Yet, for jihadists, the “past is not a tool of mere inspiration or for marking enemies,” Kazimi said, arguing that “history books are recipe books” giving instructions on how to “reclaim that greatness of Islam.” Since its origins in 2006 Iraq, the Islamic State in particular saw itself emulating Islam’s founding followers from seventh-century Arabia under the prophet Muhammad, a community that ultimately conquered empires. The 2014 caliphate declaration of ISIS, a group perhaps even stronger than the initial followers of Islam’s prophet, reflected how Muhammad’s “calling compelled him to strike out boldly, against incredible odds.”
While Judaism, Jewishness, and Zionism combine in the interest of Hebrew ethnolinguistic cultural and spiritual survival, the religion probably should not be confused with the practical motivation for related ethnic survival. For anti-Semites only, it’s all the same — Jews, Jewish faith, Israel, Zionism — but attacking Zionism in the age of tolerance becomes the more sustainable ploy.
In contemporary animus and conflicts targeting Jewish life, there are four themes:
1. Absolute Power — political power consolidated in one ruler; 2. Capricious Law — because the ruler is the law; 3. Idolatry – the ruler lays claim to divine right or historic inevitability for his legitimacy in power, and progressively conflates his image with God or the State, and expects followers to respond appropriately — or else! 4. Sadism — with confusion as to what is God and what is human, the permit to exercise a singular will to make others suffer with impunity comes into play.
However any may care to think about any number of political and religious figures in history, I feel the above describe the character of tyrants, small or large, or men or women on the way to becoming tyrants.
The Jewish program embedded in Christianity and Islam — attractive in Rome and useful in consolidating the Arab world — unfailingly promotes (from the git-go in Genesis) human consciousness, self-consciousness or self-awareness, and, most important of all, the possession of a human conscience. Moses later becomes the lawgiver who would oppose Pharaoh in the exercise of his contention that he himself was as if a god.
The defense and transfer of concept over thousands of years has been apparently painful. The Jews, we Jews, are a mixed lot, including the atheist portion, but common to all has been mutual good regard, from Adam to Netanyahu, and the development of a conversation through time about divinity, ethics, and morality. We know discipline and order too, but Torah-derived or induced argument (regarding Isaac, should Abraham have talked back to God?) has led to a compendium of law sufficient for living, working, and trading in peace worldwide.
As an ethnolinguistic cohort, the Hebrews could grow only so much in numbers as Hebrews, but the uptake in Christianity and Islam fills in the story.
The “Abrahamic Faiths” should get off the bloody medieval and tribal merry-go-rounds and revisit their “operating instructions” line by line and in the context set by time — BCE, CE, feudal, medieval, mercantile, possibly “post-modern” — and eject the absurdity of global competition based on being born with a few labels in place.
As time is spacious and timeless, what other work than that of fostering ethnolinguistic cultural survival and co-evolution by producing a global political atmosphere in which mutual good regard matters.
While “The West” draws its shape also from Greek and Roman civilizations, the “Judeo-Christian” contributions in thought and in woefully bloody history serve to have produced so far deeply desired and survivable codes of conduct and of law. Whether we’ll be able to enlarge the familiar term to “Judeo-Christian-Muslim” contributions remains to be seen, for as implied by way of the awesome conversation, what Baghdadi has put on demonstration smacks of absolute power, capricious law, idolatry, and sadism, all of which greater portions of Islam seem to be rejecting as I type.
“The gunmen were armed quite seriously, they had everything they needed in their arsenal including machine guns and grenade launchers,” Kadyrov said in an interview on the radio station Echo of Moscow. He added that authorities had been expecting an attack and were prepared, though the assault was anticipated for Dec. 12, Russia’s Constitution Day.
Pacepa, Ion Mihai and Rychlak, Ronald J. Disinformation. Washington, D.C.: WND Books, 2013.
Kundera, Milan. The Book of Laughter and Forgetting. Michael Henry Heim, translator. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1981.
It isn’t simply that “the struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting,” as the novel’s most famous line has it. Kundera was showing us not only how one major event sweeps away another, but just how hard it is to remember at all, how disorienting to our own point of view and sense of time it is to try to follow what is going on around us.
In retaliation for losing Ukraine in the Russian-dominated CIS, Putin seized control of Crimea after a bogus referendum in which 97 percent of the population allegedly voted. The same thing was about to happen in the heavily Russian populated East of Ukraine but halted due to International Sanctions.
Corruption is a major obstacle to doing business in Russia, and petty corruption is common. The business environment suffers from inconsistent application of laws and lack of transparency in public administration. The public procurement sector is notoriously corrupt, with fraud related to government tenders costing the state billions of dollars each year.
http://www.business-anti-corruption.com/country-profiles/europe-central-asia/russia/snapshot.aspx – September 2014.
Corruption claims related to the 2018 Russia and 2022 Qatar World Cups have been circulating. In mid-November, FIFA cleared Qatar and Russia of any wrongdoing following an in-depth report by Michael Garcia, FIFA’s leading U.S. investigator and chairman of the investigatory chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee. After FIFA cleared both nations, Garcia slammed the organization for not properly representing the facts. FIFA is once more reviewing his report.
Inexplicably, President Zeman called on his EU and NATO partners to accept Russia’s annexation of Crimea on the grounds that the 1954 decree that transferred the region to Ukraine was “stupid.” He went on Russian television and denounced the sanctions as counterproductive. As far as the fighting in eastern Ukraine was concerned, Zeman argued, the West had no right to interfere since it was a civil war.
Igor Luke’s piece fits with BackChannel’s own observations about despotic power (e.g., “Putin-Assad-Khamenei”) and drifts toward it (e.g., “Putin-Orban”) and explanations for the same developed in the books listed in the “Russian Section” of this blog’s incredible library.
I started this post close to the start of Putin’s address (in the above RT video) and may have 30 minutes left before the same draws to a close. 🙂 The Russian President’s emphasis returning capital flight from Russia and developing technology may correspond both to sanctions and reduced oil prices as well perhaps to either desire (that would be nice) or the purchase of time (more likely, chatyping here as a skeptical blogger) to continue developing neo-feudal nationalism and avenues of export for it in eastern Europe.
With loose reference here to political psychology, one may apply the notion that autocrats understand one another better than they do their natural enemies: democratic modern socialists and open society humanists. Still, as I listen to Putin’s translator – about 56 minutes in — and remarks about population and health care, the turn westward (don’t tell him!) is unmistakable. Inside of two minutes (and a little more), capitalization, equality, health care, economic and industrial forecasting, education and training, human development and achievement have been injected into the address.
Will Putin — and the oligarch super billionaires, all 110 or thereabouts — walk the turnaround talk?
Dear colleagues, health care, education, social support, social security must become issues of true public good, true public value. They need to serve our entire society.
We cannot imitate education.
We cannot imitate health care or social security.
We cannot imitate caring for people.
We need to learn to respect ourselves.
We need to look at this important notion such as reputation and that reputation of a specific hospital, school, institution, or social office is a building stone in the overall reputation of our country . . . .”
If Putin’s neo-feudal and vertical-around-the-power inner circle, nomenklatura, and FSB turn about to embrace integrity and place it in value one step above loyalty — now that will take courage! — well, hell, I’d campaign and vote for him!
Psychology treats persons in part in their capacity as problems unto themselves, never mind their effects on others — everyone may need help, but there’s just one patient and experience of mind at a time.
Political psychology by definition needs must deal with both the vagaries of personality and the social organization of the same. By inference, we may expect the individual reprobate to consider and find a way of cleaning up his act and at practically any cost: as much becomes for a person an ethical, moral, and spiritual matter, a matter between himself and God or himself, history, nature, and time.
That is man confronting himself and how that story goes matters most to himself.
Putin’s reflection, as I am listening to it, involves the society he has created around himself, and that society has displaced immense wealth from the Russian people: will the owners of the state now return their stakes and set off the process of redistribution down through a new meritocratic Russia?
It might work.
One notices with people that efforts to improve in one area often yield improvements in other areas as well.
Best advice (if anyone’s reading): draw down the curtain on political theater. Locally. Globally.
And please stop entertaining the PFLP, using the middle east to distract from eastern Europe, and much else that confuses intimidation, pandering, and patronage — and the fuller suite of degrading, demeaning, and dehumanizing methods — with legitimate power.
Remember what you said: you cannot imitate education, healthcare or social security, or caring for people.
I’ll add my two cents: you cannot imitate integrity either.
Take your time, for time has time in abundance for change.
For a global standard in values, I’ve been promoting just four virtues: compassion, humility, inclusion, integrity. With those four embraced, a lot of problems start to go away and more things can be done to get improvements in “qualities of living” for the living everywhere.
As regards Islamic Reformation, I sometimes want an Obi Wan moment to say to one proponent of one thing or another, “The goodness, K, is in you, not the Qur’an, the Torah, the Second Testament. God cannot be taken from the good, for such may be emergent within the humanity of humanity.
Referencing psychology, the keys on which I harp: bipolar and narcissistic personality disorders / “Facsimile Bipolar Political Sociopathy (the psychology of dictators) / “civilizational narcissism” Mobarak Haider’s term; in cognitive psychology and language behavior, one may note that while we don’t always see things the same way (the truth is we seldom do), we can look into that together and together diminish an entire class or dimension in contemporary armed conflict.
Oh how we used to fight, my father and me.
Today, he’s gone, and I get to win some.
At least in my own head.
And the “dinner table” — the forum for “lively” (brutal) political discussion: Facebook.
If any readers should be with me on all of this: let’s keep it simple.
Argue the facts. She’s not making them up. They lend themselves to independent verification and reflection. And they lead to reasoned conclusions.
I argue — and I think she knows this (for a sliver of a second in FB-type chatyping) — for “Shimmer” — that the humanity of the humanity of Muslims writ large cannot today countenance Islam as Bin Laden, the Muslim Brotherhood, Wahhabi royalty (perhaps — some only nod and take), and Ayatollah Khamenei (or Hamas) would have it. That Islam is over, and while Muslims in its various paths, or the paths of zealots, may know it, they’re not well defended from it, either within themselves or externally.
Pakistani Usman Ali and I could probably title a piece “The Islamization of Pakistan in 2013” and as absurd as they may sound for a state with a constitutionally chartered investment in Islam, it might turn out just as full a report.
All at this point have heard or read the rule: “Qur’an 9:29—Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the Religion of Truth, from among the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.”
In our still spunky United States of America, that ain’t gonna work.
The source of inspiration for the comment was a bit of mud slinging: “Her book could be better titled The Protocols of the Elders of Islam.”
Perhaps I should have answered, “Not really — The Protocols of the Elders of Zion had to be fashioned out of hate and thin air. Geller’s observations, as noted, may be independently verified for factual validity and challenged on the pedestal of reason.
I believe Geller’s conclusions and her position will stand up to criticism quite well.
Even so, “shimmer” coincides with the absolute position.
Islam is killing Muslims today en masse, often impersonally, and viciously in several states — Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Syria, at least — and that alone should signal the bankruptcy of the civilization hewing in absolute and literal terms (!) of the Qur’an or, equally so, the humanity of those struggling to channel or reform Islamic thought away from urgent supremacist ambitions and separated forever from the desire to deal death and subjugation to the whole world that is not within the post-Qur’an political concept that is Dur al-Islam.
Wood, David. “Quran in Context 1: ‘Fight Those Who Do Not Believe (Surah 9:29)'”. Answering Islam. Up to this point, I have looked for a neutral scholarly resource in quoting scripture, but here, for once, I’ve drawn from the American analytical anti-Jihad. Quite a few of the demands, injunctions, and warnings sustained in the Islamic cultural intellectual legacy have proven in invention and continuation infantilizing (“O ye who believe! take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends: They are but friends to each other. And he amongst you that turns to them is of them. Verily Allah guideth not a people unjust” – Surat 5:51), inflammatory, as with Surat 9:29, and deadly (e.g., “”They wish that you should disbelieve as they disbelieve, and then you would be equal; therefore take not to yourselves friends of them, until they emigrate in the way of God; then, if they turn their backs, take them, and slay them wherever you find them; take not to yourselves any one of them as friend or helper” – Surat 4:89).
At least compared to Robert Mugabe, among others of that sort, I like him.
When one invents a term like “Facsimile Bipolar Political Sociopathy” or trots out another like “Malignant Narcissism” one might caution — or run for cover as social psychologists tend to do — with the phrase “complex, multi-dimensional”: how much of arrogance, demanding egocentric behavior, grandiose delusion, lack of empathy, messianic passion, paranoia, and resistance to criticism might there be in the mix?
Putin, unlike, say, old Qaddafi, knows containment and restraint.
The destabilization of Syria has brought untold suffering to Syrians, and while that suffering and its related economic and political costs might serve to compel an average western politician to action, the same may not have the same impact on a post-Soviet autocrat-become-president who may be more interested in the reflection reflection that conveys control and mastery of a situation and further reflects well in terms of practical character, judgment, and statesmanship.
* * *
Obama’s setting out to transform the middle east may be perceived as having backfired: instead of democracy, such as Egypt, for example, have been handed over, even if by election, to the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood and the methods, in part, of another dictator, albeit one with perhaps a new political environment for navigation.
Putin cannot be blamed for the chill President Mursi has injected into Egypt’s “Arab Spring.”
Furthermore, in relation to NATO, Putin cannot be blamed for Erdogan’s rise and subsequent neutralizing of Kamalist rivals and unfriendly press.
So in Syria, while the 92,000 dead and 3.4 million homeless may help drag his name into it, he didn’t arm — or allow the arming — of rebels against the regime, did he?
“Russians have never been very popular with Syrians. During an Islamist rebellion in the 1980s they were targeted by the insurgents for supporting the regime. Pale Americans often complained that Syrians, mistaking them for Russians, jeered at them in the streets.”
In the United States, Obama’s America is emphatically not at war with Islam (nor need it be – my own position is very moderate on this and the related complexity in how the Islamic Small Wars work); in Syria, Obama’s America and some rickety fixing between Saudi (Qatari) and Turkish interests have made the United States an enabler, at least, in the effort to expand Sunni Islam and — eye on the ball, please — isolate the Shiite Ayatollah’s Iran.
Putin, who has made his position clear in Chechnya has similarly made it clear in Syria even while aligning Russia toward Israel and away from playing paddy-cake with Islam.
So far, with the recent deliveries of anti-ship and surface-to-air missiles, he’s given the Assad regime (and Maher Al-Assad) breathing space, reduced Iranian capital (in some measure), and playing defense, held Russia’s position; to continue on to “solving Syria” — and this now that he’s more representative of the polyglot desires of the west than the west! — he may have to alter the character of the regime by bringing to it an improved set of contemporary Russian values, the same as to which he responds in his political life today (specifically: the same that keeps Masha Gessen out of prison and eventually turn the Pussy Riot crew back out the streets, presumably toward the end of their two-year term), while sweeping away the terrors of the old Soviet machinery (the development of the FSB and its purposes notwithstanding).
Whether by way of President Putin or not, Russia has come far from what it was in the Soviet Era, but it’s continuing influence wants for reason, and for that oligarchy and money may not suffice; moreover, if Gessen’s portrait of Putin prevails within Putin, that won’t work for history; add this: if he wants to do what he may behind the curtain — back stage, finally – he may have to do it in a way that alters the atmosphere of the conflict even without visible intercession.
Tall order, that.
I think President Putin bright and clever (quiet and strong), and he will find a way to keep Syria in Russia’s sphere as well as make it more democratic, egalitarian, free and tolerant.
* * *
Perhaps I am dreaming.
We shall see.
Rose-colored summary: Putin may not be moved toward western-style intervention, but he may wish to be remembered well, and for that he may engage the Assad family, seek modification of the demands of the challengers, and set Syria on a progressive track.
On that too, we shall see.
I placed reference inline on this post, which I think adds to the on-the-fly blogging experience (even that which hails from the second row seat to history). However, I opened other tabs on this too, and list them here.
Wikipedia. “Narcissistic personality disorder”. Reference provided neither to condemn nor diagnose, but rather to refer to several of the dimensions involved (in relation to this “complex, multidimensional” topic) in suggesting best political policy courses that must prove psychologically satisfying to the leaders who choose, engage, and promote them.