First Reflections on the Egyptian Coup

We are currently travelling and will have more say in coming days about recent developments in Egypt and their implications for the Middle East’s balance of power.  In the meantime, we want to call the greatest possible attention to a piece by Esam al-Amin for CounterPunch, see here; the text is also appended below.  It is, by far, the single best piece we have read on the coup—for that’s what it is—that has taken place in Egypt.

 In Egypt, the Military Is Supreme

by Esam al-Amin for CounterPunch

The Generals have done it again!

Egypt’s president, Mohamed Morsi, was deposed one year after being democratically elected by the Egyptian people.  For those opposed to Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), the move by the military is seen as supporting a popular uprising and a belated effort to revive or restore the Egyptian revolution that ousted Hosni Mubarak more than two years ago.  But for Morsi’s supporters or those who simply had any respect for democratic governance and the rule of law, the action by the army is nothing short of a brazen though soft military coup d’état.

Which one is it?  Here are the facts.

The military in Egypt has always enjoyed a privileged and autonomous status and is tacitly considered the power behind the throne.  For decades, political power was concentrated in the hands of an elite yet mostly corrupt political and business class that monopolized power and looted the country’s resources.  But the revolution that toppled Mubarak was in essence a rejection not just against the dictator, but also his entire corrupt regime.  One of the major demands of the revolution was to get rid of dictatorship and repression and uphold the principles of democracy and the rule of law.

Over the next two years, the political process that followed Mubarak’s overthrow allowed for the will of the Egyptian people to be expressed numerous times through free and fair elections and referenda.  The people in Egypt went to the polls at least six times: to vote for a referendum to chart the political way forward (March 2011), to vote for the lower and upper house of parliament (November 2011-January 2012), to elect a civilian president over two rounds (May-June 2012), and to ratify the new constitution (December 2012).  Each time the electorate voted for the choice of the Islamist parties to the frustration of the secular and liberal opposition.

To the discontent of the Islamists, all their gains at the polls were reversed by either the Mubarak-appointed Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC) or the military.  The lower house of parliament, of which the Islamists won seventy three percent of the seats, was dissolved by the SCC a year ago, while the military has just suspended the new constitution, while ousting the democratically-elected president.

Undoubtedly, the MB committed colossal mistakes.  For example, they reneged on several promises to their secular and liberal coalition partners, including to not contest the majority of parliamentary seats, field a presidential candidate, or be more exclude others in the composition of the Constitution Constituent Assembly.  Perhaps, their gravest mistake was to ally themselves closely with the Salafist groups during the process of writing the constitution, thus alienating many of the secularists, liberals, as well as Christians even though the MB did not care much about the constitutional ideological battle.  Their motivation was not to be outflanked by the Salafis on the Islamic identity of the state.  To accomplish this objective, they lost most of the others.

In addition, Morsi and the MB did not adhere to their promise of full partnership in governance.  Many of the youth and opposition groups felt that the president and MB leadership were not genuine in their outreach and only sought their participation for cosmetic reasons.  Even their Islamic partners such as the Salafist Al-Noor Party complained that the MB wanted to monopolize the major power centers in the state.  It did not matter that the MB did not control the military, the intelligence, the security apparatus, the police, the diplomatic corps, the banking system, or even the bureaucracy.  But because of the MB’s lack of transparency and openness, the perception was that they were trying to control the major centers of powers in the state and exclude other parties based on ideology while the reality was that such control was non-existent or superficial.

But to the average people on the street what mattered was their security and livelihood.  During his one year in power, Morsi faced enormous challenges: deterioration in security and basic services, lack of social justice, and economic decline.  It appeared to many as deliberate attempts by the deep state (entrenched elements and bureaucrats loyal to the former regime) to ensure the failure of his presidency.  His lack of transparency and openness to his people in favor of presenting an optimistic or upbeat outlook added to public cynicism and the perception of incompetence.  Another major mistake by the MB was its failure to separate its socio-religious movement from its political manifestation, the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP).  While the public in past times respected the MB for its social services and religious outreach, engaging in politics by its nature is a source of division and rancor.  For example when the MB fielded its presidential candidate in March 2012, it was MB’s Guidance Bureau that made the declaration instead of the FJP. In the eyes of the public there was little distinction between the MB and the FJP.  So the MB was, correctly or not, held responsible for any political missteps by the FJP.

In part because the 2011 revolutionary partners were sharply divided on ideological grounds, former regime loyalists, politicians, and corrupt businessmen were able to regroup and play an increasing role in the political battles that engulfed the country. Mubarak’s National Democratic Party (NDP), which dominated political life for decades, was the only party in the country capable of organizing nationwide and competing with the MB.  But since the public rejected the NDP (and it was banned shortly after Mubarak was deposed), it did not participate in the parliamentary elections in the fall of 2011.  However, by June 2012, Ahmad Shafiq, Mubarak’s last Prime Minster, represented the NDP’s interests.  As one of the two remaining candidates in the second round of the presidential elections, he ultimately lost by less than two percent.

Morsi took over power by June 30, 2012.  When he was not as inclusive as promised in his senior appointments, the opposition almost immediately turned against him.  Two months after he was sworn in, they called for a massive protest on August 24, calling it “The protest to oust the rule of the Brotherhood.”  Their hostility and acrimony increased as the writing of the new constitution was finalized.  Meanwhile, the new political openness and freedom in the country allowed for the private media, owned and controlled by many of the former regime’s loyalists and supporters, to target Morsi and the MB in an orchestrated campaign to alienate and inflame the public.

By the time the president issued his ill-advised and ill-fated constitutional decree, the opposition was not only united against Morsi and the MB but also determined to dislodge them from power.  Morsi argued that his move was necessary to protect the nascent democratic political structures that the courts were dissolving one by one.  He eventually reversed course and annulled his decree, even though the opposition rejected all his appeals for political dialogue.  However, his objective of having a new constitution, which the opposition vehemently rejected, and replacing the Mubarak-appointed public prosecutor, a demand that the youth and revolutionary groups had called for, were already fulfilled.  This single act proved to be a rallying point for all the opposition and the remnants of the former regime (fulool), which united under the National Salvation Front (NSF) in order to confront and defeat Morsi and the MB.  They campaigned vigorously to defeat the constitution, which to their dismay, was passed by 64 percent.

Meanwhile, the MB and their Islamist allies aimed at targeting the corrupt elements in the judiciary, which represented not only a major obstacle in delaying or dissolving the new democratic components of the state, but also it reversed the convictions and released all the corrupt elements of the Mubarak regime.  Although this was also a revolutionary demand, the opposition, which so far had not fared well at the ballot box, aligned itself with the judiciary and accused the Islamists of attacking an independent branch of government that had reservations, if not outright discontent, about the revolution.

By the spring of 2013, the MB and its supporters were preparing for new parliamentary elections, which they had expected to win.  Their strategy was that if they won the parliamentary elections and forced judiciary reform, they would be able to control or influence all branches of government and easily confront the deep state and institute their program.  Sensing the danger of this scenario, NSF coordinator Dr. Mohammad ElBaradei met with Shafiq in the United Arab Emirates in March.  In an interview last week, Shafiq disclosed that he and ElBaradei had agreed on an elaborate plan to depose Morsi and the MB.  He also predicted that Morsi and MB officials would be arrested and tried.  Furthermore, Shafiq complained that ElBaradei and the opposition did not fulfill their part of the bargain, which was to promote and support Shafiq and help make him the next president, and that they instead began to distance themselves from him.

Throughout the political power struggle, the youth movements, which spearheaded the 2011 revolution against the Mubarak regime, were marginalized while their grievances were not addressed.  Morsi and the MB gave only lip service to their demands and needs.  But during his address to the nation last week, Morsi belatedly acknowledged this neglect as he promised to address it.  By late April, the youth groups had already come together to form a new movement called Tamarrud or Rebellion.  The central theme in their program was to call for early presidential elections by gathering 15 million signatures, a million more than Morsi had received during his presidential run.

During the process, the secular opposition and the fulool embraced Tamarrud’s message, while the latter used the offices of the NSF and held several press conferences at the headquarters of well-known media outlets of Mubarak loyalists.  There is also anecdotal evidence that the group received financial support from fulool groups.  Meanwhile, the private media started a well-orchestrated campaign and continuous onslaught on the MB in particular and the Islamists in general.  The level of hostility and hatred spewed against them was reminiscent of the 1930s Nazi propaganda against the Jews.  Dozens of incidents were reported in the past two months, in which supporters of the MB were attacked verbally and physically by strangers because of their purported associations.

Though the campaign against the MB was in full swing, the president and the group did not take it seriously and did not attempt to offer a compromise to the opposition or genuinely address their concerns.  They miscalculated badly as they thought that the popular support of Tamarrud’s initiative was thin.  In short, the MB was facing a perfect storm.  Whether in reality or perception, the MB has alienated its former liberal and secular partners, the youth groups, the judiciary, the media, the general public because of lack of services and rising prices.  The fulool and their allies within the deep state took advantage of this public discontent.  Many former security officials and wealthy businessmen tied to the former regime were seen organizing and mobilizing for the June 30th protest, the day Tamarrud designated to force Morsi’s ouster.  By July 2, the Appellate Court invalidated the appointment of the General Prosecutor appointed by Morsi and returned the Mubarak-appointed corrupt prosecutor, who was dismissed last November.  Furthermore, in order to further muddy the political scene, the courts also ordered that Morsi’s Prime Minister, Dr. Hisham Qandil, be arrested and sentenced to one year in prison for not implementing an earlier court order given to a Mubarak-era prime minister.

However, on June 30 an impressive numbers of Egyptians protested against the MB and the president in Tahrir Square and across Egypt.  It was reminiscent of the early days of the 2011 protests against Mubarak.  Although the protesters did not include Islamist groups, they were diverse.  Many youth groups were represented, voicing their frustration of being marginalized and their demands neglected.  Many were ordinary citizens alienated because of economic hardship and the lack of basic services.  Many were secularists who hated Islamists and wanted to overthrow them by revolutionary means since they could not defeat them at the ballot box.  Many were Christians who feared the Islamists and were tacitly encouraged by the Coptic Church to participate.  But it was also clear than many were fulool and Mubarak regime loyalists as the picture of the former dictator was prominently raised and hailed in Tahrir Square amid chants in his support.  Many were also former and current security officials who showed up in their uniforms.  Even two former Interior Ministers who served during the military transitional rule and former regime were leading the protests as revolutionaries, even though they were charged by the youth groups at the time with murdering their revolutionary friends and comrades. Many protesters were also thugs hired by NDP politicians and corrupt business people.  In fact, over the three days protest, these thugs raped over 100 women in Tahrir Square including female journalists, according to public officials.  Meanwhile, in an orchestrated manner, dozens of buildings that belonged to the MB and the FJP including their headquarters were burned down, torched, or ransacked.  More than a dozen members were killed, while hundreds were wounded.  Within hours, five cabinet ministers resigned and dozens of senior officials including presidential spokespersons and dozens of diplomats submitted their resignations in an attempt to collapse the state.

Meanwhile, pro-Morsi supporters were also gathering in a different square in Cairo in large numbers.  After the MB and its allies saw the massive demonstrations of their opponents on June 30 they called for massive mobilization the following day, holding more than 20 huge protests across the country that also numbered in the millions.  With few exceptions, the secular and liberal media ignored these protests.

On the afternoon of June 30, Defense Minister and military chief Gen. Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, who was appointed by Morsi last August, issued an ultimatum to the president and the opposition to reach a compromise within 48 hours or else the military would intervene.  In reality, it was an ultimatum to the president to resign since the opposition had in the past rejected all attempts at dialogue or compromise.  On July 1, the frustrated president addressed the nation and adamantly rejected the military’s ultimatum, as he called on his people to support his legitimacy as a democratically-elected president.  Immediately after the speech, the president’s supporters, who were holding a huge rally in Giza, were attacked by thugs and snipers.  Sixteen people were killed and hundreds wounded.

By July 2, it was evident that the army has decided to overthrow Morsi and side with the opposition.  As the military reached out to foreign governments, it was clear that many Western governments, especially the U.S. had difficulty accepting the military overthrow of an elected president. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, called their Egyptian counterparts, advising that they should instead either encourage Morsi to resign or keep him as a figurehead.

However, as they officially announced that Morsi was removed from power, the generals surrounded themselves with several civilian and religious leaders, including the head of Al-Azhar, the Coptic Pope, ElBaradei as NSF spokesman, and representatives of Tamarrud and the Salafist Al-Noor Party.  It was a brazen attempt to make it seem as if the overthrow of Morsi had broad consensus by civilian and religious leaders.

In essence, Sisi embraced all the demands of the opposition and the fulool.  Not only did he depose Morsi and replace him with the head of the SCC, but he also suspended the constitution and dismissed the government.  He unilaterally also gave the powers to issue constitutional decrees and legislative authority to the newly- installed president.  Within minutes, huge celebrations with full display of festivities and fireworks were taking place in Tahrir Square and in many cities across Egypt.  Meanwhile, Morsi’s supporters across Egypt were stunned and angry at the turn of events.  They had mistakenly held hope that the army would force some sort of a compromise that would not circumvent the will of the Egyptian people who elected a president and passed a new constitution with a large margin only few months ago.

Immediately after Sisi’s announcement, the new regime began its crackdown on the media that supported the deposed president.  Four TV satellite channels that belonged to the MB or the Islamists, as well as two Al-Jazeera channels were suspended and taken off the air.  The pro-Morsi protests across Egypt were also surrounded by the military.  TV cameras were removed and the electricity was cut in anticipation of forcefully evacuating the protesters, as food and water were denied.

Meanwhile, MB leaders Mohammad El-Beltagi and Esam El-Erian, who played pivotal roles during the 2011 revolution, called Morsi’s ouster by the military an illegal coup d’état and vowed to oppose it, as they called on their supporters to resist it with all peaceful means even if they lose their lives.  Morsi also released an eleven-minute video on the Internet rejecting his overthrow and defying the military’s act, insisting on his constitutional legitimacy as the duly elected president of the country.

Meanwhile, a crackdown against the MB leaders and their supporters was in full force, strongly suggesting premeditation.  Within two hours of Sisi’s announcement, Morsi and some of his senior assistants were detained and transferred to the defense ministry.  Former speaker and FJP Chairman, Dr. Saad Katatni, MB leader and General Guide Dr. Muhammad Badie, as well as his deputies Khayrat El-Shater and Rashad Bayyoumi were also arrested.  Former presidential candidate and Islamist Hazem Salah Abu Ismail and preacher Safwat Hegazi were arrested and charged with ‘insulting the military.’  Al-Ahram newspaper also reported that over 300 arrest warrants were issued against the MB and their supporters, as dozens were rounded up while all MB and FJP properties, assets, and buildings were being seized and their bank accounts frozen.  Moreover, within minutes of the announcement, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and Muhammd Bin Zayed of the UAE, the two countries most openly hostile to the MB’s rule, issued statements praising and congratulating the military.  Ironically, Bashar Al-Assad of Syria expressed his relief and joy at the ouster of ‘the Islamist regime’ that was threatening his country.

Meanwhile, the Secular and liberal opposition and many youth groups and their supporters argued that their protests followed by the ouster of Morsi by the military was analogous to the overthrow of Mubarak.  But this argument conveniently ignores the fact that Mubarak was not a legitimate president or elected by the will of the Egyptian people while Morsi, whether one supports or opposes him, loves or hates him, was duly elected in free, fair, and contested elections that the entire world observed and accepted.  Furthermore, Mubarak killed hundreds of youth in order to stay in power, while dozens of youth were killed in the streets defending the legitimacy of Morsi’s presidency.  In addition, most of the people and groups who oppose Morsi today after one year in power, never lifted a finger during Mubarak’s 30 year reign.  Mubarak’s security apparatus used thugs to terrorize his opponents and oversee fraudulent elections, while the same thugs today attack and terrorize unarmed supporters of Morsi.  While official and government media outlets and corrupt businesspeople and judges supported Mubarak for decades, the same government-supported media, businesspeople, and judges attacked Morsi from his first day in office.

Liberals, democrats, and human rights activists have been preaching to Islamists for decades that democracy is the only legitimate system for peaceful political participation and transition of power.  In 1992, when the Algerian military intervened and canceled elections after the Islamic Salvation front (FIS) won it, the West, led by the U.S. and France, looked the other way.  Meanwhile, Algeria was engulfed in civil strife for over a decade, a conflict that resulted in over two thousand deaths.  Two decades later, whether or not one agrees with its political program, favors or despises the MB, there is no doubt that the group played by the rules of democracy and embraced the rule of law.  It did not employ or advocate the use of violence.  Yet, it is the height of irony that the ones who called for, encouraged, and cheered the military intervention to oust a democratically-elected president are the secular, liberal, and leftist parties and individuals such as ElBaradei, Amr Mousa, Naguib Sawiris, Ayman Noor, and Hamdein Sabbahi, as well as human and civil rights activists who frequently advocate for free media and freedom of political association.

The international community looked the other way when the will of the Algerian and Palestinian people were thwarted when they elected Islamists in 1992 and 2006.  This is the third time in two decades Islamists are dislodged from power.  It remains to be seen if the West will take a strong stand against the military’s latest attempt to prevent Islamists from holding power.  It may indeed define the relationship between Islamist groups and Western governments for the foreseeable future.  The message such stand would send to people around the world will be profound.  Either the West stands for democratic principles and the rule of law or it does not.  When President Obama called Morsi on June 30, he admonished him that “democracy is about more than elections.”  But what is equally essential to recognize is that there is no democracy without respecting and protecting the legitimacy of its results regardless of its outcome.

–Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett

 

125 Responses to “First Reflections on the Egyptian Coup”

  1. Neo says:

    In Egypt, there was no revolution when Mubarak was ousted. The military wanted him gone, and the demonstrators facilitated that. Now the military wanted Morsi removed, and again, the demonstrators helped.

    The country is heading into an economic abyss, but the powerful don’t care. They won’t suffer. At least they seem to think so.

  2. Neo says:

    It has to be noted that in parts of the Middle East some Islamic groups, particularly those in Iran, Lebanon, Egypt and Palestine, are acting more democratic than some of the secular groups there.

  3. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    “Either the West stands for democratic principles and the rule of law or it does not.”

    It does not.

  4. kooshy says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says:
    July 6, 2013 at 10:58 am

    “Either the West stands for democratic principles and the rule of law or it does not.”

    “It does not.”

    Not even in the west in their countries and for their people never mind the Muslim Middle East. Democracy was a BS to pretended a perceptive western civility when there was none, they play with words like Human rights , democracy , civility, modernity to hide their racism, but at the same time to show that they are superior, this is what the western intellectual’s Orientalism is. This BS might have worked for a while in past century but I don’t see it is work these days nobody believes it any longer even their own citizens.

  5. James Canning says:

    Mohamed ElBaradei apparently will become interim prime minister. A good choice.

  6. James Canning says:

    Neo,

    The army was concerned Morsi’s support for insurgents in Syria could lead to insurgency in Egypt.

  7. James Canning says:

    Kooshy,

    Where is the “racism” element in the foreign policy of “Western” countries, regarding the Middle East?

  8. Ataune says:

    @canning

    What your judgement is saying was it a coup or not ?

  9. humanist says:

    James,

    You ask Kooshy “Where is the “racism” element in the foreign policy of “Western” countries, regarding the Middle East?”

    You sound like you are, in a vague way, denying the existence of such racism in recent times?

    If so then that question is truly mind boggling as if you believe the old time phenomenon of barbaric hubris and racism of Westerners towards Middle Easterners has completely gone away and no longer any trace of that savage bigotry can be found among the peoples or officials of the West.

    I can send many current analytical writings all proving that the above type of racism is well alive and ticking. On ME issues, just carefully listen to practically every statement coming out of the mouth of the Western officials …..or study what is happening these days in the ME…especially pay attention to the Libyan case.

    I’ll appreciate if you read the following article and lets know what you think about it. Is it an exaggeration….or is it irrelevant since it is just about the past actions….or?

    http://www.alternet.org/investigations/executive-branch-evil-and-lawless

  10. James Canning says:

    Humanist,

    I read that piece you linked quickly. Rather a stretch to say the idiotic US war in Southeast Asia was a “racist” exercise. The firebombing of Dresden during the Second World War surely was not a “racist” exercise. Or the firebombing of Hamburg. Or Tokyo.

  11. James Canning says:

    Humanist,

    I pay special attention to Libya. What was “racist” about the western-backed overthrow of Gaddafi?

  12. James Canning says:

    Ataune,

    Sure looks as though a “coup” took place in Egypt. Gideon Rachman of the Financial Times had a good piece recently about the non-coup coup.

  13. Empty says:

    Unknown Unknowns,

    Thank you for the information. Do let me know if you find out about Farsi translation of “Going to Tehran”.

  14. Empty says:

    I think someone was looking for this clip of Rahimpour Azghadi’s talk with the Egyptian delegation re; their “revolution” (some two years ago). [remember to remove the semicolons]

    ;;;http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gk4j0pkUP5g

  15. humanist says:

    James,

    You say “…..a stretch to say the idiotic US war in Southeast Asia was a “racist” exercise”

    Stretch?

    Listen to Fred Branfman the author of the same article I referred to in my previous comment.

    http://scotthorton.org/2013/06/29/62813-fred-branfman/

    He is an investigative intellectual. Not a propagandist. Yet he rightly concludes that, in an specific operation, the decision to randomly drop unutilized bombs on Vietnamese (because the bomber planes were sitting idle on the ground) clearly shows that the decision makers were considering the men, women and children they were burning or killing were like insects…..inferior species…….

    Isn’t ‘Racism’, among other things, an attitude used to remorselessly inflict heinous pains on the powerless in order to pillage their resources or project power on them to facilitate further abuses…. all since the victims are ‘inferior living beings’….like insects…..as Branfman thoughtfully describes?.

    No racism? Stretch? …In this day and age I find your world-view truly amazing.

    On Libya:

    As I imply above, Western imperialists so frequently have studied maps, deciding to occupy certain lands of weaker nations, or forcefully move the populations, or delineate new boundaries or commit indisputably atrocious crimes just because in their minds the victims were inferior people.

    On Lybia, metaphorically they bent on the map of that country again, decided to organize opposition groups, arm them…etc to install a puppet regime and plunder the oil etc. They executed their plan successfully. Would they have done that kind of gross crime to Norway? No way….since in their minds Norwegians are civilized…..and are white..while Libyans are members of backward inferior tribes.

    No offense…if you don’t see the racism factor in that sad saga then, for us, there is no point in any further discussion.

  16. Smith says:

    Empty says:
    July 7, 2013 at 12:07 am

    Wonderful video. Could you please post the whole video?

  17. Fiorangela says:

    Neo says: July 6, 2013 at 5:20 am

    “The country is heading into an economic abyss, but the powerful don’t care. They won’t suffer. At least they seem to think so.”

    = = =

    Based on the reaction of Ed Royce, US Congressman from Orange County, CA, and a rabid anti-Iranian, that the coup in Egypt was a very good thing; and especially the comments of Vali Nasr, an Iranian expat who, as someone once said, wants nothing more than to be thought a proper upper-class American Episcopalian, Egypt is not “heading into an economic abyss,” it is being pushed: In a conversation with Judith Yaphe of National Defense University , Nasr noted at least three times that Morsi was resisting offers of loans from World Bank, a position he was able to take due to financial support from other Muslim states. Methinks World Bank operatives are eager to break those Islamic bonds in order to ensnare Egypt in the same financial trap that was the whole purpose of the overthrow of Qaddafi in Libya.

  18. James Canning says:

    Humanist,

    The appalling slaughter of civilians in Germany during the Second Wrold War, by the US, should demonstrate that when total (or near-total) war is being waged, things happen. Obviously the slaughter was not “racist”.

    Yes, there were those who caused things to happen in Vietnam, by the US, who appear to have regarded what was happening as being of less significance than would have been the case with a different target (in racial terms).

    But Vietnam War disaster was not a “racist” exercise.

  19. James Canning says:

    Humanist,

    How many millions of Germans were forced to relocate at end of Second World War, due to boundary changes? Millions of them died. Nothing “racist” about what happened. Unless you argue that Germans are a different race.

    What do you think should have been done with the Arab provinces of the Ottoman Empire, after the First World War?

  20. James Canning says:

    Humants,

    What “plundering of Libyan oil” has taken place since the overthrow of Gaddafi. Existing contracts were kept in place. Was Gaddafi “plundering” Libya’s oil?

  21. Smith says:

    Fiorangela says:
    July 7, 2013 at 11:37 am

    Maybe that. But I think the century old nexus of seculars and wahabis brought down MB. You see the wahabis see MB as the biggest threat to themselves and their ideology (both are sunnis). The only narrative that can bring down the monarchies of Saudis, UAE etc is the narrative of MB. Already UAE is torturing MB activists and Saudis are beheading them. All the while in this fiasco, MB was very restrained in its response as Egyptian army was killing their protesters by snipers and taking them to military torture chambers financed by USA (not something you hear on “free” media).

    It is really funny to see the staunchest seculars are and have always been the best friends with wahabis for more than a century. In Egypt this very old friendship was out in the open for every one to see in this coup. This is more than a financial war. It is a religious war of many facets. Wahabis, Evangelicals and Seculars are on one side while the democrats, Shias and God are on the other. Wahabis/Secular nexus and their strife is what Iranians call Fetneh.

    This is how they prepared for the coup: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNPIMnRh3Jo

  22. Smith says:

    This is how they proceeded during the coup: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zS5viyeLLrE

  23. Smith says:

    And this is how wahabis with the help of the secular friends cornered off their MB opponents and dealt with them: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmZznqCfYck

    Note: MB tried to make friendship with wahabis and allowed them to do what they want in Egypt but as is obvious, the wahabis could not tolerate MB. Wahabis can only remain friend with seculars, as history shows.

  24. Kathleen says:

    “Either the West stands for democratic principles and the rule of law or it does not. When President Obama called Morsi on June 30, he admonished him that “democracy is about more than elections.” But what is equally essential to recognize is that there is no democracy without respecting and protecting the legitimacy of its results regardless of its outcome.”

    The answer to whether the U.S. supports “democratic principles” or elections is clearly NO. How much evidence does the world need?

    Military deposed Morsi because he was too friendly to Hamas and devalued Israel relationship, says retired Egyptian general
    http://mondoweiss.net/2013/07/military-devalued-relationship.html/comment-page-1#comment-575741

  25. Kathleen says:

    James Canning says:
    July 6, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    Kooshy,

    Where is the “racism” element in the foreign policy of “Western” countries, regarding the Middle East?

    Let’s just start with the fact that we don’t count or acknowledge their dead and injured that we are responsible for. Say for instance in Iraq. Most Americans and our MSM do not seem to give a rat’s ass about how many people in Iraq were killed or are being killed as a direct consequence of that bloody illegal and immoral invasion

  26. James Canning says:

    Humanist,

    I have great difficulty is seeing a “racist” angle to western military intervention in Libya. Was the invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviet Union in 1979 a “racist” programme?

  27. Smith says:

    Western military forces support racism every where they go (since 500 years now) [Note, England is the forerunner of all racism in the world]: http://humanrightsinvestigations.org/2011/07/07/libya-ethnic-cleansing/

    That is why Iran should have nuclear weapons pointed at England. On five minute alert.

  28. Smith says:

    US supported racists in Libya: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=id_vR9RswSs

  29. nico says:

    James Canning says:
    July 7, 2013 at 2:28 pm
    “Humanist,
    I have great difficulty is seeing a “racist” angle to western military intervention in Libya. Was the invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviet Union in 1979 a “racist” programme?”

    Do you see the extermination of indian american natives as a non racist program ?
    I guess you have difficulty to grasp the racist tendencies.

    For you history has no direction.
    In addition in your views there is nothing other than animal instinct and fatality.
    For you history, social contructs, ideology are meaningless.
    You are a clueless lost depressive in this world order and happy with that.at least totally indifferent.
    I pity you.

    Did I stated nihilistic few threads ago ?

  30. yemi says:

    Humanist,

    I would like if you do not engage this JC so much.
    Everyone knows this westerners are supremacists
    and i believe supremacism is a super-set of racism.
    So referring to them as being racist is even an under statement.

  31. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    You tell me what was “racist” about western military intervention in Libya.

    The number of American “Indians” has increased greatly in recent decades.

  32. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    Some black Africans in Libya were slaughtered by Libyans, in wake of overthrow of Gaddafi. You see this as Britain’s fault?

  33. James Canning says:

    yemi,

    Was the 1979 invasion of Afghanistan by the USSR a “racist” exercise, in your opinion?

  34. James Canning says:

    Rifaat al-Assad, uncle of Bashar, has sold his Paris house for 70 million euros. It is in Avenue Foch, and the asking price had been 100 million. Rifaat also has a house in Mayfair (London).

  35. nico says:

    James Canning says:
    July 7, 2013 at 6:23 pm
    “Rifaat al-Assad, uncle of Bashar, has sold his Paris house for 70 million euros. It is in Avenue Foch, and the asking price had been 100 million. Rifaat also has a house in Mayfair (London).”

    How expensive are the queen and other british aristocrats “house”?

  36. Sineva says:

    James Canning says:
    July 7, 2013 at 1:01 pm
    So you think ethnic cleansing isnt racist then james?
    James Canning says:
    July 7, 2013 at 6:16 pm
    That was about trying to prop up a tottering regime

  37. Fiorangela says:

    James Canning says:
    July 7, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    “The appalling slaughter of civilians in Germany during the Second Wrold War, by the US, should demonstrate that when total (or near-total) war is being waged, things happen. Obviously the slaughter was not “racist”.”

    = = =
    James, is it your claim that the “slaughter of German civilians by US in WWII” amounted to collateral damage?

  38. Dan Cooper says:

    Why the Revolutionary Guards Do Not Run Iran’s Economy

    http://thediplomat.com/2013/03/21/why-the-revolutionary-guards-do-not-run-irans-economy/

  39. Empty says:

    Smith,

    His prediction sure seems rather exact, doesn’t it?! I bet those who objected to his characterization of the events in Egypt and Tunisia are now having second thoughts.

    That talk was delivered in a conference in Tehran titled “عصر انقلاب ها: چه باید کرد” and it was shown in the regular program “طرحی برای فردا” from channel 1 television. Here is the link to download the speech (unfortunately, they don’t stream the video and you have to download (MP3) and watch it.) ;;;http://www.zahra-media.ir/?p=4080

    If you have a fast internet (unfortunately mine isn’t working too well), perhaps you are also able to download it from ShiaTV or from Rasekhoon sites. Otherwise, you could search the archive of “طرحی برای فردا” using the title I put above and his name as keywords. Sorry I couldn’t be of much help.

  40. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Empty-Jan: Just got back from a trip to Gorgan and see that Aqa-Foad has not responded. I’ll call him and get back to you.

  41. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    I think it is hard not to see a desire for revenge, in the slaughter of civilians in Germany by allied bombing.

  42. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    When Serbs were killing Croats in the early 1990s, the actions were called “ethnic cleansing” but in fact both sides were of same ethnic stock. So, not a “racist” programme.

    Religion, culture, social class, play a role in schemes called “ethnic cleansing”. The race of both sides may be the same.

    Was Japan’s annexation of Korea “racist”? Imperialist scheme, yes. “Racist”? No.

  43. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    The Queen of England does not “own” Buckingham Palace. She does own her estate at Sandringham, Norfolk.

    I think $200 million is the figure for most expensive house sold in London. Buyers of the most expensive houses in London are typically Russian, Ukrainian, Kazakhstani, or Gulf Arab.

    Very few British aristocrats buy hugely expensive London houses.

  44. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    And Indians. (Buyers of most expesnive London residential property.) Chinese will be an emerging element too.

  45. James Canning says:

    Mohamed ElBaradei has some interesting comments today at Spiegel.de (interview re: Egyptian situation).

  46. Fiorangela says:

    James Canning says:
    July 8, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    Your response does not answer the questio

  47. Sineva says:

    James Canning says:
    July 8, 2013 at 1:34 pm
    Actually one of the traditional elements of imperialism has been racism and I think you`ll find that the japanese saw themselves as not only culturally superior to the koreans but racially superior as well,racism played a part in japanese imperialism,indeed today in japan there are many of korean heritage who feel themselves discriminated against for their korean heritage.The term “racism” these days is often used instead of the more accurate bigotry and prejudice or just plain old discrimination,tho there was more to the ethnic cleansing in yugoslavia than simple ethnicity,this may not have been old fashioned “black on white” racism but it was certainly community[ethnic] based bigotry and prejudice ie You`re inferior to me by virtue of your religion or beliefs or community…and that is exactly the same sort of sentiment that one sees in racism.So techncally the west isnt racist its just bigoted,prejudiced and discriminatory which frankly is really no better than racist,of course there will no doubt be some here who will say its all those things and racist too

  48. Irshad says:

    Empty says:
    July 7, 2013 at 12:07 am

    What does Rahim say about the Egyptian and Tunisian uprising that so upset the MB?

    Thank you

  49. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    I am well aware of the discrimination against Koreans, that takes place in Japan. And of Japanese feelings of cultural or “racial” superiority etc etc.

    It is human nature to use various means of distinguishing “them” from “us”. Religion, social class, local origin, etc etc.

  50. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    Are you asking if American or British bombing attacks on Germany during the Second World War knowingly killed significant numbers of civilians, due to “collateral damage”?

  51. James Canning says:

    Gideon Rachman in the Financial Times today has excellent analysis of how “democracy” and “freedom” do not necessarily run together. Democracy can undermine freedom.

  52. Empty says:

    Irshad,

    In his talk (more than two years ago), he presented several indictors with which you could determine if the change in a political system could actually be labeled a revolution. He then proceeded to apply those indictors to events that was taking place in Egypt and rejected the claim that it was a revolution. For example, he said, if the same socio-economic and political framework and key figures in the branches of government are still the same and only the head of the government has changed (Mubarak, that is) this would not be a revolution.

    He regarded the speed with which Mubarak was removed with skepticism and compared it to the changes during the Iranian revolution when Shah had left and he had appointed Bakhtiar (one of the key members of the opposition party at the time, Nehzat Azadi) as the prime minister.

    He also said, if the same exploitative relationship still exists that dictates internal and external policies of Egypt, then it cannot be claimed a revolution has happened. He directly challenged the delegation members to consider, as Egyptians, for how much they are willing to sell their revolution. He said, accepting the 40 billion dollars in “help” from the US amounts to no real change and a continuation of the same policies. He then asked if someone else offered 41 billion dollars, would they sell their revolution to the highest bidder?

    He also questioned them on the revolution’s leadership and expressed how critical it was for a revolution to have a clear and transparent revolutionary leadership which was lacking at the time.

    He said a lot more. The report surrounding the event claimed that the Egyptian delegation threatened to walk out unless Azghadi took back his words about how a real revolution had not taken place in Egypt. They had also said that the Egyptian revolution was so magnificent and unique that it didn’t need any leadership.

    He (Azghadi) reportedly had responded (through a translator) that he would not take back what he said but he is quite willing to debate the key points he raised and be challenged by any and all of the members who were present. There was more back and forth but that was the gist of the event.

  53. Unknown Unknowns says:

    For the Bussed-in Professor:

    هشتمین شماره فصلنامه سمات منتشر شد

    هشتمین شماره فصلنامه سمات با مدیر مسئولی مهدی نصیری که به نقد فلسفه و عرفان مصطلح می پردازد، با مقالات و مطالب زیر منتشر شد:

    اول دفتر

    رجال زدگی در عرصه دین و معرفت، ضد تحقیق و اجتهاد است /مدیر مسئول

    مقالات

    ملاحظاتی پیرامون تفسیر المیزان/ آیت الله سید جعفر سیدان

    جبر و اختیار از منظر فلسفه و عرفان و مکتب اهل بیت علیهم السلام/حجت الاسلام و المسلمین حسن میلانی

    ملاصدرا و معضل انتحال: بازسنجی دفاعیه ها/ دکتر سید حسن اسلامی

    نقدی بر نظریه «حرکت جوهری » ملاصدرا و تأثیر آن در فهم او از آیات قرآن/دکتر علی ارشد ریاحی

    آسیب شناسی فلسفه اسلامی از منظر دکتر یثربی/ محمود هدایت افزا

    درنگی در آیات و روایات مورد استناد وحدت وجودیان/ حسین میلانی

    تأملی بر فلسفة ختم نبوت از دیدگاه شهید مطهری/ مسعود امامی

    گفت و گو

    کل فلسفه ملاصدرا برای جا انداختن نظریه وحدت وجود است/ حجت الاسلام والمسلمین سید قاسم علی احمدی

    فقهای شیعه ترویج عرفان مصطلح و تصوف را سبب هدم دین می دانستند/حجت الاسلام والمسلمین استاد حسین انصاریان

    دفتر ویژه

    علامه مجلسی و صوفیه/ محقق فقید مرحوم حجت الاسلام والمسلمین علی دوانی

    نقد تصوف و صوفیه در کلام اهل بیت علیهم السلام و عالمان متقدم شیعه/ محمد علی صابری

    تصوف و جاهلیت/علی اصغرحق سرشت

    مقالات وارده

    عرفان مصطلح چه نسبتی با قرآن و سنت دارد؟/ فاطمه رجبی

    در آمدی بر جامعه شناسی ابراهیمی/ رضا مهریزی

    روشنفکری ایرانی در ایستگاه پایانی/ رضا مهریزی

    پایان دفتر

    مناظره امام صادق علیه السلام با دانشمند شامی

    تلفن پخش سمات:

    37746142 _ 025

    09196148306

  54. Fiorangela says:

    James Canning says:
    July 7, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    “The appalling slaughter of civilians in Germany during the Second Wrold War, by the US, should demonstrate that when total (or near-total) war is being waged, things happen. Obviously the slaughter was not “racist”.”

    = = =
    James, is it your claim that the “slaughter of German civilians by US in WWII” amounted to collateral damage?

    * * * *
    James responds:
    James Canning says:
    July 8, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    Fiorangela,

    I think it is hard not to see a desire for revenge, in the slaughter of civilians in Germany by allied bombing.
    = = =

    Since it was not clear to me WHO “desire[d] revenge” and for what, or how that answered the question, I replied that James had not answered the question.

    Thereupon, James wrote:

    James Canning says: July 9, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    Fiorangela,

    Are you asking if American or British bombing attacks on Germany during the Second World War knowingly killed significant numbers of civilians, due to “collateral damage”?

    * * * * *

    James’s use of the phrase “things happen” lies at the heart of my original question.

    It seemed to me that the implication buried in “things happen” was that the “slaughter of civilians” consequent to “total war” was a freak happenstance; unintended; “collateral damage” — regrettable but unavoidable.

    I queried James to validate my perception of his use of the phrase “things happen” in “total war”.

    nb. Intriguing that James expanded the agents of bombing from “Americans” to “American or British.” Perhaps it’s true: you CAN teach an old dog new tricks.

  55. nico says:

    Fiorangela says:
    July 10, 2013 at 9:55 am

    The point is that Mr Canning follows machiavellian thinking. And take it as granted as for current and past world order.
    Fact on the ground cannot prove him wrong as much as fyi.

    The issue is that Mr Canning does not believe in a better or different world order or ways to deal between nations.
    While in the whole 20th century international relation legal framework/construct was aimed to put some humanity and get of barbarism.

    The US after the cold war destroyed all international progressive framework fir their own greddy and selfish benefit.
    For their antihumanist, lawess, unprincipled, and barbaric macro policies, the US should be held accountable.

    But Mr Canning in his nihilistic and cynical world views does not believe in a better or a different world order.
    He is satisfied with the current one and is pretty much indifferent.

    That is the exact mindset that is precipating the west toward degeneration and the world toward chaos.

  56. Fiorangela says:

    Smith says: July 7, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    Smith, thank you for your instructive reply.

    It appears that Egypt is to experience an unholy alliance of the powers of finance and the advance of Wahabism: Saudi Arabia and UAE Pledge $8 billion to Egypt, Taking over from Qatar.

    At least two US Congressmen think that’s a swell outcome for the USA (even tho the congressmen failed to catch the crucial fact that Qatar has been beaten out of the game and its place taken by UAE). Chris Gibson, US congressman from New York, and Peter Welch, US congressman from Vermont, appeared on C Span’s Washington Journal program this morning and endorsed the Arab pledges to Egypt as helpful in the overall agenda, in the congressmen’s minds, of harming Iran, and doing so in a situation in which USA is broke and can no longer afford to buy influence.

    The 58-min program can be viewed at ;;http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/DVTR See esp. the discussion at 11 min, where Gibson says US intervention in Iraq was to “separate the Takfiris, a conflict that goes back to the Quran …”

    The C Span segment is instructive for the bias C Span moderators bring to the discussion; for the cloud of misinformation in which US Congress thinks and acts (i.e. “Israel wants to negotiate but there is no Palestinian partner);

    for the general ignorance and prejudice of many American callers (i.e. at 11: minute);

    and for the way that callers who (in my view) hold and voice a perspective that assesses the situation as it is, not as congressmen have been lobbied to believe, are undercut and derided. Examples of this phenomenon occurred twice in the one-hour appearance of Congressmen Gibson and Welch. At 21 minutes, caller “Russell from DC” said:

    Syria has agreed to parlay, the rebels have not… Your guests said that Syria refused to negotiate and that is not the case.
    Also, Americans have a responsibility for the carnage going on in Syria because as Washington Post reported, we were sending $23 million to destabilize Syria, funneling it through an outfit in England. . . .”

    Rep. Pete Welch responded (at 23 min): “I do not believe America is responsible for what is going on in Syria Syria is. This is a Sunni -Shiite civil war … You’ve got a minority—the Allawites – in charge; Assad has been a brutal dictator as was his father before him … it works for some people because you’ve got the successful on top, but it’s been hard on others and they’re rising up in rebellion … I think most of us in America are hoping for the rebels, but we don’t have any confidence that we can micromanage the situation.”

    At 24 min., Rep. Gibson undermines the caller’s assertion that Syria has agreed to talks by saying, “We get mixed signals from Syria.”

    This is stunning. Just 2 minutes earlier a caller cited a source that said US is financing destabilization of Syria; Rep. Welch denies denies the verifiable claim, then says “most Americans are hoping for the rebels”.

    Here are several links to reports on US financial support, or US agency in obtaining financial support from others, to aid rebels to destabilize Syria, including a May 2012 article in Washington Post
    ;;;http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/syrian-rebels-get-influx-of-arms-with-gulf-neighbors-money-us-coordination/2012/05/15/gIQAds2TSU_story.html

    and

    ;;;http://www.globalresearch.ca/us-officially-arming-extremists-in-syria/30891 (also from May 2012).

    A survey of Hillary Clinton’s comments on Syria reveal the State Department agenda, going back as far as 2007, of toppling Assad/destabilizing Syria. Our own Richard Steven Hack has argued relentlessly that Syria must be/would be destabilized on the way to attacking Iran. In the C Span segment under discussion (at 17 min), the moderator read an article by Senators John McCain and Robert Menendez that urged US intervention in SyriaEgypt with the ultimate goal of harming Iran.

    The second example of US representatives imposing their hasbara on the perceptions and informed perspective of American callers occurred at about 48 min, initiated by this comment from Ralph, a caller from Arkansas, who said:

    “It seems to me gentlemen, we need to stop arming all the countries in the region whether it’s Egypt, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey. We have been arming this region for years. The core of the problem is Israel Palestine conflict from which many many problems have spilled over into neighboring countries. Is it not time to resolve this problem once and for all so that we can get on and perhaps peace will truly come to the Middle East.”

    Rep. Welch responded, at 49 min: “Yes if we could get a Middle East peace agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians, that would be enormously helpful. Secretary Kerry is trying to reignite those peace talks and I’m very pleased … But secondly, there are other problems in the region that have nothing to do, or very little to do, with the conflict between Israel and Palestine. Syria is an example, I mean, what’s going on in Syria has its own internal historic dynamic that would be there independent of the Israel-Palestinian situation.”

    [Permit me to recommend to the representative from Vermont a series of lectures recorded by Prof. Salim Yaqub on the history of US involvement in ME between 1914 and 2001, that traces the colonialist ambitions of Britain, France, and Russia over the Ottoman empire (and Iran). ;;;;http://www.thegreatcourses.com/tgc/courses/course_detail.aspx?cid=8593 I disagree with many of Prof. Yaqub’s interpretations, but he does provide a blueprint that shows how denial of nationalist ambitions of states in the post-WWI fragmentation of Ottoman empire is still impacting the lives of millions in the region today.]

    Rep. Gibson said this in response to “Ralph’s” comment: “No question, peace between Israel and Palestine is critical, but the question is, who are you negotiating with? When you look at the Palestinians – there’s a willing partnership for this in Israel, but where do you go for the willing partner in Palestine?

    Mod interrupts: “Because of the divided leadership?”

    Gibson: Yes, and just in terms of where some of the Palestinian leadership is in terms of violence, terrorist elements. So it’s very problematic. But we have to keep pushing for these kind of talks, but we have to be realistic, even as we are pursuing this.”

    With her insertion, the C Span moderator indicated that she joins other C Span hosts in their general lack of information about what is really happening in Israel/Palestine. Steve Scully is the executive producer of C Span’s Washington Journal and a regular host on Washington Journal. In a recent exchange, Scully defended Israeli armed attacks on unarmed Palestinians with the utterance, “Israel is just defending its borders.” Earth to Steve Scully: Israel HAS no borders; Israel has never declared borders. As for who is willing to negotiate peace, Israel or Palestine, a quick review of several days’ worth of reporting by Phil Weiss and his fellows at Mondoweiss could correct some of the congressmen’s, and C Span’s, misinformation about the real (and US-financed and empowered) perpetrators of violence and resistance to a negotiated peace.

    If the Hippocratic oath enjoins physicians to “first do no harm,” the first rule of the politician, especially one who purports to have the “security” of the “American people” as his uppermost thought, should be, “First, know who the enemy is.”

  57. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    Germany initiated saturation bombing of civilian targets during the Second World War. Surely you are aware of those targets, and who would perhaps seek revenge.

  58. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    I agree that the US damaged the NPT, in the handling of the Iranian nuclear dispute. But this damage to the NPT WAS NOT done in the interests of the American people.

  59. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    The extensive debate in Britain, even today, regarding the night air raids on Germany (directed by “Bomber” Harris), may be of interest to you.

    The appalling destruction of Dresden and other cutural treasures surely is difficult to defend.

  60. nico says:

    James Canning says:
    July 10, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    It is in nobody interest.
    The issue is that the west get too rich and too comfortable and like you are indifferent.

    Should the financial crisis roll out as it must. Then I guess some principles and ideal could come out of such fat people when they get impoverished and fall in misery.
    Another option is for a world war. As the whole US macro policies are leading to.
    With London and New York razed flat as much as other “bown people” megalopole, then maybe some comon senze could come out of indifferent and unprincipled people like you.

    With my hope and ideal, I am fighting against such western suicidal tebdencies.
    While your cynical, out of fat comfort, positions and bieliefs only push toward to worst outcome.

  61. Fiorangela says:

    Smith says: July 7, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    Smith, thank you for your instructive reply.

    It appears that Egypt is to experience an unholy alliance of the powers of finance and the advance of Wahabism: Saudi Arabia and UAE Pledge $8 billion to Egypt, Taking over from Qatar.

    At least two US Congressmen think that’s a swell outcome for the USA (even tho the congressmen failed to notice the crucial fact that Qatar has been beaten out of the game and its place taken by UAE). Chris Gibson, US congressman from New York, and Peter Welch, US congressman from Vermont, appeared on C Span’s Washington Journal program this morning and endorsed the Arab pledges to Egypt as helpful in the overall agenda, in the congressmen’s minds, of harming Iran, and doing so in a situation in which USA is broke and can no longer afford to buy influence.

    The 58-min program can be viewed at www dot c-spanvideo dot org/program/DVTR See esp. the discussion at 11 min, where Gibson says US intervention in Iraq was to “separate the Takfiris, a conflict that goes back to the Quran …”

    The C Span segment is instructive for the bias C Span moderators bring to the discussion; for the cloud of misinformation in which US Congress thinks and acts (i.e. “Israel wants to negotiate but there is no Palestinian partner);

    for the general ignorance and prejudice of many American callers (i.e. at 11: minute);

    and for the way that callers who (in my view) hold and voice a perspective that assesses the situation as it is, not as congressmen have been lobbied to believe, are undercut and derided. Examples of this phenomenon occurred twice in the one-hour appearance of Congressmen Gibson and Welch. At 21 minutes, caller “Russell from DC” said:

    Syria has agreed to talks, the rebels have not… Your guests said that Syria refused to negotiate and that is not the case.
    Also, Americans have a responsibility for the carnage going on in Syria because as Washington Post reported, we were sending $23 million to destabilize Syria, funneling it through an outfit in England. . . .”

    Rep. Pete Welch responded (at 23 min): “I do not believe America is responsible for what is going on in Syria Syria is. This is a Sunni -Shiite civil war … You’ve got a minority—the Allawites – in charge; Assad has been a brutal dictator as was his father before him … it works for some people because you’ve got the successful on top, but it’s been hard on others and they’re rising up in rebellion … I think most of us in America are hoping for the rebels, but we don’t have any confidence that we can micromanage the situation.”

    At 24 min., Rep. Gibson undermines the caller’s assertion that Syria has agreed to talks, saying, “We get mixed signals from Syria.”

    This is stunning. Just 2 minutes earlier a caller cited a source that said US is financing destabilization of Syria; Rep. Welch, member of an organization that enjoys the support of less than 10% of the American public, brushes aside the verifiable claim, then says “most Americans are hoping for the rebels”.

    The caller had these facts on his side; articles about US government financial aid or procurement of financial aid to rebels to destabilize Syria, including a May 2012 article in Washington Post
    www dot washingtonpost dot com/world/national-security/syrian-rebels-get-influx-of-arms-with-gulf-neighbors-money-us-coordination/2012/05/15/gIQAds2TSU_story dot html

    and

    www dot globalresearch dot ca/us-officially-arming-extremists-in-syria/30891 (also from May 2012).

    A survey of Hillary Clinton’s comments on Syria reveals the State Department agenda, going back as far as 2007, of toppling Assad/destabilizing Syria. Our own Richard Steven Hack has argued relentlessly that Syria must be/would be destabilized on the way to attacking Iran. In the C Span segment under discussion (at 17 min), the moderator read an article by Senators John McCain and Robert Menendez that urged US intervention in SyriaEgypt with the ultimate goal of harming Iran.

    The second example of US representatives imposing their lobby-sourced talking points on the perceptions and informed perspective of American callers occurred at about 48 min, initiated by this comment from Ralph, a caller from Arkansas, who said:

    “It seems to me gentlemen, we need to stop arming all the countries in the region whether it’s Egypt, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey. We have been arming this region for years. The core of the problem is Israel Palestine conflict from which many many problems have spilled over into neighboring countries. Is it not time to resolve this problem once and for all so that we can get on and perhaps peace will truly come to the Middle East.”

    Rep. Welch responded, at 49 min: “Yes if we could get a Middle East peace agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians, that would be enormously helpful. Secretary Kerry is trying to reignite those peace talks and I’m very pleased … But secondly, there are other problems in the region that have nothing to do, or very little to do, with the conflict between Israel and Palestine. Syria is an example, I mean, what’s going on in Syria has its own internal historic dynamic that would be there independent of the Israel-Palestinian situation.”

    [Permit me to recommend to the representative from Vermont a series of lectures recorded by Prof. Salim Yaqub on the history of US involvement in ME between 1914 and 2001, that traces the colonialist ambitions of Britain, France, and Russia over the Ottoman empire (and Iran). www dot thegreatcourses dot com/tgc/courses/course_detail.aspx?cid=8593 I disagree with many of Prof. Yaqub’s interpretations, but he does provide a blueprint that shows how denial of nationalist ambitions of states in the post-WWI fragmentation of Ottoman empire is still impacting the lives of millions in the region today.]

    Rep. Gibson said his in response to “Ralph’s” comment: “No question, peace between Israel and Palestine is critical, but the question is, who are you negotiating with? When you look at the Palestinians – there’s a willing partnership for this in Israel, but where do you go for the willing partner in Palestine?

    Moderator interrupts: “Because of the divided leadership?”

    Gibson: Yes, and just in terms of where some of the Palestinian leadership is in terms of violence, terrorist elements. So it’s very problematic. But we have to keep pushing for these kind of talks, but we have to be realistic, even as we are pursuing this.”

    With her insertion, the C Span moderator indicated that she joins other C Span hosts in their general lack of information about what is really happening in Israel/Palestine. Steve Scully is the executive producer of C Span’s Washington Journal and a regular host on Washington Journal. In a recent exchange, Scully defended Israeli armed attacks on unarmed Palestinians with the utterance, “Israel is just defending its borders.” Earth to Steve Scully: Israel HAS no borders; Israel has never declared borders. As for who is willing to negotiate peace, Israel or Palestine, a quick review of several days’ worth of reporting by Phil Weiss and his fellows at Mondoweiss could correct some of the congressmen’s, and C Span’s, misinformation about the real (and US-financed and empowered) perpetrators of violence and resistance to a negotiated peace.

    If the Hippocratic oath enjoins physicians to “first do no harm,” the first rule of the politician, especially one who purports to have the “security” of the “American people” as his uppermost thought, should be, “First, know what the facts are.”

  62. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    I opposed western military intervention on grounds it was bad precedent and would lead to years of instability. This was an “immoral” position?

    I oppose western military intervention in Syria. Again, “immoral”, in your view?

    I opposed idiotic US invasion of Iraq in 2003. Here again, an “immoral” position, in your view?

  63. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    UU-jan,
    I’m familiar with what you posted. There are many things to say about it. I will only make eshare to some things.

    Obviously irfan as taught among Jafari ulama is something other than sufism the main point being that Jafari urafa reject any seyr o suluk that is not based on strict adherence to sharia. That is why masters such as Allamah Qazi or Ayat Shahabadi only accepted students who are mujtahid as students of irfan.

    Sadrian philosophy is vast and has many subjects all of which- as all works of philosophy- are up for debate by other philosophers. So there is nothing inherently wrong with criticizing Sadrian philosophy. What is beyond question is that Mulla Sadra is among the greatest philosophers ever- east or west.

    Same goes for Allamah Tabatabai and his works. There is nothing wrong with criticizing them.

    On a practical level you gotta figure out for yourself if essence or existence asl.

    For me it’s clear that existence is asl and precedes essence as argued by Mulla Sadra and his school.

  64. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    Bravo. Israel “wants to negotiate with the Palestinians”? Bull. Israel wants confirmation of acts it already has taken and is taking, thanks to relentless stupidity on part of US Congress.

  65. Fiorangela says:

    James Canning says: July 10, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    Germany initiated saturation bombing of civilian targets during the Second World War. Surely you are aware of those targets, and who would perhaps seek revenge.

    and

    James Canning says: July 10, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    The extensive debate in Britain, even today, regarding the night air raids on Germany (directed by “Bomber” Harris), may be of interest to you.

    The appalling destruction of Dresden and other cutural treasures surely is difficult to defend.
    = = =

    Just trying to understand your position, James. I take it you hold that the British and US bombed “Dresden and other cultural treasures” in “revenge” for “German initiated saturation bombing” of British targets.

    Have I correctly interpreted your stance?

  66. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    Is there anyone who argues that Britain did not retaliate for Germany’s targeting of British cities for attack?

  67. Fiorangela says:

    from “A History of Bombing,” by Sven Lindqvist

    Track 174, year: 1939
    “On the first day of the Second World War, President Roosevelt appealed to the warring powers to “under no circumstances undertake the bombardment from the air of civilian populations or of unfortified cities.” Both sides promised. But the British were not happy. With these promises, an “artificial situation” had been created, which was untenable in the long run, since it allowed no bombing beyond the front, wrote Spaight after the war. No bombing outside the combat area — that was the well-known American position from the interwar negotiations. It was a foolproof way of protecting the civilian population behind the lines from air raids, but it did not allow the Poles to bomb Germany, since they could not move the combat area that far. It prohibited England from bombing Germany, as long as they had no army fighting there, but it allowed Germany to bomb Poland anyplace where the Germans had turned Poland into a theater of war.”

  68. Fiorangela says:

    Lindqvist, Track 175. year: 1939.

    “On Octoer 6, 1939, Poland was vanquished and Hitler offered peace.
    It is instructive to play with the thought of what would have happened if the British and the French had accepted his offer. Then Hitler would not have been forced to spread out his troops across all of Europe, but instead could have gathered them for an attack on the Soviet Union. It is probable he would have won that war.

    Those who considered Communism an even greater evil than Nazism [as Churchill appeared to do; witness his speech at Westminster College in Missouri, 5 March 1946] could have overthrown Communist rule during the 1940s by supporting Hitler, or even by just accepting the terms he demanded in 1939.”

  69. Fiorangela says:

    re Lindqvist, “What would have happened if the British and French had accepted Hitler’s offer of peace?”

    –from “Freedom Betrayed: Herbert Hoover’s Secret History of the Second World War and Its Aftermath.” Document 13, “The Results of World War II …”

    “In continuous speaking and writing for nearly four years, (until December 1941) I endeavored, by appeal to reason, to establish certain principles and conclusions. …those addresses and writings, which are given in full earlier in these [850 pages of] memoirs, will show repeated public statement in various forms of the following specific arguments and prophecies. …in major essence every one has proved true.
    1. In 1938, I stated that there was danger of another explosion in Europe but that this explosion was heading primarily toward war between … Hitler … and Stalin.

    2. I stated that the Western European Democracies would be involved only if they interfered in this struggle; if they kept out, the mutual exhaustion of the two great military powers would leave the world safe for democracy for a long time.

    3. When Mr. Roosevelt began to indulge in foreign power politics, I insisted that we should not sit in the game. . . .Such a role would provoke alliances against us or even attack upon us.

    . . .

    6. After the Western Democracies of Europe had interfered in Eastern Europe in 1939 and war came between them and Hitler, I insisted that Britain was in no danger of successful invasion and defeat.

  70. Fiorangela says:

    Lindqvist, Track 177, year 1940:

    “Chamberlain refused Hitler’s offer of peace. At the same time, he rebuked those who wanted to begin bombing Germany. “Whatever be the lengths to which others may go, his Majesty’s government will never resort to the deliberate attack on women and children, and other civilians for the purposes of mere terrorism.”

    But in the spring of 1940, the war entered a new phase with a series of rapid German victories over Denmark, Norway, Holland, Belgium, and France. The British army managed to escape by the skin of its teeth at Dunkirk on May 26. On June 14 … France surrendered. Great Britain stood alone against Germany. Air attack had become the only weapon the Britons still could use to get at the Germans.”

    In other words, just as Herbert Hoover had “prophesied,” Great Britain would not have been harmed had it stayed out of interference in German-Russian conflict. Once embroiled, the British could not win military-to-military but only by attacking German civilians.

    Which it did.

  71. Fiorangela says:

    Lindqvist, Track 181. Year 1940:

    “Churchill’s decision to egin to bomb Germany originally applied only to military targets, which included, however, … targets that often lay in the center of large cities.

    On June 20, 1940, the definition of ‘military targets’ was expanded to include industrial targets, which meant that the workers’ homes adjacent to those industries also became targets.”

  72. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    Yes, it is clear Gemmany would have smashed the Soviet Union if Britain had not fought the Germans.

  73. Fiorangela says:

    “Burning Down the House” http://www.cabinetmagazine.org/issues/12/an_architektur.php

    “During World War II, the Allied armed forces began developing methods to test new weapon systems in situations close to reality. The low effectiveness of conventional air raids led the US Army to intensify the testing of incendiary bombs. At first, already existing farm buildings on army sites were used for the tests, but the resulting data proved unreliable because the way in which the bombed structures burned was not comparable to the burning patterns of actual targets. In order to gain useful data from the tests, the military started to build its own test structures, and in the spring of 1943, began erecting detailed reproductions of typical German and Japanese housing forms at a Utah site called the Dugway Proving Ground.

    The development and construction of this building complex, the so-called German-Japanese Village, produced an architecture that represents an inversion of the original buildings’ function: transforming them from environments intended for dwelling to test objects of destruction. From the arrangement and spatial plans of the buildings to their furnishings, the design plan of the German-Japanese Village follows a logic that results from the objectives and requirements of the incendiary bombing tests—it is a realistic simulation, yet it creates its own building type within a particularized set of military parameters.”

    see also www dot guardian dot co dot uk/artanddesign/2003/may/12/architecture.artsfeatures

  74. Fiorangela says:

    Lindqvist, Track 178:

    “Why was Churchill’s decision to begin bombing Germany never made public? In Spaight’s opinion:

    “Because we were doubtful of the psychological effect of propagandistic distortion of the truth that it was we who started this strategic offensive., we have shrunk from giving our great decision the eleventh of May, 1940, the publicity which it deserved.”

  75. Fiorangela says:

    from “The Commentary Reader,” Western Values and Total War, October 1961; Sidney Hook, H. Stuart Hughes, Hans J. Morgenthau, C. P. Snow. Norman Podhoretz, Moderator.

    This three-hour conversation contemplates “the question of the nature of thermonuclear war” and whether civilization could survive such a war.

    Sidney Hook said: “The main question is the moral one — what price are we prepared to pay for the preservation of freedom in a world in which things as horrible as a nuclear war may happen? When we discuss this question, we must bear in mind the following: On the eve of the Second World War, it was widely predicted that a world war would lead to the end of all civilization because of the use of poison gas. . . .Those who felt that the values of the West were worth preserving against the onslaught of fascism took the risk of war, despite the fact that they weren’t sure that gas warfare wouldn’t bring an end to mankind. Secondly, to the surprise of many, gas warfare was not used. Hitler was a madman; yet this madman realized that if he used gas he would provoke reprisal which would mean the end of the national existence of Germany. From this I draw the following conclusion: If we surrender the deterrent … we invite the conquest of the world by Communist totalitarianism. And no matter how we define Western values, they are certainly incompatible with that system of organized terror. . . . Communists make a fetish of history–survival is a be-all and end-all for them. . . .

    I had hoped that we would begin with a discussion of the nature of Western values. As I read the history of Western culture it seems to me that survival at all costs is not among the values of the West. The man who declares that survival at all costs is morally dead because he’s prepared to sacrifice all other values which give life its meaning. Our alternatives today are not limited to surrender to Communism or universal destruction by war. We can count on the men in the Kremlin– they are not madmen they’re very sane and realistic. . . .”

  76. Fiorangela says:

    I had to pause to consider all the contradictions and hypocrisies in Hook’s pronunciamento, then bleach my brain.

    On to historian H. Stuart Hughes’s contribution to the Commentary conversation:

    “I differ from some of my friends in feeling that the great change came not with the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, but in 1943, when we began the terror bombing of Germany. There’s where I think the character of war changed and the use of weapons of mass destruction began.”

    Scorecard, filched from a Putt Putt course:

    -It was suspected that Hitler, a “madman”, would use poison gas. He did not.

    -Winston Churchill was offered peace but chose war; was defeated militarily, so secretly chose to use “weapons of mass destruction” in the “terror bombing of Germany.” Churchill is, of course, not a madman but a hero.

    -The West, so intense a preserverator of moral values that mere survival is the sign of moral death, incinerated hundreds of thousands of German and Japanese civilians in order to preserve the meaningfulness of Western values. So moral was this intention that the West built scale model buildings replicating German and Japanese workers’ housing, the better to guarantee that neither those buildings nor the residents in them would survive the firebombs that Allied forces rained on them.

  77. Fiorangela says:

    from “To Destroy a City: Strategic Bombing and Its Human Consequences in World War II” by Hermann Knell.

    “International literature has many books on the bombings of Hiroshima and Dresden, generally considered the most destructive that ever happened. Little has been written about Nagasaki, or the worst raid in terms of human losses, the Tokyo raid of 9-10 March 1945. Many people think that Dresden and Hamburg were the most destroyed cities in Germany. But British and U.S. bombing surveys prepared after World War II tell us that Wesel, a city of 25,000 inhabitants, Wuppertal-Elberfeld with other 400,000 inhabitants, and Wurzburg with 107,000 inhabitants, were 97 percent, 94 percent, and 89 percent destroyed, respectively. They were the three most ravaged cities in Europe. Yet one has to search intensely beyond the local libraries to find any publications on these particular human tragedies.”

  78. Fiorangela says:

    from “Among the Dead Cities: The History and Moral Legacy of the WWII Bombing of Civilians in Germany and Japan.”

    “Is this assertion — ‘deliberately mounting military attacks on civilian populations is a moral crime’ — an unqualified truth? If it is, people in today’s Western democracies must revisit the recent past of their countries to ask some hard questions about their behaviour in the great wars of the twentieth century, so that the historical record can be put straight. Attacks on civilian populations have often happened in wars throughout history, but this fact does not amount to a justification of the practice. If ever such a practice could be justified or at least excused, it will be because the following questions have received satisfactory answers. Are there ever circumstances in which killing civilians in wartime is morally acceptable? Are there ever circumstances–desperate ones, necessities, circumstances of danger to which such actions are taken as a defensive measure–that would justify or at least exonerate turning civilians into military targets? Can there be mitigating factors that would compel us to withhold the harshest judgment from those who planned and ordered such attacks? If one committed a crime in preventing or responding to a worse crime, would that mitigate or — more — even excuse the former?”

  79. Fiorangela says:

    Finally,
    from “The Fire: The Bombing of Germany 1940-1945,” by Jörg Friedrich

    “The first two major cities attacked by the German Luftwaffe were Warsaw, on September 25, 1939, and Rotterdam, on May 14, 1940. These raids employed from the outset the very force that would avenge itself so bitterly on the Germans: fire. The report of German Air Fleet Command 4 looked just like instructions from the British Bomber Command: The demolition or high-explosive bomb lays the groundwork for the incendiary bomb. That forces the population into the cellars while the houses burn above their heads. Whoever does not leave the cellars will suffer death by asphyxiation. “Moral will to resist is totally broken by the direct experience.” Eliminate the water supply with the first strike! . . .

    The fires in Rotterdam merged within four days into a mass conflagration. The Old Town, full of nooks and crannies and mostly wooden buildings, caught fire from explosions, without a single incendiary omb having been dropped. It spread by itself like a continuous fire bridge. Shocked and caught unawares, the residents did not risk intervening, and the low number of firefighters lacked sufficient equipment. . . .

    Winston Churchill had pioneered this concept. When he was minister of munitions, he had planned a thousand-bomer attack on Berlin, for 1919. If the Germans had held their western front in 1918, a new front would have opened up there, which would have been decisive for the war. He wrote this in 1925, evidently relieved that it had not been necessary. “The campaign of 1919 was never fought; but its ideas go moving along.” The us of the air made it possible that “death and terror could be carried far behind the lines of the actual armies, to women, children, the aged, the sick, who in earlier struggles would perforce have been left untouched.” For the first time, “one group of civilized men” was afforded “the opportunity of reducing their opponents to absolute helplessness.” . . .The forty-nine year old Churchill added to the catalog of vulnerabilities imaginary weapons that scientists were only gradually starting to conceive. . . .An enemy city might be hit hard by flying objects “without a human pilot,” or by methodically prepared plague, anthrax, and smallpox viruses. . . .”

    According to Friedrich, 75% of Germany’s cultural legacy was destroyed by Allied firebombs; between 420,000 and 570,000 German civilians were incinerated, including 70,000 children. Seven million Germans were left without shelter. Allied firebombing of Germany produced fewer dead civilians than were created by US sanctions and war against Iraq over a fifteen year period, but more Germans were left homeless than there are Iraqi refugees. (However, to distinguish itself from the mere destruction of German cities and civilians, America has left behind a “toxic legacy” in Iraq: land polluted with depleted uranium that appears to be causing a highly significant spike in cancers, birth deformities, infertility, and other dire long term health effects.)

  80. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    Let’s not forget the millions of Germans who died as a result of the mass expulsions from what had been East Prussia, etc etc.

  81. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    Germany came close to winning the “Battle of Britain” and control of the air over Britain and the English Channel. Some experts think Hitler’s decision to start bombing British cities instead of finishing off the RAF, was a strategic mistake of the first dimension.

    Both world wars were in effect civil wars within Europe.

    But, if Britain had not fought Germany, the Soviet Union would have been crushed.

  82. Sineva says:

    A must read article on irans future nuclear options by Seyed Hossein Mousavian
    http://www.aucegypt.edu/gapp/cairoreview/Pages/articleDetails.aspx?aid=374

  83. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Vital Interests vs. Democratic Ideals
    http://buchanan.org/blog/vital-interests-vs-democratic-ideals-5656

  84. Dan Cooper says:

    Smith says:

    July 7, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    “And this is how wahabis with the help of the secular friends cornered off their MB opponents and dealt with them: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmZznqCfYck

    Is there any kind of evidence that the people that were being thrown from the roof are actually MB supporters?

  85. James Canning says:

    Interesting comments by Mousavian, that you linked. Is it not fair to say the primary reason the US is so reluctant to accept Iranian enrichment of U, even to 5%, is domestic politics? Meaning, of course, the Israel lobby?

  86. k_w says:

    @Dan Cooper: German television described the clip as MB members throwing opposition members from the roof.

  87. Dan Cooper says:

    k_w says:

    July 11, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    I was looking for evidence, Just saying “German television described the clip as MB members throwing opposition members from the roof” is not good enough.

    can you provide its link?

  88. Karl.. says:

    MEK try to restart the warmongering against Iran with new spooky facility.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/07/11/us-nuclear-iran-exiles-idUSBRE96A0AN20130711

  89. Karl.. says:

    k_w

    Complete nonsense as the link below shows, german tv apparently aping the military regime in Egypt trying to discredit Muslim Brotherhood.

    http://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/africa/6495-ministry-of-interior-men-accused-of-throwing-children-from-a-building-are-not-from-the-muslim-brotherhood

  90. Smith says:

    Dan Cooper says:
    July 11, 2013 at 9:40 am

    I see that the video now has become enormously popular and used for propaganda purposes left and right. Much like the now infamous Neda Soltan video. So you can now forget about the “truth”. Consider this, during the coup and its aftermath, the only group which was being killed was members of MB (not that I like them one bit).

    If you look at the video in a pure forensic way, then there are some points in it. The attackers amongst them is a guy with a salafi flag and a wahabi specific beard (long beard and no mustache). It is safe to assume the attackers were salafis. The salafis officially and publicly had sided with the army to take over Egypt. The rest is propaganda now.

  91. Smith says:

    Fiorangela says:
    July 10, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    Thank you for your elaborate analysis.

    One should not be surprised by the bigotry and inherent racism in the video. After all United States was built on foundations of bigotry, racism, slavery, genocide and wars. Truth be told, things have not changed much. Only the target group has changed. Before it was blacks, “red indians”, japanese, chinese, commies etc etc. In 1980’s Reagan successfully installed a deep state. A theocratic deep state. What you are seeing today, being that deep state is at a religious war.

    The bill in question even if passed, does not matter. US stopped being a law governed society sometime after world war II (even before that it was not an epitome of a lawful society). Iran-Contra shows exactly why such legislation, are meaningless.

    As for Syria, this has become now, a face saving operation for US. From the very beginning US and its allies were arming the terrorists there. Now that Assad is winning(with strategic Russian and tactical Iranian help), there must be some face saving for the self proclaimed “super power”. What you are seeing now is exactly that. They did everything they possibly could to topple Assad. And they failed.

    Finally, they very well know the facts. After all 95% of the facts there were invented and implanted by west. In fact they know too much. More than even the locals. This is not about ignorance. It is about ideological supremacy. Internally all western societies have taken upon themselves to promote Islamophobia among their populace to the point that many Muslims in the west have started to feel like Jews in 1920’s Germany. Externally, all western polities unitarily support wahabism. This is not a coincidence. It is all planned. It is not because of ignorance. British discovered wahabism in a couple of remote, secluded, inaccessible and hated villages of Hijaz in 19th century. Since that day, the British are supporting the wahabis as if it was a fetish of most compulsive nature to them, helping to spread it in Muslim lands. The western public is ignorant, no doubt. The policy makers though are not. They rather know full well, what they are doing. They are fighting a religious war of their choosing.

  92. Smith says:

    Empty says:
    July 7, 2013 at 11:54 pm

    It was clairvoyance. Rarely one sees such things in real life. I do not have much hope for the participants to learn from it. Their hatred of Shias is stronger than their desire to learn and progress.

    Thank you very much for the helpful guidance on the video. I will download and watch it in entirety.

    PS. I think such videos should be subtitled in Arabic and put online-youtube, liveleak etc, for the Arab youths.

  93. Smith says:

    It is now a long time since I heard anything of Mr. Erdogan. Is he ok? Not long ago, he was jumping up and down every fifth hour on news channels, emanating his wisdom for the region. Has he got postpartum depression? Ugly baby?

  94. Smith says:

    Oil prices are bullish. If oil goes above 115, I would say Iran can reap some political victory over it: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/what-you-didnt-know-about-oils-climb-above-100-2013-07-12?pagenumber=1

  95. Smith says:

    A good advice for Iran’s next economic minister (something I myself have been advocating for years now): http://en.trend.az/regions/iran/2168909.html

    Imagine if Iran pegs its currency against an energy unit, say a kilowatt-hour. Two thirds of Iran’s problems with chronic inflation, foreign trade, currency market volatility, banking etc will come to end. But it would take a real pair of balls to do this in world of fiat currencies. Let’s see if Iran can fine one.

  96. Smith says:

    Where are you fyi joon? This website is so empty without your wisdom.

  97. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    Ibn Saud used Wahhabism to augment his power, and his base was the Nejd (or Najd). He conquered the Hejaz because the British were not in a position to prevent this from happening.

  98. James Canning says:

    “Few people with serious knowledge of Syria sought regime change. The likely outcome was what we have: chaos.”
    – – Andrew Green former British ambassador to Syria, writing in the Spectator 18 May.

  99. James Canning says:

    Jimmy Carter will soon be making an effort to end the fighting in Syria, or at least to get a peace conference underway sooner rather than later.

    At the recent G-8 conference in Northern Ireland, the US apparently insisted that Bashar al-Assad should not be allowed to attend a Syrian peace conference. Absurd.

  100. kooshy says:

    I Have No Regrets

    Snowden reiterated his view that U.S. cyber programs are “illegal” and “immoral,” framing his leaks as a “moral decision.”

    By Edward Snowden

    July 12, 2013 “Information Clearing House – Hello. My name is Ed Snowden. A little over one month ago, I had family, a home in paradise, and I lived in great comfort. I also had the capability without any warrant to search for, seize, and read your communications. Anyone’s communications at any time. That is the power to change people’s fates.

    It is also a serious violation of the law. The 4th and 5th Amendments to the Constitution of my country, Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and numerous statutes and treaties forbid such systems of massive, pervasive surveillance. While the US Constitution marks these programs as illegal, my government argues that secret court rulings, which the world is not permitted to see, somehow legitimize an illegal affair. These rulings simply corrupt the most basic notion of justice – that it must be seen to be done. The immoral cannot be made moral through the use of secret law.

    I believe in the principle declared at Nuremberg in 1945: “Individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience. Therefore individual citizens have the duty to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity from occurring.”

    Accordingly, I did what I believed right and began a campaign to correct this wrongdoing. I did not seek to enrich myself. I did not seek to sell US secrets. I did not partner with any foreign government to guarantee my safety. Instead, I took what I knew to the public, so what affects all of us can be discussed by all of us in the light of day, and I asked the world for justice.

    That moral decision to tell the public about spying that affects all of us has been costly, but it was the right thing to do and I have no regrets.

    Since that time, the government and intelligence services of the United States of America have attempted to make an example of me, a warning to all others who might speak out as I have. I have been made stateless and hounded for my act of political expression. The United States Government has placed me on no-fly lists. It demanded Hong Kong return me outside of the framework of its laws, in direct violation of the principle of non-refoulement – the Law of Nations. It has threatened with sanctions countries who would stand up for my human rights and the UN asylum system. It has even taken the unprecedented step of ordering military allies to ground a Latin American president’s plane in search for a political refugee. These dangerous escalations represent a threat not just to the dignity of Latin America, but to the basic rights shared by every person, every nation, to live free from persecution, and to seek and enjoy asylum.

    Yet even in the face of this historically disproportionate aggression, countries around the world have offered support and asylum. These nations, including Russia, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, and Ecuador have my gratitude and respect for being the first to stand against human rights violations carried out by the powerful rather than the powerless. By refusing to compromise their principles in the face of intimidation, they have earned the respect of the world. It is my intention to travel to each of these countries to extend my personal thanks to their people and leaders.

    I announce today my formal acceptance of all offers of support or asylum I have been extended and all others that may be offered in the future. With, for example, the grant of asylum provided by Venezuela’s President Maduro, my asylee status is now formal, and no state has a basis by which to limit or interfere with my right to enjoy that asylum. As we have seen, however, some governments in Western European and North American states have demonstrated a willingness to act outside the law, and this behavior persists today. This unlawful threat makes it impossible for me to travel to Latin America and enjoy the asylum granted there in accordance with our shared rights.

    This willingness by powerful states to act extra-legally represents a threat to all of us, and must not be allowed to succeed. Accordingly, I ask for your assistance in requesting guarantees of safe passage from the relevant nations in securing my travel to Latin America, as well as requesting asylum in Russia until such time as these states accede to law and my legal travel is permitted. I will be submitting my request to Russia today, and hope it will be accepted favorably.

    If you have any questions, I will answer what I can.

    Thank you.

  101. nico says:

    kooshy says:
    July 12, 2013 at 10:26 pm

    Great letter from Snowden.
    Sure an idealist who believe in something.
    Not a nihilist idiot.

  102. M. Ali says:

    So Hamas breaks off with old relationship Syria and Iran for new hottie, Egypt, and now Morsi is gone, and Hamas is left with nothing, except maybe Qatar.

    This is why the Palestanian resistance has been struggling for 70 fucking years. They have no concept of planning for the long term and seeing the big picture.

  103. M. Ali says:

    Also Qatar’s decisions to be a big regional player by throwing money around is just pitiful. What does this tiny shiekhdom emirate think it will achieve? Does it think it will be some important political country in the middle east by doing this?

    Sometimes it just feels embarassing to even consider myself part of the middle east when it is run by children. Let Qatar first become a real independant country (kick the American army boots out of the country), then have sources of income that relies on home grown talent and brains, and then after the 500 years it takes to achieve this, then maybe try to aim to be a political player.

  104. James Canning says:

    M. Ali,

    Do you think the Syrian government made serious mistakes, in dealing with the peaceful protests (prior to eruption of civil war)?

  105. Karl.. says:

    Ahmadinejad offered direct talks for what, 8 years.

    http://presstv.com/detail/2013/07/13/313612/us-seeking-direct-iran-nuclear-talks/

    US are welcome to have direct talks when they recognize Iran (and their right to their program).

  106. James Canning says:

    Karl..,

    a moron occupied the White House for the first few years of Ahmadinejad’s presidency. Thn, Obama came in but quickly put domestic political concerns ahead of the nation’s strategic interests.

  107. James Canning says:

    Karl..,

    Look back fifty years. Kennedy went forward with the Nuclear Test-ban Treaty with the Soviet Union, thanks partly to continued pursuasive effort by the British Ambassador in Washington (David Ormsby-Gore), who told him to put domestic politics aside and do what was right.

  108. Dan Cooper says:

    Karl.. says:

    July 13, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    Israel will never recognise Iran’s right to enrich.

    Moreover, as long as Israel runs US foreign policy in ME, the Status quo will remain the same.

    Press Tv is absolutely correct on saying that:

    “The US, Israel and some of their allies falsely claim that Iran is pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program, with Washington and the European Union using the unfounded claim as a pretext to impose illegal sanctions on Iran”.

  109. M. Ali says:

    “Do you think the Syrian government made serious mistakes, in dealing with the peaceful protests (prior to eruption of civil war)?”

    James Canning ,

    Yes, James Canning, I do think they made some mistakes.

  110. nico says:

    Karl.. says:
    July 13, 2013 at 4:49 pm
    “US are welcome to have direct talks when they recognize Iran (and their right to their program).”

    By offering talks each side is implicitely recognizing the other.
    Talks by itself does not insure detente or end of hositlty.
    Hower no talks and names calling are sure recipes for war.

    Iran and the US are the 2 main players in the ME and obviously need to have diplomatic discussions.

    At the end of the day there will be no end to US hostility whithout talks.
    WITH OR WITHOUT Iran rights and sovereignty being respected.

  111. James Canning says:

    Dan Cooper,

    There may be some chance Obama will act in the best interests of the American people, strategically. Rather than continue to kowtow to domestic political pressure (Israel lobby).

  112. Empty says:

    James Canning,

    “domestic political pressure (Israel lobby)” is an oxymoron. If it is Israel lobby, how can it be domestic?

  113. James Canning says:

    Empty,

    Israel lobby refers to ardent supporters of Israel in the US. So, by definition, it is a matter of domestic US politics. A top Obama official admitted to the Financial Times that domestic politics prevented Obama from trying to make a deal with Iran, prior to the 2012 elections in the US.

  114. James Canning says:

    Karl..,

    Netanyahu assured Obama Israel would not attack Iran, given Obama’s assurance the US would not allow Iran to build nukes.

    And what a surprise: Netanyahu on American TV seeking even more sanctions against Iran.

  115. Empty says:

    James Canning,

    Your explanation does not make it any less of an oxymoron. In fact, it affirms the characterization.

  116. Empty says:

    James Canning,

    Let’s do a little experiment, shall we?

    Chinese lobby refers to ardent supporters of China in the US. So, by definition, it is a matter of domestic US politics. A top Obama official admitted to the Financial Times that domestic politics prevented Obama from trying to make a deal with Iran, prior to the 2012 elections in the US.

    France lobby refers to ardent supporters of France in the US. So, by definition, it is a matter of domestic US politics. A top Obama official admitted to the Financial Times that domestic politics prevented Obama from trying to make a deal with Iran, prior to the 2012 elections in the US.

    Iran lobby refers to ardent supporters of Iran in the US. So, by definition, it is a matter of domestic US politics. A top Obama official admitted to the Financial Times that domestic politics prevented Obama from trying to make a deal with Iran, prior to the 2012 elections in the US.

    Brazil lobby refers to ardent supporters of Brazil in the US. So, by definition, it is a matter of domestic US politics. A top Obama official admitted to the Financial Times that domestic politics prevented Obama from trying to make a deal with Iran, prior to the 2012 elections in the US.

    Saudi Arabia lobby refers to ardent supporters of Saudi Arabia in the US. So, by definition, it is a matter of domestic US politics. A top Obama official admitted to the Financial Times that domestic politics prevented Obama from trying to make a deal with Iran, prior to the 2012 elections in the US.

    Sudan lobby refers to ardent supporters of Sudan in the US. So, by definition, it is a matter of domestic US politics. A top Obama official admitted to the Financial Times that domestic politics prevented Obama from trying to make a deal with Iran, prior to the 2012 elections in the US.

    Well, I think the only one who wouldn’t get the point is Khajeh Hafez Shirazi (and perhaps you James).

  117. James Canning says:

    Empty,

    No “Saudi Arabia lobby” in US. No “France lobby”. But very much an ISRAEL LOBBY.

    You think the Israel lobby does not exercise a huge degree of control over American policies that relate to Israel?

  118. James Canning says:

    Empty,

    What would you propose for use to replace the term “Israel lobby”?

  119. James Canning says:

    Empty,

    The China lobby was, as I’m sure you know, an “anti-China” lobby, in the sense it favored Nationalist China and fostered hostility toward Red China.