Ya Hala Terry!
My good friend, my Celtic brother! At last you have come up for air. Please post again as soon as possible, and continue to do so frequently. We need to keep in touch with each other or your Lebanese buddy will go cray-zee up here in the woods. It actually gets boring sometimes, –most of the time, in fact.
But ah, Jasper, Jasper, Jasper. What is going on with you? This is Siraj, you're talking to, not some policy wonk.
Interesting rant, at any rate, Jasp. But, please, before you condemn the entire Muslim world for merely defending itself from very real Christian Crusader threats, you should first consider the fact that many in the Muslim community refer to President Bush as 'the 13th Imam', because as it turns out Bush has done more than even many Islamic leaders to advance the interests of the Shi'a brand of Islamic political leadership throughout the Mid East. They have also been known to refer to random American politicians and pundits as a 'donkey's ass', but I think '13th Imam' has a much more dignified ring to it. Still, hardly the legacy, I must imagine, that America's 43rd President desires for himself.
Not convinced? Read on:
1) The Bush administration has long allowed US corporations to circumvent the economic sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic during the previous administration. Oil service companies, including Haliburton, continue to conduct business in Iran, while the shops and bazaars are awash in American goods. With oil selling at record prices, Iran is awash in money, and it owes thanks for this to the United States.
2) Pressure by the US on other regional powers to democratize has resulted in the emergence of Shi'ite power throughout the region. Among the chief beneficiaries are the oil-rich Shi'ites in Saudi Arabia. Long disadvantaged by the conservative Wahhabi-dominated Saudi government, the Shi'ites now exercise real political power for the first time in the history of the State.
Qatar has even established a separate legal court for the Shi'ites, and the Sunni rulers of Bahrain have good reason to worry about how US. pressure will translate into increased power for their country's Shi'ite majority population.
3) Even the Syrians are benefiting from President Bush's politics. American assaults on the Syrian government have accomplished the almost impossible task of increasing Bashar al-Assad’s popularity and the credibility of his government.
Jasp, the United States has been funding Mid East dictators and tyrants for decades now, not to mention arming and training henchmen for even the worst of them. You know that –we've even talked about this in relation to Israeli security. Well, nw that Bush is pushing for the democratization of the Mid East, how do you think these new democracies should defend themselves? Given the US track record, isn't it fair to assume that any emerging republic may want to build an atomic arsenal, if only to protect themselves from the likes of the United States?
Unfortunately there is no such thing as perfect diplomacy. So, what are you going to do now? Torch the White House? I’ll let you know when these kids I’m riding with airlift out of here to storm the capital, lol.
On a lighter and more personal note, how's your novel, Smash Faced Detectives, coming? Anytime for punch-drunk comedy in these dire times? The first draft was fabuloso, and I'd hate to think my favorite All-American has gone stone-cold serious on us. You know, if you stop laughing about all this nonsense, then the terrorists have won. That's my philosophy anyway, and I have a 'tent-side' view of the action!
peace, my friend–
P.S.: As for why Lowell isn't yet rotting in a prison in Nusa Kambangan, the intelligence gatherers at Stratfor point out in their most recent report a number of reasons why it is nearly impossible to secure him.
Article reprint follows in my next post. Read it and tell me what you think!