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In the Name of God بسم الله


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Everything posted by Photi

  1. Well, in the Middle East there is much to behold. Only fools rush in.
  2. It is sometimes the case that foreign elements are attempting to destabilize the domestic politics of some countries. It is also sometimes the case that the peoples' wish to revolt is popular and legitimate. When this societal-wide support is observed, the social transformation is usually straightforward and easy to recognize from the outside. Egypt and Iran were genuine social transformations where the decision was made to throw off the bridle of negative foreign influence. In Bahrain the Shias there were not initially asking for the overthrow of the ruling Khalifa family. Only after the initial repression occurred there did the demands escalate to an overthrow of the family. In Libya, the revolt there may have been legitimate, but the foreign intervention we have witnessed is highly questionable. I cannot really tell you much about Yemen, though we have seen major defections in the government as well as a shifting of tribal allegiances. Sometimes there is foreign intervention, so anyone who attempts to make judgments about the legitimacy of popular uprisings without giving heavy importance to the will of the people is not making their proper due diligence. Syria's government is in tact and the tribal and ethnic leaders give legitimacy to Bashar al-Asad. Even though it would be preferable to actually see Assad's government popularly elected, the consensus there is that given the current political environment, Syria is better off with Bashar al-Assad at the helm. Do you think the Syrians wish to see the anarchy of Iraq visit their society? Why is it so easy to volunteer other nations for war and revolution? As if it is any of our business anyway. The Syrian government was the only Arab government to support Iran during the imposed war of the 1980s. Iran would be foolish to sell out her friends, so let's think rationally about these events.
  3. are you saying it is never the case that evil plotters are meddling?
  4. http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/world/jan-june11/syria2_04-08.html here's a good interview to watch about Syria. Flynt Leverett says Bashar al-Assad is essential to reform. There seems to be consensus that the uprisings in Syria have been agitated by Jordanian and Saudi forces. The uprisings, insofar as they are anti-government, do not seem to be legitimate. (which is not to say anything about the protesters' actual grievences, which very well may be legitimate)
  5. Here's a good article, though a couple days old, explaining how syria is different than egypt or tunisia: The Arab awakening and Syrian exceptionalism Quote:
  6. Think again Akritas: How to Attack Iraq from 1998. Project for a New American Century June 3, 1997 American foreign and defense policy is adrift. Conservatives have criticized the incoherent policies of the Clinton Administration. They have also resisted isolationist impulses from within their own ranks. But conservatives have not confidently advanced a strategic vision of America's role in the world. They have not set forth guiding principles for American foreign policy. They have allowed differences over tactics to obscure potential agreement on strategic objectives. And they have not fought for a defense budget that would maintain American security and advance American interests in the new century. We aim to change this. We aim to make the case and rally support for American global leadership. As the 20th century draws to a close, the United States stands as the world's preeminent power. Having led the West to victory in the Cold War, America faces an opportunity and a challenge: Does the United States have the vision to build upon the achievements of past decades? Does the United States have the resolve to shape a new century favorable to American principles and interests? We are in danger of squandering the opportunity and failing the challenge. We are living off the capital -- both the military investments and the foreign policy achievements -- built up by past administrations. Cuts in foreign affairs and defense spending, inattention to the tools of statecraft, and inconstant leadership are making it increasingly difficult to sustain American influence around the world. And the promise of short-term commercial benefits threatens to override strategic considerations. As a consequence, we are jeopardizing the nation's ability to meet present threats and to deal with potentially greater challenges that lie ahead. We seem to have forgotten the essential elements of the Reagan Administration's success: a military that is strong and ready to meet both present and future challenges; a foreign policy that boldly and purposefully promotes American principles abroad; and national leadership that accepts the United States' global responsibilities. Of course, the United States must be prudent in how it exercises its power. But we cannot safely avoid the responsibilities of global leadership or the costs that are associated with its exercise. America has a vital role in maintaining peace and security in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. If we shirk our responsibilities, we invite challenges to our fundamental interests. The history of the 20th century should have taught us that it is important to shape circumstances before crises emerge, and to meet threats before they become dire. The history of this century should have taught us to embrace the cause of American leadership. Our aim is to remind Americans of these lessons and to draw their consequences for today. Here are four consequences: • we need to increase defense spending significantly if we are to carry out our global responsibilities today and modernize our armed forces for the future; • we need to strengthen our ties to democratic allies and to challenge regimes hostile to our interests and values; • we need to promote the cause of political and economic freedom abroad; • we need to accept responsibility for America's unique role in preserving and extending an international order friendly to our security, our prosperity, and our principles. Such a Reaganite policy of military strength and moral clarity may not be fashionable today. But it is necessary if the United States is to build on the successes of this past century and to ensure our security and our greatness in the next.
  7. Imperialism is the cultural manifestation of greed. It can happen anywhere.
  8. I don't generally have a problem with American domestic policy. Obviously there are problems, but what society does not have problems? My problem is that the good life I live comes at the cost of bad lives lived elsewhere. Were it not for the greedy, we would realize Earth provides enough resources for everyone,.
  9. mushu, newsflash, i posted an article, that was it. i quoted the first paragraph keeping in line with copyright laws. i was not making an argument.
  10. Some US troops may stay in Iraq beyond withdrawal
  11. Mushu, take care not to become the house negro. I personally think there are better ways to resist the West than through violence, but please don't lose track of the fact that the Westerners are never going to be looking after your interests in Iraq.
  12. most of the time religion gets co-opted for such purposes. wars of aggression are more often than not started by the greedy regardless of faith. I would even go so far as to speculate that the imperialist tendencies of the West are more the legacy of Rome than are those tendencies the legacy of Vatican City. Constantine and the rest read into Christianity what they wanted to read. Or, stated differently, the imperialist tendencies within Western Christianity (cannot really comment on the Eastern Orthodox church) have their roots in Imperial Rome.
  13. i have not noticed my cat do sajdah, but every time i pray, he will get up from where he is at and come over and rub against my legs for a few seconds, and then often lay next to the prayer mat in the direction of qibla. of course his tail always gets in the way and so i accidentally step on it or crush it with my knee, and then he gets mad at me. i also think he might think i am praying to him.
  14. You are one step away from blaming the victim. And no, most men would not do the same thing if given the chance. Nor would many fathers show their beastliness to any of their daughters regardless of age. Islam also teaches us personal responsibility for our actions. The cousin is to be blamed. As for advice to the sister, i don't have anything to add to what has already been stated. If you do decide to bring it out into the open (which might protect other young girls in your family), many unintended consequences will be the result. Not a light decision by any means. You might watch "Monsoon Wedding." I thought the issue of childhood sexual abuse was more than superficially covered in that movie, and given the Indian cultural setting, you may find it more useful than anecdotes from a more specifically western source. May Allah bring you comfort and guidance.
  15. anyone who has ever had a pet knows that animals are more than 'just mechanical.' Obviously they do not have the same sort of reasoning capabilities as the humans do but they do have unique mannerisms that set them apart from other individuals within the same breed who more or less look identical. An animal may seem insignificant, but how insignificant are the humans compared to Allah?
  16. except the environment has completely changed. if the israelis are that stupid, they are likely be even stupider and expand the war to lebanon and iran. May Allah protect the righteous ones.
  17. American politicians currently have some battle armor against BP's interests considering the devastation of the Gulf of Mexico. Maybe it's only trivial, but if the Americans keep their noses out of the internal politics as much as possible in Libya, commercial contracts can eventually be secured there only this time those contracts will be negotiated with the aim of benefiting the Libyan people instead of the Ghadaffi family. Of course that depends on the people being victorious there which in turn is dependent on realpolitik giving way to higher ideals. Oh to be blissfully naive.
  18. The Holy Prophet (as) tried to maintain good relations with his tribe for as long as he could. Bani Quraysh are responsible for the battles they had with the Prophet. The fact that the Prophet never denounced his tribal heritage (though he did put its importance as subservient to an individual's Faith in Allah) gives support to an Islamic acceptance of a national identity not based on religion. On the one hand democracy is supposed to represent the will of the people, but as in the United States, we have in our constitution the Bill of Rights. Without this bill of rights, minority rights would be much harder to secure against the will of the people. The Holy Prophet's opinions about his tribe will give us ideas on how to create an Islamically palpable nationalism. Can someone more versed in hadith than me expand on the Prophet's (a) opinions about his tribe? Did he ever try to dis-affiliate from Banu Quraysh for reasons other than because they were attacking him?
  19. Rock solid. Or i guess not quite;)
  20. Given my age (37) and the society in which i live, marrying a young virgin girl, though the thought of which is enticing, would feel out of place unless the girl were exceptionally mature for her age. A 30ish girl with some experience is probably about right for me. So my answer to this thread's question is "Yes."
  21. Excellent suggestions. Here is a direct link to letter 53 in Nahjul Balagha. Melymel, that whole website is a great resource to explore. You are always welcome here at shiachat as well.
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