Biden won? 2016-2020 showed what the US does to even mild reformers

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)

Friday, 18 December 2020 11:21 AM  [ Last Update: Friday, 18 December 2020 12:07 PM ]

Biden won? 2016-2020 showed what the US does to even mild reformers
Ramin Mazaheri is currently covering the US elections. He is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’ as well as ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’, which is also available in simplified and traditional Chinese.

by Ramin Mazaheri and cross-posted with PressTV

What the four-year epoch of Donald Trump has made staggeringly clear to non-Americans is that no one – not even a democratically-elected American – will be able to even moderately alter the US capitalist-imperialist foreign policy trajectory without undergoing a no-holds barred attack aimed at bringing that person down.

What the election of Joe Biden (although “installation” is clearly more accurate) shows is that the current American elite is wrongly yet firmly guided by the the self-serving and evangelical ideas which have dominated US foreign policy since the implosion of the USSR in 1991: “the end of history”, unipolar dominance and “humanitarian interventionism”.

Trump’s defeat is still an assumption, but – given that the Supreme Court will likely continue to sidestep the issue of state executive orders for mail-in ballots that bypassed a democratic check and balance by the legislative branch – the staggering burden of proof on those who claim a criminal conspiracy of electoral fraud have a lot of proving to do, and in a very short period of time.

What’s certain is that Trump was undoubtedly the one person who put fear into the all-smothering US establishment in my lifetime, and probably yours. He dared to cast mainstream doubt on the elites’ versions of free trade (neoliberal capitalism) and foreign policy (imperialism), and he progressed the American conversation from Eisenhower’s seemingly technocratic “military-industrial complex” to the far more nefarious yet accurate “Deep State”.

Yes, Trump has weakened America domestically via his policies of deregulation and liberal (not neoliberal) capitalism, but this column talks about the new post-Trump realisations now breaking over the non-American world:

Trump has irrevocably changed foreign perceptions of America – in it’s cultural, social, political and economic totality – because the world witnessed the shocking extremism the US establishment/1%/Deep State/military-industrial-media complex/etc. was willing to use day after day just to take him down.

Trump showed the world who they are really dealing with: forces much stronger than even the US executive

Few Americans wanted to openly admit that what Trump initially suggested to the world was actually a new type of global competition, instead of one predicated on the usual American, “You’re either with us and for goodness and progress, or against us and for the terrorists”. But that was a major change, and it was predicated on Trump’s non-mainstream politician admission that America had fallen so far that people had to actually do some work to “Make America Great Again” – he essentially admitted it was no longer a unipolar world.

Trump openly promised death to Iran, Palestine and Cuba, but in 2016 part of his shock was that he clearly had accepted a multipolar world as he shockingly talked about extending an olive branch to Russia and a purchase order to China.

Trump saw that because of the financial crimes and corruption of the US elite, as well as their failed neoliberal response to the Great Recession, it was undeniable that America (and it’s European allies) had degraded and been equalled, or in some areas surpassed by, China and Russia. Trump admitted this, and thus the businessman wanted to “do business” with America’s two recalcitrant peers while still crushing revolutionary, sovereignty-demanding or just smaller nations with the competitive might the US still had held on to.

Trump – of course – was not just unhindered but applauded by the US Deep State in expanding upon the existing policy of crushing revolutionary countries, but he was clearly forced into antagonising those two American equals when initially he obviously did not want to.

So what does Trump’s ousting now mean for those two major countries? It means normal, peaceful relations with the US are now impossible for at least four years. How can they possibly conclude otherwise?

Why would China, Russia, or the other undoubted enemies of Washington possibly expect any detente with the US from 2021 onwards when the Trump era has unequivocally proven to them that such detente will never be permitted by the US elite at any cost?

It is now crystal clear that the US president does not shape foreign policy – he only implements it. If he doesn’t we see what happens: the US establishment was aghast at his calls to prosecute “crooked Hillary”, but Trump looks like he will be the first ex-president to ever face prosecution.

Who is actually giving the foreign policy orders? Feel free to guess my opinion, but we know it is certainly not public opinion. Trump obviously tried to please public opinion and pull out of Afghanistan, Somalia and elsewhere and we all saw what happened – he was absolutely vilified for it in all the US power circles.

There are countless articles in American mainstream media which prove this analysis right; which confirm that Biden will be even more belligerent to China and Russia; which confirm he will use the same drones and sanctions on all “un-invadable” nations as Trump did. It’s clear from Biden’s statements and cabinet choices that – in policies towards non-Americans – he is going to deploy the worst of Trump’s tools but, crucially, combine them with the worst of phony Clintonian “humanitarian interventionism”.

So why would China or Russia kowtow to Biden when the 2016-2020 era shows that total belligerence is the only possibility Washington permits? Why would China or Russia expect Biden to extend mutually-beneficial cooperation? It’s not going to arrive, and part of Trump’s downfall was that he even tried.

One must look at it from the perspective of non-Americans: 2016-2020 has been incredibly shocking in the way that a political newcomer who seemed to want peace in some places was pulled down by a myriad of rabid and hysterical monkeys. Biden and the US establishment wants the non-American to act as if 2016-2020 never happened, but who could possibly forget what shockingly terrible actions were on display in the US over the past four years to prevent any new policies, especially in foreign relations?

Obama was a successful ‘brand change’, but Biden will not be

In 2016 the US was already so weakened by its Great Recession-inducing financial crimes that Trump came to the fore. In 2020 the US is even more gutted, due to this spectacularly awful year. So why would Russia and China not meet the confrontations which Washington is clearly still intent on posing to them?

Biden has none of Obama’s charisma, youth, acting ability, etc. He behaves like an old grandfather who will do anything to earn the attention and admiration of his grandchildren, not someone who can credibly back up claims of being the competent leader of the self-appointed “leader of the free world”.

That is why China is now showing a shocked Australia who really needs who economically via unprecedented tariffs. It’s why Russia is sending the S-400 defense system to Turkey and is having their ambassador to Israel stick up for Iran no matter who it offends. It’s not a question of America being too “weak” nor realpolitik but common sense – the fall of Trump emphatically proves detente with the US is simply not going to be permitted.

More of these challenges to the US will occur in the next four years because that is all Washington wants. Of course the American people don’t want that: half the American people voted for Trump, after all, and we know that they meant nothing to the American elite for four years; the half-leftist Bernie Sanders supporters were similarly shut out once their vote has been used to push out Trump.

When we consider that 2016-2020 was more an American cultural era of “Trump, the ousting” rather than “Trump, the democratically-elected leader” it’s clear that for non-Americans Trump truly heralded the end of global cultural domination by the US, which started after World War II. Didn’t everybody say that would happen in 2016, after all? They were right, but usually for the wrong reasons. It’s no coincidence that the Iranian term gharbzadegi – or “Westoxification” – goes back to the 1940s.

Yet despite their increased division and overall weakness Washington still expects non-American nations to accept the exact same amount of smothering domination as in 1991, 2001, 2007 and even 2015.

But why?

The US is trending in the right direction economically and culturally? The election of Biden has restored US prestige? The manner in which he won inspires confidence? Biden has a foreign policy agenda which is going to be less belligerent than Trump’s unprecedented call to end America’s endless foreign wars? The US has a Belt and Road Initiative which I don’t know about?

Let’s take this moment to realise that an unprecedented, four-year confusion has come to an end: It’s clear that US reformism lost.

It wasn’t a great reformism, but it was something different and positive in some ways. To stop it the US elite gutted their own nation’s psyche, culture, integrity, friendships, families and communities.

On a visceral level, which is not yet registered intellectually, the world saw that proposing changes away from US unipolar domination inspired shocking, debasing cultural war every day for the last four years – is that a system to have faith in, or a system to give in to?

The weakest nations of the world will be pushed into line with post-Trump US leadership, but the strong nations wouldn’t be strong if they had faith in the restoration of the Washington establishment, which Biden represents. Biden is certain to keep challenging strong nations, no matter how unjust or foolish that is.

However, it’s obviously incredibly unfortunate that the moderate reforms suggested by Trump – especially the peaceful ones in foreign policy – could not even be attempted. Maybe some other American will try, but they should now be prepared to undergo the Trump treatment.

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Dispatches from the United States after the presidential election

Results are in: Americans lose, duopoly wins, Trumpism not merely a cult (1/2) – November 5, 2020

Results are in: Americans lose, duopoly wins, Trumpism not merely a cult (2/2) – November 6, 2020

4 years of anti-Trumpism shaping MSM vote coverage, but expect long fight – November 7, 2020

US partitioned by 2 presidents: worst-case election scenario realized – November 9, 2020

A 2nd term is his if he really wants it, but how deep is Trump’s ‘Trumpism’? – November 10, 2020

CNN’s Jake Tapper: The overseer keeping all journalists in line (1/2) – November 13, 2020

‘Bidenism’ domestically: no free press, no lawyer, one-party state? (2/2) – November 15, 2020

Where’s Donald? When 40% of voters cry ‘fraud’ you’ve got a big problem – November 17, 2020

The 4-year (neoliberal) radicalisation of US media & Bidenites’ ‘unradical radicalism’ – November 22, 2020

80% of US partisan losers think the last 2 elections were stolen – December 3, 2020

Trump declares civil war for voter integrity in breaking (or broken) USA – December 5, 2020

Mess with Texas via mail-in ballot? States secede from presidential vote – December 8, 2020

Ramin Mazaheri is currently covering the US elections. He is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’ as well as ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’, which is also available in simplified and traditional Chinese.

Assad and Islam of the Levant الأسد وإسلام بلاد الشام

الأسد للعلماء: لقيادة المواجهة مع مشروع الليبراليّة دفاعاً عن الهويّة بوجه التفلّت والتطرّف

Photo of الأسد للعلماء: لقيادة المواجهة مع مشروع الليبراليّة دفاعاً عن الهويّة بوجه التفلّت والتطرّف

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad launched from a gathering of scientists in Damascus a call for the renaissance of scientists with the task of leading the confrontation with the liberalism project, which aims to strike the national identity and the ideological depth represented by Islam, together with social and family values, considering that this project aimed at dismantling societies and opening the way to the project of hegemony, This project stands behind both fragmentation, Misrepresentation and extremism, Assad accused French President Emmanuel Macron and Turkish President Recep Erdogan of sharing roles in managing extremist climates to strike the true identity of societies, He called for realising the lack of contradiction between their Islamic affiliation, their national identity and their secular state.

Assad and The Islam of the Levant

Nasser Qandil

 When an Islamic reference with the rank and knowledge of Sheikh Maher Hammoud said that when he listened to the speech of President Bashar al-Assad yesterday, in a council of leading scholars in Syria, he was surprised that the level of talk and depth in the issues of jurisprudence, doctrine, Qur’an and interpretation matched the senior scholars, as he was surprised by the clear and deep visions in dealing with issues affecting the Islamic world in deeper matters than politics, this is some of what will be the case for anyone who has been able to hear the flow of President Assad in dealing with matters of great complexity, sensitivity and accuracy, over the course of an hour. He is half-spoken in the sequence of the transition from one title to another, and supports every idea of religious evidence, Qur’anic texts, prophetic hadiths and historical evidence, and he paints the framework of the battle he is fighting intellectually to address decades-old dilemmas known as titles such as secularism, religiosity, Arabism and Islam, moderation and extremism, the task of scholars in interpreting and understanding biography and providing example in the front lines of identity battles, in drawing the paths of social peace, and establishing a system of moral, national and family values.

 Assad is crowned by efforts led by great reformers in the Arab and Islamic worlds to address these thorny issues, courageously advancing to this difficult, risky course, taking it upon himself as an Islamic, nationalist and secular thinker, to present a new version of the doctrinal, intellectual and philosophical understanding, seeking To replace imaginary virtual battles with historical reconciliation between lofty concepts and values related to peoples and elites, but divided around them, and fighting, instead of looking for the points of fundamental convergence that begin, as President Al-Assad says, of human nature, divine year and historical year. High values cannot collide, people’s attachment to them cannot be contradictory, and scientists and thinkers must resolve the contradiction when it emerges, and dismantle it. This is the task that Assad is dealing with by diving into the world of jurisprudence, thought and philosophy, and he is putting his hand on a serious intellectual wound, which is his description of the role played by the liberal school based on the destruction and dismantling of all societal structures, and elements of identity, to turn societies into mere individuals racing to live without meaning and controls, closer to the animal instinctive concept, and to the law of the jungle that governs it.

The historical role of Islam in the East, its structural and historical overlap with the manufacturing of major transformations, and universal identities, a title that needs the courage of Assad to approach it in terms of adherence to secularism, nationalism, prompts Assad to reveal the danger of realizing those who look to take control of this East of the importance of occupying Islam, as an investment less expensive than occupying the land, and doing its place and more. Whoever occupies Islam and speaks his tongue cuts more than half way to achieve his project, and reveals the danger of Assad realizing this in the heart of the war on Syria as one of the most prominent titles of the war prepared to control Syria, and in parallel the demonstrations of Islam in Syria, elites, scientists and the social environment. of resistance to the projects of intellectual, political and related occupation Seeking to destroy identity, belief, family cohesion, morality and value system, which carried the project of extremism financed and programmed with hundreds of satellite channels to spread strife and sow fear and encourage terrorism, with a neat rotation between the two sides feeding each other, and pushing Syrian scientists in the face of the precious sacrifices of the ranks of scientists, and they played in this confrontation a role that President Assad places as the role of the army on the front sands.

 Historically, Syria has been the focal point of the national identity, from which Islam has established its status as a cultural political project, and in front of doctrinal and religious schools divided between Wahhabism and the Muslim Brotherhood led by Saudi Arabia and Turkey, the aspiration for Islam in the Levant has always been to promote the Islam of al-Azhar, and together constitute the historical turning point in the course of the East, in harmony with the understanding of the national identity of society and the secular foundation of the state. In this historic conversation, it is clear that President Assad has taken this important task upon himself as a thinker, not just as head of state.

الأسد للعلماء: لقيادة المواجهة مع مشروع الليبراليّة دفاعاً عن الهويّة بوجه التفلّت والتطرّف

Photo of الأسد للعلماء: لقيادة المواجهة مع مشروع الليبراليّة دفاعاً عن الهويّة بوجه التفلّت والتطرّف

أطلق الرئيس السوري الدكتور بشار الأسد من لقاء علمائي جامع في دمشق الدعوة لنهضة العلماء بمهمة قيادة المواجهة مع مشروع الليبراليّة الذي يستهدف ضرب الهوية القوميّة والعمق العقائديّ الذي يمثله الإسلام، ومعهما القيم الاجتماعية والأسرية، معتبراً أن هذا المشروع الهادف لتفكيك المجتمعات وفتح الطريق لمشروع الهيمنة، هو الذي يقف وراء التفلّت والتطرّف معاً، متهماً الرئيس الفرنسي امانويل ماكرون والرئيس التركي رجب أردوغان بتقاسم الأدوار في إدارة مناخات التطرّف لضرب الهوية الحقيقيّة للمجتمعات التي دعاها الأسد الى إدراك عدم التناقض بين انتمائها الإسلاميّ وهويتها القوميّة ودولتها العلمانيّة.

الأسد وإسلام بلاد الشام

ناصر قنديل

 عندما يقول مرجع إسلامي بمرتبة وعلم الشيخ ماهر حمود أنه عندما استمع الى حديث الرئيس بشار الأسد أول أمس، في مجلس ضمّ كبار العلماء في سورية، فوجئ بأن مستوى الحديث وعمقه في قضايا الفقه والعقيدة والقرآن والتفسير يُضاهي كبار العلماء، كما فوجئ بالرؤى الواضحة والعميقة في تناول القضايا التي تطال العالم الإسلامي في شؤون أعمق من السياسة، فهذا بعض ما سيقع عليه كل مَن أتيح له سماع تدفّق الرئيس الأسد في تناول شؤون شديدة التعقيد والحساسية والدقة، على مدى ساعة ونصف متحدثاً بتسلسل الانتقال من عنوان الى آخر، وتدعيم كل فكرة بالشواهد الدينيّة والنصوص القرآنية والأحاديث النبوية والشواهد التاريخية، وهو يرسم إطار المعركة التي يخوضها فكرياً لمعالجة معضلات عمرها عقود طويلة عرفت بعناوين، مثل العلمانية والتديُّن، والعروبة والإسلام، والاعتدال والتطرف، ومهمة العلماء في التفسير وفهم السيرة وتقديم المثال في الخطوط الأماميّة لمعارك الهوية، وفي رسم مسارات السلم الاجتماعي، وإرساء منظومة القيم الأخلاقية والوطنية والأسرية.

 يتوّج الأسد مساعي قادها إصلاحيّون كبار في العالمين العربي والإسلامي لتناول هذه القضايا الشائكة، متقدماً بشجاعة لخوض هذا المسلك الوعر، والمحفوف بالمخاطر فيأخذ على عاتقه كمفكر إسلاميّ وقوميّ وعلمانيّ، تقديم نسخة جديدة من الفهم الفقهيّ والفكريّ والفلسفيّ، تسعى لاستبدال المعارك الافتراضيّة الوهميّة بمصالحة تاريخية بين مفاهيم وقيم سامية تتعلق بها الشعوب والنخب، لكنها تنقسم حولها، وتتقاتل، بدلاً من أن تبحث عن نقاط التلاقي الجوهري التي تنطلق كما يقول الرئيس الأسد من الفطرة البشريّة، والسنة الإلهيّة والسنة التاريخيّة. فالقيم السامية لا يمكن لها أن تتصادم، وتعلّق الشعوب بها لا يمكن أن يأتي متناقضاً، وعلى العلماء والمفكرين حل التناقض عندما يظهر، وتفكيكه. وهذه هي المهمة التي يتصدّى لها الأسد بالغوص في عالم الفقه والفكر والفلسفة، وهو يضع يده على جرح فكري خطير يتمثل بتوصيفه للدور الذي تقوم به المدرسة الليبرالية القائمة على تدمير وتفكيك كل البنى المجتمعية، وعناصر الهوية، لتحويل المجتمعات الى مجرد أفراد يتسابقون على عيش بلا معنى ولا ضوابط، أقرب للمفهوم الحيوانيّ الغرائزيّ، ولشريعة الغاب التي تحكمه.

 الدور التاريخيّ للإسلام في الشرق، وتداخله التركيبي والتاريخي مع صناعة التحوّلات الكبرى، والهويات الجامعة، عنوان يحتاج الى شجاعة الأسد لمقاربته من منطلق التمسك بالعلمانيّة، والقوميّة، يدفع الأسد للكشف عن خطورة إدراك الذين يتطلعون لوضع اليد على هذا الشرق لأهميّة احتلال الإسلام، كاستثمار أقل كلفة من احتلال الأرض، ويقوم مقامها وأكثر. فمن يحتلّ الإسلام ويلبس لبوسه وينطق بلسانه يقطع أكثر من نصف الطريق لتحقيق مشروعه، ويكشف الأسد خطورة إدراكه لهذا الأمر في قلب الحرب على سورية كواحد من أبرز العناوين للحرب التي أعدّت للسيطرة على سورية، وبالتوازي ما أظهره الإسلام في سورية، من النخب والعلماء والبيئة الاجتماعية من قدرة مقاومة لمشاريع الاحتلال الفكري، والسياسي، وما يتصل بها من سعي لتدمير الهوية والعقيدة والترابط الأسري والأخلاق ومنظومة القيم، وهو ما حمله مشروع التطرّف المموّل والمبرمج بمئات الفضائيّات لبثّ الفتن وزرع الخوف والتشجيع على الإرهاب، بتناوب متقن بين طرفَيْه يغذي أحدهما الآخر، ودفع علماء سورية في مواجهته تضحيات غالية من صفوف العلماء، وأدوا في هذه المواجهة دوراً يضعه الرئيس الأسد بمصاف دور الجيش على الجبهات.

 تاريخياً، كانت سورية هي نقطة الارتكاز التي تأسست عليها الهويّة القوميّة، والتي امتلك منها الإسلام صفته كمشروع سايسيّ حضاريّ، وأمام مدارس فقهيّة ودينيّة تتوزّع بين الوهابية والأخوان المسلمين بقيادة سعودية وتركية، كان التطلع دائماً لإسلام بلاد الشام ليستنهض معه إسلام الأزهر، ويشكلان معاً نقطة التحول التاريخية في مسار الشرق، بالتناغم مع فهم الهوية القوميّة للمجتمع، والأساس العلماني للدولة. وفي هذا الحديث التاريخي، يبدو بوضوح أن الرئيس الأسد قد أخذ هذه المهمة الجليلة على عاتقه كمفكّر، وليس فقط كرئيس للدولة.

فيديوات متعلقة

The Financial Hysteria of America and the Bankruptcy of Western Liberalism

The Financial Hysteria of America and the Bankruptcy of Western ...

Martin Sieff May 13, 2020

Western Liberalism is not only bankrupt: It bankrupts. Nowhere is this clearer than in the hysterical panic with which Republicans and Democrats alike in the United States are printing limitless sums of theoretical money to pump demand into a structurally wildly distorted and dying economic system in utterly futile efforts to fend off a looming super-Depression and world economic crisis.

Yet as becomes more clear every day, far from maintaining the current global structure, created by U.S. bankers and diplomats and dictated to the rest of the world back in 1944, all these efforts are just accelerating the disintegration of the Old Order.

There is a supreme irony to this, for the most important creator of the Old World Economic and Financial Order – the one that is now disintegrating as we watch – was none other than the patron saint of liberalism – a man who has become a non-person in the United States in the past 40 year “Age of Reagan” (as I explain in my 2015 book “Cycles of Change“) – legendary 32nd President of the United States President Franklin Roosevelt.

It is fascinating to watch Democratic Party leaders today as they desperately try to conjure up the great appeal and success of the only man ever to win four U.S. presidential held up Roosevelt’s leadership through World War II as a model of leadership for today.

That should be entirely true, But neither current (and sinking fast) putative party nominee Joe Biden nor his always-collapses-at-the-crucial-moment Senator Bernie Sanders haven’t a clue what they are talking about.

Two factors were central to Franklin Roosevelt’s extraordinary success as a war leader – and Sanders and Biden are both pathetically blind to both of them:

The first was Roosevelt’s unhesitating and consistent support for his allies, especially the unprecedented flow of Lend Lease aid in food, trucks and other equipment to the Soviet Union which was carrying the main burden of the combat war against Nazi Germany almost single-handedly.

The second was the remarkable fiscal prudence and caution Roosevelt showed throughout his presidency, especially in his creation of the landmark Social Security program.

Roosevelt was vastly more cautious and even cynical in developing this program to give financial support for the first time in history to aging Americans.

Although the landmark congressional legislation was passed in 1935 and became law on August 14 of that year as part of the so-called “Second New Deal,” financial contributions out of the pay checks of all legally working Americans only started to be withdrawn in 1937. Even then, it was still another three years before the first U.S. citizen ever to receive a check from Social Security picked it up: That was 76-year-old Ida Fuller of Vermont on January 17, 1940. Her first check came to the generous sum of $41.30.

From 1935, when the legislation was passed to vast popular acclaim, it was another six years at the height of the Great Depression, when more Americans were starving and dying of poverty and related hardships than ever before or since in the nation’s history before a single individual actually got any benefit from it.

The actuarial calculations on which Roosevelt designed Social Security were even more cynical and ruthless.

Social Security was to be paid to retirees after the age of 65. But at the time, the median age of Americans was 61. Only a tiny privileged minority survived to the age of 65 or beyond.

Roosevelt practiced exceptional caution to keep the U.S. economy and currency stable during the New Deal and the Great Depression. Contrary to popular (Republican) myth, he was adamantly opposed to bankrupting the country either in his own time or in that of his grandchildren. “It is almost dishonest to build up an accumulated deficit for the Congress of the United States to meet in 1980,” he famously said. “We can’t do that. We can’t sell the United States short in 1980 any more than in 1935.”

Roosevelt’s exceptional caution contrasts with the wild spending both Republicans and Democrats from Bernie Sanders to Donald Trump have been practicing, driving their country into final bankruptcy during the current coronavirus crisis.

Comments financial analyst and former London merchant banker Martin Hutchinson in his May 4 “Bear’s Lair” column, “the CBO (Congressional Budget Office)’s estimate of budget deficits of 18% of GDP in 2020 and 10% of GDP in 2021 are truly frightening. …they bring the likely bankruptcy of the U.S. government much closer than seemed likely previously, probably to around 2030.”

Indeed, given the terrifying vulnerability of the U.S. financial system to the collapse of the $2 trillion junk bond market used to financial the collapsing fracking energy sector, projecting a meltdown U.S. financial crisis a balmy ten years ahead seems wildly optimistic.

In fact, the road from Franklin Roosevelt’s cautious callousness in designing Social Security so that it would not pay a penny to those who needed it for another five years (until, indeed, the Great Depression was already over!) to the “spend endlessly, spend now” crazed panic of both Republicans and Democrats is a very clear one:

It is the road of palliative Western liberalism, open borders and global Free Trade: It is a road that inevitably leads to ever huger debt burdens, ever-declining standards of living and inevitable ruin.

By contrast, the extremely fiscally cautious, highly conservative financial policies that Russian President Vladimir Putin continues to follow get no respect from the spendthrift, zero interest rate maniacs on Wall Street. Yet it is Russia that is currently in a far stronger position to ride out the global financial as well as pandemic crises than the United States.

In statecraft and economics as in architecture, the most important issue is not how high you build but how well you build and how deep you build – How good your foundations are.

The storm of pandemic is already heralding the storm of financial crisis. That crisis can indeed be solved, but only by abandoning the old shibboleths, the old false gods that, as Dostoyevsky predicted at the very beginning of our modern industrialized, interconnected Age, would inevitably bring us to our ruin, unless reined in and reversed in time.

Joe Biden Is the 2020 Candidate of Fear

Joe Biden Is the 2020 Candidate of Fear - Russia News Now

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April 21, 2020

At a time when change is most needed, he’s asking voters to turn back, give up, and accept our country’s senility.

Daniel MCCARTHY

The Democratic Party is decadent, its future stillborn as its past seizes ownership of its backward-looking present. In 2020, the party is set to nominate for president a man who wasn’t good enough for the nomination in 1988 or 2008. Has he acquired a new vision or new vigor? No, but his party has run out of options.

Joe Biden is the candidate of old age and fear. Nostalgia for the Obama administration has been his prime selling point in the Democratic primaries, and it certainly helped him to win the support of African-American voters. But Biden is Barack Obama’s antithesis. In 2008 Obama truly was the candidate of “hope and change,” in the sense that he did represent a new page in American politics—he was a one-term senator, not mired in the ways of Washington like his rivals Hillary Clinton and John McCain (or Joe Biden, for that matter, who also ran for president that year); he was to be the first African-American president, providing hope that racial division could be overcome and inspiring young people of color to the highest aspirations; and his policy agenda seemed to be a break with the low expectations of what could be achieved at home and the excessively high expectations of what force could achieve abroad. However poorly the hopes panned out, and what little change succeeded, there was no doubting what Obama symbolized when he was first elected.

And Joe Biden? He’s a symbol that people as old as the Baby Boomers—or, in fact, a few years older—can still dominate national politics, especially in the Democratic Party. Though the 77-year-old Biden is a year younger than Bernie Sanders, he was the old man of the Democratic race in two senses that count for more than his birthday. First, Biden, not Sanders, was the candidate of experience, the one who made his pitch based most of all on his biography, not his plans and policy dreams; Sanders was the candidate of the dream, despite his own decades-long tenure in public life. Second, Sanders was the candidate that young voters preferred; Biden needed not only African-Americans but older Americans in order to become the party’s presumptive nominee. The problem for Democrats here is not necessarily what happens in November 2020, but rather how cohesive the party will be even if Biden can win. Does a Democratic Party led by a 78-year-old President Biden and an 80-year-old Speaker Pelosi have any future in a post-Boomer America?

Democrats have long taken for granted the advantage they expect to gain from America’s generational ethnic transformation: as whites become a smaller majority, and in more and more places are reduced to an electoral plurality, the minority voting blocs that have proved loyal to the Democrats should provide them with permanent power. Yet this is no longer a safe bet if the Democratic Party splinters ideologically, and the ability of leaders like Biden and Pelosi to appeal to the young leftists of all races who supported Bernie Sanders is very much open to doubt. To win elections with one set of voters, while a completely different set of voters holds the future of your party, is apt to be a Pyrrhic, and most temporary, victory.

The dead hand of the past lies heavy on the whole country, not just the Democratic Party. Since 1992, Americans have consistently elected Washington outsiders to the White House. Bill Clinton had no national experience when he won that year. George W. Bush had none when he was elected in 2000. Barack Obama had been in the Senate only four years when he won in 2008. And Donald Trump had no prior experience of holding office of any kind when he became president. Although considerable continuities emerged throughout the administrations of George H.W. Bush (a true Washington insider), Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama—all supported the project of a “liberal world order,” in which the United States was embroiled in foreign conflicts, while globalization was their imperative in economics—voters at each election demanded something new and different from the previous status quo. Clinton was certainly not elected because voters wanted more of what Bush I gave them; Bush II was not elected over Clinton’s vice president, Al Gore, because voters wanted to extend the Clinton era; and Obama was elected in explicit repudiation of Bush II. Donald Trump, of course, was the leader the country turned to in order to repudiate all of the above: Trump was as bold in his criticism of George W. Bush for the Iraq war, and of earlier Republicans for NAFTA, as he was in his attacks on Barack Obama’s record.

* * *

None of the other successful presidential contenders of the last 30 years has presented himself as a champion of an earlier status quo or a force for restoring Washington to its old ways. Even George W. Bush campaigned on a newfangled “compassionate conservatism,” not a return to Reaganism (or to the 1994 spirit of Newt Gingrich). While it’s possible that in 2020 Americans really will want to reverse the tides of time—after the misery of the COVID-19 experience and in reaction against the changes in government that Trump has instituted—the Obama legacy was not so potent in 2016 as to elect Hillary Clinton, and in four years under Joe Biden it is not going to get any fresher. Whatever opportunities this may present to Republicans and Sanders-style Democrats after 2020, for the country it will mean being stuck with an agenda and governing vision that had proved its limitations by 2016. The same conditions that led to the rise of Donald Trump’s populism and Bernie Sanders’s socialist movement that year will be established again under Biden, and after Biden those forces might take on much stronger forms than they did after Obama.

The Trump and Sanders phenomena have happened for a reason, after all. They happened because “hope and change” failed to deliver on its promises, and with Hillary Clinton there was no hope of anything other than stagnation. Trump and Sanders, in very different ways, represented new hopes and a defiance of stagnation. Biden, by contrast, offers no future at all. That includes a future in which he’s re-elected, age 81, in 2024. Who can imagine such a thing?

The near certainty that Joe Biden could only serve a single term if elected as president makes his choice of vice president a fateful one. That person will be the presumptive frontrunner for the 2024 Democratic nomination, and voters will take that into account when they cast their ballots this November. Should Biden win, he will be a lame duck from Day 1. Quite apart from whatever drawbacks his running mate will have in her own right (if Biden follows through on his pledge to pick a woman), the idea of electing a placeholder president for four years is not likely to sit very well with the American people. It would be an extraordinary abdication of leadership. And it’s not as if anyone would look to leadership in Congress to fill the gap. Nor, given the limitations of the office, would a vice president looking ahead to 2024 have the power to supply needed leadership before then. Quite the contrary: the vice president would be a target for everyone’s criticisms, Republicans and rival Democrats alike.

This is hardly a scenario for a return to stability and “competence” in government, as Donald Trump’s critics say they want. It’s equivalent instead to not having a president at all for four years—which may sound like a libertarian’s fantasy, except that the administrative state would continue to pursue an aggressively progressive agenda during the interim. That too can only contribute to populist resurgence.

For all the debilities that come with being the candidate of old age, there are advantages, too. Biden is not running as the paladin of the emerging Democratic Party, a party whose socialism and identity politics have been consistent losers at the ballot box—including, for the most part, in the 2018 midterms, and including in the Democratic presidential race this year. Biden is a survivor from an older, more broadly popular Democratic Party, one that still had powerful support in white working-class communities, such as those in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin that will be as decisive in 2020 as they were in 2016. For many voters of the Baby Boom generation, Biden is the third coming of the president they grew up idolizing, John F. Kennedy. JFK was the president they wished they could be, a glamorous symbol of America before Vietnam and Watergate. (Never mind that JFK actually deepend the country’s involvement in Vietnam.) Bill Clinton, who like JFK claimed an Irish ancestry—though one which in Bill’s case has never been proved—was the first Boomer elected president, and at 43 was just a year older than JFK had been when he was elected. Like JFK, Clinton had celebrity charm; and if he was a womanizer, too, that just went with the type.

Now Biden represents the same Boomer vision in maturity, even if he’s a few years too old to be a Boomer himself. Like Clinton, he also makes an unverifiable claim to Irish ancestry. Like Kennedy, he identifies as Roman Catholic. (And yes, like Kennedy and Clinton, he has been accused of mistreating women, and worse.) Biden is a callback to the Boomer memory of America—the look and feel of the country in the late 20th century, when white ethnics (Irish, Italians, Poles, and others) who had been at the margins earlier in the century now helped to define the mainstream, even occupying the highest office in the land. To elect Biden at 77 is, perhaps to some of these voters, a way of showing that they still matter in a country whose future will look very different. Much is made by Trump’s critics of the racial dimension to his support; but ethnic and generational identification with Biden should not be overlooked. Indeed, as a candidate who hopes to unite white ethnics and blacks, Biden is a throwback to the Democratic Party of an earlier age, too.

As the candidate of fear, Biden aims at a quite different segment of the electorate. Fear is what motivates upper middle class, highly educated voters. This professional class, filling as it does the ranks of journalism and the academy, presents itself as anything but fearful—according to its propaganda, fear is really hate, and hate is something that only deplorables experience, at least as a political emotion. Liberals will admit to being personally afraid, or worried for their communities, as a result of the horrors they believe Donald Trump has unleashed on the land. But only a populist demagogue, or maybe sometimes a socialist one, tries to capitalize on fear. Good liberal politicians are always about hope and change. Obama only made the slogan explicit. (In fact, “hope” was a byword of Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign as well, which drew attention to the name his birthplace: Hope, Arkansas.)

Yet liberalism is the politics of fear in the most profound sense: it is an ideology that attempts to neutralize fear through the all-provident power of the state, guided by enlightened leadership. The fear that men and women traditionally feel on account of religion—fear of God’s wrath or fear of a universe without any order—is allayed by liberalism’s programmatic commitment to science and to rationalism more generally. Everything will have a rational explanation, yet that rational explanation will somehow be moral, too. What is important is that fear can be forgotten, without the need for any unearthly power to supply salvation. Instead, a supreme earthly power will remove all earthly worries: fear of want, fear of violent death, even fear of disease. The state is not the only institution that will meet these needs: for many liberals, the free market or science outside of government plays the greater role in provision. But the state at a minimum supplies the rules that make possible the efficient operation of the rest of liberal society.

And the state rests on a psychological foundation best explained by Thomas Hobbes. No doubt Joe Biden has given little thought to the 17th-century philosopher from Malmesbury, England. Most liberals do not think of themselves as Hobbesians, and a great many denounce Hobbes as an authoritarian or worse. But he understood that a politics suitable for a modern society has to prioritize fear, and its negation, over other emotions and their gratification. Other passions disturb the peace; but fear, particularly the fear of a violent death, can compel men to be reasonable. Fear of this kind is nigh universally felt, and its effects are quite predictable: people will support a power—an institution—that can protect them from violence.

By itself, that’s not a formula for liberalism. And what liberal society does with Hobbes’s political psychology is different from what he himself advised should be done in works like Leviathan. Liberals accept a great deal of competition and pluralism of many kinds, but what makes the competition and diversity possible is its harmlessness. The passions are allowed free rein, but only as long as they are weaker than the fear of violent death that holds society together.

* * *

To say that populism has a passion that is stronger than the fear of violent death would be going too far. But populism does involve a very strong passion for dignity, a desire for greater recognition of one’s status or plight—one’s humanity, in a felt and not just formally acknowledged sense. This passion is what most deeply offends the upper-middle-class opponents of populism in general and Trump in particular. They sense that this passion is the beginning of a different kind of politics, and has the potential to supplant the foundations of the old liberal system if it’s not checked. Populism has an understanding of human psychology and human nature different from those of liberalism, and such different foundations lead to different forms of politics and theories of the state.

Joe Biden’s voters have passions of their own, and they are no doubt usually sincere in saying that they are moved by a desire for justice or decency or fairness or any number of other objects of feeling. But all of those passions have been trimmed to fit the context of fear—the context of a political system in which fear has been negated but remains central, for should some other emotion displace it at the center of political psychology, the logic of the rest of the system would fail. The logic of competition for status or dignity looks very different from the logic of escaping from fear. The Trump phenomenon and populism threaten to upset this balance. This is why revolutionary or fascistic implications are attached to Trump’s politics by his detractors. Trump and his supporters are very far from being fascists, but their opponents believe that their emotional core, and their scale of passions, is inevitably incipiently fascistic.

Biden is the candidate for an America less concerned with dignity and more prepared to enjoy the fruits of a political psychology based on neutralizing fear. Under President Biden, the welfare state, science, and even the free market will continue to keep the fear of death at bay, and that will make room for mild pleasures: pornography and video games and varied cuisine and recreational activities of all sorts. Joe Biden’s louche son Hunter—known for his hearty indulgence in drugs and his sexual adventures with strippers—is a perfect specimen of humanity under this system. If he gets more stimulation than others, everyone else should get enough. And if they don’t, they mustn’t complain, they should ask for a program.

For all that liberals complain about Donald Trump’s affairs, or his great wealth, what exercises their ire the most is his spirit, which isn’t satisfied with creature comfort. His supporters are also motivated by something other than what liberalism can easily satisfy. (And this holds true whether we are talking about the nationalists or the Christian conservatives among his base.) Fear should have no competitor as the sovereign passion in a good, rational liberal order, but in Trump the glimmer of competition can be seen. In Joe Biden, however, there is no such danger: he sprinkles oil over turbulent waters, promising as he does only “competence” and more moderate politics. Yet here too, Biden’s supporters are too quick to address an immediate concern without looking to more serious long-term difficulties—for what Trump, and in a different way Bernie Sanders, indicates is that the liberal order has become too dessicated of humanity and feeling, too mechanical, too perfect. And so it courts a backlash, of which populism is not so much a manifestation, but an antibody.

American voters have tried to add new humanity to the nation’s politics in every presidential election since the end of the Cold War. They believed Bill Clinton when he said, “I feel your pain.” They gave a “compassionate” conservative a chance, and afterwards they demanded more “hope and change.” When that effort, too, succumbed to the inertia and decadence of Washington, voters turned to Donald Trump, the most decisive break from politics past. Now Joe Biden asks them to turn back, give up, and accept our country’s senility.

theamericanconservative.comThe views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation.

Full speech about Imam Mahdi and the West’s moral failure against coronavirus

Full speech about Imam Mahdi and the West’s moral failure against coronavirus

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April 14, 2020

The following is the full text of a televised speech delivered on April 9, 2020 by Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, on the occasion of the 15th of Sha’ban.

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and peace and greetings be upon our Master Muhammad, and upon his pure household

May the auspicious 15th of Sha’ban be a blessed eid for all you dear brothers and sisters, the entire Iranian nation and all Muslims and all liberated people in the world. Unfortunately, I do not have the opportunity to meet with you up close and I have to speak to you from a distance, but this is an experience in itself. Today, I will say a few things about the Imam of the Age- may our souls be sacrificed for his sake- and I will raise a few points about the current issue of the country, but first of all, let us send greetings to the Imam of the Age:

Greetings be upon you Imam of the Age, greetings be upon you God’s firm pledge, greetings be upon you God’s promise – such promise whose fulfillment He guaranteed – greetings be upon you the hoisted flag, and you the manifestation of knowledge, of protection, of vast mercy and of inviolable promises.”

The following section of the holy ziyarah “Al-e Yasin” is full of love: “Our greetings be upon you when you rise and re-appear at the behest of God and when you put on the veil of disappearance. Our greetings be upon you when you engage in recitation and tafsir.”

Perhaps, there have been few historic eras during which humanity was in as much need as the present time for the existence of a savior. This holds true for both elites who feel this need consciously and the masses of the people who feel the need as well, but unconsciously. Everyone feels the need for a savior, a Mahdi. Everyone feels the need for the hand of divine power, for an infallible Imam, for purity and for divine guidance. We know of few historic eras during which there was so much need for this lofty truth.

Today, after having experienced various schools of thought and various philosophies – ranging from communism, western liberal democracy to the current form of democracy in the world, with the oversized claims that they make – humanity does not feel at ease. Despite all the astonishing scientific breakthroughs which have completely changed the way of life, humanity does not feel happy. Humanity suffers from poverty, disease, perversion and sins. It is afflicted with injustice, inequality and deep and growing class rifts. Humanity is subject to the abuse of power at the hands of big powers. They abuse science and natural discoveries, the capabilities discovered in nature. Humanity is faced with all these. These things have caused humans, throughout the world, to feel exhausted and to feel the need for a liberating hand.

Billions of people throughout the world are suffering. Some people might have prosperity, but they are not really tranquil. Humanity suffers from anxiety, and scientific breakthroughs and various developments have not managed to bestow bliss on humanity. Of course, human intellect is a great blessing. Similarly, experience is a valuable blessing. These are God’s blessings and they can solve many problems in life, but there are some knots that cannot be untied with these tools.

An example is justice. The issue of justice cannot be resolved with today’s advanced science and technology. Its knot cannot be untied with them. Today, injustice is fed by science. In other words, advanced science is at the service of injustice and warmongering. It is at the service of occupying others’ lands and of dominating nations. So, science cannot untie such knots. These things require a spiritual and divine hand and the powerful hand of an infallible Imam. It is he who can do these things. Therefore, his great mission is to administer justice. This has been pointed out in many prayers and ziyarahs.

The administration of justice is something that cannot be achieved by anyone other than the hand of divine power which is manifested by the Imam of the Age. And the kind of justice that Hazrat is expected to administer is not particular to one specific area, rather it covers all aspects of life:  Justice in power, wealth, health, human dignity, social status, spirituality, the possibility for growth and in all other dimensions of life. These are the things that are expected to be established by the Imam of the Age (may our souls be sacrificed for his sake) and by Allah’s favor, this will happen. All people- including elites and those who can understand events and the masses of the people some of whom might be preoccupied with their daily life and therefore are unaware of the developments in the world– have this need, either consciously or unconsciously.

All religions have promised a big “faraj” and a great divine movement at the end of history, which is of course not the end of history. When the era of the Imam of the Age begins, the real world and the real life of humanity begins to take shape. However, all religions have promised an end to the current condition of life that we have today. Therefore, this is a need, but in order to channel this need and render it fruitful, we have been asked in Islam to anticipate his re-appearance. This “anticipation” is beyond a mere sense of need. They have said that we should anticipate. Anticipation means hope. It means believing in a definite future. So, it is not just a mere belief. Anticipation is constructive. Therefore, in our narrations and teachings, the anticipation for this big faraj enjoys a high position. Later on, I will expand on this anticipation.

In a towqi’ [holy edict] of the Imam of the Age to Ibn Babawayh– Ali ibn Babawayh– he quotes the Holy Prophet (God’s greetings be upon him and his household) as saying “The best action that my Ummah can take is to anticipate the faraj.” There is a narration by Imam Musa ibn Ja’far which says, “After knowledge and understanding, the best course of action is anticipation for the faraj.” The Arabic word “ma’rifah” means monotheism and understanding divine truths. The Commander of the Faithful (greetings be upon him) says, “Anticipate the faraj and do not lose hope in the spirit of God.” It says that we should anticipate and we should not lose hope of divine spirit, mercy and assistance.

So in anticipating the faraj, there is dynamism and action. Well, this has been said about anticipating the re-appearance of the Imam of the Age. It is evident that anticipating the faraj means anticipating the re-appearance of the Imam of the Age. However, this is one manifestation of the anticipation. When the Holy Prophet says, “The best action that my Ummah can take is to anticipate the faraj” this reflects on all the problems that might occur to us in life. We should not become disappointed when confronting problems and we should anticipate a faraj, knowing for certain that it will materialize. The anticipation for the faraj is a faraj in itself. There is a narration by Hazrat Musa ibn Ja’far which says, “You should know that the anticipation for the faraj is a faraj in itself.” So, the anticipation for the faraj is a kind of opening for us as it liberates us from a state of despair and desperation which might force one into doing strange things. Well, this is what it means.

When the Holy Prophet and the Imams said this, it means that Mohammad’s (God’s greetings be upon him and his household) Ummah never becomes disappointed at any incident in life and that it always waits for the faraj. Well, anticipation does not mean sitting idle and fixating one’s eyes at the door, rather it means preparing oneself, taking action and feeling that there is an end that can be achieved and for that, one should work hard. We who anticipate the faraj and the re-appearance of the Imam of the Age (may our souls be sacrificed for his sake) should work to that end. We should work hard on the path of establishing a Mahdawi society. We should get close to the Mahdawi society as much as we can because the Mahdawi society is the society of justice, spirituality, understanding, brotherhood, camaraderie, science and dignity.

There is one point about the anticipation: anticipating the faraj is different from showing impatience and setting a timeline – for example by saying to ourselves that such and such an incident and difficulty should come to an end at such and such a time or that Hazrat should re-appear in such and such a day. This anticipation for the faraj does not mean showing impatience and being restless.

This anticipation means preparing oneself. Showing impatience and being in a rush are among the forbidden things. There is a narration which says, “God will not hurry up if His servants hurry up.” If you are in a rush, this does not mean that God will make hasty decisions because of you. No, there is a time and a reason for everything and things will be done based on divine providence. As I mentioned before, the anticipation for the faraj means both the re-appearance of the Hazrat and the opening after big difficulties: the opening after difficult incidents that involve everyone such as the incidents that occur today in the world which disappoint many and force others into suicide. However, when there is the anticipation for the big opening, this will not happen as one knows that such incidents will surely come to an end.

Well, there is another point here: the tranquility resulting from the anticipation and one’s self-confidence – as a result of which individuals feel calm and undisturbed – could be strengthened with prayers, with supplication and by speaking to God. “For without doubt in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find satisfaction” [The Holy Quran, 13: 28]. Now, we are in the month of Sha’ban and after that, we have the month of Ramadan. There are numerous duas and various prayers and speaking to God without any interceder is very valuable. And speaking to the infallible Imams (greetings be upon them), who are the closest people in the whole world to Allah the Exalted, will give one tranquility and peace of mind. Remembrance of Allah the Exalted opens our path, gives us joy and attracts divine mercy.

Surely, the millions of hands that were raised last night will bear fruits. Last night, millions of people succeeded in familiarizing their hearts with God, in connecting with Him, in holding up one’s hands and in speaking to Him. Without any doubt, the results of this action will show themselves both in individuals themselves and in the whole society and many blessings will ensue. These were the points that I wished to discuss about the issue of the re-appearance, the faraj and the uprising of the Imam of the Age. Of course, many things can be said in this regard, but for today, this much is enough.

As for the current issue of the country – the coronavirus outbreak – well, this is an epidemic and a test. It is a test for the whole world: for both governments and nations. Governments are tested in this incident and so are nations. It is indeed a very strange test. Of course, enough has been said about the statistics, the very good measures that have been adopted and the recommendations of officials. The IRIB has also had a good performance, to be fair, in this regard. I do not want to speak about these matters, but I have certain other points to raise:

One point is that the Iranian nation has had a brilliant performance in this test. During the coronavirus test and during this pandemic, is modern pandemic, the Iranian nation shone brightly. First of all, the peak of this national glory belongs to the medical staff of the country. I have spoken many times and I would like to reiterate again the significance of their work and the value of their self-sacrifice, including that of physicians, nurses, laboratory experts, radiologists, medical assistants in health centers, public services divisions, the sections in charge of research, and management inside the Ministry of Health and outside it – the managers active in this area. The peak of this glory belongs to them. They placed their lives and their health at the service of the people. This is very significant and magnificent.

They endured the pain of being away from their family. Many of them did not see their family even during Nowruz holidays and they suffered from sleeplessness and psychological pressures resulting from treating patients in a critical state. They welcomed all these things and therefore, a good memory of the medical staff and system of the country will be engraved in the minds of the Iranian nation. This is a good and happy memory left behind at this point in time by the medical, nursing and treatment society of the country.

As well as them, we should mention volunteers: those who were not part of the medical staff, but who entered the arena voluntarily. Jihadi clergy and students, thousands of diligent basijis throughout the country and the masses of the people presented such valuable services that are beyond description. On the one hand, such services make one really happy and on the other hand, they make one feel grateful.

We should mention the Armed Forces as well. The Armed Forces truly utilized all their power of construction and creativity. They placed all their resources at the service of the task which even included scientific resources, scientific discoveries and the manufacture of medical instruments and medical equipment for hospitals and clinics as well as other goods and instruments which were at the disposal of the Armed Forces. They did their best to utilize their power of construction and creativeness in the area of science and pragmatism.

Later on, new capacities were discovered and it became clear that there are numerous capacities inside and outside the Armed Forces while we had been unaware of them beforehand. Youth appear on television and explain the things that they have built, but we did not know of them before. These are the new discovered capacities.

The people’s cooperation has also created beautiful, fascinating and astonishing scenes and they can be seen everywhere. I would like to cite instances of this popular cooperation. Of course, these are not all the cases, rather these are the ones that have been reported to me: in Sabzevar, for example, they have launched the plan “A sacrifice for every neighborhood”: the people in the neighborhood gather together, sacrifice an animal and give the meat to the needy in that neighborhood. This is a very essential, important and interesting plan for feeding the needy. In Yazd, the mother of a martyr has enlisted the help of several ladies in order to turn their houses into sewing workshops with the purpose of producing masks and giving them to the people for free. In Nahavand, a group of ladies who used to bake bread and send it to the frontlines during the Sacred Defense Era have become active again in order to control the disease and help fight it. In Khuzestan, the clergy have set up groups to disinfect the people’s houses. In Shiraz, local well-established personalities speak to the owners of different properties – such as the owners of houses and shops – so that they will not receive their rent or give a discount and delay the payments during the outbreak, thus helping local shopkeepers. In Tabriz, the head of the seminary has entered the arena on the ground to offer help. In another city, a hezbollahi candidate for the parliamentary elections, who was not elected, has decided not to close down his committee so that he can organize activists at the service of a jihadi movement and of fighting the coronavirus.

Of course, these examples are based on a few reports available to me, otherwise, there are hundreds or rather thousands of examples like this in different shapes throughout the country, some of which I have also cited in my previous speeches. It is important to pay attention that these are signs of the depth and the influence of Islamic culture in the hearts of our people. This is contrary to the claim of those who unfortunately tried to humiliate Iranian culture– Islamic-Iranian culture– in the past two decades in order to divert the attention of the people towards the western lifestyle. However, despite their wishes, this is not the case. Fortunately, this feeling of Islamic thinking and Islamic culture is a very strong and firm feeling in our people.

Western culture and civilization showed their mettle as well! Well, our national television showed some of the things that happened in western countries, in Europe and in the US, but some of them were not broadcast because this is the information that we receive and therefore, we are aware of it. The west displayed its cultural products as well. In some western countries– in Europe and the US– it so happened that governments confiscated masks and gloves belonging to another government while they were being transferred in order to use them for themselves. This happened in European and American governments. And the people there emptied the stores in a short time, in the space of one, two hours- as they were anxious to fill their fridges and they emptied the shops. They showed the whole world on television the empty shelves in the stores. Our television showed it as well. And there were some people who fought with one another over toilet paper. There were also long rows of people trying to buy guns. It was broadcast on television that the people were lining up to buy guns because they felt insecure and felt the need to buy guns in this sensitive period of time. We can also refer to their prioritization of patients: their preference not to treat the elderly. They said, “It is not necessary for us to bother treating the elderly, the disabled and the like who suffer from various conditions and ailments considering the restrictions that we have.” These are the things that have happened there.

Some people in those countries have committed suicide out of fear of the coronavirus and of death. This is the conduct that some western nations have shown. Of course, this is a logical and natural consequence of the philosophy ruling over the western civilization, which is an individualistic, materialistic and secular philosophy. Even if there is belief in God in that philosophy, it is not based on correct, towhidi and deep tenets. This is another issue.

I would like to add that a western official said a few days ago that the “Wild West” has been revived. This is what they say. When we say that there is a spirit of wildness in the west which is not incompatible with their perfumed and neat appearances, some people express their surprise and deny it. Now, they themselves are saying this! They say that such behavior is a symbol of the Wild West being revived.

Another dimension of this issue is the public behavior of our dear nation in acting on the recommendations. One can see that the people are really acting on what the National Anti-Corona Headquarters announces in a definite manner. Of course, they might announce something while they have doubts and the people might conclude that it is not necessary to do it, but when something is announced in a definite manner and they feel that they should do something, they cooperate with officials on the recommendations that they issue.

One example is this year’s “sizde-bedar” ceremony. Nobody would have believed that the people would cancel it, but they did. The people did not attend sizde-bedar. This shows that the people have accepted public discipline in confronting this disease in the true sense of the word. Of course, this should continue. This public discipline should continue to exist and the decisions announced by the National Anti-Corona Headquarters – as the Headquarters is the first-tier organization in charge of this task – should be taken seriously and acted upon.

Another dimension of the issue is that coronavirus is clearly a grave problem for today’s humanity. It is a big and dangerous outbreak that has occurred to humanity, but compared to other problems, it is a relatively small matter. We have been witness to many problems in the world and in our own country, which were not less important, rather more important than this recent malady, including the fact that Saddam’s planes dumped chemicals on our country 32 years ago– on exactly the same days that coronavirus has now entered our country. They killed thousands of people in our cities and in their own cities and they did so with mustard gas and the like. This happened and of course, all big powers in the world supported and helped Saddam on that day. Some of these so-called civilized and advanced countries gave him chemical substances and weapons and until today, none of them has answered for the crimes that they committed back then.

And that criminal Saddam, behaved towards our people and his own people in Halabja in the same manner, because he felt that the people of Halabja might be cooperating with the soldiers of the Islamic Republic, he killed them on the streets in a brutal manner. Well, these things have happened. During the two world wars, millions of people were killed as well. In the case of the coronavirus, it is said that one million-plus individuals have been infected and some have lost their lives. However, in the first and second world wars which occurred in Europe with an interval of about 20 years, several million people were killed. I do not remember exactly how many, but I know that tens of millions of people were killed during those wars.

During the Vietnam War too, which was waged by the US, many people were killed and the same is true of other wars. Just recently, many people were killed and martyred during the attack that the US and others launched in Iraq. These cases have been frequent. Therefore, when we think about the recent matter, we should not ignore the other important incidents that have always occurred in the world and we should know that at the very moment, millions of people are under the pressure of oppression at the hands of big powers and enemies in the world and they are deeply suffering. The people in Yemen, Palestine and many other parts of the world are under pressure. Therefore, the issue of coronavirus should not make us forgetful of the plots of enemies and of arrogance and we should know that the enmity of arrogance is based on the essence of the Islamic Republic.

If someone thinks that we should not show enmity so that they will not show us enmity either, this is not true. The essence of the Islamic Republic is the principle of Islamic democracy and this is not acceptable, understandable and tolerable to them! This is another point.

I will tell you that officials in the National Anti-Corona Headquarters are working seriously. We receive the reports in this regard and we are aware of their activities. They have also come up with certain plans for underprivileged classes, but I wish to stress and recommend that executive officials should implement the plans for helping these classes as soon as possible and in the best way they can, God willing.

However, the people are also responsible. There are some people who really find it very hard to make ends meet and they cannot manage their daily affairs. The people whose hands are open and who are financially well-off should begin extensive activities in this regard.

We read in the holy dua “Shajarat-un Nubuwwa”: “Feed me so that I can help- by means of what you bestowed on me with Your Grace- those who are deprived of your bounties and blessings to a large part, as you provided me with Your shelter.” This is one of the necessary tasks that should be carried out, in particular because the month of Ramadan is imminent. The month of Ramadan is the month of giving alms, making sacrifice and helping the needy. It will be such an excellent move to launch a big movement in the country for charitable purposes and offering pious help to the needy and the poor. If this happens, there will be a good memory of this year in the minds of the people.

In order to prove our love for the Imam of the Age, we should create scenes and reflections of the Mahdawi society. As I mentioned before, the Mahdawi society is the society of justice, dignity, knowledge and assistance. We should realize these things within the scope of our capability in our life. This will help us get closer to that ideal society.

The last point that I would like to raise is that in the absence of public meetings in the month of Ramadan – as this year, we are deprived of these very valuable public meetings which are places for making dua, speaking to one another and supplicating to God – we should not forget about acts of worship, praying and showing humility towards God. We can do the same things and show the same humility in our own homes, when we are alone or when we are among our family members and our children. Of course, there will be some television programs as well which can be benefitted from. And we are obliged to do so.

I also have one word of advice for officials and for young activists in the arena of science and technology. Two things should not be forgotten: one is the issue of “surge in production” which is vital for the country. We should pursue the issue of production in the country at any cost and we should help production witness a surge in the true sense of the word. And another is the issue of manufacturing the many things that we need and doing laboratory wok. By Allah’s favor, the youth in laboratory sections will pursue this matter.

I ask Allah the Exalted to bestow salvation on the Iranian nation. May God gladden the immaculate soul of our magnanimous Imam, that He associates the pure souls of our dear martyrs with the Holy Prophet, that He will realize the big dreams of the Iranian nation and that He hastens the re-appearance of the Imam of the Age- may our souls be sacrificed for his sake- God willing.

Greetings be upon you and Allah’s mercy and blessings

في ثقافة المقاومة… وقضية العملاء

سبتمبر 16, 2019

ناصر قنديل

هذا الشهر من العام 1982 كان حافلاً بالشواهد على التحضيرات التي خاض غمارها تباعاً آلاف الرجال والنساء والشباب والصبايا من اللبنانيين وأحزابهم، لإطلاق أعظم حركة تاريخيّة وطنية في حياة لبنان، هي حركة المقاومة، التي يفتخر القوميون بأنهم كانوا في طليعتها منذ عملية الويمبي، وأنهم كانوا فيها نساكاً لا يبحثون عن توظيف دماء شهدائهم وتضحيات وعذابات أسراهم، أسوة بكل من كان صادقاً ومخلصاً لفكرة المقاومة، ولولا هذا الجمع المضحّي للمقاومين الذي كتب تاريخ لبنان الحديث، ما كان قيام لدولة، ولا للأمن فيها ولا للاقتصاد.

الأكيد عبر تاريخ هذه المقاومة أنها وهي تحتفل بالتحرير لم تربط هوية السلطة الناشئة ما بعد التحرير، بطبيعة مواقف مكوّناتها غداة انطلاق المقاومة أو أثناء مسيرتها، وتموضعهم على خطوط الاشتباك مع مشروع الاحتلال أو حيادهم في هذا الاشتباك، أو تلاعب بعضهم بين ضفتي الاحتلال وقوى المقاومة، بل وحتى مشاركة بعضهم علناً في الخريطة السياسية المرسومة لمشروع الاحتلال ورهانه عليه، فمواقف قوى المقاومة وثقافتها، كانت مؤسسة على التضحية بأي مكاسب سلطوية افتراضية، سعياً لضمان أوسع مساحة للوحدة الوطنية والسلم الأهلي، لتكون دولة لكل اللبنانيين، تطوي زمن الاحتلال ومراراته، وتفتح صفحة جديدة في حياة لبنان واللبنانيين.

رغم هذا التنسّك والسعي للوصل والجمع، بقيت مشاريع القسمة والضرب والطرح، وكانت قضية العملاء واحدة من الملفات التي تعبر في طياتها عن طبيعة المواقف الفعلية للقوى السياسية والطائفية وقادتها، والمقاومة التي كانت قادرة على جعل الملف من اختصاصها في إنهاء هذا الملف بعد التحرير مباشرة، تصرّفت بمسؤولية وطنية ارتضت أن يكون في عهدة الدولة، لكن ما جرى منذ ذلك الوقت وما يجري حتى اليوم يؤكد أن التعامل الرسمي والحكومي والأمني والقضائي مع هذا الملف يحتاج اليوم في ضوء تداعيات قضية العميل عامر إلياس الفاخوري، إلى إعادة نظر ومناقشة صريحة لا مجاملات فيها. فمصطلح المبعَدين الذي تسلل إلى السياسة يحمل ضمناً معادلة براءة للعملاء، والتشريعات القانونية التي يعتمدها القضاء لم تشهد أي معالجة خصوصية تأخذ بالاعتبار ما شهده البلد من قضايا وتفاصيل تحتاج إلى تضمين تبعاتها وتداعياتها في خصوصيات الأحكام، واللجوء للبرقية 303 يُعَد بذاته، تقصيراً قانونياً وقصوراً تشريعياً، ومثله ثقافة المؤسسات الأمنية والعسكرية تجاه هذا الملف تحتاج إلى تقييم وتقدير موقف جديد.

الأكيد الذي يجب أن يتنبّه له المسؤولون هو أن قضية العميل المتسلل من ثقوب السياسة والقضاء والأمن، فتحت جروحاً لن تندمل بلا إعادة قراءة للكيفية التي تم اعتمادها منذ العام 2000، ورسم سياسة تترجم بتشريعات وإجراءات وثقافة فوق السياسة، تصل حدّ العقيدة، عنوانها، لا مكان لعملاء الاحتلال إلا في السجون، ولا عقوبة للقتلة منهم إلا الموت، ولا مكان لنظريات العفو والتبادل والمقايضة في هذه القضية فهي قضية أمن وطني وقضية وفاء لعذابات ودماء الآلاف، غير قابلة للصرف في السياسة، ولا يملك أحد التفويض للتصرف بخواتيمها بالنيابة عن الذين لا زالت أوجاعهم وجراحاتهم حيّة.

Related Videos

MEET MOSCOW’S “LIBERAL OPPOSITION”: “ACTIVIST” DETAINED FOR CALLS TO ABDUCT AND MURDER POLICE OFFICERS’ CHILDREN

Meet Moscow's "Liberal Opposition": "Activist" Detained For Calls To Abduct And Murder Police Officers' Children

Vladislav Sinitsa. Click to see full-size image

On August 4th, Vladislav Sinitsa, also known as Max Steklov was arrested by authorities in Moscow.

The representative of the Russian “liberal opposition” went to Twitter and complimented the “valiant defenders of the law” on their happy family photos. He did, also, include mentioning that some of them had geolocation turned on and that it would probably be “fitting” for their children to not appear at school one day. In stead of going to school the children would “take part” in a snuff film, which then would be sent to every respective police officer’s home in DVD format.

This is the individual who was arrested, as well as his Twitter post and the charges he is being accused of from a Moscow court.

Meet Moscow's "Liberal Opposition": "Activist" Detained For Calls To Abduct And Murder Police Officers' Children

Click to see full-size image

His calls for this “liberal activity” were following alleged “police brutality” on August 3rd when protesters took to the streets in Moscow in an unsanctioned protest for the second straight Saturday, the first being July 27th. Naturally, MSM turned the news into a massive event that signified the fall of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and so on.

In fact, the protest on August 3rd was attended by approximately 1,500 people, which for a city the size of Moscow is more or less enough to hold a barbecue and share a few drinks among friends.

The protests were organized by unregistered opposition candidates for the Moscow City Duma. These candidates failed to collect the needed number of signatures to participate in the election. Now, they call this a sign of the  government oppression.

Meet Moscow's "Liberal Opposition": "Activist" Detained For Calls To Abduct And Murder Police Officers' Children

Click to see full-size image

Meet Moscow's "Liberal Opposition": "Activist" Detained For Calls To Abduct And Murder Police Officers' Children

Click to see full-size image

In response to the media campaign, specifically in British media, to present the situation in a completely different light than what it really was, the Russian Embassy in the UK published an official comment.

“First of all we would like to note that the numerous illegal protests which  took place on August 3 in Moscow had nothing to do with democracy or freedom of expression. It becomes clear that the goals of protesters were anything but ensuring their voters rights. Many of the protesters do not even have an idea who the so-called opposition candidates actually were. It also looks absurd that people not living in Moscow are fighting for the political rights of Muscovites. Furthermore the persons wanted in connection with the extremism propaganda as well as 150 young people who had long been evading military service were found among the participants of the illegal rallies. It also proven that foreign citizens participated in the Saturday rallies, for provocation purposes only.”

Furthermore, according to the statement it was showing that nearby, in the Moscow Central Park of Culture approximately 90,000 and upwards people were attending a music festival, not too bothered to express their support of “Western-backed democracy.”

The US Embassy in Russia even warned US citizens to stay away from the protest “given the possible size of the protest and the large police presence.” The massive amount of 1,500 people in a city of approximately 13 million is, indeed, worrisome.

Regardless, the US Embassy didn’t stop there and also alleged that citizens’ rights were not respected. This, too, was answered in the Russian Embassy in the UK’s statement mentioned earlier.

Посольство США в РФ

@USEmbRu

Власти🇷🇺 продолжают ограничивать права граждан на выражение своего мнения посредством свободных и честных выборов и на проведение мирных собраний, гарантированные Конституцией🇷🇺. Действия властей 3 августа нарушают права граждан на всестороннее участие в демократическом процессе. https://twitter.com/USEmbRuPress/status/1157936184766750721 

Andrea Kalan@USEmbRuPress

Authorities continue to restrict 🇷🇺citizens’ right to express themselves via free and fair elections & peaceful assembly, fundamental rights enshrined in their constitution. Yesterday’s response undermines the rights of citizens to participate fully in the democratic process.

438 people are talking about this
On the Russian side, the press service of the Interior Ministry said that approximately 30 minutes after the protest was set to begin about 350 people in attendance on August 3rd. 30 people were arrested for disrupting public order during the unsanctioned protest.

“I was told that there were four minors in one paddy wagon, but I don’t have information yet where they were taken. When I understand where they are, I will understand. They were detained at Pushkin Square,” said Yevgeny Bunimovich, children’s ombudsman.

The deputy head of the working group of the Public Chamber of Russia on monitoring the implementation of citizens’ electoral rights Maxim Grigoriev said police officers who are protecting the unauthorized rally in Moscow behave correctly and do not lend themselves to provocations.

At the end of the protest, the Interior Ministry reported that 1,500 took part and around 600 people were arrested for disturbing public order.

The first unauthorized protest was held in Moscow, in front of the City Hall on July 27th. It was organized by failed candidates for deputies of the Moscow City Duma. They were denied registration for the elections due to the presence in the subscription lists of the names of dead people and other serious violations. During the unauthorized rally, 1074 people were detained. The Investigative Committee opened criminal cases on the fact of these events in relation to attempting to organize mass riots and attacks on government officials.

In a shocking turn of events (at least for MSM), the Moscow City Hall actually agreed on a time and place for protests on August 10th and 11th, so that those who wish to rally can do so.

“So, welcome! Protest, speak out, state your position and, I repeat, achieve your right only by legal means,” Leonid Polyakov, a member of the Human Rights Council under the President of Russia said.

Following are some videos of alleged police brutality, who only present several seconds and no context or background of what actually led to the altercation, as is customary for the high-level reporting work of MSM.

Медиазона

@mediazzzona

Полиция избивает лежащих на земле людей на Чистых прудах дубинками. Видео: http://Znak.com 

Embedded video

676 people are talking about this

Yes, police brutality is expressed in several people trying to lift one up and then one hitting them with a baton on the leg.

Imagine what the outcry would be if the protesters were subject a response similar to somewhat recent events in the US or the UK.

MORE ON THE TOPIC:

“Global Coalition of the Willing,” Ordinary Iranians’ Style: Resistance multiplied by Ethics plus Justice minus Oppression divided by Aggression

August 02, 2019

“Global Coalition of the Willing,” Ordinary Iranians’ Style: Resistance multiplied by Ethics plusJustice minus Oppression divided by Aggression

by Mansoureh Tajik for The Saker Blog

“Global Coalition of the Willing,” Ordinary Iranians’ Style: Resistance multiplied by Ethics plus Justice minus Oppression divided by Aggression

For a brief moment in human history, or what feels like only a fraction of a second now, the United States of America experienced a mirage of a position, dubbed a “superpower,” self-appointed1. Those who lacked ethical and moral imagination went along with that coronation2. Or, perhaps they were just humoring it until a better replacement came along3.

Internally and externally, the United States maintained its illusion of superpower status through the application of diverse tools, some hard and harsh, some soft, and some gray in nature. On the economic front, it mass produced an industrial-scale fiat currency4 as a trading tool and adopted games of chance, fundamentals of speculation5 and gambling as its “genius” economic principles. It manufactured large bubbles of debt6, mimicking a toddler’s birthday party, then divided and sold the airs within as investment bonds. The illusion of trust in an untrustworthy entity was the collateral. No worries though. Whenever the time got ripe and the bubbles burst, sophisticated air-capturing devices and adjustment tools were customized, nicely packaged, and were readied for retail. The hamster on the wheel of finance kept on running but never arriving; alas, the chicanery of economic progress was kept alive.

On the military front, the United States dropped two atomic bombs killing and genetically maiming hundreds of thousands of people for generations to come. In the Eyewitness Account of Hiroshima, August 6th, 1945, Father John A. Siemes, then a professor of modern philosophy at Tokyo’s Catholic University, concluded his remarks by saying:

“We have discussed among ourselves the ethics of the use of the bomb. Some consider it in the same category as poison gas and were against its use on a civil population. Others were of the view that in total war, as carried on in Japan, there was no difference between civilians and soldiers, and that the bomb itself was an effective force tending to end the bloodshed, warning Japan to surrender and thus to avoid total destruction. It seems logical to me that he who supports total war in principle cannot complain of war against civilians. The crux of the matter is whether total war in its present form is justifiable, even when it serves a just purpose. Does it not have material and spiritual evil as its consequences which far exceed whatever good that might result? When will our moralists give us a clear answer to this question?”7

While the “moralists” on whom Father Siemes pinned his hopes seventy four years ago were too busy theorizing about their own slumber, the United States of America stockpiled thousands of ready-to-be-deployed nuclear bombs, as fear-inducing threat tools. It deviated enormous amounts of world’s precious resources into the development of military hardware and software gadgets, using “defense” and “American interest” as its rationale8. It then created chaos and mayhem all over the planet9 as its pressure lever to sell death toys to teeny-weeny boys10—expensive batteries not included and costly -900- numbers for instructions on operations and maintenance11.

On the public relations and propaganda front, it used industrial-scale colorful media forms12 as its tool to lie, to cheat, and to fool. It is useful to remember that the United States of America, the land of the free and the home of the brave, freely burnt alive and made melted charcoals13 of tens of its own defenseless and unarmed mothers, fathers, and children in Mt. Carmel, Waco, Texas14. It bravely broadcasted, live, the entire event on several television networks for days to nip it in the bud for its own agitated population exactly how low it is capable of sinking to maintain its clutch and subdue dissent. For sure, that trick alone silenced many for a few years, Timothy McVeigh15 and his disloyal company excluded, while it worked on another script for another terror-inducing spectacular performance. Too many tricks to remember and too many tools to recount in this short essay; but at last, the jig is up.

Internally, the house has fallen on moral, ethical, justice, and economic grounds, but has forgotten to collapse. Those who cannot see this need corrective lenses or the right standards to evaluate and measure things. Externally, and more relevant to our topic here, the structure of the world’s power relations and alignments are changing rapidly in a tangible and measureable way away from the United States’16 autocratic clutch. While the self-absorbed and the infatuated speak of dangers of a power vacuum, others are quite busy realigning themselves. Let us remind ourselves of Saxon White Kissinger’s poem about delusions of indispensability,

“Sometime when you feel that your going
Would leave an unfillable hole,
Just follow these simple instructions
And see how they humble your soul;

Take a bucket and fill it with water,
Put your hand in it up to the wrist,
Pull it out and the hole that’s remaining
Is a measure of how you’ll be missed.”17

Coalitions, partnerships, and algebraically aligned groups of countries around the globe, some with hybrid letter-number titles of “this plus that minus the other,” are emerging left, right, and center. Even multi-billioners, themselves cheerleaders and enablers of the Empire of Illusions, are busy, like rats, circling the globe door to door to release their poisonous capital in the hope of infesting another Titanic, another morality-free sinking ship into making. There is a buzz that George Soros is trying to establish his own anti-war ‘Code Pink’ group (should name it Code Navy Blue, perhaps). No doubt, the irony would not have been lost to George Orwell had he lived to see it.

Enough eulogizing. What do all these mean, or should mean, to ordinary people and local community groups around the world? That is, for what, where, when, why, and how should the very people who often shoulder the brunt of all the dregs that roll downhill prepare themselves? For the rest of us, too, no matter what positions we hold and what relationships we have with the rest of the world, the same questions apply. I and the local community groups with and within which I work are grappling with these questions on a daily basis. We are doing what we can to ensure that our short and borrowed lives on this earth is worth the breaths we take. Many of us find ourselves feeling increasingly fortunate to live in Iran where doing so many things in so many ways is possible. More fortunately for us, the general frameworks within which we ask questions, analyze situations, design solutions, and implement them are all intertwined and enmeshed in our culture and belief system: Quran, Our Prophet’s and Imams’ teachings, and an important element called “Al-Hekmah” or the Wisdom. So, how do we evaluate the current transformations in the world around us and how do we try to choose the correct position and make a difference? Here, I present a brief and simple snapshot of our local-universal eye-view.

Firstly, Quran’s ethical teachings, as exemplified through the words and deeds of our Prophet, Imams, and pious scholars, tell us that there is no separation of religion and politics in Islam. As Allammeh Seyyed Hassan Modarres (1249 – 1316 HS, parallel in date with 1870-1937 AD), a religious sage and one of the champions of Iranian Constitutional movement, said in one of his most famous speeches, and Imam Khomeini, the Founder of the Revolution, quoted, “Siasat-e ma eyn_e dianat_e ma, va Dianat_e ma eyn_e Sia’sat_e mast.” (“Our politics is exactly our religion and our religion is exactly our politics.”) The paragraph from which the line is borrowed reads,

“The source of our politics is our religion. We are on friendly terms with the entire world so long as they have not aggressed against us. But, if anyone aggresses against us, we will respond. Our politics is exactly our religion and our religion is exactly our politics.”18

Notwithstanding a particular religious belief and appealing simply to human logic, how would it even be possible for someone to have an authentic personal and private ethical and religious belief about, for instance, “thou shall not kill the innocent,” and live, work, and play within the rules and regulations of countries and political systems that kill innocent people to generate revenues and to maintain their national economic lifestyles of choice? Or, appealing to a more rudimentary level of human thought, how could we possibly afford not to be political, when the concentration of the very oxygen in the air we breathe, the amount of poisons with which our waters and foods are laced, the diseases we suffer, the so-called cures we are allowed to access, our fertility, our sexuality, our freedom to move from point A to point B are all determined by politics? Are we living with our heads buried in the sand?

Given these realities, for our people and local community groups here, being political is not a matter of choice but a religious obligation, a human necessity, and a critical survival instinct. Since we cannot avoid this, we do our utmost and take great deal of care to be well informed in order to be able to choose the right (as in correct) politics. People here take the trouble of going that extra kilometer so that, God forbids, they do not end up assuming they are on the right side and the followers of Imam Ali (the first Imam of Shi’a belief) and Imam Hussein (the third Imam of Shi’a belief) but, in fact, do things that are tantamount to carrying water for the turbines of Mo’avieh and Yazeed (Father and Son corrupt tyrants in Ummayyad dynasty against whose policies the Shi’a imams stood, resisted, and eventually got martyred).

Secondly, our religion and our pious religious scholars teach us that we should neither oppress others nor submit to oppression by others. So, our resistance has at least three dimensions: one, we must resist our own urges to oppress others, while at the same time, resist being sucked into siding with oppressors. Two, we must resist oppression against ourselves by anyone. Three, whenever and wherever we hear the cry for help of the oppressed people (Muslim and/or non-Muslim), we are obligated to respond and help, within our means and capacity to do so, and in a sound and appropriate way. Standing silently on the sideline and keeping quiet out of fear or greed is not an option for us. People here commemorate Imam Ali as the epitome of excellence in justice and in “qist” (particular form of justice). They commemorate Imam Hussein as the epitome of resistance against oppression and injustice. When you hear the chants of “Kullu Yau’men Ashura, Kullu Arzen Karbala” -Every day is Ashura, Every place is Karbala, it is useful to remember that today’s Karbala extends from Afghanistan to Yemen to Syria to Palestine to Nigeria to Sudan to Caracas and to any other place on the globe that people are fighting injustice, resisting oppression, and asking for help.

This stance is not just an isolated religious belief of some uninformed local community groups. It is written clearly into our constitution, the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran19. In Article 2, Section 6.c, and in Article 3, Section 5,6,15, and 16, it reads:

2:6.c – the negation of all kinds of oppression, authoritarianism, or the acceptance of domination, which secures justice, political and economic, social, and cultural independence and national unity.

3:5 – the complete rejection of colonialism and the prevention of foreign influence.

3:6 – the eradication of all kinds of tyranny, autocracy, and monopolization of power.

3:15 – the cultivation and strengthening of Islamic brotherhood and general cooperation among the people.

3:16 – the organization of the nation’s foreign policy based on Islamic criteria, fraternal commitment to all Muslims, and unrestrained support for the impoverished people of the world.

Any of our elected and/or appointed officials who would tell you otherwise, is either ignorant of the very law he must uphold (in which case, shame on him) or he has gotten to his position by lying, cheating, and swearing to uphold the very laws he is deliberately breaking (in which case, he is a hypocrite and double shame on him). On a bright note though, the ordinary people in the trenches feel extremely blessed that the most senior person in their land, the Leader, is also the most steadfast champion and the flag bearer of the constitution. To put him on a sanction list means to put the Iranian constitution and millions of ordinary people in local communities on a sanction list. Of course, had the US done differently, we would have questioned our own authenticity.

More generally though, as the current situation in the world unfolds, it is useful to remember some basic facts. No imperialist, no arrogant power, no superpower wannabe operates in a vacuum. There are always cheerleaders, enablers, junior and senior accomplices, profiteers, and conspirators. Regardless of what their mouth says, their action speaks louder. Let’s consider a simple example. The Unites States was able to spend trillions in military adventures killing millions of innocent people around the world and expropriating their resources in two fundamental ways: 1) It shortchanged its own tax-paying population, the young, the retired, and even the unborn in all sorts of social and public rights and amenities. 2) It kept on issuing treasury bonds on its accumulated debt, currently about 22.5 trillion dollars20, with People’s Bank of China, Central Bank of Japan, and naïve citizens21 as its most devoted purchasers.

To speak inside a parenthesis and to be totally candid, the ordinary people here find Japan’s “I’ve-fallen-and-I-can’t-get-up!” attitude which has lasted nearly 74 years quite puzzling. Once upon a time, they lost a war. Who doesn’t at one point or another? Now that it happened, shouldn’t they stand up, dust off, and shake off this subdued and subservient house servant role and assume an independent position with dignity and self-respect? I am told. As Imam Hussein said, “If you do not have any religion and are not fearful of the Day of Judgment, at least be protective of your liberty and autonomy in your life in this world.22 People hope and pray to God that hardworking and noble people of Japan will rise up and will one day free themselves of the US occupation. Again, regular, ordinary people here are genuinely willing to provide support, if the Japanese themselves are willing to fight for their independence.

We will assume being under occupation by the US is Japan’s excuse. But, what has been China’s excuse? China has been buying the US debt as an export-led strategy to ensure its economic growth23. Therefore, to the extent that China, out of self-interest, has acted as an enabler of the United States aggressions and wars, it, too, is responsible. Its development, too, is contaminated with the crime and injustice against, and the blood of innocent people proportionate to the amount of advantage it had gained through its indirect support of those acts. We will not even address its voting record, until just a couple of years ago, as the UN’s Security Council permanent member. Now that it, too, is a target, its change in behavior is not trustworthy enough because it does not appear to be based on ethical and moral principles. It would not be illogical to assume that the moment the direction of winds changes, it is likely that China’s current stance would change, too.

Therefore, for ordinary people in local communities here, that is, the very same people who are active, and who willingly volunteer their own lives and their children and spouses to go and fight alongside those who resist oppressions and hegemony by the US and the West, these and other critical points and lessons will not go unchallenged and unlearned. Only those who have a proven record of being honest and trustworthy, of acting on principles, and steadfast in their resolve fighting against oppression are worthy of trust and long-term partnership, regardless of their race, nationality, and religious affiliation. Others must work much harder, regardless of what they profess to be.

As the entire world is moving on, and as partnerships and coalitions are constantly dissolving and forming, and as the nuclear strike buzzes & hypes are being heard again, I would like link back to the beginning of the essay and re-insert, again, the quoted parts of Father Siemes’ remark, but this time, I complement the segment with a new twist in interpretation and prediction. He recounted,

“We have discussed among ourselves the ethics of the use of the bomb. Some consider it in the same category as poison gas and were against its use on a civil population. Others were of the view that in total war, as carried on in Japan, there was no difference between civilians and soldiers, and that the bomb itself was an effective force tending to end the bloodshed, warning Japan to surrender and thus to avoid total destruction. It seems logical to me that he who supports total war in principle cannot complain of war against civilians. The crux of the matter is whether total war in its present form is justifiable, even when it serves a just purpose. Does it not have material and spiritual evil as its consequences which far exceed whatever good that might result? When will our moralists give us a clear answer to this question?”7

I can guarantee anyone who reads these lines that ordinary people in local communities here in Iran are fully aware that what is currently going on is, in fact, a total war against their very existence. They also know there is no difference between civilians, soldiers, and [they add] our Commander in Chief (Seyyed Ali Khamenei). Should one, two, or more nuclear bombs be added to the United States’ repertoire of its pressure levers in its ongoing total war against Iran, unlike the Japanese, the ordinary devout Shi’as in Iran (who are quite significant in number), from all levels of the society, are not going to be sitting around philosophizing, musing, and theorizing about whether or not the total war against them was justified, where all the moralists have gone, or play the role of an obedient house servant. Furthermore, they are not going to enter into a shock & awe state, not knowing what to do. Bihawl’lallah wa Quwwatah (By God’s Power and Might), they will, however, make sure that will not end the bloodshed; rather, it will begin a very effective and exact bloodshed. From my reading of the population here, I can bet my life on that. Can the US, holding tight and fast to its nuclear Trump card, be equally sure of its own bet? If yes, Bismillah.

Mansoureh Tajik lives in Alborz Province in Iran. She has a background in teaching and research in the areas of community and environmental health, environmental justice, and media literacy. She collaborates with various local community members, groups, and organizations to provide support in addressing health and environmental problems, sustainable agriculture, and in design, implementation, and evaluation of relevant improvement projects.

References

1. Thomas Donnelly, Donald Kagan, and Gary Schmitt (2000). “Rebuilding America’s Defenses: Strategy, Forces, and Resources for a New American Century,” A Report of The Project for the New American Century, September 2000. Accessed on 7/9/2019; Available online at: https://archive.org/details/RebuildingAmericasDefenses.

2. Fotios Moustakis & Rudra Chaudhuri (2006). “Counting the Cost of an American Unilateralist Policy: a Superpower at Risk?” Published By: Defence Academy of the United Kingdom, Conflict Studies Research Centre, Special Series, 06/43. ISBN 1-905058-88-8, August 2006, UK.

3. Jan Nijman (1992). “The Limits of Superpower: The United States and the Soviet Union since World War II.” Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Vol. 82, No. 4 (Dec., 1992), Pages 681-695. Published by Taylor & Francis, Ltd. on behalf of the Association of American Geographers.

4. Steven Russell (1991). “The US Currency System: A Historical Perspective.” Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, September/October 1991. Accessed on 7/9/2019; Available Online at: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/c909/a844511a78720c5d2800170c06109d797fde.pdf

5. Ricardo J. Caballero, Emmanuel Farhi, and Mohamad L. Hammour (2006). “Speculative Growth: Hints from the U.S. Economy.” The American Economic Review,” Vol. 96, No. 4, Pages 1159-1192.

6. Nathan Perry (2014). Debt and Deficits: Economic and Political Issues. A GDAE Teaching Module on Social and Environmental Issues in Economics. Global Development and Environment Institute, Tufts University, Medford, MA.

7. The Manhattan Engineer District Report (1946). The Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Manhattan Engineer District of the United States Army under the direction of Major General Leslie R. Groves on June 29, 1946. Accessed on 7/25/2019; Available Online at: https://www.abomb1.org/hiroshim/hiro_med.pdf

8. Office of Undersecretary of Defense (Comptroller) Chief Financial Officer (Feb. 2018). Defense Budget Overview, Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Request. Generated on 2018Feb02. Ref. ID: A-6E677F4. Accessed on 7/25/2019; Available Online at: https://dod.defense.gov/Portals/1/Documents/pubs/FY2019-Budget-Request-Overview-Book.pdf

9. Sarah N Pedigo (2016). “United States Interventions: Power Vacuums and the Rise of Extremist Groups.” Master of Arts (MA) Thesis, Sociology/Criminal Justice, Old Dominion University, DOI: 10.25777/86pc-ex82 Available Online at: https://digitalcommons.odu.edu/sociology_criminaljustice_etds/6

10. Zahra Aghamohammadi1 and Ali Omidi (2018). The Prospect of the United States and Saudi Arabia’s Relations In Light of the Khashoggi Murder. Journal of World Sociopolitical Studies, Vol. 2, No. 4, October 2018, Pages 605-632.

11. Congressional Research Service (2019). “The U.S. Export Control System and the Export Control Reform Initiative,” Updated April 5, 2019. R41916· VERSION 49.

12. Sebastian Kaempf (2019). “A relationship of mutual exploitation’: the evolving ties between the Pentagon, Hollywood, and the commercial gaming sector.” Journal of Social Identities, Journal for the Study of Race, Nation and Culture, 25:4, 542-558, DOI: 10.1080/13504630.2018.1514151.

13. Official Death Reports, Autopsies and Other Reports of the Davidian Dead. Accessed on 7/26/2019; Available Online at: http://www.holocausts.org/waco/death/reports/county-list.html

14. Timoty Lynch (2001). “No Confidence: An Unofficial Account of the Waco Incident”. Policy Analysis, No. 395, April 9, 2001, Pages 1-18.

15. Linder, Douglas (2007). The Oklahoma City Bombing and the Trial of Timothy McVeigh, University of Missouri at Kansas City – School of Law, Posted on Nov. 17, 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1030565 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1030565.

16. Robbert Kappel (2015). “Global Power Shifts and Challenges for the Global Order.” German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg, Policy Paper 2/2015.

17. Saxon White Kessinger (1959). “Indispensable Man.” Available Online at: http://www.appleseeds.org/indispen-man_saxon.htm.

18. Hossein Razmjoo (1366 H.S.). “Modarres and His Principle Non-Equilibrium in Politics.” Meshkaat, The Center for Computerized Research in Islamic Sciences, Dr. Shariati College of Literature and Humanities. Original in Farsi, Translated by the author.

19. The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran (English Version). Available Online at: https://www.wipo.int/edocs/lexdocs/laws/en/ir/ir001en.pdf

20. US Debt Clock. Accessed on 7/26/2019; Available Online at: https://www.usdebtclock.org/

21. Kimberly Amadeo (2019). “Who Owns the US National Debt? The Biggest Owner is You!” The Balance. Accessed 7/26/2019; Available Online at: https://www.thebalance.com/who-owns-the-u-s-national-debt-3306124

22. Muhammad Baqer Majlisi (1403 HQ). Translation, by the author, of a portion of Narration (Hadith):

ان لَم یَکُن لَکُم دینٌ و کُنتُم لاتَخافونَ المَعادَ فَکونوا اَحراراً فِی دُنیاکُم

from Bihar ul-Anwar, 2nd Edition, Vol. 45, Page 51.

23. Ingvild Borgen Gjerde, DNB Markets (2019). “Why China will not sell its US Treasuries.” The Note, Market Matters, 15.05.2019. DNB Markets, a division of DNB Bank ASA. DNB Bank ASA is a part of the DNB Group.

Is Democracy Consistent with Islam?

Global Research, February 16, 2019

Most people are under the impression that democracy and Islam are somehow incompatible. However, I don’t see any contradiction between democracy and Islam, as such. Although, I admit, there is some friction between Islam and liberalism.

When we say there is a contradiction between Islam and democracy, we make a category mistake which is a serious logical fallacy. There is a fundamental difference between democracy and liberalism. Democracy falls in the category of politics and governance, whereas liberalism falls in the category of culture. We must be precise about the definitions of terms that we employ in political science.

Democracy is simply a representative political system that ensures representation, accountability and the right of electorate to vote governments in and to vote governments out. In this sense, when we use the term democracy, we mean a multi-party, representative political system that confers legitimacy upon a government which comes to power through an election process which is a contest between more than one political parties in order to ensure that it is voluntary. Thus, democracy is nothing more than a multi-party, representative political system.

Some normative scientists, however, get carried away in their enthusiasm and ascribe meanings to technical terminology which are quite subjective and fallacious. Some will use the adjective liberal to describe the essence of democracy as liberal democracy while others will arbitrarily call it informed or enlightened democracy. In my opinion, the only correct adjective that can be used to describe the essence of democracy is representative democracy.

After settling on theoretical aspect, let us now apply these concepts to the reality of practical world, and particularly to the phenomena of nascent democratic movements of the Arab Spring. It’s a fact that the ground realities of the Arab and Islamic worlds fall well short of the ideal liberal democratic model of the developed Western world.

However, there is a lot to be optimistic about. When the Arab Spring revolutions occurred in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain and Yemen, and before the Arab Spring turned into an abysmal winter in Libya and Syria, some utopian dreamers were not too hopeful about the outcome of those movements.

Unlike the socialist revolutions of 1960s and 1970s, when the visionaries of yore used to have a magic wand of bringing about a fundamental structural change that would culminate into equitable distribution of wealth overnight, the neoliberal democratic movements of the present times are merely a step in the right direction that will usher the Arab and Islamic worlds into an era of relative peace and progress.

The Arab Spring movements are not led by the likes of Gamal Abdel Nasser, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Jawahar Lal Nehru and other such charismatic messiahs that socialist thinkers are so fond of. But these revolutions are the grassroots movements of a society in transition from an abject stagnant state toward a dynamic and representative future.

Let us be clear about one thing first and foremost: any government – whether democratic or autocratic – would follow the same economic model under the contemporary global political and economic dispensation. It’s a growth-based neoliberal model as opposed to an equality-based socialist model. It’s a fact that the developing, Third World economies with large populations and meager resources cannot be compared with the social democracies of Scandinavian countries where per capita incomes are more than $40,000.

A question would naturally arise that what would the Arab Spring movements accomplish if the resultant democratic governments would follow the same old neoliberal and growth-centered economic policies? It should be kept in mind here that democracy is not the best of systems because it is the most efficient system of governance. Top-down autocracies are more efficient than democracies.

But democracy is a representative political system. It brings about a grassroots social change. Enfranchisement, representation, transparency, accountability, checks and balances, rule of law and consequent institution-building, nation-building and consistent long term policies; political stability and social prosperity are the rewards of representative democracy.

Immanuel Kant sagaciously posited that moral autonomy produces moral responsibility and social maturity. This social axiom can also be applied to politics and governance. Political autonomy and self-governance engender political responsibility and social maturity.

A top-down political system is dependent on the artificial external force that keeps it going. The moment that external force is removed, the society reverts back to its previous state and the system collapses. But a grassroots and bottom-up political system evolves naturally and intrinsically. We must not expect from the Arab Spring movements to produce results immediately. Bear in mind that the evolution of the Western culture and politics happened over a course of many centuries.

More to the point, the superficially “socialist” Arab revolutions of 1960s and 1970s only mobilized the elite classes. Some working classes might have been involved, but the tone and tenor of those revolutions was elitist and that’s the reason why those revolutions failed to produce desirable long-term results. The Arab Spring movements, by contrast, have mobilized the urban middle class of the Arab societies in the age of electronic media and information technology.

In the nutshell, if the Arab Spring movements are not about radical redistribution of wealth, or about creating a liberal utopia in the Middle East overnight, what is the goal of these movements then? Let me try to explain the objectives of the Arab Spring movements by way of an allegory.

Democracy is like a school and people are like children. We only have two choices: one, to keep people under paternalistic dictatorships; two, to admit them in the school of representative democracy and let them experience democracy as a lived reality rather than some stale and sterile theory. The first option will only breed stunted bigots, but the second option will engender an educated human resource that doesn’t just consume resources but also creates new resources.

Finally, I would like to clarify that the militant phenomena in Libya and Syria has been distinct and separate from the political and democratic phenomena of the Arab Spring movements as in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain and Yemen.

A question arises that when political movements for enfranchisement turn violent, do their objectives cease to be legitimate? No, the objectives remain the same, but from a pacifist standpoint, we ought to make a distinction between political movements for democratic reforms, to which we should lend our moral support; and the militant phenomena, which must be avoided at any cost due to immense human suffering that proxy wars and military interventions anywhere in the world inevitably entail.

In legal jurisprudence, a distinction is generally drawn between lawful and unlawful assembly. It is the inalienable right of the people to peacefully assemble to press their demands for political reform. But the moment such protests become militarized and violent, they cease to be lawful.

Expecting from heavily armed militants, as in Libya and Syria, who have been described by the Western mainstream media as “moderate rebels,” to bring about political reform and positive social change is not only naïve but is bordering on insanity.*

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Nauman Sadiq is an Islamabad-based attorney, columnist and geopolitical analyst focused on the politics of Af-Pak and Middle East regions, neocolonialism and petro-imperialism. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

Featured image is from Kodak Agfa

Imran Khan Has Successfully Exposed Liberalism as Pakistan’s Greatest Enemy

America’s Establishment – the military-industrial complex

During his final address as President of the United States of America, General Dwight D. Eisenhower warned of the development of a military-industrial complex in the following way:

“This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government.

We recognise the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted.

Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defence with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together”.

Since Eisenhower’s speech, the US military-industrial complex has become so influential that its policy making role in government is thought to exceed that of elected officials up to and including the head of state. As the country with the world’s most powerful military and strongest economy, this means that not only does the US military-industrial complex threaten democracy in the US but it threatens the peace and freedom of those in other nations whose governments may occasionally quarrel with Washington.

Against this background, it is both absurd and hypocritical for anti-patriotic forces within Pakistan to heap scorn on the young government of Imran Khan and his PTI party under the guise that they are “too close” to Pakistan’s military establishment. In the United States, it has proved to be impossible to even get close to power by promising a revision in the nation’s foreign policy while in Pakistan, PTI proved that a party with a clearly reformist approach to foreign policy making can not only win but in many cases obliterate the vote of the old legacy parties as well as fringe extremist parties.

It is in fact true that Pakistan has a long history of open conflict between civilian governments and what is widely called The Establishment – the military. In July of this year however, a peaceful democratic election signifying only the second ever peaceful transition of power in Pakistan’s history has signalled the early stages of a shift from a policy of confrontation between the Establishment and government to one of cooperation. Before going further, it must be noted that while conflict between the military and elected government is a phenomenon that the international media tends to universally associate with Pakistan, such conflicts transpire in multiple nations with different histories and societal issues.

Turkey

Modern Turkey has a long history of civilian governments in open conflict with the military. In spite of reforms early during Erdogan’s time as Prime Minister to harmonise the relationship between the Turkish Army and elected government, the apogee of conflict between the military and government in Turkey occurred as recently as 2016 when elements of the Fethullah Terror Organisation infiltrated the Army and led an illegal coup against President Erdogan. The result has been an intensified effort by Erdogan and the civilian government to bring to justice those in the Army associated with all forms of anti-government activity. After his recent re-election under new constitutional regulations, Erdogan has made good on his pledge to make the army directly answerable to the president rather than operate as a body that was previously allowed to make public political pronouncements without conclusion with civilian factions.

Egypt

After the US backed de-stabilisation of Egypt in 2011, a Muslim Brotherhood government came to power in Cairo that was directly at odds with the military. In 2013, the military led an ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood’s leader Mohammad Morsi and put General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in power who remains President to this day. While some called Sisi’s rise to power a coup, others point out the reckless incompetence, unpopularity and social extremism of Morsi and his followers. Egypt is clearly a country where mainstream forces all make reasonable arguments both for and against the Army’s strong influence on the country’s national political development.

Pakistan’s light at the end of many tunnels 

Therefore, while Turkey took decades to peacefully harmonise military-civilian government relations and while Egypt has yet to fully do so, Pakistan stands on the verge of peacefully achieving such harmonisation. Furthermore, this was largely accomplished through the ballot box and domestic diplomacy. This is not to imply that the incoming PTI led coalition government of Pakistan is “subservient” to the Army as some of PTI’s domestic detractors have said for obvious enough self-serving reasons. Neither is it to say that Fatima Bhutto (whose relations with a powerful Pakistani political family are minimised by the Guardian’s editors) is correct in stating that “Imran Khan is only a player in the circus run by Pakistan’s military” as she recently did in Britain’s ultra-liberal Guardian newspaper.

In reality, Pakistan is maturing into a state where both the military and civilian leaders are increasing cooperating for the benefit of the nation, just as is the case within all three major superpowers where open schisms between the military and government are largely unheard of. While all such moves in any nation are bound to have growing pains, the fact of the matter is that Pakistan’s leaders are embarking on a new era of national unity – something that is necessary in order to ensure peace and prosperity for future generations. Therefore, less open antagonism between the government and military in Pakistan should be welcomed rather than be subject to conspiracy theories and wild speculation disguised as analysis.

Pakistan has a real enemy within and it is not The Establishment 

With PTI is moving to modernise and harmonise the government’s relationship with the Establishment on a legal and win-win basis, Imran Khan’s transformation from opposition leader to statesman has laid bear the face of the true enemy within. In Pakistan, Imran Khan’s critics have sunk to new lows in their ever more frequent gossip column style criticism of the new Prime Minister. Before Imran has even settled into his new desk, his critics are already proclaiming the PTI led government a failure in a manner that only serves the foreign enemies of the Pakistani people and which in turns threatens the unity and survival of the state.

But while Imran Khan’s opponents continue to hurl stones within a glass house, they fail to realise that in shrieking about their own country’s supposed inferiority under the prying eyes of India, Afghanistan and The United States, they do not realise that when compared with other nations, Pakistan’s problems are not unique. To say otherwise is to fall into the trap of the colonial mentality which in the last election doomed the PML-N and PPP to electoral failure.

Liberal Pakistanis complain about the country’s blasphemy laws and the fact that PTI has no plans to change such laws. Meanwhile, such forces ignore the fact that in the countries of Europe and North America – countries which face a substantially low terrorist threat vis-a-vis Pakistan, legislators are hastily drafting new laws to censor criticism of just about any social trend ranging from feminism to sectarian politics. While Pakistani laws defend the country’s historical religious traditions, western governments are passing laws to protect the pagan gods of the west – the totemic ramparts of ultra-liberalism. Thus, Pakistan’s blasphemy laws should not be viewed in a vacuum and should certainly never be seen as more dangerous than the decrepit state of Indian society in which Muslims are being openly lynched with the support of members of the ruling political party simply for going about their daily business in peace. Until western hypocrisy and Indian mob rule are addressed, there is little point in growing hysterical over Pakistan’s blasphemy laws.

Liberal Pakistanis then complain about press freedom before realising that Pakistan actually has some of the freest political speech in the world.

In an age where US corporate media, European corporate and state media and the Indian government all look to clamp down on free speech, Pakistan remains a place whose levels of political free speech are staggeringly high. Whether on Urdu, English or provincial language media, Pakistanis can say almost anything they want about almost anyone they want and for the most part it is all done in relative peace.

When the PTI government announced a further step to free Pakistan’s already highly open media it was clear that existing trends will only improve under the leadership of Imran Khan While private media outlets have long had editorial freedoms, according to a recent statement from Pakistan’s Information Minister Chaudhary Fawad Hussain, now even state owned media will be given full editorial freedom.

As per vision of @ImranKhanPTI Ended political censorship on PTV, clear instructions issued for a complete editorial independence on PTV and Radio Pakistan, drastic changes ll be visible in Information Dept in coming 3 months Inshallah — Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) August 21, 2018

This means that if fully realised, Pakistan’s private and state owned media will be more free to criticise the government than both private and state owned media outlets in many European countries where opposition views are increasingly shunned or derided as “fake”.

The real fight for Pakistan’s future 

Imran Khan has drawn the liberal werewolves out of their hiding places and has thus exposed the real enemies of social and economic progress in Pakistan to be liberal forces who see it fit to criticise every element of Pakistani society without cessation. Such people take perverse delight in blaming the Establishment for doing that which it does not do while summarily ignoring how the US military-industrial complex is vastly more powerful than Pakistan’s Establishment ever was. Likewise, Pakistan’s liberal fifth column somehow believe that Pakistan’s blasphemy laws are unusual while similar things either already exist or are being legally erected in the countries who join Pakistan’s home grown liberals in heaping scorn on a nation being antagonised both on its eastern and western borders.

What good is it to be on guard against terrorism from Afghanistan and India if Pakistan’s own liberal fifth column continues to scapegoat the nation itself for every problem under the sun. Pakistan does have problems and most of these problems are not unique to Pakistan. What is however unique is the agility with which supposed patriots of Pakistan do more for the country’s foreign enemies than the foreign enemies themselves could ever hope to achieve.

By increasing the amplification of these anti-national voices in so far as his presence seems to agitate them into fits of Pakistan hating hysteria, Imran Khan has already proved why he is in the best position to fight this enemy within and secure a better internal and external future for Pakistan.

By Adam Garrie
Source: Eurasia Future

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