The “war news” — not so good:
Confirmed reportage: http://www.osce.org/ukraine-smm/reports
Adopting the overarching humanism expressed in Back-Channels may be part of addressing and attenuating the distress — I know: it’s too mild a word but the clinical approach may help in politics — promoted by our acceptance, approval, or fear of political criminals.
I believe my nation-state has engaged appropriately with pirates, raiders, thieves, and despots over centuries and consistently for the better. However, it too has had to compromise with or work with a “realpolitik” in the world, whether as with “detente” in the Cold War days or with dictators conveniently found in the region between American secular humanist pluralist values and the machinery of a large entity that and attempts cultural transformation with gunships and tanks.
Over time, and perhaps because the dictators can be so bad, a more loving and moderate human soul persists and prevails in a little more of the world’s space.
Because we are so bound together today by virtual wires and immense production and shipping systems plus international investment, a form of buy-in, our wars should be smaller despite “advances” in the lethality of the world’s arsenals, and they should become more about how we live with ethnolinguistic cultural survival and co-evolution far beyond ourselves. The fascist nationalist supremacist urge in thought that then develops and drives armies against one another despite the weaving in global communications, economics, and industry seems to me archaic, and it’s on that front, a front in time more than place, that we’re having this conversation.
The enterprise of enterprise and freedom finds its boundaries in the personalities of the despotic and ruthless who command their states through brutality and fear. Crime and corruption complicate matters, but over time, and perhaps a great expanse of it, early Las Vegas, the wild frontier, gives way to law and its enforcement. Still, the conditions that may produce a healthy society anywhere may be fragile x population x area x economy (internal and external trade variables) x education x endemic cultural worldview, and so on. It takes immense courage and fortitude to produce a predominantly civil — lawful — state.
Here I may depart from “Putin bashing” and the constant juxtaposing of Moscow with the horror taking place in Syria and the scare tactics employed by the Ayatollah in Iran. What does it take to turn a multi-tiered “mafia state” that starts out with a big resources grab by free-ranging business guys with rough ways but must become reliable and trustworthy, more or less, partners in the development of capital enterprise and through it the raising of regional economic development?
In that light, strong re-centralization of power and the creating of law that encourages (to say the least) the reinvestment of reserves in Russia’s internal economy makes sense — and as much has come to pass albeit too slowly for the “capital flight” that has already taken place in earlier years.
Still — the future’s the thing.
BackChannels works with everyday news, not a crystal ball. It gets to the intersections in conflict, politics, and psychology and rightly questions the mentality of medieval leadership in an increasingly cross-communicating and trading world. It has also promoted a Maslowian possibility in the region of ethnolinguistic cultural co-evolution as each of the world’s approximately 7,000 living languages represents the invention of a way of life and of seeing others and dealing with environmental challenges in some once more insulated space, i.e., separate enough to keep people together and involved in the creating and using of language as a functioning cultural tool. In essence, but especially with the contents of the sidebar to the left, it has suggested a different vision of a modern future, one that would gently move others in the world away from extremist and supremacist ambitions and into ambitious but distinctive greater cooperation in mutual survival.
Modern Arabs and Muslims for Jews and Israel frequently encounter the defensiveness and xenophobia inspired by the complex history of Arab and Muslim anti-Semitism, which story in Muslim-Jewish relations is not the only story, only the one over which people are rightly most sensitive. The prompt for what follows emerged in a very small online workgroup on anti-Semitism — and kept restricted in headcount to keep the same manageable and progressing — and it involved the issue of Jewish defense accompanied by the familiar blanketing animosity that accompanies conflict between ethnically-identified rivals. Diffusing that focus requires a very different view of intercultural politics and political reality.
For BackChannels, today’s greatest struggle, and it’s a long one, is that between the medieval apprehension of the world and the realities of the modern world and its greater potential for humanity.
With some wandering, this “From the Awesome Conversation (FTAC)” moves from simple apology for hurt toward a much greater theme: civilizational transitioning.
Although the BackChannels style has been to italicize such posts — and put this “further explanation” at the bottom of the piece — that approach has been reversed for length and greater ease of reading.
Above: bolding added.
I’d like to see reconciliation even while noting that context — “rhetorical situation” — shapes our conversations here and elsewhere.
There may be “component parts” and “knee jerk reactions” that just bring out the worst in us.
There are certainly impolitic thoughts swirling through our heads as passing events “get to us” and we “go off”.
And there are strong defenses involved in meeting criticisms that may go deep and turn a little meditation into a searing event.
There’s an old high school joke: “Time exists so that everything doesn’t happen at once; space exists so that everything doesn’t happen to you.” 🙂
Today, and because of our handle on the material necessities in life — no one starves for lack of food but rather lack of access to the same — “space” has become less important than “time” and how we live in Time is what all the arguing comes down to. The Jews, and I am certain in response to miseries, found their point of departure from the tyrannical and disordered — probably some Qaddafi-type of 6,000 years ago. “Pharaoh” gets the blame (and Egyptian women credit for rescuing Moses) . . . and we have all gotten a different start on a different civilizational path. It’s good to revisit the basics and perhaps as a different expanded base for something needed tomorrow. Time gives us time to play with time.
One more thing as regards bigotry in general: disaggregate.
I don’t think the future needs a politics defined by, say, “Arabs and Jews”, but rather, at this time, the Medieval of Mind and the Modern. To get to a more modern world, a more mutually survivable world (at least) or more thriving (at best), some elements seem needed to get the “medieval of mind” through the barriers to the modern world.
In the peace crowd, it’s common to the point of cliche to talk about “building bridges”, i.e., “common ground”, and perhaps cultivated bonding.
The invisible sieve concept is different. It’s about massive positive filtering toward a more comfortable, peaceful, and prosperous world. Some Out There with Baghdadi and ISIS may not make it. Quite a few among leaders, sad to say, don’t want it because their power is invested in the perpetuation of medieval absolutism. Putin’s display of this was brilliant: $52 billion for the Winter Olympics at Sochi : $0.00 for Syrian Relief + the incubation of ISIS, which serves his medieval / neo-feudal worldview — and that of Assad and Khamenei as well.
Notably, this as an aside, I may regard the promotion of anti-Semitism as an artifact of the medieval world. It ranks right up there with the history of the use of the accusation of heresy in the Christian church as a means of leveraging wealth from competitors or the hapless, and in Muslim-majority states today, the “takfiri” have put on display the same political mechanics.
In other forums and following the Jewish mythos of a journey to a river, I’ve referred to a “river in time” that requires on the banks of the past a novel “forming up”. It sounds simple, but any brief reflection on the economic and social systems within and around clans, families, and tribes in their real politics tells that political reality proves anything but simple. While Khamenei has Revolutionary Guard forces in Iraq’s more sectarian Shiite militia, the state of Iraq itself struggles but nonetheless produces a more balanced official army, and one duly chastened by its route from Mosul and the ensuing slaughter visited upon its troops by ISIS. That the Iraqi defense forces have come back at all seems to me nothing short of miraculous, but now they’re doing their work.
The Syrian migration issue that has so fueled the arguments that divide the west (in chess: a fork) between cultural self-defense and the promotion of its Greco-Roman Judeo-Christian values — to which Islam may contribute or adjust, but ejection of al-Qaeda is certain — involves simply in-filtering good people while rejecting the infiltration of fascist-minded subversives who may be so by way of habits of mind or the adoption of ungodly ambitions.
The modern world is not altogether a good world. It can be deeply impersonal and “depersonalizing”; it can drop people from many kinds of inclusion, including economic, that neither churches nor families (or clans) are guaranteed to rescue or redeem; it can support criminals in the board rooms and in public offices: however, it strives continuously to be better than its current state as reflected in its state of affairs. Modernity involves ideas about cultural and social progress and produces systems — accountable, responsible, responsive — that produce, overall, a better state of being or life experience across the board.
The medieval want for themselves alone, and that with low regard for others.
Egypt may have an authoritarian politics in place today, but it’s modern and appears transitional; the wildly popular rejection and ejection of the Muslim Brotherhood signals, at least to me, a broad cultural recognition and sea change in response to a confrontation with a representative of the medieval world. Egyptians have chosen a march forward into something else — something modern.
Forgive my rambling.
Suffice it to say this forum may be as much about broad cultural change and preservation as much or more than anti-Semitism.
The experience may be likened to looking through a very small window out onto a much larger world, and, in the words presented here, “Tiimescape”.
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Posted to YouTube July 26, 2015.
Above : Modern
Below : Feudal
Posted to YouTube July 27, 2015.
Should I have resisted juxtaposing these two images, the Janus coin that is one side modern (and good) and the other deeply medieval (and heartbreakingly evil)?
“Shimmer” — a term of art on this blog — has not changed, but one hopes the numbers of those arrested in yesterday have diminished while those who come forward, who have stepped forward into their own next world, have grown.
Where are the political and social scientists on change?
I don’t know where they or their numbers — observable, measurable cultural and political topology — are today.
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The playing in Syria of a bloody chess match — or poker with three jokers wild — has produced a humanitarian catastrophe now coldly reflected in big numbers: more than 200,000 dead; more than 9 million internally displaced and refugee.
As a stalemate from the git-go — post-Soviet Russia vs NATO, the feudal world vs the modern — and held there by nuclear danger, Putin-Assad-Khamenei’s hands have transformed an authentic people’s revolution — call it a democratic socialist revolution, an anti-totalitarian revolution for classical liberalism — into an immensely tragic put-on featuring on the state’s side a tyrant and in much of the opposition the tyrants of the al-Qaeda-type organizations.
(On this blog, ISIS is a Khamenei proxy by way of direct bribes or subterfuge, and, one way or the other, its presence may be maintained as long as it serves Iranian diplomacy, war strategy, and the business that has been made of the want of infinite “narcissistic supply” — i.e., contemplated later glory).
Perhaps this way an endgame comes:
Not so fast.
It takes time to assemble parts, build machinery, and move the machinery around — and not only for the “small war” — always: if it’s in your own neighborhood, it is all the war in the world! — but for greater and more dismal possibilities as well.
The consequences of missing oil revenue for IS are severe. IS is unlikely to decrease funding for its military operations so it will have to find ways to simultaneously cut costs elsewhere and raise new revenue — and both methods are likely to jeopardize popular support for the group.
But the good times may now be over for Hezbollah and its supporters. Iranian oil profits, which have lubricated the proxy group with hundreds of millions of dollars a year, appear to be drying up. Western sanctions, imposed on Tehran due to its nuclear program, coupled with falling oil prices, have emptied the coffers of the Islamic Republic.
Hezbollah’s fear is that all that weaponry will be lost if Assad falls. One wonders, lost to whom? The Muslim Brotherhood? Al-Qaeda operatives in Syria? Since both the Muslim Brotherhood and Al-Qaeda are reported moving quickly into the mayhem and becoming part of the opposition mix, this strategic weaponry, including stockpiles of chemical weapons and long-range missiles, could fall into the hands of any of these terrorist groups, as the Syrian regime disintegrates.
http://www.maozisrael.org/site/News2?id=9174 “Why Syria’s Assad Can’t Stop Killing His Own People.” – March 2012.
With no American combat boots on the ground and limited intelligence, the U.S. is struggling to have an impact there against Islamic State militants or the Assad regime.
One of the biggest hurdles for the U.S. training program for Syrian rebels is identifying and vetting individuals to train. Defense officials said earlier this month that the U.S. is working closely with other U.S. government agencies as well as partner nations to find rebel fighters who would be candidates for the program.
Jihad Mughniyeh, son of former Hezbollah chief Imad Mugniyeh, as well as 11 others were killed in the airborne attack, including six Iranians, one of them a general. Iranian state sources confirmed the identity of the senior Revolutionary Guard officer, naming him as General Mohamed Allahdadi. Another key figure killed in the attack was identified as Mohammed Issa, the head of Hezbollah’s operation in war-torn Syria and Iraq.
Assad’s war against his people, attacks of terrorist groups, and the trauma of ordinary Syrians have gone unnoticed while the global leaders quickly gathered in Paris to condemn the killing of 12 journalists, which is of course an atrocious and condemnable act, but the same world is turning a blind eye and is not reacting to the daily killings by poisonous gases, explosions and missiles.
The inability of the international community to act has turned the Syrian issue into a huge humanitarian crisis.
http://nypost.com/2014/12/07/an-iran-russia-axis/ – 12/7/2014.
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I correspond off of Facebook as well (where do I find the time? It’s easy — I have no life), and this is what one from the anti-Jihad had to say about Islam in relation to the progress of the “Islamic State” (AKA “ISIS”, “ISIL”, “ISIS/L”) in Iraq and Syria:
I saw cars lined up. They were part of the death squads for Mosul. (Whilst perusing the jihad portal.) Now that we have rampant crucifixions and beheadings I await the public stoning of women. It is coming. M. allowed it. If it is good enough for him, it is good enough for them. I am determined to no longer reference these acts as “radical Islam”. They are the real Islam. This is real Islam, just as practised in the time of M. Radical Islam, would be an Islam that is moderate, philanthropic and kind. That is radical for Islam. What we are seeing, is the real Islam, based on texts, eyewitness accounts, primary source options from the era of the final Prophet.
With certainty, the entire Muslim Brotherhood and al-Qaeda-type affiliates believe deeply that they are Muslims, never mind with what anomic and casual bents they kill others who believe they are Muslim too. Of course, what my correspondent suggests with perhaps Christian insight is that those among the middle, mild, and moderate of Islam who stand up to terrorism and argue for a progressive modern society be considered the true radicals.
What is it tumbling around in the Islamic Small Wars with a 1400 year old “road map” that tolerates no other instruction or thought but its own?
ISIS would call what it believes and pursues the true Islam, the only Islam, and bar the “radicals” from it.
So one may nod to the most radical of Muslims, “moderate, philanthropic, and kind”.
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Fasten your seat belt!
Politics has found its way back to music and the Information Flyway has just brought you the kick-off of “The Malala Generation”.
Bourgeoisie in a great way, brave, concerned, inclusive, intellectual, liberal, progressive . . . .
Of course, not everyone likes that.
Ignoring the text of her speech, which spoke out for the rights of girls and women and implored world leaders to choose peace instead of war, the naysayers tore down the young woman, her father, and Western nations for supporting her in her quest for education.
Nonetheless, to reach back for the drift, last October, the BBC ran the header, “Malala Yousafzai will ‘inspire a new generation,” and you wish it could set you right on the ponies too.
As a young Canadian, I admire her. Only 19-years-old myself, I’ve been lucky to have seen some amazing and eloquent speakers in the past, including both Bill and Hilary Clinton and the former Secretary-General, Kofi Annan. Nonetheless, speaking just after the UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon, Malala resolutely took the stand. Not a single of those mentioned could even touch the inspiration coming from this girl from Pakistan.
Malala’s refusal to climb down in the face of death threats from the Taliban not only challenged their gender based discrimination, but broke the ancient code of silence (the ‘shut up and put up’ code) enforced upon girls. Despite the danger, she refused to be unvoiced. Malala demonstrated that nothing is more powerful and influential against the misogynistic and extremist narrative of the Taliban than the voice of a young girl.
Siddiqui, Fazeela. “10 Muslim Women Every Person Should Know.” The Huffington Post, March 24, 2012. While Malala is not (yet) a part of Siddizui’s listings, the notables mentioned may be illuminating along similar lines.
7: how many times more that Pakistan invests in military spending than in primary schooling. This coming fiscal year, Pakistan has increased its defense budget by 15 percent, to $6.4 billion, while education spending has decreased from 2.6-to 2.3-percent of GNP over the past decade. Only seven other developing countries in the world spend less than Pakistan does on education.
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Posted to YouTube March 19, 2013:
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Make of the juxtaposition what you will!
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