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12 May 2009

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Babak Makkinejad

curious:

Precisely my point: By "democracy" you comprehend not just Representative Government and the Rule of Law but a large number of other criteria.

By those criteria, there are only 25 democracies existing in the world; almost all of them in Western Europe and North America – all of them nominally Christian and inheritors of the Rome and the tradition of the Germanic Tribal Liberty.

The expectation that this type of political dispensation can be extended to the rest of the world is a Utopian.

To this day, Italy is not as transparent as Denmark. To this day, you are more likely to hear people utter lies than the truth in the Middle East than in North America, to this day there are mass-graves in South Korea of political prisoners without any reckoning of the perpetrators.

So, I believe that your criticism of the concept of Islamic Democracy is unwarranted in the more limited sense that I had in mind. Namely representative government and the rule of law within the context of the Revelation of the Quran and conformance thereto. The Revelation of the Quran are the basis of life for 1.5 billion people; without it these people are nothing – and they will tell you as much.

tommy

US interference in Pakistan will lead to an atrocity worse than Pol Pot's Cambodia experienced. And it will be the US' fault.

curious

By those criteria, there are only 25 democracies existing in the world; almost all of them in Western Europe and North America – all of them nominally Christian and inheritors of the Rome and the tradition of the Germanic Tribal Liberty.

The expectation that this type of political dispensation can be extended to the rest of the world is a Utopian.

Posted by: Babak Makkinejad | 15 May 2009 at 02:32 PM

It's narrower than you think. If people start asking "who wrote this holy texts? and why should I listen to him?"

And at this point, I have to point out the great flaw in your observation. France, Germany, and most of western europe were not core part of roman empire. They were fringe provinces at best (Britania). If not border barbarians area (Frank, Gauls, Teutons). They never really come under proper roman empire civil administration. All they know were Christianity, feudalism, finally monarchy.

From there comes nationalism and modern state. People were asking that big question. (Why should we listen to the idiot in charge? King/priests)

All these happens very recently. WWI in early 1900 are basically monarchy relationship and succession gone very wrong (Astro hungaria), the last gasp of politically active Catholic church. Much of 17-18-19th century before that were pretty much religious feudal wars.

Western europe never experience roman empire stability. Late roman empire center of gravity was today's Italy And Turkey.

Modern democracy started in earnest from WWI-WWII chaos. (This is why you only observe so few constitutional democracy.) Because all the rest didn't kill each other and still have the old system going until mid 20th century. (monarchy, somebody's colony, hybrids of some sort. etc)

US is special case because geographically it is rather isolated until mid 20th century and doesn't have mortal enemy at its border. So it has the chance to develop mature democracy earlier.

Korea didn't have modern democracy until late 80's early 90's. Some say japan is more single party elite rule. China is very much a Imperial monarchy with different flavor. India, Pakistan are post WWII ex colony...


etc.

So modern democracy is fairly young. Hardly 2 generations old.

Most stable form of government throughout history is imperial monarchy. This thing usually last several centuries. Islam would fall under this. Imperial monarchy.

Iran? Too early to tell. Iran is still under revolutionary spell. I would say, after third generation leadership enters the scene, then we will know what Iranian experiment really is. Because at that point, most people stat questioning the laws and legal foundation.

curious

Case and point:
how bad quality of information that is available to congress. (it's friggin useless, they might as well crib wiki. Save money on CRS.)

Weapons of Mass Destruction: Trade Between North Korea and Pakistan, November 28, 2006
http://wikileaks.org/wiki/CRS:_Weapons_of_Mass_Destruction:_Trade_Between_North_Korea_and_Pakistan%2C_November_28%2C_2006

Islamist Militancy in the Pakistan-Afghanistan Border Region and U.S. Policy
http://wikileaks.org/wiki/CRS:_Islamist_Militancy_in_the_Pakistan-Afghanistan_Border_Region_and_U.S._Policy%2C_November_21%2C_2008

Terrorism in South Asia, August 31, 2005

http://wikileaks.org/wiki/CRS:_Terrorism_in_South_Asia%2C_August_31%2C_2005

http://wikileaks.org/wiki/CRS:_Terrorism_in_Southeast_Asia%2C_September_11%2C_2007

--------------------

so ... this is from congress point of view. And we know the level of conversation in the media. details are all dated, and the conclusion is ...shoddy.

Might as well hand over the key local middle schooler.

Arun

http://thenews.jang.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=177904>Swat - A report from the frontline

from which we have this:

"There is a strong connection between the Taliban in Waziristan, Orakzai, Swat, South Punjab, Khost and Kunar in terms of supply of manpower, weapons and chain of command. This connection is the Al Qaeda-linked Jalaluddin Haqqani and his terror secretariat in North Waziristan. This connection has to be broken, which means that Haqqani's 'secretariat' must be destroyed."

Babak Makkinejad

Curious:

It seems to me then that we are in agreement - a rare situation for you & I - as to the unfeasibility of the European models to the rest of mankind - including Musilim peoples.

You are correct that people question authority - both spiritual & temporal. Specially in what is now Western Europe and US it has become a habit of mind. This is not so in South America, or in China, or in Korea, in Japan, in India, or among Muslims. It may yet happen but has not happened yet to the extent that Europe & North America suffer from it.

The questioning of spiritual and temporal authority - taken to its logical extreme - will be a dissolution of socal order – including family - since it posits the absolute autonomy of the individual. Under such a dispensation, you will have true anarchy worse than the animal kingdom.

I observe here that the propnents of this type of extremism are almost invariably men – most likely with strong or perverted sexual appetites. I am not persuaded by ideas concieved in fumes of testostrone.

We already are seeing the beginnings of this; laws that re-define marriage eventually leading to the proposition that "me and my sheep are a family, we are just practicing our right to an autonomous and alternate life style."

The Doctors of Religions, the Philosophers, the Theologians must combat this Rebelion and win the war of ideas.

Revelation has always been quetioned and mocked throughout the previous centuries yet it has persisted.


Arun

Today we found out that India reelected the Congress-led coalition minus the Communists, and also rejected the "right-wing" - the BJP. On this day, the Indian model, with its borrowings from the European model seems to be doing fine, especially for a country with deeply entrenched problems.

Babak, the wish of gay people to be married is the best possible outcome once you rule that gay sex is not the state's business. It certainly is a triumph over hedonism.

The threat to families does not come from an extension of marriage to beyond its traditional form - it comes from the high prevelance of divorce and from adultery.

curious

as to the unfeasibility of the European models to the rest of mankind - including Musilim peoples.

Posted by: Babak Makkinejad | 16 May 2009 at 10:06 AM

It's basic pragmatism thus far more potent than any religion. No person or question has mystical or divine mandate. The source of legitimacy lies squarely in soundness of discourse.

I doubt any conversation about metaphysics and government legitimacy will ever gain wide traction in a modern democratic society, since everybody is assumed to be normal human being and subject to agreed upon laws. Average citizen doesn't care about divinity. Plus philosophically, that question hasn't been all that productive in the last 2300 yrs anyway. Why waste more time asking dead end question?


Socrates: Well then, my dear friend Euthyphro, do tell me, for my better instruction and information, what proof have you that in the opinion of all the gods a servant who is guilty of murder, and is put in chains by the master of the dead man, and dies because he is put in chains before he who bound him can learn from the interpreters of the gods what he ought to do with him, dies unjustly; and that on behalf of such an one a son ought to proceed against his father and accuse him of murder. How would you show that all the gods absolutely agree in approving of his act? Prove to me that they do, and I will applaud your wisdom as long as I live. -Euthyphro, Plato
http://classics.mit.edu/Plato/euthyfro.html


Me personally. There is no such thing as revelation and the divine. There is only human. The idiots who run around bashing each other heads. Maybe some good conversation comes along every now in between head bashing. Much more direct and simpler.

Babak Makkinejad

Arun:

I do not believe that the government system of India is a replica of the European models. It is an adaptation for the Indian context. And I am all for adaptation – I am against blind copying.

I fail to see the relevance of the defeat of the Communists and BJP to argument that I have made.

I note here that even though the court system in India is organized along the British model, it has failed to provide for the Rule of Law in India. This is clearly a failed adaptation/replication.

In regards to marriage: there are metaphysical grounds for accepting the union of male and female in a bond as the norm - for the Primordial Unity (of Creation) manifests plurality through the means of Duality; Ying-Yan, Male-Female, etc.. The Union of Man & Woman thus re-creates (re-capitulates) the essential unity of the Cosmos.

Based on your line of reasoning it is acceptable to extend marriage to the following situations: Son marrying Father; Daughter marrying Mother and other such abominations. Not to mention Bestiality.

curious:

Revelation exists as an empirical feature of human history. Your denials will not make it any less of an empirical phenomenon.

That men give birth to ideas is not in dispute. But those ideas take over the minds of men and thus affect human action.

The average persons do not determine human history – elites do. It is these elites who are subject to changes in their ideas – at times suffering from fads, fashions, and fallacious ideas and beliefs.

It is absolutely incorrect that all philosophical problems have been answered. In fact none have. And the fundamental dichotomy between Human Reason and Divine Revelation persists and will continue to persists well into the future.

The kind of proof that you are alluding to is not possible within Human Reason. That is where Revelatory Knowledge comes into play.

Please note that empirical scientific knowledge is also based on un-proved and un-provable metaphysical principles & assumptions.

William P. Fitzgerald III

Makkinejad, et. al.,

The C.S.A. were democratic, within the definitions of citizenship and the franchise. Further, without the 3/5ths and other compromises the constitutional convention would have failed and the result would have been two or more groupings of independent states.

This is all pretty far from Pakistan in the brand new, already tiresome, 21st Century. I agree with F.B. Ali and would only add that we're seeing a failure of American policy - makers to, as in Iraq, identify the essence of the problem. Instead, we seem to have policy made by re-cycled cliches; "this isn't Vietnam, "you can run but you can't hide", etc.

One of my questions regarding Pakistan is, can the status quo ante be restored as it applied to the autonomous tribal areas as a first step in re-building the Pakistani political institutions? I'm asking, because it seems to me that this is, at heart, a Pathan problem on both sides of the border, rather than an Islamist? Taliban one.

WPFIII

F B Ali

WPFIII:

In reply to your question: I do not think there is any possibility of a return to the status quo ante in the tribal areas. Too much blood and water have flowed under the bridge. Even if there were some way of restoring stability to FATA, an absolute pre-requisite would be the ending of the US war in Afghanistan. There doesn’t seem much prospect of that, does there?

curious

This is all pretty far from Pakistan in the brand new, already tiresome, 21st Century. I agree with F.B. Ali and would only add that we're seeing a failure of American policy - makers to, as in Iraq, identify the essence of the problem. Instead, we seem to have policy made by re-cycled cliches; "this isn't Vietnam, "you can run but you can't hide", etc.
Posted by: William P. Fitzgerald III | 18 May 2009 at 09:27 AM

Well depending how one would want to restore order in FATA. Sooner or later how taliban thinks has to be addressed.

Any form of Islamic scholasticism, specially the jurisprudence is largely based on Greek and Persian cultural foundation.

It is not that hard to argue taliban as illegal from Islamic point of view, then proceed to eliminate them with the support of general public.

Of course, the argument will make everybody in the area very uncomfortable, but hey... can't make omelette without breaking some eggs.

But that would be the standard most effective method, taking away taliban religious legitimacy, followed by social support. Then it's all about marginalized arm gang. 3-4yrs top. 1/10 the man power and probably costing few hundred millions.

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