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Total number of comments: 27 (since 2013-11-28 15:54:41)

RD Sultan

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  • NSA monitored visits of "Radicalizers" to Chat Rooms, Skin Sites to Discredit Them
    • For "Muslim radicalizers" substitute anyone the government wished to embarrass.

  • The Middle East warmly welcomes Iran Deal, sees it as Step toward Denuclearizing Israel
    • The only reason why Israel and Saudi Arabia are manic about a peace deal is that both are afraid of their nations being superseded by Iran.

      It’s also in Bibi’s interest to keep the Israel populace in a state of fear. If it wasn’t for a common enemy Israel could rally against, the orthodox and seculars would be at each other’s throats (and I mean this literally)

  • US seeks Broad Powers, Immunity for post-2014 Troops in Afghanistan (Lazare)
    • I’d argue that Afghanistan faces four major problems (besides the four obvious ones - corruption, drug production, proliferation of warlords and terrorism):

      1. Ethnic conflict amongst the non-Pashtun majority (ethnic quarrels occur amongst the non-Pashtuns too) and Pashtun minority (Pashtuns are resented by other ethnic groups for their dominance of government and for trying to impose Pashtun customs).

      2. Durand line dispute between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

      3. Pakistan’s pursuit of strategic depth in Afghanistan.

      4. Its geography (it’s the countries curse to be a battleground for competing powers for centuries).

      But assuming the BSA is granted approval, I foresee two scenarios:

      1. The insurgency continues and the Afghans bear the brunt of fighting. Whilst the US can't guarantee victory to the Afghans, it can deny a victory to the Taliban. The goal is to convince the Taliban that the continuing costs of the war outweigh any potential gains. Only then will the Taliban seek a negotiated settlement.

      2. Pakistan will become impatient with the blowback of supporting the Taliban and therefore force the Taliban into negotiation.

  • France Crashes the Geneva Party, Scuttles Iran Deal
    • Why do you foresee a nuclear armed Saudi Arabia as a threat to Turkey and Egypt?

    • France did supply heavy water to Israel so that the latter could build atomic bombs. If France is going to be Israel's protector, perhaps they can take over the US foreign aid to Israel too.

      Anyways, I just took off "Visit France" from my bucket list.

  • The American Genocide Against Iraq: 4% of Population Dead as result of US sanctions, wars
    • See also "The redirection" essay written in March 2007 and published in the New Yorker.

    • The US invasion of Iraq was motivated less by oil and more by a desire to protect Israel. Breaking up Middle Eastern states is part of an Israeli agenda (see Oded Yinon essay & clean break strategy).

      If the US was a traditional resource motivated imperialist, why not invade Venezuela for its oil?

  • Top Ten Ways the US and Iran could avoid a Catastrophic War
    • I'm sure we need to get permission from Israel before we do anything. How pathetic is that?

  • Sakharov Prize-winner Malala Yousafazai Calls on US Gov't to Conduct talks with Taliban (Queally)
    • This is what John William Kaye, a British military historian, wrote about Shah Shujah Durrani, Afghanistan's Emir.

      "It was obviously his policy to appear all things to all people. He could not venture to take any decided course... Perhaps, I should not err if I were to say that he was true neither to his own countrymen nor to his British allies. He was prepared to side with either the one or the other, according to the direction in which the tide of success might be seen to flow. He had no affection for the English; but he dearly loved British money...He wanted the prestige of British support without the incumbrance of British control. To retain our friendship, and yet to rid himself of our presence, was unquestionably the desire of the Shah."

      From "History of the War in Afghanistan" (1851), Volume 2

      The same applies to Karzai today.

    • I am a little at a loss to understand the meaning of your post.

      Are you of the opinion that if Muslims leave Islam they will suddenly embrace enlightenment? As Islam is the most tenacious belief system in all history (there hasn't been a single instance where a people, once become Muslim, has ever abandoned the faith), it has never been defeated except by outright ethnic cleansing (such as Spain, Bulgaria, Portugal, Serbia, Myanmar).

      Since Islamic civilization once flourished, I don't think it's accurate to blame the current backwardness of Muslims on Islam. I think the mass murder of Muslims by the Mongols, the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, the baleful influence of oil (resource curse/Dutch disease) and interference by Westerners are more important factors.

      As for Afghanistan, it was moving towards a modernized society (that embraced both Islam and modernity) up until the soviet backed PDPA killed and replaced Daoud Khan. It's America and USSR that created this Afghan horror. After 35 years of interference, we have a corrupt puppet kicking sand in the eyes of his puppet masters.

    • This is all bluster for internal consumption. Karzai simply wants to establish himself as a separate force as he leaves office next year. He can't do that if he is seen as a weak figure in the power calculation to come.

  • Netanyahu and Iranian Jeans: Ironies of Modernity and Tradition
    • "A recent poll showed that only four or five per cent of Iranians regularly go to mosques and attend Friday prayers."

      Farhang, I'd appreciate if you can provide me a link to this poll. If true, it contradicts a survey done three years ago by two Iranian sociologists who found that "in comparison to 1975, four years before the revolution, Iranians are still considerably very religious. The number of Iranians who pray or participate in socio-religious rituals has remained relatively unchanged. The number of people who fast has even increased."

      link to

  • Militant Secularism in the Middle East?
    • Good grief.

      Ataturk's Turkey (as I'm sure you're from) is a fine example of militant secularism ( Ba'athist dictatorships would be another example).


      (1) Military coups of several democratically elected governments (just because the PM was either left-wing or a practicing Muslim).

      (2). Practicing Muslims were forced to secularize (in some cases, violently). As you know, religion is controlled by (not separated from) the state.

      (3). Practicing Muslims were denied a basic rights of access to education and employment (Erdogan himself was arrested once when he was Mayor for reading a religiously inspired poem).

      (4). A soldier would be discharged from the military if his/her mother wore a headscarf (to a Kemalists, a headscarf is a political symbol) or if he/she was caught praying/fasting.

      (5). Kurdish language was suppressed (you couldn't read, write and speak Kurdish).

      (6). Murder of political dissidents (I know Erdogan sues them or has them arrested).

      Nearly 100 years has passed in Turkey and Islam still remains there (and religious practice is increasing) after military rule and strong secular PMs.

      PS. I'm not from Turkey and I don't care for fascists (religious, secular or otherwise).

  • Would Israel's Netanyahu really Drag US into war with Iran?
    • With its missiles, Iran could target Saudi oil production facilities , instantly creating oil shortages and thus hurting economies around the world. This is the reason why it's unlikely the US will attack Iran. I doubt Israel would dare defy the US and launch an attack on its own since it would be blamed for hurting the US economy.

      If Israel were to attack, Iran could just push back the Israeli air force with SAMs. Remember, Egyptians were able to cross the Suez Canal by using SAMs to neutralize Israeli air power during the 1973 Arab-Israeli war.

  • Israeli Nuclear & other Arms compared to Iran's
    • Great points but if China were to "remove" Israel, wouldn't they be on the receving end of Israel's Samson Option?

    • Bibi wants to keep the bogyman of Iran going because:

      (1) Israel wants to be the Middle East's dominant power (a nuclear Iran would obviously tip the balance of power).

      (2) Israel is afraid the US will begin to align more with Iran and bid farewell to Israel. Iran has a lot more to offer the US than Israel (Oh, and Iran wouldn't kick sand in everyone’s face and then hide behind the US when the bully comes calling).

      (3) Netanyahu has to make sure his citizens are scared out of their wit, for political reasons.

      (4) Continue to get American tax money too (America is shutting down, but Bibi will make sure to get his checks on time).

      As we all know, according to the Israelis, Iran has been about six months away from having nuclear bombs for the last twenty years.

  • Is Iran out of the US War Queue? The Twilight of the Hawks
    • "The US is an unusually war-like country."

      It's not just the US but the West. As Samuel Huntington wrote:

      "The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion, but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact, non-Westerners never do."

  • Iranian President Rouhani acknowledges Holocaust as Crime against Jewish People
    • Holocaust denial by Muslims is ignorant and is based on emotional resentment of the way Zionists use the holocaust to justify their own crimes.

      Instead of denying the holocaust, Muslims should simply say "Palestinians shouldn't do the time when Germans did the crime."

  • Is Hamas Finished? Facing a Youth Rebellion and Egyptian, Iranian Hostility
    • If Hamas senses it's time is up, might they actually start a war on the basis that they're finished as a political party, and at least they'd get to take some Zionists with them?

      Sort of like Israel's Samson option, only it wouldn't require the other side to start the war.

  • President Obama's Doubtful Grounds for Military Action against Syria
    • Doesn't the fact that Assad is agreeing to relinquish his weapons de facto proof that the rebels do not have them? Why would he put himself at a disadvantage?

  • How Putin Saved Obama, Congress and the European Union from Further Embarrassing themselves on Syria
    • There is no possible way to confirm that Assad has relinquished all of his chemical weapons (who's to say that Assad won't be able to hide away a fraction of their CW somewhere?).

      Anyways, I am of the opinion that Obama knew Congress wouldn't grant approval to “strike” so perhaps this whole quarrel with was meant to send Tel Aviv a message: that it cannot count on the United States to confront Iran's nuclear ambitions.

  • A US attack on Syria will Prolong the War
    • I have to disagree Dr. Cole.

      By all measures, Obama's goal is regime change. Anything else in my opinion is bunk.

      Once the US strikes, Assad wont last a week. The rebels will be in Damascus and Assad will arrive in Iran.

      This is a 2001 replay of Afghanistan.

  • Fox to Reza Aslan: Why would a Muslim write a book about Jesus?
    • Aslan's thesis contradicts Islam's narrative of Jesus so how can he have an Islamic agenda when his thesis argues against what the Quran says about Jesus?

  • Egypt: One Soldier Dead, 3 Wounded, as Muslim Brotherhood Clashes with Army, Secularists in Provinces
    • Nice to see Afghans have sympathy for their Muslim brothers and sisters despite their own plight.

  • Fourth of July Comes a Day Early to Cairo after Fundamentalist President is Removed (video)
  • Egypt's Countdown to Meltdown: Morsi Refuses to Deal
    • At best, Egypt becomes another Pakistan, whereby the military dictates politics. At worst, it becomes another Afghanistan, in which the Muslim Brotherhood, like the Taliban, take up terrorism to exact revenge for its overthrow.

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