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"Iran attack: Who are the winners and losers in the crisis?" Topic

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arealdeadone20 Jan 2020 4:24 p.m. PST

USAFPilot, I actually agree with everything you say, including the bit that we've never had it better as a race.

I think capitalism is a useful tool but it does need to be restrained, lest it eats itself (eg GFC or Great Depression).

However things are deteriorating for many people in the west. Eg it's amazing to think that household income in the US actually peaked in the 1980s and has mainly been declining since then. In Australia wages have been stagnant for over 10 years whilst cost of housing, utilities, education and healthcare has skyrocketed.

Just recently Kristalina Georgieva, head of the International Monetary Fund, said that some of the biggest threats to the current system are growing inequality and excessive deregulation, especially of finance markets.

She actually said inequality within country is increasing threat of economic collapse (aka another deep depression).

Yet nothing will happen to stem this growing inequality. Indeed it has slowly been built into the system. The Australian finance minister Mathias Corman openly stated that low wages growth is a "a deliberate design feature of our economic architecture" ( link ).

And given similar problems in a lot of the west, it seems they too have these inbuilt systems designed to reduce wages growth (and conversely funnel more money to the 1%).

Ruchel20 Jan 2020 5:36 p.m. PST

It has been more than a half-century since European Colonialism collapsed (and we're now seeing Chinese Colonialism, eh?), this is now an excuse used by the incompetent and the corrupt to explain how poorly managed their countries are, and to excuse all manners of actions.

Do you know the historiographical concept of "Neo-colonialism" (New colonialism)? It refers to new ways of economic and political dependency. Again, you offer absurd reasoning based on complete ignorance about historiography.

So do you, my friend – the history of the Middle East did not begin with the discovery of oil in 1908. You're using a shallow, dogmatic focal point for your opinions which eliminates the long rich history of a culture like Iran and infantilizes them into a caricature you then use to attack the West.

You are wrong again. Precisely your lack of knowledge about "the long rich history of a culture like Iran" prevents you to understand the specific characteristics of Iranian culture and traditions, hence all the absurdities and nonsense you have written about Shia religion and about Iranian political and social evolution.

Then why do you use such simplistic arguments, so simplistic that I knew you'd resort to it? Iran was ruled by a successive way of moderating Shahs from the middle of the 19th century and by 1979 Iranian society had not lived under orthodox Islamic Sharia Law for almost 100 years. So there was no tradition or social expectation of such. Ayatollah Khomenei was a reactionary utopian who imposed his vision of Islamic society upon Iran at gun point.

More absurdities based on a complete ignorance about Islamic religion. No society has ever lived under "orthodox Islamic Sharia Law" because "orthodox Islamic Sharia Law" does not exist. Maybe that invented concept only exists in your imagination, but it has nothing to do with Islam. Again, you do not understand the meaning of Sharia.

Ayatollah Khomeini was a leader belonging to a Shia legal, or normative, school of thought. He was never a "reactionary utopian", because these are Western political concepts which have no meaning in Islamic contexts. We can say that the school of thought he belonged to has many limitations, especially compared with other richer and more complete branches of Shia Islam.

Another lazy ad hominem attack. Typical of a dogmatic leftist professor who's run out of ideas. I don't consider people who study other religions to be sophists, and you'd be surprised at what I've read, studied, know, and where I've travelled. But it is sophistry to pretend that a duck is not a duck, and that a theocracy is not a theocracy simply by the declaration of the theocrats that they are not, and are outside the realm of Western understanding. Please. Socrates would beat you with a stick. Here's a definition:
1. a system of government in which priests rule in the name of God or a god.
It's not like there haven't been Western societies ruled by a priest class – thus the Latin term, yes??

Again the typical childish obsession with the "Leftist Conspiracy". Well, I am not a "leftist" but I am not a "rightist" either. I am a free thinker and my moral values are rooted in Natural Right (or Natural Law) and religious ethics. But according to your narrow-minded point of view, you can only see the world in terms of black and white, and, in addition, with simplistic concepts of black and white.

Again, Iran is not a theocracy. I explained the reasons in another previous discussion or topic. I do not wish to repeat them again. Iranian political system is more complicated and totally different from the Western concept of theocracy. Furthermore, According to Islamic religion, nobody can rule in the name of Allah. It is heresy and blasphemy. And there are no "priests" in Islam. Again, you know nothing about Islamic religion.
By the way, "theocracy" is not a Latin term, it is a Classical Greek term.

*Sigh* You really are tiresome. Do YOU know what Sharia Law is? Do you know it is an amalgam of laws and traditions, including absorbing much of Biblical Deuteronomic Law? Go read the key tenets of Sharia Law, then go look at the laws laid down to govern society in Deuteronomy. Should look familiar, as should the concept that divine law covers all aspects of society, from civil to criminal, to economic, to social and religious. Ain't a new thing. A number of cultures across history have done that before.

Once again, you do not know what Sharia is. Again you offer the typical misunderstandings and misconceptions based on old Western sources full of prejudices and distortions. You should use Islamic sources, that is, logically the correct sources. Sharia has nothing to do with human legal codes. Sharia has a spiritual meaning and refers to Cosmic Order and the universal ethics derived from it. It is similar to Chinese "Tao" or Buddhist "Dharma". We can see again the typical Western confusion between "Sharia" and "Fiqh" (legal codes and jurisprudence). "Fiqh" (legal codes and jurisprudence) and "Hudûd" (sanctions, penalties and punishments) have nothing to do with Sharia.

It's funny that you keep saying "Iranian society is varied and complicated" and then you reduce it down to being a Shiite Sharia Law thing. Again, Iran was not a Sharia Law society until 1979 when it was imposed on the Iranian people by force. You presume that this choice was made freely by and with the consent and support of the majority of Iranians – and you would be wrong. And the thousands recently shot down in the streets in Iran also belies any belief you have that most Iranians support the current regime.

Once again, as I said previously, "Sharia Law societies" do not exist, except in your imagination. Something that does not exist cannot be imposed anywhere. Have you read carefully my previous post? Iranian society is a dynamic one. The current Iranian system is far from perfect. So there will be changes and reforms, but only the Iranian people have legitimacy to improve its system. It is exclusively their business. Western interferences and interventions are inadmissible and harmful.

But it can't, can it? You keep insisting Iran is a Sharia Law society that is incomprehensible to a Westerner. But it's quite easy to understand. Since Sharia Law is based on the divine truth directly from God, it cannot be reformed or changed in the eyes of the orthodox clergy in charge of society – though they also know the economic and social track they have put their country on is a dead end. They are stuck in a trap of their own making, like the Soviets were in the 1980s. Soviet totalitarian communism had failed.

If they try to reform, they admit they were wrong – but since they claim to be acting on behalf of God carrying out His divine will on Earth, that means either they carried out God's plans wrong – or God is wrong. That's the trap of any totalitarian theocracy.

The confusion is yours. Shia mentality and conceptions about religion, politics and society are not easily understood by Western common people. The Islamic way to understand human life, full of religious meaning, has its roots in the concept of "Din", a concept that goes far beyond the Western concept of religion. Islamic religious way to understand human life, in all its aspects, is fully compatible with political and social reforms. Islam integrity and legitimacy are not in danger due to those reforms which are respectful with the Islamic concept of human life. And once again, according to Islamic religion nobody can rule in name of God. It is considered blasphemy and heresy.

He wasn't the first Shah, just the last one. And as pointed out there had been reform minded Shahs before him, he was just the last in line – the one that decided *not* to roll the tanks into the streets and leave Iran. As Shahs go he also wasn't the most brutal, for all that he was an authoritarian. So it's really weird that you claim he ruined Iran in every aspect – economic, social, religious, moral. By 1979 Iranian society was fairly Western and women had increasing access to education, the economy and rights; the economy was doing fairly well, and it was a religiously tolerant society. After the revolution the imposition of a top-to-bottom totalitarian Sharia Law orthodoxy reversed all of that. The Ayatollah's revolution was truly reactionary.

The last Shah was enthroned and supported by US and the British, therefore he was a puppet dictator who ruined Iran (extravagant economic policies) and torture and repressed many Iranian people. Most Iranian people hated that puppet and despotic Shah and they supported the revolution. Again, "Sharia Law orthodoxy" does not exist in Islamic religion. It is an absurd concept invented by your ignorance.

That's again where you applying a blanket statement that is not supported by the history of which you profess to be such an expert. The revolution was successful because most Iranian people wanted it – yes. But few knew or understood what the Ayatollah really wanted. They presumed he was a moral figure that lent legitimacy to the fall of the Shah – they had no idea he was going to grab total power for himself and then force a reactionary view of utopian Islam onto Iran at gun point.

"Utopian Islam" is another concept that does not exist in Islamic religion. It is quite the opposite. Islamic mentality dislikes "utopias". Islamic culture is rather pragmatic and traditional. As I said before, Khomeini belonged to a Shia legal school of thought. It is just one Shia school of thought amongst many others. There are many other leaders from other schools of thought in Iran and they have an influence on Iranian society. So, Iranian people may demand changes and reforms at any time. It is their sovereignty and their legitimacy, and without harming their culture and traditions.

In general, if you are an orthodox muslim then you want to reject Westernism and embrace the Qu'ran as the source of all religious, moral and legal authority. You should read Reza Aslan's "No God but God," he lays out the premise that we are experiencing 50 years of westernization/reform of Islam butting heads with orthodox adherents who blame the troubles of the muslim world on Westernism. Loosely called Islamism, the remedy is to return to orthodox Islam to cure all their ills. And of course, many factions all have their own interpretation of what orthodoxy to promote – thus various sects and factions warring with each other as more, or more so, than against "the West."

Another absurdity again: there are no "orthodox muslims". Sunni Islam has four different legal schools of thought: Hanbali, Hanafi, Saafi, Maliki. Besides, Sunni Islam has dozens of secondary ideologies and groups, and dozens of spiritual groups and brotherhoods (Sufism). Shia Islam has a basic legal school of thought, Ja'fari, and many other minor legal schools. Besides, Shia Islam includes many sects and spiritual groups (Shia Sufism). Finally, there are other Islamized religions and sects such as Druze and Yazidi. Logically members of every school and sect consider themselves the authentic muslims. So who are the "orthodox muslims"? Well, maybe all of them or none.

Within all societies and cultures, including Western ones, there are fanatical people who tend to distort ideas in order to achieve their aims. It is well known. Many researchers, philosophers and historians have pointed out that Western colonialism and neo-colonialism (new colonialism) have caused the emergence of fanatical groups in other cultures and civilizations (as a reaction). It is a complicated phenomenon and this forum is not the appropriate place to discuss these complex issues. But it should be noted that those fanatical groups, in Western or Islamic societies, represent a small minority.

It's not hard to understand Shari – it's a total system of sweeping religious, civil law, criminal law, economic code and social practices, all of which is directly handed down by God and as such is His divine will. So there is no separation of Church and State – which makes it hard to argue against or reform. Western Law derives from a different religious/theological path and is based on Judeo-Christian preinciples, which include the concept of separation of Church and State, Free Will, the worth of the Individual and so on, and is the foundation for our modern concepts of "Human Rights."

Once again Fiqh and Hudûd are "civil law, criminal law, economic code and social practices". Sharia is a totally different concept. Your lack of knowledge is evident.

Yes, there is no separation between Church and State, because there is no "Church" in Islam. The Western separation between Church and State is based on Roman concepts (Christianity adopted Roman features and structures). Roman civilization was based on supremacy of political components (State), and the religious aspects were secondary. Traditional Hebrew or Jewish culture has nothing to do with the Western separation between Church and State.

Western separation between Church and State is totally related to the Western way to understand human life and religion. It is a specific feature, and not a universal pattern. Other cultures and civilizations, with other ways to understand human life and religion, establish differently the relations between the numerous aspects of human life. In fact, Islamic culture can integrate harmoniously those aspects. So please, avoid ethnocentrism and ignorant supremacist fanaticism.

Human Rights are not an exclusive Western "discovering". You can find most Human Rights within many other traditions and religions around the world. So, once again, avoid narrow-minded approaches and ignorant ethnocentrism.

Once you sift through the sources, the deaths caused by the Shah range from 2000-4000 people across his whole reign. That's way more than acceptable. But the Ayatollah's regime executed 8000 people in the first year the Revolution, and more each year after that. 1988 was a banner year with 30,000 executions.

I repeat: please note that US actions in Middle East (invasions, occupations, bombings, destabilizations, support to dictators, support to terrorist groups, economic sanctions and so on) have caused millions deaths.

What a boor you are

You prefer to use insults instead of basic reasoning. So yes, indeed, it reveals your low educational level and your lack of basic culture.

I have said what I had to say. I have no wish for sterile discussions and polemics with ignorant, uneducated and impolite people. It is time for me to move on from this topic.

arealdeadone20 Jan 2020 6:06 p.m. PST

It is hilarious we rant about Iran "being the bad guys" but give the fundamentalist Saudis, Qataris and Emirates a free ride.

Last time I checked 15 out of 19 9/11 hijackers were Saudis, 2 were Emirates, 1 was Egyptian and 1 was Lebanese. Osama Bin Ladin was Saudi and Sunni Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE and Turkey funded and supported ISIS , Al Nusra etc etc to wage a war on Shias, Alawaites and other Iranian affiliated groups.

It is Saudi and other gulf oil Arab money that is supporting the spread of mainly Sunni radical Islamism around the world including the west, not Iran who is minority Shia.

But I guess the Arabs buy lots and lots of toys ala Rolls Royces and F-15s so that makes them the "good guys."

Personal logo SBminisguy Supporting Member of TMP20 Jan 2020 10:52 p.m. PST

Islamic culture is rather pragmatic and traditional.

Really? Is it pragmatic to cut your society off from 50% of your population's brainpower, innovation and economic productivity?

That's dogmatic, not pragmatic.

I have said what I had to say.

Indeed -- and that's all you really want to do, diatribe, not dialogue, and provide insults, not insight when challenged.

But I guess the Arabs buy lots and lots of toys ala Rolls Royces and F-15s so that makes them the "good guys."

Nope, just makes them less worse than the other guys. But ya know what? Now that the US is literally oil independent and is a net exporter thanks to fracking, most Americans will be quite happy to let the Europeans escort their oil tankers themselves. More and more we see it's the "deep state" that wants to be there, not the average American who would prefer a policy of self-interested quasi-isolationism.

So what do you say, arealdeadone? Do we stay engaged to ensure that the Europeans and the Chinese can get Middle Eastern oil, or let it all go to free fall and let 'em butcher each other all they want as long as they don't mess with me and mine. And when they do just blow Bleeped text up until they stop messing around. No boots on the ground, no regime change -- just making dust & rubble from 50,000 feet.

What say you?

arealdeadone20 Jan 2020 10:59 p.m. PST

Personally I think the US needs to stop subsidising European defence and I do think the US should not be using its blood and treasure to subsidise its strategic competitor, China.

So let them escort their own tankers.

Personal logo SBminisguy Supporting Member of TMP21 Jan 2020 10:51 a.m. PST

thumbs up

USAFpilot22 Jan 2020 6:27 p.m. PST

Totally agree with your last comment arealdeadone.

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