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Total number of comments: 7 (since 2013-11-28 16:37:38)


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  • Will Pakistan's Crisis affect US in Afghanistan
    • Hi Dr. Cole.
      You cite this as an example of increasing violence: "There was a big Taliban bombing in Pakistan the day before yesterday."
      But hasn't there been a bombing in Pakistan, many of them large, just about every single day for over two years now?

      You also say that the Zardari government may fall at any time; I don't really agree. The idea of having a "civilian government" and that of Zardari's- according to the Washington Post- could be the very first in Pakistani history to complete its term. Military rule was horrible, and I personally feel as if a strong number of Pakistanis blame America, rather than Zardari, for a lot of the chaos that's been recurring in the nation.
      Pakistan's relations with India have been steadily improving as well, like the 180 fishermen released on New Years, or the fact that India can't really break ties with Iran (which allegedly is where 40% of India's oil comes from), etc. (Remember, in Musharraf's term, India/Pakistan were on the brink of war? Or even that, Musharraf invested a lot of money into nukes; I haven't read much about Zardari doing the same, and I've even heard the military's gotten less corrupt since Zardari's taken over).
      Pakistan's relationship with China is amazing, and its relations with Iran & Russia have been increasing quite a ways as well since Zardari took over.

      I find it curious however that you didn't talk about the Gwadar port. I thought that was supposed to be really significant?

  • Iran Hype undermined by Obama Administration Admissions
    • I also believe that by following Dr. Cole's argument from above, he offers a lot of support of the idea of "regime change."

      If you also look online, you'll find many articles which are talking about the changed Washington Post words (Al Jazeera has a pretty comprehensive article on this).

      In the past, America has instated several dictators in Iran and actively tried to do a regime change there several times (there's no reason for this statement to now be invalid).

      In 2005, Rick Santorum called for the Iran Freedom & Support Act which sent $10 million towards regime change in Iran. The law passed with great support in congress; mind you, America's undergoing quite a bit of turmoil too ($10 million's a lot to give up).

      In 2008, US trade with Iran was at about $623 million; by 2010 it went to $281 million.
      America has also recently freed its soldiers of Iraq, has many Americans calling for war with Iran, and now has instituted a form (or tried to at least) of international economic boycott on Iran as well. The American/Iranian relationship's going really sour, really fast and America has tried to institute regime changes in history many times.

      Remember for instance how the CIA released the different ways they tried to assasinate Fidel Castro for instance? One of the guards of Castro, Escalante, had estimated this number to be 638 attempted assassinations. They'd even convinced Castro's lover (Marita Lorenz) in 1959 to try to kill him, and he realized this and gave her a gun and told her to shoot him and she didn't (I've seen this in so many movies nowadays!). He allegedly even said, "If surviving assassination attempts were an Olympic event, I would win the gold medal."
      There's many scenarios like this in history.
      Thus, regime changes in US history are nothing new.

    • Hi Dr. Cole, I really love your compilation of material for this article. I find it incredible though how our politicians-almost across the board- and our media have misrepresented the truth to us in so many ways.

      Considering that bills like NDAA, SOPA, the Arizona immigration one, etc, are becoming laws and that incredibly biased information has totally overtaken our media make it seem as if America's in for a drastic change. I'm not sure though however if our foreign policy stances under Obama have really been any different than from Eisenhower's time. What America's trying to do with Iran right now seems like history repeated so many times.

  • Majid: Why America Matters to Muslims
    • Hi.

      1: Warren said "So in authentic Christianity, all other religions, including Judaism, are invalid."
      I wanted to say that I believe that same idea has been implied in Islam as well. There is a narration that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) saw his son-in-law, Ali (RA), reading the Torah and told him to first learn his own religion. (learning one's own religion, in my opinion, would be never-ending).

      2: I feel as if you both are denouncing the idea of government in general. I believe that a very large number of politicians are driven by money. I found on the internet that the average House member needs to spend an average of $1.1 million and the Senator $6.5 million. Our government is controlled by the rich, and it's us Americans who are putting these people up there not once nor twice, but for decades. Of course, this aligns with the Occupy movement, but I'm just saying, rather than criticizing our government per say, criticize our American mentality first for electing incredibly rich people, time and time again.

  • Ahmadinejad in Latin America
    • Hi Warren.
      You say that you feel sad that US governments are behaving in an unpleasant manner? What do you mean by that? When I first read that, I'm thinking, you're talking about SOPA, NDAA, the strong number of incorrect, racist, and incredibly inaccurate statements that many of our lawmakers get away with today, etc- but you start talking about Israel vs Iran instead.

      For what exactly are you critiquing the US government for?- the sanction on Iran, the idea behind nuclear weapons, what exactly?
      If Iran actually did get nuclear weapons though, I do believe that Americans have a very legit right to be concerned. Ahmadinejad and Iran have put themselves in a rather negative spotlight according to a lot of the world- it's just not Israel and America saying this. Saddam Hussain in Iraq was able to get away with bombing his OWN people for years and it wasn't until America came that he really stopped. I think the American fear is that if a country like Iran got nuclear weapons, what would stop them from using it on others? Saddam blew up his OWN people and was never really had any strong opposition from any Arabian country; thus, I think it's very legitimate for Americans to be afraid of Iran with nukes.

      Also, I'm trying to find where you're getting the Israel/Farsi speakers from, but I can't really find that (Wikipedia says 135k people in Israel have Persian descent- that's the most I can find). From what I've personally read, I also don't believe that Ahmadinejad has threatened to get rid of Zionism or Israel and most definitely not Jewish people, which I believe he restates at numerous interviews many times (Wikipedia has like a whole page on Ahmadinejad and Israel too if you're interested).

      I'm guessing from your last paragraph you're implying that Netanyahu's playing this game to get people focused off upcoming election, and in favor of him? Correct me if I'm wrong because that's the only thing I can think of. If it is true, I think you're totally right.

  • Dear Republican Candidates, You Have us all Wrong
    • Just a correction, I was watching Rick Santorum a few days ago on tv and he was questioned about his stance towards birth control. He said that while he was personally opposed to birth control, that was not something he'd regulate for the American people because those would be their own personal decisions, although he has frequently said that he doesn't believe in a "right to privacy" under the consitution (whether he applies this solely to marriage or other realms as well, only he knows).

      Rick Santorum HAS however a lot of other controversies that a person could point out, for instance Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington actually compiled a report about why he was one of Washington's most corrupt officials. He's been invovled/highly supported/sponsored bills like the National Weather Service Duties Act of 2005 where he basically said that he wanted to take weather findings out of the public's eye and make it primarily for government use only. He's even been quoted calling global warming "junk science"!

      Santorum can though be blasted for ideas like his vast misrepresentation of information (ie weapons of mass destruction found in Iraq) or for him sponsoring bills like the Iran 2005 one where even in the midst of this terrible recession in America, he's sending over $10 million to Iran to promote American propoganda!!! So many republicans had issues with the 1.5$ allotment towards NPR, but what about this $10 million towards putting up posters and ads in Iran- Santorum's idea??

  • Why the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood's Victory at the Polls May not be Decisive
    • Hi.
      My 5 cents:

      1.) I believe that the American-Israeli relationship is beginning to crack. Not only have Netanyahu's policies been pushing the Obama administration to re-evaluate its game plan in that region, but also because a very heated discussion is going on to start a war in Iran to defend Israeli interests. Americans don't want another Iraq, and many Americans now realize that a war with Iran would mainly occur to defend Israeli interests.

      Additionally, a number of Israelis have widely been promoting propoganda to "end the apartheid nonsense" as well because so many people have started calling Israel an apartheid state (like Prof. Cole's latest book for instance). AIPAC's influence in congress is clearly decreasing.

      2.) I agree with Prof. Cole that calling a government "secular" is the right way to go. Agree with this or not, but Islam has probably split into too many sects at this point for a theocracy or sharia law to fairly represent different sects of Muslims. For instance, many Alawis in Syria (one famous Alawi- Syrian President Assad) don't believe that the five daily prayers in Islam are mandated. But look back for instance to 2006, when fundamentalists in Mogadishu tried to instate religion in the city.

      According to ABC News, Sheikh Abdalla Ali, who ran a shariah court in Mogadishu, said, "He who does not perform prayer will be considered as infidel and our sharia law orders that person to be killed."

      I also remember reading in the American press several years ago that those who did not pray 5 times a day would be executed in Mogadishu by fundamentalists.

      Thus, a religious consensus is not really applicable. In my shariah at home for instance, it says that women should not attend school. If women were not to be properly educated, then realistically, how much could Islam have spread as well? Much of Islam was actually said to spread off the wealth of Khadjia (RA), the first wife of Muhammad (PBUH), who was so ridiculously rich from her business that she played a role of a HUGE catalyst in the spread of Islam.
      Thus, a theocracy is definitely not in the best of interests of most Muslim nations.

      3.) To get back to the point of this article, I agree with Professor Cole that Egypt's not about to turn into an Iran anytime soon. Here you have a nation where so many THOUSANDS of people have died and watched thousands die as well in hopes of a democracy, freedom, and at last, justice. The Muslim Brotherhood has a LOT to deliver on; they have seen the lethal passion of the Egyptian people- going for over a year now- and they have high pressure to deliver, along with the rest of the people in the Egyptian government.
      The US has actually reached out the to Muslim Brotherhood and is doing that a lot more now, and vice versa; both countries really need each other. Despite Washington's ailing relationship with Israel, Washington needs to ensure Israel still has a major friend like Egypt in the Middle East. Washington also knows that Egypt holds a major voice in worldly affairs as well (Egypt's very well-known), and so Washington would want to ensure a voice in the Egyptian future.

      Somewhat likewise, the MB really needs support from Washington, both financial and also verbal. The MB needs to win the support of its people and Egypt's in total chaos right now- the economy's literally in shambles, and people are incredibly depressed (too many deaths), incredibly agitated from this ordeal, and inspiringly passionate. The MB REALLY has to deliver. They would ideally try to get quite a bit of aid from the US and its allies, and it probably won't try to break relations with Israel (at least for right now) anytime soon, or hurt minority or women rights because they really need to appease the general public at large, and by becoming a horrendous theocracy-which a lot of people fear it might become- it knows that it could never remain in Egyptian politics for long. Bernard says before me that "Power works to keep itself in power" which is totally true; the MB should not be making any stupid mistakes, at least not so quickly.

      Also Professor Cole, you do make a lot of good points above, but I believe economic reasons- like retaining tourism- will be the ultimate deciding factor for most of the Muslim Brotherhood and other government officials' decisions.

      I also believe that by having the title "Muslim Brotherhood" the MB will at least always have the facade of having Muslim interests at heart, when in reality, it can really do much of anything with this title, because who's seriously going to question the Muslimness of the Muslim Brotherhood so quickly?

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