Why President Assad, Hezbollah, and Iran are Winning in Syria: Flynt Leverett on Al Mayadeen

AFP photo

In an interview with Al Mayadeen’s Min ad-Dākhil (From the Inside), taped in Beirut last month shortly after Syrian forces and Hezbollah fighters recaptured Qusayr, Flynt laid out why Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has not fallen, despite the many predictions of his government’s collapse and high-level calls (from President Obama and the kings of Jordan and Saudi Arabia, among others) for him to go:   

“We’ve been through this before, after former Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri was assassinated in 2005.  Many people in Washington thought that this would be the beginning of the end of the Assad regime.  They were wrong then; we’re going through a more extreme version of this now in Washington, but it’s still wrong. 

It’s wrong for a couple of reasons.  One, President Assad and his government retain—this is borne out by polling data, by other evidence—they retain the support of significant parts of Syrian society.  I would estimate that at least half of Syrian society continues to support the Assad government…and that’s probably increasing.  On the other hand, there is no hard evidence—no polls or any other data—that anywhere close to a majority of Syrians supports (let’s call it) the opposition.  Clearly there are Syrians who are disaffected from their government, Syrians who feel like they have legitimate grievances either against the government or that the government is not addressing…I think there are serious political problems in Syria.  But there is no evidence that a majority of Syrians wants to get rid of the Assad government, and I think that’s a very important base of support for the government

The other thing that I think is in play here—and Hillary and I have been arguing this for a long time—it is a delusion for the United States or other Western countries to think that if somehow you were able to bring down the Assad government, that what replaces it is some secular liberal democracy that wants to be aligned, in its foreign policy, with the West.  That’s an absolute fantasy; it has nothing to do with reality…If the Assad government were somehow to disappear, what would replace it would be a group of very contentious, not unified and, in many cases—some people in the West like to say jihadi; I think I prefer the term takfeeri—Islamists (Jabhat an-Nusra and other groups that seem to have a lot in common with Al-Qa’ida).  The kind of Syria that emerges after the Assad government disappears—I don’t think it’s going to be very good for Syrians; I don’t think it would be very good for American interests in the Middle East.”

For the rest of the interview—conducted by the wonderful Zeinab as-Saffar and now posted on Al Mayadeen’s Web site in two parts—see here.  (For those wanting to skip the Arabic-language introduction to Part One, go 2:40 into the video.)

Among other major themes in the interview, Flynt explains the drivers of U.S. policy toward Syria:      

“I think it’s important to say this honestly—the things that are driving American policy toward Syria now are, first of all, a sense that, if you could bring down the Assad government, it’s this big blow to Iran.  Iran is a major driver for the Obama administration in Syria.  

Secondly, there’s an interest in co-opting the Arab Awakening.  When the Arab Awakening started, you had pro-Western regimes in Tunisia, in Egypt, fall; you had a near miss in Bahrain.  So the Obama administration, in early 2011, is looking aroundIt wants to find a way to show that it’s not just authoritarian regimes that subordinate their foreign policies to the United States that are at risk in the Arab Awakening; the Arab Awakening could also take down a government, a political order that has a clear commitment to foreign policy independence.  And Syria was the case for doing thatThey thought they could use the opposition to do thisThis project has failed.”     

But, while the project failed—and was bound, from the outset, to fail, as we have been pointing out for more than two years—Flynt notes that outside support for the opposition took “what might have been an indigenously generated protest against particular grievances” and turned it into a “violent campaign to try and overthrow the Assad government.  It became, in a way, a civil war.  As long as weapons, money are coming in from outside, the opposition was able to prompt a lot of fighting, prompt a lot of damage, a lot of deaths.” 

Turning to the sectarian element in the Syrian conflict, Flynt takes on the Washington narrative that “it is Iran and Hezbollah that have made this a sectarian struggle.  I think the reality is just the reverse.  It is the Saudis, it is other external supporters of the opposition who have really wanted to make this a battle against an ‘infidel’ regime, a ‘Shi’a’ regime.  And then when Hezbollah, when Iran are helping the Assad government, then this becomes a sectarian battle. 

From an Iranian perspective, what I understand of the Hezbollah perspective, this is really an effort to resist a campaign—sponsored in part by the United States, sponsored in part by Saudi Arabia, sponsored by others—to use the Syrian opposition to bring about regime change in Syria, and tilt the balance of power in the regionIt’s also an effort to preserve a position of resistance against U.S. and Israeli hegemony in the regionThose were the motives for Iranian and Hezbollah support for the Assad government, as I understand it. 

I think that, in the end, resistance will overcome sectarianism…Hezbollah was born in resistance to an Israeli invasion and occupation of Lebanon…The goal was, ultimately, to end the occupation, to make the Israelis leave Lebanon, and Hizballah finally succeeded at that.  In some ways, the situation [in Syria] is tactically different, but I think, strategically, the same dynamic applies. 

You’ve had a kind of foreign invasion of SyriaThis is part of what’s so sad about the Syrian situation, that you took what might have been some elements of legitimate grievance, legitimate protest internally and you just overlaid this external invasion on top of it.  In the end, the Assad government is fighting for Syrian sovereigntyThe supporters of the Assad government, whether it’s Iran or Hezbollah, they’re fighting to prevent, in a sense, a foreign occupation of Syria…    

If you look at what actually wins in this region, resistance wins.  Sectarianism doesn’t win; resistance wins.” 

Other topics treated in the interview include whether violence in Syria will spread to other states, how Israeli concerns about Hezbollah as “an effective and meaningful constraint” on Israeli freedom of military initiative affect Israel’s calculations (and dealings with Washington) vis-à-vis the Syrian conflict, and the “enormous mistakes” that Prime Minister Erdoğan and his associates have made in their conduct of Turkey’s policy toward Syria since March 2011.  The interview was taped before the Obama administration announced its decision to begin directly providing military support to Syrian oppositionists, but Flynt anticipates this decision and explains, before the fact, the perverse political and strategic calculations motivating it.      

–Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett

 

200 Responses to “Why President Assad, Hezbollah, and Iran are Winning in Syria: Flynt Leverett on Al Mayadeen”

  1. Don Bacon says:

    “Iran is a major driver for the Obama administration in Syria. ”

    That’s true.

    “It is the Saudis, it is other external supporters of the opposition who have really wanted to make this a battle against an ‘infidel’ regime, a ‘Shi’a’ regime.”

    So it’s a power thing for the U.S. but a religious thing for the House of Saud.

    I don’t believe it. Characterizing a ME power struggle as a sectarian conflict doesn’t work for me. Sure there’s a religious component, used by these powers to their advantage. But the real drivers are power and profit.

    There was no mention if Saudi ties with Israel, and the recent $500m arms purchase for Syria terrorists, for one thing.

    “The supporters of the Assad government, whether it’s Iran or Hezbollah, they’re fighting to prevent, in a sense, a foreign occupation of Syria…”

    Others want to make Syria a sectarian conflict, but as you note, it isn’t. Neither is the Saudi effort, a primary supporter of the “foreign occupation of Syria…”

  2. fyi says:

    Don Bacon says:

    July 29, 2013 at 9:54 am

    Dr. Leverett is correct; there are tribes in Saudi Arabia that hate the Shia.

    There is no doubt.

    Furthermore, Middle America hates Islam and hates Iran.

    Thus we see that both at the popular level and at the state level there is a convergence of hatreds in US and in Saudi Arabia – at least for a while.

    The latest news of Syrian Government victroy in Homs indicates, in my opinion, the further unravelling of the project to wound Iran in Syria.

    Actually, this unravelling of Axis Powers’ (and their local allies) policies in Syria will make it harder for them to retreat in their Regime-Change-Through-Economic–Warfare against Iran.

  3. Don Bacon says:

    fyi says:
    July 29, 2013 at 10:13 am

    Dr. Leverett is correct; there are tribes in Saudi Arabia that hate the Shia.

    I don’t doubt that, but it doesn’t follow that SA’s foreign policy is based upon religion.

    I grew up in a Protestant household that hated Catholics. So what. Hating other religions is nearly universal, yet it doesn’t explain world politics. And it surely doesn’t explain it selectively, as in this posting, applying only to Saudi Arabia but not to others.

  4. Empty says:

    Thank you for the post. It depits quite accurately the face-to-face struggle between a long-term sustainable strategy (the resistance group) and one that is definitely anything but.

    fyi,

    RE: Actually, this unravelling of Axis Powers’ (and their local allies) policies in Syria will make it harder for them to retreat in their Regime-Change-Through-Economic–Warfare against Iran.

    Indeed. Right now, the US Inc. is behaving like a compulsive gambler that has lost everything and cannot help but to go for that one last gamble:
    خنک آن قمار بازی که بباخت هر چه بودش……بنماند هیچش الا، هوس قمار آخر

    Extremely pitiful if it weren’t so extremely criminal.

  5. Empty says:

    depicts, rather….

  6. fyi says:

    Don Bacon says:

    July 29, 2013 at 11:24 am

    It does.

    During the Civil War in Spain, Catholic America was in quiet support on the side of the late General Franco.

    And how often has the fund-raising balls for the fraternal orders of the Firemen and Police in Boston and New York have been in support of the IRA; with US Government turning a blind eye to it?

    Last, but not least, there is the delusional religious conflation of the ancient and modern Israel among Protestant Americans that has brought US to the brink of religious war with Islam.

  7. James Canning says:

    I continue to think Saudi Arabia and Qatar were motivated, in part, by fears of possible war in the Gulf. They also seem to have assumed the US would soon intervene militarily in Syria.

  8. James Canning says:

    Financial Times leader today calls upon the P5+1 to improve their offer to Iran, in effort to resolve nuclear dispute. FT also favors direct US-Iran negotiations.

  9. James Canning says:

    Don Bacon,

    Fear is often a primary driver of military actions. Saudis worry about potential insurgency, backed by Iran, in event of war in the Gulf.

  10. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    July 29, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    You continue to be wrong.

    Arabs are telling you what you want to hear.

    Saudis want to make Wahabi the Official Version of Islam – they want to make a Sunni Vatican with them calling the shots.

    As for the FT Leader; if that is the consenus view of Western Leaders they are going to be sorely disappointed.

    There is no give in the Iranians’ position; amicable resolution of this dispute is no longer within their powers; they unleased wars and wars have to go through to their natural end.

    Recapituation of the status quo ante of 2010 with Iran is no longer in the cards.

    It is imperative for Axis Powers to get a deal with Iran in 2013; they had promised too many things to too many states, all the time reassuring them that a quick victory against Iran (and Syria) was just around the corner.

    As their wars in Syria and Iran drage on and wounds their own allies as well as neutrals, the urgency for a deal increases.

    There might be a very small deal in early 2014, but it would be a deal breft of strategic significance.

  11. fyi says:

    Empty says:

    July 29, 2013 at 11:24 am

    Yes, and certainly nothing will improve under Mr. Obama; he gave it his best shot, short of war, to destroy Iran and the Resistance Alliance.

    He failed.

    His government does not have the capacity, in my opinion, to now pursue a new and alternative policy (if it ever did).

    We will have to wait for new governments in US, UK, France, Germany, Australia, Canada etc.

    Decades into the future.

  12. Unknown Unknowns says:

    fyi says: “Really, if it were possible for me, I would have endowed research faculties in comparative religion ”

    Well, if you ever do endow an educational institution with a generous contribution, perhaps they would allow you to sit in on some of those comparative religion courses, in which you would learn the creedal bases of Islam, after which the dawning of that “happy day” would be hastened, you having learned that you hold nothing in common with said creed. And as you are so enamoured by your fellow Christians, perhaps you would then start to self-identify with your co-religionists. So gay.

  13. Macowm says:

    Saudi Arabia is more concerned about its partnership with the US and curbing Iran’s influence over the Arab world more than their hatred for Shias. Yes they hate Shias but not because of some sectarian/religious differences, it is because the Saudis are concerned about their worldly titles and their wealth an the Shias (particularly Iran) represent a threat to this stability. They want to spread Wahabism not because it is something they actually believe in, they want to spread it because it is controllable through their large flows of cash, they eat up propaganda, and they represent an anti-Shia portion of society that is more willing to kill these Shias than the real enemies of Islam (the Saudi Royal Family being one of them).

    I would argue that the US partly got what it wanted in Syria though. Anti-Iranian sentiment and Anti-Shiism is on the rise in many parts of the Sunni Muslim world. Iran was forced to give up some soft power to save an important ally, and Syria is an a serious state of turmoil, even if the regime has the upper hand at the moment.

    This is also why Saudi Arabia and Qatar disagreed so much on Syria. Qatar supports the Muslim Brotherhood, which Saudi Arabia saw as a threat. Muslim Brotherhood provided an alternative to their political existence, and this is part of the reason we have seen the utter betrayal of the MB by the US in Egypt (and Syria).

  14. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Saeed Jalili told the Financial Times not long ago, that Iranian enrichment to 20 Percent was not particularly important. Surely Jalili was in a position to speak authoritatively on this topic.

  15. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    The FT leader today argued strongly against any new sanctions, and warned that US Congress is contemplating yet more sanctions if no deal between Iran and P5+1 is achieved.

  16. fyi says:

    Unknown Unknowns says:

    July 29, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    Please direct your statements to Wahabis and assorted other Sunni Muslims.

  17. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    July 29, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    The advances of Iran in nuclear field has emptied the Iranian production of 20% enriched uranium devoid of strategic content.

    By Spring of 2014, Axis Powers could sign a deal with Iran on 20% production and declare it – with great fanfare – as a strategic victory.

    The substantial and “crippling” sanctions against Iran will remian indefintely, so will the UNSC sanctions.

    Those horses fled the barn long time ago.

    An important lesson of all wars has been the need for decisive and quick victory.

    Axis Powers (and Russia) failed to achieve that victory against Iran – with attendand strategic consequences.

  18. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    July 29, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    Once US leaders realize that Mr. Rouhani will not give them what they want, they will continue on their merry way of sanctioning Iran.

    US has no other alternative courses of action.

  19. Macowm says:

    Unknown Unknowns says:
    July 26, 2013 at 11:26 am (Previous Thread)

    Just saw your reply from before. I agree much of it has to do with oil pipelines, but I dont think that the US ever thought they could control Lebanon and Syria enough to dominate that pipeline. I think much of what they did in Syria was an attack on the resistance as a whole, prevent them from building that pipeline which would bring them huge economic success, and to keep their existing pipelines safe from competition.

    You cant build a pipeline in an area that is under constant threat of terrorist attacks. Its simply not possible and nobody would ever invest in it.

  20. nico says:

    fyi says:
    July 29, 2013 at 2:24 pm
    “James Canning says:
    July 29, 2013 at 2:14 pm
    Once US leaders realize that Mr. Rouhani will not give them what they want, they will continue on their merry way of sanctioning Iran.US has no other alternative courses of action.”

    Correct but it is not because the US have no other options.
    It is because fundamentally the US are after dominance and neocolonial policies.

    And Iran is the single biggest threat to that dominance in ME for the moment.
    Should the US cut their military budget by two or three fold then we could safely assume that the US worldwide neocolonialist posture has changed.
    Until such time, because it is sure such time will one day come, no end in sight for the US enmity.

    The only other option being regime change or pacification in one of both countries.

    For the moment the real danger is not an hypotetical Iranian nuke. It is whether the US will one way or another go to war with Iran to further insure their dominance over the ME.
    And the US are doing their best to directly involve Iran in Syria or in any other hard power action with their typically designed embargo.

    Actually, contrary to the US propagandistic bull crap an Iranian nuke would rather stabilize the region and neuter the western bullying.

    The real issue is the US being after dominance.The US spit on nations and people self determination rights.

    The only way for the situtation to somehow shift substantially short of war and regime change is for one of the party to receive a major strategic blow.

    The loss of KSA would be a major blow to the US.
    The loss of Syria AND Iraq would be a major blow to Iran.

    The loss of Syria is not in the cards for now.
    And I assume that if it would be the case some move would be expected from Iraq and Iran.

    Rohani and Obama are typically in the right continuation of their predecessor Ahmadinejad and Bush Jr.
    Only the tone change. The policy remain the same.
    Tone is important.
    However at the top of policy making for such stake a the control of the ME it does not make huge or substantial difference.

    As usual the FT and other idiotic outlets try to sell their propaganda about the US respecting democracy in Iran.
    Laughable.
    Since when the US respect democracy abroad compared to their power interest ????

  21. BiBiJon says:

    On a slightly less pessimistic note …
    =====================================

    Obama appoints Hagel and Kerry and Dobins

    Rohani has just nominated Zarif, and I’m sure various other hatchet burying experts shall be appointed on both sides.

    http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/07/29/uk-iran-usa-zarif-idUKBRE96S0VM20130729

  22. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    Shia control of Iraqi central government is very unlikely to be lost.

  23. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    What is it that “US leaders want”? You mean Aipac? Or Obama?

  24. Sineva says:

    James Canning says:
    July 29, 2013 at 6:52 pm
    At this point in time there is no difference between them

  25. Fiorangela says:

    Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich suggests that a conflict over a dam on the Blue Nile that Egyptians feared might cost the livelihoods of as many as 2 million Egyptian farmers, is at least part of the reason that Morsi was forced out of office by US-backed Egyptian military.

  26. Smith says:

    Macowm says:
    July 29, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    You do not know what you are talking about.

  27. Smith says:

    Leveretts:

    “it is a delusion for the United States or other Western countries to think that if somehow you were able to bring down the Assad government, that what replaces it is some secular liberal democracy that wants to be aligned, in its foreign policy, with the West.”

    I disagree with that statement.

    United States and other western countries already know that.

    United States and other western countries particularly Britain, knowingly and on purpose are supporting wahabis. It is an old game they have been playing. The British actually implanted Wahabism in Arab lands and its cultural equivalent of Deobandism in Indian subcontinent. Today all terrorism in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan are committed by Deobandis similar to all the terror in Arab lands committed by Wahabis. These are empirical facts. And the sole support for wahabis/deobandis is from United States and western countries (plus their local puppet/stooge “allies/slaves”).

    Western countries are at a religious war with Islam and have been since the time of Crusades. Continuously. Today they are extensively using the services of their puppet traitors within Islam namely wahabis/deobandis. And this strategy has been quite effective and if it was not for the Shia Iran, it would been fatally successful against Islam.

    For Iran they have another strategy since they know that wahabism does not have traction among Shias at all. So in Shia societies they try to promote secularism/pornography/incest/liberalism etc. It is a religious war.

  28. Smith says:

    Unknown Unknowns says:
    July 29, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    I am very disappointed by your replies to fyi. You accused fyi of being a crypto-christian. I do not know him/her. Just like I do not know you. Whether he/she is a Muslim or not. I just wanted to remind you that as per Islam, for a Muslim accusing another Muslim to be a non-Muslim is a grave sin with both worldly and eternal punishments. This is exactly what wahabis/salafis are doing. Thank God for Safavids to have converted Iran to Shiaism otherwise today you would be the biggest wahabi biggot here with strong suicidal tendencies to blow up whoever you see as crypto-this and crypto-that. And if you are a Muslim and there is even a one in a zillion chance that fyi believes in one God and Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) as the last prophet, then I suggest you fall to his/her feet and ask for his/her forgiveness. That is if you are yourself a believer and want to save yourself.

  29. BiBiJon says:

    Smith says:
    July 30, 2013 at 3:53 am

    Cool it on the feet (kissing) fetish, Smith. It’s fine to defend fyi, though I don’t see why being a crypto-christian, is such a huge insult, especially leveled at someone who routinely drools drippingly worshipful praise on Christendom’s accomplishments.

    But, don’t reveal your own even deeper prejudices by the way you frame your accusations of bias at others. Also, avoid ‘judging’ others for being ‘judgmental.’

  30. Smith says:

    BiBiJon says:
    July 30, 2013 at 4:24 am

    It is not wise to remain cool on takfir. Of course if it is fine with you, then it means that you also carry proto-wahabi ideology in your deep psyche. People are being slaughtered left and right in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, Syria etc etc by the practitioners of takfir and I do not see your “cool” helping them.

    By the way, we can have the deepest ideological disagreement with Christendom and declare Islam as the ultimate but at the end of the day, you have to accept that almost all antibiotics, antivirals, antineoplastics, analgeics, anesthetics, vaccines, public health initiatives etc etc, just to give a “small” example have come out of the belly of Christendom and Judaism and not Islam (or by extension Hinduism, Buddhism, etc etc.

    Virtually it can be said, more than two third of world’s population is alive today because of scientific advances coming out of Christendom and Judaism (including you and me and others here). Contribution of Islam is negligible to none. For you or for that matter UU, it might not be important. It is also not important in the eyes of Taliban who then shamelessly use all these amenities from medicines to air conditioners to diesel generators to SUV’s to etc etc, claiming that these are God’s ne’mat destined for them. Pretty much like cargo cult believers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qmlYe2KS0-Y

    What fyi has been saying, is that we need to look inwardly and see what has gone wrong that we (who think of ourselves as bearers of Haq) have been reduced to what we are. Unfortunately still the majority of Muslims both Sunni and Shia are incapable of taking part in rational thought. From the remotest villages in Afghanistan to “technology districts” of Malaysia, the mere mention of self criticism and self correction brings takfir and its ultimate cost (beheading in Afghanistan and jail time in Malaysia).

  31. Macowm says:

    Smith says:
    July 30, 2013 at 3:29 am

    Then enlighten me brother. I read your other post to the Leveretts. I agree with everything that you said, about their religious and moral attacks on Shi’ism. My argument was simply that the Wahhabis and the West are not fighting Shia Islam because they truly believe in the doctrines that they spread and preach (Radical Christianity, Wahhabism, Radical Judaism, what have you). No, these are simply vessels for their true beliefs. At this point you can choose to either believe that they acknowledge the existence of God and the Truth of Shi’ism, and they themselves (meaning the elite) are Satan worshipers or Luciferians, or you can choose to believe that they are merely concerned about this life and think nothing of the hereafter, and Shia Islams purity represents a threat to them regardless, therefore they must be pacified or radicalized as the other religious doctrines of the world have been done in the past.

    Ultimately it doesnt matter which one of those you choose to believe because the end result is the same- evil people doing evil things. But I am very interested to hear what you have to say.

  32. Macowm says:

    And also let me be clear that Shia Islam is not the only path to God. Proper practice and belief in one God of any religion is acceptable. But as a Shia Muslim myself, I of course believe in the truth of my religion. It is said that the greatest ally of the true Muslim will be the true Christian, and I believe we are already seeing this today.

  33. Smith says:

    Macowm says:
    July 30, 2013 at 5:55 am

    “Saudi Arabia is more concerned about its partnership with the US and curbing Iran’s influence over the Arab world more than their hatred for Shias. Yes they hate Shias but not because of some sectarian/religious differences…”

    It is actually the other way round. In reality Iran is peaceful and they know it. So this western claim that Saudi/US are trying to “defend” themselves against Iranian influence is another western propaganda. It is their deep hatred for Shias that is compelling them to do this. I think you must be familiar with takfir. This is the cornerstone ideology of theirs (Christians also have takfir equivalents and so do Jews). And they slaughter human children for it.

    As an example China is rich and powerful and they are mostly atheists or polytheists. I do not see they at war with Islam and Iran. It is not about money and power as the leftist “liberal” western factions want to put it as part of a concerted propaganda diluting and rationalizing what is happening. It is a purely religious war being waged by nexus of Zionists-Christendom-Wahabism against Islam. Just like in Crusades, this war too has its own profiteers on both sides, no doubt. As is the case in all war. But this does not change the core of the war which is purely religious.

  34. Macowm says:

    Smith says:
    July 30, 2013 at 6:16 am

    I see what you are saying. But do you think they actually believe they are serving God, is the question? Do these psuedo-muslims/christians/jews elite think they are serving Him and fighting for the Truth or do they acknowledge that they are against Him?

  35. Smith says:

    Macowm says:
    July 30, 2013 at 6:23 am

    Zionists believe they are the “chosen people”. So as per their ideology it is not like they are to serve God but God is to serve them. Christians believe that they are sinless people since they accepted Jesus as “son of God” who gave his life for the sins of Christians (you can keep doing as much sin as you want) so they are hastening “Rupture” and their own “Salvation”. Wahabis think that they are the “Owners” of “true” Islam and that Shias are crypto-fireworshiping deviant kafirs. Together they are an alliance of convenience feeding each other and targeting Islam.

  36. Smith says:

    Fiorangela says:
    July 29, 2013 at 11:58 pm

    These things are bigger than a dam, 3 billion dollars here and 7 billion euros there, a person, a nation etc etc. What we are witnessing in Egypt is colonization politics. You understand that Egypt is a colony and its citizens slaves, don’t you?

  37. BiBiJon says:

    Smith says:
    July 30, 2013 at 5:45 am

    Tak-takfiri, or Takfiri-firi?
    ========================

    Is there a word for those who accuse others of being accusers?

  38. nico says:

    Smith says:
    July 30, 2013 at 6:16 am

    “It is their deep hatred for Shias that is compelling them to do this”

    It cound be seen as correct if the Saud familiy were true believers.
    However it is obvioudly not the case.

    Sectarianism is for the mass.
    KSA is not a democracy and its leadership does not implement its people will.
    Religion is the tool to control their own people.

    An example of KSA ruling families comptent for religion.
    See the woman’s dress ? Something muslim about that ?
    http://blogs-images.forbes.com/kerryadolan/files/2011/05/Prince-Alwaleed-Princess-Ameerah-Attend-Royal-Wedding-April-2011-I2.jpg

  39. Smith says:

    BiBiJon says:
    July 30, 2013 at 7:29 am

    That is called debate. I did not accuse anyone of being a non-Muslim. There is a difference, which I guess you are not able to understand.

  40. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    BiBiJohn,

    Getting Zarif nomination through Majlis will be difficult. The usuli majority doesn’t like him and there is that famous video of him begging El Baradei to accept Iran’s nuclear offer so that the reformists won’t lose the next elections.

    It will certainly resurface if he is nominated.

    It would be better if Rohani nominated someone else for FM and had Zarif be the US-Europe deputy.

    If he is nominated the only thing that will put him over the top is a direct order by SL to the majlis members.

  41. Smith says:

    nico says:
    July 30, 2013 at 7:33 am

    “It cound be seen as correct if the Saud familiy were true believers.
    However it is obvioudly not the case.”

    And who is to decide that? I think obviously as per logic such a decision rests with highest mullahs of wahabism. The arbiters of who is a wahabi believer and who is not. As per them, the rulers of Saudi Arabia are excellent true believers in wahabism. Case closed.

  42. BiBiJon says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says:
    July 30, 2013 at 7:41 am

    That a Khatami-Rafsanjani-endorsed Rouhani would choose a reformist for FM is not surprising of course. But, I do have questions:

    a) What is the role of Majlis in cabinet picks? They harassed Ahmadinejad a lot. Will they do the same to Rouhani? Will the Majlis allow an elected POIR to govern as he chooses?

    b) I hope Rouhani realizes he’s potentially putting together a war cabinet. If diplomacy fails, then the Majlis needs to judge if Zarif is qualified to be a war-time FM, not how reformist he is. No?

  43. nico says:

    Smith says:
    July 30, 2013 at 7:42 am

    The FT tells that the US are after democracy.
    And the NYT tells that the US are after peace in Palestine.

    Do you believe it ?

    The best proof is KSA being against the MB and financing the secular military in Egypt to overthrow Morsi.
    Something religious about that ?

    “Saudi King Pays $1bln to Help Egyptian Army Remove Mursi”
    http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13920507000986

    The Saud family is first and foremost protecting its position of power and the money that allow to be the leader of the Arab lands.

  44. nico says:

    And about who tells who what to do and what to think.
    It is Kingdom of Sauds.
    Not the Islamic Kingdom.

    It is transparent in the name of the country and its constitution.
    Oups, sorry there is no constitution in KSA only the will of the king and his family

  45. Smith says:

    “The FT tells that the US are after democracy….”

    US has never been after peace or democracy. Never. US is a religious imperial power, the first of its kind.

    Egyptian military is as secular as a monkey wrench can be. Military is just a tool. You have to see what for it is being used. Wahabis are extremely afraid of MB. As I had noted months ago, the Wahabis know full well that their followers will never become Shias. That is why they do not need to fear Shiaism. But they are scared like a baby sparrow of a cat with regard to MB, since that is the only political sunni narrative and has the potential for traction among their populace and followers. Not Shiaism, not Judaism and not Christianity. That is where the monkey wrench comes in handy. Specially if you have money.

    And then it goes well beyond borders. Saudis are going crazy preaching wahabism through out Islamic countries from Indonesia to Turkey and in the rest of the world. MB is the only force that could counter their narrative everywhere (among Sunnis). Iran knew this and that is why despite having deep ideological differences, Iran supported MB. Of course it is religious. If it was about money and power, then they could have reached some sort of a deal with Khatami or even now with Rouhani.

    But there will be no deal as this is a religious battle and has only two end consequences. Either Iran will become a nuclear armed power, a fortress of Shiaism capable of standing on its own without having to depend on others eg. US/Russia/China OR that Iran will be destroyed with massive loss of Iranian lives and honor likes of which has not been seen since the Moghul invasion and consequently Shiaism will lose its golden opportunity to assert itself globally as Shia Islam specially its political dimension will be defeated and only read about in history books thereafter.

  46. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    fyi,

    You were supposed to answer Auf Deutsch!

    Unlike you I can read von Balthasar, Ratzinger (i.e. “Pap-e Mostafi”) Hegel, Kant, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Freud etc. in the original and judge for myself. Lot’s of great ideas. Still doesn’t change the fact that trinity is irrational and delusional.

    Also lots of beautiful use of the German language- which if I may add is far superior to a local dialect called “English” in expressing deep philosophical and theological ideas.

    Only Arabic is superior to all languages in expressing these things and that is why God chose Arabic as the language of his final and complete “logos”. Get it? I don’t think you got that last pun (UU please explain to him the whole thing about “logos” and “final revelation” and “word of God” and “Jesus” and the “trinity”, thanks.)

    In terms of cousin marriage, the majority of governmental authorities in most nations and most states in the US disagree with you- in other words they allow first cousin marriages.

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:CousinMarriageWorld.svg

    Some “barbarian” nations like France, Austria, Australia, Argentina, Russia, Brazil and Malaysia even allow so-called “avunculate marriage” between uncles and nieces and aunts and nephews (uncle-niece marriages allowed in Jewish law). Shocking!

    The only one showing “willful ignorance” is you.

  47. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    BiBiJohn,

    As you may know Majlis has to confirm all ministers and can impeach them at anytime.

    I think Rohani would be smart to keep Salehi as FM- who also by the way speaks “fluent English” which seems to be so good about Zarif. He also speaks “fluent Arabic” which at this point and with the current situation might be more important for an Iranian FM. He also would have no problems getting Majlis confirmation.

    Also don’t forget that Salehi is considered a reformist in the Iranian political landscape and was brought into govt by Khatami and is a nuclear expert.

    Anyway I think it would be a mistake by Rohani to nominate “mohreye sookhte” like Zarif or Mousavian when there are plenty of others who can do a good job.

  48. fyi says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says:

    July 30, 2013 at 8:46 am

    Thank you for your comments.

    There is Hadith stating that the “Langugae of Paradise is Persian”.

    I suggest you start translating the Glory of the Lord into beautiful language of the Paradise so that centuries from now people will be referring to its ideas and praise your name for translating it.

    [I am metaphysically certain that no other country will translate that – Hegel may be but not not works of theology.]

    In East Asia, cousin marriage are considered – very simply – incest; mull on that.

    I am aware of the Jewish Law in regards to marriage – but it is also irrelevant.

    Again, I suggest you debate this with Dr. Sarvari; my position is quite clear: even if there is small chance of birth defects, it is best to avoid it by designating such marriages as makrooh.

  49. fyi says:

    Mr. Smith:

    Thank you for your comments in my defense.

    Indeed a former Pakistani Air Marshall told me that the proposal/position to fix the Ramadan to Meccan hours – to avoid undue stress on Muslims who live on high lattitudes – will get you killed in Pakistan.

    [Something very similar to this proporsal has been opined by a few ayatollahs in Iran.]

    Fortunately for Iranians, they have a great teacher in the United States (and the European Union) which through beating them on the head is causing them to change.

    Personss such as I will be killed in very many Muslim states; no doubt.

    And if you notice, Mr. Unknown-Unknons uses the word “Christian” like an insult.

    The fact, however, remians that the Quran never uses the word “Masookh” in describing Sabean, Judaic, Christain, and Zoroastrian religions; the foundations for ecumenism in Islam are already present in the Quran.

    I imagine even this statement will get one killed in many Muslim-majority countries.

    In regards to the Catholic and Orthodox Churches – they relaized 800 years ago that there is no margin in a war against Islam – they are not against Islam. It is the Protestants that are opposed to Islam; those in Europe because they believe religion is a relic for benighted fools and those in US and Canada because of their zeal for Israel and their belief in the superioroty of their “Rational” religion.

    [The last time I read of a claim to rational religion was a tract by a Zorastrian in post-Arab invasion Iran (7-th century I think); enumerating all the rational ways in which Din Behi was superior to Islam.]

  50. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    fyi,

    For the record…the hadith says that the language of paradise is Arabic…for the record.

    Again, I think translating Arabic and Farsi wisdom into German would be a greater cause of glory…in this world and the next.

    Most health authorities around the world disagree with you- including most Asian countries- if you had looked at the chart you would see that it is China, the Koreas and the Phillippines where there is a statutory ban. No such thing in your beloved Japan- first cousin marriages allowed. Deal with it.

    Also I told you before, avoid giving fatwas because you don’t have the qualifications.

    Unfortunately you “imagine” many things that have no bearing on reality- and you might be able to impress young impressionable people (are you paying attention Smith) but the fact remains that neither Islam, Muslims nor the Islamic Republic are as limited as you portray them nor are you and your heroes as enlightened as you “imagine”

    The west- secular, Catholic, Protestant- liberal imperialism, trinity, von Balthasar, Ratzinger and people like James Baker, are the past and are rapidly dying.

    The Islam of Ahlul Bayt, the Islamic Republic of Iran, religious democracy as practiced impressively by the Islamic Republic, local development models and liberation are the future.

    You are a dying breed. You might want to consider retirement in the old mother country. Your dollar pension goes a long way in “backwards” Iran.

    At some point you decided to through in your lot with the US and people like James Baker and I decided to through in my lot with the Islamic Republic of Iran and Imam Khomeini (ra). We both have to live with consequences of this decision in this world and the next.

    I made the better decision.

  51. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    fyi,

    I don’t think you even begin to understand what I wrote about “logos”, “the word of God” the final revelation, Jesus, trinity and the fact that this “logos” is nothing other than the root of “logic” and rationalism.

    I’m afraid those opinions formed many decades ago in your “imagination” are too deeply rooted for there to be any hope of flexibility.

    Because I am well-read in many religions and philosophies in various languages and not “limited” in my thinking like you, I can begin to understand the Beauty of the Beautiful. The same God who cares for you and me and but who also leaves those you give up hope in Him to fend for themselves. I doubt it’s working for you.

    Read al-Mizan and let Allamah Tabatabai explain to you that the way that Allah (swt) leads his enemies astray is by letting them think that by batel methods they can reach haq. And they keep trying and it never works. Spend a little time reflecting on this.

  52. fyi says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says:

    July 30, 2013 at 10:24 am

    I am familiar with all of that but I did not find any relevance in your allusions and references to the current argument, viz: study what alien people have produced in every field of human endeavour.

  53. fyi says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says:

    July 30, 2013 at 10:10 am

    Well if you have made the better decisions; then why are you so antsy about them?

  54. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    fyi wrote:

    [The last time I read of a claim to rational religion was a tract by a Zorastrian in post-Arab invasion Iran (7-th century I think); enumerating all the rational ways in which Din Behi was superior to Islam.]

    For the record- if you want to see cousin-inbreeding in full action- look at the Zoroastrian community.

  55. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    fyi,

    Who is antsy? Another of those things you “imagine”.

  56. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    fyi,

    You don’t seem to get it through your head that the west is not “alien” to me. Do you get that?

  57. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    fyi,

    I’ve traveled the world, lived and worked with people of all religions and ethnic backgrounds and after all that have come to the “rational” realization that the Truth is the Islam as taught by the Ahlul Bayt of the of the Final Prophet of God and everything else is illusion and delusion.

    Apparently who have a mental barrier to understanding this. Whether you agree or disagree with my realization is irrelevant. Get it?

  58. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Smith-san:

    I appreciate your concern; however, it is misplaced. Had I pronounced kofr on fyi, (and were this the real world rather than an anonymous virtual chat room), you would be correct, of course. But I did not, and this isn’t real by any stretch of the imagination.

    All I am concerned about is lexical hygiene. People nowadays think that they are considered Moslem by the Moslem community just because they so self-identify. This is not the case, and never has been. There are a set of beliefs that are necessary for membership. (These are called osul-e din, whose acceptance leads to certain takaalif, aka foru’-e din.) If this was the real world, and fyi was a public figure in the abode of Islam (daar ol-eslam, say, in Iran) and he carried out the way he does, and I said what I said to him in a public forum, that would not in any way, be considered a pronunciation of kofr. What it would be is an admonition, and a reminder that Moslems do not think the way you do, etc. If, having been informed of the error of his ways, with proofs, and with the support of the olama, he continued to maintain said views, then and only then would takfir be pronounced on him (and only by someone qualified to do so). Our religion is the middle way: neither the way of the trigger happy degenerate takfiris, nor the “I’m OK; you’re OK” way of the Left Coast Marin County idiots.

    One cannot have a community without commonly held core beliefs. That is the basic fallacy of those who believe pluralism can be established by secularizing society. It can, but what you have left is no longer a society, but a grotesque caricature of one; a pseudo-society. The impetus against the sanctity of first principles is a post-Christian Western over-compensation against the autocracy of the Catholic Church of the Middle Ages.

  59. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    fyi,

    Maybe Mr. Savari should have speculated that part of the problem with cousin inbreeding in Isfahan region goes back to maintaining the Zoroastrian preference for cousin marriages as opposed Islam which doesn’t prohibit them but also doesn’t positively encourage them.

    Cousin marriage in the Mid East is a cultural phenomenon to protect family wealth in unstable political-legal conditions and to protect so-called “racial” purity, not a religious or Islamic matter.

    The problems of generational cousin marriages in Iran are rooted in pre-Islamic Zoroastrian racial culture and adherence to Islam liberated us form these things.

    There would be no “Iranians” left if we had remained Zoroastrian. Thank God the Arabs came and refreshed the gene pool.

    What I just did is called “suggesting a theory” which can now be discussed by academics using various methodologies and as real “academic”- not an armchair one- I am very happy to be proven wrong. Get it?

  60. fyi says:

    Unknown Unknowns says:

    July 30, 2013 at 10:44 am

    I believe that everyone is a Muslim, in particular those who profess the truths of the Torah, the Gospels, the Quran, or follow the traditions of Zoroaster and the Elders of Sabeans.

    [If Abu Sofyan was a Muslim, so is everyone else.]

    That is all that is needed; men are born and die as isloated individuals; the Community has no intrinsic spiritual or moral claim or authority on them; as amply demonstrated through Prophetic Traditions.

    Only God can judge Men – for only He can see through their hearts.

    And do not waste my time and others by bringing up the Ulema and their approvals; the Ulema of Bukhara and Samarkhand for centuries maintained that Iranians were Rafezis and non-Mulsims and raided Khorasan for booty and slaves.

    Where they not good Muslims and in good standing within their Muslim Community?

    Earth of Unknow-Unknowns: Come in please. Come in.

  61. nico says:

    Smith,

    By that you surely mean that it is a clash of civilization beteween the ones having the means and the capacity to enter such struggle. With strategic and circumstancial alliances.

    Well I agree with you.

    And it is the very sin of the US to have allowed and set such standard for world management.

  62. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    fyi,

    The status of “khalifatullah” is bestowed by God on Bani Adam conditioned on accepting “risalat”- as individuals AND AS A COMMUNITY (it’s BANI Adam for God’s sake)- not hamin juri.

    God judges- ACCORDING TO A CLEAR STANDARDS- not as you “imagine”. Humans are born and die as individuals AND AS MEMBERS OF COMMUNITIES and as individuals have legal and moral duties and responsibilities- and yes rights- vis-a-vis these communities. Your false and very unfortunate juxtaposition of individual versus community is a result of your western brain-washing.

    Risalat comes in stages and degrees of perfection. The final one is the risalat of Prophet Muhammad (sawas). Those who accept it are “viceregents” of God on earth- again to varying degrees- those that don’t are not, but have degrees of duties, responsibilities and rights such as those who follow the previous revelations, as opposed those who deny God (that would include those who deny Hope in God apparently).

    UU,

    Not Christian…I sense Bahai-esque notions.

  63. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    UU,

    “One cannot have a community without commonly held core beliefs. That is the basic fallacy of those who believe pluralism can be established by secularizing society. It can, but what you have left is no longer a society, but a grotesque caricature of one; a pseudo-society. The impetus against the sanctity of first principles is a post-Christian Western over-compensation against the autocracy of the Catholic Church of the Middle Ages.”

    Dar takide har-fat the other night I was invited for eftar to Park Mellat and then I realized it was midnight and the park was packed with kids running around playing, grandparents sitting on blankets drinking tea etc. in complete safety and security- all types chadori, gherti and I thought: there is not a single effin metropolis on earth that you could see such a thing except for in effin Tehran.

    It was awesome.

    And then I thought in Iran we have a nezam- not just an admin- the political elites across the board- who are dedicated to expanding public healthcare, free education, access to higher education, increasing pensions, increasing R&D- most importantly expanding democratic participation etc. etc. etc. at a time when political elites across the west are dedicated to REDUCING all these. I mean anyone slagging off about Iran in light of this can only be called “khar”.

    When I say that the Islamic Republic of Iran is the future it’s not freakin’ propaganda, it’s real.

  64. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Where do you get the idea that Protestants “oppose Islam”, while Catholics and Orthodox do not?

    Russia would have put an end to the Ottoman Empire in the late 1870s if Protestant Britain had not blocked it.

  65. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    Surel you are aware of the divergence of opinion that exists within the Saudi royal family. On many major issues.

  66. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    China is not “at war with Islam” but of course China does have concerns about Islamic unrest within China. This is one reason China wanted, and wants, a diplomatic resolution of the insurgency in Syria.

  67. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    On what grounds do you base your claim that “the British actually implanted Wahabism on Arab lands”?

    Specific historical facts, please.

  68. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    You state that “the reality is that Iran is peaceful and [Saudi Arabia] know[s] that.”
    True, if you mean the Saudi know they need not fear an attack from Iran, in absence of war in the Gulf. But obviously the Saudis have reason to fear war in the Gulf. Correct?

  69. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    You say that “at this point” there is no difference between Aipa and Oboma, re: US policy in Middle East. My understanding is that Aipac has been pushing for American military intervention in Syria. Obama continues to oppose it.

    On Israel/Palestine, sadly, Aipac indeed is almost dictating Obama’s positions.

  70. James Canning says:

    Pat Buchanan has a great piece this week, calling on Obama to make a deal with Iran. At The American Conservative site.

  71. nico says:

    UU

    “One cannot have a community without commonly held core beliefs. That is the basic fallacy of those who believe pluralism can be established by secularizing society. It can, but what you have left is no longer a society, but a grotesque caricature of one; a pseudo-society. The impetus against the sanctity of first principles is a post-Christian Western over-compensation against the autocracy of the Catholic Church of the Middle Ages.”

    Exactly.
    Everything is then allowed as long as it pleases the god Money.

    The issue is that as a matter of survival a society needs some cohesion.
    The western society are losing all internal cohesion.
    It works as long as such society is opulent.
    But if one day there is economic collapse, obviously such society will turn back to barbarism and social organization as before civilization.

    The second major issue is the total lack of legitimacy of the leadership of such society which could only be non representative are and make the doing of the minority against the majority will and aspiration.

    The third major issue is the destruction of the moral and the cultural guidelines of the majority for the exclusive benefit of the minority. Is that called justice ?

  72. James Canning says:

    Financial Times has good leader today on Israel/Palestine talks to begin talks.

  73. Karl.. says:

    Quite disgusting how EU approve the coup in Egypt and the violence against protesters. If Iran shot 300 protesters dead in the streets, there would be something of an embargo on Iran by this time.

  74. Rd. says:

    “it is a delusion for the United States or other Western countries to think that if somehow you were able to bring down the Assad government, that what replaces it is some secular liberal democracy that wants to be aligned, in its foreign policy, with the West.” 

    اگر خر به جایگاه رفیع و بالایی برسد هم آنجا را خراب می کند و هم خودش را از بین می برد

    Perhaps someone be kind enough to translate Mullah’s experience with his donkey for the FP establishment!.. Please substitute donkey for the takfiris..

     

    یک روز ملا نصر الدین برای تعمیر بام خانه خود مجبور شد، مصالح ساختمانی را بر پشت الاغ بگذارد و به بالای پشت بام ببرد. الاغ هم به سختی از پله ها بالا رفت . ملا مصالح ساختمانی را از دوش الاغ برداشت و سپس الاغ را بطرف پایین هدایت کرد.
    ملا نمی دانست که خر از پله بالا می رود، ولی به هیچ وجه از پله پایین نمی آید. هر کاری کرد الاغ از پله پایین نیآمد. ملا الاغ را رها کرد و به خانه آمد که استراحت کند. در همین موقع دید الاغ دارد روی پشت بام بالا و پایین می پرد. وقتی که دوباره به پشت بام رفت، می خواست الاغ را آرام کند که دید الاغ به هیچ وجه آرام نمی شود. برگشت.
    بعد از مدتی متوجه شد که سقف اتاق خراب شده و پاهای الاغ از سقف چوبی آویزان شده، و سرانجام الاغ از سقف به زمین افتاد و مرد!
    ملا نصر الدین با خود گفت لعنت بر من که نمی دانستم اگر خر به جایگاه رفیع و بالایی برسد هم آنجا را خراب می کند و هم خودش را از بین می برد

  75. nico says:

    BiBiJon says:July 29, 2013 at 5:32 pm
    “And I’m sure various other hatchet burying experts shall be appointed on both sides.”

    Sure and the US will explain to the world that the secundary sanctions were just jokes.
    From the very start the US were after Iran demise.

    Should the US accept Iran current standing with its phere of influence AND cancel the unilateral sanctions it would be seen as a HUGE geopolitical defeat for the US.

    And it would actually be.

    That will never happen.

  76. fyi says:

    nico says:

    July 30, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    “One cannot have a community without commonly held core beliefs.”

    And the core belief of one of these communities was that it was quite acceptable to sell the defeated Hazara into slavery.

    And clearly it is a core belief of a similar community that makes it acceptable to murder the Shia all over Pakistan.

    It is not the Sikhs, the Europeans, the Americans, the Hindus, the Zoroastrians, the Jews, the Christians, the Alevis, the Druze, the Sabeans, the Baha’ai, or the Ahmadis that are doing the killing.

    It is a Community of Believers and their Ulema.

    Enough siad.

  77. nico says:

    fyi says:
    July 30, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    Sophistic arguments.
    There is no direct logical link between community cohesion and the community belief.
    Actually you can approve cohesion and criticize beliefs. And vice versa.

    You are losing your sense and your usually brilliant anlytical mind.
    It seems this question of minority is a real pain in your soul and your flesh.

  78. BiBiJon says:

    nico says:
    July 30, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    Frankly, I have no idea what will happen. But, whatever happens, the least of the problems is “explaining” things.

    Here is a possibility:

    Back channel talks convinced both sides to get philosophical. Namely: He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.

    I don’t mean to overstress, but choosing Hagel and Kerry and jettisoning Russ, and bringing in Dobbins when Obama could have chosen from gazillions of the we’ll-totally-obliterate-them types from the ‘sheqeled’ class may have been the belated response to “you change and we’ll change too.” Just last week, 130+ congressmen signed a letter against the express wishes of AIPAC a few days after Netanyahu had made a sequeled spectacle of himself on CBS.

    Not bad going, considering Rouhani hasn’t been sworn in yet.

    You, being a peace-skeptic, would do a more realistic job than me fleshing out what a deal might look like. Have at it, for fun.

  79. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    It is in the best interests of the US is make a deal with Iran, if one is possible. Neocons and other fanatical supporters of Israel would try to portray the deal as damaging to the US. Even if it was not.

  80. James Canning says:

    Rd.,

    I think Obama’s top general made that same point recently. Who knows what would happen if Assad is overthrown as result of western military intervention.

  81. James Canning says:

    Idiot Republicans in the US Congress are doing their best to prevent Obama from improving relations with Iran. What a surprise.

  82. James Canning says:

    New York Times story on Palestinian peace talks falsely claims the Palestinians are not willing to make the concessions necessary to achieve a deal. They are. Netanyahu is not.

  83. nico says:

    BiBiJon says:
    July 30, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    On the question of what might happen, my take is that fyi has it right.

    The current course of action and escalation from the US and axis power with Iran only lead to war eventually.
    Iran has stated at various occasions that it is ready to go to such extremity if needed to defend its policies and principles.
    And the kind of embargo being implemented by the US would at some point trigger an exponential escalation leading to war.
    And we are near this point as the embargo laws implemented by the US are reaching an unacceptable level.

    As Iran and the US reached this stage in their relation it is not for one of the parties to just withdraw its claims and say to the other side. Well I was just bluffing, actually it was a joke, or something of the kind…
    If I am wrong, then It would mean that one party has achieved victory and the other is gobally defeated.
    But I am not seeing it likely while the position are still radically opposed on many major issues.

    In the other hand, war is not without consequences and is not desirable for either party as I understand it.
    The US are financially broken and Iran could trully ruin the ME oil flaw for a while.
    And Iran surely do not want to receive all the US might on its head.
    Plus China and Russia standing at the corner stating that that would start WWIII.

    The only way out on a short term basis is to strike a truly minimal deal concerning the nuclear subject in order to avoid the final escalation to war and trumpet/spin it as a “grand bargain” while it is not.

    However the strategic competition between the paties in the ME is likely to continue in many other fronts and aspects with the major portion of the “sanctions” still in place.

  84. masoud says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says:
    July 30, 2013 at 8:57 am

    Salehi is just about the best foreign minister Iran has had in the past thirty years. His words are of course a bit to conciliatory and diplomatic for my taste, but that is what foreign ministers are supposed to sound like.

    I really wish Rohani would keep him, but if he brings Zarif in I have no qualms either. He is an incredibly impressive speaker, and quite plainly very intelligent. It’s clear he’s worked his way to the top, and wasn’t simply awarded his various posts by virtue of his personal connections.

    As for the rest of the cabinet, I’m bracing myself for a bout of deep depression.

    The conservative leadership in the Majles won’t dare go half as far in obstructing Rohani as they went in obstructing Ahmadinejad.

  85. fyi says:

    nico says:
    July 30, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    This is correct.

    The miscalculation of Iranians was that they thought they could settle their differences with US.

    The miscalculation of Americans was that they thought they could coerce Iranians to settle on their terms quickly; they did not plan on a long hard slug against Iran.

  86. fyi says:

    masoud says:
    July 30, 2013 at 8:19 pm

    They were obstructing Mr. Ahmadinejad out of envy, malice, and his efforts to cut their access to public trough.

    The so-called conservatives were just another group whose privileges he had tried to eliminate.

    There was no ideology or conviction behind their positions against Mr. Ahmadinejad.

  87. Sineva says:

    James Canning says:
    July 30, 2013 at 1:55 pm
    He doesnt do a particularly vigorous job of opposing it tho` does he?,indeed hes done everything short of military action and here hes made plenty of threats about that as well and considering the usraeli/nato history of aggression in the region over the past decade one would be incredibly foolish to take such “all options on the table” threats with anything less than great concern and deadly seriousness
    Sadly Aipac has always dictated americas position much to americas cost regionally and in the wider world

  88. Persian Gulf says:

    fyi

    You might be right about the marriage of first cousins generating problems. however I don’t think it can be prevented legally. it would be good to advertise against it or make it Makrooh and not Haram as you just mentioned.

    I also think a similar study in villages in northern part of Iran, with high rate of this sort of marriages, could potentially show the same results as well. it might not be just about birth defections like down syndrome, rather a lower level of IQ (whatever that means) too. I have seen first hand that even extended families with marriages within the same blood line (not just the first cousins) produced children that seem to be, generally speaking, behind in experimental sciences and math. whether that particular aspect of human ability can be considered a defection is not clear to me.

    Logically, if you go that way “intelligence” would only means finding a way to survive in order to pass the the genes. and if by this sort of marriages they are just doing that, then it would not be considered a defection.

    I remember, years ago we used to make joke with my siblings that kids with both parents as “seyed”, within a close family circle, are often dull! Whether that was an accurate judgment, or just based on anecdotal data out of self proclaimed ingenuity, I am not sure now :)

    On the other hand, there is a question here. probably the U.S and Canada are the regions with huge diversity of non-related marriages. can current scientific data show these regions have the lowest birth defections, or have one of the highest IQ level (excluding environmental and nourishment effects)? I am curious to know.

    At the end of the day, it seems only cultural stigma, attained through community involvement, mostly prevented certain types of affections between human species from being an acceptable contract.

  89. masoud says:

    Persian Gulf says:
    July 30, 2013 at 11:14 pm

    Albert Einstein was the product of such a bloodline. His second wife was both his maternal and paternal cousin.

  90. Smith says:

    “I also think a similar study in villages in northern part of Iran, with high rate of this sort of marriages, could potentially show the same results as well. it might not be just about birth defections like down syndrome…”

    The etiology of down syndrome is the age of the mother at the time of conception. This is the single most important indicator. For instance a mother at the age of 24 has less than one in 20,000 chances of conceiving a down syndrome child while a mother at 42 would have a probability of one in just 20. It has not much to do with first cousin marriage. The age of mother determines it.

    The first cousin marriage is genetically speaking a poor choice. Islam itself promotes the idea of a healthy marriage and marrying far. First cousin marriages in Iran should be discouraged by cultural engineering of the society in which religious leaders would have to play exceedingly important role. But legal restrictions are not needed nor it should be developed into a taboo. There is no taboo in Islam except that codified. If love is there, then that’s it.

    It would be better for the government to provide free genetic counselling/screening to all perspective couples both before and after marriage (regardless of first cousin or not) as unfortunately Iran has quite high incidence of genetic anomalies. And even more important is investment in maternal/child health. Despite having achieved alot, Iran still lags behind in these areas.

    Building an equitable universal health care system is much more important than worrying about first cousin marriages. Today upto two third of Iranian health care is being provided on the “out of pocket” basis, which is the worst kind of health care system and Iran today “proudly” owns such a system. A country that has one of the highest DALY rates for psychiatric illnesses, oral diseases and cardiovascular ailments in the world needs to concentrate more on fixing its broken health care system than on banning a certain type of marriage. Iran also has the distinction of having the highest number of lost healthy years for females and second highest number of lost healthy years for males. The first cousin marriage “problem” by comparison is an insignificant triviality.

    IQ is a very crude measurement of intellectual capability of humans. It is not to be made an ultimate benchmark. Better would be to invest in education (real education and not fake universities which are springing up left and right in Iran). There is much Iran can learn from German education system, the German technical apprenticeship system and the German talent harvesting. Iran does not need first cousin marriage bans. Iran needs an equivalent of deutscher werkbund. Alas, bigots are managing the country and the few who want to really work and take things forward are chastised and ridiculed (eg. the corrupt Majles opposing Ahmadinejad at every turn).

  91. Smith says:

    Unknown Unknowns says:
    July 30, 2013 at 10:44 am

    I assume that you are not a Marja. And if you are not then you need permission of a Marja for the things you have said eg. with regard to it being ok to drop in kufr fatwas like beans in a “lexical hygiene” way; or accusing some one else being a crypto-this/that. I do not think Islam takes a light view of virtual world. Your deeds in virtual world are still deeds and can be judged in this world and will be judged in next. Finally, your view of who being a Muslim is also deeply flawed and is dangerously close to core wahabi beliefs. I suggest you contact a Marja and clarify with him over these issues.

    PS. I have personally nothing against Wahabism. So if you are a Wahabi, then it is ok. I have no more arguments with you in that case.

  92. masoud says:

    fyi says:
    July 30, 2013 at 10:07 pm

    That’s exactly it. The fossil’s being recycled into government currently have gotten their hands on enough public graft to be able to fend off the faction currently ruling in the Majlis. In the end, they’ll learn to get along. They’re really not all that different.

    This cousin thing you’re harping on is a little stupid though. I think this kind of marriage wasn’t taboo anywhere in the world until about a hundred and fifty years ago, and most of the world likely doesn’t consider it taboo to this very day. There are some marital laws in the world that are much more vexing. Talmudic law allows a man to marry his orphaned niece(btw Israeli family law is 100% in the hands of the Rabbinic establishment), in India they have weird rules governed by the patrilineal ‘Gotra’ one belongs to etc, etc…

    Actually, it’s kind of funny to think about how some of the same champions of the idea of expanding marriage to include same sex unions, counter to all human experience up until the late 20th century, in the name of personal freedoms, have nothing to say on the non recognition, and even criminalization of these types of unions in western jurisdictions. It’s all fluff and fashion, rather than human rights or science.

  93. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    July 30, 2013 at 9:33 am

    You’re welcome. Unfortunately the decadence of Muslim polities after centuries of corruption have brought them to this state of affairs. I have come to view that only science can save these savages. There is really no other way. You see when Islam came to Iran, there was already a rich tradition of knowledge in the country, which remains to this day. Then they started to translate the polytheists philosophy books of Greeks and taking pride in them (actually those translated works are still part of curriculum of religious studies in Iran required for becoming a Shia scholar). Humans have to learn from each other. Those who do not are condemned to die in infamy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhXsK1ZxWDM

  94. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Nico says: “Everything is then allowed as long as it pleases the god Money.”

    Yes, money becomes the new magesterium, which is exactly how the Rothchilds and thier minions like it (and planned it).

    Smith:
    You are probably out of your depths when you are talking about ejtehad and marja’iat. As far as your not having any problems with Wahhabism, well, all I can do is to repeat the words of Ross Perot: “It’s just sad.”

  95. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    July 30, 2013 at 10:07 pm

    Very much true. I believe Ahamdinejad when he says that his government has been the most corruption free in history (of Iran). Iranian Majles has been corrupt since its early foundation even before the revolution. I have personally witnessed bribe taking by members of Majles/Judiciary/City councils and Shahrdaris. In fact corruption is much more pervasive today in Iran than it ever was during the past one century. In a country where they claim to care about Karbala and the thirst, you will not be able to ever get your water connection from shahrdari in Tehran without paying bribes. All these people had ganged up on Ahmadinejad. It was not about greenies, reformists, principalists and conservatives. They were all the same. They were all anti-Ahmadinejad because he was the only un-corrupted amongst them.

  96. Smith says:

    Unknown Unknowns says:
    July 31, 2013 at 1:12 am

    Yes, it is sad. You transgressed. You know it. But the pride (Takabbor) is preventing you from self criticism and self correction. A common anomaly in Islamic countries. Marjas are there to guide you and there would be no shame for you to seek their guidance. Shame is when you try to take the matters in your hand and going ad hominem with me, over the matter.

  97. Smith says:

    In the news: US to pass complete blanket sanctions against Iran today.

    It should be an eye opener for those who still think that a “deal” (read capitulation) is possible.

    Iran has been left with no choice but to start mass production of nuclear weapons and long range missiles targeting England on five minute red alert. Iran should make sure that the weapons are Salted Nuclear Weapons with long life radioactivity eg. nickel. That way, there will be no life left whatsoever in England for tens of thousands of years into the future if any mistake is made with regard to Iran. Any small mistake from that point onward would mean that England would become truly sterilized of any biological form and will remain so till the year 992013.

  98. Neo says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says: July 30, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    “… in Iran we have a nezam… dedicated to expanding public healthcare, free education, access to higher education, increasing pensions, increasing R&D- most importantly expanding democratic participation… When I say that the Islamic Republic of Iran is the future it’s not freakin’ propaganda, it’s real.”

    B-i-B jan,

    None of those ideas or actions of Iran are new. So what qualifies Iran as the ‘future’? It would be fair to say that Iran has learned from the lessons of others and is implementing some of them. China, Indonesia, Liberia and Brazil are doing pretty much the same. Costa Rica is light years ahead already. Iran is doing well. But how special or different is she?

  99. Neo says:

    UU jan,

    you state: “One cannot have a community without commonly held core beliefs.”

    Your statement sounds like a truism, but I doubt its veracity, at least in the way it is presented.

    If we accept that the ‘community’ is stronger with more deeply held core beliefs, are we then not saying that the strongest community is the one that approximates unity of purpose the best? Isn’t this quite similar to US and North Korean models, both of which operate on the basis of propaganda and brainwashing their citizens?

    Could it be that the stronger these unifying beliefs, the more likely it is for a community to implode or rot?

    When you look at the results, what is their advantage in truth?

    The North Korean god is a man.

    The American god is power.

    The Iranian god is a mullah speaking on behalf of an imaginary ‘being’.

    All are false constructs designed to control. Some work better than others.

    For a community to last, wouldn’t it be better for there to be a heterogeneous set of beliefs that help to bring a balance within a dynamic system that is rife with seeming contradictions? Wouldn’t excessive coherence be self-defeating?

  100. BiBiJon says:

    Hasbara alert
    ============

    Smith says:
    July 31, 2013 at 3:48 am

  101. fyi says:

    Smith says:

    July 31, 2013 at 12:33 am

    I believe that at Isphahan University, Dr. Sarvari and his team were providing genetic counseling.

    I think it became defunct later on.

  102. fyi says:

    masoud says:

    July 31, 2013 at 12:54 am

    The point I was making about the consanguineal marriages was that the Dcotors of Religious Sciences could play a positive role here by declaring them to be “makrooh”.

  103. BiBiJon says:

    fyi says:
    July 31, 2013 at 9:36 am

    Yes. And, perhaps with a little forethought those same Drs. of R will not consign tens of thousands to be regarded as born to a makrooh relationship and stay out of the clash of science and culture.

  104. Karl.. says:

    This is the buddies Obama think are competent for solving issues of the middle east..

    http://news.yahoo.com/obama-asks-graham-mccain-travel-egypt-201459214.html

  105. BiBiJon says:

    Plagiarizing is worse than a sin, it is unoriginal
    ================================================

    Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri is talking off somebody else’s teleprompter.

    http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/07/31/qaeda-chief-says-syria-exposed-hezbollah-as-iran-tool/

  106. Empty says:

    fyi,

    RE: The point I was making about the consanguineal marriages was that the Dcotors of Religious Sciences could play a positive role here by declaring them to be “makrooh”.

    I think you’ve made a mistake (out of lack of information) and a big deal out of something that has been addressed. It would have been good to have researched this first before making the assertion you made. Here is some information:

    1. Several “foqaha” including Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi has pronounced marriage among close relatives “makroh”. They reference a hadith from the Prophet and a hadith from Imam Ja’far Sadeq as follows:

    a. Hadith from Prophet Mohammad: “با غریبه ازدواج کنید تا فرزند ضعیف نیاورید.” [translation/interpretation: “Marry strangers so that your offsprings are not weak.”
    Source: ابن اثیر، النّهایة، ج ۳، ص ۱۰۶؛ المَجازات النّبویة، شریف رضی، ص ۹۲؛ ابن منظور، محمد بن مکرم ، لسان العرب، ج ‏۱۴، ص ۴۸۹٫

    b. Hadith from Imam Ja’far Sadeq: “با خویشان ازدواج نکنید چرا که فرزند ضعیف پدید می آید.” [translation/interpretation: “Do not marry relatives since weak offsprings are produced.” Source: لسان العرب، ج ‏۱، ص ۶۳۹؛ شهید ثانی، مسالک الأفهام، ج ۲، ص ۳۸؛ فیض کاشانی، المَحجَّة البَیضاء، ج ۳، ص ۹۴٫٫

    And last but not least, marriage with close relatives are pronouced “makroh” accoring to several Faqih including Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi. It is therefore, the policy of Iran and ministry of health to advise the couples of this “kerahat”. Please see: به بهداشت و تنظیم خانواده، تهران: اداره کل بهداشت عمومی و پیشگیری (وزارت بهداشت)، ۱۳۷۳، ص ۱۲۱ (پاسخ ایة الله ناصر مکارم شیرازی به پرسش دانشکده علوم پزشکی ایلام).

    To all others involved in the conversation,

    Before rushing to respond, it’s useful to first check to see if the assertions made is true or false. In this case, a simple investigation would have made it clear that fyi was misinformed.

  107. Empty says:

    fyi,

    Please note the date for such inquiry was approximately 19 years ago. It is a policy implemented in all houses of health across Iran and in marriage counseling series.

  108. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    Are you working for the neocons in Washington?

  109. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    Aipac tries to dictate American policy in the Middle East. Tries.

    Obama’s top general says the US cannot know in advance who would emerge in control of Syria, in event of military intervention.

    Aipac’s apparent effort to force Obama to intervene in Syria has not succeeded. As yet.

  110. James Canning says:

    David Gardner in today’s Financial Times has excellent analysis of Israel/Palestine situation.

  111. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Obama’s own people have conceded, in effect, that political cowardice on Obama’s part prevented him from allowing a better offer to Iran from the P5+1, prior to the 2012 elections in the US.

    Now, of course, idiot Republicans in the House of Representatives want to block any improvement in America’s relations with Iran. Numerous stooges of Aipac among the Democrats does not help the situation.

  112. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    Isn’t the reaql risk simply that Iran continues to get closer to ability to build nukes quickly, because as you suggest strongly, not to do so would involve too great a loss of prestige?

  113. fyi says:

    Empty says:

    July 31, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    Thank you for your comments and the information therein.

    I was not mis-informed; I was un-informed of the developments since 1376 when the book by Dr. Sarvari was published.

    I am pleased to learn that not all Doctors of Religious Scienes of Islam have been sleep at the wheel.

    There is yet hope for future and better days.

  114. Empty says:

    fyi,

    The pollicy was implemented in 1373. That is 3 years prior to the publication of the book by Dr. Sarvari. Then, he should have done a better and more thorough job researching his topic. Generally, given that most books become dated and some information therein obsolete as soon as they are published (due to a lag time in publishing the book), it would not be unusual to see some inaccurate info at the time a book is published. However, 3 years is simply too much of a lag time for him not to have made corrections right before publication especially on a subject that constituted the crux of his findings. Eventhough, I do not know enough details to see how/if such oversight might have occured.

  115. Empty says:

    Even so, rather….

  116. BiBiJon says:

    nico says:
    July 30, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    I am familiar with fyi’s take on continued animosity, cold war, etc which I think is descriptive, not prescriptive.

    However, t a point when two adversaries realize their continued mutual belligerence is unlikely to defeat decisively the other, and each is suffering the indirect harm of their mutual enemies/rivals benefiting from their continued hostilities, they may well seek alternatives. If indeed Iran, and the US have reached such a point, then on Iran’s part at least, not to allow for peace is strictly unislamic.

    As far as I understand, fyi suggests there may be no alternatives because of irrational/emotional/religious attachments and/or policy momentum, and the like. Again, I think he is being descriptive. He is not saying that is how it should be.

    So, I ask you as a peace-skeptic, what prizes, guarantees, etc do you suppose will suffice for both sides to give it a rest for a while?

  117. James Canning says:

    Karl..

    Obama has not been following the advice of Lindsey Graham and John McCain, regardomg wau forward in Syria. But Obama naturally wants political cover for situation in Egypt.

  118. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    I think you are aware much of the hostility in US Congress toward Iran has almost EVERYTHING to do with Israel and the Israel lobby.

    Do most of the members of the Congress expect to “defeat” Iran? I doubt it.

  119. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Smith san:

    No, I did not transgress. I just call ’em as I see ’em. fyi’s world view, core beliefs and values are not only Christian, but Protestant Christian, which, some would say, is just another form of Jewishness in that it is a rebellion against God’s velayat and shariat. And as I also believe he is a classic closet case, I just thought I’d do him the favor and try to tweak him out of the closet. If, in your view, that is kofr and takfir, then in my humbling opinion, you should go back and take the Takfir 101 course in fyi’s soon to be endowed university. Perhaps you will cross paths with him in the corridor when he is going into and coming out of Aqida 101.

    Neo-ji: The short answer is no, and it has to do with, as you rightly state, semantics. The issue is definitional and revolves around the question as how best to define community. I define it as a collectivity of persons who have not just an ethos, but a telos, a common purpose. If you define community as non-purposive *at the community level*, as do the Sunnis and the Protestants and secular humanists, all of whom believe in the separation of church and state, then yes, that separation can indeed obtain. But if you have a deeper *moral vision* and believe with the Catholics and Shi’a that the community is sacred and purposive, then you do not and cannot believe in such separation (which is seen as nothing short of schizophrenic), and believe that in order to effect and maintain such sacred dominion (welaya), you need an archon (guardian; wali), and a magesterium (feqahat) which he is to enforce.

    The failure to achieve sacred consensus which dooms the denizens of said communities to tyranny is a result of their flawed and refractory moral vision. Ka-fa-ra means to cover up. These retrogrades fail to appreciate (= cover up) God’s Welaya. Verily they are foolish and unjust (33:72).

    http://www.islamawakened.com/quran/33/..%5C33%5C72%5Cdefault.htm

  120. nico says:

    Neo says:
    July 31, 2013 at 5:06 am

    The core issue is that a secular state does absolutely not equal freedom of conscience for evryone.
    Ineed, it equals to no spirituality for all.

    Actually the only process of regulation in such state is by the lesser commonality between minorities.
    The action is thus in effect a global weakening of spirituality and common decency as well as money becoming the major social link and regulation tool.

    It creates inequality in access to power. Money and minorities holding money set the social standard.
    Is that justice ? Does it not violate the people in their social organization structure and reference ?

    Does equality for in a secular state the same as inquality imposed to the majority ?

    As you comparison with communism. Please, please, please…. It really sounds like a sophism.
    The model has proven to be a failure.
    The true debate is between western liberal secularism and the IR model.

    As for your point about brainwashing.
    It first depends if you have values. What do you believe in ?
    It is not because values or spinned, used, diverted and distorted that it is unimportant.
    And secondly it depends on the congruence of the preached state values and what is really applied.
    At some point truth, justice and reality on the ground is of the essence.

    It is also the meaning of soft power.
    Which model appeal most.
    But also which one is true, just and real.

    Now tell me if the western style is what you are preaching as for the model for international relation ?
    Regarding the western style for domestic organization. My take is that that is much related to western opulence.
    Should we compare Greek domestic organization with the one say in Qatar ?
    Would you rather be a Qatari citizen or a Greek ?

    And again fo not spare your time by listing countries like KSA.
    The subject is the Iranian model and universality against the US one.

  121. nico says:

    James Canning says:
    July 31, 2013 at 1:11 pm
    “Nico,Isn’t the reaql risk simply that Iran continues to get closer to ability to build nukes quickly, because as you suggest strongly, not to do so would involve too great a loss of prestige?”

    You are clueless.

  122. BiBiJon says:

    From http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Central_Asia/CEN-01-260713.html

    by the one and only M K Bhadrakumar

    Suffice to say, there is a complex backdrop to the latest Russian initiative to mend fences with Iran. Russia’s dalliance with the “reset” hurt Iran immensely at a time when it needed all the friendships it could count on to ward off the relentless pressure from the US. But at the end of it all, Iran survived.

    A military attack on Iran is no longer conceivable except at enormous costs and mammoth risks to regional scale and the high probability is that the US-Iran standoff is lending itself to negotiations.

  123. nico says:

    BiBiJon says:

    The issue is that the US have nukes and the apartheid state as well.
    They are the both committing crimes and waging countless wars in the region.
    The US have also countless military bases around Iran and around the world.
    The US are threatening and embargoing Iran.

    That being said, now you tell me what should be done to get peace.

    My take is that to get a lasting peace the US needs to stop their imperial neocolonial clash of civilization policies and cut their Army by three folds.

    Simple, isn’t it ?

  124. Rehmat says:

    “At issue is Syria, Hizbullah, Iran and Hamas. Israel wants all regional rivals removed. It’s part of its Greater Middle East agenda. It’s willing to wage regional war,” says Stephen Lendman, an American Jewish writer, June 24, 2013.

    Last month, French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius, warned the western powers that the recent military gains by the Syrian military loyal to Bashar al-Assad should be stopped before reaching the province of Aleppo, part of which is controlled by western-armed rebels….

    http://rehmat1.com/2013/06/25/israel-is-losing-in-syria/

  125. BiBiJon says:

    nico says:
    July 31, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    Godd start.

    “US needs to stop their imperial neocolonial clash of civilization policies and cut their Army by three folds.”

    Would another Cairo speech help with the clash? Or, something more concrete?

    Is your proposed cut in military forces/bases regional or global? Can the draw down in Afghanistan, exit from Iraq count towards the final cut?

  126. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    What “policies and principles” do you think Iran is willing to risk war to defend? Enriching to 5%?

  127. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    Bhadrakumar claims Russia “understands” that the Iranian nuclear dispute has “nothing to do with” a Middle East free of nukes? Wrong.

    And Stalin was in Tehran in 1943. Which he of course knows.

  128. Rd. says:

    From the saker;

    Sad state of the Palestinian issue and a great description on why US is the great Satan.

    “At this point in time both Fatah and Hamas are de-facto controlled financially by the Gulf States and politically by the USA. Worse, Abbas – who is supposed to represent the Palestinian people – has *zero* legitimacy (his mandate has long expired). Egypt, which had the potential of being a crucial ally for the Palestinians is busy sliding into a civil war in which both sides are skillfully manipulated by the same Gulf States and the USA. King Abdullah II of Jordan is a total US lackey and nobody in the wider Arab or Muslim world will do anything meaningful to help the Palestinians. As for those who could have meaningfully support the Palestinians (Iran, Syria and Hezbollah), the Palestinians have back-stabbed them (I think of Hezbollah and Iranian trained Palestinian units fighting on the side of al-Qaeda/al-Nusra in Syria).”

    http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/debunking-nonsense-about-upcoming-final.html

  129. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Special appearance…

    The EU’s Anti-Hezbollah Move
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/07/31/the-eus-anti-hezbollah-move/

    “Minister Fneish reiterated Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah’s statement that the European decision will provide Israel with political cover for any future attack on Lebanon…”

    Which is why it was done – preparation for the upcoming attack by the US and NATO and Israel on Hizballah…

  130. nico says:

    James Canning says:
    July 31, 2013 at 4:03 pm
    “Nico,What “policies and principles” do you think Iran is willing to risk war to defend? Enriching to 5%?”

    5, 10, 20 who cares ?
    That is only PR and posturing to put the nuclear file to rest few years and avoid a direct war in the short term.
    The strategic competition is continuing with pipeline war, sphere of influence, war of attrition etc.
    Short of war, economic collapse, regime change or major geostrategic blow the struggle shall continue in one format or another.

  131. BiBiJon says:

    James Canning says:
    July 31, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    ‘Bhadrakumar claims Russia “understands” that the Iranian nuclear dispute has “nothing to do with” a Middle East free of nukes? Wrong.’

    Yes, James. You’ve been wrong all along. Russians, despite their close nuclear collaboration with Iran for decades have at highest levels declared they have seen no evidence of Iran weaponizing. http://en.rian.ru/russia/20100225/158001835.html

  132. BiBiJon says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    July 31, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    Israel needs political cover to attack Lebanon? Really?

  133. nico says:

    BiBiJon says:
    July 31, 2013 at 3:48 pm
    “Would another Cairo speech help with the clash? Or, something more concrete?”
    The military cut should suffice….

    “Is your proposed cut in military forces/bases regional or global? Can the draw down in Afghanistan, exit from Iraq count towards the final cut?”
    Let’s say the figure should be related to military personnel including non combatant AND contractors AND cia drone masters. All directly associated military personnel.

    That would be a good point to begin with and would be proof of the US change of mindset and macro policies.
    The latter being the most important part of the equation. And the cut the key indicator.

  134. fyi says:

    Mr. Smith:

    Qualitatively, there is nothing that would or could distinguish the positions of Mr. Unknown-Unkowns from those who attack and murder Shias in Iraq, Afghanistan and in Pakistan.

    For those attackers also believe themselves to be organized in a Community of True M(Muslim) Believers and are listening/obeying/conforming to the determinations of their betters – in this case the Sunni Ulema – defending the Faith from assorted un-believing non-Muslims.

    No amount of appeal to the Shia Hawza, the Mojtahids, the Love of Ahl-Al Beit can obfusacte this qualitative identity.

    Now Mr. Unknown-Unknowns is not an ignorant and un-educated man; far from it. He, like Mr. Bussed-in-Basiji have been educated and are – according to their own admissions – are worldly men.

    Yet they cannot stop themselves from arrogating to themselves the Powers of God – only he could Judge the Truth in Men’s Hearts.

    All that education and this what we get.

  135. masoud says:

    Empty says:
    July 31, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    My information was that only repeated consanguineal marriages within the same family were discouraged.
    Is there a specific meaning of the term ‘close relatives’ in your given references, or is this ruling purposely vague?

  136. BiBiJon says:

    nico says:
    July 31, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    O.K. US gives all the military cuts you suggest. What should Iran put on the table?

  137. James Canning says:

    “Western leaders continue chanting democracy’s mantra with breathtaking naivete. They are aided and abetted by the media, especially the grotesque New York Times, whose reporters seem to be on the terrorists’ side, openly rooting against the only man to safeguard Chistians’ rights in the region, President Assad.
    “In the meantime, Israel is building more settlements in Palestine. Go figure.”
    – – Taki, July 30th. (takimag.com)

  138. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    I do not claim Iran is building nukes, or that Russia thinks Iran is building nukes.

  139. BiBiJon says:

    James Canning says:
    July 31, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    “I do not claim Iran is building nukes, or that Russia thinks Iran is building nukes.”

    Excellent.

    Now, lets get to Russia’s attitude towards P5+1.

    “Under the guise of trying to prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction… they are attempting something else entirely and setting different goals — regime change,” news agencies quoted Putin as saying.

    From http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5g_y0o-7d0AwbJW_sneQ84PH46h-A?docId=CNG.19d6a0ac7186c1f2401ff2600eacabbd.21

  140. Persian Gulf says:

    masoud says:
    July 31, 2013 at 12:25 am

    It goes without saying that Einstein was an exceptional case. We are talking about a general trend. if his wife was a relative of him, it would be applied to his kids. well, I know one of his kids is a scientist. I had seen his book in Iran.

  141. Persian Gulf says:

    Smith says:
    July 31, 2013 at 12:33 am

    “The etiology of down syndrome is the age of the mother at the time of conception. This is the single most important indicator. For instance a mother at the age of 24 has less than one in 20,000 chances of conceiving a down syndrome child while a mother at 42 would have a probability of one in just 20. It has not much to do with first cousin marriage. The age of mother determines it.”

    how accurate is this? do you have any credible source(s). I have seen many cases of down syndrome with mother well below 30, even in our family.
    and by this statistics you have provided, I have got to have a genetic test for down syndrome as my mother was about 42 at the time of my birth :)

  142. Persian Gulf says:

    Smith

    and all the down syndrome cases I know of are the results of cousins marriage.

  143. Ataune says:

    fyi says:
    July 31, 2013 at 5:48 pm
    Mr. Smith:
    Qualitatively, there is nothing that would or could distinguish the positions of Mr. Unknown-Unkowns from those who attack and murder Shias in Iraq, Afghanistan and in Pakistan.

    I cannot agree with what you are saying. There is an essential difference between the ones that murder and the ones that debate and argue. You have asserted several times in this blog your belief in One Truth and what Bussed-in-Bassidji and Unknown-unknown are, in my opinion, trying to display is the inconsistency in your system of belief. This has nothing to do with murder, apostasy or inquisition and everything to do with seeking the Truth through debate and argumentation.

  144. Sineva says:

    James Canning says:
    July 31, 2013 at 4:03 pm
    Yes,it also goes by the name of national sovereignty,perhaps you`ve heard of it?,nations have often fought wars to protect and defend it from those who would try and take it from them

  145. fyi says:

    Ataune says:

    July 31, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    They predicate their Truth on the beleif that there exists of some sort of metaphysical religious Truth that inheres in a gathering of like-minded Believers in a Community.

    That is false; religious Truth could only reside in an individual and not a “Community” – an individual is the nexus of all religious Truths – empirically as well as metaphysically.

    As for what you call “murder” – the “Other Community of Believers” would be stating that they were, in fact, waging war against the un-Believers. This has been their argument since the time of Shah Ismail and has not changed. Nor have the Shia been able to come up with a convincing argument to the contrary.

    The only un-assailable position is to accept that every one is a Muslim – to accept that men cannot judge who is or is not a Believer.

    Look, a man goes out and kills another man – no one begins to state that he is no longer is a Muslim. But the Governor of Punjab was murdered for expressing an opinion; that is unacceptable.

  146. kooshy says:

    BiBiJon says:
    July 31, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    I also think absent of an option for another military war in the region both sides will end up to have an eventual accommodation for “a sort” of or an acceptance of a formulated calm or peace. But I argue any western/ US accommodation accepting IRI as an independent actor with legitimate national interest translates to an eventual defeat for the west no matter how and when they spin this. Therefore is the west that’s having hard time to accept the eventual outcome. I think even if Mother Teresa was to be the president of Iran, it would be very difficult for the west to declare peace with Iran but is even more difficult for them to declare war therefore for them in near term an accommodated understanding becomes a necessity and eventual outcome to preserve what will be left of western influence in the region. For the west is kind of like being between the rock and the hard place. Mr. Zarif’s, and or Rowhani’s job will be to play the good cups and provide the west with soft tools to spin the defeat of their policies toward Iran and her allies for their constituencies.

  147. nico says:

    BiBiJon says:
    July 31, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    Do you mean for a short term cease fire ? Or a lasting peace ?

    On the long term basis.
    Has Iran attacked a country ?
    Has Iran an overdized military ?
    Has Iran breached the NPT ?

    It seems to me Iran is already a responsible country internationally speaking.
    The US are the rogue country breaching all international laws in letter and in spirit.
    The US are the agressors. Iran the victim.

    As for the short term my take is that Iran needs to get out of NPT develop nukes and threaten the US to close the SoH if the illegal embargo is not lifted under let’s say 30 days and all the US navy leave the PG.

    Now tell me if the US are trying to impose something to Iran or the other way round ?
    And what does Iran needs to do ?
    Does Iran to submit. Totally. To the US diktats ?

    But you know how diktats usually end up ?
    It end up bad with high possibility of war.

    Clear enough ?

  148. Pirouz says:

    Syria’s Royal Easel
    by Mark Fiore

    (animated political cartoon)

    http://blog.sfgate.com/fiore/2013/07/31/syrias-royal-easel/

  149. Karl.. says:

    So now US created more sanctions.

    http://presstv.com/detail/2013/08/01/316585/us-house-passes-antiiran-sanction-bill/

    Are these people totally incompetent?

  150. Smith says:

    Unknown Unknowns says:
    July 31, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    – I asked for your permission from a Marja’ to declare some one crypto-that. You did not provide it.

    – I suggest you go and live in Pakistan, Afghanistan or even the Anbar province of Iraq for a while to understand how Takfir begins and progresses. It starts exactly like you did. For example it is very common knowledge in “debate” culture of Wahabis that Shias are crypto-jews. And as per them, they have quite good evidence for it too (in the form of “hadiths” and historical “facts”). They have been saying these for decades now if not centuries. Now they massacre Shias, and in their belief, they are helping the Shias to come out of the “closet”. Ideologically I do not see any difference between you and them. And no, they do not need permission from Marja’ too. They believe they are all aql-e-kol themselves.

    – I have debated and seen debates with Wahabis. Therefore I do not think further discussion will have any useful result. Unless of course you want to bring in a Fatwa from a Marja’ giving permission to any one to call some one else a crypto-this or crypto-that. Until that time, this debate is coming to halt.

  151. Sineva says:

    kooshy says:
    August 1, 2013 at 12:03 am
    Its a nice thought but I dont think the west is interested in a face saving way out for itself,the latest round of sanctions shows that the west is fixated on painting every last little piece of that corner it has gotten itself into,it doesnt seem to have a strategy for what to do after that,war perhaps?

  152. Smith says:

    BiBiJon says:
    July 31, 2013 at 8:10 am

    If you think by your ad hominem you can prove that you are smart, then you are mistaken. I forgive you for your ignorance and humbly ask Almighty for your guidance in this holy month (it is a Friday night too). Obviously your kind of bigotry is common. And no, you will never be able to defend Iran with your “girlie” talk. Defense is of two types with regard to Iran’s position vs US. Either it is going to be a Taliban type fight. Or Iran must have nuclear deterrence ready to go in 5 minutes. Any one including you who is against Iran having nuclear weapons for such a deterrence is a traitor to Iran and wants to keep Iran disarmed for the day US attacks; exactly like other nations US has attacked.

  153. Smith says:

    Sineva says:
    August 1, 2013 at 2:49 am

    The only way to peace is for Iran to have nuclear weapons stockpiles. Lots of them.

  154. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    July 31, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    I would not call spending a few years in school or university, an education. Knowing English or even French and German is also not a parameter (lots of ignorant French speak French perfectly). Education is learning the ways of logic being humbled by it. Alas, the majority of these populations even if having studied in best universities of the world, can not bring themselves to respect it. The reason I think, starts with their upbringing during childhood when the strong patriarchy, cultural arrogance and deeply flawed values are forcibly projected onto these kids, damaging them forever. After that, you get people like Jhangavi who could use “logic” brutally to prove to his followers that Shias are crypto-Jew Kafirs. You see, the logic, education and prayer to God does not make these populations more respectful and humble. It rather makes them violent and bloody. They start to demand total submission, violence and destruction as if it was their right and reward for their prayers and “logic”. This is their irony. Their fallacy. They are start to think of themselves as “special people of God”.

  155. Smith says:

    “how accurate is this? do you have any credible source(s).”

    I was quoting estimates from a study done in South Asia (closest to Iran/I do not have data forIran). Down syndrome has been extensively studied. There are tonnes of data on its relation to the age of mother (also available on internet). You can also refer to any standard text book of pediatrics or obstetrics. The main determining factor is the age of the mother. Your personal observations have to be studied and confirmed by larger studies and other scientists before we can take them as science. Down syndrome does happen in younger ages as well unrelated marriages. It is only a matter of probability. Though what you have seen might have been a paradox in your data (eg. in a society where in most children are born to women below 30, then most of down syndrome children would have mothers below 30).

    Down syndrome sufferers, are quite typical with flat mongoloid face, low set ears, webbed neck and almost always lower IQ. It is diagnosed early in childhood. By adulthood, it would be better to worry about other disorders such as klinefelter syndrome.

  156. BiBiJon says:

    Smith says:
    August 1, 2013 at 2:55 am

    Are you posting pearls of wisdom on any other website? Would you mind listing them.

  157. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    July 31, 2013 at 9:34 am

    I am not familiar with Dr. Sarvari or his work so I can not comment on it. What I meant was not about a single genetic counselling. Iran needs to have a country wide, free, accessible and well managed genetic counselling program (actually part of a country wide universal absolutely free health care system). In modern evidence based medicine, the emphasis is on informing the patients so that they can reach truly informed decisions and consent of their own (It is not the duty of a doctor or health provider or the government to decide for them). People should be advised and let form their own personal and individual decisions. Iran does not have such a system right now and there does not seem to be any political will for it too, quite shamefully I might add.

    Iran has quite high incidences of hemophilia and thalassemia (amongst highest in the world). It is possible today to provide genetic counselling and pre-marital screening in order for people to make informed decisions. There was also a movement by Iranian medical community for provision of prenatal screening and medical abortion of the affected fetuses, with prominent medical doctors appealing to doctors of religion for their support. I do not know what came of it, or whether it was nationally implemented. At any rate, Iran’s major concern today is its lack of a universal health care system.

  158. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    July 31, 2013 at 9:34 am

    Also I might add, the corrupted lying culture prevalent in many countries like Iran affects the health care to a significant degree. It is not uncommon for health care providers to lie to their patients. Some times the patient is not even informed of a cancer diagnosis. In lots of settings including during emergencies, the patient’s true conditions are kept “secret”. Compassion is hard to find etc etc etc.

  159. BiBiJon says:

    fyi says:
    July 31, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    “There will be no change.”

    Yes, there will be no change coming from the house of representatives.

    But, they are also easily answered.

    http://tehrantimes.com/politics/109676-5000-new-centrifuges-to-start-operation-ahmadinejad

  160. kooshy says:

    Sineva says:
    August 1, 2013 at 2:49 am

    Why would you think as more time passes and they push themselves further in the corner and as experience in these past ten years has shown “stuff” gets more difficult for them they are more inclined to a hot war? So far experience has shown the trajectory for them is pointed to harder for a military action option and exactly opposite is true for Iran. With regard to west’s exercised Iran policies I believe the west has already lost. Actually as a matter of their 34 years policy on Iran they have ruined their greater Middle Eastern policy and a major chunk of their hegemony. Just like the old famous Iranian proverb “they tried to fix the eyebrows they blinded the eye”. I think the election of Mr. Rowhani can be an opportunity for the west to save the other eye, if they do or not I don’t and can’t predict but I think that now can have more to do with Syria then with Iran’s nuclear policy.

  161. Sineva says:

    The west and its policies in the middle east remind me of a gambling addict,instead of saying “this is crazy I have to stop before I loose everything”,the west keeps on playing all the while repeating “double or nothing!”

  162. kooshy says:

    After all like Lebanon Syria is a Mediterranean state and shares border with Israel, and by all means far more important for Europe then Iran is, therefore now that their bet on Syria/Lebanon against Iran has gone south any accommodated understanding of the nuclear issue can serve as a face saving for a period of calm, of course the Israelis and gulf Arabs will resist by way of the congress, etc. but at this time and point the west is more desperate for a minimum of an accommodated calm to an eventual a strategic understanding with Iran. Mr. Zarif can play the good guy to provide the west with this opportunity but I don’t believe he or anybody else can change Iran’s policy for the ME or NI.

  163. BiBiJon says:

    I agree with Kooshy here. And, on the Syria front, yet another complication is emerging which will isolate the takfiris from Kurds and therefore, Turks.

    http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/07/31/jihadist-hold-200-syria-kurds-hostage-ngo/

  164. Irshad says:

    fyi says:
    July 30, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    It is not just Shia’s that are been murdered by suicide bombing but also large – if not a larger number of Sunnis. There have been many Sunni ulema who have written fatwas and given opinions stating that targeting civilians is haram as is suicide bombing. Such ulema include peopl like, Tahir ul-Qadri of Pakistan, Shaykh Muhammad Afifi al-Akiti (see link), to name a few.

    http://www.masud.co.uk/ISLAM/misc/defending_civilians.htm

    There have been countless ulema in the Muslim heartland who have said this, including (if my memory serves me correctly) Ibn Baz, the fomrer grand mufti of Saudi.

    However the problem is the people who are carrying these acts out reject the fiqh basis of these ulema – they do not see themselve as adherents of traditional Sunnism, they see themselves as revivers/renewers of a “true” Islam – Salafi Wahabism. Now, the Saudis are the godfathers of Wahabism and, I believe they use secterianism as an extension of their politics and allow nutcases to carry out suicide bombing however even for them, this is a double edged sword as they cannot control all wahabi nihilists, Al-Qaeda being an clear example. I think, the Americans tolerate this behavious from the Saudis, as the US ememies will be the enemy of the Saudis – but where there are Salafi takfiris who are not in the Saudi command and control structure, they wil face the might of Mr Obama’s drones and special forces taking them out.

    Traditional Sunni Islam is in an intellectual and ideological battle with Saudi Salafi Islam – which is taking place across many countries and communties. In Chechnya/Dagestan, Salafis are a threat to the local Sufi orientated Islam (traditional Sunni Islam accepts Sufism as part and parcel of Islam, Salafis/Wahabis dont). I believe, this is clearly demosntrated by the position of the late Shaykh Ramadan al-Bouti who stood against salafi/wahabism and was an traditonal sunni scholar of the highest calibre – a marja. Hence they had to murder him and then try to blame the Syrian govt for it.

    I recommend you peruse the following articles:

    ….http://www.masud.co.uk/ISLAM/ahm/recapturing.htm
    ….http://www.masud.co.uk/ISLAM/ahm/moonlight.htm

    ….http://www.icrc.org/eng/assets/files/other/irrc-869_munir.pdf
    – suicide attacks and islamic lawa
    …..http://works.bepress.com/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1023&context=muhammad_munir

    …..http://www.aalalbayt.org/en/conferencesandsymposia.html

  165. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Empty-jan (and others interested),

    The issue is not whether cousin marriages have a higher probability of producing birth defects. It’s completely clear that they have a higher probability. The issue is: do they have a high enough probability that would warrant legal action or a fatwa.

    The short answer is that “statistically” and using the current methods and standards of public health it does not. That doesn’t mean that “anecdotely” me and you and others haven’t seen birth defects in cousin marriages. That’s the point. And as I said I’ve seen cases of cousin marriages where the offspring are mentally and physically above average- which doesn’t “prove” anything scientifically.

    Ayat. Makarem’s fatwa is “ihtiyati” not based on a “qati” shari or aqli daleel. A faqih can issue a fatwa on any subject based on ihtiyat, but that doesn’t mean there is a real shari or aqli daleel for it. For example the hukm of having a beard is based on ihtiyat wajib for around the chin and ihtiyate mustahab on the sides of the face. No direct shari daleel.

    Remember that Ayat. Makarem is the only one to have issued such a fatwa and it is his right to do so but the other fuqaha do not believe that there is enough evidence to warrant a change. And some fuqaha have argued with Ayat Makarem about this (and other similar “unnecessary”) fatwas. It has to do with whether a faqih should seek out a mozui prohibitively and do ihtiyat or not. It has to do with a faqih’s view of fiqh.

    And it is not always clear that a pro-active approach- which I tend to favor in fiqh- will result in good outcomes. Just see birth-control fiasco of the 1990s that we now have in Iran and everybody realizing that maybe it wasn’t such a good idea after all when your nation is dying and getting old.

    The health ministry can also say what it says but it is not scientifically well-grounded. It is more a result of wanting to be “modern” at any price in my view.

    Islam prohibits things that are damaging and if such cousin marriages unions where damaging it would be haraam (forget makruh). Islam recognizes the advantages of genetic diversity while at the same time also not messing with cultural things that are not damaging- like cousin marriages. It neither prohibits it nor encourages it. And that’s the middle path which is what Islam is and secularism and “science-ism” isn’t.

  166. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    masoud-jan,

    If Rohani is smart he won’t nominate Zarif, because whatever Zarif can do, so can Salehi- but without the baggage.

    We’ll have to see if Aghaye Rohani is politically more capable than Mahmud-jan in these matters.

    And yes of course Zarif is intelligent- and a very nice person too, but I’m afraid other things are gonna matter.

    استقبال معنادار رسانه های غربی از احتمال معرفی دیپلمات نرمشگر در برابر کاخ سفید/ لزوم هشیاری نمایندگان مجلس درباره «ظریف»
    http://www.rajanews.com/detail.asp?id=163763

  167. Ataune says:

    fyi says:
    July 31, 2013 at 10:35 pm
    … religious Truth could only reside in an individual and not a “Community” – an individual is the nexus of all religious Truths – empirically as well as metaphysically.

    This is obviousely one way of seing the islamic Truth. What I believe, and understand, Unknown-unknowns and Bussed-in-Basidji are arguing about is that it is/was never the Islamic way of viewing the Truth and its relation with the community.

    Whoever is interested in argument and debate will follow exactly the same steps: find the logical scaffolding of your thoughts and unfold and deconstruct it. On the other hand, the ones interested with violent actions, the political hacks in general, and Takfiris in particular, will put anathema on you in public place and will call for your head the way it’s done in Syria or in the case of Manning and Snowden.

  168. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    fyi says:
    Ataune says:

    July 31, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    “They predicate their Truth on the beleif that there exists of some sort of metaphysical religious Truth that inheres in a gathering of like-minded Believers in a Community.

    That is false; religious Truth could only reside in an individual and not a “Community” – an individual is the nexus of all religious Truths – empirically as well as metaphysically.”

    As I told I think Neo some time ago and I will say to you again here:

    Any “religion” and “God” and “Truth” which only “resides” in an individual and not in a community is the epitome of egoism, injustice and evil. Don’t be its advocate.

    A God/Truth who/which doesn’t care about laws and society- and yes COMMUNITY- is morally reprehensible- “rationally”. I don’t think you get it.

    Of course Truth resides within individuals AND within communities. You have a mental barrier to understanding the matter is “AND” not “OR”. (Others have pointed out your logically flawed argumentation which you use to derive fallacies about community actions from your premises.)

    You are brain-washed in the Thatcherite notion that “there is no such thing as community- only individuals” and you are gonna follow your imam to where she is today after death.

    Like I told you, you are a dying breed- thank God- Thatcher, Reagan, Baker your imams are all dead or dying. Imam Ali (as) my Imam- the light that shines eternally. Get it?

    Sorry for being “arrogant” about it and rubbing it in your face. As Ayat. Misbah once said- after a point in philosophical discussions one gets the impression that the other side no longer needs a talk with a scholar but instead needs to talk to a psychiatrist because of denying clear realities.

    It’s clear that you don’t believe in God nor have any hope in Him and this itself says everything about your sorry state (spiritually speaking of course). What you suggest is not even Bahai stuff, it’s second-rate freemason rubbish.

    Last night was the night of the 23 of Ramadhan- the night in which the final and complete and perfect “Word of God” was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (sawas).

    In this night it is recommended to read Sura Ankabut. In this Sura there is an ayah (23) which when I read it I thought of you and I prayed for you.

    “Walathina kufaru bi ayat-Allah wa liqaahu, owlaika ya’su bin rahmati wa owlaika lahum athabun alim”

    “And those who disbelieve in “ayat-Allah” and meeting Him- they have despaired of My mercy and these it is that shall have a painful punishment.”

    Me and UU (and others) don’t arrogate anything about “knowing” God except for what we have “empirically” in our hands today called the Holy Quran. The only one arrogating things is you and it’s not working for you.

    Read the Holy Quran, have hope in God and don’t despair of His mercy. You wanna be on His side when you get to the other side- you really don’t wanna be with Reagan, Thatcher and Baker over there.

    Ataune-jan,

    Thanks for getting it.

  169. fyi says:

    Smith says:

    August 1, 2013 at 4:57 am

    It was not corruption, in a few cases that I have been familiar with – rather it was a misguided effort in protecting the patients emotional health by hiding from him the facts of his cancer.

    It would normally not happen in US but used to be the case in many parts of Europe – I do not know if that has changed or not.

  170. fyi says:

    Irshad says:

    August 1, 2013 at 7:49 am

    Thank you for correcting me.

    A decade ago, in Mashhad, this fellow was going around murdering prostitutes.

    Once he was arrested, he claimed that he was only exercising – in his own way – the religious duty of “prevention of vice” per the Quran:

    و لتكن منكم امة يدعون الی الخير و يأمرون بالمعروف و ينهون عن المنكر و اولئك هم المفلحون؛ و بايد از ميان شما گروهی مردم را به نيكی دعوت كنند و به كار شايسته وا .(سوره آل عمران آيه ۱۰۴)

    كنتم خير امة اخرجت للناس تأمرون بالمعروف و تنهون عن المنكر و تؤمنون باللَّه

    سوره مباركه آل عمران آيه ۱۱۰)

    والمؤمنون و المؤم‌نات بعضهم اولياء بعض يأمرون بالمعروف و ينهون عن المنكر

    as well as per the 8-th Article of Iranian Constitution which also emphasizes this religious duty explicitly.

    And many people agreed with him; telling his son what a great man his father was etc.

    The opinion turned only after he confessed to having had sex with a number of those women before murdering them.

    This is un-acceptable; one has to ask, “Where is the Law in all of this?”

    Fortunately for the Law, the murderer was hanged.

    This is the same extreme form of individual autonomy that the Takfiris are practicing, isn’t it?

    And with the same appeal to the Quran for justification.

  171. fyi says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says:

    August 1, 2013 at 9:14 am

    This your opinion.

    On practical level, the Doctors of Religion, lacking expertise in genetics, statistics and clinical medicine, are incapable of making judgements on the strength and adequacy of the evidence.

    They will have to rely on expert opinion.

    This is in fact a problem that also besets the court system in the United States – but there is more willingness in US to defer to expert opinion that making judgements in the absence of such opinion.

  172. fyi says:

    Ataune says:

    August 1, 2013 at 9:54 am

    Noah, Abraham, and Moses (and almost certainly Zoroaster as well) discovered their religious Truth in spite of the communities – of un-Believers – in which they were living.

    Jesus broke with the another Community of Believers – whose Doctors of Religion also claimed to have captured Truth is books – and went on his own way.

    And the Prophet, living among pagans, Christians, and Jews, gained his religious insight and broke with the existing community and went on to found another one.

    Community is an interesting animal – it has millions of hands and legs but no Brains.

  173. fyi says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says:

    August 1, 2013 at 10:03 am

    I have responsed to some of your points in my post to the Mr. Ataune.

    My point is very clear:

    Everyone is a Muslim and Men cannot Judge who is and is not a Muslim.

  174. nico says:

    Fyi,

    “Everyone is a Muslim and Men cannot Judge who is and is not a Muslim.”

    Logically flawed argument.
    You could as well state everyone is a communist or everyone is a capitalist.
    Generaly speaking POTENTIALLY true. But in effect totally false.
    Some core principles need to be achieved or stick to for one to claim to follow a religion or an ideology.

  175. Ataune says:

    fyi says:

    August 1, 2013 at 10:27 am

    Community is an interesting animal – it has millions of hands and legs but no Brains.

    Everyone is a Muslim and Men cannot Judge who is and is not a Muslim.

    It seems to me that we are at least one positive step forward in a sense that you are not likening UU and BiB to Takfiris anymore.

    In a purely speculative way: If the criteria for being muslim cannot be established normatively in the community, as you seem to indicate. And, as a consequence, the only open way for salavation to a muslim individual is at the time of the judgement day, how will you go to call this religion of yours Islam. Unless obviousely, if you claim like Soroush a new interpretation of it or as other minority sects have professed during the previous centuries another religion altogether.

    I personnaly tend to believe that, at least compared to either Catholicism, with its contention that salavation for the group can only come through the Church and Catechism; or Reform, which puts the salvation in the hand of the individual’s belonging to a community of Choosen People, Islam has a better way of bringing a much needed coherence to the society by defining salvation as the free rational will of individuals relating to the almighty through their community.

  176. fyi says:

    nico says:

    August 1, 2013 at 11:32 am

    You are evidently unfamiliar with the pathetic, stupid and destructive attempts over the years in Pakistan to define – legally – who is a Muslim – thus making life miserable for millions of people.

    You, living in EU, have no clue as to how those attempts affected ordinary people who wished to live their humble lives only in security and tranquility.

  177. fyi says:

    Ataune says:

    August 1, 2013 at 11:41 am

    I did not liken Mr. Unknown-Unknowns and Mr. Bussed-in-Basiji to Takfiris; I likened their positions to those of who had claimed Shia not to be Muslims – since the time of Teymour the Lame.

    The criterion was established by the Prophet: utter “Shahadatin” and be done with it.

    In regards to other off-shoots of Islam: Druze, Alewis, Ahmadis, Bahais, Sikhs, etc.; they are only partially Islamic (Islam of the Prophet); the Alawites, for example, believe in a trinitarian god and the Sikhs in transmigration of souls (which could be supported by certain interpretations of teh Quranic verses) etc.

  178. nico says:

    Fyi,

    If you want to convince someone you need to be consistent and logical.
    A bird is not a cat because I say so. They are animals.
    Words and categories bear meaning.
    Distorting a d denying it could be called histeria or raving.

    As for Pak.
    You need to adress the true issues and not create solution out of thin air and your imagination.

  179. fyi says:

    nico says:

    August 1, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    Please, go ahead and sketch out for all of us a vision of Freedom and Liberty within Islam in which the Freedom of Conscience & Opinion are co-existant with the Call of God.

  180. nico says:

    fyi says:
    August 1, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    I am not offering solutions.
    You are.
    And I am not convinced by your lack of logic.

    As for Pak.
    The first issue is that it is a failed and beggar state.
    The second issue is that minorities and extremists are supported, armed and encouraged by local and foreign powers. For separatist purpose. To weaken Pakistan and the surrounding countries.

    Focusing on extremists in Pak is like focusing on the 9/11 terrorists without looking for who benefits from it. And who has enough money, strategy and logistic support to organize and direct such crime.

    The issue with extremists and specially takfiri is that they idiots and stupids.
    They are definitly unable to think by themselves let alone organize and earn/gather enough money by themselves to do anything.
    They are intellectually impotent and backward.

    The logical consequence/conclusion is that they are a tool and are directed.

    What to say about Afghanistan ? Is it even a state ?

  181. James Canning says:

    Financial Times today has large, very interesting map of the Middle East showing the various religious groups. Some of which of course overlap.

  182. James Canning says:

    Ataune,

    I assume you are aware that in the US, Protestants often switch from one church or denomination to another, for social or other reasons having little or nothing to do with religious belief.

  183. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    Obama would be most unlikely to blunder so badly as to try an American occupation of Iran, in event of hostilities.

  184. Ataune says:

    James Canning says:

    August 1, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    What you are saying might be true, but it doesn’t affect what is thought to be the core difference between protestantism and catholicism: for the former salvation come through individual effort while for the latter it is the insitution headed by the pope that can only show the way.

  185. Empty says:

    Unknown Unknowns,

    RE: ….fyi’s world view, core beliefs and values are not only Christian, but Protestant Christian, which, some would say, is just another form of Jewishness in that it is a rebellion against God’s velayat and shariat. And as I also believe he is a classic closet case, I just thought I’d do him the favor and try to tweak him out of the closet.”

    There is nothing hidden or cryptic about fyi’s case. A while back (some couple of years ago) he did profess in this forum that he believes his salvation to be through Jesus Christ.

    The problem is not that he is Christian. The problem is when he (as someone whose salvation is through Jesus Christ) writes (non-logical) prescriptions for Muslims how to be a good Muslim; for Doctors of Islamic Religion how to be good scholars of their own book and religion, what to think and what to say and do. He lives outside of Iran and has a very dated view for Iranians inside Iran but he definitely writes prescriptions for them how to run their affairs. He is a man and if you recall, a while back he was writing a prescription for Fiorangela about how to be a good woman.

    As someone who could not take the heat of the revolution and ran away a long time ago, never actually fought to defend Iran (based on his own admition) and as soon as things got tough, the tough got going, he writes prescriptions for the Iranian leaders (who have successfully withstood all the pressures and preserved Iran’s independence) how to be good leaders and make nuclear bombs yesteryear.

    As a man who has fallen and cannot get up, he sure knows how to advise others on getting up.

  186. Empty says:

    Masoud,

    RE: Is there a specific meaning of the term ‘close relatives’ in your given references, or is this ruling purposely vague?

    Actually, there is detailed information and a list for what is ‘makroh’ and what is ‘haram’ and what is “ezdevaj family”. Here is a link that lists some (I am not too well informed on the rationale for each). Hopefully, it’s useful (need to remove the spaces I put for the link to work).
    http: // www .islamicecenter.com/ketaabkhaaneh/AHKAAM/ahkaam_khaanevaadeh_makaarem-shiraazi_04.html

  187. Empty says:

    Bussed-in-Basiji,

    I do not even think that fyi’s real beef is with these ‘fatwa-ha’, scientifically sound or not. He regularly throws stones at Muslims, Muslim communities, and Muslim scholars based on “ehtiaht mostahab’ for the 1st and 2nd groups and ‘ehtiayt vajeb’ for the 3rd group.

  188. Empty says:

    Smith,

    RE: Also I might add, the corrupted lying culture prevalent in many countries like Iran affects the health care to a significant degree. It is not uncommon for health care providers to lie to their patients.

    I myself am of the opinion that the truth of a patient condition must be made clear to her/him. However, I do know that the physicians and even family members try to keep the info from the patient and their rationale is that they fear the patient will lose his/her spirit and this would make the treatment more difficult. I do not believe they lie with malicious intent. Nevertheless, it’s a lie and I don’t condone it (the end does not justify the means).

  189. fyi says:

    Empty says:

    August 1, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    Your statement below is false.

    “A while back (some couple of years ago) he did profess in this forum that he believes his salvation to be through Jesus Christ.”

    You are a grown man, I think it will be a good idea to try to tell the Truth as much as God permits you to see it.

    As for “Salvation Through Jesus Christ” – the Quran does not rule that out.

    Now, pay attention here:

    Jews, Christains, Zoroastrians, Sunnis, Hindus, Sabeans, Alevis, and others are not your enemies.

    Your enemies are Ignorance, Poverty, Arrogance, Fear, Stupidity, Intolerance (a Son of Fear), Prejudice, Bigotry and a bunch of Others such as Them.

    Please now remmber that you heard this from me in this forum.

  190. Empty says:

    Smith,

    RE: “Iran needs to have a country wide, free, accessible and well managed genetic counselling program (actually part of a country wide universal absolutely free health care system). In modern evidence based medicine, the emphasis is on informing the patients so that they can reach truly informed decisions and consent of their own (It is not the duty of a doctor or health provider or the government to decide for them). People should be advised and let form their own personal and individual decisions. Iran does not have such a system right now and there does not seem to be any political will for it too, quite shamefully I might add.”

    I do believe your information is inaccurate. Iran is one of few countries in the world that put into place an effective public health infrastructure to address and prevent many diseases (especially thalasemia that you mentioned). This has been achieved through the estabishment of health houses (one behyar per 1000 people) all over Iran, mandatory pre-marriage counseling (which is very unique to Iran), and neonatal screenings, etc. Iran has been able to dramatically reduce the occurance many genetic disorders faster than any country in the world. In addition, it has been able to significantly improve the condition of several health indicators contributing to Human Development Index.

    If you do not have access to data from ministry of health in Iran, you could obtain a lot of information from the World Health Organization’s country profile. Researching the topic first could prevent making inaccurate statements.

  191. Empty says:

    fyi,

    Did you not make this claim on “Race for Iran” site? I need to search the archive and see if I could find your exact statement. If I misunderstood you, I apologize. I thought you actually worte that statement.

  192. Ataune says:

    fyi says:

    August 1, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    ….
    As for “Salvation Through Jesus Christ” – the Quran does not rule that out.

    This is one the main tenets of the religion thought to every muslim at school: since the advent of the last of the Prophets, the salvation can only come through Islam.

    You forget to mention in your list of the virtual ennemies all the ones that can be introduced by an actor outside the community: war, terrorism, assassination, malice, discord etc…

  193. Karl.. says:

    nico

    August 1, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    Reading the comments on aljazeera really shows what kind of site that is these days, almost the kind of comments you find on cnn or even fox.

  194. fyi says:

    Ataune says:

    August 1, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    I am familiar with that claim but I could not find direct and certain support for it in the Quran.

    Such ego-gratifying assertions, in my opinion, indicate a hatred for other human beings – it is a species of Jealousy & Envy that seeks the validation of the ego in the denigration of other human beings.

    Another splendid example of the Fall of Man – Hobut Adam.

    The White racist also goes through an analogous exercise – but his is against other races…

    No matter, yet another example of the Fall of Man.
    So, the 1.5 billion nominal Christians in the world – regardless of their personal piety – are not “Saved”?

    I heard the analogous thing often from Protestant Christians and Catholics…

    It is funny, in a way…

    President Khatami to Pope John-Paul II: It pains me personally to inform Your Excellency that regrettably, Your Excellency will not be saved and will be in Jehanna.

    Pope John-Paul II to President Khatami: Likewise, Your Excellency, it pains me personally to inform Your Excellency that regrettably, Your Excellency will not be saved and will be in Hell.

    Chief Rabbi of Israel – Eliyahu Bakshi-Doron: Shema Israel; they are both damned and thank the Lord for that.

    President of China: They are all crazies; steer clear of them lest they infect us too.

  195. Ataune says:

    fyi says:

    August 1, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    Unless you discard any distinction between communities of people as non-reality basefd, or/and call for a world without nations and barriers where the State is just a legal regulative bounding machine which has no root in morality and the spiritual (kind of close to the neo-conservative political principles), there is, in my opinion, no fleeing the current state of the affairs.

    Societies are distinct from each other by their system of belief and those systems need to posit an eschatology of salvation for their communities to be durable and continuous.

    Christian salvation is almost a matter of simple declaration: ultimately you need only to state your belief in Christ to be saved (either through the Church or individually), while your deeds are empiricist and pragmatic in their root. In Islam, at least when sticking to its principles, Reason and your deeds toward the community, both count a lot. This sounds to me as a much improved, and preferable, way of living in a civilized society. It has a much bigger potential of avoiding corruption.

  196. Empty says:

    fyi,

    The search function of the archive of Race for Iran doesn’t work to find the exact statements within comments (or maybe I am not using it correctly). However, would you please say if you did or if you did not make a statement that your sought savlvation through Jesus or something like that? Whatever you say, I would take your word for it. It matters very little to me what your belief system is. I just don’t want to have attributed a statement to you that wasn’t correct.

    As for being enemies, etc., dude, one can disagree completely with another person’s view without wanting to behead him. Why do you suppose that just because someone takes a firm stance against your statement they just want to destroy you? Or is this one of your tactics to divert attention when you are short in logic?

  197. James Canning says:

    Ataune,

    Most of the American Catholics I happen to know tend to have little concern about the actual beliefs that Church propounds. Loyalty to the Pope generally obtains, as you note.

  198. nico says:

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/MID-01-020813.html

    Afrasiabi articles are usually very weak.
    But surprise, this one is quite good.