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Destruction of Tombs by the House of Saud

Skepsikyma
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12/26/2014 7:12:49 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
This is a thread mainly intended for Muslims to comment on the destruction of many sacred tombs during Najdi rule of the Hejaz. How have the various sects of Islam responded to this? There has to have been some sort of uproar.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
YassineB
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12/27/2014 4:01:43 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/26/2014 7:12:49 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
This is a thread mainly intended for Muslims to comment on the destruction of many sacred tombs during Najdi rule of the Hejaz. How have the various sects of Islam responded to this? There has to have been some sort of uproar.

- You brought up a very troubling subject. I can't even began to describe the kind of stress this brings unto me. & 'uproar' is not the appropriate word.
- I am not the type that condemns completely a group (religious, secular, political..), there is always a good side & a bad side to every sect or movement ; However, when it comes to the desecration of the Sacred, there is nothing good to be said about the horrendous practices of the Rule of al-Saud, & other equivalent denominations.
- In Islam, like in all World Religions, & all Human Cultures, Sacredness is an inherent principal. The Sacred is supposed to represent what is unviolated, & so, if you violate it, the Sanctity is lost. The Sacred here includes the Shrines of Prophets, Companions, & Saints ; & also the historical Mosques & Cathedrals.
- The Saudi rule of Najd & then of Hijaz was relentless when it came to desecrating Sacred sites. The most disturbing & horrifying things they did are as follows:
> The demolition of the most sacred & most known of the Islamic Cemeteries: the Monument of al-Baq'i'. <<< This a crime against Religion, Humanity, Life, Death... you name it. This atrocity is one of these events, that Humanity in general & the Islamic Community will never get over. (al-Baq'i holds the family members of the Prophet, & over 10,000 of his companions).
> The demolition of the birth place of Muhammad!! I mean WHY? WHYYYYYYYYYYYYY? Both my parents are descendants of Muhammad, so, this is for me very personal. :'( :'( . . .
> The demolition of the house of Abu Ayub al-Ansari, where the Prophet stayed when he first arrived in Medina, before building the Nabawi Mosque.
> The demolition of the Garden of Salman the Persian, where the Prophet had planted some palm trees.
> Plus the demolition of countless Shrines of Saints & Companions. & a great number of historical mosques dating up to 10 centuries back, & some christian & jewish sanctuaries dating back to ancient times. (without mentioning the countless lives that were paid for to accomplish such an abominable mission).

===>>> The only thing they didn't violate is the Tomb of Muhammad himself, although they did try to destroy it on many occasions. Maybe, they figured if they went ahead & destroyed it, a swarm of muslims from Morocco to Indonesia will come & destroy them afterwards.

===>>> The most disturbing factor I find about these heinous practices is that you can have a Sacred important site that stood through ages & times of History, & suddenly someone decides it's not a good idea to keep it, & poof it's gone. Especially if that Sacred Site concerns 1/4 to 1/3 the earth's population, just because the site happens to be in the their country which they conquered by force, which they stole from the ones those that always Ruled it (Mecca & Medina: the descendants of Muhammad) , doesn't give them the Right to do whatever they like with it.

===>>> ALL THIS, based on some interpretation of a Hadith!!! <<< This is gotta be one of the worst externalities of Religion in the history of Religion. This group, whose -almost all- members are not formally trained in the Islamic Tradition, decides that their interpretation of Hadith is the absolute Truth, & that all shrines & graves should be levelled to the ground, even if the Islamic Community as a whole strongly disproves & even if all the Legal Schools of Thought say otherwise, & even with all the protests & condemning done across the Muslim World, & even with the lives of many many muslims on the line.

===>>> Finally, this phenomenon is back on the scene again with the appearance of ISIS, & the rise of the fundamentalist groups in Tunisia & Libya supported by Saudi Arabia. & it's now worst than ever! They are demolition Shrines of Prophets in Syria & Iraq, shrines that stood there for thousands of years, THIS IS INSANITY. They literally bombarded tombs of Companions in Syria thinking they are defending the Religion. They are demolishing worship places of Christians & Jew that date back to Jesus & way before Jesus.
>>> They destroyed the Tomb of Sidi Ahmad Zarruq' (one of the most renown Saints in Islamic History) & plucked his corps & hid it somewhere (plucking corpses for no justifiable cause is punishable by severing the hand in Islamic Law). This saint happens to be the founder of the school my Teachers (Licensed Scholars) studied in.

I am gonna stop talking now.
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Skepsikyma
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12/27/2014 7:06:15 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/27/2014 4:01:43 AM, YassineB wrote:
At 12/26/2014 7:12:49 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
This is a thread mainly intended for Muslims to comment on the destruction of many sacred tombs during Najdi rule of the Hejaz. How have the various sects of Islam responded to this? There has to have been some sort of uproar.

- You brought up a very troubling subject. I can't even began to describe the kind of stress this brings unto me. & 'uproar' is not the appropriate word.
- I am not the type that condemns completely a group (religious, secular, political..), there is always a good side & a bad side to every sect or movement ; However, when it comes to the desecration of the Sacred, there is nothing good to be said about the horrendous practices of the Rule of al-Saud, & other equivalent denominations.
- In Islam, like in all World Religions, & all Human Cultures, Sacredness is an inherent principal. The Sacred is supposed to represent what is unviolated, & so, if you violate it, the Sanctity is lost. The Sacred here includes the Shrines of Prophets, Companions, & Saints ; & also the historical Mosques & Cathedrals.
- The Saudi rule of Najd & then of Hijaz was relentless when it came to desecrating Sacred sites. The most disturbing & horrifying things they did are as follows:
> The demolition of the most sacred & most known of the Islamic Cemeteries: the Monument of al-Baq'i'. <<< This a crime against Religion, Humanity, Life, Death... you name it. This atrocity is one of these events, that Humanity in general & the Islamic Community will never get over. (al-Baq'i holds the family members of the Prophet, & over 10,000 of his companions).

This is how I found out about this originally, I was looking into burial sites, and at first thought that it had been destroyed by accident when I read that so many important people had been buried there. I was appalled when I found out the truth.

> The demolition of the birth place of Muhammad!! I mean WHY? WHYYYYYYYYYYYYY? Both my parents are descendants of Muhammad, so, this is for me very personal. :'( :'( . . .
> The demolition of the house of Abu Ayub al-Ansari, where the Prophet stayed when he first arrived in Medina, before building the Nabawi Mosque.
> The demolition of the Garden of Salman the Persian, where the Prophet had planted some palm trees.
> Plus the demolition of countless Shrines of Saints & Companions. & a great number of historical mosques dating up to 10 centuries back, & some christian & jewish sanctuaries dating back to ancient times. (without mentioning the countless lives that were paid for to accomplish such an abominable mission).

===>>> The only thing they didn't violate is the Tomb of Muhammad himself, although they did try to destroy it on many occasions. Maybe, they figured if they went ahead & destroyed it, a swarm of muslims from Morocco to Indonesia will come & destroy them afterwards.

===>>> The most disturbing factor I find about these heinous practices is that you can have a Sacred important site that stood through ages & times of History, & suddenly someone decides it's not a good idea to keep it, & poof it's gone. Especially if that Sacred Site concerns 1/4 to 1/3 the earth's population, just because the site happens to be in the their country which they conquered by force, which they stole from the ones those that always Ruled it (Mecca & Medina: the descendants of Muhammad) , doesn't give them the Right to do whatever they like with it.

I agree, I only just learned that this happened. It's almost completely unknown in the West, and I was revolted, first of all that it happened, and second of all that it's considered a footnote. The systematic destruction of so much history, art, and culture shouldn't be forgotten easily.

===>>> ALL THIS, based on some interpretation of a Hadith!!! <<< This is gotta be one of the worst externalities of Religion in the history of Religion. This group, whose -almost all- members are not formally trained in the Islamic Tradition, decides that their interpretation of Hadith is the absolute Truth, & that all shrines & graves should be levelled to the ground, even if the Islamic Community as a whole strongly disproves & even if all the Legal Schools of Thought say otherwise, & even with all the protests & condemning done across the Muslim World, & even with the lives of many many muslims on the line.

What Hadith is it, and where on earth did this interpretation come from? At first I thought that maybe it was just greedy scrambling to make as much money as possible off of the Haj by expanding facilities, but the fact that the scriptures of a religion can be twisted around to justify the deliberate destruction of sites which have been sacred since the founding of said religion is mind boggling to me.

===>>> Finally, this phenomenon is back on the scene again with the appearance of ISIS, & the rise of the fundamentalist groups in Tunisia & Libya supported by Saudi Arabia. & it's now worst than ever! They are demolition Shrines of Prophets in Syria & Iraq, shrines that stood there for thousands of years, THIS IS INSANITY. They literally bombarded tombs of Companions in Syria thinking they are defending the Religion. They are demolishing worship places of Christians & Jew that date back to Jesus & way before Jesus.
>>> They destroyed the Tomb of Sidi Ahmad Zarruq' (one of the most renown Saints in Islamic History) & plucked his corps & hid it somewhere (plucking corpses for no justifiable cause is punishable by severing the hand in Islamic Law). This saint happens to be the founder of the school my Teachers (Licensed Scholars) studied in.

So you are a Sufi?

I am gonna stop talking now.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
YassineB
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12/28/2014 2:09:38 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/27/2014 7:06:15 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
I agree, I only just learned that this happened. It's almost completely unknown in the West, and I was revolted, first of all that it happened, and second of all that it's considered a footnote. The systematic destruction of so much history, art, and culture shouldn't be forgotten easily.

- Actually, it was the British that supported the Saudi Regime & gave them the weapons to take the Hijaz from under the control of the Ottoman Empire; I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't want such incidents to be link to their name.

What Hadith is it, and where on earth did this interpretation come from? At first I thought that maybe it was just greedy scrambling to make as much money as possible off of the Haj by expanding facilities, but the fact that the scriptures of a religion can be twisted around to justify the deliberate destruction of sites which have been sacred since the founding of said religion is mind boggling to me.

- It's a Hadith where the Prophet tells Ali (his cousin) (when he appointed him as a Judge in Yemen) to level to the ground every monument built on graves he finds there. The Wahabis took it in its general unrestricted meaning & thought every construction on every grave should be demolished, even though, there is ample evidence to support the opposite of that interpretation (Eg. where the Prophet prescribes to built structures on graves so as to prevent people from sitting on them).
- There are many many cases where Scripture is used to justify the worst of behaviours, & this is true for all Religions. In the Islamic Tradition, there is a system of Authority (Religious & Secular) set by the Prophet & his Companions that prevents such cases from happening, unfortunately, this system was not always implemented, especially in our time.

So you are a Sufi?

- I am:
> Maliki in Fiq'h => I follow the Maliki Legal School of Thought ;
> Ash'ari in 'Aqeedah => I follow the Ash'ari Theological School of Thought ;
> Junaidi in Tasawuf => I follow the Junaidi Mystical (Sufi) School of Thought.
==>> So, yeah. :)
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- The Qur'an We Have Today is Not What Muhammad Dictated Verbatim. Vs. @Envisage:
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Skepsikyma
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12/28/2014 9:46:11 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/28/2014 2:09:38 PM, YassineB wrote:
At 12/27/2014 7:06:15 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
I agree, I only just learned that this happened. It's almost completely unknown in the West, and I was revolted, first of all that it happened, and second of all that it's considered a footnote. The systematic destruction of so much history, art, and culture shouldn't be forgotten easily.

- Actually, it was the British that supported the Saudi Regime & gave them the weapons to take the Hijaz from under the control of the Ottoman Empire; I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't want such incidents to be link to their name.

Yes, I consider many of the West's actions during and after the Arab Revolt to be geared towards the dismantling of the Ottoman Empire (obviously), and the prevention of the formation of a new caliphitic power in the Middle East. They accomplished the latter by sowing division among unification-tended forces, supporting anti-unification factions, and using the resulting chaos to extend their zone of influence over most of the Middle East. Emir Hussein was used as a tool to destroy the Ottomans and was then disposed of, once he proved a dangerous rallying point for various centripetal factions. The Saudis were the perfect tool, having already nursed grievances against the Hashemites for quite some time, and seeking mostly regional control themselves.

The Hashemite dynasties established in the various colonial Mandates were devastated by Ba'athist revolution, leaving the three major players in the Middle East the pan-Islamic Salafists, the Shi'ite Islamic Republic of Iran, and the pan-Arabic Ba'athists. We in the West eliminated the Ba'athists, crippled the moderate, scholarly element of Islam through our manipulations, and now the most iconoclastic, violent, and non-intellectual forms are tearing the region apart, set on destroying the last vestiges of its cultural heritage in their bid for control.

All of this due to our attempts to manipulate a region we had no real deep understanding of. I can't help being reminded of the Mongol empire's burst of expansion and growth of influence, which was followed by the crumbling of their power once they overextended their reach. The West bit off far more than it can chew, and now we refuse to spit it out even if we must choke on it while an entire cultural legacy burns. It's just sickening.

What Hadith is it, and where on earth did this interpretation come from? At first I thought that maybe it was just greedy scrambling to make as much money as possible off of the Haj by expanding facilities, but the fact that the scriptures of a religion can be twisted around to justify the deliberate destruction of sites which have been sacred since the founding of said religion is mind boggling to me.

- It's a Hadith where the Prophet tells Ali (his cousin) (when he appointed him as a Judge in Yemen) to level to the ground every monument built on graves he finds there. The Wahabis took it in its general unrestricted meaning & thought every construction on every grave should be demolished, even though, there is ample evidence to support the opposite of that interpretation (Eg. where the Prophet prescribes to built structures on graves so as to prevent people from sitting on them).
- There are many many cases where Scripture is used to justify the worst of behaviours, & this is true for all Religions. In the Islamic Tradition, there is a system of Authority (Religious & Secular) set by the Prophet & his Companions that prevents such cases from happening, unfortunately, this system was not always implemented, especially in our time.

What do you think the main reasons for the dearth of education on such subjects are?

So you are a Sufi?

- I am:
> Maliki in Fiq'h => I follow the Maliki Legal School of Thought ;
> Ash'ari in 'Aqeedah => I follow the Ash'ari Theological School of Thought ;
> Junaidi in Tasawuf => I follow the Junaidi Mystical (Sufi) School of Thought.
==>> So, yeah. :)

Are the Schools of Law usually linked to a particular School of Theology, or are they pretty fluid in association? I ask because I know that one of the most well-known Muslim scholars in the West was Ibn Rushd, who was a prominent Maliki scholar, but who was also at odds with Ash'ari theologians.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
YassineB
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12/29/2014 12:39:35 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/28/2014 9:46:11 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
All of this due to our attempts to manipulate a region we had no real deep understanding of. I can't help being reminded of the Mongol empire's burst of expansion and growth of influence, which was followed by the crumbling of their power once they overextended their reach. The West bit off far more than it can chew, and now we refuse to spit it out even if we must choke on it while an entire cultural legacy burns. It's just sickening.

- I can not believe this, are you sure you're not muslims?! Because, I can guarantee you most muslims wouldn't even know what you're talking about. I'd like to argue with you, but I can't seem to find anything we disagree on here.
- You have a more or less good understanding of the Relation West/Islam, do you have any speculations as to what would happen in the long future?

What do you think the main reasons for the dearth of education on such subjects are?

- I don't know how to answer you directly, you have to understand how Authority works in the Islamic Tradition.

>>> Imamah (Authority): in the Islamic Tradition, Authority is derived from the Prophet Muhammad himself:
"O you who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger, and those charged with authority among you." (4:59)
=> The Exegetists interpret "those charged with authority" as Rulers (Caliphs) & Scholars (Ulama).
=> & so, there are two forms of Authority:
* Secular Authority: secured by the Caliphs - & their factions - "Caliph" means: "Successor of the Prophet", in the sense that they succeeded to the Prophet"s Authority of Governance. This Authority is maintained by the three fundamental rules: Shura (Consultation), Bay"ah (Allegiance -similar to voting-) & Wisaya (Entitlement).
* Religious Authority: secured by the Ulama (the Scholars), entitled: "Heirs of the Prophet", in the sense that they inherited the Prophet"s Authority of Knowledge. This Authority is maintained by the three fundamental rules: "Sanad" (Chain of Authority), "Tawatur" (Flawless Succession) & Ijaza (License).

>>> Islam has 3 dimensions: "Islam' (relating to one"s actions), "Iman' (relating to one"s beliefs), "Ihsan' (relating to one"s spirituality), each with its pillars.
> The Islamic Tradition has 7 Major Branches of Knowledge, namely: 1)- Sciences of the Qur"an (Ulum al-Qur"an) / 2)- Sciences of the Hadith (Ulum al-Hadith) / 3)- Sciences of Arabic (Ulum al-Lugha) / 4)- Sciences of Jurisprudence (Ulum al-Fiqh) / 5)- Sciences of Theology (Ulum al-Kalam) / 6)- Sciences of Mysticism (Ulum as-Suluk) / 7)- Sciences of Philosophy (Ulum al-Falsafa).
[ Here is a link if you want to check the outline of the Islamic Tradition: http://www.docdroid.net... ]
> Dimensions of the Islamic Tradition:
1- The Physical Dimension (Islam): which deals with the Body (actions & practices); it is described through the Sciences of Jurisprudence ("Fiqh'). There are currently 5 major Legal Schools of Thought in the Muslim World: Maliki Madhab, Shafi"i Madhab, Hanafi Madhab, Hanbali Madhab (all Sunni) & Ja"fari Madhab (Shia).
2- The Intellectual Dimension (Iman): which deals with the Mind (beliefs & convictions), described through the Sciences of Theology ("Aqeedah" or "Kalam"). There are currently 3 major Theological Schools of Thought: Ash"ari Madhab (the majority: 88%), Athari/Salafi Madhab (1.7%, Saudi Arabia), Mu"tazili Madhab (10%, "Usuli' adopted by the Shia).
3- The Spiritual Dimension (Ihsan): which deals with the Soul (spirituality & intentions), described through the Sciences of Mysticism ('Tasawuf' or "Sufism'). There are currently 4 major Mystic Schools of Thought: Rifa"ya, Shathilya, Qadirya & Tijanya.

> Sanad, Chain of Authority: it"s a chain of transmission of Knowledge from one holder of Knowledge to the next. A Valid Chain of Authority (in a specific field) is one that is: 1- authenticated & 2- ends with the Founder (of that specific field) as the source. In the case of Sacred Knowledge: a Valid Chain of Authority is one whose Founder is none other than Prophet Muhammad.
* Examples:
(+) Imam Shafi"i (founder of the Shafi"i Madhab): he was licensed by Imam Malik (founder of the Maliki Madhab) > who was licensed by Hisham Ibn Urwah > who was taught by Urwah Ibn Zubayr > who was taught by Aisha > who was taught by her husband: >>the Prophet<<. Such that, all Jurists belonging to the Shafi"i Madhab, throughout the ages, have a chain of authority attached to their name that ends with Imam Shafi"i & so with the Prophet. The same can be said for all other Schools of Thought.
(+) Imam al-Ghazali: one of the most prominent Theologians of the Ash"ari School of Thought. Al-Ghazali was licensed by al-Juwaini > who was licensed by al-Baqilani > who was licensed by ad-Daraqotni > who was licensed by Imam Ash"ari >>founder<< of the Ash"ari School of Thought. Similarly, all Theologians of the Ash"ari Madhab have a chain of authority attached to their name ending with Imam Ash"ari, which can also be traced back to the Prophet.
* The same is true of all fields of the Islamic Tradition (even in the Sciences of Arabic). Nowadays, however, this ideal model is barely practiced, because: One, the secular authority that would normally control this model have fallen down when the Ottoman Empire was dismantled in 1923. Second, virtually all governing regimes in the Muslim World (backed by the West) are either autocratic dictatorships, or tyrannical "democracies", & they are fond of oppressing the oppositions, & religious clerics will obviously be the first to go, which gives way for extremism, fake "scholars" & chaos, because of the lack of balanced, wise & authoritative Leadership.
* One of the most important roles of Sanad is the transmission of narrations, such as the Hadith (accounts of the Prophet). Accounts of the Prophet"s Doings & Sayings are transmitted through chains of authority from one scholar to another (narrators) to be then examined, verified, collected & validated.

> Tawatur, Flawless Succession: the certain authenticated Chain of Authority. In reality, chains of authority are not of simple forms (A > B > C > D "), they are much much more complicated than that. Take of instance our first example of Imam Shafi"i: actually, Shafi"i was not taught by just one person (Malik), he was in fact taught by 125 scholars > whose main teacher: Malik, was also taught by 275 scholars > whose main teacher: Hisham, was taught by 92 scholars > whose main teacher: Urwa, was taught by 171 scholars > whose main teacher was Aisha (wife of the Prophet). What you get is a great number of scholars at each level in the Chain of Authority & utra-complex connections between thousands of scholars across these levels.
* Tawatur provides the ability to state with absolute certainty that a Chain of Authority is authentic. Its Principle is: A Transmission of Knowledge from one Reliable Bunch to another across every level of the Chain of Authority. Reliable Bunch: a large group of people who could not have possibly conspired to transmit falsehood, either intentionally or unintentionally. In another word, they are so numerous & scattered all over the place that it is unconceivable to think that they all met & conspired to spread falsehood.
* Tawatur is fundamental in all fields of the Islamic Tradition, & without it Authority will be lost.
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YassineB
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12/29/2014 1:56:13 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/28/2014 9:46:11 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
What do you think the main reasons for the dearth of education on such subjects are?

[...]
>>> & so, 'Ulama (Traditional Scholars) ought to be the ones to hold Authority of Knowledge.
=> a Traditional Scholar is someone who is formally trained in an Islamic Traditional School, such that he:
1)- Achieved the degree of Ijtihad (Mastery of Qur'an, Hadith, Arabic, Jurisprudence, Theology, Sufism).
2)- was Licensed to Teach & Issue Fatwa.
3)- Has a Chain of Authority (Sanad) attached to his name that goes back to the Prophet.
Eg. : here is a Chain of Authority of my teacher: ==>> Sa'id al-Kamali. He was licensed by al-'allamah Weld Dedew, who was licensed by Ibn 'Abd al-Wadud << Muhamad Ibn Salam al-Majlisi << Hamid Ibn 'Amr << al-Faqih al-Khattat << al-Qafi Ibn 'Ali << al-Fadil Ibn abi al-Fadil << 'Ali al-Ajhuri << al-Burhan al-'Alqami << Jalal ad-Din as-Suyuti << Zakarya al-Ansari << al-Hafith al-'Asqalani << Ibrahim at-Tanukhi << Ahmab al-Hajjar << Ibn al-Waqt as-Sajri << al-Husein Ibn al-Mubarak << 'Abd Rahman Ibn Muhammad ad-Dawdi << Abd Allah as-Sarakhsi << Muhmmad al-barbari << Imam al-Bukhari << al-Wafiy Ibn Ibrahim << al-Yazid Ibn 'Ubayd << Salamah Ibn al-Aqwa' (Companion) << Prophet Muhammad. (this is just one chain among hundereds others)
=> That's the traditional meaning of Mujtahid or 'Alim (Scholar). Nowadays, 'scholars' study in Universities or read books themselves or learn from others that are not real scholars, & call themselves scholars. Fortunately, those that still have Authority in the Schools of Thought (Legal, Theological or Mystic) are mostly Traditional Scholars (although the Hanbali & Hanafi Madhab have been greatly distorted by these new 'scholars').
==>> In Morocco & Mauritania, to get to the degree of Ijtihad you have to study ~18 years of post graduate studies (about 2,000 hours per year, & about 400 Authoritative Books [many are over the 20 or 10 volumes], among which ~40 are to be memorised by heart.)

The main reasons I think there is scarcity of Traditional Schools & why they are not heard, or classical education in general:
1)- The collapse of the international system of Madrasa (& Mahdara) that was established on the 2nd century of Islam & was based on Sanad, Tawatur & Ijaza. This unfortunate collapse as you've probably guessed came about due to the colonial period. The colonial powers forcefully replaced the Traditional Madrasa with their new western system incompatible with the Islamic Tradition .... looooong story. All this gave way to new systems & movements trying to reconcile the Islamic Tradition with the western educational system, which created a immense gap of Authority & thus discords & disparity.
2)- Most muslim countries are secular regimes. & generally Traditional & historically well established Religious Authorities are severely suppressed in these countries. So, instead, you find un-educated non-traditional 'fake' scholars taking their place & raising their voices.
3)- The Salafi & Wahabi movement is immensely rich (for obvious reasons), so they are able to accommodate countless numbers of TV Channels, Papers, Books, Publicity... & the Traditional voices are not as wealthy, there is a scarcity of channels & papers & derisory publicity from them. The Salafi 'scholars' are but a small fraction in the community of muslim scholars around the world (especially the Ash'arits & Sufis), but to the public eye they look like the Majority.
4)- The general mass (public) are not even aware there is something called the Islamic Tradition, or there are established Sciences solely dedicated to studying all aspects of Life in accordance with Religion. Most muslims think interpreting the Qur'an & the Hadith is a personal matter & can be done by anyone & that it's not an area of expertise. & thus, they don't recognise religious authority, & even if they do, they won't know how & which scholar is real & which isn't.
5)- These new generations have too much entertainment to get lost in, they can't handle the Islamic Tradition. No one wants to go study half a life-time just to get a License! & most think that Religious Studies are less relevant than Engineering & Medicine ; so intelligent people go to become engineers & doctors, while only those not brilliant enough go do few years in Islamic Studies. Whereas, when one looks at the Islamic History, one would find that almost all Philosophers, Doctors, Astronomers, Engineers... were also Jurists, & 'Ulama in the Islamic Tradition.
6)- The Traditional Scholars call for peace, balance, wisdom, dialogue, reason, tolerance... No one in the media is interested in these kinds of talks >> the media loves blood, war, problems problems & problems... 'World Peace' will just push viewers away & will feel dubious & suspicious to western viewers.

Are the Schools of Law usually linked to a particular School of Theology, or are they pretty fluid in association? I ask because I know that one of the most well-known Muslim scholars in the West was Ibn Rushd, who was a prominent Maliki scholar, but who was also at odds with Ash'ari theologians.

- Ibn Rushd (the grand-son) as his grand-father Ibn Rushd (the grand-father) were both Maliki & Ash'arites. Ibn Rushd was formally trained in Theology according to the Ash'ari Madhhab ; however, along the years, he started diverging from the mainstream view of the Ash'ari way & he adopted more & more some of Aristotle's views & he wrote extensively about that (his famous Commentaries) (which eventually got him discharged from his Judge position, due to nasty politics & opposition). Nonetheless, he shared most of the views of the Ash'aris, & usually he is considered an Ash'ari, & a Philosopher. Even his book 'Tahafut at-Tafut' (The Incoherence of the Incoherence) which he wrote as a response to al-Ghazali's book 'Tahafut al-Falasifah' (the Incoherence of the Philosophers -against Ibn Sinna's & al-Farabi's metaphysical arguments-) wasn't as much a direct attack on al-Ghazali's views than it was a defence of the Aristotelian world-view against al-Ghazali's attack (Ibn Rushd tried to establish that Ibn Sinna & al-Farabi deviated from the original Aristotelian world-view, & that this world-view is almost compatible with al-Ghazali's view too). Ibn Rushd is very well respected in the Scholarly Community as a referential Jurist, Theologian, & Philosopher.

- Historically , the Malikis, Shafi'is, Hanafis, & some of the Hanbalis were almost all Ash'aris (with very few exceptions). Nowadays, the Malikis & Shafi's are almost all Ash'aris & the overwhelming majority of Hanafis too, plus very few Hanbalis.

- About your question, there is no particular rule that says Malikis must be Ash'aris or anything. But, since historically, the great Scholars of the Malikis & Shafi'is.. adopted the Ash'ari Madhahb, it's been the Tradition even since. Besides, with the immense amount of Thought & Exploration invested in the Ash'ari World View (throughout most of the Islamic History), it'd be really hard to find a competitive Theological School of Thought (with the exception of the Mu'tazili Usuli Shi'a Theological School of Thought).
Current Debates In Voting Period:

- The Qur'an We Have Today is Not What Muhammad Dictated Verbatim. Vs. @Envisage:
http://www.debate.org...

- Drawing Contest. Vs. @purpleduck:
http://www.debate.org...

"It is perfectly permissible to vote on sources without reading them" bluesteel.
Skepsikyma
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12/29/2014 10:33:15 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/29/2014 12:39:35 AM, YassineB wrote:
At 12/28/2014 9:46:11 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
All of this due to our attempts to manipulate a region we had no real deep understanding of. I can't help being reminded of the Mongol empire's burst of expansion and growth of influence, which was followed by the crumbling of their power once they overextended their reach. The West bit off far more than it can chew, and now we refuse to spit it out even if we must choke on it while an entire cultural legacy burns. It's just sickening.

- I can not believe this, are you sure you're not muslims?! Because, I can guarantee you most muslims wouldn't even know what you're talking about. I'd like to argue with you, but I can't seem to find anything we disagree on here.
- You have a more or less good understanding of the Relation West/Islam, do you have any speculations as to what would happen in the long future?

I think that Islam's fate is tied into the fate of the largest players on the world scene. America's global hegemony is flickering right now, as China and Russia both move towards securing their own spheres of influence from US intervention. If they succeed, and they probably will, especially if the US goes into decline, then we will be faced with a multipolar world and drastic political changes across the face of the globe.

The chaos may enable someone to seize control of the Middle East, but I see the position of the Islamic world as analogous to Europe at the dusk of the Classical age. The fall of the Caliphate, it's systematic suppression, and the wide-scale destruction of its educational infrastructure and cultural legacy will lead to vacuums of both power and ideology, in stark parallel to the fall of Rome. Once the ground is cleared of foreign influence by the return of multipolarity, the Islamic powers that remain standing will have a chance to lay a new foundation, but they must do so before a new paradigm of international relationship established and their region is exploited by a new power. How their rebirth goes depends on who is left standing, and whether they take advantage of the opportunities with which they are presented. One strong unifying force in the Middle East is opposition to the actions of Israel, and I think that any return to local rule will be accompanied by concerted action on that front on behalf of all Muslims, just as the Crusades acted as a strong unifying factor for Medieval Christendom.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
Skepsikyma
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12/29/2014 11:16:18 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/29/2014 12:39:35 AM, YassineB wrote:
At 12/28/2014 9:46:11 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
All of this due to our attempts to manipulate a region we had no real deep understanding of. I can't help being reminded of the Mongol empire's burst of expansion and growth of influence, which was followed by the crumbling of their power once they overextended their reach. The West bit off far more than it can chew, and now we refuse to spit it out even if we must choke on it while an entire cultural legacy burns. It's just sickening.

- I can not believe this, are you sure you're not muslims?! Because, I can guarantee you most muslims wouldn't even know what you're talking about. I'd like to argue with you, but I can't seem to find anything we disagree on here.

Well, this is going to be a bit of a rant, but here we go.

I'm just very invested in the cultural and intellectual legacy of the West in general, and of America in particular. I see America's neo-colonialism, which replaces direct rule with hidden influence across the face of the globe as absolutely deleterious to the ideals which I hold dear. Our culture is rotting, and as it rots we spread it across the face of the globe all the more readily. Liberal arts, the foundation of Western society since distant antiquity, is sneered at as our great institutions of learning are transformed into overpriced, ineffective resorts and a generation is crippled with debt. Our business world is sterile, corrupt, and cloyingly stupid, yet wields immense influence over this country and the entire world. What passes for culture nowadays is vacuous nonsense; Nicki Minaj makes me consider disembowelling myself with a rusty ladle.

We have lost our introspection, our awareness, and our gravity, yet we shrug on a messianic mantle and attempt to spread our ideals even when we find ourselves unable to mount an adequate defence of them. The Tree of Liberty lies uprooted, dying, and strives with its last energy not to plant new roots but to go to seed one last time in a final bid for survival. And in our desperate clawing to retain a power which was only ever temporary we crush the good in other cultures, we kill, we maim, and we destroy, but so long as the game is on most of us do not even know, let alone care. The great Roman poet Juvenal wrote this of his Empire as it declined, a line which I find hauntingly relevant:

"Some men are hurled headlong by over-great power and the envy to which it exposes them; they are wrecked by the long and illustrious roll of their honours: down come their statues, obedient to the rope; the axe hews in pieces their chariot wheels and the legs of the unoffending horses. And now the flames are hissing, and amid the roar of furnace and of bellows the head of the mighty Sejanus, the darling of the mob, is burning and crackling, and from that face, which was but lately second in the entire world, are being fashioned pipkins, pitchers, frying-pans and slop-pails! Up with the laurel-wreaths over your doors! Lead forth a grand chalked bull to the Capitol! Sejanus is being dragged along by a hook, as a show and joy to all! "What a lip the fellow had! What a face!"----"Believe me, I never liked the man!"----"But on what charge was he condemned? Who informed against him? What was the evidence, who the witnesses, who made good the case?"-----"Nothing of the sort; a great and wordy letter came from Capri." ----"Good; I ask no more."

And what does the mob of Remus say? It follows fortune, as it always does, and rails against the condemned. That same rabble, if Fortune had smiled upon Sejanus, if the aged Emperor had been struck down unawares, would in that very hour have conferred upon Sejanus the title of Augustus. Now that no one buys our votes, the public has long since cast off its cares; the people that once bestowed commands, consulships, legions and all else, now meddles no more and longs eagerly for just two things - bread and circuses!"

Panem et circenses, in my opinion, ought to be the new national motto of this country, because we just don't give a damn anymore so long as we're entertained and fed. Stamp that on our money. It's because of this mentality, which I despise with as much venom as I can muster, that I try so hard to see the world around me for what it is. I don't think that I can change things for the better in the long run, but I can use what I've learned to come to a sort if Sisyphean repose regarding the ignorance of this society, and to at least excise some small portion of moronic oversimplification.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
Skepsikyma
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12/29/2014 11:25:30 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/29/2014 1:56:13 AM, YassineB wrote:
>>> & so, 'Ulama (Traditional Scholars) ought to be the ones to hold Authority of Knowledge.
=> a Traditional Scholar is someone who is formally trained in an Islamic Traditional School, such that he:
1)- Achieved the degree of Ijtihad (Mastery of Qur'an, Hadith, Arabic, Jurisprudence, Theology, Sufism).
2)- was Licensed to Teach & Issue Fatwa.
3)- Has a Chain of Authority (Sanad) attached to his name that goes back to the Prophet.
Eg. : here is a Chain of Authority of my teacher: ==>> Sa'id al-Kamali. He was licensed by al-'allamah Weld Dedew, who was licensed by Ibn 'Abd al-Wadud << Muhamad Ibn Salam al-Majlisi << Hamid Ibn 'Amr << al-Faqih al-Khattat << al-Qafi Ibn 'Ali << al-Fadil Ibn abi al-Fadil << 'Ali al-Ajhuri << al-Burhan al-'Alqami << Jalal ad-Din as-Suyuti << Zakarya al-Ansari << al-Hafith al-'Asqalani << Ibrahim at-Tanukhi << Ahmab al-Hajjar << Ibn al-Waqt as-Sajri << al-Husein Ibn al-Mubarak << 'Abd Rahman Ibn Muhammad ad-Dawdi << Abd Allah as-Sarakhsi << Muhmmad al-barbari << Imam al-Bukhari << al-Wafiy Ibn Ibrahim << al-Yazid Ibn 'Ubayd << Salamah Ibn al-Aqwa' (Companion) << Prophet Muhammad. (this is just one chain among hundereds others)
=> That's the traditional meaning of Mujtahid or 'Alim (Scholar). Nowadays, 'scholars' study in Universities or read books themselves or learn from others that are not real scholars, & call themselves scholars. Fortunately, those that still have Authority in the Schools of Thought (Legal, Theological or Mystic) are mostly Traditional Scholars (although the Hanbali & Hanafi Madhab have been greatly distorted by these new 'scholars').
==>> In Morocco & Mauritania, to get to the degree of Ijtihad you have to study ~18 years of post graduate studies (about 2,000 hours per year, & about 400 Authoritative Books [many are over the 20 or 10 volumes], among which ~40 are to be memorised by heart.)

The main reasons I think there is scarcity of Traditional Schools & why they are not heard, or classical education in general:
1)- The collapse of the international system of Madrasa (& Mahdara) that was established on the 2nd century of Islam & was based on Sanad, Tawatur & Ijaza. This unfortunate collapse as you've probably guessed came about due to the colonial period. The colonial powers forcefully replaced the Traditional Madrasa with their new western system incompatible with the Islamic Tradition .... looooong story. All this gave way to new systems & movements trying to reconcile the Islamic Tradition with the western educational system, which created a immense gap of Authority & thus discords & disparity.
2)- Most muslim countries are secular regimes. & generally Traditional & historically well established Religious Authorities are severely suppressed in these countries. So, instead, you find un-educated non-traditional 'fake' scholars taking their place & raising their voices.
3)- The Salafi & Wahabi movement is immensely rich (for obvious reasons), so they are able to accommodate countless numbers of TV Channels, Papers, Books, Publicity... & the Traditional voices are not as wealthy, there is a scarcity of channels & papers & derisory publicity from them. The Salafi 'scholars' are but a small fraction in the community of muslim scholars around the world (especially the Ash'arits & Sufis), but to the public eye they look like the Majority.
4)- The general mass (public) are not even aware there is something called the Islamic Tradition, or there are established Sciences solely dedicated to studying all aspects of Life in accordance with Religion. Most muslims think interpreting the Qur'an & the Hadith is a personal matter & can be done by anyone & that it's not an area of expertise. & thus, they don't recognise religious authority, & even if they do, they won't know how & which scholar is real & which isn't.
5)- These new generations have too much entertainment to get lost in, they can't handle the Islamic Tradition. No one wants to go study half a life-time just to get a License! & most think that Religious Studies are less relevant than Engineering & Medicine ; so intelligent people go to become engineers & doctors, while only those not brilliant enough go do few years in Islamic Studies. Whereas, when one looks at the Islamic History, one would find that almost all Philosophers, Doctors, Astronomers, Engineers... were also Jurists, & 'Ulama in the Islamic Tradition.
6)- The Traditional Scholars call for peace, balance, wisdom, dialogue, reason, tolerance... No one in the media is interested in these kinds of talks >> the media loves blood, war, problems problems & problems... 'World Peace' will just push viewers away & will feel dubious & suspicious to western viewers.

Are the Schools of Law usually linked to a particular School of Theology, or are they pretty fluid in association? I ask because I know that one of the most well-known Muslim scholars in the West was Ibn Rushd, who was a prominent Maliki scholar, but who was also at odds with Ash'ari theologians.

- Ibn Rushd (the grand-son) as his grand-father Ibn Rushd (the grand-father) were both Maliki & Ash'arites. Ibn Rushd was formally trained in Theology according to the Ash'ari Madhhab ; however, along the years, he started diverging from the mainstream view of the Ash'ari way & he adopted more & more some of Aristotle's views & he wrote extensively about that (his famous Commentaries) (which eventually got him discharged from his Judge position, due to nasty politics & opposition). Nonetheless, he shared most of the views of the Ash'aris, & usually he is considered an Ash'ari, & a Philosopher. Even his book 'Tahafut at-Tafut' (The Incoherence of the Incoherence) which he wrote as a response to al-Ghazali's book 'Tahafut al-Falasifah' (the Incoherence of the Philosophers -against Ibn Sinna's & al-Farabi's metaphysical arguments-) wasn't as much a direct attack on al-Ghazali's views than it was a defence of the Aristotelian world-view against al-Ghazali's attack (Ibn Rushd tried to establish that Ibn Sinna & al-Farabi deviated from the original Aristotelian world-view, & that this world-view is almost compatible with al-Ghazali's view too). Ibn Rushd is very well respected in the Scholarly Community as a referential Jurist, Theologian, & Philosopher.

- Historically , the Malikis, Shafi'is, Hanafis, & some of the Hanbalis were almost all Ash'aris (with very few exceptions). Nowadays, the Malikis & Shafi's are almost all Ash'aris & the overwhelming majority of Hanafis too, plus very few Hanbalis.

- About your question, there is no particular rule that says Malikis must be Ash'aris or anything. But, since historically, the great Scholars of the Malikis & Shafi'is.. adopted the Ash'ari Madhahb, it's been the Tradition even since. Besides, with the immense amount of Thought & Exploration invested in the Ash'ari World View (throughout most of the Islamic History), it'd be really hard to find a competitive Theological School of Thought (with the exception of the Mu'tazili Usuli Shi'a Theological School of Thought).

Thanks for taking the time to provide such detailed and interesting answers; this will give me much food for thought. I was ignorant of so much of how your system of scholarship works, as I focused much of my inquiries on the political dimension, so this fills a lot of gaps in my knowledge. It's great to have someone educated on such matters on this site, as those who will listen to you will learn much.

And I knew that Aisha was an important scholar, but I had no idea just how important she was. The next time a Christian accuses Islam of oppressing women I'll be sure to contrast her accomplishments to Paul's declaration that women should not be permitted to teach.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
YassineB
Posts: 1,003
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12/30/2014 4:55:41 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/29/2014 10:33:15 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
The chaos may enable someone to seize control of the Middle East, but I see the position of the Islamic world as analogous to Europe at the dusk of the Classical age. The fall of the Caliphate, it's systematic suppression, and the wide-scale destruction of its educational infrastructure and cultural legacy will lead to vacuums of both power and ideology, in stark parallel to the fall of Rome. Once the ground is cleared of foreign influence by the return of multipolarity, the Islamic powers that remain standing will have a chance to lay a new foundation, but they must do so before a new paradigm of international relationship established and their region is exploited by a new power. How their rebirth goes depends on who is left standing, and whether they take advantage of the opportunities with which they are presented. One strong unifying force in the Middle East is opposition to the actions of Israel, and I think that any return to local rule will be accompanied by concerted action on that front on behalf of all Muslims, just as the Crusades acted as a strong unifying factor for Medieval Christendom.

- Me, as per understanding of the Islamic Tradition & the Islamic History. I think that both the Secular & the Scholarly factors are essential for a New Islamic Age, if that were to happen.
> Scholarly in the sense of Education based on the well established Islamic Model (that has been developed & advanced for over a millennium), a model that doesn't separate God from Education, & a model compatible with the Authoritative System certified throughout the Islamic History.
> Secular in the sense of a unifying independent force that detaches itself from Western models & incorporates a model most suited for the unique historical concept that Muhammad set, & that is the Ummah: a concept that unite the muslims of the world as equal under one supra-national community of Islam that transcends all borders in space & time, & all differences of race, colour, gender, denomination & status.
==>> I am a very strong proponent for Education, & I think it's the source of Civilisation itself (as does the Islamic Tradition), especially Comprehensive Education, starting with Religious Studies & Liberal Arts.
==>> There are two words in the Qur'an that describe a civilised nation: 'Q'aryaa' (which is derived from Q'araa: Read, Recite, Learn) & 'Madina' (which is derived from Deen: Religion & Law) => & so, Civilisation, in the Islamic Tradition, is understood as a product of Education & Law. & I agree also with the Qur'anic order, Education comes first, & the generation that flourishes under a sound well grounded Education will not bend under any Secular Model that doesn't conform to it, on contraire it will bend the Secular model to its needs by imposing itself.
(+) Eg: In the Classical Islamic Tradition, Engineering was classified as a Sina'a (a Craft) & it was close to the the bottom of classification. & Liberal Arts were involved in most of the fields of the Islamic Tradition. [ Qur'an > Hadith > Arabic > Theology > Law > Mysticism > Philosophy > Arts > Crafts > Evil Practices. & In Philosophy: Metaphysics > Rationalities > Mathematics > Natural Sciences > Ethics > Aesthetics > Politics. ]

- Furthermore, I most definitely agree with you on your last point, the cause of Palestine is a unifying factor that keeps the Muslim Ummah together (from Indonesia to Morocco, we all share the same goal), without which we would've probably diverged greatly & dissociated ourself more & more as a Ummah.
Current Debates In Voting Period:

- The Qur'an We Have Today is Not What Muhammad Dictated Verbatim. Vs. @Envisage:
http://www.debate.org...

- Drawing Contest. Vs. @purpleduck:
http://www.debate.org...

"It is perfectly permissible to vote on sources without reading them" bluesteel.
YassineB
Posts: 1,003
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12/30/2014 6:11:37 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/29/2014 11:16:18 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 12/29/2014 12:39:35 AM, YassineB wrote:
At 12/28/2014 9:46:11 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
I'm just very invested in the cultural and intellectual legacy of the West in general, and of America in particular. I see America's neo-colonialism, which replaces direct rule with hidden influence across the face of the globe as absolutely deleterious to the ideals which I hold dear. Our culture is rotting, and as it rots we spread it across the face of the globe all the more readily. Liberal arts, the foundation of Western society since distant antiquity, is sneered at as our great institutions of learning are transformed into overpriced, ineffective resorts and a generation is crippled with debt. Our business world is sterile, corrupt, and cloyingly stupid, yet wields immense influence over this country and the entire world. What passes for culture nowadays is vacuous nonsense; Nicki Minaj makes me consider disembowelling myself with a rusty ladle.

Panem et circenses, in my opinion, ought to be the new national motto of this country, because we just don't give a damn anymore so long as we're entertained and fed. Stamp that on our money. It's because of this mentality, which I despise with as much venom as I can muster, that I try so hard to see the world around me for what it is. I don't think that I can change things for the better in the long run, but I can use what I've learned to come to a sort if Sisyphean repose regarding the ignorance of this society, and to at least excise some small portion of moronic oversimplification.

- This is my expression of deep appreciation: if you were a girl I'd marry you. I am not as fluent & eloquent in the English language as you (as it is my 4th language), but I enjoyed reading this actualised piece of description of our rotten uncivilised fantastical uneducated unconscious superficial modern world. I've read this piece again & again, just for pure pleasure. Thank you.

- I was thought to only discuss problems for the purpose of understanding them to help finding the adequate solutions. In this case, I don't even know where to begin, the whole system is so nonsense. But I'll summarise my view in few points:

> Education: it has three Pillars: the Knowledge, the Holder of Knowledge, & the Seeker of Knowledge.
* Knowledge (Ma'rifa) is three kinds: Understanding ('Ilm) , Experience (Tajriba) , Reports (Riwaya). <<< In the modern world, the latter is the overwhelmingly dominant one, & the first one is becoming more & more derisory. => Educated people nowadays possess tiny pieces of information with no real mastery or deep understanding, all releasing insurmountable amounts of Reports in all kins of fields almost all with not formal training in the way of the Thought. Everybody has faith that somebody else knows what's truly going on, but at the end of the day, nobody does. => The transfer of Knowledge through Experience is hardy possible anymore >> & so Knowledge not cumulated & thus not refined nor purified. ...etc....etc.
* The Holder of Knowledge: nowadays, the Educated People are mostly uninteresting people with pieces of knowledge in particular fields, & lack thereof in all else. Most lack training in the Liberal Arts, which traditionally defined the difference between educated & not, between free & slave. Most lack the manners & the decency accorded to knowledge. In short, Holders of Knowledge ought to be a source of Inspiration, but are not, they ought to represent Civilisation, but aren't, they ought to represent Knowledge itself, but are doing a poor job of it.
* The Seeker of Knowledge: there are two kinds, the Disciple, & the Discerner. The former finds a good teacher & follow his guidance, & the latter studies rationalities to be able to discern Knowledge without relying on the quality or character of the teacher. <<< Unfortunately, in our modern time, neither are good choices. Nowadays, the gap of Inspirational Teacher figure is filled with Celebrities & Narcism. Knowledge is replaced with Entertainment & Ignorant Self-Convictions....etc. ..etc

> Religion: ..long story. I'll just say this: when this Global Materialistic Society starts manifesting extremes (which is the case nowadays), people will diverge, & then they feel unease, & then they will start asking questions, & others will start realising there is a serious problem, & even more questions will be asked, until the moment they question the system itself, & once they realise that this lifeless suffocating Materialistic World is in reality a World Religion that succeeded inconspicuously in contaminating & drugging everyone in its fantasy, they will thereafter naturally view it as a Religion & put it side to side with other religions, & there lies the potential state of our world today.

> Liberty & Equality: long story. But I'll say this, these two notions are at the very core of the state of the World today, & they haven't been given the Thought the deserve, & they have been grossly misused & abused.

> Successful vs. Right: long story.

> Popular vs. Good: long story.

> Civility vs. Modernity: long story.

> Morality vs. Norms: long story.

=> Well, these might serve as topics of discussion in the future.
Current Debates In Voting Period:

- The Qur'an We Have Today is Not What Muhammad Dictated Verbatim. Vs. @Envisage:
http://www.debate.org...

- Drawing Contest. Vs. @purpleduck:
http://www.debate.org...

"It is perfectly permissible to vote on sources without reading them" bluesteel.
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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12/30/2014 7:07:14 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
First, I want to apologize if my comments constitute an unwarranted intrusion, as I am not Muslim nor do I have anything resembling detailed knowledge about the OP. I am, like the OP, very much interested in the socio-geopolitical aspects of Islam and found this discussion fascinating.

Pertaining directly to the OP, my superficial understanding is that most of these tombs and other relics have been destroyed to make room for economic development of Mecca. I think this is an inevitable consequence of modernization...it may be appalling to some people but it's unavoidable and has precedence worldwide. Most culturally significant sites happen to be geo-located with some of the most fertile and desirable land in the world.

At 12/29/2014 10:33:15 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 12/29/2014 12:39:35 AM, YassineB wrote:

All of this due to our attempts to manipulate a region we had no real deep understanding of. I can't help being reminded of the Mongol empire's burst of expansion and growth of influence, which was followed by the crumbling of their power once they overextended their reach. The West bit off far more than it can chew, and now we refuse to spit it out even if we must choke on it while an entire cultural legacy burns. It's just sickening.

I would say that over the past several hundred years, the West took a huge bite, yes, but what they bit into was very, very soft and thus did not require much chewing. If the West is able to move on, then the choking need not occur. I think in other regions the West has demonstrated this inclination.

Let's face it, geopolitcally, even if unified, the Middle East is not much of a contender compared to the US, China, India, Europe, South America, and even SE Asia. Out of this list, perhaps the only regions that is currently "softer" is SE Asia. I think compared to other geopolitical problems, the Middle East is a relatively minor concern for the US, more than likely a derivative concern.

An example of this derivative concern could possibly be seen in current gas prices in America. It's fascinating how gas prices held steady for 3-4 years and then within 6 months of the Ukraine crisis flaring up, gas prices drop precipitously in the US. (http://fuelgaugereport.aaa.com...)

IMHO (and all of this is speculation, I haven't done enough research to speak of it as fact) the US has used oil as a weapon against Russia in the past, namely against Gorbachev during Reagan's administration, an administration that also saw a precipitous drop in gas prices in the US. I don't think this could have occurred without Middle Eastern help.

- You have a more or less good understanding of the Relation West/Islam, do you have any speculations as to what would happen in the long future?

I think that Islam's fate is tied into the fate of the largest players on the world scene. America's global hegemony is flickering right now, as China and Russia both move towards securing their own spheres of influence from US intervention. If they succeed, and they probably will, especially if the US goes into decline, then we will be faced with a multipolar world and drastic political changes across the face of the globe.

The chaos may enable someone to seize control of the Middle East, but I see the position of the Islamic world as analogous to Europe at the dusk of the Classical age. The fall of the Caliphate, it's systematic suppression, and the wide-scale destruction of its educational infrastructure and cultural legacy will lead to vacuums of both power and ideology, in stark parallel to the fall of Rome. Once the ground is cleared of foreign influence by the return of multipolarity, the Islamic powers that remain standing will have a chance to lay a new foundation, but they must do so before a new paradigm of international relationship established and their region is exploited by a new power. How their rebirth goes depends on who is left standing, and whether they take advantage of the opportunities with which they are presented. One strong unifying force in the Middle East is opposition to the actions of Israel, and I think that any return to local rule will be accompanied by concerted action on that front on behalf of all Muslims, just as the Crusades acted as a strong unifying factor for Medieval Christendom.

I agree very, very much with the general strokes you painted. Specifically, I think an analysis of the new multipolar world would shed light upon where we disagree. I don't think the Middle East will be free of foreign influence when a multipolar world comes about.

First, I think it bears mentioning that the world is now again already multipolar. Before, warfare established polarity (WWII), but with the advent of nuclear weapons, what is far more important in establishing hegemony vis a vis nuclear powers in a region is domination in trade. For example, Russia during the cold war steadily lost allies until Russia itself was no longer economically viable...those losses are most apparent in how trade between outlying communist nations swung dramatically from the USSR to Western aligned nations during and shortly after the cold war. More recently, China has established itself as the #1 trading partner in $ with at least Japan, Asian NIEs (newly industrialized countries, Taiwan SK, Hong Kong, etc), and SE Asia. This, along with its status as the sole nuclear power in the region besides NK (doesn't really count), means it has established a hegemonic presence in the region even amongst US military allies. I think it will be a matter of (not much) time before our remaining allies in the region voluntarily ask the US to withdraw partly out of fear of jeopardizing their trade relationship with China, I think 10-20 years is a reasonable projection. I believe Russia is still dominant in Central Asia, meaning that it has re-established/maintained its regional hegemony from its USSR days.

What this means is that any attempt to take advantage of supposed chaos stemming from a multipolar world has not and will not materialize. Chaos from such a shift would mean nuclear war, an unthinkable act. Instead of chaos, we have shifts in trade and security umbrellas.

The Middle East is largely defenseless...even if Iran develops nuclear weapons it's questionable whether or not they will even amount to a deterrent. The region lies outside any nuclear umbrella, and given the US's currently careless and cavalier stance regarding military action in the region, more than likely these nations will be looking for a security partner. Again, I think it will be a matter of time before Russia or China, or both, step up to the plate. China for one not only has Muslim nations close-by in the south, but also has a significant Muslim population and even houses mosques built while Mohammed was still alive. Allying with the Middle East would be a natural progression, culturally and economically. There are also the political similarities in how these two regions choose to govern themselves.

Panem et circenses, in my opinion, ought to be the new national motto of this country, because we just don't give a damn anymore so long as we're entertained and fed. Stamp that on our money. It's because of this mentality, which I despise with as much venom as I can muster, that I try so hard to see the world around me for what it is. I don't think that I can change things for the better in the long run, but I can use what I've learned to come to a sort if Sisyphean repose regarding the ignorance of this society, and to at least excise some small portion of moronic oversimplification.

IMHO all of this is sickeningly true. It also bears to keep in mind that, for better or for worse, America typically hasn't given much of a damn historically.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
wrichcirw
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12/30/2014 7:07:44 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
I got interested enough about this topic to do some rudimentary research online...I stumbled across this site and book:

http://csis.org...
http://csis.org...

I found one critical aspect of its "key findings" to be less than credible, that "The US interest in the Middle East is strategic and enduring." I think that's changed dramatically following Bush II and the Iraq War and no longer think we can take that for granted. We may still have Saudi support, but our missteps in the region will continue to incur very, very high costs.

I will also point out that the book is 7 years old...during that time, China's economy has doubled in size. China was not the leader in regional trade then, nor had it surpassed Japan as the #2 economy in the world. All that has changed, and there will more than likely be similarly significant tectonic plate shifts in the next 7 years.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
YassineB
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12/30/2014 7:14:57 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/29/2014 11:25:30 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
And I knew that Aisha was an important scholar, but I had no idea just how important she was. The next time a Christian accuses Islam of oppressing women I'll be sure to contrast her accomplishments to Paul's declaration that women should not be permitted to teach.

- Finally, my most crucial view is Traditionalism, I believe that Knowledge, Culture & Religion must go hand & hand, & built each-other, not cut each-other off as happened in this unfortunate Time. One century of White Supremacy (I am white therefore I am right) & One century of Modern Supremacy (I am new therefore I am right) crashed & trashed a huge portion of the Human Experience & the Human Tradition, & cut nations, cultures, & religions out of theirs roots & into the delusion & confusion of this lost world.

- About 'Aisha, you obviously still don't realise her importance. 'Aisha the Mother of Believers was known to be an extraordinary genius with unparalleled wit & intellect, she was known for her Eidetic Memory. She is, unequivocally, the most influential woman in Islamic History, & therefore one of the most influential women in Human History. She is one of the Seven Scholars: the founding "fathers" of Islamic Jurisprudence, Theology & the Sciences of the Islamic Tradition (among: 'Umar, 'Ali, Zayd ibn Tabit, 'Abduallah Ibn 'Umar, 'Abduallah Ibn Masud, 'Abduallah Ibn Abbas, 'Aisha). These Seven are the primary legislators of Sharia Law (after the Prophet), that means 'Aisha is at top of the top of the Islamic Tradition. Moreover, 'Aisha is the 4th Authority on Hadith.
>>> To put that into perspective, there are about 114,000 Companions, 12,267 are bibliographically recorded (place/date of birth/death, origin, tribe, lineage, titles, nicknames, time & occasion of embracing Islam, character, virtues, lands, wives/husbands, sons/daughters, servants (if so), teachers & students, lifestyle, livelihood, travels, attributed poems, contributions to Islam & society, narrations, acquaintances, deeds & exploits, & relations in general"), 1,522 of which are women & 10,735 are men. & among all these great people who were also taught by the Prophet, 'Aisha comes at the very top!

- About the ridiculous laughable claim that Islam oppresses women. According to the books of Biographies (at least the ones I have in my possession) There were, (up to the 19th century) about 116,000 recorded biographies of notable persons (Historians / Narrators / Rulers / Jurists / Theologians / Linguists / Saints (sufi masters) / Judges / Doctors / Philosophers / Poets / Musicians. . .) <<< muslims were very keen on preserving biographies because of many reasons, no time to discuss here. (around 10,000 each century) <<< from which about 13,600 are women (from which about ~8,000 are women Narrators -Scholars of Hadith-)
*1st Century ~13,300 (12,267 of which are Companions) >> from which about 1,900 are women (1,522 of which are female Companions).
*2nd Century ~28,000 (Followers & the ones after them) >> from which ~4,000 are women.
..... (etc)
> There is a book in 12-volumes authored by as-Sakhawi (d. 1497) called Al-Daw' al-lami li ahli al-Qarni al-Tasi, where as-Sakhawi writes the Biographies of over 1,100 notable women, from officials to scholars to poets ...
> There is a 53-volumes compiled collection by Mohammad Akram Nadwi from the classical books, of Biographies of Female Scholars of Hadith, & this huge Encyclopaedic Dictionary contains the biographies of over 8,000 women.
...etc.
>>> The pitiful state of the Islamic World today is a direct consequence of the colonial period. It wasn't Islam that oppressed women, it was the colonial powers that brought this attitude to Muslim Nations, if one checks History, one finds easily how true this reality was, the colonial authorities used to refuse licenses given to female scholars, & they weren't allowed to teach...etc.
Current Debates In Voting Period:

- The Qur'an We Have Today is Not What Muhammad Dictated Verbatim. Vs. @Envisage:
http://www.debate.org...

- Drawing Contest. Vs. @purpleduck:
http://www.debate.org...

"It is perfectly permissible to vote on sources without reading them" bluesteel.
YassineB
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12/30/2014 8:01:58 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/30/2014 7:07:14 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
Pertaining directly to the OP, my superficial understanding is that most of these tombs and other relics have been destroyed to make room for economic development of Mecca. I think this is an inevitable consequence of modernization...it may be appalling to some people but it's unavoidable and has precedence worldwide. Most culturally significant sites happen to be geo-located with some of the most fertile and desirable land in the world.

- It had nothing to do with economic development, not in the slightest. & it wasn't appalling to some people, it was devastating to one fourth/fifth the earth's population.

At 12/29/2014 10:33:15 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
I would say that over the past several hundred years, the West took a huge bite, yes, but what they bit into was very, very soft and thus did not require much chewing. If the West is able to move on, then the choking need not occur. I think in other regions the West has demonstrated this inclination.

Let's face it, geopolitcally, even if unified, the Middle East is not much of a contender compared to the US, China, India, Europe, South America, and even SE Asia. Out of this list, perhaps the only regions that is currently "softer" is SE Asia. I think compared to other geopolitical problems, the Middle East is a relatively minor concern for the US, more than likely a derivative concern.

- You are speaking in short-term developments, in the long-term, things might change drastically. Take for example Japan (before WWII & during the 90s & the 21 century).
- A Unified Middle East, would mean a unified Islamic Nation, which the west have been trying to cut all hopes for from even before the colonial period, in which they eventually succeeded.
- The Middle East is the oldest civilised region in the world & it holds half of Human History. Most Empires throughout History flourished in the Middle East. & so, from a historical point of view, in the long-term, the Middle East must & should occupy an important role in the future.
- Also, don't forget that the Islamic Caliphate fell less than a century ago, after it was standing for over 6 centuries. A similar situation happened after the Mongol Invasion, there were a gap in the Caliphate for about 2 centuries between the Abbasids & the Ottomans. & so, an upcoming Caliphate, either in the short-term or in the long-term, is a very probable event.

An example of this derivative concern could possibly be seen in current gas prices in America. It's fascinating how gas prices held steady for 3-4 years and then within 6 months of the Ukraine crisis flaring up, gas prices drop precipitously in the US. (http://fuelgaugereport.aaa.com...)

- Imagine what would happen if the Middle east actually took control of its oil & cut foreign influences! (which is not that hard to do, take Faisal ibn Abdulaziz)

I agree very, very much with the general strokes you painted. Specifically, I think an analysis of the new multipolar world would shed light upon where we disagree. I don't think the Middle East will be free of foreign influence when a multipolar world comes about.

- I would argue the opposite, the Middle East is in an unimaginably dire state, which was engendered by the never ending detested meddling of the US & the West ; whatever generation comes out of that place is probably not gonna be swayed by any western influences, knowing that these hidden influences were built up from the colonial period, & so, after the war ends in the middle east, nothing will probably remain of the old -westernised- systems.

First, I think it bears mentioning that the world is now again already multipolar. Before, warfare established polarity (WWII), but with the advent of nuclear weapons, what is far more important in establishing hegemony vis a vis nuclear powers in a region is domination in trade. For example, Russia during the cold war steadily lost allies until Russia itself was no longer economically viable...those losses are most apparent in how trade between outlying communist nations swung dramatically from the USSR to Western aligned nations during and shortly after the cold war. More recently, China has established itself as the #1 trading partner in $ with at least Japan, Asian NIEs (newly industrialized countries, Taiwan SK, Hong Kong, etc), and SE Asia. This, along with its status as the sole nuclear power in the region besides NK (doesn't really count), means it has established a hegemonic presence in the region even amongst US military allies. I think it will be a matter of (not much) time before our remaining allies in the region voluntarily ask the US to withdraw partly out of fear of jeopardizing their trade relationship with China, I think 10-20 years is a reasonable projection. I believe Russia is still dominant in Central Asia, meaning that it has re-established/maintained its regional hegemony from its USSR days.

- I would expect such a change to happen sooner, don't forget that Russia is already under siege, & China won't be willing to end up in that situation any time soon.

The Middle East is largely defenseless...even if Iran develops nuclear weapons it's questionable whether or not they will even amount to a deterrent. The region lies outside any nuclear umbrella, and given the US's currently careless and cavalier stance regarding military action in the region, more than likely these nations will be looking for a security partner.

- I agree with the partner part, but saying that the Middle East is defenceless is inaccurate, or haven't you been following the news.

Again, I think it will be a matter of time before Russia or China, or both, step up to the plate. China for one not only has Muslim nations close-by in the south, but also has a significant Muslim population and even houses mosques built while Mohammed was still alive. Allying with the Middle East would be a natural progression, culturally and economically. There are also the political similarities in how these two regions choose to govern themselves.

- So you are saying China will detach itself from the west completely & ally itself with closer regional powers?
Current Debates In Voting Period:

- The Qur'an We Have Today is Not What Muhammad Dictated Verbatim. Vs. @Envisage:
http://www.debate.org...

- Drawing Contest. Vs. @purpleduck:
http://www.debate.org...

"It is perfectly permissible to vote on sources without reading them" bluesteel.
bulproof
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12/30/2014 8:05:05 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Why would anybody care about the destruction of a headstone?
Why would anyone place a headstone?
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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12/30/2014 1:00:13 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/30/2014 8:01:58 AM, YassineB wrote:
At 12/30/2014 7:07:14 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 12/29/2014 10:33:15 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:

Let's face it, geopolitcally, even if unified, the Middle East is not much of a contender compared to the US, China, India, Europe, South America, and even SE Asia. Out of this list, perhaps the only regions that is currently "softer" is SE Asia. I think compared to other geopolitical problems, the Middle East is a relatively minor concern for the US, more than likely a derivative concern.

- You are speaking in short-term developments, in the long-term, things might change drastically. Take for example Japan (before WWII & during the 90s & the 21 century).
- A Unified Middle East, would mean a unified Islamic Nation, which the west have been trying to cut all hopes for from even before the colonial period, in which they eventually succeeded.
- The Middle East is the oldest civilised region in the world & it holds half of Human History. Most Empires throughout History flourished in the Middle East. & so, from a historical point of view, in the long-term, the Middle East must & should occupy an important role in the future.
- Also, don't forget that the Islamic Caliphate fell less than a century ago, after it was standing for over 6 centuries. A similar situation happened after the Mongol Invasion, there were a gap in the Caliphate for about 2 centuries between the Abbasids & the Ottomans. & so, an upcoming Caliphate, either in the short-term or in the long-term, is a very probable event.

An example of this derivative concern could possibly be seen in current gas prices in America. It's fascinating how gas prices held steady for 3-4 years and then within 6 months of the Ukraine crisis flaring up, gas prices drop precipitously in the US. (http://fuelgaugereport.aaa.com...)

- Imagine what would happen if the Middle east actually took control of its oil & cut foreign influences! (which is not that hard to do, take Faisal ibn Abdulaziz)

I agree very, very much with the general strokes you painted. Specifically, I think an analysis of the new multipolar world would shed light upon where we disagree. I don't think the Middle East will be free of foreign influence when a multipolar world comes about.

- I would argue the opposite, the Middle East is in an unimaginably dire state, which was engendered by the never ending detested meddling of the US & the West ; whatever generation comes out of that place is probably not gonna be swayed by any western influences, knowing that these hidden influences were built up from the colonial period, & so, after the war ends in the middle east, nothing will probably remain of the old -westernised- systems.

First, I think it bears mentioning that the world is now again already multipolar. Before, warfare established polarity (WWII), but with the advent of nuclear weapons, what is far more important in establishing hegemony vis a vis nuclear powers in a region is domination in trade. For example, Russia during the cold war steadily lost allies until Russia itself was no longer economically viable...those losses are most apparent in how trade between outlying communist nations swung dramatically from the USSR to Western aligned nations during and shortly after the cold war. More recently, China has established itself as the #1 trading partner in $ with at least Japan, Asian NIEs (newly industrialized countries, Taiwan SK, Hong Kong, etc), and SE Asia. This, along with its status as the sole nuclear power in the region besides NK (doesn't really count), means it has established a hegemonic presence in the region even amongst US military allies. I think it will be a matter of (not much) time before our remaining allies in the region voluntarily ask the US to withdraw partly out of fear of jeopardizing their trade relationship with China, I think 10-20 years is a reasonable projection. I believe Russia is still dominant in Central Asia, meaning that it has re-established/maintained its regional hegemony from its USSR days.

- I would expect such a change to happen sooner, don't forget that Russia is already under siege, & China won't be willing to end up in that situation any time soon.

The Middle East is largely defenseless...even if Iran develops nuclear weapons it's questionable whether or not they will even amount to a deterrent. The region lies outside any nuclear umbrella, and given the US's currently careless and cavalier stance regarding military action in the region, more than likely these nations will be looking for a security partner.

- I agree with the partner part, but saying that the Middle East is defenceless is inaccurate, or haven't you been following the news.

Again, I think it will be a matter of time before Russia or China, or both, step up to the plate. China for one not only has Muslim nations close-by in the south, but also has a significant Muslim population and even houses mosques built while Mohammed was still alive. Allying with the Middle East would be a natural progression, culturally and economically. There are also the political similarities in how these two regions choose to govern themselves.

- So you are saying China will detach itself from the west completely & ally itself with closer regional powers?

lol, I wrote a long reply but accidentally deleted it right before I hit reply.

Key points I remember:

1) I am taking the long term view. Demographically, the Middle East simply is not big enough and is severely limited by water and arable land, and because of these factors will have an extremely difficult time challenging other regions.
2) The Middle East is largely not industralized and has chronic unemployment.
3) The Middle East's golden age mainly occurred when Europe was undeveloped and China could have been Mars due to lack of proximity...however, today, Europe is fully developed and China is almost a next-door neighbor.
4) The Middle East has had trouble challenging Israel...America is 50 times the size of Israel in every metric that matters. America can annihilate any conceivable combination of non-nuclear powers...what stops it is its sense of liberalism and nuclear retaliation from other parties. I remember reading that al Qaeda contemplated flying airplanes into nuclear facilities before 9/11, but tabled the plan because they were afraid it could very well incite America into total war.
5) The Middle East is practicing asymmetric warfare, hardly a position of strength.
6) China is following the same roadmap that Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, etc followed...there's nothing exceptional about what they are doing. What is exceptional is the sheer size...China is 10 times the size of Japan and is twice the size of the US and Europe combined.
7) I don't think China and the West need be antagonistic over Islam, but IMHO that's up to America to somehow get over its Islamophobia.
8) China's rise globally mirrors Germany's rise in Europe during the 19th century. What kept Germany in check was the US through two world wars...however, when China rises, the US simply will not be large enough to contain China, so odds are that China, or whatever entity comes from east Asia, will unseat the West globally.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
YassineB
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12/30/2014 3:58:30 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/30/2014 1:00:13 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
lol, I wrote a long reply but accidentally deleted it right before I hit reply.

- Ouch, that's unfortunate. :(

Key points I remember:

1) I am taking the long term view. Demographically, the Middle East simply is not big enough and is severely limited by water and arable land, and because of these factors will have an extremely difficult time challenging other regions.

- That's not accurate. The Middle East (including Turkey, Iran, & the Arab Golf) is one the richest spots on the Planet.
- Plus, scarcity of resources is hardly a factor in a globalised world (Japan, Korea, Singapore...)

2) The Middle East is largely not industralized and has chronic unemployment.

- One to two decades can take care of that (which happened in multiple other countries). Especially since that region has the largest reserve of oil in the World, & obscenely deep pockets...

3) The Middle East's golden age mainly occurred when Europe was undeveloped and China could have been Mars due to lack of proximity...however, today, Europe is fully developed and China is almost a next-door neighbor.

- It's not just that, the Middle East holds the birth of most Civilisations, it has an enormous historical value even before the Islamic Golden Age (which came after the Romans, the Persians, the Hellenistic Nations, the Greeks, the Babylonians, the Egyptians ...)
- Plus, it holds enormous value for the Abrahamic Religions, mainly Islam & Christianity, both of which constitute over half the Earth's population.

4) The Middle East has had trouble challenging Israel...America is 50 times the size of Israel in every metric that matters. America can annihilate any conceivable combination of non-nuclear powers...what stops it is its sense of liberalism and nuclear retaliation from other parties. I remember reading that al Qaeda contemplated flying airplanes into nuclear facilities before 9/11, but tabled the plan because they were afraid it could very well incite America into total war.

- That's not a very compelling argument since in reality such expectations are hardly met (Vietnam War, Afghanistan, Iraq'...).
- & I think the U.S. has more internal things to worry about (& apparently external too).
- Plus, Israel is not making it easy for the U.S. to maintain it's support despite the International Community.

5) The Middle East is practicing asymmetric warfare, hardly a position of strength.

- War IS strength, when you have a full-scale war like the one happening in the Middle East, the whole population is participating directly or indirectly to it. A region that is used to Wars every now & then, will evidently be much more difficult to handle than a peaceful region.
- Plus, what I was insinuating was more about of will emerge from a full-scale war such as that, the young generation that's gonna come out of that place, that's the point of strength.

6) China is following the same roadmap that Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, etc followed...there's nothing exceptional about what they are doing. What is exceptional is the sheer size...China is 10 times the size of Japan and is twice the size of the US and Europe combined.

- Point? I am not really getting what you're trying to say here.
7) I don't think China and the West need be antagonistic over Islam, but IMHO that's up to America to somehow get over its Islamophobia.

- They'll eventually have to. Still, I like to see how, the love/hate relationship between Islam & the West is rooted far deeper than one would expect.

8) China's rise globally mirrors Germany's rise in Europe during the 19th century. What kept Germany in check was the US through two world wars...however, when China rises, the US simply will not be large enough to contain China, so odds are that China, or whatever entity comes from east Asia, will unseat the West globally.

- I see this outcome as a very likely possibility, & I think the breaking point will be either of these two things:
> The substitution of the Dollar.
> The substitution of English as an international language.
Current Debates In Voting Period:

- The Qur'an We Have Today is Not What Muhammad Dictated Verbatim. Vs. @Envisage:
http://www.debate.org...

- Drawing Contest. Vs. @purpleduck:
http://www.debate.org...

"It is perfectly permissible to vote on sources without reading them" bluesteel.
wrichcirw
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12/30/2014 4:52:43 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/30/2014 3:58:30 PM, YassineB wrote:
At 12/30/2014 1:00:13 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
lol, I wrote a long reply but accidentally deleted it right before I hit reply.

- Ouch, that's unfortunate. :(

Key points I remember:

1) I am taking the long term view. Demographically, the Middle East simply is not big enough and is severely limited by water and arable land, and because of these factors will have an extremely difficult time challenging other regions.

- That's not accurate. The Middle East (including Turkey, Iran, & the Arab Golf) is one the richest spots on the Planet.

Wrong. US, India, Russia, China claim the top 4 spots. You can add up all the middle east and it won't surpass any of those 4.

http://www.indexmundi.com...

- Plus, scarcity of resources is hardly a factor in a globalised world (Japan, Korea, Singapore...)

Those countries worked their way out of their problems. In the Middle East, you have chronic unemployment. Regardless, those countries are also limited by arable land.

2) The Middle East is largely not industralized and has chronic unemployment.

- One to two decades can take care of that (which happened in multiple other countries). Especially since that region has the largest reserve of oil in the World, & obscenely deep pockets...

One or two decades will put the Middle East several decades behind other countries that have put far more than one or two decades into industrialization.

3) The Middle East's golden age mainly occurred when Europe was undeveloped and China could have been Mars due to lack of proximity...however, today, Europe is fully developed and China is almost a next-door neighbor.

- It's not just that, the Middle East holds the birth of most Civilisations, it has an enormous historical value even before the Islamic Golden Age (which came after the Romans, the Persians, the Hellenistic Nations, the Greeks, the Babylonians, the Egyptians ...)
- Plus, it holds enormous value for the Abrahamic Religions, mainly Islam & Christianity, both of which constitute over half the Earth's population.

None of this is relevant to a current political calculus. Can you convert any of this to power? If you can't, it doesn't matter.

4) The Middle East has had trouble challenging Israel...America is 50 times the size of Israel in every metric that matters. America can annihilate any conceivable combination of non-nuclear powers...what stops it is its sense of liberalism and nuclear retaliation from other parties. I remember reading that al Qaeda contemplated flying airplanes into nuclear facilities before 9/11, but tabled the plan because they were afraid it could very well incite America into total war.

- That's not a very compelling argument since in reality such expectations are hardly met (Vietnam War, Afghanistan, Iraq'...).

What about Vietnam did not meet expectations? The 20-1 body count? The fact that we assumed a defensive posture in indefensible territory and still obliterated our enemy? Militarily the US performed as one would expect. Politically we were tied in a knot because of our policy of containment.

What about Afghanistan or Iraq? How long did those wars actually last? The wars lasted days. If we wanted to, we could have killed every man, woman and child in either of those countries without resistance. That's what it means to win a war.

Instead, we decided to occupy those territories. The occupations were monumental f*ckups, but they are not relevant to destroying the armies defending the territory.

- & I think the U.S. has more internal things to worry about (& apparently external too).

The US has far less to worry about than the Middle East.

- Plus, Israel is not making it easy for the U.S. to maintain it's support despite the International Community.

How is this relevant to winning a war?

5) The Middle East is practicing asymmetric warfare, hardly a position of strength.

- War IS strength, when you have a full-scale war like the one happening in the Middle East, the whole population is participating directly or indirectly to it. A region that is used to Wars every now & then, will evidently be much more difficult to handle than a peaceful region.

LOL, what is happening in the Middle East is hardly anything close to a "full-scale war". A full scale war for us would mean nuclear annihilation for our opponent. It would last minutes.

- Plus, what I was insinuating was more about of will emerge from a full-scale war such as that, the young generation that's gonna come out of that place, that's the point of strength.

If the US waged a "full-scale war" there would be no one coming out of "that place". There would be no one left.

The fact is, we have kiddie gloves on, because we know that if we got serious, others would get serious too. We've had kiddie gloves on since the end of WWII. We've resorted to bullying children because the adults (nuclear nations) would get serious.

6) China is following the same roadmap that Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, etc followed...there's nothing exceptional about what they are doing. What is exceptional is the sheer size...China is 10 times the size of Japan and is twice the size of the US and Europe combined.

- Point? I am not really getting what you're trying to say here.

That what I am saying will come to pass...China will more than likely assume the position of the hegemon going forward, and more than likely the Middle East will be compelled to align themselves with China.

8) China's rise globally mirrors Germany's rise in Europe during the 19th century. What kept Germany in check was the US through two world wars...however, when China rises, the US simply will not be large enough to contain China, so odds are that China, or whatever entity comes from east Asia, will unseat the West globally.

- I see this outcome as a very likely possibility, & I think the breaking point will be either of these two things:
> The substitution of the Dollar.
> The substitution of English as an international language.

Agree with dollar substitution.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
Skepsikyma
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12/30/2014 11:22:12 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/30/2014 4:55:41 AM, YassineB wrote:
At 12/29/2014 10:33:15 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
The chaos may enable someone to seize control of the Middle East, but I see the position of the Islamic world as analogous to Europe at the dusk of the Classical age. The fall of the Caliphate, it's systematic suppression, and the wide-scale destruction of its educational infrastructure and cultural legacy will lead to vacuums of both power and ideology, in stark parallel to the fall of Rome. Once the ground is cleared of foreign influence by the return of multipolarity, the Islamic powers that remain standing will have a chance to lay a new foundation, but they must do so before a new paradigm of international relationship established and their region is exploited by a new power. How their rebirth goes depends on who is left standing, and whether they take advantage of the opportunities with which they are presented. One strong unifying force in the Middle East is opposition to the actions of Israel, and I think that any return to local rule will be accompanied by concerted action on that front on behalf of all Muslims, just as the Crusades acted as a strong unifying factor for Medieval Christendom.

- Me, as per understanding of the Islamic Tradition & the Islamic History. I think that both the Secular & the Scholarly factors are essential for a New Islamic Age, if that were to happen.
> Scholarly in the sense of Education based on the well established Islamic Model (that has been developed & advanced for over a millennium), a model that doesn't separate God from Education, & a model compatible with the Authoritative System certified throughout the Islamic History.
> Secular in the sense of a unifying independent force that detaches itself from Western models & incorporates a model most suited for the unique historical concept that Muhammad set, & that is the Ummah: a concept that unite the muslims of the world as equal under one supra-national community of Islam that transcends all borders in space & time, & all differences of race, colour, gender, denomination & status.
==>> I am a very strong proponent for Education, & I think it's the source of Civilisation itself (as does the Islamic Tradition), especially Comprehensive Education, starting with Religious Studies & Liberal Arts.
==>> There are two words in the Qur'an that describe a civilised nation: 'Q'aryaa' (which is derived from Q'araa: Read, Recite, Learn) & 'Madina' (which is derived from Deen: Religion & Law) => & so, Civilisation, in the Islamic Tradition, is understood as a product of Education & Law. & I agree also with the Qur'anic order, Education comes first, & the generation that flourishes under a sound well grounded Education will not bend under any Secular Model that doesn't conform to it, on contraire it will bend the Secular model to its needs by imposing itself.
(+) Eg: In the Classical Islamic Tradition, Engineering was classified as a Sina'a (a Craft) & it was close to the the bottom of classification. & Liberal Arts were involved in most of the fields of the Islamic Tradition. [ Qur'an > Hadith > Arabic > Theology > Law > Mysticism > Philosophy > Arts > Crafts > Evil Practices. & In Philosophy: Metaphysics > Rationalities > Mathematics > Natural Sciences > Ethics > Aesthetics > Politics. ]

- Furthermore, I most definitely agree with you on your last point, the cause of Palestine is a unifying factor that keeps the Muslim Ummah together (from Indonesia to Morocco, we all share the same goal), without which we would've probably diverged greatly & dissociated ourself more & more as a Ummah.

I agree very, very much with the fact that education is a strong driving force. You can look at the history of education in Europe and see that each great leap in secular, religious, and cultural thought was preceded by a revolution in education, and that these leaps in ideology delineated the stress lines on which Western Christendom would one day shatter and form politics as we know it today in the West: as a competition between nation-states. Furthermore, after this conversation I can see that I neglected that element when it came to the Islamic world, and that fills in a lot of fuzzy area in my understanding. I thought that the radicalization of the Middle East was due to chiefly political issues, but now I see that it was made possible because the transformation took place in an educational vacuum, without any sort of stabilizing influence.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
Skepsikyma
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12/30/2014 11:44:34 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/30/2014 6:11:37 AM, YassineB wrote:
At 12/29/2014 11:16:18 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 12/29/2014 12:39:35 AM, YassineB wrote:
At 12/28/2014 9:46:11 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
I'm just very invested in the cultural and intellectual legacy of the West in general, and of America in particular. I see America's neo-colonialism, which replaces direct rule with hidden influence across the face of the globe as absolutely deleterious to the ideals which I hold dear. Our culture is rotting, and as it rots we spread it across the face of the globe all the more readily. Liberal arts, the foundation of Western society since distant antiquity, is sneered at as our great institutions of learning are transformed into overpriced, ineffective resorts and a generation is crippled with debt. Our business world is sterile, corrupt, and cloyingly stupid, yet wields immense influence over this country and the entire world. What passes for culture nowadays is vacuous nonsense; Nicki Minaj makes me consider disembowelling myself with a rusty ladle.

Panem et circenses, in my opinion, ought to be the new national motto of this country, because we just don't give a damn anymore so long as we're entertained and fed. Stamp that on our money. It's because of this mentality, which I despise with as much venom as I can muster, that I try so hard to see the world around me for what it is. I don't think that I can change things for the better in the long run, but I can use what I've learned to come to a sort if Sisyphean repose regarding the ignorance of this society, and to at least excise some small portion of moronic oversimplification.

- This is my expression of deep appreciation: if you were a girl I'd marry you. I am not as fluent & eloquent in the English language as you (as it is my 4th language), but I enjoyed reading this actualised piece of description of our rotten uncivilised fantastical uneducated unconscious superficial modern world. I've read this piece again & again, just for pure pleasure. Thank you.

Thanks! And I am honestly a little astounded that English is your 4th language; your grammar is spot on, with an impressive vocabulary. I think that you may be a polyglot.

- I was thought to only discuss problems for the purpose of understanding them to help finding the adequate solutions. In this case, I don't even know where to begin, the whole system is so nonsense. But I'll summarise my view in few points:

> Education: it has three Pillars: the Knowledge, the Holder of Knowledge, & the Seeker of Knowledge.
* Knowledge (Ma'rifa) is three kinds: Understanding ('Ilm) , Experience (Tajriba) , Reports (Riwaya). <<< In the modern world, the latter is the overwhelmingly dominant one, & the first one is becoming more & more derisory. => Educated people nowadays possess tiny pieces of information with no real mastery or deep understanding, all releasing insurmountable amounts of Reports in all kins of fields almost all with not formal training in the way of the Thought. Everybody has faith that somebody else knows what's truly going on, but at the end of the day, nobody does.

Yes, that definitely sums up my experience in America.

=> The transfer of Knowledge through Experience is hardy possible anymore >> & so Knowledge not cumulated & thus not refined nor purified. ...etc....etc.
* The Holder of Knowledge: nowadays, the Educated People are mostly uninteresting people with pieces of knowledge in particular fields, & lack thereof in all else. Most lack training in the Liberal Arts, which traditionally defined the difference between educated & not, between free & slave. Most lack the manners & the decency accorded to knowledge. In short, Holders of Knowledge ought to be a source of Inspiration, but are not, they ought to represent Civilisation, but aren't, they ought to represent Knowledge itself, but are doing a poor job of it.

Yes, I agree with this very, very much. People give me a look as if I'm insane when they find out that I read history for fun. 'But, you're a biologist!' As if that means that I can't possibly comprehend anything else! The specialization in the West is a dangerous form of myopia, in my opinion.

* The Seeker of Knowledge: there are two kinds, the Disciple, & the Discerner. The former finds a good teacher & follow his guidance, & the latter studies rationalities to be able to discern Knowledge without relying on the quality or character of the teacher. <<< Unfortunately, in our modern time, neither are good choices. Nowadays, the gap of Inspirational Teacher figure is filled with Celebrities & Narcism. Knowledge is replaced with Entertainment & Ignorant Self-Convictions....etc. ..etc

Yeah, I look back at myself a few years ago, and I see someone who thought that he had the whole world figured out. It's kind of embarrassing to even think about it, because I had been lulled by the false security of consensus. If you ever want a good read on how the media in the west creates this illusion of mass agreement, I highly recommend Herman and Chomsky's 'Manufacturing Consent'.

> Religion: ..long story. I'll just say this: when this Global Materialistic Society starts manifesting extremes (which is the case nowadays), people will diverge, & then they feel unease, & then they will start asking questions, & others will start realising there is a serious problem, & even more questions will be asked, until the moment they question the system itself, & once they realise that this lifeless suffocating Materialistic World is in reality a World Religion that succeeded inconspicuously in contaminating & drugging everyone in its fantasy, they will thereafter naturally view it as a Religion & put it side to side with other religions, & there lies the potential state of our world today.

> Liberty & Equality: long story. But I'll say this, these two notions are at the very core of the state of the World today, & they haven't been given the Thought the deserve, & they have been grossly misused & abused.

Yes, this is the most disturbing to me, because these ideas have become like religious tenets in America, with the Constitution and Bill of Rights treated almost like holy texts (which, fittingly enough, few of the believers seem to actually read). There are strong foundations to these ideas, but they are culturally particular foundations, set in a strong bedrock foundation of Western tradition, and supported by centuries of careful argument by brilliant men. One must understand why free speech is important, what justifies it, what limits it, and why those conditions apply. But people today, while ignorant of all of that, act with complete self assurance and seek to enforce what is essentially a floating abstraction. They want to spread our ideals of liberty to other cultures without understanding why they work for our culture (and why they may not work for another culture at the current times). This makes them little better than the Crusaders who took the cross to fight people without understanding who they were fighting or what they were even fighting for.

> Successful vs. Right: long story.

> Popular vs. Good: long story.

> Civility vs. Modernity: long story.

> Morality vs. Norms: long story.

=> Well, these might serve as topics of discussion in the future.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
Skepsikyma
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12/31/2014 12:13:44 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/30/2014 7:07:14 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
First, I want to apologize if my comments constitute an unwarranted intrusion, as I am not Muslim nor do I have anything resembling detailed knowledge about the OP. I am, like the OP, very much interested in the socio-geopolitical aspects of Islam and found this discussion fascinating.

Pertaining directly to the OP, my superficial understanding is that most of these tombs and other relics have been destroyed to make room for economic development of Mecca. I think this is an inevitable consequence of modernization...it may be appalling to some people but it's unavoidable and has precedence worldwide. Most culturally significant sites happen to be geo-located with some of the most fertile and desirable land in the world.

In this case, more often then not the economical considerations are called upon to justify an ideologically motivated act. Many Salafi militias will actively seek out religious and cultural sites in order to destroy them and then move on. Even if they were cleared for development, one of the destroyed monuments was the burial site of Muhammad's close family. Paving over that to build another Four Seasons just seems a bit bizarre, considering the leeway that every other nation on earth gives to even mildly sacred ground.

I would say that over the past several hundred years, the West took a huge bite, yes, but what they bit into was very, very soft and thus did not require much chewing. If the West is able to move on, then the choking need not occur. I think in other regions the West has demonstrated this inclination.

I don't think we'll be able to move on. I think that America will deal with the loss of her power and influence in the least graceful way imaginable, as we lack the governing infrastructure to make the delicate diplomatic moves which would allow for a relatively painless extrication.

Let's face it, geopolitcally, even if unified, the Middle East is not much of a contender compared to the US, China, India, Europe, South America, and even SE Asia. Out of this list, perhaps the only regions that is currently "softer" is SE Asia. I think compared to other geopolitical problems, the Middle East is a relatively minor concern for the US, more than likely a derivative concern.

I was envisioning more of a unified Ummah than just a regional union of the Middle East. What the Middle East has, which I think you may be overlooking, is Islam. This is a huge advantage, because once the Middle East begins to coalesce into a solid power it will have international support and alliances from Morocco to Indonesia. Muslim nations have only been able to be dealt with and manipulated on an individual basis because we have destroyed and suppressed the infrastructure of the supranational world society which is Islam. Once our suppressive action is exhausted, either the Russians and the Chinese jump in quickly, or the Middle East begins to unify. This means control of the straits of Gibraltar, Malacca, and the Bosporus. It means the control of an immense population, huge swathes of land, and a staggering amount of oil. They would hold the Bosporus and influence the Caucasus and Central Asia, which means that they would essentially have Russia's gas industry by the balls. This means that an alliance with China would also allow them to give Russia a little squeeze if the latter ever proved a threat to Chinese interests. They've already started playing that game when you look at recent gas pipeline plans with Turkmenistan. Finally, an Islamic state would hover at the south east border of the Chinese sphere of influence, making an alliance even more comforting for a developing or newly developed power as a buffer or foil against India.

An example of this derivative concern could possibly be seen in current gas prices in America. It's fascinating how gas prices held steady for 3-4 years and then within 6 months of the Ukraine crisis flaring up, gas prices drop precipitously in the US. (http://fuelgaugereport.aaa.com...)

IMHO (and all of this is speculation, I haven't done enough research to speak of it as fact) the US has used oil as a weapon against Russia in the past, namely against Gorbachev during Reagan's administration, an administration that also saw a precipitous drop in gas prices in the US. I don't think this could have occurred without Middle Eastern help.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
Skepsikyma
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12/31/2014 12:25:42 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/30/2014 7:07:14 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
I agree very, very much with the general strokes you painted. Specifically, I think an analysis of the new multipolar world would shed light upon where we disagree. I don't think the Middle East will be free of foreign influence when a multipolar world comes about.

First, I think it bears mentioning that the world is now again already multipolar. Before, warfare established polarity (WWII), but with the advent of nuclear weapons, what is far more important in establishing hegemony vis a vis nuclear powers in a region is domination in trade. For example, Russia during the cold war steadily lost allies until Russia itself was no longer economically viable...those losses are most apparent in how trade between outlying communist nations swung dramatically from the USSR to Western aligned nations during and shortly after the cold war. More recently, China has established itself as the #1 trading partner in $ with at least Japan, Asian NIEs (newly industrialized countries, Taiwan SK, Hong Kong, etc), and SE Asia. This, along with its status as the sole nuclear power in the region besides NK (doesn't really count), means it has established a hegemonic presence in the region even amongst US military allies. I think it will be a matter of (not much) time before our remaining allies in the region voluntarily ask the US to withdraw partly out of fear of jeopardizing their trade relationship with China, I think 10-20 years is a reasonable projection. I believe Russia is still dominant in Central Asia, meaning that it has re-established/maintained its regional hegemony from its USSR days.

What this means is that any attempt to take advantage of supposed chaos stemming from a multipolar world has not and will not materialize. Chaos from such a shift would mean nuclear war, an unthinkable act. Instead of chaos, we have shifts in trade and security umbrellas.

But what it will allow for is a disruption in US control of the region, and a possible nurturing of a genuine pan-Islamic culture. This would mean a new power which stretches from the Atlantic coast of Africa to Sulawesi.

The Middle East is largely defenseless...even if Iran develops nuclear weapons it's questionable whether or not they will even amount to a deterrent. The region lies outside any nuclear umbrella, and given the US's currently careless and cavalier stance regarding military action in the region, more than likely these nations will be looking for a security partner. Again, I think it will be a matter of time before Russia or China, or both, step up to the plate. China for one not only has Muslim nations close-by in the south, but also has a significant Muslim population and even houses mosques built while Mohammed was still alive. Allying with the Middle East would be a natural progression, culturally and economically. There are also the political similarities in how these two regions choose to govern themselves.

I do agree that there will a broad alliance between China and the Islamic world, primarily because they will need to be taken under someone's wing. China has much to gain from such an arrangement, and hasn't really antagonized the region at all. This is not the case for Russia. Chechnya, Dagestan, the Afghan campaign, their support of al-Assad, and their brutal relocation of huge swathes of Muslim populations during the Cold War will be sore spots, as will their abysmal relations with Azerbaijan and Turkey over the Armenian crises. I just see much more hurdles to a Russian alliance than there are to a Chinese one, and if I had to bet on a horse in this race I'd bet on China's regardless.

Panem et circenses, in my opinion, ought to be the new national motto of this country, because we just don't give a damn anymore so long as we're entertained and fed. Stamp that on our money. It's because of this mentality, which I despise with as much venom as I can muster, that I try so hard to see the world around me for what it is. I don't think that I can change things for the better in the long run, but I can use what I've learned to come to a sort if Sisyphean repose regarding the ignorance of this society, and to at least excise some small portion of moronic oversimplification.

IMHO all of this is sickeningly true. It also bears to keep in mind that, for better or for worse, America typically hasn't given much of a damn historically.

Well, we haven't really given a damn about the rest of the world, but we gave a big damn about the structure and soundness of our own government. Not so anymore, and our political machinery is a about as broken down and sluggish as can be because of our dereliction of political duty.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
YassineB
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12/31/2014 1:36:53 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/30/2014 4:52:43 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
Wrong. US, India, Russia, China claim the top 4 spots. You can add up all the middle east and it won't surpass any of those 4.

http://www.indexmundi.com...

- I meant GDP (the GDP of the Middle East is half that of the U.S.).

Those countries worked their way out of their problems. In the Middle East, you have chronic unemployment. Regardless, those countries are also limited by arable land.

- Same thing can be said for Japan for example, look how that turned out.

One or two decades will put the Middle East several decades behind other countries that have put far more than one or two decades into industrialization.

- That's very unlikely, unless Oil is substituted by other means. But, yeah, two decades can push industrialisation both ways.

None of this is relevant to a current political calculus. Can you convert any of this to power? If you can't, it doesn't matter.

- Here where you & I diverge, I am a historical philosophical person, so I don't see Power as political, military & economical only. I see Power as Civilisation as whole: Education, Religion, Culture...
(+) Take this hypothetical example: A catastrophe (natural or political or whatever) hits Europe & crushes its economy. Even in such dire situations, one would expect that Europe will get back on its feat sooner or later. It's not about just raw immediate power, it's more about the People.
- Also, the Middle East is of immense historical & religious significance, even if muslims don't succeed in making it come back at the top of civilisation, somebody else will surely do.

What about Vietnam did not meet expectations? The 20-1 body count? The fact that we assumed a defensive posture in indefensible territory and still obliterated our enemy? Militarily the US performed as one would expect. Politically we were tied in a knot because of our policy of containment.

- This is embarrassing!
- I don't think the majority of the World agrees with you, not even probably the majority of Americans.

What about Afghanistan or Iraq? How long did those wars actually last? The wars lasted days. If we wanted to, we could have killed every man, woman and child in either of those countries without resistance. That's what it means to win a war.

- You're speaking in hypotheticals. You can't possibly kill every man & child in a multi-million populated country without resistance, that's unimaginable, unless of course you use an immense amount of nuclear power, which would then result in god knows what.
- The U.S. are efficient in Air Strikes, & that's about it. They set out to stop al-Qaida, now you have another 160 al-Qaidas emerging, some even much more powerful than the original (such as ISIS).
- Here is a vivid example: Israel vs Hamas, there are more deciding factors in battle than just raw military power.

Instead, we decided to occupy those territories. The occupations were monumental f*ckups, but they are not relevant to destroying the armies defending the territory.

- I agree. I still don't get your second point.

The US has far less to worry about than the Middle East.

- True. They should probably just stop getting in the way of each-other.

How is this relevant to winning a war?

- Think about it, if the U.S. stops its support for Israel (willingly or unwillingly), the influence of the West on the Middle East will decline significantly (because a huge part of the West's agenda in the Middle East has to do with Israel), & what'll happen after that is just a matter of course (I mean the shift of power).

LOL, what is happening in the Middle East is hardly anything close to a "full-scale war". A full scale war for us would mean nuclear annihilation for our opponent. It would last minutes.

- Again, hypotheticals. There are muslim countries with Nuclear Power (such as Pakistan), & others with access to Nuclear Power (such as Turkey). Even the supposition that nuclear annihilation could take place is insane, nuclear annihilation can not happen without counter nuclear annihilation, which makes it an impossible event (for sane people).
- Also, even if nuclear annihilation is possible, it can not go further than few cities, it can not possibly take out full nations. The repercussions of such attacks will threaten Life itself on Earth. How can you even suggest such ideas?
- The only reason Nuclear Power exists is to not let any particular party monopolies it.

If the US waged a "full-scale war" there would be no one coming out of "that place". There would be no one left.

- Really? How so? Don't tell me Nuclear Power, because there would be no one left the U.S. either if that happened.

The fact is, we have kiddie gloves on, because we know that if we got serious, others would get serious too. We've had kiddie gloves on since the end of WWII. We've resorted to bullying children because the adults (nuclear nations) would get serious.

- This is the real world we are talking about, not the fantastical world where the U.S. is god.

That what I am saying will come to pass...China will more than likely assume the position of the hegemon going forward, and more than likely the Middle East will be compelled to align themselves with China.

- I can see that happening. But, it could go both ways, the Middle East can also align itself with the West against the East.

Agree with dollar substitution.

- It's already partially happening.
Current Debates In Voting Period:

- The Qur'an We Have Today is Not What Muhammad Dictated Verbatim. Vs. @Envisage:
http://www.debate.org...

- Drawing Contest. Vs. @purpleduck:
http://www.debate.org...

"It is perfectly permissible to vote on sources without reading them" bluesteel.
YassineB
Posts: 1,003
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12/31/2014 2:24:16 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/30/2014 11:44:34 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
Thanks! And I am honestly a little astounded that English is your 4th language; your grammar is spot on, with an impressive vocabulary. I think that you may be a polyglot.

- It's probably because I've been writing a lot in English lately. ;)

Yes, that definitely sums up my experience in America.

- Same here in Europe, it's a global phenomenon.

Yes, I agree with this very, very much. People give me a look as if I'm insane when they find out that I read history for fun. 'But, you're a biologist!' As if that means that I can't possibly comprehend anything else! The specialization in the West is a dangerous form of myopia, in my opinion.

- Specialisation & also Standardisation of Education, which leads to a closed Paradigm of Knowledge, which eventually leads to bias, which leads to dogma, which leads to intolerance, & when intolerance happens in Knowledge, Knowledge becomes sterile. (I hope I am not obscure here)

Yeah, I look back at myself a few years ago, and I see someone who thought that he had the whole world figured out. It's kind of embarrassing to even think about it, because I had been lulled by the false security of consensus. If you ever want a good read on how the media in the west creates this illusion of mass agreement, I highly recommend Herman and Chomsky's 'Manufacturing Consent'.

- Exactly, not just the Media, the Educational System does that too. The Media would go under the class of 'Reports' (Riwaya), & now it's out of control, & it is, right after the Educational System, the most powerful tool the Corporate & Governmental World can have at its disposal. Thanks to the Media, we have moved on from actual Monarchies to inconspicuous Monarchies (the Corporate World).

Yes, this is the most disturbing to me, because these ideas have become like religious tenets in America, with the Constitution and Bill of Rights treated almost like holy texts (which, fittingly enough, few of the believers seem to actually read). There are strong foundations to these ideas, but they are culturally particular foundations, set in a strong bedrock foundation of Western tradition, and supported by centuries of careful argument by brilliant men. One must understand why free speech is important, what justifies it, what limits it, and why those conditions apply. But people today, while ignorant of all of that, act with complete self assurance and seek to enforce what is essentially a floating abstraction.

- Exactly, I don't know whose idea was it to discard Liberal Arts as necessary for graduation (as was the case traditionally), but that was one of the most destructive ideas ever.
- People today are much more concerned with the titles than they are concerned with the meanings, they focus on the terms instead of focusing on the content of the terms, which is a sign of ignorance. (Eg. the politically correct, if the nation was really Educated, we wouldn't have such absurdities as politically correct statements)

They want to spread our ideals of liberty to other cultures without understanding why they work for our culture (and why they may not work for another culture at the current times). This makes them little better than the Crusaders who took the cross to fight people without understanding who they were fighting or what they were even fighting for.

- Precisely, as an Analogy of what the West has been trying to do: a group of Lions that figured out that Meat is good, so they set out to share this good experience with their neighbours: the Elephants, & they force them to eat Meat, & when they don't, the Lions say: 'you're bad animals'.
Current Debates In Voting Period:

- The Qur'an We Have Today is Not What Muhammad Dictated Verbatim. Vs. @Envisage:
http://www.debate.org...

- Drawing Contest. Vs. @purpleduck:
http://www.debate.org...

"It is perfectly permissible to vote on sources without reading them" bluesteel.
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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12/31/2014 2:30:48 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/31/2014 1:36:53 AM, YassineB wrote:
At 12/30/2014 4:52:43 PM, wrichcirw wrote:

- I meant GDP (the GDP of the Middle East is half that of the U.S.).

I'm fairly certain this is also not true...Middle East GDP is less than Japan's, which is less than 1/3 that of the US. GDP per capita in the Middle East is on average very, very low, even accounting for oil income.

Regardless, in the long term, arable land and population/demographic trends are going to be what matters the most. China currently has the most people. The US or Russia could ostensibly hold a larger populace, but that will take a lot of time to achieve that organic growth, time that they don't have given China's current growth trajectory.

Those countries worked their way out of their problems. In the Middle East, you have chronic unemployment. Regardless, those countries are also limited by arable land.

- Same thing can be said for Japan for example, look how that turned out.

What is your point? It took Japan several decades to catch up to the US, and Japan was already an industrial power pre-WWII. Countries like Taiwan and SK, which were not industrial powers pre-WWII, have yet to catch up to the US, and they've been working very hard for over 70 years at it.

The Middle East has its work cut out for it...like Taiwan and SK, it is starting from zero.

One or two decades will put the Middle East several decades behind other countries that have put far more than one or two decades into industrialization.

- That's very unlikely, unless Oil is substituted by other means. But, yeah, two decades can push industrialisation both ways.

Again, no, see above.

None of this is relevant to a current political calculus. Can you convert any of this to power? If you can't, it doesn't matter.

- Here where you & I diverge, I am a historical philosophical person, so I don't see Power as political, military & economical only. I see Power as Civilisation as whole: Education, Religion, Culture...
(+) Take this hypothetical example: A catastrophe (natural or political or whatever) hits Europe & crushes its economy. Even in such dire situations, one would expect that Europe will get back on its feat sooner or later. It's not about just raw immediate power, it's more about the People.

If Europe gets hit in such a way that it loses a third of its populace, then Europe will be in a severely disadvantageous position. Whether or not Europe has Stonehenge, the Eiffel Tower, or Big Ben simply does not matter in this regard. You will note that my prime argument is a demographic argument...my argument is ALL about the people.

I respect your appreciation of the finer cultural aspect of civilizations, but in the end, if such aspects cannot translate to power, they will ultimately prove to be meaningless when it counts. To contrast, Skep's argument about a pan-Muslim alliance including populous countries like Indonesia is an interesting one, one I will address shortly.

- Also, the Middle East is of immense historical & religious significance, even if muslims don't succeed in making it come back at the top of civilisation, somebody else will surely do.

Yes, someone else that has co-opted the region. It may not have any relevance to Arab self-determination.

What about Vietnam did not meet expectations? [...]

- This is embarrassing!
- I don't think the majority of the World agrees with you, not even probably the majority of Americans.

What is your argument? Do you dispute that the US attained an inordinate body count advantage in a defensive war in Vietnam? Do you dispute that had we stayed, we could have (very easily) obliterated the country, or at the very least achieved an armistice Korea-style?

- You're speaking in hypotheticals. You can't possibly kill every man & child in a multi-million populated country without resistance, that's unimaginable, unless of course you use an immense amount of nuclear power, which would then result in god knows what.

This is power that we possess. It is not unimaginable. Nukes are meant to be used...you don't build weapons with the purpose of not using them. Nations like Iran realize this. IMHO proliferation is inevitable. Nuclear war is the #1 consideration in global conflict - that's where the calculus begins and ends. All else pales in comparison.

- The U.S. are efficient in Air Strikes, & that's about it. They set out to stop al-Qaida, now you have another 160 al-Qaidas emerging, some even much more powerful than the original (such as ISIS).

The US has shown immense restraint following WWII out of fear of Soviet nuclear retaliation.

- Here is a vivid example: Israel vs Hamas, there are more deciding factors in battle than just raw military power.

Israel has also shown immense restraint. They could purge Hamas if they wanted.

Instead, we decided to occupy those territories. The occupations were monumental f*ckups, but they are not relevant to destroying the armies defending the territory.

- I agree. I still don't get your second point.

A war is the invasion...it is not the occupation. If you include the occupation, you could say ridiculous things, for example, we would still be at war with Japan, Europe, and Native Americans.

- Think about it, if the U.S. stops its support for Israel (willingly or unwillingly), the influence of the West on the Middle East will decline significantly (because a huge part of the West's agenda in the Middle East has to do with Israel), & what'll happen after that is just a matter of course (I mean the shift of power).

Again, this is more relevant to occupational issues than war.

Let me make this clear...did we win the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? Yes. Was it "mission accomplished"? Emphatically no, those wars did not mitigate the terrorist threat, and the occupations actually exacerbated it. You can say something similar for Israel.

- Again, hypotheticals. There are muslim countries with Nuclear Power (such as Pakistan), & others with access to Nuclear Power (such as Turkey).

Yes, and we don't mess with those countries. This is also why we back off when China threatens Taiwan, and why we agree with China that Taiwan is part of China. This is why China sabre-rattles by launching missiles over Taiwan...those missiles can easily be armed with nuclear warheads. The message is clear.

We are essentially supporting a terrorist organization through the KMT in Taiwan. That would be a valid interpretation given how the US has defined "terrorism"...after all, the KMT is not part of the Chinese communist party and qualifies as a non-governmental paramilitary force. It's ridiculous, but I'm not the one that came up with the ridiculous moniker "war on terror".

Even the supposition that nuclear annihilation could take place is insane [...] How can you even suggest such ideas?

Easy. Those weapons exist.

- The only reason Nuclear Power exists is to not let any particular party monopolies it.

Nukes exist to be used.

If the US waged a "full-scale war" there would be no one coming out of "that place". There would be no one left.

- Really? How so? Don't tell me Nuclear Power, because there would be no one left the U.S. either if that happened.

You're the one that mentioned "full scale war". For a nuclear power, it involves nuclear weapons.

The fact is, we have kiddie gloves on [...]

- This is the real world we are talking about, not the fantastical world where the U.S. is god.

In the real world, there are currently two gods, the US and Russia. Only these two countries have a credible second strike capacity. China will more than likely join the ranks within 5 years. I had a debate about this:

http://www.debate.org...

Agree with dollar substitution.

- It's already partially happening.

Agree.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
wrichcirw
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12/31/2014 2:51:22 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/31/2014 12:13:44 AM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 12/30/2014 7:07:14 AM, wrichcirw wrote:

I would say that over the past several hundred years, the West took a huge bite, yes, but what they bit into was very, very soft and thus did not require much chewing. If the West is able to move on, then the choking need not occur. I think in other regions the West has demonstrated this inclination.

I don't think we'll be able to move on. I think that America will deal with the loss of her power and influence in the least graceful way imaginable, as we lack the governing infrastructure to make the delicate diplomatic moves which would allow for a relatively painless extrication.

To what are you referring? We have the institutions in place to make delicate diplomatic moves, we have seasoned diplomats and intelligence agents in the region that can negotiate an amiable withdrawal if need be.

IMHO the institutional and infrastructure aspect of this scenario is the easy part...the hard part is getting America to stop associating Muslims or anyone with a turban on their head as a terrorist. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com...)

Let's face it, geopolitcally, even if unified, the Middle East is not much of a contender compared to the US, China, India, Europe, South America, and even SE Asia. Out of this list, perhaps the only regions that is currently "softer" is SE Asia. I think compared to other geopolitical problems, the Middle East is a relatively minor concern for the US, more than likely a derivative concern.

I was envisioning more of a unified Ummah than just a regional union of the Middle East. What the Middle East has, which I think you may be overlooking, is Islam. This is a huge advantage, because once the Middle East begins to coalesce into a solid power it will have international support and alliances from Morocco to Indonesia. Muslim nations have only been able to be dealt with and manipulated on an individual basis because we have destroyed and suppressed the infrastructure of the supranational world society which is Islam. Once our suppressive action is exhausted, either the Russians and the Chinese jump in quickly, or the Middle East begins to unify. This means control of the straits of Gibraltar, Malacca, and the Bosporus. It means the control of an immense population, huge swathes of land, and a staggering amount of oil. They would hold the Bosporus and influence the Caucasus and Central Asia, which means that they would essentially have Russia's gas industry by the balls. This means that an alliance with China would also allow them to give Russia a little squeeze if the latter ever proved a threat to Chinese interests. They've already started playing that game when you look at recent gas pipeline plans with Turkmenistan. Finally, an Islamic state would hover at the south east border of the Chinese sphere of influence, making an alliance even more comforting for a developing or newly developed power as a buffer or foil against India.

This assumes quite a bit:

1) That nations would actually unify based upon only religion, and not other considerations such as proximity and especially ethnicity.
2) Most Muslim nations are exceptionally poor. Indonesia, the most populous Muslim nation in the world, is also one of the poorest nations in the world, for example, Mongolia has a higher GDP per capita.
3) You assume that Central Asia, which currently has a security pact with Russia, would turn their backs on one of the two nuclear superpowers of the world for religious reasons.
4) You are advocating theocracy. Do you really think this is a viable path for the future?

I mean, I'm already assuming that the Middle East will eventually form a pan-Arab alliance, and I'm saying that even with such, it's simply not strong enough to challenge the West and whatever comes out of the East. I really don't think a pan-Islam alliance is feasible, at least not nearly to the degree of cohesion you seem to be advocating.

What this means is that any attempt to take advantage of supposed chaos stemming from a multipolar world has not and will not materialize. Chaos from such a shift would mean nuclear war, an unthinkable act. Instead of chaos, we have shifts in trade and security umbrellas.

But what it will allow for is a disruption in US control of the region, and a possible nurturing of a genuine pan-Islamic culture. This would mean a new power which stretches from the Atlantic coast of Africa to Sulawesi.

I think pan-Arab is a plausible eventuality, but pan-Islam is stretching it.

I mean, even the concept of "the West" is problematic. From my military service, I became familiar with the term "FIVE EYES"...a rather strong intelligence alliance between English-speaking Commonwealth nations to include the US. Basically, English-speaking European countries can be compared to ancient Rome, and the rest of continental Europe as the Hellenic portion of the empire. When the empire experienced problems, the fault lines became exposed.

I do agree that there will a broad alliance between China and the Islamic world, primarily because they will need to be taken under someone's wing. China has much to gain from such an arrangement, and hasn't really antagonized the region at all. This is not the case for Russia. Chechnya, Dagestan, the Afghan campaign, their support of al-Assad, and their brutal relocation of huge swathes of Muslim populations during the Cold War will be sore spots, as will their abysmal relations with Azerbaijan and Turkey over the Armenian crises. I just see much more hurdles to a Russian alliance than there are to a Chinese one, and if I had to bet on a horse in this race I'd bet on China's regardless.

Well put.

Well, we haven't really given a damn about the rest of the world, but we gave a big damn about the structure and soundness of our own government. Not so anymore, and our political machinery is a about as broken down and sluggish as can be because of our dereliction of political duty.

Again, also well put. IMHO this all stems from Watergate and the disintegration of trust in our government that resulted from it. We have never recovered...even Reagan campaigned (ironically given he himself was a politician) on the platform that government is the problem, not the solution.

The solution IMHO is that America needs to forgive Richard Nixon, a tall order, lol, although perhaps a bit easier to do after Bush II.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
YassineB
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12/31/2014 3:15:27 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/31/2014 2:30:48 AM, wrichcirw wrote:

- I must apologise, I very rarely engage in political debates, as my views are fundamentally different from the mainstream views; I've studied History (Islamic History especially), & Religion... So, I see things differently than how they are portrayed in the media. Here is where I see source of Power (potential political power) in order:
1- Conviction (or Religion).
2- Cause (uncompromising goal or principal).
3- Stress of Persecution (the oppressed has less to lose & more to gain than the oppressor).
4- Knowledge (education & intellect are essential driving forces of individuals & of the group as whole).
5- Numbers (I think that's your primary argument too).
6- Means (Financial or Military means).

I'm fairly certain this is also not true...Middle East GDP is less than Japan's, which is less than 1/3 that of the US. GDP per capita in the Middle East is on average very, very low, even accounting for oil income.

- You're probably referring to some old stats, here:
> http://en.wikipedia.org...

Regardless, in the long term, arable land and population/demographic trends are going to be what matters the most. China currently has the most people. The US or Russia could ostensibly hold a larger populace, but that will take a lot of time to achieve that organic growth, time that they don't have given China's current growth trajectory.

- What are talking about? There are more people in the Middle East than there are in the U.S. & Eastern Europe. & they are growing significantly more rapidly (& is expected to double in ~30/40 years).
- Your populace-based argument supports more the flourishing of the Middle East than it supports your position.

What is your point? It took Japan several decades to catch up to the US, and Japan was already an industrial power pre-WWII. Countries like Taiwan and SK, which were not industrial powers pre-WWII, have yet to catch up to the US, and they've been working very hard for over 70 years at it.

- My point was about arable land, not industrialisation.

Again, no, see above.

- Oil has immense industrial use, why are you suggesting that it wouldn't have any!!!

If Europe gets hit in such a way that it loses a third of its populace, then Europe will be in a severely disadvantageous position. Whether or not Europe has Stonehenge, the Eiffel Tower, or Big Ben simply does not matter in this regard. You will note that my prime argument is a demographic argument...my argument is ALL about the people.

- Well, take for example: Germany in it lost over 10% of its people during WWII, or the USSR they lost probably 1/4 or 1/3 of their population. <<< & they seem to be doing rather fine.
- In contrast, & according to your argument: Africa should be the leading continent in the future!!

I respect your appreciation of the finer cultural aspect of civilizations, but in the end, if such aspects cannot translate to power, they will ultimately prove to be meaningless when it counts. To contrast, Skep's argument about a pan-Muslim alliance including populous countries like Indonesia is an interesting one, one I will address shortly.

- There is direct correlation between Power & Civilisation, & that is one generates the other.
- & Skep's argument is very sound, as I mentioned in my first reply, a unified Middle East is not just a geopolitical idea, it's a Unified Islamic Nation.

Yes, someone else that has co-opted the region. It may not have any relevance to Arab self-determination.

- That's not what I meant, I was merely making a point that the Middle East has its place in History & in the future regardless of its current population. Nonetheless, if the Middle East comes back to power, it would surely be done my Arab Muslims, that's self evident. The idea of someone else doing it instead of muslims is inconceivable because that would mean eradicating 1/4 the Earth's population first!
Current Debates In Voting Period:

- The Qur'an We Have Today is Not What Muhammad Dictated Verbatim. Vs. @Envisage:
http://www.debate.org...

- Drawing Contest. Vs. @purpleduck:
http://www.debate.org...

"It is perfectly permissible to vote on sources without reading them" bluesteel.
YassineB
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12/31/2014 3:44:53 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/31/2014 2:30:48 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
What is your argument? Do you dispute that the US attained an inordinate body count advantage in a defensive war in Vietnam? Do you dispute that had we stayed, we could have (very easily) obliterated the country, or at the very least achieved an armistice Korea-style?

- Come on! I've never seen anyone defend the Vietnam War as you're trying so hard to do! What defensive war?! It was happening in Vietnam. & What do mean by 'very easily'? It lasted over 18 years for the U.S.!!!!

This is power that we possess. It is not unimaginable. Nukes are meant to be used...you don't build weapons with the purpose of not using them. Nations like Iran realize this. IMHO proliferation is inevitable. Nuclear war is the #1 consideration in global conflict - that's where the calculus begins and ends. All else pales in comparison.

- That's not even remotely true, Money is a much more powerful agent than nuclear war heads.

The US has shown immense restraint following WWII out of fear of Soviet nuclear retaliation.

- What do you mean by 'restraint'? You mean if the Soviets weren't around, the U.S. would've used Nucs to obliterate its enemies? & then what? . . . lol, thank god of the USSR!

Israel has also shown immense restraint. They could purge Hamas if they wanted.

- They do want to purge Hamas, wholeheartedly. You call what Israel did in Gaza 'restraint'??!! Damn man!

A war is the invasion...it is not the occupation. If you include the occupation, you could say ridiculous things, for example, we would still be at war with Japan, Europe, and Native Americans.

- A War is War! There is a War going on in Afghanistan, there are none in Japan.

Again, this is more relevant to occupational issues than war.

- I meant influence as opposed to independence.

Let me make this clear...did we win the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? Yes. Was it "mission accomplished"? Emphatically no, those wars did not mitigate the terrorist threat, and the occupations actually exacerbated it. You can say something similar for Israel.

- Tell me how you won the War in Iraq' or Afghanistan? What is the meaning of 'Win' in your vocabulary?

Yes, and we don't mess with those countries. This is also why we back off when China threatens Taiwan, and why we agree with China that Taiwan is part of China. This is why China sabre-rattles by launching missiles over Taiwan...those missiles can easily be armed with nuclear warheads. The message is clear.

- My point was clear, either way, Nuclear Attacks will have the same repercussions, wether they target China or Zimbabwe.
- Plus, the U.S. was in fact messing with China (while they both had nuclear power), it was called the Vietnam War.

We are essentially supporting a terrorist organization through the KMT in Taiwan. That would be a valid interpretation given how the US has defined "terrorism"...after all, the KMT is not part of the Chinese communist party and qualifies as a non-governmental paramilitary force. It's ridiculous, but I'm not the one that came up with the ridiculous moniker "war on terror".

- I agree, it's the most ridiculous thing, but politically very useful.

Easy. Those weapons exist.
Nukes exist to be used.

- Well, only one of the following is True: either Nucs exist to be used, Or Humans exist. <<< I am gonna go with the latter.

You're the one that mentioned "full scale war". For a nuclear power, it involves nuclear weapons.

- Well, it didn't in the Vietnam War, nor the Afghan War! If it did, we wouldn't be having this conversation now.

In the real world, there are currently two gods, the US and Russia. Only these two countries have a credible second strike capacity. China will more than likely join the ranks within 5 years. I

- It's not about raw Military Power, the World is much more complicated than that.
Current Debates In Voting Period:

- The Qur'an We Have Today is Not What Muhammad Dictated Verbatim. Vs. @Envisage:
http://www.debate.org...

- Drawing Contest. Vs. @purpleduck:
http://www.debate.org...

"It is perfectly permissible to vote on sources without reading them" bluesteel.