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In the Name of God بسم الله

Marbles

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Everything posted by Marbles

  1. The nonstop reporting in Western media over "justice and accountability" for the unfortunate victims is now bordering on hysterical. Where are these people when US "accidentally" drones hundreds in wedding receptions and hospitals, or when their buddies the Saudis "mistakenly" and regularly bomb school buses and public buildings?
  2. On the contrary and although it may not look like it, I believe Trump has been doing a good job at dismantling the empire. It's slow and often times imperceptible, but it's there. No wonder that the status quo perceives his policies and actions as a direct threat to the working of the military industrial complex. He wants to make America great again. I'd let him do that if that means a less involved and more withdrawn US. It would be better for the US and obviously it'd be better for the entire world. Plus, despite his bluster and fist-pumping, the guy has not started a new war. And he's already in his last year in office.
  3. I don't know. Those who'd like to err on the side of John Pilger might have some ideas. A rogue Iranian operator who got brain-fogged? A real US missile/drone that flew in undetected until it hit the craft? MEK sleeper cell coming to life out of nowhere? MOSSAD missile strike from the space?
  4. Addressing the emboldened bit, I have been reflecting on what could have led to the downing of the passenger jet. At first the Western allegations seemed so absurd I simply laughed them off. But since Iran has admitted it, it now seems reasonable to ask questions even if it ruffles some feathers. I don't know what kind of military equipment Iran has but either it is absolutely useless or the people tasked to handle it don't know how it works. * For a US fighter to come all the way to Tehran to bomb military installations, it first has to enter Iranian airspace from hundreds of miles away. If Iranian military is not equipped to detect and deter foreign hostile jets until they reach Tehran, then this should henceforth keep Iranian leaders, military and public awake all night. * Besides other things, a basic radar tracks a jet's speed, altitude and name/signature. A brief real time analysis of either of these parameters would have discounted the possibility of this being a hostile jet coming in to bomb them. (It's altitude must have been rising and speed increasing. Plus, commercial jet's signature) * A jet that has just taken off from their biggest airport a few minutes ago couldn't possibly be mistaken for a foreign fighter jet without there being serious miscalculation and/or failure to analyse basic data. OR Here's a conspiracy theory which still has some takers: Someone else blew the jet and Iran is too embarrassed to admit the identity of the shooting party in the interests of national security/pride.
  5. There might not be an equivalence of circumstances but there is an equivalence of action and outcome. In both cases the shooting party believed it was a hostile craft coming in to bomb them. In both cases unsuspecting passenger jets were blown into smithereens.
  6. I wonder if now the Iranians would forgive the US for downing their passenger jet back in 1988...
  7. Iran has come out looking stupid from the entire thing. 1) Lost a big shot general to naked US aggression in proverbial broad daylight. 2a) Retaliated by giving prior warning to avoid US casualties. Symbolic chest-beating. 2b) Apparently didn't kill any US/NATO soldiers. 3) Shot down a passenger airliner like bumbling idiots, which had just taken off from their biggest airport. Even FlightRadar knows a commercial flight's trajectory and provides live update. How could "advanced" Iranian military radar system have missed it is beyond comprehension. It seems like lack of professionalism and height of incompetence.
  8. It wasn't 737 MAX. All MAXs are grounded since after the Ethiopian air crash. This aircraft was 737-800, the previous model which has no known problems at all. That's why it's called industry workhorse. Secondly, there is absolutely nothing to suggest that the aircraft veered off course and then it was shot down. What seems to have happened that the aircraft was hit but didn't blow up completely. The desperate pilots steered it back towards the airport but lost control and crashed. Iran will try to find excuses with the aircraft trajectory and flight to pin some of the blame on the pilots. But until and unless an independent investigation concludes we can't take anything they say for granted.
  9. brother why don't we men stay at home? It would solve a lot of world's problems no...
  10. Yes, he let himself be manipulated by the formerly Blairite centrist clique. This certainly played a role. How significant I can't say. But here's an interesting observation.
  11. Everyone knew this election was a referendum on Brexit. Labour has itself to blame for the spectacular defeat in decades. You can't really be 'neutral' on the most important thing in decades and hope to win votes from an electorate exhausted from the parliamentary and media circus that has gone on for three years. Even the NHS didn't matter to the working class. The tragedy is that Corbyn was anti-EU for a long time. He only had to get his house in order and connect with traditional working class Labour voters who had also voted Brexit. Labour gave the away to the Tories on a platter.
  12. That's possible. I didn't notice the language in the background anyway because none of that was part of the story or script.
  13. The choice to put modern Hebrew in the mouths of historical Persian Jewry seems rather an act of convenience than one of historical accuracy. Same for Ibn Sina speaking the Queen's English... The film faithfully depicts the intellectual and religious cosmopolitanism in the heartlands of Islam at that time. Also notes that the enmity between religions was political in nature as Muslims had good community relations with Jews but not with Christians (due to crusades and preceding wars). So the bloke from England had to assume a Jewish identity in order to study at the madrassah in Isfahan as Christian students were not admitted. But the filmmakers couldn't resist the temptation to depict the more 'pious' Muslims who destroyed and pillaged their own lands and killed their coreligionists due to perceived deviance from Islam, thus projecting modern problems on history when things were entirely different.
  14. Dad should be more worried about him being a Sunni than being a black. What a sad state of affairs. But you should proceed with caution. When we are in love, we tend not to see the problems that are otherwise visible to our family and friends. Even if you think family is wrong, you have to factor in social and sectarian variables for the good of yourself and the family before you make a decision. It's never easy so there is no simple way to go about it, but think carefully with a cool head and weigh the pros and cons. Most importantly, establish communication with your family so you all can discuss it and come to a consensus. If you fail to do that, there would be more pain and hurt down the line and it would also affect your future relationship with your better half as well. Best of luck.
  15. Wait for six months and then update us if they still want to get married after six years.
  16. Wasalam. Like I said earlier, this is another baseless assumption. Pakistani state has gone very hard on any group that has tried to establish itself under the Daesh banner in Pakistan. This includes fighters who left to fight to Daesh and returned. That is why, even though Daesh has established itself in a number of countries, it has failed to do so in Pakistan. Things would have been very different and scary had this not been the case. Wahhabi extremists are too many and have more ways to hide and run (into the lawlessness of Afghanistan) than Pakistani Shia fighters. Its beyond the control of the state when they run away and operate from outside the country. Nearly all militants that are captured and killed in combat are Sunnis/Wahhabi not Shias. Same is true for the "missing persons" who are taken away in an extra-judicial manner for interrogation. In the wars that are going on currently, Shias aren't being singled out and targeted as some people believe. We have been the victims of Wahhabi terrorism and of the state complicity in the past, but the perception that Shias are the victims of systematic state oppression in Pakistan is completely inaccurate.
  17. This is another misunderstanding of the situation. No one gets picked up because they have visited those countries for ziarat. Azadar and group leaders visit 3-5 times a year along with hundreds of thousands of people every year. Half of my own extended family is found in Iran or Iraq at any time during the year, visiting for ziarat. Perfectly fine. No one's been picked up. State airline even started direct flights to Najaf because of an increase in the number of passengers heading to Iraq. Do you know who gets picked up? There have been hundreds of Pakistanis Shias who eventually went to fight in Syria against Daesh. It was when the Pak agencies started keeping tabs on the Shia pilgrims because, like any other country, Pak didn't want its citizens going and fighting in foreign wars. There were those Shias who used to visit Iran, Iraq, Syria regularly under the guise of ziarat but in fact they were coordinators and brought volunteers from Pak to fight in Syria. I can't blame the security agencies for trying to put an end to something that threatened to radicalise Shias youth in Pakistan, which then might have led to something more serious at home.
  18. This is total nonsense, on a number of levels. Some uninformed Arab and Irani Shias erroneously think that they can explain sociopolitical dynamics and inter-sectarian relations between Shias and Sunnis in Pakistan along the lines in their own countries. I'd also include among this group religio-politicised Pakistani Shias who think they owe more loyalty to Iran than to the state whose citizenship they carry, and operate from that position in their dealings with the state. And this is the root of the problem. The fact is that there has never been institutionalised discrimination and oppression of the Shia minority in the state of Pakistan, barring a few cases during the reign of General Zia-ul-Haq against which Shias pushed back hard and retained/won their rights, as a reading of the history would testify. Current problems started after things began to fall apart in the wake of the so-called War on Terror and trouble next door in Afghanistan. Too many foreign players were active in Pakistan and once again tried to fight their proxy wars on our soil as they had done back in the 80s. The current policy of agencies is strictly anti-troublemakers regardless of their ethnicity, language or sect. But in case this looks like apologia, I'd mention here my track record of lambasting the excesses of Pak military and its agencies and remind again that they are not innocent. A lot of the terrorism-related problems we have today, whether as Shias or others, or just as Pakistanis, were created by our military and its agencies. But this still does not mean I make this as an excuse to become a mouthpiece or a handmaiden of vested interest groups or even foreign parties, and then complain of "Shia persecution" when the boys in unmarked cars pick me up for a long holiday.
  19. This was a political verdict through and through and not one based on law or facts. The supreme court bench behaved not as judges in a court of law but political arbiters who wanted to "limit the damage" and put the old case to a close. The historical Babri masjid is gone anyway and no way in the world Muslims would have been allowed to build a new mosque on the same spot. But allowing the construction of a Hindu temple there gives a message to the Hindutva mobs that it is OK to destroy historical buildings as long as you have some oral legends to back up and bring "evidence" from books of 4000-year-old mythology. There is already a decades-long theory that the Taj Mahal was built on the site of an important Hindu temple that was destroyed during the wars. Let the march to Agra begin! Plus, thanks to Modi, the veneer of secularism is coming off, slowly but definitively.
  20. Ate: Three scrambled eggs with a slice of almond bread. A bowl of sauteed veggies consisting mushrooms, cauliflower, broccoli, pumpkin, green beans, zucchini. Simply keto.
  21. I'm surprised people think it's a new thing. "Kalb" was a common prefix to holy names historically given to people, especially in the Shia heartlands of northern British India. People today may think it's "humiliating" but I don't think it is. People still called themselves "sag-e-dar-Ahlebait" or "sag-e-dar-e-Zahra," etc...which expresses a sentiment. Not surprising when it got into names as well.
  22. How about Abdul Hussain? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abdol_Hossein_Dastgheib
  23. This needs to be put into perspective. I can see how a few media reports would give an inaccurate picture when the real situation on the ground is quite different, as is usually the case with media reports of this kind, especially from foreign outlets. As brother @Darth Vader mentioned the laws against insulting and vilifying any religion and their sacred personalities cuts both ways. The same law that bans cursing the revered figures of Sunnism also protects Shia religious symbols and personalities. There have been numerous cases of sectarian anti-Shia tracts banned or confiscated over the decades as there have been of anti-Sunni books getting banned. This isn't a Shia-Sunni issue or even a Muslim-non issue. Under this law Sunnis have been prosecuted for insulting Hindu religious figures and so on. One can argue on a liberal basis that all such laws are anachronistic and undemocratic and should be done away with, but hey, this is Pakistan not France. A Muslim shopkeeper booked for blasphemy against insulting Hindu religious symbols. https://tribune.com.pk/story/1126404/shopkeeper-charged-blasphemy-selling-shoes-Hindu-symbol/ As for Shia "missing persons," this is part of the bigger problem involving enforced disappearance of individuals who are suspected of involvement in shady activities (terrorism, anti-state, foreign funding for sectarian activities etc) but for which there isn't enough evidence to prosecute them in a court of law. Too many genuine cases of dangerous terrorists have been dropped and they walked free because of "lack of evidence." A vast majority of disappeared people aren't Shia. There have been Shia militants who have responded to anti-Shia groups in kind and targeted them since the 1990s. More recently politics and sectarianism have overlapped and Shias in Karachi who had political influence under MQM have targeted Wahhabis as well, which has also given another layer to the conflict, of ethnic conflict. MQM Shias are muhajirs (of Indian origin) whereas many Wahhabi extremist in Karachi are Pashtuns, and the two groups have been at loggerheads in Karachi during the first half of the current decade until the military cleaned the house and broke their backs. Whether one likes Pak's military or not, the latest operation in Karachi was done impartially and methodically, not against one sectarian and/or ethnic group but against all trouble-makers across the board. This is where some Shias got picked up, rightly or wrongly. Some came back, others are still missing. The state does not bother ordinary Shias, or even religiously and/or politically active Shias if there isn't anything against them. With respect to insulting the Sahaba, it's a real thing. We are not talking about tabarra or even criticism of the revered Sunnis figures done diplomatically, which happens all the time and isn't prosecuted, but outright abuse and cursing. There are plenty of hyper Shias who drop all sense of propriety and common sense and say absolutely demeaning and hateful things against the figures revered by Sunnis. I can pretty much imagine what that guy must have written on FB because I get such forward messages on Shia groups all the time. Of course the Sunnis won't tolerate it and demand action.
  24. We have a similar Moulinex chopper mum brought in her dowry and it still WORKS!! And totally agreed about the window A/Cs. Nothing produced after can match their performance. Now we have new window A/Cs in market but they are "split quality" single units designed just to fit a window. Quality-wise they are like splits. This new invention called DC inverter is even worse. They claim to reduce your bill by 60% but there are a lot of caveats about how to run it "properly," one of which is that you must keep it at 26 degree or above. Excuse me, but I can reduce my electricity consumption and power bill just by running my normal split on 26 degrees, but that doesn't cool the room, especially in the heat of Multan and central/southern Pakistan. So what's the point of buying an expensive DC inverter unit?
  25. Thoughts: My room A/C broke down and apparently would cost a lot to repair. It was 8 years old. While I'm thinking whether to go ahead with the costly repair or get a new one, I'm using the old Japanese made air conditioner my father purchased back in 1979, some forty years ago, when electricity first came to our village, and which I decided not to sell in scrap when these type of A/Cs became obsolete. The old horse still runs great. I'm stunned by how quickly it has cooled the room. I feel like a kid again. I think I've to shut it down before I go t bed or I might freeze to death. Proof that old is still gold. Proof that electronics and home appliances produced before the incurable disease of globalisation and consumerism lasted at least a lifetime whereas stuff produced today is designed to last only a few years because who will buy new products if old machines don't frequently break down...
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