the same combat tactics as the original neocons at CUNY to distract, deflect, distort, and deride Atzmon’s arguments, in favor of defending the acts of billionaires such as Haim Saban who have stated their intention and singular goal of subverting American media and intellectual discourse, to further the agenda of Jews and of Israel. :http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xWDz5xw8PKU

    Jewish people and organizations have taken to themselves the right to impose on the rest of the people of the United States the obligation to censor their thinking and speech to conform with Jewish requirements. CAMERA, the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, is a prime example of this pattern of the Jewishization of American discourse. CAMERA monitors C Span programming, and keeps a running tally of the offenses of moderators on Washington Journal. The effect started out as merely chilling the conversation, forcing moderators to short-circuit comments critical of Israel or risk the ire of CAMERA. I’ve watched as the frog was boiled, and noticed that about ten days ago, CAMERA even damned information that a caller read from a Jewish-based source and cited the source! :http://www.camera.org/index.asp?x_context=2&x_outlet=35&x_article=1999

    The frog croaked this past week. C Span’s devolution to a propaganda organ of what Andrew Bacevich calls the trinitarian doctrine of the long war, was on display Monday through Saturday as C Span urged callers to triumph in the killing of Osama bin Laden, a post-Easter celebration of the cult of killing culminating in this caller’s comment which opened the Washington Journal program this morning. At 7:05am a male caller boasted to the C Span audience, “I’m willing to compromise my principles in order to go after those savages. We need to go after those people to win this war.”

    _________

    This is not the first time the world has been overwhelmed with a controlled and hyperbolized historical narrative that was used with propagandist intent to induce people to “compromise their principles in order to go after those savages.”

    In 1933 the American Jewish Committee published “The Jews in Nazi Germany: The Factual Record of Their Persecution by the National Socialists” :http://www.scribd.com/doc/35220890/The-Jews-in-NAZI-Germany .

    In the Forward, the AJC wrote: “In the following pages are presented the facts regarding the acts of oppression and violence from which the Jews of Germany have suffered, and the degradation to which they are now being subjected under the present regime. These facts are submitted to the judgment of the public of the United States in the light of traditional American principles of justice and fair play.

    New York, June 19, 1933”

    The “oppression . . .violence . . .degradation” of which AJC complained included LIMITS on the number of Jewish people who might enroll in German schools to no more than 1.5 times the proportion of Jews in the population.

    Let’s make that point crystal clear: The German government, answerable to the German people, taxpayers who support German schools, enacted laws to limit the number of Jewish people who could enroll in German schools to 1.5 times the number of Jews in the population. A “violent” and “oppressive” act indeed.

    Other acts of “violence and oppression” against the Jewish people in Germany included removing from employment in Germany’s taxpayer-supported schools, Jewish people who were not part of Germany in 1914.

    Note the date of the publication of this complaint by AJC – June, 1933.
    In March 1933 the same American Jewish Committee declared war on the German people. The intent of the Jewish-declared war on Germany was to destroy Germany’s economy and to cause starvation among the German people. “Biting sanctions.”

    In an atmosphere in which the Jewish people had undertaken a worldwide propaganda campaign to both incite hatred of Germans and, indeed, to destroy the German economy and starve the German people, Jewish people complained that Jews were “violated and oppressed and degraded” because Germans reduced the opportunities for Jewish people to retain employment in German institutions.

    ____

    This morning’s 7:05 caller who was “willing to compromise his principles” will not be noted by CAMERA, but this later caller’s comment might be; at 7:10 am a caller reminded the C Span host that bin Laden had given two reasons that incited the attack on 9/11, the presence on Islamic lands of western military, and the oppression of the Palestinians by Israel. The caller repeated and insisted that the truth of the Israeli oppression of the Palestinians must be told.

    I understand CAMERA’s anxiety. If the truth of the Israeli oppression of Palestinians, which is playing out in plain sight, is covered up and lied about in American media, and truth-tellers sanctioned by American taxpayer-supported institutions like CUNY, at the behest of Jewish power brokers, what other truths have been similarly concealed?

    Abraham is not my father, but three religions call him father. Father Abraham was willing to compromise his principles — to lie about the identity of his wife — in order to gain a political advantage.

    The Gospel of John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, teaches that “You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free.”

    Thomas Jefferson studied Hebrew in order to be able to read the Hebrew scriptures; he found them wanting in moral development. Jefferson studied the New Testament with similar care, and concluded the teaching and example of Jesus of Nazareth achieved the highest moral standard the world has known. That is what Thomas Jefferson had in mind when the United States was established; that is the legacy of the American people; that is the decision the American people must now make: Shall we “compromise our principles in order to go after savages,” or shall we seek the truth which will set us free?

  321. fyi says:

    Persian Gulf says: May 7, 2011 at 11:22 am

    I often though about the wealth in various waqf instruments and also the Foundations.

    I think their wealth, or rather the concern about their wealth, is symptomatic of the lack of economic grwoth and development in Iran.

    If Iran had the per capita income of South Korea of 27,240 dollar per year, then her GDP per year would have been close to 2 trillion dollars a year as opposed to the current size of about 0.9 trillion dollars a year.

    [See http://siteresources.worldbank.org/DATASTATISTICS/Resources/GNIPC.pdf

    That is the reason, in my opinion, that so many people in Iran concern themselves with these foundations; the country is not as productive as it should be [compare to resourceless Korea] and the population is sharply focused on price of oil and wealth distribution, in contradistinction to wealth generation.

  322. fyi says:

    Bill says: May 7, 2011 at 8:48 am

    You are wasting your time.

    Mr. Bussed-in Basiji’s statements cannot be relied upon; by his own admission, he will lie.

  323. fyi says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says: May 7, 2011 at 3:23 am

    Appeal to Authority will not help your position.

    Where in the Quran have Believers are advised to lie?

    I suppose Summaya should have lied, instead of dying, no?

  324. Persian Gulf says:

    fyi says:
    May 6, 2011 at 10:26 pm

    it is not just about lie. as I said before, mostly it’s about IR seeing Iranians as sheep. election is good bc they need the vote, once it’s done, everything dies down and they system is not willing to accept democratic norm and open up to the values itself promoting a few weeks ealier. 22 Bahman time, please come to the streets, enemies are watching us. once it’s done and they got the pics, everything goes back to what it was. same goes for war, sanctions…. the people in power in today’s Iran don’t see average Iranian with respect and don’t see them genuine enough to be in equal footing.

    Mr.Khamenei’s case need not be mentioned. btw, my parents participated in a the revolution to MAINLY cut the corruption of the regime; to say what is going on in Bonyade Pahlavi….
    Now, my question is: what is going on in Bonyade Mostazafan? Mostazafans only recently have got about 40$ per month in their pockets from our oil money. isn’t it Mr.Khamenei’s DIRECT responsibility to answer the question? Bonyad, as far as I heard a few years ago, holds nearly 25% of Iran’s economic. and it’s not responsible to the elected government of Iran. same goes for Astane Ghodse Razavi, Setade Ezraei Farmane Hazrate Emam, Sazmane Haj va Oghaf, Firday prayers’ offices (and many more)… which are under the direct mandate of Khamenei and not the government. what is going on in those institutions? what happened to all those big money in the past 2 decades of his rule? Khamenei has the power to control the media, to be specific TVs. he has the control of the army and changes the ranks at will…. He himself rules as a king (his words are final.it was just emphasised yesterday by one of his many stooges;i.e.Akhond Seddighi). no wonder he got the hate, rightly so, of the population for all that is going wrong in the country. the average people are not dumb. they see how Khamenei and his stooges are ruining the great country of Iran and plunge its enormous wealth.

  325. Persian Gulf says:

    Anonymous says:
    May 6, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    First of all I am not a disbeliever (it’s too soon to talk about them in Islamic soceities). coincidentally, based in BiB’s belief (if any. I seriuosly doubt though) I would be a privileged person in the next world (hahaha-the hell for Seyyeds, as Mullahs say, is different. it’s not a normal one!) as I am a Seyyed (basically, a descendent of the prophet’s daughter). probably my knowledge of Ghoran ,Islamic history and philosophy is no less than this bastard but yet we are called anti-religion by these people in Iran. and I practice religion in public, not just for show off and not bc I am forced to but to respect the norm. in mosques, they probably know I don’t pray in private, but it’s acceptable to pray with a group of people if gathered for a social event.

    Secondly, we have more than the normal greetings you just mentioned (I lived in both places; through the era of the IR and the west too. you CAN NOT, by any means, compare the two system and the relative hardship IR’s norm afflicted to Iranian citizens by the ideology of people like BiB). virtually, after any speech, we were asking God to keep Khamenei alive till Hidden Imam comes! and a lot more. these stuff don’t bother people. praying being optional is not something that we opposed to but to ask about it and to elevate it as the major criteria to get a job done, yes We are opposed to it. what I am talking about is religion being used as tool to go through every aspect of Iranians’ life. otherwise, it’s crystal clear that in a society like Iran religion has some positive consequences. these people have used religion, or their interpretation of religion, as a tool to stay on power, grab the wealth of this nation, and live the way only they feel confortatble with. anybody complaining is, in their view, either disbeliever, part of the west’s conspiracy, or was raped (as BiB tried to imply)…. Please be advised that I had given a relatively high percentage of 15-20% of the new generation that practice and people like BiB didn’t dispute it (perhaps they were happy that I gave a high percentage; may be double that what it is). and remember, nearly 70% of today’s Iran is below 35. most importantly, most of those who practice are NOT wholehearted supporters of Khamenie and his ridiculous system. at best, they stay silent but won’t take to the street to defend these bastards. at least, those in my region that I know practice are not IR’s supporters. they practice bc they are religious and like to practice, that’s it. they won’t die for Khamenei. Ayatollah Khomeini’s case was different. he had the population behind him and listening to him, even willing to go to the very extra miles.

    with IR’s criteria, I am kind of sure, even prophet Mohammad would have been disqualified for most jobs in Iran had he been able to live by now. surely, he didn’t believe in Velayate Charlatanie Faghih.

    Probably, it’s the rape that these guys went through in their childhood that made them this charlatan. there is a very popular rumor in Iran which says young Mullahs (and to some extent young Basijies) get raped by their elder in the camp.

    Iran would be a perfect place, only we could not have people like BiB …Pak..Bala…Liz.

  326. I’m surprised no one has commented on the 2,000 “tribal leaders” attending the conference in Tripoli in a show of support for Qaddafi.

    The Libyan government claims that the tribes themselves, not the government, arranged the conference, and that they represent all 850 Libyan tribes. Rebel leaders pooh-pooh the claim that tribal leaders organized the conference, and claim there are only 140 tribes in Libya.

    I don’t think it matters all that much who organized it, and I’d side with the rebels on their skeptical view about that. As for how many “tribes” there are in Libya, my hunch is that the number depends on how one defines “tribe.” The key fact remains that 2,000 men, all apparently of “leaderly” age if nothing else, have collected in a large “tent” in Tripoli and are reportedly delivering speech after speech in support of Qaddafi.

    News media representatives have been encouraged to attend these events. Why aren’t they? Or why aren’t they reporting what they see and hear, if they are attending? They are certainly free to discount whatever they see and hear, but they ought at least to report it. It would be useful for all of us to get their views on a few important questions:

    Are there really 2,000 people at this conference? Are they really leaders, or actors? How many people do their tribes represent? How many of them come from rebel-held areas? Do we have reason to believe their expressed views really reflect their tribe members’ view? What ARE those expressed views, by the way?

    I would think everyone following the Libya War would be interested in learning the answers to these questions, and several more I’m undoubtedly overlooking here.

  327. Bill says:

    Bussed-in Basiji

    “Considering that Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world…” Facts? Numbers please? Sadly for you the numbers from several sources (just do you’re research online) and you will find Baha’is and Zoroastrians percentage wise are the fastest growing religions. In addition a strong case can be made that in fact Atheists are the group growing the most. The only reason Islam rates so high is because of its abnormally high birth rates respective to other faith based groups. However this trend is starting to change with birth rates declining in many parts of the Islamic world. The better question to ask is how many able bodied coherent adults actually converts to a religion. A number of reports show 10 to 20,000 convert to Islam each year in the US which by itself is quite anemic. The irony of all this is that the Islamic world keeps no statistical data on people converting away from Islam. When Ahmad Al Katani on Al Jazeera broke this taboo stating “Ever year, 6 million Muslims convert to Christianity” Al Jazeera almost as quickly as the story was posted they took it down (dead link: http://www.aljazeera.net/Portal/aspx/FNF.aspx.) The aforementioned is backed up by the fact that since 1900 to today Sub Sahara Africa has seen Christians grow to 59% of the population while Islam grabbed 29%–this is significant because of the proximity of this region to the Middle East.

    All in all I find it quite rich to make this statement with no numerical proof all the while leaving out the inconvenient truth that all of the four major Sunni and two Shia two schools of thoughts mandate the death penalty for leaving Islam. I chalk this rhetoric up to the typical saber rattling of the Islamic world that they are going take over the world as we yet again heard from Opresstv:http://www.presstv.com/detail/178554.html–Ha ha the delusions of the Iranian regime are truly epic trying to intimate their revolution will spread to Europe soon!! Maybe instead of making these spurious claims why don’t you tell us why one should choose Islam vs. other religions–that argument would be interesting to hear considering the endemic human and religious rights abuses across the Islamic world. After all the vast majority of states that actively ban or severely restrict religion happen to be Islamic ones.

    Thx
    Bill

  328. hans says:

    In Thursday’s elections in the United Kingdom, the SDP, the Scottish national party, has won many seats and they are demanding independence. Of course, the UK and US want to divide all other countries but not their own. We shall see if the Scots do get their way in this matter. Putting the US/UK alliance to the test: what is good for all the Muslim country gooses should also be good for the UK ganders. Do you think Iran should interfere and promote Scottish independence?

  329. Unknown Unknowns says:

    I guess I’ll wade into these murky waters too, seeing as Castellio implicitly equated authentic religion with a synthetic one such as the Neo-Conservative one which sprung out of his philosophy in Chicago.

    The question of when a lie is justified is an interesting one, but I would like to TRY to clear up a ubiquitous misunderstandig, and that is: the false dichotomy of a secular vs. religious state.

    The problem is definitional. If one thinks of religion the way traditional societies have done for millenia (and beyond back past the historical age, and into the pre-historical millenia of the oral tradition), i.e., if we place the name religion on that which we believe in, the truths, the values, and our general orientation to the world as we find it, our Weltenshauug, the framework and assumptions upon which our thoughts, words and acts are based; the method and User’s Manual as to how we transact our lives as individual, as a family, a clan, nation and society at large – IF we grant this definition (upon which I personally am adamant), THEN it follows that a “secular” society is one based on the(literally)synthetic religion of secular humanism, with all its modern and pre-modern assumptions, including the lexical fallacy that one can have a multiplicity of “religions” within one “secular” society.

    No, one cannot. One can have a multiplicity of life STYLES (provided they do not conflict with the basics of the society’s values), but, ultimately, one can only have one general orientation in a given society. For example, (talking of lifestyles), in the Secular Humanist Church-State aka the US, the religion/ law of the land/ User Manual did not allow, say, white women to marry black men. Currently, most sects/ states do not allow a white woman to marry another white woman – or a woman of any other color, for that matter. I understand that recently Florida has outlawed beastiality, so that a white woman cannot marry a goat. Or a father his daughter, or a man more than one wife, or a woman more than one husband (or wife), etc., etc. These are the limitations on life STYLES that currently the religion of Secular Humanism does not abide within the US.

    The synthetic religion or phyle, by the way, of secular humanism is going through a crisis right now, brought about by the fact that its adherents do not believe in God (at least, not one who is a planner and arbiter of their everyday lives, *how that life should be transacted* (that is the traditional definition of religion in a nutshell), they do not believe in a king, etc. Their only sacrament, it seems, are their Constitution, its Amendments, and the institutions that ensure legislation is enacted in accordance to them. In other words, the Rule of Law – that is the holy of holies in the modern synthetic phyle sometimes known as secular humanism. And what have Strauss’s boys, and the even more lost “left” (what a joke THAT has become) who have followed in theri footsteps done? Shredded the rule of law to pieces. Shredded the holy of holies of this synthetic phyle.

    Noone, I say no-one belives that the US acts in accordance with the rule of law in international affairs. And I dare say, noone of any long-term consequence believes that the out-of-control oligarchy that holds the reigns of power is even interested in, let alone practices daily the enforcement of the rule of law and the requirements of the constitution within teh US’s geographical boundaries.

    So please, let us not talk in terms of the false dichotomy of a secular vs. a religious state. Let us talk instead about the merits and demerits of one religion versus the next so as to clear the air of so much bullshit. Ameen.

  330. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    fyi,
    Lying to preserve religion is permitted, even wajib at times. Also as the Imams tell us, using analogies has no academic value, just serves to mix up the issues.

    Check Vol. 1 of al-Mizan and the saying by Imam Ali (as) and weep for being stuck in your own delusions.

  331. Empty says:

    RE: “One of the virtues of a secular state is that it allows the truly religious to be so…”

    I actually know of quite a few cases in secular countries in which women observing “hejab” are barred from universities, government jobs, entering public agencies, etc. Also…….

    France’s Hijab ban: ;http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/islam/hijab.html

    “Turkey has implemented a ban on the use of the Hijab, or the headscarf, in state-
    controlled areas like universities, government offices, and other public places.” [Source: ;http://www.multiculturaljournal.com/volumes/6/pdf/aydin.pdf

    For experiences in Canada, please refer to: “A Study on the Experiences of Muslim Women Wearing Hijab Applying for Work in the Manufacturing, Sales and Service Sectors.” [Source: ;http://www.settlement.org/downloads/No_Hijab_Is_Permitted_Here.pdf

  332. Empty says:

    Castellio,

    RE: “Does this suggest that only men who can get pregnant don’t fudge their resumes?”

    They actually won’t have to look for a job as they will be well paid for allowing the scientists to explore these modern miracles….:)

    *At times, punctuation can be quite important.

  333. Castellio says:

    Perhaps this has been posted before, but I didn’t notice it. Well worth watching. Gideon Levey of Haaretz in a piece called “The Punishment of Gaza”.

    http://vimeo.com/22079005

  334. Castellio says:

    Empty… I love your line “Men who can’t get pregnant fudge their resume.”

    Does this suggest that only men who can get pregnant don’t fudge their resumes?

  335. Castellio says:

    One of the virtues of a secular state is that it allows the truly religious to be so… in officially religious states it’s not only the heretics who are persecuted, the religious themselves are bundled into social expressions that don’t represent them.

  336. Empty says:

    People lie to get jobs. They deceive to keep them. They cheat to get promoted. They fib to accrue benefits. They perjure to get rich. They falsify to achieve fame. People lie about their age. If they could, they would lie about their race, too. In fact, most of those standing on racial cusps do. Pregnant women hide their pregnancies. Men who can’t get pregnant fudge their resume. Applicants to Hooters wear padded push-up bras. Visitors of Hooter take off their wedding bands. In expensive CV-writing workshops in prestigious places to prepare the true leaders of tomorrow, they teach, “do not say anything that invites prejudice.” Looks are important, too. They dress for success. They show off in excess. They show up to parties they don’t like to be noticed by the boss. They laugh at jokes because the boss is there. They attend meetings to get noted.

    People watch videos like this: ;http://video.about.com/jobsearch/Preparing-for-a-Job-Interview.htm which advise: “prepare ahead so that you don’t get a fashion disaster.” Professional sites tell people that “Embellishment is an art form that can bridge the gap between a lack of experience and the job you want.” [Source: ;http://EzineArticles.com/2133825 Simply put: Deceive.

    People read Washington Post. Tip number six tells them how to get promoted: “invest in a good screen saver. If you're in a cubicle environment and don't want everybody who wanders by to know that you have left for the day, make your office look like you'll be right back. Leave a folder of non-sensitive papers open by your computer, leave a light on and get a screen saver with official-looking work.” [Source: Washington Post, “Top 10 Tips for Getting Promoted.” Available online at: ;http://voices.washingtonpost.com/onbalance/2008/04/top_10_tips_for_getting_promot_1.html

    Tip number seven is even better: “Dress the part. It's easy to descend into wearing clothes that transition from work into the "second-shift" of child-care duties. Every week make sure to wear a few outfits that scream ‘I've got great skills and deserve this promotion.’” [Ibid.]

    Point #1: People should live simply, honestly, and authentically.

    A lot of people go after government jobs. But loyalty is so important. On March 27, 1947, President Harry S. Truman, for example, “issued an executive decree establishing a sweeping loyalty investigation of federal employees.” [Source: ;http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/truman-orders-loyalty-checks-of-federal-employees . More recently (in January 2009 to be exact), Executive Order 13488 established that ‘‘Fitness determination’’ means a decision by an agency that an individual has or does not have the required level of character and conduct necessary to perform work for or on behalf of a Federal agency as an employee in the excepted service (other than a position subject to suitability) or as a contractor employee.” [Source: ;http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/pdf/E9-1574.pdf ]

    Surely, government would like to hire employees who they think best operationalizes the theoretical underpinning of their systems. Would a capitalist hire a communist? Would a weapon manufacturing company hire a peace activists? Would a pharmaceutical company hire a holistic healer? Why do people think that an Islamic government should hire mini-skirt wearing, non-practicing, agnostic or atheist?

    Point #2: No system would be considered smart if it adopts policies that openly undermines its core values.

  337. Fiorangela says:

    James Canning, it is my understanding that Baron Rothschild was director of the Bank of London; that Rothschilds had lent money to Great Britain to fight one of its wars; that England could not repay the note; that Palestine was collateral; that the whole Weizman-invented – chordite – and – saved the day for England so England said thanks by giving Jews a homeland in Palestine is a smokescreen; Rothschild ‘won’ Palestine in something akin to a high stakes poker game.

    Paul Newman was the hero of fiction film Exodus, that set the template for the West’s perception of why Jews deserved “this great and ancient land.”

    Paul Newman was the hero of The Sting, that set the template for how cons are done and money is gathered in to pay for “this great and ancient land.”

  338. Castellio says:

    It’s the take of Leo Strauss as well, the Noble Lie permits any number of lesser lies, and religion itself is a scam meant to herd the gullible into a workable social form.

  339. fyi says:

    Anonymous says: May 6, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    What Mr. “Bussed-in-Basiji” is stating that, as a religious man, he does not think lying for the sake of religion is a vice.

    In an anlogous manner, a man could claim that he commits rape to preserve chastity.

  340. Anonymous says:

    BiB and PG:

    We Americans that disbelieve in God are subjected to similar right here in the US, when we’re subjected to the pledge of allegiance, the singing of God Bless America and even paying for things everyday with money inscribed with In God We Trust.

    For socially moderate disbelievers like myself, we accept this as a tolerable norm, as something beyond our control. It certainly doesn’t induce us into becoming anti-establishment or subversive.

  341. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Persian Gulf,
    An Islamic state has to privilege the practicing Muslims- even the ones doing for show because even the appearance of religiosity has positive consequences. Accepting public kufr as harmless and letting it become normal is bad for individuals and society. All of this is especially true in the case of people who want to be employed by an Islamic government.

    So yes we trade a little lying for the fact that being religious is the default setting in social relations. It’s a good trade off. If you are kafer, that’s your private business just don’t bring it to work if you want to get a paycheck from the Islamic Republic. And for those die-hard kafers they can get a job in the private sector or start their own business.

    But I’m sorry your feelings were hurt by forcing you to pray, anyway wasn’t wajib for you until bulugh. As you are aware if you aren’t praying now you are going to hell as it stands now. Of course God’s mercy is vast, you can always say sorry and start your relationship with God from new. Don’t be stuck in the problems you experienced at 12, move on, God is waiting to hear from you again.

  342. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    fyi,
    Considering that Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world- meaning men who are converting are getting circumcisions, women who converting are adopting hijab and both are putting away the ham sandwiches- it seems as usual on this subject you are chained by your own delusions instead of looking at reality. Stick to geopolitics.

    If you look at your copy of Tafsir al-Mizan Vol. 1 you will see the beloved Allamah quoting a saying by Imam Ali (as) which is worthy of your reflection. Imam Ali (as) says “A sin in this religion is better than a good deed in another [religion].” (my translation).

    Remember anything but Islam of Ahlul Bayt is spiritual masturbation…have fun buddy!

  343. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela

    Very interesting piece, and it mentions the “strong Jewish anti-Zionist opinion in England” prior to the First World War.

    Walter Rothschild (Lord Rothschild) was one of very few upper-class Jews in England to support the Zionist scheme, before the Great War.

    The letter to Lord Rothschild was in part an effort to persuade international Jewry to support the Allied cause rather than the Central Powers. Balfour and others may have over-estimated the importance of international Jewry at that time.

  344. Persian Gulf says:

    fyi says:
    May 6, 2011 at 11:03 am

    For more than 7 years we were forced to pray at schools (from the end of primary school till the end of high school. I was never forced in my family, which except me almost everybody prays, to pray. and they knew I have to pray in school). it was not only mandatory, but also punishable in case it was found one is trying to circumvent the issue. I heard nowadays it’s not mandatory, at least in Tehran.

    however, for any governmental job (and the gov. of Iran is the biggest employer in the country), there will be question periods, written and otherwise, in which there are questions like “do you pray or fast? what about your family members?…” it’s imaginable what “no” answer would bring to your case. simply put, an Islamic state forces its own citizens to lie.

    the biggest joke is the question about the “Friday pray”. they ask everybody this question, and seriously you can’t say no, I don’t attend. you will be simply refused to take the offer or even go further in the contest. I have never attended Friday praying, not for sure the one in Tehran. However, a close friend of mine who often used to go there in Tehran says, in normal days, there were about 2000-3000 people in a mega city like Tehran (most of them are officials, or members of Sepah…). so, just think of the question about “Friday praying”. it’s not just ridiculous, rather it’s a shame for what Mr.Khamenei is trying to hold (and he is proud of his Islamic state. he lives in a comfortable bobble, it seems).

    Nahid:

    yes, it seems, the guy is inside the country. I am really surprised he is free to write things like that. he should be connected to somewhere, or a “darvish” probably, or totally gave up normal life. however, his weblog is blocked in Iran; practically no effect. perhaps, that’s the reason they let it go.

  345. Castellio says:

    Fiorangela, nice use of the word ‘slight’.

  346. Fiorangela says:

    James Canning, a slightly different perspective on the warmth of British-Rothschild relations

    http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v06/v06p389_John.html

  347. Goli says:

    Nahid and Liz,

    Thank you. The issues are quite convoluted, but I am more informed now than I was a few hours ago. At least, that’s what I think!

  348. Liz says:

    Goli,

    This is also a good website:

    http://www.irdc.ir/fa/default.aspx

  349. Rehmat says:

    Israel to arm Abkbazia against Georgia

    Last month, two Israeli generals representing Israeli company Global CST, struck a deal with the Georgia’s breakaway state Akhbazia’s president Sergei Bagapsh in Moscow. Under the deal, the Israeli mercenary firm will supply unspecified defense technologies to Abkhanz. The generals involved in the said deal, were – Major-General Israel Ziv, the founder and owner of the security consulting firm Global CST and the former head of the Israel Defense Forces operations directorate, and Meir Khalifi, Global’s latest acquisition and former prime ministerial military secretary to Ehud Olmert and Benjamin Netanyahu.

    In March 2011, it was reported that on the orders from the Zionist regime, Global CST, had supplied 50,000 African mercenaries to Qaddafi. Thierry Meyssan, a French political analyst and founder of Voltaire Network had reported on March 7, 2011: “Major-General Yisrael Ziv played a key role in the war crimes committed in Lebanon in 2006, supervising the bombardment that killed 1,187 civilians, caused the displacement of more than one million people, and destroyed over 15,000 buildings”.

    Global CST with help of former Israeli foreign minister Shlomo Ben-Ami was also involved in arming Capt. Moussa Dadis Camara, who was the military dictator of the West African nation of Guinea in 2009 – and in Colombia, where Global won a contract to train the country’s special forces and intelligence units to fight the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC (Ha’aretz, May 5, 2011).

    Major-General Yisrael Ziv along with former Israeli Minister Roni Milo and his brother Shlomo, former director-general of the Military Industries, and retired Brigadier-General Gal Hirsch were involved in arms sales to Georgia in the past.

    Until Georgia-Russian war in 2008 – Israel-Georgia military coopertion was unmatched. In addition to the supply of arms and military training, Israel maintained two military bases in Georgia – thanks to country’s Jewish Defense Minister Davit Kezerashvili, a Hebrew-speaking former Israeli. On August 12, 2008, Israeli daily Jerusalem Post had reported: “Georgian Prime Minister Vladimer Gurgenidze made a special call to Israel Tuesday morning to receive a blessing from one of the Haredi community’s most important rabbis and spiritual leaders, Rabbi Aharon Leib Steinman”.

    Since Georgia’s two breakaway states, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, declared independence in 2008 – Washington’s staunchest ally Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has been wooing Georgia’s neigbhoring Islamic Republic. Tbilisi, after its bad experience with Russia and Israel – has accepted Iran as the new player in the regional geopolitical game. Iran-Georgia has abolished visa requirement for the tourists and Iran is building hydro-electric projects in Georgia.

    Both Iran and Georgia have very old historical ties. Beginin in 4th century, Georgia was, for a stretches of time, either entirely or partly under Iranian control. Iranian influence can be detected in Georgian poetry, literature, architecture and language.

    Akhbazia, as part of Caucasus region, was a Muslim-majority state under Ottoman rule (begining 1570s), but later it was annexed by Russia in 1864. Currently, Muslims make a tiny minority in Akhbazia. The new state of Akhbazi is only recognized by four countries; Russia, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Nauru.

    http://rehmat2.wordpress.com/2011/05/06/israel-to-arm-abkbazia-against-georgia/

  350. Liz says:

    Goli,

    I think alef.ir has a few good pieces on the topic.

  351. James Canning says:

    Rehmat,

    Bravo to Ehud Barack. Yes, Iran would not “nuke” Israel even if Iran had nuclear weapons.

  352. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    Most of the Rothschilds, and other upper-class British Jews, feared the potential consequences of the Zionist ideology that propounded the theory of Jewishness as a race and national indentity distinct from the state where the Jews lived. They instead saw themselves as English, or British, who happened to be Jewish by religion.

    Most upper-class British Jews opposed the Zionist project in Palestine, prior to the First World War. They were thoroughly integrated into the social and economic life of Britain.

  353. nahid says:

    Goli
    this site is from inside of Iran, has some articles which could help to understand.

    http://www.goftamgoft.com/

  354. Goli says:

    Can someone from inside Iran please provide an objective analysis of what is transpiring re. Khamenei, the president, and Moslehi? In particular, some background information of the rift between Moslehi and the President.

  355. fyi says:

    Unknown Unknowns says: May 6, 2011 at 10:31 am

    A diatribe and not a response.

    You cannot hide behind the US, EU and their regime-change policy against Iran.

    What are the theoretical foundations for respecting the rights of the individual in Islam?

    Who has ever made arguments in this regard?

    Per the “Persian Gulf” posting here, the Islamic Order is forcing people to pray.

    Is this in the Quran?

    is this Islam? That is, once you become a Muslim you have no rights and have to be forced into conformance with Islamic Orthodpraxis by the Islamic state’s organ of violence?

    Where in the Quran is the state mentioned as the guardian of an orthoproxis that was constructed by falliable Fallen Men?

    Where?

    Go to Saudi Arabia and experience for yourself how the pharisee enforcement of Islamic Orthopraxis is being used to uphold a police state.

    Is that Islam?

    Did the Quran state that men are so wanton, fallible, and with such a high propensity to Evil that they must be kept in strict control by the machinery of state – staffed by men who are equally wanton, fallible, and with a high propensity to Evil?

    The advances in cybernetics, sensors, computing power, and robotics are making it possible, within a generation, to embed bio-electric sensors in human beings with a long life-time in human bodies. Thus one can establish, in principle, a sensor net in human body.

    Such an embedded sensor network in the body of a Muslim human being can be programmed (by the State, I suppose) to monitor if that human being – at prescribed hours – is performing his (obligatory) daily prayers. This could be done by having the sensors sense the motion/posture of human body via motion-sensors (inductor/capacitor combinations – accelerometers).

    The embedded sensor network in the Muslim body, in this manner, can detect if the person is praying at the requisite time (place) via GPS data stream.

    In case that Muslim is not praying, an appropriate amount of pre-programmed (by the state) pain will be administered to that Muslim. No deviations from orthopraxis could then go unpunished.

    The sensory network can be also worked into the fabric of men’s and women’s clothing; monitoring their motions, their locations, etc. Based on this monitoring and an extensive database of the marital and lineage status of individuals in the society, the legality (from the religious point-of-view) of the proximity of any male and female human beings could be inferred.

    Alternatively and perhaps more simply, every Muslim could be required to wear a collar equipped with GPS and sensors to achieve the same aim. In this manner, the physical interaction among all Muslims could be monitored by centralized state authority an appropriate action may be taken to punish those Muslim who trample orthopraxis.

    Late on, I should imagine, each individual Muslim will be accompanied by his or her own robot all his or her life; the aim of the robot is to enforce, through inflicting pain, the Islamic orthopraxis on every individual Muslim.

    All of this infrastructure will be setup and run by the State, since the state, in this vision of Islamic orthopraxis, has become the Junior Partner of God.

    What is wrong with this quite achievable (within less than 3 generations) vision?

    Is this not the Muslims Utopia of Universal Conformance to Orthopraxis?

    Where is Liberty and Freedom?

  356. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Fior jan:
    “if anyone knows of a Muslim shrine in the USofA like the one at Mashad, please let me know; the 20 minutes I spent in the shrine at Mashad left an eagerness to once again touch the divine.”
    That’s not possible as one of the 12 Imams is not buried there!
    I loved your take on Ferguson’s need for an editor. It put a big smile on my face.
    I also thought your take on the lesson of the Story of Joseph (or at least your take of how much of the tribe of Israel has taken it to mean) was a fascinating insight.
    I chuckled to see the football fan in you come out in the allusion to the custom shoulder pad!
    Regarding Islamic banking, it might interest you to know that the talk of the town here (when the town talks about banking) is how we have failed miserably to separate our banking from that of ‘usurious finance’ as you aptly describe it. I mean, it is not that our national bank pays interest to private interests or anything THAT bad… but the conversation is all about how much more needs to be done in order for us to be able to call our banking system truly Islamic.
    And lastly, you are absolutely spot on: it is the cabals that benefit from the goose that lays those usurious eggs who are upset about Iran’s rocking that comfortable boat of theirs. I think that is the single most powerful dynamic that is motivating the enmity.
    Oh, and I almost forgot. I’ve been meaning to mention ever since you appealed for a way to visit Iran without a tour: I am happy to send you an invite, and would actually be happy to host you, but I am flying back to the States on business in about a month, and I might stay there for as long as until Thanksgiving and even Christmas. So I am not able to offer to host you, but I could certainly give you a letter of invitation, if that helps.

  357. Unknown Unknowns says:

    fyi
    “You must address the absolute and inalienable rights of the individual within Islam.”

    *

    You sound like Jefferson or some 18th C European liberal. This kind of thinking is relatively new to the whole world, let alone the Arabian peninsula at the time of the prophet. You are projecting your own modern Western ideals and way of thinking on the Prophet of Islam (with whom be Peace) and his community. It is anachronic. As you have proven incapable of understanding the importance and indeed centrality of community in the Middle East and in Islam, there is not much else I can tell you.

    If you care so much about the individual and her inalienable rights, adn believe as you obviously do that the nations of the West are those who best uphold and champion those rights, why not go and agitate and support your beloved adopted nation instead of coming to a place which is the only oasis where a bunch of people of good will gather who believe in Iran’s right to self-determination, and that one cannot meaningfully talk about individual rights without first talking about the right of the nation itself to exist. If the assholes that have taken over the nation of Thomas Jefferson ceased their war against the Iranian nation and took their foot off our neck, where it has been placed for the last 32 years in hopes of cutting off the flow of blood in our jugular vein, then I am sure people would demand and get whatever rights they think they have coming to them, including the right to demonstrate. But being in a state of war where the very survival of our nation is at stake (if the leaders of your adopted nation had their way, Iran would have been Balkanized decades ago), and having a political consciousness far above that of your own, the average Iranian understands the exigencies of the current situation, which is why your fellow liberal George Soros and Co were unable to dupe the Iranian people after giving it their best shot, and were only able to muster those living among us who are Green with envy for the American Way of Life that you hold in such high esteem.
    I hope this will be the last time that you temp me in engaging you in discussion, as it occurs to me that there is insufficient common ground between us to allow for a meaningful discussion to obtain. Go ahead and have your many last words.

  358. fyi says:

    Unknown Unknowns says: May 6, 2011 at 5:04 am

    The late Mr. Khomeini’s ideas are neither a challenge to Western liberal Democracy nor an alternative thereto.

    The reason is the failure of the Islamic Order to respect human freedom at the individual level; not even theoretically.

    People all over the world have great political hunger for Freedom, a God-given Gift to all of Mankind. They hunger also for spiritual orientation and understanding.

    Moral Police, Thuggery, Forcing of Hejab, Lack of Respect for Law, restricted representative system are not going to inspire people to turn to Khomeinist Iran.

    The Khomeinist ideas – at least those that are expounded today to be such – will never ever gain adherents at the expense of Liberal Democracy.

    That does not mean that Islam is incompatible with Liberal Democracy – far from it – but narrow-minded, bigotted, prejudiced, and ultimately fearful Muslims cannot provide a positive basis for the future for Muslim people. Men like Mr. Bussed-in-Basiji whose future project for mankind consist of Veil, Circumcision, and Slaughter of Pigs are not going to win a war of ideas with Liberal Democracy. Neither will Khomeinist Islam – as you posit it.

    You must address the absolute and inalienable rights of the individual within Islam.

  359. Fiorangela says:

    Unknown Unknown jan, Thank you thank you thank you for your words of praise. I’d love to reinforce your opinion but I would be found out sooner or later — I’m not a scholar nor do I have a firm and disciplined grasp of ANY body of knowledge; I’m just a curious person who has the tremendous advantage of access to good libraries, my personal house of worship (although — if anyone knows of a Muslim shrine in the USofA like the one at Mashad, please let me know; the 20 minutes I spent in the shrine at Mashad left an eagerness to once again touch the divine).

    I don’t think much of Fergusson at all. The advantage he had, which makes the Rothschild volumes important, was access to the Rothschilds’ private papers. The volumes are, therefore, useful as research tools to be used like a dictionary. But Fergusson does not tell a story in the books; there is no apparent narrative thread. Fergusson loves to write words on a page — from the time he was a little boy his parents and grandparents praised him for his writing, and he responded by writing more and more and more. If only there had been an editor in his family.

    Fergusson has also produced a similar book about Siegmund Warburg, who was even more involved in the creation of the zionist state as was Rothschild. Although one of Vladimir Jabotinsky’s biographers notes that the two great heroes of zionism are Rothschild and Herzl, others claim that Rothschilds were not committed to the zionist ideology; they just knew a good deal when they saw it. Warburg, on the other hand, was ideologically devoted to zionism and lived in Israel.

    The key insights about the Rothschilds that I learned from Fergusson were that they understood and developed to a high degree the ability to access information from the highest sources and the broadest sources, and to do so before and exclusive of anyone else. The second insight is that Rothschilds aimed straight for the top of the wealth food chain — governments. But that is not really a new insight, regarding the Jewish people: my understanding of the story of Joseph is that success is found by positioning oneself as personal and political confidante of the highest authorities of a region/state etc. I suppose we should be grateful that our western culture did not too closely follow the myths of the house of Atreus, or many of our children would be running around with only one shoulder (hmmm — a market for custom designed football pads).

    Thank you for referring me to the book by Swan and Pidcock; I’ll try to acquire a copy. I have read parts of Understanding Islamic Finance, by Muhammad Ayub. What is impressive about Ayub’s text is that it is published by Wiley, THE major publisher of legal and professional textbooks and reference books. That suggests to me that Islamic finance is working its way into mainstream American thinking. That, in turn, indicates why the established order of usurious finance is pulling out all the stops to demonise Sharia law and Islamic finance — the life of the goose that lays golden eggs is threatened.

    You and others might be interested in a series of videos from a Return to Bretton Woods event last month :http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1uOLpQKyKw&NR=1 What most intrigued me was the presence of Iran’s flag on the stage, and the absence of Israel’s flag.

  360. fyi says:

    Persian Gulf says: May 5, 2011 at 11:51 pm

    Yes, the 1000-year old project of phrarisee Islam finally failing.

    Jesus had inveighed against the Judaic version 2000 years earlier.

  361. Fiorangela says:

    Sister Luke told us repeatedly, “Take it to its logical conclusion.”

    Heard on C Span Washington Journal at 7:15 this morning, in response to the question, “What do you think of the Obama administration’s handling of the killing of Osama bin Laden?”

    Caller: “It’s great. . . .Now we need to go to Iran and take out that guy.”

  362. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Not that any regulars on this forum need to know this, but in case anyone was wondering about why Iran has taken on such importance in world affairs (despite its being a 3rd rate economy and 2nd rate military power at best), it is becuase of two reasons:

    1. Cultural/ ideological/ religious. Since the collapse of communism, “Khomeinist” Iran has provided the only true alternative to liberal democracy. Vanezuela and the neo-Bolivarian movement are trying to provide an alternative, but they cannot galvanize the Christian world like Iran has galvanized the Moslem one. All you have to do is look at Press TV, with its microscopic $25M budget, to see how Iran provides a completely different and radical alternative to the dominant parradigm, which neither Russia I’m-Schizoid Today, nor Al-Ja BBC-Light Zeera, nor China’s CCTV (“I’m not only behind the pack by a couple of days, I’m cmpletely irrelevant adn no one watches me”) provide.

    2. Iran’s radical alternative was able to get a toe-hold, and then galvaize a whole nation and the whole of the Moslem world becuase of its Shi’a heritage. Now this is the second important part: The Shi’a sect is said to be 5 to 10% of the Moslem populaton as a whole. Now you would think that this is a minor sect that is or should be almost irrelevant. But the reason the Shi’a Fortress is not irrelevant to the rest of the Moslem world is that the 95/5 ratio only applies if one takes into consideration the massive populations of the periphery of the Islamic World (Indonesia, Malasia, Pakistan, Africa). But if you take the central core, the middle east, the ration is someting quite close to 50/50. Add to that teh fact that teh Shi’a population sits on 80% of the region’s oil (Source: Vali Nasr’s The Shi’a Revival), and the fact that in Sunni Islam teh ‘ulema class (clergy) have historically kowtowed to Authority and as such do not have a history and tradition of resistance, as well as the fact that almost the entire political, administrative, liturgical, spiritual, poetic, grammatical, lexographic and canonical opus of Islam and its elaboration was carried out under Iranian auspices, and the fact that the periphery has always looked to the center for leadership and guidance, then one begins to appreciate the significance of Iran’s revolution, and why Iran is so important today and why it will only gain in importance.

    As a matter of fact, I predict as a distinct possibility that the blowback to end all blowbacks from Uncle Sam and his Jewish tail’s meddling in Syria’s affair could well have the unintended consequence of pushing Bashir & his camp of Alawites closer to and possibly even over the edge of abandoning their ghuluu sectarianism in favor of Twelver Shi’a Islam – a project Iran has been fostering for 32 years. Ameen.

  363. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Castellio says:
    May 5, 2011 at 10:41 pm
    I believe that Europe is no longer politically independent, and hasn’t the imagination to re-conceive what political independence might look like. When Europe sets up structures so its member countries can break with the IMF, then we’ll see a new beginning of European sovereignty, and also the end of NATO.
    Inshallah.But when?

    *

    I’m no geopolitical strategist, but I think Europe’s choice has been (a) to remain where it is, i.e., a stooge of the US – or poodle, if you prefer, completely obedient and dependent (a kind of sub-continental protectorate, if you will), or (b) to try to carve out an autonomous position between the US on the one hand, and mainly Russia, wiht her oil supply and her ability to choke off Europe’s energy lifeline, on the other. This independent stance would entail, for example, an approach toward Iran that is not subservient to teh US.

    This exquisite choice is made all the more excrutiating by the two opposite dynamics of waning US power (and the very real possibility of the crash of the mighty Dollar, followed by hyperinflation) on one hand, adn EU bureaucratic inertia and deferrment to cultural values when they should not be part of the calculus on the other.

  364. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Fara:

    Here is another version of that story from the good folks at WRH:

    http://whatreallyhappened.com/content/cia-admits-no-live-footage-raid#comments

  365. Persian Gulf says:

    http://www.goftamgoft.com/?Pn=view&id=956

    به نظر من حرفش درسته ولی دلایلش غلط(اینم ظاهرا آبسشن اسلام سیاسی گرفته!). هر حکومت دیگه ای بود همینطور میشد. تازه فکر می کنم جمهوری اسلامی تاحدی جلوی قضیه رو گرفت. تاثیر مدرناسیونه تا حد خیلی زیادی.یه فرآیند طبیعی.

  366. Fara says:

    Ahhhan, this is why they are conflicting stories about the OBL’s death operation.

    Blackout in US bin Laden oper. exposed
    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/178471.html

  367. Castellio says:

    FYI… I’m beginning to think that James has never seriously questioned the relation of present day Europe to the US, and hence consistently points to the “lobby and Neocons” as the force that has confused the relationship.

    I believe that Europe is no longer politically independent, and hasn’t the imagination to re-conceive what political independence might look like. When Europe sets up structures so its member countries can break with the IMF, then we’ll see a new beginning of European sovereignty, and also the end of NATO.

    Inshallah.

    But when?

  368. fyi says:

    James Canning says: May 5, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    That is not the perception in Tehran.

    The perception in Tehran is that the 1991 War (Desert Storm), the Afghan War, and the Iraq War of 2003 had all been intended/planned for Iran; that circumstances led those plans astray – as it were.

    You have the unequivocal testimony of Dr. Khalizad, General W. Clarck, and Dr. El Baradei that the destruction of the Islamic Iran has been the US/EU objective.

    Why do you keep on contesting to the contrary?

  369. Castellio says:

    Rehmat, I couldn’t care less about people’s actual, so-called or alleged racial backgrounds. Really. I believe that trying to see through that optic, as you consistently try to do, doesn’t inform you, it blinds you.

    However, I do want James to answer the question. Is he saying that the UK, France (and perhaps Germany) are in support of an independent Palestine in the 1967 borders? Is that what he’s saying… or just that they support, in general, “an independent Palestine” of undetermined nature and size.

  370. Rehmat says:

    Castellio – Sarkozy is Crypto-Jew, born to a Jewish mother and as youth worked for Israeli Mossad as an informer.

    David Cameron, after becoming Prime minister – in his first speech which he gave at a meeting of the ‘British Friends of Israel’ had said that he was to had ‘Jewish roots’ in his family.

    Rest, I agree with your conclusion.

  371. Castellio says:

    James, you still haven’t answered my question, posted yesterday May 4th at 7.04 pm:

    “James, you are arguing that Cameron and Sarkozy are for the independence of Palestine and its official recognition. For clarity’s sake, which Palestine? The Bantustans as current and to which Abbas might, in fact, concur, or the 67 borders with minor modifications?

    I want to get you on record on this, because I believe both Sarkozy and Cameron are quite happy to pretend they are for Palestinian statehood, but only as defined by Israel.”

  372. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I am confident in saying there is NO AGREEMENT WHATEVER for “destruction” of Iran. NONE. Yes, warmongering neocons and other delusional Zionists want to hurt Iran, to help Israel with its programme of oppression of the Palestinians (and hopes of keeping all or part of the Golan Heights). You should not give assistance to the Israeli fifth column that operates openly in the US, under protection of politicians who are stooges of rich and powerful Jews (and other delusional Zionists).

  373. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    France and Germany were adamant that the Un resolution of September 2002 did not authorise war with Iraq, and the US has assured both countries the US would not proceed to war without a further UN resolution. So duplicity by the US was at the heart of the matter.

    You many remember that Bill Clinton was extremely reluctant to have the US get involved in the wars of the former Yugoslavia. Warren Christopher wanted to stay out.

  374. fyi says:

    fyi says: May 5, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    How can I say the war was thei doing, as you ask.

    You are correct and perhaps I was wrong in attributing a monolithic consistency to the Axis Powers.

    I would say that perhaps France & Germany did not agree with US methods but not necessary with the aims.

    So this was a case of dissension in ranks on the issue of methods.

    I am also led to this conclusion since in case of the Axis Powers war for destruction of Yugoslavia there was no dissension.

    First EU states undermined her economically, then propaganda and political pressure, then sedition funded by outsiders, ….etc.

    These clearly were not working in case of Iraq.

    I am also led to this conclusion due to Axis Powers policy vis-a-vis Iran. There was agreement that Islamic Iran had to be destroyed, and the nuclear case was a God-sent for them. As per Dr. El Baradei’s statements, the Axis Powers, in case of the Iranian nuclear file, never intended to reach a settlement using Hegelian Dialectics of Negogiations. They wanted regime change.

    It is interesting to know if that was always the EU policy – in contradistinction to US policy – or not. I mean, was the so-called “Critical Dialogue” with Iran a ruse to undermine and destroy the Islamic Order?

    [I make a distinction between the Islamic Order and the Islamic Disaster here.]

  375. fyi says:

    All:

    Scientific paper co-authored by the Hidden Imam (the first author)

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/?Author=Mahdi+Moeud+Ajjalallah

  376. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Have you forgotten that the moron G W Bush and his incompetent national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, tried to come up with ways to punish France and Germany for their opposition to his illegal invasion of Iraq?

  377. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    George W. Bush decided to “double-down” in Iraq, in an effort to avoid conceding his utter idiocy in invading in the first place. France and Germany opposed the war, vociferously, and the UK got out of Iraq while Bush ramped up the US military adventure in that country.

  378. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Have you overlooked the fact Germany and Grance strongly opposed the illegal US/UK invasion of Iraq? How can you say the war was their own doing?

  379. James Canning says:

    Rd.,

    Do you support UN recognition of independent Palestine with 1967 borders? There is no reason one must accept as “permanent” illegal colonies of Jews in the West Bank.

  380. Castellio says:

    Arabs and the Holocaust; http://vimeo.com/22038755

    Tom Segev and Gilbert Achcar.

  381. Empty says:

    Unknown Unknowns,
    شما فرصت کردین لطفا به تعارفات من هم گیر بدین یک کم! :)

    Faint?! I was actually being precise!

  382. fyi says:

    Rd. says: May 5, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    James Canning, like Dr. Afrasiabi, is always looking for a shred of positive possibility to hang is hope on it.

    He, like Dr. Afrasiabi, does not grasp that the time of Peace is over.

    Soon, the time for Cease Fire will be over too and we will enter the time of War.

    Give it a few more years of Axis Powers buying time for Israel.

    They will get their war….

  383. Rd. says:

    James Canning says:
    “Your claim that the “Axis Powers” are trying to wear Iran down, leads where? Germany, France and the UK want Israel out of the West Bank”

    As far as the reality on the ground is present, the Israeli’s are occupying more and more of the West Bank and much more. What germany, france, UK want and the reality are not one and the same.. It is possible they are just playing a game of trying to disconnect Iran’s steadfast support of Palestine with their supposed support. Unless and until the reality on the ground changes, what comes out of EU amounts to hot air!

  384. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Fior:

    Knowing that you are a student of financial history (based on your quoting Fergusson), I thought you might like to know about this book:

    http://www.amazon.com/Crash-2008-Unregulated-Capital-Caused/dp/8182743869/ref=sr_1_fkmr1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1304618779&sr=8-1-fkmr1

    According to Talebzadeh, the host of an excellent talk show which airs on Thursday nights on Channel 4 in Tehran (@ 10 PM), one of the co-authors, David Pidcock, converted to Islam in 1975, and is a recent convert to Shi’a Islam, so his point of view regarding the whole issue of the evil that is interest should be interesting.

    I would also like to second Empty’s compliments, and say that “quite noteworth” is faint praise. Rather, like I have said before, I just don’t understand how anyone can have such breadth of reading and knowledge, and this focused on the relevant issues of the day.

    I would be interested to know what you think of Fergusson’s biography of the Rothschilds, its strengths and weaknesses, as well as which of his financial histories you recommend, if any.

    Cheers.

  385. fyi says:

    James Canning says: May 5, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    You are targeting your ire in the wrong direction.

    When and if the Axis Power forces are removed from Afghnistan, then they could be deployed against Iran in some future time.

    I personally think that it made sense for the Axis Powers to revise their grand strategy after the failure of its application to Iraq became clear.

    But they chose to double-down – as is said in US – and laid the foundations for the future war against Islamic Iran.

    Such a war would necessitate the introduction of Axis Powers troops in Iran – without a doubt – triggering a much longer and much wider war.

    Be ast it may, this is the path that the Axis Powers have chosen and they will live it to the bitter end; by all indications.

    Iranians had been very lucky; in 1980, in 1991, in 2005, and now with the Arab Spring.

  386. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    Any discussion of the national origin of Americans probably should include the fact that the Scotch-Irish (Presbyterians from the north of Ireland) immigrants in the American colonies were the backbone of the rebel forces that defeated the British and achieved independence. The Scotch-Irish often were bitter enemies of the English, party due to resentment of having been taxed in Ireland for the support of the Anglican church (Church of Ireland, Anglican communion).

  387. Empty says:

    Oopse…I meant Fiorangela….(didn’t mean to get fresh with your name).

  388. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    Jerry Bremer was most definitely an idiot, even if one argues he was not the stooge of Wolfowitz, Feith and the other neocons who conspired to dupe the president of the US in order to set up the illegal and catastrophic invasion of Iraq. For example, Bremer carried a copy of the US Constitution, on his person, day after day in Iraq as he went hither and thither! What could be more stupid than that? He should have had a copy of an Iraqi constitution, if he felt in need of guidance.

    A key question needing further exploration is the degree to which Feith, Wolfowitz et al conspired to destroy the Sunni power structure in Iraq, in order to profit personally.

  389. Empty says:

    Open parenthesis

    Fiorangely,

    I would like to open a parenthesis and say that the astuteness with which you go after key points, your insistence to follow the links and get to the bottom of things, and your summaries of findings with appropriate descriptions are quite noteworthy, commendable, and much appreciated.

    Closed parenthesis.

  390. James Canning says:

    Bussed-In Basiji,

    The neocons (and other delusional elements of the Israel lobby) wanted the destruction of the Sunni power strucure, in part so Doug Feith, Paul Wolfowitz and others who conspired to set up the illegal war, could grow immensely rich! Their deal was with Chalabi, who may have only pretended he would able to enrich them beyond their wildest dreams.

  391. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    What a truly preposterous contention, that if US troops are pulled out of Iraq, Iran will be able to take control of Iraq’s oil fields! Delusional almost beyond belief! Is this sort of cr*p just a game to help the neocons continue to dupe the American people?

  392. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Your claim that the “Axis Powers” are trying to wear Iran down, leads where? Germany, France and the UK want Israel out of the West Bank, and as we all know, all members of the UN Security Council, save the US, voted for the resolution condemning continuing Israeli construction of colonies of illegal Jewish settlers in the West Bank.

    If Iran continues to enrich uranium but make clear it is not trying to build nukes, chances of war are very low. Probably a majority of Europeans are about “fed up” with the quagmire in Afghanistan and they want Nato out of the country before too much longer.

  393. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    What fun! Can American Congressmen be so stupid as to believe a country controlled by the Shia community, Iran, would be eager to become part of a Sunni empire? Or so they just pretend? George W. Bush apparently had zero understanding of the significance of Sunni vs Shia in Iraq, when he allowed the idiot Jerry Bremer to disband the Iraqi army in 2003. Which of course was part of Chalabi’s scheme to achieve control of Iraq (and thus to be able to enrich Doug Feith, Paul Wolfowitz and other neocons who conspired to set up the illegal war in the first place).

  394. fyi says:

    Yes, the European Union has consolidated an anti-Iranian position which will remains unchanged for the next several years.

    The Axis Powers strategy has been one of “Strategic Patience” to wear Iran down.

    This strategy is not unchangeable, it can be replaced with war, for example.

  395. Castellio says:

    FYI… in your comment at 10.30 am, do you mean, as you’ve written, “they thought otherwise” or “they think otherwise”.

    In your view, has the European Union consolidated an anti-Iranian position which remains unchanged, and is unchangeable?

  396. Fiorangela says:

    eeeww

    Wish I could edit the link I posted to information about Albion Seed — I don’t subscribe to any sort of racial theories, which that link dabble in.

    I still think it’s useful to understand the cultural backgrounds of America’s various ethnic groups, and Albion Seed provides some information to fill in that puzzle.
    teh google is your friend.

  397. Fiorangela says:

    Michael S Smith, good ole boy, complete w/ squirrel hound:

    “SCHotline Welcomes Contributing Editor Michael S. Smith II [Bio]
    July 7, 2009 7:04 pm
    Author:
    Jeffrey Sewell

    Michael has spent much of his life in the South Carolina Lowcountry. A former copy editor and features writer for the Evening Post Publishing Company, Smith is editor of The Palmetto Times and executive editor of The Ethical Standard, the official publication of The Free Enterprise Foundation, a think-tank housed in Charleston at The Citadel. He regularly publishes reviews of nonfiction materials in the Evening Post’s flagship newspaper, The Post and Courier, and is an occasional contributor of materials to The State.

    From 2005-2007, Smith served on the board of The English-Speaking Union, Charleston Branch (scholarship committee chair, fundraising chair, and treasurer). Through his work with the ESU, Smith helped initiate a scholarship program which annually awards opportunities for teachers from the South Carolina Lowcountry to participate in continuing education programs at Oxford University, the University of Cambridge, the University of Edinburgh, and The Globe Centre of London.

    Also from 2005-2007, Smith served as: Publisher and editor of S.C. Voyage, a publication produced to augment the South Carolina Maritime Foundation’s fundraising and development efforts; Special assistant to American College of the Building Arts Vice President Charles P. Anderson, assisting Mr. Anderson with his management of ACBA’s fundraising and development efforts; Free Enterprise Foundation Tommy Baker Fellow (scholarship recipient), helping the foundation organize, promote and host various events (including FEF’s Charleston-Caribbean Leadership Summit). During the summer of 2007, Smith briefly served as a special assistant to S.C. State Senator George E. “Chip” Campsen III, assisting Sen. Campsen with his efforts to reform the awards process part of the S.C. Competitive Grants Program. During December of 2007, Smith sat for the U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Service Officer Test. His test scores were 172 for the multiple choice section and 8 for the essay section (155 and 6 were the minimum scores for candidacy consideration by State’s FSOT Board of Examiners during the December 2007 test window).

    Mr. Smith is an associate of the firm Jonathan “Buddy” Kronsberg Consulting, LLC, and is of counsel to Anderson & Associates Fund Raising Counsel. He is also a special assistant to The Honorable L. Ronald Scheman, a former U.S. executive director of the IMF’s Inter-American Development Bank who currently serves as a senior adviser to Kissinger McLarty Associates. Smith has served as an informal communications consultant for several South Carolina Republican politicians since 2008. In 2009 he was invited to join the Monday Meeting, an influential meeting of economic conservatives, journalists and corporate leaders in New York City.

    Smith earned his B.A. degree from the College of Charleston (2007), where he briefly studied Arabic and Economics. He resides in Charleston with his wife Jill and Marley, the couple’s Johns Island squirrel hound.”

    http://schotline.us/2009/07/07/schotline-welcomes-contributing-editor-michael-s-smith-ii/

    note to file: read up on The Albion Seed — the analysis of four different ‘types’ of English-origined settlers to US: :http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v12/v12p114_Rosit.html

    the Albion seed was among the first ‘planted’ in American settler colonies. A few quick examples — Later settlers arrived from Ireland in era of potato famine (1840s), Germany (several waves, including as mercenaries to fight in US Revolutionary war, then migrants fleeing economically devastated Germany in the 1800s–Germans composed the second-largest ethnic group in the US up until about the late 1970s). Migrants from Southern European states were later arrivals — early 20th century saw the largest influx of Italian immigrants.

    The point is — while the US is frequently presented by media as divided between Republican and Democrat, or conservative and liberal, or Christian and something else, those tags have very little meaning. Pigeon-holing a nation is not a good idea; the major function of that practice is to provide enough misinformation to enable divisiveness. On the other hand, understanding the cultural backgrounds of the elements in a complex society can assist in understanding the needs and vulnerabilities and thinking patterns of those subgroups.

  398. Fiorangela says:

    bit of background on Michael S Smith II of Kronos group, author of report to Congress that Iran harbors Al Qaeda (see Hans’ link @ 9:44 am May 5)

    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Michael_S._Smith_II

    Smith reviewed Robert Baer’s “The Devil that We Know,” and concluded that Baer was issuing a warning of the threat to whirled peas posed by Iran —
    “Baer describes how agents of Ayatollah Khamenei’s extraterritorial ambitions, through well-masked acts of political sabotage and terrorism, are gradually convincing Americans it is prudent to remove our troops from Iraq. If this happens, Baer argues, little will prevent Iran from taking control of Iraq’s oil industry, a scenario that will put Iran “within range of becoming the world’s largest producer, ahead of Saudi Arabia.”
    :http://www.postandcourier.com/news/2008/nov/16/book_warns_irans_imperial_aims61728/

    But anyone who has read more than just the scary anecdotes that Smith references, and understands Baer’s thesis, contained in the title, Baer warns that Saudi Arabia is the major bad actor in the region.

    But the Michael Smiths of the world operate on the knowledge that the first bit of information that hits a dumb legislator’s ears is what will be remembered: Iran = Evil.
    Bomb Iran.

    America has gone over to the dark side. God help us all.

  399. Fiorangela says:

    you’re right, BiB, you nailed it: Chalabi. Proves one of my underlying concepts about zionists: they are so hate-filled that they’re rendered stupid.

    Americans suck up all their “we’re so smart Nobel prize ain’t we just the bees knees” claptrap, allow themselves to be made to feel stupid and inferior to those inferior beings. Am I allowed to say this here — to see gen-you-wine circumcised c*&k s*%&#ing on display in living color, watch as much as you can stand of this http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/Conflictw
    Sept 12 2002 recording of Dan Burton, John Mica, Waxman and a few others fawn all over Bibi Netanyahu, as he urges them not to be wimps, to get some spine, to attack Iraq — who needs anybody’s approval??

    That effeminate little pipsqueak Dennis Kucinich was the only one who dared to counter Macho Bibi: “Excuse me, but my question was, What evidence do you have?” You know, Facts, stuff like that . . .

    C Span has hosted a parade of Fawns this week, culminating this morning with Loretta Sanchez and Louie Gohmert, who fielded more than one call from my fellow amerikuns who said, “We were beginning to look like a wimp nation. After killing Osama binLaden, we’ll get respect.”
    Gohmert concurred: you betcha. “If it had gone as badly as the mission in Iran, the US would be in grave danger . . .So we are grateful to our special ops team” —

    that can now kill a sick man and his wife who were unarmed and in bed.

    Whooowa.

    disgusted with my country.
    we are now israel. the shitty little nation between the atlantic and the pacific.

  400. fyi says:

    hans says: May 5, 2011 at 9:44 am

    There is also this:

    http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2011/1046/fr2.htm

    which may be understood as the Iranians’ response to the Axis Powers economic/intelligence/propaganda/diplomatic war against Iran.

    Mr. Larijani, 5 years ago, advised the EU states that confrontation will cost everyone, but will cost them more.

    They thought otherwise.

  401. hans says:

    Here you go all, OBL hard disc recovery shows
    Report highlights alleged Iran force’s Al-Qaeda links
    :http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5ghRPhpAicLLjQad84KP5hwCja97A

    How convenient do you not think!

  402. Liz says:

    A BAHRAINI MP HAS DIED UNDER TORTURE:

    http://www.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=9002150423

  403. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    James, Fio, fyi,

    And all those super-smart evil-genius Zionists were, well let’s call it “outperformed”, by Mr. Bad Ass Math Problems Solving, Tie-Wearing, Na-Mahram Hand Shaking, Soldier of Imam Ali (as) Ahmad Chalabi (may God protect him and grant him a very very long life).

    In other words the Iraqi army was dissolved because the Iraqi Shias insisted it should be, because it was the main tool for US and UK influence and Shia oppression in Iraq historically. Thank God it was dissolved and the old system was destroyed.

    Dissolving it was intended to break the Sunni monopoly on the armed and security forces and cut the hand of the west and Zionists in Iraq and these goals were achieved.

  404. Fiorangela says:

    James, I would not go so far as to call Bremer a stooge; if indeed he was a tool of Feith Wolfowitz et al, he was a willing tool, and willing to out-do the neocons in conning the Iraqis. Bremer willingly served a lot of masters — Monsanto and the agribusiness corporations among them; on their behalf, he destroyed the agricultural traditions of the Iraqi people who created agriculture. Baghdad and Iraq was another Jericho in the land of Canaan for the neocons to loot and destroy.

    Rumsfeld was more neocon than the neocons: his first act, as a young congressman from Chicago, was to inveigh against US government demands that zionist organizations in the US that acted on behalf of Israel register as foreign agents.

  405. Dan Cooper says:

    The Agendas Behind the Bin Laden News Event

    By Paul Craig Roberts

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article28029.htm

  406. Castellio says:

    Fiorangela… thanks for the quotes re: who made the decision to disband the Iraqi army. I agree that it was mostly likely Cheney and Wolfowitz.

    Now lets consider who might be determining US foreign policy now. The CIA’s Panetta is to become Secretary of Defense, is that right? And who to CIA? Petraeus? General Petraeus?

    And who is the major sponser of Obama. The Crown family? Of General Dynamics? That company with the Pentagon contracts? Integrated with the Israeli military?

    Is this to suggest that the Military – Security state of ‘secret’ intelligence and self-serving weapons corporations run the US?

    When might that have started? Which date to choose?

    http://la.indymedia.org/news/2007/02/194141.php

  407. Castellio says:

    James, you are arguing that Cameron and Sarkozy are for the independence of Palestine and its official recognition. For clarity’s sake, which Palestine? The Bantustans as current and to which Abbas might, in fact, concur, or the 67 borders with minor modifications?

    I want to get you on record on this, because I believe both Sarkozy and Cameron are quite happy to pretend they are for Palestinian statehood, but only as defined by israel.

  408. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela & FYI,

    Douglas J. Feith, Paul Wolfowitz and Donald Rumsfeld conspired, literally, to dupe the president. Rumsfeld, Cheney, Rice and Bush had all agreed before the invasion that the Iraqi army would be kept intact, to preserve public order. Bush was so grossly incompetent he did not even comprehend he was allowing Bremer to disband the Iraqi army when all concerned with the issue in the administration had agreed the army had to be kept intact or there would likely be civil war.

  409. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    Bravo! Yes, Jerry Bremer was a stooge of the cabal of neocons running the Pentagon (and who created the civil war in Iraq).

  410. Fiorangela says:

    “”The policy had been to keep the [Iraqi] army intact; didn’t happen,” Bush told Draper. Asked how he had reacted to Bremer’s reversal, Bush replied, “Yeah, I can’t remember. I’m sure I said, ‘This is the policy, what happened?’ ” . . .

    It is a stunning fact that—despite the massive library of in-depth books, tell-all memoirs, and investigative articles about every tactical decision regarding this war—we do not yet know who made this key strategic decision.

    Bremer is right about one thing: It wasn’t him. Though he wouldn’t be so self-demeaning as to admit it, he was a mere errand boy on this point. He arrived in Baghdad on May 14, 2003. The next day, he released CPA Order No. 1, barring members of the Baath Party from all but the lowliest government posts. The next day, he issued CPA Order No. 2, disbanding the Iraqi army.

    In his memoir, published last year, Bremer wrote that he was handed the orders—and told to announce them as soon as possible—by Douglas Feith, undersecretary of defense for policy. “We’ve got to show all the Iraqis that we’re serious about building a new Iraq,” Feith reportedly told him. “And that means that Saddam’s instruments of repression have no role in that new nation.”

    Feith was a messenger, too, reporting directly to Paul Wolfowitz, the deputy secretary of defense, and ultimately to Secretary Rumsfeld.

    Did Rumsfeld write the order? Bob Woodward, in State of Denial: Bush at War, Part III, quotes Rumsfeld as saying that the order came from elsewhere. Does that mean it came from the White House? My guess is it came from Vice President Dick Cheney, if only because his is one of the most leakproof offices in Washington. Had the order originated someplace else, that fact would have leaked by now. ”

    http://www.slate.com/id/2173554/

  411. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I can assure you I am solidly grounded on the planet earth. The US has numerous ways and means of influencing British foreign policy, and the Israel lobby is highly skilled at the game.

    Hague visited Syria several times and I think he would have been prepared to go to Tehran. (Before the latest events in the ME which have clouded the picture.) UK, France and Germany are pushing the UN recognition of independence of Palestine despite substantial opposition from Israel lobby (and stooge US politicians) in the US.

  412. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    David Rose was told by Richard Perle that, regarding Iraq decisions, “[Bush] did not make decisions, in part because the machinery of government that he nominally ran was actually running him.” I think this appeared in an article in January 2007 Vanity Fair magazine.

    preview at

    http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2006/12/neocons200612

  413. fyi says:

    James Canning says: May 4, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    You stated: ” It most defitely is not part of the plans of David Cameron and William Hague in the UK.”

    Why are not they then flying to Tehran?

    Why are not they then releasing the 1.5 Billion pounds of Iranain money impounded there?

    And why are they cooperating the with US in her war of (economic) attrition against Iran?

    Earth to James Canning: Come in James, come in!

  414. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    It is more accurate to say that the grand strategy of warmongering neocons, idiot Christian Zionists to some extent, and other foolish “supporters” of Israel right or wrong, is to see Iran injured. To facilitate continuing oppression of the Palestinians by the Israelis. It most defitely is not part of the plans of David Cameron and William Hague in the UK.

  415. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Bremer himself issued the order but I think his directions came from the Pentagon. I’ll check on this. His predecessor as head of the Provisional Authority in Iraq was appalled at the order, and rushed back to Washington to try to get it reversed.

    Bremer later claimed the Iraqi army had to be disbanded because looters had stolen all the toilets from army barracks. I’m not making this up.

    Jacque Chirac had warned Tony Blair weeks before the US/UK invasion that it likely would set off a vicious civil war.

  416. fyi says:

    James Canning says: May 4, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    Ambassador Bremer was instructed from US to dissolve the Iraqi Army.

    Who issued that order?

    Do you know?

  417. fyi says:

    James Canning says: May 4, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    The Iranians’ 2003 offer was a trial baloon to gauage US intentions.

    It accomplished that.

    There was nothing foolish in US response to the Iranians’ trial baloon since US Grand Strategy had called for the destruction of Islamic Iran since the collapse of the Peace of Yalta.

    Yes, Disaster for the people of Iraq and for Axis Powers in that unfortunate country meant Salvation for the people of Iran.

    Take it up with God.

  418. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    L. Paul Bremer III, as head of the US-controlled administration of Iraq after the overthrow of Saddam, in effect ordered the dissolution of the Iraqi army etc. And this despite the fact G W Bush, and his national security adviser, and his secretary of defence, and his entire team, had agreed the Iraqi army would be kept intact.
    George W. Bush was so incredibly incompetent he did not even comprehend he was approving the dissolution of the Iraqi army after having agreed not to do so!

  419. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Yes, Iran could see that Saddam was contained by the existing situation, and that US/UK military intervention could trigger civil war (and create a situation more dangerous to Iran). The US foolishly (to be kind) spurned Iranian offers of help with assessing what threat, if any, was posed by Saddam. American neocons saw their chance to overthrow an enemy of Israel, and they essentially did not care how many millions of lives were ruined to accomplish this objective and their follow-on objective of turning Iraq into an ally of Israel and the US.

  420. fyi says:

    James Canning says: May 4, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    The order for the dissolution of Iraqi Army came from where?

    Do you know?

    From the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the White House, or the State Department?

    You cannot hide forever behind Jews and neo-conservatives.

  421. fyi says:

    James Canning says: May 4, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    Most NATO countries do not want Iran destroyed; they want to destroy its “Islamic” character destroyed since that orientation opposes their machinations in the lands of Islam.

    Certainly, if they could get the “Islamic” out of “Islamic Republic of Iran” without their current economic/intelligence/propaganda war (or a bombing/invasion campaign) they would prefer that. It would sooth their delicate post-Modernist, post-Christian humanitarian conscience – I suppose.

    But that is not possible.

    As for Iran, I think it beneficial for the war in Afghanistan to continue. It pins down Axis Powers resources and drains their power. Let India, Russia, Axis Powers, China, and Pakistan worry about Taliban.

    Iranians have their piece of Afghanistan in Herat and they can protect it.

    And they can live with Taliban.

  422. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Yes, the Americans did not intend to create civil war but the neocons deliberately double-crossed Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and caused the dissolution of the Iraqi army and security services. Abdullah had warned the Bush administration this would lead to civil war. Bush had promised not to disband the Iraqi army etc. as part of deal allowing use of Saudi bases for invasion of Iraq.

  423. fyi says:

    James Canning says: May 4, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    Iranians opposed the invasion since the Ba’ath state was contained by US and they were most likely concerned about a semi-sovereign Iraqi state with an anti-Iran posture.

    Without allies and waith the understanding that success for US meant disaster for Iran, they moved in with their policy of Active Neutrality. It was essential for Iran, to thwart US/EU project in Mesopotamia at any price since success of that project would entail a near certainity of US/EU war against Iran.

    I do not think that Americans encouraged the Civil War; it was a tinder box waiting to be ignited. I think Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, UAE most likely helped the Sunni fighters while Iranians supported the Shia. And US policy was caught in the middle of it.

    Civil War is never a good thing.

    But consider the consequences of the Sunni dominance of Iraq since her creation in 1922: a virulent form of (Sunni) Arabism that had no place for Kurds or for Shia. [Imagine, if you will, a virulent form of Catholic Anglo-ism in Canada which would have no place for the Protestants or for the Quebecois.] causing multiple civil war and wars of aggression in which the majority of people of Iraq had no stake.

  424. James Canning says:

    The Financial Times today has an excellent leader, calling on Obama to help arrange for Israel’s exit from the West Bank as part of the recognition of an independent Palestine.

  425. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Most Nato countries want out of the Afghan quagmire. Surely it is in Iran’s best interests to facilitate that exit. Of course, I do not think most Nato countries want Iran destroyed. True, warmongering necons and others who encourage Israeli oppression of the Palestinians, want to injure Iran to assist Israel in that oppression.

  426. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Iran opposed the US/UK invasion of Iraq, largely due to concerns the result would be Sunni-Shia civil war. This was the moral high ground. Are you arguing in effect that American encouragement of civil war in Iraq was a good thing?

  427. BiBiJon says:

    Folks,

    I really think every one of the proposals on the famous Iran memo of 2003 is being accepted.

    Starting with Hamas becoming a purely political entity HQed in Cairo. Iran consented because US is leaving Iraq and Afghanistan. methinks.

  428. Unknown Unknowns says:

    fyi says:
    May 4, 2011 at 10:46 am

    caveat emptor.

    *

    Rather, caveat vendor!

  429. fyi says:

    Rd. says: May 4, 2011 at 11:11 am

    The Shia-Sunni conflict, potentially, could damage or destroy several Muslim states that are friendly to the Axis Powers:

    Afghanistan
    Azerbaijan
    Bahrain
    Kuwait
    Pakistan
    Saudi Arabia
    Turkey

    Other than that, it is a great idea; leave it to Christians and Jews to come up with such splendid examples of statecraft.

    Really, Machiavelli would have been brought low by this; and Bismarck and Metternich would have been put to shame.

    We are thus reduced to observe how men and women of clearly superior intellect and education think of Muslim world.

    Which brings me to one of my constant observations:

    The Axis Powers’ program for the Muslim states is one of continued war and conflict.

    I can readily see why so many Muslims are seeing this as an attempt by Jews and Christians to destroy Islam.

    While the Axis Powers can pack and go home after their latest game among Muslims has led to more carnage and more destruction, the local states are left to clean-up.

    I am willing to predict that no Muslim leadership – be it political or military or religious – that is complicit in inflaming Shia-Sunni conflict, will remian in those positions.

  430. Rd. says:

    fyi says “Those who ignite this type of conflict will not be able to control it and it will inevitably burn them”

    The US decision makers have become so vengeful in their analysis/thinking, such that, at the expense of burning their foe at the stake, they are willing to burn down their own house. Only evil doer’s as Busch said do that. Pres Busch knew that very well, as he chose not to engage the Taliban to get osama, instead, he chose to go to war. The fire is raging.

  431. fyi says:

    Rd. says: May 4, 2011 at 10:21 am

    Correct.

    And Shia-Sunni conflict – already simmering in Pakistan, in full swing in Iraq, smoldering in Bahrain & Saudi Arabi, is of no concern to the Iranians; that conflict would only harm and destroy Western-oriented Muslim states, including Turkey and Kuwait.

    The Shia-Sunni conflict is an excellent opportunity for Iran to advance her cause; wrapping herself in the flag of Islamic Unity, helping the Shia where she could, and all the while plotting the weakening of the Western-oriented Sunni political leaderships.

    Those who ignite this type of conflict will not be able to control it and it will inevitably burn them.

    caveat emptor.

  432. Rd. says:

    BiBiJon says: “The entirely symbolic ‘war on terror’ needed an entirely symbolic death of Osama to stanch the bleeding of trillion$ whaking the AfPak mole, while moles elsewhere unraveled Western imposed order.”

    BiBiJon, this symbolic “Hollywood” scripted drama, and the differing versions of the story is typical government modes operandi. This is good opportune for distraction for other deeds. Peace and goodwill does not count in evil deeds.

    Moon of Alabama has a good read on its tea leaves;

    “This whole operation seems to be more designed to create conspiracy theories than to reveal what really happened.

    While I do not agree with Malooga’s comment here, I concur that this was likely an operation to retire the “Bin Laden” marketing campaign which has helped to promote divisive U.S. war of terror policies over the last decade.

    That does not mean that the “product” that encompasses those policies is now finished. Why should it be when it is still very profitable? A new theme will be found for a new campaign to promote exactly the same product and policy program”
    http://www.moonofalabama.org/

  433. Rd. says:

    Unknown Unknowns says:
    “A well-manicured Saif ul-Islam interviewing the inimitable Webster Tarpley on Russia Today! Whatever next!?”

    I think Bhadrakumar’s perspective fits the bill. Washington has a hangup on IRI as fyi chimes regularly. These guys simply can not see past their noses. They would likely go to the ends of planet to find any thing or anybody to face-off with IRI.

    “But then, the march of history is inexorable and the epochal struggle for the making of the “new Middle East” has only begun.”

    http://indiatoday.intoday.in/site/story/osama-bin-ladens-end-suits-pakistans-ends/0/137031.html?complete=1

  434. kooshy says:

    What If Bush Did It? A Nation Celebrates What It is Told

    WRITTEN BY CHRIS FLOYD
    TUESDAY, 03 MAY 2011 12:14

    http://www.chris-floyd.com/component/content/article/1-latest-news/2124-what-if-bush-did-it-a-nation-celebrates-what-it-is-told.html

  435. fyi says:

    BiBiJon says: May 4, 2011 at 6:01 am

    Suzanne Maloney is wrong; the nuclear issue is not germaine – it is a pretext.

    The Axis Powers’ aim is the destruction of Islamic Iran, one way or another.

    Iranians will be well advised not to help anyone in Afghanistan since Afghanistan is the play-ground of NATO.

    They play in it, they own it.

  436. BiBiJon says:

    When even neocons read the tea leaves, what excuse do meek Democrats have?

    From Suzanne Maloney, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy, Saban Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings, no less:

    “In spite of past failures and the inauspicious political environment in Tehran, the death of Bin Laden should prompt reconsideration in both capitals [Tehran & Washington] about the possibility of reviving direct talks on Afghanistan. To date, Washington has been hesitant on this front, for fear of undercutting its diplomatic efforts to forestall Iran’s nuclear ambitions. This tunnel vision is short-sighted. Washington’s long-sought success in the campaign against al Qaeda only further strengthens the administration’s position in dealing with an intransigent Iran. Now is the ideal time to test whether it is possible to exploit the regime’s well-honed instincts for survival and opportunism in order to achieve a more stable outcome in Afghanistan, and potentially revive the prospects for any constructive direct diplomacy between the United States and Iran.”

    http://www.brookings.edu/opinions/2011/0503_osama_bin_laden_maloney.aspx

    The entirely symbolic ‘war on terror’ needed an entirely symbolic death of Osama to stanch the bleeding of trillion$ whaking the AfPak mole, while moles elsewhere unraveled Western imposed order.

  437. Unknown Unknowns says:

    RT interview with Paul Craig Roberts (6 minute video)

    http://www.voltairenet.org/article169662.html

    Scroll down to bottome of page.

  438. Unknown Unknowns says:

    A well-manicured Saif ul-Islam interviewing the inimitable Webster Tarpley on Russia Today! Whatever next!?

    http://tarpley.net/

  439. Unknown Unknowns says:

    http://io9.com/#!5526900/top-10-greatest-science-fiction-detective-novels-of-all-time

    I’m not a big science fiction fan, but this list is worth a look for teh book covers alone. For what its worth, I would say the by far best SF novel I have read is Neal Stephenson’s The Diamond Age. I really enjoyed his Cryptonomicon as well. And Kurt Vonnegut’s Player Piano was a lot of fun.

  440. Unknown Unknowns says:

    BiBiJon:

    I hope you are right. And I think that you may well be, becuase *something* sure has really scared not just the Forever Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (into panicing, going “postal” :D and making blunders in Bahrain and Yemen, but has given the Big Dog and the Tail that Wags the Dog a case of the shivers not seen hitherto.

  441. Eric Pember says:

    Hello People! Just wanted to tell you that I got tickets to the Jersey Boys concert on Jun 03rd. In this webpage you can find tickets for other dates too. It’s astonishing their performance on stage, this is my third time and I’m still so excited about listening them live! On this page you can see the section where you’re buying the ticket, so it’s very recommended!

  442. Castellio says:

    Thinking about the US in the Mediterranean, and the growth of China, the following may be of interest:

    http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2011/04/2011422131911465794.html

  443. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    The Mubarak fortune is likely to prove to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars, not tens of billions.

    I think it is very much in the best interests of the US, if Egypt restores normal relations with Iran. Such relations will annoy the ISRAEL LOBBY, to be sure.

  444. Fiorangela says:

    Rashid Khalidi on Egypt:

    “The Arab revolutions are inward-directed demands inside their societies for personal dignity but also outward-directed, seeking to restore their collective dignity as Arabs. The word karama or dignity was a refrain in all the revolutions. The revolutions began with an affront to personal dignity—the fruit vendor slapped by a police woman in that provincial city in Tunisia—and have continued in this manner, Khalidi said angrily, with Basher ‘Assad having the temerity to laugh as he saw thugs attack his people in Darra.

    “But something else was being demanded by these revolutions, collective dignity of a people and of Arab people as a whole. And this is where Palestine and Gaza fit in. …. Palestine and in particular the issue of Gaza are at the heart, the center of this demand for dignity.”

    You must understand the role of Egypt as the heart of the Arab world, he said. When Egypt is in eclipse, the entire Arab world is in eclipse. And the condition of Palestine and Egypt’s role in those conditions has put Egypt in eclipse. There were hundreds and hundreds of Palestinian flags in Tahrr Square.

    “The complicity of the [Mubarak regime in the blockade of Gaza] was perceived by the vast majority of Egyptians as humiliating, constituting servile submission to the United States and Israel.”

    One of the first acts of the new government in February was to ease the crossing of Palestinians into Gaza at the Rafah crossing, and now the Egyptian role in the reconciliation of Fatah and Hamas must be seen as a revolutionary benefit. For four years it had been Mubarak enforcer Omar Suleiman’s role to reconcile the two sides and for four years nothing had happened. Then Suleiman was removed from his job and two months later reconciliation took place. This is because it was Israeli and US policy to block the reconciliation.

    “These may be mysteries to the consumer of American media, but the Egyptina pople understand them well.”

  445. BiBiJon says:

    Unknown Unknowns, Sineva:

    Thanks for taking up the discussion on Egypt.

    “Amaney Jamal, a political science professor at Princeton University, said the estimate of [Mubarak's family fortune at] $40bn-70bn was comparable with the vast wealth of leaders in other Gulf countries.”
    From http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/feb/04/hosni-mubarak-family-fortune

    This tidbit, and the fact that $70bn was not accumulated overnight, tells me Egyptian Military’s senior staff, those unafflicted with kiss-ass genes, have long dreamed of some other type of Egypt altogether.

    Much ado about US aid to Egypt, when even a slight uptick in trade with Turkey and/or Iran is way more than enough to re-compensate. Iranian war ships went through the Suez. Was this a dry-run for Egypt becoming a new UAE for Iran? Is this what prompted KSA and other Gulf governments to go postal?

    I’m therefore left thinking the Egypt’s military outfoxed CIA, bucked all expectations, shed the masque of pretense with firing Omar Suleiman (Clinton’s choice), and are charting an independent course, fast, very fast.

    I assume this has become a top-down revolution. I do see American hands in this affair, but I see the hands twiddling their thumbs. I cannot point to a single item on US’ wish list that has been granted, I see plenty in opposite direction.

  446. Fiorangela says:

    completely off topic

    Andrea Doria was a major hero in Italian history and of Genoa, the most important city-state in Italy for over 400 years. Genoa’s Bank of St George is the perpetually overlooked template for highly sophisticated forms of capitalism, or corporate forms of organization, for insurance, and for the deeply entwined relationship between financiers and governments; it managed the wealth of the Spanish New World with its hordes of gold and served as bank to Christopher Columbus, Genoa’s native son.

    A comment by a more recent Italian political leader (and hero, in my view), Giandomenico Picco, suggested that it might be worthwhile to understand how Italian history inspires Italian leaders to think. Leon Panetta was a key figure in the Clinton administration and will be taking on an increasingly more visible role in the Obama administration; a little insight into the quality of the gears that make his clock tic might be in order.

    First, some brief words about Giandomenico Picco: he was part of a panel at the Wilson Center that discussed Iran: Past, present and future. In that panel discussion, Picco spoke of his role in arranging a cessation of hostilities between Iraq and Iran. Iraq would not come to the table, Picco said, so he relied on his understanding of Italian banking traditions: he gathered the money men to make peace — the Arabs who had financed Iraq’s part in the war. They were willing to negotiate with Iran, and Picco got the deal done and the killing stopped. “If you’re in a tough negotiation, use a bit of Italian imagination; you will find a way,” advised Mr. Picco.

    My Italian heroes understand the motives of scoundrels, having played the role themselves. Andrea Doria made a living as a “merchant sea captain,” otherwise known as pirate, as did many of his Genoese compatriots as well as competing Venetian and Milanese merchant mariners. Doria’s stock in trade was his set of skills in managing maritime trade and inspiring men, skills that he put at the service of the polity that seemed most willing to use his services to best effect. In the fierce competition over Mediterranean and Adriatic routes from various Italian ports, in contest with Ottoman Turks, French, and Spanish interests, Doria played both sides against the middle and took Genoa with him, switching from a position of having fought with the French to allying Genoa with the French, in order to achieve the best interests of Genoa.

    As Antonin Scalia noted ruefully in a discussion at the Library of Congress in October 2010, Americans have little knowledge of, or education in, the influence of Italian philosophy, law, politics, and cultural and intellectual activities on the shaping of the American Constitutional republic. The history is dense and detailed and frequently disedifying, but it is highly instructive. This blogger’s essay, that views Doria as an “entrepreneur of violence,” is worth quoting in its entirety:


    The Entrepreneurs of violence and their employers in 16th century Italy

    I.

    The starting point of this essay is the definition of “the state” given by Frederic Lane, who defines it as a violence-producing enterprise. The residual rights, or ownership, over this firm is held by a given entity that was, during the early modern period, a king or a larger group of aristocrats. As any rent-seeking organisation the pre-democratic state aimed at creating profit for its owners. However the state wasn’t always able to provide satisfactory protection for subjects, despite tax payments. The case of Habsburg’s Spain clearly illustrates this problem. As a territorial power facing sudden naval threats, it resorted to renting the services of other violence-producing organizations. Modern academics define these organizations as entrepreneurs of violence.

    Andrea Doria was one of the most successful entrepreneurs of violence. He was a Genoese admiral born in 1466, who served as a mercenary for Rome, Naples, Genoa, France and Spain during his 76 years long career. He joined the service of Emperor Charles V as Captain of the Sea (meaning head of all the fleets in the Mediterranean) in 1528 and instantly became the backbone of his employer in the defence against the French, the Ottomans and the Barbary pirates. He rented up to twenty- two galleys to the Habsburgs and created a real industry in Genoa and around the Mediterranean of warship renting. In January 1548, in his so- called political testament the Emperador told his son how important the Genoese private galley-owners were for the mere survival of their realms and how serious was the threat of them swapping their alliance and falling under French control.

    Yet, a decade latter, in December 1560, the scenario had changed. Andrea Doria died November leaving his grand nephew Giovanni Andrea Doria as his heir. Philip II had taken his father’s place in January 1556 and the Dorias’ now openly acknowledged their dependency on the king’s will. How did the employer/employee relationship change so dramatically in 10 years?

    II.

    To fully appreciate this evolution a brief outline of the relationship between Andrea Doria and the Spanish crown in the early 1550’s must be drawn. The nature of the exchange evokes a market system, because supply and demand varied. Private entrepreneurs of violence, nobles and lesser organizations such as the Spanish military order of Saint James or the dukes of Savoy and Florence, as well as the Republic of Genoa itself were competing to rent out their fleets to different clients. The clients were mainly the king of Spain and his French counterpart but also smaller states such as Rome, Tunis or Malta or even privately owned organizations such as The House of Saint George (the Genoese joint stock company administrating Corsica) or the Genoese silk or coral industries, which needed to secure their convoys shipment of raw material. However, the exchange system of available goods was not a market. Primarily because the exchange of two goods of equal value (namely violence for money) was not the logic on which this system was based. The structure of the relationship was a servicio-merced (service-gift) circle. The absolute devotion of the Genoese admiral was to be rewarded by the infinite contentment of the Emperor materialized by presents (including a large and fixed sum of money but not only).

    In this context Andrea Doria clearly dominated both his competitors and his employer. Indeed, his offer was recognized as being the best available. Not only was he providing the largest number of galleys, and the most feared by the enemy, but he also had a unique role in bargaining the resources of Genoa to the benefit of Spain. This was made possible by the fact that Andrea Doria was as well the uncrowned prince of Genoa since July 1528. So he granted Charles V access, not only to the city’s military facilities (arsenal, sailors, soldiers) but also to all kinds of services essential to the Emperor, mainly the credit-system of Genoese bankers and the city’s strategic position as a crossroad between Naples, Barcelona and the Northern realms of the Habsburg (Milan, the Holly Roman Empire and the Netherlands).

    As an imperial “minister”, Andrea Doria was critical to the ruling of decentralized Italia Hispanica. His personal credit and his sizeable military power –along with the trust placed in him by Charles– often put Andrea Doria in the position of a real viceroy able to make extremely significant choices single-handedly.

    The galley rental was settled by a contract, in Spanish asiento. This type of agreement over the commercial exchange was fairly incomplete and ambiguous, leading either to the autonomy of the asientista (the entrepreneur) or a strongly hierarchical relationship. Among the many interesting aspects of the asiento, the most important one is the enforcement matter. Neither of the contractors had any legal means to prevent or punish an opportunistic move by the other player. Thus, reputation and trust were central in this type of deal. Yet, the asientistas were so mighty that they didn’t feel the need to create any type of institution to enforce their claims against the Spanish king. Charles was fully aware of his need to respect the contract with the asientistas. To prevent any betrayal, he simply integrated the asientista into the Spanish nobility. Strategically Andrea Doria was made prince of Melfi and knight of the Golden Flee, reinforcing his bond with his “lord”.

    III.

    But this equilibrium came to an end in the tempestuous 1550’s. During this decade, Andrea Doria suffered a dramatic loss of power. Insidious “path dependency”, the growing autonomy of Genoa from the will of the Dorias, and several naval defeats led to a steep decline of the admiral’s organization. This global failure was crystallized when Andrea’s heir and lieutenant, Giovanni Andrea Doria, failed to name his successor as Captain of the Sea. Regularly summoned to fight for the Catholic King, the nature of the organization changed deeply. From a seasonal activity for the population of Liguria, it became a full-time work for professional sailors or fighters, which increased even more the cost of the fleet.

    The weakening of Doria’s position led to a partial absorption of the organization by the Spanish administration. The fleet suffered many losses during that time and, although unwilling, Andrea Doria had to allow Spanish troops on his galleys, he was increasingly dependent on Philip II’s resources to keep his firm working. Most importantly the necessary slave rowers were coming from the jails of the Peninsula. Informally, Philip now owned a part of the fleet. During the years between 1555 and 1559, the Spanish crown faced huge financial difficulties and seldom paid the admiral. Tied to his relationship with Spain, Andrea Doria had no other choice but to keep serving his unreliable master. This unofficial appropriation gave Philip the control over the governance of Dorias’ firm and partially over the benefits. The forced sale of half of Giovanni Andrea’s galleys the year following his grand uncle’s death reflects the aggressive Spanish control over the once private fleet. The role of Philip in this change is clear, having opposed his father in many aspects, he refused the burden of the symbolic debt to Andrea Doria and exploited the power his hierarchical position as client/employer and as lord gave him.

    The firm was definitively removed from the market system by its integration in the Spanish administration, as it eliminated any other potential client. The mayhem of the 1550’s changed the nature of the relationship. Indeed, the servicio-merced logic was replaced by an exchange of goods equal in value. The lack of payments often forced the Dorias to implore for money, and somewhat exceptionally specifying their precise needs. Unlike his predecessor Giovanni Andrea Doria admitted he was, as any merchants, seeking a fair benefit for his services and not only a symbolic reward in the form of honour. This capitalistic spirit allied with the partial absorption of the firm, meant the relationship evolved from an ambiguous aristocratic partnership to a proper subcontracting system, but an ill-defined one.

    Ultimately these developments point to the superior power of the state as a violence-producing organization in an Early Modern context. Territorially larger and economically stronger, the state can more easily endure greater losses. Europe was impressed by Philip’s alacrity to recover from all the defeats and shipwrecks that took place in the early years of his kingship, while in similar conditions the Dorias begged for help. The Barcelona arsenal, sided with the ones of Naples, Sicily and Andalusia, becoming the most important in the Western Mediterranean, still not as impressive as Venice’s Arsenal or the Golden Horn shipbuilding facilities, but very effective. Spain’s military efficiency was enhanced by the rising patriotic feelings of its population that gave a somehow easier access to man and money supplies. All this led to the creation of a mighty royal fleet. By 1562, Philip had discarded all rented galleys except Doria’s. Proving that Giovanni Andrea’s services and power were still valuable in the mind of the Prudent King.

    IV.

    This event can be interpreted as one step towards the monopolisation of violence by the state. But the outcome was not set from the beginning. Had some factors been different, the state could have remained highly dependent on market forces to produce violence. The result was unpredictable, since the absorption of Andrea Doria’s firm by the Spanish administration appears to be a real “trick of the reason of state”.”

    Those who are as disheartened (and perhaps naive) as I am at the violence, greed, and mendacity of our world, might find hope in the realization that these factors have deep roots in history and in human nature, and that other people have survived their playing out on the world’s stage.

  447. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    You are quite right that the Mediterranean initiative was promoted by France as a way of having the EU deal with countries around the Mediterranean, including Turkey, that France did not see as becoming EU members. Israel, of course, would be a member of both Nato and the EU if the neocons had their their way. Fortunately, this disastrous policy course seems unlikely.

  448. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I think Haass has a bug up his nose when it comes to Iran. Meaning he cannot think clearly. Or he does not want to admit openly that Iran’s help is essential not only to achieve a minimum degree of stability in Afghanistan, but to maintain that stability, promote economic growth, etc etc. And Max Boot is a neocon warmonger of the first stripe.

  449. Unknown Unknowns says:

    BiBiJon:
    An astute observation (as usual) about the state of mind in the Egbption army. But the whole thing seems too good to be true. The Kamalists used to hold dance nights for the senior staff of the army (for all I know, they still do), the main reason for which was to ensure that senior officers got to offer their wives to other officers’ touch, which of course is strictly contrary to the edicts of Shari’a. The idea was that any senior officer who was not willing to partake in this practice and declined teh invitation would not get promoted to a position of real authority. I imagine many such mechannisms were and remain in place in the Egybtion military. There must be many such ideological filters in place. My understanding is that the $1.5B in “aid” buys the US the right to determine who gets promoted, who gets to fly to the US for advance training courses, etc.

    Yet, despite all this, it seems that some sort of sea change is certainly taking place. for example, the speed with which the approval of teh passage of teh Iranian Navy’s frigates through the canal took place was staggering. I thought it was surely going to be an isolated incident, forced uponj the Egybtians by Iran’s wiley tactitians. But then they followed that with diplomatic exchanges
    and a broad opening of relations. And now this business with Hamas.

    The fact that this sea change is real and is taking place *despite* all the filters, i.e., the fact of the seemingly total failure of the filters properly to execute their function, is the real news here; teh even bigger news.

    I have no idea why this is the case, but I would love to hear from anyone who’d like to take a stab at the question, including fyi, when he stops sulking.
    And the fact that it is *despite* this

  450. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon – - Egypt had been attempting to achieve a reconstitution of the unity government (Fatah/Hamas) for years.

    The power structure that has controlled Egypt since the early 1950s remains intact. Maybe jettisoning Mubarak was seen as necessary to preserve that structure.

  451. Rehmat says:

    Actor Jim Caviezel has recently claimed his Hollywood career was wrecked by playing Jesus in Mel Gibson’s so-called anti-Semitic movie ‘The Passion of the Christ’.

    According to Jim,since playing the son of God in the 2004 film new offers had dried up and he is shunned by many within the Hollywood film industry.

    Jim Caviezel, a devout Catholic is persecuted by the Jewish monopolized Hollywood – no one seems to be concerned about Mel Gibson’s casting five hardcore porn actors in the so-called ‘religious movie’.

    In 2004 – The Jewish reaction to Mel Gibson’s movie was like someone had denied the Zionists narrative of the Holocaust. Pro-Israel ADL lead the Zionist Jihad against Mel Gibson. Joey Kurtzman wrote in August 2007:

    “The ADL’s jihad against Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ was typical of the organization’s destructive, self-interested efforts. Foxman, as you might remember, fanned fears it would inspire Chmielniki-style pogroms. Yet not a single documented act of violence against Jews resulted from the film, nor even a single verbal assault. A study conducted by Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles indicated some anger among Christians toward Jews—but because of the reaction to the film, rather than its contents. Thanks to the ADL, our strong and self-confident community was made to appear silly and paranoid before the world.

    The Passion fiasco was hardly the ADL’s only effort to alienate and insult American Christians. In November 2005, Foxman delivered a widely publicized speech in which he warned that American Christian organizations were engaged in an insidious campaign to “Christianize” America. It’s a shocking allegation: firstly, because Jewish interfaith groups have developed very strong ties with precisely such organizations in the past decade; and secondly, because conservative Jewish groups have been just as aggressive in their efforts to breach the wall between church and state. While Christian groups can’t get the ornaments of Christianity placed in government buildings, Chabad has succeeded in publicly erecting enormous, gaudy menorahs throughout the country”.

    Harmony Grant Daws, an expert on the New Testament and associated with National Prayer Nework, in her response to Abraham Foxman’s claim of the New Testament being anti-Semitic, wrote: “For Abraham Foxman (national director Anti-Defamation League), the Gospel itself is anti-Semitic and dangerous, as is Christian evangelism to Jews. His book, Never Again? The Threat of the New Anti-Semitism, alleges that “with every annual reading or reenactment of the story of the death of Jesus in Christian churches, millions of Christians imbibed the notion that the Jews had been guilty of the worst crime in history. Into our own time, the deicide libel has been used to justify hatred of Jews and violence against them, including from Christian pulpits.” Violence from Christian pulpits even includes the commission to witness to Jews, according to Foxman, which is seen as attempted genocide of their souls!”

    One of many Jewish vengeance carried out recently was the demolition of Grand Mufti of Palestine, Al-Haj Amin al-Husseini’s (1895-1974) former residence, the Shepherds Hotel in Jerusalem.

    http://rehmat2.wordpress.com/2011/05/03/jim-caviezel-the-victim-of-jewish-vengeance/

  452. BiBiJon says:

    fyi says:
    May 3, 2011 at 10:19 am

    You have to laugh to keep from crying. There is hardly a more influential think tank than CFR, but the Iran-enmity-obsession ideology makes for blatant contradictions that keeps seeping out. There is no hope of a realistic policy from these guys. As there is no hope that something other than what’s in a bottle will pour out if you tipped it.

  453. Sineva says:

    I think you`ve hit the nail on the head BiBiJon,I have no doubt that the real price Egypt paid for US “friendship”,weapons,money etc.. was the loss of Egypts indepedence and through that the loss of Egypts power and prestiege in the region,this could have had a lot to do with the military staying neutral during the protests leaving Mubarak with only his totally outnumbred security forces to try to keep him in power

  454. BiBiJon says:

    Unknown Unknowns says:
    May 2, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    Re the (May 2, ‘11) Asia Times article by M K Bhadrakumar

    “The stunning geopolitical reality of the ”new Middle East” is that Egypt brokered the surprise Palestinian reconciliation of Fatah and Hamas without consulting the United States and Israel – or Saudi Arabia.”

    I am asking/thinking that there must have been deep, longstanding dissatisfaction with Mubarak’s policies among his senior military brass who now head up the interim Egyptian government. I think more discussion is warranted as to what motivated the quick ouster of Mubarak? What under-girds the quick/hasty foreign policy reorientation which, if conducted by any government, would be judged as tectonic, let alone an interim government with a shelf-life of under six months.

    Not consulting US/Israel/KSA about Hamas/Fatah must derive from a pre-formulated policy direction that the elites were itching to put into place. The ‘haste’ further emphasizes the strategic importance that was attached to the new direction — they did not want to leave the foundational moves to the vagaries of September’s election results.

    30 years of peace/subservience to US/Israel reduced Egypt to a mere spectator as Turkish economy rose alongside Hassan Naseollah’s rock-star-like regional popularity. Providing laborers to erect skyscrapers for the Persian Gulf’ nouveau riche or supplying taxi drivers in NY must have lacked a little something to be regarded as an apt destiny for the Egyptian nation.

    The top brass must have been seething with nationalistic discomfort for years and years.

  455. fyi says:

    All:

    This is Mr. Haass’s Testimony on May 3, 2001 to U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations onwhat is an Acceptable End-State for Afghanistan.

    http://www.cfr.org/afghanistan/acceptable-end-state-afghanistan/p24874

    I noticed that he advocates retrenchment so that enough soldiers are available to possibly fight Iran or North Korea.

    Later, he mentions the possibility of reviving of 6+2 Forum of States to deal with Afghanistan.

    A former member of this now defunct forum was Iran.

    So, what he is saying is that US needs to retrench and get out of Afghanistan in order to deal with contingencies that require military force, one being Iran. And in order to do so, the Iranians’ help ought to be solicited to anfacilitate US departuer from Afghanistan.

  456. fyi says:

    Fiorangela says: May 3, 2011 at 12:00 am

    Mediterranean Dialogue was concieved by the French as a forum to engage the non-EU states of the Mediterranean Sea with EU.

    The forum was supposed to cover commerce, security, education, travel, transport areas.

    It has not been as significance as it was hoped since in many of the above areas there were bilateral treaties that governed them. This only formalized the existing situation.

    It was not a NATO project, to my knowledge.

    It was analogous to what EU was offerring Turkey in lieu of EU membership.

    That Israel has been very active in it does not surprise me, the Israelis clearly are willing to take advantage of any opportunity.

    You should visit Tunisia sometime and observe for yourself how creole a civilization it is and how dependent on France.

  457. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Eric:
    We’re on the same page. I was being facetious in the extreme, including the natives and desert lingo.
    It is absurd what the yarn-spinners at CIA come up with, just as it is absurd that they chose a guy who was 40 pounds heavier than Osama Bin Dead Awhile for the “Fatty Bin laden video”, didn’t have him take his gold watch off (which he wore on his left hand, not on his right, which all Wahhabb freaks do (the better to “immitate” the Prophet), etc., etc. I agree with you: these spinmeisters have no clue, and what is worse, the American Sheeple are even more clueless.

  458. Unknown Unknowns wrote:

    “Yeah… the $20 million reward would not be an issue of concern, as the natives, whose daily income of what is it, a dollar a day, puts them beyond the pale of needing to inform on a beloved foreigner whose presence has brought so much peace and stability to their neck of the woods, I mean desert.”

    I may simply be misunderstanding your point – my apology, if so.

    If the Pakistani “natives” did know about bin Laden’s presence, it would appear that the $20 million reward was not enough, since there’s no report that anyone turned him in. Regardless of whether bin Laden brought anything of value to their “desert,” they apparently believed he should not be turned over to the Americans, whatever the reward might be.

    But that was not my point in any case. My point was that anyone who had two brain cells to rub together and who was trying to hide from the CIA would not post “heavily armed guards” – or any guards at all – in view of anyone who might pass by the house where he was hiding. That being so, I find it surprising that the American agents searching for bin Laden declined to follow up on their suspicions about this house – formed years earlier, according to the article – because the house did not have “heavily armed guards” posted around it.

    That was my point. I thought it was clear.

  459. BiBiJon says:

    Fiorangela says:
    May 3, 2011 at 12:00 am

    after the collapse of NATO’s nemesis, and Raison d’être, the Soviet Union, I often wondered what next? The answer came quickly: NATO’s expansion into eastern Europe.

    The key word here is expansion, which having exhausted the possibilities to the east, is now looking to the south. With the first salvo directed at Libya, NATO has lost any pretense to being a ‘defensive’ organization. So now we have non-defensive ‘expansion’.

    Thanks for the heads up. NATO’s future should be seen as one of militantly aggressive expansionism. Israel fits right in.

  460. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Fior: “What is it with grownups? How can Rasmussen imply that he is aware of the existence of STUXNET, and if he reads a few newspapers, he has to be aware that Israel had a hand in developing that cyberthreat, yet he’s willing to trust Israel to work on cyber defenses. What am I missing? Isn’t the party with the most destructive weapon, that is held in secret, the one that should be most feared and ostracized, rather than patronized?”

    *

    No, I had not heard of this working group before. So I guess this is where all the behind the scenes meetings take place where the work of coordinating policy to ensure Western and Israeli interests are followed by their vassals is carried out.

    To answer you last rhetorical question, I guess I would have to say that what is missing in your analysis is the near complete brainwashing of the American sheeple, the complete lack of a political consciousness, their dumbing down, to the point that they believe anything their leaders tell them. This, of course, is nothing new. We have myriad examples, the most recent of which are Stalin’s Russia and Hitler’s Germany.

  461. Fiorangela says:

    Unknown Unknowns, Do you have any information about the “Mediterranean Dialogue,” a function of NATO?

    from a speech by NATO Secy General Rasmussen at Herzliya conference, Feb. 2011: http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/opinions_70537.htm

    “I am here to speak about a better future: the future of NATO’s relations with Israel and the other Mediterranean partners. . . .the future depends on
    - how we define our common threats and challenges. . . .
    - finding common solutions. . . .
    - understanding that we share a common destiny.

    The Mediterranean Dialogue was established in 1994 and since the beginning; Israel has been one of its most dynamic participants. This initiative gathered Israel and its Arab partners around the same table, engaging them in a political and security dialogue, and touching on military cooperation. That was an achievement which we should not underestimate.

    . . .this dialogue . . .was established soon after the Oslo accords and the Israeli-Jordanian Peace Treaty. You could say that, it was the Age of Optimism in the Middle East. . . . [Since that time]“

    Then, Rasmussen displays his mastery of the official code words for IRAN. “Axis of evil” is out of style; now we have

    New threats . . . . nuclear proliferation, ballistic missile proliferation or terrorism . . . NATO’s New Strategic Concept that we adopted in Lisbon makes it very clear that the proliferation of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, and their means of delivery, threatens incalculable consequences for global stability and prosperity. During the next decade, we expect proliferation to be most acute in some of the world’s most volatile regions.
    {snip}
    And, as I said earlier, a new and different challenge is emerging across the region. The need to address the demand of Arab societies for democratic reforms. Just a couple of weeks ago, few would have predicted such a development – and events are still unfolding.

    subtle distinction: Iran is a threat; the Arab states are a challenge. Should the Arab states achieve independence from western hegemony, they too might become threats, rather than just challenges. Thus, under H. Clinton’s and Jeff Feltman’s watchful eyes, Rasmussen continues:

    “We monitor the situation very closely – Egypt and Tunisia are valued members of the Mediterranean Dialogue. I have urged all parties to engage without delay in an open dialogue, to ensure a peaceful, democratic and speedy transition with full respect of human rights.

    with care to nip in the bud any tendency to assert complete independence.

    For over 30 years, Egypt has played a key moderating role in the region. And it is imperative ***interesting word choice*** for all of us that it should remain a force for peace and stability.

    REMAIN a force for PEACE? peace for whom? stability for whom? If Egyptians were in a state of peace and stability, why would the Egyptian people seek to overturn their government? The words you are looking for, Secy. Rasmussen, are ‘status quo.’

    Egypt making demands on Israel, and Egypt cooperating with Iran, shatters the status quo, which might be what ultimately brings peace and stability to the region.

    Secondly, we have taken the decision to further expand our practical cooperation. We are extending the range of activities that we can offer to all Mediterranean partners from around 700 to more than 1600. When it comes to cooperation projects, there is no longer any distinction between the Mediterranean countries and the Euro-Atlantic partners.

    Now that’s interesting: the world has become smaller, merging Atlantic and Mediterranean, but like pubescent teens building a tree house, the goal of this club is to gather in a bigger piece of the pie, and to share it with a smaller number of Chosen Ones.

    “I see several areas where we can work together, for example civil emergency planning, military-to-military cooperation, the fight against terrorism. Concerning, civil emergency, last December several NATO Allies contributed to the Israeli effort to extinguish the fires that ravaged the North of the country. This cooperation could be taken further through joint training, joint exercises and greater connectivity between our emergency centres.

    To ensure the protection of its Allies, NATO is developing new capabilities to meet new threats and challenges, such as Missile and Cyber defence. Of course, we want to discuss these issues with partners too, in areas where we face common threats. While at the same time respecting national security policies, and a need for flexibility.

    And thirdly, operations. Several Mediterranean partners are taking part in our ongoing operations in Kosovo and Afghanistan. These contributions are important in themselves. However, it is also important to set a clear framework, within which Mediterranean partners could further participate in NATO-led operations.

    I do not have illusions about NATO’s role in providing security in the region: NATO cannot solve all the problems and it never intended to do so. After all, Mediterranean partners never expected such a thing from NATO. But we can still provide a substantial added value in the region.

    And ladies and gentlemen, that brings me to my final point: the common destiny which bonds Allies and the Mediterranean. A strong and dynamic relationship between the Euro-Atlantic countries and Israel is a key part of it. We have much in common, not least a pluralist democracy, a robust public debate and a lively media scene.

    But stability and prosperity can only come from within the region. And stability and prosperity will only survive if the regional players want to be engaged.

    NATO, through its Mediterranean partnership can help the region by acting as a facilitator, building closer ties between the stakeholders and providing a venue for a security dialogue. Our own countries in Europe have set aside their differences to build security mechanisms that allow them to address the challenges of tomorrow. The Middle East does not have to be an exception and I believe that Israel can play a leading role in that endeavour.

    Of course, pending a comprehensive Middle East Peace Settlement, this seems almost utopian. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict may no longer be perceived as the only problem in the region, but it still constitutes a major impediment in addressing other issues that threaten regional stability. The lack of a solution to the Israeli – Palestinian conflict continues to undermine the stability of the region.

    NATO is not involved in the Middle East peace process and is not seeking a role in it. The three conditions for any possible NATO involvement are well known: if a comprehensive peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians was reached; if both parties requested that NATO should help them with the implementation of that agreement; and if the United Nations endorsed NATO’s possible involvement.

    Of course, at the moment, those three IF’s are far from being met.”

    What is it with grownups? How can Rasmussen imply that he is aware of the existence of STUXNET, and if he reads a few newspapers, he has to be aware that Israel had a hand in developing that cyberthreat, yet he’s willing to trust Israel to work on cyber defenses. What am I missing? Isn’t the party with the most destructive weapon, that is held in secret, the one that should be most feared and ostracized, rather than patronized?

  462. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Asia Times abstracts

    Egypt shakes up Middle Eastern order
    The stunning geopolitical reality of the ”new Middle East” is that Egypt brokered the surprise Palestinian reconciliation of Fatah and Hamas without consulting the United States and Israel – or Saudi Arabia. That Cairo coordinated efforts with Tehran suggests Egypt-Iran rapprochement has gained traction, and Israel’s worst fears about the Egyptian revolution seem to be coming true.
    - M K Bhadrakumar (May 2, ’11)

    New currents in the Egyptian revolution
    If the United States and its allies had hoped that after Hosni Mubarak the military regime in Egypt would toe their line and uphold their policies in the Middle East (for example, by furthering their agenda in Libya), those hopes appear to have sunk. The “new” Egypt is pursuing its own interests, and making a lot of people very uncomfortable. – Victor Kotsev (May 2, ’11)

    Ice melts in Iran’s cold war with Egypt
    In what may be a blow to the interests of Israel and the United States, Egypt has declared itself ready to re-establish links with Iran in the wake of February’s overthrow of former president Hosni Mubarak, who saw the Islamic Republic as a bitter foe. A new relationship would also be a real gain for Tehran’s theocratic system, which would stand to benefit more than the new regime in Cairo. – Robert Tait (Apr 28, ’11)

  463. kooshy says:

    Interestingly, by watching the American MSM today I then remembered how and easily we all were convinced and made to believe that WMD’s were piled up in Iraq, and many similar incidents since 2001,. I can’t say that I got sadden by seeing that the incident is not being scrutinized, I end up drawing up from my Iranian Zurvanism mentality and convinced myself that what we get must be what we deserve.

  464. kooshy says:

    Guardian: ‘Dead bin Laden image is fake’

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/177927.html

  465. Dan Cooper says:

    If today were April 1 and not May 2, we could dismiss as an April fool’s joke this morning’s headline that Osama bin Laden was killed in a firefight in Pakistan and quickly buried at sea. As it is, we must take it as more evidence that the US government has unlimited belief in the gullibility of Americans.

    Think about it. What are the chances that a person allegedly suffering from kidney disease and requiring dialysis and, in addition, afflicted with diabetes and low blood pressure, survived in mountain hideaways for a decade? If bin Laden was able to acquire dialysis equipment and medical care that his condition required, would not the shipment of dialysis equipment point to his location? Why did it take ten years to find him?

    Consider also the claims, repeated by a triumphalist US media celebrating bin Laden’s death, that “bin Laden used his millions to bankroll terrorist training camps in Sudan, the Philippines, and Afghanistan, sending ‘holy warriors’ to foment revolution and fight with fundamentalist Muslim forces across North Africa, in Chechnya, Tajikistan and Bosnia.” That’s a lot of activity for mere millions to bankroll (perhaps the US should have put him in charge of the Pentagon), but the main question is: how was bin Laden able to move his money about? What banking system was helping him? The US government succeeds in seizing the assets of people and of entire countries, Libya being the most recent. Why not bin Laden’s? Was he carrying around with him $100 million dollars in gold coins and sending emissaries to distribute payments to his far-flung operations?

    This morning’s headline has the odor of a staged event. The smell reeks from the triumphalist news reports loaded with exaggerations, from celebrants waving flags and chanting “USA USA.” Could something else be going on?

    No doubt President Obama is in desperate need of a victory. He committed the fool’s error or restarting the war in Afghanistan, and now after a decade of fighting the US faces stalemate, if not defeat. The wars of the Bush/Obama regimes have bankrupted the US, leaving huge deficits and a declining dollar in their wake. And re-election time is approaching.

    The various lies and deceptions, such as “weapons of mass destruction,” of the last several administrations had terrible consequences for the US and the world. But not all deceptions are the same. Remember, the entire reason for invading Afghanistan in the first place was to get bin Laden. Now that President Obama has declared bin Laden to have been shot in the head by US special forces operating in an independent country and buried at sea, there is no reason for continuing the war.

    Perhaps the precipitous decline in the US dollar in foreign exchange markets has forced some real budget reductions, which can only come from stopping the open-ended wars. Until the decline of the dollar reached the breaking point, Osama bin Laden, who many experts believe to have been dead for years, was a useful bogyman to use to feed the profits of the US military/security complex.

    Osama bin Laden’s Second Death

    By Paul Craig Roberts

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article28009.htm

  466. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Eric:
    Yeah… the $20 million reward would not be an issue of concern, as the natives, whose daily income of what is it, a dollar a day, puts them beyond the pale of needing to inform on a beloved foreigner whose presence has brought so much peace and stability to their neck of the woods, I mean desert.

  467. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Hey, just wanted to share with y’all a missive I got from my sister a little while ago. As you can see, she is the sane and grounded sibling in our family. What she failed to mention, however, as a funny aside is how absolutely outraged she was when on that fateful September morning when I called her from California to see how she and her family were doing, after I casually mentioned (not knowing how controversial a position it would be) that “I wouldn’t be surprised if they had done this to themselves.” I got a good tongue-lashing from my mom after she had heard about my “outrageous” statement from my sister :D Of course, my sister went on to become a die-hard 9/11 Truther, whereas I remain a comfortably uncommited agnostic, reserving, of course, all rights to poke fun at both sides :P

    Osama is dead! Will the healing begin?

    May 2 – 2011

    I woke up today to an AP alert on my phone: Osama Bin Laden dead, buried at sea.
    With that short headline and in my sleepy state, I did not realize we had caught him
    and killed him. I thought he had just died but, “buried at sea?” I stumbled down the
    stairs to join my husband who had been up for a while. He said, “your phone must
    be getting ready to blow up – Twitter is going nuts!” That’s when I found out that
    this was not a regular day, but one of retribution. Will justice be done after a decade
    of war, when in the end, the “war on terror” is not what delivered the most wanted
    fugitive of our time.

    Back on 9/11 in 2001, my family and I had recently moved back to New Jersey from
    living in London. We were at the tail end of a year-long renovation project with our
    house and the kids had just started their school year back in the Millburn school
    system. It was a glorious sunny day and I had three crews of different trades at the
    house, finishing up the last of the renovations. I dropped my husband off at the train
    station for his commute to Manhattan – 18 miles as the crow flies – and headed
    home to share that fateful day with a crew of Polish painters, Italian carpenters and
    Honduran landscapers. There must have been about 15 workmen and me at our
    house when the first tower was hit. We found out about it because the painters had
    the radio on. We all gathered into one room, turned on the TV and expressed horror
    in several languages all at once. My husband watched from an office window as each
    tower fell. When the second tower fell, that’s when I felt the threat at my own door. I
    decided I had to go pick up my kids from school.

    That is exactly what other mothers felt at that moment around the entire region. I
    ended up picking up other peoples’ kids too and brought them all back to the house
    to join the workmen. Was it okay to let 4th graders and middle-schoolers watch the
    horror that was unfolding? I did not know and was numb to the effect it might have
    on them. We watched and waited to find out the WHY and the WHO. Cell phones
    didn’t work because the World Trade Center held the transmission equipment,
    now down in the dust along with all the lives lost. I did speak to my husband briefly
    though and told him to get a room in the city and not attempt to make it home; it
    was going to be impossible to do that.

    What else was impossible was to know what this day would mean, going forward,
    for the whole world, but also for my own family, with so many connections to the
    Middle East. In 2001, I had been a US citizen for 15 years and had managed to live
    as an Iranian-American with one leg in each world, maintaining both identities.
    This would become more and more difficult now. In the days following 9/11, huge
    crowds held candlelight vigils around the world in solidarity with America. And not
    surprising to me, the spontaneous crowds with candles were particularly large in
    Iran. Others were surprised, but as all Iranians know, there is no people-to-people

    hostility, from Iran to America, and the horror of what happened on 9/11 brought
    out sympathies of all Iranians for the losses suffered in the U.S. Our phones started
    to ring; we got phone calls from friends and family in Iran, checking in on us to
    express their outrage but also their support so that we could pull through. We heard
    from them that nothing could ever justify such an act of evil.

    I had no way of knowing that in short order, our president, George W. Bush, would
    speak of Iran as part of an “Axis of Evil” and put Iran in the same category as North
    Korea and Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. That changed everything for me as an American.
    No longer allowed to feel comfortable as an Iranian-American, I was put in the
    enemy camp by my own president. Every day, as the Bush Doctrine of pre-emptive
    war took shape, Middle-Eastern Americans were treated more and more as the
    unwelcome other. Ten years later with two wars and hundreds of thousands of lives
    lost, there is now an enormous gulf between Middle-Eastern Americans and most of
    their neighbors. Not to mention the animosity spilling into a clash between East and
    West and the 1.6 billion Muslims being painted with a single brush.

    Today’s news of the death of Osama Bin Laden takes me back to the opportunity
    that presented itself when there was a spontaneous outpouring of support on the
    streets of the cities in Iran after 9/11. It was a missed opportunity when the US
    could have buried the hatchet with Iran – since the hostage-taking of 1979 – and we
    could have started a new chapter. Instead, the Bush administration took us to war
    with a country that did not attack us – Iraq – and in the process, handed Iran what I
    have called “Bush’s Shia Victory.” Our war with Iraq brought about the emergence of
    Shia Iran as a regional power as they reaped the benefits of the fall of the Sunni
    minority and the rise of the Shia majority in their backyard. Something Iran never
    dreamed would happen. Thank you, Mr. Bush! Iraq, home to many Shia holy sites,
    opened up for the first time in generations, and Iranians flooded in to make
    pilgrimages to those sites. Bush’s war made more than this possible; it guaranteed
    the ascendance of the hard-liners in Iranian politics. The reformers in that
    government were crushed after their outreach to the U.S. did not pay off. Iranians
    spoke of getting a “slap in the face” from the U.S. after helping us with intelligence
    against the Taliban following 9/11. And as the decade passed, the hard-liners in
    Iran gained more and more strength with no thanks to our rebuffing the reformers.

    Today presents the powers of peace another opportunity. Will President Obama use
    this great victory and his position of strength over these terrorists to help broker
    peace in the Middle East? The Obama administration was caught by surprise when
    the uprisings began to spread from North Africa to the Middle East. They didn’t
    know whom to support: the protestors in the streets or the dictators we had long
    backed. Stability is what we called for in the end, not realizing that our stability is
    in fact their tyranny. Finally, seeing the writing on the wall, the U.S. came out on the
    side of the people and abandoned the brutal and corrupt dictators it had supported
    for so long. But this happened only because we were pushed into a corner. By then,

    we were not the masters of our actions, the protestors in the streets of the Arab
    world were.

    Now that we have spent untold lives and over a trillion dollars on the “war on
    terror,” we awake to the news that intelligence and a secret operation led to the end
    of the hunt for the terrorist Bin Laden. No wonder the head of the CIA is moving to
    becoming Defense Secretary. Let us acknowledge that the military war we launched
    a decade ago, the cost of which has been more than our country can bear, was not
    what brought about the capture of Bin Laden. Will we learn the lesson that we can’t
    fight terrorism by going to war and putting boots on the ground? Will we use this
    fleeting moment in time as the opportunity that it is? Let us use this victory over the
    forces of terror to open a new chapter with the Middle East and end the paranoia
    that has hung over our lives for the last decade, from airports all over the world to
    the halls of power in Washington. It is time to close the book on fear and the “war on
    terror.”

  468. From Yahoo News:

    “Intelligence officials had known about the house for years, but they always suspected that bin Laden would be surrounded by heavily armed security guards. Nobody patrolled the compound in Abbottabad.”

    Just in case you might have concluded that the US spooks who finally found bin Laden were brighter than you’d given them credit for. If you were hiding out from the CIA, would you surround your hide-out with “heavily armed security guards” visible to curious neighbors who just might wonder who or what those “heavily armed security guards” were guarding?

  469. Unknown Unknowns says:

    BiBiJon:
    I hadn’t seen that interview with Georgie Porgie Pudding and Pie Stephanopolis. Laugh a minute shtuff. Thanks.

    I must say, methinks old Mahmoud is getting even better at handling this sort of scum.

  470. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Eric A. Brill says:
    May 2, 2011 at 3:07 pm
    From one news report of bin Laden’s capture:
    “A woman identified as one of his wives who was used as a human shield protecting Bin Laden during the raid was also killed…”

    *

    Ahhh, yah! He had his left arm around her throat to prevent her from wiggling away and exposing his to Righteous “post”-Christian Firepower, so that the same gold watch which had its world premiere in the “Fatty Bin Laden” video (you know, the one where that confounded dialysis machine had caused him to put on a healthy 40 pounds or so) had another leading role. However, thanks to the indefatigable efforts from one of Flyntt’s old buddies at in Langley who survived The Purge (and as such is one of the few exceptions still extant in that concrete maze whose analyses are not skewed by his ideology &/ or sycophantism), the picture was reluctantly trashed after same indefatigable buddy pointed out that Osama Bin Dead Awhile is a rigorous practitioner of that heretical sect called Wahhabism (whose origins date back to the mid-18th century, where the British fostered and nurtured its growth in order to strike at the soft underbelly of the Ottomans, just as around the same time they did a similar nasty did to the Iranian nation with the Baha’i cancer) and as such, is forbidden from wearing gold or even gold plate (whose appearance would be thought unseemly on such a man), and besides – Flynt’s lowly indefatigable buddy continued pleading to his Christian Knight superior – all Wahhabi believers wear their watches on their *right* wrists, as did the Prophet, or so would have, had he been given a gold watch, which, alas, he hadn’t – the left hand being the work of the devil. Or so they believe. Sir!

  471. Fiorangela says:

    kooshy, just finished a conversation with a friend who had a long and lucrative career in the US Navy, characterized by choosing postings that kept him OFF of any vessel that traveled on water. He was impressed that US did “the decent thing” by burying ObL within 24 hours, and at sea.
    I asked him if an Islamic chaplain would have been among the Seals, and pointed out to him that Afghanistan is land locked. He explained to me, with some exasperation, that the Seals flew the body in the helicopter that hadn’t had a mechanical malfunction to the aircraft carrier that was most likely the base of the operation, and that such a ship would have chaplains aboard. That, of course, completely convinced me that I too should be terribly proud of the US govt.

  472. kooshy says:

    I was right; the quick sailor’s style burial was all due to our respect for the Islamic traditions. That’s a relief; all along I was worried if people might think that we are trying to hide something. The other good thing is that not a single one of our MSM has asked for any evidence of his death, except accepting that a DNA was conducted and confirms his death. I for one am now totally convinced

    Why Was Bin Laden Buried At Sea So Quickly?
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article28005.htm

  473. BiBiJon says:

    Let’s not forget “Great moments in baseless Osama speculation: Stephanopolous vs. Ahmadinejad”

    http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011/05/02/great_moments_in_baseless_osama_speculation_stephanopolous_vs_ahmadinejad

  474. kooshy says:

    Here is the message that we all were waiting for

    “Obama admin message post-bin Laden death: There’s nothing America can’t do”

    That alone replaces a lot of doubts one might had about the previously “yes we can” message

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/dailycaller/20110502/pl_dailycaller/obamaadminmessagepostbinladendeaththeresnothingamericacantdo

  475. kooshy says:

    Fio

    “are there prayers that are said when burying a Muslim? Must they be said by a Muslim or is it appropriate for a non-Muslim to recite them? If only by a Muslim, are we to assume a Muslim, well versed in Islamic burial requirements, was among the Navy Seals team that captured, killed, and buried ObL at sea, according to Islamic law? Maybe an Islamic chaplain?”

    Yes they invited the chief Mofti of Al Azhar to attend the ceremony, but unfortunately he was busy organizing the next revolution in Egypt, I think at the end they had to settle with Terry Jones,
    Since they could not find anybody immediately avilable.

  476. kooshy says:

    Eric

    ““A woman identified as one of his wives who was used as a human shield protecting Bin Laden during the raid was also killed…”

    I wonder if the person who saw this woman shielding OBL had any opportunity to take a photo of this women, or was she buried to uphold the Islamic laws of burial, I guess in this case, cleverly it was better to get rid of the bodies as soon as one can since due to religious laws further examination of the body was not well founded option.

  477. Fiorangela says:

    were Qaddafi’s son and grandchildren Muslims? Have they been respectfully buried, according to Islamic law?
    What’s that you say — you forgot all about NATO having killed an innocent man and his children in an Islamic country that posed no threat to the US?

  478. Fiorangela says:

    are there prayers that are said when burying a Muslim? Must they be said by a Muslim or is it appropriate for a non-Muslim to recite them? If only by a Muslim, are we to assume a Muslim, well versed in Islamic burial requirements, was among the Navy Seals team that captured, killed, and buried ObL at sea, according to Islamic law? Maybe an Islamic chaplain?

  479. kooshy says:

    Here is the AP’s video of the OBL’s hideout compound, is there any evidence he was there at all, unless the empty bed shown on this video is the only evidence and good enough to believe he was there, but I guess there was not enough time to take the photo of his body and everybody was rushing for burial at the sea in accordance to the Muslim traditions accordingly the body must be buried right away and our good USG didn’t want to be neglecting the Islamic tractions.

    http://news.yahoo.com/video/world-15749633/25090486

  480. From one news report of bin Laden’s capture:

    “A woman identified as one of his wives who was used as a human shield protecting Bin Laden during the raid was also killed…”

    Was she killed because she was being used as a “human shield,” or is she described as a “human shield” because she was killed?

  481. Fiorangela says:

    jeebus

    answer to question, “How stupid do they think Americans are?” —

    the Navy Seals team that performed this “mission” of “derring do,” on this “great day for justice for Americans” demonstrating and obtaining “justice & law & security for the United States of America”(quoting Joe Lieberman) was the same team — well, not exactly the same people but the same group, er whatever, that ran Operation Eagle Claw, the failed mission to rescue hostages from the embassy in Tehran, a few years ago. just a coincidence, no doubt.

  482. Empty says:

    Did someone publish this link already? I have not checked the posts (if yes, sorry about duplicating).

    How the image of dead OBL is fabricated: http://www.mehrnews.com/fa/newsdetail.aspx?NewsID=1303375

  483. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Richard: whaddaya think?

    Press TV
    ‘Israeli jets prepare in Iraq to strike Iran’
    Mon May 2, 2011 10:29AM

    A considerable number of Israeli warplanes were seen at al-Asad base in Iraq, reported a source close to prominent Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sader’s group.

    The aircraft reportedly included F-15, F-16, F-18, F-22, and KC-10 jet fighters.

    The warplanes carried out their week-long exercises at nights, the same source added.

    The drills were reportedly aimed at preparing to strike Iran’s air defense systems, disrupt Iran’s radars and attack targets deep inside Iran.

    Iraqi officials had not been notified of the exercises, which were conducted in collaboration with the US military.

    The United States maintains numerous bases in Iraq, and the Baghdad government is not involved in any of the military deployments taking place there.

  484. fyi says:

    Fiorangela says: May 2, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    The Rule of Law – that is: Law publicly formulated and enforced without discrimination or favoritism does not apply in this case.

    the late Mr. Bin Ladin was not a citizen of the United States and thus not subject to her laws.

    Furthermore, he had declared war against the United States and carried out acts of war against her; which meant that the Laws of War, such as they were, applied to the him (as well as to the United States).

    The United States Government had a duty to her citizens to destroy him.

    In regards to Iraq and Afghanistan: US is a sovereign state. She does not require other countries permision to go to war.

    You could state, in my opinion, that the war of US against Iraq was unjustified war of aggression. That it failed to conform to the 6 or 7 criteria that St. Thomas had stipulated regarding Just War.

    But those criteria are not part of the US Code; perhaps they should be, but they are not.

    The planners and perpetrators of the war against Iraq (to have been followed by multiple other wars, culminating with a war against Iran) made immoral and evil decisions. But those decisions were not illegal.

    This is an issue that the people of the United States must confront if they wish to be on the moral side of things – as it were.

    I doubt that they would, just look at the way the late Andrew Jackson of the Trail of Tears fame, is portrayed in standard US history books.

    Or the illegal war against the so-called Confederate States of America.

  485. Fiorangela says:

    fyi, “rule of law” either stands for something or it does not. One does not advocate for and boast that they are governed by a system of laws only when it is convenient.

    If Osama bin Laden “deserved to be killed,” why did he deerve to be killed, based on what body of evidence, judged by whom?

    If ObL “deserved to be killed” for (allegedly) killing 3,000 Americans (none of whom were children, to my knowledge, and out of a population of 300 million; that is .001% of the population), does the Israeli leader responsible for killing 1400 Palestinians in Gaza, which is .093% of that population and which includes children, similarly “deserve to be killed” and, does “the United States Government had[have] an obligation to do so. So [As] would any other government?”

    If ObL “deserved to be killed” for (allegedly — and having killed him extra-judicially, the world will never know for sure what proof could support that allegation) killing .001% of the American population, which American leaders deserve to be killed for their part in the deaths of as many as 1 million Iraqis — 2% of the population of that (formerly sovereign) state? Who has the obligation to carry out that killing? Should it be done as a special operations/assassination, or should there be a “messy” trial in a court of law? 75% of the jurists in the Nuremberg trials were Jewish; should the Americans involved in the deaths of 2% of Iraq’s population be tried in an Islamic court of law, by a body of jurists composed of mainly Islamic jurists?

  486. Unknown Unknowns says:

    fyi says:
    May 2, 2011 at 12:31 pm
    Fiorangela says: May 2, 2011 at 11:55 am
    That all might be true but clearly the fellow deserved to be killed and the United States Government had an obligation to do so.
    So would any other government.

    *

    “… clearly the fellow deserved to be killed”. Really? Why? Why could he not be given a nice retirement home at Club (Well-) Fed, like Noriega and all the other ex-CIA employees whose time it is to come in from the cold?

  487. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    For the record, when the kafer-e harbi and nasebi are killing each other, the Shia laughs…(he said provocatively ;)

  488. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Its good to see the general consensus is pretty much that

    Osama bin Dead long time.

    James Canning: Now do you believe me?? :D

    Richard:
    Welcome back.
    1. As we all know, you are always right about geopolitical matters, so we will put your absence down to a mistake in your personal life, which by your own admission, would not be the first :)
    2. You made it back just in time, as I was about to place a post to the affect that the only thing worse than a troll is a lurcher breathing down your neck. But knock on wood, the trolls seem to have given rfi a rest for a while, even Pak and that Bala boyfriend of his.

  489. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Good-by Osama, hello Dr. Ayman…

  490. fyi says:

    Fiorangela says: May 2, 2011 at 11:55 am

    That all might be true but clearly the fellow deserved to be killed and the United States Government had an obligation to do so.

    So would any other government.

  491. Sineva says:

    >>basest emotionality and failure of reason, humanity, and character
    I could not have put this any better if I had tried thank you Fio

  492. Fiorangela says:

    correction, fyi: the death of OBL is INTENDED as a cathartic experience for the American people; that is what film making is all about.

    iirc, David Ignatius commented once that in the aftermath of 9/11, the Washington policy-making community called in scriptwriters from Hollywood to help them expand the “failure of imagination” situation that Americans were told was one of the problems that allowed 9/11 to happen.

    In the process of tracking down that precise quote, I’m listening to Ignatius in an interview with Brent Scowcroft and Zbigniew Brzezinski. In the aftermath of this latest “hollywood” contrived event, on the day +-1 that Hitler died; on the day +-1 of shoah remembrance, in an atmosphere calculated as a booster-shot to the state of fear that the American people have been maintained in for 10 years; an atmosphere of the basest emotionality and failure of reason, humanity, and character, deliberately generated by even the (formerly) most credible of news outlets, some may find a ray of hope in this interview: http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/Zbi

    Empty, if the assassination of OBL were merely about Obama’s political ambitions, that would be bad enough. It’s so much more, and so much worse.

  493. kooshy says:

    I hope the story is true, but realistically has anyone seen any tangible evidence that indeed the OBL is dead, like what a court needs to believe a death, like an actual photo of the body, witness, an interview with the operating personnel etc, so far the only photo fronted by the Pak media was disputed by French daily Figaro, as being Photoshoped.

  494. Sineva says:

    I`m sure you`re right FYI but when I happen to see people chanting USA USA than that seem s to me less like catharsis and more like jingoism and that I have little stomach for regardless of whoever is doing it,personally I feel a tad quezy watching people celebrate someones death no matter how rotten and murderous they may have been,and somehow I don`t think we`ll ever get to see the families of the victims of Clinton,bush,blair,obama etc to ever have their catharsis jingoistic or otherwise

  495. fyi says:

    Sineva says: May 2, 2011 at 10:57 am

    I think this event is cathartic for people of the United States.

    Similar, I should think, to how Iranians felt and reacted in recent years to the news of the death of the late President Hussein of Iraq and the late Mr. Riggi of Jundullah fame.

  496. Sineva says:

    Just finished watching the scences of rabid jingoism outside the white house,personally I thought the only thing missing was the theme song from the movie Team America:World Police
    Now if only Obama could solve all the rest of Americas enormous problems in the region.Frankly I think that the americans might find that Osama dead is evem more popular than he was alive,people love a matyr,of course after all the jubilation then comes the fear what will they do for revenge!?!
    Personally I think Team Americas Kim jong Il character put it best when he uttered the immortal line “Congraturations, Team America! You have stopped nothing!” I imagine in a week or two from now when things at home and abroad still look as shitty as they did before Osamas death,pres Obama may be inclined to agree with him

  497. fyi says:

    Eric A. Brill says: May 2, 2011 at 10:12 am

    Americans and Saudis will continue with their anti-Iran policy of stirring Shia-Sunni conflict to cotain Iran.

    That policy, is not a threat to Iran, at worst, it is a head ache.

    The Shia-Sunni Conflict Promotion policy of US-Saudi Arabia (supported by Israel and EU) is a direct and existential threat to Turkey, Pakistan, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain.

    Iranians do not have to lift a finger to defeat it; that task could and would be left to the poliietical leadership of the Muslim polities with mixed populations. In fact, the policy of promotion of Shia-Sunni conflict, if it ever comes to full fruitation, will harm those states that one could think of having productive or cooperative relations with US.

    A more stupid policy for US is difficult to imagine; a policy that potentially could ignite Shia-Sunni civil war in Turkey.

  498. fyi says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says: May 2, 2011 at 10:13 am

    Indeed, Revelations are not pieces of paper: those of Jesus were his Acts, Deeds, and Words.

    Records were kept; how accurate they might be is the subject of scholarship the possibility of which, clearly, you are too intellectually lazy to contemplate.

  499. BiBiJon says:

    Eric A. Brill says:
    May 2, 2011 at 10:12 am

    “Now that they’ve killed Osama, looks like the US won’t have to change its policies in the Middle East after all. He was pretty much the only guy over there who didn’t like us. And if someone else pops up, well there’s a lot more where that trillion dollars and ten years came from.”

    IMHO, the well of “trillion dollars and ten years” has run dry. The news is a choreographed precursor to the following moves: Next announcement will be a substantial draw down of forces from Afghanistan; complete withdrawal from Iraq; US embrace of Egypt’s, Turkey’s & Iran’s embrace of one another; ill-advised military move by Israel, this time firmly put down by the US; KSA gets out of Bahrain having achieved a remarkable shooting both feet with the same bullet of invasion; Flynt Leverett will accept the job as ambassador to Iran in 2012.

    Fair warning: I am frequently wrong.

  500. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    fyi,
    You don’t understand that what the Holy Quran is referring to is not the pieces of paper in front of you labelled Old and New Testament today. It is referring to the actual original revelations. Please try to understand this.

  501. Now that they’ve killed Osama, looks like the US won’t have to change its policies in the Middle East after all. He was pretty much the only guy over there who didn’t like us. And if someone else pops up, well there’s a lot more where that trillion dollars and ten years came from.

  502. fyi says:

    Rehmat says: May 2, 2011 at 10:01 am

    A bigoted, stupid, prejudiced, and ignorant rant is what you have written.

    You have no case.

    In regards to Thalmud: it contains the commentaries on Mishna and Mishna – the anti-Christ did not write it.

    The idea that I have expounded is eminently sensible one: Muslim recovery of prior Revelations in the light of the Quran as well as all the tools of human reason that could be brought to bear on that effort.

    For example, Jesus is reported to have predicated the carrying out of stoning only when the executioners themselves are sinless.

    I suppose you will consider this report to have been a Christian lie, yes?

    So everything in the 4 Injils is a lie, yes?

    And there is no Truth in them?

    Your bretheren, when challenged by me, refused to state what parts of the Psalms 44 and 100 have been abrogated by the Quran or have been superseded.

    Shame, shame, shame.

  503. Rehmat says:

    fyi – WOW – A Zionazi now claims to be an ‘Ayatullah’ now, eh!

    To set the records straight – Holy Qur’an doesn’t call the current Jews and Christians as the holders of the early Revelations. Both OT and NT have long been corrupted by rabbis and the Church – even accepted by both by Jewish and christian scholars, such as, Dr. Robert Funk DDD. Talmud, on the other hand, was written by anti-Christ hating Rabbis a century after his crucification.

    Furthermore, Holy Qur’an doesn’t mention the words “Jew” or “Christians” whom it calls “the People of Book”. The arabic words are “Yahud (the followers of Moses’ Law)” and “Nasara (the followers of Jesus of Nazereth)”.

    To upgrade Holy qur’an being acceptable to the Judeo-Christian growd will need to include Bible’s ‘Book of Poronography’ into it.

    I rest my case.

  504. hans says:

    According to Wikileaks, OBL is in Iran. Perhaps Iran will trot him out to the press in short order…..and Obama and Company will have some explaining to do.

    Now for some Hollywood rubbish called Feathered Cocaine read it it is hilarious and yes it is about Iran and OBL
    :http://featheredcocaine.org/?page_id=145

  505. fyi says:

    Empty says: May 2, 2011 at 8:51 am
    e
    Thank you for your response.

    The Quran, per your translation, accepts the prior revelations: they may be superseded (what is the Arabic word used here) but not mansookh – negated.

    Furthermore, the Quran admonishes Mulsims not to listen to the ideas of others – to me this means man-made ideas such as commentaries on Mishna or the Epsistles of Saint Paul and not the Injil, Toral, or Zoboor.

    Additionally, the Quran, it seems to me, states that Muslims could use the Quran to adjudicate among Jews and Christians. That is not logically, to my mind, imply, that Muslims could ignore prior Revelations. In fact, my poistion is very similar to that of the Quran; namely to use the Quran, as a touch-stone if you please, to recover the lost authentic message of the previosu prophets.

    That recovery is essential to expand the reach of Islam and to alter Sharia on sound basis.

  506. Empty says:

    RE: OBL’s “death”….

    Politics, again, hollywood style. So, this means that Obama has begun his full campaign for re-appointment.

  507. Empty says:

    fyi,

    These are what I have put together so far (hopefully, I could do a bit more next weekend). Please note that they incomplete, (I’m sure) filled with errors (albeit none is intentional) in translations/interpretation. So, it’s an imperative to refer to the original in Quran as I have put the Chapters and Verses. I have put them in the form of simple questions and then have quoted the Chapters and Verses that, to my limited knowledge, directly answers the questions.

    I agree with B-i-B that one must read Quran in its original form and no translation from Arabic is ever sufficient. I know this to be quite true with Arabic-to-Farsi, Arabic-to-English, and Arabic-to-Turkish as I constantly struggle to find the right phrase/word to translate but I feel I am short changing the one who reads the translation/interpretation as a lot of meaning gets lost. Of the languages that I know well enough, Arabic is by far the most efficient one (it would be interesting to know the opinion of others who know other languages and Arabic about this as well). For example, in Arabic, adjectives and verbs are quite selective and leave very little room for mistake. The word “قالتا´ [The two women said] is quite clear that it refers to: 1) it is past tense; 2) we’re speaking about “two” people; 3) the people are women. Another example is the words “he” and “she” which do not necessarily imply gender in Arabic (I particularly have a hard time translating a pronoun for God as I know fully well what “He” means in English. Therefore, I end up repeating the word “God” many times to avoid the clear violation of “لم یلد و لم یولد. و لم یکن له کفوا احد” [translation/interpretation: “He” does not give birth. Nor is “He” born. There is none like “Him”. Chapter 112, Verses 3 and 4]. So, I highly recommend learning Arabic language as it’s never too late (even if you have one minute of life left). Besides, learning new languages (at any age) sharpens one’s mental acuity.

    Question 1: How does Quran reference the previous revelations and what does It say about them?

    “We have revealed the Torah, containing guidance and light. With it, the prophets who submitted judged between the Jews, and so the the rabbis and the knowledgeable ones. They judged in accordance with God’s scripture given to them, and witnessed by them. Therefore, you shall not fear the people, and fear Me instead and do not trade away My Scripture for a cheap material gain. Those who do not rule according to God’s scripture are the disbelievers.” [translation/interpretation, Quran, Chapter 5, Verse 44].

    “We decreed for them therein that: the soul for the soul, the eye for the eye, the nose for the nose, the ear for the ear, the tooth for the tooth, and an equivalent injury for any injury. However, anyone who pardons and forfeits as a charitable act will have his sins remitted. Those who do not rule according to God’s scripture are the unjust.”
    [translation/interpretation, Quran, Chapter 5, Verse 45].

    “Subsequent to them, we sent Jesus the son of Mary confirming the previously revealed Torah. We gave him the Gospel, as well as guidance and enlightenment for the righteous [46]. The people of Gospel shall judge according to God’s teachings therein. Those who do not rule according to God’s scripture are the wicked. [47]”
    [translation/interpretation, Quran, Chapter 5, Verses 46 and 47].

    Question 2: How does Quran refers to describes Its relationship to previous scriptures?

    “Then we revealed to you this scripture, truthfully, confirming all previous scriptures, and superseding them. You shall judge among them according to this scripture, and follow not their ideas instead of the truth that has come to you. We have decreed statutes and methods for each of you, although, had God willed, God could have made you one congregation. But God thus puts you to the test, according to what God has given you. You shall compete towards righteous works. To God is your ultimate return, then God will inform you of everything you disputed.”
    [translation/interpretation, Quran, Chapter 5, Verse 48].

    “You shall judge among them according to God’s scripture, and do not follow their ideas, and beware lest they divert you from some of God’s revelation to you. If they turn away, then you should know that God wants to punish them for their sins. Indeed, many people are wicked.”
    [translation/interpretation, Quran, Chapter 5, Verse 49].

    If my understanding of what you assert is correct, and if my incomplete understanding of the two verses above (48 and 49] is somewhat not misled, then I think you are asserting something that is in opposite direction to these two Verses. I think Quran states that the essence of all Revelations are the same but also provides a process for authentication by saying that Quran should be used to judge the authenticity of any parts of the previous scriptures rather than in a linear chronological fashion that you might be suggesting (if I understood you correctly).

    Should you be interested, I will post more later.

  508. Fiorangela says:

    Welcome back, RSH!

    re OBL:
    -Israel’s desperate –Hamas & Fatah unificating.

    -the premise of a false flag is being constructed

    -”would have been too messy to figure out where to try OBL; it’s better that he’s killed” True that; that “messy” rule of law bidness is soooo 1776.

    -didn’t listen to all of Obama’s chat- seemed to me he never alluded to a time frame. IF one believes this special op really happened, how many years ago did it happen? Curious that it’s rolled out now, when Israel is under pressure to actually make peace, when Obama is under pressure to placate zionists, when the largest organized response to AIPAC is being planned.

    -finally, exactly HOW stupid do Obama’s handlers think the American people are?

  509. M.Ali says:

    I have another question. They are saying that he was buried at sea, according to Islamic law. Does Islamic law says that a person has to be taken from land and buried at sea?

  510. Levant says:

    israel is according to the soruce below, in Iraq, training with the US… http://presstv.com/detail/177824.html

  511. I’ll make a very clear one time statement about this.

    If you can take bin Laden down, you can take him alive – or at least recover and display the body. He should have been taken alive to stand trial or at least to be publicly identified to the independent press, dead or alive.

    Instead, they claim this old guy on a dialysis machine resisted and they had to shoot him in the head.

    Then they buried the body at sea in a Muslim fashion. Really?

    Bullshit. How stupid do they think we are? Apparently very stupid.

    Benazir Bhutto claimed before her death that Mullah Omar killed bin Laden in 2003. All those “audio tapes” and “videos” you’ve seen since then were CIA fakes.

    It’s a scam to get Obama elected. Nothing more.

    I now return you to your regularly scheduled bullshit.

  512. M.Ali says:

    I posted this at another forum:

    A Pakistani friend of mine claims the city where Osama Bin Ladin was alleged to have been in is a military town as it houses the Pakistan Military Academy and the house is half a km away from Pakistani Army Base. A friend of mine who went to that city says that you can’t even take pictures there without being quested by the police, so it is extremely unlikely that Osama Bin Ladin could have hidden there.

    Doesn’t add up.

  513. M.Ali says:

    Bin Ladin’s death. True or made-up?

    What do you guys think?

  514. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Castellio,
    I don’t want to burn him at the stake. I’m pointing out the basic problem with Jewish and Christian so-called revelations (not “traditions” as I view them from a religious perspective, not simply as an interesting academic exercise) as we have them today, which is that they are not reliable. What we have in these texts is not the revelation given to the various Prophets (as).

    First of all I never claimed that God only speaks Arabic, the absurdity of which is clear. But God did reveal his final and universal revelation in Arabic and made sure that it would not be altered or translated as in the case of the previous revelations. There are numerous ayat in the Quran about this very subject. Remember as Empty always tells us, every translation is an interpretation and an interpretation is not going to cut it when you want to make sure you are following God’s command.

    So what has happened is one the miracles of the Holy Quran which is that we have the exact revelation that was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (sawa) in the original language and the Muslims are encouraged to learn the original, instead of relying on translations. Notice I said “relying”, meaning there is nothing wrong with translating the Quran but the translations are not authoritative.

    I think your view of this is more academic which is fine, but remember that for many this issue is about the eternal state of one’s soul, which gives the thing a very different level of urgency.

    fyi,
    Having read every single word in the Tafsir al-Mizan twice I can assure you that you have not understood what Allamah meant with the Priniciple of the Unitarity of Revelations. He is referring to the revelations in their original, not the pieces of paper in front of you today labelled Old and New Testament. Do you get that?

    I think the only one here who is stubbornly repeating “dogma” is you, namely the dogma that you created in your own head based on on your misunderstandings of things like Tafsir al-Mizan.

    And have no doubt that if the Chinese adopted Islam- it’s beliefs and practices as they are currently- including hijab and circumcision and not eating pork- there spiritual level would rise infinitely from what it is today. The Islam of Ahlul Bayt(as) is the universal answer to all of humanities needs- spiritual and worldly. It would be illogical of me to be a Muslim if Islam of Ahlul Bayt(as) were not so.

    The issue is increasing your ma’rifah and when you sin this reduces your spiritual strength and creates an obstacle for reaching a higher level of reality. And when you do the things that God has said are good for you- like praying five times a day, fasting, not eating pork, maintaining hijab, defending yourself and your community when attacked, giving to charity, educating yourself throughout your life etc.- then your spiritual power is increased, the obstacles are removed and you can reach a higher level of reality.

    Where does God tell us what’s good and what’s bad for us? In his final and universal revelation called the Holy Quran and the Sunna of his final and universal Prophet (sawa). Following the recommendations of other so-called revelations in this era is the equivalent of spiritual masturbation- feels good for a moment but in the end it was an empty act as there was no real communion.

  515. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Castellio says:
    May 1, 2011 at 10:01 pm
    Unknown Unknowns, I beg to differ.
    “If the two engineers are waiting for the labourer to realize their plans, and yet he is without a shovel, it makes perfect sense for him to ask if either knows where he might find one.”

    * Not if his foreman is in the ditch with him and the only reason he is even out of the ditch was to releave himself.

    “Thanks for the list of secondary readings. Are the comments on the books yours?”

    * No. Not mine. I would not be qualified to write an annotated bibliography.

    “You speak of moving from the still photograph to the moving image… I can’t help but wonder if you’re ready to consider transforming images themselves all moving in variable sequences?”

    * The problem with that is you end up in a hall of mirrors. When all is said and done, you cannot get away from your basic existential situation: you must decide what you value, and then you must lead your life in accordance with those values. The problem with the modern world is that the non-value of valuelessness, of a failure or paralysis of will, is ubiquitous. But just becuase millions of flies eat shit does not convince me that it is the right or even the most aesthetically elegant or beautiful choice on the Menu.

    By the way, and not for nothing, just becuase I disagree with fyi, and do so vehemently and with passion does not mean that I want to burn him on the stake.

    *

    fyi:

    That I do not consider you sufficiently qualified to engage in discussions of a religious nature is a fact. I did not mean to insult or demean you by stating this fact. it simply is what it is.

  516. fyi says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says: May 1, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    You have no response that is different than the dead trite repetition of unthinking dogma of Islamic Tradition.

    The world is much larger that Islamic Iran and there is a great spiritual hunger in the world that your traditionalist answers and outlook will never satisfy.

    It is this spiritual hunger, not addressed by the extant religions, that leads to such phantasms and Ahmadiya in Pakista, Falun Duang (sic?) in China, and varities of Hinud-inspired doctrines in the West.

    There is Jahliya in China.

    What is your response to them; get all the Chinese women to wear chador, get all the men circumcised, and slaughter the 400 million pigs in that country?

    Is this the response of (Shia) Islam to the spiritual emptiness of that country?

  517. fyi says:

    Unknown Unknowns says: May 1, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    Ignoring your insults – the next to the last house of the man who has run out of arguments – I am reluctant to study the majority of the texts that you have mentioned.

    There are several reasons for that: many of them are in languages that I do not know, and excepting Allameh Tabatabi’s work, most of them are not based on Kalam.

    Tafsir Mizan actually is where I learnt of the Principle of Unitarity of Revelations.

    But I suspect that the late Mr. Tabatabai did not take it to its logical conclusions since he, juding by the reactions of you and your kind, feared for his own physical safety.

  518. fyi says:

    Castellio says: May 1, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    Thank you for your kind words and your sympathetic understanding of my position.

    You have understood my position well.

  519. Castellio says:

    Unknown Unknowns, I beg to differ.

    If the two engineers are waiting for the labourer to realize their plans, and yet he is without a shovel, it makes perfect sense for him to ask if either knows where he might find one.

    Thanks for the list of secondary readings. Are the comments on the books yours?

    You speak of moving from the still photograph to the moving image… I can’t help but wonder if you’re ready to consider transforming images themselves all moving in variable sequences?

    B-i-B.

    In the sixteenth century it made sense to say that one needed to know Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic to understand even the New Testament, when you could find yourself burned at the stake for an accurate translation that differed from the Catholic Church’s pronouncements. It really doesn’t anymore: the level of comparative accomplishment of many expert translators through time is much more vast and accomplished than any one person’s attempts at all three, and almost all of these are now available in English. If you’ve spent any time even beginning to take a look at the Aramaic texts, you’ll realize just how rich the tradition of translation is. One could spend the time to begin to accomplish even some of that which is already achieved, but to what avail? The real accomplishments are not at that level.

    FYI: It’s a surprise to find myself coming to your defense, not that you would think you need it, and I do so because I think you’re questioning in this regard is worthwhile. The relationship of a religion to the religion from which it emerges is critical in the future of the success of the new tradition. Judaism more or less claims to have no antecedents, although clearly it does, Assyrian, Babylonian, Egyptian… and sets itself up militantly contra other contemporary religious practices. Christianity claims the Jewish texts in an act of re-interpretation, and appends its own writings. You, if I have this right, are suggesting that the Qur’an, which is openly conscious of integrating the traditions (or if you prefer, the revelations) of the People of the Book, does not necessarily claim the definitive reading of those revelations (as B-i-B claims). Is that right?

    I think there are many who would be quite happy to facilitate UU and BiB in their contemporary equivalent of your burning at the stake for such heresy… however, if your openness in this regard can be disputed from within the Qur’an itself, and the traditions of Islam, that would be a major embracing of previous ‘revelations’ and their disputes in a way which could ensure the more broad acceptance of Islam, (while undermining the chauvanist idea that Allah only speaks Arabic). Can it be done?

    I dispute that your suggestion (should I have it right) makes you a crypto anything.

  520. Unknown Unknowns says:

    fyi:
    Whay don’t you tell us your thoughts about how Iran is likely to respond if the US pulls a Libya on Syria. Is there a mutual defense pact? Will Syria be the provocation that the US has been looking for? Russia and China’s response?

  521. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    fyi,
    You don’t know what Hazrat Musa(as) and Hazrate Dawood(as) and Hazrate Isa(as) said because what is in the Old and New Testament is not their original revelations. Even biblical scholars acknowledge that. Even if you did have access to there original revelations, you would need to know ancient Hebrew and ancient Aramaic to understand what they said- and I’m going out on a limb here and saying that you probably don’t know ancient Hebrew and ancient Aramaic (the closest thing we have to that today is Syriac which is the liturgical language of the Syrian church).

    In other words the best way to actually know what the original revelations of the mentioned Prophets (as) is, is to refer to the Holy Quran and the revayat of Ahlul Bayt.

    That was my previous answer to you- so don’t say I don’t have an answer for your confused musings- but apparently you ate kababe khar for lunch and that’s affecting your ability to understand all this.

  522. Amazing! This blog looks just like my old one! It’s on a entirely different subject but it has pretty much the same layout and design. Outstanding choice of colors!

  523. Unknown Unknowns says:

    fyi says:
    May 1, 2011 at 10:29 am
    Unknown Unknowns & Bussed-in-Basiji:
    You have no answers to my question.
    I must conclude that your assertions have been false and are unsupported by Reason or Revelations.

    *

    Not at all. I answered your question. The answer was that I do not consider your acumen and your grasp of the subject at hand worthy of my time, becuase engaging in mental midgetry has to have a limit, even for the Class Clown. Now you might consider that not to be an adequate answer, but I assure you – and I am sure others will back me up on this – the answer hits the mark EXACTLY on the bullseye. Just becuase you THINK you are qualified to discuss issues of a religious nature, even though you have no formal training, no deep reading and no aptitude in the subject, does not mean that I am duty bound to engage in such intercourse with you. Rather, you’d best have that intercourse with your self,

    I am sorry if that is inconvinient, but you’re just not my type, OK? And there is a big difference between your not being my type and “The assertion claiming the Revelations of the Quran having made obsolete prior Revelations are thus revealed for what they are: Unthinking Muslim Prejudice.”

    Like I said earlier, stop while you are ahead, as your ridiculous ignorant rants on religious subject that you know nothing about really take away from your otherwise good name.

    Listen: If you are actually interested in starting to educate yourself on the *Islamic* view of the Fall and man’s postlapsarian ontic status (i.e., what you claim, ridiculously, to be your creedal belief), take these four key words: hoboot, alast, amana(t), khalifa; then select, say, seven authoritative tafasir, say, any of these:

    Classic Arabic

    This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.

    Muḥammad ibn Jarīr al-Ṭabarī (838-923 CE): Tafsīr al-Ṭabarī.

    Ibn Kathīr (1301-1373 CE): Tafsīr ibn Kathīr – A classic tafsīr, considered to be a summary of the earlier tafsīr by Ibn Jarīr al-Ṭabarī.

    Fakhruddīn al-Rāzī (865-925 CE): Mafātīḥ al-Ghayb (‘Keys to the Unseen’) also known as Al-Tafsīr al-Kabīr (‘The Great Exegesis’) – a voluminous work covering many aspects of the meanings of the Quran, including science and medicine.

    Yahyā ibn Ziyād al-Farrā’: Ma’ānī al-Qur’ān (The Meanings of the Quran).

    Qāḍī Abū Sa’ūd al-Ḥanafī: Irshād al ‘Aql as-Salīm ilā Mazāyā al-Qur’ān al-Karīm also known as Tafsīr Abī Sa’ūd.

    Imām Abū ‘Abdullāh ibn Aḥmad al-Qurṭubī (1214-1273 CE): Al-Jāmi’ li-Aḥkām al-Qur’ān (‘The Collection of Quranic Injunctions’) by the famous Mālikī jurist of Cordoba, in Andalucia. This ten-volume tafsīr is a commentary on the Quranic verses dealing with legal issues. Although the author was a Mālikī, he also presents the legal opinions of other major schools of Islamic jurisprudence; thus it is popular with jurists from all of the schools of Islamic law. One volume of this tafsīr has been translated into English by Aisha Bewley.

    Aḥmad ibn Muḥammad al-Tha’labī (died 427 AH / 1035 CE): Tafsīr al-Tha’labī, also known as al-Tafsīr al-Kabīr (‘The Great Commentary’).

    Qaḍi Abū Bakr ibn al-’Arabī: Aḥkam al-Qur’ān – The author is generally known as ‘Qaḍi ibn al-’Arabī’ (ibn ‘Arabī, the judge) to distinguish him from the famous Sufi ibn ‘Arabī; he was a Mālikī jurist from Andalucia (Muslim Spain) His tafsīr has been published in three volumes and contains commentary on the legal rulings of the Quran according to the Mālikī school.

    Al-Jaṣṣāṣ: Aḥkam al-Qur’ān (‘The Commands of the Quran’) – Based on the legal rulings of the Ḥanafī school of Islamic law. This was published in three volumes and remains popular amongst the Hanafis of India, the Middle East and Turkey.

    Maḥmūd Ālūsī al-Ḥanafī: Tafsīr Rūḥ al-Ma’ānī fī Tafsīr al-Qur’ān al-’Azīm wa al-Saba’ al-Mathānī (‘The Spirit of Meanings on the Exegesis of the Sublime Quran and the Seven Oft-repeated [Verses]‘) – often abbreviated to Rūḥ al-Ma’ānī.

    Ismā’īl Haqqī al-Bursawī: Rūḥ al-Bayān – the ten-volume Arabic work by the founder of the Hakkiyye Jelveti Sufi Order from Turkey.

    Ibn ‘Ajībah: Al-Baḥr al-Muḥīṭ (‘The Encompassing Ocean’), generally known as Tafsīr ibn ‘Ajībah – a two-volume work by a Moroccan Sheikh of the Darqāwī branch of the Shādhilī Order of Sufis.

    Ma’ālim al-Tanzīl- by Ḥasan bin Mas’ūd al-Baghawī (died 510 AH/1116 CE) also known widely as Tafsīr al-Baghawī – A popular tafsīr amongst Sunni Muslims, it relies heavily on the Tafsīr of al-Tha’labī, whilst placing more emphasis on Prophetic traditions (ḥadīth).

    Abu al-Qāsim Mahmūd ibn ‘Umar al-Zamakhsharī (died 1144 CE): Al-Kashshāf (‘The Revealer’). Al-Zamakhsharī belonged to the Mu’tazilah sect, but nevertheless this tafsīr has been popular among scholars down the years, and is usually printed along with Sunnī supercommentaries, pointing out what they consider to be mistakes, made because of the author’s Mu’tazilite beliefs.

    ‘Abdullāh bin ‘Umar al-Baiḍāwī (died 685 AH/1286 AD) – Anwār al-Tanzīl, also famous as Tafsīr al-Bayḍāwī – a shortened version of Al-Kashshāf, with Mu’tazilite references altered; printed in two volumes. In Turkey it is often published with marginal notes by an Turkish Sheikh called ‘al-Qunawī’ in seven volumes.

    Al-Muḥarrar al-wajīz fī tafsīr al-kitāb al-ʿazīz (‘The Concise Record of the Exegesis of the Noble Book’) – commonly known as Tafsīr ibn ‘Aṭiyyah after its author, Ibn ʿAṭiyyah (d. ~ 541 or 546 AH), a Maliki judge from al-Andalus. This tafsīr work is popular in North Africa.

    Zad al-Masir fi ‘Ilm al-Tafsir – Written by the great Ḥanbalī polymath Ibn al-Jawzi.

    Tafsīr an-Nasafī – Written by the great Hanafi theologian al-Nasafī and published in two volumes.

    Tafsīr Abī Ḥayyān also called Al-Baḥr al-Muḥīṭ – This tafsīr is in several volumes and contains many stories that some commentators consider to be unreliable. However, it is popular in North Africa as it originated from Andalucia.

    “Tafsīr al-Jalālayn” (‘The Commentary of the Two Jalāls’) – This Arabic tafsīr was begun by Jalāluddīn al-Maḥallī (in 1459), and was subsequently completed, in the same style, by his student, the famous Shāfi’ī Sheikh Jalāluddīn al-Suyūṭī (died 911 AH/1505 CE), who completed it in 1505. Jalālayn is very popular with Muslims all over the world due to its simplicity. It has also been translated completely by Aisha Bewley.

    Al-Durr al-Manthūr fī al-Tafsīr bi-l-Ma’thūr (‘The Threaded Pearl Concerning Commentary Based on Traditions’), also by Jalāluddīn al-Suyūṭī. This tafsīr, in Arabic, concentrates on the hadīths that have been transmitted relating to each verse and subject in the Quran. It has been published in six volumes.

    [edit] Modern Tafsīrs

    Dr Syed Hamid Hasan Bilgrami: Fuyuooz ul-Qur’ān (‘Benevolences of Quran’) in Urdu. Dr Bilgrami, former Vice Chancellor Islamic University of Bahawalpur, Pakistan; An Educationist, Sufi and Widely acknowledged as one of the leading scholars of the Muslim World, received Religious and Spiritual Knowledge from Hazrat Qibla Maulana Qazi Ahmed Abdus Samad Farooqui Quadri Chishti of Tekmal, Hyderabad Deccan, India (Hazrat Qibla migrated from India to Karachi, Pakistan in 1950). Dr. Bilgrami wrote one of the most accepted Urdu commentaries, Fuyuooz ul-Qur’ān (Fayyuz-Ul-Quran), (two Volumes).

    Allamah Pīr Muhammad Karam Shāh al-Azharī: A great scholar of the last century, wrote one of most widely-read Urdu commentaries Ḍiyā’ al-Qur’ān (‘The Light of the Quran’),[1] written in eloquent Urdu and is known for its literary excellence.

    Allamah Dr. Muhammad Tahir ul Qadri: Irfan-ul-Quran – Available both in English and in Urdu, by prominent scholar and renowned author Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr. Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri.[2]

    ‘Allāmah Ghulām Rasūl Sa’īdī: Widely acknowledged as one of the leading scholars of the Muslim World, he has written a twelve volume tafsīr of the Qur’an’ Tibyan ul Quran ‘ that is written in a scholarly manner and includes references to many classical works of Islam (as well as some modern).

    Allāmah Sayyid Sa’ādat ‘Alī Qādarī: Elder brother of Muftī Justice Sayyid Shujā’at ‘Alī Qādarī, has written an Urdu tafsīr, entitled Yā’ayyuhalladhīna Āmanū, which covers modern-day issues in a very easy to understand style

    Muftī Muhammad Shafī’: Ma’ārif-ul Qur’ān, is a detailed and comprehensive commentary of the Quran written in Urdu, and has been translated to English. The author is the father of Muftī Taqī Usmānī. It is published in eight volumes, and addresses many modern issues.

    Bahr-ul-Uloom Muhammad Abdul Qadeer Siddiqi Qadri Hasrat: Tafseer-e-Siddiqui[3], in Urdu. Written early last century by the former dean of theology of Osmania University. As a professor of Arabic and theology, he attempted to interpret the Quranic Arabic in Urdu as well to as address some critical current issues.

    Sayyid Quṭb: Fī Zilāl al-Qur’ān (‘In the Shade of the Quran’) in Arabic. – Many praise it as a modern tafsīr, but at the same time, many critics including some sunni scholars say that Quṭb had little Islamic knowledge, and wrote his commentary according to his own opinion. It has also been attacked for not following the style of classical tafsīrs.

    Sayyid Abul A’lā Maudūdī: Tafhīm al-Qur’ān (‘Understanding of the Quran’), a six-volume tafsir, written in Urdu. The English translation was released as Towards Understanding the Qur’an, and it was also translated into Malayalam and Kannada.

    Amīn Ahsan Islāhī: Tadabbur-i Qur’ān – written in Urdu by Indian/Pakistani scholar. Based on the idea of the nazm (thematic and structural coherence) in the Quran.[4]

    Ghulam Ahmad Pervez: Matalib-ul-Furqān – written in Urdu by a Pakistani scholar. [5]

    Muḥammad al-Ghazzālī, a recent Egyptian scholar who died in 2001 (not the Imām al-Ghazālī): “A Thematic Commentary on the Qur’an” – A tafsīr that tries to explore the themes that weave through the entire Quran as well as the main theme of each chapter.

    Bediuzzaman Said Nursi: Isharat al I’jaz (Signs of Miraculousness). Nursi began to write this tafsīr in 1910s. It was written in Ottoman Turkish (translated into Arabic, English etc.) in the classical exegesis style, with special emphasis to combining linguistical nuances with theological depth. Consists of one volume only, addressing the exegesis of the first chapter and part of the second chapter of the Quran.

    Bediuzzaman Said Nursi: Risale-i Nur, written mainly in Turkish, is a larger work, with four main volumes. It consists of extensive exegesis of certain verses and explanation of the fundamentals of how to approach the Quran. It especially explains the verses that 21. Century’s people need most. In other words, it studies the verses about the six articles of belief of Islam Religion such as believing in God, day of judgment. It also gives logical answers to the questions asked by Atheists. This work is written in a more accessible style to the general public and is translated into 52 languages. [6], [7], [8] Nursi also wrote Muhakamat in Arabic (also translated into Turkish) which outlines in a sophisticated manner the hermeneutics of the Quran. Mathnawi al Nuriya, written in Arabic (abridged Turkish translation and also a non-academic English rendition is available),can also be considered an exegetical work in that it contains his deep reflections on different verses of the Quran. Born toward the end of the Ottoman State, Nursi, an erudite exegete and theologian, died in 1960 in modern Turkey.

    Allāmah Sayid Muḥammad Ḥusayn al-Ṭabāṭabā’ī: Tafsīr Al-Mīzān – A twenty-volume work using the methodology of explaining the Qur’an through the Qur’an, and compiled by a Shī’ah author.

    Al-Habib Muhammad Ridwan Al-Jufrie wrote Tafsir Al-Jufrie Baina Tafwidh Wa Ta’wil in the Arabic language.

    and read what they have to say about those key words. Then, come back and have your say.

    Do ta mohandes ke daran harf mizanan, amaleh nemiad bege billam ku?

    [for Hans' benefit: when two engineers are having a discussion, an unskilled laborer should not interrupt the discussion by asking if they have seen where his shovel is]

  524. Unknown Unknowns says:

    fyi says:
    May 1, 2011 at 10:29 am
    Unknown Unknowns & Bussed-in-Basiji:
    You have no answers to my question.
    I must conclude that your assertions have been false and are unsupported by Reason or Revelations.

    *

    Not at all. I answered your question. The answer was that I do not consider your acumen and your grasp of the subject at hand worthy of my time, becuase engaging in mental midgetry has to have a limit, even for the Class Clown. Now you might consider that not to be an adequate answer, but I assure you – and I am sure others will back me up on this – the answer hits the mark EXACTLY on the bullseye. Just becuase you THINK you are qualified to discuss issues of a religious nature, even though you have no formal training, no deep reading and no aptitude in the subject, does not mean that I am duty bound to engage in such intercourse with you. Rather, you’d best have that intercourse with your self,

    I am sorry if that is inconvinient, but you’re just not my type, OK? And there is a big difference between your not being my type and “The assertion claiming the Revelations of the Quran having made obsolete prior Revelations are thus revealed for what they are: Unthinking Muslim Prejudice.”

    Like I said earlier, stop while you are ahead, as your ridiculous ignorant rants on religious subject that you know nothing about really take away from your otherwise good name.

    Listen: take these key words: hoboot, alast, imana,

  525. hans says:

    The attack on the son of MQ was long planned, in fact it was to kill MQ read this article which was written on the 29 April

    :http://kir-svetitskiy.livejournal.com/5734.html

    BBC,CNN,N-tv say “an allegedly attack”
    Juan Cole “I’m going to play skeptic on the Libyan government account of the NATO airstrike”.

    Watch TeleSurTV and see the difference in what is being shown, I view PressTV very biased in relation to MQ and Libya which is a shame it should report unbiased and stop calling the salafist of Libya as revolutionaries.

  526. fyi says:

    Goli says: April 30, 2011 at 8:00 pm

    You are right and these people have no answer, not to you, not to young women, and not to young men.

    All they state is to be patient and to accept the Islamic Disaster in the name of the anti-imperialist posture of the state.

    That, however, is insufficient since states can live for centuries but human beings have only a shorr life to live.

  527. fyi says:

    Unknown Unknowns & Bussed-in-Basiji:

    You have no answers to my question.

    I must conclude that your assertions have been false and are unsupported by Reason or Revelations.

    The assertion claiming the Revelations of the Quran having made obsolete prior Revelations are thus revealed for what they are: Unthinking Muslim Prejudice.

    Now you have no execuse; you have been informed.

  528. Rachel says:

    Ayatollah Khamenei had indeed right when he stated that these were revolution born out of resistance.
    Egypt, for example which have had icy relations with Iran have now not only let Iranian vessles through the canal, they have also reached out to both Hamas and Fatah to unite on Egyptian soil (something that would have been impossible on pro-us, pro-zionist era of mubarak) and they have atleast mention the possibility to open the border. I Salute the Egyptian leadership, for being brave enough to even plan to do this. israel would of course trying to coerce Egypt with the US, maybe they succeed, hopefully not.

  529. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Goli,
    I will get to the question of hijab in a moment, first a little introduction.

    You are diagnosing real problems in Iranian (and western and Saudi) societies yet I believe you are confusing culture and religion. Islam itself is a culture which replaces those practices of societies that are literally unjust as defined by God and encourages those practices that are just.

    As agreed by all Muslims, Islam came to rid the Arabs of jaheliyat and to a certain extent it has succeeded and to a certain extent the program will become complete with the return of Imame Zaman (aj).

    But why not also say that Islam came to rid the Persians of some of their negative cultural practices. Let’s assume that Iranians have a total of 1,000 cultural practices and 10 of them are negative (the other 990 are just fine nazde khoda). Why not say that Islam allows us to replace these cultural practices and keep those that are good. And remember the standard is Islam as practiced by Ahlul Bayt, not mine or your personal preference.

    Why not say that just as Islam came to rid Arabs of jaheliyat, it also came to rid Persians of ashrafiat which so deeply ingrained in Persians. Or why not say Islam came to rid the Persians of being two-faced, which again is common trait of Persians (of course not all, but many- as a common cultural practice)?

    Now lets go to the issue of hijab. As I pointed out to fyi, we have zuhure lafz of a command, which doesn’t change whether a man or a woman is reading the text and trying to figure out what it is commanding us, or whether they are reading at the time the Holy Quran was revealed or they are reading it now.

    What we can say without hesitation is that the sum of the relevant ayat and revayat strongly indicate to us that there is a concept called hijab in the program called Islam, which applies to men and women and its particular application differs between men and women. This is a separate matter as the spiritual value of man or woman with God. The issue is social duties and rights IN THIS WORLD, not whether God differentiate between the souls of believers which He only does in terms of taqwa.

    As part of the larger plan for the perfection of human beings as individuals, families, communities and as humanity, called Islam, God has given different duties, responsibilities and rights to men and women. There is nothing per se wrong with that.

    So what is clear is that in Islam we have a concept called hijab and its outward application has been pretty clearly defined by the ayat and revayat. Specifically hijab for women includes covering the hair and wearing clothing that doesn’t reveal their body shapes- of course this will take different forms when done by different women but the basic form of the outward application is defined clearly as a matter of fiqh. And one evidence of that is that when female mujtahids derive the ruling of hijab they don’t come up with some new radical reinterpretation simply because they are women.

    If however one has from the beginning decided what the result of his/her effort to derive the ruling is going to be- for example that hijab doesn’t include covering the hair- than you are just playing games and it’s better to just say hey I don’t want to cover my hair- regardless of what the ayat and revayat say. That would be more honest.

    Beyond the fiqhi issue is the issue of hijab as matter of public law. What I have said many times is that it is not enough to mention the concept of hijab in the law and then expect law enforcement officials to figure out its application in the field. The law needs to define the masadiq of hijab clearly- it could be 2 it could be 20 or 200 masadiq, that’s up to the legal process. Once the masadiq are defined than everyone will now where they stand.

    Let me give you an example, let’s say that the law defines one of the masadiq of hijab as long sleeve manteau to below the knees with the trousers below it and a head scarf tied below the chin (versus for example tied at the back of the head). The law enforcement officer now cannot stop the lady who is wearing this, even if he thinks she is not wearing proper hijab because the law has defined it. If he does, she can take legal recourse to his actions. And here as in every country we get to the issue of courts and how they deal with police misconduct- which is a different discussion.

    OK now what if the hair is showing from below the the head scarf? Well here the law enforcement official can give a verbal warning and the issue finished as far as the law is concerned. Now if somebody insists on coming into the streets without adhering to one of the legally defined masadiq of hijab then she will prosecuted by the law. So I think the issue is not as complicated as it is often portrayed, but simply a matter of clear legislation- which is currently lacking- and good police training to justly enforce the law. And yes as in every country there are going to be cases of misconduct which need to be pursued by the courts.

  530. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Bussed-in Profligate Consumer of Gratis Sandwiches and Sundis:
    But we’ve been here before with you…my suggestion is that you give up your moonlighting job as molla and faqih and get back to global political analysis which you’re pretty good at.

    Exaaaaaaaaaaaaactly :D

    *

    fyi:
    You asked me to respond to the Psalms of David, or something to that affect. No, I respectfully decline to engage you in discussions of a specifically religious nature, and will wait for you to take off your aluminum foil hat at the end of your moonlighting shift to see what you have to say about the decay of Pakistan and other ambient domains.

    Don’t quit your day job!

    *

    Goli:

    I agree with you, by and large. On the basis that I am a centrist, meaning that to me, in these trying times, the highest priority should be the prevention of the disintegration of what is left of our society, as has happened in the West (the true Catastrophe). Iranian society is so polarized that the need to unify divergent views is urgent. To use my earlier metaphor (of yesterday, I think it was, or the day before), the most urgent political task at hand is to ensure that in the process of the self-revelation of God to Himself (through the dual-mirror set-up of the mirror of the hearts of men, His vice-regents, and the mirror or phenomenoscope of “the horizons” – the set-up is a infinite loop, a Mobius Ring, if you will, which feeds on itself), the process of His transmogrification (in the fantastic rather than grotesque sense) from a Singularity (“in” pre-eternity [azal], before the beginning of Time, the medium of this unfolding) toward Multiplicity, Plurality – the most important thing is to ensure that there is sufficient slack in the Chain of Being as it individuates, that it is not too taut, but also, that it is not too loose, so that the Tension of the Plot of the Drama of Being follows the Dramaturge’s Script Instruction, which is to follow the seraat al-mustaqim, the middle path.
    This is the basis of my centrism – it is *an Islamo-centric encounter with the social*: a surrender [taslim, Islam: the inner peace that is achieved and is only achievable, incidentally, from the surrender of the self to the will of the community, which itself, of course, leaves plenty of space for individual expression; plenty, but decidedly not unbridled, as in the desire of the Nekbat or blight the Westoxicated (pseudo-Christianized) elements of the community have become upon it. I say these things, you know, just “fyi,” as it were] – a surrender to the seraat al-Mustaqim – a path that winds as the Transmogrification waxes and wanes, revealing brilliant glimmers from each facet of the gems of the Hidden Treasure, the noble-most of which are the Sons and Daughters of Adam, making the challenge of the calculus of the community to stay in its center (lest it go astray) all the more demanding and interesting. And while I find myself constantly and indeed incessantly having to pull the radicalized super-individuated lost souls back to the center, back to community, I am sure that if I were to encounter members from the other tail of the bell-shaped curve of our community, those who have not individuated sufficiently to keep pace with the community’s locus, its center of inertia, I would be urging them to let go, not to be so hung-up on the interests of the community, to stick their heads out from the cocoons they are still in, that it is time to expand their horizons, to move on, as has the rest of the community, the family of Moslems, and indeed the family of man, for in the early dawn of the 21st century, the cocoon of traditionalism for its own sake is nothing less than a maladaptive coping mechanism (i.e., a mechanism that once served a function which was good and proper, but that no longer serves that function – like sucking one’s thumb as a child, or holding on to a “security” blanket. Thanks to the passage of time, that blanket is now looked upon by the community as an IN-security blanket.
    So, yes, I agree, dear Goli, that it is a complete and utter disgrace the way women are treated in Saudi Arabia, and that it is a patent sign of the insecurity of that whole Najdi Nekbat. And I agree too that inheritance laws in Iran are unjust and need to be changed, just as the laws regarding the testimony of women not being equal to that of men’s. And a myriad of other laws, no doubt. But I must hasten to add that resolving these injustices is far from a simple task. (And of course, the fact that you support the Islamic Republic (that marvelous little oxymoron) is a sign of your wisdom, and a sign that you, unlike some half-baked “rights” jockeys, understand this. It is the task of decades and indeed centuries. And it is a task made infinitely more difficult by the selfish and sub-human acts of the imperialist powers whose ethical norms and practice the “rights” jockeys are so enamored with.
    In fact, it was the differing approaches as to how best to encounter this very problem (of how to continue to bring about and how to maintain justice in the social polity, how to strike the right balance between the rights of the community and those of the individual) that provided the impetus in the schism in the early community, which crystallized three centuries later in the sectarian divide, from proto-Sunni and proto-Shi’a to Sunni and Shi’a proper.
    That is a fascinating story: the story of how the textures of the two differing religious sensibilities and percepts gave rise to the two sects, and why and how, therefore, the dichotomies of Imamate-Khalifate and the status of the Koran [Hadith-Qadim (“Created”-“Uncreated”)], ta’wil-tafsir, usul-akhbar, the open-shut Gate of Ijtihad, etc., etc. But that story will have to wait for another day, boys and girls, as my blood sugar has plummeted and I need to get some breakfast :o)

    Cheerie-o and ta-ta for now.

  531. Fara says:

    Saif al-Arab Gaddafi, the youngest son of embattled Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, and three of Gaddafi’s grandsons have been killed in a NATO airstrike.

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/177579.html

  532. Goli says:

    Bussed in Basiji,

    I am an Iranian woman and a defender of the Islamic Republic based on two principles that are fundamental to me, that it is the choice of the majority of the Iranian people, and that its is anti-imperialist. I also believe that the Islamic Republic, with all its shortcomings, has put in place many progressive policies over the years, and I am in particular found of President Ahmadinejad’s policies and actions.

    That said, the discussion on whether hejab is required by Ghoran is subjective, based on the interpretation that fits one’s agenda, and therefore futile. But I can tell you one thing, I do not believe that the teachings of Ghoran and the Islam I have been exposed to, based on the principles of equality and justice, could justify the idea that women should hide themselves in these miserably uncomfortable coverings, watch their every action, be held responsible for men’s misdeeds, inherit a fraction of men, be discriminated against in professional spheres of society, and treated as second class citizens (yes, unfortunately that is true in Iran). Please don’t get me wrong, I am as disgusted with objectification of women in western societies as I am with the treatment of women in Iran. And as for the Saudis’ total dehumanization of women, I won’t even go there.

    Now, no amount of female university graduates (while a positive indicator) or BS about how women have a special place in Islamic society, is going to change my mind. And I don’t think that you can call yourself a true Muslim by preaching equality on the one hand and treat women as unequals on the other. It is that simple.

  533. fyi says:

    Empty says: April 30, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    Quran explicitly mentions the Torah, the Injil (of Jesus – Gospels), and Zebor-e Davoud. These “Books” are authentic Revelations although they may or may not conform to the style of Quran.

    The Torah contains:

    1. Five Books of Moses
    2. Prophets
    3. Writings

    Jews also state that there has been an oral part Torah which was finally written down 1800 years ago which is called Mishna.

    It is the task of Muslim scholarship to evaluate and retrieve the True Revelations of God from this body of scriptures.

    Facile assertions to the contrary are indications of intellectual laziness. I know that very many Muslims do not wish or like to think; but that is no longer possible for them.

    For myself, my only claim to any originality is the explicit identification of Injil with the Deeds, Acts, and Words of Jesus.

    However, even this understanding I owe to the Sufis who first explicated the idea of the Perfect Man whose Deeds and Acts are those of God’s; that the Perfect man could be participating with God in the sacred Life of the Universe.

    It became clear – at least to me – then that the Spirit of God, born to the Virgin, was the Immaculate Perfect Man and Injil was his Deeds, Acts, and Words as he participated, with God, in the Life of the Universe.

    I do not think that it necessarily follows that all of God’s Revelations ought to conform – stylistically – to those of the Quran.

  534. fyi says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says: April 30, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    Your statements are mere assertions of what Muslims state.

    You are not supplying any scriptural support for your statements nor any intellectual basis for your assertions.

    “Amin” – from Hebrew: “So be it”.

  535. Empty says:

    fyi,

    Before I proceed, my first question would be are these God’s revelation to Davoud or Davoud’s and his followers’ revelation to God? Grammatically speaking, for example, in Quran, the statements, quotes, commands, stories, quotes of people talking to God, etc. are all clear. That is, it’s quite clear who is the “Revealer”; what is the “revealed”; and who is the “revealee”. With what you have posted here, I’m not too sure if this is part of a quote when people are narrating their feelings, thoughts, and experiences or if this is part of a quotation. Would you mind clarify that?

  536. Empty says:

    “wear…” rather…

  537. Empty says:

    Rather, “wearing the robe….”

  538. Empty says:

    This is hot off the email….I did my best to translate….

    میگن یه روز نگهبان بهشت میره پیش خدا گلایه میکنه که:

    آخه خدا، این چه وضعیه آخه؟ ما یک مشت ایرونی داریم توی بهشت که فکر میکنن اومدن خونه باباشون! به جای لباس و ردای سفید، همه شون لباس های مارک دار و آنچنانی میخوان! بجای پابرهنه راه رفتن کفش آدیداس پاشون میکنن. هیچ کدومشون از بالهاشون استفاده نمیکنن، میگن بدون ‘بنز’ و ‘ب ام و’ نمیرن! اون بوق و کرنای اصرافیل هم گم شده… یکی ازش قرض گرفت و رفت دیگه خبری نشد! آقا من خسته شدم از بس جلوی دروازه بهشت رو جارو زدم… امروز تمیز میکنم، فردا دوباره پر از پوست تخمه و پسته و هسته هندونه و پوست خربزه است! من حتی دیدم بعضیهاشون کاسبی هم میکنن و حلقه های تقدس بالای سرشون رو به بقیه میفروشن. چند تاشون کوپون جعلی بهشت درست کردن و به ساکنین بخت برگشته جهنم میفروشن. چندتاشون دلالی باز کردن و معاملات املاک شمال بهشت میکنن. یک سری شون حوری های بهشت را با تهدید آوردن خونه شون و اونارو “سرکار” گذاشتن و شیتیلی میگیرن. بقیه حوری ها هم مرتب میگن مارو از لیست جیره ایرانیها بردار که پدرمونو درآوردن، اونقدر به ما برنج دادن که چاق شدیم و از ریخت افتادیم. اتحادیه غلمان ها امضاء جمع کرده که اعضا نمیخوان به دیدن زنان ایرانی برن چون اونقدر آرایش کردن و اسپری مو سرشون زدن که هاله تقدسشون اتصالی کرده و فیوزش سوخته در ضمن خانمهای ایرونی از غلمانها مهریه میخوان. هفته پیش هم چند میلیون نفر تو چلوکبابی ایرانیها مسموم شدن و دوباره مردن. چند پزشک ایرونی به حوری ها بند کردن که الا و بلا بیایید دماغتونو عمل کنیم. به اون یکی حوری گفتن بیا سینه هاتو بزرگ کنیم.

    خدا میگه:

    ای فرشته من! ایرانیان هم مثل بقیه، آفریده های من هستند و بهشت به همه انسان ها تعلق داره. اینها هم که گفتی، خیلی بد نسیت! برو یک زنگی به نگهبان جهنم بزن تا بفهمی درد سر واقعی یعنی چی!!!

    نگهبان بهشت میره زنگ میزنه به نگهبان جهنم … دو سه بار میره روی پیام گیر تا بالاخره نگهبان جهنم نفس نفس زنان جواب میده: جهنم، بخش ایرانیان بفرمایید؟

    نگهبان بهشت میگه: آقا سرت خیلی شلوغه انگار؟

    نگهبان جهنم آهی میکشه و میگه: نگو که دلم خونه… این ایرونیها اشک منو در آوردن به خدا! میخوام خودمو بازنشست کنم. شب و روز برام نگذاشتن! تا صورتم رو میکنم این طرف، اون طرف یه آتیشی به پا میکنن! تا دو ماه پیش که اینجا هر روز چهارشنبه سوری بود و آتیش بازی!…
    حالا هم که… ای داد!!! آقا نکن! بهت میگم نکن!!! اوخ اوخ! من برم …. اینها دارن آتیش جهنم رو خاموش میکنن که جاش کولر گازی نصب کنن… یک عده شون بازار سیاه مواد سوختی بخصوص بنزین براه انداختن. چند تا پزشک ایرونی در جهنم بیمارستان سوانح سوختگی باز کردن و براش تبلیغ میکنن و این شدیدا ممنوعه. چندتاشون دفتر ویزای مهاجرت به بهشت باز کردن و ارواح مردمو خر میکنن. بلیت جعلی یکطرفه بهشت هم میفروشن. یک سری شون وکیل شدن و تبلیغ میکنن که میتونن پیش نکیر و منکر برای جهنمی ها تقاضای تجدید نظر بدن. چند تاشون که روی زمین مهندس بودن میگن پل صراط ایراد فنی داشته که اونا افتادن تو جهنم. دارن امضا جمع میکنن که پل باید پهن تر بشه. چند هزار تاشون هم هر روز زنگ میزنن به 118 جهنم و تلفن و آدرس جهنم سفارتهای کانادا و آمریکا رو میپرسن چون میخوان مهاجرت کنن. میگویند هر چند آتیشش داغ تره اما کلاسش بالاتره. هرروز هزاران ایرونی زنگ میزنن به اطلاعات و تلفن آتش نشانی جهنم رو میخوان. ببخش! من برم، بعدا صحبت میکنیم… چند تا ایرونی دارن کوپون جعلی کولر گازی و یخچال میفروشن… برم یه چماقی بچرخونم!”

    One day Heaven’s guardian goes to God complaining that: “Oh, God, what is up with this? We have a handful of Iranians in Heaven who think they have come to their daddy’s home. Instead of wearing plain white robs, they all want colorful outfits with designer labels! Instead of walking barefoot, they were Adidas shoes. None of them uses her/his wings. They say, without a Mercedes Benz or BMW, they are not going to move. Angel Esrafil’s trumpet is also lost….someone borrowed it and never returned it. God, I am tired of cleaning up the front of Heaven’s gate. I sweep it every day…and everyday I see sunflower and pistachio shells, watermelon seeds, and honeydew melon peels. I have even witnessed some of them entering into the business of selling the halos above their heads. A few of them has even printed fake Heaven coupons and are selling them to the poor retched souls in Hell. A few of them have opened up real estate businesses and are selling the northern Heaven. Some of them have brought a few of the Heaven fairies to their corners and …..[well, never mind translating this part]. The rest of the fairies are also begging me to take them off the lists of Iranians as they have been fed so much rice that they have all become fat and out of shape. The Union of “Gholman” [equivalent of fairies for women] have signed a petition that they do not wish to go and visit Iranian women since they wear so much make-up and hair spray that the halos above their head has shorted and the fuses are burnt. Besides, the Iranian women keep on demanding “mehriyeh”. A few weeks ago, millions got food poisoning in Iranian restaurants and died again. A few Iranian doctors are now giving a hard time to Heaven fairies to come and get plastic surgery for their noses. One of them has been telling the fairies to go and get breast implants.”

    God says, “Iranians are my creatures just like all others. What you are telling me is not too bad. Why don’t you give Guardian of Hell a call and see what real trouble is like.”

    Heaven’s Guardian calls Hell’s Guardian’s phone number. A few times it goes to the answering machine. Finally, he dials again and Hell’s Guardian, almost out of breath answers: “Yes? Hell. Iranian Section.”

    Heaven’s Guardian says, “It seems you’re quite busy, sir?”

    Hell’s Guardian sighs and says, “Don’t even ask. These Iranians have brought tears to my eyes. I don’t have a moment’s rest. By God, I want to retire because of them. Until a couple of months ago, they had fireworks every day. As soon as I turn my face to one side, another side is set on fire. Oh, oh,….I have to run, they are extinguishing Hell’s fire again to set up a cooling system….Oh, sir, over there! Stop it! Cut it out! …..A few Iranian physicians in Hell have set up a special hospital for burnt subjects and are now advertising for it. A few of them have set up a black market for gasoline and other fire fuels. A few of them are selling fake one-way tickets to Heaven. Some of them have opened visa offices for migration to Heaven and are deceiving people’s spirits. This is absolutely forbidden in Hell. A few of them who were engineers on Earth are now advertising that they are lawyers and could ask for reconsideration of the files in front of “Nakir and Monkar”. A few thousands of them are calling 118 every day to sign a petition to widen the “Serat Bridge” arguing that the have fallen into Hell purely due to technical problems of the Bridge. Every day, they call to get the US and Canadian section of the Hell to migrate there. They say, although the fire of those sections are hotter but they have higher class. A few thousands call Hell’s information directory to get the number for Hell’s fire department. I’m sorry! I have to go! A few Iranians are not selling fake coupons for AC and refrigerators….let me go and spin my baton a bit.”

  539. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    It’s late and time for bed. I pray that Hazrat Isa(as) comes to you in your dreams and smacks you up side the head…in a friendly Prophet-of-God kinda way…

  540. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    fyi,
    If the previous revelations described God that is fine but they are superceded by the description of God in the Quran. In that sense they are “correct” but now with the existence the Quran they are obsolete. Also the laws derived from the previous revelations are no longer current as they have been made obsolete by the laws derived from the last revelation.

    Also what you have shown is not Zaboore Davud, what we have in our hands today in the Old and New Testament is a distorted and partially mistranslated fragments of the revelations given to the previous Prophets. Better stick to the real thing which in our time is the Holy Quran which “confirms” the what was sent to the previous prophets as we don’t have what was originally sent to the previous Prophets. Get it?

    And unless you speak Aramaic and have access to his original revelations, I would say you have no clue what Jesus actually said except for referring to the Holy Quran and the revayat of Ahlul Bayt in this regard.

    NIV or King James version or whatever have no authority whatsoever. Ameen.

  541. fyi says:

    Empty, Bussed-in-Basiji, Uknown-Unknowns:

    Please state, if you could take the trouble doing so, which parts of the following Psalams (Zboor-e Davoud) have been made obsolete by the Revelation of the Quran.

    ===========================================

    Psalm 44 (New International Version, ©2011)

    1 We have heard it with our ears, O God;
    our ancestors have told us
    what you did in their days,
    in days long ago.
    2 With your hand you drove out the nations
    and planted our ancestors;
    you crushed the peoples
    and made our ancestors flourish.
    3 It was not by their sword that they won the land,
    nor did their arm bring them victory;
    it was your right hand, your arm,
    and the light of your face, for you loved them.

    4 You are my King and my God,
    who decrees[c] victories for Jacob.
    5 Through you we push back our enemies;
    through your name we trample our foes.
    6 I put no trust in my bow,
    my sword does not bring me victory;
    7 but you give us victory over our enemies,
    you put our adversaries to shame.
    8 In God we make our boast all day long,
    and we will praise your name forever.[d]

    9 But now you have rejected and humbled us;
    you no longer go out with our armies.
    10 You made us retreat before the enemy,
    and our adversaries have plundered us.
    11 You gave us up to be devoured like sheep
    and have scattered us among the nations.
    12 You sold your people for a pittance,
    gaining nothing from their sale.

    13 You have made us a reproach to our neighbors,
    the scorn and derision of those around us.
    14 You have made us a byword among the nations;
    the peoples shake their heads at us.
    15 I live in disgrace all day long,
    and my face is covered with shame
    16 at the taunts of those who reproach and revile me,
    because of the enemy, who is bent on revenge.

    17 All this came upon us,
    though we had not forgotten you;
    we had not been false to your covenant.
    18 Our hearts had not turned back;
    our feet had not strayed from your path.
    19 But you crushed us and made us a haunt for jackals;
    you covered us over with deep darkness.

    20 If we had forgotten the name of our God
    or spread out our hands to a foreign god,
    21 would not God have discovered it,
    since he knows the secrets of the heart?
    22 Yet for your sake we face death all day long;
    we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.

    23 Awake, Lord! Why do you sleep?
    Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever.
    24 Why do you hide your face
    and forget our misery and oppression?

    25 We are brought down to the dust;
    our bodies cling to the ground.
    26 Rise up and help us;
    rescue us because of your unfailing love.

    ===================

    Psalm 100 (New International Version, ©2011)

    1 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
    2 Worship the LORD with gladness;
    come before him with joyful songs.
    3 Know that the LORD is God.
    It is he who made us, and we are his[a];
    we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

    4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
    and his courts with praise;
    give thanks to him and praise his name.
    5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
    his faithfulness continues through all generations.

  542. Empty says:

    fyi,

    Please continue. I am listening/reading.

  543. fyi says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says: April 30, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    Thank you for clarifying my understanding.

    But to take your line of argument further, God’s admonition is absolute and incumbent on all believers to exercise sexual modesty.

    But God is vague as to the forms of such conformance.

    [And if the Arabic word is equivalent to Persian "Chador", why are not Iranian men also dressed in "Abbiya"? After all, God admonishes both men and women.]

    That much is understood.

    Why then is the state given the authority and the duty to enforce God’s Absolute Amonition?

    Is the state then the Junior Partner of God?

    Where did the state get the authority to enforce and admonition that God had put on the believers (who sought salvation in Islam)?

  544. fyi says:

    Empty says: April 30, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    You do that dear, you do that.

    Clearly the perpetuation of the Islamic Disaster in Iran is much more of a central concern to you and your kind.

    You go ahead and indulge in this fantasy project while being oblivious to what is going on around Iran – and being helpless to do anything about it.

    And please, also study the controversial issue in Fiqh regarding what the zakat of a 3-year old camel ought to be.

    All the while Pakistan is decaying….

  545. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    fyi,
    Good, now that we established that you have no clue what you are talking about, let’s see what zuhure lafz means, shall we?

    Zuhure lafz has nothing per se to do with the Quran. It means that a speaker who is for example giving a command, the intention of that speaker is the apparent meaning of the words he is using. This is especially the case in a master-servant relationship such as that between God and his servants.

    So for instance when God says, “pray at noon” or “fast until the night” the intention of the speaker is that these things are necessarily done, not simply they these things are recommended. And the zuhure is motlaq, meaning that there are no exceptions mentioned in the uttered sentences.

    Of course there is room to say that these things are recommended but that is not the default position, it is not the zuhure lafz, the apparent meaning and anyone claiming that these commands are not necessary has to bring evidence that the intention of the speaker is to recommend.

    Think of a case such as when you tell your small child to do certain thing. The zuhure lafz is that you want it done necessarily and whoever would claim that you meant it as recommendation, has to bring proof.

    This is as Shahid Sadr (r) says based on very simple reality. When a commander gives let’s say 100 different commands, humans never check each and every command to see what the intention of the commander was. The zuhure lafz is that the commander wants it done (or wants you to refrain from it) necessarily and claiming that he meant it as recommendation requires proof as it is not the normal situation.

    In our case when God says “tell…the women of the mo’meneen…” the zuhure lafz is that it is wajib and motlaq and as I said the mujtahid takes this and the other relevant ayat and revayat and derives the ruling.

    As far as the law in Iran, I explained to you that the solution is for the law to define the various outward examples of hijab and that way the law enforcement officer can do his/her job properly without anyone being confused about who did or did not violate the law.

    Interestingly, the usuli discussions of Shahid Sadr(r) also completely debunk the whole modern hermeneutics bullshit…but that’s another discussion.

  546. Empty says:

    fyi,

    RE: “I was not implying that you had used those words. I wanted to point out the mental, intellectual, religious, legal, and spiritual distance between the clear admonitions of the Quran to both men and women to be (sexually) modest and to the Nikbat Islami in Iran.”

    Yes. I did guess that you would not pass up an opportunity to make your own point even though it was not addressed in my post. It is always useful to provide you with an opportunity to spell it out in your own words. It’s far more effective that way.

  547. fyi says:

    M.Ali says: April 30, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    Since I do not know Arabic, I am reliant on the translation of the Quran.

    What I understood was this:

    Each of us consist of very many different potentialities.

    Not all of them are fully developed in all of us.

    Some of them are developed more than others.

    And our differently realized potentialities are appealing to different people.

    That is the reason for the often encountered situation that our friends may not like one another eventhough they are our personal friends.

    Societies, collections of human beings, also realize, at the collective level, different potentialities of men. Thus pre-Revolutionary China, realized that potentiality of Mankind that yearns for social Harmony and Cohesion.

    The Western Civilization, on the other hand, went by the way of the Myth of Prometheus, Stealing the Fire of Gods. Appealing to the rebellious nature of Man and realizing that potentiality.

    Thus we are able to recognize, at the collective level, different ways of being human.

  548. M.Ali says:

    fyi, in your defense of individualism, you mention the following verse,

    ““O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honourable of you with Allâh is that (believer) who has At-Taqwa. Verily, Allâh is All-Knowing, All-Aware.”.”

    I think it actually goes against your argument. If your argument was correct, the verse should have said, “…that you may know yourself”

  549. fyi says:

    Empty says: April 30, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    I was not implying that you had used those words.

    I wanted to point out the mental, intellectual, religious, legal, and spiritual distance between the clear admonitions of the Quran to both men and women to be (sexually) modest and to the Nikbat Islami in Iran.

  550. fyi says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says: April 30, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    As far as I can comprehend it, the “Zuhur Lafz” is a form of “Esalat Zuhur”; i.e. literal interpretation of the Quranic text in the absence of any other textual or hadith (or, I suppose, historical) evidence for an alternate understanding of the meaning of the words.

    Be as it may, it still does not justify, logically and based on any principle of jurisprudence or deduction, the current state of Hejab Laws in Iran.

    The admonition, in the Quran, is to actual human beings and not to the State and its organs of violence; in my opinion.

  551. Empty says:

    fyi,

    RE: “But “chador”, “niqab”, “burqa”, “moral police”, “Either Scarf or a Hit on the Head” are not mentioned in the Quran.”

    Would you mind pointing to any of my posts (present and past) in which I mention any of these?

  552. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    fyi,
    Zuhure lafz is not “human opinion” smarty-pants, it’s universal and applies to everyone regardless of their personal opinion. In fact is is the way God communicates with his servants in the revelations and sayings of the prophets.

    Please first let’s see if you know what zuhure lafz means, that way we can establish if have any freakin clue what you’re talking about. Come on smarty-pants we’re waiting.

  553. fyi says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says: April 30, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    Yes, so we finally are coming to the position, freely indicated by yourself, that the highest manifestation of tuhe Nekbat Islami in Iran is based on Human Opinion; that there is plenty of room for diagreement and for modifications, that there could be, in principle, no reason for the state to intervene in such matters.

    A few years ago, the blood money of a Muslim and a non-Muslim Person of the Book was finally equalized – all based on Fiqh.

    But prior to that, for 1300 years, that inequality in blood money was considered essential, nary; a vertiable principle of Islam itself.

    As the blood money went, so will hijab and the rest of this Islamic Disaster.

    God Willing.

  554. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    fyi,
    I’m afraid you’re dead wrong.

    Surah Ahzab, Ayah 59.

    “tell…the women of the mo’meneen to draw closely over themselves their jalaabib (jalaabib-hinna)…”

    Jalaabib in Arabic means chador, specifically what is called “chadore Arabi” in Iran meaning the one with holes for the arms versus “chadore daneshjuyi” or “chadore sonnati” which is held with the hand at the chin.

    I will not get into the discussions of zuhure lafz being wajib and motlaq which when combined with the other ayat and the relevant revayat allows the mujtahid to derive the ruling on hijab. Anyways Ayatollah Khoi and currently Ayatollah Mazaheri say hijab means chador based on ihtiyate wajib, whereas the other ulama say chador is a misdaq of hijab among others.

    And we won’t even get into the fact that the ayah refers to “the women of the mo’meneen”, not “the mo’meneen women…” which could mean belief in hijab is not a shart in its wujub.

    All this is the fiqhi aspect which doesn’t address the problem of not defining the misdaq of hijab according to public law, as I explained in detail in previous posts.

    But we’ve been here before with you…my suggestion is that you give up your moonlighting job as molla and faqih and get back to global political analysis which you’re pretty good at.

  555. fyi says:

    Unknown Unknowns says: April 30, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    I accept your apology.

    I must, however, take very strong objection to your formulation “Community Thinks”.

    Americans have a joke:

    Question: What is a Committee?
    Answer: An animal with 12 pairs of eyes, legas, and arms but with no brains!

    So goes for the pruported community.

    140 years ago, a (Sunni) Muslim man would marry a woman in Bukhara and then sell her into slavery in “Samarqand”. And the “Community” thought that was all proper and acceptable behavior for a Muslim.

    Fortunately for the Central Asian women, first (Orthodox Christian) Russian Government (Infidels – as the Community of Muslims Thought of Them) and then the (Godless) Soviet Government (Kuffar – if the Community even Could Think that Far) put an end to such wonerfully accepted practices of the Muslim Community.

    One again, I repeat, the Community – a collection of individuals – could be wrong in its ethos and indeed, in the entirety of its being. Sodom was one such Community. So was Ur when Abraham was told, by God, to leave it.

    I am aware of what the so-called Community believes in Iran. In fact, there is not one single community; there is the religiosity of Tehran that gradually and steadily is transforming the rest of Iran; no matter how much the pharisee Muslims resist it.

  556. fyi says:

    Hans:

    Please be patient with these religious discussions; this is just the tip of the ice-berg when it comes to the situation among Muslims – both Shia and Muslim.

    The religious position of the Empty, Uknown Unknowns, M. Ali, etc. is considered be enlightened by many many Muslims and by others has dangerous heresies.

    My own position is, unfortunately, is that of a minority of one.

  557. Unknown Unknowns says:

    fyi:

    You are right, and I apologize. I did get a little too personal. It is because I was frustrated. So I should have ignored you or whatever else.

    And that is what I will try to do now and in the future. Becuase unfortunately, you simply do not, and it would seem, cannot get it. It is not about what you think and what I think or what anyONE else thinks. It is about what the COMMUNITY thinks!!!!! And it is not that you shoulld not or do not have the right to question the community’s position. It is just that when you are sitting on the sidelines spewing irrelevant negativity, no one listens to you except me.

    Seriously, take it from someone who knows a little about the subject: you know NOTHING about Islam. Stop talking about it. It really takes away from your brilliant geopolitical analysis.

  558. fyi says:

    Empty says: April 30, 2011 at 10:24 am

    Very well indeed.

    But “chador”, “niqab”, “burqa”, “moral police”, “Either Scarf or a Hit on the Head” are not mentioned in the Quran.

  559. fyi says:

    M.Ali says: April 30, 2011 at 4:07 am

    Men gather in society since a single individual cannot address all of his or her needs; physical, mental, emotional.

    The gathering of men in organized societies is therefore a form of instrumentality, a tool of survival and prosperity.

    A tool, as such, cannot be claimed to be metaphysically superior to any human being. The tool – organized society – exist for men. Men do not exist for the sake of scoeity.

    That radical individualism that you ascribe to me, however and in my opinion, is only a restatement of the message of the Revelatios; in my opinion.

    Now, there are societies on this planet that disagree with what I have just written: they claim that men as individuals are nothing and the Organized Society is everything. That men, like cells in human body, have little significance.

    Such societies, the tribal ones in Africa (e.g. the Godless Tribes of Southern Sudan – the latest darlings of the Western Do-Gooders), the tribes of South East Asia (Melanesia), and the societies of China & Japan, are, in Jahilya – the Age of Darkness.

    The 13 verse of the Al-Hujurât states:

    “O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honourable of you with Allâh is that (believer) who has At-Taqwa. Verily, Allâh is All-Knowing, All-Aware.”.

    Thus each social organization is envisioned to reflect different aspects of our common humnaity and thus to make us to know ourselves better. Again, the society is a tool to be enhance the (spiritual) life of the individual.

  560. Unknown Unknowns says:

    I’m voting for the Trump-Palin ticket!!

    http://dailybail.com/home/trump-rips-china-listen-you-motherfuc-video.html

    Laugh a minute shtuff.

  561. fyi says:

    Unknown Unknowns says: April 29, 2011 at 11:08 pm

    Thank you for your comments and the reference to the Pelagian Controversy – with whose doctrines I completely disagree. In fact, both the Revelations of Jesus, the Immaculate Perfect Man, embodied in his Acts & Deed & Speech,, and the Revelations of the Quran (e.g. “Lead us to the Right Path..: etc. ) indicate the need of human beings for the Grace & Guidance of God. That is: conformance to the Law is not a guaranteed road to salvation.

    And the Fall of Man (“Hobut Adam”) is a common theme in the Five Books of Moses and the Quran – Jesus never directly spoke to that subject. He was the Prophet of Hope; of God’s Love for All Men.

    I also emphatically disagree with your statements in regards to the understanding of the Quran and the modalities of its interpretation. Since your position, logically, would imply that all those Muslims who lived prior to the emergence of the Doctors of Religious of Sciences were misguided and mistaken in their understanding of the Quran. Which, of course, begs the question how the Doctors of Religion became so qualified?

    Name-calling and labeling of people with who you disagree is not conducive to a discussion whose aim, I should think, is the illumination of Truth, as much as we are capable of comprehending it. I am not a Christian since I neither believe in Resurrection (the Central Dogma of Christianity) nor in the filial relationship claimed to be obtaining between Jesus and God.

    However, I claim, based on the Principle of the Unitarily of Revelations, that the 4 Books of the New Testament that relate the Acts, Deeds, & Speeches of Jesus, contain, perhaps in a polluted form, “The Book” that Quran ascribes to Jesus. It is the task of Muslim Scholarship to unravel and to recover the authentic Revelations of Jesus from those books; to separate, in the language of information theory, God’s authentic Message from the Personal & Historical Noise.
    As far as I can tell, you deny the Principle of the Unitarily of Revelations, and further stats that the previous Revelations are made obsolete by the Quran.

    I cannot accept your position for 2 reasons. One is that, as far as I know, the Quran only states that previous Laws have been made obsolete and not previous Revelations. It also accepts, implicitly, that adherents of prior Revelations may continue to do so.

    The second reasons that I disagree with you is your facile and un-thinking regurgitation of the untenable position that prior Revelations are obsolete. I do not disagree that that belief has been one of the central beliefs of the Muslim Tradition, but please at least demonstrate to the rest of us in what manner and where and how the Quran has made obsolete Psalms of David or the Revelation of Jesus.

    For 1400 years Muslim scholars have not supplied such works of scholarship. Perhaps they could try to do so now. But they won’t because they cannot. But the facile and lazy dismissal of prior Revelations remain.

    I asked you to supply the Quranic verses upon which you had based your understanding of the relations between the individual and his or her social milieu. I was disappointed that rather than helping the discussion further by supplying your references, you disingenuously sought to thwart the discussion and lead it astray.

    Shame, shame, shame.

  562. fyi says:

    Fiorangela says: April 29, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    Mr. Santroum’s speech yesterday was a disgrace to the United State.

    I used to think only Iran produced fools who would then find their way to positions of power and influence.

    Iranians, at least, have the excuse of being poorly educated for centuries.

    It is deplorable that US cannot produce better leaders.

  563. Empty says:

    Some quotes about etiquette:
    1. “Tell the believing men to subdue their eyes and keep chaste. This is purer fro them. God is fully cognizant of everything they do.” [Translation/interpretation from: Quran, Chapter 24, Verse 30].

    2. “And tell the believing women to subdue their eyes and keep chaste, and not to show off their beauty beyond that which is necessarily visible. They shall cover their chests with their garments, and they shall not show their beauty except to their husbands, or their parents, or the parents of their husbands, or their sons, or the sons of their husbands, or their brothers, or the sons of their brothers, or the sons of their sisters, or their women, or their servants or employees who have not attained puberty, or the children who are not mindful of the women’s beauty. Let them not strike their feet as they walk, in order to show off the jewelry they may be wearing on their ankles. You shall all repent to God, O believers, that you may succeed.” [Translation/interpretation from: Quran, Chapter 24, Verse 31].

    3. “When the children reach puberty, they shall be asked permission before entering their rooms, just like their elders. God thus clarifies the revelations for you and God is omniscient, wise.” [Translation/interpretation from: Quran, Chapter 24, Verse 59].

    4. “As for women who have reached old age, they commit no error by reducing their cloths without excessive revelation. And it is better to maintain modesty in dress. God is hearer, fully aware.” [Translation/interpretation from: Quran, Chapter 24, Verse 60].

  564. Empty says:

    RE: “Islam is an extension of this. While modernist (and maybe contemporary Sufists) sometimes want to make Islam a personal, inward religion, it actually isn’t, when you read the Quran and the actions of the Prophet. Islam was brought to the tribes, not just to change the person, but to change the society, and as such, laws were introduced to it, for the alleged benefits of the society as a whole.”

    I think boxing Quran’s teachings into an “either/or” framework would be inaccurate (a false dichotomy). My understanding (admittedly quite an incomplete one) is that Islam recognizes a dynamic interplay between what is good/bad for the society and what is good/bad for the individual. Even if we begin with the most basic facts, the very survival of human beings whether as an “individual” entity or as a social unit depends entirely on a series of social interactions. Social interactions are those interactions that require more than one person. Respecting the spirit of this thread, I think it would be appropriate to use the following example to illustrate my point.

    The inception, gestation, birth, and survival for the first few years of life of any “individual” human being depend on their social interactions. Therefore, inception requires a “man-woman” socio-physical interaction. Gestation requires (at least) “mother- fetus” interaction at minimum with some crucial periods requiring “mother-fetus-father/guardian/supporter/helper” interactions). Similarly, birth and survival requires “infant-mother-father/guardian/supporter” interactions. For any of these periods, optimal environment is achieved when these interactions occurs within a healthy, caring, and responsible environment with mother-father-child (at least). There is a preponderance of evidence (psycho-social studies) about youth and adolescent behaviors that shows the children who are conceived, born, raised in a caring, supportive environment, and a healthy relationship between their own biological parents are more likely to be better adapted, physically/emotionally/psychologically healthier, and perform better at school than those who are not (i.e. adopted, in foster care, etc.).*

    QUOTE: “Brodzinsky, a prominent researcher in the adoption outcomes field, believes that adoption is clearly associated with an increased psychological risk for adoptees. His 1987 study with Radice, Huffman, and Merkler found that 36% of adoptees and 14% of biological children surveyed displayed at least one clinically significant symptom. The adopted boys were more likely than the non-adopted boys to display uncommunicative behavior and hyperactivity. The adopted girls exceeded the non-adopted girls in their rates of depression, hyperactivity, and aggression. In his 1991 study with Steiger, they found that adoptees accounted for 6.7% of neurologically impaired, 5.4% of perceptually impaired, and 7.2% of emotionally disturbed school children in New Jersey. Boys significantly outnumbered girls in every classification. Brodzinsky concludes that the number of adopted children with learning disabilities and behavioral/emotional problems is disproportionately high, about four times what one would expect given their representation in the general population(Brodzinsky & Steiger, 1991).” [Source: C.L. Singer (2004). Adoption, Identity, and Adjustment. ;http://www.scribd.com/doc/51278075/Psycho-Social-Adjustment-of-Adoptees

    QUOTE: “As a child grows and matures so does his concept of adoption, which may trigger feelings of grief. Adoption loss is certainly a loss that can change and reemerge over time. As children grow they will understand information regarding their adoption in new and different ways. Things that didn’t make sense to them as a child may make sense as an adolescent and they may need to grieve and reprocess their feelings in order to reconcile their new understanding. This cycle can easily take a lifetime and may never be fully resolved.” [Source: C.A. Kavanaugh & J.J. Fiorini (2009), “Uses of Bibliotherapy for Adoptive Children and Their Families.”]

    [NOTE: USDHHS has some good collection of information about these issues and can be accessed online (should anyone be interested: ;http://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/f_adimpact.cfm)]

    If we have ample evidence (which we do) that physical/mental/emotional health of an “individual” depends on a healthy family unit (inevitably a social unit) that remains intact [See above sources and “a” below]; and if we have ample evidence (which we do) that exposure to alcohol, drugs, mismanaged sexual behaviors of different types, sex outside of marriage, cheating of partners, changing perception of what marriage is, doubling and tripling the burden on women as mothers, caregivers (to the young and old), breadwinners and wage earners without making any structural and systemic allowances to accommodate them (e.g., extended maternal and family paid leave, flexible and shorter work schedules, insurance, etc.) all significantly contribute to the break-up of families [See “b” below]; and if we have ample evidence (which we do) that chronic exposure to varying degrees (mild/moderate to extreme) of sexually provocative images, material, and in vivo (actual people on the streets) negatively affects the perceptions of men and women about themselves and their partners [See “b” and “c” below] which ultimately leads to a weakening of the bond between them, then, how does one logically and honestly argues and answers the question of “individual” right pitted against the rights of people as social units?

    QUOTE 1: Bill Clinton, interviewed on “60 Minutes” about his new book My Life, was asked by Dan Rather why he cheated with Monica Lewinsky. He responded, “Because I could.”

    QUOTE 2: “Sexual objectification crosses the boundary of being harmless the minute it is used as a tool to decrease someone’s chances of proving themselves as a worthy individual on more than a physical level. ……The studies of sexual objectification on women (and men) suggest that it can lead to negative psychological effects, such as depression and hopelessness. The precise degree of its impact on a psychological state of mind is still debated. However, it is clear that sexual objectification is one of the negative legacies of the sexual revolution, where liberation went hand-in-hand with an increasing abuse of one’s sexuality as a mode of achieving goals and getting through life.” [Source: O. Rumaniuk (2008), “Understanding Sexual Objectification and Its Ramification” in Feminism and Women’s Right]

    For those interested, I recommend the following sources:

    a) “Life-Span Human Development” by C.K. Sigelman and E.A. Rider
    b) Breakthrough Britain, Ending the costs of social breakdown, Volume 1: Family Breakdown (2007), S. Callan, Social Justice Policy Group
    c) “Human Sexuality and Its Problems” (2009) by J. Bancroft, 3rd Edition

    **May all children (including Karin Elizabeth) have the opportunity to grow up in healthy, strong, and spiritually sound family, community, and social environments.**

  565. M.Ali says:

    To add to Unknown & Fyi’s conversation:

    I think fyi’s incompatibality with the Islamic/Middle-eastern/Iranian culture is his focus on individualism, which is more of a western trait.

    I have seen this aspect of fyi’s arguments in the past and our disagreements come from this. In our societies, the rights of the many usually outweight the rights of the few. You can see this, not only in government or religion, but in the daily lifes of each one of us. How many Iranians or Arabs base their actions on the needs of their family rather than their own? How many of us, upon growing up, were constantly told, “What will the neighbours/people think?”

    Islam is an extension of this. While modernist (and maybe contempary Sufists) sometimes want to make Islam a personal, inward religion, it actually isn’t, when you read the Quran and the actions of the Prophet. Islam was brought to the tribes, not just to change the person, but to change the society, and as such, laws were introduced to it, for the alleged benefits of the society as a whole.

    Everything in our society is based on this concept of Group vs the Individual. When modesty laws are discussed (which, by the way, exists in all countries, but different ways), the question is not, What do I want, but the question is, What do the people want?

    I support the IRI, even though many of its idealogies are not compatible with my own personal beliefs. I’m not religious and my list of vices (according to Islam) go a mile long.

  566. Unknown Unknowns says:

    fyi:
    Here, now that my dowzari has finally fallen [= now that it finally dawmed on me] that it is your [not-so]crypto-Christianity that is what has been irking me, enjoy some of your fellow Christians talking about your favorite subject, the Fall of Man. They actually know what they are talking about, within the confines of their narrow horizons, of course.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b010dstl/In_Our_Time_The_Pelagian_Controversy/

    As for Koranic verses, you are not qualified to interpret any (as I am not); all I will tell you is that in our tradition, less than one percent of the population ever pursued and became educated and qualified to interpret the Koran. That is, those who truly have an aptitude for the science. The rest of us were intelligent enough to know our limitations and to hand down the wisdom of our betters from generation to generation in an oral tradition. Its called community. You know, that trivial little thing that your disenfranchised ass has long been alienated from thanks to the radical individualism of your deviant crypto-Christianity.

    The medication, by the way, is not an Alzantin-Prozac cocktail washed down with a glass of red Marin County Blood of Christ in the evening, but finding your nearest mosque and serving its community.

  567. Unknown Unknowns says:

    BiBiJon:
    You are welcome, and it sure is nice to know that there is a kindred spirit out there that can untangle my gobbledegook :o)

  568. Fiorangela says:

    when I hear catch-phrases repeated, I smells me a rat.

    In Santorum’s speech at National Press Club he took relish in rolling over the tongue the phrase, “Obama is leading from behind.” He repeated the phrase perhaps three times.

    I suppose it’s a common enough phrase — a cheap shot, but common.

    The same phrase was used by Eliot Abrams in a panel discussion on Middle East policy: “The US leads from behind . . .”

    hmmm
    wonder where Santorum gets his talking points.
    good bet it’s not from the collected moral wisdom of Cardinal Joseph Bernardin.

  569. Fiorangela says:

    Santorum has spent his years since his defeat in 2006 as part of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, a think sink (too small to be a tank) committed to “dedicated to applying the Judeo-Christian moral tradition to critical issues of public policy.”

    In my view, a hyphenated god does not represent broad-mindedness and universalism, it reveals moral confusion, or a status that Jesus might have had in mind when he said, “Because you are neither hot nor cold, I will vomit you out of my mouth.” I understand a philosophy that respects the religious traditions of others and can and does define them within their own context; I reject the concept that religious traditions can or should be merged as if they were one and the same.

    I was preparing to do a review of EPPC’s personnel, philosophy, experience, etc., but this is all anyone needs to know: From EPPC’s website:

    The current members of the Policy Advisory Board are:

    * Peter Berkowitz
    * William Kristol
    * Lewis E. Lehrman
    * Gilbert Meilaender
    * Mark A. Noll
    * Michael Novak
    __________________________________
    George Weigel is one of Santorum’s colleagues at EPPC. He argues FOR policy decisions based on moral reasoning, a theme echoed in Santorum’s speech at National Press Club. Marcello Pera, the Italian politician and student of Gaetano Filangieri, who insisted on the necessity of Christian values in the composition of the “good law,” wrote a foreward to one of Weigel’s books on morality in foreign policy.

    William Kristol champions Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu. In at least one appearance before a US House of Representatives committee, that in Sept. 2002, Netanyahu quite casually but unmistakably urged that American lawmakers disregard the usual bounds of moral, and even legal, restraints on the enactment of violence, in preference for “showing some spine,” and acting boldly and courageously, pre-emptively, to destroy enemies without undergoing the messy business of consultation or consensus building. Which is precisely how Netanyahu has acted in the world over the past decade and more, to the great distress of a million or more Palestinians, Iraqis, Israelis, Afghanis, and Americans.

    And yet Santorum and George Weigel embrace William Kristol but have only disdain for the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, one of Catholicism’s giant moral voices.

    Last month, Eugene Kennedy reviewed Weigel’s recent book on Cardinal Bernardin. In this part of his review, published in National Catholic Reporter, Kennedy discusses Weigel’s anxiety over Bernardin’s successful efforts to elevate the Catholic moral voice on nuclear disarmament to a status of prominence on the world’s stage: Weigel’s problem was that the Catholic voice had a traditional Catholic liberal accent, rather than a Reaganesque, Hollywood-rehearsed, Kristoline twang. Here’s what Kennedy wrote:

    “Weigel is much exercised that when Bernardin became president of the conference of bishops, he recommended, as is the duty of any man in that position, future bishops. What lies behind Weigel’s objections to this normal procedure? His unease arises from his hypothesizing ulterior motives and low liberal politics in Bernardin’s steady efforts to seek consensus among the bishops on significant issues, including the composition of the pastoral letter on nuclear war. He thinks Bernardin stacked the committee that included the former chief of chaplains, Archbishop John O’Connor of New York, and the well known peace activist, Bishop Thomas Gumbleton of Detroit by also appointing some go-along bishops of little public note.

    The peace pastoral

    The letter represented a practical example of collegiality, characterized by hard work and a willingness to seek an acceptable document no matter how many hours of meetings it required. Ignoring the preparatory hearings held across the country, Weigel seems more concerned that this pastoral letter was planned to subvert President Ronald Reagan’s rearmament policies rather than to explore one of the most explosive issues of a nuclear armed world.

    Despite its dismissal by Weigel as missing the point of Reagan’s policies, the pastoral letter attracted the attention of the entire country, earning it, for example, a cover story in The New York Times Magazine. The Catholic bishops emerged as perhaps the only cohort in American life with sufficient moral authority to conduct a public meditation on the dread potential of nuclear war and the range of ethical issues connected with that possibility.”

    —–
    Hyphenated god.
    No man can serve two masters.
    Santorum chose Kristol over Bernardin.
    That’s all I need to know.

  570. Fiorangela says:

    A new book and a one-year old. What do you do in your free time?

    Best wishes with your book. I can think of no greater motivation for trying to educate the world on fact-based, reasonable, American-interested policy analysis the to secure the future of your little girl.

    Speaking of which — I’m listening to Rick Santorum pronounce on his presidential candidacy foreign policy platform: his campaign will be all anti-Iran, all the time.

    He just said, “the Obama policy [re defense department] is upside down,” and “Obama is leading from behind.” But every word out of Santorum’s mouth suggests he has his head up his behind. Santorum invoked Reagan about 6 times; he said “Sharia law is an existential threat to the US,” but when asked what he understood by Sharia law, he could not explain it coherently — or with intellectual honesty.

    I come from a Roman Catholic background. The institutional heft of the Catholic church could be used as a counterbalance to the influence of predatory capitalism and moral swamphood that leaders like Benjamin Netanyahu wish to impose on the US and other states in Israel’s region.

    Santorum wears his Catholicism on his sleeve and speaks in Catholic forms, but he is otherwise an embarrassment to Catholicism. Worse than that, he can tap into that strain of Catholicism that can be motivated to support him on the single-issue, pro-life platform.

    Santorum is backward, is ideologically driven, is stupid about Iran, and is dangerous.

    Pennsylvania was smart enough to sweep him from office in 2006 by a 59% to 41% vote for Robert Casey. According to the authoritative conclusions of Eric Brill, Ahmadinejad’s victory over Mousavi was by approximately the same proportions — 63% to 34%. Maybe that’s the source of Santorum’s ideologically informed foreign policy boneheadedness.

    “freedom is not the same thing as democracy . . .democracy might not come for many years after freedom comes . . .”

    No major media reporters asked questions of Santorum; maybe the international community has already written off Santorum. We can hope. The guy is a nutcase and an embarrassment to Catholics and honest, intelligent people in the US and worldwide.

  571. Persian Gulf says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Karin Elizabeth!

  572. Rehmat says:

    A very happy birthday to Karin Elizabeth.

    I hope your book will be able to expose some of Zionists’ lies about the Islamic Regime and its wonderful citizens of all different faiths, Muslims, Christians, Parsees and Jews.

  573. Liz says:

    Happy birthday. I was wondering why there have been so few posts.

  574. Pirouz says:

    Very much looking forward to reading your upcoming book.

  575. Castellio says:

    Thank you for the wonderful and timely news. Best wishes to Karin Elizabeth and best wishes, too, as you write your manuscript.

    A brief and kindly intended note: Try not to burn out. Pace yourselves. The struggle is long. The youth of your child short.