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Total number of comments: 22 (since 2013-11-28 16:32:37)

Dan Moerman

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  • Dear Trumpists: Khizr Khan is not 'Muslim Brotherhood' and it wouldn't matter if he Were
    • Daniel Moerman 08/03/2016 at 5:35 pm

      Thanks Juan for your always helpful and cogent commentary. I'm guessing that calling Mr Khan a member of Muslim Brotherhood might be like calling Mr. Trump a member of the League of Women Voters? I mean, they are both vaguely Christian.

  • The Real Problem with the Iraq War: It was Illegal
    • Juan, I pretty much know most of what you have presented here; perhaps not so coherently, or thoughtfully. But there is one think I still don't get. I just don't understand "why Iraq?" Several of your commentators mention the notion that it was personal, that it was revenge for Saddam's presumed attempt at killing Bush pere. But somehow that doesn't (for me) help understand the persistent, strong, unwavering support the President got from Wolfowitz, Cheney, Rumsfield, and dozens of neocon and other supporters. Why Iraq? (And I don't understand any explanation that includes both "Create democracy in the middle East" and "No nation building!" in the same argument.) Please help me out here.

  • The Final Collapse of Bush's Nation-Building: Kunduz falls to Taliban
  • Al-Qaeda in Syria rubs out 23 members of Druze Religious Minority, Persecutes Others
    • Hi Juan

      Somehow this sounds a lot like Islamic factionalism and 5 feet above the ground, not 30,000 feet. Yes, it's not simple Sunni vs. Shia; it's more factional than that; sometimes it's al Quaida type Sunnis against ordinary Sunnis. In the end, "ordinary" Sunnis, Shias and Druze, shot thru the head are all equally dead. "Al-Qaeda types view even ordinary Sunni Muslims as infidels, so you can imagine what they think of Druze."

  • Why ISIL's Attacks on Shiites of Saudi Arabia Threaten World Economy
    • Juan, Daesh seems not to understand your nuanced view of Sunni/Shia relations in the middle east. They beat up Sunnis in Iraq to get them to oppose the government there, and they beat up Shiites in Saudi Arabia to get them to oppose their government there. Without a longstanding hot/cold Shia/Sunni split, this wouldn't even be conceivable, let alone effective.

  • Kaplan's Fantasies of Empire and the Myth of the Arab Strongman
  • Top Ten Ways Islamic Law forbids Terrorism
    • I particularly like the passage (5 above) protecting fruit trees! I wonder if there may be an equivalent in the ancient Hebrew writings. (There have been a LOT of olive trees cut down on the West Bank lately).

  • African-Americans still struggle for Full Citizenship Rights, Voting Rights
    • Okay. So we have seen the AG report. It confirms a ton of stuff written across the landscape for the past year. Pernicious policing is totally monetized. So, what do we do now?? I want someone to suggest something that might make a difference.

  • Iraq: Kurds repel ISIL/ Daesh w/ help of the Shiite Militiamen they Distrust
    • Wow. Never before the past few months have we seen so much of "The enemy of my enemy is my friend." Even when the first enemy is our enemy.

  • Europe Abandoning Hydrocarbons: Closing 30% of Gas, Coal Plants in Favor of Green Energy
    • My brother in law, living in Barr, south of Strassburg in France, told my wife today that he is going to install a generator of some sort since the local (nuclear) power plant is closing down, sometime soon. Not at all clear, but believe me when I tell you that Alsace isn't going to generate a lot of either solar or wind power. It is at least as cloudy there as it is in Ann Arbor, maybe more. Jean-Charles tends to some exaggeration, but he is an engineer (trained at ETH in Zurich). I didn't discuss it with him, but something hard is going on there. dan

  • Top 10 Ways the US is the Most Corrupt Country in the World
    • Re point 5, in a comment vastly different from my ordinary position, prison guard unions have had a devastating effect on legislatures as they have argued for longer and more punitive sentencing (enhancing the pay and security of the guards) clearly a form of corruption.

  • Walsh (Republican): No Pregnancy Ever threatens a Mother's Life (Young Turks Video)
  • Top Ten Ways we are Better off than in January 2009
  • Looking out from the Misrata War Memorial Museum, Libya (Photo)
  • Omar Khayyam (149) "nothing left of good times but the name"
  • Ring of Iranian Bases Threatens US
    • Makes sense. But the biggest puzzle from that map to me is the absence of any bases at all in oil-rich Iraq, after we have spent trillions of dollars fighting a war there. I really don't know what the situation is re: Iraqi oil. Are we getting any of it in the US? All one ever heard about it was the situation was chaotic. Help us out here, Juan.

  • Top Ten Catholic Teachings Santorum Rejects while Obsessing about Birth Control
    • President Obama's agenda is "to reduce the amount of freedoms the the individual has and to make the federal government the master of all we do and say." Nonsense. Pres Obama has said that some Catholic institutions -- hospitals and Universities -- must include access to contraceptives in the health care policies they provide for their employees (many many of whom are not Catholics, and which, of course, those employee must purchase.) This regulation does NOT say that such employees must use contraceptives, only that they MAY choose to do so. So, who is it who is reducing freedom? It's not the President. It's the Bishops.

  • Lyons: Islam, Women and the West
    • The matters Juan raises cannot be dealt with in the little space I have here. So, a soundbite: It is clear that women were central to the Arab Spring movement in Egypt. It is also clear that the 'revolution' they were instrumental in creating, has already marginalized them. I don't know how many were elected to the new parliament, but apparently one can count them on two hands, maybe one.

      I have heard before about the laws of medieval early modern Islam regarding women. I honestly doubt that those laws had much relevance for more than a handful of women (the same handful?).

      And, to say that the "Orientalist" view of women in the "imperial harem" ... "with its legions of concubines, guarded by eunuchs – presenting what was in effect an institution restricted to the highest reaches of the Ottoman court as symptomatic of Muslim family life in general" is not to say that it didn't happen. That it only happened for those at the highest reaches -- what today we call the "1 percent" -- doesn't say it didn't happen.

      Trying to make the argument that life isn't inherently difficult for women in Muslim society must founder on the rocks of Saudi lingerie shops.

  • Sharp-Elbowed Politics in the New Arab World
    • Hi Juan

      You say " Religion is probably irrelevant as an explanatory consideration." I think that "religion" in itself many in this context not be an issue, but "religious conflict" may well be. Erratic as my knowledge of the Islamic world may be, there seems almost always to be conflict between Sunnis and Shiites, between both of those and the Sufis, and, an apparently universal Islamic hatred of the Bahais. Elsewhere in the world, the Muslims always seem to demand that they are going to build their mosque on top of someone elses pre-existing holy site. Think of India (where I see extreme Hindu politics a direct consequence of Muslim provocation over centuries.

      Issues like this need not necessarily be religious; the case of Yugoslavia is apt, I think, as Tito used every trick in the dictator's tool box to keep down the conflict in that wretched place until is all fell apart, and, even in pieces, still smolders.

      I'm well aware that Christian intolerance for other Christians was the source of millions of deaths in Europe (and elsewhere) for a thousand years. So it's not just "Muslims." Granted. But it's possible to get over it. And it looks to me like the Iraqis, for example, are really looking for some more innings. I hope (I desperately hope) that your optimism re Egypt is warranted. But it's only hope.

  • Omar Khayyam (6)
    • Juan, you are a lucky man to have such thoughtful and learned readers! Well, not lucky: your thoughtful and learned writing has gathered a seminar of similarly imaginative people. Thank you. d

  • Top Things that Should have Disqualified Cain before Now
    • Someone should have asked him if he thought the woman who was raped should marry the man who made her pregnant.

      link to

      Given his history, he'd probably end up a bigamist. if he isn't already. Love those Republicans.

  • Top Ways 9/11 Broke Islamic Law
    • Hello Juan

      My question is this: you write "Many of these operatives simply were not fundamentalists but rather an odd sort of Muslim nationalist." It seems to me they (the operatives) were _Arab_ nationalists. BinLaden may be a Muslim nationalist, wanting to re-establish the Caliphate, but that just doesn't sound right to me for the real activists, the ones who hijacked the planes. Most were Saudis, most were well educated (well, more or less well educated). They seemed to me to be more like the Brotherhood, wanting a decent government in Egypt. These guys remind me of the anti-government types with long beards, beat up pickups, and lots of guns out in Idaho. Whatever they are up to, it sure isn't religious.


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