Sunday, September 29, 2013

Good relations with Iran?

From Thomas Friedman's  op-ed article in this morning's New York Times, with luck Iran is safe from being Bombed and the chance that we will see a world at peace in my lifetime is increased.

Modest congratulations are due those of you who opposed Bombing Iran initially.

A free and prosperous Iran, though still a theocracy theocracy might look something like this:

. . . instead of something like this:

Israel and the Horrible Saudis are the likely spoilers.  

Israel’s leaders -- some American Jews consider them Fascists and many more believe the leaders have betrayed Israel’s founding hope of a free, democratic state --- are unreasonably afraid of death.  

Death comes to us all, some sooner than they would like, but an irrational fear of death leads to irrational and brutal actions; courageously facing the certainty of death leads to gentleness and openness.  

Israeli leaders are nothing if not irrational and brutal: irrational because they have enough atomic Bombs to make them safe from any nation on the face of the earth; brutal because of the march of new settlements into Palestinian territory and the mistreatment of Palestinians.

 Remind you of anything, you Border Citizens?

The H. Saudis are a danger because they wish with all their might for a return to the splendid Abbasid Caliphate during the Arab Golden Age (750 - 1250 a.c.e.), when the acquisition of knowledge was the highest value . . .

 . . . and they are captured by Wahhabism, a religion so reactionary and intolerant of women and others who do not conform that they have won no converts outside the Pashtun, in spite of decades of expensive propaganda. 

There are not many pictures.  Pictures are not often permitted.

See WikipediaLGBT rights in Saudi Arabia; Human Rights Watch,  Saudi Arabia 2013 

Although Wahhabism wins no converts, the H. Saudis have so much free money that they are dangerous:  consider their efforts to turn Syria into a Salafi state.

Wahhabism is sometimes conflated with the Salafi movement; and some Salafi regard the term as derogatory:  no matter: they both espouse an intolerant interpretation of Sharia that only experts can tell apart.  It is as if a majority of the voting Citizens in the U.S. believed hat the Old Testament, with its cruel injunctions must be applied literally.   Indeed, the Old Testament may be even more draconian than Sharia:  Consider an Arkansas Republican politician, quoted in the Daily Kos 

"a child who disrespects his parents must be permanently removed from society in a way that gives an example to all other children of the importance of respect for parents. The death penalty for rebellious children is not something to be taken lightly. The guidelines for administering the death penalty to rebellious children are given  in Deut 21:18-21” -- Arkansas Republican Charlie Fuqua.
Deuteronomy, an Old Testament book held to be The Holy Word of God by Christians, recommends stoning rebellious children to death.  The text is here, and is worth reading, ye who are certain of our moral superiority.

Salafi fall in love --

and Sunni Muslims mourn their dead.

Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice, Act 3, Scene 1:  Shylock:
. . . .  I am a Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes? hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means,warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, asa Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed?

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