Sunday, December 8, 2013

Is a Syrian "domino effect" being used in a power struggle in the US deep state?

written specially for the Asia Times

Following the ratification by all parties of the recent Joint Plan of Action between Iran and the P5+1 countries, it is worth looking again at the official narrative explaining this "sudden breakthrough".  It goes something like that:

"Iran was ruled by President Ahmadinejad, a notorious anti-Semite and Holocaust denier, who did everything in his power to deny the international community the monitoring rights it demanded and to keep the Iranian nuclear program unimpeded in its progress.  Then the people of Iran elected Hassan Rouhani, a moderate, who accepted the terms of the P5+1 countries and a deal was finally signed."

That is pretty much the official version.

Of course, every sentence in the above paragraph is absolute nonsense. 

The new President of Iran

Iran is not ruled by its President, but by its Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who selects the six of the twelve members of the Guardian Council which, in turn, vets all aspiring Presidential candidates before they can run for office and which also can veto any decision of the Iranian Parliament.  The Supreme Leader also appoints all the members of the Expediency Discernment Council which can resolve any disagreements between the Parliament and the Guardian Council.  Hassan Rouhani was appointed as a member of the Expediency Discernment Council by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and his bid to run for President was also approved by the Guardian Council.  In other words, not only did Mahmoud Ahmadinejad never have the political authority to independently take any crucial political decisions, but his successor has the 100% approval of the Supreme Leader.  Thus, while there is a very clear difference in style between Ahmadinehad and Rouhani, it is ridiculous to suggest that the replacement of the former by the latter is the real cause of the "sudden" breakthrough in the negotiations between the P5+1 and Iran.  The fact is that Rouhani has the full support of the Supreme Leader and that his election, while not trivial, cannot be considered as a real change in Iranian policies, including nuclear ones.

P5+1?

The media speaks of the P5+1 as if it was a body formed of more or less equal partners taking decisions together.  This is also nonsense.  Who are the P5+1?  The five permanent members of the UNSC plus Germany:  China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States (P5) and Germany (+1; officially added for economic reasons).  P5+1 is really a misnomer as it should be called "1+1(+4)":  Those who matter - the USA and Russia - and those who don't China (which is happy to follow the Russian lead on this issue) France, the UK and Germany  (who will pretend to have an opinion but who will let the USA deal with the serious stuff).  And since Russia under Putin is a strong ally of Iran, this really only leaves the "Big One" i.e, the USA as the negotiating counterpart to Iran.

So why this "sudden" breakthrough in negotiations between the USA and Iran.  Could it be that the big change which made it possible did not occur in Iran but in the United States?

I have a different interpretation to offer.

It is my belief that it all began in September when, following a few dramatic days which almost saw a US attack on Syria,  Barak Obama had to accept "Putin's gambit": the US would not attack Syria in exchange for the full destruction of Syria's chemical weapons arsenal.  I believe that this absolutely tectonic reversal US foreign policy has now triggered what I would call a  "domino effect" which is still ongoing and which might result in  further unexpected changes in US foreign policy.

Let's look at this domino sequence of events one by one:

Domino 1: Barak Obama accepts Putin's gambit

Whether it was really Barak Obama himself or his puppeteers is really irrelevant here.  The President being the official Commander in Chief he is the person who had to announce that an agreement had been reached and that a US attack on Syria would be delayed/scrapped.  Let's set aside for a moment the exact reason(s) why the US took this decision (we will come back to this crucial issue later) and just say that this was a major change for the following reasons.

a) This meant that the US would have to delay and, in all likelihood, give up on its long-standing objective of "regime change" in Syria.
b) This also meant that the US would now have to negotiate with the Syrian government.
c) Since chemical weapons were completely irrelevant to the military dynamic on the ground and since US had committed not to strike government forces, this meant that the USA was essentially giving up on its plan to help the insurgency win the war.
d) This removed the last pretext(s) possible for the US to continue to stall and avoid a Geneva II conference.  From now on, the US had to get serious about Geneva II or lose it all.

Before this development the USA had two possible ways to deal with a Geneva II conference: to try to sabotage it or to try to use this opportunity to achieve something.  As soon as Obama accepted Putin's gambit only the second option remained.  Indeed, since regime change in Syria is clearly not an option any more, and since the US foreign policy in the Middle-East was predicated on regime change in Syria, the US now had to reconsider it all.  This meant that the best possible option for the US was  to try to use Geneva II to actually finally get something done.  However, there is one truism which the US diplomats had to take into account: no solution in Syria will ever be achieved unless Iran approves of it.  In other words, having accepted Putin's gambit, the US was not only committed to negotiations with the Syrians, but also with the Iranians.  This the real causes of the "sudden" breakthrough between the "P5+1 and Iran": the defeat of the US in Syria literally forced the White House to negotiate with Iran, at which point to continue to stonewall at the negotiations over Iran's nuclear program became counter-productive and, frankly, absurd.

Domino 2: the USA and Iran finally agree on the nuclear issue.

As I have written it many times in the past, nobody in the US (or elsewhere), really believes that the Iranians are secretly building a nuclear weapon right under the nose of IAEA inspectors (who are still working in Iran) while remaining a member in good standing of the NPT Treaty (no NTP member has ever developed nuclear weapons).  The real US objective has always been to prevent Iran from becoming a regional economic superpower and, if possible, to find a pretext to isolate and destabilize the Iranian regime.  By accepting to negotiate with Iran, the USA is not "making the world safe from nuclear-armed Mollahs" but accepting the reality that Iran is, and will remain, a regional superpower.  This is really what is at stake here, and all that talk about Iran nuking Israel in a "2nd Holocaust" is just a pious fig-leaf used to hide the real US policy objectives.  Now that the US had given up on the notion of attacking Syria it made no sense to continue to act as if an attack on Iran was still possible.  This left only two possible solutions: let the Iranians do whatever they want and appear to have failed to persuade Iran to take into consideration US objections, or actually find a mutually acceptable compromise which would be to the advantage of both sides.  The US, wisely, chose the second option.

So far, Dominos 1 and 2 have fallen, but let us take a look at what might be happening next if nothing stops the momentum generated by these two dominos.

Domino 3: the two big losers - Saudi Arabia and Israel

It is rather obvious that the Saudis and the Israelis have done literally everything in their power to prevent the fall of Dominoes 1 and 2 from happening and that they are now the big losers.  Both countries hate and fear Iran, both countries were deeply involved in the Syrian war and both countries appear to be outraged by the actions of the White House.   When all the signs indicated that a deal would be struck, the Saudis and the Israelis even sent their top decision-makers (Bandar and Netanyahu) not to Washington, but to Moscow in a (futile) attempt to prevent what they see as an absolute catastrophe from happening. 

Now that a deal has been reached, both Israel and the KSA are now showing all the signs of "loosing it" and are turning to crude forms of terrorism to lash out at their enemies: according to Hezollah, the Saudis are behind the bombing of the Iranian Embassy in Beirut while the Israelis are behind the murder of a Hezbollah commander, also in Beirut.  One can dismiss these Hezbollah accusations as politically motivated, but I personally find them very credible simply because they "fit the picture" perfectly (and Hezbollah does have an excellent record of making only truthful statements).  Whether one chooses to believe Hezbollah or not, nobody denies that there are now real and deep tensions between Israel and the KSA on one side and the USA on the other.  That would also explain the rather amazing "rapprochement" taking place between Israel and the KSA who now have a common problem (the USA) and lots of common enemies (first and foremost Iran, of course).

Considering the huge power of the Israel Lobby and the, more discrete but also very powerful, Saudi Lobby in the USA, it is by no means certain that the new KSA-Israeli alliance shall not eventually prevail over what I would call the "USA-firsters" (in contrast to "Israel-firsters").  I shall also come back to this topic later, but let us assume that the current US policies will not be revered and that the US will sign a long-term agreement with Iran in six months or so.  What could happen next?

Domino 4: goodbye US anti-missile "defense shield" in Europe?

Think about it: if the USA accepts the notion that Iran will not develop nuclear weapons, why insist on deploying an anti nuclear missile defense shield over Europe?  Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov has already clearly said that much and that is likely to remain a Russian policy position for the foreseeable future: now that the putative "threat" from Iran has been dealt with by means of negotiations - why should the US still deploy anti-missile systems in Europe?

Of course, the US could plow ahead with this project as if nothing had changed, but would it not be logical to at least talk to the Russians to see if some modifications could be made to the US anti-missile system which would satisfy the Russian side?  Having agreed to negotiate with Syria and Iran, would it not also make sense to seriously sit down with the Russians and find a mutually acceptable compromise?

After all,  Russia (backed by China, of course) can easily prevent any deal between the US and Iran (by a UNSC veto for example) and that would leave the USA is a very vulnerable negotiating position: to be in a great need of a deal with Iran while Iran would not feel equally interested in negotiating.  And, of course, a breakdown in negotiations between Iran and the USA on the nuclear issue would mean very bad news for the USA in Syria.  The fact is that the USA will desperately need Russian collaboration to hammer out a long term deal with Iran.  And that, in turn, will have major consequences for a host of other issues, including European foreign policy.

Domino 5: an end to the European "Drang nach Osten"?

Not since the days of Hitler has Europe been so hysterically anti-Russian as in the last decade.  Of course, some of that russophobia has been fed by US propaganda needs, but one quick look at the European press and will show anyone that the worst of this Russia-bashing really comes from Europe, especially the UK.  As for the EU and NATO, their offensive to towards the East is really reminiscent of Hitler's, the only difference is that it is pursued with different means.  Of course, West European revanchism is only part of the picture.  There is definitely a desire by many East Europeans to become "true Europeans" combined with a hope that a EU+NATO combination would protect them from Russia.  Nevermind that Russia is not in the least interested in invading them - most east Europeans are generically afraid of what they perceive as a resurgent superpower in the East.  And if getting the "protection" of NATO and the EU means accepting a semi-colonial status in the US empire - so be it.  Better to be a serf of the US empire than a serf in the Russian one.  That is an ideological position which cannot be challenged by facts or logic.  Most east Europeans probably understand that Russia has no interest in invading them, and most of them must be aware that joining the EU has been disastrous in economic terms for countries like Bulgaria or the Baltic States.  Frankly, most people don't care.  They look at German highways, French stores or Dutch airports and want to get a share of that wealth even if that is only a pipe-dream.

As for the west Europeans, they shamelessly feed that illusion, promising much and delivering nothing.  As for NATO, it continues to follow Hitler's example and attempts to push its influence into the Caucasus.  As a result, the EU+NATO offensive now spans a "front" from Estonia in the Baltic to Georgia in the Caucasus - an exact copy of Hitler's strategy for his war on Russia.

Hitler and his promised "1000 year Reich", of course, was defeated in only 12 years and the EU is not doing too well either.  In fact, it is facing a systemic crisis that it has no idea of how to tackle.

The modern Kulturträgers
I am not even referring to the so-called "PIGS" (Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain), but also to the supposedly "better off" nations of northern Europe.  Did you know that only 3 of the 17 nations of the Eurozone have a AAA credit rating or that while no fewer than seven of the world’s top rated nations are in Europe, most are either not in the Euro (Denmark, Sweden) or not in the EU at all (Norway, Switzerland)?  Anyone doubting the full magnitude of the social and economic crisis which has hit the Eurozone should read the report recently published by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies entitled "Think differently: humanitarian impacts of the economic crisis in Europe" (makes me wonder if anybody in the Ukraine has read this one!).  Europe is in a deep crisis and this begs the obvious question: can Europe really afford a new Cold War with Russia?  What about the US - does it need a new Cold War in Europe?  Isn't it about time to set aside this crazy Drang nach Osten and accept that a non-imperial Europe would have much more to gain from a partnership with Russia than from another Cold War?

Time will show whether this last domino will also fall.  What matters for our purposes here is not to accurately predict the future, but to look at the opportunities such a different future would offer.  Let's ask a key question: if all the dominoes above did fall, would the USA be better or worse off?  My personal reply is that the USA would be far better off, as would be Europe.  And if that is the case, one can wonder, did the US really stumble into a situation which triggered a domino effect or what this the plan all along?  Could it be that some forces of the USA have decided to use the failure of the US policy in Syria to trigger a much larger change?

A project of the "USA-firsters"?


As I have written in a recent article, I believe that the Presidency of Barak Obama has resulted in a shift of power in the US "deep state" which had the previously almighty Neocons pushed aside from the Executive Branch and replaced with what I call "old Anglo imperialists".  They could also be called "USA-firsters" (as opposed to "Israel-firsters").  As a rule, they are far more sophisticated actors than the Neocons.  Typically, the USA-firsters are better educated, more cautious in their discourse and methods and, unlike the Neocons, they can count on the support of patriotically-inclined Americans in the armed forces, State Department, CIA, and elsewhere.  Finally, they enjoy the big advantage over the Neocons in the fact that they have no need to hide their real agenda: in their foreign policy they care first and foremost about US national interests (internally, of course, both the USA-firsters and the Neocons are the prototypical "one percenters" whose real objective is to defend their class interests while keeping the remaining 99% in serf-like conditions).

So could it be that this "domino sequence" was deliberately initiated by Anglo USA-firsters who seized the opportunity to promote their agenda while pushing the Neocon Israel-firsters aside?

Let's look at "domino 1" again.

I think that there is a preponderance of evidence that Obama accepted Putin's gambit against a background of absolute chaos both in Syria and in the USA.  Iranian forces were covertly entering Syria to fight, a powerful  Russian naval task force was positioned right off the coast of Syria, the British Parliament had refused to support an attack on Syria, demonstrations were taking place all over the USA - and elsewhere - against an attack, and all the signs were that Congress would not approve a military operation.   It is hard to prove a negative, of course, but my sense is that the first domino fell pushed by all these factors and not a result of a deliberate change in US policies.

What about "domino 2" then?

In contrast to domino 1, there is strong evidence that domino 2 clearly "fell" as a direct result of a political decision made in Washington.   If we accept that the only change in the Presidency of Iran was mainly a cosmetic one, then we also have to agree that the USA deliberately decided to open negotiations with Iran.  Could it be that somebody in the White House or in the US deep state realized that the fall of "domino 1" presented real opportunities for the USA and the interests of the USA-firsters and decided to deliberately add momentum to  "domino 1" and also push "domino 2"?

I believe that the sequence of events in Syria and Iran does offer a fantastic opportunity for the USA to finally rid itself from the disastrous legacy of many years of Neocon rule (in my opinion from 1993-2009).  I should immediately stress that I am not saying that the Neocons are "out" as they still control the US corporate media and Congress with an iron hand.  I am only saying that I am detecting the signs of a major change in US foreign policy which appears to be breaking free from the "Wahabi-Zionist alliance" of the combined lobbies of Saudi Arabia and Israel.  Again, the fact that both Netanyahu and Bandar felt the need to travel to Moscow to stop Washington is absolutely unprecedented and amazing and I have to interpret that as a real sign of panic.

How far can the US really go?

A shift in the power equation inside the US does not mean regime change, far from it.  In most circumstances US politicians will continue to mantrically repeat "there is no light between the U.S. and Israel”, the constant verbal genuflection before everything Jewish, Israeli or Holocaust-related will continue and it is quite possible that the next Israeli Prime Minister to address Congress will also get more standing ovations than the US President.  However, it is also quite possible that between closed doors the Israelis and the Saudis will be told to "tone it down or else" and that the US support for these two regimes will become contingent of them not doing anything crazy (such as attacking Iran).

Let's look again at dominos 4 and 5 (basically, a stop in anti-Russian policies) from a non-Zionist and non-Wahabi point of view:  would the USA gain or lose from such a development?  It could lose some money if the European missile defense "shield" was scrapped, but the Russians are offering two alternative solutions: either let the Russian military become full partner in this system (thereby removing the threat to Russia) or move the entire system to western Europe away from the Russian borders (thereby also removing the threat to Russia).  Since the Russian asymmetrical response (special forces, relocation of launchers, special missiles) will defeat the proposed system anyway - why not accept either one of the Russian offers?

Politically, such an agreement would open the doors for far more important collaborative opportunities (in Central Asia and the Middle-East) and it would remove the USA from the "collision course with the rest of the planet" it has been on since 9/11.

Clearly, a deal with Russia would be very beneficial for the USA.

What about Palestine?

Here, unfortunately, I have to remain as pessimistic as ever.  As so many times in their history, the Palestinians have again committed something of a "strategic suicide" when they decided to support the anti-Assad forces in Syria.  Just as with Saddam, the Palestinians are yet again with the losing side and, which is even worse, their only halfway decent resistance movement - Hamas - has now been taken over by Saudi interests which basically puts them under Israeli control no less than Fatah.  The last "real" resistance movement in Palestine is now the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, but it is comparatively small and weak and cannot be a partner in any real negotiations with the USA and Israel.  In this context, it is likely the Israelis will simply impose whatever "solution" they want on the ground without having to negotiate with any Palestinians at all.  This is very sad and this did not have to be, but the Palestinians really did it to themselves and they only have themselves to blame now.

Bottom line: no domino effect in Palestine.

Conclusion: a real window of opportunity

The future is by no means certain and the Israel-firsters and their Saudi allies have many options to reverse this process (just imagine Hillary as President!!).  And yet it is also possible that the USA might shift away from the disastrous course it has been following for the past two decades and return to a more traditional, pragmatic, foreign policy: it will remain an imperial power with global imperialist goals, but at least it will be driven by pragmatic - if cynical - considerations and not foreign ideological interests.  In contrast to what the USA has been doing for the past two decades, it is possible that the developments in the Middle-East will convince the USA that negotiations and compromise are more effective foreign policy tools than threat and military actions.

Historically, Republicans have had a comparatively better foreign policy record than the Democrats and senile psychopaths like McCain are not typical of Republican leaders.  In contrast, US Democrats have often provided the most ideological and arrogant leaders and the very real possibility of Hillary running for the Presidency is a frightening indicator that what appears to be the current phase of pragmatism might be short lived.  The good news is that both parties have an opportunity to seize the moment and nominate halfway sane candidates for the next Presidential election.  Of course, if what we end up with is a Sarah Palin - Hillary Clinton race all bets are off and the world will be in for some very, very bad times.  But if the USA-firsters can give the boot to the Israel-firsters currently controlling the key positions inside both parties (folks in the model of Rahm Israel Emanuel) then there is a real possibility that the US could break free from its current subservience to Zionist and Wahabi interests and resume a more pragmatic, reasonable, foreign policy.

Do these USA-firsters really exist?  Honestly, I don't know.  I hope that they do and I want to believe that the fact that the fall of the Syrian domino was followed so soon by the fall of the Iranian domino might be a sign that somebody inside the US deep state has decided to use this opportunity to try finally rid the USA from the foreign interests which have literally hijacked the country. 

If after six month a permanent deal is agreed upon and signed by the P5+1 and Iran and if more or less at the same time the US begins serious negotiations with Russia such a scenario will become credible.  At this point, it is too early to tell. 

The Saker

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

@How far can the US really go?

I am very much afraid that you are right saying that the US politicians will continue their worship of everything Jewish. It is their religious duty to create and protect the conditions that put always Israel (generically, not just the country) at an advantage.
WizOz

Anonymous said...

Great analysis, the USA firsters probably do exist. There are many subtle changes taking place. I believe that oil will soon take a huge tumble and this will hurt KSA & Russia. This will have other effects as well. Stay tuned.
Fernando

Anonymous said...

@The Saker

The "finally a mentally sane Iranian president -> let's make a deal!" theory you expose as nonsense is further contradicted by the fact that the secret US-Iran talks, according to multiple sources, went on since March, and apparently included episodes like US officials being flown into Oman on a military plane to escape detection. (Detected they were, but Obama could manage to shut the news up until the deal was clinched.)

> It is my belief that it all began in September when, following a few dramatic days which almost saw a US attack on Syria, Barak Obama had to accept "Putin's gambit"
> Domino 1: Barak Obama accepts Putin's gambit
> ...
> Domino 2: the USA and Iran finally agree on the nuclear issue.

Because those secret Iran talks were started 6 months before the US-Russia axis (of good) was established to tackle the situation of Axis of Evil member Syria, and because Obama could not just willy-nilly change foreign policy that has been standing for decades, due to some random accident of history, without receiving a lot of flak from all sides, I don't see Domino 2 as a consequence of Domino 1.

I currently tend to think that "Domino 1" would be a recognition inside the US foreign policy establishment (minus Kissinger), that
* Saudi Arabia might be falling apart soon, the ageing King dying
* the former Iran strategy isn't leading to the desired result any time soon

With all that entails in terms geo-politically and in terms of stability of energy supplies etc.

Both points combined would leave the US without a meaningful partner in the Middle East, ignoring Israel, which I'd consider but a (rather effective) wedge in their "Divide and Rule" strategy in Eurasia, but without significant energy resources of itself, in contrast to the Saudis and Iran. So it could be something like the "let's get out of Vietnam" moment that suddenly made obsolete everything that was said until a day before. But decisions like this one, with common talking points and explanations, defamations of opposing views etc. established and engrained in the existing "debate", cannot be undone by a president changing his mind. That was not the case in Vietnam, as we know. And it wouldn't have worked in the the case of Iran either. Just take a look at how relatively muted the opposition in the US is. Even AIPAC isn't officially raising hell. Now it also looks like the threatened additional Iran sanctions in the US aren't manifesting. If they do, then the whole deal will blow up.

So my take is:
Domino 1: Decision to establish US-Iran relations, if Saudi Arabia goes south
Domino 2: Iran deal (although going public only after Domino 3)
Domino 3: Syria backptracking, as part of the good relations package with Iran

One more point, what makes you think Russia mattered in the P5+1? Obviously the US mattered, and they had the aforementioned bilateral secret talks with Iran, and France tried to matter - in vain. Where do you see Russia's part?

Honk

Anonymous said...

@The Saker

> would it not be logical to at least talk to the Russians to see if some modifications could be made to the US anti-missile system which would satisfy the Russian side?

It would be, if the anti-missile was directed at Iran, as the US claims, and not at Russia, as the Russians claim. Based on extent and locations of the shield, the Russians do have a point. In that case, the US would need to find another threat. In the past, they tended to find threats "on demand".

> Russia (backed by China, of course) can easily prevent any deal between the US and Iran (by a UNSC veto for example)

Russia and China did use their vetos on Syria decisions, but that was to prevent legitimization of foreign aggression. In the case of lifting sanctions on Iran, how could these countries, that were never in favor of the sanctions, possibly use their veto power? They'd need to find a plausible answer. And it's questionable if China would go along.

The US can and does just say no (like in their classic: "Israel resolutions") if they don't like something, without giving any explanations, because the media that educate their constituencies tend not to dig too deep. Would Russia however go against a resolution whose content they agree with, for the purpose of bargaining/pressuring? Especially if it looks like they are doing something against everything they've said and done before?

For the time being, the US-Russia relations look to me more like a tactical move on the part of the US. Unless this is the new way of the US to prevent an Eurasian integration. Or is this Eurasian angle just an "idee fixe" of mine (and Brzenzski's)?

Honk

Anonymous said...

Of course when Hitler was "invading" Russia it was to pre-empt a Communist invasion of Europe, whereas today it is more like a Communist invasion of Russia.

Otherwise an interesting article. Food for thought certainly.

I'd like to believe that some sanity is returning to US foreign policy, and they will take a less aggressive stance against Russia, but what of the recent fuss in Kiev? Seems like the same old to me.

Aren't the "US-firsters" bought and paid for by the same Globalist interests? Or are you saying they will be forced to tone down their game a little?

Anonymous said...

This is a bit off topic and its going to be long. But still broadly within the same subject.
I was trying to figure out a way forward for the Shia. Not for Iran and not for the Hezbollah, but for the Shias.

There are vast differences between the Shias. And not just between the Alavis (nusaris), Zaidis, the Turkish alavis and the 12ers; but there are differences amongst 12ers geographically as well. Throughout history every sect within the Shia has been attracted to power, except the 12ers. The Shia revival a 1000 years ago was an Ismaeli one. The Zaidis were and are militant. The Fatamid kingdom was ruled by Ismaeli Imams. These sects differ from the 12ers. Their Imams or Daes or Babs were present and necessarily courted political power. Saker You mentioned that the only religion that is racist is Judaism. But I find Zorastrianism that does not allow people to convert to it and Ismailism where a non Ismaeli cannot pray in their mos

The Safavids in Iran, the Boyeds before them and Oltiaju Khan or Mohammad Khudabande were religious and followed the Alamas and Sheiks (no Ayatollahs back then) but the regime was tolerant and not "Islamic".

Until the coming of Khumaini, the 12ers never held power. It was taboo. There is a concept in Shiasim that every government before the messiah is despotic.
And being part of these governments is also considered despotic.
One incident I had read was where an Imam was asked by his Shia if his employment as a civil servant was acceptable. The reply was that it was on account of individual action that governments could function.

Bourujerdi had instructed Khomeni not to go into politics. But the ignored this after the former died. I have read reports where Khomeni was also reluctant to opt for an Islamic government. He was also reluctant to act against the Americans. But the other side is always keen to subvert movements right at the beginning. To get in touch with the new heads and corrupt them from the very start. Following the embassy take over it has been next to impossible for Iranians to talk to any American official. They are stigmatised if they do. When they refer to the USA as the great Satan they mean it in these ways. It's ability to subvert, to corrupt values, individuals, institutions.

To be cont...

Anonymous said...

Cont...

There were some very bad consequences of The Islamic Republic-internally for Iran and for the Shias. The Iranians in Iran have gradually come to loathe the mullahs, this was not so under the Shah. Some now even doubt that God exists. Immediately after the revolt three quarters of a million and a quarter million Iraqi Shias perished in the Iran Iraq war. What could have ended quickly dragged on and on because Khumaini did not want to drink from the poisoned chalice. After two stupid and incompetent Wars led by a Shia general, the Pakistanis brought in Zia. Seeing the Iranian revolution as a threat the corrupt Zia armed Sunni extremists. Every qualified Shia is till now a target for assassination. The Iraqi Shias were cursed by Imam Ali's daughter a long time ago. The region south of Baghdad has not seen peace ever since.

The killings of the Shias would have happened either way. The Caliphs, the Umayyads, the Kharajis, the Abbasids, the ottomans (selim the grim), the moughals (carried out 7 pogroms against the majority Shia population in Kashmir; it is now less than 10 per cent), and now the wahabbis/takefiris/salafis. When the Mongols invaded Iraq the blood of Sayeds was being used as mortar by the last Caliph. The Jews keep asking the world to cry for 6 million Jews (which many deny in quantitative terms) and others argue they deserved, on account of a single Hitler. The Shias have seen so many.

Norman Finkelstein gave an interview to an Arab pro March 14 journalist in 2006. In it he stated the obvious. That Israel and America only respect the Hizballah. They only respect power. The others don't matter. Those who have no self respect deserve none. That no body looks back and praises Vicci France. They all praise the resistance.

The Shia according to me have to start behaving like the Jews do. Just a crass analogy but it is Jewish unity (talent and brilliance to some extent) that allows most Hollywood movie protagonist to be called David, most actors in a movie Jewish, most mention of celebrations to be Jewish holidays, and most Oscar winning movies about the Holocaust. They have to unite. The irony is that this is impossible. One Hadees goes that if the Shias were united the Mahdi would appear.

The second is that they have to start societies similar to the nizara Shias in Iran, the hashishis. They have to ruthlessly eliminate Sunni (because most threats to the Shia are from the Sunni) alims, intellectuals, and organisations that approve, incite and carry out sectarian killings. There has to be a balance of terror. The second irony is that this will also not happen. Ayatollah Sistani says that the Shias should embrace the Sunnis not as their brothers but as their souls. That no retaliation against the Sunnis is justifiable. The head mufti in Saudi Arabia, who was blind since the age of 18, sono idea how much he got to study, on the other hand calls Sistani a heathen and debauched, Shias kafirs and deserving of death.

There are reasons why Sistani says this. It is because he has to follow the example of the chivalrous Ali ibn Abu Talib.

So the only path the Shias can follow is of Hussain ibn Ali. Be martyred. But he did not die like a lamb on the cross. He died like a wolf let loose amongst the Umayad sheep. Where the last ranks ran away to kufa thinking they had lost the day. But his was a righteous Jihad.

Mindfriedo

G Mitchell said...

Now KSA is tapped out for oil, why not continue to underpin the petrodollar by Iranian oil, instead ?

G Mitchell said...

Now KSA is tapped out for oil, why not continue to underpin the petrodollar by Iranian oil, instead ?

A. said...

Mindfriedo was being very sensible till he started spewing that Shia should genocide Sunnis balderdash. By the way, Ali Ibn e Abu Talib was a follower of Muhammed's Sunnah, so he classifies as a Sunni!

Anonymous said...

a great article as always...one of the real factors i saw in this sudden and abrupt turnaround was having to face reality in the face...the first time in ages...that reality was that Russia/China was serious in their defense of Syria...from what i have read...the US fired two cruise missiles toward Syria from a NATO base in Spain and both failed and crashed into the sea....either from Russian or Chinese interference with the gps guidance systems....if in fact that is true and the US saw and realized just how weak and ineffective our weapons were...and that both Russia and China could attack our fleet at will...forcing the US into a very ugly and foolish defeat...it seems to me that at that very moment was when the US had an astonding change of heart started seeing the world in a whole different light....and the light revealed to THEM...that if they continued to follow the zionist/neocons mindlessly...then the results would be failure....and too the US had to think about BRICS and it's growth with the realization of our own 204 trillion debt!!! thats just my 2 cents....look forward to more of your insights....

VINEYARDSAKER: said...

@Honk:Russia and China did use their vetos on Syria decisions, but that was to prevent legitimization of foreign aggression. In the case of lifting sanctions on Iran, how could these countries, that were never in favor of the sanctions, possibly use their veto power? They'd need to find a plausible answer.

Russia and China could not prevent the US from lifting sanctions unilaterally, but they could prevent a deal between the US and Iran simply at the expert level where Russian experts, in particular, are needed to hammer out the technicalities. In theory, of course, the Iranians and Americans could hammer out a deal without any third party involved, but in practical terms this stuff has to go through the UN at which point a third party is needed and that party really has to be Russian or, at least, China. I used "veto" as a shortcut for "no collaboration" either at the expert level or at the UNSC level.

Cheers,

The Saker

Anonymous said...

@A

please refer to this one for definition of what constitutes a Sunni, One who follows the Sunnah of Mohammad and not of his Companions, and definitely not of the Ummayads.

http://www.al-islam.org/shiah-are-real-ahlul-sunnah-muhammad-al-tijani-al-samawi

You can also refer to why Imam Ali rejected the conditions laid down by the shura appointed by the Second Caliph and Uthman became the Third Calipha. Ali was willing to follow and implement the Quran and Muhammad's teachings but not Abu Bakr and Umar. Why this distinction between the two? Were Abu Bakr and Umar following something new? something different?

Continuing with your logic that Ali is a Sunni.

"And he (Moses) went into the city at a time when people (of the city) were not watching, so he found therein two men fighting, one being of his Shi’a and the other being his enemy, and the one who was of his Shi’a cried out to him for help against the one who was of his enemy”(Qur’an 28:15)

the Sahih of Muslim:
'The Apostle of God said on the day of Khaybar: "I shall certainly give this banner to a man who loves God and His Apostle and through whom God will give victory." Umar ibn al-Khattab said: "I never wished for a leadership except on that day." And he also said: "And so I leapt up towards it hoping to claim it as a right." And the Apostle of God summoned Ali, the son of Abu Talib, and gave it to him and said "Go! And do not turn aside until God gives you victory."

Put these together and by your logic Muhammad is the Shia of Ali. May God forgive me for implying this, if implying this is wrong. For Muhammad is calling on Ali to help.

Regarding genocide. It is not what I see as ideal. But if the Genocide of the Shia continues, inevitably they will retaliate. Similar to what happened in Iraq with the death squads. You can only push someone so far. It took 17 crusades for the "Muslims" to finally expel the "Christians." They had had enough.

Unfortunately in Iraq the Shia targeted the Sunni population. If there was a way in which they could wipe out the perpetrators and those inciting them it would be justified, at least in my view.

@Saker
I know that you allow comments to go off topic. But Sorry for going off topic. I don't have any blog of my own to "spew all this balderdash"
will stick to your subject matter when I comment in the future.

method said...

and then there's the ongoing purge of the US military, that makes me think this perception of US-first line is just a side-effect, as it could be anything, China-first for example.
as for european russophobia, i don't see Lavrov et al work their diplomatic magic. does it help to be sitting on a high horse bashing countries in a frustrated tone for being US colonies (press in general, not the diplomacy)? what these countries really hate is being chips in the poker game the for sphere of influence tossed around on a negotiating table.

Anonymous said...

hi saker,
pretty new to your blog and i must say i'm happy with your articles, its good to have a different view on happenings and a dissenting voice in the ocean of the msm.
still trying to catch up with your older articles, got some heavy reading to do. regarding syria have you noticed this article by seymour hersh?

http://www.lrb.co.uk/2013/12/08/seymour-m-hersh/whose-sarin

best regards and wishes

cyran

Anonymous said...

hi saker,
pretty new to your blog and i must say i'm happy with your articles, its good to have a different view on happenings and a dissenting voice in the ocean of the msm.
still trying to catch up with your older articles, got some heavy reading to do. regarding syria have you noticed this article by seymour hersh?

http://www.lrb.co.uk/2013/12/08/seymour-m-hersh/whose-sarin

best regards and wishes

cyran

Anonymous said...

Great expose and analysis. However, I believe the USA is smoothing up to Iran because their #1 strategic priority is to protect their $usd petro-dollar business. With Iran (and previously Iraq) moving to a mixed currency basket the USA cannot so easily play the Monopoly Banker and simply print money without consequences. All else hangs on this imo. The USA needs a 'special' deal with Iran (before the next economic and banking crisis -- circa 2014) more than Iran needs a deal with the USA, imo.

Anonymous said...

And let it all burn down

http://app.debka.com/p/article/23510/Al-Qaeda-in-Syria-has-sarin-Russia-ready-to-deal-with-Syrian-Al-Qaeda-plot-against-Sochi-Olympics

Mindfriedo

Anonymous said...

Mindfriedo: Oscars and protagonics are not important. You appear to know many facts, but you lack understanding. May Allah bless you

Anonymous said...

Saker is correct to see a split in Washington. It all has to do with the "pivot"

The US-firsters represent the dominant section of the ruling class in the US. As long as it believed it was in the overall interests of US imperialism to subcontract US foreign policy to the Israel lobby, and its neo-con element in the first place, it appeared that US policy in the Middle East was created in Tel Aviv. Many people believed this, but it was, and is, an illusion. Any serious student of the dynamics of the world imperialist system could see the absurdity of such a proposition. Nevertheless, it is true that the Israeli tail is allowed a certain latitude to wag the US dog

Reality has intruded, however. The US-firsters have correctly concluded that China will soon be in a position to challenge US imperialism's domination of the world in a way that the USSR never could. While the US has been bogged down in relatively unimportant struggles over the past two decades, China has been quietly forging ahead on the economic and political front. It has even taken great care to cultivate Israel to prevent an alliance of the Israel lobby and anti-China elements in the US.
Hence, the "pivot".

It is actually quite late in the day for US imperialism to try to stop the Chinese juggernaut. It has developed powerful economic and political legs and does not depend on military power, so that the usual response of imperialism is not likely to be effective. It doesn't have much political support in the world, since most countries are major trading partners with China. Nevertheless, it is really the only response the US knows, so it is in the process of throwing up a cordon sanitaire around China, which involves redeploying additional carrier strike forces to the Western Pacific.

The pivot will require the US to free itself from the albatross which its Middle East policy has become. Therefore, it must be modified to meet the new reality facing US imperialism.





A. said...

>> You [Mindfredo] appear to know many facts, but you lack understanding. (Anonymous)

Precisely. When Muhammed on the occasion of the Last Sermon appointed Ali as peoples' Maula (NOT Caliph), he implied him to be his spiritual (NOT political) successor. One who is a successor of someone is basically his follower ("Shia") of his mission. Yet he (Ali) also classifies as the continuation of Sunnah. That's why I called him a Sunni (of MUHAMMED's Sunnah).

I am a Sunni and I do not want to genocide Shia. I have many close Shia friends with whom I share the eager prospects of Imam Mehdi's coming. Try breaking out of those hostile mindset for a change (no offense). Thanks. I don't want this forum to become a showdown either. Thanks again and Salaam upon you (as per Muhammed's Sunnah).

A. said...

Also, this appears to be the precise strategy of the Antichrist: to embroil the Ummah into sectarian nitpicking to the extent that the combined ethos is lost. That's why Muhammed recommended reading Surah Kahaf in the end times when the fitnah of Dajjal is rampant everywhere. http://www.dar-us-salam.com/TheNobleQuran/surah18.html

Anonymous said...

Lyndon LaRouche confirms that Iran talks were held secretly few months before announcement.

Thank you Saker for your fantastic blog!

At zije Ceskoslovensko!

Anonymous said...

Ali was not shia nor sunni, he was a muslim. Shias are the ones who believe he was appointed as Muhammad's (pbuh), by Allah's command, as his successor.

We, as Shias, follow Prophet Muhammad's sunnah. But that doesn't make us sunni, a concept that appeared by the way during Muawiya's rule(whose father Abu Sufyan used to kick chief of martyrs' (Hamza) grave and mocked him by saying that the caliphate was a toy in his sons hands) rule.

Politics and religion cannot be divided, at least from an Islamic point of view. That is Muhammad's sunnah as well, khaie, by sayings and by behavior. But islamic principles must lead matters.

Salam.

Anonymous said...

Alaikus Salam A

"Precisely. .......mission. That's why I called him a Sunni (of MUHAMMED's Sunnah)."

Please refer to this link for a shia logical view of Ghadeer http://www.al-islam.org/seeking-straight-path-reflections-new-muslim-diana-beatty/%C2%A0how-can-you-believe#division-among-muslims

For a general understanding of the Shia
http://www.al-islam.org/shiite-encyclopedia-ahlul-bayt-dilp-team

Other than this if your views are set nothing I guess can change them. If you read the second link you will realise that there are huge gaps in the understanding of various doctrines between the Shia and the Sunni. And these differences cannot be set aside as being minor.

I am glad, as I am sure your Shia friends are, that you do not want a Shia genocide. That was never implied and is obvious. But your wanting or not wanting something does not change the fact that one has been and is taking place.

Recently a Shia alim was murdered in Egypt. Malaysia's muftis are passing laws that makes the Shia faith unislamic. Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, Bahrain, Saudi, Yemen, cote d ivory, Nigeria, Indonesia, Afghanistan, where are the Shias free or safe.

I was, and I guess here is where I lack understanding, trying to figure out a way forward for the Shia. Would it be, hypothetically speaking, expedient to reason and when reason fails to silence an alim who is calling for the extermination of Shias before his ideas take root in the mindless masses.

Anyhow, there was a post by the saker about civil war and how they become dirty. How the other side are regarded as tritors. I think that this idea takes root among Sunnis too quickly, not in you personally. And they get exploited more than the Shia.

I have an off tomorrow and will read your link at leisure.

Mindfriedo





VINEYARDSAKER: said...

@A. and Mindfriedo:

Dear friends, while I am following your discussion with great interest, I don't feel that I am qualified to contribute anything to it. However, I do want you to know that I am very happy that you are having that discussion here and that I encourage you to continue it here as much as you want and to feel absolutely welcome to use this comment section for such interesting exchanges. As I said many times in the past - there is no such thing as "off topic" on this blog (except commercial spam, of course). Also - it is quite possible that a lot of people are following your very interesting exchanges without commenting themselves, including other Muslims. So please keep on discussing anything you want and never worry about being off-topic or "hijacking a thread" - here this kind of thing is very much encouraged :-)

Many thanks to both of you and kind regards,

The Saker

Anonymous said...

@ Saker, wonderful post as usual, one which I will share with friends.
@ Mindriedo,
I disagree that 12ers have not sought political power and other Shia have done so. Look at the history of ismailis in yemen, central asia and the subcontinent after the fatimids. If any courting of power was done it was done only to guarantee survival and as a protection from relentless persecution. And let us not forget 12er ruled states (large enough to be countries) in medieval and early modern India- ibrahimshhi rulers in the Deccan, the Nawabs of Awadh and of course many moghuls such as Dara Shikhoh who accepted the Shia faith.
Your sister.

Theodore Svedberg said...

Saker, Your domino 1 and 2 fell in that temporal order I agree with the other comment that 2 was in the works for a long time. What the Syrian policy reversal did was to make it easier to reach that agreement in Geneva with the Iranians. There were a few good indications that the Obama administration had decided already by Feb 2012 that war with Iran was not an option and that a negotiated settlement would be pursued.

A. said...

@Saker: Thanks.

@Mindfriedo: The real behind-the-scenes culprit seems to be the Wahhabi regime in the KSA which is provoking sectarian hostilities in the Middle East. I have no way of knowing I suspect the Zionists Israel-firsters have their share in this mess. I personally have no gripe at all with my Shia brothers and I consider things like shared prayers and inter-marriage between Sunnis and Shia perfectly OK (sorry if you have any differences on this stance). Time to unite AGAINST the common enemy for once. I believe this to be the exact mission of Imam Mehdi (again, sorry if you do not share this view). Thanks and Salams!

A. said...

And of course, Shia are the Ahl-e-Bayt (People of the Household of Muhammed). That's reason enough for Sunnis to forge protective and co-operative alliances with them. It certainly won't take overnight for a true reconciliation though, of course.

A. said...

Also, I found this: http://www.salem-news.com/articles/december022013/salafist-syria-fl.php

Anonymous said...

@Theodore Svedberg There were a few good indications that the Obama administration had decided already by Feb 2012 that war with Iran was not an option

Willing to share with us those indications?

Honk

Anonymous said...

@sister
I disagree that 12ers have not sought political power and other Shia have done so

There is a difference between temporal and spiritual authority. A caliph according to the Sunnis and an Imam according to the Shia holds both.

Sultans, emirs, nawabs, shahs, presidents, prime ministers all hold temporal power.
Seljuk sultans were Sunni, but their rule was not Islamic. The Abbasid caliphs wielded religious authority even after they lost most of their temporal power.
The Safavids was a Shia kingdom but they did not hold religious authority. The closest that they came was when SOME of shah Ismail's followers regarded him an imam.
A very stark example is Saddam. He can't be classified as Shia or Sunni. He was only concerned with power for his clan. His rule was Baathist secular. He cannot be regarded as a Sunni ruler. Purely temporal.

Daes, baab, current imams, ayatollahs, ibadhi imams in Oman till the 70s, have to varying degrees spiritual authority. For instance if the current Daee e Mutlaq, who holds spiritual/religious authority decides to form an Ismaeli state, he would hold both temporal and religious authority. Similar to what ayatollah Khamenai as the wali e fikh holds in Iran.

The salafis want to establish a caliphate. That office if established would hold both.

So in reply to "And let us not forget ....as Dara Shikhoh who accepted the Shia faith."

These rulers were Shia in faith but their rule was not an Islamic government. Shia individuals sought political power, in some instances backed by Shia clergy , but the 12ers never sought to establish an "Islamic" state. It was considered exceeding the authority that only belongs to the Mahdi as per prophet Mohammad's prediction.

Mindfriedo

Anonymous said...

@A

"The real behind-the-scenes culprit seems to be the Wahhabi regime in the KSA which is provoking sectarian hostilities in the Middle East"

The Wahhabi or salafi movements are relatively new phenomenons. The oppression of Shias, and now Sunnis has been magnified by Saudis immense wealth, it's alliance with Israel, it's perceived threat from Iran, its following of an extreme form of Islam, and its subservience to the USA. You can argue away 200 years of oppression that the Shias faced, and what mainstream Sunnis are now facing, to them. What about earlier where the Shias were seen as a threat? The persecution of Shias is not 200 years old. Shias cannot practice their faith in most "Sunni" countries. From Brunei till Egypt.

"Time to unite AGAINST the common enemy for once"

Your link shows that this is happening to some extent in Syria. I feel this is a lot to do with the education system of the Baathist state. Sunnis there are much more open minded than say a Talib from Afghanistan. This also happened in Afghanistan where the Shias and Sunnis were fighting the soviet invasion. An example of a very pro Shia sunni afghan warlord is Ismael Khan in Herat.

"And of course, Shia are the Ahl-e-Bayt (People of the Household of Muhammed"

Shias claim to be followers of the Ahl-e-Bayt and not belonging to the AhleBayt. But I think this was a typo.

Coming back to the point even though Shias and Sunnis can unite in certain cases. The Sunnis are not going to fight Shia battles and vice versa. An exception can be hizballahs involvement in Syria which is mostly politically motivated but is also trying to stop the takefiris madness from spreading west.

In the sura you linked, Prophet Khizr kills, to Moses's incredulity, a little boy. Because the boy was going to grow up and wrong his parents. This is of course because Khizr was given knowledge where as Moses was not. If there are individuals such as these, who are not a "perceived" but an "actual" threat to the ummah, be they Shia or Sunni, is it ok to be rid of them?

Mindfriedo

Anonymous said...

@mindrfriedo
Thanks for the clarifications. I agree..
Your sister

A. said...

@Mindfriedo:

>> If there are individuals such as these, who are not a "perceived" but an "actual" threat to the ummah, be they Shia or Sunni, is it ok to be rid of them?

Maybe yes, IF you happen to have the foreknowledge that Khizr had.

>> Shias cannot practice their faith in most "Sunni" countries.

Around where I live (Karachi, Pakistan), they in most cases visibly do. Cannot comment on other countries.

>> What about earlier where the Shias were seen as a threat? The persecution of Shias is not 200 years old.

You'll be hard put to find a community that has not been persecuted due to their beliefs or practices at least SOME time in history. Of course I do not condone any form of persecution, but the Shia aren't special in this regard. Even Imam ibn Hanbal the major Sunni school-of-thought leader was persecuted by a SUNNI government because he refused to give into their whims and corruptions and stood for the right.

>> You can argue away 200 years of oppression that the Shias faced, and what mainstream Sunnis are now facing, to them.

I'm not "arguing away" Shia persecutions. That would be as stupid and disgusting as "arguing away" the holocaust. Tyranny and oppression grows out when the true teachings of Islam are forgotten and either the mad scramble for power and dominance or unjustified bigotry, or both, over others take over minds. That's happened pretty much every time Shia have been persecuted... as a matter of fact, every time ANYONE's been persecuted. The KSA case is just a modern instance of this historic phenomena.

Thanks and Salam.

A. said...

>> The Sunnis are not going to fight Shia battles and vice versa.

I do realize you have a point there. And the sad irony is that Muslims were always supposed to stand together firmly, as the Quranic injunctions tell us to.

Anonymous said...

Zbigniew Brzezinski is the key representative of the USA firsters.
He is behind the shift away from Neocon adventurism in the Mid East to a much more serious imperial game: dismantling China by starving it of resources, sea access, and finally turning it against Russia.
Having lured the Soviets into Afghanistan he himself sees as one of his major accomplishments.
Tarpley has written about this faction since 2008:
http://tarpley.net/2008/07/20/us-policy-shift-on-iran-iraq-again-shows-brzezinski-rules-in-washington/

Anonymous said...

@A

You'll be hard put to find a community that has not been persecuted due to their beliefs or practices at least SOME time in history

The persecution of the Shias is in some respects distinct.
-it is ignored by the mainstream media (the press coverage if another community was being targeted in the same way would differ, to put it mildly)
-it is continuous
-it is intensifying
-it is systematic and involves the collusion of Muslim and non Muslim actors
-the reaction of the Shias has been very mature and unbelievably patient

Maybe yes, IF you happen to have the foreknowledge that Khizr had.

What about after knowledge? The little boy has grown up now, he has done what he was destined to do to his parents. Can he now be punished?

Around where I live (Karachi, Pakistan), they in most cases visibly do. Cannot comment on other countries.

Please refer to these:
http://www.globalresearch.ca/target-killing-mass-murder-of-shia-minority-in-pakistan/?print=1
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-20989329
http://www.theshiapedia.com/index.php?title=Persecution_of_Shia_Muslims
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sectarianism_in_Pakistan

If you have the time this is a good article
http://www.currenttrends.org/research/detail/cleansing-pakistan-of-minorities

This is a very disturbing one
http://lubpak.com/archives/132675

This one talks about Pakistan's involvement in sectarian conflicts beyond its borders
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/MF03Ak03.html

As a sponsor of the Taliban, the Pakistani state bears responsibility for these acts of the Taliban
http://www.rawa.org/times.htm
http://lubpak.com/archives/5150

Please take the time to read this one in detail. It talks about the extent and range of international players involved
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jundallah_(Iran)

Mindfriedo




Anonymous said...

@A

This one talks about how General Musharraf "made his bones" so to speak by crushing Shia uprisings in Gilgit. Please refer to the methods used by him, which include resettlements to bring about changes in demographics; better referred to as ethnic cleansing.

http://www.angelfire.com/al4/terror/musharraf.htm

The Pakistani army prefers to shell Shia villages on the Indian side of Kashmir

http://www.tribuneindia.com/1998/98sep26/head3.htm

If you have had the opportunity to see some of these links, I would like you to put yourself in "Shia" shoes and define a measured response.

Praying together and marrying together is not going to help. If all Sunnis and even shias were like you, we would not need this discussion.

There is another side of the argument which I am not going into. For instances if the Shias were more militant would the backlash be even worse. If the Shias in Pakistan would arm themselves and thus encroach on the authority of the Pakistani state, since the Pakistani state is not fulfilling its responsibility, would that not then be the start of a civil war and begin a cycle of more mass murder and genocide. Would Pakistan then become another Syria.

Mindfriedo

A. said...

>> What about after knowledge? The little boy has grown up now, he has done what he was destined to do to his parents. Can he now be punished?

Of course.

I will definitely try to read all these articles at leisure, but for now I would just say that Sunni clerics are also murdered ruthlessly. There was a recent major case in the Punjab.

In a recent Shia mass murder in Abbas Town Karachi, Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) affiliates were responsible. (http://www.dawn.com/news/795364/abbas-town-bombing-culprits-arrested-in-karachi-says-police). Rampant aggressions of various variety have intensified since the TTP scourge appeared on the scene. (Hope you do not find this as "arguing away" the Shia killings blaming them on a culprit that's only recently appeared.)

Misrepresentation and misinformation is the culprit here, at least in some cases. I remember being told in childhood by some people (not my family) that the Shia blasphemed the Sahaba and were "cursed by Allah till the day of Judgement", claims which, of course, I consider complete nonsense. But this childhood indoctrination is effective in case of many close-minded people who never really care to make an unbiased research (or are afraid to, in case they might come across information that may force them to drastically change their worldview). I would also like to point out that educated and open-minded people are less prone (though not entirely immune) to this perpetual propaganda. Thankfully all the teachers I encountered in school were sensible enough to deal tactfully with these issues when they ever came up.

>> As a sponsor of the Taliban, the Pakistani state bears responsibility for these acts of the Taliban

I suspect the behind-the-scenes establishment and military dictatorships (specially Zia) that gave rise to the Taliban are more to be blamed here than civilian governments or the State per se. Shia killings have occured even when Shia rulers were at the helm.

Thanks.

A. said...

>> There is another side of the argument which I am not going into. For instances if the Shias were more militant would the backlash be even worse. If the Shias in Pakistan would arm themselves and thus encroach on the authority of the Pakistani state, since the Pakistani state is not fulfilling its responsibility, would that not then be the start of a civil war and begin a cycle of more mass murder and genocide.

This is the precise reason I believe an armed Shia militancy would be a mistake.

A. said...

Also, for reasons that ought to be sufficiently self-evident, I would recommend being wary of any "news" coming from Indian sources. The Indian state has long been carrying out apartheid against muslims of all denominations (even secularized "Indian" muslims), especially in Kashmir (where muslims are overwhelmingly pro Pakistan - http://www.pakistankakhudahafiz.com/headline/kashmir-raised-the-flags-of-pakistan-and-let/ ) and Bihar. Do a search on "Narendar Modi" and expect more to come if this lunatic comes in power there.