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November 03, 2004

The People Have Spoken..
Ali Mostashari  [info|posts]

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The people of the United States of America have spoken (by a margin of 3.8 million votes) for the re-election of George W. Bush. This was a historic event by all means, and I believe we will see the impacts not just in the U.S., but on a global basis, and not just in the next four years, but in the decade to come. There is a lot or room to debate the effects, but I take this moment to declare:

I just realized that it is difficult to live in a democratic society when the majority people in that society have values that are not only different, but also diametrically opposed to mine, which they seek to impose on my life.

No, I am not joking. This is precisely the emotion I caught in my sub-conscious when watching the election coverage last night. ""What the..", "are these people crazy?"..."I can't believe they voted for this moron...." etc. And then it dawned on me. Despite what I have tried to make myself believe, I have not been able to internalize a democratic spirit within me. The reason I push for democracy in my own country may merely be the fact that democracy would actually push Iran in a direction which I believe to be the right one. This is sad to realize, very sad indeed.

So what if the American people believe that the Iraqi civillian toll of more than 100,000 (as of October 20, 2004) was not an issue. So what if they voted for a person who said "Do I think faith will be an important part of being a good president? Yes, I do.". So what if they decided that Christian Fundamentalism is the way to go. So what if they are for cutting social security, increasing military spending, increasing deficits, and decreasing civil liberties. It's their inalienable right, it's their country. But it still doesn't sink in...again comes the question: "How could America, with all of its potentials...?"

"Gnothi se auton" (Know thyself), has a whole new meaning today.

Comments
hazhir at November 3, 2004 02:19 PM [permalink]:

Nice self reflection. I had similar feelings... but I am not sure if this is sth just cultural/iranian: most Americans I saw today in school were demoralized and sad, one of them was saying he feels less safe now than yesterday etc.

Eswin at November 3, 2004 02:39 PM [permalink]:

Well,

I think we should not forget that Americans have voted Republican more often than they have voted Democrat.

Media, especially state and local, has always been used very effectively by them. Since 1950s the number of Christian conservative radios exponentially grew in the US and, despite the baby-boomer activism, it was the most important medium in framing the "American Mind" and connecting to "American Heart" during the Cold War. It still is.

Presidents Eisenhower and Nixon, both of them, were elected at crucial moments (Yes I know about Watergate but Nixon was way ahead in all respects and did not need to stage that stupid operation). During the Cold War Americans remained more conservative than the rest of the Western World about Capitalism and Security. They voted accordingly.

However, I would like to ask a question or two: Did Iranians helped President Reagan be elected? Did Iraqi insurgents + Osama help President Bush get elected?

From the viewpoint of the academics such questions are too inaccurate, but I would really be curious to see what would Americans say, if Polled, that those cohorts of American Conservative Christians, who went en mass to get W elected, were both inspired by their conservatism and an Iraq+Osama's Latest Video... to be continued...

Abtin at November 3, 2004 03:12 PM [permalink]:

My exact sentiments, at least this morning, the stupid democracy. Times like this, benevolent autocracy sound much more appealing. I wonder if the people on the coasts can start a cessation movement from the Bible belt. We can call them the Christian Republic of America.

Arash at November 3, 2004 03:19 PM [permalink]:

"Gnothi se auton" indeed. If Kerry knew it, he was the president now. America IS a divided society, where abortion, gay marriage, and gun control are taboo to most of the nation, and much more important than Iraq, terrorism, and economy. No one can talk them out of their decisions, the consequences of their decisions might.

hossein at November 3, 2004 03:32 PM [permalink]:

I have almost the same feeling, that how can I live in a country that I don't agree with its majority of population morally.
The latest polls show that tax cuts, war in Iraq and economy had less effect on election than "moral issues", mostly being abortion (including stem cell research) and gay marriage (which its banning was on the ballot in 11 stated including Ohio).
I think in the coming days there will be talks about how the banning of gay marriage on the ballots has increased the turn out. Basically the 4-5 million conservative Christians who didn't vote in 2000, came out and voted for Bush. (The turn out in young voters was the same as 2000, which didn't help Kerry.)

I wouldn't go as far as I "stupid democracy", but you've got to accept that it's not going to go your way all the time, if ever!

zigourat at November 3, 2004 04:22 PM [permalink]:

All of what happened today reminds me these words from writer John Le Carré : ""America has entered one of its periods of historical madness, but this is the worst I can remember: worse than McCarthyism, worse than the Bay of Pigs and in the long term potentially more disastrous than the Vietnam War."

Mehdi Y at November 3, 2004 06:11 PM [permalink]:

I am also shocked to see how have voted. I don't think those people who voted for president Bush are stupid, instead, I believe progressive forces in America are doing a bad job in making their case.

Through the past decades, the conservatives have built a strong network of institutions(think tanks), media outlets and have come up with issues to attract certain social blocks. Progressives instead haven't done any of that and each time they were defeated they have tried to scream louder instead of sticking to build the real infrastructure to send their message and win.


Progressive have not looked inward critically at their tactics. They have failed to prioritize their issues. For example, they have been antagonizing many religious working-class by their
abortion-rights advocacy. The women's access to abortion is an important issue, but not when the democratic party is turning to a permanent minority party in this country. Democrats have to drop certain issues that are particulary offensive to religious right from their federal agenda. Democrats/progressives can
get back to those issues once they have built the necessary infrastructure to push for those issues.

ziad at November 3, 2004 07:24 PM [permalink]:

I can’t help not drawing parallels between what is happening here in the states and the pre World War 2 era. The Weimar republic was very liberal and had a solid democratic constitution and many people hoped that the creation of a democratic German republic would settle things down which proved to be wrong. It just managed to mask the destructive nationalist and social forces for a while. Don’t forget that Hitler was elected and in the early 30s the Nazis were the biggest party in the German parliament.
I think that American society has fundamentally changed, the fact that people don’t consider the deficit the war in Iraq and its human and financial costs on both side as important as their religious belief, is alarming. I don’t think the issue is being pro abortion (pro-life) or not! In fact it would be very hypocritical to care about the lives of the unborn ones and not to care about the life of Iraqi children who are dying in their thousands in Iraq.
I didn't really think that Kerry would win this election, never the less I was also shocked to see that Bush actually got the mandate for his second term by this big margin, which he didn't have in his first term.

Kaveh at November 4, 2004 01:10 AM [permalink]:

Word!. For me, though, the rage is accompanied by a feeling of deja-vu. It's the same feeling vis-a-vis the Iranian people's messianic choices and desires, more so. It's the sad but hardly novel realization that the neat liberal lie of " democracy" can only be a travesty inducing us to reproduce its prefabricated content – "the necessary illusions." Psychologically indignant of the vulgar shrewdness of the process we play into the hands of our rulers by justifying - even intellectualizing- the choices we NEVER made. (Let's face it, can any vote for Kerry really be rendered an exercise of free will?) Liberal intellect is the junk of each of our bad trips. In the intermittent withdrawals we get glimpses of the Matrix. Yearningly, if lethargically, we remember that there was once the actual momentary freedom of revolutionary action, the expression of a truly free utterance; "no." But then again . . . !

Neo at November 4, 2004 02:23 AM [permalink]:

I don't understand why we Iranian people think that Kerry would have done any better than Bush in case of Iraqi war or any other issue that affects world's order.

My point is that Democrats and Republicans have always agreed on their foreign policies. It's their national issues that would lead a candidate to the White House.

Let's accept democracy here, the majority of American people want Bush whether with or without the influence from media. Who are we to say that this is not democracy and how much has that media influenced us to judge that Kerry is any better than Nader?

Peace Out!

An Iranian Student (AIS) at November 4, 2004 03:03 AM [permalink]:

Well well well...it's funny to say the least to read the comments here, but this is what freedom is I guess.
Anyway, I AM very happy that Bush was elected and I want to congratulate all those who can see the fact that a Kerry presidency would have been catastrpohic, especially in the ME.

Anyway,
"So what if they decided that Christian Fundamentalism is the way to go. So what if they are for cutting social security, increasing military spending, increasing deficits, and decreasing civil liberties. It's their inalienable right, it's their country."

I'm soerry but this is absolute nonsense!
Democracy does not include ANY such things, their country or not. Basic rights are the cornerstone of the democratioc way of doing politics.

Go read the decelration of independence again.

eswin at November 4, 2004 07:25 AM [permalink]:
First of all, I am surprised that some people have such a linear understanding of liberal democracy that they expect "every vote" or a good portion of them should count. When the American Republic was founded, the idea of proportional representation was in its embryonic stages, if it existed at all. Majoritarian, first past the post system of election, was the only way to vote. Somebody talked about the Weimar Republic. I am surprised to hear such a nonsensical analogy. This is semantics gone rampant. The Weimar Republic never had a proper constitutional arrangement, such as a Supreme Court to conduct judicial review for preserving fundamental rights and freedoms, as the US has. Its federalism, if there was any federalism, was too centralized and its constitutionalism was really flawed. The US citizens, in many of the states whose electoral college and popular vote went for Kerry, have in fact gotten their word out in the most democratic and federalist sense of the term: they elected Democratic Senators and Governors (look at the results for New England, the Great Lakes region, NM, and Washington). American democracy has checks and balances built into it that cannot be easily destroyed, as they could be in the Weimar Republic. I also disagree that Americans do not have any understanding of history. The Civil War and the Civil Rights movement are still very alive in the minds of many Americans, regardless of their Confederate or Unionist stance. America cannot be easily compared with the infant Weimar Republic. I am sorry but it was a completely uninformed and naive, if not a silly, analogy! However, have the US citizens, in aggregate terms, been as informed the citizens of the Swiss confederation in voting a new government to power? I do not think so! I think the United States overall is more of a "Republic" than "a democracy in a liberal sense". Is it a good thing or a bad thing for American Constitutionalism? We will have to wait and see. Nonetheless, I would not go as far back as the Declaration of Independence to celebrate the health of American Constitutionalism. Indeed, please do not forget that Chief Justice Warren was appointed by a Republican President, Eisenhower. Eisenhower was extremely annoyed by Warren Court's liberal interpretations of the Constitution. The Court, whose many members had originally Republican views, became a cornerstone of protecting and promoting the Miranda Rights, Abortion, Civil Rights and so on. Second, As we all know, the interpretations of the Declaration of Independence have changed over time. Hence, I find the analogy by AIS and his/her invocation of the Declaration of the Independence rather ahistorical and out of context. From the viewpoint of the constitutional history of the US, Republicans have constantly flip-flopped over their conception of the Republic, and indeed the Democrats have been more constitutionalist and federalist than the Republicans have been. The same Republicans, who supported a somewhat decentralized system and more powers for the States in the advent of the Union, tried to make the Union more Symmetrical and less Confederal under Lincoln’s leadership. They depicted democrats as “pro-slavery” for the sheer fact that the Democratic interpretation of the Constitution at the time rejected any Symmetrical approach towards the jurisdictional powers of the States. Was it a crisis for constitutional democracy as to what constituted equal rights and freedoms in a confede ["Toooo long!" editors say, "Here: click to read the whole thing!"]
Mohammad at November 4, 2004 08:35 AM [permalink]:

Nice article, and it is to the point. Democracy by itself is not a gaurantee for good governance. What makes life in a democratic society better than the rest are those checks and ballances that no one save Eswin mentioned here.
The experience of the Weimar republic and the French third republic prompted many wetern democracies to internalize the check and ballance system.
US is more conservative than other western democracies, but it also has the best track record in making democracy work. Actually the worst record goes to the continental Europe, and if I know anything about public policy (and I assure you I know more than most), the future of EU does not look too good.
Let us not forget that US citizens have a deep rooted mistrust of the state (a healthy thing), and the idea of welfare state (universal health care, social security, affirmative action, and the tax levels necessary to maintain them) has always been controversial in the US.
On the other hand, Bush administration is hardly a conservative administration in the traditional sense. Running huge deficits, expanding the scope and the size of the government, playing an activist role abroad, and protectionist trade policies are all anathema to classical liberal/conservative values.
I would call this administration (at least in the first term) "socially conservative". Fiscally, they do not meet the requirements of conservatism.

Dan Schmelzer at November 4, 2004 10:47 AM [permalink]:

I think the article author should take at least some pleasure in the fact that I would have been equally disappointed as him with a Kerry victory. Bush won by only 3 percentage points, but I have supreme confidence that the outcome will be respected by the minority as valid and that their minority pain will soon be forgotten. The arguments concerning the presidency will start again in earnest in about 2 years, so every forward-thinking individual -- even a libertarian or a green -- has ample opportunity to influence his fellow Americans.

Ron at November 4, 2004 02:00 PM [permalink]:

From my perspective, sitting in Ohio, which is a very divided state, I thought it was very amusing to see how wrong everyone's predictions were. Every poll indicated this would be a very close race, but in the end, Bush won by a huge margin. How were the polls so wrong? Very simple. No one would admit in public that they would vote for Bush. When asked, they simply lied. If any of you are students in the U.S., you would understand this; that voting for Bush is very un-cool, and if you were a Bushie, you would never admit it. When people ask about your preference, the question is never "Who are you voting for?" but most often, "You're not voting for Bush, are you?". Women especially voted Kerry, and I have to laugh when I think of every man who left the voting booth and lied to his wife to preserve the unity of their household for the next 4 years.

Ghazal at November 4, 2004 02:28 PM [permalink]:

What I find quite amazing about US presidential election is the way the votes are distributed. First geographically and by that not only I mean how each state votes but also the counties in each states. Then the correlation between people's level of education and their votes and last the correlation between the density of population and the votes.
Another thing that I found interesting was how Bush used the Massachusetts factor to bash Kerry during the campaigns and I guess what he meant was to over emphasis the liberal labeling on Kerry but notice that Boston might be a liberal city with standards of people living in the south but Boston is also one of the most educated cities in the US and arguing that people from Boston don't qualify to become president is amazing. In fact it reminds me of how people get alienated from power in Iran with different labels.

Mohammad at November 4, 2004 04:25 PM [permalink]:

Ghazal pointed out some interesting facts.
What is even more interesting is if you dig a bit deeper:
I think the correlation between income and votes would be pretty puzzling: very poor and middle class people tend to vote democratic, lower middle class and rich people vote republican!
Moreover, it is pretty scary to know that democrats have lost their appeal in all the major population centers of the future. In this election, democratic party just secured the west coast, upper midwest and new england. Both upper midwest and new england are in steep economic and demographic decline. The population is rapidly moving south, and democratic party has totally given up on this region.
What is even more strange is that democratic party has deep southern roots (as recent as 1968 south was safely democratic) and republican party was firmly yankee (it started in Illinois and had its strong holds in new england). Now the roles are totally reversed: democrats are becoming increasingly northern and republicans all have a southern drawl :)It is remarkable that republicans have not carried Illinois (their place of birth) since Reagan years.
But I have to remind Ghazal that if you step outside Boston, nobody cares much about the city or new england for that matter. To borrow a phrase from Don Rumsfeld, new england is old America. New America is out west and down south.

Aili at November 4, 2004 10:09 PM [permalink]:

I am a little bit amazed that people really credit the US and even Canada with being so liberal in the first place. This liberal project of ours is far from complete, is very idealistic and keeps evolving as time goes by anyway. We keep having to fight the forces of social conservatism and everyone forgets so quickly that African Americans had no proper rights until the 1960s (even if they still aren't properly protected) that Chinese Canadians couldn't vote until 1965, that women had to get permission from three doctors to get an abortion until the 1980s (Canada), and all kinds of other discriminations that go against 'liberal', equality-based values. I know a woman who tried to open a bank account in a small town in Ontario in 2000 and was asked to get her husband's signature! How primitive is that?

On the more expressly political side, I agree that the Weimar republic is not a good example for comparison considering that Germany did not really except that it had lost WWI in the first place, had no tradition of democracy, and was even re-arming and testing weapons inside the Soviet Union during the Weimar years. It seems to me like this situation is more analogous to the re-election of Regan, than anything else. Although we should expect more of the same, no one ever thought Reagan would be president when the Cold War ended (not that he actually had anything to do with it). maybe W's new puppy dog will influence his next decision when he ponders yet another world problem!

heydarbaba at November 4, 2004 11:48 PM [permalink]:
The day after the election I decided to go and talk to some of the blue collar people who work in the plant. These people are machine operators, machine maintenance, managers, technicians, electricians and majority of them have no college education but some of them have some college education but none the less I knew they were Bushies...I don't claim this to be a true representative of America but it is part of America.. with the exception of Roma , they are all WHITES..almost all these people are nice people on a personal level..they are not monsters so you draw your own conclusion about the way Bush got elected...... .......................................................................................................................................... Mike(27 years old): I didn't like either of the candidates but I voted for Bush.....because I heard something like Kerry will reinstate the draft...I don't like that... Heydarbaba: Mike it was Bush they say is going to reinstate the draft not Kerry.. Mike: oh yea?..I don't know ..I think I heard it was kerry... ......................................................................................... Scott(33 years old): I voted for Bush. I don't like him and I know he has done lot of bad things but I just can't vote for Kerry in middle of this thing in Iraq. He would probably just pull out our troops. We can't do that. We started this thing we gotta finish it...I just couldn't vot for Kerry..I mean give me some one I can vote for ...but not Kerry... ......................................................................................... Bob(45 years old): I voted for Bush. I know nothing was going for him ..the war in Iraq, the economy, ..but I just can't trust Kerry with this war..I don't like Bush..I wish they had someone other than Kerry.... .......................................................................................... Diane(55 years old): I voted for Bush Heydarbaba: Diane you said last week you were going to vote for Kerry..what happened? Diane: hmmm...mmmm..... she looks puzzled ..couldn't quite explaine why she voted for Bush. But Heydarbaba has a good idea why she voted for Bush. Last week her boyfriend was saying that he was going to vote for Bush and Diane simply decided to be a good girl.... ................................................................... Steve(25 years old) : Bush is my man...we gotta take the fight to them...they came and killed us...we can't just sit on our asses and do nothing..if we sat on our asses and did nothing we would have never been a democracy..we would 've never been free..... Heydarbaba: but Steve, Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11.. Steve: we gotta take it to them.... Heydarbaba: Hey I give you six months before Bush starts talking about draft. They'll come knocking on your door...get your boots ready....they are gonna draft your sorry ass... Steve: (in a panic): ah ah ...not me..they won't take me... Heydarbaba: Hey Steve, so you are going to sit on your ass and do nothing? Steve: no no ...my...my back has some problem..I have had that problem for a while.... ........................................................................................................... Roma(38 years old and a grand mother. She doesn't speak English ..only Spanish): I voted for Bush ...because ....(she is laughing...) my son in Law told all of us to vote for Bush..he said Bush is good...................we all voted for Bush..... ............... ["Toooo long!" editors say, "Here: click to read the whole thing!"]
An Iranian Student (AIS) at November 5, 2004 03:45 AM [permalink]:

Dear Eswin, I'm sure you and many others know more about the details of American history. My remark about the decleration of independence was a very simple one and in line with what I was saying. The fact that "it is their land so they can do what they want in it" expressed in this way is not the meaning of democracy, and that is clear in the decleration of independence that waht constitues a real free democracy is objective "self evident" rights of individuals. That' sall I was saying there.
As for the effects of this election on Iran, I agree it is naive to jump into conclusions. My point again was a simple one, no matter what Bush administration does, a Kerry presidency with those promises and POV he advocated, with his time table of retreat-insane to say the least!- and so on would have been catastrophic especially in the Middle East to where Iran also belongs. I don't think THAT much is hard to see.

Neo at November 5, 2004 10:00 AM [permalink]:

Very nice interviews, heydarbaba.

People did vote for Bush and they deserve him. Just like we deserve our government. I am not talking about you or the other few "intellectuals" that visit FToI. I am talking about the average minds that constitute the majority in any nation.

Democracy is the will of the majority, i.e., the average minds. I respect the results of the US election, since it was America's voice. And again, I strongly believe that a Kerry presidency would be as terrible as what is happening now. The key isn't for sure in the hands of capitalists under the mask of democracy.

Mohammad at November 5, 2004 12:03 PM [permalink]:

Dear Neo,

Would you mind enlightening this very average person that who has the key? More precisely, what is this key and which lock it is supposed to unlock?

Regards,
Average Joe

Eswin at November 5, 2004 01:08 PM [permalink]:

Dear AIS,

I really appreciate it that you clarified. My reaction was mainly because of the constant citation of the constitution by the Christian Conservatives (and to me you sounded very much like that) in the US in ways that I find absolutely ahistorical. Since you are not even in the US, I just thought maybe the radiation of the propaganda had reached you as well, and there went my diatribe.

Dear NEO,

Perhaps Demagogue would be a better name for you in that you are missing one big point. The Federalist Papers and the Founding Fathers' correspondence clearly indicate that they never trusted the average Joe's ability to vote wihtout being influenced by "immoral" incentives. The elaborate system of Electoral College, insofar as it was elaborate when the Thirteen Colonies of His Majesty the Mad George got together, intended to reduce the ability of hooligans and populists from hijacking the political process as envisioned in the Constitution. The Enlightenment inspired Founding Fathers of the United States of America, almost all of them intellectuals and philosophers in their own right and in the broader context of the Western Civilization of the tim, they did not trust "the common man" at all.

I am confident that none of them would have approved of George W. Bush.

On a more related note, if you really crave for average man's power, don't waste your time around here and join a gun wielding club somewhere down in Nebraska or up in Montana where you can receive free Bible at a Truck station, in whose vicinity you can frequently find half-breed white-native part-time prostitutes in strip-bars for cheap.

Pursuing such a life, you would not need to know anything about intellectual founding fathers of the US, and their New England descendents of today.

Cheers to your ignorance and your trucker bodies who valiantly get slaughtered in the slums of Sunni Triangle.

(By the way, I am no leftwinger as I have bashed them in their own right every now and again for being wishy-washy, and that partly appears in my criticism of those who compare the USA Today with the Weimar Republic).

An Iranian Student (AIS) at November 5, 2004 02:05 PM [permalink]:

Here is another inquiring "average" mind who would implore you Neo to enlighten him as to the real "KEY".
We are waiting....

An Iranian Student (AIS) at November 5, 2004 02:55 PM [permalink]:

And dear Eswin,
"I am confident that none of them (founding fathers) would have approved of George W. Bush."

Lets not bring the time-warp-mind-reading-techniques in to this debate, shall we? ;->

Eswin at November 5, 2004 06:16 PM [permalink]:

Dear AIS,

Honestly, I was about to mention H.G. Wells and his Time Machine when I wrote that. I decided not to because he was Fabianist (if I am not mistaken)and that would lend to much reference to the Leftists.

Your point was very well made, such post-dictions I better leave to Evangelical exorcists and Mediums of Reality TV shows.


On the Point concerning by AIS and Mohammad,

I too am very interested to hear from Demo (or Neo) about the Key and Lock!

An Iranian Student (AIS) at November 5, 2004 08:10 PM [permalink]:

Ahhh, yes you are right dear Eswin about H.G. Wells. He was a lefty in his time, but we shouldn't hold it against him. Those were different times when, no matter how incredible it sounds today, intelligent people were found in the left as well. Anyway, Wells was a great rationalist and supporter of realism and democracy.

half-breed white-native part-time prostitute at November 5, 2004 11:15 PM [permalink]:

Eswin:
What exactly is the point you are trying to make?
Sir, I demand satisfaction. -- Pistols at dawn. Name your second.

Eswin at November 6, 2004 12:01 AM [permalink]:


Dear Cow-boy/Cow-Girl:

My comments, referred to the ethnic-cleansing that was committed in the second half of the 19th century by the White Man. As a result, the survivors were either massacred, starved to death in reservations. As the push for physical elimination subsided around the turn of the century. Many natives moved to the rural towns and began to mix with the lower middle class whites. The result has largely led to what we know as the mid-west demography in American Political studies, that is, largely poor rural people of the mid-west. White supremacists call them half-breeds. Some studies last year suggested a large number of these kids are increasingly joining the Army reserves, in the case of boys, and/or becoming off-the-road dancers and prostitutes, in the case of girls. Just google on Poverty and America and you will a great deal on that.

heydarbaba at November 6, 2004 01:27 AM [permalink]:
I thought it is worth pondering over the Bush's religious background now that he has been reelected and it seems that credit goes to his conservative religious supporters. Was Bush always as religious as he is now?. The answer is a definite no. He was living a life style and the bottle was more than just a friend. He was living it up with the muchachas of Mexico across the border from Texas. God wasn't in his mind most of the time if we judge him from what he was doing then. But then he became religious fanatic. How? We need to remember that Bush was an alcoholic for more than twenty years of his adault life, a hard core alcoholic. Alcoholism is a disease and I wouldn't wish it for my enemy. Bush went through a 12-step program that is designed and offered by AA. I compliment him for kicking the habit and drying up. However we cant ignore many of the dry-drunk-symptoms that he has and will always have. Some of the dry-drunk symptoms are always being in need of rest, easily irritable, most of the time edgy, can not take criticism, obsessive behavior, (in his case Saddam). His attachment to God as he knows it is one area worth of doing some digging...12-step program is a God-oriented program and it is this part of it that I believe is responsible for much of Bush's religious fanaticism. STEP ONE: "we admitted we were powerless over alcohol, that our lives had become unmanageable." STEP TWO:"came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity."STEP THREE: "made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him."STEP SIX: "were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character."As it can be seen God is the main hero in AA 12 -step program. For an alcoholic , BOTTLE is the ultimate solution to every small and big problem, BOTTLE is the ultimate decision maker of any small or big decision, and much more...BOTTLE rules....period.. So when an alcoholic person kicks the habit admitting that God did it for him, admitting that it was God that overpowered the BOTTLE, He is very fascinated by this God. an average person has no way of measuring God's power but an ex-alcoholic has a very definite and certain way of measuring and feeling God's power. For an average believer in God, God is powerful and strong, but for an ex-alcoholic God is very powerful and very strong, even stronger than the BOTTLE and anyone stronger than the BOTTLE has to be one impressive powerful figure and this is the roots of all religious fanaticism that is commonly seen in the graduates of the 12-step program. One of Bush's spiritual guides and a regular white house visitors is a person called Pat Robertson who delivers a big chunk of votes for Bush. I can say a lot about Pat Robertson but I just like to quote a few statements from him and you will get the picture. I just like to add that Pat Robertson has some very rich and die hard supporters and many millions who follow him blindly. Tolerance defined by Pat Robertson "When I said during my presidential bid that I would only bring Christians and Jews into the government, I hit a firestorm. `What do you mean?' the media challenged me. `You're not going to bring atheists into the government? How dare you maintain that those who believe in the Judeo Christian values are better qualified to govern America than Hindus and Muslims?' My simple answer is, `Yes, they are.'" --from Pat Robertson's "The New World Order," page 218. Individual Christia ["Toooo long!" editors say, "Here: click to read the whole thing!"]
subir at November 6, 2004 01:29 AM [permalink]:

-I suspect most of the conversations heydarbaba quoted have taken place only in his mind.

-watching eswin and AIS flirt and fight was amusing.

-I've been in the minority both in Iran and in the US. Well, it feels a lot better in the US.

heydarbaba at November 6, 2004 01:37 AM [permalink]:

subir,
which parts of the conversations make you suspect that it was happeining in my mind?

Ron at November 6, 2004 03:53 AM [permalink]:

I still don't understand this premise that Bush is a religious "fanatic", which everyone here seems to take for granted. To be honest, I just don't see it. I've never seen him preach or try to convert anyone, or say that other faiths are inferior. Does just his being religious make him a fanatic?

heydarbaba at November 6, 2004 03:00 PM [permalink]:
Ron, If preaching your religion is a sign of fanaticism (something I don't believe it is) then it is even easier to prove that Bush is a fanatic one. In Iraq, you have Franklin Graham who wants to convert Muslims into Christians. Franklin Graham is a Bush spiritual guide just like his father Billy Graham was. Franklin Graham is a regular white house visitor. In the last Persian Gulf War Graham wanted to send some 30000 Arabic language bibles to Saudi Arabia but Norman schwatzkoff stopped it. However Bush won't stop these efforts. If calling other religions inferior is a sign of anybody's fanaticism then it is easy again to call Bush a religious fanatic. The closest he has come to do this in public was when in 1993 he told a Jewish reporter that only believers in Jesus will go to haven, however he has surrounded himself with people like Franklin Graham and Pat Robertson. I posted some of Pat Robertson comments on Muslims in my earlier post. But Franklin Graham a man with such a great access to Bush's white house has called Islam "a very evil and wicked religion". Bush may not have called Muslims that name but he seems to be comfortable and close friends with those who do that. These two people , Graham and Robertson have millions of followers and not surprisingly they have the same feelings about Muslims and Islam, so much that in their conversations they won't even hide it. Bush or anyone being a religious person is not necessarily a fanatic however excessive uncritical devotion to any religion would make a person a religious fanatic. In case of Bush , his foreign policy in Iraq and Palestine is very much in line with the dogmas of religious fanatics/bigots such as Robertson and Franklin Graham. Pat Robertson recently told Israelis they should never give Jerusalem to the Palestinians because that is not what the BOOK says. In invading Iraq, Bush ignored and belittled the advice, protest of all those top US generals who had fought wars , he ignored and belittled all those around the world and inside US who opposed the invasion on humane and religious grounds. Almost all the intelligence they had indicated Saddam had no WMD, showed that Saddam was no imminent threat or a future threat to US and yet he decided to unleash a high-tech savagery on a nation that had not invaded America , a nation that didn't even have an air force or a navy and whose main army was rag tag soldiers whose weapons were pretty much useless thanks to the UN sanctions. He relied on his faith to go ahead with this invasion in which so far about 100000 Iraqi civilians and 1200 Americans have been killed. He was fighting a war between Good and Evil and Saddam was Evil. Saddam was not an enemy, was not some one who had invaded America and hurt Americans but he was simply Evil.(Lets forget for a moment that Saddam was America's ally when he was doing all those Evil things) All those who opposed the war just didn't know anything about the divine nature of this war,( the way Bush did) even the Christians, because they were not Born Again Christians...The way Bush saw it was..“the terrorists hate the fact that... we can worship Almighty God the way we see fit,” and that the United States was called to bring God’s gift of liberty to “every human being in the world.” A man so self righteous, who couldn't think of a mistake he had ever made as a president...a man who says "I'm also not very analytical. You know I don't spend a lot of time thinking about myself, about why I ["Toooo long!" editors say, "Here: click to read the whole thing!"]
Eswin at November 6, 2004 03:04 PM [permalink]:

Ron,

Read Fanaticism and Civil Society by Dominique Colas. You will get a good grasp of the genealogy and history of Fanaticism. According to this study, any person who appeals to fanatics (religious that is), and/or appeals to any political agenda that they subscribe to, however moderate it seems, is a Fanatic. A politician who is a religious fanatic constantly attempts to undermine religiously-frowned upon minorities or rights, such as Gays or the right to abortion. S/he tries to undermine their rights by employing legal or political measures that are difficult to reverse (constitutionalization of "the unborn's right to life" or constitutionalizing the definition of "marriage". Such a person is "a fanatic".

George W. Bush in disregard to the federalist constitutional tradition of the United States would like to add an amendment to the Constitution to define marriage. Definition and Consummation of marriage is a State Jurisdiction. Moreover, the Prohibition era and the defeat of the religious right in banning the consumption and sales of Alcohol, albeit done under a lot of social pretensions (such as reducing alcohol-induced violence), proved to many that constitutionalizing value-laden issues can have unforeseen and costly (societal and economic) consequences.

Faith-based initiative of the White House, which received the overwhelming support of the Muslims in the 2000 elections and led them (yes, American Muslims) to vote for Bush en bloc is yet another example of his fanaticism.

Obviously, Bush is not as fanatic as Osama but this difference is one of degree and in kind they are the same: "Religious Fanatics."

Neo at November 6, 2004 03:21 PM [permalink]:

Dearest Mohammad, AIS, and EswinOakman@Yahoo.Com:

Regarding your inquiries for the “key” to a peaceful world, I regret to inform you that you are ineligible to call yourselves “average Americans” and inquire for two reasons: (1) You are not American, and (2) you are not average as you are here on FToI that appears to host some (if not all) Iranian intellectuals that are concerned about world’s order.

However, you are missing my point. I say it again simply as there is no point to play with words to convey a simple message (as our Germanic-Iranic-Briton anti-left-winger hero does).

American people deserve Bush. The majority of average people (such as those mentioned by heydarbaba) did vote for Bush. As much as I don’t like the results, I respect the outcome. It is the true will of America. If Bush were elected by cheating four years ago, his policies turned out to be in favor of American people. People were influenced by “immoral incentives” from both parties. You all know those incentives from Republicans. An example of such encouragements in favor of Kerry is Eminem's Mosh. From reading the article, I had the impression that the author suggested that people should’ve voted for Kerry and I’ve an even worse impression that the “immoral incentives” that Kerry campaign used tended to bamboozle the author as well as his supporters. It would be easy for you, Mr. Oakman, to label me a trucker, as you have let yourself be influenced by the media’s barrage too. 59M+ voted for Bush. Less than 752K votes are from Nebraska and Montana. How can a renowned intellectual and historian like you have drawn wrong analogies?

Cheers to your irrelevant comments!

An Iranian Student (AIS) at November 6, 2004 04:40 PM [permalink]:

I wouldn't go as far as calling Bush a fanatic. He is religious, and so were most other US presidents. I agree he follows some meaningless policies at home, like trying to limit stem cell research or all this about abortion(but that won him votes you see)...but these still are not fanaticism. His religion gives him something lese that in this day and age is actually very precious. The beliefe that freedom is universal and must be propogated and and objective morality.
Compared with the leftists and specially European dominant "ideology" of extremist multi-culturism and postmodernist sacrifice of morality infavor of difference of cultures which are themselves no less a religion and whose followers are becoming much more fanatic especially among the left, I'll go with Bush's religion anytime.

Neo, I agree about immoral incentives, but it was much much higher among Kerry's supporters. Most of important Media oulets were clearly biased in favor of Kerry, Rathergate an obvious example. The we had Michael Morr's pices of propaganad garbage made to influence voting and the treatment he got from the Kerry campaign, giggolos like Sean Penn, Eminem... weighing in (any one seen Team Aemrica by the way? It rocks!)

Yet the American made their choice despite all this propaganda attack and its a choice I agree with. It is interesting to compare the US with Spain say. Aftar all there are reasons why America is a super powert and spain...well...isn't! :)

Eswin at November 6, 2004 04:43 PM [permalink]:

Dema (AKA Neo)

Thank you for your response.

I am not sorry to offend you by labeling you a trucker, your reaction shows that you deserved it. And if you state that I play with words instead of being a person of simplistic messages that relate to simplistic hearts and mind you are correct. However, you "simply" contradicted yourself in this regard when you said it would be "easy" for me to label you a trucker in that I had to go at length to do so. After all, as you yourself said, I had to play with a lot of words a lot to do so. Your emotionalism is as hollow as your respect for populism.

Your impression that I am a supporter of the writer/article's main argument is false. In this regard, you are most bamboozled yourself my virtual friend.

Since it seems neither of us likes the results, except that you respect and in that you differ from the rest, I need to add one point. Democracy is different from majoritarianism and this is a point that has been delicately and saliently made in the Federalist Papers. Your meta-intellectuality, of course, will lead you to read it, despite your ostensible contempt for pseudo-intellectuals or intellectual wanna-bes like “some of us” who do not express the type of contempt that you do, but may share your meta-intellectual criticism of intellectuals.

As to Nebraska and Montana, they served as examples for the mid-west culture. There are many other states around them (with an interestinly growing population and changing demography down to Texas on one side and Arizona to the other side) that represent a similar culture and I could refer to them.

I am glad that you still enjoyed the word game. Sorry that it revolted your stomach, and if it did, I think you still deserved it.

Unapologetically yours,

Your most Nibelungenite-Parni/Saka-Anglo-Saxon Hero,

Cheers to your irrelevant comments back!

Eswin at November 6, 2004 06:06 PM [permalink]:

Dear AIS,

Since our love and hate conversations are amusing for some, I add to our charm by disagreeing with you on the question of Fanaticism of Bush. You cannot believe how many Muslim papers in North America, Imams and other fanatics took Bush's rhetoric about the Faith-based initiative seriously and advised American Muslims to vote for him in that he called for the Federal government support for religious education (which included Islamic education).

Furthermore, and this is specifically interesting to those interested in the Arab-Israeli conflict, Bush campaign stated from the beginning that they would not take Clinton's proactive approach, and that made many Pakistani papers in North America (some of them were very loud in the anti-Israeli tone) that "Bush is Good for Muslims".

I also have not forgotten that after Bush's election, the Bush administration was actively negotiating with the Taliban, and the rumours had it that they were about to recognize the Taliban as the de facto Government of Afghanistan.

I should add that I find this in line with not very Jewish friendly Christian Conservative lobby agenda of "Jews for Jesus" that eventually intends to convert as many Jews as possible, if not all to Christianity, and supports stupid movies such as "Passion of the Christ".

As to freedom, what kind of freedom does Bush subscribe to? We should not forget that even the Supreme Court did not accept with some of his administration’s tactics in conducting trial for Guantanamo Bay Camp prisoners. A federal judge as late as 30 September struck down parts of the Patriot Act that were found to be extremely irrational and in violation of the Constitution.

I certainly, unlike the Lefties, agree that to preserve a democracy certain measures have to be taken, as we have in the Oak-Test Ruling of the Supreme Court of Canada concerning limiting fundamental rights and civil liberties. Bush, in my opinion, is not a freedom loving person in a US Constitution sense and his religiousity, which is fanaticism, is a measure of his understanding of Freedom not vice versa, which is wrong and unconstitutional as he takes oath to uphold the Constitution not the Bible. Religious pretensions in implementing the constitution, many American historians agree on this point, have almost always caused problems for the American Union, Prohibition is the most cited example.

Also do not forget that Lincoln and Jefferson who were perhaps two of the most important figures in shaping American Constitutionalism did not identify with any church.

You may find the following interesting:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3987237.stm

Our Neo-Dema may too find this link interesting to overcome his simplistic respect for the results of the American elections.

Eswin at November 6, 2004 06:20 PM [permalink]:

yes and I have assumed that Neo-Dema is a he and not a she! You may add that to my record!

Ron at November 6, 2004 10:18 PM [permalink]:

Dear Eswin,

I must protest the incoherence of your last post. You began with Bush’s support for government sponsored religious education (which in America, by the way, bears no resemblance to a Pakistani madrassa, more like 30 minutes a day of bible studies), progressing rapidly to his lack of enthusiasm for Israeli-Arab peacemaking (this was before a certain “intifadah” erupted), diplomatic relations with the Taleban (I assume you mean anti-opium co-operation, “rumors” you heard of normalization notwithstanding), “Jews for Jesus” (of which I haven’t heard he’s a member), Guantanamo prisoners and the Patriot Act (more of a national security than a religious issue, don’t you think?). None of this has any to do with his supposed religious fanaticism. Or maybe you protest that it’s a freedom issue? But I must say that freedom takes at least two forms; one is the freedom of the individual and the other freedom of the state. History shows there is always a trade-off between the two, and in certain times, one weighs more heavily than the other.

I support Bush because, whether gained from religion or elsewhere, he has a belief in objective morality. The alternative to that scares me just as much as Bush might scare you.

As per your reference to the BBC article, in the future, kindly reference respectable news sources instead.

Eswin at November 6, 2004 11:02 PM [permalink]:

Dear Ron,

I appreciate that your bias has clouded your judgement to the point that you see no coherence in my last post.

If religion offers objective morality (!), thanks for enlightenning me!

If you find BBC a less than acceptable source of news, maybe you found this one a more reliable one:

"The re-election of Israel's enemy"

By Gideon Levy

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/498284
.html


"A last-minute swing through the swing states",

By Shmuel Rosner

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/494946.html


And you think religious conservatism and strict approach to national security are not bedfelows! Very good! Your Ignorance is as much of a blessing as your fellow Neo-Dema!

Well, I think you will find how revolting your stomach will feel after reading these articles from Ha'aretz!

It is really amazing to me that the militancy of Bush fanatics is no different from the miltiancy of Islamists when it comes to Fanaticist Apologism. I concede that Bush Fanatics, including himself, have a more civlized approach than the hooligans of Al'Qaeda. They use words and not bombs, and smart bombs not swords!

In the end, do you see how the difference between the two is that of degree and not that of kind?

Hmmm, it is the reminder of "beheading people with cotton" expression in Persian, instead of beheading them with swords in front of webcams!

Fanaticism remains the common denominator of all apologists of fanaticism in this regard.

You are no exception in this regard.

Enjoy the Ha'artez articles and that of the BBC, because if you really do not want to be depicted as a Fanatic you have to read the other side of the story, Do you know why? Because they are not Aljazeerah or Al'Arabiyah, or Al'quds, Kayhan or Resalat my virtual friend.

Ron at November 7, 2004 12:15 AM [permalink]:

Dear Eswin,

You say "Hooligans of Al-Qaeda". Pardon me, sir, but hooligans are people who get drunk at football matches, not people who saw the heads off of other living people. These are more appropriately called “monsters”. Or is this just a matter of degree?

But you are right about one thing, I certainly feel sick to my stomach when I read Gideon Levy, Amira Hass, and the rest of the editorialists at Ha’aretz. You want to talk about apologists? These people still cling to the ridiculous premise that arab terrorists (pardon me, “militants”) deliberately target Israeli civilians and Jewish targets abroad because of the so-called “occupation of Palestinian lands”

The only thing these people prove is that they have the freedom to demonize their own country without going to jail.

You want objective? Read about BBC’s Barbara Plett on Arafat:
“Yet when the helicopter carrying the frail old man rose above his ruined compound, I started to cry... without warning.”

Jesus H. Homo!! You’d think she was talking about her grandfather!! And British people have to pay for this garbage with their own tax money!

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/from_our_own_correspondent/3966139.stm

Finally, your argument about Bush and Bin Laden only being different “by degree and not of kind” is like arguing that Zarqawi is not much different than a butcher…because the genetic difference between a human and a cow are only a matter of degree. Absurd.

Eswin at November 7, 2004 01:07 AM [permalink]:

Dear Ron,

I am so sorry that your knowledge of English slang is so narrow. It could be because of your fascination with a fanaticism of illiterate Americans like George W. Bush. Now please learn where Hooligan comes from:

British etymologist Eric Partridge brought to light Clarence Rook's "Hooligan Nights (1899) in his Dictionary of Slang. Excerpts from Rook's sociologically valuable work follow:

"There was, but a few years ago a man called Patrick Hooligan, who walked to and fro among his fellow men, robbing them and occasionally bashing them....It is... certain that he lived in Irish Court, that he was employed as a chucker-out (bouncer) at various resorts in the neighbourhood. Moreover, he could do more than his share of tea-leafing (stealing)...being handy with his fingers...Finally, one day he had a difference with a constable, put his light out...He was...given a lifer. But he had not been in gaol long before he had to into hospital, where he died...The man must have had a forceful personality... a fascination, which elevated him into a type. It was doubtless the combination of skill and strength, a certain exuberance of lawlessness, an utter absence of scruple in his dealings, which marked him out as a leader among men... He left a great tradition....He established a cult".

This man called Hooligan made the Lamb and Flag Pub in the Southwark section of London his headquarters, attracting a gang of followers around him. The entire rowdy Hooligan family, the nucleus of his gang- their real name was probably Houlihan- “enlivened the drab monotony of Southwark. The entry “Hooligan Gang” is found on many police blotters in the late 1890s. Hooligan has also been used as a synonym for a prison guard, screw, or hack.


I will respond to the rest of your fanatic sympathizing response later.

Dan Schmelzer at November 7, 2004 02:02 PM [permalink]:

This discussion has delved way too much into the irrelevant details of this particular election, rather than living up to the very interesting question introduced by the author -- the difficulty of living as an ideological minority in a democratic society.

Unfortunately, democracy as an institution doesn't have many mechanisms other than federalism to deal with the problem of disagreement with an already expressed will of the majority. If push comes to shove, the majority may use force, if its expressed will is not respected by the minority.

But sometimes push doesn't come to shove, because everybody knows that elections happen at regular intervals. In the U.S., elections have been held regularly for the last 400 years, and presidential elections have been held every 4 years for the last 200 years. Elections are a habit not easily discarded.

As they say, hope springs eternal that Ali will be in the majority at the next election or the election after that (and so on). Right after an election, the next elections might not be foremost on his mind, but he will come around. This is inevitable, because Ali believes that he is right, and that his truth will be accepted by the electorate in the end.

By the way, I'm happy that the U.S. elections got a lot of play in the Middle East (even though I didn't follow the coverage). I think that some in the Middle East will see the legitimacy of the vote, even if they disagree with what the vote said. Also, it may show to some that the majority has nothing to fear from democracy -- quite the opposite, rather. Lastly, it demonstrates the weaknesses of minority governments. There are a few of those in the Middle East.

An Iranian Student (AIS) at November 7, 2004 06:18 PM [permalink]:

I think we should agree to disagree on this one dear Eswin.
ALthough I'll bring my myself under the label of a fanaticism sympathizer, I must agree with Ron here.
I can't see how a muslim vote for Bush in 2000 makes hima Chrsitian apocalyptic fundamentalist. As far as I can tell, Christian fundamentalists are the most outspoken against giving any kind of "concession" to Muslims. It just doesn't pass.

Jews for Jesus?! Come on!

Again fearing to arose your fury I must admit that I believe that organized religions (at least the Abrahamic ones+Zoroastrianism) are indeed based on objectivity of moralism and firmly against any kind of moral relativism. That is one of the main reasons why new leftists oppose religion so much (and ironically thereby become dangerously similar to its worst attributes.)
The religious myths they base their moral absolutes are in some cases indeed just fables and even immoral from a modern scientific point of view, but the fact that they hold moral rights and wrongs as a reality "out there" can't really be disputed (and is as I said befor infinitely better than their postmodern elitist "reactionaries")

I understand too well the effect of living under the Islamic theocracy has had on all of us especially when it come sto religion. But remember Islamic (and Chrsitian fundamentalism) are abberations of religion not their main representatives.

Again I really don't see any apocalyptic insanity in Bush's frim belife in the need for propoagting freedom and defeating the sources of todays "religious" fanaticism that expresses itself as terrorism in method.

An Iranian Student (AIS) at November 7, 2004 06:33 PM [permalink]:

Dear Dan,

Yes, as I also tried to say with my unclear English, the true nature of democracy ae diffenet from the "dictatorship of the majority" (that someone, was it Babak?, once wrote about a year ago here)

However I'm afraid the depressed feeling in the main article is the result of a too self-confident intellectual. Of course HE couldn't be wrong in his learned views on Bush and this election, but look the Americans voted otherwise.
How to make sense of this strange phenomenon? How to come to terms with it? Deny the deep humanistic roots of the democratic process that is based on a profound approach in epsitemology and philosphy, based on rights of individuals and a belief in self evident objective moral values independent of power and who is in possesion of howmuch of it, an approach that was (and still is) way ahead of the usual superficial inclinations of "the masses" . deny all this and degrade it to something as simplistic as the will of (uninformed? different culturally (heading straight to moral relativism)? rednecks?...) majority that happen to occupy this particluar geographical region at this time.
I see in this nothing but a reaction, defence mechanism, one of those stages of denial, rage etc. that people go through when shocked. (I don't know all of them by name so don't ask! )

Otherwise what you mentioned should have been evident for educated people like him from the start.

An Iranian Student (AIS) at November 7, 2004 06:41 PM [permalink]:

Finally for all the disappointed and the depressed: take a look at how Iraqis would have voted and think about it a little, will you? might help a bit, after all they are the alleged poor bloody victims of the horrible , inhuman, fanatic, apocalyptic, corporate neo con .....(add as you lkie)...new imperialism of the age or something?! ;-)


Global vote


/On second thought they might also be an inlliterate undecuated gullible fanatic fools who don't know what's best for them. Dammit, why don't these fool ask the educated ivory league graduated post modern elites of their time (marj'e taqlid?!) for what they should be thinking instead of relying on their shallow brains mistaken personal experisnces for a change?
Then the world would be such a paradise....only if these retards would get it, dammit again!/

An Iranian Student (AIS) at November 7, 2004 06:44 PM [permalink]:

oops!
soory here is the link again:

Golbal Vote


I'm sure most of you knew I was one of them stupid masses already....

An Iranian Student (AIS) at November 7, 2004 07:31 PM [permalink]:

hmmm...sorry for this continous posting everyone. This is gonna be the last one for some time I promise.

Dear Eswin,

I was hesitant in getting to a more personal level here but finally decided that as a web-friend I owe it us both:
Personal attacking and name calling against someone like Ron (and Neo) who are just of a different opinon than you an who is using rational arguments in an educated debate only undermines your side and weakens your positions.

I hope you don't mind my intrusion here.

Eswin at November 7, 2004 08:17 PM [permalink]:
Dear AIS, Ron and others, since I promised earlier that I will address some of your concerns allow me to bring an end to my diatribes with the last one. I really appreciate it that Dan helped us to return to the main point, however: AIS: I agree to disagree with you on all points. I have to make some disclaimers despite accusations of inconsistency. AIS, Ron, Neo: You guys, who seem to fall on the right of the centre, sympathize with Bush because you find his platform still one inspired by American democratic ideals. That is fine. I find those ideals in decline, but unlike the populist Chumskists (oh yes! There are populists in their camp as well, for them democracies are just facades of Capitalism and constitutions are pieces of paper that are just good for museums), I do not think that has spelled the end of the American constitutionalism. I always thought that Bush's election largely represents Americans' choice but the division in the American society as has been exposed during the past two elections is to be taken seriously. American democracy is a model for many and needs to be fixed as democracy is not majoritarianism but a model of good governance that is inclusive, respects individual choice in so far as it is informed by the fundamental pact of the state (the Constitution and not the Bible). In short Democracy is not the Tyranny of Majority, if I may remind us all. As I said before, American federalism still provides checks and balances (states and the Supreme Court) but it remains to be seen how well it can adjust itself to accommodate (not succumb to) the concerns of the political minority (which is still around 56 million eligible voters at least). AIS and Ron: However, since I have been a labeling master throughout, and a cause of deviating the debate from its main argument, I should say that I will remain a "sceptic" about any politician who seeks the supports of the masses by appealing to organized religion or theologized ideologies. AIS: You hit the nail in the head when you make reference to the intellectual post-traumatic stress that I am diagnosed with as a result of spending my youthful years under the Mullahs. Organized religion, I am not a fan of at all, and I think Zoroastrian as an official religion brought much misery to Iran and whatever glory that it brought at the beginning of the Sassanid era was eventually destroyed due to its fanaticism for Mazdakis, Manavis and many others to the point that it partly played an important role to cause the occupation of our land by an Imperialist religion, known as Islam. I also do not buy the argument that religions are inherently good but humans make them unworthy by using them to pursue their selfish agenda. I find religions as inherently human institutions and instruments and I do not believe in a God that decided to shed his light upon Abraham and his descendents. My ancestors, which include yours, enjoyed systems of morality that rewarded honesty and promoted civility, despite their Pantheism. Totalitarianism began with Abrahamic religion when they totalized truth in one god that was "theirs" and "had chosen them and their descendents, which includes Mohammad and all his seyyed children who are by that count descendents of Abraham," as his mediums”. In view of what I have said in the above, I think monopolistic theologies of Abrahamic religions in their origins are inherently intolerant, anti-pluralist, Abrahamic supremacist, and last but not least totali ["Toooo long!" editors say, "Here: click to read the whole thing!"]
Ron at November 7, 2004 10:20 PM [permalink]:

Eswin,

My intention was not to debate the roots of arab terrorism with you, I was merely trying to point out that referencing overtly biased news sources doesn't get us anywhere, and in fact only diverts attention from the focus of this debate. So cut out BBC and Ha'aretz and I promise not to throw Jerusalem Post at you, regardless of its fine reporting and moral clarity :)
Maybe we can settle on Ma'ariv?


And speaking of the "focus" of this debate, I have observed that this one, similar to previous debates where the words “Bush” “Bin Laden” “Terrorism” “9/11” etc. etc. you know, all the key words of the early 21st century…these debates, or even passionate arguments always come back to the same root, regardless of particulars. What it always seems to come down to is objective morality on one side, for example Bush’s “you’re either with us or against us” and moral relativism on the other, for example the argument that “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.” Just an observation…

I apologize, as should all of us, to the author of the article, for hijacking it, yet again for my own selfish agenda :)

heydarbaba at November 8, 2004 01:09 AM [permalink]:

Eswin,
"My ancestors, which include yours, enjoyed systems of morality that rewarded honesty and promoted civility, despite their Pantheism. "
You give the impression that Abrahamic religions' morality doesn't reward honesty and civility as opposed to your ancestors'. This maybe easy to claim but hard to prove. Be it Judaism, Christianity or Islam, it is hard to imagine that any of these religions would not reward honesty and civility.
"Totalitarianism began with Abrahamic religion when they totalized truth in one god "
totalized truth? what was the truth and who decided it was the truth and who defined it as truth?
to accept your argument about Abrahamic religion and it totalitarianism one needs to have a pre conception of truth that was destroyed or diminished by the coming of this religion. Why do you assume that Abrahamic religions were supposed to accept what was considered truth as the truth and not have their own understanding of truth?

"that was "theirs" and "had chosen them and their descendents, which includes Mohammad and all his seyyed children who are by that count descendents of Abraham," as his mediums”."
I am a Muslim and in fact a sort of practicing Muslim but I am not a Seyyed, I have never been made felt like I am less of a Muslim because of not being a seyyed. Have I been missing something?

"Abrahamic religions are club-making and elitist themselves in their own rights. Look at their Saints, Rabbis, Ayatollahs, and Imams, with Shrines that commit Miracles and function better than many hospitals and clinics that are founded upon heretic theories such as evolution and genetic studies "....
hmmm....you lost me here Eswin. there are lot more hospitals that are run by practicing Jewish, Christian and Muslims than there are shrines and miracle centers. Here in America you will see hospitals with names such as Saint. Joseph, Saint.John and..You have to look for a long time before you come across a miracle center...my point is I thought you played little too loose with facts when you tried to support your elitist theory. I am not even against organized religion, after all even anarchist organize themselves it would be ludicrous to expect religious groups not to organize themselves. But I do have a problem with some of the side effects of organization one of which turns out to be the diminishing role of critical thinking and questioning. but lets not just beat up on the organized religions on this. This seems to happen to any group that organizes itself including the citizens of the ivory tower, Buddhists, Zen groups, Yoga folks, racists, supremacists, foreskin worshippers of San Francisco, Satanist, ...organization brings a sense of belonging and this could be abused but I am not sure the lack of organization would be any better or practical.
By the way if you know of any miracle center that functions better and cures better than the hospitals please please let me know. I am a very poor man and I want to make some money. We will work together. I will take you out of your Ivory tower , for a few years and we all will be millionaires and multi millionaires and of course you can go back to your Ivory tower and enjoy it even more...that is an idea...we can say at least some thing good came out of this debate.........:)

eswin at November 8, 2004 02:17 PM [permalink]:

Dear Heydar Baaba (is not that a poem of Shahryar and a Village in Azerbaijan?)

My rant meant to serve as a manifesto of disbelief, that I do not share the belief in Abrahamic religions as organized as they are today and in their origins in the theological and scholastic sense of it. You can remain the Muslim you want to be. I have already deviated enought, but I can assure you that there are enought Orthodox, Catholic, and other types of Christian shrines as well as Shiite, and even in some cases Sunni ones (I know that sounds odd to you) throughout the world to compete with the number of Muslim and Christian hostpial ones. In fact, according to this theology, which all of these theologies believe, NO ONE GET CURED UNLESS IT IS THE WILL GOD, and it is not Indira, Mithra, or Anahita, but it is Allah, Jehovah, and the Lord, who do it!

I leave it here as I remain, in the same way that the Chosen Abrahamic Prophets were the righteous minority of their times, my own "one person" agnostically righteous minority of this time!

And I am not sorry if I have offended BILLIONS of believers of Abrahamic belief with my "weak" argument. These Billions of ignorant blind faith (oh yes I know some of them are as pacifist as Desmond Tu Tu) have been united in destroying secular liberals in all fronts, and by the way if you want facts for this last statement you can spend twenty years of your life studying Humanities and Social Sciences to verify this. If you are a dogmatic believer, as much as you sound like one, you will be no different from those who observed the elephant in the dark. And for your information, I, like many, started as a believer too!

Neo at November 8, 2004 02:49 PM [permalink]:

Cyber-Neo (AKA Dema by EswinOakman) will be back soon to add to the irrelevent posts of the most passionate reader of FToI. Stay tuned!

Neo at November 8, 2004 10:20 PM [permalink]:

Amidst a nonsense dialogue of poor quality that started off a rather nice self-reflection, one can observe fools battling to win their cheap pride.

Each side is overwhelmed with the awaited victory and tries to nail the other side down beating to the last bloody word throwing out of their uncontrolled mouths. The intellectual-appearance fellow denies every bit of a logical reasoning and reckons no respect for the dialogue and others, but rather considers the so-called battle a monologue to prove his prejudiced ignorance. On the other hand, his vulnerable meta-intellectual peers are fighting back with all they have got, obviously not enough to dominate the mature intellectual-appearance socialogist that has spent more than 20 years reading and has now started writing under a prestigious pseudonym.

Meta-intellectuals vs. intellectual-appearance fellows, what a duck soup! And we claim to be the above average Joe's in our collective weblog. Oh yeah, heck we are. We will all die in ignorance. Long live ignorance. And with this irrelevant post, I burry my self and my fancy nickname. Neo was never the one. Long live ignorance. Long live ign … Long li … Lo … [sirens]

heydarbaba at November 8, 2004 10:43 PM [permalink]:

You are entitled to whatever opinion you have when it comes to religion after all Islam says La Ekraho Feddin and I go with that. you could worship Ahoora, Mohammed, Jesus or any other thing . you could join the fore skin worshippers in San Francisco. That is your choice, my point was when you come down so strong on a religion your argument must be proportionately strong. You made a big declaration, (a bakhshnameh) on Abrahamic religion and then when it came to support it you came way short. You brought up the Seyyed and shrines and what have you. I was hoping to see something other than stereotype, maybe even little bit intelligent but your Shrine and Seyyed theory fell way short of that. Now I will say this without being sarcastic. From reading your posts , my impression of you is a person who is intelligent, has read a lot and you put some very intelligent arguments in your posts (I didn't agree with all of them but that is life...) What I want to tell you is when you make such a big claim maybe you want to back it up with something enlightening. I would love to learn and keep my mind and eyes open. After all Quran repeatedly is asking us "don't you ever think" I like to think and I like to be challenged but it takes more than an stereotype to challenge me. Obviously your Shrine and Seyyed stuff failed to enlighten me. Don't worry about those billions of Abrahamic believers, if you offended them, they are big boys and big girls , I think they can handle it but in order to challenge their blind faith and dogma laden mind including this one you need to come up with some thing that has at least some resemblance to intelligent. On the lighter side I still offer you that deal about the shrine. We can make good money and if you didn't like the money you can let me keep all of it.:)

You are right about Heydarbaba. It is the name of that poem by Shahriar. I like it so much that I chose it as my screen name. If anybody asked me to give him/her one good reason why she/he should learn Turkish language, I would say: so you can read the Heydarbaba in Turki. It is one amazingly beautiful poem. It is a mixture of life, people, nature, beauty, simplicity, and more life and then more beauty . Shahryar has done a superb job that can only be explained by the feeling that one gets by reading the poem itself.

The last thing I like to say is about the first post you made. You said "Since 1950s the number of Christian conservative radios exponentially grew in the US". This is very true but the situation on the ground is lot worse than this. During Reagan's times deregulation went into effect and the new phenomenon of Rush Limbaugh and Rush -wanna-be was born. I am going to post something on this in continuation of what I posted as the Interviews.(this is specially for those Iranians who are living in Iran and might have a hard time to believe how could some Americans be such an unsophisticated voters) How it is possible to turn people on and off on almost any subject by these guest less radio talk shows ....there is a book that has been out for a while called "republican noise machine" and there is a chapter in this book that talks about America's Hate Radio. If you haven't read this book , I recommend that you read that chapter next time you visit Borders or any other book store. It is almost scary the way they have control over the minds of these people some of whom I mentioned in the interview.

An Iranian Student (AIS) at November 9, 2004 02:21 AM [permalink]:

Neo, ..and what exactly have YOU contributed to this debate but meaningless insults and namecallings, may I ask?

Heydarbaba,
"After all Quran repeatedly is asking us "don't you ever think" I like to think and I like to be challenged"

Now, what the hell is this sentence supposed to mean?!
Which one is it buddy, are you finally going to use your head by yourself out of a real meaningful, consistent,intelligent and INDEPENDENT approach to life or is this still just beacuse your "lovely" Quran has been advising you to do? ie. you are still just following a self-contradicting decree that is nothing but a silly, pathetic and nauseating hypocracy trying to impose itself as genuine intelligence?! Won't your ilk ever get tired of this?!
Gosh, How I loath this kind of rubbish that I've been hearing non-stop from muslim apologetics for more than 25 years in Iran!

After this pearl, it is funny to hear you talk about republicans turning on and off sheepish american fools!

And you see Eswin,my friend, the type of this muslim guy are more in allegiance with the post-modern leftist sophistos in the anti-Bush league than the "fanatic" Bush.

Mohammad at November 9, 2004 12:30 PM [permalink]:

Dear AIS,

Neo is trying to don the threadbare mantle of the leftist intellectual gadfly. There is not much to it: criticize all and everything without actually knowing what you are talking about, throw in some tired cliches, and act all smug and smarty-pants.
Put it this way: if someone talks about the failure of capitalism to support democracy in the society, do you expect to hear deep, well-thought ideas from that person?

post-modern leftist sophistos inc. at November 9, 2004 12:33 PM [permalink]:

We denounce any alleged connections between us and Islamists.

An Iranian Student (AIS) at November 9, 2004 02:51 PM [permalink]:

Dear Mohammad,

Indeed.

heydarbaba at November 10, 2004 02:22 AM [permalink]:
To AIS, the Militarus Angerarius, ""After all Quran repeatedly is asking us "don't you ever think" I like to think and I like to be challenged" Now, what the hell is this sentence supposed to mean?! " Did you use the word "hell"?. You see hell is not a very nice place to be. I have heard they burn the bad guys and the demons in hell. It must also be a very boring place because all you can do there is to burn and after a while it must get pretty boring and I hate getting bored. I rather think and be challenged than get bored. So don't start your diatribe with that word. Are you trying to scare me of something? anyway....as for your question I have the following suggestions: 1. Get off the prozac 2.Use your head and double check to make sure you are really using your head, the big head I mean, 3.Go read my comment again. It is in plain English. You are allowed to read it, you are allowed to understand it and you are allowed to make an intelligent comment about it. "Which one is it buddy, ".. Buddy? Now you are warming up lil too fast. When somebody calls me Buddy so fast specially after using a scary word like HELL, I get little cautious and the red flag goes up in my head, (the same head that you suggested to use in your later ranting) and I immediately cover my wallet. I guess you got the point I don't consider you my buddy. Don't even try it. As they say "if you want a friend, get a dog". "are you finally going to use your head by yourself out of a real meaningful, consistent,intelligent and INDEPENDENT approach to life or is this still just because your "lovely" Quran has been advising you to do?" Now you are assuming a lot about someone you know very little. What makes you think my head is good enough to act in an intelligent way in absence of my Lovely Quran or any other book, I mean in the vacuum? What did I say in my posts that gave you the impression that I am an intelligent person and if I decide I can finally think for myself. What makes you even think that I want to use my head in a real meaningful, consistent, intelligent and independent approach to life? Why should I even try that? Maybe I want to be not like you and I want to be different,(which automatically means a fanatic, a dumb ass or whatever..in your lil mind) Maybe I want to be as dumb as a rock. Don't you think that should be my choice? Let me put it to you in a very polite way kid: Who the $$$$ are you to tell me how to be?.By the way did you notice I didn't use a scary word like hell, instead I used a more universal word that not only it is not scary, but if you know how to do it and do it and do it the right way it could even be fun. You see kid, I am not angry like you are and my head is more fun oriented than the burn and torture culture of yours. And if I do use my Lovely Quran that is my choice too. Wouldn't you think so ? You wrote about my Lovely Quran: "self-contradicting decree that is nothing but a silly, pathetic and nauseating hypocracy trying to impose itself as genuine intelligence?! " Come to think of it , this sounds like a perfect self description of you judging from your hyperventilating reaction to my post. However I like to know some decree that is not self contradicting, is not silly, is not pathetic and nauseating hypocrisy that is trying to impose itself as genuine intelligence, you can name one or two but not the one that you have used for yourself not that I don't like second hand used stuff( I go to flea market all the ti ["Toooo long!" editors say, "Here: click to read the whole thing!"]
An Iranian Student (AIS) at November 10, 2004 04:37 AM [permalink]:

ooooo...me thinks some "buddy" just got hurt!
veeeery good.

An Iranian Student (AIS) at November 10, 2004 05:16 AM [permalink]:

Dear Eswin,

Here is an example to point: look at the Netherlands. They are now as far away from being religious christians as possible, right? right? Well I'm sure you know of Theo Van Gogh who produced a film about the muslim treatment of women, got shot and his throat was slit. Another artist made a mural with the words " Thou shalt not kill" as a response to the muslim thug. The imam at the mosque nearby decided this mural was "racist" and guess what, the police of this "non fanatic" state actually censored the mural and wiped it out. Some free speech I guess!
guess what, I don't like this. ;-)

this sounds very relevant here. Interesting.

BTW,
here is the first part of the film for which Van Gogh gave his life. Take a look.


Mohammad at November 10, 2004 08:53 AM [permalink]:

Hypothetically speaking:

Let us assume that close to 6 million Budhists immigrate to Iran. That would make roughly 10% of current population. Do you think they have the right to:
1. Rewrite the text books to reflect historical injustices metted out against their correligionists in Iran over 7-9century CE and then in 12-13 century CE period?
2. Can they ask for a ban on muslim practice of scrificing animals, since it offends their religious beliefs regarding reincarnation?
3. Should they ask for a ban on muslim preaching against "making idols" since building statues of Lord Budha is a central part of their practice?
4. Should they ask for a ban on the practice of "azan" since it is "racist"?
Please answer the above with a clear mind.
Most people will say a clear "No" to all of the above. Yet, these are legitimate requests if you believe in cultural relativism. Especially if you believe in upholding the minority against he tyranny of "the establishment".
The case of Theo Van Gogh is exactly similar. Some 8% of the Dutch population are unwanted refugees from North Africa. Instead of respecting the Dutch culture and trying to assimilate in the host country, they are trying hard (with deafening support and cheers from the Left) to reproduce their cultural environment in the Netherlands. If you can not agree to the points I posted above, you logically can not agree with Van Gogh's murderers and their apologists.

Eswin at November 10, 2004 11:08 AM [permalink]:

Dear AIS,

The example that you have brought up touches upon two questions.

First, a truly secular and liberal democratic is supposed to be the guardian of tolerance. Anyone whose "radical" and "graphic statements" preach intolerance should be shut up.

I have to survey the Dutch Police action more in details. Take it as face value, it is "relativism" gone rampant.

I think you already know that I am a pluralist, and not a relativist. There is a difference between the two. Relativists tend to want to divide up the society into culturally ghetoized communities. Many Conservatives of the right in Canada preach such an approach. Look at how some of them preach the Belgian model in Canada.

Mohammad,

A very good example!

Both of you,

I still blame, rather adamantly, Abrahamic religions.

BUT! Fanaticism in general is on the rise everywhere, despite my inherent contempt for them. Fanatics are trying, rather successfully, ideologize Buddhism in Thailand for the past thirty years. The same thing happened in India since Rajiv Gandhi's assassination.

Heydarbaba and AIS,

It is still amazing for me that both of you share some type of an intellectual sympathy, if not religious sympathy, for the Abrahamic religions. Perhaps, you can work out your difference by showing how each of you clearly diverges from that common denominator (unless I am totally wrong).

I have to warn you that I still beleive most of the debates in this area arise from the totalitarian approach of the Abrahmic religions towards the concept of Truth.

We have way deviated from the main arugment. Here, I sincere beg Ali's pardon.

heydarbaba at November 11, 2004 03:25 AM [permalink]:

Van Gogh, martyr or a fool?

Van Gogh in his short film has a scene which has some of Quran's Ayahs written on naked body of a woman. I am not quite sure what his intention was in doing that . What was that earthshaking motivation behind putting such a scene in his movie?...was he trying to educate the Muslims or non Muslims about something? was he trying to challenge some body's ignorance, bias, fanaticism or ...It is hard for me to accept that by such a scene he was trying to educate anybody about anything. I am not saying he didn't have the right to do that, maybe what he did was within the realm of freedom of expression in Holland, and I am not suggesting that his murder was justified because of that. Murder is a murder and there is no justification for that. However my question is why would you try to antagonize an entire community in the most vulgar way and in such a graphic detail. What was he trying to gain by doing that? there are some rights that you are better off not practicing. Why?. for a simple fact that we are living in a very real world and in an imperfect world. We can not assume that people around us are some kind of robots or saints. Why should we assume that we can do any kind of emotional or psychological harm to them and expect them to behave in the most rational way. I truly detest Bin Laden and consider him a monster, a psychopath and a mega murderer. But I also have every bit of freedom of expression, legally, to go to the ground zero in New York and stand there and hold a sign in my hand praising Bin Laden. How smart would it be? The chances are very good that somebody will pop his top and kill me, the chances are very real because I live here and I know the culture. Now why would I want to do such a thing ?Just to say that I had freedom of expression and I was practicing that right is not enough. What Van Gogh did maybe was within his rights but he went about it in the most stupid way with absolute disregard to COMMON SENSE. What he did was plain stupid and in the process he lost his life. He didn't deserve to die because he made such a stupid mistake but that is life. The way I see it, some stupidly zealous movie maker tried some stupid thing and a fanatic came and wacked him. Van Gogh was an adult and he should have known better. I personally am sick and tired of these psycho zeolats who think by antagonizing an entire community in such a vulgar way they are accomplishing some thing . You open your window and call your neighbor's wife a whore, the chances are good that somebody will break your nose and when it happens you only have yourself to blame. The way I see it, the hell with Van Gogh, the hell with his murderer, why should I as a Muslim who has nothing to do with Van Gogh's bizarre use of nudity and his murderer's fanatic zeal, get a black eye , why should I as a Muslim get caught in a fight between some psycho zealot vulgar movie maker and a psycho zealot fanatic? the hell with both of them. Little bit of common sense would go a long way.

An Iranian Student (AIS) at November 11, 2004 04:37 AM [permalink]:

Eswin,

you are totally wrong...in many respects for that matter.

An Iranian Student (AIS) at November 12, 2004 06:08 AM [permalink]:

Well its a bit belated, but as usual I wanted to congradulate the death of one of the filthiest murderers of this and last century, the terrorist godfather Arafat. I wih he would have suffered as much as the pain he caused on many many innocent human beings.
I thought I better write this here before we get a love letter by another intellectual for his rotten corpse in this weblog, as others, buffoons like Behnoud et al are doing elsewhere.

the rotten corpse of Yasser Arafat at November 12, 2004 08:16 AM [permalink]:

Dear AIS,

Right now, I asked one of the angels up here to go through the list just one more time. I can assure you that there is no AIS among the name of those Iranian-Jewish population whom I **cked. Think it twice boy. You should have taken me for another male Arab who... ha?

Eswin at November 12, 2004 11:18 AM [permalink]:

To the Rotten Corps of Yasser Arafat,

Please be kindly advised that AIS is not a Jewish, he is Persian and, unfortunately I might add, he was born Muslim.

On another note, thank you for telling us that you also specialized in sodomy. I really did not know that.

On a trip in Europe,

Your most Nibelungenite-Parni/Saka-Anglo-Saxon Hero

Mohammad at November 12, 2004 11:35 AM [permalink]:

It is sad to see that the discourse here is also going down the drain (excuse the language).
The corpse of Mr Arafat, may him rest in peace, probably can do better than wasting time on the lists of people he murdered or violated. May be the corpse should reflect on the violence and terrorism he preached and practised for the last 40 years. Always remember that two wrongs do not make one right.

Ali Mostashari at November 12, 2004 01:10 PM [permalink]:

I actually have to do some self-reflection on why my article postings always draw very irrelevant comments often starting from the fourth comment onwards:) But still it provides me with a lot of insight into how my different compatriots think and that is a source of enrichment. Thank you all for sharing your insights on all different aspects of existence. I think it would be better to consider this posting as closed, given that we may start solving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, dualisms in cultural and social identity and many other human dillemas in just one posting. I appreciate the enthusiasm of all of our right wing, left wing, and chicken wing friends in illustrating their viewpoints. May God, Wall Street, GAIA or whatever you believe in bless your soul (substitute as appropriate: pocket book, psyche etc.)

Cheers.

Ali

An Iranian Student (AIS) at November 12, 2004 04:17 PM [permalink]:

Honestly, I don't understand this gesture that everything said here must be RELEVANT to the initial post in every detail. Come on people! Ease up a bit!
This is common practice in most weblogs. People talk and the discussion sometimes get drifted away. What's wrong with that? Everybody here so efficient in what they do that no diversion from the polan is tolerable? :)
I don't understand the point about asking the authors forgiveness either.
He had a self-reflection. Fine. He shared it with us and discussions popped up. What exactly is relevant? Should we just congratulate him for his nice self-reflection and that we felt the smae way. Don't you think it gets a bit boring that way?

I have made myself a habit to congratulate thsoe who deserve it whenever an islamist thug, whether in Palestine, Iran, Iraq or elsewhere is terminated, since my fits OT remark on Yassin's death got some interesting reactions from some of our civilised islamics here. Sorry can't help it. It feels just soooo good to push it in their faces. Let's hope for more occasions to come!

Ron at November 12, 2004 07:21 PM [permalink]:

And the world still cries for him.

heydarbaba at November 12, 2004 10:59 PM [permalink]:

It is hard to find a leader among the Israelis or Palestinians who doesn't have blood on his hand. Talking about blood on your hand, we can also include Bin laden, Bush and ....in Iraq Bush has murdered about 100000 civilians in a war that the head of UN has declared it illegal. In a sense Bush has out done Bin Laden in murdering civilians. As they say in Texas they do everything big and Bush is a living example of that. However for Arafat, aside from some sadistic display of pleasure for his demise in this site, no matter what you say about him, no one can deny that he put the Palestinian name on the map and kept the dream alive for the Palestinians who would have otherwise been some forgotten refugees in no man's land. (Funny enough this view is also shared by Sharon's son who frequently visited Arafat secretly on behalf of Sharon) This is the reality of world we are living. In the Israeli-Palestinian conflict it is hard to find a leader with no blood on his hand. Sharon a many times mass murderer is the elected prime Minster of Israel, another wonder of democracy. All these leaders follow a simple rule that Sharon once verbalized; he said : I rather be a live Nazi than a dead Jew. Arafat is not with us and I sure won't play God, just like I won't play God when Sharon dies, the best I can do is to play a more active role while these people are alive. There is a good number of folks on both sides in Palestine and Israel who are willing to put an end to this Jewish apartheid which has brought nothing but destruction of precious human lives on both sides, death of human dignity on both sides, has shattered hopes and dreams and above all innocence.

An Iranian Student (AIS) at November 13, 2004 12:21 AM [permalink]:

Yet another nausiating and revolting piece of obvious prejudice disguised ina superficial imitation of "moderate mentality" form the "Buddy".
Jewish Apartheid, Sharon a mass murdere, Bush worse than Bin Laden..anf from the other pearl of wisdom: people get murdered...you know, you put Quran's ayas on a womens flesh and they slit your throat, what can be more natural than that, and these "christian fanatics" still have the nerves to complain about something so natural as that, sliting someone's throat for using his freedom in artistic expression is the same as supporting a mass merdering terrorist cult in the middle of New york....
"Buddy", just a piece of advice. Some of us here actually are well versed in the exact methods of sophistry of your ilk. After all, much better and efficien people than you in places like CAIR have already been analyzed. So don't waste your propaganda breath...we know the likes of you forward and backwaqrd "buddy"!

BTW, there were NO "Palestinian" people ever in history... and that dead piece of filth was an egyptian. he was a murderer and an enemy of Iran as well. He and his sick cult are directly responsible for seducing, training and advancing hostile guerrilla terrorist tactics and mentality by some of the most retarded opposition groups like the "mojahedin" and the "fadayian-e khlagh" before and during the revolution. He is responsible for making this bullshit "palestinian cause" the top most priority of the Iranian leftists and islamists, the desease that still haunts our country and has brought it to this.
He is responsible for evey single act of torture done by his pupils inside Iranian prison cells for the past 25 years. And this is all beside his crimes against innocent civilans in israel, school childern, passersby, athelets and so on.
That piece of rotten , and thankfullu now rotting, rabid garbage. PERIOD.

Ali Mostashari at November 13, 2004 01:06 AM [permalink]:

AIS,

Your comments remind me quite of Hossein Shariatmadari, the Keyhan editor. Your kind is no different than the Islamic fundamentalist hatemongers. Time and time again have you used foul language to express empty ideas and racist remarks that lack any value. You are brazen in your writings, and yet you have never even dared to post something in your own name. This is how conservatives are and have been: They defend an empire with the largest military in the world and the powerful, and yet they act like chicken. Anyone who believes that the war in Iraq is right, and yet does not have the balls to go and put their lives on the line is chicken. BASTA. If you hate fundamentlism with conviction, get your ass to Iran (or Iraq) and fight them. If not, please do shut up. In my eyes your kind is nothing but cowards.

In my view there is nothing in your nickname that you have ever demonstrated you posess: Iranian or Student. The first implies a nation free from domination, yet you side with those who seek to dominate. The second implies the openness to learning, objectivity and a desire to understand others, which you apparently do not seek either.

I am hereby closing the comments here, please go rant somewhere else. The Aryan Nation website may have a forum that suits your kind.