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Total number of comments: 11 (since 2013-11-28 16:32:40)

Disappointed

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  • Thomas Jefferson in Arabic
    • Dr. Cole,

      What a great and heartening article this is: as an Iranian who has lived a majority of his life in the States, its good to see that mischaracterizations of American ideology can be rectified and that the peoples of the world can begin to understand American concepts of freedom and human rights.

      Just as you pointed out, these translations are not imperialist. In fact they help the sharing of ideas and information among people with different cultures and contexts. Who knows: Middle Easterners might not fully accept (and I would not want them to) every idea that TJ might have had, but I think that a lot of MEs and Muslims especially would be familiar with the rights-based ethics that TJ proposes and we might see a different version of these ideas spring forth (pun intended). Similarly, some ME ideas and values (their hospitality comes to mind) might also have a place here in America and this building of bridges and sharing of ideas is how we as a race can grow to understand and accept one another.

      Best of luck with this endeavor - I will try to support however I can.

  • Sunni-Shiite Tension Boils in Iraq, Gulf over Bahrain
    • Some reports state that Arab lobbies have been playing up the fears of an Iran-backed revolution in America and this is why we haven't been seeing any response by American diplomats.

      "The six member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council include (in addition to Bahrain) Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, all of which have extensive ties to the Pentagon. The organization reportedly strong-armed the White House by playing on fears that Iran might benefit if Bahrain embraced democracy and that, as a result, the entire region might become destabilized in ways inimical to U.S. power-projection policies. "Starting with Bahrain, the administration has moved a few notches toward emphasizing stability over majority rule," according to a U.S. official quoted by the Journal. "Everybody realized that Bahrain was just too important to fail.""

      link to tomdispatch.com

      Apparently Libya and Bahrain are linked in that America has agreed to stay mum on Bahrain if Arab dictators will run a no-fly-zone in Libya. I found this comment interesting in Greenwald's blog.

      link to letters.salon.com

    • There is plenty of video on Al-Jazeera where the demonstrators declare that its not a Sunni-Shia thing and that they just want their rights. Clearly the demonstrations are being framed in a different light so that the monarchs don't have to face the worldwide outrage.

    • I'm sorry but I don't go by insinuations and unhelpful accusations - is there any actual evidence that Iran has a hand in it? Just because the merchants have had ties in the past doesn't mean that the current Iranian government is funding a revolution. Nonsensical accusations get us nowhere. Just like the current accusations that Iran has or is making nuclear weapons are false until proven otherwise, I don't quickly accept that Iran has a hand in this revolution unless proven otherwise. It was our quick acceptance of non-facts that led to wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and I'm not going to be fooled again.

      In regards to your American hand comment I don't necessarily disagree with that point -- the Iranian government sees it fit to pose their foreign policy in a light that they are constantly fending off American attacks on the homeland because it works with its people. Of course we're mad that Iranians didn't accept the regime change of a democratically elected government to a monarchy -- it goes against their intuitions of freedom.

      For an idea of the CIA mentality behind "national security" see this. It should give you an idea of what Iranians were facing during the 50's regime change that they didn't want.
      link to youtube.com

    • Any word on whether there really is a hand in the Bahraini revolution by Iran? As a Shi'a I can attest to the mistreatment of Shi'is throughout the Arab world. One only needs to look at the comments made on Al-Jazeera stories about Bahrain to get an idea of how we are treated. It basically boils down to some sort of racist ideology, where other Muslims believe that killing Shi'is is not only permitted, but highly favored.

      I remember when I visited Saudi Arabia to perform the pilgrimage - they would give my mother and I such a hard time and the only thing they would say is "You're Iranian!" (Anta Irani!) and when I responded in English, telling them that I'm American, they would back off.

      For many Muslims, being a Shi'i automatically equates to being a pawn or supporter of the Iranian Revolution or Regime. It's funny: I'm neither.

  • King's Nixonian Hearings against American Muslims
    • The problem with that, Dr. Cole, is that they automatically accuse any Muslim organization, PAC or not, of allying with Hamas, Hizbullah, and deem it a terrorist organization (CAIR, for example) before it can even take off the ground.

      I agree that single-issue PACs are an affront, but sometimes "radical" measures have to be taken so that the voices of "moderates" will be heard.

  • Rudolph: Can You Pass The Saudi Arabia Quiz?
    • Wow, I learned so much in one article - it's unbelievable. Thanks for this Dr. Cole - your website is a must-read by any one interested in the Middle-East or Islam. Thanks again.

  • Top Five Myths about the Middle East Protests
    • Yes, because if the good ol' freedom-loving Americans never talked to the stupid, backward Middle Easterners who didn't know what was good for them, then they'd be still stuck in their medieval dictatorships (oh so generously bestowed upon them, by the way, by us glorious Western colonialists) and wouldn't know the difference between freedom and dictatorships. *rolls eyes* You know, even when these countries try to elect their own governments, you can be sure that those with interests in the region would be meddling. Please read more about the historical background in these countries before making uninformed statements. I would suggest you start with Dr. Cole's books.

    • Why Bill Maher, who is not an expert on anything but television, is taken seriously, I'll never understand. He knows nothing about religion, the Middle East, or science for that matter (as a medical student, I was horrified by his public categorical dismissal of vaccinations as a public health measure). Why can't we -- as a nation -- just ignore this demented curmudgeon like we do other kooks, loons, and morons?

  • Top 5 Effects of Egyptian Revolution
    • I don't understand America's concern with Al-Qaeda. If I'm not mistaken, Al-Qaeda was been mostly successful due to the oppression that normal muslim populations face in thier respective countries by forces not within their control. When people feel like they've been pushed to a corner, more extreme measures are taken to find answers to their problems (i.e. terrorism or suicide bombing). If these people in Yemen or other Arabian countries are given their freedoms and able to have normal means of living, why would they resort to violence? The idea that Islam is inherently violent is the answer to only the looniest of Islamophobic adherents, so I don't accept that as the answer.

      I would be interested in knowing how Al-Qaeda fares in these countries that are ultimately able to find socioeconomic/political reform and justice from their respective dictators. Any thoughts, Dr. Cole?

  • Top Ten Accomplishments of Egypt Demonstrators

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